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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

2,849 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,849
Reviews: 1,094
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.7%
Wants: 157
Gots: 283 | 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: 2,849 | Reviews: 1,094 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rokoch27
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black, yet still has an unmistakable brown hue to pair with a brown head. Coffee overwhelms the aroma and when you finally take a sip, you think you are drinking a nice cup of joe, just without the caffine and warmth. Burnt flavor doesn't emerge until the end and the mouthfeel is a bit thinner than you might expect for one of Bell's stouts, but a spot on match for a coffee beverage. The thing is that even when you exhale, you still get more coffee flavor. I don't think this is the most drinkable beer on the market, but from the other coffee stouts I have tried, it is delicious and I would not mind having another. Nice effort, it is just that the style begs the question: why don't you simply order a nice warm cup of joe?

Photo of booga73
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of MikesnoHSL
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark brown color with an inch of tan head and light carbonation. Little bit of lacing.

s - Smells of ground coffee, roasted malts, and chocolate.

t - Strong coffee taste, as well as roasted malts. No chocolate like in the smell.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

d - Not a bad stout. A very strong coffee smell and taste to it. I would have liked a little more but a pretty good beer and definitely worth a shot if you like coffee tasting stouts. Would try again.

Photo of HimerMan
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle; served in a Chocolate Bock glass.

Poured slightly fast with little head, then the beer rushed a bit of a dark brown head and HUGE coffee aroma - no surprise from the name. Looked black as can be, and smelled wonderful - especially if you are truly enjoy black coffee and stouts.

Taste - Very strong coffee, no alcohol, really like a black coffee stout. I debated mixing with the Double Cream Stout - does this beer take milk and sugar?

Mouthfeel - hard to classify as a beer in taste, I suppose similar in that regard as the Sam Chocolate Bock (very different beer).

Overall I would (and will) drink this again, not sure about how other people are drinking them - but I would pair this with a cheesecake or something where you can add sweetness to combat the agressive black coffee overtones and slightly drying flavor.

Great beer.

Photo of tillmac62
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Photo of Kevinpitts
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of stephenjmoore
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very dark brown, no transparency. Pours with a thick light tan head that fades away pretty quickly. Good Lacing.

S- Coffee Grounds. Really tough to get past it and pick up anything else. Maybe a hint of roasted malt too, smells like coffee grounds left in a filter.

T- Coffee up front and coffee in the finish. Some booze comes through at the end and the malt is hidden in their but does not come through very much.

M- Very smooth with a slight alcohol presence at the end.

O- This is the most "coffee-forward" beer I have tried. Most other coffee stouts I have tried use the coffee to blend in with roasted malt and other flavors. This one hits you from beginning to end. Not necessarily a bad thing, but different.

Photo of dasenebler
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nearly two-year-old bottle has held up pretty well.

Pours a very dark but not opaque black. Modest mocha head, with low carbonation. Aroma is mellow and muffled: coffee and milk chocolate.

Flavor is nice. Definitely an ale for coffee lovers with heaps of medium roast goodness. Borders on one-dimensional, but a healthy semi-sweet chocolate character comes through mid-drink. Roasty and earthy. Carbonation is very low, and the smooth mouthfeel is somewhat dull and uninteresting. Because of this bottle's age, the alcohol is unnoticeable, making for an easy drink.

This is a good coffee stout, but nowhere near the great ones.

Photo of SargeC
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep black brew with a rough, tan colored head

Smell: Coffee, vanilla, roast malt and molasses

Taste: Hints of vanilla behind a wall of bitter chocolate and coffee. Malt shows up at the end and in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied brew. Good alcohol presence provides warmth.

Drinkablity: An interesting brew with strong character. Very enjoyable with a brunch.

Photo of NCBeernut
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review edited almost 2 years after original review. This was my first coffee stout, and I originally gave it 4.5s in smell and taste. Since then I have had several top coffee stouts (Founders BS and KBS, Big Boss Aces and Ates, Pisgah Valdez, DFH Chicory, Terrapin Wake-n-Bake), so I feel that this needs to be re-viewed.

A: Pours black with a full 1 finger creamy khaki tan head that drops to a film in a few minutes.

S: Deep roasted malts and fresh roasted coffee in the nose almost makes you feel like your about to drink a freshly brewed cup of good coffee. Mainly coffee though.

T: Bittersweet coffee right away. A little chocolate and roasted malts get mostly covered by coffee. I am almost positive they brewed a batch of coffee and just added to the beer. A little bite. I cant tell if its a hop presence or just from the coffee. Coffee doesn't really work with the beer as well as some other coffee stouts I have had like Pisgah Valdez, but still good if you like coffee.

Smooth, a little creamy and surprisingly drinkable - almost dangerously easy to drink given the ABV. I could have another one no problem.

Photo of pigc
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours jet black with two finger light brown sugar colored head.

S - Coffee, chocolate, cocoa powder.

T - Starts out with waves of bitter chocolate, coffee, some dryness as well.

M - Pretty thin for a stout of this abv.

O - Decent coffee stout but nothing too special about this one. For about the same price Expedition is by far a better beer.

