Beastie Barrel Stout | Barley Island Brewing Company

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Beastie Barrel StoutBeastie Barrel Stout
Very Good
62 Ratings
Beastie Barrel StoutBeastie Barrel Stout

Brewed by:
Barley Island Brewing Company
Indiana, United States

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Oatmeal Stout aged in Buffalo Trace barrels."

Added by roadhouse on 10-24-2008

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 62 |  Reviews: 52
Reviews by 1Adam12:
Photo of 1Adam12
2.48/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours pretty dark, coffee colored head. Smells like your average stout: coffee, malt, plus some bourbon, just smells weak though. Tastes weaker than it smells. More like a bourbon barreled root beer. The only thing that saved this for me was the fact that I could taste the bourbon. Just very light flavors all together. Mouthfeel was dreadful. Like I said, more like bourbon root beer. No body to it, thin thin thin. After tasting many of Barley Islands beers, there was no way I was going to pay the price for a 4 pack. Fortunately, the store owner broke open a 4 pack for me so I could buy one bottle, for that I am grateful. It's a shame too because I live 2 minutes from the brewery. But between the less than average beers, and the "wanna be thugs" from Noblesville that attend the pub, I will never again partake in any beer from Barley Island.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of mrquartetman
4.92/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Very dark with red highlight; pours with a strong dark head that persists

S: Strong bourbon aroma with alcohol off the top - a bit of a surprise, given that it's only 6% abv.

T: Big malt flavor with prominent bourbon accent, of course. Subtly hopped. No sense of its being an oatmeal stout at all, but I won't hold that against it. I'm not rating the style. I'm rating the beer. And it's really good.

M: Complex flavor that hits a lot of the parts of the palate. The bourbon flavor predominates at the start, but the big malt character takes over. Some sweetness. Chewy.

D: Some of the bourbon-barrel beers (Goose Island's Bourbon County comes to mind) have overwhelmingly high abvs, heading into the 10 - 15% range, which means you don't drink a lot of them at a sitting. This one is extremely flavorful and NOT high in abv, so it is a highly drinkable beer.

This is a grand effort from a very small brewery (2000 bbl/yr). They also brew a bourbon barrel porter, which I'd love to find and try.

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Photo of rudylaw
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kiefdog for the bottle. Gotta love it when a guy in FLA introduces me to a beer from IN! Barley Island is fairly new to IL and I've never seen this on the shelves... let's get to it!

Pours a nice, dark black with a solid tan head. Really nice looking.

Smells of roasted malt, hints of coffee, vanilla. This is a -bal beer, but I'm not catching a whole lot of bourbon.

Tastes pretty sweet. Also getting oatmeal, coffee, cocoa, molasses and vanilla. Again, not much bourbon flavor, if at all.

Nice, light carbonation and a creamy mouthfeel. Overall, a nice stout albeit not as much barrel as they would have you believe.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)
A- This beer has a jet black body with a dark caramel tan head that last for a good bit. There are a few slow microbubbles that push through the thick inky liquid. The head sticks to the glass in thin sheets sliding back into the glass after each sip.
S- The aroma of leather and soft oak has some vanilla notes to it. The oak character grows as the beer warms and a soft fusel plastic note starts to come through but it takes on more of a brown paper bourbon quality.
T- The roasted black malt ha a bitter black roasted grain bite that lingers. As the beer opens up the dry oaky finish has a slight smoky tartness with a bit of earthy character.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slippery texture and a tight little fizz. There is no alcohol heat even when it is pretty warm.
D- This beer has a nice stout base with some soft but unique barrel character. The leather and oak aromas and some nice depth to the aroma. It it a stout first and a barrel aged beer just offers support.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of Lucas from Local BIF 3. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Extended pour yields a 1.5 finger fine chocolate head with decent retention. Beer is opaque black. Ringed lacing with nice legs accompanies this one though cling is lacking.

S: Sweet chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, burnt caramel, and molasses undertones. Also a bit of brownie and molasses in there. Delicious!

T: Starts off with slight vanilla and bourbon background. Caramel, toffee, strong milk and slightly minty chocolate. Coffee bitterness and sourness provides a nice balance with the chocolate. Sours a little more at the end and finishes clean with a slight bit of lingering burnt malt flavor. Bourbon is the last flavor to leave the palate.

