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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

2,414 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,414
Reviews: 1,047
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.99%
Wants: 129
Gots: 171 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-11-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,414 | Reviews: 1,047 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IrishRedRock


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

I love it when beer exceeds my expectations. Poured this into a tulip and glad I did, as it greatly enhances the appearance, a deep black with a pillowy soft brown head. Upon close inspection, lots of tiny cascading bubbles can be seen rising to the top of this, keeping the small lace head alive, as now the large initial head has faded. Nose has notes of toasted bread, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate and of course coffee. Warming after just a sip, the alcohol is clearly there but gives a nice balance to the rest of the flavors - and there's a lot to pick out. Aside from an odd astringent plastic flavor, which is mild and I think from the coffee, a sweet cream and solid hop bitterness balances the darkness of the chocolate and roastiness of the coffee, making this a pretty nicely flavorful brew. Nice!

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2005 22:24:10 | More by IrishRedRock
Photo of Fish113d


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

Poured from a bottle at room temp into a tulip glass, it pours an the color or used motor oil, leaving a 4cm foamy, lite, chocolate colored head taht dissipates to a nice solid surface layer with some latticework on the glass.

First woft is of dark roast coffee w/ soem caramel malt sweetness tickling my nose. Also some little earthy hops is noticed. Well done!

Taking a sip, I notice a huge roasty flavor along with the coffee and some almond flavors. Nice bitter finish with just a touch of mocha aftertaste...very good!

well balanced carbonation helps the body of this brew. However, the full-body and sweetness of it make it a little tough to drink; definitely a brew that I'd drink one at a time per week maybe. Very tasty with just a touch of alcohol...i really enjoyed this one!!!

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2005 00:42:09 | More by Fish113d
Photo of MaltyGoodness


3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle compliments of beerhandy via BB&B BIF.

Pours jet black. Made me smile as it made it's way into my glass. Has a light caramel head with no apparent lacing.

Smells wonderful, like a cool mocha cappucino. Plenty of rich roasted chocolate and coffee aromas.

This one tastes pretty good, but it doesn't live up to the promise of the smell. It has a rich coffee flavor, followed by a very bitter aftertaste. I don't get much malt coming through, and the chocolate that presented itself in the smell seems to be lost in the flavor. I think it could be a little more balanced.

It's meaty from start to finish. Perfect for the style.

I could enjoy one of these from time to time, but not on a regular basis. Maybe I just need to start drinking black coffee to truly appreciate this stout.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2005 01:31:10 | More by MaltyGoodness
Photo of ddarden


3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle poured into a chalice. It is jet black with a brownish head that falls fairly quickly to a just a covering. Smell is kind of hard to get, but there are dark roasted malt with coffee overtones.

The taste is like the smell, bitter roasted malts, java, nice hop finish. It seems the coffee flavor gives it the bitterness, like expresso. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Very nice. The drinkability is good, but not great.

I am a coffee lover, but the aftertaste of this beer kind of reminds me of coffee that is made too strong and cooked on a burner for a couple hours. This is a good beer and would love to try on draught. The drinkability suffers a litte from the aftertaste but is still slightly above average.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2005 21:33:11 | More by ddarden
Photo of battlekow


4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing Bell's Java Stout and Expedition Stout together, brother vs. brother. May the manliest man win.

The Java Stout is as badass black as the Expedition, but it has a substantial tawny head to contrast.

Smells fucking amazing. This is the best-smelling beer I've ever had. It smells like exotic, spiced, fresh-roasted coffee, like you're standing in [Trendy East Side Coffee Shop]. A true five.

Tastes like...coffee! Really good, but not quite on the same transcendent level as the nose.

Mouthfeel is creamy and awesome.

