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Imperial Java Stout - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Imperial Java StoutImperial Java Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

551 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 551
Reviews: 162
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11%
Wants: 52
Gots: 52 | FT: 4
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:
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 added by: goochpunch on 03-31-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 551 | Reviews: 162 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of blackie
blackie

Virginia

4/5  rDev 0%
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

Serving type: can

05-14-2011 05:47:39 | More by blackie
Photo of oglmcdgl
oglmcdgl

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Out of the can and into my kickass new russian river pint glass. Thanks byrd for the glass and drmattyb for the brew.

A- a firm pour really gets the head going and I have to wait a second for it to settle so I can pour the rest of the can. Two fingers of coffee and lots of cream head that does hold for a good bit before settling to a sudsy cap and a ton of lace all over the glass. Super dark brown bordering on black in color with a bit of a brown glow at the edges.

S- dark roasted malts and a good coffee hit. Touches of a molasses like sweetness and some earthy undertones.

T- lots of coffee and chocolate going on here. The malts dark and well roasted really playing off the coffee nicely. Sweet chocolate milk in there with some brown sugar as well.

M- a few steps above medium in body and well carbed keeping things very drinkable.

O- this is a tasty stout and super drinkable. Full flavored and very clean. Ill have to trade for some more I totally dig this stuff.

Serving type: can

05-11-2011 23:36:40 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of holden303
holden303

Colorado

3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from can into Duchesse de Bourgogne oversized wine glass.

A: Santa Fe's Imperial Java Stout pours a deep black with a finger of cream/tan head that dissipates almost instantaneously leaving a thing ring around the glass. Quite a few carbonation bubbles on the bottom of the glass.

S: Coffee grounds are dominating this one but can detect what seems to be roasted malts and/or chocolate malts.

T: Lots of coffee in this one but it compliments the beer nicely. Nice carbonation as well, typically I don't like too much carbonation in a stout but this works, it's almost as if drinking a really robust soda without the sweetness.

M: Fairly light mouthfeel, I'd guess this was a porter if I didn't know better. Very crisp, doesn't coat the mouth at all.

O: Nice coffee imperial stout. Very hard to detect the imperial ABV in this one, goes down very easy aside from the uncharacteristic high carbonation levels. I'd definitely recommend trying this beer if it's distributed to your state.

Serving type: can

05-10-2011 03:28:55 | More by holden303
Photo of LXIXME
LXIXME

New Mexico

4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Serving type: can

05-10-2011 00:41:42 | More by LXIXME
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
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??

Serving type: can

05-06-2011 07:07:54 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of seeswo
seeswo

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cheer to Evan (Optimator13) for hooking this up during our giant, 2 case in person trade. Drank out of the can because I can. The can looks fantastic - cool logo and all. The smell is intoxicating - like a crazy, rich starbucks coffee drink. The taste is similar. Picture one of the cold starbucks drinks you can buy at the grocery store, like mocha coffee novelty whatever - this tastes like the beer interpretation of that in all of the best ways. Huge, rich coffee flavor carries all the way through. Serious yum. Mouthfeel seems right on - good carbonation and a medium body. Overall this was fantastic. Passed around the room of novice craft brew drinkers and they all gave it a wow. ISO

Serving type: can

04-09-2011 23:34:38 | More by seeswo
Photo of claytong
claytong

Vermont

4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A light coffee beer especially for 8 percent. Great for nights where you want to stay up and alert and drink beer. A great buy for me at 8 bucks a 6 pack. Coffee dominates, a bit simple of a beer but very enjoyable. Not a dinner beer unless you enjoy coffee for dinner.

Serving type: can

04-05-2011 23:01:23 | More by claytong
Photo of chugalug06
chugalug06

Colorado

4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - As dark as burnt oil. Super black with a poured original saddle colored "super" head... head mellows to a thin tan

S - Coffee and Espresso scented... Side of malt too. Perhaps there's a little chocolate and mango buried somewhere...

