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Imperial Java Stout | Santa Fe Brewing Company

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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 UrbanCaveman
4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12 oz can, poured into a snifter at approximately 50 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a slightly clear dark brown,rather light for a coffee stout, and forms a massively thick light tan head that hangs around for a while. It leaves lacing on the glass while it slowly dissipates down to a cap. Eventually, the head vanishes completely, and the beer looks almost exactly like a cup of light roast coffee sans any form of cream.

Smell: Deep roast and rich coffee scents mingle above a sweetness that doesn't seem to be entirely malt-derived. There's a hint of something akin to chicory lurking in there as well - I'd expect that from a New Orleans-based brewery before a Santa Fe brewery, but I'll take it.

Taste: The aroma does not disappoint here, as the beer delivers exactly what was promised by the nose. The flavor profile opens with roasted malt and light coffee in abundance, mingled with a slight touch of bitter baking chocolate. Notes of chicory echo around the edges as the brew moves along the palate, and the coffee bitterness fades as a sugary sort of sweetness begins to manifest. It never quite overtakes the coffee bitter, but balances it out by the finish. I can't find any alcohol taste at all, so well done there, Santa Fe!

Mouthfeel: Aside from temperature, this beer actually feels like drinking black coffee.

Overall: Not a bad go at a coffee stout, with the emphasis on coffee rather than stout. I would drink this again.

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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 LXIXME
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Frothy full light brown head sits above a very dark almost black stout. Aroma is rich with coffee/java smells but not of black coffee but of a more flavored variety maybe something Starbucks would sell for $6.00, maybe slight hints of coffee and whip cream or something like that.

The taste is quite similar with a full java/coffee taste that's not just coffee but malted coffee with cocoa beans or grain malts, struck me as quite odd, but in a good way. Taste is super rich java/coffee but it's not at the same time. I've had a lot of coffee stouts that are just coffee tasting, and yet this is but isn't at the same time, makes it quite enjoyable.

The aftertaste has is a lighter coffee/java feel to it but is a nice light dry that sticks with you.

I can't wait for these guys to put out a chocolate or vanilla porter, um-um good.

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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 EgadBananas
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown in color, black to the untrained eye. Nice tan finger of head, laces well.

Big coffee aromas that dance with roasted malts and chocolate sweetness. I've bold and I'm diggin' it!

Nice coffee flavours, with roasted, toasted malts and some bittersweet chocolate notes. Good, but just not as in your face as the aroma.

Feel is nearly full, could be a bit heavier to really give it that RIS feel. Carbonation is good, and it's nice and creamy and slick.

The drink is great. Very enjoyable coffee stout, abv is lower, which really makes it easy to put away!

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Photo of Bennettrox
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to optimator13 for this one!

A - Jet black, like pouring a morning cup of joe. Half finger khaki head the slowly dissipates.

S - Smells of roasted coffee. If I didn't know any better I would think that I was just poured a great local coffee! Bittersweet chocolate and a little wood.

T - Following the nose this is full of burnt roasted coffee. Deep flavor of heavy malts. The more this warms up the more I'm enjoying the deep dark coffee taste, not much sweetness which I think I like. Coffee is the star!

M - Light but chewy at the same time. This goes down very easy with almost a tiny burn at the end. Medium carbonation.

O - Life would be sweet if I could start my morning off with a cup of Imp Java Stout. As a coffee head I really enjoyed this one! Thanks Evan!

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Photo of superspak
4.16/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce can into snifter, no canning date. Pours pitch black with some brown on the edges; with a huge 2-3 finger khaki head with incredible retention that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Some nice lacing clinging to the glass as well. Aromas of big roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, biscuit, and some herbal hops. Very nice and well balanced aromas. Taste of big chocolate, roasted coffee, caramel, roasted malt, toast, and light spiciness. Good amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of coffee, roasted malt, caramel, and herbal spiciness. Nice balance of flavors with a good amount of robustness. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a decently creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Very easy to drink for 8%, and there is really no alcohol presence noticed. Overall this is a great coffee stout! I am guessing this was at least over a year old, but it has held up the coffee flavors quite nicely. Nice balance of flavors and easily drinkable.

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Photo of Chaney
4.16/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My man Huzuhbendah slipped me one of the these the other day to take home after a tasting. Thanks Matt!

Split with my wife.

A: Poured as black as night and with a fairly sticky mocha head that was a mere ring around the brew.

S: Intense smell of high grade coffee, burnt caramel, and vanilla. Really nice.

T: Nice coffee flavor as well as sort of a chocolate donut-like component. Very dessert-like in its disposition overall which suits me fine.

