Oak Theory
Casey Brewing & Blending

Oak TheoryOak Theory
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Wild Ale
Ranked #62
Ranked #634
4.39 | pDev: 6.15%
Casey Brewing & Blending
Colorado, United States
Oak TheoryOak Theory
Notes: This beer is our take on classic Belgian sour beers from the Senne Valley. We combine Colorado pilsner malt and raw wheat with a hefty charge of aged European whole hops and boil for almost 3 hours. We ferment in a variety of different sized oak barrels with a proprietary blend of saccharomyces, brettanomyces and various lactic acid bacteria cultures. After aging in these barrels for anywhere from 9-12 months, barrels are selected for their unique flavors and that individual blend is born.
Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 259 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of SierraNevallagash
SierraNevallagash from Maine

4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle - 3/21/18 vintage - poured into a chardonnay stem at 38°F.

Pours a nearly crystal clear bright brassy golden, with a quarter-finger of coarse, bright white head building, before quickly settling down to a razor-thin collar. Some slow effervescence rises upwards.

Nose: A delicate grainy foundation supports a bright bouquet of gentle acidity, lending just a whisper of vinegar and plenty of lemon juice, tons spring floral notes, wet hay, river stone minerality, tons of wet oak, delicate farmy funk, some dusty stone cellar, petrichor, and underneath everything else, a pure, clean malt note that is very reminiscent of malt whisky. There is a lot of subtle nuance, even though the aroma as a whole is extremely delicate.

Palate: The ale greets the palate with an immediate acidity, which is delightfully balanced. Not puckering or bracing, but still very much a sour ale. Much like the aroma, it's rather delicate - very bright and sprightly, opening with fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, wet hay, tons and tons of lactic minerality, some yogurt, a big vinous punch that lends many white wine-like qualities, buttery oak which lends its own unique musty type of funk, fresh flower petals, peach pit, and as it progresses, a faint melon-like note, which lends a nice fruitiness. Moving towards the finish, the acidity takes a sharp decline, and the brighter, fruitier notes begin to fade. The oak influence comes to the forefront, this time a bit drier, and the funkier, more brett-forward notes emerge. Into the finish, there is no trace of sour left, and the oak becomes slightly tannic, ever-so-slightly bitter, and everything dries out in a clean, conclusive finish.

Mouthfeel/Body: Truly the shining attribute of this ale. It is absolutely light-bodied - delicate and crisp, fleeting from the palate with no weight at all. The effervescence is simply diving - champagne-like, with even finer bubbles, and not quite as aggressive. This, paired with the gentle acidity, scrubs the palate clean, lifting off dry, and leaving you longing for tge next sip. It's nearly perfect.

Overall: This is a delightful Colorado wild ale. Once it has had several minutes to breathe, open, and warm up a little, I'm quite surprised by how much traditional Belgian lambic character there is here. It's so superbly balanced, with an approachable level of acidity, extremely delicate flavours, subtlety, and remarkable drinkability. It's almost subyle to a fault. What is has going on is dainty and beautiful, but I almost want a bit more complexity, funk, and oak - particularly given its namesake. Nevertheless, its a great wild ale, and it does a womderful job paying homage to the old word Belgian ales.

Jul 07, 2020
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dtSour from Pennsylvania

4.71/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle from 3/17/16.

Poured golden with a white head. Very clear without the dredges. Aroma is slight barnyard funk and oak. Some noticeable stone fruit. Taste is smooth tart lemon and funk on the back end. Finishes dry. Very fitting medium carbonation. Very drinkable with little noticable alcohol. I could drink this all day long.

Dec 08, 2019
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CanConPhilly from Pennsylvania

4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016 bottle from OrcaWhale.

L - 1/2 finger head dissolves rapidly, leaving a translucent yellow body.

S - white wine, funk, vinegar.

T - wine barrel, oak, funk, vinegar. Quite tart but only mildly sour. No bitterness. Low sweetness. No booziness.

F - medium-light body with appropriate carb.

O - a wonderful beer.

