Smoking Wood Rye Barrel Aged | The Bruery

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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.

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Reviews: 170 | Ratings: 882
Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark black with a hint of brown and a finger of frothy khaki-chocolate colored head. Fades fairly slowly.

S - Roasted chocolate malts, smoke, vanilla, oak, rye, whiskey, coffee, earthy hops, some caramel malts, and some booze.

T - Roasted chocolate malts, smoke, vanilla, rye, oak, whiskey, coffee, earthy hops, molasses, caramel malts, some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a sweet, smokey, and warming finish.

D - Great smoked porter. The barrel flavors are nice and the beer is well balanced.

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Photo of Kendo
4.16/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the 750 ml bottle into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is black with a 1-finger light-brown head on top.

S: Smoke and alcohol are the first impressions, but once I get past that I'm getting some dark fruits (raisins) and molasses. Impressions from the wood too - mainly vanilla.

T: Pretty much follows the nose. It's definitely smoky. Molasses, burnt raisins and prunes are underneath. Also a hint of rye spiciness, and a good amount of wood characteristics - some tannic bitterness and more warming vanilla. Speaking of warming...this is hot from the 13% ABV. Alcohol is noted on the palate pretty quickly and then there's plenty of heat at the back of the palate and down into the belly. Drinking this pre-dinner on a fairly empty stomach is warming my belly quickly - and lightening my head as well. Finishes with char bitterness and drying alcohol. Reminds me of campfires (fire + drunk = campfire).

M: Call it medium, though it feels a bit thin (not surprising, as the base of this beer is classified as a porter; this is not an Imperial/Double Stout, despite appearances and the fact that the beer is being used as a jumping off point for experimentation). Carbonation is modest, the feel is slightly prickly.

O: Interesting. Unlike anything I've ever had - at least, not wrapped together in one beer - and so it's tough to really pin it down. At times the smoke is a bit too much, but once I get used to it, I can appreciate some of the other things going on here.

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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.


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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage poured in to Bruery tulip.

A - Pitch black with half a finger of mocha brown head.

S - A big smoke aroma dominates with lighter chocolate and spice aromas.

T - The smoke is dominant but not as much as the nose suggested. Some spice, whiskey, oak and char flavours come through.

M - Medium to full body. Chewy. Light carbonation.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter glass... for sniffing. You can really breathe in the smoke off of this beer. It is rich, like bacon. This is a step away from the campfires in most smoked beers. I like how richness in this one.

This super dark beer is thinner than you would expect. It is silky on the tongue. The flavor really punches you in the face. You get a lot of smoke, then some of the coffee from the stout. This is a challenging sipper.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.46/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to durwoodx, thanks Darrell.

The beer pours a beautiful black to dark brown color with some lighter brown on the edges. Not much head or lacing. This smell is the highlight, no doubt. It really smells like some fresh amazing cooked bacon that was previously smoked. Definitely reminds me of Islay scotch as well, which is just great. Also has a nice healthy fudge note.

The taste really follows the smell beautifully, but maybe doesn't quite pop as much, though it is close. Some nice amount of sweetness to balance the savory open fire smoke, excellent stuff. Sme chocolate and sweetness from the whiskey.

The feel is nice and still, which actually helps the smoke come through better. Overall this beer is really quite nice, I honestly didn't expect this beer to be some solid in a smoked beer style given the sweeter and sour offerings they normally have. Excellent.

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Photo of Lucho
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

drinking as I review

Appearance: Pours a nice heavy black with very little head of creamy rust color despite a vigorous pour. head fades within 20 seconds. some lacing around the glass with a ring of foam.

Smell: Smoke, molasses, some soy sauce and alcohol. kinda like sitting next to a campfire while holding whiskey to your nose.

Taste: Smoked Whiskey that sits nice on the tongue nice and thick. Some bitter notes present, as with any good porter, that linger towards the end of each sip. There is plenty of whiskey flavors all over my palate such as vanilla, fresh cherries, peatyhness, and of course smoke!

Moutfeel: Medium heavy bodied that coast the mouth with each sip smokey whiskey goodness.

Overall: This is a great beer because of how different it is and how well it is done. I just wish that I could have had this with some great BBQ

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Photo of Lare453
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a big bottle with the wifey!

A deep deep dark brown. Fluffy white head that dissipates quickly. No lacing at all...

S delicious! Oak, vanilla, whiskey, malt, light chocolate, smokey

T very light, but delicious! Fantastic malty lightly smokey beginning which leads to a wonderful whiskey, vanilla middle.the ending is a delicious rye, oak, light vanilla, a tiny bit of chocolate, sweet malt, heavy dry smoke. The aftertaste is heavy rye, aged oak, light smoke.

