Sheltowee Java Dawg Coffee Stout
Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's

Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Stout - American
3.59 | pDev: 8.64%
Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
Kentucky, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Reviews: 10 | Ratings: 14 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by thebeers:
Photo of thebeers
thebeers from Pennsylvania

3.12/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Dark brown with faint garnet highlights and overly-thick tan head. Huge coffee aroma with cream, a little chocolate and vanilla and some dark-roasted malt also in there. Some of this carries over to the taste, with some astringency and staleness in the coffee and a little hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is simultaneously thin and seriously over-carbonated, affecting the taste in a God-awful way. The smell of this one comes close to the best coffee stouts. Downhill fast from there.

Jul 23, 2015
More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This, the fifth beer brewed exclusively for the Kentucky Liquor Barn retailers under the Sheltowee series. Consider this beer to be KBS Light.

This stout pours as expected from most well-brewed stouts. Poured from the growler, the onxy black beer builds a creamy, froathy tan head in a most gentlemanly fashion. Light on lace, but the head reduces to a delicate creme before holding firm through the remainder of the session.

Where roast aromas are expected with stouts, this coffee stout borrows a bolder and more masculine coffee roast to accompany that of roasted barley, malted milk and burnt caramels. With low level of sweetness and hops buried deep within, the nose is all about French pressed coffee and complementing roast.

Flavors even further tilt toward the coffee with flavors of dark French roast, walnuts, roasted barley, and charred toast. Malty flavors (aside from roast) contribute only a timid malted milk taste that gives support to the roast and coffee but without competing for attention- similar to how the balance of Guiness behaves. Bitterness from roast and that from hops add layers of complexity and is hardly distinguishable- with each sip, one seems of hop bitterness and the next from coffee. No fruitiness, spiciness, or other flavors distract from the coffee focus. Lightly acidic throughout for added complexity.

Medium creaminess early fades quickly towards a roasty finish with an everso slight sourness or grain deriven astringency. The beer lightens considerably late for a highly drinkable stout despite the intensity of coffee and roast flavor. As the beer intensifies in bitterness and acidity in aftertaste, the memory of coffee lingers well into the next sip.

Undoubtedly another well-made beer in the Sheltowee line. While I appreciate the discipline with the coffee spice, I would welcome a bit more complexity, caramel flavor/sweetness, or actual malt taste. Regardless, the use of well-make coffee and in appropriate usage makes this a highly drinkable beer.

Apr 05, 2011
Photo of StuartCarter
StuartCarter from Alabama

3.86/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a dramatic fluffy caramel-coloured head. Aroma and taste of a nice dark roast coffee. Flavour is slightly simplistic, it could do with some more caramel or brown sugar sweetness for my taste.

Will definitely buy again and recommend to anyone who likes coffee stouts.

May 02, 2011
Photo of bobhits
bobhits from Kentucky

3.69/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Java Dawg.

Pours deep brown from the tap, but it’s damn near black in the glass. Impressive given the abv and maybe my lack of expectations. Low on carbonation but I feel growlers can do this and far too often do.

The nose is a blast of coffee and chocolate malt with little else there. I have to admit, I’m pretty excited to try this now.

5.3% doesn’t generally work well for stouts. They often just don’t have the flavor to back it and this one like many before falls a hair short here as well. Coffee is the showcased of course with chocolate and caramel malt backed by the slightest bit of hops add a mildly citrus and mostly acidic element. Just not enough umph for the rest of the beer.

If a beer is going to make 5.3% work it needs the perfect body. A creamy thick mouthfeel really can fix this, and this beer falls completely flat (please ignore that one could mean than as a pun). There isn’t enough carbonation plain and simple. The beer isn’t overly thick either.

A good coffee stout, but falls well short of being outstanding or exceptional. An imperial version or just a better carbonated bottled version might be just enough to make things right.

Jun 13, 2011
Photo of secondtooth
secondtooth from Indiana

3.39/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours all foam — an overflowing mess of tan suds all over everything. When it all subsides, my tiny bit of deep dark ruby brew is minimal in pint glass. Lace is sloppy and virtually nonexistent.

Aroma: Roasty coffee all the way. Really pretty appealing to me, an unrepentant coffee drinker.

Taste: Sweet and roasty coffee here, too, without much complication nor complexity. Body is very light, even watery, but the overt coffee taste is appealing and easy to enjoy. A tasty coffee porter for sure, but overall execution (as with most of BBC’s brews these days, it seems) leaves something to be desired.

Aug 22, 2015
Photo of arlo19
arlo19 from Kentucky

3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Smell is very good, roasty coffee. Taste is quite dry coffee, no mouthfeel to this one though. Aftertaste is dry and slightly bitter. OK, but won't be buying again.

Jun 17, 2015
Photo of tone77
tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.62/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1 inch head. Smell is dominated by espresso. Taste is strong black coffee, a bit of smoke. Feels medium/full in the mouth and overall a good beer. If you are a fan of coffee beers, give this one a shot, otherwise, skip it.

Aug 25, 2015
Photo of barczar
barczar from Kentucky

3.74/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2014 vintage. There's a lot of coffee and chocolate, and yeah it's on the sweet side. A bit of an acrid character as expected from a lower end pricepoint brew.

Jan 09, 2015
Photo of SonOfOdin
SonOfOdin from Kentucky

3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Jun 18, 2015
Photo of mrfrancis
mrfrancis from Kentucky

3.46/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nearly opaque black with subtle amber highlights and a thick, bubbly khaki head that recedes quickly. Once this beer settles in the glass, a small amount of yeast sediment is visible at the bottom of the glass.

S: Strong aromas of heavy cream, caramel, roasted grain, vanilla bean, and coffee grounds dominate the nose.

T: A bitter, astringent entry reveals notes of coffee grounds, roasted grain, leather, caramel, heavy cream, vanilla bean, tobacco, damp grass, and lemon rind. The finish retains the bitterness of the entry, offering a final flourish of tobacco, roasted grain, coffee grounds, leather, and lemon rind before a brief fade.

M: Relatively full in body, but like most coffee stouts, this stout is slightly thinner than one would expect. The texture in the mouth is somewhat oily and filmy-this is definitely not a dry stout, which is kind of unexpected. Carbonation is active and forceful. This beer is not exactly difficult to drink, but does not quite go down smoothly either.

O: Neither as dry nor as silky and smooth as I generally prefer coffee-based stouts to be, the slightly unappealing texture of this ale is mitigated somewhat by its other properties. In the end, this is by no means a bad stout, but there are better out there to be sure. Still, it is worth trying once, especially if one is a fan of the style.

Oct 23, 2015
Photo of crbnfbr
crbnfbr from Kentucky

4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Jul 23, 2015
Photo of mwar
mwar from Kentucky

3.03/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

May 01, 2015
Photo of Dicers
Dicers from Colorado

3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jan 23, 2015
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner from Kentucky

3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Lots of earthy coffee bean, coffee grounds, and fresh roasted coffee. This has got great flavor up front but lacks a solid backbone and comes across very thin. For the price this is very well done, though.

Mar 29, 2015
Sheltowee Java Dawg Coffee Stout from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 14 ratings