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Cuvee De Tomme - The Lost Abbey

Cuvee De TommeCuvee De Tomme

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

857 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 857
Reviews: 383
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 11.88%


Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beers base starts out as "The Mother of all Beers" quadruple. It is then aged in oak barrels with lots of cherries. The cherries and the natural bacteria in the barrels from previous batches give the beer a tart sourness.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 12-14-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 857 | Reviews: 383 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of CharlesDarwin
CharlesDarwin

Rhode Island

5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2001 North Vineyard. Tomme produces an unlabeled bottle with cryptic Sharpie markings on the cap. According to him, an unreleased early vintage. Pouring into the glass a cherubic Indian ruby sapphire, glowing with clear glassy edges and a blood rim. Aroma carries one away into an overwhelming presence of intense red fruits from across the board, cherries and raisins percolate in the core of my brain. So bright, alive and refined. Absolutely stunning. Finally passing my lips, this lubricious liquid takes form as a mindnumbing shapeshifter. What first presents itself as a unmarked, world class malt and fruit chimeric belgian strong ale, quickly cloaks itself in a world of sourness. The best of both worlds! Trying to parse out the intricate corners of the beer, I’m at a loss, it’s all too much. Rodenbach Alexander quickly comes to mind. The fruit character so deft, real and upfront. Palate couldn’t be more satisfying, yet exacting. I’ll review again with a bottle of the current batch, but I needed to expunge my thoughts with this rarest of gems.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2007 12:59:04 | More by CharlesDarwin
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RustyDiamond

Georgia

5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 bottling poured into my RR BA stem. Nice 74 degrees on the front porch, with winds out of the northwest at 2 mph.

Poured a deep mysterious brown into the glass. Or is it reddish brown? From the side, it is all brown with a few teases of red. Standing over top, I really see more cherry than brown. Fizzy white head that quickly dissolved.

Intoxicating aromas of cherry tartness, funk, bourbon hotness with a slight hint of toffee. Nostrils are tingly and ready to dive in.

Cherry taste hits me right away...nice & tart. Funky, tart, cherry, dry...real sexy. So rich and complex...layers upon layers. I get lots of hot bourbon flavor and not really any pronounced oak, which I absolutely love.

Mouthfeel of cherry, funk, & dry tartness. Super smooth, sex machine. For an ale this complex, with the 11% weight, I could drink all night. I savored the 12.7 for over 60 minutes, adding the yeast at the very end of my session.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2008 21:13:50 | More by RustyDiamond
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goethean

Illinois

5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Perfectly paired with some Moser-Roth dark chocolate. Poured into a duvel tulip glass. Nice and fizzy.

Very sour; gleeky. Intensely, bracingly tart. Sweet tart, sour-patch kid tart, but not vinegary. Like the pickled plums found in some sushi.

Loads and loads of dark fruits: sour black cherries, extremely rich, sticky sour cherry pie. Mouthfillingly complex. No roast or coffee sharpness. I didn't pick up much horsey funkiness, but there are some dark currents like tobacco or leather.

Comparatively dry, clean aftertaste with a bit of lingering sour cherry. Sort of a reproduction of a 19th century, extremely old vintage infected strong ale. Sets a new standard.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2008 02:01:16 | More by goethean
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oggg

California

5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

OMG.

Bottle SU#118 (out of 350) is one of the oldest iterations of Cuvee de Tomme. I bought it from Pizza Port Solana Beach in 03 or 04. It has the silver foil over a bottle cap over a cork. It spent 2 more years in sunny San Diego with me, and then another 2 years up in the San Francisco Bay Area, with no protection from the ambient temperature. In the last 2 years, I finally put this 750ml bottle in a wine frig to sit at 55F.

OMG.

The cork showed no signs of expansion or bulging above the bottle rim. There was no gasp of carbonation when I uncorked the bottle. I gently poured the beer into my unibroue goblet. At first it appeared flat, but then I saw a thin lacing of super microfine bubbles. The smallest bubbles I've ever seen, even compared to champagne. It's a murky dark brown that is a little bit lighter on the edges.

The aroma is a silky blended choco-floral-cherry deal. Restrained early on as I served it from the refrigerator. As it warmed, the deep chocolate aroma came out more.

