Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

Mourning Wood - Local Option

Not Rated.
Mourning Wood
No picture.
Have one? Upload it now.
very good

68 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 68
Hads: 467
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 26.51%
Wants: 12
Gots: 40 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Local Option visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  7.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 12-08-2011

Formerly Morning Wood

Mourning Wood is an oak-aged coffee amber ale. Fresh American oak used during the aging process and Dark Matter’s El Salvador San Jose pulp-natural coffee aromatically drive the beer yet they remain subtle components of the beers’ overall flavor profile. This amber colored, medium-bodied, and extraordinarily well-balanced ale has a delicate taste that is appreciated by beer drinkers of all palates.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 68 | Hads: 467
Photo of Phigg1102
3.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Color is like caramel glass. Very little off white head when poured, and it quickly settles into a thin ring around the edge and leaves very low levels of lacing. Aroma starts with toasted malt and moves into the strong oak presence. Coffee is present but doesn't overshadow the beer in general. Generous caramel in the taste, with even more oak presence than in the nose. Coffee comes through a bit more in the taste than aroma yet still does not overpower the beer. The mouthfeel is rich and smooth with a touch of sweetness to finish.

 537 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.12/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brewed and bottled by Pub Dog Brewing Company.

BOTTLE: 500ml. Brown glass. Unbranded black pry-off crown cap.

7.3% ABV. "Oak aged coffee amber."

Reviewed live as an amber per the label. Expectations are average. Served cold into a conical pint glass.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: About 3 inches wide. Frothy and even, with a smooth supple appearance. Appears somewhat soft. Coating and thick. Retention is quite good - about 7-8 minutes. Leaves a ring of even coating lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Clear clean vibrant copper-amber with no visible yeast or sediment. Clearly filtered.

Appears well-carbonated. It's a nice looking amber, but isn't unique or special in its appearance.

AROMA: Shallow coffee roast is dominant. Generic floral hops mix in with a basic amber malt sweetness. I don't get much oak from the aroma.

Aromatic intensity is average. I detect no overt yeast, off-notes, or booze.

TASTE: The coffee is shallow, inexpressive, and one-dimensional, lacking rich expressive character, roastiness, espresso bitterness, etc. The amber malt backbone gives it moderate sweetness, with generic floral hop character lending some balancing albeit mild bitterness. I taste oak only when I really look for it, and I can't help but wonder just how long this was aged on oak for...I wouldn't be surprised if it was a couple months or less.

Not as artificial in taste as the "...with natural flavor added" marketing jargon might have you expect. Not syrupy or extract-redolent. But it's shallow and simple, with average flavour duration and intensity.

It ticks the boxes of what it's billed at...there's amber malt sweetness, oak, and coffee, but each note is faint, inexpressive, and dull.

For a beer called Morning Wood, the wood itself is shockingly reticent.

TEXTURE: Aptly medium-bodied. Smooth, wet, well-carbonated (if highly so), and somewhat refreshing. Adequate heft, weight, and thickness on the palate without coming across syrupy or sticky.

It's a decent complement to the taste, but ultimately this texture fails to elevate the beer as a whole or to accentuate specific notes.

OVERALL: Cashing in on the "oak aged" marketing trend, Morning Wood is a hum-ho amber with a forgettable coffee presence. While drinkable and enjoyable enough, ultimately, this beer's best element may be its label art. Not a brew I'd nab again unless it was $10 or under per 6-pack, and not the quality brew I hoped for given Local Option's rising reputation. Still, those drinkers who desire an amber with a bit more going on than you'd find in traditional examples of the style may find this whets their appetite nicely. Hides its high ABV well, and in spite of my nitpicks it's definitey above average.


 2,731 characters

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.24/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

look: hazy honey-amber with a off white head that stays to coat the top and leaves some messy lacing.
smell: rich coffee up front with some nutty malt.
taste: Coffee is a bit more subdued but still the star. Some vanilla oak and a slight bitter, spiciness in the finish. Mostly dry.

 283 characters

Photo of sweemzander
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz bottle poured into a snifter.
(A)- Pours a clear amber color. Produced a light frothy off-white head.

(S)- Light roasted coffee grounds meets a light nuttiness and honey sweetness.

(T)- The balance is nice. You get some light nutty flavors with a honey-like sweetness, but then quickly flows into a light roasted coffee profile. Finishes very woody.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Not too big on the coffee or oak but integrated nicely into the base.

