The Rusty Nail | Fremont Brewing Company

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The Rusty NailThe Rusty Nail

Brewed by:
Fremont Brewing Company
Washington, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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. The Rusty Nail pounds your palate, challenges your perception of all that you’ve known of beer, and leaves you wanting … another sip. “A fine beer may be judged by one sip, but it’s better to be thoroughly sure.” – VWP.
Age this beer, please! But try one now … go on.

Down & Dirty: Pale, Vienna, and Smoked malts, Midnight Wheat with Flaked Oats and Magnum and Yakima Goldings hops.

50 IBU

Added by fsck on 03-28-2014

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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 227
Photo of Mcj6986
4.29/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Very solid stout. Thick, but very very sweet and a bit overkill. Didn't quite live up to the hype behind it. It's tasty, but and the mouthfeel is great, but it's just way too sweet

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Photo of gcamparone
4.63/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Fremont pint glass. Shared with Ryan, 2016 vintage.
Pours a thick, motor oil, inky body with a dark brown head that reduces to a ring of foam, little lacing present. Fantasticly thick, this is exactly how a stout should look.

Aromas are a little muted straight out of the fridge but as it warms up, bourbon and vanilla, chocolate and a little booze are present.

Taste.. out of this world thick chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, fudge-bomb, light cinnamon, roasty coffee, finish is amazing with potent roasty coffee, charred malt and a light astringency. Thick, rich, low carbonation.

This was fantastic, one of the best stouts i've had this year.

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Photo of PerfecTool
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorites at Huna Day 17'. Thought it was just as good, if not better than the whales I tried. Incredible mouthfeel and taste. It was thick, vanilla and boozy. Very, very good.

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Photo of grover37
4.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorites at Huna Day 2017 - unbelievable that I walked up multiple times for pours with no line. Wish I had taken some notes, but I will definitely want to revisit this one, if possible.

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Photo of wulfie85
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Did not expect to like hit is as much as I did. The spices come through very well on the nose and the pour is heavy black. Solid mouthfeel with all the flavors coming through and combining into fantastic flavor

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Photo of Ninjakillzu
4.99/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Chuck's Hop Shop. The body is a pitch black with a thin brown head. Aromas consist of dark and milk chocolate, cherries, mocha, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Super complex aroma and flavor. It literally tastes like black forest cake. Flavors follow the nose. The feel is lighter than I thought it would be, and is super smooth and creamy. It's like drinking a hot chocolate. The alcohol is apparent, but blends well in the background. One of the best stouts I've ever had.

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Photo of Radcpa
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

What a wonderful smell and flavor. Like molasses. Very dark appearance. No alcohol taste at all. This is one of the best beers I have had recently.

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Photo of Marius
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared at Kloster. Pitch black with a thin espresso head. Notes of smoke, licorice, sugar, bourbon, sherry, cherries. Full bodied, low carbonation and a sweet finish.

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Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours pitch black with a thin tan head; spots of lacing

Smell: Chocolate, roast, cinnamon, dark fruits, cherry, and a hint of Bourbon.

Taste: Chocolate and roast forward, with cinnamon, dark fruits and cherry tones developing; through the middle, the Bourbon and leather arrives; the cinnamon tones build in the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: Really nice example of how to integrate cinnamon into a Bourbon barrel stout

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Photo of rabbott2
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016 vintage drank in a snifter on 12/21/2016

This drinks like KDS (which I love) with some spices and licorice. Really incredible beer and I am not a fan of licorice mostly but it is subtle and really adds a nice flavor here. I think it being mixed with cinnamon balances each other perfectly. Both are nice and subtle but prevalent at the same time. I loved this and would love to get another.

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Photo of lemmy187
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours pitch black with about a finger of quick fading mocha head. Smell is off the charts.....cinnamon, barrel, burnt sugar, molasses, and cocoa. There a lot of complexity in the taste.....almosts comes at you in waves. I love how not one element dominates the other. I'm not a big fan of licorice or a lot of smokiness and both of these flavors are present but offset by the cinnamon, bourbon, bitter chocolate, and moderate sweetness. The feel is perfect.....thick, viscous, and velvety with moderately low carbonation. Overall, this is a truly great BA stout and worth the hype.

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Photo of KevSal
4.33/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Been after this one for a little bit, glad to finally try it!

22 into a perfect stout glass

looks great in the glass real nice dark mocha head

nose is fantastic! some cinnamon lots of barrel, dark roast and vanilla

taste is layers of flavor! cinnamon, barrel vanilla, toastiness and licorice. I'm not a huge fan of licorice, knocks it down a bit for me but this is packed with flavor

flover burst over tongue with nice thick bodies mouthfeel. alch not even close to the 13%, but Fremont has that dialed in with all their high gravity beers

overall it's a well made beer, I can tell why people love it. a bit too much licorice for me to push it to that next level but that doesn't take away from it being tasty and well made. you will enjoy this beer even if you hate licorice!

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Photo of danh53
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours motor oil black. Thick, full mouth feel. I love the licorice in this. It's very sweet, not bitter. Cinnamon is prominent too along with rich chocolate fudge. Bourbon, vanilla, toasted, coconut, and barrel. All the flavors are big and rich. Great beer.

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Photo of mothman
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black in color. Tan head. Thick.

Molasses, chocolate, cocoa, spices. Roasted malts. Big bourbon and oak. Vanilla.

Full bodied. Thick and rich. Warming.

One of the best beers Fremont has made. First nail just got better!

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Photo of Lochnessmonster
4.65/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Might be the best I've ever had from Fremont - great depth of flavor here and a super rich stout that will knock you down with its 13+% abv. I haven't had any of the Ancient Ones, but I have a hard time believing that they can top this!

