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Mother Barrel Select - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

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Mother Barrel Select
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62 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 62
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 8.29%
Wants: 33
Gots: 20 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brystmar on 06-17-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

This is the last beer to be aged in Scott’s 800 gallon oak barrel before emptying it so he could get it out of the old brewery in Pleasantville. The beer is a black ale, aged in the wood for over a year. It has some bright sour notes, a touch of musty wood, and fruity undertones.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 62 | Reviews: 20 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Thorpe429
2.83/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Huhzubendah for sharing this one. Served in a Captain Lawrence cervoise. Black. Nose has a bit of fruit and fairly-heavy acid. Flavor has a touch of roast and dark fruit. Mild acetic. Dry. A bit harsh. I generally haven't been a huge fan of Captain Lawrence sours, so it's not too surprising that I wasn't a big fan of this one.

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of MasterSki
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to lurchingbeast for sharing this at my birthday party. Served in a taster glass.

A - Tan foam settles to a thick collar, no lace. Very dark brown body.

S - I didn't realize this was a variant of Barrel Select Black, but the flavor profile makes a lot more sense now. Sour vinegary notes mingle with chocolate malts, oak and vanilla, tart cherries, and perhaps a hint of plastic.

T - Taste is significantly more sour, with lots of tart cherries, balsamic vinegar, and again a hint of plastic. Less malt character, with nebulous chocolate and roast flavors in the periphery. Also, minimal trace of the 10% ABV.

M - Smooth and sufficiently hefty medium body, super dry, oaky, and tannic, with lower carbonation, and a hefty dose of acidity. Alcohol is again quite well hidden.

D - Interesting stuff, and largely compelling other than the faint plastic flavor. I'm curious to see how this compares to Barrel Select Black, but it bodes well.

I went back to some of my older Captain Lawrence reviews and noticed similar 'plastic' notes - I guess I just don't like their house wild strains very much?

Photo of drabmuh
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer shared at a recent tasting, thanks. Served in a snifter. Beer is dark with a tan head, low retention, no lacing, looks fine.

ARoma is interesting, lactic, dark, nice.

Beer is medium in body and mildly sweet up front with a thin body on the finish and some lactic acid in there with a mild tartness. A decent sour but Captain Lawrence makes better beers.

Photo of stakem
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers and a big thanks to DSlim71 for hooking me up with this. 375ml green bottle poured into a matching Captain Lawrence cervoise. This brew pours a very dark brown color that rests in the glass looking pretty close to black. When held to the light, it shines with lighter brown clarity. A dark tan cap sits atop with just about 2 fingers strength and recedes to less than a finger with streaming bubbles supporting. As the cap fades, it leaves patches and spots sticking to the glass.

The nose has some lemony citric bite to it mixed with a significant lactic presence. A suggestion of vinegar, acetone and a hint of plastic rounds things out. Behind the wild character, there is a fairly noticeable roasted element that smells of roasty chocolate first with a hint of coffee that then blends into earth, tobacco and leather. The aromatics of this brew capture exactly what I would expect for a sour stout or black american wild ale.

The taste of this brew just straight up brings the sourness. Mild vinegar and acetone lead the way with a hint of plastic, earth and lemon. Throughout the flavor profile, acetone is evident mixed with some mineral quality that is almost beefy or bloody. A faint inclusion of sour cherry quality tries to poke through. The brew finishes with more earthy elements that are mildly musty with dark chocolate and coffee really coming out in the aftertaste.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. For a 10% wild ale, the alcohol is fairly well hidden behind the sharp acidity. I really liked how the sourness integrated with the dark roasty quality that is still evident in this brew. If somehow the acetone and funky plastic could be removed this would be a world class offering. However, as-is it is pretty solid and I look forward to revisiting this with some age on it.

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is dark chestnut brown with a thin beige cap that leaves a film of sticky lacing on the walls of the glass.

The aroma is reminiscent of a Flanders oud bruin. Plums, wood, some dark fruit and wine notes.

Bold flavor with a big sour finish. Lots of oak character throughout. Alcohol presence is there, but I find it to be unobtrusive. Of course, I am slowly sipping this bottle on a deck in Vermont, and I am in no hurry to move on to yet another Heady Topper (good life). A touch of caramel malt and toffee.

Very sticky on the palate with an aggressive sourness.

Overall, I really liked this one. Both this beer and Hops 'N' Roses are very well done. I'm so elated that I stopped by Captain Lawrence to acquire these.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of ShanePB
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Greenplastic615 for bringing this to our weekly bottle share. 375 ml bottle served into a tulip.

A: Dark brown, not hitting inky black but almost there. Reddish hues appear in the light towards the bottom. Small beige head forms but leaves on a thin ring. Minor lacing.

S: Huge acidic sour notes, dark roasted malts, dry Merlot and some simple sweet red berries. Perhaps some cherry and grape, with a good amount of oak on the back.

T: A nice sour bite up-front that does follow into the back end, but it's balanced with the dark malts, caramel and wood. There plenty of fruitiness here too, black cherry and more grapes. The roasted malts come back in the linger.

M: Nicely carbonated without being overdone. For a big barrel aged sour black ale this is quite nice. A bit dry from the oak to finish off.

