1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Gift Of The Magi - The Lost Abbey

Gift Of The MagiGift Of The Magi

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

557 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 557
Reviews: 294
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%


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 Reviewers
Ratings: 557 | Reviews: 294 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of KDawg
KDawg

Illinois

3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml into a tulip. Pours a nice rich gold color with a very frothy head

Excellent malty aromas strike right away along with spices and navel oranges. Unfortunately there is a very boozy quality to the aromas though. It's noticeable and does take away from the beer

Full bodied with a real plush and smooth feel. Lots of malt flavors, navel oranges and some florals. Like the aromas though, there is a definite booziness that is very distracting

The alcoholic quality to the beer is very distracting. Too bad as the rest of the flavors and aromas are quite good. It's still a very good beer overall, it's just a slight bit overdone

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2012 01:20:55 | More by KDawg
Photo of impending
impending

California

3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

B

750ml into a tulip. Pours a hazed amber butterscotch, dense creamy tan head, ok lacing.

Aroma is sweetly spiced, definitely subtle herbs. Certainly nicer than the frankincense and myrrh in the traditional incense.

Flavor is big with spices, all low notes. Begins with a sweetness that is suddenly dampened. The long lived phenolic aftertaste defines the brew with the frankincense adding an unusual bitterness slightly reminiscent of aspirin. Thin to medium bodied mouthfeel.

Greatly improves with warmth as the aftertaste begins to share similarities with a scotch ale.
cheers
jd

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 06:34:50 | More by impending
Photo of AdamBear
AdamBear

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-amber with a nice foamy cream colored head

S-dark belgian sugars with a peppercorn spice to it. some licorice. strong scent

T-comes in with a dark peppercorn spicyness. the finish is complex...fruits? belgian candied sugars? licorice? strong tastes, some alcohol burn

M-quite warm. medium carbonation with a dry finish

O-well, the quality seems to die as it goes away. also, the carbonation goes away quickly. started out great, but could not stand the test of time. pretty hot also. definitely wouldn't be a bad beer to share though.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2011 03:37:54 | More by AdamBear
Photo of jwhancher
jwhancher

Pennsylvania

3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My wife received a bottle as a Christmas present and shared some with me last night. Poured into a chalice glass.

A: nice frothy, rocky off white head. Color seemed a hazy amber. Head lasted quite awhile. Subtle carbonation.

S: reminded me of a rustic barnhouse. Faint sour notes with a peppery, spicy like yeast character. The aromas aren't in-your-face and seem to work well.

T: tastes a little bland to me. Reminded me of an average craft amber beer. Notes of caramel and some hop bitterness, but not a whole lot of flavorful notes.

M: felt medium with some warm alcohol notes.

O: not bad, but was expecting more from this Biere de Garde. Was expecting some more funk and Belgian-French characteristics. Seemed like an average craft amber to me.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2011 18:40:46 | More by jwhancher
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a chalice at Plainfield's Tap House.

Apparently the Tap House has a 12 Beers of Christmas thing going on. I wonder if the bartender realized we weren't gonna be back any time soon when she gave us the punch card... Either way, this stuff pours a hazy sunset amber topped by a finger of dirty cream foam. The nose comprises orange zest, caramel, brown sugar, nutmeg, and light fig. The taste holds notes of pine resin, caramel, sharp Swiss cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and rye bread. This combination does not sit well on the tongue at all, and a touch of booziness makes the experience all the more unpleasant. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and an almost chewy feel. Overall, I did not enjoy this beer. I think my note of "kinda boo", though a bit weird, is more than appropriate.

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2011 19:23:14 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of ksimons
ksimons

New York

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

A-a cloudy dark amber copper color with two fingers worth of white rocky head

S-the smell is pretty strong. Picking up roasted malt, caramel, spices, citrus, and a yeasty sourness

T-taste is similar to the smell with roasted malt, caramel, sweet fruit, and spices but it also has a larger amount of hops present than was in the smell. Alcohol is well hidden.

