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White Oak - The Bruery

Not Rated.
White OakWhite Oak

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

270 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 270
Hads: 1,186
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 24.74%
Wants: 103
Gots: 293 | FT: 30
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Wheatwine |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: OlieIPA on 07-12-2009

White Oak is a blended beer-- 50% wheatwine aged in Bourbon barrels (we call it "White Oak Sap"), and 50% Mischief (our Golden Strong Ale). Vivid caramel, coconut and vanilla flavors blanketed in a crisp yet robust wheat ale, White Oak is an exercise of balance.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 270 | Hads: 1,186
Photo of flayedandskinned
4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

No bottle date, besides "2013 edition" on the front label.
Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours a very cloudy pale orange with yellow highlights. Almost glows as light strikes it. A huge and thick, 3 fingers tall white head erupts out of the beer and leaves plenty of lacing behind as it slowly dissipates.

Aroma: Vinous, citrusy aromatics initially leap out of the glass, with lemony yeasty phenols in tow. Almost smells exclusively like a Belgian golden strong ale, until it starts to warm; Big notes of coconut and vanilla begin to shine as the oak bourbon barrel character begins to show. It almost smells like a great and complex white wine. Some very faint alcohol begins to meld with the oak. A very unique and complex nose.

Taste: Big notes akin to a traditional Belgian Golden Strong Ale up front; a bracing, orange-y hop character with some nice Belgian yeast phenols that are fairly reminiscent of plum and clove. On the back end this beer really shows its wild side; slightly tart and tangy wheat and biscuit-y malt. The beer finishes very dry, warming and bitter. The oak presence really comes out in the finish, with its light tannins as well as lingering notes of vanilla, coconut and of course, bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Robust with a very creamy full body. Moderate carbonation with some alcohol presence in the finish.

Overall: A huge, boozy, dynamic, well balanced and well blended beer. Very unique stuff, as usual from The Bruery. I think this beer will only get more refined with age. I'm definitely looking to aging some bottles of this, just to see how it develops. Highly recommended for someone who is looking to try a bourbon barrel aged beer that isn't a stout.

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Photo of JoeySchlitz
4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a straw yellow with a healthy two-three inches of a dense foam head. Seems a bit suspect with all of that carbonation.... but otherwise appears to be a typical belgian pale.

S: A faint coconut, pina colada aroma is mixed in with a strong, bready yeast aroma. There's also some funkiness, almost a sour tinge in the background, but is overtaken by some bourbon-vanilla notes. It is not overly aromatic but subdued.

T: Alcohol bites the tongue first, but leaves behind a buttery, bourbon, slightly acidic taste. There's a bit of a bitter aftertaste and is dry and crisp. Very tasty but a bit too much heat for a style that is on the lighter side.

M: Medium to light bodied with ample carbonation.

O: This is pretty tasty. Given the high alcohol, one would think that it would be a chore to go through a bottle, but I've gone through two glasses and am looking forward to a third.

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Photo of akorsak
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to HopDerek, I think, for bringing this to the Brass Rail.

A: The ale pours like a witbier, delicate with a sizeable head. It's autumn hue, think the brown-yellow of Central PA deciduous trees, is hazy to the point of opacity. It's thick head, still on first pour, is slow to dissapate.

S: The oak really stands out, drowning out any Belgian yeast by-products, good or bad. The wod is firm, imparting some coconut and vanilla.

T: Ahh, I see what the excessive head was there for! The first sip is quite spritzy, well-carbonated to the point of over-carbonated. The bubbly sensation is lively. It doesn't mask the barrel aspects, more vanilla and coconut, that are quite dry. Spices, again like a witbier, try to peak through but generally are no match for the barrel. This is the best bottled Bruery offering I've had.

M: The ample carbonation is cleansing. Unfortunately that detracts from the wood, as it whisks some of the flavor away. The oak aging is nicely done though.

D: I really enjoyed White Oak, from the first vanilla notes to the last of the bubbles.

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Photo of headbucket
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I broke this bottle up into a bunch of little pours into my glass throughout the night, but the initial pour gave a nice thin and foamy head that filled the top half of the glass pretty well.
After that, there is a small head on top of the beer, not much in the way of lacing that sticks to the sides of the glass. A hazy, orangish straw color.

