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Bare Knuckle Stout - Anheuser-Busch

Not Rated.
Bare Knuckle StoutBare Knuckle Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
66
poor

197 Ratings
THE BROS
49
awful

(view ratings)
Ratings: 197
Reviews: 172
rAvg: 2.78
pDev: 21.94%
Wants: 4
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Anheuser-Busch visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Dry Stout |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: scottum on 03-05-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 197 | Reviews: 172 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by bnes09:
Photo of bnes09
3.9/5  rDev +40.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I am a little surprised by some of these reviews. I didn't know this was made by AB before I tried it so maybe that's why I gave it a fair chance.

It pours just like a Guinness with that nice brown, cloudy cascade that runs all the way down the glass. Also has a thick creamy head that never gives up. Leaves a very foamy lacing that almost looks like a fungus growing on the side of the glass.

Smell is slightly roasted and some bitter hops are detectable.

Tastes of roasted almonds and coffee grounds. Pretty bitter overall from the roasted malt. Truly a dry stout.

Light bodied and hardly any carbonation to speak of. Leaves a bitter taste and lingering dryness.

The lightness makes it very drinkable. Its not too bad especially for AB. Don't get me wrong, I like a more full flavored stout but I could drink this if no better options are available.

bnes09, Dec 18, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
2.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer certainly looked better than it tasted. It was a deep black color with a thick coffee-colored head. It had a faint roasted grain odor. It tasted vaguely like coffee, with the teeniest bit of hops. Very unsubstantial, but not unpleasant. I could drink a few of these.

lordofthewiens, Mar 17, 2006
Photo of twi1609372
1.73/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Not much here. do i dare say charecoal taste? aroma and slight taste of weak coffee.luckilly i was only given a small glass to sample out of. head was almost gone by the time my glass got to me. not the worst beer ever made, but if i remember correctly i switched to MGD after this, which does say a lot. This beers symbol is two guys fighting, i guess to the point they hade "bare knuckes" i doubt they were fighting over the last bottle of this stuff.

twi1609372, Apr 08, 2005
Photo of Jason
1.98/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On tap at the Sunset Cantina.

Appearance: Little to no head and two shades from black. Not sure how this is supposed to be served but it was on the same CO2 as the rest of the beers and even after I stirred it up the head dropped like a soda.

Smell: Odd sweet aroma, a bit coffeeish with perhaps too much residual sweetness.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, creamy and slick … very weird feeling in the mouth. Watery coffee with a faded roasted grain flavour. Faint hopping and a very sweet palate, some charred flavours and a clean finish do not impress.

Notes: This stout will never match up against any of the more popular dry Irish stouts, don’t even bother trying this.

Jason, Mar 19, 2003
Photo of Billolick
3.23/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

AB's Guiness knock-off, Decent stout presentation. Off white creamy head. left nice creamy lacing. No nose that I could detect. Thin, fairly watery mouthfeel. Roasted malt noted along with some bittering, chalky hops. A decent starter stout. Seems abit watered down. I'd go for Guiness, or murphys or anything else if I had a stout alternative.

Billolick, Mar 14, 2004
Photo of animal
3.9/5  rDev +40.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Typical of Anheuser- Busch's attempts to copy classic beer styles. While it's a fairly decent and drinkable session beer, it nonetheless doesn't quite measure up to the classic stouts, such as Guinness, Murphy's, and others upon which the Bare Knuckle no doubt is based upon.

animal, Apr 06, 2005
Photo of magictrokini
2.85/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Tap. Looks really good, dark brown with creamy lighter brown head. Faint aroma of cocoa, but the corny base creeps through. Thin Guinness-like taste. Cocoa, astringent malt, and metal. Tastes like someone put artificial flavoring in carbonated water. However, my final verdict is not awful.

magictrokini, Dec 04, 2008
Photo of ADR
2.83/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On nitro at the Eagle Street Grill, St. Paul, MN...

