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RATINGS: 57   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.66/5   EST. CALORIES: 450   ABV: 15%
Sede Vacante is a blend of Barleywine aged in Cognac barrels and Brandy barrel-aged Angel’s Share and at packaging came in at 15% abv. A contemplative beer with substantial depth, Sede Vacante imparts tones of dark fruit and vanilla, with a warming finish from the Cognac. The strongest beer to emerge from The Lost Abbey, portions of the beer spent almost 5 years in a barrel. Sede Vacante can be enjoyed immediately or cellared till the next Papal Conclave, however long that may be.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
tom10101 (5389) - Quebec, CANADA - NOV 11, 2013
Bottle (750 ml). From jvillefan, thanks! Hazy dark brown with no head and no lacing. Aroma is boozy with cognac, caramel, vanilla, dark fruits, port, raisins and oak. Taste is boozy with cognac, dark fruits, wood, caramel, burnt caramel, port and sweetness. Warming alcohol (not burning though, despite the abv). Full bodied. Flat. Liquorous. Complex, but the complete lack of carbonation is a bummer (just a little could help). Lack of refinement and finesse to be compared to a fine wine or liquor.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
brystmar (1314) - Dallas, Texas, USA - NOV 4, 2013
From notes on 4/19/2013. Pours an ugly dark brown-red, nearly opaque; zero head or lace. Appears to be flat (insert LA carb jokes here).

Nose is pure booze, not inviting at all. Taste opens a bit more, revealing some intricacies of the barrels briefly before the alcoholic burn overtakes everything again. Some notes of dark fruit here and there vaguely remind me of Utopias (though SV is far inferior to that masterpiece). Nearly flat, yes, but that isn’t this brew’s problem: it’s simply way too hot. Barrel-heads rejoice?

"Sede Vacante can be enjoyed immediately or cellared till the next Papal Conclave, however long that may be." SV needs another few years in timeout before it’s ready for prime time (assuming it ever even gets there). Blame the Pope.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
TheAlum (6991) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - OCT 29, 2013
Bottle shared at Lightening Day. Thanks! Pours a nice deep brownish darker brown hue, some ruby and leather hues, firm hazy body with a mellow tannish ring that sits atop, laces small. Loose mellow carbonation. Mellow ruby glow on the edges. Aromas are carmelized, firmer vinous qualities. Touches of vanilla, caramel and gentle butterscotch. Touches of spirit are warm, a firm oak presence. Caramel, toffee, and dark fruit. Initial is medium bodied, a bit more full. Subtle carbonation is mellow, touches of red wine, mellow warmth, Cognac sticks and oak, gentle grape. Carmelized malts, some caramel and toffee are there, provide a bit of body but this is definitely thinned a bit. Middle is a bit vinous, firm barrel presence really gives some heat at times. Oak, a bit tannic and darker carmelized malts and some plum, vanilla and carmelized elements. Some gentle tannic qualities, vanilla, and heat. Backend and finish show show more heat, tannic qualities. Darker carmelized and biscuity malt. Cognac is pretty warm at times, some red grape, spirit and brandy. Really could use a touch more body and carbonation to give it some life. The flavors are solid, a touch warm overall I think. Some nice Cognac play covers up the Brandy a bit more.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
djd07 (10553) - Houston, Texas, USA - OCT 28, 2013
Bottle thanks to Drew. Pours a cloudy brown with no head. Aroma is caramel and dark fruits. Medium mouthfeel with sweet roast and pecan and light booze finish. Very impressive.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
GT (9982) - Oceanside, California, USA - OCT 26, 2013
750mL shared at Woodshop 8. Pours a murky deep brown, no foam. Essentially flat. But with the high abv, it actually produces some impressive alcohol legs. Nose is old barleywine, sherry oxidation, port wine, figs, raisins. Really nice. Taste is boozy, vanilla extract, lemon acid. Palate is vinous, but thin. Fully fermented way too much, no mouthfeel remains.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
XmnwildX12 (2079) - Farmington, Minnesota, USA - OCT 15, 2013
Bottle share thanks to Chris, Big bourbon, vanilla, barrel notes. Taste is caramel, booze, light vanilla, flat, but great.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
tderoeck (8219) - Gent, BELGIUM - SEP 10, 2013
30/VIII/13 - 75cl bottle @ De Hopduvel (Gent) - BB: n/a (2013-815) Thanks to Bobochamp for sharing the bottle!

Little cloudy brown beer, no head. Aroma: lots of alcohol, vanilla, raisins, sugary, caramel, bit woody, red wine tannins, whiff of chocolate. MF: soft to no carbon, medium to full body. Taste: sweet start, alcohol burning a bit on the tongue, caramel, vanilla, dried fruits, sugary, little sourish. Aftertaste: more sourish, spicy, alcohol burn, wood bitterness, sugary still, some chocolate, lots of vanilla, sourish and an alcohol burn in the end. I like it.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
phaleslu (9426) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - SEP 2, 2013
750 ml bottle shared by dbsdelight- thanks again, Dan! Had never heard of this one before the tasting but a few others were pretty pumped about it so I guess I got in on a special one. It pours a cloudy, deep amber-mahogany with no head. Aroma of vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, dates, oak, and cognac throughout. The flavor is basically a slightly weaker version of the same. Medium-bodied, with a warm, dry, flat mouthfeel because there is virtually no carbonation. Solid barley wine, but it could be better.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BoBoChamp (5755) - Gent, BELGIUM - AUG 29, 2013
75cl, new exclusive American brew Anno 2013, thx to Secret Santa!, complex brew, alcoholic/woody and slightly fruity/sweet, heavy, yet balanced, cloudy, nearly no head, good brew (with original label!), yet very expensive!, WOW!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
BVery (9668) - Plymouth, Minnesota, USA - AUG 18, 2013
UPDATED: DEC 30, 2013 Bomber shared by Jazz! Muddy brown pour, small head. A little flat, but lots of bourbon and cognac. Really nice!

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