Imperial Java Stout - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Imperial Java StoutImperial Java Stout

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BA SCORE
89
very good

197 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 197
Hads: 861
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.28%
Wants: 83
Gots: 147 | 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: 197 | Hads: 861
Photo of nsabo
3.09/5  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. (1,015 characters)

Photo of RattleheadKV2
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
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. (955 characters)

Photo of MoustacheHero
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
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. :-) (550 characters)

Photo of websherpa
4/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (464 characters)

Photo of jaymesbawned
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
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% (316 characters)

Photo of Rhettbuck
4.19/5  rDev +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. (957 characters)

Photo of wedge6128
2.11/5  rDev -47.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

I rarely say this as I find most beers to be to weak and love a good dark stout but this beer is way to strong. Its almost unbearable. The taste is like drinking a carbonated Black coffee with no sugar or dream and only the slight hint of a Stout beer flavor. In theory this was a great idea for a beer but in practice it is pretty bad. (336 characters)

Photo of StroppyMare
3.49/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Picked these up on a recent trip to Albuquerque. If they brew as well as they cook, I'll be in heaven...

Appearance: Inky and dark, like I like. Cream-colored head that didn't stick around long and left some trace lacing.

Smell: Promising. Very coffee and roasty, but seems balanced.

Taste: OMG, did someone say coffee? I expect grounds at the bottom of my glass. But there's also some roasted (almost burnt) malt, vanilla at the end. None of the flavors stick around or round out. No alcohol detectable.

Mouthfeel: Thinner than I would like. Prickly carbonation.

Overall: Not bad. A very drinkable beverage. Not exciting. I wouldn't turn another one down if it were offered, but there are other beers out there I'd buy first. (733 characters)

Photo of holden303
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
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. (997 characters)

Photo of tomfitz18
4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Beer itself thick and dark black. It had about an inch of tan creamy head. Left some lacing on the glass.
S: Smelled strongly of coffee, chocolate, and some caramel malt.
T: Tasted like mocha, then sweet with the chocolate, then slightly malty, and maybe a little vanilla at the end.
F: Kind of thick, very smooth on the palate, low carbonation, a pretty full mouth feel, and well balanced.
O: I really like this beer! I was very impressed by it. I had it after a long morning of exhausting mountain bike riding and it kept me up and feeling good the rest of the day. I could see this be a great morning beer. Also, I love that it comes in a can. (649 characters)

Photo of krrockwe
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer yesterday, and I was surprised by how good it tasted. Had it early afternoon and will definitely be buying this one for a camping trip (154 characters)

Photo of Liveupthere
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the can. A little browner than I expected, but black in the glass. Mouthfeel felt more like an ale than a stout. I would have liked a bit more syrupy/thicker consistency. Taste matched the coffee aroma. Exactly what I was hoping for. The 8% abv hides well. (268 characters)

Photo of Nathan451
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Not bad at all or better than okay. To be fair, I'm drinking straight from the can(+.5 points) ; but I'd like something to make it more complex (like a vanilla or more pronounced chocolate). There must be something about drinking straight from the can... nope, pored it to a glass and still taste something metallic and not quite enough chocolate. (347 characters)

Photo of Rock360
4.62/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great beer! Got a 6 pack on sale and really glad I picked it.

Did not pour it, drank from the can so look and smell are just educated guesses (I suppose it looks like a dark stout). Smell from the can is ok, stouts really aren't the greatest smelling imo but this stout you can smell some nice coffee aroma and a complex but good blend. Taste is very good with very nice feel. Very good beer and stouts are not really my thing other than here and there and in the fall maybe like October (I'm not big on October style heavily malted/barley flavored beer, stouts are ok though, have some complexity to them). (608 characters)

Photo of wlevando
4.48/5  rDev +12.3%
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." (1,438 characters)

Photo of Iluvink
4.65/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

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

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

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

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

Still a great coffee stout. (474 characters)

Photo of capybara
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
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 Bluedog1211
2.63/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours a dark brown to black with about an inch of head that quickly dissipates lacing remains on the glass with every sip.

Tastes like a day old Starbucks coffee which is not a terrible thing. Besides the stale coffee taste it finishes with a black licorice taste that remains in your mouth. Maybe some vanilla as it warms.

A lighter mouth feel than I expected but not a smooth swallow. (388 characters)

Photo of DIPA10
4.95/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Outstanding. Definitely one of the best coffee stouts I've had (of many). Very pronounced coffee aroma and flavor in a smooth, rich stout. If you like strong coffee and hearty stouts, you need to try this. (205 characters)

Photo of tylerf19
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour - this is not your "jet-black" motor oil imperial stout. The head was off white and rather small given the rate at which I was pouring. That being said, the coffee and roasty java aroma was released upon pouring. The head doesnt lace... there isn't much head unfortunately :(

Smell - Yes, it is definitely a JAVA stout.. coffee notes stand out, it is very roasty IMO.

taste - definitely tasting the same coffee / roast as in the aroma. Like I said, this is not a big robust imperial stout. There is no hop bitterness and not much chocolate malt (compared to other big stouts). But it is indeed a stout, and for coffee stout lovers, it is worth a try given the price and availability. It's quite sad that the head dies off very quickly while drinking (i like a stout with a thicker brown head). I'm not tasting much alcohol-booziness by the way.

mouthfeel - Again, im comparing this to "imperial stouts". It is a little more on the watery end (you can tell this right off the bat when you pour). But, you can feel the coffee fumes linger. Not much to say on mouthfeel... its not very watery, but its not like youre drinking a ten fidy or narwahl either. this is the only dislike I have about this brew...

overall - I tried this because of the price and its been staring at my since I've gotten in to stouts. The beer is a good beer, but with the competition it sees from other imperial stouts, I dont think it can hold a flame. But if you want to spend only $8 on a 6-pack for a good quality stout then give this one a shot... My review may sound negative but this is nowhere near a 3/5 crap brew.. just not up to par with the other beastly imperial stouts (though you get what you pay for) (1,699 characters)

Photo of kanthalot
4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had my doubts coming out of a can. This was a gift from my next door neighbor. I was very impressed with the color, the pour, most importantly the taste. This is a beer that I would drink again. (199 characters)

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

So many coffee stouts fail to give a potent coffee flavor. This one gives a strong espresso feel. If you like coffee and beer, this is the beer for you. (154 characters)

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Imperial Java Stout from Santa Fe Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 197 ratings.