Campfire Stout | High Water Brewing

very good
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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 mschind
3.89/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Nothing too impressive here, very little head retention but there is some lacing. Looks like an average stout.

S- Marshmallow and graham crackers, amazing. After that some chocolate and vanilla.

T- Chocolate up front followed by some vanilla with a roasty finish.

M- Smooth with appropriate carbonation but not as full and rich as I was expecting.

O- An excellent impression of a s'more in a stout without being sweet, cloying or artificial.

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Photo of Phelps
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

High water campfire stout

Enjoyed in a shaker pint. This is apparently a chocolate stout brewed with marshmallows and graham crackers.

Everything about this beer screams s'mores. Dark chocolate brown, like melted bars. One inch of foam the consistency of marshmallow froth and the color of graham crackers.

Big sweet marshmallow nose, with a touch of roast that makes the mallow seem like it caught fire. A bit of milk chocolate.

Same deal in the flavor. More earthy hops here, but the same cocoa sweetness, mellow mallows and smooth roast.

Thick, viscous medium. Medium prickly carbonation. Just a touch of fizz.

Super solid, this beer brings me back to camping. A great combination of flavors.

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Photo of jethrodium
2.9/5  rDev -26.8%
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 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 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 ThePaleRider
2.34/5  rDev -40.9%
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 brotherloco
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
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 ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark brown-black color with a finger of frothy khaki-chocolate head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of roasted chocolate malts, graham crackers, marshmallows, vanilla, a bit of smoke, and lactose.

T - Starts off with a mix of roasted chocolate malts, marshmallows, vanilla, and a bit of smoke. Through the middle, the graham crackers come through with some more smoke, and some milk chocolate. The finish is a mix of chocolate malts, a bit of smoke, graham crackers, and marshmallows.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth and a bit thick with a sweet and roasted finish.

D - Very drinkable. Really nice balance of flavors. The graham crackers and marshmallows are just right.

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

Quite dark with light khaki head. There is some light brown around the very edge.

Smells sweet and sugary. Really getting the marshmallow sweetness.

Really getting the smore this beer is supposed to evoke. Light chocolate notes. Sugary graham cracker and marshmallow again.

Mouthfeel is nice although a little lighter than expected.

One of the better beers that is supposed to taste like something other than a beer.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle thanks to DeanoMac. Poured into Founders snifter.

A- Pours a very dark opaque black with about a finger of decently thick mocha brown head that has decent retention and slowly recedes. Appears to be about average carbonation. Leaves some lacing that slowly recedes back into the glass.

S- Smells fairly accurate to description- lots of marshmellow, graham, chocolate, some malts. Very sweet smells more like a s'more then any other beer I've tried. Above average aroma strength and very sweet.

T- Not as sweet as the smell. A little bit of vanilla that has a sweet marshmellow quality, some light chocolate, maybe a hint of graham, some booze even though it's only 7.3%. Finishes with some light graham and sweet vanilla flavors with a decently detectable presence of booze that off-balances it slightly.

M- Lightly creamy, fairly smooth, a decent amount of alcohol burn for 7.3%.

O- This was a decent stout that I enjoyed trying. I know their goal was to create a "campfire" stout with a s'more like presence and they were definitely able to do this. The presence was definitely detectable in the smell and taste however the taste/mouthfeel had a little bit too much booze for only a 7.3% beer. Overall I enjoyed drinking this, I'd recommend trying it if you like really sweet beers.

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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 pants678
4.39/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's black with a brown head lacing like a stout should be.

Distinct smell of milk chocolate, marshmallows, definitely one of the best smelling beers I've had.

Little woody, roasted malts with coffee and I do taste graham cracker. It is a liquid s'more. The name says it, it's a campfire beer. The booze is there but it's not a bother. Tad bit of bourbon on the finish.

Carbonation's fine, it's unobtrusive.

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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 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 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 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

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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Photo of DovaliHops
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black color with a large tan head that takes some time to go down. Scent is quite sweet with some roasted malt and chocolate. Quite a bit of vanilla and...toasted marshmallows... just like the label says. Great aroma on this one. Taste is just as the label describes. There is a slight metallic taste up front...but it disappears after a couple of sips. Great s'mores flavors here. You definitely get the graham cracker, marshmallow, and chocolate. Lovely vanilla, along with a bit of smoke. Mouthfeel is medium bodied...would love to see this as an imperial stout with more body, higher ABV, and maybe some barrel aging. That would taste amazing! This one is great though. Drinkability is high. Overall, this is the best thing I have tasted from High Water thus far. Solid stout!

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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 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 TheStove
3.67/5  rDev -7.3%
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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Campfire Stout from High Water Brewing
3.96 out of 5 based on 562 ratings.
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