Cuvee De Tomme - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Cuvee De TommeCuvee De Tomme

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,105 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,105
Reviews: 405
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 11.16%
Wants: 662
Gots: 262 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jcalabre on 06-14-2003

Once upon a time it was the most award winning Pizza Port beer of all time. Now it has found a new home at The Lost Abbey.

A massive brown ale base that is made from four fermentable sugars including Malted Barley, Raisins, Candi Sugar and Sour Cherries, this beer is fully fermented before being placed in Bourbon barrels where the beer ages for one year with the Sour Cherries and the wild Brettanomyces yeast that we inoculate the barrels with.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Cuvee De Tomme Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,105 | Reviews: 405
Photo of Sammy
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Incredible. Complex. The bottle talks about an experiment that led to lightning. A Cantillon plus. The yeast, the sourness,the berry, the cherry. Pizza Port, here I come. Radekfest 05 sample 33, thank you Eyedrinkable. Best 1% of beers I have ever had.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.66/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky dark brown color with no head. An oily film develops on the top of the beer and there is some floating sediment that sinks to the bottom of the glass. There is no lacing whatsoever. Smells of vinegar, sour cherries, and funk/must. Taste is of sour cherries, malt vinegar, wood, and funk/must. There is an alcohol presence in the throat after each sip. There is no carbonation on this beer. Extremely flat and somewhat drying in the mouth. Overall, this is a nice smelling and tasting beer but the appearance and mouthfeel kill it for me. This would be awesome if the carbonation issue were fixed. Disappointing for the $15.99 I paid for the small bottle.

Photo of GRG1313
3.47/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Vintage 2011" on the bottle neck.

I have had multiple vintages of this beer and actually thought I'd reviewed it long ago. I was going to go in and add some notes and the "2011 Vintage" on my review when it appears that I've actually not posted a review of any of the past vintages consumed.

I write this review of the 2011 vintage which is noteworthy since it is, so far, nothing like any of the CdT I've had in the past. Past bottles, in my experience, has been light to medium color and full of a bright and sour/tart character. This vintage seems to be quite the anomoly and I'm wondering if this is a unique batch or a change in receipe. Either way, the 2011 vintage is not typical of years past.

Pours a dark reddish brown with no head. Looks more like red wine than beer, especially since there is no head.

Nose is cooked cherries and undertones of fig. There is almost a hint of cocoa. Pleasant and assertive.

Mouthfeel is unique in that there is no carbonation yet insufficiently sour/tart to resemble a lambick. There is a hint of fizz when the bottle is first opened (or was it my imagination??)

Flavors are just huge and, again, not at all typical of past bottles in my experience. Big dark semi sour cherries, cola, fig and a sour chocolate character. It tastes a bit like a basic generic red wine with sour cherry juice poured in. (Tastes better than that sounds).

Finish is a mild lightly sour cherry/fig.

I cannot grade on past bottles which I've enjoyed so much that I'd had it marked a "5" on my "Hads," now to review it and significantly down-grade it based on just this bottle, the 2011. I'll keep a bottle and see what happens. (I have a stash of 2009 and 2010 that I'm going to open this week and add notes to this review. Whether it will change the score or not, we'll find out).

Photo of metter98
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very dark brownish amber in color and poured with a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of tart cherries in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is filled with flavors of oak, cherries and vanilla. The tartness from the cherry flavors seems to have been muted from the oak aging.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate and has a light amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very good after aging because it becomes a lot smoother and much of the tartness in the cherry flavors is eliminated.

Note: 2005 Vintage

Photo of Thorpe429
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375mL bottle purchased at the Pizza Port Carlsbad bottle shop in August 2009.

A: Pours a nice dark brown with a clingy white head and plenty of lacing.

S: Sweet tartness from the cherries, with the quadrupel aspect of the brew coming through underneath with a bit of a nose from the barrel.

