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White Oak | The Bruery

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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

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Reviews: 297 | Ratings: 1,285
Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Burnt orange, just a touch of haze, with a MASSIVE champagne-like yet foamy sand-colored head, ample bubbles. Full-coated lacing in areas, only spots in others.

S: Crisp apples, smoke, warm caramel, wood and warm bourbon.

T: Apples again, but muddled by strong overtones of oak and whiskey, especially on the finish. Yet apples again with the burps. At first the wood was harsh and overdone for me, especially after that light, fruity smell, but over sips it turns into warm caramel, with just hints of potent whiskey and alcohol in the background. Pretty neat, but can't quite make the transition to being perfectly enjoyable- I imagine even seasoned whiskey drinkers' systems aren't entirely copacetic with the taste of alcohol.

M: Light bodied, plenty of carbonation. Fits the nose very well- like a cider.

O: Full of character for sure, but it takes a while to get accustomed to it. Great clean apples supported by warm caramel malt tease the olfactory senses with a refreshing, crisp brew to come, but it turned into a heavily oak-dominated and deceivingly biting flavor. I ended up enjoying it overall, but after the first few sips I was reconsidering my choice. Get ready for an adventure with this one.

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Photo of Lukass
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

I've been saving this beer for my 1,000th, so figured I'd better review this one. Poured into a snifter, and started drinking this a little colder than they had suggested, so let sit for a little bit. Huge frothy white head started off on the pour, then dissipated to a thin white, uneven, dense film after just a few minutes.

After warming up a bit, this had the smell of a weizenbock, with some banana presence. Strong malt, caramel and wheat undertones as well.

Taste was similar to the nose – had a strong weizenbock/wheat flavor up front, and then the caramel, coconut, vanilla, and bourbon notes came in after the initial swallow. Heat from the 11.5 abv was pretty pronounced after the beer warmed. The mouthfeel was a little more carbonated than I had expected, but overall was a tasty beer, and would love to try more from this place. I expect great things from a brewery that call themselves 'The Bruery'. They live up to the name!

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A short-lived, almost immediately dissipating bubbly head forms one or two layers. White Oak is an old brass amber (SRM 6-7) with a slight haze. No lacing on the glass.

The Offero glass helps to bring out fruit aromas of white wine that are quite strong. Vanilla with oak tannins are mixed with spices. The oak aromas become more pronounced with warmth.

Sweetness is offset by light acidity. White wine flavors are strong with lots of oak. The subtle, dry finish adds an odd coconut flavor.

A medium body with light carbonation and light alcohol. It is difficult to accept this is an 11.5% ABV. It is very dry.

While enjoyable it would be better served with a strong cheese. It is remarkably similar to carbonated white wine, if there were such a thing.

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Photo of tviz33
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1 pint 9.4 oz bottle, served in a snifter.

A- Pours a murky yellow-orange body with a short white head that settles to a thin cap pretty quickly.

S- Very much like a sweet white wine. Spicy yeast and berries for sure. Slightly oakey, but not what I was expecting. The oak and bourbon/ alcohol come through as it warms.

T- Just like the bottle says, "crisp yet robust." Less wine-like than the nose would have you believe. Slightly boozy, but it contributes positively overall. Flavors are very oakey and there's a lot of dark fruit flavor as well. Pretty solid.

M- Full and well-carbonated. Creamy and warm.

O- Nothing to seek out, but certainly worth a try if you can find it. I think the fullness of the feel is the best part.

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Photo of BingCrosby7
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A Very light with a nice little head; minimal lacing; looked a lot like a mimosa.
S Light fruit--it smelled very much like a dry chardonnay with a slight wheaty, yeasty nose
T Tastes much like the smell--it reminded me more of a chardonnay than a beer
M Bubbly and light--airy--again, less like beer than chardonnay
O Not bad, but I more than likely would not go out of my way to buy this again

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Photo of JamieDuncan
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked up bottle on clearance that was approaching best buy date. Great looking beer, not quite as murky as a wheat with good head that does not stick around long. Smell is awesome, hard to describe but wonderful. Taste was very interesting, could not compare it to anything. The boozy taste sticks around a little long from a guy who likes very big beers. Definitely more of a sipper, but a very good one with interesting taste. Very much enjoyed the beer and definitely worth trying as it is a bit unique

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours out with a big thick fluffy white head and a hazy golden orange body. Long lasting head and plenty of lace left.

