Box Set Track #8 - Number Of The Beast | The Lost Abbey

BA SCORE
95
world-class
766 Ratings
Box Set Track #8 - Number Of The BeastBox Set Track #8 - Number Of The Beast
BEER INFO

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

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
We’ve never released a Bourbon Barrel version of our Judgment Day. So we thought it might be interesting to take the base beer for Cuvee de Tomme age in first fill Bourbon Barrels and let mother nature take over. Of course, because this is a Rock and Roll inspired Box Set beer, we couldn’t just leave well enough alone.

Upon sampling the base beer, it became apparent that the raisins used to brew the base beer were going to drive the flavor bus of this beer. The conversations turned to Oatmeal Raisin cookies and the essence of a freshly baked treat. So we added some cinnamon sticks to the barrels and threw in some dried chiles as well.

Added by MasterSki on 08-16-2012

BEER STATS
Ratings:
766
Reviews:
106
Avg:
4.3
pDev:
8.37%
 
 
Wants:
143
Gots:
245
For Trade:
36
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 766 |  Reviews: 106
Photo of Nunya
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Todd
4.74/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From BeerAdvocate magazine #123 (April 2017):

I was damn lucky to try Track #8 from the box set years ago, and here and there over the years at fests. It was one of my favorites from the brewery, and I’m a sucker for chiles, so I was stoked when a new sample made it to my doorstep.

The dark, opaque brown body with a creamy tan head sets the mood, while the aroma smells exactly like a freshly baked oatmeal raisin cookie, complete with cinnamon, spice, baked oats, and childhood memories. There’s a good dose of oak, too. The texture is very smooth with a slight syrupy feel and a bit of chew, but it's not thick. It definitely has that boozy and dark grape-like Quad base that's sweet, not cloying. Then delicious layers of bourbon, oak, vanilla, and coconut fold into charred raisin notes and a spicy, peppery hit from the chiles. The finish has a dry doughiness to it, which reinforces the perception of a cookie. And despite its high alcohol, Track #8 is an insanely drinkable beast of a beer that's been tamed for your enjoyment.

 1,042 characters

Photo of bshefftz
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of CharlesK
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Jimmys
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2015 bottle.
pour is a murky dark brown. bubbly head is brown hued and big to start. decent retention, limited lacing. huge cinnamon aromas. you can smell the chili peppers as well. raisins, brown sugar, molasses. warming. sweetness in the finish for sure, but very pleasant. really does remind you of a cookie. cinnamon and spice dominate the tail end of the drink, but not in an overbearing way.
well done combining these flavors to form a well balanced beer. usually when I see a label that is this busy, I get concerned it will be too busy and muddy in the beer. this is a well made balanced beer with a lot of flavor. also, very happy to see how well this has held on being a couple years old. not sure if it lessened the blow of the booze, but it drinks pretty smooth for almost 14%!

 791 characters

Photo of jwat
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Immortale25
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Wicked Weed snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a dark brown color with a 3/4 inch light tan head that retains decently before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a small center patch of sheer surface foam. Not-so-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Lots of booze fume coming off this one with some spice and unique barrel character. Definitely getting the raisin too and, overall, the aroma is quite sweet.

T- Very interesting synthesis of spice, sweetness and booze. The barrel is more of that raw, oaky, dry variety rather than smooth vanilla. What results is a kind of rum raisin aspect which is actually pretty nice. The chiles eventually make their way into the profile providing an extra dimension by way of a slight capsaicin burn. The ABV is hidden pretty well all things considered.

M- Soft at first but with a sharp bite from the chiles and drying sensation from the cinnamon. Medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- Certainly unlike any beer I've previously had. Lots of barrel and an intriguing interplay of the special ingredients therein. I've mentioned sweetness a couple of times in this review but the barrel and booze do a good job of off-setting it making for a balanced drink overall.

 1,266 characters

Photo of WOLFGANG
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HopsForBrains
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Mantooth
3.96/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of g00ey
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sjrider
4.01/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of ArkyVaughan
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kojevergas
3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A bourbon barrel aged brew from one of North America's best breweries? I had to buy it!

BOTTLE: 12.7 fl oz format. Branded black hood-and-wire cap over a cork. Brown glass. Classy label art (in more ways than one).

13.70% ABV. "Ale brewed with raisins, [sic] aged in bourbon barrels with cinnamon and chiles." My label calls it just "Track #8."

