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Amazing Grace Ale - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Amazing Grace AleAmazing Grace Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

136 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 136
Reviews: 94
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 8.96%
Wants: 130
Gots: 37 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Blended Ale aged in French Oak Red Wine Barrels for 18 months with brettanomyces added.

(Beer added by: scottoale on 12-05-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 136 | Reviews: 94 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jwc215
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for bringing this one back from California for me!

750 ml cage-corked bottle, poured into a tulip glass:

Pours brown with a large off-white head that descends to a thin cover. Lacing sticks.

The smell is sour/tart and vinuous - oaky with berry-like and cherryish fruitiness.

The taste is sweet and sour - berries and cherries. The fruitiness is sour and tart with a nice caramelish sweetness in the balance. It becomes raisiny with a gentle earthy spicing. Woody, vanilla-ish, oaky notes add complexity. Finishes dry.

The feel is a bit thin at first, but becomes creamy as it progresses. A nice carbonation level makes it almost effervescent, but not fizzy.

This is a nice sweet and sour, lightly spiced beer with good use of oak. Very drinkable - alcohol well hidden. Good job! Unique - doesn't fit a "style" well, per se, but everything works well here, and certainly has a "Belgian-esque" character with a unique American flair.

jwc215, Jun 20, 2008
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't know why, but I wasn't expecting this to be so funky, but as I pop the cork it gushes out and I am barely able to catch it in my glass. Also an unmistakable funky aroma of Brettanomyces reaches my nose as I quickly pour this beer into my glass. The head starts out about three-fingers in height and has a creamy tan colored texture. The beer is a murky, dark amber to brown color, but shows a hazy, bright cherry color when held up to the light. Musty, funky, sharp mushroom aromatics, moldy leather and ripe cheddar notes make up the dominant part of the aroma. Underneath the funk is some light woody character that adds some spiciness, a touch of buttery oak and even a touch of vanillin. Actually the oak barrel character becomes more noticeable with time. I was really hoping to get more of the dark fruit notes of the base beer, but I only noticed them a bit in passing at first and now only as an almost phantom aromatic from time to time.

This still has a medium fullness to it and has a rich, though soft, sweetness that is quite fruity, yet subdued due to the funk and barrel flavors. The body is actually quite a bit reduced from the heft that Lost & Found had, but still is not anywhere near that of a Lambic (not that this is anything like one). Up front flavors of berries, a touch of raisins and a tartness become fairly muted through to the finish as sharp, spicy oak flavors a piquant funkiness takes hold of the palate. I like the tartness of this beer, it reminds me of a mix of sour plums, tamarind and soured raisins. Brettanomyces seems to play the dominant role here as this tastes of moldy leather, rotting wood, definitely quite musty, a bit goat-like basically full of butyric acid notes. The oak character really melds in quite seamlessly with the Brett-funk; it seems to boost the spicy flavors, amplifies a tannic, woody backbone and only contributes mild buttery-oak and vanillin notes. There is some berry notes here and I wonder if some of this came from any residual wine left in the oak.

As the beer warms it starts to pick up some dusty cocoa notes and a wine-like berry note becomes much more amplified. While physically impossible due to the over-gushing, this beer really needs to be sampled on the warm side, I think some extended time to let it breath helps as well. So just open it when it is quite cold, pour some out and let it breath for forty-five minutes or so as it will open up quite a bit more. Except for the funky notes this really is quite wine-like in character; the berry (almost jam-like) flavors, soft oak contributions and light tartness all evoke thoughts of a fruit forward, oaky, best drunk young red wine.

This is quite tasty, but I think that it would be quite a bit better if more of the Lost & Found character came through. That rich, concentrated, dark fruit character would couple really nicely with the funk, wine and barrel character. The aroma is nice and funky, which I like, but is a bit too dominated by the oak and funk to be really great. Still this is interesting and I am definitely digging the wine similarities as the beer opens up. Really this beer needs to breath and warm up a bit to be truely enjoyed.

Gueuzedude, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of Halcyondays
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours amber with a solid white head, good lace.

S: Quite a Belgian nose. Raisins, dates, dark fruit with some vinegar.

T: Brown malt/candi sugar type flavour. There is an acidity leaning more to the acetic side. Balsamic vinegar makes an appearance.

M: Medium-bodied, solid firm structure. Pretty smooth.

O: I like the complexity of the acid here, it just didn't grab me. Still worth a try.

Halcyondays, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of GClarkage
2.78/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

09/07/09- Generously sharded with BA member Talisker.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, corked and caged. I believe it's from 2007. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Darker brown-chestnut colored pour. Full brisk head, lightly foamy leaving good lace markings.

