Avant Garde - The Lost Abbey

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Avant GardeAvant Garde

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

657 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 657
Reviews: 336
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 34
Gots: 54 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 657 | Reviews: 336
Reviews by RenoZymurgist:
Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.52/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light orange with nice streams of fine bubbles and a thick rocky white head that leaves nice lacing.
Aroma is dry and spicy with a nice light malty note. More fruity than spicy with some light applish esters and a touch of pepper.
The flavor begins nice and sharp from the high carbonation great for style. Once that carb backs off the balance of toasty dry malt comes through and some more of the subtle yet stylistically accurate belgian notes come through. The flavor of the malt is very nicely balanced with the light fruit notes and the high carbonation keeps things refreshing.
Mouthfeel is great for a belgian style ale and is right up there with actual belgian beers. This beer does an excellent job of blurring the lines between a belgian style and an authentic belgian beer. Very refreshing and drinkable this is a great food beer and would go well with poultry or light fish dishes.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of RoyalT
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This is a shiny golden brown in color with little head. The color is really more copper, like a shiny copper pipe.

Smell – The malts are lightly toasted and, with the significant alcohol sense, almost smells like a strong Eisbock or some other type of high-octane European brew.

Taste – This is not as threatening as it looked and smelled. The booze is light but present, the malts turned a tad farmy with some good earth and must, and the sweets are just barely there.

Mouthfeel – This is medium-bodied and not very carbonated with some bitter leafy notes way up front and a moderate alcohol sting.

Drinkability – This one went down well enough. It has all the right components but is a bit too “in your face” for the style.

Photo of brewdogmrb
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Honey, honey, and more honey. I couldn't get over the floral honey stench that poured out of this glass. It was the flower, the honey, and the bee all in one, so to speak. The bee is the sting in the spice, which came with the nose and lingered on the tongue. Anyway, this beer poured a beautiful color out of the corked and caged Lost Abbey bottle which is adorned with some of the most ridiculous copy I've ever seen on a beer bottle -- but I loved it. This was a surprisingly complex and easy to drink Bière de Garde at 7% ABV and it really had everything you could ask for in an American version of a Belgian beer, a theme which dominated the tasting this bottle was a part of. Brews like this really get me going, when they which pour beautifully, feel great in the mouth, and have something expressive and interesting to say about a specific well-treaded style. Lost Abbey is a hell of a brewery.

Photo of MadScientist
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A pale gold with good clarity and a persistent off-white head comprised of rocky and thick creamy bubble that leaves lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is spicy, hoppy and fruity. There is a moderate pepper phenol and apricot ester with moderate spicy hops. There is a malt sweetness and a very slight perfume alcohol. Some light orange peel in there as well.

T: Moderate hops bitterness with a bunch of spicy that seems to be from both the yeast and the hops flavor so it's peppery and noble hop-like. There is some malt sweetness which does linger into the aftertaste. The finish is fairly dry. The balance seems to be modestly bitter.

M: The body is medium-light with high carbonation. There is a little bit of that astringency common to the Biere de Garde style.

O: A very drinkable example of this style and I will search long and wide for the sour version because layering some sour notes one will make a fantastic beer.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been hanging onto this a little bit now and figured it's time to pop the cork. Pours into my glass a hazy amber/orange with a small fizzy white head that forms a ring around the top. Aromas begin with some toasted grains and caramel. A light fruity spiciness is there as well. Earthy yeast with a slight twang, baked bread with some herbal hops. This just doesn't grab me.

First sip brings a toasted grain malt upfront with a nice hit of caramel. Fruity spiciness is evident and I pick up a grape skin and green apple flavor. Flows down with a bready, yeasty aspect and some earthy tones as well. Just a slight sour twang to it. Finishes with a touch of hops. A bit dry and grainy.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side while still having a nice creaminess to it. Ample carbonation, the beer goes down easily and is refreshing. Overall, this just doesn't match up with some of the better Biere de Garde's I've sampled. Doubt I'd seek this brew out again, but I look forward to sampling some of the other Lost Abbey brews.

Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Belgian bomber, caged and corked, no fresness info. Pours apricot, cloudy, gauzy eggshell head, leaving thick film, tiny bubble sheen and plenty of ringed and delicate lacing. The nose I pick up is minty, yeasty and fruity. Light peppery notes, yeasty goodness, nutty, caramel, complex, tasty, heady, another high class, BA worthy brew from Lost Abbey. The only problem I have with this brewery is that they do not distribute to NY state...

Photo of tigg924
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, clear, orange brown in color, high carbonation

Smell: bread, fruit, toffee, and toasted malt

Taste: bread, honey, peach, and toasted malt

Mouthfeel: sweet, light bodied with high carbonation

Drinkability: I really like this beer. A very good and bready beer with just the right spicing. Nice and malty, I cannot wait to have this again.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Always happy to try a new beer from Lost Abbey.