Coconut and vanilla barrel character, caramel and butterscotch sweetness, oak, wheat, pear, apple, and white grape.

Coconut, vanilla, caramel, plenty of alcohol warmth from that 11.5% , fruitiness and spicy yeast.

Lots of carbonation tingles the tongue. Was expecting more than a medium body on a big wheat wine.

Interesting beer. Lots going on and it transforms greatly from cold to room temp. Misses the wow factor that a lot of Bruery beers have for me. Still very good.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours a cloudy yellow. A strong, creamy head. Light lacing.

S-Not what I was expecting. Mischief really shows up in the nose; pretty noticeable Belgian base. Yeasty and spicy. The other half of the beer delivers a noticeable, rich sweetness. Bourbon notes too. At first I thought it smelled Bretty - as if it was infected.

T-The Belgian influence of Mischief is again clear on the palate. Robust wheat flavor. Spicy and yeasty. It's not nearly as sickeningly sweet as I thought it would be. That being said, it's still pretty sweet. Oakiness is a mellow yet consistent feature of the flavor. Juicy and spicy.

M-I was anticipating a thick, brooding, cloying mess. It was shockingly light and lively. It still blatantly had body but it wasn't thick. I also enjoyed the carbonation. Alcohol was well integrated as well.

O/D-Didn't ever think about purchasing this. Split it with a group. It was better than expected. Definitely unique.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.19/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance: a golden honey color. slight haze but still able to see through it. three fingers of a frothy head that fades slowly and lives a pretty solid lacing

Smell: wheaty thats a little bit grassy. strong oak and a little bourbon.

Taste: the taste are a bit muddled together. but i get wheat, with some oak and vanillay bourbon. i don't know if its the combination or just in general the taste but it is really missing something here

Mouthfeel: fairly light. not very sticky or bourbon-like. strong sweetness at the end. some alcohol warmth

Overall: a huge disappointment as a barrel aged beer. also makes 2 of 3 breury beers that have let me down largely (the other was just good not great)

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Photo of john0721
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

update: 6/5/15

2013 bottle, aged at The Bruery, poured into a tulip.

Yellow, white full rocky lasting head, with excellent lacing.

White wine, apple, grape, banana in the nose.

The flavors in the nose continue in the taste, in addition to some creamy vanilla.

This beer is what I'm looking for in a wheat wine. I liked it fresh, two years later its still going strong.

I will definitely buy more bottles if The Bruery puts them up for sale.

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Photo of korguy123
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle into snifter.

Crystal clear gold pour with some copper hues. Creamy finger and a half off white head. Lacing is spotty.

Definitely getting the bourbon and the oak. It's warming up front. The Mischief is bright and bold. Slight peppery spice and vanilla.

Peppery spice, some lemon rind, big amount of vanilla and brown sugar and than a good solid bourbon presence. The oak and bourbon warm up your stomach and just smooth out the beer to make this an all round great experience.

Medium body with prickly carbonation.

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Photo of bmwats
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a teku.

A: Pours a hazy, opaque golden hue. 2 finger bubbly, white head. Settles pretty quickly. Slight lacing quickly retreats into the body of the brew.

S: White wine grapes are prominent, yeast and raspberry, a little caramel, and bourbon from the barrel aging.

T: Buttery roasted malt, yeast, white wine grapes, yeast, peat, and booze.