T: Tart cherries, a bit sour, but not too puckering. Not as complex as the nose led on, but a very tasty beer. The balance between the tartness and sourness of the cherries compared with the quadrupel base could be a bit better, but no major complaints.

M: A tad bit puckering for some dryness. Medium-bodied.

D: Very tasty all around and one that sat well for quite some time. Glad I picked this one up.

Photo of brentk56
4.56/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage

Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel color that refuses to raise much of a head, despite an aggressive pour; no lacing

Smell: An extraordinary range of aromas - cherry pits, bourbon/vanilla, raisins, caramel and Brett

Taste: Opens with a caramel and bourbon sweetness that grows increasingly sour as we move into the mid-palate (it becomes almost impossible to let it rest on the tongue) ; after the swallow, the sour flavors fold back to display the fruit, with the cherries and raisins dominant; the sweetness doesn't last, however, and the sour flavors linger on the finish for an extended period

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate to low carbonationl; almost juicy

Drinkability: Just an extraodinary beer, but not something you can drink on a regular basis; definitely meant for sharing

Photo of BEERchitect
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2009, enjoyed on August 31, 2009: This year's is much more tart and bitter than I remember from the '08 a few months ago. I expected the younger version to be big on bitterness but not that vineous, tart cherry character. Though not as rounded with the rise of the raison and softer, sweeter tones abounding; this is still one world class sour. My scores reflect this latest vintage.
Thanks JMBSH!

Vintage 2008, enjoyed on June 12, 2009: Again, an insanely good beer. All of the comments from three years ago still apply (see below) but I notice a great showing of raisons, cherries, bourbon-soaked woods, caramels, and even chocolates. Extremely delicate for such power. Vineous and rich throughout. I've never been more sad to see the bottom of a glass. Thanks Clvand0!

Another jewel available at Chicago's FoBAB last weekend. Colored the belgian mohogany-rust color with little 'floaties' swimming around in there. Lightly fizzy head retention reduced to a film. Aromas are solid, spicy of the Belgian Trippel base but with some serious tartness and fruitiness. Musky, but not yet horse blanket like. Low level sweetness gives way to tart cherries, grapefruit, peaches, and pears. A mild nutty, cocoa, dates sweetness rounds off the lactic sourness to a pleasant tartness. A thin, yet creamy, texture thins into the throat. Mildly puckering, but not astringent or grainy. Warming in the back of the throat accompanies some bittering. Finishes clean and tart. Not as drying as expected. My first Pizza Port offering did not disapoint!

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

so stoked to finally try this, a beautiful specimen from the lost abbey. a rich mahogany color to it, lots of bubbles for what it is, and a nose to die for. really tart cherries and citric acid present themselves right up front. stick rich grainy beer follows, belgian loosely, but more raisin and molasses heavy than grain specifically. light spice, tons of cherries on the flavor. some residual sugar too, but they are balanced well with one another. it coats my palate well despite vbeing rather well carbonated for the style. cherries ll the way through start on the sour end and finish a little sweeter and fresher. dynamic and complex as anything, the sourness on the quad base make it like no other beer ive had. great use of fruit here, and very well hidden alcohol strength. one of the best beers from the lost abbey, and thats saying something.

Photo of Knapp85
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This poured out kind of flat looking which is always a disappointment to me. Had some minimal bubbles around the edge of the glass but with time they vanished. The beer is murky brown looking with plenty of sediment floating around. The smell of the beer is funky with a boozy sweetness mixed with the cherry aromas. The taste are a sour tart cherry flavor upfront with a very subtle vanilla oak flavor in the finish. The mouthfeel I the beer is smooth, kind of flat which is a shame. Overall this beer has great taste and aroma but falls short in most other aspects.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep cloudy reddish color ale with a small bubbly head with minimal retention and not much lacing. Aroma of sour and tart notes with some cherries and light oak notes are all noticeable. Taste is close to a Flander red style beer with loads of oak and cherry notes and a well balanced tart finish. Balanced acidity is well appreciated while Brett is very hard to notice. Body is quite full with limited filtration and low carbonation. Well made though not s complex as some of the staple of the style such as Rodenbach.

