10 Commandments | The Lost Abbey

very good
929 Ratings
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:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 929 |  Reviews: 381
Photo of slayer3604
3.51/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I am really impressed with the color and head retention with this one. Deep, deep ruby, almost an opaque brown color with ember highlights when held up to a light source. Retention leaves a LOT of lacing behind. CHEA!

Smells like seven month old raisins, with some phenolic spice, and caramel malts. Way too much dark fruit for my liking...this is just my opinion, but that is the purpose of this website.

Tastes like a traditional quad at first, then becomes boozy, hot, and heavily malted. There really isn't too much of a defining spice that you'd find in a Belgian quad, more like something Unibrau would create (not a bad thing), but without the clean-up.

M-Has a firm, bold and lasting mouthfeel to it. Even after the beverage is consumed, you can taste this thing for about 10 minutes after. That is nice, but it is very very thick.

Drink-ability is eh....Again, almost cloying sweetness, with booze. Like dumping brandy into some grape drank.

 954 characters

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

2009 corked bottle shared with a friend. Poured into a pint glass.

This pours a deep brown almost black color with a nice creme colored head that lines the glass. The smell is extremely sweet. Raisins, plums, molasses, and breads make up the smell. Some sugar is also noted on the nose. Taste is really good. Nice sweet finish with raisins, plums, and herbs all on the quaff. Definitely a sipper but really good tasting. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Drinkability is good. I would like to see how this beer develops.

 515 characters

Photo of timobkg
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has WOWed me. This is one of the best Belgian strong dark ales I've had.

The aroma is sweet, fruity, spicy, and undeniably Belgian.

The taste matches the smell, with some sweetness, some spicy, some fruitiness, and many other complex flavours I'm not able to discern. There's a very pleasant alcohol taste, just enough to be pleasantly warming, to let you know it's there, but not so much that it tastes boozy or off-putting. Every sip brings a complex blend of flavours that work great together.

From the first sip, I was hooked. At the last sip, I wanted more. As I sit here, typing this, I wish I was drinking this beer right now.

 646 characters

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

a - very dark with a large tan head
s - difficult to place, perhaps from the herbs? sweet and grassy
t - burnt sugars at the front, finishes into spicy / earthy
m - just sticky enough to balance the bitterness, finishes almost clean
d - easy before, during, and after dinner

 274 characters

Photo of basica
4.73/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an intense dark opaque brown to black color into my Rochefort chalice with a two-finger thick even, and deliciously milky looking tan head; very nice and appetizing looking (5)

S - Sweet caramelized malts, yeast and dark fruits on the nose with suggestions of cherries, raisins and dates; pleasant rummy, boozy notes blend in pleasantly to round up the aromas (4.5)

T - Caramel and brown sugar sweetness take a quick headstart to be decked by pleasant oaky, woody flavors which lifts to reveal a roasted malt background and dark fruits on the surface with suggestions of raisins, dates, plums and berries nicely blended with rummy, boozy flavors; dark fruits (mainly raisins), roasted malts, a good amount of honey and a very light bitterness show up in the finish; slightly complex and extremely delectable flavors (5)

M - Between medium and full-bodied mouthfeel with above average carbonation and a foamy, milky smooth texture as it goes down revealing a light and pleasant alcohol warming (4.5)

D - Lovely nose, delectable flavours and feel, fairly complex and improves significantly with warming; as with any good BSDAs, alcohol shows through just minimally. The woodiness, honey and roasted malts are some of the more interesting and noteworthy differences in the 10 commandments. A very well done Belgian Strong Dark Ale style brew that's on par or well better than top brews of a similar style from Belgium. (4.5)

This is the last of 3 American BSDA style brew evaluation and the 10 commandments has been a beer that I have long wanted to get my hands on. This 2008 vintage 10 Commandments has been solicited over eBay and this has definitely impressed me. Amongst the noteworthy differences, the roasted malts seems to give it a slight stout feel but this one's definitely a BSDA and a great one.

The Lost Abbey 10 commandments has indisputably the best nose of the 3 BSDAs; it probably spots the best appearance as well. Pelican's Grand Cru would however hold claim to the best mouthfeel and may just very very slightly and marginally rise above the 10 commandments in terms of taste.

