White Oak - The Bruery

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White OakWhite Oak

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BA SCORE
88
very good

263 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 263
Hads: 1,153
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 5.34%
Wants: 96
Gots: 278 | FT: 27
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: 263 | Hads: 1,153
Photo of aasher
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

White Oak pours a lighter bodied, slightly cloudy honey gold with a two finger bright white head. The nose is odd, a lot of slicing and alcohol with slight Belgian yeast and chamomile and other herbal notes. The flavors are odd. It's a weird mix of Belgian yeast, intense slicing, alcohol, and unripe vegetables. It's almost a super spiced wheat with a lot of alcohol and fresh green veggies. I cant get behind it. It's awkward, its boozy, its just not well integrated and is pretty disjointed. This is one of the few beers I can't like from the Bruery. (553 characters)

Photo of alcstradamus
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Careful pour into a tulip still yields a monstrous, effervescent two fingers of head that seem to want to camp out for quite a while. Dull amber color, lots of little bubbles racing to the top.

Smell is white grapes, belgian yeast, clove, orange peel, wood. Fairly bold considering the style.

The taste is even bigger...holy cow. Caught me off guard actually. First sip is an invasion of the sinuses by huge wood and booze. This one definitely picked up more wood than bourbon from its barrel treatment, with the bourbon mainly contributing alcohol heat rather than complexities. Still though, some complexities are present underneath. Coconut and vanilla are the primary flavors that rest on top of the regular Belgian pale ale flavor profile. This is a good beer, and if it were an imperial stout or barleywine or something similar I would say the alcohol heat was fairly low, but for this style it may be a tad too boozy. A year or two in the cellar would probably do this one some justice.

Mouthfeel is on the full side of medium with huge amounts of carbonation. A bit too much maybe, but still in line with how the style should feel.

Drinkability is a bit shaky....just too high of an ABV and too much booziness to really make me want more than 8-12 oz. at a time. The 750 ml bottle really should be split 3 ways. Bottom line is this beer has some potential for improvement through maturity, but is a bit rough at this point. (1,435 characters)

Photo of justintcoons
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance
Hazy brownish gold with 1-2 fingers of head. Moderate carbonation.

Nose
Watered down whiskey, Caramel Creams and touches of oak.

Taste
Watered down whiskey flavors make up most of the palate. Tons of caramel and wheat. Caramel Cream candies and vanilla cream soda. Some candy sugar and touches of oak.

Mouthfeel
Full bodied and warming with a subtle crispness.

Overall
I really expected this to be darker and take on some kind of chocolate or toffee character, but this beer stays pretty true to its Wheat roots. However, the bourbon really overtakes it at times. Pretty easy drinking for 11.5%. (610 characters)

Photo of mikereaser
3.46/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a very murky light orange with a frothy bright white foam that takes its time fading and leaves a nice amount of lacing down the glass
S - For me the aroma is very nondescript. I can pick up the wheat along with a hint of some coconut and/or a sort of sap smell.
T - Very interesting flavor, kind of oak-ey, sprucey flavor with coconut coming on strong, some vanilla and oak from the barrel, i taste a little bit of the bourbon but not enough to really pick it out. I'm starting to warm up to this one and am enjoying it more as I drink it.
M/D - medium bodied with a high amount of carbonation. It sort of has a syrupy mouthfeel to it and that detracts a little. It really reminds me of a spruce ale I brewed. I like it, not sure i'd go for another bottle on my own though. (784 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
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. (904 characters)

Photo of Overlord
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

It pains me to say it, but I'm not enjoying the bottled version nearly as much as I did the on-tap version of 4-5 months ago.

Pours a golden, foamy white thingy. Looks pretty.

Smells faintly of bourbon, and strongly of vanilla, sweet stuff, spices, more bourbon, and more sweetness. I mean, we're talking belgian candi, liquid sugary syrup in the aroma.

Taste is again, really bourbon-y boozy and sweet. There's a surprising amount of vanilla, some coconut, and spiciness. It's just so...sweet. I remember the version of months ago having a nice woodsy balance to the sweetness. In fact, it bordered on having a tart/sour wheat aftertaste. The wheat, if any, has been obliterated.

Decent, but not my fave Bruery beer. (722 characters)

Photo of Gmann
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy golden straw color with moderately dense, creamy white head that settles into a light cap.

