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

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1,133 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: 1,133 | Ratings: 3,177
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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Photo of benito
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The bottle describes this as an 'enchanting' beer.

It pours a strict black with little color around the edges and a small head which lingers. The aroma is pure coffee: like the smell I take from the bag of whole bean dark roast each morning before grinding, it's happiness for the olfactory senses. Not much else for bouquet save a yummy roastiness.

The coffee flavor is pronounced and well-balanced into the body of the rest of the beer, which is quite substantial. Both smooth and sweet, this brew also had a fluffy or creamy mouthfeel present in each swig that fit in well with the medium weight and length of the brew. Coffee flavors linger for a good while.

A nice dessert treat; I'd happily drink another two or three of these if I didn't think it'd keep me awake all night. Enchanting indeed.

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Photo of DevilDogBeer
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This offering from Bell's is a superb combination of a distinct coffee note coupled with a rich dark stout. The initial pour was very smooth and did not churn or overhead in the glass. The head was chocolate brown and hung in there for the beer, though much thinner toward the end. The smell was a rich odor of dark coffee, roasted malts, and a slight alcohol nose. The taste was initially that of the roasted and dark malts but not overly sweet. The coffee flavor then came through and was very pleasant and not at all overpowering. The alcohol taste was noticeable on the back of the throat and a nice compliment to the deep, complex flavors of this brew. I really enjoyed this beer; I thought it was complex but well planned. Very enjoyable, not a session beer, but well worth enjoying any time!

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Photo of RedHaze
3.36/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark oily black, with a 1/4 inch head that slowly fades to a thin cap and leaves lots of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: very strong roasted, has a burned coffee ground smell, mild hints of chocolate, sweet malt and mild hops. The burned coffee smell has me a litlle bit worried.

Taste: the coffee stand out right away, followed by some bitter hops, and a little chocolate. The burned coffee doen't follow through quite as much as I feared it would in the taste, but it's still there. Mouthfeel is nice and thick and creamy, just how I like my stouts. Not my favorite stout, but still glad I gave it a try.

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Photo of corporatejim
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Damn Sam. Had one of these last night at Mackenzie's with fellow BA's Stubob and Fantome. Deep dark color. Appears almost a dirty oil color in glass. Big brown head looking like oil sludge again. Big coffee and roasted malt nose. THis beer looks thick and follows through on that promise. Heavy lacing down the inside of the glass. Huge coffee taste followed by huge roasted malt taste. Stout is not one of my favorite styles. This is an extreme stout IMO however and deserves to be tried at least once. Has kind of a syrupy heavy mouthfeel. This beer is a little too much for me. Glad I tried it though. Not sure I will again.

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

12 ounce bottle. This beer pours out black with half an inch of tan foam. The aroma is mostly coffee, but also nuts, oak, and chocolate. Roasted, chocolatey flavor with lots of coffee. Some fruit in the finish. Tasty hop flavor. Oatmeal too. This beer has an inredible variety of flavors, and they really work well together. The mouthfeel is thick and very smooth. Well carbonated. Alcohol is noticable, but does not take over the flavor. Anyone who is a fan of coffee and stout is certain to love this beer.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.52/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 6624. The Bell's Java Stout pours from the bottle a deep dark onyx black with a full inch of dark tan foam atop the brew. No light is getting through thisn one!! Looks very appealing in the glass with some nice lacing. Aromas of freshly ground coffee beans are the first to hit my nose. Just like opening the can of beans in the morning. Underneath there's lots of dark, toasty, roasted malts and hunks of chocolate. Slightly smoky with a dollop of caramel. I just love the marriage of coffee and stout...I could sit and adore the aroma of this brew all day.

First sip brings a wave of viscous dark, roasted, smoky maltiness. It rolls over the palate with force, bringing along with it a healthy helping of freshly brewed black coffee. The tug of war between the sweet aspects of the stout and the bitter of the coffee work really well here. Rich and chocolatey, this is a damn fine coffee stout that is simply luscious and very enjoyable. So much flavor.

Mouthfeel is big and bold with a hefty body that's not at all afraid to assert itself. Small bubbly carbonation flows across the palate. Quite easy to drink. I really love coffee stouts but they are more of a treat for me. I don't think I could sit down to more than a few of these at a time. Had this on tap at the Great Lakes Brewfest and it's just as good in the bottle. Another Bell's stout...another wonderful experience. Well worth seeking out if you enjoy coffee stouts.

