Sinner's Blend (2008)
The Lost Abbey

Sinner's Blend (2008)Sinner's Blend (2008)
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Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
4.33 | pDev: 10.39%
The Lost Abbey
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Sinner's Blend (2008)Sinner's Blend (2008)
Reviews: 68 | Ratings: 97 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium from North Dakota

3.94/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I shared this at a recent tasting (Nov. '13).

Murky, rusty, brown color, with a slight head that quickly receded to a ringlet of whitish bubbles that left negligible lacing. In the nose, some lacto, slightly tart, slightly sweet, light notes of burnt caramel and old oak. There was a bit of a funky and almost metallic / oxidized aroma at first, and I thought for a moment that the beer would prove to be infected (or simply oxidized). But after breathing for a few minutes, it seemed to mellow out. The taste was, well, surprisingly sour...not overbearing, but not really knowing the ingredients of this blend, I didn't expect it to be a sour beer, and was anticipating more along the lines of a Belgian strong ale. But no, it was a bit sour, cherries and orange marmalade, some lacto, some acetic, oaky, with a good caramel malt balance with a touch of leather. Again, I never really looked up what exactly went into this blend, but judging by the taste, I'd imagine a good portion of it was Red Poppy. Medium body, good drinkability after 5 years. I'm glad I didn't wait any longer to open this one.

Nov 17, 2013
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scottfrie from California

3.61/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for the tick Jeff!

A: Pours a murky dirty mud brown with a thin collar of a head.
S: Super cherry nose with scents of tannic cherry pits and skins mixed with darker stout/strong ale flavors.
T: Cherries, oak, chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, and maybe some vegetables? Sourness is strong and vinegary.
M: Rough around the edges, greasy, low carbonation.
O: Dark cherries all the way. Not my favorite, but not bad either. Not sure if should age longer or not.

Sep 12, 2012
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jethrodium from California

3.49/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle generously shared by ipa247. Thanks Jeff. Pours a muddy brown with no head and no lacing on the glass. The aroma is lots of brown sugar, caramel, some cherry, bourbon, and some vanilla. There is also a bit of acetic acid. The taste is sweet and tart with brown sugar, some cherry, a bit of leather, and some bourbon. The finish is tart with a bit of brown sugar. Medium-full body. Low carbonation.

Aug 30, 2012
Photo of oline73
oline73 from Maryland

2.99/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this at Sour and Bitter. Poured into a stemless wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a murky mahogany with a half finger of off white head that leaves a thin ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Tart with some brown sugar sweetness. Some dark fruit and cherry notes. The smell has a slightly off quality to it.

Taste: Tartness that reminds me of dark cherry. Sweet brown sugar and some chocolate notes. The off note in the smell shows up in the flavor as well, but not as much.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: The off note really brought this one down for me. I enjoyed everything else that I tasted and smelled. I think I would pass on this beer in the future.

May 17, 2012
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero from Illinois

4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark beer with a bit of red in there. Pretty nice, slightly tannish head that rose up a couple fingers and left some stick on the sides.

S - Nice vinegar and lactic sourness. There's some good cherry and a little bit of chocolate and toffee. Vanilla and oak compliment this nicely.

T - Taste is very good. Good sourness, vinegar, vanilla, oak with a touch of cherry. Slight bit of cocoa malts add a much meatier flavor on the sour.

M - Fuller side of medium bodied with good carbonation.

O - A surprisingly enjoyable beer that has nice sourness and tartness. Would drink again.

Feb 01, 2012
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glid02 from Georgia

4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle tasted side-by-side with 2009 and 2010, all shared by Joe – thanks!

Pours a hazy dark amber-brownish color with a cream-colored head that leaves decent lacing.

Smells of medium malts with loads of moderately tart cherries and slight amounts of funk. Also present are very slight amounts of dark chocolate and heavier amounts of oak.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Slightly dry medium malts up front are joined quickly by smooth and lightly tart cherry flavors. Midway through the flavor profile dries out a bit with the addition of cocoa powder and hints of roasted malts. Near the end good amounts of funk come into play, fading out into a crisp ending. Mouthfeel is good, with active carbonation.

