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

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

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very good

2,877 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,877
Reviews: 1,097
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.7%
Wants: 157
Gots: 294 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-11-2001

Java Stout uses a custom blend of coffee beans, roasted locally for us by Water Street Coffee Joint, to generate its intense flavor. Possessing an unmistakable aromatic punch, Java Stout has long been one of our most popular stouts.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,877 | Reviews: 1,097
Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Looks great. A gigantic head of whipped dark chocolate mousse over the top of motor-oil espresso. Thick sticky lace and excellent retention.

S: Strong roasted coffee scent with a hint of charred malt and some bittersweet baker's chocolate. Earthy and deep. Harsher than a standard RIS nose, but not quite as explosive and lush.

T&M: Loads of over-roasted coffee, a twinge of coffee malt, and a finish that showcases a high dose of burnt black malt--an earthy, almost ashy like flavor. It's close to being over-the-top, but the line isn't crossed. Body is silky and big-ish. A smooth stout.

D: Maybe 2 or 3 tops, but the abv and body are very coffee-freak friendly. An excellent coffee stout (one of many).

Photo of alcstradamus
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes

Black pour with two fingers of head. The aroma is an assault of coffee beans of a fruity variety. Some milk and creamer as well. This is blistering. The flavor is coffee forward, and it is a gourmet variety. Some chocolate and creamer seem to be at play in the background. Very clean tasting overall and not very bitter despite the huge coffee flavor. The mouthfeel is slightly fuller than medium and the carbonation is on point. This really is a fantastic coffee beer, and probably the first one to impress me in quite a while.

Photo of muttyd
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark black pour with little to no head.

S - Dominated by coffee/espresso. Not much else, but hints of roasted dark malts.

T - As expected, heavy coffee flavor with a slight hop bite. Roasted malts / dark chocolate also present.

M - Thick and sticky on the palate. Almost chewy.

D - Relatively low ABV for an imperial stout, and more drinkable than other heavy impy stouts. Very good beer.

Photo of SFLpunk
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz long-neck pry-top brown glass bottle. Proprietary number on back label. No freshness date.

Appearance is much like a freshly brewed espresso: black, impervious to light, with thin, brown/tan film along the surface. Leaves some tiny spotting. Nose is like oily coffee, maybe left on the burner too long. Roasted and oily is the best way to describe the smell. Palate is dominated by bitter coffee grounds. It's rather rough and chewy like french-press coffee that's brewed too long, oily slick like over-extracted coffee again. Lots of black and dark malt notes, freshly cracked grains, maybe something like cherry (not tart nor sweet), and some dried tree bark. Finish is long and evolving, switching from primary coffee flavors to earthy-woodsy notes.

Very tasty both cold and room-temp. It's much silkier at room-temp and not as bitter.

Photo of DIM
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: This was black bodied with a thick, sticky, tan colored head.

s: Balanced aroma of roasty milk chocolate and somewhat muted coffee. Appealing, but on the mild side overall.

t: Chocolate maltiness up front joined by a nice, coffee flavor at the end that isn't very bitter.

m: Slick bodied with creamy carbonation.

d: Very good, but there are many better coffee stouts out there.

Photo of sisuspeed
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass, Bell's Java stout is pitch black with a huge, fluffy, off-white head. Sticky webbed lacing works its way all around the glass. Looks great.

Upon cracking the beer there was a nice whiff of dark roasted coffee rising up from the bottle. Swirling the glass reveals a strong aroma of coffee grounds. Almost seems like i'm scooping out grounds to dump in the coffee filter. A little bit of roasted malt comes through as well, but coffee grounds are the dominate flavor.

Lots of coffee in this beer. Tastes like someone dropped a strong cup of joe in my stout. There were some metallic notes in the aroma, but they are mostly gone from the flavor, which is nice to see. Bits of chocolate and toasted malt hold up the coffee flavor. Bitter at times with some acidity, but this is a coffee stout. Dry on the finish.

Mouthfeel is good. The body is somewhere between a regular stout and an imperial, which is to say that I think it is right on for this beer. Carbonation is crisp and tingly. I wouldn't mind if it was toned down a bit, but overall its not bad. Somewhat creamy.

Drinkability is good, especially for an imperial coffee stout. Its great that Bell's bottles this in a regular 12oz bottle, which is the perfect size. I would say that this is a sipper, but a pretty quick sipper.

Overall, I was really impressed with this beer. Bell's makes some fantastic brews and this is another one of them. Lots of stiff, dark, coffee in a well brewed stout. The beer looks beautiful and has a good coffee aroma. This is an excellent pairing of beer and coffee. I wish I had more of this.

Photo of abuliarose
3.37/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter, revealing fluid black body with a tall and thick beige head. Solid lacing. Very pretty. Smells essentially like burnt coffee grounds with a little woodiness. For a coffee stout, it's ok.

