Dead Man’s Game
The Lost Abbey

Dead Man’s GameDead Man’s Game
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Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #15
Ranked #1,677
4.34 | pDev: 5.76%
The Lost Abbey
California, United States
Dead Man’s GameDead Man’s Game
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 85 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
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
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bluejacket74 from Ohio

4.47/5  rDev +3%
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
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Buck89 from Tennessee

4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
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
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.62/5  rDev +6.5%
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
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HattedClassic from Virginia

4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours very little head. The beer itself is a dark toffee brown that retains a brown color and does not border on black.

The smell has a good caramel note mixed with a moderate bourbon note with a hint of rum to it. There is also a good Belgian yeast note to it that mixes with the rum note. The beer still has a dark fruit note in the form of a raisin and date that mixes well with the other notes such as as light vanilla.

The taste is pretty good. It has a strong but not overwhelming bourbon note with a date and raisin note in the finish. The rum is fairly light but adds a nice bittersweet note to it. The lighter notes that seem to come out are a cocoa and molasses with a bit of honeyed biscuit but the vanilla and light oak notes seem to be what come out more and cover those other notes. There is also a decent hop bitterness through it all that prevents the beer from becoming too sweet as it warms up a little.

The feel is pretty good. It's a good and very drinkable beer with a silky feel and heavy body that ends in a sticky finish.

Overall, this was a pretty good beer worth getting.

Mar 24, 2019
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tp1962 from Illinois

5/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I just had this again at Decatur Brew works on 4/18/19.....awesome beer and glad I was able to experience again! Well done!
I tried this yesterday at Fox Pub in Peoria Illinois.
Very good is all I can say!
Look was golden dark
Taste was smooth and warming
Feel was great
Overall I rated a strong 5
Would have this again but won’t be driving . This is a high abv beer best served at home

Sep 30, 2018
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superspak from North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle into snifter, 2018 vintage bottling. Pours opaque dark drown/black color wioth a 1 finger fairly dense and fluffy light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the lace cap. Aromas of big raisin, plum, prune, cherry, fig, date, apricot, red apple, red wine, vanilla, rum, bourbon, toasted oak, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, brown bread, and biscuit; with lighter notes of coconut, milk chocolate, cocoa, molasses, licorice, sherry, peppercorn, leather, tobacco, herbal, grass, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Bit of booze in the aromas as it warms, but not too overwhelming. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/light spicy yeast, dark/bready/light roasted malts, and bourbon/rum barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of huge raisin, plum, prune, cherry, fig, date, apricot, red apple, red wine, vanilla, rum, bourbon, toasted oak, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, brown bread, and biscuit; with lighter notes of coconut, milk chocolate, cocoa, molasses, licorice, sherry, peppercorn, leather, tobacco, herbal, grass, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/grass/roasted bitterness and yeast/rum/oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of dark fruit, cherry, apricot, red apple, red wine, vanilla, rum, bourbon, toasted oak, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, brown bread, biscuit, coconut, milk chocolate, cocoa, molasses, licorice, sherry, peppercorn, leather, tobacco, herbal, grass, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Amazing complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/light spicy yeast, dark/bready/light roasted malts, and bourbon/rum barrel flavors; with a great malt/bitterness and rum/bourbon/oak spiciness balance; with no cloying/astringent flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from lingering bitterness and yeast/oak spiciness. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky/grainy, and lightly sticky/chalky/tannic mouthfeel that is fantastic. Lightly increasing warmth of 14%, with minimal barrel booze lingering after the finish. Overall this is an amazing barrel aged Belgian strong dark ale! All around incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/light spicy yeast, dark/bready/light roasted malts; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV, with the mildly bitter/spicy/tannic/drying finish. Amazing balance of yeast and rich malt complexity; with perfect Rum/Bourbon barrel integration. Not overly boozy, tannic, or drying. A highly amazing offering, and spot on style example as expected.

Sep 08, 2018
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SomethingClever from Ohio

3.96/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle poured into a snifter, never looked for a bottled on date.

A: very little head that disappeared as it was poured. The body is a murky deep brown/Black.

