Beastie Barrel Stout | Barley Island Brewing Company

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 aasher
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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 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 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 rhoadsrage
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
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 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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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 angelmonster
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark chocolate one finger head, body is pitch black. Head retention and lacing were minimal.

Smell is very sweet and malty. Roasted malts, chocolate syrup, oak, and bourbon come through the most. Hop aroma is almost non existent.

Taste is smoky roasted malts, chocolate, and some dark fruit like dried prune. Hops aren't present at all. The barrel aging is very apparent with oak and the bourbon finish especially in the after taste. Very flavorful for only 6 percent, I would have thought it was closer to 8 percent

Mouthfeel was barely above average. This beer is definitely on the lighter side for a barrel aged stout, which isnt a bad thing. The downside to it was that the head seemed to die down rather fast, before half the glass was gone. Carbonation levels were balanced.

Drinkability was great. Very sessionable and full of flavor at the same time. Nice to see a barrel aged beer that isnt over 9 percent alcohol.

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Photo of Patrick999
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
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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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 Bung
4.11/5  rDev +8.4%
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 jera1350
4.32/5  rDev +14%
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 SpeedwayJim
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
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 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 rudylaw
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
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 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 dmfrench
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
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 msubulldog25
4.06/5  rDev +7.1%
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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Beastie Barrel Stout from Barley Island Brewing Company
3.79 out of 5 based on 62 ratings.
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