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Bell's Java Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Java StoutBell's Java Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,676 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,676
Reviews: 1,066
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.99%
Wants: 146
Gots: 232 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-11-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,676 | Reviews: 1,066 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TeamSeabass
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Agressive pours yields a thick dark brown head. Beer is dark like oil.

Very strong roasted malt scent. The java component lends another level of funky smell.

Lots of bitter chocolate and roasty malts on the drink. Its a very sweet flavored beer. The sweetness almost overcomes the other components but somehow stays in balance. I'm not finding any direct coffee notes, but maybe I'm trying too hard. Plenty of chocolate, though.

This beer drinks pretty thick & heavy. It's good. This is a high quality beer.

TeamSeabass, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 8/26/08. Bottle, batch 7706, courtesy of adrian910ss (thanks Adrian!). Pours a dark inky black with a super pretty dark tan head. Aroma of coffee, lots of roasted and burnt peanuts, roasted and burnt malts. Taste is very similar with lots of peanuts, roasted/burnt malts, and coffee icecream. Not AS coffee-rich as the fresher batch, a bit sweeter and mellower, but still so good. Smooth drinking. Not as rich as Expedition, obviously, but it's quite good. Alcohol is a bit strong for a 7.5%. Otherwise, yumzo! One of the better stouts I've had in awhile.
8/5/8/4/16 (4.1/5)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of JISurfer
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is so thick, you could almost chew it down. That's what I like in an Imperial. It's a bit chilly out here, but it's great a keeping me warm by my fire outside. Had a beautiful thick head on it that thinned out, but still was solid all the way across. The smell had elements of dark chocolate, coffee, and maple syrup. The taste was similar to the smell, but more in the coffee and chocolate area, not too much maple taste. Also had a nice thick coating as it went down the throat, but wasn't something that would make you overly full.

JISurfer, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of CoolJosh
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a hybrid tulip/flute, only glassware I had on hand.. Thanks amietaj1 for the great extra!

Pours with almost no head, an ultra thin layer of dark caramel foam that doesn't last. Very dark with some slight dark brown that can barely be seen through arouns the edges.

Great roasts producing a freshly brewed coffee smell that is more then comforting. Superb chocolates, both bitter and sweet. Some hints of caramel produce some sweetness, that leads to a matured darkened fruity scent (plum, red grapes).

Very creamy, with phenonmenal representation of the smell components. Some salt balances that cone out just barely. Body is fantastic, its full and balanced without being too sticky.

Great representation of the style, reminds me of an RIS almost, but this is a fantastic beer.

CoolJosh, Dec 22, 2008
Photo of sudsface69
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow! There is no mistaking the fact that this is a coffee stout. The nose is absolutely full of it! It smells like dark chocolate covered coffee beans - literally! This stout is packed full of java! I also get some bitter chocolate, some raisinets, and maybe a hint of toffee, but mainly just good, strong coffee. This beer pours a very dark brown, with some nice tan head at the start, but unfortunately the head seems to dissipate a little early. The taste is (as you would guess) very dominated by coffee. I wouldn't say this is the most well balanced beer I've had, but if you're really in the mood for a strong coffee stout, you won't mind that fact. There is a bit of astringency in this one, probably due to the fact that it is so loaded with coffee. I don't know if I could drink a lot of these, but I would definitely enjoy 1 or 2. I think that if you are big on coffee stouts, then this is one to try. It is certainly rich and full of the bean! An interesting specialty brew for sure!

sudsface69, Dec 18, 2008
Photo of mikereaser
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 8315

A - Pours a completely black color that let no light through. There was about a 1/4 inch of foam that quickly disappeared into just a layer of fine bubbles.

S - Strong coffee flavor with hints of bitter chocolate

T - roasted coffee, malt and a bit of a dryness in the finish

M/D - This is like drinking a coffee mixed with soda. Nice flavors throughout, the carbonation was a little more than I expected. I will stick to just one, but will definitely have again.

mikereaser, Dec 18, 2008
Photo of Bung
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A black pour with a solid brown head. Smells like a cup of espresso. Tasted very roasty, malts and coffee with some mocha or bakers chocolate. Coffee bitters linger at the finish, but not too bitter. Alcohol is well hidden, a little warming effect after you get into the beer a bit. Very pleasant, maybe even better than the Beer Geek in my opinion.

