Gift Of The Magi - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Gift Of The MagiGift Of The Magi

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very good

299 Reviews
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Reviews: 299
Hads: 685
Avg: 3.82
pDev: 11.52%
Wants: 53
Gots: 114 | 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: 685
Photo of Jmamay22
3.64/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

By his beer pours n orange hued amber. There doesn't appear to be much carbonation leaving only a thin collar that leaves little lacing. Smells of caramel, orange and a hint of spicy hops. There is a intriguing yeast and a slight funk possibly from Brett lurking in the background. Possibly even a touch of vanilla. Very beguiling and I'm excited to start sipping.

The taste is slightly subdued compared to the scent. Thankfully the mouthfeel has more carbonation that leads to a creaminess I would not expect given the seemingly lack of carbonation. Back to the taste. It starts of sweeter than expected and personally desired with a toffee caramel flavor. The flavor gives way to the spicy and fruity hop presence. Altogether, I would have preferred a drier finish as this comes of a bit cloying personally. Also the interesting yeast complexity did not come through in the taste. That said it is still a good beer that I am nitpicking a bit.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of nickfl
4.47/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with one and a half fingers of white foam on top of a hazy, copper brown body. The foam settles at a moderate pace and leaves nice lace.

S - Bready malt with tropical fruit and lots of spicy yeast character.

T - Thick malt up front with lots of musty pineapple and mango. Some peppery notes in the middle with clove, anise, coriander, and banana. Finishes with notes of vanilla, pound cake, pepper, and more mango.

M - A thick, chewy body, high carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - Really nicely done, the malty, farmhouse ale base beer is taken to new heights by a brilliant application of funk and fruit from the Brett. I particularly like how vanilla and cake flavors mix with mango and pepper in the finish to leave a dessert like impression that is sweet and thick without even coming close to becoming cloying.

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Photo of mactrail
3.35/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Rich and sweet brew with a spicy and salty twang. Golden brown in the snifter with attractive foam.

Taste is malty with a bitter edge. Darkly fruity with something like dates and butterscotch. The Belgian flavor is a little subdued, but the dry finish is quite distinct. A hint of cherries and burnt sugar in the nose. After some sipping the mouthfeel is hot with alcohol. Just a little sticky. Long bitterish, tangy finish with an orange marmalade twist. Average carbonation.

An interesting sipping beer that defies categorization. Maybe it's an Imperial Belgian Pale Ale, but I wouldn't call it a Bière de Garde. On tap at Leroy's Kitchen in Coronado.

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Photo of abrethanson
4.14/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/07/12 - On tap at Buzz Wine Beer Shop. First impression - tasty and on point for the style but nothing out of this world.

A: copper bronze like it had just crawled out of the electric beach tanning booth. Crystal clear clarity and a tiny bit of white foam sitting on top. Very light lacing sliding down the glass as swirled.

S: I have no sense of smell and my wife was not there to supplement. I am guessing there is a good amount of spice, malt, and booziness.

T: Christmas in a glass. Good balance of spice, malt, and boozy warmth. I wanted to crawl up next to a fire while lying on a bear skin rug in my log cabin. Sweet caramel / vanilla up front with some Brett yeast and a good amount of holiday spices (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg) sprinkled over the funk. The booze comes in at the end and creates the perfect little fire in your belly. About half way though I started to notice that the beer was fairly dry, especially in the back end.

O: Delicious. What a Christmas time beer should be. Definitely the perfect ale for sharing with friends or with your significant other on an intimate evening opening presents.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from 2008
Pours a deep reddish orange amber color with a thinnish white head that shows moderate retention but little lace. The aroma strikes me as quite musty like a barrel room. Hints of sweet malt with a lot of non descript spices. Hints of bretty funk add to the mystery of what sits in this glass. The flavor is complex and a bit odd really. Up front I get an aged barleywine kind of oxidized caramel malty sweetness. Some spices that I don't recognize sweep in to counter what is left of the malty sweetness. This all finishes with a healthy does of funk and spice with a somewhat menthol herbal edge. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet syrupy bubbly spicy mouthfeel. This beer is honestly like nothing I've ever tried, its quite different. Its quite complex, but some of the flavors don't agree with my palette. I'm glad I got to try it.

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Photo of KAP1356
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Bottle my brother gave me as a Christmas gift. Poured into a Weyerbacher tulip...

