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10 Commandments - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
10 Commandments10 Commandments

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

757 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 757
Reviews: 349
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.7%
Wants: 101
Gots: 131 | 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: 757 | Reviews: 349 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jwinship83
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged 09 edition. purchased as soon as i saw it on the shelf. a pleasant yet unexpected surprise. poured into my chimay goblet. bottle reads 10% abv.

A- this one pours a murky dark brown colored body with a small khaki colored head. the head quickly fizzles out and becomes no more than a crown. it leaves sticky rings of lacing on the sides of my glass.

S- as i was typing the appearance, the scent of sweet raisins crept into my nose. cant find the rosemary the bottle claims its brewed with. instead i get very sweet malts, brown sugar, alcohol, and a bit of chocolate. pretty unique smelling.

T- the taste is very sweet and filled with raisins. fig and date as well. the alcohol is not very well hidden, but then again this is a fresh beer thats meant to age well and long.

M- light bodied with a high level of carbonation. moderate warming from the alcohol as it makes its way to my stomach.

D- right now, one bottle was plenty. it seemed to kind of drag on towards the end. ill check back on this one in a few years to see how it develops. another lost abbey product that showed no signs of quality control issues.

jwinship83, Jul 21, 2009
Photo of ffejherb
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Lost Abbey tasting room on 7/10/09.

A - Dark cola-colored, tea-like body with thin beige head that diminished to a thin ring of retention and left spotty lace around the glass.

S - Dark fruit reminiscent of plums and raisins, earthy funk, sasparilla, earthy roots and herbs. Very rot beer-esque with a subtle Brett presence and some candi sugar to sweeten things up a bit.

T - Flavor is quite rooty and herbal overall with a sweet and spicy character akin to a root beer or even ginger beer. Is that some cinnamon I detect in there? Brett presence is subtle overall, although the overall flavor is quite earthy. Finish is on the bitter side with just a hint of sour funk.

M - Medium bodied with a syrupy texture and moderate carbonation. Finish is bittersweet on the palate with minimal sourness.

D - Interesting dark farmhouse ale with an intensely complex flavor profile. It was certainly fun to pull out all of the flavors and aromas in this brew.

ffejherb, Jul 19, 2009
Photo of rxdrewthejew
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the 2008 release I forgot I had. Poured into a tulip.

A: Very dark brown, cola-colored would describe it, a little light gets through. Got about a 1 finger brown head with little retention, leaving only a bit of film. I notice some yeast floating in the glass but it's hard to tell how much.

S: Not the most aromatic beer. I do get a little bit of sour cherries, maybe some plum, and a tiny touch of honey and spices.

T: Bit candi sugar sweetness in the taste...probably aided by the year of sitting. I still get lots of sour cherries and dark fruit. The spices aren't particularly strong. I get some hints of spice, but it's hard to pick anything specific out, and I don't really notice the rosemary.

MF: One thing that's pretty interesting to me is that even after all this time aging, it's still got a lot of heat and a bit of booziness. That being said, it's medium bodied, not quite syrupy. There's a fair bit of carbonation and a bit of dryness at the end as well.

D: This one kinda grew on me as I drank more of the glass. The cherries are prominent and it's kinda nice. This is a sipper if I ever drank one, which is just as well because the flavor develops a lot in your mouth. There's a lot of warming with this one, and the alcohol certainly is as you would expect. Not much else to say...solid brew but I dunno if I'd go out of my way to find it.

rxdrewthejew, Jul 18, 2009
Photo of gford217
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle, courtesy of dave12285, poured into a tulip.

Pours a deep, clear reddish brown, looking like a dark cola, with a big thick cream-colored head that shows great retention and leaves some attractive lacing.

The aroma is very sweet with lots of dark fruits, especially the raisins, and a big herbal presence as well, presumably from the rosemary. If there is brett in this one, then I don't get it in the nose.

