Smoking Wood - Rye Barrel-Aged
The Bruery

Smoking Wood - Rye Barrel-AgedSmoking Wood - Rye Barrel-Aged
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Smoked Beer
4.11 | pDev: 12.41%
The Bruery
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Smoking Wood - Rye Barrel-AgedSmoking Wood - Rye Barrel-Aged
Notes: Brewed with beachwood and cherrywood smoked malt, and aged in rye whiskey barrels, Smoking Wood is a delicious demonstration of what wood has to offer when it comes to beer. This imperial smoked porter is brewed with a hefty amount of rye malt, contributing to a full body and light spiciness. Toasty oak, caramel and vanilla flavors balance the smokiness, contributing to an intense yet refined flavor profile.
Reviews: 177 | Ratings: 901 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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mothmanscott from Georgia

4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From notes 12/2/12: Pours a brown so dark it borders on black. What approaches an aggressive pour produces barely a finger of somewhat moderately lasting, finely bubbled, mocha head that leaves a thin, narrow wash, interspersed with motes and streaks, of lace. Aroma is smoky as the name implies with dark roasted caramel and chocolate malts, whiskey, oak/vanilla, candied walnuts, alcohol and a hint of orange peel. Taste is again, smoky with roasted and burnt notes of chocolate, caramel, molasses, some dark fruit, cherry and a walnut nuttiness. Whiskey and oak/vanilla are there from the barrel aging which may also be responsible for the cherry hint. Rye spice from mid-sip through the finish and into the aftertaste which in concert with the rye spiciness is whiskey, molasses, smoke and char. The entire sip from beginning through aftertaste is nicely smoky with an alcohol tone and warmth. Overall the character of this brew brings to mind high quality, well aged fruitcake (like Grandma used to make, no joke intended). Medium to full bodied with low-medium carbonation it has a very creamy-smooth texture yet peppery-spice mouthfeel. Alcohol is very prominent as is expected of a 13% ABV. It is neither cloying or distracting to the experience but additive. Good stuff!

Oct 23, 2019
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into glass. Bottling date stamped on bottle is '12/13/13'. Bottle for ABV% is marked 13%,
Black colored body, with a sliver of garnet colored backlit highlight. Fizzy light tan head disappears very quickly, but bubble fed ring remains. No lacing.
Aroma of smoked oak wood, with a rye spiciness, and roasted malts.
Taste is rather sweet, with roasted malts, and smoky oak wood. Rye spiciness is abundant, and there are caramel and vanilla components. No bitterness. Has a great balance of oak, rye, and malt.
Medium plus mouth feel. Okay carbonation. Very smooth in presentation.
A BIG beer, with a high ABV%, but does not express as boozy, but rather has a heavy balance. Presents as a sipper, which can be appreciated over a measured drinking session.

Dec 19, 2018
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DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rye malt and long aging process in rye whiskey barrels coupled with smoked malt in this excellent imperial porter, is beautifully balanced--neither flavor is overdone. The aging has also smoothed the very high alcoholic content.Like smoked silk.

Dec 17, 2018
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Fordcoyote15 from Kentucky

4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

No bottle date on this. It says that it will age up to 3 years gracefully. Somehow, here in 2018 I feel like I'm well beyond that mark simply given that this beer was added to the beer advocate database in 2011. I'm a huge fan of regular smoking wood and all smoked beers in general so I'm pretty excited to try this.

L - Teku pour. Look is coca cola thin black. Beautiful khaki head that while disspated rapidly towards the center of the glass, remains in an outter ring in frothy fashion for what seems like eternity. Lacing is like swirling moonshine. It's entirely clear and forms next to no droops or hangs.

S - Smell is much more scotch than I expected, and much less rye. I'm honestly having a hard time differentiating this from regular smoking wood. Peaty, musty, classic Bruery sugars. It's very, very, very woodsy smelling. Whaffs of it take me to being miles deep in the woods in a densly wooded area where the ground is saturated giving off smells of desolate isolation.

