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

Bell's Java StoutBell's Java Stout
Liked This Beer
3.94 w/ 3,250 ratings
Bell's Java StoutBell's Java Stout

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by kbub6f on 12-11-2001

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,250 |  Reviews: 1,152
Photo of ChadQuest
1.67/5  rDev -57.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured absolutely black,with 1-1/2 finger head. looks kinda thin on swirl.

Smells like stale coffee,wet paper.

Tastes Like roasted malt,and watery coffee that was left on the burner for an hour. I mean, yea its a coffee stout and they got alot of the "Coffee" flavor in there, but it tastes like garbage folgers coffee brewed in a perkulator yesterday, and then stored in a cardboard box overnight....and now your drinking it.

Mouthfeel is thinner then most stouts, and much thinner then i like em at least, but not REALLY bad, A bit of carbination helps out, but can only do so much.

Flavor stays with you, but i wish it was creamier and thicker.Could try to drink more of these, but i have no desire to. I had to spread this sixer around between beers over a months time just to give it more chances...nope doesn't deliever, and gave a couple away, not to look forward to. Won't spend $15 on it again. would hesitate to take one if handed to me, but maybe would feel compassion and give it yet another chance, maybe next years batch.

I'm a coffee geek as much(or more) as a beer geek, and worked in the coffee industry, so maybe i'm a bit harsh on the coffee flavor, but then i think about how greatly made Peche Mortel is, and then its ok. I'd much rather have 2 Peche Mortels then a 6er of this. Seems like others like it more them i did, maybe drinking some of the worlds best coffee skews me. I can't stand crappy coffee, and it makes sense i can't stand beer that tastes like crappy coffee.

Time to go french press some ethiopian yirgacheffe, to remind myself what good coffee tastes like.

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Photo of oelergud
1.68/5  rDev -57.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Almost completely opaque body, only a little dark red gets through at the edge. Tan head that falls quickly and leaves little lace.
The smell is feet and day old coffee grind.
Taste is equally bad.
Nasty stuff. this is not a brew I'll have again anytime soon.


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Photo of churchillps
1.68/5  rDev -57.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Hopefully a bad batch/bottle because I poured it out.

53 characters

Photo of GoGriz
1.78/5  rDev -54.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Much like other people that have had batch 9462, I can confirm that this must be infected. I just bought this beer in Philly at the Foodery after having had this beer earlier from a trade. The one from the trade tasted the exact same way and though i didn't review that beer or make note of the batch, I have to assume it was this same batch. DRINKER BEWARE that if you want to taste acidic rotten brew...this batch is it. The question is will I ever get a proper java stout frm Bells? I hope.

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Photo of gobucks1
1.78/5  rDev -54.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured black into a pint glass with a short tan head. Smells of used coffee grounds and burnt malts. I was surprised that the was not a stronger nose of warm coffe flavors (and maybe chocolate?)as you would expect for a coffee stout. The taste of burnt day old coffe overwelmed my tongue. The only other flavor I got was a slight alcohol finish. I am a huge fan of coffee stouts but this one just missed. I expected more from the high price tag.

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Photo of NODAK
1.8/5  rDev -54.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Smells quite strongly of roasted coffee beans. If you chilled an espresso drink and made it into beer, this is how it would smell.

The taste, however, is quite "interesting". The start of the taste is indeed roasted coffee beans but they don't come through as the aroma would have indicated and it has a really offputting stale taste to it. Then, this transitions into a bit of a licorice taste....finishing with what I would classify as an odd citric acid tangy sourness that's quite pronounced and just seems out of place. This is not an old batch, believe me I checked. So I'm confused by that.

My verdict here is that it has a great aroma and starts decent enough...but in the end, I'm turned off by what I'd consider to be "off flavors" for a stout.

 756 characters

Photo of misternebbie
1.8/5  rDev -54.3%

Photo of rosmhuire
1.82/5  rDev -53.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Poured from bottle into pint glass..

A: Black coloring, like a cup of coffee (duh). Tan-colored head.

S: Burnt/over-roasted coffee beans.

T: This is disgusting. Way over the top coffee flavor. This tastes like I'm chewing on coffee grounds.

M: Average, like most coffee stouts/RIS/oatmeal stouts. I won't even pretend that I can somehow notice the different mouthfeels when drinking different styles of stouts.

Drinkability: Terrible - I could barely finish this. I'm so sad I have another one of these in my fridge. I can't stand to pour things down the drain, so I'm already annoyed that I'm going to eventually force myself to drink the second bottle some night.

