Smoking Wood - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
The Bruery

Smoking Wood - Bourbon Barrel-AgedSmoking Wood - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
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Smoked Beer
4.14 | pDev: 11.11%
The Bruery
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Smoking Wood - Bourbon Barrel-AgedSmoking Wood - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Notes: 2014 Vintage is 14% ABV
Reviews: 122 | Ratings: 648 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Jimmyd2
Jimmyd2 from California

4.46/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is a 2014 vintage bottle. The beer is black/opaque and the head is tan but dissipates. Aroma is distinctively roasty and smoky as the beer warms. My memory of this beer was that the flavor was overwhelmingly smoky (and not terribly pleasant). This iteration was great, the smoke mellowed and it had a pleasantly dry in the finish. Nice full body. This was a pleasant surprise. Wish I had another!

Oct 21, 2020
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2015 vintage; drank 6/14/16 on draft @ Fischman's.

Brown/black appearance.

Dark tan head; nice lace.

Bacon, peat & milk chocolate notes in the nose.

Thick, smooth mouthfeel.

Milk chocolate & mild bacon flavors up front; faint peat notes on the finish. No booze heat.

Sweet, smoky & quite enjoyable.

Sep 29, 2019
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macrosmatic from Florida

3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from (very) long-standing notes. Poured from the 750 mL bottle into a Cycle Brewing snifter glass. 2013 vintage bottle, consumed 2/8/16.

A: Pours a dark, dark brown, and opaque. Minimal if any visible carbonation. Forms a very thin tan head that fades quickly.

S: Smoke (hickory and bacon) and chocolate malts. The bourbon is present but in the background.

T: Chocolate and smoke, charcoal and oak. Bourbon, a bit vanilla, and some char. Toffee sweetness as an undertone.

M: Heavy-bodied and thick. The alcohol presence is restrained for something bourbon-barreled. Low carbonation sensation.

O: I feel like this would be, to me at least, a solid B+ to A- beer if not for the smoke. So if you like smoked beers this is probably really good. As I continue through the drink - I'm not sure if it's as it warms, or as I become accustomed to it - but the smoke fades a bit. Which lets the chocolate and bourbon pull through that much more. This is, likely quite easily, my favorite smoked beer ever. That isn't a high bar. But this is still good.
Personal note: I estimate a 3.6/5 scored to my personal preference.

Jul 27, 2019
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.59/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Sometimes I hate this beer, sometimes it seems so appropriate by a fire. So polarizing, even within the same recipient, totally the kind of beer that depends on what else is going on environmentally. Pours black, thin 1/4" brown head. Aroma has smoke, bourbon, roast, vanilla, marshmallow, chocolate malt, coffee malt aromas. Actually complex, enjoyment often depends on what your smoke threshold is for the day.

Taste, sometimes all I get is smoke and heat from the high amount of alcohol. Sometimes it is complimentary amount of smoke (usually when I'm around a fire already) and you get all the aromas dancing about in the taste and mouthfeel, sometimes all that stuff absorbs and covers the alcohol quite nicely, making for a nice late night sipper. I definitely like this version more than the rye one. I also notice I tend to like these the older they are.

Its a good beer, I guess I gave it a middling score all things considered.

Sep 15, 2017
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GreesyFizeek from New York

3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2014 vintage.

This one pours a very dark brown, with a very small head, and no lacing.

The aroma on this one really reminds of the back alley smoking area of a particular dive bar I went to in college- it's smokey, and ashy, and a bit dank (not in the juicy hops way, bruh). There's lots of sweet bourbon, and good bit of caramel too.

The taste shows the same- it's definitely too smoky. It's an interesting beer, and I generally like smoke, but it seems age has just turned this into a smoke bomb. There's a nice sweet caramelly base that's quite reminiscent of The Bruery's typical strong ale base. There's a lot of bourbon. The aging time has done the booze level well- it's 14% ABV, but there's really no booziness here at all.

This is kind of syrupy, with a lower level of carbonation.

This definitely isn't my favorite Bruery beer- but it was still tasty.

