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Tovarish - Beachwood BBQ & Brewing

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

25 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 25
Hads: 177
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 26%
Wants: 77
Gots: 47 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
California, United States | website

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout | 11.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: billshmeinke on 12-01-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Tovarish Alström Bros
Reviews: 25 | Hads: 177
Photo of DoubleJ
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Aged two years, and thanks to Joepeter for sharing! On to the beer:

There's room for one more imperial stout. Tovarish comes out as a being a little drier, more roasty stout thanks to the addition of espresso. It also hides its alcohol content very well, so credit both the aging process and Beachwood for making that possible.

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Photo of dfillius
4.54/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 2013 vintage on 1/5/2014
A: Pitch black liquid. Brown head with great head retention
S: Intense coffee, some banana, some alcohol as it warms.
T: Nicely bitter, strong coffee flavor! Very nice. Sweet and chocolatey.
M: Very bitter from the coffee though finishes sweet.
O: Mmmmmm. Delicious.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.56/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Batch 2

Rich and tarry, scorched molasses, and very bitter coffee that at times shows very acrid and overly roasted and carries a heavy body..wanted to really like this but it's unrelenting, unbalanced, and underwhelming.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body. Small khaki head. Thin collar.

Smell - Fudge and coffee. Simple, but nice.

Taste - Really rich coffee. Dark chocolate. The coffee flavor gets sharper in the back end. Coffee bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Exceptional coffee stout. Always impressed by Beachwood.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.86/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #76 (May 2013):

A gargantuan brew to say the least. A malt bomb with an espresso wrap, the roasted character is nothing for the faint of palate, as it dominates for the most part. Clearly a sipper and certainly a brew you’d want to share due to its size.

STYLE: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 11.2%
AVAILABILITY: Winter Seasonal

LOOK: Pitch black; thick brown head

SMELL: Brown bread, spent coffee grounds, burnt sugar, black currants, molasses

TASTE: Sweet, full bodied, very creamy, bitter espresso, charcoal, molasses, roasted grain, balanced hopping, warming, burnt raisins, mild broth, spicy alcohol; roasty, bitter, semisweet finish

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Photo of keags_beer
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beachwood Brewing Company - Tovarish - Russian Imperial Espresso Stout , batch 3. (11.2%) brewed in Long Beach , CA. 96/100 on BeerAdvocate

"Tovarish is an impossibly complex imperial stout that boasts an array of rich flavors and aromas... Infused with roasted coffee from Portola Coffee Lab ."

Kak dela Tovarishes? - How are you comrades? Tovarish in Russian simply means "comrade" and indeed I think it may live up to that name with this beer . This is an extremely limited release beer , rotated twice a year at least . I am not sure how many cases they produce of this , but I know that Batch 1 back in 2011 had only around 60 cases of this locally distributed in that area . So around 720 bottles of Tovarish back then , I assume more of this beer is being produced now , since the brewery has grown to be one of the best in California . I am excited to try this monstrosity of a Russian Imperial Stout . Nostrovia!

Pour : About as thick as oil , and as I poured this I got a whiff of the aroma and it smells well, amazing ! Back to the pour , the pour is really dark , pitch black and no light getting through . The head is a thick , dense frothy mocha brown , and huge amounts of lacing . Like a wave of chocolate that recedes tides back and forth . Looks like a huge beer, I can't wait to get the aroma on this beer .

Aroma : Huge amount of fresh coffee grounds. Big , big espresso notes on this beer . Like someone quadruple shotted this beer with espresso before capping the beer. Dark chocolate , milk chocolate , an earthy quality I get from really good coffee beans . A faint bitterness that isn't overwhelming like Sump was . I will say this , I like this aroma better than Sump , also better than Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout . It's just my opinion , and this isn't even barrel aged at all , but I get a really faint dry wood aroma too . Like cedar , or birch . It's very complex!

Taste/Mouthfeel: Explosion of espresso! Coffee , dark chocolate , milk chocolate , and I get a little bit of a chocolate ice cream taste when it's around 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit almost like melted Moose Tracks or something , with a touch of peanut butter ! This is so dang good ! Mouthfeel is thick , creamy , and delegate with tons of flavors as the beer warms more and more . A super complex and delicious RIS.

Verdict : 4.8/5 . This is truly one of the best non barrel aged stouts and coffee stouts I have ever had . Beachwood Brewery knows what they are doing way down south to please everyone , everywhere their beers may go ! Fantastic job guys ! Nostrovia !!

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Photo of Dodgerrigo77
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Simply one of the best non barrel aged stouts you can find.
Beautiful pouring from bottle to glass, great espresso aromas!!
Taste is bursting with espresso from start to finish, opens as warms some sweetness coming thru.
I really am impressed with Julians ability to make porters/stouts with or without barrels. If you got a friend in Long Beach visit them next time This beers released!

