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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

2,558 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,558
Reviews: 1,054
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.99%
Wants: 139
Gots: 207 | FT: 10
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: 2,558 | Reviews: 1,054 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of illidurit
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark, opaque brown into a snifter. 2 finger cocoa colored head leaves some decent lacing and reduces to a thin cap on top of the beer.

Very chocolatey aroma, some notes of coffee and a biscuity oaty note.

Mainly coffee in the taste, backed up by chocolate syrup flavors as well as that biscuity note from the smell. Similar to Terrapin's Wake-n-Bake.

The body here is kinda flimsy for a stout. Carbonation is fine, no alcohol taste. Easy to drink.

illidurit, Jul 11, 2007
Photo of Viggo
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque brown, thick brown head forms, lots of spotty lace, good retention, forms a solid ring. Smell is sweet, very fruity, coffee, light roast, chocolate, bit of caramel, pretty nice. Taste is sweet up front, almost cherry fruitiness, caramel, settles in a roasted chocolate and coffee grind, some roasted bitterness, coffee is nicely balanced. Mouthfeel is thick, full bodied, with low carbonation, nice. Thanks for picking up Lexx!

Viggo, Jul 01, 2007
Photo of tpd975
4.8/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This one arrived like so many of my other good brews via the Indiana/Florida express better known as my brother.

A: Black as night, with a small espresso colored head. Picture Perfect.

S: This one has a wonderful malt smell about it. Of course there are hints of coffee, but you can also smell chocolate and a hint of spice, nutmeg maybe?

T: Bell's never ceases to amaze. This is another solid beer from their ever impressive lineup. The taste is wonderful. It is so simple yet complex. This beer has a taste of a perfectly crafted cafe' mocha. The malt gives it a wonderful backbone and enhances the taste of fresh brewed dark coffee and chocolate.

M: It is very smooth, creamy, with very little bitterness despite the taste of dark coffee and chocolate.

D: Yes! I could drink this one morning noon and night. It is quite simply the easiest drinking stout known to man.

Overall: I have said it before, and I will say it again Bell's takes each style of beer and perfects it. They are not out blazing trails with new and interesting stuff. They take what is out there and show other brewers how it should be done and there is no exception here. They have made a perfect coffee stout. Move over Ozzie & Harriet and Peanut Butter & Jelly because we have a new perfect marriage. Coffee and Beer. Sorry Guinness, but this one truly is Brilliant!

Bell’s please barrel age some of this, you may have something to rival Founder’s KY stout.

tpd975, Jun 25, 2007
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Plucier: Poured a deep pitch-black color stout with a nice big foamy head with great retention and great lacing. Aroma of medium dry coffee is well balance with roasted malt and light subtle dark chocolate. Taste of nice coffee without being too overpowering and some nice medium bitter roasted malt. Texture is quite creamy which is appreciated with a quite full body and some adequate carbonation. I thought this was a very well done and well balance example of a coffee stout.

Phyl21ca, Jun 19, 2007
Photo of Absumaster
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer has a viscous pour and is pitch black with a beige, thin head.

Smell is basically only coffee, next to that there is a burned and chocolate smell. The coffee adds a somewhat oily, greasy smell and some cinnamon.

Taste is mild coffee, but it does overrule all the other flavors in this beer. There is also some burned notes that probably come from the dark malts. Some alcohol is evident, which also gives a warming mouthfeel. The mouthfeel is not smooth, rather sharp maltbitter and not smooth. Body is medium. This beer comes across as being decent, but after having a whole glass the strong coffee notes start to bore me.

Absumaster, Jun 10, 2007
Photo of drseamus
4.78/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: This was a bottle from batch 7768 poured into a Chimay goblet. It pours jet black with a thick mocha colored head that fell over the period of several minutes. A couple of drops that fell on the bottle were a good red color.

S: I'm pretty sure a stick of chocolate dynamite went off in this beer because it exudes pure chocolate aroma.

