Imperial Java Stout - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Imperial Java StoutImperial Java Stout

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

847 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 847
Reviews: 206
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 84
Gots: 145 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Santa Fe Brewing Company visit their website
New Mexico, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: goochpunch on 03-31-2007

This is the kind of beer that gives the word "stout" a reputation. Extra generous quantities of barley malt, followed by vigorous fermentation leaves this "imperial" heavy weight with 8% alcohol A.B.V. and a body as full as chocolate bread pudding. A complimentary and complex array of bitter notes comes form potent American hops, earthy British hops, black-roasted malts and, of course, coffee. Santa Fe Brewing Company uses only top-quality ingredients like organically grown East Timor coffee beans blended with New Guinea coffee beans, locally roasted by O'hori's Coffee House. Its heavenly flavor and aroma can't be beat or imitated.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 847 | Reviews: 206
Reviews by Liveupthere:
Photo of Liveupthere
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the can. A little browner than I expected, but black in the glass. Mouthfeel felt more like an ale than a stout. I would have liked a bit more syrupy/thicker consistency. Taste matched the coffee aroma. Exactly what I was hoping for. The 8% abv hides well.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

CAN you dig it, SUCKA! Pours brown out the can, mild beige head about 3/4" deep. Aroma was magnificently coffee. They really knocked that out the park. No acridity, acidity or bitterness in the aroma.

Great taste, again, the bitter adjectives are not amongst this beer, yet the immense coffee ones are. Amazing mouthfeel to completely cover up the 8% abv, can't believe this. Its like they even had the perfect amount of creamer (lactose?) in it where you can't smell it or really taste it, but it just gives it a better mouthfeel than oats would probably do or maybe are there in tandem. Good carbonation, even if its too high for you, you can just let it chill for a few minutes and its adjusted to your likings mr. cask guy from britain. All the chocolate is very dry and never sweet.

Just a bang up job they did on this. Expand distribution!!

Photo of NailtheAle
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Excellent beer by far. Great price.

Photo of BeerActivatesNrf2
4.94/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So many coffee stouts fail to give a potent coffee flavor. This one gives a strong espresso feel. If you like coffee and beer, this is the beer for you.

Photo of Beaver13
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz can. Pours a dark brown with a medium creamy tan head that quickly goes to a collar that laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet chocolate malts and lots of roasted coffee.

The flavor is sweet chocolate with a lot of nice coffee and some bitter roast in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low but smooth carbonation.

Overall, not very complex (all about the coffee), but a great beer for coffee lovers. One of the best coffee beers I've had...yum!

Photo of barhoc11
3.24/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This was very underwhelming. There is almost no smell to this beer and the coffee taste is very minimal with a floral/sweet aftertaste. The aftertaste reminds me of fake sugar, which is what I am sure was used to backsweeten this beer. I am not sure what they are trying to accomplish but there are much better alternatives.

Photo of wlevando
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can into a pint glass (for the 30th time in the past 12 months).
Caveat 1: This is one of my favorite beers. It is the first "real" beer that my wife came to appreciate, and since good, dark, complex draughts have been something that we've enjoyed together.

Caveat 2: This review is written while dinner is cooking. The subtleties are not tempered by a quick chew between draughts.

Eyes: Nearly opaque with red-brown tinges. Exciting, foamy head, especially in my wife's "dizzy" glass (indented-bottom tight-lipped snifter)

Nose: Strongly caramel and vanilla espresso with something (dry? spicy? hot? ) replacing the milk for an after-work latte. Not overwhelming or inspiring, but it is still inviting.

Tongue: A complex beer (see caveat 2 and my take). Quick hit of vanilla and lasting sweetness yields to chipotle. Spice fades over ~10 seconds, leaving pleasant coffee bitterness, roasty and sweet. Nice balance of malt (first time any beer characteristic needs be invoked).

Face: Dry, but lasting warmth. Nice, but fleeting (very few 10s seconds) lubrication leaves no dryness or desire.

My take: One of the very best beers ever commercially released (though see caveat 1). NOT A SESSION BEER. The 8% ABV notwithstanding, the subtleties invite contemplation. Great, instead, with light snacks and the best damned friends one's got. I cannot put it better than my cousin, leaning in for a group hug, "This beer makes me happy."

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with an off-white head. The aroma features a lot of coffee, as well as a hint of chocolate and some roasted malt. The flavor is very similar. I get a lot of mocha coffee notes, as well as some roasted malt and vanilla. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice chocolate stout. Glad I got a chance to try it.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown in color with a half inch khaki colored head. Brussels lacing. Dark roasted coffee and and roasted barley aroma greets my nose. There's an abundance of dark bitter coffee flavor in this beer. The mouth is a bit chalky and thick. If yo are looking for something more so on the bitter end of the coffee stout spectrum,this is your beer.

