La Muerta - Freetail Brewing Company

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La MuertaLa Muerta

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very good

90 Reviews
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Reviews: 90
Hads: 308
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 197
Gots: 84 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Freetail Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: wagenvolks on 02-17-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 90 | Hads: 308
Photo of joshuacavett
4.88/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had a 2010 & 2011 side by side in November of 2011. Major difference between the 2010 & 2011.

2011: thicker, coffee, toffee & bourbon notes. Mouthfeel was much better on this one & color was slightly darker. More viscous & in my opinion more delicious.

2010: age did not do this beer well in my opinion. Although I still enjoyed, it was almost a cascading dark tast & sight to me rather than a American Double/ RIS.

Great great offering by Freetail!

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Photo of elNopalero
4.83/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Updated notes:

2011 vintage, with two years on it. Tasted on La Muerta Day, 2013.

As dark as ever with this amazing cocoa-tan colored foam. The beer smells of dark cherries and dark chocolate, with the faintest whisper of smoke and vanilla.

The flavor runs on for days, with more dark cherries, dark chocolate, worn leather and vanilla-spiked sugar. There’s a long lingering mouthfeel. Two years makes this beer mellow and subtle and oh so divine. Seek it out.

2011 vintage.

Split this bad boy the first week of June after cellaring it since November. Time has definitely taken what was already an excellent imperial stout and made it … transcendent. Just incredible all around.

This poured an inky black with thick, creamy cocoa-colored foam. It has that wonderfully glorious roasty aroma with cocoa nibs and dark coffee, and just a wisp of smoke. No noticeable booze.

The flavor is incredible, with dark chocolate and a roasty smoothness to it. There’s a hint of smoked malts on the finish, and a wonderful body that holds up as it warms and opens further, revealing layers of dark, worn leather and dried tobacco.

Smooth and slick, like Barry White’s voice, with a lingering finish like a sustained note held through the finish. Or something like that.

An all around exceptional brew. Bring it back, I want another glass for an encore.

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Photo of spaceycasey
4.65/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on draft in a snifter at Freetail. Limited edition bombers are coming soon I'm told - this review is not meant to reflect that version. Appearance is black with a thick creamy tan head. Aroma is rich chocolate, roasted malt, coffee and a very faint hint of hops. Flavor of chocolate, coffee, hints of smoke, roasted malt and slight alcohol warmth. Mouthfeel is thick, chewy but creamy. A nightcap of a brew if there ever was one.

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Photo of champ103
4.62/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A huge thanks to pwsoldier for the trade.

A: Pours pretty much opaque black. A two finger tan head gently rises and sticks around for a minute. The foam finally recedes and sticks around as a small cap. Light lace.
S: Roasted malt. Chocolate, dry wood, molasses, smoke. A huge aroma that is great.
T: Incredibly complex. Roasted malt, dark chocolate, espresso, dry wood, smoke. Slightly bitter in the finish. Some warming alcohol. Lots of great layers.
M/D: A huge full body. Low on the carbonation. Velvety smooth, decedent, and rich. The alcohol is noticeable, but it is a great beer to sip on.

One of the best Imperial Stouts I have tried. A great winter warmer or after dinner drink. I wish I had another bottle to cellar. Something I highly recommend.

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Photo of pwsoldier
4.54/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #0010, 10.2% abv

A - Nearly pitch-black when the glass is full, with some translucency around the edges that become more apparent as the glass becomes more empty. Pours with a tan head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving a small amount of lacing.

S - Definitely the highlight of this beer, absolutely delightful! Dark chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and some faint aromas of dark fruit all combine to create a magnificent, complex nose.

T - Slightly bitter up front, with hops and coffee notes dominating. Plenty of sweetness comes through in the finish though, with the roasted malts complimented by flavors of vanilla and sweetish dark chocolate. Very nice balance.

M - Full-bodied, creamy finish, lingering chocolatey bitterness on the palate.