M: Medium bodied and just a tad too carbonated. Still real smooth though and almost oily in the mouth. Finish is a bit sticky but exceptionally clean just the way I like it. Leaves just a touch of bourbon as it goes down.

D: Highly drinkable, this one is worth seeking out. As far as oatmeal stouts go, great aroma, feel, and complexity that puts its peers to shame. Like I said, a bit over-carbonated but that's one of the few knocks against it. A great beer!

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Photo of nickd717
2.8/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle via trade.

Very dark brown in color with a one-finger whiteh head that lasts and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is pretty nice, with HUGE bourbon, backed up by ashy roast and coffee.

The flavor is all right, but WAY too big on bourbon. That dominates the flavor, and a dry and ashy espressoish stout hides behind it.

Medium-bodied with a rather drying mouthfeel, and a bit boozy for 6%, from all the bourbon I guess.

Overall, a bit unbalanced. If they were able to fine-tune the -bal aging though, I could see this being pretty good.

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Photo of HURTemHIZZY
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Solid brew. The low abv combined with the Bourbon -bal aging makes the booze very noticeable. Appearance is solid, deep brown with one finger deep tan head. Decent retention. Lacing was lacking. Smell is heavy on the -bal aging. bourbon, vanilla, and some deep roasted malts.

Taste is also very heavy on the -bal aging. bourbon, vanilla, maple, some chocolate, roasted grains. Nice, but the booziness is a bit too noticeable for a 6% oatmeal stout. Nice creamy mouthfeel.

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Photo of Bung
4.11/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Sturdy dark dark brown pour, large frothy tan head with some brownish highlights.

Aroma is a bit subdued, roast malt, cocoa, dark chocolate, hint of vanilla and oak.

Taste is much more pronounced. Roasted oat, licorice, vanilla, dark choc, caramel and barrel. Really well blended and balanced.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but it still borders on creamy. Very drinkable, I think there is a bit of age on this so it melded even more. Very smooth.

Really an excellent effort, more breweries need to look into barrel aging smaller beers like this.

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Photo of CooperEllis
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

extra from muskabeatz, thanks Evan

12oz into dfh snifter

Dark deep brown with a very deep tan head. Solid carbonation, some bigger bubbles and a nice lacing.

Full of bourbon at the top, very boozy nose w/ a nice malt undercurrent.

Powdered cocoa, unmistakable creamyness. The cream dominates the finish of this. It's an odd sensation. With the nose so full of bourbon I was expecting a stickier, more viscous stout. This is a nicely balanced stout with a full oatmeal flavor. There are a number of layers of flavor here, although they aren't seeming to work in unison.

There is a good bourbon note with a little chewing. Really, a very solid brew.

The carbonation is heavy, and I think it what enhances the cream flavor and mouthfeel here. Not unpleasant, but I wonder if less carbonation would allow the other flavors to be better exposed/enhanced.

I wish I had another now, because I'm curious what this would taste like at room temperature, as well as enjoying the isolation of individual flavors.


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Photo of emerge077
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Utterly impenetrable black, with a mocha foam that easily sticks to the glass in little bridge formations. There's a good skim on it that regenerates with a swirl. Mild cocoa and tobacco aroma, with a vague sweet hint at bourbon, but not well defined.

Very mild feel, and thin body. This distracts from the flavors, which are ok, but muted. Some subdued chocolate and roast in the aftertaste. Vague hint of oak, but not much bourbon unfortunately. It's easy enough to drink, and for a 6% bourbon stout it should be. Unfortunately it just left me wanting a Bourbon County to wash the taste out.

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4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I over did it a bit as my pour creates a three finger beautiful chocolate brown head that creeps over the top of the glass and onto the table. Body is used oil blackness. Nose is of soured dark fruit and smoked maltiness. Silky and rich all at once as you take first sip. Full of coco, burnt malt, dark slightly soured fruit and bitter coffee. The bourbon doesn't really show up except to smooth this beer out. It is quite smooth and thick on the palate. A sweetness does show up on the back half of the tongue as you drink. Overall exceptional drinkability to this brew. Mouthfeel is big rich and creamy. Better than I remember from the original version of their barrel aged stout but this may be a whole new version which I believe it is.

