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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.
very good

78 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 78
Hads: 109
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 12.11%
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: 109
Photo of JDV
2.92/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Tytoanderso for the this bottle!
Pours a thick, oily black with a nice big tan head. Smell is roasty dark malt, cream, and faint sweetness. Touch too thin in the bodied for a stout, but the flavor is nice, and roasty. Not burnt or overly done, and very drinkable. Nice beer.

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Photo of MaximalC
2.93/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Pours a dark cola color with a minimal tan head. Aroma smells of caramel, pretzels, and roasted malt.

The taste could best be summed up as thin, roasty, metallic, and overcarbonated. The carbonation is so vigorous that it masks most of the flavor on the front end. Roasted malt comes through when the carbonation burn subsides, but there's also a metallic twinge that keeps you from really enjoying it. On a positive notes, the Earthy hops are pretty well balanced against the sweetness of the malt, so it does have that going for it.

In a nutshell, it looks like a stout, but drinks like a coke.

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Photo of seaoflament
3.17/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this one via a trade with SPLITGRIN, thanks!

Pours a nice dark color. Head is very minimal.

This one smells very appetizing with some sweet chocolate, coffee, roasted barley, oats, and toffee. There is also a smell of used coffee grounds in there, not sure if I like that or not, and it appears in the after taste as well which is not very pleasing.

There is some bitterness and a dry finish but the sweetness upfront keeps it at a close balance. It tastes close to a coffee stout. Now I see what that reviewer was talking about when he/she mentioned ashes...weird.

The mouthfeel is average, mellow and a bit refreshing.

Pretty weird oatmeal stout.

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Photo of StargherKing
3.23/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark black with ruby highlights. Very little head, but I think that was more from my pouring than anything. Smell is much hoppier than I expected, with a rich coffee scent and slight cocoa hints. Wow, I really do NOT like the taste of this...I usually love oatmeal stouts, but the term "roasted malt flavor" doesn't even come close to describing this. One of the other reviewers compared it to ashes...I would agree with that and add burnt coffee to the mix. Still, some hop flavor comes through, and there are certainly hints of what I would consider a good beer in here. Mouthfeel is a little light for a stout (especially an oatmeal), but it's not too incredibly thin. Drinkability is really only hurt for me by the burnt flavor...I finished the beer, but I don't think I could have done another. I think some people would love this beer, but it's just not for me.

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.31/5  rDev -14.7%
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).

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.32/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Timing is everything. This pours to a deep, opaque balck, with a long thick long lasting tan head and excellent lacing. Aroma is very strongly coffee, toffee and chocolate. Flavor is more of the same...and malty. Thick body, and rich, warm finish. I drank this on a hot summer day, yet rated it as if I were having it in late fall, on a cool night. A good beer in the right place and time.

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Photo of belgaridub
3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like a dark stout, opaque, and has a dark beige head. Pretty standard looking.

There isn't a lot of smell jumping out at me, but when I stick my nose up close to it I get some really earthy, roasted smells.

Taste is highly roasted, again some earthy and bordering on rotten smells. A roasted coffee flavor dominates.

Mouthfeel is really smooth and the beer is very drinkable. It is more of a medium-bodied beer and is pretty drinkable, especially with its low alcohol content.

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Photo of matjack85
3.39/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

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Photo of hopdog
3.41/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle acquired in trade atpayne (thanks!).

Opened to a loud Psst. This one poured all head. Eventually settled into a dark black with red edges. Aromas of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and some oatmeal. Nice aromas. Tastes of bitter coffee, with light chocolate and roasted malts. As expected with the pour, the body was on the over carbonated side.

Notes from 4/9/06

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Photo of diabecktic
3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Photo of neckbracesub
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If you ever find yourself visiting the Noblesville brewery, this is one of the best bets on the rotating tap list.

As far as oatmeal stouts go, Brass Knuckles ranks somewhere in the middle for me. A thick, full-bodied pour creates a head that is darker than you would imagine, but the aftertaste leaves something more to desire.

There is still a lot going for this one, though, and I would rank it toward the top of what Barley Island has to offer.

They are a hit-and-miss microbrewery nowadays, but this is always a nice mainstay.

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Photo of tayner
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, thank you leftmindedrighty.

black with nice khaki head that settled to a ring which laced nicely.

smell is dark roasted malt, coffee, bitter chocolate.

Taste followed smell only with the coffee the dominant feature followed by roasted/burnt malt and bitter chocolate. there is a pretty decent balance of these three flavors however.

Thin mouthfeel for a stout, probably due to the low abv and lack of fermented sugars in it, but still fairly creamy... but on the same token, it makes it highly drinkable and even sessionable for a stout, so it is give and take.

Wouldnt hunt this one down, but its a decent oatmeal stout i wouldnt turn my nose up at either.

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Photo of mentor
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle provided by Patyoda...thanks for the opportunity. Poours a one finger dark brown head over a pitch liquid with edgings. Smells potent coffee roast. some ashy malt character and english hops. Chocolate and caramel are way way beneath with some cherry sour.

