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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

2,493 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,493
Reviews: 1,050
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.99%
Wants: 130
Gots: 182 | FT: 11
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: 2,493 | Reviews: 1,050 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of granite
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A---It poured a dark mahogany with a rocky tan head.

S---Mocha, roast and brown sugar.

T---Nutty with French roast coffee in the front. Grainy roasted malt. It finished with a heavy dose of chocolate malt.

M---Medium bodied with a creamy mouth feel.

D---The ultimate coffee experience. Now this is a beer to start your day off on the right foot.

granite, Feb 19, 2007
Photo of Atlas1
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%

Is it just me, or does this thing smell like coffee before you even crack it open? Because I just got a weird vibe, and the cap is still on....

Nevermind that. Now open, it pours a deep, rich ruby-black color with a burnt orange head which clings to the glass in a unformulaic webbed pattern. It's bubbly too, with a lot of noticeable carbonation at the bottom of the brew. My premonition, however, did not come true, because the coffee smell here is nice, but not overwhelming; not enough to penetrate the bottle prior to opening. Wishful thinking on my part, perhaps. But there is a coffee/chocolate aroma here, with hints of smoke, wood, and dark fruit. Not an unpleasant aroma, but nothing special. But everything comes together in the taste. The coffee taste is powerful but spot-on. Mellows out with chocolate and some vanilla flavoring. Sweet and malty up front, but finishes with some balancing hops as well. This is kinda like eating a chocolate-covered coffee bean with a patch of dried fruit sitting in your cheek. Sturdy mouthfeel that develops more as the beer rises to room temp. Not everyone is going to like this beer, but if you're a fan of stouts you should give this a try. And especially if you like coffee-flavored stouts. This ranks among the top in that category. Another well-done brew by Bell's.

Atlas1, Feb 15, 2007
Photo of dedrinker
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%

Looks like...well, it looks like a stout in a glass. Smells like...cherry/rum pipe tobacco, chocolate and suede. It tastes a little leathery and musty, funky, with notes of coconut infused rum, or is it rum soaked curried nuts?. There is a faint coffee-like roast on the finish, and I'm getting a lot of nuances that one normally finds in a bourbon-barrel stout. I have to say this beer is really commanding my full attention. Medium-full body with sweetness flirting with the bitterness. It goes back and forth before finishing bitter. This is something I only want one of, but not because it's too filling or heavy or rich etc. but just because it delivers so much on my senses all around that one is enough to get the idea. I get it - good idea! I think it's Sumatran coffee which explains the earthy, leathery funkiness. Rad.

dedrinker, Feb 14, 2007
Photo of Aradan
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%

Appearance - Poured deep black with a thin brown head that receded quickly.

Smell - Coffee. There is a hint of something else in there, but I can't be sure what since the the strong coffee smell overpowers it.

Taste - Starts very sweet, then a strong coffee flavor dominates and gives it a slightly bitter finish that sticks around for quite a while. Fairly one-dimensional, but tasty nonetheless.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and creamy. Very appropriate for the taste.

Drinkability - The lingering taste reminds you of this beer for a long time after it's gone, as does the caffeine. One is good, but it would be hard to imagine having two or more in a row. Alcohol is 7.5% by volume, so it won't exactly put you under the table, but can catch you by surprise if you're not expecting a little extra. If you're going to have a few drinks, make sure you have these last or the coffee flavor will completely destroy your palate.

Overall a good niche beer, especially if coffee is your thing.

Aradan, Feb 12, 2007
Photo of bort11
4.43/5  rDev +13%

12 oz bottle poured into an Imperial pint glass. Rich velvety black body color with a fingers width mocha brown head. Moderate lacing.
Smell is incredibly robust espresso/coffee flavored. A nice jolt to the senses. Taste is a rich espresso/chocolate blend.
Mouthfeel is pretty creamy, and goes down smooth.
This is a really great coffee stout, very enjoyable.

bort11, Feb 12, 2007
Photo of brentk56
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with a reasonably thick dark tan head; spots of lacing

Smell: Dry tannic coffee tones; smells a bit charred

Taste: Starts out with a bitter, charred coffee flavor that fails to develop much beyond that

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Enjoyable, just like a decent cup of coffee is enjoyable; but it fails the complexity test

brentk56, Feb 09, 2007
Photo of Dubbercody
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%

Chocolate, obviously coffee, with a great aftertaste that follows through with a bitter finish. Really tasty stuff.

I wouldn't advise this for your last beer of the night as I'm pretty sure the coffee is enough to keep you up for at least a bit. I have to wonder how this would taste on tap, I can just imagine the intensity of the flavors would just be off the chart.

