Bitter Chocolate Oakmeal Bourbon Barrel Stout
Stone Brewing

Bitter Chocolate Oakmeal Bourbon Barrel StoutBitter Chocolate Oakmeal Bourbon Barrel Stout
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Stout - Oatmeal
4.09 | pDev: 12.22%
Stone Brewing
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
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.
Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 201 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by macrosmatic:
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macrosmatic from Florida

4.09/5  rDev 0%
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
More User Reviews:
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bobhits from Kentucky

3.69/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The stone oatmeal stout anniversary was one of my all time favorite stone beers. I bought nearly 2 cases and I had bottles until just a few years ago. I've bought more than a few of the new release as well. I rarely geek out on beer anymore. It's too hard to chase down the hard to get bottles and honestly, I've moved from WOW to "very well done" with my impressions of some of the big booze bastardy beers. I still love them but I just don't geek out over rare or limited or top 100. This beer had me geeking out when I saw bottles! I was pretty darn excited!

Pouring into my Stone Twelfth Anniversary glass of course! This sadly was after an epic war between myself and the cork. The cork damn near forced me to use advanced warfare on it! Points coming off for the bottle as the cork is not a good idea. Deep black, seemingly darker than the base beer, I got very little brown legs around the edges when pouring compared to other Stone Stouts. A nice tan cap, medium density and seems to be retaining well. A short swirl reveals very nice legs and lacing. This is an impressive stout for one barrel aged in the head department.

Notes of chocolate and caramel with a sweeter backing start out here. As it warms I'm getting a nice bit of oak and chocolate, the words bourbon perhaps aren't there, but all the elements are coming together, just vanilla is perhaps hidden behind some chocolate roasted malt.

The first thought tasting this is that the beer is a bit cool so I'll have to ease into this one. Oak, strong bitter over powering and bitter oak, esspresso, bakers chocolate, light caramel, and perhaps a chocolate malt giving a touch of a milk chocolate at the end. As I keep drinking the fruity bitterness from hops at the front start to come out. Citrus notes start to appear where at first all I got was bitter biting oak. As it farms those fruits and the front of the mouth flavor holds on and the ending of bitter chocolates and esspresso and even the malt starts to fade. I don't say this much but this is one complex beer. Each half degree this warms provides me a new beer.

The beer is pretty dry and not overly rich or creamy. A part of me thinks this one is too young and needs a few months of age, which I somewhat feared given this wasn't a huge beer to start with and 7 months in the barrels might leaves it harsh.

I'm now at the end of my bottle, this review has taken well over an hour, might be closing in on 2 hours actually. There's a nice lingering bitter coffee/dark chocolate finish in my mouth that I'm loving. There's a hell of a lot of good in this one, but I think for now my score might be a bit low. I will give this one another go in a few months, I have more bottles for sure and don't regret them, but for now the oak is over powering the beer but with time perhaps some of that oak will fade and the flavors will blend more though they already are more blended than many young stouts.

Sep 07, 2016
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FBarber from Illinois

2.81/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours dark black - shiny and opaque. Thick mocha head dissipates steadily. Surprisingly thick and fizzy head for a barrel aged beer.

Smell is just downright bad. It smells like the inside of a diaper pale - dirty old diapers. Hints of bourbon, but almost no barrel character on the nose. The whole aroma is just off and off-putting. Not sure whats up there.

Taste is thankfully not as bad the smell would indicate. The flavor is dominated by bitter hops and a tart acidic flavor. Some barrel character comes through on the back end, but its more oak and not as much bourbon. Not much bakers chocolate or chocolate at all in the flavor. Flavor just isn't very good at all.

Feel is highly noticeable for being extremely carbonated. Its very prickly and fizzy on the tongue. Certainly over carbonated for the style.

Overall an incredibly disappointing beer. Clearly my experience seems to be the outlier, but this just wasn't good.

Oct 27, 2016
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maximum12 from Minnesota

4.7/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another insanely expensive C&C 500ML bottle from Stone. I loved the Bitter Chocolate base, so here I am, suckered in.

I did, however, forget my pliers, & I barely win the wrestling match with the virgin-tight cork. It’s black, with a big, poodle head. Smells awesome. Slightly burnt s’mores (just how I like them!), bourbon, roast. Right in the bullseye.

Bitter Chocolate Oakmeal is one of those beers one must savor. Roll it around the palate. Feel the beer. Swallow leisurely. Enjoy the after-fusel in the mouth, which is almost better than the beer. The chocolate & bourbon fit like a laser-cut puzzle, perfectly complementary, both strong but neither dunking the other. Middle brings wood, light bitterness & roast, chocolate milk, concentrated vanilla beans, brown sugar on the finish. Miles thick. Subtle – this is a sipping beer that could be slugged, but you’d be sad realizing how many beautiful little things you’d missed.

Just realized that the ABV of my beers has increased for each night I’ve spent in Austin, MN this week. Coincidence? I think not. I’d stop buying these stupidly expensive beers if Stone stumbled more often, but this doesn’t stumble, it takes off via jet pack. Top shelf beer.

Sep 16, 2016
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jakecattleco from California

2.07/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Likely infected, nose had nothing but sour red wine. Drain poured and reported to Stone. Purchased in August in Sacramento, aged at sub 55 degrees.

