1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

Smoking Wood Rye Barrel Aged - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Smoking Wood Rye Barrel AgedSmoking Wood Rye Barrel Aged

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

813 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 813
Reviews: 161
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 90
Gots: 254 | FT: 31
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Smoked Beer |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: phichifiji00 on 11-20-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Brewed with beachwood and cherrywood smoked malt, and aged in rye whiskey barrels, Smoking Wood is a delicious demonstration of what wood has to offer when it comes to beer. This imperial smoked porter is brewed with a hefty amount of rye malt, contributing to a full body and light spiciness. Toasty oak, caramel and vanilla flavors balance the smokiness, contributing to an intense yet refined flavor profile.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 813 | Reviews: 161
Reviews by AmitC:
More User Reviews:
Photo of bobWFMU
4.56/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A beer on the furthest edge of complexity, whereas any more complex and it would be overbearing, burdensome and confusing, and any less complex it would still be an incredible experience. The tobacco-like smoke notes in the flavor put me in front of an open fireplace, glowing pipe in hand, as the stars turn in unison over a blue tinted snow blanketed earth outside the frosted window.

Photo of oberon
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark chocolate brown with a thinner creamy deep beige head atop.Dark fruit and vanilla stands out most in the nose,as the beer warms some toasted oak shows through more along with sweet sharp alcohol.Wow this beer kicks ya in the pants, dark fruit,vanilla,smoke,and a sharp rye element in the finish on the palate.A whole lot going on over top of a very big alcohol presence makes it harder to drink.It has alot going on but the alcohol is to big for me to enjoy it much,I respect the flavor complexity but it may be to big for me to be honest.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.39/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter.

Pours out an opaque black color with a nice 2 fingers of nice tan colored head off of the pour but it quickly fades to a foamy ring. Not much lace, but a bit of alcohol legs is noticeable from a swirl of the glass.

Smokey aroma, plasticy at first with some smoked meats and campfire taking over, mixes well with some whiskey notes, some milk chocolate creeps in, some dark fruits as it warms.

Really nice taste, lots of complexity, more than the aroma led to believe. A nice level of smokiness, campfire like with , nothing too overbearing, blends very well with some very nice whiskey flavors, just the right amount of booziness, nuances of oak barrel, chocolate, rye spiciness. Lots of deep dark dried fruits as it warms. The flavors meld together and compliment each other so nicely.

A thick mouthfeel, but staying true to the feel of an imperial porter rather than the thick viscous feel of an imperial stout.

A very nice beer, all the complex flavors really work well with one another. The bruery continues to amaze.

Photo of ehammond1
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2011)

Thanks for opening this one, Nathan!

Nearly black in color with a moderately sized brown head that doesn't leave much stick to the glass. Pretty color.

The aroma is very smoke-forward, especially at colder temperatures. The smoke quality is almost pork-like. As the beer warms, more and more sweet aromas arrive, including molasses and some caramel.

The flavor follows a similar avenue, with the meat-like smoke character presenting initially at colder temperatures, and sweeter, earthier, vanilla and molasses notes coming further and further to the forefront as the beer warms. The

Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Appropriate and a joy to drink.

This was one of my all-time favorite smoked beers, as I'm usually not a fan. This one started somewhat plain and simple at cold temperatures, but warmed up and sweetened nicely. Nathan's wife paired this with homemade pork ribs, potatoes, and baked beans and it made for a truly wonderful pairing.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep dark brown pour with a substantial (1+") amount of tan head on top, took a little bit to fade, not much lace. Aroma was definitely big on the smoke and wood, so its a perfect 5 if you solely judged it based on matching the name of the beer. Still a good go on the whiskey/boozy aroma, a relative soft touch.

Tough to taste the rye on this one, the smoke and wood really dominates the taste perceptors as well. Alcohol is pretty evident, especially for a Bruery creation. A little bit of chocolate and vanilla can creep into the flavor profile. The big smoke burn bitter effect can be quite challnging at times, the more you drink of it, the easier it is to finish. I think this beer is good in small quantities, like most big smoked beers, I could never even fathom drinking an entire 750 of this to myself.

Had this at the barrel party.

Photo of whoneeds8
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass black with a thin tan head. The scent of whiskey was noticable as soon as I opened the bottle. The scent in the glass makes certain that it's a rye whiskey along with the scent of smoked wood. The flavors of the smoke come out first followed by the whiskey. It's then balanced out by flavors of smoked bacon (not a gross flavor like a voodoo donut bacon flavor). Hidden in all that are slight bitter hops. The body is medium and for the high abv, alcohol burn is barely noticable.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Thanks to Jay for opening this one.

