Imperial Java Stout | Santa Fe Brewing Company

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89
very good
223 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:
223
Ratings:
971
Avg:
4
pDev:
21.75%
 
 
Wants:
87
Gots:
179
For Trade:
7
User Reviews
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Reviews: 223 | Ratings: 971
Photo of Myotus
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured at 47°F from a 12oz can (no date) into a Spiegelau Stout glass. Allowed to warm up to 50°F before reviewing. Consumed on 19Jul16.
SMELL: Intense aromas of spicy and earthy coffee are backed by mild aromas of bittersweet chocolate and subtle vanilla, caramel, toffee, earthy hops, and floral hops.
TASTE: Massive waves of spicy and earthy coffee initially erupt on to the taste buds. Some balanced is achieved when mild flavors of bittersweet chocolate immediately follow as the coffee flavors develop a mild, roasted bitterness. The sweetness of the brew is slightly augmented as subtle vanilla, caramel, and toffee flavors step on to the palate. Mild flavors of earthy hops and subtle flavors of floral hops flow in last while all previous flavors persist, except for caramel and toffee, which grow slightly stronger in an effort to boost the sweetness. The coffee flavors at this time also grow a slight acidity to them.
NOTE: This was a good Imperial Stout that could have been great if more balance was established. The coffee flavors took dominion over everything else. This resulted in an overly bitter beer. The second strongest flavors, the chocolate, were not sweet enough to present a proper balance between bitter and sweet. The hop profile was perfect and somewhat fought off the bitterness. I would recommend this to people who love a little beer with their coffee.

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Photo of tlema1
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: jet black with a thin tan head
S: tons of roasted coffee aroma
T: coffee, of course, but roasty malts are there too
F: slightl bitterness on the finish
O: a quality coffee stout, the bitterness prevented me from scoring this higher

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: 12-oz. can
Glass: Karl Strauss 26th anniversary tulip glass
From: Trader Joe’s in (Uptown) Albuquerque, N.M.
Price: $1.34
Purchased: May 6, 2016
Consumed: May 30, 2016
Misc.: Best by Aug. 14, 2016

Picked this up with a bunch of other beer on a recent work trip to Albuquerque, N.M. Not like I’ve been saving it to last (which it was), but it just happened to be like that. Imperial. Java. Stout. All three things I like in a beer. Hoping for somewhere in the 4.20-to-4.30 range.

Poured a pitch black color with 2-to-3 fingers of khaki tan, frothy head. Very good lacing. Good-to-above average retention. (Sight - 4.00)

Smelled just as good as I hoped it would be. Just dark black coffee malts, java, dark mocha, dark cocoa, ashtray, charred wood, chocolate milk, roasted nuts and roasted toffee. (Smell - 4.00)

Taste followed the nose, maybe slightly darker. Really it was those ashtray, charred wood notes coming up first. Also black coffee, java coffee beans, dark mocha, dark cocoa nibs, hints of vanilla, roasted nuts and dark chocolate. (Taste - 4.25)

Full body. Creamy texture. Average-to-soft carbonation. Long, smoky, bitter finish. (Feel - 4.00)

Not as good as I hoped, but still delicious. I need to start drinking coffee. (Overall - 4.00)

4.10 | 92 | A-

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Photo of mdagnew
4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

355ml can bought from Lighthouse Wines, Jordanstown

Poured jet black - nothing gets through even when held up to the light. Dark dirty brown head poured thick and foamy then faded to nice thickish covering... very faint lacing...

Aroma - Big blast of strong espresso coffee and toasted malts, lots of sweet milk and dark chocolate, oats, molasses, treacle, light blackcurrent/blackberry notes, toasted nuts, cocoa, leathery, woody, some faint vanilla traces, light spicy hops, burnt sugar...

Taste - Lots of sweet creamy chocolate and rich dark coffee to the fore, roasted malts, faint smokey notes, some licorice, some peppery hops, lots of toasted nutty notes, molasses sweetness..

Feel - Very smooth and creamy with just a little sharpness after... full bodied... very drinkable for 8%

Overall - An outstanding brew and up with the best of the Americans impy coffee stouts..

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Photo of Radome
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Tasted from 12 oz can.

L - Beer is pitch black and opaque in the glass. Head is light tan in color, moderately active on the pour and then fades to just a few whisps. "Legs" on the side of the glass like a strong wine, along with light lacing.

S - Aromas of coffee, scorched grain and light smoke. Not overly complex for this style of beer.

