Gift Of The Magi - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Gift Of The MagiGift Of The Magi

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

678 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 678
Reviews: 304
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 52
Gots: 112 | 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: 678 | Reviews: 304
Photo of RunDWP
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I appreciate a gift from any one, especially Magi, but you know what, this one under whelmed me a little. Of course, Jesus would be very forgiving but me on the other hand, well, let's just say I'm far from perfect.

I will say it seems like it would pair great with certain foods, the yin to the right yang. Not that I'm into namby-pamby philosophy or anything like that.

I poured it carefully into a tulip glass so as not to disturb the yeast on the bottom, resulting in zero foam. Usually, any brew will foam up a little when poured this way, but this surprised me. Nice copper color in the glass.

I don't have a sensitive nose, but what I could smell was a little musty and funky. I've smelled a lot worse barnyards.

On to the taste, I was expecting some fruit, but really never detected any. There was some nice, toasty yeast and a zippy clove, cinnamon spice kick, that woke me up, without really giving me a punch in the mouth. Slight sour note as well. Besides that, I really didn't detect much else, besides a little alcohol. Some hop bitterness started to kick in as it warmed.

Good level of carbination, could have easily been harsh in the mouth with all that spiciness and alcohol, but was pretty drinkable.

Seemed incomplete as a sipping beer in some way I can't quite describe. I think this would work much better paired with dark chocolate, strong cheese, or maybe a savory beef or lamb dish.

2008 edition, in 750 ml corked bottle.

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

Got this one from mikesgroove. Thanks!
2007. Seemed appropriate for enjoying on Christmas Eve. It poured with a thin beige cap that formed a thick collar and sheets of lace. Great head retention. The beer itself was a hazy tawny amber with a constant stream of bubbles rising to the surface. The initial aromas were caramel and light herbal and floral hops, a bit grassy too. As it warmed there was a hint of earthiness and tart acidity. Light herbal bitterness with a delicate flavour, a combination of caramel sweetness and cereal grains. Alcohol was present in the finish, along with a light lingering white pepper spice. More earthiness and tartness appeared as it warmed. Moderate carbonation with an airy, light texture. The medium body was a bit creamy and there was mild warmth. Very nicely balanced overall. Mellow, elegant flavours really melded well together. Brett character was light, but definitely a contributing characteristic, and the year it's spent in the bottle may have brought this out more.

Photo of gford217
3.59/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle courtesy of KingG poured into a snifter. I couldn't think of a more fitting beer to drink on Christmas Eve than this one.

Pours hazy amber with strong orange hints when held up to light. The head is off-white and fairly large, receding to a ring quickly and leaving only traces of lacing.

The aroma is a curious mix of toasted malts, spices and some sweet fruits. The breadiness of the malts is probably the most dominant with the spices playing a supporting role. There are citrus hops in the nose as well.

The taste doesn't have quite the sweetness that I detected in the aroma, with the toasted malts really dominating the taste. The finish is definitely dry and some interesting spices as well, presumably the frankincense and myrrh, though I doubt I could identify those spices anyway. I didn't get as much of the hops in the taste.

This mouthfeel is well-carbonated and very dry with a spiciness that zings the tongue throughout the finish.

Another interesting and tasty brew from Lost Abbey, though I wouldn't put it near the top of my LA list. The spices really throw a unique twist into the beer.

Photo of aforbes10
2.18/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bought at Ledgers Liquors in Berkeley and saved until tonight. Pours a muddy brown with zero obvious carbonation...until a couple of seconds pass and a short head forms. Still looks a little tepid. Smells a bit of spiced malt, but mostly of strong fruity ethanol. Flavor is a lot like the aroma...dry malt with hints of spice but then a massive ethanol attack. Very aggressive and lingering alcohol, distracting. No sense of the Brett that the bottle says has been added at bottling. Syrupy mouthfeel. Nah. Not my favorite.

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

2007 Vintage one year aged - Christmas Eve 2008

Pours a hazed coppery orange with a nicely sized lid of fine bubbled, fuzzy-creamy light tan.

Aroma has some sweet pear qualities with apricot and yeasty esters.

Flavor is dry lightly sweet and lightly tart funky of the above fruits. Perfumish and flowery as well with a nice spiciness to it.

