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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

206 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 206
Hads: 896
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: 206 | Hads: 896
Photo of cvm4
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can poured into a snifter

A - Pours a thin black with a 2 finger tan head. The head stays around and dissipates into a ring around the glass. Minimal lacing.

S - Lots of coffee, cocoa nibs and roasted malt.

T - Coffee dominates up front and it meanders into a dark chocolate finish with roasted malt always in the background.

M - Somewhat thin but has medium carbonation.

O - Lovely stout poured from a can. I was pleasantly surprised!

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Photo of azdback
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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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 kemoarps
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jet black. I love watching the head rise on stouts, and this one is no exception. Creamy head that sticks around.

Malts. Burnt, roasted and sharp espresso

This review is not for the first can of this that I've had in the last couple of days, so I've tried it with various foods and by itself. This is my favourite iteration. Sharp cheddar and pumpernickel go well with the sharp burnt malts and bitter coffee. On its own these can be a bit overwhelming, but with other sharp foods it blends in well and is quite pleasing.

The carbonation is mild, but works well. The finish is bitter with cacao and coffee grounds. Solid as what it is. If you like sharp coffee and burnt malts it's solid. Might not appeal to everyone, but if that's your thing check it out. NM is coming into its own

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Photo of yamar68
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to 4balance for this one!

Poured from can to pint glass:

Certainly pours like java... ominous black body with barely a hint of copper clarity around the edge of the glass, capped off by a healthy dose of mocha colored dense head. Solid lacing and unknown beading.

Massive nose on this one. I worked at Caribou Coffee for a few years and this reminds me of the smell of my uniform after work. Milky, roasty coffee. A dash of oats, some malted grains, very subtle chocolate bits.

Smoooth on the tongue. I can definitely see myself pairing this one up with some pancakes and lingonberries. Fresh coffee notes, soft chocolate... it's hard to even examine the flavor without mentioning the velvet perfection of the mouthfeel. This could be non-alcoholic for all I knew. Bravo.

It's great to see breweries cramming this much flavor into a can. It really is the superior beer vessel. Highly recommended.

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Photo of DavidST
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz can into a snifter. This pours a pitch black color with a finger thick mocha head which quickly dissipates. There is some coffee in the smells, nice espresso, some dark roasted malts, not much hop aroma, the alcohol is well hidden. The feel is thick and creamy, mid carbonation. The taste is pretty good, nice amounts of roasted malts, dark chocolate, and espresso. Nice.

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Photo of bobhits
3.4/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Imperial Java Stout

Doesn’t have the viscous thick cream look of say a ten fidy, but the color in the glass is deep black with small tiny bubbles that quickly fade away. The pour is deep brown and amber colored far darker than many of the lesser stouts, but still pretty dark.

One of the biggest coffee noses I’ve ever smelled. Somewhat more bitter and maybe a touch I dunno sour which I pick up on many of these strong java stouts. I think this odd flavor is a result of hops and coffee and the hops are really making themselves heard as this one warms up a touch.

Tastes like an overly sweet cup of coffee. I’m talking way over the top sweet, whatever happened to black coffee? I kid a bit as this is pretty darn tasty. It’s a bit too sweet as I think this coffee flavor should be showcased a bit more.

Very well carbonated for an 8% beer and surprisingly thin in body. Normally I want a bit more viscous and creamy body, but something about this beer just really works for me.

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Photo of mulder1010
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my GF for bringing back a can for me from her US trip
12 oz can poured into a Great Divide Tulip (total Mountain Time Zone thing)

A-- Poured a dark brown, near black color. Settled jet black. Just a touch of ruby light penetrating this. One finger of light mocah colored head. Settled to a thin layer of light brown film and decent collar. Slight bit of head retention but more or less a layer of film. Nice spotty lacing with this.

S-- Touches of roast, brown sugar, and chocolate. Otherwise, a lot of fresh roasted coffee. Nice nose. Quite appealing and a nice pick me up nose to it. Something I would want to drink at 7 AM.

T-- Coffee and dark chocolate. Almost equal amounts of chocolate and coffee. Quite fresh tasting. Touches of rolled oats and brown sugar again but really well done on the coffee part.

M-- Solid stuff. Bold, rich and thick. Medium bodied and light medium carbonated. Dry chocolate and coffee finish with just flashes of the acidity and bitterness. Just touches of brown sugar in mid and back again to smooth out the coffee and chocolate. Long lasting roasted coffee and bitter baking chocolate finish. Nice.

O-- Well rounded beer. Well hidden alcohol and easy to drink. Damned tasty beer and better to have at 7 AM than a long black. One good coffee stout.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter

Thanks to injuredreserve for this beer in the SSWYMO BIF

This interesting New Mexico can pours nice deep dark brown body with a beige foam nicely riding the surface. The aromatics are really hard to place. There is obvious espresso notes and something else. Lack of a better word has led me to toasted smoke...but not char and different from roast. It was minerally in nature, not bad, just weird. The taste is a combination of strong espresso and creamy vanilla and it works for this beer. The body is a lighter medium with a strong acidic flavor. The acidic flavor and the mystery smell make this an odd drinker, it's still a very good beer, but not as good as it could be.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.73/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours pitch black with thick, brown foamy head with excellent lacing on side of glass. Strong roasted coffee aroma with hints of dark chocolate. Taste is very much of the roasted coffee variety. There is some dark chocolate taste in the beginning, but the coffee taste very much overwhelms it at the end. There is an excellent bitter aftertaste. Excellent stout!!