I was really excited to try this one, so thanks again Jason. This almost tasted like Weyerbacher Sour Black on steroids. A really nice beer, it leaves me wanting more from Captain Lawrence.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375 mL bottle to a snifter. No name. Come on, Captain Lawrence... Bottled 4/12, which I guess is the only way you know it's Mother Barrel.

Appearance - Dark, not quite black. Wispy lace and leggy for a sour ale.

Smell - Sour. Flemish red smelling. Soured dark malts with a cherry twang. Chocolate in the back.

Taste - Cherry sour. Immediate vinegar, which is unpleasant. Oaky finish. Not much base beer remaining. This is extremely sour.

Mouthfeel - Very vinegary, but not boozy. High carbonation and extremely puckering.

Overall - Vinegar sour. I don't love it. It's tough to avoid when you sour those dark malts, though. It's decent and clean, but too acetic for me.

Photo of kscaldef
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of aasher
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of xnicknj
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of claspada
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottled 4/12.

Pours a pitch black color with no visible light illuminating or any reddish hues, just black. Smallish khaki brown colored head that immediately dissipates leaving some decent spotty lacing.

Aromas begin with sour cherries and super tart berries, I was not expecting that from the appearance. Some light earthy and oakiness emerge as well. As it warms you get the nice subtle background coffee and dark bitter chocolate. No sweetness just coffee bean and sour black cherries.

The tastes begin with the same punch in the face of dark cherry sourness coupled with some lesser sweeter black raspberry fruitiness. There is also some malt to be deciphered here but not exponentially more or less than the aroma. Hints of earthiness and oak with notes of a fruit infused balsamic vinegar poke out as well. Mild roast once again highlighted by dark bitter chocolate but the sourness continuously bombards the taste buds over and over so it is hard to grasp anything else. Dark sour cherry explosion.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to higher carbonation (for a 10% beer). Finish is super dry with mouth-puckering amounts of sour and tartness.

Overall this is once of, if not the most sour beers I have ever had; to be honest I am super blown away. With each sip you want to go back for more in hops to satiate the dryness on your palate, but to no avail. I can't imagine how this is going to develop overtime as it is super sour and ready to go right now. Oh yeah 10%, HAHA, that is stupid because I wouldn't have pegged this for more than 7.

Photo of LoveStout
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of FosterJM
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1421st Review on BA
Bottle to Bruery Taster
375 ml

Vintage 2012
Thanks to winning rice for sharing

Chicago Bottleshare

App- This poured out like a flat cola color (color only). Really had no head behind it and maybe 2 dots of cling.

Smell- What the hell is in this glass? It's got a ton on the nose. A bit that opens up with a deep lactic note and moves into a cherry cough medicine aroma.

Taste- The final note of the cherry cough medicine is the opening flavor of this with a good mix of tannic, oak, sour and a bit of booze flavor.

Mouth- A smaller medium body with a medium carbonation level. Fairly medicinal but still was nice.

Drink- A very tasty beer with a good depth of flavor. Small oak with some anise and dark fruits. Reminds me of a thicker Marrone Aciddife.

Photo of tom10101
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of cosmicevan
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to nick for picking this up for me at brewery, was pleasantly surprised to still see it available yesterday when I was there so grabbed another bottle or two. Enjoyed from a Captain Lawrence tulip.

a - brew poured a deep shiny brown that settled into the glass black with a finger plus of off white almost cream colored tan head. The head was a layering of bubbles that slowly fizzled away while new ones bubbled to the surface adding new layers. No lacing to speak of and swirling the glass rebuilt the fizzy head quickly.

s - on pouring the beer a sour odor filled the air. Upon closer inspection a sweet tart vinegar odor waffled into my nasal passages. Quite pungent. Some oak is in there adding to the tartness, but this is mostly vinegary cherry. Very reminiscent of barrel select black.

t - big burst of sourness almost knocked me out of my seat. You can definitely find the nor Easter base with the red wine notes, but they are soured over immensely. Strng vinegar on top of sour cherries, but a nice balance of dry red wine nor Easter notes. Quite nice.

m - puckeringly sour, medium to full bodied. Finishes a touch dry but extremely smooth and I am surprised to say a quenching drink for the warm weather.

o - overall a sour for the sour fans. Although I am not drinking this side by side with the black, memory tells me this is like the black but on sour steroids...much sharper and vinegary, but quite tasty indeed. I really am digging all the experimentation coming out of capt Lawrence lately and this is another winner. Souring nor Easter is interesting since the base is deeper and richer than your standard sours, but the oak really brightens it up. Don't be fooled by the color this baby is sour and with a red wine twist. India it. Glad to have a few more of these. Thanks capt! Keep them coming.

Photo of ehammond1
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, cosmicevan!

Nearly black in color with a moderately sized dark brown head that dies down to a film atop the beer. This leaves messy sheets of stick down the glass.

A very nice aroma quite similar to the Barrel Select Black: lactic sourness, wood, vinegar, black pepper, and some currants and/or cherries. Very nice.

This is quite sour, with very nice wood and black currant notes, and mild vanilla. The alcohol is very well hidden. There's some vinegar here as well, along with big red wine notes throughout. Very nice, complex, evolving.

Medium bodied with high carbonation--somewhat spritzy.

Very nice.

Photo of mltobin
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

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Mother Barrel Select from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.