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

very good
1,148 Reviews
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,148 | Ratings: 3,231
Photo of Buck89
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. A nearly opaque dark brown beer with a modest tan head that stayed with me for a while. Bright aromas of freshly ground coffee, vanilla, some cocoa, and roasted malt. A big coffee taste up front. This was followed by toast, char, dark chocolate, and a pleasant bitter coffee finish. Medium-bodied and medium-carbed. Nothing fancy, but a great coffee stout.

 382 characters

Photo of SaltofOH
4.11/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 10/10/16. Michigan craft pint.

A: Pours an opaque black with barely any light penetrating at the dark brown edge. Finger and a half of thick frothy tan head. Nice retention, above average lacing.

S: you get the statement that a stout smells like coffee often, but this one really does smell like coffee, obviously. It smells like the dark, syrupy black stuff they used to serve at a church I used to go to. There is an underlying sweetness, but this is dominated by a bitter roasty, almost smoky smell.

T: nicely balanced. The taste is far sweeter than the nose, but not super sweet as stouts go. Malty, roasty, middle; light and surprisingly clean. Roast does not linger.

M: lighter side of midweight, slightly slick with mild carbonation.

O: compared to FBS, this is much lighter and more coffee-dominant. Less lingering roasty taste, but coffee is really strong and prominent but somehow remains light. Excellent daytime stout.

 950 characters

Photo of ThickNStout
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from Target (Woodstock, GA). 9.99/ 6 pack. Bottled 10/10/16. Served in a Bell's snifter.

Pours black with about three quarter fingers of pale tan head. The milky froth shrinks to a thin partial film with a narrow band, leaving a couple small patches of lace.

Smells of cold brewed coffee, roast and burnt caramel. The coffee dominates but that's just fine by me.

Taste follows the nose. Robust coffee, burnt sugar, roasty malts, a little brown sugar and some toast. As in the aroma, coffee pretty much runs the show and that really suits this brew.

Medium feel with moderately mild carbonation. The lingering, softly bitter aftertaste is roasty with coffee and cooked sugar.

It's good to revisit one of my early craft favorites. Coffee stouts are what got me into beer and Bell's Java Stout was not only the first of their many treasures I tried but also one of the original brews that kept me going. This is still a good solid brew that delivers plenty of coffee flavor.

 994 characters

Photo of JColin
3.81/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz. pkgd, 11/3/15
Duvel Tulip

A - Dark brown with some carbonation

S - Coffee and roasted malt

T - Coffee and bitter cocoa

F - Sticky mouthfeel

O - Not overly impressed but it is a year old. I will buy again if I can find it fresh.

 239 characters

Photo of bbtkd
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell's Java Stout, 7.5% ABV, 43 IBU. Pours black, medium viscosity, with 1 finger tan head on a careful pour. Nose is strong coffee, some malt. Taste is strong coffee, a bit of chocolate, slight to moderate coffee bitterness. No doubts at all that this is a coffee stout. Nice mouthfeel, overall excellent.

 311 characters

Photo of josanguapo
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

From Labirratorium. In Teku glass. Playing Magic Duels. Coffee very noticeable here without being unpleasant, although Id prefer a bit less. Leaves a sticky moutheel.

 166 characters

Photo of Oopssorryy
4.73/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured hard into a pint glass, this brew comes out thick and black, bringing up memories of recent oil changes. A large creamy tan head forms, and leaves quite a lot of lacing as you drink. Eventually the head settles down to a thin coating on the top of the beer, but it takes some time for this one to dissipate. The nose of this stout is one of my favorites, with notes of dark chocolate, rich fruit and coffee scents intermingling well. Flavors are complex and well balanced. You start softly with the date like fruit tastes, which almost immediately is overtaken by the rich black coffee flavor. Hints of bittersweet chocolate build as you approach the finish, eventually taking the lead at the very end, with hints of vanilla showing up now and then. Overall this Java stout is on the bitter side, like a true cup of Colombian coffee, hold the sugar and cream, however there are hints of sweetness at the start from the fruit like flavors, and then again in the finish with the coco note.

