Jingle Java | Bent River Brewing Company

very good
23 Reviews
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Jingle JavaJingle Java

Brewed by:
Bent River Brewing Company
Illinois, United States | website

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by sprucetip on 12-16-2008

User Reviews
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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 112
Photo of jaypaul522
3.66/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass - very dark, some head, and medium bodied. The smell was distinctly coffee, and that comes through in the taste as well. This beer was a medium to light body feel in the mouth, but with a satisfying taste.

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Photo of alarmclock314
3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, no date. Pours nearly black with a medium sized brown head. Smells of mostly pecan and caramel with some cinnamon, vanilla, and roasted malt; great intensity. The taste follows exactly but is very weak; pecan, roasted malt, and caramel. Some tart and subtle bitterness in the finish. Above average body and higher, prickly carbonation. Overall, it has a great nutty smell, but the flavor is way too watery.

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Photo of DaneBramage
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

L - Dark brown/black, medium head.
S - Nice coffee aroma.
T - Weak flavor, more burnt than coffee. Slight nut flavor but not balanced well at all.
M - Nothing special, thinner than your normal stout.
O - After the nose I expected a nice coffee stout, I got a weak one. Just not much to this, very disappointing.

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Photo of Strike00
2.46/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

L: pours a nice dark brown with a head that dissipated fairly quickly
S: smells like roasted Barley and some spices. Not bad.
T: not good, almost a sour taste to this. Beyond that very artificial.
F: Very thin and watery. Not much more I can say about it.

O: Not good. The funky sour flavor was not really palatable. Glad I just bought a single of this.

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Photo of martinfletwood
4.26/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This used to be my favorite seasonal beer. This years batch seemed a little "hurried". Still a great batch, just not as good as last years. I know craft beers vary from year to year, so we'll chalk it up and hope for better this Christmas.

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Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
4.34/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A really strong and really amazing coffee aroma. A great coffee stout with some maple in it, a slippy and syrupy texture, and an overall top-notch winter beer.

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Photo of mrandypandy
2.2/5  rDev -42%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

12oz bottle, an extra from a recent trade.

A - Pours a dark dark brown. Medium clarity. Small white hesd.
S - Bitter coffe. Acrid almost? Roast. Nuttyness from the pecsns.
T- Eh. Green coffee, light spice, slight pecans. No rum. Disjointed.
M - This is what puts the nail in the coffin. Thin, watery, no body.
O - Really not good. At all. Mediocre flavors combined with a terribly thin and watery body equals a mess of a beer. Not sure how anyone could give this a positive review...

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Photo of jlindros
3.49/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Don't remember who gave this to me.
Pours a light fizzy head that fades fairly quickly, light lacing, super dark black beer with a touch of mahogany brown light sneaking through.

Nose is super nutty, so much toasted pecan and mixed nuts, with a little nutty fruity coffee in the background, some caramel and toasty brown malts, reddish caramel malt aromas too, faint touch of cinnamon and cocoa. The pecans just overpower everything.

Taste starts with lots more pecans, but not as nutty this time, some acrid over roasted malts, char like, lots of toasty flavors, toasted pecans, toasted nuts, toasted brown malts, etc, with some caramel and candy notes. Also acrid burnt coffee, very burnt coffee like, a little super dark chocolate cocoa, and some vanilla notes. No rum, but a hint of cinnamon late on the taste, as it finishes a little watery feeling but dry, a little caramel and toasted pecans lingering, bit more burnt acrid coffee lingering as well.

Mouth is med bod, decent carb, somehow a little watery feeling.

Overall OK, coffee is burnt and acrid, malts are OK but a little watery somehow, pecans just overpower everything else for the most part too, and cinnamon is very light, rum is non existent, caramel is done well though.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.14/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown almost black with thin layer of khaki foam.

Wow, tons of pecan, maple, caramel, and coffee notes.

Pecan, pecan, and more pecan! Loads of nuttiness with caramel, coffee, nutmeg, and other spice notes.

Light-medium bodied, light-medium carbonation, thin, and oily. Was hoping for a thicker mouthfeel.

Overall, the mouthfeel could use some touch up, but this is a straight up caramel pecan brew perfect for a holiday meal.

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Photo of bnes09
4.31/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice espresso flavor coupled with dark chocolate, salted pretzels and pecans. Only mildly spicy and a nice balance with the malt. Overall, a very well done flavored stout and holiday ale.

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Photo of cloverdaddy
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Pours a dark brown with a nice thick head that settles to about a half inch all the way down.

