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Avant Garde - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Avant GardeAvant Garde

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

573 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 573
Reviews: 331
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 31
Gots: 40 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 05-12-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 573 | Reviews: 331 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of akorsak


3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 750 mL corked and caged bottle courtesy of tangfoot in the I Want That BIF.

A: The ale pours a lighter amber color, leaning more towards the yellow end of the spectrum. A haze pervades the entire glass, casting a dull appearance on the beer. Carbonation-wise, the head does little at first but does leave hints of lace around the glass.

S: The aroma is dominated by a funky barnyard aroma that I've never seen in a biere de garde. The tartness takes over all aspects, drowning out what should be a sturdy malt profile.

T: The first sip reveals the deeper malt strength that I expected from the nose. Those malt notes are sweeter, taking on a flavor that is marzen-like in its sweetness. The funk from the nose is present, but it is muted significantly. Back to the malts, they do betray a relatively higher alcohol, with some warmth coming off of the tongue. The lasting impression on the palate is a dry, vegetal malt flavor.

M: The barnyard element is refreshing, leaving a lasting dryness in the mouth that, with the malty sweetness, is very enjoyable.

D: I am generally not a big fan of the style, but this one has a nice malt base and funkiness that makes me look forward to each sip.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2007 02:02:39 | More by akorsak
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
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...

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2007 22:30:03 | More by Billolick
Photo of Zorro


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

This is a near clear gold to amber colored beer with a decent white head.

Smell is sweet and malty with a flower and lemon scent. There is some earthy scent to this one as well somewhere in between truffle and mushroom.

Taste is sweet and fairly malty at the start. This is a very mildly flavored beer tasting mostly of flowers and a trace of mushroom.

Mouthfeel is good.

A nice beer but not really a great one. Very mild mannered and lightly flavored this would go well with more subtle food flavors like fruit and salad.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2007 07:19:15 | More by Zorro
Photo of InspectorBob

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

03-27-2014 13:24:31 | More by InspectorBob
Photo of orangesol


3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

03-07-2013 20:09:29 | More by orangesol
Photo of DoubleJ


3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The bottle label encourages you to sit on the porch with some soft cheese and a ripened apple from the orchard as you drink this. Sounds nice, but there are some fundamental problems with that fantasy. First off, I'll be drinking this by my fireplace in the living room. Second, I don't have any soft cheese at this time (though I've had my share of cheese from the pizza I had earlier). And most distinguishly, my hometown prides itself on its orange groves, not its apple orchards. I'm excited for this rare style of beer, so let's get on to it:

A big poofy head forms on top of the golden sunset colored beer as it settles into my oversized wine glass. There's some sour funk in the aroma at first. But ripened fruits from the orchard (most notably pear) and a touch of sugary sweetness exist as well and gain dominance.

Now, I'm going to drink it, but you knew this was coming. Hmmm...freshly baked sourdough bread is the first thing that comes to mind. There's a little fruity sweetness beneath the bread. I'm not finding any other flavors yet, but I'll come back when it warms up. ... there is some sourness that's starting to come out. Or is it just the growing intensity of the sourdough bread note I hinted earlier? Seems different to me. Finishes dry.

My first bière de garde was interesting, and Port/Lost Abbey lead the way. Now I wish I had apples growing in my back yard.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2008 05:35:23 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of DrunkinYogi


3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

07-10-2014 01:05:05 | More by DrunkinYogi
Photo of Georgiabeer


4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lustrous golden with a fine head and constantly straming bubbles. Smells of red apples and honey. Juicy and fresh aromas. The taste is like a candied red apple with a hint of cinnamon with some nice herbal bitterness at the end. Very fresh and nice. Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing, but with an underlying sweetness and enough body and spice to keep it interesting. A very nice summer or fall refresher.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2008 23:46:39 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of Wasatch


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

750ml Bottle

Poured into a chalice a nice golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice one finger creamy white head, which leaves some nice small islands and sticky lacing throught out the drink. The nose is malty, yeasty, and slightly spicy. The taste pretty much follows the nose. Medium body, a complex brew to an extent. Drinkable, this is a nice brew from LA/PB, recommended.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2007 00:54:33 | More by Wasatch
Photo of ppoitras


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

750ml bottle bought at Julio's, Marlboro, MA. Corked and caged.

