1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 606 | Reviews: 294 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

Sammy, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

t0rin0, Dec 11, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tieman for sharing this one at his tasting.

2009 vintage.

Pours a murky dark orange with a foamy tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, fruits, and a caramel aroma. Taste is much the same with a medium spice bitterness with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some nice flavors.

UCLABrewN84, Nov 11, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +5.3%

djrn2, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Capone's in December 2009.

A: Pours a pale apricot with a nice, creamy white head.

S: Nice spice profile to this one with some coriander and citrus. Very nice, but a little too light.

T: A bit of sourness, but more toward the sweet end of things with apricot, lemon, and spice coming through.

M: Medium bodied and quite crisp.

D: Fairly high in alcohol with the typical accompanying flavors, so not my favorite Lost Abbey brew, but still very nice.

Thorpe429, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

zestar, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is cloudy brownish orange in color and poured with a few bubbles on the surface that quickly dissipated into lacy patterns on the surface.
S: The sourness of the Brett really stand out in the smell, which also has aromas of brown sugar, caramel, plums and spices.
T: Quite complex, the taste is similar to the smell and also has flavors of malty sweetness, clove and oranges. Sourness and spicy flavors linger through the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The addition of the Brett and all of the spices definitely make this an interesting take on the biere de garde style. It's a slow sipper and there's no way that I could have more than one of these in a sitting.

Note: 2008 vintage

metter98, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(2007 bottling - tasted Dec 2008)

Appearance: Pours a cloudy peach nectar color with a reasonably fluffy head (foam burst forth from the bottle after the initial pour); it wasn't as impressive as I thought it was going to be, but there was decent retention and plenty of lace

Smell: This is one unusual aroma and I am limited in my ability to capture the elements as I haven't smelled frankincense and myrrh in a while (if ever); in any event, there is stone fruit (nectarines and apricots), bitter orange peel, peppery spices and a developing sour funk; boozy, as well

Taste: Opens with a blend of the fruits and the spices and moves in a funky direction by mid-palate, with plenty of pithy bitterness, as well; after the swallow, there is a depth of flavor that is part fruit, part funk, part balsa wood, and ultimately quite dry; the herbaciousness in the aftertaste is slightly medicinal but again, defies my vocabulary

Mouthfeel: Moderate to full body, slightly creamy, with medium to high carbonation; a bit of warmth in the gullet from the alcohol

Drinkability: Looking over the reviews of others, I wonder whether this is not a beer that needs a year, or more of age; I recall Tomme Arthur posting that the Brett takes a while to ferment in the bottle and the lack of carbonation others are experiencing was not an issue in my aged bottle; in any event, to my palate, this was one of the top offerings from Lost Abbey

brentk56, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Wise men are instructed by reason; men of less understanding, by experience; the most ignorant by necessity; the beasts, by nature."

--Marcus Tullius Cicero

2008 release. Glazed terra cotta with a significant infusion of coral red. A barely audible pop on cork removal was followed by the creation of a slim slice of golden beige colored foam (after a fairly vigorous pour). It looks like the brewery's bubble problems were an issue at the time of this bottling as well. Incredible crown persistence and an attractive color scheme are the only things keeping the appearance score from sinking lower.

According to the website, Gift Of The Magi is a biere de garde. Tomme used Frankincense bark and Myrrh in this Gold(en) ale, then added Brettanomyces for some farmyard funk. Maybe it's the lack of carbonation, but the nose is nothing special. Some caramel malt in the background, with Brett and a herbal spiciness in the foreground.

As the ingredients suggested it would be, this is an odd sort of ale. Strangly enough, it's also pretty good beer... if you go in with an open mind and an open palate. There's no doubt that biere de garde is the correct style. Either that or spiced Belgian golden ale.

A smooth wild yeast funkiness hits first, then melts into a caramel-toffee and well-toasted bread middle, with woodlands herbs, black tea leaves and spices wrapping things up on a surprisingly bitter back end. Both Frankincense and Myrrh are bitter, so it isn't necessarily hops that are responsible for the tight, focused finish.

Amazingly enough, the mouthfeel manages to be impressively creamilicious. I'm not sure how, because there's isn't much noticeable carbonation. The bubbles that are present must be going above and beyond the call of duty.

