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:
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Ratings: 62 |  Reviews: 52
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 NCSUdo
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle

A: Pours a hugely thick looking black under a small brown head. Slight retention, no lace.

S: Roasted malt, coffee and chocolate up front. Some sweetness and fruitiness. Very nice.

T: Surprisingly sweet up front, then a big hit of chocolate and espresso, with the bitter roasted character clinging to the tongue in the finish. Yummy. There is a splash of bourbon midway through tasting, but the story here is the espresso character and how it's big, but not overwhelming. Really balanced for such a bold tasting beer.

M/D: Full bodied, mostly silky but a tad bit over carbonated. Drinkability is really good for such a huge beer. I could sip on a lot of this stuff over the course of a night. Excellent beer.

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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 jera1350
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark chocolate brown color with a two finger head that reduces to a one finger head and is quite fluffy and creamy. A little bit of lacing.

Inviting array of chocolate, oak, bourbon and vanilla bean. Not extremely strong, but the nose is present enough to pick everything out.

Loads of chocolatey goodness. After the chocolate there are mild notes of oak, vanilla, coffee and bourbon. A little sourness as well with a subtle alcohol warmth. Nice complexity for the style.

Can definitely feel the oats. They give a nice smoothness to the nearly full body. The finish is extremely dry on the palate.

Drinks nicely although it drinks more like a RIS than an oatmeal stout. If I didn't already know, I would say this is around 8% not 6%. An awesome oatmeal stout that is a must try.

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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 cnally
4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

semi local beer for me tonight! what a joy.

the appearance is really grand, deep balckrown with a carefully dissipating dark tan head that leaves enough to stick to the side of the glass.

nutty, malty smell, very mellow and not much of an aura to it.

very nice mellow smokiness right off the bat, the malt fades in very nicely with the smoke flavor. good taste of the hops lingering in the background, the taste mellows even more to the aftertaste, where the burnt caramel and coffee flavors come full circle.

creamy, full and filling feel. not sticky or over done, very balanced feel. perfect for this style.

I am duly impressed. really really easy to drink considering the style and that I am not a huge fan of it. this is a balanced, mellow stout that uses those characteristics to bring out the flavors subtly instead of clubbing you over the head with it. wow.

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Photo of dmfrench
4.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A modest yet fully respectable hoppy Bourbon Barrel Stout.

A: Served in a tulip glass. Lovely yet fleeting one finger dark khaki head.

S: A good dose of that 'purple inkyness' scent that Imperials often have, and a smaller dose of bitter hops. A small sweet malt pillow lurks underneath.

T: The reverse of the nose... much more hops, some charred cocoa, and a tiny hint of bourbon. Flavors are very homogeneous and balanced against each other.

M: Perfect carbonation and weight. Really surprising.

D: One of the easiest big flavor Stouts I've had.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with a fairly shallow foamy dark brown head that fades quickly to surface, with stringy patterns of Belgian lacing left behind. The smell is really nice; substantial, sweet malty, chocolate, licorice. Adequately carbonated, the mouth feel is medium-full bodied, creamy and lightly coating. Very smooth; a nice compliment to the flavors. The lightly roasted nutty oatmeal taste is a real winner. Way too easy to drink...and at 6% ABV I'd look forward to spending an evening with a few of these in the Barcalounger. Many thanks to infestaxion for this quality extra...Cheers!

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Photo of kstrickler
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had several beers tonight and this is going to be my last one. The head was a very dark caramel in color appearnce that was 1/8 thick in my snifter. I am quite surprised at the minimal taste of bourbon barrel compared to GI BCS. Although this beer is a very fresh beer for being a 2008 bottle. I am pleased to have a few of these in my collection so I can age it for another year or two and see the difference in taste.

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

Bottle shared at local BA gathering.

Poured a clear dark brown color with a moderate frothy brown head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate roast coffee, chocolate and alcohol aroma. Medium body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Medium to heavy roasted flavor with a medium to heavy bittersweet finish of moderate duration.

Another good smooth brew.

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

Thanks Bitterpachyderm (!).

Pours a nice, deep black with brownish edging and a huge dark tan foam head. Gorgeous pour.

Smell is of roasted malt, some cocoa, some vanilla, and a bit of molasses. not much chocolate, coffee, or bourbon in the nose.

