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White Oak - The Bruery

Not Rated.
White OakWhite Oak

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

268 Reviews
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Reviews: 268
Hads: 1,175
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 11.73%
Wants: 99
Gots: 290 | FT: 30
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Wheatwine |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: OlieIPA on 07-12-2009

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 268 | Hads: 1,175
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Bruery Provisions in Orange, CA.

Pours a murky honey orange with an off-white head that fades to oily wisps on top of the beer. No lacing on this one. Smell is very grainy and fruity with some woody aromas. Taste is of grain, fruits, wood, and subtle bourbon flavors. There is a slight tartness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but the barrel aging is very subtle and comes out more in the aftertaste.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew in a growler, a day old from the tap, takes on different characteristics than straight from the tap at the Bruery.

Still pours dark honey orange with thick white head; white wine nose with reduced lemon/citrus character and much more of a bourbon/alcohol character. There is also a stronger "sweet" nose that is the very noticeable alcohol.

Heavy and bold mouthfeel and body, seemingly heavier than when tasted right from the tap. Full sweet malt and bourbon flavors. A "malt bomb" but the whiskey flavors and character is very assertive and the most noticeable character from the growler pour. Again, this one is not for you if you don't like big, rich and assertive whiskey.

The whiskey character is off-set, if not balanced, by huge oak and cooked carmel which is also the case from the growler pour.

Repeat, the only downside is that the alcohol is very noticeable in all respects, nose and mouth. Some of the sweetness is the alcohol which is not the "sweetness" one really desires. Still, nice to try.

One of the few really big brews that I've tried where the tap pour and the growler pour have been noticeably different. Still, both very nice and well worth the try. A great effort and one that I would consider extreme in bold flavors; to my liking.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: two finger frothy head on a murky golden with amber hues body. nice retention and lacing.

S: popcorn butter, tropical fruits (mostly tangerine and pineapple), cream and grains. just right sweetness. bourbon and oak are mild players.

T: this one opens almost like a belgian beer with herbal, fruity and yeast notes moving to oak, bourbon, spice and apple. The alcohol is certainly well hidden for the ABV.

M: light to medium body and high carbonation, very crisp

Overall: surprisingly drinkable for the ABV which is very well hidden. The degree of carbonation probably helps.

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Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very hazy golden yellow in color and poured with a quarter finger high white head that died down a bit but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are light aromas of bourbon from the barrel aging in the nose; these become stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste is a little more complex and has flavors of bourbon and coconut.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some warming from the alcohol in the finish.
O: This beer is an interesting mix of beers (half wheatwhine aged in bourbon barrels and half Mischief)

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

definitely the best wheatwine ive ever had. this is so complex and different. it pours a pale yellow almost white color, with a playful head a couple inches tall and bone white. the nose is a little heavy on the bourbon, but theres a lot of funky yeast, new fresh oak, and hefty wheat malts. oh yeah, and plenty of booze. the flavor is great, wildly complex. starchy oak notes first, sappy but not sweet, like a freshly milled tree, not some old decaying barrel. the what malt is strong for its color, really robust biscuity notes, and some vanilla from the bourbon in the finish. the booze doesnt taste as strong is it smells, but boy can you feel it. one bottle of this is goodnight. mouthfeel is great. vibrant carbonation and a little acidity in the mouth. almost has the feel of a sour, but it isnt. the body is medium, lighter than other wheatwines ive had. its scary drinkable, and easy to do because theres so much going on. one of the better beers ive had this month.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Thanks to Max for bringing this bottle back from California.

Pours a light caramel color with a nice, light off white head and a bit of lacing on the way down. The nose really brings nice notes forward and I really like the oak characteristics. Some light bread notes as well. The taste and mouthfeel combine quite well, bringing down some really nice, creamy oak as well as light caramel and bread. Really digging the mouthfeel. Drinks quite well overall and was a nice treat.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a nice looking cloudy yellow color with a nice looking white head on top. The head settles and just leaves a thin white ring around the glass. The smell of the beer is boozy and sweet, lots of grainy aromas in there too. The taste of the beer is sweet and had a nice amount of wheat flavors upfront, it fades into a slight bitterness that finishes with a subtle sweetness from the barrel aging. The mouthfeel of the beer is smooth, it's got a low carbonation to it. It's not overly heavy for the ABV. Overall I thought this was a really good brew. I'd like to try it again sometime.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep copper color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma is pretty boozy with distinct notes of bourbon and some sweet caramel malt notes. Taste is a pretty complex mix of light fruity ester with some dominant bourbon notes with some woody notes and light bubblegum notes. Body is pretty full with good carbonation and the alcohol is quite apparent. Interesting exercise with good idea of blending different beers but a bit too strong on the bourbon at the end of the day.

