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The Rusty Nail | Fremont Brewing Company

15 Reviews
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The Rusty NailThe Rusty Nail

Brewed by:
Fremont Brewing Company
Washington, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
The 1st Nail aged 12 months in 15-year bourbon barrels.

Added by fsck on 03-28-2014

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 62
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of PDXAmbassador
4.65/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle, a week or so after the release. Appears thick and oily, there's a nice little head but it disappears before you know it. It's not the blackest stout -- definite dark red highlights at the edge of the glass.

Aroma is absolutely stunning. I was surprised when I put my nose in the glass at all that's going on in there. Not sure if it's a British yeast strain, or cinnamon playing tricks on me, but it has an incredible mix of red fruits, dried cherry, bourbon, bit of spice and roast. Really nice.

Then the taste...I immediately can't help but think "BCBS" -- a very similar flavor profile of roast, chocolate, and bourbon to that old standby...but it is immediately evident that this is in a wholly different class. Much, much thicker, much richer with layers of bourbon that tastes smooth and quality. I found it more complex and less "hot" than other brews in this same vein (BCBS Rare, Puga Royale, Rye Black Magick....). There's a fruity spicy complexity in the mid palate, with barely a threshold level of black licorice at the back end. I wouldn't have known licorice was there without being told. Similar threshold levels of spice from the cinnamon -- not super tannic or spicy as some cinnamon beers can be. There is however just a bit of that spice tannin, which (along with a slightly lighter color than expected) might be my only quibble with this outstanding brew.

The mouthfeel is spot on. Low to moderate carb, viscous, rich. Any thicker and you risk getting into DL mud territory. Thinner and you lose the richness. But this is thicker than 95% of stouts I've ever had, and after trying this I continue to wonder why more breweries don't up the body on their imperial stouts. It adds so much to the experience.

World class brew. One of the favorite stouts I've ever had. Absolutely excited to have it again, and I imagine after 6 months+ in the bottle this one is going to be unbelievable.

 1,930 characters

Photo of jtirpak22
5/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

6oz. pour of the original batch (~3yrs old) side by side with an early pour of the new batch.

A - Rich dark brown bordering on black. Thin layer of head.
S - coffee, chocolate, hint of cinnamon
T - Taste is incredibly complex. Follows the nose for the most part with vanilla and a bit of bourbon
M - Big, thick, viscous, fully body
O - Have had this a few times in the past and each time I have it I'm left thinking that it's the best beer I've ever had. I can't wait for the new batch to get bottled.

 505 characters

Photo of EdwardAbbey
5/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If you doubt that beer
matters, this one could change your
mind. It answers why.

(P.S. I am indebted to the person who ensured that I could try this. You know whom you are. Thank you...)

 187 characters

Photo of johnny_chimpo
4.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of NWer
5/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of jpbebeau
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of kevwcamp
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of distantmantra
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.6/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle. Black body with no head. Smells of licorice, molasses, bourbon, lots of sugar. Some cinnamon and a light smoke aroma. Taste is very sweet. Smoked malt tempers it just a bit. Bourbon and cinnamon. Licorice, brown sugar, and molasses all lend to the sweetness. Heavy and boozy. Really sweet, even with the tempering effects of the smoke.

 359 characters

Photo of Bunuelian
4.48/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Kellee
5/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

6oz pour on tap at the release and then again out of the bottle.

A - Dark brown / nearly black, opaque with a thin layer of deep tan head
S - Cinnamon, chocolate, some licorice, dark fruits (figs, dates), and some barrel
T - Similar to the nose - chocolate, cinnamon, licorice, dark fruits, hint of vanilla and bourbon. The cinnamon starts to show up more as it warms, barrel character is present with a touch of vanilla and just a touch of bourbon heat. All the flavors are exceptionally well integrated.
M - Thick but not overwhelmingly so, somewhat chewy, extremely smooth.
O - I considered just typing "WOW" with a ton of Os until I hit the character threshold but figured that might not be particularly informative. This beer is exceptional. Batch 1 of Rusty Nail is perhaps the best beer I've ever had and this new batch is a close second. All the flavors come together in perfect harmony. It really doesn't get much better than this. Can't wait to open another bottle in the winter. Fremont has one of the best barrel programs in the nation and I'm lucky to live so close.

 1,083 characters

Photo of ford0626
4.94/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of Cloaked_Phantom
5/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Eighty
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of VashonGuy
4.49/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

It's an odd thing to say about a BBA Impy Stout, but I give this high marks for subtlety. Fremont's beers always seem to be well balanced, and Rusty Nail illustrates this perfectly. There is a lot going on in terms of flavor, but nothing dominates. There's the bourbon and the wood, of course, but this is not a bourbon bomb. It's unmistakably a stout, but the typical dark roasted malts are kept in check. There's zero bitterness. It's just a bit sweet, and the mouthfeel is a little syrupy, but it's not cloying. The flavors blend into a perfect combination that is incredibly smooth, almost creamy.

It's an excellent BBA stout, but actually, it's not quite as ethereal as the hype. That's the problem with hype, of course -- it almost always outpaces the reality. The reality is that Fremont has made a wonderful BBA stout, to stand alongside the other benchmarks of the style, but not necessarily head and shoulders above the rest.

On tap at the brewery: 6 ounce snifter.

 987 characters

Photo of CardsWinAgain
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of mgr78704
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%

Photo of Stardusthotel83
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of sukwonee
5/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Maven01
4.9/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of timmytime161
4.85/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of CaptainQ
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%

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The Rusty Nail from Fremont Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 15 ratings.
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