Inferno Ale | The Lost Abbey

very good
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Inferno AleInferno Ale

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Corruption, Greed and Lust, they’re all represented on he books today. Tomorrow they’ll be stringing Gluttony, Desire and Sloth. Go ahead, tell yourself you’re better than all of them. But you can’t. Hell can be funny like that. Down here it’s all just sin. Everyone here is screwed just like you. They don’t care who you sliced, diced or cheated. No one is escaping this heinous place.

Your roommate is an axe murderer. Eerily, he’s not threatening. How can he be? The Fallen Angel owns your body, mind and soul. As such, no one can take your life. It’s already been taken. Or was it given? Neither matters. Did you seriously think you were living a virtuous life? At least Satan serves beer in Hell. He brews it himself right there in that flame stoked cauldron. Rumor has it the beer is straw yellow, bone dry and simply labeled Inferno.

Added by scottoale on 05-04-2008

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Ratings: 786 |  Reviews: 352
Photo of mdagnew
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and capped bottle bought online from

Poured a light hazy golden orange colour with a few yeasty chunks. Big foamy head was slightly off white and poured big and fluffy. Large carbonation bubbles rushed to the surface... tons of sticky lacing clings to the side of the glass throughout...

Aroma - Lots going on with this one.... Loads of spicy Belgian yeastiness to the fore, some soapiness, quite earthy, some light brett notes, tropical fruit (pineapples, also some pear and apple), sea salt, some faint dishwater traces, very peppery and spicy (coriander & ginger maybe ?), honey fresh bread, some cookie dough, hay...

Taste - Tart and spicy, lots of yeasty notes, sharp fruitiness (grapefruits, limes, pears and apples), some very faint candy sugar sweetness, very grassy and peppery, some earthy brett, some saltiness, anise medicinal notes, alcohol just noticeable, quite floral...

Feel - Very sharp and dry... light bodied... pretty refreshing and drinkable but a little on the strong side to be sessionable...

Overall - Another very good brew from Lost Abbey although nothing groundbreaking... definitely worth a try though...

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Photo of bulletrain76
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

75cl bottle purchased early this summer down in Orange County. Crystal clear maybe a touch darker shade of gold than Duvel. They didn't really hide the fact that they were basing Inferno on the original devil of beers himself, so excuse the flagrant comparisons. The head almost lackadaisically rose to the rim of my Duvel tulip but manages to stay there for a few minutes, leaving a plethora of lace in it's wake and remaining as a nice pad of white foam for the duration of the beer's stay in the glass. ample carbonation trails up from the bottom of the glass. The aroma leaves an initial impression of doughy malt and yeast, with pear, strawberry, lemon, and spicy hops adding subtle complexity. In the mouth, there is an initial fruity sweetness that is quickly taken over by spicy hops and bitter fruit peel. Cracked grain and honey also seem to add the to the sweet quality, though the finish dries out pretty well with hops and alcohol. The body is light with carbonation on the higher side, and a dry feel on the back of the tongue. I love Duvel, and this may not be spot on, but is just as enjoyable. Seems like people are expecting something fro this beer that it never promises in the first place. I mean, the style was Belgium's answer to the pilsener, for what it's worth.

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Photo of Damian
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank from a 1 pint 9.4fl. oz. bottle
Served in a tulip

Thanks to BrewerB for including this as an extra in our trade.

The beer poured a slightly hazed, golden yellow color with a bubbly, bright white, one-finger head that slowly faded to thick dollop of foam surrounded by swirls of froth. Spotty blocks of lacing stuck along the glass and lasted long after the beer was finished.

The aroma was distinctly Belgian. Super clean, crisp and smooth. Bright and citrusy with a subtle musty, earthy, brett-like character. Slightly grassy. Semi-sweet with indications of light candi sugar.

