Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout | Anderson Valley Brewing Company

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976 Reviews
Barney Flats Oatmeal StoutBarney Flats Oatmeal Stout

Brewed by:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The deep ebony color, voluptuous mahogany head and bold, roasty flavors in our Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout are what serious beer drinkers expect from this style. Aromas of freshly baked bread, espresso, and dried cherries meld seamlessly with rich toffee flavors and a creamy mouth feel to create an unparalleled drinking experience.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-08-2001

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Reviews: 976 | Ratings: 2,517
Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thickish and boldly roasted stout. Fine to share at end of meal, but was too much for earlier in the day or even with anything but dessert. Coffee in there. A tad sourish. Very dark. Bittersweet chocolate and nutty. Smooth but some grain on tongue.Dry finish.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a 1 inch foamy dark khaki head that settles to a small cap. Foamy broken rings of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, toasted oats, and some slight cocoa aromas. Taste is of dark roasted malt, toasted oats, and some coffee bean and cocoa flavors on the finish. There is a mild roasty bitterness that quickly fades after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a light carbonation and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a solid oatmeal stout and one of my favorite Anderson Valley beers.

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Photo of GRG1313
2.9/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours very dark, almost black with a nice tan head.

Very light, sweet creamed coffee nose. Simple and elegant and not real assertive.

Very thin mouthfeel, very watery and with little character.

Flavors were light coffee; simple coffee if not watered down coffee. This beer had almost no character; almost no flavor and was simply very weak and unimpressive.

I tried it twice and the foregoing was consistent both times. (Perhaps I was poured from a bad keg. I don't know. I do know that this beer was less than impressive.)

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

i have a soft spot for this one, its one of the beers that got me into the style, and one i always go back to when comparing and thinking hard about an oatmeal stout. maybe its not the best one out there, in fact, it definitely isnt, but i think its one of the truest to style around thats regularly available, and its a darn fine glass of ale, a good measuring stick. slick black look, and slick roasty viscous going down. medium sized coffee colored head, with cream lighter than coffee, but rich brown and big bubbles and lasting pretty well. sweet nose, almost like a milk stout. thank the oats for that. the flavor is rich with grain character, but the oat sweetness balances bitter roasted barley and specialty dark malts and the harmony is gorgeous and continuing long into the finish. there is even a mild yeast flavor to this, which is uncommon i think is most darker, maltier american beers. its bready and unifying, clean but noticeable. full bodied but i could still happily drink a sixer, in fact i have many times. this beer really made the style for me as a younger beer drinker, and its always a fond experience enjoying one now. emotionally important for me, foundational to my palate.

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Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This stout poured out as a deep brownish black color. The head was fluffy and tan. The lacing was decent for most of the time drinking this beer. The smell of the beer has some really nice roasted malt aromas blended with some interesting oats on the nose. The taste of the been is smooth and had a nice earthy roasted flavor to it. The mouthfeel was lighter than I expected. Overall this beer was pretty good. I can't say I'd go out of my way to have it again but I did enjoy it.

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Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is nearly jet black in color—traces of amber are visible near the edges of the glass when it is held up to the light. The beer poured with a finger high head that died down very slowly.
S: There are aromas of semisweet chocolate morsels in the nose.
T: The overall taste has a moderate amount of sweetness with flavors of chocolate, coffee and roasted malts. There are some hints of bitterness from the hops in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is an easy drinking stout because it’s relatively light-bodied for the style and doesn’t have that much alcohol content.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ummm, Ummm, ummm. Tasty! This has all of the appearances to rate it 4.5 - 5.0. It looks nerly perfect in its black color, dense lasting head, and low carbonation. nlocks aromas of sweet cocoa, roasted, toasted grains, dark rich fruit, mild lactic tartness, and moderate coffee aromas. Tastes even better. Silky smooth chocolate and roasted malt. Just enough coffe flavors to give it some testicles. The oats really milds the flavors and texture. This has a big rich body, just short of putting it into a Imperial Stout category. Nice nutty flavors along with slight cherries woven into the alcohol. Finishes long, sweet, and modestly bitter. I beleive I'll have another.

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black with amber highlights. Pours with a moderate head, which settles into a ring.

