Wood and Barrel Aged Beers are any range of color.
Any lager, ale or hybrid beer, either a traditional style or a unique experimental beer, can be aged for a period of time in a wooden barrel or in contact with wood. These beers are aged with the intention of imparting the particularly unique character of the wood and/or what has previously been in the barrel; but, wood aged is not necessarily synonymous with imparting wood-flavors. New wood character can be characterized as a complex blend of vanillin and/or other unique wood character. Used sherry, rum, bourbon, scotch, port, wine and other barrels are often used, imparting complexity and uniqueness to beer. Ultimately a balance of flavor, aroma and mouthfeel are sought with the marriage of new beer with wood and/or barrel flavors. Wood-Aged Beers may or may not have Brettanomyces character. Body is variable with style. Competition managers may create subcategories to differentiate between Wood and Barrel Aged beers of varying alcohol content, color or presence or absence of bacteria or fruit. A statement provided by the brewer identifying a classic or other beer style, type and condition of wood, previous liquid in the barrel, and any other ingredients used is essential for accurate assessment at competitions.