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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

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 coreyfmcdonald
2.64/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Pours very dark brown with a finger of dense light brown head. The head seems to stay around forever.

S: Interesting - a mix of coffee with some spicy, roasty, possibly smoky aroma. The coffee aroma is a bit stale, though. Having had this aged before, I was hoping it smelled better fresh.

T: Burnt coffee taste with some bitter chocolate. Not great.

M: a bit thin and prickly.

O: I was hoping this beer would taste better fresh, but I was wrong. It tastes like burnt coffee with some faint dark chocolate flavor. I'm not sure what Bell's was trying to do here.

Photo of lhaqq
2.66/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A friend had bought a six pack of these, but didn't like them so gave what he had left to me. Didn't have it for awhile, but when I finally popped it open, it left me disappointed.
A: Dark brown to black, with sizable head.
S: Very pungent and piquant smell. Has a strong espresso/bitter coffee smell mixed with an equally strong odor of hot red peppers.
T: The smell mingles with the flavor--although the coffee is stronger. But the peppery flavor still persists--I guess something that I don't terribly prefer in a beer.
M: Mouthfeel is generally good and like most stouts I've had.
D: Because of the taste, I wouldn't consider this very drinkable. I split the bottle with a friend, and both of us had a hard time wanting to finish.
Not sure if I ought to have had this sooner, and that is why the taste was funky. Haven't had any other American double stouts although have had a fair share of RIS. Oddly, I am also not a huge fan of Bell's RIS--the Expedition Stout, while I really enjoy most of their other beers.

Photo of Kenye
2.68/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 Ounce bottle packaged on 10/15/12. Poured into pint glass.

Appearance - Nothing special for a stout. Dark black with an average sized head, and average retention. Almost no lacing.

Smell - This is where it all starts to go down for me. It smells like old stale coffee.

Taste - Follows the smell. There is a lot of coffee in this beer. Sadly, it's overpowering. I personally can't taste anything besides the coffee. It's very bitter. I feel like there needs to be something sweet to balance all that bitter coffee. Again, it tastes like I'm drinking old cold coffee, not a stout. The 7.5% ABV is well hidden.

Mouthfeel - Another average. Nothing really to write home about.

Overall - I'm very disappointed with this. I expected a lot more. There is no balance. If you like your coffee black and cold you might like this. I'm having trouble finishing it, it's that bitter.

Photo of rastaman
2.7/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

To me, the aroma didn't appear to be right, lots of ashy roasted coffee beans, and oddly some rotting vegetables? I liked the first part of the aroma i mentioned, but not the second aspect. I dunno if ot was a bad bottle, but the palate didn't suggest it was. Palate is quite smooth, roasty and ashy, decent, with quite pronounced bitterness, interesting and innovative, but I don't think this quite worked. Thanks to Feloniousmonk for this!

Photo of Gladius270
2.7/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

A- The beer poured an inky black, with very thin tan head. This head persisted throughout the duration of the glass.

S- Smells like fresh brewed coffee. Simple as that.

T- Same as smell. All I get out of this beer is black coffee. I enjoyed it more as it warmed, probably because cold coffee is a bit off-putting for me.

M- Very thin and watery. I would have liked a much creamier feel from this beer. In my opinion, the weak point of this brew.

O- Not a big fan of this one. The taste was very one-dimensional, and the thin mouthfeel is something I cannot put aside.

Photo of vwcraig
2.71/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Black with ruby highlights around edges of glass. Creamy tan head dissipates to leave a thin ring around the rim. Huge coffee smell, no surprise there. That taste pretty much overpowers everything else. Heavy and deep, dark roasted coffee with a slight chocolately aftertaste. Followed up with a long and bitter finish. Mouthfeel was on the chalkier side. Tough one for me to get through but is unique for a stout to have this flavor. Respectable for what it is, my least favorite stout so far, but I am not a coffee drinker.

Photo of BierReise
2.71/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

After being blown away by the Expedition Stout, I was hopeful of another good stout. Looks impressive with its deep brown body and fluffy tan head. Aroma of strong coffee reminded me of coffee ice cream. Crisp and slightly effervescent with medium fullness. Flavor tastes like that time when I accidently drank coffee grounds that were floating in my cup. This is rather unpleasant in my opinion. Like stale wet coffee grounds. I may not even finish this one.

Photo of PaterMorse
2.74/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Interesting beer. Unfortunately, seems they worked too hard on the smell and left a one-note taste. I guess if you want a VERY COFFEE coffee stout, you may have found it; as for me, time to move on.

A: The more positive aspects of Bell's Double Cream (reviewed elsewhere, and notable for crimson/orange ring after head dissipates); but doesn't stay dark. Instead, looks like watery Coke (a downer for me).

S: Burned coffee grounds. Or, at times (sorry), a blackened hot dog burned weenie roast style (not a bad thing, just sayin'). Strong, noticeable aroma -- but one dimensional and overdone. It's like sticking your nose in a can of Folgers and campire ash.

T: Pretty big and bold. Not surprisngly, it's coffee, coffee, coffee (and burnt at that). Finish isn't as bitter as nose might suggest; and quite good after-taste.

M: Bit bulkier than Bell's Double Cream (which was too flimsy). Medium, leaning light.

O: Interesting. Glad I tried it, but not altogether enjoyable. An OK novelty beer but wouldn't order it off a good beer menu if I was out -- unless I was in a funky mood and craving a coffee stout.

Repeat? I wouldn't stock it as a staple; but I'd keep it as a novelty for coffee lovers and for that every-now-and-then unique experience.

