Imperial Java Stout - Santa Fe Brewing Company
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Ratings: 602 | Reviews: 165 | Display Reviews Only:
3.9/5 rDev -2.5%
Sampled at 1702; April 2009
This has a huge nose full of coffee notes that are all encompassing. The beer is black, quite dark, though it does have a touch of brown to it if you check closely. The beer arrives from the tap with only a ring of lightly browned foam that clings to the edges of the glass. The aroma is definitely coffee, complex coffee, but purely and simplistically coffee; I don't get any sense of the base beer here. The coffee contributes aromas of chocolate, a slight woody note, ample toasted aromatics and perhaps even a touch of burnt tobacco; overall the aroma is incredibly smooth and I like that it packs so much coffee aromatics without getting harsh.
The flavor has lots of coffee flavor; dark chocolate notes, a slight tannic roast wood note (almost seems a bit like cedar), some burnt berry notes. The coffee flavors are quite smooth with very little roast-acidity or acrid flavors. Some toasted malt flavors are noticeable and reminds me of a hardy browned bread. The texture is quite nice; not too heavy, though not light, but it has enough heft to carry the dominant coffee character well.
This is not a very complex beer overall, it is definitely coffee oriented, but the coffee is done quite well. If you like coffee then this beer is definitely for you. I am finding myself quite enjoying this beer. It has just enough of a roast edge to it to balance the smooth coffee and light dark malt sweetness and keep these from being cloying.
05-24-2009 16:12:19 | More by Gueuzedude
3.1/5 rDev -22.5%
12 fl oz can acquired at Davidson's Liquors in Lone Tree, Colorado and served into a nonical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I fancy the style but I've never tried a beer from this brewery.
Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
The can cracked open and immediately started surging, indicating overcarbonation.
A: Pours a five finger khaki head of nice cream, nice thickness, and impressive retention for the high ABV. Colour is a predictable nontransparent solid black. No yeast particles are visible - but it's nontransparent. No bubble show.
Sm: Heavy coffee bean, coffee roast, cream, and dark malts. Coffee is definitely dominant, but it seems overdone; I worry about the balance. A moderate strength aroma.
T: Heavy coffee with a touch of roast, accompanied by some cream. Dark malts comprise the unobtrusive foundation. Hints of chocolate here and there don't amount to anything distinct or particularly impactful. Full-bodied.
Mf: Strangely syrupy and viscous - hot damn. Entirely too smooth and wet for the style - which demands dryness and coarseness. Adequate carbonation. It complements the flavours fairly well, but is far from ideal.
Dr: Quite drinkable and enjoyable, but far from complex or simple. The ABV is well disguised. Coffee is handled well here, but the base requires much more roasted barley. I'd have it again preferably on nitro-draught. Fairly priced. I look forward to trying more beers from this brewery.
05-31-2012 01:22:23 | More by kojevergas
District of Columbia
3.38/5 rDev -15.5%
12 oz can shared at BASC release.
Dark coffee color with a tan head, minimal lacing and retains a collar throughout. Aroma is strong burnt coffee, with mild cream and sweetness. Roast coffee, and faint hop bitterness are the focus of the flavor. Way too carbonated though, knocking this down a few notches in the rating. Not bad, could be better.
08-15-2011 00:32:14 | More by yourefragile
4.53/5 rDev +13.3%
Another incredible CAN from Blargimus in support of The CANQuest (TM)! It really pays to advertise and my ISO post caused a lot of people to offer up all kinds of new CANs. I am so excited that I am downright giddy ...
From the CAN: "before noon [coffee cup and saucer depicted] not for use with donuts."; "after noon [beer mug depicted] ale with coffee beans." The best part was that the opening was aligned with the "after noon" side of the CAN.
The Crack revealed another nearly brimful CAN and the inverted Glug had both a cascading quality as well as producing two fingers of dense, deep-tan head with excellent retention. Color was a deep, dark-brown with limited light penetration and ruby highlights at the edges. As the head finally dissipated, I was ready! Nose had a heady coffee roastiness and I began to wonder how it might actually work with donuts. Mouthfeel was thick, full and creamy with a bitter coffee flavor not much behind what I brew up every morning. I am a retired US Navy sailor and not only do I like my java hot and black, but it should also have the consistency of mud. Man, but this was like a jolt to the CNS at 2023 (EDT)! Finish was equally bitter and I was contemplating trying to score a donut somewhere just to test the theory. My heart began banging against my breastbone and I knew I was alive. Not many beers will do that to me. My my my. YMMV.
