Campfire Stout - High Water Brewing

Not Rated.
Campfire StoutCampfire Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

409 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 409
Reviews: 70
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 50
Gots: 105 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
High Water Brewing visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheStove on 04-26-2012

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 409 | Reviews: 70
Photo of Axnjxn
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%

extraordinary in terms of style. aroma doesnt give you much but the taste has a ton of vanilla and chocolate and is extremely smooth. i was damn impressed. finished the whole bottle and want more. great stout.

Photo of laituegonflable
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, with beige head, slightly sunk down with just a thin crown of head around the edge. Lace is pretty decent. Yeah looks pretty good, but not perfect.

Smells amazingly nutty and sweet. Loads of pecan, peanut brittle, toffee, nougat, vanilla, condensed milk. Oh, excuse the upcoming French but fuck me dead. This is freaking, arseholeingly delicious. Holy shit. Sweet, touch of spice, dark, beautiful, nutty. Just gorgeous.

Taste is a bit of a disappointment, actually. Quite dry in reality, and lacks the sweetness of the nose. Lots of nuttiness, though, with almond dust, pecan and some salted caramel. Hints of slightly roasty notes, with dry cocoa as well. Sweet underlying, but a bit dry and dusty. Nice, but not nearly as nice as the nose.

Decent body. Not thin, but not thick either. Bit dry on the back, but yeah, pretty good.

I wanted so, so much more based on that nose. That shouldn't be to its detriment of course, as it's still very nice, but I can't help but feel a bit disappointed in this beer.

Photo of brentk56
3.74/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Arrives charcoal black capped by an inch of tan foam; a few wisps of lace linger

Smell: Graham cracker, marshmallow, chocolate and a hint of campfire smoke

Taste: Like the aroma, this is a liquid S'more with all elements in balance

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A clever idea for a beer and fun to drink for half the pint but I found that I couldn't finish it due to the sweetness

Photo of ADZA
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark kola hue with a chocolate laden three finger creamy head and lacing everywhere,out of all the brews that I've had that claim it tastes like s'mores this is the closest,the smell starts off with vanilla marshmallows,chocolate sauce,crackers and cocoa very inviting,the mouthfeel is full bodied with above moderate carbonation and the tastes just like smell are heavily s'more influenced with vanilla creamy marshmallows,milky chocolate,peanut butter and finished with cocoa bittersweetness and overall I like this brew it's a great dessert beer but also one of a kind cheers for actually tasting what you say cheers.

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got in a trade with swingracex. 22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 11/23/2013. Pours pitch black color with a 2 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of milk chocolate, cocoa, roast, graham cracker, dark bread, light coffee, vanilla, light cream, herbal, and roasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with well balanced dark/roasted malt, graham cracker, and spice notes; with solid strength. Taste of milk chocolate, cocoa, roast, graham cracker, light coffee, dark bread, vanilla, light cream, herbal, and roasted earthiness. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, roast, graham cracker, dark bread, light coffee, vanilla, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and robustness of dark/roasted malt, graham cracker, and spice flavors; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy, smooth, and slightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good spiced stout. All around well balanced dark/roast malt, graham cracker, and spice flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Photo of Dsimenson
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a goblet. Color is black--only shows a bit of dark brown near the surface when held up to a bright light. Thin milk chocolate colored head, nice lacing. Aroma is dark roasted malt, rich toffee, and chocolate, w some vanilla also. Flavor is dark, rick, smokey, with dark-roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate, and mildly stated hops. Mouthfeel is medium thin. Overall this is a unique and outstanding stout--a real treat!

Photo of Alron
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber served in a pint glass. No bottle dating.

Nice appearance. good head. very dark. looks a tat bit carbonated.

Smell is awesome! marshmallows (as advertised), gram crackers, chocolate, coffee, sweet, delicious. fantastic smell.

Taste is a bit of let down. Yes it has the marshmallows, gram crackers, chocolate, and coffee, but it's a bit toned down.

Mouthfeel is way too thin and carbonated.

Overall- I decided to review this beer because it was so interesting. OMG the SMELL is ridiculous. Fantastic smell. I recently saw a fellow BA stocking his shopping cart with 6 of these so I had to give it a try. I really do love the smell. One of the best ever. Although, it's very polarizing because the taste and mouthfeel really let's down for me. I'd say a very solid stout, just for the smell. Interesting. I'd probably buy again. It's only 6.5%, which is probably the issue.

