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10 Commandments | The Lost Abbey

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very good
373 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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 373 | Ratings: 906
Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

a: Dark brown with little to no head.

s: Sweet Belgian sugar with some notes of raisins.

t: Sweet malt, toffee, raisin, caramel, and just before the finish, I catch a very subtle hint of herbs (from the rosemary I presume) and believe it or not, it works.

m: Thin body with low/no carbonation. My first experience with the dreaded LA quality control issues.

d: I like this beer, but it is almost flat which really kills the experience.

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Photo of beersabound
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich deep brown with some orange in the corners. Moderate carbonation. A tight tan head formed but fell a little quickly.

The aroma changed as the beer warmed. First I got cloves, caramel and candi sugar. Next, some tobacco notes came out as well as dark fruit. Lastly, some fusel alcohol emerged. This detracted slightly from the beer.

The flavor was similar to the aroma wiht more spices coming out. It says it has rosemary in it. But I did not detect it. It seems to just add an earthy note without being upfront. Very flavorful which developed throughout drinking it.

Mouthfeel was smooth and a little slick. But slick in a good way. It's kinda has low CO2 for a BDSA IMO. But, this beer wouldn't be as nice with high CO2.

Quite drinkable for 9.0%. Very appropriate for fall/holiday drinking. The spicing and mouthfeel will lend this nicely to hearty meals or as an after dinner treat.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.39/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky brown with very little head. The aromas open up as the beer warms, and although I didn't smell any Rosemary to begin with, it is definitely noticeable after a bit as are aromas of honey, roots, brown sugar and a funky sourness in thge background. Pretty nice and pretty unusual. The taste is also heady with rooty herbs, light sourness, cola, sugar, and other interesting forest notes. Hard to figure out and the sourness in the background is a very interesting. Smooth and easy to drink.

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Photo of russpowell
4.37/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours chestnut/mahogany with a sliver of tan head. Nice oily look to this, average head retention & lacing

S: Oak & sourness, a touch of plum & dark candi sugar

T: Scorched caramel, a touch of leafy hops, cola, figs, & tartness up front. More dark fruit with a whisper of sarsaparilla & cinnamon as this warms along with dryness & tannins. Sourness lurks in the background, this is really working for me. Finishes with a hint of green appleskins, oaky dryness, figgyness, & a kiss of brown sugar

MF: Medium bodied, somewhat lively carbonation, but compliments what's going on here

Great drinkability, the ABV is well hidden. This is one I could sit by fire with until the wee hours or I get sleepy... One I will stockpile at some point...

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

A: pours a deep dark mahogany color with a nice light tan head on top. decent head retention and very nice lacing.

S: some major spices playing in this one. I am really pulling the honey and raisins in this one. some big hints of rosemary do shine through in the nose.

T: I really get the sweet red raisins mixed with the malts with a huge honey backbone. No hoppy flavor in this one. Some major rosemary in the back of the palate.

M&D: full bodied brew, with a lower carbonation rate than expected. smooth and mellow rather young, not surprising from Lost Abbey.

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Photo of jojox
2.3/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Drank this last night, no notes. I thought it was rather complex and interesting tastes, but frankly, nasty. It resembled sweat/BO, and urine. The rosemary was somewhat interesting, the flavor mostly malt balanced, and the appearance dark and okay, but the flavor just didn't appeal to me whatsoever.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 corked and cage with no pop whatsoever into the Ommegang chalice.

Pours like slightly carbonated root beer. Yeasty head and iced coffee brown body. Little visible carbonation.

There's a power of suggestion to the body color. Beyond the sour/sweet brett, some woody, herbaceous rosemary texture and discernible honey and raising I actually get a Coke mosaic on the scent. Slight carbonation tingle. Quite complex.

This proves that reviewing from a 2 oz. pour at a fest isn't the way to go. I have no recollection of the burnt notes of espresso and raisins from my pours at the BBF. Interesting! Slate-ish coffee notes with ultra-roasted caramel. With warmth the honey and raisin notes emerge. Dry ite on the back end from alcohol. Am guessing that this could use a little time. With warmth the sourness emerges, but there's nohorse-blanket funk in here.