M a little thickness,smooth, almost soft.

O wow! What a great surprise! Tis beer is delicious, highly recommended by me. Has a great flavor, not too strong, No alcohol burn for a 13% beer is crazy, I can't believe what a great job was done with this one.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.04/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Here’s another beer that proves The Bruery is trying to break my bank account. I just can’t stay away, especially when it comes to smoked beers.

A: A body that’s thick as caramel with a deep chestnut hue; not a single inch of head appears. Give it a little twirl and you get a web of wet lacing and a silky brown fizz that slowly recedes.

S: Dark aromas waft into the atmosphere as soon as you pour the first glass. A closer inspection reveals a sweet, layered nose, stacking molasses and brown sugar on top of a hickory smoked, peppered jerky – an aroma that’s not as smoky as it is meaty and savory, like pork with a sugary glaze right off the grill. Maple, vanilla, and leather scents open up more as it warms.

T: A palate so rich it coats the mouth with even small sips – marshmallow, maple syrup, molasses, and toffee thicken every inch of this palate with dark sweetness. Surprisingly, the smoked bacon profile is in no way overbearing, remaining nestled among lightly tannic grain tastes of wheat toast and burnt biscuit in wonderful balance; doesn’t hurt that there’s thick sugars everywhere in this palate to distract, of course. Finishes with a vanilla-touched oak barrel character, with the burn of cinnamon and spicy rye whiskey hanging on for a short, moderately-intense aftertaste.

M: This is a really fizzy beer, though it all feels completely natural: soft carbonation bubbles fiercely like champagne. No alcohol heat or palatable syrupiness, interestingly enough – it really only has medium body. However, that body correlates with a bottle that's about a six-pack of Bud alcohol-wise, so be careful of its drinkability.

O: This is one of the first Bruery beers where I feel I paid too much for what I got, though that’s probably only because I spent around $25 on the bottle. Any price under $20 would be perfect. Money aside, this is a great beer, especially for smoked beer beginners: hickory and bacon in the nose and sweet, boozy darkness in the palate. Great balance and overall, an enjoyable beer to drink – and when it comes down to it, that’s all that matters, anyway.

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Photo of Gmann
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Pours a near black color with a tight light brown head that settled into a solid ring.

The aroma is sweet with the rye whiskey shining through. Good amounts of vanilla, caramel go along with the whiskey. Some sour notes from the oak barrel and perhaps the rye. An overall meaty aroma but not necessarily smoke.

The taste is of a roasted malt base with some pumpernickle flavors. The rye whiskey is not as strong in the flavor as aroma. It provides some sweetness and whiskey but blends in with the rest of the beer. Some vanilla and caramel but again these blend in with the rest of the beer. The sourness from the oak stands out a bit. A subtle chocolate flavor, perhaps some bark. Some soy but no real smokey flavor.

Full bodied with soft carbonation that leads to a silky smooth feel. Nicely sweet but not cloying. A hint of bitterness helps balance. ABV pops through slightly. This is very smooth.

A very drinkable BA brew. The flavor might not pop like others but they all blend nicely.

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Photo of brentk56
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a midnight black with a rather modest head that fades to a ringlet and archipelago; does a very nice job lacing the tulip glass, however

Smell: Charred beechwood, caramel, licorice and chocolate; vague hints of dark fruit, vanilla and soy sauce

Taste: Opens with the caramel, chocolate and licorice but the beechwood smoked flavors quickly another dimension; dark fruit , vanilla and soy sauce adds yet more complexity, in the middle; after the swallow, the oak and rye flavors arrive to cut the sweetness, with a bacon flavor lingering to finish things off

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: A lot of smoked beers are over the top with the smoke but in this beer, the smoke truly complements the other aspects of the flavor profile

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Photo of jrenihan
3.82/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Beer sits between black and very dark brown- some slight bits of brown peaking around the edges. A small tan head results from the pour but fades very quickly.

Smell contains smoke, a touch of bacon, lots of caramel, spicy rye and wood. Strong smell, that's for sure.

Taste is similar. Smoke and a lot of wood, a lot of rye, with characteristic spicy notes. Caramel. A bit of a bacon flavour, as well as a bit of marmite to this palate. Whisky, but not as much as one may expect. Nothing unexpected from either the nose or the description. Pretty good but nothing super exciting.

Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Slick. Alcohol is well hidden considering the strength, but certainly not hidden overall!

Overall, pretty good, but not great.

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Photo of stakem
4.14/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a matching Bruery snifter. The brew appears black in color with a rich 2.5 finger froth that is brown in color and surges to the surface when poured down the middle of the glass. It doesn't take long before the cap fades to a thin film across the top and leaves some stringy lines of lace sticking to the glass.

