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Smoking Wood Rye Barrel Aged - The Bruery

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

161 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 161
Hads: 841
Avg: 4.08
pDev: 12.75%
Wants: 94
Gots: 255 | FT: 34
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 161 | Hads: 841
Photo of cooch69
4.93/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is without a doubt my favorite Bruery Beer. And the Bruery is one of my favorite American Breweries.

Pours a think, dank super dark brown. Impenetrable almost like a thick wood stain.

Nose greets the senses with burnt fireplace logs the morning after a fire, sweet bbq sauce, a generous amount of wood and whiskey and lots of chocolate malts. Very rich and satisfying.

Taste is extremely savory and rich. Full of Chocolate, wood, booze, charcoal, and bbq sauce. The smoke is nearly perfect although it could be a tad more.(I like lots of smoke) This bottle is a 2013 and I need to try a 2014 soon because I'm curious if the recipe drifted anywhere this year.

Full, thick mouthfeel without being over the top to the point I couldn't drink a few glasses. And a smooth carbonation. Really satisfying overall

If you like smoked beers, grab this. It takes the idea of A german Rauchbier an improves upon it in complexity to make it even better than the best German made ones.

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Photo of WiscoBrewsco
4.8/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Poured a thin but extremely dark black. No carbonation and no head whatsoever

Smell - Rich wood and smoke smells with roasted malts and a warm alcohol presence

Taste - Where to begin? This beer is incredibly complex and definitely a sipper. The ride first starts out with a sweet malt character in play with smoked wood and alcohol esters. As it leaves the mouth the wood really shows its presence with an earthy malt character, followed by a nice warming alcohol bite. But then about ten seconds after the beer is swallowed, a massive smokiness comes up off of the tongue and fills your mouth. It honestly tastes like you have just enjoyed a smorgasbord of delicacies at a backyard barbecue. This flavor was totally unexpected but absolutely amazing and made every single sip a wonderful experience.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is thin for the flavor but fitting for the ABV coming in at 15%. This beer needed to be thin in order to let it evaporate quickly on the tongue and let the flavors come to life. Just what it needed to be

Overall - I wasn't expecting much out of this beer as I haven't been a huge fan of smoked beers in the past but man was I blown away. This was unlike any other beer I have ever had and I am so glad I picked one up as it is truly a masterful experience. If you see this beer, do not hesitate to pick one up. You will not regret it

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Photo of Radome
4.8/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a globe glass.

L - Color is darkest mahogany, which does not allow light through. The head is thick, light brown and persistent on the surface and in lacing.

S - Strong aromas of coffee, chocolate, ovaltine, smoke, sharp rye whiskey and wood. It reminds me very much of the incredibly complex aroma of Dogfish Head's Palo Santo Maron, but this beer also has the addition of whiskey.

T - The flavors follow the aromas. Chocolate milk (or ovaltine) and coffee dominate at first, then give way to the whiskey, smoke and wood in the finish. Hops flavors are not obvious, but there is enough bitterness to balance all the malt sweetness. Only flaw I taste is a small metallic tinge in the finish.

F - Medium to heavy body; moderate carbonation witha silky feel. Strong hops bitterness blends with the high alcohol heat, but these are not overly assertive because the overall flavors are so strong.

O - Wow, what a great beer! It is very reminiscent of DFH Palo Santo Maron, but this one "goes to 11" because of the whisky flavors and aromas.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.8/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This pours a dark chocolate cola color. What an aroma. There’s a hint of smoke that plays well with the vanilla and oak. The vanilla and oak come out on the flavor as well as a mellow warming booze. Like heat without the burn. This one was one to savor and enjoy. I’m glad I got a chance to try it in good company.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.77/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: poured from a 750 ml bottle into a pint glass, pours a deep black with a dark tan head that lingers leaving good lacing, slightly hazy

S: sweet malt with tons if smoke, oak, hickory

T: like sweet smoked barbecue ribs, lingering smoke flavor, notes of whiskey

M: heavy and oily, lower carbonation, alcohol noticeable

O: wonderful flavor if you like beer that tastes like smoked meat

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Photo of ISmith87
4.74/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Really excited to try this one! I've been trying to decide on a good ~20 dollar bottle to get and sip on, and picked this one up after hearing about it on Beer Geek Nation's Top 10 from 2012.

