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

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

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very good

2,753 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,753
Reviews: 1,073
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.73%
Wants: 149
Gots: 248 | 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: 2,753 | Reviews: 1,073 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Xul
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Pitch black with ruby highlights on the edges when held up to the light, capped with a finger of mocha colored head that's rather quick to die down.

S: Coffee, backed by roasted malts and some bitter chocolate character. The aroma is a bit subdued, even after letting the beer warm out before opening it.

T: Predominant coffee up front, backed up by chocolate and some hints of vanilla. Balancing bitterness comes from both the coffee and chocolate, with a bit of hop character showing through. Alcohol reveals itself on the aftertaste as the beer warms but never goes beyond a subtle level.

M: Medium to just above medium carbonation, with a good creaminess. The carbonation could probably get scaled back a bit with positive effect but it doesn't detract from the beer.

D: Very drinkable, this would definitely be one that I could drink several of in a sitting if it was distributed to CA.

Photo of Lolli1315
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- A dark blackish brown, not quite opaque but almost there. Big tan head that holds nicely. Gorgeous lacing. One of the better looking stouts I have seen.

S- Dark roasted malts with a splash of chocolate. The coffee aroma is also quite noticeable with a somewhat bitter chocolate smell finishing out the beer. There may be a slight smell of alcohol as well.

T- A bitter chocolate taste is the first thing to hit me with a much larger roasted coffee taste following. The bitter chocolate taste once again comes through in the taste. An almost nutty flavor seems to be coming through as well.

M- A nice, thick, chewy mouthfeel that I would expect out of a this sort of beer. Great for a cold night.

D- Easy to drink and would be even easier to put down one more.

Notes: Great beer, but I think that I enjoyed the taste a little more on tap. Unfortunately I wasn't able to write my review down so the bottle will have to do for now.

Photo of Slatetank
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to tenderbranson69 for sharing this bottle - poured chilled from the 12oz into a 1/2 pint.

A - coffee brown w ruby hues -thick, creamy head of beige which coats the glass w/ lace

S - The smell has lots of green un roasted bean notes -roasty w/ creamy sweet malt undertones. Slightly nutty and vanilla accents w/ modest earthy elements

M - The feel is rich and creamy w/ mild sweet tinges and dry tannic notes w/ slight spiced and alcohol edge. There is subtle residual sweetness in the finish

T - The taste has dark roasted coffee w/ mild vanilla and a slight dark sugar taste w/ mild toasted dark bread and mild pepper w/ a slight sweet creamy almost chocolate flavor in the finish. The taste of alcohol is mild and only noted as it warms slightly

D - The drinkability is very high, this is a fantastic stout and has plenty of coffee flavor, definitely recommended for those who like coffee augmented beer

Photo of apbarwood
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A deep, dark brown with a sandy colored head. Could have used a bit more head retention and/or lacing but it was good enough in my estimation. Smells of bitter coffee and dark chocolate. These aromas are present in the flavor profile as well and give the overall impression of chocolate covered espresso beans. The roasted bitterness is present but restrained and balanced to perfection with the hop bitterness. Light-bodied with a good carbonation and a nice mouth-coating malt presence. Definitely one of the best coffee stouts I've had. I'm not usually a huge fan of the style but I could definitely see myself having this one again. Once again, Bell's has lived up to their reputation. This is a definite must-try coffee stout.

Photo of Arbitrator
2.03/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

An extra from a trading stud, KeefD. Thanks Keith!

A: Pours pretty much a pitch black in the glass, with a hint of mahogany translucence around the edges. The head is thick and cream-colored; retention is outstanding, and it leaves nice lacing down the glass. Truly a pleasure to see.

S: Espresso, roast, and... uh.... smoke. Specifically, cigarette smoke. Er.

T: While I don't like the taste of black coffee, I am beginning to appreciate its presence in stouts and porters lately. The roasted coffee flavor sets the tone here, but it's backed up nicely by a melange of chocolate and roasted malt. Great beginning. Toward the finish, it attempts to get smoky, but it reminds me more of cigarette butts than anything else. I have had a few other coffee stouts with this characteristic, so I don't think the bottle is bad; I think it's just something I don't appreciate.

M: Medium-full, with velvety and smooth carbonation.

D: I'm not sure what was up with the cigarette thing, but I think it ruins what is otherwise a pretty solid coffee stout. Maybe I'll try it again in the future.

Photo of mikedashg
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got as an extra, poured from a 12oz into a snifter.

A - Black, with a small light tan head that dissipated quickly, light lacing.