D - This is a very enjoyable stout, and incredibly easy to drink. Definitely my favorite local beer.

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Photo of jefferz5000
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally, I decide it's time to crack into a prized La Muerta. I don't want to, it's red wax is so beautiful, but I must.

Poured into my Portsmouth snifter (thanks STEG) I think to myself, mmmm motor oily goodness. A deep tan head forms without much effort and hangs out for a while. I have a good feeling about this.

Smells generously of smoke and dark chocolatey tobacco. Yeah. I like where this is going.

As I take my first sip, I can't help but let it sit in my mouth for a few extra seconds. This beer has big flavor with big smoothness. I was actually quite surprised at how smooth this bad boy really is. Alcohol is impressively hidden. I don't even know how beneficial age would really be. The flavors are meshing really well. Taste follows the nose accurately. Very rich. The aftertaste is very much chocolate. Semisweet chocolate. Lingers very nicely.

Thicky thick. Carbonation is just right. Not too much, but well done.

Drinkability is actually pretty good considering the abv. Warmth in the chest is the main evidence that this thing is serious. Very robust, best shared with a friend or two, however I'll be taking down this one alone. But, my folks enjoyed the few sips they took!

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Photo of STEG
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 La Muerta bottle #106/450 a big thanks to jefferz5000 for this generous hookup.

Pitch black small head rises and dissipates quick. Collar of bubbles very fine and creamy looking.

Smell has peat, smoke, darkroast coffee, and an almost bacony smell as well as some very light dark chocolate

Taste is boozy, chocolaty, bitter coffee and burnt wet wood.

Mouthfeel is a bit too carbonated, but still silky smooth. It is a tad bit on the thin side but not bad overall

Alcohol is moderately hidden and very tasty stuff. Mouthfeel is a bit lacking but the lightness makes it easier to drink.

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Photo of Dajtai007
4.48/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tried the 08 and the 09 at the first anniversary party. Two taster glasses:

A: Very dark, but when held to the light had a burnt amber lining. One finger head that held on very well.
S: The 08 had a great toasted vanilla smell with a hint of chocolate. The 09 had a similar nose, but was not as pronounced.
T: Both were fantastic, Kate-ish in flavor. Nice deep tasted malt, chocolate(raw), tiny hint of vanilla. The 08 with a year on it was sublime. Aging very very well!
M: Both had a good amount of carbonation, but not too much to bitter the palate. The 08 seemed a bit more creamier than the 09.
D: I can drink a bomber by myself if I could, but a great beer like La Muerta should be shared.

Overall it was a treat to try these two head-to-head. I'm glad to see that the 08 held up beautifully over the past year. A great treat brewed in the lone star state. Keep up the great work guys. I hear that they got a Bourbon Barrel filled with the 09 batch----YUM!

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Photo of jnn4v
4.48/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Allow me to begin by stating right up front that I think this is one of the best imperial stouts I've tried. If you prefer neutral-flavored mild imperial stouts, you should head elsewhere. Now don't get me wrong - La Muerta doesn't cross the boundaries into Russian Imperial Stout territory in regards to big aggressive flavor, but it does definitely hit you strong up front and continue through the finish.

A: Dark, thick, oily. Just as an Imperial Stout should be.
S: Toasted malts, hints of coffee, hints of toffee, possibly some butterscotch buried in there. Very strong molasses and some brown sugar too. My mouth is watering already.
T: Taste is true to the scent. And also one of the best imperial stouts I've ever laid into.
M: Thick. Smooooth. No complaints or identifiable faults here.
D: As good as it could be for a big, bold imperial stout. I don't know if I'd have 2 glasses of this, but I definitely enjoyed the serving I did have.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Getting into the Halloween spirit with this treat from BGThang. Hmmm, what mysterious secrets lie hidden within the confines of....La Muerta??? (cue spooky organ music...)

