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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 benclimbs
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours amber orange with a thick head and a good bit of lacing

smell is honey, spice, pears and apricots

taste is very honey dominated apricots - so intense and fruit forward...

mouthfeel is light and smooth.

A delicious albeit slightly sweet saison driven by intense fruit character, a great brew.

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Photo of treyrab
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

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Photo of Blakaeris
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark orange with a creamy white head.

Aroma is citrus in character, orange stands out with accompanying pineapple and melon.

Taste is a strong caramel malt base. Very citrus in character with an orange peel bitterness, rather than citrus hops. Hops that are present have an earthy character that matches well with the general mustiness that lingers throughout.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall, a very drinkable Biere De Garde. Flavor is unified, with a tasty orange peel finish. Certainly worth a try.

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Photo of sleazo
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

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Photo of jgasparine
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured from the bottle with a large offwhite head, which quickly receded to a haze layer and collar. No significant lacing. The mildly carbonated body was a turbid honey color- The tubidity comes from sediment disturbed from the bottom of the bottle.

S- The aroma is true to style: malt-forward with some cellar-like musty notes. Subtle nuances of treacle and tropical fruit esters.

T- On the palate it doesn't come-across true to style... it starts out as anticipated, malt-forward with some mild mustiness. But on the midpalate some of those mild tropical fruit-like yeast esters kick in. Into the finish, some mild citrus hop bitterness kicks-in, and lingers resinous in the peppery finish. Nuances of orange-marmalade on all subsequent sips. This is a wonderful American twist on the French style!

M- Thin body, softly carbonated, no astringency. Occasional texture from yeast sediment. Nothing special here.

D- A super-quaffable. The alcohol is exceptionally well hidden. A perfect beer for a warm afternoon on the patio.

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Photo of sitarist
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden in color with hints of amber. A whirlwind of bubbles race up to a few inches of eggshell white head. The head takes its time falling, leaving rings of lacing behind.

It has a strong, but pleasant aroma. Fruity, musky, spicy, sweet, and sexy...this is a treat, and challenge to ones nose. Apples, bread, honey, ginger, orange, I keep getting a hint of gin, strippers, etc... Olfaction obliteration!

Like the aroma it is a mixed bag. The main flavors I detect are apples, bread, and Mozzarella. It also has an herbal thing going on as well.

Medium body bordering on creamy, and dry.

A great beer experience!

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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 notchucknorris
4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy golden color with a fairly large head that fades pretty lazily.

S: Light malts and freshly baked bread in the smell.

T: In my notes, I wrote that it tastes like a saison but without the funk. Something very earthy about the taste. Freshly baked bread in the taste as well along with a slight hint of earthy hops.

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Photo of BlindPig
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- big 1" off white head in my Duvel tulip. Clear orange body (a darker shade of orange but not dark). Leaves a nice pretty big lacing that sticks to side of glass.
S- A lighter malt back with some fresh european hops. Maybe a bit grassy or floral. Lemon and a few other citrus fruit aromas. Maybe a bit yeasty also. Another hint of something that can't pin point.
T- Lemon flavor comes through a long with maybe a lime hint too? Some light spices. Cloves and maybe some other spices. This is all blended with a nice light European hop flavor. A light bitterness is left in the aftertaste. A pale malt is also in there to help balance out everything.
M- Medium body with a medium to high carbonation.
D- It is a very drinkable beer. I wouldn't say its one of my favorite but if it was cheaper this would be a great beer to have when just in the mood for a nice refreshing beer. I could see this going well with most foods also. Since it is on the lighter side but the flavors do come out nicely. It's not a weak flavored beer.

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Photo of JBogan
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark honey color with a small one finger white top which recedes quickly. Minimal lacing id left behind.

There's a yeasty aroma, along with some grains along with a slight citric quality.

The taste is bready, along with a bit of honey and alcohol. I've had many beers which had these same attributes but this one seems to blend them all together better than most. A very nice tasting brew.

Mouthfeel was thick and smooth, yet finishes a little bit dry.

Overall I was surprised by this beer, as I had been slightly disappointed by some of the other Lost Abbey offerings. This one however hits the mark, and I'll certainly be having this one again.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.26/5  rDev +11.8%
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 bluemoonswoon
4.27/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

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Photo of Pardishcreel
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

It looked a golden color with lots of head. It's overly carbonated.
The taste was sweet but very fruit infused I thought the sweetness came out nice really balanced with the abv%.
The mouthfull had to much carbonation, but as for the drinkability it was a beer I could have anytime.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

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Photo of macktbone
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Given to me by may parents who decided to bring up a few bottles from the San Diego area on a recent visit.

