Well, I don’t know if anyone else had this Lost Abbey beer but I hope others are able to chime in. The moment I saw this beer on the shelf, I was intrigued. Maybe you know the feeling that I’m talking about, don’t you. The bottle and label looking interesting, the name is kinda cool, and you read the label only to find out that there are raisons in the beer. Well, that was my story on this one…it turns out that it was only the beginning.
The Pour: Judgment Day pours with a very very deep brown, almost black, body. But, there was little head retention on this beer, which is not what I normally expect out of a Belgian (in this case, Belgian Strong Ale/Quadruppel) beer at all. I’m used to that fluffy, billowing, dream head to sit atop that wonder that is Belgian beer. Nothing…very little.
The Nose: This beer had raisons in it, I could smell their aroma wafting into my nostrils. Because of raison and perceivable alcohol on the nose gave Judgment Day a pretty vinous (wine-like) nose. Actually, I thought that the beer was somewhat Port-like in aroma. What else? The powdery yeast and wheaty quality on the nose reminded me of Aventinus. Interestingly, this is a proprietary belgian strain that they use, so it’s hard to say why it reminded me of it so much. Those of you who have had Aventinus can probably recall that it is a Wheat Double Bock (they also have a stronger Eisbock version). I don’t know if you do, but I know that smell very well and Judgment day reminded me of it. Hints of chocolate also popped through.
The Taste: Raisons were very much a part of the initial sip I took of Judgment Day. Alcohol was also present but not overly. I also tasted some smoky burnt tones (from the raisons?) along with some of the chocolate I caught on the nose. Touches of biscuit (malt), yeast, and some sweetness also made an distinct impression. One small detractor from the beer was that it had a very slight cooked vegetable touch on the very end.
Overall, Judgment Day was a good beer. I suspect that this is not the best thing I’ll have by them. In fact, I like Ten Commandments better. However, their beer is nothing to sneeze at. Creativity, complexity, and a terrific packaging of this product make it a worth while experience. Try their stuff if you can get it.
Among other Belgian Style beers: