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Smoking Wood Bourbon Barrel Aged - The Bruery

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

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

523 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 523
Reviews: 92
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 79
Gots: 213 | FT: 33
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: UCLABrewN84 on 03-19-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

2014 Vintage is 14% ABV
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 523 | Reviews: 92
Photo of Robomunky
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Black as night, thin tan head. Medium smoke, lots of Bourbon. Bit of burn on the way down. Excellent.

Photo of Bosoxfan20
2.71/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Over the top smokey. I guess it hit what they were going for, but it was like drinking cigarettes

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

A very well made beer, a shame that it will no longer be available. Anyhoo...
A - Has that big beer look - 0 carbonation, 0 head..just sits there wallowing in its self-glory of being a 14% badass sumabitch
S - Has that big beer smell - no shit, this stuff is BBA - bourbon notes right off the bottle cap...roasty, toasty, smokey and giving me the woody.
T - Has that big beer taste - Vanilla, wood, bourbon, coffee-like roast, warm toasted bread, and whiskey. Oh yes, like someone dropped a shot of whiskey in the concoction and then another...just for good measure. This baby burns!
M - Feels oily and light and that is only due to the amount of whiskey this beer has picked up from the barrels. The base beer I am sure is probably about as thick and gooey as they come...
O - I won't even pretend like I know how to improve upon this beer. I'm hovering around 4.5 on this one...think I'll just go with that. Need to go hunt if there are any more bottles lying around somewhere....

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

Rich smoky flavor in 2014 bourbon aged edition. Very smooth.

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

A: Dark viscose pour, inky black in the vessel, with a dark mocha one finger standing head. Micro-effervesce moves at a good pace along the inner walls.

S: Boozy dark fruit, burnt wood, campfire minerality and soothing bitterness. Beautiful wiff of smoky whiskey-rye and anise.

T: Smoky campfire soot, big whiskey-rye influence, peppery spiced jack daniels glow with soft charcoal filtering notes. Soothing flavor of anise, scorched barrel wood, vanilla and dry caramel. Whiskey soaked dark fruit and anise that finishes up with a whiskey soaked campfire soot. Very smooth and polised, the booziness is a few points lower then advertised, feeling more at home like a 10-11% then a 13.3%, some sweet burnt chocolate and smoked hop cones rounds things out.

M: Full bodied, silky textured, milky depth with a beautiful dark boozy bitterness.

O: Overall a beautiful whiskey soaked campfire minearlity and HUGE smokiness, with a burnt chocolate sweetness and boozy dark fruit nature. Boozy, beautiful sipper perfect for that campfire setting. Big smoked nature, more so then even Aecht Schlenkerlar, big alcohol content probabley best shared with a friend. The huge smoked malt and rye combination makes for a beautiful spicy combination. You can never go to big with the smoke beers imho, there's been to many i've had that were dismal and almost non-apparent. Go big or go home. $20 bomber well worth the experience. Shame its retired.

Photo of Beastcpa
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very tasty smoked bourbon beer

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a stout/porter glass from a 750mL glass.

Thick, creamy and chewy caramel-colored head a finger and a half thick and persistent emerges from the pour. Beneath is a pitch-black body. It's got an elegant look and contrast of colors. 5

Even from a distance I get stick and booze oaken bourbon notes. There's a rich chocolate presence with swirls of vanilla and caramel. It smells boozy but not enough to deter me from diving in. 4.25

There's a lot to take in on the palate as this has smoke, chocolate, bourbon and barrel all rolled together. It's at times campfire smoky while at other times more like BBQ and I get down with both. Rye seems to linger on the palate but competes with bourbon in doing so and a touch of booze. 4.25

Well, you sure as hell won't feel the 14% and the body is viscous, creamy and a little too easy to sip. Whether from the bourbon, the rye or the hops this has a bit of a bite. 4.25

Excellent brew. Smoky beers are my thing so I really enjoy this.

Photo of Lukass
2.16/5  rDev -47.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Was looking forward to something rich and smokey, and got something sour and vinegary. Infected bottle.. Was really looking forward to this one too.

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

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 5/19/2014. Pours pitch black color with a 1 finger fairly dense dark tan head with solid retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some slight spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toffee, vanilla, wood smoke, bourbon, toasted oak, dark bread, light char, and oak/smokey earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt, smoke, and bourbon barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of big milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toffee, vanilla, wood smoke, toasted oak, bourbon, dark bread, light char, and oak/smokey earthiness. Slight roast/oak bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toffee, vanilla, wood smoke, toasted oak, bourbon, dark bread, light char, and oak/smokey earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity and robustness of dark/roasted malt, smoke, and bourbon barrel flavors; with a great malt/barrel balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, fairly creamy, and slightly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome barrel aged imperial porter style. All around great balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt, smoke, and bourbon barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the huge ABV. The bourbon barrel version seems to be more mellow and balanced than the rye barrel version in smoke and roasted malt flavors. A highly enjoyable offering.

