Smoking Wood Rye Barrel Aged | The Bruery

170 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Smoking Wood Rye Barrel AgedSmoking Wood Rye Barrel Aged

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

Style: Smoked Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by phichifiji00 on 11-20-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 170 | Ratings: 882
Photo of MLDucky
2.38/5  rDev -41.7%
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.

 218 characters

Photo of champ103
2.76/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a dark black color. Not totally opaque, but close. A two finger tan head forms and gently recedes. Light lace.
S: Smoke, wood, chocolate, burnt sugars. Tons of meaty smoke in the finish.
T: Follows the nose with charred wood, chocolate, burnt sugars all intermingling with smoked meat. A bit over attenuated with the sweetness, and the smoke is over barring.
M/D: A full body and low carbonation. Sticky and syrupy. I can only take this is small doses. With the smoke, sweetness, and alcohol this is way to hard to sip and enjoy for me.

This is over barring, and not something I particularly enjoyed. Not something I would recommend.

 643 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
2.97/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Sampled March 2012
A soft pour into my Lost Abbey Teku glass produces a three-finger thick, pale brown colored head. The beer is a concentrated brown, moving towards black color that shows opaque when held up to the light. The aroma smells dominantly of smoke up front; the smoky phenolics have an edge to them that is not quite a smooth as your typical Beechwood smoked malt, it is perhaps a touch like burnt plastic and definitely has a funky-plastic like edge to it, that is typical of Briess’ cherrywood smoked malt. The smoke pretty well consumes any other beer notes, and when you try to really dig into the nose, this just brings the phenolic, plastic like notes out even more. I will say that the plastic phenolics are kept to a reasonable enough level that the aroma is on the enjoyable side for me, but I have still have yet to have had a beer brewed with the Briess cherrywood smoked malt that is actually better off for is use. There are some subtle, almost fleeting hints at a rich toasted / roasted character, but the smoke makes it hard for me to individually pull these aromatics out.

Lightly sweet, with a prickly, almost effervescent carbonation and the beer tastes significantly different than I was expecting. There is a soft bourbon like fruitiness to this beer and in the finish there is a vanillin / coconut flavor that lightly interjects along with some warming alcohol (but not nearly as much as I would expect from this beer), a touch of lingering, woody spiciness and a touch of charred roasted malt. There is a subtle woody spiciness that perfumes the whole of the flavor profile, this mixes well with a savory, somewhat smoky, toasted / roasted malt character. The smoke character is quite light compared to what I was expecting from the flavor. This beer is actually quite a bit more light bodied than I would have expected; in fact it really could use more thick malt character and even a touch of sweetness to balance out the barrel and smoke character better; having said that, it doesn’t quite come off as way too thin, but it definitely needs more heft to really have a good balance. As the beer warms up the smoky phenolic notes become a bit more noticeable in the finish, and somehow the plastic like notes are boosted a touch by the Bourbon character. There is an almost cherry like flavor to this beer; it seems influenced by the smoked malt and the Bourbon influence, though it leans a touch toward the chemical side of cherry flavor. The alcohol spiciness and heat becomes a bit more noticeable as the beer warms up and this is likely influenced by the woody barrel ageing as well.

I like that the Bourbon character plays a clearly supporting role here. Having said that, this beer once again proves that cherrywood smoked malt just never quite cuts it; I have still yet to have had a beer where it plays a totally positive role. This is not a bad beer, I certainly like the idea, but the execution isn’t quite there; in the end the various notes (thin body, soft Bourbon notes, smoke, and roasted malt) are a bit too discordant and fail to achieve a great balance.

 3,114 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
3/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt.

The beer is over-carbonated...pour slowly. Dark brown in color with a fizzy beige head. The aroma is rye and whiskey all the way. Tannic and oaky. Notes of root beer and molasses. Ok flavor. The Bruery makes some phenomenal beers, but sometimes they fall a bit short in their endeavors, which is the case here.

 343 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.03/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in an Ohio State shaker pint glass.

