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Imperial Java Stout - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Imperial Java StoutImperial Java Stout

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

463 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 463
Reviews: 157
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 11.56%


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: 463 | Reviews: 157 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ZoomanCru
ZoomanCru

Colorado

4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Java Stout – Imperial Stout (8.0%) - Santa Fe Brewing Co. (New Mexico)
☆☆☆☆

App: Utterly and completely black. Pours a dark, syrup like color very indicative of the style. Allowed to warm before pouring, this beer forms a two and a half finger head with fine bubbles that dissipates fairly quickly, but leaves a good amount of lace clinging to the glass.

Smell: Smells immediately like pretty good dark coffee. Some maltiness,volatility, and a slight hop character compete, but coffee reigns supreme. Roasted malts compliment the coffee notes and add their own level of diverse characteristics.

Taste: Deep coffee character supported superbly by malt profile that sweetens. The first coffee beer I've had that wasn't overly bitter or extracted tasting. (Grew up in a coffee roastery) The balance achieved here is remarkable. Though coffee takes the predominant flavor role, much is to be said for the heavy malt profile too, which make this beer highly enjoyable. Lingering bitterness that is decidedly like coffee and not hops. This might be sacrilege, but it would make a great beer float.

Mouth: Creamy and heavy bodied as a result of the significant malt profile, but with enough cofee added to make it crisp and dry. Whereas most stouts leave a lingering sweetness on the palate after swallowing, this brew instead leaves a persistent and pleasant roasted taste.

Home tasting, 12oz can into Pint Glass. 12/15/13

Serving type: can

12-16-2013 04:50:48 | More by ZoomanCru
Photo of mastodonj
mastodonj

Colorado

3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

yet another reason to say that canned beers have caught up with bottled beer.

A deep dark brown color with a beige head, fairly minimal in extent. Good lacing though.
Excellent smokey nose.

A wonderful complex taste with smokey, oakey, chocolatey coffee flavors. And somewhere, somehow, a little bit of spiciness works its way in.

The excellent mouthfeel makes this very drinkable and is topped off
by a real clean finish.

Altogether, this will be something i'll look for although with the
minimalist labeling, you may have to really keep your eye out.

Serving type: can

01-12-2012 03:07:15 | More by mastodonj
Photo of amcmaho1
amcmaho1

New Mexico

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
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 Bennettrox
Bennettrox

Tennessee

4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to optimator13 for this one!

A - Jet black, like pouring a morning cup of joe. Half finger khaki head the slowly dissipates.

S - Smells of roasted coffee. If I didn't know any better I would think that I was just poured a great local coffee! Bittersweet chocolate and a little wood.

T - Following the nose this is full of burnt roasted coffee. Deep flavor of heavy malts. The more this warms up the more I'm enjoying the deep dark coffee taste, not much sweetness which I think I like. Coffee is the star!

M - Light but chewy at the same time. This goes down very easy with almost a tiny burn at the end. Medium carbonation.

O - Life would be sweet if I could start my morning off with a cup of Imp Java Stout. As a coffee head I really enjoyed this one! Thanks Evan!

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2011 16:41:51 | More by Bennettrox
Photo of scarfield
scarfield

Nebraska

3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

Serving type: can

06-08-2012 02:07:54 | More by scarfield
Photo of XicanoBeerRun
XicanoBeerRun

Texas

3.33/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured like used motor oil, black and opaque, and not thick like some stouts. Cocoa head about 1/8 inch thick dissipated rapidly. Smells like chocolate and coffee. I know this is not too creative, but it is all I could come up with. Taste: chocolate cake, chocolate covered coffee beans. The coffee was not as prominent as I had expected. I enjoyed this. It was somehow refreshing, which I do not expect from a stout.

I’ll have another.

Serving type: can

07-23-2012 19:48:36 | More by XicanoBeerRun
Photo of calcio360jrd
calcio360jrd

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had both can and draft here in Santa fe, first one was a can so i'll go with that.

This is a great coffee stout from Santa fe brewery. Has that rich dark brown color that stays away from the motor oil color that seems to be the rage now. What a nose on this one! As a big coffee drinker, 3 cups a day, the coffee smell on this is utterly fantastic. Not to heavy on the pallette, I was surprised when I saw this was 8%, this drinks incredibly smooth. Packing some of this up and shipping it to myself in florida!

