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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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

620 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 620
Reviews: 295
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 53
Gots: 85 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: BeerBeing on 06-10-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 620 | Reviews: 295 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of juhl31
2.9/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

an '08 version

-looks like an unfiltered apple cider. sediment galore

-smells of a sour beer with apples. harsh bubble gum with some plantain in there

-nothing like the smell to me. there is a dirty bitterness in the aftertaste. earthy i guess

-my tongue is angry

-i dont really want this ever again except for maybe a sip to check if it was a bad bottle

juhl31, Nov 25, 2009
Photo of Sideswipe
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Barley and Hops Tavern. Poured into a pint glass.

A- Beer poured a cloudy, dark amber with little to no head.

S- The nose was subdued. Caramel, and spices. No hop aroma whatsoever.

T- Wow! The 9.5 ABV makes itself known right out of the gate! After I get past the heat of the alcohol, I am greeted with an amazing array of flavor. Caramel, spice, and bready yeast. Different from any beer I've had before. It gets better as I drink it. Probably because I am now ready for the smackdown the alcohol is putting on my taste buds every time I take a drink.

M- The mouthfeel of this brew is terrific! The carbonation is perfect. The beer has an oily, viscous feel that is really satisfying.

D- After I got over the initial heat of the very pronounced ABV, I really enjoyed this beer. It was absolutely not like anything I've had before. Not sure I would have this on a regular basis, but I am glad I had the opportunity to try something so unique.

Sideswipe, Nov 20, 2009
Photo of bulletrain76
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

75cl bottle. Dark amber with a medium yellow tinged head and plenty of lace. Hoppy, alcoholic, earthy, and lightly bretty aroma. The flavor has a good dose of caramel a toasty grain and spices, with bitter, earthy hops and a light funky and tart brett edge. Medium bodied with creamy carbonation. There is a little too much alcohol, but it dries out the finish along with the ample hop bitterness. Brett is detectable but very subtle. Alright, but I would have liked this better with less bitterness and alcohol.

bulletrain76, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of pwoods
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle, '08 vintage, poured into a tulip. Notes.

A: Pours a golden bronze, hazy. Maybe a finger worth of light frothy head on the pour with some retention. A few wisps of lacing.

S: There's just a little bit of Brett in there. Held onto this for awhile in hopes that it'd be bigger. Light mustiness and some light fruits. Nice Belgian grain and sweetness.

T/M: Nice Biere de Garde backbone. Brett is about the same as the nose with the light mustiness and some barnyard flavors. The light fruits are a bit bigger in the flavor. Pleasant sweetness. Body is medium or so with healthy enough carbonation.

D: Tasty base beer but I really wish the Brett would have taken hold a little stronger. 9.5% is surprising.

pwoods, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of BeerIsland
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a gift bottled for my efforts in the Phila Beer Geek competition last Spring. This is a extremely drinkable beer for the heft. I really liked the balance and smoothness. There was a good bit of yeast at the bottem of the bottle but it all went in the glass. I was picking up a tad of citrus on the finish. Very nice beer overall.

BeerIsland, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle generously shared by PWoods.

Pours a dark burgundy in color. Much darker than I was expecting. A little bit of a froth around the edges, but mostly bubbles around the glass.
Smell is very ripe, juicy dark fruits. There's also some sweetness to the smell as well.
Taste is even more of the dark fruits. Plum, dark grapes, figs, just wonderful. You get just the most subtle amount of brett in the flavor. I was told to expect more, but it was just lying underneath. Nice component to the beer, but not a forefront flavor. Thoroughly enjoyable. Carbonation was good. Medium mouthfeel and very easy drinking.

FtownThrowDown, Sep 25, 2009
Photo of JohnQVegas
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into red wine glass. 2008 vintage, purchased at Table and Vine in W. Springfield, Mass.

Pours cloudy warm copper-brown with a half-finger fluffy off-white head that quickly settles down into a soapy smattering of suds. Nice stickage though. Still, could certainly be improved.

Nose kicks off with a strong brett presence - bit of sour apple and lemon links up with a light, musty horseblanket presence, sitting on top of lesser notes of caramel, some dry-ish pale fruits, and the tail end of a fading hop note that brings dried grass and hay to mind.

Taste begins with the barnyard pungency noted in the nose, but quickly moves towards a rich, even bready caramel and dried apple note. Spice bread and more grassy hops come up, lightly bitter, before letting the brett take back over again with a nice mix of clean, tart green apple skins and just a bit of musty horseblanket - almost perfect. The spices really come out as the beer warms, and what bitterness and hop character there were tend to recede. Very well done, best at room temp or so.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, fuller than expected in fact, with a nice carbonation that's just a bit more tame then expected. Could be a bit drier, but still nicely done all around.

