Gnaw Bone Pale Ale - Oaken Barrel Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Gnaw Bone Pale AleGnaw Bone Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

58 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 58
Hads: 115
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 7.43%
Wants: 4
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Oaken Barrel Brewing Company visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-30-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 58 | Hads: 115
Photo of mwa423
2.85/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Hazy yellow with excessive head (3 fingers at least) Very stick head on the glass.

S - Strong smell, some dark bitter malt but also a bit of hop. Confusing smell, not particularly pleasant but also not off putting.

T - Very bitter taste, closer to an English Pale Ale than an American. The malt backbone is far thicker then I would have imagined.

M/D - Mouthfeel is far too thick and cloying to be enjoyable as an APA. I wouldn't at all call this a drinkable beer. (471 characters)

Photo of cameraman
2.87/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

An amber color, with an quater inch off white color head forms, that laces down slowly an d leaves a thin layer on top. The scent starts with a quick hit of malt, that is soon overtaken by a grassy, citrusy aroma, that dominates till the end. The malt comes out at the start of the flavor, the gradual growth of a citrus bitterness reaches its peak at the end. A slightly watery mouthfeel at the start, that blends itself to a more medium bodied feel. There is the slight foaming sensation on the palate, at the end, from the carboantion. A decent pale ale, the aroma was good, I was expecting more from the flavor, and the mouthfeel was a bit of a let down. (658 characters)

Photo of oracle
2.89/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Beer poured clear medium copper with low density thin head. Very little lacing left on the glass.

Smell was pretty typical pale ale, hoppy, but not overpoweringly so. Mostly citrus scents with a little pine.

Taste was sharp, hoppy, piney and bitter, all the things I like in a pale ale.
Nice clean finish (311 characters)

Photo of maxwelldeux
3/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a hazy amber color with a moderate off-white head and a few floaties in it. Nose is quite light and has a little bit of hoppiness to it. Taste has a light bit of bitterness up front, but has a strong malt backbone to it. Not a lot to this beer, but it’s fairly drinkable. (287 characters)

Photo of winomark
3/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a medium copper with a quickly fading bone white head. Good sweet malt and mild hop citrus fight for my attention. Hops win by a nose. Malt dominates the front and mid palate, but the hops have a firm hold in the dry, crisp finish. Good balance of malt sweetness and hop bitterness throughout the mouth. Overall, a solid beer. Nothing too spectacular, but worth a try. (374 characters)

Photo of tykees88
3.11/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Orange to amber color. not quite a finger head. That hangs around for about enought time to say hello then goodbye.

S- Some hops on the nose. But it smells sweet, leaving me to believe that

T- It is just a maltier version of an APA. The hops are present near the finish. I only notice them on the slight bitter swallow.

M- Medium bodied brew. Carbonation is bubbly. I think the head was pretty much just carbonation bubbles.

O- It's ok. Not going to revisit you GnawBone. Sorry. (486 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Acquired from tburkhart courtesy of the Under 100-4 BIF, so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep golden brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, brown sugar, some fruit and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet flavors of caramel, citrus and brown sugar. Then there's a hearty malt character that comes in along with what seems like a bit of an alcohol sting which seems odd for a beer under 7% ABV. The hops presence is mild for the style but brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Not very tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, not the best representation of style, there are certainly several other beers in the style that I choose over this one. (943 characters)

Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

No freshness date, into a Flying Dog shaker...

A - Golden colored body with amber tints. Healthy two fingers of head that almost looks like off white bubble bath foam. Sticking the the glass quite nicely.

S - Good hop aroma here, with big citrus, grass, and pepper. Hay seems to be the only aroma I'm getting out of this that does not seem to come from the hops. There is a fresh (not cooked) vegetable aroma coming out of this beer that actually seems appealing.

T/M - Big fruits (grapefruit) from the hops, balanced out by spiciness and grassiness from the hops and some slight maltiness defines the entry for me. Seems to be a little on the watery side, both in body and in the midpalate/finish. Finishes dry, grassy and spicy. Did seem to be a bit boozier than I would like too.

