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Campfire Stout | High Water Brewing

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BA SCORE
89
very good
92 Reviews
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Campfire StoutCampfire Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
High Water Brewing
California, United States
highwaterbrewing.com

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TheStove on 04-26-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
92
Ratings:
535
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
27.46%
 
 
Wants:
65
Gots:
161
For Trade:
4
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Reviews: 92 | Ratings: 535
Photo of ThePaleRider
2.34/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Very dark with a chocolatey head.

S - Thge smell of marshmallow is very strong. Dark malts in the back add a little complexity to the mixture.

T - Wow! Like taking a shot of whipped cream vodka. Vanilla is very powerful. Not as much chocolate as I would've liked. Also not picking up any graham cracker. Just tastes like a marshmallow beer.

M - Very smooth with little carbonation.

O - Might be a good desert beer but seems more like a novelty. Couldn't finish my glass because the sweetness was just too overwhelming.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.55/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Reviewed live. Reviewed as an American Stout because it self-identifies as a stout and it's American. I dig the simple label art. 6.5% ABV confirmed. 22 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard unbranded pry-off cap acquired at a local SoCal bottle shop and served into a flared stem-snifter/tulip hybrid glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Expectations are above average due to the description on the label.

Served cold, straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger wide head of tan colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Supple and inviting. Light uneven lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Retention is above average for the style - about 3 minutes.

Body colour is an opaque dark solid black; not quite a jet black but dark. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Standard fare for the style, but nevertheless quite good. I can't wait to try it. Not unique or special. No flaws jump out at me.

Sm: Oh boy. Chocolate malt, milk chocolate, marshmallow, dark malts, a buried hint of mint, molasses, and a hint of vanilla. Very evocative; they hit what they're going for except there's no graham cracker. Reminds me of digestives or keebler's cookies. Cream. Milk. the marshmallow note is a highlight; wow. Gooey goodness mixed with caramel is fantastic.

It's not without flaws, though. I can tell flavour was added, maybe some unwarranted extract. It's forgivable though.

A remarkable aroma that hits the s'more concept on the head. Moderately strong.

No yeast character, hop character, or alcohol is detectable. This one is all additive and malt.

T: Chocolate malt, milk chocolate, artificial chocolate flavour extract. A bit too sweet. Caramel. Dark malts. A bit of marshmallow, but nowhere near as much as was promised by the aroma. Not getting any graham cracker. Milky. Light herbal hops redolent of mint do surface a biteen. Boy, that sweetness is really ruining the balance for me. Nowhere near as complex or subtle as it'd have to be to be up there with the best in the style. Do I like it? Hm. Not really, actually. Ultimately, it's just so damned artificial. The flavour additives do this one a disservice.

Flavour intensity is high for the style, even overbearing. Flavour depth, diversity, and duration are average to below average. No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Syrupy. Sticky. Gooey. Thick - overly so. Smooth and wet. Overcarbonated. Doesn't suit the flavour profile all that well, but I guess it's a valiant attempt at creating a texture to match the concept.

Not oily, harsh, gushed, or boozy. Far from ideal overall. Not a good texture for the style.

Dr: The overdone sweetness and lack of interesting flavour make this one kind of difficult to drink. I'll finish this bottle with effort, but I'm not happy to have to take it down alone. Overpriced for the quality. I certainly wouldn't get this again. The aroma is a highlight, but the beer doesn't deliver on the concept once you factor in the flavour and mouthfeel. I wouldn't recommend it to friends. Disappointed given its current high ratings. Even Southern Tier hits their concepts without coming off too artificial.

Highish D+

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Photo of jethrodium
2.9/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap. Pours a dark brown with small tan head that settles to a ring and leaves a very minimal amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is marshmallow, graham cracker, light chocolate, a bit of vanilla, and a light roastiness. The taste has quite a bit of Initial sweetness with marshmallow and vanilla. There is also some graham cracker and light chocolate. The finish has a light roastiness with a lingering marshmallow. Medium-light body. Medium carbonation. There is a lot going on here, but I didn't find it to work that well. A bit too sweet for my tastes.

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Photo of Jeffo
2.92/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Got this one at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a bomber into a snifter
Stout with graham crackers and molasses

APPEARANCE: A clear dark brown pour yields a 1+ finger, looser, fizzy, foamy tan head with decent retention. Clear bistre brown body with higher levels of carbonation. Head fades to s half wisp and ring. A slight ring remains until the end but leaves no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Roasted notes, milk chocolate, molasses notes, marshmallow and graham crackers. Touches of caramel and chocolate. Interesting, but weird.

