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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 DIPA10
4.95/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Outstanding. Definitely one of the best coffee stouts I've had (of many). Very pronounced coffee aroma and flavor in a smooth, rich stout. If you like strong coffee and hearty stouts, you need to try this.

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Photo of BeerActivatesNrf2
4.94/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.92/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Great Divide cervoise glass.

Look: The beer is an espresso bean black with a faint dark brown hue on the edges -- if that. An oatmeal colored head dissipates quickly to a nice thick film with a thick collar around the glass. A good amount of webbed lacing sticks to the glass, despite the high ABV.

Smell: Delicious burnt malt aromas abound here, with bitter chocolate and some dark roasted coffee on the back side. The coffee really smells good.

Taste: I'm really impressed with this. A nice bitter chocolate dominates this beer, and it blends well with the malts. There's plenty of roast in this, which leads right into the coffee notes. A fine balance between dark chocolate and dark roasted coffee.

Mouthfeel: Velvety smooth, rich, and on the thicker side. Dry.

Overall: Really delicious, and the alcohol is hidden rather well. I can't tell which emerges more -- the coffee or the dark chocolate.

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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 Iluvink
4.65/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I almost looked past this stout, because it was in a can. But, I am glad that I didn't.

Pours with a nice, somewhat minimalist head. Just right. Tastes of coffee, expresso really, and gives subtle nasal notes to the same.

I really enjoyed this stout. Definitely not a session beer, at not for least for me.

If I had a wish, it would be for this much flavor, and just a tad bit less abv, and I could enjoy a few at a time, without issue.

Still a great coffee stout.

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Photo of Rock360
4.62/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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

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

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Photo of kanthalot
4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had my doubts coming out of a can. This was a gift from my next door neighbor. I was very impressed with the color, the pour, most importantly the taste. This is a beer that I would drink again.

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Photo of coltonbrimhall
4.57/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

- nice head but didnt last long but black beer :)
- smell is all coffee and burnt malt notes
-taste is very coffee strong maybe some light chocolate and burnt malts
- feel is thick and chewy
- overall a really good beer always a good choice, my top pick for coffee beers :)

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Photo of woodychandler
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another incredible CAN from Blargimus in support of The CANQuest (TM)! It really pays to advertise and my ISO post caused a lot of people to offer up all kinds of new CANs. I am so excited that I am downright giddy ...

From the CAN: "before noon [coffee cup and saucer depicted] not for use with donuts."; "after noon [beer mug depicted] ale with coffee beans." The best part was that the opening was aligned with the "after noon" side of the CAN.

The Crack revealed another nearly brimful CAN and the inverted Glug had both a cascading quality as well as producing two fingers of dense, deep-tan head with excellent retention. Color was a deep, dark-brown with limited light penetration and ruby highlights at the edges. As the head finally dissipated, I was ready! Nose had a heady coffee roastiness and I began to wonder how it might actually work with donuts. Mouthfeel was thick, full and creamy with a bitter coffee flavor not much behind what I brew up every morning. I am a retired US Navy sailor and not only do I like my java hot and black, but it should also have the consistency of mud. Man, but this was like a jolt to the CNS at 2023 (EDT)! Finish was equally bitter and I was contemplating trying to score a donut somewhere just to test the theory. My heart began banging against my breastbone and I knew I was alive. Not many beers will do that to me. My my my. YMMV.

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

Appearance: Deep mahogany brown body, crowned with a massive, somewhat coarse cream-colored head, somewhat coarse, but with good retention. Scattered, thin lacing adorns the glass walls.

Aroma: Profound aroma of espresso, lots of roasted notes, with hints of vanilla, and an abundance of bitter cocoa.

Taste: The taste opens with profound notes of cold coffee, warming alcohol soon follows, although it is felt more than tasted. As the taste progresses, bitter cocoa and bitter chocolate have their turn. Later in the taste, wood and vanilla notes rise, these carry the taste to a gracious close.

Mouth feel: Rich and full, soft, and very pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: Simply wonderful, a treat to be savored as autumn ascends, would be even better on a cold winter day.

Presentation: Packaged in a standard twelve-ounce aluminum can, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice

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