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System Of A Stout - Beachwood BBQ & Brewing

Not Rated.
System Of A StoutSystem Of A Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

157 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 157
Reviews: 22
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 8.8%
Wants: 140
Gots: 38 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Beachwood BBQ & Brewing visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.30% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: Halcyondays on 07-07-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 157 | Reviews: 22 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

t0rin0, Aug 21, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

UCLABrewN84, Jul 08, 2012
Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

zestar, Jun 11, 2013
Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -19%

spycow, Sunday at 09:49 PM
Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

nmann08, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

acurtis, Oct 14, 2013
Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Texasfan549, Jul 18, 2014
Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

kjkinsey, Jul 18, 2014
Photo of womencantsail
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

womencantsail, Aug 04, 2012
Photo of Knapp85
3.7/5  rDev -14.4%

Knapp85, Yesterday at 12:46 AM
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

westcoastbeerlvr, Oct 11, 2013
Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

largadeer, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

SocalKicks, Jul 11, 2013
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
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!

StonedTrippin, Jul 22, 2014
Photo of beernads
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

beernads, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

XmnwildX12, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of kojevergas
3.6/5  rDev -16.7%
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

kojevergas, Jul 17, 2013
Photo of Halcyondays
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Halcyondays, Jul 08, 2012
Photo of drewone
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

drewone, Oct 02, 2012
Photo of Mebuzzard
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Mebuzzard, Jul 18, 2014
Photo of HopHead84
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

7/12/2012

On tap at Toronado for Beachwood Brewing's one year anniversary.

A: Black and impenetrable with an inch of brown froth. Good retention and lots of scattered lacing.

S: Rich dark chocolate blends with earth, cardamom, molasses, and a little brown sugar. Coffee is big and bold. There's a firm nutty profile with pronounced roasted malt characteristics. Restrained dark fruit presence with faint oak and a whisper of brandy. 

T: Bittersweet dark chocolate with a potent earthy coffee character that pervades all aspects of the flavor. Lightly nutty with molasses and a touch of brown sugar. Firm roasted malt profile and moderate bitterness. Bold, full flavored, and bearing a striking resemblance to a good cup of coffee. There's a lot going on here.

M: Full body with medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is chewy, sticky, and smooth.

Overall: A complex, intense, and delicious beer. Seek this out if you're a coffee lover.

HopHead84, Jul 13, 2012
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

iL0VEbeer, Jul 21, 2014
Photo of tobelerone
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

tobelerone, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -7.4%

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.

Alieniloquium, Sep 09, 2014
Photo of drummermattie02
3.5/5  rDev -19%

drummermattie02, Oct 24, 2013
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System Of A Stout from Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.