Smell: Roasty, grainy, a bit of milk, a bit of black coffee.

Taste: A bit sweet and chocolatey at first, with a mild roasty bitterness coming out more toward the finish. Slightly mineral; mild floral hops. Finishes with a balance of sweet and bitter notes.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and easy on the palate.

Notes: A great session stout. Not exceptionally complex, but nicely balanced and very flavorful.

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Photo of brentk56
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a nearly obsidian color with a massive beige head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass

Smell: Mocha aromas with a touch of brown sugar and maple syrup sweetened porridge

Taste: Starts with a rich mocha and chocolate flavor; mid-palate, the brown sugar and maple syrup sweetened porridge arrives; after the swallow, a hoppy/coffee bitterness with a touch of acidity blends to make for a satisfyingly complex finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation; smooth as silk from the oatmeal addition

Drinkability: If there is a more drinkable outmeal stout, one would be hard-pressed to find it

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium size foamy head with average retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of black chocolate with some light dry roasted malt notes. Taste is also a well balance mix between some dry roasted malt notes with some nice black chocolate notes. Creamy texture is really enjoyable with some good carbonation. Very well done and well balance while still being easily drinkable.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 16oz American pint at Humpy's on the beach in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island.

This beer appears a very dark, almost black, cola-edged brown hue, with one flabby finger of densely foamy, and somewhat creamy beige head, which leaves some randomly skewed webbed lace around the glass as it lazily bleeds away.

It smells of roasted caramel malt, medium dark chocolate, anise, raisin, and earthy, leafy hops. The taste is lightly toasted, kind of bready caramel malt, bitter cocoa, a lactic sourness, some indistinct earthy sweetness, further black licorice, and mild leafy, weedy hops.

The bubbles are quite sedate, the body a sturdy medium weight, and rather silky in its smoothness. It finishes off-dry, with the grainy, chocolate-lite malt, and lingering, ethereal sour milk essence.

A fairly pleasant oatmeal stout, the roundness of the body more than capable of talking me into another. The little extra sourness adds touches of a more traditional porter, deftly tempering the potential sweetness. Worthy of seeking out, this one is.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6er of cans for $9.99 in Los Angeles. 12 fl oz aluminum can served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given its current ratings, but I have had it before.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm considerably over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired with hard pretzels (my go-to pairing food).

A: Pours a four finger khaki-tan colour head of nice cream and thickness, and fantastic retention for the high ABV (at least five minutes). Body colour is a solid jet black. Nontransparent; opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Decent lacing.

Sm: Surprisingly tangy. Maybe even some orange zest. Out of place floral hops. Malty sweetness. Oats. A hint of roast (which should be far stronger). Biscuit malt. No yeast or alcohol is detectable. A moderately strong aroma.

T: Smooth with heavy caramel. Some cigar-esque roasty notes. The oats smoothen it. A surprisingly present floral hop character, though it's nicely disguised by the roast and caramel. I'm not getting chocolate or coffee. Biscuit malt, chocolate malt, dark malts. Creamy. Very well balanced. This is one tasty beverage. The orange zest from the aroma is nowhere to be found; maybe it was just the hops. I quite fancy it. No yeast or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Smooth from the rolled oats. Wet. Never too light. Good presence on the palate. Good thickness.

Dr: A very drinkable oatmeal stout. Hides its ABV very well. I'm really enjoying this and will have no trouble finishing it. I'd recommend it to friends. I'm glad I picked up a six pack. Not as complex or subtle as a great beer in the style could be, but very solid and nicely balanced. I'd like to try this on nitro.


Pairs well with pretzels.

Probably not a good beer to age.

Serve cold, actually. It's fine, really. You don't need to wait for room temperature on this one.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. On tap at Anderson Valley August 2009.

Pours a dark black with a bit of a bit of a dark tan head. Nose brings forward a good amount of roasted malt, a tad bit of smoke, molasses, and hints of coffee. The roast really stands out in the taste, which is really enhanced by the really nice and creamy mouthfeel this brings forward. Drinks really well and is one of the best American versions of the style that I have had.

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Photo of zeff80
4.39/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a bubbly, foamy, caramel-colored head that left sticky rings of soapy lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of oatmeal and dark roasted coffee. Then I began to pick up notes of caramel, sweet chocolate and some light floral notes.

