Mourning Wood | Local Option

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BA SCORE
86
very good
72 Reviews
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Mourning WoodMourning Wood
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Local Option
Illinois, United States | website

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Morning Wood

Mourning Wood is an oak-aged coffee amber ale. Fresh American oak used during the aging process and Dark Matter’s El Salvador San Jose pulp-natural coffee aromatically drive the beer yet they remain subtle components of the beers’ overall flavor profile. This amber colored, medium-bodied, and extraordinarily well-balanced ale has a delicate taste that is appreciated by beer drinkers of all palates.

Added by MasterSki on 12-08-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
72
Ratings:
484
Avg:
3.81
pDev:
25.98%
 
 
Wants:
12
Gots:
45
For Trade:
5
User Reviews
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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 484
Photo of Sammy
2.9/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Tastes like, well...wood. the bark of a tree, coffee grounds, some hops. This one was a homebrewing experiment that would not be served. Brown coloured body, a little coffee been aroma. Not too drinkable. I am told it is popular, but that is likely better with food and to people liking say instant coffee.

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Photo of stakem
2.92/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

500ml bottle into a snifter. The brew appears a clear copper color with slightly off-white cap that fades fairly fast.

The smell is raw with its woody character seemingly almost fake in a strange spicy incense way. The coffee character is a very subtle afterthough that is hardly noticeable behind the aggressive harsh oak.

The taste carries more of that raw oak essence with a mild fruity alcohol feel and a touch of roasty coffee bitterness in the aftertaste.

This is medium bodied, moderatelt carbonated and a pretty forgettable brew. I pass on this if offered again.

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Photo of homebrew311
2.94/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on draft at Bad Apple. Aperance is a clear red/amber with small amount of dense white head. Nose starts with medium roast coffee paired with caramel malts and a touch of butterscotch. This is followed by light waves of oak and finishes with a touch of earthy hope. Taste starts off like malty amber with caramel and bread, coffee comes through muddled and leaves some of the less pleasant qualities of coffee. Finish is somewhat off putting with a bit of bitterness along with a wave of weird sweetness. These flavors are not gelling together on my palate. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation. Overall, not a brew I would come back to.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
2.94/5  rDev -22.8%

$ 7.99/16.9 oz bottle from Vintage Estates, Boardman, OH
Undated bottle at 40 degrees into imperial pint glass
Aroma very weak coffee
Head small (1 cm), off white, fizzy, rapidly diminishing to broken 2 mm layer
Lacing poor – a few small islands of tiny bubbles
Body medium amber, cloudy
Flavor very weak, like watered-down McDonald’s Iced coffee. No hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate light to medium, watery, lively carbonation

Appearance 3, Aroma 2.75, Flavor 3, Palate 3, Overall 2.9375. Final weighted score: 2.9375.
Meh. Looks OK, barely smells OK, flavor is OK – the alcohol is well hidden, the palate is OK. An unexciting brew.

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Photo of maximum12
3.1/5  rDev -18.6%

Thanks to me for picking up this beer, one of the few from this brewery that are clearly labelled as to what the hell they are. 500ML bottle split with my wife.

The pour is a dense amber, with minimal carbonation. The nose is like being held for ransom in a Starbuck’s. There might be a little sweet creamer tickling the nostrils, but it’s the powdered kind, & not much of it. This. Is. A. Coffee. Beer.

Mourning Wood isn’t the coffee fisting I was expecting after my first whiff. There is no doubt, however, that this is coffee forward: it’s all over the beer, front, back, & center. The amber characteristics add a warm sweetness in the middle & a bitterness that I think it hops, but is hard to separate from the beanage. This thing gets weird in the middle: herbal tea, splash of pseudo-creamer, Menard’s lumber (probably treated with something toxic). Finishes with more coffee, & all the strangeness burrowing into every mouthal crevice I own. Glad I didn’t try to take this bottle on my own.

Weird. Not bad, but doesn’t form a harmonious whole, as the entire brew seems like it’s trying to devour it’s tail. Decent.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.12/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brewed and bottled by Pub Dog Brewing Company.

BOTTLE: 500ml. Brown glass. Unbranded black pry-off crown cap.

7.3% ABV. "Oak aged coffee amber."

Reviewed live as an amber per the label. Expectations are average. Served cold into a conical pint glass.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: About 3 inches wide. Frothy and even, with a smooth supple appearance. Appears somewhat soft. Coating and thick. Retention is quite good - about 7-8 minutes. Leaves a ring of even coating lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Clear clean vibrant copper-amber with no visible yeast or sediment. Clearly filtered.

Appears well-carbonated. It's a nice looking amber, but isn't unique or special in its appearance.

AROMA: Shallow coffee roast is dominant. Generic floral hops mix in with a basic amber malt sweetness. I don't get much oak from the aroma.

