Style Details

Spe­cial­ty Wood-Aged Beer
Wood Beer
BJCP Style Code
33 B
Varies with base style. Often dar­ker than the unadul­tera­ted base beer style, par­ti­cu­lar­ly if whiskey/bourbon bar­rels are used. Beers aged in wine bar­rels or other pro­ducts with distinc­ti­ve colors may also impart a color to the finis­hed beer.
Varies with base style. A low to mode­ra­te wood- or oak-based aro­ma is usual­ly pre­sent. Other aro­ma­tics often include a low to mode­ra­te vanil­la, cara­mel, tof­fee, toast, or cocoa cha­rac­ter, as well as any aro­ma­tics asso­cia­ted with alco­hol (distil­led spi­rits, wine, etc.) pre­vious­ly stored in the wood. The added 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.
Varies with base style. Wood usual­ly con­tri­bu­tes a woo­dy or oaky fla­vor. Other fla­vors that are typi­cal­ly pre­sent include vanil­la (from vanil­lin in the wood); cara­mel, but­ter­scotch, toas­ted bread or almonds (from toas­ted wood); cof­fee, cho­co­la­te, cocoa (from char­red wood or bour­bon casks); and alco­hol fla­vors from other pro­ducts pre­vious­ly stored in the 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. Usual­ly exhi­bits addi­tio­nal alco­hol warm­ing. Hig­her alco­hol levels should not result in “hot” beers; aged, smooth fla­vors are most desi­ra­ble. Tart or aci­dic cha­rac­te­ristics should be low to none.
Over­all Impression
A har­mo­nious blend of the base beer style with cha­rac­te­ristics from aging in cont­act with wood (inclu­ding alco­ho­lic pro­ducts pre­vious­ly in cont­act with the 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 pre­vious­ly used to store alco­hol (e.g., whis­key, bour­bon, port, sher­ry, Madei­ra, wine, etc). 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. Quite popu­lar with modern Ame­ri­can craft bre­we­ries loo­king for new, distinc­ti­ve pro­ducts. Oak cask and bar­rels are tra­di­tio­nal, alt­hough other woods can be used.
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, pre­vious usa­ge of the bar­rel; and the type of wood. Alco­ho­lic pro­ducts pre­vious­ly stored in the wood should be evi­dent, but should not be so domi­nant as to unba­lan­ce the beer. THIS CATEGORY SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR BASE STYLES WHERE BARREL-AGING IS A FUNDAMENTAL REQUIREMENT FOR THE STYLE (e.g., Fland­ers Red, Lam­bic, etc.). Spe­cial wood-aged wild ales should be ente­red in the Wild Spe­cial­ty style.
Com­mer­cial Examples
Foun­ders Ken­tu­cky Break­fast Stout, Goo­se Island Bour­bon Coun­ty Stout, J.W. Lees Har­ve­st Ale in Port, Sher­ry, Lag­avu­lin Whis­ky or Cal­va­dos Casks, The Lost Abbey Angel’s Share Ale; many microb­re­we­ries have spe­cial­ty beers ser­ved only on pre­mi­ses often direct­ly from the cask.
This style is inten­ded for beer aged in wood with added alco­hol cha­rac­ter from pre­vious use of the bar­rel. Bour­bon-bar­rel or other simi­lar beers should be ente­red here.
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