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Imperial Java Stout | Santa Fe Brewing Company

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very good
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Imperial Java StoutImperial Java Stout

Brewed by:
Santa Fe Brewing Company
New Mexico, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

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.

Added by goochpunch on 03-31-2007

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Reviews: 226 | Ratings: 980
Photo of tone77
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A big shout out to woodychandler for providing this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of coffee, a touch of chocolate. Taste is of strong espresso, the most coffee I have ever experienced in a beer. Alcohol is well hidden. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall if you are a coffee lover this beer is for you, otherwise it may be a bit to overpowering.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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??

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.44/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.38/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz can into a pint glass. My first New Mexico beer!

Appearance: rich brown hue with a murky haze and a thick finger of pillowy tan foam. Quite attractive.

Smell: smooth and chocolatey stout base with a pungent coffee aroma. A bit sharp, but I like it.

Taste: a bit roasty and a little chocolatey with a big, rough coffee flavor. I mean, it's good, but it lacks finesse.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good carbonation and a great creaminess. I like it quite a lot.

Overall: this beer is pretty good, but the roughness of the coffee element just gets to me in a not-so-good way.

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Photo of rudzud
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received as an extra in a trade and poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a very nice deep, rich dark brown nearly black. There was a good one finger mocha head that faded to leave almost no side lacing but did have nice retention/haloing.

S - Aroma pops with coffee and chocolate. Its almost, almost up there with the likes of other stellar coffee beers, thats how much it jumps out when you breathe deep. Its just doesnt explode in the surrounding air like some of those others do. Still, damn good.

T - Wow, this might be my favourite canned stout...Excellent coffee flavors along with light chocolate. Great black coffee. No joke, this is almost drinking like a poor mans FBS so to speak.

M - Mouthfeel is almost excellent. Stuff drinks like a mug of cold ice coffee. Goes down super easy. Just delicious.

O - Overall this is a shocking beer from New Mexico. Really, really enjoyed this one. In full agreement with WoodyChandler here, this is something special and I wish I had a donut.

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Photo of Canada_Dan
4.29/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

An underrated coffee stout for a great price. I've rated the Java in the past but I'm back today for a revisionary visit. 12 oz. can poured into a NOLA Brewing snifter. Pours dark mahogany turning to midnight in the glass with a thin, crisp lacing that lingers. A quick twirl of the can and out pours the remaining oz. as frothy as a cream colored vanilla milkshake. At first sniff, the nose is predominantly roasted malt with a touch of the coffee to come. A deeper breath reveals an espresso like depth within. I taste the bitter notes of dark roast with plenty of dark chocolate followed by an almost smoky dark malt. As it warms, the dark chocolate turns sweet and combined with the creamy mouthfeel, I'm reminded of a fudge brownie. Not the densest of imperial stouts but the perfect carb. more than makes up for any shortcomings. I have a feeling this won't be the last six Javas I purchase this Fall/Winter.

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Photo of barczar
3.99/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aroma is a good balance between roasty malt, coffee, and cocoa.

Flavor is chocolatey throughout, with a fairly roasty bitter coffee finish. Alcohol heat at the finish.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce can that one of my friends gave to me. No date that I can find on it. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with almost an inch tan head that stayed around for a bit. There's also a small amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells mostly like coffee but there's also some burnt/charred malt, caramel and some bittersweet chocolate noticeable. For the most part I think the taste is pretty much like the aroma, but there's also some vanilla flavor. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's smooth and easy to drink with a moderate amount of carbonation. I thought this was a good coffee stout. Glad I got to try it, but also disappointed I won't get to try this again soon since Santa Fe Brewing doesn't distribute here. Definitely worth picking up if you come across some!

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid a bit too much for this (5 bucks) but considering it was a long time tick I put down the cash.

A - Has the look of a great stout, very back yet not incredibly viscous with an impressive full inch of mocha head that sticks around for a bit.

S - Like a frappuccino it smells of blended coffee's, mild chocolate, vanilla, and a touch of roasted malts.

T - The bend is fairly good. Roast is blended well with the hops giving a mild smoke/fresh filtered coffee taste. The sweetness of vanilla and chocolate is mild yet also satisfying.

M - A touch lighter than I expected yet still chewy and medium bodied.

Overall it is a pretty stand up imperial stout with coffee flavors. Try one if your a fan of coffee beers.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.24/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pitch black pour and a thin toffee colored lacing ring.

S - Lots of dark chocolate and Espresso/coffee on the nose.

T - Dark chocolate and coffee beans from start to finish with a little bit of char, deep roasted malt

M - Full body, thick, frothy, and leaves a dark roasted malt coating in the mouth.

O - Very enjoyable.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can, best by 8/21/2014. Poured into a Surly goblet 7/25/2014.