S: lots of rum, coconut, toffee, caramel, vanillasome sweet raisin and fog as well.

T: lots of rum and bourbon with a nice dash of of oak, toffee, caramel, vanilla. A little coconut some light dried fruit flavors of fog and raisin.

M: Thin watery and boozy

O: It’s not a bad beer, but the barrel flavors are so dominate what exactly was barrel aged. I guess at this point in our craft beer journey who cares. Lots of nice Barrel characteristics though.

Jun 21, 2018
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Ciocanelu from Romania

4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brownish color with a ring of tan foam. Aroma is quite boozy with dark fruit notes, mostly raisins. Taste has earthy notes, booze, bourbon, lots of spirit notes, light bitterness on the finish. Difficult to drink, too boozy and intense.

May 26, 2018
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Franziskaner from Missouri

4.04/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown in color and very murky in complexion. Just a suggestion of light partially seeps through. There's a fingernail of light brown around the majority of the rim. There's a heavy aroma of deep, dark rum, sweet bourbon, and a whiff of woodsy oak. I'm tasting a massive wallop of boozy, dark malt, raisins, marzipan, toffee, and plenty of rum. The mouth is very thick, sticky, and chewy.

May 26, 2018
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Defying any limits that pertain to any one particular style, the Lost Abbey push the limits of what ale can be with a dark, tawny, twangy, decadent beer that folds in the characteristics best known about both bourbon and rum.

Dead Man's Game rolls with a pirate theme with a pour that's scant on foam but has a rusty haze of brown and burgundy. A sultry set of fragrances swoon the nose with the richness of molasses, caramel, red wine, oak, leather, tobacco and a weathered woodsy must. Lavishly sweet, the taste of caramel, maple, molasses and grape trend savory and sweet on the early palate.

As the middle palate unfolds, the sweetness turns more savory in the vein of port, sherry and cognac. The earthiness of leather and tobacco bring an earthen taste along with stone fruit flavors of apricot, prune, raisin and date. Plum wine, dark berries and a a kiss of teriyaki types of savory flavors deliver a tangy but rich balance with a light peppery twinge on the late palate.

Full bodied from the beer's residual sweetness and low lying carbonated efforts, the beer's wood spices, playful acidity and piquant yeast flavor aid in breaking up the beer's richness and allowing the beer's texture to lessen to a hearty drinkable degree. A long and winey taste is coupled with flavors of fruitcake and the rum and whisky converge on the aftertaste.

Apr 16, 2018
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bshefftz from California

4.87/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Another excellent old ale/strong ale from Lost Abbey. Unsure of what the base beer is but must share some threads with Angel’s Share. Rum barrel adds heat and sweetness. Will pick up more of these.

Mar 31, 2018
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing nearly opaque black in the glass with a half finger dark khaki head with great retention and nice lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, molasses and bourbon. Faint rum that I detected only because I was looking for it. Flavor is dark toasted malt, figs, dates, raisins, rum with a little bourbon and oak. Finishes hot and boozy.. Medium bodied with light creaminess and sharp, almost overactive carbonation. A classic American strong ale profile with the dark malts and dark dried fruit that makes this style so rich. Finish is hot, but has plenty of flavor to carry it. This bottle was very spritzy with carbonation, which made the finish a little less profound. Still an excellent slow sipping blended barreled ale. Interestingly, bourbon was dominant on the nose, but rum was more forward in the taste. Both flavors were great and played well with each other. Nice, as expected from Lost Abbey.

Mar 17, 2018
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Radcpa from Washington

4.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Aged for about a year in the bottle. Very dark brown appearance with slight tan. Aroma is a very pleasant malt with rum and some bourbon accent. Taste is a very smooth malt with rum and bourbon accent and little alcohol taste.

Mar 06, 2018
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This will indeed get you through the “fog of death”, with blanketing layers of super rich molasses and rum barre syrupy goodness. I personally got more rum than bourbon barrel on the nose and taste, but I did get more of a bourbon mouthfeel on the body. Sip slowly and enjoy all the complexity the Dead Man’s Game has to offer.

