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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 maximum12
2.18/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to CJTman for this extra, which I’m hoping to change my impression of Blue Mountain from past encounters (kind of creepy white van kind of experiences, except in my mouth). 750ML corked & cage bottle split with my wife to open a family Friday evening.

Poured carefully to leave any potential bottom mush at peace, it’s masquerading as an IPA, clear, orange, frizzy. The nose brings light fruit with an undercurrent that’s both funky & medicinal. I don’t like where this is headed.

Local Species brings a whole flipper full of weird. The main component seems to be a damp grassiness/leaves that I’ve become intimately familiar with over the past two weeks. Soft hop gumming & a touch of banana in the middle, with a finish like bruised pears. Distant vanilla is the only hint this might have brushed past a barrel. Aftertaste is…not great. As it warms, it gets foul. A taster of this would have been plenty; I don’t feel compelled to go nurse what’s left out of the bottle.

Meh when cold, drops to displeasing as it warms. This brewery - it isn’t good. More than half of this bottle is going to end up in the drain. Not a good beer.

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Photo of tastybeerinmybelly
2.58/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I wanted to like this beer as it is from a local brewery, but it has a strange aftertaste that I don't really like. I like Belgian beers and I like IPA's, but not this particular species. It says it is barrel aged and I usually like barrell-aged beer, but it almost has a chalky aftertaste.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
2.62/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Deep golden body and a white head. Good retention with a couple of chunks of foam remaining on the surface.

Smell - Oaky and very yeasty. A little bit of vanilla. Not really appealing.

Taste - Dominated by oak and vanilla. Weird flavor. Yeasty and not very hoppy. Sweet malty finish.

Mouthfeel - Quite carbonated. Sprizty until the end. Sugary aftertaste.

Overall - Not sure what to make of this. Strange flavors that don't seem to work together.

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Photo of chinchill
2.8/5  rDev -24.7%

large shared bottle.
Hazy reddish-amber with a good head.
Smells like a sour. The taste follow to some extent. Odd, barrel-aged wild ale. Neither especially challenging nor appealing.

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Photo of Beejay
2.86/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: light apricot in color, very little head on top, what's there is white.

S: hoppy, with a touch of licorice. Touches if citrus, and a bit of a chalky note.

T: definitely a but odd, there is a hoppy flavor, a well a hints of vanilla and caramel. But there is almost a chalky minty flavor that I'm not digging. Weird, but not so weird that i want to stop drinking, need to figure this one out.

m: medium in body, carbonation is medium, slightly dry mouthfeel.

O: overall a weird amalgamation of flavors that is interesting, but nit necessarily delicious...

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Photo of GuinnessAtRogerWilco
3.06/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12.7oz bottle with cork poured into a Chimay chalice glass.

AP: thin 1/4" head that dissipated fairly quick, dark golden amber colour.

AR: first whiff is Bourbon and vanilla, which gives me a good vibe. Caramel, candi sugar/fruits, raisin and fig.

T: First sip I get slapped on the tongue by an off metallic taste. Wait a bit then take a second sip and it's still there but not as strong. This isn't at all like the aroma suggested. White raisin, caramel and Belgian yeast are the other players I discern. The Bourbon and vanilla are MIA in the taste. I am pretty much disappointed by the taste.

M: slick and oily texture on the tongue, more thin than creamy.

OV: On the whole, disappointed with this brew. That off metallic flavour is stronger than the rest and I thought there weren't enough other flavours that could have been here that were missing. I wouldn't buy this one again, sorry to say.

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Photo of hackmann
3.08/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On the cork: best by June 2014

Appearance: copper body; little cloudy; off-white two finger head; nice layers of lacing

Aroma: light bready, soft clove, and nothing else

Flavors: soft rye bread, spice, clove like on the back and aftertaste, I keep on sipping and expecting more and nothing, oh how I wanted the oak barrel to come through, uninspiring,

Mouthfeel: fine fizzy feel from the carbonation, light spice, empty on flavor for a barrel aged ale, short aftertaste

To the Point: plain old uninspiring, it was drinkable, I finished the whole bottle and the flavor nor the mouthfeel ever changed. I won’t buy again.

