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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: 883
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 21.8%
Wants: 88
Gots: 151 | 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: 883
Photo of Foxybrau
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A little underwhelmed by this beer. Definitely has the look and strength of a stout, but missing the subtlety. I wasn't intrigued at all by either the smell or taste. Very coffee and alcohol forward so there's nowhere to go after that. If you're looking for 8% espresso this is it; and it's tasty by those standards, but doesn't hold up against many other coffee-centric stouts in overall quality.

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Photo of Bennettrox
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
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!

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Photo of scarfield
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

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Photo of Heischman
3.99/5  rDev 0%
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)
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!

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Photo of JonathanG
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of HugoSnyder
4/5  rDev +0.3%

A - Pours dark, almost black, with a brown coffee head. The head has decent retention that foams back up really nicely when agitated, even after it had completely dissipated. Great lacing throughout.

S - The aroma was of coffee and malt. Notes of caramel, bitter chocolate and mocha.

T - Tastes of coffee and chocolate. Also, detectable hop bitterness.

M - Surprising light bodied. Medium carbonation. Booze was well hidden.

O - Really enjoyed this stout. The only downfall for me, as others have stated here, was how surprisingly light bodied it felt. Would definitely drink again, especially on a rainy day like today.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. :-)

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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.

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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%

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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."

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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