TASTE: Sweet caramel and graham crackers up front. More of the same after the swallow as well, with marshmallow, vanilla, milk chocolate, graham crackers, some roasted bitterness and caramel notes. Tastes like desert or some kind of graham cracker pie, but a slightly watery version.

PALATE: Medium-thinner body with medium levels of carbonation. Creamy enough, but a touch prickly perhaps, goes down okay and finishes slightly mouth-coating.

OVERALL: Okay I guess. Not sure I like what was going on here, but it certainly tasted as advertised. Started off a little too sweet for my liking, but got better as I got into it. Not something I would go for again, but I could understand why someone else would really like it. Give it a chance and see for yourself.

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Photo of VonMisfit
2.93/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Smells great nice black color. Starts like standard stout then comes this kinda fruity tinge followed by a shot of vodka. Easiest way to put it is a poor version of Blarney flatts with a straight alcohol finish.

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Photo of PHBoiler
2.96/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Bomber poured into snifter

Deep black body with practically no head or lacing. The nose is quite interesting with chocolate and some vanilla as well as light smokiness. It's an inviting start. The flavors do not come together. The chocolate and vanilla flavors taste artificially added rather than extracted. The light smoke does not balance out the beer. The beer does not sit on the palate well either. This was a total miss for me. The flavors do not balance well and it tasted like a gimmick not a beer. The artificial taste was the biggest issue.

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Photo of Timothy_Scott_Goeft
3.24/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4

According to.what ive read it should.have a.high carbonation but this.is.a.little.low. the body is a jet blblack with light brown.persisting head. Should have some bittering but doesnt seem to really. It does have a light roasted an smoked malt impression with full.body medium.carbs and i rate it higher because it does remind me of the campfire like the name suggests.so good job to this brewery ill buy more

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.42/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black in color with no light permeating it. There's a fingernail of beige around the rim and most of the top. The aroma is dead on with chocolate and graham crackers. The taste is very sweet chocolate and graham cracker. I like sweet milk stouts but this was a bit cloying to me. The mouth was a bit thick, chewy, and a touch warm.

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Photo of popery
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark. Pretty much wall-to-wall black. The head is light brown, fairly dark for a stout that doesn't seem terribly roasty.

Well, the beer certainly delivers on its label description. It's chock full of sweet milk chocolate, marshmallow and graham cracker flavor. This is definitely a s'more stout. There's a ton of marshmallow aroma, in particular. The graham cracker presence is fairly mild, but it fits. I'm not finding any roast or caramel or hops or anything else that you might expect in a stout.

The taste is also on the sweet side, though not nearly as much as the aroma. It's a light, milk chocolatey beer. There's some lactose tang to the beer, a bit more than I'd like but I'm not a big milk stout fan.

Mouthfeel is smooth and moderately carbonated. Little booze. It's sorta cloying but only in so far as it tastes like a beer s'more. Not really sure if I should dock for that.

It's an interesting and well-made beer, but I can't say that I really like it all that much. I would love to try it from a nitro tap. That might up my score a fair bit. I'm generally not a big milk or sweet stout fan, but nitro seems to help out. That said, if you are a milk stout fan, a bottle will probably be right up your alley.

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Photo of TruePerception
3.52/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

(Transferred from another forum)

Highwater Brewing's Campfire Stout. A stout brewed with graham crackers, in an attempt to simulate s'mores. 6.5% ABV.

Appearance: It's black with a hint of dark brown on the bottom, and just the slimmest line of head.

Smell: Good, medium brewed coffee smell, along with a good amount of graham cracker. Slight dark chocolate smell. Chocolate comes out more and coffee recedes as it warms.

Taste/Mouthfeel: It has a very dark chocolate-y flavor, with just a touch of coffee, so definitely a success, there! A slight graham taste. Marshmallow is a stretch, but there is a slight sweetness that bring to milk or whipped cream mind. A little lactose, probably.

Not a great stout, but nice attempt.

Poured into a pint glass, from a 22 oz. bottle.

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Photo of brotherloco
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber. Served in a tulip.

Pours opaque dark brown with a finger of dark tan foam. Settles to a ring. Spots of lacing.

Aroma is extremely sweet and chocolatey with the graham crackers and marshmallows giving an obvious tip to s'mores.