The taste was similar to the aroma except perhaps not as deep or as complex. Tart citrus (lemon) notes came through strong. Pale malts were noticeable in the center. Somewhat spicy and phenolic. The clean, tart, snappy finish was slightly musty and hoppy (in a grassy, Saaz hop sort of way). The hop notes intensified as the beer warmed. A bit of alcohol heat appeared as well.

The mouthfeel was creamy, frothy and light on the palate with a crisp, bubbly carbonation. I found the beer to be a touch airy, even for the style.

Drinkability was impressive. This is a clean, crisp, refreshing beer that would make for a perfect aperitif.

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Photo of Deuane
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Slightly hazed, copper tinted golden yellow with a small white head that leaves spotty lace..

S-Pepper and spicy yeast zip with a nice dose of herbal hops overlying a sweet biscuit malt base.

T-Sweet biscuit malt with a spicy zing and floral hop bite. Nice dose of apple/pear fruitiness and a dry finish.

M-Medium bodied sharp, dry and crisp with nice lingering bitterness and spicy zip.

D-A nice tribute to Duvel, certainly not as good, but then again nothing to drain pour.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a tulip glass. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a hazy golden hue that produced a huge 2+ finger white billowy head. It initially dissipated quickly but is now staying right at around 1 finger. It left tiny webs of lacing behind as it dissipated.

(S)- Crisp lemon peel and rich sweet banana biscuits with a yeasty yet wheaty barnyard clay funk. Velvety fruits that dance around the funky wheat.

(T)- Light lemon wheat with a thicker banana and clove with a dense barnyard funk bitterness of clay, yeast, and hay on the finish. Very light but present hop dryness in the middle and increases in presence on the finish. Complex and damn tasty!

(M)- Very delicate and complex with a flurry of different things going on. Just a tiny bit sweet, bitter, and funky. Really smooth with a spot on carbonation level.

(D)- Incredibly smooth and balanced yet ridiculously complex that keeps you guessing. Its criminal to not consider this a sipper though due to how nice and complex this beer is. Fantastic stuff!

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Photo of jrallen34
3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

It pours a medium cloudy gold with a huge (at least 4 fingers) white head that lasts several minutues. The lacing is strong and chunky and there is tons and tons of carbonation.

The aroma makes me think I'm drinking a trippel, same kind of senses. There is light sweet hops and light apricots.

The taste is nice and light. There is sweet orangy start with a nice light hop finish. Pretty complex taste that sticks to your tongue. Nice mouthfeel and pretty easy to drink.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.26/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First, a big thanks to my cousin for bringing this beer from out west during his journey from CA to RI.

With a big, aggressive name like Inferno, and given the impressive pedigree of the brewer making it, I had high hopes for this beer. And it didn't really meet these high hopes. A good beer, but hardly an exceptional one.

The body of this beer was a light straw color with a light and fluffy white head. Aroma was really light; biscuit-y with only a little bit of fruitiness. Flavor was really mild also...flavor was a touch disappointing just due to the mildness of it - more biscuit and very light fruit notes. Mouthfeel was light and pleasant.

I didn't really have any objection to this beer, but it didn't really do much for me either.

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Photo of tittymcj
3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer betrays the name bestowed upon it. Pours out clearly, very light and vibrant, with a citrus scent. However, It is not an inferno of taste, smell, or sight. A good Belgian, but not a great beer. The taste is fairly good, with a lot of background flavors. Lots of malt and hops, which is balanced out by the carbonation.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into four chalices to share amongst friends.

A - Nice gold with a tint of red and a nice fluffy head on it. Cloudy through the glass, with some nice lacing down the sides.

S - Smells very nice. Some light fruits and spices, a bit of yeast. Definately get a little bread-grain smell in here as well. Smells delicious.

T - The fruit hits you right away, fades a little sour. Citris and spice at just the right amount on the finish.

M - Medium bodied, minimal carbonation on my bottle.

D - Decently easy to drink for an 8.5%, but just a bit too sweet for me to make a session out of. Good stuff.