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Photo of CaptainNomihodai
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Used this one as a night cap to end the evening. Served at cellar temp and poured into a snifter, this one was consumed on 05/06/2009.

The pour was the best part as the deep and dark brown liquid was nearly opaque except for some light touches peeking in around the sides and the bottom of the glass. Really quite nice looking though as the tan head quickly reached a height of nearly two inches before settling back down into a thin wispy puff on top that lasted well into the rest of the session. Light bourbon and vanilla on the aroma, but not as heavy as I would have liked. Molasses, a hint of tobacco and oak as it warmed, but it lacked that really big push I was looking for. Same could be said for the flavor as smooth as it was with light vanilla and sweet notes going through it, it just needed that little extra bit to throw it over the edge and it would have made it fantastic. Still though nice smooth medium feel and easily very drinkable. I had no problem at all putting this one away.

Overall a very solid offering, if presented again I would surely go for it.

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Photo of Cresant
4.29/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a Sierra Nevada Hops glass. No date but I've had this maybe a year. The old cliche of used motor oil applies here. Dark brown/black body with a dense chocolaty head. A thick cap remained throughout.

Smell was not subtle or complex, just cocoa powder and coffee.

Taste was light sweetness with a nice bitter chocolate aftertaste. Oak. Drying woodiness. Very subtle bourbon hints.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied. Zippy carbonation. Rich. Better than expected. Very drinkable.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown in color, damn near black. There's a very nice, frothy brown head. Smell is very roasted coffee and some chocolate. No hint of the bourbon barrel at all.
Taste is very much all coffee. Again, no trace of bourbon at all. This has a nice, huge and creamy mouthfeel that's very nice. Just can't get past that this isn't quite what was advertised on the bottle. If you're looking for a good, smooth, coffee stout then this is for you. If you're looking for a bourbon barrel aged stout, then you will be utterly disappointed.

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Photo of Beer-Zombie
4.11/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this brew pours up super dark brown in color with a big frothy tan head. great lacing. the nose is oats, big bitter malts, charred wood. the taste is the same as the nose but with big sweet malts, subtle sour taste from the barrel, full bodied, medium carbo. Never heard of this brewery before now. Good brew

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Photo of GbVDave
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

A: Pours a tarry, pitch-black with a creamy, dark-tan colored head that leaves a good amount of pretty lace webbing on the inside of the glass.

S: Aromas of toasted oats, dark roasted malt, bitter chocolate, vanilla, smokey char, and a hint of tangy citrus. i didn't much care for the citrus, it seemed out of place.

T: See above and add small pinches of molassas, cherry, coffee, milk chocolate, oak barrel, and more smoke. Once again, the tart/tangy citrus seemed odd and out of place.

M: Equal parts smooth & thick and roasty & prickly. Pretty sticky and coating. Sweet and roasty finish.

D: This drinks really well. Lose the citrus and this could be killer.

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Photo of aasher
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a dark, dark brown on the verge of being black with a one finger dark khaki head. It instantly smells of vanilla, chocolate, Buffalo Trace, and coffee. The bourbon is stronger than you'd think for being 6%. The flavors are of sweet milk chocolate, vanilla, oak, and light bourbon. This beer has a lot of carbonation for the style and tingles the palate. It then finishes smooth. Overall this beer is very drinkable. It's nice that a bourbon barrel aged beer isn't too "big" for a change. The 6% is very drinkable and it's a pretty good beer. Well done Barley Island.

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Photo of grub
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

got this one from abbddull as part of the DLD in person BIF 2010. thanks!

12oz bottle. sampled nov 13/2010.

pours nearly opaque deep dark brown, nearly black, with a small very fine light brown head.the head quickly drops to a ring around the glass and leaves a bunch of spotty lace.

aroma is good. slightly boozy alcohol. vanilla and bourbon. dark and milk chocolate. biscuit and whole wheat bread. earthy and woody.

taste is nice. dark and milk chocolate. vanilla and raw oak. biscuit and whole wheat bread. bit of cracker. earthy and woody. fairly low bitterness level. bit of caramel. light alcohol. just a hint of baltic sourness.

mouthfeel is good. medium body. medium-low carbonation level.

drinkability is good. pretty nice balance. big chocolatey character. light barrel character. good stuff.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.66/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - A robust looking dark beer with a tan head. The had was a little too milk bubbly for me and shot up too big to look very refined, but overall a solid looking beer.

