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Bell's Java Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Bell's Java StoutBell's Java Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,264 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2264
Reviews: 1041
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.21%

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: 2,264 | Reviews: 1,041 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jhartley


3.56/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a low ball glass. Pkgd. 08/29/13

A: Pours a deep dark brown to black body with a 1/2 finger of a dark tan head. No real lacing.

S: Espresso, bakers chocolate, roasted malts, leather.

T/M: Exactly like the smell. Tons of espresso! Bittersweet chocolate, some deep roasted malts. Almost too much coffee. A nice full mouthfeel with a low amount of carbonation. Would like a little more sweetness to offset the bitter coffee

O: A terrific stout that does not disappoint with the coffee flavor! A little too much bitter coffee and not enough roasted malts for me, however still a good representation of a coffee stout.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2013 00:45:55 | More by jhartley
Photo of Lordquackingstic

New York

3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a goblet.

A: Obsidian black with a finger's mocha colored head. Decent lacing.

S: Hot chocolate, espresso, chocolate malted milk balls.

T: Sweet coffee tinged with milk chocolate, roasty malts, brown sugar, molasses.

M: Thick and full. Low carbonation. Lingering espresso aftertaste.

O: This is definitely a sipper. It's a tad too sweet for me, as I tend to like bitter coffee stouts, but it's still pretty awesome. This is definitely for those whole prefer sweeter coffee stouts.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2013 21:51:26 | More by Lordquackingstic
Photo of rudzud


4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Received in a trade and poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice deep rich brown nearly black hue with a one finger mocha head that fades to leave light lacing and a nice bubbly cloud.

S - Aromas explode with coffee here, nice and dark roast and black. There is actually so much coffee that it really overpowers everything else in this beer. Not too complex, though it is definitely in your face coffee.

T - Taste, like the nose, is a bit one sided. TONS of coffee, nice malty char, super faint chocolate. For the most part this delivers as a coffee stout, as the coffee shows up strong and potent. Tasty, but one dimensional.

M - Mouthfeel is pretty nice. Would like it to be a bit smoother but the alcohol is hidden nicely.

O - Overall, a tasty beer but a bit one dimensional. Still, it delivers on what it promises.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2013 01:05:39 | More by rudzud
Photo of AwYeh


4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pretty standard pleasant stout look; opaque black with some brown tinges and foam around the rim.

S: Huge coffee nose as you'd expect alongside dark chocolate, roasted and even burnt/smoky malts, maybe a hint of vanilla.

T: Really great bitterness coming off of the coffee here, blends perfectly with the dark chocolate and roasted malts that compose the majority of the rest of the taste. I'm kind of digging the burnt tones that I'm getting (whether from the malt or the coffee), as their strength helps maintain a long, tasty finish and also stops me from drinking the beer too fast. It's simple, but it's very good.

M: Pretty standard stout body- medium-thick, a little creamy.

O: Great cold weather beer- really glad I picked up a bottle. It might be a little too straightforward for me to enjoy drinking many back to back, but picking up a sixer to start the winter seems like a good start.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 03:34:39 | More by AwYeh
Photo of LambicPentameter


3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Apparently I've been on a big coffee stout kick lately. Part of the problem is that they share one thing in common with IPAs and other hop-forward beers: time passage is not their friend. IPAs lose hop characteristics with time, and coffee stouts see that amazing fresh-ground coffee taste fade over time. Therefore I want to try these before what I consider the best part becomes subdued. Enjoyed out of a brown 12 oz longneck bottle and poured into a 16 oz standard tumbler.

Appearance - As one would expect, the color is a deep, dark brown that borders on black. Little to no light gets through, even when held up directly in front of a light source. Some tree bark brown around the edges when in front of a light source. Atop the body sits a two-finger head of dirty tan with a mix of large and small bubbles, giving me the impression of the foam on a soft drink when you pour it a little too fast, but more dense. Foam slowly dissipates, eventually settling on a fog-like layer of foam across the top, with silky but short sheets of foam creeping up a little on the side of the glass. Lacing is sparse but sticky.

