Agave Maria - The Lost Abbey

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Agave MariaAgave Maria

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BA SCORE
87
very good

65 Reviews
THE BROS
95
world-class

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Reviews: 65
Hads: 498
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 6.43%
Wants: 52
Gots: 103 | FT: 17
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
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Reviews: 65 | Hads: 498
Photo of Circles413
4.91/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pour: a nice dark drown with a slight reddish tint. Decent carbonation with nice lacing. Served from a corked & caged bottle & poured into a snifter glass.

Aroma: very boozy from the tequila barrels. Some dark fruits, caramel, molasses & more tequila.

Taste: wow!!! This is a sipper for sure! It's a big sweet & sour beer!!! It gets you in the cheeks from the sweetness & sourness from the agave & tequila. This is an amazing beer & gets even better as it warms up. You definitely get the heat from the barrels!!

Mouth: chewy, syrupy & rich medium mouth feel. Could be a little less carbonated to match the richness & sweetness but still feels good on the tongue.

Overall: this is a great beer!!! It carries so many characteristics from; the agave syrup, to the tequila from the barrels, to sweet & bitter dark fruits. It's a very complex beer but it's very well balanced!!! If you see this beer I strongly suggest you ignore the price & give it a try. You won't be disappointed!!! (987 characters)

Photo of pkalix
4.62/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

what a beautiful aroma! the last guy MarcWP hit it all right on the head as I read his review and sipped my snifter.... some boozy notes but not at all alcohol-like. just a pleasant taste and aroma of cocoa, toffee, tequila (much like a bourbon, but tequila), fruit... first sip and first taste produced that deja vu sensation of extreme excitement much like that first Eclipse I had.... sweet and dessert-like, yet serious and sincere. Lost Abbey really has some great stuff. (476 characters)

Photo of skiking1163
4.57/5  rDev +17.5%
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. (859 characters)

Photo of beergoot
4.57/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pouring produced a slightly hazy, deep brown body topped with a lasting, one-finger thick head. The aroma presents a heady mixture of tequila, brown bread, brown sugar, and roasted nuts. The flavor follows the aroma with the addition of an edge of alcohol burn. Mouthfeel is heavy bodied with an overall softness on the palate.

This beer deftly combines elements of malty brown ales, barley wines, and barrel-aged influences. The tequila component pops up from the get go yet doesn't overwhelm things. Delicious, boozy, and malty, all wrapped together in a nicely balanced, fantastically complex big beer package. (614 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
4.56/5  rDev +17.2%

A - Low retention and lace on a bone-white head. Beautiful deep mahogany body with cranberry highlights.

S - Sweet nose. Raisins, honey, agave, and tangy tequila.

T - Sweet brown bread, golden raisins, tart vinegary oak, smooth agave, and a touch of anise.

M - Medium-light body. Super smooth.

O - Outstanding. Great execution on an interesting experimental style.


------------------------------------------------------------------------
4.56 Agave Maria
-- -Jay- -Jon- -Vin- -Avg- Weight Adj
A - 4.00 4.30 4.50 4.27 10% 0.43
S - 4.50 4.75 4.50 4.58 20% 0.92
T - 4.60 4.60 4.70 4.63 40% 1.85
M - 4.40 4.40 4.50 4.43 10% 0.44
O - 4.60 4.60 4.60 4.60 20% 0.92 (686 characters)

Photo of Mikeypnh
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a dark brown, not a whole lot of head, just a few bubbles. The aroma is initially very sweet. Along with oak, tequila, and dark fruit. Very nice smell. The taste is rich with flavor, oak up front, slight chocolate and molasses, caramel, Tabacco?, and tequila. The tequila shines best right at the end. There's that nice tequila alcohol burn right after you swallow. Really good. It also leaves your mouth dry immediately after, making you want to take a sip as soon as you put the glass down. Mouthfeel is a little thick but still easy to drink given the ABV, with little to no carbonation. Very nice beer, especially if you like tequila. Most impressed with the tequila at the end, it's makes it a very nice sipper. (722 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.52/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

