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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

2,797 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,797
Reviews: 1,079
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.7%
Wants: 150
Gots: 262 | 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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,797 | Reviews: 1,079 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Still more stout from Bell's and more beer from the trip to the Great Midwest...

It pours blacker than black with a thin tan head. Powerful coffee aromas, big mocha and bitter chocolate. Roasty but still lots o' sweet chocolate.
The flavor is dominated by coffee. Lots of mocha and bitter chocolate. Unfortunately, the coffee taste builds and overwhelms the beer in time. It's too much coffee for me. A lingering bitterness in the finish.

Outside of the heavy handed coffee, it would be an outstanding beer. Even so, it's still pretty good. In the interest of equal time, K (my wife) loves this brew.

Photo of shadow1961
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bell's Java Stout pours a big creamy sand colored head over a black brew.
Carbonation? Who can tell- but the nose is ground coffee and dark toasty
malt. The flavor is intense black coffee (but fresh roast, not espresso) up
against sweet-ish dark malt, baker's chocolate, and a grass/herbal hop
aftertaste. Mouthfeel is full and round, but finishes dry due to the bitterness.
Definately a sipper, and just the thing if you're in a mood for an edge of bitterness.

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

Received this in a trade with Jay23, thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a solid black that no light gets through. Average pour almost overflowed my glass with head. We've got some carbonation in suspension here. Aroma is overwhelming with coffee. I also pick up some dried fruits and a bit of chocolate. If there was steam coming out of my glass I would think it was a flavored coffee. Taste is more roasted coffee bitterness with some creamy chocolate mixed into the fold. Creamy mouthfeel with a coffee bitterness in the finish. Solid double stout with coffee added. Another great beer from Bell's.

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

Appearance: Pours a black body with a lush, though brief, light khaki-colored head.

Smell: Lightly chocolatey aroma with a bit of molasses and the strong scent of stale coffee. There's a vague fruitiness there as well which doesn't really carry over into the taste.

Taste: Sweet, rich chocolate flavor with some sugar laced coffee. Then a roastiness arises and begins to build alongside an earthy bitterness. Eventually, the taste goes to burnt malts and scorched coffee, long ago abandoned in a glass pot on the burner. Starts off good but goes downhill quick.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Silky mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Decent enough, but outshone by some of the other coffee stouts available.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served at 50 degrees and poured into a pint glass

A – Poured a deep thick dark brown, essentially black and completely opaque with the color of oil coming to mind, although it did not pour as thick as there was some movement of this and it poured rather easily into the glass. A very nice three finger high head of brown colored foam quickly rose up over the top of it and gradually settled down into the glass. Once completely settled there remained a very nice half inch high layer of foam across the top which hung on until the very end of the session. Copious side glass lace was the norm with this one as the glass was almost completely obscured by the end of the session.

S – The aroma was rich with dark baker’s chocolate and an even dark French roasted coffee type of smell. This actually came to me very specifically and I could pick it out right away. Very nice deep smell as well, not overly strong or pungent as you had to get right on top of it to pick it out, but it was very deep and dark. As it warmed there was a subtle bit of sweetness that started to come out and was clearly evident in the overall aroma, a nice hint of caramel, and perhaps vanilla really serving to accent and bring out the rest of the flavors quite nicely.

T – The flavor itself was very good. An overtly coffee like tone took front and center stage on this one as you would have expected, but it was not terribly strong nor was it the sole dominating force in the profile. As it warmed up you could clearly make out lots of lactose sugar flavors and a definite hint of vanilla in the background. It was nice and decently complex in its overall presentation. The coffee notes merged into a dry finish that had the slightest hint of a bittering chocolate agent to it, but again was not overwhelming or dominant and a touch of a grassy like hoppiness to cap it off.

M – Very smooth and silky, I would have thought this would have been a bit thicker then it was to be honest. Now don’t get me wrong this was not thin in any capacity, but rather it was like a strong porter with a medium to full body instead of the thick as milkshake big stouts that I have been used to as of late. Very nice smoothness though and the carbonation seemed to really hang around for a good long time never letting it feel dull or watered down.