Nov 28, 2019
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled March 2016
750ml cork & cage bottle poured into a tulip

A- pours a slightly hazy golden.orange with a one-finger foamy white head that has great retention

S- funky barnyard yeast, dried hay, lemon peel, overripe pear, funky cheese, hint of white wine

T- tart lemon and citrus rind up front, complimented by some funky yeast that adds hay, barnyard and cheese notes. The finish gives more lemon as well as pear & white wine

M- medium body with moderate carbonation, slightly foamy mouthfeel and finish

O- clean, yet ripe & funky with good drinkability, very good

Sep 15, 2018
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

3.75/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a hazy yellow color ale with a medium size head with limited retention. Aroma of tart and sour notes with some oak. Taste is a mix of tart notes with some oak, some medium intense acidic notes with some light funky notes. Body is about average with OK carbonation. Interesting and complex but lacking some attenuation and a bit too acidic for my taste.

Dec 24, 2017
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amano_h from Oregon

4.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

One line review: this beer feels like training wheels for people that are afraid of hopping on the gueuze bicycle.

Muted doses of sour apple and lemon zest both on the tongue and nose. There are hints of bretty barnyard funk toward the back end as well, but the flavors aren't as persuasive or demanding as they would be in the Belgian counterparts that the beer is attempting to emulate. The balance of flavors reminds me of Oud Beersel Oude Geuze -- well-rounded with all the flavors mostly staying within the lines.

The brew honestly feels more like a table beer than anything. It smoothens out all the elements of the Belgian style that the average drinker may feel adverse to (acidity, sharp tartness, funky oak) and turns it into a fine sipping apéritif designed to get the taste buds going before a big meal.

As the alcohol content and the price of this beer equals the standard ABV and cost attributed to most gueuze and lambic-style brews, I might venture and say this is to Hibiki 17 what a gueuze is to Yamazaki 18.

Jul 10, 2017
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Sabtos from Ohio

4.24/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bright pastel yellow with a clingy, creamy soft white ring.

Smell is maple, oak, wood, and almond funk transitioning on the palate to very tart lemon and grapefruit, finishing dry. Wow. Crazy complex!

May 17, 2017
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floyd_pugman from California

3.15/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle dated 12/22/2015; opened on 2/5/17 and poured into a SARA glass. Nose of lime, green apple, oak, and funk. Palate starts with strongly acidic lime and vinegar, moving quickly into green apple which then lingers, followed by mild oak and funk. Not one for lime or green apple flavors in my beer, I’m having a hard time enjoying this.

Feb 06, 2017
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Jwale73 from Rhode Island

3.81/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 3/23/15. Pours a translucent honey color with a half inch, off-white head. Nose is fairly subdued but suggests green apple cider. Taste reveals vinegar notes, hay, a hint of Brett and tart green apples. Mouthfeel light and spritz with a mild acidity. Overall, not particularly complex; however, makes a nice introductory sour.

Nov 23, 2016
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

4.71/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Light golden body with nary a head. The aroma smells like an authentic gueuze lambic. Oak is prominent. Tart green apple and a hint of white wine. Mild acetic finish. What a lovely beer.

Oct 01, 2016
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mothman from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This one has a sticker that says First! on it. I have had the dry hopped ones and I think this is better. It is more of what the beer should be. Great balance of sour, tartness, fruit, and funk. Very easy to drink. Nothing extreme. Just a solid enjoyable american wild ale.

Jul 24, 2016
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TX-Badger from Texas

4.16/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy pale yellow golden color with fizzy white head. Funk, plenty of tartness, and citrus on the nose; follows onto the palate. Light bodied. Finishes tart and dry,

Jul 06, 2016
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PDXAmbassador from Florida

4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite unfruited sour beers. One of the funkiest too. Smells like old dirty sponges that were left wet in the bottom of a industrial kitchen sink, like hay-laden horse manure, and a crowd of variegated soiled barnyard beasts. Amazing. Would have thought it older than a year, but I felt the same about Beatification, to which I would compare this. Whatever Troy Casey is doing, he needs to keep this up. Gueuze-like and tart, and maybe it's the power of suggestion but it's darn oaky too. Perfectly crafted, blended, and nomenclatured beverage.

May 07, 2016
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rodmanfor3 from Vermont

4.41/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A really nice, basic sour.

Very tart on the palate -similar to Side Project's foedre beer, with an apparent oak barrel presence.

Maybe a bit overpriced for what the beer offers but still a an enjoyable bottle.

Jan 20, 2016
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Lovely drinking tart ale, oak there and balanced and not as much as expected. Drunk in honour of Josh Oakes birthday, cheers! Wild yeast aroma. Really surprising drinkability and masterful.

