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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

2,850 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,850
Reviews: 1,094
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.7%
Wants: 157
Gots: 284 | 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: 2,850 | Reviews: 1,094 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of juhl31
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

split one of dems with good old eliott. poured into a snifter.

-black like it should be, but very small head and carb bubbles. left me pretty quick without much trace around

-right off the bat...cigar. so, lots of tobacco and coffee up in it.

-from the get go, its all coffee and cigar taste. kind of like burnt coffee really. some sweetness finally comes in once it warmed up on the back end of the taste

-a bit dry, but okay on the carb aspect

-this was a good beer, but nothing i am stoked over. i wish there was some more "beer" flavors in there. the burnt coffee taste just really dominated

Photo of Lunch
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12oz. bottle acquired in a trade as a generous extra from Kiefdog (Thanks man!) into my Bell's tulip,(01/23/10).

A: Pours an extremely dark shade of brown capped with one finger of a mocha colored head. Decent retention and moderate lacing.

S: Potent bouquet of espresso, coffee, and perhaps some bitter chocolate. Very fresh and inviting.

T: Coffee and espresso dominate the palate leaving fresh layers of both along with a slight bitterness and a hint of bitter dark chocolate.

M: Medium to full-bodied with medium carbonation with a slight degree of creaminess.

D: Quite easy to drink and the 7.5% abv. is well hidden.

Overall this was another fine offering from Bell's and a quality coffee stout. Thanks again Kevin! Highly Recommended.

Photo of tr4nc3d
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Taken from notes

Opaque black with no light shining through. Produces two inch tan head. Great head retention that fades away slowly but leaves some foam on top. Minimal lacing sticks to the sides of my glass.

Smell consist of roasted malts, dark chocolate, some coffee grounds, and vanilla.

Taste is sweet upfront with dark druit, cherries, dark chocolate, espresso, and hints of vanilla.

Mouthfeel is oily and full bodied with medium carbonation.

Very good stout that is not to heavy in the coffee department. Would love to try again.

Photo of Lerxst
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours jet black with a one finger mocha colored head that stuck around a while then left some nice lacing. Looks good.

S-Wow, this smells great. Delicious coffee nose with some chocolate and dark roasted malt. Mmmm.

T-As you'd expect, a creamy coffee taste dominates with roasted malt and a hint of chocolate. This is really, really good.

M-Not quite full bodied, but close. Relatively low carb level that suits this beer well. Very creamy and chewy.

D-Normally with beers this big, one is enough. But I could easily have a few of these.

I think this is a fine coffee stout. This is another good job from Bells. I enjoyed this one and am looking forward to the others I have in my stock.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoying my case of this slowly over the course of the winter.

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a nearly opaque black color with reddish hues around the edges of the edges. Very little foam is produced during the pour itself, and a quarter cm of head foams up from pretty much nowhere afterwards. No lacing, but there are spots of foam that cling to the edges and slowly slide back down the sides of the glass.

S: Big and rich aromas of coffee, along with a lightly roasted malt character as well. There are some hints of bitter chocolate if you really look.

T: Lots of ground coffee flavor up front. Bitter chocolate comes through in the middle. Hops are only there to provide a bit of balance, not taking anything away from the finish of freshly brewed coffee.

M/D: Dryish feeling on the palate. Texture is thick and minimally carbonated, but it isn't silky like other beers of this style. I could definitely drink a couple of these in a sitting. The coffee makes this a great beer to enjoy with breakfast! No, seriously.

Photo of abrand
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle from batch 9375 poured into the ommegang tulip.

The pour is jet back with a creamy tan head and some sticky lacing. Nose is solely roasted coffee beans. The aroma is not very strong and is not complex in any way. Although it is a coffee stout, I would like some chocolate or malt in the nose as well. Taste has a lot of roasted characteristics in it, as well as coffee, coffee, and coffee. The taste is very good but pretty straight forward. Mouthfeel is oily and drinkability is pretty good. I could definitely sip on a few of these for a session. I was just looking for a little more complexity.

Photo of tippebrewcrew2
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3


Java stout
Imperial stout
7.5 abv

Drank out of a stout glass. Pours a one finger brown white rimmed very creamy head into a jet black body. Lots of coffee on the nose with hints of black chocolate. Creamy body with coffee and light bitter dark chocolate on the palate the leads to a somewhat stale coffee taste. It's a good beer with a medium drinkability.