Flavor is thankfully not as sweet as aroma. Drier chocolate malt dominates with a generous dose of roasty bitterness. A bit of the graham cracker and marshmallow flavor emerges through the finish, but it's fairly subtle.

Medium-light bodied with above medium carbonation. Sharper than smooth, but quite drinkable.

Overall this reminds me of a dry irish oyster stout with some subtle sweet additions. Good.

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Photo of Rollzroyce21
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

- 22oz. bottle poured into Lost Abbey Teku on 27-Jan-15

I think I got an old bottle... High sweetness and almost metallic that befuddles all the flavors. Get little graham cracker, if at all.

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Photo of PBRmeasap1980
3.62/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On nitro - 16 oz pour

A- Deep brown/black with fluffly, light brown head
S- Bunt/roasted malts, brown sugar, fake vanilla
T- Artificial adjuncts... kind of artificial overall
F- Medium (probably helped by the nitro)
O- Wouldn't drink again

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Photo of Suds
3.64/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

So, my wife picked up a bomber of this brew, which we fittingly enjoyed a few days after a camping trip. The aroma is black, but with some ruby highlights if held to strong light. Serious chocolate and coffee aromas. Malt and some sweetness. Roasted notes, but the beer is on the sweet side. Chocolate dominates. The mouth-feel is thick...almost luxurious. Weak finish. It's a solidly good beer, but not particularly complex nor interesting.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Paid 8.99 for this bomber and it was gimmicky enough for me to drop the coin. Also it got pretty great reviews.

A - Wow such a thick dense stout for under 7%. The head is just a 1/4 inch that fades out rather quickly but it did have a nice mocha hue to it.
S - Ah cocoa nibs always smells nice in the glass. Also greeted by a vanilla like sweetness similar to a marshmallow and a bit of smoky like campfire with the roast. Not getting much gram cracker but I am sure its in there.
T - Let it warm up a bit first... Mostly getting a bit of ashy smoke with little sweetness, some hop bitterness and a touch of acidic twang. Far from what I expected from the smell. I am deeply saddened to at least not have a strong chocolate aspect considering it smells of strong cocoa nibs. The smoke flavors really stick to the palate to boot.
M - Has a somewhat creamy body despite the heavy ashy flavors. On par with the style.

Overall I am not sure where everyone is getting all these awesome flavors to me it taste like licking a charcoal briquet. Even if it was just a smoke stout it would fail at being just that since it's not very balanced...

 1,137 characters

Photo of TheStove
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked this one up at Healthy Spirits. Interested to try it after having Shorts' S'mores Stout (or i think it is called Winter Fun Stout)

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

Pours inky opaque black with a lingering mocha colored lace that slowly dissipates. Smells like an amazing mix of the mentioned flavors with marshmallow and chocolate being most apparent. Subsequent smells yield more of the graham cracker but with a dominating marshmallow scent.

Drink light at first but then opens up huge flavors during sip. Sweet marshmallow and cracker flavors sit on the front of the sip while bitter and chocolate malts underline and eventually finish the experience. A lingering bitterness punctuated by light sweetness flavors lingers on the tongue and is rather enjoyable. The mouthfeel is average. Though this isn't an imperial stout, it still drinks pretty light and the texture belies what one might expect from something intended to be like a S'more.

Overall this is an interesting beer. It deserves praise for taking a creative risk and doing it well. Overall it contributes well to High Waters' mix of bold traditional styles and more interesting offerings. This is less one of those beers you drink while out and more one that is meant to be consumed fireside as the bottle hints. This would also be a great winter beer.

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Photo of moysauce
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours pitch black with a moderate beige head.

Smells of graham crackers. Slightly smokey, but not in an unwelcoming way. Smells just like a campfire.

Unfortunately I did not get as much graham cracker on the palate, but I did get nice rich, roasty notes. Minus the graham cracker it follows the nose. I wouldn't go quite so far as to say s'mores. But definitely rich, roasty chocolate notes. Maybe a tiny bit of marshmallow they advertised, but its very subtile.

Nice, moderately thick beer. Coats the mouth but doesn't really leave you overwhelmed.

Overall, a solid stout. Stouts generally aren't my jam, but I'm fond of this one.

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Photo of Mightykingmalard
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: in a way, it almost looks like a s'more, chocolate dark with a dark brown head.

S: really does smell like s'mores. Very unique in that sense.