This is very soothing on the palate even though it burns a little hot. Quite luxurious and comforting. Finish is tight with dry cocoa and coffee grounds and some viscous sweetness. Again, needs time but very nice.

This opens up a great deal with a bit of warmth. It's got a lot going on here...very complex nose and palate with a great deal of depth. Hopefully I can keep a couple downstairs for a while and revisit to see how this fine offering evolves.

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Photo of sessycuban
1.94/5  rDev -50.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A - The beer pours a cola color. No carbonation to speak of, and thus no head.

S - Strong rosemary aroma, faint raison. Very malty nose.

T - The rosemary is in overdrive. No honey to speak of. The raison, much like the nose, is very faint. This beer tastes almost exactly like Cuvee van de Kaiser.

M - Somewhat syrupy, hot, uncarbonated. Awful.

D - This beer is undrinkable. It seems like it was released way too early, or the bottle conditioning was just done poorly. Avoid.

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3.59/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked this one up from my local Whole Foods 750 ml corked bottle.
Very little head when poured. Dark in color but not as thick as most, had a semi watery consistency.
The aroma of this one is pretty intense. Rich dark malty odor but also some sweet hints in there as well.
The initial taste is full of earthy flavors and some sweeter and fruitier flavors. Theres alittle bite on the back side.
Over all it was a pretty enjoyable drink but probably wouldn't go for a second round with this Lost Abbey.

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Photo of OHLRangers
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml caged/corked bottle won in mikesgroove's Saturday Night Fever Week 10 LIF. Thanks for the generosity Mike!!

This one, as others mentioned, lacks carbonation. Barely a sound when uncorking it, and an aggressive pour yields a paper-thin creamy brownish-white head that dissolves almost immediately. As time goes on, the glass has no lacing.

Dark brownish red color, yields boozy aroma along with plums, sweet molasses and some cinnamon, along with a bit of funkiness deep in it. I can taste the candi sugars, along with the dark fruits, a bit of mintiness at the end and some roastiness- don't get the heavy coffee tastes that other reviewers mention, though as the beer warmed closer to room temp, more of that came forward.

Thin mouthfeel, the alcohol kick drops the drinkability a bit.

Proper carbonation would raise these grades dramatically.

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

Service Temperature, 50 degrees farenheit. Glassware, 12 ounce Tulip.

Dark in nature both in clarity and color, this beer pours a mocha foamy head that dies quickly leaving only a whisper of lace that it was ever around.
As I run the glass under my nose I detect a slight tartness, along with some pine spruce tips, and some earthiness. The mouth on this is light but the flavors that come off remind me of raisins, midl brown sugar, minor pine, and some vanilla.

Overall a good offering, almost feel like this would work well with some artisan cheese and some sour dough.


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Photo of aerozeppl
4.54/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Beerzebub for the bottle via trade.

A: Poured black with quite a bit of brown around the edges. A half finger of cola colored head. Some lacing.

S: Total barnyard funk. Yes. Some floral notes in there but who cared because there if a funkhouse.

T: Super sweet up front. Almost too sweet. Little bit of funk before the end. Hints of the malt and yeast as well. Coffee in the finish as it warms. More funky as it warms as well.

M: Not nearly as thick as you would think. Watery is a strong word but I would have liked this to be a bit thicker. Then again this thing is a total hybrid so it might make this worse.

D:The nose is amazing. Perfect funk. Really complex beer. How many beers have you had that have barn funk and coffee? I thank Lost Abbey for trying different thing.s I curse them for not being in NY. Again big thanks to Beerzebub for this bottle via trade.

Upon warming: This is basically a dark wild ale. Amazing.

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Photo of WeeObese
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep dark brown, with a small 1/2 finger thick mocha colored head that does not last long.

smell, the best part of this beer. Dark malty sweet aroma, slight molasses, followed by a nice sour funkiness. Great aroma.