T - Initial flavors are of strong, almost esspresso-like coffee. This later is replaced by sharp, slightly acrid, burnt notes mixed with substantial bitter earthy hops flavors. Late in the palate the sharp flavors fade and leave milder chocolate notes just before the finish.

F - Heavy body. Moderate, mouth-filling carbonation. Very strong hops bitterness that leaves the tongue tingling. Some alcohol presence, but the ABV is well-hidden.

O - This is a big, enjoyable beer that emphasizes the coffee. Not a world-class example of the style, but well-executed.

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Photo of Benish
4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great beer from New Mexico. It poured a jet black and presented with a nice beige head. Aromas were slightly weak, mostly aromas of mocha and chocolate. The taste however is superb. There is dominant flavors of coffee, yet it's not overpowering. I find that some beers have added coffee but with no added complexity. However in this beer, the coffee was rich and decadent. Picked of notes of vanilla and chocolate that seems to come more from the coffee rather than the stout itself. It's a dessert in a glass. For a beer that's only 8%, this is a winner.

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

Near black with two fingers of thick mocha-colored head that leaves heavy lacing. Strong roasted coffee aroma, with some nuttiness, a little chocolate and a touch of cream. Heavy, lush, viscous mouthfeel that's surprisingly creamy and only somewhat cut by carbonation. Bigger chocolate and sweet cream flavors in the taste than expected -- huge really -- with the coffee taking a backseat until the aftertaste, where it lingers. Very, very tasty.

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Photo of gustavmahler-09
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours black as night, not much head. As expected, smells of coffee, sweet. Tastes of coffee, chocolate, lingers on the palate. Goes down smoothly, feels creamy. Favorite so far from this brewery.

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Photo of TheStoutLord
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Very dark with a light brown head. Head last for quite a while, disappears cleanly.

S: Smells delicious. Heavy malty scents with strong coffee complimenting it. Can't smell anything of the high ABV.

T: Malt, malt everywhere and plenty of drops to drink. The malt and coffee smells did not fail to deliver on taste. Thick, roasted malt, with some hoppy bitterness dashed in goes great with dark coffee flavors. Strong and bitter, the flavor hides the high ABV perfectly. Taking a sip of this beer like like biting into a piece of bread and somehow drinking black coffee at the same time. Great representation of the American stout.

F: Heavy, thick and strong. Definitely a beer to sip. If the ABV comes out anywhere, its in the mouthfeel, not the taste.

O: Great stout. One of the best I've had as far as coffee stouts or Imperials are concerned. Gets to that perfect spot past too little flavor and before a high ABV. Will buy again on sight.

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Photo of johnnyd10vt
4.6/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent American Stout. Nice tan head that lasts a long time for CO2. Complex smell with coffee, malt, and smoke. Complex flavor, with the malt and hops nicely balanced. The high ABV is hidden pretty well by everything else going on. Well done, Santa Fe!

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Photo of damello1
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The smell of fleshy ground coffee beans is very pleasant. This beer almost taste like the perfect cup of coffee with just enough sweetness to mellow it out with round mocha tones.

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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 THSdrummer
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Black, with very little light finding its way through. The head is a medium khaki, which sits for a decent amount of time.

Smell: Malt heavy smell with a hint of coffee aroma mixed in. Absolutely lovely.

Taste: Thick malts and alcohol come out first. Maybe a tinge of coffee throughout the taste. The coffee aroma is just a bit more present than the coffee taste.

Feel: Smooth, but not as bold or creamy as I might expect a similar world-class stout to be. Nonetheless, good, just not the best aspect of this beer.

Overall: Quality beer. I've overlooked it several times on the shelf due to its mundane packaging. Considering it's a fairly cheap, hard hitting coffee stout on the shelves year around, it's a lovely beer for hard drinking, or enjoying with breakfast for dinner. Don't make the same mistake I did, pick a can up and see what you think.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of Thirstygoat
4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up as a 6 singles wow I wish they were all like this
Looks pitch black with a dab of head that leaves the slightest trace of lacing
Smells malty , very malty
the hops get through in the taste but it is about the malt
thick, ample mouthfeel
A really nice stout, like TenFiddy slightly milder cousin

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

(Draft, Santa Fe Brewery, Santa Fe NM) Coffee smell quite apparent. Super smooth to the finish.

