Beastie Barrel Stout | Barley Island Brewing Company

very good
52 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 62
Photo of 1Adam12
2.48/5  rDev -34.6%
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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Photo of bpgpitt10
2.51/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2010 bottle in a snifter.

A: Dark brown with a nice tan head. Head recedes very quickly though... like from kitchen to chair and finding a channel quick. Very little lacing.
S: Bourbon with some grain flavors. The sweet of the bourbon and the grain reminded me of cookie dough. Nice aroma.
T: The first taste couldn't be more bland. Some light coffee and bourbon flavors as it warms to more room temp, but overall very disappointing.
M: Very, very thin for a stout. Slight creaminess to it due to the low carbonation.

O: Had this once with someone who loved it so thought I'd give it a try again after a little aging. Still don't like this much. Nothing about it is bad, but it's just not very good either. The cellaring may have been a bad idea as the tastes were so muted in it.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.66/5  rDev -29.8%
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 Yetiman420
2.79/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours black, like a stout should, into my trusty Unibroue tulip glass.

Generous tan head that quickly fades giving way to some lacing.

Faint aroma - a tinge of bourbon.

First sip, an oatmeal stout? Where's the mouthfeel? Very underwhelming. A bit upset I provided this as an extra in a trade without first tasting.

Label description says "richly flavored stout." I beg to differ. If not for a hint of bourbon aroma, this would be a stout with very little flavor.

Halfway in I totally loose aroma and the finish is becoming more watery.

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Photo of nickd717
2.8/5  rDev -26.1%
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 scottfrie
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
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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Photo of Drew966
3.46/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beastie Barrell Stout pours an opaque black with a tan head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is too mild, maybe a touch of cocoa is present. The flavor has some cocoa notes, caramel is definitely noticeable and I taste some oak, but no bourbon (this is supposed to be a bourbon stout). Not bad, but there are better versions of bourbon stouts out there.

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Photo of domtronzero
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Very dark brown, nearly opaque with ruby highlights at the edges. Long lasting, short, tannish head with nearly no lacing.

S - Dark malts, chocolate, light roast. Vanilla and light oak tones are quite enjoyable.

F/M - Dry roasted malts, chocolate, coffee and a little vanilla and oak flavors. Mouthfeel is medium-light. Its on the border of being watery. Moderate carbonation with a lingering vanilla roasty flavor.

O - Ok, but a little thin in the body. The flavors are alright but it just doesn't stack up with the big boys in this category.

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Photo of roadhouse
3.54/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From the Barley Island website: "Our Oatmeal Stout is aged in bourbon whiskey barrels from Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky."

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appears black in color though not quite opaque, there are some red highlights visible. One inch fluffy tan head leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma is chocolatey with some coffee hints. Perhaps a bit of vanilla bean. The bourbon is not noticable at all and it's quite mild overall.

Taste starts out with lots of chocolate and roasted notes with a creamy oat taste. The finish brings out a bit of the oaky bourbon notes but it's never really that prominent.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very creamy and silky.

Overall I must say I was disappointed. Oatmeal Stout aged in bourbon barrels always sounds appetizing but this one didn't quite do it for me. Though it was quite good, everything was just too much on the mild side for what it is.

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Photo of nick76
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is very much what I like in a stout. Its got chocolate, toasted malt, coffee, and just the right amount of sweetness. The appearance is dark brown with a nice tan head. The flavor is like the aroma. The palate is smooth but not as thick as I would like. The beer is overall very good.

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Photo of emerge077
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
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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Photo of HURTemHIZZY
3.6/5  rDev -5%
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 Gyle41386
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Thanks, stubone!

Black pour. About a finger of rich tan foam retains well, and leaves behind some light lacing.

No doubting this is bourbon barrel aged. The bourbon aroma isn't overwhelming, but it's just right for me. Sweetness from caramel and bourbon/vanilla, and a nice roasted base. A nice woody character from the barrel, as well.

Caramel/bourbon sweetness up front, with a burnt bitter finish. Some lingering sweetness. Flavor lacks depth. Not too much going on here.

Texture is thinner than I'd like. Flavor is almost watery at times. Carbonation seems fine, however. It's an easy drinker, with absolutely no detectable alcohol. Good, but not terribly exciting.

