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RATINGS: 43   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.63   EST. CALORIES: 450   ABV: 15%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
brokensail (12173) - Orange County, California, USA - MAY 12, 2013
Predictably flat pour. Mahogany in color without much in the way of bubbles/head. Brown sugar, lots of cognac, vanilla, and graham cracker. Chocolate, dark fruit, oak, and some light alcohol. The flavor is incredibly rich. Toffee, caramel, and cognac. Big vanilla, lots of graham cracker, chocolate, and dark fruits. Thick and syrupy on the tongue.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
JohnGalt1 (675) - , Idaho, USA - DEC 22, 2013
Shared this one tonight with some good friends... I received this in trade from the great trader jvillefan... Thanks a bunch Michael!! It was well received. Pours a fairly clear walnut brown.. no head and no bubbles and unfortunately no surprise. The nose is rich dark malts and plenty of fruity esters.... great barrel presence, but not overdone. Sweet and very rich maltiness... a light tannic oakiness helps cut through the pretty thick caramel maltiness... dark cherries and vanilla.. cigar wrapper tobacco.. later pours show more raisin and some light cocoa.. so very rich. I am so disappointed that there is no carbonation in this... A decent bubble would catapult this into the upper echelon of beers... I have absolutely NO idea how a brewery like LA can come so close to perfection and then fuck things up like no carbonation. Thanks again Michael... This tasted and smelled great... I would love to get another 1-2 of these to hang onto for posterity.

3.9
   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.

3.9
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
after4ever (6470) - 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.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Dogbrick (8951) - 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.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
jbeatty (1104) - New York, USA - MAY 9, 2013
Bottle, 05/09/2013. Oh, Lost Abbey. Pours with almost no carbonation, some latent haze bubbling to the surface after the pour, thin ring of lacing with boozy legs. Aroma has big vanilla, molasses notes,sweet fudge, brandy soaked fruit cake, tangerine, fruity cognac edge on the finish. Taste is up front brandy, sweet toffee, opening up into rich vanilla, thick dark caramel maltiness, chocolate, grape and cognac tingling on the tongue, Lots of flavors but the body a little too watery for me in the end to support this. Could have been really stellar with a bit more body and carbonation. As it is, like HotD Matt Light, which is still pretty decent.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
TheAlum (6119) - 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.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
ryanfolty (2007) - Bourbon County, Minnesota, USA - JUL 6, 2013
July 5, 2013 - bottle shared at Brett’s tasting. Muddy brown pour with almost no head. Aroma was caramel, cognac and dark fruit. Taste was very sweet, caramel, dark fruit and quite a bit of booze. Low carbonation, which I don’t mind, but a little more may have helped balance out the sticky sweetness. This was good, but overall a disappointment for me due to high expectations.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
BVery (7370) - Burnsville, 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!

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
GT2 (9091) - San Diego County, 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.


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