Photo of jpro
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a near black with a light brown head that exhibits pretty good retention; nice patches of lace. Aroma is dominated by roasted malts, with touches of chocolate, coffee and an oatmeal sweetness. Taste is of coffee and chocolate frosting, with a hearty, roasty finish. The sweetness makes for a sticky mouthfeel, although its creamy, too. Quite drinkable -

Photo of hardy008
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black colr with a small tan head with little retention or lacing. Smells of roasted coffee and some earthiness. The flavor is sweeter than I expected, with some sweet malt and chocolate, but the roasted coffee flavor is dominant.

The carbonation is not too high, and is perfect for this beer. Medium to full bodied, smooth, and creamy. Has a "sticky" finish to it. Nicely drinkable.

Photo of Lukafer
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A = Black as a coffee, head is about 1/2 a finger, and very, very dark tan (not quite black).

S = Smells like coffee and hints of cocoa, but predominately coffee. Delicious.

T = When I first tasted this, I could taste coffee and a hints of chocolate, with a little malt. I let the beer sit for 5 minutes, and once it warmed up just a little, it was all coffee. Really, it tasted like fresh coffee from a french press that was immediately put into the refrigerator so it wouldn't have any of the burnt aftertaste and would be cold. Exemplifies, to me, a true java stout.

M = Hardly any carbonation, which I think is perfect for this style of beer, and I though it was thick enough to be pleasant, but not so thick as to be a meal.

D - I had 2 imperial pints (20 oz. each), and they were both delicious, and then the beer got warm and it went from beer to pure coffee. I'd say stick to one.

Photo of bsp77
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Opaque black with thin tan head and slight lacing.

Smell: Chocolate covered espresso beans and somewhat sweet roasted malts.

Taste: Starts off more sweet like a creamy coffee liquor before the drier roasted malts kick in with coffee, dark chocolate and a slightly sour mash. Ends somewhat bitter.

Feel: Low to moderate carbonation, somewhat full creamy and smooth body, dry finish.

Drinkability: Not as quite as good as Founders Breakfast Stout but damn close. Java Stout is maybe a little sweeter and not quite as smooth.

Photo of Jayli
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired this one from tigg924 so big THANK YOU goes out to him!

A: This beer pours a deep dark chocolate brown. 1/4 inch of light brown head that recedes immediately. Spotty lacing is left on the glass.

S: Nose is of caramel malts, toffee, and fresh roasted coffee.

T: Taste starts with caramel malts, toffee and light milk chocolate flavoring. The flavor then leads in to a robust roasted malt flavoring that is quickly overtaken by a rich coffee taste. Nice bitterness of coffee lingers. Just a hint of alcohol is apparent in the finish.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, creamy body with a slightly dry finish.

D: If you like coffee and like coffee flavored beers, you'll enjoy this. Coffee is all up in it! Goes down easily, not too filling, certainly one that I would sit with for a while.

Photo of jsh420
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

batch 9462 - packaged 11/20/09

pours dark brown with a 1/2 finger tan head that fades to a nice film and left spotted lacing

smell - wow - strong powerful coffee blast

taste picks up right where the nose left off - bitter roasted coffee with some chocolate

mouthfeel is a medium body with a nice creamy from just the right carbonation

drinkability is great - @ only 7.5%abv this is lighter then many coffee stouts and tastes better to boot

if you love FBS but what more coffee then this is the stout for you

Photo of GeezLynn
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 9363 - September 2009.

A: Aggressive pour into a tulip glass yields a short-lived, dainty camel head over a pitch black body.

S: Big vanilla and roasted dark malt scent with a some cold coffee and a little earthiness. Coffee continues to become more pronounced as the beer warms.

T: Bitter coffee. They must have used a substantial amount of coffee in this beer because the malt is really pummeled by all that coffee flavor. Almost like chawing on whole roasted beans. Definitely an earthy component here, although I'm not sure where it's coming from. The slightest bit of chocolate is finally noticeable when the beer hits room temperature, but this is not a very chocolaty stout as some claim, at least from my perspective.

M: Good. Just thick enough and at about the upper end of carbonation I would prefer in this style.

It is called Java Stout, but might actually be too coffee dominated even for a coffee beer. This beer has a truckload of grounds comparable to many of the big coffee double stouts without the same amount of malt to carry it.

Good beer, and I would gladly drink it again, but there is a very good field of coffee beers out there and I'd put this in the middle tier.

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

Nearly two-year-old bottle has held up pretty well.

Pours a very dark but not opaque black. Modest mocha head, with low carbonation. Aroma is mellow and muffled: coffee and milk chocolate.

