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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

204 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 204
Hads: 884
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 21.8%
Wants: 89
Gots: 152 | 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: 204 | Hads: 884
Photo of stephens101
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Slick black with a dark tan froth.

Aroma consists of fresh roasted coffee beans, milk chocolate, fresh-baked chocolate cake and black licorice. Fresh and dessert-like.

Creamy on the palate with a mocha middle and a dark chocolate and lingering pine finish.

Soft and inviting with a medium to heavy body.

A consummate and flavorful post-prandial beverage that will leave room for more libations if needed.

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Photo of denver10
3.75/5  rDev -6%
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.

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Photo of M_chav
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Smooth, rich java/vanilla flavors. Definitely my go to and in my opinion, an extremely underrated beer. medium/full body with no trace of alcohol, a well balanced beer.

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Photo of katan
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

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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!

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Photo of claytong
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A light coffee beer especially for 8 percent. Great for nights where you want to stay up and alert and drink beer. A great buy for me at 8 bucks a 6 pack. Coffee dominates, a bit simple of a beer but very enjoyable. Not a dinner beer unless you enjoy coffee for dinner.

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Photo of leroybrown10
4.31/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep chocolate color with a one finger tan colored head. Head fades quickly but leaves a thin cream layer on top of the beer. Nice spider web lacing left behind.

Aroma is rich dark coffee. Roasted malt, licorice and faint cream. Hints of chocolate and earthiness.

Taste is the aroma, coffee first. Coffee is dark and slightly bitter with an undertone of sweetness. Some rich roasted malt and understated dark chocolate. Some cream and maybe vanilla.

Rich medium-thick mouth feel. Medium+ carbonation. Some bitterness which lingers and very mild acridness. Aftertaste has a tinge of sweetness which counteracts the bitterness.

Very nicely done coffee stout. Coffee is big and bold but not overwhelming allowing the other qualities to show through.

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Photo of goochpunch
1.97/5  rDev -50.6%
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.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
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).

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Photo of indiapaleale
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of Domingo
3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of Ri0
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

poured 12oz can into snifter.

A - Dark coffee color (go figure) with a half finger mocha head that leaves a thin ring. spotty lacing is decorating my glass.

S - Dark Coffee, French latte, mocha, and hints of bitter bakers chocolate. Roasted malts and light caramel round it off.

T - Nice coffee forward stout. Roasted coffee beans and malts, espresso and bakers chocolate. Sweetened with mellow caramel and mocha.

M - A medium bodied that is smooth and creamy feeling with light carbonation.

O - A very nice coffee stout from NM. Big coffee flavor and a nice rich smooth feel make it easy to drink any time of the day.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.55/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a dark chocolate brown with burgundy highlights. Wispy white head settles in quickly. A little thinner looking than I'd prefer.

S- Java for sure. Raw coffee bean aroma leads the way. Dig deep for chocolate and other roasted notes. Very straight forward.

T- Certainly more character than the nose led me to believe. Coffee forward again, but also has some espresso, toffee, roasted nuts, caramel, and pine flavour.

M- More body than expected from the pour. Mid body, but with a decent level of creaminess.

O- The coffee dominating aroma fooled me into thinking this would be more of a cold coffee stout, like Schlafely's, but I was fooled. Doesn't have the layers of depth to be world class, but a very solid value stout.

$9 for a 6 pk

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.79/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown in color with a half inch khaki colored head. Brussels lacing. Dark roasted coffee and and roasted barley aroma greets my nose. There's an abundance of dark bitter coffee flavor in this beer. The mouth is a bit chalky and thick. If yo are looking for something more so on the bitter end of the coffee stout spectrum,this is your beer.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a coffee mug, so appearance is what I see coming out of the can. Very dark brown to black. Fairly viscous, with a fluffy/frothy tan head that all but disappears entirely, leaving a very small ring with some tight, tiny bubbles around the outside.

Aroma is ashy smelling. Mainly burnt malt barley and coffee beans.

Slightly sweet initially, with chocolate and caramel malts. Then it turns to bitter coffee and that deep burnt taste. Like the stuff that you have to scrape off the bottom of your pot when you have left a soup/chili sit too long. Very, very, very ashy. It seems to be improving as I make my way through it. Honestly not sure if it is temperature related, or the bitterness is starting to numb my taste buds. Either way, it is better toward the end.

