Bois - New French Oak Barrel-Aged
The Bruery

Bois - New French Oak Barrel-AgedBois - New French Oak Barrel-Aged
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Old Ale
4.21 | pDev: 8.79%
The Bruery
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Bois - New French Oak Barrel-AgedBois - New French Oak Barrel-Aged
Notes: Green wax.

This exclusive variation of our 5th anniversary ale was aged in French Oak barrels and exhibits wonderful, wine-like, oaky character from the extended aging process.

Bois is our fifth anniversary ale, loosely brewed in the English-style Old Ale tradition using our house Belgian yeast strain and then blended using the solera method. A portion of each of our anniversary ales is saved in our barrels and blended in with the next year's production, providing more complexity and depth of character that comes with age. Layered with complex flavors of dark fruit,vanilla, oak, and burnt sugar, Bois is a robust ale, surely the perfect beer to mark this major milestone.
Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 61 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this November 2016 over at Bonerhog's place for a night of fights.

Like all of the Bruery anniversary beers, this one pours dark brown with a lighter brown head; 1/3" deep. Aroma hits all the usual boozy cracker jack toffee and caramel sweetness over a massive amount of alcohol and here, a mighty blast of what seems like fresh cut french oak. Despite the strength of the beer, the wood is no lightweight.

Taste is part of why these are so damn good and consistent. Plenty of smooth caramel and toffee river alongside brown sugar sweetness tempers the hefty alcohol, but a carbonation level appropriately tailored to make this more approachable. The lack bourbon is plenty perceptible without any loss in smoothness or complexity here. I don't really get any oxidation out of these, ever. I think this is a real neat variation showing what the anniversary series is like in a virgin barrel instead of a used spirit one. Check it out.

Jun 24, 2020
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Beersnake1 from California

4.58/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from fridge temp into a Bruery snifter. This is now 5 years old. Almost no head retention. Pours a super dark brown - almost black. Huge amount of toffee on the nose. A lot of oak and dark fruit coming through. Mostly blackberries. A touch of vanilla and spice coming through. Taste is absolutely incredible. I'm getting some interesting tobacco notes right from the start. A smoky taste is right there as well. The toffee is dominant, and I would say the dark fruit is a bit less dominant compared to the nose. That said, cherries and blackberries come through. A touch of spice, charred oak, raisin, Belgian yeast, and bourbon. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Overall, this is phenomenal, especially at 5 years. I never tried it fresh, so I have no comparison. However, I had plenty of regular Bois fresh and aged, and this is right there.

Nov 11, 2018
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superspak from Michigan

4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 11/22/2013. Very thick wax. Pours crystal clear deep ruby red/brown color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and rocky light khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big raisin, plum, fig, peach, pear, date, cherry, apricot, red apple, red grape/wine, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, charred oak, cinnamon, peppercorn, nuts, and toasted brown bread; with light notes of oaken vanilla, chocolate, cocoa, leather, tobacco, smoke, herbal, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Slight booze in the aromas as it warms. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity yeast, dark/bready malt, and charred oak barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of huge raisin, plum, fig, peach, pear, date, cherry, apricot, red apple, red grape/wine, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, charred oak, cinnamon, peppercorn, nuts, and toasted brown bread; with light notes of oaken vanilla, chocolate, cocoa, leather, tobacco, smoke, herbal, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/char bitterness, and peppery oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of dark fruit, cherry, peach, apricot, red apple, red grape/wine, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, charred oak, cinnamon, peppercorn, nuts, toasted brown bread, oaken vanilla, chocolate, cocoa, leather, tobacco, smoke, herbal, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Amazing complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity yeast, dark/bready malt, and charred oak barrel flavors; with an awesome malt/bitterness and charred oak spiciness balance; with no cloying/astringent flavors after the finish. Light-moderate increasing dryness from lingering char bitterness and oak spiciness. Medium carbonation and fairly full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky/bready, and fairly sticky/chalky/tannic balanced mouthfeel that is great. Mildly increasing warmth of 15%, with minimal booziness lingering after the finish. Overall this is an amazing barrel aged old ale! All around incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity yeast, dark/bready malt, and charred oak barrel flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV, with the mellowly bitter/tannic/char/drying finish. This was extremely similar to the American Oak version; but more spicy, tannic, and drying on barrel complexity. Very distinctly different from all spirit/wine barrel variations I've had. Not as syrupy/dark on malts, a bit lighter on dark fruitiness. Might have just used a fresh batch, and none of the solera. Super clean and perfectly balanced rich malts, fruity yeast, and fresh charred barrel complexity all around. A highly enjoyable offering, and amazing style example as usual.

Nov 03, 2018
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SHODriver from North Carolina

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 deep brown to nearly black beer topped by a finger of dense tan head that fades quickly to a small collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing
S: Smells of caramel sweetness with some dark fruits along with some spicy oak influence
T: Taste is dark fruits, caramel, toffee, and spicy french oak. Slightly tannic on the taste from the oak as well with slight hints of sour grapes. Swallow is huge and oaky with some lingering toasted malts and wood along with some caramel
M: This beer is big and slightly sticky on the palate with soft carbonation that is adequate for the style. The beer also has a drying finish from the ABV as well as the drying oak.
O: Overall this one is pretty interesting. Definitely a nice spin on the style. New oak imparts the oaky flavors quite quickly compared to a used barrel and this one is definitely on the oaky side of things. Definitely one to try but not one that I will be sad to see gone.

