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Avant Garde - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Avant GardeAvant Garde

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

607 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 607
Reviews: 332
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 32
Gots: 45 | 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: 607 | Reviews: 332 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Billolick
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Belgian bomber, caged and corked, no fresness info. Pours apricot, cloudy, gauzy eggshell head, leaving thick film, tiny bubble sheen and plenty of ringed and delicate lacing. The nose I pick up is minty, yeasty and fruity. Light peppery notes, yeasty goodness, nutty, caramel, complex, tasty, heady, another high class, BA worthy brew from Lost Abbey. The only problem I have with this brewery is that they do not distribute to NY state...

Billolick, Nov 05, 2007
Photo of rxdrewthejew
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of the bottle into my tulip glass. Didn't have any fresh baked bread and soft chesse to eat along with it, as the bottle suggested, so I made do with some store-bought sliced bread and babybell.

A: Hazy, orange and yellow depending on the light. Looks somewhat like filtered apple cider. Bubbly with a thick white head which slowly dissapears.

S: Strong bready/yeasty smell. Crisp malt, honey and spices.

T: Bready as it smells. More hops than I had expected, the bitterness hits but quickly fades. Spicy/peppery alcohol, honey and flowers, and a strong malty base.

MF: Quite carbonated, but not to the point of being unpleasant. Light, but strong warming and a filling beer.

D: The alcohol is bigger then it should be, but a great flavor and a nice sipping beer. As I said, a very filling beer. Haven't had much experience with this style, but more complex and flavorful than the New Belgium Biere de Mars, in my opinion. This is a great beer to wind down a long day. A solid offering.

rxdrewthejew, Oct 23, 2007
Photo of EPICAC
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden with a thin foamy head. The white head fades to a film leaving patchy lace.

Smell: The aroma is light. Caramel maltiness, citrus, herbal and spicy alcohol.

Taste: Toasty maltiness that moves into a light sweetness. The finish is peppery with a light but persistent bitterness.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation. Light-bodied, crisp.

Drinkability: Tasty and well balanced.

EPICAC, Oct 23, 2007
Photo of Mryup
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a cloudy golden honey with 1/2 an inch of white sparse head that I'm surprised to find holds its retention quite well. Too hazy for the style.

S: Elusive hops, bread, grapes and some other unknown fruit...perhaps caramel malt. Classic ale smell with the alcohol pleading it's presence.

T: Not necessarily a simple beer but simple tasting. Bread, grapes and slight hop presence. The appearance and smell intimidates but this is actually a mild beer.

M: Deceptively heavy. Pleads lightness but it is really like swallowing liquid bread dough. Turns light at the end and carbonation is acceptable.

D: Not a pounder. A heavy beer that deceives the drinker into thinking it is a lighter beer because of appearance and mildness. Very unusual.

Lost Abbey does a nice job for the style.

Mryup, Oct 18, 2007
Photo of Gusler
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
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

Gusler, Oct 16, 2007
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been hanging onto this a little bit now and figured it's time to pop the cork. Pours into my glass a hazy amber/orange with a small fizzy white head that forms a ring around the top. Aromas begin with some toasted grains and caramel. A light fruity spiciness is there as well. Earthy yeast with a slight twang, baked bread with some herbal hops. This just doesn't grab me.

First sip brings a toasted grain malt upfront with a nice hit of caramel. Fruity spiciness is evident and I pick up a grape skin and green apple flavor. Flows down with a bready, yeasty aspect and some earthy tones as well. Just a slight sour twang to it. Finishes with a touch of hops. A bit dry and grainy.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side while still having a nice creaminess to it. Ample carbonation, the beer goes down easily and is refreshing. Overall, this just doesn't match up with some of the better Biere de Garde's I've sampled. Doubt I'd seek this brew out again, but I look forward to sampling some of the other Lost Abbey brews.

orbitalr0x, Oct 08, 2007
Photo of domtronzero
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes taken last night at a friend's house.

