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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

2,837 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,837
Reviews: 1,091
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.7%
Wants: 156
Gots: 279 | 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: 2,837 | Reviews: 1,091 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jmoore50
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade with Sparklepants, this was an extra. Wow.

The appearance is like a cup of coffee. Do I need to say more? Dark brown body with cocoa edges. It does have a half finger head with a bit of light lacing.

The smell is coffee chocolate roasted goodness. A lot of roasted notes in this with the coffee. Real good smell.

Taste is like a roasted cup of coffee with good chocolate backgrounds. There is a bit of burnt flavor, which is why it is not a perfect 5. The coffee flavor in the brew is a very good example of what it is supposed to be. Although there is a very slight burnt flavor, it pairs with the sweetness and bold flavor of the coffee and malts. Great tastes.

The brew was a great example of what my coffee stout should of tasted like. Either way, really excited I was able to try this.


Photo of buschbeer
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I poured into a pint glass to a large mocha head. It is black in color. It smells of chocolate and coffee. The dominant taste is black coffee. This beer tastes a lot better warm. I had one cold and one warm. There is a big difference. I didn't like this beer at first when it was cold. Now I think it is quite a tasty beverage. I'll make sure to take the next one out of the fridge 15 minutes before I drink it.


Photo of mikey711
3.47/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a perfect pint glass after sitting in the fridge for a few days.

A: Pitch black, and syrupy. The head was only one finger thick and dissappated quickly. No lacing of note. Just a thin layer of tan head on sits on top.

S: Heavy coffee notes with a moderate amount of chocolate sweetness to back it up. The roasted flavor is entirely from the coffee.

T: The coffee flavor is there but it is a bit milder than other coffee stouts. Tastes exactly like it smells with the chocolate coming after the coffee.

M: It lacks a bit of body, but otherwis is is very creamy. A mild hint of booze is present but there is no chalkiness.

D: An easy sipper that I actually enjoy a bit more on the cold side. even though it was a small bottle I would have prefered to share it because the sweetness was a bit more than I usually like

Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a footed tasting glass.

A: Pours brilliantly black with a fantastic looking, thick and creamy two inches of mocha colored head. Lacing is solid with sheets of lacing riming the glass.

S: Dry, roasted ground coffee beans great the nose as one would expect. Light on licorice, chocolaty and tobacco sweetness, but the coffee seems a little dry and dusty to some of the richer, smoother coffee stouts out there.

T/MF: Mouthfeel is solid, viscous and slightly chewy with a nice drying sensation on the back of the tongue. Taste is complex with a dry, cold pressed coffee flavor with traces of licorice and bitter chocolate.

D: This beer is great in the first half and a bit of a let down in the second. That is, each sip starts thick, full flavored and complex but finishes a bit dusty, dry and one dimensional. If it were not for the Jeykl and Hyde aspects of this beer it would rank up there with some of the better coffee beers out there.

Photo of SpecialK088
3.26/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into an imperial stout glass

pours a thick coffee black with a small head that disapates quickly leaving no lacing.

Nose is subtle for a stout let alone a coffee. Notes of bitter chocolate and coffee are present but nowhere near what I'm used to from the style. Subtle sweet malt and vinnilla can also be pulled out.

Flavor is less subtle than the nose and goes right down the middle sweet and bitter chocolate and esspresso. A slight boozy middle and finish make you remeber you are drinking a beer as the bitterness lingers between drinks.

Mouth is pretty thin and flat feels like drinking a flat coke to be honest.

Easy enough to drink one of but honestly they priced me right out of ever really going after this one again a solid beer but I have had far better within the style.

Photo of Florida9
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a snifter. Foams up a fast head, but recedes quickly to just a ring around the rim. Black in color, fully opaque. Head is is foamy and dark tan. Just a smidge of lacing. There is just something missing with the look - it just seems flat.

S: Take a wild guess at the predominant smell. If you guessed coffee, you're a genius. Black coffee, but kind of a half-ass watery coffee, not the good, fresh roasted shit. Some molasses for sweetness and a little fruit interplay as well.