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Photo of brentk56
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3

Appearance: The thick tan head settles in at a couple of fingers thick; the liquid is pitch black and the lacing and legging are both impressive

Smell: Espresso tones dominate, with roast and black bread underneath

Taste: With a tip of the hat to the black bread and the roast, the espresso tones of strong coffee and dark fruit dash to the forefront with chocolate flavors building; bitterness builds, after the swallow, from both the hops and the roasty elements

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Overall: Beachwood is a bit under the radar but those who know the brewery and its craft know that this beer should be among the whales

Thanks, fthegiants, for the opportunity

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Photo of sillyhed8
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is an excellent stout. The chocolate and coffe aromas are mind blowing! I will be dreaming of the next time I have another glass in front of me.

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Photo of SierraFlight
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

20 oz bottle poured into tulip for #bottlecherwednesday at Beachwood in Seal Beach. Black opaque body with a light brown head that settles to a thin layer. Occasional lacing. Aroma is espresso, roasted malts, bakers chocolate, and dark fruits. Taste starts with moderately bitter coffee and nutty flavors then shows a light malty, chocolate sweetness. Medium-plus body, thick and creamy texture, moderate to soft carbonation, slightly bitter coffee ground finish.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap for Beachwood L.B.'s 3rd Anniversary event. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours asphalt black with a 1/4-inch thick dark mocha head which fades to a thin cap and yields spotty lace.

N: Amped up roasted coffee/espresso, earthy and spicy.

T: Follows nose with a powerfully coffee forward roasty note, dark chocolate, slightly sweet and bitter.

M: Full body and medium carbonation. Finishes roasty, rich, deeply layered coffee.

O: A sipper and thinker. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

awesome extra from cselby. enjoyed from an oversized 22oz TB batch 2 snifter

a - brew pours black with thin with nice head.
s - nose is espreso city. nice roast, great chocolate...really appetizing.
t/m - super smooth feel...milky stout with espreso. so desserty. so good.
o - overall, really pleasant surprise. great stout with great espreso notes. worth checking out.

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Photo of IKR
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 Vintage
Sampled in Bruery Tulip Glass

Appearance: Very dark brown bordering on black with a fair-sized medium beige head. nice looker.

Smell: Upfront coffee with some moderate dark chocolate notes.

Taste: Coffee, unsweetened baker's chocolate and some roasted malt notes. The beer finishes with the coffee notes, and some mild hop and roasted malt notes. The alcohol presence is very subtle for the ABV.

Mouth-feel: Medium bodied with the perfect level of carbonation for the style (for my taste).

Overall: Even though this has been cellared (51F) for a few months the coffee still takes center stage. The prominent coffee, the good mouth-feel and the coffee nose work well for my tastes.

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Photo of drmcleod10
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a snifter/stout glass. Enjoyed on 4/3

A - Dark as night with a full fingered off white mocha head with decent lacing. Looks more coffee colored than completely opaque

S - Smells like expresso, coffee, dark chocolates, milk chocolates and some bitterness mixed in.

T - Taste is much the same with an explosion of expresso and coffee. The back end fills in with some dark chocolates. Really a well balanced coffee presence

M - Mouthfeel is nearly perfect with a full bodied lightly carbonated creamy mouthfeel. Chewy and delicious

O - This is one of the better coffee stouts that i've had. Up there with Blueprint LSD, Sump and various others

Seek this out if you can as it deserves a higher rating than it has. Think there may have been a few bad bottles out there

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Photo of Stevedore
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber of the 2013 vintage. Picked this up while in LA. Poured into a Toppling Goliath snifter today, 2/5/2014. We drank this blind alongside Wake'n'Bake and FBS.

App- Viscous, thick dark black body. Minimal carbonation, perhaps a 1-finger dark mocha head that doesn't retain particularly well, although about standard for a RIS. A bit of lacing but not much.

Smell- Rich espresso. Lots of coffee up front. As it warms, I get more milk chocolates and bitter black coffee. Very rich and intense, though not the most complex.

Flavour- Lots and lots of coffee initially, but as it warms up just like the nose, more milk chocolates, baker's chocolates, bitter earthy coffee and some umami comes out to balance out the coffee. Very complex and interesting.

Mouthfeel- Full bodied, creamy, perfect carbonation. A sipper. Aftertaste is a bit weak, like the coffee is fading despite being so present in the rest of the body. Would have liked the chocolate flavours in the malts to stand out more in the back-end. But its sort of nitpicking at this point.

Overall- Probably the best non-BA coffee stout I've had so far. This beer deserves more hype than its getting right now as a limited brewery-only coffee stout. Definitely a better beer than Stone Espresso RIS or GD Espresso Yeti.

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Photo of maximum12
1.5/5  rDev -64.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Thanks, kind of, to whomever it was that brought this to this weekend's tasting. Never heard of Beachwood nor this beer. 22 oz. bomber sampled out.

Pour is feisty, burgeoning mocha, enough that I wonder what's wrong with the beer. Nose is bat-outta-hell coffee or a metric tons of roast, no telling which - no malt, nothing else. Hmmm.

Tovarish isn't a good beer. Stale Folger's blankets the palate & assaults the senses for no good reason. Whatever else might be going on in the beer, it's covered up by this thin, nasty, cheap, aged coffee taste. Blech. Maybe an ounce plus & I'm headed for the sink.