Sep 14, 2017
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.57/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2014 Vintage
750ml bottle poured into Hoarders tulip

A- pours pitch black in color with a one-finger creamy dark tan head that has great retention before settling into a ring around the edge of the glass

S- plenty of smoky notes up front; opens with smoked peat, pork, and charred wood. Undertones of chocolate & caramel, as well as spicy rye. The bourbon barrel adds some earthy oak and highlights of bourbon & vanilla. Bacon closes out the nose

T- opens with layers of deep chocolate and caramel, immediately followed by a hit of smoke, opening up notes of smoked peat, charred wood & smoked pork. The barrel opens up mid-palate, adding noticeable bourbon, along with vanilla and wet oak. The finish gives some spicy rye and more smoke on the linger

M- thick and viscous body with moderate carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that continues into a silky warming finish

O- absolutely delicious with just the right amount of abv heat after two years of settling. I can't ask for much more in a smoked beer.

Dec 23, 2016
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brewaddict from California

4.46/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 2/13/16 from notes
No bottle date, but I purchased this as a 2012 direct from The Bruery.
L - Pours cola with a thin espresso head. Lots of lace.
S - There is smoky oak up front, bourbon, and vanilla sweetness. I'm going out on a limb and saying i smell a hint of soy. But not in a bad way at all. I think it's the combination of smoke and bourbon that gives a sweet and salty experience.
T - Taste is rich bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, and caramel sweetness followed by peat and oak smoke with a touch of bitterness. Oh and there is no taste of soy.
F - It's about right for a porter. Good mouth feel. A little heat with a dry finish.
O - I love a good campfire, cedar planked smoked salmon, and real smoked BBQ. So I'm no stranger to smoke. This beer is fantastic and the smoke is not overpowering. I wish I had more. Seems like the general trend is down on the smoking wood line from The Bruery. But if they bring this back, I would definitely buy more.

Dec 15, 2016
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ReviewingUnderInfluence from Canada (AB)

4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Well, frick. Huge bourbon, chocolate and coffee flavours. Some leather, smoke and nuttiness in the background. Super creamy, syrupy mouthfeel. Bottle says 14%, must be a different vintage.

Aug 09, 2016
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dsa7783 from New Jersey

4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Cloverleaf Tavern. Excellent, strong-bodied, flavorful, immensely decadent brew. This is truly a delight as well as a sipper. I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this beer. Highly recommended.

Aug 05, 2016
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SHODriver from North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 Vintage

A: Poured into a snifter to a black beer topped by a finger of dense tan head that slowly fades to a collar round the edge of the glass with some lacing
S: Smells of smoke and bourbon barrel goodness with some notes of oak, vanilla and caramel
T: Taste is smoke, vanilla, caramel and oak with some roasted malts and bitter dark chocolate along with a note that is almost like a burnt roasted marshmallow. The swallow is more smoke and roasted malts with a little more oak and a lingering smoky vanilla flavor
M: The mouthfeel on this one is big and velvety with soft carbonation that gets the job done and a drying finish.
O: This beer rocks the house. I think it may be better than the rye version but I'd need to track down one of my 2014s to see for sure. Great flavors and complexity but you have to like big beers and smoke or you will not enjoy this.

May 27, 2016
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Dusten2015 from Texas

4.77/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2014 bottle

L: Dark, but not pitch black, nice thick head about a finger tall, khaki colored which dissipated quickly.

S:Fantastic , figs, raisins, woody/oaky, dates, slight vanilla.

T: Fantastic, almost exactly like it smelled, and just so damn smooth. i imagine it mellowed out over the 2 years, which may have led to the smoothness.

F:Velvety, slightly oily, mouth coating, but quick to disperse.

O:I wish i had more bottles of this, and a fresh one to compare. This beer was fantastic and i hope to find more in the future.

Apr 17, 2016
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Brolo75 from California

4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle poured into a tulip glass

A: Pours black with a tan, full, creamy head, some head retention after about 5 minutes, some slight lacing, low carbonation, looks pretty good.

A: Bourbon, chocolate, picking some rye spiciness, I'm not getting any smoke at all, alcohol is coming through pretty strong.

T: Smoke is on the flavor, up front bourbon, chocolate, rye, smoke, lots of heat from the alcohol, very balanced and easy drinking, way too easy for 13% ABV.

