Zumbar | New English Brewing Co.

very good
16 Reviews
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
New English Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Zumbar Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout was created as a collaboration between New English Brewing Company, and San Diego boutique coffee roaster, Zumbar Coffee & Tea for the Great American Beer Festival, 2012, winning GOLD in 2015 in the “Coffee Beer” category.

This Imperial Stout is brewed with “El Mundo” a rich blend of Indonesian and Latin American coffee beans in the mash and also in the fermenter. As well as ridiculous amounts of whole bean coffee we added 2 Lbs per Barrel of 72% cacao Belgian Chocolate in the secondary.

A true Russian Imperial Stout at 9.3% ABV, this beer is nevertheless well balanced with Nugget hops providing 45 IBU’s ensuring a pleasant bitterness offsetting the powerful combinations of malt, coffee and chocolate. Enjoy with care!

Added by HopHead84 on 03-11-2013

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 87
Photo of leroybrown10
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a 2+finger tan color head. Great retention and lacing. Big coffee and chocolate aroma, dark and bitter for both. Dark roasted malt. Taste just like the aroma, quite intense. Rich, creamy mouth feel with strong lingering coffee. Really great beer. Dark, intense, rich.

 291 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: 22-oz. bottle
Glass: Figueroa Mountain pint glass
From: Bine & Vine in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $8.99
Purchased: Feb. 26, 2016
Consumed: March 13, 2016
Misc.: No BOD on bottle

Had this once and rated it at 3.75 on Untappd, but this will be my first time reviewing it. Excited to have another good beer from New English.

Poured a pitch black color with 2-to-3 fingers of khaki tan, frothy head. Average amount of uneven, spotty lacing on the sides of the glass. Above average-to-good retention on the top all the way down. (Sight - 4.00)

Smelled deep, dark, roasted coffee malts, dark chocolate, smoky fire, dry, dark cocoa nibs and some ashtray. (Smell - 4.00)

Taste followed the nose nicely. Basically all coffee, which I always love in beer but somehow have never tried (save a half a cup one time of an espresso). Got dark, roasty coffee beans, Belgian dark chocolate, dry, dark cocoa nibs, smoky fire, ashtray and black licorice. (Taste - 4.25)

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

Enjoyed this one but I pretty much enjoy all coffee beers. Nice to the winter. (Overall - 4.00)

4.10 | 92 | A-

 1,172 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Viscous jet with pocked tan head that fades fast but webs. 4
Coffee nose with ash and deep dark chocolate underneath. 3.75
Coffee candy, char, fig, chocolate liqueur, slight blueberry, and some licorice. 4
Camp coffee end and creamy leave.
Medium-full, round, chewy. 4

Chocolate is good and dark but coffee is a bit sharp. Plenty of chew, not much hops, but the licorice/chocolate combo give bitterness for balance. Simple and drinkable. 4

 441 characters

Photo of pkalix
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

no date on the bottle, but i KNOW i've had this in my frig for two years+.....
looks nice in the glass, but aroma is the typical adjunct-type smell.....
very creamy, chocolate, slight vanilla, but no coffee or very little (it IS a bit 'ag=ed')..... typical adjunct-typed kind of flavor but decent.
overall, meh..... got better in my frig but wanted to finally get this one done....

 382 characters

Photo of Jeffo
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one from ScottO in a recent box. This one is to celebrate that my end finally made it to him.

From a bomber into a snifter
Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout
72% cacao Belgian dark chocolate
Zumbar's locally roasted coffee "El Mundo."

APPEARANCE: Clear dark brown pour yields a two finger, medium looking, slightly fizzy, light brown head with good retention. Clear bistre brown body with no carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a full foamy cap and clings to the sides of the glass. Half wisp remains until the end and leaves a few falling dots of lacing down the glass. Decent looking, though not all that dark for an imperial stout.

SMELL: A nice nose of coffee, creamy milk sugar, notes of vanilla and milk chocolate, and some cacao powder in the back. Medium strength, but creamy and well balanced.