Tastes sweet, but with an assertive burnt coffee flavor reminiscent of an Italian brew with grounds in. Not as balanced as I'd like and maybe something that would mellow out with a little age, but it has potential. Medium-bodied with a big astringency-dryness in the mouthfeel. Serious bitterness at the end. More sippable than drinkable, even for a coffee lover.

Overall, this one is not bad. I have had more well-rounded coffee stouts than this, but it'll do in a pinch.

Photo of Pabs311
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours very dark, almost black with a nice mocha colored head that sits for a while before settling leaving very little lacing.

S- Coffee, coffee, coffee. oh and some bittersweet chocolate. the coffee aroma is of fresh ground cofffee, nice. like i said alot of coffee in the nose which i like because alot of coffee stouts out there u have to hunt for the coffee aroma.

T- Alot of coffee up front like fresh ground coffee beans. a littlle bitterness due to this, but is rounded off by some malty sweetness. there's also some touches of chocolate her and there.

M/D- Medium bodied, low carbonation. very drinkab;e for 7.5% ABV. if i could getthis in CT, this would be one of my go-to's on a regular basis.

Photo of WeedKing4
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pours a dark black with a decent amount of foam using the duvel tulip. Smells of dark roasted coffee. The flavour follows suit as you get hit by waves of coffee goodness. Very smooth drink and incredibly easy to drink. Almost wish there was more booze in this one. A decent offering, and way better then the Cup Of Joe from the same state.

Photo of bonkers
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this from Dunt in a BIF. I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. It pours an obsidian black with a thin white head. The aroma if full of freshly brewed coffee. The taste follows the nose. The coffee is the dominant flavor, overtaking any beerish flavors. It is a bit thin for a double stout, but not terrible, very well carbonated. A solid coffee beer, but not outstanding.

Photo of jeffthecheff
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Joe for the Bells hookup. Batch 9375.

The beer pours black with a dark tan head. It never foams up much despite a straight down the middle pour, and only amounts to a lace on the sides with a tiny bit of island forming foam on top. Good lacing.

The aroma contains some fresh coffee as well as vanilla ice cream and chocolate, all with solid intensity. The flavor follows with chocolate and roast flavors up front with a solid finish of coffee roast bitterness. The coffee flavor is solid but I'd like more chocolaty sweetness. Even though the mouthfeel is heavy up front, it finishes quite dry like a classic stout. A little high on the carbonation. Again, it could use a more full feeling.

This was an enjoyable stout. It's not my favorite as far as coffee beers go, but I thought it was solid. Good drinkability, but not great. I would pour another if I had it.

Photo of jwinship83
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from batch number 9375 drank from a standard pint glass.

A- this one pours out a black colored body with a finger and a half of a dark brown colored head. the head fades after a few minutes and leaves behind small rings of lacing.

S- the nose on this one is very strong. lots of dark roasted malts upfront. after that comes the dark chocolate and a strong hoppy/coffee finish.

T- the taste isnt as intense as the smell. dark roasted malts like i could smell. the chocolate i could smell is subdued. the coffee at the end isnt quite as strong as i was hoping for.

M- medium to full bodied with a nice low level of carbonation. the alcohol is well hidden.

D- easy enough to finish. not the greatest coffee beer ive had, but certainly not the worst.

Photo of AleWatcher
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

On tap poured into snifter-

Pours real dark. Looks almost black til held up to light. Deep rich garnet and brown hues. Caramel head is small and lacing is light.

Smell hits heavy of coffee and it seems chocolate. I mean huge, massive amounts of coffee, not espresso, but fresh ground, rich roast, full-on coffee. Just massive amounts of coffee and chocolate. A little roasted malty goodness hits too, but certainly no whiff or indication of alcohol. 3 out 5 people in a blind smell test would probably think this genuinely WAS coffee.

Taste is roasted malts and fresh brewed coffee. Maintains a nice level of sweetness, that really balances the bitterness of the coffee and unsweetened chocolate. Finishes a tad dry, which is indeed rather pleasant.

Little on the lighter side of the body spectrum. Not sure this should be going up against imperial stouts... even seems a tad thin compared to a lot of regular stouts. The body reminds me more of a baltic coffee porter (if such a thing existed - and I'd bet somewhere it does!).

7.5% ABV makes this a not-so-good replacement for sitting at Denny's drinking coffee all night... But it really hit the spot after dinner. Would certainly buy again, but I won't be pounding 4 or 5 of them a night, and I won't be shipping any to my "I love imperial stout" trader friends!

Overall - very enjoyable beer. I have stopped drinking coffee for the most part, so this is a nice trip down tastebud memory lane for me. It really would get a higher rating if it weren't for the thinness of the body... but then again, that same thinness makes it so it doesn't fill you up. Hmmm. Interesting dilemma.

