Dead Man’s Game
The Lost Abbey

Dead Man’s GameDead Man’s Game
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The Lost Abbey
California, United States
Belgian Dark Strong Ale
Ranked #6
Ranked #1,510
4.32 | pDev: 6.48%
Dec 31, 2023
Oct 15, 2017
Our homage to the Rum Running pirates or yore. Blended dark ale aged in Rum and Bourbon barrels. Pours with notes of massive molasses and rum like treacle.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of WillieThreebiers
Reviewed by WillieThreebiers from Connecticut

4.11/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Pours a solid brown black with a thin cap of head that quickly dissipates to nothing with no lacing. Aroma of raisins, molasses, and boozy rum/ bourbon. Taste follows nose. Very satisfying.
Dec 31, 2023
Photo of TreyIsWilson
Reviewed by TreyIsWilson from Michigan

4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
A - Pours a deep dark brown with ruby highlights. Thin fizzy tan head. Light amount of oily lacing.

S - Aroma is raisins, chocolate, and tons of barrel.

T - The taste is caramel, raisins, plums, dark cherries, vanilla, chocolate and a good amount of warming rum and bourbon barrels.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Soft mouthfeel with a slick drying finish.

O - Really nicely done. Tons of barrel.
Dec 02, 2023
Photo of nwalke16
Reviewed by nwalke16 from Michigan

3.04/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25
I really wanted to like this beer back in 2019, but Dead Man's Game is taking it too far. The look was jet black. I had no problem with the looks. The smell was dark raisin, chocolate, and boozy. The taste was way too boozy for my liking and I could only take small sips. I would've liked it more if it were more balanced, which is hard to do for a 15% ABV beer.
Jul 26, 2023
Photo of Ozzylizard
Reviewed by Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3.89/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
Dead Man’s Game from The Lost Abbey. 12.7 fl oz bottle from @2beerdogs in NBW BIF #17. Reviewed 25/06/23 (Review 3129). Note that I use DD/MM/YY protocol.
Undated bottle. Stored at 34 degrees at home. Served at 51 degrees F (Label suggests 50 – 55 F) in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter. The final temperature was 56.3 degrees F.
Appearance – 3.5
First pour – Deep Amber (SRM 15), hazy.
Body – Chocolate Brown (SRM 20), opaque. Under direct light, same. When rear lite, light penetrates at the edges only – ruby at the bottom and gold at the top. Moderate amount of sediment remains in the bottle and a ring occurs at the top edge of the liquid.
Head: None. Eventually a partial bubble ring evolves.
Lacing – None.
Aroma – 4.5 – When the cork is “Popped,” concord grapes rule. After a while, caramel takes over. No yeast, no hops. No ethanol (14% ABV, according to the label).
Flavor – 4 – Begins sweet and caramel-ly. Perhaps a little dark fruit. No yeast, no hops. No dimethylsulfide or diacetyl. No ethanol flavor but mild gastric warming happens. No trace of tannic acid or vanillin. Ends with a touch of dry malt flavor.
Palate – 3 – Medium; tending to syrupy; nearly flat.
Final impression and summation: 3.5 (After deducting 0.25 point for an undated personal container) the initial grape odor makes me think of Pseudomonas aeruginosa contamination – particularly since it rapidly dispenses and is replaced. Maybe that aroma is one of the goals – along with the low carbonation – Dead Man indeed!
Jun 25, 2023
Photo of EMV
Reviewed by EMV from Pennsylvania

4.26/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Poured from a cork'n'cage bottle into a Treehouse tulip

L: Dark, dark brown oily pour. Nearly black with minimal mocha colored head. Falls fast... thin rim of lacing.

S: Roast and booze. Bourbon, rum, and roasted grains.

T.F: Semi-sweet... rich and roasty. Lots of booze. Strong bourbon and vanilla. Oak... lighter rum. Caramel and sweets. Dark fruit and tobacco. Smooth and oily. Light on the carbonation. Finish is sweet and boozy.

O: A complex and rich barrel-aged brew. Loads of flavor. Super boozy and warming. A great cold weather sipper. Very enjoyable.
Oct 26, 2022
Photo of Sabtos
Reviewed by Sabtos from Ohio

4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Like the darkest merlot, appearance is a mildly opaque black with red hues throughout, more perceptibly so near the edges, all under a short and quick to disperse khaki head.

This surprisingly bourbon- and caramel-forward cellar showcase exhibits accenting touches of leather and plum.

The viscosity is also more intense than expected, which allows it to pair well with a Reisen sort of quality, while its age only reveals the faintest hints of mildly cardboardy oxidation.