The aroma is very hearty with smoke coming across like bacon or some other form of beefiness. A very solid roasty grain presence is felt somewhat ashy and acrid with trace amounts of chocolate and coffee. A tingle of solvent alcohol and almost a citrus quality emerge as it warms up. The barrel presence is really mild across the nose but what does emerge are hints of raw woodiness and accenting alcohol.

The flavor of this brew is dry and ashy. A bit charred, acrid, earthy, tobacco-like and strong with bitter roast. Suggestions of raw oakiness appear at times with hints of coffee and bitter chocolate. The smoke aspect is pretty bold in the nose but blends well in the flavor profile mixing with the typical dark grain flavors that are roasty. The aftertaste is a bit beefy and the barrel presence brings out a soft spicy character that is very different from the bourbon version but interesting in it's own right.

This is a medium bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. The 13% alcohol is really integrated well in this brew and it provides a whole lot of character to take in, instead of just smoke and barrel. Really good stuff here. There has been some recent talks about infection in this so I bumped this up on the priority list to give it a try. Luckily, no such dumbness to be found. I really enjoyed the bourbon version and dare I say I like this one just as much but for different reasons. Whereas the bourbon version had some soft almost sweet notes, this one is a bit harsher with raw woodiness that really works with the smoke.

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Photo of cfrobrew
4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A very dark porter but very nice color
S seriously boozy smell with some smoke
T dark malty flavor with a boozy overtone and a a smoky undertone
M somewhat thick for a porter but obviously sharp because of the alcohol and barrel
O really nice barrel aged beer, a little smoky but to be expected from something called smoking wood... Very cool beer unusual and interesting.

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Photo of Thedaver4220
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ML bottle poured into a Maudite tulip

Awesome extra from Stawn(thanks again bud!!)

The Bruery's smoking wood pours a murky black with a 2finger tan head(I poured hard). Spicy vanilla flavor fills the nose. The taste is big, but the mouth feel is a bit thin in IMHO. It has a sweet taste up front with some classic rye bite on the back end. The body is a bit thin, but I think it adds to the drinkability of this one. It's a bit strong when first drank, but as it warms it becomes more balanced and blends well. IMHO the Bruery is one of the best at barrel aging beers, and smoking wood does disappoint.

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Photo of Bung
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml. Not quite opaque dirty oil dark brown pour. Just a ring of light tan head.

Aroma, large caramel and woodiness. Lighter smoked malt, vanilla, peat. Some bourbon like notes.

Taste, malty caramel and chocolate up front. Cocoa, vanilla, barrel.
The big peaty smoke comes through in the finish along with more rye barrel.

A nice fine carbonation makes this nearly creamy. Big and coating. A little warming, but no where near showing the full abv.

Have been slightly let down with pretty much all Bruery brews I've had to date, except this one. Though the price is steep, this is worth trying.

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Photo of beergoot
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Near-black body topped off with a thick, creamy off-white head. Beautiful aroma full of molasses, figs and dates, and rye spiciness; caramel and nougat; hints of chocolate and coffee; chewing tobacco. Rich and chocolaty malt flavors with a nice combination of hop bitterness and alcohol warmth; minty background; peppery. Heavy bodied; creamy and buttery smooth; dry finish.

This is quite the delightful find! I didn't find much of a smoke character anywhere (it's in there, but doesn't stand out like some smoked beers), but the richness of the malts, the nicely balanced hop bittering, and the barrel aging have produced an outstanding powerhouse imperial porter. The alcohol is present but its the other ingredients that make the grade here. Get some...

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Photo of xnicknj
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into snifter - thanks brad

Inky blackness, thin wispy dark head dissolves quickly into a collar of foam.

Pretty intense smoky scents with toasted oak, beechwood, and bourbony sweetness. Chocolate and vanilla, sticky caramel and bread. Rye spice with alcohol heat.

Wave of booze-soaked smoke and roasted malts with rye spice. Toasted wood, dark chocolate, vanilla and caramel. Heavy, complex and rich with a lasting alcohol warmth. Smoked sweetness with wood and rye towards the boozy, sticky finish.

Full body, milder carbonation, creamy, sticky and thick on the tongue. If you're into smoked beers, this is a borderline must-have. I seriously can't wait to try another bottle.

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Photo of russpowell
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another beer from my fast dwindling NC haul...