T - Great taste of bitter and sweet. Bitter coffee, oatmeal and chocolate notes complimented by sweet caramel flavors.

M - It was soft and smooth with a slight sharp bite. A medium bodied beer.

D - A great oatmeal stout. Very easy drinking with no bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: The beer pours dark brown to black with no light coming through. There is a half finger of light tan head that fades to a ring around the pour.

Smell: Smooth and roasty here. I'm getting some dark fruit and dark chocolate notes as well. Just enough sweetness.

Taste: This is a very smooth tasting stout with just enough roast. I'm getting some dark chocolate with dark fruit and there might be a hint of vanilla in the background. The finish is roasty and slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium with full, fluffy carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a really easy to drink stout. Nice roast flavors, but it still manages to be very smooth. I would have more.

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Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the better sweeter stouts I have had in a quite awhile,pours a deep brown not quite black with a nice looking almond colored head.Aroma is very earthy and of bitter chocolatetaiste is lightly sweet but not overpowering by any means with some nice earthiness and french roast coffee.A real nice brew on a cooler day like today,very nice.

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Photo of nickfl
3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - One finger of light brown head that settles quickly and leaves minimal lace, the body is black and opaque.

S - Sweet malt with some grainy oatmeal and a hint of chocolate.

T - Smooth, brown malty flavor with toffee and a hint of caramel. The flavor darkens with more caramel and chocolate towards the finish and lingering charcoal notes.

M - Oily, medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - A good beer, but there is nothing here that makes me feel like I need more than one of these. The malt character is nice, but not especially interesting and the sweetness in the finish hurts the drinkability because it is not balanced by any real bitterness from malt or hops. Worth trying as a single, but I am glad I didn't get a six pack of this.

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Photo of jlindros
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yay craft cans!

Pours a smaller fluffy head that starts growing and eventually reaches a good finger, fades semi slowly with nice lacing, over jet black beer with no real light getting through.

Nose has typical oatmeal stout, a bit of flaked oats, creamy malts, light roasty, hint cocoa, a generous amount of caramel, and very slight hints of hops.

Taste is also similar, nice malts with plenty of caramel as well, slightly sweet, with a hint of roast, coffee, and cocoa. Creamy malts as well, with a bit of a toasty malty taste, hint biscuit. Oats are dominant, with a clear oatmeal like taste and big creamy oatmeal mouth. A faint clean but slightly floral hop add a slight bitterness in the background. Finishes slightly drier but a bit sticky, a bit more chocolate, oats, caramel, and a bit more bitterness.

Mouth is lush, fairly full bodied, creamy, decent carb.

Overall pretty good, nothing wrong, but doesn't really stand out much from other typical oatmeal stouts. Very drinkable, done well, tasty, I could easily drink a bunch of these in the cooler "winter" nights or Saturday afternoon.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Impenetrable mahogany topped with a light milk chocolate brown head that is both solid and stubborn. I'll have to wait before doing a lace check since the head is giving no quarter. When it finally does relent, the glass is surprisingly clean. The two major components of the nose are hops and chocolate, which suits me just fine.

This is a soft, moderately sweet, approachable, easy drinking stout that appears to have benefitted from the use of oats. It's as if the folks at Anderson Valley resolved all questions during the creation process with the question 'what would improve drinkability the most?'

The roasted maltiness doesn't venture into burnt or bitter, the sweetness is understated and doesn't impact drinkability, and the level of hoppiness is just enough to satisfy the hop lovers among us, but isn't so much that newbies will be turned off. The body is closer to medium than to full, is smooth as the day is long and is somewhat creamy.

Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout is a polished, well-rounded stout that, as far as I'm concerned, gives Samuel Smith's version a run for its money. It isn't quite flavorful enough or distinctive enough to be considered truly great, but it disappeared with frightening ease. Good stuff.

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Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a deep brown/near black, with several fingers of foamy mocha head. Pretty foamy pour here overall. This settles down into a rigid near finger of creamy froth, which drenches the sides of the glass with patchy lacing. The aroma smells of oatmeal, dry roast, cocoa, and green citrus. This pretty smooth and flavorful in the nose.