The smell is of peanut butter and heavy, heavy butterscotch.

Taste is of roasted malt, some slight bitter coffee and faint butterscotch

Pretty light to medium mouthfeel that is easily drank.

Overall, a beer that smells better than it tastes, but still quite good.

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Photo of are_doubleyou
2.3/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

L: It pours a deep, black color with a light, off-white head that quickly vanishes into a ring of lacing. No sign of carbonation bubbles. Really disappointing compared to stouts with a thick, tan head.

S: Very rich aromatics. Strong coffee and cocoa notes dominate the nostrils. Caramel and vanilla are also present. Sadly lacking in roasted malt notes, but I won't hit it too much because it fits the advertised holiday and coffee notes.

T: The taste is crisp and surprisingly light up front. Really not all that pleasant. It tastes like someone took a subpar stout and added a bunch of artificial coffee, vanilla, chocolate and caramel flavoring to it. It tastes pretty disgusting to me. The finish is a mix of weak coffee and vanilla extract. A weird syrupy taste lingers on the palate. I am incredibly disappointed in the taste of this beer because it doesn't follow up on the promises of its aroma. There is nothing to entice me to take another sip besides the desire to soldier through and finish this review.

F: The feel is light and crisp with a slight fizziness. Not at all like the oily richness or thick maltiness that I want from a stout. Not terrible, but not what I want from this style at all.

O: I picked up a six-pack of this beer because a bartender at a sports bar told me that they blew a keg in a night and I spotted it the next day. I can only imagine that the keg was pounded by macro drinkers watching football because this is not a good coffee stout. It smells pretty good, but it tastes artificial and the the aftertaste is not very pleasant. I need to find someone with an unsubtle palate to dump the rest of this six-pack on because it is rubbish.

This beer was poured from a 12oz bottle into a Blind Pig mug and imbibed at apx 60F.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%

I am not the biggest fan of Bent River, and I live 25 minutes away. I usually prefer Great river down the block. This Jingle Java really blew me away. I am really starting to become more drawn to the stouts, and this is in the same ballpark as my recent eval of ten fidy. Sweetness, chocolate, coffee and surprise of vanilla. What a combination. The mouthfeel may have been the best. The carbonation combined to assist the uniqueness of this beer. This was a great draft!

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Photo of Sunn
4.89/5  rDev +29%

Normally I haven't been a big fan of anything Bent River has put out until I met Jingle Java. This one blew my Santa Hat to the moon when I first tasted this beer on tap. This was at a beer festival with multiple well-known breweries from around the world and Jingle Java even turned out being my favorite beer of the entire event.

Just pure coffee/java sweetness when you give the beer a whiff. I gave the beer a sip considering my past with their beers, but I was greeted by one of the best sweet stouts I've ever had in my life. There is a PERFECT amount of coffee and java sweetness that does not overpower the beer in any way whatsoever. Plus, the creaminess of the the mouth feel is absolutely incredible and compliments the beer amazingly.

This beer is an absolute treat. To compare it to something more well known it would be Three Floyds Moloko, but every aspect of it being upped a notch. I never had any interest in going to this brewery and it's only 45 minute drive away. This beer's already got my weekend visit in order. Christmas came early. Jingle Java is up there with ANY stout, it's phenomenal. Kudos to Bent River!

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Photo of martyl1000
4.56/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the most stunning coffee flavor I've ever had in a beer. It really is an iced-Americano, with carbonation. The aroma is pure cold coffee with milk.

Flavor in the mouth is uncannily straight-up coffee grounds. There's a tart, tinny hop bitterness that tries to remind one this is beer. But the pronounced roasted coffee flavor resists such a notion. There's a nice sweet vanilla in the background that helps a milk chocolate undercurrent emerge from the dark depths.

Best coffee stout I've had. Blows doors on New Glarus Coffee Stout. There are better coffee-infused double stouts out there (Central Waters Brewhouse, Lagunitas Capuccino). But at a mere 6.5% abv, this one takes the cake.

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Photo of HawkeyeNation
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a Toppling Goliath chalice

A: Not quite black, but very dark brown.

S: Immediately after opening the bottle, aromas of coffee fill the area. Also, notes of chocolate.

T: Huge coffee flavor, not subtle at all. May as well be drinking coffee with a stout added, complete with notes of caramel, vanilla and chocolate.

