Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 336 | Hads: 673
Photo of OStrungT
4.82/5  rDev +26.5%
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.

 858 characters

Photo of MisterClean
4.75/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Brought to the homebrewing meeting, part of style of the month.

A - Poured a nce golden color, with a 2 fingered off-white head, which left really nice lacing.

S - Smells of caramel, toffee, belgian candi sugars, bread, and coriander. Yummy.

T - Pretty similar to the smell, but also had notes of light nectar and lightly spiced hops.

M - Full, well-balanced, but moreso malt dominated. Very rich, excellent.

D - Great beer. Will have to buy a few more. My wallet is cringing.

 481 characters

Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.52/5  rDev +18.6%
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.

 902 characters

Photo of walshclimb
4.51/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I like this beer. I have enjoyed everything I have tried from this brewery, and I would highly recommend any of them. I thought this beer was gorgeous. I poured a 750ml bottle into two tulip shaped glasses. It was a clear orange honey color with a thick white head that really stuck around. The body had very active bubbling, and the head left a nice bubbly lace behind. The aroma was pretty subtle with light roasted malts and slightly doughy yeast. The inital flavor was smooth and malty and qqickly evolved into a nice sour aftertaste that was mellow and a little fruity. The mouthfeel was light bodied with slightly creamy texture and a fizzy carbonation. This is a nice light summer ale with very good flavor and great appearance. It pairs nicely with simple foods like buttered bread or a selection of cheeses.

 816 characters

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.

 428 characters

Photo of TommyW
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Dark golden body, slightly hazy, with a medium, bubbly, white head.

S- Lots of ripe fruits with a faint hint of herbal hops.

T- Big taste of overly ripe fruits that is quickly balanced with a slightly bitter and dry medicinal yesty flavor. The bitter, dryness lingers for a bit.

M- Medium body with a crisp feel.

D- Not very familiar with this style, but this is one tasty beer. Will definitely be buying this again.

 423 characters

Photo of sloejams
4.47/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

 764 characters

Photo of pwoods
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

 667 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a long stemmed Lost Abbey snifter.

4.5 A: First pour yielded five fingers of head and just one of beer. A few pours down the road I ended up with a hazed golden wheat color with three fingers of pillowy white head with decent retention and a good bit of lacing.

4.5 S: I'm not sure how a biere de garde is different from a saison, but this smells like a saison mixed with a witbier. Barnyard funkiness with a light hay aroma. Coriander and pithy fruit rind. Grassy hops and peppery spiciness from the yeast. Light toasty maltiness. Not very complex, but wonderfully pleasant.

4.5 T: Again, not overly complex, but really tasty. Barnyard funkiness with hay, grassy hops, and wild flowers. Light toastiness from the malts along with a subtle breadiness. Coriander and pepper spiciness. Very nice.

4.0 M: Lighter medium to medium body. Carbonation level works and is spritzy on the tongue. Extremely smooth as the yeast is not overbearing.

4.5 D: Best LA beer I've had yet. This is a relatively simple, great tasting beer. I might actually pay what this costs regularly if it were available in my area.

 1,117 characters

Photo of RBorsato
4.44/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

LIght peach-ish gold color with a decent light beige head when swirled, light carbonation, and no lace. Spicy malty aroma with some alcohol on the nose and some some earthy spicy Saaz-ish hop aroma. Spicy malts, hops, and some earthy/woody character give this a nice overall flavor. Medium bodied and smooth with a lingering dryness and warming alcohol sensation.

Very nice... hoping to get more of the "Lost Abbey" line of beers.

Per MJ notes:
Two-row Barley, Honey Malt, and what we call Port Custom Toast.
Brewers Gold, Strissespalt Spalt and Saaz hops.
Lager yeast strain at ale temperatures
O.G. 1.060
T.G. 1.008

(750 ml brown wine-like bottle, corked and caged)

 683 characters

Photo of John_M
4.44/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Brickskeller. This might well have been my favorite Lost Abbey beer from the Tomme Arthur tasting.

