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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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bare Knuckle Stout Alström Bros
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Ratings: 197 | Reviews: 172 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of plaid75
4.03/5  rDev +45%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep black hue with a two finger creamy bone white head. There was very good retention and lacing. Good cascading as well.

The smell featured subtle burnt grain and coffee aromas.

The taste was robust and smooth. A nice toasted grain bill and roasted coffee flavor. While this stout lacked some of the flavor profile of the Irish versions, it did compensate with an incredible smoothness.

The mouthfeel was full and smooth.

Overall a very good rendition of the style. More suprising, but not shocking, when you consider it is an AB product. AB's best attempt to date.

plaid75, Oct 23, 2006
Photo of mdvatab
4/5  rDev +43.9%

mdvatab, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of OKCNittany
3.98/5  rDev +43.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A; Black body, 1" thick cream head, nice lacing

M: Pleasant aroma, roasted malt/barley, but not strong enough.

T: A lighter taste than I want from a stout, but still very nice w/ hints of caramel malt & roasted barley. Everything I liked about this flavor increased dramatically as it warmed.

M: Low carb, lighter body than expected from the look.

D: Smooth, easy drinking stout. No noticable alcohol (mabye it's just really weak). Very enjoyable. I'm shocked this is an A-B product - or maybe I'm just shocked I like an A-B product this much.

OKCNittany, Jul 21, 2007
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 DarkerTheBetter
3.9/5  rDev +40.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer came in a Weizen Glass at the Jet Rock Bar at Philly International. Looked rather nice. It had the color of a really dark cola with a cream white film floating on top and managed to stick around 'till the end.

Smelled quite light, of toasty coffee and caramel with a dry ashy hop and a hint of watermelon.

Tasted light too, but tasty. There's a light toasty bread and grain, dry caramel with a sweet, smooth and smoky finish that left my mouth dry and clean.

Felt light and dry with a subdued carbonation hiding in the distance.

Nice. Keep it up.

DarkerTheBetter, Apr 24, 2008
Photo of smcolw
3.9/5  rDev +40.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this before I knew it was from Anheuser Busch. I rated in a small bar in Midtown Manhattan having just finished a budget presentation for next year. Perhaps I was too celebratory to rate this beer (especially when I compare this review to others here). But I honestly liked this beer. It is full bodied with excellent coffee notes from black patent malt. The hop is subtly present. The foamy head is similar to Guinness, right down to the lace.

Perhaps I could make a strong argument for blind tasting... ;-)

smcolw, Nov 23, 2004
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
Photo of HardcoreKeith
3.9/5  rDev +40.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's clear what AB is trying to do with this one, and I actually think they've done a really good job. I have one or two of these on tap at Sea World's hospitality house each time we go.

Nice cascading nitro effect which settles into a creamy tan head. The froth stays through until the end. The smell is a hint of coffee. Taste is smooth, creamy, and a little roasty. There's a bit more hop bitterness here than in Guinness, surprisingly, but lacking the sour note. It works for me.

The first time I tried this I think I may have actually had it on CO2 and wasn't impressed. If you get it fresh on nitro, though, I think you'll find it pleasant and an good example of a nitro draught Irish stout.

HardcoreKeith, Jul 13, 2008
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 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 neenerzig
3.8/5  rDev +36.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had a glass of this on tap last night at a concert I was at at the Jigsaw Saloon in Parma, OH. I had never heard of this beer before and had no idea it was brewed by A-B until I read that on this site. Considering the fact that this is brewed by A-B, it wasn't bad at all. This beer is a very solid dark brown, almost black color with a nice frothy tan colored head about 2/3 of an inch thick upon being drawn from the tap. It had some pretty good staying power and some decent lacing. Aromas of roasted malt and hops are present and not much else. Tastewise this beer reminds me a lot of Guinness, only I think the flavors might actually be a bit stronger here. Fairly strong, bitter flavors of roasted malt, black coffee, roasted hops, and a hint of dark chocolate are present. One of the more bitter stouts I have ever had for sure. Has a creamy and frothy light to medium bodied mouthfeel with light to moderate carbonation. Fairly easy to drink. Not a great beer, but good, and definitely the best offering I have ever had from A-B.

Eric

neenerzig, Feb 19, 2007
Photo of Kemmerlin
3.78/5  rDev +36%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This stout had a thin foamy head and black/extremely dark brown in color. The aromas were really weak and could not get much character from it except the malts. The taste on the other hand had a strong peppermint taste which was great. Unfortunately there was not much else to it except the peppermint taste. It went down really light a slightly thicker in density than water which made it really easy to drink. I seriously could down many of these in one sitting.