Dubbercody, Feb 05, 2007
Photo of blitz134
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%

Half inch of tan head, fairly dense foam that tried to reduce to a thin layer but hangs out around the edges. This is pretty dark, basically black but some Coke colored liquid shows at the edges.

The aroma is pretty intense and I can catch wiffs of it from a couple feet away every now and then. The coffee is really evident and plays a key spot. It works in well with some dark roasted malts and even a bit of char. A bit of wood smoke even comes out. This is really nice.

Flavor has lots of the dark roasted malts again but doesn't present as much char as the aroma suggested. Coffee follows and the finish is the smokiness again. A little sweet malt plays a background role and peaks out every now and then. A touch of alcohol is noticable but you really have to look for it. Good flavor here though.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied. Not as thick as some stouts I've had but it still has a nice creaminess to it that coats the mouth well. Flavor lingers for a while. Maybe there is a touch too much carbonation that weakens the mouthfeel...hard to say.

Superb drinkability. Lots of coffee and dark roasted malts. All the flavors work well together and the aroma is really inviting. Pretty easy to put down a few if I wanted to and definately something I would pick up again. I find this somewhat similar to the Terrapin Wake-n-Bake stout I normally get down here. I think I'll try a side-by-side with my remaining bottle of this.

blitz134, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of oelergud
1.68/5  rDev -57.1%

Almost completely opaque body, only a little dark red gets through at the edge. Tan head that falls quickly and leaves little lace.
The smell is feet and day old coffee grind.
Taste is equally bad.
Nasty stuff. this is not a brew I'll have again anytime soon.


oelergud, Feb 03, 2007
Photo of cproioi
2.15/5  rDev -45.2%

The beer poured a syrupy black back that had an ever so slight brown head to it which dissipated rather quickly. The aroma was nothing more then just coffee. Well there also was a slight presence of alcohol in the nose but mainly it was an overwhelming aroma of coffee. The taste was to no suprise coffee. All I could figure out in the taste was coffee with some alcohol. If I have a coffee stout I would like the nose and the taste to have at least a little hint of stout. The beer moved slowly over my tounge the way a double stout should, with a slight alcohol warming to it. This beer left me rather unimpressed and not wanting another one.

cproioi, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of Braudog
4.63/5  rDev +18.1%

Draft at KClinger’s Tavern, Hanover PA. What a beauty! This emits a perfect coffee aroma and the beer's flavor is like sweet coffee from Starbucks. Even my non-beer drinking friend loved it. Lightly bittered, cold coffee in a glass. Excellent stout, if you like the coffee-flavored variety. (#2654, 1/14/07)

Braudog, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of mjc410
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%

The pour into my Sam Smith pint raises a negligible head the color of creamed coffee. It fades to an even smaller glass ring after only a few seconds. Lacing is spotty but stubborn. The body is utterly black. The nose is bursting with rich, bittersweet coffee aroma, and for my nose, that's it. It smells like concentrated cold coffee. Pleasant, though. The taste has more to it than the smell. The coffee flavor is not all-dominant, but still of course a huge portion of the flavor profile. There are definite roasted malt and chocolate flavors hiding behind the coffee. There is a very nice lasting bitter coffee flavor in the back of the throat, too. I feel that the heavy body and lighter carbonation make this beer sit perfectly in the mouth. A fine beer, one that I probably will revisit after this first sixer.

mjc410, Jan 31, 2007
Photo of Matthew
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Thanks to sman262 for the trade. 12 oz bottle. Pours into a pint glass a dark black with a small tannish colored head that fades immediatley.
Huge roasted coffee notes up front, wet coffee grounds dominate the nose with faint hints of dark chocolate, dark ripened fruits, and roasted grainy notes.
Lots of chocolate and dark roasted coffee and stronger espresso notes are a large portion of the flavor with a less prominent flavors including some warming alcohol and yeasty characteristics in the tail end of each sip.
The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a good amount of carbonation.
This isn't as complex as a beer as I expected based on my past experiences with Bells products. Not as much going on, but the coffee, chocolate and roasted flavors are still very tasty.

Matthew, Jan 28, 2007
Photo of msubulldog25
3.45/5  rDev -12%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle (batch #7221) into a standard pint. Served around 60F.

A: Nearly the perfect looking stout. Absolutely black and capped with dense, creamy mocha/tan head - at least 2 fingers worth. Lacing is creamy and sticks somewhat, but is random.

S: A noseful of roasted coffee beans melded with some sweeter cocoa and oats. Towards the end, I picked up the faintest sour/papery oxidation.

T: Roasted coffee through and through. More subtle notes of bittersweet chocolate, husky smoke & vanilla. Mostly astringent and bitter in the aftertaste.

