10 Commandments | The Lost Abbey

BA SCORE
88
very good
379 Reviews
10 Commandments10 Commandments
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States
lostabbey.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
379
Ratings:
917
Avg:
3.94
pDev:
11.17%
 
 
Wants:
116
Gots:
187
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
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Reviews: 379 | Ratings: 917
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

Re-reviewing

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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Photo of mikesgroove
4.11/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I received this one in a trade several weeks ago and have had it sitting in the fridge for a while . After dinner last night I was looking for something good for the rest of the evening and stumbled upon this one as I had forgotten that it was even in the fridge. Took out the 750ml bottle and let it warm up a bit before decanting into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance - Poured a deep, very dark brown, with lots of purple highlights to it. At times a very nice reddish hue on the sides and back of it. Very deep and dark, with only the slightest amount of light coming through on this one. A huge, monumental looking head of deep tan lace then came up over the top and reached a height of around three inches with absolutely incredible retention. This thing was not going anywhere at all. After about thirty minutes it still have a good two inches left to it. Just an incredibly good look to this one, with an enormous amount of side glass lace.

Smell - The aroma was very full as well. Not really sure how to describe it, but lots of dark fruits here. Tons of raisins and figs, rum soaked goodness throughout. A rich, almost chocolate like aroma as well, thought it was not chocolaty. Some light grains and a touch of alcohol. A hint of some underlying funkiness as it warmed up.

Taste - The flavor was dominated by the raisins. Rum soaked raisin flavor washed over the tongue immediately, really immersing you in the experience. Rich malt profile was deceptively sweet, as I was not expecting t to be as smooth as it was. Some light grains, lots of fig like flavors and a touch of toffee way in the back. As it warmed, everything blended together well and it really became quite quaffable. The finish was smooth, very full and coating with a rich and sweet lasting flavor of raisins and almost a sweet wine.

Mouthfeel - An extremely full bodied beer, especially for the style. I was most impressed by the feel and the look of this one. Rich, and silky, I could have let this one swirl around in my mouth forever. Very nice carbonation and nothing coming across thin about this one at all.

Drinkability - The really nice thing about this was how well hidden the alcohol was. There was really not much of it present at anytime, and in fact it was just superbly drinkable. I would have liked to have had this again, but to be honest the raisin flavors does get to you after a little bit.

Overall this was an outstanding beer, though not my favorite from Lost Abbey, still better then most others. A good and different twist on the style, I would love to try this on tap and will be looking forward to purchasing this year's bottle.

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Photo of DrJay
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one poured a dark brown with beautiful clear ruby highlights and a dense cap of light tan foam. Solid sheets of fine bubbles gave way to streakier lacing as the glass was emptied. Great head retention. Aromas of raisins, rum and a bit of chocolate. Gingerbread, figs, orange zest and caramel appeared as it warmed. Sweet up front, lots of malt depth here, followed by a bit of spicy character and rum soaked raisins. Candied oranges and a hint of cherry came forward towards the end and it finished with bread, figs and alcohol warmth, plus a little bitterness. Rich, creamy texture, full bodied but not heavy, with well-integrated carbonation and a slight stickiness. Quite drinkable. Delicious! This is great stuff, try it if you can get your hands on it.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

05/02/08- Purchased at Sun Devil Liquors in Mesa, AZ.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, caged and corked. 2007 Release. Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance- Auburn-brown in color, definite ruby highlights around the edges. 3/4 inch head upon pour which settles at a slight rim. Leaves light sticky lacework.

Smell- Not as outgoing as I would like, but does have nice qualities of raisins, deep toasted caramel and light chocolate malt. Seems like there may be a bit of spice, but I can't poiunt my finger on it.

Taste- Dark fruits lead the way. Mostly raisins and light prunes. Some plum as well. Right at the perfect level of sweet, but not over the top. Smooth malty character.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation level with nice dark fruit and light alcohol aftertaste.

Drinkability- This is what I pictured Judgment Day tasting like...maybe it does if you don't get a bad bottle. Good flavor in this one and a nice one to sip over a good hour or two.

