Jahva (Imperial Coffee Stout) | Southern Tier Brewing Company

694 Reviews
Jahva (Imperial Coffee Stout)Jahva (Imperial Coffee Stout)

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by John on 02-24-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 694 | Ratings: 1,271
Photo of MiScusi
1.87/5  rDev -53.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I received this bottle in January or February I believe...

Pours super thick black, with a dark dark brown head that cascades down and actually looks awesome as it does. The smell and taste both don't excite me too much. Some sourish black malt aspects to it, the coffee comes through Ok but this thing is so thick it's not really even fun to drink. I split a bottle of this with friends and they didn't dig it either... I couldn't finish the few ounces I had and wouldn't even think of ever trying it again.

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Photo of wyattshotmaker
2.12/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

kinda perplexed. i remember having a bottle of this and thinking it was pretty good. this is absolutely terrible.

pours black with a nice tan head, looks pretty good. smells grain-y with a hint of coffee and some caramel. not very appealing.

taste it just meh. grainy, hints of chocolate and coffee, finishes with a horrid medicinal after taste.

mouthfeel is pretty thin. i typically really enjoy all of the southern tier blackwater beers but this is worth passing and then some.

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Photo of SGDJosh
2.29/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

From notes taken on 9/9 at home:

A – Pours super dark as expected, but not thick. No head, just a little lacing on top.

S – Really lacking on the coffee. All I really get is dark malt and alcohol. Lots of alcohol on the nose which is usually a bad thing for me.

T – Whoa at the alcohol! I was expecting it after the nose but jeez. Coffee is very faint, maybe some chocolate notes but they are wiped clean off of the palate by the alcohol.

M – Body is way too light. Carbonation is crisp but the whole mouthfeel is a burning alcohol sensation.

O – Not impressed. As of lover of big & dark beers I was very disappointed. The coffee influence just wasn’t there for me. I’m hoping that I just happened to get a young bottle. I am going to buy another to cellar up for a while and revisit this review. After having the Crème Brulee Stout from the same series I was really looking forward to this one. Way too boozy for my likes!

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Photo of ronhocker
2.46/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap after a softball game in west allis, wi. Wasn't sure what it was at first, but confirmed later and was shocked to the reviews on beer advocate. The entire softball team agreed in summary that this beer was "maple syrup and fleichman's vodka".

The appearance was very dark as expected, no issues there.

Smell was nothing special either.

The final gravity must be very high, as this beer is extremely sweet. The alcohol is not well hidden like other beers. Coffee is present, but perhaps only part of the sweetness.

Very thick body, I left half of my pour on the table. And actually this week I've been sampling imperial stouts all around as a I prepare to make one myself.

To me (and the rest of the team drinking the pitcher), this seemed similar to an average homebrew. However, even the alstrom bro's give high marks.

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Photo of jessecarr
2.51/5  rDev -38%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Why all the hype on this one? Maybe 06 and 07 were better, but the 08 batch leaves much to be desired.

Maybe I fell victim to the "beer hype," but I had healthy anticipation of a great Imperial Stout. This "JAHVA" tasted nothing like coffee, smelled nothing like coffee, and was runny and liquidy like a cola.

The pour into a snifter left a bit of head initially, but it soon dwindled to that runny, cola texture. The color was nice--a deep brown caramel color, but then the first whiff left me confused.

The bottle boasts a rare coffee infusion, but on the nose, this smells very bland. Alcohol dominates the nose, and I was not surprised at all to immediately notice the lack of coffee flavor on my first sip. I warmed the glass, hoping for an improvement, but--as is the case with below average imperial stouts--the quality decreased even further as it warmed.

I had to make myself finish the beer (to rationalize dropping $9 on this waste of a bomber), which is a horrible testimony.

This beer got me mad. Let's step it up next year Southern Tier!

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Photo of chiral3
2.64/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked up only one bottle. First time.

I was not impressed by this beer at all. The coffee might have been good, and perhaps this is its noveltly, but it lacked in complexity, mouthfeel, toasted chocolate dark malt, etc.

