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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

509 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 509
Reviews: 91
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 79
Gots: 215 | 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: 509 | Reviews: 91
Reviews by 2beerdogs:
More User Reviews:
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.

Photo of macher0
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

Pours very dark bown, nearly black with a frothy amber head that slowly retreats to a fine rim.
The nose is equal dark malts, bouron-soaked oak, and smokey char. Very nice cause the smoke is subtle
which brings out the vanilla/bourbon. The taste is equally balanced. Lots of dark malts, and bourbon, with a very
subtle smoke. The smoke is simialr to opening a smoker with ribs on the rack - not nessesarily bacon.
Super smooth feel, moderate carbonation, and full body. This is very similar to ba smoked stouts. The
smoke is subtle and the barrel and bourbon definately come through. Recommended.

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.

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.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes.

A: Pours a dark brown with a small khaki colored head on top that quickly settles to a thin cap on top. Minimal lacing.

S: Very smoky with a of bacony meat mixed in. There is a bit of alcohol, some molasses and caramel, slightly charred malt as well.

T: Over the top smoky and meaty, to be expected from a smoked beer for sure, but it was a little much for my taste. Some chocolate and caramel mixed in with a hint of oak.

M: Medium to full bodied with low to medium carbonation.

O: In your face flavor profile, very intense. A small snifter was more than enough for me.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml capped bottle poured into a Founders snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours opaque and pitch black. Fine, mocha colored head with moderate retention. Lacing is spotty with little stick. Nice Legs. Solid.

Nose is aromatic and very distinct. Notes of bourbon, smoke, anise, some dark fruit, liquorice, and light meat. Good.

Opens sweet bourbon, molasses, and smoke. Liquorice, chocolate, sweet prunes, and cocoa towards the middle with some liquorice at the end. Some char too. Finishes sweet and slightly boozy with a chocolatey aftertaste. There's a slightly medicinal aspect to this one but its still a solid beer overall.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Prickly and slick at the same time in the mouth. Goes down smooth and warm. Messy finish with a slightly lingering aftertaste. Hides the big abv. well.

Kind of weird and I prefer my smoke beers to be low in ABV. At the same time though, this is a very solid offering and an interesting take on the style. I'm eager to compare this to the rye whiskey version.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Black, but not inky. No real head. A small collar of foam.

Smell - Bourbon and smoke. Meaty smoke. Chocolate. A little sulfuric.

Taste - Awesome blend of smoke, chocolate, bourbon, and vanilla. Strong smoke. Intense alcohol, but no surprise there. The vanilla really is what makes this work.

Mouthfeel - Low carbonation and very boozy. Heavy. It's more of a barrel booze than a beer booze.

Overall - Much better than the Rye version. Delicious. Hefty booze, but a great smoked beer.

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.

Photo of IKR
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very dark brown bordering on black with a moderate beige head that slowly fades. The head on my bottle was smaller than that of the Rye Whiskey-aged variants I sampled.

Smell: Smoked wood, some vanilla notes, and moderate bourbon aromas.

Taste: The smoke is present like in the Rye whiskey-aged version, but I found the Bourbon-aged version to have less of a "smoke" presence. I get some Bourbon, roast malts, vanilla, and some oak notes. I'm getting some mild dark fruit notes as well. The beer finishes with the smoke and Bourbon barrel elements. The higher ABV (than the Rye whiskey-aged version) results in a bit more heat but fairly subdued for something 13%.

Mouth-feel: On the light side of medium bodied with a modest level of carbonation.

Overall: A good beer. There are some trade-offs in my opinion compared to the Rye whiskey-aged version, but both beers were welcome surprises to me.

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared this one at a recent tasting with beeruser, sincereNc, funkydelic, and 67couple! Served from bottle into a Boulevard tulip. Poured a massively dark brown with a half finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, smoke, vanilla, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, vanilla, smoke, and sweet alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. I have had the regular (whiskey version) of this one and absolutely loved it. However, this one wasn’t as good as it in my opinion. This one was still very good, but wasn’t as well balanced as the other. All of the proper aspects for the style were there and in good order, but it wasn’t in a class of its own unfortunately like I was hoping. Definitely a must try if you get the chance despite this.

Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing so that this one gets a score since I usually use "Hads" these days. However, this one I liked so much that I'm pleased to be reviewing it.

