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

535 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 535
Reviews: 94
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 79
Gots: 216 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 535 | Reviews: 94
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 Beastcpa
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very tasty smoked bourbon beer

Photo of PeaJayTheGr8
5/5  rDev +22.5%

I'm a novice when it comes to craft beers, especially BBAs but I know that I have found my new favorite style of beer and this brand delivers.

I love the combination of the BBA and smoke. I've tried a couple of BBAs and smoked beers but haven't had a combo until this one. I could drink this one and never have another craft beer and be satisfied. But I will be diving into more.

If you want to take advice from a novice, there you have it. Great brew!

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 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 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 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

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 Resuin
4.54/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a snifter. I am pretty sure that this is from 2012 but I do not see a bottling date.

Appearance: Pours a deep, deep brown/black and leaves just a hint of really dark brown head, which fades to just the rim.

Smell: Bourbon comes out first, followed by spicy, smoked meats, chocolate, molasses, more smoke. The smoke and bourbon aromas intermingle well and are pretty well balanced with each other.

Taste: The smokiness comes out first, followed by some vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa, caramel, and then the bourbon dominates the back end. Plums and figs. A good, well balanced amount of smoke. I swear there is just a hint of spiciness to this one as well. The alcohol is hidden amazingly well, probably the best I've found.

Mouth-feel: Thick, creamy mouth-feel with a medium carbonation. I think the higher carbonation then expected gives this one a slightly different feel from counterparts. Finishes smooth and smoky.

Overall: This is a well-crafted brew. The smokiness really compliments the other major flavors and masterfully masks the alcohol within. From the smoked meats of the aroma to the nice bourbony finish, this is a top-to-bottom delicious beer.

Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
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 MDHopster
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

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 Beejay
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

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 maximum12
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to dfernandez77 for this bottle in a recent trade. Big bomber split into two snifters.

The pour is black trending towards black. Minimal carbonation. Nose is smokier than expected, heavy smoke, hints of barrel, plenty of barrel & a bit of chocolatte. Had a couple of weeny-smelling brews lately, this, this isn't for the faint of heart.

Rye Barrel Aged Smoking Wood brings out the best of the Bruery Augean Stables. Smokiness is present but not overwhelming, instead set off beautifully against a ton of vanilla & big roast. Bourbon is complementary & tickles the back of the aftertaste. Thick chocolate rises from the surface of the brew like Excalibur when it warms. Big & chewy. Solid. Contains no alcohol, so it's easy to drink by the gallon.

Wow. I'm not a huge fan of smoked beers, but this hits the bulls-eye. A beer with layer upon layer that's easy to drink despite the stupidnessly ABV...this is an excellent beer that borders on the elite. Fantastic. Lovin' every sip of it

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 pmarlowe
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at 2012 RS Initiation party. Taster glass.

A: Pours black with a light khaki head. Good retention and some lacing.

S: Similar to the taste. Slightly more smoke and rye come through as it warms.

T: Chocolate, round and slightly sweet bourbon and vanilla, some oak, subdued smoke, spicy rye, with some coffee and sweetness on the finish. More smoked malt comes out as it warms.

M: Smooth, medium-full body and light carbonation.

O: My immediate impression was that this is a slightly smokey BCBS. Really delicious. I got less of that as the beer warmed and the smoke came through more.

In any case, I liked this much more than the rye barrel version: the slight sweetness, more bourbon and barrel characteristics, and less smoke really elevated this to more than a slightly bourbon-y porter.

09/12 update: Tried this again and was a little less impressed. There was a bacony flavor that came in and out, and the nice barrel characteristics didn't show as much.

Photo of BullDoza
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

Photo of macher0
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%

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 IKR
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
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 shand
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
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 billab914
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into my CBS snifter. Pretty close to pitch black in color with a thin, frothy, tan colored head to it.

The smoked malts really stand out in the aroma. It's got kind of a smoked dark chocolate thing going on that I'm really liking. There is some notes of BBQ and smoked meats coming out of the smoked malts as well. The barrel aged flavors are a little more reserved in it, but it does add some complimenting brown sugar and bourbon flavors to it. Loved the smokiness in the aroma.

The dark, smoky malts come out throughout the taste. I get some notes of smoked, salty meats that do remind me a little of bacon. The finish shows a little more of a burnt wood and dark chocolate flavor. I get a little bourbon coming out in the finish, it compliments well but feels a little light overall. The bold smokiness is fantastic in it though.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being low. Overall, I really loved this beer. Smoked beer is one of my favorite styles and I love when a smoked beer isn't shy on the smoke. The bourbon was a little light, but what was there complimented very well. This one rivals Alaskan Smoked Porter for my favorite smoked beer. Great beer overall.

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 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 mdfb79
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

8/3/12 notes.

a - Pours a very dark brown color, almost black, with one finger of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, smoke, bourbon, oak, dark fruits, toasted malts, toasted malts, some chocolate, and light vanilla. Very nice nose. The smoke is stronger than the bourbon, but noth are nice.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, bourbon, oak, vanilla, toffee, caramel malts, toasted malts, smokey malts, and light dark fruits. Less smoke than the nose and more bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate, which gives it a huge step up for me.

m - Full body and moderate carbonation. Thick and chewy, but smooth. Does not feel like 13% ABV at all, though there is a tiny bit of heat.

o - Overall this was pretty much exactly what I was hoping for; I liked it a lot. The nose has some nice smoke to it and a little bourbon, which then flip flop in the taste where you get more bourbon and less smoke. In both cases the smoke does not dominate, and it is pretty well balanced. Thick body which is great for this beer, very glad I have some more of this one. I think in a few months this will be perfect; I plan on drinking the other bottles of this in the winter.

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

A - Dark black with a bit of brown and a finger of frothy chocolate-khaki colored head. Fades normal.

S - Roasted chocolate malts, vanilla, oak, Bourbon, smoke, coffee, earthy hops, molasses, and some booze.

T - Roasted chocolate malts, vanilla, oak, Bourbon, smoke, coffee, rathy hops, some bitterness, molasses, and some booze.

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

D - Great smoked porter. The barrel adds some great character and the balance is great.

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

A: Very Dark Brown. Minimal Head. Low Carbonation

S: Bourbon, Oak Smoke, Molasses, Vanilla.

T: Roasty, Oak Smokiness, Bourbon. Sweetness of the Bourbon Version tames the smoke compared to Rye Barrel version which I had back to back.

M: Wow, at 13% the alcohol is very well hidden. Mimimal burn just a bit of heat. Medium thickness.

O: Easy Drinking and well balanced sipper. Smoke present but not overpowering. In a back to back tasting with the Rye Barrel both ranked close ultimately but still had some noticeable differences. Sweetness being the biggest of them in the Bourbon Barrel version. I'd give it a solid 4.3 Overall

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Smoking Wood Bourbon Barrel Aged from The Bruery
91 out of 100 based on 535 ratings.