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Photo of digr
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cork Caged Bottle

A- Pours a nice golden yellow with a 3 cm fluffy head. After about 5 minutes the head dissipates.

S- Yum, a familiar fruity smell, not quite bananas, but fruity with a mild bitter note of hops. A bit of spicy floral notes also.

T - good. Familiar taste of biscuity yeasty warm flavors. A very mild sweetness and finish of slight bitterness to round it out. Aftertaste lingers with a taste of clean bitterness leaving you looking for the next sip to start over again. A very mild astringent effect waiting for the next sip. There might even be a very small amount of funk on the front end, but it is so mild it is hard to tell.

M - Not bad, but a little thinner than I like for a Belgian Strong Ale.

D- Easy to drink. Deceptive in that you would not know it is 8.5 % ABV. Well hidden with finshed dryness and mild hop flavor

Overall, a nice BSA. A little less than my favorite Belgian version, but nice indeed.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear golden yellow pour with a half inch of bone white head on top of the brew. Active carbonation rises up from the bottom of the glass. Aromas of spicy crisp malts with nice Belgian yeast accents.

Sweet and spicy malts upfront that moves into some earth yeast tones along with a dry finish. A touch fruity with a mellow bitterness on the way down. A tasty golden Belgian brew with a good yeast kick.

Pretty damn drinkable with good carbonation. The alcohol is well hidden and came come up to bite you! I would grab this one again if I'm looking for an easy drinking Belgian golden ale.

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Photo of bonsreeb85
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had been curious about this one for awhile now. my bud at the bottle shop reccommended it, and seeing as though it was the last on the shelf, i thought "what the heck?"

A - 3 finger merengue head sits on top a cloudy golden body and has excellent retention and beautiful belgian lace.

S - pepper and light clove, golden delicious apples, pears and other orchard fruits. light earthy hop bouquet.

T - more of the sweet up 1st, but relatively dry follow though. good balance.

MF - high carbonation and a medium to medium-light body.

D - good, nothing too special here. a solid example of the style.

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Photo of MrMonkey
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright gold with a three-finger frothy white head that crests the top of the glass and slowly fades leaving lots of thick lace.

Smell is Belgian yeast, white pepper, floral, earthy hops, bready pale malts, and a hint of pear.

Taste is much like the nose. Lots of peppery yeast up front, with a hint of fruit and honey sweetness. Toasted biscuit flavor is perfectly balanced with some grassy, floral hops.

Dry, crisp medium-bodied mouthfeel.

Excellent drinkability in a great example of the style.

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden-orange color, with visible carbonation. Nice 3/4-inch off-white head later becomes a thick film.

Smell: Not too strong an aroma, but there's some wheat, spices, yeast, and light fruit scents there.

Taste: The taste here is very light and mild at the start: yeast, spice, and grain. I don't really notice any fruit. The finish and aftertaste are a bit tough, though. There is a hint of pepper, but it is very skewed and rather unsavory; plus a good deal of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Decadent! Seems to float in the mouth, as if defying gravity. So light and airy. Very smooth with a bit of gentle carbonation.

Drinkability: Great for a glass, but probably not more.

The mouthfeel here is really amazing, and the beer looks great too. It just feels a bit lacking a bit in the flavor department, and I wish that the alcohol and aftertaste could be toned down a bit. Still, I think it is worth a try if you get the chance.

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Photo of kappldav123
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The bottle looks incredible, the beer in the glass is okay. Very complex aroma. The beer starts very complex, too. Spicy, notes of wood and clove, the alcohol is well hidden. Also a little bit sweet for a moment. The finish is a bit drier and a little bit moldy. Great beer!

Big thanks to cletus for the bottle!

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Photo of ppoitras
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle obtained via Growling at the Moon from d0gnate. Corked and caged. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into a Chimay chalice, formed a 1 1/4" beige head over the slightly cloudy golden amber brew. Super-frothy head falls ever-so slowly, leaving a heavy coating of foam from top to bottom on the walls of the glass. Aroma is spicy, sweet, lightly tart.