T - Amazingly smooth, like drinking a cold "hot" chocolate. make for an amazing afternoon or drive home. I've had this brew a few times post skiing always make me enjoy the drive home a little more...

M - Super smooth and perfectly sweet, not over done like many java stouts. coffee is prevalent, but not over bearing

D - Drinkability is high! hard to put down and let sit. I look forward to the next sip, each and every time.

I want to give A CAN to everyone so they too can experience the goods coming out of SFB!!!!

Cheers!

Serving type: can

03-26-2011 03:51:28 | More by chugalug06
Photo of indiapaleale
indiapaleale

Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Serving type: can

03-23-2011 00:02:01 | More by indiapaleale
Photo of JoeAmerican77
JoeAmerican77

Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
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!

Serving type: can

03-20-2011 02:14:07 | More by JoeAmerican77
Photo of katan
katan

Colorado

3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz into a pint

A - This baby is dark - black in all the thick spots. I could be convinced of some amber highlights. Strong head formation, mocha colored.

S - Strong roasted, almost burnt edge. As you get closer to it, some bittersweet chocolate appears. A little bit of bready malts in the background.

T - Starts off lightly sweet, malty, some chocolate, a little bit of coffee roast. Mid-stream turns heavily burnt, edge, almost astringent. Finishes with a little chocolate malts and some retained coffee acidity.

M - strong body, strong carbonation which serves to lighten it up. Lots of burnt and grainy flavors stick to the tongue.

D - Very slow drinker - the chocolate is the only thing that prevents this from being overly potent. ABV is strong, but manageable.

If you like an espresso, and a beer, then this is your thing.

Serving type: can

03-08-2011 05:50:07 | More by katan
Photo of Vdubb86
Vdubb86

Illinois

3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter

Thanks to injuredreserve for this beer in the SSWYMO BIF

This interesting New Mexico can pours nice deep dark brown body with a beige foam nicely riding the surface. The aromatics are really hard to place. There is obvious espresso notes and something else. Lack of a better word has led me to toasted smoke...but not char and different from roast. It was minerally in nature, not bad, just weird. The taste is a combination of strong espresso and creamy vanilla and it works for this beer. The body is a lighter medium with a strong acidic flavor. The acidic flavor and the mystery smell make this an odd drinker, it's still a very good beer, but not as good as it could be.

Serving type: can

03-03-2011 17:49:12 | More by Vdubb86
Photo of EgadBananas
EgadBananas

Louisiana

4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
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!

Serving type: can

03-03-2011 02:25:41 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of websherpa
websherpa

Montana

4/5  rDev 0%
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.

Serving type: can

02-25-2011 19:08:50 | More by websherpa
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz can Inflatablechair brought over tonight after a very long shift ... Thanks a ton Sam, this was awesome!!

Pours with a descent dark brown head.... the brew is clear deeep brown/verging on black... a bit of dark ruby shows toward the stem end of my glass... Not much for the way of retention, but it isn't bad.

Great fresh bean coffee combines very well with all the traditional expected RIS flavors... what IMO is setting this one into the top tier is a little bit of maltiness in the aroma that helps bring the nose up and out of the glass... even make it lingering.

Flavor mirrors the nose... fantastic coffee components.. still there are good roasty elements.. again a nice sweetness is a big tie that binds everything together.. solid medium body... almost creamy carbonation.. wonderful.

I am damn surprised I enjoyed this one as much as I did.. This brew is an unknown marvel.... tastes very fresh and the body and combined complexities make for a great package.... and... it is in a can.

3.5/4.5/4.5/4.5/4.5

Edit... Holy shit.. big boy review for me... I am gonna stand by it... thank again Sammy.

Serving type: can

02-24-2011 05:56:21 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of Kemmerlin
Kemmerlin

Colorado

4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Serving type: can

02-22-2011 03:43:08 | More by Kemmerlin
Photo of Domingo
Domingo

Colorado

4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Serving type: can

02-06-2011 15:48:55 | More by Domingo
Photo of brewerburgundy
brewerburgundy

California

4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can, Boulevard tulip, no freshness dating.

