Smoked & Oaked Belgian-Style Ale - Epic Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smoked & Oaked Belgian-Style AleSmoked & Oaked Belgian-Style Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

261 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 261
Reviews: 83
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 13.18%
Wants: 16
Gots: 56 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Epic Brewing Company visit their website
Utah, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  11.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Wasatch on 07-11-2010

Smoked cherry wood malt brings a smoky sweetness to the caramel malts and a bit of peat flavor with a Belgian-style yeast. The entire batch aging in the whiskey barrels nicely dries out the perceived sweetness of the caramel malt leaving an almost scotch like taste.

ABV varies by batch.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 261 | Reviews: 83
Reviews by ebrauser:
Photo of ebrauser
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz into a pint glass

Appearance: Dark red/amber with a tight beige head and lots of CO2. Minimal lacing, though head retention is good.

Smell: Smoked salmon and subtle grapes

Flavor: Smokey-sweet. Starts with a sweet grape juice (almost vinous) flavor then taken over by strong smoke. Along with vanilla and light fruits, there is another sort of flavor, I think it is what Epic calls 'peat.'

MF: Light like a belgian, but with substantial flavor and minimal yeastiness. Easy to drink but the smoke might be too strong for multiples of this beer.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Beaver13
3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, release #8, 9.5% ABV. Pours a hazy copper with a small fizzy off white head that quickly goes to a thin collar.

The aroma is sweet bready malts, some fruit and some peaty liquid smoke.

The flavor is sweet caramel malts and dark fruits, some Belgian yeast, and a lot of peaty smoke. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, there's a lot of smoke. I like how it interacts with the other flavors - makes for nice complexities.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

A smoked Belgian beer? What is not to love about that?

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the meaty smoke, but there is also a little bit of toffee hidden in there. The flavor is toffee, caramel, heavy smoke, meat and BBQ. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

I really couldn't get any Belgian characteristics out of this beer, but the smoke is very well done.

Photo of hreb
3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Release #27, SLC#1501, 11.9%alc./vol. 22oz of apparently 1,800 bottles produced. Served in an imperial pint glass this beer pours thick and sludgy, resisting any head formation, reddish brown in color, and not at all transparent. Heavy, sweet fruity aroma, reminiscent of apple juice. Or raisins. I'm not getting smoke in the nose, but I could be convinced this is barleywine. Flavor confirms it: this is barleywine, and a pretty good one at that. More dark fruit than dark Belgian ale. Prunes. And quite a bit of residual sugar. There is a little bit of a Belgian yeast note in the finish, but that's really all. I don't think this beer is properly called Belgian in any legitimate sense. "Imperial" might be a better descriptor. Anyway, it's quite enjoyable, though I'd been hoping for smokier.

Photo of zaphodchak
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is nice, ruby amber body with gigantic 3-finger foamy, creamy ecru-white head (from a relatively mild pour) that retains like a champ and laces liberally.

Nose is interesting, faint citrus, with some smoky bacon and the faintest of hops.

Taste is nice, sweet and smoky, apple and some dark grape flavor, vinuous, even.

Mouthfeel is also nice, creamy and complementary to the taste.

Overall fantastic; different than a standard rauchbier but in a refreshingly original way.

Photo of jimbomill
4.92/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Canal's in West Depford supplied the growler, Release 3.
The pour was a rich muddy copper-brown.
The nose was expressive, oak-filled and slightly smoky.
Mouthfeel was flavorful and deep. It reminded me of a cross between Kasteel Brune meeting Unibroue Raftman. Overall, this is worth driving 25 miles for the growler fill. Epic made a fine brew.

Photo of RocPorterFanatic
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours deep, opaque amber with a creamy off white head that quickly subsides.

S - Smokey, hint of cherries, orange peel.

T - Cherry smoke comes through in the forefront with caramel, toffee sweetness. Vanilla and woodsy notes make a substantial appearance. Very complex.

M - Fervent carbonation. Very agressive, nicely complements the sweetness.

O - Great beer. Very well balanced. Well worth the money.

Photo of Hopdaemon39
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is Smoked and Oaked #5 (to distinguish from the seven others they have in the series). Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a wide-mouthed wine glass. Pours a hazy amber color with virtually no head. In this glass there's a ring of foam around the edge that stays pretty much the whole way through the glass. This brew has a nice smell- it's fruity and malty with a touch of alcohol and yeast. The taste is a little bit of a letdown for something called smoked and oaked- I taste no smoke. I do taste a hint of bourbon from the barrel-aging along with a little of the fruit that I smelled and a heavy dose of alcohol sweetness. The mouthfeel is very nice however- it is a little syrupy but has more then enough carbonation to remedy that. While this is a pretty decent brew, it's not something I feel was worth the twelve dollars I paid for it.

