Gnaw Bone Pale Ale | Oaken Barrel Brewing Company

very good
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Gnaw Bone Pale AleGnaw Bone Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Oaken Barrel Brewing Company
Indiana, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-30-2002

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Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 118
Photo of Brent
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wonderfully floral hopping is the signature note for this pale ale. A nice rest from Cascades hops-laden pale ales, this beer focused on a light and airy aromatic hopping. Like Goose Island's IPA, this beer called to mind bergamot and Earl Grey tea. Quite flavorful without excess, and light-bodied without being watery. I was quite taken with this well-made beer.

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.69/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of those beers I have routinely avoided because of its packaging. It comes to you, the consumer, in an ugly black 12-year old photoshop nightmare. Skull and cross bones, ugly oaken barrels, bad lettering. Ugh. The positive reviews on this site were the only things that made me even consider trying the brew.

After finishing a few of these beers, I couldn't get away from the analogy that this beer is the grittier, unwashed version of Sierra Nevada Pale. It sounds like a diss, but it is actually a complement. The beer pours out with a similar hue to Sierra Nevada, but a little bit darker with more yeast granules visible. The lacing is impressive - it looks like a stretched out landscape.

The beer is hoppy to the smell, but in a strange and unique way. When you take your first taste, you can't shake the feeling that the person who threw in the hops might just have been wearing too much cologne. There is a raw feeling to the hops, a spicy and perfumed taste that sort of shocks the tastebuds.

I would say that this beer is distinctive, but it appeals to a lesser audience than even the SNPA, which is surprising since it comes from Indiana. With a little more impressive maltiness, this beer would have gotten amazing ratings. On a related note, the mouthfeel was also a bit lacking. Watch out for the burps from this beer, they are intense!

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.06/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had hoped to get to the Oaken Barrel Brewing Co. while staying with family in Greenwood, IN. After all, it was only a few miles away. Unfortunately, a flu bug struck and derailed any chance of getting there as I helped tend to some pretty sick nephews. However, I was fortunate enough to find Gnaw Bone in a local liquor store and fortify myself against the nasty little bugs infecting my kin.
Gnaw Bone poured an inviting hazy apricot color with a ton of tiny bubbles supporting a firm, foamy white head. The head hung around and was the last thing left in the bottom of the glass despite leaving clumps behind in sheets. The smell was firmly of grainy malt and caramel with a pleasant dose of citrus mixed in. The taste had a modest caramel malt backbone well matched to the strong hops profile. Interestingly, the hops bite mellowed to a lightly bittered finish. The feel was medium-bodied and smooth despite the large volume of carbonation.
I found Gnaw Bone to be a pretty tasty APA. I polished off one in no time and had to get a second to really sit back with and mull over. This brew from Oaken Barrel Brewing is a well-balanced pale ale with no over-the-top hopped-out flavor more like an IPA. Wish I could have stopped into the brewpub to try it on tap.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well this is really nice. Great looking brew that pours out a gorgeous cloudy apricot color with a huge, tightly built ivory head. Good retention and nice lacing that is lasting. The nose is all hops and the hops carry through in the taste. I consider the hops on this bottle to fairly herbal in character. There is substantial malt underlying the hops, but the malt really doesn't come through strongly against the hops. The feel is full and creamy, but not balanced well enough to create any crispness in the end. A good pale ale that is close to being very good.

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Photo of jreitman
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first thing I noticed was the unmistakeable smell of fresh hops, the kind of smell you get when you open the vacuum sealed bags when homebrewing. The smell reminded me a lot of the Cascades I have previously used. Not much else came through for me in the nose. Pours a hazy iced tea like color with a head made up of fairly large bubbles. Head dissipates fairly quickly leaving only a trace left on the top during consumption. Flavor is largely dominated by hops, but the hops are not overly assertive. Noted some citrus and piney flavors. Finishes bitter and leaves a hoppy, slightly bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of wlhagan3
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Yellowish-copper in the glass. A bit of chill-haze and yeast from the bottom of the bottle floating around. Not much in the way of a head or lace for that matter at the half way point. Plenty of bubbles though. Very citrus nose to it (Here comes the hops!!). Extremely bitter and not much mouth feel. Taste definitely lingers in mouth. This beer is good for a couple unless you really are a hop-head. Starting the evening with this and switching later on would be tough!!

FYI - I purchased the six pack from the local grocery store, so I am kind of suspect as to how long it has been sitting there.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tasting #2:

Golden with a decent light beige head, good carbonation, and decent lace. Very different almost all malt English-style Pale Ale in comparison to the old version. A touch of that bitter hop intensity but not nearly as bad. Possibly due to the 13 to 14 Plato increase per bottle label ... ? Medium bodied and smooth with a creamy malt sensation and a bitter hop finish.

Per Label: OG = 14 P

'4262' lasered on bottom
Tasted: 11/23/05

Tasting #1 (written: 12/19/02) - scores were: 3, 3.5, 3, 3, 3

Light golden color and unfiltered with a huge rocky light tan head. This beer was way overcarbonated as it took me 5 minutes to pour it. Crisp, perfumey, flowery hop aroma was decent. Taste was all hops with little to no malt backing (bitter, bitter, bitter). Not well balanced. Light bodied and so airy it had almost no mouthfeel at all.

Per Label: OG = 13 P
Lasered Date (bottled): '2014'

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Photo of zerk
4.62/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden copper, slighly hazy, with maybe the most magnificent head I've come across... I poured this one about 10 minutes ago, and I still have more than an inch of foam! The aroma is beautiful, with an estery hop presence... notes of citrus, sour apples, and a spice I can't quite identify. Not so much targeted to the hop head, the flavor of this APA is more balanced, leaning to hops, but with a detectable maltiness as well. Finishes with a spciness, and a bitter bite. Has a very nice medium body. This is everything an APA should be... pleasing to all senses... hell, even the sound of the bottle opening was music to my ears!

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Photo of Viking
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall, this is a pretty good brew, from a solid brewery. Unfortunately, I seem to be overlooking this one lately...

Golden-copper colored, slightly hazy. Nice thick head that dissolves into a thin lace. Leaves lace trail on glass. Spicy hop aroma that carries into the flavor. Nice bitter hop flavor, with a lingering bitter finish. Nice, smooth beer. Now I just need a hockey game to enjoy.

By the way, I'm pretty sure this brew is named for the small Indiana town of Gnaw Bone, which was named for Narbonne, France. Gotta love that Hoosier dialect!

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Gnaw Bone Pale Ale from Oaken Barrel Brewing Company
3.75 out of 5 based on 118 ratings.
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