T - Wow is that smokey! I'm not getting the peaty scotch whiskey I did on the nose or that I do on regular smoking wood. It exuberates the barrel in huge fashion. I taste so much oak. It reminds of an oak barrel that was set overtop of smoker. There's no missing the rye in this beer. It's there more than any other rye barrel aged beer that comes to mind. It's spicy, tanic, slightly fruity, and overall a bit violent to the palate. The alcohol is not hidden. *Beers really don't "mellow" much people, that alcohol doesn't leave the bottle*. It's not nearly as sweet as most Bruery offerings. Overall, this is a FANTASTIC winter sipper.

M - Still very, very highly carbonated. Finishes extremely dry. It sticks to all parts of the mouth long after it's gone. It's taste is still potent in the mouth for minutes on minutes after each sip.

O - I'm a fan. I'd drink this again gladly and have no regrets that I traded for it. Which if you read some of my other reviews, I've recently lamented many of my trading escapades for more "whale"-ish beers only to be let down, massively let down. However, at the Bruery's supposed cost of $30 this beer is worth it $4$. I wouldn't necessarily trade much more than that for it, but to be honest, there isn't really any other beer that I would today either.

Nov 28, 2018
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter (due to that imperial styled worthiness), the appearance was a nice looking dark rugged brown color almost black with a low riding film of a little white foamy head that slid off at a moderate pace. Slim messy lace.
The aroma had some sweet to smoky malts up front with a semi-sweet dried driftwood to rye floral sweet and spicy qualities. Light grassy to earthy smoothness underneath.
The flavor was smoky sweet with an amplified blend of the wood to rye and earthiness. Light aftertaste of it all blended nicely.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a wonderful smooth sipping quality about it. ABV could be felt but wasn't distracting. Carbonation felt pretty good.
Overall, an absolutely wonderful smoked beer well worthy of having again if I could get another.

Jun 17, 2017
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SmokeBeerMinistry from Texas

3.22/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer is outrageous! Beyond full bodied. The color is the first sign, but did very little to prepare me for what was in store. So outrageous that The Ministry had to add the categories Whisky Barrel Power and Viscosity to the spreadsheet below. As it poured out a short George Hamilton head rose above the surface. This beer is boozy. So boozy that it burns the nose a little. It has notes of an antique pesticide recently pulled out of a garage, which could only be illegal today. It’s definitely a snifter beer, but I bought a 750mL bottle which I won’t have to share with my wife (she won’t go near it), so it sounds like a party for me tonight. This is almost medicinal in a cough syrup aged in a whisky barrel way. Notes of a leather store, peat, telephone poles, train tracks, and rich pure chocolate syrup. This robust beer is like getting punched in the mouth with flavinoids. Happiness = 6 out of 7 units of happiness. I feel like I got in a fight and won 6 free drinks! For more details check out look into other smoked beers, buy the tshirt, whatever you want. DrinkSmoke
BTW, I rated this beer a 4.25 out of 5 in the overall category, but for some reason BA has changed it to 3.22... It's a 4.25!!!

May 24, 2017
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Brolo75 from California

4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours pitch black with a mocha colored creamy head, slight lacing, low carbonation, looks more like an imperial stout.

A: Smoked malts, rye, vanilla, very dry smoky aromas, peat, slight chocolate, alcohol is well hidden.

T: Light smoky notes, rye spice, oak, vanilla, caramel, toasted malts, chocolate, very smooth, balanced, and drinkable, amazingly complex.

M: Full bodied, low carbonation, the smoke gives it a semi-dry finish.

O: Very nice, this bottle is three years old and it has aged well, very smooth and amazingly drinkable for 13% ABV, lots of flavor, full bodied, definitely worth the money.

Nov 20, 2016
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cjgator3 from Florida

4.49/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle

Bottling date of 12/12/13 etched on the neck of the bottle. Poured into a snifter. The aroma is absolutely mouthwatering with a lot of smoke, spiciness from the rye, and a lot of oak and whisky notes from the barrels. The taste like the aroma has some sweetness and smoke up front with a lingering creamy smoothness coming in shortly after with the warmth from the high ABV and barrels bringing in the finish. This bottle is nearly three years old and it is delicious. I am getting a good dose of smoke and a lot of barrel in this one.

Sep 12, 2016
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

4.36/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a deep black color porter with a nice medium size dark brown foamy head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of chocolate notes with some light smokey notes and some rye whiskey notes is pretty awesome. Taste is also a very well balanced mix of smokey notes with some rye whiskey notes, some woody notes, some black chocolate and plenty of residuals sugar notes. Body is full with nice creamy undertones and good carbonation with light warming alcohol notes. I like how the smoke notes are well balanced against the other flavours. Very compel and one great nightcap.