D - Not bad, not great. Does a good job coxing out hop flavors, but could you something more to back it up. I feel like I have pales that are similar in ABV that do a better job masking their alcohol. Overall, not a heavy recomendation... (1,027 characters)

Photo of karengarys
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours rich amber, leaving minimal head - just a small ring. No lacing, but the thick substance sticks to the glass.

Smells VERY alcohol+floral and sweet.

Taste is sweet, but it has a very bitter bite that is a little awkward. I'm noticing pear like fruit, but the bitter is more like tar.

Mouthfeel is okay. Slightly creamy with an oily finish.

This is an acceptable pale ale, but not a favorite of mine due to that bitterness. (444 characters)

Photo of Cresant
3.36/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this undated 12 oz. brown bottle into an IPA glass. Two fingers of off white head topped a cloudy golden honey colored body.

Smell was very aromatic. It jumped out as soon as I popped the top. Sweet malty bread-crust. Earthy.

Taste was flavorful hops bitterness. Citrus and powerful malts.

Mouthfeel was medium to thin in body and medium/mild in carbonation. Very drinkable. (390 characters)

Photo of taylorhamrick
3.37/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Looks a little hazy, but a nice golden color, with a moderate 1cm+ head, that kind of collapses to ring, leaving little bits of lacing. Nothing out of the ordinary. The smell is filled with some nice floral hops, a bit of citrus zest. Not much on body, really smells like a bitter hop tea or something, with a kind of sulfurous yeasty smell. The taste really matches the smell in many respects. Overall, this is a little more bitter than I expected, but honestly, I think that with a bit more malt body - it would be fixed. Tastes a bit like centennial hop tea, some Amarillo, too, a bit bitter, very floral, quite a bit of citrus, mixed in with a pungent, herbal, resinous finish. Again, I think this would be good with more malt, at best now it's crackery, and that's it. The body is pretty good, around medium, the carbonation is nice, just a bit of a tickle. This is enjoyable, too. But I think the bitterness gets to be a little too much without some balance. I would come back to this again if it were fixed up a bit, but as it stands, nothing too interesting. (1,066 characters)

Photo of RBorsato
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tasting #2:

Golden with a decent light beige head, good carbonation, and decent lace. Very different almost all malt English-style Pale Ale in comparison to the old version. A touch of that bitter hop intensity but not nearly as bad. Possibly due to the 13 to 14 Plato increase per bottle label ... ? Medium bodied and smooth with a creamy malt sensation and a bitter hop finish.

Per Label: OG = 14 P

'4262' lasered on bottom
Tasted: 11/23/05

Tasting #1 (written: 12/19/02) - scores were: 3, 3.5, 3, 3, 3

Light golden color and unfiltered with a huge rocky light tan head. This beer was way overcarbonated as it took me 5 minutes to pour it. Crisp, perfumey, flowery hop aroma was decent. Taste was all hops with little to no malt backing (bitter, bitter, bitter). Not well balanced. Light bodied and so airy it had almost no mouthfeel at all.

Per Label: OG = 13 P
Lasered Date (bottled): '2014' (921 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Citrus zest and butterscotch sing the praises of this balanced and zesty American Pale Ale.

Gnaw Bone pours with a bright copper apprearance, spirited carbonation, and a creamy white foam stance that retainse the session easily and adorns the glass with intricate patterns of lace.

The superb balance of malt and hops define the beer from initial sip until the crisp and refreshing finish, doing so with a base malt flavor of graham crackers, caramel, and butterscotch. The rebuttal hop profile of grapefruit zest, orange zest, and light lemon acidity gives a sharp and citrus taste that offsets the malt sweetness perfectly. The flavors of malt recess in the finish and allow for the hop bitternss to dictate in a dry malt and slightly resin finish. Strong are the alcohol flavors of detergent.

Medium-dry textures go ahead and promote a dry and warming finish far in front of what's normally expected of Pale Ales and more so found in IPAs. Very crisp as the mid palate ushers in an early fleeting malt character and an elevated hop bitterness, dryness, and alchol warmth.

