Gnaw Bone Pale Ale | Oaken Barrel Brewing Company

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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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 118 |  Reviews: 59
Photo of mwa423
2.85/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Hazy yellow with excessive head (3 fingers at least) Very stick head on the glass.

S - Strong smell, some dark bitter malt but also a bit of hop. Confusing smell, not particularly pleasant but also not off putting.

T - Very bitter taste, closer to an English Pale Ale than an American. The malt backbone is far thicker then I would have imagined.

M/D - Mouthfeel is far too thick and cloying to be enjoyable as an APA. I wouldn't at all call this a drinkable beer.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

Pours a translucent honey amber, with a dense cream colored head, nice retention and a thick coating of sticky lacing. Floral and mild fruity hops on nose, with grain and toasted malt background. Not very strong, but nicely balanced. Lighter side of medium bodied with a sharp pinch of carbonation and a resiny aftertaste. Flavor is strong on grain and toasted malt, with mild earthy, piney hop profile in finish, none of the sweetness from the nose is present. A nice, full earthy ale, not too crazy about the flavor, but overall a nice, hoppy APA.

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Photo of taylorhamrick
3.37/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Looks a little hazy, but a nice golden color, with a moderate 1cm+ head, that kind of collapses to ring, leaving little bits of lacing. Nothing out of the ordinary. The smell is filled with some nice floral hops, a bit of citrus zest. Not much on body, really smells like a bitter hop tea or something, with a kind of sulfurous yeasty smell. The taste really matches the smell in many respects. Overall, this is a little more bitter than I expected, but honestly, I think that with a bit more malt body - it would be fixed. Tastes a bit like centennial hop tea, some Amarillo, too, a bit bitter, very floral, quite a bit of citrus, mixed in with a pungent, herbal, resinous finish. Again, I think this would be good with more malt, at best now it's crackery, and that's it. The body is pretty good, around medium, the carbonation is nice, just a bit of a tickle. This is enjoyable, too. But I think the bitterness gets to be a little too much without some balance. I would come back to this again if it were fixed up a bit, but as it stands, nothing too interesting.

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Photo of kegger22
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy red orange with a modest head that quickly fades to a collar. A malty sweet. I sampled this with a plate of spaghetti. Before my meal I got a taste of malty sweet caramel. The hops didn't make their presence known until after some meat sauce. I'll have to try again with say, an omelet, but I liked it. The feel was medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability was good. Nice job Oaken Barrel, my new favorite American pale ale.

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Photo of beerhobo22
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong hop aroma. Poured a hazy, light, copper color with a big, off-white, head. Good head retention and lacing. Since this is a dry hopped beer, the haze is consistent. High hop flavor with caramel and biscuit malt in the background. Medium body with good carbonation. Not too astringent and very easy to drink. Definitely a hop head favorite.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful gold color with a slight haze. A quickly receding white head tops the beer. Smells of light hops and sweet malts. First sip is full bodied and well balanced. The crisp hops lead the way and are well matched with a strong malt backbone. A creamy mouthfeel just adds to a great experience.

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Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
3.28/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

No freshness date, into a Flying Dog shaker...

A - Golden colored body with amber tints. Healthy two fingers of head that almost looks like off white bubble bath foam. Sticking the the glass quite nicely.

S - Good hop aroma here, with big citrus, grass, and pepper. Hay seems to be the only aroma I'm getting out of this that does not seem to come from the hops. There is a fresh (not cooked) vegetable aroma coming out of this beer that actually seems appealing.

T/M - Big fruits (grapefruit) from the hops, balanced out by spiciness and grassiness from the hops and some slight maltiness defines the entry for me. Seems to be a little on the watery side, both in body and in the midpalate/finish. Finishes dry, grassy and spicy. Did seem to be a bit boozier than I would like too.

D - Not bad, not great. Does a good job coxing out hop flavors, but could you something more to back it up. I feel like I have pales that are similar in ABV that do a better job masking their alcohol. Overall, not a heavy recomendation...

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Photo of biggred1
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice hazy amber color with a decent head of sudsy of white foam that leaves some lace on the glass. Nice citrus and floral hops in the nose with an earthy fresh dough quality. Taste is not out of the ordinary, good and hoppy with decent grapefruity hops and caramel maltiness. Well balanced. Pleasant medium mouthfeel with a nice hop bitterness in the finish. A nice APA, refreshing.

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Photo of bheilman
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a duvel glass. Had a nice head and nice color. The smell is fruity and with a solid hop background. The taste is very pleasant, nothing too unusual for a pale ale, it has the nice citrusy flavor with a bit of spice to follow. The aftertaste is nice and doesn't really diminish or sour. The beer is very drinkable and I'm pretty surprised the alcohol content is so high. I'm definitely going to try out some more stuff from this brewery.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a cloudy yellow gold with two fingers of foamy white head.

Aroma of malts, flowery hops, table salt, and bread.

The taste is more hoppy than the aroma. Orange and lemon zest pop along with toasted malts, and bread. Finishes with a light, bitter twang.

Light-to-medium bodied, clean and dry, and moderately carbonated.

A pretty nice APA from Oaken Barrel. An easy drinking brew with good balance.

