Jingle Java | Bent River Brewing Company

very good
31 Reviews
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Jingle JavaJingle Java

Brewed by:
Bent River Brewing Company
Illinois, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by sprucetip on 12-16-2008

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 126
Photo of emerge077
4.16/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Rip's Tavern in Ladd, IL. $4 pint.
Black body with a thin layer of tan foam leaving behind some spotty lace.
Aroma is very nice, chocolate, roasted pecans, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
Taste is similar, lightly sweet chocolate with a well blended melange of Christmas cookie spices.
Flavors are completely natural, with no artificial elements at all.
Lighter bodied with a smooth feel, medium carbonation level, still in stout territory.

The reviews here are oddly polarizing, maybe earlier batches used extracts?

 527 characters

Photo of basaywhat
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Pour was dark black and had a pleasant mild coffee aroma. Flavor was excellent, very smooth mouthfeel with well balanced coffee flavor with a hint of chocolate and vanilla.

 186 characters

Photo of beerguy04
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very nice seasonal. Has a dark brown look with a brownish tan head. Can taste the vanilla and coffee in it as well as, the mouthfeel. Overall, one of my favorite winter seasonal.

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Photo of AustinWadkins
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark brown with a dark caramel head that quickly falls

Aromas include coffee, hint of cinnamon and vanilla

Taste is a strong somewhat burnt coffee that is sweet with a bit of vanilla, pecan

Overall I really like this beer! It has great mouthfeel but I wish it was thicker! Will definitely grab another!

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful black pour with a crispy brown head of 1 finger. Sticks around and leaves such beautiful, calculated lace in the snifter.

Aromas of gingerbread, spiced coffee, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Flavor is coffee forward, followed by hints of vanilla and nutmeg, but a sour cherry/soy sauce flavor develops on the palate leading me to believe this may be infected. Regardless I'll give it the benefit of the doubt. If this indeed is NOT an infected sample, and I will try this again, this flavor simply cannot stand. I'll adjust accordingly if and when I get around to it again.

Feel is clammy and cool, with some moderate carbonation. Roasty finish.

Overall, I think this would be much better if I didn't taste infection. This is the 2016 bottle, I picked this up in Des Moines, IA at a Hy-Vee. Anyone else getting this?

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Supremely black body with a tan head. To its detriment, it looks fairly thin... but it's so dark! Nose is sweet, with artificial vanilla, a bit of maple/nuttiness, slight raisin, and, finally, some chocolate and coffee with their acidity on the finish. As crazy as this all sounds, it works. The flavor, however, is not as well composed, overall seeming watery and some of the flavor tasting chemically. There are occasional sips where the pecans, vanilla, coffee, chocolate, and rum individually shine through, but it always had too much acidity and resorts back to an artificial finish. Body is pretty thin and lightweight, with overly sharp carbonation.
Sometimes these things work, and sometimes they don't. This didn't work, but it wasn't a catastrophe. Components were good at times, and it looked and smelled nice. I wonder if genuine ingredients were used or if this was done with flavorings. Either way, in this case less might be more.

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Photo of Koral
4.57/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: Dark, almost black, with a dark brown head
Smell: Coffee, Rum, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Raisin
Taste: Coffee and the holiday spices play well together. Vanilla and cinnamon finish the beer nicely.
Feel: Smooth and thick, almost like a milk stout

This is my favorite holiday beer on the market. The coffee flavor in this beer also makes it the most pleasant coffee beer I have ever had as well. The coffee flavor from this beer is exceptional.

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Photo of tone77
3.64/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is strong of coffee, some pecans. Taste is also of strong coffee, some hints of vanilla. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall, if you are a coffee lover, this beer is for you, otherwise, skip it.

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Photo of jaypaul522
3.66/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass - very dark, some head, and medium bodied. The smell was distinctly coffee, and that comes through in the taste as well. This beer was a medium to light body feel in the mouth, but with a satisfying taste.

 230 characters

Photo of alarmclock314
3.51/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, no date. Pours nearly black with a medium sized brown head. Smells of mostly pecan and caramel with some cinnamon, vanilla, and roasted malt; great intensity. The taste follows exactly but is very weak; pecan, roasted malt, and caramel. Some tart and subtle bitterness in the finish. Above average body and higher, prickly carbonation. Overall, it has a great nutty smell, but the flavor is way too watery.

