Archive for the ‘The Lost Abbey’ Category

I found a bottle of this at Buy Rite in Pennington. Instead of giving a big introduction, I’m going to let the beer speak for itself.

redpoppy

ABV: 5.5%

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Perhaps no country embraces the use of fruit in beers more so than Belgium. Numerous traditional as well as regional specialty ales are infused with every sort of fruit imaginable. In this way, the flavor of the fruit becomes especially prominent. Red Poppy Ale is a veritable celebration of Sour Cherries in an explosion of aromas and tastes. Brewed from a brown ale base and aged in our oak barrels for over 6 months, this beer is not for the faint of heart. The Golden Poppy is the state flower of California and the Red Poppy is found in Flanders Fields where our inspiration for this beer comes from. This beer is 5.5% ABV and is available in 375 ml bottles and on draft at inspired locations. Red Poppy starts with a complex nose of tart cherries, vanilla and cinnamon like finish. There is also an underlying basis of yeast esters and wild yeast components that result in an extraordinary complex nose. Red Poppy starts its life out as our Dawn Patrol Dark. Post primary fermentation, we blend this with some of our Amigo Lager at transfer to barrel. During the fermentation in the barrel from the micro organisms, we gain acidity which results in a beer with hints of Vanilla, Tannins and Sourness from the Cherries and the secondary fermentation and extensive aging.”

Random: I had Dawn Patrol Dark earlier this year.

This beer poured with a thick, two finger, tan head that took its sweet time going away. It left a generous amount of lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy mahogany with no visible carbonation because of how cloudy it was. The nose had tart cherries and oak with a red grape characteristics to it. The taste started with some cherry tartness and quickly went into the oak note with light vanilla. It had a vinous quality to it as well. Horse blanket from the brett was there, but was well-balanced with the other flavors. Right at the end of the sip, I picked up some bread. It had a light body with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with tart cherry and oak. This is definitely not a cheap beer at $16.99 a bottle ($1.42 per ounce). This beer was just outstanding and one that I would have again and again. If you haven’t had the pleasure of trying it yet, make sure that you do.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

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This was the last beer that I had at Memphis Taproom, and what a beer to go out on.

tr

ABV: 13.5%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “From the Ultimate Box Set: ‘A fresh track, Track 10 began as a fresh Serpent’s Stout base aged in bourbon barrels with oodles of coffee and cacao nibs added shortly before packaging. Late in November of 2011, our head brewer asked about creating a Coffee and Cacoa Nib version of Serpent’s Stout for the San Diego Strong Ale Festival. The beer was a hit with our fans. When we wrote up the syllabus for the Ultimate Box Set, we knew a version of this beer would be included. We waited until the very end of the release schedule to put this beer in a bottle so that the coffee and cacoa nibs really come through”

Random: I was never a fan of Meatloaf, even in “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

This beer poured with a two finger, tan head that dissipated slowly. It left pronounced lacing on the glass. The body was a black color with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was intense. I picked up cocoa, espresso and some licorice with the normal roasted malts. The taste had similar notes of cocoa, roasted malts and licorice. Espresso came through at the end. The booze was present, but didn’t taste like 13.5% ABV. It had a thick, chewy body with low carbonation, which would make this a good sipper on a cold night. The finish was long with milk chocolate and roasted malts. This was a really good beer, but just needed a bit more for me to give it a perfect score. Regardless, this is most definitely worth a glass if you can find it.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

I saw this one on the tap list and remember reading about it in a beer book. I can’t remember ever seeing it on draft before, even in Philly. Let’s see how it stacked up.

cuv

ABV: 11%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Once upon a time it was the most award winning Pizza Port beer of all time. Now it has found a new home at The Lost Abbey. A massive brown ale base that is made from four fermentable sugars including Malted Barley, Raisins, Candi Sugar and Sour Cherries, this beer is fully fermented before being placed in Bourbon barrels where the beer ages for one year with the Sour Cherries and the wild Brettanomyces yeast that we inoculate the barrels with. One of the most complex and unique beers that we make each year.”