Photo of Savage1005
2.12/5  rDev -48%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

my bottle of this is infected.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.83/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Five ounces for seven dollars at Tria Taproom in Philadelphia, served in a wine glass.

Appearance: 3.75 Dark, thick, rich. Barely any head. What you expect from a beer of this kind.

Smell: 5 WOW! Scotch, peat. Complexity, so much going on- smoke, acridity, vinous notes, coal. Stunning. Dirty chimney. Dark chocolate, cranberry, spice. Barrel, rye whiskey. Stunning.

Taste: 5.00 Bourbon, chocolate, truffles (Belgian bonbons), umami. Imagine a black-footed pig and one of the midgets from Willow foraging for truffles deep in the forests of Italy back in the 15th century. They are both sweaty, hungry and inspired, determined. They have walked through miles of dirty trails covered in mud, sprouting mushrooms and decaying tree parts. Their clothes are soaked in charcoal shadows from the fires they lit along the way. The pig and the midget are this beer.
Peaty finish, brown butter swirled around. A tad of mezcal as well, and spice from the rye.

Mouth: 4.00: Prickly, beautiful carbonation, well balanced. “Just the right amount of bubbles”. Medium body, full flavor. Nice smoke touch on the throat at the end of the sip, but never overwhelming. A little thin around the edges, that’s the only low point.

Overall: 5.00 Drinkability here is off the charts,. 14% but you can’t taste it. No booze at all. Smooth. A truly outrageous beer. Smoke, sweetness, barrel. So close to perfection!

Photo of baybum
1.89/5  rDev -53.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Could have been infected, but had to drain pour it

Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, 14% ABV (not that I'm niggling).

This beer pours a solid, light-diffusing black hole, with nothing evident at the southern fringes, and two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and somewhat bubbly tan head, which leaves a few minor instances of weak seaspray lace around the glass as it evenly recedes.

It smells of edgy wet ashy smoke, cheap ouzo, typical Bourbon barrel notes - boozy rye, boozy vanilla, boozy caramel, and yep, boozy wood - Hershey's chocolate syrup, musty treacle, bloated black orchard fruit, understated bready caramel malt, and faintly bitter earthy, weedy hops. The taste is much less smoky, with the milk chocolate, creamed coffee, and licorice character predominating, even over the still heady Kentucky whiskey barrel astringencies (the very same ones from the nose, for expediency), a lessened charred dark fruitiness, some separate pipe tobacco ashiness, tame leafy, earthy hops, and a surprisingly subtle metallic booziness.

The carbonation is quite understated, and basically on furlough, or something, the body a dense, full-ass weight, and way more smooth than the purported ABV can suitably justify, with a tangible creaminess once cognitive dissonance completely kicks in. It finishes on the sweet side, what with the multifaceted caramel, cocoa, anise, and vanilla, all wrapped in a thin sheer of alcohol, and a trailing wisp of smoke. Et fin.

Like this, and a lot of other high-octane brews around the world, the initial impression leaves a lot to be desired, but once you settle in and get to know it, all is well (as far as you know). Yep, the flavours duly abound, so much so that the actual ABV is but a mirage, a moving target, and after a wee spell, a ghost in the system, not worth chasing, for any reason. Anyways - a kick-ass, incredible American BA Porter, is what I meant to say.

Photo of KJ2013
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It is really damn good

Photo of n2185
3.81/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

S: roasted malts, oak, and bourbon dominate with vanilla, caramel, and just a light aroma of smoke.

T: similar to the aroma, roasted malts with oak and bourbon dominate. Vanilla and burnt sugar come through next before a moderately boozy finish. The smoke comes through in the aftertaste.

M: thick body with low carbonation, this beer is thick and sticky and boozy.

O: a good beer, overall, though the bourbon is a bit overpowering compared to the rye whiskey version.

Photo of Agent1
4.99/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WARNING: If you do not enjoy dark ales, maybe avoid this sexy beast. This is a VERY bold beer, and not for the faint of heart. Highly recommended if you enjoy Belgian Quads or extreme, experimental Porters.

Appearance - Beautiful creamy brown/ beige head. Large pockets of coalescing bubbles form while allowing this to warm. A dark brown, almost black elixir! Head retention is impressive, too.

Smell - Seriously incredible. Butterscotch, vanilla bean, butter, subtle peat moss, figs, caramel, licorice, smoke, wood, prunes, cream/ milk, molasses, bitter hops (hard to distinguish).