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Photo of weareallfalafel
3.1/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750ml cork-and-cage bottle into a Belgian tulip glass after the bottle sat on the counter for a few minutes to warm just a tad. Pours a dark gold to light Amber color with little to no haziness. One inch head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing at all. Smell is small. So damp grassy aroma, maybe a sliiiiight touch of woody/oaky character, but not bourbon. Taste is pretty much the same. Damp leaves, a touch of Belgian yeast character, and just the slightest touch of bourbon, so little I probably wouldn't have noticed it, had the bottle not directly said it was aged. Feel is good, though, but not exciting. Medium body, slight warmth (not expected from just over 7% abv), and not too carbonated. Overall, pretty disappointed, but Blue Mountain (for me, at least) had been one disappointment after another. This is underwhelming with muddled flavors and nothing that sticks out in any good way. It won't be going down the drain, but it definitely won't be bought again.

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Photo of hophugger
3.18/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Describes as "A Belgian inspired, barrel aged, American hopped experimental sort of ale"....?....Pours a light brown-amber color, cloudy with a decent head and pretty decent lacing. Aroma is of some oak and twangy malt sweetness. Taste has some oak in it, not much bourbon. Carbonation is average and taste is rather mild, with the oak being the predominant flavor. Not much going on with this beer, light, decent, balanced but not quite the mouthful of flavor I was expecting !!

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Photo of KFBR392
3.23/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Reddish/peach color to this brew. Sticky lacing at random points on the sides of the glass. Average to above average active carbonation in the glass while drinking.

Smell: The front is a bright combination of sour funkiness and sweet bourbon. The belgian funkiness wins out over the bourbon but they make a very interesting front combining together. These tones fade off and nothing else really grabs the attention of the nose. Love the front, after that not much left.

Taste: The front is very light pears, straw, lemon, and oranges. The body has more nice tropical fruity accents. The finish is some of the sour tones found in the aroma. A touch of bourbon is felt on the finish and leaves a semi-dry feeling on the palate. A lot of watery tones and mediocrity here.

Mouthfeel: Very light, some yeast presence.

Overall: A lot of meh. It shows some promise of being a truly interesting brew but seems to fall off more then it should.

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Photo of YeastEnthusiast
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Wow. I guess this beer should NOT be stored for too long.

Unlike other reviewers, my bottle (750 mL corked bottle, only kept it for 1 month after buying) did not have a "best by" date anywhere on it.

That being said, I'm pretty sure it went well past it (maybe the store removed it, if possible?). As you'll see, my experiences with this beer do not match other reviewers.

A- Poured a hazy, light brown color. Absolutely no head. Absolutely no bubbles.

S- Strongly hoppy, vinegar, hint of apple, belgian yeast.

T- First sip, when still cold, remarkably watery. Very little flavor at all, just some sourness, almost like a white wine. As it warmed up, it became completely dominated by hops and alcohol, with maybe a hint of apple or other fruits. Absolutely no oak barrel or belgian flavors coming through. Pretty sour as well. Definitely tasted more like an 8 or 9% alcohol.

M- Like water.

O- Once it warmed up, actually tasted like a pretty nice IPA, and completely drinkable, but absolutely no belgian or oak flavors, as advertised. Since this differs from most other reviewers, I guess I got a bad bottle? If your bottle has a best-by date, take it seriously.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
3.29/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

750ml picked up in NC over Easter.

Enjoyed from an Orval glass, somewhere around 40-45 degrees.

Pours with a light, cream-colored head over a cloudy, dark amber body. Small amt of carbonation visible. Great lacing. Thinking this is incorrectly categorized as a BSPA.

Aromas are of lighter fruit. Citrus, green banana peel, and a little bit of yeast. No trace of charred oak barrel.

Very soft mouthfeel for a BSPA. Light spritz bite on the palate. Slightly tart. Some bitter quality from the hops. Flavors lead mostly with ginger, tree fruit - including lime, and navel oranges - and a touch of sourdough bread. The charred oak barrel quality only faintly appears in the finish as it warms, and only if you're looking for it.

Quite interesting, and pretty enjoyable & drinkable beer. IMHO, they should try putting this in 12oz bottles, and sell 6-ers. You could easily make your way thru a six-pack over a nice Spring/Summer evening.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.34/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: pours a golden orange color. a two finger white head. strong retention and leaving behind a frothy lacing. some slight haze making it opaque but a little bit of brightness.

Smell: oak and bourbon mixed with belgian yeast. citrus and coriander.