S - Tons of bourbon on the nose. Some chocolate and a bit of roasted malts. Really this is just a bourbon bomb though. Not real impressed.

T - Tastes like someone dumped a ton of bourbon into a milky, chocolate stout. The bourbon is not infused well at all into the rest of the beer, and kind of rides along side it. I don't think this is very good.

M - Milky, creamy, full bodied, little carbonation.

D - Was shocked that this is 5.5% (per the website). Highly not drinkable at all, couldn't finish the 12 oz bottle due to the taste and burn.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BitterPachyderm for this 12 oz bottle, poured into a Duvel tulip.

Body is close to black. Head is 2 fingers+ of slightly reddish tinged tan fluffy foam. It reduces to a thick skim. Decent lacing.

Bourbon and oak are present in the nose, but as complimentary aromas to plenty of dark malt and general sweetness. A touch on the mild side, but pleasant.

In the mouth, the bourbon is once again restrained, a nicely proportioned sidekick to big bitter black malt and coffee flavors. A nice little sting of hops, hints of cherry and raisin. Bolder in the mouth than the nose would have led me to expect.

Mouthfeel is full, coating and creamy. Lightish carbonation works really well.

Overall impression: Really nice stout, one of my favorite local surprises I've received in a trade.

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Photo of brandoman63
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of TheodorHerzl
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark black color with a decent sized two fingers worth of creamy tan head. The nose is quite balanced with scents of roasted malt, bitter chocolate, some wood, and a touch of vanilla. The flavor profile is loaded full of roasted grain, chocolate, wood, and some bourbon on the backend of my palate. The flavors work really well here and a really nice balance without being overpowering. The mouthfeel though is a bit thin for my liking, but overall is silky smooth with moderate carbonation. At 6% I think the drinkability is fantastic on this beer and this is a well balanced stout when you are not looking for something really heavy on the body or ABV.

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Photo of inhoc00
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this with their Single White Friar - not a fan. Let's see how this is.

A- Pours dark like one might expect.

S- WHOOOOAAA! Is this stout aged in bourbon or bourbon aged in stout? This is the funny thing about the whole bourbon aged genre of beers. Some beers like Old Viscosity has such a subtle bourbon to it. GI BCS is certainly more pronounced, but this is crazy. Don't know if its a good thing. Bit biased I guess since I watched Three Sheets episode in Bourbon County today. MMM Pappy ...but back to the review.

T- Yea. Defintie bourbon. Is this a beer? I mean if you like bourbon/scotch, then this is a dream. It might be just too heavy as it really mutes everything else out. I like it but nothing else there except a bit metallic taste at the end...

M- Good amount of carbonation which makes this even more wacky as its like a carbonated bourbon...

D- Only 6%. This is actually pretty drinkable...if you don't mind bourbon. Did I mention the word BOURBON in this review??? I think I like it. Its kind of a crazy beer, but I will actually remember this one and might grab it again!

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Photo of scottfrie
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into 25oz snifter. Received as an extra last year, cheers to the shipper.

A: Pours a very dark brown with a billowing, huge, light brown head that took minutes to reduce into a nice thick film that left a few strings of sticky lacing down the glass.
S: Notes of bourbon mixed with roasted oatmealish grains and a touch of spice.
T: Soft notes of dark chocolate and bourbon with a pleasant base of stereotypical oatmeal stout. A year in the bottle may have been too much as the bourbon is so well integrated I can hardly taste it. The aftertaste has notes of vanilla of peppery spices.
M: The body is on the lighter side of full but the mouthfeel is still fairly chewing and satisfying. There is too much carbonation in this one, but it is soft and not tingly, and as the beer sits for a while it calms down.
O: I liked this beer but it could use a little work. The bourbon has darn near faded completely out of this one. If you’re sitting on a bottle don’t sit too long.

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Beastie Barrel Stout from Barley Island Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 62 ratings