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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.
very good

299 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 299
Hads: 687
Avg: 3.82
pDev: 17.54%
Wants: 56
Gots: 116 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 299 | Hads: 687
Photo of draheim
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750mL into a tulip. Pours a clear amber w/ a 1-finger off-white head.

Aroma is fruity and sweet, bready and floral. Belgian yeast, fermented white grapes.

Taste is sugary sweet - dried apricots, raisins, prunes. Floral Old World hops provide a moderate bitter counterbalance.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied, lingering aftertaste.

Overall a good beer, but not really all that true to style.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a light brown color with a slight haze. Fizzy head that dies down to a ring, with carbonation rising up and creating a foam island in the middle. The aroma has brown sugar, butterscotch, toffee and dark fruits. The flavor has more dark fruits, caramel and citrus. Slight earthy flavor like dry wood rounded out with a kiss of alcohol. Really damn smooth for 12% abv. Impressive beer that reminded me of a Trappist quad.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Lost Abbey in San Marcos, CA.

A- Clear reddish-brown body. Half finger white head, relatively minimal retention time, no lacing.

S- Cloves, non-specific spices, dark fruits, crackers, bread, toffee. Reasonably spice-forward. A bit of alcohol.

F- Dark fruits, cloves, bread, plums, crackers, more holiday spices that I can't put a finger on at this particular moment in time. It's a reasonably strong beer with decent complexity in terms of the amount of flavours, but it doesn't seem to completely jive together here.

M- Medium in body, a bit syrupy and sweet on the finish with the accompanying spices adding a bit of herbal bitterness. Good carbonation. A bit of boozy heat on the backend.

O- Decent Biere de Garde, a lot of things going on but it's a bit heavy handed and a bit too much to drink for me.

Final score: 3.55

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Photo of BenwayPHD
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Pours an orange red with a three finger light mocha head that sticks around for quite some time. The nose is very yeasty and spicy. Orange peel, coriander, currant, and a sweet bready malt. The flavor follows the nose pretty closely, but there is an unexpectedly strong hop bitterness. Normally, I find a strong hop presence distracting and out place in this style, but here I like it.

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Photo of pat61
4.6/5  rDev +20.4%

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.

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Photo of reebtaerG
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had on draft at Lost Abbey on 4/3/14

A-Dark hazy copper with a thick off white head.

S-Aroma is pepper with caramel, plum and raisin.

T-Taste follows suit and adds some toffee and light vanilla notes. Medium alcohol presence.

M-Mouthfeel has a stickyness and moderate carbonation.

O-Overall a decent biere de garde from Lost Abbey nice balance of fruit and spice and yeast and malt.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a pint glass. Only 2013 is readable from the freshness stamp
A: Orange-ish brown with a two-finger head that slowly settles
S: Fig, caramel, candied orange peel, toast
T: Raisins, fig, caramel, toffee, baking spice
M: Full-bodied, a bit sweet, short finish though hides the 10% well
O: Apparently this is only the third Bière de Garde style I've had. I need to try more. This particular bottle is not a bad beer but I doubt I'll actively look for more. I didn't pick up any of the brett mentioned on the back label

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Photo of JamieDuncan
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Can't really remember where I picked this beer up but my beer guru noticed it and said they were a really good brewery so we gave it a run. Good, but not great looking beer and smell was similar. Good taste but nothing outstanding. Gains some bonus points overall for ABV that does not come across as boozy. Overall I would not buy this again.

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Photo of seand
3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a cloudy brown with a fair amount of tan head. Clumps of foam retain on the surface and around the edge of the glass, leaving a fair amount of lacing.

S: Mild funky grainy sweetness.

T: Strong, spiced, sweet, boozy, and again a touch funky. It's a pleasant overall blend.

M: Medium to full body, medium carbonation.

Overall, quite nice, and dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle from the Palm Desert CA Total Wine for $5 on clear out

Appearance – Brown colour with an above average size fizzy beige coloured head. The head lasted for 5 minutes before it was gone. A few flaoties are around.

Smell – Malts, grapes/raisins, plums, yeast

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and some yeast. There is also some dark fruit, anise, and a burnt molasses like flavour.

