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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 jtierney89
4.65/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

semi-hazed auburn glow with a thin white head. nose is very interesting. Lots of classic belgian notes, bananas and clove, bit of spice and vanilla. Touch of oak but not getting any bourbon really.

You can taste a bit of the bourbon but damn this is an interesting beer.Strong barley malt presence up front with an faint oaky and vanilla flavor from the wood. Belgian yeast flavors quickly take over with a dried chalkyness and horse blanket like flavors. This then quickly rolls into an herbal hop bitterness. Very complex and layered beer. Very faint bourbon notes are present throughout as the beer warms but in no way are the forefront flavor of this beer allowing a lot of these other funky and complex flavors come forward. Extremely complex and layered with flavors that somehow roll into eachother extremely well despite how different they are. Super unique and unlike anything i've ever had. I love it.

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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 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 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 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 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 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.

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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 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 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 Pencible
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a cloudy dark gold with fluffy white head.
S: It smelled like spicy Belgian yeast and fresh oak, with some salty and grassy hops and toasted coconut.
T: It tasted like toasted coconut and fresh oak and grassy and waxy hops, with some spicy Belgian yeast and a bit of citrus zest. It had a clean and sweet and tangy aftertaste.
M: It was light and oily with fine natural carbonation. Great slick body.
D: This was a really impressive brew, and a successful attempt at bourbon barrel aging a light Belgian ale. The coconut and woody aspects perfectly complemented the grassy and spicy character. The body was excellent also, with a smooth finish. Probably best fresh, but could maybe hold up for a few years. Recommended.

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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 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 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 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 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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Photo of oline73
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this at the November Baltimore Area BA tasting. Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter.

Appearance: The beer pours a cloudy orangish amber color with a half finger of off white head. A layer of head stays on top of the pour.

Smell: There is a strong herbal presence here. I'm getting sweet, slightly fruity malt with some alcohol. The fruit reminds me a little bit of apricots.

Taste: Fruity and herbal notes right off the bat. I'm getting some mild alcohol. There is a malt note in the background with some fruit and oak. The finish is slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I thought this had a nice blend of flavors, but the finial product was a bit strange as well. I'd have more.

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Photo of tlazaroff
4.06/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I get this fun, sweet, tannic kind of aroma off of this with honey on the backdrop. It's floral, oaky, yeasty, and all around a very enticing aroma even though I think if I sniffed this for an extended period of time I would develop a headache.

Deep amber, and mostly clear. No visible carbonation, but it boasts a glorious very light tan head that just sticks to the glass as it's consumed. Beautiful beer.

Lighter on the palate than expected with a healthy dose of bubbles. Flavors are interesting. Honey is predominant with light burnt caramel and subtle summer fruits. It finishes dry, and leaves me wanting more.

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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 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 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 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 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 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.

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Photo of jazzbikerbrewer
4.38/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep amber, slightly hazy, with a thick, frothy head that doesn't hang around for long.
S: Yeasty, funky, sweet, with caramel apple notes, slightly hoppy.
T: Restrained hop bitterness up front, followed by toasty, caramel, and biscuit-like malty sweetness, with a yeasty, mildly alcoholic finish and good, winey acidity. Aftertaste is smooth and mildly fruity; almost cidery.
M: Medium carbonation, medium- to full-bodied.
O: Great example of an American Belgian Pale Ale: wtf is that, you say? More full-bodied, and a bit more complex, with added hop punch. Well-balanced and fun to drink. Should pair great with funky blue cheeses, spicy foods. Do a blind taste test with Flying Dog's Raging Bitch just for kicks.

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