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

Not Rated.
Bell's Java StoutBell's Java Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,118 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,118
Hads: 3,083
Avg: 3.96
pDev: 18.94%
Wants: 181
Gots: 375 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,118 | Hads: 3,083
Photo of TX-Badger
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with tan head. Coffee, espresso, raw dark cocoa, and roasted malt on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with a nice lightly sweet chocolate and coffee note.

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Photo of Jack_Malts
4/5  rDev +1%

Nice dark brown pour with a 1 finger chocolate milk head.
This goes dark chocolate and freshly ground coffee for broke! Not particularly complex but really nails the coffee flavors, and the chocolate flavors are a nice backing. If you're a coffee stout fiend, this is something to seek out. If not, grab a bottle anyways, just know what to expect. Very delicious!

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Photo of mr-jj
3.06/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter from a 12 oz bottle. Brought back from a friend on his trip to Ohio. Bottled date is 8/29/13.

Color is very dark brown with a one finger tan head. Good lacing. Smells like dark roasted, almost burned, coffee. Flavor follows the nose - lots of dark roasted coffee with a little roasted caramel malt. Finish is bitter coffee. Body is medium with good carbonation.

Overall, lots of coffee, not much stout.

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Photo of biegaman
3.89/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've tried so-called "blonde" coffee beers and I'm still unsure what to think about them. Something as dark and inky-black as Bell's Java Stout, however, instills complete confidence - reason dictates anything that looks this much like coffee will likely strongly resemble it in other ways too.

We often say that beers have suggestions of coffee or "coffee-like" qualities, but there's no mistaking the literal addition of actual coffee in this one; it's like pressing your nose straight up against the filter while it's still dripping. I can't even detect the malts.

Same goes for the taste. Talk about 'fresh-pressed'! This much roasted coffee bean flavour doesn't leave much room for malt to make its impact. Overall, there are traces of dark caramel and hazelnut-chocolate fudge that add some buttery richness and dimension, but they're easy to dismiss amidst such a formidable, pronounced coffee character.

The best coffee beers manage the impressive trick of balancing roast coffee with roast malt flavours. This one does no such thing. Normally I'd be tempted to bash such a recipe for tasting only like flat coffee, but since I made sure to wait for a night I was craving coffee, I've actually enjoyed it. Make no mistake, however: this has no more depth than a kiddie pool.

Bell's Java Stout is a total delight – but only if you like coffee. And even then it's not a beer for wimps; you can appreciate the 7.5% alcohol of this stout even if you can't all its other qualities. This mouth-drying, fully saturated, intensely coffee-toned beer is a demanding ordeal so know that before opening. A caffeine addict's dream - no more needs to be said about it.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2014-11-23 -- review entered from notes.
12oz bottle poured into a little plastic hotel cup. Packaged 2013-08-29 -- surprisingly old. Not deeply concerned for a stout.

Pours black with a medium head. Fades fast. Fair carbonation. Smell is coffee and little else. Yeast and grain.

Taste is nice -- milk stout sweet with a strong but not overpowering coffee presence. Mild but good.

Mouthfeel is medium weight. Overall, it's very nice.

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Photo of dmgeng
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

One of the new seasonal offerings at my liquor store and was highly recommend by a coworker.

A - Dark black color. It pours beautifully with dark brown head and nice lacing.

S - Strong stout smell with roasted, chocolate, and coffee being the key players. Not the most overwhelming but there is no mistaking this beer for a good one.

T - Very much the same as it smells with the full roastiness coming to the front and then the coffee and then the sweeter chocolate, malt, and caramel following suit. I really enjoy how strong and pungent the flavors hit the palate. It is not as strong as some of the big imperial stouts out there but is a nice mix of dry roast, sweet chocolate, and flavorful coffee. I'm picking up a distinct saltiness in the middle of the entire glass but it could just be my palate. This beer reminds me of an extremely strong, dark coffee that was long brewed with very soft water.

M - moderate to high mouth-feel with light carbonation. It pours pretty think and definitely doesn't want to leave you after a drink.