M: Medium bodied with a smooth, creamy mouthfeel, very drinkable for 13% ABV.

O: Another solid beer from The Bruery, depth, complexity, and drinkability in a 13% ABV beer is outstanding, despite its drinkability there is still some heat coming through, really enjoyed it.

Apr 17, 2016
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scottfrie from California

4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into tulip. Bottled 5/19/14.

A:Pours a very dark woody brown, near black, with a finger of dark chocolate head that quickly fizzed away into a thin collar.
S: Smoke comes through strongly on the nose alongside the bourbon. I get hints of spicy rye, leather, tobacco, sticky caramel, musty oxidization, and a touch of dark chocolate and vanilla bean. Smoke is campfire-like as opposed to char or peat.
T: Similar to the nose with integrated and fairly smooth flavors of wood smoke, sweet and lightly boozy bourbon, caramel, dark chocolate, vanilla, and a touch of leather. Flavors are rich and potent, and the bourbon has a boozy edge to it. Rye spice in the finish, smoke and bourbon mix and linger long as the swallow.
M: Thick body but not as rich and full as a stout would be. Full, sticky, and slightly sharp mouthfeel. Bourbon isn't necessarily warming, and there is a ton of bourbon flavor, but there is a booziness to the beer that is still rather potent despite this bottles little bit of age. Carbonation isn't as soft or as smooth as I would have liked, and it creates a little bit of a sharp quality when mixed with the booze.
O: A really great combination of flavors. Rich and potent, but fairly smooth and integrated. Faint oxidization, but I'd probably prefer that over the booze bomb this must of been fresh. Overall, really good and no reason not to drink now.

Apr 04, 2016
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Fordcoyote15 from Kentucky

4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Huge want. Thanks @reefer_Bob

Preface by I'm a huge bb aged as well as smoked beer fan...

A - heavy pour into a snifter poured a syrups dark chocolate with thin head.

S - holy shit. All bourbon. Faint smoke. Faint dark fruit maltiness.

T - vanilla. Sugar. Alcohol. Potent smoke. Tobacco. Cream.

Seriously wow. For once a want that fully lived up to my hopes. This is every bit the cream of the crop for not just a smoked beer but even a bourbon barrel aged beer (across many styles).

M - this is the whole milk of beer. Nothing is lacking. Rock, viscous, filling and above all chewy. Perfect.

O - I need to look into acquiring this more easily as I'd drink it regularly if I didn't have to trade across the country for it.

Mar 19, 2016
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Tonyjenlasc from New Jersey

4.64/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look - Pitch black, opaque
Smell - Bourbon, wood, oak, smoke, vanilla
Taste - Follows the nose beautifully. Bourbon, vanilla, caramel, oak, wood, chocolate, roast
Feel - Nice slick creamy mouthfeel, easy drinking, smooth

Overall - Super enjoyable! An excellent beer.

Mar 14, 2016
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larryarms847 from Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black and motor oil thick with a surprisingly thick but airy head of dark brown foam.

Molasses, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, oak, smoke, and bourbon.

Flavor similar to aroma, but everything that really popped in the aroma described above seems dulled down and unfortunately one-dimensional. Then the smoke hits you and oh God the aftertaste is just terrible.

Heavy-bodied, medium carbonation, thick, metallic, burnt.

The flavor seems nice at first but the metallic aftertaste stays with you and it's truly awful.

Mar 04, 2016
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tbryan5 from Louisiana

4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pitch black and oily. Dark brown head that doesn't last.
S- Booze, wood, bourbon, meat
T- Meaty. Smoky, chocolate. Perfect bourbon
M- Low carbonation. Slick
D- A truly outstanding beer (once again) from The Bruery.

Feb 29, 2016
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LloydDobler from Indiana

4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml poured into large wine goblet. Btl date 5/19/14

My first smoked beer. What a way to start the UFC fight night! Here weeeee go! Pours nice and dark. A thin brown cap fades fast and leaves me drinking a glass of ink. Spice from charred wood and rye compliment the nose here that is mainly sweet bourbon. Taste is chocolate and bourbon. The smokiness isn't here at all. Wait a sec... And there it is! Smoke almost rolls over the tongue in the lingering aftertaste. Very strange, but in a cool way. Feel is full and this has nice carbonation too. Overall better than the reviews and ratings might have you believe.

