Beastie Barrel Stout | Barley Island Brewing Company

very good
62 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 62 |  Reviews: 52
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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Photo of kstrickler
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
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 Cresant
4.29/5  rDev +13.2%
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 Overlord
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
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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4.06/5  rDev +7.1%
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 jjayjaye
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
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 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 tmoneyba
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
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 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 mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
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 NCSUdo
4.47/5  rDev +17.9%
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 mrquartetman
4.92/5  rDev +29.8%
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 cnally
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
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 stumac
4.11/5  rDev +8.4%
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 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 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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Beastie Barrel Stout from Barley Island Brewing Company
3.79 out of 5 based on 62 ratings.
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