Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop 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

1,102 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,102
Hads: 3,001
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 18.99%
Wants: 176
Gots: 341 | 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: 1,102 | Hads: 3,001
Photo of MDekker
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The pour - the color was black as night, possibly the blackest beer I've had. I tried to see a 100 watt bulb through the beer and basically couldn't see anything. It formed a thick, creamy head of a very dark tan color. It maintained the head relatively well, and laced thick down the side.

And as you might expect from a java stout, the aroma was powerful, and all coffee - dark and roasted.

In the mouth it felt quite creamy, and a little fizzy. Overall, just fine. The coffee flavor dominated the taste, as well, but it was very enjoyable. Somewhat bitter, as well. Coffee. Lots. I'm not a coffee drinker, so this flavor isn't my favorite, but still, it's good. Relatively thick, and a rich experience, so I couldn't drink a lot of this at once.

 754 characters

Photo of whynot44
4.19/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Full bodied, almost totally black and opaque with a thick creamy chestnut colored head that retains well and leaves some decent lace. The aroma is dark roasted malt, espresso coffee and charred wood. The dark roasted malts hit you right up front, with just a touch of caramel to balnce, then the coffee taste comes in with a creamy smooth, slightly fruity, almost cappacino impact with a touch of dark chocolate, finishes dry with a lingering charred wood taste with a little more of the caramel and dark chocolate background. I had to check the bottle to make sure it didn't say "Starbuck's". A beer for coffee lovers. Substantial mouthfeel, almost like an oatmeal stout, but still very drinkable. This would be great after dinner, take your time and let it warm up a little, it just gets better.

 797 characters

Photo of beerinator
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A think black stew of darkness enshrouds the inside of the glass, covered by a tannish head with great retention. Even when held up to the light all you can see is black.

Aroma: Roasted beans. This beer smells of burned, charred things that were allowed to burn until there was very little left. There are twinges of sourness in the aroma.

Taste: The mouthfeel is very solid, the beer is slightly slick on the tongue. The apparent taste of coffee is strong with this one. You can almost imagine the grittyness of the ground beans in the taste. The upfront taste is strongly sharp and roasty. There is a little bit of sourness in the taste, but it's seems just right for the flavors of roast. The finish isn't too dry, there seems to be a bit of heft to the mouthfeel. The bitterness from the char lingers on the tongue for a little, reminding you of your last sip.

Notes: Drinkable, but not for the non-coffee drinker. I've had this one when it was colder and the flavors weren't as noticeable. Drink this one after it's had a chance to warm up from the fridge if you would like the full coffee flavors.

 1,124 characters

Photo of euskera
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out an espresso brown with a smallish tan head. Smell is decidedly coffee-like. Smell is, unsurprisingly, of roasted coffee beans but not much else. Taste is smooth, roasted coffee all over the place. Not a lot of definition otherwise, almost no hop feel but overall nice and creamy. If you like coffee, you'll really like this stuff. Otherwise, I'd stick to other stouts. Nice for a change of pace, though..

 414 characters

Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.71/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had the luxury of taking my time with this beer, having purchased a six pack of it. I tasted it on 6 different nights, and this review is from the 6th.

Appearance: This is a simply gorgeous pour. A serious black colored body with a tall, thick brown head on top. The body and head stick to the glass.

Smell: The smell reminds me more of tobacco than the coffee I was expecting from the title. The roasted malts really come forward in this beer. The bitterness seems to outweigh the sweet malty smells.

Taste: Starts of matly and sweet (cocoa) then it dries up into a dark roasted, coffee flavor. The aftertaste combines the sweet and bitter in a mocha union...mind you mocha with bitter dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate.

Mouthfeel: The body is thick and really does well to deliver the flavors in this beer.

Drinkability: While thick and deliciously complex, this is not a flavor suited for session drinking. It is also not immediately accessible and it took a while for me to aquire a taste for it.

 1,026 characters

Photo of malty
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. longneck bottle - no freshness date.

As handsome as a beer can get. Opaque black with a billowing craggy khaki head comprised on multi-sized bubbles.