The smell is my favorite thing about this beer. A very nice bourbon oak scent at first followed up by fruity and sweet notes and a bit of alcohol burn.

initial sweetness to start off on the taste, followed by nice bourbon presence (woody but not too charred and heavy like some, followed by the vanilla and light coconut notes) follow up with some fruity sweetness that lasts into the aftertaste along with a bit of spicy and almost tart flavors(but this might actually just be the abv showing up-I'm not really sure).

mouthfeel:medium thick, a bit prickly, and a bit viscous. it coats the mouth and hangs around.

overall, this beer has a really nice barrel presence that I really enjoy. Why am I feeling pretty buzzed after drinking the majority of this bottle over multiple hours- oh yea its 11.5%- its becoming a bit much to finish this bottle off by myself, and the alcohol content is becoming a bit more apparent the further i get into the bottle but it is still enjoyable. Overall a nice, big beer with a great barrel presence that doesn't go too overboard. The high abv and large format detracts slightly here.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle into a tulip

pours a hazy, cloudy dark yellow with a big, lingering white head. faint bourbon on the nose is all i can detect from the smell. Ooh. The taste is really intriguing. Its candy sweet up front with a bourbon flavor on the back of the tongue. the two flavors blend surprisingly well. definitely some hints of vanilla in there as well. wow, impressively drinkable. anytime i quickly take sip after sip trying to identify all the flavors you know that the brewery made something worthwhile. Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Scarily drinkable for 11.5%

Overall i definitely recommend this one. such a good blend of flavors that come together very nicely. impressed by this one.

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Photo of rawfish
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark opaque gold, filtered sunlight, rough pour nets a fluffy two finger head that doesn't stick around long.

Aroma is pretty complex, Belgian candy spun sugar, grainy with lemon and of all things pineapple. Bourbon character wafts up with adding oak and vanilla. Moderate alcohol.

Caramel malt, slightly grainy and lighter lemony and apple juice flavors atop the toffee like sweetness. Bourbon character is pronounced, adding more oak and vanilla. Slight cinnamon spiciness and a large alcohol note on the finish. Some dark sweet citrus and bourbon lingers in the finish.

Alcohol is really overpowered by the complexity of the flavors in this beer. Moderate carbonation that goes down as an easy complex sipper.

The complex light dessert flavors really complement the alcohol in a beer that seems refined and is both complex and delicate.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good lookin out joe for hooking me up a bottle

A: poured a vibrant golden orange in color with pale yellow highlights and had a half finger of bubbly leaving some good lacing sticking to the glass.

S: nice vanilla aroma upfront with good bourbon character, some caramel, toffee, and various grain notes but had nuttiness. It did have hints of booze as well.

T: the nuttiness and vanilla flavors blended quite well in the taste with bourbon, oaky, boozy,toffee, caramel accents and a touch of coconut.

M: the brew was medium to full in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a sweet, oaky, mild boozy, nutty, and a sticky finish.

D: definitely a sipper due to the ABV but was really tasty and was digging the variation of flavors going on. Glad I got to grab another bottle of this brew.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A-cloudy light orange with a frothy white head

S-pale Belgian malts with caramel, toffee, and vanilla. Strong scent. Intimidating smell

T-comes in with a boozy and sweet taste of slightly roasted caramel and white grapes. It has a slight bitterness to it. The after-taste is mostly vanilla and bourbon. It's a very complex beer and it unravels new flavors with each sip. 

M-high explosive carbonation with a dry finish. Exactly how I want any Belgian style to be.

O-This is an intense beer that I recommend you share. It's another beautiful beer from the Bruery. It's unique and complex, but it's slightly more serious and strong than most other Bruery beers I've had. It is the best wheat wine I've had.

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Photo of bobsy
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to whichever Eric sprang this one.

Hazy light golden pour with a large white head that left sheets of lace. Spicy, wheat beer aroma on steroids. Lots of grain, brown sugar, coconut and honey. Tasted like some sort of crazy imperial wit, and drinks like a beer half its weight. Very spicy with a nice sweetness. Good caramel, vanilla, bourbon and coconut notes compliment a wheat backbone. The body was medium-light and surprisingly refreshing considering the ABV.