Feb 20, 2017
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GhostMilk from California

4.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a dense caramel brown, with a fluffy pale-brown head. The mouthful is luxurious and almost creamy, offset by the slight prickle of carbonation. The smell and flavors are also decadent and sweet, with toffee, butterscotch, and a soft oaky booziness at the forefront. Altogether a real treat that's drinking very nicely right now.

Sep 24, 2015
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kscaldef from Oregon

2.25/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Tasted as part of a horizontal of all 5 Bois treatments.

Slight rubbing alcohol aroma stands out in the nose. Sweet and hot and oaky. Unimpressive and one-note.

Aug 03, 2015
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ThickNStout from Georgia

4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Green wax capped 750mL bottle acquired through The Bruery's Society. Bottled 11/22/13. Served in a Bruery snifter.

The now-familiar scents of Bruery's anniversary ales (toffee, caramel, dark fruit, oak and subtle vanilla) are augmented by a sappy, earthy quality. As usual, this smells sweet and quite inviting.

No surprises in the rich, robust flavor after that nose. Toffee, caramel, booze soaked candied dates/ raisins, oak, Bruery's signature Belgian yeast, semi-sour woodsy notes almost like sourgum sap, wet wood, leather, earth and a big alcohol presence. To my knowledge this is my first experience with French oak so I'm attributing the sourgum, sappy, earthy quality to those barrels because I haven't noticed that in the bourbon, rye or American oak variants. Delicious.

Full, thick, heavy body with supple carbonation. Boozy dark fruit, toffee, wood and funky sweet yeast work together in the finish.

While I am very familiar with Bois (and Bruery anniversary ales in general) the French oak was a new experience for me. Ultimately this is another delicious version of their stellar barrel aged old ale. Glad I have another to sock away for future enjoyment.

Jul 16, 2015
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Split with rudzud
Nice creamy thick 1/3 finger head that fades at a need pace, touch of lacing, long legs, super dark molasses brown color.

Nose brings big sweet candy, maple, lots of toffee candy and caramel, tons of candy, aged soft complex malts, little layering effect, vanilla oak, little candied raisin, plum and juicy dark fruit, hint of booze, little fluffy nougat caramel, tons of raisin, hint of fudge.

Taste brings tons of oak, fresh French toasted oak, raw oak, then mild vanilla, with tons of caramel, candied raisin again, some nougat and toffee candy, big plum raisin fruit and mild bitter note. Some booze warmth with touch of oak tannins in the background, touch of brown sugar and aged soft layered malt. Fresh oak chips that haven't been detannined, not soaked in water first. Finish is dry with tons more oak, little booze, sticky caramel toffee and juicy raisin lingering.

Mouth is fuller bod, fudgey, light but decent carb, touch of booze.

Overall very nice, oak was a bit too much, but quite tasty.

May 30, 2015
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rudzud from Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice clear dark hue with a thin of white head that fades to leave nice wisps and great legs.

S - Aromas of great sweet malts, loads of raisins, great barrel notes. No real booze either, quite aromatic.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, great old ale notes. Lovely raisins, malt sweetness, burnt caramel, booze, faint oxidation. Quite sweet. Loads of wood.

M - Mouthfeel is sticky sweet, little booze.

O - Overall this beer was quite tasty, little bit of oxidation.

Serving type: bottle

May 29, 2015
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stakem from Pennsylvania

3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml green wax poured into a matching Bruery hoarders snifter. The brew appears a hazy mahogany color with a yellowish stained cap. The smell is quite woody with a tangy alcohoo component that is slightly fruity feeling. For a "raw" barrel that never previously held a spirit, its not overly woody smelling but some finesse is lacking here. The taste is fruity with a tangy alcohol component and plenty of caramelized sugars. Some woody raw oak that lingers with a peculiar spiciness.

This is medium bodied, modestly carbonated and overall very raw with oak and warming alcohol. I previously shared/drank all the Bois variations back to back and was able to note the subtle nuance in each variation. Having drank this one on it's lonesome provided a unique opportunity to really take the beer in without having to compare and constrast it to anything else. Having said that, its similar to the new american oak version but less raw, harsh and woody. Also worth noting that there was no signs of oxidation in this whereas oxidation was quite prevalent in some of the other barrel iterations.

Dec 13, 2014
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.99/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to Retsinis for sharing this one at his tasting.

Bottled 11/22/13.

Pours a murky honey brown with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, toffee, and oak aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel, toffee, fruit, and oak flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of wood bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with nice oak characteristics from the barrel aging all around.

Apr 28, 2014
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singlespeed from Delaware

3.99/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A big, boozy, barrel aged gem! Pours a dark reddish brown. Big bourbon, vanilla, maybe some fig or sweet cherries. It's a little on the sweet side but a wonderful example of a barrel aged old ale. At 15%, this is a big beer and a little boozy, yet still very enjoyable. I'm hoping this will only get better with some aging. Drink one now and put some away…another great beer from The Bruery!

Mar 09, 2014
Bois - New French Oak Barrel-Aged from The Bruery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 61 ratings