Photo of Bitterbill
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another brew courtesy of the bad boy from Oklahoma..russpowell. Thanks Russ!

Coded 9375.

It looks pitch black to me and it gives me about a 1 finger head of tannish foam. Checking on the lacing and yep. It's fine on that count.

The smell is bitter loaded with notes of coffee and roasted malt. I'm not sensing any malt presence ie sweet notes at all. Maybe in the taste?

The taste is big on the coffee and roasted malt, slightly smokie, with just a wee bit of sweetness that I can only describe as maybe some milk chocolate that Milk Stouts bring to the table? It's definitely there sandwiched between all of that bitterness that's going on and without it, I think this brew wouldn't be as good as it is and yes, it *is* a damn good brew.

The mouthfeel is fine for me, on the lower end of medium bodied with the carbonation about the same.

Drinkability? Good drinkability for the 1 bottle. Having another back to back wouldn't work for me but that's not a knock on the beer at all. The 7.5%abv, though not obvious, would sneek up on me and I try not to let beers get the better of me. Hey, I'd be posting jibberish in the forums if I did. ;^) Good solid brew.

Photo of angelmonster
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a 2 finger mocha colored head which resembles the creme from cappuccino. Body is pitch black. Head retention and lacing are pretty good

Smell is of rich roasted coffee beans. Smoky burnt malts are also present but really take a backseat to coffee. Hops are faint and alcohol isn't detected.

Taste is similar to smell, big on coffee which I love. Rich, roasted, burnt malts are also present. This beer definitely went all out to produce the coffee flavors. Hops and alcohol are on the low side.

Mouthfeel is good. Head stayed through most of glass and added a nice froth. Just wish beer was a bit more full bodied. Carbonation was also slightly on the aggressive side.

Drinkability was good. Overall this was a semi sessionable beer. Very rich and full of coffee goodness. I guess the only downside to this beer was that there was nothing to balance out the strong coffee flavors. My favorite beers in the world Peche Mortel and Espresso Yeti both have some sweetness to round out the beer and make them more complex. Java stout was just slightly rough around the edges but still extremely good, wish it was available in my state

Photo of jdklks
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A fairly good looking stout. On the lighter side, but not too bad for 7.5%. Would I call it am imperial stout? Not sure yet. There is very little head to speak of. What does bubble, shows up as a very light brown, if not tan, and dissipates quickly. The smell is of coffee and not much else. But, unlike other big named coffee stouts (cough breakfast stout cough), it is coffee done right, like my cup of columbian in the morning. A nice blend of roasted beans and roasted malts, which add a hint of chocolate sweetness to the aroma.

Wow. Awesome. Way better than I was expecting. Roasty all the way through, but much more complex than the smell suggests. Sweet fruits up front that disappear only to show up again in the finish and aftertaste. Lots of chocolate and caramel through the middle, and for all its roast, the beer is actually quite sweet. This stout has achieved what most coffee stouts fail miserably at: a perfect blend of sweetness and roastiness. I am very impressed with this. Truly exceptional, and one of the best coffee stouts I've ever had.

The mouthfeel is unfortunately lighter than would be desirable and it is perhaps just a bit under-carbonated. The drinkability, however, is great.

Overall, highly recommended. Much better than I was expecting it to be, and much better than 90% of the coffee stouts I've tried (absolutely destroys breakfast stout in my opinion).

Photo of runningjoke
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours dark black into a pint glass, with small bit of light at the bottom of the glass. No head at all.
Smells only of sour coffee, cold, after the burner was on too long. Slightly mineral.
Tastes exactly as it smells. Aftertaste lingers forever.
Feels a bit thin and watery.
I drink black coffee all day long, hot or cold. This tastes like I just polished off the last cup of the day. Not the best beer, but not a bad cup of Joe.

Photo of semibaked
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a Pint Glass

A - Black with about 1 and a half fingers of medium brown head with some nice little lacing on the top of the glass.

S - Nice roasted dark coffee right off the bat and that is all I smell throughout but I am not complaining.

T - Lots of dark roasted and slightly burnt coffee up front. Good carbonation. I would probably want one of these if I am really tired because there is just a crap ton of coffee in it. Not complex at all though, not that is a bad thing though, it does say Java right in the title.

M - Pretty decent but not amazing.

D - Goes down smooth for sure but wouldn't want more than 1 in a night I would be up for hours and hours.