Oddly black but with tiger stripes of carbonation sticking like glue to the glass's interior. Head is creamy and an attractive tan color. Laces nicely, sheets of fine bubbles all the way around. Aroma is a little strange, some roasted malt but with the soul of a dish sponge that reminds me of a fraternity keg where the lines have been leaking on the cement for a few months. Starts out with a decent kilned and roasted quality, finishes with diminished body and senses of raw burned paper and a graininess to the throat. Plenty dry and bitter, but without other notes and with a fall off in body. Hops no where to be noticed. In some aspects, this matches the style, but its unidimensional and thinning flavor profile and the aromas are not a lot of fun.

ADR, May 04, 2005
Photo of LordofTime25
2.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beer was a dark brown almost black with a creamy tan head that stay till beer is done nd leaves lacing.

There is not much smell to this brew maybe a faint burnt sugar smell.

This is not a very strong flavord beer, but I do detect coffee and a banana flavor. Also a chocalate bitterness on the finish.

A medium body with a low carbonation so drinks fairly smooth for a stout.

Worth a try, but there are alot better stouts out there.

LordofTime25, Nov 08, 2008
Photo of brewQ
2.63/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The coaster said "roasted barley gives a deep dark color and a creamy head". They hit those basic goals. However: aroma?- none, Maltiness or a hint of hops= zero. This brew has an odd soft drink quality to it. It is smooth and stupid. Likely to give Stout a bad name.

Technically, it is drinkable, but why would you want to?

brewQ, Feb 04, 2005
Photo of zjungleist
2.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had a bad feeling right after I ordered this brew. I wasn't sure right then, but I had a feeling this would be a Bud product. Sure enough...

Actually looked decent enough. Nirto bubbles in black beer with a fairly creamy and lasting head. Smell was virtually not there though. The taste was easily the most one dimensional stout I've ever had. It tasted burnt. That pretty much sums it up. I thought at one point I had tasted a small amount of hops, but I was probalby wrong. Mouthfeel was watery, dry, and grainy. Drinkability was low to be sure.

I had a hysterical thought... what about a black and tan made with this and Bud?

zjungleist, May 23, 2006
Photo of Blupoet03
2.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I first tasted this beer on an A&B brewery tour. Though a bit better on tap then from a can, there wasn't much difference in my opinion.

It pours exactly like a Guinness, with the beautiful waterfall effect as the beer settles in the glass.

Aroma is slightly doughy, but other wise non-existent. Taste: some roasted flavors come through, but it tasted a bit watered down.

This beer is good if you compare it to A&B products - compared to other stouts, its not really worth it.

Blupoet03, Jul 10, 2007
Photo of pmcadamis
2.45/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Tried this one on-tap at the A-B Fort Collins brewery.

A - Black as pitch with a dark brown nitro head. Very Guinness-like. Big sheets of foamy lace on the glass too.

S - Burnt rubber and old coffee with some really bitter espresso aromas. Some caramel seems a bit our of place. This one is more rubbery than roasty...like bad gas station coffee.

T - More burnt rubber from the nose. Seems like they missed the mark somehow. I can taste some espresso and dark bitter chocolate, but there is a dominating rubber-factory or smoking tire burnout flavor.

M - Light but creamy nitro body. A dead ringer for Guinness as far as weight, carbonation, and body.

D - Not a very good stab at the style. Way off the mark.

pmcadamis, Oct 09, 2007
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.83/5  rDev +37.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was quite excited when I learned that the house stout at Tir Na Nog was actually brewed by AB. And I enjoyed the minor amount of marketing that followed it's release as well. More importantly, I enjoyed the beer. I think it's right up there with the best of 'em from the emerald isle.

It's opaque black with mahogany highlights that strain to find their way through the base of the glass. The head is quite impressive as usual, with the nitrogen carbonation and dispense giving it a densely creamy, astonishingly long lasting, light tan head that leaves walls of lace throughout the entire pint!