Two kinds of smoke and a rye-barrel treatment? I'm in. This stuff pours a bleak mahogany-tinged black-brown topped by a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises light cedar, hickory smoke, and sourdough. Wait, no roasted malts? No cocoa or anything beneath the wood and smoke? Intriguing... The taste brings in more of the same, with some very light roasted malts, very light dark chocolate powder (there we go!), and lot's more sourdough. Unfortunately, the smoke doesn't meld well with the barrel here, creating an odd (and frankly semi-inexplicable) flavor on the tongue. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, what seemed like a pretty badass concept has sadly manifested itself as a bit of a mess, with the smoke, the barrel, and the base never really coming together in any semblance of cooperation.

 900 characters

Photo of justintcoons
3.06/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle poured into a wine glass.
$22.99/bottle in PA.

Super-dark brown, basically black with 1 finger of brown head.

Campfire, dark chocolate, smoked meats, rye whiskey and gasoline. This is a boozy one.

Campfire smoke, smoked meats and bacon. Fudge, dark chocolate, vanilla ice cream and thick caramel. The rye whiskey picks up on the back end and is overly boozy in flavor. A touch of scorched oak. This tastes like it can fuel a NASA space shuttle.

Medium-full bodied, smooth and WARMING.

Very complex, but misses the mark for me. This beer has all the things that I like yet it doesn't blend well. The 13% abv is extremely apparent. Probably the manliest beer I've ever drank. Save yourself some money and drink some gasoline.

 781 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid dark brown/black color with a decent sized tan head that slowly dissipates to a cap. Wow that is smoky! True to the name it smells like a campfire. Smoky phenols and a hint of chocolate and caramel deep underneath. The flavor is much the same. I find some caramel and chocolate before the ashy burnt wood phenols take over. The smoke persists until the end when I get a solid dose of spicy rye and ethanol, but by then I'm glad to get it. Medium body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a sweet and somewhat chalky and ashy mouthfeel. If you could somehow liquify a campfire that someone had dropped the chocolate from their smores into this would be the result. I'm glad I got to try this its different, but I'm also glad that I had a few people helping me finish the bottle too. The bourbon version in my opinion was a bit better the sweetness from the bourbon counters the smoke a bit better. The rye adds a spiciness that almost intensifies the smoke.

 983 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Served on-draught into a New Belgium stem-goblet at a SoCal bar. 13% ABV confirmed. Reviewed from notes taken in January 2013.

A: Pours no head at all, just a khaki colour ring floater. Body colour is a nontransparent opaque solid black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Typical of the style. Generally appealing.

Sm: Heavy wood/barrel notes. Alcohol and heat. Caramel, dark malts. Rich malty sweetness. Maybe rye. A moderate strength aroma. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Some alcohol heat. Dark malts, rye, chocolate malt. Caramel. Sweet. Raisiney. Wood as a background tone, but nothing evocative like oak, cherrywood, or the like - just bland wood. Some slight spicy heat, like chili pepper sans pepper skin. Messy and imbalanced, but somehow not without a bit of subtlety. Mess that it is, I do like it in a general sense.

Mf: Smooth, wet, a bit overcarbonated, and featuring pretty good thickness. Complements the flavour profile fairly well.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable. Hides its high ABV okay, I guess. A decent offering from The Bruery, but not one I'd trifle with again. I like what they were shooting for, but they fell a bit short. Still, the result is probably worth trying once at the right price.


 1,259 characters

Photo of Rollzroyce21
3.32/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

- 2012 vintage
- 750 mL bottle poured into stemless wine glass on 3-Nov-12

Shared, courtesy of E. Min.

Mainly rye whiskey in the aroma with some smoke and hints of chocolate.

Taste follows the nose but a ton more smoke. Tastes of smokey, burnt, roasted malts with some light vanilla and oak. The finish is too dry and I'm guessing from the boozyness. The smoke wasn't overdone like in others that tasted like bonfire in the mouth. Typical imperial porter body.

Decent, but wouldn't seek this out.

 501 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.36/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Bruery -bal tasting.

Pours dark brown with a big off-white head. Aroma of smoke, salt, wood, and dark fruits, specifically raisin. Smoke is prominent on the aroma, as are salt, raisin, mild chocolate, and molasses. Some wood in there, too. Sort of thin bodied with medium carbonation.

 299 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.39/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

 449 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from a tasting on 12/6. Big thanks to mike and scott for bringing this and the bourbon smoking wood for a side-by-side.

