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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: 899
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 207 | Hads: 899
Photo of dbossman
4.03/5  rDev +1%
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

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce can that one of my friends gave to me. No date that I can find on it. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with almost an inch tan head that stayed around for a bit. There's also a small amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells mostly like coffee but there's also some burnt/charred malt, caramel and some bittersweet chocolate noticeable. For the most part I think the taste is pretty much like the aroma, but there's also some vanilla flavor. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's smooth and easy to drink with a moderate amount of carbonation. I thought this was a good coffee stout. Glad I got to try it, but also disappointed I won't get to try this again soon since Santa Fe Brewing doesn't distribute here. Definitely worth picking up if you come across some!

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid a bit too much for this (5 bucks) but considering it was a long time tick I put down the cash.

A - Has the look of a great stout, very back yet not incredibly viscous with an impressive full inch of mocha head that sticks around for a bit.

S - Like a frappuccino it smells of blended coffee's, mild chocolate, vanilla, and a touch of roasted malts.

T - The bend is fairly good. Roast is blended well with the hops giving a mild smoke/fresh filtered coffee taste. The sweetness of vanilla and chocolate is mild yet also satisfying.

M - A touch lighter than I expected yet still chewy and medium bodied.

Overall it is a pretty stand up imperial stout with coffee flavors. Try one if your a fan of coffee beers.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.03/5  rDev +1%
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

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Photo of WesM63
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a CBS Snifter

A: Pours a dark brown almost black with a decent 2finger mocha head. Decent retention and lacing.

S: Smells of dark malts, coffee, chocolate some vanilla and alcohol.

T: Better than the nose would lead you to believe. Coffee, chocolate and vanilla on the tongue followed by some dark malts and a little bit of a alcohol finish.

M: Medium body and plenty of carbonation

O: First of all, many thanks to my buddy 4Balance for this one! Secondly, a decent java stout. A little boozy at the end and it could use more coffee flavor. However, still a great brew!

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Photo of DenverHopHead
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | 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!

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with an off-white head. The aroma features a lot of coffee, as well as a hint of chocolate and some roasted malt. The flavor is very similar. I get a lot of mocha coffee notes, as well as some roasted malt and vanilla. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice chocolate stout. Glad I got a chance to try it.

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Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to cmanuel for sharing this one! Served from can into a New Belgium globe. Poured pitch black with a half finger khaki colored head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, acidic coffee, and milk chocolate. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, cream, coffee, and caramel. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. I have to be honest and say that I drank this one as a wake up beer while on a vacation day from work. But I am certainly glad that I did. This had a really nicely balanced flavor and aroma going on here that made it surprisingly refreshing and intriguing at the same time. It was really well rounded around the edges with every aspect having a balancing component going on with it. A really well done brew that I would love to have A LOT more of to enjoy as an alternative to coffee in the AM.

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

12 oz can, no readable date on can, but presumably brewed this year. Pours dark brown like any other stout, yet it has a creamy texture to it, nice lacing, with a decent amount of caramel-colored head. Aroma is strongly of both coffee and booze. Taste is of dark, malts, coffee, and chocolate. Medium mouth-feel, and creamy.

Definitely one of the better coffee stouts I have had. For the price, this one is worth having on hand, often.

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

a: poured into a wide chalice, producing a nice khaki head that retains a thin layer and ring, the beer itself a deep chestnut brown in color

s: lovely coffee bean aromas - mostly medium roasts without any touch of char or burn, fresh, woody, and earty - really quite nice, the malts provide dusty chocolate and a nice toasted grain sugar, hops kept to a minimum, dig this

m: carbonation on the lighter side of things, with a body riding the line between medium and heavy, not thick but with a nice weight

t: the great coffee character carries over from the aroma, loads of light and dark roast coffee flavors, fresh and vivid, the malt body complimenting well with baker's chocolate and toasted sugars, nice grain flavor, not as "stout" as a stand-alone version of the style might tend to be, allowing the coffee to shine through, dries somewhat to coffee and cocoa with a mild bittering

o: a great coffee stout that came as a bit of a surprise, not hugely complex or deep, but the bean character is fantastic and really makes the beer

can from the Liquor Mart in Boulder

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

Santa Fe Imperial Stout has a medium, creamy, beige head, a dark brown (with reddish-brown highlights) appearance, and a heavy lacing sheen left on the class. The aroma is of predominately dark-roasted coffee, dark-roasted malts, and maybe some water. Taste is of all that, with dark cherry and slight hoppy bitterness. Mouthfeel is mostly light, and Santa Fe Imperial Stout finishes mostly dry, rich, and flavorful. No alcohol shows itself. Excellent stuff, this.


