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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.

98 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 98
Hads: 575
Avg: 4.09
pDev: 28.36%
Wants: 85
Gots: 216 | FT: 31
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

2014 Vintage is 14% ABV
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 98 | Hads: 575
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.17/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of Auracom
4.29/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle share with Dan, first RS allocation we've cracked in a while. 12 oz. poured into a Founders tulip on February 23rd, 2013.

A - Surprisingly thick for a Bruery concoction. Deep oily black with virtually no head beyond a thin mocha lacing. Marginal legs given 13%.

S - Smoke indeed, hugely-so when below 55 F. Slightly lesser dark cocoa, oak, and cinnamon. You really need to let this hit room temp otherwise the aroma is way too single-note, dominated by smoke.

T - Plentiful roasted almond, espresso bean, and bourbon-soaked fig. Rear-palate is dense, pitted fruit and nicely offsets the heavy roast upfront. Wonderfully unsweetened compared to so many other Bruery offerings.

M - Medium body, low carbonation, semi-smooth with a dry finish.

D - Really pretty decent, and memorable beyond what I'd expected. The smoke is well balanced and the flavor really gets kicking with some air. I think Black Tuesday suffered greatly this past year, leaving my impressions of this beer even greater. Not everything needs to taste purely sweet.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of brewdude1982
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 4.5 dark black with good clarity and almost no head
S: 4.0 nice smoky smell but a little over powering 
T: 4.0 very strong smoke s,ell upfront then a little boozy and the. A very pleasant aftertaste. 
MF: 4.0 huge body and poor carbonation
O: 4.0 for smoked porter beers. I am not a huge fan of smoked beers but this one is pretty good.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured an almost black body with decent-sized tan head and lace patches. Meaty aroma, to start, along with a strong alkie smell and some sweetness. Taste/mouthfeel is more of the same as the meaty, jerky taste associated with smoke beers is there but instead of being dominant they only have a slight edge, thanks to great balance, over the sweet caramel, chocolate, maple and molasses(?) malts. Goes down easy and the alcohol is restrained making this a great sipper.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a very dark brown in color pretty much almost black with signs of brown highlights and a nice finger worth of head that left some good frothy lacing sticking to the glass..

S: definitely had the smokiness upfront in the aroma with a good bourbon boozy sweet presence, was able to sniff out chocolate, toffee and a little molasses but good oak notes.

T: plenty of burning wood flavor was dominant on the palate with chocolate molasses sweetness alongside pleasent vanilla notes, oaky wood accents, bourbon barrrel character and a little booze coming through as well.

M: the brew was medium to full in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a semi sweet, mild boozy, oaky, chewy and smokey finish.

O: I enjoyed both version but liked this bourbon barrel version the most.

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Photo of shand
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of cosmicevan
2.88/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Notes from a tasting on 12/6. Big thanks to mike and scott for bringing this and the rye whiskey smoking wood for a side-by-side.

Enjoyed from a bruery sniftery tulip.

looks identical to the other smoking wood, watery black. interesting smell, in-fact...kind of tart - UH OH!!!! still some peat in the mix with smoked malts. the flavor is smoked malts, but this is definitely infected and soured. still drinkable just not great and DEFINITELY infected. light bodied. the infection hides a lot of the smoke. i didn't drain pour this one, but everyone else at the tasting did.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.67/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Both the Bourbon and Rye provided by Claaark13. Cheers for the awesome set man!

From a 750ml into a snifter
Drank this one after the Rye

APPEARANCE: Pours a 1+ finger, looser looking, tan head with decent retention. A little creamier than the Rye versioin. Head fades to a full cap and sticks to the sides of the glass. Bistre brown in color with a relentless stream of carbonation up the middle of the glass. Lots of carbonation everywhere. A half wisp and ring remain until the end leaving some decent lacing down the glass. Still overcarbonated, but a creamier head on this one.

SMELL: Smoked malt, dark chocolate, then lots of nice, smooth bourbon. Oak, vanilla, milk chocolate and some nice bourbon notes. Very nice and plenty forthcoming, though the barrel is more prevalent than the base smoked beer.

TASTE: Smoke and dark chocolate, but mostly bourbon barrel here. Oak, milk chocolate, vanilla, then some light coffee, smoked malts and coconut laced bourbon in the bold and lingering finish. Not as boozy as the Rye version and the barrel is very flavorful, but the base beer doesn't quite play as big a roll as I'd like. Still very tasty.

PALATE: Medium body and higher levels of carbonation, much like the Rye version. A little airy on the palate unfortunately, not as creamy as hoped, goes down fine and finishes slightly sticky. A little too light and airy for my tastes.

OVERALL: The bourbon barrel is really flavorful and delicious, but it also drowns out the base beer a little, which has a lot of nice qualities in itself. The feel is also too light and airy to really support such a big beer. While I enjoyed the bourbon barrel more than the rye, I appreciate the ballance in the rye version, making it a more complex and enjoyable brew in my view. Regardless, both of these were lots of fun and I'm happy to have had a go at them. Thanks again for the cool theme Claaark13! We geeked out pretty hard on these.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike.

The beer is black with a thick, mocha colored head. The aroma offers smoke, roast, oak, booze, bread, salt, campfire, burning meats. The taste is equally complex. Nice smoke flavor mingling well with a bold and assertive bourbon character. Full bodied and rich. A bit sweet. Alcoholic warmth in the finish. A solid beer from The Bruery. Worth a try.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Better than the original rye bottling of this beer but both are good. Beer is served in a Bruery tulip because I'm not an animal. Beer is black and has a great head of small bubbles, thin, low retention, low carbonation.

