Brass Knuckles Oatmeal Stout - Barley Island Brewing Company
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Ratings: 105 | Reviews: 78 | Display Reviews Only:
3.53/5 rDev -8.8%
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.
03-09-2012 01:03:58 | More by neckbracesub
4/5 rDev +3.4%
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!
03-01-2012 07:56:41 | More by BEERchitect
3.58/5 rDev -7.5%
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.
02-02-2012 03:26:02 | More by samie85
4/5 rDev +3.4%
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!
12-14-2011 22:06:38 | More by secondtooth
3.9/5 rDev +0.8%
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
11-17-2011 04:25:58 | More by treque
4/5 rDev +3.4%
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.
09-08-2011 02:48:43 | More by falloutsnow
3.63/5 rDev -6.2%
Poured from 12oz bottle into shaker pint.
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...
05-27-2011 03:02:47 | More by mdvatab
3.95/5 rDev +2.1%
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.
02-03-2011 23:44:45 | More by aasher
4.18/5 rDev +8%
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.
10-31-2010 03:28:46 | More by RickS95
3.63/5 rDev -6.2%
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.
10-19-2010 01:42:46 | More by Pellinore1
3.85/5 rDev -0.5%
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.
09-01-2010 04:39:19 | More by Lukafer
3.78/5 rDev -2.3%
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.
06-24-2010 20:49:07 | More by TMoney2591
3.7/5 rDev -4.4%
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.
04-07-2010 17:29:36 | More by tpd975
3.93/5 rDev +1.6%
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.
03-15-2010 03:48:54 | More by Beejay
3.73/5 rDev -3.6%
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.
12-28-2009 17:41:59 | More by dmfrench
4.03/5 rDev +4.1%
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.
11-23-2009 13:11:27 | More by Brettster
3.38/5 rDev -12.7%
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.
11-11-2009 06:10:50 | More by matjack85
4/5 rDev +3.4%
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.
04-15-2009 08:59:26 | More by rtepiak
3.85/5 rDev -0.5%
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.
03-26-2009 05:15:52 | More by BigJim5021
Brass Knuckles Oatmeal Stout from Barley Island Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.