D – A very nice session stout would be the way I would categorize this one. The ABV was not terribly high and the flavors were rich but not over the top. It was just full enough to keep it interesting without being too much and having to make a meal out of it. I would have easily put down a few more of these during the course of the night.

Overall I would have to say this one was not terribly bad at all, and in fact was quite a nice little surprise. I really enjoyed that it was not too big and it was something I actually could enjoy without being overwhelmed. I would probably pick up one of these again sometime; it was definitely a good call.

Photo of JugglerPeter
2.4/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I bought this beer on tap on a cold day looking for a dark beer to warm up. The beer was served without head in a pint glass.

The color was not as dark as I expected for a stout, but it looked nice, had a nice roasted smell to it.

Then I tried it. The beer had absolutely no ballance. I like coffee and dark stouts, but did not like this one. I felt like I was drinking beer that someone had thrown ashes into. All I could taste of this beer was the roasted nature of the malt. I had the beer with a very strongly flavored goat cheese and mushroom pizza, and still found the beer too dominant for the food. If I hadn't just paid $5 for the beer I wouldn't have finished it at all.

This is the first offering from Bell's that I have been dissatisfied with.

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

Java Stout
12 oz bottle poured into Chimay chalice

A - Pours a very dark black color with a nice 1/2 inch dark tan head. Head never fully disappears, settling at a thin layer of creamy goodness. Lacing is very nice and remains for quite some time.

S - Smell is not very strong, but it does prominently feature roasted dark malt with strong espresso and dark chocolate flavors. Just a touch of alcohol.

T - Smooth and creamy with a lightly sweet and strong roasted espresso flavor. Hops add a touch of bitterness, but little flavor. Chewy molasses flavor with a hint of dark chocolate. Tasty.

M - Very creamy and full bodied with a nice drying and bitter aftertaste.

D - After a long day of epic skiing here in Crested Butte, I don't know if I could have picked a better beer. Refreshing for a stout with great flavor and appearance. Another winner from Bell's.

Photo of Zorro
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Obtained in trade from WeisGuy.

Very dark brown colored beer with a good brown head. This beer is quite close to light proof but not quite.

Strong coffee aroma is the first thing you smell. Slight chocolate aroma but pretty much nothing gets past the coffee aroma here.

The taste starts out what else could it be but strong Coffee with a fair amount of sweetness. Chocolate comes on strong in the aftertaste. A pleasant smoke flavor appears after a while, basically "Charbucks" coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel is good.

A good beer with some qualifications, you MUST like coffee or you will hate this. Pretty much the THE coffee beer without any Bourbon in it.

Photo of Tilley4
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm not sure that I can expound on any of the other reviews already given. Big, strong coffee taste and aroma. Jet black pour, no head though. This is a good coffee stout. I should be receiving a couple of Wake and Bakes in the next few days and want to compare the two.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours opaque with a massive tan head. Nose is a roasted bean kind of thing with an odd perfume edge to it. Flavor is thick with a nice robust character. On the end I get a roasted edge and that odd perfume thing comes out. It is almost like liquid flowers, with leaves and stems along for the ride. At first this seemed nice. Then that weird flowery perfume edge was kicking in way too hard and it just detracted from an otherwise interesting beer. Nice to try for the first half at least.

Photo of SilentSabre
4.62/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured black like motor oil with a craggy, pitted, caramel coloured foamy head which left sticky lacing on the sides of the glass.
The smell was precisley what I thought it should be. So many coffee beers; stouts which claim to contain coffee or have some coffee-like nuance to them, so often fall short of my expectations and either have a really faint, or really synthetic coffee aspect to them. This smells like a soggy, used coffee filter full of coffee grounds, and little else. Absolutely divine. Hands down, the best coffee stout I have ever had. The taste, too, is very aggressively coffee-like. Upon taking a sip, it is simply bitter, black coffee from start to finish. If there are hopos present here, I cannot find them.
Mouthfeel is where it should be for a stout of this nature. I don't care about the 7,5%abv or the heaviness of this stout. I could drink several of these throughout the course of a cold, damp evening/night. This is a truly fantastic stout! Good job, Bell's, and many, many thanks to my friend BA Ding for sharing this gem with me!

