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

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Reviews: 1,148 | Ratings: 3,231
Photo of BeerTruth
4.37/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to nathan15 for this brew.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a completely opaque black with a nice two finger brown head that quickly dies down to a thin lacing but leaves a lot of stickiness. Smell is huge notes of black coffee and espresso, what else would you expect? Very sweet brown sugar and a hint of alcohol (almost whiskey like) in the nose as well. Wow, taste is amazing. Sweet malt bomb with flavors of chocolate, caramel, and espresso. Starts and finishes extremely smooth with a good hop bite mixed up there in the middle. If you don' like coffee, don't even bother with this beer. Such a smooth and creamy mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation. Why doesn't this beer get more recognition? Truly an amazing beer and Bell's continues to prove they have some of the best stouts around.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.37/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Secret Santa 2004 #6

Appearance: A body so dark that the only light that could pass through it would be a phaser. Dark tan head full of micro bubbles and topped by some above the rim cream. Quickly breaking down to a half finger table top. Some lacing.

Aroma: the moment the cap pops, you're in Starbucks. Roasted and burnt coffee just fills the air. Take the head off, have someone inhale and I bet they tell you it's coffee cooled to room temperature.

Taste: A bit more blended than the aroma. The coffee is there, but I sense that there is a stout lurking here also. Roasted malts roll acoss the tongue, followed by a rising column of hoppiness, dead center and on the tip of my tongue. Finishes with an increasing taste of deep roasted coffee.

Mouthfeel is a tad disappointing, not quite as slick, oily, or full as I would have preferred. Not really lacking, but not excelling.

Goods down quite easy, and satisfying. Wish I had another.

If you don't like coffee, you might want to skip this. If you do like coffee, embrace it.

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Photo of adamette
4.37/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Live review. Poured from the 12 oz. brown bottle that I purchased as a single at Save-On Tobacco & Beverage in Mentor, Ohio a few weeks ago for $2.68 into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass. Batch 9959.

A Gushing creamy medium brown head over a very dark body that glows a deep mahogany in front of direct light. The slightest dark red hues come through in front of severe light. I had to clean up the slight spillage after pouring so be careful to pour carefully when you do so. 4.0

S Great dark roast malt and coffee combination the likes of which I have not encountered since Founder's Breakfast Stout. Really a nice smelling beer. 4.5

T Taste extends right from the smell. The dark roast malt and coffee tastes are there but there is also a pleasant, toasty sweetness. This beer loses nothing to Founders Breakfast Stout. 4.5

M The tastes are so big but there is a smoothness that I did not expect. Count me as impressed. 4.5

D Really quite good for the 7.5% ABV, the bigness of the beer. 4.0

Notes: A pleasant surprise that I have seen on the shelves for years and finally tried. Due to price and availability I would buy this ahead of Founders Breakfast Stout!

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Photo of alphagnome
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black body allows absolutely no light to pierce its walls. Light brown head fades to a ring rather quickly and leaves minimal lacing behind.

Exactly what you'd expect from a beer called "Java Stout." Bold, dark roasted coffee. A hint of malt and nuttiness, but the aroma is dominated by fragrant coffee.

Not to sound like a broken record here, BUT... this is exactly what you should expect (and get) from a beer with the word "Java" in its name. Fresh brewed, BOLD coffee. It's bitter, but not out of place for the style. A ight sweetness can be found on the tail-end. Dates can also be found as it warms. It's a bit boozy, but does not spoil the fun. If you are sipping slowly (and you should be), you get a pleasant, coffee-laden aftertaste.

For a stout, I found the body to be a bit disappointing. The medium body is a bit on the watery side and it's far from the smoothest stout out there. Carbonation is next to impossible to detect. Finish is a bit chewy and walks a fine line between dry and semi-sweet.

Another fantastic beer from the gang at Bell's Brewery! Puts most other coffee-infused beers to shame. Easy to drink (and enjoy). The price-tag might be a bit of a turnoff for some, but I promise that if you like coffee and beer (and you do), this is definitely worth making it rain in the checkout line.

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Photo of TooGood
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a jet black with minimal head, but excellent lacing. Smells like fine roasted coffee with dark chocolate. Taste is similar of coffee and subtle chocolate, very roasty. The mouthfeel is quite good, very smooth and full bodied. I had this beer for the first time fresh and only thought it was ok, now having a bottle with over a year on it has really helped it to fill out. It seems to have become much more smooth and rich, especially in the mouth feel. I'm changing my rating from a 3.5 to 4.25. I'm going to have to go find some more to stash away for a year or so.