Very little aroma outside of the coffee. Not much head.

Front of the the swallow yields coffee. This quickly graduates to uninteresting stout (not, in my opinion, imperial), and finishes with an overly sweet aftertaste.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
2.66/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served on-tap in a 12-ounce glass at Sunset in Boston.

Pourevery dark brown. Like liquid chocolate. Not quite like black coffee but a slight brown hue was present. A wafting aroma of coffee and bitter malts rose out of the tulip glass.

The flavor as over-the-top. When making this beer it was as if tey wanted to jump on the band wagon of coffee stouts and make a big ass version. I was looking for cream and sugar it was so bitter with coffee grinds. Thought I was gonna be picking the grinds out of my teeth. Completely out of balance with not much of anything else going on. Perhaps a little bit of nuts. Medium to full body that seemed to thicken as the beer warmed. Really had to force myself to finish the glass.

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
2.67/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: This beer is your typical coffee stout in the sense that it is black with a brown head. The head itself disappears as soon as you're done pouring except it does leave thin line of foam which is sticky to remind you that it was once there.

S: A thick coffee/mocha fragrance is quickly detected in this beer as well as chocolate, brown sugar, and molasses. Hints of malts can be picked up as well as traces of burning alcohol.

T: Very disappointed in this beer being that it smelled so good. Flavors of roasted coffee and chocolate are very delicious, but are quickly overwhelmed with the burn of alcohol. It makes it very difficult to drink and unpleasant. Not a complex beer at all. Almost like 2 day old coffee with vodka in it. If the alcohol wasn't so powerful, it would be a decent beer.

M: Full-bodied with little carbonation. Very dry, but the texture reminds me of syrup.

D: I'm glad I tried it because I heard so many good things about this, but I was very disappointed. I definately wouldn't go out of my way to try this again. Wouldn't recommend this.

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Photo of ricke
2.74/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Very dark brown with a small beige head that settles rather quickly and leaves some lacings.

S: Roasted malts, wood, powdered chocolate, some notes of coffee and some strange notes of leafy peppery hops, blue cheese and cardboard. I suspect that there's something wrong here, perhaps it's on it's way to oxidation and infection.

T: There's restrained strange flavors as well. The taste is very sweet, and I mean really sugary sweet with lots of coffee and chocolate notes. The flavors are not very rich, and I don't get a genuine espresso feeling from the coffee. Roasted malts and some notes of dark fruits. Hints of cardboard and leafy hops. The finish is very bitter with notes of warming sweet alcohol, coffee and blue cheese. This is one messy beer.

M: Full bodied and smooth. The mouthfeel is the highlight of this one.

D: Hard to tell if this bottle was ok, or if there was something wrong with it. Something seemed wrong, but it wasn't a horrible mess. It was just edgy and strange with some odd flavors and aromas. But either way, it doesn't seem to be a good imperial coffee stout.

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Photo of badboyrsl84
2.76/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It pours black into pint glass with no head.

The smell is the same as the mokah. Nothing special. Its alcohol and I can't tell what else. Maybe some chocolate.

The taste isn't very appealing at all. Carbonation overpowering with nothing more. It finishes with a hint of Java I guess.

Nothing special especially after the victory at sea. I'm really disappointed with this one.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
2.77/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

From 22oz bomber to Bruges hybrid glass on 4/4/12
*From notes

Vintage 2010

A: If I wanted a Brown Ale, I'd buy one. Sadly, this is much lighter in color then your average brown, and a big pour disappoints - yielding no real head, lacing or collar to speak of.

S: Peanut butter and unseasoned oatmeal.

T: Again, lots of oats. Not a lot of coffee or residual sugar. I'm not too fond of this one.

M: Thin and uninspired. It lacks not only carbonation, but body too.

O: Don't age this beer, folks. I write this review to tell you that putting this one in the cellar was a mistake. Ok, so I lost the bottle in there for much longer then originally expected, but be warned: unlike a lot of ST's Impy Stouts, this one must be consumed as fresh as possible. As it is, you ask?