Scent of some serious dark, rich coffee and dark roasted malts. Also notes of powdered bitter baking chocolate.

Taste is a hearty dose of premium espresso and light cream. Charred dry oak and on to the glorious roasted malts. long, lingering finish of solid coffee & dark malts.

Mouthfeel is great with enough carbonation to keep the two dominant flavors balanced. Enough dryness to keep the heavy malts from building-up on the tongue.

Drinkability is good as I consumed this at cellar temp. - wouldn't want to drink it any cooler.

Overall a fine example of what a coffee stout should be modeled after. Bold, solid and hugely flavorful. Left me with mucho coffee breath. Wonder how this would taste accompanied with some corned beef hash and eggs benedict? hmmm....

 953 characters

Photo of blackie
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

re-reviewed on July 09, 2008

batch # 8216 - November 07, 2007

a: into my Brooklyn snifter, pours a nice mocha head that recedes to a thin layer and ring but it easily roused with each tilt of the glass, the beer is a very dark brown in color

s: sweet coffee with a touch of lactose paired with roasted malts and some dry bittersweet chocolate, excellent coffee aroma gives bright, earthy spice, great malt-coffee balance with the coffee allowed to shine while the malts support, hops add an earthy citric note that at first seems out-of-place but in combination with the coffee does add an interesting layer to things

m: low-medium carbonation, full body

t: nutty and earthy toffee notes from the bright coffee flavors, quickly followed with a mild roast and some sweet dark malts, finishes very toasty with a strong coffee roast and bitter cocoa, mild earthy citrus hop flavor and moderate bitterness

d: quite enjoyable, the coffee is done very well

single bottle from Whole Foods Cary

old review:

Color is about as black as I have seen. Thick tan head that stays for awhile. Smells strongly of coffee and chocolate. Very thick and not too much sweetness. Taste is the same as the smell, coffee and chocolate, with alot of malt flavor. There is definately some bite as well, but it is mellowed well. This is a beer that you would probably want to drink one at a time. Definately one to buy again.


bottle dated 10.24.13 consumed 12.06.13 - 4/6 in a six-back Bells roots revisit - lots of fantastic coffee aroma and flavor, fridge-cold it was a little minty/citron, but then the coffee beans really rounded out and complimented the moderate, easy drinking roasty stout underneath, delicious, scores left intact

 1,740 characters

Photo of ScottS
4.62/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As this comes out of the bottle it looks thick and dark. The head is a nice dark tan color and is surprisingly stable for a beer with coffee in it. The aroma is all coffee, good coffee. The coffee is from water street coffee roasters across the street the eccentric cafe and I've heard that it is a custom mix of italian and french roast coffee.

The mouthfeel is nice and thick. The flavor is mostly coffee and some fruity esthers from fermentation. In the background there are the typical stout flavors that keep this from being too off the wall. If you are a stout or a coffee fan this is one that is definately worth trying.

 630 characters

Photo of beerhandy
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle Served in plastic cup (Hotel Room) Black Brew with a nice beige head. Burnt espresso aroma, faint fruitiness and some fusels. Is the cup dissolving? Nice medium body, black malt dominates the taste ,very dry with a nice roastiness.Finishes with coffee and bitter chocolate. Draft please!

 294 characters

Photo of unit555
4.55/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Overall this beer is 4+ good. It has a pitch black color with a nice persistent head when poured. The coffe and roast malt aroma jump out of the glass and clearly announce what is coming next. The beer has a slight bite on the tongue when initially sipped but the RICH flavor of coffee and malt quickly overwhelm the bite. The flavor last long after swallowing.

My only criticism id the thin mouthfeel. If this beer had more chewiness to it I would have given it '5's across the board.

 488 characters

Photo of Southernbrew
4.6/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark black with a medium, tan head.

Whoo! Aroma is all about the coffee. Tons of roasted and bitterness here, very nice.

Nice full body, very smooth with just a hint of carbonation. Big roasted coffee flavors show up in a big way with some nice bitterness. A faint sourness comes through, and I can't really describe it but to say it's not a bad thing. Not many different flavors here, but with how good this is, that's not a bad thing. Nice roasted coffee aftertaste.

