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Gift Of The Magi - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Gift Of The MagiGift Of The Magi

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

672 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 672
Reviews: 302
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 51
Gots: 109 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerBeing on 06-10-2007

It seems that everyone knows the story of the Three Kings. Sent to follow the star in the sky each brought a gift for the baby they sought. One King brought Gold, the other Frankincense and the other Myrrh. Many breweries produce a Christmas Seasonal beer and this is our beer to celebrate the holiday season.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 672 | Reviews: 302
Reviews by RobertColianni:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Beaver13
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle. Pours an amber orange with a white head that quickly goes to a thin collar.

The aroma is hard to pin down - sweet malts, some bretty yeast, a little fruit and some spices and bubblegum.

The flavor is similar to the aroma. Some sweet sugary/buttery malts, a little acidic yeast, some spices (pepper) and a decent amount of bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, an interesting Belgian.

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

This was a gift bottled for my efforts in the Phila Beer Geek competition last Spring. This is a extremely drinkable beer for the heft. I really liked the balance and smoothness. There was a good bit of yeast at the bottem of the bottle but it all went in the glass. I was picking up a tad of citrus on the finish. Very nice beer overall.

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

Large bottle, caged and corked, 2008 edition. Purchased at Julio's world class beer stop in Massachusetts. Opened with a fairly wimpy "poof" and poured murky medium peach, under a light tan head, that left plenty of fine spots and blobs of lace. Light perfume, a hint of cheesy must and ripe fruit goodness in the nose. The label proclaims this one as a beer de Garde with an addition of Brett. I do get some minor funk notes. Cheese, mold and light horsy whiffs. Resiny dryness in the finish. I like. Complex, mysterious and tasty. Bring out some pungent cheese and grilled foods and enjoy.

Photo of tigg924
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, clear, red/brown in color, high carbonation

Smell: plum, clove, spices, and bread

Taste: plum, clove, holiday spices, dark fruit, and bread

Mouthfeel: sweet start-bitter second taste and a sweeter end, high carbonation, light bodied.

Drinkability: A very good beer, but not excellent. I do like the plum and holiday spices. Similar to Abita's Christmas Ale. Could have several.

Photo of badbeer
4.21/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Caramel colored with an off-white head with excellent retention and lacing. Somewhat funky aroma, I swear I get a small amount of resinous hops too. Earthy, hay, maybe a touch of funk, but I still get more of the resinous hops in here. I think I get some tastes of lemon and oats too, if that makes sense. Medium bodied with a dry-ish hoppy finish; higher than medium carbonation. A rather different beer, but still quite good.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hophead101 for sending me this beer.

2008 vintage. The beer pours a brownish-orange color with a white head. The aroma is brett funk, citrus, caramel and pepper. The flavor is more of the same with some nice orange notes mixing with the brett. The brett gives it a little leather flavor and there is also some spicy pepper as well. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of magictrokini
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark auburn with a frothy tan head. Nothing "pale" about this. The head sticks around for quite a while and leaves a thick lacing. Perfume aroma of pepper, wheat, grass, oranges, minerals, and funky wood. Fruity, herbal taste. Dried peaches, more orange peel, some white pepper, apples, and caramel malt make up the taste. In the background, there is a constant herb/mineral/oaky taste which I presume is from the Frankincense and Myrhh, but having never tried those things on their own, I don't know. Nevertheless, this is a fantastic beer.

Photo of pat61
4.6/5  rDev +20.7%

Prune and dark dried fruit dominate the nose over some dark sugar and molasses aromas.
The beer pours deep dark reddish amber and produces a 2” off white finely bubbled foam cap that produced prodigious lace and some legs when the glass is swirled.
This big and bold beer hits the palate with creamy dark dried fruits, big malt, spice and dark sugars suggesting dense fruit cake flavors but with all its big boldness it comes across surprisingly light. While the beer leaves a little sugar on the lips at the finish, yeast fruit flavors, alcohol and hops keep the malt in control resulting in a beer with rich complexity that is never cloying or out of balance. It suggests a bourbon drink made with bitters such as an old fashioned or Manhattan.
Although you notice a slight warming as you drink the beer, the rich flavors for the most part keep the alcohol hidden.

