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10 Commandments - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
10 Commandments10 Commandments

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

765 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 765
Reviews: 350
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.7%
Wants: 101
Gots: 129 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: scottoale on 05-08-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 765 | Reviews: 350 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Lots of raisins in there, i think 10% of the ingredients. Muddy dark looking with soapy head. Sour in the finish. Lots of lace. Alcohol in the nose. Nice caramel, sugar, dark fruit, rum-ness,chocolate, coffee. Good drinkability, albeit a sipper. The ageing didn't hurt.

Sammy, Apr 09, 2008
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +1.8%

t0rin0, Dec 11, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a clear dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, yeast, lots of interesting spices, and alcohol. Taste is much the same and the spices are the dominant flavor here and linger long after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the spices take center stage in the aroma and flavor.

UCLABrewN84, Jul 22, 2012
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +1.8%

spycow, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +1.8%

djrn2, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

zestar, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

acurtis, Mar 25, 2013
Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

nmann08, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of metter98
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very dark brown with a thin mocha head. There's a moderate amount of carbonation and good head retention.
S: There's a moderate aroma of dark fruits with notes of alcohol, dough and rosemary.
T: Like the smell, the taste is rather complex and has lots of flavors of dark fruits. There are also notes of dark chocolate, plums and raisins.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate with a dry finish.
D: The beer is very good to sip and the flavors are interesting enough to enjoy this beer on its own, without a food pairing.

metter98, May 14, 2010
Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cola color with ruby highlights and a foamy head that leaves quite a few strands of lace

Smell: Raisins and molasses, but the rosemary clearly comes through as the intriguing ingredient as does the Brett

Taste: Out front is a mysterious mixture of rum raisin, molasses and rosemary, with undertones of something sweet that is a bit of candi sugar and honey; after the swallow, a bit of Bretty funk arrives to add complexity; while the rum raisin and rosemary linger into the finish, the Brett dominates the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Thick body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Having read reviews of the previous release and a number of complaints about the lack of carbonation on this batch, I drank one while still flat and allowed my other bottle to cellar for a year; this review has been updated to reflect my experience with the cellared beer - a huge improvement

Note: revised my review based on the 2012 version to add the comments about the Brett - also would note that the carbonation issues appear to be resolved

brentk56, Sep 28, 2008
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +1.8%

kjkinsey, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Incredible power, strength and complexity ooze from the chalice as this Belgian-style Strong Dark ale offers up new aromas and flavors with each return to the glass and as it warms. Not for the faint of heart- this beer is designed for the Belgian beer connoisseur in mind. I'm not sure if this would be a beer to inspire a new set of 10 Commandments by Moses, but in the study of him, I'm sure the Trappist monks dig it!

10 Commandments opens with a deep burgundy-brown hue. Deep garnet low-lights and an overall hazy demeanor keeps the beer looking masculine, yet regal. It helps that a highly creamy and frothy head caps the beer with a slight tarnish ivory stain. Its long-lasting retention creeps up the glass with sticky islands of lace that intricately decorate the glass.

Intense aromas evoke a suggestion of power and starts with raisin and maple. Its candied scent is somewhat of confectioner's candy stores even as the high notes of spiced rum waft about. Not backing off of the booze, its sweet candy aromas are biscuity, sherry-like and toasty. Even with the raisin additions, the scents of other fruits compound the beer's nose: dates, figs, licorice, currant and dark berries all fuel the overall winey scent.

Heavy handed in its malt-forward attitude, the taste seems like grandma's hard candies, but fused with sorghum and horehound candy. That spicy root beer-ish taste reels in a balance of peppercorn, cinnamon and vinous-type spice- all leading to a taste of fruit wine before that of rum. All the while those dark, dried and pitted fruits edge closer and closer to port and sherry. As the taste concludes, it lingers rather indefinately into the next visit to the glass- making it a sipping and savoring beer.

Full bodied without doubt.... there should be doubt as these Belgian ales are normally built to create a conflict of malty-dry and semi-sweet character. But this one is full and sticky from start to finish. Even its hop bitterness, high alcohol presence, and peppery phenols does little to combat the residual sugars. Its malty-sweet finish is pleasantly hot with an aura of lavender that haunts the session throughout.

