Bell’s Java StoutMarch 1, 2003 Kalamazoo, MI
Kalamazoo Brewing Co.
Available: MI, OH, IN, IL, MN, MO
Bell’s Java Stout, a “single batch” beer, is one of a range of six additional stouts the company releases each year in the month of November. Java Stout combines elements of both stout and coffee in this full-bodied beer. Kalamazoo Brewing Co. is now in the midst of a major expansion.
Alcohol by weight: 5.7
I would be perfectly happy to sit and read a good book while simply sniffing this stuff. More opaque than black coffee, with a tight, furry head. The taste is dry, like a espresso, a welcome contrast with rich desserts. I added three scoops of chocolate ice cream , stirred it gently and served it in a pint glass. I accompanied this extraordinary float with a chocolate bar made with 61% cocoa (less sugar, more chocolate flavor) to achieve a lovely balance of sweetness and acidity.
- Charles Finkel
There’s more to this beer’s aroma than malt. Highly roasted coffee-like character with a hint of ash and sweet corn. Not particularly sweet in aroma, but the flavor is completely another story. Rich roast-cocoa-malt sweetness in flavor with a strong coffee character. Perhaps one of the most definitive coffee-flavored beer’s I’ve had. Flavor and balance are superb, though the aroma is not quite as inviting as I would personally like it to be.
- Charlie Papazian
Jet black beer with—suitably—a cappuccino-colored head, the delectable aroma is like walking in to a specialist Belgian chocolate shop and being drawn to the coffee liqueurs. Hops mark their arrival on the tongue, their bitterness balancing the richness of dark malts and coffee. The finish is dominated by the bitter-sweetness of the coffee but the complexity is marked by tart, dark grain and bitter hops. Entrancing—but do I need caffeine as well as alcohol?
- Roger Protz
Founder of Merchant du Vin and the Pike Brewing Co., Charles Finkel is a pioneer in the marketing of craft beers in America.
Author of the New Complete Joy of Homebrewing, founder of the Great American Beer Festival and a Beer Examiner at www.examiner.com, Papazian is a leading voice in beer and brewing.
Roger Protz is the author of Complete Guide to World Beer and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die. He is a respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.