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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

207 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 207
Hads: 900
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 22.06%
Wants: 89
Gots: 159 | 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: 207 | Hads: 900
Photo of EgadBananas
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown in color, black to the untrained eye. Nice tan finger of head, laces well.

Big coffee aromas that dance with roasted malts and chocolate sweetness. I've bold and I'm diggin' it!

Nice coffee flavours, with roasted, toasted malts and some bittersweet chocolate notes. Good, but just not as in your face as the aroma.

Feel is nearly full, could be a bit heavier to really give it that RIS feel. Carbonation is good, and it's nice and creamy and slick.

The drink is great. Very enjoyable coffee stout, abv is lower, which really makes it easy to put away!

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Photo of Morey
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark-brown coming out of the can, but basically turns black in the glass. The head is light brown in color and has a bit of staying-power. When held to the light, you can definitely get some dark red and brown hues around the edges of the glass.

Aroma: Roasted coffee beans right up front followed closely by a sugary sweetness. Maybe a touch of chocolate in there as well. Not very complex, but nice.

Taste: Really nice coffee flavor on the front end. The sweetness that I was pulling out of the aroma isn't far behind. There's a nice bitterness mid to late palette that keeps the sweet flavors from becoming cloying.

Mouthfeel: This is my biggest knock on this beer. It just needs more body in my opinion. I would say it's medium for the style with the carbonation coming in on the lower side, which is appropriate.

Morey's Bottom Line: A pretty good coffee stout overall, but I could use a little less sweetness and a bigger mouthfeel. I wouldn't hesitate to drink it again, but I won't be searching for it either.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4/5  rDev +0.3%
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.


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Photo of homebrew311
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz can poured into pint glass. Appearance is opaque and black with a layer of tan head that retains nicely. The smell has bold roast espresso with some assertive hops present as well. Taste is chocolatey up front and is followed up by dry bitter espresso. Nice bold and beany finish. Mouthfeel is relatively light for style and abv. Overall, tons of espresso in the nose and flavor, missing a little in the way of body and depth.

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Photo of arizcards
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a single from Total Wine in mid-August for $1.79. Best by 10-19-13.

Beer poured dark brown with a nice brown head.

Nose is all coffee to me and not much else.

Taste is coffee forward, some dark chocolate, and a decent amount of hopping to keep the sweetness at bay.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and somewhat smooth.

Overall this is a nice brew at a nice price. Be ready for some heavily roasted coffee if you do get the opportunity to try this.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.03/5  rDev +1%
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

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Photo of Beaver13
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz can. Pours a dark brown with a medium creamy tan head that quickly goes to a collar that laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet chocolate malts and lots of roasted coffee.

The flavor is sweet chocolate with a lot of nice coffee and some bitter roast in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low but smooth carbonation.

Overall, not very complex (all about the coffee), but a great beer for coffee lovers. One of the best coffee beers I've had...yum!

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Photo of Chaney
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My man Huzuhbendah slipped me one of the these the other day to take home after a tasting. Thanks Matt!

Split with my wife.

A: Poured as black as night and with a fairly sticky mocha head that was a mere ring around the brew.

S: Intense smell of high grade coffee, burnt caramel, and vanilla. Really nice.

T: Nice coffee flavor as well as sort of a chocolate donut-like component. Very dessert-like in its disposition overall which suits me fine.

M: I really like the marriage of the sweet and coffee components here. It was definitely more of a Heath bar as opposed to a bitter java.

O: My wife just said, "I wish I had about 6 of these for tonight." Yep, I'd definitely have this one again.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.36/5  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.

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Photo of Pegasus
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep mahogany brown body, crowned with a massive, somewhat coarse cream-colored head, somewhat coarse, but with good retention. Scattered, thin lacing adorns the glass walls.

Aroma: Profound aroma of espresso, lots of roasted notes, with hints of vanilla, and an abundance of bitter cocoa.

Taste: The taste opens with profound notes of cold coffee, warming alcohol soon follows, although it is felt more than tasted. As the taste progresses, bitter cocoa and bitter chocolate have their turn. Later in the taste, wood and vanilla notes rise, these carry the taste to a gracious close.

