The Rusty Nail
Fremont Brewing Company

The Rusty NailThe Rusty Nail
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Stout - Oatmeal
Ranked #2
Ranked #104
4.57 | pDev: 5.91%
Fremont Brewing Company
Washington, United States
The Rusty NailThe Rusty Nail
Notes: The Rusty Nail begins life as The First Nail, an oatmeal stout of epic proportions with brewer’s licorice, smoked barley, and pale malt and is then aged on cinnamon bark. She becomes The Rusty Nail after spending 15 months in 12-year old bourbon barrels.
Reviews: 134 | Ratings: 721 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of WunderLlama
WunderLlama from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tick this beer off of my beer want list courtesy of @colts9016 in Bif13. Rated as a 100 beer on BA

Waxed and capped bomber poured into snifter. Black ink motor oil, slick and viscous. No light escapes its gravity. Pencil thick brown dense foam that quickly recedes to a ring

First sniff is bourbon, roast malts,

First sip is a flood of cinnamon flavor without the heat. Finishes with licorice, char . Second sip is cinnamon and roast malts . Third sip is cinnamon, bourbon , licorice.

Slick, syrupy ,viscous liquid that coats the tongue and mouth . Rich and decadent , sweet

Good beer, thanks @colts9016 for sharing this one . “ The rusty nail pounds your palate”

Apr 15, 2021
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BubbleBobble from New York

4.01/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours close to jet black with a 0.5" frothy tan had that recedes to a thick ring throughout the drink. Nose is heavy with dark, chocolatey malts, tannic dark chocolate, black licorice, and cinnamon; maybe touch of maple sweetness as well. Woodsy oak and vanilla notes from the barrel. Taste is pretty spicy - brackish Australian licorice, cinnamon, vanilla, and a significant malt backbone. Alcohol is present and warming, and it does help carry some of the spicier flavors. Apart from the alcohol and vanilla notes, however, I didn't feel I was getting a ton out of the barrel. Mouthfeel is huge and chewy, small amount of carbonation. Overall, it does a great job of carrying the flavors it sets out to feature.

Mar 27, 2021
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Snowcrash000 from Germany

3.85/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a pitch-black coloration with a small, fluffy, dark-brown head. Smells of slightly roasted, caramel malt and a huge cinnamon aroma that drowns out almost everything else except for a distinct Bourbon note, as well as hints of chocolate, vanilla and licorice managing to poke through. Taste is a decent balance of slightly smoked and roasted, quite caramelly malt and a huge, sweet cinnamon presence, although the flavor manages just a bit more depth than the nose, with more distinct chocolate, licorice, molasses and dark fruit notes of raisin and fig coming through here, with a good, not too boozy, Bourbon character and hints of vanilla, tobacco and charred oak. Finishes rather sweet, with a very light bitterness and some cinnamon, licorice and Bourbon lingering in the aftertaste. Full mouthfeel with a rich body and light/medium carbonation.

After BA Dark Star this is another big disappointment from Fremont for me, which I had also been saving for a special occasion, just like the former. Similar to BA Abraxas, which I also consider highly overrated, this is a total cinnamon bomb that is way too sweet for my personal taste and just lacking overall balance, while the mouthfeel, while very nice, is hardly outstanding either in my personal opinion. Although it does make for a very rich brew with a good Bourbon presence that never turns quite as boozy as BA Dark Star, the sweetness from the cinnamon, licorice and molasses is just too much and while there is a decent complexity to this, most of it gets drowned out by the overly dominant cinnamon character that the lightly smoked/roasted malts and mild bitterness are really struggling against, while the dark fruits and vanilla only add to that overdone sweetness here. I'm not saying it's a bad brew, being quite rich and with a good complexity, mouthfeel and bourbon presence, just not that well balanced for my personal taste, being way too sweet and dominated by the cinnamon, while I would have wished for the smoked/roasted malt and bitterness to shine through more distinctly here.

Feb 27, 2021
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Cyoung1313 from Ohio

4.49/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with minimal head. Caramel, cinnamon vanilla and barrel on the nose. Taste covers all of the aromas with some licorice coming through. Great mouthfeel and just the right amount of carb for the brew. Overall great one from Fremont.

Dec 30, 2020
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metter98 from New York

4.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high dark tan head that left a narrow collar of tan bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of dark chocolate are present in the nose with notes of bourbon and hints of cinnamon.
T: The taste follows the smell, except that the bourbon and cinnamon flavors are stronger than those of the chocolate and there are some hints of licorice in the finish.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied and silky smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I found this beer to be incredibly drinkable as any traces of alcohol were well hidden from the taste and it didn't really have much in the way of licorice flavors.