Not good.

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Photo of BMoney575
2.78/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled on 6-29-08
2008 Vintage

Pours a completely opaque black, with not much head at all.

Smell is very sweet and boozy, with a touch of earthy coffee. Not much coffee, though.

Taste is kind of stouty, but mostly a bland, dry, malt boozefest. I don't get any coffee, not even coffee bitterness. It's like a joke that I'm not in on.

Mouthfeel is decent, but too thin for the alcohol.

Drinkability is poor, unless your purpose is to get drunk. In that case it's awesome.

Overall, I keep giving Southern Tier chances, and most of the time they disappoint.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
2.8/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured this Imperial Stout from a 22 oz brown bomber into a pint glass. The beer poured a dark brown color and produced a nice thick tan head. The head was nice and thick. Above average lacing. The Aroma was very nice, it was dominated by Chocolate and coffee. The taste of the beer was full in body, very thick. The stout was full of chocolate and coffee flavor but it tasted like it was full of some sort of liquor. This is not a beer that you can drink quickly- Overall, the beer while it looked and smelled good, I felt it was to over the top- the strong liquor taste was to much for me to look past- so much so I didnt enjoy it- I think they could have found a better balance. If they were going for a BIG BEER they more than succeeded. Not my cup of tea.

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Photo of sweemzander
2.85/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 12/01/09 is printed on the bottle, but it does not say if thats a bottled date or best by date.

(A)- Pours pitch black color that produced no head formation; not even bubbles, just a tan layer of film. Some head did form after some swirling, but still minor.

(S)- Dense layers of coffee with a strange mineral/cumin spice kick. Bits of cocoa.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. That weird mineral/cumin spice kick in the middle is there, just less present than it was in the smell. Finishes in a dry cocoa thing.

(M)- A strange beer. Its got the good cocoa-like coffee nuance that I was expecting, but with that really bizarre, almost off-putting mineral/cumin middle really confuses me and causes me to not be able to fully enjoy this beer.

(D)- I dont get it, this has gotten alot of rave reviews, but I just dont see it with the bottle I have in front of me. Its decent, but just very disjointed. Its definitely not too old, but could it possibly be light struck or infected? I am just not sure.

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Photo of FrognutUnl
2.86/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very deep brown bordering on black with a head that barely reaches up the glass. The nose yields a mild choclatey coffee smell, but so far not a whole lot to keep me interested. The coffee is mild at first that begins to poke out a little more as I work through the glass, but enough to satisfy me that it is an imperial coffee stout. There is also a mild roasty character to the beer and very little hint of the 12% ABV. It leaves a sticky, creamy, smooth feeling on the way down with very little carbination tickling the tongue. Overall, I felt a little let down by this beer. I was expecting more of a coffee flavor to be present and consider this brew to be a little below average considering the advertised style.

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Photo of jmatthew
2.87/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A thick oily black pool of liquid in the glass with very little head retention. Faint hints of ruby in the highlights but mostly just dark and intimidating. The inviting smell is earthy with chocolate roasted malts and a pronounced coffee aroma. Absolutely overpowering sweetness upon tasting. Sweet dark chocolate with more of a syrupy coffee liqueur flavor than actual bitter coffee beans. Thick, oily and medicinal with a touch of dark fruit, but the coffee does however bring things back in check with a touch of bitterness towards the very end. Finishes with warmth. I had to set the 22oz bottle aside, and it was much better later on in the night as a dessert beer, but I simply found the sweetness overly dominant and unsatisfying.

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Photo of Voonder
2.91/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to jwc215 for this beer.
Pours black with thin tan head which dissapeared fairly quick. Smell - not too much smell here, but coffee is noticable. It tastes like stout with coffee added and alcohol covers it all really. I don't know, may be imperial stout is not my stile, but this one seems to be way off balance. It is still pretty solid brew I guess, nice stout just with too much of offencive alcohol. Mouthfeel - carbonated, thick. As I'm having trouble finishing this bottle I'd say it's not drinkable.
May be it's just me, but i did not like it. Worth trying anyway.