The taste follows the aroma fairly closely and is mostly the sweetness of the yeast and dark fruits forming the backbone. Maybe even some chocolate malt sweetness floating around as well. The taste transitions into a very herbal finish with rosemary and possibly some other spices. Again, not much of a brett presence, for what it's worth.

The mouthfeel is active, with plenty of carbonation and a dry herbal character that lingers on the palate.

This is another interesting installment in the LA beer library with an interesting mix of dark fruits. It's definitely drinkable for the ABV, though the rosemary starts to build up over time and may be a little much for me.

gford217, Jun 27, 2009
Photo of whoneeds8
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into chalice black with thin white head. No lacing. Smells rich in raisins and rosemary. Very sweet smell. Taste lives up to the scents. The first flavors are the raisins that give way to a tart rosemary, chocolate flavor. The mouthfeel is a little too light. I'd expect a thicker feel. Alcohol is very evident.

This is a one of a kind beer for me. I don't think I've ever had anything like this. Very nice.

whoneeds8, Jun 22, 2009
Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown with a "coke a cola" colored head that fades quickly. Unfiltered with chunks of floating yeast. Not much lacing either.

S - Has a very faint aroma but I got tart cherries, sweet dark fruit, green apples, and yeast-derived scents

T - Starts off sweet from the malts but then turns tart/fruity. The raisins, apples, and spices are present at first but then turns "darker" with a whisky/alcohol burn and aftertaste

M/D - Medium body with low carbonation but very smooth on the palate. This is definitely a sipping beer and should be served just below room temperature in my opinion

My first beer from Lost Abbey and I am very impressed. This one is quite complex and it's almost like two beers in one the way it starts off sweet/fruity and ends up dark with molasses and whiskey flavors!

VaTechHopHead, Jun 22, 2009
Photo of bort11
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another holy beating from mikesgroove and the Fight Club Project Mayhem BIF.

750 ml corked/caged bottle, dated 2008, poured into a Boulevard Smokestack chalice. Great head retention, best I've seen in ages. I poured my glass, and then had to putter about doing some other stuff. I come back about 10 minutes later and there is still a solid gooey half inch of head. Color is a murky brown/black with raisin purple highlights.

Smell is a muted sweetness with a medicinal herbal quality. Taste has some dried fruit sweetness, but the added rosemary gives an aromatic herbal flavor. The herbs are pretty intense.

Mouth is thick and sticky. Very filling and the ABV hit me pretty hard. The rosemary is interesting, though it was over the top. Aging may mellow that out.

Blipped "10 Commandments of Ska" by Prince Buster

bort11, Jun 14, 2009
Photo of photomike
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark, surprisingly clear brown that lets quite a bit of light through. Large, hard bubbles make up a shortish white head. Sparse, spotty and wet lacing. Not bad looking at all; the color is really beautiful.

The smell is my favorite aspect of this beer. Quite sweet with lots of dark fruits at its heart. Spicy/herbally in a way that I'm not really used to; after reading about the addition of rosemary, I could detect that and attributed the smell as such, but without that descriptor, I probably would have pinned it on a combination of basil and some kind of spice. The smell rounds out with a fruity tartness that I likened to underripe Asian pear. Herbal spiciness with a hint of booze yields an intoxicating vapor. Really complex and interesting.

The taste is a crazy fruit salad. Pears, raisins, and apple are present, with mulling spices and that rosemary flavor I noted in the aroma. Honey flavor is present, but this isn't overly sweet. A surprising roasted element in there as well.

Mouthfeel: smooth with lots of sparkling carbonation and a full, rich body.

Drinkability is above average for the style, but not by a lot. This is a really complex, intense beer, and half of a 750 was plenty to keep me satisfied and engaged over 45 minutes or so.

photomike, Jun 11, 2009
Photo of MiScusi
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at Lost Abbey's 1st anniversary party two years ago.

A- dark dark brown, basically black in the glass with a pillowy dense light tan head.