Overall – Just a little rough during the after taste.. other than that, a great scent and a solid flavour. Another great beer from this brewer.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, 2013 vintage. Pours very hazy deep ruby red color with a 2-3 finger fairly dense and rocky light khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Spotty foamy lacing clings around the glass, with a large amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big plum, pear, peach, apricot, apple, caramel, brown sugar, toast, clove, pepper, herbal, floral, grass, light mustiness, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and fruity/spicy yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, apricot, pear, apple, caramel, brown sugar, clove, pepper, toast, herbal, floral, grass, light mustiness, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of raisin, plum, apricot, pear, apple, caramel, brown sugar, toast, clove, pepper, herbal, light mustiness, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity of fruity/spicy yeast and malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. High carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly slick, crisp, and moderately prickly mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent biere de garde style! All around great complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2012 bottle opened Jan 2014.

A - Deep nectarine orange / brown body. Creamy off-white head settles quickly with ok lace.

S - Unique nose; apricot, rhubarbe, cherry twisters, fresh oregano, dandilion flowers.

T - Herbal spiciness, watermelon rind, rose water, raw nutmeg, waxy bitter greens.

M - Medium frame with a really nice spice that lightens the body. Silky smooth finish.

O - Bright, herbal, and spicy. An off-beat, well executed beer.

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Photo of Joshpu
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle to a snifter.

A: Poured a dark amber with about two fingers of beige head. More than average carbonation.

S: Fruity, little bit of funk. Smells pretty sweet. A little floral, grassy.

T: Sweet malt pretty much throughout the entire beer. Some sweet fruit as well. Floral and slightly bitter hops on the end. Grassy.

M: Medium bodied. Quite a bit of carbonation. Fairly easy to drink, besides the sweetness.

Overall pretty good, a little too malty sweet for me, but it still has some nice balance as to not be too overwhelmingly sweet.

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Photo of ISmith87
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - 3.75 - Nice orange amber misty color to it. Off white head that leaves okay lacing. Bottle is Lost Abbey style.
S - 3.75 - Sweet, caramel smell, peach, banana, cinnamon, bread.
T - 4.0 - sweet, caramel taste, peach, banana, bready taste. Not much from the Brett? Maybe if it sat longer it would have more of a barnyard taste.
M - 4.0 - medium mouthfeel, very sweet, alc covered, aftertaste is sweet and syrupy.
O - 4.0 - Not too bad, nice holiday beer, one of the better ones I've had. I'm a little dissapointed I didn't get any brett out of it though? It probably hasn't been aged long enough.

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Photo of ANIMOUL
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The initial taste is that of medicinal alcohol, but in a good way. It soon gives way to the taste of bread and cherries. There is sweet and syrupy aftertaste that lingers. It has a tantalizing copper-brown color coupled with a thick & lasting head.

Overall, a good holiday beer... as in, enjoy it once a year.

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Photo of nquigley16
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 10/27/11
Poured into a hennepin goblet.

Appearance- Pours a dark amber brown with hints of a red and a hefty light tan head. A little cloudiness, but pretty clear.

Aroma- Starts with a bit of alcohol, but breaks up into a bunch of other flavors- pineapple, bubblegum, whole wheat bread and a little must.

Taste- Lots of Brett characteristics coming through obviously. A nice maltiness that is balanced by a relatively strong booziness. Pretty sweet as well with some pineapple flavors coming through in the after taste. A little bit of dark fruit, almost like a Belgian dark ale, but just hints of that.

Mouthfeel- A little slippery but somewhat dry in the aftertaste. Medium carbonation levels.

Overall- Nice beer. Nothing to crave but it does the job and has a pretty nice complex flavor profile. It's not the most amazing, but it definitely is well balanced and tasty.

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Photo of liamt07
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared by Zack, 750ml into a tulip - 2011 vintage.

Reddish brown, with a huge tan head. Great lacing and spots of retention. Nose is malty, fruity, some brett, light spice and some musty character. Taste is malt forwars, yeasty, musty, darker fruits, bitter finish. Medium feel, medium high carbonation. Nice malt and yeast character, but the hop bitterness that lingers detracts from this for me.

