La Muerta (pre-2015) | Freetail Brewing Company

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very good
90 Reviews
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La Muerta (pre-2015)La Muerta (pre-2015)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Freetail Brewing Company
Texas, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by wagenvolks on 02-17-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
90
Ratings:
318
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
11.81%
 
 
Wants:
194
Gots:
85
For Trade:
3
User Reviews
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Reviews: 90 | Ratings: 318
Photo of Tommo
1.55/5  rDev -61.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

I was SHOCKED how awful this is. A thin brown ale with nothing to offer. Its translucent!! so terrible, i will never get those carbs back!!

As my friend put it, they should be ashamed to wax this bottle

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Photo of Etan
2.38/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

22oz, 2012 vintage. This was a gusher and infected.

A: Pours out an unremarkable black with some brown hues and a large light chocolate head.

S: Unmistakable infection here. Vinegar and barnyard aromas, some light roast and chocolate malt behind.

T: The infection is less apparent in the taste, with just a hint of bacterial character, along with chocolate and coffee roast.

M: Medium-bodied, high carbonation.

O: Infected. Too bad, I was looking forward to trying this beer.

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Photo of silentjay
2.79/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pitch black with a dark tan head made of big bubbles that lasts for a while and laces well.

bacon. damnit. burnt bacon. roasted malts, burnt coffee, and burnt pork. too much smoked, burnt meat.

again, burnt bacon with a melted plastic and slightly metallic flavor that is not very pleasant. a bit of cacao powder and coffee try to make it through, but don't quite pierce the smoke veil.

medium/full bodied with the perfect amount of carbonation, but a lingering smoked meat flavor that I do not enjoy.

well.... I can see why many Texans would like it, but for me.... It's just too smokey. too burnt meaty. too single-dimensional.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz bottle. 2009 vintage.

A- Pours a nice dark black with a hint of brown hues to it when held to the light. Half finger mocha colored head dies pretty fast. Some spotty lace that falls back into the glass.

S- An interesting aroma to say the least. I have had some time to ponder this one and this is what I have come up with: front starts of with a hint of chocolate and a lot of front end smoke. Middle shows some darker malt with what seems to be a peaty earthy aroma. Ending shows a little more of a chocolate tone with a ton of smoked peat. Alcohol shows up for a split second then is gone. The smoked peat doesn't last a whole while turning into a liquid bacon kind of smoke.

T- Taste is a little odd for the style and beer. Starts off with some roasted malts and a touch of liquid smoke. The middle of the beer has some very peat rich flavor to it with a hint of what seems to be caramel malts. Chocolate comes in the start of the ending flavor for me. A smoked peat comes out next which seems to die more into a liquid bacon flavor. Alcohol is present but nothing too much. Such a weird flavorful beer.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little light for the style. Roasted malts, light peat, and liquid smoke. Aftertaste is mostly smoked peat, bacon, hint of alcohol, and chocolate. Flavors kind of ran a muck with stuff turning all the time. No off flavors were present but the peat at times seemed to be a off flavor. Light alcohol drying on the palate.

O- Overall this beer was a little interesting. The flavor profile had a ton going on and at times it was a little overwhelming. The ABV wasn't really in the beer at all even in the ending. A beer that is worth a shot but I wouldn't age it as I did or else you might have mixed results.

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Photo of mothman
3.37/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2009 vintage

Pours no head. Color is black.

Aroma: Peat and smoke. A lot like surly smoke in that sense. Very malty. Bacon and chocolate. Not very stout like.

Taste: Very similar to the nose. Smoke, less peat, bacon, chocolate, malty, and creamy. Odd.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Medium bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends with more roast and smoke.

Overall, this tasted more like a smoke beer than anything. Somewhat drinkable, but far from what the style should be.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes.

A: Pours a dark brown with a one inch brown head on top. Nice retention, but minimal lacing.

S: Extremely smoky aroma with some charred malt, and little bit of meat/bacon. Some hints of chocolate as well. The smoke is a little too heavy for me.

T: The smoke is not as heavy as the aroma, which is a good thing here. It is mixed in with some heavily roasted malt, chocolate, and some dark fruit.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: A little too smoky for my taste, especially in the aroma.

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Photo of Spider889
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by Urbancaver.

Pours black with moderate stout thickness. Has a short dark toffee colored head.

Smoke! Smoke! Fire? This is one smokey stout. Meaty - smoked venison and campfire cooking.