Smell - Fresh coffee grounds and roasted beans. Basically that overpowering roasted goodness that you associate with coffee being brewed. I can almost hear the *shoosh* of the coffee maker pulling the water up to push it through the filter. Bottom line is that this is a rather single-note aroma, but one that won't bother any coffee enthusiast. I enjoy it, but it lacks the complexity of some of my favorite coffee brews.

Taste - To my complete lack of surprise, the taste is very single-note as well, although in addition to the dominating iced coffee notes I get, there are some flavor profiles that I tend to associate more with the stout/porter style. Impressions of bittersweet chocolate and some subtle nuttiness, but again the predominant characteristic is that of fresh-brewed coffee. It really muscles everything else to the side, but also has the benefit of concealing the 7.5% ABV quite well.

Mouthfeel - Medium-to-heavy bodied and moderate carbonation with a semisweet finish.

Overall, a tasty coffee beer, but admittedly one-dimensional. Certainly one that I'll probably pick up a bottle or two each season, but nothing mind-blowing. There are other coffee stouts I'd gladly pick up first based on price and taste. Still a solid offering from Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2013 17:54:08 | More by LambicPentameter
Photo of CHADMC3


4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black body beneath the abundant mocha head which slowly dissolves to leave a constant ring of lacing around the glass.

The aroma is pretty darn straight forward. Copious amounts of roasted coffee and roasted malts, which border on smoked/charred at times.

The flavor is similar. This brew is just delicious coffee through and through with big roasted malt and maybe just a hint of chocolate sweetness.

Fuller in body with medium carbonation and a nice coffee bitter finish.

As advertised, plenty of java. This beer is straightforward and in my opinion nails the coffee stout. It is just shy of Imperial status, but on the bigger side of American Stouts.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2013 02:31:02 | More by CHADMC3
Photo of Fieldzy27


4.46/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into imperial pint glass

A-poured a 1/4 inch thick mocha colored head with big bubbles and a sticky texture, the actual beer is extremely dark, black with hints of reddish brown on the outskirts when held to the light. Not much light penetration at all though this is a dark one.

S-Smells of well roasted coffee, no burnt aroma only roasty goodness maybe a hint of some anise type flavor and subtle notes of cocoa. Smells extremely appetizing. Could have a little more oomph though just a tad subdued. Really hope the rest of this beer follows suit because the nose is a huge tease.

T- Now for my favorite part, dark roasted coffee hits first, washes over the tongue bringing waves of bittersweet dark chocolate tumbling after in a fanfare of rich clean sweetness. A perfect balance of strong coffee flavor and massive amounts of cocoa fighting for center stage. Towards the swallow the sweetness dies down and makes way for a small amount of tannin coffee bitterness which leaves the mouth on the dry side. Really this is not a complex beer, more of a beer that states what it is clearly on the label and delivers exactly that to perfection.

M- Carbonation is full and smooth. No fizzy beer here. I think luscious best describes it. The mouthfeel is clean and doesn't really coat the mouth or hang around. The tannin in the flavor is present here but just a tad. Dont think you would notice if you weren't looking and is by no means a distraction.

Overall- Wonderful well done beer. This was crafted with care and that clearly shows in its presentation. Thats to be expected from Bells as most of their offerings are top examples in the country although some of their more outside the box beers tend to be a little off balance or fall short of an amazing idea (hell hath no fury). Cant ask for too much more from a beer this style, only hope is that one day I find it on Nitro.

SIDE NOTE: just realized the ABV of this is not apparent in the profile of the beer what so ever, drinker be warned this one is sneaky.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2013 23:35:27 | More by Fieldzy27
Photo of stercomm


3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

A - Dark mahogany in color with a thick 2 finger mocha head, lots of lacing as it slowly receded.