T: This is one hell of a good beer. The flavor is insanely creamy and filled with TONS of chocolate and coffee. Sometimes I think about changing my favorite style to something else and then I have another double stout and that fleeting thought is immediately erased. It is perhaps a bit lacking in the aftertaste department. The flavor doesn't last long enough as it quickly fades.

M: This beer is good and heavy and as I said before, ridiculously smooth.

D: Damn. I might have to move to a state where they sell Bell's. Enough said.

drseamus, Jun 07, 2007
Photo of jp62099
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Stouts kinda have a coffee thing going anyway so not sure why there even needs to be a coffee stout, but I gave it a whirl. Looks like most stouts. Smell, whoaa! yes it's coffee, but mostly old coffee grounds, also has a twang. Taste, at first this was a tough one to drink, and I had let it warm. As I drank it the flavors mellowed and I actually started to enjoy it, almost like and Irish coffee, but not as sweet. I would have another sometime, maybe even give to a coffee lover as a gift. I suggest take a couple of good gulps then put it down for 10 min. or so.

jp62099, Jun 06, 2007
Photo of atsprings
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with an off-white head that quickly diminishes to a ring. The aroma is strong on fresh roasted coffee with roasted malts not far behind. The taste is dominated by coffee with the usual roasted malt of a stout and just a touch of bitter chocolate right behind it. The beer is medium bodied with the alcohol fairly well hidden but providing a touch of warmth. While this beer is certainly more appropriate for cold weather, it is still very enjoyable even on a warm spring evening.

atsprings, May 29, 2007
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a nonic)

A- This beer has a jet black opaque body with a thin film of head that fades to a few swirls of tiny bubbles. The body is too dense to see any sign of carbonation or light.

S- The smell of wet coffee grounds is very strong with a light dark roasted malt note.

T- The big taste of cold coffee grounds is supported by the notes of dark roasted malt with a slight tartness. There is a slight bitterness from hops complimenting the bigger bitterness of the malt, which hangs on after the sip.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a fizz finish.

D- This beer has a big cold coffee grounds flavor that is a bit to much but it does have good malt supporting the coffee flavors. The coffee flavors are to much off flavors but the malt flavors underneath are pretty nice.

rhoadsrage, May 28, 2007
Photo of BeerBelcher
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer exhibited a very nice dry-roasted aroma, like nice coffee. Flavor is also very pleasantly coffee-ish with a bit of sweetness and a dry mouthfeel. I thought this beer was very drinkable and delicious. This beer is a beer that is highly sessionable, yet offers up a serious amount of dry roasted coffee-ness. Highly recommended.

BeerBelcher, May 28, 2007
Photo of tempest
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Blue Nile

Some coffee beers don't really commit to the java flavor, well this one is balls to the wall.It made it a bit more of a sipper for me and in many ways drinks more like coffee than beer. There's a full mouthfeel behind the dark-roasted coffee flavor from the malt, along with some complimentary bitterness. A coffee lover's dream, sort of reminds me of Surly's Coffee Bender, but a little heavier.

tempest, May 27, 2007
Photo of grub
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jay23 hooked me up with this one. thanks jay!

12oz bottle, batch 7706, packaged on October 26, 2006.

pours nearly black and not quite opaque. a small very dense head falls slowly and leaves lots of spotty lace.

aroma is great. loads of coffee. light roast. dark chocolate. big bready malt. touch of earthy hops.

taste is great. tons of coffee. bittersweet chocolate. light roast that come more from the coffee than hops. medium bitterness level. bit of alcohol. very faint orange + tangerine citrus. touch of caramel sweetness.

mouthfeel is good. the medium carbonation level is best after it has had a few minutes to breathe. nice big body. almost no astringency.

drinkability is great. balanced and very enjoyable.

grub, May 15, 2007
Photo of markgugs
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip pint glass, from Batch 7706 (bottled 10/26/2006)

A: Pours a gorgeous deep, rich brown with ample tan head. Looks creamy. Leaves moderate lacing throughout as minor head sticks around 'til the end.

S: Delicious! Mildly sweet roasted coffee beans with a slight tanginess on the back end.