Edit: Just looked up this batch number on Bell's website and realized this was packaged on October 28, 2004. At almost a year old this brew is still amazing. I will have to try one fresh and then get some more to cellar!!

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Photo of IrishRedRock
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love it when beer exceeds my expectations. Poured this into a tulip and glad I did, as it greatly enhances the appearance, a deep black with a pillowy soft brown head. Upon close inspection, lots of tiny cascading bubbles can be seen rising to the top of this, keeping the small lace head alive, as now the large initial head has faded. Nose has notes of toasted bread, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate and of course coffee. Warming after just a sip, the alcohol is clearly there but gives a nice balance to the rest of the flavors - and there's a lot to pick out. Aside from an odd astringent plastic flavor, which is mild and I think from the coffee, a sweet cream and solid hop bitterness balances the darkness of the chocolate and roastiness of the coffee, making this a pretty nicely flavorful brew. Nice!

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Photo of Fish113d
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle at room temp into a tulip glass, it pours an the color or used motor oil, leaving a 4cm foamy, lite, chocolate colored head taht dissipates to a nice solid surface layer with some latticework on the glass.

First woft is of dark roast coffee w/ soem caramel malt sweetness tickling my nose. Also some little earthy hops is noticed. Well done!

Taking a sip, I notice a huge roasty flavor along with the coffee and some almond flavors. Nice bitter finish with just a touch of mocha aftertaste...very good!

well balanced carbonation helps the body of this brew. However, the full-body and sweetness of it make it a little tough to drink; definitely a brew that I'd drink one at a time per week maybe. Very tasty with just a touch of alcohol...i really enjoyed this one!!!

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle compliments of beerhandy via BB&B BIF.

Pours jet black. Made me smile as it made it's way into my glass. Has a light caramel head with no apparent lacing.

Smells wonderful, like a cool mocha cappucino. Plenty of rich roasted chocolate and coffee aromas.

This one tastes pretty good, but it doesn't live up to the promise of the smell. It has a rich coffee flavor, followed by a very bitter aftertaste. I don't get much malt coming through, and the chocolate that presented itself in the smell seems to be lost in the flavor. I think it could be a little more balanced.

It's meaty from start to finish. Perfect for the style.

I could enjoy one of these from time to time, but not on a regular basis. Maybe I just need to start drinking black coffee to truly appreciate this stout.

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Photo of ddarden
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle poured into a chalice. It is jet black with a brownish head that falls fairly quickly to a just a covering. Smell is kind of hard to get, but there are dark roasted malt with coffee overtones.

The taste is like the smell, bitter roasted malts, java, nice hop finish. It seems the coffee flavor gives it the bitterness, like expresso. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Very nice. The drinkability is good, but not great.

I am a coffee lover, but the aftertaste of this beer kind of reminds me of coffee that is made too strong and cooked on a burner for a couple hours. This is a good beer and would love to try on draught. The drinkability suffers a litte from the aftertaste but is still slightly above average.

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Photo of battlekow
4.39/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing Bell's Java Stout and Expedition Stout together, brother vs. brother. May the manliest man win.

The Java Stout is as badass black as the Expedition, but it has a substantial tawny head to contrast.

Smells fucking amazing. This is the best-smelling beer I've ever had. It smells like exotic, spiced, fresh-roasted coffee, like you're standing in [Trendy East Side Coffee Shop]. A true five.

Tastes! Really good, but not quite on the same transcendent level as the nose.

Mouthfeel is creamy and awesome.

Wow. I love this beer.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hey, who put a pot of espresso in my beer glass? That is what it looks like, tastes like, and smells like. It has some high gravity sweetness and body, but the espresso flavors and ground bean texture overpowers it all. I don't know if the bittering is from intense flavor hopping or from grain astringency. It even has a bitter nose that is more reminescent of Itallian espresso than a stout yeast. Nicely earthy and nutty. Nicely alcoholic, something to cut through the body. Warming and intensely flavored into the finish. The aftertaste ligers like a fine cigar.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz poured into a pint glass. The lot# 6731 indicates this was packaged on 1/17/05 as per the Bell's website.

Black with a light brown head that has good height ( I gave a somewhat forced pour) that has decent retention and leaves a thick coat of foam as it goes down.

Coffee dominates the nose. There's some milk underneath some suggestion of bitter, but its almost all coffee.