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Photo of ShrLSU
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark black with brown around the edges. It had a nice tan head that dissapates quickly but left nice thick lacing.

N: Bitter coffee scents that give way to some chocolate and roasted malts. There is slight sweetness in the end of the nose as well that I can't put my finger on, but very interesting.

T: First off the coffee blast as this is a java stout. Then once the initial coffee taste wears down I got a big blast of chocolate, but not to bitter. This packed some sweetness. It tasted a bit creamy then bitter on the finish. This was very unexpected to what I would get out of a traditional coffee beer. It's more than just the bitter richness. This is a deep beer.

M: Nice and creamy. Slightly acidic but matched well with medium carbonation. Feels like you're drinking a cup of beer-coffee..

D: I could see myself sneaking this into my coffee mug at my office. No one would ever know! This was great. It was very diverse from what I expected to get from a java stout. It's a shame I heard that they aren't brewing this anymore, or at least for a while. Bell's wins again with this one. I recommend you have some while you still can.

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Photo of happygnome
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: pours a dark dark brown almost black color maroon hints on the edges eigth inch of head dissapears fast little lacing
s: roated malt smell little hop presence deffinate coffee aroma
t: wow deffinate coffee flavor nice bitter hop finish
m: medium to heavy bodied beer very smooth very nice wow

overall this beer is really realyl nice I enjoyed around 55 degrees very nice wow

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.39/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

into a bells tulip

pour was jet black, fairly thick, mocha head, amazing retention. nice lacing

deep coffee scents, a bit of charcoal and roasted malts, light chocolate

deep rich bold dark coffee with a light dark chocolate bite. light roasted malts and a bit of a sweet finish

a bit thick, micro carbonation but with a bit of bite. creamy head

this is hands down one of the best coffee stouts i have ever had. i love every bit of this and then some. this is a coffee stout!

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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 TempeBeerMan
4.39/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a dimpled mug.

A - Pours an inky black with a massive four-finger brown monster of a head. Head formed a marshmellowy clump as it started to die down. Epic lacing. Great looking beer.

S - Ok, not the most complex aroma in the world. Getting espresso and roasted grains with a hint of vanilla. But the aroma is rich and strong.

T - Delivers exactly whats advertised. The stout is bold and roasty with just a hint of chocolate sweetness, and the coffee is dark and robust with a hint of cream. I'd say this goes about 50/50 on stout versus coffee flavor. No hop presence detectable, and balancing bitterness is caused instead by burnt/charred nots. Not a lot of other things going on, but what else do you need?

M - Big full bodied chewiness. Nicely creamy. Spot-on lower end of medium carbonation. Dry finish. It all works.

O - Everything about this beer is big and bold, and this is simply one of the best coffee stouts I have ever had. Seemlessly blended and almost flawlessly presented. A must for coffee lovers.

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Photo of trbergman
4.39/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Black as night, with a thin lace of cinnamon-colored head.

S - A coffee lover's dream, with a heavy dose of espresso, some roasted grain, chocolate, and anise.

T - While cool, this beer drinks like iced coffee, but as it warms, more stout flavors emerge. Bitter chocolate, roast barley, anise, vanilla. Very little hop flavor, if any - perhaps a bit of earthiness - but assertive hop bitterness meshed well with the bitterness of coffee.

M - Medium body, gentle carbonation.

D - If you don't enjoy coffee, look elsewhere. For those of us who do, Java Stout is a must. This is definitely a coffee beer, not just a beer with coffee. Delicious.

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Photo of goindownsouth
4.39/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This is one really superb brew from what is coming to be one of my favorite microbreweries. This stout poured from the 12 ounce bottle with about a half-inch of a head, which was deep and rich looking in its own right. The aroma was a definite sign of things to come. The coffee aroma is impeccable. The first sip, much like the rest of them, was rich and smooth, with great roasted malt flavor and just the right amount of good high-quality coffee essence mixed in. This is one for the ages, in my opinion.


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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

servedinto a nonic glass from a 12oz. long neck brown bottle with crimped-on cap.

Opque,black a creamy rocky light tan head.with chunks of lace clinging all the way down the glass,very good retention.a great looking stout.

The aroma was of fresh dark roasted coffee. Intense maltiness,very roasty/coffee/chocolaty/nutty/toffee.Very complex and inviting.Can't wait to taste this one.