Photo of oceanman
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer accomplishes exactly what it seemingly sets out to do. Medium-bodied stout, dark, smooth, creamy. Very one-dimensional flavor profile, but nails it perfectly. Coffee is well-integrated. Nice touches of bitterness and sweetness. Roasted qualities are very soft. A pleasure to drink. Kind of like a mini-Speedway.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bell's Java Stout, I don't believe I had this one yet. Batch # in the 9500's so it's extremely fresh. I love coffee stouts and i've seem to be drinking a lot of them lately. Into my Bell's glass.

Java pours out bold and thick and black, black as night, oil stain at the car repair shop. Ok it's not that thick and there is some brown spots poking through. The head was a 1/2 inch of tan colored loose foam that died leaving a ring around the glass, spider web lacing.

The coffee does not exactly control the nose, in fact this smells more like a regular semi sweet stout. There is some coffee grinds and roast plus some chocolate to go along with it. This comes off even sweeter with what I'm sure is a huge amount of roasted malt with the Bells Brewing signature. Actually I'm wrong, the coffee is creeping in the scent some more with a espresso scent, this smells wonderful.

The more I sip this I realize that Larry has done it once again, this is a winner. This does not come off like a lot of the failed attempts at coffee stouts resembling convenience store coffee blends, there is more going on here. I like the fact that the base stout is not lost in the picture with chocolate and malt holding down the fort. Other than that the coffee in this is superb, roasted, not very bitter, sweet and desired. Some vanilla and cream in the finish and some spent grain.

Java is above medium in stature and a bit chewy. The coffee comes off sweet and not bitter and the 7.5% is a afterthought. The 7.5% is also at a perfect level where the body needs to be where it is, I recently had a 9.5% west coast coffee stout that seemed to rely on additional ingredients that took away from the java taste, in other words to much malts and sugars, Bell's seems to get this right. It actually resembles the feel of cold coffee from a reputable spot.

Another one that I'm going to pay more attention to, this is a no brainer if you like coffee, I forsee myself getting six of these very soon, especially this batch, and I may up that to 24. A lot of beers don't open my eyes much, but this one certainly did, and it was not the coffee doing it. This is a great one to go to if you want some stout qualities in your coffee stout.

Photo of jjayjaye
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this before but haven't appreciated it as much as now. It pours like it may be thin and is black as night with a deep foamy dark tan head that fades to spotty patterns of Belgian lacing. The smell is aggressive and rich with well roasted coffee beans...like a great cup of coffee, then it pans out some and it leaves you with a bitter nose. The mouth feel is smooth and on the oily side that lends to a fine coating texture that i really appreciate in a good double stout. Adds nicely to the rich coffee taste. A really fine drinker!

Photo of weatherdog
3.57/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a 25oz. snifter

Batch 9375

It pours a cola colored body with a small mocha head that dies too quickly and ends up with just a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.

The chocolate and bitter black coffee dominate the aroma. After that initial wave there is a heavy roastiness to the beer.

The flavor is all about a heavy bitter black coffee taste. There is also a little metallic flavor as well. The roastiness and bitterness is too much for my preference, similar to a cup of Starbucks coffee, the beans are over-roasted to hell and the end product suffers because of it. There is a little residual sugar to counteract the acrid coffee but not enough.

The mouthfeel is smooth for the level of roastiness but it hampers the drinkability for me.

Photo of Clydesdale
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours absolute midnight black color - probably one of the darkest beers I've seen. The brown head is quite tall, with a fairly dense, frothy texture. Retention is very strong, with plenty of lacing coating the sides of the glass.

S: A rich espresso roasty note up front, with notes of dark chocolate and a considerable charcoal aroma. Light hints of lactice sweetness and caramel. A bit earthy and fruity as well.

T: A big roasted, slightly burnt malt presence, with some sweetness lurking in the background. Heavy notes of overstrong coffee, and surprisingly firm dark chocolate brownie flavors. Caramel, lactose, and perhaps a faint trace of vanilla. An earthy hop flavor is muted behind everything else, but it is present nonetheless.

M: Fairly full-bodied. Carbonation is on the light side. Definitely chewy and creamy, with a burnt, astringent finish.

D: A very good coffee stout from Bell's. Multi-dimensionally chocolatey, much more so than I was anticipating. I like this a lot, but it doesn't quite jump out at me. Anyone who's a fan of the style should dig this one.

Photo of ocelot2500
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a good size brown head that leaves enough lacing on the glass.

Smells of sweet coffee.

Tastes of a coffee flavor up front, followed by a caramel sweetness. Some molasses type flavors peek through. Big focus on coffee though, and it is well featured.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium, but nice and smooth.

Photo of scottyshades
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a deep black color with a mocha color head. Retention is very good and sticks to the glass

s: roasty, toasty, coffee toffee caramel and burnt malts. A lite chocolate aroma

t: very similar to the nose with the addition of bittering and aromatic hops

mf/d: viscous, creamy, a slight sour/bitter finish

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Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 2,877 ratings.