Smoked & Oaked Belgian-Style Ale - Epic Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
87
very good

81 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 81
Hads: 263
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 14.21%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 81 | Hads: 263
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. (1,061 characters)

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

Strange and nice concoction: smoked, yeasty, and very sweet.

Presentation: 22 oz brown capped bottle . Paper label with a simple light cream and soft blue range, with name of the brew and series branding . Side narrative Offers a small note about the special and limited character of the brew (1800 numbered bottles, although the number is not apparent anywhere), and encourages to check their website for more details. Notes release #2, and 8.8% Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Hazy deep amber pour, good frothy head, fair retention, surface memory, and some splashes of lacing.

S - Smokey nose, fruity Belgium yeast notes, some caramel... More smoke.

T - Taste expands the nose greatly with a nice forward smoked sense, that pretty much in an orderly succession gives way to a Belgium yeasty sense, followed by an intense sweetness. Nuances come on top of that, with notes of dark fruits, smoked dark fruits that is, hefty sugar, dash of wood... And back to the triad of smoke, yeast, and malty sweetness.

M - Medium body, feels a bit heftier given the assertive flavors, medium to low carbonation, sticky and with a warming sense in the finish.

D - Hmm, the sweetness in the final part may hinder a bit with its intensity the overall drinkability, but not by much. If one digs it, it is still very enjoyable.

Notes: Very close to climbing a notch in the evaluation. Maybe after a revisit... I can understand the complaints about lack of balance, style, etc. But there is something rather bizarre that I liked about this unusual brew. Thanks Randy for the special opportunity! (1,596 characters)

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. (607 characters)

Photo of KingofHops
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful light brown pour with light carbonation. Smokey and yeasty bavarian aroma with a hint of sweatness. flavors are distinctly wheat, oak and rye, with a yeast and sweat taste on the backside. Overall good bear, complex and enjoyable, lacks the more traditional elements of a bavarian ale. (295 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Release #3; 10.5% ABV

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a very modest head that leaves just a few dots of lace

Smell: Caramel and peat, with a hint of smoke

Taste: Caramel and peat, up front, with the smoke building moderately by mid-palate; slightly sweet and smokey, after the swallow, with a hint toward Scotch whisky

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Overall: I enjoyed this beer, but I really think it is being mis-marketed; perhaps if they called it what is is (a smoked and oaked Scottish ale) it would score better

Thanks, Douglass88, for the opportunity (618 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer #60 in my great Utah Brew Hunt.

Release #15 says it is 10.4% abv.

Wow. A beautiful Belgian ale. Very nice wood tones, and yes, there is a smokey kind of thing going on as well. There is a bit of an alcohol burn, but it seems to mesh fairly well into the overall scheme of things. Bottom line is this is a very nice beer. Put some age on it, and I have to wonder how it would turn out. Definitely suggested. (414 characters)

Photo of mrandypandy
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased directly at Epic Brewing Co, Salt Lake City, UT. Release #2, 8.8% ALC./VOL.

A - Pours a hazy brown/orange, slightly off-white head, HIGH carbonation.

S - Thick malty sweetness (caramel) with fruity notes as well. Figs perhaps? If I strain I can get some faint smoke in the aroma.

T - Different. Malty and sweet, with strong fruit overtones. Smoke in the finish, but not much. Reminds me of a strong ale, fermented with saison/Belgian yeast and lightly smoked.

M - Medium to full body, highly carbonated, slightly syrupy and sweet.

D - Medium. There is a lot going on, and the heavy body and sweetness start to weigh it down after a while, but the restrained smoke makes it enticing for more. Alcohol makes a slight appearance as th beer warms.

Overall - One of the better efforts I've had from Epic. Lots of flavors and the fruity/malty/smoky pairing actually works well together. I enjoyed this more on the cooler side, for what it's worth. (975 characters)

Photo of mikeyv35
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Date: 03/14/12
Type: 22oz. Bomber
Vintage: 2011
Glass: General Lafayette Pint Glass

Poured a brown mahogany in color w/ a small white cap head that left minimal lacing. Aromas of caramel, toffee, citrus, oak, and a touch of peat. The flavor was of caramel/toffee sweetness up front, leading into oak and slight peat, and finished like a Belgian Tripel (banana and orange peel). Medium bodied and lush w/ lower levels of carbonation. Pretty easy to drink as the 9% ABV was well hidden.