Taste - Fig jam, butterscotch, milk chocolate, hazelnut, licorice root, whiskey/ bourbon (obvious given all the barrel aging), overripe plums, dry smokey wood notes, subtle peat moss (similar to lightly peated scotches such as Oban or Laphroaig), fermented blackberries, molasses, roasted malts, rich barley, all tied together with a deep alcoholic burn...which is fuckin' superb. SO much going on here. Again, not for the faint of heart. An incredibly succulent and smokey finish. It's somewhat shocking to think that the booze is barely noticeable at 14% abv, even under all the layered flavor.

Mouthfeel - Excellent carbonation. Very lively and bubbly, yet still thick and syrupy. Smooth and velvety on the palate. Super soft and sticky, like toffy.

Overall - This is easily one of my favorite dark ales of all time, hands down. It is an incredible experience every sip. Also, I should mention, this is definitely a beer worthy of pairing food. Perhaps a medium rare steak or a sharp cheese. Speaking of pairings, while drinking this bottle I decided to open some aged cheddar from Balderson. Overall, this is also a bottle in need of commitment. It is the equivalent to that of a bottle of wine, which also warrants pairing food with it and milking it slowly. To sum this brew up in a few words: complex, deep, hearty, and rich. Definitely a trip!

Photo of M_J_Z
4/5  rDev -2%

Smoky beers aren't my "thing" and I sometimes have gone so far as to avoid trying them, but the Smoking Woods are hard to say "no" to. Tried the bourbon barrel-aged one last weekend for the first time. I prefer this one over the rye barrel-aged version.They're similar, but for whatever reason I enjoyed this one more than the rye BA beer.

I gave this a 4.5 on Untappd, but in retrospect it probably lies somewhere between a 4-4.25, with 4.25 being the most I could give it. (I rounded up on UT.) I remember this beer being smooth, easy-to-drink (it's a sipper, though) and interesting. Would like to try some more sometime, but won't go out-of-my-way.

4 stars + change. Good stuff.

Photo of BMMillsy
4.11/5  rDev +0.7%

Bottle from Tipples shared with the wife. Pours black with a small brown head that recedes relatively quickly. Aroma of chocolate, peat, bourbon, smoke, toffee. Flavor is a big peaty smoke flavor, different from the rye version, some bourbon, sweet chocolate. Heavy bodied with low plus carbonation and very smooth. This was really good but I like the rye whiskey version better. Smoke is less pronounced with this bourbon version and it sort of has a peaty scotch note to it. Also less spice here. Nevertheless a really nice big beer.

Photo of wordemupg
4.41/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml 2014 bottle poured into tulip 26/11/14

A not quite black with a reddish glow when held to the light, noisy fast falling dark head leaves no lace but some wide legs left behind on the glass

S there's a lot going on the nose, lots of bourbon barrel, subtle smoke on one whiff and loads on the next, chocolate syrup, molasses, vanilla, dark fruit, more bourbon, a little booze to go with it but not 14% worth, pipe tobacco, charred wood, smouldering really, unburnt woods in there too, smells amazing

T smokes a little more consistent in the mouth but not over the top, the bourbons there but a little faint compared to the nose, slightly more booze and a little licorice I didn't smell, maybe a bit from the rye but its overwhelmed by barrel

M not overly thick for the size, silky with enough bubbles to give it some life, not as sticky as I was expecting, not as much heat as one would guess either, smokey barrel lingers

O very impressive beer, the smoke comes and goes, lots of barrel at every point, drinks way too easy for 14%, I'll have no problems taking this one down solo

a big bad ass sipper, great use of barrel and smoke, booze is very well concealed, and I really have nothing to complain about except the price

Photo of cvm4
4.14/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage

L - Pours dark body. Oil like. Has an espresso one finger head. minimal retention and lacing.

S - Huge notes of bourbon, oak and vanilla. Some caramel and light roasted malts mixed in. There's not a lot of smoke to me, which I'm not complaining about.

T - Very dense flavors. Getting some subdued sweet smoke up front with that awesome bourbon, vanilla and oak on the back end.

F - Full bodied and low carbonation. Very smooth and velvety. Just coats the mouth.

O - To me, it's a subtle smoked beer with an abundance of bourbon characteristics. Highly recommended.

Photo of HopHead84
3.19/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

11/02/2014

Bottle from 2012 poured into a snifter. A cursory inspection reveals a black beer with a tan head. The aroma is of maple, wood smoke, oak, vanilla, brown sugar, molasses, chocolate, and bourbon. There's a slight sting in the nostrils that hints at the ABV. The flavor is definitely smoky, but there's also chocolate, oak, and brown sugar. Still, the smoke ultimately dominates, and I imagine that was the intent. The beer is full in body with a low level of carbonation. Comes across as heavy and syrupy, and needs more carbonation. I mean, it's completely still at this point, which does not work in its favor. I can't imagine what I'll do with the rest of this bottle. Overall, the ideal beer to open up at midnight and drink alone, before going to bed, when you're really tired.