Pretty tasty!

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from tap into piraat tulip at gnarly barley in Orlando FL. Pours a hazy golden straw color with 3 fingers of head. Nice wheat hefe meets belgian pale aromas...banana and straw subtle peppery hops. Taste is just awesome. Belgian pale hop and german hefe banana bu it finishes with woody vanilla and toffee bourbon notes...wow smooth as hell.
The alcohol is hidden so well its scary.
Such a great brew...deff reccommend this.

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Photo of Schmaltzy
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into Chimay glassware.

A- cloudy golden color with a nice ample white 2 finger head. Head retention throughout.

S- sweet wheat/bread scents, coconut, sweet meyer lemon, nice vanilla oak and small amounts of bourbon.

T- very nice, meyer lemon right away followed by sweet wheat/bready yeast flavors, definately strong coconut and vanilla oak, honey, finishes with some baking spices and bourbon flavors.

M- loads of carbonation but dies down as the beer opens/warms up. Medium body not syrupy with a nice dry slight alcohol burn finish. Give it more time to cool down.

D- very nice flavors in this beer, I finished the bottle and enjoyed all of it. Swirl in glass to release some of the extra carbonation, it helps. Gonna have to go buy some more of this and let it sit for a year and try again.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

big thanks to portable for sending me a bottle of the 2012 vintage of this, enjoyed from a pair of bruery snifters with the mrs.

a - brew poured a crisp transparent yellow with a hint of orange and a massive few fingers of big foamy head that hung out for eons and left chunky lacing coating the side of the glass like a milkshake from the diner.

s - crisp, tropical, a bit citric...some bourbon sweetness and oaky vanilla. banana and some caramel and a bit of smarties.

t - big boozy sweetness hits me first then a bouquet of banana, bubble gum, citric acid comes sliding in. smarties tang but vanilla oakiness. big sour apple snip. extremely sweet.

m - a bit of a boozy tingle. vinous. sour apple pucker.

o - overall a nice wheatwine. the bourbon and oak give a big sweetness. enjoyable, but a bit overly sweet and i tend to love sweet beers.

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Photo of Viggo
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, big thanks to ritzkiss for sharing this one. Part of the epic Bruery tasting.

Pours a light hazed golden, some light amber highlights, medium sized white head forms, settles to a very thick ring and layer around the glass, a few spots stick..

Smell is neat, wheat, some fruity, apricots and citrus, caramel, alcohol, some floral, grapefruit, vanilla, oak, toast, nice malty base, smells pretty good.

Taste is similar, sweet and caramelized up front, vanilla and bourbon, oak, very malty, apricots, citrus, some light grapefruit, coconut, wheat, a bit of spice, alcohol is well hidden, real nice barrel character, solid bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, a bit of warmth but goes down pretty easy for its weight. Thanks Eric!

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Photo of korguy123
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle into snifter.

Crystal clear gold pour with some copper hues. Creamy finger and a half off white head. Lacing is spotty.

Definitely getting the bourbon and the oak. It's warming up front. The Mischief is bright and bold. Slight peppery spice and vanilla.

Peppery spice, some lemon rind, big amount of vanilla and brown sugar and than a good solid bourbon presence. The oak and bourbon warm up your stomach and just smooth out the beer to make this an all round great experience.

Medium body with prickly carbonation.

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Photo of rye726
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting beer. Pours a hazy, golden straw with a silky white head.

Nose has bourbon, oak, vanilla, tropical fruits, candy malts and peppery yeast.

Taste has sweet and tart tropical fruits, caramel, whiskey, vanilla, wood, herbal hops and spicy Belgian yeast.

Medium body has ample carbonation. Drinks a bit thick, but still quite quaffable for 11 percent.

Quite a unique beer. I really like what the Bruery. They not only make good beer, but also continue to push what beer can be.

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Photo of argock
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a clear 10 oz snifter at Beer Run (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Slightly murky orange-amber with soft cap of off-white head which leaves some lace sticks behind.

S: Big barrel character with coconut and pineapple bolstering a huge malt presence with some tangy wheat.