 424 characters

Photo of DaneBramage
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

L - Dark brown/black, medium head.
S - Nice coffee aroma.
T - Weak flavor, more burnt than coffee. Slight nut flavor but not balanced well at all.
M - Nothing special, thinner than your normal stout.
O - After the nose I expected a nice coffee stout, I got a weak one. Just not much to this, very disappointing.

 313 characters

Photo of Strike00
2.46/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

L: pours a nice dark brown with a head that dissipated fairly quickly
S: smells like roasted Barley and some spices. Not bad.
T: not good, almost a sour taste to this. Beyond that very artificial.
F: Very thin and watery. Not much more I can say about it.

O: Not good. The funky sour flavor was not really palatable. Glad I just bought a single of this.

 365 characters

Photo of martinfletwood
4.26/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This used to be my favorite seasonal beer. This years batch seemed a little "hurried". Still a great batch, just not as good as last years. I know craft beers vary from year to year, so we'll chalk it up and hope for better this Christmas.

 239 characters

Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
4.34/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A really strong and really amazing coffee aroma. A great coffee stout with some maple in it, a slippy and syrupy texture, and an overall top-notch winter beer.

 160 characters

Photo of mrandypandy
2.2/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

12oz bottle, an extra from a recent trade.

A - Pours a dark dark brown. Medium clarity. Small white hesd.
S - Bitter coffe. Acrid almost? Roast. Nuttyness from the pecsns.
T- Eh. Green coffee, light spice, slight pecans. No rum. Disjointed.
M - This is what puts the nail in the coffin. Thin, watery, no body.
O - Really not good. At all. Mediocre flavors combined with a terribly thin and watery body equals a mess of a beer. Not sure how anyone could give this a positive review...

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Photo of jlindros
3.49/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Don't remember who gave this to me.
Pours a light fizzy head that fades fairly quickly, light lacing, super dark black beer with a touch of mahogany brown light sneaking through.

Nose is super nutty, so much toasted pecan and mixed nuts, with a little nutty fruity coffee in the background, some caramel and toasty brown malts, reddish caramel malt aromas too, faint touch of cinnamon and cocoa. The pecans just overpower everything.

Taste starts with lots more pecans, but not as nutty this time, some acrid over roasted malts, char like, lots of toasty flavors, toasted pecans, toasted nuts, toasted brown malts, etc, with some caramel and candy notes. Also acrid burnt coffee, very burnt coffee like, a little super dark chocolate cocoa, and some vanilla notes. No rum, but a hint of cinnamon late on the taste, as it finishes a little watery feeling but dry, a little caramel and toasted pecans lingering, bit more burnt acrid coffee lingering as well.

Mouth is med bod, decent carb, somehow a little watery feeling.

Overall OK, coffee is burnt and acrid, malts are OK but a little watery somehow, pecans just overpower everything else for the most part too, and cinnamon is very light, rum is non existent, caramel is done well though.

 1,246 characters

Photo of larryarms847
4.14/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown almost black with thin layer of khaki foam.

Wow, tons of pecan, maple, caramel, and coffee notes.

Pecan, pecan, and more pecan! Loads of nuttiness with caramel, coffee, nutmeg, and other spice notes.

Light-medium bodied, light-medium carbonation, thin, and oily. Was hoping for a thicker mouthfeel.

Overall, the mouthfeel could use some touch up, but this is a straight up caramel pecan brew perfect for a holiday meal.

 440 characters

Photo of bnes09
4.31/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice espresso flavor coupled with dark chocolate, salted pretzels and pecans. Only mildly spicy and a nice balance with the malt. Overall, a very well done flavored stout and holiday ale.

 187 characters

Photo of cloverdaddy
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Pours a dark brown with a nice thick head that settles to about a half inch all the way down.

The smell is of peanut butter and heavy, heavy butterscotch.

Taste is of roasted malt, some slight bitter coffee and faint butterscotch

Pretty light to medium mouthfeel that is easily drank.

Overall, a beer that smells better than it tastes, but still quite good.

 363 characters

Photo of are_doubleyou
2.3/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

L: It pours a deep, black color with a light, off-white head that quickly vanishes into a ring of lacing. No sign of carbonation bubbles. Really disappointing compared to stouts with a thick, tan head.

S: Very rich aromatics. Strong coffee and cocoa notes dominate the nostrils. Caramel and vanilla are also present. Sadly lacking in roasted malt notes, but I won't hit it too much because it fits the advertised holiday and coffee notes.