Poured in a heavy glass chalice, formed a 1/4" white head over the clear golden amber brew. Head lis quickly down to a layer of bubbles, with minimal lacing. Nose is sedate, but interesting with slightly spicy malt and lightly flowery hops. Taste starts with a biscuity maltiness upfront, comes on a bit fruity and alcoholic in the middle, and closes with light bitterness and lingering spices. Mouthfeel is quite bubbly for such a minimally frothed brew, and this brew is quite drinkable. And quite tasty.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2006 23:24:16 | More by ppoitras
Photo of BARFLYB


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

@ The Memphis Taproom off the spout.

A- Bright yellow goldish tannish with a nice bright bubbly head that dies down leaving minimal stick.

S- Smells like a garde with a lot of toasted qualities with grain sticking through. No citrus hops but more down to earth. Caramel and some apple.

T- Getting a nice light mix of a few key flavors. Starting off with some hay and grain with toastyed malts. This goes into apple and some touch of honey. Grassy hops all around.

F- Is pretty easy going if a step below medium. A malty build leaves for a slick finish, not really bitter, just a aftertaste of grass, nothing offensive.

D- I like this but have had better in the style, the toastiness is the main attraction here and thats alright by me. Alcohol is a tad high but who gives a shit. I drank it quick, a quencher.

Serving type: on-tap

08-31-2010 04:31:04 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of BillRoth


3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

11-28-2013 06:19:48 | More by BillRoth
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A narrowly brighter tone than pumpkin pie with watercolour-like strands of orange peel showcased up against the afternoon sunlight. The beer has an unusual and distinctive colour; a tone far more clear and concentrated than an IPA but lighter and more fluorescent than most amber Bieres de Garde. It is spotlessly clean (unless the addition of yeast sediment). The head is committed and appears like cotton bolls ready for harvest.

As much as the beer in general may encourage reflection and slow contemplation, the aroma itself does very little to stimulate it. The smell is quite pleasant, albeit modestly plain. It doesn't showcase much of hops, malts, or yeast. There is a light layer of butterscotch, a pinch of herbs, a drop of honey, farmhouse straw and a bed of toasted grains but this combination fails to keep the nose overly engaged.

Something about this tastes authentically "French", which should be the aimed character in a Biere de Garde, a traditional French style after all. For those who aren't familiar with the typical musty house character of Bieres de Garde, they often impart a distinctively herbal and earthy maltiness. There are hints of grass, straw and dry hay, honeysuckle and melon and very earthy, herbal hops on the finish.

And beyond that there's a definite suggestion of caramel and little crumbs of toasty, fresh baked bread (a member of the brewery confirmed with me that they still actually use toast that they themselves make in the Pizza Port pizza ovens). The flavour isn't terribly complex but like any staple remotely French I imagine it would pair wonderfully with a huge variety of foods, in particular hearty vegetables, strong cheeses and game meats.

I don't have much experience with Bieres de Garde, most coming from American interpretations or the more commercial French exports, but I have had a few really good ones. It's a style of subtlety and simplicity. These beers wouldn't be worth "keeping around" if they weren't something special. Like Tomme Arthur's other Old World reflective pieces, this does the European rural towns proud. And it also makes me happy.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2009 20:38:23 | More by biegaman
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

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

Bottle shared by durwoodx. Thanks Darrell!

Avant Garde appears a hazy, yellow straw color. There is a half inch of head that leaves a bit of lacing. The aroma is pleasant, with a mild funkiness. The beer has some nice herbal and tea characteristics. I do wish it was more funky and bold. I do not believe that the beer is aptly named, as it is simple and certainly not out of the ordinary or "avant garde." Worth a try, but not something to avidly seek out.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2010 17:23:59 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of John_M


4.43/5  rDev +16.9%
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....