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Photo of Floydster
3.46/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 ml corked and caged bottle purchased from Beverage Warehouse in Marina Del Rey for eleven dollars, split with my dad two nights ago, poured into my Stone pint glass

A-Deep dark brown with some red highlights, 3/4 inch creamy off white head that stuck around for a few minutes, some retention, nice lacing at the beginning

S-Raisins, sherry, different dark fruits, spices, cola, bready malt aromas, toffee, brown sugar, caramel, and many other sweet scents

T-Started off with a sweet taste that was filled with raisins and toffee, chewy malt in the middle, finish had a lot of booze in it, got syrupy pretty quickly after lots of carbonation at first, alcohol taste became stronger, some other dark fruits came to the surface and it became even sweeter, needed some distinct hops to provide some balance, too malty in my opinion

M-Lots of carbonation that I did not expect, medium to full bodied, sweet, boozy, tangy, and chewy mouthfeel, taste lingered for quite some time

D-Could not have finished this bottle by myself, barely got through my twelve ounces, heavy on the stomach, sweetness prevented it from being smooth, also hot alcohol was present

Not my favorite beer from Lost Abbey but above average for its style, did not think it was as good as friends had been saying it was, probably would not drink again for this price, interested to see how Cuvee de Tomme tastes since this is the base beer for it, worth trying though

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Photo of Derek
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark chestnut, medium tan head, light retention, good lace.

S: Sherry, fruit-bread & spice. Very nice.

T: Dark fruit/raisins, bready, light spicing, dark caramel, good bitterness, alcohol is subtle.

M: Moderate to full body is creamy and smooth.

D: Quite drinkable.

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Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Lots of raisins in there, i think 10% of the ingredients. Muddy dark looking with soapy head. Sour in the finish. Lots of lace. Alcohol in the nose. Nice caramel, sugar, dark fruit, rum-ness,chocolate, coffee. Good drinkability, albeit a sipper. The ageing didn't hurt.

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

Thanks to markgugs for the trade.

Pours a deep dark ruby brown with good head. good head is always a plus. Smell is very much dark fruits with some alcohol and maltiness. Taste follows, rich dark fruit and raisin, sugar and some alcohol. a unique taste. mouthfeel is on the thin side for a BSDA, and drinkability is good, but could be better. Overall a fine beer, but not anything crazy exciting.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from the 2/18/08 beer dinner w/ tomme arthur at publick house/monk's cell:

pours a nice dark red cola. the head fades to a thin ring but leaves no lace.

whiff of spiced raisins and hint of cola as well.

flavor is also raisins, with hint of rosemary. there is a slight acidity, but most importantly, there is an amazingly bright and distinct coffee finish that really fools you into thinking that maybe you just sipped coffee instead of beer. very interesting and pleasant.

the feel is quite smooth, with a mild but spritzy carbonation.

unfortunately, this was the highlight of the evening. even the paired dish (scallops with side of flan) was a slight mismatch, with the flan being too sweet and cancelling out the subtleties of the brew. but this is not a review of the dinner...

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Photo of warmstorage
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle obtained in a great trade with rallison.

Appearance: pours a mahagony brown, slightly hazy, with a light brown head that fades rapidly, leaving moderate lace rings.

Aroma: cherries plums and stonefruit, leather, like an old ale.

Taste: more stonefruit: plums, maybe prunes, cherries, light unsweetened chocolate. Very much like an old ale. You can tell from the tangy esters that it's a Belgian style yeast, but it really presents much more like an old ale or an English style barleywine. Moderate alcohol warmth.

Mouth: slightly warm to tingly heat, moderate carbonation.

Overall: Good, tasty, fun, not amazing. Something I'd probably buy again, but not something I'd drive around to search out.

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

Thanks to BeerBeing for this bottle.

750 mL cage and corked poured into a goblet.

I was surprised to see this one was absolutely black with a one finger tan colored head that dies down to a thin layer of creamy bubbles. Stickiness is pretty good, some thick lacing here and there. Scent is sweet raisins with a good amount of caramel malt. Roasted nut aromas with cherries and raspberries. A good amount of pepper and spice find their way in the nose as well. Malty goodness on the tongue up front. A surprising sour tang with a toasted almond flavor. Black licorice and dark chocolate taste towards the end with a somewhat dry effect. Medium body with a silky smooth texture. Carbonation is pretty minimal, but I like how it feels. I really like this beer, and I'm not exactly a big fan of Belgians either. A good beer to share as are most from Lost Abbey. Definitely a must try in my books.

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Photo of Mudpuppet
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a dark murky brown with little to no head.

S- Sweet malts with raisins and toffee.

T- This is a very malty brew. Sweet notes abound. Notes of raisins, toffee and caramel.

M- This is a pretty thick beer. It really coats your mouth. The carbonation is natural and correct in volume.

D- I really like this beer. It is a sweet one though so I am not sure I could drink a ton of it. Plus it is 9% alcohol which isn't too hidden.