Appearance - dark, cola pour, setting up mostly opaque in the glass, maybe a hint of ruby on the edges. Some light lace on top of pale mocha doesn't last long and is quickly struggling to hold a thin collar. Any lacing has difficulty holding on as it tends to slide down the glass.

Aroma - deep grain roast, hints of espresso and bitter chocolate, and a mesquite type smokiness.

Taste - sweetened cocoa , notes of cola and smoky espresso. Very warming on the swallow. Lots of chocolate on the aftertaste, malt sweeetness and abv helping that along to make a very nice flavor. Finishes dry with shadows of cocoa and a lingering, ~~~haunting~~~ sweetness...

Mouthfeel - smooth with a good solid body, medium carbonation.

Drinkability - I imagine this would be a fine cellarable but I wasn't about to wait. Happy Halloween '09, thanks Ken!

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to MrVonzipper for sharing this one at his tasting!

Pours an opaque black with a dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt, smoked malt, cocoa, coffee bean, and slight alcohol. Taste is of dark roasted malt, smoked malt, cocoa powder, and some slight coffee bean flavors. There is a nice roasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good carbonation level with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good stout with nice smoke and cocoa aromas and flavors.

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Photo of hiikeeba
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a limited bottle release from Freetail, bottle #388 of 450.

A - Pours up jet black with a thick brown head that falls to a brown layer of bubbles on the top.

S - Sweet malt aroma, roasted malt in the back ground. Smells similar to an oatmeal stout

T - Starts out with sweet malt flavor, some nuttiness and finishes with a coffee roast flavor. Despite the high alcohol content, the alcohol is not apparent.

M - Full bodied, silky and almost creamy.

D - This is a deceptively easy drinking beer, one that will sneak up on you. It's smooth and satisfying. It is my new favorite beer.

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Photo of jamescain
4.37/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vierte en un sniffer en Freetail

Appearance: Black with a white head that quickly fades into a ring around the glass. The beer was served way too cold so I had to let it warm up in my hands for a while before drinking it.

Aroma: Very smoky, I was not expecting that, roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, all the good things you would expect from an imperial stout.

Taste: Still pretty smoky, but enjoyable, chocolate, coffee and roasted malts round out the rest of the flavors. The taste is nice, not amazing but very good.

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy like an imperial stout should be. There is no noticeable alcohol sensation, which is impressive from a 10%ABV beer.

Overall: Very good and I would recommend it if you can get your hands on one. This is the reason I’m glad I live in San Antonio, without Freetail I don’t know what I would do here.

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Photo of glid02
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Grant - much obliged! Bottle 103 of 406 (unsure of that last number).

Pours black with a half-finger light brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing and decent legs.

Smells of sweet molasses, roasted malts, and smooth dark chocolate, in that order. Also present are very slight amounts of char.

Tastes similar to how it smells, but less restrained. Large roasted malt and dark molasses flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by moderate amounts of dark chocolate. Midway through the sip hints of syrupy dark fruit flavors make a brief appearance before fading into a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a heavy thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I've been wanting to try this beer for a good while now and it didn't disappoint. Certainly on the more decadent and sweeter side of RIS's and one of the better ones I've had that didn't involve a barrel. Well worth a shot if you can track one down.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle tried 7 Mar 2011. 2010 version, 108/450. Served in the (512) One snifter. Thanks to jefferz5000 for this bottle.

Large thick dark brown head. Medium carbonation. Clear, nearly black in color. Aroma is sweet roasted malts, cocoa and chocolate. Burnt sugars dominate at the beginning. Lots of sweet dark chocolate, turning bittersweet in the middle. Some espresso. Heavy body, viscous, almost oily, clings to the glass for a long time. Alcohol is quite noticeable. Dry cocoa finish, almost boozy aftertaste. Becomes sweeter as it warms.

One of the better imperial stouts we've had in a while.

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Photo of grub
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Viggo shared this one. thanks eric!

