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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 HopDerek
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%

Appears black with a big brown head, some lacing. Smells of fresh brewed coffee. Tastes like straight up black coffee. Very smooth and tangy from the coffee overload. A nice drinkable beer that I won't mind having again, and I don't even like coffee.

HopDerek, Dec 22, 2006
Photo of terrabyte
4.7/5  rDev +19.9%

Pours a dark black with a large brown head.

The aroma is a deep, dark, earthy coffee. I read a review here that said it was like coffee without sugar or cream. Sorry, but I drink my coffee black, and this is much deeper than that. Coffee dipped in coffin juice, yea. If there's chocolate involved in the aroma, it's just as dark, and takes a back seat.

Flavor is similar to the aroma. Dark, earthy, and natural coffee bitterness. I hate cold coffee, but put it into beer format and I love it. The beer also has some nice contrasting flavors. Low, earthy coffee flavors contrast with a high pitch bitterness that works all the way through the aftertaste.

Mouthful is medium-bodied. Balances nice with the heavy flavors. The aftertaste almost ends a bit cloying.

Drinkability can be an adventure. But a fun adventure. Heavy & intense cofee flavors without much sweetness is not for the meak. It will grow hair on your chest. I really enjoyed it. Not sure how many I could drink, but I'd have it during any breakfast!

terrabyte, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of vwcraig
2.68/5  rDev -31.6%

Black with ruby highlights around edges of glass. Creamy tan head dissipates to leave a thin ring around the rim. Huge coffee smell, no surprise there. That taste pretty much overpowers everything else. Heavy and deep, dark roasted coffee with a slight chocolately aftertaste. Followed up with a long and bitter finish. Mouthfeel was on the chalkier side. Tough one for me to get through but is unique for a stout to have this flavor. Respectable for what it is, my least favorite stout so far, but I am not a coffee drinker.

vwcraig, Dec 17, 2006
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.68/5  rDev +19.4%

Acquired via trade from northertimber so a big “Thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a thin brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is strong and pleasant; the only words I can use to describe it would be “black coffee”.

T: Heavy, bitter-sweet roasted coffee/espresso flavor is the prime element here. Again, as good as it is, there really isn’t any other way for me to describe it.

M: Extremely smooth, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is a little sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, a little bit filling, this one is a perfect sipper but you can still knock a few back fairly quickly, another excellent Bell’s product.

TheManiacalOne, Dec 16, 2006
Photo of scherbs
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%

This is a coffee stout that lives up to its billing. This beer pours a deep, dark black with a very substantial and slow fading head. It smells strongly of coffee--and not just any coffee! This brew smells just like a fine espresso and tastes a good bit like one as well. Other coffee brewed beers will have an undernote of coffee, but this one puts its 'beans' up front. The result is a very pleasant beer that drinks a bit heavy but fully satisfies in the flavor department.

scherbs, Dec 13, 2006
Photo of jcdiflorio
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%

servedinto a nonic glass from a 12oz. long neck brown bottle with crimped-on cap.

Opque,black a creamy rocky light tan head.with chunks of lace clinging all the way down the glass,very good retention.a great looking stout.

The aroma was of fresh dark roasted coffee. Intense maltiness,very roasty/coffee/chocolaty/nutty/toffee.Very complex and inviting.Can't wait to taste this one.

Tastes of a strong black chocolate mocha coffee. Strong flavors of chocolate and coffee. I wish my morning coffee tasted like this.A nice intense bitter finish,clean and sharp,crisp and to the point. The balance of this beer was amazing for all the intensity of the flavors

A thick mouthfeel,yet a bit a light feel due to all the creamy goodness.Really sticks to the roof of the mouth with the chocolaty and coffee flavors lingering on.
The great taste of this beer wants me to keep drinking this all night,but I know the thickness will catch up sooner or later,hopefully more later than sooner.
This a great stout from Bell's,it blows away the cherry stout from Bell's that I drank last night. Anybody that loves stout must try this beer.

jcdiflorio, Dec 06, 2006
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%

Bell's is such a solid brewery, every style they try they hit the target. There should be a style called 'coffee stout' but I guess 'double stout' has to do for now.

