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The Bruery Smoking Wood and White Oak

April 18, 2012

I almost titled this review “Bruery Double Whammy!” before I realized that there was a good chance that The Bruery, or any other fantastic brewer, might actually name a beer that at some point in the future. Instead I just decided to go with the normal thing, and give you the beer’s name. They make an interesting pair because despite their similarly high ABV (10% and 11.5% respectively) they’re on very different ends of the spectrum. On one hand the Smoking Wood is a robust smoked porter, and the White Oak a sweet wheat wine.

The Smoking Wood pours a deep black with a light mocha head that rested on the beer like a little piece of fluff. The first scent that struck me was booze, followed quickly with a mix of chocolate, caramel, and my personal favorite hints of charred wood. It has a smooth velvety fullness inside of your mouth. The sort of smooth and rich feel that I’ve come to expect from a great porter. The beer embraces your tongue with a warm dark chocolate taste, with caramel hints wound through it. This sweetness mellows quickly to flavors of charred wood, peat, and a final slight booziness. This is really a must have for any lover of smoked beers, or porters; I’d suggest sitting on a bottle if you could as it is a limited edition.

A few drinks later during Barcade’s Bruery Night, and the stars must have aligned as they do on rare occasions as I was struck with a strong need to order a wheat wine. Normally I refrain from such concoctions as barley and wheat wines, finding them too sweet or sour for my palette but there was something about the way the White Oak was described that caught my interest (probably the fact that it was aged in bourbon barrels). The beer pours a cloudy orange gold with little to no head though I did notice a bright white ring on the edges of the glass. My nose was instantly filled with a burst of citrus, particularly lemon, and the faintest wisps of apple. It traveled down my gullet with a rich smoothness, and was a little bit more full in body than I was expecting. The beer hits you quick and strong with a wide variety of sweet fruit flavors; lemons, oranges, apples, and pears. This then dissipates making way for a bready sort of taste, and the real delicious flavor: bourbon. I wish a Lynchburg Lemonade could taste this good. Bruery’s White Oak has a great balance of tastes, and the right bourbon punch to keep me very happy.

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