1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

606 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 606
Reviews: 294
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 54
Gots: 83 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 606 | Reviews: 294 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Floydster
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle purchased directly from the brewery at the Older Viscosity release for twelve dollars, split with a friend two nights ago, reviewed from notes, poured into my Dogfish Head snifter

A-Golden yellow color with some orange highlights, thick 1 1/2 inch foamy white head that stuck around for a few minutes, some retention, not much lacing

S-Not much going on here, some citrus with mostly grapefruit, grassy accents, faint amount of brettanomyces, slight tart, bready malt aromas, some Belgian yeast, and hoppiness

T-Flavor was almost too complex to distinguish what exactly as going on at certain times, started out with some honeydew and tangy cherries, then some bready malt in the middle, tons hops in the finish giving an extremely dry feeling, definitely earthy at times, had that barnyard funk that a lot of sours have, also some grapefruit and orange peel later on, spices did not come to the surface until the beer fully warmed and they were rather herbal, interesting mixture of tastes threw off the balance a little bit but still enjoyable

M-Not as tart as I hoped for, slighly spicy at times but very dry mouthfeel overall, lots of carbonation, medium bodied, taste lingered for a minute or two

D-Could get close to drinking this bottle by myself, not too heavy, alcohol is high though, smooth for the most part, taste gets tiresome after a while due to lack of complexity

Not the best from Lost Abbey but still interesting, do not know what to style to classify this under, not in a rush to drink this again but will probably try again next year, worth trying once at least

Floydster, Apr 05, 2008
Photo of deepsouth
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a big thanks to barefootbrewer for sharing this beer with me.

this beer poured an amber color with a HUGE head. it could be tomorrow before we get to sample this one.

the smell is citrusy and malty and the taste is consistant with the nose. i detect a mild alcohol burn as it goes down. the citrusy hops seem to linger and burn. despite talking so much about hops, this beer is a superb balance between bitter and sweet.

this is a great beer i'd love to drink again in the future.

deepsouth, Apr 03, 2008
Photo of barefootbrewer
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tayner!

This beer poured a cloudy brown with a huge head- great lacing. The aroma is spicy, floral, malty, sweet and overall...very complex. The taste is herbal, spicy, hoppy, earthy and layered, but balanced - this one's on Brett and makes description a bit beyond words. The mouthfeel is medium bodied. This is an excellent brew - a bit odd, but something I'll search for again.

barefootbrewer, Mar 18, 2008
Photo of JDV
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared at tasting with Fly, Dewbrewer, Humulone_Red and others. Thanks guys!
Hazy medium orange pour with small head. Smell was big, vibrant hops. Somewhat sweet and citrusy with a backdrop of something else intangible to me. Taste was hopped very nicely but not bittered as in an IPA. Tart fresh, bright flavor with a hint of bretty funk, that was pleasantly milder than expected. Nice body and bubbly mouthfeel. Very nice.

JDV, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of warmstorage
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle.

Appearance: deep copper reddish, pours with a moderate off-white head that quickly fades to almost nothing, leaving limited lacing.

Aroma: honey spice sweetness, bright spicy sweet notes. Nice, and intriguing, without being too specific.

Taste: spicy sweet melon honey, slight notes of sour cherry and estery tang. I have to agree with others, this is a lot like an american strong ale. It hints like the first time I had the 04 (or 05?) Stone Double Bastard: super tasty, but deeply complex, and hard to place. I'm scoring it highly for taste, but it's not that I can say exactly why I like it so much. Finishes with Brett sourness and a slight to moderate bite, but not huge.

Mouth: Full and thick and hoppy, but also dry and biting.

Overall: Delicious, and I love it, and I'll definitely buy it again when I can, but I can't put my finger on exactly why. Ahhh, hell: who needs to know for sure?

warmstorage, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of ppoitras
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle obtained as part of the Secret Santa 07 Thank You raffle from tayner. Thanks for the opportunity... Corked and caged

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 3/4" ecru head over the cloudy medium amber brew. Fluffy head lasts well, with delicate sporadic lace. Aroma is fruity, spicy, but also has an old grassy hops sort of character to it. Taste follows along, but without what I perceived as the detracting part of the aroma. Alcohol warmth at the close. Small bubbles make the mouthfeel excellent, and drinkability is quite nice as well. Some holiday brews out there could learn something from this brew in regards to not over-spicing. Another nice one.

ppoitras, Mar 07, 2008
Photo of charlzm
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Consumed 12/17/07.

