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

very good
1,131 Reviews
Bell's Java StoutBell's Java Stout

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Java Stout uses a custom blend of coffee beans, roasted locally for us by Water Street Coffee Joint, to generate its intense flavor. Possessing an unmistakable aromatic punch, Java Stout has long been one of our most popular stouts.

Added by kbub6f on 12-11-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,131 | Ratings: 3,170
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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Photo of tayner
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours black with a small tan head that goes to a ring tha tlaces the glass.

Smells strongly of freshly ground coffee beans, like when you walk down the coffee isle at the grocery store. I am not a huge coffee drinker, but always love the smell of fresh ground beans.

This is the most coffee i have tasted this far in a "coffee stout". It has a fantastic punch of coffee flavor that is backed by some mid palate roasted grains and maybe a slight finish of hops, although it would be very slight. there is a touch of finishing bitterness from the coffee beans, enough to help dry the palate and make me want more. If i served this hot in a coffee cup one might think it was a cup of joe spiked with a touch of whiskey or something..

It was very creamy, i wished only it had a touch more carbonation for me.

Not sure where the 7.5% abv is, i couldnt believe it was that high when i saw it on here, it is VERY well hidden. I wish i had more than one of these, it saddens me to think this was the only one i have... i guess i need to seek out more of these before winter is over.... this is one i will continue to seek out year after year.

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

A-poured a watery black into my oversized snifter with a somewhat cream colored 1/2 finger head. Lacing was pretty slippery.

S-sweet milky coffee. Very frappicino like and pretty creamy. Coffee is there without a doubt, but light and sweet for sure. Appetizing and not very beer-like....let's see what this bad boy tastes like.

T-Yum. Beautiful blend. Very coffee like, but not in a bad way. Cream is there in the taste and there is a soft vanilla/caramel thing going on to tame the beer.

M/D-thick and rich. Filling. Unbelievably delicious. Easy to drink, wish I had a 6'er and not a single. Smooth, with a touch of a bite. The coffee in this one is a perfect match for the beer. Bells never disappoints and this one is no exception.

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

The color of this beer teeters somewhere between dark mahogany brown and midnight black. The small creamy head of tan foam was short lived. Wonderful aroma of freshly ground and roasted coffee, cocoa butter and even a touch of tart caramel sweetness. The taste is rich with bittersweet roasted flavors. Espresso and cocoa blend into a smooth and dark stout. Medium bodied with a roasted bittersweet finish. This is a wonderful example of a beer and coffee blend. Very impressive.

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

Pretty lights out black, just a tiny bit of red and brown at edges, smaller coco colored head forms. The aroma is rich and chocolatey under lied by espresso. The coffee makes its self known but still leaves plenty of room for the beer characteristics to come through. The taste is similar in that way, neither beer nor coffee dominate. Theres is a great sweet chocolate and almost fruity flavor from the beer that mixes with the espresso to taste a bit like a mocha from a coffee shop. Medium to full bodied but it tastes so good it is really easy to drink.

Verdict: I have now gone through two 6-packs before reviewing this beer, I had no clue it was at 7.5% ABV. I have found one of my new favorites, a great balance of coffee and beer. I like beers that are more coffee than beer, but their drinkablity is greatly reduced because of this. Java Stout goes down so well I keep looking at my glass and going "Oh crap, I am already more than half done?"

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep brown/black. Nice big kahki head on this one. Spicey coffee wafts off the top like my morning stop for caffeine. Hints of bitter cocoa. Lacing present as the head recedes. Very nice all coffee flavor. Wow this is great. Almost like a cold cup of Joe here. Light to medium mouthfeel with low to medium carbonation. Right on what it should be. Very nice. Could drink this all night. Must pair this with food sometime.

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Photo of tsauce2
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

P: 12 fl oz bottle in to a tulip glass

A: SRM is dark brown/black. Opaque. Head is tan, 1 in, semi frothy, dissipates to line the top of the beer. Medium carbonation. Medium lacing.

S: Big coffee and roasted malt notes. Caramel tones mix with slight hoppy notes. Smells sweet on the finish.

T: Huge coffee notes come off on the initial palate, along with roasted malt, chocolate, and caramel notes. Light hoppiness hits the middle palate and mild bitter notes hit the sides of the palate. Aftertaste is coffee. Alcohol is barely noticable. Light sweetness.

M: Full body. Carbonation accentuates an ingredient heavy beer making for a big, balanced, and creamy mf.

O: This beer = pure awesomeness. I love coffee beers, and this beer has what I need. Igredient heavy and well balanced. One of the best coffee stouts out there.

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

Poured a nice dark dark brown color with a small head that left a little bit of lacing but not much. It smells really good. You can definitely smell the coffee. There are also notes of chocolate, molasses, and a bit of licorice. It tastes great. You can really taste the coffee and it melds well with the dark malts. Chocolate notes are present near the finish and are very nice. Also, there is a hint of sweetness in there somewhere. There is a nice mouthfeel on this beer. Its nice and creamy with a heavier body on it, but deinitely not the heaviest one of the style by any means. Decent carbonation on this beer as well. This was a really drinkable stout. It went down a lot smoother than a lot of coffee stouts I have had before. I really like this beer. I would definitely recommend this beer to anyone that is a fan of the style. Good job Bells. Cheers.