A: Pours a dark brown color with a small tan head on top. Nice retention with spotty lacing.

S: The barrel comes through strong on the aroma, some whiskey, vanilla, and brown sugar. There is a little bit of smoke and spice.

T: Nice and malty with a good spice undertone. The smoke was not in your face, probably from the barrel aging. Some vanilla and oak with the smoke coming in on the finish.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Abv well hidden with an appropriate level of smoke.

O: Beer paired great with smoked sausage. Liked the combination of barrel aging with the smoke, makes for a tasty combination.

Photo of markchristenson
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice looking beer--a bit of dark reddish-maple around the edges. The nose is solid, rich, but somewhat one-dimensional with the smoke notes and malt taking center stage over some espresso notes and otherwise obscuring what I'm sure are subtleties that will emerge over time. On the palate it mimics the nose--rich and lush flavors of mostly malt and smoke. Noticeable wood components (vanilla in particular) and some hints of the rye. Nicely rounded in the mouth, with a mouth-coating texture and a super-long finish that exhibits some minerality. I find this to be really enjoyable. (PE: 92)

Photo of SomethingClever
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Jet Black and with an aggressive pour you get a mocha head about an inch that dissipates quickly

S: Get the wood upfront like a burned down campfire, maybe some barrel characteristics alcohol some vanilla

T: you get this nice sweet beautiful barrel aged stout/porter taste and then it washes away into what a smoldering campfire smells like. Which is quite amazing

M: this beer does well here nice thick viscous what you want out of a dark beer to chew it just lovely

O: I'm impressed. This isn't a beer I could drink a lot of but what it purports to do it does well. I'm curious as to what this beer would have been without the smoke, because I think there is an amazing barrel aged porter here sans smoked malt.

Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown coloured body, at The Bruery Tasting Room. Average mouthfeel, but also very creamy, very smokey like a log in the fireplace. Hits the spot, but why the 10% abv?OK drinkability. Would like something more complex, less intense on the smoke attribute.

Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - black with a thin, brown head that has little retention

S - smoke, wood, chocolate, pepper, roasted malts, vanilla

T - roasted malts, bourbon, chocolate, smoke, wood, peppery, coffee-like bitterness, some alcohol in the finish

M - full bodied, warm, well carbonated

This was a very intense, intriguing beer. There's rye, bourbon, smoke, an amazing underlying stout, and they are all present and accounted for in the flavor. This was so incredibly balanced and flavorful that I was getting something new or more pronounced in each sip. I am very impressed with this beer. This is one of the more unique beers that I've had lately. It's worth a try for sure.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jeff for this one. 750ml bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a .5 finger frothy mocha head with moderate retention. Beer is pitch black and opaque. Lacing is spotty and sparse with no cling. Thick legs. Solid and ominous.

Nose is booze, chocolate, cocoa, roast, smoke and prunes. Rich and enticing.

Opens sweet roast and smoke. Prunes and plum. Chocolate, molasses, oak and booze. Hot and rich in the middle. End is fudge and more roast. Chocolate and sweet dark fruit aftertaste. Nice.

Full bodied with low carbonation. Rich and heavy in the mouth and goes down hot and smooth. Finishes messy with a sticky, filmy aftertaste. Really good.

A real solid beer all the way around. From what I remember, this is a bit better than the bourbon version. Another reason why The Bruery should just stick to making high ABV, dark beers in my opinion.

Photo of Lucho
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

drinking as I review

Appearance: Pours a nice heavy black with very little head of creamy rust color despite a vigorous pour. head fades within 20 seconds. some lacing around the glass with a ring of foam.

Smell: Smoke, molasses, some soy sauce and alcohol. kinda like sitting next to a campfire while holding whiskey to your nose.

Taste: Smoked Whiskey that sits nice on the tongue nice and thick. Some bitter notes present, as with any good porter, that linger towards the end of each sip. There is plenty of whiskey flavors all over my palate such as vanilla, fresh cherries, peatyhness, and of course smoke!

Moutfeel: Medium heavy bodied that coast the mouth with each sip smokey whiskey goodness.

Overall: This is a great beer because of how different it is and how well it is done. I just wish that I could have had this with some great BBQ

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

What an interesting beer! Jet black in color with very little head, decent retention though.

