San Diego Brewed is sponsored by Bottlecraft.

Bottlecraft is a retail shop and tasting room in Little Italy showcasing local, domestic and international craft beers. They offer hundreds of beers for your enjoyment in their onsite tasting room or to-go, as well as daily beer flights, events, glassware, merchandise, and gifts. Open Noon-10pm seven days a week. 2161 India Street, San Diego, CA 92101.

Cuvee de TommeThe Lost Abbey’s Cuvee de Tomme isn’t cheap, but if you like sour beer it’s worth it. Cuvee de Tomme starts it’s life as another Lost Abbey beer, Judgement Day, but goes through a year long journey to become the final product. The most recent batch of Cuvee de Tomme was released on Christmas Eve, so this is the 2011 batch that is on store shelves now. The previous year, the 2010 batch was underwhelming and wasn’t nearly as good as the year before that, 2009. But thankfully this 2011 batch is much better than 2010 in my opinion and is as good as I remember 2009 being. As the bottle notes: “… each batch of Cuvee will vary slightly between bottlings” and there are a ton of things that can contribute to the flavors between years.

I was a little worried when I opened the bottle and poured and there was almost no sign of carbonation, but thankfully there was just a bit of bubbles hiding in there, what seemed like the perfect amount.

Cuvee de Tomme is pretty sour, it smells of juicy sour cherries and tastes the same upon first sip. There’s plenty of woody oak flavor in there as well. I’m not much of a wine drinker but this reminds me of red wine, maybe it’s those “supple tannins” the label refers to.

At 11% ABV Cuvee de Tomme is very much a sipper and could take a good hour or two to finish, which isn’t a bad thing as the flavors really open up as it warms up. Don’t drink this one cold.

If you like sour beers I highly recommend Cuvee de Tomme. $17 for 375ml is pricey, it’s not an everyday beer, but worth it when you find the right time to open it. If you’re not much into sour beers, or don’t have much experience with them, this might not be the best to start with. Though picking up a bottle now while you can still find it on store shelves and saving it for a while isn’t a bad idea.