Thanks to them for this honor.

A- Golden and milky, nice carbonation. little head and looks like a syrupy home made apple cider.

S- yeast, bread, acridity, apples, candy.

T- Very bready. Malt heavy front with a nice coat over the entire mouth. Fruity bitter tang that makes you hungry even after a meal.

M- syrupy goodness. Full body that slides across the tongue.

D- This is a definate oldey but goody. I could have this at any time in any place. Sitting outside or even during a meal or sitting by the fire, this could match almost any situation.

Thanks Mom. Next time we'll meet at Lost Abby to have some on tap.

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Photo of Franchise
4.32/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This offering from Lost Abbey pours a foggy orange with tiny carbonation bubble leaving a strong brown eggshell head on top of this beauty. The aroma is yeasty, fruity, dough, hay and grass. The taste starts sharp tart and lovely with enough sweetness to balance that bitter tartness upfront. The alcohal is warming and in control in this one. Followed by a bitter herbal hoppy and grass notes, hay, lemon grass, orange, citrus rind tarness, refreshing high carbonation make this finish fantastic and one helluva beer.

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Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
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...

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Photo of colforbin73
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i am holding off on giving this a 5 for the overall because i am relatively unfamiliar with the style, Biere de Garde. but this is an eminently quaffable brew. it is deeper in flavor than your typical lager -- but taste-wise i find it very much in that zone: easy to drink, bubbly, medium but appropriate bitterness, slight malt complexity but in the end an unmistakable Beer, with a capital "B". this is not an Ale, neither a Pils nor a Saison -- it is a Beer.

pours a lovely golden amber with a very lively, foamy carbonation... leaves some suds on the glass as you drink, but it is not a sticky beer. minimal yeast aroma and grassy fields of grain in the nose. smooth and clean is the order of the day... sweet, bright malts coat the inside of your mouth as it goes down with a nice little bubbly bitter bite too, just how you like it. only the finest of aftertastes. this is an easy drinker, i do not find the 7% alcohol to assert it self in the flavor -- this is my kind of session beer.

take me out to the ballgame.

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Photo of beerprovedwright
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First the only bad thing I will say about this beer is the way it is bottled. I had to saw off the top of the cork and use a cork screw. Lots of carbonation in this one, resulting in a four finger head of dense foam, and wonderful clinging lace. The color is a 9 on the SRM beer color chart. Smell is floral in character, with solid fragrances of apple, orange peel, lemon, and earthly tones. Great taste, of green grape, citrus, green apple, and hops. Creamy in my mouth, but a little drying on the back of my tongue and back sides of my throat. Carbonation is just right. Overall a great brew, easy to drink and a great taste.

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Photo of Floydster
4.37/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle purchased from Beverage Warehouse for seven dollars and some change, split with two friends last night while watching the Clippers almost sneak out a win, poured into my Chimay goblet

A-Murky golden yellow color, one inch foamy head white head, settled pretty quickly and had minimum retention, some lacing when it was colder

S-Bready malt aromas, orange peel, green apples, funkiness, cherries, cinnamon, caramel, various spices, some booze, and caramel

T-Starts off with a slightly sweet fruity flavor, then fades into tasting like a loaf of bread, then finished with a dry but malty aftertaste, as it warmed the bready flavors stuck around and then some tart came along with some cherries even though it was very faint, also some apples and yeast, great flavor overall and extremely easy to drink

M-Chewy and dry mouthfeel, medium body, maybe too much carbonation, beer squirted everywhere when I popped the cork, nice lingering taste

D-Could drink a lot of this stuff, it is only seven percent, very light on the stomach, quenches your thirst, smooth and goes down easy, would make a great session beer except for the price tag

This beer does not get enough credit, best one of their year round releases I have tried, not a particular fan of this style and still very good, would definitely drink again, especially on tap in the tasting room next time I am down in San Marcos, recommended

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Photo of vandemonian
4.38/5  rDev +15%
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 bosco7
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

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Photo of tigg924
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, clear, orange brown in color, high carbonation

Smell: bread, fruit, toffee, and toasted malt

Taste: bread, honey, peach, and toasted malt

Mouthfeel: sweet, light bodied with high carbonation

Drinkability: I really like this beer. A very good and bready beer with just the right spicing. Nice and malty, I cannot wait to have this again.

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Photo of Sephiroth
4.42/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of beresnaub
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

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