Body is full with a lean towards medium carbonation is nice and fluffy and the slide down is nice, though not quite smooth.

Nice beer, although I don't know if aging it a year improved it or not. May pick up a 2008 and see how that compares.

Photo of roadhouse
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into my new Orval goblet.

Appearance is a slightly hazy copper hue with a quarter inch off-white head that settles out to a skim. Still it manages to leave some nice looking lace.

Aroma is slightly sweet with some tropical fruit notes and a nice Brett character of old leather, sourness, and general funk.

The taste is initially sweet and caramelly, in fact almost barleywine like. That quickly changes though as the Brett character comes in a slight tartness envelopes the palate but it is more funky than sour. Fruitiness from the aroma comes through again as well.

Mouthfeel is medium in body, and very smooth and creamy.

Overall I was slightly hoping for more of a sour character so I was slightly disappointed, though it's still a good beer. Sweetness was a bit off-putting.

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

thanks to mughugger for sharing this brew.
A - a strawberry shade with a minimal white head that doen't hang on very long. The clarity is good and visually appears effervescent

S - a pleasant yet restrained fruit and brett nose
mild spice and hints of papaya seem to come forward

M - a dry, spiced and effervescent mouthfeel with hints of malt

T - the flavor has many things like papaya and other tropical fruit as hinted at in the nose. The brett has a slight funkiness with earthy and mild horsiness. The flavor has a yeasty spice and the malt is dry and complimentary. A subtle hint of toasted grain and similar malt flavor as the yeast flavors mesh.

D - A very complex brew and one I would love to try again. Somewhat restrained but right on for the style IMO. This is an excellent beer and Lost Abbey gets a lot of flavor out of the yeast in this brew.

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 bigbelcher
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

This beer pours the color of a light brown with a huge white head with good Belgian lacing. The aroma is very floral, almost perfume like, it's malty and not too hoppy. The flavor is of a light malt with a little bit of spiciness to it. Well balanced but the body was substantially lacking. Really thin.

Photo of brewcrew76
3.42/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Copper color with little head that immediately falls to just the slightest ring around the glass.

S - Caramel with apples, pears, grapes and some brett barnyard funk.

T - Musty with some barnyard, spicy with some caramel sweetness.

M - Medium to heavy mouthfeel and almost flat carbonation. It feels heavy on the tongue as it warms.

D - A slight mess of muddled flavors that are not helped by the flat carbonation.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.64/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2008 version. I've been meaning to try this one for a while. poured into a la choulette glass.

A- Taking off the cork, there was a faint pop. GOTM pours a copper brown color with little head to speak of. Little bubbles are seen rising up to the top while traces of lace are seen as the beer goes down. Not much going on here.

S- Things pick up with the smell of sweet malts, hops and spices. Some fruits such as bananas and oranges. Some caramel is detected and a nice whif of barnyard funk coming from the brett. Very inviting.

T- Hops are up front but are not bitter making the citrus fruits come out afterwards, maybe some grapefruit detected. Earthy flavors proceed with some bready malts and some spices (nutmeg) show up as the beer warms. The brett comes in but is not over powering. The brett is a nice offset to the other flavors. Slight presense of alcohol.

M- While this bottle of GOTM had little carbination, it left the beer feeling somewhat flat. The finish is dry, with the brett and other flavors staying with you for a while. Reading the other reviews, i may have got an off bottle.

D- one and done. it took me a little over two hours to finish this 750. this is a good candidate for sharing with the 10% alc. not my favorite LA product but i'm glad i tried it. the amount of flavors in this brew may be off-putting to some though. This probably goes better with some cheeses.

Photo of rdickey
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Smallish pop when the cork was removed, so maybe the carbonation on this bottle survived a little better than other posters'. Pours a dark reddish amber into a tulip, with a one-finger head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Smell: Lots of dried fruit in the nose, with a little alchohol burn. The smell of tart cherries hints at the brett to come.

Taste: They've certainly loaded a lot into this one. Initially it's sweet, continuing the dried fruit theme that was apparent in the nose. A little pepper comes in at the middle, and it finishes with a somewhat surprisingly strong bitterness.

Mouthfeel: I have to agree with some of the other posters that a little more carbonation would help... there's just so much going on that it feels a little heavy in the mouth.

