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Sede Vacante is a blend of Barleywine aged in Cognac barrels and Brandy barrel-aged Angelís 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 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Experiment_Ale (1052) - 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 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
after4ever (6314) - 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 íem. 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. Itís 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 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Dogbrick (8809) - 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 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
TheAlum (5964) - 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 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
ryanfolty (1928) - Bourbon County, Minnesota, USA - JUL 6, 2013
July 5, 2013 - bottle shared at Brettís 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 donít 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
BVery (7103) - 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!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
phaleslu (6905) - 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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
GT2 (8830) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 18/20
artmcd8 (1847) - 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.

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