Overall, a great american stout that is heavy on the roasted coffee flavors. Like I said it is really similar to a very deep roasted coffee with all of the flavors that you would expect and more. I liked it but I really enjoy extra dark roasted coffee. I have had several coffee stouts with varying degrees of coffee flavor and this one has the darkest flavor of all that I have tried. If you haven't tried any coffee beers this one could be a little heavy but I enjoyed it. And it doesn't have that typical "cold and old" coffee flavor which is a very good thing.

Glass- Shaker pint

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Photo of ClavisAurea
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

Fridge temps in a snifter glass; bottle dated 09/2014.

Appearance: Blackish brown with little carbonation. There is a very small brown head that disappeared pretty quickly. It poured kinda thin, nothing like an Imperial stout but this doesn't claim to be one. You can see light through the sides and a dark brown hue.

Nose: Burnt black coffee similar to the kind you would get at church or a auto repair shop. Little dark chocolate, roasted black malts.

Taste: Very nice but thin like the appearance, very coffee forward, the burnt taste really comes out, this is almost like a dunkle rauchbier, harsh alcohol in the beginning that fades to a warming feeling, slightly fruity, dark fruit, dates but without the sweetness, I caught a bit of a milky tang for a second there but that could be a fluke.

Overall: Well, I have 5 of these left and the website says they can be cellared for a year. Hopefully they improve with a few months on them. I'll check this one out in the new year.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter (13473 PCKGD 9/11/14 B)

A: Very dark, brown, pitch black in the center, but light bleeds through around the edges, unlike with Expedition. No collar or lacing or head.
S: This is a lot more black coffee than the Double Cream Stout. A bit of rubbing alcohol but a lot of roast.
T: A nice bit of hop bitterness in here with black coffee and creamer in the mix. This definitely is one of the better coffee stouts that I've had, especially for a non-RIS or double/imperial stout.
M: Smooth, silky and a bit creamy. Only a bit of carbonation felt on the swallow.
O: I wouldn't be surprised if they accidentally filled the Special Double Cream Stout in Java bottles and vice versa. Pairs well with M&M's. This is definitely the third best of their regular stouts. This will probably be my first and last breakfast stout.

Expedition/Black Note > Java > Special Double Cream/Kalamazoo > Cherry

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Photo of SomethingClever
3.89/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into Chimay Chalice 2013 bottle

A: Dark coloring light head nice film on the top

S: coffee and earth some charr

T: it tastes like coffee then dirt which is odd but it has a dirt component to it then still coffee even with a year

M: medium bodied nothing amazing

O: it's just ok it's another one of those coffee stouts that fresh it just overwhelms with coffee then it's like oh you wanted a beer hmm nope just coffee.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. Dated 9/11/2014. Poured into a Bell's snifter 11/16/2014.

A- Dark black body. One finger dark mocha head with good retention time. Just enough to appreciate, and just enough that it doesn't get into your way. Medium-thin collar remains after the head dissipates. Not much lacing to be found. [4]

S- Aroma of a freshly opened bag of unground coffee beans. Deep, smoky, roasty, acidic, but coarse in the sense that is slightly different from freshly ground coffee. Very coffee-forward stout with a bit of milk chocolate and roasted malt. Solid depth and intensity but I wouldn't mind a bit more of the base stout to be present in the nose. [3.75]

F- Like in the nose, there is an ungodly amount of rich coffee bean flavours. The balance is more apparent on the palate- nice roasted malt, milk chocolate, cocoa stand out quite a bit more on the palate which nicely balances out the coffee bean flavours- otherwise I might as well suck on coffee beans, right? Nice rich chocolate goodness in the middle with a mix of bitter black coffee and milky sweetness on the finish. [4]

M- Medium bodied with a nice substance to it. Smooth, just the right amount of carbonation to keep the flavours at the forefront, with a nice bittersweet finish, combining black coffee and milk to make for a nice Cafe Americano. [4]

O- Very nice coffee stout from Bell's. In my opinion, this is a very good coffee stout overall; it delivers very nicely on the coffee intensity with a proper roasted malt backbone to balance out the astringency of the coffee. A must-try for coffee drinking craft beer aficionados. [4.25]

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Photo of ttroha
4/5  rDev +1%

Bottle from Maltitude. Pours dark black with brown head. Aroma of espresso, roasted malts, and chocolate. Taste is very strong of coffee and roasted malts. Like drinking warm, alcoholic coffee. Heavy bodied. Very good.

