Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

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

1,097 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,097
Hads: 2,976
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 18.99%
Wants: 167
Gots: 325 | FT: 11
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Java Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,097 | Hads: 2,976
Photo of brewskifan55
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

 608 characters

Photo of barczar
3.99/5  rDev +1%
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.

 563 characters

Photo of Carb-Overlord
3.96/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

 1,377 characters

Photo of vitALEity
3.74/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

 334 characters

Photo of barhoc11
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Dark as a coffee stout should be

S: You smell coffee, not hints of coffee, but actual coffee. This is one of the best traits of this beer

T: Tastes like a nice smooth and dark blend of coffee and dark malts, its really a match made in heaven

M: Just as it should be, not too carbonated

O: This is my favorite everyday stout. I love the coffee taste so if that is not your thing, this beer is not for you. If you are looking for a good coffee stout, try this beer and you won't be disappointed, it is what it says it is.

 526 characters

Photo of EvoRich
4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The first Bells I've had was the Expedition Stout. I must say, that stout opened my eyes to this brewery, and I haven't been let down since, though I will say, the Expedition is the best thus far.

Look: Very little light can pass through. I just shined a bright flashlight through the opposite side of the glass and it turns only slightly red. A very dark stout.

Smell: Coffee right away. I'm not very sophisticated, so I don't smell much else. Just coffee.

Taste: Coffee. Probably one of the most up front coffee type stouts I've had. There is no mistake this stout is brewed with coffee. You won't think "is this brewed with coffee?" There is no question about it. I'm a big coffee drinker so I am very drawn to coffee stouts.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied at best. Maybe a little thinner feeling.

Overall: This is a very good stout. I would most definitely drink this again. I may buy it again if I see it. But I likely won't be on the hunt for it.

 955 characters

Photo of itsscience
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Almost pitch black with a tiny bit of red around the edges and half a finger of khaki head. The nose is a bouquet of coffee shop aromas including coffee beans, vanilla, chocolate, cream, and roasted grains and malts. Coffee comes through big on the taste with a bitterness that is attenuated by a sweetness from unfermented sugars. I also get some milk chocolate and a nutty character. Feels nice and creamy on the palate.

 422 characters

Photo of BeerEngineer
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

General: I got this in a bottle trade with a friend a while back. It has been relaxing in the fridge for a couple of weeks now. I poured this into a bottle logic lab glass for the tasting.

Appearance: Great dark black color with a tan to light brown head. the head is fairly persistent and has great lacing.

Aroma: big coffee aroma but there are nuances in here like chocolate and vanilla that are really nice. Great malty aroma too

Mouthfeel: The body on this beer is thick and creamy. There is a drying bitterness to this beer also that's really nice. The carbonation is moderate to moderately high.

Taste: Flavor lets me down a little bit. It's not a nice smooth coffee and malt flavor, there is a strange bitter twinge to it, most likely from the coffee. It's good, but not one of my favorite chocolate stouts.

Overall: This is a good stout for breakfast on a brew day or on a golf course. It's not something to grab every day. There are better coffee stouts out there, this one is just OK.

 1,002 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours near black with some cola brown edging where light can penetrate. The head maxes out at a finger's width and shows good retention before dying to a thin layer of suds across the surface. Very little in the way of lacing, but what's there is spotty

Smell - Prominent coffee aroma complimented by a light cocoa note, giving life to a mocha-like scent.

Taste - Kicks in with a notable but not overwhelming roast coffee flavor, followed quickly by some milk chocolate creaminess and faint caramel. Finish teeters on the balance of roast and cream.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied and creamy as hell. Light carbonation that gives it just enough life. Goes down stupid smooth. I could chug this if it weren't so darn savory... and my only bottle!

Overall - Delicious coffee stout. Quite reminiscent of the Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout. I'd buy it if it were available in California, but wouldn't trade for it again, if only because it tastes so close to the aforementioned brew.

