Campfire Stout | High Water Brewing

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88
very good
85 Reviews
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Campfire StoutCampfire Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
High Water Brewing
California, United States | website

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:
85
Ratings:
522
Avg:
3.96
pDev:
28.28%
 
 
Wants:
64
Gots:
151
For Trade:
4
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Reviews: 85 | Ratings: 522
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap 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 rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, and marshmallows. Taste is much the same with a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with nice aromas and flavors that is easy to drink.

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Photo of brentk56
3.74/5  rDev -5.6%
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 kojevergas
2.55/5  rDev -35.6%
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 superspak
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
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 womencantsail
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost black with a tan head. Nose is full of sweet sugar and marshmallow. A nice toasted sugar note, graham cracker, vanilla, and milk chocolate. Smells and tastes pretty much like a s’more. Tons of marshmallow and chocolate flavor. Graham cracker maltiness, a hint of roast, and sweet sugar. Really awesome stuff!

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes.

A: Poured a deep black with a small tan head on top, decent head retention. Thin lacing forms on the sides and disappears rather quickly.

S: Some roasty/charred malt, a bit of chocolate and vanilla, a bit of marshmallow and some graham cracker.

T: Surprised at how well it came together in the flavor profile. A mix of chocolate and marshmallow with faint graham cracker malt. It comes together almost like a chocolate/cream flavor.

M: Medium bodied, maybe a tad thin, with medium carbonation.

O: Pleasantly surprised. Not something I would drink all the time, but it was a nice change of pace.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
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 Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color, almost black with brown head. Aroma has a lactic / vanilla sweetness, biscuits, chocolate and a bit of roast / smoke. Taste is more roasty and bitter, not what I expected from the aroma. Just a bit of chocolate and vanilla in the background. Body is medium to heavy with low carbonation. Quite nice overall, really easy to drink. I expected "s'more" on the taste though.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.36/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Trying the High Water Campfire Stout at Yards in Roseville, CA. The beer poured an opaque black with ecru head that is not leaving much of a lace. The scent is hersey chocolaty goodness. The taste is similar to Boulder's Shake....milk chocolate with hints of roast. The Mouthfeel is medium in body with smooth carbonation. Overall this is an excellent stout....and sessionable.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.29/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a very dark brown pretty much black with a good half f inger of head that left a little bubbly lacing sticking to the glass.

S: some aswesome marshmallow character was very much noticeable upfront in the aroma with lots of sweetness, a hint of roastiness, a signs of smokiness..

T: the campfire flavors were more prominent on the palate consisting of smore character, graham crackers, marshmallow notes, burnt sugar, slight roastiness, and caramel accents.

M: the brew was medium in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a sweet, sugary, campfirey, and sticky finish.

O: very interesting beer for sure, its somewhat of a novelty brew. Worth trying though.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Maudite snifter. Pours a very dark brown, appearing black in the glass. Thin light brown head dissipates slowly into a thin film and ring around the glass, leaving light lacing. Aroma of sweet and toasted malt, vanilla and chocolate. Flavor follows with toasted malt, sweet vanilla and chocolate, finishing a bit dryer and roasty. Medium bodied. Flavor is a bit thinner than I expected, but pleasant flavors. An interesting take on an American style stout. I was hoping for a bit of smoke from the name, but still enjoyed this.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours black with a medium tan head, some solid lace.

S: Great nose of marshmallow, graham cracker and chocolate, smells like it should.

T: Heavy dark chocolate, lighter sugary quality than on the nose, but still quite sweet. Pie crust, hint of sugar cane.

M: Medium-bodied, frothy carbonation, smooth.

O: A fun beer to try. The S'more character is definitely there and tastes and smells above all quite good. A tad pricey, but this is not just some novelty, it's a complete effort.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A S'more stout? Sure, sign me up for that. This was a bomber purchased from K & L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA.

Pours a slightly brown-tinged black, with a filmy, but relatively fine head of beige, what dissipates to a ring, and only leaves patches of lace. Body is solid, and forms some tight, fine carbonation. Looks good enough.

The nose, however, is where this starts to get interesting. Huge, sweet biffo in the aroma, giving melted chocolate and puffy vanilla marshmallow characters, above, yep, a sweet, biscuity base of malt and gooeyness. It's like a digestive biscuit dunked in a chocolate fondue. Extremely sweet, but absolutely delivering on its promise. Amazing stuff.

Taste, ooh, is also extremely good—and to be honest, better than I was expecting. While I thought the promise of the sweetness would not really be delivered (and it's not), there is a genuine commitment to the S'mores theme here, with more biscuity characters coming through, mingled with a genuine crispy smokiness. On the back palate, we get a long, drawn out milk chocolate character, which again doesn't really contain the sweetness of real chocolate, but absolutely nails its essence. Feel is a little light, and I'd even forgive a little booze if this wanted to be heavier overall, but it's solid as it is.

Really, really interesting stuff—extremely well executed, even if the concept of a campfire-roasted sandwich of chocolate and marshmallow is not your thing. I believe I'll have to keep my eye on High Water in the future.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Old Toad in Rochester, NY.

Pours a fairly dark brown, almost black, with basically no head or lacing.

Smells quite sweet, and exactly like a campfire s'more, except without the burnt aspect or the smoke aspect. There's some dark chocolate, some bready graham cracker, and vanilla.

