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System Of A Stout - Beachwood BBQ & Brewing

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System Of A StoutSystem Of A Stout

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34 Reviews
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Reviews: 34
Hads: 237
Avg: 4.29
pDev: 22.14%
Wants: 183
Gots: 57 | 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.
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Reviews: 34 | Hads: 237
Photo of Beer_Line
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If you are a beer geek and a coffee addict this is as good as it gets. The only reason I do not see 5's all around on this one is only because the people rating this beer do not know anything about what they are rating.

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Photo of fussychicken
4.84/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

1st Bottle Batch:

Just a wonderful mix of coffee and cardamom. Beachwood stouts to me are on the dryer side which I love. Just the right amount of oak from the chips.

Such a Benchmark stout to me

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Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

- Batch 2 / 2014 vintage
- 22 oz. bottle poured into Hanger24 Barrel Roll tasting snifter on 5-Jul-14

- Batch 1/306
- 22 oz. bottle poured into Lost Abbey teku glass on 13-Jun-13.

Woah, the aromas... roasted coffee dominate and it smells better than almost every single coffee I've ever had. Earthy, fresh-grounded coffee beans with hints of vanilla.

Taste begins with the roasted coffee and its very velvety... bold, hearty, and decadent, but it's not an overload that it obliterates your palate. Mild acidity; so balanced. Everything that I want in a perfect cup of joe is found here. It then transitions into a malty chocolate that flows around the sides of your tongue and with it brings hints of vanilla, oak, subtle spices that I cannot differentiate specifically, and the brandy (btw, I wouldn't have been able to guess the brandy unless I was told of it, but once aware of the fact, it connected the dots). Finishes with the usual roasty bitterness every good coffee stout should have. Good heat; no unwanted boozyness whatsoever.

This was tough for me to decide... but I'd have to say this is the 2nd best coffee stout (behind BCBCS '12) that I've ever had the delight of experiencing. Beachwood, please keep em coming!

Batch 2 was just as I remembered the previous batch. Permawant!

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Photo of OneBeertoRTA
4.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

had this both in bottle and on tap at Beachwood Seal Beach.

Color is a rich dark roasted black with 2 inches of head.

Incredible coffee aroma and nice medium thickness.

Taste is a massive almost espresso like coffee and just insanely drinkable. I had two glasses on tap and cracked open a bottle when I got home. Julian is hitting home runs here. This is something special and was a great alternate between the Falcon IPA.

Tovarish was great but this is one of the those special coffee stouts that just has a whallop to it and goes down like no other. Damn near perfection.

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Photo of dar482
4.72/5  rDev +10%

The aroma smacks of tons of rich roasted coffee. Heavy on the roast qualities with Christmas cardamom. A bit of milk chocolate sweetness.

The flavor follows with that dark roasted coffee throughout. There's a hint of the spice that compliments the coffee quite well with a spicy cardamon. Lots of milk chocolate throughout the palate with a luscious mouthfeel.

A heavy roast and heavy coffee brew and really is an exceptional coffee stout.

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Photo of jamesar
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Beachwood BBQ for the release event!

Appearance: Pours a deep and dark black with decent brown head that fades away slowly. Almost no lacing.

Smell: Probably the most interesting aspect of this beer. Overwhelming, complex nose on this. I pick up tons of coffee, chocolate, caramel, some char, and eventually the smell of the cardamom spices and dark fruits. Fantastic aroma!

Taste: Loads of bitter coffee dominate the palate followed by some chocolatey fudginess, vanilla, and finishes with slight woodiness. Was really hoping for more brandy, molasses, and cardamom with this one but it definitely doesn't disappoint.

Mouthfeel: Almost perfect, thick, creamy, and full. Little carbonation.

Overall: For what this beer is, it is very, very good. Was hoping for a little less coffee but we will see what some time does for this one.

