Mother Barrel Select | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

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Mother Barrel SelectMother Barrel Select
63 Ratings
Mother Barrel SelectMother Barrel Select

Brewed by:
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
New York, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
This is the last beer to be aged in Scott’s 800 gallon oak barrel before emptying it so he could get it out of the old brewery in Pleasantville. The beer is a black ale, aged in the wood for over a year. It has some bright sour notes, a touch of musty wood, and fruity undertones.

Added by brystmar on 06-17-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 63 |  Reviews: 20
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of ehammond1
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, cosmicevan!

Nearly black in color with a moderately sized dark brown head that dies down to a film atop the beer. This leaves messy sheets of stick down the glass.

A very nice aroma quite similar to the Barrel Select Black: lactic sourness, wood, vinegar, black pepper, and some currants and/or cherries. Very nice.

This is quite sour, with very nice wood and black currant notes, and mild vanilla. The alcohol is very well hidden. There's some vinegar here as well, along with big red wine notes throughout. Very nice, complex, evolving.

Medium bodied with high carbonation--somewhat spritzy.

Very nice.

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Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of weonfire
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of jh1982
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.08/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The label for this and Barrel Select Black is exactly the same. The only difference is, this one has the new Captain Lawrence cap and a bottling date of 4/12.

Looks exactly like Barrel Select Black. Better head retention though. Pitch black. Light cream mocha head. Oily legs. Light, non-stick lace.

Nose is cream, dark, tart fruit, peat, and some woodiness. Some sour roastiness also. Average.

Opens tart red fruit. Soy sauce and vinegar tartness. Big sour red fruit notes towards the middle and end. Boozy. Wood and peat at the end. Finishes puckering. Not this brewery's best work though not bad by any means.

Medium to full bodied with ample carbonation. Oily and filmy in the mouth and prickly going down. Finish is messy with a long, lingering aftertaste. Average though this gets a bump for hiding the big-time ABV.

This is easily the worst of the Barrel Select series for me. The flavors here are very muddled and there's a great big vinegar and booze presence right at the end that kicks me in the face. Not really a fan though I can see how others might enjoy it.

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Photo of Gonzoillini
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375 mL bottle to a snifter. No name. Come on, Captain Lawrence... Bottled 4/12, which I guess is the only way you know it's Mother Barrel.

Appearance - Dark, not quite black. Wispy lace and leggy for a sour ale.

Smell - Sour. Flemish red smelling. Soured dark malts with a cherry twang. Chocolate in the back.

Taste - Cherry sour. Immediate vinegar, which is unpleasant. Oaky finish. Not much base beer remaining. This is extremely sour.

Mouthfeel - Very vinegary, but not boozy. High carbonation and extremely puckering.

Overall - Vinegar sour. I don't love it. It's tough to avoid when you sour those dark malts, though. It's decent and clean, but too acetic for me.

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Photo of CooperEllis
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle dated 4/12.

The appearance is judged after the insane frothyness recedes. Deep brown, very light at the edges.

Musty smell, faintly sour. Not much in the nose, but that leaves little to be wrong with it as well.

From the description - this pretty much hits all the right spots "It has some bright sour notes, a touch of musty wood, and fruity undertones." The fruit undertones are mostly lemon rind, that picks up the sour as well. This hits my favorite sourness level, but I could see it needing *funk* for others to enjoy it. The warmth helps this one expand and would allow it to heat back up after chilling to prevent explosion.

Really a nice mouthfeel which I was not expecting from the pour, which left 3" head on top of 2.5" brew. Pops a bit up front, finishes mostly, slightly lingering but tolerable.


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Photo of hoppymcgee
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of WeisGuy
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of ShanePB
3.99/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Greenplastic615 for bringing this to our weekly bottle share. 375 ml bottle served into a tulip.

A: Dark brown, not hitting inky black but almost there. Reddish hues appear in the light towards the bottom. Small beige head forms but leaves on a thin ring. Minor lacing.

S: Huge acidic sour notes, dark roasted malts, dry Merlot and some simple sweet red berries. Perhaps some cherry and grape, with a good amount of oak on the back.

T: A nice sour bite up-front that does follow into the back end, but it's balanced with the dark malts, caramel and wood. There plenty of fruitiness here too, black cherry and more grapes. The roasted malts come back in the linger.

M: Nicely carbonated without being overdone. For a big barrel aged sour black ale this is quite nice. A bit dry from the oak to finish off.

I was really excited to try this one, so thanks again Jason. This almost tasted like Weyerbacher Sour Black on steroids. A really nice beer, it leaves me wanting more from Captain Lawrence.

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Photo of claspada
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottled 4/12.

Pours a pitch black color with no visible light illuminating or any reddish hues, just black. Smallish khaki brown colored head that immediately dissipates leaving some decent spotty lacing.

Aromas begin with sour cherries and super tart berries, I was not expecting that from the appearance. Some light earthy and oakiness emerge as well. As it warms you get the nice subtle background coffee and dark bitter chocolate. No sweetness just coffee bean and sour black cherries.

The tastes begin with the same punch in the face of dark cherry sourness coupled with some lesser sweeter black raspberry fruitiness. There is also some malt to be deciphered here but not exponentially more or less than the aroma. Hints of earthiness and oak with notes of a fruit infused balsamic vinegar poke out as well. Mild roast once again highlighted by dark bitter chocolate but the sourness continuously bombards the taste buds over and over so it is hard to grasp anything else. Dark sour cherry explosion.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to higher carbonation (for a 10% beer). Finish is super dry with mouth-puckering amounts of sour and tartness.

