Imperial Java Stout | Santa Fe Brewing Company

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89
very good
225 Reviews
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Imperial Java StoutImperial Java Stout
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
225
Ratings:
976
Avg:
4
pDev:
21.75%
 
 
Wants:
87
Gots:
180
For Trade:
6
User Reviews
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Reviews: 225 | Ratings: 976
Photo of Beejay
3.8/5  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.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
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 PicoPapa
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
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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Photo of denver10
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
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 JuicesFlowing
4.92/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Great Divide cervoise glass.

Look: The beer is an espresso bean black with a faint dark brown hue on the edges -- if that. An oatmeal colored head dissipates quickly to a nice thick film with a thick collar around the glass. 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 on the back side. The coffee really smells good.

Taste: I'm really impressed with this. A nice bitter chocolate dominates this beer, and it blends well with the malts. There's plenty of roast in this, which leads right into the coffee notes. A fine balance between dark chocolate and dark roasted coffee.

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

Overall: Really delicious, and the alcohol is hidden rather well. I can't tell which emerges more -- the coffee or the dark chocolate.

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Photo of leroybrown10
4.31/5  rDev +7.7%
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 WesMantooth
3.82/5  rDev -4.5%
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 stephens101
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
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 vande
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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Photo of bump8628
3.7/5  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.

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Photo of Phelps
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
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 -12.5%
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 Ri0
4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
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 WesM63
4.01/5  rDev +0.2%
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 augustgarage
3.51/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Cursory review from brief notes. On tap at Eske Brewing - served in a nonic.

Opaque bistre body, wheat head, sandy lacing, good retention.

Low coffee aroma, fruity, roasty...

Low bitterness, moderate sweetness, medium finish, some herbal/baking spice notes from hops - perhaps a touch of diacetyl.

A little thin bodied, though the ABV is well concealed.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.96/5  rDev -1%
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 Bosoxfan20
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
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 zac16125
4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
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 ocelot2500
3.88/5  rDev -3%
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 katan
3.88/5  rDev -3%
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 claytong
4.32/5  rDev +8%
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 goochpunch
1.97/5  rDev -50.8%
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 MammothTarantula
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
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 indiapaleale
4.2/5  rDev +5%
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 -1%
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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Imperial Java Stout from Santa Fe Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 976 ratings.
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