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Photo of blbarnett3
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Poured into a shaker pint. Excellent coffee aroma. This is a nice smooth stout with an assertive coffee character, but still well integrated. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.44/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color. The head is a finger high and tan in shade. While it lacks in creaminess somewhat, the retention is...okay, that isn't great, either. It does leave some lacing on the glass, if nothing else. (3)

Smell: I love black coffee in a stout - this delivers. Not spectacularly, but it's there. The coffee characteristics are slightly offset by touches of sweet chocolate, licorice, and brown sugar. Only thing is that the nose could be more intense overall. (3.25)

Taste: No surprises, the initial flavor is black coffee. Minor amounts of licorice sweetness (as typical of many of Bell's stouts) round out the middle, before the finish and aftertaste transform into a nice roasted edge. In many ways, it's pretty close to a glass of black coffee - it doesn't seem traditionally roasted in its flavor, rather it's bitter/dry only from the coffee. Sure it's simple, but it achieves exactly what I want from a coffee stout. (3.5)

Mouthfeel: The first thing I notice is how well carbonated it is - in fact, it helps give it an illusion of creaminess when left to swirl inside the mouth. It's not a bone dry beer, but the sweetness isn't bothersome here. And yes, it's easy to drink. (3.75)

Overall: While it isn't my favorite coffee stout, I still like it a lot. It's pretty damn close to drinking straight black coffee (whereas something like FBS is pretty much like a nice latte). Still a worthy offering from a brewery I'm not always impressed by. (3.5)

3.45/5: Nice black coffee bomb

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Photo of Tylertut
4.21/5  rDev +6.3%

This beer pours a very opaque black with a light brown head. The aroma is obviously coffee, but has some dark chocolate with a hint of fruit. The taste is a lot of cofee but has a little molasses or caramel notes as well.
Overall a solid coffee stout that drinks like a higher ABV beer that'd I'd buy again.

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Photo of MasterfulIdiot
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Poured into a Riedel tulip. The liquid is pitch black, and the pour kicks up a modest dark brown head and leaves a good amount of lace.

Aroma is mega fruity and earthy coffee. Little bit of charred aroma, and a nice malty flavor that takes a backseat to the nice coffee flavors. Really great.

Flavor follows the nose - lots of fruity and earthy coffee flavors backed by hints of milk chocolate. There's a really nice creamy flavor, really feeling like a wonderfully done iced mocha drink made with really great coffee. The dark fruit flavors they coaxed out of the coffee beans are really incredible. Aftertaste is even more wonderful coffee - little bit of sweetness but nicely balanced by a little bit of roasty bitterness.

Mouthfeel is full-bodied, with some really great creamy carbonation. It is wonderfully silky and smooth. Nice and thick without being cloying or over-the-top.

Overall, really great coffee stout - gives its obvious competitor (FBS) a pretty serious run for its money with its better-developed coffee flavors. Really, really great.

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Photo of hophugger
3.27/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Nice deep chocolate color with decent head and lacing. Aroma is of sweet malts, coffee and chcocolate. Taste is a hit of roasted coffee beans right up front, followed by some sweet and bitter malts and then a kick of alcohol. Feels ok on the palate. The bitterness is just a touch too much, but overall, this stout balances pretty good

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Photo of pat61
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%

A winter seasonal pouring black and creamy with a nice tan head. Has a big coffee nose and palate with rich roast flavors accented by the coffee. Perfect balance between the coffee, the roast malts and the alcohol. Chewy with medium low carbonation.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Quite black beer with a thick, lasting, dense head of tan foam.
S: Highly roasted aroma.
T: Flavor follows the smell, with a pungent amount of roast. One of the most roasted stouts I've had in a long time, in fact. It's not bad, but rather one-dimensional.
M: Full-bodied.

Eh, not something I think I'll go for again.

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Photo of Gryphon69
3.41/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle

A- Near black, light moca colored head about 1 finger high. Light lacing, visable bubbles up the sides.

S- Heavy coffee up front, some malts, bread, muted chocolates.