At first the smoke was interesting and actually rather tasty, but it quickly became detracting and palate-wreckingly strong.

Tastes much more balanced than it smells, but still the smoke imbues one with the urge to partake with extreme caution. Nice roastiness is going on and has a slight coffee flavor that would likely be delicious in the base (non-smoked beer). Dark chocolate rounds things out, though we lose any potential sweetness due to the smoke.

A fun beer to try.

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Photo of harrymel
3.39/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Vint 2011
Dark black with a tall mocha head. Roasty, smoky nose with additional hints of leather and chocolate. There's a slight vinyl tone on the back of the nose. Flavor follows through with plenty of smoky, mesquite character and a little charcoal even. Hints of raisin and coffee (burnt coffee) as well as the leather. Medium on full bodied with moderate, fine carb. I'm glad to have tried this one, but I fear my aversion to smoke beers continues.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.49/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to brew3crew for sharing this one.

A - Black beer with a fairly minimal head that left pretty much nothing on the sides of the glass.

S - It's got a lot of smoke in there, some earth notes, little bit of grease, caramel, and some chocolate. I actually kind of dig the smoke.

T - Taste just didn't really do it for me. It's kind of a chocolately, bacony, smokey brew, all things I like, but this combination wasn't quite right on. It wasn't bad by any means, but just not great.

M - Smooth, lower carbonation, fairly full bodied.

O - Wouldn't mind trying the barrel-aged version of this, as bourbon on the bacony smoke could be interesting. A little different, but this one wasn't quite my thing.

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Photo of brentk56
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Been in the cellar for several years - perhaps an '08 or '09

Appearance: Pours a charcoal color with chocolate highlights; very little head and no lacing action

Smell: Fudge and smoke, but not particularly vivid

Taste: Fudge, with a growing smoked meat character that builds into the middle and lingers, after the swallow, along with the chocolate elements; gets somewhat fruity in the finish, as well

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low carbonation

Overall: Perhaps I sat on this one too long, but I notice that others have not cared for the way the smoke presents itself in this beer

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Huhzubendah. Served in an Allagash tulip. Ouch.

Pairs near black with a good lit mocha head. Light collar. The nose carries a heavy amount of chili and some roast. Light chocolate. Nothing too in depth in the flavor or aroma. Lots of chili. Probably too heavy. Medium body and a roasty finish. Boom.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a nice black color with good carbonation leaving a nice tan head and some light lacing

S: Big smoke with some cocoa, roasted malt and a light booze sting

T: Immediate smokiness with blend of smoked meat, liquid smoke, light campfire and charred wood all rolled up into one. Cocoa, roasted malt and a light coffee note.

M: Big body, loads of taste but to smokey for me.

O: While it is a decent to good Imperial Stout the smokines and booze mix does not sit well with me

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Bottle is an incredible gusher with two-third of the bottle ending in the sink. Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium size foamy head with limited retention. Aroma of chocolate malt with light dry roasted malt is intriguing. Taste is an interesting mix of black chocolate malt with some light dry roasted malt with light residual sugar notes. Some small traces of smoke can also be detected. Body is lighter than expected and carbonation was exceptionally strong when I opened the bottle but died quite quickly. Interesting beers but texture and level of carbonation was definitely off in this bottle.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

With its current #99 position on the Top 100 Southwest list, La Muerta came with high expectations. I picked up this 2014 vintage 22 fl oz bottle in Austin, TX; it boasts great label art and a grey wax-ed over pry-off cap for ostensibly increased aging potential. Bottled on: 10.27.2014. 8.9% ABV. 55 IBUs.

Reviewed live. Served cold into a snifter.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Khaki-tan, with wonderful creaminess and softness lending it a gorgeous complexion. Has an even consistency and a full presentation. Retention is excellent for the high ABV - easily 6-7+ minutes. Leaves a light even coating of lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Opaque black. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, the head could be richer and darker. It's a nice looking imperial stout - definitely above average without boasting any stand-out characteristics.

AROMA: A classic imperial stout aroma comprised of chocolate malts, schwarz/dark malts, cream, fudge, and a kiss of faint hazelnut. The label mentions roast and smoke; I find neither. Indeed, a roasted barley presence would help counter the malty sweetness, but this doesn't suggest a cloying beer by any means. The rauch malt isn't evidenced at all except by a hint of burnt characteristics on the back end.

This mellow aroma never betrays the ABV of the beer; I'd guess this was 6%. Aromatic intensity is average at most.

To style, no yeasty notes are detectable, nor are any off-notes. Hop presence is minimal.