Drinkability: I definitely like this, and if you like wild ales you probably will, too. It's not the best I've had, but I wouldn't have a problem sipping this all night.

Photo of Beerenauslese
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Gift of the Magi, 2008
Lost Abbey
.75 litre bottle

A: Pours a translucent amber, with no head. When the cork was popped, there was no indication of pressure in the bottle. Is this beer supposed to be so flat? I am struck by the flatness of some of the Lost Abbey beers I have sampled this year.

S: Candy/brown sugar, caramel, tropical fruits-definite ripe pineapple, spice cake, tobacco, dark rum. Lots of complex sweet smells. The nose really enjoys it.

T: Butterscotch, bitters, bananas, dried papaya, chardonnay oak. Nice balance of hops and sweets, however it turns into a bit of a Trader Vic's dark rum fruit cocktail to me, though nicely hopped. I would really enjoy it with more carbonation.

M: Very flat, little carbonation. Sorry, to me a Belgian style beer needs fizz. This is tasting more like a Hawaiin/Carribean cocktail, less like a beer.

D: High alcohol, delivers a buzz quickly. Grill some pork, pour a bunch of bottles into a bowl, add some chopped fruit and have yourself a Hawaiin Hoppy Lau Lau for the holidays.

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

Nary a pop as the cork comes out and the initial pour seems to dredge up no head. However, these factors are belied by the solid one inch dishsoap head that stays frothy and clingy for quite some time. The beer is mostly clear, a little hazy, and copper in color.

On the nose I pick up some boozy fruit along with a hint of spicing. Initial projections include pear and apple, but if someone said cherry I wouldn't hit them in the face. White pepper is about all I distinguish on the spice side, but it's more complex than that. Anise? Really hard to tell.

The lightly sweet fruit notes from the nose resume their positions in the flavor, imparting big tropical fruitiness throughout the taste cycle. There is a perfumey sense of spicing at first, but it takes some warming before these flavors really hit their notes. Jasmine, nutmeg, a floral, lavender character, and a bit of pepper lend a subtle, tasteful air of potpourri to this brew. As the spices emerge, the alcohol of course grows more evident and potent - it's as if it doesn't start having an effect on you until you notice it in the flavor.

Gift of the Magi is dry in the finish, thin but still pretty velvety in the mouth, and not too cloying with a potentially lethal combination of fruity sweetness and spicy perfume. There may or may not be a touch of wild yeast in here, lending a hint of sourness to take the edge off these potent components.

The Lost Abbey has once again brewed a masterful, subtle ale that is sublime in execution and a joy to imbibe. It's not my favorite of their line, nor a star in the prestigious BSPA field, but an interesting and extreme beer that I'm glad I tried once.

Photo of SaucyA
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2007. Tis the season.

A - Pours a beautiful clear amber with orange edges. Lots of bubbles in the snifter. A nice, thick off white head tops a nice-looking brew. No lacing. Much more Biere De Garde than BSPA.

S - Very fruity and yeasty nose... the brett is hardly noted. I would think it would be more pronounced after a year of sitting around. Some sweet candy notes. Tropical fruit. Alcohol as it warms.

T - A toasted malt note runs through the entire drink, which I'm really feeling. Soft, sweet fruits, and interesting spices. Hits the sweet, bitter, and sour tastebuds. Finishes dry, with a weird hop stickiness. It's all over the place, but it almost works. The more it warms, the more an astrigent booziness works itself into the mix.

M - Rather thick but well-carbonated. I anticipated a dud in this category but was surprised.

D - Complexity is the only thing that hinders drinkability. That said, it's quite complex... if not a little too jumbled.

Notes: This is the last bottle of Lost Abbey brew I had sitting around from my days of trading.

Photo of oakbluff
4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage- Pours a rather hazy peach colour with vigorous head. Nose- brett is very noticable- earthiness from the brett, spice and sweet malts. Taste- a lot going on here- various spices and fruits, toasty malts, funky dryness and touch of sourness. Medium to thick body, no notice of boozy hotness however. A very unique beverage that I think really benefited from a year to dry out and let the brett work its magic.

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 ChainGangGuy
3.51/5  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.

