Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout - Anderson Valley Brewing Company

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Barney Flats Oatmeal StoutBarney Flats Oatmeal Stout

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933 Reviews

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Reviews: 933
Hads: 2,335
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 9.63%
Wants: 132
Gots: 257 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-08-2001

The deep ebony color, voluptuous mahogany head and bold, roasty flavors in our Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout are what serious beer drinkers expect from this style. Aromas of freshly baked bread, espresso, and dried cherries meld seamlessly with rich toffee flavors and a creamy mouth feel to create an unparalleled drinking experience.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 933 | Hads: 2,335
Photo of CHickman
3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black color with a thick 3 finger foamy tan head that was full of bubbles and faded slowly, leaving great foamy lacing and rings as it went down.

Smelled of oats, charred wood, toasted grains, caramel, piney hops, lemon zest, light vanilla, grass and some mild fruity esters. Nice charred notes play off the oatmeal, malts and cracker notes for a subtle nose that is grainy and maintained a mild sweetness.

Tastes like it smells with charred wood, toasted grains, caramel, maple syrup, piney hops, lemon, vanilla, grass, burnt wood, fruit like apple skin and cocoa powder and/or chocolate. A mix of pine, floral hops, more char, oats and malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, almost watery feeling, with very light carbonation, a medium body and an ashy mildly bitter aftertaste. It flows down very easy and is quite simple but complex at the same time.

Overall it is easy to drink and quite enjoyable, but lacks the rich stout depth and malty aspects that I was hoping to enjoy but should have tempered since it is an oatmeal stout. Sessionable for sure, I had 3 in one sitting and did not feel full or drunk, so this brew was fine for a social evening of watching hockey. (1,201 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
3.4/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in a shaker pint. Pours an inky black with a loose, 1/8th inch khaki-colored head that quickly disperses towards the edges leaving a residual sudsy slick across the center. Nose expresses a light roasty presence, a suggestion of artificial sweetener and perhaps a hint of cherry juice. Taste follows nose - cherry quality is more apparent; however, the flavor profile is missing the roasty/chocolately character I've come to associate with the style. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body (but closer to light) with a carbonation slightly too assertive for the style and a feint acidity most likely attributable to the cherries. Overall, a bit lacking - not enough roast or flaked oats presence and the texture could have been creamier. (757 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This stark black liquid is a complete contrast to Anderson Valley's typically colourful, cartoonish, warm-weather depictions of nature found on its labels. The closest Barney Flats gets to any of that is scorched earth. Or maybe its brown-tinged head could pass for mud or rain clouds.

There's a little more involved with this Oatmeal Stout, or so the aroma let's on. Notes of dried fruit, vanilla bean, and gingerbread are present in addition to the usual bittersweet chocolate, roast grain, and coffee-and-cream flavours. It could easily pass for a beer stronger than it actually is.

Despite the sizzle, there's not much steak. At least not prime cut. The palate is a bit of a disappointment for me, focusing more on that raisin-y quality than suits my tastes. It gives the flavour a somewhat oxidized tinge. The dried fruit character isn't unwelcome, but it shouldn't trump the presence of richer chocolate and coffee notes as it does.

Indeed, when I think of an oatmeal stout - especially one from California - I expect something so chunky it's hard to swallow. My favourite examples are so thick a spoon could stand up in them. But this has a reasonably light body, with little secondary roasty, smoky, or sweet elements from the malt and no real aftertaste. I also would have thought (preferred) it'd be hoppier than this.

Californians so often brew with the kind of flashy arrogance you'd think they invented the style in question. Barney Flats, however, isn't the kind of stout suffused with richness that pours out of the glass. This won't be an issue for everyone mind you, but it is for me. Pioneers though they are, apparently not every offering in Anderson Valley's lineup is noteworthy. (1,709 characters)

Photo of SteveFagone
3.03/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

For all its attributes it should taste better than a skunky guinness. Beautiful look, smell and feel taste is lacking. Even gave it a second taste from a different local. (172 characters)

Photo of mick303
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice oatmeal stout, bready and toasty dark malts, aroma is fantastic. Body is creamy and full with a great complex character, quite dry on the finish. Really enjoyed this. (176 characters)

Photo of BGDrock
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: dark brown, almost black; frothy, mocha head trails lace and has ok retention

Aroma: floral and sweet spice immediately delight - anise seed, vanilla, cardamon, pollen, lavender, cinnamon

Taste & Mouthfeel: mellow, chocolate flavour leads the way, with subtle hints of cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg; body is a bit thin, but velvety - if it was a touch more full it would be perfect

Overall: not much to say here, but in this case it's a good thing - super easy drinking, simple clean & pure flavours, doesn't get tired; a great late night sipper (556 characters)

Photo of DenisKolkin
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

650 ml bottle served cold into an unmarked pint glass. Purchased from LCBO for $7 CDN.

Appearance - Midnight black, with a decadent finger and a bit of brown head. Impossible to see the carbonation and OK retention time with a thin layer of sticky lacing. A good looking stout.

Smell - Oatmeal graininess with a splash of a vibrant dark fruits namely currants and maybe some grape. Quite interesting and broadens the horizons beyond the traditional oatmeal stout.