Mouth feel: Rich and full, soft, and very pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: Simply wonderful, a treat to be savored as autumn ascends, would be even better on a cold winter day.

Presentation: Packaged in a standard twelve-ounce aluminum can, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice

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Photo of emmasdad
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a six pack of cans of this one today for less than 8 bucks. An incredible deal for an above average coffee imperial stout. Pours a rich, opaque black color, with a huge fluffy tan head. Aromas of freshly roasted coffee beans, espresso and roasted malt. On the palate, smooth and flavorful, with loads of coffee, slightly burnt, chocolate and a hint of hops on the finish. Very good.

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Photo of beergoot
4.22/5  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.

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Photo of Karibourgeois
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Coal black pour with a light brown one-finger head. Really nice aroma of fresh coffee beans with a hint of chocolate. Very sweet flavor of chocolate and light roast coffee upfront. Medium body also has a hint of roasted malt and french roast coffee bitterness in the finish. Was kind of expecting more from the flavor as the smell was amazing.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz can into a stemless Hennessy snifter (my pimp hand is strong tonight, bitches!)

Nice appearance, with a rich mahogany brown core that fades outward to a ruddy amber color. The head is a dusty taupe hue, and the quarter inch of foam quickly settles to a ring and a thin veneer of bubbles. A very earthy aroma brings forward freshly ground coffee beans, fresh roasted, too. Dark malts lend notes of chocolate and bread crust, while the hops add a bit of balance to the ensemble.

The flavor matches the aroma's earthiness, and then some. Lots of roastiness to the coffee beans, verging on charred but the base beer dials in the balance just enough that things don't get too carried away. Alcohol is well-hidden. My only knock against this beer is the body--a bit thin for an 8% Imperial Stout. Still, good carbonation level and a clean finish. Overall, a tasty release from Santa Fe that any coffee beer lover should look forward to trying.

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Photo of Moose90
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can into a pint mug

A – Deep dark brown, not black, almost opaque. Leaves a 1" fluffy head with big bubbles. Leaves good lacing throughout.

S – Coffee, dark roast, medium roast, some chocolate and toffee here too. This smells great, very balanced, not too sweet.

T – Dark roasted coffee, chocolate. This tastes exactly like a dark chocolate covered espresso bean, awesome. Balance from the big espresso comes from a little vanilla and toffee sweetness.

M – Medium-full body, not too heavy, this is drinkable for an imperial stout. Long aftertaste is much appreciated.

O – This is a great coffee stout. It tastes so much like a good dark chocolate covered espresso bean, it has the sweetness, balanced by the bitterness, and is an overall great beer.

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Photo of seeswo
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cheer to Evan (Optimator13) for hooking this up during our giant, 2 case in person trade. Drank out of the can because I can. The can looks fantastic - cool logo and all. The smell is intoxicating - like a crazy, rich starbucks coffee drink. The taste is similar. Picture one of the cold starbucks drinks you can buy at the grocery store, like mocha coffee novelty whatever - this tastes like the beer interpretation of that in all of the best ways. Huge, rich coffee flavor carries all the way through. Serious yum. Mouthfeel seems right on - good carbonation and a medium body. Overall this was fantastic. Passed around the room of novice craft brew drinkers and they all gave it a wow. ISO

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Photo of oglmcdgl
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Out of the can and into my kickass new russian river pint glass. Thanks byrd for the glass and drmattyb for the brew.

A- a firm pour really gets the head going and I have to wait a second for it to settle so I can pour the rest of the can. Two fingers of coffee and lots of cream head that does hold for a good bit before settling to a sudsy cap and a ton of lace all over the glass. Super dark brown bordering on black in color with a bit of a brown glow at the edges.

S- dark roasted malts and a good coffee hit. Touches of a molasses like sweetness and some earthy undertones.

T- lots of coffee and chocolate going on here. The malts dark and well roasted really playing off the coffee nicely. Sweet chocolate milk in there with some brown sugar as well.

M- a few steps above medium in body and well carbed keeping things very drinkable.

