Cuvee De Tomme | The Lost Abbey

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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

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Ratings: 1,205 |  Reviews: 412
Photo of AApparel
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of theminutemen
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of TotallyHosed
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to dimce for the bottle.

I've scored this one below average in the appearance category, because there is no head. However, beyond this one criticism, the brew looks good. It's a dark reddish brown that allows no light to pass.

The nose is the best aspect of this beer, because it is rather complex. I pick up sour cherries, vanilla extract soaked raisins, and some wine barrel.

The flavor does not reach the excellence of the nose, but comes real close. The sour cherries dominate the flavor, but do not hide the complexity. Following the cherries is what I'm still calling vanilla extract soaked raisins. This must be the bourbon barrel notes mingling with the raisins or mingling with the wine barrel notes. The aftertaste is a little tart and sour, but it's the vanilla, wood and raisins that linger.

The feel is rather light and free of carbonation.

Overall this is a great beer. The complexity of the nose and palate are what make me respect the brew. Although there is no head or carbonation, I don't think this detracts from the overall experience. I'm going to acquire another bottle next year.

 1,114 characters

Photo of mattsander
4.11/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: The bottle is almost totally flat with only the faintest indication of any bubbles. Deep brown and very murky. This is not an attractive beer to look at.

S: Sweet rummy quadruple vibe with burnt sugar, a bit of booze & raisins. Lactic sourness melds beautifully with vanilla oak-barrel character. Some butterscotch elements. Very complex, very appetizing, I love it.

T: It's interesting how the acidity of CdT changes my perception of typical quadruple flavors. All the elements I love in a quad are present but they brightened up significantly by the cherries, pedio and lacto. Lots of oak, raisins. Finds a very appetizing balance between sweet and sour. Little to no vinegar character which is ideal.

M: It's really a shame that my bottle wasn't carbonated. I think this could have been a truly spectacular beer had the bottle conditioning gone better.

O: Despite the carbonation blunder this is a delicious and highly complex beer. I'd buy it again.

 961 characters

Photo of bigfnjoe
2.83/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a corked & caged bottle into a CCB snifter. Can't find a vintage, so I assume it's 2011. 375 mL bottle.

A- pours dark brown with no head at all. Nearly no pop upon opening the bottle. So, this is going to be flatter than a board...lovely!

S- aroma is actually pretty nice, loaded with cherries with a hint of bourbon as well

T- sour cherries, but there's an odd taste behind it as well...just an overwhelming rotten flavor to go along with the funk. Not very palatable

M- medium bodied, on the thin side

O- never trading for or buying LA ever again. I have a bottle of Serpent's Stout left, and once that's gone, I'm done with them. This is the third issue I've had with their bottles, and I'm done.

 716 characters

Photo of tedho21
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of williamjbauer
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of pmarlowe
3.96/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Says vintage 2011 on the side. Lost Abbey tulip. A barely audible "pop" as the bottle is opened.

A: Pours a very dark, murky amber with no head except a razor thin off white ring around the glass.

S: The nose is black cherry, plum and fig juice, oak and cinnamon and vanilla.

T: Nice sour cherry, plum, blackcurrant and red wine, oak and barrel characteristics (vanilla mostly), and a moderate-high, mouthpuckering, constant level of sourness which I think drowns some of the complexity. The sourness extends into a decently long finish. There's a definite red wine character to the taste.

M: Very light carbonation and full body which leaves this a little flabby. This is undercarbonated for my taste; a little crispness or bite would enhance the mouthfeel considerably. That being said, alcohol is well hidden.

O: A pleasant sour which shows some nice barrel characteristics. As far as characterizing the beer, this reminds me more of a sour old ale (like Angel's Share) than an RR-type 'tion sour.

 1,006 characters

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of DSlim71
3/5  rDev -28.1%

Photo of IPA4LIFE
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of axeman9182
2.72/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

375 mL cork and caged bottle, sent to me in a trade just over a year ago (thank you mystery trader!), and poured into my petite Duvel tulip.

