Maple in the Wood
Side Project Brewing

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Side Project Brewing
Missouri, United States
4.45 | pDev: 4.94%
May 12, 2023
Jan 26, 2020
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.
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Reviewed by drdiesel9483 from Ohio

4.27/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Look - basically black with a nice timming and lacing
Smell and taste - really nice earthy woody with a lil maple and cinnamon
Feel - medium full body with a lighter carb
Overall - really nice
May 12, 2023
Rated: 4.34 by Chuckg93 from Oregon

Jun 09, 2022
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Reviewed by Harrison8 from Missouri

4.36/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Pours a nutty brown with mild fog to the transparency. Tan foam rises to a mere 1/2 finger. Pretty still in look otherwise. Flavor profile is maple, followed by caramel, toffee, and raisin. Light bourbon adds some heat to the nose, but not enough to offset the balance. Flavor profile is maple, chocolate, caramel, toffee, and mild bourbon. It has candy bar smoothness, with the flavor profile offering up more in depth and volume than the nose. The end finishes with a little more heat, especially as the beer warms. Flavor profile is medium-thick with a velvety texture that is broken up by a touch of silt. Overall, a smooth marriage of bourbon and wheatwine.

Served from a bottle. Reviewed from notes.
Dec 04, 2021
Rated: 4.16 by CraftFan5 from New Jersey

Nov 17, 2021
Rated: 4.24 by aasher from Indiana

Jul 07, 2021
Rated: 4.53 by Uconnelmo from Connecticut

Jul 03, 2021
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Reviewed by SierraNevallagash from Maine

4.3/5  rDev -3.4%
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
Rated: 4.48 by jclarrey from Missouri

Jan 28, 2021
Rated: 4.75 by Jamison85 from Indiana

Jan 16, 2021
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Reviewed by jorden-kegeler from Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
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
Rated: 4.53 by pconn10 from Illinois

Jan 10, 2021
Rated: 4.63 by mattmarka1 from Minnesota

Jan 04, 2021
Rated: 4.54 by DucksFan16 from Tennessee

Nov 01, 2020
Rated: 4.78 by SaxmanRick from Minnesota

Oct 02, 2020
Rated: 4.54 by lemmy187 from Missouri

Sep 12, 2020
Rated: 4.59 by SadMachine from New Jersey

Aug 24, 2020
Rated: 4.67 by vfgccp from New York

Aug 08, 2020
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Reviewed by eppie82 from Illinois

3.84/5  rDev -13.7%
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
Rated: 4.43 by csmrx7 from Canada (AB)

Jun 21, 2020
Rated: 4.5 by Texasfan549 from Texas

Jun 14, 2020
Maple in the Wood from Side Project Brewing
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 39 ratings