Overall this was hands down the best of the three versions, a very nicely done amalgamation of flavors with everything present in good amounts. Well worth a shot.

Jul 15, 2011
Photo of JAXSON
JAXSON from Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cola brown with a nice soapy head. Nose is tight brett, funk, berries, acid. Mouth is focused on tight acids, a touch of sour red berries, and funk. Some paper oxidation on the finish. Feel is light and sparkly, not oily like the 09. Acidic, but at least it's tight and focused, unlike the Sinners 10 which was dreadful.

Jul 14, 2011
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womencantsail from California

4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks like this review was lost at some point. Luckily, I still have my notes on it in my notebook. Shared at Sour Fest 2010 by Jason. Big time thanks are in order!

A: The pour is a dark brown, amber color with a tall, off-white head.

S: Smells just wonderful. The Cuvee de Tomme that is part of this blend has really taken hold and provided tons of cherries and sourness. A mild chocolate and toffee sweetness, plenty of oak, and a little bit of vanilla.

T: Slight vinegar tartness but plenty of acidic character as well. Sour cherries, oak, and other dark fruits make for an awesome flavor. Nicely dry with just a hint of malt on the middle of the tongue.

M: Medium in body with a full carbonation and a nice dry finish.

O: Truly a great beer. Wish I had one of these at home.

Jun 27, 2011
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Thorpe429 from Illinois

4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this one two separate occasions now, and it's been absolutely delicious both times. Reviewed from notes.

The beer pours fairly dark with maybe a bit of crimson in there. Nice off white head with a bit of lacing The nose is really lactic with a bit of vinegar as well. Some barrel character along with loads of dark fruit (especially cherries) and some light vanilla. The taste really accentuates the sourness perfectly, leading to an absolutely exquisite mouthfeel. Drinkability is through the roof. One of the best LA beers I've had. I love soured dark beers; I'm calling for a new trend.

Oct 23, 2010
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Kegatron from Pennsylvania

4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375 ml corked & caged bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a very deep and dark (yet still clear) ruby, with a ½ finger of fizzy mocha colored head. This retains with a relatively look yet maintains some fizzy richness around the edges, leaving a fairly strong smattering of spotty lacing behind. The aroma foremost smells of tart cherries, which mix with a good bit of smoky and earthy tannic character from the barrel to really give the nose some bite. Vanilla adds some sweetness to this but there is definitely some earthy funk going on here, that while subdued compared to the strength of the cherries, still gives this a touch of a souring edge to it. This is just very deep and tangy feeling in the nose overall.

Tart fruit (especially cherry flavor) pummels the front of the taste and then proceeds to slither out across the tongue. Chocolate malt sweetness, brown sugar, and vanilla notes help cut the extreme tartness of this some but there is still just a TON of slippery tannic acids and woody tones that hang on the edges of the profile and pull together in the back, spreading a deeply earthy and funky sharp dryness in the mouth. I'm not getting a whole lot of bourbon here, just mostly the barrel. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a lower feeling carbonation that sits with some heaviness. This is just VERY slick feeling overall though and really helps keep the sour sharpness of this staying smooth in the mouth. Lot of dryness here in the body.

Tart, tangy, and funky, yet still VERY drinkable, this blend left an impression. I don't know if some time in the bottle put the Red Poppy front and center a little more than the Cuvee De Tomme but that was my overall impression of it. Both still worked rather well together though and this was some really tasty stuff.

Jun 29, 2010
Photo of craytonic
craytonic from District of Columbia

4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Some carbonation, pour is a deep, opaque, mahogany brown with ruby red edges.

Smell: Sour, funky, and sweet fruit with wine, port, and earth. Near perfect

Taste: More sour than I expected, delicious tart cherries and blackberries with some hidden funk and balsamic vinegar. Also some raisins, funky cheese, plum, oak, and bourbon. Somewhat of an odd bitterness on the finish; and perhaps a bit hot at time (although a great beer). You can taste the red poppy in this blend.