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Photo of DiabolikDUB
2.92/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from Bottle into Tulip glass.

Pours a smooth black with some red-toned edging with a quick dissolving brown head that leaves a thin ring around the glass. The aroma is chocolate dominated with coffee some toffee and burnt sugar. The flavor is sweet with more chocolate than coffee roastiness and finishes with a coffee bitterness and slight alcohol burn. Its a velvety full-bodied beer. This isn't necessarily a bad beer but it seems very sweet and I would like a little more carbonation.

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Photo of cokes
2.94/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours to darkest brown that more or less equates to black. The head is low but enduring as a tan skim.
The nose ekes out sweet cream, burnt pine cones, dark rum booze tendrils, and a vague semblance of coffee beans. It's not bad through the nostrils, but I'd never have though a 12% Imperial Coffee Stout would smell so lazy, small, or hollow.
It's bolder through the mouth, but still not up to the bar I set in my preconceptions. Burnt brown sugar, sweet cream (again, and it's probably the most endearing flavor), dark chocolate, and caramel candies. The beans hits with some medium roast coffee, inching possibly towards darker roasts. They also tote a lingering twinge of acridness, though that could well be from the following chocolate-coniferous hops. Booze rears up and fires volleys of flavor-rending heat. At 12% this is expected to a degree, but it appears here in flavorless Everclear-like detonations, as opposed to a boozy nuance that might find a niche within the other things present. It aborts everything even without being ridiculously hot on its own and concludes the beer with plain alcohol allowing nothing else to pass through or linger.
It's a full bodied beer, but seems at many points much thinner due to the bracing and rampant booze-slick notions. On the whole, it is a body that could support much larger flavors, but they simply aren't here.
This is an antithesis of their Choklat. That took it's hallmark flavor and ran with it nearly to absurdity. Oppositely, this direly needs more "jah-va", more roast, more stout, and more flavor in general. With that in place, the alcohol might not be such an issue.
As it stands, it's unbalanced, unsettling, and ungood.

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Photo of bcostner1
2.99/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip from a 22oz bomber.

A: Very, very dark brown. As stouts go, I've seen darker/blacker. 1 finger, thick tan head.

S: Very little coffee to me at all. When I drink a coffee stout, I like to really get a strong aroma of ground coffee/espresso. This really doesn't give it to me at all. I get more malt, brown sugar, dark fruits.

T: Much like the nose, hardly any coffee/espresso whatsoever. This is much maltier to me than I'm used to in a beer of this style. I get a lot of dark brown sugar, molasses, a little chocolate, dark fruits/plums/raisins etc. But just not the coffee that I'm looking for. Don't get me wrong...I do like the taste of the beer, but it just kind of misses the "coffee" mark and I don't like it as a "coffee stout" very much.

M: A little on the thick/syrupy side for me. Definitely sticks around for a while.

Overall, I've definitely had better coffee stouts. As a beer, I do like it but again as a COFFEE beer, not so much. It's really almost more of a Doppelbock with a hint of coffee tossed in to me. I'd probably drink it again (seeing as how I bought 2 bottles when I found it), but not for the coffee and I can't say I'd go out of my way to seek it out.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. Received in a trade, but unfortunately the source escapes me, as I've been sitting on this one for some time. Thanks....

A: Pours a pitch black with no light penetration, even at the edges. The head is substantial for a 12% stout, and retention is incredible; while the bulk of the tan-colored cap vanishes quickly, there remains a collar and light film on the brew. No lace.

S: Mild coffee note. I'm a little surprised; this doesn't have the same java pungency of Central Waters Coffee Stout or Founders Breakfast Stout. It's certainly coffee infused, but it's not strong enough to distinguish the beer. Other aromas of roasted barley, chocolate, and caramel. The bottle claims this was brewed with a couple hop varieties, which have faded out as far as the smell goes.