 986 characters

Photo of TooGood
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a jet black with minimal head, but excellent lacing. Smells like fine roasted coffee with dark chocolate. Taste is similar of coffee and subtle chocolate, very roasty. The mouthfeel is quite good, very smooth and full bodied. I had this beer for the first time fresh and only thought it was ok, now having a bottle with over a year on it has really helped it to fill out. It seems to have become much more smooth and rich, especially in the mouth feel. I'm changing my rating from a 3.5 to 4.25. I'm going to have to go find some more to stash away for a year or so.

 579 characters

Photo of cjgiant
3.76/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

After rating the first two components, I had high expectations for the rest of the beer. Unfortunately, the taste and feel didn't rise to the richness of the look and smell.

A: black with tan foamy head that clinched to the edge of the glass
S: the smell is the classic and lovely smell of chocolate and coffee, the former slightly more prevalent than the first. There is also a smokiness that adds cigarette notes to complete the old coffeehouse imagery; this smell becomes more prevalent as the beer warms
T/M: unfortunately, the taste misses the richness, being more a stringently bitter and less rich than expected. The tobacco notes are stronger in the taste, and not as smokey. However, I don't think the taste itself is far off, but I was hoping for more body in the feel. The beer feels a bit light on the tongue, although the tobacco and bitter coffee tastes do cling to the mouth in a mildly oily way.

 912 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at The Barleycorn Asheville. Served in a pint glass.

A- Pours a 99% opaque black color with a 1/2 inch tan head that doesn't retain long before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheer sheet of surface foam. Non-resilient lacing slides quickly down the glass.

S- Mocha, caramel and burnt sugar is what most of the aroma is comprised of.

T- Iced black coffee with moderate sweetness. Also some chocolate and vanilla. Lingering bitter dark roast. Also some hop bitterness in there. Raisin aftertaste.

M- Nice and creamy with a thick viscosity. Medium-low carbonation and a full body.

O- I like this quite a bit better on-tap than out of the bottle. Not one of the best coffee stouts out there but it's worth going for if you've got a hankering for coffee and it's the only one on the list.

 831 characters

Photo of mrjmann
4.8/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Love this beer... my absolute favorite shelf stout, although I wish it was a bit easier on the wallet. Pours dark brown with little head, great coffee smell. Taste is all coffee, all day... some chocolate and vanilla but coffee dominant. Moderate mouthfeel which suits the flavor appropriately - not too heavy, not too thin.. just right. I love coffee stouts so this beer is amazing and am actually surprised it doesn't have higher review scores. Seek it out if you haven't already tried it, another great Bell's offering.

 522 characters

Photo of alphagnome
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black body allows absolutely no light to pierce its walls. Light brown head fades to a ring rather quickly and leaves minimal lacing behind.

Exactly what you'd expect from a beer called "Java Stout." Bold, dark roasted coffee. A hint of malt and nuttiness, but the aroma is dominated by fragrant coffee.

Not to sound like a broken record here, BUT... this is exactly what you should expect (and get) from a beer with the word "Java" in its name. Fresh brewed, BOLD coffee. It's bitter, but not out of place for the style. A ight sweetness can be found on the tail-end. Dates can also be found as it warms. It's a bit boozy, but does not spoil the fun. If you are sipping slowly (and you should be), you get a pleasant, coffee-laden aftertaste.

For a stout, I found the body to be a bit disappointing. The medium body is a bit on the watery side and it's far from the smoothest stout out there. Carbonation is next to impossible to detect. Finish is a bit chewy and walks a fine line between dry and semi-sweet.

Another fantastic beer from the gang at Bell's Brewery! Puts most other coffee-infused beers to shame. Easy to drink (and enjoy). The price-tag might be a bit of a turnoff for some, but I promise that if you like coffee and beer (and you do), this is definitely worth making it rain in the checkout line.

 1,371 characters

Photo of Emnmarko
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 9/10/12 enjoyed 3/6/14

A- Black and clear. Very dark. Light hardly penetrates but leaves a red hue when it does. Tons of sediment swirl around the glass when agitated. A caramel colored one finger head leaves a light cap. lacing is abundant.

