Trip In The Woods: Barrel-Aged Maple Scotch | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Trip In The Woods: Barrel-Aged Maple ScotchTrip In The Woods: Barrel-Aged Maple Scotch
58 Ratings
Trip In The Woods: Barrel-Aged Maple ScotchTrip In The Woods: Barrel-Aged Maple Scotch

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Scotch-style ale brewed with maple syrup and aged in Bourbon barrels.

ABV varies by batch/year.

Added by jaydoc on 02-15-2016

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 58 |  Reviews: 16
Photo of Richter525
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of VABA
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours a a dark brownish amber color with a nice silky head and lacing
A-Aroma has decent whiskey with some slight maple hints
T-The taste follows the nose with generous and abundant whiskey notes and some nice silky maple flavor
M-A light bodied decently carbonated beer
O-Another good beer from a consistently good brewery

 325 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of hophugger
3.62/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of stevoj
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small pour at PreFunk. Maple and bourbon barrels really add a nice touch to this scotch ale. A touch of sweetness and booziness to the normal peaty scotch flavors. Really tasty and drinkable.

 191 characters

Photo of Rilesmiles
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bshefftz
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent Scotch ale! But so is Backwoods Bastard at half the price. I'll have to do a blind taste test, doubt I could tell the difference or state a strong preference for one vs. the other.

(just looked down the page and saw similar comments from Tucquan!)

 271 characters

Photo of Scott17Taylor
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of MJoe
4.58/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Berkshire Brewing made a great Scotch Ale for a few years, but discontinued it a few years back. I tried 3 or 4 other Scotch Ales (including a good one from Oscar Brewing), but this Trip in the Woods Scotch Ale may now be my favorite beer of all time. My wife bought four bottles for me at the Costco in San Francisco when we were visiting S.F. last week.

It looks and pours thick, had great mouth feel, and I absolutely love the taste. Unlike most of the other Scotch Ales I have had, the second beer still tastes great - no minor "flaws" are accentuated on the second beer, but didn't try having three of these beers in one sitting.

Looking forward to finding some close to home on the East Coast.

 704 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent crimson-hued brown with two fingers of fluffy tan head. Decent lacing & head retention

S: Barrel, some maple syrup, a little leafy hop, all fade a bit as this warms

T: Follows the nose, plenty of maple sweetness/dryness up front, a little peatyness as well. More peatyness & dryness as this warms, a touch leafy hops, and subtle maple sweetness once warm. Finishes with nice barrel notes, maple sweetness & dryness, plus a little peatyness and leafy hops

MF: Fairly thick, slight carbonation but enough to push the flavor along. Carbonation becomes smoother as this warms

Very nice take on the style, pretty barrel forward, but enough other elements that I would buy the crap outta this in a 4 pack format. Much to love here

 760 characters

Photo of cjgiant
4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brownish color, and ends up in the glass a lightly hazed dark brown. It might seem a tad murky, but I think darker beers have that tendency when hazed more than their lighter/brighter counterparts. So, the head easily makes up for any question about the body. A nice foamy head, it slowly recedes to a thick collar. Lacing, for a decent ABV'd barrel-aged beer is quite decent.

Nose initially had an herbal whiskey-barrel aspect, light and sharp. As it warms, this doesn't go away, but it morphs a tad. There's a green wood, whiskey barrel wood aspect, but something else. Presumably it's the maple, but I can't say it isn't in a little disguise, as I don't recognize it distinctively. Slowly, it starts to become more obvious, without gaining too much strength or, more importantly, sweetness. A very nice presence of the ingredients, perhaps a tad strong on whiskey barrel, but I'm okay with that.

Taste, similar to nose, was a tad stronger when first poured cold. There's still a decent whiskey influence, but the cherry-ish dark, tart fruit notes of the base Scotch ale comes through. There's a fair amount of spirit burn, but it's not overwhelming. That said, if you don't like straight whiskey, it might come off a bit strong. That may cause more tingle than any carbonation, which seem light. The beer is of medium heft.

As it warms, the base malt, dark cherry, amber ale hit up front. Vanilla, unsweet maple (huh?), and the bourbon char join in, melding versus replacing. A thinning of feel and flavor comes before the whiskey notes themselves grab my palate. This adds some bite, and as this fades, the maple and dark brown sugar accent a basic Scotch ale flavor.

