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White Oak - The Bruery

Not Rated.
White OakWhite Oak

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,045 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,045
Reviews: 253
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.4%
Wants: 98
Gots: 265 | FT: 31
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Wheatwine |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
White Oak is a blended beer-- 50% wheatwine aged in Bourbon barrels (we call it "White Oak Sap"), and 50% Mischief (our Golden Strong Ale). Vivid caramel, coconut and vanilla flavors blanketed in a crisp yet robust wheat ale, White Oak is an exercise of balance.

(Beer added by: OlieIPA on 07-12-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,045 | Reviews: 253 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cde1218
1/5  rDev -74.2%

cde1218, Jun 21, 2013
Photo of PumaSaysRawrr
1.75/5  rDev -54.8%

PumaSaysRawrr, Oct 06, 2013
Photo of Arbitrator
1.8/5  rDev -53.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Room-temperature (55 F in my place) bottle into a glass. Courtesy of Overlord. Many thanks, Mike.

A: Pours a murky golden-amber color with a short-lived finger of off-white fluffy head. It collapses into a thin film on the brew with a thick collar that deposits sheets of non-sticky bubbles during each swig. Not mindblowing for a BSPA, but decent.

S: Vanilla, cinnamon, honey, oak, wheat, caramel, toffee, mango, and a light ethanol scent. I can't find any bourbon.

T: Begins with yeast, vanilla, and cinnamon. Other spices (cardamom?) that I can't quite figure out. Mid-taste is honey, wheat, and more "traditional" malts of caramel and toffee. I also detect mango throughout, but it pops up at strange times. The finish reveals a light, peppery bourbon character with oak, but there is also a booze burn that pulls into the finish. Very strong-tasting. Unfortunately, the powerful and cloying combination of honey, vanilla, and booze in the aftertaste is pretty tough to swallow. Initially a 3, but after drain-pouring a lot of the beer I can't really give it anything higher than a 1.

M: This is sticky as hell. It clings to the mouth. A forced sipper no matter how you look at it. Unfortunately you do feel the 11% throughout, and it adds an unpleasant aftertaste to an already heavy beer. The style should be fluffier. A semi-dry finish.

D: Lots of strong tastes here. But it's very heavy on the palate, and the finish is challenging. I'm not sure barrel-aging was a good idea for this one. Also, I really should have split this with people. I was unable to finish the bottle and poured out about 40% of it. Gah. I hate throwing away expensive beer.

Arbitrator, Nov 18, 2009
Photo of corby112
1.83/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Pours a very dark and hazy burnt orange color with golden yellowish orange hues when held to a light source and a frothy, pillowy two finger white foam head. Excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that leaves chunks of soapy lacing behind.

Earthy aroma with a prominent honey presence as well as a very strong barrel character. Lots of ashy charred wood with a heavy dose of boozy bourbon and some subtle vanilla. Plenty of alcohol sweetness and earthy spice in the nose along with light fruit notes. Smells slightly damp and funky and just a weird combination of scents.

Medium bodied with very tight carbonation up front that is immediately countered by a blast of bourbon and burnt wood that overpower almost everything and lingers throughout into a very hot, burning finish. The barrel character is way too strong in this beer creating an overly hot, boozy, astringent mess. Lots of earthy oak and hot bourbon flavor with a decent bit of vanilla flavor that surprisingly doesn't mellow things out much at all. Underneath all of the heat there is a slightly creamy presence with hints of crisp light fruit and zesty, peppery spice. This beer is not very well balanced and is kind of an abrasive assault on the palate. It doesn't taste very good and is tough to choke down. It improves a bit as it warms but it is still a one dimensional failure.

corby112, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of MrFootstones
1.95/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1.5

I was excited to open my painstakingly acquired White Oak (and Black Tuesday). I couldn't drink this one though. I split it with two BA's and luckily, they were able to polish off my bottle for me to avoid the alcohol abuse of a drain pour.

For me, a beer as delicate as this is just not appropriate for bourbon bbl aging. The poor beer was completely overwhelmed and it was just a boozy bourbon bomb. Both the smell and taste were overpowering sweet whisky. I had the same problem with Allagash Curieux before they toned it down (or maybe it was just more mellow on tap).