S- Raisin, roastiness, sugary

T- Starts out with a roasty bite, quite coffee-ish. After a few sips the roastiness becomes less noticeable and there's a big chocolate presence with that "belgian dark ale" malt taste.

M- Medium in feel, a little slick.

D- Very good beer in which I don't get tired of the flavor at any point.

MiScusi, May 02, 2009
Photo of paco1029384756
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 bottle thanks to pwoods.

Pours a very dark brown color, near black with a short fizzy tan head.

Scent of prunes, sugars, anise, spices, vanilla, maple and some yeast. Very good, sweet dark fruits and sugars with a nice spice and bready yeast to keep it from being overbearing. Alcohol is masked well.

Taste of chocolate, dark fruits, sugars, spices, caramel, molasses and a nice yeast character. Alcohol is noticeable, but the strong flavor makes it bearable. A very tasty beer, but a bit of a muddle of beer styles. I will be looking to have this one again in the future.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with a strong bite of carbonation.

paco1029384756, May 02, 2009
Photo of MasterSki
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 bottle received in Secret Bunny '09 BIF. Served in a goblet.

A - One finger of tan-gray foam, solid retention, with a nice ring left behind. Dark, dark, brown - approaching black. Strangely, each subsequent pour was a little bit lighter in hue.

S- Raisins, black cherry, licorice, caramel, spiced apple, brown sugar, and a hint of alcohol that peaks through (nowhere near as boozy as Judgement Day). It's got a lot of quad and barleywine type flavors to it.

T - Much breadier, but with some spice and apple tanginess to it. Nowhere near as sweet as it smells. There's a certain earthy and woody flavor that starts to accumulate - I'm guessing it's the rosemary, although I don't think I could exactly tell you what rosemary tastes like.

M - Really, really dry finish, and slightly warming. Good carbonation level (a surprise, I know! 2007 LA releases don't don't seem to suffer from flatness), with nice tingle on the tongue.

D - Higher ABV makes this one a slow sipper, and the the somewhat nondescript character of this brew makes it something I don't feel an overwhelming urge to revisit. It's nice, but I'd much prefer a Rochefort...

MasterSki, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of tr4nc3d
2.58/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks goes out to "masterhomebrewer" for this one.

Poured this into a tulip.

Pours a dark brown/caramel like color with a three finger off white head that leaves a layer of creaminess on top. Sticky lacing is left on my glass.

Smells of belgian candy sugar, honey, raisins, rosemary(just like the bottle says) and other spices. Definitely smells interesting.

Definitely taste the rosemary which they used to much of with some hints of honey, raisins, figs, and a dark candy sugar sweetness. The rosemary is the main thing you can taste in the beer which is a bad thing for me.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy with very low carbonation. The rosemary leaves a kinda unpleasant aftertaste.

I would not have more then one of these and had to force myself to down the bottle. If they toned down the rosemary or not put it in at all this would be a really good brew.

Im definitely dissapointed with this.

tr4nc3d, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of number1bum
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 bottle. Pours a dark brown color, somewhat opaque, with dark copper/burnt orange hues around the edges. Generates about two fingers of somewhat fizzy tan head, which settles down to a full but thin lace, leaving some splashes of stick on the sides.

Fruit aromas are just jumping out of this glass the second I pour it. It's incredibly fruity - dark fruits, apples, prunes, cherries, raisins. Also a good amount of dark caramelized malt sweetness, some spice, a bit of clove. Not a ton of yeast character, but it's slightly musty and earthy, with an occasional funky note. All told I like it very much; it's complex and quite robust.

Taste starts off with a good amount of dark caramel sweetness and a lot of dark fruit flavor. Lots of raisin especially. Then I get a bit of funk and some spice - clove, anise, cardamom. It's just layered with fruit flavor - the aforementioned raisin, plus prunes, figs, apples, cherries. Rosemary is one of my least favorite herbs but it's here in just the right quantity, adding a nice dimension to the brew without getting overly herbal. Also some honey to the sweetness. Some caramel, rosemary and a bit of funk linger in the finish.

