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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

605 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 605
Reviews: 294
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 54
Gots: 82 | 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: 605 | Reviews: 294 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of prototypic


3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

2008 Release

Gift of the Magi is bronze in color. It's very hazy, and has a nice crimson look with light behind it. Carbonation appears to be very light, but bubbles are present. The head is off-white and rises to just above a surface covering. It disappears quickly and leaves very little lace behind.

The nose is a little weak. It's still not bad. Brett and its funkiness are easily noted from the first whiff. It's prominent, but still isn't an overly strong Brett presence. It has a distinct earthy, musky scent that complements the funky barnhouse fragrance very well. There are some sweet, malty notes. Smells like caramel to me. Spices are present, but aren't in abundance. Alcohol is blended well for such a strong beer. I wouldn't have guessed 10%.

The flavor is pretty good. It has a malty base that's a little sweet. Caramel and tofffee flavors are noted throughout. Earthy and musky notes permeate throughout. Funky Brett flavors are a nice touch. They add character and a nice flavor to the overall mix. It's a moderate Brett flavor. There's an interesting spicy/herbal edge to it. That flavor's a little pepperish, but I can't quite put my finger on it. It's not a bad flavor, but it's not great either. Alcohol is surprisingly tame. It's not warm at all. It finishes spicy and a little funky.

Gift of the Magi has a light-medium body. Carbonation is very, very light. It feels too thin. Definitely not smooth. Drinkability is above average. The flavor's okay, and it goes down relatively easy for a big beer. A 750's a bit much, but I'll finish it.

Gift of the Magi in an interesting release from The Lost Abbey. Perhaps that's because Bière de Garde is an interesting style. This one has a little too much of a caramel/toffee flavor for me. It just doesn't seem to blend well with the funky Brett flavors. It's alright, but doesn't result in greatness. There's too few bubbles in this one, too. More would be better. That being said, Gift of the Magi is far from bad. Well worth a try, if you ask me.

04-18-2010 02:51:16 | More by prototypic
Photo of Gosox8787

New Hampshire

4.1/5  rDev +7.9%

Presentation: Poured from a 750mL corked bottle into my snifter glass in two parts.

Appearance: Ruby brown colored. The second pour was a lot more hazy than the first. Large two to three finger beige head. Good retention overall.

Aroma: Tart green apple and pear notes. Caramel sweetness and some earthy tones are also present in force. Some lighter hop bitterness provides a nice counter and rounds out the flavors.

Taste: Sweet pear notes and caramel sweetness are present upfront. Some nice earthy tones and a little funk also present. Hop bitterness rounds out the flavor. Nice balance and a clean aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and smooth. Not much carbonation at all.

Drinkability: Despite the 10% ABV, this beer feels only a little boozy. Clean flavors and smooth mouthfeel also contribute to making this highly drinkable.

Overall, a nice clean, well balanced biere de garde. Not too heavy and with nice pronouced flavors. Definitely a worthwhile Belgian style beer.

04-17-2010 22:25:31 | More by Gosox8787
Photo of womencantsail


3.88/5  rDev +2.1%

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ.

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

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

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

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

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

04-05-2010 06:57:38 | More by womencantsail
Photo of Blakaeris


4.35/5  rDev +14.5%

Pours opaque red-brown with a thick rocky head that leaves globs of sticky lacing.

Aroma is sweet caramel malt and yeasty spices. Generous citrus presence - notably orange and apricot. A touch of earthy orange peel bitterness.

Taste is similar to the nose. Malty and sweet up front with a Belgian candy sugar character and a floral quality. Plenty of citrus and dark fruit flavors. Orange, apricot, and pineapple along with subtle plum and date. Musty and yeasty. Finishes with an earthy bitterness and a mild alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is medium full, a bit chewy.

Overall a very interesting and fruity brew. Spices bring complexity behind the general candied fruit sweetness.

03-22-2010 21:57:14 | More by Blakaeris
Photo of bashiba


4.28/5  rDev +12.6%

Poured a deep cloudy dark amber with a light sticky tan head.

The smell was very sweet and fruity with a big basement yeasty funk, some nice cherry notes in there.

The flavor was very mild and much different than the nose with a nice toasted malt base and smooth light tropical fruit notes with pineapple and mango. A long lingering orange peel hop finish balances out the fruity sweetness nicely.

The mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth with a long lingering finish and nice warmth from the high alcohol.

Very drinkable, excellent big farmhouse style.