M: I really like the marriage of the sweet and coffee components here. It was definitely more of a Heath bar as opposed to a bitter java.

O: My wife just said, "I wish I had about 6 of these for tonight." Yep, I'd definitely have this one again.

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a large goblet.

Looks black in the glass, with 1 finger of head that consolidated into what looks to be eerily like espresso crema (not a bad thing!).

Smells like a coffee stout, no doubt. The distinct coffee aroma melds with hops to kick the olfactory senses with a twang of bitter coffee bean. Some black malts and a touch of bitter baking chocolate as well.

Coffee comes through huge in the flavor, even more than the nose indicated. Wow, big sweet coffee flavors, this reminds me of well prepared French press. The hops don't thrash around in the mouth like I expected from the nose, which makes this much more approachable, although they are present in sufficient quantities to keep this from getting too sweet. The roasted malts provide a nice backdrop, and even poke through all the chocolate and coffee flavors with some of their own toastiness. Some nice hints of something like vanilla fade in and out as well.

The mouthfeel is creamy (I love cans!) and full bodied, with enough carbonation to keep this interesting, but not enough to lift the flavors off the tongue before they have a chance to get to work. A nice balanced feel. Surprising.

Conclusion: This is actually quite fantastic. I wasn't expecting a major player, but this is coffee forward, balanced, textured, dynamic, and damn tasty. Well done Santa Fe. My second favorite coffee stout behind Fouders Breakfast.

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Photo of Beerandboards
4.14/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap

A - black, cola type color. Little light on head, but most, of not all of that is the fact that it was out of a plastic cup at a food festival.

S - chocolate espresso beans. Little bit of vanilla.

T - smooth coffee bomb. Dark chocolate. They should do themselves a little bit of a favor and change the label to "stout" as opposed to "imperial stout." It just lacks a little bit of depth to hold up the imperial label. That being said, very tasty coffee stout.

M - a little on the thin side, carb is good, if not a little high.

O - great coffee stout. The only gripe is in the labeling, nothing on the beer front. If this were a stout, as opposed to an imperial stout, the numbers would be higher. That being said, don't let the numbers fool you, this is a great beer.

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Photo of emerge077
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Undated can, poured into a tulip glass. Billowing head of tan foam at first, it dwindles to a skim after a few minutes. Spindly halo of lacing all around the glass. Black with brownish edges.

Substantial coffee aroma at first, it tends to ebb away over time though. Rich dark roast.

Taste is bold with bitter dark coffee flavors, fairly complex and roasty coffee notes linger into the aftertaste. Body is fairly light for an "imperial stout", this seems more like a standard issue coffee stout, though a very tasty one. Smooth creamy feel. Overall this was nice and i'd recommend picking it up if you like a bold coffee stout.

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Photo of riored4v
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 9/7/11

Poured in to a tulip. Dark tan head with good lacing. Seemed to be a thin body when it poured, nothing like motor-oil type of stout. Black body.

Aroma had some strong Java to it. Mild chocolate and sweetness. Mild roastiness and some toffee. Definitely heavy on coffee.

Taste had a milky, coffee, java taste throughout. Really good. Mild chocolate and notes of raisin and bitter burnt malt. Tasty brew but not much complexity. Mild sweetness.

Mouthfeel was medium body with a medium/high carb. Mildly dry finish.

Overall it was a good. Very tasty coffee stout and no signs of abv.

Aged this same batch for 1yr 3mos. Initial thoughts is that it tastes roughly the same. Flavors have blended a bit more and is really smooth with lots of java. Still extremely enjoyable.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a twelve ounce can into a snifter.

This stout pours a dark brown, almost black in color, and creates a chewy, frothy head. There are big air bubbles among the head. The head persists long after the pour and creates a ton of lace around the glass.

The smell is very much like a coffee with milk. The coffee smell is potent, a condensed milk aspect weaves in and out, and their is a hint of sugar. This all shows up in the taste as well, as the beer drinks very much like a sweet, creamy coffee. Maybe an Irish Coffee, since the heat from the booze provides a kick.

This is a go-to beer for me here in my native state, truly a good beer, and I highly suggest it to those that enjoy a sweeter stout or a coffee stout.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

looks like a perfect stout... head could be a bit stronger, but the retention isn't bad. hints of lace, but the darkness is a beautiful cocoa hue that kills.

aroma of milk, molasses and espresso, hints of leather, tobacco, rich dark earthy malt.

taste follows. coffee, dark earthy malts. milky, rich, dark cocoa. licorice and leather.

mouth solid. moderate body, ample carbonation, light and soft with a hint of roasty bitterness in the finish that's pleasantly drying.

all in all, damn awesome. if this were local, it'd be steadily stoked in my fridge. I miss Santa Fe.

