Local Species | Blue Mountain Brewery

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Local SpeciesLocal Species

Brewed by:
Blue Mountain Brewery
Virginia, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jgreenearrow on 06-21-2012

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Reviews: 84 | Ratings: 367
Photo of stephenjmoore
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep amber color with a frothy off-white head. Light comes through the body, but there is definitely some haze to it.

S- The two things that come through the most are the bourbon and the Belgian yeast. Notes of vanilla, oak, peppery Belgian yeast, citrusy hop notes are present as well.

T- Way more hops come through in the flavor than I anticipated. Really tastes like a hoppy Belgian pale ale at first, with the bourbon coming through in the finish. Very interesting combination of flavors. Almost a different beer from the beginning to the finish.

M- Medium bodied, medium carbonation, easy drinking with a lingering finish.

O- I will give this beer credit for being different. The flavors sounded different, but after tasting this beer, it was even more different than I would have guessed.

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Photo of harrymel
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Best by June, 2014

It's a toasted golden with a solid sheet of yellowed cream. Smells of light belgian yeast, apple meat, some bretty character, caramel malts and some dried cut grass. Flavor is malty, biscuits, some oak, smoke, golden raisin, seltzer, a little bitterness and some metal on the finish. Body is medium with a fine, silky carb and a near bone dry finish. I was skeptical of this beer, but was surprised to find the belgian yeast wasn't too overpowering, while the oak was a nice second fiddle with this beer. Well done.

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Photo of wvsabbath
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type - 22oz caged and corked bottle

Appearance - Golden tan/burnt orange with a nice 2 inch thick, frothy head, and tons of lacing.

Smell - Floral fruits, Belgium yeasts, sugars, spices, banana, grapes, plum, rasin. Bready and a little grassy with funk and sour notes.

Taste - First sip there is immediate traces of Belgium yeasts, sour fruits and a faint hint of oak. Spices add some clove and pepper notes. Has a farmhouse like funky note to it. I do get some warmth of alcohol near the finish.

Mouthfeel - The yeasts and sour fruits coat the tongue with some sour and sweetness. Palate gets more of the same with some spices and a hint of oaked flavor. The aftertaste is a little sour and bitter.

Overall - Interesting beer, Like a hybrid really, mix of Belgium pale, farmhouse and barrel aged pale ale. It gets better as it warms and more fruity notes come out. Good beer, wish the barrel oaked flavors were more present but overall was tasty.

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Photo of devinmah
3.91/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Chimay chalice from a 750ml Cork & Cage labeled best by May 2013 (Just a few weeks left on this bad boy)

A: Pours a hazy copper with a tight head that dissipates and lightly laces.

S: Had to work hard to pick up anything. Lemon is there and light caramel barely present, and slightly sour

T: Not sure if my bottle has turned, but this tastes like a flemish sour, like Bell's Oarsman. Funky, pleasantly sour, slightly metallic, citrus up front. Develops on the palate to an apple-like sweetness and hints of oak and caramel.

M: Nicely carbonated, but this beer feels a bit oily.

O: Based on other BA's reviews I think my bottle has developed into something different from what was originally there. Regardless, I thought it was a definite winner, perfect for a warm spring day. I found that each sip invited the next, and I enjoyed it more as it developed on my palate. Will look for a fresh one in the future to see how different it tastes.

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Photo of JayQue
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really liked all four Blue Mountain Brewery beers I tried at Grape and Gourmet's beer tasting. Local Species is kind of an odd Belgian Pale Ale, but a really tasty beer.

Pours a murky amber color with a big delicately bubbly white head. Head retention is very good. A much more solid head than many Belgian beers. Minimal lacing on my Chimay goblet as I would expect.

Smell is fairly mild, a little maltiness and Belgian yeast.

The primary flavor element is the bourbon barrel flavoring. There is a strong vanilla presence as well. The Belgian yeast takes a back seat to the bourbon barrel flavors. There is some sweetness and a good hint of mild hoppiness as well. Definitely an American take on this style. It is a very tasty beer though.

Mouthfeel is rich and smooth. The bourbon barrel flavor is not overdone and the complexity---sweetness, hoppiness and bourbon barrel is nice on the tongue.