Photo of edproctor
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a- like a dark amber color, less than half inch head with a slight amount of retention.

s- a really nice balance of smoke and wood...a bit musty, but in a very good way.

t- sweetness! carmel, roasted malts, red apples, deep ruby stone fruit!!! delicious!!!

m- has a deceivingly thick body... goes down extremely smooth. a nice bite of carbonation with the burn from the alcohol... this is a very complex beer!!!

o- overall, a very beautiful ale!!! would drink this again and recommend it to others. i am curious how it would age.

Photo of Bung
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. Orangy amber pour, just a ring of white. Not much lacing really.

Aroma, a lot of cherry, much more than I would like. Small amount of caramel, peat, some nutmeg and brown like sugar. This does improve as it warms to more smoked woodiness.

Taste, caramel and smoked peat up front. Quickly changes to more typical plum, fig and cherry. A fair dose of vanilla. Finish is a little of that smokey cherry.

There is some heat there, but it does not show in the taste much at least. A good level of carbonation. A sipper as to be expected.
Good overall but a little pricey. The heat being the only detractor. Probably a good one to cellar.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Release #7.

A: Deep burgundy when backlighted exposes a dense turbidity of swirling particulate matter in the vessel. A whispy desert sand tinted head is weak on the hold but offers some lace.

S: The aroma was decent, oaky alcohol character dominates, some scotch but not much smokiness.

T: The flavor was strong oaky alcohol upfront, scotch laced fruitiness of apples, along with some sugar malt and dry grainy toasted grains. Sweet and boozy, warm alcohol at punch out. The smokiness lies low but offers gentle hints and compliments. Smoked toffee and munich sweetness along with some figs. Nice flavor though the booziness takes over at times.

M: Slippery and syrupy texture, sweet and boozy, low carbonation with a boozy warmth on the swallow.

O: Overall the smokiness is very subtle, the alcohol not so much with a boozy fruitiness that makes this a slow sipper but with an interesting complexity.

Photo of HoneyLamb
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bought a 22 ounce bomber from Lambrecht's in Stevensville, Michigan for $11.59. This was a good Belgian, but not for the price. March 2015.

Photo of Rukasu
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Release #13

A - Cloudy, dense rusty brown/deep caramel with yeast sediment

S - Big alcohol burn on the nose, brown sugar, scotch like whiskey notes

T - A bit sweeter than I thought it would be. Dried pit fruits, brown sugar, scotch peat, a lot of oak with a warming alcohol feel that lingers on the finish.

M - Light carbonation, the sweetness and high alcohol is a bit drying with a numbing on the tongue.

O - Not a bad beer, though not as good as I thought it would be. Less smokey and a bit sweeter than I anticipated. Though the oak and scotch underlying flavor does balance out the sweetness well.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.82/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle poured into an Epic tulip.
11.5% ABV, Release #25 (Bottled Oct. 24, 2013)

A - A quiet pour results in a short but persistent ring of ivory foam the dots the tulip in lacing while below, a murky, rusty amber beer awaits.

S - One-of-a-kind from the start, Smoked & Oaked has a deeply complex aroma that starts with gooey, thick caramel sweetness that transitions to charred oak whiskey barrels with next to no alcohol heat. Wafts of cherry wood chunks just getting started over coals in the smoker perfectly compliments the Belgian yeast's dark fruit undertones and dark candi sugar which come full circle to the entry of caramel malt.

T - Delicate nuances of peated scotch makes it's way through a crowd of charred oak puffing light wafts of cherry wood smoke, rich maltiness chewing caramel cubes, and Belgian yeast snacking on a trail mix of dried fruits.

M - From the get-go Smoked & Oaked is smooth and full-bodied but, despite it's heavy malt sweetness, it's not syrupy. Dried out by alcohol and oak, this strong beer doesn't quite drink like it's alcohol level but after a few sips, it sure warms up the belly nicely!

O - Epic's Smoked & Oaked is an absolutely unique, stunning, eclectic, and superbly crafted beer but smoke haters, don't be fooled by the name; it's very delicate. Aged briefly in whiskey barrels and brewed with smoked malt, this beer traipses all over the place but it's a Belgian-style beer at it's core and everything comes together with finesse.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Release #11 (April 10, 2012). Poured in to Founders tulip.

A - Murky medium brown with one finger of dirty cream coloured head that quickly receded to a thin layer. Spotty lacing.

S - Caramel, smoke, bourbon, raisins and toffee. Good integration of flavours with no one flavour dominating.

T - Caramel, bourbon and oak up front with no one flavour overpowering the others. Lighter toffee and raisin notes are present in the background. The smoke shows up subtly in the finish with some spice. Fairly sweet overall with a lot of barleywine characteristics.

M - Medium body. Light carbonation.