S - Fresh brewed espresso/coffee. Roasted malts. Licorice. Molases, a little smoky.

T - Similar to nose. Lots of coffee. Good amount of roasted malts, but also has a nice bitterness to it. Dark/bitter chocolate. A little earthy hops, but mostly coffee chocolate like bitterness. A little vanilla, smokiness and black licorice

M - Moderate to moderately high carbonation in the mouth. Surprised how carbonated it was by the little amount of pop/head I got from the pour. A little creamy.

D - Very good example of style, pretty complex nose and taste. Spot on coffee stout.

Photo of bamadog
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review is from notes taken on 11/20/09. Poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is a thick, near black viscous fluid that comes with a one finger dark tan, creamy looking head that fades to a thin and uneven skim and a large polywog of bubbles; a firm wall of foamy lacing clings to the side; body is opaque.

Smell: Super strong; deep dark roastiness and even burnt espresso/coffee beans; nice hints of a syrupy bitter-sweet chocolate as well. My mouth is watering just smelling this brew.

Taste: Much like the smell, tons of a roasty malty espresso; a bitter chocolate combines with it; a very slight hoppy/earthy presence adds to the bitterness as well; very solid overall, a fine bitter stout; slight presence of alcohol as it continues to warm.

Mouthfeel: Pretty smooth and creamy -- some stouts seem to have a grittiness to them but this one feels pretty clean, actually; mouth is left with a bit of a coating on the roof and the belly is left pretty warm.

Drinkability: Nice flavors, near perfect for a cool night; rather filling and the ABV is a tad high for more than one though.

Photo of trbergman
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Black as night, with a thin lace of cinnamon-colored head.

S - A coffee lover's dream, with a heavy dose of espresso, some roasted grain, chocolate, and anise.

T - While cool, this beer drinks like iced coffee, but as it warms, more stout flavors emerge. Bitter chocolate, roast barley, anise, vanilla. Very little hop flavor, if any - perhaps a bit of earthiness - but assertive hop bitterness meshed well with the bitterness of coffee.

M - Medium body, gentle carbonation.

D - If you don't enjoy coffee, look elsewhere. For those of us who do, Java Stout is a must. This is definitely a coffee beer, not just a beer with coffee. Delicious.

Photo of alkemy
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Looked like I poured a cup of coffee into my pint glass other than the noticeably thicker viscosity and the half finger of dark tan head. Really has a coffee aroma along with some bitter chocolate. The taste is much of the same, although I felt there was a hint of chocolate brownies in there as well. Velvety smooth going down. I like strong black coffee (hot and iced) so this was right up my alley. I did notice some alcohol on the back-end, but nothing overt.

Photo of BarrelO
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Batch #9363, packaged on September 22, 2009.

A: Black body with a two-finger coffee-colored head.

S: Coffee all up in your grill. No subtlety at all. Not that that's a bad thing, mind you.

T: Major coffee up front, in the middle, and in the back. Also some hints of chocolatey and smoky flavors.

M: Not all that thick.

D: This was the first coffee beer I ever had. And it's still one of the best.

Photo of d0ggnate
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured with a mud-like brown color to my glass. Quickly topped with a rich frothy mocha-tan head, but that was gone before I knew it.
S: Cold and bitter coffee. Slightly metallic while cold. A hint of hazelnut.
T: Like a mocha from your local coffee shop. Sweet and bitter together. Smooth milk-chocolate flavors.
M: Creamy, but less viscous that the beer appears. I could see as I poured it that this one would present like most other stouts, but lacked something in body. This deficit is palatable, but doesn't ruin the beer.
D: True to its name, Java Stout brings together the best of coffee and beer in a classic way. I found this one to be a great example of the style and wish it was readily available. Another good beer from Bell's.

Photo of ChuggyMcBeer
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass

A: Black with just a few bubbles of mocha head.

S: A bit of vanilla and coffee syrup. Straddles the line between cloying and enticingly sweet.

T: Like coffee ice cream cut off by a touch of hops.

M: Begins moderately viscous and sticky, but finishes a bit too light and dry after the bitterness hits.

D: A pretty sessionable coffee stout

Photo of porterwoobie
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, poured into a standard pint glass.

A: black, 1 finger brown head that settles to a dusting, good lacing

S: coffee. roasted grains, vanilla, and malt sweetness.

T: the flavor is a blend of coffee, roasted grains, and some dark chocolate. there is a slight alcohol warmth that comes through toward the end. finishes bitter.