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Photo of stonelis
1.9/5  rDev -51.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Batch 9462. Poured a deep dark black. Nice tan head. Smells good, coffee with hints of chocolate. That's where the good traits end. This tasted awful! I usually love stouts. I drink cold espresso and coffee. I've had other Coffee Stouts. This was bitter and putrid. The only beer I ever poured away because I couldn't choke it down. I would be curious to know if this was a bad batch. I did notice one other review which mentioned this batch number and they had the same experience. If so shame on Bells for letting this out of the brewery. This rated a "D" because out of fairness it did look and small good but It should be a "F"

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
1.96/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Appearance - black stout pour. Only a strong back-lighting will unlock some beautiful dark ruby color. A full 3 fingers of mocha head recede, leaving large patches of head in its wake.

Aroma - the expected mix of charcoal and coffee, but something's coming across stale. Reminds of how Cave Creek Chili beer smells, that unpleasant stale pepper aroma. Strange but that's what I'm getting. A conflicted aroma and decidedly unpleasant.

Taste - starts out big, malty and thick. Loads of charcoal-fired espresso. Very smoky, with burnt flavors abounding. Unfortunately, that peppery stale Cave Creek flavor is here in abundance as well, pretty much ruining this beer for me. I don't care for this Bell's offering. Larger gulps minimize the off flavors and make it better, at least making it easier to get through.

Mouthfeel - very smooth, heavy, with medium carbonation.

Drinkability - didn't particularly care for this, but if I see it on tap, would be inclined to give it a 2nd chance.

 995 characters

Photo of bdkucharski
2/5  rDev -49.2%

Photo of oteixeira
2/5  rDev -49.2%

Photo of leinie13
2/5  rDev -49.2%

Photo of shade13
2/5  rDev -49.2%

Photo of Rempo
2/5  rDev -49.2%

Photo of MudDrinker
2/5  rDev -49.2%

Photo of carnoustie7
2/5  rDev -49.2%

Photo of Benjolovesbeer
2/5  rDev -49.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Photo of Walkerjgt
2/5  rDev -49.2%

Photo of 2Shaws
2/5  rDev -49.2%

2/5  rDev -49.2%

Photo of tmars13
2/5  rDev -49.2%

Photo of fastd03
2.03/5  rDev -48.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Most beers try to walk the tightrope between one flavor and the next, greatly concerned at the prospect of an overbearing flavor. This is not one of those beers! Although I generally like beers, I had no idea as to just how strong the java flavor of this one would be. I generally like milk and sugar with my coffee, admittedly, but I can tolerate coffee black from time to time. The Bell's Java Stout, however, has a stronger coffee flavor than coffee itself! So my recommendation: if you are a coffee fiend, this may just be your holy grail. If you are beer/stout fiend, though, you may want to give this order a second or third thought...

 641 characters

Photo of nhindian
2.06/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

12oz bottle poured into a globe.

Batch 9462, bottled on November 19, 2009. Much older than I would like and judging by some research this is a bad batch. Oh boy...

A - To start with, it's looks very solid. Almost pitch black body mixed with a dark khaki-colored head, 2-fingers in height with good retention. The lacing is solid as well, leaving generous coatings of foam behind.

S - The smell is where this beer starts to falter a bit. Although not completely off, and the impact of the age certainly doesn't help, this beer's aroma is a little skewed. The coffee is there, if not faint, and it smells delicious. There's also some slight baker's chocolate to really sweeten the pot. However, soon a rush of metallic, sour cherries assault the nose and it's all downhill from there.

T - Much like the nose but with less coffee and chocolate and more band-aids and metal. The cherries aren't awful as I love me some cherry chocolate stouts, but the metal and sour in this makes it almost unpalatable. Disgusting, to say the least, but still better than the two Short's beers I've had that were infected!

M - Mouthfeel is thin with moderately low carbonation. Leaves a metallic taste in the mouth, like licking a battery.

D - Drinkability is low. Unfortunately for the look and (first half of) the smell, the taste and infection just destroy this. Didn't even get halfway through before throwing in the towel. I will be looking out for a fresh batch of this, though, as it does seem to have promise.

 1,503 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
2.06/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

An extra from a trading stud, KeefD. Thanks Keith!

A: Pours pretty much a pitch black in the glass, with a hint of mahogany translucence around the edges. The head is thick and cream-colored; retention is outstanding, and it leaves nice lacing down the glass. Truly a pleasure to see.

S: Espresso, roast, and... uh.... smoke. Specifically, cigarette smoke. Er.

T: While I don't like the taste of black coffee, I am beginning to appreciate its presence in stouts and porters lately. The roasted coffee flavor sets the tone here, but it's backed up nicely by a melange of chocolate and roasted malt. Great beginning. Toward the finish, it attempts to get smoky, but it reminds me more of cigarette butts than anything else. I have had a few other coffee stouts with this characteristic, so I don't think the bottle is bad; I think it's just something I don't appreciate.

M: Medium-full, with velvety and smooth carbonation.

D: I'm not sure what was up with the cigarette thing, but I think it ruins what is otherwise a pretty solid coffee stout. Maybe I'll try it again in the future.

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Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 79.8% out of 100 with 3,250 ratings
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