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Imperial Java Stout - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Imperial Java StoutImperial Java Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

202 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 202
Hads: 871
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.3%
Wants: 87
Gots: 150 | 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: 202 | Hads: 871
Photo of brurevu
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. (497 characters)

Photo of Rhettbuck
4.19/5  rDev +5.3%
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. (957 characters)

Photo of suspect
3.42/5  rDev -14.1%
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. (841 characters)

Photo of Beejay
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
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. (634 characters)

Photo of DenverHopHead
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
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! (269 characters)

Photo of Morey
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
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. (1,034 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
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. (1,408 characters)

Photo of StroppyMare
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. (733 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.94/5  rDev -1%
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. (610 characters)

Photo of dbossman
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 (472 characters)

Photo of MDDMD
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 (340 characters)

Photo of zac16125
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
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! (959 characters)

Photo of scratch69
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
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. (390 characters)

Photo of AlexFields
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
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 (485 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4.36/5  rDev +9.5%
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. (281 characters)

Photo of Beerandboards
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. (781 characters)

Photo of MCain04
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (685 characters)

Photo of Cvescalante
4.21/5  rDev +5.8%
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. (603 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
3.94/5  rDev -1%
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. (432 characters)

Photo of tylerf19
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
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) (1,699 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.94/5  rDev -1%
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 (765 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
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. (604 characters)

Photo of BigBarley
4.37/5  rDev +9.8%
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 (1,037 characters)

Photo of wlevando
4.48/5  rDev +12.6%
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." (1,438 characters)

Photo of TBoneJones
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (1,126 characters)

Imperial Java Stout from Santa Fe Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 202 ratings.