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Last year, I wrote about one of the most ambitious beer projects to be undertaken by an American craft brewery—the release of 12 unique, barrel-aged beer blends from a single company over a one-year span. The brewery that took on this self-imposed challenge and, frankly, kicked its ass, was The Lost Abbey (155 Mata Way, Suite 104, San Marcos).

On the third Saturday of every month, the company released a new beer from what they called their Ultimate Box Set. Those special edition brews, each named after a different rock song and referred to as a “track,” were sold with the mandate that they must be consumed on-site. There were 13 in all (there was a bonus track titled “Message in a Bottle”), and none stayed on the shelf longer than 21 days. Many sold out much faster than that.


At year’s end, the beers were sold as part of a $450 set that came packaged in a concert tour-style crate, complete with a faux album and liner notes stealing from director of brewery operations Tomme Arthur’s brewing notebook. It was the best packaging job of any beer or set of beers that I’ve ever seen, but even so, the beers were the stars. Many lamented their disappearance as 2012 came to a close. For those beer fans, there’s new cause to rejoice!


Next Saturday—the third of the month—all 13 of the Ultimate Box Set beers will be for sale under the same terms as they were last year. It’s the best San Diego beer surprise of the young New Year. So, if you missed any and never thought you’d get a chance to try them out, there’s one last chance. The following is a brief breakdown of the entire set for those planning their unexpected tasting session (for more information on Track 1 through 4, click here; for Track 5 through 12, click here).


Track 1: “Running with the Devil” Cabernet Sour Brown Ale with Brettanomyces Track 2: “Stairway to Heaven” Cherry Flanders Sour Barleywine Blend Track 3: “Hells Bells” Sour Blonde Ale Track 4: “Sympathy for the Devil” Barrel-Aged Blend Track 5: “Shout at the Devil” Raspberry Cherry Sour Ale Track 6: “Highway to Hell” Imperial Stout Barleywine Blend Track 7: “Devil Inside” Sangria Track 8: “Number of the Beast” Cinnamon Chili Quadrupel Track 9: “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” Currant Flanders Sour Ale with Brettanomyces Track 10: “Bat Out of Hell” Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout Track 11: “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” Peach Tea Barleywine Track 12: “Heaven and Hell” Non-Fruited Sour Blend Track 13: “Message in a Bottle” Cognac Sour Cherry Barleywine

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