Gift Of The Magi - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Gift Of The MagiGift Of The Magi

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BA SCORE
86
very good

299 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 299
Hads: 680
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 12.04%
Wants: 52
Gots: 113 | FT: 6
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 299 | Hads: 680
Photo of Nerudamann
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Look – ruby amber in color, hazy, with thick carbonation and about three and a half fingers’ worth of thick khaki-colored foam that dissipates somewhat quickly. Good head retention throughout the tasting.

Smell – this one smells of spices and clove. Mostly malty, but maybe with a touch more of hops.

Taste – definitely tastes of spices and clove, lots of clove. The bottle conditioning with Brettanomyces must be what gives it its unique taste. Hops are present too, but mostly in their feel and not the taste. Kick comes the tasting around the middle, but the actual bitterness hits toward the finish. The high abv is also noticeable, but also toward the finish.

Mouthfeel – very well balanced overall, not leaning more toward the watery side or toward the creamy side.

Overall – very good brew! Interesting label, interesting (and pleasant) taste, just good all around. (931 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 750 ml bottle shared at Stefano's, on to the beer:

It features a burnt orange color, a good head on the pour, and solid amounts of lace around the glass. An interesting, unique nose; it's got some lemon, pepper, a little tartness, and sourdough bread aromas.

Light fruit and pepper, heavy on the rustic and earthy characteristics. Some dryness emerges out of the beer, which is especailly prononunced in its aftertaste. The beer has a medium full feel, a proper level of carbonation, and an alcohol level that is surprisingly hidden.

A Lost Abbey beer that I never had before? The streak couldn't last forever, and it turned out to be a pleasing experience. (668 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

on tap at monks in philly

Pours a hazy deep golden color with some darker caramel hues. Crop of beige head rests on top, leaving patchy lacing on the glass while drinking.

Spicy in the nose with a dash of heat. Some yeasty funk with a touch of fruit and a definite note of floral/herbalness.

Assorted spicy notes up front with some fruit sweetness. Touches of apple and plum with some floral notes. There's an interesting herbal quality to this that I couldn't really decide if I liked or not. Belgian yeast with a soft funkiness, some alcohol heat in the finish.

Medium body, decent carbonation, bubbly and tingly on the tongue. Not bad, but I wasn't really feeling the herbal and boozy notes on this - I prefer the Avant Garde from them for this style. (761 characters)

Photo of phichifiji00
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 bottle, poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Rich brown with red hues. Pours 1 inch of thich tan head that fades very slowly. Lots of lacing.

Smell: estery, hopy, malty, caramel, some barnyard funk, raisins, dark fruit, vanilla, oak.

Taste: Oak, vanilla, malty, caramel, toffee, raisins, dark fruit, biscuit.

Mouthfeel: full bodied, moderate carbonation, silky, creamy.

Overall: Fairly complex. Drinks much heavier than it looks. Drinkability is fairly high. (468 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tap at Prezo

Nice creamy 1 finger head fades at a med pace with a bit of lacing, semi hazy orange red color.

Nose sweet malts, little creamy, reddish candy malts with a hint of booze light esters, light fruity aromas from Belgian yeast and esters, hint of candi, a dry light farmhouse like spices and maybe hint of tea.

Taste sweet, biscuity reddish toasty malts, then earthy herbal flavors with esters and herbal hops, light farmhouse dry saison yeast flavors, Belgian yeast, light fruit and caramel, and light booze. Decent bitterness and juicy. Hints of light spices that remind me more of saison, as well as a light floral taste like those potpourri setups that are in many bathrooms transposed into taste. Finishes dry and bit bitter, earthy gritty esters and hops, little oily, dry rustic earthy bready saison like yeast finish.

Mouth is med to a bit fuller bodied, bit of booze, decent carb.

Overall pretty interesting, the malts and yeast really play out in this one almost as if they are battling for the most dominant characteristic. A bit boozy but that's what it presents so no surprises, and good for a Xmas like beer. Decent esters, fruits, malts, sugar additions, spices, etc etc. I think I remember the bottle version of this being better, which would make sense with a beer this big, and bottle conditioned, but it could also be my memory playing with me. (1,377 characters)

Photo of KDawg
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
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 (646 characters)

Photo of impending
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
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 (586 characters)

Photo of AdamBear
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (540 characters)

Photo of jwhancher
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
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. (758 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.07/5  rDev -19.6%
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. (842 characters)

Photo of ksimons
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
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. (539 characters)

Photo of fatmcb1
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
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. (473 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
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. (542 characters)

Photo of JAXSON
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
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. (438 characters)

Photo of nhindian
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
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! (2,001 characters)

Photo of mltobin
4.17/5  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. (511 characters)

Photo of Chaney
3.65/5  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! (1,140 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (534 characters)

Photo of NEhophead
3.65/5  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. (1,075 characters)

Photo of gdrydenc
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (749 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (784 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
3.35/5  rDev -12.3%
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. (1,667 characters)

Photo of Mavajo
2.56/5  rDev -33%
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. (1,009 characters)

Photo of brewdenver
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
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. (436 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
4.05/5  rDev +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. (400 characters)

Gift Of The Magi from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 299 ratings.