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Avant Garde - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Avant GardeAvant Garde

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

614 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 614
Reviews: 332
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 31
Gots: 46 | FT: 1
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:
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 added by: xlperro on 05-12-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 614 | Reviews: 332 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sleazo
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.

sleazo, Oct 08, 2008
Photo of mikesgroove
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.

mikesgroove, Oct 05, 2008
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.

paco1029384756, Oct 05, 2008
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.

FtownThrowDown, Oct 01, 2008
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

BWH3, Sep 29, 2008
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.

TexIndy, Sep 27, 2008
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.

ccrida, Sep 21, 2008
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.

bluemoonswoon, Sep 14, 2008
Photo of USCTrojanBrian
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle (cork & cage always cool) purchased at Carmel Mtn. Ranch CA BevMo.

A darker amber pour, 3/4 finger bright white head. Fruit in the nose, sweet apricot perhaps. Slightly musty, too. That apricot note is dominant in the nose and taste.

I was expecting a lot more, as I tend to enjoy the garde styles. There's something in this interfering with some of the better aspects of the taste, its not carbonation to the eyes but sort of has that over-carbonated feel on the tongue. Decent sweetness, not overbearing. A non-tart, non-bitter sourness, if that makes sense.

The highlight is the apricot taste, with a slight floral zip. True to style which is worth a lot, but I don't feel this is a beer I'd aggressively seek a repeat of.

USCTrojanBrian, Sep 12, 2008
Photo of rdickey
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got two bottles of this from MJ's club over two years ago. I drank one in 2006, and for some reason the other hid in the back of the fridge for a long time. We'll see how this goes.

Appearance: Orange/amber in color. A really rough pour (driven by a depressingly lackluster cork pop) produces only a ¾" off-white head of fine bubbles, which dissipates fairly quickly.

Smell: Sweet malt, mostly dried fruit.

Taste: Mostly malt sweetness up front. Decent hop balance in the middle. Most of the mild tartness that I remember from the first bottle has mellowed substantially, which I think makes this beer a little less interesting.

Mouthfeel: Oddly flat. The dry finish isn't unpleasant, but it could be livelier.

Drinkability: Pleasant enough, and a good session beer if you are eating something to balance out the malt sweetness, but it wouldn't be first on my list.

rdickey, Sep 12, 2008
Photo of d0ggnate
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured amber/orange and a bit cloudy. A frothy, bubbly head layer faded quickly to only a cratered remnant.
S: Smells of melon, fresh fig and straw. Slight dough/yeast aroma.
T: Continues fruit notes hinting at fall apples, and chewy fig. A small hop presence detected.
M: Crisp and highly carbonated. Flavors linger long on my palate.
D: A familiar flavor, but very well done. I don't remember the last time I had this beer, but it needs to make its way into regular rotation. For the price and the proximity, it's damn good.

d0ggnate, Sep 11, 2008
Photo of russpowell
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from Bitterbill, cheers!

Pours a hazed apricot/amber with 1 finger of dirty white head.

S: Green apples, some barn & a touch of citric hops

T: Green apples, tartness,a touch of booze & a bit of pear up front. As this warms we get slight pineapple & more green apple plus a touch of honey dryness. Finishes dry crisp & tart

MF: Medium bodied, minimal carbonation & good balance

Drinks fairly easy, an alright/good stab a the style

russpowell, Sep 06, 2008
Photo of Douglas14
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a deep hazy orange color with burnt orange in the middle and a nice head. The smell is of straw and old citrus. The taste is similar but becomes stronger. Straw, dried grass, and yeast round out what the nose delivers. Dry in the mouth and lighter than I expected in the body. Very awesome beer but I was thinking it would sweep me off my feet more. Regardless, very happy and appreciative I was able to try it. Lost Abbey is awesome.

Douglas14, Aug 22, 2008
Photo of scootny
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A cloudy orange amber with a frothy head of about a finger in my Chimay chalice. Decent lacing on the sides and retention on top. Visible carbonation is streaming up and refreshing the center foam.