Photo of chinchill
3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can dated best by July 2013 poured a very dark brown color; clear, with a light brown head.

Nose: more hops than expected, matched in strength by coffee, with dark malts more in the background.

Flavor: mild-moderate bitterness until the moderately bitter finish and aftertaste. Good balance of hops, malts and coffee. Lot of coffee in the aftertaste. Some very dark roast flavor but only a hint of char.

Feel: carbonated is a bit more lively than expected, but works well; smooth; medium-full body. The ABV is well hidden.

O: an attractively priced, high quality, robust coffee stout. Recommended.

Photo of Schlafly33
2.95/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Really? I'm not allowed to dislike a beer without saying why?

Photo of Auraan
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured an inky, opaque black with a half-finger tan head that dissipated to a tan ring and left some lacing down the glass. Very nice, looks like an Imperial Stout should. Scents of black coffee, dark cocoa and slight roast malt. Very, very coffee forward, with the dark cocoa coming in the middle and the roast malt very faint in the background. The aroma lets you know this is a coffee stout. Taste follows the aroma. Full of flavors of rich, thick black coffee, dark cocoa powder and dark chocolate with slight milky and creamy flavors balancing the bitterness. There are some faint burnt herbal flavors, likely from the ground coffee and the hops. Black coffee bitterness is on full display in the finish and aftertaste, rich and well roasted like a good coffee should taste. An excellent, coffee forward flavor with a little bit of depth from dark chocolate, cocoa and sweet milk flavors, but coffee is very much the star of the show, much to my delight. Mouthfeel is thick bodied, creamy, smooth and slightly sticky with moderate stout level carbonation just barely pricking the tongue. Quite easy to sip, and very well done and true to style. Overall this is an excellent coffee stout. It brings out the rich, roasted, bitter quality of fine coffee and blends it with the dark cocoa and chocolate of an Imperial Stout, balanced by some milky sweetness. Add in the rich coffee aroma and you have a good sipping beer for Southwestern Winter nights. Highly recommended.

Photo of LXIXME
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Frothy full light brown head sits above a very dark almost black stout. Aroma is rich with coffee/java smells but not of black coffee but of a more flavored variety maybe something Starbucks would sell for $6.00, maybe slight hints of coffee and whip cream or something like that.

The taste is quite similar with a full java/coffee taste that's not just coffee but malted coffee with cocoa beans or grain malts, struck me as quite odd, but in a good way. Taste is super rich java/coffee but it's not at the same time. I've had a lot of coffee stouts that are just coffee tasting, and yet this is but isn't at the same time, makes it quite enjoyable.

The aftertaste has is a lighter coffee/java feel to it but is a nice light dry that sticks with you.

I can't wait for these guys to put out a chocolate or vanilla porter, um-um good.

Photo of lnashsig
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

#BOTG 36!

Poured from can into Brooklyn tulip. Pours a dark brown/black color, off white head that retains decently. Smell- burnt coffee. Thats really about it. Trying to get more out of it, not much more there. Its not espresso, its burnt diner coffee at the bottom of the pot. Taste- iced coffee. Some roast, some chocolate, but man, this is like drinking an iced coffee. Some breadiness here, Maybe biquity in quality. But this beer is monotone. All about the coffee. Good, not great, I wanted more complexity.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a twelve ounce can into a snifter.

This stout pours a dark brown, almost black in color, and creates a chewy, frothy head. There are big air bubbles among the head. The head persists long after the pour and creates a ton of lace around the glass.

The smell is very much like a coffee with milk. The coffee smell is potent, a condensed milk aspect weaves in and out, and their is a hint of sugar. This all shows up in the taste as well, as the beer drinks very much like a sweet, creamy coffee. Maybe an Irish Coffee, since the heat from the booze provides a kick.

This is a go-to beer for me here in my native state, truly a good beer, and I highly suggest it to those that enjoy a sweeter stout or a coffee stout.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours near black with a dark khaki colored 2 finger head. Fair retention, breaking down to a thin, broken layer of surface suds and a fat ring around the edge. Lacing does well to cling in spots all around the glass.

Smell - Your typical coffee-infused brew aroma here; iced coffee with light chocolate and caramel notes.

Taste - Follows the nose. Coffee with caramel and light chocolate undertones. Finish is much the same, with just a touch more coffee roast.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full in body with moderate carbonation. Silky texture, going down smooth and easy.

Overall - Falls in with most of the coffee-infused brews, which is to say completely tasty but nothing breakthrough in terms of something different. They all pretty much taste the same. If you're looking for a java stout, you can't go wrong with this one, but same can be said for most.

