Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

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

158 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 158
Hads: 831
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 4.16%
Wants: 93
Gots: 258 | FT: 35
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 158 | Hads: 831
Photo of Jmamay22
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

The beer pours a very dark opaque black. The tan head holds well and provides some lacing. The nose carries a strong smoke scent and peat whiskey influence, which imparts an Islay iodine/salty air inter-playing with rye spice. Beneath the strong smoke and barrel characteristics there is some rich caramel and malt depth. Very enjoyable nose.

Things begin to fall apart in the taste. The rich smokey whiskey become overly phenolic and imparts a harsh character that subtracts from the rich malt undercurrent that was in the scent. The balance between each characteristic falls apart. Smoke, rye, and oak create a very fine line to walk and going over the top with each characteristic only makes it more difficult. It was well achieved in the scent, but there is a harsh phenolic presence in the flavor that detracts from the overall beer. The rye spice increases the whiskey presence creating an unpleasant effect. The mouthfeel is full and rich with a long semi-sweet finish.

I had high expectations for this beer. Some have been met, but overall somewhat disappointing. The roast flavors do not meld well with the oak, whiskey and rye. The Bruery often creates over the top great beers, but this one is out of place. (1,233 characters)

Photo of Radome
4.8/5  rDev +17.4%
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. (1,082 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4.8/5  rDev +17.4%
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. (319 characters)

Photo of vtisme
4.59/5  rDev +12.2%
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 (464 characters)

Photo of bobWFMU
4.56/5  rDev +11.5%
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. (386 characters)

Photo of MLDucky
2.38/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

This beer is definitely what is says it is. Strong, strong smoke nose and smoke taste. To me, it was over powering and artificial, similar to liquid smoke. The look was dark and ominous, more stout like than porter. (218 characters)

Photo of 57md
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%

Brown to black in color. Smokiness is present in the nose. Hearty and sticky. The smoked flavor appears to taste like hickory to me but the bottle clearly states that the smoked wood is oak.

A red wine essence pokes through and is accompanied by alcohol esters.

Because I could not find anyone to share this bottle with me, I decided to drink this in back-to-back pours and pair it with two different snacks.

The first pour was paired with smoked gouda canapés for a super smoky duo. The second pour was paired with a slice of leftover homemade (for Thanksgiving) pumpkin pie. Both pairings were awesome for different reasons!

Cellar temperature is a must for consuming this offering. (694 characters)

Photo of gcamparone
3.64/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a Bruery snifter. Purchased in Attleboro, MA.

Pours a deep black body with a 1 finger mocha colored head that reduces quickly to leave a ring of foam and no retention or lacing.

Interesting aromas.. heavy whiskey, coffee, peaty, earthy, spicy, smokey, some vanilla. Tons going on here.

Big, bold flavors of sweet caramel, whiskey, heavy earthy flavors of dirt and smoked moss, on the finish is vanilla and an odd spicyness. Not sure this all went together, not really balanced, overly sweet and too much whiskey/spices.

Mouthfeel is lacking.. somewhat watery for the big ABV. Low carbonation.

Smoking wood just wasn't my thing. Too earthy, spicy, and way too much whiskey without much body to back the huge flavors.. nevermind the pricetag. (782 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%

8 ounce goblet - $9.50 at Argosy in Atlanta, Georgia.

Appearance: Inky black body topped with a thin beige head that dissolves into a ring.

Smell: Gobs of malty notes on the nose, from smoky molasses to rich chocolate to dark roasted coffee to brown sugar. Stewed fruits. Prominent barrel accents.

Taste: Heavy, plush, tongue-coating maltiness expressing flavors of roasty-toned espresso, dark chocolate ganache followed by a burst of sugary sweetness and piquant rye. Light vanilla, light smokiness. Dark fruitiness, a snippet of black licorice. Great rye whiskey character throughout. Smooth, sweet, warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Near full-bodied. Medium carbonation. Warming throughout without being sharply boozy.

Overall: Quite good overall and graciously potent, I found the eight ounces provided was more than ample even at a slow-sipped pace. (852 characters)

Photo of zac16125
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750mL bottle into a snifter
Vintage 2014


A: Opaque black, just over 1/2 fingers width of tan colored head which dissipates down quickly and leaves almost no lacing. 4

S: Very interesting, and I actually dislike it at first, but as my senses acclimate it starts to come together nicely. Lots of vanilla, lots of oak, a big Scotch-like peat character, smokey char, booze and under all that subtle cocoa and roasted malt. 3.75

T: Tons of oak and other woody characters. Char, peat, herbaceous, some cocoa and roasted malt base beer flavors, some booze. Pretty average at first, but really improves as I continue through the drink and I end up really digging it towards the end of the first glass as the woody and char characters mellow and vanilla and toasted coconut characters come out, some booze as well. 4

M/D: Full bodied, carbonation appropriately low, ABV is noticeable but well restrained, and drinkability is surprisingly good. 4.25

O: I didn’t like this one at first but it really grew on me. A unique and interesting brew. 4 (1,049 characters)

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

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. (586 characters)

Photo of challenja
4.73/5  rDev +15.6%
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 (479 characters)

Photo of SomethingClever
4.13/5  rDev +1%
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. (722 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a FW tasting glass. Vintage 2014.

