White Oak | The Bruery

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White OakWhite Oak
Very Good
1,334 Ratings
White OakWhite Oak

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

Style: Wheatwine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
White Oak is a blended beer-- 50% wheatwine aged in Bourbon barrels (we call it "White Oak Sap"), and 50% Mischief (our Golden Strong Ale). Vivid caramel, coconut and vanilla flavors blanketed in a crisp yet robust wheat ale, White Oak is an exercise of balance.

Added by OlieIPA on 07-12-2009

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,334 |  Reviews: 309
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this at a tasting 1/29. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a 8oz. pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

A: A gentle pour reveals a carbonated monster generating 4 fingers of fluffy, frothy, messy head that's so thick it doesn't move even with agitation. Retention is decent.

S: Nose is a boozy strong vanilla. Never smelled anything like this one before. Completely unique. Bourbon and woodiness are also very apparent. Hint of maple syrup adds the finishing touches.

T: Boozy and strong on the vanilla. Sugary backbone is strong and completely outrageous. Very hot. A unique yogurt sourness and a sweet spice at the finish. Following the nose, I've never had anything like this before... and its hard to compare... not quite sure why its a BSPA but I wouldn't know how else to characterize it. A bump up in the grade is deserved as its unlike anything else and isn't just a sugary mess.

M: Medium bodied, hot, boozy, and coarse. Smoothes out as it warms with a clean, spicy finish. Aftertaste doesn't linger which is good since it doesn't add to an already very sweet beer.

D: This one is very memorable but I don't know if I would go out of my way to come back to it. Definitely worth a try as it defies categorization.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A capped 750ml bottle. Much thanks to mymrnngjckt for sharing this treat at a recent tasting. The bottle was uncapped and poured into my snifter. The ale appears a hazy golden amber color with a good inch or so of fluffy white head. The head produces a slight lace with each sip. The flavors and aromas consist of oak, vanilla, nutty, sweet caramelized grains, toasted coconut, wheat bread, fruity yeast. Medium to full bodied for a BSPA and adequately carbonated as well. Thanks again for sharing this one Kevin - tasty stuff.

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Photo of bulletrain76
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

75cl bottle thanks to sandstone. Hazy orange with a big white head. The aroma is like a lemon meringue pie with a ton of vanilla. Very crusty with a buttery, flaky crust. The flavor has the same lemon-vanilla pie quality with some oak and caramel sweetness. Low on the hops with the sweetness carrying through the finish. Full bodied with smooth carbonation. Almost a little too sweet, but very unique and complex flavors.

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Photo of MrFootstones
1.98/5  rDev -49.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1.5

I was excited to open my painstakingly acquired White Oak (and Black Tuesday). I couldn't drink this one though. I split it with two BA's and luckily, they were able to polish off my bottle for me to avoid the alcohol abuse of a drain pour.

For me, a beer as delicate as this is just not appropriate for bourbon bbl aging. The poor beer was completely overwhelmed and it was just a boozy bourbon bomb. Both the smell and taste were overpowering sweet whisky. I had the same problem with Allagash Curieux before they toned it down (or maybe it was just more mellow on tap).

I feel bad giving a poor review to such a revered brewery but this one was unpalatable to me.

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Photo of scootny
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Definitely my favorite Bruery beer so far. A huge meringue like head that leaves an appreciable amount of lace. A golden hazed amber liquid sits in the glass releasing a touch of carbonation off of the nucleation site of my DT glass.

Smell is very fruity with apricots and green apples wrapped in thin banana sheets. There is tropical edged component of mango and pineapples that carries the bit of alcohol that warns of a strong encounter of the Belgian kind. A light wheat malt with notes of oak, coconut, and vanilla as well.

Taste follows nose with an impressive balance of all the aforementioned. The oaken woodiness brings an expert balance to a caramel sweetness that floats the wheatwine like malt backbone. Vanilla and coconut flow vividly, deliciously as the fruits open subtly. Still this comes off like a BSPA more than anything as it is quite crisp and lighter than WW. A peppery spiciness adds dimension and complexity while cutting the sweetness of the core. Bitterness is firm but laid back as it lets the wood and vanilla linger while your mouth drys.

