Bois - American Oak Barrel-Aged
The Bruery

Bois - American Oak Barrel-AgedBois - American Oak Barrel-Aged
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Old Ale
4.06 | pDev: 8.37%
The Bruery
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Bois - American Oak Barrel-AgedBois - American Oak Barrel-Aged
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 175 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Most recently knocked one of these back at March Madness 2018. Had the first one a few years ago when it first came out, while excellent at both times, I think I slightly preferred the aged one. Pours a hearty chesnut brown color with another lighter shade of brown making up the head, 1/3". Aroma was a familiar anniversary series beer one: boozy cracker jack caramel and toffee booze drizzle.

Taste hit the nose and mouth the same. Hides alcohol well, a delectable old ale, nice older not virgin kind of oak feel, older, more humid style of wood, this one wasn't rocking all that dry wood jazz. Just layered toffee and caramel all night. Mild brown sugar notes. Carbonation soft and appropriate. Excellent bourbon contribution from the barrel. Lots of woody tannin presence. Dug it.

Apr 09, 2018
Photo of nawpnawp
nawpnawp from California

4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber, but when it settles into the cup, it becomes a dark brown. The finger of head sticks around for a good few minutes before it dissipates. Lots of raisin and figs in the nose, as well as a nice caramel backbone. The taste is much of the same. I'm glad this one has been aging for awhile, as the booze is pretty well hidden. The feel is pretty thin; not what I expected.

Jul 27, 2016
Photo of kristinc
kristinc from Canada (BC)

4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

less hot and sweet than expected, though the sugar's still very evident, even after a couple of years in the bottle. very rich stuff with lots of strange phenols and tannins.

Oct 12, 2015
Photo of kscaldef
kscaldef from Oregon

3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tasted as part of a horizontal of all 5 Bois treatments.

Surprisingly, this one raises a respectable head. Cherries. Dark fruit. Smooth, raisin, brown sugar.

Aug 03, 2015
Photo of FLima
FLima from Brazil

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 edition.
Murky brown color with a thin head with short retention.
Predominating sweet aroma of molasses and bourbon. Hints of strawberry jam, caramels, coconut and vanilla.
Sweet flavor with notes of molasses (is there a human limit for it?), bourbon, grape juice, burnt coconut, lemon, oak, toffee, citrusy and herbal hops, figs, prunes, maple and Port Wine. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Full body with appropriate carbonation and a sticky feeling. Alcohol of 15% abv is well disguised.
Quite sweet but also very complex and smooth beer. Definitely you got to sip calmly.

Dec 23, 2014
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium from Florida

3.37/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep brown amber. Small off-white head. Very thin collar.

Smell - Booze. Caramel. Brown sugar. A little fruity.

Taste - It's much oakier here. Oak throughout. Caramel up front. Not as sweet as I thought. The booze, oak, and oxidation combine to give it a sherry flavor.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy, but not as heavy as I thought. Medium low carbonation,

Overall - Without the bourbon, this isn't as exciting. Still a decent beer, though.

Dec 02, 2014
Photo of SHODriver
SHODriver from North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

A: pours a deep brown into a DFH snifter topped bu a nfinger and a half of dense light tan head that retains well and leaves minimal lacing
S: smells of vanilla, caramel, booze, stone fruit and toffee
T: taste is a little wood, caramel, vanilla, alcohol, fruitiness, a little more wood, and toffee. swallow is a little alcohol, caramel, vanilla, toffee and a little more wood with a lingering sweet stone fruit
M: thick and a little chewy with soft carbonation and a drying finish
O: big, boozy and complex with good flavors but not a lot of heat or burn. Another great beer from The Bruery.

Oct 05, 2014
Photo of dar482
dar482 from New York

4/5  rDev -1.5%

A beer lacking the barrel character of the whiskey/bourbon barrel aged brew that is more available.

There's a woody midpalate that offers "bright" flavors of oak. Not much vanilla. Hugely sweet of caramel and toffee throughout with good complexities.

Sep 17, 2014
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank from Pennsylvania

3.94/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I appreciate Stakem sharing this with me, enjoyed in a small tulip.

the color is dark brown with light haze and visibly carbonated with light ring of beads but no head. The smell has a big wood aroma -dry toast scent with light charred odor and slight malt sweetness with mild raisin odor. The feel is very good, full vinous and tannic with medium carbonation and slight woody tannin througout with drying alcohol in the finish.