A- Dark brown, nearly black body with a three finger offwhite head with a lot of retention time. Bits of bubbly lacing as the head recedes and the beer disappears.

S- Lots of coffee mixed in with roast malt. Not a ton else, maybe a bit of milk chocolate. Smells like a warm cup of coffee.

F- Acidic black coffee, milk chocolate (don't think there's lactose in it, but I wouldn't be surprised if it had some), cocoa, roast malt. Very tasty and just what I want out of an imperial coffee stout.

M- Creamy with a medium body, very good for the genre. Good carbonation, nice bitter acidic black coffee finish tempered by some lactose-like sweetness. No real hint of the 8% ABV, might actually be a good weekend morning beer.

O- Pretty tasty stuff for the coffee lovers out there in the beer community. Not necessarily worth trading for, but it's a nice treat if you trade with someone from NM. Locally, I can get Brewhouse Coffee Stout from Central Waters, which I feel is easily better than this one.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Brown pour, dark brown, tan head almost a full inch. Aroma dropped heavy and fresh coffee, dark.

Drops more coffee tones on the tongue without harsh bitterness or alcohol burn. Drinks real easy but dangerously as this is still a very strong beer alcohol wise compared to the mouthfeel. Right amount of sweetness to counterbalance everything else. Best stout in a can I think.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.32/5  rDev +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!

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.24/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!!

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Photo of cbutova
3.99/5  rDev -0.2%

Full notes taken at time of review.

A- Black bodied pour from the can to two pint glasses. Not ultra thick but a two finger mocha brown head forms with a creamy texture and good retention. Thick sheets of lacing followed by drizzle.

S- Strong roasty malts make up most of the aroma but you have to notice the medium roast coffee bean and cocoa notes. Milk chocolate sweets, caramel, mocha hints and some slight fruit from the yeast but it doesn't distract at all from the coffee and grains.

T- Coffee is stronger here than the aroma for me and even takes precedence over the smooth dark roast grains. A vanilla sweetness comes into play from somewhere and compliments the java and milk chocolate malts. Tons of fresh brewed coffee.

MF- A shade toward the light side considering the ABV and rich flavors presented. Carbonation low to medium with a roasty coffee bitterness in the finish.

A very smooth coffee stout that displays about 5 out of the 8 percent ABV it contains. Lacks a bit in the body but packs tons of well balanced flavors.

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Photo of champ103
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Anvil in Houston, TX.

A: Pours a near opaque black color. A large tan and rocky head rises with excellent retention. Sticky, spiderweb looking lace is left behind.
S: Roasted malt, cream coffee, chocolate, and vanilla. The coffee and sweetness work well together.
T: Follows the nose. Plenty of roasted malt. Coffee comes next, but not acrid or over barring in any way. A big chocolate flavor is present along with some sweet vanilla. Fairly simple, but very nice.
M/D: A full body and moderate carbonation. Creamy, velvety, and smooth. So easy to drink. No alcohol in sight, and a joy to drink.

An excellent beer on cask. I really enjoyed this, and something I would recommend. A well done stout on cask.

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Photo of Suds
3.35/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This brew is utterly black, with a thin tan head. The smell is of highly roared grain and coffee. The taste is dry and acrid, and has a homebrew quality, it is somewhat acidic, but has a complexity as well. Medium to full in body. Just okay.

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Photo of papat444
3.81/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can pours a rich, silky black color with a rather large, stiff head. Fades uber-slow and leaves nice lace. A good looking brew...

Nose is charred malt and strong black coffee. Just a hint of sweetness and the hops are pretty tame. A little nutty yeast comes out as it warms.

Alot of coffee to be sure, but it is pretty smooth and the velvety mouthfeel helps quite a bit to take the edge off. The ABV is astonishingly hidden, I would never have guessed it was more than 6% or so if it didnt have the word 'imperial' on the can. There is just enough sweetness to keep it from being astringent. A very good bargain at 8 bucks a sixer these days, unfortunately. Not everything tasty has to come out of an overpriced bomber. This is one of those beers that is best consumed fresh, and I cant seem to find a date on their cans.

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Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to cmanuel for sharing this one! Served from can into a New Belgium globe. Poured pitch black with a half finger khaki colored head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, acidic coffee, and milk chocolate. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, cream, coffee, and caramel. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. I have to be honest and say that I drank this one as a wake up beer while on a vacation day from work. But I am certainly glad that I did. This had a really nicely balanced flavor and aroma going on here that made it surprisingly refreshing and intriguing at the same time. It was really well rounded around the edges with every aspect having a balancing component going on with it. A really well done brew that I would love to have A LOT more of to enjoy as an alternative to coffee in the AM.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Imperial Java Stout from Santa Fe Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 980 ratings.
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