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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

206 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 206
Hads: 896
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: 206 | Hads: 896
Photo of Iluvink
4.65/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I almost looked past this stout, because it was in a can. But, I am glad that I didn't.

Pours with a nice, somewhat minimalist head. Just right. Tastes of coffee, expresso really, and gives subtle nasal notes to the same.

I really enjoyed this stout. Definitely not a session beer, at not for least for me.

If I had a wish, it would be for this much flavor, and just a tad bit less abv, and I could enjoy a few at a time, without issue.

Still a great coffee stout.

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Photo of BeerActivatesNrf2
4.94/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So many coffee stouts fail to give a potent coffee flavor. This one gives a strong espresso feel. If you like coffee and beer, this is the beer for you.

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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 barhoc11
3.24/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This was very underwhelming. There is almost no smell to this beer and the coffee taste is very minimal with a floral/sweet aftertaste. The aftertaste reminds me of fake sugar, which is what I am sure was used to backsweeten this beer. I am not sure what they are trying to accomplish but there are much better alternatives.

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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 smakawhat
4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the can into a large snifter glass.

A very nice creamy light tan almost orange hinting head off the pour. Grows a thick two fingers and slowly settles with minimal lacing and a creamed top. Deep walnut brown color, with some actual clarity up to the light and fairly clear actually. Reall nice looking brew.

Mild notes of piping drip coffee. Good sense of cream and thick milk action a bit, with toned down sweetness. Hints of peanut butter and nut a little as well in the mix, and an almost black licorice quality to is as well. Kind of fun and pretty solid.

Palate seems to come as expected. Mild creamed coffee but with not much roast character. Borderline amped milk stout sweetness but far more bitter and with much more body. Mild roasting finish with a bit of hop oil bitterness on the aftertaste. Warmth brings some mild milk chocolate character as well with the coffee angle disappearing quite a bit. Very faint hints of metals slightly.

Overall a fairly tasty stout, but seems to loose it's coffee appeal after a bit and goes into milkier territory. Still comes off though as very well made regardless.

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Photo of Nathan451
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Not bad at all or better than okay. To be fair, I'm drinking straight from the can(+.5 points) ; but I'd like something to make it more complex (like a vanilla or more pronounced chocolate). There must be something about drinking straight from the can... nope, pored it to a glass and still taste something metallic and not quite enough chocolate.

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Photo of VashonGuy
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

12 ounce can into a glass. Served at refrigerator temperature.

This is one of the two best coffee stouts I've ever had, along with Founders Breakfast Stout.

It's much more of a Coffee Stout than an Imperial Stout. If you're looking for a really big Imperial Stout, with huge body and huge flavors, look elsewhere. Santa Fe Java Stout is a perfect example of a marriage between a terrific iced coffee and a wonderfully balanced roasty stout. I guess the ABV makes this "Imperial", but the ABV is well hidden.

Appearance is beautiful - dark brown with a lovely foamy head that persists quite a while, with traces of lacing.

The aroma is roasty, both from the coffee and the malts. Taste is roasty, coffee, just a bit of sweetness, and hardly any bitterness.

The beer has medium body and a creamy mouthfeel ... more substantial than lots of ales, but less than you might expect from the imperial stout label.

My only regret is that I don't get to the Southwest more than once or twice a year. If they marketed this in Seattle, it'd be a staple in my fridge.

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Photo of OsoRojo
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Santa Fe nails it once again. Such a subtle Stout, perfect balance of all elements. Easy drinker, good introduction to the style as interpreted in the Southwest. Plus it's in a can. Get some!

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Photo of M_chav
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Smooth, rich java/vanilla flavors. Definitely my go to and in my opinion, an extremely underrated beer. medium/full body with no trace of alcohol, a well balanced beer.

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Photo of Ri0
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

poured 12oz can into snifter.

A - Dark coffee color (go figure) with a half finger mocha head that leaves a thin ring. spotty lacing is decorating my glass.

S - Dark Coffee, French latte, mocha, and hints of bitter bakers chocolate. Roasted malts and light caramel round it off.

T - Nice coffee forward stout. Roasted coffee beans and malts, espresso and bakers chocolate. Sweetened with mellow caramel and mocha.

M - A medium bodied that is smooth and creamy feeling with light carbonation.

O - A very nice coffee stout from NM. Big coffee flavor and a nice rich smooth feel make it easy to drink any time of the day.

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Photo of bareju
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Poured from can into pint glass

Good! Sweet, smooth, chocolatey and coffee. Would like a bit more bitterness on the finish. And a bit too sweet. Creamy. Pretty easy to drink.

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Photo of HugoSnyder
4/5  rDev +0.3%

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of cbutova
3.99/5  rDev 0%

Full notes taken at time of review.

A- Black bodied pour from the can to two pint glasses. Not ultra thick but a two finger mocha brown head forms with a creamy texture and good retention. Thick sheets of lacing followed by drizzle.

