Maple in the Wood
Side Project Brewing

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Style:
Wheat Beer - Wheatwine
ABV:
13%
Score:
95
Avg:
4.5 | pDev: 5.11%
Reviews:
7
Ratings:
35
From:
Side Project Brewing
 
Missouri, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  5
Gots
  4
SCORE
95
World-Class
Notes: When we finally opened our production facility in Maplewood in 2016, the very first guest we had visit us to brew a collaboration was Brad Clark. In 2016, we brewed a beautiful little sunset colored beer to age in French oak to be later finished on Pluots and in March of 2018, we released our first collaboration with Brad, Pitter Patter.

Brad came back to town for that release, and while here, we brewed this release, Maple In The Wood - a maple bourbon and bourbon barrel-aged wheatwine. We used the flavor profiles and took inspiration from our respective barleywines, but infused the recipes with copious amounts of malted white wheat. In the kettle, we added a large percentage of Vermont maple syrup. We then aged this wheatwine in BLiS maple bourbon and E.H. Taylor bourbon barrels for 18 months before selecting a blend that showcased the barrels and the individual threads in a harmonious, cohesive way.

The result is a luxurious, round, rich, beer that lays the groundwork and structure for the barrels to rest. The maple leaves a nuanced hint of sweetness that melds with the notes of bourbon, caramel, toffee, and dark fruits from the blend of yeasts we used to ferment before allowing it to age and mature in oak to softness and balance. Although it’s a big beer - like most of our barrel-aged beers - the wheat lightens the experience and allows it to fall somewhere between our Längst and Anabasis on the palate.
Reviews: 7 | Ratings: 35 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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SierraNevallagash from Maine

4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Huge thank you to sverseman for this one!

Batch 1 - 750ml bottle - poured into a snifter at 50°F. Consumed for the 2021 Online Barleywine Tasting.

Pours a deep, dark, ebony brown hue - sitting not quite black, but like Pedro Ximenez sherry - just dark, dense, oily used motor oil. A few oily bubbles, but eventually sits lifeless, again, like sherry. Legs like some high age bourbon just drip down the glass.

Nose: Crazy natural and not at all the obnoxious bastard I anticipated. The malts are the priority here - dark brown sugar, molasses, dates, rum raisin, dark bread, burned caramel, dark toffee, plum, and maple. No. I mean actual maple. No, not like the maple fudge maple beers. I mean a jar of maple syrup. That subtle, sweet, cordial-like maple syrup aroma? Yeah, that. Real, organic maple syrup - subtle, beaneath the malt. Plenty of oak, barrel char, some bourbon, and noticeable booze. So natural yet perfectly balanced.

Palate: MitW greets the palate SWEET - let's make that clear. Even sweet for a wheatwine. This is approaching "adjunct stout" sweet. It's all brown sugar, melted toffee, soft chewy caramel, dulce de leche, caramel drizzle, refined coconut sugar, Indian vanilla beans, olorosso sherry, and Grade A maple syrup (the real stuff - mostly sweet, sliggtly maple) dumped in, with some maple sugar as well. There's some roast too - maybe a hint of chocolate - more like coffee, like Kaluha even with the rum spices. The barrel notes really begin to become apparent - splintery bourbon-soaked charred oak, maple-staines oak, so much woody vanillins, Cavendish tobacco, black samsun tobacco, and more woody caramel, fudge, and bourbon. These drier notes finally take over the heavy sweetness and pairing with a touch of chocolatey roast, lend some very night tight, splintery drying in the finish, concluding with pure bourbon spirit, oak, birch syrup, and maple essence.

Mouthfeel/Body: Fully full-bodied. This isn't liwyod fudge, or ice cream topping, and if you're looking for syrup drizzle, look elsewhere. It is, however, extremely heavy, sticky, full, and rich - and don't get me wrong, it's a thick ale. Richer than port. Effervescence is basically at the lowest point without calling it "still", and the sweetness really adds to the heaviness while leaving the lips very sticky. It's basically stout thick.

Overall: This is tricky. The flavour? Phenomenal? The natural/organic nature of the maple character? Second-to-none. The barrel and bourbon integration is top notch, and there's some nice deep oaky and malty complexities? It's one and only downfall? It. Is. SWEET. Man, I've opened a 750ml of this and I'm up against it myself? Sharing this with several people, this could be a show-stopper. It's really quite well-crafted. But consuming this alone, it will 100% become cloying, and probably ungodly unhealthy. But small doses? A truly spectacular and classy maple wheatwine.

Feb 19, 2021
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jorden-kegeler from Michigan

4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pouted from a 750 mL bottle. The color is a dark crimson brown. The aroma is a lot of maple and lots of dark fruit/raisins, love it. The taste follows the smell with a big maple presence and a nice barrel heat and oak presence. Its an awesome beer and tasty nonetheless.

Jan 12, 2021
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eppie82 from Illinois

3.84/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From bottle. Pours a deep dark brown with minimal head, which dissipates to nothing quickly. It has big maple and big bourbon aroma. Both follow into the flavor, with a huge body. Keep in mind, this is a wheatwine (and not a stout). It was quite sweet. Quite sweet and simply too much for this person to take down in one sitting.

It isn't my favorite Side Project beer but if you love maple and really like sweet beers, you should seek this out.

Jul 02, 2020
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.44/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a fairly dark brown color, nearly black - it's certainly darker than the typical wheatwine, with a small head, and not much lacing.

This smells like chocolate, dark bread, caramel, spicy oak, earthy maple, and vanilla.

This definitely tastes like more like a cross between a stout and barleywine, rather than a wheatwine, but that doesn't detract from the deliciousness. There's chocolate, coffee, earthy maple, lots of oak, leathery bourbon, caramel, smoke, toffee, and caramel.

This is creamy, and medium-bodied, with very little booziness despite the ABV. It's surprisingly drinkable.

It's hard to find fault with this one, unless you have to dock points that it's not super wheatwineish. That doesn't matter to me. This is really delicious.

Jun 05, 2020
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.78/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle. Pours deep brown with no head. Smells of bourbon and oak. Reminiscent of the wet sock aroma I always got from BA 4th Dementia. Tastes quite sweet. Bourbon, maple, brown sugar, oak, sharp booze. Heavy. Extremely sweet. Somehow it works well.

Mar 21, 2020
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Sabtos from Ohio

4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown fills to glossy black with a short blanket of bubbly brown pearls.

Maple bruleed oatmeal via a viscous but medium-full body that's somehow not sticky develops into a rich, deep dark oak that avoids being too woody, splintery or boozy, bringing some heat that exhales vanilla and caramel.

Super well balanced and delicious. Give it to me.

Mar 16, 2020
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mothman from Minnesota

4.63/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Woah. This is nothing like I expected. Batch 1.

Tan head that fades quick. Dark brown color.

This is thick and fudgy. Very port like. Lots of maple and bourbon. Oaky. Vanilla, caramel, dark dried fruits. This is thick, warming, and extremely dessert like. I would have never guessed this to be a wheatwine. It’s so thick. Wow!

Feb 27, 2020
Maple in the Wood from Side Project Brewing
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 35 ratings