The taste is similar, with a sweet mix of flaked oats, cocoa, green citrus and leafy bitterness, which leads into a dry roasted finish that lingers with some leftover bitter fruit. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a soft bubbly creaminess which firms up a bit more as you swallow.

Nothing wrong with this, as it’s quite a flavorful and easy drinking example of an Oatmeal Stout. Count me as impressed and it's nice to this one in cans now.

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Photo of mactrail
3.43/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Coarse carbonation and quite spritzy with a lot of club soda taste. Sharp taste that just doesn't go away. Good dose of hops and a pleasant transition to the bitter aftertaste. Lots of scorched malt, a touch of charcoal. Some spoiled fruit. Quite watery mouthfeel, which is appropriate to the style and alcohol content. Winey nose is not unpleasant.

I think a blind tasting is in order for this and a couple of other highly-rated stouts to see how it really stands up. I don't really care much for this. The Julian dating is 10336 so that's late 2010, in the liquor store cooler, shouldn't be off too much.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The black-brown body of the Barney Flats is almost impervous to light; and capped by a creamy dark-tan-even-brown head. The retention is good, and it leaves some minor spots and splashes of lace about the glass.

The nose is rich with a combination of soft roastiness, dark and milk chocolates, softer cocoa, and lightly sweet fruits (apple, berries).

It's dextrinous medium-full body combines with a restrained carbonation to leave it silky smooth and creamy in the mouth.

The flavor delivers more fruit than the nose suggests, and it mixes nicely with the chocolatey malt base through to the swallow where the chocolate, coffee, cocoa, and scortched caramel really come out. It's balanced by a firm bitterness, leaving it a bit sweet in the mouth but drier in the finish; which lingers with a very nice combination of residual coffee and dark chocolate.

Overall, it's quite nice and very drinkable. It's not overly complex, but it doesn't really need to be. There's enough going on within the play between dark malt and yeasty fruit to keep you interested; and it's rich enough to keep you coming back to it without overwhelming you beyond one serving. Nicely done!

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown instant coffee appearance crowned with a head resembling chocolate milk bubbles.

Smell: Mostly mild coffee in the nose coupled with a bit of chocolate-dipped oatmeal cookie sweetness.

Taste: All the classic flavors are present: sweet malts, good coffee, earthen roastiness, and a bit of smoke. All flavors are nicely layered with a rich milkiness. Also, there's a gentle hoppiness that emerges near the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium, though nicely textured and wholly drinkable with decent amounts of carbonation. A good soothing beer.

Drinkability: The unaggressive nature, and overall smoothness of the oatmeal stout style certainly lends to an ease in drinkability. Do I "love" the beer? No, probably not. I do like it a great deal, though, as well as recommend it to others. Enjoy!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown/black, thick and opaque, no light getting through on this one. A nice one inch head faded somewhat quickly to leave a nice quarter inch layer of lace on the top. Very nice streaking down the glass at first, but as it warmed this ceased. Smell was very sweet. First hints are of roasted coffee, rich and very full. Nice aromas of sugar, caramle and the slightest bit of chocolate are up next.The taste was wonderful, albeit a little thin for a stout, but still the flavors themseleves were great. Coffee the biggest flavor here, followed by caramel and chocolate rounding the corners off, maybe even a touch of a smoked scent in there, very nice. Good carbonation, however looses a couple points for the thin feel. Very nice smooth finish, not dry at all. This one definatly asks you back for another try. This is very sessionable, goes down almost too easy, could drink it in a gulp almost, good call IMO.

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Photo of chinchill
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Bohemian Cafe. Pour was near black; left lots of sticky lacing on the pint glass.

Allowed to warm for about 10 minutes, but still had a relatively light aroma; featured medium and dark roosted malts with dark chocolate.

Taste: also not strong; more like an Irish stout in intensity than expected. Slight smoke but no burnt notes: just as I prefer. Marginal hops mainly keep the sweet/bitter balance spot on.

M: A tad light overall, with a very light finish; very smooth; ~ perfect carbonation.

O: Not the world's best oatmeal stout, but certainly excellent: Can serve as a gold standard in this category, being a virtually flawless rendition of a straightforward version.

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Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 976 ratings.
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