Imperial Java Stout - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Imperial Java StoutImperial Java Stout

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

730 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 730
Reviews: 177
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.45%
Wants: 71
Gots: 105 | FT: 6
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:
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 added by: goochpunch on 03-31-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 730 | Reviews: 177 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cbutova
3.99/5  rDev -0.7%

Full notes taken at time of review.

A- Black bodied pour from the can to two pint glasses. Not ultra thick but a two finger mocha brown head forms with a creamy texture and good retention. Thick sheets of lacing followed by drizzle.

S- Strong roasty malts make up most of the aroma but you have to notice the medium roast coffee bean and cocoa notes. Milk chocolate sweets, caramel, mocha hints and some slight fruit from the yeast but it doesn't distract at all from the coffee and grains.

T- Coffee is stronger here than the aroma for me and even takes precedence over the smooth dark roast grains. A vanilla sweetness comes into play from somewhere and compliments the java and milk chocolate malts. Tons of fresh brewed coffee.

MF- A shade toward the light side considering the ABV and rich flavors presented. Carbonation low to medium with a roasty coffee bitterness in the finish.

A very smooth coffee stout that displays about 5 out of the 8 percent ABV it contains. Lacks a bit in the body but packs tons of well balanced flavors.

Photo of mastodonj
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

yet another reason to say that canned beers have caught up with bottled beer.

A deep dark brown color with a beige head, fairly minimal in extent. Good lacing though.
Excellent smokey nose.

A wonderful complex taste with smokey, oakey, chocolatey coffee flavors. And somewhere, somehow, a little bit of spiciness works its way in.

The excellent mouthfeel makes this very drinkable and is topped off
by a real clean finish.

Altogether, this will be something i'll look for although with the
minimalist labeling, you may have to really keep your eye out.

Photo of Hopswagger
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

P:  A sea of pitch black silk adorned with a creamy cappuccino head. 

S:  Roasted dark chocolate malt, dark roasted coffee beans, woody hops, and  charred barley. 

T/M:  A thick and foamy body that tingles the tongue.  Heavy notes of dark chocolate and coffee with burnt wood and grains.  A slight copper taste in the back followed by a dry but powdery finish of smoked cocoa. 

O:  Big coffee chocolate and a thick body is just what I expected when I grabbed this up. I was supposed at how well put together this was. Complex but well mingled and easy drinking.  A huge plus for it coming in a six pack of cans. I will frequent this beer and am eager to try more from Santa Fe Brewing Co. 

Photo of Phelps
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint.

The brew resembles java not just in name, but in appearance. Pitch black and watery thin, the liquid is capped by a pillowy head of cascading bubbles the color of brown sugar. Frothy trails of lace coat the sides of the glass like latte foam.

Because their dark, toasty, burnt flavors often overlap, few ingredients work together so well in a beer as roasted malt and coffee beans. For Imperial Java Stout, Santa Fe makes use of organically grown East Timor coffee beans blended with New Guinea coffee beans, both of which are roasted by Ohori's Coffee House in Santa Fe. The result is a stout that's huge in coffee aroma and flavor. The scent is akin to burying your nose in a cupful of java -- it's packed with espresso and sweet cream. Touches of sourdough and a shot of chocolate syrup mingle in the background.

The flavor delivers a similar dose of roasted beans, though it's a little more acidic. A complex blend of American Bravo and English Fuggle hops lend subtle spice and earthy qualities, while touches of burnt toast play off the coffee. It's a bit harsh -- like very, very black coffee -- until the the swallow delivers oats and cream, sweetening and smoothing things out.

If you're not a fan of coffee, you'll probably hate this beer, because the flavor is riddled with it, and the coffee actually overpowers the underlying stout. But the beans are quality, and if you're looking to swap out your morning joe with something a little more alcoholic, pour this in your mug. No one will be the wiser.

Photo of AlexFields
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark thick brown, nice two inch creamy tan head.

Smells of rich sweet coffee...and really not much else. Smells great though!

Taste is rich coffee again, fairly bitter, more rich coffee, some burned cocoa. This is very good.

Good carb, rich creamy mouthfeel, but fairly light body for such a rich taste and really pretty drinkable. Not enough sweetness to be cloying and too much coffee flavor to taste any booze.