Pours mahogany with 2 fingers of mocha colored head. Viscious look to this, some lacing & head retention

S: Faint bourbon notes, pancake syrup, peppery & bready notes. Much dark fruit once warmt & the nose just keeps opening up the warmer it gets, more Bourbon, dark fruit & straight alcohol

T: Beechwood smoke, figs, peppery rye & plum notes up front a touch of tanins as well .
Spicy rye , dark fruit & smokeyness as this warms, carob & currants also surface. Finishes smokey, with dark fruit, rye spiceyness, faint coffee notes & with some woody dryness

MF: Fairly thick, slight carbonation, nice warming sensation

Fairly ponderous, between the heft & the smoke, this is a sipper. Not a bad beer, but this one probably was a year or 2 from peaking. If you are patient, wait & you will be rewarded with a better beer IMO. Smokeyness needs to mellow out bit for my tastes. Beechwood smoke is easily overdone & this borders on it...

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Photo of draheim
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750mL into a tulip. Pours a deep chocolate brown w/ a 1-finger reddish mocha head.

Aroma is a blend of bourbon-soaked pipe tobacco, beech smoke, vanilla, and spice. Just a hint of booze. There's a faint cherry syrup smell I often pick up in smoke beers, but it's subtle enough not to distract.

Taste follows nose. Bourbon, smoke, vanilla, chocolate, spice. This is a tasty sipping beer.

Mouthfeel is thick and coating, medium-bodied. Finishes surprisingly clean for such a big beer.

Overall a really enjoyable beer. There's a lot going on here with the smoke and the rye and the barrel aging, but it works.

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Photo of vonnegut21
4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a thick, deep black with a finger and a half of light brown head.

S: Smoked malt and rye whiskey. Lots of smoke. Like sticking your head in a BBQ smoker.

T: Smoky, roasted malt. Light rye whiskey character, vanilla, and hints of bakers chocolate. I don't normally love smoked beers, but this is really nice.

M: Thick, creamy and smoky.

O: I wasn't expecting a lot from this beer, but it really impressed. A bit expensive, but a nice unique offering from the Bruery.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.77/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: poured from a 750 ml bottle into a pint glass, pours a deep black with a dark tan head that lingers leaving good lacing, slightly hazy

S: sweet malt with tons if smoke, oak, hickory

T: like sweet smoked barbecue ribs, lingering smoke flavor, notes of whiskey

M: heavy and oily, lower carbonation, alcohol noticeable

O: wonderful flavor if you like beer that tastes like smoked meat

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Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - black with a thin, brown head that has little retention

S - smoke, wood, chocolate, pepper, roasted malts, vanilla

T - roasted malts, bourbon, chocolate, smoke, wood, peppery, coffee-like bitterness, some alcohol in the finish

M - full bodied, warm, well carbonated

This was a very intense, intriguing beer. There's rye, bourbon, smoke, an amazing underlying stout, and they are all present and accounted for in the flavor. This was so incredibly balanced and flavorful that I was getting something new or more pronounced in each sip. I am very impressed with this beer. This is one of the more unique beers that I've had lately. It's worth a try for sure.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

truly one of the best beers ive ever had. extraordinarily complex, unique, and brilliantly put together. not sure theres another brewery in the country doing anything quite this refined. this beer pours the color and texture of chocolate syrup, impenetrable to light with a bubbly finger or two of mocha colored head. the nose is incredible, really woody. its oaky and smokey and rich, but rauchbiery, less campfire and more barrel treated, but its got some similar earthen tones. sweet cocoa is present, as is a more luxurious chocolate silk, some english toffee sweetness and caramel malt, and some dark roasted coffee. the flavor is just as complex as the nose, very difficult to describe, except that it comes in waves one after the other so that each nuance can be fully deteced and admired. ive never had a porter this good in my life, im sure of it. the 13% abv is really well hidden for how massive that is, but man could i feel it. had half a bottle and was definitely too drunk to play darts. certainly a beer for sharing! full body with a decadent velvet texture, and finely carbonated. somewhere between the best dessert ever made and foraged subsistence. i absolutely loved this beer and cannot wait for my next one. do not miss this, its worth every penny of the 22 bucks it costs!

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Photo of Brandywine
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black as night with a dark brown around the rim. Half a fingers worth of a khaki brown head. Huge alcohol legs. Tight lacing.

Smell: Dark chocolate, coffee, caramel or toffee. General sweetness and a little bit of heat.

Taste: moderate smokiness on the front of the tongue. Oakiness melds with the whiskey from the barrels. Subtle spiciness from the rye at the end of the tongue. Underneath the barrel and the smoke is chocolate and roasted notes. Absolutely no heat or booze in the flavor. The smoke is definitely dominant but it's not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side of full. Light carbonation.

Overall: I don't like smoked beers as a style but this one is very enjoyable.

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Smoking Wood Rye Barrel Aged from The Bruery
4.08 out of 5 based on 882 ratings.
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