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Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, Shane.

Golden and hazy, but not entirely opaque. A rocky three finger head rises from a hard pour, settling quickly to a thick ring.

Smells of white pepper, honey, melon and vanilla. I don't pick up any bourbon barrel. This essentially smells like a Belgian golden ale, perhaps with a touch more sweetness.

The taste opens with apricot and melon-like sweetness, honey, pepper and clove. Carbonation is very high, reminiscent of beers like Duvel. Again, I don't pick up much bourbon barrel character. The finish is semi-dry, woody, peppery. This is pretty good, but I don't think it's the most harmonious blend. A barrel-aged wheatwine sounds great on its own, but it seems like it lost some complexity and body in the blend. Taken as a Belgian golden ale, this beer is too sweet and heavy. These beers were probably best left separate.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, 2013 edition. Another Bruery product available freely (well, not that kind of free) on Alberta store shelves. I actually have been to Placentia, and worked right across the street from the brewery, back when I was unaware of its existence. Sigh.

This beer pours a very hazy medium golden yellow hue, with a rising tower of rather puffy, tightly foamy, and somewhat creamy off-white head, which leaves a rather strange swath of thick, swoopy, caked lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells of sharp wooden barrel staves, the kind well soaked in nutty, corny, and spicy whisky, airborne white pepper, dry vanilla beans, an apple and pear fruitiness, a bit of earthy honey, and thin wheaty malt. The taste is very bourbon-like, leaning towards the sweet corny side, with a lesser, but still present rye component, with the caramel and vanilla notes fairly restrained, the wood big like the titular tree, some middling black pepper wisps and subtle drupe fruit esters, and a grainy wheatiness making surprising strides among it all. The alcohol is pretty well integrated - well, at least obfuscated by all that whisky fuss.

The carbonation is soft, yet a bit gaily frothy at times, the body a solid medium weight, especially for a wheat ale, and doubly so after the barrel treatment, and actually quite smooth, with a strong case made for creaminess. It finishes sweet, but not overly so, the woody graininess doing well to cut through the various caramel, vanilla, and orchard fruit essences, not to mention that slowly burgeoning alcohol warmth.

Like the best in the admittedly limited examples of this style that I've tried, White Oak possesses a heady wheat heft, aided and abetted by the elevated, and integrated ABV, an attendant fruitiness, and here, some overarching whisky barrel indoctrination. That's a good thing - oakey dokey, indeed!

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Photo of oberon
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an overized wine glass a hazed orange infused copper color with a thin white head atop.Alot of hot booze in the nose along with heavy yeast esters,lingering vanilla and a hint of spiced pears.Really hot at first,it took a few swallows for it to tone down enough for me,vanilla and alot of yeasty notes,faint drying and toasted oak in the finish.A little hot for my liking,it has some rich flavors but they are masked a little by the yeast and big alcohol in my opinion.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Super happy to be able to crack this one open. I decided to sip on it throughout the night, which was a darn good idea given its power. Served chilled to cellar temp and poured into a large wine glass this one was consumed on 11/08/2009.
Much lighter then I would have though on the initial pour, but it was a beast to say the least. Rich golden amber in color with a nice big head of white that came up and over the top to a very nice level. Receded slowly and never did go much further then a few inches leaving that nice cap on top throughout the session. Aroma was spicy. Rich notes of vanilla and cinnamon mixing oddly, hints of bourbon, fresh grassy notes, and everything but the kitchen sinks kind of approach for me. Warming brings out subtle notes of fig, hints of almost lemon zest for a brief moment but loads of vanilla and caramel rule the roost here. Each sip seems to get a bit more complex now. Rich bourbon notes are riddled throughout with the lovely touches of vanilla, woody overtones and hints of spiced fruit. Very interesting blend here. All the while keeping a very nice, and very light feel to it. Great carbonation here, as it really just pops for me, wonderfully done. Long flavors of vanilla and woody bourbon leave the tongue last as this one really just whooped my butt and I did not see it coming.
Overall one of the most interesting and enjoyable blends I have had it quite some time. I would have no trouble at all with splitting this one with some family and friends again any day. Really a remarkable style they are going for here.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Another tick from my old notes. I was clearly not as diligent about transcribing my notes in my ticking infancy. Bottle opened shortly after Black Tuesday 2009.