Photo of ehammond1
3.76/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

A dark copper and rust with a thick and tight white soapy head that stays perched atop the glass. Rings of sticky lacing slide down the glass. Beautiful.

A combination of lemon and black pepper in the nose. A bit of of dried apricot and some mild Brett funk as well.

Mild lemon, Brett, and a bit of spice. A bit of sweet fruit and caramel malt but a very mild tasting beer in nearly every regard. The alcohol is hidden extraordinarily well. I still don't believe this is a 10% ABV beer.

The mouthfeel is the star of the show with this beer. Highly carbonated, luscious yet smooth, full and bold yet smooth and easy drinking. Little to no alcohol presence. Impressive.

An easy drinking Biere de Garde with a surprisingly high ABV. A good and interesting effort.

Photo of Soonami
1.79/5  rDev -53%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Served in a 12 oz. goblet, at cellar temps, at SPTR.

A- murky reddish brown with a very thin head that had almost no lasting power

S- I could not smell much more than the burn of alcohol. maybe a little citrus

T- Alcohol is the predominant flavor, there is very little else. It tastes like a vodka and tonic drink that got really watered down

M- the very light body and high alcohol makes the beer very dry and astringent

D- I could only barely finish this one beer, I'm glad I had friends around to help me finish this

This beer completely lacked any kind of fruity, funky flavor I was looking for, it was lacking of body, taste, but certainly not alcohol

Photo of OStrungT
2.9/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This beer pours a cloudy reddish ornage color, with almost no head. The tiny head fades instantly, leaving a very light lacing.

This beer has a spicy aroma of coriander. I can detect some citrus lemony aroma. Some grain aroma is also present.

This beer tastes like it smells. Some citrus fruit and spice. It has a slight earthy funky flavor also. There may be avery subtle sour flavor, but it is so faint that I cant be sure.

This beer is pretty much flat. It leaves a grainy aftertaste.

This beer wouldnt be the best session beer. It is high in alcohol, and the flavor isnt too great.

Overall: Decent beer at best. Maybe carbonation would help. I hope these guys fix their problems soon.

Photo of glid02
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this courtesy of jophish17 - thanks!

Pours a murky copper-brown color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of grainy malts, musty hops, and hints of light fruits. None of these are very fragrant.

Tastes good. Mild sweet malt flavors up front with hints of herbal hops and nondescript spices. Hints of pears come out as the beer warms. Ending is crisp and is neither sweet nor bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a decent thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is alright. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass but I'm not sure about another.

Overall there was a lot that could be good about this beer with some minor tweaking but nothing that I found overly exciting. Worth a shot for the curious.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.57/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a golden caramel-brown body with a dense thick light tan head of foam that last and lasts. There is a good carbonation of tiny bubbles that supports the head.

S- This beer has a slightly sweet musty smell that starts as caramel that grows as the beer warms but melds into a bit more of a pineapple aroma with a note of cardamom. It finishes with a nice pine needle hop note that increases in spiciness as the beer warms.

T- This beer has a smooth sweet note that has some caramel qualities to it but is overtaken by a toasted malt flavor. There is a softer earthy flavor that has a minty quality to it along with some peppercorn hints and a bretti tartness. The finish of this beer is a soft piney hop flavor that lingers just a bit.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a full texture on the tongue. There is no alcohol heat noticed until the last sip.

D- This is how spiced winter beers should be. Good solid beer with some mysterious spice qualities that can't be teased apart. All the flavors work well together complimenting each other. They managed to put spice and malt and hops together and it works. I don't know if they used Frankincense and Myrrh but whatever it is its great.

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

750ml corked and caged bottle, '08 vintage, poured into a tulip. Notes.

A: Pours a golden bronze, hazy. Maybe a finger worth of light frothy head on the pour with some retention. A few wisps of lacing.

S: There's just a little bit of Brett in there. Held onto this for awhile in hopes that it'd be bigger. Light mustiness and some light fruits. Nice Belgian grain and sweetness.

T/M: Nice Biere de Garde backbone. Brett is about the same as the nose with the light mustiness and some barnyard flavors. The light fruits are a bit bigger in the flavor. Pleasant sweetness. Body is medium or so with healthy enough carbonation.