S - Lovely overpowering coffee smell along with dark roasted malts, a bit of chocolate

T - Very nice taste profile sweet, creamy chocolate with lots of coffee

M - Creamy, medium bodied medium carbonation

O - A great stout to have on a cold, snowy late afternoon.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2013 21:58:48 | More by stercomm
Photo of krustster


3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Not a lot to say about this one, if you like coffee then you will probably like this because that's exactly what it tastes like. As some reviewers have mentioned, it's a bit of a one-trick pony/beer because the coffee taste and smell is about the only thing you will get from it. I can't call it a bad beer by any means but it's limited. Pretty much like drinking a cold cup of strong black coffee with some alcohol and carbonation in it. Obviously I'm spoiled by Breakfast Stout which I've been drinking a lot of lately, and it's not a very fair comparison, but at the price this one is going for I would have liked some more balancing elements. Strong, bitter coffee taste, period.

It's not really for me, still better than a lot of beverages I've had, but if you're a coffee fanatic this might be one for you. I can't mark it down too much because it still seems like they hit what they were aiming at with this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2013 03:18:40 | More by krustster
Photo of thecheapies


3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very dark brown beer. Very little head. Just a thin film. Not a looker.

Solid coffee and malt aromas with a black (no cream) vibe. Somewhat earthy with spent grounds, roastiness, and a hint of leather. Slightly citric hop reminds me of the sliver of orange peel I had served in a cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, the last time I had it.

Robusto coffee, smooth roastiness, vanilla bean, hearty maltiness, spicy citrus hops, chicory, and baker's chocolate. Slight hint of root vegetable. A very tasty and appealing stout.

Feels soft, and besides a light bristle from a light but coarse carbonation, almost velvety. Easy to drink due to relatively low alcohol presence.

Serving type: on-tap

11-24-2013 04:59:13 | More by thecheapies
Photo of andrewjraab


3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pitch black - opaque with big khacki head that rises after the bubbles settle. Good Lacing.

S - Roasted Coffee Beans, dark chocolate, malts, burnt toast, anise.

T - Coffee beans, dark chocolate, malted milk balls that melt in your mouth, medium bodied velvety mouth feel that fades a bit with a dry aftertaste.

O - Really solid. I'm glad a gave it a shot. One of the better Coffee stouts.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2013 02:32:54 | More by andrewjraab
Photo of PaulyB83


4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Guinness glass. Bottled 09/19/13

A- Pours like dark espresso with slight clarity on the edges revealing a deep brown. A small dark khaki head the dissipates to a ring.

S- Coffee is the main aroma, with some acid and chocolate and faint alcohol

T- Big coffee, acidic coffee notes, dark chocolate, the ABV is hidden well. Pleasant bitter coffee aftertaste.

M- Smooth and thick

O- Reminds me very much of Founder Breakfast Stout but without the complementing sweet chocolate notes and creaminess from the oatmeal. This delivers on the coffee and a great example what midwest brewery stouts are about, big flavors. IMO there aren't many breweries that can hold a candle to Bell's stout lineup. Kinda wish they would swap out the Double Cream stout they put in Black Note with this.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 23:31:13 | More by PaulyB83
Photo of Jacurdy60


4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours a pitch black color with a towering toffee colored head. Retention is fair. Head leaves a nice latticework of foam on the sides of the glass.

S-Bold coffee, roasted barley, freshly toasted bread, a bit of spiciness from the booze

T-Coffee is the overarching note on the palate. Fades into a nice spiced finish from the booze with a lingering roasted flavor

MF-Rich and full bodied with a full, satisfying finish

O-The best Bell's beer I've had so far. I'm a sucker for coffee based stouts and this one hits the nail on the head.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2013 18:38:17 | More by Jacurdy60
Photo of KYGunner


3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This coffee stout holds a coffee like color with dark black hue and it's topped with a nicely thick, yet bubbly head.

The scent is all coffee and overly appropriate. The roast is a little soft but the coffee bean is ever present. Some of the malt comes through but I don't catch any other stout character.