The taste is interesting with wod playing a big part up front and malt with light toasted flavor following and caramel from the malt is nice with mild woody tannic taste and lots of alcohol giving the flavor a drying effect as it finishes. The wood is strong yet still doesn't hinder the flavor of the base it does not necessarily blend well though. Overall I enjoyed this -not as good as rye or bourbon but nice wood flavor, pretty awesome consider the strength. This is a lot better than most that utilize raw wood.

Jun 09, 2014
Photo of stakem
stakem from Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle pours a mahogany color that is clouded with a fairly firm tan cap. It displays a head more prominent than the other versions and a swirl reinforces the visuals with legs of alcohol that stick and fade down the sidew of the glass.

The aroma of this varient is similar to that of cinnamon toothpicks. It is raw and woody with a bit of raisony appeal and a solid booze inclusion. The raw oak comes off quite tannic and too spicy in my opinion.

The taste reinforces the raw oak and tannic feel of the virgin barrel. Notes of cinnamon spice are prevalent before the onset of booze. Like the aroma, this one is raisony with a tangy finish before going back to the raw/harsh oakiness.

This is a medium bodied brew with relatively light carbonation but in comparison to the other treatments it has slightly more life in the feel. It was very distinct with its raw oaky feel and paired well as a basis of comparison verse 3 other treatments. Overall this was not as bad as I was expecting it to be (I normally dislike raw barrel character.) Having said that, it still was my least favorite of the 4 iterations sampled.

Jun 04, 2014
Photo of siege06nd
siege06nd from Virginia

4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Reviewing this one for realz. Poured into a hefty DFH snifter...

A. Chestnut brown with touches of ruby in the light. Murky and impenetrable. A good half finger of tan head emerges and sustains throughout the session. Lacing is also finely beaded and consistent. A burly brew.

S. Classic old ale, with overripe stone fruits, tobacco, toasted cashew, caramelized brown sugar, toasted bread, raisins, cherries, and toffee. A spectacularly complex nose that recalls a different scent every time the aroma wafts up from the class. The oak aging is very subtle here, with the spicy and earthy notes of the wood just barely making themselves known within the context of the other aromas in the bouquet. A decadent and delicious nose on this one.

T. Big doses of caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit, and toffee. Pretty solid tannic backbone from the wood aging also. All of this is rounded out with a big kiss of booze. She's a ringer at 15%. Not quite as complex as the nose suggested, but still quite excellent. The oak aging is much more apparent here than in the nose, with a fairly prominent drying character all around.

M. It's boozy, a little too much so. It's also quite sweet. These qualities are characteristic of The Bruery's big beers to the point that it's predictable. You certainly know what you're getting into after you've tried a few of their bigs. The finish has just a little too much burn for my taste, detracting from some of the other flavors and leaving each sip somewhat unresolved.

O. This is a fantastic old ale. The oak aging adds a nice dimension and stands up well against the other very bold flavors. The nose is also complex, decadent, and one of the finest in the Old Ale category I have encountered. The Bruery has a good thing here, and I understand why they continually revisit it. Where this one loses a few points, and it's true of most big Bruery beers, is the tendency of the booze and residual sugar to overwhelm the flavor profile. "Overwhelm" is probably too harsh a word, but it does step off the line a little more than it should. That said, it's an enjoyable drink. Not a bottle you will want to put down by yourself (assuming you are even physically capable of doing so), but certainly something you can enjoy with a friend (or two) or enjoy over the course of a couple of nights. The Bruery anniversary beers have been a special event for many years now...American Oak Bois is no different. Cheers!

Mar 30, 2014
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX from Washington

4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 1.28.14

A - Pours a amber brown with a large tan head that fades down to a thin film.

S - Sweet vanilla and caramel, a touch of heat.

T - Malty, caramel and vanilla, less sweet then the bourbon version, the oak helps, but also less complex and flavorful.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body.

O - With out the bourbon you can taste more of the wood making in less sweet, but more one dimensional.

Jan 29, 2014
Photo of rlee1390
rlee1390 from Indiana

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

A-Very deep ruby, some carbonation and not much head.

S-Lots of oak, smoky, beef jerky, campfire-almost reminds me of a smoked beer.

T-Starts similar to the nose with lots of wood (which partially throws of the balance) and then more of the smoke beef jerky life flavors. As it warmed some dark fruits cam through.

M-Medium to heavy in bodied with some carbonation.

O-A good beer, not sure if it warrants the price and the worst of the variants.

Dec 17, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84 from California

4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle pour at the DTLA bottle share held at Beer Belly in Los Angeles, CA.