Enjoyed from a bruery sniftery tulip.

watery black. looks identical to the bourbon smoking wood. very peaty smell, spicy wood is heavy. smoked malts. tastes smokey and peaty. medium bodied and pretty good. the peat works with the smoked porter but definitely a unique and polarizing flavor.

 418 characters

Photo of PeterIngemi
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml into a duvel glass

A: pours black with 3/4 of a finger of a coffee colored head... Head dissapates nicley, a few spots of lacing

S: woo this is deffiantly smoky and woody... After the initial aroma blast I start picking up some very caramely vanillay notes along with some nice chocolate... Absolutley loads of vanilla, the nose is very complex. Some giant whisky notes in there as well, Lomg with some sweetness. Don't get as much of the whiskey as I was expecting, it's defiantly there just not as pronounced as I expected.

T: oh boy... Again my first initial sip is dominated by smoke... Campfire smoke... With a touch of peat... I'm afraid this might be a bit to much smoke for my taste. Some deffinate rye spicyness in there as well and to a of woody oaky notes. The vanilla/ caramel and chocolate are still there but even less then in the nose as smoke is by far the dominating factor here... A bit of booze ones and a touch of whisky on the finish.

M: heavy and viscous, low carbonation, smoky lingering woody aftertaste.

O: personally I am not a fan, I enjoyed the aroma, and I not a big smoke beer guy, but the taste was just a bit to much for me, I wish the smoke was toned way back and allowed more of the malt and whisky to come through... Bit that's not the idea here is it... This beer certainly lived up to its name, if your a fan of this style, I'm sure it's a great brew

 1,414 characters

Photo of Jmamay22
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

 1,233 characters

Photo of craytonic
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark mahogany-brown pour with a tan head, decent head and lacing

Smell: Smoke, whiskey, oak. A bit boozy

Taste: The smoke really dominates and detracts, followed by oak, chocolate malts, roast, vanilla and rye. Perhaps too much time in the barrels, too much smoke and too much rye

Mouthfeel: medium body, low carbonation

Overall: Very glad I only purchased one and I skipped the other variant as this beer with no regrets.

 438 characters

Photo of CharlieMurphy
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very densely black with a considerably dark, thin brown head. Looks like straight bog water. Opaque.

S: Vapo-Rub. Yup. Mint antacids. This is a weird one.

T: Dense with chocolate and roasted malts, transitioning into a pleasant nuance of barrel presence that doesn't scream rye whiskey to me all that much, more fresh american dark-charred oak. Note much smoke at all, vanilla, chocolate, and even some coffee notes are more prominent. The barreling just adds a preponderous amount of mystique, intrigue, and satisfaction.

M: Thinner than the color and 13% ABV would let on. Weighs in light on the humors too. Mild carbonation, shallow booze, below register residual sugar, not dehydrating. Not sure whether the thinness of this beer for being 13% ABV is something to be appreciated or taken for granted and complained about. I guess... I still I wish it had more backbone.

O: This beer is pretty handily my favorite exhibit of rye whiskey barreling, which I thank to the large malt bill and thickness of the beer as a porter. I want more.

 1,049 characters

Photo of gcamparone
3.64/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a Bruery snifter. Purchased in Attleboro, MA.

Pours a deep black body with a 1 finger mocha colored head that reduces quickly to leave a ring of foam and no retention or lacing.

Interesting aromas.. heavy whiskey, coffee, peaty, earthy, spicy, smokey, some vanilla. Tons going on here.

Big, bold flavors of sweet caramel, whiskey, heavy earthy flavors of dirt and smoked moss, on the finish is vanilla and an odd spicyness. Not sure this all went together, not really balanced, overly sweet and too much whiskey/spices.

Mouthfeel is lacking.. somewhat watery for the big ABV. Low carbonation.

Smoking wood just wasn't my thing. Too earthy, spicy, and way too much whiskey without much body to back the huge flavors.. nevermind the pricetag.

 782 characters

Photo of rudzud
3.64/5  rDev -10.8%
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

 480 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep dark brown pour with a substantial (1+") amount of tan head on top, took a little bit to fade, not much lace. Aroma was definitely big on the smoke and wood, so its a perfect 5 if you solely judged it based on matching the name of the beer. Still a good go on the whiskey/boozy aroma, a relative soft touch.