The aroma is of tart lemon and oak. There is some light banana and clove notes. Not much from the bourbon, perhaps some general sweetness. More oaky than anything else.

The taste starts off with a lemony twang from the oak. This is coupled with a brown sugar and caramel sweetness. I seem to pick up more bourbon alcohol notes than I do bourbon flavor. I do get some of the coconut flavors as stated on the bottle; they are subtle and add a layer of flavor. The wheat malt doesn't add much flavor but adds some heft.

The feel is light with sharp carbonation. A bit too active as it seems to hide the flavor of the beer. It starts off tangy and sour on the palate then the carbonation comes in and wipes it away. Bourbon and caramel sweetness finishes on the palate.

A bunch of different flavor notes but none of them excellent. Carbonation is too sharp. (961 characters)

Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
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. (846 characters)

Photo of Phelps
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip.

Deep gold, the color of a brick. Slightly hazy, topped with two full fingers of off-white foam. The first pour’s a little clear and looks somewhat thin; lets see what the rest of the bottle holds. Second pour is a cloudy apricot, packed with yeast. Mmm.

Interesting; an almost Belgian aroma. Bright pears, wheat and apple play off vinous oak, caramel, vanilla, just a little bourbon and a touch of tanginess.

A little solvent; too much alcohol in the flavor. Pear, oak and whiskey play off one another before a tangy, buttery finish.

The medium-light body is pillow-soft, cushioned with wheat. Carbonation is very gentle, massaging the tongue lightly. Alcohol is the big guy, numbing the tongue and giving me heartburn.

Gotta admit I’m a little let down by this one. Wheatwines are good; barrel-aged wheatwines even better. But White Oak is just too solvent and lacks the creamy body I expect from the style. Too bad. (948 characters)

Photo of PeterIngemi
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Split a 750ml poured into a duvel glass.

A : pours a murky slightly brown yellow.... Reminds me of pear juice... With a finger and a half of whit frothy head that disapates nicley leaving some lacing.... A nice looking beer.

S: citrus notes of pinneapple and pear, a yeastyness in there as well smells thick... And again reminds me of pear juice.... As the need warms I start to detect notes of toasty vanilla/caramel.
The barrel component of this beer blends n very subtly with the body of the brew....

T: the wheat becomes apparent here, as well as yeast... Bannana and Clove over a sweet backbone, wheat and grain, the barrel flavors are more present in the taste as well, but again not overwhelimg and not seeing to add any heat, I get toasty caramel, sweet vanilla a oak notes, that make te finish of this beer really stand out to me.... It has its moment both ways flavor wise.

M: medium bodies with high crisp carbonation, I wish that was toned down a bit here, has a fluffy mouthfeel that ends crisp and leaves you with caramel and vanilla bourbon oak notes that linger for a moment afterward
.
O: I really tried to get into this one, the bruery is one of my favs especially when it comes to sours and over the top extreme IMp stouts aged in barrels.... However the yeast flavors and the high carbonation kinda ruined it for me.... Maybe I'm a year or so when the whole thing mellows out the barrel character will shine more and the yeast and carbonation might calm down a bit. (1,491 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to totoropanda for this bottle amongst others I'm looking forward to even more, which is tough, since I love wheatwines. And barrels. And beer. Hey, look! Big 750ML bomber split with my wife while Top Gun flickers on the tube for the 283rd time. Wait, can I call a plasma a tube? Life has gotten so confusing.

Pour is sehr foamy for a muscled bruiser, light orange/yellow. Would be funny to tell someone this is an IPA or a Coors Light & see the reaction when they sip it, eh? Not much for the inhaler to pick up, light notes of grass, sweet malt. Meh.

White Oak lowers a beery boom. Wham! Bam! I am! A Man! Sorry. Alcohol. It's strong in this one. Getting past the pure alcohol shot, there's really not much depth here. Nice vanilla, some wheat & grassy plain, quad hit of sweetness, but it's a little, well, plain. Almost like a mild hefe with a hint of barrel. Easy but dangerous to drink.

I love wheatwines but they tend to be on two ends of a fault line: delicious or bland, with little in between. This one, unfortunately, leans towards the latter. Odd to wish a Bruery beer was more extreme but, well, I do. Pretty good. (1,140 characters)

Photo of dyoung1843
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Kinda a slightly wet dry taste with a light flavor of bourbon. Initially very large head had to pour immediately.

