La Muerta (pre-2015) | Freetail Brewing Company

BA SCORE
89
very good
319 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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La Muerta (pre-2015)La Muerta (pre-2015)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Freetail Brewing Company
Texas, United States
freetailbrewing.com

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
Ratings:
319
Reviews:
90
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
11.78%
 
 
Wants:
188
Gots:
85
For Trade:
3
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 319 |  Reviews: 90
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very smooth drinker. Average mouthfeel but dangerous drinker. Great flavours cover the booziness. Brown coloured body with a creamy foam. Complex, with smoke the pleasant hook in the smell and in the taste, leaving a velvet chocolate finish. Great beer in a great style, this one is a meal in itself.

 300 characters

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.39/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to MrVonzipper for sharing this one at his tasting!

Pours an opaque black with a dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt, smoked malt, cocoa, coffee bean, and slight alcohol. Taste is of dark roasted malt, smoked malt, cocoa powder, and some slight coffee bean flavors. There is a nice roasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good carbonation level with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good stout with nice smoke and cocoa aromas and flavors.

 588 characters

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of Knapp85
3.74/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of nmann08
2.75/5  rDev -31.1%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of kojevergas
3.55/5  rDev -11%
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)

 4,895 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
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

 586 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
2.75/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.55/5  rDev -11%
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.

 618 characters

Photo of mothman
3.37/5  rDev -15.5%
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.

 487 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

 319 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.14/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jlindros
4.14/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to ApostleBrewing for another interesting one from Freetail.

Pours a darker creamy 1/2 finger head that fades at med pace little lacing, pitch black beer, no light coming through.

Nose starts with roast, roasted malt, roasted coffee beans, a bit of dark chocolate and cocoa, hint of char and bitter dark malt, a light smoked malt with hint of smoked cheese like and light oats I think. Just a touch of earthy hops.

Taste brings creamy dark malts, light caramel, a bit of powdered cocoa, hint vanilla even, some creamy milk chocolate as well. Light roast in the background, just a bit of fresh roasted coffee beans. The dark malts bring a hint of bitter char but not acrid. Melting choc really comes through the more it goes and warms. Slight chewy malt center with hint if oats, and faint hint of smoked malt again. Light earthy bitter hops in there somewhere, as well as a bit of warning booze. Finish is long creamy chocolate, hint if coffee, more bitter roast and earthy malts, fairly dry but slightly sticky mouth coating.

Mouth is fuller bodied, rich and a bit creamy, nice carb, just a bit of warning booze.

Overall quite a nice beer, nice malt profile with good roast and coffee, nice bitterness with roast and hops although a bit more hops would have been nicer, and a bit more coffee too. The light smoke is a nice addition, and acrid niceness kept in check well. Also nice balance and booze levels, a nice tasty beer that I'm glad I didn't age.

 1,466 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of wethorseblanket
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of nathanmiller
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.75/5  rDev +19%

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La Muerta (pre-2015) from Freetail Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 319 ratings.
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