Gnaw Bone is a strong Pale Ale that has the dry malt flavor and feel that's more normally celebrated in IPAs, but it's the buttery component of malt and the slight soapy taste in alcohol that detracts for me. (1,287 characters)

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy orange color with a thick and mousy 2” of cream colored bubbles. The head started falling slowly leaving a wake of lace behind. I can’t really tell how many bubbles are rising because it is so cloudy

Aroma: Oodles of hops. I get a whole bunch of citrusy hops that dominate the aroma profile. As you really get deep into the aroma, you can pick out some toasty notes as well as a bit of caramel sweetness. Other than this, there is hops.

Taste: The flavor is really hop driven also, but this pale ale doesn’t have the dry lingering bitterness that you find so often with APA. I think that this is a good thing. There is a little bit of dryness in the finish from the hops, but they don’t get harsh. There is a whole lot of citrus to this beer, and it stays in charge until the end. The balance of the finish is slightly toward the hops, but there is still a little bit of a toasty thing going on here that I suspect is Vienna malt.

Opinion: This is a decent beer. I like the balance for an APA because it actually lets some malt come through a little bit. It isn’t a key player, but there is a bit of sweetness and toasty backbone to the beer to give the hops a leg to stand on. I wouldn’t go so far to say that this beer was absolutely outstanding, but it definitely isn’t bad at all. I would drink this again. (1,353 characters)

Photo of BWED
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. botttle poured into a tumbler

A- Very hazy copper, with big chunks of yeast suspended in the body. Two finger white yellow head, retains well, and lots of lacing.

S- Citrus, sweet fruit, with a little pine.

T- A bitter, grapefruit-hoppiness, and a slight bready finish. Well balanced.

M- Thicker than I expected, but good. Bitter taste, but it doesn't overwhelmingly stick to the tongue.

O- Solid Pale Ale. Drink it! If you're not afraid of some yeasty floaters. (474 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Label has a grey background, instead of the brown one pictured.

Dark copper body, with an inch or so of foam initially. Spotty lace and a skim of foam left after the head dwindles down.

Malty aroma similar to whole wheat bread and peanut butter.

Flavor is spicy and malty, some caramel element, but the hops have largely dissipated. Aftertaste is bready, kernels of cracked wheat and oats. This pale ale tastes more like an imperial oktoberfest. Without much hop character, save for a bare hint in the aftertaste, i'm not sure how this classifies as a pale ale.

It drinks pretty well, full-bodied and satisfying...there's just something missing in the flavor profile. (674 characters)

Photo of beerhobo22
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong hop aroma. Poured a hazy, light, copper color with a big, off-white, head. Good head retention and lacing. Since this is a dry hopped beer, the haze is consistent. High hop flavor with caramel and biscuit malt in the background. Medium body with good carbonation. Not too astringent and very easy to drink. Definitely a hop head favorite. (345 characters)

Photo of GreenWBush
3.69/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of those beers I have routinely avoided because of its packaging. It comes to you, the consumer, in an ugly black 12-year old photoshop nightmare. Skull and cross bones, ugly oaken barrels, bad lettering. Ugh. The positive reviews on this site were the only things that made me even consider trying the brew.

After finishing a few of these beers, I couldn't get away from the analogy that this beer is the grittier, unwashed version of Sierra Nevada Pale. It sounds like a diss, but it is actually a complement. The beer pours out with a similar hue to Sierra Nevada, but a little bit darker with more yeast granules visible. The lacing is impressive - it looks like a stretched out landscape.

The beer is hoppy to the smell, but in a strange and unique way. When you take your first taste, you can't shake the feeling that the person who threw in the hops might just have been wearing too much cologne. There is a raw feeling to the hops, a spicy and perfumed taste that sort of shocks the tastebuds.

I would say that this beer is distinctive, but it appeals to a lesser audience than even the SNPA, which is surprising since it comes from Indiana. With a little more impressive maltiness, this beer would have gotten amazing ratings. On a related note, the mouthfeel was also a bit lacking. Watch out for the burps from this beer, they are intense! (1,372 characters)

Photo of swid
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Beer #3 (of 13) from my beer purchase in Indiana.