M: Crisp yet syrupy body. Lightly bitter balanced with a little sweet, dry finish.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is pretty nice. Opaque golden coloration, bubbly head, no real lacing. Nose is wine, yeast, funk, and booze. Buttery and yeasty, with hefty prominence of white wine grapes. Peaty and boozy, bitter and sweet, with a dry finish. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden body, hints of orange, with decent head and lace. A funky, earthy aroma hits me and there's also some minor oakiness and sweetness as well. The oak helps keeps things balanced and smooth, as there is something akin to yeast that keeps the beer fluffy and lively and then some sour/tart citric flavors and then a finish of vanilla sweetness. The ABV is rather well hidden as the booziness and medicinal/barrel taste that some barrel aged beers have is vaguely there on backend as beer warms. A beer that is out there as it touches on but doesn't excel at one particular taste sensation but I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Served in a snifter, a slightly hazy golden color with a surprisingly thick, creamy head that retained well and left some soapy lacing on the glass. Looked pretty nice. Aroma of toasted wheat and sweet malts, candi sugar, notes of stone fruit and coconut. This was pretty indicative of the taste, wheat and pale malts, fruity, peachy flavors, on the sweeter side, with a pretty big hit of fusel alcohol, no real bourbon or barrel notes, but a definite coconut sensation came through. Body was medium, mouthfeel was pretty thin, quite unexpectedly, but I guess it would have been less drinkable if it were a chewy full-blown malt bomb. Alcohol was present for sure, but actually it wasn't too hot. Not bad overall, but not great. I was glad to have it on tap instead of committing to a bomber.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.65/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

750ml bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours a hazy amber color. The head is VERY nice looking - it's two fingers high, white shaded, and beautifully creamy. I think it retains well for 11.5%, and the lacing it leaves behind is pretty but inconsistent. This one looks good in a glass.

S: I get both the BSPA portion and the BA wheatwine portion, with the former coming through more vividly. Apple and pear esters tend to dominate, while its barrel characteristics (oak, vanilla, even coconut!) slowly build up as this opens up. If there's a problem, it's that there seems to be a disconnect between the fruit esters and the barrel notes - as if they're not coexisting in perfect harmony with each other. Individually, though, these two tones are actually quite satisfying.

T: Apple and pear esters are at the forefront of the flavor profile, and incidentally, that's the best part of this beer. After that, it goes right into 'clusterfuck city'. I'm getting wisps of a lot of notes (oak barrel, vanilla, booze, marshmallow, coconut, tomato, tart cherries, wheat), all popping up at various stages in the flavor profile. I will give it this - it's complex. Wait, no, it isn't complex. It's complicated. Complex beers have a semblance of harmony and balance, this is just a hilarious jumble of flavors. A sweet, boozy hilarious jumble of flavors, with a finish that's cloying to the point of annoyance.

M: Because all the notes sort of get jammed together in a doorway, it doesn't really inspire the palate to find them out - and that means you don't care to find the notes, therefore you just want to drink this. Insomuch as the drinkability goes, it's actually quite good. It's pretty light on the palate, and in spite of all the booze and sugar, goes down relatively easily...that is, until the sweetness overwhelms the palate. Which it will.

O: I declare this the Three Stooges of beerdom. All the flavors do is get jammed in a doorway, with the sugary sweetness poking the fruit esters in the eyes and bonking the oak barrel in the head. There's no way I could finish a whole 750 solo, which is why I split it with a couple friends. Don't need to ever have this one again...I really hope the bottle of Bois I'm sitting on isn't like this.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap.

A - Medium gold with a sticky white head and gentle carbonation.

S - Oak, lightly bready, white grapes, bourbon, fruit tartness.

T - Pears, sour apples, white grapes, oak, bourbon, light vanilla. An even blend with lingering oak, bourbon, and pear mild bitterness.

M - Medium body with gentle carbonation and velvety.

O - Delicate balance and perfectly blended.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - pours an extremely hazy golden straw color with a finger+ of near white head perfect retention, great lacing too

S - tons of oaky bourbon, sweet coconut and vanilla. Definitely getting grape like wine aromas as well.

T - boozy grapes mostly, definite oak and vanilla at the finish. Aftertaste is wine and boozy oak.

M - medium bodied or less, great carb, very drinkable

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Photo of doucmehu
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a 25cl tulip from a 750ml bottled March 2013. Bottle has been cellared since purchase last spring.

