Mourning Wood | Local Option

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Mourning WoodMourning Wood
Very Good
505 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 505 |  Reviews: 75
Photo of tedvr
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours amber with a thin white head. Mild coffee smell. Nice coffee taste with a malt background. Mild carbonation and is really well balanced.

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Photo of gregcordle
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Sir_Goatman
4.77/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Phigg1102
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
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 -18.8%
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 +10.4%
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 -2.9%
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 Washuffizi98
3.89/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Homebrew
3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of sweemzander
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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 +10.4%
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 Hopocalypse
4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dandiprat2015
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AnitaBrewski
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of WesMantooth
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
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 +14.6%
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 kylehay2004
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Nightrain87
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Dominic_Decoco
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of oldvines
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of OGdirty
4.16/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of stakem
2.92/5  rDev -24%
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 killcore
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Alaska1
4.72/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Fantastic coffee beer, great beer

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Photo of SimcoeKid
3.22/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Mourning Wood from Local Option
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 505 ratings