Brewery: The Lost Abbey
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: San Marcos, California
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Alcohol Content (ABV): 10.00%
First Brewed: 2007
Pours dark brown with mahogany highlights, topped by a thick tan head. Rich dark fruits, dark chocolate, and caramelized candy on both the nose and palate, brightened by a dusting of earthy spices and a solid dose of barnyard funk, keeping it light on the tongue.
This might be the last beer we review before we leave for China. I doubt the beers we find in China are worth reviewing. But I could be wrong. I hope to find some good beers while we are there. I also hope to try some tea, as tea is not my drink of choice, but is customary with most, if not all meals in China. I also have been reading about some really nice liquors that they have there. Someone at work said I should order Sake. Um… I am going to China. Not Japan!
I have seen this beer before, but have never tried it. This is another beer from my boy Erick. We liked the Angel’s Share we reviewed last night so much we decided to try another beer from The Lost Abbey tonight. This beer has pretty good ratings on both BeerAdvocate and RateBeer, so I am expecting a lot. They do use Brett in the brewing process, which scares me a little. But I am getting there. Thanks, Tim!
Can anyone tell me what the 10 Commandments are? I just hope “drink good beer” is one of them. Cheers!
In the Glass: I can smell the sweetness from the raisins as I pour this beer. Or should I say, “As I pour this foam.” I am talking straight foam. Granted, I didn’t tilt the glass, but the glass filled with foam as soon as I started pouring it. Then the foam just sat there and pretty much solidified. I need a spoon. I am serious… It’s like ice cream! The lace is nice and sticky, too.
Nose: I can smell the Brett, but it’s not overwhelming. There is also a nice sweetness coming from the raisins and the honey they use. I wonder if the honey will be noticeable outside of just knowing they used honey in the brewing process. I would like to see that brewing process, too. Are they tossing that in at the end and how are they making sure the honey doesn’t affect the consistency of the beer? I guess that is why I am not a brewmaster!
Oh, and I know this has NOTHING to do with 10 Commandments, but Four Peaks is going to start canning their Peach Ale. If you have never had the Peach Ale, you are missing out. I will be tossing a can of this in with ALL trades moving forward. When Erick was in town we took him to Four Peaks. Not sure if he had a Peach Ale, but I bet I made him try the Kilt Lifter!
Flavor: The Brett in this beer really changes my expectations for a Belgian dark strong ale. Most beers in this style are big, thick, and chewy offering a whirlwind of sweetness and complexity. I am worried this one will be highly carbonated. Let’s see.
It’s not overly carbonated, but the Brett changes the beer. This is not a good example of the style, but it is a really good easy to drink beer. At 10%, I would like to see what this beer tastes like in 2 or 3 years. If the bubbles mellow out, I bet the sweetness would begin to take over.
Mouthfeel: Cold, the beer is quite carbonated. It looks that way in the glass, but I was hoping for a surprise. That isn’t a bad thing, but I don’t like this style to be too bubbly. I did swish a sip around in my mouth a little, and the bubbles just took over. That did, however, provide me a lot more sweetness and really bring the raisin flavor forward. If you like a nice fresh raisin flavor, then you will love this beer. I bet that sweetness comes out as the beer warms up.
Aftertaste: You get a lot of the same flavors in the aftertaste, but they don’t last long. I keep licking my lips for more of that sweetness I crave in a Belgian dark strong, but the finish is nothing to write home about. I do find it interesting that this beer technically started as a home brew. Oh, and props to the state of Arizona. I had no idea that Tomme went to school here. We have pretty sunsets, the Grand Canyon, and Tomme Arthur!
The beer is good, but I wouldn’t buy it again. The Brett isn’t what is throwing me off, either. I just had a certain level of expectations going in as this is one of my favorite styles. Drinking this makes me want to review another beer now!
10 Commandments – The bottle says: “The most imaginative beers are our crusade
We believe we are all in this together
We strive for honest and integrity in our lives like you
Fresh beer is great. Aged beer is better
Now that you have found us help us spread the message
There is good and evil in the world. Out beers are good
Passion isn’t something you can buy at the corner store
We believe an inspired life is worth iving.
Life is about choice. The Lost Abbey is a great choice
We are not perfect. but no one is
Ricky had me pick a beer by picking numbers and whether we did a big or small bottle. I picked a 4 and a big bottle, and we ended up doing another Lost Abbey beer. We did the Angel’s Share last night, and tonight is the Ten Commandments. Let’s hope this one is just as good as the Angel’s Share, which was pretty awesome.
Ricky has been trying to pour both of our glasses and keeps running into trouble with having a lot of head in the glass, so much so that he couldn’t get it all poured. Mine had a lot of head, but it dissipated pretty quickly and is probably drinkable now. It looks very dark in the glass, almost black. This one looks really thick, just like the Angel’s Share. It honestly looks like just the kind of beer I usually like. Ricky would probably say that it’s too cold right now, and maybe it is. It smells pretty sweet, which I like. And kind of malty, maltier than the Angel’s Share. Let’s see how it is.
Well, I love the mouthfeel. This beer is fun to drink no matter what it tastes like. It’s got a very interesting flavor. It’s fruity. It’s kind of carbonated. And it’s kind of sweet. That malty scent that I got isn’t really there in the flavor. It’s got a lot of heat too, but you don’t really notice until the aftertaste. This one is really good. So far I’m pretty impressed with the Lost Abbey beers. I think I like the Angel’s Share better than this one, but this one is really good too. I’d definitely buy it again.
759 bottles of beer on the wall…