MF: full bodied, low carbonation, fairly smooth drinking java brew.

Drinkability: this coffee stout is a good blend of coffee and beer. the coffee is not too strong that it dominates the rest of the flavors, but compliments them well.

Photo of rosmhuire
1.78/5  rDev -54.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Poured from bottle into pint glass..

A: Black coloring, like a cup of coffee (duh). Tan-colored head.

S: Burnt/over-roasted coffee beans.

T: This is disgusting. Way over the top coffee flavor. This tastes like I'm chewing on coffee grounds.

M: Average, like most coffee stouts/RIS/oatmeal stouts. I won't even pretend that I can somehow notice the different mouthfeels when drinking different styles of stouts.

Drinkability: Terrible - I could barely finish this. I'm so sad I have another one of these in my fridge. I can't stand to pour things down the drain, so I'm already annoyed that I'm going to eventually force myself to drink the second bottle some night.

Photo of marvin213
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark as the pitch, a lightly tanned head has impressive enough staying power. It's black like a java stout should be, and the carbonation seems fitting--it looks like another fine Bell's production. All the good Bell's we get down in the Carolinas, but only as an extra (thanks to NotCreative) do I get to enjoy this one. Looks like a Bell's Java Stout.

Really nice coffee smell punches thru the liquid. It's pleasing and soothing, just like the smell of strong coffee on an early Sunday morning. It lacks the chocolatey licorice and plummy fruit nose of other stouts, and that's good because it's a java. I'm eager to hava sip.

Absolutely solid, but a bit tamer than the look and smell might suggest. Truth be told, the beverage looks and smells like a 10+%er. The taste, a little more watered-down, is more aligned with the 7.5% identified here. I detect a hoppy balance to the coffee stout components, but not enough to think it an "American Double." The way I understand it, that means it should have a DIPA hop-edge to it. Perhaps predictably, I'd go for more hops and more coffee!

The bitter (hoppy?) coffee mouthfeel is fantastic. I figure you can't make a beer without water, but even in this top-notch, tasty beer, I'd like more of its active ingredients: coffee, hops, toasted malts, etc. I'm glad, however, that there are no fruity or otherwise sweet flavors on the feel. Like most of the Bell's I've encountered, it's exactly as advertised.

For any kind of coffee stout, it's relatively drinkable. Like real coffee, you don't want to guzzle it--and I realize that's not necessarily what drinkability means. Still, this beverage is probably better sampled with friends than poured as a single serving.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

into a bells tulip

pour was jet black, fairly thick, mocha head, amazing retention. nice lacing

deep coffee scents, a bit of charcoal and roasted malts, light chocolate

deep rich bold dark coffee with a light dark chocolate bite. light roasted malts and a bit of a sweet finish

a bit thick, micro carbonation but with a bit of bite. creamy head

this is hands down one of the best coffee stouts i have ever had. i love every bit of this and then some. this is a coffee stout!

Photo of Jmoore50
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade with Sparklepants, this was an extra. Wow.

The appearance is like a cup of coffee. Do I need to say more? Dark brown body with cocoa edges. It does have a half finger head with a bit of light lacing.

The smell is coffee chocolate roasted goodness. A lot of roasted notes in this with the coffee. Real good smell.

Taste is like a roasted cup of coffee with good chocolate backgrounds. There is a bit of burnt flavor, which is why it is not a perfect 5. The coffee flavor in the brew is a very good example of what it is supposed to be. Although there is a very slight burnt flavor, it pairs with the sweetness and bold flavor of the coffee and malts. Great tastes.

The brew was a great example of what my coffee stout should of tasted like. Either way, really excited I was able to try this.


Photo of buschbeer
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I poured into a pint glass to a large mocha head. It is black in color. It smells of chocolate and coffee. The dominant taste is black coffee. This beer tastes a lot better warm. I had one cold and one warm. There is a big difference. I didn't like this beer at first when it was cold. Now I think it is quite a tasty beverage. I'll make sure to take the next one out of the fridge 15 minutes before I drink it.


Photo of mikey711
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a perfect pint glass after sitting in the fridge for a few days.

A: Pitch black, and syrupy. The head was only one finger thick and dissappated quickly. No lacing of note. Just a thin layer of tan head on sits on top.

S: Heavy coffee notes with a moderate amount of chocolate sweetness to back it up. The roasted flavor is entirely from the coffee.

T: The coffee flavor is there but it is a bit milder than other coffee stouts. Tastes exactly like it smells with the chocolate coming after the coffee.