Thanks to Rocket80 for sharing this one.

Pours a murky honey brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, alcohol, and slight wood aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and toffee syrup flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with some rich aromas and flavors, but I am not getting a strong wood presence with this treatment.

Nov 18, 2013
Photo of inlimbo77
inlimbo77 from Delaware

4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml, 2013 anniversary year
The Bruery tulip

A: Pours a deeper reddish brown than the older ones. There is more carbonation, being a newer beer that is to be expected. Actually impressed at this ABV level. Darker tan. Some lacing bits.

S: Booze, more so than the older vintages (but to be expected). As with the others, dark fruits. Candied malt sweetness. Some vanilla and dry oak tannic character.

T: Raisin. Prune. Vanilla. This is amazing, but there is some booze there. With age this will be even more amazing. Can't wait to dig into the others.

M: Full bodied.

Nov 18, 2013
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79 from New York

4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From 09/06/13

a - Pours a murky, deep dark reddish-brown color with one finger of medium tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks like all the other years, maybe a little but more red.

s - Smells of caramel malts, oak, sweet dark fruits, molasses, some sweet bourbon, toffee, raisins, toasted malts, brown sugar, wood, roasted malts, light vanilla, and figs. Nose is very sweet, like the "normal" Bois is, but with a lot more oak and wood. Some burnt notes as well. Good, but not as good as the others.

t - Tastes of raisins, figs, sweet dark fruity malts, oak, burnt malts, toasted malts, wood, leather, sweet bourbon, caramel malts, toffee, sweet brown sugar, alcohol, smoke, vanilla, light vanilla, and molasses. Taste is again good but more alcohol than most of the other versions, normal Bois aside, and a lot of oak again.

m - Full, thick body and low carbonation. Some alcohol, on line with the normal Bois, but very, very nice body.

o - Overall this was definitely my least favorite version of Bois, but it is stilla good beer. This one is closest to the normal bourbon Bois, but with more oak, wood, and burnt malts. It's also sweet with a lot of fruit and doesn't hide the alcohol nearly as well as the Rye and Brandy versions did. A good beer but I'd suggest the Rye or Whiskey versions if you could only get one.

Sep 11, 2013
Photo of ThickNStout
ThickNStout from Georgia

4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750mL bottle acquired through the Reserve Society. Bottled 4/22/13. Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours a familiar russet hue, opaque in the center but showing mahogany highlights under the light. A decent finger and a half sandy head that lingers a bit and leaves a few specks of lace.

Aromas of hot boozy oak, faint dark fruit, sugars and earthy spice. Overall more subdued than other variants, almost dominated by that woodsy barrel.

Familiar flavors of plums, dates, molasses, toffee and mild vanilla under a heavy oak barrel blanket. Lots of woodsy oak, buttery, sugar, spicy and a hefty wallop of alcohol.

Oily medium heavy feel with a tad more carbonation than other variants. Dryer and lighter. Boozy oak chips and liquer soaked dark fruit finish.

Not bad. This seems less sweet but it may just be more white sugar than brown sugar.I suspect I'd have a better opinion if I hadn't tried the bourbon and brandy variants which are both more to my liking. Still overall enjoyable and I'm glad to have another that I can lay down for a few years.

Sep 09, 2013
Photo of claaark13
claaark13 from Indiana

4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Cellar temp into a beautiful Oerbier stemmed tulip.

A - medium brown with a slight red hue, thick off white head, thicker than other variants.

S - Fairly clean at first. Seasoned oak. Seriously, it is like sticking your head into an oak barrel that has been affected by a slightly spicy old ale. Malts are more evident than in variants, sweetness is remarkably subdued. Nutmeg? Some sort of similar spice comes through after it breathes a bit.

T - Spiced and malty wood comes through, boozy and unsweetened dark fruits, only a tad bit of dryness on the finish that also takes on some heat to the tongue. After a bit, there is a nutmeg spice that comes through and reminds me of pumpkin pie. Just like in the aroma.

M - Fairly thick.

O - This is my favorite of the variants as of them being fresh, and I'd honestly anticipated the exact opposite. The oak literally guides the great base flavors through a favorable experience without any immense sweetness evident in the others. I'll buy more. I doubt much improvement will be seen with age, but I don't think it will be terrible in 10 years. It reminds me in many ways of the Papier variants, but with carbonation and more complexity....and obviously x15,000 less rareness.

Aug 24, 2013
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Another one split with rudzud.

