Bitter Chocolate Oakmeal Bourbon Barrel Stout
Stone Brewing

Bitter Chocolate Oakmeal Bourbon Barrel StoutBitter Chocolate Oakmeal Bourbon Barrel Stout
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Stone Brewing
California, United States
Oatmeal Stout
4.01 | pDev: 12.72%
May 01, 2023
Jul 19, 2016
Bitter Chocolate Oakmeal Bourbon Barrel StoutBitter Chocolate Oakmeal Bourbon Barrel Stout
Notes: Originally inspired by recipes of two Team Stone members, Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout became an instant classic. The onyx-hued beer also proved to be an ideal barrel-aging specimen, thanks to its rich, thick mouthfeel and chocolate-heavy flavors and aromatics.

An already magnificent beer’s mouthwatering recipe of unsweetened chocolate, flaked oats and dark-roasted malts is made even more deliciously complex care of oak barrels that previously nurtured bourbon. These amazing vessels impart oak and coconut-like flavors upfront while accentuating the silky smooth midpalate with oak vanillin notes. The finish is long and intense, with layers of chocolate and oak vanillin. You might be tempted to lick the glass for every last drop of this delectable adult confection.
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Rated: 3.89 by westcoastbeerlvr from California

May 01, 2023
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Reviewed by Scotchboy from Idaho

3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
2016 corked & caged bottle; pours dark brown/black with ruby highlights, but mostly opaque. Chocolate and booze on the nose, the body seems thinner than I expected though the oats are definitely there. Strong bitterness within the notes of bakers chocolate and earthy oak. Time in the bottle has not helped this one out.
Dec 19, 2022
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Reviewed by sjrider from California

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Bottle pour- dark as night with thick chocolate milk head leaving frosty lacing. Guessing this is 6-ish years old, came from a friends cellar. Nose is weirdly sour but taste is pretty good with some roasty malt, bitter chocolate and oaky tannins. Finishes on the dry side with lingering notes of barrel wood. Definitely past its prime but still drinkable and rather tasty.
Dec 07, 2022
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Rated by Sellen from Connecticut

4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Jun 25, 2020
Rated: 3.77 by dsshuck from Delaware

Jan 05, 2020
Rated: 4.11 by peabody from Kentucky

Aug 01, 2019
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Reviewed by MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
500ml bottle. Caged and corked bottle. Bottled 'July 2016'.
Black colored body, with the thinnest of garnet back lit highlights. Lots of fizzy tan head, which results in a partial island and ring. No lacing.
Aroma is light with roasted malts chocolate and light vanilla.
Taste is heavy with dark chocolate malts, and light vanilla. Light coconut and oak barrel. Chocolate and vanilla in the aftertaste.
Medium plus mouthfeel, but the overall experience is aromatic and light. Very good carbonation.
Unusual combination of dark chocolate and a lighter expression of coconut, vanilla, and oak. These balance well in the full taste expression. Each pour brings more foam/head than body but the head/foam quickly fizzes away. Very expressive beer in all aspects.
May 10, 2019
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Reviewed by macrosmatic from Florida

4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Reviewed from (very) long-standing notes. Poured from the 500mL bottle into a J. Wakefield OG teku glass. Consumed sometime in September 2017 (exact date not recorded).

A: Very dark brown, opaque, and forms a one-finger tan head with good retention. Low but as-expected visible carbonation. Very pretty for style.

S: Bourbon, dark chocolate and cacao, and oak tannins. Dark roasted malts. Notes of coffee, vanilla, caramel, and spice from the bourbon. Nice, but honestly fairly muted – the components are all there, but it’s just not a big aroma for the style. The bourbon is the dominant component, but it’s not overpowering by any stretch.

T: Bourbon and chocolate mixed together – dark chocolate, baker’s chocolate, cacao nibs. Dark roasted malts, dry barrel tannins, and oak. Bitterness from the chocolate and the roasted malts. Mild caramelized sugars and leather. More bourbon and dry cacao at the swallow, and the bourbon outlasts in the hang. There is nothing in the flavors that suggests oatmeal to me particularly.

M: A nice thick mouthfeel for style – the fullness of the oatmeal is found here, rather than on the palate. The alcohol is obvious but not overly hot for barrel-aged – I’d call it fairly balanced actually. Low but again, as-expected carbonation sensation.