This started off a little whiskey-heavy, but more proper temperatures brought it back into my liking. It never fully balanced, but it wasn't too far off from one of my all time favorites from Founders. The maple is noticeable, but when I'm not looking for it, I can miss it - which is to say it's very well integrated, IMO. (versus being absent/light). A quite well constructed beer for my tastes.

 2,109 characters

Photo of GarbageMan10
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Elicoleman
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Tucquan
4.29/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2018-04-05 in Columbia, PA from a 750ml 2018 corked and caged bottle. Quite expensive at $25 USD.

A - Dark and clear brown-ruby with a 1.5-finger off-white head and mild lace.

S - Toffee, caramel taffy, light-medium roasted grain, vanilla, mild oak, bourbon is there but restrained. Smells rich and sweet. Don't get an obvious maple aroma.

T - Rich, sweet and delicious. Certainly can tell it is a Scotch Ale with all the characteristics noted in the smell plus brown sugar. There's a hint of maple but it isn't a major component of the flavor. The bourbon is even more restrained in the taste, which I like in this beer. There's alcohol sweetness and enjoyable yet restrained alcohol heat in the chest. There's mild-moderate bitterness for balance in the finish. Also in the finish, as I take time to sip and reflect; I notice some light cola and dark cherry.

M - Medium-heavy body and light carbonation. Smooth, moderately sticky but not clingy. Finishes out somewhat dry.

O - I can't help but compare this to Founders Backwoods Bastard. I'd say this beer is more restrained and elegant than Backwoods but not by miles-and-miles. Dollar-for-dollar, considering what I paid for this beer compared to Backwoods, this elegance certainly comes at a price!

 1,285 characters

Photo of ElGallo
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bigpoppa67
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Giggy
4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BarrelAgedG
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: poured into a snifter to a ruddy brown with some light mahogany hues topped by a dense finger and a half of light cream colored head that fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing.
S: Smells of intense maple and caramel malts, oak with a hint of alcohol, and some vanilla
T: Taste is slightly fruity before the caramel comes in, decent oak, vanilla, and slight toasted bread. Swallow is maple sweetness, caramel, slight fruitiness, oak, and vanilla.
M: This beer has a fairly thick mouthfeel that is a little syrupy. Carbonation feels low but is adequate and the beer has a drying finish.
O: Overall this is a really tasty beer. The time in the barrel is noticeable but it doesn't drown out the base beer. Very well done and well executed. Worth a try if you can find it.

 816 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada, Maple Scottish Ale Bourbon Barrel

The marriage of Scotch ale to bourbon barrels is no secret to the whisky community. But in the beer world, Sierra Nevada employs a strong Scotch ale to slumber in bourbon barrels for a fully sweet, boozy and spicy session; and with a sticky slather of maple syrup to boot.

Russet brown and with a hazy garnet glow, a heavy blanket of sepia foam skirts the rim before laying a rich perfume of mesquite, maple, smoke, nuttiness and whisky spice upon the nose. Malty sweet to taste, the lavish ale slathers the early palate with a slew of cloying sweet flavors ranging from sorghum, molasses and toffee to brown sugar, maple and praline.

The ale recruits a cast of complexities of earth, peat, smoke, pepper, tobacco and toast to give the sweet middle palate a light balance and variety in taste. Persistent malt sweetness propels the nuances from the bourbon barrels with soft coconut, vanilla, caramel and charred oak spice while the late palate is laced with achingly sweet maltiness.

Full bodied and rich like syrups, the beer finishes with a nougat-like maltiness that’s creamy and mouth coating. Even with the spices of pepper, peat distilled spirits, the finish is long, sweet and unrelenting.

 1,252 characters

Photo of RyanTheLion13
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Vylo
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jaydoc
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A murky medium brown color. Small off-white head that dissipated quickly.
Aroma of booze, maple syrup, and caramel mostly. A bit of vanilla and oak.
The taste starts with bourbon and maple syrup, then caramel and vanilla enter. Finishes sweet.
Medium-bodied. Everything came together well.

 289 characters

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Trip In The Woods: Barrel-Aged Maple Scotch from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.21 out of 5 with 58 ratings