Taste: opens with belgian yeast, mainly coriander but some additional spiciness. transitions into some oak and really light bourbon. some hoppiness comes in ranging from herbal to citrusy.

Mouthfeel: fairly light but with a slickness due to the barrel aging. just off of refreshing. moderate bitterness.

Overall: not a bad beer but not quite the best. halfway between refreshing and complex and interesting. hops come off slightly stale but it doesn't take too much away from the taste.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.34/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

750ml bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours a hazy copper color. The head is about two fingers high, pale orange in color, and rather bubbly like most Belgian-style ales. Retention is quite good, and the lacing left behind is thick, if inconsistent.

S: This is interesting, if slightly mild. Fruitiness is dominant - mostly apples and pears, with just a hint of something suggesting apricots. I think the fruit notes are a touch too sweet here, but they do smell good in the glass. There's a subtle background of piny, citrusy hops here: enough to get me excited, and not enough to throw the rest of the beer off. Oak and bourbon aromas are minimal at best.

T: It starts off fairly tart - not 'sour ale' tart, rather 'general fruitiness' tart. It's very orange-y, whatever the hell that means. It finishes with subtle vanilla, oak, banana, and bourbon flavors. Actually, the aftertaste has is very oak-forward, to the point of being slightly vegetal at times. I'm really struggling to find any hoppiness, which is forgivable given it's not the freshest bottle. Yeast stays in the background, and alcohol is nonexistent (expected given that it's only 6.6%). In short, not all of it works, but a lot of it works.

M: The feel is quite light, just as I hoped for. It also finishes with some tannic qualities, making it rather dry...and drinkable. It doesn't evaporate off of the tongue like, say, Duvel though. This is due to some lingering sweetness and low carbonation for a BPA.

O: Nothing amazing, just a really drinkable BPA with a mild bourbon/oak presence. I wouldn't buy it again due to the price, but I would drink it again with no problems.

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Photo of obywan59
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice coppery color, almost clear, with a 3 1/2 finger pale tan head and lacing. A tower of bubbles rises from the middle of my Ommegang glass.

Smells lightly sweet and fruity with spicy yeast, overripe citrus, and some light mustiness.

The taste was lightly tart at first, with some moderating sweetness, but an overying musty bitterness detracted from the flavor. Someone earlier mentioned "chalky".

A well-rounded mouthfeel with a light prickle of carbonation, a pleasant stickiness, and the burn of alcohol in the throat.

This beer is much better as it warms. I tested it at 57.7 degrees, near the bottom of my last glass, and it still had some of the musty bitterness I described before. If I tried this again I would try it at room temperature, as the last few swallows definitely tasted the best. Overall though, Blue Mountain Barrel House has the best Virginia beers I've tasted yet.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear light garnet red in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall off-white head that reduces to a thick film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of Belgian yeast with some light peppery spiciness.

T: Light amount of bourbon flavors come out in the finish of the beer as it warms up. Upfront there is a high amount of pale malts with lots of Belgian yeast spiciness along with some hints of brett.

M: Slightly less than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Very light amounts of dryness.

O: I was really expecting more bourbon and barrel presence in the beer and it disappointed in that respect. Also, the beer has some interesting components but it just does not feel well integrated or successful when put together.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Oh sweet Jebus! Best before date of March 2013! I just missed it by a few days. Crikey.

Great looking beer. Nose is nice. I have high expectations based on as much. The flavor delivery is...odd. At first I thought the goal was a Flemish tone on things, but I question if this was intentional. Seems to be off, with an aftertaste that is...off putting. Although, it seems to get better as time goes on. But it took a lot of time. A lot. A for effort, C (at best) for execution.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

330mL bottle poured into tulip

Hazed copper color with a brighter golden hue. Crop of frothy white head dissolves pretty quickly, leaving a thin layering of film and a few spots of lacing.

Soft notions of hops in the nose, oak barrel and soft warmth. Yeasty funk, touches of spice and bready sweetness.

Peppery and slightly sweet with touches of fruit. Pears and apples, toasted oak, hints of bourbon and vanilla. Belgian yeast, soft hoppiness and buttery biscuits. Finishes a little bitter, sweet and warm.

Medium body, slightly higher carbonation, a bit dry and sticky on the tongue. An interesting take on the style, although the barrel character was a bit more muted than I was expecting.

