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Gift Of The Magi - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Gift Of The MagiGift Of The Magi

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

664 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 664
Reviews: 301
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 52
Gots: 103 | FT: 5
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 664 | Reviews: 301 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of EchoCharlieEcho
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Kallessin
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of jmerloni
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of srandycarter
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of tigg924
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of mikereaser
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Zorro
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of emmasdad
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 750 ml bottle into a Duvel snifter. Very murky ruby red/brown color, with a nice light brown head that hangs around for a minute or two. Aromas of dark fruits (red grapes, raisins, dates) brett and dark brown sugar. On the palate, this one is fairly yeasty, with brown spices, dark fruits, caramel and alcohol. Another solid effort from Lost Abbey.

Photo of prototypic
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Gosox8787
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of womencantsail
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Blakaeris
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of bashiba
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of emerge077
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of itsromy
4.55/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of FishGetter
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Gehrig
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of strengthdoc
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of thequeen711
3.05/5  rDev -19.9%
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.

Photo of MikeBuff
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

Photo of BlackHoleBrew42
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Photo of champ103
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

Photo of Aenema
4/5  rDev +5%
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.

Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.42/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

Gift Of The Magi from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 664 ratings.