On the tongue, I get moderate to strong cherry sourness tailed by a lovely chocolate presence. Then the sour cherry surges, while being balanced by a steady rind-like hop bitterness (grapefruit pith or lime pith) and the super crisp carbonation. The bitterness persists a little more than necessary.

OMG.

This beer is just gorgeous. This crisp carbonation and sourness are perfect for the fresh salmon burgers I threw together. They even match the mini-cupcakes that my wife brought home. Each sip refreshes the palate perfectly. It's medium to full bodied, and it tastes like it's a 3% abv beer. Incredible! I saved a few ounces in the bottle to try tomorrow, but I could easily have finished the entire 750ml. An 11.5% beer that I can drink like a session beer. Incredible!!!! OMG this beer defied all odds -- 7 years old and less than ideal storage conditions -- and it is just beautiful. I have one more Cuvee de Tomme from 05, I think, so I think I may sit on it 2 more years to get to 7 years old as well =)

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2010 04:13:06 | More by oggg
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jwhancher

Pennsylvania

4.98/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this one on tap at a Monk's event which Tomme Arthur showed up to speak with the partons.

A: Pours a murky brown with okay head that eventually dissipates.

S: Smells of raisin, cherries, Brett, and a sour vinegar like aroma. As I'm still getting into sour beers, this one smelled wonderful!

T: Tasted great with the same notes as in the nose. Also had an excellent woody quality as this one was aged in bourbon barrels I believe.

M: Excellent sourness that was intriguing as well as it was refreshing. I was forced to sip this one to take in all the exceptional qualities. Felt medium-full to me.

O: A wonderful beer overall. Glad to have made it to Monk's to try this special brew and chat it up with the brewer. Awesome beer experience.

Serving type: on-tap

03-20-2012 02:16:05 | More by jwhancher
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rye726

Colorado

4.97/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a rich redwood color with a silky tan head and some light lacing.

The nose has sour cherries, dark pitted fruit, farmyard funk, oak, cabernet grapes, bourbon, and vanilla.

Taste is very well balanced. The barrel aging was nicely done. Tart cherries and plums up front followed by fruity yeast, figs, raisins, musty funk, oak, vanilla, whiskey, and red wine.

Big, thick body delicately complimented by a soft carbonation and a dry acidic finish. Another classic artisinal ale from Tomme.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2009 02:16:36 | More by rye726
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GClarkage

California

4.95/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

06/07/09- Shard at a tasting with friends.

Presentation- 375ml bottle, bottled in eartly 2008. Caged and corked bottle poured into my Orval chalice.

Appearance- Pale ruby red in color. Ligher rose water colored head with slight watery lace trails left behind.

Smell- Fresh boquet of cherries, some tart aromas via the fruit as well as some oak barrel notes.

Taste- Cherries and more cherries. Freshly picked and straight to the beer. Pretty sour, but not quite pucker territory. Light sugary notes as well as a pleasant oak barrel flavor.

Mouthfeel- Thicker than exprected. Not quite viscous but lightly syrupy...pretty much the perfect mouthfeel with lower carbonation.

Drinkability- Right up there with the best wild ales I have had. Incredible drinking beer worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2009 15:36:48 | More by GClarkage
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0110x011

California

4.93/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

May '08 release, 375ml corked & caged bottle. Pours a very dark brown with a ruby tint. Barely any head, with little lace along with it. Nose is incredibly complex & layered. Dark fruits, caramel, oak, cherries, & funk all hit the nose simultaneously, with none pulling further ahead than any other. I could have my nose in this thing all day! The flavor is equally complex, with fig, plum, and caramel sweetness, sour cherry, and a definate oakiness. Very little carbonation, medium body, and a very noticable, but not overwhelming, alchohol burn in the finish.

With this and the Angel's Share, its very easy to see why Lost Abbey brews are so highly regarded, and so sought after. I feel privileged to be close enough to the brewery to have access to these amazing beers. Aquire at all costs!

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2008 04:15:41 | More by 0110x011
Photo of hopdog
hopdog

Pennsylvania

4.93/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle acquired in trade with DarkElf (thanks). Silver foil and labeled CUSU28.