Tastes potent roast grains, to the point of lasting like ashes. caramel and cherry sour. Sour effect is enhanced by the sharp carbonation. Hops are buried under the malt with some smooth fuggles character. Finish is sweet and silky, yet woody dry. Alcohol cleaning the pallette? Roast hangs around and deeply contaminates a dark caramel so it comes across as scortched. Bitter of molasses or unsweetened licorice. Mouthfeel is somewhat silky and medium. A bit too much carb, IMO, and it wouldn't escape with swirling.

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Photo of samie85
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A-Pours a ruby-hued black color with two fingers of light brown head.

S-Smells of that classic roasty yet sweet notes of a traditional oatmeal stout.

T- Roasty and slightly sweet with a dark chocolate finish.

M-Slightly slick and medium bodied with low carbonation.

D-Very easy drinking with that classic Oatmeal Stout profile.

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Photo of emerge077
3.61/5  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.

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Photo of Pellinore1
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bottle pours deep brown into an imperial pint glass, leaving less than a finger of tan head.

It smells of roasted malts and maybe just a hint of oatmeal. There a tiny bit of sharpness in the nose, not what I usually expect from the style.

The dominant flavor is that of roasty malts, followed by oats and a bit of coffee bitterness.

Feels a bit thin in the mouth, not as creamy as most oatmeal stouts I have tried.

Drinkability is just fine; seems like a possible session beer.

Overall, this is a perfectly enjoyable oatmeal stout, if nothing particularly special. I probably would not hunt for it again, but neither would I object to having another.

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Photo of AaronHomoya
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle.

This is a very dark, pretty much black color with minimal tan head. The aroma is nice and roasty with a little bit of malt sweetness. The taste is also malty and roasty with a nice finish. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth, not too thick or bubbly either. Overall a nice, drinkable oatmeal stout but nothing out of this world.

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Photo of mdvatab
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
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...

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Photo of tpd975
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice dark black hue. Nice tall tan head solid retention with nice chunks of lace.

S: Aromas of deep roasted malt, dark gas station coffee, chocolate, and cream.

T: Nicely roasted. Lots of coffee and dark chocolate as well. Hints of light smoke and ash.

M: Fairly thin, The oatmeal did not provide the slickness I expect in a great oatmeal stout.

D: Pretty good. Solid brew.

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Photo of hero27
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.

Dark brown w/ ruby accents. The head is downright enormous, due to some obvious overcarbonation. Because of this, it seemed like the foam held up forever.. The aroma is roasted malts and coffee grounds. Thick roasted flavor with some smokiness as well. Quite bitter in the finish, and if you let it warm up a bit, the mouthfeel improves tremendously..at fridge temp, this is pretty harsh. I'm not sure I'm crazy about this one, but if they can correct the carbonation issues and beef it up a bit, this could be a really great brew.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.71/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to leftmindedrighty for this one.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a complete black with a full two finger tan colored head that dies down to a thin layer of bubbles. Stickiness remains on the sides throughout. Smell is pretty smokey for an Oatmeal Stout. Charred wood aroma with a mild sweet toasted oat. Dark chocolates and a slight caramel malt on the nose as well. Taste is more of that smokey flavor. Roasted barley and burnt chocolate malt with a subtle sugared oat flavor. I could use a bit more sweetness on the tongue, the smokiness is a bit much for me. Smooth medium bodied feel with a thick water-like texture. Carbonation is mild, but present. Good drinking beer if you can get past the smokiness. I would love to get my hands on their Bourbon Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout.

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Photo of dmfrench
3.71/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A decent enough earthy, hoppy, creamy Oatmeal Stout.

A: Opaque body with a fairly dark and somewhat persistent one finger head.

S: A bit of roasted oats, a hit of earthy hops, and a bit of inkyness... not particularly aromatic.

T: Much more of that earthy hops from the nose... nice dirty, creamy oat malt underneath... a bit salty.

M: Big and creamy... fills the mouth well... great carbonation... noticing a trend here with Barley Island.

D: Quite easy.

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Photo of Sammy
3.72/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

thx orbitalr0x for this one, or was it autumnaldave? i think both of you gave me one.

black, impenetrable by light. beautiful tan khaki thick foam with big bubbles showing an active carbonation. aroma is straight up coffee aand sugar cookie. taste is heavy malts with oatmeal smoothness and caramel macchiato notes. aftertaste brings out a bitterness of coffee grounds and whoppers. alcohol burns slightly and cancels out some of the smoothness, asserting this beers powerful force. now i know why they call this m-f brass knuckles. i feel like ive been punched by a pretty damn good brew.

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Photo of emyers
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Black color, nearly opaque, with a huge light brown head. Not a whole lot of lacing down the glass.

Smell: Roasted malt, milk chocolate, and smoke. Has a milk-stout type sweetness to the aroma. A bit of wet cardboard oxidation smell to it.

Taste: Roasted malt is dominant. More milk chocolate with a definite sweetness. Caramel and molasses also come through. I'm not picking up the oxidation present in the aroma anymore. Really quite delicious. Fairly complex. There could be a bit more intensity, but for a standard oatmeal stout it packs quite a bit of flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium carbonation (I was expecting a whole lot more carbonation given the huge head).

Overall: This was a pleasant surprise once I got past the smell. A very good oatmeal stout. I'm curious if there was some oxidation and how it would taste without it.

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