Bung, Dec 10, 2008
Photo of corby112
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown almost black color with mahogany edges and a huge frothy tan head. Roasted malty aroma with lots of coffee as well as some oatmeal, toffee, caramel and hazelnut. Very smooth and quaffable with lots of roasted coffee maltiness, creamy sweet dark chocolate, caramel, toffee, oattmeal and a bitter, hoppy dry finish.

corby112, Dec 04, 2008
Photo of daythree16
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Pours completely black with a bit of head around the edges clinging to the glass.

Aromas of coffee and dark chocolate as well as a touch of smokiness. There is a something that took me a second to place, but it smells like the pecans my mom used to get from the tree in our backyard after they've been frozen.

Taste has a bit of the nuttiness that is present in the aroma. Aside from a slightly smoky finish, the beer is all coffee.

Full bodied. Quite a tasty beer to be sure, and drinkability is decent. However, the amount of coffee bitterness is a bit too strong in my opinion. It makes it hard to have more than just the one. If you're a coffee nut, this one's right up your alley.

daythree16, Nov 18, 2008
Photo of jwc215
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Wasatch for this one!

Pours very dark brown - almost black - with a than head that becomes a wide patch.

The smell is of robust espresso-like coffee with bready notes and a rich, deep roastiness.

The tase is of coffee beans - roasted with slightly burnt edges. Alcohol is reasonably well-covered. It has a background of a chocolately, dark stout, though coffee rules here. It has some astringent acidic notes in the dry, roasty finish.

The feel is thick. It is full (or nearly), but the carbonation doesn't hold up as much as it could. Mild carbonation works for this style, but it loses even that as it progresses, making it syrupy thickish. Still, it has a fullness to it.

A rich, robust very coffee-ish stout (almost too coffee-ish). I like coffee and stouts, so expected to like it a bit more, but it's still a nice one. If you like coffee, this one is certainly worth looking out for!

jwc215, Nov 16, 2008
Photo of sholland119
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a deep, opaque black with a nice tan head and some pretty good lacing.

S-Roasty espresso, dark chocolate and sweet caramel malts.

T-Very tasty indeed. Sweet caramel in the front, followed by some bittersweet chocolate, finsihing with a strong burst of roasted coffee.

M-A little oily with medium carbonation.

D-A very drinkable stout. Complex, flavorful, moderate ABV.

Another great stout from Bell's.


sholland119, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of hopdog
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle.

Poured a dark black color with a huge sized (5 finger) brown head. Aromas of coffee grounds, roasted malts, and chocolate. Tastes of chocolate, coffee, caramel, and roasted malts. Lots of lacing left on the glass.

Notes from 12/22/05

hopdog, Nov 13, 2008
Photo of birchstick
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - I don't know if I have ever seen anything pour out of a bottle as black as this.
S - huge smell to it. Very burnt malts and chocolate, with a lot of coffee.
T - this is the definition of roasted malts and coffee flavors in a stout. Very rich burnt malt and coffee flavors that aren't too overpowering. There is also a little bit of semi-sweet chocolate detectible.
M - a little watery and thin
D - after spending the last couple of hours working on a paper, this was a welcomed break. If drinking these in succession I am sure they will catch up rather quickly with a 7.5% alcohol; plus the richness of the flavors might tire you out after a while. If you are a coffee drinker then I know that you will enjoy this Bell's offering without a doubt.

birchstick, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of kinger
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Talk about deja-vu, I tweaked an oatmeal stout recipe last year and brewed up a coffe stout that was extremely similar to this one. Choked down about half the batch and ended up dumping the rest, just too many coffee beans used. This one is much smoother and tastier, but still not to my expected liking. Aroma is intriguing, lots of ground coffee bean to the nose but with a decent amount of dark malt to make it enjoyable. Dark pour, head soon diminishes, and no lacing very sub-par for a stout. Thin mouthfeel even a touch watery, happens more often than I allow myself to admit w/ Bell's beers. Flavor is a solid blend of dark and roated malt with a ton of coffee, again just too much focus on the bean it really detracts from the decency of a good stout. I applaud the effort but not something I'd spend my cash on again.

kinger, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of schellsbeer
4.72/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my all time favorite beers.