M-medium body, medium to high carbonation

Overall I liked it. The first of this style for me so I didn't know what to expect but it was very interesting, I would try it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2011 22:49:57 | More by ksimons
Photo of fatmcb1
fatmcb1

Texas

4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage poured into a lost abbey snifter.

Pours a copper color with a white 1 finger head that dissipates to a ring. Ample lacing on the glass.

Tons of roasted malt, fig, and raisins. There's also some sweet caramel and brown sugar.

Taste follows the nose. There is faded hops that leaves a citrusy remnant. Also, just a bit of funk.

This is on the heavy bodied side, with light carbonation.

Definitely glad to have had this, and want to try more of the style.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2011 22:14:12 | More by fatmcb1
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The sample I got fizzed like champagne, so have a towel ready! What did come out was a barely transparent warm golden brown with a very thick and fluffy, and somewhat persistent, light tan head. Aroma is malty and fruity, the latter mainly pear with a little apple, and inviting if not strong. Malty, fruity flavor has an earthy undertone and quite a fierce alcohol bite for 10% ABV. Sorry, a half point off there. Full-bodied texture is edgy and a little tingly. OK, not exactly golden (maybe frankincense or myrrh?) but still a worthy brew.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2011 02:47:25 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of JAXSON
JAXSON

Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 rate.

From a 25oz bottle, 2009 vintage. Orange pour, medium head. For all the trash I’ve talked about Lost Abbey this one is pretty darn good. At first blush is sweet and with the signature Lost Abbey heavy malt, briefly, but a refreshing and crisp hop presence finishes on the dry side. Some nuts and spices abound. Very fresh and bright. Enjoyed more than most Lost Abbey offerings, I may actually be rating this too low at 3.9.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2011 02:24:19 | More by JAXSON
Photo of nhindian
nhindian

Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a Lost Abbey Patron Sinner's goblet.

2009 Vintage.

A - Pours a burnished copper color with flares of orange playing at the edges of the glass. Very hazy throughout, making it nearly impossible to discern anything about the body of the beer. Two fingers of eggshell-colored head balance out the beer, composed of tight bubbles with nice retention. Lacing is sparse at best, with not a ton of residual lace sticking around.

S - The aroma is pretty neat on this beer. It's spicy, fruity, and woody, but the Brett is carefully integrated among the other notes. I was expecting a bigger Brett character, but can't say I'm disappointed with how it's laid out here, because it allows the other aromas to properly develop. It almost gives a fig, juniper, and dark pitted fruits, which when combined together delivers an almost holiday note; very fitting with the name and label.

T - Much the nose, the taste is equally as appetizing. The malts at first are rich, dark, sweet, and at times even smoky, but it leaves a nice lasting backbone. Then comes the slight tartness from the Brett... I'm not sure if it's the total composition of flavors or the yeast, but it gives me a strong impression of Jackie O's and Jolly Pumpkin beers. The fruits and wood come through next and last into the finish, and again I am getting the bark, figs, berries, and dates that were so prevalent in the nose. It finishes slightly bitter with a bit of an alcohol bite, but overall fairly clean.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with pretty nice carbonation. It's a bit high, but I feel it fits the style and the flavors adequately. It finishes a bit dry, but still relatively sweet.

D/O - Drinkability is moderately high. This was a pleasant surprise for me, bringing a bold and diverse flavor profile. The Brett is a little bit understated and could use some development, but I prefer its current state rather than it overbearing the other notes. I would like to try this again a little bit fresher!

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2011 05:13:22 | More by nhindian
Photo of mltobin
mltobin

Connecticut

4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 bottle in the cellar for about a year.