A - Poured a hazy, orange-amber color. There was a big, fluffy, 2.5 finger, off-white/khak colored head that retained quite well. Some slight lacing on the glass.

S - The smell was nice. The nose is sweet and starts off with carmel, sugar, and some dried fruits. Apricots, apples, and some white grape come through nicely. There is some significant spice notes as well along with a funky, musty, fruity aroma. Some sweet malt aromas come through as well.

T - The flavor is more sour on the palate than the nose would let on. Almost as if Brett had been used in this beer. Nice flavors of apricot, apple, and lemon making things light and refreshing. Currants and corriander come out as well adding to the soice flavors that are already present. Nice floral and citrus end to the flavor.

M - Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a nice crispness on the backend and a slightly dry finish.

O - Pleasantly surprised by this offering from Lost Abbey. I really thought this was a fine play on a Biere de Garde and the addition of Frankincense and Myrrh is an inventive way to think outside the box.

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Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
3.31/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle was a yr old 10/2011 poured into a pint glass.

A: Deep yellow almost carmel color. Tons of carbonation, straight bubble lines. Nice lacing and head retentions. 2 finger head.

S: Very Malty/carmel aroma, with some sweet fruit coming in. Little bit of funk as well.

T: First thought was that it tastes like a American Strong Ale brewed with Belgian Yeast. Best way I can think of describing it. Strong alcohol finish.

M: Full bodied, malty as hell. Tons of carbonation, beer really made me feel full.

O: It was a very interesting beer, solid overall. Glad I shared the bottle, wouldn't want to finish the bomber myself. Great beer for the cooler nights to sip on, not a beer you're going to drink quickly.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.01/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery. Cost was $9.99 at my local beer store.

Served quite cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Poured with standard vigor even though carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a healthy vibrant khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness, and great retention for the high ABV (at least four minutes). Colour is a hazy vibrant copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Heavy on the spice. Rosemary, cinnamon, pumpkin. It's a bit perfumey. Clean and fragrant. Incense comes through. A mild strength, subtle aroma. Right on the money for the style. I'm looking forward to it. No alcohol or yeast comes through.

T: The spice is quite dominant in the flavour as well. Bretts come through, as does a very light lactic touch. There's some off-notes and the ABV does come through. Badly hopped, with floral notes in all the wrong places. Badly balanced. Clean malts provide the foundation. There's just something wrong here. The spice is nice, but the build is severely flawed.

Mf: Fluffy and coarse. It succeeds at achieving a surprising lightness. Wet. Aimless. Too thin. Doesn't suit the flavour well at all.

Dr: A huge disappointment from Lost Abbey. I expected far better. Very pricey for its lack of quality. I wouldn't get this again.

Maybe it ages well. Hard to tell.

Would go decently with salads.

High C

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Photo of Dennycurr
2.71/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

For those who drink this beer...
Get ready to drink a beer that tastes like there's been a perfume bottle poured into the mix.
YES---it has a distinct flavor and yes....the eyebrows raise, is not for everybody.
The reason I even gave it a bit above average is because the taste is so radical----I dig the difference. Although, this beer would be on the lower rung of diff and distinct beers I would try.
I was told by the people I bought this from, (Monks in Philly), this beer is called the Gift of the Magi because----there is an actual presence of Frankincence and Mir, in the beer.
You actually can taste it.

I give props to a beer that can do that. In fact----that was a big reason I bought it.
Am glad I tried it.
Is a wayyy diff taste than any other beer.
Kudos for that!

But a bit too perfumy, for me.


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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance - Served a clear amber colored beer with a small white cap. The small head faded rather fast to leave some decent lacing.

Smell – The nose was heavy of sweet caramel and light fruit smells. The fruit is heaviest of a pear aroma, but there are other lighter notes of peach and apple as well.

Taste – The taste begins with some of the sweet caramel and fruit that were detected in the nose, with a bready base that supports the sweeter flavors quite well. A very light funky and yeasty flavor then start to work their way into the taste profile. As this occurs, the sweetness dwindles some and the taste gets slightly drier. In the end the beer leaves a semi-sweet fruity and lightly tart taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel-The body of the beer is on the medium side with a carbonation level that is much the same.

Overall – A nice tasty brew that while even at 10 % is very easy to drink. Definitely one to give a go to.

