1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Brass Knuckles Oatmeal Stout - Barley Island Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brass Knuckles Oatmeal StoutBrass Knuckles Oatmeal Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

106 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 106
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 10.59%
Wants: 8
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Barley Island Brewing Company visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: zerk on 01-24-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 106 | Reviews: 78 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BAbaracus:
Photo of BAbaracus
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours inky black with rich but minimal tan head, low carbonation. Smells of cinnamon, hint of molasses, roasted coffee, cereal grains. Viscous and chewy on the tongue, though low in carbonation. Rich roasted chocolate up front, very syrupy with hints of hop presence on the back end. Not too much different than most oatmeal stouts I’ve tried, only richer. Overall balance is exceptional. Some may find the rich sweetness to be overbearing over the course of one or two pints, but not this guy. Leaves a stickiness on the lips and palate, so it may be ruinous to the effect of follow up brews, but it’s reasonable enough to make a fine nursing beer over the course of an evening.

More User Reviews:
Photo of whoneeds8
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a nonic)

A- This beer has an opaque black body with a brown rocky head reminiscent of a lumpy oatmeal cookie. There are tiny bubbles stuck to the glass but when they pop off they disappear. The head last a good while.

S- There are roasted chocolate malt with a slight tart hint and some lighter roasted malt notes.

T- The big taste of dark chocolate malt and black malt with a light black malt bitterness which turns to tartness when it warms. There is a light chalk note in the malt with a light hint of prune and cola.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a clean finish with no alcohol heat.

D- This beer has some nice flavor with some good malt flavor but it is a bit light for a stout.

Photo of SMark
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was poured into an Imperial pint glass at 52° from a 12 ounce bottle. There was no date information on the bottle. There was approximately one finger of tan head that displayed lacing. The beer was a dark brown almost black color.

Roasted malt was sensed while looking for color and clarity. The dark roast was verified with a purposeful whiff which also displayed a hop fragrance.

The taste was smooth and creamy with a slight bitterness. The dark roasted malt came across with a little coffee.

Roasted malt filled the mouth with every breath. A slight bitterness was attributable to the hops and was very complimentary.

Glad to see Barley Island still producing after my visit there several years ago which was very enjoyable. Don't remember if I had this on tap but it is very acceptable from the bottle.

Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared with Tomthompson98. The aroma is very roasted coffee. Good head and lace. Sweetish, with lots of coffee and chocolate and an average mouthfeel. Just too sweet, though lower ABV is appreciated. Happy with carbonation though it is above average.

Photo of pmcadamis
3.25/5  rDev -16%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Motor oil black with a thick finger of brown foam on top. The head looks like creamy chocolate milk, and I'm temped to eat it with a spoon. A bit of brown lace is left on the glass, and the head eventually settles at a tight cap, but swirling brings the one finger right back. This looks like the archetypal stout.

S - Milk and dark chocolate are there in equal proportions, along with some rootbeer and roasted grains. Chocolate laced coffee with plenty of cream. Cocoa Puffs cereal drenched in whole milk or Half and Half. This is really nice; it's not extremely complex, but it's exactly what it's supposed to be. I don't think a stout could look any more beautiful than this one does sitting in my snifter.

T - Burnt rubber with some phenolic medicinal flavors that are a bit startling at first given the rich chocolate and coffee nose. Earthy, smoky, and almost peaty. Reminds me of the enriched soil that you find in a potted plant...the kind of dirt with little white specks in it. I don't quite know if I like this, but it's very unique and earthy. It sure isn't lacking in complexity, but the flavors seem a bit odd and mushroomy.

M - Medium to full bodied with a gritty, earthy character. Very mild carbonation with some mellow graininess. Finishes pretty much neutral with a bitter and mushroomy aftertaste. For some reason, this just keeps reminding me of black, loamy, wet earth.

D - An oddball, that's for sure. I like it, but it seems a bit of kilter and weird. I do like the dirty earth tones, but it wouldn't be something that I'd have two or three of when there are much better Oatmeals out there (and much better Barley Island brews for that matter).

Photo of secondtooth
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A semi-local brew here, and a righteously fine one it is, too. This deep, impenetrably black stout pours with a nice head and solid lace on the glass.

Aroma and taste summon notes of coffee and cocoa. Well-done! It's a smooth, even creamy drink (thank the oatmeal infusion for that), with a nicely burnt malt finish. Very enjoyable, and a brew perfectly exemplary of the style. Bravo, Barley Island!

Photo of WoodBrew
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Brass Knuckles is a decent stout. I am very impressed with the body of the beer vs the abv of the beer. Generally a weaker stout usually has more of a watery body. The beer poured a dark opaque with an ecru head that is leaving a spotty lace. The smell is reminds me more of a pur baltic porter...not much in the sense of coffee or chocolate. The taste provides a decent semi sweet chocolate flare that is nice. In additionl there is some roasty malts that help to balance out the beer. The mouthfeel is medium body with smooth carbonation. Overall it is a very nice after hours or after dinner beer.