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Photo of harrymel
4.16/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2012

Amber with blood cherry notes and a loose, thin sheet of light cream foam. Smells of plums, raisins, amber malt, some bread, some dry desert dust and a little bit of clove. Taste is not what I expected - sweet malt, bitter over steeped tea, some hibiscus and rose petals. Really pleasant flavor profile here for me. Medium on full bodied with fine, overpopulous carb and a wet finish. Nice beer. Quite surprised by this one.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

kind of a strange one here, sort of a holiday saison if you will. pours a nice deep copper to red color, with a dull glow and a bright white head with fine retention. excellent lacing is left at each sip, and there is just a bit of sediment settling out. the nose is spiced a little like a holiday beer, but to me yeast was the star here. its funky and farmy, but this isnt a sour beer despite the brett. its like a lesser version of their red barn ale in this respect. flavor has some sugar to it up front, and a dried fruity character with some tartness, maybe cranberry in complexion, with a lighter grain bill and that wet animal yeasty finish. the alcohol was a little much for me in this one. usually i like the huge ones from the lost abbey, but i thought this would have been a better beer around 8% abv. its just got real boozy as it warmed, which went oddly with the yeast and the residual sugar. made the mouthfeel a bit strange as well. carbonation was decent, but i think would be better if it was even more ramped up. body was a nice full medium. a must share bottle, i would have been wasted if i didnt have a few people around to help. good stuff for the holidays, outside of that context its less impressive.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From the 750 ml. caged, corked bottle that is stamped Vintage 2012-1130. Sampled on January 21, 2013.

The pour is a copper amber with lively carbonation building up to an extraordinarily large puffy, off-white head that sits on top for the entire session.

At first the aromas are subtle with pale malts, candied sugars, and yeast but as it warms up in the glass the aromas evolve and become fuller with the same notes but an added meaty fruitiness of pear.

The body is medium and smooth.

The taste is a lot bolder than the aroma with many of the same pale malt, yeast, and sweet notes progressing into a more virulent biting pepper bitterness lingering to the finish.

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Photo of searsclone
4.43/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a fresh bottle into a globe glass

pours a hazy copper color with a cloud like tan head that lasted through 2 or 3 sips

smell is huge! earth, horse blanket (brett?), chocolate, roasted malt, and vanilla cream

taste is spice, clove, roasted malt, alcohol and vanilla. <I'm not exactly sure what "Brett" tastes like,so the clove and spice that I'm getting might be that>

mouth is crispy then creamy and chewy with a thick finish

overall, very smooth and really sweet. easy to drink, alcohol is well hidden. I'm new to Brett beers, but I think this will be even better with some age. I think I'll look for another bottle and cellar it for a while to see what happens, but, it is really good fresh too.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Served in a tulip, a slightly hazy amber pour, with a small off-white head that receded to a ringlet, and left a few dots of lacing on the glass. In the nose, fruit esters, yeast, light spice. More of the same in the taste, dried fruits, caramel malts, ginger, a bit of yeasty funk, a bit of hop bitterness, and a fairly potent booze kick. Nice melding of flavors. Medium body, moderate carbonation, hot, but drinkable.

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Photo of Heritage02Rider
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Got this at a local San Diego restaurant in the Gas Lamp district. I have to say that many of the SD restaurants were carrying quite a selection of delectable California beers and some had quite a few local beers. CA has always embraced their wine industry and now beginning to embrace their brewing. I had this one on tap and thoroughly enjoyed it.

A: Colors is very dark amber. Nearing a nut brown, but not quite.
S: Very light scent. Almost not there... Or I have not olfactory glands.
T: First taste screams malt! Very similar to lesser stouts, but smoother. A bit of an after taste, probably due to the high alcohol content at 10% abv.
M: The mouthfeel is smooth clean and easy with a small amount of back of the mouth bite, reminiscent of an IPA.
D: This was quite delectable and went down easy. I found it very drinkable making it something to be wary of due to the high alcohol content.

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Photo of gr0g
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage.

Pours a slightly hazy copper with an epic head. A very nice lace pattern is left behind. On the nose is a vinous quality along with a very slight Brett funk. Despite the dark color and 10% strength, light fruity esters of apple and white grape come through.

The malt body is more assertive on the palate. Slight musty, "old cellar" character amongst a toffee-like rich maltiness. Tart, bitter finish. There's also a hint of oak coming through. The fruit notes in the aroma are mostly lost on the palate and would've earned this a higher score. Carbonation is spot-on at first but falls flat a little too quickly. Alcohol does not intrude at all, a nice accomplishment considering the 10% ABV.

Overall, this is a very nice high strength "BdG" that affirms Lost Abbey's brewing cred.

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Photo of cjoc83
3.47/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

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Gift Of The Magi from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 299 ratings.