Cuvee de Tomme

Cuvee de Tomme (label)This is the ultra-limited, bourbon barrel-aged, 11% sour cherry and raisin ale from Lost Abbey that is the most award-winning of their beers. In the barrel it’s inoculated with more sour cherries and wild Brettanomyces yeast. It’s a vintaged ale, brewed in limited quantities each year.

Tomme Arthur himself talks about the origins of the beer on his blog here. It’s quite a story, one worth reading.

Anyway, I had the 375ml champagne-style bottle of the Cuvee which is just right, I think.

Appearance: Nice deep ruby red, blood red, almost brown.

Smell: Sour black cherry; green apple; hard candy; alcohol—a bit fusel-y; viscous-sweet, very cloying; smoky raisin.

Taste: Very tart, very sour right up front, like a punch in the face. Behind that is a dark, strong, fruity, complex cognac-like ale. Whoo it’s sour—sour cherry is definitely a defining character, and you can taste the raisins.

Mouthfeel: Puckery and sour—it floods the mouth with tartness. A little dry follows that.

Overall: Outstanding. Quite possibly one of the most unique beers I’ve tasted, because of the process behind it, but it’s totally worth it.

On BeerAdvocate, the current version scores 4.44 out of 5 with 9 reviews, all 9 approving. (The previous vintage/version is here.) On RateBeer, it scores 4.08 out of 5 and is in their 99th percentile.