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Review by SAP on 08/24/09  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
90 3 11 18 4 9 2009
A solid Pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a frothy, two-finger thick, pale, almost white head. The beer is a murky, pale amber color that shows quite a bit of haze (much is a chill haze as it was clearer at room temps) and a rich gold color when held up to the light. I only let this sit for just under two weeks (I couldn’t wait any longer), so this was still a touch hazy even before I chilled it down.

The aroma has a tart lemon like bite to it up front but finishes with a distinct tropical fruit and even more pineapple notes at the backend of the aroma. Musty, damp cellar notes mix with a musky, phenolic soaked moldy cotton, sweat stained well worn leather character are a sure Brettanomyces signature. There is a touch of toastiness here that seems to be contributed by both oak and grain; the latter also produces some saltine cracker notes I can’t get away from the fruitiness here, while it is not overwhelming (the lactic contribution is probably the most dominant in this complex nose, but not by much) and even a touch subtle, it is quite distinct from say a Belgian Lambic; tropical fruit, with a touch of green apple at times can be quite distinct at times, though at others it can be quite fleeting too. As the beer warms a sort of unripe, green fruit character seems to get accentuated, some how it reminds me of nopalitos (prickly pear cactus paddles ready for cooking).

My first sip is puckeringly tart, but there seems to be a hint of sweetness to this brew too (though perhaps this is just perceived from a soft acetic character). Subsequent sips lose the shocking sourness but retain a robust, amply tart lactic acid component that dominates the flavor profile. The body is quite full for something that is so dry and I am sure much of it is contributed by tannic oak and the lactic slickness that is found in significantly sour beers. There is a buttery note here that I at first thought might be some residual diacetyl, but I am not convinced it is more likely oak derived; in fact I am pretty sure of this. Despite being quite sour, there is still a lot more going on here; spicy oak notes, a solid virgin oak stave woodiness, a touch of urea, maybe a hint of an acetic bite (actually as this warms I think this becomes more apparent, though it is nothing more than a background note), maybe a touch of green apple, . There is a touch of astringency and sharpness to the finish that seems to leach into the oral-nasal cavity and the roof of my mouth after a sip as passed down my throat.

My second pour of this beer is, unsurprisingly, a touch more hazy. Underneath the ever present acidity there is a soft Brettanomyces influenced funk; layers of mustiness, definite phenolic notes that don’t quite reach curing plastic levels as well as a hint of musky, sweat dried, abused blankets that become a touch more apparent towards the finish.

I could drink a lot of this beer. The aroma is nicely complex and though the flavor could be a little bit more so, it is still a fine tipple overall. This substitutes very nicely for a traditional Belgian-sourced Lambic and I so wish I had a bunch of bottles of this. For those who like a more integrated faux Lambic, this beer will be enjoyed a bit more than the fresh Isabelle Proximus. Comparing these fresh though, I liked the additional complexity of the Isabelle Proximus (funkiness and oak were more prominent in the first beer released). This is still quite a fine beer though and it serves as proof that the funky beers at Lost Abbey are still strong and full of life.

Served In: Tulip