Secret Sauce | Burley Oak Brewing Co.

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Secret SauceSecret Sauce
Very Good
157 Ratings
Secret SauceSecret Sauce

Brewed by:
Burley Oak Brewing Co.
Maryland, United States

Style: American Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Using the same base as our Aboriginal Gangster, this experimental IPA uses five different hop varieties from the South Pacific, giving it an exotic, nuanced bouquet and a unique spicy flavor.

Added by gillagorilla on 03-28-2014

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 157 |  Reviews: 31
Reviews by OneEyedJack:
Photo of OneEyedJack
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Smakawhat
3.27/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from the can into a Spiegelau IPA glass. No obvious dating on the can.

Deep caramel brown, a bit of hinting highlighted ruby red to the body color, looking like a classic amber ale. Head is a little frothy but small, barely managing two fingers, and dissolving to a thick ringed tan collar with a thin puck as well. Some minor lacing, not bad.

Aroma is lacking a bit in the hop department. Brown toasted malt, a bit of bread crust, small hints of toffee. Slight floral notes a bit, and doesn't give much IPA presence. Would never think this was a DIPA on first whiff, but a good malt character at least, slightly powdery and grainy, but also a bit of sour grain too ever slightly.

Palate comes with no much unexpected. Caramel warmth, and a bit of chewy texture, but also flat as can be. Virtually no carbonation and low thick almost syrup body. Some decent hop flavor coming in with a bit of earth and chewy pine on the finish. Mild aromatics on the finish of leafy green tea as well.

Either this is really old, but the carbonation on this seems to hint of some work in the quality of the product overall possibly. Comes off as more of a decent Amber Ale, but this isn't DIPA territory and needs some work.

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Photo of farrago
3.46/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

The head reaches about a finger, whipped up and loose so the retention is average to below, the lacing has decent stick, big splotches randomized across the glass. The liquid is extremely cloudy and filled with particulate, almost looks like a solid block, reddish amber in color, more yellow at outer edges, very difficult to gauge visual carbonation. The nose is thick and immobile, you can barely sense it move in your nostrils, wet hops, pulped white grapefruit, paste-like apricot to peach fruit scents, powdered cocoa, hard caramel candy, it is not lacking in breadth but its density makes it too hard to parse out. Full-bodied, just as thick and heavy in the mouth, any carbonation not match for its sheer weight. The malt is prominent, brown sugar, caramel, biscuit, scone and general breadiness. Muted tangerine, pink grapefruit citrus wafts in and out. Heavy apricot, peach, nectarine citrus starts off well but peters out near the end. Not sure if it is trying to do too much or get all experimental but this one falls short of the mark even if there’s no real flaws per se.

 1,087 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

December 5th, 2017 batch.

Pours a murky golden color. It's not the most turbid IPA ever, but it certainly features a nice haze. The head is two fingers high and white in shade. Though quick to recede, it leaves behind thick splotches of lacing.

The Mosaic hops offer a nice dankness, which works well with the grapefruit also noted aromatically. There are additional piny and grassy touches encountered, natch. Malt is substantial, though it errs closer toward cracker and table sugar than it does caramel and toffee. I could use a stronger tropical fruit aspect, but otherwise the aroma is hard to criticize.

It's actually a little maltier than the nose suggested. Notes of grapefruit, grass, pine, and (dare I say?) sweet onion open the flavor profile up, and then much of the malt backbone takes over past the middle into the end. Of course, zesty grapefruit pith helps finish it off alongside the moderately assertive table sugar, cracker, and bread. It almost tastes like there are notes of rye spice, too. I want more explosive hop goodness for this to earn a 4, but this is nonetheless satisfyingly balanced, unique, and easygoing.

This is very firm and crisp in texture, evoking a west-coast IPA. Despite the firmness, it's also quite full-bodied and even a touch yeasty. On the other hand, bitterness is fairly low (though not as well muted as other New England-style IPAs). Even if the mouthfeel isn't nailed spectacularly, it drinks very easily for the strength. Carbonation is medium.

Previous batches of this IPA were a total malt bomb. This, though, is an enormous step forward. It's not in the elite tier of IPAs, but it's a welcome improvement that gives me another rock-solid IPA choice on Maryland shelves.

3.67/5: The secret's finally out

 1,764 characters

Photo of qchic
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bitter and fruity (not especially tropical as advertised), but ultimately falls flat. I was happy to see Burley Oak cans, and I've had good beers from them, so maybe they can tweak this one so that it pops. Too many better DIPAs out there (that are less than 16 a sixer!).

 272 characters

Photo of jjboesen
3.59/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a mild Imperial IPA with a cloudy amber body and a minimal nose of citrus. There is a moderate pine taste that finishes in a quick bitterness. Rather crisp and decently balanced. OK. Nothing to write home about. This was my first Burley Oak brew, so I won't be that harsh of a judge. Worth drinking in any case.

 319 characters

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

Photo of tylerbrowe
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of st3r30s
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of alcohline_trip
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of brians52
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of SomethingClever
4.64/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz can poured into Spiegelau glass no date

A: dark almost caramel in color small head that disappears to a film good clarity with a slight haze

S: has a nice dirty brown sugared citrus smell with slight honey dew and grass has light candy smell

T: huge citra hop taste with a good dose of bitterness. Light honeydew with sweet candied citrus maybe grapefruit

M: clean on the tongue not too heavy and almost no aftertaste

O: fantastic citra hopped beer. It showcases this hop beautifully with nice honeydew fruit cantaloupe and a nice candied flavor. This beer is so clean its unreal really easy drinking.

 614 characters

Photo of Dsaunders
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of VAbrookiechaser
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of ssbohen
3.52/5  rDev -10.4%

Photo of earlholman
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of Kegatron
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of sisterofba
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ConradKenney
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JamLand
3/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Swift989
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of gillagorilla
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Smaltimore (3/11/14, from notes)

A: Clear. Lacing. Copper-colored.

S: Floral. Not an overpowering scent. Subdued. Lots of garden with some citrus.

T: Lingering sweetness. Characteristic Burley Oak hop profile (that uses the same base as Aboriginal Gangster, which is quite noticeable because I even noted it out loud that day.) Very hoppy. This is kind of just a tweak of their Aboriginal Gangster, but interesting nonetheless.

M: Crispy and rough.

O: Another great IPA from Burley Oak. Just good hops and sweet malts, all in balance.

 554 characters

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Secret Sauce from Burley Oak Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 157 ratings