Photo of HugeBulge
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of tastybeer
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks beyond dark with a milky dark chocolate head. You can catch slight bits of red light sneak through only right at the edges if you move the glass around in the light. Aroma brings a fistful of thick ultra roasted coffee beans. Its bitter, dark, robust, and pointy with some cocoa and sliiight vanilla under there. Nice aroma though the roasted smell might be clouding some other more subtle mouthwatering scents. Taste matches real well with some added dark fruits, bittersweet chocolate and bitter coffee bite. Very nice. Intense flavors and certainly entertaining. If you don't like strong coffee you probably will find this over the top. Texture is grainy but slick. Nice light velvety smoothness in there too. The carbonation mixes with the burnt roasted coffee bite and adds sharpness. This is certainly drinkable but its intensity is forcing me to take it easy.

Great for a first drink after sleeping in real late on a lazy day.

Photo of findlayfan
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

In sorting out the stock in my basement "beer cellar" (actually a c.1920 coal bin), I ran across three beers that I'd nearly forgotten and had been down there for about three years. I decided to take them in ABV order, starting with the Bell's (the others were Flying Dog's Gonzo Imperial Porter and Weyerbacher's Blithering Idiot barleywine).

The java stout poured jet black with a slight purple hue (no kiddin!) and a medium brown 3/4" head. The body was nearly opaque - the only time I could see ANY light through it was when I held my pint glass up to a clear 60W bulb and the filament showed through VERY faintly.

Lots of malt on the nose.

Just a bit of sweetness up front in the taste, with lots of molasses and coffee (of course).

Some lacing left on the glass.

Dry finish, with not much aftertaste (just a hint of bitterness at the end).

All in all, a pretty decent brew. The "average" drinkability balances the minus of the strong coffee taste against the plus of the complexity and well-concealed ABV.

Not a staple of my cellar, but I'd be happy yto give it another try, perhaps with a fresher example!

Photo of mmink27
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of Kendo
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The six-pack was over $17 at Olivers in Albany. I justified paying that only because I split the sixer with a friend - his half being part of his Christmas gift. Otherwise I would've let this sit. Bottled on 10/24/13, consumed on 12/24/13 - just 2 hours before Christmas. . . .

A: Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Body is black, appears thick and syrupy at first, but a late-blooming head settles on top - nearly 2 fingers' worth of light chocolate brown foam, which leaves behind thick sheets of lace.

S: Coffee. Burnt coffee. Roasted coffee. Did I mention coffee?

T: Like the nose, it's big on the coffee. Also some chocolatey malt underneath, but it's hard to find under all that coffee. Finishes with a modest char/charcoal burnt ashiness. Lingering roasty bitterness.

M: Nice creaminess to the feel; call it medium to full-bodied in heft.

O: Too much coffee for me.

Photo of ljdrinksbeer
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

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

'13 12oz into a CS snifter.

A- Dark roasty stout. Small amount of head with pretty good retention. Thin lacing around the glass, along with random thin bunches of head.

S- Probably the best part of this beer. Roasty coffee forward. Burnt chocolate, oak etc with burnt stuff.

T- Way less coffee from the T as with the S. I get more thin stout characteristics out of the taste. Watery and such.

M- Some carb follows down the throat. Very thin.

O- It's pretty good, but I have been drinking nothing but top notch RIS lately. I am not trying to be a smartass, but it is hard to evaluate

Photo of nomad
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured black as usual, with a thick and tight mocha-colored head. It bubbled up very slowly, and fell slowly to create a crowned shape, leaving behind a true lattice of stain, which in turn rolled out great lacing.

Smelled of overpowering ground coffee: that granular, slightly chalky, woody, and full of coffee bean smell. Some roasty malt accents slowly poked up beyond the coffee deluge, but it was a hard fight. Talented use of coffee beans, but a bit strong.

Tasted like grainy black coffee, not roasted, on top of a smooth, silky, and slightly sweet dark malt. Also had a small amount of dark chocolate notes. Spicy Sumatran bean notes toward the end, the finish tasted like an espresso straight-up, with some latent creaminess late in the lingering finish. Had a relatively thin mouthfeel but with a silky smooth texture - this nicely rounded out the beer.

A tasty beer but not one I could have more than once in a night. Nevertheless, its easy to see the talent it takes to brew a stout with coffee this well.

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

Photo of beertooth
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a 12oz mug.
Re-review from deleted review.

This beer is a dark almost black brown with deep roasted chestnut high lights. There's a finger of mocha colored head that's fading into a thin collar. It's leaving frost like lacing.

The nose is black roasted coffee beans, a little baker's chocolate, and burnt malts.

The first gulp follows the nose very closely. It is loaded with coffee, baker's chocolate, dark grain. There's a slight sweetness in front and a strong coffee bitterness in the back end. It's a huge coffee bomb.

Mouthfeel is medium with medium to low carbonation.

One of the better coffee beers out there even though it's not as complex as some others. I could drink a couple of these in a sitting.

Photo of 33nickadams
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one is opaque and almost completely black, tan head at the corners of the glass. Smells of chocolate and strong java coffee. The smell reminds me of coffee from Starbucks. Tastes of strong coffee, some chocolate, some sweetness, followed by a strong bitter coffee flavor. Mouthfeel is heavy and smooth. Nicely carbonated. I love having coffee stouts on brew day! Although very nicely done, I prefer FBS.

Photo of pjkelley82
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%

Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 2,849 ratings.