Nice coffee stout. I wish I could drink this every morning. A big thanks go out to Feloniousmonk for this choice beer!

 609 characters

Photo of skybluewater
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brownish black color. Smells better than some other Bell's beers I've had, but still seems off. Taste isn't bad at all, but not great (compared to, say, Kalamazoo or Expedition). Indeed it does taste of coffee, but (to me at least) it's that coffee that's been sitting in the pot with the burner on all day. Drinkable, recognizable as the good stuff you had that morning, but off tasting. Mouthfeel is nice, quite creamy.

Overall, this isn't a beer I'd buy again. While I'm glad I tried it, I think in the future, I'll stick to drinking Kalamazoo, Expedition, and Third Coast Old Ale if I want a Bell's brew.

 630 characters

Photo of LuckySevens82
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of feloniousmonk.
Pours a jet black with just a hit of amber when held up to a stong light. A creamed-coffe head of decent retention and thickness tops this brew.
Smell is coffee, coffee, and coffee...oh yeah, coffee as well. There is some chocolate, roasted grains and some hop round out the aroma.
Taste is, well shoot, go figure...coffee. In addition, some chocolate, caramel and burnt sugars. Some hop bitterness is in there, but it is kind of overshadowed by the bitter coffee.
Mouthfeel is very nice as well, undeniably smooth and just a great beer.

 581 characters

Photo of Tballz420
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew here is a jet black concoction, brown hues in the light. Dark brown head sits on the top, some lace. The scent is not surprisingly dominated by coffee aroma. The sweet malt roasted malt front is blown away by a rich coffee taste. Hops are there but are dominated as well. Smooth creamy body. Stouts arent my favorite, and i normally dont like coffee, but this beer is done quite right. Especially if you like coffee, this ones worth a shot.

 450 characters

Photo of mobyfann
3.71/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Paid $9.49 flat for a 6-pack.

The beer pours a pure black base, with a medium-large caramel colored head, very good head retention and very nice lacing effects. The smell is only 2-dimensional, dark roast coffee meets chocolate bar.

The taste is a nice smooth stout, but it's not very complex as typical stout. however with the name Java Stout, one must expect this. The smoothness makes the mouthfeel a good one, smooth stout on the palette is nice. The drinkability is average, granted it tastes great at 7.5% abv, but I could not drink two of these in a row as I could belgian ales...

Final Thought: A little disappointed as high expectations were shattered; however, this beer is still good if you're just into dark roast coffee and chocolate in one -- with that, then this is your beer.

 801 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Secret Santa 2004 #6

Appearance: A body so dark that the only light that could pass through it would be a phaser. Dark tan head full of micro bubbles and topped by some above the rim cream. Quickly breaking down to a half finger table top. Some lacing.

Aroma: the moment the cap pops, you're in Starbucks. Roasted and burnt coffee just fills the air. Take the head off, have someone inhale and I bet they tell you it's coffee cooled to room temperature.

Taste: A bit more blended than the aroma. The coffee is there, but I sense that there is a stout lurking here also. Roasted malts roll acoss the tongue, followed by a rising column of hoppiness, dead center and on the tip of my tongue. Finishes with an increasing taste of deep roasted coffee.

Mouthfeel is a tad disappointing, not quite as slick, oily, or full as I would have preferred. Not really lacking, but not excelling.

Goods down quite easy, and satisfying. Wish I had another.

If you don't like coffee, you might want to skip this. If you do like coffee, embrace it.

 1,049 characters

Photo of assurbanipaul
4.58/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark coffee-brown, not quite opaque, with a good-sized, very dark tan head. Aroma is sweet coffee, maybe some mild cocoa.

The flavor here is -- in a word -- robust. Coffee flavors, naturally, but not just any supermarket joe; something like Sumatran dark roast, a volcanic-soil variety. Rich and heavy, sweetly bitter, traces of milky malt and dark chocolate. Not a trace of alcohol in the taste, finish is bitter and nutty, more stout-like. Leaves me with coffee breath.