Mouthfeel: A bit thin, but otherwise well carbonated and full enough. Tastes much richer than it feels.

Drinkability: Wish this came in the 750ml bottles.

Apr 23, 2010
Photo of brewcrew76
brewcrew76 from Wisconsin

4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Murky amber, brown with little head.

S - Tart dark cherries, leathery tannins, dark fruits, woody with hints of vanilla.

T - Oak with leather and tannins followed by a huge sour cherry pucker. Some sweetness makes its way through the sour with a bit of vanilla but the tart, acidic cherry flavor returns and lingers.

M - Lighter in body with a good amount of carbonation. The tart/sour and sweetness dance back and forth on the tongue with a lingering acidic finish.

D - This is a great blends of beers. Glad I was able to try it.

Mar 26, 2010
Photo of tpd975
tpd975 from Florida

4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to the tampa sinners club for this one.

A: Pours a nice shade of brown with hints of ruby showing through. The head is medium in size, a nice shade of beige. Lite retention and lace.

S: Wonderful tartness with strong cherry notes. Nice oak, vanilla, and vinegar.

T: Tartness from the start. Bitter cherry and lactic acid. Hints of vinegar and cocoa. The oak from the barrel is there with light vanilla.

M: Medium in body, nice acid bite on the tongue.

D: Good, tasty beer for sure.

Feb 28, 2010
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
Ineedabeerhere from Massachusetts

4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, it took me a long time to track this one down. A million thanks to Todd for the trade! From notes on 1/8, served at cellar temp and split with my homie Nick.

Pours a deep, dark ruby color with a surprisingly creamy lightly colored tan head of about one finger. It faded to some bigger bubbles leaving some sporadic lacing in my lost abbey tulip.

Well this is an interesting one. I had read that two of the likely components in this one are cuvee de tomme and red poppy. The former is distinctly evident in the aroma. Rich dark fruits, mostly raisins. Really not too much funk here, it's nuanced in a dirty sock kind of way. Plenty of barrel impact... vanilla and charred wood. Just enough of an acidic quality coming through the back in a sour cherry kind of way. Some earth throughout as well.

Some fruit sweetness initially in the taste similar to the aromas of slightly booze-soaked fruits, raisins and a grape vine. Pretty high complexity here, and definitive barrel tannin presence. Cherry acidity comes mid palate (red poppy?) with a very restrained funk and leads to a drying finish, begging for another sip.

A moderate carbonation makes this blend seem a little lighter on the palate, but is overall between light and medium bodied. 8% abv? Well that's a nice level which is not very intrusive and it's kind of wrapped in the barrel flavors. Also, it's further evidence that cuvee de tomme is a large component of this blend.

This was an awesome blend and I liked it a lot more than the 2009 blend. I hope I can track down another bottle of this one for the future. Thanks again Todd!

Jan 09, 2010
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1 from Idaho

4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this whale from Czoch75 in the Fight Club Rnd 2 BIF.... Clint definitely brought the mayhem!! Never figured I would have had a chance to try this one... Thanks Clint. Shared with inflatablechair a while back and reviewed from paper notes.

Dark brown.. surprisingly so... only reddish highlites when held to a bright light... nice tan head.. good lace.

Touches of acetic notes with lesser than expected fruitiness.. still there is a fair amount of black cherries that are blanketed a bit by caramel and vanilla.

Flavor has a bunch more cherry.. mild chocolate.. the fruits seem very bright... good bourbon .. puckery at points, but the BSDA complexities seem to override the sour notes.. cherries are yummy... bits of funk... nice blend.

surprisingly lite body... carbonation is lite too, but nice bubbles are present.

Thanks again Clint.. I really wanted these, but didn't jump fast enough for the Sinners membership... Czoch75 is a class act and anybody who gets him in Round 3 should expect and ass-whipping.