Taste- Very nice and interesting blend of flavors. Some oatmeal goodness transitioning to a dark fruit medley of currants, prunes, pears, red grapes and raisins then kind a creamy vanilla flavor before settling back into the traditional stout flavors associated with an oatmeal stout, being dark chocolate, a touch of coffee and molasses.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and creamy, moderate carbonation with a lighter than expected body and a little thinner than a big stout, works really nice.

Overall - A great oatmeal stout with plenty of flavor, good balance and an easy drinkability that makes this a go to beer for your oatmeal stout needs. (1,105 characters)

Photo of sourd
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

can pour...12 oz step side glass at beach club bistro

glorious ruby black with a tawny soap head

caramel and coffee, but not quite toffee (a lil yeast)

the taste is inexplicable...think of every word used to describe a stout and insert it here...then multiply by 100.

creamy, yet refreshing...oily, yet smooth...roasty, yet clean...bittersweet, yet bittersweet. near perfection (perfectly hopped)

this is easily the best oatmeal stout that ive had, and perhaps the best stout ive had with the bros on this one-pure perfection

on a side note, if you read the bros reviews, both of them mentioned the price...funny how in 01-02 $9.99/6 was a premium price tag, now to get a 90+ stout for that price is literally stealing. avbc could put this beer in bombers and charge $10/per and people would fall all over each other to get it. is everyone aware that this beer can be had for $9-$10/6 ?? seems like a no-brainer (not to over-emphasize dollars, but...cmon) (974 characters)

Photo of ColdBassHonkey
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Pours jet black with a light head. The aromas I got were mostly of malts and oats, with a smooth cocoa aftertaste. I was slightly disappointed in the aftertaste, as I expected more flavors to come through. Anderson Valley is one of my favorite breweries...and this is definitely worth a second try down the road. (315 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

i have a soft spot for this one, its one of the beers that got me into the style, and one i always go back to when comparing and thinking hard about an oatmeal stout. maybe its not the best one out there, in fact, it definitely isnt, but i think its one of the truest to style around thats regularly available, and its a darn fine glass of ale, a good measuring stick. slick black look, and slick roasty viscous going down. medium sized coffee colored head, with cream lighter than coffee, but rich brown and big bubbles and lasting pretty well. sweet nose, almost like a milk stout. thank the oats for that. the flavor is rich with grain character, but the oat sweetness balances bitter roasted barley and specialty dark malts and the harmony is gorgeous and continuing long into the finish. there is even a mild yeast flavor to this, which is uncommon i think is most darker, maltier american beers. its bready and unifying, clean but noticeable. full bodied but i could still happily drink a sixer, in fact i have many times. this beer really made the style for me as a younger beer drinker, and its always a fond experience enjoying one now. emotionally important for me, foundational to my palate. (1,202 characters)

Photo of WAbeerfiend
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Poured from a can into a tumbler on 04.15.14.

A: Motor oil. 1/2 finger tan head.

S: Toffee, caramel, coffee, milk chocolate.

T: Milk chocolate, coffee dominate. Roasted malt is there too.

M: Creamy.

O: This is a perfectly balanced oatmeal stout. It is sweet, but it doesn't go too far. It's very subtle all around in terms of flavor.

Rating: A (350 characters)

Photo of hophugger
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Ever o little light tries to peek through this awesome ebony color. Head is relatively normal with little or no lacing. Aroma is of bread, malt and a hint of chocolate. Taste is pure delight, with hints of oatmeal, chocolate and milky creaminess. Bitter ending does not take away from the balance of this beer. Smooth and very very drinkable (341 characters)

Photo of bfisher91
5/5  rDev +23.5%

Absolutely stunning stout. Could not fault it at all. Perfect mouthfeel, full of flavour that opens up as it warms. Not at all tiring towards the end. Beauty in a bottle. Now my only trouble is finding more of it, was the last in the store! (240 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.8/5  rDev +18.5%

Nose: roast malts, faint oats, light coffee
Pours deep dark brown under a 1" tan head.
Palate: rich malt flavors, chocolate, light caramel, vanilla, balancing roast on the finish.
full body, medium carbonation, oily (215 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

12 ounce bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a quarter of a finger of caramel-colored head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that almost completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Malty up front, with strong notes of roasted oats, imparting some subtle smoke and coffee aromas, mixed with some dark chocolate and brown sugar.