Photo of largadeer
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

08 vintage.

Appearance: Dark brownish-red, murky and opaque. Carbonation is low but the tan-colored head lasted for the entire hour I sipped on this brew.

Smell: A huge aroma of caramel and vanilla wafts from the bottle as soon as it's uncorked. Cherries come out more once it's actually in the glass, but they're almost overpowered by the character of the barrel. Raisins are in there as well, but it's more of a background note.

Taste & mouthfeel: Surprisingly different from the nose and much drier than I was expecting, which is very welcome. Lots of tannic oak flavor, vanilla, sweet and sour cherries (leaning heavily toward the sour side), raisins and very subtle funk. The bottle mentions bourbon barrels, but I'm not getting any distinct notes of bourbon. Sourness and acidity are quite mild; this is very rounded stuff. The body is on the lighter side of medium, pretty standard for a quad, while the carbonation is quite low.

Drinkability: Goes down ridiculously easy for an 11% brew. The balance of flavors and lack of noticeable alcohol make this incredibly drinkable stuff.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage. Black cherry with beautiful scarlet highlights when the snifter is held up to my sunlit front window. A lovely crown of light brown sugar colored foam is waaay ahead of the game in terms of texture, given the ABV and the barrel aging. A bloody good look.

Considering everything that's going on here, the nose is a something of a disappointment (relative to expectations). The BSDA/quadrupel contributes, as do the sour cherries. The bourbon barrels and the wild yeast... not so much. Then again, there's probably a limit to how many distinct aromas can be present in any one beer. Note: raisins soaked in tawny port appear with warming.

The flavor profile is just about as complex as they come. While I might not have been able to identify each of the beer's major contributors, each is easily appreciated once you know they're there. Thankfully, they hit the taste buds at successive points throughout the mouthful.

First is a big blast of tart cherry juice that lessens from start to finish, but never completely disappears. Next comes the Brettanomyces funk and the ripe dark fruitiness of Judgment Day, which is this beer's base beer. Finally, on the impossibly long finish, we have subtle notes of oak and vanilla.

It's strictly personal preference, but I would have eased off the cherries just a bit and would have added more bourbon barrel character. That isn't a complaint, though, because this is fantastic beer that is a joy to sip and savor. The 12.0% ABV drinks more like 8.0%, which is a mighty impressive feat.

The mouthfeel is almost worthy of the next highest score, but I'd need either more fullness or more creaminess to get there. The bubbles are slightly harsh initially, then settle down a few ounces in. It's heartening to see that these guys haven't always had issues with carbonation.

It takes balls (and a big ego) to name a beer Cuvee De Tomme, but if you can back it up... This style-busting, dizzyingly complex ale is yet one more reason why The Lost Abbey is on my list of top-10 favorite American craft breweries. If they keep pushing the envelope and pay attention to quality control, they should be there for a long time to come.

Photo of mikesgroove
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.

Photo of emerge077
4.59/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #800

Served in a Rodenbach flute. Murky and hazy reddish brown, with visible suspended sediment. Tiny streams of slow carbonation rise to the surface.

Rustic oak and wild funk in the nose, black cherry flesh and pits are the clear notes that dominate, with a hint of brown sugar in the background.

Tangy tart cherry initially, with a complex mix of leather, rhubarb, oak tannin, and farmhouse character from the barrel. A low level of spice is also present, not sure if its from the alcohol, barrel, or ingredients. Finish is long and savory, with the tangy cherry riding off into the sunset. Carbonation is light, and the body is near perfect. Really tasty, and a slow sipper to be sure.

Thanks to Weibull for the bottle!

Photo of womencantsail
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ

A: The pour is dark brown with reddish tints. A bit of off-white foam sits on top.

S: Tart cherries, raisins, a bit of alcohol, and bit of funk. Leather, oak, and plenty of earthy notes to go along with it.