Jun 11, 2016
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brewskis from Indiana

4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 vintage bottle.

Pours very dark brown with a finger of a khaki colored head.

Aroma is of (you guessed it) smoke, molasses, carmel, light rye, roasted malts, oak, leather, light chocolate, smooth bourbon, and vanilla.

Taste follows the aroma closely. Get peat, smoke, spicy rye, some roasted malt, leather, chocolate, and smooth barrel characteristics (bourbon, light oak, and vanilla). These intense and aggressive flavors are balanced so well by the big carmel and molasses sweetness. The sweetness and age have played out nicely for this beer, as it tastes more like an 8% beer rather than a 13% one. Surprisingly complex.

High medium body. Slightly creamy, well carbonated, with a sticky and slick finish.

I'm not a fan of smoked beers at all, but this one is my only exception. The sweetness saves this beer tremendously, as it balances the aggressive smokey and spicy rye flavors and enhances the smooth barrel characteristics. Dangerously drinkable at 13%. Nicely done.

May 21, 2016
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Allkindbuds from Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Holy taste. Dark cherries perfume of molasses. Dislike beers like this but learning whiskey tones. Sorry it's not available but a way heavy flavor when needed. Righteous

Mar 04, 2016
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BWood from California

4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L: dark with small head.

S: rye whiskey and malt.

T: definitely taste the smoked wood. Reminds me of bbq.

S: smooth and easy drink. I wish it was a little heavier.

O: solid beer. Definitely different with the smoked flavor.

Mar 02, 2016
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rudzud from Massachusetts

3.64/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Split with JLindros. 2012 vintage

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark brown almost black hue with a thin head that faded to leave light wisps.

S - Aromas of stale smoke, light tannins, faint sweetness.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, stale smoke, some meat smoke, super faint rye whiskey. Tastes past its prime.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, alcohol hidden well.

O - Overall this beer was rather smokey, though past its prime.

Serving type: bottle

Feb 26, 2016
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SerialTicker from Michigan

4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Clubhouse BFD in Rochester, Michigan.

Bruery keeps killing it. Molasses with dark roasted malt and coffee on the front end with an ashy finish. The woody, oaky, vanilla finish on it is incredible. Lots of depth, great feel, very little alcohol warmth (it's hidden well as a whole). Bold and delicious. I need more of this.

Jan 22, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.39/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown pour, with over an inch of lighter brown head. Aroma was a sturdy amount of . . . you guessed it smoke and wood. And bourbon. Sticky. Boozy.

Taste can sometimes be too much. But if I'm camping, its like the smoke is just right. Really just depends. Polarizing beer for sure. Big booziness along with the smoke, a very sticky viscosity. You feel like you're still tasting this the next day. Decent in very small quantities.

Jan 18, 2016
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StraightNoChaser from Georgia

4.49/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

look: Very dark, opaque brown. decent tan head on the pour that settles to a collar.
smell: Rich, smoky wood, malt and whiskey. Huge, rich nose.
taste: much like the nose. Full, rich, woody, vanilla with an interesting blooming finish.
overall: Outstanding.

Sep 26, 2015
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floridadrift from Florida

4.44/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Suprisingly delicious, much like a BCS counter part. Super strong and so-well balanced with the rye barrels. So far, its been holding up nice in a bottle. The beer is pitch black and full of vanillas and chocolates with light layers of smoke, followed by spicy counter-part on the back end. Easy to get is the way I like it! So what pricey but worth it, in my opinion.

Sep 16, 2015
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SoCal_Matt from California

4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost black with a bit of head that dissipates fairly quickly. Aroma is sweet with some smoke, oak, and a bit of rye spiciness. Sweet whiskey up front with a good amount of smoke that follow through the finish, although not overbearing. I also get flavors of caramel, tobacco, and vanilla as well. It is a bit thin for the ABV, but still close to heavy. Overall, this was a complex, enjoyable, slow sipper. The sweet whiskey and smoke really blend well together.

