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And the Valley Drinks: Santa Fe Imperial Java Stout

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THIS BEER.

beerpulse.com

Santa Fe Brewing out of (guess where!) New Mexico, have slowly been working their way into the Louisiana market. I was able to try a few of their wares at the Baton Rouge Beer Fest last spring but I...um...didn't really write anything down for a review.

Anyways, I DO remember very much enjoying their Imperial Java Stout, so after a long day at work, I picked some up on the way home:

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.

AWARDS:

2013 Honorable Mention, US Beer Tasting Championship

2013 Celebrity Pick, specialty category, NM Cup

2007 Best of the Rockies/Southwest, US Beer Tasting Championship

You can find this one in six-pack cans. As an "imperial" stout, it has a healthy 8 percent alcohol by volume. Whether that means you can session it would be...up to you.

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Review

Honestly, this is a wonderfully rich, luxurious beer that could almost serve as a desert. The bouquet is that of a rich mocha coffee drink, with a deep roasted flavor. It has a soft, smooth opening. The roasted malts just roll right over your tongue and then transition into a coffee flavor, with just a hint of bitterness that combines the coffee flavor with a rich, dark chocolate. There's a bit of a lingering bitterness, but that's from the coffee & chocolate, not the hops. One of the best beers I've had in the last year, a definite five out of five stars.