Feel is perfection. Full, creamy, effervescent, and supple on the tongue. The carbonation stays lively an hour after opening the bottle. The dryness gives a surprising touch of thirst quenching satisfaction even when you are parched.

Oh baby bring me more of this one. The abv is well integrated and while not invisible you can easily make the mistake of drinking this one too quickly.

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Photo of nickd717
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle shared by Sandstone at a tasting - thanks, Roger! Call me crazy, but I thought this was a wheatwine (-bal aged).

Pours a cloudy golden-straw color with a huge white head and some solid lacing.

Aroma is nice and smooth with wheat, light tropical fruits, and herbal notes.

Flavor is wheat, citrus, tropical fruit, and oak. Really smooth and tasty, a great wheat wine. Don't believe the haters that say that this isn't good. It is in fact good.

Nice medium-light palate with lively carbonation, not too boozy, belying the 12% kick.

Drinkability is very high for the style and ABV.

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Photo of bret27
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

bottle courtesy of sandstone

S: Lemons, oak

A: Light yellow, cloudy, good head w/lacing

T: sweet, honey, smooth... vanilla, not really oakey?

M: smooth and syrupy - exceptionally smooth in IMO

D: Strong sweet flavors and alcohol, but still smooth and delicious. It seems the wheat portion really smooths things out a bit.

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Photo of illidurit
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy Sandstone. Pours a cloudy dark orange color with a fading tan head. Aroma is scotch-like, both in character and in alcohol. Strong estery notes with pear and stone fruit, some vanilla/honey. Flavor is delicious but very sweet; honey, candied citrus, vanilla, maybe a touch of tropical fruit. Not to mention bourbon. Rich but still hot, could use some time to mellow out.

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to James and/or Andrew for the bottles. From notes.

Pours a hazy orange color with some golden highlights. Small whitish head with not too much lacing. A ring around the glass lasts throughout the session.

Wow, this smells awesome. Definitely a lot going on here. Belgian Fruity yeast esters combine with toasted nuts from the oak and caramel vanilla sweetness. Very nutty with some wheat twang hiding behind the yeast character. Marzipan and coconut. It would be a 5 if the alcohol weren't so apparent.

Taste follows the aroma. The alcohol is definitely apparent, but not necessarily intrusive. At first, I thought it was over carbonated (despite the appearance), but as time went on I realized how much the carbonation of this beer helps lift some of the 'heaviness' of the barrel character and alcohol. A very robust beer with a lot going on, but a 7oz serving or so was plenty satisfying. Looking forward to seeing how this one ages.

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Photo of callmemickey
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden yellow body, with a lively, foamy white head. Lice lacing and retention.

S: Light bourbon notes contribute a vanilla-oak character. Some slight grainy aromas and a soft bready sweetness. Some spice as well.

T: A really intriguing flavor profile. For starters, the bourbon addition is delicate and subtle. It is also messes with the mind because you don't expect this out of a beer that looks this way. Refined oak and vanilla play off of the caramel malt and restrained grainy body. Some light hop bitterness and clove round out a truly complex brew.

M: Slightly more carbonated than I'd like. The light body and smooth flavorings do combine for a pleasant mouthfeel.

D: Not what I was expecting... in a very good way. This was a nice treat to enjoy.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden amber with a rich head that stays, leaving ample lacing on the glass. Very fine bubbles that never seem to stop being produced.

Smells of citrus, banana, bread dough, bourbon, brown sugar.

First taste sensation was of lightly toasted bread, then cantalope, ginger and brown sugar, with bourbon and wood coming on in the finish.

Silky mouthfeel, with sumptuous carbonation, delivers the flavors nicely.

This is an excellent brew, with complex flavors that evolve, making one sip invite another. A great beer to curl up with for an evening or to share as an after dinner drink.