Smell- A bit of a sour note in the nose. A bit of sugary sweetness and caramel as well. Nothing really solid though.

Taste- Pretty damn sour. Is this supposed to contain brett? Caramel comes through, but really overshadowed by a sour acrid taste. Thinking this one has soured, even if it is supposed to be this way. Other odd flavors also incorperated...we drain poured it.

Mouthfeel- Sour acrid aftertaste..medium carbonation level.

Drinkability- Drained it...I'm sure it wasn't supposed to be like this, but who knows.

GClarkage, Sep 09, 2009
Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -0.5%

imperialking, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of stakem
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

375ml C&C offering into a matching Lost Abbey teku. The brew appears a beautiful deep cherry mahogany color with a khaki yellow stained head that fades leaving spots of lace. When held to the light, the brew really shows off its ruby coloration and lighter yellow to orange hints around the edges.

The aroma is sour cherry initially with lots of pleasant wild character. This has quite a flanders feel to the aroma with suggestions of vinegar, cider, cheese, funk, raw woodiness and wine. When swirled some vanilla comes through with a bit of balsamic glaze.

The flavor is sour with a mild acetic edge that blends into tart cherry and vinous notes. More sips really drive home the fruity wine quality with mild alcohol impact. The aftertaste is wild with a minor cheesy appeal and some soft barrel notes like raw wood and earth.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. For 8% the abv is integrated and hidden quite well, but as it warms up it really starts to show itself. Overall this is a wine heavy and quite wild and enjoyable brew. I typically dont like acedic brews but this I would absolutely drink again if the opportunity presented itself.

stakem, Sep 09, 2013
Photo of weeare138
4.83/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to hopdog for unveiling this one...
Appears a hazy, murky auburn with a 1 finger, light tan head that slowly fades out. Tons of scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of vanilla, oak, grapes, cherries, and raspberries.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with complex flavors that make this beer exceptional. Notes of vanilla and a touch of cocoa nibs keep this one top notch.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, mildly tart, with oaky tannins running along the tongue. Chewy goodness of excellent balance.

weeare138, Jan 14, 2009
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad!

The beer is brownish red with but a small head that leaves only faint traces of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is the best aspect of Amazing Grace ale. Scents include barrels, grapes, cherries, wine and alcohol.

The taste did not quite live up to the promise of the aroma. The flavor is really tannic and bites at the palate with each sip. Cherries come through nicely, as well as prominent alcohol throughout.

The beer is medium bodied. This could / should be a smoother ride. While I appreciate the bold showing of the red wine barrels in the nose and taste, the beer comes off a bit too harsh and tannic.

A small portion was plenty for me. This was an OK, but not something that left me wanting more.

Huhzubendah, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of billab914
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 375l bottle into my lost Abbey stemware. It poured a deep brown color with a slight ruby tint to it in the light. It started with a thin white head barely covering the top of the beer, but faded quickly.

The aroma shows a lot of the wine barrel to it. I get some tart grapes with a little bit of a woody oak and vanilla flavor. A moderate sourness is there as well. Nice aroma to it.

The taste has a sharper, sour orange juice like flavor to it up front. More of the red wine character comes out in the finish with some tart, dry grape flavors.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being low for the style. Overall it was a pretty good beer of the style, but not a great one. The sour orange juice flavors was a little strange and overpowering in it. I liked the wine characters that came out though and the sourness was pretty decent. Not a bad beer overall, but definitely not my favorite LA sour.

billab914, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of Kelp
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Kelp, Sep 02, 2013
Photo of Viggo
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to grub for sharing this 750 ml bottle.

Pours a cloudy and ruddy dark orange/brown, reddish highlights in the edges, decently thick off white head forms, drops to a solid ring around the glass, some lace spots. Smell is interesting, some funky sourness, sour cherries, caramel, bread, very malty, lots of fruit, wood, vanilla, barnyard, lemon peel, grapes, not a dubbel, this has been mislabeled. Taste is siimilar, sweet/sour up front, caramel, bread and oak, vanilla, wine, quite funky, almost a floral hoppiness underneath the sourness, light bit of yeasty spiciness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, quite nice, very complex, and the wine barrels come through quite nice. The sourness is refined and smooth. Thanks Russ!

Viggo, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of HopHead84
3.45/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12/11/10

2010 batch on tap at the release.

A: Appears turbid rust brown with a very small off white head. Scattered lacing.

S: Aroma is of oak and prominent vinous notes with light vanilla interspersed. There's a buttery quality to the wine barrels. Dark fruits are reminiscent of cherry, plum, and grape. Lactic character is moderate.

