Sede Vacante | The Lost Abbey

BA SCORE
89
very good
141 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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Sede VacanteSede Vacante
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 15.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Sede Vacante is a blend of Barleywine aged in Cognac barrels and Brandy barrel-aged Angel’s Share and at packaging came in at 15% ABV. A contemplative beer with substantial depth, Sede Vacante imparts tones of dark fruit and vanilla, with a warming finish from the Cognac. The strongest beer to emerge from The Lost Abbey, portions of the beer spent almost 5 years in a barrel. Sede Vacante can be enjoyed immediately or cellared till the next Papal Conclave, however long that may be.

Added by MasterSki on 03-14-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
141
Reviews:
16
Avg:
4.06
pDev:
10.84%
 
 
Wants:
77
Gots:
35
For Trade:
8
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 141 |  Reviews: 16
Photo of breaks808
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of eawolff99
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of APreacher
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of Retail1LO
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at GRG1313’s tasting.

Pours a murky dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is malt, caramel, toffee, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a great smell and tasty flavors.

 524 characters

Photo of miadw3
3/5  rDev -26.1%

Photo of Pecan
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of fiver29
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of danoble1
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of sliverX
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of metalgdog
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of dogfishandi
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of ScottO
4.54/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Not a full review, but I have this FT and feel I should qualify my ranking. This beer was awesome on tap. One of my favorite Lost Abbey beers so far. From the bottle the flatness is hard to ignore. It still tastes great, but just a bit of carb would go a long way.

 264 characters

Photo of trancesk8er
4.75/5  rDev +17%

Photo of BAsbill
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of MasterSki
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to Sean for sharing this one; I've wanted to try it since I first read about it. Served in a taster glass.

A - It's flat. Murky, turbid, dark brown body. I was expecting this, and it's not completely offensive for a 15% beer.

S - Loads of oak, vanilla, sweet brandy and cognac notes, a marzipan/almond note, dark fruits, and intensifying vinous character as the beer warms. Alcohol is surprisingly well-hidden; I'd never suspect this was higher in ABV than Angel's Share.

T - The taste is again surprisingly mellow, with loads of dark fruit, chocolate, vanilla, sweet brandy and cognac, red licorice, and oak, albeit far less of the latter than in the aroma. Alcohol is again quite well-hidden, although it creeps in as the beer warms up.

M - Medium-full in body, with a tannic, dry, oaky, and viscous texture. Unsurprisingly, it is still, but it's not a huge problem for a beer of this style. Light alcohol warmth but yet again, fairly mellow.

D - I liked this quite a bit, and it's a great deal more restrained than regular Angel's Share. You can really tell the age of some of the blend components, and I think Tomme has struck a really nice balance between spirit, oak, alcohol heat, oxidation, and so forth. Would a few bubbles help? Sure. Still, it's pretty drinkable for what it is, although I might balk at the price tag.

 1,345 characters

Photo of cfrances33
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Dope
3.54/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Cork pops off with only the slightest hiss. Uh oh. Pours a very very dark reddish-brown. Tiny light brown head that fades to nothing almost immediately. It's not flat but it's close. Almost no lacing, just a dot here and there.

S: Pure dark fruits, very very sweet and rich. Raisins, cherries, plums, maybe even grapes? Get some grain alcohol aroma in there, this is a big one.

T: Very heavy on the dark fruits. Again with the raisin and plum primarily up front. Big and sweet. Loads of caramel and vanilla. Finish is more dark fruits, cherry stands out this time. Pretty much pure spirits in the aftertaste, cognac for sure with lingering cherries. A little drying oak in there too. Quite hot, decent alcohol sting and very belly-warming as well.

M: Heavy and thick. Viscous. Not quite completely flat but very very little carbonation.

O: An interesting beer for sure. Lack of carbonation hurts this one (typical of LA). A 750ml of 15% ABV beer is hard enough to drink, nevermind when it's almost still. Having said that, it's quite good. Definitely a must-have for the brandy/cognac lover. It's mainly like drinking a really weak versions of the spirits. Not a whole lot of "beer" character comes through, barrel aging is just too strong. I had to subtract a little bit what from what I wanted to in this category, this was an awful lot of money for a beer that they can't even figure out how to carbonate properly (again, typical LA). Just kinda gives you buyer's remorse. Having said that, it's still unique. Reminds me of a Baladin Xyauyu in a way, just not nearly as good.

 1,587 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Sean9689
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of bsuedekum
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of TXhomebrewer
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Sede Vacante from The Lost Abbey
4.06 out of 5 based on 141 ratings.
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