22oz bottle topped with gold wax. sampled jan 1/2010.

pours pretty much opaque inky black with a thin layer of fine brown head. the head quickly drops to a ring around the glass with lots of spotty lace.

aroma is good. dark chocolate. bacony smoke. roasty. light alcohol. bittersweet chocolate. bit of milk chocolate. bit of caramel. just a touch of orangey citrus, lending a bit of terry's chocolate orange slant.

taste is great. big smokey blast up front, much more than in the aroma. caramel sweetness. milk and dark chocolate. hint of espresso. light alcohol, more like 8% than the listed 10.2% ABV. light roast. toasted multi-grain bread. bit of biscuit. the smokey sweet character is really neat and enjoyable.

mouthfeel is good. medium-large body. just under medium carbonation.

drinkability is great. good balance. nice depth. i really like the smokey sweet character, and it works surprisingly well. good stuff. i'll definitely have my eye out for more of this one.

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Photo of billab914
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes, opened as part of a haul from a great group of Texas BA's. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tasting glass. Pitch black in color with a thin tan head barely covering the top.

I'm getting a lot of smoke to it in the aroma, which I love. It's got some really good notes of dark chocolate and roasty coffee. I'm getting a a bit of a chili pepper like flavor out of it as well. I loved the smoky, roasted malt flavors in it.

The smoke and dark chocolate flavors continue into the taste and again are really good. I get a little more roasted malts and coffee in the finish. The smoke is definitely the highlight for me, but it's not overdone either.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style and moderately slick and oily. Carbonation is on the lower side. Overall, I thought this was one of if not the best beer of the day. I really loved the smokiness in it. Everything really came together nicely in it. Great beer overall.

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Photo of crosamich
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Into a darkness tulip, shared a bit with wife and pops but greedy with most of it. Dark color, thick brown head and thick lacing. Aroma of deep roasted malt and lots of dark chocolate. Taste is more dark chocolate, some roasted notes, very smooth. Mouthfeel is just about right, not too thick or chewy. Very drinkable-this was gone before I knew it.

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Photo of Viggo
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, big thanks to my boy GregMcQ for sending this treat my way. Awesome label as there is nothing but the beer name and brewery name on it.

Pours a dark dark brown, almost black, very thick brown head forms, settles down to a medium ring and thin layer, tons of lace sticks to the glass, looks pretty good.

Smell is neat, quite sweet, brown sugar and a bit of soy sauce, malty, nutty, toffee, roast, vanilla, like chocolate and toast, a bit of butter, alcohol, woody, nice stuff.

Taste is great, very smokey, lots of chocolate, caramel, nutes, heavy roast, brown sugar, hickory sticks, a bit of soy sauce and tobacco, sweet and rich in the finish, night dark fruit, pretty intense with the smoke.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, a little oily, medium carbonation, but goes down pretty smooth for the weight. This is a great stout, the smoke character in the flavour is just right, although the nose is a little funny. Thanks Greg!

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle. Nice creamy tan head. Pleasant roasty, smoky aroma, with malt, cocoa, and coffee. On the palate it's creamy and rich, roasty, well balanced, not at all overly sweet. Some discernible spicy/earthy hops work well with the other flavors. Dry finish, pleasantly bitter, with good length. Quite drinkable. Tasty batch; I enjoyed this.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with a tiny, tan head that bubbles out nearly instantaneously.

Smell: Dark, roasted malts imparting fragrant notes of roasted coffee beans, black licorice, chocolate, molasses, and even some soot.

Taste: Lip-smacking combination of bittersweet chocolate, dark caramel, and ooey-gooey molasses. Pinch of chimney ash. There's a strong roastiness to be had, but also plenty of sugar. Earthy bitterness. Minor dark fruit hints here and there. Touch of alcohol heat welcomes in the sweet, roast finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Appropriately smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A full on good, enjoyable Imperial Stout to honor Día de los Muertos or any other various holiday, such as Columbus Day or Cupcake Day (August 18th).