Foamy pasty white 1/2 finger head fades very slowly with nice arches of lacing. Super dark brown almost black, touches of mahogany brown light coming through.

Very toasty buttery oak compared to the original, so much big toasty oak, into vanilla, and sweet malts, big sweet very caramel like malts, sweet brown sugar, caramel light toffee, a light aged malt character, hints of dried fruits and light booze. Mostly the original with lots of toasty oak.

Taste is pure oak to start, just like oak chips, toasty oak, light buttery too. Then light sweet malts behind that but not a ton, the dark fruits have been muted a lot. The sweet molasses candy is there again but muted a bit as well, more caramel and light nougat, with some warning booze, which the booze seems attenuated a bit which is nice, and a bit of mild grassy hops lingering. Finish is sticky sweet, lots of oak like fresh sawdust oak, light buttery oak, just a touch of dark fruit and plenty dark malts.

Mouth is fuller bod, decent carb, some warming booze.

Overall on the fence if amazing or iffy, great base beer but the oak gets almost overbearing, and ruins the dark fruits but helps the booze, very interesting but questionable if it's better than the original bois.

Aug 10, 2013
Photo of rudzud
rudzud from Massachusetts

4.39/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split with JLindros, poured into a Kate the Great tulip.

A - Poured a nice muddy molasses, much like the base beer, the head is much better than the base, nice lingering wisps and a solid halo / lacing.

S - Aromas of charred oak, molasses, sweet malts, not much dark fruits, rock more sweeter on the nose than the base beer, much more barrel.

T - Taste is very nice, charred burnt oak, nice and buttery, molasses, sweet malts, this over powers the dark fruits with buttery oak goodness, super tasty.

M - Mouthfeel it's just great as before, super drinkable and the carbonation helps prevent this from getting syrupy.

O - Overall I liked this a bit more than the base beer, alcohol wad hidden much better on this than the base beer. I dig it.

Aug 10, 2013
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps from Oregon

4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle split with my dad.

Pouring a clearish hazy brown with a dense, beige head with excellent retention and even a little lacing, this looks great! The nose is a blend of the typical Bruery anniversary goodness. Toffee, caramel, buckwheat honey, plums, raisins, and this time around, a fresh oak character that's actually tastefully done (i.e. does not taste like a lumber yard). Instead, it's toasted, spicy, and with tannins but with minimal vanillin. A pleasant heat is also present.

The palate opens sweet with the booze and oak tempering the sweetness. While ot as boozy as the bourbon versions are, there is a prominent alcohol note is present. With plums, prunes, honey, caramel and nearly burnt toffee lending sweetness, the oak with its blend of spice, tannins and earth. Sweet on the finish, with the tannins lingering and countering the sweetness, this beer is full in body, moderately carbonated and very very tasty.

Aug 05, 2013
Photo of DovaliHops
DovaliHops from California

4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky, reddish brown color, very similar to the bourbon variant. Medium, off-white head that goes down quickly. Scent is packed with wood tannins and whiskey. Not sure what "American Oak Barrels" are filled with, but it definitely has some whiskey aromas. The aroma is great on this one. Such heavy dark fruit aromas and oak...great barrel profile. Flavor on this one is a little strange... Just like it smells, but the flavor is a bit tart. Great whiskey and dark fruit, but slightly tart and spicy. Balances out the sweetness of the base beer quite a bit. However, the slightly tart and spicy flavors could put some people off. Not this guy! However, I will say I enjoyed the bourbon version a bit better. Mouthfeel is full bodied and pretty smooth...less sticky than the bourbon. Drinkability is fairly high. Overall, the alcohol tends to linger a bit longer with this variant, however, the sweetness is balanced with a slight hint of tartness. Great beer, but prefer the bourbon. We'll see how the other ones are.

Jun 05, 2013
Photo of largadeer
largadeer from California

4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy mahogany hue with surprisingly solid head retention and clinging lace. Heavy American oak presence on the nose - woody, spicy, earthy. Plenty of rich toffee sweetness, though it's decidedly more balanced and less sweet than the bourbon barrel version. The palate is similarly oak-heavy, very spicy and woody, with huge tannins. The base beer is rich and sweet enough to balance the American oak barrel, just barely. Big toffee and burnt sugar notes pop out mid-palate, leading into a drying earthy finish. This is an interesting variant of the anniversary series; the new American oak barrels do a lot to balance out the sweetness.

May 29, 2013
Bois - American Oak Barrel-Aged from The Bruery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 175 ratings