Random: I think that I am finally getting used to my new iPhone. The camera is ten times better than my iPhone 4.

This beer poured with a three finger, thick, off white head. It took forever to dissipate and left plenty of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color. Again, it was too dark in the bar to see any carbonation in the beer. The nose had pronounced Brett and a red wine characteristic. I also picked up on the raisins and sour cherries. The tart was tart, but quickly went into notes of cherry, raisin and then oak. Vanilla came through at the end of the sip. What didn’t make an appearance was the booze. At all. After a few sips, some sweetness came through too. The body was on the thicker side with light carbonation. The finish was lengthy with Brett and oak. I can see why this beer gets so highly rated. It was very complex, yet dangerously drinkable and all the flavors worked in concert with each other. If you see this on tap, make sure that you get it as soon as possible.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

This was the beer that the other half ordered while we were at Memphis Taproom. Let’s see how it was.

lb

ABV: 6.7%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This Farmhouse Ale traces its roots to the small rustic breweries of Southern Belgium. The word Saison comes to us from the French language and it means Season. Lightly spiced with Organic Ginger, Orange Peels, Black Pepper and Grains of Paradise, this brew promises to quench your third on the hottest Southern California days or wherever your travels may take you. Available in 750 mL bottles and on draft at select inspired locations.”

Random: I cannot wait for tomorrow to be over. If there is a word beyond exhausted, that’s what I feel.

This brew poured with a three finger, white head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing. I had a bit of trouble figuring out the exact color of the head due to the darkness in the bar. The body was a bright orange color and quite cloudy. Due to the cloudiness, there was no carbonation visible. The nose was bright with citrus and Belgian yeast. There was also some clove present, peppercorns and grains of paradise. I didn’t get the ginger that was outlined in the description. The taste was very bready. There was a lot of yeast up front, then light citrus (specifically orange zest). Spice was prevalent as well with clove and pepper. There was also another spice which may have been the ginger, but I couldn’t say it with 100% certainty. It had a thicker body than I’m used to for the style, but the high carbonation helped that. It had a long, bready finish. This was a nice beer, and there wasn’t anything glaringly wrong with it. It just didn’t wow me.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

The other half and I ended up at Kraftwork in Philly before Christmas to have brunch. They had this beer on draft that I was very interested in trying. Let’s see how it was.

IMG_2962

ABV: 8%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Merry Taj IPA begins with an aroma of crisp floral notes of citrus rind and tropical fruit. Initial flavors of clean sweet caramel malt will give way to a spicy bitterness on the finish thanks to the addition of the Simcoe hops. Merry Taj IPA will not be bottled, only kegged, to get the beer out to consumers as quickly as possible. The name ‘Merry Taj IPA’ pays homage to the holiday celebrations going on from sea to sea, encapsulating the hope of a new year as we inch closer and closer to 2014. It’s also a play on a term from the wine world, Meritage, which loosely translated means: A damn fine blend (of hops in this case). Though Belgian-inspired beers dominate The Lost Abbey portfolio, it’s not the only focus of the brand. The brewing team at The Lost Abbey are certified Hop-Heads at heart and being able to imagine and craft an IPA for the brand was a vision that seemed just out of reach…until now. ‘We were very excited for the opportunity to make an amazing IPA and even more stoked once we tasted it’ said Matt Webster, Lead Brewer of The Lost Abbey. ‘The sweet caramel notes and spicy finish make Merry Taj IPA a great addition to The Lost Abbey lineup and a perfect holiday beer.'”

Random: We’re watching a show on HGTV about tiny houses. I wasn’t aware that “tiny houses” were a thing. I definitely could not live in one.

This beer poured with a two finger, cream-colored head that dissipated very slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy mahogany with heavy carbonation visible. The nose was big. It had notes of citrus with some sweetness and caramel malt. The taste had a lot of citrus backed by caramel and honey from the malt. There was slight booze warming, but nothing all that intense. It had a thick body with moderate carbonation and a long, hop finish. I really enjoyed this beer and would definitely had this one again, even at $8 a glass.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Last night, I didn’t feel like cooking and I really wanted a burger. The other half and I ended up at Rocky Hill Inn so I could grab a burger and watch some of the World Cup game. This was the brew that I had while I was there. Let’s see how it was.

