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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
Reviews: 336 | Hads: 673
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

a fun, if understated brew. the pour is a little hazy, light orangey yellow with a finger or two of white head. nice lacing left behind. the nose is yeasty, just past neutral on the acid front, some fruit and gentle candy sugar notes. the flavor is surprisingly subtle, not intense or aggressive at all, more of like a high class session ale, well balanced, interesting flavors, and good carbonation with an airy texture and an easier feel than 7% abv would usually allow for. some sugar in the finish, but it isn't too much, and there is a summery vibe to this beyond a saison. grassy and spunky, exacerbated by bright bubbling, I like the feel of this more than anything. clean finish, but not dry, especially compared to some other lost abbey stuff. overall a very well made beer, one that could be an every day drink for me if it wasn't so expensive, but damn its refreshing, satisfying, and yet undifferentiated in some ways...

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

Bright orange in body with white bubbly head that stays as a thin film. Aroma of citrus, horse blanket, vague grass, circus peanuts. Tastes of citrus notes, fresh kiwi, wet grass, mild horse blanket towards the finish with light booze and orange rind bitterness. Medium bodied with high carbonation. Very prickly. A pleasant drink that features more citrus than horse blanket. Good choice for food pairings with its bubbly mouthfeel to clean the palate.

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Photo of jtierney89
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gorgeous looking golden brew with a giant white craggy head and lots of visible carbonation.

Fruity nose, soft fresh peaches and floral hops.

Soft delicate fruits on the tip of the tongue, apples and peaches and rose petals. Brisk carbonation with a rolling body. Cuts clean and crisp with European hop bitterness. Mild alcohol on the back of the fruit lends to a slightly Fruity finish but again this is balances by the nice balancing crisp bitterness. Semi sweet with a balancing quality. Warm buttery finish yet the finish is still clean. Faint earthiness.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours a cloudy copper color with bubbles constantly rising to the top for a thick white head. The aroma has a yeasty, banana, farmhouse ale scent. The initial flavors are wheat mixed with citrus that create a well balanced flavor with the yeast. The texture is superb while being light tasting to the tongue with a dry finish.

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Photo of PeterIngemi
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a 750 ml poured into a dfh snifter.

A: pours a very nice golden orange with a finger if fluffy white head.... Excellent retention... The head dissaptes To a film and remains for the rest of the glass... Incredible coating of lacing. Great looking beer!

S: pleasant fruity yeasty aroma, not overly spicy like some Belgian yeast tends to be, a touch of bready yeastyness as well... Very nice aroma, and I don't even usually care for yeast forward aromas.

T: yum, very nice light fruit notes of apple and pear, a very faint hint of caramel in with the fruit sweetness, and a bready yeasty finish, very gentle and well rounded. Lots of nice apple notes.

M: creamy and lush, excellent lively moderate carbonation, nice am slightly dry,
Bready yeasty finish. Love the mouthfeel on this one.

O: this is an excellent saison, great use of yeast, excellent balance, I'm not huge fan of this style, but this was great.

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Photo of MadScientist
4.23/5  rDev +11%
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.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of pkalix
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not as impressive of a color as the ommegang GARDE I just had, and equally absent of head on the first pour, but I can see the trending of the styles. On the 2nd pour of this 750ml, I saw a much larger (3 finger) head and sediment in the bottom of the bottle.
Definitely some smell in this chalice but I cant make out any semblance to the ingredients I expected in it; mostly just a malt-y type of nose. Much more bitter in comparison with the other brew of this type I just had and these are the first real tries of this type. Flavor is more malt and I don’t much like the ‘tang’ I get from the hops- it seems a bit mismatched.
Overall, it’s not a bad brew. And for 7% it doesn’t impart a tremendous amount of alcohol taste, nor does it taste bad. The Lost Abbey collection has not been a preferred one for me although I am planning a nice motorcycle ride down the coast to their tasting room soon.

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Photo of Blackwolf
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
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! :)

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Photo of BlackBelt5112203
3.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to FosterJM for this one!

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.

