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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

203 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 203
Hads: 882
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 21.8%
Wants: 88
Gots: 150 | 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: 203 | Hads: 882
Photo of Kemmerlin
4.19/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of emyers
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. can poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours near black with a thin medium brown head.

Smell: Coffee dominates the nose. Some cocoa powder, hints of caramel malt.

Taste: Once again, coffee is the dominant flavor. Some vanilla bean, milk chocolate, caramel malt. Just a tad rough around the edges flavor-wise and has a bit of lingering alcohol flavor, but the base flavors are all very solid.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, pretty smooth on the palate.

Overall: Certainly not the same caliber of a Founders Breakfast Stout (which I find it difficult not to compare other coffee stouts to), but a very solid offering nonetheless.

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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 bambam2517
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The most nose-on coffee present beer I've had in a couple years, feels exactly like I'm drinking a cup of Colombian coffee left to cool with a little sugar added in. Appearance could fool people as well, I would like to do a side by side comparison and see if my friends could definitely tell the difference. I'll have it on hand next time I go to a beer brunch.

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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 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 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 beesy
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at The Friendly Place in San Antonio. Poured from a 12oz can into a plastic pint glass ;). No canning date.

A - pours a deep deep brow that appears black in the glass. A huge 2.5 finger head that's medium khaki in color builds and fades fairly quickly. Some water falling from an aggressive pour.

S - coffee and chocolate are present but take a back seat to the malt. Man this thing smells über malty and wheaty. To be honest, it smells a lot like a mash more than a finished beer.

T - really malty in the taste too. Just like chewing on a mix of malt with some wheat tossed in. Chocolate and coffee bitterness come on in the mid palate and finish this beer off. Slightly campfire marshmallow flavor. It really just tastes a lot like unfermented first runnings.

M - medium bodied. Slightly rich and creamy but it thins out because of some drying effects later on.

D - lowing for me. There is nothing offensive about it but I just can't get over how much it tastes like sort right out of the mash tun.

Overall a pretty good tasting malty beer with nice notes of bakers chocolate and espresso. Very malty. As I indicated before - the malty flavors tAste like wheaty unfermented wort straight out of the tun.

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Photo of BeerWizard
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a six of this imperial stout for a ridiculous $7.50. Brown can has a coffee cup icon, tagged with the descriptors "ale with coffee beans", "before noon", and "not to be used with donuts". I could see a donut with this, though, especially if it were pre-noon.

First pour into a nonic generated a huge head that I had to stand around and wait for to finish pouring. Second one was more gentle and subdued (so it is possible). Black body, tan head. Aroma is very coffee and malty, some hops, and has that SFBC aroma to it. What is that, the water? Anyway, big coffee flavor and smoke. Not too heavy for an 8%, but I don't think I could do more than two in a sitting. Ok, maybe three. Creamy mouthfeel, and medium to low carbonation.

Pretty outstanding imperial stout, especially for the price and format. I like this, and I will get it again. Thanks Santa Fe.

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Photo of DillanWeems
4.41/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark, thick, nearly opaque. Little over a finger of head, decent lacing.

S: COFFEE! A bit of dark chocolate and malt.

T: Even more coffee! Dark, rich, roast; and lots of it. Great bitterness. Dark chocolate and malt still comes through, but the 8% abv is completely hidden.

M: thick and creamy full body the way an Imperial Stout should be.

Overall, coffee is the star of the show, and it is fantastic. Not as complex as some other big stouts, but it is Java Stout and it lives up to that name.

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Photo of 4balance
3.95/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of coltonbrimhall
4.57/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

- nice head but didnt last long but black beer :)
- smell is all coffee and burnt malt notes
-taste is very coffee strong maybe some light chocolate and burnt malts
- feel is thick and chewy
- overall a really good beer always a good choice, my top pick for coffee beers :)

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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 amcmaho1
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of starkmarvelo
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of ChuckHardslab
4.35/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of Netdigger2
3.51/5  rDev -12%
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

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours black with a one finger cream color head. Aroma is like a bag of unground coffee beans. Taste is super coffee forward, but not harsh or ashy. Mouthfeel is thin to medium, a bit lacking for a stout, but not bad. Overall a very coffee forward stout that is pretty darn good, I would like a touch more balance though.

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Photo of calcio360jrd
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
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

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Photo of MuFugga
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I would say this is an underrated beer just due to that its a New Mexico beer. Has a very good coffee flavor and a real nice mouth feel. The 8% abv is well hidden. This beer is a nice value at $9 at six pack when most similar beers are $10 or more a four pack. Can definitely hold its own against a even FBS. I only wish the availability stretched beyond the southwest. Try it if you see it!

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Photo of taxguyjase
3.38/5  rDev -15.3%
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

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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 ZoomanCru
4.07/5  rDev +2%
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

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Photo of Koufax21
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a snifter. The beer pours a deep dark brown and settles to black with ruby red edges when held to the light. A nice tan head sits on top and laces the glass well. The smell is coffee, big coffee. It tastes very similar to founders breakfast stout. Some bitter chocolate flavors and a solid roasted malt backbone. This is somewhat light in body for an imperial stout, but at 8% it seems to fit the bill. This could be the easiest drinking imperial stout I've ever had. Great carbonation and medium bodied. Another great beer from a solid brewery.

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Photo of mastodonj
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Imperial Java Stout from Santa Fe Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 203 ratings.