Serving type: can

Dec 15, 2020
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JohnnyHopps from Indiana

4.58/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - From the bottle, the beer poured a slick black color with a mocha colored head.

Smell - The nose was composed largely of syrupy chocolate. I did not detect the cinnamon in the nose as much as I thought it would.

Taste - My first thought was that this is like cinnamon oatmeal cookies. There were also chocolate and tobacco notes mixed in. The cinnamon was well balanced with the bourbon. The slight warming feeling never felt like an outrageous cinnamon burn.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation was present, though very mild.

Overall - this was a great example of a cinnamon stout. It did not burn my esophagus and it was not too sweet.

Nov 29, 2020
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Bruno74200 from France

4.65/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2020 vintage
Pitch black with a faint head.

It's all about the cinnamon on the nose with hints of chocolate and some bourbon notes.
The taste follows with hints of cinnamon, big coconut and vanilla from the barrels, the licorice comes at the ends to balance the whole thing out.
The mouthfeel is quite dry for a such a beast but the beer certainly doesn't lack balance and never feels boozy. Some astringency from the oak.

Overall this is a perfectly balanced masterpiece. it's nothing like a pastry stout even with the licorice and the cinnamon. It's a to the point, honest brew.
World class

Nov 09, 2020
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titty_mcbitty from Tennessee

4.42/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2018 Vintage.

Appearance: Pitch black with almost no head, but what's there is dark khaki.

Aroma: The cinnamon comes through, surprisingly given the year. Other, more typical, notes arise such as dark malt and some barrel.

Flavor: Cinnamon, licorice, and chocolate all come through in a harmonious way. So awesome that the adjuncts haven't faded. Best of all is that the cinnamon is not overpowering, it's just there to be noticed. There's a strong bourbon presence that tapers all of it off and lingers around. I get some dark cherry as well or maybe a sweet vermouth flavor in the background. Definitely a s'mores type thing overall.

Palate/Finish: Great thickness - oily, viscous, but fluffy. Finishes with cinnamon, licorice, and barrel.

Overall: Awesome beer. Honestly it doesn't completely blow my socks off like I thought it would, but it's damn close. Wonderfully balanced, great mouth feel, and great flavors coming through. If I weren't spoiled by the adjunct-heavy barrel aged stout train, I could see this being one of my tops.

Nov 08, 2020
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UWDAWG from Washington

4.6/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2019 release

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Look- Black, medium brown frothy head, above average head retention, average lacing.

Smell- Licorice, bourbon, smoky oats, cinnamon.

Taste- Bourbon, molasses, licorice, smoky oats, sweet coconut finish.

Feel- Full body, slightly below average carbonation, mouth warming, sticky, syrup like, smooth.

Overall- Wonderful beer, the finish was a little sweeter than I would have preferred.

Oct 25, 2020
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q33jeff from New Jersey

4.65/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75


Bottle to tumbler.

LOOK: dark black, oily, medium brown head. Good retention.

AROMA: oatmeal and cinnamon are primary, smoke is also apparent.

TASTE: smooth oatmeal, barley, cinnamon, brown sugar, smoke, raisin, dark fruit, licorice.

FEEL: smooth, full bodied , low carbonation.

Super unique. And Delicious. Excellent beer.


Sep 04, 2020
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chitoryu12 from Florida

4.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2018 bottle

Look: Pitch black and thick like motor oil. Half a finger of thick head the color of chocolate milk.

Smell: Very strong chocolate, raspberry, caramel, and vanilla.

Taste: Chocolate, bourbon, caramel, cinnamon, and alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy, with very mild carbonation.

Overall: A monster of a dessert beer, fully deserving of its reputation but challenging to the inexperienced.

Aug 28, 2020
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Pivopijak from Washington

4.3/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Very thick, small bubbled medium dark brown head. Very heady aroma of dark chocolate, cinnamon & some vanilla, licorice/molasses. Amazing viscosity on first impression. Extremely concentrated, syrupy, cinnamon, roasted barley wine flavor with smooth dark & sweet chocolate with maybe a prune tinge on the finish with a very thick mouthfeel.

Aug 20, 2020
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Dope from Massachusetts

4.42/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black pour with a nearly black head. Very fuzzy and loud. Head dissipates fairly quickly and with no lacing, likely from the barrel aging.

S: Killer bourbon aroma. Tons of burnt sugars, caramel and vanilla. Notable cinnamon in there too, melds well with the stinging alcohol.

T: Goddamn! Stellar bourbon smacks you in the face immediately. Brown sugar, caramel, oaky vanilla and a touch of toffee. Strong and sharp cinnamon flavor along with booziness cuts the sweetness nicely. Licorice flavor shows up in the finish, not quite a star anise taste but similar. Really helps temper the sweetness, especially with the lingering bourbon flavors in the aftertaste.

