1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Imperial Java Stout - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Imperial Java StoutImperial Java Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

464 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 464
Reviews: 157
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 11.56%


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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 464 | Reviews: 157 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Chaney
Chaney

District of Columbia

4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My man Huzuhbendah slipped me one of the these the other day to take home after a tasting. Thanks Matt!

Split with my wife.

A: Poured as black as night and with a fairly sticky mocha head that was a mere ring around the brew.

S: Intense smell of high grade coffee, burnt caramel, and vanilla. Really nice.

T: Nice coffee flavor as well as sort of a chocolate donut-like component. Very dessert-like in its disposition overall which suits me fine.

M: I really like the marriage of the sweet and coffee components here. It was definitely more of a Heath bar as opposed to a bitter java.

O: My wife just said, "I wish I had about 6 of these for tonight." Yep, I'd definitely have this one again.

Serving type: can

09-04-2013 22:28:44 | More by Chaney
Photo of brurevu
brurevu

Texas

4.48/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

Serving type: can

08-30-2013 19:29:02 | More by brurevu
Photo of Rhettbuck
Rhettbuck

Colorado

4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I snagged this beer at a liquor store in KC, MO. Actually drank it in the morning. Would highly recommend if you like either stouts or java beers.

Appearance: Dark like motor oil, good lacing around the glass with a foamy head that dissipates rather quickly. As a side note, the can design is very simple, which I appreciated

Smell: Strong, you can definitely tell that this is a java stout when you pour it. Some of the other reviewers have discussed the coffee beans that are used for this beer. If you love coffee as I do, then just the smell of this beer might be enough to justify purchasing it.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Perhaps the least exciting part of the beer, which is not to say that it was anything but great. Maybe slightly over-carbonated, and the aftertaste is clearly coffee. Slight bite when you first take a sip, which makes it good too.

OVERALL: I would recommend that you pick up some of this beer, if you like either coffee or stouts.

Serving type: can

08-15-2013 17:31:12 | More by Rhettbuck
Photo of suspect
suspect

New York

3.41/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a Duvel snifter.

A: As per usual with a stout it pours deep dark brown almost black in color. Aggressive glug-glug pour leads to a growing 2 finger whipped mocha colored head that leaves plenty of lacing and nice rocky clouds on the top.

S: Over-brewed coffee and some dark toasted malts are the highlights of this one. Sometimes the coffee smells well blended and thoughtfully picked out. This is not one of those times. It doesn't really blend well and the bitterness really just overpowers.

T: Coffee and coffee grounds are what hit me the most with this one. There is a nutty flavor in the finish which is a pleasant surprise.

M: Creamy big finish. Just the right amount of carbonation for my liking with a stout like this.

O: A good, not great, beer. An easy drinking, nice touch putting it in the can.

Serving type: can

08-04-2013 03:27:01 | More by suspect
Photo of Beejay
Beejay

Virginia

3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark black with a full, dense, brown head. The head lasts a while then slowly develops frog eyes

S: Coffee is the first thing that comes out on this guy. Following the coffee is a semi-sweet chocolate & rich dark fruit bread.

T: Coffee and chocolate up front, a slight bitter earthiness to the middle. Faint notes of vanilla and licorice, the coffee comes through from start to finish.

M: Medium to medium thick. Carbonation is low. The beer emulates coffee in the finish.

O: Overall very nice, especially if you missed your cup of joe this morning. Do yourself a favor, grab your favorite coffee mug and pour yourself some.

Serving type: can

07-18-2013 00:03:07 | More by Beejay
Photo of DenverHopHead
DenverHopHead

Colorado

3.99/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thick cup of coffee black! Smells like a good, strong cup of coffee too! Taste and mouthfeel are a bit of a let down, but not bad. This feels like a beer that would be great to wakeup to after a night of camping! Overall, I'll look for this again. Perhaps a hidden gem!

Serving type: can

07-05-2013 01:18:10 | More by DenverHopHead
Photo of Morey
Morey

Pennsylvania

3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark-brown coming out of the can, but basically turns black in the glass. The head is light brown in color and has a bit of staying-power. When held to the light, you can definitely get some dark red and brown hues around the edges of the glass.

Aroma: Roasted coffee beans right up front followed closely by a sugary sweetness. Maybe a touch of chocolate in there as well. Not very complex, but nice.

Taste: Really nice coffee flavor on the front end. The sweetness that I was pulling out of the aroma isn't far behind. There's a nice bitterness mid to late palette that keeps the sweet flavors from becoming cloying.