L – Deep gold color with a huge 5-finger cream-colored bubbly and pillowy head. Really nice retention and great lacing. Clear with tons of bubbles. This certainly does not have any of the carbonation issues that Lost Abbey beers are somewhat infamous for having.

S – Bready and toasty malts with apple, pear, and grape esters. There’s also a little bit of an earthy, woody, musty aroma here as well. Smells nice.

T – Starts off sweet with bready malt, apple, and pear flavors and rapidly shifts to a yeast spiciness, an earthy hop bitterness, and finally a woody astringency. The astringency isn’t huge, but it takes away from the pleasantness of the beer and is sort of magnified by the spice and bitterness.

F – Medium-bodied with good carbonation, a silky-smooth mouthfeel, and a spicy, slightly bitter, and very dry finish. Spicy and astringent dryness lingers for a little bit along with a subtle palate-warming sensation from the alcohol.

O – This beer is kind of all over the place. It looks fantastic and smells great, but the flavor and mouthfeel share this woody astringency that takes away from all the good flavors included. It doesn’t make it a bad beer, but it’s just not as good as it could be. Still a tasty beer, and I’m very glad I got to try it.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy deep yellow color with an off white head. In the aroma, earthy and cheese like notes. In the taste, tart and earthy, with notes of white grape. Quite smooth and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dryness that leads into the tartness of white grape in the aftertaste. Missing some hop presence, yet nice tartness, smooth and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of paleoplant
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer had a nice cloudy color and I was looking forward to trying it. Since I am a fan of smelling the beer, I was expecting a strong aroma, but unfortunately this beer has little odor at all. Obviously that doesn't discount this beer, it's was just deceiving. The first sip had a nice mouthfeel: nicely carbonated but not too muc. The taste of this beer is subtle. If you are looking for a bold flavor, it does not exist here, although I found the crisp, mild taste to be quite enjoyable. I say you should try it...

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Photo of The_Blodge
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Serve from a Belgian bottle in a tulip glass. Color is deep dark copper or a burnt orange. Nice 2-3 finger head that dissipates slowly. Moderately low lacing. Head fades to a thin film on the surface. Beer is clear with no chill haze or yeast sediment.

S: Alcohol comes through immediately. Fruit and Belgian yeast esters. Slight tobacco. Apple.

T: Malt is the star. Buttered toast well balanced with noble hops. Alcohol is there, but not overpowering. Hop bitterness lingers wonderfully on the tongue.

M: Medium body with playful carbonation that tickles the tongue.

O: Great beer that showcases the malt in a fantastic way. Well balanced sweetness/alcohol/hops. Good beer to keep on hand in the cellar.

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Photo of williamjbauer
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of Burlyn
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: clear orange with a thick head.

Sm: slightly sweet with hints of malt and stone fruits

T: very mild, an easy to drink summer beer. apricot, grass, and a little spice followed by a bitter after taste

M: Carbonation quickly dissipates, feels crisp on the tongue and feels clean

O: Pretty tasty, good for drinking at a picnic with light farmers market foods as the day winds down. Be aware of the alcohol.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


On tap at Lost Abbey.

A: Vibrant yellow orange with an inch of white foam. Tendrils of lacing are left behind. Great color.

S: Baked bread slumbers beneath a bouquet of apple and pear. Lightly floral with a little grassiness.

T: Green and granny smith apples with bready malt and a light sweetness. Notes of pear are evident.

M: Light in body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is dry and crisp.

Overall: A nice Biere de Garde that I often overlook. It sure makes a fantastic base for sour beers.

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a fine tulip glass.

A- clear orange color, bubbly. There is a one-finger head and some lacing.

S-the 7.0% is eveident right away; boozy smell with some spice and sweetness.

T- honey malt sweetness with just a bit of citrus hop. Nice flavor.

M- good body and carbonation. A dry hop finish.

O- a very tasty brew, drinkable at 7.0, but one is enough.