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Photo of JMad
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown color almost completely opaque with a thin brown head. The aroma is nice with tons of roasted coffee and some chocolate. The taste is bitter coffee with some dark chocolate and some earthy hop notes with a hint of pine. It is nice and thick but not too heavy with low carbonation and a dry finish. Very nice brew, all of their beers have been good that I've tried.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled 12 oz. can poured into a shaker pint. No visible canning date.

Look- Clear deep brown with a dense cap of frothy tan foam. Decent retention, glass is coated by the time it's been emptied.

Smell- Baker's chocolate, char, dark roast coffee, light sweetness. Appealing.

Taste- Rich flavor, dark, roasty char, espresso, semisweet chocolate, again a light toffee sweetness in the background. Takes on a lighter flavor by the swallow, more of a milk chocolate flavor. Finishes with more cocoa and coffee dregs. Alcohol near nonexistent.

Mouthfeel- Medium-full feel, light carbonation. Coffee astringency lightens it a bit, very smooth, full, rich without being syrupy. Very nice. Drinks like.. coffee with dairy creamer.

Overall- Nice, absolutely what I wanted from an imperial coffee stout. Bold flavor, not quite a dessert beer. I'll certainly be getting it again.

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Photo of RattleheadKV2
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into goblet from 12 oz can.

Appearance: Pours a nice super dark brown, almost black, with about a fingers worth of thick tan head that dissipates down to ring of tight bubbles around the edge of the glass. No lacing left behind at all, some very slight alcohol legs.

Smell: Well they don't call this a Java Stout for nothing! Lots of roasty coffee, and chocolate notes, as well as some slight bready notes.

Taste: Coffee! The coffee here really shines through, without being overpowering, you still get a good amount of chocolate, and biscuit flavors. On the finish is a nice little bit of hop bitterness to round everything out.

Mouthfeel: Nice and thick, just as a stout should be. Not really anything else to write about, pretty typical of the style.

Overall: Very good brew, wish Santa Fe Brewing would sell this stuff year round with the Happy Camper. Very good buy, only about $7-$9 a 6-pack around here. Will definitely be buying again.

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

Out of the can and into my kickass new russian river pint glass. Thanks byrd for the glass and drmattyb for the brew.

A- a firm pour really gets the head going and I have to wait a second for it to settle so I can pour the rest of the can. Two fingers of coffee and lots of cream head that does hold for a good bit before settling to a sudsy cap and a ton of lace all over the glass. Super dark brown bordering on black in color with a bit of a brown glow at the edges.

S- dark roasted malts and a good coffee hit. Touches of a molasses like sweetness and some earthy undertones.

T- lots of coffee and chocolate going on here. The malts dark and well roasted really playing off the coffee nicely. Sweet chocolate milk in there with some brown sugar as well.

M- a few steps above medium in body and well carbed keeping things very drinkable.

O- this is a tasty stout and super drinkable. Full flavored and very clean. Ill have to trade for some more I totally dig this stuff.

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

Picked up a six of this imperial stout for a ridiculous $7.50. Brown can has a coffee cup icon, tagged with the descriptors "ale with coffee beans", "before noon", and "not to be used with donuts". I could see a donut with this, though, especially if it were pre-noon.

First pour into a nonic generated a huge head that I had to stand around and wait for to finish pouring. Second one was more gentle and subdued (so it is possible). Black body, tan head. Aroma is very coffee and malty, some hops, and has that SFBC aroma to it. What is that, the water? Anyway, big coffee flavor and smoke. Not too heavy for an 8%, but I don't think I could do more than two in a sitting. Ok, maybe three. Creamy mouthfeel, and medium to low carbonation.

Pretty outstanding imperial stout, especially for the price and format. I like this, and I will get it again. Thanks Santa Fe.

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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 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 mdcrouser
4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

My first beer from Santa Fe Brewing - I've heard good things and am looking forward to this one. Great design too - ironically, created by a KC-based agency.

Looks outstanding from the can - a finger of a creamy sand-colored head caps this pint of intense darkness.

Some of the biggest coffee on the nose I've come across - very much a "breakfast-like" stout.

Percolating on the tongue, dark, coffee-heavy - much more pervasive and deep than actual coffee ever is. Reminds me of the few times I've had espresso. Wishing there was another layer to this one - vanilla, roasty, something else - just to provide a constrast.

Less creamy than I'd expected and hoped - pops a bit on the tongue instead.

This one's best with just a hint of chill left on it. In truth, room temperature is when coffee has the most flavor to it. That's the rule here as well. Heavy as it is, I could enjoy quite a bit of this - even at 8%, it seems like a big session beer.

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