Mouthfeel: This is my biggest knock on this beer. It just needs more body in my opinion. I would say it's medium for the style with the carbonation coming in on the lower side, which is appropriate.

Morey's Bottom Line: A pretty good coffee stout overall, but I could use a little less sweetness and a bigger mouthfeel. I wouldn't hesitate to drink it again, but I won't be searching for it either.

Serving type: can

06-23-2013 20:24:11 | More by Morey
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours an opaque but clear very dark brown (almost black) in color with some minimal to light amounts of visible carbonation and a faint amount of cola brown highlights. The beer has a finger tall creamy tan head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of very roasted malts (almost burnt) with more moderate notes of coffee and some charred malts. Lighter notes of sugary sweetness including some hints of vanilla.

T: Upfront there are moderate to strong flavors of dark roasted, almost burnt malts and freshly roasted coffee. There are some lighter flavors of charred malts towards the finish. Additionally there are some lighter notes of milky/sugary sweetness (like what you would get if you had added sweetened condensed milk to espresso) and hints of vanilla + cocoa. Light amounts of bitterness in the finish that fade rather quickly.

M: Just shy of full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly creamy.

O: A little sweeter than I normally prefer my bigger stouts - I like the coffee and roasted malt flavors but there was a little too much sweetness (though I am a black coffee drinker normally so I know that is specific to my palate). Definitely enjoyable and with a very nice coffee presence.

Serving type: can

06-19-2013 15:26:15 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of StroppyMare
StroppyMare

California

3.49/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Picked these up on a recent trip to Albuquerque. If they brew as well as they cook, I'll be in heaven...

Appearance: Inky and dark, like I like. Cream-colored head that didn't stick around long and left some trace lacing.

Smell: Promising. Very coffee and roasty, but seems balanced.

Taste: OMG, did someone say coffee? I expect grounds at the bottom of my glass. But there's also some roasted (almost burnt) malt, vanilla at the end. None of the flavors stick around or round out. No alcohol detectable.

Mouthfeel: Thinner than I would like. Prickly carbonation.

Overall: Not bad. A very drinkable beverage. Not exciting. I wouldn't turn another one down if it were offered, but there are other beers out there I'd buy first.

Serving type: can

06-18-2013 03:29:31 | More by StroppyMare
Photo of chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Serving type: can

06-06-2013 22:01:46 | More by chinchill
Photo of dbossman
dbossman

Nebraska

4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
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

Serving type: can

06-04-2013 17:37:55 | More by dbossman
Photo of MDDMD
MDDMD

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-dark brown black color with a nice tan head and good lacing

S-dark roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, caramel

T-dark roasted malt, coffee, burnt caramel, chocolate, vanilla, mild to moderate bitter finish

F-medium to full body with moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy

O-nice flavor and body in this stout, could drink a lot of these

Serving type: can

05-29-2013 20:14:59 | More by MDDMD
Photo of zac16125
zac16125

South Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz can into a pint glass
no born on date

Thanks to fatbeats18 for sending this one over as an extra in a trade.

A: Pours a very dark brown, bordering on black, with 2 plus fingers width of light mocha colored head. Looks like a cola, just a touch darker. Head dissipates down at a moderate rate. Leaves a good amount of fine bubbled lacing.

S: Fresh roasted coffee, vanilla, roasted malt, slight char notes, a subtle hint of semi-sweet chocolate. Not a lot going on, and pretty straight forward, but still very nice.

T: Sweeter than the nose implied. Very much still coffee forward, but more of a coffee with cream and sugar. A bit of dark fruits. Again, not a ton of complexity, but very solid.

M/D: Full bodied, not necessarily thick, but certainly not thin either. Carbonation on the lower end, and very smooth.

O: Overall, a very nice coffee stout. Simple and straight forward, but well above average IMO. Thanks again fatbeats for this extra!

Serving type: can

05-25-2013 22:05:31 | More by zac16125
Photo of scratch69
scratch69

Missouri

3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I poured a can into a pint glass.

Appearance- Dark brown color with a fingers worth of tan head. Fair amount of lacing.

Smell- Black coffee and dark roasted malt aroma.

Taste- Dark roasted malt and a strong coffee flavor.Light hint of chocolate.

Mouthfeel- Full bodied and smooth. An average amount of carbonation and slightly creamy.

Overall- A good example of a coffee flavored beer.