Wow. I love this beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2005 05:53:14 | More by battlekow
Photo of BEERchitect


3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hey, who put a pot of espresso in my beer glass? That is what it looks like, tastes like, and smells like. It has some high gravity sweetness and body, but the espresso flavors and ground bean texture overpowers it all. I don't know if the bittering is from intense flavor hopping or from grain astringency. It even has a bitter nose that is more reminescent of Itallian espresso than a stout yeast. Nicely earthy and nutty. Nicely alcoholic, something to cut through the body. Warming and intensely flavored into the finish. The aftertaste ligers like a fine cigar.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2005 20:47:19 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of ypsifly


4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz poured into a pint glass. The lot# 6731 indicates this was packaged on 1/17/05 as per the Bell's website.

Black with a light brown head that has good height ( I gave a somewhat forced pour) that has decent retention and leaves a thick coat of foam as it goes down.

Coffee dominates the nose. There's some milk underneath some suggestion of bitter, but its almost all coffee.

Coffee is also strong in the taste, but there's also dark malt, walnuts, cream, and a finish that is bitter from coffe and hops. good, but some chocolate would really help this out.

Full velvet like mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2005 05:04:54 | More by ypsifly
Photo of Dithyramb


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

Update--Just had to change my review after having the original Yeti. Blew this baby out of the water. Also, the coffee in this had me zoooming...Beware drinking this one late at night.

Bottle with 6656 ink jet labeled on the back. No freshness or born on date. Sampled half out of the fridge and half after it warmed up nicely. Both were right on.
Pours pitch black with no light or highlights showing. Loads of carbonation within the brew itself. They initially feed a thick dark brown head. Excellent lacing and retention. I can't think of any way they'd make this one look any better.
Molasses, dark malts, espresso, light alcohol fumes.
Very nice smooth and creamy coffee flavor. No not the Italian capuchino, nor the Turkish bitter, but the nice Americano morning joe. Just the right amount of sweetness competing with the bitter. Molasses, alcohol, caramel all swirling around there.

Mouthfeel was lighter than expected, going down way too smooth and easy. After the first couple of drinks, it really starts to warm the mouth. Finishes both bitter, sweet, and alcoholly, depending on the swig. Very nice.

The easy drinkability and hidden alcohol makes this one quite drinkable. Mmm, I could see this one with a nice chocolate cake. However, if I had the opportunity to get several of these puppies, I wouldn't mind making a nice tira misu with it.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2005 02:41:01 | More by Dithyramb
Photo of Golden2wenty1


4.65/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a single from Riley's here in Madison.

My second Bell's after their Porter. Love coffee and coffee flavored things, so I had to give this one a try as it says right on the bottle that it's brewed with coffee. Pours jet black with a huge tan head that disappates to a coating that lasts til the final drop cloudy with what appear to be coffee grounds at the end. Looks great. Smell is straight up coffee. Surprised? Good roasted coffee too, not burnt coffee which is nice for a change. Taste follows suit, thank god. I bet this would even be good heated up. Nice and sweet, but not cloying, with enough bitter to balance it out. Mouthfeel is right on, immaculately smooth with good carbonation. Could drink this for days, even in the morning. Highly recommended for any other coffee heads out there.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2005 03:10:02 | More by Golden2wenty1
Photo of TastyTaste


4.68/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Body is dark as night, maybe a hint of light sneaking thourgh the bottom of the chalice. Head is dark tan, fairly large, with good retention. A whole lot of coffee in the nose, not much of a surprise, but very welcome. Like a cup of fresh brew, this will peobably keep me up to 3 in the morning. Taste is brash and bold, a huge amount of coffee in the flavor. Alcohol is also present, which just adds to the spirit of this brew. Original in the sheer amount and interaction of the huge flavors of this beer. Excellent and challenging.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2005 04:37:38 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of Quaffer


3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in KC, MO. Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: This beer was pure black as it sat in the glass. Only the slightest hints of ruddy, brownish red emerged along the bottom of the glass when it was held up to the window. The dark brown head rose up to three fingers with an overly rough pour. It settled slowly and left a good portion of itself behind on the glass as it did so. A layer of bubbles remained until the glass was drained. This contributed to a huge amount of lace being left behind.

