Ad Lib | Pizza Port Solana Beach

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38 Ratings

Brewed by:
Pizza Port Solana Beach
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Ad Lib is a blend of Bourbon Barrel Aged Midnight Expression, Bourbon Barrel Aged Judgment Day, and Rye Barrel aged Serpent’s Stout.

Added by HopHead84 on 05-14-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 38 |  Reviews: 21
Reviews by Overlord:
Photo of Overlord
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, blackish brown. Small light tan/mocha head. Smells like chocolate mixed with some sort of dried fruit ... raising? ... along with a bit of charred oak-iness.

Taste is predominantly stout, with vanilla, chocolate, a bit of alcohol/booze heat, maybe the slightest tinge of oak/wood. There's a dry, kind of charred bitter aftertaste I don't much care for. Is that the rye? The Judgment Day? Not sure.

Nice thick mouthfeel. Some bubbles.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of ehammond1
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Lost Abbey
San Marcos, CA

A dark brown and murky pour with a very thin head. Not much lacing on the glass.

Wonderfully aromatic and so much going on. Pleasant and warm aromas of chocolate and vanilla, some dark fruit sweetness, along with some alcohol heat, and a nice woody and earthy complex as well.

I don't think the flavor succeeds quite as well, but it's still a wonderfully delicious and complex beer. A lot of dark fruits, some warm alcohol, a touch of vanilla, and the flavors of the barrels again really come through remarkably well. Delicious.

A medium to thick and heavy mouthfeel, but it's very fitting for this beer.

A delicious, complex, multi-faceted brew. Really interesting and really delicious.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.51/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the 5th anniversary party for Lost Abbey. Cute bartender says "The Serpent, gets judged at midnight," = blend of Serpent's Stout, Midnight Lager & Judgment Night in various barrels.

Pours black, slight tan head with just the right amount of carbonation. Aroma was exotic. Chocolate, vanilla, wood, I asked if it was a brandy barrel in there, but alas, no, but damn if it didn't smell that beauty of sweet brandy. No alcohol harshness in the nose.

Exquisite taste, rich, lush, chocolate coats over the stuff, where is that coming from, the Serpent's Stout? Seems more prevalent here in the blend, than there by itself.

Probably my favorite thing I had on tap that day, which is saying a lot (Framboise, Red Poppy, Anti-Oxidant, Serpent's Stout, Panzer, Port Anniversary)

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Photo of kevwcamp
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of MrVonzipper
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of dirtylou
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap, brouwers on lost abbey night

appearance: served in an unbranded snifter, near black body, lifeless carbonation leaves a very dull head

smell: bourbon, rye, chocolate, vanilla, coconut.

taste: another port/abbey blend with icarus-esque aspirations...bourbon, coconut and vanilla, coffee, tobacco, rye. This one takes a while to get your palate around, but its complex and another solid blend

mouthfeel: rich and creamy

overall: nice

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Photo of sorvats
5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of dsgolovin
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of Wantbeer
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of mdillon86
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes taken at Blue Palms 3rd Anniversary party on 8/13/11.

73 characters

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at 38 degrees Barrel Aged week

Look: Almost black with a brown ring around the top when held to the light. No head more than likely due to the fact that it was in a 4.5 taster glass.

Smell: Bourbon dominates the nose on this one as does the rye from the barrel aging. Hints of coffee and dark fruits

Taste: Bourbon up front but it quickly fades into a coffee note that lingers on the palate for a good amount of time. As the beer warms a bit you get a hint of tabocco and it finishes very smoothly with no heat from the alcohol

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a syrup like feel which actually goes down really easily

Overall: This beer was pretty damn good for being a blend of three different beers. I wasnt sure what to expect from it and I was pleasently surprised. Very nice flavor profile with just the right amount of bourbon. Of all the beers I tried that they had on tap this one was my favorite.

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Photo of beerdweeb
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of DaveJanssen
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Brouwers in snifter. Reviewed 11 August 2011.

Ar: Boozy, sweet chocolate, syrupy, rich dark malt, heavy full caramel/toffee, roast, excellent barrel character, less alcohol and roast than is present in the taste, nice oak, classic Lost Abbey barrel aged character with a bit more roast.

Ap: heavy black, thick tan head, very fine head, great retention, nice lace

T: Boozy, sweet heavy lost abbey bourbon aged beer character, alcohol and roast balance the sweetness well, lightly toasty, good roast at end, prune hints, spice (rummy/alcohol), very complex dark malt characer, heavy sweet brown sugar, good roast, burnt hints, good representation of Lost Abbey barrel aged beers

M: creamy, not too full, medium very fuine carbonation, body a bit lighter than i would prefer.

O: A solid beer, if anything the body is a touch thin, very long finish, a distinct yet classic L.A barrel aged beer, more roast than i expected.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black, mild beige head 1/5". Carbonation was better than the head. Aroma of wood, chocolate malt, some vanilla, char. Sweetness in the aroma.

Chocolate and bourbon reign on this one, I didn't pick up much bourbon in the nose, but it came out in the taste, good meld with the sweet chocolate.

Really cool blend, would bang again.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Provisions

A: The beer pours dark brown in color with a little bit of murkiness to it. Minimal head (insert joke here).

S: Intense barrel aroma. Lots of bourbon and oak with a nice dark chocolate note. Plenty of roast with some mild coffee character. Just a little bit of vanilla in there, too.

T: More of the same on the tongue. Big time bourbon and barrel notes with a nice sweet vanilla flavor. Dark chocolate and roast prevent the sweetness from being overbearing.

M: Medium to full in body with a medium, smooth carbonation.