There's little doubt that this is a world class Belgian-style "Quad" in the making. But the problem in that it isn't there yet. This 2-year vintage isn't enough. I wouldn't hesitate to cellar this beer for at least five years in order to let the beer dry out a bit more, for the alcohols to degrade and for the smooth vinous tones to grow.

BEERchitect, Oct 10, 2013
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark cherry with slices of juicy tangerine along the bottom edge of the glass. The head (more American than Belgian) is a looker. The golden sandstone color is a perfect match for the beer beneath, and the texture is both firmly creamy and sticky. Loads of great looking lace put the finishing touches on a commanding appearance.

Some of the ingredients (*) are appreciated in the nose and some aren't. I can smell dark malt and dark fruit, but not raisins* per se. There's a sweetness that could be dark candi sugar as well as honey*. Much to my surprise, rosemary* is obvious. Last, but certainly not least, Brettanomyces* is on the low end of the funk-o-meter.

I've never had a beer that tasted quite like 10 Commandments. The atypical ingredients don't seem like they would be special in combination, but then Tomme Arthur is the mad genius in charge of making it all work. And that is what makes all the difference. This is one interesting ale that also happens to be mighty delicious.

Lightly roasted malts are beautifully complemented by the sweetness and the fruitiness of the raisins, as well as the sweetness of the honey. The beer is far from cloying, however. In fact, it's exceptionally well-balanced between sweet, bitter and spicy. There's also quite a bit of anise, oddly enough.

The dominant flavor, at least by my palate, is rosemary. That particular herb gives this big ale a uniqueness that is second to few. Tomme took a big chance adding so much to the kettles, but damned if he didn't know what he was doing. Some will love it, some will hate it. Count me among the former.

There still isn't much Brettanomyces character. All things considered, that's probably for the best. Too many strong flavors have a tendency to clash rather than cooperate. The 9.0% alcohol is nicely buried and the beer drinks at least two percentage points lower as a result.

The mouthfeel is nowhere near the best that Belgium has to offer. It's too thin for the style and doesn't have enough bubbles. The final result is almost no lift and no plush creaminess. Carbonation can be a tricky thing to get right. However, a world-class brewery like this one is expected to do just that.

The Lost Abbey has given us their own stone tablet of 10 Commandments on the rear label. My favorite is the 9th... "Life is about choices. The Lost Abbey is a great choice". Amen to that.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 03, 2008
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Naven: Poured a cloudy dark brown/burgundy color ale with a nice big light brown foamy head with great retention and good lacing. Aroma of dry raisins and dry figs is very enjoyable Taste is a well balance mix between some sweet malt with nice dry raisins and figs characteristics with a subtle yeasty finish. Body is full with some great carbonation and no alcohol could be detected. I thought this was similar to Chimay blue or Achel extra bruin and presents a very nice level of complexity. It is definitely something I wish I could get my hand on more often.

Phyl21ca, Jul 11, 2007
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

GRG1313, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -23.7%

ygtbsm94, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I received this one in a trade several weeks ago and have had it sitting in the fridge for a while . After dinner last night I was looking for something good for the rest of the evening and stumbled upon this one as I had forgotten that it was even in the fridge. Took out the 750ml bottle and let it warm up a bit before decanting into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance - Poured a deep, very dark brown, with lots of purple highlights to it. At times a very nice reddish hue on the sides and back of it. Very deep and dark, with only the slightest amount of light coming through on this one. A huge, monumental looking head of deep tan lace then came up over the top and reached a height of around three inches with absolutely incredible retention. This thing was not going anywhere at all. After about thirty minutes it still have a good two inches left to it. Just an incredibly good look to this one, with an enormous amount of side glass lace.

Smell - The aroma was very full as well. Not really sure how to describe it, but lots of dark fruits here. Tons of raisins and figs, rum soaked goodness throughout. A rich, almost chocolate like aroma as well, thought it was not chocolaty. Some light grains and a touch of alcohol. A hint of some underlying funkiness as it warmed up.

Taste - The flavor was dominated by the raisins. Rum soaked raisin flavor washed over the tongue immediately, really immersing you in the experience. Rich malt profile was deceptively sweet, as I was not expecting t to be as smooth as it was. Some light grains, lots of fig like flavors and a touch of toffee way in the back. As it warmed, everything blended together well and it really became quite quaffable. The finish was smooth, very full and coating with a rich and sweet lasting flavor of raisins and almost a sweet wine.