TASTE: The smoke promised by the label never quite comes through, though there is a bit of burnt character in the third act which helps it finish a bit drier and coarser. Actually smoking their own malts would likely help develop the smoke profile; I'm assuming they're just buying rauch malt from Weyermann or something as-is.

The second act is dominated by the classic chocolate malt and schwarz/dark malt backbone, with whispers of plum-like dark fruit lurking deep beneath the surface, barely perceptible. I like that it doesn't trifle with caramel, malted milk balls/Whoppers, or any of the other tired notes common in imperial stouts. The sweetness is appropriate; this isn't the cloying dessert beer it could be.

What's missing is a robust roasted barley presence, which would really help the balance of this beer, which errs on the sweeter side. Additionally, some coffee and/or more of the promised smoke character would lend desirable intricacy while also rounding out the balance. I think I find a hint of faint cayenne pepper on the climax, but I can't be sure. It's a bit fudgey there too, which is nice initially but may become too much for drinkers taking on the whole bottle. A hint of vanilla bean would be lovely here.

This drinks like a base stout for a better beer, lacking the developed flavour profile, intricacy, and subtlety of execution observed in the best imperial stouts. It's satisfying as-is, but there's ample room for improvement. Certainly gestalt, with a cohesive build and an intentionality behind it. These brewers clearly know what they're doing.

Average flavour duration and intensity. Above average depth of flavour.

TEXTURE: A strength of this beer is its creamy, soft mouthfeel - which fits into the schema of its dessert beer vibe. But it's strangely light on the palate, lacking the heft and weight this beer should have to support its robust flavours. A heavier body would be ideal, but the thickness/viscosity is about right and the carbonation is near perfect. It's smooth and wet, with an almost silky porter-like feel. The addition of roasted barley (and/or more rauch malt) would likely help give this a more appropriately coarser and drier feel on the palate.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, or rough.

The ABV is quite well disguised here.

While this mouthfeel doesn't elevate the beer as a whole, it does complement the taste nicely. There's room for honing.

OVERALL: I can see why this is on the Top 100 list for the Southwest region. I'm pretty certain it's the best beer I've ever had out of San Antonio, and may well be one of the best imperial stouts I've tried from Texas while living here. Still, in this market it will struggle to compete with superior offerings from Prairie, and I don't know that I'd reach for this over widely distributed classics like Victory's Storm King, Great Divide's Espresso Yeti, or even North Coast's Old Rasputin (if we're allowing comparisons to Russian Imperial Stouts). This is highly drinkable and I'll enjoy finishing the bottle, but I'd like to see them further hone their recipe by playing up the rauch characteristics, bringing in some roasted barley, maybe adding some coffee or vanilla bean for intricacy, and adding more body to the brew. A spirited effort from a brewery that now has my attention, La Muerta is well worth trying and I'd recommend it to friends and trade partners.

Low B (3.55)

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Photo of yourefragile
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 bottle shared by Sgt. Geist.

Pours an opaque dark black with a light mocha head, no lacing. Smoky, roast malt aroma, mildly sweet and ashy. Medium thick, syrupy body with moderate carbonation and a dry, ash finish. Malty body, roast and caramel, with minimal fruit or hops. Meh?

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Photo of rye726
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Up for review is a 220 ounce bottle of La Muerta Imperial Stout from Freetail Brewing Company. Poured into a pint at cellar temp. Dark pour, nice tbrown head. Bitter chocolate, roasty malts, hops, molasses and dark fruits. Body a bit thin for the style. Lacks depth, but a decent stout.

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Photo of jeonseh
3.64/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by leftyhyzer as part of NWI tasting group bottle share

A - Dark brown with lighter accents and no head 3.75

S - Milk chocolate, light caramel, slight cream and roasted malt 3.5

T - Light chocolate and caramel with light toffee. Roasted espresso in the finish. Brown sugar. Light flavor profile overall

M - Light carbonation and body with roasted, slight oak finish

O - Decent overall stout with a good amount of coffee and roasted flavor. Nothing amazing bit solid enough

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to HopsSchnapps for this one. 2010 vintage. #247/450. Poured into a Darkness snifter.

A: Standard pour yields a 1 finger dense, dark mocha head with decent retention. Beer is an opaque black. Lacing is spotty and sparse with little cling. Average.

S: Nose is very unique. Smokey maple bacon, chocolate, roasted malt bitterness, and some brownie. Booziness is very apparent. Not very subtle.

