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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: 254 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 161 | Hads: 841
Photo of Gmann
4.12/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a midnight black with a rather modest head that fades to a ringlet and archipelago; does a very nice job lacing the tulip glass, however

Smell: Charred beechwood, caramel, licorice and chocolate; vague hints of dark fruit, vanilla and soy sauce

Taste: Opens with the caramel, chocolate and licorice but the beechwood smoked flavors quickly another dimension; dark fruit , vanilla and soy sauce adds yet more complexity, in the middle; after the swallow, the oak and rye flavors arrive to cut the sweetness, with a bacon flavor lingering to finish things off

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: A lot of smoked beers are over the top with the smoke but in this beer, the smoke truly complements the other aspects of the flavor profile

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Photo of jrenihan
3.82/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Beer sits between black and very dark brown- some slight bits of brown peaking around the edges. A small tan head results from the pour but fades very quickly.

Smell contains smoke, a touch of bacon, lots of caramel, spicy rye and wood. Strong smell, that's for sure.

Taste is similar. Smoke and a lot of wood, a lot of rye, with characteristic spicy notes. Caramel. A bit of a bacon flavour, as well as a bit of marmite to this palate. Whisky, but not as much as one may expect. Nothing unexpected from either the nose or the description. Pretty good but nothing super exciting.

Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Slick. Alcohol is well hidden considering the strength, but certainly not hidden overall!

Overall, pretty good, but not great.

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Photo of stakem
4.14/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a matching Bruery snifter. The brew appears black in color with a rich 2.5 finger froth that is brown in color and surges to the surface when poured down the middle of the glass. It doesn't take long before the cap fades to a thin film across the top and leaves some stringy lines of lace sticking to the glass.

The aroma is very hearty with smoke coming across like bacon or some other form of beefiness. A very solid roasty grain presence is felt somewhat ashy and acrid with trace amounts of chocolate and coffee. A tingle of solvent alcohol and almost a citrus quality emerge as it warms up. The barrel presence is really mild across the nose but what does emerge are hints of raw woodiness and accenting alcohol.

The flavor of this brew is dry and ashy. A bit charred, acrid, earthy, tobacco-like and strong with bitter roast. Suggestions of raw oakiness appear at times with hints of coffee and bitter chocolate. The smoke aspect is pretty bold in the nose but blends well in the flavor profile mixing with the typical dark grain flavors that are roasty. The aftertaste is a bit beefy and the barrel presence brings out a soft spicy character that is very different from the bourbon version but interesting in it's own right.

This is a medium bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. The 13% alcohol is really integrated well in this brew and it provides a whole lot of character to take in, instead of just smoke and barrel. Really good stuff here. There has been some recent talks about infection in this so I bumped this up on the priority list to give it a try. Luckily, no such dumbness to be found. I really enjoyed the bourbon version and dare I say I like this one just as much but for different reasons. Whereas the bourbon version had some soft almost sweet notes, this one is a bit harsher with raw woodiness that really works with the smoke.

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Photo of cfrobrew
4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of Thedaver4220
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ML bottle poured into a Maudite tulip

Awesome extra from Stawn(thanks again bud!!)

The Bruery's smoking wood pours a murky black with a 2finger tan head(I poured hard). Spicy vanilla flavor fills the nose. The taste is big, but the mouth feel is a bit thin in IMHO. It has a sweet taste up front with some classic rye bite on the back end. The body is a bit thin, but I think it adds to the drinkability of this one. It's a bit strong when first drank, but as it warms it becomes more balanced and blends well. IMHO the Bruery is one of the best at barrel aging beers, and smoking wood does disappoint.

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Photo of Bung
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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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 xnicknj
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into snifter - thanks brad

Inky blackness, thin wispy dark head dissolves quickly into a collar of foam.

Pretty intense smoky scents with toasted oak, beechwood, and bourbony sweetness. Chocolate and vanilla, sticky caramel and bread. Rye spice with alcohol heat.

Wave of booze-soaked smoke and roasted malts with rye spice. Toasted wood, dark chocolate, vanilla and caramel. Heavy, complex and rich with a lasting alcohol warmth. Smoked sweetness with wood and rye towards the boozy, sticky finish.

Full body, milder carbonation, creamy, sticky and thick on the tongue. If you're into smoked beers, this is a borderline must-have. I seriously can't wait to try another bottle.

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Photo of russpowell
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
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...

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Photo of draheim
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750mL into a tulip. Pours a deep chocolate brown w/ a 1-finger reddish mocha head.

