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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.

144 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 144
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 8.76%
Wants: 143
Gots: 39 | FT: 10
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: 144 | Reviews: 20 | Display Reviews Only:
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4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

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3.5/5  rDev -19.4%

10-15-2013 22:00:28 | More by bbadger
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District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

10-15-2013 01:02:39 | More by nmann08
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New York

5/5  rDev +15.2%

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New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

10-14-2013 20:16:04 | More by acurtis
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4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

10-14-2013 17:12:11 | More by moonknight31
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4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

10-11-2013 05:50:33 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
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4/5  rDev -7.8%

10-08-2013 22:15:52 | More by belgbeerdrinker
Photo of Goblinmunkey7


4.13/5  rDev -4.8%

Thanks to beachstrength49 for the bottle. Split with angrybabboon.

Appearance: Straight black with a small dark tan head. OK retention drops the head to a small collar with no lacing. Minimal carbonation with a nice thick and creamy poor. Solid.

Smell: A lot going on with this thing. Nice roasted malts with a very slight burnt edge. Brandy is upfront and then some. Oak adds a nice element. Vague dark fruit in there. Oh, and did I mention the crazy amounts of coffee? Roasted beans, fresh brewed espresso, and spent grinds. It's loaded. Cardamom is evident as well. It's complex, but it's all upfront and fades rather quickly. Sweet cooked sugars. Almost like bleach with the combo of coffee, cardamom, and the like. Licorice. A touch of musty sock and some solid cocoa and chocolate notes.

Taste: Slight bite of alcohol over a solid roasted thing. Coffee and more coffee. Coffee beans and slightly old espresso. Some licorice and then the brandy kicks in. Layers of alcohol intrinsic and external. Some nice backing oak with a touch of char. Caramel, toffee, tons of molasses, I was beginning to wonder where it was. Cardamom lingers on the tongue dropping a unique spiciness. Sweet brandy. Cocoa and chocolate, it's all there. Assertive with a nice depth and complexity. Plum and a touch of oatmeal cookie.

Mouthfeel: Full and smooth. A bit slick up front with a minimal, but not negligible carbonation. Lingers and sits around for a good bit.

Overall: Wakeupputonalittlemakeupdrinkabeerandwin.

This is a bit nuts. A lot of things and they're all good. This is a net win in the long run.

10-03-2013 20:48:17 | More by Goblinmunkey7
Photo of angrybabboon

New Hampshire

4.21/5  rDev -3%

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.

10-03-2013 20:47:15 | More by angrybabboon
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4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

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4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

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4.39/5  rDev +1.2%

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.

08-28-2013 20:56:42 | More by EgadBananas
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4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

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4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

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4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

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4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

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Photo of kojevergas


3.6/5  rDev -17.1%

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.


07-17-2013 03:28:20 | More by kojevergas
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4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

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System Of A Stout from Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
96 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.