In summary, it's an extremely close tussle between the Pelican Grand Cru and the Lost Abbey 10 commandments; Unibroue's La terrible is clearly behind slightly. I would probably still award first place to the Pelican Grand Cru due to the slighty more complex flavors and better mouthfeel but the 10 commandments is following extremely close in second place. Final ranking: 1st - 2009 Pelican Grand Cru, 2nd - 2008 Lost Abbey 10 Commandments, 3rd - 2004 Unibroue La Terrible

 2,587 characters

Photo of dragonWhale
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle from the shrinking cellar.

dark brown with a fat creamy beige head. held up to the light, it reveals a purple hue.
a harmonious aroma of raisins and rosemary, dominating. dates and caramel, intoxicating sugars. i remove my pants.
wow, taste is right there too. honey, rosemary, raisins, dates, caramel with a salty sweet finish. if only the oceans were made of this! The saltiness at the end is a bit distracting, but I beg for more. It's just alluring. A buxom Moses coming down off the mountain with his salty carved rocks. A really unique flavor, and my favorite taste of an American BSDA. I feel like it really cuts into what would otherwise be a very sweet beer. Tomme, this is excellent, thank you.

 717 characters

Photo of Domingo
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed this for the BCS championship game.
Burgundy with purplish highlights. Not much head and the little that is there dissipates almost immediately.
For a Belgian dark this one is almost simple. Initially sweet brown/candi sugar flavors hit hard, followed by rummy notes, a little bit of earthy hop bitterness, and a fade into dried raisins and figs. The yeast only comes out here and there and I'm not getting a whole lot (if any) rosemary.
The beer is pretty easy drinking for 9%, but as it warms, the rummy character lingers more than it should.
I do like the texture and found the bottle I was splitting to be empty faster than expected.
Pretty good, but nothing earth shattering or mind changing. This can be pricey at times, so I don't know if I'd choose this over cheaper alternatives...including many imports.

 821 characters

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

Pours a dark brown color with a tight dense tan head that settles into a solid ring.

The aroma is subdued for the style. I pick up some dark cherries, prunes, wood, alcohol vapors and clove.

The taste is sweet with dark cherries, grape juice, booze soaked prunes, and some banana and clove from the yeast. Some candi sugar sweetness but well in check for the style. I pick up some earthy tobacco notes as well.

The feel is moderate and quite fizzy. Sweet on the palate but has enough earthy notes to balance. The booze seems to be a bit raw.

A well balanced BSDA, however not very complex. Perhaps a touch more from the yeast and less abv burn.

 648 characters

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

Poured on-tap at the Port/Lost Abbey Brewery. The beer is a very dark amber/brown color with no head. There is a smell of malt, caramel, and spice. The beer has a sweet and sour forward flavor, with plum and spicy undertones. Very balanced, and extremely unique. The sweet and sour balance is also present on the aftertaste. The beer is bold and robust in mouth, with a nice, smooth finish. Very unique and wonderful flavors (can't say that enough), and a very decent beer to drink.

 482 characters

Photo of codewarrior
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL Cork and Caged Bomber Poured into a Balloon

Making the LA rounds again, as it's that time of year, and the 6 or so seasonal or rotating varieties change yet again.

L: Extremely dark, bordering on black, but somehow barely still in the browns. Completely opaque, with 2 fingers of head and decent lacing. More carbonation than I expected from a hard cork pull.

S: Thin sweetness with a depth of fruit and an edge of funkiness. Raisins are largest in the middle, honey in the finish.

T: Starts thin, but works into a boozy-sweet middle, with hints of fruits and nuts. Fades into a thin, flowery, honey sweetness, with still a lot of booze happening.

F: Good carbonation, good thickness, well done all the way around.

D: One of the better LAs I've had, On par with Carnevale.

 784 characters

Photo of garbercury
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

09' generously given as an extra in a trade...

A--Dark and believe it or not, carbonated. Some lacing.

S--You can smell the raisin in this one, fruits, figs...

T--Sweet, again, raisins and figs come out in the backend of this one.

M--good mouthfeel

D--Not bad, a little bit sweet and cloying to drink a bunch of, but very good for the style. I would probably want to see out his beers more often if owner was not such a poon...