T: Opens sweet molasses, prunes, raisins, and other smoked dark fruit. Roasted malt presence is very apparent throughout, but exerts a smoky presence rather than a bitterness. Chocolate and some sweet bozziness towards the middle and end. Brownie and logan at the finish with a brief, molasses aftertaste. Interesting with some unique fruit notes.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Oily and smooth in the mouth though a bit thin at times. Goes down with some bubbles and a touch of heat. Finish is messy with a nice, brief aftertaste. Solid.

O: A very solid offering from La Muerta, I'd be really interested in trying the Bourbon Barrel version of this one. There's a weird fruit and smoky flavor in this one that I can't quite place my finger on, but its not unpleasant. An interesting beer that's rather easy to appreciate.

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this James ! From notes, nov 20th.

Pours black, great tannish head, very little lace but decent retention.

Surprisingly smokey in the nose. Not super bacony but got some serious campfire thing going on here riding along with the chocolatey notes and sweeter deep malt flavors. The taste is very delicately bitter chocolate, more smokiness through the mid palate with a semi-dry finish. Medium bodied, appropriate carbonation. I was really pleasantly surprised by this one and enjoyed it quite a bit considering my general distaste for smokey beers. Thanks!

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle opened on 4.17.14
2012

A - Pours a very dark brown with a dark tan head that fades fairly quickly.

S - SMokey, chocolate, roast.

T - Chocolate, then a teriyaki smoke middle, then some roasted malts followed by more smoke.

D - A haavier body with good carbonation.

O - Smoke dominates, nice chocolate and roasted malts as well.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mrvonzipper for sharing this one

Look: Black and opaque with a 1/4 inch tan head and ok retention

Smell: Smoked woood and chocolate

Taste: Smoked meats chocolate and coffee

Mouthfeel: Medium body and mild carbonation

Overall: This was not at all what I was expecting and was interesting to say the least. I guess I am glad I didnt trade for this one but I am also glad I got a chance to try it

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black, with a slight mocha head. Dissipates to a slight film. Aroma is roasted, with some chocolate notes, nuttiness. and a surprising about of smokiness. A nice amount of bacon in this. Unexpected, but nice. Taste is more chocolate and roasted notes. No real coffee or roasted smoky notes. It's still good though. Not quite full bodied, with a little bit of sharp carbonation, but it's still a damn decent feeling brew.

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Photo of suspect
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Founders Brewing Snifter.

A: Deep brown/almost black beer. Aggressive center pour leads to a thin 1 finger mocha head. Lacing is thin but consistant.

S: Toasted chocolate malts, charred coffee, cooked cocoa and a little smoke.

T: Cocoa and coffee come out first and foremost in the flavor with the malts and smokey notes coming on the back end. Bitterness is present but the ABV is not.

M: A touch thin and a touch low on the carbonation. Finishes smooth.

O: A solid stout. Not in my top tier but most definitely a *good* beer. Would like to drink again but I wouldn't kill myself trying to find it.

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Photo of rwf08
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at RealTail fest at Freetail brewpub. Poured into a snifter.

A: Dark thick black with thin mocha head. No lacing and head is very thin.

S: Vanilla, smoke, dark chocolate, and molasses.

T: Dark chocolate, molasses and smoke. Some faint vanilla on the finish. Kind of hot.

M: Thin but coats the tongue well enough. High carbonation.

D: Pretty good Impy but kind of hot. More age would do this beer good.

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Photo of corby112
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Dajtai007 for sending this beer my way. Red wax, 2009(?) vintage

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a half finger mocha colored head that quickly settles into a thin ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Slightly smokey, roasted aroma with dark and sweet malt notes, dark fruit and alcohol. Some charred wood along with dark chocolate, coffee bean, oatmeal, toffee and caramel. Some fudge/chocolate cake sweetness underneath, balancing out the smoked meat/burnt malts.

Slightly viscous medium body with a nice balance of smokey, roasted malt, dark chocolate and sweet booze. Dry and toasty with lots of dark chocolate, coffee bean and oatmeal flavor but it never becomes acrid or overly burnt tasting. There is some chocolate cake, toffee and caramel sweetness balancing things out along with some strong booze in the finish. Plenty of alcohol flavor but never hot or harsh. Not overly complex but has a nice balance of roast, sweetness and alcohol. Tasty but definitely a sipper.

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La Muerta (pre-2015) from Freetail Brewing Company
3.98 out of 5 based on 318 ratings.
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