Body is outstanding. Very silky and almost chewy. A little bit too much carbonation maybe as there is an initial crisp zing to it.

This is really close to being an outstanding beer. If I didnt have the aftertaste like I had just stuck my tongue in an ashtray, I would have been in the 4 range on taste and overall. It is just a little too rough for me though. If you are someone who likes a super black, super roasted coffee, you may want to give it a ride. It is still a very good beer overall.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
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!!!!


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Photo of brewskifan55
3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a flute glass with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

A: Cola brown with a tan half finger head that quickly turns to foam. Light lacing.

S: Heavy duty coffee comes on strong. Malts and chocolate bring in a weak 2nd and 3rd.

T: Zow! Smooth coffee and espresso. Chocolate tips the bill. Robust. Rich. When I added the ice cream, it frothed like crazy and gave me a killer taste sensation of coffee and vanilla.

M: medium with medium carbonation. Slightly bitter on the finish from the coffee, I guess.

O: A terrific coffee stout. Recommended.

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Photo of KajII
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

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Photo of zac16125
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz can into a pint glass
no born on date

Thanks to fatbeats18 for sending this one over as an extra in a trade.

A: Pours a very dark brown, bordering on black, with 2 plus fingers width of light mocha colored head. Looks like a cola, just a touch darker. Head dissipates down at a moderate rate. Leaves a good amount of fine bubbled lacing.

S: Fresh roasted coffee, vanilla, roasted malt, slight char notes, a subtle hint of semi-sweet chocolate. Not a lot going on, and pretty straight forward, but still very nice.

T: Sweeter than the nose implied. Very much still coffee forward, but more of a coffee with cream and sugar. A bit of dark fruits. Again, not a ton of complexity, but very solid.

M/D: Full bodied, not necessarily thick, but certainly not thin either. Carbonation on the lower end, and very smooth.

O: Overall, a very nice coffee stout. Simple and straight forward, but well above average IMO. Thanks again fatbeats for this extra!

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.63/5  rDev -9%
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.

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Photo of MammothTarantula
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

This is my first review ever, so here we go...

Purchased at a local liquor store. I had never seen this before, so I thought I'd give it a try. Poured from the can into a pint glass.

A: Pours a rich, dark brown, almost black. Two finger tan head that quickly dissipates to about one finger. Little to no lacing.

S: Coffee, green wood, mild fruitiness (maybe banana?)

T: Powerful coffee flavors, slight grassiness, a bit of woody. When I was a child I ate stick off of a Crepe Myrtle tree. That Crepe Myrtle taste is definitely there. A bit of an unpleasant metallic aftertaste, which is undoubtedly from the can.

M: Medium-bodied. Unpleasantly strong carbonation, which was not what I expected from an imperial stout. Left a slight burning sensation in my throat.

O: A pretty good beer. The taste was good enough to cancel out the mouthfeel for me. I'll drink it again.

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Photo of dbossman
4.03/5  rDev +1%
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

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Photo of DenverHopHead
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Thick cup of coffee black! Smells like a good, strong cup of coffee too! Taste and mouthfeel are a bit of a let down, but not bad. This feels like a beer that would be great to wakeup to after a night of camping! Overall, I'll look for this again. Perhaps a hidden gem!

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Photo of dcloeren
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured black with light brown edges when held to the light. Produced maybe a finger of foamy tan head.

The aroma on this beer is fantastic for a breakfast stout. Rich and robust coffee dominates the nose with dark chocolate and cream rounding it off.

Taste follows the nose. Rich coffee, dark chocolate and a little bit of cream. I love this brew because its coffee forward and it tastes like a proper cup should.... very flavorful and not overly bitter.

Medium to full in body, light in carbonation and an excellent drying coffee aftertaste. This beer goes down very easy... Might have to get a refill.

Overall, this beer is great in my opinion. It says to drink before noon and I plan on doing so! Perfect brew for teeing off on a saturday morning. Drink up!

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Photo of cvm4
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can poured into a snifter

A - Pours a thin black with a 2 finger tan head. The head stays around and dissipates into a ring around the glass. Minimal lacing.

S - Lots of coffee, cocoa nibs and roasted malt.

T - Coffee dominates up front and it meanders into a dark chocolate finish with roasted malt always in the background.

M - Somewhat thin but has medium carbonation.

O - Lovely stout poured from a can. I was pleasantly surprised!

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Imperial Java Stout from Santa Fe Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 204 ratings.