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
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
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.