Aromatic intensity is average. I detect no overt yeast, off-notes, or booze.

TASTE: The coffee is shallow, inexpressive, and one-dimensional, lacking rich expressive character, roastiness, espresso bitterness, etc. The amber malt backbone gives it moderate sweetness, with generic floral hop character lending some balancing albeit mild bitterness. I taste oak only when I really look for it, and I can't help but wonder just how long this was aged on oak for...I wouldn't be surprised if it was a couple months or less.

Not as artificial in taste as the "...with natural flavor added" marketing jargon might have you expect. Not syrupy or extract-redolent. But it's shallow and simple, with average flavour duration and intensity.

It ticks the boxes of what it's billed at...there's amber malt sweetness, oak, and coffee, but each note is faint, inexpressive, and dull.

For a beer called Morning Wood, the wood itself is shockingly reticent.

TEXTURE: Aptly medium-bodied. Smooth, wet, well-carbonated (if highly so), and somewhat refreshing. Adequate heft, weight, and thickness on the palate without coming across syrupy or sticky.

It's a decent complement to the taste, but ultimately this texture fails to elevate the beer as a whole or to accentuate specific notes.

OVERALL: Cashing in on the "oak aged" marketing trend, Morning Wood is a hum-ho amber with a forgettable coffee presence. While drinkable and enjoyable enough, ultimately, this beer's best element may be its label art. Not a brew I'd nab again unless it was $10 or under per 6-pack, and not the quality brew I hoped for given Local Option's rising reputation. Still, those drinkers who desire an amber with a bit more going on than you'd find in traditional examples of the style may find this whets their appetite nicely. Hides its high ABV well, and in spite of my nitpicks it's definitey above average.

C+

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

My friend brought over a bottle of Local Option's Morning Wood to share with me so I took some notes on it. I've been wanting to check out some beers from this brewery but I haven't seen them around and I'm happy to have a chance to try it, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 500ml bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks pretty nice, it reminds me of a heavy metal album cover and I think it's pretty eye catching. It poured a fairly cloudy lighter brown color that took on a slight copper and ruby color when held to the light with a finger and a half worth of fluffy tan head that died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it left a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This was a pretty nice looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness followed by the coffee being the first to show up and it imparts a pretty typical coffee flavor with some grainy and caramel malt like aromas showing up in the background. Up next comes the barrel which imparts a noticeable vanilla aroma and very noticeable oaky and wooden aroma but not any boozy or bourbon like aromas and there's also an odd aroma that I can't put my finger on it and I think it may be from the barrel but I don't know for sure. The aroma was decent, but I wish the barrel imparted more of bourbon aroma, and I wasn't a big fan of that odd mystery aroma.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by the coffee still being the first to show up and it imparts that same typical coffee flavor but it's a little lighter and slightly stale tasting with some caramel malts, grainy, and light sweet malt flavors. Up next comes the barrel which imparts the exact same aspects that it did in the aroma weird mystery aspect and all. On the finish there's a weird herbal flavor with a slightly higher amount of medium bitterness with a watery, stale coffee, and caramel malt like aftertaste. The taste was ok, but the flavors didn't seem to blend together as well as they could have.

M- A little smooth, not so clean, a little creamy, not too crisp, on the thicker side of being medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was decent and it worked ok with this beer.

Overall I thought this beer was just ok and I thought it wasn't too Red Ale like after all the different things they did to this beer, I'm not sure that I could pick it out as a Red Ale, but it wasn't a bad example of a experimental beer and it wasn't a good example either. This beer didn't have the best drinkability, it was a little smooth, not so clean, a little creamy, a little filling and the taste didn't do the best job at holding my attention, half the bottle is enough for me, I had no urge to drink any more than that. What I liked the most about this beer was the appearance, it was a fairly nice looking Red Ale. What I liked the least about this beer was the taste, the flavors just didn't seem to blend together that well. I wouldn't buy this beer and I'm glad I got to try this before because I'm pretty sure I would have spent $10 on this beer and I don't think it's close to being worth that and I wouldn't recommend it. All in all I was a little let down with this beer, on paper it sounded good, but it really didn't come together as well as I had hoped. This didn't make for the best first impression for Local Option, but I still want to try more of their beers. After we drank this beer I grabbed a bottle of Oddside's Morning Wood from my cellar and I know that the only similarity is their name and that they are coffee beers aged in bourbon barrels, but the Oddsides beer blew this one out of the water everyone we shared it with flat out agreed that Oddsides made a better Morning Wood. I appreciate the effort, but this one could use some work especially when we already have a very nice coffee beer aged in Bourbon Barrels called Morning Wood that is brewed here.

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Photo of barhoc11
3.17/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Hazy amber color with a decent head that fades fast

S: Big Malt smell with subtle coffee notes

T: Interesting stuff going on here, more of a malty amber/red taste with a very small hint of coffee. If I hadn't read the bottle , I would probably not know there was coffee in this. The aftertaste is not very good.

