The Rusty Nail
Fremont Brewing Company

The Rusty NailThe Rusty Nail
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English Oatmeal Stout
Ranked #2
Ranked #104
4.57 | pDev: 6.13%
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: 117 | Ratings: 656 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Harrison8
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.

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Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
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.

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Photo of matts2896
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.

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Photo of BillRoth
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.

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Photo of maximum12
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.

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Photo of Buck89
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.

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Photo of Damian
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.

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Photo of darktronica
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.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
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.

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

The pour is thick and dark. Not much head. Nice lacing though.

Nose is smooth bourbon, some malt and the faintest breeze of cinnamon. The presence of cinnamon is delicate and beautiful. Like oatmeal cookies or stroopwaffel that are just lightly dusted. That near 14% ABV is certainly present but not obtrusive, creating a subtle tension.

Now the taste is where it all comes together. The cinnamon comes in stronger and the bourbon takes a small step back to make way for it. All the while, the roast from the malt and the slight bitterness, almost a ghostly effect, from the licorice enforce balance from being too sweet. The alcohol level still is just being there, but not in the way. If you look for him you'll find him casually chilling in the corner of the room.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth. Amazing. That's just how it should be with Oatmeal Stouts. Very mild carbonation, but not enough to make you believe it's a nitro. No matter how low some of the stouts are in carbonation you can always tell the difference

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Photo of AyatollahGold
4.41/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2018 bottle.
Pouring from a bomber bottle into a whiskey/tumbler glass, this beer pours out like a stream of coffee. It forms in the glass black with a bright brown highlighted rim. It wanted to form a crown of caramel bubbles on the pour, but never could muster it. 4

The nose carries in a bourbon barrel that wants its presence known. It shows dark fruit; raisins, dates and plums alongside a dry oak, light leather and vanilla tannins. The cinnamon is at the party, but deciding if it wants to dance yet. 4.25

And with one sip, the cinnamon jumps off the wall to dance, providing an ever so slight spicy tingle. It doesn’t take long for the barrel to come back in with its dark fruit. Loads of chocolate paints the background and stays throughout. I think the licorice adds to the overall taste, but it’s not something that would be picked out if not noted. The only time I’m able to tell it’s there is maybe on the finish with a little lingering candy sweetness. 4.5

The 14.5% ABV seems like an 8 or 9%, it’s very soft and subtle, which is very impressive for how evident and prominent the barrel is throughout. It’s very well integrated in there with no booze showing through. Cinnamon bark provides a nice, slight tingle throughout. I would put this at medium bodied, and if it was a little thicker my rating on the feel would be perfect. 4.5

Overall, this isn’t a beer that is going to obliterate your mouth with flavor. It sits back, and slowly shows you beautiful aspects throughout its entirety. Very well made, balanced & integrated. It honestly reminds me of something Bells would make. In the sense that, it might leave you wanting a little more of a certain aspect at given points, but it definitely won’t leave you saying it wasn’t perfectly balanced. 4.5

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Photo of Wasatch
4.91/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz. Bomber
Red Wax/Capped
2019 Limited Release
ABV: 13.9%

Poured into a Tree House glass a very nice dark brown/black color, pretty nice carbonation, with a pretty nice thick/creamy/fizzy/quick one-finger tan head, which leaves a very nice medium oil slick, and some pretty nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is very nice, malty, hoppy, with some chocolate/toffee, bourbon, vanilla, licorice, with a pretty nice touch of cinnamon, oaky. The taste is very very nice, malty, hoppy, with a very nice touch of chocolate/toffee, some really nice bourbon, vanilla, really nice touch of cinnamon, licorice, oaky, with a really nice sweetness. Full Body, ABV is hidden very nicely, very nice creamyness/silky, a very nice sipper, a very nice complex brew. Overall, this is a very tasty brew, the best from this brewery for me so far. Hopefully, I can find another bottle, now.

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Photo of emyers
4.62/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 oz. bottle poured into a teku glass.

Near black with a thin light brown head.

Nose: Licorice and cinnamon dominate, Bourbon barrel is present but more of an undertone.

Taste: Licorice up front which quickly transitions to cinnamon and then the bourbon takes over. Lingering dark chocolate through the finish really brings it all together. Virtually no alcohol presence.

Feel: Exceptional. Silky in the palate with medium body and low carbonation.

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

This is a big and tasty oatmeal stout with a lot of flavor. The alcohol is noticeable (it is 13.90% after all) but it is a warming alcohol flavor that blends well with the sweetness and strong bourbon flavor. It is delicious for slow sipping.

Look: Black with a fluffy two-inch thick mocca colored head

Aroma: bourbon and chocolate

Taste: The flavor roasted oats/malts, licorice, cinnamon, chocolate, lots of bourbon.

Body/Overall: medium to full body but smooth

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Photo of CraftFan5
4.16/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

30 January 2020 - Beer #15

Price: $27.99 on Tavour

Appearance: 5 - black black with a beautiful dark mocha head. The darker the better on the head.

Nose: 4- decent amount of barrel. Hmm... more cinnamon than I remember. A little too much?

Taste: 4 - yeah, definitely more cinnamon than expected. Perfect amount of barrel. The cinnamon is just overpowering the other flavors more than I'd prefer. Not particularly boozy.

Mouth: 5 - this is going to turn my saliva dark at least until morning. Very thick and chewy. A masterpiece.

Overall: 4 - another decadent night cap, but a bit too much cinnamon.


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Photo of rudzud
4.56/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JLindros for sharing this bottle. 2018 vintage.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark black hue with a thin mocha head that fades to leave sticky legs.

S - Big aromas of cinnamon and black licorice. Nice lightly smokey malts, subtle bourbon. Very pleasant base beer but not much barrel notes.