You can smell the rye as soon as you open the bottle- lots of rye, some bourbon booziness and toffee.

Tastes more like liqueur than beer really- rich and sweet, with rye, toffee, whiskey booziness but surprisingly little given the ABV. There's a little smoke in there towards the end and generally mixed in but I did not find it to be crazy smokey.

Mouthfeel is incredibly heavy but not cloying. Just sip very slowly there's a lot to savor. I'm sure this is killer during the winter months.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Inky black. No head. A little on the murky side. Not even a collar.

Smell - Smokey. Nice smoke. Nice meatiness. Whiskey aroma, but nothing really resembling a barrel character. Rye never seems to do that.

Taste - Chocolate is very nice. Whiskey is intense, but still not a lot of barrel character. Smokiness blends very well. The chocolate counterbalances the smokiness well.

Mouthfeel - Heavy, boozy, but it's appropriate. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - This is good, but it's got nothing on the Bourbon version. Rye never impresses me as much.

Photo of russpowell
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another beer from my fast dwindling NC haul...

Pours mahogany with 2 fingers of mocha colored head. Viscious look to this, some lacing & head retention

S: Faint bourbon notes, pancake syrup, peppery & bready notes. Much dark fruit once warmt & the nose just keeps opening up the warmer it gets, more Bourbon, dark fruit & straight alcohol

T: Beechwood smoke, figs, peppery rye & plum notes up front a touch of tanins as well .
Spicy rye , dark fruit & smokeyness as this warms, carob & currants also surface. Finishes smokey, with dark fruit, rye spiceyness, faint coffee notes & with some woody dryness

MF: Fairly thick, slight carbonation, nice warming sensation

Fairly ponderous, between the heft & the smoke, this is a sipper. Not a bad beer, but this one probably was a year or 2 from peaking. If you are patient, wait & you will be rewarded with a better beer IMO. Smokeyness needs to mellow out bit for my tastes. Beechwood smoke is easily overdone & this borders on it...

Photo of IKR
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage
2012 Vintage Revisions in parentheses

Appearance: Very dark brown bordering on black with a generous medium beige head that slowly fades. I also saw some good lacing with this one.

Smell: Smoked wood hits first with the bal-aging elements following, Mild Whiskey, some vanilla notes, and I'm not sure due to the smoke but perhaps some coffee/roasted malt aromas. (2012 mostly the same but has a more upfront/forward nose, with perhaps some additional chocolate 4.5)

Taste: The smoke is prominent, but it doesn't overwhelm the other elements. I get some mild whiskey, roast malts, vanilla, and spicy rye notes with some oak. I think I'm getting some mild dark fruit notes as well. The finish is clean ending with the smoke notes but not in an overt way. Alcohol is very subtle for the ABV. (2012 same but more refined & smoother 4.5)

Mouth-feel: On the light side of medium bodied with a good level of carbonation.

Overall: A pleasant surprise. I was afraid the smoke flavor might be overwhelming but it worked well within the taste profile. The smoke is definitely there but as a fan of roasty stouts I liked this one.(2012 Great beer 4.5)

Photo of thagr81us
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into an oversized wine glass. Poured a massively dark brown with a half finger khaki colored head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, smoke, wood, and alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, smoke, wood, alcohol, dark chocolate, and dark fruit. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. The name of this brew really had me concerned that this was going to be a smoke bomb. However, this one was very well balanced and the smoke merely played a subtle role in the flavor and aroma. Everything on this was very nicely put together and enjoyable. Definitely one of my favorite smoked brews I’ve had in awhile. Nice job on this one Bruery!

Photo of Gmann
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Pours a near black color with a tight light brown head that settled into a solid ring.

The aroma is sweet with the rye whiskey shining through. Good amounts of vanilla, caramel go along with the whiskey. Some sour notes from the oak barrel and perhaps the rye. An overall meaty aroma but not necessarily smoke.

The taste is of a roasted malt base with some pumpernickle flavors. The rye whiskey is not as strong in the flavor as aroma. It provides some sweetness and whiskey but blends in with the rest of the beer. Some vanilla and caramel but again these blend in with the rest of the beer. The sourness from the oak stands out a bit. A subtle chocolate flavor, perhaps some bark. Some soy but no real smokey flavor.

Full bodied with soft carbonation that leads to a silky smooth feel. Nicely sweet but not cloying. A hint of bitterness helps balance. ABV pops through slightly. This is very smooth.

