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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.
very good

81 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 81
Hads: 272
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 23.83%
Wants: 17
Gots: 58 | 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: 272
Photo of Rukasu
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of mikeyv35
4.17/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of dtivp
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

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Photo of alysmith4
3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I got this beer as a birthday gift, and was finally brave enough to try it the other night. I had a bad experience with scotch once, and just can't get past that taste and smell. Unfortunately, this beer was very scotch-like (which for most people is probably a good thing!), so I can't say I enjoyed it. I do think it's a well-crafted beer however, despite my aversion to it.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer is brown in color with an off-white head. As expected, lots of smoke on the nose. Fairly nutty and a mild meatiness. Just a bit of salt in there as well. A mild sweetness of toffee and brown sugar. The flavor has a nice toffee malt sweetness, more than the aroma, to go along with the pronounced smokiness. Lots of salt, toasted nuts, and a bit of a woodiness.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a funky redish brown with a thin off-white head that settles into an beigh ring around the edges of the glass. There is some lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is cherries, vanilla, caramel and smoke. Hmm, interesting. The vanilla oak is pronounced, but there is a boozy note to this beer as well.

T: Sweet and malty up front. It's malty with a touch of vanilla. The caramel notes are big in the middle. The finish is boozy and a bit spicy. It's really interesting.

M: Medium bodied beer. Sweet to start and it follows cloyingly. Spicy and boozy in the finish. The flavors linger on the palate for a bit, but slide off in a decent amount of time.

O: This is a solid beer, but it's not amazing. The vanilla oak flavors are spot on, but I feel like this beer just misses out a bit. I like the idea of this brew, but something just doesn;t seem right.

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Photo of edproctor
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

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Photo of KingofHops
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Surly Goat in West Hollywood, CA.

Pours a murky brown with a khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, smoke, wood, and whisky notes. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a very dry quality to this beer with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a nice balance between the smoke and the barrel aging.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of superspak
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, batch 9, bottled 11/7/2011. Pours hazy reddish brown color with a small 1 finger fairly dense khaki head with good retention that reduces to a thin ring of lace. Some minimal spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big bourbon, caramel, banana, clove, toffee, molasses, apple, raisin, oak, and yeast spices. Some pretty nice aromas with good strength and balance. Taste of big caramel, toffee, raisin, apple, molasses, pepper, clove, banana, oak, vanilla, butterscotch, light bourbon, and light yeast spices. Lingering notes of caramel, toffee, bourbon, oak, molasses, dark fruit, and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Some nice balance of malty flavors, with no cloying sweetness. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming present after the finish. Quite drinkable but is still definitely a sipper. Overall this is a nice and very enjoyable Belgian style ale. I really did not notice much smokiness at all; however, it had a nice and quite complex malt flavor profile from the bourbon barrel aging. Very enjoyable to sip on.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium brown with reddish hues, tan head, decent retention and a bit of lacing. The nose is exactly as described on the label: smokey and oaky. The smoke takes center stage and features a woody char like character. There is a hint of belgian candied goodness that sneaks in at the end. Interesting combo of flavors. The taste is predominantly smoke with waves of bubblegum and clove hanging beneath the surface. The body is medium and has medium carbonation. Overall, I must say this brew is kinda weird. Nothing tastes bad, but the flavors just don't all add up. Worth a try for someone wanting to try something unique.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.45/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

1 pint 6 fluid ounce brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an EKU 28 snifter in me gaff in Los Angeles, California. Expectations are below average; I had a beer from this brewery before and I wasn't too keen on it.

Served a bit warmer than refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a somewhat pathetic head of a quarter finger, white colour, hardly any cream, decent thickness, and awful retention (even for the high ABV). Colour is a somewhat dark grapefruit-amber. Nontransparent but not opaque. Some floating yeast particles are visible.

Sm: Oak dominates the aroma, with yeast and hints of cherries. Some peat but not quite smoke. A strange off-the-wall aroma that is intriguing but not quite appealing. A mild strength aroma.

T: Some cherry juice notes that are far too strong and tart for the balance. Misplaced oak tones. Awkward peat. Vague fruit esters. A hint of alcohol. No yeast. The peat is too strong. Clean malts are backgrounded. Poorly constructed and badly balanced. The cherry feels artificial and is badly handled. Almost a bit vinegary. No layering, complexity, or subtlety. It's as though the brewers are using all these advanced brewing processes without having mastered the basics. Where's the balance?

Mf: Smooth and wet. Weak and thin. Not carbonated enough. Badly handled. Doesn't suit the flavour profile well at all.

Dr: What is with all the hype for this brewery? This is the second beer from them I've had that I haven't liked at all. Pricey for its limited quality. A big disappointment. I won't be purchasing another Epic Brewing beer unless it's recommended by a friend, has fantastic reviews, or is the only good option. Hard to drink because it's not good. Not quaffable. I wouldn't recommend this to friends or even to fans of the style. A terrible waste of advanced brewing methods and time.

High D+

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Photo of Phelps
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a wine glass at Boulder's.

Mostly clear deep copper. A very thin yet dense head of light sandy tan soon becomes a soft patch of bubbles right in the middle.

Peat and buttery, chocolatey oak in the nose. Sweet and tart figs and dates are also in here. It’s a nice mix of smoke and fruit, with lots of toffee and a touch of bourbon.

Apple, toffee and caramel make initial contributions to the flavor. Smoke comes after the swallow, blending perfectly. A little vinous oak and bourbon add their notes to the chorus of fruit and smoke.

Medium body, with light yet prickly carbonation. There isn’t much alcohol, which is impressive, though I do get a flash of heat at the swallow.

Epic’s beers are expensive, but they’re also usually very tasty. Smoked and Oaked, with its blend of Belgian fruits and smoke, is definitely worth a taste.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours murky chestnut brown with a brief, thin creamy beige head and no lacing.

A light essence of whiskey with oak and sweet alcohol.

Whiskey comes through clear with a light, smoked flavor. The middle has raisins and some molasses while the finish is subtle and long. Overall the balance between bitter and sweet is well done.

A full body and silky texture with warming alcohol and soft, fine carbonation.

An easy-drinking sipping beer. While not quite to style, it is tasty and enjoyable with a book.

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Photo of brentk56
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
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

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Photo of GameChicken
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

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Photo of gford217
3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle.

Pours clear amber with a small bubbly beige head that recedes and leaves little lacing.

Aroma is ever-so-slightly smoked with lots of sweet Belgian yeast esters and caramelized sugar.

Taste is more of the same with the sweetness of the Belgian yeast and dark fruits melding with the lightly smoked malts.

Mouthfeel is light bodied for the style with soft carbonation.

This is a subtle beer all the way around. Light sweetness, light smokiness, easy drinking but nothing memorable.

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Photo of Florida9
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark caramel brown in color. Clear. Forms a beige colored bubbly head that leaves no head.

S: Peat, butterscotch, light smoke, caramel malts and a bit of alcohol.

T: Starts with a mild sweetness then there is a mix of oak, smoke, peat, and caramel malts. Very mild Belgian funk that is overshadowed by the barrel and the smoke. A little vanilla on the finish.

M: Medium bodied, but with feel that is slick and oily. Lower carbonation. Mild bitterness.

O: A very interesting beer that has a lot going on with it. Lots of smoke and oak (which I guess should be fairly unsurprising given the name) that I'm still not sure work all that well together. Had this one at a tasting and enjoyed giving it a try, but I think a whole bottle would be a bit too much.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of HoposaurusRex
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of challenja
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

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