THis is a winner.

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Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: A nice looker, with a frothy ecru head that sits and stays upons the cloudy amber liquid beneath; nice lacing pattern, too

Smell: An herbal blend with caramel tones; subtle wood and fruity elements

Taste: The malt bill is caramel forward, with stone fruit and herbal elements kicking in by mid-palate; earthy hop flavors add bitterness and the yeast character is really out there, bringing bread and a bit of chalky/limey tartness (a touch of Brett, perhaps); the finish is a bit on the sweet side

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A lot of interesting things going on but I am not overly satisfied with the end result; the finish is a bit too sweet, given all the other things going on

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.87/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Different, secret, native. A creation of deep-drawn well water, special barley malts, American hops and Belgian yeast. Aged in charred American White Oak bourbon barrels. A beer as original and beautiful as our native Brookie. Best by date is March 2013. Brewed at the Blue Mountain Barrel House Late 2012.

Poured from a 750ml bottle to a snifter. Served north of 50º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a thick creamy head of an eggshell white color over a medium hazy deep orange amber body with ample carbonation. Retention is very good and lacing is medium and consistent. Body color is a bit darker than usual for the style. Appearance is solid. 4.5

(Smell) Aroma consists of a bready belgian pale malt, a mild citrusy and resiny hop blend and a mild spice blend, mostly coriander. Notes of orange zest and lemon peel is also notable, slight fruity yeast notes otherwise. This finds a comfortable spot between a Belgian Pale Ale and a Belgian IPA. Potency is mild. 3.75

(Taste) A light pale malt character, subtle hop blend and cracker yeast profile constructs the meat of this beer. All flavors together make for a very light drinking beer but it's capable of more flavor and body for the style. A medium dryness and faint wood tone on the finish is indicative of barrel aging, but otherwise it doesn't impact much character into the flavor. Overall it's a touch saccharine but the hop and yeast character does a good job at balancing it out. The end result is more positive than negative, although there are some notable gripes in how it comes out. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Moderate carbonation with a wooden dry, relatively clean cracker malt finish. The body is light/medium for the style and light+ overall. Good pairing for the style. 4

(Overall) Some experiments work out very well but this one was a rather strange. The body of this beer is quite light with cracker malt and the hops and malt profile are also light to pair. The oak aging is a unique twist and does contribute a nice flavor, but a sharp dryness to the beer. Another interesting beer by the brewery. 4

Blue Mountain Barrel House's
Local Species Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrels

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Photo of farrago
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a humongous three finger head of eggshell white to tan foam, dense with an undulating surface, excellent retention given how whipped up it is, the lacing is on the wispy side but sticks tenaciously. Translucently clear, like vellum, coppery base that turns equally brown and orange, very few bubbles to be seen. The nose has a fresh if not quite clean profile, stone, poor dirt, pepper and dried grapefruit pulps and grains, the hoppiness sneaks up on you then, wham!, the apple, pear, peach fruit is direct and underripe like you wish you left them on the counter for just another day or two, no meaningful trace of bourbon barrel aging. Medium-bodied, smooth with a pleasingly creamy texture, even the underlying sourness can’t interfere. That said, the cherry, apricot, red apple, pear, peach fruit sunny and tart in just the right way. There’s an earthy, leafy element but not thick enough to be like “sous bois” or deep forest in character. Mostly orange citrus with a hint of lemon. Clean yeastiness, some banana, spicy without any one spice leaping to the fore. Harmonized and very drinkable, probably one of those beers best not categorized, just enjoyed.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

- Belgian inspired bal. aged, american hopped experimental ale.

A: When backlighted a caramel apple coloring that is filled with a dense, misty carbonation. Frothy tan head shows some resilience while leaving a single, thick, milky band for lace.

S: Aroma is fruity, apple-pear, spicy american hops upon first uncorking. Sweet caramelized fruit, golden raisins, melon, and white oak is clearly dominant with subtle charred hints.

T: Spicy hops, wine-oak alcohol, and pancakes. Green melon, fresh wet citrusy hops on the close. Sweet and fruity flavor, caramelized pear and apple closely resemble the nose. The fruit is fresh, wet, and juicy. The alcohol is toasted and with a charred barrel woodiness and oaky wine finish. Flowery hops, spicy citrus leaves a bit of dryn on the close out. Honey-fruit, semi-dry lemon-straw with a lovely leave of wine oak alcohol.

