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.
very good

596 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 596
Reviews: 294
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 53
Gots: 79 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 596 | Reviews: 294 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of strengthdoc


4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


3.05/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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


3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


2.7/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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


3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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

New York

3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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

Serving type: bottle

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


2.78/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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


1.75/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

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

Serving type: on-tap

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


4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


2.9/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2009 01:04:24 | More by OStrungT
Photo of CaptMurdock


4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a tap into a tulip glass.

I have to say that I may be a biased in this review due to the setting. I had this on Christmas Eve sitting at one of my favorite bars with one of my favorite friends.

Appearance: It poured darker than I expected and was almost pumpkin in color. By the time the glass arrived to me there was almost no head to speak of and absolutely no lacing throughout.

Aroma: Wow! This was like figgy pudding in a glass (or at least figgy pudding the way my mom made it). Dates, plums and sweetness take center stage with sugar and sour apples playing supporting roles.

Taste: As expected the sour fruit was very noticeable. I was a tad bit surprised at how pronounced the alcohol was. Luckily it played very well with the slight sour flavor and the sweetness of the dates to create a very cohesive taste. I was also a little surprised at the amount of yeast that was noticeable here as well. I wish I had more time for a second glass because I was halfway through this before I was truly comfortable with the unexpected flavors.

Feel: Superb. The tartness and sweetness really send the taste buds into a tizzy and then the alcohol moves right in and warms everything. This is finished off with a dry sensation that really invites another sip.

Drinkability: For me I could easily sip a few glasses of this on a cold winter night around the holidays or a few during a lunch break with some great company.

Next year I will certainly be seeking out a few bottles to have on hand for the holiday season.

Serving type: on-tap

12-24-2009 19:23:58 | More by CaptMurdock
Photo of Minotaur


3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A unique ale that delivered a taste I in no way expected.

It pours a light amber-brown with red highlights. The color seems overall thin. There as no real head.

The aroma was very strong: bready, nutty, slightly sour. It was in no way overbearing but was not a shy in the nose.

The taste was predominantly bitter even with the apparently sweet and high malt profile. Most of the sweetness seemed to prune/plumb/raisin in nature. There was a real brandy like quality that came through in the taste and a bit in the nose when drinking the beer. There was very little spice but seemed to have an herbal, slightly sour taste but not "funky".

It felt much more like a liquor in the mouth than a beer. I'd say due to the unique taste and thin mouthfeel many would not find it too drinkable. However I found it quite drinkable in a liquor kind of way.

Serving type: on-tap

12-24-2009 01:36:51 | More by Minotaur
Photo of bonkers

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured from a 750 ml bottle into a snifter. It pours a murky,dark, ruby red with a big white effervescent head. The aroma is big on funkiness, also some spice and green apples. The flavors of spice and funky green apples come through, along with a sweet alcohol backbone. The finish lingers with hot alcohol. The beer is very well carbonated, medium bodied, creamy mouthfeel and for me a sipper. A nice complex beer, for me the hot alcohol knocked the score down a bit.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2009 21:07:26 | More by bonkers
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: orange-amber in color with a one inch head that flass apart quickly. No lace develops.

Smell: yeast spiciness, alcohol, and some frui sweetness is easy to pull from the glass.

Taste: caramel, green apples, plums, brown sugar, yeast, and a moderate bitterness are most detectable. Alcohol is definitely warming and adds to the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp throughout with some mild dryness late. Long aftertaste here.

Drinkability: this is a true slow sipping beer where one glass is all you need in a session. Very flavorful and worth seeking this one out.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2009 13:42:36 | More by Gavage
Photo of nectar14


3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At Toronado SD, the 2009.

Gold, amber color with a 1 finger off white head. Decent lacing.

Nose is a bit muted with some fig, raisin, and hops. As it warms and if swirled, there's a wonderful brett aroma. Very inviting.

Wound up pretty tight. Dense, with malt, bitter hops, and other complexities wrapped in there. Figs, incense, and brett.

A bit on the harsh side, but just a bit. Again, needs to settle.

A sipper, not a guzzler.

Overall, really enjoyable. I bet this will be even better out of bottle, and after some time.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2009 04:45:56 | More by nectar14
Photo of homebrew311


2.85/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: hazy reddish appearance with no head, looks like some fruit juice in the glass

S: the smell is quite muted, all I get is some hints of grape and raisin along with some ethyl alcohol

T: the flavor profile is more pronounced than the nose, but it isn't balanced. There is a fruity sweetness that includes candi sugar and a burning finish with alcohol, some notes of spice come through

MF: even though there is no apperant head, it is still quite harsh on the mouthfeel due to high carbonation

D: I was quite disappointed by this. For being a Belgian pale ale, it didn't appear pale. The flavor profile was very one dimensional and hot from the alcohol, I would not get this beer again.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2009 02:45:16 | More by homebrew311
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Lost Abbey- Gift of the Magi

A- Nice dark amber reddish brown with a thick foamy head. Nice ringed lacing.
S- Sugary, fruity, and tart. Sugar, plums, grapes, and apples. Light hint of grainy malt.
T- Very sugary sweet and tart fruits like grapes, apples, and plum. Mild boozy alc. presence with a strong grainy toasted caramel malt and dry earthy grassy hops.
M- Very sweet, sugary and tart. Boozy and warming. Thick fruity and malty finish.

Overall- Sweet and boozy. Good on a cold winter day.

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2009 23:10:12 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of jrallen34


2.65/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I drank this from the 22 oz bottle into a Rochefort glass.

The beer is very carbonated pouring lots of foamy head, about 2 fingers high of tope that lasts several minutes with amazing lacing. The beer itself is a dark brown with ruby red just shining through.

The aroma is nothing special its very light bread and apples but there is a bad sourness.

The taste is very disappointing with lots of alcohol on the front and a bad bitterness on the back.

This is a very disappointing effort.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2009 01:54:05 | More by jrallen34
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours like apple cider... carmel brown with ruby notes, hazy. Minimal head. Scent is mild... bready yeasts, sweet carmel malts, watery fruit (apple, pear) and some very light funk. Taste is once again mild, but good. Belgian bready yeasts, slight sweet carmel taste. Water fruits like apple and pear combine with a belgiany banana flavor. Medium bodies, slightly grainy feel. Good unique beer which could be a bit more agressive in flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

12-13-2009 21:21:57 | More by rfgetz
Gift Of The Magi from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 596 ratings.