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

Look: very dark. Opaque. Not seeing any light get through this bad boy. Nice thick chocolate head esp for the high abv.
Smell: vanilla bourbon smoky chocolate. Damn this is decadent in a great way.
Taste: more of the same goodness as the nose. This is simply delicious.
Overall: awesome treat. Well done. Kudos.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Black with a brief sandy colored head that leaves a ring around the edges.

Smokey, both of the smoked malt and meaty variety. Oak and black strap molasses.

The flavor surprisingly comes off as somewhat bland. Smokey and woody.

The mouthfeel was also a little disappointing. Usually, these big beers from The Bruery are thick and sweet. This one is quite the opposite. It's thin and a little flat.

I don't know why I keep dropping money on these $20+ bottles from the Bruery. They usually disappoint and this continues that trend.

Photo of TheBrewo
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We cracked a 750mL bottle, pouring a brew of oily chocolate brown into our ¾ sized tasting snifters. A half finger tall head of mocha colored lacing sat atop the liquid, but offered no real lacing or film otherwise. This retained well. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared to be moderately active. The nose displayed massively buttery diacetyls, heavy but sweetly metallic rye, oak and cherry wood warmth, vinous wood lacquer, peat and moldy moss, bright syrupy milk chocolate sweetness, mushroom dust and earthiness, vanilla almond milk, fusel booze, and curiously fruity bourbon heat. The taste followed with cloyingly sweet chocolate malts and melty caramel sugars, but this base quickly gave way to harshly peaty and charcoaled smokiness, wheaty and coffee malty airs, burnt hot cocoa, cloven and medicinal phenols, authentic bourbon burn, wet and seemingly new or fresh oaked woodiness, under ripe coconut, astringent molasses stickiness, independent smokiness of mescal, cashew butter, bile acidity, and flakey and chalky cocoa nibs. The mouth was silky smooth but thick as thick can be. Carbonation came across as medium. The mouth was coated with syrupy sugariness, but the warmth of booze rumbling up from the stomach effectively thinned this out. The abv is big, making this one a definite, delicate sipper.

Overall, we were very excited and surprised to come across the bourbon barrel aged version of Smoking Wood while in Worcester for a friend’s wedding. Having been under The Bruery’s distribution for years, and having shipment after shipment of the rye version come through our area, we had figured this a near lost cause. Alas, we were able to tag a bottle, and it was an intensely interesting one. The aroma and flavors display the bourbon beautifully in all of its real-life warmth and buttery diacetyls creaminess. This plays against the wood used, which itself comes across as extremely fresh and new, as if they just cut down a tree, hollowed it, and poured the beer into it. It almost had that vinous, sappy quality that green wood possess. We also appreciated this bittering mushroom-esque quality throughout, giving an extra boost to this organic, natured theme. While this doesn’t do the best with the cloying sweetness of the grain bill, the intent is well enough appreciated. As a caveat, when fully at room temperature, the booze becomes much, much hotter, and it feels like you’re sipping off some straight Wild Turkey. This erases a good deal of the subtleties of the base flavoring, but doesn’t really detract immensely from the ultimate experience. This is a fun beer, so if you’re up for it, and can find it, grab some friends and go to town.

Photo of vfgccp
4.62/5  rDev +13.2%

May 2014 bottle, opened Sep 2014

A - Deep midnight brown body with a thin rim of light mahogany highlights. Dark khaki head has nice retention and low lace.

S - Roasted caramelized steak, molasses, touch of anise, dark breads, leather, earthy charred oak, spent coffee grounds, and the smell of your clothes the day after a bonfire.

T - Bacon, oak, vanilla ice cream, molasses, burnt toffee, caramel, chocolate creamsicle, medium roast coffee latte, charred oak. The finish is outrageous: pure, thick coffee milkshake that lasts a lifetime with edges campfire smoke.

M - Fantastically smooth with outstanding staying power. Medium-full body.

O - The finish on this beer is absolutely incredible; hands down one of the best I've ever had. Extraordinarily complex for a smoke beer.


------------------------------------------------------------------------
4.62 Smooking Wood Bourbon Barrel Aged
-- -Jay- -Jon- -Ath- -Vin- -Pt- -Grg- -Avg- Weight Adj
A - 4.75 4.50 4.50 4.50 4.50 4.50 4.54 10% 0.45
S - 4.35 4.50 4.65 4.65 4.63 4.65 4.57 20% 0.91
T - 4.40 4.45 4.60 4.76 4.76 4.80 4.63 40% 1.85
M - 4.60 4.60 4.60 5.00 4.82 4.70 4.72 10% 0.47
O - 4.50 4.50 4.70 4.80 4.50 4.75 4.63 20% 0.93

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Smoking Wood Bourbon Barrel Aged from The Bruery
91 out of 100 based on 523 ratings.