M: Mouthful was medium, small tingle of carbonation, spicy.

O: Overall sweetly toasted, light and freshly fruity makes this drink easier then it looks. Has a harmonous blend of belgian yeast, fresh wet fruitiness, and american spicy hops balanced nicely with subtle hints of charred oak woodiness. Everything is delicately balanced and fine tuned here, a dark looking heavy beer that really does drink much lighter then it looks. crisp and refreshing. very good try.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at a random Indian grocery/spice shop in the East Village. Muled back to Oz and shared.

Pours a deep red colour, a bit cloudy. Great off-white head that sinks a bit too quickly, but nice lace curtain left behind. Looks nice.

Smells a little funky at first, with a note of cheese even. Big cranberry tartness, with washed-rind, horse blanket and a savoury oak note that's also very prominent. Funky, oaky, not much else, but who'd want more?

Taste is more funk but also more malt. Quite a sweetness upfront with brown sugar and a touch of peanuts; develops bold, funky notes midway, with a touch of that washed-rind cheese, but then finish is all bourbon oak with vanilla and a touch of coconut. Could use a bit more on the Belgian front, as that bourbon really takes over midway. Not a bad thing, but I feel this beer would have had more to offer if not so oak-soaked.

Full, but rounded. A bit foamy in the mouth and a good finish. Wonderful.

Nice introduction to Virginian beer. Lots of character, but with a good, steady hand on the whacky factor. I feel like if this were even a couple of % ABV bigger it would be an absolute knock-out, as the main issue here is the oak is slightly too dominant. But if all Virginian brews are like this, I look forward to more.

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Photo of MUTINY
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml into a solo cup.

A: Deep, hazy gold-copper with 1/2" white head that dissipates quickly. Retention is OK, not much lacing to speak of.

S: Banana, oak, some oily hoppage, slightly yeasty funk. Brown sugar & caramel.

T: Banana, oak. Raspberry, bourbon. Mild yeasty note here. Apple pie.

M: Moderate carb with a full bodied-maltiness. Very appropriate.

O: A bit too sweet for my taste, but pleasantly complex.

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Photo of DenverLogan
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Corked bottle shipped from Beerjobber.com. Poured in chalice glass. Head disappeared very quickly, leaving a hazy copper orange elixir. Aroma of bourbon, grass, mango, persimmon. Significant carbonation. Flavor is unique...a mix of tropical fruit with bourbon wood flavored malts. Alcohol and hops are minimal but there's lots of flavors. Funky and fun, slight sweetness, wood, minerals, sour spices....curious yeast esters. Intriguing but not necessarily easy drinking.
Label says aged in White Oak bourbon barrels...beautiful as their native Brookie...who's Brookie? Where's the photos?!! I've got one more bottle...aging a year or two might negate some of the strangeness, but as the label says, it's an "experimental sort of ale."

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a snifter

Appearance – The beer is served deep amber color with a one finger of white colored head. The head has a good level of retention, slowly fading to leave a light of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is quite heavy of a candied sugar smell mixed with some other aromas of a bready smell. Mixed with these are some more yeasty aromas as well as some aromas of lighter fruits with apricot, pear, and peach all there. Overall it has a rather sweet but pleasant Belgian pale ale aroma.

Taste – The taste begins sweet with tons of Belgian candied sugar tastes and lots of lighter fruit flavors of peach, pear, and apricot. A bit of a bready taste is present from the start as well, with it losing ground as the taste advances on. The fruit and the sweet remain relatively constant throughout however, with the loss of breadiness leaving the beer a bit more on the sweet side in the end. Along with the loss of the bread, comes some lighter hop flavors of a grassy and herbal nature as well as some hints of spice, which when combined with the other flavors end up leaving a rather sweet and fruity Belgian pale ale flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thicker and creamier side for a brew of only 6.6% adv. with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. For the sweet flavors of the brew the thick body and lower carbonation really accentuated these flavors and made it a little cloying at times, but overall it was still alright as it never become too obnoxious.