Aroma is a blend of bourbon-soaked pipe tobacco, beech smoke, vanilla, and spice. Just a hint of booze. There's a faint cherry syrup smell I often pick up in smoke beers, but it's subtle enough not to distract.

Taste follows nose. Bourbon, smoke, vanilla, chocolate, spice. This is a tasty sipping beer.

Mouthfeel is thick and coating, medium-bodied. Finishes surprisingly clean for such a big beer.

Overall a really enjoyable beer. There's a lot going on here with the smoke and the rye and the barrel aging, but it works.

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Photo of vonnegut21
4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a thick, deep black with a finger and a half of light brown head.

S: Smoked malt and rye whiskey. Lots of smoke. Like sticking your head in a BBQ smoker.

T: Smoky, roasted malt. Light rye whiskey character, vanilla, and hints of bakers chocolate. I don't normally love smoked beers, but this is really nice.

M: Thick, creamy and smoky.

O: I wasn't expecting a lot from this beer, but it really impressed. A bit expensive, but a nice unique offering from the Bruery.

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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 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 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 Brandywine
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black as night with a dark brown around the rim. Half a fingers worth of a khaki brown head. Huge alcohol legs. Tight lacing.

Smell: Dark chocolate, coffee, caramel or toffee. General sweetness and a little bit of heat.

Taste: moderate smokiness on the front of the tongue. Oakiness melds with the whiskey from the barrels. Subtle spiciness from the rye at the end of the tongue. Underneath the barrel and the smoke is chocolate and roasted notes. Absolutely no heat or booze in the flavor. The smoke is definitely dominant but it's not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side of full. Light carbonation.

Overall: I don't like smoked beers as a style but this one is very enjoyable.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle purchased as a single from somewhere localish.

Poured into DFH snifter, formed a 1/4" purplish brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Used motor oil comes to mind. Head skims immediately, with leggy etched lacing. Aroma is alcohol and darkness, pulls you in for the first taste.

Taste is dark fruits and sweetness to start, meaty malt and some tannin action in the middle, and closes with an alcohol shoutout and wisps of smoke. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, and drinkability is great for the abv. Barrel aging worked with this one, for sure.

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Photo of DocJitsu
3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours as close to black as I've seen in a beer. Just the faintest ruby glint around the bottom edge of the glass in the light. A big, fat, foamy burnt root beer colored head forms despite a careful pour. the head retains forever. Aromas consist of big rye whiskey, a lot of smoke, slight vinegar, and roasted malted barley. Mouthfeel is different for a beer like this. Too much of a carbonation sting. Hard to discern much else that's going on in the palate. Flavor is SMOKE. There's a bit of sweetness that fights through the smoke at times. The faintest bit of whiskey can be noted by holding the beer on the tongue for a few seconds. The smoke just obscures anything more that might be going on. Overly carbonated as well. Could be much better if tweaked a little.

Addendum: after allowing the beer to sit for few moments, the carbonation calms and exposes the slick, creamy mouthfeel. The smoke seems to take down a bit too. I'm changing my rating of the mouthfeel to 3.5.

Addendum 2: the sweetness begins to reveal itself as chocolately after the beer has a chance to warm further.

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

Poured from bottle into DFH Signature glass. Thanks Collin!

A: Pours a deep black with little light getting thru, a mocha colored head that has long staying power, and good lacing.

N: Wow. Lots of deep smoke, chocolate malt, and some of that rye spice. The rye is a bit overshadowed by everything else that is going on, but it is still present. Just a real big smoke presence, honestly.

T: Again, the smoke is dominant. I get some of that sweet chocolate malt coming through. The sweentess kind of sets me back, but is then really personified by this sweet, cloying oak/dry rye spice.

M: It's thick and chewy. Good carbonation, and that smoke really hangs around. It's a nice.

D and O: Very, very interesting beer. I haven't had anything quite like it. The rye compliments the smoke. The smoke can really be a bit overwhelming...it's enjoyable tho.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml, 2012 vintage
The Bruery tulip

A: Pours deep dark black color. No light getting through there. Initially there was a thin layer of slightly tan head. Stuck around for a little while. Getting some alcohol feet on this boozy beer for sure.

S: Smoked meats. Burnt wood. Roasted malts. Some chocolate. Hard to dig in and get that rye spice with all the rest of that going on.