Appearance is a light copper color with 2 fingers of head. The nose has malts, citrus, sweet candies, very inviting in general. Upon sipping this heavier Biere de Garde, I am hit by some funk, which is nice. Also, there is pepper, caramel and some more citrus. It is a beer which warms you with the alcohol, but also has a pleasant bitterness in the finish. Perhaps with even more time in the cellar, it would continue to mellow out. It was a nice beer in any event.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2011 02:26:44 | More by mltobin
Photo of Chaney
Chaney

District of Columbia

3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

High octane Biere de Garde. Gotta love it....

I want to thank my buddy from work Blake for bringing back the entire Lost Abbey arsenal a little while back.

Vintage 2009, poured into a DuClaw Colossus snifter.

A: A finger and a half dirty foam sitting on top of a van of mildly cloudy, clay brown-red liquid.

S: Nice! Bright, sparkly candy sugar and pixie stick dust interwoven with a mild sourness... Brett, if you will.

T: The taste was a little more suspect. Very boozy, the alcohol even burns the throat even. Where was the Brett? To be honest, this reminded much more on the Imperial brown ale side than anything. Tree bark roughness, brown sugar, with the most brutal finish on this side of the hemisphere.

M: The thick sweetness honestly didn't bother me, but the rough sandpaper of a finish did. Substantial lacing.

O: I'm a Lost Abbey fan for sure, however, this was a bit rough... even in small doses. I'm glad I tried it, but I expected more. This was a 2009 huh? It's still quite rough. If I were to score another bottle, I would bury in the ground and hopefully someone will dig it up and taste it in about the year 4080!

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2011 03:21:26 | More by Chaney
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

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

A - Poured out a hazy, orange/amber color with a three-finger, long lasting, khaki colored head of foam. It left some patchy lacing on the glass.

S - It smelled of currants, spices and dried fruits. It had frunky and malty notes, too.

T - It had a spicy bite up front with a malty sweet backbone. Good dried fruit flavors with some phenolic notes.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a fairly dry finish.

O - This is a very good biere de garde. Sampled on the 4th of July but it still worked well.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2011 15:53:04 | More by zeff80
Photo of NEhophead
NEhophead

Massachusetts

3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

25.4 fl oz brown bottle, caged and corked; served in an oversized wine glass.

Bottled on 12/07/2010.

Deep copper in color with good clarity. Densely, creamy off-white foam with remarkable retention. A faint ring of lacing with decent strength.

Moderately sweet Belgian candied sugar with notes of honey and vanilla. Raisin, date, and a touch of molasses enhance the candied sugar. A touch of lemon adds a cutting citrus quality to the sweetness and deep alcohol whaffs. Notes of farmhouse must.

The Belgian candied sugar that was promised in aroma is present in flavor; however, it has taken on a more straightforward sugary sweetness rather than incorporated the dark, aged fruit. Stiff farmhouse must with a slightly bitter earthen flavor in the middle; the sweetness is cut for the moment, but the primary flavors are quite muddy.

Almost full in body on account of the sweetness and alcohol character. Slightly over-carbonated.

A lot going on here across the ratings spectrum. The flavors are a bit of a let down; a bit more earthen and muddy than I would've liked.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2011 01:27:05 | More by NEhophead
Photo of gdrydenc
gdrydenc

Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with a nice pop. Poured into a tulip with a surprisingly voluminous amount of white head. The color is a medium cherry.

S - Kind of a funky smell, but in a pretty good way. Smell is much like the other Biere de Garde I've had, but with lesser fruity esters, but they're still present.

T - The most notable aspect of this beer is the finish, to me, which is very hot. The rest seems like it's a bit muted. The flavors are there (a bit earthy and musty), but I feel like they're a bit missing.

M - The mouthfeel is good. Very frothy in the mouth, it certainly fills up my mouth with the foam. The finish is, as I mentioned before, very hot.

Overall, this is an interesting beer. The flavors are not wicked pronounced, but they're decent.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2011 00:08:36 | More by gdrydenc
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Once more, transcribed from undated notes. I just remember it was snowing in PHL that day and I was visiting Spanky at Local 44.