T- Coffee, malts, some chocolate, strong coffee finish with a bitter acidy finish

M- Medium, slick, decent.

O- like the smell, taste was somewhat of a let down, didn't care for the bitter acid like finish. Coming from one of my favorite brewerys this was a disappointment. Maybe it sat to long in my beer celler, will get a fresher one and re-review at some point.

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Photo of larryarms847
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Midnight black in appearance and what I would have a hard time calling a "head" dissipated faster than it foamed up.

Smells heavy on the coffee side, holy shit. A definite pleaser for any coffee fan.

Meh, not really impressed, not really let down, really just a meh coffee brew.


Overall, not totally impressed, but I'm glad I took the time to try it as it did go down pretty easy.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Packaged on 8/29/13. Almost a year old when reviewed. Poured into a chalice.

An excellent “normal” coffee stout. So much coffee flavor I’m worried I may not be able to sleep tonight  This bottle was almost a year old. It doesn’t seem to be any worse for age. Only criticism could be the excessively dry finish. 4.25

A – Pours an opaque black, a little viscous, with a one-finger brown mousey head. Good lacing. 4.5

S – Coffee, coffee, coffee! Yummy! Followed by dark chocolate and roasted malts. 4.5

T – Roasted malt bitterness, roasted coffee, a slight burntness. 4.25

MF – Smooth, medium-bodied with a super dry finish. A bit less carbonated than expected. A round start with a prickly thin finish. 3.25

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip glass

A: Black with a tan one finger head that dissipates down to big bubbles. Light lacing.

S: Picking up coffee/espresso and dark chocolate. Malts are present, too.

T: Damn smooth. A terrific espresso and dark chocolate mix, like in the nose. The coffee isn't overwhelming, like I had expected. Very subtle with a terrific balance with the semi-sweet chocolate. A sweet finish.

M: Medium to heavy with medium carbonation.

O: Another great offering from Bell's. This is how I like my coffee beers: with a subtle blend that doesn't take your head off. A nice brunch-time waker-upper.

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Photo of barczar
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque onyx with a frothy tan head that leaves sheets of lacing.

Bittersweet chocolate, with sweet malt and hints of roast dominates. Chocolate actually outweighs coffee in the aroma.

Flavor reveals substantial chocolate, but there's significant roast. Coffee dominates the aftertaste, finishing slightly charred, but not acrid.

Body is fairly full, with carbonation a touch light, and modest alcohol warmth.

The chocolate certainly is my favorite part of this brew. Malt backbone is rich, and the coffee isn't overwhelming for this non coffee lover.

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Photo of Carb-Overlord
3.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bells has pulled off a rather outstanding coffee stout. If I were a coffee drinker, I believe I would be having this every morning before work.

A: This pours a pitch black color with a 1/4" tan head that fizzles down to a thin line. This thin line stayed for about the first third of the beer before disappearing. Color looked rich and black.

S: Yeasty morning coffee. It truly smells like a pot of coffee that someone laced with bread yeast.

T: Coffee, coffee, & coffee. There is only one dimension to this stout; coffee lovers will appreciate this beer. The aftertaste lets in the roasted grain flavors of a good stout. I personally don't drink coffee (I appreciate the smell & flavoring in foods & other beverages). I wish this could have been blended a little better to meet my own tastes, but at the same time I appreciate extreme flavors in other beverages/foods and believe this was intentionally done. I believe they specifically and successfully brewed a pot/barrel of beer coffee.

M: Very good mouthfeel. Effervescence is right on for a stout; it feels smooth but crisp enough to not be boring. Some coffee stouts get too smooth to the point where I wonder if they've gone flat; not so with this Bells.

O: I would recommend this beer to any coffee enthusiast. I think the price tag is a little steep for what you're getting, but it is certainly worth a try.

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Photo of vitALEity
3.74/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Very dark, nice 2" tan head with great retention and lacing.

S: Pronounced coffee smell with roasted and sweet malts

T: Light coffee, some chocolate milk, burnt toast.

M: Kind of thin, not too carbonated.

O: Its a decent coffee stout but I would have like to have seen a fuller body and more complexity in the taste and aroma.

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Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 1,118 ratings.