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System Of A Stout - Beachwood BBQ & Brewing

Not Rated.
System Of A StoutSystem Of A Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

176 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 176
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 8.55%
Wants: 154
Gots: 37 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Beachwood BBQ & Brewing visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.30% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Halcyondays on 07-07-2012

System of a Stout [Imperial Armenian Coffee Stout ] - An imperial stout infused with all the traditional ingredients of a savory cup of Armenian coffee: cardamom, molasses, coffee (of course), and brandy. In the kettle, the beer is lightly dosed with green cardamom for exotic spice notes. Molasses adds a richness that seamlessly blends in. The finished beer was then aged for several days on masterfully roasted coffee from Portola Coffee Lab in Costa Mesa. The beer was then aged for several weeks on Armenian brandy-soaked oak chips for yet another dimension of flavors and aromas. Take your time & enjoy this endlessly complex & nuanced beer.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 176 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by mroberts1204:
Photo of mroberts1204
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

More User Reviews:
Photo of kojevergas
3.62/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up after hearing the hype. Haven't been real impressed with Beachwood's offerings - bottled or draught - and their bottles are so direly overpriced. This one ran me $19.00 USD. 11.2% ABV according to my bottle. I like the artsy minimalist label art. Batch number 1/264. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with waxed-over pressure cap acquired at a local SoCal beer store and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given its reputation. "System of a Stout. Imperial Coffee Stout. Stout Aged on Oak with Coffee and Spices added." Reviewed as an imperial stout because it clearly identifies as such - but not necessarily a Russian Imperial Stout.

Served cold, straight from the fridge, and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger wide head of lovely mocha tan colour. Wonderful creaminess and frothiness. Supple. The smooth, soft complexion is damn appealing. Even consistent lacing as the head slowly recedes. And recede slowly it does; it takes a good 8-9 minutes to fully reduce. Head is magnificent for the style.

Body colour is a very dark solid brown-black; by no means a jet black. Opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Looking well above average for the style overall. Special. No overt flaws are obvious. Really looking forward to trying this one.

Sm: Damned impressive coffee notes - including masterful roast, espresso, cream, and rich coffee beans.

I have no idea what the hell "cardamom" is, so I'm going to google it. Done. Nope, still no idea what the hell that would smell like.

Some other pleasant notes complement the dominant coffee, like dark malts, roasted barley, chocolate malt, and light hazelnut. Balanced and intriguing. I'm quite excited to try this.

I look for oak, brandy, molasses, and actual chocolate, but find none. If they really wanted oak/brandy notes, they should have gone for barrels not chips - especially when they're charging $19.00 for it.

Overall, it's a very well executed aroma of above average strength. Good for the style.

No yeast character, hop character, or alcohol is detectable.

T: Earthy creamy coffee notes dominate, with some pleasant roasty character surfacing more towards the climax. Some earthy coffee character as well, with sprinkles of coffee bitterness. The body has your usual dark malts and chocolate malt, which fill it out nicely without intruding. I like the cream up front. Fleeting hints of vague hazelnut. Not getting any real oak or brandy; the oak aging here is insubstantial - that's disappointing. Buried roasted barley; I'm just glad roasted barley is present at all. Some caramel. A kiss of powdered truffle. Luckily there are no anise, licorice, or vinous notes here. I'm also glad that there's just a brief whispery hint of dark fruit; any more and it'd be annoying, but the subtle touch of plum is the most artful touch in the beer - and that's saying a lot given the quality of the coffee notes. A hint of vanilla. Flavour duration is average for the style, but pronounced in general. Flavour intensity is slightly below average for the style, but it's a balanced well-executed imperial stout that sees no need to delve into the harsh overwhelming flavours heavy-handedly delivered by inferior beers in the style. Good complexity overall, if a bit wanting compared to great imperial stouts. I quite like this one; Beachwood has pleasantly surprised me.

No hop character or yeast character comes through. It's not a hot or boozy beer either.

Mf: Chewy, sticky, smooth, and wet. Lightly silky. Creamy. Good presence on the palate. Slight overcarbonation. Good thickness and nice full body. Unrefreshing. Not oily, harsh, gushed, astringent, acrid, or scratchy.

Dr: Quite drinkable for the ABV, but still best treated as a sipper. It's a good example of an imperial stout, but I don't think I'd buy it again at its ridiculous price point. I mean The Abyss is a good ~33+% cheaper than this, and it's definitely superior. In any case, I'd recommend to friends if they can find it cheaply on draught. It's definitely worth trying once, and I applaud the execution of coffee notes here. Looks like I'll be giving Beachwood more of my money for their house beers after all.

