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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.
very good

616 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 616
Reviews: 295
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 53
Gots: 84 | 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: 616 | Reviews: 295 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GilGarp
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 12/7/2010.

750 ml bottle served cold into a goblet. Gift of the Magi is a dark redish brown color with good clarity. Even after a careful pour, the head towers above the rim.

Aroma is spicey and funky but not all that intense. Maybe it's hidden under all of the head.

Flavor is very much the same but with more boldness and character. I didn't think a Biere de Garde could be so strong or high in alcohol but this one pulls it off. Funk and spice in equal measure, more subtle floral qualities.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and high in carbonation.

Overall a solid beer but not as special as I expected from Lost Abbey. Give it a try if you like the style.

GilGarp, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange-ish color to light brown color with a light tan head. In the aroma, spicy and a dry, tart white grape fruitiness. In the taste, dry cinnamon, somewhat fruity, especially tart, white grapes. A spicy bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry cinnamon and small tart flavors in the aftertaste. Nice spice and nice tartness, in good collaboration with each other. Hides the alcohol, quite nice for the season.

OWSLEY069, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of cjacobsen
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a snifter.

Pours a rich amber color that looks like honey with a nice, half inch white head on it.

Smells of spices with sweetness sprinkled in there. Has some fruit in there.

The taste is almost saison-esque with the spices and some tart fruit up front. It maintains throughout the and the flavor doesn't really change. You get a bit of the alcohol in the end of the taste as it lingers around. It has a good flavor to it but is quite spicy.

There is a decent amount of carbonation in this one. It's got a little bit of a tart bite to it because of it. Would have liked less.

I'm pleased with this beer. I definitely think that putting some time on it did it well. I wouldn't want to try this fresh, I think the alcohol would be a little more obvious.

cjacobsen, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of micmillon18
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2008 Batch. Poured from a 750 ml bottle into an oversized wine glass. Another great piece of album art from Lost Abbey. I have another one in the cellar from 2009. After some research, I'm told the brett yeast climaxes after 2 years or so which is why I decided on the older of the two batches.

A - The beer itself is a pretty deep, amber color. Almost looks like white zinfandel. Head subsided quickly leaving a minimal amount of lacing. Carbonation appears low, which is true to the style.

S - Raisins. Spicy and tangy. Fresh apples. Light scents of citrus roaming around in here. Alcohol is also present.

T - Alcohol definitely present, though not so present that it hurts the flavor. Apples, raisins, lots of spiciness. I can taste orange flavors as well. Sweet flavors start upfront and finish with that boozy taste. A sipper for sure. Reminds me a bit of a dubbel.

M - I'd say the balance is slightly off but that may be due to the beer being past due? Medium bodied.

D - This one is a sipper for sure. The alcohol flavor kind of subdues the maltiness at times though ill see how things go as it warms up a bit. I'm interested to see how the 2009 batch will taste in comparison. Maybe this one was past its prime but its still a good beer.

micmillon18, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of willjschmidt
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Sierra Nevada 30th anniversary glass.

A: Pours a dark golden color with a nice white head.

S: Spices, funky yeast, a bit of alcohol.

T: Quite a bit of spice, white pepper, and a lot of funky "wild" yeast. The spices work fairly well together. Finish is quite spicy as well as a large dose of hot alcohol.

M: Medium bodied, highly carbonated.

D: An interesting beer. A nice sipper for a winter evening.

willjschmidt, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of perrymarcus
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | 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 nose 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.

perrymarcus, Jan 03, 2011
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 GarthDanielson
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on-tap at the Port/Lost Abbey Brewery. The beer had a very pleasant dark red-amber color with a light head. The beer has smells of nuts and greens. The beer has a very round flavor, with a good balance of malty-sweet and hops, with peanut undertones. The sweetness stays prominent through the finish. Very flavorful beer, and very easy to drink.

GarthDanielson, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of Gobzilla
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml 2008 vintage bottle

A: poured a slight reddish amber brown in color with pale brown highlights that had virtually no head and almost no lacing sticking to the glass; carbonation issues.

S: I detected some fruity banana character on the first whiff with some yeasty character sweetness from malts, slight spice, and faint apple pear esters.