O: Not a bad beer at all. The nose was the biggest letdown, but it wasn’t indicative of a lack of flavor. For my tastes, the bitter chocolate adds a nice counterpoint to the sweetness of the bourbon and the oatmeal stout style in general. The barrel presence was managed with a deft hand as well, getting as much out of it as they could without overwhelming the other flavors here. Solid, though not amazing.
Mar 24, 2019
Rated: 3.73 by mholdefer from Alabama

Jan 31, 2019
Rated: 4.34 by kinmundy77 from Illinois

Jan 20, 2019
Rated: 3.5 by jgunther71 from Illinois

Dec 15, 2018
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Reviewed by Tucquan from Pennsylvania

3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
Had this on 2018-10-19 in Columbia, PA from a 500ml bottled July 2016

A - Opaque dark brown with a 3/4-finger light brown head that drops quickly leaving almost no lace.

S - Lots of barrel character. Oak, bourbon, dark chocolate, vinous.

T - Dark chocolate, cherry cola, espresso latte, light char, bourbon., herbal spice, hint of sourness. Medium roasted/hop bitterness.

M - Odd. Medium-heavy body and high carbonation; like having a soda. Slick after the CO2 dissipates.

O - Kind of an odd duck; like having a mix of spicy cherry cola with an Imperial Stout. Drinkable but I wouldn't seek it out.

Notes: I capped the 1/2-full bottle and had it 4 days later and enjoyed it much more. The high carbonation and most of the cherry cola flavor had dissipated and it was much more like drinking an Imperial Stout than a soda. I raised my Taste and Feel ratings but they are still on the low side because of my initial experience.
Oct 19, 2018
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Reviewed by ManapuaMan from Massachusetts

3.19/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
Much like community member Harrison8's review below, I acknowledge this aged brew has a sour and musty aftertaste that, for me, really tanked the experience. Usually I wouldn't rate an aged beer but, since this beer is retired, anyone who will be cracking a bottle will be doing so with an aged specimen so it's relevant.

Looks great - puffy khaki head that lasts, coal-black body, thick and viscous.

Aroma is where it starts to go awry - char, smoke, bitter chocolate, roasted malt....and tart cherry and musty luggage in an attic. Perhaps something went awry during aging although my storage conditions are consistent and I've rarely encountered problems.

Taste is all the good up front- bitter chocolate, roasted malt, dark fruit - and then the bad (to me) - sour cherry tang and musty almost Brett-like funk. Chalky and dry finish and the beer is a mouthful.

Not my style but could work for others.
Oct 02, 2018
Rated: 3.94 by Richter525 from Michigan

Sep 14, 2018
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Reviewed by Harrison8 from Missouri

3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Pours black with two fingers of caramel foam that forms dense and frothy and lingers for a while. Aroma is dark roasted and toasted malts with a hint of bitter chocolate and a lactic cherry bite. Bourbon and char have faded almost completely from this bottle. Flavor profile is bitter chocolate, coffee, roasted and toasted malts with a sour lactic bite. This beer delivered a little off-kilter as it aged. Mouth feel is medium-thick with a fuzzy, velvety texture that bites sharply just at the end. Overall, good dense notes, but this beer didn't age well. Despite the sour twinges it has, it's still a pretty darn good beer.

Served in a 12oz snifter from a 500mL bottle.
Jun 28, 2018
Rated: 4.18 by Michaelharmeyer from Wisconsin

May 28, 2018
Rated: 4.08 by Shmizzen from Nevada

Feb 19, 2018
Rated: 4.06 by Taphouse_Traveler from Florida

Feb 15, 2018
Rated: 4.34 by themayorkoch from Ohio

Feb 09, 2018
Rated: 4.25 by archero from Texas

Feb 05, 2018
Rated: 3.26 by AyatollahGold from Indiana

Jan 27, 2018
Rated: 4.25 by chefbigjon from Arizona

Jan 27, 2018
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Reviewed by Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

4.46/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some great lacing. Aroma of bitter black chocolate notes with some bourbon notes with light oak notes also discernible. Taste is a mix of dry lightly bitter black chocolate notes with some bourbon notes with some dry woody notes also apparent. Body is full with nice thick body and great carbonation with light warming alcohol notes. Very well brewed with not much residual sugar but still good drinkability and complexity.
Jan 12, 2018
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Rated by Brent619 from California

2.12/5  rDev -47.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2
Maybe it went bad because it was tart/sour. Based on the other reviews I think it turned.
Dec 23, 2017
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Reviewed by neenerzig from Ohio