If this bottle had been properly carbonated, the first two scores might have been higher. Maybe a few of the final three scores would have been as well. Gift Of The Magi is not for everyone. However, if you like Belgians, Brett and spiced beer, and are open to new and different exbeeriences (hey, I just invented a new word), then give this interesting domestic biere de garde a whirl. Two out of three wise men give it a thumbs up.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Bu11zeye: Poured a deep clear copper color ale with a nice foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of medium sweet Belgian style malt with light funky yeast notes. Taste is also one-dimensional with some medium sweet Belgian style malt with some light funky notes. I thought this was missing some spices or some kind of ester. Good carbonation with average body and no apparent alcohol. I thought this was OK but definitely not as good as expected. Not that it impacts my ratings but I am starting to think this brewer more hype then what he actually deserve - good to great beer but the exceptional ones are fare and few between.

Phyl21ca, Apr 17, 2008
Photo of mikesgroove
4.72/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A wonderful 750ml corked and caged bottle Served initially right out of the fridge, but the second and third pours were done at cellar temperature. All servings were done in a Triple Karmeliet Goblet.

A - This one poured beautifully into my goblet, via a semi hard pour, giving off an enormous head of white frothy foam. Really gorgeous pillow like formation here that you just do not get to see often enough. Loads of white just sitting for what seemed to be forever, virtually holding their own and not fading what so ever. Once it finally did settle down, all that was left of it was ohh...still like two inches of froth on the top. Seriously insanely good retention here. Lots of sticky foam like lace coating the insides of the glass here as well, virtually obscuring all light from coming in, even when the glass was empty. Now, as for the color what a wonderful shade this one exhibited. A wonderful golden copper or amber color was clearly evident from the first pour. I actually found this to be much brighter then others, with only the slightest bit of an orange tint to it; this was definitely a Belgian pale. Very cloudy and hazy, but minimal sedimentation, this was truly a fantastic. I was thoroughly pleased with the overall look to this one, as I am with virtually anything I see from Lost Abbey, I was really looking forward to getting more into this one.

S - So, what do we have hear. I lean in for the first whiff of this one and I would be lying if I did not say I was completely blown away by this one. It was remarkable how good this smelled. The first thing I noticed was a tremendous amount of fresh citrus hop aroma. Loads of grapefruit, grass like smells, even a touch of lemon going throughout this. Really bright aroma here, and soo much of it, this was a really different kind of experience here. Wonderful yeast aromas coming out now, really adding to the overall fruitiness of it. Some apple and pears, and even some peach aromas coming though. Some light grain and yeast now also starting to percolate through it now as well. Really well done here. Lots of hoppiness, which was surprising, and lots of light fruits. The best word to be able to describe this one would be bright, very very bright smells. Some sour strains becoming apparent as it warmed, giving it that little bit extra sourness and bite that was the last possible thing it could have used to make it any better. The smell was so inviting I could not wait to get into this.

T - Ok, well now comes the real test. This has held up so well through the start, can the actual taste really live up to the whole package. The answer is a most assuredly yes. This was just fantastic and lived up to every bit of what I thought it was going to be. Started out very crisp and fresh, with a wonderful fruity and tart hoppiness that rolled over the tongue the moment you took that first sip. What a wonderful full flavor profile, so complex with it constantly evolving with each and every taste. These first sips were simply filled with loads of hops. Very fresh orange and grapefruit flavors were dominant here, even hints of pineapple and lemon rolling through here as well. Very complex, and yet very light and the same time. Lots of fresh earthy grass like flavors now rolling through and mingling with the grainy cereal like underbelly here, virtually assuring even more complexity then I had before. Now the yeast was starting to kick in, very nice bitter, sour, and tart flavors, nothing too strong at all, more along the lines of just a slight hint, giving it a little more bitterness. The finish was very long and drawn out, with big hop flavors and a huge dry finish, almost puckering, leaving behind only a small touch of light fruit and hops to beg you to come back and get another round of it. Very complex and a wonderful flavor explosion on the palate.

M - This was an interesting one. Being such a rich profile, it was remarkably light, which shocked me a little as to how god it really was. A very nice light profile in a light to medium-bodied ale. Excellent carbonation held up throughout the entire session really making this a sparkling gem of a beer. The finish was simply awesome, no hint of alcohol here at least not for me. Therefore, smooth and rich I would have loved to just keep drinking this.

D - Now, keep in mind this is well over 9% so it is no slouch, but I could barely tell that by drinking it. I found no hint of the alcohol in it, just a lovely light hoppiness that simply would not let up, and a great yeast profile that was really outstanding. A great sipper I could have kept going on this one all night long, it was just that good.

Overall I thought this was fantastic, really one of the best I have had and another rare gem from Lost Abbey. I just do not know what it is with them, its like they cannot lose, every beer they make seems to be better then the one before that. This was one of the finest drinks I have ever had and I look forward to having another.

mikesgroove, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of womencantsail
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ.