 432 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured dark brown with brown highlights that had a finger worth of khaki head and left nice frothy lacing sticking to the glass. I could detect honey, rosemary, dark fruits, sweet malts, booze, and faint chocolate notes; very intresting nose. The rosemary was more apparent on the palate with some smokey character alongside dark fruit, honey, chocolate malt accents. The booze was noticeable but not overhelming. The brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation especially from lost abbey which had a sweet, earthy, slight boozy, but smokey, silky finish. It drank really good considering how hot it was and is probably one of my favorite year round brews from lost abbey.

 686 characters

Photo of Blakaeris
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown, almost black with a creamy white head that slowly dissipates to a dense soapy sheen.

Aroma is sweet dark fruit, allspice, and rosemary. Unusual.

Taste is more of the dark fruit from the nose. Plenty of plum, date, and raisin. Hints of coffee. Very spicy with strong allspice and coriander. Finishes with rosemary and an herbal bitterness that really lingers. Slight alcohol warmth throughout.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall a very unusual beer. Herbal spice quality doesn't quite match with the dark fruit sweetness. The flavor is a bit odd, and takes some getting used to. I don't know if I could drink a lot of this.

 652 characters

Photo of bashiba
3.13/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a deep dark brown with a thin bit of dark tan head.

The smell was very heavy, thick raison, lots of yeast, and a bit of cedar.

The flavor is very strong with big burnt fig notes and a spicy yeast along with hint of dark wood and a strong bitter tartness that is almost a bit unpleasant.

The mouthfeel is heavy with a lot of warming.

Over all this one didn't really do it for me, a bit harsh and seemed a bit off.

 424 characters

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2009 bottle.

Poured clear brown but sits opaque black in my glass. Fluffy tan head leaves a Care Bear cloud near the top of my glass and several lacey rings thereafter before fading out.

Smells of plum, rum raisin, and indulgent caramel. Those three sumptuous carry through in the taste and are joined by molasses and dry honey sweetness. Lots of flavor up front but kinda bland in back. Almost 2 years have faded out any alcoholic heat.

Says it was brewed with rosemary but I couldn't taste or smell it. Truthfully I'm not sure I'd recognize it if I did.

 561 characters

Photo of Spica66
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown/red. Excellent carbonation and wonderful lacing. Not usually what I would expect from LA.

S: Fruity, slightly sour roasted malts. Like an RIS but slightly sour.

T: Unlike any beer I have ever had. It took a few times back and forth with guwilllums to figure out whether to call it a strong ale or not. I decided strong ale and was correct according to this listing. It has a very fruity taste with an RIS backbone. Very complex.

M: medium body and nice carbonation.

D: Extremely pleasant with plenty to think about.

 534 characters

Photo of TCgoalie
3.21/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Pours dark brown with red hues when held up to the light. An off white head rests atop the brew with good lingering and lacing.

Honey and dark fruits dominate the smell. There is a bit of an off smell in there as well which I am assuming is a result of the rosemary. The off smell reminds me of two things; the gas they used to knock me out in surgery and new plastic toys.

I can't get past the surgery gas smell as it is also present in the taste. Looking past that, there raisins, honey and the weird rosemary. The ingredients on the label pretty much sum up what is in this drink.

The mouthfeel has a coating of the mouth effect with full body. I'm going to say that the mouthfeel is the strong point of this brew, too bad the taste is funky.

I am not a fan of this beer. Outside of the rosemary funk, this is a good beer. Too bad it dominates the taste...

 864 characters

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

750 ml bottle, 2008 vintage.

Served cool into a goblet, 10 Commandments is a deep dark brown color, looks black in the glass, creamy head is long-lasting.

Aroma is really unusual but also enjoyable. Mostly sweet, there is a dark candy sugar character with layers of caramel and oaky vanilla. A little bit of herbal comes through too, maybe the rosemary.

Flavor is very complex - a big malt backbone supports the dried fruits, chocolate, and cherries well. A little herb, pepper, and roast comes through more as it warms.

Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Alcohol is reasonably well hidden but it should be after 2 years.

Overall an excellent Belgian strong dark ale. Not as good as I remember from having it on tap but still delicious.

 765 characters

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

2008 bottle shared by the other Matt last night.

Eh, this is basically a spiced ale. Its beginning to taste a lot like Christmas. Beer is black / dark brown and hazy with a decent head but not much lacing.