I opened this one up and dedicated it to the birth of my second Daughter Eve.

Poured a darker reddish color with almost no head at all. Ohh the aromas of brett, cherries, and oak with a vinous quality to it. Tastes of dark fruits, brett, wine, and cherries. Nice tart cherry finish.

Alcohol content well hidden. Has a very nice complexity to it.

I've had this a bunch more times and various vintages, and all I can say, is this one has never let me down!

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2008 18:26:53 | More by hopdog
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.93/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was ecstatic to find this on tap at the PP Belgian Beer Fest. I've had bottles of this several times since its last release, but it's been far too long since I last had it on tap.

Cuvee de Tomme is dark amber brown with a one inch, off white head. I'm greeted by the most fantastic tart and sour cherry aroma I've ever experienced. Oak, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, plum, and fig are all present in the nose, with some alcohol. The taste has a high level of sourness and a medium level of tartness. The cherries combined with the subtle chocolate are stunning. Oak is noticeable, with some vanilla, plums, figs, and caramel. The alcohol is very well hidden for its high level.

Cuvee de Tomme is medium-full bodied with a medium level of carbonation and a vinous mouthfeel. This is, without a doubt, my favorite sour cherry beer, and one of my favorite beers period. I can't wait for the next release.

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2009 01:16:13 | More by HopHead84
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy

Connecticut

4.9/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was given this bottle as a gift from Venom. Thanks a lot man!

I am sampling a chilled bottle in a snifter that I am sharing with my new wife, mom-in-law, and bro-in-law. Perfect opportunity to open a special bottle of beer!
The brew pours a dark and cloudy mahogany color some small, white sediment chunks are suspended in my glass. There is a small beige fluffy head of 1 cm that remains as a surface layer throughout.
Aroma is deep and complex with fruity cherry, boozy whisky notes, some oak, a little raisin and dark fruit, and a general funkiness. Very appealing to me and all who are trying this beer with me.
First sip reveals a very smooth yet thick body with mild carbonation. The brew reveals little of the alcohol up front.
Flavor is rich and fruity with cherries and dark fruit mixing with wooden oak notes, similar to licking a popsicle stick, and again whisky/bourbon notes come through on the end. I also get just a hint of dry cocoa powder at the start of each sip. Overall the beer is mildy sweet and funky. The alcohol barely makes a notice with just a hint of warmth on the finish in the back of my throat. Also the general happiness of the group at the end of the bottle hints that there was some booze consumed!
This was a definate treat of a beer and I am indebted to Venom for the opportunity!

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2005 03:36:11 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.9/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Joey for sending this one my way. I have been literally dying to try this one, and threw it in the fridge to cool down the second it arrived. Your typical very nice looking Lost Abbey bottle, corked and caged 375ml. 2008 Vintage. Served in an oversized wine glass, and consumed on 08/03/2008.

The pour was very nice. Rich dark brown, very hazy and cloudy with a rich tan colored head. Excellent retention left behind thick coating side glass lace. Some light carbonation at first, but this quickly diminished. This one looking like a monster though, not really sure what else to say, accept this looked awesome!

The aromas, wow I do not even know where to start with this one. So intricate and complex, it almost was beyond description. The first notes to come across were funky and sour, which were to be expected, however, letting this one warm up brought about all sorts of goodness. This one had to warm though to really let you appreciate all of the subtleties that were going on here. Rich notes of caramel and tart cherries, light notes of oak and woodsy like malts. Extremely complex here. The flavor was much more of the same, just absolutely decadent and delicious. This was honestly one of the best flavors I have ever experienced in a beer, and I really mean that. It was tremendously good. Started out a nice rush of Brett funkiness in all of its glory, rich notes of fruit, cherries layered in on top of that with an almost toffee like flavor as the base. This was very reminiscent of a funky KRE in its complexity. A rich cascade of semi sweet flavor then rolled through and tool over as it always does. I have to admit it needed a little bit more punch in the carbonation though it was still very well done. I have to comment though that this was ridiculously session able for a 12% ale. I was sipping this like a 6% Kriek, until I realized that it was starting to catch up to me. It's really hard though to place a style on this one. It had a lit of the almost chewy character of the Angels share, but with some much tartness, ala a Red Poppy, when it was fresh, but the level this reached was much better though, and they are both fantastic in their own right.

