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Imperial Java Stout - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Imperial Java StoutImperial Java Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

207 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 207
Hads: 897
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 22.06%
Wants: 89
Gots: 158 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 207 | Hads: 897
Photo of seeswo
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cheer to Evan (Optimator13) for hooking this up during our giant, 2 case in person trade. Drank out of the can because I can. The can looks fantastic - cool logo and all. The smell is intoxicating - like a crazy, rich starbucks coffee drink. The taste is similar. Picture one of the cold starbucks drinks you can buy at the grocery store, like mocha coffee novelty whatever - this tastes like the beer interpretation of that in all of the best ways. Huge, rich coffee flavor carries all the way through. Serious yum. Mouthfeel seems right on - good carbonation and a medium body. Overall this was fantastic. Passed around the room of novice craft brew drinkers and they all gave it a wow. ISO

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Photo of calcio360jrd
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had both can and draft here in Santa fe, first one was a can so i'll go with that.

This is a great coffee stout from Santa fe brewery. Has that rich dark brown color that stays away from the motor oil color that seems to be the rage now. What a nose on this one! As a big coffee drinker, 3 cups a day, the coffee smell on this is utterly fantastic. Not to heavy on the pallette, I was surprised when I saw this was 8%, this drinks incredibly smooth. Packing some of this up and shipping it to myself in florida!

Jason D

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Photo of hopfacebrew
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from brown undated can to a pint glass. Picked up a sixer after numerous recommendations from several friends. I had seen this but never bought as I wasn't really wowed by the packaging - rather foolish but it's the only reason I hadn't tried it.

A - The beer pours a deep deep brown color that's nearly black with dark mahogany brown edges in the light. Looks thick with a huge 2.5 finger mocha color head. Excellent retention and lacing throughout.

S - Huge coffee/espresso aroma! Absolutely dominates the nose. There are notes of roasted barley but it's hard to decipher through the coffee.

T - Very similar to the nose in that the first flavor is the huge coffee/espresso flavors. It's more complex than the nose in that there are hints of chocolate, vanilla, black roasted barley, toast, and a medium bitterness. Hides the alcohol extremely well. I am not a huge coffee guy and don't normally appreciate coffee beers but this is a good beer.

M - Creamy and smooth. Full bodied.

O - Very impressed and worthy of the praise.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.
Serving type: can

Reviewed on: 04-12-2011 14:44:51

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Photo of wlevando
4.48/5  rDev +12.3%
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."

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Photo of brurevu
4.48/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The Sante Fe Java Stout poured pitch black with a thick tan head and the heavy coffee aroma wafted from the glass and perked my senses. The rich coffee aroma lead into an enormous coffee flavor that enhanced the sweet malty stout with a hint of burnt roasty nuttiness on the follow through. The Java Stout had a rich and creamy mouthfeel that made for a fantastic brew that was deceptively drinkable considering its high alcohol content. A perfect breakfast beer and a highly underrated beer IMHO.

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Photo of dcloeren
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured black with light brown edges when held to the light. Produced maybe a finger of foamy tan head.

The aroma on this beer is fantastic for a breakfast stout. Rich and robust coffee dominates the nose with dark chocolate and cream rounding it off.

Taste follows the nose. Rich coffee, dark chocolate and a little bit of cream. I love this brew because its coffee forward and it tastes like a proper cup should.... very flavorful and not overly bitter.

Medium to full in body, light in carbonation and an excellent drying coffee aftertaste. This beer goes down very easy... Might have to get a refill.

Overall, this beer is great in my opinion. It says to drink before noon and I plan on doing so! Perfect brew for teeing off on a saturday morning. Drink up!

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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Photo of bpasquini
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours more brown than black, but when sitting in the glass it is pitch black, left a small tan head on a heavy pour, leaves very little lacing around the glass, appropriate look for a stout

S: Huge amount of coffee! It's almost the only thing you can smell. I can notice some chocolate but it is very faint, also very slight booziness to it, the coffee smell is rather pleasing to the nose

T: The taste follows the nose, rich in coffee, some slight chocolate that gives it some sweetness, can't notice the alcohol at all, I made a mistake pouring this into a snifter, drink this out of a coffee mug!

M: Medium to thick bodied, has a nice oily/creamy mouthfeel to it which makes it very drinkable, easily one of the smoothest drinking stouts I have had!

O: Not much diversity to this beer, but with what Santa Fe gives you in this brew it is executed excellently, definitely a must try for every stout lover out there!