Love coffee + Love beer = Love Bell's Java Stout!

This is one exceptional tasty brew. Too bad Bells has put this one on hold for a short time. Good thing I stocked up.

What a day it would be to wake up and be able to pour one of these. Breakfast of Champiions. You could become an Olympic athlete drinking Bell's.

A - Excellent. Dark. Black. Smokey. Thick. Beautiful.

S - Strong Coffee plus beer. Great combination.

T - Oh Yeah....that is what I am talking about. Sticks to the mouth and the ribs. Slides down and you taste it all the way. Just hold it on the tongue and swirl it around for a few seconds. You will be hooked. An incredible black strong stout that has been flavored with a good strong coffee. Has a smokey flavor. When I drink one of these, I should be out next to the grill or out on the lake at 6:00 am fishing for largemouth.

M - Thick. Wonderful. Slippery. Awesome.

D - At 7.5% alcohol, not too many and you are off to a good day. Alcohol? What alcohol? Is covered up by the fantastic taste of this great beer from one of my favorite Brewers.

Thanks Karl for indroducing me to them over 15 years ago while in Michigan. Went to the original brewery and had sandwiches and a few beers. Still a hole in the wall back then. Now look at them.

schellsbeer, Nov 05, 2008
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #700
I got this brew in a trade with Greggy, Thanks Greg!

12oz bottle served in a tulip glass.

L - black with a bubbly tan head that left strands of sticky lacing on the glass.

S - roasted coffee and black licorice.

T - rich roasted taste, I got espresso coffee, bittersweet chocolate and hints of licorice...
whatever, this is a very tasty brew.

F - full bodied with a creamy feel.

D - drinking one of these is a delicious experience, savour the incredible flavors slowly.

JoeyBeerBelly, Nov 05, 2008
Photo of brewandbbq
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. non-dated bottle at 59F.

Pours opaque black, with a rich upswell of brown foam through the body. A two inch head of froth sat for several minutes before dropping to a mostly placid surface. A few strings of lacey remnants on the glass post-facto.

Aromatics lead off with dark, rich coffee, bitter, dark chocolate, fudge batter, and char. Hints of smouldering embers, Kahlua, and Black Forest batter follow through.

Full bodied with a creamy, chewy, viscous mouthfeel. Velvety with a solid gription.

A blend of roasted malts, ground coffee beans, and bitter chocolate start the palate.
Fudge chunks, cocoa nubs, espresso, and chocolate liqueur follow through.

Finishes with lingering rich, dark chocolate, coffee grounds, and warming Kahlua overtones.

This one blows away the re-issue of Doubleblack Stout. I'd love to try the Bourbon barrel aged version.

brewandbbq, Nov 04, 2008
Photo of midaszero
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Opaque black with tiny coffee head

S - Lots of coffee and what I preceived as a little bourbon flavor

T - Lots of coffee with little hop and malt profile a little crisp

M - Medium body with medium carbonation

D - Pretty good for a coffee stout but not something I would always want to drink

midaszero, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of Zadok
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a pitch black appearance with a brown head ring. Has hints of spider web lacing as it receded.

Roasted malt and mild coffee bean with a touch of light chocolate.

Deep roasted malt flavor and somewhat surprised to say in light of other reviews but a mild coffee flavor. Has a very smooth flavor, balance is definitely the strength.

Smooth and creamy with actually a light carbonation. Nice mouthfeel overall.

A very tasty and easy drinking brew. Probably one of the better sessionable stouts I have had. Surprised by the light coffee flavor but overall quality makes up for it in aces. Now I look forward to trying the Expedition stout.

Zadok, Oct 30, 2008
Photo of HugoGrim
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint. Solid black body with not much head to speak of. Spotty lace and bubbles.