TASTE: Medium flavors of sweet cream, milk chocolate, coffee, and cacao up front. Not as in your face as others, but it's all quite nicely balanced and put together. Some coffee bitterness at the swallow with sweet milk chocolate, some toffee notes, roasted coffee beans, bitter dark chocolate, roasted barley and powdery cacao. Pretty nice and not too overwhelming.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. A touch prickly on the palate maybe, but smooth enough, goes down fine and finishes slightly mouth-coating. Bitterness lingers.

This is a good beer all around. It's solidly made and all the right things are in all the right places. Unfortunately it's not bold or forthcoming enough to make it memorable, and it's missing that one, crucial element to give it that wow factor. Still, it's a enjoyable brew that's well worth checking out, especially if you're a fan of coffee stouts, which I am. This one hit the spot for me and it will probably hit the spot for you too. Thanks again for the beers ScottO! I'm happy my end to you finally worked out.

 1,879 characters

Photo of jakecattleco
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle of unknown date into a tulip glass. More brown than black color with thin layer of yellowish tan head. Nose is almost all chocolate. Taste was almost polar opposite of the nose in that there's a plethora of coffee abs almost nonexistent chocolate. Good mouthfeel and carbonation. It's a good beer, but I won't be seeking in the future.

 352 characters

Photo of bomberqueen
3.59/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours black, & heavy, with a tan/white creamy head.
Smells like dark hot chocolate, with a subtle hint of bitter espresso. Smells boozy.
Excepted more of a chocolate taste. More like a dark roast coffee with turbinado with a warm alcohol tingle at the end.
Velvet mouthfeel, this is where the chocolate really stands out. Oily on the lips.
Very drinkable for being so strong.
The name implied a sweeter taste. But it got a little better as it started to warm up.

22 oz from Best Damn Beer Shop in San Diego.
Poured into a Nonic glass.

 536 characters

Photo of jooler
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pretty great smell. Very noticeable chocolate scent. Taste is much like the smell. Chocolate forward with complimentary coffee taste. I also like the slight alcohol burn at the finish.

 184 characters

Photo of doktorhops
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chocolate? Coffee? Imperial? Stout? I’ve never heard of so many awesome words used together as the name of a beer - New English Zumbar Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout, I’m down for all of that! Plus it turns out the coffee used in this brew is Columbian, which is my favourite place of origin for coffee - if I ever travel to Columbia you can keep your nose clams Señor Alejandro Sosa, I’ll have a mug of joe instead. In any case I’m curious as to how this brew will compare to the superlative Black Market Embargo Imperial Brown I reviewed yesterday... this should indeed prove a battle of titans.

Poured from a 650ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Jet black body, like some sort of beer dark matter, with a 1cm caramel brown that invites any hardy Stout drinker to enjoy the goodness on offer, yum. The head soon drops back to a light dusting of lace, still yum. 8/10.

S: Reminiscent of Harviestoun’s Old Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve (the 9% one) which I had in Scotland many moons ago, with heavy dark chocolate, espresso coffee and roasted chicory. The espresso character is quite imperious and there is a sweetness from brown sugar that belies a bitterness that will no doubt be found in the tasting. 9/10.

T: Nicely balanced with espresso, dark chocolate, brown sugar, roasted chicory, a touch of smoke and earthy notes. The flavour comes off as a darker/burnt Founders Breakfast Stout, which is indeed high praise. The coffee adds to a gritty earthy aftertaste, along with an unfortunate slight metallic touch at the back. 8/10.

M: Very similar to the Embargo Imperial Brown with a mid to heavy body, a light but dense carbonation and added oiliness. 9/10.

D: Not quite as good as the Embargo Imperial Brown, but that comes more down to the flavours on offer than anything else - the brews are in fact kindred spirits in their intention to “wow” my senses with an onslaught of aroma/taste however it is the combination of palate characters in the Embargo that really won over this NEZCCIS. So there is your answer - the better brew for you is a matter of taste: do you prefer toasty cacao/dark fruits/molasses? Or do you like a deep dark coffee/earthy/chocolate beast? Overall the Embargo also went down easier too, things to consider when you’re drinking BIG beers. 9/10.