The beer pours a golden-orange color with a large white head. The aroma is full of flowers and apricots, with some candy sugar and Belgian yeast notes also coming through.

The flavor is similar. I get a lot of orange citrus notes, as well as some very sweet floral notes and some biscuit malt. The candy sugar and alcohol also come through.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of ehammond1
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Auburn and rust with a thick and tight white soapy head that stays perched atop the glass. Rings of sticky lacing slide down the glass. Beautiful.

A combination of bread, mild yeast, and lemon in the nose.

Slight Belgian yeast tang and a bit of spice present in flavor. A bit of sweet fruit and caramel malt but a very mild tasting beer in nearly every regard.

The mouthfeel is the star of the show with this beer. Highly carbonated, luscious yet smooth, full and bold yet smooth and easy drinking. No alcohol presence. Impressive.

An easy drinking Biere de Garde that pairs and drinks well with food.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.21/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice blonde yellow, much like many of the acclaimed belgian strong pale ales with its glow and virgin white head. Aroma was more bready than pale, but the pungent belgian yeast esters were here. Lemons and spice in a restrained amount.

one of the light and bready beers, thats impressive when you can pull it off, but not necessarily going to bbe something I'm all about as a recurring customer. I'm not a biere de garde guy, but as far as they go, this one is decent enough. There's a fine hop quality, very small, built with a belgian yeast, light body but bready quality that is probably a relatively difficult beer to pull off.

Photo of williamjbauer
3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled served in a shaker pint glass

A - Pale wheat pretty opaque with 1.5 finger with head with moderate retention and moderate bubbly lacing.

S - Citrus, funk, banana, clove

T - Woody oak, bananan, clove, a lot of clove, smokey, follows nose, nice balance, apricots, a little too much stuff going on, rather than a balanced complexity.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O - A nice intro to this style, a good spring beer.

Photo of chinchill
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

Photo of OStrungT
4.82/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a slightly cloudy dark golden color, with a thick fluffy off white head. The head fades slowly, leaving thick laces.

This beer has a strongly spicy aroma. Pepper and coriander. I also detect a nice citrus hop aroma. Lemon and orange are present. It has a very subtle earthy yeast aroma.

This beer tastes like it smells. All the flavors are mild. A spict flavor is present. Some citrus hops are apparent also. It is very well balanced.

This beer is very crisp and refreshing. It is highly carbonated. It goes down very smooth, leaving a slight spicy aftertaste.

This beer would make a great session beer. It tastes good, so having many would ot be bad at all. The only thing to be careful for is the 7% ABV. Too many might lead to the need for a DD.

Overall: This beer is great. I will befinately be buying this one by the case.

Photo of Blackwolf
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured into an oversized wine glass, thin head, slippery lacing, if any at all. Deep straw-orange peel in color, it looks very beautiful in ambient lighting.

S- My second ale of the night that unfortunately had a very light scent to it. Bread, apples, a touch of malt and a tickly tease of banana hidden deep between the aroma of all the above.

T- Not quite a 5.0 but damn close! I am a big fan of cheese, bread and delicate meats... This is DEFINITELY an ale to take to the beach or to the park for a picnic, pop out some prosciutto, sharp nutty cheese, apples/melon, a fresh baguette and sip away!
YUM!!!! ~A sweet, slight country/homey taste, subtle and I mean subtle sweet malt, there is a hint of apple and yeasty bread in it. Good balance, deep and scrumptious! The finish sticks around for a couple of seconds and leaves you waiting for more.

MF- Light-medium gritty stickiness to the palate, carbonation is very light too, and tickles the tongue quickly on the finish.

O- This can quickly become your "Sunday Evening Ale." It is an impressive ale, though, if the aroma was much more deeper than I expected it to be, this could definitely entice me A LOT more to make it into my weekly rounds. Price shouldn't be an issue with this one, if you see it, try it. It is by far, not disappointing, but also not a must in my book. ~bottoms up! :)

Photo of pwoods
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Probably got this from Joey at South Bay.

750ml corked and caged brown bottle poured into a chalice.

A: Pours a glowing fire orange. About a finger worth for pearly white head. Some decent retention, lays at a fat skim. Decent lacing.

S: Fresh baked whole grain bread. Soft fruits and light Belgian yeast. Floral, grassy hops. All around delicate but very inviting.

T/M: Pleasantly sweet malt bill. A touch of richness, maybe a soft caramel taste. Refreshing spring like hops. More of the soft and delicate fruits and Belgian yeast. Medium light body with a constant perfect stream of carbonation.

D: Unbelievably drinkable. Wish this was easily available to me.

Photo of sloejams
4.47/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A couple of the Lost Abbey offerings finally made their way to Los Angeles and just in time for the weekend.

Bière de Garde is a style I still don't think I could pull out of a lineup. The ones I've had have been varied in flavors and complexities. In fact most of the ones I've tried have been American made.

