Serve in Snifter


on tap


Add Distribution Data
RATINGS: 43   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.63   EST. CALORIES: 450   ABV: 15%
Share this beer with friends!
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.

appgrad22's rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
appgrad22 (29) - Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA - APR 27, 2013
This is an extremely good ale. Seems more like a barrel aged scotch ale. Sweet, earthy, and smooth. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
GarrettB (1147) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 21, 2015
May 4th, 2013 - Lost Abbey’s Sede Vacante was such an amazing beer that I could’t manage to tear myself away from the upturned glass long enough to write any notes. None. But I have faded but lingering memories of a powerful barleywine, with lots of booze, alcohol and a cognac burn, burning palate and esophagus as the outline of the people around me begins to blur. There’s oak, aloohol, and a thin top layer of vanilla, almost like a creme brűlée, but after the first sip, each additional one is another layer of paint on an already colored canvas. Intense, and definitely thick, this is a finisher, leaving too few unexhausted taste buds and too little traction behind for any brews to follow.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
tcon25 (164) - Duvall, Washington, USA - FEB 7, 2015
UPDATED: FEB 8, 2015 Draft pour at brewery, absolutely amazing, one of the best beers I have ever had. Dark almost black pour, barrel aroma, such a smooth beer, I don?t have many words to describe this beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Dogbrick (8995) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JAN 4, 2015
Sample at the Badge-Whore Bowl (OSU vs AL) tasting on 01/01/2015. The beer is a hazy dark brown color with a minimal off-white head that disappears quickly to a sparse outer ring. Spotty lacing on the glass. Aroma of dark fruit, caramel and oak. Full-bodied with flavors of caramel malt, dark fruit, oak and cognac. The finish is oaky and slightly vinous with a cognac aftertaste. Pretty good all around.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
after4ever (6474) - Brier, Washington, USA - OCT 16, 2014
750, corked and baled. Thanks, J! What an amazing treat. Pours an opaque near-black mahogany. No head or lace. No carbonation. The usual LA. Big earthy sweet tobacco-y nose with tons of juicy cognac and brandy sparkling on the nose. Sticky thick flat body. Holds your lips together if you let it sit on ’em. The mid-palate rolls through every flavor you can think of in a barleywine, from leather and tobacco through peat and earth through roasty caramel, raisins, toffee, juicy vinous berries, vanilla, and oak. It’s hugely complex but infinitely subtle and harmonious at the same time--unveils itself at whatever pace you want to taste into it, showing the different surfaces of the flavor profile like an origami. Wonderful beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Beerman6686 (4999) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 23, 2014
This one poured a murky ruby red to brown with a non existant head. Aroma was of figs, bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, and toffee and chocolate. Flavor was nice blend of dark fruits, deep caramel, chocolate and barrel, like an even bigger angels share. Pretty good, just under carbed of course.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 18/20
artmcd8 (1999) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 21, 2014
Bottle shared thanks to beerman6686. Pours a dark reddish brown with no head at all. Aromas of caramel, vanilla, plums, raisins. Taste is on the sweet side with a slight alcohol kick. No carb at all makes it feel thinner than it should.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
Steve_0 (3031) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAR 29, 2014
Bottle at home with friends. Pour is murky brown with essentially no head. Big dark fruits, slighty oxidized, brandy, caramelized sugars, figs, raisins, semi-roasty, and alcoholic aroma. Taste is sweet caramel, earthy, bourbon, maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, and nutty. Slick mouthfeel with no carbonation. Not bad, but the lack of carbonation really hurts it.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Experiment_Ale (1071) - Dallas, Texas, USA - MAR 29, 2014
At Stephens House with Stephen, Aaron, and Dave. Pours murky toilet water orange. Aroma is big musky fig that is pretty nice, rounded caramel syrup, burnt sugar. Taste is caramel, burnt sugar, figs.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
adnielsen (9662) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - MAR 29, 2014
Bottle @ Steve_0’s house, thanks to Stephen. Pours a murky brown appearance with little head. A bit smoky, leathery, goopy caramel, fig, dark grape aroma. Very dull carbonation. Brown sugar, dark grape, caramel, Skör / toffee flavor. Booze is somewhat smooth. Flavor is ok but the carbonation is fucked. Pretty decent.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Fritz123 (1228) - Boca Raton, Florida, USA - JAN 12, 2014
Bottle share at the Funky Buddha MBCP release party. Snifter. Pours a muddy brown pour with a thin rimmed white head. No lacing. The nose is first BOOZE! Man I thought I was going to be drinking a cognac or brandy. (Well close I guess.) Vanilla, malts, and dark fruits are present but the booze and wood barrel really dominate. The same with the taste. I really get the booze and barrel overwhelmingly. The vanilla, dark breads, and nuts are also present. Some spice. Medium-full body, low carbonation. I thought it was a very novel beer.

We Want To Hear From You

Join us! RateBeer is made by beer enthusiasts for the craft beer community. Your basic membership is free and allows you to read all beer ratings. Click here to create your account... and give your opinion!

Join Us »

Page    1  2 3 4 5

Tick this beer

for your profile
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Copyright © 2000-2015,
RateBeer LLC. All rights
about us
About RateBeer
New Beers
Advanced Search
Add A Beer
Add A Brewer
Add A Place
Log In
Edit Personal Info
Buy Premium Membership
Your Messages
the best
RateBeer Best
100 Beer Club
The Top 50