Bitter Chocolate Oakmeal Bourbon Barrel Stout | Stone Brewing

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Bitter Chocolate Oakmeal Bourbon Barrel StoutBitter Chocolate Oakmeal Bourbon Barrel Stout
192 Ratings
Bitter Chocolate Oakmeal Bourbon Barrel StoutBitter Chocolate Oakmeal Bourbon Barrel Stout

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: English Oatmeal Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.40%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by StoneBrewing on 07-19-2016

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 192 |  Reviews: 57
Photo of Tucquan
3.67/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of ManapuaMan
3.19/5  rDev -20.6%
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.

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Photo of Richter525
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Harrison8
3.81/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

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Photo of Michaelharmeyer
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Shmizzen
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of themayorkoch
4.34/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of archero
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AyatollahGold
3.26/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of chefbigjon
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.46/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of Brent619
2.12/5  rDev -47.3%
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.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.59/5  rDev +14.2%
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!


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Photo of Chrispy_Creams
3.71/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Grackos
3.41/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Soul_Train
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Ltdsaint
4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ZebulonXZogg
4.14/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of Tony210
4.26/5  rDev +6%
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

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Photo of PrestigeWorldwide
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of yesterdayfaraway
3.27/5  rDev -18.7%
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

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Photo of stortore
4.1/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of kell50
3.61/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Campian
2.85/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

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Bitter Chocolate Oakmeal Bourbon Barrel Stout from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 192 ratings