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10 Commandments | The Lost Abbey

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very good
374 Reviews
10 Commandments10 Commandments

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A stronger version of our Lost and Found Abbey Ale brewed to a more contemplative alcohol content. Massive in every stretch of the brewing way possible this is the sort of beer that will remind a beer drinker who considers themselves a saint that even saints stray as sinners from time to time.

Added by scottoale on 05-08-2007

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Reviews: 374 | Ratings: 911
Photo of rtepiak
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

another suprise that i haven't reviewed. An american accented strong dark in that it's malt character is close to a american double. Toasty, mild chocolate, coffee. Nose of molassess, and belgian sugar cane that made the low gravity a reality. Mild fruit. Rather savory. Rather warm going down but not boozy. Great with meat well peppered. Mild spice but sustaining.

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Photo of SHODriver
3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a deep brown that turns black in the glass with a miniscule and quickly disappearing tan head
S: Smells of alcohol with raisins, caramel, some spice, a bit of vanilla and is very sweet on the nose. It smells like a bourbon barrel stout in my opinion
T: Very smooth on the palate starting with some dark malt flavors, some cherry flavor, the raisins and sweet the whole time with the spices hitting middle to end. Sweet long lasting aftertaste coats the mouth with some dark fruit flavors to go along.
M: a bit thin and sort of watery, very minimal and delicate carbonation
O: Tastes good but the mouthfeel is a bit off

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Photo of mclaughlindw4
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass. Huge amounts of head but it didn't take long to recede. It is very dark.

Aroma is malty and sweet. First sip is very pleasant. None of the added flavors are in your face yet. Rosemary is just barely detectable, I think the flavors added play nicely with eachother without being overbearing.

Not a bad one overall, i haven't had too many Lost Abbeys since I cannot get them here in Maine but this is one of the better ones I have had so far.

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Photo of CaptainTripps
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a very dark brown, all most purple in color. (Think raisins). Comes with a huge 4 fingers worth of off white, almost brown head. (I guess they fixed their carbonation problems eh?) Left a decent amount of lacing on the side of the glass.

S: Sweet dark malts with plenty of dark fruits, most notably raisins. Also getting alcohol notes along with plums, toffee, honey, candied sugar and of course Belgian yeast.

T: Following the nose perfectly, I am again getting a nice combo of sweet dark malts paired with raisins, plums and figs. Getting good amounts of alcohol with honey and toffee coming in on the back end. All flavors flow nicely together.

M: Medium mouthfeel. The beer goes down very smooth, almost "soft." Alcohol is present but not to over powering.

O: A very good BSDA that was very pleasant to drink. One of the better interpretations of the style that I have tried made this side of the pond.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.41/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap served in a tulip

Pours a near black with a creamy, beige, one+ finger cap. Good retention and some minor lacing. The aroma is of fresh herbs, raisins, honey, brown sugar, a touch of roast and some dark fruits. Subtle on both the aroma and flavor, atypical for the style. The flavor profile mimics the nose. The herbal quality is in the foreground, while raisins, dark fruit, and roast take up the groundwork. Alcohol is well-hidden. The body, along with the aroma and flavor, are a little thin for the style. I like my BSDA's to be a little more forward in every regard, and this lacks in my opinion.

Overall, this isn't a great representation of the style. Pretty middle of the road, but definitely has some redeeming qualities. Above average.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.33/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

on tap at devils den in philly

Pours a deep almost-black color, layer of beige head, nice collar of film with a couple spots of lacing.

Thick malts in the nose with candi sugar. Dates and figs shine through, a bit sweet overall, but with a slight metallic ping that I couldn't seem to shake. Notes of booze as well.

Candied dark fruit and burnt sugar. A mixed bag of richer dark fruit with dates, figs, raisins and a nice caramelized character to them. Thick, roasty malt backbone with caramel and molasses. Fair integration, but I still detect a metallic note. Finishes warm and sweet.

Full body, a bit higher carbonation, sticky, lingering, and a touch dry on the tongue. Pretty decent, but it felt like something was just a bit off on this one.

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Photo of illidurit
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at the September iteration of the Santa Cruz tasting series. Pours dark brown with a fluffy tan head. Aromas of rosemary-glazed meat, soy sauce, and boozy chocolate. Flavor is similar with roasted malt, smoke, herbs, raisins. The brett isn’t all that apparent in the taste. It does leave the mouthfeel a little light and dry.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Strong aroma is malty and earthy with a firm overtone of rosemary and fruity hints. It pours an opaque dark-chocolate brown with a thick, frothy tan head. Be careful - this can fizz like all-get-out! Flavor is quite distinctive, earthy and fruity, equal parts grape and apple, with a firm but not overpowering rosemary note and hints of caramel and nuts. Full-bodied lively texture leaves an earthy, fizzy finish. Thou Shalt Drink Only Craft Brewed Beer!

