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Avant Garde | The Lost Abbey

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Avant GardeAvant Garde

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States | website

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by xlperro on 05-12-2006

User Reviews
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Reviews: 342 | Ratings: 689
Photo of brian44556
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a Teku glass. No age on the bottle, but this is 3-4 years old.

Pours an extremely hazy, deep honey with a thin head. Little retention and minimal lacing. Belgium yeast esters, fresh baked bread, and ripe, dark fruits on the nose. Very fruity, lots of earthy undertones, and a mild sweetness balanced out with a bit of spice. This beer has aged exceptionally well. Medium bodied, a bit dry, and low carbonation. I'm really digging this beer. First time having the style and it has me wanting to try more.

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Photo of anon
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Straw yellow, slight haze with a two finger off-white head that dwindles down to a thin layer of foam. Light lace.

Yeasty and bready on the nose, definitely sweet with a slight farmhouse funk and spice backbone. Bread crust, crackers and dough flavours lead out the front; honey, lemon candy, orange zest, marmalade, apple, pear, grass, earth, wood, peppercorn and funk round things out. Medium bodied with a sweetness up front that gives way to a slightly bitter but crisp finish. Definitely compliments rich cheese well and would do good with a proper complimentary meal. My first go at this style and this was a solid offering.

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Photo of selecter70
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On draught. Lost Abbey has never steered me wrong but this was not as stellar as others I've had; although I would definitely drink again on draught as it gave an openness that I imagine might be lost in the bottled form. It poured a dark orange brown and had a short fluffy white head that disappeared quickly and very little lace. The aroma was definitely earthy, almost meadow like with a hint of raspberry. The flavor had some raspberry too, but also honey, fresh sourdough and a hint of melon along with some hoppy bitterness. I expected it to be more sour, as it leaned to be more sweet. It was medium bodied, clean & bright. A happy beer

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Photo of TerribleTaste
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

After purchasing a bottle of Inferno from this company I went and bought two others, Avant Garde and Devotion. And after trying all 3 I'm starting to notice the same backbone and foreground from each of these beers but each have their own little fling that makes them unique.

The bottle date was 9/26/15
And was consumed on 12/26/15
Avant Garde offered up a really berry fruit based smell and taste, after the initial fruiting died away there was a hop flavor too that I personally liked. I enjoy how dark this beer presents it self but gives up a really smooth honey light feel and taste. But then again I have Terrible Taste ;D

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.14/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bright blonde yellow, super virgin white head on it, looks pretty. Super bready, belgian yeast esters flow deep and hard. Sweet lemon like that candy.

Still comes through bready, chalky and phenolic alcohol. Mildly bitter, mostly from the alcohol I'd guess.

This stuff is everywhere LA is on a shelf for some reason. Maybe they should make less of this and more of another kind.

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Photo of anonymoose
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
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 +18.4%
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 +12.1%
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 -12.9%
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 -0.8%
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 -14.5%
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 -4.2%
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 -1.3%
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 MonkeyBread
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

More of a French saison than a biere de garde. Not bad, not great. Lot of rustic Apple flavor and cornmeal malt. Needs to be breadier. Too effervescent and color should be darker.

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Photo of FitnessForBeer
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
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 -7.1%
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%
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 -13.2%
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 +1.1%
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 +15.3%
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 -10.3%
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 -7.1%
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 +4.2%
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 -3.4%
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%
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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Avant Garde from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 342 ratings.