The appearance was great, dark black brown, completely opaque, with a dark brown but thin foam. The smell is coffee malt, the more coffee stouts I have them more I like them. This aroma is nearly perfect for the style, and the flavor is too. Sweet malts in the background with coffee in the foreground, and a hint of chocolate in the after-taste.

Expensive six-pack, but worth it.

TurdFurgison, Dec 03, 2006
Photo of gmfessen
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%

Poured from bottle into a pint glass, beer is black - opaque with a nice two finger sudsy head. The smell is of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. The initial taste is slightly sweet and of coffee, followed by a slightly alcoholic, smooth finish. Mouthfeel is full bodied, with a slight amount of creamy carbonation. The overall drinkability of this beer is actually higher than what I had expected; not a bad brew.

gmfessen, Dec 01, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%

Impenetrable onyx with the merest suggestion of medium brown highlights along the bottom edge of the glass. The coffee-with-cream colored head looks to be milkshake thick and creamy, although I'm pretty sure it's lighter than that. Even without seeing any lace (yet), this how I believe an American double stout ought to look: big and bad. Given the torn curtains that are now beginning to decorate the glass, the score is a pretty easy call.

How one feels about the nose is probably directly related to how one feels about espresso, hugely roasted coffee beans, that sort of thing. I'm not a fan, but even I can appreciate that this is a coffee stout nose of prodigious power. An odd 'cigarette ash' character makes me a little uneasy though.

I like Java Stout, but I don't love it. There's a massive chocolate and roasted malt backbone that shares the stage with roasted coffee. The trouble is, from my standpoint at least, there's too much acrid, burnt ashiness for me to count this as anything but a well-brewed, 'java lovers only' curiosity.

I'd like at least a little chocolate or cocoa to peek through... but it doesn't. It's a fine line with beer of this sub-style. Do you add so many beans that it tastes like iced coffee or do you create a coffee-accented stout? It's a shame that Bell's chose to brew the former because I tend to like the latter. As always, your mileage may vary.

The mouthfeel is an unqualified success; no surprise to anyone who drinks Bell's beer on a regular basis; lucky bastards (oh wait, that includes me now). It isn't as full as the very best of this style, but it's medium-weight silky and as smooth as the day is long. For some reason, I'm not feeling quite as enamored with it as it loses carbonation.

For better or for worse, this a 'love it or sort of like it' kind of beer. It's the latter for me, a non-coffee drinker. If you have that java monkey on your back when you wake up in the morning, and if you have the day off, I can't imagine a better way to start the day than with a bottle of Bell's Java Stout. I'll stick with Kalamazoo and Expedition though, thanks.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 30, 2006
Photo of Phatz
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%

This is divine. I love coffee and drink it by the gallon every day. This beer is a blended bean premium coffee – cooled. Spectacular! First I pulled one bottle out of the fridge and let it warm a good 45 min. I started drinking it and it disappeared faster than this review happened so I pulled another straight from the caser at room temp and is was divine as well. This beer should only have a very slight chill on it to be at it’s prime IMO.

Appearance: Pours a brown that is so close to black you could call it midnight brown with a thick thick creamy brown head (that has a drop of red hue in it) and has remarkable retention. Sheets of sticky lacing plaster the walls of my glass.

Smell: Coffee and chocolate and coffee and chocolate oh my! It is sweet though with a suggestion of caramel and vanilla a drizzle of raspberry and a full load of pure cocoa filling the nose.

Taste: This is a Java Stout if ever I have had the pleasure of a Java Stout. It starts out so smooth and creamy and rich and syrupy like drinking liquid chocolate (the real stuff - cocoa) poured into a coffee the stuff you get at a (real) specialty shop not the crap you get at Sheetz. No this is the real blended medium and dark roast Jamaican bean 40 - 60, with a spoon full of caramel and a hint of red berry and a dollop of Cool Whip. The hints of fudge and sweet creamy malts, keep the coffee and hops and dryness of the beer just short of bitter while it excites everything in me that loves a great cup of Java.