M: It feels medium-bodied and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. This is its best characteristic.

O: I expected more out of this, perhaps I have an old bottle but the oak and coffee tastes are very minimal. The aftertaste ruins this beer for me

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Photo of deford
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Very nice to have an oak aged ale without the smoke. Very easy drinking and enjoyable. The coffee definitely comes through on the nose and in the mouth...paired it with a warm cinnamon roll...perfect! Don't expect anything crazy....just a nice, easy drinking amber ale with a little coffee on the finish.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is a barrel-aged amber ale with coffee… which sounds really appealing to my taste buds but in execution missed the mark. It looks decent, with a light amber color, and smelled inviting, with a strong coffee aroma. But the flavor just didn’t match. Instead of nuance and complexity and a barrel-aged smoothness, and maybe some amber ale maltiness to balance and sweeten things I got a mouthful of strongly pronounced coffee bitterness. Almost as if the beer was a platform for some harsh dark roast coffee.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.29/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, coffee, earth, and dirt aromas. Taste is much the same with coffee, caramel, and earth flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer but the earth and dirt qualities aren't all that pleasant in my opinion.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 1.13.14

A - Pours a cloudy light brown with a one inch tan fluffy, resistant head.

S - Coffee, and some toasted wood.

T - Watery coffee, pretty mild.

D - Thin body and nice carbonation.

O - Thin light and gimmicky label. Meh all around.

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Photo of zander4dawin
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A barrel aged Amber ale with coffee, not much barrel or coffee flavors, pretty much tastes like a standard Amber ale you'd find in a six pack.
Not a terrible beer but not as advertised.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter at The Firkin.

Haven't heard that joke since middle school... Anyway, this stuff pours a deep sunset amber topped by a half-finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises coffee, light oak, light toasted rye bread, and a hint of maple syrup dripping deep in the background. The taste brings in more of the same, with the rye bread coming across a touch nuttier and the coffee taking full command of the situation. The body is a light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a thickly slick feel. Overall, a fairly nice coffee brew, but too much of a one-note song to really get anyone riled up.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I never thought I’d have an oak-aged coffee amber, kind of like how I never thought I’d have a coffee IPA or a sour stout – and both of those I actually really enjoyed. Bring on the oddities, brewmasters.

A: As the name implies, this is amber in color, though a bit redder and hazier than expected. The head, off-white and fizzy, rises to a half-inch but quickly recedes without leaving any lasting lacing.

S: Coffee dominates in a nose that’s particularly mild for a beer with additives. Still, it’s possible to pick out some pleasant aromas of cookies and cream, graham cracker, and candied nuts alongside the java character. Oak notes drift subtly in the background, pairing well with the coffee’s relaxed roast character.

T: Again, this is coffee beer condensed: a great amount of complexity and character, but not much intensity at all. Sweet caramel and honey-on-toast tastes arrive first with a roasted peanut flair – sugary, sure, but grounded in that earthy nuttiness – as the coffee flavor begins to unravel. As in the nose, the coffee isn’t as smoky as it is chocolaty and rich, contained by a light wood tone. Finishes with a touch of acidic coffee crispness.

M: Quite light: a watery body that’s augmented by the fact that there’s just a dash of carbonation present as it goes down. Its thinness is just another way it doesn’t seem like this beer is all there.

O: Hard to say if this beer is well-balanced or just too light – could be both, I guess. Everything just seemed a bit restrained, though what little there was to smell and taste was enjoyable.

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Photo of Treebs
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Firkin in Libertyville, served in a snifter.

A: Pours light brown with ruby edges and a slight haze to the body. A thin off white head forms on the pour and recedes to a thin ring. Mild splotches of lace appear as I drink.

S: Mild toasted malts, smooth coffee and some mild oak are all present in the nose. There isn't too much else going on at this point though.

T: Sweet malts and light roasted coffee are present up front. The coffee is slightly more subdued than I would like. The oak comes through in the middle with a toffee malt and there is slight fruity hop presence on the backend.

M: Easily drinkable. Medium bodied with an average carbontion level and a slight drying finish.

O: This sort of reminds me of a Coffee Bender that's been sitting around for a long time (flavor wise). The flavors were nice, but they just felt slightly restrained IMO. An easily drinkable beer, though, and if you like just a touch of coffee I would suggest trying this.

