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Sede Vacante - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Sede VacanteSede Vacante

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

123 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 123
Reviews: 12
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.63%
Wants: 78
Gots: 32 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  15.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Sede Vacante is a blend of Barleywine aged in Cognac barrels and Brandy barrel-aged Angel’s Share and at packaging came in at 15% ABV. A contemplative beer with substantial depth, Sede Vacante imparts tones of dark fruit and vanilla, with a warming finish from the Cognac. The strongest beer to emerge from The Lost Abbey, portions of the beer spent almost 5 years in a barrel. Sede Vacante can be enjoyed immediately or cellared till the next Papal Conclave, however long that may be.

(Beer added by: MasterSki on 03-14-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 123 | Reviews: 12 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

spycow, May 02, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at GRG1313’s tasting.

Pours a murky dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is malt, caramel, toffee, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a great smell and tasty flavors.

UCLABrewN84, May 09, 2013
Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

zestar, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

GRG1313, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -3.4%

westcoastbeerlvr, May 19, 2013
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -3.4%

SocalKicks, Mar 13, 2014
Photo of largadeer
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

largadeer, May 19, 2013
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -3.4%

JAHMUR, Jul 18, 2013
Photo of MasterSki
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to Sean for sharing this one; I've wanted to try it since I first read about it. Served in a taster glass.

A - It's flat. Murky, turbid, dark brown body. I was expecting this, and it's not completely offensive for a 15% beer.

S - Loads of oak, vanilla, sweet brandy and cognac notes, a marzipan/almond note, dark fruits, and intensifying vinous character as the beer warms. Alcohol is surprisingly well-hidden; I'd never suspect this was higher in ABV than Angel's Share.

T - The taste is again surprisingly mellow, with loads of dark fruit, chocolate, vanilla, sweet brandy and cognac, red licorice, and oak, albeit far less of the latter than in the aroma. Alcohol is again quite well-hidden, although it creeps in as the beer warms up.

M - Medium-full in body, with a tannic, dry, oaky, and viscous texture. Unsurprisingly, it is still, but it's not a huge problem for a beer of this style. Light alcohol warmth but yet again, fairly mellow.

D - I liked this quite a bit, and it's a great deal more restrained than regular Angel's Share. You can really tell the age of some of the blend components, and I think Tomme has struck a really nice balance between spirit, oak, alcohol heat, oxidation, and so forth. Would a few bubbles help? Sure. Still, it's pretty drinkable for what it is, although I might balk at the price tag.

MasterSki, Apr 17, 2013
Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -3.4%

XmnwildX12, Dec 11, 2013
Photo of oline73
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

oline73, Jul 01, 2013
Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

mendvicdog, Jul 01, 2013
Photo of beernads
4/5  rDev -3.4%

beernads, Jun 18, 2013
Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev -3.4%

oriolesfan4, Jul 01, 2013
Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

drewone, Jun 02, 2014
Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

duceswild, Jul 03, 2013
Photo of Gonzoillini
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Gonzoillini, Apr 21, 2013
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

iL0VEbeer, Jul 09, 2013
Photo of ShanePB
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

ShanePB, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared this one tonight with some good friends... I received this in trade from the great trader jvillefan... Thanks a bunch Michael!! It was well received.

Pours a fairly clear walnut brown.. no head and no bubbles and unfortunately no surprise.

The nose is rich dark malts and plenty of fruity esters.... great barrel presence, but not overdone.

Sweet and very rich maltiness... a light tannic oakiness helps cut through the pretty thick caramel maltiness... dark cherries and vanilla.. cigar wrapper tobacco.. later pours show more raisin and some light cocoa.. so very rich.

I am so disappointed that there is no carbonation in this... A decent bubble would catapult this into the upper echelon of beers... I have absolutely NO idea how a brewery like LA can come so close to perfection and then fuck things up like no carbonation.

Thanks again Michael... This tasted and smelled great... I would love to get another 1-2 of these to hang onto for posterity.

3/4.25/4.5/3.5/4

JohnGalt1, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Murky brown. No head. Not even a pop when it opens. Lifeless on the pour.

Smell - Brandy is very prominent. Vanilla and oak. Raisins and tons of caramel. Not that hot.

Taste - Brandy is still prominent. Nice oak. Sweet caramel and raisins. The liquor comes through in the back end. Just a touch of astringency in the finish. Hot and sweet in the back.

Mouthfeel - Flat. Not that boozy. Sweet.

Overall - Good, nice barrel. Not worth the price at all. The carbonation doesn't detract at all.

Alieniloquium, May 21, 2013
Photo of drummermattie02
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

drummermattie02, Aug 12, 2013
Photo of claspada
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%

claspada, Aug 24, 2014
Photo of bsuedekum
4/5  rDev -3.4%

bsuedekum, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of wethorseblanket
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%

wethorseblanket, Oct 01, 2014
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Sede Vacante from The Lost Abbey
92 out of 100 based on 123 ratings.