D: Tasty base beer but I really wish the Brett would have taken hold a little stronger. 9.5% is surprising.

Photo of mully
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours a copper/ apricot color with a thin head thet sets up thin and fades pretty quickly

spicey yeast is prominent a little tartness present some malts and some hints of apple as well.

tastes like perfume, not in a bad -- way very spicey, interesting, but not "ohhhh interesting" not many beers like this. subtle malt sweetness, tangy/astringent some from the hops some from the spices.

dry mouthfeel, good carbonation spices linger for a while.

this is a good beer I have another to try next cristmas in my cellar. I don't know how much of it I could drink though.

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

This is a review of the bottle although I enjoyed the tap version first and found it mellower and without the wild yeast 'funk' that is developing in the bottle. It will be interesting to see what new dimensions are added as this one ages.

Pours a golden orange with a nice 2 fingers of white foam that melts rather quickly to almost nothing. Sort of typical for a brew with such a high ABV.

The first thing that hit me in the aroma was apricots...fresh, smooth, and sweet apricots with a bit of citrus ting and brightness as you inhale. Only a slight bit of caramel and Belgium yeast aromas make themselves known if you go looking for them.

The taste is again apricots with some sweet Belgium candy sugars and lots of hops at the end along with lots of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is creamy and rich...I didn't find it thin at all. Again, lots of candied sugars to keep it creamy.

Right now, the bottled version is a little to hot to be completely enjoyed like the tap version was at the Brewery. Still a wonderful take on a Belgium style and I am really looking forward to age mellowing this just a little.
It's a pleasure now.
It will be a dessert in another year.

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

The Lost Abbey- Gift of the Magi

A- Nice dark amber reddish brown with a thick foamy head. Nice ringed lacing.
S- Sugary, fruity, and tart. Sugar, plums, grapes, and apples. Light hint of grainy malt.
T- Very sugary sweet and tart fruits like grapes, apples, and plum. Mild boozy alc. presence with a strong grainy toasted caramel malt and dry earthy grassy hops.
M- Very sweet, sugary and tart. Boozy and warming. Thick fruity and malty finish.

Overall- Sweet and boozy. Good on a cold winter day.

Photo of jmz62565
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy burnt orange/copper with a medium creamy tan head. The smell is less pungent than I would think with bread yeast and citrus hop aromas present. The taste is filled with alcohol,bread yeast,citrus hops,dark fruit,and orange peel.The m/f is medium with all the flavors mixing well.A decent beer,but I was alittle disappointed .

Photo of GilGarp
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 12/7/2010.

750 ml bottle served cold into a goblet. Gift of the Magi is a dark redish brown color with good clarity. Even after a careful pour, the head towers above the rim.

Aroma is spicey and funky but not all that intense. Maybe it's hidden under all of the head.

Flavor is very much the same but with more boldness and character. I didn't think a Biere de Garde could be so strong or high in alcohol but this one pulls it off. Funk and spice in equal measure, more subtle floral qualities.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and high in carbonation.

Overall a solid beer but not as special as I expected from Lost Abbey. Give it a try if you like the style.

Photo of asabreed
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml. bottle poured into a Brooklyn tulip.

Appearance: A very pretty and mildly hazy dark amber color, with a candy-colored apple-red slightly off-white head, which leaves some spots of lacing but not much retention elsewhere. The color saves the retention; it looks nice with some mild light shining through it.

Smell: By the time this warms from out of the fridge to room temperature, a lot has, unsurprisingly, changed. If you want to break it down, it's kind of like a slightly hoppy Quad with some nuanced Brett involved, which I like, because I've never had a beer quite like this. There's a lot of funk and yeast happening here, but there's also a raisin and vinous dark fruit sweetness happening too, and those aromas are commingling with some welcomed earthy, yet subdued funk.

Taste: The bitterness here is the most surprising to me, as if it's almost too over-hopped -- maybe they were worried about the Brett and dark malt characteristics? I'm not sure, but for me it ends up working pretty well. It's a balance between dark fruits, mild earthy yet fairly clean funk, and nice bitter hops, coming together nicely in the finish. But there's still a lot of dark fruits, raisins, and caramel flavors going on in the end, with a lot of nuance related to those darker flavors.