T: Lightly tart, with subtle wet leather notes and a firm lactic dark fruit presence and a lower moderate sourness. Oak is evident, along with vinous, plum, and dark cherry notes. Finish slowly fades. No evident alcohol.

M: Upper medium body with really really low carbonation. This would be greatly improved with carbonation. Mouthfeel is slick, dry, and somewhat thin

Overall: An enjoyable wine barrel aged beer with subtle wild and sour notes.

HopHead84, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of DrJay
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received from Jw347 as part of 80's BIF. Thanks!
There was a loud pop when the cork was removed. It didn't look like it was going to foam over, but when I turned back from grabbing a pair of glasses there was a puddle of beer and bubbles around the bottle. Oh well. It had a murky brown colour, sort of like toffee, with some fine bubbles skimming the surface and a collar around the glass. Some spotty, sticky lacing. Aromas of funky brett and red wine, a little earthy and musty with malty caramel notes underneath, just a touch of vinegar. The flavour was acidic and tart, quite sharp up front, but this gave way to a mellow caramel and toffee sweetness in the finish. In between is the earthy funk, oak and red wine. As it warmed, chocolate notes appeared, as well as berry fruitiness and light alcohol flavour and warmth in the finish. Plenty of carbonation, medium bodied. I really enjoyed the combination of flavours and thought they worked well together.

DrJay, Jul 18, 2008
Photo of liamt07
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Pino, by way of Alex (MasterSki). 375ml into a tulip, 2010 vintage. I think the bottle said this was 8% ABV?

Poured a murky reddish brown, not flat but low in carbonation as no real head was generated. Some off-white bubbles are there, and a thin film and collar remain as the glass is consumed. Quite surprisingly, this laced really nicely. Nose is fruity, gently sour with a bit of wil notes, oak, vanilla, sour cherry and red wine vinegar/general acetic notes. Taste has sour cherries, a bit of grapes, and light vinous notes. Barrel is present with oak and vanilla flavours, and this feels well integrated into the rest of the profile of this beer. Tannic finish, and some tart/acetic notes as well. Not much length to the finish, but there's a wee bit of alcohol in there. Lightly drying an encouraging of the next sip. This generate some immediate comparisons to some Oud Bruins/Flander's Red Ales I've had, so I found this quite enjoyable. Surely I'd revisit this.

liamt07, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into a Deschutes Snifter glass.

Appearance - Pours a carmel-red with only a few tan bubbles forming around the edges.

Smell - Red wine, grapes, oak.

Taste - Woody, redwine.

Drinkability - Low carbonation.

Overall - Nice, but is it a beer or a wine?

HuskyinPDX, Jul 19, 2011
Photo of glid02
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Lee at the Brick Store during the LA/Port kick-off - thanks!

Pours a slightly hazy brownish-amber color with a half-finger light tan head. The head recedes quickly into a thin ring around the glass leaving light lacing and decent legs.

Smells of indistinct dark malts with large amounts of oak and tannins with hints of tart cherries and assorted dried dark fruits - raisins and dried plums. Also present are solid amounts of funk - musty leather if I had to choose a descriptor.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Dark malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by mildly tart cherry and dark fruit flavors. Midway through the sip the barrel really shines with huge hits of funk, oak, and tannins, in that order. The barrel influence carries through to a crisp and mildly tart ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I had to spend a few minutes with my nose in this beer before even taking a sip as there was so much going on. It's on the verge of being another "flat LA beer" but avoids it and the soft carbonation is entirely appropriate for this beer. A well done brew that's well worth a shot.

glid02, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

THECPJ, Feb 22, 2012
Photo of drummermattie02
4/5  rDev -0.5%

drummermattie02, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of Bitterbill
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, this is one of the 3 last beers I'll be getting as a Sinners club member...sad. 2010 edition.

I popped the cork, a nice pop ensued, big blast of the aroma to my nose...

It pours a cloudy rust colour with about an inch of off white foam. Tilting my glass reveals some very good lacing.

Sticking my nose just about in the glass, I'm greeted by a very lovely sour aroma of cherries and vinegar with a nice blast of Brett. Holy cow this smells so damn good.

Taking a few sips, which is a pleasure, reveals all. Huge sourness coming from cherries? definitely reminiscent of the tannins that make the red wines enjoyable, some woody notes, a bit of the Brett I mentioned in the smell...I'm trying to find the toasted Malt mentioned on the label but I guess I'm failing at that. No matter. This is one hell of a delicious brew but in no way would I even remotely call this a Belgian Dubbel. If that is what the base beer is *supposed* to be, it got lost in the shuffle. Again, I have to stress, this is not a complaint. I LOVE this beer.