Great beer! Fairly one dimensional but really good.

8.2/10

Photo of homebrew311
3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz can poured into pint glass. Appearance is opaque and black with a layer of tan head that retains nicely. The smell has bold roast espresso with some assertive hops present as well. Taste is chocolatey up front and is followed up by dry bitter espresso. Nice bold and beany finish. Mouthfeel is relatively light for style and abv. Overall, tons of espresso in the nose and flavor, missing a little in the way of body and depth.

Photo of brewskifan55
3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a flute glass with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

A: Cola brown with a tan half finger head that quickly turns to foam. Light lacing.

S: Heavy duty coffee comes on strong. Malts and chocolate bring in a weak 2nd and 3rd.

T: Zow! Smooth coffee and espresso. Chocolate tips the bill. Robust. Rich. When I added the ice cream, it frothed like crazy and gave me a killer taste sensation of coffee and vanilla.

M: medium with medium carbonation. Slightly bitter on the finish from the coffee, I guess.

O: A terrific coffee stout. Recommended.

Photo of MPombo30
3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Strong Java upfront, expected mouth-feel, bitter-note aftertaste

Photo of chinchill
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
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 sweethome
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at pub. I had this a couple months ago - finally putting notes in -Well, I hesitate to call this an imperial stout...I would consider this more of a coffee stout, but here we go - rating based on what it tastes like - not the name:

Pour is a bit thin - you can see right through - looks more like a brown ale than IS.

Nose is of coffee and roast malt - a nice Starbucks Verona nose.

First taste really pleases - a nice coffee flavor with roast malt - a hop bitterness provides balance. The coffee flavors are complex and full - not just a blast and fade as many coffee beers are.

I would compare this with Bell's Java Stout, Lakefront Fuel Cafe, etc. As Coffee stouts go, I like the flavor profile here.

I don't consider this an Imperial Stout at all, but this beer works - it is clean - no faults, nice use of coffee - good flavors - satisfying beer...change the name!

Photo of 4balance
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz can into a Duvel tulip…opaque black with 2" frothy tan bubbly head with good lacing.

Smells like coffee and I mean a lot of coffee grounds, milk chocolate, spices, vanilla bean and slight amount of tobacco.

Tastes like 2 different coffee beans ground with milk chocolate, vanilla bean, cloves, sweet tobacco leaves, roasted malts and slight caramel backbone.

Mouthfeel is creamy lusciousness - medium bodied with no alcohol presence at all.

Overall surprising coffee stout. I would say this is a Stout Coffee Stout. Recommended.

Photo of jmbranum
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown/black liquid with a big tan head. Very thick and full looking. Fairly opaque.

Smell is excellent. Nice toasty coffee notes.

Flavor is interesting. Very, very dry. Maybe too dry for my tastes. Lots of bitter coffee notes but not enough malty richness. Some hops in there. Lingering bitter aftertaste. I tend to like bitter beers, but this one doesn't quite work for me.

Alcohol doesn't feel like 8% at all.

Mouthfeel is medium to thick. Fair amount of prickle but overall not bad.

Generally, I liked this beer reasonably well, but it doesn't compare with the better Imperial Stouts. I think I would have preferred more balance.

Photo of wagenvolks
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz can into a stemless Hennessy snifter (my pimp hand is strong tonight, bitches!)

Nice appearance, with a rich mahogany brown core that fades outward to a ruddy amber color. The head is a dusty taupe hue, and the quarter inch of foam quickly settles to a ring and a thin veneer of bubbles. A very earthy aroma brings forward freshly ground coffee beans, fresh roasted, too. Dark malts lend notes of chocolate and bread crust, while the hops add a bit of balance to the ensemble.

The flavor matches the aroma's earthiness, and then some. Lots of roastiness to the coffee beans, verging on charred but the base beer dials in the balance just enough that things don't get too carried away. Alcohol is well-hidden. My only knock against this beer is the body--a bit thin for an 8% Imperial Stout. Still, good carbonation level and a clean finish. Overall, a tasty release from Santa Fe that any coffee beer lover should look forward to trying.

Photo of spoony
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz can into a globe glass.

A-The beer was nearly pitch black. An aggressive pour produced a tall (two-plus fingers) head of grayish-brown head. The head dropped after a minute or two into a cap and left decent lacing on the glass.