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

Purchased from Party Town cold and ready to go. Heavy and slick pour reveals a very black, opaque brew. Even putting it up to the light only lets in a slight brownish tint. Dark brown head doesn't live very long and leaves light lace.
Brown sugar and whiskey filled coffee aroma.
Fine creamy espresso and dark, rich chocolate flavor.
Mouthfeel is heavier and leaves the kind of lingering mouthfeel of a good dessert.

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

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter glass. Batch #9363

(A)- Pours thick and dark black. Produced a huge & thick tan head of massive volume that has ridiculous retention. It is still present after 5 minutes. Left behind tiny bits of foam as it dissipated and was consumed.

(S)- Freshly brewed dark roasted coffee with a light hazelnut nuttiness. Lightly dusted cocoa & subdued brown sugar that might even have a light smokiness to it.

(T)- Tons upon tons of dark roasted coffee. More bitter than sweet. This has some serious coffee flavors. Dry & nutty with hints of a caramel-ish to molasses themed malts. Only gets better as it warms up. Great roasted coffee profile. Has some cocoa in there amidst the molasses nuance. There is even a hint of cinnamon/nutmeg underneath the roasted coffee, but it could just be the nutty caracteristic.

(M)- Has a great balance to it. Simple but complex in how the flavors are layered upon one another; not all at once. Robust and dry with a touch of bitterness; just the way a black cup 'o joe should be! Great carbonation level and alcohol integration.

(D)- This is for serious coffee drinkers, if you dont like your coffee strong or black then you might not like this as much as I do. Nonetheless, this is fantastic. Well balanced with no fancy frills or a ridiculously high abv, just a well-made beer that I would gladly drink any saturday morning; especially in the dead of winter. Will definitely be picking up more of this.

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Photo of EvoRich
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The first Bells I've had was the Expedition Stout. I must say, that stout opened my eyes to this brewery, and I haven't been let down since, though I will say, the Expedition is the best thus far.

Look: Very little light can pass through. I just shined a bright flashlight through the opposite side of the glass and it turns only slightly red. A very dark stout.

Smell: Coffee right away. I'm not very sophisticated, so I don't smell much else. Just coffee.

Taste: Coffee. Probably one of the most up front coffee type stouts I've had. There is no mistake this stout is brewed with coffee. You won't think "is this brewed with coffee?" There is no question about it. I'm a big coffee drinker so I am very drawn to coffee stouts.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied at best. Maybe a little thinner feeling.

Overall: This is a very good stout. I would most definitely drink this again. I may buy it again if I see it. But I likely won't be on the hunt for it.

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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 buck1futter
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-typical stout, dark, light vanilla mocha head, doesn't stick around too long.

S-Nice layered coffee, strong roasted malt, very faint hops.

T- Coffee right up front, acidity from the coffee bites cheeks, leaves a nice roast aftertaste, leaves the mouth watery and wanting something to savior. getting coffee bitterness more so it seems than the hops. pretty tasty.

M-Creamy, very clean mild carbonation, very easy to drink. medium body.

0 A pretty good coffee stout, seeing as most coffee stouts are imperials it is nice to have a session able coffee stout that i could have in the morning as well. Recommended for coffee lovers.

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Photo of ryrust5301
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - Color is a deep black with a sort of burnt brown around the edges. Very ample lacing which is to be expected from an imperial stout. Thin layer of head which was a nesquick color.

Smell - After working as a manager in a coffee house, I can tell you that this one carries an espresso smell worthy of the java stout label. It has the burnt almost smokey quality with more of a sweet chocolate smell than I thought would be there.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Maybe i'm in the minority on this one, but I find it hugely diverse. Most coffee stouts just blast away at your taste buds with a harsh bitterness that masks any other flavor in the beer. Don't get me wrong this has a big espresso bill, but they added such a wonderful handful of chocolate to give it a little sweetness. It's kinda like adding sugar and cream to your coffee. Mouthfeel is not bitter and biting, but rather smooth and gentle. It doesn't have the huge body that rakes at the side of your mouth, but I kinda like that about this one.

Drinkability - The Peche Mortel gets all the pub, and while it's good it's a little to harsh for my tastes. This is another triumph for bells. Do they do anything wrong? I'm sad that this beer is no longer brewed as it is my first and maybe last time i'll ever have it.

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Photo of steve8robin
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bells has some phenomenal beers. Hope this is one of them. 12oz bottle...

A: Completely pitch black with a small 1/2 inch mocha colored head that fades quickly to a bubbly lake atop the brew. Very good.

S: An awesome bold coffee scent right upfront! Some cocoa, chocolate, and vanilla present themselves in the middle. Good.

T: A nice balance of bitter chocolate and bold coffee upfront with a vanilla and bitter cocoa followed. This is a great coffee beer.

M: Medium body with an awesome carbonation. A nice creamy, mild roast finish. Perfection in a glass!

O: All in all, this one came out of left field for me. Phenomenal coffee stout! So creamy and bold with the flavors, yet all flavors work so well together. Once of the best coffee stouts I have had. If you like stouts with big flavor and coffee, then this is right up your alley. Way to go Bells!

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Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 1,131 ratings.
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