Jan 03, 2016
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dar482 from New York

4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The aroma offers apricot, lemon tartness, soft funk.

The flavor follows with fuzzy peach skin, medium plus lemon tart, drying oak on the finish. A really balanced on tart qualities, some hints of fruit, and a dry and oaky finish.

Oct 21, 2015
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mrn1ceguy from Illinois

4.59/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Very clear, yellow color. Nose is a very potent sour/citrus. The taste is a smooth sour with a very late hint is berries. Mouthfeel is beautiful. An awesome beer.

Oct 14, 2015
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Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

4.07/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lemon, green apple, lacto and oak. Super clean finish. Want something more from this. It's still pretty good but the dry hopped version is better.....

Sep 04, 2015
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.58/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle shared by Curran last night, thanks man.

This one pours a clear glowing dark yellow, with a small head, and a little bit of lacing, but not a whole lot.

This smells like sour citrus, mostly orange and lemon, oak, some grain, and white wine.

This is another winner from Casey. The blend makes for a really nicely rounded wild here, pleasant, soft citrusy acidity, some pleasant graininess, a bit of oak, and some light white wine character. This can be best described as pleasant. Just really well-balanced and not overly sour, probably a 5/10 on the sour scale.

This one is pretty light bodied, airy and fluffy almost, with a juicy mouthfeel, and a moderate level of carbonation.

An excellent and superbly drinkable wild ale here. Casey is one of the best wild producers in the country.

Aug 14, 2015
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UCLABrewN84 from California

4.09/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Bottled 4/14/15.

Pours a clear yellow-orange with a foamy bone head that fades to nothing. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is slightly sour with grain, funk, earth, and hay aromas. Taste is much the same with sour grain, fruit, funk, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and dry mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a solid mix of sour, funk, and wood characteristics that are slightly better in the taste to me.

Serving type: bottle.

Jul 28, 2015
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Stevedore from Oregon

4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy medium yellow body, one finger white head. Nice retention and a bit of lacing. Smells very tart, like a yellow sour patch kid. Lemon, oak, a bit of lactic acid, moderate acetic character. Very much in your face acidity, but in a pleasant way. Flavour is oak, lemon, must, hay, vinegar, a small bit of lactic acid. It started out quite funky, with a good bit of hay and must; reminded me of a Belgian geuze in some ways. Warming up though, it becomes more lactic like a standard AWA. Still a delight to drink. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, moderate carbonation, soft and easy to drink despite being fairly acidic. Overall, this is a very good AWA with a lot of geuze characteristics when served chilled, so I would recommend enjoying it chilled and as it warms up. It's a real trip.

Jun 14, 2015
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Tommo from Texas

4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

bottled 2/19/15, drank 6/12/15. Purchased along i70 corridor in Coloardo

The smell is f*cking glorious. Overall its a very nice lambicy/geuzey like wild ale, however for my taste there is alot of acetic acid character. While i think this is good, it was very expensive. Worth trying, but dont trade a kidney for one

Jun 13, 2015
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cosmicevan from New York

4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

initially reviewed advanced oak theory here, but fixed that and then had the regular oak theory...

murky yellow, little watery...nose is oak w some mild funk. soft grassy funk a big oak and bretty sweetness. tasty and refreshing. dry finish. good stuff

May 30, 2015
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Duff27 from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Light Orange/golden. Big artificial head induced from aggressive pour, no head besides that.
Smells super funky, tarty.
Lemon grass at the forefront, turns to pure funk. Like '70s stylee.
Medium bodied sour, low carbonation.
Very nice oaky sour from Casey, my first from them. Would drink again. Thanks Jim.

Apr 25, 2015
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iong516 from Pennsylvania

4.59/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: not a lot of head or effervescence hazy golden/hay

S: kinda goozie cheesy w apparent acidity and oaky woo

T: great funky then mild to mid acidity lemony cheesy waves into late oak barrel. Mild hoppiness throughout

M: pretty dry and acidity lingers

O: really great but doesn't fully get on the musty hoppy goozie level that Cuvee St-Gilloise delivered on next bottle afterward. Would seek out however!

Apr 24, 2015
Oak Theory from Casey Brewing & Blending
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 259 ratings