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

Pours a foggy orange hued brown with a small creme head. Nose is rich in malts and a bit of caramel. Flavor is bringing the same, though more than just a bit of caramel. I almost feel like there is a real minor touch of an alcohol tone there, but it's pretty mild. Feel is fairly thicker on the liquid and carbonation is milder but still bringing a slight bite. A nice malty ale. I like.

Thanks to my Secret Santa tburkhart for this one. Cool label too.

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Photo of marcobrau
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gnaw Bone: an unusual name for a pale ale; for some reason the name suggests a barleywine-style ale to me, but whatever.

This beer poured with a ton of carbonation. Big, loose bubbles filled half the glass. When the foam never really settles, leaving a bone white, rocky head. The aroma is fantastic: lemon verbena mixed in among a more general floral aroma; almost like a perfume. The brewer describes the aroma as "nose rattling" which sounds a bit violent. It wasn't that huge for me, but I really liked the initial smell of this beer.

The flavors are a bit more mellower thane expected, but good. Citric hops mixed in with a toasted malt and oaken flavor. Perhaps aged or fermented in barrels? (There's no indication of this on the brewery's website, so perhaps it's just the suggestion of the name.) This beer gets a bit musty towards the finish, which I find sort of appealing (perhaps because I like this character in Belgian-style ales), but seems out of place. The finish is toasty dry and a bit bitter and hot, but this doesn't detract from the overall enjoyment of this brew. Overall, a decent pale ale that is more drinkable than it's nearly 6 percent alcohol content would suggest.

Thanks to RedBaron for the trade.

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Photo of emerge077
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Label has a grey background, instead of the brown one pictured.

Dark copper body, with an inch or so of foam initially. Spotty lace and a skim of foam left after the head dwindles down.

Malty aroma similar to whole wheat bread and peanut butter.

Flavor is spicy and malty, some caramel element, but the hops have largely dissipated. Aftertaste is bready, kernels of cracked wheat and oats. This pale ale tastes more like an imperial oktoberfest. Without much hop character, save for a bare hint in the aftertaste, i'm not sure how this classifies as a pale ale.

It drinks pretty well, full-bodied and satisfying...there's just something missing in the flavor profile.

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Photo of SMark
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was poured into an Imperial pint glass at 45° with slightly more than 1 finger of white foamy head. Head retention was approximately 5 minutes with a layer of foam hugging the side of the glass at the end. The color was clear, light amber with slight yellow effects.

There were crisp, clean hop aromas and a bit of sweet malt.

The hop taste was prevalent and very satisfying for pale ale. Hints of sweetness were very faint with the bitter taste of hops coming across quite well.

The hops seemed to linger on the roof of the mouth and then were drawn toward the back and traveled out the nose. A slight tickling sensation was experienced on the tip of the tongue.

This was a beer with a good clean refreshing taste and would be very easy to drink during a session. I will keep this one in mind on trips to Indy.

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Photo of JamesS
4.07/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice amber color, although it had very little head and no lacing to speak of. Had a nice light hoppy/flowery aroma. Nice hoppy flavor, it was full, but not quite as strong or deep as it could be. Goes down fine. A nice, above average pale ale, I would definitely have more.

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Photo of cameraman
2.87/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

An amber color, with an quater inch off white color head forms, that laces down slowly an d leaves a thin layer on top. The scent starts with a quick hit of malt, that is soon overtaken by a grassy, citrusy aroma, that dominates till the end. The malt comes out at the start of the flavor, the gradual growth of a citrus bitterness reaches its peak at the end. A slightly watery mouthfeel at the start, that blends itself to a more medium bodied feel. There is the slight foaming sensation on the palate, at the end, from the carboantion. A decent pale ale, the aroma was good, I was expecting more from the flavor, and the mouthfeel was a bit of a let down.

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Photo of schoolcb
3.79/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


This has to be the best offering at Oaken Barrel. What an awesome American Pale Ale. Light copper in color and very clear. Medium bodied. Great malt backbone, and hops hops hops. Cascades in the nose, in the flavor (nice fresh citrusy american hop flavor) that carry through to the aftertaste. This is one of the best American Pale Ale's out there.

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Photo of belgaridub
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden with red hues, I some yeast from the pour and a little hazy

Smells great, the tangy floral hop aroma jumps right up from the pour.

This is a very tasty beer, the hops are definitely present, but not overpowering. Some pine flavor resting at the back.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied. This has some good carbonation. I could drink this all day.

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Photo of Cresant
3.36/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this undated 12 oz. brown bottle into an IPA glass. Two fingers of off white head topped a cloudy golden honey colored body.

Smell was very aromatic. It jumped out as soon as I popped the top. Sweet malty bread-crust. Earthy.

Taste was flavorful hops bitterness. Citrus and powerful malts.

Mouthfeel was medium to thin in body and medium/mild in carbonation. Very drinkable.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy orange color with a thick and mousy 2” of cream colored bubbles. The head started falling slowly leaving a wake of lace behind. I can’t really tell how many bubbles are rising because it is so cloudy

Aroma: Oodles of hops. I get a whole bunch of citrusy hops that dominate the aroma profile. As you really get deep into the aroma, you can pick out some toasty notes as well as a bit of caramel sweetness. Other than this, there is hops.