Brassy colored pour with plentiful head and nice lacing.

Aroma is VERY hoppy pine.

Very mild flavor; almost evaporates off tongue. Sweet fruit is furtively tasted on midtongue. Hop promise of the nose is not delivered on tongue (thankfully). Clean finish, middling astringency. Easy to drink.

Surprisingly light for Lost Abbey.

charlzm, Mar 03, 2008
Photo of rxdrewthejew
4.83/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked this up about a month ago at Beverage Warehouse. Tried to let it age, but I just couldn't wait any longer.

A: A hazy reddish amber. I looked pretty light coming out of the bottle but this is pretty dark for a pale. Don't see too many red Belgian-style beers, so something unique. The head is off white and quite thick, plenty of pitting and lacing, and I'm left with about a one finger head after a fairly passive pour.

S: Spice, funk and plenty of sour cherries. The sour isn't overwhelming, but it's quite noticable. I note some floral and honey sweetness as well.

T: This has a real American Strong Ale quality too it. Sweet dominates the beer. Opening is a bit subtle, but then it quickly blossoms to a sweet alcohol feel. Fruity with apple, cherry and even some tropical esters in there. A bit of funk towards the end and a touch of sourness and bitterness. I expected this to be more sour in light of the Brett used in the breweing. Finish is honey/syrupy sweet but super dry with a hint of the hops.

MF: Good carbonation, a full beer although not especially thick. Just a huge sweet alcohol feel, warms up the mouth and then the rest of the body follows. The dry finish is fantastic.

D: This is reall, really good. My favorite offering from TLA to date. Everything comes together really well. The flavor is pretty bold, even for the style, but it's not overpowering or tough to drink. I do think this could use to age a little longer as it's still a bit rough around the edges, and I think the Brett hadn't really permeated the flavor yet. Not a sessionable beer. I felt the alcohol from the first sip. Bottom line-I really like Biere de Garde anyway, but taking and making it into this is a really nice peice of work. Highly recommend if you can get your hands on it.

rxdrewthejew, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of Bierguy5
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml. 9.5% ABV. Hazy copper color, with some orange highlights. Off-white fulffy head. Good head retention, great patches of sticky lace on the glass as it subsudes.

Fruity, esthery nose. Lots of caramel, pine, candi sugar, tropical fruit, and a hint of banana. Very nice.

Great caramel base with some tropical fruit, and some banana. Sticky, somewhat resiny hop flavor, with just a moderate amount of bitterness.

Alcohol is very well hidden. Medium body, with a slight creamy feel. Very enjoyable.

Bierguy5, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of mcallister
4.55/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Solid looking with nice depth of color. A copper ruby color with a thin yet full and long lasting. So whispy and leaving chunky white lacing behind.

Wonderful nose. Light Spice with big floral compoents. Violet and earth. Somewhat barny. Some yesty notes and a caramel type twist. Candi sugar and clove.

Man this is a damn tasty treat....wow. So thick and creamy with huge caramel bursts, banana, clove and flowery finishings. A slight bitterness on the finish and minimal residual sugar. Again light spices with more of a "teroir" type feel that only Lost Abbey could accomplish. Can't get over the creamy thick caramel middle. Damn this is fine. There is a bit of alcohol in the chest but this is so tasty it gets a pass.

mcallister, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of mikesgroove
4.72/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A wonderful 750ml corked and caged bottle Served initially right out of the fridge, but the second and third pours were done at cellar temperature. All servings were done in a Triple Karmeliet Goblet.

A - This one poured beautifully into my goblet, via a semi hard pour, giving off an enormous head of white frothy foam. Really gorgeous pillow like formation here that you just do not get to see often enough. Loads of white just sitting for what seemed to be forever, virtually holding their own and not fading what so ever. Once it finally did settle down, all that was left of it was ohh...still like two inches of froth on the top. Seriously insanely good retention here. Lots of sticky foam like lace coating the insides of the glass here as well, virtually obscuring all light from coming in, even when the glass was empty. Now, as for the color what a wonderful shade this one exhibited. A wonderful golden copper or amber color was clearly evident from the first pour. I actually found this to be much brighter then others, with only the slightest bit of an orange tint to it; this was definitely a Belgian pale. Very cloudy and hazy, but minimal sedimentation, this was truly a fantastic. I was thoroughly pleased with the overall look to this one, as I am with virtually anything I see from Lost Abbey, I was really looking forward to getting more into this one.

