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

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Bell's Java StoutBell's Java Stout

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very good

1,095 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,095
Hads: 2,954
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.41%
Wants: 164
Gots: 317 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,095 | Hads: 2,954
Photo of Spider889
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Live review. Big thanks to my brother (non BA) for getting me this six-pack for Christmas. He guessed based on price (lmao) but it was certainly a good guess, and this beer has redeemed Bells a little after my tasting of Batch 10,000.

Additionally, this is my first review of a beer poured into my brand new over-sized Duvel tulip - another gift, this one thanks to my thoughtful wife.

After a tall rough pour I get a beautiful-looking pitch black beer with a one finger tall mocha head. The head is made up mostly of smaller bubbles, and recedes down to a minute ring around the edge of the glass after a couple minutes. There is a mild cascading effect after each sip. Once the beer has settled I get a heavy ring of foamy lace, and then some spotted lacing below that initial line.

The smell is rich with bitter dark cacao - like that of a chocolate bar over 75% cacao. Then comes the coffee. Ohh, lovely lovely coffee! Thick and heavy, strong black espresso. Notes of sweetened frappacino waft in and out. This is a coffee beer that is exactly what the name implies, and has no shame for it either. I love coffee beers done well, and this one is right near the top in that category. If you like a coffee beer with a more mild coffee flavor and aroma, this one might prove a bit strong for you. However, I say "bring it on!"

This beer is a heavy, thick stout. Rich coffee dominates the flavor profile. Bitter and acidic, slightly sweet as well. Espresso boldness meets the more restrained roastiness of a dark french roast. Overall a very well done coffee beer imo. It finishes with a slightly fruity hoppiness.

Moderate carbonation, the mouthfeel is chewy and dense. Goes down very smooth. Leaves a slick stickiness on the palate that lingers.

I blew through my six-pack and am wanting more. Sadly nearly all Bell's better beers are priced too high in my opinion. Nevertheless, this is the best regularly available coffee stout outside of the Founder's lineup. I'd give the second slot to Dieu du Ciel, but it's much more difficult to get my hands on even a single bottle of that beer.

A coffee lover's beer through and through, possibly my favorite from the brewery thus far. Hopslam is too limited, Oracle is even worse - and too boozy, Expedition is great but not as tasty as this! (2,295 characters)

Photo of NCSUdo
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle

A: Pours a thinner than expected black under a small tan head. Good retention, little lacing.

S: Roasted coffee (big surprise) and some roasted malt. Some sweetness, but really mostly roasted coffee, but not a punch you in the face intense coffee. Pretty good smell, but could be a little more intense (better to err on caution here however I think).

T: Really, really good. I'm not a coffee drinker, I will on occassion, but I don't drink it too often. This is a very refreshing coffee flavored beverage. Some malty sweetness up front, followed up by a big mix of roasted coffee and malt and mild bitterness, finishing with mosly a coffee taste that sticks around.

M/D: Could use a little more carbonation I think, and the body is not as big as I expected. Still, this is a highly drinkable stout regardless of the 7.50%. Very good. (850 characters)

Photo of BeerFink
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque black with a healthy tan/brown head. Good lacing and nice head retention. A nice strong aroma of coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt. The taste is full of chocolate and roasted coffee beans, with a hint of smoke. Strong roasted malts countered with black coffee bitterness make for one hell of a big beer. The finish is dry and roasted, much like a sip of black coffee. The huge coffee flavor may be intimidating for some, as a black coffee lover, I adore this stout. (480 characters)

Photo of genog
4.46/5  rDev +12.9%
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. (671 characters)

Photo of Fieldzy27
4.46/5  rDev +12.9%
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. (2,045 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Date or batch code of 7822, cheers to BARLEYWINEO for this one

Pours mahogany/black with 2+ fingers of brown head. Good lacing & head retention

S: Deep, pleasing coffee notes

t: Roasted grain, then java up front. Hints of baker chocolate & dryness as this warms. Finishes dry with strong, but not too strong coffee, chicory/molasses & baker's chocolate

