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

very good
1,150 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

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Reviews: 1,150 | Ratings: 3,234
Photo of DrJay
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black with mahogany highlights, the beer looked thick as it poured out of the bottle. Thin, dark brown head even after agitation, spotty lacing. Rich roasted, coffee ground aroma with just a hint of nuttiness peeking through. Coffee flavour and bitterness throughout, there's a bit of milk chocolate sweetness in there as well. Low carbonation, creamy texture, full body - quite luxurious. Very enjoyable, even for someone who doesn't drink coffee (me). Intense coffee character makes this beer less than complex, but it does exactly what it sets out to do - and in fine form!

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Photo of doubleshovels
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perfect for after diner or a rainy afternoon, this is more coffee then stout. It pours like an ice coffee with only a thin dark leathery head. Earthy and roasted nut overtones come more from the coffee then the malt. I think I will save a couple bottles for use in the ice cream machine. Yummmm.

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Photo of karengarys
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours very very dark brown, leaving a tan head. I served my first one up very cold and felt it lacking a bit, but this one is around 50 degrees and it is VERY good at this temp.

Smell is - coffee, of course. Plus malty.

Taste is very rich and robust. The coffee. The hop. I'm also picking up carmel or something making it a non-bitter drink. This is really good!

mouthfeel is way creamy.

Finish is sweet, with a hop snap. Really smooth.

The body is nice and robust with lots of character American micro brewed beers seem to have - this one excels.

I really recommend giving this a try. ..but make sure it isn't too cold...

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Photo of maddamish
4.83/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a great stout. I have sampled some of the best stouts out there and this one ranks right up there with them.

Dark motor oil black with a creamy brown head.

The tasting notes are dark chocolate and burnt coffee beans. Out of all the so called "Coffee Stouts" this was the... uh.... coffiest?

The taste reminded me of when I tried one of those chocolate covered coffee beans. That is how strong the coffee flavor is.

If you love stouts then you should seek this one out right now. You don't know what you are missing.

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Photo of GnomeKing
4.8/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I like my coffee my beer. So, while I think all BAs should give this one a shot, this review is really directed at people like me, who go to work in the morning just to get free coffee, and who don't muck it up with cream or sugar.

It's deep black, beautifully so, pure onyx, with a brown head and brown lacing, although the lacing doesn't stick well to the glass, just hanging around in splotches.

The taste is pure espresso/coffee bean bliss. I loved it. The drinkability was great from my POV...sure, it's not light or smooth, but I wanted another, and another, and another...that's perfect drinkability.

This is a quirky brew. In your face. Unapologetic. It doesn't get my money back guarantee offer, because I don't know if you have the same tastes I do, but I will say that if you dig coffee, seek this one out. It might just be your fetish, like it is for me.

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Photo of Px2GrafX
4.49/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a deep dark brown, almost black, with a medium tan 1 finger head in a snifter glass. head is loose and drops to a thin cap after a couple of minutes. aroma is huge coffee. maybe more coffee aroma here than in any other beer i've experienced. once you get past the coffee there's also a big burned, roasty and woody aroma with a touch of alcohol at random points during the drink. unbelievable fresh coffee bean aroma. if you couldn't have guessed, this also tastes like crazy coffee. there is a decent hop bitterness to balance and a nice chocolatey, malty finish. nice how it's just bitter enough to mimic a coffee bitterness instead of a ris. the mouthfeel is a nice and thick medium body with a low to medium carbonation. the drinkability is good despite this being more of a sipper. alcohol is well masked with some warming kicking in at the end. overall, this is very much like an alcoholic, hopped and carbonated iced coffee. if you like coffee, you'll love this beer, but if you don't like coffee, then you may hate it. excellent example, and excellent from a snifter. give me this over a coffee porter any day.

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Photo of evanackerman
4.31/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

wow, beautiful looking beer, pours dark black with a deep tan head that leaves thick lacing.

aroma is mostly of coffee.

taste is a delicious blend of coffee and roasted barley with a tad bit of acidity much like a cup of coffee. This tastes almost like some kind of chilled coffee drink with alcohol, definitely not your average beer. it is quite delicious.

mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, very very nice.

overall, this is a coffee lovers dream, i would gladly substitue this beer for coffee along with desserts, i bet a scoop of ice cream would be fabulous in this one. I like this a lot!

