Avant Garde - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Avant GardeAvant Garde

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

659 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 659
Reviews: 337
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: 659 | Reviews: 337
Photo of biegaman
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured on-tap at the Port/Lost Abbey Brewery. The beer is a dark, pale gold color, with no head. The beer had a sweet nose to it, with a pinch of hops. The beer tastes of very light flavors blended together, including undertones of peanut butter, oddly enough. There are also bits of hops sprinkled into the flavor, as well. The beer has a body somewhere between a gold and an amber. Not overly full, but smooth. The beer is light and loose finished, and the taste just up and dies in your mouth.

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

750ml Bottle
Caged/Corked

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.

Photo of ppoitras
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Photo of vfgccp
4.26/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

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.

Photo of Derek
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy bronze with a white head, some retention, light lace.

S: Light acidic aroma, pineapple, mango, light phenolic spicing, citrus rind, wheaty biscuit, a little grassy.

T: Candied pineapple, pappaya, mango, phenolic spicing, slight funk (Brett?), marmalade, wheaty biscuit.

M: Body is on the heavier side of moderate, hint of acidity, off-dry with a slightly drying alcohol finish.

D/O: A good drinker and overall a good crafted brew.

Photo of Tone
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, copper/gold color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of hops, yeast, sweet malt, alcohol, and slight wheat. Fits the style of a Biere de Garde. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of hops, yeast, sweet malt, slight wheat, alcohol, and a hint of floral. Overall, good aroma, body, and blend.

Photo of flagmantho
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: nice, brassy cider color with just a touch of haze. Two fingers of head dissipate rather slowly.

Smell: slightly sweet, musty aroma that reminds me of dates and figs; reminiscent of the Mediterranean.

Taste: sweet malt with subtle hints of the aromas listed above; it is a very smooth flavor and more mild than I anticipated. There is a little bitterness toward the end but not a whole lot of hops; still very tasty.

Mouthfeel: very nice creamy mouthfeel; body is medium with well-integrated carbonation. Love these bottle-conditioned brews.

Drinkability: quite drinkable. I think this would go extremely well with a blue cheese.

Photo of DrJay
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Photo of Gobzilla
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured and orangish yellow with a thin head and left a little bit of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: very light toasty bready malts with some sweetness but it did have faint hops in the background and grainy citrus notes. There was also some booze character as well.

T/M: citrus, various grains, and bready toasty malts dominate the palate alongside slight brett notes which adds tartness and wheat accents. The brew was light in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a bready, malty, citric, and slight tart finish.

D: it drank exceptionally good due to how light the flavor and the body was but was still a decent beer but not a beer that I would be excited to drink often.

Photo of Viggo
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
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!

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 Bitterbill
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours from 750ml caged and corked bottle a cloudy orange amber with a 2finger head of foam. Lots of nice sticky lacing.

The smell has a ton of fruity notes to it. Apricot, plum, citrus...and there's some candy sugar there as well as some funk. Love it.

The taste is a nice mix of the fruit along with healthy portions of funk and candy sugar and yeast. There's a nice bitter bite near and right through the finish. It has a medium mouthfeel and it's lightly carbonated. More sips in and I get some earthiness along with some bready flavour. Tasty. The funk is really hitting my taste buds in a positive way and I can't help but take more sips. The alcohol is hidden well and helps make for some very good drinkability. Man, that aftertaste really is bitter! it kind of over powers all of the other flavours I enjoyed. Still, I like this beer and I can recommend it.

Purchased from Southbay Drugs and Liquors. Thanks, Joey!

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

Very quick, and blochy white head that recedes to nothing in a short amount of time. Golden, bright copper amber. Very tiny bubbles help make for a mediocre appearance. Faint green apple skins, a little grassy hops, toasty malts, and maybe some bretty-like yeast in the nose. Very dry toasted malt, maybe a little champagne in flavor. Then the earthy, grassy hops, and add a little lemon peel. Crisp palate with hard to miss earthy hop and yeast notes. Pretty hoppy biere de garde. Pretty good and quaffable.