Taste: My, my, my, that’s a tasty oatmeal stout! Strong, flavorful notes of roasted malt up front, imparting notes of freshly baked dark bread, coffee and dark chocolate, followed by some nice brown sugar-like sweetness and a very light hop presence in the finish. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy and smooth as silk, as there’s no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 5.8%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: Damn, this is a great oatmeal stout! Great, roasted malt flavors, nicely balanced with some sweetness and subtle hops, all wrapped up in an extremely smooth quaff. Delicious! This is another great beer from Anderson Valley! (1,103 characters)

Photo of thomda11
4.14/5  rDev +2.2%

Poured out of a 22 oz bomber into a nonic pint glass. The beer sports a tan head the width of two fingers, which slowly dissipates to a half-finger’s width. The color is jet black—a really nice looking beer. The aroma is a bit subdued, consisting mainly of toasted malt with a hint of raisin. The taste is outstanding and smooth. The predominant flavors are that of oats, dark chocolate, toasted malt, finishing with a slight malty sweetness. The really is a good balance of flavors. The beer has a medium to light body with a modest amount of carbonation. Overall, one of the better Oatmeal Stouts I’ve had. (619 characters)

Photo of drdiesel9483
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Poured with a solid dark khaki head that went away quick. Solid dark dark brown color. Smells malty and toasty. Taste creamy smooth malty with a slight sweetness. Overall it's a fantastic beer that I'd get again. (216 characters)

Photo of fannypakit
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured with a thick head. Can kind of exploded and the Summer Solstice that I purchased with this was the same -- probably wasn't handled properly. Head dissipated with thick and retained a thin head around the circumference of the glass.

Smell is woody with raison and plum? Some type of fruitiness that I couldn't put my finger on it. Pretty sublet smelling beer, expecting more, but it was okay.

Taste is of a good oatmeal stout. Can say I've had better tasting oatmeal stouts, but this one is not bad. Gives me a brown sugar feeling after each sip. Thinner mouthfeel than I'd like for a stout, but it's very drinkable.

Overall not bad. (642 characters)

Photo of leantom
3.89/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not too impressed with Anderson Valley's other selections, but I decided to give this beer a shot. Here goes:

A: OK, nothing special though. The beer pours pitch black with a sufficient, dark brown, one-fingered head.

S: OK, but nothing special, like the appearance. Smells of dark fruit, raisin, plum and some brown sugar. No hops, which is expected for an oatmeal stout.

T: Rather good, actually. Some dark fruit, but the oats and dark chocolate were far more apparent. I was actually rather surprised because I was expecting the taste to follow the nose. A good oatmeal backbone that I rather liked.

M: OK, but not perfect. It tastes somewhat watery, but the actual flavors of the beer make up for the lack of mouthfeel. However, since the beer has a low alcohol content, I suppose the brewer's intention was to make it easily drinkable.

O: Good, but not great. Would probably try this again if I was offered it. (920 characters)

Photo of dank203
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

super refreshing oatmeal stout. pours into a pint glass thick black. some roasty aromas coming through. flavors are roasty, a bit hoppy, a little sweet . really natural, clean, semi chewy but medium/thin thickness, a real snack in a glass. can easily drink several of these in a sitting (286 characters)

Photo of leitmotif
3.89/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I love stouts. Especially oatmeal ones. Or so i think.
Pours abyss black. One finger head foam. Soft, watery lacing that retreats to form an outer coating. Coffee like appearance.
I get raisins, figs, plums and some roasted notes. The smell is dry and a bit earthy.
Might just poured it too warm. Alcohol present.
A bit watery and creamy at the same time. A slight taste of milk, caramel and lovely malts. Calming mouthfeel.
In the end it's very drinkable but not quite what i was expecting. (496 characters)

Photo of toppoop
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured out nicely with an aggressive pour. Decent ring of head. Smell is good with malty oats and sweet chocolate. The taste is pretty good. The oatmeal definitely stands out here with some milk chocolate. Mouthfeel is pretty light for a stout. If a touch thicker I would really like this beer. (294 characters)

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Starts off with a finger-thick dark cream-colored head. It's very persistent and foamy. Aggressive carbonation surges upward through the black liquid. The creamy head is a beautiful contrast to the dark beer beneath it.

Smells of sweet malt, oatmeal and is very grain heavy with a cream-like aroma. The dark roasted malt is a heavy presence as well.

Sweet malts initially hit the palate, but they're accompanied by a dry bitterness. There's a thick oatmeal flavor, hints of vanilla tossed in and the finish is a big dose of baker's chocolate. I eventually get a taste of dark coffee as well.

I feel the body is on the lighter side of medium and could be thicker. Yet, the creamy quality redeems this aspect a bit.

This beer is good and pretty refreshing. I can drink this out of the can in the park or slowly sip it. Very well done. (838 characters)

Photo of fscottkey
4.01/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A: Thin head when pored into a tulip glass. Same small layer of head remains after a short time. The stout is a nice coffee black.

S: Malts and coffee. Slight caramel scents. The coffee is most pronounced.

T: Deep coffee flavor. Some hint of bitter chocolate but the coffee dominates throughout.

M: Slightly more carbonation than I expected. This cut down a little on what would have been a smoother stout.

O: The carbonation feel is the biggest ding against a pretty solid stout. If you like coffee I think this will be a hit. It is drinkable and repeatable. (563 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 12/18/2013. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 2 finger dense tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, toast, oats, dark bread, caramel, light coffee, light herbal, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and oat notes; with good strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, dark bread, toast, oats, caramel, light coffee, light herbal, and roasted earthiness. Light herbal/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, roast, dark bread, toast, oats, caramel, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt, oats, and light hop flavors; with great robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy, smooth, and lightly slick/bready moutfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent oatmeal stout. All around great balance, complexity, and robustness of dark/roasted malt and oat flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering. (1,298 characters)

Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 933 ratings.