Thursday, September 6, 2012
High Water Brewing - Campfire Stout
A few weeks ago, I was perusing the shelves of Texas Wine and Spirits in Carlsbad after striking out on finding anything mindboggling when I noticed a brewery that I had passed over probably a hundred times- High Water. Maybe their sort of ho-hum labels have been scaring me off, or maybe it's their use of unappealing names ("Pom Cherry Bomb" sounds more like a Mike's Hard Lemonade flavor than a good beer), but I've been passing over High Water's beers for quite a while. Maybe it was finally time to try one. I grabbed a bottle called Campfire Stout, which I figured would be some kind of smoked stout, and read the label. I wasn't particularly intrigued until I read: "Notes of chocolate and graham cracker topped with a hint of marshmallow will leave you wanting s'more." It took a minute for me to process what I had just read. S'mores? Beer? Together? Hell yes! How had I gone so long without this beer in my life?
Campfire Stout pours a slightly thin looking black color with about a half-finger of khaki colored head. The smell was absolutely amazing. Campfire Stout completely nails the s'mores smell with tons of dark chocolate and graham cracker upfront with some nice, subtle hints of marshmallow and milk chocolate lingering in the background.
The taste opens with some light roasted malt flavor followed by dark chocolate and some vanilla. The finish brings some notes of graham cracker, char and marshmallow. The mouthfeel is noticeably thin and I feel like it hurts this beer a bit. If this was bumped up to maybe 10% instead of the 7.3% it currently sits at, the thicker mouthfeel would probably bring out a bit more sweetness. Overall though, I think I have to call this beer a success. I was a little skeptical that this idea could be pulled off, but High Water has done a pretty nice job with this. If you're looking for something on the original side, this is definitely worth a look.
Final Grade: B
Top 100 Beers Tasted: 39