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Photo of cherche
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L: motor oil black in body. 2 fingers of thick, milk chocolate colored head with solid retention and lacing
S: spicy bourbon, cinnamon, licorice, roasted malts, coffee and smoke
T: in line with nose, warm with a touch of chocolate
M: thick, mouth coating and fully bodies
O: amazing beer.

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Photo of msteves99
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Split a bottle with a friend of mine from Seattle that graciously brought this when he visited.

A - Dark brown, bordering on black. Thin layer of khaki head. Glugs out of the bottle, sounds thick.
S - Chocolate, oak, cinnamon, roast, dark fruits
T - Similar to the nose, cinnamon in the back. Dark fruits, leather, roast, chocolate, all meld perfectly. Slight heat in the finish. Unbelievably tasty.
M - Thick and rich, coats the mouth without being overbearing. Moderately carbed.
O - This is quite possibly the best beer I've ever had and I've had most of the tier-1 stouts. This is right there with them, and dare I say, better. I've had a couple Fremont beers before but if they're all like this I'd say they might be the best barrel program in the nation. Phenomenal.

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Photo of woemad
4.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

32oz grunt purchased at the Newport Hwy Growler Guys on the northside of Spokane for $20.99. There was a lot of hype and hand-wringing over this beer on the NW forum, and it's sold out rapidly up til now. Only found one bomber of this, at Huckleberries for $17.49, but now that I scored a fresh grunt, I think I'll sit on that bottle for a year or so.

Poured into a Selkirk Abbey glass, this was a viscousy,syrupy black, with a super-thin dark tan head. Pretty much no lace, which isn't surprising, given the strength.

Bourbon aroma , with a little cinnamon edge to it, and a whiff of licorice. The booziness is subtle for the strength, but it hangs in the background like the blade of a primed guillotine.

The bourbon barrel aging imparts the most dominant flavors at the start. Tastes of bourbon, vanilla-y oak notes, along with some toffee and plum flavors. The cinnamon bark gives a fairly light spicy edge to thinks, along with a very light taste of licorice. There's also a bit of pipe tobacco. Much like First Nail, the combination of flavor and restraint is superb. The boozy strength is there, but it's remarkably well behaved, like an iron fist in a velvet glove, to paraphrase a line by John le Carre.

Velvety, creamy mouthfeel, like a dessert nearly.

Decadent. That's the word for this. It's practically a dessert beer, one that happens to come with an awful lot of savory to go with the sweet. I think this could hang with BCBS, no problem. I'm not sure it's quite as devastatingly smooth, but it definitely functions at the same altitude. I may not go for Fremont's Ancient Age, or whatever it's called, but this is worth seeking out, and I will again if it turns up.

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Photo of jjdc
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Fremont is criminally underrated. This beer is better than a lot of other stouts with more hype. Fremont just kills it from beer to beer. Another great example.

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Photo of dar482
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in an almost pitch black color, dark brown head.

The aroma hits of bourbony sweetness, vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, very much a Bourbon County quality, plum, sweet raisin, caramel sweetness, cinnamon.

The flavor follows with decadent sweetness up front, very desserty. Sticky bourbon, toffee caramel, vanilla, bourbon sweetness, raisin, sweet plums, very subtle smoked malt and cinnamon. As it warms the licorice finally arrives towards the finish.

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Photo of lupercmda
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I do not give 5's across the board very often. But I cannot find anything I would do differently to make this beer better. It is perfectly balance with all the flavors and goes from one to another across the palate. WOW. Just WOW Fremont.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.43/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Red wax. 650ml bottle, served in a snifter glass. Dark black body, one finger dark brown head, good retention, bits of lacing, overall an impressive, dark and foreboding beer. Smells of trace licorice, rich chocolate, bourbon barrel vanillin and oaky aromatics, dark fruits. It's an interesting smelling beer although the licorice still bothers me a fair bit. It's expected as I'm not a huge anise/licorice fan. Flavour is a nice complex mix of chocolate, oak, cocoa, light cinnamon, a trace of smoke, bits of dark fruit. It's sort of like a Hair of the Dog beer, but instead it's a big bourbon barrel stout. Roast, coffee. Mouthfeel is fuller bodied, good carbonation, just the right amount of slickness, a bit heavy on the dark fruits at the end. An overall tasty big stout, lots going on here and while the licorice isn't my thing, it's not a huge player in this beer. So it works well in the long run for me.

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2016 Bottle shared with me by a generous friend! This was probably the best BA stout I have had in quite a while! Figured it would be too boozy being this fresh but instead was creamy and smooth with nice bourbon, cinnamon and licorice notes! Amazing stuff!!!

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Photo of tapperm
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: Dark and syrupy
S: Slight bourbon smell. Dark roasted malts. A little spicy and dark chocolate
T: Small amount of cinnamon. A little bourbon on the front but very smooth delivery. Chocolate. Almost tasted like a barrel aged Huna.
F: nice full mouthfeel. stained the glass a little with the legs.
O: Kick ass beer. I am curious how this will age. Really glad I got it. IMO, this beer deserves more hype that what it gets. Fremont knows what they are doing with their BA stouts!

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Photo of stevoj
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle share on 7/30/16, thanks to Toby. How to top The Crusher? With this, the 2016 vintage. Perfect blend of everything, from the toast malts to the barrel aging. Truly breathtaking experience, if this was one I could drink for the rest of my life, i would. Ticked my world!

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The Rusty Nail from Fremont Brewing Company
4.66 out of 5 based on 227 ratings.
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