03-22-2010 21:43:16 | More by bashiba
Photo of emerge077


3.95/5  rDev +3.9%

Cellared 2008 bottle, hoping for more Brett expression.

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

03-21-2010 20:33:25 | More by emerge077
Photo of itsromy


4.55/5  rDev +19.7%

First off... Happy St. Patty's day!!

Awesome beer. Unfortunately, poured into a plastic cup at Churchill's in San Marcos, CA. Getting past that was easy due to the fact that beer smelled oh so good. The look of it was beautiful; a dark chocolate/nut brown color with about a half inch of head in the cup. Very very tasty... Hints of citrus, fruits, and spices. I would be able to drink a couple of these without feeling to full or bloated....

Cheers to Lost Abbey!

03-18-2010 08:02:57 | More by itsromy
Photo of FishGetter


3.53/5  rDev -7.1%

Reviwed on 12-26-09 2009 Vintage
Nice bottle and cork combo. Cloudy nut brown color. Small head disapates.
Candied fruit nose, figs. Sweet malt tones, some mild hop aroma with a slight boozieness to it.
Tons of sweetened malt mixes with alot of wintery spices, cinnomon, nutmeg and citrus hops. Slight oak flavor and dryness too. Boozie tones to finish it off.
A medium body that builds with aggitation. Spices and alchole linger on tounge.
Nice offering here. Definate winter season brew. A bit to boozie and spicy for the reviewer, but true to the style.

03-11-2010 18:50:24 | More by FishGetter
Photo of Gehrig


3.8/5  rDev 0%

Hazy amber with two fingers of off-white froth, and modest retention with moderate lacing. Fair Brett aroma for a funky farmhouse smell, with some citrus (orange peel, grapefruit) and a bit of dried fruit.

Musty taste, not bad, fruity and more malty than I expected. It does have an oderiferous emanation, no question. Sweet and sour, with a distinct bitter finish.

I found myself letting this sit for some time. It isn't as though I didn't enjoy it but, rather, it didn't really grab me. Definitely unique, I must admit that it could be that I had hoped for a little more for the $10.99 price. Still, not bad, and kudos to The Lost Abbey for creativity. Decent stuff.

02-08-2010 19:16:20 | More by Gehrig
Photo of strengthdoc


4/5  rDev +5.3%

The ale poured into the glass to reveal an almost orange color. There was a light tan head and little lacing. The aroma was of clove, brown sugar and cherries. The mouthfeel was much lighter than expected with a slight buttery feel. The taste was mildly sweet with maple and cherry. There was light hoppiness and alcohol in the finish.

02-05-2010 05:03:37 | More by strengthdoc
Photo of thequeen711


3.05/5  rDev -19.7%

Caramel and spices, toasted grains, bread yeast, and sour apples? Does this sound like a great beer to you? First aroma was of apples...Must have been a bad day for me to taste beer, because my beer king brother recommended this as a good beer, and he's always correct in his reviews, but I found this to be not as appealing to my tastes.

02-01-2010 01:59:44 | More by thequeen711
Photo of MikeBuff


3.28/5  rDev -13.7%

2008 vintage bottle. Making room in the cellar and decided to pull this one out. Poured at around 50 deg F into a Lost Abbey tulip glass. The head receded really quickly and left no lacking on the top. Right away I get some crazy funk coming on the nose always can tell that aged Brett. The mouth feel in this bottle is no existent. The funk I first smelled has calmed down into a nice fruity complex but does not come across on the taste. The copper color is really nice and the tannins from the oak of the other range of flavors keep this a relatively calm beer. I'm probably going to pop my 2009 vintage and see how it compares in this style of" keeping beers". Over all a very nice beer.

02-01-2010 01:05:52 | More by MikeBuff
Photo of BlackHoleBrew42


4.13/5  rDev +8.7%

2008 bottle. Pours a beautiful ruby honey golden nectar color. Can smell the funk, but also grain, oak, alcohol maybe pine and caramelized sugar? odd. Not too carbonated, nice and resinous mouthfeel, sticks around and adds to complexity. Drinks like a less burly barleywine, definitely very very interesting, far more floral notes in the afterburn. Alcohol kinda burns, in a good warming on a cold Colorado night way, but I'm sure the year and half in the bottle has mellowed that somewhat. Its a sipper that i feel is just a step away from being highly sessionable. Biere de garde - Beer for keeping ...Just glad i had the chance to try it, so now i know to go but more and age even longer. Love it.