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Photo of iron78
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks dark as black ink, at least in the lighting i had. Had thin brown foam. Don't know if I've seen such dark foam on a beer before.

Smells like roasted coffee.

Wow. major coffee. Like a shot of espresso. Good espresso, just enough bitterness to have that roasted flavor, not to much to cause a cringe. Like drinking a coffee truffle.

Thick, creamy and smooth.
Combining two favorite beverages does work.

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Photo of weeare138
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a midnite black with a fluffy 2 finger tan head that won't settle. Tons of tubular, thick lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of intense creamy espresso and bitter baker's chocolate.
Taste is also of the creamy espresso and bitter chocolate without anything else really jumping out at me. Seems slightly one-dimensional.
Mouthfeel is smooth, gummy, full bodied, and slightly fizzy. Semi sweet feel of creamed coffee lingers along the palate.
Drinkability is good. I actually liked this a bit more out of the bottle than on draft. Carbonation, at least, has settled just enough to make it decent.

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Photo of plaztikjezuz
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours jet black with a slight head the falls in to a thin sheet, there is a odd film over the surface of the beer.
the aroma is rich with coffee, dark chocolate, malt, roasted barly hint of alcohol.
the flavor is soft, not as tough i as i anticapted, good coffee and chocolate flavor, nice and roasty, little bitterness, some spice from the hops, i love it.
mouthfeel is very full.
i want this year round but it fits best in the cooler seasons.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz, bought a 6pack at Steve's-University Ave for 9 bucks

Batch 7221

appearance: pours a very dark rich brown, strongly bordering on black...head not as volumous as i recalled but still a nice chocolate brown with decent retention

smell: ummm coffee? aroma reminds me of walking into one of my regular coffee dives (electric earth, barriques-not so much a dive, fair trade coffee) first thing in the morning...explosive imperial dark roasted coffee bean, sweet chocolate malt, creamy, dark plum

taste: Somewhere over the past year i forgot how java'd out this thing was...many stouts claim to have coffee characteristics but this one is over the top. I love coffee, i love bells, i love this beer. very dark imperial roast, creamy and sweet malt, bittersweet dark chocolate balance, only a light hop bitterness tone underneath

mouthfeel: creamy, robust, full and flavorful

drinkability: very drinkable, but I would prefer to drink one a night and spread out the enjoyment

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to CRJMellor for this one of many Bell's offerings.
Jet black ink pours out of the bottle with less than 1/4 finger off light brown head.
Dark roast espresso in the nose with not much else able to poke its way through...well, ok...some dark chocolate thrown in too.
Taste is much more balanced than I was expecting...a strong coffee base but an equally distributed choclate flavor with enough malt sweetness to smooth it up. Hops are there, but very subdued...not bitter at all and I like it that way.
Mouthfeel is quite thick and the carbonation is divine....not sure how many of these I could throw back, but a couple is a no brainer.
Make room for another Bell's that delivers...if you like the style, this is a must try.

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Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A fairly thick stout with coffee grounds. Wake up and smell the coffee. Java and roast including burnt ground taste, Ok for some, but not my type of stout. Marvellous appearance, with the dark head. Creamy yet mouth numbing. Bitter and roasty aftertaste.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep jet black color with a small deep tan head that falls to an almost complete skin over top of the brew. Good looking stuff. The aroma hit me immediately after opening the bottle. Lots of coffee. No doubting that this is a java stout. There is a really nice sweetness in there too, very much chocolatey, but dominated with coffee. It almost smells like a mocha shake. I am a fan. Flavor is all coffee upfront. A little mocha creeps in after swallowing with some lighter chocolate notes, but it is a bit one dimensional. A modest bitter comes through on the finish, thought its not apparent if this is from the coffee or hopping. Don't get me wrong...I like it, but I'd like to see more going on with it. Feel is chewy thick, with a very minimal carbonation. Not too thick where it gets in the way of the brew. I think the feel really compliments the brew. Alcohol is not apparent on this brew. I think this is a nice brew, thought I'd like to see the coffee a bit less with some more malty character coming through to balance. Bell's keeps me coming back.

