The Lost Abbey Beers (Part 2)
On the Lost Abbey side of things, there are always too many beers when it comes time to making decisions as to what we should send. Some years, it’s easy. We have a whole bunch of new beers. Other years, the process takes more work as there are crowd favorites, brewers favorites and my favorites to be considered. This year we didn’t even send Cuvee de Tomme for the first time in almost 10 years. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t send some amazing beers.
For the floor each session we’re pouring 4 different barrel aged beers along with Carnevale. This means that all of our beers are either barrel aged or Brett beers. And for that, I am sure there will be many extremely happy consumers waiting in our line. We entered a total of 8 beers under The Lost Abbey umbrella. New this year for us is that we have not entered the Experimental Category or anything in the Belgian and French Ale category as well. These are a bit of a departure for us. However, we have entered many of the sour categories where we have seen success before. Here then without further ado are the beers we have entered. This is the order in which they would be announced for the results.
Framboise de Amorosa – Category 18 American Fruited Sour
We LOVE this years batch of Amorosa. It has a depth of Raspberry flavor and aromas. It certainly is sour as all get up and very much suited for this category. My biggest fear here is that the category doesn’t really want oak constituents in the flavoring of the beer. We thought this problematic last year as well and then Red Poppy went on to win a bronze medal. As this will be our first Lost Abbey Category, we will have HIGH hopes for this beer. Amorosa hasn’t reached the same competitive level of accomplishments like Red Poppy but you gotta start winning somewhere.
Carnevale – Category 19 American Brett Ale
After many years of trying to define the role of American Craft Brewers and their use of Brettanomyces, it appears the category and descriptions are in our favor. We think Carnevale absolutely fits this mold and expect the skillful use of Bretta to be part of the success of this beer. There will be numerous beers that may have a “bigger” Brett character but the subtle integration in Carnevale (Brett Anomolus vs. Bruxellensis) makes this one special beer. In years past, we have won in back to back categories. This one sets up for us to do the same if the judges see things our way.
The Angel’s Share (Bourbon Finish 2011) – Category 22 Wood and Barrel Aged Strong Ales
Sometimes you have to send beers into battle even if you think you’re bringing a butter knife to a samurai convention. Angel’s Share has never been overwhelmingly supported at the judging level. But that being said, we like to think someday we’ll get it right. Until then, we just think it’s great to keep showcasing the beer on the festival floor. Won’t be crossing our fingers too heavily on this one.
Veritas 008 – Category 23 Wood and Barrel Aged Sour
This is exactly the category for all sorts of beers we make. We believe that Veritas 008 (and not Cuvee) gave us the best chance to succeed this year. For those unfamiliar with our Veritas series, they are one time one place beers designed to showcase the brewer’s art of blending. Veritas 008 might just well be our most polarizing Veritas release ever. Made from 3 oak barrels of sour base beer, our brewers added black tea and lemon zest to the beer before packaging. This has to be one of the most refreshing beers we have ever released. Let’s just hope the judges are in need of some loving refreshment as well.
Serpent’s Stout – Category 24 Aged Beer
One of our Ten Commandments is that “Fresh Beer is Good. Aged beer is better.” We at Lost Abbey believe this to be the case. So we’re going to knock the dust off these bottles of 2-3 year old Serpent’s Stout and make a run for it. The beer tastes almost too fresh for this category. Hoping for the best but we may need to wait longer for this bottling to hit its stride.
Road to Helles – Category 25 Keller Biers
I confess, I drink a lot of Road to Helles. It’s such an easy beer to throw down. The problem with our version of a classic Helles is that we add a wee bit more hop then we probably should. As we’re not striving for authenticity, we’ve never been concerned about that minute detail. We entered this beer last year as a Pilsner where it was determined we needed more hops. Go figure. So this year, we’re gonna try the unfiltered category. This category allows for a bit more yeast notes and hop character since the beer isn’t filtered. We’re not trying to set the Lager world on fire at Port Brewing. But from time to time, we have some nice beers that should be given a chance to shine.
Red Poppy – Category 70 Belgian Lambic and Sours
After years of moving Red Poppy into all sorts of categories, we’re just going to plunk it down here in the Flanders Red/Oud Bruin sub category. This batch of Red Poppy has all the merits of a go the distance Field of Dreams like sour. I for one am not much of a betting man but if I was…I’d be more then all in on this one.
Judgment Day – Category 71 Abbey Ales
Way back in 2007 we entered Judgment Day in the Great American Beer Festival where it received a gold medal for Specialty Beers (Unique fermentable being raisins). Apparently Raisin beers are not longer unique enough as they just aren’t winning anymore. So this year, we’re running the beer in the Abbey Ale category and making no mention of the raisins. As Quads go, ours is very dark. It’s been a while since this beer won in a pure Belgian Category but this seems like a great beer to test the judges. This is a hugely contested category full of all manners of world class beers. As we specialize in Belgian Inspired Beers, it would be great to have this feather in our cap. Fingers crossed.
That’s it for now. We’re always confident that the beers we have sent will compete well. This year is no different. With over 4k beers in the judging, the odds continue to be stacked against us. It’s what drives us to work harder and continually work on improving our beers. Best wishes to the other brewers we’re competing against. Everyone shares in the joys of winning and turmoil of not.