An impeccably dark beer with just a smidge of red glowing near the bottom and a tall, proud cappuccino head, this coffee stout looks the part.

One whiff immediately puts me in mind of my favorite coffee beer, Coffee Bender. The nose is essentially all coffee, slightly sweet espresso and oily dark roast beans. A hint of bitterness. It is like a cup of very fresh iced coffee that may or may not have cream in it.

Bitter, slightly sweet espresso defines this beer. There may be bitter roast behind this bitter coffee, it is nearly impossible to tell. A layer of dark fruit resides behind all the coffee and slight minty alcohol too. I'd almost swear this was coffee most of the time. It is clearly beer, malty and coffee infused beer.

The carbonation is very active, but seems to work well.

I've found my second favorite coffee beer. Coffee is the main feature, rather than an enhancement, and that may be why some write it off. If you love coffee you will at least like this beer.

Serving type: can

01-18-2011 00:41:31 | More by brewerburgundy
Photo of BradLikesBrew
BradLikesBrew

Missouri

3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown body is just short of black, the head is creamy and light tan colored.

The aroma is one dimensional, but if you are a coffee fan, that won't be a problem.

The flavor is malty with a dominating coffee flavor with roasty bitterness on the finish. Some undertones of cocoa and some toffee maybe, but the java flavor is the central focus.

Medium body, moderatly creamy.

There is a touch of alcohol on the finish, but for the most part this is a really drinkable stout with farely well masked ABV. Imperial Java Stout doesn't hold a candle to Peche Mortel, Espresso Yeti, Beer Geek Breakfast or other notable coffee stouts. Its not in the same league, not even the same sport really. But it doesn't have to be. It is a fraction of the price of those beers. At $7.99 a 6pk and 7% ABV, it is an absolute steal, a must buy for coffee beer fans. I highly reccomend it.

Serving type: can

01-16-2011 00:12:58 | More by BradLikesBrew
Photo of Beaver13
Beaver13

Colorado

4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz can. Pours a dark brown with a medium creamy tan head that quickly goes to a collar that laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet chocolate malts and lots of roasted coffee.

The flavor is sweet chocolate with a lot of nice coffee and some bitter roast in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low but smooth carbonation.

Overall, not very complex (all about the coffee), but a great beer for coffee lovers. One of the best coffee beers I've had...yum!

Serving type: can

01-15-2011 01:18:45 | More by Beaver13
Photo of emmasdad
emmasdad

Colorado

4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a six pack of cans of this one today for less than 8 bucks. An incredible deal for an above average coffee imperial stout. Pours a rich, opaque black color, with a huge fluffy tan head. Aromas of freshly roasted coffee beans, espresso and roasted malt. On the palate, smooth and flavorful, with loads of coffee, slightly burnt, chocolate and a hint of hops on the finish. Very good.

Serving type: can

01-07-2011 04:25:00 | More by emmasdad
Photo of amcmaho1
amcmaho1

New Mexico

4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Straight from a can to a glass. The moment the can is opened, the smell of coffee fills the room.

Appearance: Incredibly dark, and completely opaque. Huge light brown head which sticks around forever, with lots of lacing. All the appearance aspects exude coffee.

Smell: Imperial JAVA Stout, the most emphasis on the JAVA. Great notes of coffee, coffee dominated malt, coffee dominated chocolate and roasted/burnt coffee bean smell as well.

Taste: There is again the inescapable coffee factor which could steer some people away. Imagine a day old cup of black coffee, with carbonation and a bit of hops and malt (but imagine it in a good way). As it warms, the taste of burnt coffee begins to become the predominant flavor. As a fan of strong black coffee, this beer definitely captures the nuances of those great flavors; but a non-coffee drinker could be quite put off from the coffee emphasis.

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation and relative thinness make the mouthfeel very enjoyable. For being an 8%ABV beer, there's virtually no sign of any alcohol, instead just a smooth ol' cup o' stout.