A: Pitch dark; much blacker than anticipated. Hint of head fades quickly. Black and opaque.

S: This smells like an Islay scotch. Rich, smoky, and present astringent alcohols. Hint of fruit. Toasted grain. God, this is smoky.

T/M: Oh my god. What joy! So rich, so sweet, so smoky. Enormous caramels. Rich malt. Gentle, waves of smooth-sweet booze. There is a savory quality amidst the sticky booze-malt that is obviously reminiscent of bacon.

O: An exceptional beer, that I am so glad I shelled out for. Highly recommended. An interesting, complex smoky-sweet-rich-deep-big-nice beer. (653 characters)

Photo of Bucephalus123
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served from bottle into a snifter.

A: Dark, opaque reddish-brown, with minimal coffee-colored head.

S: Malty, with sweet whiskey notes; not overwhelming. I was expecting a more pungent flavor.

T: More malt flavor with coffee and sweet vanilla. A smoky, very savory finish that lingers.

M: Medium.

Overall, an impressive and distinctive beer. It's not for every day, and it's not exactly a summer beer. Would likely be excellent with smoked cheese or fish. (462 characters)

Photo of coriswrasse
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottle poured into two Biltmore house jam jars re-purposed to beer glasses. they act like great snifters fyi.

beer is thick oily and very dark. a very bright flashlight only reveals a thick chocolaty appearance with little dark color showing. very little head or carbonation.

nose is chocolate, molasses and booze.

taste is phenomenal. all of the above + extra goodness. really beefs up the appeal of the beer. mouth-feel is also very nice. sweet medium body. could be a little fuller but it does sit nicely on the tongue.

overall this is a high recommend. (562 characters)

Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from a couple years ago. likely 2012

A: poured into a snifter to a deep black with a finger of dense light tan head that is quick to fade to a collar around the edge of the glass and leaves minimal lacing
S: smells of smoke, chocolate, and some vanilla and caramel from the barrel
T: taste is smoke with caramel, vanilla, chocolate and a slight coffee presence with more sweet smokyness and a slight woody quality. swallow is more smoke, some alcohol, wood, chocolate and rye whiskey flavors
M: this beer sits at about a medium on the palate with soft and slightly prickly carbonation and a slightly drying finish
O: fairly smooth on the palate until the swallow and then it reminds you that it's a big beer with a bit of a burn and some bite. I picked up three bottles this year so it will be interesting to try it when fresh but it will probably be much less refined and a bit more rambunctious. (905 characters)

Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
4.7/5  rDev +14.9%
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. (569 characters)

Photo of Boto
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle: This one pours an inky, opaque dark brown color. There was just a wisp of a dark tan head on it. It has a big, rich nose. Some smokiness, rye, cocoa, slight spice, maybe some coffee and vanilla. The taste is very good. Many flavors are melding together, but none are really overpowering. Rye, smokiness, cocoa, some alcohol, some caramel with some other stuff going on in there also. This is quite nice. (417 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
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. (1,405 characters)

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to TheSevenDuffs for sending us this beer in a great trade.

A: Rich and deep black brown, appears clear without sediment. Topped off with a warm tan microfilm head that linger only slightly around the rim.

S: Dry coco powder and malts chased by smokey peat. Hints of wet leaves in the background together with an overall sweetness.

T: Similar to the nose with a more pronounced smokiness and rye whisky overtones which balances out the sweetness of the chocolate and caramel notes from the malts. Warmth of alcohol esters on the finish.

M: Low carbonation with medium body resulting in a smooth creamy feel with noticeable alcohol finish.

O: While more sweet and less smoky than I initially expected, this was and enjoyable beer that paired well with the smokiness of chilli. (792 characters)

Photo of cooch69
4.93/5  rDev +20.5%
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. (982 characters)

Photo of Jjski
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (1,044 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice beer, well integrated, but probably bigger than it needs to be for the payoff you get out of it. Seemless weaving of flavors of smoke, burnt caramel, and light rye. The smoke fades after the beer has been in the glass for awhile, and the rye is just a little too light throughout. Still, it's pleasant enough if it becomes a little simple in the end. (357 characters)

Photo of vgarneth
4.69/5  rDev +14.7%
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. (675 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Smoking Wood Rye Barrel Aged from The Bruery
91 out of 100 based on 158 ratings.