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

Pours nearly black, with nearly a two finger head which settles down to a film, off-white/tan. Smells lightly of roasted coffee, some malt and hop aroma. Nice coffee aroma though. I'm getting the coffee and I'm getting bitter hops. Lively taste is interesting. Not what I expected (I like thicker feeling, sweeter stouts with less bitter characteristics) but this is a nice drink nonetheless. And yes I'm thinking "donut" if I were to grab a bite to pair with this brew. The coffee presence is solid and i do love coffee. Plus, this is great as it warms (I may tend to crack open my brews just premature of suggested serving temperatures). The hops aren't as noticeable to me as when i took my first couple of sips, yet they play their earthy role in the hefty roasted espresso notes. Makes me wish i had bought 2 cans (in addition to wishing i had access to retry Terrapin's interpretation, and of course one day to get ahold of and sample Founders' take on these "before noon" breed of stouts). Santa Fe has a winner here. Even though I've only tried one other style from this brewery, this is clearly my favorite of theirs.

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

Lightproof black colored beer with a small brown colored head that doesn't last.

Smells of chocolate and coffee with a little smoke. Malty aroma it smells fairly sweet.

Starts out semi sweet with a strong coffee bitterness. This gets sweeter as you drink it and the chocolate comes on strong. This gets sweeter as you drink it and quickly starts tasting like a mild milk stout. Coffee taste is strong and the bitterness is moderate. Alcohol is completely hidden.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a tasty coffee beer that is very easy drinking.

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Photo of jmbranum
4/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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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 HugoSnyder
4/5  rDev +0.3%

A - Pours dark, almost black, with a brown coffee head. The head has decent retention that foams back up really nicely when agitated, even after it had completely dissipated. Great lacing throughout.

S - The aroma was of coffee and malt. Notes of caramel, bitter chocolate and mocha.

T - Tastes of coffee and chocolate. Also, detectable hop bitterness.

M - Surprising light bodied. Medium carbonation. Booze was well hidden.

O - Really enjoyed this stout. The only downfall for me, as others have stated here, was how surprisingly light bodied it felt. Would definitely drink again, especially on a rainy day like today.

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

There isn't a whole lot to this beer. It's dark has a great tan-brown head that sticks around for a while. It's heavy duty on the coffee flavor, but I'm not a coffee junkie so I can't tell you specifically which way it leans. It's got some supporting chocolate as well, but the coffee far out shines. Finish is nice with a good long aftertaste to tide you over. Well made beer in a can. It's not over the top in flavor so you can put back a few in a night I think.

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Photo of cbutova
3.99/5  rDev 0%

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.

 1,043 characters

Photo of Heischman
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer/Brewery - Imperial Java Stout - Santa Fe Brewing Company
City/State- Santa Fe, New Mexico
STYLE – American Double / Imperial Stout
ABV – 8%
IBU – 50?
DATE – 4 JAN 2012 (#005 of 365 Beers of 2012)
GLASSWARE – American Pint
APPEARANCE – Black non translucent ½ inch creamy head cocoa brown in color nice lacing on the glass
AROMA- coffee with cream and a hint of hops
TASTE – Coffee with notes of cream, almost a cappuccino very mild though. There is a hint of hops in the after taste
MOUTHFEEL – Creamy and smooth with very mild carbonation level. Leave a wonderful warming sensation in the chest.
CONCLUSION – Good stout was worried because of the can thing, but a wonderful brew!

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Photo of emyers
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. can poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours near black with a thin medium brown head.

Smell: Coffee dominates the nose. Some cocoa powder, hints of caramel malt.

Taste: Once again, coffee is the dominant flavor. Some vanilla bean, milk chocolate, caramel malt. Just a tad rough around the edges flavor-wise and has a bit of lingering alcohol flavor, but the base flavors are all very solid.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, pretty smooth on the palate.

Overall: Certainly not the same caliber of a Founders Breakfast Stout (which I find it difficult not to compare other coffee stouts to), but a very solid offering nonetheless.

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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 mastodonj
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of Phelps
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of AlexFields
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
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.


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Photo of MammothTarantula
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

This is my first review ever, so here we go...

Purchased at a local liquor store. I had never seen this before, so I thought I'd give it a try. Poured from the can into a pint glass.

A: Pours a rich, dark brown, almost black. Two finger tan head that quickly dissipates to about one finger. Little to no lacing.

S: Coffee, green wood, mild fruitiness (maybe banana?)

T: Powerful coffee flavors, slight grassiness, a bit of woody. When I was a child I ate stick off of a Crepe Myrtle tree. That Crepe Myrtle taste is definitely there. A bit of an unpleasant metallic aftertaste, which is undoubtedly from the can.

M: Medium-bodied. Unpleasantly strong carbonation, which was not what I expected from an imperial stout. Left a slight burning sensation in my throat.

O: A pretty good beer. The taste was good enough to cancel out the mouthfeel for me. I'll drink it again.

 875 characters

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