My first smell I was surprised by the spice, I guess nutmeg and cinnamon but the bottle revealed rosemary, OK. I don't get hte raisins or honey really at all. Smells...OK.

Beer is medium bodied and pretty effervesant in the mouth. Its spicy and mildly sweet, its not very great. Its standard for most holiday ales, yes you CAN brew with spices, but have you considered NOT using spice? Whatever. Not a repeat for me, at best its average.

 647 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hazy brown beer with decent head and lacing. Alcohol detectable in the aroma and in the taste. This beer is too heavily spiced for me. An over-abundance of strong rosemary, cinnamon and nutmeg flavors dominate much of the flavor profile. While spices can enhance a beer's intrigue and flavor, I believe that less is more, and that the beauty is in the subtlety. Good carbonation level. I was hoping this would be a better beer.

 427 characters

Photo of oglmcdgl
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle split with sourbatchkid. That's for the taste.

A- two good finger of khaki colored head from a steady pour. Deep murky mahogany in color.

S- dark roasted malts with some chocolate and dark fruits. Raisins and dates come to mind. Earthy and herbal with a good bit of booze.

T- booze soaked raisins with sweet dark bread and some spice. Hints of cocoa and char. There is an herbal undertone that add a new element for the style. Interesting.

M- on the fuller side of body with a lively carb that tingles a bit. There is a good amount of heat to this and it does warm you.

D- interesting and tasty, if not a bit odd. Could use a bit less heat but I think paired with some rich foods and fatty meats this would be wonderful.

 737 characters

Photo of drummstikk
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark fruits of figs and prunes are scented with spicy German hops and just a hint in the finish of resinous rosemary and floral honey. Aroma is sweet and alcoholic, one of Lost Abbey's many great dessert beers. Body is syrupy and delicious. Carbonation is light, but not so much that it doesn't give your palette a decent scrubbing between sips. Raisins contribute to dark caramel flavors, while rosemary contributes an almost-unnoticed whiff of resin. The rosemary and raisins would have made good secret ingredients.

 518 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 07/24/10 notes.

a - Pours a brown color with no head and light carbonation.

s - Smells of spices and fruit. Also some yeast.

t - Tastes of sugar, sweet dark fruits, and a little bit of spice.

m - Light to medium body and low carbonation.

d - A decent dark ale with some nice dark fruit and spice. Would try again.

 323 characters

Photo of iuhophead87
3.45/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thank you to Gary for giving me this beer as a recovery beer from knee surgery #5

Poured from a 750ml to a "Chimay" tulip type glass.

A- A dark amber brown with a coco creamy head that dissipates rather quickly.
S- A very spicy aroma with hints of dark fruit, honey, and dirty gym socks. It says raisins on the label but it is more of a prune or fig smell to me. And yes the sourness of a dirty gym sock is there as well.
T- A very spicy taste over powers the tongue at first. Then the dark roasty malt hits with a sourness that lingers. The dark malt was also mixed with a rum soaked raisin flavor that was not apparent in the smell. I would also say there is a hint of toffee in the sour finish. Very interesting!
MF- A very heavy and full-bodied beer with great carbonation.
D- The alcohol was very well hidden, but the raisin and rum flavor does a number on the tongue.

This is a very good beer and I am very thankful for it being given to me under the circumstances. I don't think I would by this beer again, but I would not turn this beer down. If I had a full bottle again I would need someone to share it with.

Big Props to Gary for thinking of me!!!

 1,166 characters

Photo of glid02
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Lynnsey - thanks!

Pours a hazy purplish-amber color with a half-finger off-white head. The head dissipates into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of dark malts with good amounts of raisins and mild amounts of herbs - I know it's rosemary from the label but I'm not sure I would be able to identify it otherwise. Also present are hints of light molasses.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Dark malt flavors with solid amounts of molasses kick things off and are joined shortly by good amounts of raisins. Midway through the sip the flavor profile turns slightly bitter with the addition of the rosemary and carries through to a crisp and mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problems finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I found this to be an interesting beer however it was a bit sweeter than I was anticipating. If some of the sweetness were turned down a notch I would be a bigger fan, but even as it is it's worth a shot.

 1,064 characters

10 Commandments from The Lost Abbey
3.94 out of 5 based on 929 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.