S-Smell was strong coffee (espresso), roasted malts, and light bitterness. A little simple, but for a coffee stout, it delivered the goods.

T-Taste was also strong, slightly bitter coffee. There was some baking chocolate and smokiness, as well. A few demerits for a slightly metallic taste on the finish.

M-Feel was medium bodied with low carbonation. The brew was a touch watery for the style, but not awful.

O-This was a solid coffee stout. I found the coffee flavors to be straight-forward and not as complex as some, but sometimes simplicity is a good thing. The brew loses points for a weak mouthfeel and a somewhat odd finish, but I would drink this again when I'm in the mood for an affordable, easy-to-drink coffee brew.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.94/5  rDev -2%
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 Stevedore
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can, best by 8/21/2014. Poured into a Surly goblet 7/25/2014.

A- Dark brown, nearly black body with a three finger offwhite head with a lot of retention time. Bits of bubbly lacing as the head recedes and the beer disappears.

S- Lots of coffee mixed in with roast malt. Not a ton else, maybe a bit of milk chocolate. Smells like a warm cup of coffee.

F- Acidic black coffee, milk chocolate (don't think there's lactose in it, but I wouldn't be surprised if it had some), cocoa, roast malt. Very tasty and just what I want out of an imperial coffee stout.

M- Creamy with a medium body, very good for the genre. Good carbonation, nice bitter acidic black coffee finish tempered by some lactose-like sweetness. No real hint of the 8% ABV, might actually be a good weekend morning beer.

O- Pretty tasty stuff for the coffee lovers out there in the beer community. Not necessarily worth trading for, but it's a nice treat if you trade with someone from NM. Locally, I can get Brewhouse Coffee Stout from Central Waters, which I feel is easily better than this one.

Photo of brentk56
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: The very dark brown liquid is capped with a creamy tan head that leaves a few shards behind, while displaying good retention

Smell: Strong coffee aromatics, almost smelling like Vietnamese coffee (strong brewed and redolent of sugar, vanilla and cream); roasty, as well, and approaching a charred character

Taste: Deeply roasted (almost burnt) malt, up front, with the coffee intruding in the middle, bringing the Vietnamese character from the aroma into the profile - strong brewed, creamy and sweet; the vanilla-influenced sweetness lingers well into the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with moderate carbonation

Overall: A bit too sweet and a bit too roasty but still a pretty decent example of the style

Thanks, BlueOkie, for the opportunity

Photo of azdback
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass. Deepest, darkest brown possible. I can call this black but it wouldn't be a very dark black. The highlights are see through and light brown in color. Head is a gigantic five fingers and very explosive but as it recedes it shows it's beautiful creamy look. Lace is looking pretty good as well.

Smell is mostly dark roasted malts. Coffee, charred wood. There is some bright red tart fruit there too.

Taste is actually more chocolate than it is coffee. There is some coffee along with some figs and some hop bitterness and some alcohol burn. This is pretty nice.

Mouth is creamy but a bit on the bright side for an 8% stout. Carbonation is a bit over used. Body is on the heavy side and the finish is average and just a bit on the wet side.

Overall I really enjoyed this. I have had four of the Santa Fe BC offerings and have been pretty satisfied with all of them. This one does not disappoint.

Photo of MCain04
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Extra from a trade with Dimenhetfield thanks! Can poured into a 12 oz Half Acre snifter.

A: Root-beer brown body with a healthy kahki head of 2 fingers, good retention, moderation lacing.

S: Burnt coffee and roasted malts. Not much in terms of toffee or caramel or anything else, but decent nose.

T: Roasted malts and coffee are present. Not a lot of hops or bitterness, which is fine. Not much of a malty backbone. Taste is kind of thin.

M: Moderate carbonation, thin body, watery finish.

O: Not a bad coffee stout, but not great either. To thin on the taste and mouthfeel. This would have been a better coffee porter than imperial stout. Just not enough body to cash that check.