Taste is simiiar to the aroma but with a roasty flavor that I feel is a little strong. Overall, it is a nice balanced beer but much of the funkiness is overpowered by the roastiness. As the beer warms the rosemary becomes more apparent.

The mouthfeel is nice a little light on the carbonation.

Drinkability. I really like this beer and it has a great drinkability especially for a 9% AVB. I hope as it ages the brett/sour comes out more and the roastiness fades a little.

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Photo of brentk56
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cola color with ruby highlights and a foamy head that leaves quite a few strands of lace

Smell: Raisins and molasses, but the rosemary clearly comes through as the intriguing ingredient as does the Brett

Taste: Out front is a mysterious mixture of rum raisin, molasses and rosemary, with undertones of something sweet that is a bit of candi sugar and honey; after the swallow, a bit of Bretty funk arrives to add complexity; while the rum raisin and rosemary linger into the finish, the Brett dominates the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Thick body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Having read reviews of the previous release and a number of complaints about the lack of carbonation on this batch, I drank one while still flat and allowed my other bottle to cellar for a year; this review has been updated to reflect my experience with the cellared beer - a huge improvement

Note: revised my review based on the 2012 version to add the comments about the Brett - also would note that the carbonation issues appear to be resolved

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.74/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours a cloudy brown with reddish hues and a very small head of foam that shrinks to just a ring around the glass almost immediately. When I popped the cork, it was the lightest sounding "pop" I've ever heard from a corked bottle.

The smell has all sorts of goodies going on. Dark fruit like plum, raisins, and some spices greet my nosebuds.

The taste has all that fruit in spades with some toffee and molasses and when I swish the beer in my mouth, I get some tartness and a bit of funk and yeast. There's some spice here as well and as the label says it's Rosemary, I'm going with that. ;^) There's also a noticeable alcohol kick here as it's quite warming during and after the swallow.

The mouthfeel is a very light medium and the carbonation is so low it's almost nonexistant. That could be improved upon as it reminds of drinking wine not beer!

Bottom line: I like the flavours here, kind of reminds me of an Oud Bruin, but the lack of carbonation and the strong presence of alcohol limit the drinkability for me.

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Photo of largadeer
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Turbid dark brown, opaque in the glass beyond a hint of light around the edges. A vigorous pour produces a quarter-inch of foam, which disappears in no time.

Smell: Caramelized figs, dates, rosemary, earthy malt. Rich and complex but not overwhelming to the senses. Brett becomes more prevalent as I smell it more, leaving a leathery, funky character that's hard to define.

Taste & mouthfeel: The first sip presents an almost overwhelming amount of complexity, though at no point does this become cloying; it's just a bit confusing at first. Dates and raisins meet a spicy kick, following that a hint of wild honey and molasses. Herbal bitterness is present as well, almost reminiscent of Angostura bitters. The finish is fruity yet fairly dry and spicy, leaving a lingering herbal note on the tongue along with a touch of fig. Carbonation is low throughout, but not missed, and the texture is decidedly thick. For such a complex beer, this is very drinkable. Great stuff fresh, but I can see this batch improving drastically in 2 or 3 years.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.69/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a fresh bottle of 2008. I have another one for aging for later. It will be interesting to see how this ages.

A- Well to start off this beer didn't "Pop" when I popped the cork. When I poured the beer it seemed a bit flat for a beer of this style. Well onto the beer. It looks like dark coke, but a bit on the deflated side. Oh and there is no head to the beer.

S- Nice dark fruits, a hint of cinnamon, and coffee. I also smell a bit of some of the rosemary in this. That should be interesting to see how that tastes.

T- This is interesting in taste. I taste a lot of coffee with this beer, there is the dark fruit taste I talked about, but the coffee flavor is dominating. As it warms up it isn't quite as potent, and there seems to mellow out.

M- One word: "Thick." I think that this is very thick and there isn't any carbination to help it out. I wasn't expecting this to be that thick.

D- Despite the fact that there is no carbination this is easy to drink.

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Photo of m1ked
4.58/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked up at the source yesterday. This years is definetly different than last years.