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Photo of SupaCelt
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured unto me at the top of the morning, this is one delicious looking super duty brown coloured beer in a glass. A very enthusiastic head rose up after much activity stirred within the epicenter of the pour. The result is a delicious looking chocolate biscuit head that appears to be a treat within a treat. A slow retreat by said head coats the glass with lace making this look more like dessert than breakfast. Cocoa coloured banners fly all the way down to the dregs as this glass progresses toward empty.

The nose of non java brewed stout styles reminds me more of coffee than this one does. Ah the nuances. This one has a very pleasant chocolate aroma that blends with the real and authentic coffee notes to create a scent that feels foreign to my nose. It is very nice though. It has a bizarre grilled chicken aspect to it that says flame broiled. I didn't see that coming at all.

The flavours are quite pleasing and mild. The bitterness factor is low. A creamy aspect seems to take its place here. This promotes more of a wet feeling on the palate as opposed to the traditionals that are more often primarily dry in character. It has chocolate and coffee flavours along with a some charcoal and ashy aspects that I must be feeling from the roasted nature and the bean components mixing. Quite nicley constructed I should say. A damn fine eye opener. You can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning!

Mouthfeel is medium. Just right. This brew is thick enough to inspire love and thin enough to inspire a great drinkability. This is a very worthy pick up that is a fine breakfast stout.

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Photo of montageman
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks like black coffee when poured - the head is dark tan, reminiscent of the crema on a nice shot of espresso. The smell of coffee is immediate once the bottle is opened and even more so after the pour. The taste is sweet dark chocolate with a nice, bitter coffee/hoppy finish. Mouthfeel is thinner than many stouts I've had - it's kind of like a mildly carbonated coffee drink.

Very nice stout. Rich but not incredibly heavy. Quite drinkable.

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Photo of hanco005
4.54/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle of batch 7221 into a nonic pint glass

A---pours black onyx with almost no head; no lacing as a result

S—strong roasted coffee beans. Honestly, that’s all I smell.

T—strong roasted coffee taste with a touch of bittersweetness (is that even a word?). The coffee flavor is so strong as the name suggests.

M—heavy and a little slimy, but smooth; not much for carbonation

D—Simply great! I love the coffee flavor in this stout. Think I will have a few more. Wonder if it will keep me awake tonight? Perhaps I should have this in the morning instead of coffee?

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This brew pours an opaque black color. The head is two-and-a-half-fingers in height, creamy, and dark tan in color. This brew simply looks like a solid stout. The aroma screams of java while the beer is still once agitated chocolate bursts through. Java diffinately dominates the flavor, but like the aroma, a chocolaty, malty backbone makes itself very present. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a little more carbonation than most other stouts. However, I think that is a good thing, as it doesn't interfere with the beers flavor, and makes it easier to drink. Overall, this is a fine brew. It doesn't seem to complex, but it does a great job of being what it says it is, a java stout.

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Photo of CultureJamMN
4.44/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany, with purple/reddish hints. Head is about 1 finger, and sustains througout. Head has the color of creamy caramel. Lacing is nice, with a bit of a fade at the end.

The aroma here is fantastic. Coffee yes, but very specific... Dark roast sumatra coffee from a french press, almost perfect.

This beer smells better than it tastes, but only by a little bit. The coffee notes dominate the taste as well, but I also noted blackberry and maybe even boisenberry in there as well. There is a good amout of bitterness, however it seems to come from both the coffee and the hops, and neither is overpowering.

Lightly carbonated, but there is a very pleasant mouthfeel here, substatial feeling.

All in all, a coffee lovers dream come true, this is a fantastic example of a coffee stout. Bell's has a reputation for a reason.

