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Imperial Java Stout | Santa Fe Brewing Company

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226 Reviews
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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 gford217
3.45/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jack for this 12oz can.

Settles in as a dark chocolate brown, just short of black, under a huge frothy beige head that shows excellent lacing.

Lots of roasted coffee and cocoa beans in the nose with some hints of lactose. The roasted black malts are the most dominant aspect.

Taste is sweet lactose and fresh roasted coffee with faint chocolate notes. It tastes a bit like a watered down iced mocha but with half the chocolate.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for a standard stout and on the lighter end if we're considering this one imperial. It's got strong carbonation and leaves a roasty bitterness on the palate.

I love coffee stouts but this is not one of my favorites. The coffee is subtle and doesn't really pop. It's a drinkable stout overall but not up there with the best coffee stouts or impy coffee stouts.

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Photo of Karibourgeois
3/5  rDev -25%

Coal black pour with a light brown one-finger head. Really nice aroma of fresh coffee beans with a hint of chocolate. Very sweet flavor of chocolate and light roast coffee upfront. Medium body also has a hint of roasted malt and french roast coffee bitterness in the finish. Was kind of expecting more from the flavor as the smell was amazing.

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

A-dark brown black color with a nice tan head and good lacing

S-dark roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, caramel

T-dark roasted malt, coffee, burnt caramel, chocolate, vanilla, mild to moderate bitter finish

F-medium to full body with moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy

O-nice flavor and body in this stout, could drink a lot of these

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

a: poured into a wide chalice, producing a nice khaki head that retains a thin layer and ring, the beer itself a deep chestnut brown in color

s: lovely coffee bean aromas - mostly medium roasts without any touch of char or burn, fresh, woody, and earty - really quite nice, the malts provide dusty chocolate and a nice toasted grain sugar, hops kept to a minimum, dig this

m: carbonation on the lighter side of things, with a body riding the line between medium and heavy, not thick but with a nice weight

t: the great coffee character carries over from the aroma, loads of light and dark roast coffee flavors, fresh and vivid, the malt body complimenting well with baker's chocolate and toasted sugars, nice grain flavor, not as "stout" as a stand-alone version of the style might tend to be, allowing the coffee to shine through, dries somewhat to coffee and cocoa with a mild bittering

o: a great coffee stout that came as a bit of a surprise, not hugely complex or deep, but the bean character is fantastic and really makes the beer

can from the Liquor Mart in Boulder

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

Santa Fe Imperial Stout has a medium, creamy, beige head, a dark brown (with reddish-brown highlights) appearance, and a heavy lacing sheen left on the class. The aroma is of predominately dark-roasted coffee, dark-roasted malts, and maybe some water. Taste is of all that, with dark cherry and slight hoppy bitterness. Mouthfeel is mostly light, and Santa Fe Imperial Stout finishes mostly dry, rich, and flavorful. No alcohol shows itself. Excellent stuff, this.


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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 arizcards
3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a single from Total Wine in mid-August for $1.79. Best by 10-19-13.

Beer poured dark brown with a nice brown head.

Nose is all coffee to me and not much else.

Taste is coffee forward, some dark chocolate, and a decent amount of hopping to keep the sweetness at bay.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and somewhat smooth.

Overall this is a nice brew at a nice price. Be ready for some heavily roasted coffee if you do get the opportunity to try this.

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Photo of beergoot
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark, dark brown body with a clinging, foamy dirty head. Big charred grain and dark, freshly roasted coffee bean aroma. Flavors include cocoa, bittersweet chocolate, mocha and coffee, malt sweetness, and a low-key hop bitterness. Rather lightweight body; smooth and silky; semi-sweet finish.

Coffee stout fans should be very fond of this beer. The coffee aspect is very upfront with the aroma and flavor with classic milk/sweet stout character providing a solid backbone. Surprisingly light mouthfeel for such a big beer (personally, I'd like a little more body), yet this may make the brew easier to drink for many. A great find and an excellent beer.

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Photo of Morey
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark-brown coming out of the can, but basically turns black in the glass. The head is light brown in color and has a bit of staying-power. When held to the light, you can definitely get some dark red and brown hues around the edges of the glass.

Aroma: Roasted coffee beans right up front followed closely by a sugary sweetness. Maybe a touch of chocolate in there as well. Not very complex, but nice.

Taste: Really nice coffee flavor on the front end. The sweetness that I was pulling out of the aroma isn't far behind. There's a nice bitterness mid to late palette that keeps the sweet flavors from becoming cloying.

Mouthfeel: This is my biggest knock on this beer. It just needs more body in my opinion. I would say it's medium for the style with the carbonation coming in on the lower side, which is appropriate.

Morey's Bottom Line: A pretty good coffee stout overall, but I could use a little less sweetness and a bigger mouthfeel. I wouldn't hesitate to drink it again, but I won't be searching for it either.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.36/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This pours a rich, thick, coffee-colored mocha black with a light foam ring. The aroma is reminiscent of a coffee roast, with a flavor that’s big, bright, and full of java. Great coffee flavor profile with a crisp body and a nice kick at the end. I enjoyed this one tremendously.

