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Bare Knuckle Stout - Anheuser-Busch

Not Rated.
Bare Knuckle StoutBare Knuckle Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

196 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 196
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: 196 | Reviews: 172 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mikesgroove
2.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

reviewed from notes. i ha the chance to try this one on our last vacation. i actually did not know who made it so was slightly shocked to see it was AB. served via nitro tap.

had a nice cascading pour but with not quite the retention and look of a guiness, but the foaming was decent. aroma of roasted malts, hints of brown sugar, touches of vanilla and a small dose of caramel, the flavor is really kinda odd as it seems to just not go anywhere at all. the feel was a touch thin and left me hanging looking for more taste. roasted malts fade quickly and leave me with little more then a touch of light cocoa.

overall not sure if i am happy i tried this or nor but it was better then the other options on the tap.

mikesgroove, Jan 11, 2011
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 emmasdad
2.58/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Finally got the opportunity to try this one, whether I wanted to or not. That said, it wasn't all bad. On tap, very cold, poured a decent black color with a little white head. Light roasted malt aromas, along with the barest suggestion of coffee and cream. On the palate, this one was quite thin, carbonated and really not at all reminiscent of a stout. Some roasted malt flavor and easy to drink.

emmasdad, Nov 04, 2010
Photo of Slatetank
2.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had this on my honeymoon in Dewey Beach, De. Served chilled on tap.

The appearance is good with opaque black look and thick cap of light tan. The smell is mild with mostly roasted grain aromas and the feel is slightly light for the style with a slight acrid burnt aspect. I didn't know what to expect or that this was a AB product, but the flavor was moderately roasted with a subtle char character in the finish. The beer is not one I would order again as it lacks commplexity even though it attempts to achieve the flavor of an Irish dry stout it really only managed to get the 'dry' part right

Slatetank, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of BeerMasterD
3.23/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Had a pint of this on-tap from the Zen Bar in Plainville, CT.

Poured a black color with a nice light brown creamy head and decently clingy thick sheets of lace around the glass.

Not much in the way of aroma here, alittle roasty.

Tastes roasty/malty, some coffee/chocolate going on, even some hops. Not alot of flavor overall however.

Low carbonation, easy drinking and smooth, dry. Honestly this wasn't a horrible stout, certainly not great but i did enjoy this beer. I however most likely wont be getting it again, as i do not like supporting Anheuser-Busch.

BeerMasterD, Feb 13, 2010
Photo of erz316
1.15/5  rDev -58.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I had this at the alley bar in a Maß. It looked good enough, but holy shit. this is one of the worst tasting stouts ive ever had. wow, I dont know what I was thinking. this dissappoints in every way,. body is horribly thin, carbonation is, uh, weak, taste is like mud cake if it were actually to be made of mud. i think this is the most dissappointed ive been in a while, since i didnt know it was a budweiser product.

erz316, Jan 31, 2010
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 MikeRa
2.13/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

When I was last at SeaWorld in Orlando a couple of years back, i decided to try this beer, and here what i can say about it:

A: This beer has a excellent dark chocolate/coffee color with a 1" head that disappears slowly.

S: You can smell a hint of chocolate and roasted malt, but nothing else.

T: The taste is somewhat alright, with a hint of chocolate, and nothing else.

M/D: This beer did not go down smoothly at all.

I know I'm won't drink this one again.

MikeRa, Nov 11, 2009
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 Bowdoinbeerboy
3.13/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Frosty Mug in Portland. Pours almost like guiness, not quite the same nitro action, but a solid creamy head nevertheless. Beer is quite dark and the head sticks around forever. Personally i think this beer is quite close to guiness, I haven't had them side by side, but I do think it would be tough for me at least to tell them apart. Fairly watery taste, maybe a hint more coffee than guiness, a solid irish dry stout, but nothing at all special.

Bowdoinbeerboy, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of twiggamortis420
2.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I've never seen this beer on tap before, so decided to give it a go. Served in a shaker 'pint' glass a pretty close to black color with a nitro-creamy tan foam. Not quite as billowing as Guinness, but looks pretty similar. Lacing is excellent all the way through the glass.

