Smoked & Oaked Belgian-Style Ale | Epic Brewing Company

BA SCORE
86
very good
296 Ratings
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Smoked & Oaked Belgian-Style AleSmoked & Oaked Belgian-Style Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Epic Brewing Company
Utah, United States
epicbrewing.com

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Smoked cherry wood malt brings a smoky sweetness to the caramel malts and a bit of peat flavor with a Belgian-style yeast. The entire batch aging in the whiskey barrels nicely dries out the perceived sweetness of the caramel malt leaving an almost scotch like taste.

ABV varies by batch.

Added by Wasatch on 07-11-2010

BEER STATS
Ratings:
296
Reviews:
83
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
12.69%
 
 
Wants:
18
Gots:
68
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 296 |  Reviews: 83
Photo of dwagner003
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle #20 of 1,800. Pours a murky brown.. Not terribly attractive, but normal for the style, I suppose. Very small head with some floating sediment.

Smell is very whiskey-forward. Honestly, one of the more profound aromas of any barrel-aged beers I've drank. I was impressed, but I was worried that it would have a bit more kick than I wanted.

The unpleasant kick, however, didn't come. It was well balanced and strangely light. The whiskey flavor is definitely there, but it does not overpower. There is a lot going on, with good amount of oak and a sweet finish. I don't taste the "smoked", but I am very impressed, nonetheless.

I had low expectations for this beer. I feel like Epic is sort of average, but this beer was excellent.

 738 characters

Photo of SimcoeKid
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of lightfool
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of atone315
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Irish12
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of jzeilinger
3.47/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Batch #9

A - Pours a hazy raisin chestnut brown color with a small amount of head retention and a fairly thin, cream colored lacing ring. Hazy when cold and clears as the beer warms.

S - Dark Belgian candy sugar, caramel toffee malt, figs, raisins, and bready thick aroma.

T - A mixture of of whisky/bourbon, sweet caramel and toffee bread-like malt, oak, vanilla, , some cherries, and prunes.

M - Thick, full bodied, slippery, and sticky with alcohol warming in the back of the the throat.

O - The first thing that comes to mind is "thick and boozy". The smoke character was completely gone but I'm reviewing Batch #9 and I believe the Batch # is now somewhere around 18 so it's to be expected. I'd like to try a newer batch because this is drinking more like a barleywine right now.

 790 characters

Photo of SlightlyGrey
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of DruRho
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of Hultkrantz
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of ste5venla
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of beerloverofbham
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Rast
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of JamFuel
2.5/5  rDev -35.2%

Photo of Envelopes
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of DmanGTR
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of farrago
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Moderate finger’s worth of humble light tan foam, mix of small to medium sized bubbles, not much retention, this lacing is close to nonexistent, it’s there for a second but no stickiness whatsoever. Very mild film to the muddy to clay brown and orange color, looks like the water after some catfish hunting, few bubbles visible but the beads are active and tight. The nose is right out of the play book, dripping with coconut, butterscotch, caramel, crème brûlée and a sweet smokiness, light banana and then apricot, peach cobbler, for the ABV avoids undue alcoholic heat. Full-bodied, the attack has a tingly carbonation but it does not last consistently through the mid-palate and finish. By no means is it lifeless but there is nothing refreshing nor lively about it. The cola, butterscotch, caramel, coconut to dried beef jerky, peat and smoky camp fire just anchors it deeper, no joyous dancing. Very smoky in a sweet vein, again the apricot, peach, cherry fruit is all concentrated like a dessert. There is a metallic and earthy element which becomes more evident through the finish. This beer has character and personality but not a balanced harmony.

 1,164 characters

Photo of Ego
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

eyes...
on a reasonable pour this fizzes out pretty quickly, it has the appearance of almost out of carbonation soda pop (yes, because I felt like typing 'pop'), kind of medium mud stomp brown, like a deep dirty puddle, bubbles sort of exist bumping into each other like drunks at 3am, ok looking

nose...
tart and sharp notes (apple?), of course there is some smoke, it is more of a hint of bonfire than a full out onslaught of meaty ember goodness, you can sense the alcohol slyly hiding in the background adding in some whiskey notes, smells nice