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Photo of rjjhoffman
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. One big COFFEE BOMB. Everything about this beer is incredible. Light brandy and oak aroma with strong coffee taste. Overall one excellent beer. Drinks incredibly smooth for 11%. Right up there with the better coffee stouts. Would really like to see them BA this beer in brandy oak barrels. Wish it had more presence of brandy. Would seek out and would drink again.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.54/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap for the first anniversary party at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is exceptional and is of dark roasted malt, dark roasted coffee/espresso beans, brandy, and wood. Taste is much the same with a very woody aftertaste. There is a medium amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a fantastic nose and a great flavor.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beachwood Brewing

Black in color with a great tan head. Wonderful retention and lacing. Enormous, almost overwhelming coffee aroma. There’s a very nice vanilla note to it, a touch of oak, and tons of cocoa and dark chocolate. Of course, some roast, but great sweetness. The coffee steals the show on the palate, as well. Mild wood and brandy notes, a touch of vanilla and roast, and quite a bit of chocolate, toffee, and molasses. Just wonderful stuff.

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Photo of IKR
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of costanzo_mike
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice black color with a tan head that dissipates fairly quickly. Smells of coffee, oak and cardamom come through heavily. Nicely spiced. The taste leaves a bitter coffee flavor on the aftertaste and a nice buzz of spice on the tongue. Love the balance that exhibits. Smooth mouthfeel once it warms up a bit. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of Hootie159
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a centimeter light to medium brown head. Dissipates, but sticks around the edges. Coffee and the cardamom smell great. Natural pairing. Imparts some intense flavor into the taste before the roasted coffee rolls in. Molasses helps balance the spicing with some sweetness. Oak chips impart a hint of smokiness. Very smooth with light carbonation aided by the brandy. The spicing gives it some bite if left on the tongue.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap for Beachwood's 1st Anniversary (7/7/12).

A: Pours black with a 1/2-inch tan head which lasts long and leaves stalactite lace.

N: Fresh roasted coffee, spices and brandy intermingle and play very well together.

T: Complex layers of roasty espresso, green cardamom, woody oak, sweet molasses and brandy. Unreal. The interplay between the coffee and spice and sweet brandy is amazing.

M: Rich, full bodied and moderate carbonation. Slightly oily and roasted bitterness on the finish.

O: Well Mr. Shrago, you nailed this. Considering how elaborate this was to brew, thanks for making such a fantastic offering. Congratulations on the 1st year and look forward to what comes next.

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Photo of Domvan
4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle I think, this was a nice rich stout with a perfect balance of coffee richness/bitterness. Not overpowering coffee, that I usually prefer. Was a well done and balanced coffee stout, I will seek this out again for sure.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.42/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.37/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber of this from ScottO. Very happy to finally give this one a shot. Cheers!

From a bomber into a snifter
Batch 2
Blue Wax
Released May 2014

APPEARANCE: A transparent black pour yields a three finger, medium looking, creamy, tan head with very good retention. Black body with higher levels of carbonation for the style. Head slowly fades to a full foam cap leaving some creamy lacing down the sides of the glass. A splotchy wisp remains with some nice lacing clinging the whole way down.

SMELL: Lots of coffee, sweet cream, vanilla, dark chocolate, molasses, and roasted malt aromas. Mostly roasted coffee beans and sweet cream, with obvious qualities from the cardamom as well. Very little oak, but the coffee and cardamom might be stealing the show here.

TASTE: Very coffee forward. Definite roasted coffee and espresso beans up front, with sweet cream and vanilla flavors at the swallow. Big, bold and persistent aftertaste of bitter and burnt coffee, sweet cream, vanilla, dark bitter chocolate, roasted malts and a touch of molasses as well. Sweet creamy flavors from the cardamom for sure, and some vanilla from the oak barrels. Heavy on the sweet cream, cardamom and bitter coffee beans. Really delicious. Actually tastes like morning coffee.

PALATE: Medium body and a touch higher carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down fine and finishes a touch mouth-coating. A bit of a scratch as the swallow, but no heat. Bitterness lingers.

