Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Lost Abbey Judgment Day Ale

4.6
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Chad9976 (975) - Albany, New York, USA - SEP 23, 2013
I split a 750ml caged and corked bottle with two friends. We each poured it into goblet. It was bottled on Christmas Day of 2012. I got this bottle in a trade with an acquaintance in California. (thanks, Mario!)

Appearance: Seemingly opaque black but actually deep maroon. Forms a small, dark tan, soapy head which mostly dissipates and doesn’t leave much lacing.

Smell: Huge jam-like aroma of berries and stone fruit. A hint of alcohol and traditional Belgian characteristics as well.

Taste: The traditional Belgian quad style tends to make for great beers, even when brewed exactly by the book. When a brewery can improve upon something like that, it’s pretty amazing. The Lost Abbey has done just that with their Judgment Day Ale. Brewed with raisins and chocolate malt, it has a delicious candy and confectionery sweetness that’s never cloying or too intense.

It’s not often you drink a beer that tastes like fruit preserves, though that was the first flavor I associated with this beer. Strawberry, raspberry and blackberry are all quite prominent at the beginning of each swig. It’s an authentic taste, there’s not artificial about it. This is interesting considering the only fruit used in the brew is raisin. The Belgian yeast character probably accounts for that tasty fruit flavor. Only mild bitterness through the middle with a slightly roasty character of burnt toast and dark chocolate. Not quite stout-like, but it adds an additional complementary flavor without going so far as to become cloying.. An immensely enjoyable brew for all the right reasons.

Drinkability: I was a little hesitant going into The Lost Abbey Judgment Day Ale because its 10.5% ABV weight was quite intimidating. Thankfully, the big body is tame and svelte, with only mild alcohol presence here. In fact, the gentle warmth is quite pleasant and works as part of the palate. The mouthfeel itself is rather thin and tepid, lacking the usual Belgian zestiness (thankfully). Drinking multiple servings is not only tempting, but difficult to avoid. 
Grade: 10/10