08-30-2012 00:26:21 | More by woodychandler
3.75/5 rDev -6.3%
A: Pours an opaque but clear very dark brown (almost black) in color with some minimal to light amounts of visible carbonation and a faint amount of cola brown highlights. The beer has a finger tall creamy tan head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of very roasted malts (almost burnt) with more moderate notes of coffee and some charred malts. Lighter notes of sugary sweetness including some hints of vanilla.
T: Upfront there are moderate to strong flavors of dark roasted, almost burnt malts and freshly roasted coffee. There are some lighter flavors of charred malts towards the finish. Additionally there are some lighter notes of milky/sugary sweetness (like what you would get if you had added sweetened condensed milk to espresso) and hints of vanilla + cocoa. Light amounts of bitterness in the finish that fade rather quickly.
M: Just shy of full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly creamy.
O: A little sweeter than I normally prefer my bigger stouts - I like the coffee and roasted malt flavors but there was a little too much sweetness (though I am a black coffee drinker normally so I know that is specific to my palate). Definitely enjoyable and with a very nice coffee presence.
06-19-2013 15:26:15 | More by dbrauneis
4/5 rDev 0%
Lightproof black colored beer with a small brown colored head that doesn't last.
Smells of chocolate and coffee with a little smoke. Malty aroma it smells fairly sweet.
Starts out semi sweet with a strong coffee bitterness. This gets sweeter as you drink it and the chocolate comes on strong. This gets sweeter as you drink it and quickly starts tasting like a mild milk stout. Coffee taste is strong and the bitterness is moderate. Alcohol is completely hidden.
Mouthfeel is good.
Overall a tasty coffee beer that is very easy drinking.
11-27-2012 02:13:03 | More by Zorro
4.22/5 rDev +5.5%
12oz can thanks to oglmcdgl, always excited to try some new breweries in this thing of ours.
The appearance on this supposed Russian Imperial Stout is black, yup, you guessed it, black, pretty much motor oil. The head is 3/4ths of an inch with a cream colored tan head that's semi full and milkshake looking, not a bunch of stick.
Smell is all coffee and vanilla and cream and well you get the picture. A whole lot of Java going on with vanilla bean, espresso, roasted malt, char, chocolate and the like.
Taste is what I what is expected from the nose, a java experience. Not sure why this is Dubbed as a RIS, it meets double imperial real well, but does not have the roast or full chocolate and imperial tastes that im accustomed to. If this is a imperial coffee than yes. Taste of jaa, slight, cream brulee, anilla bean, roasted malt and a touch of licorice
Feel is pretty robust and hits all the right points. Id say this is approaching full bodied but is hovering over medium. the carb is there and fullfilling yet not bitey.
If this was in my area, i would pick up a case, this is a great coffee stout and it comes in a can no less. Santa Fe should come to Philly, what's the hold up??
05-06-2011 07:07:54 | More by BARFLYB
4.15/5 rDev +3.8%
12 ounce can into snifter, no canning date. Pours pitch black with some brown on the edges; with a huge 2-3 finger khaki head with incredible retention that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Some nice lacing clinging to the glass as well. Aromas of big roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, biscuit, and some herbal hops. Very nice and well balanced aromas. Taste of big chocolate, roasted coffee, caramel, roasted malt, toast, and light spiciness. Good amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of coffee, roasted malt, caramel, and herbal spiciness. Nice balance of flavors with a good amount of robustness. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a decently creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Very easy to drink for 8%, and there is really no alcohol presence noticed. Overall this is a great coffee stout! I am guessing this was at least over a year old, but it has held up the coffee flavors quite nicely. Nice balance of flavors and easily drinkable.
02-08-2012 04:38:40 | More by superspak
4.1/5 rDev +2.5%
Imperial Java Stout
Santa Fe Brewing Company
Style: American Double / Imperial Stout
ABV: 8.00 %
LOOK: Pours an oily, darkest of blacks with no light permeating through. Off white, short livid khaki colored head forms and recedes away.
SMELL: Roasted coffee, chocolate, mocha, spent grains, alcohol, wet dog.
TASTE: Nice robust coffee notes upfront, giving way to charcoal, chocolate and a mild bitter hop flavor. There is plenty of delicious coffee notes and a bit of an off flavor as well. Its easy to overlook since the coffee flavors are strong and enjoyable.
FEEL: Full bodied, well carbonated, smooth, and very easy drinking. Drinks like a bubbly dark roast coffee.
OVERALL: This was a tasty coffee beer that is a step away from being a world beater. I really liked the depth of chocolate and coffee notes. A fine canned offering.
06-18-2012 17:43:55 | More by Stinkypuss
District of Columbia
4.25/5 rDev +6.3%
The beer is the color of my morning ritual cup of coffee. Dark brown, nearing black. The beige head is thick and leaves sticky residue in its wake.
