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Monday Night Brewing's Last Will & Testament, a Barrel-Aged Masterpiece for the Holidays

Monday Night Brewmaster Peter Kiley talks about this rich and rewarding barrel-aged ale, an elegant pairing with a Thanksgiving feast or cookies for Santa.

Monday Night Brewing's Last Will & Testament, a Barrel-Aged Masterpiece for the Holidays

Atlanta, Georgia’s Monday Night Brewing has expanded beyond its original West Midtown taproom to include its Monday Night Garage in Atlanta’s historic West End, a Birmingham, Alabama location, as well as the Monday Night Preservation Co. in Nashville’s burgeoning Neuhoff development.

The ATL stalwart was named The Beer Connoisseur’s second runner-up for two straight years in 2019 and 2020, and its highest-scoring beer those years, Stranger Danger in 2019 and Situational Ethics Apple Brandy Barrel-Aged in 2020, were both named the #3 beers of the year.

Another of its famed barrel-aged creations, Last Will & Testament, received an exceptional score of 94 when we first reviewed it in 2018.

We spoke with Monday Night’s brewmaster, Peter Kiley, about this rich and rewarding barrel-aged ale.

BC: Who came up with this beer’s recipe?
This one was my idea.

BC: What’s your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)?
The mouthfeel. It has an elegant presence that feels incredibly luscious and balanced.  

BC: Where does this beer’s name come from?
When making this beer, our marketing director (Jonathan Baker) and I were joking about how long the beer was taking to mature – 14 months. From there, we joked that we would have to write in our wills who the beer would go to after we passed away from old age.

BC: Is this your “desert island beer?”
Absolutely not. This would be a terrible choice unless the island is super cold and has a fireplace.

BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?
Classic old ale with notes of raisin, tobacco and caramel.

BC: What's a good food pairing for this beer?
It’s such a big beer, you need big flavors for it. Stilton or Humboldt Fog cheese, for example. A toffee/caramel dessert would play well with the notes in it. Our social media and brand coordinator loves to pair this one with a Maduro cigar like a Padron 1926 or Undercrown.

Monday Night Brewing Last Will & Testament


Judge’s Review

by: Michael Heniff

Rated 94

Aroma: 22 / 24
Appearance: 6 / 6
Flavor: 38 / 40
Mouthfeel: 10 / 10
Overall Impression: 18 / 20

Last Will & Testament (Blend No. 1, 2018) by Monday Night Brewing is a bourbon-barrel aged old ale and is being evaluated as a Specialty Wood-Aged Beer (category 33B from the 2015 BJCP Beer Style Guidelines). The best Specialty Wood-Aged Beers have a "harmonious blend" between the base beer and the wood/spirits resulting in a flavorful, complex blend. Old Ales are noted for their rich malt character, full body and complementing esters. Last Will & Testament is aged in bourbon barrels for 14 months.

This beer pours black in color, clear, with a finely beaded brown head. The aroma is prominently bourbon and toasted oak with a background of rich caramel malt. The body is full and very warming. The flavor continues to display a ton of bourbon, vanilla and toasted oak over a rich, dark caramel malt base; elements of treacle, tobacco, dark chocolate and raisins complement beautifully. Strong bourbon and rich caramel malt linger long into a warming finish. 

From a BJCP-sanctioned competition standpoint, the bourbon and barrel flavors should be more harmonious with the base old ale style, but, from a bourbon barrel-aged beer aficionado's perspective, the bourbon and barrel characteristics are very well done – resulting in a sublimely enjoyable beer. 

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