Pours a hazy orangey golden color with a massive frothy rocky head. Lacing left through the finish. Aroma is yeasty and malty with some fruitiness. A slight grassy hoppiness is noted. Tastes malty sweet up front with some nice fruity flavors balanced well with a slight hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is exactley what I like in a beer of this style. Smooth and easy drinking with the perfect amount of carbonation to balance and give it a nice bite. Overall this is another excellent beer from the Lost Abbey brewery. I think I'm starting to like this more than their Red Barn Ale. Hmmm... that's a tough one.

domtronzero, Oct 07, 2007
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle

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.

Wasatch, Sep 22, 2007
Photo of Stoneman78
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received as part of my "Patron Saint" membership at Lost Abbey.
A- Pours a slightly murky gold/orange hue with a huge, white, craggy head with thick lacing that sticks to the glass
S- Nose is of yeasty and caramel malts, some nice light fruits (peach mostly), and spices, alcohol is quite noticeable too
T- Initial taste is of caramel malts and peach, followed by some bitter hops and spices, finish is dry and bit acidic in nature
M- Medium-bodied ale with adequate carbonation, texture is creamy and almost oily that coats the entire mouth
D- This is definitely a unique style, but the acidic finish puts me off quite a bit (almost an aspirin-like quality), it is also has the look and smell of a lighter Belgian, but the taste and mouthfeel feels like a heavier beer, overall it lacks any unique qualities that would make me want to get another one in the future (especially given the other great LA offerings)

Stoneman78, Sep 15, 2007
Photo of
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, courtesy of BlindPig, I think -- Thanks!

Hazy, dark orange liquid capped by a large, creamy, ivory colored head. No lacing, minimal legs.

Aromas of citrus - tangerine?, caramel and apples. The citrus quality semed to depart after it had warmed a bit.

A well balanced beer and quite complex. Apples and raisins at the start. Very bready with a touch of caramel in the middle. Alcohol, just a bit, and some herbal notes mainly at the finish and in the aftertaste.

Medium + in body. Medium carbonation. Very refreshing.

Very tasty and well done, but a challenge to do justice to in the description. I'll happily drink it again, and I encourage you to go try it for yourself!

, Sep 06, 2007
Photo of jjayjaye
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I think this is my first Biere de Garde. A slightly hazy lighter golden orange color. When poured aggressively a shallow wispy white head fades in a flash. A lighter, yet interesting lacing pattern forms. As it warms up, the smell is a real kick. The complexity is challenging for me to place; sort of a sweet musty candied pear and banana, fruity yet earthy at the same time. The mouth opens with a tingle, but settles to a lighter almost watery texture as it warms up. The mild yeasty malt flavor is much less sweeter than the nose. A spicy peppery finish lingers nicely. A good drinker. Really glad that i had the opportunity to try this one. Scores points for imagination.

jjayjaye, Sep 02, 2007
Photo of DrJay
3.45/5  rDev -9%
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.

DrJay, Aug 31, 2007
Photo of bosco7
4.43/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Burnt orange in color sticky looking head that leaves a sea-foam like lacing on the glass.

Soap, earth, caramel, bread, vinous, and some pear aromas.

Starts sweet with a nice caramely flavor that coats the tongue then the grain, bread and biscuit flavors take over the palate. Accompanying the bread character is grape, red apple, and pear flavors. Finishes with spicy clove and black pepper phenols.

Smooth as hell mouthfeel- like velvet. Beautiful.

I absolutely adore this beer-complex, balanced and highly consumable.

bosco7, Aug 18, 2007
Photo of walshclimb
4.53/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I like this beer. I have enjoyed everything I have tried from this brewery, and I would highly recommend any of them. I thought this beer was gorgeous. I poured a 750ml bottle into two tulip shaped glasses. It was a clear orange honey color with a thick white head that really stuck around. The body had very active bubbling, and the head left a nice bubbly lace behind. The aroma was pretty subtle with light roasted malts and slightly doughy yeast. The inital flavor was smooth and malty and qqickly evolved into a nice sour aftertaste that was mellow and a little fruity. The mouthfeel was light bodied with slightly creamy texture and a fizzy carbonation. This is a nice light summer ale with very good flavor and great appearance. It pairs nicely with simple foods like buttered bread or a selection of cheeses.

walshclimb, Aug 14, 2007
Photo of Dukeofearl
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle shared with my wife. Purchased at LaBodega in Riverside, CA in July 2007; price not noted ($8.99?).

