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Brass Knuckles Oatmeal Stout - Barley Island Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brass Knuckles Oatmeal StoutBrass Knuckles Oatmeal Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

78 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 78
Hads: 108
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 7.93%
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:
Beer added by: zerk on 01-24-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 78 | Hads: 108
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Barley Island Brass Knuckles Tavern Style Oatmeal Stout. Noblesville, Indiana.
"This brazen, malty dark ale is a real sock in the kisser. But with a creamy touch of oatmeal, it's as soft as velvet."
We'll see.

Solid black as it sits in the glass, under a sturdy 1/2" of smooth cocoa-tan foam.

Fierce aromatics, big, fat roasty nose, nice blend of choclate and coffee. Some rich caramel and toffee in there somewhere, too. Lovely.

Taste: smooth and oaty.Velvety, yes. Creamy. Full-bodied, rich,

Don't get the name, really. "A sock in the kisser?" How so? Since when were oatmeal stouts dangerous? Well, whatever.
Long, chocolatey finish. Massive malt, deep and delicious.

It's a top notch stout. Much recommended. (721 characters)

Photo of Brettster
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer on tap at Barley Island. This beer had a thick carmel colored head that hung around for a while. The brew was a deep brownish black with good carbonation. I could taste hints of java and roasted malts. Just the right amount of hop flavor for this beer. Give this one a shot if you like Oatmeal Stouts. (315 characters)

Photo of KI9A
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm trying to get into stouts. Only problem is, I hate coffee.

I tried this. Someone told me to break into stouts via an oatmeal, not a dry stout. So far, so good. I like it!

Pours perfect black, with 2 finger creamy head. Smells of toffee, chocolate, and wonderful roasted malt. Nice.

Tastes of toffee, chocolate, deep roasted malt & to my surprise, not much a coffee note. It's there, but blocked by the sweetness.

I found my favorite oatmeal stout as of now, downed 2 bottles of it, and really enjoyed every drop. Nicely done guys! (540 characters)

Photo of secondtooth
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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! (401 characters)

Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nicely done beer - dark chocolate black with an attractive mocha lace. Satisfying roasted malt flavors, full but not overdone. The oatmeal was evident in some creamy mouthfeel. Held up nicely at the finish without thinning out, and no oxidation flavors. (255 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for bringing back a bottle for me from Indiana!

Pours black with a thin light brown head that slowly descends to a wide patch. Some dotted lacing sticks.

The smell is of chocolate, lightly roasted coffee, and soft earthy notes.

The taste is very chocolaty, with roasted coffee and some earthy bitterness blended in. Finishes with a balanced sweetness.

It has a smooth medium-to-full body with fairly mild carbonation. The texture is pretty creamy and almost velvety.

Pretty straight-forward with all its chocolate character, though well-balanced with sweet and bitter (leaning towards the former). The chocolate hangs on through a long finish. A nice dessert stout. (694 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What's so loved about Oatmeal Stouts is the creamy smoke flavor and aroma with a vevety smooth mouthfeel. Barley Island's Brass Knuckles delivers all the promises of the style and also powered with the moderate amount of alcohol so that you can enjoy more than just one or two.

The dense and dark beer reveals a bark brown color and a completely opaque lack of clarity. That's ok because the denese looking beer releases a creamy and dense tan head that rises early but reduces to a thick sheet across the beer. Ample lacing makes this beer a very attractive and masculine choice.

A malty-rich aromas swirl while picking up aromatic notes of smoky sweetness, coffee, and cocoa. Quite roasty, but with a campfire-ish scent gives this dark beer a dense and meaty undertone. Slight fruitiness of burnt grapes, dates, or plumbs round out the aroma profile.

Flavors bring about more sweetness than the nose suggests, but do so with a rich smoky sweetness of bittersweet chocolates, nutty Columbian coffees, and th milky richness of Whoppers candies. Mild on bitterness, there's a slight woody influence from hops, but the majority of tame bitterness likely derives from the roasted grains, similar to coffee. Low-lying fruitiness may resemble notes of toasted currants, grapes or berries but these compounds are slight and only offer background notes.