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Photo of Knapp85
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew pours out as a nice looking brown color with a fluffy light brown head on it. The head is a little rocky looking and leaves some decent lacing. The smell of the beer is spicy and has some sweet dark fruit aromas going on in there too. The taste of the beer gives off some roasted malts, raisins, yeast, and some other spices I'm not sure of. The mouthfeel is pretty good, it had a pretty good amount of carbonation to it. Overall I found this brew to be a good sipping beer for colder nights. Enjoyable.

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Photo of IKR
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Slightly cloudy root beer brown color with a fair sized light beige head that slowly faded.

Smell: Raisins & brown sugar. Nice aroma.

Taste: Raisins, spice (rosemary?), and some mild brown sugar notes. The alcohol is very subdued in the taste and aroma for the ABV. Starts fairly sweet but finishes on a dry note.

Mouth-feel: Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation. No LA bashing for lack of carbonation for this one.

Overall: One of my go to beers that I've had several growler fills of. Good beer that is usually readily available on tap at Lost Abbey.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of bubtronic
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap into a snifter.

A: Deep mahogany, flashes of red in the corners. Dense khaki one-finger head with moderate lacing.

S: Dark fruit, some spice, molasses, decent dose of Belgian yeast.

T: More dark fruit, plums, raisins, prominent alcohol, not quite covered by the malt sweetness. Also a strong oak character and the hint of something funky, maybe brett with the oak.

M: full-bodied, moderate carbonation.

O: Drinkable, but very dense. A little heavy handed with the oak, but otherwise enjoyable and well rounded.

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Photo of biegaman
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

10 Commandments is dirt brown with a liner of head that looks solid as stone. Even 60 watts of artificial light, held directly against it, fails to eke out any real colour or clarity from this shadowy, opaque liquid. As the contents of the glass dwindle, however, sleek clear ruby streaks swirl around its surface and lend the beer a little bit of aesthetics.

Given the complexities of Belgian yeast, trying to review any Belgian strong dark ale can be like sitting down to do a 1500 jigsaw puzzle - add to that honey, raisins and rosemary and you've got yourself quite the stumbling block. Sweetness is quickly perceived, but so are more savory notes as well as phenolic alcohol esters. However you describe it, it's enticing.

Dark malts and raisins make a pair like coffee and cream, one bitter and roasty while the other sweet and thick, the two ultimately complimenting one another. Indeed, this flavour could conjure to mind coffee (or chocolate) but it's made quite mellow by the addition of honey and rosemary; the savory element is an innate pairing to roast and sugars. The finish is dry, showing a bit of Brett character, with dried rosemary also making an appearance.

Lost Abbey became infamous for, among more favorable things, an inability to carbonate their beers. But this 2008 vintage still has plenty of fizziness that, if anything, detracts from its mellow, earthy and sweet persona. It's more lively than most 10% beers and, by extension, nowhere near as cloying as you'd think a honey and raisin flavored ale might be.

Commandment #4 of 10 is "fresh beer is great, aged beer is better". Truth be told, however, if you were to age all the beers in existence it would likely pay off as much as the lottery; even darker, stronger, bottle-conditioned beers like this are no sure bet. That said, at age four this is every bit as good, nay better, than I remember it being fresh.

10 Commandments is indeed a moral foundation of the American craft brewing industry; the direct word of a brewing god stating that beers should be distinctive and individualistic, but with a respect for tradition. Tomme Arthur uses the mash tun like Picasso used clay and the results, this example in particular, are generally masterpieces. Find religion here.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

712th Review on BA
Bottle to saints/sinners
750ml c/c

App- A very dark brown with a one finger head. No cling or lace and only a couple swirls of bubbles as it falls

Smell- The rosemary comes first, then the honey and then the raisin dark fruits. Not a really yesty smell. A bit lacking in scent for style.

Taste- As with the nose its just a bit thin for the style. The yeasty dark fruit doesnt mesh well and instead is too honey/ rosemary forward.

Mouth- A nice smaller medium bodied and medium carbonation beer with a honey/rosemary flavor.

