Brass Knuckles Oatmeal Stout - Barley Island Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brass Knuckles Oatmeal StoutBrass Knuckles Oatmeal Stout

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BA SCORE
87
very good

108 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 108
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 10.34%
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 78
Photo of nlmartin
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer was poured into a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a solid blackness with no ruby opaqueness to light. The head was thick and creamy tan in coloration. The beer has fantastic head retention.

Smell: This beer is loaded with dark roasted coffee and choco-malty smells.

Taste: The beer is full of dark roasted coffee with chocolate cookie goodness. There is a nice hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer has a nice full body. There is ample carbonation present. The mouthfeel is very creamy. This is a very good stout with high drinkability.

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 pmcadamis
3.31/5  rDev -14.5%
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 neckbracesub
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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

Pours a dark black with some deep red showing thru. Sports a big fluffy medium tan head that falls slowly and laces well.

Aroma is nice lots of chocolate malt with some nice espresso flavors with some sweetness from the oats and a decent piney hop aroma in the background.

Taste is lively a tad too much carbonation in this brew. Nice chocolate malt and good espresso flavors mingle but chocolate wins out. Hard to feel the oats due to the excess carbonation but some sweetness does come thru. Hops citrus/pine mixture add some nice flavor and a decent bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium in body but might feel lighter due to the lively carbonation.

Drinkability is good a nice Oatmeal Stout would be wonderful if they toned down the CO2 a bit. Received this from goodbyeohio in Beer and Gear BIF.

Photo of falloutsnow
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of Beejay
3.91/5  rDev +1%
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 rtepiak
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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 goodbyeohio
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
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 kimcgolf
3.32/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

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

Thick black body where light goes to die supports a finger of brown sugar froth. Thick rings of lacing adorn the Yankees pint glass; excellent look. Solid nose, full of chocolate and some coffee malt, molasses, and hints of berry. The berry comes forth more in the taste than the smell, as do the molasses and berry flavors. What detracts from a higher score is the lack of a take-charge flavor, something to instill a particular character for this beer. There is no shortage of flavor or character, and it's quite good. I would infuse more chocolate and caramel malt to complement the rest and add a slightly more viscous texture, though the mouthfeel does not suffer in the slightest with Brass Knuckles. it's creamy, well carbonated, a bit sticky, very good.

Really good oatmeal stout, not the biggest and boldest, but solid, a bit complicated even if the complication would use more attention, and easy to consume. Well worth the purchase, the best I've had from Barley Island.

Photo of wcudwight
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of BeerTruth
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Photo of samie85
3.6/5  rDev -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.

Photo of hero27
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Photo of BigJim5021
3.83/5  rDev -1%
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 SheepNutz
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. It pours an opaque black color with one finger of dark tan head that dies down almost as soon as it's poured. There is no lacing left on the glass. The smell has lots of roasted malt with some peat character. Sweet alcohol in the aroma as well. The taste is silky smooth, with lots and lots of burnt malt. There's molasses sweetness and bits of caramel and toffee. Espresso bitterness is every so slightly present in the finish. The mouthfeel is decently thick and smooth. The drinkability is nice as well. Danke Kev!

Photo of seaoflament
3.17/5  rDev -18.1%
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.

Photo of BlindPig
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- 1/4" dark tan head on a black body!
S- Big oatmeal comes to nose first. Light chocolate is found in there too but it is just a strong oatmeal aroma and a hint of earthy hops.
T-Big oatmeal flavor followed by a bit of a coffee malt. Light chocolate comes out along with some earthy hops leaving a nice bitterness on the tongue to help balance it out.
M- Nice soft and creamy mouthfeel to it. Medium to full in body and low carbonation.
D- This is a very tasty oatmeal stout. If I saw this I would want to pick up another (and I'm glad I have another sitting in my fridge).

Photo of gmfessen
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is coal black with a two-finger, creamy looking brown-tan head. The smell is excellent; roasted barley, chocolate and coffee and perhaps a hint of vanilla. Unfortunately, the taste isn't nearly as enjoyable as the nose. The beer is pretty well hopped, which I'm usually a big fan of... however in this case it takes away from the chocolate and roasted notes ability to shine through. The finish isn't bad, but the initial hoppiness could be subdued a little. Although as I drink more of the beer, the hops don't seem to bother me so much and actually make the beer more drinkable than it otherwise probably would be. The mouthfeel is "velvety" and full bodied with minimal carbonation. Overall, a good Oatmeal Stout - one worth trying.

Photo of Pellinore1
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

Photo of happygnome
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
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

Brass Knuckles Oatmeal Stout from Barley Island Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.