There is a so much drama up in the LBC, it is kinda hard being up on DDB. Alas, I went down to cinco seis dos for a little armenian coffee stout action. Before you can make the obligatory “was this brewed in Glendale” joke, let me say no, it was not. Beachwood is finally getting shit into gear with regards to bottles and now all of a sudden all these weakpenis Johnny Come Latelies are jumping on the bandwagon. I am sure most of the people seeking this out never even tried Tovarish, but we can forgive their simple souls. Anyway, this was a 800 bottle brewery release with a few cases into distro, but in CA terms, people will be trading this for DOOM and other trifling shit. Irregardlessly, let’s see if angels deserve to die in today’s review:
Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
California, United States
Russian Imperial Stout | 11.30% ABV
System of a Stout [Imperial Armenian Coffee Stout ] – An imperial stout infused with all the traditional ingredients of a savory cup of Armenian coffee: cardamom, molasses, coffee (of course), and brandy. In the kettle, the beer is lightly dosed with green cardamom for exotic spice notes. Molasses adds a richness that seamlessly blends in. The finished beer was then aged for several days on masterfully roasted coffee from Portola Coffee Lab in Costa Mesa. The beer was then aged for several weeks on Armenian brandy-soaked oak chips for yet another dimension of flavors and aromas. Take your time & enjoy this endlessly complex & nuanced beer.
A: This isn’t as molassesy and sticky messy as you would expect from something like Abyss, whose description might draw some parallels might invoke. It is akin to Parabola in thickness, nice khaki sheeting that eventually subsides. More stickiness than Stone IRS, less substantial than Abyss, dirty foam flying everywhere like a Serbian barbershop. You get the idea.
S: This is incredibly complex on the old olfactory front, you get a deep roast at the outset that almost lends itself to a smokiness before pulling back and presenting a sweet acidic coffee note that is Portola through and though, kaffir/lime leaf/cardamom mixed with molasses ratchets things back in before closing with a sweet brandy note that reminds me almost of port sherry in a way. The whole thing is roasty yet acidic and sweet, fucking intense but worth it. Fuck their label though, drink this at 60 degrees. Chase that malt dragon and let this bitch open up.
T: This takes that roasty char and initially reminds me a lot of Abyss with a bitter chocolate and almost herbal aspect that is swept away by a massive coffee presence that is incredibly powerful and reminds me of some of the Barefoot blends, if you are a raging pussy and go to coffee cupping events, you will know what I be on. We out here. The brandy aspect is muted and comes across more as a sweet caramel on the backend rather than some dominant force present in say Leon or something.
M: This is incredibly dry, like walking into a burned down distillery, you knew some epic shit went down. The coffee just dries along the gumline and makes you demand more, taking another sip to perpetuate the cycle of poverty, sucking dicks down by the docks for top tier stouts. Don’t you judge me. But in all srs. This is a blend of Abyss and BA Speedway, straight up. if you wanna see those two scissor on a double donger, get on this malt mashup. If you can’t handle that, go back to BA Sump, IT’S SOOOOOOOO GOOOOD. No but seriously, BA Sump is like a trashfire on your pubes compared to this. Not a cool trashfire with lots of plastics/blue flame either, regular old scrotum scorching trash fire.
D: This is hard to really put away not because of the viscosity, or the dryness, but largely due to the complexity and parsing out each sip. Luckily the coffee takes a lead and doesn’t let the things with the brandy go ape shit. This is at heart a solid coffee stout with a spoiler and a body kit. I wouldn’t say it is earth shattering Galactus level shit like BA Kopi, but still worlds beyond most of the shit that I have to suffer through that people send me. What’s that? Provide a list? OK: Pipeworks Abduction, End of Days, Baume, infected Peruvian Morning, Cigar City humidor series anything, Smoke on the Porter, Smoking Wood anything, Exit Anything from Flying Fish, fucking Cherry Rye, Lindley Park, and the heap of janky shit constantly rolling out of Clown Shoes. There you go.
Narrative: The mars rover rolled along the barren wasteland crushing igneous rocks taking photos indiscriminately seeking something provocative. The lens of the Curiosity caught an oily tentacle of a gastropod that slid along the red dirt laboriously. “Captain, you are gonna wanna take a look at this-” the mission control tech Michael Dunkin called out to his supervisor. The rover focused on the sticky mass and watched it pulsate and emit a noxious cloud of coffee aromas, changing forms and then gushing alcohol and phenols to attract the rover. It was a complicated mass of traits that most would have difficulty understanding, but all were captivated. “Extend Arm ancillary run protocol b4!” Michael called into the microphone and watched as the mass was penetrated, leaving behind a languishing mass of oaky organic material. “Sir! This thing is sentient and it appears to be made of coffee oils and Ararat oak!” The living fungus of mars had melded the discarded materials from earth in a fortuitous blend. Not all would find it captivating, but size 0 gourmand females would herald the dawn of a new gastronomical science.