Pours black/brown with a nice dark khaki/malted brown head. Nice looking and pours with a bit of a viscous "feel" to it.

Nose is pleasant sweet dark chocolate, roasted grain, vanilla tones and integrated smoke. Some "sweet jerky" notes to it all around.

Mouthfeel is rich, full, bold and creamy. The balance on this one is spot one.

Flavor profile is great and it's balanced and fully integrated. Sweet beef jerkey, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, bourbon, coffee and more all integrated in a mouthfilling balanced brew.

Nothing stands out and hits you over the head and yet you can break the flavor componants apart, if you choose. Just a delicious verson of Smoking Wood. This is the one. Nice job. Perfect with BBQ and other meats. Was also nice with dessert and could be a sipper, as well.

Photo of antott0523
4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours from the bottle like a dark brown, opaque engine oil. The head is burnt sienna and resembles the rich head on a shot of espresso. The head settles to a thick ring around the edge of the glass with swirls of brown foam across the top of the beer. Minor amount of lacing.

S: Sweet notes of bourbon, brown sugar, booze, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and some dryer notes of smoke, ash and dried tobacco.

T: Follows the nose, but falls apart a bit as it warms and turns to mainly sweeter notes of milk chocolate, bourbon and a touch of smoked wood.

M: Thick, no carbonation, and a slight unpleasant burn from the booze as it warms.

D: Very drinkable, especially at 14%, but the beer seems to have a more complex profile at a colder temperature. I thought the beer fell apart a bit as it approached room temperature, but overall is a very good barrel aged smoked porter.

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.

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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color porter with a medium size dark brown foamy head with average retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of vanilla and bourbon with medium smokey notes and some roasted malt with some residual sugar. Taste is a complex and well balanced mix between some bourbon and vanilla notes with some medium smokey notes and some residual sugar with light dry roasted malt. Body is full with an oily texture and some medium to low carbonation. I really like the balanced between the flavours and the fact that the smokey notes don’t overshadows the other flavours. A bit rich to drink a whole bottle by yourself though.

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.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.16/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2012 Vintage poured in to Bruery tulip.

A - Black with a thin layer of medium brown head that quickly reduced to a ring around the edges of the glass.

S - A big smoke aroma up front, as expected. Lighter bourbon and chocolate aromas on the background.

T - Much more balanced than the nose indicated. Smoke, bourbon, toasted oak, chocolate and a hint of vanilla. Some roast and spiciness form the rye in the background. A really nice balance of the base beer and the barrel.

M - Medium, almost full body. Chewy. Light carbonation.

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.

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black pour, completely opaque in the glass. Little head formation.

Smell: A shitload of smoke when it's cold. Campfire, bit of Band-Aid. Becomes much more enjoyable as it warms, with a bigger bourbon barrel presence that adds a some caramel sweetness to balance the smoke. Chocolate and rye bread are noticed beneath the smoke and barrel. It becomes rather boozy by the time it reaches room temperature.

Palate: Caramel and vanilla hit the palate first - there's a ton of barrel flavor, and a good bit of warming heat. Smoke and dark chocolate come out mid-palate, along with a touch of earthy rye. This is full-bodied and unabashedly boozy. Sweetness is fairly reigned-in compared to a lot of other bourbon barrel beers from The Bruery.

Overall: It's good, but it isn't a beer I'd want more than one pour of.

Photo of ThickNStout
3.99/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

750mL bottle acquired through the Reserve Society. No readily accessable bottling date but I believe this was a mid to late 2012 release. Served in a Bruery snifter.

Pours oily black with a half finger of mocha head that fades quickly. Very little retention and no lace to speak of.

Smells sweet, smokey and faintly meaty with vanilla, bacon, oak and a little chocolate.

Flavors are full and rich. A good deal of bourbon and barrel character mixed with a bold, smokey, meaty malts. Bourbon, chocolate, peat, oak, smoked malt, burnt caramel, dark fruit, jerky and a healthy bite of alcohol. It all blends well for an enjoyable quaff.

Smooth, creamy full body with light carbonation and some alcohol cooling . Peat and bourbon finish.

A worthy smoked porter. Although to call it just a smoked porter sells it short. This big, bold, barreled brew compares favorably with many of the more popular barrel aged imperial stouts. I think I prefer this bourbon variant over the rye whisky version. I think my remaining bottle of each will age well for another year or two.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to mlaroche for this bottle.

