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Agave Maria - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Agave MariaAgave Maria

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

77 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 77
Hads: 538
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 41.69%
Wants: 57
Gots: 113 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  13.50% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dwagner003 on 03-26-2014

Using a blend of Anejo and Reposado barrels and aged for a minimum of ten months, Agave Maria has hints of black pepper, sweet sugar, oatmeal, and oak with an earthy, bitter smoked chocolate on the finish. The base beer, a new Agave strong ale, was created specifically to pair with the spiciness of the Tequila, adding a sweet honey-like quality to the beer.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Agave Maria Alström Bros
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Reviews: 77 | Hads: 538
Photo of khoff5
4.39/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Excellent mix of sweet and tart, like they mixed a strong and a sour, my dream mix! High ABV was hardly noticeable, great look, smell, flavor and aftertaste. Def will buy again.

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Photo of BillRoth
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from recent trip to SD. Well made and a nice note or two from barrel. Largely complex but not very interesting in nose or taste. Shared with others who's only comment was about the sweetness. Can't all be home runs I guess. Not a bad beer, but don't expect to try again.

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Photo of jmasher85
4.36/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer has everything I look for in a great strong ale - depth of flavor, complexity, balance, temperance, and uniqueness. The flavor is at times funky, sweet, tart, and savory. The honey sweetness and malt are balanced by good yeasty flavors that add fermented, very mild tartness to the mix, plus a bit of peppery spice. There's a lot going on here. I expected this to taste like tequila-beer and was pleasantly surprised when I only got just a hint of the liquor's presence.

It's also smooth, real smooth. For a beer breaching 13% abv, and for me to not notice any remarkable burn on the first sip, that stuff is really well-tempered. The feel of the beer also stays with you as much as the flavor. It's an opaque muddy brownish red color - hazy but not gritty, and stays on your tongue for a while with it's chewy, heavy body. And yet for a beer of that consistency, there's quite a bit of fizz on it. It actually foamed out of the bottle as I opened it like champagne which felt like a tragic waste, but cest la vie.

All in all, from the price, abv, and style, this is clearly a special occasion beer and while aging it longer than the 6 months it spent in my cellar might have done wonders to it, it might have just as easily overpowered it and with no bottling date present, I'm okay with enjoying it as is and will definitely seek it out again. And while my first impressions of it were not as a world-class beer, it definitely grew tastier and more interesting as the drinking went on (and I don't even think that's simply because I was getting tipsier).

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light black in color with just a hint of light partially seeping through. There's a fingernail of beige surrounding the rim and covering the majority of the top. I smell sweet tequila and slightly vegetal agave. Later passes include fig and black pepper. The taste is predominantly sweet from the tequila. It transitions into a dark Belgian ale and then finishes with more sweet tequila notes. The alcohol is well masked and yet the mouth is fairly thick, chewy, and syrupy.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.72/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a two=finger light tan head leaving some lace. Very dark color, no highlights, yeast left in bottle. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Sour ale nose, flavor is almost like a sour ale but more a sweet & sour ale. Clean finish. No alcohol burn - the very high (13.5%) ABV is hidden. Seriously expensive at $18.99 for a caged & corked 375ml bottle from Julio’s Liquors Westborough, MA.

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Photo of joeseppy
4.34/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cola caramel pour with mocha lace cap. Aroma of fig Newton, raisin, molasses and candied dates. I never would of guessed tequila but it can be picked out. Strong ale with a mellifluous sweetness. I've been adding agave this past summer to my margaritas and it is most accommodating here. Syrup sticks to the back of your throat. Figgy and aftertaste of unsulphured molasses. Mouthfeel is creamy. Lips getting sticky. Ale has some staying strength. Bold and audacious yet the Tequila barreling is not overpowering and give this a sparkle. Would buy again.

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Photo of BWood
3.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Smells almost like a sour to me. Murky looking beer that holds a small cream head throughout the glass. Though not much to look at or smell it does have a nice smooth taste once you get use to it. First few drinks were so so but then half way through it became nice and smooth. Not sure if I would seek this out but not a bad try it once beer.

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Photo of JamesStreet
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look - pours a cloudy, burnt caramel color and a slight ruby tint in the light with an off-white head of about 3/4". Retention is pretty good and lacing is moderate.
Smell - This really is a cacophony of interesting flavors. Toffee, burnt sugar, vanilla, wood, pepper, molasses, alcohol.
Taste - A mix of woody leather taste with hints of chocolate, syrup, and a lime-like tartness. Interesting to say the least. I'm just not sure it balances well together. It does seem a bit muddled. Definitely get the alcohol burn in there as well.
Feel - I wouldn't quite put it in the heavy-bodied range, but it is right under there; so we'll call it heavy-medium. Carbonation is moderate. It does finish with a somewhat dry effect carried over from the tartness.
Overall - This beer definitely falls in the "interesting" category. I'm not sure it was executed perfectly. Maybe a bit too much, as far as flavors go. This is probably a one-taste thing for me.