Mouthfeel is thick, silky and smooth. Hard to make the call whether this is a coffee-flavored beer or a beer-flavored iced coffee. Far and away the best coffee beer I've ever tried. Blessings to trbeer for feeding both my addictions.

 720 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 Gaisgeil
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


This is one potent, complex and utterly satisfying brew! Pours a thick black with a nice dark brown head. Very smooth and silky with a good amount of carbonation. The smell is outstanding, a nice rich stout smell combined with an awesome coffeehouse java vibe right under the surface. The balance I think is flawless somehow. (coffee.... and beer? together?)

Absolutely nothing to complain about here folks, unless you just plain can't stand coffee, then maybe you've got a point. Otherwise, grab a pint!


 533 characters

Photo of alexgash
4.68/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown to coffe-black. No light penetrates this black beauty. Thick, big dirty-brown head floats powerfully atop. Laces like a sonofabitch. Outstanding. Smells of freshly-ground, dark roast coffee beans. Coffee aromas mix well with the peaty, smoky, and slightly sweet roasted malt. Mama likes. Wow! They [Bell's brewer(s)] definitely put some coffee in here. Dark, roasty bitterness right up front. Like carbonated coffee. Mid-palate reveals the familiar Kalamazoo stout base. Earthy, peaty, roasty with a hint of sweetness and quite delicious. Finish is sweetish with a roasty coffee bitterness. Full-bodied and chewy, with more carbonation than it needs. Another great Bell's stout. Maybe I should drink this every morning...

 732 characters

Photo of mattcrill
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours motor oil black with a tight, tan head. Looks pretty monsterous in a glass. The head doesn't stick around too long but it's nicely done.

Smell: Folgers all the way. A bit of dry chocolate but it's primarly average ground coffee smell. Kind of a bummer but I'm still interested.

Taste: Folgers and dry chocolate with a tight, dry finish. Pretty strong, bitter aftertaste. Roasted coffee is very dominant in the taste. There is a mild alcohol note throughout but the coffee dominates.

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy, and slick.

Drinkability: Pretty heavy stuff so I couldn't see drinking a ton of this. This paired nicely with my wife's fresh baked brownies. This is good but there are better versions out there.

 735 characters

Photo of sabrills70
3.29/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a jet black with minimal head and almost non existant lace.
Smells of over roasted bitter burt coffee (I don't mean that in a bad way). The easiest way to explain the taste is nicely roasted stout mixed with a shot of esspresso. A bit too much roasted bitterness perhaps. Leaves a strong aftertaste so drink this one when you are all done drinking everything else. This is one to keep in the fridge and pull one out every now and again. Not super drinkable, but tastes good every once in a while.

 503 characters

Photo of carln26
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This came from another gift bottle (Thanks Zac!). It poured a deep brown to black with little head or lace. The malty sweet aroma is accented by the coffee added to this beer. The coffee accents some chocolate malt added to the mixture. The coffee is more subtle in this beer than in others of this style I’ve tried. It still dominates the taste, but doesn’t mask some of the chocolate and other flavors that come from the malt. Any hops are completely disguised by the addition of the coffee. It has that same silky smooth Bell’s mouth feel, and has a decent drinakbility. This is a fairly stout stout, and the alcohol would prevent drinking too many of these.

 664 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 necoadam
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When I popped this one open and poured it out, my wife thought that the coffee maker was on. Surprised me as well with the coffee aroma as well.

Poured out a medium black color with a nice tan head that leaves a nice lacing.

Smell consisted of ...well...coffee. But some nice roasted aromas pop up as well. Some dark fruit hides in the background as well.

Taste was big. Big flavors that seem to be "in your face." Good coffee flavors along with some big roasted flavors. Towards the middle some hop bitterness shows up to add to the big flavors of this beer. But it just balances out so nicely.

Moutfeel was good. This is a full bodied beer, don't kid yourself. The right amount of carbonation is also in this beer.

A nice treat, really it is. Don't know if I would want a second or third one, but this is a nice night-cap for sure. Wife gave it 2 thumbs up as well!

Thanks to Pisskynights and Feloniousmonk for each sending me a bottle. Good stuff.

 972 characters

Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 1,102 ratings.