Cuvee De Tomme | The Lost Abbey

Cuvee De TommeCuvee De Tomme
Liked This Beer
4.21 w/ 1,206 ratings
Cuvee De TommeCuvee De Tomme

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Once upon a time it was the most award winning Pizza Port beer of all time. Now it has found a new home at The Lost Abbey.

A massive brown ale base that is made from four fermentable sugars including Malted Barley, Raisins, Candi Sugar and Sour Cherries, this beer is fully fermented before being placed in Bourbon barrels where the beer ages for one year with the Sour Cherries and the wild Brettanomyces yeast that we inoculate the barrels with.

Added by jcalabre on 06-14-2003

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,206 |  Reviews: 412
Photo of Sammy
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Incredible. Complex. The bottle talks about an experiment that led to lightning. A Cantillon plus. The yeast, the sourness,the berry, the cherry. Pizza Port, here I come. Radekfest 05 sample 33, thank you Eyedrinkable. Best 1% of beers I have ever had.

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Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of jaydoc
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.66/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky dark brown color with no head. An oily film develops on the top of the beer and there is some floating sediment that sinks to the bottom of the glass. There is no lacing whatsoever. Smells of vinegar, sour cherries, and funk/must. Taste is of sour cherries, malt vinegar, wood, and funk/must. There is an alcohol presence in the throat after each sip. There is no carbonation on this beer. Extremely flat and somewhat drying in the mouth. Overall, this is a nice smelling and tasting beer but the appearance and mouthfeel kill it for me. This would be awesome if the carbonation issue were fixed. Disappointing for the $15.99 I paid for the small bottle.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.47/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Vintage 2011" on the bottle neck.

I have had multiple vintages of this beer and actually thought I'd reviewed it long ago. I was going to go in and add some notes and the "2011 Vintage" on my review when it appears that I've actually not posted a review of any of the past vintages consumed.

I write this review of the 2011 vintage which is noteworthy since it is, so far, nothing like any of the CdT I've had in the past. Past bottles, in my experience, has been light to medium color and full of a bright and sour/tart character. This vintage seems to be quite the anomoly and I'm wondering if this is a unique batch or a change in receipe. Either way, the 2011 vintage is not typical of years past.

Pours a dark reddish brown with no head. Looks more like red wine than beer, especially since there is no head.

Nose is cooked cherries and undertones of fig. There is almost a hint of cocoa. Pleasant and assertive.

Mouthfeel is unique in that there is no carbonation yet insufficiently sour/tart to resemble a lambick. There is a hint of fizz when the bottle is first opened (or was it my imagination??)

Flavors are just huge and, again, not at all typical of past bottles in my experience. Big dark semi sour cherries, cola, fig and a sour chocolate character. It tastes a bit like a basic generic red wine with sour cherry juice poured in. (Tastes better than that sounds).

Finish is a mild lightly sour cherry/fig.

I cannot grade on past bottles which I've enjoyed so much that I'd had it marked a "5" on my "Hads," now to review it and significantly down-grade it based on just this bottle, the 2011. I'll keep a bottle and see what happens. (I have a stash of 2009 and 2010 that I'm going to open this week and add notes to this review. Whether it will change the score or not, we'll find out).

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Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

so stoked to finally try this, a beautiful specimen from the lost abbey. a rich mahogany color to it, lots of bubbles for what it is, and a nose to die for. really tart cherries and citric acid present themselves right up front. stick rich grainy beer follows, belgian loosely, but more raisin and molasses heavy than grain specifically. light spice, tons of cherries on the flavor. some residual sugar too, but they are balanced well with one another. it coats my palate well despite vbeing rather well carbonated for the style. cherries ll the way through start on the sour end and finish a little sweeter and fresher. dynamic and complex as anything, the sourness on the quad base make it like no other beer ive had. great use of fruit here, and very well hidden alcohol strength. one of the best beers from the lost abbey, and thats saying something.

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Photo of kjkinsey
3.25/5  rDev -22.8%

Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Knapp85
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This poured out kind of flat looking which is always a disappointment to me. Had some minimal bubbles around the edge of the glass but with time they vanished. The beer is murky brown looking with plenty of sediment floating around. The smell of the beer is funky with a boozy sweetness mixed with the cherry aromas. The taste are a sour tart cherry flavor upfront with a very subtle vanilla oak flavor in the finish. The mouthfeel I the beer is smooth, kind of flat which is a shame. Overall this beer has great taste and aroma but falls short in most other aspects.