 470 characters

Photo of WesMantooth
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, muddy looking copper red. Moderate sized head that doesnt last very long. Sort of gross in a lot of ways really.

Smells like wood, coffee, and malty.

The oak flavors are definitely there with a decent amount of coffee flavor. Coffee is nice and smooth though. Well integrated with the rich malts. A hint of brown sugar and baking spices.

Nothing crazy here, but a very nicely balanced beer that reveals all of the flavors advertised.

 455 characters

Photo of LacquerHead
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It has all the characteristics of an amber with a coffee flavor. Unlike most coffee flavored beers this one actually tastes like coffee and not coffee grounds. There was no bitter flavors or harsh roasted flavors. It tasted like coffee freshly poured and chilled. I liked it.

 275 characters

Photo of stakem
2.92/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

500ml bottle into a snifter. The brew appears a clear copper color with slightly off-white cap that fades fairly fast.

The smell is raw with its woody character seemingly almost fake in a strange spicy incense way. The coffee character is a very subtle afterthough that is hardly noticeable behind the aggressive harsh oak.

The taste carries more of that raw oak essence with a mild fruity alcohol feel and a touch of roasty coffee bitterness in the aftertaste.

This is medium bodied, moderatelt carbonated and a pretty forgettable brew. I pass on this if offered again.

 573 characters

Photo of joberlander
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Amber goldish color, white head that disappears very quickly. The smell is coffee forward with malt and slight oakiness coming through. The taste follows the nose, coffee upfront with a the malt and slight bitterness on the finish. Not a lot of oak in the taste but the coffee helps. Overall a nice coffee ale. Would like more it if it was just marketed as a coffee ale and not aged.

 388 characters

Photo of MUTINY
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just a little caveat here: I hate this label art so much. I mean, so much.

500ml into a wine tumbler.

A: Hazy deep-copper with 1/2" white head that recedes pretty quickly. Retention is quite good, lacing not so much.

S: Coffee, milk chocolate, cinnamon, slight fruitiness, traces of spice. All of the aromas here are incredibly rich & fleshed out. Impressive nose.

T: More coffee & milk chocolate. Raspberry. Honestly, I'm getting a hint of chile pepper. Honey, brown sugar. Lactose (though I doubt it's involved in the brewing).

M: Very creamy with a cocoa powder graininess. Carb is moderate. Slightly soapy, mostly just richly full-bodied.

O: This is the second offering I've had from Local Option, the first being Blood Ov The Kings. These brews are very similar minus the coffee element. That being said, this is a pleasant enough coffee-forward red. I kinda like it.

 897 characters

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Local Option is back to spelling this as “Morning Wood” rather than “Mourning Wood”
L: Pours hazy amber under with a 2” light tan tinted foam cap that grips the side of the glass.
S: Sweet coffee nose, traces of oak
T: A big creamy entry with grainy amber malts quickly gives way to coffee and then the malts return by the finish with traces of oak and vanilla.
F: Very creamy medium body sits very softly in the mouth with a slight drying astringency on the finish.
O: An interesting combination of flavors that works surprisingly well.

 552 characters

Photo of RyBrew54
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2014 vintage (Morning Wood), cellared at 49°. Pours murky amber with tons of coffee ground sediment. Half inch head is a creamy white and long lasting. Smell of a light toasty malt, sweeter coffee notes,with caramel undertones. Taste is very mild up front, with oakey caramel characteristics, then a huge rush of java and rich coffee flavor. Leaves a great coffee aftertaste to the palate that reminds me of a caramel macchiato. Weak start but really strong finish to think very drinkable amber ale.

 500 characters

Photo of deford
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Very nice to have an oak aged ale without the smoke. Very easy drinking and enjoyable. The coffee definitely comes through on the nose and in the mouth...paired it with a warm cinnamon roll...perfect! Don't expect anything crazy....just a nice, easy drinking amber ale with a little coffee on the finish.

 304 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.1/5  rDev -18.6%

Thanks to me for picking up this beer, one of the few from this brewery that are clearly labelled as to what the hell they are. 500ML bottle split with my wife.

The pour is a dense amber, with minimal carbonation. The nose is like being held for ransom in a Starbuck’s. There might be a little sweet creamer tickling the nostrils, but it’s the powdered kind, & not much of it. This. Is. A. Coffee. Beer.