Mouthfeel: This beer is more silky than the robes of an oriental emperor and softer than the pillow of a princess. It is slightly dry around the edges and EXTREAMY smooth while maintaining a rich full body.

Drinkability: I had the opportunity to try this beer thanks to a split case we did, organized by akorsak. Adam you da man. Next time I am buying a whole case to selfishly hoard to my own. Mmm!

Hope this is helpful.

Phatz, Nov 28, 2006
Photo of klewis
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

On-tap at The Brew Kettle, Strongsville, OH - 11/26/06

A: Pours a deep black with a bubbly tan head. Good lacing.

S: Coffee and chocolate. Not surprising.

T: Huge coffee taste, more than in any other beer that I've had. Sure, there's some chocolate and other typical stout flavors, but predominantly, coffee, coffee, coffee. One-dimensional, I suppose but I still liked it an awful lot.

M: Unexpectedly light in body, which does not compliment the taste very well. Still, light carbonation and smooth creaminess gives it a great texture.

D: The bottom line: if you're a coffee drinker, you'll love this stout. If not, find something else to drink.

klewis, Nov 28, 2006
Photo of scruffwhor
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%

Pours a thick mudd, coffee black/brown that could float a spoon on its oily surface. Good deep brown head with decent retention and strong lacing until about half way through the brew. Good tart coffee brewing aroma mixed with some dark bakers' chocolate and toffee cream. Good presentation of the java juice flavor. Just a peg below from the Founder's Breakfast stout. Just not as thick on the way down. Good chocolate and molasses like sweetness with hints of thick cream and brown sugar in the finish. Oily, yet velvety texture that gives an overall smooth contour.

scruffwhor, Nov 27, 2006
Photo of JohnnyM2002
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a snifter at 50 degrees. This was my Black Friday shopping beer...I needed the extra coffee boost to fight the hoards of women... ;-)

A - Pours a very deep brown with a dark tan head. Stick lacing throughout the glass-life of the beer.

S - Dark-coffee and cocoa beans dominate the aroma. I almost got a coffee-buzz before I took the first sip. Smells more like freshly-roasted coffee; no real burnt scent.

T - I could replace my morning cup(s) of coffee with this brew and probably not miss a beat. The alcohol is present, but only slightly. The aromatic coffee-grind flavors dominate the taste, and are strongly backed up by dark chocolate.

M - Excellent all-around. Creamy (but not too thick) body that remains well-balanced all the way down. Despite the powerful coffee taste, there's none of the bitterness you'd expect to accompany a dark roast. To top it off, a wonderful warming sensation is another reward. Truly exceptional!

D - I recently fell into a small stockpile of Bell's through trades and a beer expedition to Westy's with akorsak...after trying all of them, this is my favorite. I also found it to be a good accompaniment to meals, not just with (or in place of) dessert. If you have the opportunity, pick some up!

JohnnyM2002, Nov 26, 2006
Photo of dfried
4.43/5  rDev +13%

Pretty lights out black, just a tiny bit of red and brown at edges, smaller coco colored head forms. The aroma is rich and chocolatey under lied by espresso. The coffee makes its self known but still leaves plenty of room for the beer characteristics to come through. The taste is similar in that way, neither beer nor coffee dominate. Theres is a great sweet chocolate and almost fruity flavor from the beer that mixes with the espresso to taste a bit like a mocha from a coffee shop. Medium to full bodied but it tastes so good it is really easy to drink.

Verdict: I have now gone through two 6-packs before reviewing this beer, I had no clue it was at 7.5% ABV. I have found one of my new favorites, a great balance of coffee and beer. I like beers that are more coffee than beer, but their drinkablity is greatly reduced because of this. Java Stout goes down so well I keep looking at my glass and going "Oh crap, I am already more than half done?"

dfried, Nov 23, 2006
Photo of akorsak
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%

A 2005 bottle cellared for a few months since a trade with meathookjones. This is my Thanksgiving breakfast beer.

A: The stout is a a deep brown-black color with a milk chocolate colored head. Absolutely no light gets through this baby.