T: Liked bourbon more. Lots of smoke more than the other. Tons of smoke. Bacon. Dark campfire flavor. Some dark chocolate. Long flavors.

M: Full bodied.

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Photo of Gosox8787
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 750 mL bottle, 2012 vintage, chilled and poured into a Cigar City tulip glass. Purchased for $23 earlier today.

Appearance: Dark brown to black in color. Pours a fizzy, medium brown head of about one finger. Recedes quickly into a very thin lacing around the edge of the glass.

Aroma: Campfire smoke and smoked meat notes come to the forefront. Caramel, rye, and really strong toasted oak notes. The rye whiskey notes are very strong as well. The alcohol from the barrel is definitely strong and noticable.

Taste: Big char and smoke notes upfront. After the initial char, there is an undertone of bacon and smoked malt. Each sip brings more sweetness out. Vanilla, caramel, roasted coffee beans , and really strong oak tones create an interesting backdrop. The rye spice tones mixed with the smoke are an unique combination. The barrel tones give off some whiskey notes. There is less alcohol than in the nose.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied. Very sharp carbonation and a little oily.

Overall, a really interesting take on a smoke beer. The smoke tones are not too overdone at all. As this warms, more of the barrel and base beer can come out from behind the smoke. The caramel, vanilla, and toasted oak notes are a really nice background. The ABV is definitely there, but is far better hidden in the taste than the aroma. The barrel tones work well but there is a noticable raw whiskey aroma and taste at times. Interesting as a one time buy, but not worth buying more than once at this price.

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Photo of Lerxst
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 vintage. $21.99 for 750ml bottle

A-Pours black with just a hint of light coming in around the outside edges with a thin mocha colored head that faded quickly leaving a few spots of lace.

S-Rye Whiskey, smoke, roasted malt, hints of coffee and dark chocolate.

T-Really follows the nose with the whiskey and campfire smoke battling for supremacy with neither prevailing. Roasty malt with a dash of coffee and dark chocolate and a bit of booze.

M-Medium body, light carbonation, slightly creamy. Body is a tad on the light side.

O-A nice offering from the Bruery. Not outstanding, but very good.

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Photo of markchristenson
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
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)

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hefty dark brown with a quickly receding chestnut head and no lacing.

S: Aroma of big alderwood smoked malts, rye whiskey barrel and wood all around. Deep sweet malt scents mixing in with the smoke.

T: Deep and rich smoked cherry and alderwood smoked flavors. I have both of these malts on hand and can definitely pick up the flavors of both. Bacon and dry tannic finish on the beer from the alderwood and a nice rich smokiness from the cherrywood malt. The finish is dry and slightly ashy or more woody than I would have guessed, but it is pulled off nicely and very enjoyable.

M: Thick mouthfeel with a medium to light carbonation.

O: Overall this is a a very solid smoked beer. I have heard a few tough judgements on this beer and while it may have been of the bourbon barrel aged, I can say that I am enjoying this one. If only it was in a smaller bottle, I would be much happier overall with this one. I was inspired enough after taking the first sip of this to throw some liquid smoke into some chili that I was cooking when making this.

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Photo of jegross2
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing the Smoking Wood (Rye Whiskey Version) from The Bruery out of California. This beer is an imperial smoked porter brewed with rye malt, beachwood and cherrywood smoked malt, and then aged in rye whiskey barrels.
Score: 92

2012 vintage served in a Duck-Rabbit snifter and enjoyed 07/01/12. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Black coffee color. Pours a finger of creamy milk chocolate head that settles to a thin layer atop the glass. Good lacing, excellent retention. 4/5

Smell: Milk chocolate, rye and a huge amount of wood. Ample smoke too. A little bacon, subtle whiskey caramel malt. Hint of molasses. 4.25/5

Taste: Smoked and slightly salty bacon. Lots of oak flavor. A little chocolate on the midpalate. Increasing "spiciness" and a soft rye kick towards finish as the beer warms. Mild caramel flavor in the background too. ABV absolutely hidden. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, made to feel lighter from smokiness. Creamy mouthfeel. Smooth and smoky finish. Subtly bitter. 4/5

Overall:Smoke beers are quite polarizing -- you either love them, or you hate them. I am personally a fan of smokey beers. For a smoke beer, however, I found the smoke quality of this brew to be more subtle than most, but still quite pronounced.

Recommendation: Smoke beer fans are encouraged to seek this one out; it is better than the bourbon version.

Pairings: Bacon and eggs.

Cost: $20 for a 750 ml bottle.

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