T: the taste comfirms the apple pear flavor but has a mild boozy bite to it with sweet malt notes and banana accents. It did seemed to have a touch of hop character on the backend.

M: the brew was medium in body with a very low amount of carbonation which had a sweet, malty, slight fruity, boozy, and flat finish.

D: even though it did drink pretty good I was still dissappointed on the lack of carbonation and hate to see that these issues are a real problem throughout all their offerings. I honestly hate to see this from a brewery that I really look up to.

Gobzilla, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of ikats
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour very clear, ruby red in color with almost no head (fairly vigorous pour). There is almost no carbonation, so aroma is somewhat subdued. Aroma is full of sweet caramel notes with some herbal notes. Very pleasant. Taste is very weak. This two year old bottle clearly mellowed out past it's prime. However, I do not think that it's unreasonable to age this beer over two years, so I'll keep my review. The beer is very drinkable - mellow, no harsh notes, almost no funk. Alcohol is not apparent. Mouthfeel is very smooth. Taste is similar to aroma - caramel sweetness and some herbs.

My bottle is 2008 release tasted in December 2010. It was aged in good conditions. It's a day after Christmas and Gift of the Magi ale seemed like a nice choice.

ikats, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of boomer31
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Traded for this last year for occasions just like tonight...opening presents with my wife! 2009 bottle

A - Pours a beautiful burnt orange with a thick light tan, near white, head. The head forms a thin layer as I drink it down...reminds me of the sour-ish beer in my carboy right now.

S - There's a nice earthy hop nose that blends well with the brett. Some spice though I can't put my finger on it. Very pleasant.

T - Nice malt up front, followed by a spice then horsey brett in the back. The brett really sticks around but not overwhelming. Again the spice is apparent but blends nicely with the almost tart brett.

M - Actually very rich and full bodied. Nice high carb, the tartness lingers very nicely.

D - At 10% this is a sipper but very easy to drink. A nice beer that has great flavors that blend very nicely.

Overall I'm a little surprised at how this beer has been rated overall. Very drinkable, spicy and bretty.

boomer31, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of corby112
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Pours a very dark ruby/golden amber color that is almost completely opaque except for slight mahogany edges when held to a light source and a one finger yellowish tan head. Decent retention with chunks of lacing left behind.

Slightly tart earthy oak aroma with hints of wood, spice, vanilla and crisp light fruit.

Nice sour/tart flavor that is complimented by an earthy oak presence and a touch of vanilla. There is a good balance of this flavor as well as some peppery spice and dark fruit notes. Hints of cherry, raisin and plum. Slightly funky with a bit of caramel and subtle hops. An excellent balance of sweet, malty and tart with a slightly dry finish. Very good.

corby112, Dec 15, 2010
Photo of craytonic
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Orange-red-amber pour, small head, no lacing.

Smell: I have no clue what frankincense and Myrrh are supposed to taste or smell like, but I don't get anything that would be fit for a king. I do get some caramel malts an faint spiceness.

Taste: Certainly a biere de garde, not my preferred style. Also not my favorite beer from that style. Bit of funk, caramel, toffee, brown bread, and spice.

Mouthfeel: Best part of the beer, nice medium-heavy weight and a good creaminess. Not one to try a second time.

craytonic, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I must say that The Lost Abbey goes the extra mile when it comes to label art. Absolutely fantastic images on their bottles.

A: This beer is a color reminiscent of an orange sunset. The liquid is slightly hazy. The head is approximately an inch thick and leaves some good lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is of spices, herbs, and perhaps tea or tea leaves, as well as malt and yeast. The aroma is unusual and strangely alluring.

T: The flavor does not quite match the complexity I discovered in the aroma. The beer is atypical for sure. There is a subtle farm funkiness to the beer, along with a heavy dose of spices.

M: The feel is decent, with moderately low carbonation or zip.

D: Interesting beer and certainly worth a try. Good for sharing a few ways, as it's a bit unusual and best in small quantities.

Huhzubendah, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of PhxHorn
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a medium copper color with very little carbonation. But there is enough to generate some fizz and make the mouthfeel very good. Smells of winter spices, and tastes of cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. Light in flavor and very drinkable. A very tasty winter beer.

PhxHorn, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of asabreed
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml. bottle poured into a Brooklyn tulip.