IMG_2445

ABV: 6.25%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “It was so quiet out here at the Bed and Breakfast. You slept in late and didn’t even realize there was the hustle and bustle of activity taking place around you. Gazing out the window, your eyes are drawn to the hop fields. In neatly framed rectangle growing areas, the flowers rise from the ground stretching for the bluest skies dotting the landscape in Poperinge. In every direction, the work of clearing the fields is taking place as the annual hop harvest has begun.The big city newspaper you work for has sent you on an assignment and your job is to discuss the economics of hop growing and the impact on global markets. Today you’re in Belgium, tomorrow in Germany and you’ll end your trip in England touring the famous hop fields of Kent. Each step of the journey will lead you to the same conclusion. Farming is lots of things but it will never be confused as a glamorous life. Yet, at the end of each day, there is a sense of satisfaction of reaping what you sow. The farmer swells with pride knowing his hops will find their way into beers from many differing nations.Your research has taught you about the different varieties and which ones are prized by brewers large and small for differing reasons. Your notes tell you they are scheduled to pick Northern Brewer, and Hallertau this week. Heading out in a rental car, you have a 10AM appointment with the Father Thomas. He is in charge of the brewery. It is located a stones throw from the green vines. The GPS tells you to make one last left turn. Instantly, your destination is in sight. It’s an unassuming road leading to the priory. Here, off the corner of two intersecting roads, dedicated monks have been making beer for over 150 years. It’s always been a simple life- the kind that requires they brew only enough to sustain the activities of their monastery. In the silence of passing seasons, they pray, brew and retire in a solitary existence behind the sheltering walls. They live a most interesting life. Most likely one we couldn’t sustain.Nearby, each summer, the trellised fields spring to life as rows of resinous green cones are trained towards the heavens. Rumor is some Monks love these hops and being surrounded by budding yellow aromas and leafy pungent fields can’t hurt. Since we weren’t sensible enough to locate our brewery in Poperinge, we can only offer this 6? blond ale in celebration of all things great and hoppy. Pious, like them, we’re not. But that doesn’t mean we can’t offer an appreciative nod to our Abbey brethren and their steadfast Devotion.”

Random: I’m watching a winemaker rap about grapes. Just amazing.

This beer poured with a two finger, white head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, light orange color with high carbonation. The nose has citrus and a lot of Belgian yeast with some hops as well. The flavor was nice and light with orange and citrus zest. Some light hops were present as well along with some bready, yeast notes. The body was medium thickness with very high carbonation. It had a long and bright finish with citrus zest and yeast. I really enjoyed the beer, as I do most beers from this brewery. Go try it!

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Yesterday, the other half and I ended up in Philly, which happened to be the same day as the Philly St. Patrick’s day parade. We were driving around, attempting to avoid traffic as a result of the parade and managed to find a spot right by Monk’s Cafe in Philly, so we decided to stop as the lawyer really likes the duck sandwich there. I had the pulled pork, which I really enjoyed (and the frites, as usual, were amazing). They had this beauty on draft.

IMG_2197

ABV: 11%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Pours dark and thick, with a creamy mocha-colored head and aromas of roasted malts, dark chocolate and french roast coffee. The mouthfeel is full, smooth and round on the tongue. The taste is rich with deep roasted malts, cocoa, coffee and a touch of vanilla balanced perfectly against the alcohol to create an excellent winter warmer.”

Random: I can’t wait until baseball is back. I’m in serious withdrawal.

This brew poured with a thick one finger head that was tan and dissipated slowly with lots of lacing. The body was black in color with no visible carbonation. The nose was pungent with notes of dark chocolate with espresso. The taste was amazing. I got some smoke, dark chocolate and lots of coffee. The one thing that struck me was that there was no booze apparent. The body was thick, yet silky with moderate carbonation. It had a long chocolate finish. I don’t know if this beer is as good in the bottle, but it was absolute perfect on draft. I would definitely have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0