S- Roasted malts with a hop bitterness. Coffee behind.

T- Well the taste of this brew is it's best attribute. Bittersweet malt/hop feel with a coffee backbone. Good not wonderful. A little hollow. Also nutty.

M- Med-heavy bodied. Creamy and smooth. This brews new best attribute.

O- The further along I go the more I like it. Possibly due to temp but I allowed it to warm up a bit from the breezeway. This is good but in direct comparison to Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout it is a close second. Sure don't hate it!

 769 characters

Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep dark black with a two-finger tan head. Light amount of sticky lacing.

S - Dark roasted coffee and sweet roasted malts.

T - Follows the smell. Dark roasted coffee upfront followed by sweet roasted malts. Finish has a strong burnt wood flavor.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Dry mouthfeel.

O - Nice coffee forward stout. For a stout this is a very easy drinker. Recommended.

 405 characters

Photo of BeerDazed
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into Snifter.

Very dark appearance. Pitch dark in a glass comes to mind.

Nice head, with some decent lacing.

Allowed to warm up a bit to let all of the flavors, and smells, come out.

Definite coffee overtones in smell and taste. Medium to full bodied, w/ hints of chocolate as well.

I also had this beer at the Great Taste of the Midwest, served on-tap directly from the peeps at Bell's. I don't know if it was because of the atmosphere, on-tap, or the first time trying it, but it was better from the 'fest. Probably all beers taste just a little better at a fest.

Love Bell's. Keep up the fantastic work.

 633 characters

Photo of scratch69
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Black color with a finger and a half worth of tan head. Fair amount of lacing.

Smell- Coffee aroma with a hint of roasted malt.

Taste- Fresh coffee flavor with some dark roasted malt flavor. It also has the tiniest hint of chocolate.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, creamy, and smooth. An average amount of carbonation that is perfect for this style.

Overall- Delicious. One of the best coffee stouts that I've had. Easy drinking with an excellent flavor.

 503 characters

Photo of FLima
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deepest black color with a thin head with low retention.
Very present and real aroma of home made coffee. Hard to tell this is actually beer.
Also, very intense flavor of roasted coffee, cocoa, licorice, caramel, cola, vanilla and earthy hops. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Full body with low carbonation.
Very assertive Stout, if I had to describe with some precision with one word, it would be obviously coffee.

 410 characters

Photo of PPOmaha
3.87/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Aroma: green or very light roast coffee, sweet caramel, no dms, no diacetyl, nice.

Appearance: black with mahagony highlights. Tan head with large bubbles.

Taste: coffee not as prominent as the aroma and is more apparent in the finish as bitterness. Chocolate and a little bit of burnt flavor.

Mouthfeel: slightly thiner than expected. Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: solid coffee stout, I was expecting more body which maybe I shouldn't have. You can drink a couple of these in a row. As usual a solid bells beer.

 537 characters

Photo of Morakaton
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving type : Bottle purchased at $2.49/single poured gently into a snifter. Chilled, then served at room temperature. Bottle date was 9/23/13, A class from Bell's (best within 6 months).

Ah, the coffee stout, a beer type almost as polarizing to newbies as the IPA because of it's pungent flavors that some people find overbearingly intense. I've had some pretty decent coffee stouts/porters (Big Sky's Coffee Porter), some great (Founder's Breakfast Stout), and some not so good (Arbor Brewing Espresso Love, Atwater Vanilla Java Porter. I find it hard to deal with this genre of beer because brewers seem to have a hard time finding that great balance between roasty coffee, bittering hops, and other residual flavors without making the whole thing a watery mess or overbearingly coffee.

Fortunately, Bell's Java Stout found it's way to me, and it most definitely ranks higher up on the list of good coffee stouts, not quite Breakfast Stout tier but definitely it's own unique thing.

For starters, it pours a beautiful jet black, with a slow pour it developed a mild head that sustained for a few minutes before dissipating into a ring. The nose was heavy roast, with substantial coffee beans dominating the aroma.