Sep 03, 2015
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Jmamay22 from New York

3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

The beer pours a very dark opaque black. The tan head holds well and provides some lacing. The nose carries a strong smoke scent and peat whiskey influence, which imparts an Islay iodine/salty air inter-playing with rye spice. Beneath the strong smoke and barrel characteristics there is some rich caramel and malt depth. Very enjoyable nose.

Things begin to fall apart in the taste. The rich smokey whiskey become overly phenolic and imparts a harsh character that subtracts from the rich malt undercurrent that was in the scent. The balance between each characteristic falls apart. Smoke, rye, and oak create a very fine line to walk and going over the top with each characteristic only makes it more difficult. It was well achieved in the scent, but there is a harsh phenolic presence in the flavor that detracts from the overall beer. The rye spice increases the whiskey presence creating an unpleasant effect. The mouthfeel is full and rich with a long semi-sweet finish.

I had high expectations for this beer. Some have been met, but overall somewhat disappointing. The roast flavors do not meld well with the oak, whiskey and rye. The Bruery often creates over the top great beers, but this one is out of place.

Mar 22, 2015
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Radome from Florida

4.8/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a globe glass.

L - Color is darkest mahogany, which does not allow light through. The head is thick, light brown and persistent on the surface and in lacing.

S - Strong aromas of coffee, chocolate, ovaltine, smoke, sharp rye whiskey and wood. It reminds me very much of the incredibly complex aroma of Dogfish Head's Palo Santo Maron, but this beer also has the addition of whiskey.

T - The flavors follow the aromas. Chocolate milk (or ovaltine) and coffee dominate at first, then give way to the whiskey, smoke and wood in the finish. Hops flavors are not obvious, but there is enough bitterness to balance all the malt sweetness. Only flaw I taste is a small metallic tinge in the finish.

F - Medium to heavy body; moderate carbonation witha silky feel. Strong hops bitterness blends with the high alcohol heat, but these are not overly assertive because the overall flavors are so strong.

O - Wow, what a great beer! It is very reminiscent of DFH Palo Santo Maron, but this one "goes to 11" because of the whisky flavors and aromas.

Feb 22, 2015
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elNopalero from California

4.8/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This pours a dark chocolate cola color. What an aroma. There’s a hint of smoke that plays well with the vanilla and oak. The vanilla and oak come out on the flavor as well as a mellow warming booze. Like heat without the burn. This one was one to savor and enjoy. I’m glad I got a chance to try it in good company.

Feb 03, 2015
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vtisme from Oklahoma

4.59/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 aged 3 years. Drinking for the Broncos game!
A: opaque dark brown. Brown lace
S: rye. Cocoa/caramel smokey malts. Light bourbon on the end of the sniff. Slight booze to the smell.
T: same as the smell. Rye on the open, cocoa and toasty malts in the middle, bourbon on the finish. Slight booze on the aftertaste.
M: slight booze, not overly thick
O: fantastic, a real treat as I go through the cellar. 2012 aged until today. Thanks Zeus for getting it for me

Jan 11, 2015
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bobWFMU from New York

4.56/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A beer on the furthest edge of complexity, whereas any more complex and it would be overbearing, burdensome and confusing, and any less complex it would still be an incredible experience. The tobacco-like smoke notes in the flavor put me in front of an open fireplace, glowing pipe in hand, as the stars turn in unison over a blue tinted snow blanketed earth outside the frosted window.

Dec 27, 2014
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MLDucky from Texas

2.38/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

This beer is definitely what is says it is. Strong, strong smoke nose and smoke taste. To me, it was over powering and artificial, similar to liquid smoke. The look was dark and ominous, more stout like than porter.

Dec 21, 2014
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57md from Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +2.2%

Brown to black in color. Smokiness is present in the nose. Hearty and sticky. The smoked flavor appears to taste like hickory to me but the bottle clearly states that the smoked wood is oak.

A red wine essence pokes through and is accompanied by alcohol esters.

Because I could not find anyone to share this bottle with me, I decided to drink this in back-to-back pours and pair it with two different snacks.

The first pour was paired with smoked gouda canapés for a super smoky duo. The second pour was paired with a slice of leftover homemade (for Thanksgiving) pumpkin pie. Both pairings were awesome for different reasons!

Cellar temperature is a must for consuming this offering.

Nov 29, 2014
Smoking Wood - Rye Barrel-Aged from The Bruery
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 901 ratings