The beer pours a hazy orange honey color. The beer has very good head retention and lacing. On the nose.... wow! All kinds of crazy aromas, including red candy apple, vanilla and hard candy. The initial impression on the palate is that of a sweet tasting, Belgium style beer, but there is a good hop bite in the finish, and it almost seems dry at the end. Flavors on the palate include honey, butter, apple, vanilla and melon. The beer has a long, smooth finish, and the abv. is well disguised. Hence, despite the abv., the beer is very, very drinkable.

A very fine beer indeed....

 705 characters

Photo of beresnaub
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The end of this bottle is yeasty. We were lambasting Lightning Elemental Pilsner and are happily moving on.

Kevin drank from a wine glass
Kevin said "This is not a normal beer, however it may be a normal Bière de Garde. The yeast add to the mouthfeel and taste is pleasing, while the smell is malty and delicious."

Brandon drank from a pint glass
Brandon said "First off, I was not drawn to the classical design of the bottle, however it did have a hopeful rendition of the beers qualities. The beer, unlike the impressionist painting, was yellow, like pee. The mouthfeel was refreshing after a tofurkey-day meal. Luckily I didn't spill any of this impeccable beer. It was relatively impressive. A very nice night-cap."

This beer was brewed in San Marcos, CA. I hope you enjoy your next Lost Abbey beer.

 810 characters

Photo of tigg924
4.42/5  rDev +16%
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.

 367 characters

Photo of Sephiroth
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to IntriqKen for my birthday present. The bottle looks nice, pours average enough. Smells fruity from the yeast, a little spicy.

Tastes like it came straight from Belgium. Bready, biscuity malt, enough earthy hops to create a barely bitter finish. A little phenolic fruitiness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, finishes clean.

I have taken the advice on the label and paired this with a Granny Smith apple, some French Bread(bad imitation), and Port Salud cheese. It makes a nice ploughman's lunch at 2:45 AM, which is dinner for me after closing the bar.

 565 characters

Photo of bosco7
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Burnt orange in color sticky looking head that leaves a sea-foam like lacing on the glass.

Soap, earth, caramel, bread, vinous, and some pear aromas.

Starts sweet with a nice caramely flavor that coats the tongue then the grain, bread and biscuit flavors take over the palate. Accompanying the bread character is grape, red apple, and pear flavors. Finishes with spicy clove and black pepper phenols.

Smooth as hell mouthfeel- like velvet. Beautiful.

I absolutely adore this beer-complex, balanced and highly consumable.

 536 characters

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

 408 characters

Photo of Floydster
4.37/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle purchased from Beverage Warehouse for seven dollars and some change, split with two friends last night while watching the Clippers almost sneak out a win, poured into my Chimay goblet

A-Murky golden yellow color, one inch foamy head white head, settled pretty quickly and had minimum retention, some lacing when it was colder

S-Bready malt aromas, orange peel, green apples, funkiness, cherries, cinnamon, caramel, various spices, some booze, and caramel

T-Starts off with a slightly sweet fruity flavor, then fades into tasting like a loaf of bread, then finished with a dry but malty aftertaste, as it warmed the bready flavors stuck around and then some tart came along with some cherries even though it was very faint, also some apples and yeast, great flavor overall and extremely easy to drink

M-Chewy and dry mouthfeel, medium body, maybe too much carbonation, beer squirted everywhere when I popped the cork, nice lingering taste

D-Could drink a lot of this stuff, it is only seven percent, very light on the stomach, quenches your thirst, smooth and goes down easy, would make a great session beer except for the price tag

This beer does not get enough credit, best one of their year round releases I have tried, not a particular fan of this style and still very good, would definitely drink again, especially on tap in the tasting room next time I am down in San Marcos, recommended

 1,412 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
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...