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Photo of VitBAficionado
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky dark brown with a small creamy tan head. Lot of lacing. Aroma of molasses, spice, raisin and some alcohol. Early hit of prune and raisin with a sweet and earthy/grainy mid and a slightly funked and alcoholic finish. Medium body. Cooked raisins unusually means doom for me... pleasantly surprised by this.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from the bottle. Aroma is of chocolate, caramel, raisins, and roasted malt with very little hop aroma. A hint of vanilla reveals its presence. A small tan head appears but lasts for a short time.There is not much lacing on the glass and the beer looks viscous and syrupy. The beer is a very dark brown (nearly black) with a deep mahogony tint. medium sweetness, lightly bitter, lightly sour, medium body, average carbonation, sticky, creamy, long finish. The taste is vanilla, raisins, a little funky, chocolate. The finish is complex, ending with some bitterness at the back of the tongue. Very interesting beer and thoroughly enjoyable.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked & caged bottle into a Duvel Tulip.

Pours an surprisingly dark black/brown with a finger width of creamy tan heads that settles down only slighty into a great looking retention with nice lacing. The aroma is lush with deep sweet malt, dark fruits, and yeasty notes.

The taste is very similar to the aroma with malty sweet goodness, dark fruits sourness, yeasty chalkiness, spices, and fnishes with just a touch of bitterness. The mouthfeel feels medium bodied with an effervescent carbonation that adds even more beef to it. The 9% ABV is very well hidden but does impart some warmth and extra oompth to the surroundings.

This a very pleasant smelling and tasting Belgian Strong Ale but make no mistake, it's still one powerful and filling beer that definitley requires some serious sipping. Sit back with it for a couple of hours and enjoy.

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Photo of HopDerek
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, almost black color with a good 1/2 inch of creamy tan head with good retention and great lacing. Smells of dark fruits (which I'd suspect) along with citrus blossoms, toffee, and chocolate. Tastes start out big with the dark fruits like grape and black cherry as well as spices like coriander. Some brown sugar mixes with chocolate covered raisins to finish off the taste. Alcohol presence as it warms. Medium in body with good carbonation and a dry finish. Another good beer from Port Brewing, but I don't know if I would want to drink a whole one by myself, especially with the strong alcohol coming out.

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Photo of bennetj17
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep black appearance at first but when looking at it in the light you can see through it like a glowing coffee-amber. The head is slow to develop but ends up being a nice thin tan crust. Spicy aroma, sort of minty with coriander and light alcohol. After it sits a while notes of cherry and grape start to become evident, and they are almost a bit tart in nature.

The taste is tangy/fruity up front with more corainder and other spices dominating. The beer then starts to dry out some becoming toasty with a bit of raisiny chocolate character. Nice complexity with well hidden alcohol. For a beer brewed with raisins, I will say the raisin character only came through mildly. The body is not thin, although it feels very light and runs across the palate smoothly. The carbonation is subtle and foamy, which works well for this beer.

I would say this beer has a nice complexity, although in the same manner it's hard to tell what the brewer was going for. Definitely a unique beer worth trying if you can...

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

Pours to a evil shade of blackish brown that is very intriguing. The head is a brown tan mix of one inch short bubbles that lasts a couple of minutes. Nose shows hints of sour cherries and alchol soaked maltiness. On first sip you get a dark fruit smoothness and a dry dark malty feel. The mouthfeel that is created is sligthly bitter with a large amoutn of dryness that dances on the edge of richness. This beer does have hints of sweetness but its more like dark chocolate, bakers coco, and sour cherries. Nicely drinkable, but for the right time only. Light a fire, turn off the lights and hope for a long cold night.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle which cost me $10 from Hi-Time Wine Cellars. I shared this with a friend which was good given the strength. The color was dark brown with no head and no carbonation. Smells slightly sour, licorice, alcohol. It took awhile to taste the raisins but they are there. Another interesting beer from Lost Abbey.

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Photo of AndoBrew
1.32/5  rDev -66.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

edit:I was told buy a trusted pal, that when he had this beer fresh it was very yummy. He and I tend to rate with similar scores. I am going to attempt to try this beer again, but leave this review for now. seeing as how the sample I had not gone bad in any infection sort of way. It just may not age well.:

*i hated it and would never buy it*

app: brown garnet. thin lookin, looks fine not amazing.

smells: BAD, menthol, minty herby plants. some malts hide back there.

taste: it is not good at all, it is way way spiced, its not good spiced. way over the top.

mf: fine.

drinkable?: no, it is hard and painful to drink!

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10 Commandments from The Lost Abbey
3.94 out of 5 based on 917 ratings.
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