Taste: The flavor is really hop driven also, but this pale ale doesn’t have the dry lingering bitterness that you find so often with APA. I think that this is a good thing. There is a little bit of dryness in the finish from the hops, but they don’t get harsh. There is a whole lot of citrus to this beer, and it stays in charge until the end. The balance of the finish is slightly toward the hops, but there is still a little bit of a toasty thing going on here that I suspect is Vienna malt.

Opinion: This is a decent beer. I like the balance for an APA because it actually lets some malt come through a little bit. It isn’t a key player, but there is a bit of sweetness and toasty backbone to the beer to give the hops a leg to stand on. I wouldn’t go so far to say that this beer was absolutely outstanding, but it definitely isn’t bad at all. I would drink this again.

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Photo of merlin48
3.81/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at The Keg, in Clarksville, Indiana, as a single, my first sampling of a brew from this small, Hoosier brewery. Pours a hazy, orange/golden body with a rowdy, four finger, offwhite head that overflows the pint glass. Excellent retention and generous patch lacing. Aroma is interesting, with grassy straw, pine, and grapefruit hops, some earthiness, and an odd note of cardboard that is fleeting. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. Taste is mildly dry and bitter, mostly citrusy grapefruit with a note of earthy pine needles. Malt presence is subtle but well executed. Very nice taste is much better than the aroma portends. Very sessionable. Wish I lived closer to this brewery so I could have this on tap..

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Photo of kdmorse
3.89/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden orange beer topped with 2+ fingers of rocky white head. Slightly hazy with bubbles racing to the top.

S: Piney hops. Some malt, but mostly piney hops. Distinct pineapple scent coming from somewhere.

T/M: Taste is similar to the smell, but more subdued. Sweet malt balanced with piney hops and a tiny citrus explosion. Slick on the tongue with decent carbonation.

D: Very drinkable from an alcohol and enjoyability standpoint. Solid.

Notes: Enjoyed this beer a lot, but feel like it is bordered on an IPA. I don't know where the line is drawn, or who cares, but I just thought I'd put it out there.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer is a warm dark orange body that is crystal clear with a cascade of tiny bubbles rising to the top. The head is a creamy off-white that last for a bit and then turns into big rocky bubbles.

S- The smell of fresh green hops is strong with a faint lightly toasted sweet malt in the background. The hops have notes of pineapple grass and a faint skunk note but in a very nice way with a hint of pine resin in the background. This beer does not smell "skunked" it is just the hops have a faint skunk earthiness. The bottles were picked up from the brewery yesterday.

T- There is a nice fresh hop flavor that is grapefruit and earthy flavors that have a nice depth. The hops are quickly followed by a faint slightly sweet malt in the background. After a few sips the malt is not noticed anymore just the burst of hops remains. The finish is neutral with some nice green hops lingering in the mouth.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a strong tight fizz in the texture and the finish. It adds a bit to the hops but it feels like an overall distraction.

D- The bottle says the O.G. is 14 Plato which is a nice fact but it would be nice to know the IBU's if I was shopping for APAs. The beer has nice hop flavors that are a bit earthy had have some good flavors. There are some light caramel note in the malts but the taste buds quickly loose hold of them and just taste hops. This is a good solid beer and I will have to have some fresh from the brewery next time I am through that way.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on location and ordered a pint. Pours a straw yellow color with some cloudiness but still slightly visible when held to the light. A decent head that remained through most of the tasting but did hide around the edges of the glass. Decent lacing as well.

The aroma had a good hop smell to it. For sweet and noticeable cascades smell to it. Limited malt with touches of grainy and biscuit touches.

The taste was hoppy for an APA. Or at least for a Midwest beer. A citrus taste with some floral lick to it. Cascades again. More of a floral taste at the top with a milder bitterness following. The malt blends and balances well. Although second fiddle to the hops, there is a sweet biscuit taste mixed with a caramel flavor. Some slight oily tastes but really not bad.

The body was light and I think if it were bigger it would support the beer more. Higher on the carbonation as well, maybe toned down more. Overall it was a good beer.

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Photo of swid
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Beer #3 (of 13) from my beer purchase in Indiana.

Gnaw Bone Pale Ale pours a bright gold color into my glass; slightly opaque. A 3/4", off-white head forms, then slowly collapses. Moderate carbonation; light lacing. The aroma is appropriately hoppy, with citrus, herbs, and a hint of juniper. A sweet caramel malt base complements the aroma nicely.

The initial taste, like the aroma. is dominated by the hops. The first flavors encountered are the pine and citrus bitterness provided by the hops; after a little bit, the caramel and sweet toasted flavors of the malt come through. The taste eventually becomes slightly acidic. The mouthfeel is moderately dry; this beer is far thinner than one would expect otherwise. Finishes crisp, with a mild lingering bitterness.

A decent pale ale, one that lies on the border between APA and American IPA. However, its thin mouthfeel keeps it from being a good to great beer. Still, it's worth checking out; I can see this being a good beer for food pairings.

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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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