Where? Fun to incorporate into beer sampling party or take to campfire

Two Words: Burnt Folgers

Photo of tadoor
2.75/5  rDev -30%

Photo of beerFool28607
2.75/5  rDev -30%

Photo of Harvey98
2.75/5  rDev -30%

Photo of Drk93TT
2.75/5  rDev -30%

Photo of WKole81
2.75/5  rDev -30%

Photo of yankhawk
2.75/5  rDev -30%

Photo of soccerfancooch
2.75/5  rDev -30%

Photo of themorninglark
2.75/5  rDev -30%

Photo of rderedin
2.75/5  rDev -30%

Photo of Nowhereman529
2.75/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This poured a nice deep dark brown color with a little tan head on top that quickly reduced to a lace around the edge of the glass.

Smell is strong on coffee with a little chocolate thrown in. The smell may be the best part of this beer.

The taste is something atrocious. It's distinctly day old maxwell house coffee grounds with a little chocolate and dark malt thrown in to try to add some depth.

Mouthfeel is alright. It's a little too heavy/syrupy for my tastes. Don't get me wrong, I like a good chewy stout, but this is just a little much.

I would not drink this again. I tried hard to like this beer after all the reviews I read I guess I expected a little bit more, but in the end you gotta go with what you like.

Photo of hotstuff
2.78/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a brown head with small-medium bubbles. The hue of this beer was black and there was no lacing. The nose was coffee and it had a strong coffee flavor. The mouthfeel of this beer was smooth. Unfortunately, I didn't like this particular stout because I just can't acquire a taste for coffee tasting beers even though this particular stout didn't have as strong of a coffee taste as I have recently tried. But, at least I tried it!!

Photo of Gambrinus1184
2.78/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a tulip-shaped Duvel glass.

A: Reflective black in color with a two-finger head of creamy, rocky brown foam. Thing rings of lace hang in the wake of this pitch black brew.

S: Roasted black malt, wet coffee grounds, bittersweet cocoa, and a dry, herbal hop and tobacco aroma.

T: Sweet, and almost tart roasted malt flavor up front with lots of herbal and hop bitterness to it. The coffee flavor isn't exactly fresh to me, but it is quite potent. Finish is deep roasted malts and coffee beans with a lingering amount of that tartness, which is a bit of a buzzkill for me. Bad bottle or just the way it is?

M: Creamy, tangy and full-bodied, with a slick, lubricating resins across the mid-palate and lingering in the finish.

D: Sort of an out of whack coffee stout if you ask me. I do fear most that the bottle may be past prime, but I've also encountered other carbonated coffee beverages with this same issue. At any rate, the 7.5% ABV, which carries a bit of a stinging, hard swallow. That combined with the sour coffee flavor doesn't score it very high with me.

Photo of trxxpaxxs
2.78/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a rich and roasty black with a small tan head. The bubbles quickly disappear leaving only a thin tan ring around the top of the beer.

S: Smells mainly of roasted malt and coffee. Good thing considering its a coffee stout.

T: The initial hit is sweet, but the coffee notes quickly take over. Unfortunately that nice coffee doesn't last very long. The taste drastically changes to massive tartness. There is no bottled on date, so I have to assume this beer is well past it's prime. Refermentation perhaps?

M: Medium bodied, lots of thickness but nothing to chew down.

O: The refermentation (or whatever) makes this beer pretty undrinkable. After a few sips, the novelty of a sour coffee beer wears off. I tried this beer for the first time a few months ago and wasn't impressed. Now, the second time around, it's even worse.

Photo of PDXHops
2.8/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to brewdan for this 12 oz bottle, poured into a tulip.

Not much to look at, although looks can certainly be deceiving. 1/2 finger of tan head disappears within a minute or so. Near black body, little lacing.

Yesterday's coffee (still sitting cold in the pot) is the primary aroma, with hints of roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate to make it a bit more appealing.

More lively in the mouth, with burnt malt, bakers chocolate and chocolate chips, but the old coffee taste dominates, and not in an entirely pleasant way. A bit of hoppy sting in the swallow. Medium-thick body with a rather fluffy feel. Quite coating, although the old coffee isn't what I really want sticking to my palate.

Overall impression: Too much old coffee flavor, not a beer I'd seek out.

Photo of frenchblood21
2.81/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- Pitch black with a large tan head.

Smell- Of course, coffee and chocolate. Mine had a distinct smell of soap, and I know it wasn't the glass.

Taste- Same as the nose minus the soap.

Mouthfeel- Coats your mouth like an iced mocha would. Very heavy up front and thins out as it goes down.

Overall- To be honest, I've come to expect a bit more from Bell's. Its a drinkable beer but not at all memorable for its style/class.

Photo of sjohansen
2.84/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours pitch black into a snifter. Creamy caramel colored head, dissipates quickly leaving some wisps. Leopard spotted lacing during the session. The visual is as appetizing as it's ever going to get for a stout.

Smells of coffee shop sweet morning blend.

Smooth through the palate, more so as it warms. Sweet up front. Bitter coffee finish. Sour aftertaste. Coats like cough syrup, and leaves a less then desirable finish. There is not a noticable trace of alcohol, which is pretty good feat at 7.5%.

Mouthfeel is smooth, velvety with the slightest buzz of carbonation.

At best, this is a great coffee beer. Unfortunately, the finish took away from the delicious sweet/bitter combination of the coffee/stout.

Photo of MIbeerfan
2.85/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Notes from a bar napkin:

Sampled at HopCat's in Grand Rapids MI, Dec 12.

Thick brown head and very dark black beer. Heavy coffee overtones, coffee overpowers all flavors. Very bitter aftertaste.

Not high on my list of coffee stout's. The bitter was too much for me.

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