S - So, what do we have hear. I lean in for the first whiff of this one and I would be lying if I did not say I was completely blown away by this one. It was remarkable how good this smelled. The first thing I noticed was a tremendous amount of fresh citrus hop aroma. Loads of grapefruit, grass like smells, even a touch of lemon going throughout this. Really bright aroma here, and soo much of it, this was a really different kind of experience here. Wonderful yeast aromas coming out now, really adding to the overall fruitiness of it. Some apple and pears, and even some peach aromas coming though. Some light grain and yeast now also starting to percolate through it now as well. Really well done here. Lots of hoppiness, which was surprising, and lots of light fruits. The best word to be able to describe this one would be bright, very very bright smells. Some sour strains becoming apparent as it warmed, giving it that little bit extra sourness and bite that was the last possible thing it could have used to make it any better. The smell was so inviting I could not wait to get into this.

T - Ok, well now comes the real test. This has held up so well through the start, can the actual taste really live up to the whole package. The answer is a most assuredly yes. This was just fantastic and lived up to every bit of what I thought it was going to be. Started out very crisp and fresh, with a wonderful fruity and tart hoppiness that rolled over the tongue the moment you took that first sip. What a wonderful full flavor profile, so complex with it constantly evolving with each and every taste. These first sips were simply filled with loads of hops. Very fresh orange and grapefruit flavors were dominant here, even hints of pineapple and lemon rolling through here as well. Very complex, and yet very light and the same time. Lots of fresh earthy grass like flavors now rolling through and mingling with the grainy cereal like underbelly here, virtually assuring even more complexity then I had before. Now the yeast was starting to kick in, very nice bitter, sour, and tart flavors, nothing too strong at all, more along the lines of just a slight hint, giving it a little more bitterness. The finish was very long and drawn out, with big hop flavors and a huge dry finish, almost puckering, leaving behind only a small touch of light fruit and hops to beg you to come back and get another round of it. Very complex and a wonderful flavor explosion on the palate.

M - This was an interesting one. Being such a rich profile, it was remarkably light, which shocked me a little as to how god it really was. A very nice light profile in a light to medium-bodied ale. Excellent carbonation held up throughout the entire session really making this a sparkling gem of a beer. The finish was simply awesome, no hint of alcohol here at least not for me. Therefore, smooth and rich I would have loved to just keep drinking this.

D - Now, keep in mind this is well over 9% so it is no slouch, but I could barely tell that by drinking it. I found no hint of the alcohol in it, just a lovely light hoppiness that simply would not let up, and a great yeast profile that was really outstanding. A great sipper I could have kept going on this one all night long, it was just that good.

Overall I thought this was fantastic, really one of the best I have had and another rare gem from Lost Abbey. I just do not know what it is with them, its like they cannot lose, every beer they make seems to be better then the one before that. This was one of the finest drinks I have ever had and I look forward to having another.

mikesgroove, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of ojclark
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mild piney and subtly fruity aroma. Cloudy orange/amber color. Somewhat cloudy with a fair amount of sediment. Nice off-white head with good retention. Some bitterness. Fairly spicy with an astrigency that suggests more spice than I actually tasted. Detected some notes of candied fruit (fruitcake). Slightly reminiscent of Orval.

ojclark, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml
Caged/Corked

Thanks to Bitterbill for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a dark golden orange/reddish color, very nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, which leaves a nice thick blob in the middle of the glass and some sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is malty, some nice yeast strain, spicy, lemon/citrus, and slight caramel. The taste is malty/yeasty, very nice tangyness, nice touch of citrus, and some caramel. The finish is bitter/tangy/dry. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty BSPA, highly recommended. Another awesome brew from The Lost Abbey. Thanks Bill.

Wasatch, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of aromatorio
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Purchased a bottle of the 07 release from Joey at South Bay Drugs. Poured into a regular Guinness Pint glass (I really need to get a snifter or tulip...).

A: What a lovely pour! I think I agree with some others - this seems a bit too powerful to be called "Pale". A rich, rich golden colored ale, very slightly cloudy. The head was high and mighty, a nice contrasting eggshell color. Lasted a fair amount of time considering the highish ABV.

