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Avant Garde - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Avant GardeAvant Garde

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

336 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 336
Hads: 673
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 35
Gots: 58 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 05-12-2006

At the Lost Abbey, we pride ourselves on producing beers of the highest quality and distinction. Avant Garde is our commitment to brewing beers to no particular style. Some might want to label this as a beer brewed in the Biere de Garde tradition of Northern France. We would prefer to say it was brewed in the Avant Garde style of beers that will reward all those who seek the not so ordinary. Deep gold in color with hints of biscuits, caramel and fresh baked bread, this beer is sure to delight the senses and palates of consumers everywhere.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 336 | Hads: 673
Photo of anonymoose
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The bottle is 5 years old at the time of review. At this age the beer has a hazy orange color. The aroma is sweet malt and spice. The taste follows with bready malt, spice, hop bitterness, and a little bit of funk. The beer has held up well but the taste isn't that remarkable.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours hazy gold under a persistent, clingy 3” creamy white foam collar.
S: Fruity nose, peach. A little over ripe fruit.
T: Fruit over shortbread biscuit with peach, melon, lemon, citrus with a light lingering honey sweetness balanced by earthy hops. A hint of marmalade.
F: Very creamy body with above average carbonation.
O: the brewer has nailed Belgian texture and yeast character. As good as anything from Belgium.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.26/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Spot on for a biere de garde; deep hay and ice tea body is darker than a classic saison, as it should be. Beautiful cream white head has fantastic lace and retention.

S - Big, dry barn notes. Dried weeds, dusty root cellar, and waxy dandelion bitters.

T - Herbal up front with thyme and parsley balanced by agave and a light honey sweetness through the center. Straw and earthy mushroom backend with lots of nutty wheat.

M - Thick and creamy with a surprisingly light frame. Low carbonation.

O - A really nice, accessible biere de garde on the sweeter side of the style. A great table beer for thanksgiving.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.31/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Lost Abbey in San Marcos, CA.

A- Lighter golden-copper body, half finger white head with minimal retention time, not much lacing.

S- Lightly toasted crackers, mild tartness, a bit of lemon, bread, baker's yeast. Decent complexity, but it seems to be lacking something; I'm not sure what that would be. Possibly some noble hops would make this nose more compelling. Or peppers.

F- Mild booziness at first, a bit of mild leathery funk, biscuits, crackers, lemon zest. Minerals. It's solid, but nothing special. As above, it seems to be missing something that would add some complexity.

M- Medium bodied, good carbonation, not soft nor hard but is about right. A bit of bitter lemon on the finish blunted by the bready sweetness.

O- Not my thing. It's certainly not like any other Biere de Garde or Saison that I've tried. Seems like it's missing something here. As above, it could probably benefit from something more than what it already has.

Final score: 3.30

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Photo of mac31
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bomber to chalice.

Spice, biscuit, citrus

Dry, spice laden entry. Spice reminiscent of the holiday-cinnamon, all spice?. Citrus/orange peel, apricot, stone fruit. Soft, clean bitterness. Spicy, slightly floral and earthy hop notes. It does have some funk to it. As a huge saison fan, it seems a bit restrained. The light malt seems almost pale/muted in flavor, but bready. But the malt profile leaves behind some residual sugars that balance out the dry entry. The alcohol is more detectable as the beer warms. There is a modest cereal finish.

Medium, yet syrupy mouthfeel. Bright carbonation.

I enjoyed it. I had no expectations. I would like to see other offerings from this style.

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Photo of chinchill
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the brewery in San Marcos.

Pours amber with a white head that soon reduces to a ring but leaves some lacing.

Aroma: intriguing fruity aroma with a good malt base; hints of white wine.

Flavor: more funky and less fruity than the aroma, but not challenging to drink. Lightly bitter finish.

Feel: medium body; medium, lightly crisp carbonation.

O: strong (ABV) for style.

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Photo of greentam2
3.64/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is an extremely drinkable "extra" ale with no bite at the front of the taste. It is very smooth throughout, with just a bit of hops on the back of the tongue, with a bit of tangy citrus as well. The flavor is mild, which is both good and yet also leaves you looking for a bit more taste, too. Well crafted, it's greatest quality is it's smoothness.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml into big Duvel tulip.

Cloudy orange body, topped with tightly foamed white head. Tons of lacing.

Aromas are bread-first, followed by some light/bright fruits, like orange and strawberry. Some light grassy funk as it warmed, but stays in the background.

Mouthfeel is quite crisp on the tongue. Not too heavy for the style. Flavors are led by fruits.. white grape and some citrus - light lemon and/or orange. Some white pepper spice keeps it interesting. Finish is pretty darn clean and refreshing. Final touch of sweet orange left on the palate.

Very nice table beer - won't overpower any foods, esp lighter summer fare. Great value for the money, too. Got this corked and caged 750ml for under $9.

