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
90
outstanding

87 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 87
Hads: 541
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 79
Gots: 213 | FT: 32
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 87 | Hads: 541
Photo of pagriley
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

750 into 14oz snifter
L - Pours oily black with a 1/2 inch dark tan head after vigorous center pour
S - Bitter-sweet chocolate and dying embers from a bonfire. Some booze lurking in the background and a slightly sharp acidic tone - like over-roasted coffee
T - Burnt caramel, slight nuttiness, with very well integrated bourbon notes, but a fair bit of alcohol heat. Smoke and sticky sweetness on the finish with a slight twang of the subtlest acidity / sourness.
F - Smooth and creamy with fine velvety carb

Overall a very interesting beer. First impression was to look up where I could buy more, but as I get further into the glass (having a 12 oz pour) it is getting a bit tiring Very enjoyable, but like many Bruery beers, something to be shared with 2-3 people. (771 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

thanks to Tim for sharing 2014 bottle of this at our annual Stout tasting enjoyed in a stout glass chilled.

The color is black with opaque clarity dense looking with quick dropping medium tan head. The smell has a custard-like sweet and vanilla infused quality from the barrel with smoke heavy in the nose and medium high alcohol in the smell with light woody accent and slight phenolic odor. The feel is good but very thick with low carbonation and almost syrupy with lots of alcohol and rich vanilla bourbon in the sweet layered malt body with creamy and smokey drying finish.

The taste is decent with woody and ashy smoke dominant flavor with malt sweetness and roasted malt mixed in with booze taste of bourbon and light tannin with some spice in the taste but the phenolic smoke character becomes a little daunting with caramel and light hint of bitterness of highly kilned malt warmth of alcohol is strong as it finishes. Overall not bad, but not one to enjoy alone -glad I shared this bomber 4 ways it has heavy alcohol and smoke which together is tough to stomach a lot of. (1,084 characters)

Photo of BullDoza
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 5/13/14.

A: It's Dark; black. Mocha, 1/4 finger head which, faded in to a thin outer ring quickly. Some small bubbles. Not much carbonation, as expected, but more than anticipated. Nice alcohol legs.

S: Bourbon. Slight oak. Sweet, as is typical of Bruery stouts. Faint vanilla notes. Dark chocolate mingle with dark fruit. Licorice. The smoke starts to come out more as it warms, but still not as much as I had hoped. Rye character does become more apparent.

T: Smoked character of the malt more noticeable in the taste, but still lacking. Vanilla. Raisin. Dark chocolate offers up a subtle bitterness. There is some roast, and the finish recalls a mild pipe tobacco. Licorice on the very end.

M: Fine. I wouldn't call it full, but definitely thinner than I'd prefer. I wish it coated the palate with more chewiness.

O: I wish the "smoked" character was a little more. The Rye spice is lost on me. Overall, a very good bourbon barrel porter. I have to say that I enjoyed the Rye Barrel version of this quite a bit more; I didn't anticipate that. The smoke came through much better in it than here. Not necessarily a knock on this beer, as it is very good. If you're choosing between the two, my nod goes to the Rye Whiskey version. (1,255 characters)

Photo of gshak
4.49/5  rDev +10.3%
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.... (983 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (1,441 characters)

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (989 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (1,655 characters)

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.83/5  rDev +18.7%
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! (1,405 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (1,846 characters)

Photo of n2185
3.81/5  rDev -6.4%
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. (566 characters)

Photo of Agent1
4.99/5  rDev +22.6%
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! (1,942 characters)

Photo of M_J_Z
4/5  rDev -1.7%

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. (684 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
4.11/5  rDev +1%

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. (535 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
4.41/5  rDev +8.4%
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 (1,244 characters)

Photo of cvm4
4.14/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (583 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
3.19/5  rDev -21.6%
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. (794 characters)

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
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. (311 characters)

Photo of Vonerichs
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

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. (543 characters)

Photo of TheBrewo
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (2,728 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
4.62/5  rDev +13.5%

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 (1,226 characters)

Photo of Bowers-Brew
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%

Served @ 50deg in a "The Bruery" Tulip. Bottled on 5-13-14.

A - Nicely black with ~1" dark brown head

S - Lots of oak and smoke. Slight chocolate and bourbon notes in the background.

M/T - First sip was all smoke. It starts to blend better after that initial sip. Oak, smoke, bourbon, chocolate, and raisins.