Creamy, smooth, and velvety- the lable says it all. This beer is moderate in mouthfeel but heightened because of the creamy carbonation and the rich proteins of oats. A mildly warm finish accompanies a silky smooth minty sensation that gives the beer an extended aftertaste of malt and roast but with the calming malty richness that's so rewarding!

Brass Knuckles is a very rewarding roasty ale that places emphasis on smoky sweetness, roasty warmth, and delicate creaminess- all much appreciated! (1,854 characters)

Photo of rtepiak
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

opaque black. nice head not aggressive. nose of sweet chocolate, caramel, and a light smoked at first, hazelnut. the palate is pretty consistent with the nose. solid but not something to write home about. lightly creamy. actually quite light... lightly bitter not acidic. (271 characters)

Photo of happygnome
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: pours a dark black black body with opaque hues and an inch worth of head that doesnt dissapear too fast but leaves plenty of reamy lacing around the dge of the glass
s: hmm im smelling roasted chocolate malts, not overly sweet which i really like. very slight bitter hop aroma but not strong enough to really tell
t: nice roasted chocolate malt flavor with hints of prune
m: medium to full bodied beer with good amount of carbonation

overall, i really enjoyed hit brew and will be getting another (501 characters)

Photo of falloutsnow
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Six pack purchased from Binny's in Schaumburg, IL.

Pours a nice two centimeter head of light brown or burnt tan foam, composed of large and smaller bubbles. This fades to perpetual brown suds around the perimeter of the glass, which leads to nice spots of sticky lacing with each sip. Beer body is a dark, impenetrable brown with orange highlights if held to light.

Scent of darkly kilned malt, a touch of smoke, very dark chocolate, and molasses or maple syrup hanging around in the back. If you probe deep enough, though, there's a bit of soy sauce in the far back, which is a bit of a turn-off. The good aromas are nice and upfront, though, so no major worries.

Nice flavors of darkly kilned malt, charred toast, bittered coffee, and ultradark chocolate. Aftertaste is of dark, kilned malt and bitter chocolate.

Mouthfeel is very smooth with carbonation levels that are perhaps just a bit higher than necessary; still good, though. Finish is fairly dry, just slightly wet.

For the price and quality, this is probably my new go-to stout for the autumn and winter months. Goose Island's oatmeal stout is no longer in production, and this fills that void quite nicely. (1,173 characters)

Photo of SMark
3.95/5  rDev +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. (822 characters)

Photo of wcudwight
3.95/5  rDev +1%
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. (771 characters)

Photo of trep
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle shared with a friend, courtesy of tonedef131

Dark black body with a thin brown head. Glints of ruby around the edges, when held to the light. Malt-driven aroma, notes of vanilla. Taste is all coffee, oatmeal, and vanilla. Roasted malts are present throughout. Has a bit of sweetness also. Mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied with medium carbonation. It's very porter-esque. Very easy drinking and i'm glad i have a 6-pack of this stuff. (450 characters)

Photo of aasher
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew pours a midnight black with a dark khaki head which laces the glass. It smells of dark roasted malt, milk chocolate, and it has some light smoke to it. The flavor is rich with milk chocolate and has some light oaky smokiness to it. I'm surprised so far. It drinks pretty well. It could be a little smoother. It's a little too carbonated for a stout in my opinion. Overall it's a pretty solid stout and as sessionable as a stout could be. (447 characters)

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to SPLITGRIN for this one.

Pours from the 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Emerges dark and somewhat viscous, with a cocoa powder colored head. Nice size, about one finger. Small amount of lacing. The slightest dark ruby highlights are visible at the bottom of the glass as I raise toward the computer light. And I mean SLIGHTEST. Basically opaque.

Aroma is filled with chocolate. Burnt grains and burnt wheat toast. The slightest bit of fruitiness.