Nose is slightly sour and roasty with a little bit of smoke. Pretty faint overall and takes a bit of straining to get much of anything. There is a bit of unsweetened whipped cream in there as well.

Taste is a bit sourer than Guinness and less roasty, although some roast is still apparent, as is a touch of the smoke. The beer is not nearly as creamy and smooth as most nitro-stouts originating from across the pond. It's barely an ok brew, as I believe this will most likely be my last BKS.

twiggamortis420, Sep 30, 2009
Photo of JayQue
2.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Went to the Irish pub at Busch Gardens -Old Country in Williamsburg VA. Asked if they had Guinness. The lady said Bare Knuckle from A-B was the closest thing. I am not a Guinness fan, but this was far short of Guinness. Looked good even in the opaque plastic glass. Dense dark brown, medium white head, average retention and even a little lacing.

Smell was mild maltiness. Taste was a disappointment, a little chocolate and malt up front. Very faint not much to it. Mouthfeel was the worst, watery with a slightly metallic aftertaste.

Drinkability is not good. Kind of a why bother? effect. Calories without satisfaction. Not good.

JayQue, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of nightcrawler
2.63/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this beer on tap at an Irish Festival. I should have stayed with Guiness. This beer was nicely carbonated and looked impressive even in the plastic cup.

But there was no scent and the taste was sweet, more like an oatmeal stout. But there was no mouthfeel, even with the nitro gas. It was thin and had hardly any "there there". I would drink it again, but only if there was little else on tap.

nightcrawler, Sep 01, 2009
Photo of DoubleJ
3/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On nitro-tap at the YardHouse, on to the beer:

Opaque in color, with a bubbly, creamy head on top. The nitro gives the head good rentention and creamy lacing. Smells like....faint bananas. Hmm....

The flavor is low on intensity, even by dry stout standards. Some watery banana, light roasted malt, and an astringent quality in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is firm and doesn't go watery at any time.

This stout doesn't have any nasty off-flavor, but lacks in overall flavor. Worth a try if you're looking for something mild and Murphy's and/or Beamish aren't available. One and out for me on this one.

DoubleJ, Jun 18, 2009
Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.05/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

On nitro-tap, served in a large mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large dense beige head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is creamy milk chocolate and vanilla, some roasted malts, but overall the smell is very faint.

T: The taste is likewise creamy but very watery with very mild flavors of chocolate, honey and vanilla. The malt character is thin for the style. The only aspect that is on-target with the style is the fact that the hops presence is almost non-existent. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Not very smooth or crisp, quite watery, light body for the style, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: Not flavorful at all, doesn't go down easily, not too filling, mild kick, not a good representation of style, this just flat out not a good beer in any sense.

TheManiacalOne, Jun 06, 2009
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 alcstradamus
2.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bought this on tap not knowing what it was, but one sip pretty much gave away that it was a BMC

Had a nice look, black with a good cascade. About a finger of creamy head that stuck around for a while but left no lacing. Smell was muted, maybe some black licorice. Taste was much the same. Very watery with a bit of licorice being the only thing letting you know this was a stout. Mouthfeel was medium-to-thin bodied and I didn't even want to finish my pint because I felt like I was wasting my time. This isn't a gross beer, but it isn't a good one either.

alcstradamus, May 06, 2009
Photo of CampusCrew
3/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Almost as good as a Guinness but not quite. Decent attempt and one of the best AB products out.

appearance: deep dark black, nearly ebony, loaded head and creamy froth.

smell: no hops, and slight chocolate aromas

taste: rich and slight chocolate roasted flavors but had a smooth rich taste, Very Dry, not sweet at all.

mouthfeel: thick, creamy, good carbonation and very tasty

drinkability: Solid not great, would drink again with limited options

CampusCrew, Apr 30, 2009
Photo of Redrover
2.5/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had this one at the "Chicago Bar" in Jacksonville Beach, FL. Served on nitro and poured into a standard pint, the beer is dark brown with a creamy looking beige head. Not a bad looking beer.