 440 characters

Photo of colforbin73
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i am holding off on giving this a 5 for the overall because i am relatively unfamiliar with the style, Biere de Garde. but this is an eminently quaffable brew. it is deeper in flavor than your typical lager -- but taste-wise i find it very much in that zone: easy to drink, bubbly, medium but appropriate bitterness, slight malt complexity but in the end an unmistakable Beer, with a capital "B". this is not an Ale, neither a Pils nor a Saison -- it is a Beer.

pours a lovely golden amber with a very lively, foamy carbonation... leaves some suds on the glass as you drink, but it is not a sticky beer. minimal yeast aroma and grassy fields of grain in the nose. smooth and clean is the order of the day... sweet, bright malts coat the inside of your mouth as it goes down with a nice little bubbly bitter bite too, just how you like it. only the finest of aftertastes. this is an easy drinker, i do not find the 7% alcohol to assert it self in the flavor -- this is my kind of session beer.

take me out to the ballgame.

 1,024 characters

Photo of beerprovedwright
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First the only bad thing I will say about this beer is the way it is bottled. I had to saw off the top of the cork and use a cork screw. Lots of carbonation in this one, resulting in a four finger head of dense foam, and wonderful clinging lace. The color is a 9 on the SRM beer color chart. Smell is floral in character, with solid fragrances of apple, orange peel, lemon, and earthly tones. Great taste, of green grape, citrus, green apple, and hops. Creamy in my mouth, but a little drying on the back of my tongue and back sides of my throat. Carbonation is just right. Overall a great brew, easy to drink and a great taste.

 628 characters

Photo of Franchise
4.32/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This offering from Lost Abbey pours a foggy orange with tiny carbonation bubble leaving a strong brown eggshell head on top of this beauty. The aroma is yeasty, fruity, dough, hay and grass. The taste starts sharp tart and lovely with enough sweetness to balance that bitter tartness upfront. The alcohal is warming and in control in this one. Followed by a bitter herbal hoppy and grass notes, hay, lemon grass, orange, citrus rind tarness, refreshing high carbonation make this finish fantastic and one helluva beer.

 518 characters

Photo of jujubeast6000
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 1/2/2009 (bottle):

Pours a somewhat hazy orange colored body with a big foamy white head, lasting. Sweet floral aroma. Some musty dark fruit too., also some nuttiness. Nice light floral taste, some spiciness. Soft carbonated palate. Some nuttiness balancing the hoppiness. A little bitter hoppiness, along with some dustiness. Tasty.

 343 characters

Photo of macktbone
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Given to me by may parents who decided to bring up a few bottles from the San Diego area on a recent visit.

Thanks to them for this honor.

A- Golden and milky, nice carbonation. little head and looks like a syrupy home made apple cider.

S- yeast, bread, acridity, apples, candy.

T- Very bready. Malt heavy front with a nice coat over the entire mouth. Fruity bitter tang that makes you hungry even after a meal.

M- syrupy goodness. Full body that slides across the tongue.

D- This is a definate oldey but goody. I could have this at any time in any place. Sitting outside or even during a meal or sitting by the fire, this could match almost any situation.

Thanks Mom. Next time we'll meet at Lost Abby to have some on tap.

 730 characters

Photo of Pardishcreel
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

It looked a golden color with lots of head. It's overly carbonated.
The taste was sweet but very fruit infused I thought the sweetness came out nice really balanced with the abv%.
The mouthfull had to much carbonation, but as for the drinkability it was a beer I could have anytime.

 283 characters

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.27/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle, my last review in my trade with BrewerB.

A: Clear golden orange with a tightly packed but quickly receding head. Looks nice, but not especially inviting.

S: Sweet and bready, detectable citrus hop profile mixed with a nice balance between lemon zest and coriander.

T/MF: Solid chewy and toasty malt profile backed by a slightly citrusy and pineapply hop bitterness. Tastes much like it smells, mild grapefruit mixed with fresh baked bread. Solidly malty with a slight fruity kick. Nice and sweet with a medium bodied and almost crunchy mouthfeel. Finishes with a balance of mild alcoholic heat with tangerine and even more pineapple.

D: While this beer does not look or smell out of this world amazing, I found it hard to put this beer down. I sipped and sipped and before I even noticed the bottle was empty. Overall a very tasty, highly drinkable, biere de garde.

 883 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Avant Garde from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 336 ratings.