Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Smoking Wood Rye Barrel Aged | The Bruery

167 Reviews
no score
Send samples
For Trade:
Smoking Wood Rye Barrel AgedSmoking Wood Rye Barrel Aged

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States | website

Style: Smoked Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by phichifiji00 on 11-20-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 167 | Ratings: 866
Photo of BMMillsy
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Trade from I forget who. Thanks! Pours pitch black and thick like a stout with a creamy half finger brown head. Aroma of sweet chocolate and caramel, rye whiskey, char and tobacco, and of course smoke. Smells great. Flavor is chocolate spice with medium sweetness. Huge hit of smoke fades back into sweet chocolate flavors and leaves a rich, earthy smoky peat on the palate. Thick mouthfeel with perfect carbonation. Bruery tends to go too big for me in most cases, but this one is spot on. Good stuff. and my favorite Bruery beer.

 531 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.04/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

thanks to Dr G for sharing this -enjoyed chilled in a teku from the 750ml.

The color is opaque dark brown practically black with medium tan head with fine bead and legs that stick to the glass. the aroma is a mix of sweet toffee, smoke and some alcohol esters with woody scent and whiskey is pretty potent in the nose. The feel is dense and intense with lots of sweet malt texture and boozy finish which is warming and dry.

The flavor is pretty much as intense as the aroma leads on with a dark cocoa and wood flavor up front with mild smokiness and toffe-like sweetness with some whiskey coming along in the mid taste and lasting into the finish with mildly sweet lingering flavor.
This was a very big beer both in strength and flavor ...I recommond having at least 3 or 4 appreciative tasters to share this with since I was satisfied with 5 oz.

 852 characters

Photo of t420o
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bruery Smoking Wood

A- pour produces a 2 finger mocha colored head resting on a dark brown body. Good retention and lacing. 4

S- nice smell of smoked malt, chocolate, light earthiness, peat, slight alcohol, vanilla. Smells excellent 4.25

T- much like the smell. Smoked malt is most prevalent and gives off a bacon like taste which is excellent and with the light alcohol warmth it goes great on a cold day. Peat, chocolate, light vanilla, and coffee round out the taste. The bacon-like after taste is one of the best after tastes I have ever experienced in a beer. 4.25

M- medium carbonation and body with a very smooth finish. 4.25

O- a great beer that I'd love to have more often but the $22 price tag is a little high for it. 4


 739 characters

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

 1,377 characters

Photo of dgilks
4.11/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Opaque black with a dense, tan head. Fair head retention which is actually pretty good for style.

Barrel. Lots of vanilla, caramel and oak here. The rye barrel really shines through. There is some nice chocolate and toffee. Intense, barrelled, slightly smoky stout.

Big flavours. The sweet malt gives way to a supple oak, vanilla and caramel flavour from the barrel. It is only slightly smoky.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Good.

A classic Bruery big beer. Well integrated if strong barrel notes and an intense base beer.

 539 characters

Photo of jwhancher
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Barcade Philly. Bruery beer exclusive during PBW. Pours a very solid dark brown with thin lacing and woody highlights. Think it's a combo of wood & bourbon. Smells heavily hickory oaked with hints of bourbon and light spiciness. Tastes smokey with waves of bourbon, oak, cinnamon, spicy rye notes, more smoked malts, and finally subtle hints of cocoa & toffee. Amazingly complex. Such a different beer than any I've ever tried. Feels a little sweet with the bourbon but still well balanced so as not cloyingly too candy like. Alcohol held in check, but it's def there.

This is definitely one to behold. Glad to have finally tried it. Expensive at $8 per glass, but I'd def buy a bottle someday to sip and marvel at home.

 732 characters

Photo of sweemzander
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks for sharing Chris!

(A)- Pours practically pitch black in color with some subtle tan froth.

(S)- Just a tiny hint of hickory smoke that meets a deep and rich caramel malt profile with a bigger bourbon-like barrel note.

(T)- A good sweetness to it. Ever so slightly spicy with subtle hickory smoke and raisin/caramel. Very bourbon forward.

(M)- A mellow carbonation level mixed with a sweet and rich profile overall. Not quite as smoky as I expected, but well balanced and harmonious.

(O)- Less smoke forward than the bourbon variant; which I think makes this one more successful since it is better balanced versus drinking liquid smoke.

 684 characters

Photo of Teleweizen2
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - pours a deep opaque black. Fizzy, frothy tan foam, maybe 3 fingers worth on top. Alright retention. Fades to a bit more than film. Leaves some lacing with each sip.