Drinkability: This is a really great COFFEE/JAVA stout, again with all the focus on coffee and java. It's a big tasting beer, which may put a slight damper on it's drinkability, without taking away from the fact that it's a really exceptional coffee stout. Possibly the southwest's breakfast stout?...no, unless you're like me and usually just have coffee for breakfast. So to my fellow coffee drinking cohorts, i highly recommended this beer.

Serving type: can

12-18-2010 01:03:29 | More by amcmaho1
Photo of taxguyjase
taxguyjase

New Mexico

3.38/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Thick black body with a foamy, mocha colored head. Head is pretty sticky too, as it coats the glass substantially. 4.0/5.0

Smell - Coffee coffee coffee. The aroma is like sticking your nose right into a bin of coffee beans. Not just any coffee beans, but the uber-dark ones that will literally put hair on your chest. Any other smell is overpowered by the coffee. You get a hit of that coffee each time that you taste it too. 3.5/5.0

Taste - Like the aroma, coffee dominates the flavor, but it starts to smooth out a bit. The first time I had this beer, I was taken aback by the coffee flavor and almost had trouble finishing it. 2nd go around was much better with the toasted malt coming out. Very little sweetness, as the coffee's bitterness takes priority. It's like having a strong cup of Starbucks bold coffee...no cream...no sugar. 3.5/5.0

Feel - 1st taste is strong until your mouth adjusts to the beer. After that, you start to get some more of the flavor notes. 3.0/5.0

Drinkability - Jury is out. 1st time, probably wouldn't have bought it again. 2nd time, enjoying it. I'm guessing the 3rd time, I'll want to get a six pack or two for the fridge. 3.0/5.0

Serving type: can

12-15-2010 04:47:56 | More by taxguyjase
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at 1702; April 2009
This has a huge nose full of coffee notes that are all encompassing. The beer is black, quite dark, though it does have a touch of brown to it if you check closely. The beer arrives from the tap with only a ring of lightly browned foam that clings to the edges of the glass. The aroma is definitely coffee, complex coffee, but purely and simplistically coffee; I don't get any sense of the base beer here. The coffee contributes aromas of chocolate, a slight woody note, ample toasted aromatics and perhaps even a touch of burnt tobacco; overall the aroma is incredibly smooth and I like that it packs so much coffee aromatics without getting harsh.

The flavor has lots of coffee flavor; dark chocolate notes, a slight tannic roast wood note (almost seems a bit like cedar), some burnt berry notes. The coffee flavors are quite smooth with very little roast-acidity or acrid flavors. Some toasted malt flavors are noticeable and reminds me of a hardy browned bread. The texture is quite nice; not too heavy, though not light, but it has enough heft to carry the dominant coffee character well.

This is not a very complex beer overall, it is definitely coffee oriented, but the coffee is done quite well. If you like coffee then this beer is definitely for you. I am finding myself quite enjoying this beer. It has just enough of a roast edge to it to balance the smooth coffee and light dark malt sweetness and keep these from being cloying.

Serving type: on-tap

05-24-2009 16:12:19 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of sweethome
sweethome

Illinois

3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at pub. I had this a couple months ago - finally putting notes in -Well, I hesitate to call this an imperial stout...I would consider this more of a coffee stout, but here we go - rating based on what it tastes like - not the name:

Pour is a bit thin - you can see right through - looks more like a brown ale than IS.

Nose is of coffee and roast malt - a nice Starbucks Verona nose.

First taste really pleases - a nice coffee flavor with roast malt - a hop bitterness provides balance. The coffee flavors are complex and full - not just a blast and fade as many coffee beers are.

I would compare this with Bell's Java Stout, Lakefront Fuel Cafe, etc. As Coffee stouts go, I like the flavor profile here.

I don't consider this an Imperial Stout at all, but this beer works - it is clean - no faults, nice use of coffee - good flavors - satisfying beer...change the name!

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2008 04:11:06 | More by sweethome
Imperial Java Stout from Santa Fe Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 551 ratings.