T: The taste is crisp and surprisingly light up front. Really not all that pleasant. It tastes like someone took a subpar stout and added a bunch of artificial coffee, vanilla, chocolate and caramel flavoring to it. It tastes pretty disgusting to me. The finish is a mix of weak coffee and vanilla extract. A weird syrupy taste lingers on the palate. I am incredibly disappointed in the taste of this beer because it doesn't follow up on the promises of its aroma. There is nothing to entice me to take another sip besides the desire to soldier through and finish this review.

F: The feel is light and crisp with a slight fizziness. Not at all like the oily richness or thick maltiness that I want from a stout. Not terrible, but not what I want from this style at all.

O: I picked up a six-pack of this beer because a bartender at a sports bar told me that they blew a keg in a night and I spotted it the next day. I can only imagine that the keg was pounded by macro drinkers watching football because this is not a good coffee stout. It smells pretty good, but it tastes artificial and the the aftertaste is not very pleasant. I need to find someone with an unsubtle palate to dump the rest of this six-pack on because it is rubbish.

This beer was poured from a 12oz bottle into a Blind Pig mug and imbibed at apx 60F.

 1,765 characters

Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.45/5  rDev +16.5%

I am not the biggest fan of Bent River, and I live 25 minutes away. I usually prefer Great river down the block. This Jingle Java really blew me away. I am really starting to become more drawn to the stouts, and this is in the same ballpark as my recent eval of ten fidy. Sweetness, chocolate, coffee and surprise of vanilla. What a combination. The mouthfeel may have been the best. The carbonation combined to assist the uniqueness of this beer. This was a great draft!

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Photo of Sunn
4.89/5  rDev +28%

Normally I haven't been a big fan of anything Bent River has put out until I met Jingle Java. This one blew my Santa Hat to the moon when I first tasted this beer on tap. This was at a beer festival with multiple well-known breweries from around the world and Jingle Java even turned out being my favorite beer of the entire event.

Just pure coffee/java sweetness when you give the beer a whiff. I gave the beer a sip considering my past with their beers, but I was greeted by one of the best sweet stouts I've ever had in my life. There is a PERFECT amount of coffee and java sweetness that does not overpower the beer in any way whatsoever. Plus, the creaminess of the the mouth feel is absolutely incredible and compliments the beer amazingly.

This beer is an absolute treat. To compare it to something more well known it would be Three Floyds Moloko, but every aspect of it being upped a notch. I never had any interest in going to this brewery and it's only 45 minute drive away. This beer's already got my weekend visit in order. Christmas came early. Jingle Java is up there with ANY stout, it's phenomenal. Kudos to Bent River!

 1,137 characters

Photo of martyl1000
4.56/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the most stunning coffee flavor I've ever had in a beer. It really is an iced-Americano, with carbonation. The aroma is pure cold coffee with milk.

Flavor in the mouth is uncannily straight-up coffee grounds. There's a tart, tinny hop bitterness that tries to remind one this is beer. But the pronounced roasted coffee flavor resists such a notion. There's a nice sweet vanilla in the background that helps a milk chocolate undercurrent emerge from the dark depths.

Best coffee stout I've had. Blows doors on New Glarus Coffee Stout. There are better coffee-infused double stouts out there (Central Waters Brewhouse, Lagunitas Capuccino). But at a mere 6.5% abv, this one takes the cake.

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Photo of HawkeyeNation
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a Toppling Goliath chalice

A: Not quite black, but very dark brown.

S: Immediately after opening the bottle, aromas of coffee fill the area. Also, notes of chocolate.

T: Huge coffee flavor, not subtle at all. May as well be drinking coffee with a stout added, complete with notes of caramel, vanilla and chocolate.

M: Creamy mouthfeel, not very thick of a body

Overall, I enjoyed this beer but would've preferred it to be a little thicker and maybe a less prominent on the coffee side, as you can get that with the Uncommon Stout.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - near black, creamy beige head
S - plume of coffee and rum fills the room, vanilla, cinnamon and chocolate are present with a closer sniff
T - sweet, coffee, rum, vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa, nutty, caramel
M - creamy, smooth, ample carbonation
O - good idea, but I feel like it could be better. More alcohol? I don't know, it seemed a bit convoluted for what it was; which I guess could be taken as a compliment. I know everything doesn't have to be a huge beer, with a big ABV, and barrel aged, but with all that is involved with this beer I think all that big stuff could have made this something special.

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Jingle Java from Bent River Brewing Company
3.82 out of 5 based on 126 ratings.
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