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Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of metter98
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very dark brownish amber in color and poured with a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of tart cherries in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is filled with flavors of oak, cherries and vanilla. The tartness from the cherry flavors seems to have been muted from the oak aging.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate and has a light amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very good after aging because it becomes a lot smoother and much of the tartness in the cherry flavors is eliminated.

Note: 2005 Vintage

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2009, enjoyed on August 31, 2009: This year's is much more tart and bitter than I remember from the '08 a few months ago. I expected the younger version to be big on bitterness but not that vineous, tart cherry character. Though not as rounded with the rise of the raison and softer, sweeter tones abounding; this is still one world class sour. My scores reflect this latest vintage.
Thanks JMBSH!

Vintage 2008, enjoyed on June 12, 2009: Again, an insanely good beer. All of the comments from three years ago still apply (see below) but I notice a great showing of raisons, cherries, bourbon-soaked woods, caramels, and even chocolates. Extremely delicate for such power. Vineous and rich throughout. I've never been more sad to see the bottom of a glass. Thanks Clvand0!

Another jewel available at Chicago's FoBAB last weekend. Colored the belgian mohogany-rust color with little 'floaties' swimming around in there. Lightly fizzy head retention reduced to a film. Aromas are solid, spicy of the Belgian Trippel base but with some serious tartness and fruitiness. Musky, but not yet horse blanket like. Low level sweetness gives way to tart cherries, grapefruit, peaches, and pears. A mild nutty, cocoa, dates sweetness rounds off the lactic sourness to a pleasant tartness. A thin, yet creamy, texture thins into the throat. Mildly puckering, but not astringent or grainy. Warming in the back of the throat accompanies some bittering. Finishes clean and tart. Not as drying as expected. My first Pizza Port offering did not disapoint!

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Photo of kojevergas
4.04/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12.7 fl oz brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork served into an EKU 28 snifter in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Acquired at Wally's Wine in Westwood, California. Expectations are through the roof. I dig sours and I'm hoping this one blows me away. Bottle reads "Vintage 2011" in green print on the bottle's neck. No best befroe date is present, though I imagine this one ages real well.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Per the label's instructions, I "let it breathe" for a period. Side-poured in standard fashion; I didn't anticipate carbonation issues (even if it is Lost Abbey).

A: Pours no head at all - perhaps there are carbonation problems after all. Colour is an extremely dark murky cherry brown (if that makes any sense). Not distinct or clear. Nontransparent. No visible yeast particles.

Sm: Heavy wild yeasts, perhaps bretts, cherry, heavy wood/oak, and some hints of dry wine. Oak is definitely dominant alongside the wild yeasts. Raisins when I look for them. A bit of bourbon buried on the backend; I had to look for this as well. Intricate, alive, and inviting. A pretty strong aroma. Pleasant and somewhat bacterial - though not as much as most lambics.

T: Intricately wild, with different yeasts and bacterias competing for the sour funk impact. Raisins. Tart cherries are certainly present alongside a refined oak tone. Most of the sourness emerges in the finish, which is a nice touch. Caramelized malt (very subtle) and woody notes greet you in the first act. Some bourbon, but extremely light and backgrounded - this is the best approach methinks. There's certainly a delicate wine tone in there, and maybe even a light hint of vinegar just on the climax - which is actually nice. It's certainly complex and subtle.

The balance is somewhat scrambled; the beer doesn't feel holistically enjoyable. Rather, it's very much the sum of its parts - which is admittedly pretty damn good. Still, it lacks a complete feel. Maybe it would refine with aging. Sour yeasts and oak wood are dominant, with heavy support from tart cherries. The cherries and sour yeasts are my favourite aspect of the beer. The scattered balanced does bother me somewhat. No alcohol comes through, an achievement considering the ABV.

The wild yeast/bacteria/sourness itself is exquisite, and complemented nicely by the wood on one side, the cherry tart on another, and the bourbon tone throughout. Quite remarkable. I can see why this is sought after.

The climax through the finish is where the sourness really comes through, and as a consequence this is my favourite part of the beer. If the whole body was as strong as the third act, this would be magnificent.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the flavours nicely. Undercarbonated, but somehow adequate. Neither too thick nor too thin. Lacks the delicacy and fragility expected of a fine sour, but this is still quite enjoyable. No cream is present (nor should it be). Complements the flavours unobtrusively but by no means ideally. This beer could do well to learn from Supplication.