Food match: Swap the Romeo y Julieta for a H. Upmann Sir Winston and the glass of Talisker 10yro for an Ardbeg 10yro and it is game, set and match.

 2,451 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.66/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle I brought to share at Skuter's tasting.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, coffee bean, char, and metallic aromas. Taste is much the same with bittersweet cocoa, char, and burnt coffee flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with lots of super roasty cocoa and coffee qualities all around.

Serving type: bottle.

 656 characters

Photo of ADZA
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%

Pours a dark black kola hue with a chocolate laced two finger head and lacing everywhere, the smell is dark Belgian chocolate, strong coffee and dark malts, the mouthfeel is full bodied, silky smooth with moderate carbonation and has tastes of dark chocolate predominantly mixed with black coffee and roasty malts and finished with a toasty bitter sweetness and overall quite a nice stout cheers.

 396 characters

Photo of jjh19
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Black and a off-white head.

Smell: Lots of coffee and malty notes.

Taste: Wow - Big coffee taste. Huge. Not a ton of chocolate. Great roasted character.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied.

Drinkability: Very enjoyable. Cool name. This is a beer I’d order again.

 269 characters

Photo of cvm4
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours pretty dark, looks thick, has a medium brown one finger head.

S - Light roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate and a light presence of coffee.

T - The taste really follows the nose. Roasted malt is present throughout, a bit of bittersweet chocolate and again the coffee is there but is really lighter than I care for.

M - Medium bodied and carbonation. The body seems a bit thin to me.

O - It has a great base, but not something I would chase after.

 462 characters

Photo of mactrail
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Opaque brown-black in the New Belgium snifter. Nicely spritzy and very tangy on the tongue. Deep coffee smell.

Spicy and a little hot. An amazing amount of coffee flavor, overlaid by the rich chocolate. Rather bitter, like an espresso. Rather sweet but undercut by the bitterness. Vast amounts of seriously roasted malt. The tang of extra dark coffee is everywhere. Dark caramel aftertaste with a splash of java.

From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Bottlecraft in San Diego.

 476 characters

Photo of rawfish
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Zumbar coffee is some of San Diego's best so I am quite excited for this one. Pours fairly viscous, black with a thick swath of mocha brown head. Retention is quite good and try as it may lacing just doesn't want to stick on the glass.

Bittersweet chocolate and mild roasted coffee intermingle with quite a bit of dark fruit, licorice and floral hops. Less coffee aroma than I imagined, a bit hot as well but rather complex.

Bready malt with toffee and dark fruit sweetness, coffee roast flavors become prevalent near the end of the drink, rising intensely as the beer warms. Alcohol is present but adds to the flavor.

Medium bodied imperial stout, adequate carbonation and the bitterness is balanced. Malts are very sticky and warming alcohol was very unsettling when first poured.

A very tasty coffee stout if warmed appropriately, more complex dark fruit and floral aroma than expected if you are into that sort of thing. Sticky malt and alcohol present. Not exactly a coffee bomb that I was hoping for but good none the less.

 1,035 characters

Photo of HopHead84
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75


On tap at Urge. Chocolate Imperial Stout made with Zumbar coffee. I haven't had much from New English Brewing but Zumbar is a quality roaster here in San Diego so I had to try this.

Very dark brown with a finger of brown cream that lingers for some time and never really seems to disappear until I drain half the glass.

The aroma is roasty, nutty, and earthy with bittersweet dark chocolate and an evident but somewhat restrained coffee presence. A touch of dark fruit meets licorice.

A nice blend of earthy coffee, blackstrap molasses, licorice, roast, and dark chocolate. It's a straight forward coffee imperial stout that's hard to fault but difficult to adore when measured against its peers. The quality of the Zumbar coffee is not readily apparent against the backdrop of licorice, roast, and molasses. Moderately bitter throughout. Full body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is dry, chewy, and sticky with some astringency.

 957 characters

Zumbar from New English Brewing Co.
4.02 out of 5 based on 87 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.