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.44/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz can Inflatablechair brought over tonight after a very long shift ... Thanks a ton Sam, this was awesome!!

Pours with a descent dark brown head.... the brew is clear deeep brown/verging on black... a bit of dark ruby shows toward the stem end of my glass... Not much for the way of retention, but it isn't bad.

Great fresh bean coffee combines very well with all the traditional expected RIS flavors... what IMO is setting this one into the top tier is a little bit of maltiness in the aroma that helps bring the nose up and out of the glass... even make it lingering.

Flavor mirrors the nose... fantastic coffee components.. still there are good roasty elements.. again a nice sweetness is a big tie that binds everything together.. solid medium body... almost creamy carbonation.. wonderful.

I am damn surprised I enjoyed this one as much as I did.. This brew is an unknown marvel.... tastes very fresh and the body and combined complexities make for a great package.... and... it is in a can.


Edit... Holy shit.. big boy review for me... I am gonna stand by it... thank again Sammy.

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Photo of Beaver13
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
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!

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Photo of stephens101
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Slick black with a dark tan froth.

Aroma consists of fresh roasted coffee beans, milk chocolate, fresh-baked chocolate cake and black licorice. Fresh and dessert-like.

Creamy on the palate with a mocha middle and a dark chocolate and lingering pine finish.

Soft and inviting with a medium to heavy body.

A consummate and flavorful post-prandial beverage that will leave room for more libations if needed.

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Photo of M_chav
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Smooth, rich java/vanilla flavors. Definitely my go to and in my opinion, an extremely underrated beer. medium/full body with no trace of alcohol, a well balanced beer.

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Photo of DillanWeems
4.41/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark, thick, nearly opaque. Little over a finger of head, decent lacing.

S: COFFEE! A bit of dark chocolate and malt.

T: Even more coffee! Dark, rich, roast; and lots of it. Great bitterness. Dark chocolate and malt still comes through, but the 8% abv is completely hidden.

M: thick and creamy full body the way an Imperial Stout should be.

Overall, coffee is the star of the show, and it is fantastic. Not as complex as some other big stouts, but it is Java Stout and it lives up to that name.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%

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.

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Photo of humuloner22
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this one as an extra from trade. Poured from plain brown can. I like the minimalist design!

Appearance: Dark as night, very much like you would expect from a stout. Large frothy head with some light caramel notes, more on the side of butterscotch in color. Body is not completely light evading but it is very dark. You can see some light around the edges if you look closely.

Aroma: Dark roasted grains, some caramel and vanilla in the aroma. Coffee seemed to be very dominant when I first opened the beer but as time went on it faded.

Taste: Well balanced bitter dark coffee notes and some sweet to balance it out, really well made coffee stout. Reminds me a lot of one from my local area.

Overall: I love coffee stouts and I am happy I had the opportunity to try this one. It was very well made. I would certainly seek this one out again and I would like to make a trip to the Land of Enchantment to try some of their other breweries, I hear they are doing some really cool things down there!

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Photo of Auraan
4.37/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

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Photo of BigBarley
4.37/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Poured hard it brings up about 1.5 fingers of tan/brown head. Extremely dark brown, though a little lighter than most imperial stouts.

S - Coffee all over. Seriously, first smell lets you know this is a coffee bomb of a beer. Mild notes of chocolate and smoke just below, but predominantly a coffee smell.

T - Did I say coffee? This beer takes the Java aspect to a whole new level. Knowing of this beers existence I'll never need to buy coffee again, it fills that niche so well. 100% Dark coffee with mild malty undertone that comes to a dry but sweet finish. Very satisfying flavor, assuming you bought this with the Java in mind.

M - Not really as thick as a standard imperial stout, but thick enough. Very smooth drinking, hides the 8% extremely well. Creamy when swished, just enough carbonation to compliment the flavor, refreshing and fullbodied.

O - If you like coffee but wanna feel that alkie warmth, keep some of these on hand. Great, standup flavor that embraces the coffee quality and delivers what the name promises

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Photo of elNopalero
4.36/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This pours a rich, thick, coffee-colored mocha black with a light foam ring. The aroma is reminiscent of a coffee roast, with a flavor that’s big, bright, and full of java. Great coffee flavor profile with a crisp body and a nice kick at the end. I enjoyed this one tremendously.

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Photo of bambam2517
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The most nose-on coffee present beer I've had in a couple years, feels exactly like I'm drinking a cup of Colombian coffee left to cool with a little sugar added in. Appearance could fool people as well, I would like to do a side by side comparison and see if my friends could definitely tell the difference. I'll have it on hand next time I go to a beer brunch.