Pours a pretty golden with almost no carbonation and almost no head. Haziness from onboard yeasties keep this one pretty cloudy.

Aroma slightly sharp yeastiness, spicy in an ill-defined way. Flavor is moderately bodied, full of a variety of yeast flavors, with a sharp acid and hops ending.

I'll be honest, I love Pizza Port beers, I loved the Lost & Found Ale and I quite enjoyed the Red Barn Ale, but this one leaves me disappointed. Not really sure why, to be honest, but it just doesn't grab me. Maybe I need to try another day and see if it an off batch or it's me.

Dukeofearl, Aug 05, 2007
Photo of brentk56
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy honey color with a creamy head that declines to a film with pancake bubbles and leaves shards of lace

Smell: Peaches and cream, mineral elelments and fusel alcohol

Taste: Starts with a caramel malt backbone and a fruity element that has a peachy flavor and is joined by an herbal bitterness, mid-palate; after the swallow, earthy flavors interject and are followed by a mineral-like, medicinal bitterness at the back of the tongue

Mouthfeel: Thick bodied and creamy with vivacious, but soft carbonation

Drinkability: Rather nice and quite interesting, although I don't really care for the finish

Thanks, ppoitras, for the experience

brentk56, Aug 04, 2007
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a medium yellow color ale with a big foamy white head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of medium sweet malt with a distinctive yeast presence. Taste is dominated by medium sweet malt with some bread and yeast notes and a slightly dry finish. Body is about average with some great carbonation. Interesting but lacking some character to make this truly interesting and I cannot see this beer aging well.

Phyl21ca, Jun 26, 2007
Photo of John_M
4.43/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Brickskeller. This might well have been my favorite Lost Abbey beer from the Tomme Arthur tasting.

The beer pours a hazy orange honey color. The beer has very good head retention and lacing. On the nose.... wow! All kinds of crazy aromas, including red candy apple, vanilla and hard candy. The initial impression on the palate is that of a sweet tasting, Belgium style beer, but there is a good hop bite in the finish, and it almost seems dry at the end. Flavors on the palate include honey, butter, apple, vanilla and melon. The beer has a long, smooth finish, and the abv. is well disguised. Hence, despite the abv., the beer is very, very drinkable.

A very fine beer indeed....

John_M, Jun 22, 2007
Photo of yelterdow
3.08/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served at just over cellar temperature, this 750ml corked and caged bottle was acquired through the Rare Beer Club in 2006. Poured into a Duvel tulip for maximum rewards.

Appearance- Pours a surprisingly crystal clear honey orange color, it's absolutely *glowing* in the glass. On a traditional pour, the head pushes three fingers in an awkward, stumbling fashion... the crown just looks messy. As the beer settles, we've got a thin, dissonent mat that offers no lacing.

Smell- Tremendous malt notes and a dollop of honey... there are definitely some faint hops rounding out the nose, notably Saaz and a few other familiar spicy Belgian types. It almost seems like there is a barrel-aged character about the aroma, though I'm not sure this ever touched wood... *hehe*... he said "wood".

Taste- Sweet, syrupy honey flavors dominate the entrance into the mouth... the middle offers a toasted malt character with some alcohol burn, not too detracting but a little out of balance. The swallow is where this beer goes south... the mouth-stinging afterburn combined with bone dry hops are not impressive.

Mouthfeel- The weight changes radically once the liquid has a chance to explore the mouth... thin at first, it swells to a slicker, more enjoyable texture as time goes on. The swallow is relatively quiet and nice.

Drinkability- With the belly warmth and accompanying fuzziness about the limbs, I'm quite surprised this beer weighs in at only 7%. I'm glad to have tried this obscure brew from the West Coast, however it won't leave any lasting impression.

yelterdow, Jun 21, 2007
Photo of adowney523
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 mL corked bottle into a snifter glass. Appearance is cloudy and a sort of golden-brown. The white head retains well and has great lacing.

Mostly pineapple and alcohol on the nose.

