Sinners Blend 2009 | The Lost Abbey

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Sinners Blend 2009Sinners Blend 2009
Very Good
128 Ratings
Sinners Blend 2009Sinners Blend 2009

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by HopHead84 on 08-14-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 128 |  Reviews: 68
Reviews by seaoflament:
Photo of seaoflament
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I went over to O'Brien's Pub this past Thursday (8-13-09) to be able to try this highly anticipated beer, at least for me. Once I heard about what the blend contained (Ten Commandments aged in Bourbon barrels, Gift of the Magi aged in French Oak, and Serpents Stout aged in Port barrels) I was perplexed yet intrigued at how this would taste. The blend sounded odd and I had second thoughts on going and even thought about waiting for some reviews to flow in, but then I thought "you never know, this might be tasty." So, off I went.

Served in a Chimay goblet the beer was a dark brown hue with dirty orange highlights on the edges. There was a very thin head on top that quickly fell down until there was a single chain of small bubbles around the glass.

When I got the beer it was obviously too cold for the style, but the typical temperature for beers on-tap. I tried to concentrate but knew right away that I would have to wait a few minutes for the beer to warm up so it could become more fragrant. At first I could only pick up notes of a vinous characteristic, dark fruits--raisins, dates, and prunes--that were slightly tart, and notes of bourbon. As the beer warmed up it started to get more tannic and woodsy. I waited a few minutes and once it opened up it really started to shine. Notes of oak and Chardonnay-like fruitiness, grapes, and spices like rosemary--clearly an influence from the 10 Commandments--began to show up. Once the beer got closer to room temperature the Serpents Stout influence started to show with hints of coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts. Not too much signs of brett from this beer at this moment. At room temperature I could pick apart the beer and distinguish its components, from the raisins, dark fruits, and fragrant rosemary of 10 Commandments; to the notes of oak, vanilla, and Belgian fruitiness of Gift of the Magi; and finally the coffee, cocoa, and roastiness of Serpents Stout in the background. Clearly, this was my favorite aspect of the beer.

Initially, the flavor of this beer was very tannic, woody, followed by some soft spices, roasted malts, and a nice combination of raisins, prunes, and cocoa in the finish. After a few small sips there was an interesting note of grapes and surprisingly a cherry or strawberry-like flavor entangled in this web of complexity. More spices could be tasted as the beer's temperature increased and it also got very fragrant and flowery like lavender. The alcohol, nearly 11%, was very well hidden, for the most part, with just a bit detectable in the finish. There were also some delicate oak flavors in the aftertaste with a bit of vanilla. Not much bitterness, besides the oak tannins, but just enough dryness in the finish to balance out the sweetness of the beer. As far as brett goes, there was a bit of a leathery flavor in the finish that brought in another layer of complexity. The beer finished with hints of coffee and light, dry, chocolate. As complex as the beer was I felt there was something missing, maybe a hint more carbonation, which I will address in a little while, could have helped lifted the beer just a bit more for me. I enjoyed the flavors but maybe I would have liked just a bit more Serpents influence? Not sure, not really a "4" but better than a "3.5" score...I would give this a 3.75 if I could.

Carbonation was very low and I felt like it could have used just a bit more in the finish to lift up the beer and bring a creamier texture. Then again, I wouldn't want too much carbonation in a barrel-aged and high alcohol beer. At times the beer felt thin coming in but the finish was always full bodied and rich. This beer is meant to be sipped and enjoyed at leisure. I'm in the same dilemma as the flavor, not really 4 points for me, but higher than 3.5.

Overall this was a very interesting blend that I was glad to have tried, but one serving was enough for me though. However, the aging capability of this one seems to be very good and I would love to try this one again after a year or two.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle. Review No. 2000 here on Beer Advocate.

The beer pours a brownish (but almost pink) color with an off-white head.

The aroma is awesome. I get a lot of bourbon as well as some roasted malt, dark fruit and a light amount of smoke.

The flavor is bourbon, tart dark fruit, coffee, roasted malt and tart cherries. I have no idea what beers make up this blend, but the flavor is incredibly complex and tastes like a barrel-aged, slightly tart Lost Abbey Judgment Day.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Outstanding.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.24/5  rDev -18%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle (2009)

Thanks for opening this one, Nathan!

(Aged for 2 years)

This pours a very hazy, murky, almost dirty looking brown, mahogany with ruby edges and zero carbonation. There's very little if any bubbling and it leaves the glass nearly clean on the way down.

An interesting aroma: sherry and port wines, some earthy dirt and brick-like qualities, wood, black pepper, a mild sour component, and a bit of vinegar. More interesting than good, but very, very interesting.

And the flavor is more successful than the aroma. The black pepper spice, wood and earth elements, along with a mild sour component make for a nice beer, while the aging has certainly brought about some sherry and oxidation flavors, though I think they actually add nicely to this complex elixir.

Thin to medium mouthfeel with zero carbonation--lifeless.

A complex beer, but lacking some necessary components.

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Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle tasted side-by-side with 2008 and 2010, all shared by Joe – thanks!

Pours a very hazy brown color with a light tan head that leaves decent lacing.