M: Creamy mouthfeel, not very thick of a body

Overall, I enjoyed this beer but would've preferred it to be a little thicker and maybe a less prominent on the coffee side, as you can get that with the Uncommon Stout.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - near black, creamy beige head
S - plume of coffee and rum fills the room, vanilla, cinnamon and chocolate are present with a closer sniff
T - sweet, coffee, rum, vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa, nutty, caramel
M - creamy, smooth, ample carbonation
O - good idea, but I feel like it could be better. More alcohol? I don't know, it seemed a bit convoluted for what it was; which I guess could be taken as a compliment. I know everything doesn't have to be a huge beer, with a big ABV, and barrel aged, but with all that is involved with this beer I think all that big stuff could have made this something special.

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Photo of bigbeerfan
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

As a big fan of Bent River's Uncommon Stout, this seemed like a no-brainer.

Appearance: Pours a deep-dark brown with mahogany edges. One-finger tan head that quickly dissipated leaving just a sparse ring around the glass.

Smell: This one is unique. It reminds me of Brach's Maple Goodies candy - vanilla, caramel, nuts, etc. with a solid coffee backbone.

Taste: Vanilla, maple and bitter coffee notes. Very dry. Nutty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Not as heavy as most stouts. Low carbonation.

Overall: It's a great holiday beer. Definitely not something I would want to drink in the summer, but really nice when it's winter-cold.

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Photo of iabeerbaron
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

It really is a great stout for the holidays as you get all the spices and flavors that scream “holiday” right in your glass/bottle. The vanilla adds a hint of sweetness and the coffee and chocolate really shine in this brew. Add a bit of smokiness from the roasted malts and you have a real winner of beer here. Only available until mid-January I suggest giving this brew a shot if you’re a stout fan.


STYLE: Stout

ABV: 6.5%


POUR: Deep brown pour with a small tan head.

AROMA: Vanilla, rum, coffee dominate the aroma.

TASTE: Coffee, vanilla, chocolate and smokiness from the malt.

Ratebeer.com rating: 84

Beeradvocate rating: 85

Overall: B

My recommendation: If you need a break from the big imperials this is the perfect beer to take that break with, enjoy it for dessert, watching the game, or it would be even better for breakfast! Cheers!

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Photo of Duff27
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Light beige sense head on a dark town body. Head has excellent retention, 4+ minutes. Nice drink-by-drink step lacing.

S- Aromas of sweet vanilla, extract perhaps. Pleasing.

T- Chocolate chip cookies, jumbled in with coffee notes and various spices. Balanced in not overly sweet (as the smell would lead you to believe) but not all components are taken into account. Hides its ABV well, would guess 7%.

M- Creamy mouthfeel (due to it having flaked oats in the grist), adequate carbonation.

D/O- Overall, it was a decent beer and while I liked where Bent River was going, I feel that they missed their mark...the hodgepodge of flavors were somewhat out of balance. That said, every aspect of Jingle Java is solid besides the taste.

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Photo of Schmittymack
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From tasting notes back in January... Served on tap at the brewery in a pint shaker glass. Color is deep brown with a small, nearly non-existent head. Aromas of coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and more coffee. Taste is quite good: coffee, sweet(er) chocolate, roasted malt, and a touch of smokiness. Smoother than I thought it might be; no hop bitterness whatsoever, just coffee on the finish. I like this a lot and hope to get more next time we're back in IL for the holidays.

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Photo of mynie
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler consumed the same evening it was poured.

Pours dark brown, not nearly opaque but still nice looking and topped with a little white ring. This is a growler pour so the lack of head can be forgiven.

Smells like intense, intense coffee. Pleasant, very sweet chocolate malt is also present. Candy shop sweetness, not much in there that's like a normal stout or porter.

Tastes like sugar sweetened coffee. Not bad, actually quite nice, but lacking the rough roasted grains of a good coffee stout. In order words, it's not very beerish. The front end is all coffee, the middle is milk and sugar and the end--which, sadly, is where the body gets a little watery--there's the same lightly tart bitterness you get from dark roasted coffee.

A nice beer for sure, but it's kind of redundant considering that their fantastic Uncommon coffee stout is a regular offering.

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Photo of sprucetip
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery in Moline.

Very dark, almost black. One finger tan head with some retention and a little lacing.

Smells of chocolate, vanilla, some malty sweetness, but mostly coffee.

Coffee, malt, dark grains, chocolate. A hint of bitterness. Though coffee forward, pretty balanced and very smooth.

Carbonation on the light side. A bit creamy, pleasant and medium bodied.

Increasingly complex and seductive. ABV is unkown, but guess it to be about 6. Very easy drinking stout, so long as you like coffee.

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Jingle Java from Bent River Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 23 ratings.