10 Commandments

Well, I’m always holding my breath when I crack open a Lost Abbey these days as I wait to see if the carbonation is going to be an issue. Luckily this open opens with a decent pop, not huge but enough to leave me confident that this beer is carbonated correctly.
750 mL corked & caged with the usual, elaborate LA presentation. Looks classy.
Poured this one into the Gouden Carolus, small chalice. The beer looks near perfect. Beautiful, dark mahogany clarity with a super, rich, dense mocha colored head. Lace is not huge, but some exists. It looks very much like the beer that the glass was made for.
Up front we get the alcohol, honey and the usual rich, dark fruits associated with the style. As those flavors meld, they seem almost quintessential for the style, that is until the finish. At first taste this seems almost like a sour note, but within seconds I can recognize it as the strong herbal characteristics that must come from the rosemary. It’s very strong, distinct and delicious and for a few minutes I struggle to place where I have experienced this before. As I get to the end of the glass it comes to me – Cinzano Bianco! For those who are not aware this is an Italian vermouth that is/was infused with herbs such as artemisia (wormwood), cinnamon, cloves, citrus and gentian. This was very popular (at least in England) in the late 70’s, but quickly fell out of favor as it became somewhat passe. Anyway…this reminds me of that very much especially in the finish and the aftertaste.
At the end of the bottle there is a touch of funk in the form of a lactose milk sourness that I could really do without, but it really doesn’t detract too much, the herbal qualities have won me over.
VERY, very tasty, delicious in fact and as it warms the whole thing comes together beautifully and is extremely satisfying. The alcohol is warming but very well hidden. All in all a fantastic experience, a little faith restored in LA.

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05/31/2009
Format:
bottle
ABV: 9.0 %
Appearance: 4.5
Taste: 5
Mouthfeel: 4.5
Smell: 5
Overall: 5
Total: 4.93
Series Name:
Year:

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