Aroma is bourbon, meat, salt, smoke.

Beer is medium in body, lots of late smoke in the flavor, a drying finish, up front some mild sweetness from the bourbon, a nice finish overall as well. I enjoyed it and would have it again, another win from the Bruery.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml, 2012 vintage
Solo cup (at a cooking competition)

A: Pours a deep dark brown black color. Some reddish hues on edges is all. Basically no head. Light tan bubbles. Some sticking lacing as alcohol feet for sure.

S: You get the smoke first. Wish I was using a real glass though. The I was pulling the roasted grains. Some dark chocolate. Toffee. Vanilla. Oak. Not tons of smoke though, as I was expecting from other reviews.

T: Lots of roast and chocolate up front. Some campfire is there, adding to that meatiness. Comes in late. Mid palate looking at vanilla, oak and chocolate character per the usual for BA'ed brews from the Bruery. I really like the mix here, so I guess I am a smoked brew fan mildly. Or maybe it's just the barrel that I enjoy more. There is some booze there though, which I have to account for. Didn't taste it, but really really felt it later that night.

M: Full bodied. Thick and vicious.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.48/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: Pours a dark brown body; opaque in the center, but with a caramel translucence around the edges. Capped with a tan-colored head that retains poorly.

S: Salty, liquid smoke that dominate as the beer is cold; I'm guessing the former is from oxidation. As the beer warms, it brings out notes of dark chocolate, bourbon, charred wood, licorice.

T: It has a meaty, salty oxidation that dominates from cold to warm; unlike the nose, the taste never really develops beyond this relatively simple character. There's an odd, metallic character that reminds me of the brett influence in Marin's BA Old Dipsea. Some bourbon and dark chocolate are found, as well as tannins in the finish, but not enough to take over; this is a lot of smoking, not so much wood, and not enough bourbon.

M: Full-bodied. I am impressed with how well-disguised the heat is. Good carbonation.

O: This wasn't undrinkable, but it was disappointing. I drank a third of it and threw the rest out so I could move on to something I enjoyed. Hopefully the rye version is better (and I'm glad I only bought one!).

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Jason. Served in a Hill Farmstead glass.

A - Tan foam settles to a thin collar and wispy partial cap. Pretty much black with a few brown glints visible.

S - Wow, there's a lot of smoke and alcohol here. The smoke flavor seems slightly chemical, although it gets better as it warms up. Dark chocolate, campfire, slightly acrid and charry notes, and more hot bourbon.

T - Taste is pretty similar, with plenty of smoked meats and bacon, pure dark chocolate, oak, bourbon, and some light chemical astringency and burnt tire flavors.

M - Medium-full body, melted chocolate texture, moderate-to-low carbonation, and surprisingly little heat considering how bourbon-forward the rest of the beer is.

D - It's big, brash, boozy, and decidedly unsubtle but it delivers exactly what it promises. Unfortunately it's not the kind of beer you could drink much of in one serving - I'd recommend you have a half-dozen friends around when you open this.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black pour with a small brown head. Hardly any retention or lacing.

S: The aroma is extremely focused on the rye and smoke. There might be a chocolate undertone, but honestly it's all smoke. Really interesting combination here with the smoke, rye, and Bourbon. I didn't realize there was a rye whiskey barrel aged version...that one must be way over the top.

T: The bourbon and booze come out a lot more, but honestly it takes a lot like bacon when you breathe out! Very focused on the smoke and bourbon. I'm not a great judge of rye and smoke, so honestly my palate is confounded here. I taste rye, smoke, and bourbon...and not much else.

MF: Thick body with an average amount of carbonation. The ABV will knock your socks off...but you won't feel it coming.

O: If you like smoke and bourbon, you'll like this beer. Very interesting and very strong.

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Photo of brotherloco
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. 2012 Reserve Society Edition. Served in a snifter.

Pours a solid ultra-dark brown with half a finger of mocha colored foam that settles to a ring of loose bubbles. A spot or two of lacing.

Aroma of savory smoke, sweet and roasty malt, molasses and soy sauce, dark fruits and vanilla. Some port wine in the background. An overtone of alcohol.

Flavor begins with campfire smoke, leads to dry roasty malt, then some dark fruit and caramel notes sweeten things up slightly. Also a bit of scotch peat. Reminds me of savory smoked meats with a sweet bbq sauce, but in a beer. Finish is very rich with a lot of caramel and toffee notes, oaky vanilla, smoke, a little bourbon, and roasty bitterness. Can't really pick out the alcohol here, which is quite impressive for 13%.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Rich and oily, although gets a touch thick after several sips.

These are the type of big bold beers that make me love The Bruery. Great stuff.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.48/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

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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.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 8.6.12.

A - Pours a motor oil brown with a one inch brown head made of large bubbles.

S - Bourbon, smokey sweetness.

T - Sweet bourbon with a strong smoke finish.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body. A very strong smoke finish.

O - Sweet and smokey. Not my favorite style, but this one somehow works. Jerky?

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Photo of mdfb79
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of brystmar
2.74/5  rDev -33%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to blatantdream for the bottle.

Amon my least favorite styles. Good looking pour, nice head. Tons of smoke and booze in the nose, hints of toffee and caramel too.

Taste is overwhelmingly smokey. Way too much booze here too, more noticeable as it warms. Bourbon shows up at the end. If I liked smoked malts, maybe I'd like this. Not for me.

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Smoking Wood Bourbon Barrel Aged from The Bruery
91 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.