M: A creamy mouthfeel with a nice touch of carbonation. Long-lasting bitterness on the back of the tongue; I could still sense the biting, tannic coffee-flavor an hour after finishing the glass.

D: A pretty tasty stout, though I feel one is enough.It's the type of beer to sip on occasionally. I am a coffee drinker and almost always drink mine black and fairly strong; this beer does a good job alluding to that jolt of java. The problem is that drinking a cool, slightly stale-tasting version of beer/coffee will never be as good as the hot & fresh real coffee.

Thanks to melbatoast93 for sending this back in October.

msubulldog25, Jan 28, 2007
Photo of foureyedgeek
4/5  rDev +2%

12oz bottle, Batch 7706, poured into an oversized wine glass. Its stout night!

Pours a dark jet lack with a tan head, two fingers tall and falling to a ring and slight cap of foam.

Smells of espresso roast coffee along with a prominent roasty nuttiness. Almost smells burnt, as if the coffee used was roasted too far.

Tastes of dark coffee, but also has that burnt flavor. If I got a cup of coffee and it tasted like this, I'd be upset. It works well here, because I'm drinking a beer, but its not my favorite coffee stout. Its quite earthy as well, with a slight sweetness towards the finish. Tasty, but not my favorite. Bel's uses Sumatran beans which are earthy and spicy and it shows it this beer.

Mouthfeel is creamy, well-bodied but not thick, slight alcohol warming.

Drinkability is pretty good, I really enjoy coffee beers, I'd love to try this beer with a different roast applied to the coffee beans used or a different bean. It would be cool to see a brewer do a coffee stout series with different beans. Time to fire up the homebrew kit!

foureyedgeek, Jan 28, 2007
Photo of nortmand
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Really dark brown/black pour with a dark brown head.

Strong burnt coffee aroma, not much else. A little chocolate, I suppose. I love a coffee aroma that comes from real coffee, but this is an overroasted, Charbucks coffee, as opposed to, say, Founders Breakfast Stout, which has a much more interestinf coffee. I mean, if you're going to make a beer with coffee in it, you may as well use really freakin' good coffee.

The sweetness in the flavor works to lessen the effect of burnt coffee.

Medium bodied, an ok stout, but I think they failed to give this beer a really pleasant coffee character.

nortmand, Jan 27, 2007
Photo of Luchman
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%

12oz bottle, thanks to akorsak, poured into a snifter.

A: Black body with somewhat fizzy and thin, dark brown head that dissipates very quickly off the pour. Lightly clings to the edge.

S: Strong, burnt, black coffee dominates (figured that much.) With some slight hints of chocolate, roasted malts, and a tad tad bit of hops. Reminded me somewhat, of the famous Breakfast Stout. Thats a good sign...

T: A, if this is possible, astringent coffee taste is the leading roll in this one. Roasted, smokey malts follow and blend with the java. Hops actually lend quite a bit more than the smell gives off, giving a surprising, light bitter and dry finish. Coffee comes back again and leaves a much more pleasant coffee aftertaste that continues until your next sip. But.. but.. wheres the chocolate? Hmmm.. thats a let down; Some chocolate like the nose entails would have been awesome.

M: Mouth feel is nice. Full and thick like a stout should be. Maybe a tad bit on the carbonated side, but not too much. Good.

D: Its pretty much burnt coffee but with some stout characteristics added to it. Thats what they were going for and thats what they got. It did not wow me in any way, which let me down a bit; I love coffee and thought I would love this beer. Sadly, I did not... Not bad, but a "pass.." in my book.

Luchman, Jan 26, 2007
Photo of GimpyCane
4.7/5  rDev +19.9%

Wow! I personally found this brew outstanding. It reminds me of being in Miami and ordering a shot of Cuban expresso coffee. Poured a dark brown with a 3 inch mocha brown head that fully lasted throughout the drink. Also, left a excellent amount of sticky lacing. The aroma was an intense expresso coffee with a hint of molasses and licorice. The flavor was long lasting and coffee bitter sweet from start to finish. Felt thck, full body, creamy, softly carbonated with a small hint of alcohol. Overall, I could drink this all day, which I did and I can't wait to get back to Columbus to buy some more.

GimpyCane, Jan 24, 2007
Photo of leftmindedrighty
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Smell is very coffee, no seriously, it smells just like a pot of coffee.

Taste is much more complex, dark sugars, touch of alcohol, all tied together by a front end loader amount of coffee. This is one of those beers that you could pick out blindfolded after being spun around twenty times all while having the flu.

Overall, a very interesting beer, I remember it being much more smoother, but then again, I also remember when I could fit into a size 32 waist pair of pants. Quite drinkable considering the ABV, but hardley a session beer.

leftmindedrighty, Jan 20, 2007
Photo of phisig137
4/5  rDev +2%

Pours into a pint glass a deep black that only lets a bit of light through around the edges. One finger head has decent retention, and leaves behind a bit of lacing.