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Photo of Retail1LO
3.52/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a small snifter. Pours a jet black hue with a thin, bubbly, effervescent head that recedes quickly, and knows nothing about lacing. Smell is a pretty decent coffee note with a hit of dark fruit/cherries. Sweet nose, regardless. The taste is nothing to write home about. Some moderate coffee notes, but nothing that wows you. There's again, a pervasive sweetness to this that's just not right. The mouthfeel is thin as hell, something I'm not fond of in coffee beers, especially ones that are declared "stouts." Overall, this is "meh" at best. Another easily forgettable beer.

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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 Tafyob41
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Tastes like coffee. As the beer warms hints of vanilla emerge. Very lightly carbonated unlike Schlafly's coffee stout that I'm more familiar with. It's very crisp. At times I feel like I can drink a ton of this in one sitting, but one might be enough. Pours with a tan head that didn't last long. Served at 54 degrees in a snifter. The coffee taste will stick with you and is not too overpowering.

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Photo of XicanoBeerRun
3.32/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured like used motor oil, black and opaque, and not thick like some stouts. Cocoa head about 1/8 inch thick dissipated rapidly. Smells like chocolate and coffee. I know this is not too creative, but it is all I could come up with. Taste: chocolate cake, chocolate covered coffee beans. The coffee was not as prominent as I had expected. I enjoyed this. It was somehow refreshing, which I do not expect from a stout.

I’ll have another.

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Photo of mabermud
3.59/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

After a hard pour, this beer has a dense, off white, persistent head. The head forms a halo as I drink the beer, and the lacing is light and sticky along the glass. The beer appears black, but when held up to the sun, it is a dark boysenberry color.

The aroma is of light roasted malts, light coffee, and faint dark chocolates.

There is a light balanced taste of roasted malts, coffee, and dark chocolates. Nothing sparkles or stands out.

The mouthfeel is fair and substantial.

The ABV is mediocre and the taste is right there...in the middle. This is a solid mediocre imperial stout. I would drink this again as a standby, or if I couldn't find any of the top tier stouts on my list.

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Photo of Beerandboards
4.14/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of scratch69
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

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Photo of mjurney
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black color with some ruby red highlights. Tan head, spongy.

Lots of coffee and dark chocolate, dark roasted malts.

Dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate, burnt caramel, roasted malts, brownie. Some hop bitterness towards the end. Finish is sweet, roasted, a little dry. Body is medium, creamy, silky, rich, smooth, some dryness, a little boozy.

It's an excellent beer.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled 12 oz. can poured into a shaker pint. No visible canning date.

Look- Clear deep brown with a dense cap of frothy tan foam. Decent retention, glass is coated by the time it's been emptied.

Smell- Baker's chocolate, char, dark roast coffee, light sweetness. Appealing.

Taste- Rich flavor, dark, roasty char, espresso, semisweet chocolate, again a light toffee sweetness in the background. Takes on a lighter flavor by the swallow, more of a milk chocolate flavor. Finishes with more cocoa and coffee dregs. Alcohol near nonexistent.

Mouthfeel- Medium-full feel, light carbonation. Coffee astringency lightens it a bit, very smooth, full, rich without being syrupy. Very nice. Drinks like.. coffee with dairy creamer.

Overall- Nice, absolutely what I wanted from an imperial coffee stout. Bold flavor, not quite a dessert beer. I'll certainly be getting it again.

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Photo of Hopswagger
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
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. 

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Photo of JMad
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown color almost completely opaque with a thin brown head. The aroma is nice with tons of roasted coffee and some chocolate. The taste is bitter coffee with some dark chocolate and some earthy hop notes with a hint of pine. It is nice and thick but not too heavy with low carbonation and a dry finish. Very nice brew, all of their beers have been good that I've tried.

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Photo of JGlitz87
3.77/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Deep dark brown, almost black. Nearly opaque. Small off white head that leaves a decent amount of lacing down the side of the glass.

S: Lots of lots coffee. Chocolate and malts underneath.

T: Mirrors the smell. Dark espresso coffee dominates the flavor profile. Chocolate and roasted malts fill out the taste. Not for those that do not like their coffee black. Slightly creamy.

F: Medium carbonation and moderate to heavy body. Hides the alcohol well.

O: Good coffee stout. A bit strong on the coffee, but since this is advertised as a java stout, I knew what I was getting into to.

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Photo of MCain04
3.92/5  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.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

looks like a perfect stout... head could be a bit stronger, but the retention isn't bad. hints of lace, but the darkness is a beautiful cocoa hue that kills.

aroma of milk, molasses and espresso, hints of leather, tobacco, rich dark earthy malt.

taste follows. coffee, dark earthy malts. milky, rich, dark cocoa. licorice and leather.

mouth solid. moderate body, ample carbonation, light and soft with a hint of roasty bitterness in the finish that's pleasantly drying.

all in all, damn awesome. if this were local, it'd be steadily stoked in my fridge. I miss Santa Fe.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.61/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz / 355ml can with no date poured into a Three Philosophers mini wine glass.

Appearance - Black body. Light brown pancake batter head with decent to low retention and low stick.

Smell - Smells and feels like a Starbucks Java chip frappuccino in my hands.

Taste - Tastes better straight from the can. Do not pour this beer! I don't know if it just oxidizes quickly or what the deal is.

Mouthfeel - Astringent -- like the solvent taste you get in your mouth when you put raw coffee grounds in your both. Sort of thin and sharp.

Overall Drinkability - Tastes okay but the mouthfeel sort of kills it.

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Imperial Java Stout from Santa Fe Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.