Still Life Stout | Beachwood BBQ & Brewing

Still Life StoutStill Life Stout
63 Ratings
Still Life StoutStill Life Stout

Brewed by:
Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.80%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Halcyondays on 11-19-2012

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 63 |  Reviews: 14
Photo of kojevergas
2.98/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I've never been big on Beachwood's house beers, but I picked this up for $12.00 USD at a local bottle shop because in spite of living in Los Angeles, I struggle to support local breweries. More often than not, I'm disappointed. I hope this is one of the rare exceptions. 8.8% ABV confirmed. Label art is interesting enough in a Japanese Nintendo videogame from the '90s sort of way. "Smoked Stout." Reviewed as such. Reviewed live. "Double oat stout." 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with unbranded standard pry-off pressure cap served into a Mitchells of Lancaster pressure cap in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a quarter-finger width head of lovely dark khaki-tan colour. Rich and interesting, but sadly the somewhat creamy nicely thick head has bad retention, receding to a floater ring inside of 30 seconds. The ring lasts maybe 1-2 minutes after that. Not enough to impress. No bubble show.

Body colour is dark opaque solid black; no yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it's rather standard for the style. Still, it meets conventions and I'm looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Backgrounded fairly evocative roast. Dark malts. Chocolate malt. A dash of legitimate vanilla. Oats. Light (but not subtle per se) smokiness. Certainly not a rauchbier level of smokiness, but it's present. Slight cream. A balanced, fairly attractive aroma overall. I'm looking forward to trying it, but it's not great for the style - though it is recognizably good. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Light hints of coffee - not rich or evocative, but nonetheless appealing. Little accompanying coffee roast. It's not your homebrew folger's coldpress, but it's certainly a few notches down from your typical intriguing breakfast stout. A somewhat subtle aroma of mild strength overall. Looking forward to tasting it.

T: Dark malts, chocolate malt, light chocolate with slight accompanying bitterness. Underwhelming coffee devoid of roast or freshness. No espresso, cappuccino, or truly impressive creaminess here. Some buried - almost hidden - roasted barley; comes off badly executed and not well incorporated - but I'm glad it's there. So many beers in the style neglect roast, and to my personal tastes roast is essential. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. One might aptly accuse it of being acrid, but I wouldn't go so far even though I can see the legitimacy behind the claim. No hop character is overtly evident, though the overall bitterness of the taste definitely involves more than mere chocolate, weak coffee, and underwhelming roast. The dark malts aren't quite sweet enough to balance, but really it's the duty of the chocolate - which isn't quite up to par. The problem I think is that chocolate malt provides the chocolate notes, not actual chocolate or cacao. Oats are evident, lending more in terms of the overly smooth (for the style) mouthfeel than flavours per se.

Is it smokey? Not like a rauchbier, or even a smoked ported. There are light smokey notes, but they seem undercooked. They're not subtle, just redolent of a lack of confidence.

Some cream.

Balance is okay. Complexity is ambitious but it falls short. No real subtlety. I like that it goes for something, even if it fails. It's not playing it safe; there're attempts here and I always applaud that.

Average flavour intensity for the style. Below average depth of flavour. Average to above average duration of flavour.

Mf: Overly smooth for the style. Even when treated as an imperial oatmeal stout, it still comes off as lackluster. Carbonation is off, but it's difficult to discern in which direction. A bit too dry for the lack of flavour. Decent presence on the palate. Overly thick for the lack of flavour diversity and depth. It's definitely not a perfect marriage of texture to flavour, but there are some undoubtedly interesting elements at play here. I do think there's promise, but it falls short.

Dr: A drinkable beer in the style that nevertheless falls short of its obvious high ambitions. There's clear effort here; the brewmaster tried and failed, but in reaching for the stars hit the moon. I wouldn't get it again - especially at Beachwood's unfairly high price - but there's potential. The acridity really brings it down. I'll easily finish this bottle, but I sincerely believe the brewers are capable of better. Maybe they haven't mastered bottling, but the quality of the brewing - or at least the intentions behind the brewing - is/are obvious. I'll give Beachwood more chances, but I think it may take time before they hit their stride. Interesting, but lackluster. Back to the drawing board, lads.

Why did the smoked character fail so much? That's what perplexes me.

High C

 4,911 characters

Photo of Raziel313
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of ArrogantB
3.16/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle that I bought at Beachwood BBQ for $12 (ouch). First off this beer is not worth $12, it just isn't. I normally would not have paid so much for a non-barrel aged stout but I wanted to bring something back from California and didn't have time to hit a liquor store. Black color, good head, looks nice. Aroma is typical stout malts with just a hint of the smoke underlying. Flavor was just the same. I was quite thankful that the smoke was not overwhelming but I found this to be pretty ho-hum. It wasn't bad it was just boring.

 537 characters

Photo of EB1
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Photo of JCam9981
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Photo of topdown
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Photo of fureousangel
3.28/5  rDev -13.9%

Photo of SierraFlight
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mactrail
3.42/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Dark brown color with a brief head in the Brewery Vivant tulip. Normal spritziness on the tongue. Dark layers of blackened malt. Quite grainy. Brewer says it's a "double oat stout with house-smoked malt." The smoke makes an appearance up front, but it's more of a low-key part, and I found that I forgot about it by the next sip.

Winey, twiggy, and deep dark flavors of plum skins, charred corn, and scorched prunes. Silky mouthfeel is quite nice. Hot and scratchy in the throat. Long bitter taste comes on without any real hop flavors. From the 22 oz bottle priced at $12.89 from Bottlecraft in San Diego.

 607 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.49/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to John11486 for sharing this one at drewone's tasting.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, smoked malt, and cocoa aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and smoke flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a fairly nice but but somewhat subdued smoke presence.

 599 characters

Photo of DanGeo
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of Greggo123
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of T_Hass
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of terranostra86
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of Optcynbassist
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of Gatordaddy
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of Wolberjs
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body and a big off-white head. Thick collar.

Smell - Medium smokiness. Some nuttiness and dark malts.

Taste - Lots of smoke malts. Works very well. Some chocolate. Nutty and smokey in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Bitter smokiness in the back end. Well carbonated.

Overall - Nice smokiness. The body balances it well, though.

 387 characters

Photo of M_chav
3.64/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Chico1985
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bomba split. My 2nd time having this.

A - Barely a hiss when opened. Black pour into a snifter with a very thin tan head. Retains mostly as a thick ring with lace dots.

S - Lots of roast, some smoke, dark chocolate, some caramel and raisin, odd boozy sweetness comes through with warmth.

T - Roast and particularly smoke are toned down a bit with alot more general chocolatey presence becoming more prevalent. Some bitter pine, raisin, caramelly bread.

M - Smooth with a decent creamy thickness to it, but a little on the thin side, probably could use a bit more carbonation as well. Not much for alcohol comes through in the taste but a little harsh at times with bitter roast.

O - A good balance of roast and chocolate stout, though it seems to need some kinks worked out, it feels a bit off at times. Also wish the smoke added more.

 842 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of fthegiants
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of LakerLeith
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

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Still Life Stout from Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 63 ratings
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