Mouthfeel is full, carbonation is somewhat aggressive but not overly bothersome, and it's quite smooth with a nice creaminess.

This is quite good; in some respects similar to Judgment Day but much more complex, and a notch better imo. Another winner from Lost Abbey.

number1bum, Apr 02, 2009
Photo of UnionMade
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark, dark cherry red. Initially, the head is huge, sandy colored and thick, but quickly dies to a weak collar around the rim of the glass. I noticed some odd, light colored chunks floating around on top once the head died. I expect that it's just yeast, but it was a bit off putting so I scooped them out with a spoon.
The aroma is sweet, roasty and fruity. A bit of a herbal tang from rosemary and I'm guessing coriander. Nice raisin and black cherry notes. A hint of cherrylike sourness and alcohol.
The flavor is equally sweet and sour. I can't say I've ever tasted anything quite like this. The closest approximation is Anchor's holiday beer, pumped up on steroids. A bit spicy and peppery, with notes of ginger and coriander. Lots going on. Roasty, toffee malt. Finishes rather dry, sour and spicy, with a bit of an alcohol burn. Body is a bit on the thin side, with supercharged carbonation that left my eyes tearing on the first sip.

UnionMade, Apr 01, 2009
Photo of rhinos00
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 Vintage
Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a snifter.

A- Pours a dark, blood red. Almost on the verge of being brown. Non-hazy. Produces a coca-cola like head that fizzes and dissipates within seconds.

S- Subtle, sweet honey crossed with herbal wafts of rosemary. Not as complex as the taste, but still pleasant.

T- The rosemary plays a a bigger role than I had hoped in this beer. It provides a medicinal, earthy malt backbone that is ever present throughout the whole taste. Contradicting this flavor is the sweetness from the honey, raisins, figs and caramel. I would like to see the taste a little more balanced, almost 50/50. On the scale, the rosemary definitely outweighs everything else.

M- Medium bodied with some carbonation, not much. As the beer moves around my palate, there is some harshness at points that seems to scrape against the top of my tongue.

D- For a 750mL this wasn't too bad to put away. Alcohol doesn't really play a factor in this one. It's more of coping with the rosemary bombardment.

Overall, I really like the concept behind this beer with the unique ingredients. It definitely has potential, I just think that the rosemary completely dominated the flavor. After a while, I sort of lost touch with the other flavors in the beer because my taste buds were wiped out. I really want to see this beer toned down a bit, I bet it would quite good.

rhinos00, Mar 31, 2009
Photo of younger35
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this brew from 0110x011 in one of our large trades. I've been sitting on this one for awhile and tonight seemed appropriate. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip while watching Villanova vs. Pitt in an Elite 8 match up.

2008 clearly printed on front label.

Appearance- Pours a fairly dark brown with a light crimson hue and a nice two finger dirty tan head. A decent cap and collar remain but zero lacing.
Smell- A nice subtle tartness is evident right from the start with a very subtle apple cider like quality. I get more green apples and pears than dark fruits but I can appreciate the raisin like quality of the nose. The rosemary is interesting and surprisingly noticeable and adds a pretty interesting vibrant earthiness. Not as much funk as there is a light earthiness but its present none-the-less.
Taste- Wow, not what I expected! The dark fruit is overly ripe and dominate with a big mashed raisin and fig quality. It's funky and pungent with a dirty portabella mushroom quality (big and hearty). Almost something that reminds me of red licorice or even anise. I don't get any of the rosemary in the flavor but I get plenty of that raw dry honey-ness that I usually don't particularly care for. Seems to work pretty well here. Finishes with just a hint of alcohol and a bit of light caramel.
Mouthfeel- Nice hefty body with a clingy rich feel but think the carbonation could be bumped up a touch. If it had that little bump in carbonation I'd easily give this a 5.
Drinkability- Well two things I usually don't like in my beer; raisins and honey. Gave this a shot anywho and enjoyed the shit out of it. I think the Brett character was perfect for my liking and couldn't have picked a better time to enjoy. Thanks for the opportunity Matt!