Appearance: A very pretty and mildly hazy dark amber color, with a candy-colored apple-red slightly off-white head, which leaves some spots of lacing but not much retention elsewhere. The color saves the retention; it looks nice with some mild light shining through it.

Smell: By the time this warms from out of the fridge to room temperature, a lot has, unsurprisingly, changed. If you want to break it down, it's kind of like a slightly hoppy Quad with some nuanced Brett involved, which I like, because I've never had a beer quite like this. There's a lot of funk and yeast happening here, but there's also a raisin and vinous dark fruit sweetness happening too, and those aromas are commingling with some welcomed earthy, yet subdued funk.

Taste: The bitterness here is the most surprising to me, as if it's almost too over-hopped -- maybe they were worried about the Brett and dark malt characteristics? I'm not sure, but for me it ends up working pretty well. It's a balance between dark fruits, mild earthy yet fairly clean funk, and nice bitter hops, coming together nicely in the finish. But there's still a lot of dark fruits, raisins, and caramel flavors going on in the end, with a lot of nuance related to those darker flavors.

Mouthfeel: Seemed sharp initially, but gets creamy and settles down with subsequent pours into a nice medium to full-bodied creaminess in the end until the last pour. Sipping this over a few hours only makes everything better.

Drinkability: This brew didn't blow me away, but I feel like The Lost Abbey is putting together those brews for the folks who want a long time with it. These are beers that need to be taken in slowly, noticing the changes in everything, and I think that's the point by the end, which makes me have to take the drinkability up to where it is. This is only the second one I have, but I do have a few more that I'm waiting to try, and I'll be giving it the same window of time to see what develops -- seems like this is one for me that deserves all the time you can give them.

asabreed, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of mwilbur
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 mL bottle into tulip. 2009 vintage.
A: Pours a dark, cloudy burnt orange. 1 inch light tan head with good retention. Decent lacing.
S: Caramel malts, barnyard funk (gotta love the brett), dry citrus hops. Hint of spice around the edge.
T: Falls a bit flat here. Dry citrus hops, mild caramel malt, moderate funk. Hint of cinnamon, clove, and perhaps a few other spices.
M: Light-medium body. Dry throughout. Just a bit above average here.
D: All in all this one has good drinkability. ABV is surprisingly well hidden, but will catch up with you. To this point I have loved everything from Lost Abbey that crossed my lips...can't say that here. Still a good beer from a great brewery, but a comparative disappointment.

mwilbur, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of kruthar
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So, some buddies of mine got together for some chill time and we popped open this beer. Let it be noted that before this we had a 2002 westy, best thing to touch my lips, but ill wait to rate that, i got two more. at the moment that beer is better then me and i can't do it justice. But anyways:

A - First pour is reddish auburn in color looking into the light, with a light buildup of reddish brown tinted head. after the swirl the beer chnaged dramatically, like pouring mud into the glass, this quickly changed the whole thing to a cloudy murky brown.

S - smell is fruity, but light, barely any smell at all i can get apples with a wine hint in there.

T - my first impression is carmel apples with a creme middle, but near the end ive got this really wierd iron metallic finish.

M - very low alcohol bite that i dont mind, finishes smooth

D - this is a sipper, its a little alcoholic but very delicious.

kruthar, Oct 21, 2010
Photo of wedgie9
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2008, purchased at Archer Liquors. Pours a cloudy dull orange with a thin beige head that quickly recedes to thick lace. Nose is awesome with sour funk, raisin, slightly oxidized nutty notes, cherry, green apple, and some fresh lemon. Flavors are caramel, brett, citrus, a hint of cherry, and a nice bitter finish. The body is full with average carbonation and a long bitter finish. This beer is really good and well worth the aging.

wedgie9, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of msmezher
4.53/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Note: Scores are for my tasting on-tap, but I will include notes on the beer in bottle form as well.

My first smell of Gift of the Magi was of spices, caramel malts, and a tart, sour, lactic aroma. In terms of taste Gift of the Magi matched its smell rather nicely, a medium-light bodied beer with a beautiful sour feel that tasted of cherries, dried fruit, and spices. I almost regretted swallowing this beer, it felt so good in my mouth. I'd give the goblet of this I had on tap a solid 4.5 rating, I really enjoyed it on its own and missed it when it was gone.