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Photo of mscudder
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Eyed this bottle for some time; finally committed to one at $8.99/750mL. 2011 bottle. Poured into a snifter.

A - Pours a ruby amber with an explosive off white head. Average retention and lace.

S - Lots of fruit with sweet caramel. I detect more pear than any other fruit, also features a nice dose of funk.

T - This constitutes a fine treat! Spicy notes up front followed by a sweet progression of caramel. Fruits are present throughout with some complexity to boot. The funk from the nose is still there, but surprisingly makes it more interesting.

M - Creamy and medium bodied. Carbonation is low-moderate which is well suited. Beer is big and remains fairly drinkable for the ABV. The alcohol is suppressed to a subtle warmth.

O - A good beer that I may revisit in the future. I was a virgin to the style and if this is any indication of the norm, I will be pursuing the style much more aggressively.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL of the 2009 vintage courtesy of hawks10. Pours a super clear, amber color with a decent cap of beige head. Not a whole lot of retention or lacing, but plenty of effervescence for a beer 3 years old.

Nose is very fruity and caramely, one of the nicest Biere de Garde noses I have smelled. Like pears coated with melted Sugar Daddys.

Wow, this beer has really held up well, there is almost no oxidation. In fact, I think it could go another two or few. The alcohol is still big though...too big for the malt really. Dial this one down to about 8% and I think it would improve the beer quite a bit. I like the mild spice flavors I am getting, not sure if it is the yeast or actual kind of has a cinnamon-nutmeg thing going on. I don’t find the brett to be that much of a factor, which is probably a good thing in this beer's case. It already has a ton going on. Pretty good, I like it enough to buy another bottle next time I see it...although next time I will share it, lol.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet.

A: Tight head. Off-white with good retention.The body is clearish nut brown.

S: Faint, grainy, funky. Bière de garde-ish. Alcoholic esters are strong and dry.

T: Fantastic! One of my favorite Lost Abbey beers. Sweet-spicy base, with odd grain and even more caramel/toffee maltishness. Complex and difficult to describe and, honestly, I'd rather drink it than review. The alcohol is almost wine-like, fruit is in the background, and the yeast is grassy with a hint of funk.

M: Toasty and tasty. Creamy-full, soft and delicate.

O: Brett character is subdued, but noticeable. Spiciness is in the forefront, but I can't place the spices used. The beer is drinkable, compelling, interesting, and highly recommended.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of BostonHops
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appropriately, enjoyed christmas day. (review from notes). shared bomber.

pours a hazy amber/brown tone with big two-finger plus creamy head. the pour was not the best, but i didn't want to start a christmas altercation. nice retention, lacing.

nose is a nice bouquet headlined by caramel malts, some fruity notes, spice, and a touch of funk. flavor follows the aroma with a sweeter, fruiter feel out front becoming more earthy by the finish, again with spice and shades of funk. very tasty, flavorful brew. 10% ABV well hidden.

medium-bodied with some crispness; medium carbonation. very drinkable for such a big beer.

originally reviewed: 01-03-2011

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Photo of portia99
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle (2008 release) poured into a Lost Abbey stemmed glass.

A - An absolutely brutally difficult to remove cork finally gave up and released a nice pop of carbonation. Pours a crystal clear deep amber color that trends towards orange on the color palate. A finger of foam cap, pale tan in color sits on top of the beer for a minute or so and falls to a thick skim coat with mild lacing on the glass. Really good looking beer.

S - Very spicy Belgian yeast aromas here mixed in with Brett-y funk. Cloves, black pepper, tropical oranges, mild caramel, earthy brett has taken hold of this and added a really great extra layer to the aroma.

T - Oh yeah...really Brett-y flavors too...earthy funk up front, a bit of barnyard (especially noticeable on the exhale), spicy too - black peppery and clovey. Hints of sweet malt, lower level but noticeable hop bitterness.

M - Thinnish medium body with a mid-level carbonation too. Funky and earthy from start to finish, spicy, a bit of booze. Brett has really done its job here...really taken hold nicely.

O - I'm gonna stop short of calling this truly comparable to Boulevard's Saison Brett...but it is the first thing I can think of to compare this to. Bought a couple of these bottles on clearance and glad I did. I remember this beer being decent when fresh, but 4 years of age have helped this tremendously. This is really brett-y in a very good way. Alcohol is noticeable at 10%, but actually kept in check pretty well. Gonna have to go back to the store I got these and hope they still have a couple more of these left.

