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Mourning Wood - Local Option

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Mourning Wood
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very good

68 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 68
Hads: 472
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 26.51%
Wants: 12
Gots: 44 | FT: 4
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
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Reviews: 68 | Hads: 472
Photo of dar482
4.46/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a brown amber color with a foamy white head.

The aroma is just delicious. It has light creamy coffee, or almost like root beer, but backed with tons of gentle smokey caramel and toffee notes.

The flavor follows with a good amount of sweet bready malt and caramel sweetness. The middle gives you a punch of smokiness and coffee (although there isn't smoked malt, the barrels give it that pungent deep smoke flavor). The finish is where thing go wild as the top of your mouth is given a buttery sweet toffee candy that just lingers. It's not too sweet of a beer, but it just has that balance of sweetness and coffee that balances so well.

The beer is almost like a watered down black coffee. It's interesting to have a beer surrounded with caramel sweetness instead of the usual roasty malt character with coffee.

An extremely coffee forward beer.

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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.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.31/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at The Old Toad in Rochester, NY. Oak-aged coffee amber ale? What a weird combination of ideas. Let's see if it works.

Pours a dark amber with a one inch head with a small amount of lacing down the glass.

Smells include oak, earthy coffee, and hazelnuts.

The taste is pretty similar. Lots of earthy coffee flavor here- the coffee flavor shines through more strongly than a porter or stout- because the roast of the a porter or stout sometimes blinds the pure coffee flavors. The coffee here provides earthy sweet flavors, along with some nutty flavors that remind of hazelnuts or pecans. The beer is also incredibly woody and oaky, like drinking liquid wood at times. It is a good flavor- but becomes slightly overbearing at times. Some vanilla and caramel as well.

Medium bodied, creamy mouthfeel, low carbonation.

One of the more interesting beer experiments had. Maybe use less strong oak or age it on the oak for less time, and the beer would be near perfect. As of now, the oak flavors are too strong.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.29/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served from tap into a Trappe Door tulip. Poured copper with a two finger off-white head that subsided to a half finger slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, coffee, toffee, caramel, earth, and bread. The flavor was of sweet malt, bread, coffee, toffee, caramel, and cream. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. I have to be honest that I picked this one up just for the name. However, upon first investigation of the nose I was taken back a good bit due to all of the complexity going on. The flavor was more of the same as the coffee and toffee notes were very well incorporated and done quite well into the beer. This made it quite intriguing and enjoyable during each sip of the glass. This was an excellent representative of the style and I would love to have this one again. I mean, I did have two glasses of it that evening which is quite unusual for me.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.27/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The Morning Wood would definitely be worth a morning wood...it was quite taste. The beer poured a hazy orangish amber with creamy head that left a nice lacing. The scent was coffee mixed with biscuit. The taste was a nice amber base with espresso boost. The mouthfeel was medium to full in body with smooth carbonation. Overall this was a great beer...not sure as to what is going on... the Local Option is Chicago....but the brewer was Pub Dog from Maryland. Nice job who ever!

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Gmann
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy amber brown color with a short dense cream colored head that settles into a light cap.

The aroma is a beautiful coffee scent. Deep and rich, almost smells as if there is chocolate in the beer. Woody notes blend perfectly with the coffee that gives the beer an earthy characteristic. Doesn't really smell oaky but more of a seasoned wood ready for the fire. Excellent.

The taste mirrors the aroma. Big coffee flavors; again almost chocolatey. Plenty of wood presence. Smooth caramel sweetness. A bit of a tea like note that reminds you that the base beer is an amber ale. I would expect these coffee notes from a stout, not an amber, but I am pleasantly surprised. Very good.

Moderate feel with fizzy carbonation. Mainly sweet on the palate but does have a light tartness to it.

A very good amber ale; strong coffee flavor. Artwork on the label is cool as well.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.19/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Gorgeously colored in a rusty amber with a touch of cloudiness. The head was built on layers of loosely knit bubbles but had a cohesive core.

The scent is of roasted coffee and cream, with a little chocolate and some caramel malty notes.

The flavor is rather robust with a strong coffee stance but a smooth roasted char. The taste continues chocolatey, not a milk chocolate but more of chocolate flavored coffee. There's also some roasted malt qualities that make this a really tasty ale.

The feel is full, creamy, moderately carbonated and easy on the throat.

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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.

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Photo of rudzud
4.14/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recently stumbled across my notes from The Festival 2012. Lets do this!

A - Poured a nice orange hue, light amber, with a half finger white head that fades nice and slow. Solid.

S - Wow, big, big aromas of coffee here. Super coffee and maple, definitely drank probably 22oz of this first thing in the morning due to its super pleasant aroma.

T - Taste is delicious, there is nice coffee and faint maple syrup notes, though its all a bit on the fainter side. Would like more, just like the nose.

M - Mouthfeel is solid for the style, touch on the smooth side.