Overall I was blow away with this one. It was just ridiculously good. I have had very few beers that can live up to this kind of expectation, but this one I am proud to say was one of them. I would love to try this again any day, it was just fantastic. Go out and try to find this one if you can, it is well worth it.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2008 22:45:04 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of slayer3604
slayer3604

California

4.9/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 vintage from Red Carpet in Glendale, CA

a- OH NO! have i been hit with another non-carbonated 30 dollar bottle of LA beer!? The first reaction i had almost resulted in a berserker head-butt to the wall, but then i noticed a great deal of bubbles clinging to the side of the glass...the initial pour hadn't stirred more than a millimeter of head, to which it settled to a very tiny white bubbled rim on the outside of the glass, so i was fearing the worst.
The beer has a murky maroon/yellow appearance. the yellow occurring towards the outer rim of the glass, when tilted and held against the light.

S- chocolate, rum, HUGE tart cherries, a blast of dark raisin, cherry cola, and fig!!!

T- very smooth especially for 11%, lots of raisin, some acidic acid, almost tannic bight, with cherries that are a week away from being ripe! very dark feeling on the palate, with an unfiltered quality, coupled by great craftsmanship.

M- velvet. because of the lack of effervescent carbonation, this beer is free to be as smooth as it can be. has a lingering semi dry, tart and fruity finish. very classy.

D- If this bottle was available year round i'd pick it up every month even at 30 bucks. Terribly smooth for what it packs, and im pretty light headed now! good night!

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2009 23:13:43 | More by slayer3604
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BradLikesBrew

Missouri

4.9/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have my qualms when it comes to Lost Abbey. Their questionable standards for quality control are infuriating at best and unethical at worst. BUT DAMN IS THIS BEER GOOD.

Cuvee de Tomme was the highlight of my 2009 GABF experience, what a beer! I enjoyed a couple samples on Thursday, but on Friday, when the line was inexplicably short, I easily had 5 or 6 pours. In retrospect, GABF is probably the best setting to consume beer from Lost Abbey. You know you are going to get a carbonated beer, something you can't take for granted with Lost Abbey. Of course, you don't have to pay for it either, which is nice.

Cuvee de Tomme showcases all the qualities that make American Wild Ales so exciting. Perhaps no sour pulls it all together better than this. The depth of the malt flavor, the sweetness of the cherries, the acidic vinegar notes of the yeast, the balancing smoothness provided by the barrels. Balance really is the key here. An alphabet soup of flavors, but all appropriately balanced to keep you yearning for more.

I don't know if I would ever pay the asking price of a bottle or if I will ever have the option to purchase one, but I can say that this is without question one of the most satisfying beers I have tasted. Between the Thursday and Friday GABF sessions and the Pints for Prostates Rare Beer Tasting, I had the opportunity to try hundreds of this countries finest beers. This may have been my favorite.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2009 15:13:49 | More by BradLikesBrew
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Trueant1

Minnesota

4.9/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

No pop of the cork. Pours a minimal head that has no retention.
sits in the glass dark brown. No lacing what so ever.
I am impressed with the smell. Warm booziness fills the nose alongside the cherries. Lots of oak and wood characters.
The taste is Sour with cherries up front. Booze, sweet figs, vanilla, real cream soda flavors, and even some cocoa flavors. Exceptional!
Mouthfeel is medium stickiness with a hint of carbonation.
Over all this is a world class brew. The style says some may not care for the sourness. I think the sour cherries are brilliant in the brew. This beer drinks way to easy for this style. Kudos again to the brewery who took over the old Stone building!!!

