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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
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Reviews: 207 | Hads: 899
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 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 RattleheadKV2
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into goblet from 12 oz can.

Appearance: Pours a nice super dark brown, almost black, with about a fingers worth of thick tan head that dissipates down to ring of tight bubbles around the edge of the glass. No lacing left behind at all, some very slight alcohol legs.

Smell: Well they don't call this a Java Stout for nothing! Lots of roasty coffee, and chocolate notes, as well as some slight bready notes.

Taste: Coffee! The coffee here really shines through, without being overpowering, you still get a good amount of chocolate, and biscuit flavors. On the finish is a nice little bit of hop bitterness to round everything out.

Mouthfeel: Nice and thick, just as a stout should be. Not really anything else to write about, pretty typical of the style.

Overall: Very good brew, wish Santa Fe Brewing would sell this stuff year round with the Happy Camper. Very good buy, only about $7-$9 a 6-pack around here. Will definitely be buying again.

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Photo of emerge077
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Undated can, poured into a tulip glass. Billowing head of tan foam at first, it dwindles to a skim after a few minutes. Spindly halo of lacing all around the glass. Black with brownish edges.

Substantial coffee aroma at first, it tends to ebb away over time though. Rich dark roast.

Taste is bold with bitter dark coffee flavors, fairly complex and roasty coffee notes linger into the aftertaste. Body is fairly light for an "imperial stout", this seems more like a standard issue coffee stout, though a very tasty one. Smooth creamy feel. Overall this was nice and i'd recommend picking it up if you like a bold coffee stout.

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Photo of riored4v
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 9/7/11

Poured in to a tulip. Dark tan head with good lacing. Seemed to be a thin body when it poured, nothing like motor-oil type of stout. Black body.

Aroma had some strong Java to it. Mild chocolate and sweetness. Mild roastiness and some toffee. Definitely heavy on coffee.

Taste had a milky, coffee, java taste throughout. Really good. Mild chocolate and notes of raisin and bitter burnt malt. Tasty brew but not much complexity. Mild sweetness.

Mouthfeel was medium body with a medium/high carb. Mildly dry finish.

Overall it was a good. Very tasty coffee stout and no signs of abv.

Aged this same batch for 1yr 3mos. Initial thoughts is that it tastes roughly the same. Flavors have blended a bit more and is really smooth with lots of java. Still extremely enjoyable.

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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 allforbetterbeer
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a large goblet.

Looks black in the glass, with 1 finger of head that consolidated into what looks to be eerily like espresso crema (not a bad thing!).

Smells like a coffee stout, no doubt. The distinct coffee aroma melds with hops to kick the olfactory senses with a twang of bitter coffee bean. Some black malts and a touch of bitter baking chocolate as well.

Coffee comes through huge in the flavor, even more than the nose indicated. Wow, big sweet coffee flavors, this reminds me of well prepared French press. The hops don't thrash around in the mouth like I expected from the nose, which makes this much more approachable, although they are present in sufficient quantities to keep this from getting too sweet. The roasted malts provide a nice backdrop, and even poke through all the chocolate and coffee flavors with some of their own toastiness. Some nice hints of something like vanilla fade in and out as well.

The mouthfeel is creamy (I love cans!) and full bodied, with enough carbonation to keep this interesting, but not enough to lift the flavors off the tongue before they have a chance to get to work. A nice balanced feel. Surprising.

Conclusion: This is actually quite fantastic. I wasn't expecting a major player, but this is coffee forward, balanced, textured, dynamic, and damn tasty. Well done Santa Fe. My second favorite coffee stout behind Fouders Breakfast.

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Photo of superspak
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce can into snifter, no canning date. Pours pitch black with some brown on the edges; with a huge 2-3 finger khaki head with incredible retention that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Some nice lacing clinging to the glass as well. Aromas of big roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, biscuit, and some herbal hops. Very nice and well balanced aromas. Taste of big chocolate, roasted coffee, caramel, roasted malt, toast, and light spiciness. Good amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of coffee, roasted malt, caramel, and herbal spiciness. Nice balance of flavors with a good amount of robustness. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a decently creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Very easy to drink for 8%, and there is really no alcohol presence noticed. Overall this is a great coffee stout! I am guessing this was at least over a year old, but it has held up the coffee flavors quite nicely. Nice balance of flavors and easily drinkable.

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Photo of Chaney
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown in color, black to the untrained eye. Nice tan finger of head, laces well.

Big coffee aromas that dance with roasted malts and chocolate sweetness. I've bold and I'm diggin' it!

Nice coffee flavours, with roasted, toasted malts and some bittersweet chocolate notes. Good, but just not as in your face as the aroma.

