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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: 471
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 9.97%
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: 471
Photo of barhoc11
3.17/5  rDev -16.8%
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

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Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

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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 jbaker67
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap on John J. Jefferies. Deep orange in color, a little dirty, soft to moderate frothy white head, a little lacing. Coffee aroma, a little sweet, something else that is hard to describe but its nice. Soft coffee up front, not as strong as the nose suggested. Otherwise a little malty, bready. Needs to have a bit more sweetness as on the tongue its a bit dull. Body and mouthfeel are moderate. Dull coffee and somewhat sweet bready finish. Really liked the nose, but it was too soft on the tongue.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the best from local option so far i think, the oak really neutralizes the ph of the coffee, and makes for a much less gut wrenching coffee beer without compromising the coffee flavor or caffeine hit. cloudy rusty orange in color and average headiness. nose of bitter coffee, sweet caramel and pale malts, with a distinct oak barrel woodiness and earthen character. the flavor starts coffee heavy, but it subsides and mellows quickly, letting the malt shine. cool to have such a light and bright coffee beer, that carries the coffee through without all the bitterness of roasted barley like the all too common coffee stout. the oak smoothes the finish into a very soothing beverage, smooth as silk, but still rather bubbly. jovial feel to this one, with a protracted finish of musty wood and cold java. definitely worth checking out if you are a coffee beer enthusiast.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 1.13.14

A - Pours a cloudy light brown with a one inch tan fluffy, resistant head.

S - Coffee, and some toasted wood.

T - Watery coffee, pretty mild.

D - Thin body and nice carbonation.

O - Thin light and gimmicky label. Meh all around.

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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 WheelsPSU
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had a glass of this on tap at St. Gambrinus in Brooklyn. 12 oz pour served in a tulip for $6.

Pours a cloudy amber brownish color with an average sized light colored head. The lacing decided to not stick around.

Smelled like a ton of things. Had a bit of citrus (i'm guessing from the hops), chocolate, malts, and something smoky and creamy. Quite interesting in a good way.

Taste was light coffee. Not overdone. Roasted hazelnuts, caramel and some woodiness from the barreling process. Also a little spice was evident.

Medium carbonation, coffee forward amber beer. Glad I tried this as it's unlike anything I've ever drank.

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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 UCLABrewN84
3.29/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, coffee, earth, and dirt aromas. Taste is much the same with coffee, caramel, and earth flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer but the earth and dirt qualities aren't all that pleasant in my opinion.

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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 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 chugalug06
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice head, warm white pillowy. Brew is cloudy orange with lots of deep reds.

Mild hazelnut aroma, but nice and smoothly crisp nose. Malty back bone with vanilla and toasty coffee. Damn unique.

Flavors are bit unmelded and kinda jumbled. Kinda harsh and unfinished. Lots of dry earthy malt with coffee back. Bite is low and mellow, yet refined enough to palate. Carbonation spot on. Very unique style. Dry sweetness.

A nice take on a BA brew. Amber and coffee provide lots of one-of-a-kind attributes. It could be a bit more blended and less thrown together, but over all it's a fun beer. Merry Christmas!!!

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Photo of KFBR392
3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours with a thick and creamy head of about one finger. The color of the brew is a muddy brown/red/orange color. Light active carbonation in the glass while drinking. Heavy lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Light to medium bodied coffee grounds jump out right away. Amber malt backbone plays along very well with the coffee accents. The body and back end are filling with plenty of rounded oak character.

Taste: The front is a nutty and caramel malt character. Oaky smoothness in the body. Coffee accents are much lighter then I expected, mainly picked up on the back end. Toffee, chocolate, and coffee finish is left on the palate.

Mouthfeel: Light, slight chalky synthetic feeling at times. Dry coffee finish.

Overall: Good stuff. Glad I finally got to try a Local Option offering after hearing so much about them. Would certainly try some of their other options.

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

500 ml bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. My second encounter with a beer from Local Option, "Brewed & bottled by Pub Dog Brewing Company, Westminster, MD". My bottle lists a 7.30% abv, rather than the 7.00% listed on BeerAdvocate. No idea what to expect with this one.

Poured into an over-sized wine glass.