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2011 04:10:47 | More by Trueant1
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Crosling

Colorado

4.88/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As the beer descends into my vessel it appears a deep mahogany bordering on russet in color. Rich caramel and chocolate aromas waft upward while the other elements of plums, raisins, grapes and cherries seem delightfully restrained and well masked by the aromatic brettanomyces contribution, oak and leather aromas. The front palate is initially malt accented providing hints of chocolate and roast, which then leads into the mid-palate, where the brettanomyces begins to take over giving a subtle and funky tartness along with notes of cherries and green grapes. The finish is unusually lingering where the chocolate, fruit and oak flavors create a simplistic bliss. Extremely complex flavor. But the most amazing thing about this beer is its feel on the palate. Knowing that it is basically fermented with 100% brettanomyces, I expected it to be fairly light in body, yet it is by far the most coating and texturized brettanomyces infused beers that has ever touch my lips. A true sensory receptor overload with a numbing effect.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2006 23:04:00 | More by Crosling
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Georgiabeer

Georgia

4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was excited to finally get to try this, as I'm a big fan of Belgian Darks and of sour beers as well. I think this brewery can be among the best in the country when they get it right. The definitely got this one right. I'm drinking the most recent bottling of this for the review. Pours extremely dark brown with a light head and no real lacing. The aroma is incredible! Dark fruits, rich cherries, bitter cocoa, and some nice sourness seellessly blended. The taste is even better, with those same wonderful cherry and bitter cocoa flavoers melded together with a wonderful sourness that is somewhat restrained, but accented by the tartness of the cherries. Even though the beer is quite sour, the chocolate is so lush and pronounced that the flavors are balanced. It is like a cherry eggcream, with brandied cherries, the best quality dark chocolate, and a wonderfully minerally seltzer and some sour cherry juice added to funk it up. In addition, the oak comes through cleanly, but as a nice additional flavor and supporting actor rather than the star. Not overwhelming at all, it adds a firming woody note and some sweet vanilla. Wonderfully enjoyable! Extremely rich and lush in the mouth, but with the sour cherry that cuts right through that and makes the whole thing tremendously delicious. What a tremendous beer!

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2008 19:22:44 | More by Georgiabeer
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FtownThrowDown

Ohio

4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beachbum1975 saw this as one of my top Wants and cracked it open. Thanks man!
Pours reddish brown in color. No head to be found on the pour. Smell is lots of sour cherry and some woody oak. Incredibly lip puckering and tart. Lots of good sour notes coming through in the flavor. The cherry flavor is perfectly done. Very complimentary to the rest of the beer. Just a hint of alcohol burn in the finish. Fairly thick and coating in the mouth. The cherries, sour and oak work amazingly well together and are incredible. This is a world class beer. One of the few, rare and hyped beers that has lived up to the expectations. Incredible beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2008 19:58:00 | More by FtownThrowDown
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chefnash51

Connecticut

4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

tasted After the NotB fest. So.. yeah, maybe I wasn't in the best state of mind to review this, but who knows if I will ever actually get a bottle of this. And it was Spectacular.

This beer cut through all the nights drunkenness and hot messes and hit my tongue just right.

Carbonation was on the low side

A nice dark walnut color gave way to a decent head.

Sweet cherries and oak on the nose

Taste was where it all came together. This beer is just so wonderfully put together. Every aspect made sense together. Dark Cherries, caramelized sugar, oak, the wonderful tartness..it was a complex treat.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2009 16:05:41 | More by chefnash51
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rowew

Colorado

4.83/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 750 ml corked and caged. Black label - this is from the batch brewed at Russian River. Nice description of the brewing process and the beer.

Appearance: Dark reddish brown color with a nice thick off-white head. Head leaves a thick lacing on both the top of the beer and the glass.

Smell: Very sour aroma - smells more like a wine than a beer. Earthy, with hints of fruit and vanilla.

Taste: Medium bodied with a low carbonation level. Very smooth mouthfeel. Starts off sour, with a very tart taste blending into more smooth vanilla and fruit. Very well balanced.

Overall impression: Highly drinkable and dangerous - lots of complexities here that are beyond my reviewing skills. Definitely a great example of an American brewers attempt at a Belgian style.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2006 01:09:05 | More by rowew
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zdk9

Texas

4.83/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a very cloudy brown. Very little head and no lacing.

S- Sour notes- cherries, balsamic vinegar. Horsey notes- light sour milk. Gingerbread. Very complex and great smelling.

T- Sour, a great combination of fruit, malt and funk. Warm carmelness. Some vanilla. You can definitely taste the bourbon barrel aging in this beer.

M- Sour lingering, but in a delicious way- I don't really want the taste to leave so keep the lingering coming.

