1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

459 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 459
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 459 | Reviews: 157 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero

Texas

4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This pours a rich, thick, coffee-colored mocha black with a light foam ring. The aroma is reminiscent of a coffee roast, with a flavor that’s big, bright, and full of java. Great coffee flavor profile with a crisp body and a nice kick at the end. I enjoyed this one tremendously.

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2013 07:10:00 | More by elNopalero
Photo of RonaldTheriot
RonaldTheriot

Louisiana

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

Santa Fe Imperial Stout has a medium, creamy, beige head, a dark brown (with reddish-brown highlights) appearance, and a heavy lacing sheen left on the class. The aroma is of predominately dark-roasted coffee, dark-roasted malts, and maybe some water. Taste is of all that, with dark cherry and slight hoppy bitterness. Mouthfeel is mostly light, and Santa Fe Imperial Stout finishes mostly dry, rich, and flavorful. No alcohol shows itself. Excellent stuff, this.

RJT

Serving type: can

02-11-2014 18:11:36 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of Fatehunter
Fatehunter

Oregon

3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a finger of tan head on an almost black body.
The aroma is dominated by the roasted malt and coffee but some lemon comes through to give it a rounded aroma.
The taste is cream, coffee, burnt malt and a mild lemon bitter finish. Excellent.
The texture is soft with crisp edges and moderate carbonation.
Nicely done.

Serving type: can

12-22-2013 22:19:44 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of katan
katan

Colorado

3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz into a pint

A - This baby is dark - black in all the thick spots. I could be convinced of some amber highlights. Strong head formation, mocha colored.

S - Strong roasted, almost burnt edge. As you get closer to it, some bittersweet chocolate appears. A little bit of bready malts in the background.

T - Starts off lightly sweet, malty, some chocolate, a little bit of coffee roast. Mid-stream turns heavily burnt, edge, almost astringent. Finishes with a little chocolate malts and some retained coffee acidity.

M - strong body, strong carbonation which serves to lighten it up. Lots of burnt and grainy flavors stick to the tongue.

D - Very slow drinker - the chocolate is the only thing that prevents this from being overly potent. ABV is strong, but manageable.

If you like an espresso, and a beer, then this is your thing.

Serving type: can

03-08-2011 05:50:07 | More by katan
Photo of MDDMD
MDDMD

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-dark brown black color with a nice tan head and good lacing

S-dark roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, caramel

T-dark roasted malt, coffee, burnt caramel, chocolate, vanilla, mild to moderate bitter finish

F-medium to full body with moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy

O-nice flavor and body in this stout, could drink a lot of these

Serving type: can

05-29-2013 20:14:59 | More by MDDMD
Photo of beergoot
beergoot

Colorado

4.21/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark, dark brown body with a clinging, foamy dirty head. Big charred grain and dark, freshly roasted coffee bean aroma. Flavors include cocoa, bittersweet chocolate, mocha and coffee, malt sweetness, and a low-key hop bitterness. Rather lightweight body; smooth and silky; semi-sweet finish.

Coffee stout fans should be very fond of this beer. The coffee aspect is very upfront with the aroma and flavor with classic milk/sweet stout character providing a solid backbone. Surprisingly light mouthfeel for such a big beer (personally, I'd like a little more body), yet this may make the brew easier to drink for many. A great find and an excellent beer.

Serving type: can

03-08-2014 01:45:31 | More by beergoot
Photo of papat444
papat444

Quebec (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Able to knock off NM from my list of states to try.

Poured from a 12oz can, best by 01/18/14.

Dark brown body, decent thick head, bit lopsided with nice fingers of lacing. Aroma is rich sweet chocolate, milky cocoa powder. Taste has roasted coffee beans milky a bit, good coffee base, flavor sustained. Medium feel, nice bitterness in the finish. An enjoyable stout.

Serving type: can

11-14-2013 18:09:08 | More by papat444
Photo of indiapaleale
indiapaleale

Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour - deep, dark, almost black in color with a big mocha colored head that's thick like pancake batter. Wow, this looks mysterious and delicious.

Aroma - big notes of espresso, hot chocolate, bitter black chocolate, tiramisu and fudge. It's amazing how much this beer smells like a shot of espresso thrown on top of some sort of chocolate dessert.

Taste - up front is a lot of bitter, dark roast coffee combined with a smooth cocoa and dark chocolate flavor. This is a stout that will make any fan of coffee beers happy. If you like the earthy, bitterness of a nice dark cup of coffee than you'll enjoy this. Lots of emphasis on coffee flavors and plenty of maltiness supporting them. My tongue is a bit dry and I'm getting flashbacks to the espresso I had at 6:45 this morning but man this is good stuff!

