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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

2,885 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,885
Reviews: 1,099
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.7%
Wants: 156
Gots: 296 | 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: 2,885 | Reviews: 1,099
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.

Photo of gobucks1
1.78/5  rDev -54.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured black into a pint glass with a short tan head. Smells of used coffee grounds and burnt malts. I was surprised that the was not a stronger nose of warm coffe flavors (and maybe chocolate?)as you would expect for a coffee stout. The taste of burnt day old coffe overwelmed my tongue. The only other flavor I got was a slight alcohol finish. I am a huge fan of coffee stouts but this one just missed. I expected more from the high price tag.

Photo of glennl
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from a 12 oz bottle into a duvel glass. i find most coffee stouts to have too much or too little coffe flavor.this one is well balanced. the aroma was fantastic, and the taste while good was a bit of a letdown from the smell. starts out a stout and finishes with the taste of strong coffee and hint of unexpected-but welcome-smokiness. would definitely drink/buy again if bell's were a little easier to come by around here.

Photo of cbros
3.51/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving type- 12 ounce beer poured into a snifter glass.

A- Pours a jet black with a one finger white lace that faids quickly. I am seeing some caarbonation activity from the middle beer. I am getting a faint cling to the glass as well.

S- I am getting a really dirty smell from this beer. It is difficult to describe, it smells a little like earth and dirt and I don't mean that as an insult. It is a very unique smelling beer. I can't say that I have ever smelled a beer quite like this. I am picking up some coffee notes on the tail end, but it is very sublte.

T- The taste goes along with the coffee/java flavors that I didn't really pick up in the smell. I am getting huge amounts of roasted coffee and chocolate as well as the roasted malt flavor as well. The tasttes are smooth and subtle, nothing overwhelms or commands the beer. A nice mixture of flavors that I would expect from a coffee themed Imperial Stout.

Picked up a lousy of this at the beer store and wanted to see what I got. Bells, on a whole, has put out good stuff from what I have had. This is a solid beer, but not one that I would pick up a sixer of. Not bad but there are others that I would go for first. I definately plan on trying other stuff from Bells and expect to get good results.

Photo of blackdog1101
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a shaker pint.

A- Pours black into the glass with a short lived 2 finger head. No lace retention on the glass.

S- Smells of black coffee and malt. Also some background chocolate notes.

T- During the first half of the glass I felt like I was drinking a coffee soda due to the sweetness and carbonation. Later in the glass I felt more like I was drinking a stout, since the carbonation subsided. Overall the tastes of black coffee and chocolate are nice. This is a very sweet beer.

M- To me this seems a bit thin, and early on it seemed over-carbonated. As I said, it seems like a soda. If this were a bit thicker and had less carbonation I think it would be a lot nicer. I'm liking the second half of the glass better than the first.

D- This is a good beer, but not as full-bodied as I hoped. I like coffee and stouts, so I had hoped I would really like this. For the price I think I probably won't buy this very often.

Photo of mklinger
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Looks like a nice, typical stout. Not such a durable head as you might hope but a fine looking stout anyway.

Aroma was full of coffee -- just rich & full of coffee aroma. I've had a bunch of coffee stouts but this one smells like I just stuck my face into a freshly roasted bag of beans -- fresh, not brewed beans.

Taste is overwhelmingly of fresh coffee beans. Where this was a big plus for the aroma, the degree to which it overwhelms all else is a bit of a minus here. It is really a great coffee flavor, though -- better than any other I've had.

Mouthfeel was a bit thin I thought. Drinkability was fine but not awesome. The strength of the coffee character was a bit too much.

Photo of CMW
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a very, very dark brown. There is a large tan head that has good retention.

S - Smells of coffee, roasted malt and chocolate.

T - Very similar to the nose. Coffee and roasted malt flavors come through first and the finish has a dark chocolate bitterness that brings the flavors together.

M - Nice and fluffy, medium body.

D - While I like the taste, the sweetness may preclude me from drinking more than one. Good beer though.

Photo of avalon07
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a jet black color and a totally opaque consistency. There was an inch of creamy, tan-colored, very long-lasting head and excellent lacing. One of the best-looking Imperial Stouts I've seen.

S: A big aroma of coffee (or espresso), malt and hints of chocolate.

T: Coffee is the big component here, more than anything else. Also tastes of roasted malt and a little chocolate. Not what you would call overly complex, but very bold and flavorful.