Photo of vandemonian
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had Smoked & Oaked batch #3, which was 10.5% rather than 8%. It was a tasty Belgian dark ale with strong flavours from the whiskey barrel it was aged in.

A: Brown amber colour and a 3 mm head that lasts ok. 4

S: Smells like butter and smoke. 4

T: Malty with clean, buttery flavour. Noticeable whiskey aftertaste. Yum. 4

M: Thick and foamy. 4

O: 4

Photo of JohnGalt1
2.78/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Inflatablechair opened this one a while back.. Thanks Sammy.

Pours a hazed orange with a decent lite tan head.

Nose is a pretty standard Belgian strong ale... overly phenolic IMO... tons of clove and quite a bit of band-aid... the phenols go a good way to masking the smoke and the oak... in fact, I get no oak at all... the smoke is more of a bacon aroma.

Flavor is about the same.... sorta acrid bacon with a syrup sweet maltiness... again, the phenols seem stale and medicinal.. tastes like a medicine chest... the sweetness is accentuated by a brutal estery presence... thick apricot and overripe plum.... not digging this one at all.

body and carbonation are both about right... medium...

I need to revisit this one, but I hesitate given the $$$ price tag.

3.5/3/2.5/3.5/2.5

Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 3 Monts tulip. Pours a ruddy orange amber with a fine one finger off-white head with good retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with great oak, vanilla and a hint of smoke. Flavor follows with sweet caramel malt, peaty smoke and vanilla from the oak, quite nice. Medium bodied with some creaminess. An interesting oaked ale that is not too unlike a scotch and ale mixture. Little Belgian yeast or character, but if they are suppressed, it is by a nicely balanced oaky, lightly smoky malt. I enjoyed this.

Photo of metter98
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very hazy amber orange in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation near the edges of the glass. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that died down, leaving delicate lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderately strong aromas of oak from the barrel aging are present in the nose along with some hints of smoke.
T: The taste is nearly an inverse of the smell—there are lots of flavors of iodine and Band-Aids from the smoke and notes of oak from the barrel aging and hints of whiskey. No flavors of dark fruits or Belgian Yeast are perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is rather drinkable as it hides its alcohol very well. It seems to takes more like a Rauchbier than a Belgian-Style Ale.

Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Release #30

A: poured into a snifter to a nice mahogany hue topped by a finger and a half of dense off white head that fades slowly and leaves decent lacing
S: smells fairly oaky with some smoke as well. slight belgian yeast fruity esters come through as well. dark fruits like plums come out after some time breathing
T: taste is smoked malts, dark fruits, vanilla and oak, some slight spice and malt sweetness. swallow is more smoked malts, some nice oaky flavors and some lingering caramel malt sweetness. a little alcohol is apparent on the back end as well. minimal hop bitterness throughout the drink.
M: Fairly full on the palate. the beer is smooth and slightly creamy with soft carbonation and a drying finish
O: This beer might have better ratings as an American Strong Ale. As a Belgian beer it should have a lot more character that is yeast driven while this seems to rely on the malts and oak. Overall I still find it to be very enjoyable. The flavors are good and the beer has some good complexity. It's also deceivingly drinkable.

Photo of StoutHunter
3.57/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of Epic's Smoked and Oaked Belgian Style Ale a couple months ago for $9.89 at The Lager Mill. I've been holding on to this one for a little while and since I like smoked beers and Oak aged beers I thought this would be pretty interesting to try, I don't think I have ever had a smoked beer that was aged in barrels, so lets see how it goes. Release #9 2011 Vintage. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label is pretty simple and plain looking, it's not that eye catching. It poured a nice looking caramel brown color that took on a slight ruby and burn orange hue when held to the light with two fingers worth of light tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left some nice rings of lacing behind. This is a pretty good looking beer, the color was very nice and the head and lacing were nice for the style.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of sweetness followed by a medium smoke aroma with some malts coming up next imparting some caramel and sweet malt aromas with a good amount of dark fruits and some brown bread in the background. Up next comes a medium amount of yeast that has an abbey ale yeast like aroma with some oak and vanilla aromas with a light bourbon like flavor that show up towards the end along with a slight boozy aroma. The aroma is nice, the smoke and oak aren't too overpowering, but there's a little too much sweetness for me..

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a high amount of sweetness that's a little too strong and imparts a brown sugar like flavor followed by a lighter smoke flavor that gives way to loads of malts that have a caramel and sweet malt like flavors with some brown bread in the background and some dark fruits showing up nicely. Up next comes some woody, oak and vanilla like flavors with a slight bit of alcohol showing up with some Belgian yeast in the background. On the finish I get a light amount of bitterness with a slight bourbon like flavor with a very sweet, caramel and woody aftertaste with just a slight bit of smoke. This beer tastes nice, but I thought the sweetness was just too overpowering.

