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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: 149 | 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 twiggamortis420
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can pours a rich, silky black color with a rather large, stiff head. Fades uber-slow and leaves nice lace. A good looking brew...

Nose is charred malt and strong black coffee. Just a hint of sweetness and the hops are pretty tame. A little nutty yeast comes out as it warms.

Alot of coffee to be sure, but it is pretty smooth and the velvety mouthfeel helps quite a bit to take the edge off. The ABV is astonishingly hidden, I would never have guessed it was more than 6% or so if it didnt have the word 'imperial' on the can. There is just enough sweetness to keep it from being astringent. A very good bargain at 8 bucks a sixer these days, unfortunately. Not everything tasty has to come out of an overpriced bomber. This is one of those beers that is best consumed fresh, and I cant seem to find a date on their cans. (829 characters)

Photo of WesM63
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a CBS Snifter

A: Pours a dark brown almost black with a decent 2finger mocha head. Decent retention and lacing.

S: Smells of dark malts, coffee, chocolate some vanilla and alcohol.

T: Better than the nose would lead you to believe. Coffee, chocolate and vanilla on the tongue followed by some dark malts and a little bit of a alcohol finish.

M: Medium body and plenty of carbonation

O: First of all, many thanks to my buddy 4Balance for this one! Secondly, a decent java stout. A little boozy at the end and it could use more coffee flavor. However, still a great brew! (602 characters)

Photo of scarfield
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

App- pours dark brown to black with a 1" khaki head. moderate lacing through the glass

Smell- sweetness and dark roast coffee. Smells like "cold" hot chocolate.

Taste- there is definitely some alcohol coming through and an aftertaste that is quite bitter and earthy. Malty sweetness and the roasted coffee flavor and bitterness are not quite in balance, but it is not unpleasant.

MF- creamy/oily, and the very long aftertaste and high abv make this a sipper

Overall- this beer tried to Pull off something difficult and almost pulls it off. The balance just isn't there and the bitterness is perhaps too strong. Still it is quite a good beer despite this. (658 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 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 dcloeren
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured black with light brown edges when held to the light. Produced maybe a finger of foamy tan head.

The aroma on this beer is fantastic for a breakfast stout. Rich and robust coffee dominates the nose with dark chocolate and cream rounding it off.

Taste follows the nose. Rich coffee, dark chocolate and a little bit of cream. I love this brew because its coffee forward and it tastes like a proper cup should.... very flavorful and not overly bitter.

Medium to full in body, light in carbonation and an excellent drying coffee aftertaste. This beer goes down very easy... Might have to get a refill.

Overall, this beer is great in my opinion. It says to drink before noon and I plan on doing so! Perfect brew for teeing off on a saturday morning. Drink up! (764 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 kojevergas
3.13/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 fl oz can acquired at Davidson's Liquors in Lone Tree, Colorado and served into a nonical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I fancy the style but I've never tried a beer from this brewery.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

The can cracked open and immediately started surging, indicating overcarbonation.

A: Pours a five finger khaki head of nice cream, nice thickness, and impressive retention for the high ABV. Colour is a predictable nontransparent solid black. No yeast particles are visible - but it's nontransparent. No bubble show.

Sm: Heavy coffee bean, coffee roast, cream, and dark malts. Coffee is definitely dominant, but it seems overdone; I worry about the balance. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Heavy coffee with a touch of roast, accompanied by some cream. Dark malts comprise the unobtrusive foundation. Hints of chocolate here and there don't amount to anything distinct or particularly impactful. Full-bodied.

Mf: Strangely syrupy and viscous - hot damn. Entirely too smooth and wet for the style - which demands dryness and coarseness. Adequate carbonation. It complements the flavours fairly well, but is far from ideal.

Dr: Quite drinkable and enjoyable, but far from complex or simple. The ABV is well disguised. Coffee is handled well here, but the base requires much more roasted barley. I'd have it again preferably on nitro-draught. Fairly priced. I look forward to trying more beers from this brewery.

