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

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Bell's Java StoutBell's Java Stout
Very Good
3,253 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,253 |  Reviews: 1,152
Photo of Teleweizen2
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch 9992 - October 13th 2010

A - pours a robust ebony with a massive dark tan head of foam. Doesn't last too long but leaves lots of lacing.

S - its amazing how apparent the coffee aroma is given this beer is almost six months old. The smell is equal to putting your nose into a bag of freshly roasted coffee beans. Warm. Bitter. Nutty. Some notes of sweet chocolate malt.

T - there is a smooth chocolate malt sweetness on the tip of the tounge. As the beer coats the tounge the bitterness of the coffee becomes the dominating flavor. Tastes like chocolate covered espresso beans. Long bittersweet finish with a tinge of alcohol.

M - medium bodied but on the thinner side. High carb.

D - very easy drinking and full flavored stout. And even with this being half a year old is remarkable.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
2.96/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bell's Java Stout has a dark brown, opaque body and a finger and a half of brown head. Pretty good retention with minimal lacing.

Pretty good coffee aroma that is joined by some dark malts. Mostly just coffee.

Bell's Java Stout is another coffee stout that falls into the category of a coffee flavor that is really strong. So strong, in fact, that it is unpleasant, making the beer acrid and bitter. The coffee flavor comes off as burnt and ashy. The chocolate malt, malt sweetness, and roasted malt are barely noticeable underneath the coffee flavor.

The body is fairly good. Not really big or thick or chewy, but it is smooth and creamy.

Many coffee stouts that I come across share the same problems with Bell's Java stout, where the coffee is so aggressive it is unpleasant. Too bad, I like Bell's.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep black body, big fluffy head, excellent lacing

S: big roasted coffee, hint of nut, slight smoke, mild bitter chocolate

T: sweet cocoa, earthy roasted nuts, slow long bitter coffee, boozy finish

M: med/heavy, chewy

O: Fine coffee stout, especially for 40/raining Opening Day for MLB. Great in-between beer, got enough flavor to sip, but find myself gulping it too.

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Photo of Lauthaha
4.88/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a beer glass.

Appearance: Pours a cola black/brown with much ferocity. Head is purposefully poured to be a solid three+ fingers. As it recedes, it leaves a spiderweb of heavy lacing, looks awesome.

Smell: Mocha. A thick, roasted coffee-malt flavor lays the foundation for milk chocolate goodness.

Taste: Coffee bitterness up front, with the chocolate sweetness coming in as the beer foams up. Chewy malt character, and a distinctly pleasant semi-sweet aftertaste. Awesome.

Mouthfeel: A perfect combination of carbonation and placidity. Enters smoothly, goes down smoothly with not a lot of residual stickiness. Awesome.

Overall: This one is a solid A+...I haven't had a much better beer.

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Photo of VMWhelan
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint

Pours pitch black with a finger and a half of dark mocha head.

The nose is coffee and sweet chocolate with some roasty malts.

Taste is espresso/coffee and again, sweet chocolate. Roasted malts are prominent.

Mouthfeel is viscous and sticky. Carbonation is low. About what I expected it to be.

Drinkability is good. Mouthfeel makes this a slow-drinker but it is tasty and very enjoyable.

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Photo of shand
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a chalice.

This is a pitch-black brew. No light shines through it. The head is fairly substantial but retains right down to wisps. Lacing is very nice. The aroma is quite nice, I get espresso, roasted malts and, surprisingly, a nice hop character here. The taste is also quite good, a nice creamy coffee character is primary here, with some bittering hops on the backend. Delicious.

The mouthfeel is very creamy and feels just great going down, and the drinkability is exceptional. I really had a good time drinking this one, this is just a great stout. Bells just has hit after hit with regards to stouts, they're quickly becoming one of my favourite breweries.

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Photo of bobhits
3.56/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You have to love brewers adding coffee to stouts which already have a coffee flavor. This beer pours deep dark black, a decent head, good lacing, all that jazz. Doesn't have the best legs and seems a touch watery but still in line with a big stout. The nose and the taste are of ground coffee and espresso. There's a good bit of bitter chocolate, hops, and a rather sweet sugary malt trying to hold things together. The flavors linger in the mouth, mostly the espresso well well after the beer is gone.

Over all a good beer, far short of beers such as founders breakfast stout, but if you want a bit more espresso this might be the way to go.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
5/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A perfect beer. Pours black. Smells of coffee and chocolate, which is a benefit for those that are coffee and chocolate lovers. Tastes of malts, coffee and chocolate of course. Smooth overall feeling. Drinkability, just like my coffee can't stop at one cup, well this beer I can't stop at one bottle

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Photo of haddon
3.42/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours black as onyx in the glass with not much head. little lacing down the glass

smells like stale coffee... smokey, salted nuts, little bit of sweet molasses

lots of coffee notes... toasted malts, bitter chocolate, and a bit of hoppy bitterness at the end. strange how the aftertaste begins to fall apart, almost like a scorched pot of coffee that has been on the burner too long

medium body with not much carbonation but the style wouldn't call for it

to me, coffee stouts are very hit or miss. this one doesn't quite get it. I'm not going to ding a beer that's in a style that I'm not wild about but this one seems to miss something on the aftertaste.

