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Guest blog: Lost Abbey Judgement Day

May 2, 2010

This guest blog comes courtesy of NappyWhiteKid (aka John Guiney) of Olde School Honour. Despite taking forever to finally post this (John sent it to me about two months ago), a blog about Lost Abbey is rather timely, with the recent news that the Lost Abbey/Port tasting room has been temporarily shut down by the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health. Without trying to editorialize too much, I find it odd that wineries and distilleries with tasting rooms in California are exempt from the regulations that have shut down Lost Abbey’s tasting room. Though the folks at Lost Abbey may not agree with me (see their emotionally fueled blogs here and here), I understand the push for health regulation at a tasting room. But considering the other exemptions, a cease and desist seems crippling and excessive.

Brewery: The Lost Abbey/Port Brewing Company, San Marcos CA
: The Lost Abbey, Judgment Day Ale,750ml corked bottle
: Belgian Dark Quad Ale
: BevMo, Mission Valley, San Diego
: $8.99

Okay, so as a disclaimer, I never really go to BevMo and tonight I only went with one thing in mind: St. John’s Brewery Beer. But when the clerk said that they no longer carried the brand, I had to make a quick decision. I turned around and saw the four horseman staring me in the face, and they were right; it was Judgment Day.

At 10.5% ABV, I knew that this was going to be sweeter, but I thought “it’s chilly in San Diego tonight, so what the hell.”

The bottle said Ale Brewed with Raisins, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. With one “PoP!” it was judgment day. The beer pours thick, almost syrupy, a dark molasses in color. Judgment Day is black sitting in my SDBW taster glass. It foams up quickly on the pour, and then settles to a head of about one and a half fingers. Not overly carbonated, the head settles quickly.

With an aroma that resembles coffee, your mouth is bombarded with flavors on the first sip, and you know you’re drinking a strong, malty ale. The malt flavor mixed with the raisins gives a fruity hint without being offensive. Not as sweet as a barley wine, this beer definitely lives “an interesting life”.

The top few sips are smooth, yet strong. As you progress through Judgment Day, the end nears and it begins to get more serious. The main body of the beer retains an almost raisin/coffee flavor. The last few sips resemble a smooth whiskey, as the flavor tends to linger. With 10.5 % ABV, you have to expect that Judgment Day isn’t something to be taken “Lite”-ly.

Final Verdict: I know that on Judgment Day, this won’t be the last beer I reach for, but ya know what? Live an interesting life. Try it. Don’t go to it after drinking lighter beers all night, but for a sipping beer after a long day of work and classes, I’m not shaking my dreads in disappointment. Thanks for the excuse to drink a good beer.

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