Constructively, I'd like to see aging in actual oak barrels; let's dispense with the half-assed oak chips. "Anything that's worth doing - is worth doing right." A bit more roasted barley would be a nice addition. And real chocolate would do it well. I could see rich cacao complementing the flavour profile quite nicely.

B

Photo of 77apm
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of ehammond1
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle (2013)

Thanks for sending this my way, SubpoenaDeuces!

Black on black with a small foaming ring of tight brown bubbles. Leaves the glass oily and spotted on the way down.

Impressive and expressive freshly ground coffee aroma. This would perhaps be overwhelming for someone not a big fan of earthy, roasty, strong, acidic coffee, but I'm a big fan. Bring it on. Complemented by definite oak and an interesting spice (most likely, the added cardamom, but I wouldn't have said that blind). An earthy, roasty, expressive, coffee powerhouse.

Fairly bitter initially, but layers of bold ground coffee, oak, and earthy, interesting spice notes come together extremely well. I didn't pick up much spirit (brandy, in this case)--more of just a barrel presence. Full of flavor with the coffee leading the way. The blend/nuance could be a touch better, but this is very tasty.

Nearly full in body with low carbonation. Doesn't suffer from the prickly/acidic mouthfeel found in Perennial's Barrel-aged Sump, for example.

Fantastic. Excited for Beachwood's releases moving forward.

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.88/5  rDev -10.4%

Photo of HoppySeb
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of SoCalBeerIdiot
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of blabaer
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of fthegiants
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -7.6%

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

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

Smell - Coffee. Spicy. Kinda roasty.

Taste - Very spicy. Like cinnamon? Incredibly strong coffee. Roasty coffee. Very intense. Some bitter chocolate.

Mouthfeel - Well carbonated. Medium body.

Overall - It's one-dimensional, but very tasty.

Photo of IKR
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 Vintage

Appearance: Very dark brown bordering on black with a fairly small dark beige head that slowly faded. A dark beige ring sticks around for a while.

Smell: Mild brandy, fairly strong coffee notes, roasted malt aromas, and some brown sugar aromas. Nice nose.

Taste: Mild brandy, fairly strong coffee notes (good quality coffee), roasted malt note, some mild tannic oak notes, some mild brown sugar notes, and mild hop notes. The coffee notes are upfront but well integrated. Alcohol is well restrained for the listed ABV

Mouth-feel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Nice mouth-feel on this one.

Overall: A good RIS, and at this time, my favorite coffee stout. I am a coffee snob and addict and this one works for me. The taste profile isn't all coffee and has several other tasty elements. Got to love it when a brewery in your hometown keeps kicking out good beers.

Photo of KBennall
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Bunuelian
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Kmlund
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of kmoen
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of LakerLeith
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of EgadBananas
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Being a System of a Down fan and coffee beer fan, this was a no brainer.

Appearance: inky black, dark brown half finger head, no lace.

Aroma: coffee, coffee, coffee, oak, char, vanilla, roast, chocolate.

Taste: strong bitter coffee, rich coffee, chocolate, roast, woody char.

Mouthfeel: pleasantly creamy, thick and full bodied.

Overall: the most coffee intense aroma I've experienced. As it warms, the flavors get a bit harsher than they start, but all in all, its fantastic and a coffee lovers creamy dream.

Photo of HoldenDurden
3.85/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of mcintire78
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of angrybabboon
4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Consumed 10/3/13

Appearance: Dark, dark brown - pours with a medium size, light tan head - eventually fades to a borderline nonexistent cap, doesn't leave much lacing

Smell: Simply put, there is a lot going on here - loads of chocolate, molasses, spice, coffee, and dark fruit - burnt chocolate malts and some sweet chocolate syrup - coffee grounds - some decidedly exotic spices - definitely interesting

Taste: Coffee, chocolate, molasses, and some exotic intrigue - dark malts, roasty with some burnt - chocolate malts, dark chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, baker's chocolate - rich, dark coffee flavor - molasses and some burnt caramel, dark sugars - some pretty obvious alcohol flavor, not exactly hot, more of a brandy flavor - some wood, too - very, very complex

Mouthfeel: More or less a full body, creamy, low carbonation, nice finish

Overall: A great beer to... Wake up! Grab a brush and put on a little makeup!

This is rather complex. That is a phrase that I don't get to write as much as I used to. But this is truly unique. Definitely worth a try, definitely worth seeking out. I suppose I also need to try Armenian Coffee.

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System Of A Stout from Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
96 out of 100 based on 176 ratings.