06 March 2010

KOTBR #97 - Lost Abbey Poetry

The Lost Abbey brewery has been highly praised in the craft beer community since they opened their doors in 2006. Tomme Arthur has been brewing some of the highest rated and most sought after beers in the world and the brewery does an amazing job labeling and marketing their beer.

One of their more interesting marketing efforts is the Saints and Sinners Clubs. For 2010, memberships to the clubs entitle you to semi-monthly allotments of beer and a set of glassware along with other benefits like options to buy extra bottles, discounts, and admission to private events for club members only. The Sinners club offers more wild brews, but memberships go quickly and it is rather expensive to join. The Saints club is a little less expensive, but the brews are a little less wacky.

When the 2009 memberships opened, I bit the proverbial bullet. Lost Abbey does not ship to Indiana, so collections of the bottles required sweet-talking a family member into accepting these semi-monthly shipments (Shipping is an extra $20.00 from the brewery each time, by the way) to her home in Illinois.

Over the course of a year, 14 new additions to the collection were gained on our frequent trips back to visit family. Each shipment, with the exception of the July allotment, contained 2 bottles of the same beer. July's shipment contained 4 bottles, each a different variety.

After all was said and done, the club (initial cost plus shipping) was just at $290.00, almost $21.00 a bottle. Usually a bit more than I'd pay for a single bottle, but the overall experience was worth it, I think. Would I do it again? Probably not, at least not the Saints Club. The Sinners Club, though, is a different story.

So what's this all for then? What's the point if we can't get the beer here anyway? Well, more than once in our travels we found ourselves standing in front of a row of these beers, trying to pick which ones to buy, wondering which ones deserved space in the suitcase since the descriptions on the bottles were vague at best.

So, if you find yourself in front of a row of these incredibly alluring labels, how will you know what's inside? How do you pick? Our crazy poems probably won't help, but we hope they entertain.

Witch's Wit

Review is a practice we've often rehearsed
The ninety-seventh time we've met somewhere out
In the language of Lost Abbey we became well versed

Ten total bottles for which we had thirst
A tasty group with considerable clout
Even small samples might leave us submersed

"A Witches Wit must surely be cursed!"
I said at the start of our route
But in tasting I realized the mistake of my outburst

A flavor with which my mouth was aspersed
A feeling continued the day throughout
As toward my mouth my glass was coerced

A Belgian-style ale brewed with honey and spices traversed
The commonly used description a brewer's copout?
For it was the flavor of candied grape that I felt showed up first

The mug scores below are tightly dispersed
My notes became a flameout
Some are better, best or worst
As nine more bottles of Lost Abbey are yet to be nursed

Lost Abbey Witch's Wit
Mike: 3.3 Mugs | Gina: 3.8 Mugs | Rodney: 3.72 Mugs | Jess: 3.6 Mugs | Matt: 3.7 Mugs | Chris: 3.2 Mugs
KOTBR Score: 3.55 Mugs

Lost Abbey Devotion Ale
Mike: 3.0 Mugs | Gina: 3.25 Mugs | Rodney: 3.2 Mugs | Jess: 2.7 Mugs | Matt: 2.5 Mugs | Chris: 2.9 Mugs
KOTBR Score: 2.92 Mugs

Carnevale -
Oh Farmhouse ale,
Didn't we imbibe you earlier?

Rustic Saison,
You tease me with notes of blankets and hay.

Lemongrass and grapefruit,
I was hoping for more of a party.