M: It lacks a bit of body, but otherwis is is very creamy. A mild hint of booze is present but there is no chalkiness.

D: An easy sipper that I actually enjoy a bit more on the cold side. even though it was a small bottle I would have prefered to share it because the sweetness was a bit more than I usually like

Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a footed tasting glass.

A: Pours brilliantly black with a fantastic looking, thick and creamy two inches of mocha colored head. Lacing is solid with sheets of lacing riming the glass.

S: Dry, roasted ground coffee beans great the nose as one would expect. Light on licorice, chocolaty and tobacco sweetness, but the coffee seems a little dry and dusty to some of the richer, smoother coffee stouts out there.

T/MF: Mouthfeel is solid, viscous and slightly chewy with a nice drying sensation on the back of the tongue. Taste is complex with a dry, cold pressed coffee flavor with traces of licorice and bitter chocolate.

D: This beer is great in the first half and a bit of a let down in the second. That is, each sip starts thick, full flavored and complex but finishes a bit dusty, dry and one dimensional. If it were not for the Jeykl and Hyde aspects of this beer it would rank up there with some of the better coffee beers out there.

Photo of SpecialK088
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into an imperial stout glass

pours a thick coffee black with a small head that disapates quickly leaving no lacing.

Nose is subtle for a stout let alone a coffee. Notes of bitter chocolate and coffee are present but nowhere near what I'm used to from the style. Subtle sweet malt and vinnilla can also be pulled out.

Flavor is less subtle than the nose and goes right down the middle sweet and bitter chocolate and esspresso. A slight boozy middle and finish make you remeber you are drinking a beer as the bitterness lingers between drinks.

Mouth is pretty thin and flat feels like drinking a flat coke to be honest.

Easy enough to drink one of but honestly they priced me right out of ever really going after this one again a solid beer but I have had far better within the style.

Photo of Florida9
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a snifter. Foams up a fast head, but recedes quickly to just a ring around the rim. Black in color, fully opaque. Head is is foamy and dark tan. Just a smidge of lacing. There is just something missing with the look - it just seems flat.

S: Take a wild guess at the predominant smell. If you guessed coffee, you're a genius. Black coffee, but kind of a half-ass watery coffee, not the good, fresh roasted shit. Some molasses for sweetness and a little fruit interplay as well.

T: Not surprisingly, even more coffee, but now the coffee is borderline burnt. After the initial wave of cold morning coffee passes the flavor drops off a cliff, but it returns, slowly,. . .slowly,. . . with a (not hop) bitterness over the tongue that hangs around for a good while. A little more malty than coffee, but definitely coffee.

M: On the heavier side of medium with very low carbonation. Thinner than would be expected for a double.

D: A decent coffee stout, but there are better ones out there. This one is a bit one-dimensional and even that dimension isn't all that wonderful. Don't get me wrong, though this is still a pretty good beer, its just not as good as it could be.

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: black in color, 1/3 inch head, moderate carbonation

Smell: coffee grounds

Taste: big dose of pure black coffee. At the end there is a sweet sugar/cream taste

Mouthfeel: bitter start which gets a bit sweeter at the end. medium/heavy body, minimal carbonation

Drinkability: I could have three not six. This has got a near perfect coffee taste and what I envision when I think coffee___stout. Bells knows how to make pleasing stouts.

Photo of spartanfan
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

batch 9375 packaged 9/29/09

A: Pours a deep opaque black with a small light tan head that has faded to a ring.

S: Smells of rich coffee. That's about it.

T:Tastes of rich coffee and roasted malts, also some chocolate and a slight hop bitterness.

M: Mouthfeel is medium full with a nice creaminess and is quite enjoyable. Just the right amount of carbonation.

D: This beer is pretty drinkable for the abv. The alcohol is not noticeable at all.

Photo of wnh
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours an opaque ruby-tinted dark chestnut brown, nearly black, with a frothy tan head on top.

Aromas of freshly brewed black coffee, very roasty, with accompanying burnt grain and earthy, bitter dark chocolate. Earthy, leafy hops make themselves known after a few sips. Takes of chocolate covered coffee beans, very intense and roasty, on the entry, turning slightly sweet and caramelly before finishing dry with a bitter, leafy hoppiness. The caramel flavor bows out quickly, but everything else lingers and lingers.

Dry on the palate, which turns slightly chalky, which more or less works with the flavor profile but which I don't care much for. Medium to full in body, but light enough to make it quite drinkable. Very enjoyable.

Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 2,753 ratings.