Overall – A rather tasty and sweeter Belgian Pale ale. Quite nice overall and one I would certainly do again.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this on 2013-10-09 in Columbia, PA

A - Pretty clear ruby brown with a 2.5-finger off-white head that fades to 1-finger pretty quickly and leaves very good lacing.

S - Some caramel, light Belgian yeast, spice. Sweet, pleasant. Not very strong.

T - Interesting flavor. Somewhat like a apple/pear Belgian IPA but with a juicy red grapefruit flesh twist. There's plenty of toasted bread and caramel malt to balance it out. I like that the typical fruity Belgian yeast esters are subsumed / bent to the will of the mighty American grapefruit.

M - Medium body and carbonation. A bit resinous and prickly. Dries nicely.

O - I drank this glass at about 55 degrees initially and liked it even more as it warmed. The taste grew on me. I like it.

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Photo of mhaugo
3.76/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12.7 ounce bottle decanted into a tulip. 6.6% ABV.
Appearance: Mahogany brown with ruby highlights. Almost no head to speak of and a slight haze (3.5/5).
Aroma: Wood and booze. The beer was aged in charred American White Oak bourbon barrels, so that makes sense. These two smells are so dominate that little else is allowed to come through. Maybe a touch of piney hops, and a little bit of maple syrup, but I’m really hunting for them (3.75/5).
Taste: The oak comes through before anything else. This is followed up by a hint of Belgian yeast esters and a floral hop bitterness. As it warms the bourbon comes forward, and eventually overpowers everything else (3.75/5).
Mouthfeel: Medium body, light carbonation. Also a touch of astringency from the oak, a bit of warmth from the bourbon (4/5).
Overall: Overall I’m happy with the beer, but I would have liked to have seen just a little more beer and a little less bourbon. This same beer, with the booze dialed back about 25%, would be absolutely amazing. As it stands, the branches can’t support all the decorations (3.75/5).

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Photo of Samp01
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy amber with a small white head. Aroma and taste is of biscuit malt, Belgian yeast, fruity with some mild citrus hops. A medium body with nice smooth texture and mild carbonation. Finish is a combination of biscuit malt and Belgian yeast, a bit of caramel and toffee notes, fruity with some mild citrus hops for balance. Overall a well balanced tasty and enjoyable brew.

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Photo of jodybrutal
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This was inside a mystery box that I picked up at my local spot. Cork says best before July 2014. Poured into Brooklyn Brewery snifter that I picked up for a buck at the Goodwill store.

a - Very cloudy, dark, reddish copper color. Not much light getting through. Two fingers off white head with spotty lacing. Head dissipates quickly.

s - Earthy, funky, sour fruit scents. Vinegar. Belgian yeast. Slight bourbon scent. Smells more like a Saison than a strong pale ale.

t - There's a lot going on in here. Starts sweet. Definitely some light hoppiness balanced well with the yeast. Ends with a spicy, dry finish that warms with the bourbon.

m - Medium body. Light carbonation. Yeast comes through here. Bourbon lingers on the tongue. ABV feels like more than it's 6.6%, but still a very easy drinking beer.

o - Very enjoyable beer. There's a lot of different stuff going on. Honestly, I could have done without the whole bourbon barrel thing here. Overall, I did really like it. I would definitely have this again.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.74/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

1 pint, 9.4 fl. oz. bottle
Served in an oversized wine glass

L - This beer pours copper in color with amber highlights. It has a slight haze. The head in two inches tall and beige.

S - Initially this beer struck my as vinous with some esters reminiscent of Belgian yeast. As it warmed the aromas seemed to fade. I did get a little pear and alcohol.

T - At first it was bitter. Once it warmed up I tasted some spicy pear. I got fleeting hints of citrus. The finish was dry.