Mouthfeel - An extremely full bodied beer, especially for the style. I was most impressed by the feel and the look of this one. Rich, and silky, I could have let this one swirl around in my mouth forever. Very nice carbonation and nothing coming across thin about this one at all.

Drinkability - The really nice thing about this was how well hidden the alcohol was. There was really not much of it present at anytime, and in fact it was just superbly drinkable. I would have liked to have had this again, but to be honest the raisin flavors does get to you after a little bit.

Overall this was an outstanding beer, though not my favorite from Lost Abbey, still better then most others. A good and different twist on the style, I would love to try this on tap and will be looking forward to purchasing this year's bottle.

mikesgroove, Jun 14, 2008
Photo of Knapp85
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew pours out as a nice looking brown color with a fluffy light brown head on it. The head is a little rocky looking and leaves some decent lacing. The smell of the beer is spicy and has some sweet dark fruit aromas going on in there too. The taste of the beer gives off some roasted malts, raisins, yeast, and some other spices I'm not sure of. The mouthfeel is pretty good, it had a pretty good amount of carbonation to it. Overall I found this brew to be a good sipping beer for colder nights. Enjoyable.

Knapp85, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, dark brown body with a creamy-looking, light beige head.

Smell: A winning aroma of toasted bread, caramel, and raisins. Lesser notes of baker's chocolate and forgotten basements.

Taste: Sweet, toasted pumpernickel breadiness and chocolate malts with a tart, engaging fruitiness of raisins and perhaps blackberries. Traces of yeast mustiness. Finishes relatively sweet, vinous, and warming like a fine port.

Mouthfeel: Medium-body. Soft carbonation.

Drinkability: Congratulatory comments flew from drinker to drinker before even the first glass had been emptied.

ChainGangGuy, Jul 27, 2007
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev +1.8%

SocalKicks, Aug 13, 2012
Photo of largadeer
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Turbid dark brown, opaque in the glass beyond a hint of light around the edges. A vigorous pour produces a quarter-inch of foam, which disappears in no time.

Smell: Caramelized figs, dates, rosemary, earthy malt. Rich and complex but not overwhelming to the senses. Brett becomes more prevalent as I smell it more, leaving a leathery, funky character that's hard to define.

Taste & mouthfeel: The first sip presents an almost overwhelming amount of complexity, though at no point does this become cloying; it's just a bit confusing at first. Dates and raisins meet a spicy kick, following that a hint of wild honey and molasses. Herbal bitterness is present as well, almost reminiscent of Angostura bitters. The finish is fruity yet fairly dry and spicy, leaving a lingering herbal note on the tongue along with a touch of fig. Carbonation is low throughout, but not missed, and the texture is decidedly thick. For such a complex beer, this is very drinkable. Great stuff fresh, but I can see this batch improving drastically in 2 or 3 years.

largadeer, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +1.8%

JAHMUR, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sloeber tulip glass.

2009 vintage. 'Twas a very good year. I guess. The beer pours a darkly translucent dark brown topped by a finger of bright ecru foam. The nose comprises figs, raisins, brown sugar, prunes, red apples, rye bread, and a tiny bit o' chocolate...you know, for the kids... The taste emphasizes the raisins, figs, rye bread, and brown sugar, adding in some honey, pepper, and some burnt sugar. The body is a solid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a very smooth feel. Overall, a solid BSDA, but I don't think it's all that special.

TMoney2591, Jul 04, 2010
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a true beast, or should i say devine being? on tap at vine street, this beer pours a dense mocha color with a thin white veil. it smells like oak, bourbon, caramel, cocoa powder, brown sugar, and belgian yeast. its got an equally elaborate flavor, with some of the sweeter tones coming up first, and the alcohol basically eliminating anthing that might be subtle about the late middle or back end of the flavor eixperience. there is some vanilla and honey and oaky booze that stays in the mouth over the more than full body. the alcohol is relately punishing here, but the small pour helped me get over that. this is one ive been wanting to try for a long time, and while its not the most unique and reaching beer ive had from the lost abbey, it definitely is a well crafted brew, more in the barleywine tradition than he belgian i think. all up and great beer, not sure how i would have consumed the 750ml version... actually i know exactly how...

StonedTrippin, Sep 21, 2012
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10 Commandments from The Lost Abbey
89 out of 100 based on 765 ratings.