Imperial Java Stout - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Imperial Java StoutImperial Java Stout

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

847 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 847
Reviews: 206
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 84
Gots: 145 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 847 | Reviews: 206
Photo of suspect
3.42/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a Duvel snifter.

A: As per usual with a stout it pours deep dark brown almost black in color. Aggressive glug-glug pour leads to a growing 2 finger whipped mocha colored head that leaves plenty of lacing and nice rocky clouds on the top.

S: Over-brewed coffee and some dark toasted malts are the highlights of this one. Sometimes the coffee smells well blended and thoughtfully picked out. This is not one of those times. It doesn't really blend well and the bitterness really just overpowers.

T: Coffee and coffee grounds are what hit me the most with this one. There is a nutty flavor in the finish which is a pleasant surprise.

M: Creamy big finish. Just the right amount of carbonation for my liking with a stout like this.

O: A good, not great, beer. An easy drinking, nice touch putting it in the can.

Photo of sweethome
3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
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!

Photo of Cvescalante
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours a dark brown cola color, with a medium sized head of foam that fades quickly.

S- Coffee forward, some sweet chocolate, very roasted almost burnt malt aromas.

T- Coffee bomb! Roasted coffee and sweet, sugary, chocolatey flavors balance very well.

M- Medium bodied, very smooth, wet finish, not much carbonation. Pretty great for what the beer is supposed to be like.

O- I really enjoy this one! Perfect price point, and great quality for a wonderful coffee bomb of a stout... Did a blind tasting with similar beers in this style and it definitely hangs with the best according to our group.

Photo of humuloner22
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this one as an extra from trade. Poured from plain brown can. I like the minimalist design!

Appearance: Dark as night, very much like you would expect from a stout. Large frothy head with some light caramel notes, more on the side of butterscotch in color. Body is not completely light evading but it is very dark. You can see some light around the edges if you look closely.

Aroma: Dark roasted grains, some caramel and vanilla in the aroma. Coffee seemed to be very dominant when I first opened the beer but as time went on it faded.

Taste: Well balanced bitter dark coffee notes and some sweet to balance it out, really well made coffee stout. Reminds me a lot of one from my local area.

Overall: I love coffee stouts and I am happy I had the opportunity to try this one. It was very well made. I would certainly seek this one out again and I would like to make a trip to the Land of Enchantment to try some of their other breweries, I hear they are doing some really cool things down there!

Photo of czechsaaz
2.95/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Really malty smelling, nice roast and a little bit of coffee. Fruity yeast too.

Deep black. Half inch tan head that lingers as a little layer and leaves a touch of lacing.

Very sweet flavor but with a nice coffee aftertaste. Black and sweet maybe? Overall, it's too sweet for my taste. I have a hard time focusing on anything else. There's a bit of toasty stout and yeast but it doesn't get through unless I'm really trying.

Slightly warming and not as full bodied as most Impy Stout.

Not one I'll be stocking in my fridge.

Photo of riored4v
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 9/7/11

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of mjpolzin
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Photo of alaimoa
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Extra tossed in on a trade and I was surprised at how tasty this was
Overall nothing special about the pour with limited head and very aggressive spent coffee grind forward smell with a hint of leather and roastiness Flavor is what surprised positively with a very nice balance of sweet cocoa, roasted coffee packaged in a nice smooth finish with a solid medium heavy mouthfeel. I would buy again as a cold winter night drinker

Photo of Lerxst
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to chugalug06 for this extra

A-Pours a dark brown with a one and half finger sized coffee colored head that has fair retention and leaves wisps of lace.

S-A nice coffee aroma-not like espresso or anything, more like your regular cup o 'joe- but it is a nice aroma. Some roasted malt/barley and hints of chocolate. Smells good. Not terribly complex, but very pleasant.

T-A nice medium roast coffee flavor dominates, some charred malt notes come through along with hints of bakers chocolate. Not the most complex stout I've ever had, but it is pleasant to drink.

M-For an RIS, this is somewhat on the lighter side with much harsher carbonation than usually found for the style. This feels much more like a porter than a RIS. This is the weak point of this beer, IMO.

O-A nice stout that would benefit greatly from a more viscous and luxurious mouthfeel. With the harsh carbonation it seems more like a coffee soda pop. Overall, I have to give it a 4 because it looks good, smells good, tastes good-the mouthfeel is the only thing lacking here, so overall its still a 4.

Photo of SomethingClever
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz can poured into Spiegelau glass

A: super dark big head but it disappeared quickly some light escapes the corners

S: tons of coffee some light caramel lots of roast

T: pure coffee its a better coffee taste than most beers it actually tastes like coffee rather than the way roasted beans smell the coffee has a rich slightly sweet taste

M: medium to slightly fuller its not super thick but its still pleasing maybe its oily so it still coats the tongue a little

O: This is probably one of the easiest drinking coffee beers I've ever had and the best overall coffee taste. It puts FBS to shame.

Photo of angelmonster
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an extremely dark brown color with hazelnut highlights. Head is a 1/4 inch and is tan/milk chocolate in color. Head retention is above average and lacing is good.

Smell is of strong, roasted coffee/espresso. Sweet caramel malts come through next followed by more bitter coffee. Hops and alcohol are pretty much non present here, the aromas are all about coffee.

Taste is very similar to smell, dark roasted strong coffee mixed with a typical stout. Chalky, Biscuit malts are also there but the coffee really shines in this beer. Bitterness from coffee paired with the hops does a nice job to contrast the rich dark malts. Alcohol is not really detected.

Mouthfeel is a bit light for an imperial stout and strongly carbonated. Body was very smooth though on the lighter side. Head contributed some cappuccino frothiness for about half the beer.