Flavor is nice. Definitely an ale for coffee lovers with heaps of medium roast goodness. Borders on one-dimensional, but a healthy semi-sweet chocolate character comes through mid-drink. Roasty and earthy. Carbonation is very low, and the smooth mouthfeel is somewhat dull and uninteresting. Because of this bottle's age, the alcohol is unnoticeable, making for an easy drink.

This is a good coffee stout, but nowhere near the great ones.

Photo of techfed87
4.94/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark, rich black, with a definite character. Smells of coarse coffee grounds, with a slightly sour hint to it.

Taste is potient and full forced. This thing is a beast to be rekoned with. Its the very essence of coffee, mixed with the syrupy consistancy of a full bodied stout. To compare, this is on par with Short's Cuppa Joe Cream Stout. However, thankfully for Bell's, their distribution network is a bit larger.

Both beers are a wonder to behold. If you can find them both, you are a lucky person indeed. And if you're only given the chance to try this one, then that's more than enough too.

Photo of BigMike
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: Poured into a tulip. Black with no sign of any highlights. Head is big and creamy and a roasted hazelnut color. About three fingers worth. It coats the sides of the glass like no other.

SMELL: If you like the smell of coffee then you'll love the smell of this. Fresh ground coffee with some light chocolate notes as well and roasted malts.

TASTE: Not surprisingly this one tastes like coffee. Coffee up front and coffee on the finish. Not overpowering but just right. In the middle theres some light chocolate as well.

MOUTHFEEL: Smooth and easy to drink. Light carbonation. A somewhat dry finish.

DRINKABILITY: I love coffee and stouts so it's obvious that i'm a fan of coffee stouts. This is very tasty and definitely i could drink a couple of these. I recommend this if you're into this style of beer.

Photo of vintajuess
2.52/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As a stout lover and--to a greater extent--a coffee lover, it's only fitting that this beer was... totally disappointing. It accented the least appealing elements of both halves of the name and made me wish I'd double-fisted a good mug of each.

A - Poured into a glass stein... looked as the name would have you want it to look--a lot like stout, a lot like coffee.

S - More yeasty than expected. Bad sign of things to come.

T - If you also love coffee, you know that "coffee taste" opens us to a whole other analytic corridor, but for simple context, think: stale pot, 11am oil change, local Jiffy Lube. As for the stout half, the hints of blue cheese were an unwelcome surprise. The flavor of the yeast jumped out right away. An Aussie could tell you it tastes like Vegemite.

M - The feel was nice and even when I swished and swallowed. I'll give it that. Probably the best part about this beer.

D - Ignore the label and any preconceived expectations (especially if you're a coffee connoisseur), and it's actually a pretty unique and pleasing beer experience.

Photo of ChadQuest
1.67/5  rDev -57.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured absolutely black,with 1-1/2 finger head. looks kinda thin on swirl.

Smells like stale coffee,wet paper.

Tastes Like roasted malt,and watery coffee that was left on the burner for an hour. I mean, yea its a coffee stout and they got alot of the "Coffee" flavor in there, but it tastes like garbage folgers coffee brewed in a perkulator yesterday, and then stored in a cardboard box overnight....and now your drinking it.

Mouthfeel is thinner then most stouts, and much thinner then i like em at least, but not REALLY bad, A bit of carbination helps out, but can only do so much.

Flavor stays with you, but i wish it was creamier and thicker.Could try to drink more of these, but i have no desire to. I had to spread this sixer around between beers over a months time just to give it more chances...nope doesn't deliever, and gave a couple away, not to look forward to. Won't spend $15 on it again. would hesitate to take one if handed to me, but maybe would feel compassion and give it yet another chance, maybe next years batch.

I'm a coffee geek as much(or more) as a beer geek, and worked in the coffee industry, so maybe i'm a bit harsh on the coffee flavor, but then i think about how greatly made Peche Mortel is, and then its ok. I'd much rather have 2 Peche Mortels then a 6er of this. Seems like others like it more them i did, maybe drinking some of the worlds best coffee skews me. I can't stand crappy coffee, and it makes sense i can't stand beer that tastes like crappy coffee.

Time to go french press some ethiopian yirgacheffe, to remind myself what good coffee tastes like.

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

Received as an extra in a trade with Kiefdog.

Appearance: Opaque black with ruby hues. Little to no head with fast dissipation. Decent lacing.

Smell: Espresso, chocolate and alcohol. Uber roasted malts. Brown sugar as it warms up.