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Photo of FitnessForBeer
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: lighting brown to orange color, very carbonated, 2 fingers worth. Some floaters and I think some coag' d protein
S: malt forward, grassy hops, little bit of spicyness, bready smell
T: earthy, hearty, spicy, little funky, kind of like drinking a warm rustic baked bread, aftertaste lingers
M: does kinda linger in your mouth
O: first experience with this style of beer, was interesting and I'll give gift of the magi by LA a try too

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Pale orange. Nice white head. Thick white collar.

Smell - Pale malt. Some belgian sweetness. Fruity esters. A little peppery.

Taste - Pale malt balanced by white pepper and wine-like fruitiness. Bitter grassy finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Almost too heavy. Well carbonated.

Overall - Straightforward, but tasty.

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Photo of gr0g
3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

8 month old bottle. Golden-colored and hazy. Fluffy head has good retention and leaves tattered lacing. Crisp, clean aroma of light, fresh-baked bread plus a crisp fruit note. Slightly tart apple is a good descriptor. Not funky like some Bieres de Garde can be.

Flavor transitions from slightly sweet and malty at first to bitter on the finish. Some yeast character reminds you that this is a farmhouse style ale. All in all, it's like a more malt-focused Saison. Not as fruit forward as its cousin style either, though there's a flavor not unlike ripe apple. They nailed the body and carbonation pretty well.

Despite the name, this isn't avant garde for the style. This slots in nicely between Lost Abbey's Devotion and their Abbey Dubbel and would be a good introductory beer for the style.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

bottle from...sheesh...a WHILE ago. poured into a lost abbey teku.

a - brew poured a transparent shimmering orange...almost with pinkish tints. nice finger of fizzy, but partially creamy head. really nice visible steady carbonation swam to the surface.

s - nose is a toasted malt, some syrupy caramel sweetness. earthy.

t - taste picks up where the nose left off starting out with some toasted malt and then washed over with caramel sweetness.

m - fairly full bodied and chewy. soft carbonation.

o - overall BdG isn't my favorite style, but this is a nice offering. a bit rich and syrupy and chewy for what i like in this style, but the toasted malt is nice. the caramel and thickness make it feel like an old barleywine. this beer should've been consumed a while ago.

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Photo of Joshpu
3.84/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bomber to a snifter.

A: Poured a hazy golden orange with two fingers of creamy white head. Lots of carbonation.

S: Yeast funk, a little fruity like an apple or lemon. Noble hops (I believe).

T: Light fruit/lemon, bready/cereal, noble hops grassy and dry on the end. The malty characteristics are interesting, some gulps they're prominent, others they aren't really at all.

M: Light to medium bodied. Lots of carbonation. A little sweetness with a dry and bitter finish. Fairly light beer on the tongue overall.

Overall a pretty solid beer. Its not doing anything crazy but still a satisfying beer. Gets pretty bitter once it warms.

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Photo of vandemonian
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Avant Garde by Lost Abbey is a delicious Bière de Garde with a subtle fruit and strong spicy character.

A: Orange colour and a big 10 mm head that lasts really well. 4.5

S: Lovely subtle fruit aroma along with some spiciness. 4.5

T: Malty with a very strong pepper spice. There is also some nice subtle fruit flavour to balance from the hops. This is a delcious beer. 4.25

M: Big and foamy. 4.25

O: 4.5

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Pizzacato in San Diego. Pours deep golden, clear, with a big creamy white head. Hay aroma, some yeast, with light pale malt sweetness. Flavor is very light hay and hops, again with light malt honey sweetness. Does not finish particularly clean or crisp, and there is lingering yeast on the palate. relatively light bodied with medium carbonation. This tasted much like a standard Helles lager to me when I was expecting a bit more farmhouse and light yeasty goodness. Only OK in my book.

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Photo of Mojo
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle -> Westbrook Brewing snifter

A - hazy medium gold, eventually becoming clear, one finger frothy head which disappears entirely. No lacing can be observed

S - fruity esters dominate, especially oranges. Earthy grain notes are detected too.

T - There is a dry yeasty flavor at work with a simultaneous fruity sweetness. Sort of odd. As the beer warms alcohol taste can be detected.

M - about average. nothing more to really say.

O - This was an old bottle. I'm sure if it falls off with age or improves. Fairly drinkable with a curious taste.

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Photo of oberon
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Lost Abbey beer to try.Pours into my Hennepin glass a slight hazed peach color with a great looking thick one finger off white head that leaves a nice full ring of broken lace as it settles ever so slowly.I pick up vanilla with a peaches cream-like note,some mildy nutty pilsner malt as well.Flavors of nutty pilsner malts,vanilla,and a light tart green apple in the finish.A great food beer with alot of richness and subtle flavors.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle poured into a tulip
A: Amber color with a lingering one-finger head, good carbonation
S: Lots of nice malt, some yeast & a hint of fruit esters
T: This is okay but just not speaking to me in any way. Slightly sweet malt/bread backed up by a bit of apple & a touch of yeast.
M: Medium-bodied, pleasant carbonation, just a touch viscous from the sweet malt
O: Nice overall, just not something I'd go out of the way to search out

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Photo of beertunes
3.04/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Thanks to OKComputer for this one. Poured into 10oz goblet. Poured a cloudy straw gold color with about an inch of white head that had moderate retention and no lacing.