T: The predominant flavor is the tart cherry. There is also some sour apple and raisins. The finish is quite earthy and dry. Not a huge funk to the beer, but great oak/barrel contributions.

M: Medium bodied, good carbonation, and quite tart.

D: A great all around experience. Great flavor and sourness.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a dull, wooden (in fact it matches the color of the table) brown body with a thin, fizzy, off-white head.

Smell: Aroma of condensed and stewed cherries, pits and all. Notes of wooden planks seasoned with sea salt.

Taste: Woody, leathery, but never forgets its cherry heritage. Nice Bretty, lactic qualities. Reasonably tart and sour, though there's some subtle malty sweetness to be found. Touch of spice. A few drops of tawny port. Unshakable tastes reminiscent of salty potato skins and grilled portabello mushrooms. The flavors rise and fall on the long, lasting finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Man, I never would've guessed it was over let alone near being 10% ABV. Very tasty for sure. Well played, Tomme.

Photo of oline73
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 2009 bottle that Tomme brought to the DC Lost Abbey tasting. Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter.

Appearance: The beer pours a reddish dark mahogany color with almost no head at all.

Smell: Tart red berries with some mild roast and caramel notes. Nice.

Taste: Lots of red fruit sourness up front. A mild caramel malt like sweetness. Some vinegar sourness as well. There is a bitterness that shows up in the finish along with the fruit and tartness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is one of the better dark sours I've had. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Photo of Kegatron
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml corked & caged bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep dark brown (with some ruby highlights coming out around the bottom) with a ½ finger of burnt tan head that fizzles down pretty quickly and continues to pop and fizzle for a good bit. This looks just like cola being poured into a glass. Very interesting. There isn't too much to the retention beyond some good flare up around the edges that stay firm, leaving some nice cascading lace behind. The aroma starts with a whiff of crisp Brett right off the bat, mixed in with a waft of cherry tartness that makes for quite the lovely tandem. Additional supportive notes of oak and vanilla lie underneath, as does just a touch of alcohol beefiness.

The taste is a beautiful marriage of Brett sourness and tart cherry character that forms a lip-puckering mix that zings the mouth. Fortunately, the Brett pulls back at just the right moment before becoming overly sour or distracting from the other flavors. Underneath, there are silky notes of caramel, chocolate, dark fruits, vanilla, spice, and an woody wet tobacco presence that offers support and balance for all of that tartness. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a thick feel up front but then smoothes out into a more moderate carbonation and a slick feel that glides across the palette. The alcohol is barely detectable and only makes itself known with a slight boozy feel on the breath.

Wow! This really was a pleasure to sit down and sip at. A fantastic marriage of Brett, cherries, Quad character, and oak aging that drinks incredibly well for it's size. Another outstanding offering from the Lost Abbey.

Photo of jlindros
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark molasses brown color with very little bubbly head covering.

Nose comes with tart Bolotin cherry, dark fruits with a light must and funk touch of wild yeast funk. Some dark malts, a little molasses.

Taste comes with tart cherry and light syrup, little chewy malts, semi sweet, sour light malt vinegar. Some light bready malts, bit of sour fruit but not much. A very nice flavor. Finish brings long tart little dry funky bready malts.

Mouth is med little sticky and lower carbonation.

Drinks well for being 11% and the stickiness isn't bad, tartness and vinegar balance really well with the malts, for a nice drinkable beer.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008

Pours a very dark brown you can still see through with an almost non-existent tannish head. Nose is tart cherries with a minor funk. Flavor is funky. Very Flanders-like. Tart cherries on wood. Quite dry. I like the aftertaste of the lactic tones. Definitely get the barrel aged thing going on. Almost a vanilla tone in there. Feel is a bit thicker on liquid and carbonation is lower. This is a pretty hearty beer. I like it, but I think it'd be even better if it mellowed a bit. If you like Flanders style beers, you'll like this one.

Thanks to srroos for this one.