The malt base is doughy. Hops are citrusy and finish along with a kick of alcohol. Faint floral esters also present.

Medium-bodied with some residual sweetness for the mouthfeel. Drinkability is above-average.

Overall, pretty good but did not live up to my higher expectations.

adowney523, Jun 14, 2007
Photo of MiScusi
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap, Port Brewing Company, July '07.
I like this beer a lot better from the tap, it is very drinkable and has a nice crisp and mild tartness to it- the kind of flavor that can be described by the word "twang." Score updated to Tap version.

From 750mL bottle. May '06.
Poured a clear golden/light orange with a frothy, well-developed head. The smell at first was very sour and musty/earthy. I know it is suppose to smell like that somewhat, but it wasn't pleasing at all. As it warmed up a little bit of sweetness, and maybe the honey it was brewed with came through more in the aroma, as well as a little banana character. The taste at first had a lot of light malt & alcohol flavor, though a touch of sweetness was thrown in at warmer temps in the form of banana nut. Earthy notes lingered in the finish as well.

Nothing really wrong with the mouthfeel. The drinkability got low marks because by the end of the glass I really didn't feel like finishing it. As much as I wanted to like this beer I just couldn't. Maybe it is more of an acquired taste. The only other Biere de Garde I've had was way too heavy on the banana nut flavor but I would say it was overall more pleasant than this one.
4 / 2.5 / 3.5 / 4 / 3

MiScusi, May 21, 2007
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

After years of planning and months of waiting, I cannot describe how gratifying it was, for me, to finally be able to review the Bière de Garde style.

Appearance: Pours a deep, orangey-copper body with a foamy, snow white head.

Smell: Sugary breadcrusts, honey, dried fruits, rolled hay, maybe some lemon in there as well.

Taste: The taste is an array of delicate, elegant flavors, light caramel, fruitiness, buttered sourdough bread, and a splash of Lady Grey tea. Lighty bitter finish, with some alcohol popping in right at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Light carbonation. A slight stickiness on the palate. Some alcohol warmth, too.

Drinkability: There were times where AndoBrew and I thought "What did we get ourselves into? This is never going to come together!!" But when those wonderful smells start coming from the beer, when the flavors begin the meld, when the obscenities start flying, and the smiles start shining, we knew that it was all worth it.

ChainGangGuy, May 21, 2007
Photo of Abita45
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer didn't really make a huge impact on me. It was very good, but pretty even all the way around. Nothing in particular really jumped out at me, except for maybe the color which I liked. It is a deep gold color almost bordering on orange. A sunset gold color. There was a faint earth and citrus aroma but nothing really pronounced. There was no head to speak of nor lacing on the glass. Not unlike its aroma, it has an earthy, ripe sweetness and a palatteable breadiness that makes the beer very even in taste and body. It has a nice heft in body, but is still very easy to drink and the tastes help make it very refreshing. Without a doubt, a very good, sublte example of the style, but not a beer that overwhelmed me.

Abita45, May 11, 2007
Photo of Sephiroth
4.43/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to IntriqKen for my birthday present. The bottle looks nice, pours average enough. Smells fruity from the yeast, a little spicy.

Tastes like it came straight from Belgium. Bready, biscuity malt, enough earthy hops to create a barely bitter finish. A little phenolic fruitiness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, finishes clean.

I have taken the advice on the label and paired this with a Granny Smith apple, some French Bread(bad imitation), and Port Salud cheese. It makes a nice ploughman's lunch at 2:45 AM, which is dinner for me after closing the bar.

Sephiroth, May 06, 2007
Photo of hoppymeal
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy peach, light copper with a small white head. Aroma is some honey sweetness mixed with lemons, some sweet and tart apple along with a grassiness. Very subtle and soft sweetness up front in the taste, some lemon and tartness mid taste mix with a peppery and grassy finish. Also some graininess in the taste with some apple and alcohol in the finish and aftertaste. Light to medium body finishes crisply. A refreshing beer that would be great for a picnic in the spring.

hoppymeal, Apr 15, 2007
Avant Garde from The Lost Abbey
85 out of 100 based on 607 ratings.