Sorry drinking wont make this over 250 characters for the limiter.
Sorry drinking wont make this over 250 characters for the limiter.
Sorry drinking wont make this over 250 characters for the limiter.
Sorry drinking wont make this over 250 characters for the limiter.

Beer tasted pretty good will likely not get it very often though. (449 characters)

Photo of mattsander
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy burnt orange with volcanic, duvel-like carbonation. Bone wine head, very nice looking beer.

S: Overripe bananas, pears, some chardonnay, some phenolic spiciness - all bathed in lots of booze.

T: Echoes the kind of dank fruitiness of the nose with a long oaky vanilla finish. The booze is a little overwhelming, I'm glad I have another of these to age for a while.

M: Big carbonation, surprisingly light for a beer of this strength.

An enjoyable beer, but the booze really dominates at times. Once it cools off I think this will improve greatly. (557 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750mL poured into large tulip

Pours a hazed straw golden color with a one-finger high white head resting on top. Slowly fades into a thick layer of retention with some patches of lacing on the glass.

Assorted notes of caramel, honey and vanilla in the nose. Oak and faint bourbon with some toasted bread malts and syrupy sweetness. Decent alcohol warmth.

Layers of sweet flavor with honey and caramel up front. Syrupy malts with vanilla hints and oaked bourbon. Hints of light fruit with pear and apple peek through momentarily along with a Belgian tone. Burly malt backbone with grain, toasted bread and a hint of spice. Finishes sweet and boozy.

Full body, slightly higher carbonation, chewy, sticky and lingering on the tongue. This beer definitely excels when it rises toward room temperature, but it doesn't quite reach the benchmark that many of the other barrel-aged Bruery beers have set. (903 characters)

Photo of GregSVT
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml capped bottle into a snifter - 2012 Vintage

A: Pours a hazy dark yellow with a huge white head that stays a good finger tall for a long time and leaves a lot of sticky lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is slightly funky and sweet with some spicy and earthy yeast and sweet bready malt. There's a touch of vanilla and grape in the background.

T: The taste is much like a Saison with some nice citrus and estery yeast flavors along with a bit of vanilla and earthy hops. This definitely tastes like a slightly barrel aged Imperial Saison.

M: The feel is between medium and light bodied with a great creaminess. It's close to being overcarbonated.

O: I was hoping this would be something awesome like Nemesis 2009 but apparently blending this with Mischief has turned this into a belgian farmhouse beer instead of a wheatwine. I would love to try the pure barrel aged version of White Sap as I feel it could be more of what I am looking for. (949 characters)

Photo of sitarist
3.59/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy yellow, it glows when held to the light. Two fingers of frothy head falls to a dusting that leaves a ring of lacing.

It has a straight forward barrel aged aroma. Vanilla, oak, subconscious hints of coconut, butterscotch, Yukon Jack, and a faint hint of bourbon. Any hint of the base beer is almost lost.

A mash of flavors... Vanilla, ginger, sarsaparilla, butterscotch, rubber, yukon jack, and hints of whiskey.

Its' body does not support the flavor, it seems to fall apart before it finishes.

I love barrel aged beers, but this has nothing to combat the barrel notes. Maybe a 75% Ale, 25% Barrel Aged Ale blend would suit this one better. Maybe age, maybe funk? (681 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Couldn't wait to try this, although the coconut concerns me. Me no like coconuts.

A light golden pour with medium head. Nothing spectacular here, but looks good.

Aroma up front is booze and light vanilla. It sure smells like a barrel aged beer. But then the spices come in, and the coconut tames them. Some floral here and there.

Taste has the prominent, but not dominant, barrel vanilla/booze on it. Some light floral and citrus. Coconut fades in the flavor, i don't get much on it. The malt is great. Clean and crisp with that hint of bright wheat.

At 11.5% this is boozy, but not burning. Pretty good beer. May go well with a salad up front. (651 characters)

Photo of axeman9182
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle sent to my by my trustee JRSD. It was allowed to warm some before being poured into my Brooklyn Brewery tulip.