The mouth feel is rich, thick, and chewy, but not so much so that it makes the stout difficult to drink like some I've partaken in. I would credit the medium amount of carbonation for keeping this brew highly drinkable. Not once did this beers 7.5 AVB rear it's head, allowing the flavors, textures and aromas to take full stage in this wonderful experience. If you enjoy a coffee forward stout, this has to be sampled.

 1,416 characters

Photo of PongIsNotBeirut
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into glass. Very dark with shallow head of tiny bubbles.
Deep coffee aroma with toasted malt, negligible hop smell.
Very coffee forward taste that buries any subtleties; perhaps oak, tobacco.

you get exactly what you expect; a very coffee-forward beer brewed very well.

 286 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Served as a deep chocolate brown with no head in the snifter at a Local H concert.

Aroma of mildly roast malts and acidic coffee.

Holy coffee. This is straight coffee. Acidic, with a very faint hint of melted chocolate underneath.

Feel is lightly tarry, but milky too. Mild and faint carbonation.

Overall, Java Stout is just that - Java, and nothing else. Very one noted, I'll pass next time.

 397 characters

Photo of Absolut
3.81/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

poured from a 12 oz bottle.

jet black, white head, some lacing.

smells of coffee and malt. strong coffee aroma

flavor is coffee forward but thin after that.

 160 characters

Photo of Big_Neezy
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Strong coffee notes. Much more pronounced than other coffee stouts. First time I ever pulled tobacco notes from a beer. Very robust flavor. Nothing passive about it.

 169 characters

Photo of Moquinbrendon
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Tastes like bitter coffee, dark chocolate, smoke, earthy tobacco. Leaves your lips kinda sticky with all of the flavors. It's a very drinkable coffee stout. I would recommend this beer to anyone who likes stouts.

 212 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Good substantial dark brown pour with a tan head measuring in the full inch range, very good retention in there. Aroma was tons of coffee, hittin' those spots, mad reps.

This is kind of the prototypical coffee stout. Coffee is the predominant flavor, even though I suspect it has ample hopping and bitterness, its all about the coffee. It dominates lesser aspects of the beer like roasted and chocolate malt flavors.

 420 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black in color with no penetration to light. There's an inch of tightly woven beige resting on top. Aroma is comprised of bitters dark roasted coffee and roasted barley. The taste is a well balanced blend of bitter dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and bitter roasted barley. The mouth is moderately oily and lightly chewy.

 330 characters

Photo of q33jeff
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Maxs, Fells Point, Baltimore. Aroma is coffee. Smoked meats. Dark black, small off white head. Taste is smoke, salt, coffee, roasted barley. Tobacco. Feel is thin, medium low carbonation. Really interesting stout. Love the smoke. Good beer.
Not as good here from bottle to goblet, as i remember from Tap.
Strong coffee aroma and taste, mostly in the finish it dominates. Some toasty malt.

 432 characters

Photo of Boccu
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark and rich. Nice aroma. Great coffee flavor all the way through. Light coco tones. Very well made.great brewery. Look forward to having another one.

 158 characters

Photo of Marraybay
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look: Black; Little to no head.

Smell: Coffee! (refreshing that an advertised flavor component does in fact
present itself in the nose!)

Taste: Coffee is the overarching component here, but there's a subtle sweetness
that helps to offset the roastiness. (The cream and sugar if you will.)

Feel: Nondescript.

Overall: Actually not bad: Haven't had much luck with Bells in general and similarly have been
hit or miss on coffee stouts, but this sort of works.
The coffee nose / taste is intense, but there's just enough of a glimmer of sweetness in front that prevents a run away one note wonder.

 604 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, bottled on date 11/09/15. Finally getting around to reviewing this one from Bell's, acquired a single bottle from the local beer store.