I later had Gift of the Magi poured from a bottle and was a little disappointed. I'm not certain if it was past expiration, but the tartness and sourness were almost unnoticeable. The beer still felt high quality, but it was the sourness and finish that were so apparent from the keg that I loved the first time I tasted it that gave it its high ranking. In bottle I would give Gift of the Magi around a 3.75, overall quite good, but lacking the spark I first felt. Again, I cannot be certain of the beer's age/expiration, as the bottle has probably been melted down and made into new bottles by now, so if it was past due sue me.

I <3 Lost Abbey.

msmezher, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of WesWes
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a hazy dark amber/brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a smooth and rich caramel malt sweetness with some nutty notes and a touch of fruitiness. There is a faint roasted character as well. I'm not smelling a ton of Brett here, just a subtle offering at best. The taste is decent. It has primarily a caramel malt flavor that's sweet with a light roasted character and a touch of fruitiness in the finish. Again, the funk is limited and mostly a background effect. It does have a mild alcohol ridden feel. It's nothing you would have to sip at, but it's ever present. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a solid offering, but probably the weakest beer from this great brewery.

WesWes, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ML bottle into a tulip. 2009 vintage.

a - Pours a great looking reddish amber color with one finger of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation. Little bit of lacing.

s - Smells of dark fruits, fruity hops and malts, spices, and caramel malts. Some bready malts, alcohol, and sour fruits as it warms up as well.

t - Tastes of sweet fruit, spices, dark fruit, bready malts, and alcohol. Was a lot spicier than I was expecting.

m - Medium body and moderate to high carbonation.

d - A decent beer but not one of my favorites from the Lost Abbey. The taste had a lot more spice than I was expecting or wanted and the alcohol was a little too prominent. A decent beer I would try again, but probably wouldn't seek out.

mdfb79, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of maximum12
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to the dearly departed (BA at least) thirstyhophead for sending me this, the oldest bottle from an old trade. 2008 vintage has rested in the dark for about 18 months since its arrival in Minnesota.

Cork comes loose with gratifying ease, poured into two Cigar City snifters for my wife & I. Color is lovely forest fire red, that odd mingling of red/orange with hints of yellow that cause us to stare into the campfire late at night without blinking. Smell is sweet & light, almost like a fruit basket with a covering of tart.

Gift of the Magi brings a quiet to the genre. A tainted tartness has the upper hand here, but no unpleasantly so. In the undergrowth is a bunch of fruit that's clearly fermented & gone wild; blueberry, pear, plum, peach, orange, among others less identifiable. Spices round out the ride. Most typical beer experiences, malt, hops, etc. are undetectable.

Mouthfeel is light & happy. Just came in from mowing the lawn & I gotta say, this is one good 10%, spicy, weird-ass lawnmower brew.

Very good beer. Doesn't reach the stratosphere, but tramples some well traveled ground & reaches for a slice of originality. And it's appreciated.

maximum12, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of benclimbs
4.55/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours redish brown opaque in a tulip glass with a one finger head that sticks around a while and lacing throughout the glass even after 20 minutes.

Smell is almost like a sour ale - lots of tart cherries/indistinct ripe fruit on the nose, very yeasty and fresh smelling...spices in there too...an bit of unsweetened chocolate as well.

Taste is a delicious mix of peppery syrah-like spiceness....followed by fig newtons, caramel malts and an incredible depth...the finish lasts forever, the mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

In terms of drinkability, this is one of the nicest 10+ beers i've ever had.

what an incredible beer, damn!

benclimbs, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a reddish amber color with good head retention and considerable sticky lacing. The nose is attractive, and is dominated by brown sugar, but also shows cinnamon, light orange peel and vanilla. Flavors replicate the nose pretty closely in this relatively sweet beer, though there's a hint of bitterness in the finish that helps to balance the sweetness somewhat. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fairly long finish. Drinkability isn't too bad, though the sweetness and noticeable alcohol wears on me just a bit.

This is a solid, spice filled beer, from Port Brewing. The sweetness, spice and noticeable alcohol are a bit much, but this is still a pretty tasty beer.

John_M, Jul 15, 2010
Gift Of The Magi from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 616 ratings.