T: The alcohol from both the beer and the barrel is large but not unbearable. The barrel notes with pineapple, vanilla, and coconut meld nicely with the wheaty malt blast. The tangy nature fits well with the citrus qualities. It is a powerful beer and drinks like a heavier Curieux.

M: The heat is on with this one which hurts drinkability. Pretty heavy in the body also but 10oz is plenty.

O: I really liked this beer but I would rather drink Curieux I think instead.

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Photo of phichifiji00
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: golden, initally pours 2 fingers of head, quickly recedes to minimal head.

Smell: Apple pie, caramel, cinamon, coconut, vanilla extract, burbony and oakey as it warms.

Taste: coconut, caramel, citrus, spicy toffee aftertaste, brown sugar, honey. Mildly boozy at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, alcohol taste, burbon and vanilla tones, increase with temperature. Light carbonation.

Overall: As the temerature increases the burbony/caramel flavors inceras, with the caramel, apply flavors taking a back seat. Overall, a very satisfying beer.

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Photo of MusicaleMike
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the website: "White Oak is a blended beer-- 50% wheatwine aged in Bourbon barrels (we call it "White Oak Sap"), and 50% Mischief (our Golden Strong Ale). Vivid caramel, coconut and vanilla flavors blanketed in a crisp yet robust wheat ale, White Oak is an exercise of balance.

ABV: 11.5%, IBU: 20, SRM: 7, Release: Varies (1st Release October 2009)"

Pours a golden sunshine color showing off some lazy carbonation. Huge fluffy off-white head that begins sticking all over the glass. Pretty solid creamy head. Starts with some haze in the body, but after it warms up, the clarity becomes better.

The beer has a wonderful aroma that blends notes of oak, vanilla, and coconut from the bourbon barrels and a sweet wheat quality that is complimented very well. A robust beer, filled with flavors of sweet caramel, coconut, vanilla and oak, that finishes with an alcoholic bite and some bitterness. There is heat at the finish that warms the stomach in a comfortable way. On the exhale there is more of that oaky, scotch-like quality. Very delicious!
The wheat really lightens up the body, creating an almost fluffy, creamy mouthfeel, but not quite. As it warms, a tinge of tartness hits the back of the palate.

This is maybe my third time with this beer, and I have always been equally impressed with it each time. A great example of how barrel-aging needs to evolve, with a careful touch of blending and a remarkable balance that brings out a deeper flavor to the palate. I will be buying this again...highly recommended.

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Photo of orangebison
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Broke out a 2013 bottle for an epic bottleshare Friday evening. A confoundingly pleasant surprise! Light on the palate yet very complex, lots of bourbon aroma without overwhelming other elements, smooth despite its strength. This was one of the first BBA beers I tried (~6 years ago) and I didn't like it very much. Age, as well as change in my own palate, have served this one well.

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Photo of Pahn
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into Duvel tulip. Split 3 ways.

Appearance: Free pour yields a fluffy, popping white head that dissipates slowly. Pours an opaque lightish orange.

Smell: Musty, kind of Belgian yeast-y. Some mild oak notes. Smells like a really powerful Belgian witbier.

Taste: Very, very bourbony up front, with some light witbier flavor. Funky through the middle, almost as if it had brettanomyces. Dry finish, with tons of oak. Tastes like it's spiced.

Pretty straightforward. Lots of oak flavor. Less wheatwine than "imperial witbier" / Belgian golden ale, barrel aged with a heavy hand. I like it.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Creamy. Dry finish. Really grows on you; sort of subtly balanced, well crafted feel that enhances the flavor.

Overall: Interesting beer. I think it would probably age well. It swings a little bit too far toward witbier for me, but I'm also a sucker for really overdone barrel aging.

I like many of the Bruery's barrel treatments even more than this, but I greatly enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of VashonGuy
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 bottle aged for about two years.

Appearance: apricot color, cloudy, big foamy head.
Aroma: The aroma is prominent, but I'm not good at picking out all the components. But it's got a bigger nose than most beers.
Taste: Vanilla, a bit of bourbon (in moderation), mild sweetness (caramel), a little yeasty, some fruit (apple? pear?). In short it's a complex mixture of good flavors, all in harmony.
Mouthfeel: smooth, creamy, ABV is well hidden.

