Imperial Java Stout - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Imperial Java StoutImperial Java Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

846 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 846
Reviews: 206
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 84
Gots: 144 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 846 | Reviews: 206
Photo of elNopalero
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Photo of MDDMD
4.03/5  rDev 0%
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

Photo of seeswo
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
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

Photo of beergoot
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of papat444
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Photo of oglmcdgl
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.07/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of jaasen64
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

Photo of GilGarp
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%

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.

Photo of Moose90
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of Karibourgeois
3/5  rDev -25.6%

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.

Photo of Phelps
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Photo of bennetj17
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

Photo of spoony
3.95/5  rDev -2%
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.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Photo of bump8628
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Photo of PicoPapa
4.23/5  rDev +5%
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.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours near black with a dark khaki colored 2 finger head. Fair retention, breaking down to a thin, broken layer of surface suds and a fat ring around the edge. Lacing does well to cling in spots all around the glass.

Smell - Your typical coffee-infused brew aroma here; iced coffee with light chocolate and caramel notes.

Taste - Follows the nose. Coffee with caramel and light chocolate undertones. Finish is much the same, with just a touch more coffee roast.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full in body with moderate carbonation. Silky texture, going down smooth and easy.

Overall - Falls in with most of the coffee-infused brews, which is to say completely tasty but nothing breakthrough in terms of something different. They all pretty much taste the same. If you're looking for a java stout, you can't go wrong with this one, but same can be said for most.

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.92/5  rDev +22.1%
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.

Photo of Beejay
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Photo of Kevinpitts
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Coffee? Check. Loads of coffee in this beer. Decent brew.

Photo of vande
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A real thick, dark looking pour that seems suitable for a chilly night. It also has a nice, sandy colored looking layer of head resting peaceful as I sit out on my patio.

S: If I liked actual cold coffee, this is what I should think it to smell like. Roasted, java [yes I know its the name] aromas float easily from the glass.

T: Coffee right away, with a lingering but light bitterness or sour note...grainy with chocolate flakes.. but mostly, the roasted coffee surrounds this one..

M: Thicker than some I've had, but nice and creamy...to the point of it reminding me nearly of a sonic mocha shake...

O: Out of a can, this is a pretty good coffee stout. It had been buried in my fridge for some time now from a trade a while back....and tasted delightful! If you like coffee, stouts, or cans out of the beer...this would be one to put on your list.

Photo of katan
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Photo of Schlafly33
2.95/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Really? I'm not allowed to dislike a beer without saying why?

Photo of WesM63
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a CBS Snifter

A: Pours a dark brown almost black with a decent 2finger mocha head. Decent retention and lacing.

S: Smells of dark malts, coffee, chocolate some vanilla and alcohol.

T: Better than the nose would lead you to believe. Coffee, chocolate and vanilla on the tongue followed by some dark malts and a little bit of a alcohol finish.

M: Medium body and plenty of carbonation

O: First of all, many thanks to my buddy 4Balance for this one! Secondly, a decent java stout. A little boozy at the end and it could use more coffee flavor. However, still a great brew!

Imperial Java Stout from Santa Fe Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 846 ratings.