Cuvee de Tomme pours almost entirely black, lightening to mahogany along the edges. There's no head formation whatsoever, let alone retention or lacing. It looks like another flat bottle from Lost Abbey. The nose falls a bit flat as well, but what is there has plenty of cherries and bourbon, along with some vinegar-like sourness an a hint of earthy brett funk. There's also just a little bit of soy sauce. The front half of each sip has some sour cherries and bourbon, but then the beer fades to a strong, unpleasant soy sauce flavor, along with a bit of oxidation. The body doesn't feel too full, especially considering this is an 11% brew. The complete lack of carbonation kills the beer though, as not only does it make the beer feel dull, but it allows the unpleasant close of the flavor profile to sit and linger on my palate. This bottle of Cuvee de Tomme is a major let down. I've had plenty of draft pours of it before at festivals and absolutely loved this beer, but tonight it's an absolute drain pour for me. Last time I seek out a bottled Lost Abbey product for a while.

 1,226 characters

Photo of cosmonick
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of hansgruber
3.97/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 mL 2009 vintage served into a Hopleaf tulip. Drank in the early part of 2010...from notes

Appearance is a very dark body with a very thin head that's gone quickly. No lacing with some slight carbonation around the edges. Dark crimson red around the edges.

Nose is cherries and funk. Also has vinegar, acidic, and sour notes with a touch of a medicinal smell. It's wine-like as it warms up and the vinegar acidity drops off.

Taste is much like the nose. Cherries, sour, very acidic with vinegar notes too. Not getting any funky flavors though. Again it becomes wine-like as it warms. The bourbon barrel aging isn't obvious at all. Forgot it was even aged in them until rereading the label.

The carbonation was a bit lower than I would've probably desired but it seemed that it was just enough.

Overall I felt it was too acidic and vinegary to drink too much. Glad I had a small bottle of this. It was much better as it warmed up from being chilled. Some of the more desirable flavors and aromas came out and made it a pretty good beer.

 1,046 characters

Photo of tbeq00
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of jwhancher
4.97/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this one on tap at a Monk's event which Tomme Arthur showed up to speak with the partons.

A: Pours a murky brown with okay head that eventually dissipates.

S: Smells of raisin, cherries, Brett, and a sour vinegar like aroma. As I'm still getting into sour beers, this one smelled wonderful!

T: Tasted great with the same notes as in the nose. Also had an excellent woody quality as this one was aged in bourbon barrels I believe.

M: Excellent sourness that was intriguing as well as it was refreshing. I was forced to sip this one to take in all the exceptional qualities. Felt medium-full to me.

O: A wonderful beer overall. Glad to have made it to Monk's to try this special brew and chat it up with the brewer. Awesome beer experience.

 749 characters

Photo of SeaOfShells
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of tjkinate
4.46/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage

A: Dark, murky brown body. Very little head, more like a soapy white film develops, but does stick around throughout the tasting. Surprisingly a good amount of silky lacing remains and really boosts the beers appearance.

S: Cherries, sour notes, not overpowering and have a nice sugary undertone. Light hints of bourbon that builds as the beer warms. Caramel and raison notes poke through on the tail end and become quite potent later in the tasting.

T: Pow, that will wake up your taste-buds. Cherry flavors are infused with sour notes. Bourbon and caramel hints are a nice contrast and really round out this beer nicely.

M: Very low carbonation, still highly drinkable.

O: I really enjoyed this offering from The Lost Abbey. Still think it was pretty expensive for a 375ml bottle.

 800 characters

Photo of BillHilly
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of bearishparrot
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of kojevergas
4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
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.


 4,582 characters

Photo of ajs4bd
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of seanh99
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of brez8791
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of davelag
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Cuvee De Tomme from The Lost Abbey
4.17 out of 5 based on 1,205 ratings.
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