T/M: Very rich, matches the smell quite well. Possibly a bit too overpowering at times. Very roasted, almost to the point of burnt coffee dominates the body. As creamy as it looks, with the proper amount of carbonation.

D: A bit "much" to drink too much of at a time, but a well-made beer. I'd drink again.

markgugs, May 11, 2007
Photo of Dendrite77
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a large, fluffy brown head, which left a significant amount of lacing.

Really strong coffee aroma and roasted taste. Similar 'base' to the other flavored Bell stout I've had, but hard to pick out behind the taste of coffee beans.

Very good, but I don't see having more than one at a sitting. The coffee taste was getting a bit overpowering after one.

Dendrite77, May 11, 2007
Photo of gunnerman
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brought back from a recent trip to ohio poured into a snifter. Pours a pitch motor oil black with a fluffy tannish head that leaves some serious lace on the glass. Smell is of exotic coffee very strong coffee smell, also some roasted malt and barley in the nose. Taste is like a strong coffee flavor, boy I am in love with coffee and just found its counterpart in a exotic beer. This stuff is amazing it is so complex and has different layers of coffee in it goes from sweet to bitter to just plain delicous. This is a very fine offering and one of my favorites, Damn Bell's please come to S. Florida.

gunnerman, Apr 28, 2007
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep dark brown with a tan and copper head that falls to a delicate film.

Smells of toasty barley and burn coffee with some molasses holding the two together. There’s also a wisp of rye, red grapes and a hint of alcohol.

Tastes of a (perfect?) blend of roasty barely and dark coffee. Where the one begins and the other ends I can’t tell. This is backed by a more sweet barley that seems to hit my stomach rather hard and heavy. Supporting this is a little watermelon. Finishes like a cup of cheap coffee from Perkins or the like.

Feels thin and clean, but dense with only a trace of microscopic, smooth carbonation.

Very nice for the style and a fantastic use of coffee.

DarkerTheBetter, Apr 24, 2007
Photo of Lnedrive14
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I am a huge fan of coffee stouts, especially big ones, so I was excited to see this at Total Wine and Beer in Midlothian.

My excitement grew as I poured a thick, jet black brew with a huge tan head. Kind of looked like the Southern Tier Jah-Vaa that everyone loves. Unfortunately, the taste did not live up to my expectations. Coffee/espresso flavors were present, but mild. Big alcohol presence. Mild hops. Kind of tasted like burnt malts in there. It wasn't necessarily bad, it just wasn't great. However, I will say that these were pretty cheap, so compared to other great coffee stouts, this isn't a bad option at all.

Lnedrive14, Apr 21, 2007
Photo of dherling
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out liquid black with no head whatsoever. The nose is big time fresh roasted coffee, some smoke, a bit of malt. There might be other stuff but the coffee is overpowering. The taste is like sucking on cold carbonated coffee. Has a medium bodied mouthfeel, a little slick, with good carbonation. If you like coffee, this is a nice beer with good coffee taste. If like me you don't like coffee, it becomes a less drinkable beer.

dherling, Apr 21, 2007
Photo of umustdrink
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep mahogany brown color, mostly opaque but there is some color visible. Head fades rather quickly to a film. No lacing.

S - Light cream and coffee, grainy powdered chocolate

T - Starts off light and bitter which leads into a thin, bitter chocolate with espresso beans. Bitter, toasty, coffee aftertaste. Overall, taste is kind of thin.

M - Consistency is thin. Carbonation is slightly elevated.