Smells of lightly roasted malts with good amounts of cocoa powder and lightly tart cherries. Also present are hints of darker fruits – figs and raisins – with heavier amounts of funk.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Very lightly roasted malts up front are joined quickly by dark cherries dusted with cocoa powder. Slight amounts of funk come into play midway through, fading out into a mildly tart ending. Mouthfeel is very good, with grainy carbonation.

Overall this was the least impressive of the three but also the most interesting. Well worth a shot.

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Photo of pwoods
4.04/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

375ml corked and caged brown bottle poured into a chalice.

A: Pours absolutely flat, no head. Color is a very deep brown with some ruby tinting on the edges when held in the light. No lacing.

S: There's a bit of sweetness, sugary dark fruits. Some sour and tart notes come through. Healthy dose of the 10 Comm and that black licorice aroma. Very light wood.

T/M: Really surprised at the sourness and tartness. I heard it was pretty much none existent but there is definitely some tasty sour/tartness there. Some sour cherries, too, that remind me of CdT, even thought it's not part of the blend. No real funk to speak of. Not getting any of the stout but a good blend of the 10 Comm and Gift of the Magi. The 10 Comm tastes a stronger role but there's a nice lighter maltiness there from the Gift as well as the enhanced sour and tartness. Body is about medium with zero carbonation and no carbonation always makes it feel watered down to me, even though this is quite flavorful.

D: Not sure on the ABV but I'd guess it at around 8 or mroe %. Decently refreshing and pretty tasty. With carbonation, this would be a pretty damn good brew.

 1,141 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of mdaschaf
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml. bottle from JMBSH. Pours vinous, is acidic...and great. Pours dark, demands food accompaniment. Flavourful,fruit and chocolate among them, above average mouthfeel there. A little vinegar aroma, and a tad of woodiness. I was expecting all of the above, and not disapointed.

 280 characters

Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of Photekut
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of nickd717
3.64/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Falling Rock in Denver around the time of GABF.

A - Very dark brown with purplish hues and absolutely no head. When you're talking about a Flat...I mean...Lost Abbey beer, this is a red flag.

S - Aroma is really nice with port wine and cabernet, oak, roast, chocolate, and berries. Some tartness evident.

T - Both sweet and tart with roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, red wine, port, bourbon, vanilla, and black cherry. Very complex and tasty.

M - Mouthfeel, however, falls flat. Medium-full body with almost no carbonation. Besides that unfortunate fact though, it's pretty silky smooth.

D - This tastes good, but the lack of carbonation really hurts the drinkability here.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.36/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Pours a flat inky black. Slightly transparent at the edges. Nothing really going on.

Smell - Oxidized. Chocolate. Sharp bright liquor flavor. I know its bourbon, but it smells like brandy. Dark fruit acidity.

Taste - Much more sour. Cherry sourness. Raisins. Oxidation. Oak and chocolate. Sharp alcohol. Red wine finish.

Mouthfeel - Mostly flat. Boozy. Acidic. Tough to drink.

Overall - Complex but not easy to drink. Wonder what it tasted like years ago.

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Photo of russpowell
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this from the super generous trader Bitterbill, thanks Bill!

12.7 oz bottle opens with an anemic pop, pours an effervescent mahogany with a sliver of cocoa colored head. Nice oily sheen to this, but little head retention or lacing

S: Prunes, figs & some sourness, plus some kirschwasser (cherry schnapps smells)

T: Puckery tartness, figs, dryness some fusel alcohol up front. Cherries, figs & oaky dryness follow as this warms, plus burnt candi sugar & a touch of apricot & nice port notes. Finishes dry with tart cherry, figs & more oaky dryness, plus candi sugar just rotting the teeth!

MF: Medium bodied, minimal carbonation, & nice warming

Drinks pretty easily for the style, much to like about this, only the head retention & lacing really fell short... One of the better efforts from these guys as of late ( as far as I know, not getting much lately )

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Photo of Kegatron
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle into a snifter @ the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens on 11/9/09 during the "Tomme Arthur Experience" event.

Pours a cola-like dark brown/black, with a minimal covering of off-white foam. This doesn't stick around too long, leaving just some very light spotty lace behind. The aroma pops with tart cherries right off of the bat, quickly being followed by more Stout-like qualities of chocolate, coffee, and roast. A light whiff of spices and and some woody mustiness fill out the back portion of this nicely.

The taste starts with chocolate covered TART cherries, which pretty much makes up the bulk of this and never looks back. Luckily, I am also picking up some extra notes of molasses, roast, vanilla, oak, and strong drying spices. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe a bit fuller, with a creamier carbonation that sits on top of a much more oaky and slick feel. The drying tartness does get a bit intense the more I work on this glass, which keeps the drinkibility down a tad.

Pretty overall even blend for this year's rendition of the Sinners beer. The oak and cherry of the Red Poppy and the roasted chocolate character of the Serpent's Stout really worked nicely for me here, while the herbs and spices of the Ten Commandments added a spicy presence that didn't really intrude on the other flavors. Pretty tasty and drinkable stuff this year!