Feel is nearly full, could be a bit heavier to really give it that RIS feel. Carbonation is good, and it's nice and creamy and slick.

The drink is great. Very enjoyable coffee stout, abv is lower, which really makes it easy to put away!

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Photo of Bennettrox
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to optimator13 for this one!

A - Jet black, like pouring a morning cup of joe. Half finger khaki head the slowly dissipates.

S - Smells of roasted coffee. If I didn't know any better I would think that I was just poured a great local coffee! Bittersweet chocolate and a little wood.

T - Following the nose this is full of burnt roasted coffee. Deep flavor of heavy malts. The more this warms up the more I'm enjoying the deep dark coffee taste, not much sweetness which I think I like. Coffee is the star!

M - Light but chewy at the same time. This goes down very easy with almost a tiny burn at the end. Medium carbonation.

O - Life would be sweet if I could start my morning off with a cup of Imp Java Stout. As a coffee head I really enjoyed this one! Thanks Evan!

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Photo of LXIXME
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Frothy full light brown head sits above a very dark almost black stout. Aroma is rich with coffee/java smells but not of black coffee but of a more flavored variety maybe something Starbucks would sell for $6.00, maybe slight hints of coffee and whip cream or something like that.

The taste is quite similar with a full java/coffee taste that's not just coffee but malted coffee with cocoa beans or grain malts, struck me as quite odd, but in a good way. Taste is super rich java/coffee but it's not at the same time. I've had a lot of coffee stouts that are just coffee tasting, and yet this is but isn't at the same time, makes it quite enjoyable.

The aftertaste has is a lighter coffee/java feel to it but is a nice light dry that sticks with you.

I can't wait for these guys to put out a chocolate or vanilla porter, um-um good.

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Photo of champ103
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Anvil in Houston, TX.

A: Pours a near opaque black color. A large tan and rocky head rises with excellent retention. Sticky, spiderweb looking lace is left behind.
S: Roasted malt, cream coffee, chocolate, and vanilla. The coffee and sweetness work well together.
T: Follows the nose. Plenty of roasted malt. Coffee comes next, but not acrid or over barring in any way. A big chocolate flavor is present along with some sweet vanilla. Fairly simple, but very nice.
M/D: A full body and moderate carbonation. Creamy, velvety, and smooth. So easy to drink. No alcohol in sight, and a joy to drink.

An excellent beer on cask. I really enjoyed this, and something I would recommend. A well done stout on cask.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purs the color of your favorite morning Joe. A fat and beefy beige cream topper of two and a half fingers. Love that head...

Smells of roasted malts, some bean grounds ands cocoa.

Sweet grounds and toffee meet your face straight on. A thick wall of coffee in this one, matched with brown sugar and cream. Almost a hop touch in the back, however definitely a malt monster. This has the best coffee flavor I believe I've ever tasted in a coffee stout.

Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, and lends a heavy bodied beverage with thick voluptuous small bubble carbonation which carpets the tongue

Overall this is the best coffee beer I have ever put to my lips. Buy some and enjoy it. A dessert, an sweet treat to be enjoyed, and considering six for ten bucks, wow!

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Photo of tomfitz18
4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Beer itself thick and dark black. It had about an inch of tan creamy head. Left some lacing on the glass.
S: Smelled strongly of coffee, chocolate, and some caramel malt.
T: Tasted like mocha, then sweet with the chocolate, then slightly malty, and maybe a little vanilla at the end.
F: Kind of thick, very smooth on the palate, low carbonation, a pretty full mouth feel, and well balanced.
O: I really like this beer! I was very impressed by it. I had it after a long morning of exhausting mountain bike riding and it kept me up and feeling good the rest of the day. I could see this be a great morning beer. Also, I love that it comes in a can.

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Photo of Rhettbuck
4.19/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of Kemmerlin
4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a thick creamy tan head and a chocolate body with moderate lacing.
S: The best part of this beer. Has a chocolatey espresso aroma deep in maltiness
T: Creamy, mocha latte like flavor that is really good but doesn't stick long and it leaves an off flavor in the aftertaste
M/D: medium bodied and smooth; I thought it would be thicker and heavier but still works. Relatively easy to drink.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12 oz can, poured into a snifter at approximately 50 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a slightly clear dark brown,rather light for a coffee stout, and forms a massively thick light tan head that hangs around for a while. It leaves lacing on the glass while it slowly dissipates down to a cap. Eventually, the head vanishes completely, and the beer looks almost exactly like a cup of light roast coffee sans any form of cream.

Smell: Deep roast and rich coffee scents mingle above a sweetness that doesn't seem to be entirely malt-derived. There's a hint of something akin to chicory lurking in there as well - I'd expect that from a New Orleans-based brewery before a Santa Fe brewery, but I'll take it.