Overall - This is a very rich and flavorful brew and one that warms your stomach and makes you feel like having another before you've gotten halfway through the one you're drinking. We really loved this beer, it hit all the marks of a great stout and the coffee flavors were spot on as well. Nothing too intense or overdone, just super flavorful, smooth and delicious.

Would I buy more of it? - sure, this is a great coffee stout and perfect during a cold winter evening OR with dessert anytime of year. To be honest I don't need a specific season or a specific food pairing I could drink this all year long and be very, very happy.

Serving type: can

03-23-2011 00:02:01 | More by indiapaleale
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4DAloveofSTOUT

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice extra from daniloknezic! Thanks

I followed the directions on the can that say enjoy before noon; so i am drinking this beer at 8am central standard time!

poured into a snifter glass.

Appearance: Black body with a mocha colored head. Nice sticky lacing on the side of the glass. Head faded down into a ring capping the top of the beer.

Smell: Massive roasty coffee note. Malt and a mild astringency noted to the nose.

Taste: Nice coffee flavor its just so roasty, fresh, clean, and crisp taste. Its even got a refreshing quality to it. No bitterness from the coffee its all the perfect amount of roastiness that just remains during entire tasting experience. WOW! Almost reminds you of a cold and carbonated expresso.

Mouthfeel: Medium body that drink like a light bodied beer. This beer is really carbonated well for an Imperial Stout. It has more carbonation than one would expect, but this brewery just nailed it on this beer.

Overall: Fantastic. Must try, if you love good coffee stouts. This is the real deal!

Serving type: can

06-07-2011 13:13:59 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of Beejay
Beejay

Virginia

3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark black with a full, dense, brown head. The head lasts a while then slowly develops frog eyes

S: Coffee is the first thing that comes out on this guy. Following the coffee is a semi-sweet chocolate & rich dark fruit bread.

T: Coffee and chocolate up front, a slight bitter earthiness to the middle. Faint notes of vanilla and licorice, the coffee comes through from start to finish.

M: Medium to medium thick. Carbonation is low. The beer emulates coffee in the finish.

O: Overall very nice, especially if you missed your cup of joe this morning. Do yourself a favor, grab your favorite coffee mug and pour yourself some.

Serving type: can

07-18-2013 00:03:07 | More by Beejay
Photo of Domingo
Domingo

Colorado

4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, coffee porters/stouts. I like 'em, but sometimes they can be a little tiresome and one-dimensional. Let's see where this one takes me.
First thing's first - this one is from a can. Pretty cool idea, as this would be a nice brew to take for an outdoor trip.
Pours a deep brown with a billowing slightly off-white head. Unlike some canned beers where the head falls after a few minutes, this one lingers and laces.
The nose is a mix of dark roasted coffee and semi-sweet chocolate. The nose is telling me this might be a one-note coffee brew.
However the taste clears that up nicely! While the coffee might be a star, there's a nice blend of other flavors offering depth. Roasted coffee hits the palate up front, followed by a bit of dark chocolate. As the beer hits the back of the tongue, a milky (almost creamer-like) sweetness kicks in. I don't think it is, but this has the flavor profile of a milk/coffee stout. Maybe it's just a lighter malt being used? Either way, it works well. The finish reveals more coffee acidity, but without ever being overly bitter. The ever so slight hop character comes in the form of a citrus rind, and blends with that finishing acidity nicely.
While some coffee brews can be tough to drink much of, this one's got a nice creamy body (again seemingly like a big milk stout), and drinking a can is something you'll probably do in a matter of minutes.
I really like this one. As someone who likes coffee and stouts, they mesh very well here...without either spoiling the things that work within the other.
The price is right, too. Recommended.

Serving type: can

02-06-2011 15:48:55 | More by Domingo
Photo of PicoPapa
PicoPapa

Connecticut

4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to BubalooBrewMaster for this one.

12oz can pours a pitch black color with an inch of tan head. Fair amount of lacing. The aroma is a huge whiff of espresso with some roasted malts and a hint of earth and dark chocolate. Big coffee/cappuccino flavor upfront followed by some nice roasted malts and dark chocolate. Slightly nutty. More coffee at the end. Medium bodied. This beer is very coffee forward but also has a nice amount of dark chocolate and espresso. Pretty drinkable with a minimal alcohol presence. Overall, this is an outstanding Coffee Stout I'm glad I got a chance to try.

Serving type: can

03-07-2014 01:55:21 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of bennetj17
bennetj17

Arizona

3.48/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Black color, with hints of light about the edges. Not really thick or viscous looking for stout. Leaves a thin tan foam after pour, but doesn't last long. Straight up coffee aroma, sweet, but lacks depth and is a bit one dimensional perhaps.

Flavor has a bit more roasted bitterness than the smell suggests, but I'm not sure it stacks up against the cloying sweetness of vanilla/cola like malt. The coffee taste is somewhat heavy, almost like it dominates the overall flavor instead of complementing the beer. There isn't much contrast from start to finish in the sip either. Alcohol seems pretty mild actually, not really understanding the "Imperial" title here. Moderately thick body, decent carbonation.