01-28-2010 07:28:46 | More by BlackHoleBrew42
Photo of champ103


3.2/5  rDev -15.8%

A: Pours a hazy copper/brown color. At first, a two finger beige head forms and sticks around for a minute. As the foam finally recedes, some light lace is left behind.
S: Some funky barnyard and herbal tea like aromas. Lightly floral hops. Some dry apple cider aromas. Spice.
T: Funky, dry, wood, apple cider. Strange spices that don't mess well for me. I am guessing that is from the Frankincense and Myrrh. Interesting, but odd.
M/D: A medium body with high carbonation. The alcohol shows. Not a bad beer to sip on, but not all that inviting either.

This is really interesting, different, and odd. There seems like a good Biere de Garde base, but the Brett, Frankincense, and Myrrh make for an odd mix of flavors. Not bad, and worth a try for your more adventurous taste buds.

01-23-2010 19:09:28 | More by champ103
Photo of Aenema


4/5  rDev +5.3%

12/9 - Gift of the Magi - 2008
Appearance - Pours a hazy, reddish orange, creamy one-finger, off-white head. Splotchy lacing.
Smell - Slight funk, citrus/lemon, sweet malts.
Taste - Barnyard funk, unique flavor, which I'm guessing is the frankensense/myrr, slight biscuity malt, grapefruity bitterness, alcohol (a little hot).
Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied and well-balanced.
Drinkability - Enjoyable change of pace.

01-22-2010 03:16:33 | More by Aenema
Photo of VaTechHopHead

3.4/5  rDev -10.5%

Uncorked a 2008 bottle after New Year's 2010.

A - Golden brown with deep red colors, not a lot of head or lacing if any (maybe the glass wasn't clean enough). Appeared to be pretty well filtered.

S - VERY herbally, kind of like the herb garden you grow in your kitchen. Lots of exotic spices and a small hop presence in the background. Not too much of a grain sweetness but did have a hint of Belgian sugar thrown in there.

T - Very funky, but in a good way I suppose. I assume it's from the Brettanomyces strain used combined with the frankincense and myrrh thrown in during brewing. The herbal taste parts like the Red Sea and a subtle spicy hop flavor forces its way in. Finishes with a semi-sweet malt flavor with the aftertaste of herbs.

M/D - Medium body with average carbonation, finishes semi-dry but hardly any ethyl flavors from the high alcohol content. I would consider this a sipping beer but not too sure if it should be served warmer or just out of the fridge.

I don't have much experience with the Bière de Garde style but I am assuming this is a bit of an outlier due to the ingredients used. I would like to revisit this beer some day down the road.

01-21-2010 00:26:33 | More by VaTechHopHead
Photo of Chambic


2.7/5  rDev -28.9%

01.14.10 at City Beer Store

A: Was surprised by the light copper color; for some reason, I remember this beer being lighter

S: wet-sock kind of of funk

T: kind of a metallic, alcoholic finish

M: really nice carbonation

D: not my favorite, but then again, not my favorite style.

Overall, it went nicely with the spicy charcuterie I was enjoying.

01-15-2010 23:05:46 | More by Chambic
Photo of Thorpe429


3.8/5  rDev 0%

On tap at Capone's in December 2009.

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

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

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

M: Medium bodied and quite crisp.

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

01-10-2010 18:35:03 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of scootny

New York

3.93/5  rDev +3.4%

This is the Night of the Epiphany. The twelfth night. The celebration of the arrival of the Magi at the birthplace of the Lord Jesus Christ. What better beer to celebrate and reflect on the revelation of God to the Gentiles.

This is a 2008 bottle. A lovely terracotta with a bit of cloudiness. Head is kinda light and but there is a decent amount of decoration on the sides of the glass.

Nose is quite malty with a rich buttery funk and a combination of spice and alcohol. A touch on the subtle side but nice.

Taste is in style and a boundary stretcher at the same time. Thick malt is cut by a a sharp alcohol and slightly astringent bitterness. Spicy and fragrant hops with a peppered accent. If indeed there is frankincense and myrrh in this stuff it works better in this style and beer than the rosemary in Ten Commandments. While they may bring out a booziness it nonetheless works quite well. This is a strong and sharp beer that you start out sipping and find yourself gulping as you grasp what your taste buds are experiencing. Complex dry finish leaves a tasty combination on your palate and tongue. Yeast is best left in the bottle as is tends to knock the balance off.