Serving type: can

05-20-2013 00:29:39 | More by scratch69
Photo of AlexFields
AlexFields

Tennessee

3.98/5  rDev 0%
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

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2013 03:13:47 | More by AlexFields
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero

Texas

4.35/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2013 07:10:00 | More by elNopalero
Photo of Beerandboards
Beerandboards

New Mexico

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

On tap

A - black, cola type color. Little light on head, but most, of not all of that is the fact that it was out of a plastic cup at a food festival.

S - chocolate espresso beans. Little bit of vanilla.

T - smooth coffee bomb. Dark chocolate. They should do themselves a little bit of a favor and change the label to "stout" as opposed to "imperial stout." It just lacks a little bit of depth to hold up the imperial label. That being said, very tasty coffee stout.

M - a little on the thin side, carb is good, if not a little high.

O - great coffee stout. The only gripe is in the labeling, nothing on the beer front. If this were a stout, as opposed to an imperial stout, the numbers would be higher. That being said, don't let the numbers fool you, this is a great beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-24-2013 23:57:01 | More by Beerandboards
Photo of MCain04
MCain04

Illinois

3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Serving type: can

03-18-2013 00:41:31 | More by MCain04
Photo of Cvescalante
Cvescalante

Texas

4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours a dark brown cola color, with a medium sized head of foam that fades quickly.

S- Coffee forward, some sweet chocolate, very roasted almost burnt malt aromas.

T- Coffee bomb! Roasted coffee and sweet, sugary, chocolatey flavors balance very well.

M- Medium bodied, very smooth, wet finish, not much carbonation. Pretty great for what the beer is supposed to be like.

O- I really enjoy this one! Perfect price point, and great quality for a wonderful coffee bomb of a stout... Did a blind tasting with similar beers in this style and it definitely hangs with the best according to our group.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2013 02:57:34 | More by Cvescalante
Photo of homebrew311
homebrew311

Illinois

3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Serving type: can

03-08-2013 04:49:51 | More by homebrew311
Photo of tylerf19
tylerf19

Texas

4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour - this is not your "jet-black" motor oil imperial stout. The head was off white and rather small given the rate at which I was pouring. That being said, the coffee and roasty java aroma was released upon pouring. The head doesnt lace... there isn't much head unfortunately :(

Smell - Yes, it is definitely a JAVA stout.. coffee notes stand out, it is very roasty IMO.

taste - definitely tasting the same coffee / roast as in the aroma. Like I said, this is not a big robust imperial stout. There is no hop bitterness and not much chocolate malt (compared to other big stouts). But it is indeed a stout, and for coffee stout lovers, it is worth a try given the price and availability. It's quite sad that the head dies off very quickly while drinking (i like a stout with a thicker brown head). I'm not tasting much alcohol-booziness by the way.

mouthfeel - Again, im comparing this to "imperial stouts". It is a little more on the watery end (you can tell this right off the bat when you pour). But, you can feel the coffee fumes linger. Not much to say on mouthfeel... its not very watery, but its not like youre drinking a ten fidy or narwahl either. this is the only dislike I have about this brew...

overall - I tried this because of the price and its been staring at my since I've gotten in to stouts. The beer is a good beer, but with the competition it sees from other imperial stouts, I dont think it can hold a flame. But if you want to spend only $8 on a 6-pack for a good quality stout then give this one a shot... My review may sound negative but this is nowhere near a 3/5 crap brew.. just not up to par with the other beastly imperial stouts (though you get what you pay for)

Serving type: can

02-25-2013 20:39:24 | More by tylerf19
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
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

Serving type: can

02-17-2013 23:22:27 | More by brentk56
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer is the color of my morning ritual cup of coffee. Dark brown, nearing black. The beige head is thick and leaves sticky residue in its wake.

The aroma offers a potent dose of coffee right off the bat. Certainly aimed at the coffee aficionado.

Some roast and chocolate notes, which is to be expected. Coffee takes center stage, however. Dark roast leads the way, then transitions to a chocolate bread flavor lingering in the finish. Very good.

Rich and creamy feel with none of the unpleasant bitterness sometimes found in a bold coffee beer.

A solid beer. I would definitely have this again.

Serving type: can

02-17-2013 04:12:22 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of BigBarley
BigBarley

Texas

4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
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

Serving type: can

02-07-2013 19:00:06 | More by BigBarley
Photo of wlevando
wlevando

Colorado

4.54/5  rDev +14.1%
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."

Serving type: can

02-06-2013 03:01:04 | More by wlevando
Imperial Java Stout from Santa Fe Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 464 ratings.