Smell: Right after the pour, stale coffee was the only smell evident. As the head settled, the nose became fuller and other aromas joined in. Deeply roasted malts and charred, smokey wood rose up to join the coffee. Hints of tart fruits were distinguishable more by the way they bit my nose than by anything else. Cream and chocolate hung out in the background. Charred, smokey coffee beans was the dominant smell overall.

Mouthfeel: The pour looked a little viscous and the mouthfeel confirmed that. Medium- to full-bodied with a creamy, coating feel on the tip of the tongue. Became a little fuzzy with carbonation as it moved into the back of the mouth, but was smooth overall.

Taste: There was a huge amount of flavor in this beer. Coffee beans roasted to within an inch of their life overrode everything else. This added a lot of complexity. Instead of just making the beer taste like coffee, it provided a nice smokiness and a charred component. It almost came across like bar-b-que at times, but in a good way. There was sweet cream, malt, and chocolate underneath, but it was just enough to counter the bitterness, and I'm not sure that it completely did that. The bitter coffee lingered well into the aftertaste, almost becoming a little astringent as the other flavors died away.

Seriously, the flavor of this brew is over-the-top. Way more flavorful than I was expecting. Very good, but maybe a little too unbalanced.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2005 23:32:03 | More by Quaffer
Photo of oxmasterscream

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown-black and opaque. Seriously viscous looking in the pour, topped by a big, sticky brown head. Oh boy.
Smells purely of dark roast Colombian coffee. Aromas of ripened, dark fruits and milk chocolate attempt to reach out from the darkness almost to no avail. I can't believe how much this smells of coffee. Oh, and I musn't leave out the interesting presence of a burnt red pepper aroma. I'm psyched.
Tastes like a cup of lightly sweetened, dark roast brew mixed with spicy hops. Ends with a bitter, you guessed it, coffee-like finish. As it warms, it's reminiscent of chocolate-covered espresso beans. Mouth is thick and syrupy yet spritzy and tingly on the tongue. It's a real mouthful, practically a meal in itself, albeit a caffeinated one. Amazing stuff... 'specially for the coffee freak.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2005 02:13:03 | More by oxmasterscream
Photo of MDekker


3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The pour - the color was black as night, possibly the blackest beer I've had. I tried to see a 100 watt bulb through the beer and basically couldn't see anything. It formed a thick, creamy head of a very dark tan color. It maintained the head relatively well, and laced thick down the side.

And as you might expect from a java stout, the aroma was powerful, and all coffee - dark and roasted.

In the mouth it felt quite creamy, and a little fizzy. Overall, just fine. The coffee flavor dominated the taste, as well, but it was very enjoyable. Somewhat bitter, as well. Coffee. Lots. I'm not a coffee drinker, so this flavor isn't my favorite, but still, it's good. Relatively thick, and a rich experience, so I couldn't drink a lot of this at once.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2005 01:15:04 | More by MDekker
Photo of whynot44


4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Full bodied, almost totally black and opaque with a thick creamy chestnut colored head that retains well and leaves some decent lace. The aroma is dark roasted malt, espresso coffee and charred wood. The dark roasted malts hit you right up front, with just a touch of caramel to balnce, then the coffee taste comes in with a creamy smooth, slightly fruity, almost cappacino impact with a touch of dark chocolate, finishes dry with a lingering charred wood taste with a little more of the caramel and dark chocolate background. I had to check the bottle to make sure it didn't say "Starbuck's". A beer for coffee lovers. Substantial mouthfeel, almost like an oatmeal stout, but still very drinkable. This would be great after dinner, take your time and let it warm up a little, it just gets better.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2005 04:20:34 | More by whynot44
Photo of beerinator


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

Appearance: A think black stew of darkness enshrouds the inside of the glass, covered by a tannish head with great retention. Even when held up to the light all you can see is black.

Aroma: Roasted beans. This beer smells of burned, charred things that were allowed to burn until there was very little left. There are twinges of sourness in the aroma.