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Photo of SHODriver
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a coppery brown with a large and rocky beige head that does not retain well
S: smells of spice, pale malt, some funk, and a slight sour note as well
T: tastes of spice, slightly fruity and some lightly toasted malt, funk comes on toward the end and the finish is fairly yeasty with a little bit of fruitiness
M: Heavy carbonation but not overly prickly. I could feel the beer bubbling against the roof of my mouth. A bit on the thin side
O: Not bad but not great. A solid beer and a steal for 3.99

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Photo of Philousa
3.15/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Imbibed on tap at Harry's Hofbrau on 2/10/12.

Poured an opaque, slightly darker than pale color with a cherry tinge. Not much head to speak of. What's left on the glass sinks into the drink. Very bready nose with fruity esters. Sweet, subdued fruit. Strawberry was the first that came to mind. Taste starts with light malt and aforementioned fruit, but is knocked out quickly by bittering hops. Fruit is still with the hops, keeping it light. The feel is balanced in viscosity with some acidic and harsh alcohol feel. Balanced finish.

I think the alcohol content kept this beer back. The alcohol burn took away from the light feel that would have made this brew stand out from the rest. The aroma seemed subdued for some reason as well. An interesting beer, but I'd go with an old standby over this one.

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Photo of chadmoe1
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From notes on 1/3/12 (first beer in 2012!)

A -- Brown with 3/4" white head, slow dissipation; lots of lacing

S -- Malty, boozey, stone fruit, Brett horsey-ness but not overwhelming

T -- Dry and malty, then long sharp aftertaste; toasty (slightly roasty) flavors with little hop contributions

M -- High carb, dry

O -- Really cool beer though maybe not what I've had with other Biere de Gardes. Definitely strong with all kinds of malty flavors. Brett is not overpowering -- a good beer for those interested in trying some Brett flavors.

Bottle, Russian River snifter

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Photo of DovaliHops
3.26/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, dark amber color with a medium, off-white head that disappears quickly. Scent is very malty with some farmhouse aroma and wild yeast...brett? Some burnt malt and English hop aromas. Some dark fruits and bread as well. Taste is very malty...caramel and biscuit malt with some light, bitter hoppiness. A bit of brown sugar and brett flavors. Floral notes and booze as well. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and smooth. Drinkability is fair. Overall, it is a decent beer, but nowhere near my favorite offering from Lost Abbey or Biere de Gardes.

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Photo of Kromes
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A clear copper color with a huge, fluffy tan colored head. Sheets of lacing on the glass.

S: Toasted malt, earthy hop, a bit of citrus peel, and an alcohol aroma.

T: The Brett flavor hits up front, but is a bit more subtle than other Brett ales. There is a good malt and hop flavor. Fruity esters with earthy hop. The alcohol flavor and warmth rounds out the finish.

M: The beer has a medium feel with low carbonation for a Belgian. Initially, the alcohol burn is strong, but once acclimated, it is not noticable.

O: A good change of pace from the normal. The Brett, malt, and hop flavors are all very good, but they get masked a little in the end with the burn and flavor of the alcohol. Still a decent beer.

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

Lost Abbey Brewing Company (the Belgian inspired arm of Port Brewing) releases the Gift of the Magi (Biere de Garde) as their Christmas ale, featuring bitterness from the bark of Frankincense and contains the smallest amount of Myrrh which is an herb that has roots in ancient winemaking as well . This brew pours a hazy amber with flashes of gold and a very thin head that leaves no lace. The fruit heavy nose features hints of honey, malt, and spice. The spiciness is very evident on the pallet, with oak, vanilla, dark fruit, biscuity malt and even funky earthy flavors from the Belgian yeast. A lower level of carbonation helps all the flavors play out well in this medium bodied ale. A great beer to pair with a well rounded Christmas dinner.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours medium orange/brown with a huge head. Fluffy cake of tan foam that sticks everywhere.

Barnyard yeast; some strong burnt caramel sugars, some fruit. Really, a combo bier de grade and a dubbed or tripel.

Flavors of yeasty bread, sugary raisins, some sweet fruit and bitterness, a little horse blanket funk, with a charred sugar biter and bread crust note.

Medium-ful bodied, perfect carbonation.

Love this beer. Not sure it is the style indicated. Hardly taste alcohol at a lll. Worth a try and then some.

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