Mourning Wood isn’t the coffee fisting I was expecting after my first whiff. There is no doubt, however, that this is coffee forward: it’s all over the beer, front, back, & center. The amber characteristics add a warm sweetness in the middle & a bitterness that I think it hops, but is hard to separate from the beanage. This thing gets weird in the middle: herbal tea, splash of pseudo-creamer, Menard’s lumber (probably treated with something toxic). Finishes with more coffee, & all the strangeness burrowing into every mouthal crevice I own. Glad I didn’t try to take this bottle on my own.

Weird. Not bad, but doesn’t form a harmonious whole, as the entire brew seems like it’s trying to devour it’s tail. Decent.

 1,146 characters

Photo of Ozzylizard
2.94/5  rDev -22.8%

$ 7.99/16.9 oz bottle from Vintage Estates, Boardman, OH
Undated bottle at 40 degrees into imperial pint glass
Aroma very weak coffee
Head small (1 cm), off white, fizzy, rapidly diminishing to broken 2 mm layer
Lacing poor – a few small islands of tiny bubbles
Body medium amber, cloudy
Flavor very weak, like watered-down McDonald’s Iced coffee. No hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate light to medium, watery, lively carbonation

Appearance 3, Aroma 2.75, Flavor 3, Palate 3, Overall 2.9375. Final weighted score: 2.9375.
Meh. Looks OK, barely smells OK, flavor is OK – the alcohol is well hidden, the palate is OK. An unexciting brew.

 650 characters

Photo of mynie
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%

No friggin idea what to expect here. A coffee amber? Why not a jalepeno cream stout or an amarillo hopped dubble. Cripes, people, do any of you have any sense of decency anymore?!?

But, hey--I was just trying to come up with weird, gross-sounding style combinations, and it was really hard to do. Why? Because American beer has gotten so weird and open-minded that even a flavor combination that sounds absolutely contradictory could be worth a shot. I mean, they made a beer that was supposed to taste like pizza and it was totally ok. A coffee amber really ain't that weird.

In theory, at least, it ain't that weird. In practice, it tastes like some weird European hard candy. It's not bad, but like I said in my first sentence, I got no idea how to review it.

It's a bunch of very tasty weirdness. Not unlike beer, I guess, but also not very much like beer. Big nodes of mocha and toffee and then some barley in the back end, all mellowed out excellently by oaking.

 984 characters

Photo of Stevedore
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%

500ml bottle, poured into a Bell's snifter 8/15/2014.

A- Medium brown body, slightly hazy. Pours silky smooth with a half finger white head with fairly minimal retention, no lacing.

S- Lots of coffee and tapioca, brown sugar and a bit of oak. Sort of like iced tea with coffee.

F- The flavours of coffee, sweet toffee, tapioca, brown sugar and oak have melded together very well to make for a relatively unique drinking experience. No single component dominates the blend which seems to come forth from the blending of all of these flavours rather than any one flavour standing out.

M- Medium in body, a bit undercarbonated but not enough to detract significantly from the experience. Finish is remniscent of milk tea.

O- Solid drinker, nothing complicated but also nothing offensive to be found in this beer.

 815 characters

Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my gargantuan tulip glass. A dark amber body with three fingers of off-white head: a slight reddish tinge to the head as well.

Smell is coffee and malt, all sweetness and roast.

This one's a bit of a flavor coaster from start to finish. All very pleasant and tasty: sweet malt and coffee up front. Not black coffee, more like a latte. At the very back end, the slightest hop bitterness. Very complex and enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is rich, but maybe too heavy on the carbonation.

Overall, a solid beer. Side note: I love the label artwork. Creepy and detailed.

 587 characters

Photo of morimech
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Murky amber color with a dense finger of head that slowly settles to a thin cap. A little bit of lacing is left down the glass.

Nice coffee aroma. A little bit of caramel and vanilla as well. Smells like something that gets ordered at a coffee shop.

Sweet caramel flavor that compliments the coffee. Hints of toffee and vanilla. Quite sweet with little bitterness.

Medium body and nicely carbonated.

Very sweet beer that does not really fit with my palate. Good coffee flavor.

 481 characters

Photo of richj1970
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 500 ml bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a golden honey brown with three finger beige colored head that lasted a good while. Very little lacing.

S: Sweet malts and roasted coffee beans. Biscuits drizzled with honey.

T: Caramel, and coffee with cream and sugar. A faint hint of oak lingers in the background.

M: Medium body with a creamy texture and leaving a bit of sweetness in the tongue.

O: This is really well done. Just enough coffee, just enough sweetness. Very crushable. Wish I had bought more bottles.