Photo of Jeffo
2.92/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Got this one at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a bomber into a snifter
Stout with graham crackers and molasses

APPEARANCE: A clear dark brown pour yields a 1+ finger, looser, fizzy, foamy tan head with decent retention. Clear bistre brown body with higher levels of carbonation. Head fades to s half wisp and ring. A slight ring remains until the end but leaves no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Roasted notes, milk chocolate, molasses notes, marshmallow and graham crackers. Touches of caramel and chocolate. Interesting, but weird.

TASTE: Sweet caramel and graham crackers up front. More of the same after the swallow as well, with marshmallow, vanilla, milk chocolate, graham crackers, some roasted bitterness and caramel notes. Tastes like desert or some kind of graham cracker pie, but a slightly watery version.

PALATE: Medium-thinner body with medium levels of carbonation. Creamy enough, but a touch prickly perhaps, goes down okay and finishes slightly mouth-coating.

OVERALL: Okay I guess. Not sure I like what was going on here, but it certainly tasted as advertised. Started off a little too sweet for my liking, but got better as I got into it. Not something I would go for again, but I could understand why someone else would really like it. Give it a chance and see for yourself.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with some opacity at the edges. The head settles to a thin collar. Faint surface wisps.

Smell - Incredible. Milk chocolate. Cinnamon. Graham cracker. And the best marshmallow aroma I've smelled in a beer. Awesome.

Taste - Far less impressive. The marshmallow persists a bit. Milk chocolate, too. The rest of it is more deeply roasted with some coffee bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Too thin, or at least it lacks some creaminess. Medium carbonation and a little bitter.

Overall - The smell is so good. I can just sit here and smell it without drinking it. And in many ways, that's the way to go with this beer.

Photo of Mightykingmalard
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: in a way, it almost looks like a s'more, chocolate dark with a dark brown head.

S: really does smell like s'mores. Very unique in that sense.

T: good, clean stout with a pleasant finish of coffee and smokiness.

M: smokiness combined with a good chill is nice.

O: it is very unique to have the smokey marshmallow flavor. Without it, it would be pretty generic, but it's a good beer to try.

Photo of BierJager89
4.46/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a dark brown head.

S: Smells like s'mores, with cinnamon, honey, graham cracker, chocolate, marshmallow notes.

T: Roasty, chocolate, marshmallow, honey, graham cracker, sweet. Tastes like a s'more.

M: Medium bodied and smooth.

O: It sounds odd, but it's like drinking s'mores and it's delicious. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 12.14.13

A - Pours a dark brown with a fluffy tan head.

S - Chocolate, graham cracker, sweet.

T - S'mores, chocolate, graham cracker, vanilla.

D - Good carbonation with a heavy body. A touch bitter.

O - S'mores in a glass! Very tasty stuff.

Photo of magictacosinus
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to my friend for splitting a bomber of this with me and others. Once I heard that this was brewed with marshmallows and graham crackers, I knew I had to try it. Poured out a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass.

Pours a pretty blacked stout at a first glance, complete with an off-khaki head that sticks around for a good while, but eventually dissipates to pretty much nothing. Leaves behind minor stickiness to the glass. Shows a little bit of brown streaks when held up against the light, but otherwise, this does indeed look like a chocolate drink of sorts. Not necessarily thick in appearance, but then again, it doesn't look like that was the priority on the brewer's part.

Talk about an aroma you can smell as soon as you crack open the bottle - before I even stuck my nose into the glass, the aroma of marshmallows was everywhere in the room. The nose further reveals more sugar laden aromas, as well as caramel, toffee, chocolate, vanilla, and a little bit of dried fruit - raisins comes to mind. However, it's not actually as sweet as you'd think - once the roasted malt flavor, as well as the graham crackery aroma, comes in, it actually retains a good amount of bitterness and pungent roasted quality that coats the sweet flavors pretty well, and keeps it one note. Plus, if you *didn't* spend any time in your life sitting in front or around a fire and roasted marshmallows for s'mores, then, well...

The flavor comes as a nice surprise - just as one-note as the aroma is in terms of delivering a sweetened standard stout, but not nearly as cloying as I feared it would be. Rather, the flavor reveals the roasted qualities of the chocolate and caramel malts, which, followed by a soft vanilla texture a bit of brown sugar and raisin-ish qualities, makes this pretty enjoyable to drink. The graininess does get a little bit more noticeable, but it never becomes thin or astringent over time. Definitely on the chewy side, and while it's quite thick and bready especially as it warms up, it never becomes too sweet and alcohol remains well hidden. There's not much else I can assess about the beer - only that it's a standard, well made basic American stout with a nice sweet twist. Nothing more, nothing less.

I really enjoyed drinking this, but, this is perhaps best consumed split with others. While it's not really sweet (although it *is* decadent), it's quite a huge task to consume by yourself, as the chocolate and vanilla flavors do start to weigh you down in the long run. Otherwise, it's a neat little twist on the style, with a flavor and feel that brings me back to many late nights spent around campfires, back in the day.