younger35, Mar 29, 2009
Photo of ArodGetsSick
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle from 2008 release. Poured into Chimay Chalice

Pours a great blackish/amber color

Smell is very clean.,grapes, cherries, blackberries, apple, honey, raisons, black licorice,a little oaky as well.

Taste is somewhat fruity a very nice sweet taste caramel, and honey. It also taste like it has some distinct spices (maybe a little mint)

Grapes and plum at the beginning, flavor lasts for a long time, and progressivley changes. Settles down with a somewhat strong, but very smooth after-taste.

Medium thick and it feels nice and smooth. Drinkability is somewhat hindered by the alcohol I could taste, very complicated and sweet. Has similarites to red wine.

I for sure recconmend this beer! Although it was not my favortie Lost Abbey beer

ArodGetsSick, Mar 26, 2009
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to Hojaminbag for this brew.

2008 Edition

Poured into a chalice a deep brown color, nice carbonation, nice fizzy one-finger off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, slight yeast, dark fruits, and a hint of rosemary. The taste is sweet, malty, with some yeast notes, nice touch of raisins, figs, plums, nice little touch of rosemary. Medium body, the ABV is hidden very well. Drinkable, this is a very nice brew, thanks Ben.

Wasatch, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of srandycarter
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown, no head, min lacing. Nothing real interesting here.

S - Herbal, mint, some dark fruit.

T - Nice blend of herbs and malt. A small medicinal note that I didn't really care for.

M - Medium body, close to nil carb. Fair balance.

D - Doesn't really do it for me. Fun to try, though. Maybe if more carbed?

srandycarter, Mar 12, 2009
Photo of MEsquandoles
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from May2008 release. 750mL into New Belgium globe glass and Unibroue elongated tulip.

Looks like a Quad. Great head retention.

Aroma is certainly 5/5. Smells similiar to a big Oud Bruin and reminds me of the Deschutes Dissident. Belgian funk, dark cherries, blackberries, honey, variety of grapes, yellow raison, a little wood. Actually some rosemary too! Brett and possibly a little Lacto or something else?

Taste is much of the same, but more sweetness - caramel, toffee, honey. Not too sweet though; enough else going on. I detect some rosemary, particularly in the finish and aftertaste; although it is not ever dominating, nor does this taste like a "spiced beer". I don't think most could call it out without already knowing it was used though.

Long, evolving flavor. Alot of plum at the beginning. Some Dark cacao then licorice at the end. I wish more of the funk from the aroma came through in the taste, although it plays a little in the slickness and somewhat dry finish and aftertaste, considering how sweet it is.

Very thick and feels good. Drinkability is hurt a tad by the thickness, sweetness, and so much going on. Alcohol is not harsh at all. Things have certainly melded together by now.

Def. worth trying, but I like smelling it more than I like drinking it. I'd recommend this to red wine and port fans.

This bottle is lasting a long time, and the rosemary is becoming more and more apparent as I drink it and as it warms. Split the bottle with someone.

Brett lamb, and prolly some Brett brux and possibly Lacto.

Edit: I am really sensing the rosemary as I near the end of the bottle, especially in this green woody aftertaste. I happen to love rosemary though and do not think it's harsh or unpleasant.

MEsquandoles, Feb 28, 2009
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Lost Abbey Snifter. Pours a darkblack with red highlights. Thin head that quickly dissapated but leaves some nice lacing.

Smells very different from a typical beer. You can smell the raisins and a minty smell probably from the rosemary. Very unique

Tastes very unique. The rosemary stands out more than you expect. The raisins add a very nice flavor as well. A good beer but very unique.

