Campfire Stout | High Water Brewing

very good
96 Reviews
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Campfire StoutCampfire Stout

Brewed by:
High Water Brewing
California, United States

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

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Reviews: 96 | Ratings: 562
Photo of avalon07
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a black color and a thick texture. There was a small amount of foamy, tan-colored head that didn't last very long. Not much lacing.

S: A big, aggressive aroma of chocolate, molasses, and some malt.

T: Tasted of a lot of chocolate, graham crackers, light malt notes, a bit of molasses, a hint of marshmallow, and a slight, burnt quality that's evident in the finish. Yeah, it tastes pretty much like s'mores - no doubt about that. More chocolaty than anything, but this is a good thing. Incredibly enjoyable and surprisingly complex.

F: A below average amount of carbonation with a super-smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is the sort of beer that won't please everyone; it's kind of a novelty. Nevertheless, it's well made and easy to drink.

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Photo of jaketaz
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I wouldn't say it tastes like s'mores or graham crackers, more like a blend of milk chocolate and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I know everyone's going on about the graham crackers but I tasted this beer the same way I taste every beer (as close as possible to blind testing) and it's cinnamon sugar + chocolate. Solid uniform head that looks like a tan meringue, highly carbonated, smells like milk chocolate, totally black beer. I split the bomber in half, drank the second half the next day and had basically become a bitter cream soda, which is still ok! Weakest aspect is the thin mouthfeel. Above average beer but I'd rather go Sam Smith chocolate stout.

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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 moysauce
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
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 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 hoping4hopps
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Mmmmmmmm. While not as intense as a heavily coffe infused stout this shines through with its desert like flavor. A heavy doseing of gram is compiled with chocolate and vanilla to create an interesting sharable stout. I feel it lacks a thick mouthful which I seek out in a crafted stout, however this is a great beer. It is something I would recommend to anyone trying to widen there perspective on craft brewed specialty ales.

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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 JackieKu
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.
ABV: 6.5%

A: Opaque black. 4 fingers high of foam.
S: Intense chocolate aroma. Some vanilla.
T: Cocoa. Moderate bitterness. Slightly sweet. Some citrus/floral aftertaste.
M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation.
O: A solid relative low alcohol stout. Pretty pleasant chocolate flavor.

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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 AngryPenguinBrewCo
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was excited to pick up this stout on a road trip to the bevvie to pick up Heady topper. Aroma is overwhelming sweetness and marshmallow. Slightly cloying, prominent flavor is lactose. Absolutely no smoke flavor to deliver on the promise of a "campfire stout". Well carbonated for a stout and finishes with some Grahm cracker flavor and slightly chocolately. Overall a tasty brew but it is slightly sweet and heavy on the lactose.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.42/5  rDev -13.6%
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 Tele
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type: Bottle (Dated 9.7.15)
Consumed: 1.6.16

A: 4.5 Pours pitch black with a large, light tan head. Good retention and leaves some lace.

A: 3.75 Aroma is dominated by molasses and clove. As the beer warms, a bit of vanilla extract and roasted malt come through, but are overpowered by molasses.

T: 3.75 Pretty similar to the nose. Lots of molasses, more vanilla extract, and relatively mild malt character. The combination is strangely cola-like and overall a bit artificial tasting. Fortunately, sweetness is very much under control, as is the mild bitterness on the finish.

M: 4.5 Really nice body and carbonation all things considered. Super glad this is not an imperial stout as the easy drinkability of this beer saves it from the intense flavors.

O: 3.75 This is a fine beer with decent adjunct flavors but somewhat out of balance. Definitely not terrible, just somewhat artificial tasting.

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Photo of Timothy_Scott_Goeft
3.24/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4

According to.what ive read it should.have a.high carbonation but 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 good job to this brewery ill buy more

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Photo of therubicon
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Off-tan head with decent retention. Really smells like a smore, with chocolate, marshmallow and Graham cracker. Taste of bitter chocolate, marshmallow, Graham cracker and a hint of smoke. The marshmallow and Graham cracker seem to fade a bit over time. A little thinner than I would have liked, but doesn't majorly detract from the experience. Overall, an absolutely delicious beer I could drink both at a summer campfire or on a cold winter night.

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Photo of ccg
3.79/5  rDev -4.3%
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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Photo of VonMisfit
2.93/5  rDev -26%
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 EmperorBevis
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black body with huge tan foamy head
Not lying on the label when it says aromas of marshmallow & chocolate with toffee
Smokey coffee flavour some hints of chocolate more malt and a good dry bitter finish
It's a bit thin for the flavour and abv
I like this, this is very good, flawed but well worth a try and certainly enjoyable.

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Photo of braker649er
4.16/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

They nailed it. This has all the components of s'mores in its smell and taste. Graham--check. Chocolate--check. Marshmallow tinge--check. Light hint of smoke--check. And none were overpowering.

The aftertaste also reminded me slightly of coffee liqueur, though there wasn't really so much coffee here.

I usually have an aversion to offbeat sweet flavors, but rating this for what the target was, as well as whether I enjoyed it overall, I have to hand it to the brewers. Spot on s'mores.

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Photo of Dainslaif
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A friend suggested this to me as it's from a local brewery and it's an interesting proposal; graham cracker stout. Poured from a 22oz bottle.

A: Very dark, with a thin lacing of foam.

S: The graham cracker is very prevalent in the scent this beer, and there's a faint bit of roasted/burnt marshmallow as well.

T: On top of a nicely bitter stout flavor, the graham cracker does come through quite a bit. It's fairly sweet, but not as much as a milk stout.

F: Watery, as is expected.

O: Very solid flavor, average bitterness with a pleasant post-sip taste, and the flavor of the graham wasn't overwhelming. Quite nice overall.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.71/5  rDev -6.3%
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 KYGunner
4.29/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The "natural flavors" added may be all elements that you taste but it works so well. It starts with a creamy chocolate, charred marshmallow and a finish of Graham cracker. It's a S'More in a bottle.

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Photo of TheMarkE
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark dark brown with a good head of tan foam and decent lacing. Quite a bit of visible carbonation in the dark depths.

Smell: Graham crackers and marshmallows.

Taste: Graham crackers, molasses, smoke, and memories of scout camp.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a slightly bittersweet chocolate finish.

The Verdict: Tasty. It walks that fine line between sweet and too sweet, without crossing over. High Water did a great job of combining everything just right to achieve the taste and aroma of campfire s'mores, including the hint of smoke. Impressive. Now I need to go camping.

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Photo of Moose90
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Served On-Tap

A — Pours a deep rich dark brown, almost black in color, very dark and rich looking. There is a tall and dark brown colored head that sits atop and leaves behind nice lacing.

S — This literally smells like the best part of a campfire, most notably smores! Nice graham cracker note with some milk chocolate and marshmallow sweetness. All that said, it's not overly sweet.

T — Tastes much like the nose, great graham cracker base layered with milk chocolate and marshmallow sweetness, a little smokiness as well.

M — Medium bodied, a bit sweet and long on the finish.

O — Very nice overall, completely unexpected, may be a bit sweet, but I didn't mind it.

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Photo of NavyGoat
4.62/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had the Highwater Campfire Stout based on a recommendation from a friend and it was a great recommendation! A very good stout with a rich but smooth feel and taste!

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Photo of JeffBlue
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(22oz bottle, BevMo, Valencia, CA 2/21/15). Aroma was like a chocolate bar. The first stout I have had in a few years and I really enjoyed it. Super smooth.

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Campfire Stout from High Water Brewing
3.96 out of 5 based on 562 ratings.
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