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Photo of Brunite
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Batch 9992 makes this about 5 months old at tasting. An ink black appearance with a tan 3 finger head that receeds to a cap. Tons of lace.

S - Bittersweet coffee. One dimensional...as it should be. Smells like a good, strong, coffee shot.

T - All coffee. A nice, strong, bitter espresso. Also noted is some hop bitterness after the coffee backs off a bit. There is also a very pleasant semi-sweet chocolate flavor that lingers on the back of the palate. I like it.

M - Medium body. A quick swirl revives a creamy head.

O - A nice surprise here. This goes down REALLY easy. And that is on top of an Old Raspy! Very drinkable. It tastes good and the lingering flavors of coffee and chocolate rival many I have had. At 7.5 ABV...it is well hidden.

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Photo of FattyJLE
3.42/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

A - Pitch black with a quarter inch beige head that dissipates quickly, leaving minimal lacing.

S - Diacetyl/buttery notes with a hint of coffee, sugar and alcohol. Smells very similar to that of irish coffee.

T - Slightly roasty malts combined with a moderate buttery flavor. Stale coffee emerges on the end and carries into a lingering coffee/earthy hop bitterness. The alcohol is well-hidden by the coffee and bittering hops.

M - Moderate to low body for a stout with a dry finish. Appropriate carbonation.

O - I was expecting more from this beer. I felt the flavor was lacking for a coffee stout. It could have used a more intense roastiness and although the coffee smells and flavors were definitely there, I would have preferred a fresher taste. Instead I felt as if I was drinking a cold, watered down irish coffee. I will not seek out this beer again.

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Photo of travis224
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #8158. This beer is over 4 years old but there is still a lot of coffee flavors in here. A bit boozy but seriously delicious. i don't drink a lot of coffee but this is a coffee lovers dream Can't speak for it fresh but with four years on it there's still plenty of carbonation and deliciousness in this glass. Bell's always kills it.

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Photo of srandycarter
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Almost black, medium tan head. Slow to leave. Lots of viscous cling lace and cascading bubbles.

S - Burnt coffee, milk chocolate, chocolate chip cookies.

T - Taste follows smell, but heavier on the burnt coffee. Maybe too heavy for me. Nice 90% Cocoa flavor too.

M - Medium body, balance too much to bitter coffee. Texture a little phlemy in the center.

D - Not a session for sure.

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Photo of veinless
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jesse13713 for this brew, got it in a trade with him. Second one of the Bell's bottles he sent - thanks again Jesse.

Pours jet black and pretty viscous with a half-finger dark mahogany head that retains pretty well for how meager it is. Bubbling is of assorted size and leaves spotty lace.

Nose is one-dimensional: it's a dark roasted coffee bomb, and offers awesome coffee aroma. Wet grounds that lack any sweetness fill the nose and make you feel like you're getting ready in the morning. However, there is nothing beyond that smell, and this IS a coffee STOUT after all; I admire the nose but wish there was something else to offer complexity. Still worthy of a solid 4 though due to the quality of the one smell present.

Taste has a lot of the coffee, but does add some other flavors, namely a slight pineapple for just a moment in the middle. Some toasted biscuit comes out a bit as well, but this is a coffee showcase for the most part. That happens to be a good thing here, as the coffee is dark, roasted, slightly rubbery and a tinge spicy at the end.

Mouthfeel is full and thick, but strangely a bit watery for brief moments. Drinkability is excellent due to the awesome coffee flavor being well balanced and not too bitter at all. Bell's clearly aims for one thing in this beer, and they achieve it well.

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Photo of Chaney
3.01/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark, dark brown, with absolutely no light passing through it, even around the edges. The dense 1/2 finger or so mocha head stayed at least a ring around the brew throughout the session.

S: The intense coffee grounds laid waste to everything else that either is, or once was around it. A tinge of roast was present.

T: Intense coffee, but it was more of the Maxwell House variety. The coffee taste not only ruined my palate, it just might have stained my teeth as well. This brew could have definitely benefited from a bit of caramel-like sweetness.

M: The intense coffee bitterness was just simple too much for me. The carbonation was low.

O: I try this one year after year and I just can't get a taste for it. I want to cheer for it because of my love for the brewery, however, I found this to be a very rough beer session...

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Photo of ElGrecoVerde
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown with a relatively thin brown head.

Bitter coffee notes with some roasted grains and dark chocolate.

Thick espresso flavors, very bitter yet nice. Hints of burnt toast, dark chocolate and even a bit of smoke.

This is where the beer falters. The flavors needed a bold feel, yet it feels a bit thin. Little creaminess and even a bit oily. Maybe it was an old bottle. Still a decent beer.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

Look - jet black with about two finger's worth of a dark khaki-colored foam that dissipates slowly.

