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

81 Reviews
THE BROS
-
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
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 alysmith4
3.42/5  rDev -11.6%
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. (376 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 Ego
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

eyes...
on a reasonable pour this fizzes out pretty quickly, it has the appearance of almost out of carbonation soda pop (yes, because I felt like typing 'pop'), kind of medium mud stomp brown, like a deep dirty puddle, bubbles sort of exist bumping into each other like drunks at 3am, ok looking

nose...
tart and sharp notes (apple?), of course there is some smoke, it is more of a hint of bonfire than a full out onslaught of meaty ember goodness, you can sense the alcohol slyly hiding in the background adding in some whiskey notes, smells nice

taste etc...
definite whiskey notes, kind of medium bodied, the carbonation is very subtle... and it works here, I think any higher level of carbonation would really distract from this, the more I drink this the more I think of whiskey, of course it is not as dense as whiskey but the smoke and ABV are doing a good job of mimicry here, nice warm buzz in the ole gullet, the smoke just smooths out the flavor and is pretty subdued (and generally I love the super smoke action like in bamburg classics), I can't say this is some utterly complex onion requiring peeling but it defintely deserves to be sipped and enjoyed over a period of an evening, the flavors are quite subtle but the alcohol is strong which is a testament to the brewer here (meaning you get really nice flavor but the alcohol is a partner not the driver)

verdict?
the more I sip the more I enjoy. even on this mega humid night sitting out on my deck this
grows on you, it is not overwhelming in any fashion but really seduces you.
a definite night cap pick to reminisce with friends for one of those conversations about the old days (1,654 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 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 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. (796 characters)

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. (844 characters)

Photo of Jmamay22
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Beer pours a hazy caramel brown with a thin khaki head. It smells of candied sugar, caramel and peaty smoke with a very slight yeasty and fruity background. A very unique scent.

The beer mixes the flavor of scotch and the qualities of a Belgian ale well. The beer begins with a flavor of caramel and candied apple. The smoke comes into play midway through and plays well with the candied sugar flavor. Even if only imagined there is a peat like finish leaving me to believe there was use of scotch barrels. Unfortunately the mouthfeel is a little thin and I would have preferred emphasis on the Belgian style with a greater level of carbonation. Would be niceif it was bottle conditioned with cor and cage, but that would likely increase the price and may not currently be possible at this brewery.

A unique and enjoyable brew. Along with the sage saison, I am beginning to enjoy this breweries unique style. (911 characters)

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. (1,400 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 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 founddrama
4.55/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Holy shit there's a lot gong on here. Bourbon. Oak. Vanilla? Belgian esters. Silky smooth mouthfeel. Complex.

LOOK: Dark and a little cloudy.

SMELL: Boozy -- strong bourbon on the nose. Hints of vanilla riding piggyback on the oak.

TASTE: In this order: bourbon, oak, Belgian esters, vanilla.

FEEL: Silky smooth and full. (325 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 kagent777
4.52/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this bottle from the brewery as soon as they released batch number one. Batch one was brewed in late April of 2010. This bottle has aged since then. Poured into a pair of goblets.

Appearance: A rich mahogany with red edges. The beer had a long lasting one finger head that left a bit of lacing. The only detractor was the yeast that settled on the bottom of the goblet, but this was not unexpected.

Smell: This is where the barrel aging really adds a lot. These are aged in whiskey barrels, but the whiskey flavor are not dominant. The oak wood really stands out. The caramel from the malts is also noted. A hint of fruity Belgian yeastiness peaks out around the edges. Maybe it is the additional aging, but the smokiness seems to have been tamed a bit.

Taste: The nose is so strong and dominant that they taste will simply follow. Again, oaky woodiness, but not whiskey per se. I bit of smoke more in the form of peat in a Scotch rather than campfire smoke. Very complex and layered. This may have never had much booziness at 8.0 ABV, but it was perfectly in line with the rest of the flavors.

Mouthfeel: Solid carbonation, even after 16 months, along with a dense body. A long finis from such intense flavors.

Overall: An interesting beer. I liked it a lot, except that it is about 12 per bomber so I cannot afford to buy this one very often. (1,355 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 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)

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. (567 characters)

Photo of petacutlasaurus
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Epic brewing just came to D.C. a couple of months ago, holding an event at De Vinos, missed the event, but grabbed this bottle in place. I was pleasantly surprised. Full bodied with a forward taste of dark fruits and a trace of the "oak" - very pleasant. On the back end, you get hit with the "smoked" aspect of the beer. It's somewhat subtle, but those crispy burnt notes really make for a great close. It seems like there are Epic bottles everywhere, and I look forward to picking up another. (494 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 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 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 TheBigLebrewski
1.63/5  rDev -57.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Unappealing appearance. Ugly mid-brown, opaque shade that looked cloudy, even muddy.
Smell was an even greater put-off.

The drinking buddy pulled it off the tip of my tongue when he said it smelled like meat. I didn't get meat in the smell, but I certainly do in the flavor - cured, sweet meat. Indeed, the flavor is not too far from Rogue's Voodoo Donut, in certain ways. The Belgian yeast certainly maintains a difference in flavor, but it ends up providing the factor of sweetness that brought the voodoo to mind (which contained maple).

In my opinion, it's not smoky enough. The smoked aspect seemed to be what came through as a bit of salt, and even more-so meat. Which I wouldn't choose as a flavor in any sort of beverage, save maybe bacon bloody marys. The oak was lacking as well, being completely overwhelmed by yeast and malt, and, if anything, contributing to the carnivorous off-flavors.

I was pretty excited about this - I tend to favor both smoked and oaked beers of various styles, but the Belgian sweetness and the weak oakysmokiness didn't pair well at all.

Could the bottle have gone bad? (1,113 characters)

Photo of chadlebald
3.41/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An interesting beer for sure.

Pours a cloudy, almost 'chunky' looking way--looks a bit similar to an apple cider (non alcoholic kind).

Aroma is prett nice - both the oak and smoke come through. Caramelly sweet too. Vanilla.

Taste is what kind of throws me - again, both the oak (taste of whisky barrel) and smokiness are there. I like both of those favors in my beers, but combined, my jury is still out: like they are competing for my affection. How does one choose a favorite child? alcohol is quite present too, which seems to go well with the aforementioned whisky oak.

A lot going on in this brew. Worth a try, for sure. Curious to see where YOUR jury nets out! (671 characters)

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. (346 characters)

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