Aroma is coffee, coffee, coffee. This seriously smells like a cold cup of coffee, that has a touch of sugar and a bit of cream added. Only a hint of malt caramel notes break through the coffee aromas, but the hops are nowhere to be found.

Flavor is again pure coffee. All that you can taste of the double stout is a touch of sweet crystal malts up front. Other than that, it's pure coffee. Not espresso here, but a nice dark french roast. Very smooth and well balanced. Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, and moderately heavy. Drinkability is great... the 7.5% is deceiving.

Another fantastic stout from Bell's. You've got to be a coffee drinker to like this one though....

phisig137, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of deejaydan
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%

$1.99 for a single. Pours, well, black, as a stout should. Head retention is lacking though. Aroma is, well, coffee like, roasty, slightly sweet, perhaps as well. Taste is roasted malts and a hint of expresso that shows up stronger in the finish. It's a good beer, it's solid, but lacking alot of character that I have come to expect from big stouts.

deejaydan, Jan 09, 2007
Photo of xav33
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%

Bell's Java Stout
12 oz bottle
Moderate pour in an English pint
Packaged 12/06, percolated 01/07.
Served at room temperature.

Poured black, with clear mahogany highlights, with a large mostly lasting light brown frothy head with good lacing.

Smelt of strong rich coffee roast, with anise, vanilla cream and dark chocolate accents.

Taste was upfront strong creamy rich bitter and moderately sweet coffee followed by more strong coffee bitterness, soy sauce, black earth, and a moderate amount of dark chocolate sweetness on a long bittersweet finish. Palate was medium bodied, creamy, lively carbonated and lightly astringent and alcoholic.

Overall, first off coffee stouts are my thing. This version has monster coffee taste with a chocolate finish, but the strength of the coffee overshadows other tastes. Tasty and drinkable overall.

xav33, Jan 05, 2007
Photo of Tyrawlings
4/5  rDev +2%

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Extremely dark brown. Tan head is one finger thick and dissipates rapidly into tiny floating islands that cling to the rim of the glass.

S: Espresso. Roasted coffee and more coffee. Earthy. A tiny trace of sweetness is detectable. Oatmeal?

T: The taste is all about coffee. Roasted coffee beans with a slight hint of milk chocolate. A tiny hop bite with the finishing sweetness of molasses. And coffee!

M: Rich and creamy. Thick coffee sluge. No carbination. Dry finish.

D: If you love coffee....this is the brew for you! Drink it with breakfast or for a late night eye opener, it does'nt matter because this beer is good any time of the day. Not a session beer as it is thick and rich but damn good none the less!

Tyrawlings, Jan 05, 2007
Photo of orfeu
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%

Bottle received in a trade from hoppymeal -- many thanks! Batch number 7221; I'm assuming this is from last winter. Deep, dark-chocolate brown with a lovely light brown mocha head. No light gets through, but this still retains a definitively "brown" hue as opposed to out and out "black". Huge dark roasted coffee aroma, earthy and slightly burnt, with a thick Hershey's Dark chocolate syrup backbone and some slight toffee notes. This is getting me pretty excited, as the nose is really reminding me of the heavenly scent of Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout.... Okay, so KYBS it is not, but it is certainly a delicious coffee stout: roasted grounds bite the palate bitterly right away and linger to strafe the tastebuds throughout the swallow. There is a mildly astringent black malt flavor in the middle which approaches the point of sourness until it is overtaken by the dark bitterness of the coffee. I wish it had a bit more of the chocolate I detected in the aroma appearing in the taste. For that reason I'd say that, unless you like rather like coffee (as I do), this may come across as sort of one-dimensional. As it warms, a bit of oak character emerges, but it still doesn't make up for the chocolate the nose led me to expect. Despite this, the flavor is quite tasty, all told. Light in body for the style, and the alcohol is completely hidden, making for a very drinkable coffee stout. Definitely fits the bill when in the mood for a coffee-infused beer, more so at least than any other coffee beer I've tried.

orfeu, Jan 03, 2007
Photo of BlackAngus
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%

A - Dark brown, or even black. Nice fluffy dark-tan head that laced well.

S - Coffee all the way...smells like espresso. Eye-opening.

T - Tastes like high-quality coffee that's gone cold. Some roasted barley, and some bitterness as well. Some sweetness there, but it's mild.

M - Medium body, nicely carbed, pleasant aftertaste.

D - I like the Black Majic better, as this is a little sweet for me, but I will definitely have this again.

BlackAngus, Jan 01, 2007
Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 2,493 ratings.