The flavors are far more towards the roasted coffee character, so much so that it takes over. This is not like Averys Tweak but it is an overly appropriate and smooth version of the coffee stout.

The feel is rather dry, not astringent, but almost like a coffee without any additives. It has a neutral carbonation level and really moves through the palate easy.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2013 00:49:24 | More by KYGunner
Photo of GreesyFizeek

New York

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Old Toad, in Rochester, NY.

Pours a thick dark black. 2 inch almost as dark head, with good lacing down the glass.

Smells like roasted, almost burnt coffee.

Tastes include roasty coffee, used coffee grounds, earthy coffee flavors, espresso- you get the idea. This is insanely coffee forward. Some of the coffee flavors aren't entirely to my liking, but it's done well. Very bitter coffee flavor. Some milk chocolate rounds things out a little bit.

Full, creamy mouthfeel- low carbonation. This could be ok on nitro, might smooth out the acridity of the burnt coffee beans I'm tasting.

An extreme coffee stout in my eyes, needs some more flavors to balance it out.

Serving type: on-tap

10-26-2013 06:40:23 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of BradtheGreat7


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

Going through my notebook and adding reviews that need to be added. Review taken Winter of 2012.

12 oz brown bottle with Bell's style labeling and artwork. I guess it's Mr. Java dancing around. I'm not sure. Good looking display nonetheless. Poured this into a Bell's pint glass.

A - black colored stout with dark brown cutting the corners. Head pours nice but quickly settles into a fairly thin ring of lace leaving just a touch of stick.

S - whoa.. I've only just started to enjoy coffee over the last few years, so idk much about it, but I swear this thing smells just like freshly ground black coffee beans. Big roasted malt blends well with the massive whiff of coffee bean.

T - fresh black coffee beans, roasted malts, semi sweet mocha and a whole lotta java coffee notes. This is for those of you who love coffee flavored stouts. It's really the most coffee tasting stout I've ever had. With a bitter finish.

M - pretty good thickness. Not as Bell's thick as some stuff I've had from them, but still a pretty good texture. It's coffee flavors coat the mouth with hints of roasty malt notes to sort of balance the overall flavor out. If you like coffee this brew was made just for you.

O - coffee beers aren't really my thing. I love a few of them, but this thing is what it says. It has a crazy amount of Java character and is more coffee flavored than stout flavored. Still a very well crafted stout that I'm certain a lot of people would enjoy. Definitely one that can be broke out during a big breakfast on a cold winter morning.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2013 14:10:23 | More by BradtheGreat7
Photo of jroberts8811


3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-pours black with 1-finger cinnamon head.
S-nose is coffee, roast malt, burned notes, char
T-roasted malt, char, coffee finish, bitter.
M- medium to full, moderate carbonation
O- glad I tried, not my favorite by far. Glad I have 5 more to trade away

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2013 23:16:07 | More by jroberts8811
Photo of tillmac62

South Carolina

3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 8/30/13. Coffee is the predominate flavor with a medium body. A heavier texture and additional malt sweetness (higher malt bill/flaked oats) would improve this beer from very good to outstanding. The coffee needs balanced with sweetness. To taste what I'm talking about, pour a half and half of Java and Expedition - the result is an OUTSTANDING coffee stout.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2013 19:58:48 | More by tillmac62
Photo of AMG55


4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I have a soft spot for coffee beers and barrel aged coffee beers as well. This was surprisingly good. I had two of these last year one fresh and one I aged a little bit for 4 months. This is definitely better fresh.

Appearance: Very dark brown with little light showing through. A dark tan head appears but quickly disappears, only to remain as a tan ring of small bubbles in the snifter.

Smell: Brewed coffee dominates the nose, roast characteristics and a slight hint of dark/bittersweet chocolate. I could really smell this for a while.

Taste: Very coffee heavy which is what I like. Slight bitter chocolate taste on the back end. It's a very good coffee beer. Straightforward but slight nuances push it ahead of the pack.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and very balanced. Not too much coffee but enough to satisfy fans of the style.