Tastes of a strong black chocolate mocha coffee. Strong flavors of chocolate and coffee. I wish my morning coffee tasted like this.A nice intense bitter finish,clean and sharp,crisp and to the point. The balance of this beer was amazing for all the intensity of the flavors

A thick mouthfeel,yet a bit a light feel due to all the creamy goodness.Really sticks to the roof of the mouth with the chocolaty and coffee flavors lingering on.
The great taste of this beer wants me to keep drinking this all night,but I know the thickness will catch up sooner or later,hopefully more later than sooner.
This a great stout from Bell's,it blows away the cherry stout from Bell's that I drank last night. Anybody that loves stout must try this beer.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'd like to preface this with I'm not a coffee drinker, never have been and never will be. Don't like it, not even the smell. However...
Aroma contains a nice mix of chocolate, coffee and roasted malt. Quite pleasing. Black with red borders when held in the light. Firm tan head with some lacing present. Taste matches aroma very well. Sweet tones with some fruitiness. Finishes dry and medium long. Maybe a little thin, but nicely carbonated, i.e., not excessive. Best java stout I've had. Better complexity than most. Nice chocolate undertones and not too rich. Just a little thin.

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Photo of webmanspidey
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark brown/black poured into a Chimay chalice. Thick with an inch or so of head. Smell is "musty", and combines bittersweet dark chocolate/cocoa and espresso. A load of coffee in the flavor, very sweet with a bunch of chocolate syrup at the beginning and biting at the finish. This tastes like something you would get from Starbucks if they ever got into the carbonated alcoholic beverage business. Not as strong as you'd probably expect for the style, this is exceptionally drinkable. This is a pleasant surprise.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours deep black with a thin brown head and sticky lacing.

S - Fresh roasted coffee, roasted malt and chocolate.

T - Fresh roasted coffee, bittersweet chocolate and a slight lactic sweetness.

M - Medium body with light carbonation,

D - One of the freshest coffee flavors in a beer and this one is 8 months old. The only better version I have tasted is the bourbon java.

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Photo of dogger6253
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark and opaque with a nice light tan head, incredibly foamy and beautiful to look at. Lacing is present, but not very consistent.

Smell is exquisite, extreme coffee grounds, espresso and roasted malts. I pick up bits of burnt wood in the background and a little chocolate, even whiffs of oatmeal, wonderful aroma.

Taste is quite understandably coffee grounds, however not as dominantly as I would assume. The coffee blends fairly well alongside milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and espresso. There is also some molasses-sweetness and a chocolaty aftertaste.

Medium to full bodied, but quite smooth with alcohol completely hidden. It would be hard to drink several of these due to the infusion of coffee, but something I would drink again. I'd even recommend this to coffee-haters thanks to its balance.

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Photo of slimstout
4.41/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown (almost black) color with a three-finger mohogany-colored head.

It smells like a cross between freshly roasted coffee beans and the rich chocolatey alcohol scent of an Imperial Stout.

It has a very distinct bitterness to it, reminiscent of baking chocolate (that is, 100% cocoa). As it warms, the flavor mellows toward milk chocolate (that is, milk chocolate with a curious bite to it) and medium-roast coffee. Despite the coffee and the bitter bite, it is distinctly sweet like a milk stout might be.

The beer feels very thick and luxuriously smooth -- until the bitterness/carbonation bite hits. It's a very interesting combination -- reminiscent of snoozing happily in a big bed wrapped in silk sheets and being slapped awake by your mother all at the same time.

Overall: I love this beer! :) It has all my favorite qualities of a stout while the bite keeps every sip from getting boring.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.41/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to EGledhill for the chance to try this beer off my wants list.

Pours jet black, not light can get through, good size tan head that fades slowly and leaves lots of sticky lacing.

Smell has a heavy coffee aroma, pretty much masks anything else, not too complex but still inviting.

Much like the smell, the taste is highly dominated by a roasted coffee presence, malt and chocolate are more noticeable though. Very creamy taste and smooth, good amount of carbonation. Slight bitterness at the end, probably not from any hops but the coffee itself.

Never been a coffee drinker, but if coffee was like this, it'd make me a converter.

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Photo of RedneckBeerz
4.41/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Threw one of these back after drinking one of my Dunkelweizens (My 1st home brew). I had drank one of these a week or so ago and decided to let the other 5 sit in the fridge hoping that a week in the bottle would be more kind on my palate.

Poured into a Shiner Bohemian Black Lager pint. Very dark brown brew with a 2 finger + (what overflowed onto the counter) medium brown frothy head with massive brown lacing. First smell hit me as black cherry and carafa malts, then I pick up hot chocolate. Pick up the java or bitter chocolate and alcohol on first taste, bitter chocolate giving way to bitter coffee/roasted malts L500+. This is very similar to the flavor profile I encountered a week or so ago and was hoping that a little more bottle conditioning would mellow out, but evidently that's not the case. Not picking up any residual sweetness (per style). Pretty dry on the tongue and throat which for me is a plus, being that it is bitter.