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Photo of thagr81us
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Shared this one at a recent Random Sunday Tasting! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured pitch black with a minimal off-white head that subsided to none quickly. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, cherry, tart, and wood. The flavor was of sweet malt, cherry, roasted malt, acidic, tart, and subtle dark chocolate. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a fairly good brew. Out of the two Sinners Blend brews we had this night this one definitely stood out as the best. A nice roastiness was going on here that balanced out really well with the acidic tartness aspects going on. Still needed more carbonation to make it more appealing to the palate though. Definitely worth your time trying this one if you get the opportunity.

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Photo of GRG1313
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of SpdKilz
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of Diomede
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of jlb502
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of enelson
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of mikesgroove
3.66/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Well I was happy when this one finally arrived on my doorstep and I could not wait to give it a try, unfortunately those feelings were not well rewarded. Corked and caged bottle was served chilled and decanted into an oversized wine glass, consumed on 10/21/2009.
The pour was flat, dark brown in color with no head whatsoever. I was afraid of this and just utterly and completely disappointed. No lacing, no anything at al, just wrong. Aroma was tart cherries, touches of brown sugar, a light bit of funk to it as well, nicely done I have to say. As I start to dive a little bit deeper into it some light notes of dark fruits as well as a nice barnyard nose come forward. As I take a sip I am immediately thrown back by the lack of carbonation, just a flat abysmal mess. That is really all I can say about that. Flavor starts out with nice tart cherries, hints of spice and a nice light note of brown sugar. Warming now starts and for only 8 percent it really is taking on quite a life of its own. Rich notes of brown sugar and caramel now coming through now mid palate. Interesting mix here again of flavors. Quick hitting notes of cherries and dark fruits, nice mix of grape skin and a hint of spice.
Overall I have to admit I am a bit let down here. The 08 I absolutely adored and thought it was one of the best I had ever had, but this one just really let me down. Maybe if it wasn't flat it would have been better, I have heard there are better bottles floating around but I guess I just got ripped off with mine. Taste was there, nothing else was though.

 1,571 characters

Photo of mikedashg
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Very black with a brown tinge. Very little head

S- figs, dark fruits, prunes, bourbon, a little oak

T- Pretty complex, especially when warmed up. Similar to nose. Figs, dark fruits, prunes. A little bit of sour cherries, raisons chocolate. A little bit of a spicey finish at times

M- Kind of light, a little slippery on the tongue. Low to moderately low carbonation

D- Lots of bourbon on this one at first. But the flavor profile really opens up once it warms up. It is definitely a sipper. You can taste a lot of bourbon and serpents initially. Maybe just a tad bit more carbonation would've helped the mouthfeel (even no tap)

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%

Photo of scottoale
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review #666 gee, wow, holy x-top buns...whatever that means??? Wicked, bad, evil? Nope.

375ml. brown bottle with caged cork and a firey looking foil label, just like last years but with an 09 on front and back. With a faint pop of the cork pours a very dark brown viscous liquid with dark rusty highlights and minimal bubble formation. This is no doubt low in carbonation, but far from flat and definitely suits the style.

The smell is really tart, yet sweet...much more so in tartness than a bottle I opened a month ago, as well as what I tasted on tap at O'Brien's. Sweet notes of plum, chocolate, fig and red grapes with a notable bit of spices deeply infused, along with some potent alcohol that all comes alive as this warms up. There's a lot going on in this brew to say the least.

Sweet and fruity with all of the afore mentioned and add some oak, vanilla, cardamon, prune, brown sugar and some Dutch salted black licorice. This all gets slapped with the tartness that the nose revealed and carries on down to the finish in a sour manner. Man this is some kind of blend, can't wait to see what years of aging will do to this complex brew.

Full body, low carbonation, high alcohol, plenty of tartness and a lot of lingering flavors lend to a lively mouthfeel. The drinkability is good now, but I expect everything to bump up a notch or so as the brew ages. I'm cellaring a couple and will report back in a couple years...

 1,431 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12.7 oz bottle into a tulip. The beer glugs forth from the bottle murky and flat, true to the traditional English barleywine style. In the glass it's an impenetrable dark brown with no head.

The aroma is surprisingly great. Vinous with a tart berry-like sourness and roasted malt, some coffee and chocolate, a little balsamic vinegar. If I dig, I can pick out a slight herbal note from 10 Commandments. There's a subtle funkiness to it, but the brett is largely drowned out by the big vinous and stout notes.

On the palate it's juicy and tart, cherry and red wine flavors competing with a roasty, chocolatey stout character for glory and victory. It's a stalemate. The mouthfeel, much to my surprise, is dead flat. In this instance it's not a huge detraction and the beer is still enjoyable, but I do wonder how much better it would be with a moderate level of carbonation. Probably quite a lot better. The finish is extremely woody and tannic, with a big vinous port wine kick and some sharp acidity.

This was a tough one to rate. Rarely do I feel so conflicted about a beer. It shows a lot of potential, but it's severely flawed by the lack of carbonation. Maybe this one will carbonate in time and turn into something great, or maybe it'll stay a flat mess like just about every other barrel-aged beer Lost Abbey has released this year.

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Sinners Blend 2009 from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 128 ratings