Photo of RickS95
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's simply pitch black. There's no other way to describe it. It's coal in a glass sitting under a couple fingers of brown bubbles.

A few things your nose will pick up include coffee, roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, earthy flowers.

Roasted malts take center stage on the tongue, though coffee is present too.

As you would expect, it's extremely creamy in the mouth. For creaminess, I'm not sure there is a better combination than a stout and oatmeal. The beer starts off smooth and finishes with just a touch of bitter from the coffee deep in the swallow.

This is highly drinkable. It's smooth, has a minimal bite and is only moderately alcoholic.

Photo of PirateUlf73
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Interesting artwork on the label. This was yet another member of my latest mix-a-six. Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Very dark and opaque with a chocolate brown head, which didn't last long.

S: Fantastic nose. Roasted chocolate and almost smoky malt aromas. Oatmeal manages to sneak in as well, but is not overly pronounced. Very nice.

T: Roasted malt flavors with a pinch of chocolate. Sweet, but not overpowering. Nice and subtle. Flavors are somehow not as blended as the nose night suggest. Oatmeal does not shine in the taste...

M: ...but rather helps to smooth out the texture. Medium-bodied. A bit lighter in the mouth than I might have liked. Just enough carbonation to satisfy. Slight roasted malt and chocolate in the aftertaste.

D: Very drinkable. Not too heavy. Alcohol level makes this one very sessionable.

While definitely not the best Oatmeal Stout I've ever had (not even in the top 10), it was still very much worth the try. The nose was to die for, but I tend to like mine with a heavier mouthfeel and with the malts and oatmeal more smoothly blended. However, if Barley Island's goal was to make a mildly interesting, albeit lighter-bodied Oatmeal Stout, then Mission: Accomplished, I suppose. An interesting venture, and one that I may feel inclined to have again. We'll see...

Photo of Jon
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1/2 gallon growler.

Impenetrable black color with reddish tints around the edges. Creamy, thick tan head with excellent retention and lacing qualities.

Roasted oat malt, chocolate, caramel and toffee linger aromatically.

Minute notes of coffee and chocolate accentuate the appropriately roasted character of this beer. Further notes of minimally bitter finishing hops and a nice lingering acidity appear on the long finish.

Full-bodied, rich, thick and plentiful. So smooth.

Super drinkable. A very pleasant surprise from a brewery by which I've been pleased, but far from amazed. This stuff ends all doubts. Its best beer and a new favorite.

Photo of BigJim5021
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours inky black with a nice tan head. Settles quickly to a ring, but leaves little lacing.

The aroma is of coffee and burnt chocolate, though less aggressive than some other stouts.

The flavor is quite good. Almost like drinking a cafe au lait thanks to the oats. The dark roasted malt is nice and smooth. There is -- however -- just a bit too much acidity. It's also wicked bitter, but in a good way (like a black-ass cup of coffee).

Mouthfeel is just a tiny bit too thin for the style. Other than that, all is well. Carbonation is right where it should be. Dryness is near puckering.

Overall, Brass Knuckles is a quality oatmeal stout. It's not quite as good as Barley Island's coffee stout (Black Majic), but it's good nonetheless.

EDIT: I had a bottle left in the fridge, and I have to say that time has actually been kind to this puppy. The acidity really fades over time. I wouldn't suggest aging the beer, but when it's fresh, the acidity can be a bit much. A little time does wonders to smooth that out.

Photo of mdvatab
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into shaker pint.
No B.O.D.

Aroma: Big Cabernet-like wine note right up front. Smooth vanilla, powdered hot cocoa mix, very subtle metallic hint, roasted coffee, and earth.

Appearance: Tan one-fingered head disappears relatively quickly. Body of beer has a dark coffee color.

Flavor: Smoky up front, dry dark chocolate, fruity red wine, with minimal bitterness. Finish is notably short-lived.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation. A bit on the thin side for an oatmeal stout. Not quite enough body to be creamy. Quite honestly a bit watery through the middle and finish.

Overall: Not a bad tasting beer at all, but I wish they'd bump up the gravity a bit. Had this beer tasted like its aroma, it would have really knocked my socks off. The aroma profile was fantastic! I just wish it had the body/texture of an oatmeal stout...

Photo of ironwill54
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of dvmin98
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of emerge077
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours black with a sawtooth type lacing. Initially produces several inches of foam, but soon dies down.

Smell is nondescript, mildly lactic, roast malt is barely there.

Taste is good, but very thin for an oatmeal stout. Roast malt, oats, hops, residual roastiness is reminiscient of coffee grounds. Fairly basic, it doesn't grab you like their coffee stout does.