Photo of alaimoa
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Extra tossed in on a trade and I was surprised at how tasty this was
Overall nothing special about the pour with limited head and very aggressive spent coffee grind forward smell with a hint of leather and roastiness Flavor is what surprised positively with a very nice balance of sweet cocoa, roasted coffee packaged in a nice smooth finish with a solid medium heavy mouthfeel. I would buy again as a cold winter night drinker

Photo of ocelot2500
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a n ebony color with a tight, tan head that leaves good sized bits of lacing.

Smells of deep roasted notes.

Tastes of the deep roasted notes with a moderate sweetness. Notes of coffee, chocolate, and brown sugar mostly make up the malt profile, with a little roasted bitterness coming through as well. Coffee is definitely part of the profile, but is not the main focus here. Some dark fruits also come through.

Mouthfeel is medium with a creamy amount of carbonation.

Overall, a pleasant surprise from a brewery that I never think about. Is it great? No, but it is still tasty and quite cheap ($1.59 a can).

Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

As it says, before or after noon and its both as it just hit noon. Thanks to dcloeren for this one.

Pours a creamy thick slight off white colored 1 finger head that fades fairly slowly with tons of lacing, pretty much pitch black thick looking beer. Breakfast?

Nose brings a bit of roast, actually plenty of roasted malt, some coffee with that mostly roasted beans but just a bit of fresh brewed. Then light cocoa, some oats, oatmeal like, hint of acrid roast. Some dark black patent like malt, and hint of caramel.

Taste is as expected, starting with coffee this time, some fresh brewed but also some roasted beans, and some roasted malt with just a bit of acrid bitter roast. More oats with a creamy oatmeal taste, and a bit of super dark bakers chocolate. Some bitterness mostly from the roasted malt but just a hint of earthy hops. Finish is drier bitter and more earthy hops coming out, long lingering coffee and slight metallic acrid, but f fresh earthy coffee too.

Mouth is med to fuller bodied, good carb, creamy oats.

Overall pretty good, nice coffee and roast with just the right touch of acrid bitterness, nice long finish, but just a bit more oats and rich feel would have made it even better.

Photo of TheWiredDJ
3.9/5  rDev -3%

Photo of Lerxst
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to chugalug06 for this extra

A-Pours a dark brown with a one and half finger sized coffee colored head that has fair retention and leaves wisps of lace.

S-A nice coffee aroma-not like espresso or anything, more like your regular cup o 'joe- but it is a nice aroma. Some roasted malt/barley and hints of chocolate. Smells good. Not terribly complex, but very pleasant.

T-A nice medium roast coffee flavor dominates, some charred malt notes come through along with hints of bakers chocolate. Not the most complex stout I've ever had, but it is pleasant to drink.

M-For an RIS, this is somewhat on the lighter side with much harsher carbonation than usually found for the style. This feels much more like a porter than a RIS. This is the weak point of this beer, IMO.

O-A nice stout that would benefit greatly from a more viscous and luxurious mouthfeel. With the harsh carbonation it seems more like a coffee soda pop. Overall, I have to give it a 4 because it looks good, smells good, tastes good-the mouthfeel is the only thing lacking here, so overall its still a 4.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at 1702; April 2009
This has a huge nose full of coffee notes that are all encompassing. The beer is black, quite dark, though it does have a touch of brown to it if you check closely. The beer arrives from the tap with only a ring of lightly browned foam that clings to the edges of the glass. The aroma is definitely coffee, complex coffee, but purely and simplistically coffee; I don't get any sense of the base beer here. The coffee contributes aromas of chocolate, a slight woody note, ample toasted aromatics and perhaps even a touch of burnt tobacco; overall the aroma is incredibly smooth and I like that it packs so much coffee aromatics without getting harsh.

The flavor has lots of coffee flavor; dark chocolate notes, a slight tannic roast wood note (almost seems a bit like cedar), some burnt berry notes. The coffee flavors are quite smooth with very little roast-acidity or acrid flavors. Some toasted malt flavors are noticeable and reminds me of a hardy browned bread. The texture is quite nice; not too heavy, though not light, but it has enough heft to carry the dominant coffee character well.

This is not a very complex beer overall, it is definitely coffee oriented, but the coffee is done quite well. If you like coffee then this beer is definitely for you. I am finding myself quite enjoying this beer. It has just enough of a roast edge to it to balance the smooth coffee and light dark malt sweetness and keep these from being cloying.

Imperial Java Stout from Santa Fe Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 730 ratings.