Jan 08, 2010
Photo of John_M
John_M from Oregon

3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

As I told Dyan the other night over at his place, this is definitely one beer I never expected to see.

The beer pours a very hazy (murky is probably a more accurate description) brown color with very good head retention and lacing. Nose is mind blowing, and I expect is quite wonderful if you like sour beers. In any event, I get vinegar, black cherry, horse sweat, and road kill. As one would expect with this level of funk, there is a considerasble sour element in this beer as well. Fortunately, the flavor profile isn't quite as intense (thank God!). I get some noticeable sour apple, coupled with the expected blast of sour. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, and there's no denything that this beer has plenty of flavor. As for the beer's drinkability, sigh... what can I say? The sour component is completely over the top (IMHO), and this beer comes across as very acidic, with a long, sour finish.

Interesting beer to be sure, but it was painful trying to drink more then a small sample of this stuff. Just not my cup of tea I'm afraid.

Dec 13, 2009
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps from Oregon

4.72/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks again, Devin! You were kind enough to share a bottle right after the release, and you surprised us yet again by bringing a bottle to last night's tasting.

Ruddy, hazy caramel colored pour with a dense, off-white head, the retention and lacing are excellent. The nose is phenomenal. Brown sugar, cherries, oak, vanilla, all exceptionally balamced. Sour with acetic character, sour cherries and a mellow funk with horse blanket. The palate opens sour and tart with cherries, some cherry skin tannic character, brown sugar, a little vanilla and oak. The blend of Cuvee de Tomme and Red Poppy really shines, there's a mild sweetness with a great cherry character. Drying and mildly tannic on the finish, this medium-bodied beer is well carbonated with lingering cherry character on the finish. Thoroughly drinkable, I am looking forward to revisiting this in the future.

Dec 11, 2009
Photo of brdc
brdc from Wisconsin

1.65/5  rDev -61.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Small corked bottle, poured into a goblet.

Nice color, very dark amber, nice white head, but little retention or lacing.
Aroma is already sign of trouble; above and beyond the candy and fruity notes, a mustiness and sourness that really do not belong.
Medium bodied, at best, sweet at times, sour and acid at others, and not in a good way. I wondered for a while if this was a bad bottle, but even if it is, it is just another bottle that they could not keep properly, as it was shipped from them. Very very bad, another drainpour.

Nov 09, 2009
Photo of Sean9689
Sean9689 from Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Dave (d0b), for breaking this one out at our sour/wild tasting. Poured from 375ml bottle into Bell's Tulip.

A - Pours a dark reddish brown with a tan-colored head. The head sticks around for quite some time, which is impressive, and leaves a nice tan ring around the edge of the glass. There is some lacing present, but not really that much.

S - I like the nose on this one! Chocolate sweetness, wood/oak, mixed in with a slight touch of sour/tart and some bourbon notes as well. I'm thinking something like chocolate covered cherries dipped in bourbon. Really something I didn't expect and is hard to describe, but a great smell from this beer.

T - Tart/sour cherries right away followed up by some darker sweetness from the Older Viscosity. A really nice meld of flavors going on here. Tastes a lot like it smells, which is a really good thing!

M - Light to medium bodied with nice light bubbles. This beer covers the palate well and acts more like a full bodied beer (but it's not). A nice finish that isn't very dry or oily, kinda in between, if you will.

D - So easy to drink. I could have easily finished the entire bottle myself but that will have to wait for another time. I really enjoyed this one and it was a nice change-of-pace from the wild/sours I've had recently.

Sep 02, 2009
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feloniousmonk from Minnesota

4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark garnet hue, slim head.

Indescribable aroma, Sour and sweet, fruity, and gorgeous.

On the lips, bracingly sour, big time pucker, ...smack, smack, smack...sour cherries and grapes and blackberries.

Deep, complex, refreshing, tasty.
Let me add yum.

Jun 02, 2009
Photo of DrewOSU
DrewOSU from Ohio

4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to pwoods for sharing this with me.

A: Pours more like a dark amber or brown ale, with a 1/8 inch khaki head.