Dr/Ov: Very drinkable for the ABV and style; I like sours but perhaps even people that don't could enjoy this in small quantities. Would definitely get better with age. I'd love to try this again with a few years on her. This is certainly a sipper. The vinegar touch may bother some, but I find it suitable to the balance. Perhaps only diehard sour fanatics should pursue this beer; it's pricey for what it is. That said, I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.

I have to admit, this one grows on you over time. The more I adjust to it, the better I find it. Truly a beer that's alive. I'm quite impressed, but the balance issues do hold it back. I don't know that the raisin is working for it as much as it should.

As it warms, the cherry tart comes through more and more, mellowing the cherry. Perhaps I poured this a bit too cold initially. Be sure to really give it time to warm up.

It drank wonderfully out of my snifter, but as there's no head anyway, you're likely best off going with as wide a goblet as you can.

While I haven't had them side by side, I think I prefer Russian River's Supplication. Given the much higher availability of Supplication over this beer, it might be hard to justify tracking Cuvee De Tomme down (or trading for it).

I struggled between a B+ and an A- on this one. I settled on an A- finally, mainly because it got better as it warmed up and the yeast from the bottom of the bottle helped it instead of hindering it.


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Photo of emerge077
4.59/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #800

Served in a Rodenbach flute. Murky and hazy reddish brown, with visible suspended sediment. Tiny streams of slow carbonation rise to the surface.

Rustic oak and wild funk in the nose, black cherry flesh and pits are the clear notes that dominate, with a hint of brown sugar in the background.

Tangy tart cherry initially, with a complex mix of leather, rhubarb, oak tannin, and farmhouse character from the barrel. A low level of spice is also present, not sure if its from the alcohol, barrel, or ingredients. Finish is long and savory, with the tangy cherry riding off into the sunset. Carbonation is light, and the body is near perfect. Really tasty, and a slow sipper to be sure.

Thanks to Weibull for the bottle!

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Photo of brentk56
4.56/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage

Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel color that refuses to raise much of a head, despite an aggressive pour; no lacing

Smell: An extraordinary range of aromas - cherry pits, bourbon/vanilla, raisins, caramel and Brett

Taste: Opens with a caramel and bourbon sweetness that grows increasingly sour as we move into the mid-palate (it becomes almost impossible to let it rest on the tongue) ; after the swallow, the sour flavors fold back to display the fruit, with the cherries and raisins dominant; the sweetness doesn't last, however, and the sour flavors linger on the finish for an extended period

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate to low carbonationl; almost juicy

Drinkability: Just an extraodinary beer, but not something you can drink on a regular basis; definitely meant for sharing

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Photo of oline73
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 2009 bottle that Tomme brought to the DC Lost Abbey tasting. Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter.

Appearance: The beer pours a reddish dark mahogany color with almost no head at all.

Smell: Tart red berries with some mild roast and caramel notes. Nice.

Taste: Lots of red fruit sourness up front. A mild caramel malt like sweetness. Some vinegar sourness as well. There is a bitterness that shows up in the finish along with the fruit and tartness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is one of the better dark sours I've had. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

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Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep cloudy reddish color ale with a small bubbly head with minimal retention and not much lacing. Aroma of sour and tart notes with some cherries and light oak notes are all noticeable. Taste is close to a Flander red style beer with loads of oak and cherry notes and a well balanced tart finish. Balanced acidity is well appreciated while Brett is very hard to notice. Body is quite full with limited filtration and low carbonation. Well made though not s complex as some of the staple of the style such as Rodenbach.

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Photo of largadeer
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

08 vintage.

Appearance: Dark brownish-red, murky and opaque. Carbonation is low but the tan-colored head lasted for the entire hour I sipped on this brew.

Smell: A huge aroma of caramel and vanilla wafts from the bottle as soon as it's uncorked. Cherries come out more once it's actually in the glass, but they're almost overpowered by the character of the barrel. Raisins are in there as well, but it's more of a background note.

Taste & mouthfeel: Surprisingly different from the nose and much drier than I was expecting, which is very welcome. Lots of tannic oak flavor, vanilla, sweet and sour cherries (leaning heavily toward the sour side), raisins and very subtle funk. The bottle mentions bourbon barrels, but I'm not getting any distinct notes of bourbon. Sourness and acidity are quite mild; this is very rounded stuff. The body is on the lighter side of medium, pretty standard for a quad, while the carbonation is quite low.

Drinkability: Goes down ridiculously easy for an 11% brew. The balance of flavors and lack of noticeable alcohol make this incredibly drinkable stuff.

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Cuvee De Tomme from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 91.3% out of 100 with 1,206 ratings
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