A - 4.25 - The beer is a dark brown/black with a nice film of brown bubbles on top that sticks around forever.

S - 4.50 - Huge smoke, chocolate, molasses, wood barrels, it has a really wholesome, full smell to it, like a steak dinner in a glass (in a good way, no literally).

T - 5.00 - Wow, if I had anything to compare this to maybe there'd be something I could say wasn't quite right, but this is so good. CHOCOLATE, SMOKE, dark fruits, good cigars, it's like smoking a cigar by the campfire but I'm sitting here watching a movie. The smokey flavor just lingers in your nose forever, I'm pretty amazed.

M - 4.5 - Medium-heavy mouth feel. Alc is there but it fits (especially at 13%). Aftertaste is smoke, it even sticks in your nose like you were just at a bonfire or something.

Overall - 4.75 - Great beer. Unique as all hell. I'd buy it again if I could afford it haha.

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Photo of challenja
4.73/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Smoking wood served in a snifter at Church Key Dc
A:sacloth black dark cocoa with a disappearing brown frothslip
s:cherry sweet candied fig jam Venezuela milk frothed chocolate strong cherry oak resin
T:beautifully crafted candied fig jam smoked beechwood rye whisky barrel dry end junipers.
M: sweet medium bodied porter. Extremely smooth and silky. Juniper jam dry rye alcohol finish.
O: this is an artist's beer. Carefully crafted for the smokey beer nerd in you. Bruery bravo

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Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the bottle into two wine glasses. Shared this one with my dad. A little pre-Father's Day enjoyment. The short review: we both loved it.

A nice muted whiff of smoke, and a balanced whiff of the rye aging. A bit of caramel in the nose as well.

Taste matches the smell. It's quite delicious, and paired well with the gruyere cheese slices we enjoyed with this beer.

A little syrupy, but not super thick mouthfeel. Pleasant going down the ol' gullet.

Give this one a try. I'm surprised it's not rated higher. Deserves a top 250 spot, if my opinion matters.

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Photo of vgarneth
4.69/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I've never been upset with a brew from The Bruery, so they've done it again with this selection. First of all, I'm a big fan of Rauchbiers from Bamberg, Germany.; however, this one isn't as smoky (a typical characteristic of the style). Nonetheless, the appearance is an amazingly deep caramel color. Aromas and flavors of vanilla, caramel, rye malts, and dark fruit are all balanced throughout. The mouthfeel is akin to a soft, elegant Merlot or Red Bourgogne with it's velvety, smooth finish. I've been on a rye kick lately, so there's another plus for this one. It's still hard to believe that this beer is 13%, but with almost half of the bottle gone I am a believer now.

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Photo of RyanLigeia
4.63/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours an opaque black with a nice sized light brown head. Head doesnt last too long, which I wouldnt expect at 13% abv but it DOES leave behind a nice film covering the top of the beer. Ruby hues are noticable around the edges when held to a bright light but the beer itself remains an opaque black.

Smell- Very potent. Booze, wood, smoke, sweet caramel maltyness, hint of vanilla extract, a bit of rye spiciness, a touch of some kind of dark fruit. Smells delicious. POTENT, yet delicious.

Taste- The wood adds a whole lot of flavor in a great way right up front. Also loads of sweet caramel/vanilla maltyness. Slight rye spice which is awesome. Still getting some hints of black cherries or some other dark fruit. The smoke is perfect on the tongue. It was a bit strong in the scent which had me worried but it is in no way overwhelming. It adds a perfect touch to everything else going on. Even the aftertaste lingers in a great way. Literally my only qualms with this one in the flavor department is how strong the booze comes through in the end. I feel this could easily be fixed with a couple years of age though.