T: Mild blast of coffee up front, but the beer is surprisingly fudgy and chocolatey. If I had no prior Southern Tier experience, I would have assumed this was a mocha-themed beer of some sort; the chocolate is just that prominent and sweet. Roasted barley makes an appearance near the finish, and the aftertaste is all coffee beans. The burps are chocolate. It's not as cloying as Choklat, but again, I'd liken this to a mocha beer. Fairly tasty.

M: Medium-full bodied. I expected this to be fuller, but I'm guessing the low-moderate carbonation (slightly high for an imperial stout) is giving it a lighter body. It's also mitigating -- but not entirely eliminating -- the beer's sweet chocolate flavor. About 1/4 of the way through the bottle, I'm already feeling like I've brushed with chocolate toothpaste.

D: Jahva is fairly sweet, which is a complaint I've come to make about most Southern Tier products. This one isn't nearly as much of a trainwreck as their other beers, but I still couldn't finish the bomber. I'm not sure why they package such big, cloying beers in large bottles.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Shared with my room mate and poured into a tulip. Pours a dark cola colored brown with a finger of mocha colored head. The head widdles away almost immediatly leaving nothing behind.

Burnt coffee in the aroma. It's pretty much all there is to this (which doesn't surprise me given the name). A little bit of rich bakers chocolate in the aroma. Rich chocolate on the aroma and burnt coffee. Nothing I didn't detect in the aroma and this one is also a little bit boozey.

Nice full body with soft carbonation. Overall this seems like a little bit of a burnt coffee mess. Probably one of the least impressive ones in Southern Tier's big stout line up. But to reidderate, there really isn't anything bad here, it just doesn't seem very well done.

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Photo of goblue3509
3.03/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark brown almost coffee like color with a hint of a tan head that gives way to some good lacing. The aroma of the beer is of roasted malts and coffee notes. The taste overall is of strong coffee and of alcohol. The taste is very rich and deep with roasted malt balancing out the total flavor. The mouthfeel is very smooth and rich. The overall drinkability of this beer is okay, the alcohol tends to come through the more you go.

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Photo of OldSock
3.04/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance – 22 oz bottle from Wine Gallery, brewed November 22nd 2005. I drank this relatively warm to bring out all the big stout goodness. Beautiful, dense, three finger mocha head with great retention. This is what a stout should look like, opaque black with a nice big brown head.

Smell – Really dark roasted coffee jumps out of the glass. Its hard to tell where the coffee aroma ends and the malt aroma begins. The alcohol shows through adding a vinous quality. Occasionally I get a whiff of citrusy hops, but they are generally overshadowed by the rest of the aromas.

Taste – The first sip reveals a solid espresso flavor (sadly I like my coffee roasted towards the light side), to the exclusion of much beer character. As the beer warms the alcohol becomes more apparent, it isn't hot, but it is still a bit unpleasant. Much like the aroma the flavor is full of coffee, but lacking in beer, sort of a mid point between beer and Kahlua.

Mouthfeel – Syrupy full body with low carbonation, like a thick coffee milkshake. This is probably a result of an OG of 1.139 and 12% abv, yep that calculates out to a final gravity of 1.050!

Drinkability & Notes – There are just so many fabulous big coffee stouts out there (Breakfast, Speedway, Darklord etc...). This is a solid beer just does not have enough complexity to deal with the big stouts and just isn't drinkable enough to warrant its existence. At half the gravity and chilled this would make a delicious iced coffee summer/spring beer.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.05/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

8 bucks for a 22 oz bomber at star liquor.

Appearance: dark brown with a healthy tan skim that fully covers the beer.

Aroma: Boozy coffee. Fresh snap pea like green fiber.

Taste/mouthfeel: Very boozy to the point that the other flavors are overwhelmed. The finish contains massive amounts of coffee bitterness and throughout the beer one can taste quite a lot of coffee, quality beans, but day-old and iced.

Drinkability: Low. This beer is too boozy and it's flavor is not interesting or bold enough to stand up to the big boys of the coffee stout world.

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Jahva (Imperial Coffee Stout) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
4.05 out of 5 based on 1,271 ratings.
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