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Gift Of The Magi - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Gift Of The MagiGift Of The Magi

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

606 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 606
Reviews: 294
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 54
Gots: 83 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerBeing on 06-10-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 606 | Reviews: 294 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by cjoc83:
Photo of cjoc83
3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My first Lost Abbey beer, and expectations are high given the praise that is heaped upon the brewery on this site. A 2012 Gift of the Magi ($11.50 at the local Wegmans in southeastern PA) pours a cloudy ruby/brown with an initial 3 fingers worth of light khaki head that recedes to a small layer and leaves sparse lacing.

Not getting much info off the bottle as far as the style or taste of the beer goes (besides the fact that it's brewed with Brett), I learn on BA that this is a virgin style for me, a Biere de Garde. The Brett is evident in the nose with some slight yeasty funk and horse blanket, but underneath that is sweet caramel and biscuity malt and a touch of hops. So far so good.

The flavor is a bit underwhelming, but nevertheless pleasant. Musty funk and bready malt intermingle with some subdued sweet brown sugar and earthy hops, but the finish (especially as the beer warms) is quite nice as some ever so slightly tart fruit mixes with a bitter, spicy hop note.

Medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation. A small amount of heat is noticeable in the finish, but if I didn't know the abv was 10%, I would guess it around 7.5 or 8. Pretty well hidden.

Overall, a solid enough beer, but somewhat disappointing given the high expectations I had for it (which, in hindsight, were unreasonable as I initially thought this was a wild ale when I bought the bomber). The flavors were good, but too subtle. If the Gift of the Magi tasted as good as it smells, I would be picking up another bottle of this. For now, I'm content to try something else from LA. Certainly drinkable and I can appreciate the craftsmanship, but not really my cup of tea. Maybe BdG's just aren't my thing. I'm still very excited to try other offerings from the Lost Abbey.

cjoc83, Dec 23, 2012
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warnerry, Dec 08, 2013
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3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

Beaver13, Jan 12, 2009
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4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

BeerIsland, Oct 11, 2009
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4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Billolick, Mar 29, 2009
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3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

tigg924, May 18, 2010
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4.2/5  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.

badbeer, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Mora2000, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of magictrokini
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

magictrokini, Dec 12, 2008
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3.75/5  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.

ehammond1, Feb 24, 2011
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3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

doremite, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of Soonami
1.75/5  rDev -53.9%
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

Soonami, Dec 30, 2009
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4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Jeffwildcat, Apr 30, 2014
Photo of OStrungT
2.9/5  rDev -23.7%
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.

OStrungT, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of mocktm
4/5  rDev +5.3%

mocktm, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of glid02
3.8/5  rDev 0%
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.

glid02, Aug 16, 2009
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4/5  rDev +5.3%

Beer21, Feb 20, 2013
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4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Adkins1203, Dec 25, 2013
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4/5  rDev +5.3%

slainte35, Nov 01, 2013
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.58/5  rDev +20.5%
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.

rhoadsrage, Jan 06, 2009
Photo of pwoods
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

pwoods, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of ste5venla
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

ste5venla, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of mully
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

mully, Jan 05, 2009
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Gift Of The Magi from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 606 ratings.