M- Fairly smooth, slightly warming alcohol, cloying, sticky, rich, full bodied, with a slightly lower amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was ok, I liked the richness, but I thought the it was too cloying and sticky.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and a nice example of the style, I can see the Belgian Strong Dark Ale base coming through in this beer and it wasn't buried under the smoke and oak flavors which made it well balanced for the most part but the sweetness threw that off a little. This beer didn't have the best drinkability, it was fairly smooth, the alcohol was hidden well and the flavor did a decent job at holding my attention, but the sweetness was to sticky and cloying, half a bottle is enough for me, I think the sweetness would become too much if tried to drink the whole bottle by myself. What I liked the most about this beer was how balanced the oak and smoked aspects were, neither one was too overpowering. What I liked the least about this beer was the sweetness, it was too overpowering and that really hurt the drinkability. I don't think I would buy this beer again, I like most of the flavors, but it's just too sweet for me and it was a little pricey, if I didn't get 20% off I don't think I would have bought it, but I might order a glass of a newer batch to see what it's like fresh and I would recommend this to people who like sweet beers, barley wines, and barrel aged beers. All in all this was an interesting beer, I liked the combination of the smoked malts and bourbon barrels, the combination makes for a flavor that reminds me a little of scotch. This wasn't the best beer I have had from Epic, but it was far from the worst and I appreciated it for the most part but the sweetness was just not for me. I'm still not that experienced with Epic, but they do make some interesting beers, nice work guys.

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.19/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Release #5 with an ABV of 9.9%.

3.5 A: Ruddy brown color. Two fingers of short lived frothy beige head. No lacing.

4.5 S: I went searching for some smoke and I found it. Moderate smokiness offers what I wanted without impinging on the other aromas. Oak, too, is plentiful and perhaps more so than the smoke. Whiskey is right behind offering peat, leather, and apple fruitiness. Caramel adds a sweet maltiness to this that rounds off the main flavors. The Belgian character is minimal, but that's only because the other flavors are so strong. If you dig deep enough you will find clove and pepper spiciness that complement the main flavors.

4.0 T: Soft and welcomed boozy whiskey bite up front. Oak and vanilla after that. Smoke isn't as strong in the taste, but does complement well. Whiskey adds a hefty dose of apple, leather, peat, and melon. The Belgian character is much more pronounced. Light fruits, pepper and clove spice, and some plum to round things off.

4.0 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. My only complaint is that the carbonation isn't a bit spritzier.

4.5 T: Epic is killing it right now for me. They make some duds, but I haven't had any in a while. Based on the trends in the reviews, it seems like they are improving with every new batch.

Photo of Zorro
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear brown colored beer with a near nonexistent tan colored head.

Smells fruity and smoky with a slight whiskey scent. Scent of grape and Applejack with a little vanilla and caramel.

Starts out sweet and smoky. Slight sensation of salt and the flavor of scotch whiskey. Abundant chest warmth. Slight apple flavor. Very smoky frankly this could pass for a Rauchbier. Just one thing sums up the taste of this beer "Scotch Whiskey."

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall this beer is Smoke in a Bottle. If you like Scotch you will like this.

Photo of Benish
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Batch #2 Brewed on September 8, 2010.

Appearance: poured into snifter glass. An instant off-white head built up. Very nice retention. Very slowly dissipated down to quarter inch. Very dark ruby in color.

Smell: Wow. Picked up vanilla and whisky instantly. Also some dried fruits. Thought the whiskey would have faded but it sure hasn't! Smells like a barrel-aged barley wine. Hard to detect the smokiness though.

Taste: whewww the smoke is there this time. Very nice sweet, malty smokiness. Well rounded and smooth. Tasted some cherries, a ton of whiskey, and oak. Further into drinking this, there is a cough syrup taste to it. Very sweet, not much bitterness in the beginning. But then that sweetness transforms to some charred taste with a little heat. I would have suspected the alcohol content to be higher than what's stated on the bottle. There's also a slight tartness lingering around from start to finish. Unfortunately as the beer warmed up further it just became too much. Something about the taste I just couldn't take.

Mouthfeel: heavy and boozy, maybe a little gritty.

Overall: The first few sips were outstanding but than as it came down to room temp, the flavors seemed to have change with that artificially cough syrup and the charred finish. I've never had this before and this happen to be four years old. Will combine this review when I drink the more recent batches.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to nmann08 for sharing this bottle last weekend. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

Pours a fairly-clear light brown-copper color with a good white head and a bit of lacing. The nose has a moderate amount of oak plus some semi-sweet malts. Smoke is moderate. The flavor is similar. Everything is really muddled and "in between," though nothing is really off. The smoked character isn't too heavy as to be overpowering, which is refreshing. Light-medium body. Interesting, but probably not something that I would come back to.

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Smoked & Oaked Belgian-Style Ale from Epic Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 261 ratings.