MF: Oily & chewy with a great creaminess that is just missing from most stouts IMO. Perfect carbonation

Drinks good, not a huge fan of coffee stouts, but this one really works for me, once again, another great beer from bell's (584 characters)

Photo of jsh420
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

batch 9462 - packaged 11/20/09

pours dark brown with a 1/2 finger tan head that fades to a nice film and left spotted lacing

smell - wow - strong powerful coffee blast

taste picks up right where the nose left off - bitter roasted coffee with some chocolate

mouthfeel is a medium body with a nice creamy from just the right carbonation

drinkability is great - @ only 7.5%abv this is lighter then many coffee stouts and tastes better to boot

if you love FBS but what more coffee then this is the stout for you (514 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers, buschbeer!

Just below cellar temp. Pours a very dark brown, pretty much black in the glass with half a finger of tan head. Plenty of coffee with a little milk chocolate and vanilla on the nose. Tons of coffee flavour with some nice dark chocolate and roasty dark malts underneath. Decent sweetness and a nice creamy feel. Fantastic stuff. (347 characters)

Photo of auxiliary
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance - Black nody, nice large mocha head, but then settled to a thin ring.

smell - Smells like coffee grounds here and roasted malts.

taste - Nive coffee falvor with a slight bitwhen finishing it off.

mouthfeel - Full body, sticky.

drinkability - Very tastey, don't taste it cold though, let it warm up a little bit. Taste better. (343 characters)

Photo of marc77
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very deep brown, w/ a murky crimson hue around the edge of the glass. Beige, dense one fingered head leaves spotty lace. Freshly ground dark roast coffee dominates the aroma, but is supported by notes of brown sugar and dark caramel w/ hints of nutty and mildly buttery malt. Not unlike a rich coffee ice cream shake-- Unique and enticing aromawise. Coffee, while quite assertive in flavor, melds well with chocolate malt and pronounced dark caramel sweetness. When combined with the judicious hop bitterness and mild butterscotch diacetyl, an impression of sweetened mocha and cream bathes the palate. Full bodied, with an agreeably creamy mouthfeel. Subdued hint of black currant like fruitiness emerges late. Finishes with a lingering, balanced mix of residual sweetness and roasted barley bitterness. Java stout is a delightful, flavorful, and unique brew that exhibits well integrated coffee character. I should have saved this one for breakfast. A hearty thanks to Feloniousmonk for the bottle! (1,000 characters)

Photo of meathookjones
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours out the expected pitch black with a quick forming tall dark brown head. The head stays for a while and leaves nice chunks of lace around the glass. As soon as you pop the cap you know this is going to be one coffee intense brew. Without much effort you can smell the huge amounts of coffee that went into this. Aroma is chock full of coffee goodness with a lighter back by chocolate malts and a bit of roastiness. This smells like liquid coffee beans almost. Flavor starts of with a strong bitter coffee followed by chocolate and roasted malts. After taste is a bitter lingering coffee one. Mouthfeel is medium to full with a good amount of carbonation. Quite drinkable to if you like the taste of coffee otherwise the huge coffee flavors would get too much after awhile but for me its great. Taste is a little simple but still good and this can definitely be a replacement for your morning cup of coffee. Many thanks to clvand0 for this one. (953 characters)

Photo of dfillius
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass

A: Aggressive pour yields 1/3 finger of tan head with poor retention. Head subsides to a thin ring. I'd like better retention. Nearly opaque dark brown liquid. Love the label.

S: Strong black coffee aroma with a hint of char, like black patent malt. Roasty!

T: Oh yeah, love the nice, sweet creaminess. Chocolate, and cream stand out. Great bitter roast with small hoppiness. Not perfect, but darn close. Another solid stout from Bell's!

M: Bitter, smooth, roasty.

D: Yeah! I'd order another and buy a sixer. (538 characters)

Photo of mcallister
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed this last year out of bottle and I'm not sure if I was having an off day or what but the review was a little less than average. Now trying this freshly tapped it is amazing.