Others:
Pale Ale - Lagerish and not too hoppy, 3.0
Happy Camper - Hopped nicely at first, but a bit underwhelming after a full beer, 3.25
Black IPA - Super dark malt flavor up front, very good but hard to distinguish in this category, 3.75
Adobe Igloo - yeasty mushroom, brown ale tasting, 2.8

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

12 oz can - 2 cans actually, one for before noon, one for after noon.
It pours a deep, dark brown color with a tall, off white head.
First smell is like a cup coffee, rich and bold.
Taste has the same strong, bitter, roasted coffee flavor.
Some beers just have added flavoring, but this is more like coffee than beer.
Still has a solid stout beer base to hold up to all the strong flavors.
8% alcohol is well hidden, the mouthfeel is smooth with no hot alcohol burn.
An excellent beer, especially if you like this style.

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

12 oz can, no readable date on can, but presumably brewed this year. Pours dark brown like any other stout, yet it has a creamy texture to it, nice lacing, with a decent amount of caramel-colored head. Aroma is strongly of both coffee and booze. Taste is of dark, malts, coffee, and chocolate. Medium mouth-feel, and creamy.

Definitely one of the better coffee stouts I have had. For the price, this one is worth having on hand, often.

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Photo of phrimplepoot
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Smell is amazing, taste is a little off. It's a little too intense on the coffee flavor. I'm not going to immediately follow this six pack with another, but I'm glad I bought this one. Worth getting off the beaten path a bit. Not boozy at all - digging that. Overall outstanding.

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Photo of Pegasus
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of 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 OrestesMethuon
3.14/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a fourteen-ounce tulip out of a twelve-ounce can that is (as is standard with Santa Fe Brewing) very simply and sleekly decorated. The result of the initial pour: a massive, sudsy mushroom-cloud of head, milky-khaki and oddly pitted or clumpy, but generally impressive and requiring two distinct pours from the can. The depletion is surprisingly fairly quick—down to a thin, eighth-inch creamy ring—but the lacing is sticky and pervasive down the tulip's rotund edges.

A bit of a metallic, aseptic, "off" quality dominates the faintest of café odors across what is, overall, a very limited and initially listless nose; as the stout airs, a little more coffee (and a little less "clouds taste metallic" defect) is detectable from atop the ale.

From the first sip, it becomes apparent that some of the coppery "off" notes are likely not "defects" but aspects of this stout—either derived from the coffees blended into the beer, as I find most likely, or from the "earthy British hops" or deep roasting of the malts. (It may also have arisen, in part, from some undesirable aging, as this beer is listed as a "winter" seasonal, and I purchased my six-pack on 18 August.) Irrespective of the source, these less-pleasant characteristics—as with the nose—subside after exposure to atmosphere, though never entirely departing.

Aside from these metallic impressions, the main melody of this beer is "bitter": coffee bitters, burnt-grain bitters, and herbaceous, damp forest-detritus (but pine-absent) hop-bitters all swirl throughout the creamy (but on the thinner side, for a stout) body of this stout. This decision definitely delegates a lot of bite to each sip, and likewise buries the alcohol behind a storm of various palate-smacking bitters, both subtle and pronounced, both dark and deep and grassy and gritty. However, while there is some good, nicely-restrained residual sugar allotted by the malts, the coffee and the multi-faceted hopping unfortunately don't provide much beyond the aforementioned—and, true to the patter's promise, complex—bittering.

Ultimately, I'd like to try this effort again, ideally a little geographically nearer and a lot temporally closer to the source. But even if the sniffing-a-nickel, sucking-on-a-penny characteristics *were* to be defects (either of canning or aging), I'm nevertheless skeptical I'd raise my score all too much: while Santa Fe's Imperial Java Stout is much too richly and variably bitter to be called "one-note," its very much "one-chord": many notes, but all firmly residing in a single register; complex, but in a narrow way; good at one thing, but all too reliant on only that thing.

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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 MuFugga
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I would say this is an underrated beer just due to that its a New Mexico beer. Has a very good coffee flavor and a real nice mouth feel. The 8% abv is well hidden. This beer is a nice value at $9 at six pack when most similar beers are $10 or more a four pack. Can definitely hold its own against a even FBS. I only wish the availability stretched beyond the southwest. Try it if you see it!

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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 tomfitz18
4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Beer itself thick and dark black. It had about an inch of tan creamy head. Left some lacing on the glass.
S: Smelled strongly of coffee, chocolate, and some caramel malt.
T: Tasted like mocha, then sweet with the chocolate, then slightly malty, and maybe a little vanilla at the end.
F: Kind of thick, very smooth on the palate, low carbonation, a pretty full mouth feel, and well balanced.
O: I really like this beer! I was very impressed by it. I had it after a long morning of exhausting mountain bike riding and it kept me up and feeling good the rest of the day. I could see this be a great morning beer. Also, I love that it comes in a can.

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Imperial Java Stout from Santa Fe Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 223 ratings.
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