The Lost Abbey - Faith and Obedience
Serving Temperature:40–45° F
Suggested Glassware:Snifter, Chalice, Tulip, or Teku
The Lost Abbey’s Faith and Obedience is a unique blend of fresh and Heaven Hill Bourbon barrel-aged imperial stouts. This one’s a Rare Beer Club exclusive and will be available solely through the club along with a limited amount through the Lost Abbey taproom.
This imperial stout pours an opaque deep dark brown to black with a thick light brown tightly bubbled head. As it pours, the aromas already come through with pronounced cacao and coffee notes, rich deeply charred oak, and toasty toffee. In the glass, the beer initially forms a robust cap, but then slowly fades leaving behind a bit of sticky lacing. As we lean in and hover our noses over our glasses we’re rewarded with vast amounts of dark caramel and bruleed turbinado sugar. The Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels add a warming vanilla note with honey and deeper caramel aromas. As we explore further, a hint of toasted marshmallow leads us deeper into dark malts with dark dried fruit complimenting the grains and wood.
Our first sip reveals the aromas as pronounced flavors, with dark cacao and deeply toasted malts leading the flavor profile. The presence on the palate is round and smooth, a creamy mousse is built up by fine, tightly grouped bubbles, with bitterness coming from the roasting of the malts as well as from the hops. As it warms, more complexity comes through in the form of tannins from the Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels as well as their level of char. Bittersweet caramelized sugars cling to our palates with an additional layer of dried black fruit, a wisp of smoke, and subtle grain spice. At 11.5% it doesn’t present itself boozy in any way, but is approachable and enjoyable glass after glass, with a long, rich finish of dark chocolate and toast.
We’re very grateful for our longstanding relationship with the good folks over at The Lost Abbey, and we’ve proud to be able to offer this delicious new release as a Rare Beer Club exclusive. We hope you love it as much as we did.
Faith and Obedience is made to drink now or continue to age for the long term, even up to five years or beyond. The deep roasty dark cocoa notes would be complimented by grilled steaks quite nicely as well as a vast selection of chocolatey or vanilla-focused desserts.
Many of the beer geeks in our readership will instantly recognize the names “Port Brewing” or “The Lost Abbey”, or “Tomme Arthur”—a gifted brewer associated with both. All have come to mean excellence in brewing, along with envelope-pushing, boundary-testing beers.
Walk into the original Pizza Port location in Solana Beach, CA, about 25 miles north of downtown San Diego, expecting to take in what the wellspring of San Diego’s craft-brewing scene ‘looks like’, and you might be confused. You’ll find rows of picnic-style benches for mass seating, plus an informal, order-at-the-counter pizza place staffed by primarily college-aged kids who seem like they might be taking a short break from surfing to take your food and drink order. Looks can be deceiving, though. Were it not for the brewing vessels visible behind the counter or the eclectic list of beers and style/flavor descriptions above the beer-order counter, you might think this place was a ‘Budweiser and Coronas & lime only’ place. Instead, you see everything from younger crowds to families with kids in tow, all chowing down on great oven-fresh pizzas and drinking pitchers and pints of some truly world-class beers. All served with that distinctly Californian laidback demeanor.
So how did it come to pass that a basically beach-front pizza shop started making some seriously high gravity, intense, world-class beers? The founders and owners of Pizza Port, Gina and Vince Marsaglia, set up shop in Solana Beach 30+ years ago in 1987, and Tomme Arthur started working there as head brewer ten years later (they’ve since opened up various additional locations—each with amazing beers and food). A native San Diegan, Tomme was proud to promote his hometown as an up-and-coming center for better beer, with his own work right at the forefront of that claim. While his professional brewing career had started less than 18 months prior to joining Pizza Port, he had already worked on a beer with his former employer that brought San Diego its 2nd gold medal ever from the Great American Beer Festival. In his ongoing efforts to promote San Diego as a great beer city, Tomme worked to create many unique beers, and his ongoing experiments included revolutionary techniques of oak-aging beers, incorporating fruits, herbs and spices along with numerous wild yeasts and micro-organisms. Each of these experiments further emboldened him to try new processes as he and the brewers of Pizza Port Solana Beach “sought to make the most interesting beers possible.” During the eight-plus years that Tomme was head brewer in Solana Beach, the brewery won 13 Great American Beer Festival medals. In 2003 and 2004, Pizza Port Solana Beach was named Small Brewpub of the Year.
So what then is “The Lost Abbey?” The concept started in Vince Marsaglia’s mind when he was inspired by the various Abbey beers he had tried from Europe. When Tomme Arthur joined the crew, he started brewing beers that were Belgian- and Abbey-inspired creations. Of course, to be an Abbey beer, though, you need an Abbey. And while one might argue Tomme Arthur is the head of a beer cult comprised of followers approaching quasi-religious devotion, there’s no actual religious organization affiliated with these beers. Hence, these are a line of beers inspired by Abbey and Belgian traditions, but with no actual Abbey (leading us to... The Lost Abbey). Since many of Tomme’s most revolutionary creations fell into this loose theme, a number of the beers brewed under the Pizza Port or Port Brewing name have been moved over to their new home in The Lost Abbey lineup. For more information about The Lost Abbey and the Pizza Port restaurants, visit lostabbey.com and pizzaport.com.
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