Smell is a corky, sweet maltiness and subtle wine like notes. Belgian type yeasts and fruit esters with grape, sour apple, and faint banana as features. Honey in there too.

Taste is a strong malt that quickly gives way to yeasty French bread. The honey of the nose slides in somewhere with the apples and grape and adds a slight sweetness. Clean and slightly funky hops close it out. A dash of pepper in there as well. Finish is dry and crackery.

Mouthfeel is tingly and lively. A very fine carbonation lends creaminess cleansing attributes. This would go great with so many great cheeses, cream sauces and seafoods. Also and robust and hearty stews, rich saucy dishes. The feel of it would enhance it all.

Drinkability is excellent and makes this a great one for sessions and snacks.

scootny, Aug 18, 2008
Photo of froghop
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours into a snifter a clear orange with a medium sized bubbly off-white head, excellent lacing.

smell of pear, apricot, some spice, slight citrus, malt.

taste is grain, citrus, sweet fruit, slight tart in the back, spice, some toffee, slight bitter in the end, with a dry finish.

goes well with cheese and crackers.

froghop, Aug 11, 2008
Photo of ibbjamin
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $7.99 for an Australian Longneck from Monument Liquor in Concord, CA. Poured into a wine glass and shared with my girlfriend.

Pours to a very fizzy inch long white head after a very soft pour. Excellent head retention. Thick lacing. Somewhat of a cloudy gold color.

Smells of bready malts and yeast. Some herbal hop backing. Mild intensity.

More malty in taste and less yeasty than I was expecting after smelling this brew. The earthy and mild hops balance this one out quite well.

Medium body. Higher carbonation. Starts out somewhat creamy and finishes smooth.

An avant garde brew certainly worth trying.

ibbjamin, Aug 07, 2008
Photo of OlieIPA
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

For a farmhouse ale, I thought it was alright. It had a nice yellow/orange appearance with a nice two-finger head. The taste on the other hand was a bit weak...wish it had just a little more of that citrus and yeasty flavor to it. The mouthfeel was okay, with the right amount of carbonation. The beer was also very easy to drink and would probably have it again.

OlieIPA, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of tpd975
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ibrew2or3 AKA McLargeHuge

A: Pours a cloudy yellow hue with a medium sized head and nice carbonation. The carbonation leads to great retention.

S: This one comes at you with a light blast of malt. Behind the malt it is fruity, slightly spicy, with a lot of apples and some honey.

T: The flavor exhibts pear and apple. It is yeasty, somewhat musty, softly crisp and refreshing with a spicy hop finish.

M: Medium body with nice carbonation.

D: Not too bad. Not the best Lost Abbey brew, but enjoyable nonetheless.

tpd975, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of tai4ji2x
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. no date found. poured into tulip.

hazy, golden honey w amber/orange hue. lots of head that slowly recedes to thin layer. decent lacing, with a couple of pretty thick rings.

aroma is fruity, perhaps overripe apple. faint musty hay and yeast. floral honey. trace of phenols.

sweet fruitiness in flavor, with light malt note upfront, then turns to phenolic for a moment, then grassy hop. mild to moderate bitterness. finish is semi-dry w flash of phenols.

smooth, not too thin. fluffy but otherwise gentle carbonation.

tai4ji2x, Jul 22, 2008
Photo of Halcyondays
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

25.4 oz. bottle, my 20th Port/Lost Abbey review, $7.99 at the Huntington Beach BevMo,

A: Pours a translucent hazy orange, with a long-lasting almost gushing white head, lacing is light.

S: Apple esters, light spice, and some ethanol, nice smelling beer, but not as robust as its cousin Red Barn.

T: Quite bitter with hops on the first taste. Subsequnt sips bring out more malt and yeast, especially as it warms to 60 or so degrees. Malt is of lightly toasted white bread, with the complex fruit esters that I first encountered in the smell.