S: Strong champagne like smell. Cherry, acidic and vinegar nose.

M/T: Very light and watery on the tongue. Huge bitter and tart hit on the tongue, followed by cherries and funky acidic aftertaste. I feel it in my chest after swallow. Finishes very, very dry due to the cherry and tart taste.

D: Very dry, light and clean. Very drinkable. If it wasn't so hard to get, I could drink a lot more of this.

Apr 09, 2009
Photo of beachbum1975
beachbum1975 from Ohio

4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review # 300!!!

Sinner's Blend was a gift from pwoods for my 300th review. Needless to say, thank you Patrick!

Presented in a 12.7 ounce brown bottle with cork and cage. Gorgeous black label with copper, gilded text.

Pours a cloudy brown into my over-sized Duvel tulip. Great, tan head with a light skimming of foam which remains a long time.

Smells of acidic, sour cherries and traces of vinegar funkiness.

Biting sour in the front making my jaw muscles flex.... Sour twang stays and lingers for a while... Complex sour profile with lemon zest, orange citrus, bitingly dry baking soda qualities. As expected, light bodied and crisp. High carbonation on the mouthfeel.

Wow, this was quite nice. Definitely in my top 3 favorite sours, though I've only had around 10 to date ;).

Thanks again, pwoods!!!

Apr 09, 2009
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pwoods from Ohio

4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to D0ggnate and m1ked for this brew. Shared with Shane, Andrew, and Garrett.

A: Pours deep brown and murky. Decent sized head on the pour which only holds for a bit. Decent lacing throughout.

S: Very nice sour cherries push through. Deep, pleasant sweetness and maltiness. Maybe a big of oak and bourbon or vanilla.

T/M: Nicely sour and tart. Sour cherries are yet again dominant. Just a little bit of barnyard in the back but mostly covered up by the sour cherries and sweet malts. Tartness gets bigger as it warms and leaves a bit of puckering. Body is about medium with smoothing carbonation.

D: Very drinkable and tasty. Wish I could get more of this.

Apr 09, 2009
Photo of iasanlee
iasanlee from Nebraska

4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks mmtmatrix for opening this one for my birthday. Pours a dark reddish brown with a quickly dissipating white head. Aroma is of sour cherry and citrus with hints of vanilla and brown sugar. Flavor is dominated by acidic cherry flavor, and is backed up by notes of roasted malts, a toasted bread, and lemon zest. Mouthfeel is slightly prickly and pleasant and is medium-light in body. A real treat, and instantly one of my favorite wild ale's from Tomme. Thanks Malcolm!

Apr 09, 2009
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MasterSki from Canada

4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to bvc for sending me one of these! It looks like it froze and leaked a little in transit, so I let it thaw and drank it immediately. Served in Surly Darkness goblet. Nice pop when I uncorked it, so at least there's still some carbonation!

A - Thin (1/2 finger) quick-dissipating tan head that sizzles and vanishes with a few spots of lace. Murky raisin-brown color. This is about as good as it gets for the style.

S - Smells like a Flanders Oud Bruin - there's a ton of Red Poppy in this (I would know - I had one last night). Lots of sour cherries, green grapes, prune, berries, wood, bretty funk, vinegar, leather, caramel, a hint of vanilla. The last two give off a hint of natural cola! The smell is huge and wonderful.

T - I get oak on the tip of my tongue, then huge tart cherry flavors, with hints of the other fruits and sweeter notes. The aftertaste is full of brett funk and horse blanket. While terrific, the taste doesn't quite live up to the smell.

M - Light carbonation, lots of tart dryness and that residual candy feeling. Light bodied, refreshing, and smooth. Perfect for the Flanders styles.

D - I'm sad that my wife and I are sharing this 375ml bottle, as I just keep reaching for my glass. Hopefully Sinners Blend 2009 is just as good. The 8% is totally hidden, and even the tartness doesn't get tiring.

Mar 13, 2009
Sinner's Blend (2008) from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 97 ratings