O: I was suprised how much the schwarzbier came through, even with the barrel aging and the other blend components. Nice stuff, though.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

488th review on BA
Draft to taster
@Lost Abbey

Thanks to Jason for a couple tasters on Sunday for my Birthday!!

App- This wasnt as black as I thought it was going to be but was like watching a boiling tar pit waiting to erupt. A little bit of head idled on the surface and some cling down the glass.

Smell- Where to start? This was just a fantastic smelling beer, I was amazed at the punch this packed. The vanilla & chocolate. Bourbon was all over this and a touch of rye.

Taste- This was completely reigned in but was so flavorful across the board. The bourbon, rye, vanilla and chocolate do a wonderful flavor dance around the dark fruits. So tasty.

Mouth- Almost full bodied for me with a low carb feel. Very creamy, like fresh tempered chocolate.

Drink- This beer was amazing. The 3rd beer I said I wanna take a bath in. So many things going on and yet remained drinkable, flavorful and among the highlights of the day. I want more of it.

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Photo of Cavery
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Blue Palms 3rd Anniversary. Went through so many beers that day, it's about time I got through this review. Notes dated Aug 13th 2011.

A: Opaque black with some give towards dark wood stained browns. Caviar sized yellow/brown bubbles. Yellow cling lacing on the glass that makes this beer reminiscent of bananas foster for me. Looks good enough to eat.

S: Some clove and banana, light helping of molasses. Baked fig, and some slight date sweetness. Blackberry jams with some deep dark raisin inclusions. Pretty much a dark fruit jam cocktail with some extra helpings of sugars.

T: Bananas caramelized in toffee sweetness. Full flavors of nougat and sticky date puddings. A lighter series of notes that reminds me of raisin heavy custards. Woodiness in the end that cuts the flavor a bit. Very sweet, but with enough variance to keep it interesting.

M: Full mouth with some fluctuating soft and wet sensations. This is somewhere between syrupy and oily. If there is such a middle ground, then it's found here. A little bit of a drying aspect, but in a fancy refined way. Drinks like a really fine liquor. Delicate heat on the tongue and throat.

O: This has a lot of good clean flavors with noticeable transitions/distinctions between the different phases. However, I would say the overall beer was quite sweet. The caramelized flavors added a lot of boldness to the flavor profile, but also really compounded the sweetness for me. There really wasn't a bitter contrast to be found anywhere in this beer. If you like your dessert super-sweet, then this is your strong ale. For me, I think this was still quite a good beer, but some contrast would elevate it to an elite level.

 1,690 characters

Photo of Zbeetleman
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of Sideswipe
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery

The beer arrives with a half inch of tan foam atop the deep mahogany colored ale. Head recedes quickly leaving a thin ring around the outside of the glass. The aroma is of vanilla and dark chocolate with a huge bourbon presence. Some dark fruit and brown sugar round out the nose. Taste is a melange of vanilla, chocolate, figs and bourbon. Reminds me of Chuchhills Finest with a much lighter body and a whole lot less alcohol burn. Quite enjoyable. Mouthfeel is surprisingly light for a beer with this much bourbon flavor, must be the Midnight Expressions. Carbonation is low as I'd expect from a brew of this caliber. Overall this is a very easy drinking barrel aged blend that delivers huge flavor without the sticky mouthfeel and hot ABV presence usually associated with such beers. Glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


On draft at Lost Abbey. Created for the fifth Anniversary of The Lost Abbey/ Port Brewing, "Ad Lib is a blend of Bourbon Barrel Aged Midnight Expression, Bourbon Barrel Aged Judgment Day, and Rye Barrel aged Serpent’s Stout."

A: Black and nebulous in the glass with a creamy light brown head which exhibits good retention and leaves much scattered lacing.

S: Quite aromatic. Big notes of vanilla meld with brown sugar and dark chocolate. Heavy bourbon presence with a dash of rye. Touch of dark fruit and a little roast. Alcohol is really subdued. Smells fantastic.

T: Oak and rye up front with bourbon quickly stepping in. Lots of chocolate, bourbon, cookie dough, and vanilla. Really smooth, with a restrained booze heat. There's not much roast here, so Serpent's didn't leave too strong of an imprint. Judgment Day lends subtle dark fruit notes.

M: Smooth, sticky, chewy, and creamy mouthfeel. Low carbonation and full in body.

Overall: A nice blended barrel aged Strong Ale. Compared to something like Deliverance, this is smoother with less heat and potency. I had quite a few servings of this.

 1,117 characters

Photo of codynevels
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of InstinctDecay
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of BARFLYB
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at Tria in a tulip type glass, 1st time here, nice place. This was for Philly Beer Week 2012.

Ad Lib boasts a very dark brown shade with some black undertones, it's very dark in other words. A skim of off white/semi cream colored foam graces the top. Small streaks going down. Ad Lib is a bourbon forward beer with rye scent and deep oak. I am thinking the percent of Serpent's Stout used in the blend is low as this does not look or smell or taste like the biggest beer. Dark fruits with warming from the judgement. A nice smelling beer with some alcohol. Taste is well integrated for 3 darker styled beers. I like how I am not blown away by the serpent's portion, which is a beer I cant drink, as it is bold. Tastes include some plum, apple, darker fruit, cocco, bourbon, oak and barrel character. Some Belgian yeast backing and just a blend really. The body is a nice big medium approaching full, yet this was simple to drink for me. Carb was there off the tap, so there is a plus. While I probably won't be trying this again, it was a very good beer meant to spend an hour or more with

 1,097 characters

Photo of jeezie
5/5  rDev +22%

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Ad Lib from Pizza Port Solana Beach
Beer rating: 4.1 out of 5 with 38 ratings