Overall a slight disappointment. Not a well refined Coffee Stout, and a little too sweet. Considering the abundance of options in the Coffee beer arena these days, this one will be easily forgotten.

Serving type: can

03-11-2014 05:24:18 | More by bennetj17
Photo of KajII
KajII

North Carolina

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

[Best served in a Snifter]

The pour was an espresso jet black with an average sized (1-2 finger) light brown frothy head that was mostly lasting and produced some excellent sheeting on the glass.

The aroma was extremely strong of a fresh ground French Roasted coffee, a burnt black bread malt and an earthy doughy yeast with notes of bakers chocolate and a hint of toffee and black licorice.

The taste was lightly sweet and quite malty with notes of chocolate and toffee early on and then progressed into a strong bitter coffee flavor with a mild alcohol finish. The flavor lasted an average time after the swallow, and had a nice espresso taste that was left to linger.

Mouthfeel was bold and full in body with a dry, oily texture and a mild carbonation.

Overall this brew is very well balanced and quite tasty. It could very well be put into an espresso cup, and would be enjoyed immensely.

Serving type: can

01-07-2012 17:08:15 | More by KajII
Photo of chugalug06
chugalug06

Colorado

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

A - As dark as burnt oil. Super black with a poured original saddle colored "super" head... head mellows to a thin tan

S - Coffee and Espresso scented... Side of malt too. Perhaps there's a little chocolate and mango buried somewhere...

T - Amazingly smooth, like drinking a cold "hot" chocolate. make for an amazing afternoon or drive home. I've had this brew a few times post skiing always make me enjoy the drive home a little more...

M - Super smooth and perfectly sweet, not over done like many java stouts. coffee is prevalent, but not over bearing

D - Drinkability is high! hard to put down and let sit. I look forward to the next sip, each and every time.

I want to give A CAN to everyone so they too can experience the goods coming out of SFB!!!!

Cheers!

Serving type: can

03-26-2011 03:51:28 | More by chugalug06
Photo of BradLikesBrew
BradLikesBrew

Missouri

3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown body is just short of black, the head is creamy and light tan colored.

The aroma is one dimensional, but if you are a coffee fan, that won't be a problem.

The flavor is malty with a dominating coffee flavor with roasty bitterness on the finish. Some undertones of cocoa and some toffee maybe, but the java flavor is the central focus.

Medium body, moderatly creamy.

There is a touch of alcohol on the finish, but for the most part this is a really drinkable stout with farely well masked ABV. Imperial Java Stout doesn't hold a candle to Peche Mortel, Espresso Yeti, Beer Geek Breakfast or other notable coffee stouts. Its not in the same league, not even the same sport really. But it doesn't have to be. It is a fraction of the price of those beers. At $7.99 a 6pk and 7% ABV, it is an absolute steal, a must buy for coffee beer fans. I highly reccomend it.

Serving type: can

01-16-2011 00:12:58 | More by BradLikesBrew
Photo of ocelot2500
ocelot2500

Arizona

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

Pours a n ebony color with a tight, tan head that leaves good sized bits of lacing.

Smells of deep roasted notes.

Tastes of the deep roasted notes with a moderate sweetness. Notes of coffee, chocolate, and brown sugar mostly make up the malt profile, with a little roasted bitterness coming through as well. Coffee is definitely part of the profile, but is not the main focus here. Some dark fruits also come through.

Mouthfeel is medium with a creamy amount of carbonation.

Overall, a pleasant surprise from a brewery that I never think about. Is it great? No, but it is still tasty and quite cheap ($1.59 a can).

Serving type: can

01-29-2012 00:19:09 | More by ocelot2500
Photo of goochpunch
goochpunch

Texas

1.98/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Had it on-tap at the brewery about a week ago. Come to me in a 16 oz. plastic cup. Body was a translucent brown and seemed very thin, not viscous like it should be. No head at all, not even some bubbles popping up to the top. Smelled like an old soggy coffee filter filled with spent grounds. I got some faint roasted malt in there and some fruity esters, but the stale coffee smell overpowered all. Taste was about the same, actually, but it didn't have so much of that stale coffee characteristic. This leaned way too much towards coffee. Tastes like a sweet coffee drink from Starbucks. Body was way to thin with hardly any carbonation. This is the rare instance when I would have preferred a stout to be on nitro. I wasn't too enthused to finish this, but it was easy enough with its light body.

I was going to add this as an American Stout or something, but if the brewery wants to call this an Imperial Stout, then so be it.