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

A: Cloudy copper/amber color. Poured a 1 finger off-white head that gave way to a bubbly skim. Decnated continually. Laced in thin rings.

S: Fruity yeast and candi sugar. Malt character in the foundation.

T: Big sweet bready malt and spices. Mild sourness thats not overbearing. Bitter finish to balance.

M: Light-to-medium body. Medium carbonation. Crips an dry in the finish.

D: Flavorful and balanced; not too wild.

Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
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

Photo of spinrsx
3.61/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Photo of jrallen34
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from a bottle into a chalice.

It pours a hazy gold with a decent white head, ok lace.

It has a light aroma of hops and citrus not very strong.

The tatse is good and smooth very easily drinkable. Not your traditional farm house, much better to drink.

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 ccrida
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle poured into my Lost Abbey goblet, Avant Garde is a clear, bright bronze with a very dense, off-white head that leaves heavy foamy lace. Granted it's a matter of taste, I don't care for my beers to be so bright and polished.

Smell is caramel and biscuit malt, leafy hops, a touch of sugar, very American amber ale like, with fruity farmhouse esters gaining strength as it warms, citrus, honey and a touch of alcohol.

Taste is rich and full, malty like a scotch ale, caramel and vanilla, oranges, like a mix of Jenelain Amber and an American Red. There's a bit of a sharpness to the grain, toasted nuts and larger like, amplified by the fruit esters, that make it all a bit to rich for me.

Mouthfeel is a bit viscous, more the rich malty flavor then body, which is on the slicker side.

Drinkability is ok, an average amber ale loosely in the Bière de Garde style, not bad but not worth seeking out. Another beer reinforcing my impression that The Lost Abbey is pretty over-hyped.

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lovely clear amber with a very thick and rather persistent white head. Crisp, malty aroma has a sharp fruity tone like a good cider. Satisfying flavor is mainly malty and has an undertone of sour apple, not complex but fine for sipping. Smooth, firm-bodied texture has a fair amount of fizz, and it leaves a malty, fruity, slightly woody finish.

Photo of Jwale73
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle served in my Gouden Carolus chalice. Poured a hazy orange-gold with a quarter inch off-white head. Nose was alcohol and muted candi sugar. Taste follows nose, but also picked up some grassy notes. Mouthfeel is light and effervescent with some astringency and a lingering bitterness. Not really a huge fan of the style, but seems like it would pair well with many dishes.

Photo of champ103
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another thanks to armock for the extra.

A: The bottle opens with a nice pop...very encouraging for a Lost Abbey product. This pours a beautifully hazy orange color. A two finger white head forms with really good retention. Rings of lace are left behind.
S: Up front is is a nice citrus/orange aroma. Quickly fades to baked bread. Light grains. Some grassy hops linger in the nose.
T: Again, fruity up front. Citrus and orange flavors. A zesty spice. Some sweetness. Dry bread and biscuit. A hoppy finish.
M/D: A medium body and lively carbonation. Very crisp, clean, and dry. This is very refreshing. A nice sipper. The alcohol is not over the top at all, and the bottle is gone in no time.

A very nice surprise from Lost Abbey. I have been disappointed with a lot of their offerings. Not with this one though. I wish there was a bit more fruity flavors going on, especially for a Bière de Garde. Though overall, very nice. Something I would recommend.

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

Pours a murky gold color, plume of fizzy white head, quickly diminishing but leaving enough behind for lacing. Smell is a very faint blend of fresh cut grass, dried grains, fresh baked bread, mellow lemon and faint spice. Taste is akin to biting into a fresh loaf of artisan bread with a faint kiss of herbs. Lighter side of medium bodied, moderate carbonation levels. Finnished as dray as any liquid i have ever ingested. A nice beer, somewhat mild, but a plesent drinking experience.

Avant Garde from The Lost Abbey
85 out of 100 based on 659 ratings.