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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 Beaver13
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz can. Pours a dark brown with a medium creamy tan head that quickly goes to a collar that laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet chocolate malts and lots of roasted coffee.

The flavor is sweet chocolate with a lot of nice coffee and some bitter roast in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low but smooth carbonation.

Overall, not very complex (all about the coffee), but a great beer for coffee lovers. One of the best coffee beers I've had...yum!

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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 M_chav
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Smooth, rich java/vanilla flavors. Definitely my go to and in my opinion, an extremely underrated beer. medium/full body with no trace of alcohol, a well balanced beer. Coffee forward no doubt, small hoppy bitterness - only knock on this is the metallic finish. Other than that, this is lovely.

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Photo of Moose90
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can into a pint mug

A – Deep dark brown, not black, almost opaque. Leaves a 1" fluffy head with big bubbles. Leaves good lacing throughout.

S – Coffee, dark roast, medium roast, some chocolate and toffee here too. This smells great, very balanced, not too sweet.

T – Dark roasted coffee, chocolate. This tastes exactly like a dark chocolate covered espresso bean, awesome. Balance from the big espresso comes from a little vanilla and toffee sweetness.

M – Medium-full body, not too heavy, this is drinkable for an imperial stout. Long aftertaste is much appreciated.

O – This is a great coffee stout. It tastes so much like a good dark chocolate covered espresso bean, it has the sweetness, balanced by the bitterness, and is an overall great beer.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz can poured into pint glass. Appearance is opaque and black with a layer of tan head that retains nicely. The smell has bold roast espresso with some assertive hops present as well. Taste is chocolatey up front and is followed up by dry bitter espresso. Nice bold and beany finish. Mouthfeel is relatively light for style and abv. Overall, tons of espresso in the nose and flavor, missing a little in the way of body and depth.

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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 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 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 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 emmasdad
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a six pack of cans of this one today for less than 8 bucks. An incredible deal for an above average coffee imperial stout. Pours a rich, opaque black color, with a huge fluffy tan head. Aromas of freshly roasted coffee beans, espresso and roasted malt. On the palate, smooth and flavorful, with loads of coffee, slightly burnt, chocolate and a hint of hops on the finish. Very good.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz can into a stemless Hennessy snifter (my pimp hand is strong tonight, bitches!)

Nice appearance, with a rich mahogany brown core that fades outward to a ruddy amber color. The head is a dusty taupe hue, and the quarter inch of foam quickly settles to a ring and a thin veneer of bubbles. A very earthy aroma brings forward freshly ground coffee beans, fresh roasted, too. Dark malts lend notes of chocolate and bread crust, while the hops add a bit of balance to the ensemble.

The flavor matches the aroma's earthiness, and then some. Lots of roastiness to the coffee beans, verging on charred but the base beer dials in the balance just enough that things don't get too carried away. Alcohol is well-hidden. My only knock against this beer is the body--a bit thin for an 8% Imperial Stout. Still, good carbonation level and a clean finish. Overall, a tasty release from Santa Fe that any coffee beer lover should look forward to trying.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours near black with a dark khaki colored 2 finger head. Fair retention, breaking down to a thin, broken layer of surface suds and a fat ring around the edge. Lacing does well to cling in spots all around the glass.

Smell - Your typical coffee-infused brew aroma here; iced coffee with light chocolate and caramel notes.

Taste - Follows the nose. Coffee with caramel and light chocolate undertones. Finish is much the same, with just a touch more coffee roast.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full in body with moderate carbonation. Silky texture, going down smooth and easy.

Overall - Falls in with most of the coffee-infused brews, which is to say completely tasty but nothing breakthrough in terms of something different. They all pretty much taste the same. If you're looking for a java stout, you can't go wrong with this one, but same can be said for most.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

$ 2.15 (Including tax)/12 oz can ($ 0.180/oz) at Total Wine, SATX
Undated 12 oz can at 45 degrees into a hand washed and dried JK snifter
Aroma- coffee and chocolate, lasts
Head large (Maximum 5.3 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy, diminishing to an irregular five to seven mm ring and layer of varying thickness
Lacing poor – just a few tiny islands of tinier bubbles
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor – chocolate with just a hint of coffee and coffee bitterness; no malt, no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate – medium, creamy, soft carbonation

An unremarkable coffee stout.

Appearance 3.75, Aroma 4, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 3.75

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Photo of spoony
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz can into a globe glass.

A-The beer was nearly pitch black. An aggressive pour produced a tall (two-plus fingers) head of grayish-brown head. The head dropped after a minute or two into a cap and left decent lacing on the glass.

S-Smell was strong coffee (espresso), roasted malts, and light bitterness. A little simple, but for a coffee stout, it delivered the goods.

T-Taste was also strong, slightly bitter coffee. There was some baking chocolate and smokiness, as well. A few demerits for a slightly metallic taste on the finish.

M-Feel was medium bodied with low carbonation. The brew was a touch watery for the style, but not awful.

O-This was a solid coffee stout. I found the coffee flavors to be straight-forward and not as complex as some, but sometimes simplicity is a good thing. The brew loses points for a weak mouthfeel and a somewhat odd finish, but I would drink this again when I'm in the mood for an affordable, easy-to-drink coffee brew.

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