OVERALL: Really good. Really, really good. The oak barrels are restrained in favor of the coffee and cardamom, though the vanilla sweetness is probably accented by the oak barrels as well. This beer works great and is very easy drinking. Would love to drink more of this stuff. Thanks again ScottO. Excellent stuff.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Batch 2, blue wax
The beer pours an opaque black (dark brown in the light) topped by a foamy tan head that provides some mild lacing before fading...the blue wax is a pain to remove, as always. The nose had big cardamom spiciness and coffee upfront followed by a warming caramel sweetness and hint of alcohol. The taste is also relatively spiced, but it's in perfect harmony with the chocolatey malt sweetness and slight bitterness provided by the Armenian coffee and hops. The mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied, sweet (not cloying), with masked booze, a biting, spicy bitterness that lingers, sufficient carbonation, and great drinkability. This beer is thoroughly enjoyable and has the perfect coffee/spice profile to compliment for the rich stout base.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beachwood II,

A: Pours black with a medium brown head, soft lace.

S: Aroma isn't great at first, but as it warms it really comes around. Coffee and dark chocolate for sure, cardamom, lots of spice, and a hint of hops. Fragrant and distinct.

T: Great coffee flavour. Dark chocolate and spice predominately. Lots of complexity. I've never had Armenian coffee, but this is a combination of flavours I like a lot.

M: Full-bodied, rich and creamy. Nice soothing long aftertaste.

O: A very good big stout, unique flavours. A fun beer to try for sure.

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Photo of Getalegup
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark, dark brown with brown fringes. Not much foam then fades to thin lacing on the edges. It smells of sweet choco late and coffee. Taste is the same but I guess the cardamon and brandy soaked wood chips add just a little something extra. Medium viscosity and very smooth. Really solid coffee stout. Recommended.

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Photo of raynmoon
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very nice beer. The nose and mouthfeel is where this one excels. Black with a brown head, nice lacing, and smells, of faint coffee and cinnamon. Nothing overbearing. The flavor follows suit, but not quite as luscious as one would imagine. Still overall a very nice beer.

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Photo of Beervana
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours nearly black with a very thin tan head. Nose is quite unique; cocoa, lactose, cardamom, vanilla, and a slight boozy sweetness, reminds me a little of horchata. Taste is a little more traditional with milk chocolate and delicate roast coffee leading the way, a bit of a cardamom/cinnamon spice character in the background, there's definitely a roasty bitterness present but it seems to fade as the beer warms. Not much sign of that 11% ABV here. Feel is smooth but drying, little carbonation.

Overall, this is a tough beer to pin down and rate, there's a definite complexity but the final product almost seems a bit muddled. Obviously the beer is still very tasty, just not quite mind-blowing.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

delicious beer here, trying to capture unique eastern europe coffee flavors, with cardamom and molasses, both of which are really noticeable in the flavor of the beer without being overdone, a tough feat to accomplish with some pretty tricky ingredients. matte finished black colored brew with high brown tones in the light and a milky off white head with brown rings as it slowly sips. the nose on it is awesome, heavy heavy day old coffee, with bitter barley roast and a dry earthy yeast character. cardamom is slight at first, but develops a lot with temperature. molasses sweetness is more evident in the taste, right up front, but this beer has very little sweetness to round it out, and ends up dry and bitter from the coffee, but with out the usually accompanying acidity from the coffee. nice subtle herbal cardamom peppered in, in exactly the right proportion. alcohol is a bit much when it warms up, but it fits with the coffee in this context. a very nice take on the style here, finally something different from a big coffee stout! thanks to crazybeerlady for sharing this unique beer!

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
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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Photo of lsummers
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Tony's Darts Away, pitch black with a great frothy tan lacing, sticks to your ribs! ... And the glass.

Smells straight up like coffee and chocolate with roasted oats. Hints of a sweet molasas.

Taste initially hits you with coffee but it's not overpowering and is blended quite nicely with the bitter dark chocolate and sweet molasses with some finishing roasty characters. The bitterness isn't overwhelming but hits more towards the backend.

It feels like it has some nice carbonation and it really helps hide the high abv, it's a warming beer but not boozy.

Overall I'm pretty impressed, I'm not a daily coffee drinker but I loved the stong coffee notes. This is definitely a special beer.

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System Of A Stout from Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
93 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.