M: Smooth and almost syrupy but the booziness helps cut it.

O: Really fantastic stout. Bourbon is top notch and really enhances the beer without dominating it. Flavors are balanced and complimentary.

Jul 25, 2020
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JamFuel from Sweden

4.66/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours jet black with soft, tan head.

Smell is quite surprising with an absolute smack of Swedish pastry kokostopp, which is coconut and chocolate. Notes of coffee, cinnamon, licorice, vanilla and some charred oak.

Taste is superb with the kokostopp again, and notes of vanilla, cinnamon, maple syrup, coffee and chocolate with some spiciness hiding in the bushes. Quite boozy, but in a balanced way, intense but not overpowering.

Mouthfeel is thick, creamy and well carbonated.

Overall, a fantastic stout, plain and simple.

Jun 30, 2020
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Scotchboy from Idaho

4.68/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Incredible bomber, fresh 2020 bottling beautifully waxed, cracked and poured into a snifter...

Incredibly jet black pour leaves a large dark brown head with visible red highlights...head fizzes away quickly. Cinnamon nose mixes with dark roasted malt, bourbon, espresso, and cocoa. Huge flavors...fudgy coconut, spiced vanilla, chocolatey molasses...booze, bourbon, oak...faint impressions of smoke and tobacco...thick brew...Mexican hot chocolate beer! Full, viscous body. Overall an incredibly complex and flavorful brew, Decadent, yet not cloying...spicy and boozy without being fatiguing...hugely recommended. The only thing keeping me from buying more is the $22 price tag.

Jun 28, 2020
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beersampler6 from Michigan

4.09/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was quite disappointing for me. I had expected a lot based on the extremely high ratings here on BA, and I love oatmeal stouts, but this one just didn’t quite deliver. 2019 edition printed on bottle. Pours a thicker black color with just a little tan head and very small amounts of lingering lacing. Smells of some medium roast coffee, dark chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, spices, a hint of bourbon. Taste follows the nose, but I was expecting more depth and balance and this just didn’t quite do it for me. Don’t get me wrong, it was solid, just not mind blowing. Smooth slightly sticky mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation. I wished it were creamier and more licious. A good beer but I likely won’t try it again.

Jun 01, 2020
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Harrison8 from Missouri

4.61/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a finger of tan-khaki head. Head retention is good. Aroma is cinnamon, chocolate, molasses and roasty coffee with hearty roasty and toasty malts underneath. Bourbon accompanied with a heavy char kiss closes out the aroma. Flavor profile is chocolate heavy with cinnamon, vanilla bean and molasses. Roasty and toasty malts add the firm base with oats rounding out this sippable meal. Bourbon adds that spicy swell of heat, which is accompanied hand-in-hand with char. Mouth feel is thick with a velvety, creamy texture. Overall, this is one incredible meal of a stout that's accompanied with a pinch of cinnamon and a swell of bourbon.

Served in a 15.5oz Speigalau tulip from a 22oz bottle. 2019 vintage, consumed & reviewed in 2020.

May 23, 2020
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Victory_Sabre1973 from Minnesota

5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2018 vintage consumed on 5-3-2020.
This is one hell of a thick pouring beer. Pours pitch black. 1 finger brown head. Head retention is amazing for such a beer. No lacing on the glass, though the head forms a nice ring around the edge of the glass.
The nose is full of licorice. A hint of cinnamon. Some vanilla. Some caramel. Some raisin.
Taste - Oh my! This is a flavor bomb, and I know I won't do justice to it. Licorice, caramel, toffee, vanilla, cinnamon, raisin, and even more that I can't quite pin down that just all work together perfectly.
Smooth as hell. Thick, rich, full bodied. Minimal alcohol burn.
I think I've hit beer heaven here. I've come very close in the past, but I've been to the mountain top here, and I love the brew. My first perfect 5 here.

May 03, 2020
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matts2896 from Connecticut

4.69/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2019 Vintage poured into a 6oz stemmed taster.

Very impressed by the mouthfeel on this one. Low carb, very chewy and silky smooth without a syrupy texture or overly saccharine quality. Complements the flavor profiile--warming winter spice/gingerbread--perfectly.

Smells of sweet gingerbread, brown sugar, semisweet chocolate/a little fudge, and a touch of hot cinnamon. Warm and inviting without being overly intense or tacky.

Taste follows the nose with the addition of light bourbon barrel vanillins and oak so well integrated into the dark chocolate roast profile that an absentminded drinker could easily believe this beer spent no time in barrels. I quite honestly do not think Fremont could have melded the flavors in this beer any better. Any complaint I could have would be of the style rather than the execution.