T: Not surprisingly, even more coffee, but now the coffee is borderline burnt. After the initial wave of cold morning coffee passes the flavor drops off a cliff, but it returns, slowly,. . .slowly,. . . with a (not hop) bitterness over the tongue that hangs around for a good while. A little more malty than coffee, but definitely coffee.

M: On the heavier side of medium with very low carbonation. Thinner than would be expected for a double.

D: A decent coffee stout, but there are better ones out there. This one is a bit one-dimensional and even that dimension isn't all that wonderful. Don't get me wrong, though this is still a pretty good beer, its just not as good as it could be.

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: black in color, 1/3 inch head, moderate carbonation

Smell: coffee grounds

Taste: big dose of pure black coffee. At the end there is a sweet sugar/cream taste

Mouthfeel: bitter start which gets a bit sweeter at the end. medium/heavy body, minimal carbonation

Drinkability: I could have three not six. This has got a near perfect coffee taste and what I envision when I think coffee___stout. Bells knows how to make pleasing stouts.

Photo of spartanfan
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

batch 9375 packaged 9/29/09

A: Pours a deep opaque black with a small light tan head that has faded to a ring.

S: Smells of rich coffee. That's about it.

T:Tastes of rich coffee and roasted malts, also some chocolate and a slight hop bitterness.

M: Mouthfeel is medium full with a nice creaminess and is quite enjoyable. Just the right amount of carbonation.

D: This beer is pretty drinkable for the abv. The alcohol is not noticeable at all.

Photo of wnh
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours an opaque ruby-tinted dark chestnut brown, nearly black, with a frothy tan head on top.

Aromas of freshly brewed black coffee, very roasty, with accompanying burnt grain and earthy, bitter dark chocolate. Earthy, leafy hops make themselves known after a few sips. Takes of chocolate covered coffee beans, very intense and roasty, on the entry, turning slightly sweet and caramelly before finishing dry with a bitter, leafy hoppiness. The caramel flavor bows out quickly, but everything else lingers and lingers.

Dry on the palate, which turns slightly chalky, which more or less works with the flavor profile but which I don't care much for. Medium to full in body, but light enough to make it quite drinkable. Very enjoyable.

Photo of naterock
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a pint glass. looks like motor oil with foam. A fair amount of floaties and a brownish white head that seems to be quite sticky.

Smells of coffee, coffee, and something i can't place...its coffee.

Tastes like a cold cup of coffee, but in a good way. a nice bitterness upfront with a sweetness that rolls down the tongue. whoa this is good.

Mouth is heavily bodied and viscous. I would say its undercarbonated but the bitterness doesn't allow much more. drinks slowly but it's a damn fine beer.

Photo of Vonerichs
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black with a moderate toffee colored head that leaves a good amount of lacing down the side of the snifter.

The smell is espresso domination with a light hint of chocolate in the finish. Coffee, coffee, coffee.

Obviously, the coffee is the main character, and it's a dark roast. The middle sweetens up with dark chocolate and the finish is very bitter. It's all robust and well pronounced.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy like a stout should be.

The only downfall is the drinkability. It's delicious but the overwhelming coffee taste makes this one to take slow and savor it.

Photo of webmanspidey
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark brown/black poured into a Chimay chalice. Thick with an inch or so of head. Smell is "musty", and combines bittersweet dark chocolate/cocoa and espresso. A load of coffee in the flavor, very sweet with a bunch of chocolate syrup at the beginning and biting at the finish. This tastes like something you would get from Starbucks if they ever got into the carbonated alcoholic beverage business. Not as strong as you'd probably expect for the style, this is exceptionally drinkable. This is a pleasant surprise.

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

12oz bottle poured into a 12oz mug.
Re-review from deleted review.

This beer is a dark almost black brown with deep roasted chestnut high lights. There's a finger of mocha colored head that's fading into a thin collar. It's leaving frost like lacing.

The nose is black roasted coffee beans, a little baker's chocolate, and burnt malts.

The first gulp follows the nose very closely. It is loaded with coffee, baker's chocolate, dark grain. There's a slight sweetness in front and a strong coffee bitterness in the back end. It's a huge coffee bomb.

Mouthfeel is medium with medium to low carbonation.

One of the better coffee beers out there even though it's not as complex as some others. I could drink a couple of these in a sitting.