Feb 26, 2018
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BeanBump from California

4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great winter beer, or for So Cal (where it's made) winters: 75-degree weather. Heavy, syrupy and rich, this beer is a total sipper. It clocks in at 14% abv but doesn't burn going down your gullet. You definitely get a nice, warming sensation from the strength but the inherent sweetness and oakiness from the barrels helps quell the warmth and lull you into a state of dark ale bliss. You get more of the bourbon barrel on the tongue upfront, chased by a lingering rum sweetness. One of the better Lost Abbey beers, in my humble opinion.

Feb 05, 2018
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hopsputin from New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: deep dark murky ruby red color, almost to the point of being brown. Some extremely dark purple notes as well. No real head

S: raisins, fig, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, purple grapes, and a huge bready malt. Aroma is full of rich, deep dark fruit characters

T: fig, blackberry, roasted malts, toffee, and brown sugar upfront. Big boozy note behind that, with some bready malts and oak. Caramilized raisins and leather behind that. Finish is sweet and boozy. Big beer

M: heavy mouthfeel that is stick and has no real carbonation

O: this is a heavy sipper for sure. Great for the cold weather or end of a night. Complex and dark. Let it warm to enjoy

Feb 02, 2018
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

i think when it comes to barrel ageing, in both wild and cultured yeast beers, the lost abbey does it as well as anyone. they have made some of the most ambitious, intense, curious, and interesting, as well as delicious of course, beers out there. things like santo ron diego for rum or agave maria for tequila come to mind, and this is another exceptional barrel aged brew, this time with both rum and bourbon, and in this particular instance, the beer itself seems to exist in service to the barrels, rather than the much more conventional other way around. not that its not prominent or good or anything, especially at this strength, it just seems made for the barrels. its deep and dark and strong, loosely belgian maybe, i get a dark candy sugar element with the grains, cola, vanilla, and molasses. the rum barrels i think lead a little more than the bourbon, although both are obvious, harmonizing a little better than i thought they might in my head. some dark burnt sugar and anise type spice to the rum, clove and honey and tobacco, toasted coconut and almond, very island, very mature, and wood forward too. the bourbon adds more sweetness, some nice welcomed char from the barrel, and a vanilla character thats strong throughout. im surprised it doesnt seem any more boozy than this, i get like brandy soaked plums or something and of course the rum, but its not all that hot for this abv. smooth to drink, plenty sweet, and very mature and well blended. the quality is enormous, this is liquid barrel straight up. for anyone still unsure what barrel aged beer is all about, this is a heck of an example. i could see this treatment working well on a stout as much as this malty strong ale too...

Jan 27, 2018
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bobhits from Kentucky

4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep dark brown, a touch cloudy, mild head and some medium level legs.

Nose is dark fruits, slight red wine note, a lot of raisins, and finished with strong sugars from molasses and brown sugar. I also get a touch of perhaps port meets rum like alcohol notes.

The beer brings out much the same notes as the nose. It also adds a bit of an older ale bready/nutty/aged note. I think I get a touch of soy sauce that you'd get in a well aged beer. A touch of vanilla I couldn't get in the nose is coming through here as well.

Mouth feel has a touch of sour bite, a lot of a sour's moth feel in big bubble carbonation. There's a lot of weight and I get a good bit of yeast/protein thickness in the mouth.

Just saw the description that points out rum barrels, nice, they certainly are coming through. Yeah this is really nice, but at 16 bucks for a bottle, not a repeat and I have to knock a point off due to such an insane price.

Jan 10, 2018
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Avitra from Switzerland

4.74/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow, this one is complex. Very heavy in character. Some grapes, Vanilla, plums, oak. Despite having very little head it's bubbly enough to be tongue soothing, and is by no means flat. The look leaves something to desire, as it's very muddy and murky. However, who cares, the taste is for the ages.
With a lingering finish, it's a pretty great beer, and Lost Abbey continues to be one of the finest breweries in America, especially for those who want a fresh take on classic Belgian

Nov 20, 2017
Dead Man’s Game from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 85 ratings