Drinkability is very nice. Complex and very flavorful while keeping the alcohol almost completely in check and the flavors in balance. Extremely well put together beer.

JohnQVegas, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of aerozeppl
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 bottle.

A:Really nice clear amber color.

S: Still has a nice hop aroma to it. The brett is just getting through at this point. A little touch of spice at the end.

T: Really malty with the dry hopping still evident. The brett is comining through a little. Very sweet overall.

M: Little bit thick. Very nice. Well carbonated.

D: Really different. So far this is my favorite Bier de Garde.

aerozeppl, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of jmalex
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I bought this on my way up to EBF this past February. Looking forward to trying it for the first time.

2008 vintage

APPEARANCE: Pours into a Duvel tulip a very reddish bronze and opaque with a small bone-white head. It drops to an almost full cap with continuous replenishment.

SMELL: A very, very fruity ester profile filled with apricot and even cherry. The sit over top of a somewhat sweet pale base. Alcohol is still prevalent after nearly a year of aging but not in tremendous quantities. An odd, pungent spiciness is present though faintly, but does serve to balance the sweetness of the aroma a bit.

TASTE: The spicing is tremendously more apparent in the flavor coming all the way up to take the forefront. It's very nearly herbal in nature but still quite hard to place. Fruitiness is present though subdued, but malt sweetness is quite high. Despite all these different flavors, balance is difficult to achieve, and this one does fall short.

MOUTHFEEL: Definitely on the high side of medium bodied and with a lower carbonation than one would expect from a bottle-conditioned Belgian-style ale. This beer would improve greatly if were a bit drier.

DRINKABILITY: Suffers from the unbalanced sweetness, but at least the alcohol is hard to perceive in the taste. I do wish I had someone to split this 750mL with though.

Not one of my favorites from Lost Abbey, but something I'm still happy to have in front of me. It's worth trying, I suppose, as something different and unique.

jmalex, Aug 25, 2009
Photo of Docer
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Snagged a 2008 bottle of this at By The Bottle.... 10% alc. on the label.

- Sediment floating in a dark caramel-brown ale.. first pour was clear, second cloudy. Little head down to a light ring of lace... though carbonation was great.

- Ester, sour, currants, brown sugar... simple scent but overall nice. Not much alcohol to be noticed.

- A very interesting ale that I would call a wild ale. Currants and a sour-like flavor are very present.. while having a smooth caramel and sweet brown sugar malt flavor. Hid any sign of alcohol very well.. only really notice it as it warms up the belly.

- Sweet aftertaste... not too dry, not too chewy.. overall very good feel.

- Slightly rich to have much, but the ability to put a lot of this away is very easy.. great balanced mix of flavors, carbonation was perfect... and that's about it!

Docer, Aug 19, 2009
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A corked 750ml bottle shared with psycohops. Poured into a pair of basic tulip glasses. The ale appears a hazed honeyed amber color with about two fingers of quickly fading off white head. Flavors and aromas consist of tart green apple, hints of brett and banana, caramel, herbal and spicy, sweet, yet sour. The ale is lightly carbonated with a medium body and a bitter finish. Different and somewhat tasty.

ClockworkOrange, Aug 18, 2009
Photo of glid02
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this courtesy of jophish17 - thanks!

Pours a murky copper-brown color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of grainy malts, musty hops, and hints of light fruits. None of these are very fragrant.

Tastes good. Mild sweet malt flavors up front with hints of herbal hops and nondescript spices. Hints of pears come out as the beer warms. Ending is crisp and is neither sweet nor bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a decent thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is alright. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass but I'm not sure about another.

Overall there was a lot that could be good about this beer with some minor tweaking but nothing that I found overly exciting. Worth a shot for the curious.

glid02, Aug 16, 2009
Photo of allengarvin
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Cork slipped out without the slightest pop, and I was unable to get anything but a small head with a vigorous pour, though it lasted a while. The color is a murky orange-amber. The nose is quite faint, but offers some fruitiness backed with unidentifiable spices. Interesting flavor, though not particularly tasty: a large amount of brett dominates from the start, dried out with some high-medium bitterness, together with some odd spices I can't figure out, and which don't blend well otherwise. The body is rather heavy and thick, and the lack of carbonation makes not not too pleasant to drink.

I'd consider this a failed beer from an otherwise very good brewery. It could be tweaked into a good beer, though, I think.

allengarvin, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Wise men are instructed by reason; men of less understanding, by experience; the most ignorant by necessity; the beasts, by nature."

