33.B - Specialty Wood-Aged Beer (BJCP 2021)


An elevation 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.


Varies with base style. A low to moderate woody aroma is usually present; some varietals may have a stronger, or distinctive character. If the wood is toasted or charred, there may be low to moderate vanilla, caramel, toffee, toast, or cocoa character present. Aromatics associated with alcohol (e.g., distilled spirits, wine) previously stored in the wood should be noticeable, but balanced.

Varies with base style. Often darker than the unadulterated base beer style, particularly if charred 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. Wood usually contributes a woody flavor, and possibly a distinctive varietal character. Toasted or charred wood can add vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, toasted bread, toasted nuts, coffee, chocolate, or cocoa, depending on the wood varietal and level of toast or char. Wood-derived flavors and added alcohol flavors should be balanced, mutually supportive, and noticeable, while not overpowering the base beer style or each other.

Varies with base style. Tannins from the wood may increase the perception of body, as well as enhancing the dryness of the finish; some astringency from wood tannins is allowable. Usually exhibits additional alcohol warming, but should not be hot or harsh. Tart or acidic characteristics should be low to none, and never distracting.


Varies with base style. Aged in wooden casks or barrels previously used to store alcohol (e.g., whiskey, bourbon, rum, gin, tequila, port, sherry, Madeira, wine). Fuller-bodied, higher-gravity base styles often are used since they can best stand up to the additional flavors, although experimentation is encouraged.


AleSmith Barrel-Aged Old Numbskull, Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, Firestone Walker Parabola, Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, Great Divide Barrel Aged Yeti, The Lost Abbey Angel’s Share Ale


Data Min. Max.
Original gravity 0.000 0.000
Final gravity 0.000 0.000
Bitterness 0.0 IBU 0.0 IBU
Color 0.0 EBC 0.0 EBC
Alcohol 0.00 ° 0.00 °

Recipes on Zython (1)

Wild squash Islay barrel
All grain- 33.B - Specialty Wood-Aged Beer
3.1% 10 IBU 250.0 l Solanacea

Styles in the same category