Overall, I was overly impressed by this beer that I was not expecting much from! Great array of flavors and all balanced well. However, just not quite worth the price of admission at $16.99 a bomber I believe. (696 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque dark mohogany/chestnut brown color with dark ruby edges.  Thin half finger off white head that immediately fades.  Minimal lace.  

Earthy oak aroma with smokey malt notes underneath.  Hints of charcoal, bacon, BBQ  and butane along with caramel sweetness and toasted oak.  The barrel aging tones down smoke but adds complexity to the nose.  

Medium bodied with a really nice balance of earthy, toasted oak, burnt wood and vanilla along with smoked malt notes.  Hints of charcoal, campfire, bacon and caramel sweetness.  Sweetness and oak balance out extreme smoked notes very well.  Good amount of alcohol heat in the finish.  Well balanced and pretty tasty.   (690 characters)

Photo of bcostner1
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Burnt orange with reddish hues. Khaki head that sticks around for a while.

S: Smoke, booze, vanilla, mild yeast.

T: Sweet caramel, vanilla, mild bourbon, candi sugar, molasses, a little oak, bacon and smoke on the back end. Nice combo.

M: Sticky, viscous, full, and satisfying. Booze mildly detectable but not abrasively so.

Overall, this is another solid offering from Epic. I would definitely have it again. (416 characters)

Photo of dwagner003
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle #20 of 1,800. Pours a murky brown.. Not terribly attractive, but normal for the style, I suppose. Very small head with some floating sediment.

Smell is very whiskey-forward. Honestly, one of the more profound aromas of any barrel-aged beers I've drank. I was impressed, but I was worried that it would have a bit more kick than I wanted.

The unpleasant kick, however, didn't come. It was well balanced and strangely light. The whiskey flavor is definitely there, but it does not overpower. There is a lot going on, with good amount of oak and a sweet finish. I don't taste the "smoked", but I am very impressed, nonetheless.

I had low expectations for this beer. I feel like Epic is sort of average, but this beer was excellent. (738 characters)

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. (1,303 characters)

Photo of dtivp
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber brown with a half finger dirty white head that fades quickly, very little lacing.

Aroma of smoke, vanilla, sweet caramel and. Booze.

Taste follows the nose with smoky oak, sweet caramel, vanilla and booze.

Mouth Feel is medium body, light carbonation, very slick, smooth with a very nice alcohol warming.

Overall a very nice enjoyable ale. Very nice to sip and relax. (392 characters)

Photo of mcallister
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 5
9.9% alcohol.

Nice rustic looking completely opaque deep amber colored, almost milky with a thick dense light tan head that quickly fades into a tiny topper.

Fantastic aromas waft from my tulip. Cherry wood is very evident and effervescent. Light vanilla, oak, toffee, aromas, with some meaty aromas as well. Bacon, lavendar, other floral notes, hints of clove, and more complex and wonderful.

Again, delicious. Very balanced, nothing overpowering. Smokey and again evident cherry wood blends perfectly with sweet vanilla oak, chocolate, toffee, and burnt caramel, belgian yeast flavors, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, cherry, pommegranate, blueberry, and more. Mouth could be a little more creamy but otherwise top notch. Great beer. (740 characters)

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. (410 characters)

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. (487 characters)

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

A. Pours a hazy brown with some red and a nice somewhat creamy off white head.

S. A touch of smokiness that comes through more as it warms. A touch of bourbon with some cherry.

T. Very similar to the nose. Smoke, cherry, and some bourbon.

M. medium body with decent carbonation.

D. The best utah beer I've had. (314 characters)

Photo of Radome
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber.

L - Light brown in color and crystal clear. Light tan head is not very persistent but has lots of lacing. A pretty beer, looking more like a Belgian dark strong ale than a porter.

S - Complex, sweet aromas with light smoke, strong bourbon whiskey, vanilla, cherries Hops are not obvious, but strong alcohol is.

T - Flavors are led by smoke and whiskey. The smoke seems more like wood smoke than peat. Big, bready malt, molasses, raisins, light cherries, some Belgian yeast fruitiness. Fairly dry finish with lingering smoke and alcohol.

F - Medium to thick body. Light carbonation. Moderate hops bitterness keep it from being too sweet. Moderate alcohol burn.