--Marcus Tullius Cicero

2008 release. Glazed terra cotta with a significant infusion of coral red. A barely audible pop on cork removal was followed by the creation of a slim slice of golden beige colored foam (after a fairly vigorous pour). It looks like the brewery's bubble problems were an issue at the time of this bottling as well. Incredible crown persistence and an attractive color scheme are the only things keeping the appearance score from sinking lower.

According to the website, Gift Of The Magi is a biere de garde. Tomme used Frankincense bark and Myrrh in this Gold(en) ale, then added Brettanomyces for some farmyard funk. Maybe it's the lack of carbonation, but the nose is nothing special. Some caramel malt in the background, with Brett and a herbal spiciness in the foreground.

As the ingredients suggested it would be, this is an odd sort of ale. Strangly enough, it's also pretty good beer... if you go in with an open mind and an open palate. There's no doubt that biere de garde is the correct style. Either that or spiced Belgian golden ale.

A smooth wild yeast funkiness hits first, then melts into a caramel-toffee and well-toasted bread middle, with woodlands herbs, black tea leaves and spices wrapping things up on a surprisingly bitter back end. Both Frankincense and Myrrh are bitter, so it isn't necessarily hops that are responsible for the tight, focused finish.

Amazingly enough, the mouthfeel manages to be impressively creamilicious. I'm not sure how, because there's isn't much noticeable carbonation. The bubbles that are present must be going above and beyond the call of duty.

If this bottle had been properly carbonated, the first two scores might have been higher. Maybe a few of the final three scores would have been as well. Gift Of The Magi is not for everyone. However, if you like Belgians, Brett and spiced beer, and are open to new and different exbeeriences (hey, I just invented a new word), then give this interesting domestic biere de garde a whirl. Two out of three wise men give it a thumbs up.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of GbVDave
3.1/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into two white wine glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

2008

A: Pours a hazy, light apple cider color. Barely any "pop" from the cork. No head, no lace.

S: Faint aromas of apples, pears, and ummmm.

T: See above. Vaguely fruity...meh.

M: Spicy without a lot of nuance. Feels unfinished.

D: Wow, this was one boring beer. Sadly, I've been pretty underwhelmed by LA's year 'rounders.

GbVDave, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of CoolJosh
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2007 750mL bottle poured into a Lost Abbey Tulip.

I went into this one with an open and curious mind. Never been floored by a Lost Abbey beer and was hoping this would be the light at the end of the tunnel.

Really unique golden pumpkin body with a nice off white head that dissipates to a low level and retains throughout the duration of the glass, due to a highly a visible, ample amount of carbonation.

This smells really interesting, in two words: funky floral. Burnt bitter caramel which alludes to some toffee, trace amounts of belgium candies, and a soft banana and lemon scent that contribute nicely. As it warms, orange a spicy twang sticks out like a sore thumb.

Everything in the smell is present in the taste. The taste is really bitter with a huge overwhelming caramel back and some really bitter orange. Spices shine through emphatically, as well as slights of clove. Too much is going on here and it's all over the place. Alcohol is hot, after two years I was hoping for this to vanish completely.

The mouthfeel just doesn't work well with the flavors, it's too thick and crunchy with some barleywine characteristics.

CoolJosh, Jul 10, 2009
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in Boston while I was out there for work in February 2009 since we cannot get Lost Abbey in WI (yet).
~2008 Bottle~

A-Rusted amber body with half finger head that didn't last very long. Moderate lacing ability. The clarity is a bit hazy with an unfiltered appearance.

S-Brettanomyces Brux is the dominant aroma leading to some sweet taffy-like Belgian profiles. I am a big fan of the barnyard funk and this one came off nice. This, being advertised as a Biere de Garde, did not have the strong cellar must that I was looking forward to.

T&M-As with the aroma, the Brett seems to take hold of this beer and starts off with a slightly soured maltiness. The hops come second string as the shine brightest in the bittering and dry finish although the mouthfeel is a bit too grainy in the end.

D-I think I have been infatuated with Lost Abbey based on its brewing techniques, minimal distribution, and general-mystique, but I am starting to rethink these intuitions based on a few prior LA tastings. This beer is very good, but doesn't blow my mind. I feel like the Brett did all the work in this one and I could brew it myself - not to say that I would not be totally impressed if I did. Very well flavored and decently balanced, but maybe not worth the $14 I paid.

ALESwhatCURESya, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of BZero007
2.85/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

As there was no pop at all from this bottle, I will purchase at some point and re-review.