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Photo of d0ggnate
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a cloudy golden/rich yellow to my Bruery glass. Aggressively carbonated with lasting white bubbles atop my beer.
S: Strong aroma of candy banana, almost like Laffy Taffy. Picking up some coconut, along with sweet Belgian sugar/yeast.
T: More sweetness here. Sweet banana with mango and other fruits. I almost taste a slight bourbon remnant as this beer warms a bit.
M: Fizzy on the mouthfeel with the strong carbonation.
D: Interesting to try. I wonder what time will do to it. Next time I open one I will definitely let it sit and open up a bit first.

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Photo of Overlord
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

It pains me to say it, but I'm not enjoying the bottled version nearly as much as I did the on-tap version of 4-5 months ago.

Pours a golden, foamy white thingy. Looks pretty.

Smells faintly of bourbon, and strongly of vanilla, sweet stuff, spices, more bourbon, and more sweetness. I mean, we're talking belgian candi, liquid sugary syrup in the aroma.

Taste is again, really bourbon-y boozy and sweet. There's a surprising amount of vanilla, some coconut, and spiciness. It's just so...sweet. I remember the version of months ago having a nice woodsy balance to the sweetness. In fact, it bordered on having a tart/sour wheat aftertaste. The wheat, if any, has been obliterated.

Decent, but not my fave Bruery beer.

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Photo of charlzm
3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Four ounce sample, consumed 2009/11/14 at the Hollywood Brewfest.

Hazy golden beer with a creamy, one finger head.

Aroma of... grapes? Like white wine, almost. Is that a hint of diacetyl? Soft, powdery... There's a definite aroma of some kind going on, anyway.

Flavor is subtle - white grapes again, some woodiness. Sweet. Bitterness on the finish. Reminds me a bit of champagne, especially in its dry finish.

Alcohol is concealed very well.

Interesting, but not entirely enjoyable.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks very much to stevemcqueenjr for carrying this one cross-country. Poured a hazy burnt orange with a half inch frothy, bright white head that settles into a quarter inch skim. Some strands of lacing are revealed, but weak legs. Nose expresses, white grapes, cotton candy, toasted oak, vanilla and ethanol. Taste reveals coconut, citrus, whiskey, vanilla and buttery notes. Mouthfeel is medium-light, a little too high in terms of carbonation, but eases up as it dissipates. Amazing complexity to this beer with a fairly well-hidden abv. I'd love to see what some time in the cellar would do to this beer over time.

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Photo of rudylaw
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pouring into a tulip glass, a get a colossal head that isn't going down any time soon. When it does recede, I get a pretty golden straw color.

A heavy smell of vanilla, coconut, grapes and an underlying woodiness. This is very unique.

A lot of heat in the initial sip... tons of booze to kick this off. The woodiness is most apparent as is the coconut and vanilla. I'm picking up slight hints of caramel to smooth this out as I continue through the bottle.

I think this beer is too carbonated. The drinkability isn't terrible, but I can already tell you it's going to be a long night's work polishing off this 750ml bottle myself. Halvsies would have been perfect!

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Photo of walows
4.7/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a pint from Beachwood.

Brought to the table in a tulip, I nice golden color and white fluffy head. The smell is wonderful! It has a nice bourbon and caramel sweetness, with little hints vanilla and clove and a little bit if alcohol in the finish. The taste is very similar to the smell, lots of bourbon, caramel, vanilla and wheaty sweetness. It goes down super smooth and finishes very clean and dry. The bourbon plays very nice with beer. The bourbon and caramel in this beer are awesome. An absolute pleasure to drink. It coats my month very nice, medium bodied and just wonderful. The drinkability is pretty good. Overall, this is a wonderful beer! To bad this came out underneath the huge hype shadow that was Black Tuesday. But that leaves more for me!

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Photo of augustgarage
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse. Served in a generic tulip glass.

Silky butterscotch body, very thin collar with a thumbprint of beige foam in the center. Heavy ropes of legs grab hold of the thin spattering of lacing, rolling it slowly back into the glass. An iridescent ring remains suspended ominously around the edges.

To summarize the aroma in one word: "BOURBON." All the elements of a mid-shelf whiskey without the fusel notes some brands exhibit. Vanilla, corn, Worthers', brown butter, tobacco, and a hint of ash.