i havent had a beer this interesting in a long time, and have never seen a better expression of tequila in a beer. a strong ale, like only the lost abbey can brew, using agave nectar instead of the usual belgian candy sugar or other sweetener, and then aged in a mix of repo and anejo barrels for what just be quite awhile. listed on the bottle at 13.5% abv, it drinks like about 8%, just no heat at all and very pleasant all the way through. rich amber color, mahogany really, cherry wood red, with a lot of haze and viscosity, and an average cream head. it smells fruity as heck, super sweet, and lush like the agave plant itself. i get plenty of sweet oak, red and brown malts, and just the smallest hint of booze. the flavor is tequila heavy, but not in a hot or caustic or stomach turning way. its rich and sweet, like a tequila desert made from some top shelf stuff. tons of oak and a hint of vanilla in with the fresh agave plant juice. malt base is enormous, but right where it belongs. i get toasted almonds, coconut, black pepper, and molasses all wrapped up in this, but its agave all the way, and as smooth and mellow as the best of them. a hint of smoke to cut the sweetness after the swallow. very dense beer too, almost gelatinous, but slippery and drinkable for what it is. lost abbey takes come criticism from users of this site for whatever reason, but its beers like this that keep me loyal. fantastically interesting and well crafted beer, up there with anything, near flawless, i need more. (1,511 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.49/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

04/06/2014

Bottle into Lost Abbey stemware. The cork comes off with a big pop and the beer pours dark brown with a lively inch of beige foam. Lacing is scattered.

The aroma has a strong tequila influence. Caramel blends with vanilla and agave. The base beer is bready with some brown sugar and a touch of chocolate. There's a light spiciness as well, maybe some floral character accompanying oak and earth.

The flavor is bursting with agave, caramel, and oak. There's a touch of chocolate as well. I'd like to imagine that the deep caramel and vanilla notes are from the experienced hand of the añejo, while the livelier, spicy notes can be attributed to the reposado. Alcohol is very well hidden. There's some citrus in the dry, sticky, warming finish. Caramel, earth, and oak linger. Carbonation is at a medium level.

Overall, this is a beautiful beer with the fine flavors of a good tequila. The base beer seems to be the perfect vehicle for the agave. Highly recommended. (980 characters)

Photo of reebtaerG
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured bottle into Lost Abbey Teku

A-Pours a dark brown color with a small beige head that soon recedes to a fine ring.

S-The aroma is sweet with agave nectar, dark fruits and tequila.

T-The taste is similarly sweet with raisins, dates, plums and a trace of mellow tequila.

M-The mouthfeel is oily and viscous and the carbonation is soft. Finishes long and cloying.

O-Overall was quite surprised and impressed with. Would definitely get again to age and compare. (471 characters)

Photo of MarcWP
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Toppling Goliath chalice.

Pours a dark brown and when settled in the glass looks almost black. Small tan head that dissipates to the thinnest of rings around the edge of glass.

Aroma is truely wonderful. Rich chocolate, tequila reposado (literally), light caramel, maple, oak, Brandy, and a fruity coffee lingers in the background. The tequila in this I would say is more pronounced than in the PNC or any other beer aged in tequila barrels that I've had (which isn't more than I can count with the fingers of one hand!)

The palate brings pretty much what was present on the nose. Cocoa, caramel, grade b maple syrup, smooth tequila (you know, the good shit), some silky agave sweetness, raw sugar cane (have you ever chewed on fresh sugar cane? I have), and fruity black tea. This finish is so smooth, refined and decadent. At 13.5 abv it's hard to believe there is no booziness. The only hint of booziness you get is from the tequila flavors but even those are more flavor than actual fusel alcohol notes.

Mouthfeel is silky heavy medium with low carbonation that seems fitted to this beer. I don't see the need for more carbonation but maybe some would not agree. The beer has sweetness throughout but is not cloying in any shape or form.

A risky, innovative approach by The Lost Abbey in pursuing a 100 percent tequila barrel-aged strong ale and calling it a regular among their seasonal lineup. I think tequila is at the bottom of choices for spirit barrel usage by brewers to age their beers in. I grew up in the Mexican culture (I am Mexican) and have had many drinking binges consuming all sorts of tequila (growing up, as I don't exactly binge drink anymore) and I have to say, Agave Maria is probably the best vehicle for enjoying those agave and tequila flavors :). The beer really showcases the Tequila reposado and agave flavors while also presenting barleywine like characteristics uniting it all in a smooth drinking package. Well done, Lost Abbey, well done. (1,992 characters)

Photo of neurobot01
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375ml corked & caged bottle at cellar temp into a snifter, in honor of Cinco de Mayo. Bottle lists abv at 13.5%.

Look: murky red-tinged brown, with essentially no head, and little carbonation (but not the infamous Lost-Abbey-flat).

Smell: unmistakably of tequila. This is the part where I remember that tequila and I do not get along particularly well. Having a pretty hard time picking up anything else.