The aroma is very faint for a stout (actually for any decent beer). There is a whisper of roasted grains and not much else.

Given the lack of smell, I had low expectations. The beer has some roasty malt, but they are thin and backed by a bit of sour metallic twang. Needs a big influx of malts!

The mouth is creamy from the nitro but very thin. It struggles to be average.

Wow, beer looked great but was all hollow after that. Really makes me miss a good stout.

Redrover, Apr 22, 2009
Photo of beer2day
3.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had at Busch Gardens in VA.

Pours black with little head. Served in plastic, so couldn't appreciate any lacing - but don't expect any.

I think they were trying to imitate a Guinness here, and they didn't do an awful job. Slight chocolate, coffee nose - but nothing to get excited about.

Weak malt on the hit. Thin. Some roast in the finish. Guess they're just not trying to offend.

This and Tennent's were by far the best two choices at BG, though.

(As an aside, it was nice to see so many stroller-moms walking along with an aluminum bottle of beer in their hands.)

beer2day, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of Duhast500
2.5/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the tap into a pint glass.

The color is dark brown to acomplete black with a foamy white head.

The smell is not very strong. Some hop flavor with some roasted malt feel.

The taste is creamy, some roasted malt flavor that also gives the beer a tiny bit of a coffee flavor. Also has abit of a chocolate feel to it as well.

AB attempt at a stout and it was not bad. Not unlike a Guinness.

Duhast500, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of DannyS
2.45/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on-tap at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie, Florida during Mets Spring Training.

A - black, fluffy head. What else do you expect?

S - Burnt coffee, a bit of bitter cocoa, but not much of anything, really.

T - Weak and bitter, with only a modicum of toastiness or chocolate. Disappointing like weak coffee.

M - The head helped, but was otherwise pretty watery.

D - I didn't feel like finishing the one I had, I only forced myself to finish it because I paid 6 bucks for the goddamn thing.

overall - Avoid this cheap abomination of a stout. Flavorless, insubstantial, and ultimately not enjoyable.

DannyS, Mar 29, 2009
Photo of Overlord
2.1/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2


Either a nitrous pour, a crazy looking on-tap carbonation. Looks decent, dark brownish black with a very creamy off white head.

Smells ... hmm...maybe a hint of roasted malt. Very weak taste, and a watery mouthfeel. Some roasted malt, maybe a whiff of grainy, cereal-y chocolate. Very forgettable. Not good at all.

Overlord, Mar 24, 2009
Photo of Viggo
3.3/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint on nitro tap at the Philly airport. Why not?

Pours a clear dark red, almost brown away from the light, thick and creamy light tan head forms, drops some nice lacing on the glass, little light in colour for a stout though. Smell is subdued, sweet and grainy, some biscuit, caramel, light raisin and dark fruit, very light roast and chocolate, not enough dark roast. Taste is similar, sweet up front, grains and caramel, raisins, biscuity malt, light toastiness and a lightly bitter chocolate finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation, smooth and creamy. Little light on all fronts but on par with a mediocre craft dry stout. Not too bad at all.

Viggo, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of champ103
1.9/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

A: Pours a dark brown with red highlights around the edges. A minimal beige head forms, and recedes in an instant. No lace.
S: Old and musky coffee, a touch of chocolate. Some faint sweet malt and grain.
T: Similar to the nose. Tastes like coffee that has been sitting around for an hour. A light malty sweetness and grain.
M/D: No body at all, and a dead lifeless carbonation. Thin and watery. I guess its drinkable, in the since that water is drinkable.

I remember back in college, I use to drink this a lot. My local bar had dollar imperial pint nights of this. I thought it was great to drink an American version of Guinness. I had it again on a recent trip back, and this is just bad. Its like AB tried to make a nitro-type beer, but with CO2. Never again will I drink this.

champ103, Mar 11, 2009
Bare Knuckle Stout from Anheuser-Busch
66 out of 100 based on 196 ratings.