Poured from a bottle in to my Portsmouth Tulip glass. Pours a orangy yellow with hints of amber floating around. The head was no where to be found on this particular bottle as was the entire bottle very flat. The aroma was hard to detect but was very sweet. The taste again was extremly sweet and carried a funk to it. The mouthfeel was very smooth as there was no carbonation to the drink. I would hesitate on purchasing this particular brew again, the overly sweet tones were not suited to my taste buds. Will try to grab a fresh pint somewhere to compare and re-review.

BZero007, Jul 01, 2009
Photo of clvand0
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark yellow color with a decent head that hangs around and leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma is very weak, but there is a little breadiness in there. Quite a bit of funk in the flavor. Also has some banana, clove, oak, and breadiness to go with the horseblanket. The body is medium and the drinkability is very good for 9.5%.

clvand0, Jun 25, 2009
Photo of dirtylou
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, memorial day weekend and such. no bs4

neck sticker dates 12/07

appearance: corked and caged. poured into a de koninck chalice, clear dull amber, active carbonation, light white lace

smell: very sweet and rather funky, wild brett yeast, moderate booze, vanilla, bready

taste: spicy mix of alcohol and funk with a thick burning sensation...waves of brett yeast, candied sugars, banana, clove, pretty heavy alcohol. interesting, but messy

mouthfeel: fiery, spicy, heavy alcohol

drinkability: average

dirtylou, May 23, 2009
Photo of WaXHeLL
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Lost Abbey / Port Brewing's 3rd Anniversary party. 4oz taster. Tasting notes from 5/9/2009.

Appearance: Translucent yellowish-red. Nice looking. Decent head, decent lacing.

Smell: Not much of a smell. Smells pretty smooth with a slight hint of floral hops and yeast. Wish it was a little bit stronger and more complex.

Taste: Comes on strong and bold, and doesn't let up until its done. Very smooth strong floral taste. Starts hoppy, but smooth. Goes down deceptively easy. Slight bitter finish. One of those simple, in-your-face beers.

Mouthfeel: A little bit excessive on the carbonation (yeah, I know, rare for a Lost Abbey beer). Very slight bitterness, but smooth throughout. Feels very good.

Drinkability: Super easy to drink, even with the high ABV. Very tasty and smooth, with just a little bit of complexity. Very versatile -- you could slam this beer, or you might be able to sip it.

Overall: In your face, bold, smooth beer. Refreshingly different.

WaXHeLL, May 12, 2009
Photo of jmz62565
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy burnt orange/copper with a medium creamy tan head. The smell is less pungent than I would think with bread yeast and citrus hop aromas present. The taste is filled with alcohol,bread yeast,citrus hops,dark fruit,and orange peel.The m/f is medium with all the flavors mixing well.A decent beer,but I was alittle disappointed .

jmz62565, May 02, 2009
Photo of sevopie
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cloudy orange-brown with a moderate off-white head.

A get a lot of fruit in the nose - apples, pears, raisins, and even peaches. There's a touch of alcohol on there as well.

Slightly sour, slightly bitter, and slightly sweet. This is a strange blend indeed, there's a lot of spiciness, and a touch of the brett. A few of the fruits show up, mainly the apples. There's also a bit of brown sugar in there, and some hop spiciness to contrast the actual spiciness.

Kind of on the light side as far as thickness, with a lot of carbonation coating the tongue.

If you like a sour brew, this one is a very easy-drinking one. A couple of the spices hit the tongue funky though, so it makes it a little strange as far as I'm concerned.

sevopie, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of drumrboy22
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle. Poured from 750mL bottle into a Russian River chalice. Beer was a clear caramel color with almost no carbonation and a tiny tan head.

Aroma was fruit, rum and brett.

Taste was light fruit and bread, with some spicy brett character.

Easy drinking. Not super complex, but still enjoyable and goes down easy. Hanging onto an '07 and '08 bottle just to see how it ages.

drumrboy22, Apr 04, 2009
Photo of Billolick
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large bottle, caged and corked, 2008 edition. Purchased at Julio's world class beer stop in Massachusetts. Opened with a fairly wimpy "poof" and poured murky medium peach, under a light tan head, that left plenty of fine spots and blobs of lace. Light perfume, a hint of cheesy must and ripe fruit goodness in the nose. The label proclaims this one as a beer de Garde with an addition of Brett. I do get some minor funk notes. Cheese, mold and light horsy whiffs. Resiny dryness in the finish. I like. Complex, mysterious and tasty. Bring out some pungent cheese and grilled foods and enjoy.

Billolick, Mar 29, 2009
Gift Of The Magi from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 620 ratings.