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

BA SCORE
95
world-class
772 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:
772
Reviews:
108
Avg:
4.3
pDev:
8.37%
 
 
Wants:
147
Gots:
241
For Trade:
34
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 772 |  Reviews: 108
Photo of mychalg9
1.88/5  rDev -56.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This tastes gross until the absolute finish and then it sweetens up and tastes like the base beer. Really disappointed by this one as I love regular Judgment Day.

 163 characters

Photo of Biblioista
2/5  rDev -53.5%

Photo of moysauce
2.02/5  rDev -53%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO(u)R

25 characters

Photo of Brent619
2.89/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Very sweet. Raisins are over powering. Chilies don't go with the raisin flavor. Alcohol is too strong. I love angel share and the bourbon barrel aged version but not this one.

 175 characters

Photo of Zbeetleman
3/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of ReviewingUnderInfluence
3.07/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bourbon, raisins some vanilla, pepper heat and oaky tannins. All the makings of a beer I'd typically love... just fell short for me. The wickedly thin mouthfeel and $15/375ml pricetag didnt help either.

 202 characters

Photo of CityofBals
3.25/5  rDev -24.4%

Photo of djrn2
3.25/5  rDev -24.4%

Photo of Kayaker
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of Hinc73
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of Graffy
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of kscaldef
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Like a flat, watered down abraxas.

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Photo of Ryancthomas7
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of MastaShonuf
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of scottfrie
3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a very dark cola brown with a finger of fizzy dark tan head that quickly faded into nothingness.
S: The nose is an interesting mixture of sweet raisin and musty, roasted chilies. I didn’t like the scent at first, still not sure I do, but it starts to grow on you. I get hints of cinnamon, and powdery chocolate.
T: Sticky raisin hits first but is immediately cut by spicy flavors of cinnamon and roasted chili. The chili is mildly spicy and lingers into the aftertaste. The bourbon is sweet and mildly boozy. I get hints of caramel and slight chocolate in there as well.
M: Full body but not a super heavy mouthfeel. The carbonation is fairly soft, but much frothier and soda-like than expected. The mouthfeel is warming with a kiss of booze.
O: Much better once you burn off some of the carbonation. The flavors are definitely love it or hate it. I enjoyed this for what it was, but probably would never go out of my way to drink it again.

 983 characters

Photo of aaronyoung01
3.55/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of user785335
3.6/5  rDev -16.3%

Photo of sontagg
3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

chiles taste dies instantly after opening..good beer but not worth the price tag...

83 characters

Photo of xtonytx
3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TheBrewo
3.65/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

We pop the cork and cage, pouring into our oversized tasting snifters. It murks about the glass, holding onto a dense chocolate sienna coloring. It puts up a brief half finger tall head of tight mocha colored bubbles that quickly spread into a creamy, ephemeral film across the top of the beer. Lacing is intermittent, like small islands that are too far away from each other to swim between. A thick haze is present, but no sediment is otherwise found. Carbonation appears to be quite active. The first thing noticeable about the nose is an undeniable mint aroma that brings an early winter’s frost to the nares. This flows above warm and buttery oatmeal raisin cookies, melted milk chocolate, heavy creamer, boozy bourbon woodiness, rice vinegar, caramel and deeply roasted English brown malts, black pepper, cinnamon, and gingerbread spiciness, green grapes, soured unsweetened almond butter, nickel, and phenolic plastics. The taste gives harsh vodka and bourbon booziness, soy sauce saltiness, thickly sweet and sugary raisins and black cherries, fig jam, dusty raw cocoa nibs, light mint leaf freshness, mole chocolate sauce metallics and bitterness, soured oak, aluminum, harsh chemical phenols, chocolate, caramel, and soured brown malts, and cloying candy apple sweetness. The body is full and rather chewy, and the carbonation is lightly medium. Each sip gives nice froth and cream to the lip, but preceding slurp and smack are both slightly less present. Glug and pop are really muted, but this isn’t that type of beer. The mouth, like the lips, is coated with a sheen of sugary syrupiness, with no real dryness or tightness of puck or astringency creeping up anytime soon. The abv is big, and this, among other things, limits drinkability.

Overall, this is one of the most intriguing-sounding beers we’ve come across in a while. There is nothing on that list of featured ingredients that we aren’t down for. From the first whiff we knew this was going to be an interesting one. Holy mint!! Was there even mint added her?! Don’t think so. Right when you pour it you are met by this intense, fresh mint leafiness. Think mint schnapps, mint. Wow. This is likely a manifestation of the cinnamon and the high alcohol content, but the likeness is uncanny. The tastes comes out much, much more like you’d expect. The only thing missing was the chilies. I can’t tell if we’re thinking they’re there way on the back, or if it’s just the tacos we had earlier. Perhaps they are what’s giving the chocolate maltiness a rich mole flavoring. Either way, the taste is a mix between cloying sugary sweetness and intense, fusel alcohol. The flavors are mostly there, as we said, but lost a bit to this struggle. Even the malts are lost, and that’s the beer’s biggest detriment. This is a decent Quad, as a base, but it does seem to have a bit too much going on.

 2,914 characters

Photo of blacknyellow20
3.67/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

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Box Set Track #8 - Number Of The Beast from The Lost Abbey
4.3 out of 5 based on 772 ratings.
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