Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Lost Abbey | Judgment Day

The Lost Abbey's Judgment Day, a Belgian style Quadrupel ale brewed with raisins. 180 pounds of raisins per 30-barrel batch to be exact! It also has to be said that this beer has a pretty bad ass label.

Poured into a Chimay Chalice glass, Judgment Day, has a dark almost-opaque ruddy brown color, a fizzy tan head that recedes to spotty surface foam, and good chunks of lacing. The aroma is very boozy, lots of sweet alcohol, lots of sweet dark fruit like figs, raisins (it is brewed with raisins after all…), black cherries, some vanilla, spice, and a hint of bananas. This thing smells like a beast.

The taste starts with big malt sweetness, and a definite alcohol presence, but not nearly as boozy as the aroma hints at. Again, fruit flavors of figs, raisins, plums, etc. There's tons of rich maltiness in this thing; biscuity, chewy, and just really tasty. The finish gives a taste of some spicy yeast mixing with the sweetness that lingers for a while after each sip. Definite alcohol warmth with this one.

Speaking of sipping, Judgment Day is not a beer you want to drink fast. At 10.5% ABV, and the insane amounts of malt and fruit flavor, this beer is a monster. This would be an excellent beer to cellar for a while, as the bold malt and high ABV will lend to a smoother more rum-like product over time. If I had more self control I would age this one, but I know it wouldn't last more than a month. Sure would be nice to see what some time will do to this beast though.

Judgment Day was a little too over the top for my palate, but still an excellent beer. It almost seems like more of a dessert than just a beer. Maybe I should have paired this with some late night chocolate cake? If you think this will be a bit too boozy for your taste as well, but are still interested in the style, Lost Abbey's Lost & Found would be a great option. Lost & Found is sort of the kid brother to Judgment Day, still a Belgian strong ale (a Dubbel) and brewed with raisins, but toned down just a bit.

Back to Judgment Day:

Personal 7.5/10, for the style 8.5/10

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