Photo of bcerv-ca
4.39/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark cola with ample carbonation. Head doesn't last long and leaves little lacing.

Smell: Milk chocolate, graham cracker with cinnamon & sugar.

Tatste & Mouthfeel: Very light. Graham cracker stands out, backed by milk chocolate and some caramelized sugar.

Overall: On the light side, might be better served if it was more viscous. Superb smell and excellent taste. Worth a try.

Photo of TruePerception
3.52/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

(Transferred from another forum)

Highwater Brewing's Campfire Stout. A stout brewed with graham crackers, in an attempt to simulate s'mores. 6.5% ABV.

Appearance: It's black with a hint of dark brown on the bottom, and just the slimmest line of head.

Smell: Good, medium brewed coffee smell, along with a good amount of graham cracker. Slight dark chocolate smell. Chocolate comes out more and coffee recedes as it warms.

Taste/Mouthfeel: It has a very dark chocolate-y flavor, with just a touch of coffee, so definitely a success, there! A slight graham taste. Marshmallow is a stretch, but there is a slight sweetness that bring to milk or whipped cream mind. A little lactose, probably.

Not a great stout, but nice attempt.

Poured into a pint glass, from a 22 oz. bottle.

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So Raul did it! Yes he did! Oh wait, this isn't one of those 'king kong' of beers? Anyway...

Yep, Raul was at tha joint, The Playground, and he did the damn thing. And lets be real: if heaven has a smell, it should be like this. Hell, even the new scent of KIA should be like this. Like, DAMNNN! Makes Raul want to dive headfirst into a chocolate/marshmallow bath of ecstasy and swallow every drop until they ain't no more.

I mean, baby... we cool, right?

Photo of manutdfan
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Now this was a surprise. Got this as an extra in a trade, had never heard of his beer or brewery. Brought this to a local tasting tonight, was the star of the show. Deep, dark rich color, little thin on the mouthfeel. Unbelievable nose on this, straight smores. Taste is exactly like the nose, smores on the tongue. Very good, can't wait to try this again.

Photo of ChristopherTenore
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A) Dark Dark brown to black. as expected it was completely opaque. When poured the head formed was thick. It produced a creamy off white color. The head however did not last extremely long.

S) The nose was bombarded with rich dark notes. There was a great smokey smell that gave way to dark chocolates and toasted malts.

T) The beer was smooth and malty. Its very forward with smoked wood. Under the smoked wood you get a great chocolate flavor and a sweet creamy flavor as well. There are nice hopped undertones as well. This beer is like a smore in a glass.

MF) This coats your mouth wonderfully. There is a smooth and silky quality to it with very low carbonation. It leaves your mouth with a slightly dry sensation, making you want to drink more.

Photo of kojevergas
2.55/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Reviewed live. Reviewed as an American Stout because it self-identifies as a stout and it's American. I dig the simple label art. 6.5% ABV confirmed. 22 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard unbranded pry-off cap acquired at a local SoCal bottle shop and served into a flared stem-snifter/tulip hybrid glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Expectations are above average due to the description on the label.

Served cold, straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger wide head of tan colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Supple and inviting. Light uneven lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Retention is above average for the style - about 3 minutes.

Body colour is an opaque dark solid black; not quite a jet black but dark. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Standard fare for the style, but nevertheless quite good. I can't wait to try it. Not unique or special. No flaws jump out at me.

Sm: Oh boy. Chocolate malt, milk chocolate, marshmallow, dark malts, a buried hint of mint, molasses, and a hint of vanilla. Very evocative; they hit what they're going for except there's no graham cracker. Reminds me of digestives or keebler's cookies. Cream. Milk. the marshmallow note is a highlight; wow. Gooey goodness mixed with caramel is fantastic.

It's not without flaws, though. I can tell flavour was added, maybe some unwarranted extract. It's forgivable though.

A remarkable aroma that hits the s'more concept on the head. Moderately strong.

No yeast character, hop character, or alcohol is detectable. This one is all additive and malt.

T: Chocolate malt, milk chocolate, artificial chocolate flavour extract. A bit too sweet. Caramel. Dark malts. A bit of marshmallow, but nowhere near as much as was promised by the aroma. Not getting any graham cracker. Milky. Light herbal hops redolent of mint do surface a biteen. Boy, that sweetness is really ruining the balance for me. Nowhere near as complex or subtle as it'd have to be to be up there with the best in the style. Do I like it? Hm. Not really, actually. Ultimately, it's just so damned artificial. The flavour additives do this one a disservice.