Mouthfeel- Smooth yet sticky, heavy body, EXTREMELY warming on the way down (which I personally love). Definitely a sipper but the mouthfeel does a good job of complimenting the flavor profile. I just wish the booze wasnt so sharp and more so a mellow warmth. I love big boozy beers but this one could benefit greatly from at least 2 years of age (my guess anyways).

Overall- This is an awesome representation of the style. The rye adds a really unique touch and while most breweries overdo it in the smoke department The Bruery added JUST enough and killed it with this one style wise in general. Would definitely recommend to anyone fond of smoked porters and would definitely buy this one again if I ever come across it.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.62/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Bruery Provisions in Orange, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a dark khaki head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Thick streaks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of smoked malts, campfire smoke, rye, whisky, and some earthy aromas. Taste is absolutely fantastic with lots of tasty smoked malt flavors that are perfectly matched with the rye whisky and barrel flavors. This beer has a crisp level of carbonation with a medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a really good smoked beer and one of the best beers I have tried recently.

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Photo of vtisme
4.59/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 aged 3 years. Drinking for the Broncos game!
A: opaque dark brown. Brown lace
S: rye. Cocoa/caramel smokey malts. Light bourbon on the end of the sniff. Slight booze to the smell.
T: same as the smell. Rye on the open, cocoa and toasty malts in the middle, bourbon on the finish. Slight booze on the aftertaste.
M: slight booze, not overly thick
O: fantastic, a real treat as I go through the cellar. 2012 aged until today. Thanks Zeus for getting it for me

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Photo of beergoot
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Near-black body topped off with a thick, creamy off-white head. Beautiful aroma full of molasses, figs and dates, and rye spiciness; caramel and nougat; hints of chocolate and coffee; chewing tobacco. Rich and chocolaty malt flavors with a nice combination of hop bitterness and alcohol warmth; minty background; peppery. Heavy bodied; creamy and buttery smooth; dry finish.

This is quite the delightful find! I didn't find much of a smoke character anywhere (it's in there, but doesn't stand out like some smoked beers), but the richness of the malts, the nicely balanced hop bittering, and the barrel aging have produced an outstanding powerhouse imperial porter. The alcohol is present but its the other ingredients that make the grade here. Get some...

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Photo of whoneeds8
4.57/5  rDev +12%
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.

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Photo of Lare453
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a big bottle with the wifey!

A deep deep dark brown. Fluffy white head that dissipates quickly. No lacing at all...

S delicious! Oak, vanilla, whiskey, malt, light chocolate, smokey

T very light, but delicious! Fantastic malty lightly smokey beginning which leads to a wonderful whiskey, vanilla middle.the ending is a delicious rye, oak, light vanilla, a tiny bit of chocolate, sweet malt, heavy dry smoke. The aftertaste is heavy rye, aged oak, light smoke.

M a little thickness,smooth, almost soft.

O wow! What a great surprise! Tis beer is delicious, highly recommended by me. Has a great flavor, not too strong, No alcohol burn for a 13% beer is crazy, I can't believe what a great job was done with this one.

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Photo of bobWFMU
4.56/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Deep muddy brown with a nice looking dark khaki head. Ok retention and low lace. Thin, murky cola highlight around the edge of the glass.

S - Rich caramel and molasses wash over soft hardwood smoke and leather. Edges of salt, worcestershire sauce, and charcoal.

T - Incredible integration and balance. Dark chocolate, ash, salty smoke, toasted peat, honey bourbon, smooth rye, dry hardwood, maple syrup.

M - Super smooth, creamy, full body.

O - Chocolate Lagavulin Scotch.

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Photo of corby112
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Draft at the Bruery Provisions.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a 1.5 finger mocha head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Streaks of lacing left behind.

Deep smokey aroma with lots of rauch/smoke character.  Hints of burnt toast, charcoal, bbq, bacon and roasted dark malt.  Some toasted oak and vanilla but the whiskey is hard to pick up until it warms up a bit.  Delivers on the smoke.