Taste: The aroma does not disappoint here, as the beer delivers exactly what was promised by the nose. The flavor profile opens with roasted malt and light coffee in abundance, mingled with a slight touch of bitter baking chocolate. Notes of chicory echo around the edges as the brew moves along the palate, and the coffee bitterness fades as a sugary sort of sweetness begins to manifest. It never quite overtakes the coffee bitter, but balances it out by the finish. I can't find any alcohol taste at all, so well done there, Santa Fe!

Mouthfeel: Aside from temperature, this beer actually feels like drinking black coffee.

Overall: Not a bad go at a coffee stout, with the emphasis on coffee rather than stout. I would drink this again.

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

12oz can thanks to oglmcdgl, always excited to try some new breweries in this thing of ours.

The appearance on this supposed Russian Imperial Stout is black, yup, you guessed it, black, pretty much motor oil. The head is 3/4ths of an inch with a cream colored tan head that's semi full and milkshake looking, not a bunch of stick.

Smell is all coffee and vanilla and cream and well you get the picture. A whole lot of Java going on with vanilla bean, espresso, roasted malt, char, chocolate and the like.

Taste is what I what is expected from the nose, a java experience. Not sure why this is Dubbed as a RIS, it meets double imperial real well, but does not have the roast or full chocolate and imperial tastes that im accustomed to. If this is a imperial coffee than yes. Taste of jaa, slight, cream brulee, anilla bean, roasted malt and a touch of licorice

Feel is pretty robust and hits all the right points. Id say this is approaching full bodied but is hovering over medium. the carb is there and fullfilling yet not bitey.

If this was in my area, i would pick up a case, this is a great coffee stout and it comes in a can no less. Santa Fe should come to Philly, what's the hold up??

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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 indiapaleale
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour - deep, dark, almost black in color with a big mocha colored head that's thick like pancake batter. Wow, this looks mysterious and delicious.

Aroma - big notes of espresso, hot chocolate, bitter black chocolate, tiramisu and fudge. It's amazing how much this beer smells like a shot of espresso thrown on top of some sort of chocolate dessert.

Taste - up front is a lot of bitter, dark roast coffee combined with a smooth cocoa and dark chocolate flavor. This is a stout that will make any fan of coffee beers happy. If you like the earthy, bitterness of a nice dark cup of coffee than you'll enjoy this. Lots of emphasis on coffee flavors and plenty of maltiness supporting them. My tongue is a bit dry and I'm getting flashbacks to the espresso I had at 6:45 this morning but man this is good stuff!

Overall - This is a very rich and flavorful brew and one that warms your stomach and makes you feel like having another before you've gotten halfway through the one you're drinking. We really loved this beer, it hit all the marks of a great stout and the coffee flavors were spot on as well. Nothing too intense or overdone, just super flavorful, smooth and delicious.

Would I buy more of it? - sure, this is a great coffee stout and perfect during a cold winter evening OR with dessert anytime of year. To be honest I don't need a specific season or a specific food pairing I could drink this all year long and be very, very happy.

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Photo of Cvescalante
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of Trifecta1
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Can from out west, to the little town of Roscoe, IL. Thanks guys!

A - Pitch black, chocolate head.

S - Coffee and espresso, wow. Sweet malt, coffee coffee coffee.

T - Sweeter than I would have expected. Coffee with a few packets of sugar, and a hint of hot cocoa. Alcohol is invisible. Lingering acidity, pleasant.

M - Creamy, full, medium carbonation, medium-heavy body.

O - Fantastic stout, and very fairly priced (8.99 per 6 pack). Will be looking for this when I go out west. Great job, Santa Fe Brewing Co.

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Photo of Liveupthere
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the can. A little browner than I expected, but black in the glass. Mouthfeel felt more like an ale than a stout. I would have liked a bit more syrupy/thicker consistency. Taste matched the coffee aroma. Exactly what I was hoping for. The 8% abv hides well.

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Photo of Moose90
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can into a pint mug

A – Deep dark brown, not black, almost opaque. Leaves a 1" fluffy head with big bubbles. Leaves good lacing throughout.

S – Coffee, dark roast, medium roast, some chocolate and toffee here too. This smells great, very balanced, not too sweet.

T – Dark roasted coffee, chocolate. This tastes exactly like a dark chocolate covered espresso bean, awesome. Balance from the big espresso comes from a little vanilla and toffee sweetness.

M – Medium-full body, not too heavy, this is drinkable for an imperial stout. Long aftertaste is much appreciated.

O – This is a great coffee stout. It tastes so much like a good dark chocolate covered espresso bean, it has the sweetness, balanced by the bitterness, and is an overall great beer.

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