D- Amazing, many thanks to Mawr for this. Absolutely delicious.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2010 01:55:18 | More by zdk9
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TheLongBeachBum

California

4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Gold Foil (North Vineyard)
Hand Bottles #CUNU40

Presentation: 750ml green flask bottle with a wrap around label which has a picture of four stillaged wooden barrels arranged around a large hourglass which in turn has a pocket watch sliding through the middle, in front of all of this are four piles of luscious red cherries. Simply called ‘Cuvee de Tomme’ and listed as 11.5%. The reverse of the label explains that this creation is a bold Belgian Style Ale that is a blend of 4 sources of fermentable sugars, American oak, sour cherries and 3 separate stains of Brettanomyces. 2003 marks the 5th Anniversary of Cuvee de Tomme.

Appearance: I decided, for some strange reason, still unbeknown to me, to use a Glenlivet Whisky Glass for this. Like a fine claret, the clear burgundy body shimmers when backlit, yet it exhibits some mahogany when laid to rest on my desk in the twilight. On the pour a small amount of translucent dark brown reddish skinned bubbles quickly form but they are only ever one bubble deep. The soapy bubbles have a tainted appearance, yet no color; they slowly dwindle to leave an utterly smooth stagnant surface and no lacing whatsoever. Oddly enough the short & wide dimensions, and the heavy base, of the Glenlivet Glass somehow added class to this one, as though it needed it. The last third of the bottle pours like a fine Wine.

Nose: Oh yeah baby! Lick my cherries!!……holy wow, lots of sourness in the acidic nose, vinegar soaked cherries litter the nose with some alcohol tinges. Wild yeasts with a Wallonian Brune and a Flanders Red dimension punctuates the middle. Acerbic cherries and high end alcohols, tart and complex in the finish. Utterly inviting.

Taste: Dry sour cherry skinned start that has a stripping feel on the enamel of your teeth. Tart brown tannins coat the tongue, and a rasping wet tea bag feel licks the cheeks along with wet oaky wood chips. Funky Brett is detectable, but it is extremely low key, and has more of a supporting role rather than front line presence. The ending huge, hard to forget once sampled, yet it is hard to describe at times. Complex to say the least.

Mouthfeel: OK, it says 11.5% on the label…..hmmmm, it is 11.5%...yes, it IS 11.5%...IT *IS* 11.5%!!....no it really is…..SHITE it’s 11.5%!!!!...doesn’t come across as such. Somehow the complex nature of this high quality brew completely evaporates the entire issue of alcohol; it’s not even on the agenda. No burn but some warmth. Even without carbonation, this Cuvee projects a *huge* body in the mouth.

Drinkability: The massively complex body is thoroughly enticing; glass, after glass, after glass, after…….Hey, who was it who said drinking lots of good beer is like masturbating; most of us do it, and secretly enjoy it, but rarely talk about it for fear of projecting the wrong image. That’s how I feel right now. I think that I know that I should feel guilty about drinking a whole 750ml bottle of this to myself, shouldn’t I???

Overall: Fuck me, I really love this stuff…….so damn awesome, so lovely, so complex, so adorable, yet so unique….so…well, just so Tomme Arthur & Pizza Port. Much dryer, more acidic and better than the Silver Foil (South Vineyard) I think. I really don’t think I can wait much longer to crack my lone bottle of the recently released ‘Black Label’ Cuvee de Tomme which I was lucky enough to pick up whilst passing Solana Beach last month.
Damn, I knew I should have got more :’-(

As the Irish would say, “Saints Forgive Us”……

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2005 06:39:58 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Small bottle, pours very dark amber, dangerous at 12%, long lasting dark tan head, rich nose of dark malts, wood, dark fruits and cherries. Rich, complex and viscous on the tongue. Cherries, wood, bourbon, more dark fruit, moderate sour permeating the mixture and adding more interest and somehow more complexity. World class creation. Night capper, dessert beer supreme. Please send this to NYC/CT/NJ/Mass sometime soon

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2008 14:43:23 | More by Billolick
Photo of asabreed
asabreed

New York

4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

25.9 corked and caged bottle into a Brooklyn tulip split between four friends on my balcony. One of the "Last Hurrah" bottles of the night, as my wife and I are moving to New York in exactly one week from Virginia.