Taste- Well I had wanted to try this for a while. A bit of a let down down due to the overuse of the honey and rosemary. Still a fan of Lost abbey and will come back to their beer.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2011. Pours a dark brownish-red (almost purple) color with a large caramel-colored head that takes quite some time to diminish. Scent is a nice mixture of chocolate, dark fruits, coffee, and light hints of the honey and rosemary. The taste of this beer is very unique...I'm not sure if this beer is brewed with a wild yeast...but it sure tastes like it. Pleasant wild yeast (Brett) flavors with some lovely chocolate and dark fruit aromas. Some booziness blends well with the rosemary and raisiny chocolate flavors. Mouthfeel is well carbonated and has the mouthfeel of a fresh bottle of chimay blue. Full bodied and crisp. Drinkability is high. Overall, this beer is awesome. I had this a long time ago when I wasn't really into craft, and I remember not caring for it very much. Now I want to go buy more and cellar some!

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Photo of perrymarcus
3.89/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle served in a snifter.

pours a murky, deep mahogany tone while yielding a big foamy 2" plus head, tan in color. middling retention and not much in the lacing department; a few patches.

the aroma is good. not quite spectacular but a decent amount going on: notes of honey, spice, dark fruits, yeast, and some sweet maltiness.

taste is ok, more or less follows the nose but with a much stronger alcohol factor than i suspected going from the aroma. LOT of spice, some honey, dark fruits (raisin, fig, maybe prune). yeasty with some sweet malt characters. finish is dry and boozy. medium-bodied in the mouth with adequate carbonation.

overall 10C is a good beer, perhaps even a very good one, but is not likely to be confused with a truly upper echelon BSDA.

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Photo of cdkrenz
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cellared above 45 degrees for 1 year.

A - Poured into a pint the brew has a stong, agressive, medium brown, and foamy head standing at two inches plus. The body is darker brown with a purple hint when light passes through.

S - Spice, anise and bubble gum but the spice os most prevalent. There's also some alcohol scent mixed in here.

T - It has a nice ballance of current, spice, alcohol and lightly roasted malts. Honey raisains and rosemary are listed as ingredients but I have to say none are overwhelming in the flavor, which is how it should be. I think these key ingredients offer a uniquie combination of flavors allowing the drinker to find some good taste characters surface.

M - The feel is actually light, smooth and rather soft. I think the feel really aids in this brews drinkability. Well crafted in the feel area.

~ This is acertainly not a sessionable beverage. This served with a dinner of pork or pasta I think would be a good match. This is definitely something I would recommend to my friends. My only drawback here is that I think I could have cellared it a bit longer. I feel one year didn't do it the justice it probably has coming in the third to fifth year of it's life. Next time I'll let it live a bit longer.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this one up while I was out in Cali for the Bruery Reserve Society Party. Big thanks to womencantsail for shipping this one to me after I left! Served from bottle into a Green Man snifter. Poured a massively dark brown with a one and a half finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark fruit, raisins, rosemary, oregano, and a slight sour note. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark fruit, raisins, subtle honey, herbs, and a very subtle sour note. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Ovearll this was a pretty tasty brew. It was really smooth and easy drinking. I chose to drink this one to pre-game a non-drinking wedding if you must know... I would have never guessed this one to be 10% ABV at all. The sour note that I mentioned in this review really only showed up once the brew had almost reached room temperature, but was actually well blended with everything else in this brew.

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Photo of Chaney
3.35/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this one back in February from and in-person trade with GatorBeerNerd. Thanks Donnie!

I poured this into a DuClaw Colossus snifter.

A: About the color of prune juice, with a fluffy froth posing as a head that clung to the glass like a spider in a web.

S: Belgian funk for sure, but with a bright, "Sweet Tart-like" sweetness, as apposed to a dark, brown sugary one. I didn't get any rosemary on the nose, but I could buy into honey and raison racket.

T: A lot of booze on this one, and that's a damn shame. Sure, there's a funky spice of some kind here, but I never would have tagged it as rosemary. Raisons aplenty! Dry, bitter, boozy finish.

M: I've heard it said many times, "Lost Abbey has carbonation problems! and... "Their stuff is as flat as a pancake" etc. blah, blah, blah. Since I've had dozens of their beers now, I have to admit that I'm a fan. However, in the case of this beer, the carbonation matches the reputation. Flat...

O: Cloying, boozy, and not very enjoyable. This one started out well, but I found it tough to get through.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.76/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Lost Abbey long stem snifter.

4.5 A: Dark brown, nearly black color. Two fingers of creamy, light brown head. Retention is decent and there is a thick ring of lacing.