S: The stout has a deep vinous aroma that is highlighted by chocolate notes and a roasted coffee aroma. The coffee is not as intense as my growler of Schlafly's Kaldi's Coffee Stout (see earlier review in my profile). This one is well-balanced aroma-wise.

T: The stout's coffee flavor is readily apparent in the taste, giving the ale a slightly acidic, dry, roasted flavor. The roasted malts add some chocolate and graham flavors. There is also a nice warming alcohol flavor tying everything together.

M: The mouthfeel is complex with coffee and chocolate highlights, creating a nice taste.

D: An excellent choice to start Thanksgiving, big and bold with a nice balance between the coffee intensity and roasted depth of the stout. Sitting on this for year was a good idea.

akorsak, Nov 23, 2006
Photo of drinknewbelgium
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%

pours jet black with a tan head that sticks first and only smell is espresso tastes of espresso but has chocolate and caramel tones feel just like one would expect in the mouth creamy the only downfall is i could get tired of this real quick but i always have some in my fridge until the end of the season

if you like coffee and not beer this is you if you like beer but not coffee forget it if you like beer but hate coffee dont even try but i would say this is a definite recommend and also a nice rebound from the "hell hath no furry"

drinknewbelgium, Nov 22, 2006
Photo of adammills
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%

This thing is all coffee, all coffee. It pours black with a nice tan rocky head that sticks around. There is no malt, no hops, just coffee, really, just coffee. It is a nice drinking beer, and was shocked to see it listed with such a high abv, must be sneaky because there is just a slight hint of it in the back. A nice beer, but for me, not one to drink one after another.

adammills, Nov 21, 2006
Photo of Bierguy5
4.47/5  rDev +14%

Filled from the growler station at the Party Source in Bellevue, Kentucky. This is absoultely pitch black, with a thick creamy tan head. Great head retention. Aroma is huge on coffee, not quite to espresso, but well roasted and earthy. The first delight is the mouthfeel, this baby is thick and creamy. Coffee and cream flavors play well together. Big and robust, but well balanced. Finishes with mocha flavors. Nice patches of lace coat the sides of the glass as it is drank. This is a gem. If you don't like coffee, you may not like this. I do, and did. Very well made, another solid beer from Bell's.

Bierguy5, Nov 14, 2006
Photo of jaxon53
4/5  rDev +2%

Aquired this stout in a trade with BigErn. Served slightly chilled in a pint glass. Poured a deep shiny black that no light could pass through. Came up with about an inch of creamy coffee brown/tan head that had decent retention and left generous amounts of lace on my glass. Smelled strongly of burnt coffee, mocha, and some hints of sweet toffee. Tasted of bitter roasted coffee, chocolate, slight notes of black licorice. nice medium bodied mouthfeel. Rather drinkable. Fours across the board.

jaxon53, Nov 06, 2006
Photo of mynie
4.65/5  rDev +18.6%

Pours out an incredibly dark red. The redness is very nearly opaque, with ruby hues shining through only at the very bottom of the glass, and the beer's solid brown head is not only impressively large for a 7.5 ABV, it also sticks around for ages.

Smells like tasty tasty coffee. Seriously, this is the coffee-ist coffee stout I've ever come across: if someone were holding it under my nose, I'd think it was a frappucino. A dark roast vanilla--not too dark, not burnt or unpleasantly bitter--a wonderful mix of very rich coffee malt and sweet creaminess.

Taste is favorably comparable to Founder's Breakfast stout, with gigantic nodes of wonderous coffee and cream starting things out, moving into a slightly bittersweet malt middle, and ending on more coffee creaminess. It's not quite as intense as the Founder's brew, but it's still damn fine.