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Photo of mrandypandy
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle purchased at a liquor store here in Valparaiso, IN.

A- Pours a dark black, huge frothy tan head leaves ridiculous lacing on my glass. Pretty.
S- Smells, sweet. Roasty with hints of vanilla, bourbon, oak, caramel/toffee.
T- Well then. From the nose I was expecting a stronger bourbon presence, but got a rather restrained stout. Roasty with a bitter finish. Coffee/espresso is rather strong as well, which I wasn't expecting.
M - Smooth, medium/thin body. Dry. I was expecting something bigger, but then again, it is a 6% oatmeal stout...
D- Nothing to write home about. I finished the bottle (and my four-pack later on), but I'm not sure I'd seek out more.

Overall - I'd never heard of Barley Island before, and this was a decent beer. If the bottle hadn't told me it was bourbon barrel aged (Buffalo Trace) I wouldn't have guessed it. I say up the ante, make this a stronger beer, and give it a bigger bourbon barrel presence.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown glass pry-top.

Pitch black, with tan frothy head. Nose is straight sweet-corn bourbon and vanilla oak. Mild coffee notes and slick dark sugar. Palate is rich, smooth and sweet and then snaps sharply alcoholic. Vanilla beans, sugary silk flavors. Finish is largely boozey.

Heavily bourbon affected, but tasty...

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Photo of corby112
3.66/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a two finger frothy beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Roasted malt aroma with a tamer barrel presence than expected. Slight toasted oak and vanilla notes with only subtle bourbon presence. Roasted malts with hints of chocolate, caramel and toffee.

Medium bodied and similar to the aroma. The barrel presence is there but pretty faint with only slight earthy oak and sweet bourbon flavor. The base beer flavor is very strong with roasted malt, coffee, toast, toffee and hazelnut. Slight lactic creaminess smother things out a bit before ending with a slight dry finish.

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Photo of GbVDave
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
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 Schmittymack
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared with Josh and Ratman; poured a dark brown with a small head that didn't linger too long. Aroma of booze, coffee, oatmeal, and malt. Taste was a little of a letdown: coffee, malt, some spice, and almost no bourbon. Mouthfeel is quite thin for a stout. No hop bitterness to finish. Either the bourbon has completely faded or the alcohol is hidden a LOT as I got no bourbon flavor and no alcohol "burn". Fairly tasty but I won't go out of my way to get this again unless I were to try it fresh.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
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 Viggo
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, thanks to grub for sharing.

Pours an opaque dark brown, some very faint dark orange/red highlights in the edges, thick light brown head forms and settles to a medium ring around the glass, some lace spirals stick.

Smell is neat, a bit of vanilla and coconut barrel character, some caramel, a bit of chocolate, some nice fruitiness, a bit of raisin, pretty solid bourbon hit, quite malty, real neat.

Taste is nice, very roasty, some chocolate wafer, a bit of bourbon comes through, caramel, a bit of nuttiness and some raisin, fruity, a lot of vanilla and coconut, a bit of biscuit, dry chocolate wafer finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Pretty neat, nice stout with some light but nice bourbon character. Thanks Russ!

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Photo of grub
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
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 PDXHops
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
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 paco1029384756
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a short creamy tan head.

Scent of oak, oats, chocolate, and some earth. Not bad, balanced well with a nice oak and bourbon character, but it could stand to be a bit stronger.

Taste of chocolate, oak, oats, and roasted malts. A sessionable barrel aged stout, I like this one.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with good carbonation.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark black body capped by one full of inch of tannish-hued head.

Smell: Aroma smelling of creamy roastiness and notes of bakers chocolate and medium-roast coffee.

Taste: Roasty maltiness with tastes of unsweetened chocolate, coffee grinds, and fire charred sugars. Roasty, earthy bitterness. Only a faint woody and vanilla kick on the tail end of the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's kinda sorta okay in way. Yes. One of the lightest bourbon barrel jobs I've encountered in my many years of liver killing I must say.

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Photo of CooperEllis
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
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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Beastie Barrel Stout from Barley Island Brewing Company
3.79 out of 5 based on 62 ratings.
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