Photo of MetalHopHead6
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bell's Java Stout poured black with just a tan ring. It left the glass squeeky clean.

It smelled and tasted like weak coffee with a hint of chocolate--good but not remarkable. The feel was too bubbly and light for an imperial stout.

I've taken to using FBS as the standard in my reviews of this style and this one is pale in comparison. Bell's Java Stout is tasty and enjoyable, but too thin and crisp.

Photo of pmccallum86
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful deep dark chocolate colored liquid with a thick brown head.

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee, Coffee. Get the idea?

The taste it just like the smell, coffee. A huge wave of rich coffee flavors blast the tongue, rich dark chocolate malts are also present, very nice.

Mouthfeel is smooth, thick and creamy. The coffee flavors linger on forever.

Very drinkable, if you love coffee. If you do not love coffee, chances are you will not like this beer. I for one love coffee, therefore I love this beer.

Photo of stoutfiend27
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass

a-black with a small khaki colored collar around the edges..no head and no lacing..very little carbonation

s-wonderful to say the least..my favorite part of the beer..roasted coffee and espresso..butter chocolate and rich malt bill hold this together nicely..

t-roasted coffee..seriously thats about all but its what i expected and it represents the style very well..slight roasted malt in the middle..

m-a little thin for my taste but does coat the mouth well..more carbonation would have been nice...

d-abv is hidden well and doesnt leave a mark...lack of carbonation and thinness leaves me wanting more from this beer..but could steady a couple in an evening

overall a very good coffee stout not the best...valdez really heads this category imo..but rated to style a solid contender if it were cleaned up a bit..

Photo of FernMaster
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

Bell's Java Stout caught my attention because of the colorful packaging and the crazy little dancing coffee mug dude on the label. Seriously, that thing is funny. Pouring and drinking this I'm very much reminded of Founder's Breakfast Stout.

The pour yielded very little head, even though I poured for maximum head. There was maybe a fingers worth of head that was a dark caramel color, that resided quickly. No lacing on the glass with this beer, sad face. The smell is of strong coffee notes, a bit of caramel and some chocolate - all in all a very nice smelling beer. Just for the smell alone I'm curious in letting this warm-up before I post the review, but I may just go back and update if it makes a noteworthy difference. This tastes so much like the Breakfast Stout, just lacking some of the punch and other ingredients. The coffee flavors are overtly noticeable, balanced well with a hint of caramel and chocolate and roasted malts round out the experience. It's such a balanced and great flavor that - like Founder's Breakfast Stout - I find hard to put down, I just enjoy constantly sipping this. I could very easily see myself buying more of this in the future.

Photo of gatornation
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bought a single of this one and i wish i brought more it pours very dark with a tan head and sticky lacing ..the smell is roasted coffee and toffee and semi sweet chocolate the taste was roasted coffee first then some some roasted malts some sweet caramel and hops this was a great coffee stout nicely carbonated and crisp a pleasure to drink

Photo of mothman
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Stub and Herbs

Served in a goblet.

Tan head. Very black in color. Left some splattered lace.

Aroma: fresh strong coffee, chocolate, big roasted malt flavor.

Taste: Huge fresh strong coffee taste, roasted malts, fresh earthy hop profile, chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, smooth. I like it. Full bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends with a coffee flavored clean aftertaste.

Overall, A great beer and I will definitely be buying some bottles of this one if I have a chance. Very drinkable with an awesome coffee flavor.

Photo of spointon
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A= This stout poured nearly black with a few faint hints of brown around the edges. The head rose a good 1" and then slowly settled to a substantial cap. Some nice lacing left behind on my glass. Good show so far.

S= I found aromas of dark roasty malts, coffee, and a sweet nutty/fruity character deep within. Not overly aromatic, but certainly enough to keep me interested.

T= Started off with lots of coffee and dark roasted malts playing nicely together. A bit of caramel and toffee soon made an appearance, as did a hint of chocolate. The hops were pretty non-existent, but the bitterness from the roast made this a pretty balanced ale. Some dark ripe fruit crept in midway and then disappeared just as quietly. Finished dried a bit but remained fairly balanced.