Served chilled into a Lost Abbey teku and allowed to come to temperature over the course of consumption.

APPEARANCE: Pours a pale khaki colour head which is somewhat creamy and soft, but fails to dazzle in either regard. Robust enough in spite of being a bit fluffy. The ~10 minute retention is impressive considering the high ABV, but aside from that there's little here to impress.

The body is better, albeit predictable - an opaque solid ink-black. No yeast/lees are visible within.

It's a decent appearance for its style, but nothing about it stands out and it isn't unique or special to any extent.

AROMA: Dry Belgian yeast pairs surprisingly well with a subdued American bourbon barrel presence in this Belgo-American ale, with subtle notes of dried raisin and stonefruit/dark fruit dueling with vanilla and white oak tones from the bourbon to good effect. The Belgian and American influences coalesce rather than clash, forming an interesting if somewhat uneven build that successfully marries the odd pairing.

One might think the introduction of Mexican chocolate elements like ancho chile and dried cinnamon (well, cassia) would further muddy this already eclectic brew, but they're subtle enough that they play well, and their dry powdery aromatics seem to fit the dry Belgian yeast well.

There's no chile (or alcohol) heat by any stretch, but that seems to work well for it.

It's quite the aroma, and suggests a shockingly well balanced beer that juggles multiple influences without really fitting neatly into any convenient style categorization. I guess it's closest to a Belgian strong ale by my estimation, but the American & Mexican influences make that a hard point to defend.

Aromatic intensity is moderate, with no off-flavours or overt hoppy aromatics.

TASTE & TEXTURE: The spices and yeast may be dry, but the beer is actually silky smooth and soft, helping coax out the vanilla/vanillin from the bourbon barrel and let it shine via a velvety luscious creamy texture.

Many cinnamon/cassia spiced beers suffer from that "stuck to the roof of your mouth" nastiness, but there's none of that here...just a tugging dryness that adds textural complexity to this surprisingly well balanced ale. A blip of welcome bourbon warmth sets off the dark malt backbone, but the apt attenuation of the Belgian ale yeast prevents this from ever feeling too sweet like many bourbon barrel beers.

Dark fruit is in there, but has a more moderate presence than you'd find in a quadrupel, landing in Belgian strong ale terrain. Raisin is chief among them, but there's some faint caramelized plum and date in there...many hints of fig or prune, but they aren't overt.

Ancho chile flavour adds some central American flair while keeping the heat minimal...there's just a scintilla thereof, and it plays well with the equally subtle bourbon warmth.

Turning more to a discussion of the bourbon barrel...boy does it work here. It doesn't eclipse the base but it's definitely present, lending rich white oak undertones, barrel sugars, and lovely vanilla. I might mistake the barrel vanillin for actual vanilla bean in a blind tasting; it's really evocative.

Given the ecletic intricacy of this brew, one might expect a chaotic imbalance of flavour, but true to form Lost Abbey manages to achieve an impressive harmony and balance of flavour without compromising in terms of subtlety or depth of flavour. Complex as this is, it is not a loud or big bold brew, and each part contributes to the whole to form a gestalt treat of a brew that's perplexingly well-executed.

OVERALL: Despite its dangerous ABV, this ale drinks a bit too easily, but remains a sipper if only because each sip is meant to be savored. Lost Abbey again defends its reputation as one of the U.S.A.'s finest breweries with this home run effort, and I'd happily recommend it to friends. One can nitpick; I guess the dryness on the finish does get a bit off-putting after a while and there's room for still more expressiveness of flavour and intricacy, but it's a successful execution of an incredibly tricky premise for an ale. How many breweries can pull off a balanced American bourbon barrel aged chile pepper Belgian strong dark ale brewed with cinnamon?

Pair with fig newtons, sharp cheese, and/or chocolate covered pomegranate.

B (3.68) / GOOD

 4,674 characters

Photo of xICooRsYIx
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sd123
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of seanh99
4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The notes said Oatmeal Raisin cookies and that is what came to mind after a taste. Became more flavorful as the temp came up, I may have started too cool but this really was a nice surprise as I didn't have a clue given the ingredient list including chile peppers.

 264 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rjp217
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of petermethot
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of grahuba
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of PprBurke
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of msondel
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of kell50
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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Box Set Track #8 - Number Of The Beast from The Lost Abbey
4.3 out of 5 based on 766 ratings.
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