Photo of Slatetank
4.66/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I had this at Moeder Lambic, 375ml bottle served chilled, poured in a tulip.

The color is a dark translucent brown with practically no head wth sunny red hue when held to the light with small bead ring. The smell is intense with tons of oak and dark fruit-cherry and light bourbon with stone fruit presence and light woody accent alongside a caramelized sugar and gentle vanilla aroma with the cherry odor continuing with an almost raisin-like yeast accent and mild alcohol in the back. The mouthfeel is tangy up front with rich malt and sour presence with sligh hint of sweetness and dry warming effect following with alcohol evident. The feel has a light woody texture with subtle acidity of fruit with a dry slight astringent wild yeast character with the complexity of bourbon's alcohol influence as it finishes dry.

The flavor is lovely with a mld vanilla mixed with sour cherry and bourbon juxtoposition just tantalizing along with gentle tangy yeast with the sour elements blending well with the mild alcohol and wood from the bourbon with cherry skin tannin in the finish and warmth of the bourbon continuing in the back with slight dark sugar accent. The tangy sour is in harmony with the carmelized malt flavor with light sour flavor of fruit and mellow fruity sweetness combining to finish tart with a drying alcohol taste and barrel tannin in the end. Overall this is a true joy to savor -for a strong 11% ale to have a quad base and the cherry and sour elements all working in unision is a testament with exceptional drinkability with the bourbon enhancing the overall enjoyment-great mix of fruit and barrel aging in this.

Photo of russpowell
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got this from Bitterbill, cheers Bill!

Pour black/chestnut with a bit of tan head & no real pop when the cork is removed. Nice vicious look to this, zero head retention & lacing

D: Prunes, figs, sourness & oak notes. Opens up even more once warm

T: Follows the nose, hints of vanilla, a touch of booze, raisins & cherry juice up front. Dryness & vanilla are fairly prevalent as this warms along with boosey cherries & figs. Finishes dry, tart, figgy & with dry oakyness, plus a kiss of booze

MF: Slick, medium bodied; smooth carbonation is noticable. The fruitty sweetness melds well with the tartness/sourness. Nice warming sensations as well, but some boozeyness is present

Super drinkabilty for the style & ABV

Photo of kojevergas
4.04/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12.7 fl oz brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork served into an EKU 28 snifter in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Acquired at Wally's Wine in Westwood, California. Expectations are through the roof. I dig sours and I'm hoping this one blows me away. Bottle reads "Vintage 2011" in green print on the bottle's neck. No best befroe date is present, though I imagine this one ages real well.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Per the label's instructions, I "let it breathe" for a period. Side-poured in standard fashion; I didn't anticipate carbonation issues (even if it is Lost Abbey).

A: Pours no head at all - perhaps there are carbonation problems after all. Colour is an extremely dark murky cherry brown (if that makes any sense). Not distinct or clear. Nontransparent. No visible yeast particles.

Sm: Heavy wild yeasts, perhaps bretts, cherry, heavy wood/oak, and some hints of dry wine. Oak is definitely dominant alongside the wild yeasts. Raisins when I look for them. A bit of bourbon buried on the backend; I had to look for this as well. Intricate, alive, and inviting. A pretty strong aroma. Pleasant and somewhat bacterial - though not as much as most lambics.

T: Intricately wild, with different yeasts and bacterias competing for the sour funk impact. Raisins. Tart cherries are certainly present alongside a refined oak tone. Most of the sourness emerges in the finish, which is a nice touch. Caramelized malt (very subtle) and woody notes greet you in the first act. Some bourbon, but extremely light and backgrounded - this is the best approach methinks. There's certainly a delicate wine tone in there, and maybe even a light hint of vinegar just on the climax - which is actually nice. It's certainly complex and subtle.