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2007 20:14:22 | More by goochpunch
Photo of bump8628
bump8628

Oklahoma

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

An Imperial Stout in a can - that's pretty kick ass. Looks like the real deal with a death pit black body and a swamp-bubbled espresso-colored topping of froth. The coffee is in the forefront and it seems like Santa Fe sprung for the good stuff. It's roasty as expected, but it's difficult to tease out what portion is from the coffee and which is from the malt. Chocolate and char are here too, as is a supporting smack of earthy hops. The only minor drawback to my full enjoyment is a twiggy woodiness that seems to be contributed by the coffee. This is good stuff nonetheless and great as a dessert beer.

Serving type: can

03-02-2012 20:36:32 | More by bump8628
Photo of dbossman
dbossman

Nebraska

4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Quite black with a huge 2-inch frothy and thick head; decent lacing

S: Earthy coffee beans dominate up front; some chocolate and dark fruits linger underneath but this is a coffee bomb

T: The coffee, of course, is the star here but this is also hoppy up front with a balanced sweet malt base--chocolatey and yummy

F: Medium body and creamy with a sticky texture on the back end

O: This is a really nice coffee beer and the 8% abv is well masked; nice work, Santa Fe

Serving type: can

06-04-2013 17:37:55 | More by dbossman
Photo of JuicesFlowing
JuicesFlowing

Kansas

4.93/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a standard pint glass from a can.

Look: The beer is an espresso bean black with a faint ruby hue on the edges through the light. An oatmeal colored head dissipates quickly to a wisp of bubbles. A good amount of webbed lacing sticks to the glass, despite the high ABV.

Smell: Delicious burnt malt aromas abound here, with bitter chocolate and some dark roasted coffee.

Taste: I'm really impressed with this. A nice bitter chocolate dominates this beer, and it blends well with the malts. It's just so dark and rich tasting, with a drier espresso coffee finish. Not cloying, and not even a dessert beer in my opinion.

Mouthfeel: Velvety smooth, rich, and on the thicker side. Dry.

Overall: Really delicious, and the alcohol is hidden rather well. Oh, you can feel it, believe me, but you can hardly smell it or taste it. Dangerous beer, as it tastes so good.

Serving type: can

08-01-2012 14:32:33 | More by JuicesFlowing
Photo of LXIXME
LXIXME

New Mexico

4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

Serving type: can

05-10-2011 00:41:42 | More by LXIXME
Photo of jaasen64
jaasen64

Massachusetts

3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into Lawson's snifter.

A- Pours a dark brown that appears jet black with a finger of beige head that has nice retention and recedes slowly leaving no head and a thin layer of lacing along the top of the glass.

S- Coffee, espresso beans, roasted malts, hint of caramel. Fairly sweet, about average aroma strength, pleasant but not as pleasant as some of the coffee stouts that I've had.

T- Bitter coffee, caramel, a bit of licorice, fairly sweet. A little bit too much licorice and a bit on the sweet side for my liking in a coffee stout.

M- Medium bodied, easy drinking, nice carbonation.

O- This was a decent coffee stout that wasn't anything too exciting. It had decent flavor, but was a little bit too sweet with a licorice flavor that controlled the coffee too much. It wasn't bad, but I probably won't be drinking this again in the near future.

Serving type: can

12-29-2012 22:02:00 | More by jaasen64
Photo of yamar68
yamar68

Minnesota

4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to 4balance for this one!

Poured from can to pint glass:

Certainly pours like java... ominous black body with barely a hint of copper clarity around the edge of the glass, capped off by a healthy dose of mocha colored dense head. Solid lacing and unknown beading.

Massive nose on this one. I worked at Caribou Coffee for a few years and this reminds me of the smell of my uniform after work. Milky, roasty coffee. A dash of oats, some malted grains, very subtle chocolate bits.

Smoooth on the tongue. I can definitely see myself pairing this one up with some pancakes and lingonberries. Fresh coffee notes, soft chocolate... it's hard to even examine the flavor without mentioning the velvet perfection of the mouthfeel. This could be non-alcoholic for all I knew. Bravo.

It's great to see breweries cramming this much flavor into a can. It really is the superior beer vessel. Highly recommended.

Serving type: can

05-09-2012 01:21:30 | More by yamar68
Photo of denver10
denver10

Colorado

3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark brown with a thick 2 thumbs width mocha head. A nice rich aroma of coffee, bitter chocolate, and roasted malts. The flavor is not quite up to par with the aroma but still quite good. Coffee beans hit the forefront, the middle is a weak roastiness, and then it picks itself back up with a nice chocolate and coffee finish. The aftertaste is quite good, tasting like mocha frappucino. A creamy, medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, I really dig this beer. Gonna have to try this one fresh next winter 'cause if its this enjoyable at this age, I can only imagine what it'll be like fresh.

Serving type: can

06-17-2012 00:18:25 | More by denver10
Imperial Java Stout from Santa Fe Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 459 ratings.