Thin mouthfeel is it's weak point, a watery stout is an oxymoron.
Easy to put back a couple, but there are other stouts i'd go to first.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle. Served in a mug, the beer pours dark brown/black with an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. It smells like roasted malt, coffee, chocoloate and oatmeal. The taste is similar to the aroma, coffee comes out strongest in the taste but there's also a charred/burnt malt taste noticable. Nice bitter coffee finish, too. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and has good carbonation. Drinkability is very good, it's smooth and with the low ABV I could easily have this as a session beer. I think this is pretty good, I'll definitely have to buy this again the next time I see it.

Photo of diabecktic
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:
Chocolate-colored head (~2 fingers) forms quickly, but seems to disappate fairly quickly, too; lacing is average. The beer itself seems pitch black (like most stouts), but is actually a very, very dark shade of ruby red. You can verify this by looking at it in front of a light as it is being poured.

Smell:
Roasted barley seems to be the dominant aroma, but there is distinguishable chocolate and oatmeal character. It's quite a sharp scent that has no problem piercing the nostrils. As said by someone below said, it's almost "smokey." I personally find this one to be a bit more on the hoppy side.

Taste:
Ah, here's where it gets interesting. My first sip seems to hit me with a bitter sweetness. As strange as this sounds, it's like getting a mouthful of barley and oats that turns into dark chocolate (the bitter kind). Relative to others, it's quite distinct in this regard because it's a quick hit/shift. The oatmeal character is definately present in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel:
Given the style, I'm suprised that this beer is as light as it is. I suppose with respect to all beers you would say that this has medium body. With respect to stouts, I think that this one is a bit on the watery side; it just doesn't "feel" like there's much there. It's fairly smooth, but I don't know if this redeems it given the body.

Drinkability:
This brew is definately a sipper. Given the % ABV and the style, I guess you could call it a session beer. I personally find it a bit hard to drink in this respect because I don't think it's heavy enough to sip. The type of flavor is not conducive to a quick-drinker.

Summary:
I'm not sure what to think about this beer. It's not a bad oatmeal stout, but I've definately had ones that are far better. I think that this brew is a lot less "subtle" when it comes to flavor because it's a pretty distinct taste. Now, whether or not this is a good thing has yet to be determined. However, I would try this beer again in the future. I just think it's a bit too thin for the style even though the flavor is unique.

Photo of Beejay
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark black with a very nice looking cappuccino colored tan head.

S: Dark chocolate and roasted malts. Maybe a bit of molasses.

T: Dark and roasty. A good bit of bitter hits, then leads straight into the dark roasted flavors.. Coffee, and malt in there as well, roasty throughout.

M: Fairly thin on the mouthfeel, nice subtle carbonation, and the texture is fine.

D: Good, drinkable, I'd probably get it again. But it is not amazing. Very solid, just not amazing.

Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A strong pour gets only one finger of milk chocolate colored foamy head. Body is a thick ink black abyss that lets no light thru. Nose has a even roasty malt that is deep and slightly burnt, includes some coffee tones also. As I take first sip I automaticly think of how sessionable this stout is. Rich and toasted oats quickly balance the burnt malts and coffee like feel. Some dark fruit notes also exist on the back of the palate. A dark toffee like mouthfeel is created with the clinging blackness. This beers finish is a brooding but silky bitterfeel. A lovely drinkable stout from a very humble Indiana brewery.

Photo of LJWalker
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of enelson
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of BogAl
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of matjack85
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Found this single 12oz brown bottle at Binny's in Glen Ellyn, IL for $1.79. No back label and no freshness date.

The beer poured a deep dark brown color that showed off some purple highlights when held to light. It made a 1 finger chocolate brown head that lasted about a minute, but when the head faded, it didn't even leave a rim of foam on top and left no lacing on the glass.

The smell was nice - a rich chocolate hazelnut aroma with some oatmeal in the background.

The taste had more of a bitter coffee flavor to it than chocolate but there was still some bittersweet dark chocolate flavor in there as well. Oatmeal and hops only play a minor role in the flavor leaving an overall bittersweet taste.

I thought the mouthfeel was awfully thin for a stout. I like a much fuller body than this one had and I also felt the carbonation level was way too high. The mouthfeel gets much better as the beer sits awhile and some of the carbonation loses its punch.

The low alcohol and thin moouthfeel make it easy to drink, but I would have preferred this one to be a little sweeter, a little heavier, and a little less carbonated.

Photo of wcudwight
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black with a brown head that rises to a 1/2" and quicky recedes to a rim around the top of the glass.
Smells of milk chocolate and cheap coffee. I don't mean cheap coffee in a negative way as I like the aroma of cheap coffee.
The perfect stout trio of flavors. Big roasted malts, dark chocolate, and coffee. Nice oatmeal finish. There's a hint of bitterness in the finish that seems it shouldn't be there. It's not so much a negative taste as just an out of place one. This beer taste a lot bigger than it is.
The mouthfeel is a bit light, but it works here as it's creamy, velvety, and smooth.
This is a full flavored stout with a low abv. The perfect session beer.
Thanks go out to patyoda, BA Fantasy Football, and the San Diego Chargers Defense.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Brass Knuckles Oatmeal Stout from Barley Island Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.