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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

2,743 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,743
Reviews: 1,072
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.73%
Wants: 148
Gots: 247 | 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: 2,743 | Reviews: 1,072 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MasterSki
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 8315 - bottled February 5th, 2008. Currently "on vacation" from the Bell's lineup. Thanks to dschuster03 for throwing a few of these my way. Served in my FOBAB mini-pint glass.

A - Black with a touch of red-brown at the fringes. Thin quick-dissolving tan foam with negligible lacing. While I didn't expect a lot I think a lower ABV stout should give me a little bit more than this.

S - There are people on here who argue that coffee beers fade after 6 months. This one definitely did NOT. Coffee, espresso, as well as hints of sweet malt, chocolate, and dark fruit. I can't imagine how much more coffee flavor there could have been a year ago...

T - Umm...coffee? Lots of dark roast, and a healthy amount of chocolate sweetness. There's a touch of bitterness mid-palate, but it doesn't linger into the aftertaste. The aftertaste is actually quite pleasant, with nice wisps of espresso.

M - It's on the thinner side - more porter or single stout. This is definitely an outlier for Imperial Stouts. Surprising carbonation, with lots of nice tingle on the upper lip, but doesn't get too bloaty. Pretty smooth, with nice residual stickiness. If this were a porter I'd score it higher...

D - The coffee was pretty intense - one 12oz bottle is probably more than sufficient for this one. Otherwise it's pretty easy drinking with an ABV on the lower side and quick-drinking texture.

There's such a glut of coffee beers out there that I see why Bell's stopped bothering with this one. It doesn't really distinguish itself - especially against other Michigan locals (Founders Breakfast, Short's Cup a Joe). It was nice to try it, though.

Photo of endincolorado
4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours thick and black with a head that creeps up slowly, dark and tan. Low head-retention, and thick sticky lace.

Smell- Strong, black coffee; toasty, almost smoky malt; raisin, and fig, almost oaky flavor.

Taste- Rich chocolate, espresso or black coffee, dark fruit, smoky malt, toast, and nuts. Deliciously balanced. Leaves an incredible, dry coffee aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, lighter than expected. sticky and satisfying.

Drinkability- Personally, high.

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a nice opaque black with a generous tan head.

Aroma of dark roasted malts, black coffee, dark chocolate, and toffee.

The taste starts off with a big hit of black coffee upfront, followed quickly by dark chocolate, roasted malts, and vanilla. The finish is like a nice latte. The 7.5 % is well-hidden.

Medium bodied, smooth, and lightly carbonated.

This is a very nice coffee stout by the folks at Bell's. A must try imperial stout. I feel bad that it had to follow a Peche Mortel.

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (note: bottled on Feb. 08, so almost a year old).

Pours opaque black without a hint of light making it through, with a fluffy brown head that recedes quickly.

Nose is interesting - there's a clean dark fruity/cocoa sweetness, alongside light espresso. Taste is surprisingly sweet - sweet chocolate alongside a light espresso character.

Chocolate covered espresso beans. Finish is light, delicate espresso with some notable dark chocolate, consistent with taste and aroma.

Mouthfeel is nice, lively but but light carbonation, slightly fluffy mouthfeel.

Very drinkable and tasty cross between a milk stout and a coffee stout.

Photo of u2carew
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(A) Dark, syrup-like. Very little carbonation. Pours with a very thin head that quickly dissipates.
(S) Coffee aroma with smoky notes.
(T) Rich smoky foretaste with sweet coffee flavor aftertaste. Subtle hints of chocolate.
(M) Bold bodied with a smooth feel.
(D) A delicious stout with a great blend of coffee with the brew.

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

A: Pours darkest of browns with a single-finger creamy tan head that leaves a bit of lacing on the way down.

S: Aromas of wet, ground espresso beans, sweet milky malts.

T: Flavors of sweet chocolate malts, roasted malts, and toasted espresso coffee beans. A fair balance of sweet and roasted malts most of the way with a dry, roasted bitterness lingering on the finish.

M: Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, fairly creamy.

D: Tasty stout with a nice dry, bitter coffee kick. Could have a few of these.

Photo of Packforever1976
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served chilled in my british pint.
Batch 8216 (Bottled 11-7-07)

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black. One finger tan head that recedes quickly. Decent lacing.

S: Dark roast coffee dominates, followed by dark chocolate.

T: A nice blend of dark roast coffee and a good bitter dark chocolate. Some burnt dark malts in the back. Pretty tasty. The coffee flavor has held up well after almost a year and a half.

M: A nice thickness, very creamy. Carbonation seems a touch on the high side.

D: Maybe not as drinkable as some other stouts, but still a very tasty beer. Hopefully some day Bell's brings this one back.

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

Pours jet black with a light head. Nose is molasses, dates, raisins, and vanilla. Body is cranberries, molasses, brown sugar. Coffee doesn't finally appear until the finish of the third sip. A bit weaker than i'd like at 7.5%. Mouthfeel is thin, with a tart aftertaste.

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

The color of this one is a very, very dark brown that is nearly black. The head is a creamy brown foam with decent retention, and while the lacing is thin is does remain. The smell is coffee and dark chocolate, complex and simple at the same time. The taste is surprisingly what you would expect. Carbonation is low. It is incredibly accurate in strong coffee taste. There is a slight acidity to it and a flavor that is smoky but not burnt. Dark chocolate flavors linger as well. Not only that, but you get the roasted malts too. My wife thought it was too strong, but I liked it very much. The body is thick and full. It is smooth, though it snaps just a little. This one also has good texture and a nice balance of flavors. If you're looking for a good coffee stout, this is one to try.