4.59/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
This is a bottle from batch # 1 of this beer. I was a huge fan of the 12th Anniversary Stout when it first came out in 2008 and when Stone brought it back as part of their Encore series last year. So I knew I had to try this version. I've had this sitting in my cellar for over a year now aging, and finally got the urge to open it tonight. Brewed on 12/5/2015 and aged for 7 months before being bottled in July 2016. Poured out of a 500 ml. bottle that I had one hell of a time getting to uncork, probably the hardest time I've ever had uncorking any corked bottle I've had to open, upon being poured into my snifter, this beer is a very dark, almost black color with a very tan/light brown head that's about an inch thick when first poured. Head settles eventually to a very thick ring lining the inside of the glass along with huge cluster swirls of foam on the beer's surface and some nice spots of lacing on the inside of the glass. Roasted caramel malt, chocolate and coffee, vanilla and oak bourbon all greet the nostrils nicely indeed. The taste pretty much follows suit, with some roasted caramel malt sweetness that gives way to chocolate and a slight hint of coconut along with hints of coffee. There is certainly also a bit of vanilla, and the bourbon oak flavor is just the perfect amount. Enough to know it is there, but not trying to dominate the flavor profile like in some other beers of this style. Has an earthy hop presence that adds a nice hint of bitterness along with the black coffee notes. The 1/2% ABV is well masked in the flavor profile indeed. Even after aging in my cellar for a year plus, there' still enough hop bitterness there to remind you this is, after all, a Stone beer. Has a crisp, slightly oily and slightly chewy, also frothy, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Has a clean, slightly dry finish. Another excellent beer from a very excellent brewery!

Dec 12, 2017
Rated: 3.71 by Chrispy_Creams from Minnesota

Nov 30, 2017
Rated: 3.41 by Grackos from Florida

Nov 24, 2017
Rated: 4.42 by Soul_Train from Virginia

Nov 13, 2017
Rated: 4.19 by Ltdsaint from North Carolina

Nov 02, 2017
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Reviewed by ZebulonXZogg from Illinois

4.14/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Brewed 12/15, bottled 7/16
L: Pours almost black, no visible light passes thru. Small brown heads fades quickly leaving a small ring. No lacing but a little brown film clings to the glass.
S: Bakers cocoa, bourbon and ash.
T: Bitter chocolate is upfront, hints of vanilla, smoke and some dark fruit.
F: Medium bodied, very smooth, minimal carbonation. ABV well hidden.
O: Quite tasty, but missing something in the end. Probably a one and done.
Sep 28, 2017
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Reviewed by Tony210 from New Jersey

4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Look: Pours the pitch black with a thin tan head.

Smell: Bourbon barrel, bitter chocolate, espresso, vanilla

Taste: bittersweet chocolate, espresso,
Molasses, burnt roasted malt.

Feel: creamy and slick.

Overall: The name of the beer begins with "Bitter Chocolate" and it definitely is. Very bitter upfront on the tongue, some sweetness to it in the middle. And the finish is again quite bitter. You do pick up some nice barrel notes, vanilla, coconut. Overall a decent beer.
This bottle was bottled July 2016. I just found it in the store a few weeks ago, I am not sure if it was on the shelf for a long time or if Stone held onto it for a little while.
500ml bottle
4 rating
Sep 03, 2017
Rated: 3.8 by PrestigeWorldwide from Michigan

Sep 03, 2017
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Reviewed by yesterdayfaraway from Missouri

3.27/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
L: pours thick, pitch black with no head
T: just terrible honestly. Burt chewing tobacco, molasses, bitter chocolate and medicine booze.
F: thin but highly carbonated
Jul 07, 2017
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Reviewed by stortore from Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
500 ml bottle into a snifter. Bottled July 2016, had 2/4/17.

Pours dark, near black, opaque, with a one and a half inch head of darker foam and a good amount of foamy lacing. A very spicy aroma, not sure what gives it that. Bourbon, oak, malt, chocolate, vanilla, some smoke and molasses. The taste has that same kind of spice thing that I can't identify, malt, bourbon, oak, less vanilla than the nose, chocolate, some caramel and molasses. There's an odd kind of bitterness throughout. Smooth, a solid, full body, a little creamy, a good level of carbonation.

This is good, but something is lacking. The malt and barrels are nicely balanced, but the flavor just doesn't jump out for me. Not enough bang for the buck with this one, as it has a pretty high price point. Guess I expect these 500 ml bottles from Stone to be more special than this one is.
Jun 23, 2017
Rated: 3.61 by kell50 from North Carolina

Jun 11, 2017
Rated: 2.85 by Campian from Michigan

Jun 07, 2017
Rated: 3.87 by Feldpausch from Michigan

Jun 07, 2017
Rated: 2.87 by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

Jun 06, 2017
Rated: 4.02 by Ristaccia from Nebraska

May 29, 2017
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Reviewed by johnnnniee from New Hampshire

3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Bottle from Greg and Jane's
Solid black color with a huge frothy tan head that persists. Chocolate roast and sweet bourbon with bits of oak vanilla and tart cherry. Lots of alcohol warming and bits of tart cherry lactic starting to come out. Creamy silky mouthfeel. Pretty tasty but this one does seem to be turning assuming it was clean when it was bottled.
May 23, 2017
Bitter Chocolate Oakmeal Bourbon Barrel Stout from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 203 ratings