Nearly black in color with a great tan head that fades modestly into a foam topper and leaves some lacing thick and sticky.

Very roasty coffee aromas, freshly ground and dipped in dark chocolate. A hint of peat as well. Loads of dark fruit character with a hint of black licorice. Tar and a bit of earth also reside.

Mouth on this beer is big, round, thick and creamy. This years seems to be balanced impeccably. That mouthfeel really helps the character and drinkability of this brew. Coffee flavors are rich, roasty chocolatey with hints of scotch flavors. Again dark fruits galore with that pinch of black licorice. An amazing pint of beer that will be in my glass for the night. (868 characters)

Photo of bjohnson
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received two 12oz. bottles in a trade with zrrbrrt.

A: Pours a jet black, like a moonless night, with a one finger caramel chocolate colored frothy head that leaves great dark lace down the sides of the glass.
S: Aromas of roasted and burnt coffee hit the nose first. Smells like I've got my nose in a bag of coffee beans.
T: Tastes of roasted coffee come across the palate with some burnt coffee in there also. Wonderful tasting java stout. I feel like I'm drinking a starbuck's coffee right now. Kind of heavy, but very well balanced.
M & D: Mouthfeel is awesome! Silky smooth in the mouth with a slight carbonation in the back of the mouth and in the nose which gives way to a bitter burnt coffee finish. Drinkability is high provided you like the taste of coffee. What a wonderful tasting stout. I could have one of these for breakfast and it would rival an iced coffee. (880 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JohnnyM2002

Pours a nice clean dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, nice sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is of sweet roasted malts, slight hops, nice coffee/caramel. The taste is delicious of sweet roasted malts and coffe/caramel, the finish is slightly dry. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is an awesome ADS, very tasty indeed. (373 characters)

Photo of bcostner1
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very, very dark brown. Just shy of black. Nice, thick, rich tan head. Very nice looking stout.

S: Coffee, coffee, and more coffee. A little bit of bready malt. Cannot stop smelling it...awesome.

T: I love coffee stouts. They are one of my top 3 favorite styles. This one remains one my favorites. The coffee definitely dominates which is fine with me. As it warms, becomes a little more smooth and less "edgy" as the coffee can be when cold. No hops in this one to me. Chocolate undertones. Almost like drinking an iced coffee to me overall.

M: Easy drinker for a coffee stout. At 7.5%, this one is borderline sessionable to me. Could have multiple of it no problem. No too heavy, not too thin...just about right. I wouldn't consider this to be a "big stout" by any means but it brings big flavor without being overbearing.

Of all the coffee stouts I have tried, this one retains its coffee flavors among the best of em and for the longest time which is what ranks it in the upper echelon of the style in my opinion. (1,025 characters)

Photo of ncvbc
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
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. (642 characters)

Photo of jtd1969
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark Black color with light tannish head that is well carbonated and great lacing

S - Coffee and sweet malt

T - Coffee, chocolate, roasty, some creaminess Excellent hop character

M - Heavy Medium bodied with higher than normal carbonation for style. However it works perfectly.

O - Now this is coffee stout! To me, It is better than the Expedition and Double Cream. All three are good, but this one stands alone... This is what I want in a coffee stout (460 characters)

Photo of Spica66
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into pint glass.

A: Very dark, almost black. Excellent head creation and retention. Some slight lacing. Medium carbonation.

S: Coffee, caramel malt. Very easy on the nose.

T: Tastes like it smells. Coffee and caramel. A little sharpness from hops is present as well.

M: Very nice mouthfeel. Slides without being sticky, carbonation in the right amount. Very balanced.

D: Extremely well balanced beer makes this one of my favorite breakfast beers. (477 characters)

Photo of seaoflament
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this beer from the generosity of upsjeff, thanks.