O- this is a tasty stout and super drinkable. Full flavored and very clean. Ill have to trade for some more I totally dig this stuff.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a twelve ounce can into a snifter.

This stout pours a dark brown, almost black in color, and creates a chewy, frothy head. There are big air bubbles among the head. The head persists long after the pour and creates a ton of lace around the glass.

The smell is very much like a coffee with milk. The coffee smell is potent, a condensed milk aspect weaves in and out, and their is a hint of sugar. This all shows up in the taste as well, as the beer drinks very much like a sweet, creamy coffee. Maybe an Irish Coffee, since the heat from the booze provides a kick.

This is a go-to beer for me here in my native state, truly a good beer, and I highly suggest it to those that enjoy a sweeter stout or a coffee stout.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared by the lovely Bryna. The brew is brown-black, and is capped with a mocha head that collapses into a wispy film and encircling collar.

The nose screams Dunkin' Donuts coffee and the flavor delivers. This tastes almost as much like an iced coffee drink as it does a beer. At any rate, it is quite delicious. Further notes that appear include a perfect flavor of roastiness that is so crisply, pleasantly acrid as well as hints of bittersweet chocolate and some fruity and toffee-like maltiness. Creamy feel. I like it. A lot. It really does remind me of iced coffee as much as beer.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%

12 oz can served slightly chilled into a pint glass.

Imperial Java Stout is nearly black in color with thin off-white head. Some spotty lacing is left behind as it settles.

Aroma is full of roasty black malts and coffee beans.

Flavor strikes a good balance between stout and coffee with dark malts, medium roast coffee, and subtle hops.

Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and nicely carbonated for the style.

Overall a very good coffee stout- probably the best out there for the price.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.55/5  rDev -11%
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.

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Photo of spoony
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz can into a globe glass.

A-The beer was nearly pitch black. An aggressive pour produced a tall (two-plus fingers) head of grayish-brown head. The head dropped after a minute or two into a cap and left decent lacing on the glass.

S-Smell was strong coffee (espresso), roasted malts, and light bitterness. A little simple, but for a coffee stout, it delivered the goods.

T-Taste was also strong, slightly bitter coffee. There was some baking chocolate and smokiness, as well. A few demerits for a slightly metallic taste on the finish.

M-Feel was medium bodied with low carbonation. The brew was a touch watery for the style, but not awful.

O-This was a solid coffee stout. I found the coffee flavors to be straight-forward and not as complex as some, but sometimes simplicity is a good thing. The brew loses points for a weak mouthfeel and a somewhat odd finish, but I would drink this again when I'm in the mood for an affordable, easy-to-drink coffee brew.

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Photo of Phelps
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint.

The brew resembles java not just in name, but in appearance. Pitch black and watery thin, the liquid is capped by a pillowy head of cascading bubbles the color of brown sugar. Frothy trails of lace coat the sides of the glass like latte foam.

Because their dark, toasty, burnt flavors often overlap, few ingredients work together so well in a beer as roasted malt and coffee beans. For Imperial Java Stout, Santa Fe makes use of organically grown East Timor coffee beans blended with New Guinea coffee beans, both of which are roasted by Ohori's Coffee House in Santa Fe. The result is a stout that's huge in coffee aroma and flavor. The scent is akin to burying your nose in a cupful of java -- it's packed with espresso and sweet cream. Touches of sourdough and a shot of chocolate syrup mingle in the background.

The flavor delivers a similar dose of roasted beans, though it's a little more acidic. A complex blend of American Bravo and English Fuggle hops lend subtle spice and earthy qualities, while touches of burnt toast play off the coffee. It's a bit harsh -- like very, very black coffee -- until the the swallow delivers oats and cream, sweetening and smoothing things out.

If you're not a fan of coffee, you'll probably hate this beer, because the flavor is riddled with it, and the coffee actually overpowers the underlying stout. But the beans are quality, and if you're looking to swap out your morning joe with something a little more alcoholic, pour this in your mug. No one will be the wiser.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.23/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Imperial Java Stout from Santa Fe Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 207 ratings.