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2007 17:21:34 | More by John_M
Photo of brandoman63


3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

11-21-2011 21:36:17 | More by brandoman63
Photo of superspak


4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours hazy golden orange color with a nice 3 finger fluffy white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big apple, pear, pepper, orange peel, caramel, bread, floral, grass, coriander, earth, honey, light funk, and herbal. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity. Taste of pear, apple, pepper, citrus peel, coriander, bread, caramel, clove, honey, floral, grass, earth, and herbal spiciness. Lingering notes of light fruits, citrus, pepper, bread, coriander, clove, caramel, floral, grass, honey, and herbal spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Great balance and complexity of flavors; with a very nice malt and yeast spiciness balance; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Biere de Garde style. Very nice flavor complexity and balance; very smooth and crisp to sip on. Really enjoyed this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2012 04:07:26 | More by superspak
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ml corked bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing this one.

Pours a slightly hazed copper/amber, thin white head forms, drops quickly to a thin ring around the glass, not as much head as would be expected, but looks okay. Smell is pretty cool, heavy caramel graininess, quite fruity, apricot, neat floral character, wheat, very malty, very fragrant, bit of coconut and light spice. Taste is neat, some vanilla and coconut, caramel, fruit, mango, wheat, sour fruit in the finish, slight oxidation, very malty, some floral, some candi sugar, pretty interesting. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, not as complex as I would expect but still pretty neat. Thanks Russ!

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2008 01:49:26 | More by Viggo
Photo of Gonzoillini


3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

08-18-2013 19:43:15 | More by Gonzoillini
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.2/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2012 19:26:07 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of smakawhat


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

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A real gorgeous tangerine orange and red body, crystal clear with a real nice column of carbonation in the middle. Head is off white, slightly yellow, with a sudsy character and makes some noise while pouring. Settles to a nice collar too, real impressive looking.

A nice clean malt action, almost minty and menthol smelling. Kumquat and citrus spritzy character, with a sense of champagne like yeast. Very fruity.

Real crisp carbonation on first sip, with a fruit like palate and sharp bitterness. Citrus oil and flesh orange bitterness mixing with a toasty white bready malt. Great finish and aftertaste. Very oily character to the feel, but a wonderful aromatic palate, and some hints of Belgian like sweetness.

Overall a real pleasant brew to be having.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2012 22:13:21 | More by smakawhat
Photo of DrJay


3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep gold and slightly hazy, a thick cap of off-white soapy bubbles appeared after a hard pour. Sheets of sticky lace clung to the glass as the head slowly receded. Lemon zest and bread appeared first in the aroma, followed by notes of cereal, yeast, and ripe fruit. Most of the flavour was quite mild, a little bread and fruit, some lemon. But there was a strong, bitter clove character and alcohol warmth that overshadowed the rest and were quite distracting - the spicy bitterness lingered long into the finish all by itself too. Nice texture though, with a peppery tingle on the tongue and generous, airy carbonation. Not bad overall - I got used to the weirdness in the flavour after a while, maybe it just wasn't as prominent as it warmed. Either way, still worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2007 01:31:39 | More by DrJay
Photo of zestar


3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

11-02-2013 00:38:13 | More by zestar
Photo of Gusler


3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Upon its departure from the 750ml cork and caged bottle it forms a nice crown of white over the golden amber body, with the resultant lace a thin covering upon the glass. The nose has a peach like aroma, backed by the malt, crisp and clean to the senses. Start is sweet; the malt adds nice bread like taste, with the top middling. Finish has a delectable hop presence with the acidity unobjectionable, nice and dry, a fine drinking beer

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2007 15:44:42 | More by Gusler
Photo of beertunes


3.04/5  rDev -19.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2013 05:57:44 | More by beertunes
Avant Garde from The Lost Abbey
85 out of 100 based on 573 ratings.