C+ (1,638 characters)

Photo of Retail1LO
3.52/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a small snifter. Pours a jet black hue with a thin, bubbly, effervescent head that recedes quickly, and knows nothing about lacing. Smell is a pretty decent coffee note with a hit of dark fruit/cherries. Sweet nose, regardless. The taste is nothing to write home about. Some moderate coffee notes, but nothing that wows you. There's again, a pervasive sweetness to this that's just not right. The mouthfeel is thin as hell, something I'm not fond of in coffee beers, especially ones that are declared "stouts." Overall, this is "meh" at best. Another easily forgettable beer. (598 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 lnashsig
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

#BOTG 36!

Poured from can into Brooklyn tulip. Pours a dark brown/black color, off white head that retains decently. Smell- burnt coffee. Thats really about it. Trying to get more out of it, not much more there. Its not espresso, its burnt diner coffee at the bottom of the pot. Taste- iced coffee. Some roast, some chocolate, but man, this is like drinking an iced coffee. Some breadiness here, Maybe biquity in quality. But this beer is monotone. All about the coffee. Good, not great, I wanted more complexity. (515 characters)

Photo of yamar68
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to 4balance for this one!

Poured from can to pint glass:

Certainly pours like java... ominous black body with barely a hint of copper clarity around the edge of the glass, capped off by a healthy dose of mocha colored dense head. Solid lacing and unknown beading.

Massive nose on this one. I worked at Caribou Coffee for a few years and this reminds me of the smell of my uniform after work. Milky, roasty coffee. A dash of oats, some malted grains, very subtle chocolate bits.

Smoooth on the tongue. I can definitely see myself pairing this one up with some pancakes and lingonberries. Fresh coffee notes, soft chocolate... it's hard to even examine the flavor without mentioning the velvet perfection of the mouthfeel. This could be non-alcoholic for all I knew. Bravo.

It's great to see breweries cramming this much flavor into a can. It really is the superior beer vessel. Highly recommended. (912 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 russpowell
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours ebony with 3 fingers of mocha colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Coffee & faint cocoa, roasty grain

T: Much coffee & roasted grain up front, slight mocha sweetness as well. Charred grain & roasty bitterness as this warms, along with some cocoa bittereness. Finishes roasty, slight latte sweetness & a bit of booze bite

Medium bodied, firm carbonation, a bit of warming booze

I really like this take on a coffee stout that has some latte sweetness. Well done Santa Fe! (489 characters)

Photo of gford217
3.45/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jack for this 12oz can.

Settles in as a dark chocolate brown, just short of black, under a huge frothy beige head that shows excellent lacing.

Lots of roasted coffee and cocoa beans in the nose with some hints of lactose. The roasted black malts are the most dominant aspect.

Taste is sweet lactose and fresh roasted coffee with faint chocolate notes. It tastes a bit like a watered down iced mocha but with half the chocolate.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for a standard stout and on the lighter end if we're considering this one imperial. It's got strong carbonation and leaves a roasty bitterness on the palate.

I love coffee stouts but this is not one of my favorites. The coffee is subtle and doesn't really pop. It's a drinkable stout overall but not up there with the best coffee stouts or impy coffee stouts. (833 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 bump8628
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An Imperial Stout in a can - that's pretty kick ass. Looks like the real deal with a death pit black body and a swamp-bubbled espresso-colored topping of froth. The coffee is in the forefront and it seems like Santa Fe sprung for the good stuff. It's roasty as expected, but it's difficult to tease out what portion is from the coffee and which is from the malt. Chocolate and char are here too, as is a supporting smack of earthy hops. The only minor drawback to my full enjoyment is a twiggy woodiness that seems to be contributed by the coffee. This is good stuff nonetheless and great as a dessert beer. (607 characters)

Photo of RattleheadKV2
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
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. (955 characters)

Photo of Netdigger2
3.51/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Extra, Thanks IR!

Pours foggy black with a very nice mocha head, mild brown highlights, and mild lacing.

Smell has a lot of roasted malt, some burnt coffee, hints of wood, charred toast.