Feb 27, 2020
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BillRoth from Maryland

4.34/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours super dark almost black with minimal dark tan head which quickly dissipates and no real halo and no lacing. A bit disappointing... suggests thin body.
Nose is fragrant with dark malts, some hops, black licorice, molasses; vanilla and some spice in background. Taste mirrors with spices more pronounced (cinnamon, anise, clove). Also bourbon much more evident. Also dried dark fruit much more notable in taste. All benefited considerably from elevated temp post- refrigeration. Body was silky not syrupy; still less viscous than I hoped. Essentially a built up oatmeal stout, but not really chewy. Very drinkable considering abv.
All in all a well crafted complex BA stout that warrants attention and seeking out.
Note: I don’t really care for cinnamon in my stouts. So my rating would likely be higher if I were more like others who enjoy it.

Feb 04, 2020
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maximum12 from Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My second bottle from Tavour & one that I’ve been coveting for a long time, I mean the name is so appealing I’m surprised strippers haven’t stolen it. Red waxed 2019 22 oz. bottle split with my wife.

The stout is black. The nose is gentle cinnamon (a light & appropriate amount), deep malts, & just a whiff of the barrel. The quiet nail.

The Rusty Nail –seriously, the name is gross. Every lick your fingers after touching rust? It’s like all your fillings want to eat your mouth. Cinnamon & licorice up front, complemented by mild oak tannins & chocolate. The bourbon is disappointingly light, to the point of ghosting, being a nasal sense rather than an actual taste. Creamy & smooth, with no hint of the ABV. Dangerously drinkable; this should come with a Mr. Yuk warning.

Overall, I don’t get it. Fremont makes several beers better than The Rusty Nail; it’s a good, solid beer, but the barrel is lacking & there isn’t any wow factor at all.

Jan 11, 2020
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Buck89 from Tennessee

4.51/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wine glass. An opaque dark chocolate color with a small tan head. Great aroma with cinnamon, faint black licorice, vanilla, chocolate, and bourbon. This one lived up to the hype. Rich flavors of cinnamon, chocolate, licorice, and bourbon. The feel was exceptional. The body was big enough to support the beer but not overly sweet. Warming on the finish but not too boozy. Really exceptional.

Dec 30, 2019
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Damian from Massachusetts

4.79/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Drank from a 1 pint 6 fl. oz. red wax dipped bottle purchased at City Beer Store, San Francisco, CA
Limited 2019 Release
Served in a snifter

Review #1825

Oily, viscous, near obsidian black appearance. A thin, fizzy, saddle brown film rose above the body, but it quickly fell to a pencil thin collar. No lacing whatsoever.

The aroma was somewhat muted initially but improved as the beer warmed. Bourbon and brown sugar notes were apparent. Moderately boozy and somewhat sweet. Lots of roasted malt character too. Spice notes were also detectable but fairly subtle. Not sure I would pick out the cinnamon specifically. As the beer sat, the nose became much smoother and more rounded. Both the bourbon notes and the sweetness intensified. Later, the cinnamon came forth.

The flavor was an amped up version of the aroma. Big roasted and caramel malt presence on the front end. Brown sugar notes appeared next. Sweet but not excessively so. Lots of cinnamon in the center. Some dark chocolate too. Boozy bourbon notes kicked in on the back end and the finish. The licorice was noticeable here as well and lingered after the swallow.

Outstanding rich, thick, full-bodied mouthfeel. Creamy, slick and smooth on the palate. The liquid contained a relatively fine, moderate effervesce that fluffed up beautifully on the palate. After a few sips, the liquid left a sticky film on my lips.

With its rich malty notes, bourbon forward qualities, viscous body, and cinnamon and licorice accents, The Rusty Nail tastes like an updated and improved version of Deschutes’s The Abyss. I really look forward to trying more of Fremont’s barrel-aged offerings.

Dec 07, 2019
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darktronica from Indiana

4.32/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Known as the Last Nail in Idaho, apparently, I'm enjoying a 2018 vintage. Pours thick and oily into a teku, with a modest layer of slow-to-emerge cocoa-colored foam. Bitter dark chocolate and cassia on the nose, with vinous tannins and some very light smoke and iodine. Grape and cinnamon on the palate, dipped in chocolate fondue. Fantastically full mouthfeel, very smooth.

Oct 31, 2019
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Ciocanelu from Romania

4.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2018 vintage on draft. Aroma has lots of sugary malt syrup and whiskey barrel. Taste is bitter and roasty at first with background whiskey and wood flavor.

Oct 29, 2019
The Rusty Nail from Fremont Brewing Company
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 721 ratings