1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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
Ratings: 606 | Reviews: 294 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of boomer31
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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
Photo of Ghenna
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%

Bottle is labeled 2009, poured into a sam smith tulip. Beer is a very pleasant amber/gold color with an average off white head that does a good job of lingering on the glass and the top of the beer.

Smells of dark fruit, alcohol, and typical belgian spice.

Malt and bitterness make themselves known right away, malt in the form of sweet and dark fruit, and the bitterness leaves a lingering impression of dryness. The L.A. website states that they use the bark of frankincense along with hops to bitter the beer- it really seems like the bitterness is a bit different as a result. The alcohol makes itself known about the same time the dryness hits, and its presence continues to row as the beer comes to temperature.

This is a pretty interesting beer. At first i wasn't too terribly keen on the beer. The hop stuck out a bit too much and none of the sweet malt aspects really showed. As it has warmed up though, the rich raisin and sweet flavor really balances out the bitter/dryness.

Ghenna, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of Hex92
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%

Very hoppy beer. Looks good in the glass, nice mouthfeel, but this just isn't my type of beer. Too much hops, not enough malt. I haven't have too many beers of this style. So I don't know if it is representative of the style or not. But if this is what a de Garde beer is....I don't like them. The head dissipates quickly and its not a good enough beer to buy again.

Hex92, Jul 11, 2010
Photo of EchoCharlieEcho
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%

This review is for the 2009 release.

A: Clear dark amber with about 1/2 inch white head, decent retention, little lacing, decent carbonation.

S: Sweet with light caramel, pears, and plums. Below that are some tart fruit notes and a faint clove smell.

T: Sweeter fruits at first with plums and some pear as well as malts and light brown sugar. Cloves and a slight citrus peel taste follow. As it warms, a yeasty taste becomes strong.

M: Medium carbonation and medium body. Very warming.

D: It's sweet and there's a richness about it. One glass in a sitting is good but I could not have more than that. Given the opportunity, I would drink it again.

EchoCharlieEcho, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of Kallessin
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%

Pours a clear deep reddish-brown with a lot of bubbles. Full creamy head with nice lacing. The last pour was very cloudy due to the sediment in the bottle.

Has a light, sweet fruity a aroma (almost like bubblegum) with some musty/herbal notes and some herbal/floral hops. Some caramel malt and grain.

The flavor is a mix of sweet maltiness and light fruity berry-like flavors. The alcohol is present up front as a some fruity spiciness. I get some clove/bubblegum like flavors as well. This is a pretty spicy beer; the maltiness is there but not in the forefront - it comes out more as the beer warms. I also get a some raisins and dry bready flavors with a fair amount of bitterness.

It's medium body with a lot of prickly carbonation. Very peppery and warming and very dry.

The alcohol flavors, spiciness and dryness present a little challenge to me at first. The flavors are good. As the beer warms up the flavors meld much better and the dryness and spicy flavors mellow a bit. This beer took me a little while to get accustomed to, but once I did it was enjoyable.

Kallessin, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Thanks to hophead101 for sending me this beer.

2008 vintage. The beer pours a brownish-orange color with a white head. The aroma is brett funk, citrus, caramel and pepper. The flavor is more of the same with some nice orange notes mixing with the brett. The brett gives it a little leather flavor and there is also some spicy pepper as well. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of jmerloni
3.8/5  rDev 0%

A - Pours a nice ruby amber with nice white head that sticks around for quite a while.

S - Woah caramel and molasses! Fruity. Pears, plums, red delicious apples, citrus. Interesting mix.

T - Very, very sweet with the flavors as detected on the nose plus some pineapple. Very tangy.

M - Medium to full bodied; little carbonation.

D - Never tried beers of this style and I'm not totally familiar, but this is too sweet for me. A glass with dinner was enough for me. Interesting though and from one of the premier brewers - perhaps the most premier - of Belgians in the country in my opinion.

jmerloni, May 31, 2010
Photo of srandycarter
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%

A - Caramel colored, very little head, no lace.

S - Very light smell, light malt, not much else.

T - Super light flavor, light hops to finish.

M - Nice balance. Good carb. A little over bitter at the very finish.

D - Not my favorite Port offering on tap. Ironically, I think I liked this one in the bottle better.

srandycarter, May 26, 2010
Photo of tigg924
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, clear, red/brown in color, high carbonation

Smell: plum, clove, spices, and bread

Taste: plum, clove, holiday spices, dark fruit, and bread

Mouthfeel: sweet start-bitter second taste and a sweeter end, high carbonation, light bodied.

Drinkability: A very good beer, but not excellent. I do like the plum and holiday spices. Similar to Abita's Christmas Ale. Could have several.

tigg924, May 18, 2010
Photo of mikereaser
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%

On tap at Capones

A - pours a clear dark chestnut brown with a layer of fine bubbles that left some lacing

S - light hints of spices, corriander and citrus, nothing was too grabbing and was hard to pick out

T - big malts followed by lots of spices and alcohol warming, cloves and hints of citrus with a medicinal finish

M/D - very warming, alcohol very present, it was nice to try this one, although i'm a bit disappointed. I don't think I could drink a whole bottle.

mikereaser, Apr 28, 2010
Photo of Zorro
3.15/5  rDev -17.1%

Deep amber colored beer with the color of weathered bronze. A clear beer with a small light brown colored head.

Smells malty with a slight sour aroma. Grassy noble hop aroma more herbs than hop.

Starts out sweet and malty. Continues to be herbal with a little bit of soy sauce flavor. Kind of boring though, not a lot of flavor.

Mouthfeel is OK; the carbonation is on the low side.

Drinkability isn't all it could be. I'm sure it has its fans but I didn't really care that much for this one.

Zorro, Apr 23, 2010
Gift Of The Magi from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 606 ratings.