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 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 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 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 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 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 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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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 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 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 Oakenator
4.23/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a darker brown with a slight amber hue. Unfiltered. Full head initially does not retain much and little lacing.

S: Yeast, lemon, wheat, candi sugar aroma.

T: Great balance and complexity to this brew - slight sweetness up front, sour and malty flavor towards the back end. Whiskey barrel somewhat present.

M: Good creamy carbonation on the tongue.

O: Really good brew and impressive what has been done with the flavors yet remains a relatively low ABV.

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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 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 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 Chaney
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by May 2013 (printed on the cork)

Even though Blue Mountain is in my state and is basically a weekend getaway for BAs in the area, this is only my second brew by them.

Served in an Olde Hickory shaped-glass.

A: Looks like a word-class amber ale: Copper in color, cloudy, and with a nice off-white head that head very fickle bubbles.

S: Very fresh, almost with a hint of sourness, and low on the hop food chain. After sniffing, drinking, sniffing, drinking over time, I got a good bit of the barrel-aging... much more so than I got on the taste.

T: Right away, this tasted like something Brooklyn would make: Crisp in nature (even on their high octane stuff), bright and a bit yeasty on the end, with no trace of oak to my palate whatsoever. Very, very tasty. I'm thinking the mere restain of the hop component was the barrel's real contribution.

M: Bubbly and spritzy, with some nice lacing left on the glass. Not hop bitterness. As a matter of fact, "citrus" is not a word in the Local Species category.

O: Even though I still think $10.99 is still a bit higher than I think this beer ought to be, especially considering it's a local one, this was quite tasty and even better than I expected.

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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 wisrarebeer
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Corked and caged. This doesn't look, smell, nor taste like a Belgian strong pale ale. More a dubbel in my opinion.

A: dark amber with leaning towards brownish/red, clear, decent, broken thin head
S: malt, yeast, brett
T: malty with decent but balanced bitter hop finish, brett in finish
M: refreshing from brett, well-rounded
O: nice beer

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew was served from the tap at The Blind Tiger in New York, NY. It arrived in a generic tulip glass, glowing a hazy golden brown coloring. It held a two finger head of eggshell bubbles. This retained nicely, leaving patterned lacing clinging around the glass. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared active. The aroma gave warmed, soured Brett, grapefruity hops, pale and wheaty malts, sweet and floral orange flesh nectars, light metallics, white sugar, coconut sweetness, and smooth, warming oak. Our first impression was that the flavoring was very floral, with a nice tart wildness to the yeast. The sip opened with pale and lightly caramel malts, soured oak bite, and floral hops. Moving to the peak was wild, soured yeast, plastic phenol bite to cut the malty sweetness, and an enhanced sweetness of strawberries. The end was awash with more of that soured yeast, citric rind bitterness, nickel metallics, and a final cleansing of pale malts. The aftertaste breathed of green grape dryness, metallic yeast, Bretty sourness, lemon flesh, and bittered citric hops. The body was medium, and the carbonation was medium. There was big froth and slurp to each sip, with a nice cream to the lip. Booze added dryness throughout the palate, with puckering astringent bite following a nice coating of biting metallic froth. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was the aroma. There was a hugely surprising Bretty sourness, adding the bite and tartness on par with some wilds. The flavor, however, continued this excitement only mildly. That sourness does work its way to the buds, but by the end it gets washed through a bit by pervasive malty background. This is a tasty beer and definitely worth a try…or two.

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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 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 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 WillCarrera
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, best before date of March, 2013, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a nice amber color, produces a big lively three-finger head, beige in color, has decent retention and leaves very nice lacing.

S- Belgian yeast, some spice and coriander, also a bit of caramel sweetness and vanilla.

T- Very complex flavor, a lot is going on here. Caramel and toffee sweetness is more noticeable than in the nose. Belgian yeast, spices and a bit of funk, as well as a hint of vanilla, oak and boozy sweetness. Finish is bitter with floral hops and a bit of spiciness.

M- Medium-bodied, nice carbonation and smooth feel.

O- A very interesting beer, complex and fun to drink. The yeast, subtle hops, and barrel flavors work nicely together. Definitely give this a try if you come across it.

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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 AdamBear
3.56/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't think this was intended to be a BSPA, so I won't be grading it as such.

A-dark amber with a thick dark cream colored head

S-artificial honey and some Belgian grains. has a slight tartness to it. some grassiness and herbal spice as well. medium strength. average.

T-comes in with a very smooth taste of bitter amber belgian grains. it has a certain caramel syrupness to it also, and even just a slight touch of rawness. its definitely a unique beer. matching faint after-taste.

M-low creamy carbonation with a dry finsh

O-really not a terrible beer. its fairly complex, yet somehow its quite boring. if any style comes to mind, its dark belgian ale. it basically just tastes like an american red ale with a certain but slight belgian kick. its okay but not necessarily worth a try. not something i'll be getting again, especially for the price tag.

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