A: Pours a crystal clear, light golden yellow. Sizeable eggshell head hangs around for quite a while. Lacing is very nice. This beer looks nothing like a barrel-aged 11.5% beer, but rather it resembles a crisp blonde or golden ale.
S: Initial blast is very much white wine. Without looking, I could have easily mistaken it for a chardonnay or sauvignon blanc. Lots going on here - ripe pear, apple, white grape, vanilla, orange juice, yeast, burnt sugar.
T: Again, lots going on. Starts out with a Belgian strong pale ale presence of spices and yeast, with a little bit of sweetness and citrus. As it warms, more flavors come out and the barrel really starts to become apparent. Along with the coriander, yeast and orange peel and a hint of tropical fruit, there is a lot of “big beer” character with distinct notes of vanilla, toffee and tobacco. Just a hint of tartness on the finish, which really compliments the sweetness in the middle.
M: Very lively carbonation is prickly, and really makes this beer feel smaller than it really is. Alcohol is present with a fair amount of burn, but this helps remind you that it is over 11% abv. Could use some taming to be even better though.
O: I am not thrilled with the price on Bruery offerings, but I have really enjoyed a majority of them so far. This is no exception, as I really enjoyed it. For the abv, it is really quite drinkable and would pair well with a wide variety of foods. The bright Belgian crosses with the sweet barrel character nicely.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle poured into a globe.

A: Cloudy golden color with a darker orange center. Bubbly white head retains well. A delicate collar of lacing decorates the glass.

S: Fruity aromas of golden raisin. Spicy and perfumey Belgian yeast. Church incense. Hints of tropical fruit and pineapple. Biscuity malt. Strong pull of bourbon and oak begins to take control as the beer warms. Charred oak, toasted coconut, vanilla, distinct oak. An interesting blend of Belgian and barrel.

T: Yeasty and Belgian at the outset. Lots of golden raisin and white grape. Vague spices. Biscuity and slightly honeyed malt. Spike of alcohol. Pineapple juice. Traces of wheat and a lemony snap. The back end is dominated by bourbon barrel. Strong pull of oak. Toasted coconut, woody vanilla, some bourbon sweetness. Dry, warming finish of yeasty spice and oak.

M: Full, creamy body. Medium-thick, but light on the palate. Velvety smooth, moderate tingling carbonation. Warming alcohol throughout. Wood tannins.

O: The barrel comes on a bit strong, even after the 50/50 blend. That wheatwine must have really been a barrel bomb on its own. An interesting blend. It actually meshes quite well, though it still feels somewhat foreign and a little odd. It takes some getting used to, but it's a very thought provoking sipper indeed.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.17/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle from Dad, thanks Pop! Pours hazy dark yellow with a big fluffy white head. Aroma is light citrus, pear, apple, yeast funk, dry oak. Was expecting more sweetness on the nose given my experience with White Chocolate. Really smells like a Saison. Flavor is sweet honey apples, and alcohol presence but unexpectedly light bodied. Maybe a bit of vanilla. The alcohol presence doesn’t mend well here and is slightly offensive. No trace of the beer that I tasted in WC. Adequate carbonation that prickles the tongue. Dryish finish. A bit disappointed here.

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Photo of Joshpu
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber to a snifter.

A: Golden hazy orange. A pretty big white two finger soapy looking head.

S: Definitely getting the bourbon smell. Then what's interesting is it has a farmhouse ale smell to it, like that tangy funk citrus smell. I was also able to pick up the oak characteristic.

T: The taste is like the smell, except I'm getting more of the sweeter caramel flavors. Definitely get the oak characteristic with a big bourbon presence. It also has that farmhouse ale flavor funk and tang.

M: Getting a good amount of carbonation in this beer. The mouth feel is the characteristic that I think brings the ratings down a tad on this one.

O: Overall a pretty solid beer. Reminds me of a farmhouse ale, (probably from the Mischief addition) as I seem to get those characteristics, along with the big bourbon presence. Not a bad beer, worth trying.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into a snifter. 2013 Edition.

A: Pours a very hazy golden amber with a dense two finger white head. Leaves some real nice lacing on the sides of the glass. Tough to see any visible carbonation with the opacity.

S: Light fruitiness and yeastiness come to the forefront. Banana, citrus and pale malts. A good amount of sweetness, from the candied sugar. Can tell there is some booze along with the bourbon notes.

T: Balanced yet strong beer. Can notice the wheatwine, bourbon barrel, belgian yeast and candied sugar. I like the combination they got going on here, it is unique. Alcohol asserts itself on the tail end. Aftertaste lingers with the wheat flavors and bourbon as it warms.