M: Light carbonation, not watery though, still has its robustness, creamy, drinkable at its strengh. Would have liked some more character though. Dry as hell.

D: This is a good offering from the Lost Abbey, not as strong as Red Barn, but still tasty and servicable. A nice California take on this French style.

Halcyondays, Jul 08, 2008
Photo of SaucyA
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Slow bubbles rise to the surface of this deep orange brew. Served into a tulip, the head isn't very prevelent, and it's okay looking, but I've seen better. Has a nice glow and color.

S - Belgian candied sugar, slight yeast undertones, tangerines, pineapples, fruit punch. Strawberries. Fruity. Sweet.

T - Fruity, on the sweeter side of things. Belgian yeast plays a huge role in the taste. A little on the boozy side, but that's fine. There's a lone fruit fly that's hovering over it... it's sweet. Tends to get cloying :(

M - A little too thick, a little too undercarbonated... for my tastes. For a Lost Abbey brew, I expected sparkly.

D - Cloying, so I really have to knock some points off. The taste on the back-end has a Robitussin vibe that's messing with me.

Notes: Tastes like a Dragonmead brew. After looking at the other reviews, this bottle may be a little off. Neither the rocky head nor sparkly body is here.

SaucyA, Jul 04, 2008
Photo of JDV
3.05/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle shared at tasting courtesy of Humulone_Red. Thanks!
Pours a hazy, orange color and smells of lemony sweet tea. Taste is mild, dry dusty sweet lemony character. Light to medium bodied and a fizzy mouthfeel. Pretty unique, and very drinkable. I liked this one ok, but it was a bit sweet.

JDV, Jun 30, 2008
Photo of Nipitato
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A gift from my wife.

A: Massive dense craggy white head with good retention and sticky lacing. Light amber hue.

S: Slightly musty. A bready malt aroma. Notes of peaches and strawberries. Boozy with some slight pepper spiciness.

T: Balance leans toward a toasty malt flavor. Much of the complexity found in the nose is lost in the taste. Nice subtle bittering flavor on the back end. Some yeasty elements but nut musty. No significant esters.

MF: Medium full body with prickly carbonation that is fairly light. Dry. Some limited alcohol warming.

D: Mellow, malty, and sublime this is a very drinkable brew but not nearly as complex as I was expecting.

Nipitato, Jun 27, 2008
Photo of callmescraps
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First Lost Abbey beer. I've heard good things, so I'm excited.

Appearance - Beautiful. Nice copper color with a serious, not pillowy head. Good carbonation.

Smell - Lots of bread and yeast with a hint of fruit. Smells like bread fresh out of the oven. Very nice, a little sweet, but not sure how much depth.

Taste - First impression is very smooth. Almost too smooth, because I'm expecting some taste to show up for the party. The a little bit of that yeast, with a tiny hop afterwards, and some sweet fruitiness. It's good, but a little subtle. Slash. Bland.

Mouthfeel - Very nicely carbonated. It's smooth and creamy and good.

Drinkability - Almost no sense of the booze, and very smooth going down. The subtlety of the brew makes this one easy to drink.

Not at all bad, but it looked so damned good, and it's so easy to drink, that you kind of wish it had a little more going on.

callmescraps, Jun 17, 2008
Photo of soupyman10
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first try at a Lost Abbey brew (although I had the Port Brewing Co's Wipeout IPA right before it, which was also excellent). This one had a nice look to it, a deep copper with a ton of floating yeast, and a solid head and lacing. Nose is a quite nice, with caramel malt, citrus, wheat, and spices. Taste is similar, add in lots of breadiness and strong citrusy malt. Highly buttery. Light hop bitterness in the end. Overall, definitely a tasty beer, one that I'd have again.

Monk's/$13.50/750 ml

soupyman10, Jun 17, 2008
Avant Garde from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 614 ratings.