Flavour intensity is high for the style, even overbearing. Flavour depth, diversity, and duration are average to below average. No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Syrupy. Sticky. Gooey. Thick - overly so. Smooth and wet. Overcarbonated. Doesn't suit the flavour profile all that well, but I guess it's a valiant attempt at creating a texture to match the concept.

Not oily, harsh, gushed, or boozy. Far from ideal overall. Not a good texture for the style.

Dr: The overdone sweetness and lack of interesting flavour make this one kind of difficult to drink. I'll finish this bottle with effort, but I'm not happy to have to take it down alone. Overpriced for the quality. I certainly wouldn't get this again. The aroma is a highlight, but the beer doesn't deliver on the concept once you factor in the flavour and mouthfeel. I wouldn't recommend it to friends. Disappointed given its current high ratings. Even Southern Tier hits their concepts without coming off too artificial.

Highish D+

Photo of MattLBC
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice sweetness, no bitterness at all. Good carbonation keeps the flavor going. Hints of coconut nose and coconut/caramel flavor, but not strong & overpowering. Very drinkable but can be filling due to the sweetness. Should be really good with a rich dessert, especially chocolate.

Photo of MacQ32
4.14/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours very near black with a finger of dark caramel head, strong retention, very nice lacing.

S - lots of marshmallows and.sugary graham cracker, some sweet chocolate. Exactly as advertised, pretty much dead on.

T - Tons of sweet semi bitter chocolate and graham cracker, hint of marshmallow and the finish. Sweet semi bitter chocolate aftertaste lingers a bit. Kind of starting to taste a bit like ovaltine...

M - medium bodied+ and very smooth. Limited carbonation.

O - lives up to itsdescription very well. Really cool/unique idea for a beer! Boost for awesome creativity.

Photo of PHBoiler
2.96/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Bomber poured into snifter

Deep black body with practically no head or lacing. The nose is quite interesting with chocolate and some vanilla as well as light smokiness. It's an inviting start. The flavors do not come together. The chocolate and vanilla flavors taste artificially added rather than extracted. The light smoke does not balance out the beer. The beer does not sit on the palate well either. This was a total miss for me. The flavors do not balance well and it tasted like a gimmick not a beer. The artificial taste was the biggest issue.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.66/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Paid 8.99 for this bomber and it was gimmicky enough for me to drop the coin. Also it got pretty great reviews.

A - Wow such a thick dense stout for under 7%. The head is just a 1/4 inch that fades out rather quickly but it did have a nice mocha hue to it.
S - Ah cocoa nibs always smells nice in the glass. Also greeted by a vanilla like sweetness similar to a marshmallow and a bit of smoky like campfire with the roast. Not getting much gram cracker but I am sure its in there.
T - Let it warm up a bit first... Mostly getting a bit of ashy smoke with little sweetness, some hop bitterness and a touch of acidic twang. Far from what I expected from the smell. I am deeply saddened to at least not have a strong chocolate aspect considering it smells of strong cocoa nibs. The smoke flavors really stick to the palate to boot.
M - Has a somewhat creamy body despite the heavy ashy flavors. On par with the style.

Overall I am not sure where everyone is getting all these awesome flavors to me it taste like licking a charcoal briquet. Even if it was just a smoke stout it would fail at being just that since it's not very balanced...

Photo of TheSixthRing
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at the Sports Page in Roseville, CA

Appearance - Served up opaqe black with a light tan, finger width head on top. Good retention. Leaves behind a fair amount of lacing on the glass with good stick.

Smell - This stout is infused with graham cracker and marshmellow: it shows. Somewhat smokey as well. Huge chocolate character. Lesser notes of coffee.

Taste - Follows the nose. Sweet chocolate at the forefront, complimented by moderate smokiness and hints of graham cracker and marshmellow sweetness. Traces of coffee roastiness hit near and roll into the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with lively carbonation. A touch sharp on the tongue, but goes down and finishes with decent smoothness.

Overall - Highwater really nailed this. They took a gimmicky concept, put it into a bottle and made a respectable stout. That's rare to do. Great after a glass, but I'm not so sure I'd wanna session this due to the sweetness. At worst, it's a fantastic dessert beer.

Photo of Fatehunter
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Formed two fingers of tan head on a pitch black body. Looks great.
Well, it smells like a campfire: chocolate, marshmallows and coffee. Impressive.
The taste is roasted malt, a touch of chocolate and coffee, and a mild bitterness at the end. It's complex.
The texture is smooth with moderate carbonation and a heavier body.
Here's a well put together ale.

Campfire Stout from High Water Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 409 ratings.