Mourning Wood | Local Option

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Mourning WoodMourning Wood

Brewed by:
Local Option
Illinois, United States

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

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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 499
Photo of Harrison8
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an opaque amber burgundy with a medium-thin off-white head. A tad bit of lacing left behind, but not much. Coffee, toasted malts, and a bit of lactic sour form an interesting aroma. Opens up fairly basic with a good malt base. Coffee and pine hop notes throughout the flavor profile. Intriguing mouth feel as it feels filling, and yet thin. It does feel a bit harsh on the carbonation side. Overall, a good brew. I picked it up for the coffee, of which it doesn't quite deliver for me.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of kalosjakar
4.19/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle says Morning Wood, not Mourning.

Murky amber with a beautiful big white creamy looking head.

Definitely smelling coffee, especially as I was pouring. Subtle oak note.
Coffee up front in the taste as well, pretty odd for an Amber.
A bit of Oak in the taste towards the back.
Smelling a little alcohol in the aroma, but it doesn't come across in the flavor.
I'm also getting Belgian-style malt aroma as it warms. Awesome.

Good lacing.

I haven't liked most of the Oak-aged beers I've had but I enjoyed this very much.

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Photo of barczar
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2013 vintage, so score set to current average.

Aroma is still very coffee and oak forward, with a touch of fruity specialty malt character.

Flavor is lightly sweet amber malty, with coffee kicking in mid palate and carrying into a roasty, coffee grounds finish. There's a touch of acidity/sourness that I can't quite place, but it's not altogether unpleasant. Might explain the billowing head. Lol Finish is lightly oaky and nutty.

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Photo of zander4dawin
3.46/5  rDev -9.4%
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 Phigg1102
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Color is like caramel glass. Very little off white head when poured, and it quickly settles into a thin ring around the edge and leaves very low levels of lacing. Aroma starts with toasted malt and moves into the strong oak presence. Coffee is present but doesn't overshadow the beer in general. Generous caramel in the taste, with even more oak presence than in the nose. Coffee comes through a bit more in the taste than aroma yet still does not overpower the beer. The mouthfeel is rich and smooth with a touch of sweetness to finish.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.12/5  rDev -18.3%
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.


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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.24/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

look: hazy honey-amber with a off white head that stays to coat the top and leaves some messy lacing.
smell: rich coffee up front with some nutty malt.
taste: Coffee is a bit more subdued but still the star. Some vanilla oak and a slight bitter, spiciness in the finish. Mostly dry.

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Photo of ScaryEd
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a murky, dark amber color with a fluffy off-white head. Some gorgeous cobweb lacing is left around the top of the glass.

The aroma is filled with notes of nutty, caramel malt, and a subtle coffee character. I also get some faint hints of oak chips on the back end.

The taste is extremely nutty and toasty, with the coffee notes being far more subtle than expected. Lightly sweet. Some mild caramel notes can be detected as well.

The feel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The alcohol is very well hidden.

Overall, a good, but disappointing brown ale. I am just not picking up much of the coffee notes and the oak character is far too subdued for my liking. It's possible the bottle I have is past its prime and those notes have subsided with time. Still, a very solid beer that I'd be happy to drink again.

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Photo of sweemzander
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz bottle poured into a snifter.
(A)- Pours a clear amber color. Produced a light frothy off-white head.

(S)- Light roasted coffee grounds meets a light nuttiness and honey sweetness.

(T)- The balance is nice. You get some light nutty flavors with a honey-like sweetness, but then quickly flows into a light roasted coffee profile. Finishes very woody.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Not too big on the coffee or oak but integrated nicely into the base.

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Photo of OhioLimoncello
4.24/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This brew offers a unique and complex blend of elements that characterize it's niche. You will be hard pressed to find an American amber, with very prevalent oak nose, and a coffee and nutty malt backbone. The beer has a sweet touch on the palette; was expecting a more robust taste and finish, but that was not the case, it is easy and smooth.

I will look to stock up on this one on my next trip to Maryland!

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, muddy looking copper red. Moderate sized head that doesnt last very long. Sort of gross in a lot of ways really.

Smells like wood, coffee, and malty.

The oak flavors are definitely there with a decent amount of coffee flavor. Coffee is nice and smooth though. Well integrated with the rich malts. A hint of brown sugar and baking spices.

Nothing crazy here, but a very nicely balanced beer that reveals all of the flavors advertised.

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Photo of LacquerHead
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It has all the characteristics of an amber with a coffee flavor. Unlike most coffee flavored beers this one actually tastes like coffee and not coffee grounds. There was no bitter flavors or harsh roasted flavors. It tasted like coffee freshly poured and chilled. I liked it.

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Photo of stakem
2.92/5  rDev -23.6%
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 joberlander
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Amber goldish color, white head that disappears very quickly. The smell is coffee forward with malt and slight oakiness coming through. The taste follows the nose, coffee upfront with a the malt and slight bitterness on the finish. Not a lot of oak in the taste but the coffee helps. Overall a nice coffee ale. Would like more it if it was just marketed as a coffee ale and not aged.

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Photo of MUTINY
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just a little caveat here: I hate this label art so much. I mean, so much.