S- Strong roasty malts make up most of the aroma but you have to notice the medium roast coffee bean and cocoa notes. Milk chocolate sweets, caramel, mocha hints and some slight fruit from the yeast but it doesn't distract at all from the coffee and grains.

T- Coffee is stronger here than the aroma for me and even takes precedence over the smooth dark roast grains. A vanilla sweetness comes into play from somewhere and compliments the java and milk chocolate malts. Tons of fresh brewed coffee.

MF- A shade toward the light side considering the ABV and rich flavors presented. Carbonation low to medium with a roasty coffee bitterness in the finish.

A very smooth coffee stout that displays about 5 out of the 8 percent ABV it contains. Lacks a bit in the body but packs tons of well balanced flavors.

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Photo of leroybrown10
4.31/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep chocolate color with a one finger tan colored head. Head fades quickly but leaves a thin cream layer on top of the beer. Nice spider web lacing left behind.

Aroma is rich dark coffee. Roasted malt, licorice and faint cream. Hints of chocolate and earthiness.

Taste is the aroma, coffee first. Coffee is dark and slightly bitter with an undertone of sweetness. Some rich roasted malt and understated dark chocolate. Some cream and maybe vanilla.

Rich medium-thick mouth feel. Medium+ carbonation. Some bitterness which lingers and very mild acridness. Aftertaste has a tinge of sweetness which counteracts the bitterness.

Very nicely done coffee stout. Coffee is big and bold but not overwhelming allowing the other qualities to show through.

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Photo of Karibourgeois
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Coal black pour with a light brown one-finger head. Really nice aroma of fresh coffee beans with a hint of chocolate. Very sweet flavor of chocolate and light roast coffee upfront. Medium body also has a hint of roasted malt and french roast coffee bitterness in the finish. Was kind of expecting more from the flavor as the smell was amazing.

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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 Stevedore
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can, best by 8/21/2014. Poured into a Surly goblet 7/25/2014.

A- Dark brown, nearly black body with a three finger offwhite head with a lot of retention time. Bits of bubbly lacing as the head recedes and the beer disappears.

S- Lots of coffee mixed in with roast malt. Not a ton else, maybe a bit of milk chocolate. Smells like a warm cup of coffee.

F- Acidic black coffee, milk chocolate (don't think there's lactose in it, but I wouldn't be surprised if it had some), cocoa, roast malt. Very tasty and just what I want out of an imperial coffee stout.

M- Creamy with a medium body, very good for the genre. Good carbonation, nice bitter acidic black coffee finish tempered by some lactose-like sweetness. No real hint of the 8% ABV, might actually be a good weekend morning beer.

O- Pretty tasty stuff for the coffee lovers out there in the beer community. Not necessarily worth trading for, but it's a nice treat if you trade with someone from NM. Locally, I can get Brewhouse Coffee Stout from Central Waters, which I feel is easily better than this one.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of TownDunkel
4.31/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Albertsons in Carlsbad new Mexico on a trip. A beautiful dark brown pour with low light brown head. Smell is of coffee and hops. Taste is amazing. This may be my favorite coffee stout out there. Almost hard to describe mix of coffee malt deal fruits and earthy undertones. Great lasting mouthfull make this a beer I would drink daily. As it suggests in the morning not with donughts!

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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 jngrizzaffi
4.73/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours pitch black with thick, brown foamy head with excellent lacing on side of glass. Strong roasted coffee aroma with hints of dark chocolate. Taste is very much of the roasted coffee variety. There is some dark chocolate taste in the beginning, but the coffee taste very much overwhelms it at the end. There is an excellent bitter aftertaste. Excellent stout!!

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Photo of mabermud
3.59/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

After a hard pour, this beer has a dense, off white, persistent head. The head forms a halo as I drink the beer, and the lacing is light and sticky along the glass. The beer appears black, but when held up to the sun, it is a dark boysenberry color.

The aroma is of light roasted malts, light coffee, and faint dark chocolates.

There is a light balanced taste of roasted malts, coffee, and dark chocolates. Nothing sparkles or stands out.

The mouthfeel is fair and substantial.

The ABV is mediocre and the taste is right there...in the middle. This is a solid mediocre imperial stout. I would drink this again as a standby, or if I couldn't find any of the top tier stouts on my list.

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Photo of mjpolzin
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This was an okay coffee stout but not spectacular. It was very drinkable and the coffee was present but it didn't blow me away. This is a style I really like so I probably have a high bar for what I expect for a coffee beer. One thing that was interesting was that the nose had a bit of cola which reminded me of Trader Joe's Vintage Ale.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.79/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown in color with a half inch khaki colored head. Brussels lacing. Dark roasted coffee and and roasted barley aroma greets my nose. There's an abundance of dark bitter coffee flavor in this beer. The mouth is a bit chalky and thick. If yo are looking for something more so on the bitter end of the coffee stout spectrum,this is your beer.

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Imperial Java Stout from Santa Fe Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.