Aroma boasts some toasted grains, sweet creaminess, and dark chocolate notes. I do not detect much if any coffee aromas. The nose is not nearly as robust as I like from this type of beer. I like being able to smell an Imperial Stout as it is being poured, and I have to really struggle to get much from this one. As the beer warms a bit the coffee does begin to come through in the aroma a bit.

Flavor is much better than the look and aroma. Very dark, roasted, and properly bitter. I say "properly" as it is not overly bitter for it's own sake, yet it has the firm substantial bitterness necessary in a beer of this style. A fresh coffee flavor shines through, and blends with a creamy ghost of sweetness as well as more bitter dark chocolates.

HugoGrim, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of ph2001
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in pint glass

this one pours black with one finger of dark head. it smells sweet, creamy and coffee like. it has a creamy medium body. the coffee taste is not very strong, although the flavor is more sharp, like black coffee. there is a nice roastiness as it warms and opens up. the aftertaste is like fresh raw coffee beans. well balanced and drinkable.

ph2001, Oct 19, 2008
Photo of BeerImmediately
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Let this puppy warm to high 50's hoping for more enjoyment than the previous few in the 30's/40's... no such luck.

Pours black with a short, tan head which quickly disappeared.

Coffee? Yes. But also a strangely acidic, chemical smell which was a big turnoff.

Tasted of bittersweet coffee beans, with a biting aftertaste.

Very carbonated/effervescent. Thick and cloying after-film.

Ok on drinkability, and my suggestion to Bell's is to either tone down the beans, or somehow improve the overall smoothness. p.s. I'm a big coffee fan, drinking "Starbucks-style" dark coffee every day, so it's not that I'm not used to the acidity.

BeerImmediately, Oct 18, 2008
Photo of JoeySchlitz
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Bought a couple of these a few years ago and tried one initially and wasn't that impressed. Seemed too much into the strong coffee flavors and less on the stout - definitely needed more balance. Just cracked open the other tonight that has been aging for about 3 years and it was delicious.

A: typical stout - pretty dark and not much light penetration. Light head with small bubbles - lasted to the bottom of the glass.
S: actually smelled really sour and made me question whether it was still able to drink. Coffee, campfire smoke, hints of dark chocolate
T: really smooth. Again chocolate, smoky, day old office coffee (that sounds bad but it was actually good). The aged version drops off a lot of the harsh coffee taste.
M: think and syrupy, great viscosity
D: pretty drinkable given the abv and definitely easier to put down than the fresh ones.

Wish I would have picked up a sixer to let sit in the cellar for a couple of years - after 2-3 years these are golden.

JoeySchlitz, Oct 11, 2008
Photo of Yesac
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours very dark brown almost black. An off brown small head that fades away quickly.

S - Fresh ground coffee beans some chocolate malts.

T - Extremly smooth, no bitter java taste. Like the smell, a very fresh ground coffee taste combined with a fine stout that has a dark roasted malt dominance. What a great job at combining the two.

M - Awesome. Thin and a very slight java taste is left on the palate.

D - Very high, what a smooth brew here.

Yesac, Oct 11, 2008
Photo of lhaqq
2.6/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A friend had bought a six pack of these, but didn't like them so gave what he had left to me. Didn't have it for awhile, but when I finally popped it open, it left me disappointed.
A: Dark brown to black, with sizable head.
S: Very pungent and piquant smell. Has a strong espresso/bitter coffee smell mixed with an equally strong odor of hot red peppers.
T: The smell mingles with the flavor--although the coffee is stronger. But the peppery flavor still persists--I guess something that I don't terribly prefer in a beer.
M: Mouthfeel is generally good and like most stouts I've had.
D: Because of the taste, I wouldn't consider this very drinkable. I split the bottle with a friend, and both of us had a hard time wanting to finish.
Not sure if I ought to have had this sooner, and that is why the taste was funky. Haven't had any other American double stouts although have had a fair share of RIS. Oddly, I am also not a huge fan of Bell's RIS--the Expedition Stout, while I really enjoy most of their other beers.

lhaqq, Oct 04, 2008
Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 2,676 ratings.