As I sipped it, I noticed the stout was a tad bit thick. The coffee beans hit the palate up front, with lingering hints of cocoa and malt residing in the background. As this bottle was still in the relative freshness date, the coffee was very strong the way these stouts are intended at release, but the balance here is struck almost perfectly. At no point did I think I was drinking a cup of cold coffee like so many of the failure breweries close to home have produced, instead I was constantly reminded of the other flavors smacking my taste buds as I made each sip, this is indeed a really well done stout. I'm actually quite curious as to what a year would do to this beer, probably toning down the coffee in favor of the chocolate like in breakfast stout, though this being only a single stout opposed to FBS being a double makes me worried.

Overall, very pleased by this, and another example of a great stout done by Bell's, who has yet to disappoint me in that category (though I have yet to try the cherry stout). At a decently high 7.5% ABV, the alcohol burn is non-existant, making this one hell of a fun ride for both coffee stout newbies and veterans who are looking for an easy to drink one. Only real complaint is it's expensive at roughly $14.99 a 6 pack, the value compared to Founder's Breakfast Stout isn't quite as great. Still a highly interesting beer though!

 2,606 characters

Photo of Doerrijustmether
4.19/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aggressive pour. Pitch blach with 3 fingers of dark khaki head. Smell of roasted espresso, roasted hops and maybe a twinge of bittersweet chocolate, coffee definitely the overwhelming component. Good body, smooth finish. Taste, like the smell is overwhelming coffee, maybe a finish of anise with lite chocolate tones.

Overall this is a very good stout. If you like coffee stouts, this is a very good one. 7.5 abv but doest drink like it. Very smooth, before I know it, the glass is empty. Will defiantly drink again. The only real critique I have is maybe too much coffee, but what do you expect from -java stout- . Bell never seems to dissapoint. Michigan knows how to deliver stouts and porters.

 698 characters

Photo of dogfishandi
4.04/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. "PKGD 10/24/13" (~3 months old)

Pours opaque black, nearly viscous. About a 1/4 inch of light Brian colored head, fairly creamy, average retention. Spotty lace with a little bit of legs after a swirl.

Really nice coffee aroma. Combination of a raw fresh bean and maybe some cold brewed or iced coffee aroma. I'm sure there's some roast and chocolate supporting that wonderful coffee aroma but coffee is your main player here.

Coffee is definatly in the taste, but I get a bit less of that actual coffee bean flavor I found in the aroma and have come to love, still there, but more of an iced coffee, iced mocha flavor.

Just a touch watery at times. Almost imperial stout like, but it probably could have benefitted more if it was brewed as an actual imperial stout. Really drinkable.

This is a rather an exceptional coffee beer, one of the better ones available. I'd probably buy it again, but I might think twice considering the 17$ a 6 pack price. This super fresh...I'm imagining a 4.75...

 1,052 characters

Photo of TheosTheories
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 9/19/13

A- black with some red highlights, nice one finger of tan head

S- roasted malt, fresh roasted coffee, sweet milk chocolate

T- nice fresh coffee, with some roasted malt sweetness that leads into a sweet chocolate then finishes off with a slight citrus hop taste on the back end but then leaves your mouth with that nice roasted coffee again.

M- surprisingly, a nice medium body on this one, perfect carbernation, coats the mouth very nicely and leaves your palate pretty fresh, ready for the next sip

O- overall a very very good coffee stout. I love coffee stouts and this one is a perfect example of what one should taste like. Nice coffee taste that isn't over powering but is definitely there, nice sweetness, perfect mouthfeel, 7.5% that I have no idea where they put, I can drink a few of these bad boys. Cheers!

 841 characters

Photo of AUGRAD06
3.87/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Well the label of this beer pretty much says it all. Java, java, java!!! If you like coffee flavored stouts, this is the beer for you. It pours smooth and dark with very little foam, which is a nice deep brown. It smells like drinking a beer in a coffee bar and tastes like a nice chilled cup of dark roast coffee. It leaves your pallet clean without a bitter aftertaste and leaves you wanting for more. A great coffee stout.

 425 characters

Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 1,097 ratings.