Beer pours a black color with a fingers worth of mocha foam. The smell is intense with coffee, chocolate milk shake, cocoa, slight vanilla, toffee and subtle notes of wood or aged hops. The taste is much like the aroma, a strong coffee and chocolate malt profile upfront and a slightly dry cocoa finish. This is a very well made coffee stout. Mouthfeel and carbonation seem just right for this beer and alcohol, what alcohol? It is very well hidden behind the robust coffee and malt flavors. So far all of the Bell’s stouts I have had the pleasure to try are winners in my book. (636 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
4.48/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Filled from the growler station at the Party Source in Bellevue, Kentucky. This is absoultely pitch black, with a thick creamy tan head. Great head retention. Aroma is huge on coffee, not quite to espresso, but well roasted and earthy. The first delight is the mouthfeel, this baby is thick and creamy. Coffee and cream flavors play well together. Big and robust, but well balanced. Finishes with mocha flavors. Nice patches of lace coat the sides of the glass as it is drank. This is a gem. If you don't like coffee, you may not like this. I do, and did. Very well made, another solid beer from Bell's. (603 characters)

Photo of Gusler
4.48/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It’s been quite sometime since I reviewed this beer, much to long I’m afraid. The beer pours a piceous color with the head a chocolate brown crown on that ebony body, the head is creamy in texture and the lace a fine curtain to drape the glass. Deep roasted grain, coffee, sweet malt, fresh and clean to the senses, start is lightly sweet, thickly malted with the top full in its feel. Finish is masterfully hopped, moderately carbonate and the toasted grains leave a bit of bitterness on the palate, dry and a really nice stout, one I enjoy, and wish were more available. (574 characters)

Photo of timtim
4.48/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i drink coffee (top shelf and usually fresh roasted) all day and beer all night. all year round. no joke. anyone that knows me will attest to this. even if i didn't, this one would still get major points. pours dark as dark gets with a huge head the color of coffee with just a splash of cream. amazing retention. actually the thing never goes away completely, and what does shrink down leaves a beautiful lace. coffee is in the nose for sure, and nice coffee at that. i heard that they use sumatra. also, some roasty malt, a hint of bittersweet chocolate and a super faint hop scent. tastes like a complex coffee does with undertones of chocolate and earthiness. on the lighter side of full body, but nice and creamy/silky. if the body was just a little creamier and full, this one would be off the charts to me. as pleasant as that first cup of joe in the morning, java stout is pure fuel for me. (898 characters)

Photo of Px2GrafX
4.49/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a deep dark brown, almost black, with a medium tan 1 finger head in a snifter glass. head is loose and drops to a thin cap after a couple of minutes. aroma is huge coffee. maybe more coffee aroma here than in any other beer i've experienced. once you get past the coffee there's also a big burned, roasty and woody aroma with a touch of alcohol at random points during the drink. unbelievable fresh coffee bean aroma. if you couldn't have guessed, this also tastes like crazy coffee. there is a decent hop bitterness to balance and a nice chocolatey, malty finish. nice how it's just bitter enough to mimic a coffee bitterness instead of a ris. the mouthfeel is a nice and thick medium body with a low to medium carbonation. the drinkability is good despite this being more of a sipper. alcohol is well masked with some warming kicking in at the end. overall, this is very much like an alcoholic, hopped and carbonated iced coffee. if you like coffee, you'll love this beer, but if you don't like coffee, then you may hate it. excellent example, and excellent from a snifter. give me this over a coffee porter any day. (1,124 characters)

Photo of apbarwood
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A deep, dark brown with a sandy colored head. Could have used a bit more head retention and/or lacing but it was good enough in my estimation. Smells of bitter coffee and dark chocolate. These aromas are present in the flavor profile as well and give the overall impression of chocolate covered espresso beans. The roasted bitterness is present but restrained and balanced to perfection with the hop bitterness. Light-bodied with a good carbonation and a nice mouth-coating malt presence. Definitely one of the best coffee stouts I've had. I'm not usually a huge fan of the style but I could definitely see myself having this one again. Once again, Bell's has lived up to their reputation. This is a definite must-try coffee stout. (731 characters)

Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 1,095 ratings.