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Photo of Kevinpitts
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty unique tasting beer. Tequila comes through with a smoky agave sweetness. Smoother than the 13.5% it is. Nothing spectacular, but worth a try if you like tequila.

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Photo of Dope
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

No bottling date.

A: Pours a dark red. Mid-sized fizzy light brown head. Head is thin and effervescent and fades out fairly quickly as a result. No real lacing, just a hint here and there.

S: Huh. Sweet and sour. Like literal sweet and sour sauce. Tequila is notable. Light tart berries. Interesting if a bit head-scratching.

T: Lots of tequila up front with that sweet agave. Once it fades there's loads of tart berries. In the finish there's sort of a...burnt fruit and oak flavor? Get some bittersweet cocoa in there too. Pretty quick and clean finish with lingering tartness and drying oak.

M: Heavy, tart and shockingly dry for 13.5%. A little alcohol sting (which may be the drying part).

O: Hmph. Very unique beer. I'm honestly not even sure if I like it. It's an interesting concept but it just feels muddled and doesn't really hit the spot for me. It's kinda like a random collection of flavors that don't necessarily work together. I give them credit for trying but not something I'd buy again.

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Photo of James_Michaud91
1.95/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This bottle is clearly infected/spoiled. The nose is sour, with some underlying sweetness and surprisingly a decently noticeable tequila presence. Where as the nose was sour, but still halfway pleasant, the palate is not. It is sour and funky in all the bad ways. There are clearly some good flavors hidden in this beer, would love to try a non-infected bottle.

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Photo of Dikfour
4.68/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Pours a couple fingers of Tan/Orangeish head that has average retention. Dark dark brown. Not a whole lot of light gets through this beer. Streaks of tan around the edges.

Smell: Bitter sweet chocolate malts followed closely by that pungent agave smell. A little oak and a bit of booze.

Taste: Chocolate, toffee, agave (salty) sweetness up front but really follows through and develops through out the sip. Bitter chocolate finish. A square of dark chocolate followed by a quick swig of nice tequila is what this tastes like. Never thought I'd ever care to know what that tasted like but totally love it. Malty sweetness does an excellent job of covering the booze.

Feel: Big and dairy creamy. Booze lightly numbs the gums.

Overall: It'd be a cost prohibitive six pack but if I some how stumbled upon six of these I could see myself slurping all six down in fairly rapid succession and not realizing how hammered I was because I never stood up. This one is a monster and I approve. I have an extra one and look forward to what a little bottle age will do to this one. Get one already.

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Photo of WoostaBia
4.34/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The smell is amazing- toffee, caramel, molasses and bourbon wood alcohol finish. Taste is much the same with a herbal middle, light salty tequila influence felt and small alcohol heat going down. Well made beer.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #90 (July 2014):

Raisins, Tequila, Agave

A strong ale brewed with agave syrup and aged in tequila barrels? Yep. Drops into the glass dark reddish brown, opaque, and with a creamy beige head. Aromas of agave nectar, lime rinds, apples, candied fruit, boozy tequila, and wood. Creamy, silky, and oily on the palate, with a massive toffee note, hint of vanilla, toasted malts, distinct tequila flavors, a smack of lime, suggestions of salt, plum, and an underlying charred raisin note throughout and into the finish with a boozy heat and pepperiness in the linger. What we have here is an awesome use of tequila barrels.

STYLE: American Strong Ale | ABV: 13.5% | AVAILABILITY: Limited

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.31/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I first had this on a bottle and wasn't impressed, then on tap and wasn't impressed. Now on tap at Khyber Pass in Philadelphia for a Lost Abbey event and it blew me away.

The tequila barrel is smooth and the beer is chocolat-y and delicious

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
1.76/5  rDev -55%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1.75

Shared by Curran last night.

This one pours a murky brown, with no head or lacing.

This one has a really off-putting smell that really reminds me of rotting garbage. It's honestly disgusting. There's some stale tequila as well.

This was just a major fail on Lost Abbey's part. I'm not sure if that was intended, or it went deeply south in the year it's been in the bottle, but it was 2-3 sips and a drainpour, which I don't do often. There's a super unpleasant sour character, when mixed with the tequila, it's just rancid. The garbage character is really nicely present in the taste too.

This is medium bodied, and a bit syrupy, and not really that palatable.

Honestly, one of the worst beers I've ever had. Blech all around.

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Photo of KATCanada
2.12/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Pours Nestea color with s small dirty white head with some lacing. Not hugely carbonated.
Smells like syrupy coke - reminds me a bit of a Pilgrims Dole I had once.
Wierd sour taste with a boozy finish. I am thinking this one is spoiled. If not it sucks and shame on you Lost Abby. Bleh. If they make it again don't cellar it.

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Photo of smanson56
3.14/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Received this beer a an extra in a trade. Not sure of the exact age of the bottle but appear to be in good condition.
This poured a dark orangey brown color with a thin tan head.
The aroma contained some sour type smells mixed with the alcohol from the barrels.
The taste is very sour and bitter with a small amount of Tequila thrown in
Very dry mouth feel both from the ABV and the sourness
All I think a beer that would have been much better fresh and not something to have been kept any period of time.