Jason D

Serving type: can

06-07-2011 13:40:42 | More by calcio360jrd
Photo of Heischman
Heischman

Georgia

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer/Brewery - Imperial Java Stout - Santa Fe Brewing Company
City/State- Santa Fe, New Mexico
STYLE – American Double / Imperial Stout
ABV – 8%
IBU – 50?
DATE – 4 JAN 2012 (#005 of 365 Beers of 2012)
SERVING TYPE – 12 oz CAN
GLASSWARE – American Pint
APPEARANCE – Black non translucent ½ inch creamy head cocoa brown in color nice lacing on the glass
AROMA- coffee with cream and a hint of hops
TASTE – Coffee with notes of cream, almost a cappuccino very mild though. There is a hint of hops in the after taste
MOUTHFEEL – Creamy and smooth with very mild carbonation level. Leave a wonderful warming sensation in the chest.
CONCLUSION – Good stout was worried because of the can thing, but a wonderful brew!
-JH-

Serving type: can

01-05-2012 00:50:29 | More by Heischman
Photo of JonathanG
JonathanG

Colorado

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.

Serving type: can

02-02-2012 15:28:00 | More by JonathanG
Photo of nsabo
nsabo

Washington

3.08/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first bit of praise is unnecessary and is in no way an indicator of this beer’s quality, but I gotta give props for the artwork. Totally brown can with its name at the bottom and a tiny nondescript picture of a coffee cup/beer pitcher. No big, flashy logo. If communists had state beer, this is about what their artwork would look like.
Okay, but on to the beer. The coffee is surprisingly balanced, it’s the dominant taste without taking over and becoming the only taste (unlike Bridgeport’s coffee porter, bleh). Each sip finishes with a crisp bitter blend of hops and coffee. Some baker’s chocolate, vanilla and cloves make this is a fairly sweet stout.
I like this, but I have to knock it for calling itself an Imperial stout. Thin mouthfeel, light shines through its dark brown color, and while tasty it’s not very complex. It drinks like a session beer, and when I drink an imperial stout I want to savor, not session it.
Call it a coffee stout and enjoy; just don’t expect anything imperial.

Serving type: can

12-23-2011 04:59:17 | More by nsabo
Photo of bpasquini
bpasquini

California

4.44/5  rDev +11.6%
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!

Serving type: can

01-05-2014 07:34:42 | More by bpasquini
Photo of Netdigger2
Netdigger2

South Carolina

3.48/5  rDev -12.6%
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

Serving type: can

02-10-2012 21:24:26 | More by Netdigger2
Photo of RattleheadKV2
RattleheadKV2

New Mexico

4.1/5  rDev +3%
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.

Serving type: can

02-27-2012 04:40:47 | More by RattleheadKV2
Photo of MoustacheHero
MoustacheHero

Colorado

3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A canned offering from New Mexico.

A- Looks like a fresh poured coke, from its dark cola colour to its very bubbly head.

S- A powerful coffee smell dominates with hints of barley.

T- Like an amazing cup of coffee with undertones of hot liquor. Roasty all the way through and finishes clean, not bitter like many coffee stouts.

M- Surprisingly light bodied, this beer drinks very bubbly and slightly slick.

O- Overall I was impressed by this brews balance, drinkability and simple presentation. I'd order this in place of coffee any morning. :-)

Serving type: can

06-02-2011 05:49:45 | More by MoustacheHero
Photo of websherpa
websherpa

Montana

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There isn't a whole lot to this beer. It's dark has a great tan-brown head that sticks around for a while. It's heavy duty on the coffee flavor, but I'm not a coffee junkie so I can't tell you specifically which way it leans. It's got some supporting chocolate as well, but the coffee far out shines. Finish is nice with a good long aftertaste to tide you over. Well made beer in a can. It's not over the top in flavor so you can put back a few in a night I think.

Serving type: can

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

Texas

4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Santa Fe Imperial Java Stout

A- Pours dark brown with a thick light brown 3 finger head.

S- earthy, fresh ground coffee and dark chocolate.

T- follows the nose very well. The earthy coffee flavor hits the palate first followed by chocolate flavors and slight hop bitterness to round out the finish.

M- medium mouthfeel with a moderate amount of carbonation. Not much in the aftertaste.

O- this is an excellent coffee stout. I like the dirty/earthy flavors of the coffee. It's definitely on the lower end of the Imperial ABV, but it makes it more drinkable. The price point is also excellent, $9-$11 for a six pack.

Serving type: can

10-15-2012 02:29:14 | More by starkmarvelo
Photo of Rhettbuck
Rhettbuck

Colorado

4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I snagged this beer at a liquor store in KC, MO. Actually drank it in the morning. Would highly recommend if you like either stouts or java beers.