I feel bad giving a poor review to such a revered brewery but this one was unpalatable to me.

MrFootstones, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of BergBeer
2/5  rDev -48.3%

BergBeer, Aug 23, 2013
Photo of Rhettroactive
2/5  rDev -48.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

From 750mL bottle to Portsmouth glass on 5/24/12
*From notes

-- Thanks for crackin' this one, Billiam --

A: Cloudy, murky Saison yellow. A good pour yields a white and loost 1.25 finger head that fades to a meager bubbly collar and no lacing. Meh.

S: Sage, mint, herbs. Not a lot of booze, yet this is lacking a significant amount of oomph. I mean why does a damn Wheatwine smell like an herb garden? Where's the bourbon? 50% is aged in bourbon barrels, yet I would've never known had the label not told me.

T: Wheat, booze, an imperial amount of clove and some overripe banana. There's a real Belgian quality to that just doesn't mesh well with the base beer. Again, no bourbon to speak of. Kind of a mess, to be honest.

M: What am I drinking? This feels like a bubbly summer session lager or Pale Wheat Ale. Where's the viscosity? Where's the body and complexity? This seems to be a running theme with the current batches of the Bruery's specialty suds: thin and underwhelming.

O: What a train wreck of a beer. This isn't anywhere close to good. It feels lazy and uninspired, and it disappoints in most every facet. Do your palate a favor and introduce Mr. White Oak to Ms. Drain, pronto.

Rhettroactive, May 25, 2012
Photo of ajtorres311
2/5  rDev -48.3%

ajtorres311, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of litheum94
2/5  rDev -48.3%

litheum94, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of Kaveman
2/5  rDev -48.3%

Kaveman, Aug 25, 2013
Photo of sharpski
2/5  rDev -48.3%

sharpski, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of Beerboy33
2.24/5  rDev -42.1%

Beerboy33, Aug 11, 2014
Photo of BrownAleMale
2.25/5  rDev -41.9%

BrownAleMale, Jul 28, 2013
Photo of kojevergas
2.4/5  rDev -38%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

750 ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average; I'm usually very underwhelmed by beers from this brewery - with the exception of Black Tuesday, which I was quite fond of. I hope this isn't overpriced mediocrity like many of The Bruery's other beers.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 3.5 finger head of slight soft cream, decent thickness, and very impressive retention considering the high ABV. Colour is a murky hazy dark yellow. Nontransparent. Non-opaque. It looks rather nice; I'm excited to try it. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Floral, with clean wheat presence, cream, very light vague coconut, and tropical fruit esters. Pleasant, clean, and generally inviting - though not unique or special. A mild strength aroma.

T: Wheat is definitely the base, with strange bourbon and wood notes. Some light floral fruit notes are backgrounded. Coconut is distinct and recognizable, but I don't know that it's a good addition to the flavour profile. No alcohol comes through - quite a feat. The balance is off. Lacks a clear focus or emphasis, as though the brewers combined a bunch of difficult processes without any real regard for the balance of the end product. The wheat is nice and well executed, but the coconut mixed with the bourbon really bothers me. Complex but not at all subtle. Far too sweet. I get some vanilla, but it's not like it is in dark beers; here vanilla is troublesome.

Their own description on the label hints at the problem; "esque" and "ish" and "like" are used, but there are no solid firm flavours. It's a hodge podge of would-be notes, and the result is less appealing than the label makes it sound. Vaguely evocative of malibu coconut rum mixed with poor bourbon.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and somewhat creamy. Too thin. Adequately carbonated. Complements the flavour generally.

Dr: To its credit, the ABV is well hidden. That's probably the best element of this beer. It's difficult to drink; coconut is quickly overwhelming and far too sweet - especially over the course of repeated sips. Far too expensive for its quality (a staple of The Bruery). Another disappointment from The Bruery. I may never know why people like their beers so much. I wouldn't get this again, and I'd caution friends from trying it as well. Wasn't there supposed to be oak in the taste?

See Koko Brown from Kona Brewing for a far better (and motivated) use of coconut in the brewing process.