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

Pours an opaque very dark brown color with a nice creamy brown head that drops to a sticky ring. The aroma is coffee as advertised...chocolaty, creamy and a tad ashy. Tasty sweet coffee flavor. Roasted malts and chocolate...very rich. Medium-full bodied, almost chewy and silky with a lightly drying bitterness. The chocolate becomes more and more prevalent as it warms.

Deliciousness. These Bell's people sure know how to make a stout.

Photo of ncvbc
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Man, this stuff is amazing on-tap! I just had a few from the bottle recently so it was nice to have that to compare it to. Pour was pretty black with a cocoa tan head with not much staying power. Smell was great. Rich, roasty malts abundant here. Taste even topped the smell. Fresh roasted coffee grounds that aren't as big as from the bottle. Chocolate plays a bigger role and also a hint of oatmeal. Also the bitter finish isn't there like it is in a bottle. Unbelievable. Mouthfeel is nice and pretty full. So damn creamy and like velvet on the tongue. Trying this on-tap was definitely a step up from the bottled version. Quite enjoyable.

Photo of LittleBreeze
3.19/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasting Bell's Ball - Java Stout

Outstanding aroma. The smell alone is a "pick me up."

Strong bitter coffee. Not enough chocolate or malty love to balance.
I enjoy coffee and coffee stouts. I did not enjoy this stout. It may have been to bitter on the back end for my taste.

Photo of jeffmonarch
3.03/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Nice thick dark black color with a medium brown head that's thick and stays for a long time.

S - Coffee, coffee and some chocolate. There's also a slight coffee scent.

T - Lots of coffee flavor. Tastes like coffee grinds. Slight chocolate undertones.

M - Full bodied. Good carbonation.

D - I'm not impressed. I poured it out and thought, Oh my god! I was sitting in antisipation. It smelled good. The flavor is definitly coffee but it's more like the grinds left after you brew the coffee not the beans.

Photo of cjgator3
4.59/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark black color with a creamy tan head with good lacing. The aroma is dark roasted malts and a good amount of fresh ground coffee. The taste is dark and roasty that begins smooth and malty and finishes with an explosion of bitter roasted coffee flavors. Overall, this is another great brew from Bell's and is definitely one of the better coffee stouts on the market today. Highly Recommended.

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

Another exceptional stout from Bell's, this pours thick, inky black with a dense head of whipped mocha.

Aroma screams chocolate and coffee with a melange of expertly roasted and charred dark malt.

Flavor is big and bitter. Massive fresh coffee and dark chocolate is heightened by just a bit of piney hops and dark dried fruit notes.

Body is big and very creamy and smooth. Mouthfeel of melted velvet. Filling too, one is enough at a time.

Photo of malcontent
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jet black body is capped by an attractive but fleeting tan head.

Fresh-roasted coffee, black malt and a touch of charcoal form a yummy nose.

Pretty loaded with coffee although the hops on the finish are surprising. Burnt notes on the finish are almost reminiscent of over-roasted coffee i.e. Starbucks. The charred flavor mellows somewhat as the beer opens up and a subdued sweetness (sweet cream) enters the fray, creating a pretty enjoyable beer.

Medium-bodied with a touch too much carbonation but otherwise just right. You really have to like coffee to find this drinkable. Luckily for me I drink an entire pot every morning. This makes for an incredible bookend to a day for me!

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

12oz bottle in Sam Adams glass

A: Black, no light comes through. Thin dark tan head leaves a small bit of lace.
S: Bitter, roasted grains, nothing else
T: No obvious coffee flavor, mostly very bitter malts
M: Smooth/creamy, but the malts are very astringent/drying.
D: Very nice stout but, I like their Double Cream Stout better. Definitely worth trying.