Overall this is once of, if not the most sour beers I have ever had; to be honest I am super blown away. With each sip you want to go back for more in hops to satiate the dryness on your palate, but to no avail. I can't imagine how this is going to develop overtime as it is super sour and ready to go right now. Oh yeah 10%, HAHA, that is stupid because I wouldn't have pegged this for more than 7.

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Photo of aasher
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Thorpe429
2.86/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Huhzubendah for sharing this one. Served in a Captain Lawrence cervoise. Black. Nose has a bit of fruit and fairly-heavy acid. Flavor has a touch of roast and dark fruit. Mild acetic. Dry. A bit harsh. I generally haven't been a huge fan of Captain Lawrence sours, so it's not too surprising that I wasn't a big fan of this one.

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Photo of davey101
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle into a snifter. Bottled on 4/12.

A - Pitch black body, just a hint of red/brown when held up to the light. One finger high light khaki head forms and does not go away. Really nice lacing and retention considering the high abv. Forms some alcoholic legs as well. Looks like a stout.

S - Not what I was expecting. Really complex, and frankly just all over the place. Strong anise/liquorice notes followed by some smoke and peaty malts. A touch of vanilla and oak, but just a massive anise presence. A bit of grapes and spice on the finish. Not detecting too much barrel or dark fruits like others are getting. Really unique and pleasant aroma.

T - About as sour as sour gets. Its interesting because its not based off of fruit flavors, like cherries in a kriek. Instead its based off of really strong smoke and anise flavors. Anise leads into intense smoke along with some acetic and vinegar notes that you'll find in a flanders oud bruin. Some sour cherries, oak, and vanilla. Mouth puckering with a nice medium and coating mouth feel. Carbonation is really spritzy and works with the body and keeps the flavors from coming off as syrupy. Its a sipper though, drinking this too quickly results in flavor overload!

O - What a wild beer. This really changed my view on what a wild ale can be. This is like a super sour anise heavy porter with a flanders vibe. I loved it though. Really unique and just proves that the Captain knows how to use their barrels.

 1,472 characters

Photo of Kuemmelbrau
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of FosterJM
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1421st Review on BA
Bottle to Bruery Taster
375 ml

Vintage 2012
Thanks to winning rice for sharing

Chicago Bottleshare

App- This poured out like a flat cola color (color only). Really had no head behind it and maybe 2 dots of cling.

Smell- What the hell is in this glass? It's got a ton on the nose. A bit that opens up with a deep lactic note and moves into a cherry cough medicine aroma.

Taste- The final note of the cherry cough medicine is the opening flavor of this with a good mix of tannic, oak, sour and a bit of booze flavor.

Mouth- A smaller medium body with a medium carbonation level. Fairly medicinal but still was nice.

Drink- A very tasty beer with a good depth of flavor. Small oak with some anise and dark fruits. Reminds me of a thicker Marrone Aciddife.

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Photo of nrs207
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of brystmar
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Josh, you're the man! Bottled 4/12.

Same label as BS Black, though this sports the new CL cap. Nearly black pour, decent lace. Honestly looks like a stout with the frothy tan head. Aroma is sour, funky, and oaky with mildly dark/roasty notes too.

Taste seems to be a slightly roasted blend of CdC and Rosso. Fruity; lots of oak too. Tart with mild sourness & acidity, but plenty of lacto. Works surprisingly well, finishing clean and dry.

Another winner from Captain Lawrence!

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Photo of oldp0rt
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of cosmicevan
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to nick for picking this up for me at brewery, was pleasantly surprised to still see it available yesterday when I was there so grabbed another bottle or two. Enjoyed from a Captain Lawrence tulip.

a - brew poured a deep shiny brown that settled into the glass black with a finger plus of off white almost cream colored tan head. The head was a layering of bubbles that slowly fizzled away while new ones bubbled to the surface adding new layers. No lacing to speak of and swirling the glass rebuilt the fizzy head quickly.

s - on pouring the beer a sour odor filled the air. Upon closer inspection a sweet tart vinegar odor waffled into my nasal passages. Quite pungent. Some oak is in there adding to the tartness, but this is mostly vinegary cherry. Very reminiscent of barrel select black.

t - big burst of sourness almost knocked me out of my seat. You can definitely find the nor Easter base with the red wine notes, but they are soured over immensely. Strng vinegar on top of sour cherries, but a nice balance of dry red wine nor Easter notes. Quite nice.

m - puckeringly sour, medium to full bodied. Finishes a touch dry but extremely smooth and I am surprised to say a quenching drink for the warm weather.

o - overall a sour for the sour fans. Although I am not drinking this side by side with the black, memory tells me this is like the black but on sour steroids...much sharper and vinegary, but quite tasty indeed. I really am digging all the experimentation coming out of capt Lawrence lately and this is another winner. Souring nor Easter is interesting since the base is deeper and richer than your standard sours, but the oak really brightens it up. Don't be fooled by the color this baby is sour and with a red wine twist. India it. Glad to have a few more of these. Thanks capt! Keep them coming.

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Photo of DanH83
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of Archemedies
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of stevec32
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

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Mother Barrel Select from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.1 out of 5 with 63 ratings