Overall this beer is a total coffee bomb and I love it. My favorite style is Coffee stout and this brew is definitely on the heavy side of coffee flavoring. Only downsides to this beer were that it was a bit too thin to be classified as a imperial stout and I would have liked to taste some different flavors like chocolate,vanilla, smoke etc to complement the onslaught of java. That being said at 8 bucks for a six pack, this beer is a steal and shall become a staple in my fridge.

Photo of mdcrouser
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

My first beer from Santa Fe Brewing - I've heard good things and am looking forward to this one. Great design too - ironically, created by a KC-based agency.

Looks outstanding from the can - a finger of a creamy sand-colored head caps this pint of intense darkness.

Some of the biggest coffee on the nose I've come across - very much a "breakfast-like" stout.

Percolating on the tongue, dark, coffee-heavy - much more pervasive and deep than actual coffee ever is. Reminds me of the few times I've had espresso. Wishing there was another layer to this one - vanilla, roasty, something else - just to provide a constrast.

Less creamy than I'd expected and hoped - pops a bit on the tongue instead.

This one's best with just a hint of chill left on it. In truth, room temperature is when coffee has the most flavor to it. That's the rule here as well. Heavy as it is, I could enjoy quite a bit of this - even at 8%, it seems like a big session beer.

Photo of BigBarley
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Poured hard it brings up about 1.5 fingers of tan/brown head. Extremely dark brown, though a little lighter than most imperial stouts.

S - Coffee all over. Seriously, first smell lets you know this is a coffee bomb of a beer. Mild notes of chocolate and smoke just below, but predominantly a coffee smell.

T - Did I say coffee? This beer takes the Java aspect to a whole new level. Knowing of this beers existence I'll never need to buy coffee again, it fills that niche so well. 100% Dark coffee with mild malty undertone that comes to a dry but sweet finish. Very satisfying flavor, assuming you bought this with the Java in mind.

M - Not really as thick as a standard imperial stout, but thick enough. Very smooth drinking, hides the 8% extremely well. Creamy when swished, just enough carbonation to compliment the flavor, refreshing and fullbodied.

O - If you like coffee but wanna feel that alkie warmth, keep some of these on hand. Great, standup flavor that embraces the coffee quality and delivers what the name promises

Photo of blakelive784
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Photo of JoeAmerican77
4.19/5  rDev +4%
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!

Photo of lnashsig
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Photo of TBoneJones
4/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of VashonGuy
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

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.

Photo of bcostner1
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown/lighter black; definitely not a pitch black stout. Crazy heavy carbonation...too much actually (could be a by-product of transporting it in my checked suitcase on a plane but that was 3 months ago and it's been in the fridge since then).

S: Coffee, chocolate, char. Enticing.

T: Great tasting coffee stout. Very well balanced elements of the bitterness from the coffee and a an underlying smoky char along with the sweetness of chocolate that tastes like semi-sweet chocolate chips.

M: Easy drinker. Very satisfying. No detectable alcohol at all.

Overall, a very solid coffee stout. Not in my top 3 of the style, but definitely top 5-10. Would have again.

Photo of lordofstarside
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Can to a snifter, best by 12/20/?

Pours black with two fingers of micha colored foam. No light gets through when held up to the window. Moderate carbonation helps this thing keep good retention, good lacing. Not a single thing not to like

Smells of upfront roasted espresso that eclipses dark chocolate notes, a little bit of hoppiness, and finishes with some alcohol

Taste is right with the nose, strong espresso that is pretty dominant over chocolate malts and hop undertones. A little bit of alcohol on the finish, but the coffee is the main flavor. Not necessarily a bad thing

Feel is bitter with a full body and dry sticky finish. Alcohol is concealed well, very drinkable

Overall this has more coffee in it than any other coffee stout I've had. Excellent even two months past it's prime. I saved one out of the six to throw in the cellar to see what happens. Six for $10 is a great deal, must buy for anyone who likes 'em dark

Photo of bpasquini
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours more brown than black, but when sitting in the glass it is pitch black, left a small tan head on a heavy pour, leaves very little lacing around the glass, appropriate look for a stout

S: Huge amount of coffee! It's almost the only thing you can smell. I can notice some chocolate but it is very faint, also very slight booziness to it, the coffee smell is rather pleasing to the nose

T: The taste follows the nose, rich in coffee, some slight chocolate that gives it some sweetness, can't notice the alcohol at all, I made a mistake pouring this into a snifter, drink this out of a coffee mug!

M: Medium to thick bodied, has a nice oily/creamy mouthfeel to it which makes it very drinkable, easily one of the smoothest drinking stouts I have had!

O: Not much diversity to this beer, but with what Santa Fe gives you in this brew it is executed excellently, definitely a must try for every stout lover out there!

Photo of jdwilliamson79
4.34/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Awesome. Exactly what I look for in a stout. Great coffee flavor.

Photo of zander4dawin
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bold mocha coffee flavors on a big imperial stout, lots of green hops on the end.

Photo of Kemmerlin
4.19/5  rDev +4%
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.

Photo of brurevu
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The Sante Fe Java Stout poured pitch black with a thick tan head and the heavy coffee aroma wafted from the glass and perked my senses. The rich coffee aroma lead into an enormous coffee flavor that enhanced the sweet malty stout with a hint of burnt roasty nuttiness on the follow through. The Java Stout had a rich and creamy mouthfeel that made for a fantastic brew that was deceptively drinkable considering its high alcohol content. A perfect breakfast beer and a highly underrated beer IMHO.

Imperial Java Stout from Santa Fe Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 847 ratings.