This weekend’s beer if choice was from Epic Brewing’s “Exponential Series” – their Smoked and Oaked barrel aged Belgian style ale from batch #5. Right now it’s sitting at B+ on Beer Advocate.
To put it simply, the beer certainly tastes like a Belgian ale aged in a whiskey barrel. The Belgian flavor is that of something like a dubbel, but mild because of the aging process. The wood-smoked malt that Epic uses gives it a unique taste, but not he kind of smoke taste you’d expect from something strong like a smoked porter, for example. Aside from the Belgian taste, the bourbon flavor has a little of vanilla and wood with it. Nothing is terribly overpowering at the get-go.
The smell is distinctly barrel-related with a decent Whif of bourbon. The mouthfeel was super-smooth, although I couldn’t be sure if that had to do with the beer specifically, or something with the carbonation. I didn’t get a lot of foam on my pour.
I purposefully tried to pair the beer with something “earthy” because I thought the “harshness” of the bourbon taste would go well in that regard. The potatoes were a good choice. I think something like a steak would be great with it.
After it started to warm up the beer had more of the smoked taste to it, but that was over the course of maybe an hour or so – I had the 22-ounce bomber myself. At 9.9 ABV, it was enough.