T - Taste is similar to the nose with loads of slightly sweet licorice. Little smokey, tons of cinnamon. Very nice chocolate fudge and brownies, loads of bourbon barrel and bourbon juice. Finish is lingering alcohol.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, creamy, fluffy, alcohol comes though quite hastily.

O - Overall this was a very solid imperial stout with excellent licorice and cinnamon. Just a little too boozy right now.

Serving Type: bottle

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Photo of jlindros
4.56/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2018 vintage, shared with rudzud
Pours a small dark head that fades almost instantly, thick inky oily black beer, long thick legs

Nose like a typical super dark dark black stout, heavy roast and a bit of char, tons of roast and a bit of charred cocoa, dark chocolate, some cinnamon and a bit of licorice anise, some vanilla from phenol spices of the roasted malts and a bit of the barrel, but no bourbon, dark chocolate fudge, touch of coconut barrel notes

Taste more of the super rich dark stout, this time a bit of bourbon barrel juice in there as well, some cinnamon with spice heat as well, very little licorice thankfully, rich dark malts with some roast and char, fudgey super dark charred roast, bitterness more from charred malts than from hops, baking spices, some alcohol warmth and flavor somewhat smooth but quite obvious and a bit hot, dark chocolate cocoa, vanilla, creamy rich vanilla and a little barrel baking spice, intense malt, sticky mild drier finish, more warming alcohol and thick fudgey cocoa as well as some cinnamon and vanilla

Mouth is fuller bod, rich creamy lush chewy, hot alcohol though, medium carb

Overall pretty nice, good base stout, cocoa, fudge, etc, nice barrel with vanilla and spices but wish the bourbon was a bit more, cinnamon is nice, licorice is there and thankfully very light, enjoyable sipper

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Photo of Sandis
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2017 version poured into a snifter. Based on some of the ingredients noted on the label of the bottle (cinnamon, licorice) I was not expecting to like this quite as much as I did. I loved how thick and smooth this was with no single ingredient taking over. I couldn't keep myself from finishing the entire bottle on a Sunday night.

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Photo of Herbertly
4.62/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Rusty Nail 2019 from the bottle on 6/22/19:
Cinnamon, anise, roasted malt, raisins, and licorice. Flavors and nose grow and layer as it warms. Stunning and outstanding.

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Photo of jhavs
4.46/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, poured into stemless Teku.

Black and full bodied, creamy pour. Head is thin layer of dense dark tan foam. Like cappuccino cap stirred into the espresso.

Aroma is sweet, fragrant cinnamon, bourbon and earthy floral vanilla.

Decent amount of cinnamon flavor, but not overpowering. Bourbon vanilla, rich bittersweet cocoa, light licorice and smoky/roasty malts.

Rich and full bodied, lower side of moderate carbonation.

A complex and tasty brew. Smooth and inviting. Flavors expand as it warms but nothing overpowers the others.

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Photo of Luscious_Malfoy
4.63/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

pours a dense black with a thick dark brown head. head leaves nice thick dark brown rings around the edges and swirls in the middle. smells like cinnamon whiskey lovely nose on this beer. taste is a complex mix of cinnamon, dark fruits, slight chocolate and malt. get a little bit of that black licorice awkwardness on the back end, but it works. gives it a rooty, herbal, earthy aftertaste. i dig it. feel is on point. mild carbonation and full on the tongue through all the way down the gullet. overall, this is incredible. very impressed with what fremont does with their barrels. and in such great quantity. highly recommend!

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

2018 barrel-aged imperial oatmeal stout (14.5% abv)... Brewed with licorice and cinnamon bark and aged in bourbon barrels... This thing is sick... Chocolate, molasses, licorice, and bourbon deluxe - hint of cinnamon... Niiice...

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Photo of WA_Brian
4.19/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle from 2018 which came out in June 2018 but doesn't have a bottle date. Poured into a tulip at 51°F.

L: Pours black with virtually no head. What little bubbles exist are a dark brown. Looks black except at the thinnest edges and generally looks completely still.

S: Cinnamon, brown sugar, licorice. A little alcohol as it warms up. Not a very strong aroma for this type of beer.

T: Cinnamon, chocolate, light roast. The licorice and cinnamon bark complement the base beer quite well. The added flavors are not too strong as to overpower the beer, although it may be hard to overpower a 14.5% imperial oatmeal stout.

F: Creamy, and sticky. This is my least favorite part about the beer. It's far too sticky and syrupy which builds the more you drink it until you simply don't want to drink it anymore.

O: Good flavor although it is a bit on the sweeter side. The adjuncts don't dominate the flavor which is probably for the best. My biggest complaint is the sticky mouthfeel which limits me to wanting to drink this is small amounts. This beer releases over the summer and at that that I find the sticky feel to be pretty off-putting. I've saved this bottle for a snowy winter day where it is better, but still not pleasant.

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Photo of Mar02x
4.66/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Really enjoyed this one, lots of flavor and balance - the smokey-ness is only very light present.

THX Chad for sharing this one with me. I never would have traded for it, because it was unknown back than.

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Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.69/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: pitch black, dark brown head that lingers
S: Cinnamon, dark chocolate, sweet milk chocolate, light oak, hint of licorice, bourbon, cocoa
T: Perfectly integrated cinnamon, cocoa, bourbon, oats, light licorice, light roast, hint of fresh fruit
M: Creamy and thicker but still easy drinking
O: Best beer I've ever gazed with licorice. Cinnamon and licorice are perfectly integrated. Bourbon is present but lets the base shine. Alcohol is masked

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The Rusty Nail from Fremont Brewing Company
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 656 ratings