A: The beer pours a cloudy golden orange color with a tall head, white in color.

S: Fairly phenolic with a lot of pepper notes and a fair bit of alcohol. Sweet light fruits such as pears, apples, and bananas. Sugar, honey, and pale malts provide what amounts to a substantial sweetness. Some vanilla, but not all that much of the bourbon.

T: The flavor is perhaps a bit too intense for me. Strong alcohol notes, though not much of the bourbon barrel. Honey and sugar sweetness along with some more of the light fruit notes. White pepper provides a bit more bite/heat.

M: Medium to full in body with a moderate carbonation.

O: A bit too strong in the booze department for me. Interesting beer, but not something I'd care to drink a lot of.

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Photo of nickfl
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with two fingers of bone white foam on top of a hazy, golden body. The foam settles slowly and leaves thick lace on the glass.

S - Caramel, pepper, vanilla, coconut, and pineapple.

T - Spicy wheat up front with Belgian tripel like notes of pear and pineapple. Some coconut and rum notes in the middle and a finish full of pepper, clove, turpentine, and spicy Belgian yeast.

M - a thick body, high carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - More of a tripel than a wheat wine to my taste, but it works well with the subtle barrel character.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Nothing like finishing a day on the town with a beer on the train ride home. This case-in-point pours a lightly hazy orange-gold topped by a finger if lightly cream-white foam. The nose comprises sweet caramel, vanilla, buttercream, light bourbon, oak, orange glaze, and banana. The taste brings in more of the same, though now the barrel is coming through a bit more powerfully, the caramel and vanilla have melded into a beautiful embrace of sweetness, the orange is joined by light pineapple and even lighter papaya, and some molasses sneaks in for good measure. A light booziness provides a bit of alcoholic heat, enough to allow you to feel it, but not enough to detract from the surrounding tastiness. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a lightly syrupy feel. Overall, a damn fine wheatwine, the best I've had from the style in an awfully long time.

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Photo of jlindros
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice big fizzy pasty white 1 finger head, great head for the abv, but fades at med pace with just a touch of lacing, semi clear slight chill hazed, golden almost pilsner apricot color. Great head for the abv.

Nose is more like a Belgian trippel, plenty of wheat almost bock like aroma, golden Belgian malts, some booze and big malts, some fruity esters like a Belgian yeast would bring, the more I nose it I get some coconut flesh, and light buttery toasted barrel with coconut, and a light toffee like coconut.

Taste starts again like a Belgian strong ale, golden malts, really sweet, very boozy like fusel alcohol boozy. Then esters again, fruity esters that get a bit too much, grainy as well. Hints of coconut come through in the background, light belgian spices, and wheat like bock flavors again. Light toasted barrel with just a hint of bourbon and vanilla, and some caramel toffee. finish is fairly dry but slightly sticky, plenty of hot booze lingering, golden Belgian malts and yeast, esters, linger.

Mouth is med to lighter bodied but feels fairly thin for what it is, too much carbonation, wicked boozy.

Overall meh, not what I expected, way too much booze and carb, feels thin, its like they made a Belgian tripel strong ale and tried to do a bunch of things with it that didn't pan out well, and just got way too boozy and carbonated, and where the hell is the bourbon, where they fifteenth fill barrels?

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Photo of kojevergas
2.46/5  rDev -37.2%
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.