Taste: The mouthfeel is very solid, the beer is slightly slick on the tongue. The apparent taste of coffee is strong with this one. You can almost imagine the grittyness of the ground beans in the taste. The upfront taste is strongly sharp and roasty. There is a little bit of sourness in the taste, but it's seems just right for the flavors of roast. The finish isn't too dry, there seems to be a bit of heft to the mouthfeel. The bitterness from the char lingers on the tongue for a little, reminding you of your last sip.

Notes: Drinkable, but not for the non-coffee drinker. I've had this one when it was colder and the flavors weren't as noticeable. Drink this one after it's had a chance to warm up from the fridge if you would like the full coffee flavors.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2005 13:37:59 | More by beerinator
Photo of euskera

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out an espresso brown with a smallish tan head. Smell is decidedly coffee-like. Smell is, unsurprisingly, of roasted coffee beans but not much else. Taste is smooth, roasted coffee all over the place. Not a lot of definition otherwise, almost no hop feel but overall nice and creamy. If you like coffee, you'll really like this stuff. Otherwise, I'd stick to other stouts. Nice for a change of pace, though..

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2005 16:53:33 | More by euskera
Photo of GuinnessSmurf


3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had the luxury of taking my time with this beer, having purchased a six pack of it. I tasted it on 6 different nights, and this review is from the 6th.

Appearance: This is a simply gorgeous pour. A serious black colored body with a tall, thick brown head on top. The body and head stick to the glass.

Smell: The smell reminds me more of tobacco than the coffee I was expecting from the title. The roasted malts really come forward in this beer. The bitterness seems to outweigh the sweet malty smells.

Taste: Starts of matly and sweet (cocoa) then it dries up into a dark roasted, coffee flavor. The aftertaste combines the sweet and bitter in a mocha union...mind you mocha with bitter dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate.

Mouthfeel: The body is thick and really does well to deliver the flavors in this beer.

Drinkability: While thick and deliciously complex, this is not a flavor suited for session drinking. It is also not immediately accessible and it took a while for me to aquire a taste for it.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2005 03:19:44 | More by GuinnessSmurf
Photo of malty


4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. longneck bottle - no freshness date.

As handsome as a beer can get. Opaque black with a billowing craggy khaki head comprised on multi-sized bubbles.

Scent of some serious dark, rich coffee and dark roasted malts. Also notes of powdered bitter baking chocolate.

Taste is a hearty dose of premium espresso and light cream. Charred dry oak and on to the glorious roasted malts. long, lingering finish of solid coffee & dark malts.

Mouthfeel is great with enough carbonation to keep the two dominant flavors balanced. Enough dryness to keep the heavy malts from building-up on the tongue.

Drinkability is good as I consumed this at cellar temp. - wouldn't want to drink it any cooler.

Overall a fine example of what a coffee stout should be modeled after. Bold, solid and hugely flavorful. Left me with mucho coffee breath. Wonder how this would taste accompanied with some corned beef hash and eggs benedict? hmmm....

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2005 17:04:17 | More by malty
Photo of blackie


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

re-reviewed on July 09, 2008

batch # 8216 - November 07, 2007

a: into my Brooklyn snifter, pours a nice mocha head that recedes to a thin layer and ring but it easily roused with each tilt of the glass, the beer is a very dark brown in color

s: sweet coffee with a touch of lactose paired with roasted malts and some dry bittersweet chocolate, excellent coffee aroma gives bright, earthy spice, great malt-coffee balance with the coffee allowed to shine while the malts support, hops add an earthy citric note that at first seems out-of-place but in combination with the coffee does add an interesting layer to things

m: low-medium carbonation, full body

t: nutty and earthy toffee notes from the bright coffee flavors, quickly followed with a mild roast and some sweet dark malts, finishes very toasty with a strong coffee roast and bitter cocoa, mild earthy citrus hop flavor and moderate bitterness

d: quite enjoyable, the coffee is done very well

single bottle from Whole Foods Cary

old review:

Color is about as black as I have seen. Thick tan head that stays for awhile. Smells strongly of coffee and chocolate. Very thick and not too much sweetness. Taste is the same as the smell, coffee and chocolate, with alot of malt flavor. There is definately some bite as well, but it is mellowed well. This is a beer that you would probably want to drink one at a time. Definately one to buy again.


bottle dated 10.24.13 consumed 12.06.13 - 4/6 in a six-back Bells roots revisit - lots of fantastic coffee aroma and flavor, fridge-cold it was a little minty/citron, but then the coffee beans really rounded out and complimented the moderate, easy drinking roasty stout underneath, delicious, scores left intact

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2005 02:07:45 | More by blackie
Photo of ScottS


4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As this comes out of the bottle it looks thick and dark. The head is a nice dark tan color and is surprisingly stable for a beer with coffee in it. The aroma is all coffee, good coffee. The coffee is from water street coffee roasters across the street the eccentric cafe and I've heard that it is a custom mix of italian and french roast coffee.

The mouthfeel is nice and thick. The flavor is mostly coffee and some fruity esthers from fermentation. In the background there are the typical stout flavors that keep this from being too off the wall. If you are a stout or a coffee fan this is one that is definately worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2005 23:50:09 | More by ScottS
Photo of beerhandy


3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle Served in plastic cup (Hotel Room) Black Brew with a nice beige head. Burnt espresso aroma, faint fruitiness and some fusels. Is the cup dissolving? Nice medium body, black malt dominates the taste ,very dry with a nice roastiness.Finishes with coffee and bitter chocolate. Draft please!

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2005 14:54:28 | More by beerhandy
Photo of unit555


4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Overall this beer is 4+ good. It has a pitch black color with a nice persistent head when poured. The coffe and roast malt aroma jump out of the glass and clearly announce what is coming next. The beer has a slight bite on the tongue when initially sipped but the RICH flavor of coffee and malt quickly overwhelm the bite. The flavor last long after swallowing.

My only criticism id the thin mouthfeel. If this beer had more chewiness to it I would have given it '5's across the board.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2005 13:46:50 | More by unit555
Photo of Southernbrew


4.63/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark black with a medium, tan head.

Whoo! Aroma is all about the coffee. Tons of roasted and bitterness here, very nice.

Nice full body, very smooth with just a hint of carbonation. Big roasted coffee flavors show up in a big way with some nice bitterness. A faint sourness comes through, and I can't really describe it but to say it's not a bad thing. Not many different flavors here, but with how good this is, that's not a bad thing. Nice roasted coffee aftertaste.

Nice coffee stout. I wish I could drink this every morning. A big thanks go out to Feloniousmonk for this choice beer!

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2005 03:18:37 | More by Southernbrew
Photo of skybluewater


3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brownish black color. Smells better than some other Bell's beers I've had, but still seems off. Taste isn't bad at all, but not great (compared to, say, Kalamazoo or Expedition). Indeed it does taste of coffee, but (to me at least) it's that coffee that's been sitting in the pot with the burner on all day. Drinkable, recognizable as the good stuff you had that morning, but off tasting. Mouthfeel is nice, quite creamy.

Overall, this isn't a beer I'd buy again. While I'm glad I tried it, I think in the future, I'll stick to drinking Kalamazoo, Expedition, and Third Coast Old Ale if I want a Bell's brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2005 05:01:58 | More by skybluewater
Photo of LuckySevens82


4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of feloniousmonk.
Pours a jet black with just a hit of amber when held up to a stong light. A creamed-coffe head of decent retention and thickness tops this brew.
Smell is coffee, coffee, and coffee...oh yeah, coffee as well. There is some chocolate, roasted grains and some hop round out the aroma.
Taste is, well shoot, go figure...coffee. In addition, some chocolate, caramel and burnt sugars. Some hop bitterness is in there, but it is kind of overshadowed by the bitter coffee.
Mouthfeel is very nice as well, undeniably smooth and just a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2005 02:17:27 | More by LuckySevens82
Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 2,414 ratings.