Thursday, February 19, 2009


One of the more surprising turns in life occurred two nights ago as I uncorked and settled down with the newest limited-edition bomber from LOST ABBEY, an “ale brewed with raisins” called JUDGMENT DAY. The surprise? It wasn’t perfect, or near-perfect. In fact I didn’t even like it (sacre bleu!). Hey, I’m not mad or anything. LOST ABBEY makes beers of such incredible high quality that they’re out-Belgianing the Belgians in a big way – and every month or two brings some new surprise that just totally knocks my socks off my ass. (Thank you Jerky Boys). WITCHES’ WIT notwithstanding, I always knew they were eventually gonna brew a new experiment that would leave me cold. Judgment Day is that beer.

What’s up with this one? Well, alcohol is up – way up. 10.5%, and you can taste every boozy, hot drop of it. It has no head at all – still ,flat, lifeless. Medium body, and with definite strong tastes of raisins and dates – and yet it’s not sweet (!). Like a bourbon-soaked Belgian dubbel without all the fun that implies. Simply put, it’s a little flat-tasting and one of those experiments that went slightly awry. Interestingly, I got an email from my trusted east coast correspondent, whom I sent a bottle of this to before I tried it myself, and he thought it was one of the finest Belgian-style American ales he’d ever tried. How about that. I’ll take TEN COMMANDMENTS or GIFT OF THE MAGI any day. I’ll give this one a 5.5/10.


Steve said...

Judgment day is a year-round brew, and being so, I thought it'd have the carbonation issues down by now. I remember when they first started bottling it a couple years ago it was popping up flat everywhere. I wonder if this was an old bottle? I have only purchased 1 bottle of this ever although it's always sitting on shelves at beer stores, and that 1 bottle was a long time ago (and it was flat as well). Looking at the latest BA reviews for the beer it seems like the norm is a fair to large head of foam along with ok carbonation. There seem to still be old bottles floating around I think, accounting for the sporadic poor reviews. Sounds like you weren't completely sold on the taste anyway, but I wonder how much a proper carbonation would change that?

Rational Realist said...

I have split two and have three left in my beer closet (an over allotment from last year's Patron Saint membership). I agree, not my favorite Lost Abbey beer, with the alcohol too dominant. I don't remember too much about the carbonation, but I remember raisins and lots of alcohol. Not my favorite Lost Abbey beer.