Perhaps I'm a wuzz, black coffee is not my cup of tea errr cup of coffee (I take 3 sugars and cream with my coffee). A touch to bitter for me (from the malted grains) but not over the top thanks to the dry finish. I'd give this Bell's offering a B. Love their 2 Hearted and Oberon, so I'll definately be exploring the other offerings by this Brewer(y).

UPDATE - waited another 4 weeks to try another one of the original 6 pack and time has been good to this brew. The alcohol bite is entirely gone, nice chocolate and lightly bitter coffee notes, medium mouthfee and a scrupteoush beer. This is a definate A brew once it has bottle conditioned for a while (5 weeks+ in my case).

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Photo of Dodo2step
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

P- Grape and Gourmet in Va beach. Thanks Joe!

A- pours a dark thick creamy quaker state motor oil color. a light siena brown head is less and a mm in height and runs away from the beer quickly and no lace left behind.

S- dark coffee and a strong odor of malted hops as well. a rich roasted coffee smell just to clarify.

T- rich coffee flavor overpowers the alcohol that catches up with the beer as i swallow. There really isnt anything else to identify. Very delectable in the coffee flavor.

M- rich and creamy. thick and full of bodied coffee flavoring. I love it. a great brew.

D- since i love this type of beer i could do a sixer of this in a day but not in a couple hours. A lil tough toput down quick but nice to have 2 or 3 during a Pens game!

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Photo of mwilbur
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into imperial pint glass.
A: Very dark black (almost opaque with backlighting producing just a hint of dark amber) with 1/2 dark tan head with good retention.
S: Dark roast coffee hits first, then at end of deeper inhale notes of cream arise. Nice.
T: Big coffee flavor hits first followed by bitter, slightly acidic bite combined with dark roasted malt notes. Then the finish parallels the aroma with a nice smooth creamy ending. Very good complexity, especially for a coffee brewed stout.
M: At turns dark, smooth, acidic, etc. Nice complexity on the tongue.
D: Limited sessionability, but a very nice one to take the time to enjoy. One of the better (if not best) coffee stouts I've come across. This is truly the beer equivalent to a nice dark roast cup of coffee served with cream...I'm impressed with what they've been able to do with this brew. Coffee lovers seek this one out!

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Photo of grub
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jay23 hooked me up with this one. thanks jay!

12oz bottle, batch 7706, packaged on October 26, 2006.

pours nearly black and not quite opaque. a small very dense head falls slowly and leaves lots of spotty lace.

aroma is great. loads of coffee. light roast. dark chocolate. big bready malt. touch of earthy hops.

taste is great. tons of coffee. bittersweet chocolate. light roast that come more from the coffee than hops. medium bitterness level. bit of alcohol. very faint orange + tangerine citrus. touch of caramel sweetness.

mouthfeel is good. the medium carbonation level is best after it has had a few minutes to breathe. nice big body. almost no astringency.

drinkability is great. balanced and very enjoyable.

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Photo of wnh
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours an opaque ruby-tinted dark chestnut brown, nearly black, with a frothy tan head on top.

Aromas of freshly brewed black coffee, very roasty, with accompanying burnt grain and earthy, bitter dark chocolate. Earthy, leafy hops make themselves known after a few sips. Takes of chocolate covered coffee beans, very intense and roasty, on the entry, turning slightly sweet and caramelly before finishing dry with a bitter, leafy hoppiness. The caramel flavor bows out quickly, but everything else lingers and lingers.

Dry on the palate, which turns slightly chalky, which more or less works with the flavor profile but which I don't care much for. Medium to full in body, but light enough to make it quite drinkable. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of abents
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Apperance: Pours a deep black color with a light tan head about 2 fingers high.

Aroma: Overwhelming aroma of dark coffee with a hint of chocolate. Reminds me of a chocolate mocha java coffee that I enjoy every day at work.

Taste: Very deep coffee notes with a hint of malts slipping into your mout towards the end. A very smooth drinking experience with the bitter coffee taste overpowering your taste buds. Yum!

Mouthfeel: This beer coats your tounge and warms your throat on the way down. Very rich, but yet extremly smooth tasting all the way down.

Drinkability: Very smooth beer, but I probably couldn't drink more than one in a night. I like coffee, but even for me the overwhelming coffee flavor in one bottle is enough for me. Can't knock it on drinkability however cause this is one deliciously drinkable beer.

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