Feel is quite creamy and satisfying event though the carbonation is quite mild.

Quite a nice one for this time of year. Truly a winter warming BDG and a real " Gift " from Lost Abbey

01-07-2010 02:09:29 | More by scootny
Photo of barleywinefiend


2.78/5  rDev -26.8%

Poured a orange color with a nice white head, good carbonation. Nose of yeast, spices, citrus and earth notes. Taste is earthy, spices and some booze. Had a offputting aftertaste, like bitter, buttery or something. Mouthfeel is heavy, flay and bad. Not a fan and not drinkable, drain pour on a Lost Abbey, indeed.

01-04-2010 16:35:46 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of sweemzander


4.23/5  rDev +11.3%

750mL corked bottle poured into an imperial pint. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a cloudy caramel-like amber color that produced an ample tan head with good retention.

(S)- Toasted biscuits & nuts with bits of raisins

(T)- Malty nuttiness with an ample hop bitterness. Bits of syrupy raisins & caramel.

(M)- A good carbonation level with a big malty & hop bite, but balances decently well.

(D)- A decent beer with a much bigger & bold body than I was expecting. A little off-putting due to how malty & bitter it is, but an interesting interpretation of the style.

** In my opinion, this greatly improves with at least a year or two on it as the Brett has time to develop and really carves this beer into a much better being that it is fresh ** I have updated this review based upon that.

01-02-2010 03:05:07 | More by sweemzander
Photo of Florida9


4.2/5  rDev +10.5%

On tap at the Publican

A: A light reddish brown in color. Served in a goblet with just a surface coating of head. Looks "flat"

S: Light fruity esters.

T: A light caramel, brown sugar sweetness followed by peat and then a very noticeable bitterness, bordering on astringency. Very light sourness to it that balances well against the sweetness. Quite tasty.

M: Medium body with medium carbonation. Almost astringent.

D: Good. Complex, but drinkable. This typically isn't my style of beer, but I had no problems getting this one down.

01-01-2010 20:13:20 | More by Florida9
Photo of Soonami


1.75/5  rDev -53.9%

Served in a 12 oz. goblet, at cellar temps, at SPTR.

A- murky reddish brown with a very thin head that had almost no lasting power

S- I could not smell much more than the burn of alcohol. maybe a little citrus

T- Alcohol is the predominant flavor, there is very little else. It tastes like a vodka and tonic drink that got really watered down

M- the very light body and high alcohol makes the beer very dry and astringent

D- I could only barely finish this one beer, I'm glad I had friends around to help me finish this

This beer completely lacked any kind of fruity, funky flavor I was looking for, it was lacking of body, taste, but certainly not alcohol

12-30-2009 12:53:41 | More by Soonami
Photo of ccrida


4/5  rDev +5.3%

2008 bottle that I've cellared since it's release last year. Poured into my Lost Abbey chalice, Gifts of the Magi is pale orange with a creamy off-white head.

Smell is sweeter, Belgian aromatic malts, brett, and a touch of solvents.

Taste is mostly brett, lots of horsey barnyard flavors, with only a hint of the sweet malty backbone. The alcohol is clean and sweet. The spices aren't overt, maybe a hint of incense from the frankincense, which I'm thankful for - I dislike heavy-handed adjuncts.

Mouthfeel is dry and crisp.

Drinkability is pretty good, nice funky, strong biere de garde. I'm glad I let it sit, based on other reviews of it being too boozy fresh. The strength is here, but it's clean, and fairly well hidden by the brett.

12-29-2009 04:23:59 | More by ccrida
Photo of OStrungT


2.9/5  rDev -23.7%

This beer pours a cloudy reddish ornage color, with almost no head. The tiny head fades instantly, leaving a very light lacing.

This beer has a spicy aroma of coriander. I can detect some citrus lemony aroma. Some grain aroma is also present.

This beer tastes like it smells. Some citrus fruit and spice. It has a slight earthy funky flavor also. There may be avery subtle sour flavor, but it is so faint that I cant be sure.

This beer is pretty much flat. It leaves a grainy aftertaste.

This beer wouldnt be the best session beer. It is high in alcohol, and the flavor isnt too great.

Overall: Decent beer at best. Maybe carbonation would help. I hope these guys fix their problems soon.

12-25-2009 01:04:24 | More by OStrungT
Gift Of The Magi from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 605 ratings.