S - melty dark chocolate and rich mocha greet the nose first. Lots of deep earthy, woody notes of oak. Whiskey and black pepper. Vanilla. All the notes filter though an ever present cloud of smoke with hints of meat.

T - reminiscent of mexican hot chocolate up front with Silky notes of mocha up front along with peppery flavors. Earthy oak and grainy cereal/rye flavors in the middle with sweet notes of vanilla for balance.

M - medium almost full bodied. Silky smooth texture. Creamy, frothy medium carbonation.

O - great stuff. This is an excellent partner for bbq. I would have liked more smoke but it is so flavorful and well balanced i can let that slide.

 834 characters

Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours dense pitch black color with a small foamy tan head with decent retention, that reduces to a thin lace that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, roasted malt, wood smoke, caramel, light char, vanilla, toast, oak, whiskey, light spicy rye, and toffee. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of roasted malt notes with smoked malt and barrel character. Taste of dark chocolate, roasted malt, wood smoke, caramel, toast, oak, whiskey, vanilla, light spicy rye, and toffee. Lingering notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, wood smoke, caramel, toast, oak, whiskey, vanilla, and toffee on the finish for a good bit. Incredible complexity of roasted, smoked, and barrel flavors; with an awesome balance of barrel character that isn’t overwhelming; and no cloying flavors present after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and full bodied; with a slick, creamy, and slightly chalky mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Definitely a slow sipper. Overall this is an incredible imperial smoked porter style! Incredible depth and complexity of flavor with great balance of the barrel, smoke, and roasted flavors; and quite smooth to sip on a slowly. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,353 characters

Photo of Chaney
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Been eyeballing this one on the shelves for months. Finally taking the plunge!

Served in an Olde Hickory shaped-glass.

A: Poured as black as the Ace of Spades, with lots of particles floating in the vat under close inspection, and really no head whatsoever.

S: Definitely got the coconut (whisky) component to the extreme, along with a hint of rye, and along with a sort of earthy charred or toasted caramel.

T: To say this is full-bodied would be an understatement, with a huge sweet, dessert-like quality to this overall. I wouldn't call this a smoked meat beer... more of a cinged, salted caramel taffy one. Delicious.

M: Thick as snot, without much hottness to my palate. Go ahead and drink this now! No lacing left on the glass, but that's not part of the point here anyway.

O: I encourage you to vary your sip size every time you dig in. I personally found that the experience was different each time. Cheers!

 922 characters

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.

 506 characters

Photo of dogfishandi
4.39/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

 1,079 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

 605 characters

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.31/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

750ml into snifter at cellar temp (50 rising to 60 throughout the review)

Pours with a short, but nonetheless, noticeable tan head over the darkest of brown bodies, with maroon-to-brown edges. Really nice lacing. Pretty beer for a 13% smoker!

Aromas are rich and full. Nice amount of charred wood, as expected. Rubber comes next - esp if you bury your nose in it. Stepping back a few inches, you get whiskey, and distant wafts of dark chocolate and toffee sweetness. Well rounded, for sure.

Mouthfeel is slick and smooth, as expected. But much lighter on the palate than most Impy Stouts and Porters that clock in at this level (not that there ARE that many). In terms of flavor, the peaty smoke adds tons of qualities, but does not overwhelm. As it warms, you can really pull out the oak/vanilla-bean quality. Rounds out with smoky ham, dark cocoa, and roasted coffee bean bitterness. Just a kiss of molasses to leave you wanting more.

What a wonderful imperial Porter - However, I rated this (score-wise) against the "Smoked Beer" category, in order to be true to the BA guidelines.

 1,091 characters

Photo of Jonada
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours black with faint hints of brown. Nearly opaque in the glass. There was a thin coating of a khaki colored head and collar that stuck around for the whole glass.

Smell: Peat, wood, chocolate, roasted malt, smoked meat, whiskey.

Taste: Chocolate, roasted malt, wood, campfire smoke, ash, a bit of rye spiciness, and hints of grilled meat.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with medium carbonation. Viscous mouthfeel. Goes down pretty smooth for 13%.

Overall: I'm not usually a fan of smoked beers, but I was impressed with this one. It wasn't overwhelmingly smokey or meaty like some smoked beers tend to be, but rather served as a compliment to the other flavors and aromas of the beer.

 696 characters

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Pours out thick and pitch black. No head, no lace, not surprised at 13%.

Rye, vanilla, chocolate and whiskey start off the smell. Caramel and earth follow to mellow it out. Smoke is noticeable throughout, nice and mild.