White Oak pours a hazy, slightly dull tangerine. More than three fingers of white foam coalesce atop the beer, and the head displays very good retention. Lacing is fairly spotty though. There's a lot going on in the nose, though nothing's there that i would call a focus, or centerpiece. Notes of coconut, bourbon, oak, fruity booziness, and vanilla all blend together, without anything establishing itself as the primary aroma. The flavor is just a little bit more boozy, with the alcohol soaked fruit and bourbon notes taking over somewhat, and any coconut from the nose being lost. The body is surprisingly light for more than an 11% beer, and it's paired with an overactive carbonation that leaves the beer coming across as way too effervescent for what should be a malt driven beer. White Oak is an alright tasting beer that doesn't rank as one of the Bruery's best offerings. (1,007 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden with orange hues. A very solid creamy white head sticks around for a bit. Little lacing.

Sweet nose. Caramel with some Belgian spice and a little wheat malt aroma.

Sweet caramel at first. Belgian spices then come into play, but are very subdued and don't overpower the beer as I feared they may. Strong alcohol taste although just tastes like a high ABV beer, not a bourbon aged one.

Medium bodied and packs a punch.

I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. Belgian yeast complements the base beer nicely. A little too all around boozy and got sweet at times, but a solid beer. (601 characters)

Photo of KFBR392
3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours with a very thick head which settled at about a finger. Active carbonation in glass while drinking. Burnt orange color and a murky body.

Smell: The bright yeast golden ale aroma comes through on the front of this beer. Cinnamon, coriander, and pepper are present. There is a medium bodied wheat presence with a slight bourbon finish. Interesting but there is a lot going on here, some of it in a conflicting way.

Taste: The front is a bright carbonated champaign feeling. A honey like sweetness warms up on the palate. Earthy, straw, and yeast body dominates this beer. Some wheat dryness, barrel presence is light and gets lost in everything else going on here. Oaky funk finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy sweet start and finishes with some wheat and oak dryness.

Overall: An interesting blended beer with a lot going on. Some of it gets lost and other areas dominate a little more then others. A ride for the palate though, glad I got to try it. (963 characters)

Photo of vince321
3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours unfiltered with a slightly foamy head. Alcohol shows at the front, barrel on the finish. White wine throughout. Refreshing for a high abv beer. I would order again. (173 characters)

Photo of andrewinski1
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a wine taster. The color is light orange; kind of straw. There is a nice white head that leaves some nice lacing.

The aroma has a bit of toffee and caramel, with a slight hint of peach.

The taste starts out with some light caramel sweetness. There is a great fruity finish that hits the sides of the tongue. There is a bit of a spicyness to this beer as well.

This is medium to full bodied, with a full mouthfeel. This is a slow sipper. This one isn't bad, but the barrel flavors seem compromised, and the wheatwine flavors are a bit harsh at times; keeping this from being really great. (602 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ditmier busted this out at a tasting at his house a couple weeks ago... Awesome Eric!!

Foamy 2 finger head.. slightly hazed golden brew.. good lacing and a very firm cap.

Nose is a complex (yet sorta a mess) of spicy and fruity notes... slammed with some barrel presence.

apricot and white peach dominate mid palate and are enhanced by some spicy elements... pale malts are there and seem a bit biscuity.. an odd honey element on the finish... alot of vanilla.. too sweet... pretty hot.

This one seemed all over the place.. nothing really stuck out except some fruity esters... but nothing ever fell into place... I enjoyed the overall product, but I think it needs to really be dialed in.

4/3.5/3.5/3.5/4

Thanks again Eric... I would buy a few of these if we got them into town.. but I doubt I would open one for at least a year. (837 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
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? (1,430 characters)

Photo of alpinebryant
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a huge head of white fluff on a hazy straw yellow body.

Strong smell of bourbon, mixed fruits (green apple, apricot), pepper , doughy yeast and booze.

Taste is similar to the aroma, only the bourbon just clearly overpowers everything to dominate the taste. Peppery belgian yeast strain is there underneath the bourbon and oak, also the familiar high abv vanilla cookie flavors present. Green apple is there for sure when you take a second sip and focus on not tasting the bourbon. Many flavors under one roof - just not a balanced ale. High booze factor. Finished with Champagne yeast maybe? it has that champagne dry finish

Feel is light as should be expected for a Wheat ale with Belgian yeast. Highly carbonated, light mouthfeel. (742 characters)

White Oak from The Bruery
88 out of 100 based on 263 ratings.