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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: 151 | 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 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 4balance
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz can into a Duvel tulip…opaque black with 2" frothy tan bubbly head with good lacing.

Smells like coffee and I mean a lot of coffee grounds, milk chocolate, spices, vanilla bean and slight amount of tobacco.

Tastes like 2 different coffee beans ground with milk chocolate, vanilla bean, cloves, sweet tobacco leaves, roasted malts and slight caramel backbone.

Mouthfeel is creamy lusciousness - medium bodied with no alcohol presence at all.

Overall surprising coffee stout. I would say this is a Stout Coffee Stout. Recommended. (554 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz can into a stemless Hennessy snifter (my pimp hand is strong tonight, bitches!)

Nice appearance, with a rich mahogany brown core that fades outward to a ruddy amber color. The head is a dusty taupe hue, and the quarter inch of foam quickly settles to a ring and a thin veneer of bubbles. A very earthy aroma brings forward freshly ground coffee beans, fresh roasted, too. Dark malts lend notes of chocolate and bread crust, while the hops add a bit of balance to the ensemble.

The flavor matches the aroma's earthiness, and then some. Lots of roastiness to the coffee beans, verging on charred but the base beer dials in the balance just enough that things don't get too carried away. Alcohol is well-hidden. My only knock against this beer is the body--a bit thin for an 8% Imperial Stout. Still, good carbonation level and a clean finish. Overall, a tasty release from Santa Fe that any coffee beer lover should look forward to trying. (945 characters)

Photo of spoony
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz can into a globe glass.

A-The beer was nearly pitch black. An aggressive pour produced a tall (two-plus fingers) head of grayish-brown head. The head dropped after a minute or two into a cap and left decent lacing on the glass.

S-Smell was strong coffee (espresso), roasted malts, and light bitterness. A little simple, but for a coffee stout, it delivered the goods.

T-Taste was also strong, slightly bitter coffee. There was some baking chocolate and smokiness, as well. A few demerits for a slightly metallic taste on the finish.

M-Feel was medium bodied with low carbonation. The brew was a touch watery for the style, but not awful.

O-This was a solid coffee stout. I found the coffee flavors to be straight-forward and not as complex as some, but sometimes simplicity is a good thing. The brew loses points for a weak mouthfeel and a somewhat odd finish, but I would drink this again when I'm in the mood for an affordable, easy-to-drink coffee brew. (975 characters)

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours near black with a dark khaki colored 2 finger head. Fair retention, breaking down to a thin, broken layer of surface suds and a fat ring around the edge. Lacing does well to cling in spots all around the glass.

Smell - Your typical coffee-infused brew aroma here; iced coffee with light chocolate and caramel notes.

Taste - Follows the nose. Coffee with caramel and light chocolate undertones. Finish is much the same, with just a touch more coffee roast.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full in body with moderate carbonation. Silky texture, going down smooth and easy.

Overall - Falls in with most of the coffee-infused brews, which is to say completely tasty but nothing breakthrough in terms of something different. They all pretty much taste the same. If you're looking for a java stout, you can't go wrong with this one, but same can be said for most. (871 characters)

Photo of Domingo
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, coffee porters/stouts. I like 'em, but sometimes they can be a little tiresome and one-dimensional. Let's see where this one takes me.
First thing's first - this one is from a can. Pretty cool idea, as this would be a nice brew to take for an outdoor trip.
Pours a deep brown with a billowing slightly off-white head. Unlike some canned beers where the head falls after a few minutes, this one lingers and laces.
The nose is a mix of dark roasted coffee and semi-sweet chocolate. The nose is telling me this might be a one-note coffee brew.
However the taste clears that up nicely! While the coffee might be a star, there's a nice blend of other flavors offering depth. Roasted coffee hits the palate up front, followed by a bit of dark chocolate. As the beer hits the back of the tongue, a milky (almost creamer-like) sweetness kicks in. I don't think it is, but this has the flavor profile of a milk/coffee stout. Maybe it's just a lighter malt being used? Either way, it works well. The finish reveals more coffee acidity, but without ever being overly bitter. The ever so slight hop character comes in the form of a citrus rind, and blends with that finishing acidity nicely.
While some coffee brews can be tough to drink much of, this one's got a nice creamy body (again seemingly like a big milk stout), and drinking a can is something you'll probably do in a matter of minutes.
I really like this one. As someone who likes coffee and stouts, they mesh very well here...without either spoiling the things that work within the other.
The price is right, too. Recommended. (1,581 characters)

Photo of brewskifan55
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a flute glass with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

A: Cola brown with a tan half finger head that quickly turns to foam. Light lacing.

S: Heavy duty coffee comes on strong. Malts and chocolate bring in a weak 2nd and 3rd.

T: Zow! Smooth coffee and espresso. Chocolate tips the bill. Robust. Rich. When I added the ice cream, it frothed like crazy and gave me a killer taste sensation of coffee and vanilla.

M: medium with medium carbonation. Slightly bitter on the finish from the coffee, I guess.

O: A terrific coffee stout. Recommended. (553 characters)

Photo of mastodonj
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (556 characters)

Photo of Phelps
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (1,544 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 MammothTarantula
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
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)

Photo of Hopswagger
3.98/5  rDev 0%
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.  (704 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.99/5  rDev +0.3%

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 +0.3%
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)
SERVING TYPE – 12 oz CAN
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!
-JH- (737 characters)

Photo of emyers
3.99/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (642 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (353 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (1,053 characters)

Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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 (1,077 characters)

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

RJT (470 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)

Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (541 characters)

Photo of jmbranum
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (651 characters)

Photo of DavidST
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (391 characters)

Photo of HugoSnyder
4/5  rDev +0.5%

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. (625 characters)

Photo of websherpa
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (464 characters)

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