Drunk Uncle Beer crashes the wine party: Lost Abbey – Cuvee de Tomme – 96
Before I dive into this “pint” sized monster I’m going to copy the eloquent bottle description to set the stage.
You are holding in your hands one of the most elusive and sought after small batch beers known simply as Cuvee. Our Cuvee de Tomme is a blend of Old World Brewing Traditions and New World Brewing Processes. It is made from our Judgement Day Dark Ale which is then aged in American Bourbon and French Oak Wine barrels. We add some fantastic wild yeasts and Sour Cherries to the barrels creating a secondary fermentation. After one year, our brewers then get together to work out the final blend. This means that each batch of Cuvee will vary slightly between bottlings. Yet, the result will always be a memorable drinking experience. Pour into a wide glass and let the beer breathe. Notes of Juicy Cherries, Luscious Vanilla and Supple Tannins integrate in a smooth finish. We think like most, you will find our most creative energies on display in this unique and style shattering beer worthy of the title Cuvee.
So that gives you an idea of what this 11% ABV skillfully crafted beast is all about and will get your mind right as you follow my third-grade writing skills.
It took me about two minutes of gentle prying to wrestle the cork out of the neck of the bottle. I was expecting a little bit of a champagne-like pop but there was none. Very anti-climactic. But the carbonation isn’t necessary with this heavy drink. A whiff of the cork smells of oak and red wine.
The aroma is amazing with notes of sour cherry and oak. It pours a very milky, cloudy brown with a hefty body. Again, no carbonation of note.
First sip reveals just a touch of bourbon which is quickly over taken by a big pucker tartness from the cherries. It finishes pretty dry but with a slight sweetness. I immediately wises I had saved this for Thanksgiving dinner. I think you could convert some hardcore red vino relatives into craft drinkers with this masterpiece. This has just jumped near the top of my list of beers to bring winos over to the good guys.
As it breathes and as you get into it, the sour subsides and the bourbon and oak start to lead the pack. Also, it becomes dangerously smooth and very easy to tip back.
One item to note is the label mentions it is brewed with raisins but I never really picked that up. Perhaps it develops more over time, or I have weak taste buds.
Bottom line is I’m pretty blown away by the complexity and bold flavors. It’s so good that I’m even forcing myself to save a little for my wife for when she gets off work. She has to check this out!
If you see this, buy it. Hell buy a few and cellar some. Well worth it and I’d imagine this ages gracefully. By the way, it is fairly rare so good luck.
This came in my left coast cargo pack but should run about $15 for a 375ml cork top bottle.