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Avant Garde - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Avant GardeAvant Garde

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

581 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 581
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: 581 | Reviews: 331 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Psilo707


4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Extremely good looking beer that is a dark pear-colored hue, with a thick foamy head (I disagree with those who said the head was less than expected - it look's great!). A very opaque look to it. The aroma of this beer reminds me of slight raisin and fruit combination and goes well on the nose. The taste is as expected, but more complex than previously estimated. Pear, Caramel, Raisin, a swirl of other fruits, and many more taste-bud exquisitely placed tastes hit the mouth immediately. Mouthfeel is tender yet solid, and the strong taste eminates through your head while holding it in. The drinkability for this is on par with the rest of the Lost Abbey brews - that is, drinkable, but extremely thick in nature so you might not want to go too far with multiple mugs of it.

Overall, this is currently my favorite Lost Abbey brew and one of the best beer's I've had in a long time. I will be recommending this as much as possible to all my fellow Stone (and related) drinkers. I give it an A-.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2009 04:14:12 | More by Psilo707
Photo of jujubeast6000


4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2009 03:51:27 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of htomsirveaux


3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 750 mL bottle. Pours with a large foamy head, has a slightly peachy hue. Hazy, well carbonated, color is dark gold. Aroma is yeast and tart green apples. Starts sweet and petillant becoming dry with an apply tart finish and aftertaste. Medium body and moderate alcohol. Refreshing and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2009 04:13:02 | More by htomsirveaux
Photo of PittBeerGirl


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

750 ml bottle that I got in a trade with route66pubs (I think). Thanks! Poured into my Chimay chalice.

A-Body is a translucent dark gold hue. Pours with a 1 finger or so creamy white head that fades quickly to a thin collar. Some traces of lacing is left behind in the glass. Cloudiness is uniform and so thick that the body is nearly opaque.

S-Nose is very good. A balance of white grapes, raisins, and maybe pear upfront with a big accent of spiciness. A big dose of sweet, bready yeast provides a great background.

T-The taste upfront is mild and offers some mellow fruitiness accented by minimal spiciness. The sweet bready yeast so prominent can only be found when the brew is swished around over the palate a bit. The main character in the finish (and in the flavor overall) is a big bad floral hop bitterness. Below this bitterness is a nice balance of floral hop flavor, breadiness and a hint of spice. What lingers, surprisingly is a slight phenolic bitterness and alcohol warmth and nothing else.

M-Medium to high carbonation and medium weight body composed of sweet bready yeast and powdery spiciness.

D-This is a decent to pretty good beer. Not the best LA beer or Biere de Garde I have had but still a very interesting brew. I wish the taste were as good as the smell-but it falls short for me. Definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2009 17:10:12 | More by PittBeerGirl
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 grub

Ontario (Canada)

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

got this bottle in a recent trade with jac5084. thanks josh!

750ml bottle, corked and caged. sampled dec 19/08.

pours deep orange, not quite red, with a small dense white head. the head drops fairly fast and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is good. alcohol. toffee and caramel. wheat bread and cracker. touch of toasty character. my first thought is actually more of an aged barleywine than of a biere de garde. there's a touch of floral character too.

taste is nice. definitely goes in a different direction from the aroma. gone is the aged barleywine and replacing it is more of what i expected. fairly low bitterness level. light alcohol. lightly toasted whole wheat bread with a bit of butter. slightly floral, not quite perfumey. faint tangerine and orange citrus character. there's a hint of a lager in there too, not uncommon for BdG yeasts.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium carbonation level, slightly prickly but not quite stinging. nice light body with a fairly dry finish.

drinkability is good. nicely balanced. definitely an american take on this traditional flemish style - betrayed by the aroma more than anything - but still quite nice.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2008 01:46:06 | More by grub
Photo of midaszero


2.75/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A - Clear golden body with two finger of fluffy white head that had great retention and lacing

S - Smells like bread infused with malts. Some fruit notes pop in and out

T - Get some of the bread and malt from the nose but there is an almost overwhelming off taste. Rust is the first thing that comes to mind but it isn't really metallic at all.

M - Medium thick body with medium carbonation

D - This is probably an off bottle but based on it I would buy it again. Everything but the taste was well presented but taste is what really matters in the end and this one didn't measure up.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2008 03:56:47 | More by midaszero
Photo of drumrboy22


3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750mL bottle into a Corsendonk chalice. Served at cellar temp. Beer poured a dark, golden color with a two-finger, off-white, thick, creamy head. Moderate carbonation and heavy lacing.

Aroma was apples, mandarin oranges, caramel and bread.

Taste was grapes, bread and green apples. Sweet and lightly earthy with a dry, bitter finish.

Very smooth and easy drinking. Not an over the top, mind blowing beer, but rather it is well balanced and very enjoyable. I enjoyed this one with a plate of soft cheese. I will be tracking this beer down again.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2008 03:30:39 | More by drumrboy22
Photo of Jmamay22

New York

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

Avant Garde, my second Lost Abbey beer, pours a pale rust colored orange with an ecru colored head. The slightly cloudy liquid shows a steady stream of carbonation rising to the top. The nose features a very fruity yeast consisting of pear and apple notes. Sweet candy sugar comes through as well.

Very sweet and fruity tasting, but refrains from becoming cloying. Earthy undertones don't reach the full level of complexity I would hope for, but may offer a suggestion of aging opportunity. Reminds me more of an American take at a Belgian styled tripel than a Biere de Garde. Very slight hop bitterness perceived in the finish. The carbonation is light and approaches being under carbonated. The fruity esters dominate this brew that provides an alternative vision of the Biere de Garde style. Worth a try, but slightly overpriced for the experience.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2008 19:08:10 | More by Jmamay22
Photo of GbVDave


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

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into a St. Feuillien chalice.

A: Pours a clear gold that's a little on the dark side (for gold anyways). Sort of midway between gold and copper. Active carbonation feeds a smallish, yet creamy, 1/2 finger head. The head retains for a short while before melting away into a swirley skim and thin, lace leaving ring. The thoroughly swirled second pour takes on the appearance of peach nectar.

S: I was able to pull out a fresh baked bread aroma that paired nicely with some orchard fruit (apple, peach, pear), spice, chestnut, white pepper, and the tiniest hint of banana.

T: See above. Toasted and bready malt, fresh baked biscuit, red apple, pan roasted chestnut, and a hint of caramel.

M: Big toasty malt with a dose of spicy dryness and sweet and juicy fruitiness. Nice crackery/peppery dryness during the long finsh.

D: Very well made and enjoyable. Good but not life changing.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2008 17:47:03 | More by GbVDave
Photo of aforbes10


2.85/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cloudy brown orange color with a dense white/yellow head. Looks good and dirty and rustically brewed. Interesting fruity odor, strawberries and satsumas with a sweet malt and a tart wheatiness too. Taste is mildly sour up front with persimmons and caramel sweetness. Fruity alcohol flavor and a hint of roasted barley. Finish turns into a big ethanol and cardboard flavor with a strong orange rind note that i dont like at all. Medium bodied, fairly highly carbonated and a bit watery on the finish. An interesting, but in the end fairly lackluster, Biere de Garde. Too much of an unpleasant flavor on the finish for my taste. Not my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2008 02:13:01 | More by aforbes10
Photo of beresnaub


4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2008 07:30:47 | More by beresnaub
Photo of rowew


2.93/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 750 ml, corked and caged. ABV on the label, no date info./

Appearance: Clear golden color with just a hint of red, average head and lacing.

Smell: Alcohol and winey flavors dominate, a bit of yeast funk.

Taste: A bit hot with some fusel alcohol flavors, the same winey notes from the aroma.

Overall impression: Not great - too hot for my tastes.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2008 03:26:04 | More by rowew
Photo of cameraman


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

A deep golden color, with a three finger thick white head on top. The head laces slowly down the glass. A definitive yeasty fragrance at first scent, that is followed by a spicy sweetness. That scent brings along some fruitiness and a touch of grass at the end. A very mild, mellow malty flavor at the front, followed with a bisuity flavor, along with a sweet spiciness. A mild hop citric bitterness hits the back of the palate at the end. A light mouthfeel, not watery though, it has more character. It tip-toes across the palate, bringing the cleansing feeling carbonation. This is my first expierence with this style and this brewery. The style is unique, the malt and spiciness are strong and disstinctive. This went well with a mixed green salad and balasmic vingerette.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2008 18:04:17 | More by cameraman
Photo of treyrab


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

Was quite the beer tasting last night, as I sat down with jac5084 and split a bottle of this...

A: Pours a very light peach color with pretty much no head at all...not even a skim of foam. Pretty clear though with only a slight haze.

S: I was not expecting such a robust smell from a Biere de Garde. It has a lot of light fruits, particularly banana, bus also some orange and lemon. No noticeable hops, but the Belgian yeast and spice was definitely there.

T: The taste is fantastic...very flavorful and complex...and rather viscous. A lot of light fruits, particularly banana, but also some lemon, orange and a hint of peach. A nice pepper aspect from the yeast shines, and not much hop presence. This was rather sweet.

I have not had much experience with Biere de Gardes, but this was a fantastic beer and very flavorful.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2008 20:33:22 | More by treyrab
Photo of Rainintheface


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

A: golden and cloudy with a 1+ finger white head and a medium amount of carbonation

S: lemon, damp hay, faint green apple and mildly vegetal. on second pour- Do I detect lilac?

T: grassy, lemon,a little pepper

M: medium in body, a little slick but with nice crisp carbonation

D: This beer grew on me the farther i got into the bottle. I'd have again, if I can locate again.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2008 19:46:05 | More by Rainintheface
Photo of Silenus89


3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

POured from 750ml bottle to pint glass

A. Golden brown color maybe copper as well with thick tan colored head

S. Bready grains, spicy yeast

T. Sweet and malty at firs,t lime/citrus taste

MF. Medium body with medium to high carbonation

D. Drinkability isn't to high its too sweet for me and for the price it wasn't worth it

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2008 23:37:04 | More by Silenus89
Photo of sleazo

New York

4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A_Pours a semi clear amber with an almost white one finger head. This settles fairly quickly into an interesting looking cap. It is made up of concentric circles culminating into a small dome of foam in the middle.

S_A gentle swirl unveils a mid intensity aroma redolent of freshly baked bread with hints of sour apple, black pepper and grape must.

T_The initial sip unveils a bready dough mixed with clover honey. This is followed by a mild bitterness which is a nice compliment. The finish is lightly floral with hints of black pepper. A light mineral quality comes out here as well.

M_Mouthfeel is a real strongpoint. The liquid is rather creamy and punctuated with a soft but present carbonation.

D_Dangerously drinkable. The 7% is barely noticeable, this drinks like a more flavourful table beer. For the style, there could be more funk but it isn't supposed to be too funky.

The first of the Lost Abbey I have purchased in NYC. The price renders this a rare treat but the beer itself is very good.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2008 01:39:16 | More by sleazo
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

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

I picked up this bottle a few weeks ago and had been dying to crack it open. One of the last few regular Lost Abbey releases I had yet to try. 750ml bottle was served at room temperature and poured into a chimay goblet. Consumed on 10/03/2008.

The pour was nice with a very hazy, light golden amber. Lots of sediment in the bottle with a nice amount of carbonation rising up through the glass. A nice two inch head of white foam gathered on the top and settled down lightly producing a nice amount of side glass lace.

The aroma was rich and malty. Lots of caramel and light bready notes coming through almost immediatly, with a light punch of grain tucked in behind them and a light nose of peach poking up beyond that. The flavor was more of the same, light touches of peaches and apricots, perhaps a touch of fresh grassy notes that were sitting on top a nice bit lo light grain. Intresting touch of caramel on the initial sip that quickly mellowed out behind the light fruit notes, which combined with a long dry finish really helped push the malt profile to the forefront. Nice carbonation kept this one feeling lively throughout the session, with a medium bodied feel that was just heavy enough to coat the tongue. Easily a sessionable ale, as the ABV was low enough and barely noticeable, though I have to admit I tended to like this one better as it was colder.

Overall while not my favorite of the lost abbey beers, it was defintly solid as far as I was concerned. I would have no issue with trying this one again anyday, though at the pricetag I am not sure I would really try and track it down. Still though a solid and very respectable beer that i would not turn my nose up to.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2008 01:46:44 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of paco1029384756


3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a honey orange color with almost no head and a very light ring of lacing.

Scent of yeast, sweet malts, some citrus with a bit of funk.

Taste of sweet malts, a hint of caramel, a bit earthy with a hint of tobacco as it finishes.

Mouthfeel is sharp and clean, but too biting.

I'm glad I had the chance to try this beer, but I will most likely not try it again.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2008 23:58:08 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of FtownThrowDown


3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden color with just a little head.
Smell is yeasty with some citrus fruit undertones. Taste is more acidic citrus with some yeast and spice. Pretty unassaulting and common. To be 100% truthful, I was expecting a little more from this beer. Still tasted and went down smooth, just nothing worth hunting down.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2008 23:10:29 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of BWH3


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

A: Golden with slight haze. White bubbly head dies back somewhat quickly to a thin ring. No islands. Effervescent carbonation. Fine bubbles. Deductions for head retention and size.

S: Fruity ester nose with prominent malty body. Hops are grassy and herbal with a musty note as well.

T: Slightly toasty and caramelized malt character coupled to a ester fruit flavor somewhat reminiscent of apricot or peach. Not spicy at all. Sweet by dry finish. Hops give a hint of balance with a musty wet grassy flavor.

M: Gassy, sweet but dry malty ale. Smooth from aging. Weak head retention.

D: A very good French farmhouse ale from the USA. Probably one of the best brewed on this side of the Atlantic. Look forward to sampling more from Lost Abbey

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2008 01:25:24 | More by BWH3
Photo of TexIndy


3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle (no dating info) that I got from Roberts into my DT snifter. It was a slightly hazy gold color with some carb. No lacing. It had a small, fizzy light beige head that quickly evaporated.

The aroma was very sweet malt with dried fruit. Could also smell some of the alcohol. The taste was good but not great. Starts out good but then finishes off for me. Only my 2nd de Garde and not thinking this is my style. Again, the alcohol was too present.

Overall, a good but not great beer. Can't really recommend unless you can easily get. This is my 3rd Lost Abbey and so far not been real impressed with any of em. I think they might fall into the overhyped cause they are hard to get category.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2008 02:30:07 | More by TexIndy
Photo of ccrida


3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2008 02:22:46 | More by ccrida
Photo of bluemoonswoon


4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2008 02:14:53 | More by bluemoonswoon
Avant Garde from The Lost Abbey
85 out of 100 based on 581 ratings.