Sweet boozey flavor, but without the heat you might expect. Reminds me a bit of bourbon balls. Some spices emerge mid-palate: cinnamon, pink pepper, and clove. Very smooth, more like Woodford Reserve than say, Old Crow. The Bruery seems to have obtained a higher quality of barrel (say from Heaven Hill, though maybe not as good as Buffalo Trace) than most brewers use. Finish has a touch of bitterness and smoke.

Round, rich, medium-bodied mouthfeel. Mildly astringent, but no effervescence (I realize it is 11%, but so is Bière Du Boucanier!) though.

Delicious really, but definitely one for contemplation, if not dessert. If you are a fan of bourbon or single malt, you will probably enjoy this - if not, then stay far far away. If I weren't rating for style, I might increase my score...

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Photo of Arbitrator
1.94/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Room-temperature (55 F in my place) bottle into a glass. Courtesy of Overlord. Many thanks, Mike.

A: Pours a murky golden-amber color with a short-lived finger of off-white fluffy head. It collapses into a thin film on the brew with a thick collar that deposits sheets of non-sticky bubbles during each swig. Not mindblowing for a BSPA, but decent.

S: Vanilla, cinnamon, honey, oak, wheat, caramel, toffee, mango, and a light ethanol scent. I can't find any bourbon.

T: Begins with yeast, vanilla, and cinnamon. Other spices (cardamom?) that I can't quite figure out. Mid-taste is honey, wheat, and more "traditional" malts of caramel and toffee. I also detect mango throughout, but it pops up at strange times. The finish reveals a light, peppery bourbon character with oak, but there is also a booze burn that pulls into the finish. Very strong-tasting. Unfortunately, the powerful and cloying combination of honey, vanilla, and booze in the aftertaste is pretty tough to swallow. Initially a 3, but after drain-pouring a lot of the beer I can't really give it anything higher than a 1.

M: This is sticky as hell. It clings to the mouth. A forced sipper no matter how you look at it. Unfortunately you do feel the 11% throughout, and it adds an unpleasant aftertaste to an already heavy beer. The style should be fluffier. A semi-dry finish.

D: Lots of strong tastes here. But it's very heavy on the palate, and the finish is challenging. I'm not sure barrel-aging was a good idea for this one. Also, I really should have split this with people. I was unable to finish the bottle and poured out about 40% of it. Gah. I hate throwing away expensive beer.

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Photo of gford217
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky amber orange with an enormous thick white head that shows exceptional retention and stays on as a healthy thick white cap. The lacing very good as well.

The aroma is light and sweet with white grapes and honey. There is also some white pepper and lots of Belgian yeast and the bourbon barrel comes out faintly in the background as well.

The taste is massive with all kinds of things going on. There's lots of honey sweetness with sugar-dipped light fruits. The backbone is full of Belgian yeast and that brings plenty of peppery spiciness, especially in the finish. The oak comes out in the taste with plenty of wood and a Bourbon burn going down.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and extremely lively on the palate with lots of carbonation. As sweet as it is on the palate, it still has a slightly dry woody finish.

This is a big beer with tons of flavors and a seriously sweet character overall. Despite that and the high ABV, it remains exceptionally drinkable. Really well done.

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Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, Shane.

Golden and hazy, but not entirely opaque. A rocky three finger head rises from a hard pour, settling quickly to a thick ring.

Smells of white pepper, honey, melon and vanilla. I don't pick up any bourbon barrel. This essentially smells like a Belgian golden ale, perhaps with a touch more sweetness.

The taste opens with apricot and melon-like sweetness, honey, pepper and clove. Carbonation is very high, reminiscent of beers like Duvel. Again, I don't pick up much bourbon barrel character. The finish is semi-dry, woody, peppery. This is pretty good, but I don't think it's the most harmonious blend. A barrel-aged wheatwine sounds great on its own, but it seems like it lost some complexity and body in the blend. Taken as a Belgian golden ale, this beer is too sweet and heavy. These beers were probably best left separate.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.43/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Careful pour into a tulip still yields a monstrous, effervescent two fingers of head that seem to want to camp out for quite a while. Dull amber color, lots of little bubbles racing to the top.