M - Medium and highly carbonated

O - The description on the bottle made this beer sound interesting which it was. However, I detected nothing from the bourbon barrel. I would have never guessed this beer was barrel aged. Nonetheless, it is a good beer. It comes across as a saison/BSPA hybrid. It is absolutely worth a try.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.74/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

a cloudy deep amber pour with 3 fingers of fluffy/frothy off-white head. smells of grassy hops, wood, bell pepper, lemongrass. a very refreshing belgian style pale ale, lots of grassy and herbal notes in the flavor, and you get a hint of the barrel aging with some wood-like notes and vanilla.

medium body with low carbonation, feels a little bit watered down.

the cork had a drink by march date on it, so i guess i just made the cut off - it had a slightly oxidized flavor, but i believe it helped the profile a bit. i'd have to get a fresher bottle to honestly tell. nonetheless, this is a pretty solid bpa in a beautiful bottle. i'd love to try more from this place.

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Photo of oberon
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Sticks and Stones.Poured into a stemmed glass a slight hazed deep auburn color with a fluffy white head that lasted for quite awhile.Carmael and dark fruit stood out most in the nose with mild phenols and vanilla detected as well.Somewaht sweet upfront with caramel and vanilla flavors with lighter than expected spiced phenols coming into play with a decent drying toasted oak flavors lingering in the finish.The barrel doesn't play a huge role in this either does the phenols,maybe a slightly tame version of the style,still not bad.

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Photo of Bung
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at Duckworths. Orangy pour, thin layer if white. Laces just a tiny bit.

Aroma, citrus and a small amount of funk and yeasty esters. A little vanilla.

Taste, a good mix of yeasty spice, some herbal bitter hops and a mild malty caramel. Barrel adds some vanilla and a tinge if toasty wood.

In between light and mid somewhere. A nice level of carbonation, more than the appearance would lead. Pretty nice take on the style, with some uniqueness added.

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Photo of brewtus
3.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12.7oz bottle poured into teku
A- cloudy caramel color with a quick two finger off white head
S- very earthy, dirty, vegetable, some belgian yeast, caramel, hints of dark fruit
T- plenty of earthy saison barnhouse flavors, dark fruit, a nice oak backbone, finishes with a grassy malt flavor, slight warm hop presence, dry
M- a decent amount of carbonation, dry throughout
O- what a weird ass beer. I like how unique it is but it's not something I'd buy regularly. There are a lot of unique and complex balances between a saison funk and barrel aged malty ale. The only beer I could ever relate to this would be fantôme noir but this is a lot better (less sweet, less fruity). This brew is labeled correctly --- experimental sort of ale--- yeah weird but entertaining for your taste buds and definitely worth trying at least once.

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Photo of wedge
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best by: MAR-2013

Pours darker than expected, a deep auburn color with a nice, tall, airy head that deposits some fine lace on the glass. Subtle aroma...perfumy floral, apple, yeast, faint wood. Tastes of zesty citrus and Belgian yeast with some oak, leather, and a mineral note in the finish. Light malty sweetness and a raw, grassy hoppiness. Not much bourbon to be found, other than a hint of vanilla. Medium bodied and creamy. Interesting...

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

cork and caged 750 ml bottle courtesy of the magnanimous johnqvegas. Thanks D!

dark orangey amber colored body with a rocky three fingered lemon-meringue-pie-colored head. Great retention, huge thick sheets of lacing. The color is a bit dark for my eye, but it still looks pretty nice.

Smells-- bisctuiy, brady, and a little sugar cookie-y from the malts.... The hops come through as slightly citrus and spicy. Not very bitter at all. Pretty dry finish with a touch of lingering earthy, almost oaky) character.

Feels pretty well-carbonated.... Lots of bubbles... But it works here.

Overall--- this is a self-proclaimed "experimental beer," so it is hard to put a real label to it. There was a lot of different things that went into this beer, but the end result is that it feels like all of those things weren't necessary. The final beer comes out just a bit muddled in terms of the overall profile-- like it's hard to see the trees from the woods to really experience what each aspect brings to the table.
Certainly not unpleasant.... but also not overly impressive.
This is one of those beers that is fun to try, but not one I'd want to buy again.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at mrbubbler's "end of the world" tasting.

Best by 3/2013.

Pours a clear orange-brown with a foamy bone colored head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, spices, wood, and a slight bourbon aroma. Taste is much the same with a woody finish and a mild spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp but medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but I think this one smells better than it tastes.

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Local Species from Blue Mountain Brewery
3.72 out of 5 based on 367 ratings.
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