Taste is large amounts of roast and bitter, high SRM malt- how this doesn't look like used motor oil is beyond me with all of the roasted barley character. I pick up some coffee, high cacao chocolate and toasted oats.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, well carbonated without feeling like rootbeer.

This is good, not near Peche Mortel or WnB, but very drinkable. I think a better quality coffee character would make this exceptional (619 characters)

Photo of capybara
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured full can into a pint glass. Poured black with a fairly nice size tan head.

S: Smells of chocolate, mollases and a hint of coffee. Overall sweet smelling.

T: Starts with crisp refreshing hop profile that lingers throughout the entire taste. This soon is intertwined with chocolate, a kinda sweet molasses taste and a nice helping of coffee roasty flavor coming in towards the end. I really appreciate how the coffee wasn't over done. Overall has a sweet flavor that fits with style accordingly. The hop flavor really helps balance and crisp up the beer.

M: Really nice body. Not overwhelming but truly is thick enough to call an imperial stout. Leaves lots of carbonation on the glass the entire way down.

O: I enjoyed this beer much more than i expected. I gave a new attention towards santa fe brewing. Imperial Stouts are my favorite category of ale, and I've had a lot of the best. So i wasn't expecting much for an 8% caned imperial. But judging that i paid about 9 bucks for a 6er I'm very happy this this ale. Will buy again (1,042 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
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. (1,004 characters)

Photo of blakelive784
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz can served in a snifter, reviewed live:

A - Pours a nearly black color with a light tan, 2.5 finger head. The head is decently creamy, and retention is very good considering the relatively high ABV.

S - Ground coffee, espresso, light roasted barley, yeast, cream and a bit of peppery spice. Surprisingly mild in strength, though.

T - Nice fresh coffee and cream open over the roasted malt, though I wish it had more roast character. Has an almost mocha-esque taste to it. Dark fruit notes come through along with light spice. Subtly complex and well balanced. I dig it. No alcohol comes through at all.

M - Full bodied and silky smooth. Compliments the flavors nicely.

D - It's well built and well balanced. May not be for those who don't like unflavored coffee, but I'll certainly have it again. (813 characters)

Photo of mactrail
2.91/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Smells just like old, cold coffee. Hard to make it smell steamy and aromatic. Black in the glass, not a particularly big foam. Quite bitter, like espresso. Hard to tell the hops from the java. Winey and strong with alcohol. Rich with malt and slightly sweet.

Kind of an oddity, but if you llike coffee beers, this one is about as coffeed-up as any I've had. I can't get too far into this-- it just taste like iced coffee needing some cream. (442 characters)

Photo of JonathanG
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an undated can, into a Lion tulip. I actually really like the simplicity of the packaging. Seems like it could be a can for some sort of chocolate soda, or more likely a pre-mixed coffee drink. I also like the note on the can, "Not For Use With Donuts," as well as the monochromatic images of a coffee cup that says, "Before Noon," and a beer stein that says, "After Noon."

Dark brown, approaching black in color, with a tan, creamy head that leads to semi-sticky lacing.

Coffee is definitely present on the nose, along with mixed chocolate notes, as well as some dark fruits of plum and fig. Nice roasted malt notes without being overblown.

Tastes like liquid chocolate and coffee, again with some dark fruit on the finish. Sweetness is there, but it keeps the coffee notes in-check, which are not bitter or overpowering at all.

Mouthfeel is creamy and easy-going and pretty smooth. I don't think it would be difficult at all to drink several of these.

Overall this is an easy-to-drink, pleasant stout. I'd drink this again. (1,042 characters)

Photo of ocelot2500
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a n ebony color with a tight, tan head that leaves good sized bits of lacing.

Smells of deep roasted notes.

Tastes of the deep roasted notes with a moderate sweetness. Notes of coffee, chocolate, and brown sugar mostly make up the malt profile, with a little roasted bitterness coming through as well. Coffee is definitely part of the profile, but is not the main focus here. Some dark fruits also come through.

Mouthfeel is medium with a creamy amount of carbonation.

Overall, a pleasant surprise from a brewery that I never think about. Is it great? No, but it is still tasty and quite cheap ($1.59 a can). (618 characters)

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