A very drinkable BA brew. The flavor might not pop like others but they all blend nicely.

Photo of Jjski
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

I'm on vacation, so I've raided the cellar and brought the BIG guns to camp in the Adirondack mountains. It's -11 ( negative, below zero, crispy crunchy cold for all the So-Cals on BA) . We r cold and we like it. The skis are waxed and the snowmobile is tuned and running well

2012 Vintage. Label says to cellar up to 3 years.

A- back, scant tan lacing

S- old leathery brown sugar

T- hot alcohol, but not balanced. followed by astringent dark roasted rye. Whiskey dry finish. Very light smoke which is overwhelmed by the alcohol burn in the nostrils

M- a bit on the thin side for the heat it throws

O- not outstanding. Unique in the rye , smoke and barrel. I love huge beers and buy anything from Bruery that I can get. It could use 2 more years in the cellar. It is certainly big, but not broad. There are hints of developing complexity in the background, but they are smashed down by heat.

Out of the blocks, it's a rye fueled, astringent, smoky flame thrower. Had Berserker with a comparable ABV last night, which was far better.

Photo of cfrobrew
4.01/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A very dark porter but very nice color
S seriously boozy smell with some smoke
T dark malty flavor with a boozy overtone and a a smoky undertone
M somewhat thick for a porter but obviously sharp because of the alcohol and barrel
O really nice barrel aged beer, a little smoky but to be expected from something called smoking wood... Very cool beer unusual and interesting.

Photo of Bung
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml. Not quite opaque dirty oil dark brown pour. Just a ring of light tan head.

Aroma, large caramel and woodiness. Lighter smoked malt, vanilla, peat. Some bourbon like notes.

Taste, malty caramel and chocolate up front. Cocoa, vanilla, barrel.
The big peaty smoke comes through in the finish along with more rye barrel.

A nice fine carbonation makes this nearly creamy. Big and coating. A little warming, but no where near showing the full abv.

Have been slightly let down with pretty much all Bruery brews I've had to date, except this one. Though the price is steep, this is worth trying.

Photo of n2185
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours black with a finger of tan head that fades into a frothy ring with a little lacing.

S: smoked malts with campfire and bacon notes up front followed by oak and rye whiskey aromas. Simple, but nice.

T: roasted and smoked malts dominate here with notes of bitter cocoa, bacon, and campfire. Oak, vanilla, and whiskey flavors bring up a smokey finish with a light alcohol burn.

M: medium-thick body with medium carbonation, this beer avoids being watery, though I'd like it a bit smoother.

O: an enjoyable beer overall. Very tasty, though the aroma lacks the complexity of the taste and the body is a bit thin.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.
13% ABV, 12/12/13 on neck of bottle.

A - Pitch black, this inky porter pours with a fleeting mocha head that settles to a halo of tight bubbles; not surprising for it's strong alcohol percent.

S - Cold-pressed black coffee and dark chocolate push through the big aroma of peat smoked scotch, oak, and sharp rye whiskey for a boozy but complex nose that begs to be sipped warm and slowly.

T - Surprisingly mellow considering the aroma, the flavor is rich with milk chocolate while subtly hinting at coffee. Spicy rye compliments the beer nicely, helping tone down some of the big sweetness the malts offer while warming whiskey flavors swirl in the finish as suggestions of smoke waft in.

M - Sweet from beginning to end, the robust maltiness is smooth, mellowed out by underlying roasted malt bitterness and warming, thinning alcohol that leaves the perfect dryness on the tongue.

O - The combination of rye malt and it's inherent spiciness and rye whiskey barrel aging works wonderfully in this robust, full-bodied porter, finishing with some smoothness that isn't taxing on the tongue like quite a few of their other bigger beers are. As a whole, Smoking Wood is a fantastic beer but with a name like Smoking Wood, I half expected some heavy smoke. I'm not overly disappointed but I think a stronger smoke profile would be a wonderful addition to the beer.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage poured in to Bruery tulip.

A - Pitch black with half a finger of mocha brown head.

S - A big smoke aroma dominates with lighter chocolate and spice aromas.

T - The smoke is dominant but not as much as the nose suggested. Some spice, whiskey, oak and char flavours come through.

M - Medium to full body. Chewy. Light carbonation.

to view more.
Smoking Wood Rye Barrel Aged from The Bruery
91 out of 100 based on 813 ratings.