A- Pours a dark brown. Except the edges, there is no light coming through this thing. Started out with a faint off white-tan head. After a minute, there is nothing.

S- First whiff is a sour, sweet apple cider with dark cherries, black figs, wood, some herbaciousness- light cinnamon, all spice, rosemary. Throughout it all though is the light sour funk.

T- Tastes identical to the smell with some sweet milk chocolate, more dark cherries. That sour note is awesome.

M- Very low carbonation, which I think works great with this beer. The mothfeel isn't as thick as I would think, there is some viscosity to it. Not too boozy.

D- I was a little worried with a whole growler of this. I recently did a whole gowler of Judgement Day and that was hard to finish on my own. I don't anticipate that being the case here. This is lower on the LA hype scale. I didn't even know about the change in it this year. Despite that, I still put this up near the top of my favorite LA releases.

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown/black color with amber highlights when held up to light. Poured less than a one finger light brown head that persisted. Light, inconsistent lacing that washed down the side of the glass. Slight downgrade on seeming lack of decent carbonation.

S: Fruity dominated; raisins and figs. Also clearly sweet notes that remind me more of apples caramel versus honey as advertised on the label. Modest alcohol that becomes more prominent as it warms

T: Raisins even clearer than smell up front then some of the lighter, sweet fruits and bready malts. Some spices followed by a very sweet finish that became more dry as it warmed. A touch of hops and warming alcohol. Pleasantly complex.

M: Big, full body that may be slightly hidden in the ABV. Would have benefited in more carbonation. Coats and warms the mouth.

D: Definitely a sipper, The 9% ABV doesn't come on too strong until it warms a bit.

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Photo of seaoflament
4.29/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I finally get to try this beer. I was only able to get one bottle of the 2007 release and once I knew it had brett I put it aside since I wasn't a big fan of that at that point. Now the 2008 version is available I can't wait to try it. Picked up this bottle at South Bay Drugs and Liquor.

Poured into my Lost Abbey stem glass. Pours a dark cola color with a somewhat fizzy head that reaches about half an inch and then settles to a ring in a blink of an eye. A scarlet tinge can be seen when held to the light.

I lean in as I pour and the first things I pick up are sourdough bread, brett, tangy fruits, prunes, and raisins. Ah, wonderful. Now that the beer is in the glass I can smell the caramel malts, brown sugar, tart cherries, flowers and herbs. The rosemary is a nice touch, it is highly fragrant fresh and dry but it comes out rather balanced here. There's a nice sweet and sour combination. After a few minutes the spiciness comes through a bit more in the form of cinnamon, clove, and I'm also getting some vanilla and cola. A tad winey.

Surprisingly sweet upfront with quite a bit of fruits, raisins, dates, plums, and prunes. Then the caramel comes in midway with a bit of sourness and sourdough in the end. The herbs and spiciness mix in the middle. A little alcohol in the finish but mostly in the taste, but it doesn't come through as warm in the throat. The long aftertaste has a combination of an herbal chocolate, very interesting. A little sour upfront too with some wine-like qualities, slightly dry and acidic. I can also taste some multi-grain bread in the finish and some grape too. I'm actually enjoying it a lot more as it goes on. A bit of anise, coffee, and chocolate which reminds me of Short's Black Licorice Lager.

Very low carbonation, can hardly sense it, and yet it's not so syrupy but some residual sugar ends up on the lips. Somehow the low carbonation seems to work well for this beer.

It's a bit difficult to review this one as I've never had a beer quite like this one before.

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Photo of waltonc
2.92/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Dark brown with reddish hues around the edges of my glass. No head at all.

Smell: As advertised, lots of raisin in the smell.

Taste: Hmmm, I'm a little ambivalent on the taste. I tend to appreciate thicker beers with dark fruit and raisin flavors, but the rosemary is a little off-putting to me. The flavor is somewhat medicinal. All that combined with the sweet syrupy mouthfeel is cloying.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy. I'd personally prefer more carbonation.

Drinkability: Had to pour out the remainder of this one. This should be sold in smaller bottles. Having no option but to buy this in 750 ml is ridiculous.