Taste is lightly sweet to tart, lemony in the center, with spiciness coming in on the close. Mouthfeel is very smooth, and drinkability is excellent.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy golden straw color with a touch of orange. Nice puff of head with good retention and lacing.

S: Sweet citrus and belgian yeast. A little breadyness to it with hints of black pepper.

T: Great balance of sweet malts, yeast and citrus notes. Slight alcohol and peppery tastes linger.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation. Nice warmth and drying.

D: Complex flavors with an overall mellow vibe.

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Photo of Plenum
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Straw yellow is an accurate description of this beer. Very dry beer, which leaves you wanting more.

Minor lacing on the glass. Bit on the sweet side, with the hops and some spices making it through.

Overall a solid beer. One that I'll be getting again!

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Photo of fbinla
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice foamy head. clear amber color. spicy on the noise, pineapple, yeast, small hint of baked bread.

Taste is peppery up front then a nice yeasty profile giving me some apricot, biscuit and a nice bitter balanced finished. Low to medium sweetness, Carbonation is great with just med high.

It's controlled beer, easy to drink, hard to believe it's 8.5%, sneaks up on you. Instead of inferno is should be rogue as it silently takes you out when you think all is well.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into red wine glass. Big thanks to Dan (CoalCellar) for the bottle!

Pours cloudy straw, bit of orange peeking through, with a big, pillowy white head that clings to the sides of the glass desperately as it slowly settles into a white cap. Looks fantastic.

Nose is peppery, earthy, dry tropical fruit, grassy, just a bit bready, a bit soapy as well at lower temps, though that tends to recede as it warms.

Taste is dry - peppery up front, with underlying notes of tropical fruits (pineapple) sans anything but a hint of sweetness; flavor comes through without the sugar. Peaches and pears come through as well, more prominently when the temperature gets closer to 50 degrees and up. Zesty yeast lends a beautiful spiciness, and a light, pale bready malt note is present as well. Grassy hops prominent towards the very dry, peppery finish. Hints of dry honey come through there as well. Superb.

Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, with a great fluffiness, light and airy. Dry and well done.

Drinkability is, again, fantastic. No hint of alcohol, dryness lends a refreshing quality, and the mouthfeel is lighter than expected, meaning this one slides right in effortlessly. Beautiful beer.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge depressurizing "pop!" from the cork and we're off...You'd think Inferno Ale would be a shade of red or something, but here we have a sunny yellow with very little haze and an absolute battalion of bubbles swirling and marching to the big, fluffy, bleached-white. And gobs of lace forming a wall around the glass. You just look at this and think "Belgian."

Nose is clean, recalling cracked grains, sweet and flowery spices, fresh-baked white bread. Some earth/dirt comes in, probably the yeast talking. Nice.

The yeast is more dominant in the flavor than the aroma, but is certainly not off-balance. Also coming in is a raw clover-honey flavor, sitting well with the beer's bready and flowery foundation. Grassy hops are very clean and extremely light, though very much working toward the greater good. Flashes of peach and apple come in, but this is hardly on the sweet end of the Belgian strong pale scale. All of it works together very well, recalling a slightly dirtier Duvel (I mean that in a good way -- and Duvel rocks).

Delicate in the mouth, almost airy, but certainly not less than medium-bodied in feel/weight. Creamy and fully round in the mouth while also having a superb glide to it.

The bad-ass infernal name, label imagery and text don't really match this nice, polite, clean ale, but this is no slouch or wimp of a beer either. Perhaps something of a more angelic persuasion would've been more fitting. No matter, this nonbeliever found Inferno Ale to be a delightful experience and a more-than-worthy tribute to real-deal Belgians of a similar kind.