Photo of madtowndmb1
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Fogdog for this one!

A: Pours black with a one finger brown sugar colored head.

S: Coffee of course with a hint of chocolate in there.

T: There's a touch of coffee bitterness on the front of my tongue. This beer screams coffee, not burnt dark coffee but good coffee. And there is the dark chocolate on the finish.

M: Thick, creamy and coating.

D: I liked this! Very drinkable coffee stout. I'd like to find some more to keep around for a while.

Photo of coldmeat23
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees
BATCH #8256 (12-06-2007)

Definitely looks like expected. Pours an almost black color. One-finger head of creamy espresso colored foam. Leaves a nice light swirl on top. Lacing is thin and somewhat slick.

Big dark roasted coffee beans, with that acidic tone of sumatra. Light hints of chocolate. A slight touch of smoke, and a very slight note of licorice. Predominantly, just huge coffee-ness. As you'd expect from something called 'Java Stout'.

The coffee is totally dominant here, also. But it's not as overpowering as in the nose. It's a much nicer balance of flavor. Some nice chocolate notes can be found. A touch of smoke. A very light hint of vanilla. Some roasted malts.

This is a great full-bodied brew. Nice and thick. Very smooth, slightly sharp and a touch of creaminess.

This is one great coffee stout. I don't imagine that you could ask for more coffee flavor in a beer than this one. The smooth texture and balance of flavor make this easily drinkable, for me.
Bell's needs to expand their distribution, and to please make Oklahoma one of their stops.

Photo of taylor714914
3.15/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This brew was aquired in a trade with BrewerB.

A- Pours thick and rich with minimal head. It's color is dark, dark brown, verging on a light black color.

S- Coffee, lots and lots of coffee. That really seemed to be the only aroma I could pull out of this. The coffee was just in your face.

T- The taste was a little to straight-forward for me. Coffee. The typical stout roasted malts and chocolate were very faint. I liked the idea of a coffee stout, but it seems that the coffee is too overpowering.

M- Great thick mouthfeel with very low carbonation.

D- Not so much. Only average at best. The coffee just seems to be to overwhelming and after the first one, I had had enough.

Photo of gonzo46and2
4.65/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep black with a very dark head.

Smell is very pleasing. Dark malty flavors like chocolate, coffee, licorice, biscuits, dark breads, and more coffee.

Taste is nicely bitter/sweet with great coffee flavor.

Overall probably my favorite stout from Bell's.

Photo of BierFan
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch number of 8256 lets me know that this beer was bottled on December 6th 2007, making it a little over 1 year old as I review it. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Black body with a cappuccino colored head.

Smell: Pungeant mess of super concentrated roasted coffee. It's as if someone shoved spent coffee grounds right into your nostrils. Not much balance to it, just huge coffee aroma.

Taste: More coffee of course. Also has a pleasant smokeyness. The coffee certainly didn't fade at all during the year it spent on store shelves.

Photo of marcpal
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottled poured into nonic glass on 1/30. Another venture into Bell's- as it turns out, one of the lesser inspired offerings from this fine brewery. Not Cherry stout bad, but not all that great.
Bottle Graphics: 6/10.

A: Poured vigorously and still very little head, gas, and carbonation. Just about black with a thin rim of mocha colored bubbling.

S: Roasted coffee beans. Pretty pungent and somewhat smoky. More complexity in the aroma than the taste.

T: Plenty of coffee in the flavor without the bitter coffee grinds. Whereas I have come to like the coffee beers that have the flavored coffee flavors, this one is really one note. It comes clean with the dark roasted offee beans but leaves things a bit dry and plain Jane.

I do give them kudos for not relying on chocolate flavors and sticking true to the java claim.

M: Thick and lustrous. A nice trait on this beer, the carbonation is low even though it was gently poured and pretty dry in the finish. Not much puckering or bitterness that hits you.

D: It is not a bad beer, but not nearly as good as some of the finer coffee stouts on the market. The coffee is there and not cloying but I was happy to get a chance at one but happy it ended there.

Photo of bbothen
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep & dark black with a thick & frothy tan colored head.

Charred & roasted aromas, coffee beans, faint cocoa or chocolate, Yum.

The cofee flavor is nicely balanced by a big roasted maltiness & chocolate flavors. Bitter finish. Nicely done.

Thick, full, moderate carbonation, creamy, nice.

Big & filling flavors make it a 2 bottle max for me. Although that is no problem. A big flavorful stout I'd buy reguarly if available in California.

Photo of bhalter8
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a jet black, but looks a little less dense than I' expected. Aggressive pours yields a little, thin head. Funny, it almost looks like coffee when I pour it in a pint to make ice coffee, so that bodes well for the title. The smell most definitely reinforces that look. It reeks of dark roasted coffee and a strong malt backbone. All of these senses dictate the taste, dark roasted coffee, hints of chocolate, and strong malt character. It is a tasty stout, indeed. The taste is incredible, although, its little light in consistency, I could have another, but this one stands well on its own. Its so strong in character, and that is good for a stout.

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.

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)

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 2,743 ratings.