The aroma offers a potent dose of coffee right off the bat. Certainly aimed at the coffee aficionado.
Some roast and chocolate notes, which is to be expected. Coffee takes center stage, however. Dark roast leads the way, then transitions to a chocolate bread flavor lingering in the finish. Very good.
Rich and creamy feel with none of the unpleasant bitterness sometimes found in a bold coffee beer.
A solid beer. I would definitely have this again.
02-17-2013 04:12:22 | More by Huhzubendah
3.83/5 rDev -4.3%
A nice, simple looking can design. Can simplicity be art? Methinks so. Anywho..the beer...
Dark pour. Deep brown, "light" black. Foamed up to about a finger of off-brown head, then settles to a ring. Would like to see more froth, but it does look good.
Chocolate, cocoa, baked coffee beans in the aroma. Roasted malt, maybe some oats. Overall, a stout with some coffee, but a coffee stout? A bit light
Flavors are nice, albeit not in-yo-face. Coffee, some espresso, toffee, cocoa and dark bread. A bit of a metallic taste on the back. From the water used? Of course I could be crazy. Nice flavors, but a bit light and bubbly on the feel. Nice canned stout
10-14-2011 19:57:53 | More by Mebuzzard
4.18/5 rDev +4.5%
Frothy full light brown head sits above a very dark almost black stout. Aroma is rich with coffee/java smells but not of black coffee but of a more flavored variety maybe something Starbucks would sell for $6.00, maybe slight hints of coffee and whip cream or something like that.
The taste is quite similar with a full java/coffee taste that's not just coffee but malted coffee with cocoa beans or grain malts, struck me as quite odd, but in a good way. Taste is super rich java/coffee but it's not at the same time. I've had a lot of coffee stouts that are just coffee tasting, and yet this is but isn't at the same time, makes it quite enjoyable.
The aftertaste has is a lighter coffee/java feel to it but is a nice light dry that sticks with you.
I can't wait for these guys to put out a chocolate or vanilla porter, um-um good.
05-10-2011 00:41:42 | More by LXIXME
4.22/5 rDev +5.5%
CAN you dig it, SUCKA! Pours brown out the can, mild beige head about 3/4" deep. Aroma was magnificently coffee. They really knocked that out the park. No acridity, acidity or bitterness in the aroma.
Great taste, again, the bitter adjectives are not amongst this beer, yet the immense coffee ones are. Amazing mouthfeel to completely cover up the 8% abv, can't believe this. Its like they even had the perfect amount of creamer (lactose?) in it where you can't smell it or really taste it, but it just gives it a better mouthfeel than oats would probably do or maybe are there in tandem. Good carbonation, even if its too high for you, you can just let it chill for a few minutes and its adjusted to your likings mr. cask guy from britain. All the chocolate is very dry and never sweet.
Just a bang up job they did on this. Expand distribution!!
01-03-2012 04:24:08 | More by Beerandraiderfan
3.95/5 rDev -1.3%
12 oz can dated best by July 2013 poured a very dark brown color; clear, with a light brown head.
Nose: more hops than expected, matched in strength by coffee, with dark malts more in the background.
Flavor: mild-moderate bitterness until the moderately bitter finish and aftertaste. Good balance of hops, malts and coffee. Lot of coffee in the aftertaste. Some very dark roast flavor but only a hint of char.
Feel: carbonated is a bit more lively than expected, but works well; smooth; medium-full body. The ABV is well hidden.
O: an attractively priced, high quality, robust coffee stout. Recommended.
06-06-2013 22:01:46 | More by chinchill
4.45/5 rDev +11.3%
12oz can Inflatablechair brought over tonight after a very long shift ... Thanks a ton Sam, this was awesome!!
Pours with a descent dark brown head.... the brew is clear deeep brown/verging on black... a bit of dark ruby shows toward the stem end of my glass... Not much for the way of retention, but it isn't bad.
Great fresh bean coffee combines very well with all the traditional expected RIS flavors... what IMO is setting this one into the top tier is a little bit of maltiness in the aroma that helps bring the nose up and out of the glass... even make it lingering.
Flavor mirrors the nose... fantastic coffee components.. still there are good roasty elements.. again a nice sweetness is a big tie that binds everything together.. solid medium body... almost creamy carbonation.. wonderful.
I am damn surprised I enjoyed this one as much as I did.. This brew is an unknown marvel.... tastes very fresh and the body and combined complexities make for a great package.... and... it is in a can.
Edit... Holy shit.. big boy review for me... I am gonna stand by it... thank again Sammy.
02-24-2011 05:56:21 | More by JohnGalt1
Imperial Java Stout from Santa Fe Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 602 ratings.