Gnaw Bone Pale Ale pours a bright gold color into my glass; slightly opaque. A 3/4", off-white head forms, then slowly collapses. Moderate carbonation; light lacing. The aroma is appropriately hoppy, with citrus, herbs, and a hint of juniper. A sweet caramel malt base complements the aroma nicely.

The initial taste, like the aroma. is dominated by the hops. The first flavors encountered are the pine and citrus bitterness provided by the hops; after a little bit, the caramel and sweet toasted flavors of the malt come through. The taste eventually becomes slightly acidic. The mouthfeel is moderately dry; this beer is far thinner than one would expect otherwise. Finishes crisp, with a mild lingering bitterness.

A decent pale ale, one that lies on the border between APA and American IPA. However, its thin mouthfeel keeps it from being a good to great beer. Still, it's worth checking out; I can see this being a good beer for food pairings. (1,007 characters)

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a cloudy yellow gold with two fingers of foamy white head.

Aroma of malts, flowery hops, table salt, and bread.

The taste is more hoppy than the aroma. Orange and lemon zest pop along with toasted malts, and bread. Finishes with a light, bitter twang.

Light-to-medium bodied, clean and dry, and moderately carbonated.

A pretty nice APA from Oaken Barrel. An easy drinking brew with good balance. (422 characters)

Photo of flaminghomer
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pretty good looking beer. a light gold copper color and a very good head. everything is pretty much a standard high quality pale ale. very nice hoppy aroma and taste. some spicy apple smell in the nose. very crisp and clean taste. better than Indiana Amber, i'm glad i bought it. (279 characters)

Photo of wlhagan3
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Yellowish-copper in the glass. A bit of chill-haze and yeast from the bottom of the bottle floating around. Not much in the way of a head or lace for that matter at the half way point. Plenty of bubbles though. Very citrus nose to it (Here comes the hops!!). Extremely bitter and not much mouth feel. Taste definitely lingers in mouth. This beer is good for a couple unless you really are a hop-head. Starting the evening with this and switching later on would be tough!!

FYI - I purchased the six pack from the local grocery store, so I am kind of suspect as to how long it has been sitting there. (601 characters)

Photo of schoolcb
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


This has to be the best offering at Oaken Barrel. What an awesome American Pale Ale. Light copper in color and very clear. Medium bodied. Great malt backbone, and hops hops hops. Cascades in the nose, in the flavor (nice fresh citrusy american hop flavor) that carry through to the aftertaste. This is one of the best American Pale Ale's out there. (363 characters)

Photo of merlin48
3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at The Keg, in Clarksville, Indiana, as a single, my first sampling of a brew from this small, Hoosier brewery. Pours a hazy, orange/golden body with a rowdy, four finger, offwhite head that overflows the pint glass. Excellent retention and generous patch lacing. Aroma is interesting, with grassy straw, pine, and grapefruit hops, some earthiness, and an odd note of cardboard that is fleeting. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. Taste is mildly dry and bitter, mostly citrusy grapefruit with a note of earthy pine needles. Malt presence is subtle but well executed. Very nice taste is much better than the aroma portends. Very sessionable. Wish I lived closer to this brewery so I could have this on tap.. (737 characters)

Photo of Oxymoron
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on location and ordered a pint. Pours a straw yellow color with some cloudiness but still slightly visible when held to the light. A decent head that remained through most of the tasting but did hide around the edges of the glass. Decent lacing as well.

The aroma had a good hop smell to it. For sweet and noticeable cascades smell to it. Limited malt with touches of grainy and biscuit touches.

The taste was hoppy for an APA. Or at least for a Midwest beer. A citrus taste with some floral lick to it. Cascades again. More of a floral taste at the top with a milder bitterness following. The malt blends and balances well. Although second fiddle to the hops, there is a sweet biscuit taste mixed with a caramel flavor. Some slight oily tastes but really not bad.

The body was light and I think if it were bigger it would support the beer more. Higher on the carbonation as well, maybe toned down more. Overall it was a good beer. (948 characters)

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Gnaw Bone Pale Ale from Oaken Barrel Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.