On the lighter end of medium bodied with more than ample carbonation, I find the mouth feel very nice indeed.

Drinkability for this 8.0% abv, not 9.5% abv as per the BA entry for the beer, is simply excellent. I'm wondering if this is a reincarnation of a previous brew? Maybe that's why it being entered as a Dubbel is throwing me off? Anywho, I dig this beer big time!

Bitterbill, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of bsuedekum
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

bsuedekum, May 02, 2012
Photo of DefenCorps
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from batch 1 that I received from NFLMVP way back when. Thanks, Steve! This beer was released December 2007-ish, so that makes it shy of 5 years old. Labeled 8.0% ABV

The cork pops out energetically, and the beer is brilliantly clear, a nice deep ruby red with a dense, brown head comprised of tiny bubbles. Retention is excellent, and no real lacing is noticeable, but the carbonation is high.

The nose has a blend of Brett and red wine. The Brett character is very nice. Spicy (mild clove and pepper), earthy and a little leathery, it blends harmoniously with the barrel character (a little fruit, mildly vinous, some leather). I can't say I've had the base beer before, but I reckon that's where the slight raisin and candi sugar notes on the nose come from. No sourness, but plenty of Brett funk and even a little tartness. Adding the yeast, and allowing the beer to warm up brings out notes of berries and unsweetened cocoa. Pretty excellent IMO.

The palate opens dry, vinous and loaded with Brett character. In some ways, this is like a Bon Chien-lite - not as vinous, not as sour, but still pretty Brett-forward with the flavors of clove, earth and leather integrated very well with the barrel character. Fairly intense flavors of earth, leather and tannins meld with a moderate vinous character. I don't think I've had a Sangiovese before, but going by this beer, I'd say it's on the more delicate end of the spectrum, with reserved fruit and light spiciness. Again, no sourness, but a moderate Brett and barrel tartness are present. Fairly tannic but working with the earthy and leathery notes, this beer is rather intense in its Brett-forwardness. There's a certain sharpness to it as well, rather spicy (black cardamom? black cumin?) that lingers in the back. Light in body, medium-high carbonation, this beer finishes dry, tannic and lightly vinous. Pretty impressive IMO, the whole is definitely better than the sum of the parts here.

DefenCorps, Jul 08, 2012
Photo of AgentZero
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Sean's 30th Birthday Extravaganza.

A - Brownish red beer with a whitish head that left a little bit of lace on the sides.

S - Nice grapes and vinous notes. Some dark fruit, vinegar, vanilla, and a little barrel.

T - Tastes is a lot like the nose, with a little bit of caramelized sugar. Dark fruits slightly soured, with some vinegar and tartness.

M - Pretty nicely bodied, fuller side of medium, moderate carbonation.

O - Not bad, I didn't realize this was classified as a dubbel. Pretty interesting, and glad I got to tr it.

AgentZero, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of Gobzilla
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured a dark murky brown in color with pale brown highlights and almost no head which left virtually no lacing sticking to the glass.

S: lots of bretty funkiness upfront in the aroma with plenty of oakiness, vinous character, acidic citrus was definitely there with lots of mouth watering sour qualities.

T: the bretty barnyard funkiness was more potent on the palate alongside acidic citrus notes, lovely oaky wine barrel accents but with some vinous character which help give a good fruitness and a great sour punch.

M: the brew was medium in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a semi sweet, oaky, vinous, funky, snd sour finish that was slightly dry.

O: very delicious beer with good qualities all around. definitely glad to finally catch up to this beer.

Gobzilla, Sep 03, 2012
Photo of gford217
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of KingG poured into a tulip.

The cork popped with some serious power and the foam started to creep out of the bottle as I poured it. The body is a deep, clear copper with a huge creamy tan head that settles in as a big cap leaving spotty lacing.

The aroma is much more tart and funky than I was expecting. The underlying dubbel aromas are there, especially some dark fruits and caramel, but the funk is really in the forefront in the nose as well as tart cherries and some dry woody scents as well.

I think the taste is slightly better than the aroma as it seems to really bring in the dubbel character with more caramel sweetness and candi sugar than the aroma. The initial blast is of tart fruits, maybe cherries, as well as a hint of funk. The dubbel starts to show through in the middle before a dry, woody finish to close things out.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lots of carbonation and definitely much more tart and dry than your garden-variety dubbel.

This is an extremely unique and tasty dubbel . It's certainly nothing close to what I was expecting with the serious tart fruit presence and emerging funk. Thanks to Joey for sharing this beauty.

gford217, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of enelson
4/5  rDev -0.5%

enelson, Dec 26, 2011
Amazing Grace Ale from The Lost Abbey
90 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.