Photo of GilGarp
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%

12 oz can served slightly chilled into a pint glass.

Imperial Java Stout is nearly black in color with thin off-white head. Some spotty lacing is left behind as it settles.

Aroma is full of roasty black malts and coffee beans.

Flavor strikes a good balance between stout and coffee with dark malts, medium roast coffee, and subtle hops.

Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and nicely carbonated for the style.

Overall a very good coffee stout- probably the best out there for the price.

Photo of SomethingClever
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz can poured into Spiegelau glass

A: super dark big head but it disappeared quickly some light escapes the corners

S: tons of coffee some light caramel lots of roast

T: pure coffee its a better coffee taste than most beers it actually tastes like coffee rather than the way roasted beans smell the coffee has a rich slightly sweet taste

M: medium to slightly fuller its not super thick but its still pleasing maybe its oily so it still coats the tongue a little

O: This is probably one of the easiest drinking coffee beers I've ever had and the best overall coffee taste. It puts FBS to shame.

Photo of brewerburgundy
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can, Boulevard tulip, no freshness dating.

An impeccably dark beer with just a smidge of red glowing near the bottom and a tall, proud cappuccino head, this coffee stout looks the part.

One whiff immediately puts me in mind of my favorite coffee beer, Coffee Bender. The nose is essentially all coffee, slightly sweet espresso and oily dark roast beans. A hint of bitterness. It is like a cup of very fresh iced coffee that may or may not have cream in it.

Bitter, slightly sweet espresso defines this beer. There may be bitter roast behind this bitter coffee, it is nearly impossible to tell. A layer of dark fruit resides behind all the coffee and slight minty alcohol too. I'd almost swear this was coffee most of the time. It is clearly beer, malty and coffee infused beer.

The carbonation is very active, but seems to work well.

I've found my second favorite coffee beer. Coffee is the main feature, rather than an enhancement, and that may be why some write it off. If you love coffee you will at least like this beer.

Photo of TownDunkel
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Albertsons in Carlsbad new Mexico on a trip. A beautiful dark brown pour with low light brown head. Smell is of coffee and hops. Taste is amazing. This may be my favorite coffee stout out there. Almost hard to describe mix of coffee malt deal fruits and earthy undertones. Great lasting mouthfull make this a beer I would drink daily. As it suggests in the morning not with donughts!

Photo of JoeAmerican77
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purs the color of your favorite morning Joe. A fat and beefy beige cream topper of two and a half fingers. Love that head...

Smells of roasted malts, some bean grounds ands cocoa.

Sweet grounds and toffee meet your face straight on. A thick wall of coffee in this one, matched with brown sugar and cream. Almost a hop touch in the back, however definitely a malt monster. This has the best coffee flavor I believe I've ever tasted in a coffee stout.

Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, and lends a heavy bodied beverage with thick voluptuous small bubble carbonation which carpets the tongue

Overall this is the best coffee beer I have ever put to my lips. Buy some and enjoy it. A dessert, an sweet treat to be enjoyed, and considering six for ten bucks, wow!

Photo of dbossman
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Quite black with a huge 2-inch frothy and thick head; decent lacing

S: Earthy coffee beans dominate up front; some chocolate and dark fruits linger underneath but this is a coffee bomb

T: The coffee, of course, is the star here but this is also hoppy up front with a balanced sweet malt base--chocolatey and yummy

F: Medium body and creamy with a sticky texture on the back end

O: This is a really nice coffee beer and the 8% abv is well masked; nice work, Santa Fe

Photo of Fatehunter
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a finger of tan head on an almost black body.
The aroma is dominated by the roasted malt and coffee but some lemon comes through to give it a rounded aroma.
The taste is cream, coffee, burnt malt and a mild lemon bitter finish. Excellent.
The texture is soft with crisp edges and moderate carbonation.
Nicely done.

Photo of Rock360
4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great beer! Got a 6 pack on sale and really glad I picked it.

Did not pour it, drank from the can so look and smell are just educated guesses (I suppose it looks like a dark stout). Smell from the can is ok, stouts really aren't the greatest smelling imo but this stout you can smell some nice coffee aroma and a complex but good blend. Taste is very good with very nice feel. Very good beer and stouts are not really my thing other than here and there and in the fall maybe like October (I'm not big on October style heavily malted/barley flavored beer, stouts are ok though, have some complexity to them).

Photo of BrownAleBollocks
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours black with a one finger cream color head. Aroma is like a bag of unground coffee beans. Taste is super coffee forward, but not harsh or ashy. Mouthfeel is thin to medium, a bit lacking for a stout, but not bad. Overall a very coffee forward stout that is pretty darn good, I would like a touch more balance though.

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Imperial Java Stout from Santa Fe Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 847 ratings.