Tough to taste the rye on this one, the smoke and wood really dominates the taste perceptors as well. Alcohol is pretty evident, especially for a Bruery creation. A little bit of chocolate and vanilla can creep into the flavor profile. The big smoke burn bitter effect can be quite challnging at times, the more you drink of it, the easier it is to finish. I think this beer is good in small quantities, like most big smoked beers, I could never even fathom drinking an entire 750 of this to myself.

Had this at the barrel party.

 845 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: poured a dark brown in color with a brown ring highlight at the top and a very thin head that left pretty much no lacing sticking to the glass.

S: a mixture of smoke and chocolate roated malts were there on the first whiff but had caramel character, characoal, slight brown sugar and some woody whiskey barrel notes.

T: the woody whiskey barrel character was more apparent on the palate alongside smokey charcoal, brown sugar and chocoalte flavor but with BBQ accents.

M: the brew was medium in body with a very low amount of carbonation which had a smokey, woody, whiskey barrel, chocolatey, mild sweet, and sticky finish.

O: the brew was preety good for the style and really liked the fact it was aged in whiskey barrels since I tend not to see that very often.

 770 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.69/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours black essentially. The head is dark tan and it fizzles up then pops away to a thin ring that leaves random lacing stripes.

S-That is smoky for sure. Bonfire smoke. Cured meat. Oaky bourbon. Rich, deep base of roast, char and chocolate. Spicy.

T-Again, pretty aggressively smoky. Rye whiskey barrel notes aren't too sharp but they can be detected.the smoke really control the flavor here but there is a lot to enjoy behind the smoke. At its base, it's a big, full stout. Some dark fruitiness, too. Finishes with a smoke and oak combo.

M-Huge body. Chewy and viscous. Hot and sticky.

O/D-A must for smoky beer lovers. I enjoyed it more that I was expecting to. A whole bottle is too much me.

 701 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown coloured body, at The Bruery Tasting Room. Average mouthfeel, but also very creamy, very smokey like a log in the fireplace. Hits the spot, but why the 10% abv?OK drinkability. Would like something more complex, less intense on the smoke attribute.

 259 characters

Photo of oberon
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark chocolate brown with a thinner creamy deep beige head atop.Dark fruit and vanilla stands out most in the nose,as the beer warms some toasted oak shows through more along with sweet sharp alcohol.Wow this beer kicks ya in the pants, dark fruit,vanilla,smoke,and a sharp rye element in the finish on the palate.A whole lot going on over top of a very big alcohol presence makes it harder to drink.It has alot going on but the alcohol is to big for me to enjoy it much,I respect the flavor complexity but it may be to big for me to be honest.

 552 characters

Photo of MarcatGSB
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into DFH Signature glass. Thanks Collin!

A: Pours a deep black with little light getting thru, a mocha colored head that has long staying power, and good lacing.

N: Wow. Lots of deep smoke, chocolate malt, and some of that rye spice. The rye is a bit overshadowed by everything else that is going on, but it is still present. Just a real big smoke presence, honestly.

T: Again, the smoke is dominant. I get some of that sweet chocolate malt coming through. The sweentess kind of sets me back, but is then really personified by this sweet, cloying oak/dry rye spice.

M: It's thick and chewy. Good carbonation, and that smoke really hangs around. It's a nice.

D and O: Very, very interesting beer. I haven't had anything quite like it. The rye compliments the smoke. The smoke can really be a bit's enjoyable tho.

 854 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Bruery glass, in style. I'm not sure what people don't like about this beer, it is a barrel aged smoke beer that actually tastes smokey. Compared to the other version of this, this one was the loser but I think the rye was coming through more than the whiskey.

Beer is dark black with a huge barrier to enjoyment head of dark brown bubbles, heavily carbonated, very aggressive beer.

Aroma is smoky, sweet, spicy.

Beer is light in body, lingering meaty smokiness. Pretty strong flavor with this almost tart like spiciness. Someone suggested, it might have been me, that this beer may be infected, I don't think so but it sure was unique. I might have it again.

 674 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Smoking Wood Rye Barrel Aged from The Bruery
4.08 out of 5 based on 882 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.