Still Life Stout | Beachwood BBQ & Brewing

very good
14 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 63
Photo of Kurmaraja
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Smoke is definitely there, but it's well integrated. Less sweetness and more thickness than Alaskan Smoked Porter but more density, more reliance upon charred roasty notes. A better beer than the ratings suggest, IMHO, due to the usual propensity for people to consider smoke a problem.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of ilikebeer03
4.34/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An awesome beer. Smoked stout done incredibly well. Smoke blends perfectly with chocolately, coffee flavors expected in a stout. Granted, I like smoked beers...this was incredible.

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Photo of cbutova
3.89/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Random bottle pulled out by Chico1985 last night. Full notes to iPad at time of consumption.

A- Deep brown around the sides with black mostly filling the glass. Dark leathery brown head to a thin layer with frothy appearance falling to a tiny ring. Sticky legs all over but only some spotty lace.

S- Smoky grains and chocolate pretty much compose the entire aroma. Bacon and burnt logs notes. Smoke seems a bit like peat as smoked Scotch comes to mind at times with the dark chocolate.

T- Deep dark bitter chocolate bars and cocoa powder leads the way to smoky meaty burning wood. Completing the flavor profile are notes of caramel, deep semisweet raisins, toasted cereal grains, crystal malt and some bread.

MF- Semi thick body with a slick and slightly creamy overall consistency. Carbonation is toward the lower side but it suits the rich cocoa and smoke. Bitter roasty finish.

Meaty and cocoa forward stout that is rather rich. Dark rich chocolate is the main player while the smoke compliments that. Another fine treat shared by Chico1985.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.19/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to @rjmusquiz for this awesome extra. This is my first Beachwood offering, I dig the label art. This pours pitch black with heavy visual weight. Tan head form and subsides quickly with minimal lace present. The nose features rich dark chocolate and heavy campfire smoke to back it up. I've had my fair share of smoked beers and I think the risk with the style is over doing the smoke. The smell implies that the roasted malts sufficiently support the level of smoke to make for a nice balance. Also getting hints of cream and vanilla and some notes of wood. The taste is layered and quite tasty. Heavy chocolate, roast, coffee up front followed by smoke and wood. Again, the balance is nice and the smoke is present without overpowering the beer. Mouthfeel is silky and smooth with low carbonation. Overall, I think this is a very well done smoked stout. I was pleasantly surprised by this offering and can't wait to try more Beachwood offerings!

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Reuben's Brew snifter. Pours opaque black with a thin light brown head that dissipates to a very thin film and light ring around the glass, leaving light slippery lacing. Aroma of sweet, dark toasted malt, chocolate and a hint of vanilla, very faint smoke. Flavor of lightly smoked and toasted dark malt, chocolate, hints of coffee. Finishes with pleasant light smoke, dark malt and a light hop bitterness. Lingering, nice wood fire smoke taste. Medium bodied with light oatmeal creaminess. A low key, but very nicely balanced smoked stout. The smoke is lightly done, but evident, especially in the finish. The malt body is quite pleasant with evidence of oatmeal body. Nothing really jumps out with this, but it is a quite nice toasty, lightly smoky, malty stout. I liked it quite a bit and will seek out other brews from this brewery.

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Photo of DovaliHops
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a pitch black, motor oil-like color with a medium tan head that goes down quickly. Scent is packed with roasted malt and smoked malt. Lots of dark chocolate and a hint of charcoal. Smokey aromas with a ton of chocolate and just a hint of anise. Taste is initially very dark chocolate forward. The smokiness is there, but not as much as I was expecting. Some roasted malt and a ton of smoked malt. Bitter chocolate with a little bit of anise. Mouthfeel is full bodied. Drinkability is fair. Overall, this is a solid smoked stout. I would have like a lot less dark chocolate and more smoke.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.81/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle poured into my FW Snifter glass
Notes from 07/28/13

A: The beer settles into a pitch black body with just a walnut-brown trim visible on the pour. The head is limited, fizzy, and dark khaki in color. Just a fleeting swirl that collars out and then nothing. Still life.

S: Smoke forward aromas but nothing too overbearing. Dark roasted malts support and the smoke takes on more of a meaty jerk-like twang. I am getting a faint bit of earthy root or chicory, sweetened chocolate, and some raisin as well. Pretty nice aromas with evident malt smokiness.

T: Really well balanced. Smoky spice layered over rich chocolates and dark roast grains. The smoke is not too sharp and only a touch astringent with more of a beach bonfire seasoning to it. Definitely not as meaty as the nose lead on. I am getting some dark fruits sprinkled in there and a nice prickly bitterness of pine noted. Alcohol seems totally disguised. Pretty nice smoked stout.

M: The body is semi-thick and a smidge on the lighter side by stout standards. A little watery on the finish but there is a touch of drying crisp and some light bitterness action going on. All in all very clean and smooth with carbonation on the higher side.

D: Loved the balance of flavors on this one. Smoke is the predominant role while allowing the other stout characters to still play a part. Doesn’t wallop you with campfire throat. Really nice beer…Recommended if you are into the smokes.

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Photo of mactrail
3.42/5  rDev -9%
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.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.16/5  rDev -16%
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.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.98/5  rDev -20.7%
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

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.49/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours black with a medium tan head, excellent lace, good head retention.

S: Sugar, chocolate, this beer has that classic semi-sweet smell of oats as well.

T: Lots of dark chocolate, oats, roasted malt. A malt dominated brew, just a good tasting big stout.

M: Medium to full-bodied, rich, thick at times. Carbonation is a little crisp for the style, no ethanol play.

O: A solid big oatmeal stout. I enjoyed it for sure, but at the end I was hoping it'd get a little bigger.

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Still Life Stout from Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
3.76 out of 5 based on 63 ratings.
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