M: Medium to full body with a very creamy mouthfeel. For the flavor of the alcohol there really isnt much of a harshness, perhaps smoothed out by the wheat. Finish is clean considering the sweetness.

Overall my introduction to The Bruery and its a tasty one. Havent had a blend like this and welcome the style with open arms. Wheat really makes this creamy and smooth allowing it to pack a lot of punch.

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Photo of ludachris
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I've read a lot about the Bruery but I've never had a sip of any of their beers, mostly due to living in Ontario. Thank you again Premier Gourmet in Buffalo and Premier Wines and Spirits in Halifax!

A loud hiss from prying off the crown is instantly followed by beer quickly making its way up the neck and almost out of the bottle. Its big, thick, foamy white head is generated by a gentle pour. I'm surprised at how well it retains itself and how the lace coats all sides of the glass. The carbonation is very active, looking almost like champagne. The body is a hazy golden amber hue. This looks like a bubba of a Belgian.

I'm getting more of the Belgian characteristics of their Mischief than the bourbon aged quality of its other half. Quite spritzy with lemon peel and a touch of tartness, maybe vinegar. Banana comes through as well but it isn't as sweet as the pear drop it's mixed with. The bourbon quality is infused into the center of this beer. It's sweet and syrupy but soft and unobtrusive, much unlike other bourbon barrel aged beers I've had. If it were more pronounced however, I think it would have clashed with the delicate Belgian characters that are so prominent in the nose. The barrels themselves imbue a pleasant coconut and caramel sweetness.

A big and sweet boozy kick to the back of the palate starts things off. It intensifies the fruity esters of banana and pear that are part of the first impression. The sweet bourbon qualities come in slowly and gradually become more pronounced. Vanilla, and coconut, and caramel all swirl along the middle of the tongue. These qualities, similar to the aroma, are soft and silky. They're integrated into the rest of the beer rather than shouting out over the rest. A bit of lemon peel in the finish comes with the last tingle of carbonation.

The body is full with the majority of its weight coming from the booziness that is present throughout. It is so effervescent however, with its tingly and lively carbonation, that it doesn't make it a task to take sips of this massive beer.

It's still hard to justify its $30 price tag but I'm glad I can come out of this saying I thoroughly enjoyed my first beer from the Bruery. On paper, an 11.5% ABV wheatwine with half of it aged in bourbon barrels sounds like a defeating task to drink. Boozy with the sweetness from all of the malt needed to establish its alcohol content only added on to by the bourbon barrels. But that isn't the case. The high level of carbonation and Belgian forward characteristics help to make this not only enjoyable but drinkable as well. They did a fantastic job at making a potentially intense, very pronounced, boozy mother of a beer into one that is well rounded, soft, and delicate and I commend them for that. Sour in the Rye is next and I can't wait!

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Photo of pkalix
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

last guy's description of 'soapy head' is perfect. light and fluffy, settles a bit on top of a hazy golden, carbonated nectar.
smell is kind of sweet and rich. kind of that rich Belgian smell.
strong twang-y taste. kind of Belgian rich and sweet, demonstrates the mix of their mischief as advertised. some hint of maybe barreling. not getting the caramel, vanilla or coconut as advertised, but some burnt sugar, fruit and white wine.
overall, I've had better from the bruery. but I suppose they cant ALL be awesome.... I suppose it serves a purpose, and it is a different blend of style. still very drinkable, refreshing to a degree and high abv. mixed with a couple o' painkillers after surgery, i'm inclined to rate this one higher than deserved.... maybe....

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at The Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY.

Pours a dirty orange color, slightly reddish. One inch head, not much lacing.

Smells like bourbon, vanilla, coconut, caramel, and boooze.

Pretty boozy taste. Lots of bourbon here, very spirit forward. Luckily, the other nice flavors- vanilla, coconut, caramel and oak- do everything they can to play the booze off. They almost play it all off, but it's still quite boozy, and necessitates slow sipping. Sweet almost to the point of cloying.

Less than drinkable. Fully and lively carbonation, creamy, pretty crisp.

Would be better with some age on it, I think. The present alcohol just gives the beer a boozy spiciness that's hard to get past. The other flavors are great, though, and would probably shine after a few years of rest.

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White Oak from The Bruery
3.93 out of 5 based on 1,285 ratings.
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