The taste also gets the s'more aspect down pat. It's sweet and creamy, almost milky, with a chocolate syrup, vanilla cream, and graham cracker, with a smidgen of roasted malt, just enough to keep it from being too cloying and sweet.

This one is really rich and creamy, with a lower amount of carbonation, and a medium body.

Though loaded with adjuncts, this one is still quite tasty.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%

extraordinary in terms of style. aroma doesnt give you much but the taste has a ton of vanilla and chocolate and is extremely smooth. i was damn impressed. finished the whole bottle and want more. great stout.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.66/5  rDev -7.6%
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...

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 12.14.13

A - Pours a dark brown with a fluffy tan head.

S - Chocolate, graham cracker, sweet.

T - S'mores, chocolate, graham cracker, vanilla.

D - Good carbonation with a heavy body. A touch bitter.

O - S'mores in a glass! Very tasty stuff.

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Photo of Suds
3.64/5  rDev -8.1%
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 mynie
4.67/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This has bene sitting in the fridge for a while...

So, okay, often I'll not pick up on a beer's special flavor but the label will alert me to it and so I'll notice it. "Brewed with cumquats," it says, and so by golly I just so happen to recognize that distinctive cumquatiiness that I otherwise would have just described as "citrus."

This time, I swear to god, I didn't read the label beforehand. I took a sip and said "jesus why does this taste like graham crackers," and then I checked the label and it actually contains graham crackers. What the hell?

So, it's a unique thing. It's pretty awesome because it's basically telling all conventional beer styles to fuck off, but it's doing so without reaching for anything that's even remotely popular.

How does it taste? Damn good, actually. Smells super smooth and rounded, with clear stout barley and then just some grahamy sweetness where usually the roastiness might be counteracted with chocolate. You don't actually taste marshmellows so much as they presence themselves by force of your anticipation. T-that's a pretentious way to put it, I realize, but I'm not talented enough to describe such an unpretentious and innovative beer in non-pretentious terms.

So... I dunno. This bottle is nearly a year old, so maybe that did something to it, but what I'm drinking right now really has to be experienced to be believed. Unique and nearly perfect.

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Photo of popery
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
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 Fatehunter
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Formed two fingers of tan head on a pitch black body. Looks great.
Well, it smells like a campfire: chocolate, marshmallows and coffee. Impressive.
The taste is roasted malt, a touch of chocolate and coffee, and a mild bitterness at the end. It's complex.
The texture is smooth with moderate carbonation and a heavier body.
Here's a well put together ale.

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Photo of laituegonflable
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, with beige head, slightly sunk down with just a thin crown of head around the edge. Lace is pretty decent. Yeah looks pretty good, but not perfect.

Smells amazingly nutty and sweet. Loads of pecan, peanut brittle, toffee, nougat, vanilla, condensed milk. Oh, excuse the upcoming French but fuck me dead. This is freaking, arseholeingly delicious. Holy shit. Sweet, touch of spice, dark, beautiful, nutty. Just gorgeous.

Taste is a bit of a disappointment, actually. Quite dry in reality, and lacks the sweetness of the nose. Lots of nuttiness, though, with almond dust, pecan and some salted caramel. Hints of slightly roasty notes, with dry cocoa as well. Sweet underlying, but a bit dry and dusty. Nice, but not nearly as nice as the nose.

Decent body. Not thin, but not thick either. Bit dry on the back, but yeah, pretty good.

I wanted so, so much more based on that nose. That shouldn't be to its detriment of course, as it's still very nice, but I can't help but feel a bit disappointed in this beer.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.72/5  rDev -6.1%
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 notchucknorris
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly thin black color with a half finger khaki colored head.

S: S'mores ahoy! Lots of graham cracker and dark chocolate on te nose with some nice notes of marshmallow and milk chocolate in the background.

T: Definitely not as sweet as it smells, but still delivers on the s'mores. Light roasted malt, dark chocolate, vanilla hit first with graham cracker, char and marshmallow creeping in on the finish. Mouthfeel is a bit lighter than it probably should be, but nonetheless, I would call this a success.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.86/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1405th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
22oz

No bottle date

Purchased for $7.99 at Bevmo, Chino Hills, CA

App- It pours like a good stout should, a bit black like coffee and a bit creamy like chocolate syrup. A good two finger brown head formed and left a good sheen down the side you drink from.

Smell- A bit lacking for me. It was not as sweet as I wouldve hoped. Instead, replaced by a bit of lactic to accomplish the marshmellow and a bit grainy from the malts for the graham cracker and just a touch bitter from the chocolate.

Taste- Its a nice beer. Its a nice stout. The flavors are well layered but just dont get the end game results. The bitter and chocolate are really all I got. The creamy and sugary marshmellow are there. This to me shoulda been like a cooking deconstruction. Instead, its a nice milk stout with some chocolate really.

Mouth- A small creamy medium body with a fairly prickly medium carbonation. The lactic from the marshmellow and the chocoalte are okay together. I dont like the residual grainy cracker and bitter notes.

Drink- It was overall a good beer. A hard to make work beer but its worth a shot to split with friends as a dessert beer or something new. A lot better than Rogues attempt at a donut.

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Campfire Stout from High Water Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 85 ratings.
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