My server presented it to me in a 10-oz. tulip, although the aforementioned Spanky was going to let me have a pint at the same price. No, thanks, amigo mio. There was no head to speak of and the beer was a slightly hazy golden-yellow color. Leaning in, I noted an obvious Brett presence on the nose. Mouthfeel was medium with an intense tartness on the tongue. Now, when I say "tart", I mean like fresh-squeezed lemon juice! Puckeringly tart and dry. Finish was Sahara Desert dry. Dry as the Zephyr winds. My entire palate and mouth felt scrubbed squeaky clean. Frankly, this seemed more like something I would want in the summer in lieu of a wheat beer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-12-2011 15:46:20 | More by woodychandler
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan

New York

3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2009 bottle of Gift of the Magi that I picked up at julio's when I was there for thanksgiving.

a - opened the bottle and filled my lost abbey tulip (love it when I've got a glass/brew match). beer poured a pretty stunning reddish amber orange...deep and syrupy looking with a generous frothy off white head that could be rebuilt with a swirl. lacing was spotty, but this is what a beer should look like.

s - really REALLY nice oaky woody vanilla caramel malty sweet smell. fantastic.

t - the same oaky woody vanilla caramel malty sweetness, but with a big booze presence that almost knocked me out on the first sip. the barrel comes across a bit floral. the booze is a bit over the top on such a nice flavor. as I got through more of the bottle and the brew warmed, it seemed to get tougher and tougher to drink, up until I got to the point where I simply could not stand any more of it and it met the drain.

m - subtly bitter aftervibe, big alcohol tingle in my mouth. much thicker and richer than I had expected.

o - overall, reading some reviews going into this left me with some pretty low expectations...although this seemed to be the brew that would fill what I was looking for based on what I had read, so I popped it open. At first I was pretty blown away by the look and smell and it was on the money, but then when I tasted it, I began to understand some of the lackluster grades. I'm a big fan of a boozy beer, but this one was even a bit much for me. as it warmed, the booze did not fade into the background, but rather, it seemed like I was drinking more and more rubbing alcohol...ultimately this brew met the drain and I moved onto something else.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2011 00:27:51 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of Mavajo
Mavajo

Georgia

2.42/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Beautiful appearance. Pours an amber/chesnut body with a billowing cream head. One of the most luscious heads you'll see on a beer -- almost looked like the icing on a gourmet cupcake. Brilliant.

Aroma is interesting. Bit of herbal/spice funkiness. Intriguing.

The initial sip yields much of the same notes as the aroma -- herbal/spice, hints of brett and dry hopping. But yeck...what's with this horrible aftertaste? It's a horrendous chemical/medicinal sort of taste that just pounds my tastebuds. I think it's some amalgamation of the dry hopping, brett...and something else. I'm not sure what it is, but it's awful.

The mouthfeel is good. Creamy and appropriately carbonated.

The appearance, aroma and mouthfeel are all spot on. The initial taste is even okay too...but damn that aftertaste is one of the worst things I've encountered in a beer. I was wincing and yeching after every sip. I tried soldiering through it, but I had to tap out. Can't remember the last time I drain-poured that much beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2011 01:12:07 | More by Mavajo
Photo of brewdenver
brewdenver

Colorado

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

Dark brown appearance with a very frothy head. Strong fingers around the glass with heavy lacing. Used a New Belgium tulip glass filled it down the side till the last .1L and it was very active. Has an oaky alcohol smell with some hop undertones. Taste is a little bland to me. It seems to be lacking any real characteristic. It has a lot going on but nothing defining. Overall a good beer. Just not one I will be keeping in the fridge.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2011 10:15:25 | More by brewdenver
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a five+ pillowy, light khaki head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Hazy amber/brown color, ton of yeast left in bottle. Good carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Nose is a yeasty malt, flavor is spice, yeast and hints of caramel. Sweet and slight bitter finish. High ABV is hidden. Warming. Bottled Dec 2010. $8.99 for a caged and corked 750ml bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2011 22:38:18 | More by jdhilt
Photo of spicelab
spicelab

Australia

3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gorgeous blood-red colour, cracking beige head, good retention. Looks hot.