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Photo of biegaman
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Inferno Ale doesn't seem like it was brewed in a flame stoked cauldron. Its complexion is perfectly clear and is darkened only by a lucid and sharp-cut tone of gold. Its head is cottony smooth and snowy white although it doesn't posses quite the same body (or tack on the same lace) as an authentic Belgian ale. Still, this looks pristine and appetizing.

The aroma is potent and ripe with notes of orchard fruits and savory spices. In particular, I'm noting an abundance of apple and pear and a peppery, herbal spice coating them. The sensation of honey-coated grains seems to give it a little more maltiness than I recall from the traditional Belgian Strong Pales. I don't mind having this in front of my nose one bit!

'Delicious' is not typically a word I'd use to describe the style but Inferno Ale tastes better to me than most. Gentle, sweet honey-glazed grains, crisp straw and toasty biscuits are what make up the malt bill while a light zestiness unravels from the yeast and an herbal, earthy hoppiness comes compliments of the hoppiness. There's an almost garlicky flavour that leads me to believe this would suit a great number of dishes.

Don't bother getting out the fire extinguisher, Inferno Ale may be 8.5% but it certainly doesn't let on. In fact, this isn't 'hot' at all, rather it is quite refreshing. The mouthfeel seems to be just right (or how I like it, anyways) with maltiness, hoppiness and spiciness all evening each other out. It's far more biscuity (and even hoppy) and nowhere near as dry as most examples but that seems to work for me. Thank God for 750s!

Even if it was supposedly brewed by the Devil, you'd swear Inferno Ale was a gift from the heavens. It is tasty, palatable and refreshing. My mouth waters at the thought of how this would fair with a number of my favourite dishes. Tomme Arthur will surely go down as one of the most talented and inspirational brewers even in an era that knows no lack of talented and inspirational brewers. I hope we see this one again.

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Photo of scootny
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear golden amber with a large head and good retention. A nice covering remains on the top of the brew. Lacing is decent. Mild carbonation is evident.

Smell is enticing. Pale malt with honey. A sweet yeasty fruitiness and mild Belgian yeast notes. Some citrus and Belgian spice.

Taste is quite good. More sweet malt with an apple and white grapiness. Some very faint banana tinged facets. Good hop dryness. Firm in its arrival but mild overall. Alcohol is undetectable. Feel is medium with a smooth carbonation and clean drying astringence.

Drinkability lends itself to sessioning except the abv prohibits that. Still a heavier brew that goes down with the ease of a pale ale. Impressive.

A fine beverage for just about any occasion. Thanks to WasTrinkenSie for a real nice one.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the coolest labels for a beer, very nice. Pours a fairly clear medium gold color with a frothy, bubbly head that fades pretty fast for a BSPA. Leaves a moderate amount of sticky lace on the glass.

Smells like an open grassy mountain meadow. Hallertau/Saaz hoppy aroma with some clean light malts and a fair amount of Belgian yeasty breadiness.

Taste is pretty mild with a noticeable alcohol bite. Has a light and airy feel to it and the hops are nice and plentiful. Tastes like a finely crafted Belgian ale. Has a welcoming yeasty funk with the last few dregs swirled in there. It's a good beer that is true to the style, but didn't quite live up to my expectations for popping my Lost Abbey cherry.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- this one pours into my duvel tulip a bright golden colored body with a brilliant white finger of head. the head lasts a long time, and leaves rings of lacing on the sides of my glass.

S- very yeasty and full of light summer fruits like apples and pears. theres also light citrus in here, like lemon and orange. pretty spicy as well. definitely coriander, and maybe cloves. very complex smelling strong pale ale.

T- the taste is equally complex. starts out yeasty and spicy like a tripel, but its full of the light summer fruits that i could smell. tons of apple, lemon, pear, and orange. i cant detect any alcohol in this one at all.

M- light to medium body with a rather low level of carbonation. no warming from the alcohol.

D- easy to finish and something i wish i would have picked up sooner. another success from lost abbey. something ill come back to.

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Inferno Ale from The Lost Abbey
4.01 out of 5 based on 786 ratings.
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