Taste: Bitter espresso and chocolate. The finish is not overly bitter, which I often find in coffee stouts. I'm not a huge coffee stout fan for this reason but this actually has a pleasant coffee finish - it doesn't have that coffee breath taste.

Mouthfeel: Moderate to heavy carbonation with moderate viscosity for a stout.

Drinkabliilty: Because there I'm not picking up that nasty bitterness, I find this coffee stout a tad more drinkable than most in the style.

Overall, I think it's one of the better coffee stouts I've had.

Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Val-Dieu chalice, batch # 9363. Pours semi-thick, very dark/black with a nice size brown frothy head. Head dissapates relatively quick and settles to a small ring on the surface.

Aroma is mild, but lot's of coffee...as expected. French roasted coffee beans. A little bitter scent on the back-side.

Flavor has lot's of espresso and chocolate notes. Definitely thick and full of warmth. Not the booziest coffee stout falling in at 7.5% abv...but a great beer!

Leaves very nice frothy/sticky lacing for a long period of time.

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

12oz bottle poured into a Stone Levitation glass

A - huge head, about 4 fingers...the whole bottle wouldnt even fit in the glass. the foam is a pillowy and frothy dark khaki with some even darker strokes throughout, leaving thick lacing down the sides. beer is just about pitch black. beautiful.

S - strong fresh and lightly sweetened coffee. touches of very dark chocolate. notes of oats and some bitter hops, and a very faint metallic twang.

T - more coffee but quickly joined by a good amount of roasted and slightly burnt malts, some milk chocolate, and a small alcohol burn.

M - medium to thinnish body but quite creamy. touch too much carbonation but not very distracting.

D - quite yummy, the bold flavors just get to be a bit much towards the end. but an outstanding, affordable, and readily available coffee stout. yum.

Photo of jjanega08
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A= pours the most interesting that I have ever seen a beer pour. This is not a Nitro bottle however I got a beautiful cascading head on it which just blew me away. The beer itself is a dark pitch black color and the head rises to three fingers. At first I thought the head was going to be nothing at all but don't look away after you pour because from the black abyss that is this beer a beatiful full mocha colored head rises up. Impressive as hell.

S= This is a little less impressive but then again nothing could really top the appearance of this beer. Awesome roasted coffee smell. Smells like a nice dark roast of coffee pretty much which is what I expected. Nice chocolaty notes as well but that sort of ties in with the coffee.

T= As expected the coffee is the first thing you taste. This is almost a perfect balance between coffee and stout flavor. Really smooth roasty chocolate. A little resiny with the coffee flavor which I actually like in a coffee and the stout area is great as well. Nice chocolatey malts giving you a dark chocolate profile.

M= This is another really great highlight of this beer. Nice and coating. One of the most coating beers I've ever had. The flavor lasts a nice amount of time in your mouth making it perfect between a sipper and something you don't put down.

D= This beer did impress. The impressive parts were unexpected however. The idea of coffee beer is here. The real highlights were the look and feel of this beer. A well made coffee beer indeed but the look and feel is well above average. Seek out.

Photo of nickd717
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle via trade.

Pours black like coffee with a small creamy tan head that lasts quite awhile.

Aroma is lots of coffee, roasted malt, and chocolate. Pretty intense.

Flavor is really good and coffee-dominated. Intense mocha with some nice sweet caramel malts and sharp roastiness.

Medium bodied with coffee bitterness on the palate and somewhat low carbonation.

Drinkability is fairly high. I'm a sucker for coffee beers, and this is a very good one.

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

Got a slew of Bells lately and I've loved each one, so it's time to start going threw them. This one is thanks to Solomon420.

A: A smaller dark creamy head forms over the pitch black light imprisoning color. The head slowly dissipates to a light covering.

N: I could smell this from a mile away on the pour, with lots of coffee to start. Then some rich stout like aromas, creamy chocolate, rich roasted malts, dark chocolate, creamy goodness.

T: Very rich flavored, luscious and thick. A heavy stout taste hits first with bitter earthy flavors and charred malts. Thats accompanied with some coffee flavor, though not as heavy as I expected, pretty good coffee level. More roasted malt flavors come through. Rich dark bakers chocolate and some creamy milk chocolate blended.

M: Thick and creamy, luscious, good carbonation for the style.

F: Finishes bitter from the stout flavors and scorched malts. It dries off a little from the bittersweet start. A little spicy as well. It leaves a coating on the entire mouth, leaving you the rich coffee and roasted flavors for a while. A nice beer, pretty thick and rich, a little difficult to drink, a big sipper.

Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 2,850 ratings.