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

103 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 103
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 10.31%
Wants: 8
Gots: 2 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 103 | Reviews: 78 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stanale
stanale

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +16%

02-24-2012 21:03:45 | More by stanale
Photo of tdmccarthy
tdmccarthy

Illinois

4/5  rDev +3.1%

02-22-2012 03:45:47 | More by tdmccarthy
Photo of LJWalker
LJWalker

Alabama

3/5  rDev -22.7%

02-07-2012 03:28:54 | More by LJWalker
Photo of samie85
samie85

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2012 03:26:02 | More by samie85
Photo of imperialking
imperialking

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

01-09-2012 00:14:22 | More by imperialking
Photo of secondtooth
secondtooth

Indiana

4/5  rDev +3.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2011 22:06:38 | More by secondtooth
Photo of cosmonick
cosmonick

Indiana

4/5  rDev +3.1%

12-10-2011 04:31:06 | More by cosmonick
Photo of Another6Pack
Another6Pack

Michigan

3/5  rDev -22.7%

11-26-2011 13:51:54 | More by Another6Pack
Photo of treque
treque

Mexico

3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
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

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2011 04:25:58 | More by treque
Photo of falloutsnow
falloutsnow

Illinois

4/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2011 02:48:43 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of mdvatab
mdvatab

Indiana

3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
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...

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2011 03:02:47 | More by mdvatab
Photo of aasher
aasher

Indiana

3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2011 23:44:45 | More by aasher
Photo of RickS95
RickS95

Indiana

4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2010 03:28:46 | More by RickS95
Photo of Pellinore1
Pellinore1

Illinois

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2010 01:42:46 | More by Pellinore1
Photo of Lukafer
Lukafer

Michigan

3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2010 04:39:19 | More by Lukafer
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2010 20:49:07 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of tpd975
tpd975

Florida

3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2010 17:29:36 | More by tpd975
Photo of Beejay
Beejay

Virginia

3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2010 03:48:54 | More by Beejay
Photo of dmfrench
dmfrench

Indiana

3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2009 17:41:59 | More by dmfrench
Photo of Brettster
Brettster

Indiana

4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2009 13:11:27 | More by Brettster
Photo of matjack85
matjack85

Illinois

3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2009 06:10:50 | More by matjack85
Photo of rtepiak
rtepiak

Poland

4/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2009 08:59:26 | More by rtepiak
Photo of BigJim5021
BigJim5021

Indiana

3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2009 05:15:52 | More by BigJim5021
Photo of diabecktic
diabecktic

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2009 05:40:24 | More by diabecktic
Photo of PirateUlf73
PirateUlf73

Illinois

3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
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...

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2009 08:44:39 | More by PirateUlf73
Brass Knuckles Oatmeal Stout from Barley Island Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.