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

pours a semi-hazy dark copper with a tint of red, medium size foamy tan head, really nice lacing.

smell is faint at first, caramel, spice, malt, some fruit.

taste is smooth, somewhat watery, caramel, spice, malt, apricot, some peach, and citrus, end is light, spice in the aftertaste, warm.

Photo of jwinship83
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2008 bottle with a 10% abv listed.

A- amber, almost copper colored body with a finger of sticky head thats a shade or two lighter than the beer itself.

S- caramel/toffee right from the start. apples, pears, grapes, and other light summer fruits. not as much yeast or spice as i would expect. some of the "barnyard" odor associated with wild yeast strains.

T- much more of the barnyard taste than i could smell. lots more spice too. alot more alcohol in here than i would have guessed. the caramel and toffee malts are just as present in the taste as the smell. pretty large helping of hops finish this one off. hops become more pronounced as it warms up.

M- rather full bodied with lots of carbonation. slight warming from the alcohol.

D- one bottle is plenty. the high ABV and different tastes make this one hard to want more than one. glad i got to try it, and glad that its sold here now.

Photo of jdaelhousen
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour produces a large amount of frothy cream colored head. Body color is amber, and the nose contains fruit notes of cherry, lemon and orange zest, a boozy essence trails.
Taste at the center contains notes of tart apple, pear, and cherry. These fruit flavors are backed by a strong boozyness, and the finish provides remaining lingering tartness that makes the mouth pucker a while longer. Overall, a very different beer being that it's a strong biere de garde. Almost replicates a lighter malted barleywine. Excellent quality by The Lost Abbey.

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

A dry-hopped golden ale brewed with Frankincense, Myrrh, and Brettanomyces. I've been excited about trying this one since the day it arrived. Here it goes:

a: Beautiful amber body with a white head.

s: A subtle nose consisting of malt, spice and fruit.

t: Caramel sweetness, a faint hint of mild barnyard brett notes, some spice and a very complex bitter finish. The spice may be myrrh, but I wouldn't know myrrh from coriander, so who knows. The finish is predominantly spicy hops, but there is something else to it, maybe the Frankincense bark?

m: Active carbonation and a trail of spicy bitterness on tongue.

d: A contemplative and subtle brew that made me sit and ponder the various flavors I was experiencing. Nuanced, balanced and a welcome change for the holidays.

Photo of slayer3604
4.79/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just got this in the store 2 days ago and already it has shown potential of being a good seller.

A- amber tangerine color, with a pinky finger head that dissipates into blotches of off white head, with odd galaxy patterns floating wherever! neat!

S- spicy, alcoholic, and malty. lots to this guy. i let it sit out for a few minutes to let the 'share' go away a tad. lots and lots of layers to the nose on this beer.

T- brett (duh), which leads into citrus, spice, a little bit of musty oak and a not so surprisingly dry finish. i can see this beer rounding out very well over a year or so.

M- I swirled the hell out of it, releasing all of the carbonation, but second pour gave me a great chewy feel, with lots of bitter orange peel twangs at the back of my palate. INTERESTING beer. Wasn't expecting this much complexity out of such a young beer (08 vintage)

Photo of ejquin
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Copperish with very thin white head fading to bubbles around the edge. Little lacing.

S: Some sourness going on. Mostly sour green apples with a touch of brown sugar and hops. Slight bit of vanilla

T/M: Practically no carbonation. Smooth but a touch thin. Not as much sourness in the taste. Mostly caramel and malt, with some hearth clove spice, fades to some hop spice, and a touch boozy on the finish.

Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3rd beer in a series on my birthday. 2008 label. Label says 10.0 % alchol, not 9.5 as listed on here.

Very late developing small head after an incredible vigorous pour from a 2008 bottle. Beer is a nice dark amber color, with a pathetic white colored head.

A bit of alcohol, with a hint of citrus on the nose.

On the palate.. starts with a hint of malt, then evolves into a bit of sourness, but I think is mainly the alcohol. I just think this beer is too young.

Mouthfeel fairly heavy. Lingering warmth, most likely from the alcohol.

Its drinkable, but I feel this beer is simply too young. The alcohol totally sneaks up on you. Unfortunately I'm not tasting much more than the alcohol, but admittedly it is smooth and decent. I love Lost Abbey/Port Brewing. Definitely seek this beer out, and try to age it if you can.

Gift Of The Magi from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 678 ratings.