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Photo of Rifugium
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Served in a snifter, a slightly hazy golden color with a surprisingly thick, creamy head that retained well and left some soapy lacing on the glass. Looked pretty nice. Aroma of toasted wheat and sweet malts, candi sugar, notes of stone fruit and coconut. This was pretty indicative of the taste, wheat and pale malts, fruity, peachy flavors, on the sweeter side, with a pretty big hit of fusel alcohol, no real bourbon or barrel notes, but a definite coconut sensation came through. Body was medium, mouthfeel was pretty thin, quite unexpectedly, but I guess it would have been less drinkable if it were a chewy full-blown malt bomb. Alcohol was present for sure, but actually it wasn't too hot. Not bad overall, but not great. I was glad to have it on tap instead of committing to a bomber.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 3/8/2013. Pours very hazy golden orange color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big pineapple, banana, apricot, pear, pepper, clove, toffee, coconut, oak, bourbon, wheat, light vanilla, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of yeast, malt, and barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big pineapple, apricot, pear, banana, clove, pepper, toffee, oak, bourbon, wheat, vanilla, candi sugar, and yeast earthiness. Light fruity/earthy tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of pineapple, light fruit, banana, clove, pepper, toffee, oak, bourbon, vanilla, wheat, candi sugar, bread, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of yeast, malt, and barrel flavors; with a nice moderate barrel presence and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly slick, crisp, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is good. Moderate alcohol warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice blended wheat wine style. All around nice balance and complexity of yeast, malt, and barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV despite the moderate warming on the finish. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 3/6/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Pours a murky golden color with an inch of white head. Little carbonation.

s - Smells both sweet and sout. Some Vanilla, oak, apples.

t - Taste mostly of vanilla and bourbon. Hints of fruit and oak.

m - High carbonation and medium body.

d - Overall I really enjoyed this pale ale. I thought the vanilla, oak, and bourbon combined for a great smell and taste. Would definitely have again.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Extra from jhenry04. Served in a taster glass at the Goose Island BA gathering.

A - Big white foam that settles to a thick creamy cap and plenty of lacework. Murky white peach juice body.

S - Bourbon, vanilla, buttery oak, coconut, alcohol, wheat and grain, light pale malts and stone fruit sweetness.

T - Initially very bourbon-heavy, with citrus and peach showing up mid-palate. As it warms up the oaky vanilla grows in intensity. Finish is heavy with grain, wheat, and lightly peppery Belgian yeast.

M - Carbonation is surprisingly zesty, and the body is creamy, full, and viscous. Some serious alcohol burn, and a dry tannic finish.

D - This would be alright if it was solid in 6oz nip bottles, and split two ways. Pretty tough to drink more than a few ounces.

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Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is light amber with a thin white head that leaves little lacing on the glass. Beer is mostly clear and carbonation is low to moderate.

Aroma is yeasty with mild esters and some fruits. Smells good.

Beer is medium in body and relatively easy to drink. Its mildly dry on the back end and the forward is a little sweet. The midpalate region is mostly estery and bready. Its a pretty drinkable and decent beer.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy medium straw yellow to golden yellow in color. The beer has a half finger tall white head that reduces to a thick film evenly covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate amounts of bourbon, vanilla, and oak from the barrel aged portion of the beer. Additionally there are buttery notes that I normally associate with some Napa chardonnays.

T: The flavor of this beer is very complex - again the butteriness from the smell comes through in the flavor. There are strong flavors from the bourbon barrel aging - bourbon, vanilla, and oak. Additionally there are some interesting coconut notes as well.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Moderate amounts of alcohol warming.

O: Very enjoyable and an interesting blend of styles that make up this beer. I think bourbon barrel aging added a lot to this beer and the contribution of coconut was unique. Definitely one to try again.

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Photo of mothman
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into CCB snifter.

Pours 1/2 finger of white head that fades to a thin layer. Leaves splattered lace. Color is a hazed sunset orange.

Aroma: Tons of coconuts and vanilla. Very sweet. Oak flavors with some fruit.

Taste: Big oak flavors and vanilla. Coconut is present with a slight amount of bourbon (more wood than bourbon flavors though). Very solid beer.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, crisp, and refreshing. Medium bodied with lots of carbonation. Ends boozy and dry.

Overall, a decent beer. It is very interesting for the style. It is drinkable, but going down slower than some. I like it.

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Photo of stakem
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle from the most recent release. Poured into several sampler glasses with some friends. The brew appears a hazed golden yellow with 3 fingers of white froth. A full wall of lace sticks to the glass.

The smell initially opens with hints of sulfur and some tangy alcohol inclusion before giving way to spices like clove and orange zest. There is minor oak inclusion that comes out in the back when it warms up.

The taste is herbal with a mixture of dry oaky quality, clove and some other yeasty spice aspects. Herbal hop flavoring runs throughout with significantly more barrel presence than the aroma led on. The aftertaste includes oak, vanilla, herbal hops and lots of tangy alcohol.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. A decent sipper that seems like something is going on with it. Not really what I expected for a barrel aged wheatwine but wasnt horrible either.

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White Oak from The Bruery
88 out of 100 based on 268 ratings.