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Photo of Jredner
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge concentrated coffee aroma. Deep black with a head that remindmed of those snake firework things you’d set on fire on the 4th that just raised up as they burned. This head just flew up once the pour was finished. Wow this actually tastes more like coffee than it does like stout. Huge coffee flavor that is so acidic it actually burns the throat. Ample chocolate and minor notes of roasted barley. Touch of cream sweetness in the finish. I could see how some might be put off by this. I however love the hell out of it.

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Photo of hgrong
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 7221, 2005

Poured dense and black with a rocky brownish head that disappeared as it sat in the glass. The nose is one dimensional. It smells like coffee, espresso to be more specific. It smells delicious, but it does not really smell like beer, which I find disappointing. The palate is again dominated by the espresso which eventually gives way to dark chocolate malts. As the beer warms up the flavors become slightly more balanced. The hops are there, but they are hidden in the background. They are definately not the star of this show. The mouthfeel is dense and slightly viscous. It almost seems slightly under-carbonated. Overall the experience is pleasant, but dominated by the espresso.

I believe that this beer will be much more impressive with a year of bottle age under its belt. I think that the flavors will mellow a bit and this beer will really come into its own.

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Photo of ahking
3.1/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving suggestion: If this beer has been in your fridge for a while, leave a bottle out for 15 minutes before drinking. It really needs a higher serving temp to be appreciated. That being said, this is a disappointing beer for me, The worst stout I have had from Bells, which produces great stouts (pick up some KalamazooStout!). Pours nice enough, black and thick, deep brown head that is fleeting. Aroma is also great. Rich and complex, coffee grounds, dark chocolate. Great coffee beers smell like fresh espresso, this is a bit stale though. Alcohol is apparent in the aroma. The ale is quite flat. This is typical of a thick stout, but it would have benefitted from more C02. Malty sweet and less dry than I like, the hops are also on the light side. Generally stale tasting and lacking somewhere. Again, more stale grounds than fresh espresso. On the positive side, the smoky toasted malts are nice and a rich fudge flavor emerges as it warms. As much chocolate malts as the base malt would allow are used here. Bravo to that.

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Photo of bahumutx
4.55/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours black with a small tan head.

Smell: Coffee, dark fruits and a slight sweetness and a very slight alcohol aroma.

Taste: The main flavor in this beer is of course Coffee. The coffee flavor lasts through out. There are also flavors of roasted grain and it ends with a creamy sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium Mouthfeel. Not much carbonation.

Drinkability: I love coffee and beer so this one is very drinkable to me.

Another great beer from Bell’s brewing. Great for a coffee and beer lover. I will be definitely picking some more of this up. Keep up the great work!!!!

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Photo of PeatReek
3.01/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Batch 7170 (bell's database can't find this batch):
Aroma: dominated by coffee (no surprise there), more of a drip/coldbrew smell than espresso.

Taste: Attack is a big mouthful of mediocre coffee, followed by some residual bitter-sweetness (coffee bitter, not hops bitter).

Appearance: 1/4-in. dark tan head dissolved to a thin rim pretty quickly, no lacing.

Mouthfeel: Rather thin and moderately carbonated. No significant alcohol feel.

Overall, I was not impressed with the coffee aroma & taste in this java stout. It reminded me of the results I get when I try to coldbrew coffee, which has never worked out well - it's strong on the bitterness and short on the roasty fullness. It's not a bad beer, but if you have access to the Bell's line of stouts, pick a different one.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
4.62/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yeah, buddy. This one ranks up there with the likes of Founder's Oatmeal Stout. This is a bad-ass brew. Poured out to a dark black color with a syrupy like delivery into the glass. A big, yummy foam head quickly developed and stood strong at about 3/4 of an inch. Aromas of cocoa and roasted malt mixed perfectly with coffee and sweet cream. Nice. Taste was superb; coffee, roasted malts and chocolate dominate and fill the palate with sweet, sweet flavors. Mouthfeel is very good; thick, with a chewy element, but not so much as to feel like it's sticky or too dense. Drinkability is good. I could hammer this down in no time flat and go for another one in a heart beat.

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Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.96 out of 5 based on 3,234 ratings.
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