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Photo of superspak
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours fairly hazy deep orange copper color with a 2 finger fairly dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of coffee, caramel, toast, biscuit, toffee, light chocolate, vanilla, oak, clove, floral, grass, light citrus, and toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of dark/bready malt, coffee, and oak notes; with decent strength. Taste of coffee, caramel, toast, biscuit, cocoa, light roast, oak, light clove, herbal, floral, light citrus, and toasted earthiness. Light amount of floral bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of coffee, caramel, toast, biscuit, cocoa, light roast, oak, light clove, herbal, floral, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and robustness of coffee, dark/bready malts, and light-moderate oak flavors; with no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, moderately bready, and slightly chalky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming after the finish. Overall this is a good amber ale. Well balanced dark/bready malt, coffee, and light-moderate oak flavors; and very smooth to drink. A pleasantly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of KFBR392
3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours with a thick and creamy head of about one finger. The color of the brew is a muddy brown/red/orange color. Light active carbonation in the glass while drinking. Heavy lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Light to medium bodied coffee grounds jump out right away. Amber malt backbone plays along very well with the coffee accents. The body and back end are filling with plenty of rounded oak character.

Taste: The front is a nutty and caramel malt character. Oaky smoothness in the body. Coffee accents are much lighter then I expected, mainly picked up on the back end. Toffee, chocolate, and coffee finish is left on the palate.

Mouthfeel: Light, slight chalky synthetic feeling at times. Dry coffee finish.

Overall: Good stuff. Glad I finally got to try a Local Option offering after hearing so much about them. Would certainly try some of their other options.

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Photo of morimech
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Murky amber color with a dense finger of head that slowly settles to a thin cap. A little bit of lacing is left down the glass.

Nice coffee aroma. A little bit of caramel and vanilla as well. Smells like something that gets ordered at a coffee shop.

Sweet caramel flavor that compliments the coffee. Hints of toffee and vanilla. Quite sweet with little bitterness.

Medium body and nicely carbonated.

Very sweet beer that does not really fit with my palate. Good coffee flavor.

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Photo of russpowell
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My bottle says it's brewed by Pub Dog Brewing CO From Westminster MD & it's 7.3%...

Pours an effervescent amber/orange with 2+ fingers of tan head. Good lacing & above average head retention

S: Big time coffee & hazelnut, almost wonder if that's the "natural flavors" on display? Seems a touch artificial

T: Follows the nose, a little dryness as well, some tannic notes as well up front. More coffee & a bit of woodiness/dryness & hazelnut creamer. Finishes, with roasty coffee, sweetness, & oaky notes

MF: Medium body, fairly firm carbonation

Interesting taste, but not very sessionable. Would work as a breakfast beer if nothing better was around. Give me a coffee stout any time

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Photo of chugalug06
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice head, warm white pillowy. Brew is cloudy orange with lots of deep reds.

Mild hazelnut aroma, but nice and smoothly crisp nose. Malty back bone with vanilla and toasty coffee. Damn unique.

Flavors are bit unmelded and kinda jumbled. Kinda harsh and unfinished. Lots of dry earthy malt with coffee back. Bite is low and mellow, yet refined enough to palate. Carbonation spot on. Very unique style. Dry sweetness.

A nice take on a BA brew. Amber and coffee provide lots of one-of-a-kind attributes. It could be a bit more blended and less thrown together, but over all it's a fun beer. Merry Christmas!!!

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Photo of jbaker67
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap on John J. Jefferies. Deep orange in color, a little dirty, soft to moderate frothy white head, a little lacing. Coffee aroma, a little sweet, something else that is hard to describe but its nice. Soft coffee up front, not as strong as the nose suggested. Otherwise a little malty, bready. Needs to have a bit more sweetness as on the tongue its a bit dull. Body and mouthfeel are moderate. Dull coffee and somewhat sweet bready finish. Really liked the nose, but it was too soft on the tongue.

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Photo of Greywulfken
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: medium/deep amber body; somewhat slow pour into a pint produced a slim finger of tan head

S: two-headed monster of dry coffee and hearty barley malt; subtler aromas of wood, earth, and savory herb

T: the malts and coffee flavors were the most up-front; oaky wood notes accompanied chewier tastes reminiscent of salted caramel, dried herbs, and husky grains

M: medium body, modest carbonation, a little bit of a chalky coffee aftertaste

O: I believe I may be partial to coffee flavors in stouts as opposed pales and ambers - this was an interesting beer, with clear coffee, malt, and oak notes - so the product is certainly as advertised, but I found it to have an almost muddied overall presentation

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Photo of Tone
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of sweet malt, yeast, caramel malt, biscuit, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of an American Amber / Red Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of a hint of hop, yeast, sweet malt, caramel malt, hint of earthy malt, hint of floral, and a hint of biscuit. Overall, I enjoyed the biscuit-y roasted-ness in both the body and aroma, but otherwise an average beer.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle
Served in a tulip glass

A - It is a murky tea color with amber highlights. It is topped with a mountain of tan head.

S - I get some faint coffee and toffee.

T - The taste is full of bitter coffee.

M - Medium

O - It was good for an amber ale. The bitterness was almost over the top for me.

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Mourning Wood from Local Option
86 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.
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