Chewy full body with a perfect balance of smoked malt and whiskey barrel.  I was worried that the barrel would overpower the smoke but it is well integrated into the flavor.  Dry, toasted oak with vanilla and an excellent rye whiskey flavor.  Great spirit flavor with zero heat.  Its hard to believe that this beer is 10%.  This is countered by a nice smokey malt backbone with hints of charcoal, burnt meat and toast.   A decent amount of smoke but it's tones down a bit by the barrel aging.  Very well balanced and dangerously drinkable.  One of the best beers I've had so far from the Bruery.  

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

truly one of the best beers ive ever had. extraordinarily complex, unique, and brilliantly put together. not sure theres another brewery in the country doing anything quite this refined. this beer pours the color and texture of chocolate syrup, impenetrable to light with a bubbly finger or two of mocha colored head. the nose is incredible, really woody. its oaky and smokey and rich, but rauchbiery, less campfire and more barrel treated, but its got some similar earthen tones. sweet cocoa is present, as is a more luxurious chocolate silk, some english toffee sweetness and caramel malt, and some dark roasted coffee. the flavor is just as complex as the nose, very difficult to describe, except that it comes in waves one after the other so that each nuance can be fully deteced and admired. ive never had a porter this good in my life, im sure of it. the 13% abv is really well hidden for how massive that is, but man could i feel it. had half a bottle and was definitely too drunk to play darts. certainly a beer for sharing! full body with a decadent velvet texture, and finely carbonated. somewhere between the best dessert ever made and foraged subsistence. i absolutely loved this beer and cannot wait for my next one. do not miss this, its worth every penny of the 22 bucks it costs!

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Photo of gford217
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle.

Pours black, very much like an impy stout or porter with a small thick tan head.

Aroma is dominated by smoked malts that take on an almost smoked-meat character. There is a bit of chocolate sweetness underneath but the barrel is very subtle, tough to pick out.

The taste starts out with the same smoked bacon notes but has a bit more sweetness than the aroma with some vanilla and chocolate malts coming out. The barrel is more evident as well and the finish is a nice combo of sweetness, bourbon and smoke.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and very, very smooth, like any rye-forward beer should be. As far as smoked beers go, this is as good as mouthfeel gets.

I'm a big fan of this one, largely due to my love of smoked beers. The smoke is the most dominant aspect but the underlying beer is solid and identifiable. Loved this one.

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Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


A: The body is black with two fingers of frothy tan foam. Great retention and very much lacing. The head eventually settles to a thin layer of foam.

S: The beer possesses a tasteful level of beechwood smoke, and while it's certainly the most prominent thing about the beer it doesn't dominate or beat down the other characteristics. Beneath the layers of smoke I find caramel, chocolate, oak, vanilla, and rye whiskey. Earth blends with roasted grains.

T: A delicious blend of chocolate and caramel with an insistent beechwood smoke presence. Vanilla is a little stronger in the flavor than in the aroma. There's a light spiciness, as well as earth and oak. Whiskey is well integrated. There's a touch of booze in the smoked chocolate caramel oaky finish.

M: Full body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is silky, smooth, and sticky. Alcohol warms the palate.

Overall: This is excellent. There's a lot going on here and I wish I'd bought more than bottle.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.49/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

look: Very dark, opaque brown. decent tan head on the pour that settles to a collar.
smell: Rich, smoky wood, malt and whiskey. Huge, rich nose.
taste: much like the nose. Full, rich, woody, vanilla with an interesting blooming finish.
overall: Outstanding.

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Photo of 1000Bottles
4.49/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nice - not hot as I would expect from a 13% beer. Rye flavors come through the smoke well, and the smoke continues to permeate the palate through to the finish. Hop bitterness is somewhat apparent, but pushed back and balanced well. No fresh hop funk getting in the way of the malts, smoke and rye. Very nice overall - I would highly recommend this beer!

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Smoking Wood Rye Barrel Aged from The Bruery
91 out of 100 based on 161 ratings.