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Photo of PDXHops
4.21/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to goatgoat for this bomber, poured into a Duvel tulip.

An agressive pour can't coax a head, just the tiniest ring of tan bubbles around the edges. Body is almost black, with reddish-brown highlights. No lacing.

Smells really good. Chocolate-covered cherries, dark chocolate, vanilla, dark roasted malts and a hint of coffee.

I didn't pick it up in the nose, but there's a nice smokiness to this brew. Aside from that, the primary taste elements are the same- chocolate, cherry, vanilla, a bit of coffee. A nice bite of bitterness on the swallow. There is lingering burnt malt and chocolate in the finish. Very tasty beer.

Body is fairly thick, chewy and creamy. Moderate carbonation.

Overall impression: Not sure when I'd ever be in the mood for an imperial stout in the Texas heat, but I'm glad to have come across La Muerta. Put a head on this one to make it look a little better, and this is absolutely a top tier imperial stout, IMO.

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Photo of rtaps
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours black with a deep tan head with good retention, leaving very spotty lacing

smell smokey with a roasted chocolate.

a nice roasted chocolate with a smokey precence through out not overpowering but well noted

medium bodied,viscous and light-medium carbonation

over all i really enjoy the smokeyness in both the nose and the taste, its not overpowering but very noticeable

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Photo of MasterSki
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Eric for sharing this one on New Beer New Year's Day. Served in a Sinha tulip glass. Guessing this is the '08, but am unsure as the label lacked any info being the beer and brewery names (not even a Surgeon General's warning!).

A - A finger of dark tan/almost mocha foam that dissipates quickly to a ring and some light haze. No lace. Black, with the tiniest hint of brown at the bottom of the glass.

S - Smoked malt, hickory, roasted malts, almost meaty, a touch of salt/soy, and aged dark fruits. This really reminds me of a few Baltic Porters I've had (Surly Smoke & East End Smokestack come to mind). The booze is quite well-hidden, and the beer IS evocative of Texas.

T - The taste is quite similar, with well-hidden alcohol and a good amount of smokiness, however the dark fruit sweetness is more pronounced and there's also a touch of milky cocoa. As the brew warms the smoke character actually mellows out a bit, which was a little surprising. I like the taste a little more than the smell - probably more of a 4.25, but I'll be generous.

M - Carbonation is a little zestier than I like. Body is more on the medium side, although it's sufficiently viscous for a 10.2% brew. Nice dry finish that complements the roastiness.

D - My 5oz or so were quite delicious and I gladly would have had some more if there weren't so many people sharing. However, as with all things smoked, the flavor becomes a touch fatiguing.

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Photo of crewfan16
4.19/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

poured from a 22 oz bomber into a central waters snifter. thanks again to Channels321 for the beer via trade. 2012 vintage

a- fairly aggressive pour gave me about 2 fingers of thick chocolate milk colored head which took a minute or two to mellow out. beer is black with nice tan lacing on the edges of the glass.

s- smells rich. chocolate, some smoke, roasted malt

t- follows the nose. bittersweet chocolate, just a tad of smokiness, but a tiny bit of hop bite toward the finish. maybe just a tad of dark cherry. chocolate lingers more in the finish. a tad on the sweet side, not terribly complex but a very robust stout

m- really enjoy the feel of this beer. solid carbonation but the richness of it provides some thick chunky quality that i love in my imperial stouts. even though the abv is 10.2%, it is not noticeable. a very nice lingering finish hangs out in my mouth for what seems like forever. might be my favorite part of this beer.

overall, i really enjoyed this beer. a bit on the sweet side, but with just enough smokey quality to balance it out. not as complex as some other imperial stouts, but has a nice thick mouthfeel and long finish that I cant get enough of. Plus, it paired great with some roasted venison steaks that I made for dinner. happy I got the opportunity to try it, sad I dont have the opportunity to have it more often.

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La Muerta from Freetail Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.