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Photo of rudzud
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received as an extra in a trade and poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a very nice deep, rich dark brown nearly black. There was a good one finger mocha head that faded to leave almost no side lacing but did have nice retention/haloing.

S - Aroma pops with coffee and chocolate. Its almost, almost up there with the likes of other stellar coffee beers, thats how much it jumps out when you breathe deep. Its just doesnt explode in the surrounding air like some of those others do. Still, damn good.

T - Wow, this might be my favourite canned stout...Excellent coffee flavors along with light chocolate. Great black coffee. No joke, this is almost drinking like a poor mans FBS so to speak.

M - Mouthfeel is almost excellent. Stuff drinks like a mug of cold ice coffee. Goes down super easy. Just delicious.

O - Overall this is a shocking beer from New Mexico. Really, really enjoyed this one. In full agreement with WoodyChandler here, this is something special and I wish I had a donut.

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Photo of ChuckHardslab
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Poured from a can into a nonic pint glass. It pours an opaque black coffee color with a 1 to 2 finger cappucino colored head that dissipated fairly quickly to a thin cap that stayed until the bottom of the glass. It left moderate amounts of sticky lacing down the glass.

Aroma: The smell is of quality dark roasted coffee with some roasted malts, brown bread and mild earthy hops.

Taste: Black coffee, bitter roasted malt, slight toffee, chocolate and sweetness. It finishes with coffee's bitterness and slight acidic twang. There's enough hop presence to balance it out. It's a smooth finish with a pleasant bitterness that lingers a bit on the back of the tongue. The high alcohol content is very well tucked away inside the complex flavors and only gives the slightest hint of warmth on the finish.

Mouthfeel: A medium-full bodied creamy stout with moderate carbonation.

I bought this because it's the holidays and the weather has actually been cool enough for me to enjoy sipping on a stout while sitting on my front porch. This is an excellent example of a coffee stout that I will be purchasing again, highly recommended.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

love it! pours a deep dark brown color with a jovial white head several inches tall. smells like a cup of fine hawaiian coffee, rich, somewhat tropical in its essence, heavy, bold. taste is really really coffee, so unlike any other coffee brew, this is more like coffee than beer... in a good way. theres some hint of a fine stout behind the coffee, but youve got to dig for it. if you like this kind of beer, youll love this one, if not, youll hate it. for me it was the perfect pick-me-up this afternoon. at 8% its quite serious, but the mouthfeel is so groovy you just want to pump them. not acidic at all, which is really nice, and just full of flavor. this is a really excellent beer, much to my surprise after how lame their oktoberfest was... perfect execution in a style that is usually nothing special

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Photo of chugalug06
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - As dark as burnt oil. Super black with a poured original saddle colored "super" head... head mellows to a thin tan

S - Coffee and Espresso scented... Side of malt too. Perhaps there's a little chocolate and mango buried somewhere...

T - Amazingly smooth, like drinking a cold "hot" chocolate. make for an amazing afternoon or drive home. I've had this brew a few times post skiing always make me enjoy the drive home a little more...

M - Super smooth and perfectly sweet, not over done like many java stouts. coffee is prevalent, but not over bearing

D - Drinkability is high! hard to put down and let sit. I look forward to the next sip, each and every time.

I want to give A CAN to everyone so they too can experience the goods coming out of SFB!!!!


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Photo of brewerburgundy
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice extra from daniloknezic! Thanks

I followed the directions on the can that say enjoy before noon; so i am drinking this beer at 8am central standard time!

poured into a snifter glass.

Appearance: Black body with a mocha colored head. Nice sticky lacing on the side of the glass. Head faded down into a ring capping the top of the beer.

Smell: Massive roasty coffee note. Malt and a mild astringency noted to the nose.

Taste: Nice coffee flavor its just so roasty, fresh, clean, and crisp taste. Its even got a refreshing quality to it. No bitterness from the coffee its all the perfect amount of roastiness that just remains during entire tasting experience. WOW! Almost reminds you of a cold and carbonated expresso.

Mouthfeel: Medium body that drink like a light bodied beer. This beer is really carbonated well for an Imperial Stout. It has more carbonation than one would expect, but this brewery just nailed it on this beer.

Overall: Fantastic. Must try, if you love good coffee stouts. This is the real deal!

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Imperial Java Stout from Santa Fe Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 207 ratings.