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Photo of mikeg67
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. Pours hazy orange with a thick, long lasting, white head. Aroma is of Pale malt, barnyard yeast, alcohol, hints of grassy hops and ripe apricots. Body is full, smooth and creamy. Taste is of bready malt, barnyard yeast, peppery, earthy hops, alcohol and apricots. Finish is massive, dominated by peppery hops and alcohol. Wonderful brew.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle deep clear orange color with a finger of off-white head.

Aroma of orange peel, tropical fruits, honey, cracker, and light earthy notes.

Tasted of light orange citrus with caramel malts, cracker, and booze.

Medium bodied and dry with a moderate carbonation.

Very nice. I quite enjoyed this one.

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

Big thanks to Jason for this. I'm into the style so am super excited to try.

Looks: pretty! Nice amber, no lace, no head. Slick looking.
Aroma: I get the aroma where others are missing it. Not that I can describe it - it smells like biere de gaarde. Hints of oak, nice smooth sour nose, though ai can't really describe what makes it nice. It hits the right notes for style but doesn't hit you in the face.
Taste: yum. Good oily biere de gaarde. However you spell it. This is yummy like the JP Biere de Mars. Very enjoyable, but subtle. Not a big hit of sour, but a really tasty treat all the same.
Mouthfeel: not fizzy. Slick and kind of oily. Not as good as taste. I'd like to feel more than the slickness.
Overall: tasty! Could be better - mouthfeel is a bit of a letdown. Still very nice beer and super stoked to try.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Los Abbey/Port tasting room in San Marcos, CA.

Pours a clear honey gold with an off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is pretty weak and is of grain/malt and mild spices. Taste is of grain, spices, and some slight citrus flavors on the finish. There is a mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but it tastes better than it smells.

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Photo of Gavage
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark orange color with a nice two finger head that lingers around a while. Some lace develops during the session.

Smell: grass, fruit sweetness, and a hint of spice is what the nose picks up here.

Taste: grass, pear, golden apple, a bit of earthiness, some pepper spice, and a moderate bitterness make up a well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp throughout, somewhat dry at the finish. Refreshing.

Overall: a solid tasty beer where one can have more that one glass in a session. Very quaffable.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.12/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork acquired at Wades Wine in Westlake Village, California and served into Beer Passion Weekend 2011 stemware in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Cost was $7.99 USD plus tax. Expectations are quite high given the brewery.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over time. Not paired with food.

Side-poured without any additional vigor as I didn't anticipate carbonation issues (in spite of the brewery's reputation as of late).

A: Pours a one finger head of white colour, slight cream, fair thickness, and above-average retention for the ABV. Colour is a clear gold. Some yeast particles are visible. In truth, it isn't much to look at overall.

Sm: Biscuity yeast, berries, grapes, fruit esters, and clean malts. The berry and bright fruits are dominant. There's maybe even a light hint of vinegar. A mild strength aroma, and quite a pleasant one.

T: Bright fruit and light berries hit me first, with clean unobtrusive malts not far behind. A hint of vinegar in the back end, and some grape in the beginning of the body. The yeast is quite buried. No alcohol comes through. Melllow and nicely balanced for the style. I like it, but it's pretty simple. There's nothing unique or special that draws me to it.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the flavours of the body. It might be a too wet, though, releasing the flavours before they've been fully experienced. Adequately carbonated. Perhaps a bit too thin, especially as it nears the third act and finish.

Dr: Very drinkable for the ABV. Comparable to other beers in the style. It's quite overpriced for the quality; other (and better) biere de gardes can be had for less. Moreover, Lost Abbey has far better offerings. Still, it's a nice little beer. Fans of the style will likely enjoy it. The berry in particular is quite enjoyable.


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Photo of draheim
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ the Lost Abbey brewery in San Marcos. Pours a clear golden color with a light white head, some lacing, minimal carbonation.

Aroma is slightly flowery, subtle, muted.

Taste is pale grainy malt and some slight Belgian funk, accompanied by a slight hint of tartness. Everything seems a bit muddled.

Overall this is not what I expect from a Bière de Garde. Lacks the vinous quality, the carbonation... just didn't measure up to the few other versions I've had in this style.

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Avant Garde from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 336 ratings.