Pretty funky with balsamic and sour cherry notes - quite kriek-esque. This is matched by more typical belgian yeast, spice and honey. Rather phenolic and boozey. Expected a little more.

Sticky treacle backed up with strong floral and fruity hops. Sour cherry and apple more subdued but definitely there. ABV is noticeable but not as overpowering as the nose indicates. Not hugely complex but quite balanced and a little different. Like it.

Fairly thick and rich, moderately bitter and boozey on the back palate. Carbonation is a little high.

Really enjoyed this overall. A pretty unique and balanced offering without an obvious comparison. Found the 10% ABV a bit high and somewhat detrimental to the drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2011 06:02:31 | More by spicelab
Photo of MarcatGSB
MarcatGSB

Michigan

3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased from Binny's in Naperville IL for $8.99 a bottle. Poured into La Fin du Monde tulip. Bottled 12/07/10.

Appearance: Wow, froth it up. Pours a HUGE white head on a dark copper body. There is some noticeable layering in this glass. A ring stands about a half inch below the hand...

Smell: Got some spicy brett to it, but not a whole lot of funk. Cinnamon, cardamon, and cloves.

Taste: Nice malt, good spice, and a hint of barnyard funk to it...but it doesn't over power the spice profile. Good hops, with a big citrus brett push. Zesty orange finish.

Mouth: Syrupy and thick. Too thick for me right now. I was hoping for a brighter, spicey beer.

Drink and Overall: Overall, it's a good Christmas beer. I'm glad I purchased this bottle, maybe better fresh? I thought the age may have been beneficial, but I probably won't find out. I'll pass next time.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2011 04:24:20 | More by MarcatGSB
Photo of WJVII
WJVII

Wisconsin

4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2/23/11 review session hosted by Cdkrenz reviewed from notes- Cdkrenz sample:
Poured into a pint glass this brew has a nice amber color, red in the light with a bizarre 4 finger head (on every pour). There is a strong hop aroma over powering most other smells leaving spice and clove in your nostrils. The taste is not as overpowering. There is a nice malt balance to the spicy hops. Very thick syrupy hop body with strong carbonation. For our session this was my favorite and despite being 10ABV was quite drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2011 20:43:08 | More by WJVII
Photo of cdkrenz
cdkrenz

Wisconsin

4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Body is a clear and transparent orange with an absolutely huge head. I'm talking five plus inches of head with each pour. The head is light tan and consists of large bubbles.

S - Aromas are spicy and malty.

T - Flavors consist of spiciness with sweet caramel and a hint of toffee. This is a tasty beverage.

M - The feel is watery and smooth even though it offers a nice slight stickiness in the finish.

~ I'd certainly suggest this to a friend. I wouldn't mind having this one again. It has the making for a good fall season drink. I like it as a good medium paced sipper.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 19:45:20 | More by cdkrenz
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

A dark copper and rust with a thick and tight white soapy head that stays perched atop the glass. Rings of sticky lacing slide down the glass. Beautiful.

A combination of lemon and black pepper in the nose. A bit of of dried apricot and some mild Brett funk as well.

Mild lemon, Brett, and a bit of spice. A bit of sweet fruit and caramel malt but a very mild tasting beer in nearly every regard. The alcohol is hidden extraordinarily well. I still don't believe this is a 10% ABV beer.

The mouthfeel is the star of the show with this beer. Highly carbonated, luscious yet smooth, full and bold yet smooth and easy drinking. Little to no alcohol presence. Impressive.

An easy drinking Biere de Garde with a surprisingly high ABV. A good and interesting effort.

Serving type: on-tap

02-24-2011 00:25:46 | More by ehammond1
Gift Of The Magi from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 557 ratings.