Kemmerlin, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of chuckm
3.78/5  rDev +36%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drinkability may be affected by the 90 degree heat at Busch Garden however I found myself truly enjoying this very dark hued stout. The pourer attempted to put a two finger head on at the end of the pour but the beer didn't support that. The flavor was mildly reminiscent of coffee and smoke but certainly not heavy.

chuckm, Mar 23, 2007
Photo of Clockwork420
3.75/5  rDev +34.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a glass.

I got a free can from a friend. And I was surprized.
I love all the stouts I have drank, and never NOT liked one.

This being A&B I was stunned, first at "Mule Kick" and now the Bare kunckle. Both are overall a must try for Stout fans.

The appearance is EXACTLY like Guinness. Clone is a good word my friends. It had the special cascade of bubbles making a beautiful dance down the sides of my drinking glass. Clone.

The smell is the only thing I think I wasnt too impressed with. I smelled probably 9 million times thinkin there has to be somthing here. And there wasnt. It was very slight at the very most.

Taste was like a sleeker smoother almost Guinness. Not Guinness clone but it was close. The appearance was cloned. Not the taste. Like a smooth Chocolate Milk texture. So easy to drink and easy to finish. Godly in my eyes. (Theres still hope for some of the A&B stuff kids!!! STILL HOPE!!!)

Mouthfeel was thin. Not as Chewy as I like but it wasnt a bad feel. Bite at the end of the glass type of stout. It was very different at the end. I drank probably the entire contents in 4 drinks. (Smelling in between for long periods.)

Drinkablilty is easily a 5 in my book. Didnt make me hiccup. Easy on the ole stomach and smooth as all get out.

Overall.
Pros: Good appearance, readily available, and CHEAPER THAN ITS IRISH CLONE.

Cons: Weak ABV, Thin mouthfeel, and 4 packs only as far as I know.

Great buy. MUST HAVE FOR THE STOUT FANS!!!
RECOMMENDED

Clockwork420, Jun 01, 2007
Photo of PhageLab
3.7/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Busch Gardens, Williamsburg.

A - Gorgeous looking beer, thick, cloudy head, dark brownish-black coloration with that neat central flow.

S - Barley, lightly toasted aroma, very weak, but a nice smell.

T - Eerily similar to Guinness Draught. Chocolate and coffee, with a dry bitter roasted base. Not very complex, but enjoyable enough.

M - Full bodied, creamy, spot-on carbonation. Only reason I didn't score higher here was because of the watery finish.

D - I had several of these as I walked around the park. I can't see all the hate for this beer, I thought it was pretty good. If you see it around and you're in the mood for a light stout, give it a shot.

PhageLab, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of TechMyst
3.7/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ordered this on tap at a bar with a dear dear friend. Had NO idea this was an AB offering. Opaque black in color. A little of the nitro-bubble trance effect on the head. Smooth and very drinkable if a little bland. still I had no idea what to expect going in. it was a plesant brew. and I’d hate to rate it low now knowing it was an AB product.

TechMyst, Jun 04, 2007
Photo of beeroclock
3.7/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Everyone has bashed this beer, including the appearance, I believe its b/c of it being made by A/B. This was a good beer and the appearance is excellent. The smell leaves something to be desired, but the appearance and taste are pretty good.

Its a dark stout w/ a thick foam head that lasts the entire pint, leaving a bubbly tan puddle at the end of the glass w/ light lacing. I'm not sure it has a smell unfortunately. It was there, but so little that I couldn't grasp it. The taste is coffee grounds and malty. Mouthfeel, thick, little carbonation and smooth. It goes down easy and has a crisp finish w/ nice aftertaste. Drink it cold, best bud product out there. I was impressed w/ the beer, but not w/ these comments at all. I guess everyone has an opinion, but I feel its getting some discrimination for its maker. I dislike the Bud family for the most part, but this one is good stuff.

beeroclock, May 26, 2006
Photo of bubrewer
3.68/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Like all the other macros at this bar, this one was served way too cold, and in one of those very thick, heavy 10oz frozen mugs that is supposed to trick you into thinking you are getting a 12 or 16oz serving.

The whole nitro bit was somewhat overdone. The whole glass was a light tan frothing cascade when it was plopped down in front of me. After waiting for the show to end, I could see that it was an opaque black beer with a thin, tan head.

Once it warmed up, the aroma came though as dark malts, but with a sharp edge. I think there is some green apple there too, but that could be from knowing it is an A-B product. Perhaps I would not have picked that up in a blind tasting. I do wonder if they use the same lager yeast for this one that they use for their other products. Wouldn't suprise me, since this stout is lacking any real fruity ale character.