Lots of coffee and chocolate in the flavor. Very smooth and velvety. However, the mouthfeel is on the lighter side. This was the case with the java stout from this same brewer. Another good stout. This brewer seems to put out some good brews. Highly recommended. (729 characters)

Photo of nouseforotacon
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This bottle was courtesy of IndyBeer as a part of Big's SBB. I've really been looking forward to this one, thanks!

Smooth, deep, jet black pour with a creamy, cafe au lait, milky brown head. Two-finger foam falls quickly but leaves some nice lacing stuck to the edges of my mug.

Sweet, milky nose. Lactic. Strong oat aroma, toasted malts. Sweet like maple syrup. Hint of alcohol and a touch fruity.

Dark, roasted malts with a bit of a bitter hop twang. Oats and malts blend well. Definite lactic profile in the flavor, milky, creamy, and smooth. Rich coffee beans. Finish is a bit dry, with cafe au lait lingering on my tongue.

Pleasant aroma/flavor, with a very nicely done mouthfeel. A bit rich though, so I rated the drinkability a little lower than usual. Enjoyable oatmeal stout. (798 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color iwth a foamy tan head that sticks like crazy but doesn't leave much lace

Smell: Rich roasty chocolate aroma with a hint of mint and coffee

Taste: Opens with a roasty dark chocolate flavor that grows in carob bitterness by mid-palate; after the swallow, hints of coffee appear

Mouthfeel: Way too much carbonation gets in the way of the mouthfeel which I guess is medium to full

Drinkability: Very nice flavors by marred by the overcarbonation (may just be a problem with this batch as not many others seem to have raised this issue) (573 characters)

Photo of Beejay
3.91/5  rDev 0%
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. (470 characters)

Photo of baos
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz into glass.

A: Dark dark with one finger head that disappears.

S: Scorched caramel. Dark chocolate.

T: Coffee and Chocolate with some hop bitterness.

M: Nice and medium bodied.

D. Not as balanced and drinkable of some of the other oatmeal stouts I've tried, but good nonetheless. Could end a little less bitter. (322 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a lovely rustic coloured head. An opaque black colour. A salty sweet aroma of oatmeal goodness. Nice roasted malt. The taste is slightly acidic and lactic, with chocolatey coffee notes in the flavour. Very nice flavour profile. Balanced but a little light bodied. Hope to find more from this brewery!
Thanks Blankboy! (330 characters)

Photo of treque
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: black opaque in color, looks thick, creamy, very nice 2 finger tan head, with nice retention,

S: roast malts, some coffe, toffe, some oat aroma

T: sweetness, nice bitter roasta after taste, the end is long lasting, chocolate/coffe flavoured. medium high body, nice contrasts of flavours (292 characters)

Photo of Lukafer
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Brass knuckles

Pours a dark almost black.  A semi-vigorous pours gives a huge  head, I had to stop pouring.  Is it infected?  Smell is some coffee, roasted malts and a touch of chocolate.  Mouthfeel is kinda thin but drinkability is good for a stout. I am not saying that this beer is infected, but, it was really thin and almost a gusher. If I was cellaring any of these I'd drink it now just in case. (408 characters)

Photo of BigJim5021
3.83/5  rDev -2%
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. (1,018 characters)

Photo of PirateUlf73
3.82/5  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... (1,303 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Just when I think I'm reachin' the end of my post-DLD death march haul, a few more bottles surface. Case in point: this guy. It pours an opaque black-brown topped by a little over a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises maple syrup, dark chocolate, molasses, and toasted wheat. The taste holds notes of dark wheat, roasted malts, chocolate powder, and a light tinge of coffee beans. The body nears a heavy medium, with a moderate carbonation and a smooth, fluid feel. Overall, a solid oatmeal stout...nothing special but tasty and highly drinkable. (592 characters)

Brass Knuckles Oatmeal Stout from Barley Island Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.