The balance is somewhat scrambled; the beer doesn't feel holistically enjoyable. Rather, it's very much the sum of its parts - which is admittedly pretty damn good. Still, it lacks a complete feel. Maybe it would refine with aging. Sour yeasts and oak wood are dominant, with heavy support from tart cherries. The cherries and sour yeasts are my favourite aspect of the beer. The scattered balanced does bother me somewhat. No alcohol comes through, an achievement considering the ABV.

The wild yeast/bacteria/sourness itself is exquisite, and complemented nicely by the wood on one side, the cherry tart on another, and the bourbon tone throughout. Quite remarkable. I can see why this is sought after.

The climax through the finish is where the sourness really comes through, and as a consequence this is my favourite part of the beer. If the whole body was as strong as the third act, this would be magnificent.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the flavours nicely. Undercarbonated, but somehow adequate. Neither too thick nor too thin. Lacks the delicacy and fragility expected of a fine sour, but this is still quite enjoyable. No cream is present (nor should it be). Complements the flavours unobtrusively but by no means ideally. This beer could do well to learn from Supplication.

Dr/Ov: Very drinkable for the ABV and style; I like sours but perhaps even people that don't could enjoy this in small quantities. Would definitely get better with age. I'd love to try this again with a few years on her. This is certainly a sipper. The vinegar touch may bother some, but I find it suitable to the balance. Perhaps only diehard sour fanatics should pursue this beer; it's pricey for what it is. That said, I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.

I have to admit, this one grows on you over time. The more I adjust to it, the better I find it. Truly a beer that's alive. I'm quite impressed, but the balance issues do hold it back. I don't know that the raisin is working for it as much as it should.

As it warms, the cherry tart comes through more and more, mellowing the cherry. Perhaps I poured this a bit too cold initially. Be sure to really give it time to warm up.

It drank wonderfully out of my snifter, but as there's no head anyway, you're likely best off going with as wide a goblet as you can.

While I haven't had them side by side, I think I prefer Russian River's Supplication. Given the much higher availability of Supplication over this beer, it might be hard to justify tracking Cuvee De Tomme down (or trading for it).

I struggled between a B+ and an A- on this one. I settled on an A- finally, mainly because it got better as it warmed up and the yeast from the bottom of the bottle helped it instead of hindering it.

A-

Photo of MasterSki
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage from the ill-fated Sinners Club. Served in a Surly Darkness glass.

A - Behold! A properly carbonated beverage from The Lost Abbey - neither devoid of bubbles nor violently explosive. A finger of off-white foam settles to a few wispy clouds and thin collar of bubbles, leaving minimal lacing behind. Opaque, dark chestnut body.

S - Plenty of funk, acetic vinegar notes, wet oak, leather, dark sour cherries, musky overripe fruits, dark malts, and a hint of alcohol. The collection of flavors is slightly evocative of cherry cola. The wild yeast has definitely taken off in comparison to younger vintages of this beer. No obvious oxidation.

T - Tart cherries, vinegar, some oak and lactic sourness as well. The quad/BDSA qualities have been largely relegated to the periphery, with intense puckering sourness, cherries, and oak dominating. The barrel presence is perhaps a bit rough around the edges - the bourbon barrels do have a lot more oak to give than wine barrels typically used for American wilds.

M - Medium-full body, minimal alcohol presence, low but pleasant carbonation tingle, and a super dry and tannic finish. No complaints here, and not sure why subsequent Lost Abbey products are all over the map when it comes to bubbles. This is actually quite excellent.

D - I think this vintage may be on its way out, as it's gotten a bit unbalanced on the sour side of things. However, it's hard to know if the flat 2009 bottles or tiny 2010 batch would be superior at this stage - I'll have to give them a try in the near future. The 375ml bottle is a good format to share with a friend, as the high alcohol, intense flavors, and occasional harshness makes this a slow sipper.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.29/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Lost Abbey 2009 Cuvee de Tomme, brewed and bottled by Port Brewing Company, San Marcos, CA, malt beverage brewed with raisins with cherries added, aged in bourbon barrels.