Dec 18, 2016
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justintcoons from Pennsylvania

3.16/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Batch no. 1
500 ml Corked & Caged bottle poured into a snifter.

Jet black with no light penetration. 1+ fingers of rich deep brown head.

Young bourbon, oak, saw dust, caramel, raisin, charcoal, and prune.

Young bourbon booziness, charred oak, and saw dust. Caramel, prune, and raisin. Charcoal throughout. Slight cocoa nib bitterness.

Medium bodied, warming, boozy, oily, and sticky.

The whiskey takes over with a young bourbon booziness that covers up the base beer. Not the best BBA Stout.

Sep 29, 2016
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

this is amazing stuff, surprised it isnt generating a little more hype! lucky enough to have this one on tap, so smooth and interesting. this whole series of bottles this shape has been a treat. eggshell black color, soft rising pale brown head, delicate looking for being enormous, not too viscous or anything. the aroma is burnt wood, bitter cocoa, heavy dark roasted unmalted barley, burnt grain, burnt sugar, and subtle coffee. i like that stone has held back on the bourbon a bit with some of these. quicker ageing or more mature barrels or whatever, but i always seem to get more oak and mellowness than i do whiskey, which is appreciated when the base beer is this good and this nuanced, it really shouldnt be covered up by a bunch of bourbon. hints of vanilla and caramel here, but its well behind the dark roast and the chocolate. smooth bitterness lingers long in the finish, tons of wood, and a lot of oats too, this really has that starchy roundness that i like, and so dry compared to its peers, no residual sugar rotting my teeth away, it goes down as quick as it rises up, pretty awesome mouthfeel here. soft, rich, still bubbly, and so smooth from the oats. a really unique take on this style where so many beers have started to taste the same as time goes on. this is something special, no trace of the alcohol strength either. pretty darn impressive beer!

Oct 27, 2016
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Bubbawilly88 from California

3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The base beer is amazing. Unfortunatley, the barrels they used cover everything up with a cheap Bourbon taste and smell. This had potential to be world class but raw booziness really detracts from the experience.

Oct 15, 2016
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Luscious_Malfoy from Illinois

3.23/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Feb 12, 2017
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jmd88 from Michigan

4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Oct 11, 2016
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AyatollahGold from Indiana

3.26/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Jan 27, 2018
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beagleyx2 from Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Dec 12, 2016
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Campian from Michigan

2.85/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Jun 07, 2017
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themayorkoch from Ohio

4.34/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Feb 09, 2018
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Michaelharmeyer from Wisconsin

4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

May 28, 2018
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Soul_Train from Virginia

4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Nov 13, 2017
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peabody from Kentucky

4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aug 01, 2019
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WilliamD from Minnesota

4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Kenwood A857595

May 05, 2019
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Suds from Missouri

4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a corked bottle, this brew is thick, dark, and had a blanket-like, thick tan head. The aroma is intense....dark fruit,spice, sugar,and booze. The taste is full, semi-sweet, intently bitter, and woody. Raw sugar, rum, wood, char, and dark fruit are predominant. Some vanilla. Full in body and exceptionally resonant. This beer is intense.

Nov 17, 2016
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Phyl21ca from Canada

4.46/5  rDev +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.

Jan 12, 2018
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mholdefer from Alabama

3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Jan 31, 2019
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Rich, lavish, bitter and yet smooth, the 20th anniversary tour stops at Stone's beloved Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, but this time only after a long, bourbony, oaken nap.

The bourbon barrel aged version of Stone's 12th anniversary ale make yet another encore with a dark, nearly stout-looking bark brown with a frothy, foamy tan crown. Decadent with burnt sugars, dark-roast coffee, cocoa and booze soaked oak soothe the senses while its first sip is lavish with molasses, chocolate, caramel and cream.

As the ale seeps deeply into the tastebuds, it unleashes a host of rich flavors- seared toast, campfire, baker's chocolate, sweet cream, dark coffee, walnut and molasses. As the sweetness patiently drifts, the bitterness intensifies and the beer's oak and booze pronounces, trailing into a bitter, woodsy, nutty trail of bourbon.

Soft vanilla, caramel and nuttiness accompany the spicy bourbon as the full-bodied beer trends long, bitter and roasty-toasty. An aftertaste of woodsy, smoky chocolate resonate in waves long after the taste has closed.

Aug 27, 2016
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rab53 from Washington

3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Oct 10, 2016
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russpowell from Arkansas

3.91/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours as black as midnight in a coal mine with minimal mocha colored head. Minimal lacing & less head retention

S: Smoke, raisin & a little Bourbon

T: Smoke, plum, raisin, roastyness, oak char & a little vanilla up front. Baker's chocolate, char & raisin as this warms, just a little bourbon, a little oaky dryness too. Finishes with bitter chocolate, vanilla, Bourbon boozeyness in subtle amounts & faint leafy hops & a little golden raisin

MF: Smooth carbonation, medium body

Pretty good was hoping for more, not sure how well this will age, my cork crumbled on me

Aug 30, 2016
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psmith161 from Indiana

4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oct 22, 2016
Bitter Chocolate Oakmeal Bourbon Barrel Stout from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 201 ratings