It poured a gold-amber color with mdeium head that dissipated quickly, but the lacing was impressive. The aroma is flan-like; almost a creme brulee subtle sweetness. Quite nice. Tasting it mirrored this with some Belgian tasting yeast and hop presence. I was impressed with the amount of flavor that was achieved without upping the sweetness factor. It was very easy drinking and went well with the Spanish salami-like meat the missus was serving.

Photo of ggaughan
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Monk's Cafe Lost Abbey beer dinner. The beer poured a golden color with a slightly hazy body and a medium white ring around the glass. The aroma was of sweet tarts and a bit earthy. The taste had more of the sweet tart quality and a wheaty character to it with a touch of bitterness on the back end, making for a medium body and easy drinking beer.

Photo of IntriqKen
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This fills the goblet with aprocot colored hazy liquid toped with a full finger of white head that melts to craggy top-covering goodness.
The smell is musty, toasted malt with a definite earthiness and powdery dryness that seems to evolve into slightly sweet amber malts.
Mouthfeel is both watery and foamy from the abundant carbonation. Sharp bitterness hits the tip of the tongue first then slips away to dry, earthiness.
The flavors are very different from the smells although some of the same adjectives describe them both.
Sharp orange-peel.
Lightly toasted malt.
Mists of honey.
....then, drying with the reminder of both orange and grapefruit peel bitter hops.
Interesting...definitely an American take on the style.

Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Unibroue-esque Belgian bomber, with lots of Celtic cross imagery. Into a chalice it goes...

This beer pours a slightly cloudy golden orange hue, with a finger or so of soapy white head, which leaves no lace as it melts away. It smells of very light white wine spritzer. The taste is mildly sour prune, cherry candy, musty pitted fruit, light funky barnyard, an echo of metallic yeastiness, and a wallflower of caramel malt. There's a twinge of alcohol pull, more evident as it warms. The carbonation is fairly strong, the body moderately round, and kind of dusty, and it finishes very dry, some peach pit fruit essence lingering for a bit.

This is very much like a collision of a sour ale and sparkling wine, and is all the tastier for it.

Photo of RomanW70
3.52/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours hazy yellow with a fluffy white head. Nose of yeast, citrus, candied sugar, and alcohol. Full malt flavor up front, follwed with a strong grassy flavor at the finish. Both aroma and flavor were fairly mild. Low carbonation and medium thick mouthfeel. A good offering, but a little disappointing from Lost Abbey

Photo of GilGarp
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle, corked and caged, no date.

Served cooler than cellar temp into an etched-bottom goblet. Avant Garde is a bright golden yellow color with good clarity. The head is thick and long-lasting with a creamy smooth texture.

Aroma is immediately evident when the cork is popped. Tropical fruits mix with floral notes and a very mild yeast. It's unusual but pleasant.

Flavor is very mild with the same sort of characteristics that were discovered in the aroma. It has light fruit, floral, and herbal qualities. On top of that, or rather in the background, elements of funky yeast and peppery spices.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body, well-carbonated, and balanced. Actually, the first thing that strikes me about this beer is how dry it is. Every sip finishes bone dry.

Overall an interesting take but definately needs to be paired with food. As the label suggests: bread, apple, cheese; any of the three will do.

Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A lacey beer on tap at Port Carlsblad. Darker than the blond colour described., with a white head. A barleywine like taste, well malted sweeter than expected mid-sip, with a dash of peach fruit juice, that finishes lemon and sour. A sure cross-styler that does not taste like most other biere de garde

Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, split and served with a prawn pasta dish

"Grab a seat on the porch, some soft cheese, and a tree ripened apple from your grandmother's old orchard."

appearance: poured into a delirium chalice, murky tangerine body, wavy beige crest with strong retention. stupid that it has to be mentioned every time, but there does not appear to be carbonation issues here

smell: aroma is fairly sweet, doughy/bready, green tea, buttery, floral and uniquely spiced

taste: interesting farmhouse ale - liked it from the first sip. sweet and doughy, loads of yeast, vanilla, apple, spiced citrus, buttery sourdough, green tea

mouthfeel: very creamy - would like more carbonation and a bit more zest

drinkability: good

Photo of tempest
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a glass at Ortino's Northside and it appeared a lightly hazy amber (mostly clear) with ashort white head. This was a tasty beer, but for unknown reasons, it really reminded me of a good maibock. The mixing of juicy esters and grains came off like a loaf of sweet bread with cherries and dried fruit (though not a traditional fruit cake). Additionally, there were herbal, spicy hops that reminded me of noble varieties.

Wait a second, I just checked the Lost Abbery website...
Yeast- House Lager strain with hybrid fermentation at ale temperature.

I suppose that helps explain the maibock similarity. Still, that's not a bad thing, this beer just stretches the style to make a complex and interesting beer. Definitely worth checking out.

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Avant Garde from The Lost Abbey
85 out of 100 based on 657 ratings.