3.5 S: Raisin, tobacco, figs, plum, and prune fruitiness. Belgian crystal malts and dark candi sugar. Lightly herbal, which I guess can be attributed to the rosemary. The honey is light and I probably wouldn't have detected it if I didn't know it was in there.

4.0 T: Dark candi sugar, crystal malts, and lots of dark fruitiness. Raisin, tobacco, fig, plum, prune, and black currants. The honey is much more apparent in the taste than in the nose. Rosemary is also much more detectable and gives a saison-like herbalness which works really well. Alcohol is well hidden. Yeast is a bit muddling. A bit sweeter than I was expecting.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Chewy and indeed chewier than I prefer. Carbonation also isn't as spritzy as I'd like.

3.5 D: This is a good beer (I find that most carbonated LA beers are good beers), but drinking a 750 of this myself was a mistake. It's too sweet to drink without a friend. I'd prefer the yeast be a bit cleaner (maybe some more time to condition), but otherwise pretty good.

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Photo of brotherloco
3.72/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml C&C. Date is mostly scratched off, I think I see 2010. Poured into Tulip.

Just about zero pop getting the cork out of this bottle.

Pours almost opaque dark brown. There are bubbles at least, a small beige head to razor thin ring and moderate lacing.

Smells of concord grapes and spices. I suppose that's the raisins and rosemary coming through, but I also get port wine and oregano notes. Belgian yeast and sugars are present. Background sting of alcohol, but not strong.

Tastes super sweet and fruity, raisins come through strong here, I guess the honey too. Banana and clove, molasses and brown sugar, sweetness lasts through the slightly bitter finish. Alcohol seems completely buried in the flavor, a definite plus.

I wish there was more carbonation in this, as things get a bit syrupy. Not a great mouthfeel.

Overall a tasty beer but not a completely solid experience.

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Photo of WhiteOak
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Cola brown color with a lovely, alluring deep dark tan head.

S- Big aromas of chocolate covered raisins, raisinated dark fruits, honey, maple. Big volatile ethanol rises from the brew.

T- Pleasant but straightforward: rich dark malt, coffee, chocolate. No rosemary was detectable. Bitter finish.

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Photo of Jazzcrop
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tastes are dark syrups/candi syrups, dark fruits, dark fruit skins, booze, tartness, Belgian yeast, lint, mango pits, wallpaper, tissue paper, ink, graham crackers, Valerian root, pork, hay, fried chicken wings, flaked rye, rolled oats, oatmeal, caramel sugar and spice. Not bad.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.81/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

A beautiful dark and nearly black pour with minimal head but lots of lacing. Looks deep, complex, and rich. Beautiful.

Not quite as aromatic as I like my BSDAs to be. What's here is nice. I smell raisin, some alcohol, a touch of fruity tang, some dark, bready malt character. I gave it a chance to warm and the aroma still hasn't really grown. Pleasant, but relatively subdued.

The flavor is better than the aroma. Dark and rich, some sweet fruitiness along with a touch of tartness, hints of raisin, a warm alcohol undertone.

Relatively heavy mouthfeel, which actually can be a touch distracting with a beer like this. It seemed a touch too heavy and substantial to let the aromas and flavors truly be expressed.

A well made, complex, BSDA with a lot of interesting things going on, but I think the thick mouthfeel gets in the way a little bit of the more nuanced flavors.

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Photo of colforbin73
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

whatever this is -- it is an amazing concoction!

pours a lovely dark slothy brown with a good head from an aggressive pour. the AROMA is out of this world, ethereal dark malts, deep and sweet, herbal, the rosemary is barely detectable -- you get vanilla, resin and sweet dry fruit -- this beer gives off a lovely smell.

the drink is sweet rich ale, not syrupy, a good refined brew -- but with overtones of molasses and honey. a complex malty beverage -- there is ZERO hop freshness -- but the bitterness level is satisfying. the rosemary gets into the nose, and provides extra herbal complexity to the brew. presumably in the place of more hops.

lots of perfumey, herbal flavors -- coming from such a dark, rich malty brew -- it is an original. i like it!

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Photo of ADZA
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a murky ruby brown hue with decent carbonation that leaves behind a creamy two finger head and a nice rim of lacing,the smell is herbal spicy hops,raisins,dark candied fruits,red wine and bready malts,it has a nice full bodied averagely carbonated mouthfeel and really suits the style with tastes of xmas pudding,brown sugar,maple syrup,bready malts and is finished off with a dried dark fruity bitterness,overall very true to the style and this is one beer with alot of flavours going on if you like your BSDA's you have to try this one.

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10 Commandments from The Lost Abbey
3.94 out of 5 based on 911 ratings.
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