 523 characters

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into pint glass

A- First pour looks nicely filtered and light brown like iced tea. Second pour is still like tea, but full of sediment. Both times the head rears up like and angry bear, but very guickly disappears (too much carb?)
S- Sweet malts, oak, and slight coffee with a bit of tartness. I was hoping for more coffee
T - Starts off like it could almost go sour (probably from the oak), but then you realize it is very sweet and finishes with coffee. The more I drink of this, the more I am enjoying the flavors.
M - Smooth, not too carbinated as I feared from the head. Easy drinking.
O- A solid beer from Local Option. Red ale with coffee, so don't expect a big body or over the top tastes. Well balanced malts, oak, and coffee.

 749 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500ml bottle - Hop City in Birmingham, Alabama.

Appearance: Pours out an amber-hued body, lightly hazed, with a smallish, sustained, ivory-hued head.

Smell: Niiice. The satiating coffee bean scent is forward, followed by the American oak, the caramel (presumably American as well), toasted malts, teensy hint of vanilla, and subtle, restrained hop notes of floral and citrus.

Taste: A ladle of sweet caramel leisurely drizzled over toasted bread crusts and biscuit tops, then, a big sip of roasty coffee. Citrus backed with minute amounts of florals and green herbs. A little tangy cherry emerges upon warmth. Moderate bitterness. Bittersweet, caramel-coffee on the finish with some lingering oakiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Enjoyed it! Tasty, with good oak accents, and, I know I say it every time, but, I do enjoy the use of coffee in non-stout beers.

 894 characters

Photo of buschbeer
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle
Served in a tulip glass

A - It is a murky tea color with amber highlights. It is topped with a mountain of tan head.

S - I get some faint coffee and toffee.

T - The taste is full of bitter coffee.

M - Medium

O - It was good for an amber ale. The bitterness was almost over the top for me.

 309 characters

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 500mL bottle into a Teku.

A vigorous pour produces 3-4 finger thick, creamy, frothy head. A orange amber body shows some lazy carbonation and cloudiness. The head persists well and leaves lots of sticky lace behind.

I smell a chocolate bar with my first whiff of this. The coffee, chocolate and heavy scent of sweet malts create some sort of sweet coffee and chocolate treat. It's a lot like a mocha as well, but the coffee isn't so aggressive.

Continuing what the nose suggested, I continue to get a sweet coffee and chocolate flavor, although this time I'm reminded of a Starbucks Frappuccino. Caramel flavors work their way in and add to the sweet coffee drink taste. Towards the finish, some piney hops add a subtle bite. But wait, as this warms, I feel like I may even be tasting coconut, perhaps the combination of some oak and sweet malts suggesting toasted coconut. Nice.

Morning Wood has a lively feel to the tongue and a bitterness at the finish, but mostly it's creamy and thick with malt.

This beer was unique to me and I like that. I enjoyed the blend of flavors from the malts and the oak barrel that came together to create something akin to a flavored coffee drink. I'd rather drink such a thing in beer form rather than in a coffee shop.

 1,279 characters

Photo of facundoCNB
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hazy amber on color with 2 full fingers of head, slow dissipation. Smells malty sweet, cereal, pilsner malt, subtle coffee aroma, vanilla.
The flavor is much more complex.. Lots of coffee and what tastes like milk and sugar.. A sweet coffee infused amber ale with light hints of oak.. Sweet yet roasty. Medium body with moderate carbonation.
This was surprisingly good.. I'd heard mixed reviews.. And after smelling it, I felt I would be let down. Nope, this is damn good :)

 474 characters

Photo of superspak
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours fairly hazy deep orange copper color with a 2 finger fairly dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of coffee, caramel, toast, biscuit, toffee, light chocolate, vanilla, oak, clove, floral, grass, light citrus, and toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of dark/bready malt, coffee, and oak notes; with decent strength. Taste of coffee, caramel, toast, biscuit, cocoa, light roast, oak, light clove, herbal, floral, light citrus, and toasted earthiness. Light amount of floral bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of coffee, caramel, toast, biscuit, cocoa, light roast, oak, light clove, herbal, floral, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and robustness of coffee, dark/bready malts, and light-moderate oak flavors; with no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, moderately bready, and slightly chalky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming after the finish. Overall this is a good amber ale. Well balanced dark/bready malt, coffee, and light-moderate oak flavors; and very smooth to drink. A pleasantly enjoyable offering.

 1,320 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Mourning Wood from Local Option
86 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.