O - Overall a damn fine beer. Definitely drank my fair share of this at The Festival.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Fcolle2
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber in color with a slight haze and a one finger white foamy head that has decent retention.

Smell is great. grainy malt is overlaid with coffee and very faint hints of oak. The combination gives it a lightly roasted aroma. Very faint spicey herbal hops near the back.

Taste follows the nose. light grainy flavors blend nicely with some lightly roasted coffee that has nearly no charcoal/charred flavor or bitterness. This is very well balanced. Small amount of sweetness and very little bitterness. Very little oak makes it through to the taste however.

Mouthfeel is good. Mid range body, perfect for an amber. Mild carbonation and little to no bitterness keeps this highly drinkable.

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Photo of Florida9
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Slightly hazy, tan-copper in color. Forms a smallish off-white head. Little lacing.

S: Aroma is most wood, like balsa wood or lumbar, but in a good way with notes of coffee, tea, and unsweet caramel.

T: Tastes is similar and, for some reason, I find it quite appealing. Woody and dry. Mildly earthy. Brown rice. City-roast coffee. There are some lighter caramel notes.

M: On the lighter side of medium. Very dry, bordering on astringent. Moderate bitterness.

O: An interesting beer. Certainly showcases the "wooden" quality nicely.

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

Pours to a beautiful buff head that produces tons of lace. Color is a hazy light orange amber. Aroma is roasty malt, coffee, oak and caramel malt. Flavor is coffee, sweet malt and an astringent bitterness. Mouthfeel is meduim and CO2 is spot-on. Overall, a great flavored beer experience.

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

Poured into a Reuben's Brew snifter. Pours an attractive medium red orange with a fine one finger light tan head with great retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of fresh coffee, caramel malt and nuts, hint of chocolate. Flavor is sweet caramel malt, good coffee, nuts, vanilla, pleasant. Medium bodied with some creaminess. A somewhat complex and interesting coffee ale that is nicely balanced between the malt body and the coffee and nutty flavors. This is what I'd expect from a coffee infused nut brown ale. A bit on the sweet side, but enough flavor to carry it off. Coffee is nicely done. I really liked this. I usually only enjoy coffee in dark malt beers like stouts, but this really is well done and enjoyable.

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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.

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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.

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

Poured into a balloon glass.

The beer is a dark caramel color with more of a burnt orange hue. A cream colored head recedes to a fine film with decent amounts of webby lacing. The aroma is straightforward with subtle coffee notes blending in with a rich bourbon barrel oak scent. The taste is equally sublime with a sweet caramel note to start things off. It soon turns more bitter with hops, but not before a good woody oak note comes in. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and somewhat dry.

Overall, this is pretty rich. The oak and hops end up taking away a lot of the coffee though.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Where the common infrastructure for coffee infused beer is Porter or Stout because of the natural roasted malt characteristics that already have coffee overtones. But there's no such link in Amber Ale- there's no confusion about which coffee flavors of from that of ale and that of spice addition. This makes Morning Wood a straight forward and honest ale but it also simplifies the conversation.

Pouring a dark amber color, there's really no sigh of coffee- at least to the eye. Its short-statured off-white head is creamy and dense until it settles into a delicate creme-like froth. Its semi-firm retention eventually succumbs to the spices and lightened body underneath and with minimal yet isolated pockets of lace to adorn the glass.

Where the eye does't speak coffee, the nose sure does- bold coffee aromas are nutty, earthy, lightly roasted, and woodish. Its supporting short-lived sweetness is of caramel and mild toffee. Its grain underpinnings are just enough to prop up the scent of coffee.

To taste, the coffee element shies away from intense roast but rather embraces the more delicate Breakfast Blends, Kona and Columbia-type flavor which unlocks the nuttier, toastier, and almost chocolaty coffee taste. Mild chicory, anise and damp soil flavors become taste to bridge into the oak flavors to follow. Light wood spice, soft vanilla and caramels support the coffee well but without rivaling for attention. Its tremendous how much coffee flavor stems from its light color.

Medium-light in body, the beer is remarkably drinkable. Its creamy beginnings turn to soft and silky coffee textures in the middle before drying out nicely in a toasted finish. Light alcohol hardly shows beyond a mild warming character. Nutty and earthy aftertaste extends well into the next sip.

I really like the straight forward dialogue of coffee and supporting Amber Ale. It does a nice job revealing a rich coffee taste and without the effort that's normally associated with Porters and Stouts. It's simply a well made and inquisitive ale.

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Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Local Option, served in a goblet. Review from written notes.

Saturated auburn orange color, good clarity, thin ring of off white foam around the edges of the glass.

Pleasant roasted coffee aroma, light toasted grains, maple.

Similar flavors, dominant coffee flavors with a little bit of toasted malt and maple in the middle. Lightly bitter astringency from the coffee or possibly oak, though oak isn't really expressed in the taste much. Smooth feel, medium bodied and easy drinking. Would drink this again for sure.

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Mourning Wood from Local Option
86 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.