Although the mouthfeel is thin for a stout, the flavor is pretty good. Tobacco, maybe a little sharp charcoal. Almost like it needs some age to let the rough edges of the dark malt mellow out.

Overall very drinkable, but more of a brown ale than a stout, really. They won't convert any craft beer drinkers with this, but might convince a few of the BMC crowd to try something "safe" and dark and send them down the path to beer enlightenment.

bubrewer, Aug 25, 2005
Photo of acrawf6
3.68/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a dark brown, just a touch lighter than guinness. Nice creamy tan head you'd expect from this style.

Smell. A bit mild and neutral, small roasted malt aromas.

Taste. I'm going to say i prefer this over the 3 that come from Ireland. Though the flavor was just a tad bit less bitter and a little bit more watered down (really not much), the roasted malts made it quite nice.

Mouthfeel. Thin and crappy like most in the style (not a fan). But judging within nitro irish dry stouts, pretty typical low carbonation. slick on the tongue.

Overall. I really think AB did a pretty good job here, hell of a lot better compared some of their other attempts at craft beer. And for the price (pint of this at $3 compared to $4-5 guinness).

acrawf6, Sep 13, 2006
Photo of scruffwhor
3.65/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Got on tao at Mack's Golden Pheasant in Elmhurst, IL.

Appearance- Given to me with a sturdy tan head that started at two and a half fingers, and eventually receded to a one and a half finger head that stayed the whole enjoyment of beer. Color is a deep brown when held to the light, but other than that its a translucent black. Looks a lot like Guiness.

Smell- Pretty subdued in every way. What stabds out the most is a tart, deep roasted malt aroma. With hints of heavy cream, coffee, and chocolate.

Taste- A dry mlat start that slowly got creamier. This creaminess went from heavy cream to a chocolate finish mixed with some dry hops.

Mouthfel- A rich stout flavor, but helped wash down my burger. A good dry, creamy presence remained on the palate after the last sip of beer was done for the evening.

scruffwhor, Mar 16, 2006
Photo of hanco005
3.63/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I tried this while on a recent vacation in Orlando, served on tap in a pint glass

A—dark solid black with a curtain of bubbles that cascade up from the top to form a thick 1 inch layer of creamy tan foam, the foam remains for the life of the beer and produces thick full lacing...looks great!

S—mild chocolate and coffee, sweet, hints of licorice, too

T—mild for a stout, chocolate and coffee are dominate, finishes rather dry, not bad, just used to a stronger taste

M—smooth, full bodied, good carbonation

D—I like it overall. It’s very drinkable in the hot Fl sun. Again, not as strong as other stouts, but still not bad.

hanco005, Aug 17, 2006
Photo of GoalieRon33
3.6/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Overall, shortcomings in aroma and carbonation hurt this knock off guinness. On the positive side, it's cheaper. If you are an Irish Car Bomb fan such as me, then this is the ideal beer to drink them with. Easy to chug, easy to drink a bunch of. Unfortunately, It is an AB offering, a company that I do not regularly support. They do a good job of sending jobs out of this great nation.

GoalieRon33, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of TheSarge
3.58/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Again, another product that is not too shabby for an A-B product. I got to try this brew out down at Sea World Orlando.

This definitely surpasses Guinness Draught any day. It is much more flavorful in the way of chocolaty smoky goodness, and has a smooth mellow consistency. I don't believe A-B is intending on bottling this brew just yet.

TheSarge, May 12, 2007
Photo of granger10
3.55/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On nitro at the brewery. This beer seems to take a knocking for being A-B but its not that bad really. Served way too cold, I got a Budweiser while waiting for it to warm. It is a thinnish beer in body and hops are nearly unnoticeable. But I like the roasted coffee and chocolate flavors that come out when this beer warms. Has a drying finish, esp when cold but even when warmed up. Quite drinkable really. Not terrible, let it warm up a bit.

granger10, Jul 20, 2005
Photo of jdhilt
3.53/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a thick, light brown two-fingered head, fades slowly and leaves a good lace. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Black color, totally opaque. Nose is coffee. Starts on the burnt coffee side, finishes smooth with just a little bitterness. A-B can make a decent beer but it has very limited distribution - $5.40 for a 16oz draft, apparently available only at Grogan's Pub, Busch Gardens, Williamsburg,VA.

jdhilt, Aug 05, 2004
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Bare Knuckle Stout from Anheuser-Busch
66 out of 100 based on 197 ratings.