Pours a black color with a thin tan head, head isn't much to look at and there isn't much lacing but this beer is wicked dark, when held up to the light I'm not getting any shine through.

Smell has a surprisingly strong dark fruit aroma, quite boozy with a large woody character, picking up figs and vanilla, only a touch of smoke.

Taste starts out with a smokey char flavor (more pleasant than that sounds), strong roasted caramel backbone with a raisiny flavor, woody flavor throughout, bourbon is quite a standout but isn't too overwhelming, definitely picking up the strength in the mouth and in the throat, the smoked aspect isn't too strong which I'm glad for but it does add enough to give some complexity, carbonation is on the lower end of things yet adequate enough.

Photo of Etan
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml into a snifter.

A: Pours a thick brownish-black with a big dark chocolate head.

S: Thick smoke and chocolate, a bit of roasted malt and sweet alcohol.

T: Booze-laced hard oak, burnt grain, subtle smoked meat, chewy chocolate and heavy bitter roast. Sweet caramel and vanilla from the barrel smooth out the harsh alcohol and roast a bit. More whiskey-soaked wood in the finish.

M: Thick and chewy.

O: The booze and wood are a bit heavy, but the beer is tasty and has a great mouthfeel.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.48/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a perfect pint.

2.5 A: Black color. A little over one finger of medium brown head that fizzed away at breakneck speed and left no lacing.

4.5 S: This smells pretty awesome. Big bacony smokiness with campfire smokiness underneath. The thing that I think goes really well with smokiness is a thick, malty base which this certainly has. Big chocolate, lots of caramel and molasses, and potent neutral malt sweetness. The rye adds a big of complementary earthy spiciness. Supple roastiness. Bourbon plays a complementary role and allow the smoke to shine. Leather, oak, and earth. Slight booziness, but well hidden for the most part. Big, powerful, yet harmonious.

3.0 T: The taste is a let down after the nose. While this is definitely as sweet as I imagined, it's paradoxically not rich nor deep with flavor. Somehow the booze goes from insignificant in the nose to one of the feature flavors in the taste. Porcine smoke is there again and that I appreciate the hell out of. Less chocolate, caramel, and molasses. More sugary neutral maltiness. Bourbon is leathery and earthy. Oak is added and so are some tannins.

3.5 M: Heavier medium to heavy body. It's strange in that it's syruppy, yet somewhat light on the tongue. Good moderate carbonation. Could be creamier. Not bad.

3.5 D: Taste was borderline 3.5, so a compromise here. It's not bad, but like far too many smoked beers, the nose far exceeds the taste. I am glad, however, that I have two more bottles so I can see how this one ages.

Photo of shand
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smoking Wood pours a ruby-tinged dark brown with a small head. The aroma is intensely smoky with a big bourbon note. The taste is very intense in three ways. Smoke. Bourbon. Rye. All three are huge. There's just a bit of vanilla in the back. After the intense flavors, a nice lingering smoke and bourbon note lingers. The mouthfeel is slick and relatively light, and the drinkability is actually very good as long as you like smoked beers. BBA Smoking Wood really took me by surprise. It's an absolutely massive smoked beer, that manages to be extremely drinkable.

Photo of aasher
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This bottle was courtesy of BrewerB in a recent box. Thanks Brian!

The bourbon version pours a full bodied dark chocolate brown with little carbonation initially. At the end of the pour this collected a decent one finger, dark khaki head that quickly dissipated over the next minute or so. The nose is big and woody. There is a lot of oak, smoked malt, bacon, sweet milky chocolate, and fudge brownies. It's nice but the oak and smoke are a little intense. The flavors are big and roasty, full of campfire, fudge, and bacon. It's really heavy on the smoke and oak. The bourbon is pretty subtle. The chocolate is big and sticky but dominated by the campfire element. It drinks full bodied and is rather chewy. The alcohol isn't present at all. Overall this is a formidable beer. It's huge and roasty with ever so slight bourbon. It isn't nearly as well integrated as the rye version and is a lot smokier. It just doesn't feature the same balance. I wouldn't necessarily want to drink this one again.

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Smoking Wood Bourbon Barrel Aged from The Bruery
91 out of 100 based on 509 ratings.