Appearance: Very hazy and very dark red wine-like and chocolate covered cherry brown amber, little head and retention, but a gorgeous color, one often not seen by me, with a nearly opaque physical richness and radiance going on.

Smell: Red wine and Flemish Red funkiness going on. Caramel. Nuanced wood and bourbon. I expected the bourbon to be more prominent, but again, it's the nuance that comes to fruition as it warms, and with everything else going, the accents seem to be doing their thing, rather than a complete tun-o-war against everything they did with this, which I like. Lush and tart cherries here really come to fruition. In a Flemish Red it's usually the yeast adding the phenolic tartness and whatnot, but here you can tell it's the cherries. Some caramelized vanilla. Cinnamon rind. Pepper and complex possibly weird spices that could be many. And some weird black magic marker or tar too. There's so much going on here.

Taste: Initial huge, puckering, tart, sweet, sour, cherry madness going on. That's the primary ingredient here, and everything else seems to be playing off of it. Flemish sourness and woodiness too. Subtle notes of caramelized wood and vanilla and spice from the bourbon barrels. And yet there's also a good sense of earthy citrus bitterness, rind-like, coming through. And there's a wealth of spice and pepper and some mild cinnamon, as if they stuck some sticks into the mix while this was doing its thing fermenting. This beer straddles the line between a wine and a beer, and it's the first one that's legitimately done this, and so goddamn well. Wine lovers will find something to love here I think, and I've started to become into it more during the last few years, but that shouldn't detract the beer lovers either. One of the most complete and odd and fascinating experiences with a beer that I've ever had, and I wonder, like a wine, how this would get better with age and what other complexities would start to emerge.

Mouthfeel: Vinous and rich, with not a ton of carbonation, but the subtlety of the carbonation may seem to be a point. Or there's too much acidity from the cherries to have some kind of prickly carbonation. Or it would maybe be reductive or detrimental; I'm not sure. But as I said, it's rich, and like a wine is coating, but either the acidity or... well, I don't know what, but something makes it not sticky or cloying, which makes sense. More like a wine than a beer if you had to point to something, but yes, this is indeed a beer. It's just that line keeps positively wavering between the both of them.

Drinkability: At around $30 a bottle, this is worth it for a few people to split. I would've been happy to drink this myself, but I would 1) want more people to experience than just me, of course, and 2) want to save a bit of money. Five people could easily enjoy this and talk about it for a long time while sipping. But wow, yes, this was an experience. It's unlike any beer I've had, and as the years go on, we'll see what kind of copycats emerge, and if someone can actually attempt to do better. This was my first Lost Abbey brew, and I hope I'm able to afford and find many more as they keep brewing.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2009 19:56:27 | More by asabreed
Photo of jminsc76
jminsc76

Texas

4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me preface this review by saying that Lost Abbey has achieved a masterpiece with this one.

Into a tulip, pours a foamy head, light rusty in color atop an impenetrable body that exhibits a brownish tinge as I hold it up to the light. The head dissipates quickly but reforms nicely upon agitation. Very thick legs down the side.

The bouquet is incredibly intense, with aromas ranging from woody, oak-y, and funky to fruits including cherries, spices, and bourbon. Even detecting some vanilla in the nose. It almost burns the nostrils upon taking a deep whiff, but it's so damn good.

Wonderful flavors. Tartness and oakiness on the front end, with more wine , bourbon, and sour cherries on the finish. There is so much going on here: one moment the cherries are more prevalent and another moment the oaky, woody aspects more so; and yet another moment a sip yields flavors of either shiraz or cabernet sauvignon. Highly complex, it is.

A thick mouthfeel, almost silky, with a touch of an aloe vera-like softness (not the taste, thank God). As it warms, a more acidic consistency comes through, with a little bit of tingle on the tongue. Very nice.

Overall, what more needs to be said? This is an incredible American Wild Ale that rivals my favorite at the moment, Consecration. I would love to side-by-side it with a Red Poppy, but alas, Red Poppy is no more (as of this review).

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2009 16:05:24 | More by jminsc76
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Cuvee De Tomme from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 857 ratings.