The aroma is roasty with some mild bittersweet chocolate, and some stale wet coffee grounds, as well as a light touch of subtle apple-like fruitiness.

The body is light, but it appears much fuller due to the intensely creamy mouthfeel that the nitrogen pour imparts.

The flavor is roasty from start to finish, but it also includes some delicate fruit and nicely sweet malt upfront, a very mild note of caramel as it warms near the swallow, and a lingering roast and bitterness.

It's quite the decent pint, it is, and I'd expect no less from A-B!

NeroFiddled, Apr 15, 2006
Photo of cjgator3
2.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark black color with a large creamy light tan head from the nitro tap. The aroma is very faint dark and roasty with hints of cocoa and coffee. The taste is dark roasted malts with an odd lingering aftertaste. The mouthfeel is creamy and medium bodied. Overall, this is pretty much the Anhueser-Busch attempt to tap into the Guinness market. Not horrible, but not something that I would likely purchase again.

cjgator3, May 12, 2009
Photo of beerluvr
3.85/5  rDev +38.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep tan head, very creamy. Dark brownish-black color. Light roasted barley and subtle fruit nose. Kind of thinnish mouthfeel. Flavors of roasty barley with little sweetness and a bit of hoppy bitterness. Finished dry and quite drinkable I must admit. Sort of reminded me of a "kicked up" Guinness Stout. A decent session stout...I liked it!

beerluvr, Apr 28, 2004
Photo of surfadelic23
3/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Busch Gardens in Tampa. They had it at their hospitality center where you can have two free samples for the price of admission. To be honest I wasn't going to bother stopping but we did and I was pleasantly surprised to find this beer! Pours nicely, looks like it may be nitro pushed. This tasted pretty good but is very smooth. All in all though, it tasted pretty decent. I'd buy a sixer of this just to pour blind to BAs and see what their reactions were without knowing it's brewed by AB. It hits all the major points of a stout albeit lightly.

surfadelic23, Jun 19, 2006
Photo of mdvatab
4/5  rDev +43.9%

mdvatab, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of Kegatron
2.13/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap at Grogan's Pub inside Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Pours a dark brown with at least 2 fingers of thick, creamy tan head that left thick swatches of lace down the sides of the cup. The aroma is nearly non-existant with some barely there notes of roasted barly and chocolate.

The taste is a little stronger than the aroma but not by much. Notes of roasted malt and some chocolate sweetness that finishes with some light bitter hoppiness. The mouthfeel is way more thin and watery than any beer from this style has any right to be. It's almost like drinking roasted water.

Well, this shot at a Guiness clone is about as dark as you can get for an A/B product, but unfortunately that's not saying a lot. This went down the hatch easy enough but for anyone looking to try a Stout with any kind of fortitude should definitely give this one a pass.

Kegatron, Apr 08, 2008
Photo of bditty187
2.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I was curious to try this beer as soon as I heard about it. It has been in the Omaha market for a few months now but none of the bars I regular served it. It is not my style to go to lame Irish pubs. Well, a few days ago I ended up at a lame Irish pub (thanks guys! ;-)). The bold tap handle stood out among a sampling of macro-lagers and typical Irish pub fair. I guess the time has come to try Bare Knuckle.