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Photo of WontontoIsDrinking
3.02/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Tastes like a sour. Not a fan of sours typically but the hints of tequila behind it make this something I would continue to drink. Lacks anything in body and is unassuming in appearance.

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Photo of chinchill
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium-large shared bottle.
High ABV is quite evident in the aroma which suggests a mix of sherry and brown ale.
Slight woody aspect with plenty of dark and over-ripe fruit notes.
Lovely red-brown body.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.74/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales teku glass. 2014 vintage.

A- Pours a medium brown color with a 1/4 inch light tan head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of surface foam. Minimal lacing.

S- Strange funky aroma that's pretty off-putting. You get a bit of the barrel and a hint of booze but it's mainly this earthy aroma that's not very pleasant.

T- Big lime flavor with a spicy tequila finish. Slightly sweet with some raisin notes. Man, this is great because it really pulls through the reposado/anejo spiciness of a top-shelf tequila. There is a tartness present that actually complements the drink in the way that a lime would with a margarita. The more I drink it, the more I get this sour mix flavor that I really like.

M- Slight tart dryness. Actually gets more and more tart as the drink goes on.

O- This beer definitely shows signs of infection. The tartness becomes more and more apparent as the drink progresses and the smell is just plain bad. That being said, the flavor is great in my opinion. The tequila comes through with this sweet/sour lime flavor making me feel like I'm drinking a margarita which the tartness actually enhances. If I hadn't heard this was infected, I might not have thought there was anything technically wrong with it when drinking it. I'm glad I popped it when I did though since it apparently is on the road of getting worse over time, but I'm still pretty sure this beer isn't exactly how the brewer intended for it to taste at the time it was bottled. Overall, somewhat of a disappointment considering the money spent on this bottle.

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Photo of Jjski
1.18/5  rDev -69.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Sorry, I loved this beer fresh. Warm oak sweetness, tequila. LOVED IT!!!! Bought 4. Drank 2 a year ago.

2 others I have cellared properly have soured. It's not supposed to be a sour. A personal lesson learned, and a total cellar fail.

That said: it is a well balanced medium tart sour and I finished both although the aroma of rancid cabbage sneaks into the background.
For a barrel aged strong ale it sucks. For a sour it's pretty good right now.
Super disappointment, as I have been collecting Lost Abbey limited releases to try over time. Hope the others don't go sour. Soured Angels Share: bleh? I have a Cuvée de Tomme to try next. At least that one is supposed to be sour.

Beware if you find any for sale. Beware. Agree with 2/7/15,reviewer: smells like cabbage

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Photo of SierraFlight
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage on draft at Beachwood Seal Beach poured into a short footed pilsner-esque glass. Very dark brown opaque body with nothing but a few bubbles around the edge. No lacing. Aroma features wood, tequila, roasted malt, and brown sugar. Taste features brown sugar and caramel sweetness initially then some woody, smokey and boozy bitterness and spice on the swallow. Just short of full body, slick, sticky, oily texture, soft carbonation, and a long finish that coats the mouth with agave and malty sweetness.

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Photo of skiking1163
4.57/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

375 ml 2014 vintage in tulip

A: Accidentally poured the yeast and all into a tulip. With the yeast, mostly opaque dark brown with small, one finger head that hung around for a little while. Some lacing.

S: Nice light smell with a refreshing, tequila/barrel background. Not much alcohol nose around 45-50 deg.

T: Delicious. Everything good about tequila. Earthy, a little bit of oak, and dark, slightly tart fruit on the back end. Again, not much of an alcohol note, which is really refreshing for a beer over 13%

M: A little sticky and lingering, but I'm not surprised with this abv.

O: I'd been looking for a tequila-aged beer for a long time when I picked this up at the end of last summer and this one has set the bar high. Great one to break out on a cold snow day in the south. Would definitely pick this one up again to share the love with friends.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

375ml cork and cage bottle poured into a globe.

A: Poured yeast and all. Chestnut brown. Opaque. Sandy colored head is short lived. Small spots of lacing.

S: Tequila is front and center. Spicy, agave. Dusty oak. Black pepper and ghostly smoke. Brown sugar and honeyed sweetness. Perhaps some subtle whiffs of berry fruits.

T: Tequila spiciness vies with a honeyed sweetness. Burnt sugar. Bread crust. Hint of nutty cocoa. Vague fruits. Peppery. Sweet finish of honey and tequila.

M: medium-thick body. Slick and slightly coating feel. Fairly flat. Warming alcohol.

O: Interesting. I like the concept. Tequila barrel aging really hasn't been explored much, and a sweet, dark strong ale makes for a nice marriage. It strikes a nice balance. A little more malt and/or yeast complexity to round it out and some more aggressive carbonation would really elevate this brew.

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Agave Maria from The Lost Abbey
87 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.