Here goes. A word ahead: I hate, hate, HATE the ramblings, and natterings-on in their back label descriptions. Verbatim: "You are holding in your hands one of the most elusive and sought after small batch beers known simply as Cuvee. Our Cuvee de Tomme is a blend of Old World Brewing Traditions and New World Brewing Processes. It is made from Judgement Day DArk Ale which then aged in AMerican Bourbon and French Oak Wine barrels. We add some fantastic wild yeasts and Sour Cherries to the barrels creating a secondary fermentation. After one year, our brewers then get together to work out the final blend, This means that each batch of Cuvee will vary slightly between bottling. Yet, the result will always be a memorable drinking experience. Pour into a wide glass and let the beer breathe. Notes of juicy cherries. Luscious Vanilla and Supple Tannins integrate in a smooth finish. We think like most, you will find our most creative energies on display in this unique and style shattering beer worthy of the title Cuvee."

Alc. 11% by Vol. 750 ml bottle.

I like this label, the Dali homage. I'm a sucker for that.

I chose this for Beer Advocate review #3000 because I've been after it for years. At least 6, maybe more. Finally got it in trade last year, saved it for now. Why not, 3000, that's something to hoot about, right?

Well, here we go: I turned off the TV, and put on some Trane, hoping that music will inspire me to come up with words for this. Off goes the cage, then the cork, into the glass…Dark brown body, no head at all…no points off, yet, but it is disappointing. I pour again, and there's something, which dies down immediately. Okay, so looking dark, but unimpressive, let's move on…

Aroma: Wow. Intense. Bourbon, cherries, raisins, badda bing, badda bang, badda boom. What else you want, hot shot? Sourness, hugeness, then sweet. Deep, immense, incredible, …it's all going on.

Taste: big sour! Intense puckeration, pulls back the lips and tongue with raw abandon, sour cherries giving no mercy, softly, slowly relenting. I calm myself, relax, and lean back to raise the glass to lips again…ah! There it is, again, and it's big, and brutal. Maybe more than I'd like. And I like sour flavors, love lambics and Flemish Reds. Love bourbon barrels, love raisins, and cherries, but also love balance, integration, and something a bit more mellow, a soft unfurling of flavors. Did I hit this one too soon? It is over a year and a half old, at least.

Drink more…and think more of the same. Very juicy, very boozy, not getting anything from hops, not expecting it, not getting much from malt, either. This is mostly flavor coming straight out of the fruit and barrel-aging, the base beer is completely disguised. The tannins are kicking in, surely as described…"vanilla"? over-used, very minor…it's mostly cherry and raisin, though slowly softening, and letting in other flavors. Yeah, it's getting cool and calm all of a sudden. Awesome, as frantic, devotional Trane turns into measured and mournful, heading into beatific.

My opinion changes now…raisins and sour cherries still dominate the flavor, tart is king, but it is cool, now, very mellow. "Lush Life" come on, …"I used to visit all the very gay places, those come what may places, where one relaxes on the axis of the wheel of life, to get the feel of life, from jazz and cocktails. …"
I'm getting a lushfull feeling right now, starting inside and spreading through my extremities. Oooo, yeah.
Ah, this is better than any 12 0'clock tails, for certain. Would be lovely if something as nice as this were as readily available as a bottle of this wine or that cognac or the other blah-blah-blah. But special beer is special for a reason.

Mmm, sweet, ahhh, sour. And there are those whiskey barrel edges hemming it in.
"And I'll live a lush life in some small dive, and there I'll be, while I rot with the rest, of those whose lives are lonely, too…"

Plenty of sweetness, well matched by plenty of sour. Plenty puckeration, huge fruition. An extremity, well balanced. Bigness, terrifically maintained. The alcohol slowly creeps in.

Wait, another song comes on…

"You are too beautiful, my dear to be true, and I am a fool for beauty…"

I dedicate this to 3000 beers, some good, some not so good, some so beautiful.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Cuvee De Tomme from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 1,105 ratings.