Wow, what a wonderful beer. These have been sitting in my closet a couple of months, and they might even be better fresh. If you get a chance to try this wonderful brew, do so!

mynie, Nov 01, 2006
Photo of peabody
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%

Pours out like the blackest night. One finger of brown suds with nice lacing graces my chalice.
Smell is coffee and yeast. a fruity aroma is evident here plus mabey a dark hop bitterness?
Taste is coffee for sure. A sweet malty flavor with a fruity chocolatey overtone follows closely behind. Not much alcohol is present here.
Mouthfeel is very malty and dark with very little carbonation..
Not as much bitterness as one would expect.
Good brew for those that like coffee a lot. This is a great brew for those of us that aren't into coffee that much either.

peabody, Oct 01, 2006
Photo of hero27
4.83/5  rDev +23.2%

12 oz bottle.
Batch 7170.

Black as coal...a creamy, dark tan head that sits perfectly atop this brew.
The aroma is about as bold as they come. Fresh roasted coffee beans..mocha, sweet cream.. wow. To compare this to something..the last time I remember a stout smelling this good was when I first cracked open a fresh 2005 Dark Lord.
The coffee taste is incredible...rich, velvety milk chocolate..sweet, roasted malts..nice finishing bitterness.. absolutely delicious.
All of this ridiculous flavor completely masked any alcohol that might be noticeable.
Creamy, coating mouthfeel. The measly 12oz bottle had no chance..it was empty in no time...I wish I had a case of this stuff. An exceptional coffee-based stout.

This beer is very near phenomenal in my book. I've sampled most of the widely-considered "best" stouts out there, and in my opinion, this ranks right up there with every one of them.

Can't thank mynie enough for the bottle. i WILL be getting more of this soon, even if I have to drive to Kalamazoo myself.

hero27, Sep 15, 2006
Photo of thelagerheads
4.35/5  rDev +11%

I am not a fan of coffee and have only drunk about 5 or 6 cups my entire life. It's not that I don't like it mixed with milk and sugar but my reasoning is why drink something if you have to dilute it and change its whole nature(of course this doesn't apply to beer!!!). I'd much rather just drink a Pepsi (well now a Diet Pepsi). I don't mind it at as an additive or flavoring and thus my like for it in beer. This however is too much. Usually with coffee stouts there is a balance with chocolate and/or smokiness but this is overpowering smoky coffee to the extreme. Not a bad flavor at all just too much of it. Kind of like knocking knickers with a Starbucks expresso machine. Now that you've knocked it up you have to take care of your little java tar baby for the next 18 years. All right that's a bit dramatic...the next 18 seconds. ; )

thelagerheads, Sep 14, 2006
Photo of danielocean03
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%

Poured from a 12oz. bottle marked batch #7170 into a pint glass. Appearance is a syrupy opaque blackish-brown with a thin dark beige ring of head that quickly fell away to a light tan circle of sticky lacing. Aroma is rich, deep and dark coffee aromas with some strong roasty malt character present. Sweet chocolaty notes finish out the nose. Taste is hard-hitting, huge coffee and espresso, sinfully decadent rich and bold roasty malts and chocolate. Slightly drying bitter aftertaste just like a good cup of coffee. Mouthfeel is heavy, full-bodied profile with a syrupy viscosity that just coats the mouth as it goes. Carbonation is on the lower levels of the spectrum, slight tickle on the tongue is the only noticeable carbonation present. Drinkability is great, very satisifying rich stout, hardly hints towards the 7.5% abv. Would purchase again, I recommend it.

danielocean03, Sep 09, 2006
Photo of cbl2
3.88/5  rDev -1%

8/25/2006 $2.00 12 oz. 7.50% No best by date, but coded 7221.


Pours a slightly viscous ichor black that is fairly still with no head at all, but a wisp of tan rimming the edge of the goblet.


This is stated to be a stout brewed with fresh roasted coffee, and the aroma proves it. Dominated by espresso aroma (reminds me of the chocolate chips present in Edy's Espresso Chip ice cream). Very enticing.


Fresh roasted coffee, more like espresso (again those Edy's chocolate chips come to mind) overpowers the palate. No cream like taste to this one, just pure caffeinated java, with a touch of sweetness midsip. Finish is exactly like that of coffee, bitter and drying. By far the most intense coffee flavor I've encountered in a beer.

cbl2, Aug 26, 2006
Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 2,493 ratings.