Overall: This is really an unusual beer, in all the best ways. It's not quite like anything else. I could almost call this a bourbon aged tripel, but that's not quite right either. It's a very interesting beer. I'll be looking for a couple more bottles to age for another year or two.

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Photo of claspada
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just had a fresh bottle from the recent 2012 release, about 4 months old and it is much more yeast and hop forward, not as enjoyable.
Revisited 2012 bottle in mid 2013 and it has mellowed so much, this beer is best with at least a year on it.

From the first batch, released sometime late 2009. Courtesy of GhettoFabulous in a recent trade.

The beer pours a cloudy light golden orange color with a tall white head that dissipates decently fast considering how monstrous the soapy white head was initially.

Aromas begin with a lemony sourness, a characteristic of many wheat dominant malted beers. Sweet light fruits such as pears & apples, then I get some sweeter honey and sugary notes with a little underlying oakiness, which imparts a touch of vanilla. Not too much, if any at all, of the bourbon/alcohol notes but after 2+ years of aging I would expect as much.

The tastes follow the nose opening up with honey and caramel sweet maltiness along with some more of the light fruit notes, lots of pears and granny smith apple. There is a light white vinous oakiness in the finish; also a little peppery spice in the finish. Light sourness is prevalent throughout which could be from the bourbon (which I am detecting more and more as it warms and it is really adding to the flavor profile) or from the hefty amount of wheat malt used here.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to high amount of carbonation. This is the one point of the beer that I am torn on, while I dislike beers with low carbonation, this may have a bit too much for a beer of this heft and ABV. (Oh yeah this drinks like a 7% beer so watch yourself...) The amble carbonation is appropriate for a normal ABV wheat beer but may be a bit too much for a bourbon aged beer or one of this high alcohol content, of which you cannot taste any. Finish is dry thanks to the ample carbonation that continues to scrub your palate as you consume.

Overall this was a really great, unique great beer. The flavor profile reminds me a lot how the Cascade Bourbonic Plague beer progressed as you drank it. Started off with predominant light fruitiness, bordering sourness, then as it warms you get a nice oak and light Bourbon presence. The 50% barrel aging was perfect for this because there aren't many (or any) that can hold up to the complete Bourbon Barrel treatment. Not sure what this was like fresh, but it is perfect right now. Kinda wished I saved this for slightly warmer weather but I was too anxious to try it. Definitely the best Wheat Wines I have ever had hands down. I heard there's a new batch coming out this year (2012) so definitely seek it out then as it is probably quite hard to come by now.

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Photo of Domvan
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This blend was a nice twist to a wheat wine, a very sneaky and smooth beer. The sweetness of the wheat wine went well with the belgian golden strong ale, haven't had white oak sap, but have had Mischief and can definitely see that end, but curious to try white oak sap alone.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25


Frothy bright white head it poured a pretty apricot body. The nose is deceptive for what this is. I catch a lot of Apple, like applesauce, some pear, and notes of a sour. It's a tad minerally, some balsamic character with a light pear and coconut.

This drinks with a mellow bourbon tone, coconut cream pie, light citrus fruit, lemon sour, caramel malt, toffee and a subtle wheat malt. Not much heat for 11.5% and it's a bit spritzy. Very good one here, but that's what I expect from Bruery.

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to James and/or Andrew for the bottles. From notes.

Pours a hazy orange color with some golden highlights. Small whitish head with not too much lacing. A ring around the glass lasts throughout the session.

Wow, this smells awesome. Definitely a lot going on here. Belgian Fruity yeast esters combine with toasted nuts from the oak and caramel vanilla sweetness. Very nutty with some wheat twang hiding behind the yeast character. Marzipan and coconut. It would be a 5 if the alcohol weren't so apparent.

Taste follows the aroma. The alcohol is definitely apparent, but not necessarily intrusive. At first, I thought it was over carbonated (despite the appearance), but as time went on I realized how much the carbonation of this beer helps lift some of the 'heaviness' of the barrel character and alcohol. A very robust beer with a lot going on, but a 7oz serving or so was plenty satisfying. Looking forward to seeing how this one ages.

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White Oak from The Bruery
88 out of 100 based on 270 ratings.