Smell - malty and very coffee-like, as the name would suggest. Not as much of a "roasted" aroma as I would have expected.

Taste and Mouthfeel - bitter stout with a very coffee bean extra. Creaminess too, like a coffee-flavored cream soda. Bitter, but the aftertaste is mild. Texture is lighter than I would have expected, leaning slightly more toward the watery side, but still in the middle.

Drinkability - Decent brew, but not very complex in taste.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.17/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A black colored beer. It looks to be a thick viscosity beer judging from the pour.
About a fingers worth of foamy head.
Aroma is of rich roasted malts and cofee beans, maybe some smoked malts too.
Rich malt tasing with sutle nuiances of coffee and chocolate roasted or burnt malts.
Tart and spritzy beer with a medium mouthfeel.
It seem the tartness is out of character for this beer and was most unappealing to me.

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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.

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Photo of Nesued
3.67/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Made a random 6-pack at one of my local stores to try some different offerings than those to which I usually gravitate. This being one of them. Poured a deep brown almost black color. Moderate head formed upon the inital pour and left a one-finger head as the pour finished. No lacing and a thin ring remained as I allowed this offering to warm a bit before tasting.

Smell - As expected, if "coffee" isn't the first thing on your list of initial impact statements, you need a new sniffer. What else? you may ask? Hard to say really. Some chocolate notes as well if you really focus.

Taste - Hoo boy, this will wake you up in the morning if you are so inclined. Lush coffee coats your tongue but suprisingly doesn't remain as long as you would think. An ample hop presence well gives a much-needed cleansing component. The chocolate comes through to balance the potentially overbearing weight thrown at you out of the gate. Some caramel and even some vanilla come to the party as well. A somewhat complex offering, ending with a smoky finish.

Mouthfeel - Thick body with ample carbonation to move the beer around your mouth. Lots of legs here.

Drinkability - If you love coffee in your beer, this one is for you. Nicely balanced as compared to other coffee offerings I've had. Not something I would make a habit of having, due to the intense nature of the coffee addition, but I can appreciate the depth needed to make this more than a "one-trick-pony".

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Photo of CooperEllis
3.64/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz into DFH snifter from CruisaC, thanks!

Dark dark pour with no head. Very thin bubbles, alomst dirty yellow/white as opposed to a clean tan.

A lot of coffee in the aroma, but it is not the prominent aroma, there are stronger notes of roast malt and chocolate - there is also a slight spice note, maybe cinnamon.

Taste is flat compared to the aroma. Given the other offerings from Bells, I was expecting a rich body with a coffee note, this is thinner then that with a strong coffee flavor.

It's certainly fine, and better than most, but not the quality I was expecting.


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Photo of BretSikkink
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark black color with a foamy and toasted-tan colored head. Pretty nice look, although the head isn't quite as imposing as some other Bell's stouts. Nose is of decent strengths, and exudes all characteristics of the coffee bean: roasted and burnt is the order of the day. I like it but could use more force.

The flavor sticks strictly to the coffee end of the equation, not even much sweetness to balance. Chocolate does emerge, especially on the finish, but it's heavily balanced toward the Java. Pretty bitter, but not much in the hops direction. Body is middle of the road, could definitely be bigger for my taste. Pretty smooth, but the carbonation works too hard up front. Definitely a coffee stout from top to bottom, and as a daily drinker of black joe, I enjoy it very much. Not for everyone.

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Photo of jsanford
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass. Batch 9959.

A - Pours an inky black with a creamy, 2-inch mocha-colored head that hangs around for a bit, and leaves some sticky lacing as it recedes.
S - Umm...coffee! Very dark roasted coffee, quite bitter and earthy smelling. Bit of dark malt, chocolate, and ash as well.
T - Rich, earthy coffee dominates the flavor, backed up by dark chocolate malt and brownie batter flavors. Quite smooth, I was expecting a more bitter coffee presence, but this is nice and silky.
M - Smooth and creamy with a full body and moderate "prickly" carbonation.
D - I'm drinking this pretty quickly, this is a very tasty coffee stout. If you're a coffee fan this is a must try!

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours nearly black, opaque with a good head that fades really fast, nought but a thin film left.
Smell is heavily soy sauce with smoky notes and molasses.
Taste is soy, smoke and molasses well balanced here as well as in the nose.
Smooth, rich and chewy. Low effervescence with a full body. Some coffee(burnt) shows up in the aftertaste. A thoroughly fine brew in all regards.

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.46/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle at 48 degrees into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: It pours an opaque black with a finger of khaki head with average retention and lacing.

S: Dust, over-roasted coffee beans, and a little cocoa powder.

T: Strong, potent coffee, chocolate, and some dark fruitiness as it warms.

M: It has a medium-thick body with some creaminess and long-lingering tastes.

D: This is okay but the roastiness is way over done. It does not come close to FBS or Wake n' Bake.

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Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 3,253 ratings
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