Coffee is also strong in the taste, but there's also dark malt, walnuts, cream, and a finish that is bitter from coffe and hops. good, but some chocolate would really help this out.

Full velvet like mouthfeel.

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Photo of Dithyramb
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Update--Just had to change my review after having the original Yeti. Blew this baby out of the water. Also, the coffee in this had me zoooming...Beware drinking this one late at night.

Bottle with 6656 ink jet labeled on the back. No freshness or born on date. Sampled half out of the fridge and half after it warmed up nicely. Both were right on.
Pours pitch black with no light or highlights showing. Loads of carbonation within the brew itself. They initially feed a thick dark brown head. Excellent lacing and retention. I can't think of any way they'd make this one look any better.
Molasses, dark malts, espresso, light alcohol fumes.
Very nice smooth and creamy coffee flavor. No not the Italian capuchino, nor the Turkish bitter, but the nice Americano morning joe. Just the right amount of sweetness competing with the bitter. Molasses, alcohol, caramel all swirling around there.

Mouthfeel was lighter than expected, going down way too smooth and easy. After the first couple of drinks, it really starts to warm the mouth. Finishes both bitter, sweet, and alcoholly, depending on the swig. Very nice.

The easy drinkability and hidden alcohol makes this one quite drinkable. Mmm, I could see this one with a nice chocolate cake. However, if I had the opportunity to get several of these puppies, I wouldn't mind making a nice tira misu with it.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.67/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a single from Riley's here in Madison.

My second Bell's after their Porter. Love coffee and coffee flavored things, so I had to give this one a try as it says right on the bottle that it's brewed with coffee. Pours jet black with a huge tan head that disappates to a coating that lasts til the final drop cloudy with what appear to be coffee grounds at the end. Looks great. Smell is straight up coffee. Surprised? Good roasted coffee too, not burnt coffee which is nice for a change. Taste follows suit, thank god. I bet this would even be good heated up. Nice and sweet, but not cloying, with enough bitter to balance it out. Mouthfeel is right on, immaculately smooth with good carbonation. Could drink this for days, even in the morning. Highly recommended for any other coffee heads out there.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.7/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Body is dark as night, maybe a hint of light sneaking thourgh the bottom of the chalice. Head is dark tan, fairly large, with good retention. A whole lot of coffee in the nose, not much of a surprise, but very welcome. Like a cup of fresh brew, this will peobably keep me up to 3 in the morning. Taste is brash and bold, a huge amount of coffee in the flavor. Alcohol is also present, which just adds to the spirit of this brew. Original in the sheer amount and interaction of the huge flavors of this beer. Excellent and challenging.

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Photo of Quaffer
3.86/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in KC, MO. Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: This beer was pure black as it sat in the glass. Only the slightest hints of ruddy, brownish red emerged along the bottom of the glass when it was held up to the window. The dark brown head rose up to three fingers with an overly rough pour. It settled slowly and left a good portion of itself behind on the glass as it did so. A layer of bubbles remained until the glass was drained. This contributed to a huge amount of lace being left behind.

Smell: Right after the pour, stale coffee was the only smell evident. As the head settled, the nose became fuller and other aromas joined in. Deeply roasted malts and charred, smokey wood rose up to join the coffee. Hints of tart fruits were distinguishable more by the way they bit my nose than by anything else. Cream and chocolate hung out in the background. Charred, smokey coffee beans was the dominant smell overall.

Mouthfeel: The pour looked a little viscous and the mouthfeel confirmed that. Medium- to full-bodied with a creamy, coating feel on the tip of the tongue. Became a little fuzzy with carbonation as it moved into the back of the mouth, but was smooth overall.

Taste: There was a huge amount of flavor in this beer. Coffee beans roasted to within an inch of their life overrode everything else. This added a lot of complexity. Instead of just making the beer taste like coffee, it provided a nice smokiness and a charred component. It almost came across like bar-b-que at times, but in a good way. There was sweet cream, malt, and chocolate underneath, but it was just enough to counter the bitterness, and I'm not sure that it completely did that. The bitter coffee lingered well into the aftertaste, almost becoming a little astringent as the other flavors died away.

Seriously, the flavor of this brew is over-the-top. Way more flavorful than I was expecting. Very good, but maybe a little too unbalanced.

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Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.96 out of 5 based on 3,177 ratings.
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