Smoking Wood Bourbon Barrel Aged - The Bruery

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Smoking Wood Bourbon Barrel AgedSmoking Wood Bourbon Barrel Aged

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86 Reviews
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Reviews: 86
Hads: 540
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 4.18%
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: 86 | Hads: 540
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. (558 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
4/5  rDev -1.7%
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. (921 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
2.48/5  rDev -39.1%
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!). (1,114 characters)

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. (1,037 characters)

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. (598 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
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. (959 characters)

Photo of russwbeck
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
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. (863 characters)

Photo of brotherloco
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (972 characters)

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. (1,509 characters)

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. (495 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
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? (333 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
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. (1,198 characters)

Photo of brystmar
2.74/5  rDev -32.7%
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. (348 characters)

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. (999 characters)

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

On-tap at Reserve Society Party 2012

Pours dark brown in color with a tan head. The nose opens up with a nice vanilla note and followed by a mild booziness. Nice bourbon to go along with a moderate smokiness and chocolate aroma. Hints of toffee and toasted nuts. The flavor is really nice as well. Chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, and toffee are all prevalent. The smoke is there but somewhat restrained. The barrel treatment really shines through on this beer. (458 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
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. (1,215 characters)

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. (941 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

reviewed from notes taken 6/16/12.

poured into snifter; drank side by side with Rye Smoken Wood.

Appearance: dark brown bodied beer with 2 fingers of tan to mocha colored head with moderate lacing.

Smell: Nice smokey malts that smell like bacon and peat moss with a little splash of bourbon.

Taste: This beer is both smokey and sweet. The smoke taste really nice; bacony, briny, earthy and peat. The bourbon is super mellow and so rediculously well integrated. Nothing is overpowering or overbearing everything works really well together.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Super smooth; creamy and silky beer. Not a hint of booze from this 13% beer.

Overall: Enjoyed the Bourbon Smoking Wood much better than the Rye Smoken Wood. The Bourbon is so well balanced and flavorful. Its like a dessert beer with smoke! This is one of the best smoke beer that I have drank aside from Surly Smoke! Thanks for bring this to your Birthday Bruery Tasting Kent! (979 characters)

Photo of mikereaser
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a pitch black with a small amount of foam that quickly settles to a layer of fine tan bubbles
S - The smell mainly consists of smoke and bacon with just a touch of sweet bourbon. Very nice aroma, makes me hungry for breakfast.
T - Very nice flavor. The amount of smoke, which i am not the biggest fan of, is evenly matched by the rich malts and bourbon. Very well balanced and the taste is outstanding. Well done with this one.
M - Rich, thick and creamy. This is a beer you want to chew through. Slight carbonation makes this beer silky smooth to drink and releases all of the flavor.
D - Drinkability has to be low based on the abv, but based on flavor, this is a winner. Well done. (694 characters)

Photo of axeman9182
4.14/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle, poured into my Duvel tulip. Thanks to JRSD for being my trustee for the Reserve Society.

Bourbon Barrel Smoking Wood pours a complete black, with maybe two fingers of mocha foam. Head retenton is alright, and lacing is fairly spotty. The nose is fairly intoxicating (in a good way), with loads of chocolate and smooth bourbon. Smoke and a light spiciness show up as well as complementary notes. The flavor profile follows similarly. Big roasty chocolate and bourbon notes dominate, as in a solidly brewed barrel aged imperial stout. The smoky, almost bacon like flavor that comes in along with some spicy rye notes on the back end are what give this beer a relatively unique twist. There's just a little bit of boozy heat in the finish that keeps the beer from being truly special. The mouthfeel is fantastic, nice and full bodied with a bit of creaminess and chewiness, along with a subdued carbonation. Bourbon Barrel Smoking Wood is drinking nicely right now, but I think a little bit of time could turn this beer into something special. (1,056 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So glad I joined the RS, and get access to beers like this! Shared with Rudzud.

Pours with a light creamy super dark head light lacing, pitch black with thick legs, nice head retention for the abv, and long thick slow rolling legs!

Nose is like pure darkness, tons of dark malts, roast, chocolate, coffee, light charred malt, some campfire smoke, lots of dark and bakers chocolate and some oats, roast gets slightly briny and soy sauce like but not much, light chalky powdered chocolate, and even a slight peaty smoke but more oak some. bourbon is there some as well, light toasted oak barrel, and a bit of a boozy aroma, and a hint of applewood smoked bacon.

Taste is still very complex but much more smokey and chalky. Powdered cocoa, lots of applewood smoke with smoked bacon and ribs taste, light campfire and light peat like. Then roasted malt, light coffee and light briny char but not much. Chocolate is more background with light bakers and powered chalky cocoa. Bourbon is more background as well, light bourbon taste but it does have more of a smokey scotch taste. Wood barrel is there, light toasty and plenty of vanilla, then a light creamy milky taste later. Booze is hidden pretty well, just a light warmth. Finish is slightly dry but light syrupy, long lingering choc, some smoke and very light briny taste. Long lingering smoke.

Mouth is huge, semi thick and syrupy, lighter carb.

Overall awesome, although bourbon was a bit lighter than I expected, but really nice smoke, booze hidden well, nice malts, nice oak and barrel, drinkable not too briny either, my only gripe would be a bit more bourbon overall as I love the stuff. (1,648 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle split with JLindros. Poured into a palm tulip.

A - Poured a deep dark oily brownish black hue with a nice one finger mocha head that leaves a nice halo and solid sudsy side lacing.

S - Wow oh wow aromas of big bold campfire smoke. It does not overpower the Bourbon which is present with nice vanilla oak caramel. Slight booze which is okay. This is delicious smelling super inviting. Nice roasty malts.

T - Similar to the nose with a nice lingering smoke and finish. It overpowers the rye in that I miss some of the spice. That lingering smoke fades to nice sweet Bourbon with hints of vanilla and oak. There is light chocolate with this and not quite as roasty or malty as I figured it would be. Not quite as sweet either. Pretty tasty.

M - Mouthfeel is just awesome for such a high ABV. Alcohol creeps upon you though!

O - Overall I felt this was an excellent rye beer with very nice smoke notes and light bourbon. Incredibly drinkable for such a high ABV. Glad I have another bottle. (998 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes from The Bruery tasting I hosted Saturday night.

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Alesmith Horny Devil snifter.

A- Pours black with a 1" dark tan head. Suttle lacing that resides quickly.

S- Big smoke notes and big amount of bourbon, but not too overpowering.

T- Slight smoke, roasted malts, and nice bourbon flavors.

M- Medium body and carbonation. Very smooth for 13%.

O- Liked the flavor and smoothness of the bourbon slightly more than the rye. (476 characters)

Photo of Duff27
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Short lived head on a dark brown body. Minimal lacing and collar left.

S- Some bacon characteristics, some bourbon.

T- Easy drinking for a tastiness/drinkability ratio on smoked beer. "Nicely balanced".

M- Medium to medium-thick mouthfeel. Adequate carbonation.

D/O- Very nice smoked beer, although I prefer the Rye Barrel version of Smoking Wood. Recommended from this kid. Thanks kawilliams81. (402 characters)

Photo of TATURBO
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
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 (632 characters)

Smoking Wood Bourbon Barrel Aged from The Bruery
90 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.