Taste: unmistakably of awesome! Quite sweet (duh, the base beer's brewed with agave nectar), and definitely a wallop of tequila, but without a strong alcohol bite, and with brown sugar, figs, overripe banana, a tiny bit of cinnamon and nutmeg, and honey backing up the tequila. Given how little heat there is on this, I'm not sure what aging will add—but, that's not going to stop me from sitting on my second bottle for a year.

Feel: pretty syrupy, but not unpleasantly so. Just the mildest hint of carbonation, but basically right for the style.

Overall: if I didn't find the smell of tequila somewhat aversive, this would be a 4.75 overall. That said, at $16/bottle, there are probably other examples of the style that are a better value. Definitely worth trying for fans of tequila. (1,212 characters)

Photo of gr0g
4.41/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown, mahogany highlights showing. Off white color on the head, composed of very fine bubbles. Tequila is unmistakable on the nose. The "sting" associated with Tequila is tempered nicely. Woody, vanilla-like notes reflect the barrel-aging. Plenty of agave and brown sugar character. Alcohol presence is notable but not overwhelming; it doesn't hide the good qualities present.

Strong, sweet flavor profile. Any heat or sting from the tequila is tempered nicely, with the barrel qualities allowed to shine through. Comparisons in flavor profile to an English barleywine are accurate. Tons of caramellized sugar. The finish is dry and clean. Mouthfeel has a slight syrupy quality, but it's not very viscous. Not quite moderately carbonated, and it's not prickly.

Lost Abbey comes through again with another top notch barrel-aged strong ale. The tequila qualities are expertly balanced with the base beer. Pricey, for sure, but there's a strong argument to be made that it's worth it. (1,002 characters)

Photo of JoyJer
4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The soul of a wormed devil as settled in this beer. The barrel this was aged in had to if been from a cartels special cellar because something that taste this great out if a bottle has to be illegal..

So I called the INS & DEA they both repeated ensured me that this beer is legal to drink and if I keep calling in, I'd get arrested for disturbing the peace .

So drink this beer do so without fear, it's legal and delicious like a 8 week old slaughtered lamb slapped in the grill . (483 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle into a Lost Abbey teku. Cork comes out with a pop, and miraculously, this has perfect carbonation. Pours a clear dark brown with a clinging finger of head.

Lots of agave goodness on the nose - plenty of tequila character that brings fruity sweetness and caramel. The big brown ale base brings some nice toasty sweetness, but the barrel is really the dominant aspect here and it works nicely.

Sweet and fruity on the palate, big tequila and agave presence with layers of caramel, vanilla and smoke. The body isn't overly hefty, and there's not much booziness despite the high ABV. The base beer is pretty simple, a bit toasty and sweet; little more than a showcase for the agave and barrel.

Having been really impressed with Firestone's tequila barrel aged stout, I had high hopes for this one, and it delivers. It's also nice to see a really polished strong ale coming from Lost Abbey, fully carbonated and without a large amount of sediment. (954 characters)

Photo of ricknelson
4.34/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Shared this with a couple of fellow BA'ers and found it to be quite good, but not quite up to my Gold Standard, as set by Goose Island Proprietor's. But did a side by side tasting of it along with Bell's Black Note, and found it did get edged out by Bell's Black Note by a nose. Pun intended.
The taste was very different from most Lost Abbey beers; it was sweeter, but a solid 4.25 beer. (389 characters)

Photo of WoostaBia
4.34/5  rDev +11.6%
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. (211 characters)

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Served in a snifter a beautiful, light brown color, clear with garnet highlights and a tight tan head.
S: Toffee, oak, light smoke, raisins soaked in tequila, and a rich roasted malt profile.
T: Caramel, oak, tequila, raisins and dried plums. Rich layers of roasted malt and a kick of boozy tequila finish on the tongue but it still remains smooth.
M: Medium to full body with a smooth, light carbonation. Alcohol warmth is noticeable but where it should be and not harsh.
O: A terrific sipper! Lots of smooth layers that keep developing. This is a harmonious balance between a strong ale and tequila! Seek this beer out! (628 characters)

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.31/5  rDev +10.8%
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 (242 characters)

Photo of FitnessForBeer
4.31/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: pours a very dark brown, little carbonation. Looks like a Belgium strong ale kinda
S: smells of tequila, does have an agave smell ( I had some agave nectar to compare to). Little bit of woody oak smell
T: very sweet, agave flavor mixed with like a dark chocolate flavor. Very much of tequila and some spicyness. The tequila and woody/oak flavors hit you at the end are mixed to the point it's hard to tell the difference. Very strong alcohol is evident but blended.
M: little carbonation, smooth. Has a heavy feeling without actually being heavy.
O:very interesting experiment from lost abbey, I've never had anything aged in tequila barrels and I do say i might prefer it over some of the whiskey barrel aged things out there. (732 characters)