Poured into a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale mini snifter.

A - Pours a rich oily chocolate black body, one finger of dark mocha head that goes down to a ring fast. Scattered strands of lacing. Appears sticky and well carbonated.

S - Initial whiff of fresh roasted cold coffee, followed by malt roastiness, slight hints of char & smoke, and some slightly perceivable hop character.

T - Taste is more chocolate / malt / roast forward than it is coffee, but the coffee bean roastiness is definitely in there. Bitter, dark, & roasty.

M - Feel is bitter & roasty. Crisply carbonated and easy-drinking. A very nice roasty stout.

Overall, a nice stout, but probably a bit over-priced. Glad to have tried it.

Bell's Java Stout -----4/5.

 886 characters

Photo of bubseymour
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Lot of roast and coffee scents in this one. Taste is nicely balanced with the coffee and some sweet chocolate and malt, then finishes with a little bitterness. A touch roasty in there as well but doesn't cross into ashy. Its a very well made coffee stout. Can't believe its been around since 2001 and I'm first sampling this in 2016.

 339 characters

Photo of anon
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque black appearance; nice thick mocha hued head, decent retention and nice lace on the rim. Being a big fan of black coffee, the smell of this stout is amazing. Huge scents of coffee roast on the nose, cacao nibs, char and wood. Taste is very earthy; the roast is very deep on this one, bringing up hints of soil, grass, woodiness; charred vanilla bean, malt, grain, cacao nib, nutmeg, clove, hop bite and burnt coffee grounds.

Bitter coffee, chocolate and char dominate the mouthfeel. Not a very complex brew, but as a straightforward coffee stout, this is just what I like and I find this one to be underrated. A bit pricey but would definitely enjoy again.

 666 characters

Photo of THSdrummer
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours black with a medium sized creme colored head. A bit of lacing is left behind after each sip, but quickly disappears. Charred, over roasted coffee hits the nose first, with a bit of malts in the aroma as well. The taste is very much coffee, with a slightly, sweet, malt background. Unfortunately, the coffee seems a little burnt. Still pleasant though. Mouth feel is pretty good. Maybe a tad watery, but still solid. Overall, a pretty darn good beer here. The burnt coffee aroma overwhelms me a bit, but it's still a good beer.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

 560 characters

Photo of alarmclock314
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, dated 10/24/15. Pours black with a large sized dense brown head. Smells of dark coffee and over-roasted malt. The taste follows very closely with dark coffee, earthy hops, burnt malt, and char. A good amount of bitterness in the late aftertaste. Medium body and medium carbonation. Overall, it's a straight-forward coffee stout with some pleasant roast/char flavors.

 385 characters

Photo of jooler
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

look is good and smell is a little spicy. initial taste extremely coffee forward. alot of bitter aftertaste due to the amount of coffee and dark roasted malts. i drink a hammerhead cup of coffee black and this beers seems little too bitter for me. but it does have a good crisp mouthfeel to it

 293 characters

Photo of NickSMpls
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Packaged on Oct 24, '15 and rated on 25th Jan '16. (Shout out to Bell's for plain and simple dating!) pour is a dark brown and no light passes throughthe glass. Head is a fine foam and persistent. Smell is dark rost coffee - natch - and roasted grain. Nice smooth and moderately dry taste and strong dark coffee with chocolate and subtle hop backdrop. Very well made and anice complement to the winter warmers and bocks.

 428 characters

Photo of CNoj012
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer pours an opaque black color with a two finger mocha head that fades to a small ring around the edge of the glass with a microfilm layer across the top. There are many hanging sheets of lacing. Smell is bitter coffee and sweet chocolate. Taste is the same with bitterness up front but a very sweet finish. Feel is light side of medium, oily and slightly sticky. Overall a very nice beer, but when compared to other stouts at a similar price point it falls a bit short.

 477 characters

Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.96 out of 5 based on 3,231 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.