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Photo of DaveBlack
3.49/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Foamy, 1.5 finger off-white head that is fed constantly from the bottom of the glass, giving an almost infinite head. The beer itself is a cloudy, dark copper color.

S: Sweet caramel, yeast, and a biscuity smell. Not as much of the bourbon as I would have expected, though there is a slight woodiness to the aroma.

T: Not nearly the amount of sweetness that I expected from the aroma. Bready, a little oaky, and a slight hop bitterness on the finish. There is something a little metallic about it as well. Still not much in the way of bourbon.

M: Moderate body, decent amount of carbonation.

O: Honestly, the flavor seems a little... confused. It's not solidly Belgian-style, or a pale ale, or a bourbon barrel aged beer, which can be a good thing, when the flavors come together, but they really don't in this case. Still a good beer, but sometimes simpler is better.

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Photo of AndrewMichael
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL corked bottle poured into a stemmed glass.
Labeled as a Belgian Pale Ale, but this was a unique beer. Not too high on the bitterness, but not crazy malty either. Said it was also barrel aged, so an interesting beer, worth trying again to try and understand all the subtleties more.

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Photo of argock
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 mL corked brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. Best by March 2013 printed on the cork. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $10.49.

A: Slightly hazy orange-amber with solid 1-2 finger frothy off-white with good retention and lots of dots of lace.

S: The aroma is complex with light vanilla, oak, coconut, and pineapple initially with a bready and light caramelly maltiness.

T: The flavor doesn't quite seal the deal and falls a little bit flat with the complexity of the composition seemingly holding this beer back. The barrel qualities are right up front and provide some interesting vanilla, oak, and coconut notes, but they are fleeting and the maltiness hits with a thud as it tastes muddled with some burnt sugar and caramel flavors. The hopping doesn't support the malt and provides a dank quality. The Belgian yeast never gets much chance to cut through the multitude of ingredients.

M: The feel of this beer is quite good with active but even carbonation, medium body, and a creamy texture.

O: I love Blue Mountain's beers, but I was somewhat disappointed with Local Species. It seems like a malt-forward beer should carry some distinctive malt flavor -- instead the barrel characteristics are the most interesting, and the maltiness is dulled. I would not go back to this one. I am going to hang onto the other bottle I bought to see if there is some other flavor development.

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Photo of DaliQualiti
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

I get a ton of grapefruit in this brew - both smell and taste. It's like a full bodied, barrel-aged, hoppy hefeweizen. (If that makes any sense.)

Not bad, not great. Worth a shot and MAY get a second chance, but not anytime soon.

Local Species definitely has some strong qualities but it needs some fine tuning. Not sure what Blue Mountain is getting at with this one.

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Photo of metter98
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear red in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high light beige head that died down but consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: There are light aromas of Belgian yeast in the nose along with some hints of spices.
T: The overall taste is similar to the smell but the finish is a little more complex with hints of vanilla from the bourbon barrel aging.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied and slightly smooth on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
O: The bourbon barrel aging definitely makes this the finish of this beer a little more interesting but it seems that this could have been better integrated into the overall taste. You really need to warm this beer up in order to taste the bourbon.

 801 characters

Photo of tastybeer
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A rather nice looking beer in general. Big fluffy head, reddish copper color, and mostly clear. Good retention and fun shifting lace.

S: Smell is surprisingly subtle. A lot of bright fruitiness, flowers, and spice over a pile of smooth caramel-bread malt. Orange and lemon peel with complimentary pepper an other spices.

T: Syrupy malt, grassy hops, fruit and spice. Interesting flavors. Not really any bourbon barrel but vanilla is apparent.

M: Dry and chalky yet wet and syrupy.

O: Interesting beer. It seems like an unplanned beer. That is a beer that came out differently than expected but you still like it. It pretty good but seems unrefined.

 657 characters

Photo of Treyliff
3.56/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Dobra Zupas, Beckley

A- pours a clear golden orange color with a small creamy white head, good retention and lots of lace left behind

S- lots of citrus on the nose with some Belgian yeast, not really picking up any barrel

T- citrusy hop follows the nose with some earthy banana Belgian yeast, maybe picking up a trace of oak and vanilla but not really getting any bourbon

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel with a slight bite, finishing slightly crisp and foamy

O- nice citrusy notes made it very drinkable, but any bourbon barrel notes are hard to find

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