Michael Heniff's picture

Judge's Review: 94 Rating - Last Will & Testament by Monday Night Brewing

November, 2018
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
38 / 40
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 complimenting 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 compliment.  Strong bourbon and rich caramel malt linger long in 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 beer aficionado's perspective, the bourbon and barrel characteristics are very will done resulting in a sublimely enjoyable beer.  Cheers!