T: good, clean stout with a pleasant finish of coffee and smokiness.

M: smokiness combined with a good chill is nice.

O: it is very unique to have the smokey marshmallow flavor. Without it, it would be pretty generic, but it's a good beer to try.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter
A: Pitch black with a one-finger head that quickly settles
S: Lots of milk chocolate, graham cracker, vanilla/marshmallow. Smells like a real smore, smells good, just not traditional for a stout
T: Cocoa, a touch bitter, some chocolate malts, but the palate loses the other smore notes without gaining anything substantial
M: Medium-bodied, somewhat bitter and sweet, but otherwise unremarkable
O: I had higher hopes. Nice nose, but the nose doesn't carry through and what's left is only so-so as far as stouts go

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

4.0 A: Black color. One and a half fingers of frothy tan head. Retention is about average and a good bit of lacing is left.

4.5 S: The nose sure as hell delivers as advertised. Lots of marshmallow, which is something I rarely find in a stout (or any beer), tons of chocolate, and a light graham cracker. Roasty underneath with a lactose-like sweetness. Superbly pleasant and definitely unique.

3.5 T: Though the nose is dead on for s'mores, the taste is not. It's surprisingly bitter and whether this is from too much hops or just the roasted barley is anyone's guess. Secondly, it's not nearly as sweet as I would have guessed. Lactose does give a bit of marshmallow, but I think this is mainly since the nose implanted the idea. The chocolate is insufficient and the graham cracker biscuitiness is lacking. Still, it's not bad, but it's a huge disappointment after the awesomeness of the nose.

3.0 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation, though I wouldn't mind a touch more. I'm not crazy about the mouthfeel because it's heavy without being particularly creamy.

3.5 D: Decent beer. Worth a try just for the nose. This would have scored a lot better is the bitterness wasn't so distracting.

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Photo of brentk56
3.74/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Arrives charcoal black capped by an inch of tan foam; a few wisps of lace linger

Smell: Graham cracker, marshmallow, chocolate and a hint of campfire smoke

Taste: Like the aroma, this is a liquid S'more with all elements in balance

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A clever idea for a beer and fun to drink for half the pint but I found that I couldn't finish it due to the sweetness

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Photo of RollBounce
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

This beers is tasty. Nice smell of graham crackers. I did think being called campfire that there would be a smoked note somewhere, but there is not. It tastes like a more balanced version of boulder shake.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with some opacity at the edges. The head settles to a thin collar. Faint surface wisps.

Smell - Incredible. Milk chocolate. Cinnamon. Graham cracker. And the best marshmallow aroma I've smelled in a beer. Awesome.

Taste - Far less impressive. The marshmallow persists a bit. Milk chocolate, too. The rest of it is more deeply roasted with some coffee bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Too thin, or at least it lacks some creaminess. Medium carbonation and a little bitter.

Overall - The smell is so good. I can just sit here and smell it without drinking it. And in many ways, that's the way to go with this beer.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got in a trade with swingracex. 22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 11/23/2013. Pours pitch black color with a 2 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of milk chocolate, cocoa, roast, graham cracker, dark bread, light coffee, vanilla, light cream, herbal, and roasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with well balanced dark/roasted malt, graham cracker, and spice notes; with solid strength. Taste of milk chocolate, cocoa, roast, graham cracker, light coffee, dark bread, vanilla, light cream, herbal, and roasted earthiness. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, roast, graham cracker, dark bread, light coffee, vanilla, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and robustness of dark/roasted malt, graham cracker, and spice flavors; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy, smooth, and slightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good spiced stout. All around well balanced dark/roast malt, graham cracker, and spice flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of ccg
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours like a quality stout but with a good inch of khaki foam and above-average retention.
The smell hits you in the face with sticky toasted marshmallow, vanilla, and chocolate. As it warms, more of the graham-crackery toasty smell emerges.
The taste does not quite hit as strongly as the smell, but the flavor profile is similar. A bit more chocolate flavor comes out but less marshmallow. The finish has just a hint of bitterness.
The feel is a little bit on the thin side.
Overall: It delivers what it promises. I have to note that the first time I had it was on tap at Church Key in San Francisco. That one was marshmallow for days. Out of a bottle, it's more subtle. I would probably have given the draft pour a rating about 0.5 higher.

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Campfire Stout from High Water Brewing
3.97 out of 5 based on 535 ratings.
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