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Photo of abfraser
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


A: Walnut brown on pouring but looks black with glass full. Poured vigorously after no head the first tasting, got a little bit of one, but still not much

S: Intense and complex nose. I can really smell the honey and rosemary, the latter of which is a little too present. Some cotton candy, too

T: Whoa. This is some crazy stuff. Unlike anything I've had. Honey and rosemary again; lots of raisins; almost a syrupy though.

M: This feels like flat soda in the mouth. No carbonation. Very acidic. Just ok.

D: Eh, definitely marking this one down after the second bottle. I don't really desire to drink a full bottle of this.

Overall, an interesting brew. Not sure what category this falls into, but I appreciate the constant experimentation of Lost Abbey. On second taste, I think this one misses the mark a little bit

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Photo of Crosling
4.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, haven't rated this beauty. Pour is a very dark brown with a perfectly forming head of a very light tan. The head is airy, frothy, well developed and very pure and authentic...very Belgian. Perfect appearance because it looks Belgian. Nose is very expressive and lively and mainly shows the spicing (ginger, pumpkin, allspice), but it also hints of raisins, dark fruits, wildness and Belgian yeast. Flavor is very well balanced with all the elements working well together. Spicing is still the dominant factor, but the flavor still gives hints of raisins, dark fruits, herbs and yeast. Like it quite a bit, but it has aged slow.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark cherry with slices of juicy tangerine along the bottom edge of the glass. The head (more American than Belgian) is a looker. The golden sandstone color is a perfect match for the beer beneath, and the texture is both firmly creamy and sticky. Loads of great looking lace put the finishing touches on a commanding appearance.

Some of the ingredients (*) are appreciated in the nose and some aren't. I can smell dark malt and dark fruit, but not raisins* per se. There's a sweetness that could be dark candi sugar as well as honey*. Much to my surprise, rosemary* is obvious. Last, but certainly not least, Brettanomyces* is on the low end of the funk-o-meter.

I've never had a beer that tasted quite like 10 Commandments. The atypical ingredients don't seem like they would be special in combination, but then Tomme Arthur is the mad genius in charge of making it all work. And that is what makes all the difference. This is one interesting ale that also happens to be mighty delicious.

Lightly roasted malts are beautifully complemented by the sweetness and the fruitiness of the raisins, as well as the sweetness of the honey. The beer is far from cloying, however. In fact, it's exceptionally well-balanced between sweet, bitter and spicy. There's also quite a bit of anise, oddly enough.

The dominant flavor, at least by my palate, is rosemary. That particular herb gives this big ale a uniqueness that is second to few. Tomme took a big chance adding so much to the kettles, but damned if he didn't know what he was doing. Some will love it, some will hate it. Count me among the former.

There still isn't much Brettanomyces character. All things considered, that's probably for the best. Too many strong flavors have a tendency to clash rather than cooperate. The 9.0% alcohol is nicely buried and the beer drinks at least two percentage points lower as a result.

The mouthfeel is nowhere near the best that Belgium has to offer. It's too thin for the style and doesn't have enough bubbles. The final result is almost no lift and no plush creaminess. Carbonation can be a tricky thing to get right. However, a world-class brewery like this one is expected to do just that.

The Lost Abbey has given us their own stone tablet of 10 Commandments on the rear label. My favorite is the 9th... "Life is about choices. The Lost Abbey is a great choice". Amen to that.

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Photo of NCSUdo
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle

A: Deep brown, close to black, under a creamy tan head. Nice retention and OK lace.

S: Smells of tangy and sweet dark fruit accompanied by chocolate. Very malty and very nice.

T: Sweet and tangy throughout, hints of chocolate and a bit of roasted bitterness in the finish. A hint of citrus in the finish along with a bit of booze.

M/D: Full bodied, creamy, smooth. Very nice mouthfeel. Drinkability is fine, a really good beer. Taste is slightly off balance in my opinion, but that's about it.

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10 Commandments from The Lost Abbey
3.94 out of 5 based on 906 ratings.
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