A - Pours a nice burnt amber / ruby colored body with some dark powdery sediment floating around. Two to three fingers of soft foamy khaki head, slowly fizzing out of existence. Some spotty lacing, but none sticks. Looks pretty nice.

S - Nose is very nice and interesting. While coffee isn't the first thing I smell, it is definitely in there. Chocolate, roasted hazelnuts, some cream, alcohol presence, hint of yeast, and some coarse carbonation.

T - Taste follows the nose very well, I am actually really enjoying this. Bitter coffee bean roast, chocolate / amber malt, roasted hazelnuts, some earthy woodiness from the barrel character, hint of yeast presence. Very nicely layered and balanced.

M - Feel finishes of lightly bitter roast and some dryness.

Overall, I was apprehensive about this one at first, but they pulled it off nicely. Very nice depth and duration of flavor, moderate abv, and a decent price at $5.99. I look forward to trying more from these guys.

Local Option Morning Wood ---4/5.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From 11/13/13 notes. Had a glass of this on tap at Rattle n Hum in NYC. 14 oz pour served in a tulip for $8.

a - Pours a murky, reddish-brown color with one inch of light tan head and low carbonation evident. Some moderate lacing left on the glass.

s - Smells of citrus hops, coffee, roasted malts, chocolate, light smoke, oak, and toasted malts. Lights fruits as it warms up too. Very interesting nose but I like it.

t - Tastes of coffee, roasted malts, fruity malts, citrus hops, light peppers, spice, chocolate, oak, and toasted malts. Little spicy and peppery here, not quite as good as the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a decent beer that is pretty interesting. I liked the nose and the coffee definitely comes through, though the taste had a little spice to it I wasn't big one. Second new Local Option beer in the last week...I didn't think this one was as good as Kentucky Common, though they are quite different. Worth checking out if you like coffee and/or red ales.

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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 gillagorilla
3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's (from notes).

A: Hazy amber brown.

S: Coffee and caramel.

T: Little coffee and sweet. Decent. Not too much of the oak, it must have just tempered the coffee.

M: Crisp.

O: Pretty good. Interesting. Good for what it is and a lot of nice flavors in there.

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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 Tone
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of sweet malt, yeast, caramel malt, biscuit, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of an American Amber / Red Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of a hint of hop, yeast, sweet malt, caramel malt, hint of earthy malt, hint of floral, and a hint of biscuit. Overall, I enjoyed the biscuit-y roasted-ness in both the body and aroma, but otherwise an average beer.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured lighter colored amber,a bit lighter than most traditional amber/reds pour. This beer yields a small dirty white cap with decent head retention, minimal lacing though.

S: Interesting. Coffee, vanilla, sweet bread, some caramel.

T: The nose presents more coffee than the taste offers. A little sweetness with layers of oak tannins, caramel, bread and coffee. Pretty balanced flavoring here.
The finish is a bit sweet, yet somewhat dry

M: Light-medium to medium body, well carbonated, smooth.

O: Interesting beer. Not bad. I wouldn't mind having this draft or maybe even nitro.

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Photo of russpowell
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My bottle says it's brewed by Pub Dog Brewing CO From Westminster MD & it's 7.3%...

Pours an effervescent amber/orange with 2+ fingers of tan head. Good lacing & above average head retention

S: Big time coffee & hazelnut, almost wonder if that's the "natural flavors" on display? Seems a touch artificial

T: Follows the nose, a little dryness as well, some tannic notes as well up front. More coffee & a bit of woodiness/dryness & hazelnut creamer. Finishes, with roasty coffee, sweetness, & oaky notes

MF: Medium body, fairly firm carbonation

Interesting taste, but not very sessionable. Would work as a breakfast beer if nothing better was around. Give me a coffee stout any time

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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 Bung
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml. A not real dark orangy-amber pour, nice frothy layer of cream head.

Aroma, Toasted malt, some light chocolate and caramel. This is all background for the coffee.

Taste, Quite caramelly, caramel coffee. Some earthy cocoa and oak. Maybe some herbal hop like presence. Pretty nice, is as described.

About medium bodied. The fine carbonation almost is creamy, but not quite. Abv very well hidden. Not exactly an amber or red, a very good non-dark coffee brew though no doubt.

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