O - This is a good smoked porter, but not my favorite or my favorite from The Bruery. It's certainly a beer made for sipping and sharing. I think this would be better with slightly less smoked malt or with some additional sweet element added. Prost! (575 characters)

Photo of Furlinator
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%

Bottled on 05/16/14.

Pours opaque black. The thin tan head quickly disappears completely and leaves no lace.

The smell is of plums, black cherry, bourbon, cocoa and pipe tobacco.

The taste is of dark fruit: plums, cherries and raisins, roasted malt, bourbon, faint cocoa and barbeque char.

The texture is full bodied, thick and somewhat oily with low carbonation.

More dark fruit than I expected. Not much smoke in the nose. Prominent bourbon presence. Very good. The 2014 vintage clocks in at 14% ABV. (512 characters)

Photo of MDHopster
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

A) black with small cream head by time it arrived at table in 10 oz goblet. Draft serving.

M) silky but with alcohol burn

S). Strong bourbon aroma of oak and vanilla

T) strong bourbon favors of oak and vanilla, coffee aftertaste.

I've really taken to rye beers and barrel aged beers lately,esoecially bourbon barrel aged brews, and so far this is one of the best I've tasted. (386 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.56/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

750ml bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color. Seriously, this is dark as hell. The head is a finger high, and tan in shade. Retention...is about what you'd expect from a 14% barrel-aged monster, and so is the texture (read: it's creamy). Not much lacing is left behind, if any at all. (3)

Smell: Like most big beers from the Bruery, there's a ton going on here. At first I pick up a lot of bourbon (read: vanilla, oak, and even banana), tempered somewhat by its dry, woody smoke (and dry, woody smoke is good!) After a while, it develops a significant dark chocolate note. Actually, it's heavy on the umami...it almost resembles soy sauce on occasion. Also like most big beers from the Bruery, it's a bit meandering and lacking in cohesion. On the plus side, I'm not picking up an ounce of the 14%. It's a very effective aroma, but will the flavor profile be effective? (3.75)

Taste: The smokiness comes to the forefront, and again, it's more woody than hammy. It's not as roasty-tasting as its immense darkness would suggest, though - it's very sweet, in fact. There's a huge midtaste of dark chocolate, before the melange of bourbon barrel notes finish it off. It's a bit boozy, about what one might expect from 14%. It's also quite complex. The problem is, while it delivers great depth, it's also extremely messy and imbalanced (for example, some sips are almost pure soy sauce! WTF?) Literally nothing seems to coexist. I should enjoy something like this - but it's so out of whack, I just don't care. To answer the question I proposed earlier: no, it's not effective. Not. At. All. (2)

Mouthfeel: Like most of the big hitters from the Bruery, it's both incredibly sweet and relatively thin. Also like most of the big hitters from the Bruery, it tries to have good drinkability for 14%. I can tell from the carbonation trying to poke through the big(ish) body. Unfortunately, it fails: there's just far too much lingering sweetness. It's not drinkable, it's not rich, it's not balanced, it's just stupidly big for the sake of being stupidly big. (2.25)

Overall: Man, I've just been handing out a ton of bad scores today, haven't I? The problem here is that while the individual notes are actually quite good, it's so damn sloppy tasting, it completely ruins the effect this beer was trying to achieve. I just don't get it...why is this a 90 again?! (2.25)

2.48/5: Messiest. Beer. Ever. (2,421 characters)

Photo of Beejay
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

2014 Edition.

A: Deep jet black in the glass with coffee and cream colored head.

S: Huge hit from the bourbon. Bourbon, oak, and vanilla come right out. Rich caramel maltiness, and a dark earthiness round out the aroma, but the bourbon barrel rocks on through. In the very finish there is a nice hint of smoke.

T: Malt, bourbon, and smoke. Man this beer is tasty. Nice malt richness, enough bitterness to keep it from cloying, and a deep luxurious smoke flavor. Not sure wht type of smoke they used, but often times with Cherry malt it comes off a little too sweet, in this case the smoke is dense, rich, and counteracts the velvety goodness that is in this beer. The bourbon is a little more subdued than I would have thought from the smell, but it is still fairly present. The booze is well hidden in this one.

M: Rich, thick, and malty. Carbonation is a medium and helps to balance out the rest of the body.

O: Overall, just a damn fine brew. (964 characters)

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Smoking Wood Bourbon Barrel Aged from The Bruery
90 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.