A: The pour is amber in color with a slight haze to it and a fluffy white head.

S: The nose is sweet with lots of caramel, sugar, and dark fruits. There is a hint of spice to it, perhaps clove, along with a nice yeasty and floral aroma.

T: The flavor is quite similar to the nose. There is a nice sweet fruitiness along with some sugar. A touch of the usual Belgian spiciness and as with the nose, just a hint of a floral quality. Unfortunately as the beer warms up, the alcohol becomes quite noticeable.

M: The body is pleasantly medium with a moderate level of carbonation and a nice warmth.

D: I did not recall liking this beer so much in my previous tastings of it, but this was quite good. A real nice fruity beer that hides the alcohol to enough of an extent to be enjoyable.

womencantsail, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -21.1%

ygtbsm94, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

GRG1313, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +5.3%

spycow, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of kylehay2004
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: single finger head on a copper with orange hues cloudy body. excellent lacing.

S: cake, vanilla, caramel, orange peel and belgian yeast although the yeast is very mild.

T: very spicey, acidic tropical fruits mostly banana and green apple, with belgian yeast, earthy and herbal hops, corriander

M: highly carbonation with chewey, full body. semi dry.

Overall: this one is pretty sharp and acidic almost burning the palate. Very flavorful, a little over carbonated. Definitly a must try.

kylehay2004, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

jaydoc, Dec 03, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Lightly hazy, orangey-amber body with a frothy, off-white head.

Smell: Toasted caramel malts with a mild fruit character, spicy-scented hops, and, yes, yes, there's that underlying funky Brett component smelling of wild, voracious molds eating away the dry wall and alcohol-soaked cotton.

Taste: Sweet, toasty, creamy caramel maltiness followed by a light apricot fruitiness. Tiniest bit of lemony citrus. Spicy hops with a medium bitterness compounded by a bitter oil taste and ginger 'heat'. Funky, earthy Brett with it's barnyard, molded paper flourishes. Grassy kick on the back end. Drying, lightly spicy finish with a bit of alcohol warmth and lingering herbaceousness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Very slight stickiness.

Drinkability: Though not my favorite of the Lost Abbey line-up, it's still well-rounded and reasonably drinkable as it definitely hides its ABV rather well.

ChainGangGuy, Dec 10, 2008
Photo of Knapp85
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured out as a muddy looking amber colored beer. The head on top was a light tan color. The smell of this beer gave off some soft dark fruit aromas as well as some Belgian yeast. Some bread-like aromas were on the nose also. The taste of the beer was a little on the sweeter side which wasn't too bad, there were more spicy fruit flavors in there also. The mouthfeel of the beer was medium bodied and nicely carbonated. Overall I thought this beer was pretty good. I would probably drink it again.

Knapp85, Jun 02, 2012
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a chalice at Plainfield's Tap House.

Apparently the Tap House has a 12 Beers of Christmas thing going on. I wonder if the bartender realized we weren't gonna be back any time soon when she gave us the punch card... Either way, this stuff pours a hazy sunset amber topped by a finger of dirty cream foam. The nose comprises orange zest, caramel, brown sugar, nutmeg, and light fig. The taste holds notes of pine resin, caramel, sharp Swiss cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and rye bread. This combination does not sit well on the tongue at all, and a touch of booziness makes the experience all the more unpleasant. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and an almost chewy feel. Overall, I did not enjoy this beer. I think my note of "kinda boo", though a bit weird, is more than appropriate.

TMoney2591, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of emerge077
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cellared 2008 bottle, hoping for more Brett expression.

Floral aromas waft from the bottle, some spice and pineapple from the Brett yeast. Dry, Belgian yeast character. Full body, rich and dry, awash with subtle spice and hay-like hops. Some mild sweetness and alcohol present as it warms. Brett is here in full form, but not in a funky way, more hay/floral/spice. The dryness keeps you sipping on it for awhile. Nice pairing with a washed rind cheese, I had Winnimere.

emerge077, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -21.1%

largadeer, Apr 08, 2013
Photo of zeff80
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a hazy, orange/amber color with a three-finger, long lasting, khaki colored head of foam. It left some patchy lacing on the glass.

S - It smelled of currants, spices and dried fruits. It had frunky and malty notes, too.

T - It had a spicy bite up front with a malty sweet backbone. Good dried fruit flavors with some phenolic notes.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a fairly dry finish.

O - This is a very good biere de garde. Sampled on the 4th of July but it still worked well.

zeff80, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +5.3%

JAHMUR, Nov 15, 2011
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Gift Of The Magi from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 606 ratings.