Photo of genog
4.46/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Did a side by side tasting of this beer, and Founders Breakfast Stout

Pours an opaque black color with a creamy, yet frothy dark tan colored head. Nice sparkling body cascades up through the glass. Plenty of lacing clings to the side of the glass with a reddish tint along the side of the foamy goodness. Smell is of sweet malt with a roasted and bitter back to it. Some light coffee aroma with a little sweet chocolate. Taste is of the roasted and dark malt and plenty of dark robust coffee, and slight vanilla sweetness as this one warms up. Mouthfeeling is a creamy, slightly velvety and more creamy, when compared to the FBS which was a much dryer robust mouth feel.

Photo of tastybeer
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks beyond dark with a milky dark chocolate head. You can catch slight bits of red light sneak through only right at the edges if you move the glass around in the light. Aroma brings a fistful of thick ultra roasted coffee beans. Its bitter, dark, robust, and pointy with some cocoa and sliiight vanilla under there. Nice aroma though the roasted smell might be clouding some other more subtle mouthwatering scents. Taste matches real well with some added dark fruits, bittersweet chocolate and bitter coffee bite. Very nice. Intense flavors and certainly entertaining. If you don't like strong coffee you probably will find this over the top. Texture is grainy but slick. Nice light velvety smoothness in there too. The carbonation mixes with the burnt roasted coffee bite and adds sharpness. This is certainly drinkable but its intensity is forcing me to take it easy.

Great for a first drink after sleeping in real late on a lazy day.

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

Bell's does stout quite well. The brewery's Java offering is no exception.

The pour releases a chunky, tan head that hangs on, as well as a sweet, toasty stout nose with enough coffee to show through. The beer is black and thick.

Taste is a malty, grainy, flinty stout profile with sweetness and some added interest from the coffee, which is prominent but never overpowering. The long finish carries in some hoppy flavors. Mouthfeel is nicely balanced and silky. I could happily make this the first or last beer of the day. Great stuff.

Photo of NCBeernut
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review edited almost 2 years after original review. This was my first coffee stout, and I originally gave it 4.5s in smell and taste. Since then I have had several top coffee stouts (Founders BS and KBS, Big Boss Aces and Ates, Pisgah Valdez, DFH Chicory, Terrapin Wake-n-Bake), so I feel that this needs to be re-viewed.

A: Pours black with a full 1 finger creamy khaki tan head that drops to a film in a few minutes.

S: Deep roasted malts and fresh roasted coffee in the nose almost makes you feel like your about to drink a freshly brewed cup of good coffee. Mainly coffee though.

T: Bittersweet coffee right away. A little chocolate and roasted malts get mostly covered by coffee. I am almost positive they brewed a batch of coffee and just added to the beer. A little bite. I cant tell if its a hop presence or just from the coffee. Coffee doesn't really work with the beer as well as some other coffee stouts I have had like Pisgah Valdez, but still good if you like coffee.

Smooth, a little creamy and surprisingly drinkable - almost dangerously easy to drink given the ABV. I could have another one no problem.

Photo of gpcollen1
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temp...

Poured this one into my Smutty Big Beer glass. Dark as night on the pour with a fluffy head gets right on up there and settles after a short while. Aromas are rich with fresh dark roasted coffee mixed and mashed with rich cocao.

Taste jumps on the nose with some bold coffee and dark roasty flavors. The coffee even seems to lend a gently bitterness aside the gentle and drying hop finish. A roasty dark chocolate seems to dominate the finish on this and lingers on the palate in a oh so pleasant way. Would think that this would be a touch more creamy but it is not.

This is a great coffee stout for those who like coffee. I think they really need to be big beers to carry the coffee. A bit more alcohol in this would be welcome but it is really just fine the way it is.

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


This little devil sat in my fridge waiting, as I anticipated. Truth be told, this looks sexy in my chalice. It sits patiently in black with an invisible finger calling me to come. Ahh, the pleasant aroma of fresh roast. One year in and it still holds weight.
Unfortunately, the robust factor is lost on my tongue, but fear not! This is still highly drinkable. Moreover, likeable. The chewy loveableness is not lost by any means as I still wish I had 5 more left to reflect over. Damn the atrocity.
Scott, to the store and buy more! Now!

Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 2,797 ratings.