Southern Tier Brewing Company, located in Lakewood, New York, has built a reputation of brewing some pretty awesome beers since 2002. They have a number of popular year-round beers such as their 2X IPA, Iniquity Black Ale, and Unearthly IPA. They also feature seasonal favorites like 2X Christmas and Imperial Pumpking. This is my first bout with Southern Tier Jahva Imperial Coffee Stout, and much like my previous experiences with the brewery, this one rocks!
This beer pours a very, very dark brown with about one finger of tan head. The head does not last long but lacing is decent. Overall this is very visually attractive beer.
The aroma is a blast of roasted coffee and dark chocolate malts. There is a little bit of caramel and vanilla present, but the coffee and chocolate really take over here. There is also a bit of a boozy smell on the end of the nose. It smells great, but not overly complex. It’s pretty much exactly what you might expect from a coffee stout.
The taste doesn’t deviate much from the aroma, which is not a knock on this beer at all; it’s delicious. The flavor is heavy on the chocolate malts and the coffee is quite pronounced. I get some caramel, hints of vanilla, and some molasses as well. It’s relatively sweet for the most part, but on the back end there is a nice hop bitterness that melds nicely with the bitterness from the coffee.
Jahva is full-bodied and feels very creamy, if not a bit oily, on the pallet. It weighs in at about 10.5% ABV, and you’ll know it by the boozy taste left on the back of your tongue on the finish.
I’ve had a handful of coffee beers, and generally they tend to be hit-or-miss to me. This one is a hit, for sure. It’s big, and while it isn’t very complex, it is very delicious. Southern Tier aimed for a particular flavor here, and it’s executed excellently. Go give it a try. Cheers!