D - Taking this for what it is, it's a pretty tasty beer, but there are much better stouts, even from Bell's, that are just as atainable.

umustdrink, Apr 20, 2007
Photo of brdc
2.85/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This is a pitch black brew that generates a foamy brown head that unfortunately disappears quickly, although leaving some lacing behind.
Nose is pleasant, but unidimensional and even overpowering, coffee and more coffee.
The taste is slightly more balanced, with some other roasted malts barely discernible in there, but still overwhelming, overpowering coffee and more coffee.
Medium-bodied, drinking this brew is limited to one bottle (or in my case, less than half) given the overpowering excess of coffee that blunts everything else.
Will definitely not try this again.

brdc, Apr 16, 2007
Photo of beerphan
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle -> pint
batch id: 7768
packaged: December 21,2006 according to www.bells.com

Pours black with a couple inches of creamy dark tan head. Some clumps oflace cling to the glass

Nose: Seemed kinda muted, some roastedness, coffee, cocoa

Roasted malts up front with thickness but no real standout in flavor,a good mellow blend. The finish is where the 'java' in java stout shows itself most proudly. A thick coffee grind flavor lingers on the tongue long after the sip has been disposed.

Mouthfeel is sorta thin with a chewy feel.

A good stout to finish out a cold dreary day, but not something i can foresee for a session.

beerphan, Apr 15, 2007
Photo of mmmbeer
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, batch 7768 - packaged 12/21/06, sampled after breakfast on 3/6/07. It's not the official Breakfast Stout, but it's a close enough cousin, so I figured why not. It pours black into the chalice, thins near the edges, and is topped with a 1/4" brownish head that reduces to a nice collar, leaving little lacing. The bouquet is complex and delightful, with rich, roasted coffee right off the bat, closely followed by charred malts and sweet milk chocolate. There are additional notes of powdery cocoa, sweet cake batter, Oreos?, blackberry, and perhaps some piney hops. Upon tasting, my first impression is that of a milk stout brewed with coffee, balanced by a touch of green hops. To elaborate, there are roasted, coffee, and burnt malts, a big blast of espresso, a medium hoppy/roasted bitterness, a dash of green apple, and maybe some lactic sweetness. The mouthfeel is amazing - smooth and silky (like a milk or oatmeal stout), quite dry, with a medium to light body that has fine, active carbonation due to the conditioning. This is a great beer - it is smooth and refined in both flavor and mouthfeel, and manages to taste strongly of coffee without overwhelming the palate. Will definitely revisit at some point.

mmmbeer, Apr 10, 2007
Photo of udubdawg
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Gotta say that until I looked up the profile I didn't realize this was 7.5%. Very dark color. Tan head leaves nice lace...

I could probably give this beer two entirely different reviews. The everyday review would have a lot of 3's and 3.5's. I don't usually drink coffee/expresso, but enjoy the taste and smell and sometimes make desserts with it too. So on most days, this astringent/roasty coffee-dominated stout is about the last thing I want.

However, there's the other times...on a guys weekend of travelling to the NCAA tournament, visiting brewpubs and bar after bar, waking up whenever, finding women that look like trouble, etc, etc, I've found myself rolling out of bed and seaching for this beer. Breakfast beer? - sure, but only when I'm reliving my college years.
There's some chocolate noted, and the beer is a bit drying in the finish, and could use a bit thicker mouthfeel, but make no mistake - this is mostly about coffee. If ya can't stand coffee, no need to bother. Otherwise, give it a shot.

udubdawg, Apr 08, 2007
Photo of BitteBier
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ominously dark in the pour with seemingly little head at first but then a good finger's worth of toffee/bronze-colored bubbles that mostly fall away to a persistent lace. The smell is predictably studded with coffee, though some roasty notes are present as well. Until this one sat and warmed a bit, there was an unpleasant note of cigarette smoke in the mix. The mouthfeel is as smooth and creamy as I remember it being--very drinkable. Coffee and chocolate complement the roasty grains with a nice touch of almost spicy bitterness thrown in. Not too shabby.

BitteBier, Apr 07, 2007
Photo of philberinghele
4.72/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

cold winter wind
brew for dark winter mornings
espresso arouse

The perfect beer for mornings or evenings when you want a cup of coffee but a beer just seems more appropriate. I'm not sure if it's quite as good as goose island's black cat, but it's close. My only complaints would be that the head was a little thin. I would prefer a thicker, more espresso like crema. I need to try this on tap.

philberinghele, Apr 04, 2007
Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 2,558 ratings.