The taste begins with a heavy helping of chocolate, caramel and smoked wood. This is quickly joined by rye spice and earthy notes. Whiskey barrel notes finish it up, slightly overwhelming, especially as it warms. Decently balanced for such a heavy beer. Goes down smooth, a bit hot with a hint of carbonation.

Glad I got one for the cellar, this one will age very well!

 615 characters

Photo of oberon
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

 552 characters

Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark black with a hint of brown and a finger of frothy khaki-chocolate colored head. Fades fairly slowly.

S - Roasted chocolate malts, smoke, vanilla, oak, rye, whiskey, coffee, earthy hops, some caramel malts, and some booze.

T - Roasted chocolate malts, smoke, vanilla, rye, oak, whiskey, coffee, earthy hops, molasses, caramel malts, some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a sweet, smokey, and warming finish.

D - Great smoked porter. The barrel flavors are nice and the beer is well balanced.

 532 characters

Photo of Kendo
4.16/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the 750 ml bottle into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is black with a 1-finger light-brown head on top.

S: Smoke and alcohol are the first impressions, but once I get past that I'm getting some dark fruits (raisins) and molasses. Impressions from the wood too - mainly vanilla.

T: Pretty much follows the nose. It's definitely smoky. Molasses, burnt raisins and prunes are underneath. Also a hint of rye spiciness, and a good amount of wood characteristics - some tannic bitterness and more warming vanilla. Speaking of warming...this is hot from the 13% ABV. Alcohol is noted on the palate pretty quickly and then there's plenty of heat at the back of the palate and down into the belly. Drinking this pre-dinner on a fairly empty stomach is warming my belly quickly - and lightening my head as well. Finishes with char bitterness and drying alcohol. Reminds me of campfires (fire + drunk = campfire).

M: Call it medium, though it feels a bit thin (not surprising, as the base of this beer is classified as a porter; this is not an Imperial/Double Stout, despite appearances and the fact that the beer is being used as a jumping off point for experimentation). Carbonation is modest, the feel is slightly prickly.

O: Interesting. Unlike anything I've ever had - at least, not wrapped together in one beer - and so it's tough to really pin it down. At times the smoke is a bit too much, but once I get used to it, I can appreciate some of the other things going on here.

 1,500 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Served on-draught into a New Belgium stem-goblet at a SoCal bar. 13% ABV confirmed. Reviewed from notes taken in January 2013.

A: Pours no head at all, just a khaki colour ring floater. Body colour is a nontransparent opaque solid black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Typical of the style. Generally appealing.

Sm: Heavy wood/barrel notes. Alcohol and heat. Caramel, dark malts. Rich malty sweetness. Maybe rye. A moderate strength aroma. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Some alcohol heat. Dark malts, rye, chocolate malt. Caramel. Sweet. Raisiney. Wood as a background tone, but nothing evocative like oak, cherrywood, or the like - just bland wood. Some slight spicy heat, like chili pepper sans pepper skin. Messy and imbalanced, but somehow not without a bit of subtlety. Mess that it is, I do like it in a general sense.

Mf: Smooth, wet, a bit overcarbonated, and featuring pretty good thickness. Complements the flavour profile fairly well.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable. Hides its high ABV okay, I guess. A decent offering from The Bruery, but not one I'd trifle with again. I like what they were shooting for, but they fell a bit short. Still, the result is probably worth trying once at the right price.


 1,259 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

 347 characters

Photo of ummswimmin
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter glass... for sniffing. You can really breathe in the smoke off of this beer. It is rich, like bacon. This is a step away from the campfires in most smoked beers. I like how richness in this one.

This super dark beer is thinner than you would expect. It is silky on the tongue. The flavor really punches you in the face. You get a lot of smoke, then some of the coffee from the stout. This is a challenging sipper.

 436 characters

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.46/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to durwoodx, thanks Darrell.

The beer pours a beautiful black to dark brown color with some lighter brown on the edges. Not much head or lacing. This smell is the highlight, no doubt. It really smells like some fresh amazing cooked bacon that was previously smoked. Definitely reminds me of Islay scotch as well, which is just great. Also has a nice healthy fudge note.

The taste really follows the smell beautifully, but maybe doesn't quite pop as much, though it is close. Some nice amount of sweetness to balance the savory open fire smoke, excellent stuff. Sme chocolate and sweetness from the whiskey.

The feel is nice and still, which actually helps the smoke come through better. Overall this beer is really quite nice, I honestly didn't expect this beer to be some solid in a smoked beer style given the sweeter and sour offerings they normally have. Excellent.

 880 characters

Photo of Lucho
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
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

 851 characters

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.

 726 characters

Smoking Wood Rye Barrel Aged from The Bruery
91 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.