Mouthfeel is a little low on the carbonation. But not that bad.

Overall a very unique brew that I don't think I would drink alot of because it is so unique. Good though.

PeprSprYoFace, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of Monkeyknife
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a clear dark mahogany with ruby highlights. On top floats a thin finger of tan head.

Aroma of raisins, dark fruits, caramel, new shoe box, dark chocolate, vanilla, and booze.

The taste is much like the aroma. Raisins, dark cherries, roasted caramel malts, dark chocolate, and vanilla. Dark cherries and the 9% alcohol weigh through to the finish. Nice.

Medium bodied, smooth and creamy, and moderately carbonated.

Thou shalt enjoy this Belgian Strong Dark Ale from The Lost Abbey.

Monkeyknife, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of hwwty4
1.25/5  rDev -68.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I bought this beer in Denver right after GABF 08, aged until then in appropriate conditions.

I poured this corked and caged 750 into my Boulevard Smokestack chalice and had huge expectations. When the cork easily slid out with just a bit of an accompanying pop, I thought to myself, well it wont be over carbonated, that's for sure. When I poured the beer it poured a dark molasses brown with just an inkling of a tan head, leaving no lacing whatsoever. The aroma is not good. Huge herbal notes over power any semblance of a nose. Rosemary and really what reminds me of Everclear. The flavor of this beer is probably the biggest train wreck of flavors I have ever experienced. Rosemary/herbal flavors dominate, fusel alcohols, molasses, and a cloying raisiny sweetness that lingers right behind the rosemary. The mouthfeel is light with very low levels of carbonation. I honestly can't see how someone can finish this beer. Looking back at others reviews, it makes me wonder if there is that much fluctuation between batches. I've gotten through about 5oz's and the rest is going down the drain. This beer isn't infected, no problem with introduced flavors. I feel like I need to scrub my tongue with Listerine to get the taste off.

As a note, this is my first Lost Abbey beer that I found worse then good. That means it deserves a second chance and I will update my review when I re-review it.

hwwty4, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of damienblack
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark obsidian, a lively tan head billows up, alive with tiny bubbles. Lacing slides right off the side of the glass, not very sticky at all. After most of the head has dissipated, a little plateau remains anchored to the middle of the glass. A full nose with what smells like cherries and roast dark chocolate, with a big yeasty bouquet.

Malty and earthy, with chocolate being the prominent characteristic. Roasty chocolate, with a slight dark fruity presence like cherry or raisin. Big, malty and bready. Little bit of coffee also. Little bit of hop kick at the end but nothing overwhelming. Despite the initial sensations, this seems to be a pretty lowly carbonated beer, very sticky, very cloying, and the roastiness lingers on the palate. Drinkability suffers a bit because it is a bit boozey, on top of what is a pretty complicated beer to begin with. It's a sipper, but a damn good one. For anyone a fan of dark Belgians, this is most definitely worth a try.

damienblack, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of masterhomebrewer
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hmmm... an interesting beer. My 2008 edition poured a fat, 1 1/2-inch head. It was virtually black, more so than Westy 12/Rochefort 10/etc. Smells of sour cherries, raisins, and spicy phenols. Boozy taste -- my only big problem with it. But getting past that, this is a very complex beer that follows up with a cascade of delightful flavors -- again, sour cherries, raisins, candi sugar, cloves, bread and a beautiful hop bittering to balance the sweet complexity. Tight bubbles in the mouth, smooth and creamy. Drinkability gets better the closer I come to the bottom of the 750-ml bottle. As it warms and flattens, I desire more and more. This is by far the best American example of a Belgian-style Strong Dark I've had. Not quite on par with Westy, but probably surpassing Rochefort 10. Nice, nice, nice work.

masterhomebrewer, Feb 09, 2009
10 Commandments from The Lost Abbey
88 out of 100 based on 757 ratings.