O - This is a great beer. I think it is mislabeled as a porter, because the Belgian characteristics are much more to the forefront. A smoked Belgian dark strong beer aged in bourbon barrels!?! What's not to like? (917 characters)

Photo of challenja
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Black Squirrel in ADMO in DC.

A: Pours an opaque dark red, blood orange. Cloudy in character with a some light shinning at the bottom. The head is non existent.

S: Sweet honey suckle, juniper berries, tart cherries, white powder sugar, sticky sweet malts with a light open wine cork character.

T: The taste is obscene! Juniper berries and plums jump out quickly. The flavors smack the mouth with a long flavor profile that lingers on the palate like a sticky candied fruit stuck in Now and Later form. This has a high honey character that masks the high alcohol content. This taster like a Mead. The oak aging makes this malty mead brew taste very cask in feel and character.

M: Medium carbonation, a nice syrupy mouthfeel that feels nice on the tongue. Fun to play with :)

O: Holy mama jama! This is one serious brew, flavorful and to be enjoyed by serious beer geeks. Not to share with your miller lite buddies. It is very impressive and obscene in character and form.

M: Its got a sticky sweet cool mouth feel that sticks to the tongues with medium carbonation. (1,086 characters)

Photo of HoposaurusRex
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: Bottle poured into a tall tulip.

A: Pours a cloudy brownish amber with half inch light tan head.

S: Sweet bourbon and firewood aromas dominate with hints of apple and brown sugar.

T/M: Smoky kick right off the bat. At first I thought it was going to be a touch too smoky, but it quickly mellows out. Sweet, malty, and fruity. The smokiness is complemented excellently by the taste of ripe red apples. Hints of caramel and brown sugar also present. Warming, smooth mouthfeel with just enough carbonation and smokiness to cut some of the sweetness. Aftertaste vaguely akin to that of an Islay Scotch.

O: I have been very impressed with several of the offerings from Epic's Exponential Series, and this one definitely did not disappoint. Bold, smoky flavor. A beer that a bourbon or Scotch fan would definitely appreciate. Epic's Smoked & Oaked Belgian-Style Ale was a warming beer that invokes memories of autumn. I would definitely seek this one out again. (973 characters)

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. (534 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy copper-amber color with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of smoke, oak, and vanilla with cherry, dark fruit, candi sugar, Belgian yeast, some dark caramel malts, and some booze.

T - Starts off with some dark caramel malts with some cherry and other dark fruits with some vanilla. Through the middle, the smoke and oak flavors come through with some Belgian yeast flavors and candi sugars. The finish is a mix of smoke, oak, vanilla, candi sugars, Belgian yeast, and a bit of booze.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a smoky, warming, and sweet finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nicely balanced with just the right amount of smoke and barrel flavors. (782 characters)

Photo of GameChicken
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into a New Belgium glass. The appearance was a nice mahogany tone with decent head and good lacing. You can see the barrel remnants loating amongst the body of the beer.

S - I immediately picked up a delicious smokey, peat smell...somewhat reminiscent to a single malt scotch, but not that extreme.

Taste - Probably biased, but this is one of my favorite beers of all time. So much going on....smoke, barrel aged goodness, smooth finish.

M - Nice stickiness, and mouth coating....little carb, and a smooth finish given all that is going on with this beer.

O - I wish that this could be a staple in the Epic rotation. Definitely a great cold weather beer, and if you are a fan of smoked foods, you should like it. I would sip this year round. (756 characters)

Photo of brew3crew
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasting at Jackie O's

A-burnt orange with a great head. Wow

S-subtle smokeand a little bourbon

T-follows he nose. Great smokiness that mellows well with the bourbon

M-medium body and smooth...

O-what a beer. Great suprise that iw would love mkre of (253 characters)

Photo of Douglas88
4.52/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bought at Epic. Pours a deep ruby color with a initially large thick white head, later goes down to a small white head. A really complex and great aroma; large rich fruit especially strawberries, sour and woody bourbon barrels, Belgian yeast, smells like a aged beer somehow. The flavor is rich vanilla bourbon, sweet oak, fruit, like a bourbon inspired Quad. Not really a huge smoke aspect, but it really comes through as lightly smoked cherry wood- and mixes with the fruity esters to create a very sweet and fruity brew. Complex and hard to pin down somewhat. I guess oak and bourbon flavors along with a blast of a fruity Quad fits well, some smoke and earthy aspects as well. (687 characters)

Smoked & Oaked Belgian-Style Ale from Epic Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.