Taste is more complex than the smell. There's a sour tinge to the roasted malt that I assume is from the oatmeal, along with a bit of coffee, some sweet cocoa/chocolate, and a hint of vanilla. There really isn't much in terms of barrel aging to this. I guess maybe a tad bit of bourbon ... or maybe not ... Really the barrel aging hasn't done much, but it's a solid stout nontheless.

Nice creamy mouthfeel.

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Photo of Patrick999
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A 6% bourbon barrel oatmeal stout. I do like the idea a lot. Let's check out the execution.

Poured into a DFH glass. Mocha foam, really good lacing noted. Very dark. Excellent appearance.

I get the whiskey right off the bat in the aroma. Sweet vanilla and coconut.

Hmm. It tastes like the baby brother of the big bourbon barrel stouts we're all used to by now. Good deal of whiskey and char, just with a lot less body and sweetness. It's a dry, roasty stout.

If rating mouthfeel against typical 10% barreled stouts, it would rate poorly. But that's not what this is trying to be. It has the body of a regular American stout, nothing more, nothing less.

As for drinkability, good enough to have another, if I had another in my possession. This won't burn up the trading forum with ISOs, but for what it's trying to be, it's an excellent beer. Lower-ABV drinkable barrel-aged stout, now that's a trend I could get behind. My compliments to Barley Island for trying this, and doing it rather well too.

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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 msubulldog25
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, poured to a pint glass at a warmer temperature (50F+); thanks, mrkanable, for sending.

The right portion of the label (not clearly shown in the photo) is among my likes: a coonskin-capped frontiersman flailing atop a bucking...bison? Reminds me of one of the faux-historical murals at the "Pawnee, Indiana" government building where new favorite show "Parks and Recreation" is set.

A: Almost completely black pour, about as deep and lightless as they come, but for a faint crimson glow. Good pillow of khaki foam, cresting at nearly 2-fingers. Has a nice 'sparkle' as it drops crookedly to a lumpy cream. Coating lace in broken drapes.

S: Dark cocoa aroma with a definite oatmeal/grainy nuttiness. Light vanilla, sweetened coffee, not really any 'barrel' aroma to be found.

T: Heavy 'char' in the roast: espresso beans, darkened nut shells, bakers chocolate. Woodiness is a thin, spicy bourbon settling deep on the back of the tongue as it warms and after about 6-8 oz. were consumed.

M: Quite mellow, a wonderful creamy smoothness. Lip-smacking malts, filling mouthfeel that bridges the gap between 'medium' and 'full' for the style. Viscosity is a big plus, bitter/sweet balance is well done.

D: Super-easy to drink, as creamy and flavorful an oatmeal stout as I could ask for. At just 6%, this is less 'beast'ly than the name implies; she's a tamed creature that could be enjoyed in quantity. Would be happy to have this one again. Thanks again, Matt.

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Photo of JamesS
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark color with decent head, but almost no lacing. Nice scent, agood burnt grain/coffee aromas, although the bourbon aroma takes away the sweetness of the oatmeal that I find in the regular oatmeal stout. A nice combination of flavors, but again, it's overpowered a bit by the bourbon barrel. The usual smoothness is also detracted by the barreling.

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

It's a nice cloudy and windy day in San Diego today so I decided to go with a stout today. This one was sent by my buddy SPLITGRIN, thanks!

Great looking beer! Dark body with two inches of milk chocolate foam on top. Excellent retention, small bubbles packed closely together. The foam settles to a thin ring.

Wonderful mocha on the nose, milk chocolate, coffee, vanilla, oak, roasted barley, sugar cookies, and oatmeal. The combination of chocolate and coffee seems to intensify as the beer settles. Some notes of molasses and brown sugar, maple syrup also in there. As great as the aroma was at the start it is now becoming a bit too reserved, still pretty good.

A little more oak on the palate, milk chocolate, cocoa, biscuit and toasted malts, with a little vinous and dark fruit flavor in the aftertaste. More roasted barley flavor on the following sips, there's also a wheat like tanginess or husky flavor. A little lemony wheat flavor on the finish.

Soft carbonation on the palate, feels smooth and almost creamy. I would like to know the abv. on this one as it seems to be on the low end, it's really easy to drink. A tad thin on the finish though.

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Photo of CaptainNomihodai
4/5  rDev +5.3%

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