I for one seek this out every year, it's too good to pass up. Drink it fresh to really enjoy the coffee flavor.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2013 15:53:58 | More by AMG55
Photo of ISmith87


3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had this a long time ago when I was first trying some Michigan craft brews. It was way too early for me to like it back then but now I've grown to appreciate it more...

The appearance is nice with a dark brown/ black color with a half finger of off white/tan head at first that dissipates down to a thin sheet of bubbles.

The smell is mainly coffee with roasted malts, espresso and chocolate there too. It's really nice, like a relaxing coffee shop.

The taste is a little one dimensional, with coffee at the forefront and then some roasty dark malt flavors as well.

Mouth feel - medium, alc covered , roasted coffee aftertaste

Overall this beer is good but like the rest of Bell's dark beers it is so overshadowed by Expedition Stout.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2013 00:53:26 | More by ISmith87
Photo of chefhatt


3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a very black color body with a 2' tan head that lays down quickly to a thin lace around the top. The smell is of coffee and dark chocolate malt.
The taste is chocolate and malt up front, followed by the coffee flavor. As it warms up the coffee becomes more balanced with the chocolate and the malt. the mouthfeel has a little heavyness to it and the mouthfeel is really good.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2013 19:31:43 | More by chefhatt
Photo of SHODriver


3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: poured black into a pint glass with a small dark tan head that was quick to fade to a collar
S: smells of coffee, bitter dark chocolate and roast malt
T: tastes of coffee, roasty malt, and dark chocolate. swallow is more coffee and roasted malt
M: medium mouthfeel with soft carbonation and a slightly drying finish
O: overall, pretty solid. drinks easy enough with good flavors and nothing offensive about it. good coffee flavor but probably a bit one sided

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2013 05:11:44 | More by SHODriver
Photo of Fcolle2


4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours dark black and slightly thick with a 2 finger tan head with great retention and lots of lacing all around the glass.

S: lots of dark roasted malt with toffee undertones. Hint of coffee are defiantly present on the front end.

T: loads of coffee upfront that persists into the bite from the roasted malt. The roasted character is really dominant in both the malt and coffee flavors however not overbearing. Lots of nice bitterness from the hops.

M: decently thick. Carbonation is there but very faint.

O: really good stout dominated by roast coffee characters. Great if you like strong coffee.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2013 02:34:58 | More by Fcolle2
Photo of Roman5150


4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

bottle into chalice

appearance: black, slight off white 1 finger head, very intricate lacing

smell: very coffee/espresso forward (iced coffee to be specific), roasted earthy malts and dark chocolate/caramel, milk

taste: This is the most coffee forward beer i've ever tasted, tastes like a very dark and black java roast as the name would imply. Strong roasted malt, follows the nose, and s bitter hoppy dark chocolate finish. Very drinkable, yet also pleasantly bitter and dry from the earthy hops and coffee flavors.

mouthfeel: decent amount of carbonation, very thick full beer, feels like an iced coffee

overall: This is almost more coffee than beer, if you like black coffee you will like this. I prefer Stone's Espresso IRS over this, but I could easily drink this every morning. Better than Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout. Maybe not for everyone, but if you like strong coffee flavored beers Bells hit this one spot on.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2013 07:00:02 | More by Roman5150
Photo of BeerKangaroo


4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanx Shamrock071521:

Packaged 10/15/12:

Into a pint glass:

A: pitch black body, half finger white head that quickly dies and has some light trickling around the sides of the glass

S: dark roasted coffee beans, super light chocolate

T: bittersweet and combined very well through the previously mentioned flavors, bitter aftertaste, dry finish

M: medium, fairly sessionable, smooth, ABV wasn't felt

O: I think this is very well done for a coffee-forward American Stout and wish I could get it in Maine as I would get it again

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2013 23:54:21 | More by BeerKangaroo
Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 2,264 ratings.