D+

kojevergas, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of FreshmanPour77
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

FreshmanPour77, Jan 30, 2013
Photo of Rons35
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Rons35, Feb 19, 2013
Photo of Jslay013
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Jslay013, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of leftoverburrito
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

leftoverburrito, May 16, 2013
Photo of funkel81
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

funkel81, Oct 13, 2012
Photo of jmcgahran1
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

jmcgahran1, May 25, 2012
Photo of TequilaTom
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

TequilaTom, May 18, 2014
Photo of Auracom
2.55/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Courtesy of the RS. 6-7 oz. of the bomber poured into a Cantillon flute on May 6th, 2012.

A - Semi-clear golden coloring with a huge 4-finger, white, creamy head. Decent retention and great lacing. Looks a bit like a hefty geuze.

S - Lots of sharp lemon peel and vinegar with light malt sweetness and vanilla. A touch of oak and wheat-bread yeast underneath. Much, much less barrel character than I expected.

T - Front palate wheat grass, citrus, and tart sweetness. Mid palate transitions into caramel, light vanilla, and finally some semblance of barrel notes. Rear end is a wierd mixture of sweet, sour, and malty bread that leads into the finish.

M - Light-medium body, moderate carbonation, a bit smooth, tart and lightly-dry finish.

D - Undoubtedly the strangest beer I've had from the Bruery yet. There are a lot of different elements within the aroma and taste, but I find them to clash rather the meld/blend. Ultimately that makes this pretty poor for drinkability, imo.

Auracom, May 07, 2012
Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.58/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

750ml bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours a hazy amber color. The head is VERY nice looking - it's two fingers high, white shaded, and beautifully creamy. I think it retains well for 11.5%, and the lacing it leaves behind is pretty but inconsistent. This one looks good in a glass.

S: I get both the BSPA portion and the BA wheatwine portion, with the former coming through more vividly. Apple and pear esters tend to dominate, while its barrel characteristics (oak, vanilla, even coconut!) slowly build up as this opens up. If there's a problem, it's that there seems to be a disconnect between the fruit esters and the barrel notes - as if they're not coexisting in perfect harmony with each other. Individually, though, these two tones are actually quite satisfying.

T: Apple and pear esters are at the forefront of the flavor profile, and incidentally, that's the best part of this beer. After that, it goes right into 'clusterfuck city'. I'm getting wisps of a lot of notes (oak barrel, vanilla, booze, marshmallow, coconut, tomato, tart cherries, wheat), all popping up at various stages in the flavor profile. I will give it this - it's complex. Wait, no, it isn't complex. It's complicated. Complex beers have a semblance of harmony and balance, this is just a hilarious jumble of flavors. A sweet, boozy hilarious jumble of flavors, with a finish that's cloying to the point of annoyance.

M: Because all the notes sort of get jammed together in a doorway, it doesn't really inspire the palate to find them out - and that means you don't care to find the notes, therefore you just want to drink this. Insomuch as the drinkability goes, it's actually quite good. It's pretty light on the palate, and in spite of all the booze and sugar, goes down relatively easily...that is, until the sweetness overwhelms the palate. Which it will.

O: I declare this the Three Stooges of beerdom. All the flavors do is get jammed in a doorway, with the sugary sweetness poking the fruit esters in the eyes and bonking the oak barrel in the head. There's no way I could finish a whole 750 solo, which is why I split it with a couple friends. Don't need to ever have this one again...I really hope the bottle of Bois I'm sitting on isn't like this.

ThisWangsChung, Dec 06, 2013
Photo of BeTheBall
2.6/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 750, very frothy head with golden color and dense carbonation. Smell was mostly of bourbon barrel, with some vanilla? Taset was heavy on the bourbob, not my favorite. Also sweet and fairly alcoholic. This should be served in 2 or 4 oz. size for me, as that's plenty. Not a refreshing or tasty beer. Mouthfeel was fine, but the taste missed for me.

BeTheBall, Jun 23, 2012
Photo of acurtis
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

acurtis, May 10, 2012
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White Oak from The Bruery
87 out of 100 based on 1,045 ratings.