taste etc...
definite whiskey notes, kind of medium bodied, the carbonation is very subtle... and it works here, I think any higher level of carbonation would really distract from this, the more I drink this the more I think of whiskey, of course it is not as dense as whiskey but the smoke and ABV are doing a good job of mimicry here, nice warm buzz in the ole gullet, the smoke just smooths out the flavor and is pretty subdued (and generally I love the super smoke action like in bamburg classics), I can't say this is some utterly complex onion requiring peeling but it defintely deserves to be sipped and enjoyed over a period of an evening, the flavors are quite subtle but the alcohol is strong which is a testament to the brewer here (meaning you get really nice flavor but the alcohol is a partner not the driver)

verdict?
the more I sip the more I enjoy. even on this mega humid night sitting out on my deck this
grows on you, it is not overwhelming in any fashion but really seduces you.
a definite night cap pick to reminisce with friends for one of those conversations about the old days

 1,654 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 3 Monts tulip. Pours a ruddy orange amber with a fine one finger off-white head with good retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with great oak, vanilla and a hint of smoke. Flavor follows with sweet caramel malt, peaty smoke and vanilla from the oak, quite nice. Medium bodied with some creaminess. An interesting oaked ale that is not too unlike a scotch and ale mixture. Little Belgian yeast or character, but if they are suppressed, it is by a nicely balanced oaky, lightly smoky malt. I enjoyed this.

 530 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
3.57/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of Epic's Smoked and Oaked Belgian Style Ale a couple months ago for $9.89 at The Lager Mill. I've been holding on to this one for a little while and since I like smoked beers and Oak aged beers I thought this would be pretty interesting to try, I don't think I have ever had a smoked beer that was aged in barrels, so lets see how it goes. Release #9 2011 Vintage. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label is pretty simple and plain looking, it's not that eye catching. It poured a nice looking caramel brown color that took on a slight ruby and burn orange hue when held to the light with two fingers worth of light tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left some nice rings of lacing behind. This is a pretty good looking beer, the color was very nice and the head and lacing were nice for the style.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of sweetness followed by a medium smoke aroma with some malts coming up next imparting some caramel and sweet malt aromas with a good amount of dark fruits and some brown bread in the background. Up next comes a medium amount of yeast that has an abbey ale yeast like aroma with some oak and vanilla aromas with a light bourbon like flavor that show up towards the end along with a slight boozy aroma. The aroma is nice, the smoke and oak aren't too overpowering, but there's a little too much sweetness for me..

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a high amount of sweetness that's a little too strong and imparts a brown sugar like flavor followed by a lighter smoke flavor that gives way to loads of malts that have a caramel and sweet malt like flavors with some brown bread in the background and some dark fruits showing up nicely. Up next comes some woody, oak and vanilla like flavors with a slight bit of alcohol showing up with some Belgian yeast in the background. On the finish I get a light amount of bitterness with a slight bourbon like flavor with a very sweet, caramel and woody aftertaste with just a slight bit of smoke. This beer tastes nice, but I thought the sweetness was just too overpowering.

M- Fairly smooth, slightly warming alcohol, cloying, sticky, rich, full bodied, with a slightly lower amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was ok, I liked the richness, but I thought the it was too cloying and sticky.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and a nice example of the style, I can see the Belgian Strong Dark Ale base coming through in this beer and it wasn't buried under the smoke and oak flavors which made it well balanced for the most part but the sweetness threw that off a little. This beer didn't have the best drinkability, it was fairly smooth, the alcohol was hidden well and the flavor did a decent job at holding my attention, but the sweetness was to sticky and cloying, half a bottle is enough for me, I think the sweetness would become too much if tried to drink the whole bottle by myself. What I liked the most about this beer was how balanced the oak and smoked aspects were, neither one was too overpowering. What I liked the least about this beer was the sweetness, it was too overpowering and that really hurt the drinkability. I don't think I would buy this beer again, I like most of the flavors, but it's just too sweet for me and it was a little pricey, if I didn't get 20% off I don't think I would have bought it, but I might order a glass of a newer batch to see what it's like fresh and I would recommend this to people who like sweet beers, barley wines, and barrel aged beers. All in all this was an interesting beer, I liked the combination of the smoked malts and bourbon barrels, the combination makes for a flavor that reminds me a little of scotch. This wasn't the best beer I have had from Epic, but it was far from the worst and I appreciated it for the most part but the sweetness was just not for me. I'm still not that experienced with Epic, but they do make some interesting beers, nice work guys.

 4,046 characters

Photo of thebouch01
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of outoffocus
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Smoked & Oaked Belgian-Style Ale from Epic Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 296 ratings.
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