M: A good amount of carbonation and a dry finish. Full-bodied.

D: Definitely, a drinkable beer. Very straightforward and powerful.

Photo of Urbancaver
3.26/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- A very dark coffee colour with lots of frothy brown head that sticks around for quite a while...

Aroma- Smells like a startbucks black coffee... a bit burnt

Taste- Tastes like it smells.. the coffee flavour hits you hard and doesn't yield any complexity. There is a bitter kick at the end of each sip that doesn't sit quite right with me. After a few drinks there is a bit of creaminess that seeps through but that bitter kick hangs in there

Mouthfeel- Nice and creamy, thick feel.

Drinkabilit-: all I have to say here is I wish it didn't taste like burnt starbucks :(

Photo of MIbeerfan
2.85/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Notes from a bar napkin:

Sampled at HopCat's in Grand Rapids MI, Dec 12.

Thick brown head and very dark black beer. Heavy coffee overtones, coffee overpowers all flavors. Very bitter aftertaste.

Not high on my list of coffee stout's. The bitter was too much for me.

Photo of elgiacomo
3.36/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle batch 9436, bottled Nov 10, 2009. Pours dark brown with a good-sized rocky brown head. Leaves rings of lacing on the glass.

Aroma is a big punch o' coffee. Unfortunately, not very good coffee. :( Some licorice, slight chocolate, and a bit of sourness round out the nose.

Flavor is of course big on coffee, some chocolate, caramel, licorice, roasted malts. Bitter coffee finish.

Mouthfeel is pleasant, medium to full with low to medium carbonation. Alcohol is well-hidden.

I like coffee stouts a lot and had high hopes for this one, but it isn't as good as others I've had. The coffee is very overpowering which hurts the balance, and doesn't smell or taste like the highest quality coffee either. More like day-old Folgers rather than gourmet beans. Granted my bottles are extremely fresh, so I'm hoping a few months of age may help mellow it out a bit. This review is based on my second bottle, about a week after the first one and it is better than initial impressions. The high price doesn't help either...

Photo of ScreamForMe
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Andrea for this extra! Poured into a tulip from 12oz bottle:

Black with definite coffee aroma from the glass. Head died down and left a good amount of lacing.

Coffee and more coffee. I didn't really detect anything else in the beer.

Drinkable for sure but rather unremarkable.

Next review!

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bodega in Columbus

A- Served in a normal pint. No real head. No lacing. The beer itself is pitch black.

S- BIG coffee smell. Thats really all I can pull out aside from some roasted malts. It smells like pure coffee grounds.

T- Similar to the nose. They dont call this java stout for nothing. Huge on the black coffee. The bitterness seems to come from the roasted coffee. The bitterness is mild but in all this is a well balanced beer.

M- Pretty smooth. Nothing special here.

This is a pretty good stout. Having sampled it once, however, I feel like I dont need to purchase it again. It was just a little too "coffee'd out" to make it an extremely good beer.

Photo of cdizinno
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured into a stemmed glass from a 12 oz brown bottle same as pictured.

A: Black as night(similar to Bell's Cherry Stout) with medium tan head and moderate lacing.

S: Aromatic coffee grounds with mild roasted grains.

T&M: Medium to smooth. Lots of dark roasted coffee flavor. Extremely mild hopping provides just enough bitterness to balance some of the malt sweetness.

Much better than the Cherry Stout by Bell's. Would definitely like to try this one on tap.

Photo of ImusBeer
2.93/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured out of a bottle, very black with a tan head about a finger in size, died to just thin sheeting over the top, lots of lacing as I drank.

The smell was overpoweringly coffee, not much else. The flavour was the same, Coffee with nothing else that I could detect.

With no real bitterness but a silky texture due to coffee it seemed this was an OK beer. Seemed flat to me. Only problems too much coffee and no enough sweetness. Not very complex, I wasn't impressed.

Photo of Onenote81
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into my pint glass. Pours a very dark brown with some light ruby on the edges. No head at all with an aggressive pour. No lace, obviously. Scents of ground coffee, roasted malts, and slight leather.

Full-bodied beer here. Slight chewy feel. Moderate amount of carbonation. Flavors of coffee, cocoa, coffee, roasted flavors, and more coffee. This is the most coffee-forward beer I've ever had. If you are into that sorta thing, this is the beer for you. I liked it.

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Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 2,885 ratings.