Scanning the other reviews, I question whether this was even the same beer, or if we had a bad bottle, because it was drain-poured by everyone in the room. Straight-up terrible.

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Photo of largadeer
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks, Andrew.

Pitch black body topped by a finger of tan froth. A ton of mouthwatering espresso on the nose. Sweet and creamy with an earthy, pungent coffee aroma. Coffee is equally strong on the palate, largely earthy and ashy, a slight spicy note beneath. There's a nice chocolate and vanilla backbone with plenty of sharp roasted malt. Silky full body, strong espresso finish. Excellent beer.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Bruery Provisions

Look: Black and opaque with a 1/8 inch tan head and zero retention and leaves behind a very nice coating on the glass

Smell: Chocolate and coffee but a bit lacking on the nose

Taste: Chocolate upfront but the winner is mid palate with the great coffee note takes over the back end carries some licorice and dark fruits. Very nice

Mouthfeel: Full body and low carbonation and just a bit sticky

Overall: I really really enjoyed this offering. I truly enjoyed the great coffee note the beer had to offer

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Photo of ehammond1
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On Tap

The Bruery Provisions
Orange, CA

Deep black throughout with a thin light brown head that leaves spots and spiderwebs of lace down the glass.

A big aroma of roasted malt and sharp, powerful coffee notes.

The flavor follows suit, with huge amounts of roasted malt character and big flavors of coffee and bitter espressos and chocolates. Complete.

A big, thick, viscous, luscious, creamy mouthfeel. The hallmark of this beer.


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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Bruery Provisions in Orange, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a dark khaki head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Random streaks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt and rich espresso and espresso grounds. Taste is of dark roasted malt, espresso, and cocoa powder. There is a nice espresso bitterness that lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a medium body with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good stout with some really nice rich espresso aromas and flavors.

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Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Bruery Provisions. A Russian Imperial stout with lots of coffee. Black with a small head. Very lacy. Dark fruit. A tad astringent but otherwise a good representation of the style, even though I am not a coffee fan I enjoyed some of the expresso.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.67/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


Growler shared by Julian at Strong Ale 2011, thanks! I loved the batch he brewed at Pizza Port Solana Beach so I was excited to try the version made on his system at Beachwood.

A: Black with a big toffee head. Excellent retention and scattered lacing.

S: Bold earthy, nutty coffee with dark chocolate and a little caramel. Smells awesome. Roasted grains meld with cocoa, molasses, and a little dark fruit. The coffee smells fantastic. I get no booze in the aroma.

T: Bitter and earthy up front with a fleeting sweetness that's almost instantaneously drowned out by a strong roasted malt profile with a burnt flair and robust earthy, nutty espresso notes. Dark chocolate is strong throughout, and alcohol is dangerously well hidden. The smooth finish is earthy and lightly bitter, with rich dark chocolate and lingering espresso.

M: Full in body with moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is sticky, silky, and smooth, coating the palate. Alcohol warming is evident.

Overall: Excellent. A step up from Tovarish brewed at Pizza Port Solana Beach.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Julian for bringing a growler to Strong Ale to share.

Black in color with a small khaki head. Rich espresso notes on the nose along with tons of roasted malt and molasses. A bit of dark, bitter chocolate and some burnt sugar notes. Maybe a touch of vanilla. The flavor has a lot of roast to it which plays well with the coffee. Heavy on the dark chocolate and a subtle earthiness. Moderately sweet from molasses flavors. Full bodied with smooth, medium carbonation.

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Photo of BMan1113VR
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Beachwood BBQ. Pours with a pitch black hue with a brown head. Absolutely incredible lace. A full sheet down the glass as you drink. Intense, and amazing to look at. Aromas are intense with espresso, molasses, chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits and roast. The malt seems a bit bready and biscuit like as well. Really inviting with mild (really mild for how big it is) alcohol. Flavors are great! Chocolate, roast, tons upon tons of espresso, very mild alcohol. Great balance of bitterness, dryness, alcohol, and roast. Somewhat dry on the finish, with some bitter coffee, rich chocolate, molasses, dark fruits. Bitterness (seemingly coffee) lingers. Creamy, velvety and full mouthfeel. Absolutely mouth coating, smooth and mildly warming (although you can really feel the affects of the alcohol on your second glass).

This beer is not "EXTREME" by today’s standards, but its subtlety and balance at this alcohol level (or any alcohol level for that matter) is beyond belief. In a word: exquisite!

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.51/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip.

Pitch black with a finger of beige head. Great lacing. Looks perfect.

Smells of fresh espresso. Bakers chocolate, chocolate fudge, some vanilla. Super rich and lucious nose.

Tastes of coffee, chocolate fudge, vanilla, tar, some oats. Quite roasty, even some resiny hop flavors.

Thick, smooth, great carbonation. Impeccably balanced.

Wow, just wow. Kinda like Speedway or Infamous, but better.

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Tovarish from Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 25 ratings.