Style Details

Wood-Aged Beer
Wood Beer
BJCP Style Code
33 A
Varies with base style. Often dar­ker than the unadul­tera­ted base beer style, par­ti­cu­lar­ly if toasted/charred bar­rels are used.
Varies with base style. A low to mode­ra­te wood- or oak-based aro­ma is usual­ly pre­sent. Fresh wood can occa­sio­nal­ly impart raw “green” aro­ma­tics, alt­hough this cha­rac­ter should never be too strong. Other optio­nal aro­ma­tics include a low to mode­ra­te vanil­la, cara­mel, tof­fee, toast, or cocoa cha­rac­ter from any char on the wood. Any alco­hol cha­rac­ter should be smooth and balan­ced, not hot. Some back­ground oxi­da­ti­on cha­rac­ter is optio­nal, and can take on a plea­sant, sher­ry-like cha­rac­ter and not be papery or card­board-like. Should not have added alco­hol character.
Varies with base style. Wood usual­ly con­tri­bu­tes a woo­dy or oaky fla­vor, which can occa­sio­nal­ly take on a raw “green” fla­vor if new wood is used. Other fla­vors that may optio­nal­ly be pre­sent include vanil­la (from vanil­lin in the wood); cara­mel, but­ter­scotch, toas­ted bread or almonds (from toas­ted wood); and cof­fee, cho­co­la­te, cocoa (from char­red wood). The wood and/or other cask-deri­ved fla­vors should be balan­ced, sup­port­i­ve and noti­ceable, but should not over­power the base beer style. Some back­ground oxi­da­ti­on cha­rac­ter is optio­nal, alt­hough this should take on a plea­sant, sher­ry-like cha­rac­ter and not be papery or cardboard-like.
Varies with base style. Wood can add tannins to the beer, depen­ding on age of the cask. The tannins can lead to addi­tio­nal astrin­gen­cy (which should never be high), or sim­ply a ful­ler mouth­feel. Tart or aci­dic cha­rac­te­ristics should be low to none, and never distracting.
Over­all Impression
A har­mo­nious blend of the base beer style with cha­rac­te­ristics from aging in cont­act with wood. The best examp­les will be smooth, fla­vorful, well-balan­ced and well-aged. 
Typi­cal Ingredients
Varies with base style. Aged in woo­den casks or bar­rels, or using wood-based addi­ti­ves (wood chips, wood sta­ves, oak essence). Ful­ler-bodi­ed, hig­her-gra­vi­ty base styl­es often are used sin­ce they can best stand up to the addi­tio­nal fla­vors, alt­hough expe­ri­men­ta­ti­on is encouraged.
A tra­di­tio­nal pro­duc­tion method that is rare­ly used by major bre­we­ries, and usual­ly only with spe­cial­ty pro­ducts. More popu­lar with modern Ame­ri­can craft bre­we­ries loo­king for new, distinc­ti­ve pro­ducts. Oak cask and bar­rels are tra­di­tio­nal, alt­hough other woods are beco­ming more popular.
The base beer style should be appa­rent. The wood-based cha­rac­ter should be evi­dent, but not so domi­nant as to unba­lan­ce the beer. The inten­si­ty of the wood-based fla­vors is based on the cont­act time with the wood; the age, con­di­ti­on, and ori­gin and char level of the bar­rel; and the type of wood. THIS CATEGORY SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR BASE STYLES WHERE WOOD-AGING IS A FUNDAMENTAL REQUIREMENT FOR THE STYLE (e.g., Fland­ers Red, Lam­bic, etc.). Beers made using eit­her limi­t­ed wood aging or pro­ducts that only pro­vi­de a subt­le back­ground cha­rac­ter may be ente­red in the base beer style cate­go­ries as long as the wood cha­rac­ter isn’t pro­min­ent­ly featured.
Com­mer­cial Examples
Bush Pres­ti­ge, Cigar City Humi­dor India Pale Ale, Faust Holz­fass­ge­reif­ter Eis­bock, Fires­tone Wal­ker Dou­ble Bar­rel Ale, Gre­at Divi­de Oak Aged Yeti Impe­ri­al Stout, Petrus Aged Pale, Samu­el Smith York­shire Stingo
This style is inten­ded for beer aged in wood wit­hout added alco­hol cha­rac­ter from pre­vious use of the bar­rel. Bour­bon-bar­rel or other simi­lar beers should be ente­red as a Spe­cial­ty Wood-Aged Beer.
Ori­gi­nal Gravity
0.000 - 0.000 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
0.000 - 0.000 SG
0 - 0 SRM
0.0 - 0.0 %vol
0 - 0 IBU