Lost Abbey Carnevale Ale
Mike: 2.75 Mugs | Gina: 3.2 Mugs | Rodney: 3.3 Mugs | Jess: 3.8 Mugs | Matt: 3.75 Mugs | Chris: 3.4 Mugs
KOTBR Score: 3.36 Mugs

Red Barn Ale - (We've reviewed this beer before, scores are new)

Tart toasted toffee
Presents Pineapple pepper
Refreshing Saison

Lost Abbey Red Barn Ale
Mike: 3.5 Mugs | Gina: 3.85 Mugs | Rodney: 3.3 Mugs | Jess: 3.5 Mugs | Matt: 3.0 Mugs | Chris: 3.3 Mugs
KOTBR Score: 3.40 Mugs

Lost Abbey Lost and Found - (We've reviewed this beer before, scores are new)
Review by way of Found Poetry, via Beer Advocate reviews:

A fine lookin' 750ml bottle
happy to see me: it overflows
Like a murky rootbeer
devilishly fresh phenolic madness

Figs and sweet toffee
Baking a loaf of bread
with the bottom remnants of Grandma's spice drawer

Hitting the tongue with a well-rounded assault
dark fruits gal-our
warming, but reassuring
Ah, the Dubbel.

Lost Abbey Lost and Found
Mike: 3.4 Mugs | Gina: 3.4 Mugs | Rodney: 3.5 Mugs | Jess: 3.9 Mugs | Matt: 3.6 Mugs
KOTBR Score: 3.56 Mugs

Inferno Ale
This beer, I know I have seen it in Chicago
Mysterious artwork gives way to poor description
A purchase I have many times chosen to forgo
Alas, about this decision I have always felt affliction
Despite my poor decisions in the past -
Ho! It stands before me!
Inferno, we meet at last
I can only imagine what your style must be
A blonde ale it would appear
Such a floral aroma accompanied by banana and lemon
The mild character is surprising and reveals my fear
A bit of grassy hops with lemon and cream in fusion
This poor ale, weak in its life, reveals the ravages of age
In its youth, I shall revisit, so that its true flavor I may justly gauge
2.7 mugs

Lost Abbey Inferno Ale
Mike: 3.0 Mugs | Gina: 3.2 Mugs | Rodney: 2.7 Mugs | Jess: 2.9 Mugs | Matt: 3.25 Mugs
KOTBR Score: 3.01 Mugs

Gift of the Magi Ale
Caramel penetrated the sinus
Nutty brown with almonds, the finest
Earthy hops were in there
Caramel flavors to pair
Though it finishes with latex dryness
3.1 mugs

Lost Abbey 2009 Gift of the Magi
Mike: 3.3 Mugs | Gina: 2.9 Mugs | Rodney: 3.1 Mugs | Jess: 3.9 Mugs | Matt: 2.85 Mugs
KOTBR Score: 3.21 Mugs

Judgment Day- (We've reviewed this beer before, scores are new)

Judgment Day Ale
A palate it may assail
Be sure to stock four or five
In the event this day shall arrive.

Lost Abbey Judgment Day Ale
Mike: 3.4 Mugs | Gina: 4.5 Mugs | Rodney: 4.0 Mugs | Jess: 4.3 Mugs | Matt: 3.75 Mugs
KOTBR Score: 3.99 Mugs

10 Commandments

Wish I were there, beer
Notes might say big spice dark fruit
Could have been tasty.

Lost Abbey 10 Commandments
Gina: 2.6 Mugs | Rodney: 3.5 Mugs | Jess: 3.3 Mugs | Matt: 2.5 Mugs
KOTBR Score: 2.97 Mugs

Serpent's Stout

As the tongue tires,
The night develops.
Much like the chocolate flavor upon my tongue.

Alcohol burns and coffee emerges,
The night develops.
Much like the dried cherries and figs upon my tongue.

Light disappears under the toffee head,
The night ends.
My tastebuds are toast.

Lost Abbey Serpent's Stout
Mike: 3.8 Mugs | Gina: 4.3 Mugs | Rodney: 4.0 Mugs | Jess: 4.6 Mugs | Matt: 4.0 Mugs
KOTBR Score: 4.14 Mugs


  1. This looks incredible. I hope everyone had fun.

  2. Thanks Joe! It was a lot of fun. A good chance to sample a variety of Lost Abbey beer.

    Hopefully someday we can do the same with the Sinners Club selection.

  3. For the record, I now know that my Villanelle form is incorrect, but I'd argue that what I did was actually more difficult.