Jan 18, 2016
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SLeffler27 from New York

4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Pours thick dark brown just shy of black (SRM 34-36). The B-United teku glass contains a dense, fine, dark walnut head that reaches half an inch and is creamy. The head quickly fades, leaving fine lace and allowing legs to develop.

The oak aroma is powerful with bourbon playing a major role as well. Alcohol fumes carry vanilla and molasses while the smoke is more of charred wood. Also discernible is pumpernickel bread. Warmth unfortunately brings out a Band-Aid solvency.

The flavor opens with chocolate, bourbon, and molasses cookie. The bittersweet balance is surprisingly well maintained with a hint of sourness. Other characteristics include charred wood and charred malt. Smoke is only an accent in the flavor. The finish is long and drawn out with sweet bourbon and mild bitterness. Warmth continues to develop dark fruits, predominantly prunes.

This one is incredibly dry, almost chalky. Alcohol is prominent as expected, but not hot. A soft, velvety texture and light carbonation accentuate the full, almost dense body.

This is a great sipping beer which I enjoyed while watching U.S. Open Golf on a cold, sunny afternoon.

Jan 03, 2016
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manfromanotherplace from New York

4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look is a very dark brown, smell is very woody with strong hints of smoke and bourbon. Taste is very smokey up front but thats balanced out by a sweetness and slow bourbon burn on the backside, the alcohol content is obvious with the heat at the end if each sip, but somehow this beer isnt overpowering in any way, g or a smoked beer its very well balanced. Bruery dont seem to make bad beers, this is another excellent one.

Nov 17, 2015
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Roguer from Connecticut

4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brew, clear at the edges, with a brown head with OK retention.

Boozy bourbon and chocolate aroma. Sweet cane sugar comes to mind. Typical big Bruery beer.

Smooth on the palate; lots of wood and bourbon, with tons of smoked wood (not meaty) on the back-end. Dry Baker's chocolate and brown sugar. A touch sour.

A little hot, but not overly so, especially for the ABV. Smooth and sticky; a real sipper.

Nov 17, 2015
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Phigg1102 from New York

4.71/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Nothing wrong with this beer. Me likey, me likey, me likey long time.. Sorry I don't know what got into me. Pitch black pour with a very thin mocha cap. Coffee and chocolate and of course bourbon in the aroma. Bourbon in the taste, in the best possible non-overpowering way. Great balance for a BA, more should try and obtain this type of balance. Thick pleasant mouthfeel that carries all the great roasty toasty flavors.

Oct 27, 2015
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Stevedore from Oregon

3.76/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Brasserie V in Madison, Wisconsin. 5oz served in a minisnifter.

Similar to the coffee and vanilla variant, pours a dark brown body with a half finger offwhite head. Some lacing, minimal retention. Smells of hefty bourbon, a bit of char, sweet brown sugar and molasses. On the cleaner side, more simple but it comes together better. Flavour is an intense combination of bourbon, char, molasses, caramel. It's a very sweet beer, and you can appreciate how it all comes together. Still, I found it to be a bit too sweet for me. Mouthfeel is medium-fuller bodied, lower carbonation, slightly syrupy consistency, a big beer with a fair bit of heat to it. Better than the coffee and vanilla variant, but still too sweet and intense for me. The char doesn't come anywhere near cutting the sweetness of the beer.

Oct 27, 2015
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gcasher from Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Wow! 1st off this is a $30 beer in a bomber bottle. It tastes like it was aged in a single malt scotch barrel from Islay or was brewed with smoked peet. The mouthfeel is fantastic in its heavy depth. Definitely worth a try.

Sep 26, 2015
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floridadrift from Florida

4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A BCS counter-part this year with no rye character. Just a light layer of smoke and bourbon barrels but they've perfected this recipt to its finish. Its like BCS but much bigger in alcohol content and just as smooth. A slow sipper on a cold night. Pitch black in body with somewhat of a quickly dissipated head after it warms up. Lots of caramel, vanilla, some smoke that blends with the barrel and a roast-oak finish. Really nice.

Sep 16, 2015
Smoking Wood - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Bruery
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 648 ratings