500ml into a wine tumbler.

A: Hazy deep-copper with 1/2" white head that recedes pretty quickly. Retention is quite good, lacing not so much.

S: Coffee, milk chocolate, cinnamon, slight fruitiness, traces of spice. All of the aromas here are incredibly rich & fleshed out. Impressive nose.

T: More coffee & milk chocolate. Raspberry. Honestly, I'm getting a hint of chile pepper. Honey, brown sugar. Lactose (though I doubt it's involved in the brewing).

M: Very creamy with a cocoa powder graininess. Carb is moderate. Slightly soapy, mostly just richly full-bodied.

O: This is the second offering I've had from Local Option, the first being Blood Ov The Kings. These brews are very similar minus the coffee element. That being said, this is a pleasant enough coffee-forward red. I kinda like it.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Local Option is back to spelling this as “Morning Wood” rather than “Mourning Wood”
L: Pours hazy amber under with a 2” light tan tinted foam cap that grips the side of the glass.
S: Sweet coffee nose, traces of oak
T: A big creamy entry with grainy amber malts quickly gives way to coffee and then the malts return by the finish with traces of oak and vanilla.
F: Very creamy medium body sits very softly in the mouth with a slight drying astringency on the finish.
O: An interesting combination of flavors that works surprisingly well.

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Photo of RyBrew54
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2014 vintage (Morning Wood), cellared at 49°. Pours murky amber with tons of coffee ground sediment. Half inch head is a creamy white and long lasting. Smell of a light toasty malt, sweeter coffee notes,with caramel undertones. Taste is very mild up front, with oakey caramel characteristics, then a huge rush of java and rich coffee flavor. Leaves a great coffee aftertaste to the palate that reminds me of a caramel macchiato. Weak start but really strong finish to think very drinkable amber ale.

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Photo of portia99
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a Night Shift teku glass.

A - Pours a brownish, dirty amber liquid with a finger high cap of cream colored head that shows good retention and leaves nice sheets of lacing on the glass.

S - Straight coffee is the first impression, roasty and a bit nutty, slight caramel sweetness underneath.

T - Slightly astringent, bitter coffee, nice and roasty. Nuttiness continues from the aroma. Mildly sweet and a touch burnt. Really is a coffee forward beer. Oak character is subdued...a bit woody, but overtaken by the coffee.

F - Medium bodied and medium carbonation with a light tingly sensation n the tongue. If not for the carbonation, it is possible to mistake this for an iced coffee. Nice subtle sweet and nutty character that nuances the coffee roast quite well.

O - Super smooth, coffee forward, and pretty tasty. Pleasantly surprised by this one. Certainly a candidate for a breakfast beer. If you like coffee, this is a an interesting try...if not, pass on it.

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Photo of deford
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%

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 maximum12
3.1/5  rDev -18.8%

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 Ozzylizard
2.94/5  rDev -23%

$ 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 mynie
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%

No friggin idea what to expect here. A coffee amber? Why not a jalepeno cream stout or an amarillo hopped dubble. Cripes, people, do any of you have any sense of decency anymore?!?

But, hey--I was just trying to come up with weird, gross-sounding style combinations, and it was really hard to do. Why? Because American beer has gotten so weird and open-minded that even a flavor combination that sounds absolutely contradictory could be worth a shot. I mean, they made a beer that was supposed to taste like pizza and it was totally ok. A coffee amber really ain't that weird.

In theory, at least, it ain't that weird. In practice, it tastes like some weird European hard candy. It's not bad, but like I said in my first sentence, I got no idea how to review it.

It's a bunch of very tasty weirdness. Not unlike beer, I guess, but also not very much like beer. Big nodes of mocha and toffee and then some barley in the back end, all mellowed out excellently by oaking.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.82/5  rDev 0%

500ml bottle, poured into a Bell's snifter 8/15/2014.

A- Medium brown body, slightly hazy. Pours silky smooth with a half finger white head with fairly minimal retention, no lacing.

S- Lots of coffee and tapioca, brown sugar and a bit of oak. Sort of like iced tea with coffee.

F- The flavours of coffee, sweet toffee, tapioca, brown sugar and oak have melded together very well to make for a relatively unique drinking experience. No single component dominates the blend which seems to come forth from the blending of all of these flavours rather than any one flavour standing out.

M- Medium in body, a bit undercarbonated but not enough to detract significantly from the experience. Finish is remniscent of milk tea.

O- Solid drinker, nothing complicated but also nothing offensive to be found in this beer.

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Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my gargantuan tulip glass. A dark amber body with three fingers of off-white head: a slight reddish tinge to the head as well.

Smell is coffee and malt, all sweetness and roast.

This one's a bit of a flavor coaster from start to finish. All very pleasant and tasty: sweet malt and coffee up front. Not black coffee, more like a latte. At the very back end, the slightest hop bitterness. Very complex and enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is rich, but maybe too heavy on the carbonation.

Overall, a solid beer. Side note: I love the label artwork. Creepy and detailed.

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Photo of morimech
3.66/5  rDev -4.2%
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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Mourning Wood from Local Option
3.82 out of 5 based on 499 ratings.
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