MF= Heavy side of medium bodied. The carbonation was crisp without being overdone.

D= I loved this beer and will be grabbing another six pack soon. Very flavorful and easy to drink, with the ABV staying well hidden. Highly recommended.

Photo of sweemzander
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter glass. Batch #9363

(A)- Pours thick and dark black. Produced a huge & thick tan head of massive volume that has ridiculous retention. It is still present after 5 minutes. Left behind tiny bits of foam as it dissipated and was consumed.

(S)- Freshly brewed dark roasted coffee with a light hazelnut nuttiness. Lightly dusted cocoa & subdued brown sugar that might even have a light smokiness to it.

(T)- Tons upon tons of dark roasted coffee. More bitter than sweet. This has some serious coffee flavors. Dry & nutty with hints of a caramel-ish to molasses themed malts. Only gets better as it warms up. Great roasted coffee profile. Has some cocoa in there amidst the molasses nuance. There is even a hint of cinnamon/nutmeg underneath the roasted coffee, but it could just be the nutty caracteristic.

(M)- Has a great balance to it. Simple but complex in how the flavors are layered upon one another; not all at once. Robust and dry with a touch of bitterness; just the way a black cup 'o joe should be! Great carbonation level and alcohol integration.

(D)- This is for serious coffee drinkers, if you dont like your coffee strong or black then you might not like this as much as I do. Nonetheless, this is fantastic. Well balanced with no fancy frills or a ridiculously high abv, just a well-made beer that I would gladly drink any saturday morning; especially in the dead of winter. Will definitely be picking up more of this.

Photo of brownbeer
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours slightly oily, pitch black with a thin brown head that doesn't last long.

S- Aroma is deeply roasted, wood, bitter chocolate, smokey tobacco, leather

T- A tad sweeter than the nose implied. Well integrated chocolate and coffee. Finish is earthy with espresso tones and a subtle hoppiness.

M- Medium-full, milky smooth.

D- Full and rewarding. Holds up against some of the better coffee stouts.

Photo of TheViolator666
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into snifter.

Batch 9375 bottled on September 29th, 2009.

A: Pours opaque black with a small one-finger light brown head that dissipates to a thin soft cap. No signs of lacing.

S: Smells of dark roasted/burnt coffee malts. A hint of rich dark chocolate and earthy hops.

T: Tastes very similar to the smell. Roasted and burnt coffee malts mostly, and a finish that has a bit of chocolate and some earthy hops. The hops provide a bit of bitterness that adds to the very rich bitterness of the coffee.

M/D: It has a nice mouthfeel, with a decent amount of carbonation. Goes down with a bit of a bite from the alcohol.

Overall, tastes like a slightly toned down version of Founders Breakfast Stout.

Photo of paco1029384756
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with two fingers of tan head.

Scent of coffee, chocolate and roasted malts. Not very complex, but good, and with a nice strength that is not overbearing.

Taste of coffee, grassy hops, grain, roasted malts, and chocolate. Coffee flavor dominated everything else here, but is not too roasted, a quality coffee flavored Stout.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fairly strong bite of carbonation.

Photo of homebrew311
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: pours a deep brownish black with a tan head that dissipates to a slight ring that sticks through out. appears very thick and silky

S: ever smell a fresh bag of ground gourmet coffee? That is what this smells like. it is ALL coffee. I drink a lot of great coffee, and this beer smells bolder than some of those. The smell is so bold, I even smell a really deep strong smell that I can only relate to leather or rubber... that may sound weird, but I assure you that it is in a good way

T: like the nose, there is an absolute assault of coffee. This is the heaviest coffee flavor I have experienced in a beer, even more than FBS which is surprising. There is some chocolate sweetness to go along with the coffee, but honestly, if I drank this blind, I may mistake it for a black iced coffee with carbonation. You better like coffee to enjoy this one. I do, so this beer is divine.... even if it lacks balance.

M: Medium to heavy body with a velvety mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

D: Be careful, if you drink more than a few in an evening, you may never get to sleep. This one certainly delivers a caffeine jolt! This is rich, sweet, and awfully tasty...but not suited for a session. A little pricey too.

Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 2,837 ratings.