Appearance: Dark like motor oil, good lacing around the glass with a foamy head that dissipates rather quickly. As a side note, the can design is very simple, which I appreciated

Smell: Strong, you can definitely tell that this is a java stout when you pour it. Some of the other reviewers have discussed the coffee beans that are used for this beer. If you love coffee as I do, then just the smell of this beer might be enough to justify purchasing it.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Perhaps the least exciting part of the beer, which is not to say that it was anything but great. Maybe slightly over-carbonated, and the aftertaste is clearly coffee. Slight bite when you first take a sip, which makes it good too.

OVERALL: I would recommend that you pick up some of this beer, if you like either coffee or stouts.

Serving type: can

08-15-2013 17:31:12 | More by Rhettbuck
Photo of JGlitz87
JGlitz87

Texas

3.76/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Deep dark brown, almost black. Nearly opaque. Small off white head that leaves a decent amount of lacing down the side of the glass.

S: Lots of lots coffee. Chocolate and malts underneath.

T: Mirrors the smell. Dark espresso coffee dominates the flavor profile. Chocolate and roasted malts fill out the taste. Not for those that do not like their coffee black. Slightly creamy.

F: Medium carbonation and moderate to heavy body. Hides the alcohol well.

O: Good coffee stout. A bit strong on the coffee, but since this is advertised as a java stout, I knew what I was getting into to.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2013 00:53:49 | More by JGlitz87
Photo of 4balance
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.

Serving type: can

05-14-2012 05:38:00 | More by 4balance
Photo of Cvescalante
Cvescalante

Texas

4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2013 02:57:34 | More by Cvescalante
Photo of holden303
holden303

Colorado

3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
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 MammothTarantula
MammothTarantula

Oklahoma

4/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Serving type: can

03-22-2012 02:01:49 | More by MammothTarantula
Photo of jaymesbawned
jaymesbawned

Texas

3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a tulip. Nice superdark tone, light tan head. Didn't get as much coffee on the nose as I would have liked, but this got better as it warmed. The taste was much better. strong coffee without overwhelming. nice balanced malts with a touch of hop bitter. Overall very solid beer, especially at 8%

Serving type: can

08-23-2012 20:56:30 | More by jaymesbawned
Photo of ChuckHardslab
ChuckHardslab

Texas

4.36/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Poured from a can into a nonic pint glass. It pours an opaque black coffee color with a 1 to 2 finger cappucino colored head that dissipated fairly quickly to a thin cap that stayed until the bottom of the glass. It left moderate amounts of sticky lacing down the glass.

Aroma: The smell is of quality dark roasted coffee with some roasted malts, brown bread and mild earthy hops.

Taste: Black coffee, bitter roasted malt, slight toffee, chocolate and sweetness. It finishes with coffee's bitterness and slight acidic twang. There's enough hop presence to balance it out. It's a smooth finish with a pleasant bitterness that lingers a bit on the back of the tongue. The high alcohol content is very well tucked away inside the complex flavors and only gives the slightest hint of warmth on the finish.

Mouthfeel: A medium-full bodied creamy stout with moderate carbonation.

I bought this because it's the holidays and the weather has actually been cool enough for me to enjoy sipping on a stout while sitting on my front porch. This is an excellent example of a coffee stout that I will be purchasing again, highly recommended.

Serving type: can

12-24-2013 01:59:10 | More by ChuckHardslab
Photo of wlevando
wlevando

Colorado

4.54/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can into a pint glass (for the 30th time in the past 12 months).
Caveat 1: This is one of my favorite beers. It is the first "real" beer that my wife came to appreciate, and since good, dark, complex draughts have been something that we've enjoyed together.

Caveat 2: This review is written while dinner is cooking. The subtleties are not tempered by a quick chew between draughts.

Eyes: Nearly opaque with red-brown tinges. Exciting, foamy head, especially in my wife's "dizzy" glass (indented-bottom tight-lipped snifter)

Nose: Strongly caramel and vanilla espresso with something (dry? spicy? hot? ) replacing the milk for an after-work latte. Not overwhelming or inspiring, but it is still inviting.

Tongue: A complex beer (see caveat 2 and my take). Quick hit of vanilla and lasting sweetness yields to chipotle. Spice fades over ~10 seconds, leaving pleasant coffee bitterness, roasty and sweet. Nice balance of malt (first time any beer characteristic needs be invoked).

Face: Dry, but lasting warmth. Nice, but fleeting (very few 10s seconds) lubrication leaves no dryness or desire.

My take: One of the very best beers ever commercially released (though see caveat 1). NOT A SESSION BEER. The 8% ABV notwithstanding, the subtleties invite contemplation. Great, instead, with light snacks and the best damned friends one's got. I cannot put it better than my cousin, leaning in for a group hug, "This beer makes me happy."

Serving type: can

02-06-2013 03:01:04 | More by wlevando
Imperial Java Stout from Santa Fe Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 463 ratings.