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Mourning Wood - Local Option

Not Rated.
Mourning WoodMourning Wood

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

65 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 65
Hads: 462
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 10%
Wants: 9
Gots: 37 | 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
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Reviews: 65 | Hads: 462
Photo of sweemzander
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy copper red. Moderate sized head that doesnt last very long.

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. (401 characters)

Photo of LacquerHead
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
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 -23.2%
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 +3.2%
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 +6.8%
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 +11.8%
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 +0.8%
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 -14.5%

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 -18.4%

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 -22.6%

$ 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 +9.2%

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 +0.5%

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 +5.8%
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 -3.7%
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 +7.9%
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 +6.1%
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 +8.7%
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 -0.8%
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 +7.9%
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 +3.2%
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 -5.8%
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)

Photo of barhoc11
3.17/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Hazy amber color with a decent head that fades fast

S: Big Malt smell with subtle coffee notes

T: Interesting stuff going on here, more of a malty amber/red taste with a very small hint of coffee. If I hadn't read the bottle , I would probably not know there was coffee in this. The aftertaste is not very good.

M: It feels medium-bodied and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. This is its best characteristic.

O: I expected more out of this, perhaps I have an old bottle but the oak and coffee tastes are very minimal. The aftertaste ruins this beer for me (597 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy yellowish amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that gradually died down but consistently left a thin head covering the surface, a collar around the edge, and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of nutty malts and coffee are present in the nose. Hints of vanilla become apparent in the smell once the beer warms up.
T: The taste generally follows the smell and has flavors of coffee intermixed with nutty malts while hints of oak become noticeable towards the finish, the latter of which also become stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a really nice balance between the coffee, malt, and oak flavors—it's a great option if you are looking for a coffee beer but don't want something as heavy as a coffee-infused stout. (950 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

My friend brought over a bottle of Local Option's Morning Wood to share with me so I took some notes on it. I've been wanting to check out some beers from this brewery but I haven't seen them around and I'm happy to have a chance to try it, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 500ml bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks pretty nice, it reminds me of a heavy metal album cover and I think it's pretty eye catching. It poured a fairly cloudy lighter brown color that took on a slight copper and ruby color when held to the light with a finger and a half worth of fluffy tan head that died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it left a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This was a pretty nice looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness followed by the coffee being the first to show up and it imparts a pretty typical coffee flavor with some grainy and caramel malt like aromas showing up in the background. Up next comes the barrel which imparts a noticeable vanilla aroma and very noticeable oaky and wooden aroma but not any boozy or bourbon like aromas and there's also an odd aroma that I can't put my finger on it and I think it may be from the barrel but I don't know for sure. The aroma was decent, but I wish the barrel imparted more of bourbon aroma, and I wasn't a big fan of that odd mystery aroma.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by the coffee still being the first to show up and it imparts that same typical coffee flavor but it's a little lighter and slightly stale tasting with some caramel malts, grainy, and light sweet malt flavors. Up next comes the barrel which imparts the exact same aspects that it did in the aroma weird mystery aspect and all. On the finish there's a weird herbal flavor with a slightly higher amount of medium bitterness with a watery, stale coffee, and caramel malt like aftertaste. The taste was ok, but the flavors didn't seem to blend together as well as they could have.

M- A little smooth, not so clean, a little creamy, not too crisp, on the thicker side of being medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was decent and it worked ok with this beer.

Overall I thought this beer was just ok and I thought it wasn't too Red Ale like after all the different things they did to this beer, I'm not sure that I could pick it out as a Red Ale, but it wasn't a bad example of a experimental beer and it wasn't a good example either. This beer didn't have the best drinkability, it was a little smooth, not so clean, a little creamy, a little filling and the taste didn't do the best job at holding my attention, half the bottle is enough for me, I had no urge to drink any more than that. What I liked the most about this beer was the appearance, it was a fairly nice looking Red Ale. What I liked the least about this beer was the taste, the flavors just didn't seem to blend together that well. I wouldn't buy this beer and I'm glad I got to try this before because I'm pretty sure I would have spent $10 on this beer and I don't think it's close to being worth that and I wouldn't recommend it. All in all I was a little let down with this beer, on paper it sounded good, but it really didn't come together as well as I had hoped. This didn't make for the best first impression for Local Option, but I still want to try more of their beers. After we drank this beer I grabbed a bottle of Oddside's Morning Wood from my cellar and I know that the only similarity is their name and that they are coffee beers aged in bourbon barrels, but the Oddsides beer blew this one out of the water everyone we shared it with flat out agreed that Oddsides made a better Morning Wood. I appreciate the effort, but this one could use some work especially when we already have a very nice coffee beer aged in Bourbon Barrels called Morning Wood that is brewed here. (4,025 characters)

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Mourning Wood from Local Option
85 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.