The aroma was mostly slightly funky yeast, with some underlying grain. The taste was pretty similar, tangy funk, some earthy grains and perhaps a slight cigarette taste. The flavors dissipated quickly on the finish.

The body was was on the light side of medium, and the finish was so light as to be non-existent. Drinkability would have been OK, except for the weird funk and ashtray taste. Overall, not terrible, but I was expecting more.

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Photo of MarioM
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml poured into SN snifter

A: Very clear copper color with an off white head composed of small to medium size bubbles. Moderate to high carbonation, no bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass.

S: Spicy, fruity, lightly phenolic with a slight hint of orange and maybe orange peel.

T: Very fruity, light bitterness and slightly citrus like but not overpowering. Very refreshing on a hot day I would imagine. Great example of this style.

M: Medium bodies yet dry and refreshing. Bitterness balances out the sweetness quite well while not being overpowering at all, just as it should be.

O: A great beer from Lost Abbey, as always. Refreshing and fruity, great after a hard hays work at the farm. Would buy again and hopefully share with friends.

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Photo of joshbhs04
3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- Hazy color with a nice slowly dissipating head. Super tiny bubbles moving along the edge of the glass
S- Lemon, hay, Belgian funky ( my term lol). Aroma doesn’t linger long
T- Lemon, Def get the bread yeast flavors. A lil medicine flavor on the back of the tongue.
M- Good carb that seems to dance on the tongue, medium mouth feel. Lingers on the throat a lil bit.
O- A good beire de garde, typical of the style from my experience ( which isn’t a lot for this style). A beer I could drink in the summer sitting in the yard relaxing.

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Photo of portia99
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle (bottled 10/4/11) poured into an Allagash stemmed glass. Found this old bottle sitting on the shelf at an out of the way store and figured I'd give it a shot.

A - After a nearly impossible to remove cork finally lets loose this pours hazy and finely sedimented glowing orange body with two fingers of fluffy off-white head that shows excellent staying power and leaves lots of lacing on the glass.

S - This is super fruity on the nose with tons of green apples, really bright lemon aromas, some oranges, still nice hoppy bitterness, quite estery, some spices.

T - Surprisingly bitter hoppiness that trends towards being a bit medicinal which also overpowers most of the other flavors. Still manages to put out some solid fruity flavors consistent with the aroma - lemons, oranges, apples...but all at a lower and less satisfying intensity.

M - Agressive carbonation that is fizzy and foamy in the mouth. Body is a lightish medium. The medicinal bitterness sadly lingers long past the swallow and drowns out the other nuances that are trying to come out.

O - Started out really great with a beautiful appearance and really great and aromatic presence in the glass. Unfortunately perhaps the age hurt this one with the medicinal bitterness overpowering the more delicate fruitiness. Maybe I will seek out a fresher bottle for comparison. Had high hopes on opening and suffered a bit of a letdown in the taste test. Still plenty drinkable and enjoyable, but what the aroma promised could have been something great if the flavor lived up to it.

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Photo of GuinnessAtRogerWilco
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml cork and cage bottle into a Chimay chalice glass.

AP: straw-gold colour with a 1/2" white lace head that slowly dissipates, strands of tight little bubbles floating to the top

AR: for whatever reason I'm not getting much aroma here, some faint bread, hay/grass and Belgian yeast. Smell is a bit bland.

T: taste makes up for the lack of aroma. Baked bread, apple, pear, peach, nectarine and a soft kiss of herbal hops on the finish. Very tasty.

M: a slight effervescence soon as it hits your tongue, good carbonation on this without being too much, finishes crisp and palate cleansing without being too dry

OV: I really like this beer and feel the Biere de Garde style is underrated. The flavours were really nice, which is the main aspect of any beer. It paired very well with my mushroom burger on multi-grain bread with salsa veggies and swiss. Definitely a good food beer for light to moderate fare.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml Bottle from Bevmo La Quinta for 10$

Appearance - Slightly hazy yellow colour with a large size fizzy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fairly good lacing. The head lasted for 3-4 minutes.

Smell - Breads/grains, lemons, ginger/spices

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste bread/grains mixed with some lemons, ginger, and noble hops. There is also a bit a herbal/grassy flavour. It ends with a bready/grainy aftertaste with a light bitterness.

Overall - Good, not great. Every beer I've had from this brewer has been fantastic so my expectations were high. Not a repeat buy for me.

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Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy golden yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half high off white head that took a long time to died down and left a huge pillow of bubbles in the center of the glass, a collar around the edge, and lots of lacing down the sides.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of earthy yeast in the nose along with notes of grassy hops and some hints of peppery spices towards the finish.
T: The taste is similar to the smell notes of grainy malts and a light amount of bitterness. The light bits of spices are most noticeable towards the back end of the taste and linger through the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and slightly dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and has some interesting aromas and flavors, but the dryness seems unusual for the style and cuts through (instead of emphasizing) the malty and earthy flavors.

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Avant Garde from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 336 ratings.