Mouthfeel: Seemed sharp initially, but gets creamy and settles down with subsequent pours into a nice medium to full-bodied creaminess in the end until the last pour. Sipping this over a few hours only makes everything better.

Drinkability: This brew didn't blow me away, but I feel like The Lost Abbey is putting together those brews for the folks who want a long time with it. These are beers that need to be taken in slowly, noticing the changes in everything, and I think that's the point by the end, which makes me have to take the drinkability up to where it is. This is only the second one I have, but I do have a few more that I'm waiting to try, and I'll be giving it the same window of time to see what develops -- seems like this is one for me that deserves all the time you can give them.

Photo of Sammy
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Coles rare beer fest. Lighter carbonation and spiciness. Yeasty. Some apple pie, candi sugar but not sweet as Some hoppiness kicks in at end. Not bad but not too drinkable, better with food I would think.Brett? perhaps. Below average mouthfeel. A worthwhile experiment, more mellow from this brewery and not their best hoped-for result.

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

Mild piney and subtly fruity aroma. Cloudy orange/amber color. Somewhat cloudy with a fair amount of sediment. Nice off-white head with good retention. Some bitterness. Fairly spicy with an astrigency that suggests more spice than I actually tasted. Detected some notes of candied fruit (fruitcake). Slightly reminiscent of Orval.

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

Light shade of yellow, with a nice light head that sits around for a minute or two.
Smells strongly of incense, apparently frankincense and myrrh with some Belgian yeast in the mix.
A little spicy with some alcohol presence, the spices are unconventional but pleasant.
Good carbonation, with a solid mouthfeel.
All in all a solid beer. I was a little intimidated originally by the fragrances but it pulled through. I probably will not buy this again for a while but was happy to have tried it.

Photo of dirtylou
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, memorial day weekend and such. no bs4

neck sticker dates 12/07

appearance: corked and caged. poured into a de koninck chalice, clear dull amber, active carbonation, light white lace

smell: very sweet and rather funky, wild brett yeast, moderate booze, vanilla, bready

taste: spicy mix of alcohol and funk with a thick burning sensation...waves of brett yeast, candied sugars, banana, clove, pretty heavy alcohol. interesting, but messy

mouthfeel: fiery, spicy, heavy alcohol

drinkability: average

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

2008 Release

Gift of the Magi is bronze in color. It's very hazy, and has a nice crimson look with light behind it. Carbonation appears to be very light, but bubbles are present. The head is off-white and rises to just above a surface covering. It disappears quickly and leaves very little lace behind.

The nose is a little weak. It's still not bad. Brett and its funkiness are easily noted from the first whiff. It's prominent, but still isn't an overly strong Brett presence. It has a distinct earthy, musky scent that complements the funky barnhouse fragrance very well. There are some sweet, malty notes. Smells like caramel to me. Spices are present, but aren't in abundance. Alcohol is blended well for such a strong beer. I wouldn't have guessed 10%.

The flavor is pretty good. It has a malty base that's a little sweet. Caramel and tofffee flavors are noted throughout. Earthy and musky notes permeate throughout. Funky Brett flavors are a nice touch. They add character and a nice flavor to the overall mix. It's a moderate Brett flavor. There's an interesting spicy/herbal edge to it. That flavor's a little pepperish, but I can't quite put my finger on it. It's not a bad flavor, but it's not great either. Alcohol is surprisingly tame. It's not warm at all. It finishes spicy and a little funky.

Gift of the Magi has a light-medium body. Carbonation is very, very light. It feels too thin. Definitely not smooth. Drinkability is above average. The flavor's okay, and it goes down relatively easy for a big beer. A 750's a bit much, but I'll finish it.

Gift of the Magi in an interesting release from The Lost Abbey. Perhaps that's because Bière de Garde is an interesting style. This one has a little too much of a caramel/toffee flavor for me. It just doesn't seem to blend well with the funky Brett flavors. It's alright, but doesn't result in greatness. There's too few bubbles in this one, too. More would be better. That being said, Gift of the Magi is far from bad. Well worth a try, if you ask me.

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Gift Of The Magi from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 672 ratings.