Smell is white grapes, belgian yeast, clove, orange peel, wood. Fairly bold considering the style.

The taste is even bigger...holy cow. Caught me off guard actually. First sip is an invasion of the sinuses by huge wood and booze. This one definitely picked up more wood than bourbon from its barrel treatment, with the bourbon mainly contributing alcohol heat rather than complexities. Still though, some complexities are present underneath. Coconut and vanilla are the primary flavors that rest on top of the regular Belgian pale ale flavor profile. This is a good beer, and if it were an imperial stout or barleywine or something similar I would say the alcohol heat was fairly low, but for this style it may be a tad too boozy. A year or two in the cellar would probably do this one some justice.

Mouthfeel is on the full side of medium with huge amounts of carbonation. A bit too much maybe, but still in line with how the style should feel.

Drinkability is a bit shaky....just too high of an ABV and too much booziness to really make me want more than 8-12 oz. at a time. The 750 ml bottle really should be split 3 ways. Bottom line is this beer has some potential for improvement through maturity, but is a bit rough at this point.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Super happy to be able to crack this one open. I decided to sip on it throughout the night, which was a darn good idea given its power. Served chilled to cellar temp and poured into a large wine glass this one was consumed on 11/08/2009.
Much lighter then I would have though on the initial pour, but it was a beast to say the least. Rich golden amber in color with a nice big head of white that came up and over the top to a very nice level. Receded slowly and never did go much further then a few inches leaving that nice cap on top throughout the session. Aroma was spicy. Rich notes of vanilla and cinnamon mixing oddly, hints of bourbon, fresh grassy notes, and everything but the kitchen sinks kind of approach for me. Warming brings out subtle notes of fig, hints of almost lemon zest for a brief moment but loads of vanilla and caramel rule the roost here. Each sip seems to get a bit more complex now. Rich bourbon notes are riddled throughout with the lovely touches of vanilla, woody overtones and hints of spiced fruit. Very interesting blend here. All the while keeping a very nice, and very light feel to it. Great carbonation here, as it really just pops for me, wonderfully done. Long flavors of vanilla and woody bourbon leave the tongue last as this one really just whooped my butt and I did not see it coming.
Overall one of the most interesting and enjoyable blends I have had it quite some time. I would have no trouble at all with splitting this one with some family and friends again any day. Really a remarkable style they are going for here.

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Photo of deuschbag
4.63/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bought two 750 ml bottles at the bruery halloween night. this monster pours a a perfect clowdy golden color with a long lasting thick bubbly head.

when first pored this thing had a face smacking bourbon smell with some sourness behind it. as it gets warmer it fades away to a surprising balance of grapefruit bitterness, lemon and wheat.

once warm this beer has picture perfect balance. when it was cold very boozy and in your face. after some time a lot of flavors mellow and more appear. nice blend of tropical spices, bourbon, wheat with a nice bitter bite in the end.

mouthfeel is surprsingly soft and chewy. but be careful cause this does pack a punch at 11.5%

i shared this bottle with my sister(who is becoming quite a beer advocate herself now) and she says this is her favorite beer now. i'd have to say this is one of my top favorites as well now. they are going to go far with all these phenomenal beers they're making.

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Photo of waltonc
4.37/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stopped by the Bruery yesterday to pick up some BA Autumn Maple and tried a glass of the White Oak while I was there. I liked it so much I had to buy a growler to fly back on the plane with me to Denver today.

Pours a hazy honey color with a centimeter of white head. Smells of toffee, honey, oak age (yes, I'm using "oak age" as a noun here), coconut, and a medley of other tropical fruits. Tastes of these qualities as well. Maybe a hint of bourbon here, but it's quite subtle. Also a tad of butterscotch. In short, this is precisely the kind of beer I love.

Mouthfeel is quite good too. Fairly thick-bodied, verging on syrupy; but it is well balanced by ample carbonation. Sweet, syrupy body and high ABV limit drinkability, but overall I think this is a great brew. I was told this will be bottled in a couple months. I sure hope it is, and that the bottles find their way to Denver.

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White Oak from The Bruery
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 1,334 ratings