Wow. Brewer Garrett Conley at UnHitched brought this out to pair with chef Alex Najar's Kitchen Counter experience, and this and the dessert both elevated each other in a way I often find too rare with beer pairings. The contrast with a just barely sweet and tart fermented rhubarb allowed vanillin and molasses to bloom within the ale all the more readily over time.
Jul 05, 2022
Photo of mntlover
Reviewed by mntlover from Tennessee

4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Pours a murky dark brown with the faintest sliver of a tan head for about 30 seconds before it disappears into nothing.

Aroma is molasses, vanilla, oaked light bourbon notes, sweeter rum notes, vinous notes dark fruit hints coated in brown sugars. Aroma is smooth and sweet can hardly notice the alcohol at least before it warms. The nose on this baby is just perfection so complex so sweet and inviting, guess that is why I was expecting the taste to be just as wonderful.

Taste follows the nose just not quite perfection like the aroma is. Sweet molasses, brown sugars, barrel bourbon and rum with vanilla following through to the vinous and fruity notes. Finish is little lighter with Belgian yeast notes some herbal hints with lingering sugar notes that play out on the lingering carbonation. Not noticing the 14% my bottle states that it is, also not date not that you really need a born on date on this style.

Mouthfeel is only medium carbonation is smooth but also plays a roll in the finish lifting some sparse sugars bask up.

Overall nose is perfect taste not far behind , wish I had or could get more as this would make a fine treat on occasion.
Feb 13, 2022
Rated: 4.84 by Danzifer from Ohio

Jul 07, 2020
Rated: 4.35 by Manta200 from Kentucky

May 23, 2020
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Reviewed by Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
From the 12.7 bottle in a snifter. This excellent BSDA pours a dark muddy
brownish black with nary a ring or head with a vigorous pour other than a
quick dissipation. Nose of dank rum barrel, oak, faint bourbon, vinous notes
or dark cab or Merlot, faint treacle with raisin and brown sugars. Flavors
hit the spot with rum, raisin, oak, bourbon, faint vanilla, Merlot or Cab wine,
and touches of brown sugar and black treacle amongst wafts of anise.
Nice mouth feel; medium body, smooth, lightly coating, zero carbonation,
and a nice, dry, wine and rum touched finish.

Overall----WOW.....a VERY nice ale in the BSDA category!

May 22, 2020
Rated: 4.55 by Jakemoell from Ohio

May 22, 2020
Photo of bluejacket74
Reviewed by bluejacket74 from Ohio

4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
12.7 ounce caged and corked bottle, no dating that I noticed on it but pretty sure I've had this bottle for about a year or so. 14% ABV stated on the label. Served in a chalice, the beer pours a murky dark brown color with about a half inch tan head that didn't stay around for too long. Not much lacing either. I like the aroma a lot, the brew smells like brown sugar, vanilla, oak, rum, molasses, raisins, caramel and bourbon. Taste is mostly sweet just like the aroma, with brown sugar, vanilla, molasses, oak, fig, rum, bourbon, caramel, raisin, toffee, cocoa and dark bready flavors. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's slick and rich with a moderate amount of carbonation. The 14% ABV is well hidden here. Overall it reminds me of an English style barleywine because of the malty sweetness, but regardless of what style of beer this is it's really good! Definitely worth picking this up, wish I would have bought another bottle when I first bought this one. $16.99 a bottle.
Dec 15, 2019
Rated: 3.75 by Gobzilla from California

Dec 07, 2019
Rated: 4.75 by bigred89 from Maryland

Aug 11, 2019
Rated: 4.26 by Zonian1 from Ohio

Aug 03, 2019
Rated: 4.24 by Nunya from Ohio

Jun 16, 2019
Rated: 4.09 by westcoastbeerlvr from California

Jun 01, 2019
Photo of Buck89
Reviewed by Buck89 from Tennessee

4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
On tap into a snifter. This looked like a typical big dark ale - dark with a thin tan head. The aroma and the taste were not at all typical - this one was exceptional. The barrels, roasted grains, and Belgian yeast combined and formed an incredibly rich mix of flavors resembling vanilla, maple, chocolate, and candied plums. Absolutely incredible. A big beer but not overly sweet. Wow.
May 28, 2019
Photo of brentk56
Reviewed by brentk56 from North Carolina

4.62/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel color with a thin ecru head that fades to a collar, leaving a few shards behind

Smell: Dripping with rich chocolate, tobacco, molasses, raisin and caramel; Rum and Bourbon tones also apparent

Taste: The chocolate, raisin and caramel tones spring forward, with the molasses adding a greater depth of sweetness; through the middle, the Bourbon and the Rum emerge and drive home a boozy, complex finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: Nice to have a BSDA every once in a while and this one is a mindbender, merging Imperial Stout and BSDA characteristics along with a double barrel treatment - wow!
Apr 25, 2019
Rated: 4.21 by vrbulldog22 from Ohio

Apr 21, 2019
Dead Man’s Game from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 92 ratings