Photo of GoneARye
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Cloudy, mostly opaque. Deep brown. Like barrel char.
S: Wood, aged tequila, and raisins. Smoky notes from the barrel hide underneath.
T: Tequila really shines through. Supported by raisins, dark fruit and wood. Smoke lingers on the finish.
MF: Gentle carbonation. Tequila alcohol finds the palette even when liquid is held in one place on the tongue.
O: Very interesting. Would love to see now tequila barrel experimentation. (428 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

AUG 29, 2014
UPDATED: AUG 31, 2014 Bottle from Chris. Thanks, hagg. 2014 vintage.Pouring a very dark brown with a dense, brown head with decent retention and nice lacing, this looks great. The nose is awesome. A blend of boozy notes, rum and tequla mostly, up front along with a complex malt base that has floral agave notes, leather, dark fruit, a little smoke (the last 3 particularly reminiscent of Angels Share). A mild barrel/boozy tartness is present with flavors of semiripe blackberries. A really nice earthy, savory note is present with petrichor and red wine. Awesome.The palate opens full-bodied with the berry tartness, a delightful tequila character, some brown sugar and a little leather. The leather grows through the palate, gaining earth, toffee, burnt sugar, a little smoke and red wine/grape skin tannins quite strong. Fruity and vinous on the finish with a blend of floral agave, a fruity, jammy Zin and a hint of smoke. Lightly carbonated, this feels great on the palate. Excellent stuff. (1,009 characters)

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
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 (712 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage poured into LA teku glass.

A: Pours a very deep caramel brown with a faint soft collar for a head.
S: Tequila barrel comes through strongly alongside hints of roasted malts, sweet agave syrup, and maybe a mint hint of chocolate.
T: Interesting and much smoother flavors than expected from the nose. Tequila barrel hints first with that characteristic agave and oak taste, followed by notes of caramel, vanilla, leather, tobacco, roast, and milk chocolate. The finish is sweet with agave syrup and full of spice, and the aftertaste is buttery, smooth and has a lingering taste of chocolate and tequila. Tons of sticky caramel comes out as the beer reaches room temp.
M: Full and fairly viscous body, low carbonation that thankfully fluffs up a bit in my mouth and adds some chewiness to the mouthfeel, and a sticky and slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is warming but not distracting.
O: Impressive. I didn’t know what to think given the barrel, but I thoroughly enjoyed sipping on this. (996 characters)

Photo of Resuin
4.26/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 375 mL bottle into a snifter. Served at cellar temp.

Appearance: Pours a deep caramel color and leaves a half finger of off-white head that fades almost immediately to a ring around the rim of the glass.

Smell: Molasses, liquor soaked raisins, oak, sweet grape jelly. The aroma is sweet but not overly, and pretty nice.

Taste: Starts with a flash of spice and then proceeds to be very sweet, and matches the aroma well. Sweet grape jelly, sweet dark fruits, oak, strawberry jam.

Mouth-feel: Medium carbonation with a slick, medium body. Finishes rather nice and smooth. A hint of alcohol in the finish.

Overall: I wasn't sure what to expect from tequila barrels, but I think it worked out rather nice and subtly. Definitely plenty of sweetness likely from the agave in the base beer, but possibly from the barrel as well. Interesting sweet fruit flavors and oak are predominant in here. (905 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter. Vintage 2014. Very small pop, and some muscle to get the cork out.

Deep somewhat murky brown, a strange reddish glow, and hints of lemon yellow edges. No head produced, looks a little lifeless on the pour, but has a nice tan collar, very fine and thin. Not too bad, not too slick or oily top either.

Great aroma. Hints of tequila, but a real nice soft sweetness from the agave syrup. A little bit of smoke aromas round out, faint heat of tequila warmth as well. Maybe even a little briney sensing.

Nice palate. Great texture of silky sugars that aren't horribly sweet from the agave syrup. Syrup light bodied with some playful carbonation. Hints of red wine grape, a little bit of smoke on the finish, and roasty warmth in the gut, and some good grass aromatics. Nice butterscotch and caramel action more giving to style of a classic strong and old ale, picking up a beer character more so than hinted on the nose.

Quite a fun little beer, and if you are into aged tequila which I enjoy, you will dig this. (1,055 characters)

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Agave Maria from The Lost Abbey
87 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.