Not quite black in hue there was some red and brown influences. By the time I got my beer the head had settled so I didn’t get to watch the reverse cascading effect of nitrogen. Oh well. The beige head reached one finger in height. Head retention was typical, a tight cap lasted the entire consumption but, oddly, there was no subsequent lacing. Maybe the glass was dirty. Maybe AB didn’t make a quality product. The nose is odd. It is largely clean with just a tickle of roasted barely (hints of acidity like roasted coffee beans) and some sweetness, like oats. The potency is low. Honestly, the bouquet is not inviting but it is not offensive either. It is boring. Safe. The palate is phony. This beer is not a Dry Stout. It tastes like it is trying to be Guinness but AB didn’t put any commitment to do so. The roasted flavors are so weak and soft I see little point in it. The roast is like Leinenkugel’s Creamy Dark. Distant coffee flavors too. There is a sweetness that is out-of-whack, like oats or milk. The finish offers a kiss of acidity. Otherwise this beer is clean. Pointless. It is a cheap imitation of an average beer. Seriously, what is the point? Safe… bland. Lighter than medium in body, the carbonation was low; the mouthfeel was watery but tolerable. This beer is not awful. The aroma, taste, and mouthfeel are “close” to being okay. AB must have made the decision to brew this beer “friendly,” it must be for people who don’t drink “Dark Beer” but once a year. I drank my pint without making any funny faces but I didn’t order another one, nor would I in the future. This is another AB fad beer. I’m glad I tried it, once.

bditty187, Jan 31, 2005
Photo of Backer2004
2.33/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

So I disliked this the first time I tried it years ago, why would it be better? It's coming straight from the tap of the hospitality room at the Budweiser plant in St. Louis. This didn't matter.

Served very cold, but even as it wamred up it did nothing for me. Nice head and lacing at first, but seemed to die down quickly. AB should just stick to making commercials, not Irish Stouts.

Backer2004, Jul 21, 2005
Photo of beveritt
2.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: Had on tap at a local restaurant with a semi-decent beer selection. Arrived in a standard pint glass.

Appearance; Very little head, just a medium tan ring around the glass. The beer itself is nice and dark, completely opaque.

Smell: Petty weak smell, roasted barley with hints of coffee and chocolate.

Taste: Very mellow flavor. Some bitterness from roasted barley, but very low. Hints of chocolate and coffee in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation seems a little high for an Irish dry stout, not very creamy. Body is kind of thin.

Drinkability: Worth a try, but I would rank this below the commonly available Guinness. Overall, pretty weak and watery.

beveritt, Mar 27, 2007
Photo of tneel
3.03/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Recently had this on a trip to Busch Gardens Williamsburg. A quality beer that I was surprised came from Anheuser Busch. Became my beer of choice while at Busch Gardens and a descent, albeit slightly watered down, stout. There is a hint of chocolate at the start of this beer and throughout it reminds me of an imitation Guinness. A decent imitation but average at best.

tneel, Jul 03, 2006
Photo of bfr1992t
1/5  rDev -64%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Subtract 1 from the above.

I was at a lame "famous" (rolls eyes) bar/chicken joint with non-BA friends who had no problems drinking the usual swill. I *wanted* a beer. I had no idea what this was. The waitress talked it up: "Oh most people don't like it, it's a heavy _stout_ you know...like Guinness but stronger." I do my best to fake a smile since one of the guys in the group likes her. "Well I like strong beers, I'll try it." She spoke up and offered to give me a 2-3oz taste first.

Man, am I really eff-ing glad she did. I asked if they might have poured Guinness in to someone's half full water glass and given that to me by mistake. A new glass of water went very well with my burger and fries.

I looked it up when I got home. A-B? That says it all.

bfr1992t, Dec 21, 2007
Photo of EagleTalon
3.48/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this at at the El Dorado Applebee's. It was served in a frosty mug, so I held on to it for a while to let it warm up a bit before tasting it. I am reviewing it in light of the presentation that this beer gets outside of beergeekdom. It pours to a typical tan foam head and deep black color just like it's Irish cousins. Aroma is very faint but the roast and yeast esters come through (temperature may have had to do with the lack of aroma). Flavor is very similar to Guiness draught, with roasted barley contributing the most bitterness and no substantial hop character evident. Finishes roasty and somewhat "clean". A pretty decent stout as stouts go. Next time I am going to insist they use a room temperature glass. I may re-review it.

EagleTalon, Jul 16, 2007
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Bare Knuckle Stout from Anheuser-Busch
66 out of 100 based on 197 ratings.