S: Smells like a bottom-ferment to me. Very sweet notes bursting out of the glass. Thicker and thicker on each inhalation. Sweet grain and honey lingers in my nose.

T: Wow, what a big bodied-ale. I would almost compare this to a double-bastard. I'm not sure what the hops are, but they are there spicing things up all over my tongue. What a merry christmas ale!

M: For a BSPA, I thought this had some nice feel. I was still reeling a little from the intense flavor, but it went down nice and smooth.

D: The alcohol is a little apparent in this ale. I doubt I could polish off an entire 750mL unless I was eating. I believe my initial comment was "Damn, this would go great with some jerk chicken wings."

aromatorio, Feb 08, 2008
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2007 release; Sampled January 2008
Well carbonated as a careful pour produces a three-finger thick, frothy, dingy tan colored head; the head leaves some lacing and actually forms a textured, rocky surface as it slowly subsides. The beer is a reddish copper amber color, but shows an almost clear, re-hued, copper color when held up to the light. The nose is quite aromatic, interesting notes of fruit mix with unfamiliar spice notes and familiar ones. The aroma reminds me of candied pears, blood oranges, tropical fruit on the fruit side and notes of pepper, fenugreek, mace, . The spice notes in the nose are really quite interesting, I really need to smell Frankincense and Myrrh again to figure out what they are contributing here. While the spice notes are evident, the fruity, even tropical fruitiness is perhaps the most noticeable part of this aroma.

Much drier than I was expecting from this brew that projects such a big aromatic fruitiness. This beer is lightly sweet though, but this perceived dryness seems to accentuate the spice notes of this brew. Flavors of potpourri, perfume like flowers, some turpene like notes (astringent almost hard nutmeg) and something that is a touch like lavender. Fruit flavors of pear, green grapes, and some sort of tropical fruit are all quite noticeable, despite playing a lesser role in the flavor. The beer finishes with a bit of warming alcohol that is noticeable along with some of the astringent, turpene-like spice notes.

The spicing here definitely contribute a sharp, perfume like character to this brew (especially in the flavor); this is not surprising as I think both Frankincense and Myrrh are/were used in that sort of application. It is hard to get a sense if the Brett has kicked in yet, with the ample carbonation I might have guessed so, but the spice notes are still to fresh to really tell yet. This really needs quite a bit of age on it before it comes any where close to peaking; I'll be trying this in a year or so, but it may actually need a couple to really take off.

Gueuzedude, Jan 29, 2008
Photo of WeisGuy
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Swillinbrew for this bottle via Secret Santa '07 BIF

a - pours a deep amber/golden color with a big, three-finger creamy head, very nice lacing and retention, pretty hazy with lots of suspended sediment

s - lots of black pepper and citrus on the nose, apricot and orange mixed in with the spiciness, hints sour apple aroma presumably from the Brett, a faint scent of alcohol as well, very complex

t - sweet citrus up front, lots of apricot covered with black pepper, slight clove, a strong bitter hop presence for a Belgian, pretty faint sour Brett notes on the midpalate, finish has a good deal of alcohol, almost astringent to me, the finish is definitely the weak link here for me

m - moderate carbonation, medium-bodied, coats the mouth pretty well, good deal of alcohol warming on the finish, somewhat dry finish

d - the astringency of the finish definitely harms the drinkability, moderately drinkable, taste is interesting and you keep taking drinks trying to decipher all the flavors

As I noted above, this beer would be much better if not for the awkward finish. I do think some aging would do this beer a lot of good...I can see it developing quite well with the harsh alcohol on the finish diminishing over time. Well worth a try and will certainly get better with age.

WeisGuy, Jan 19, 2008
Photo of DogFood11
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml brown bottle corked and caged. Props to Beverage Warehouse for this find. I poured this into a small tulip and it is a shiney and rather clear copper color. The yeast tends to milk it up but not until later. Off white, eggshell type coloring to the head. Good retention.

Its got a nice spice to it that tends to dominate this brew. Pepper, Nutmeg, and a bit of fruitiness lead by a moderate bananna and orange mixture. Highly drinkable. Finishes medium dry and clean enough to keep you wanting more. Alcohol is an afterthought, very well hidden. I liked it no doubt. One of the better ones.

Notes: A good brew. On the spicey end of the Belgian Pale style and fairly dry as well. Price per Value....ehhh....1 bottle a year and I'll be just fine.

DogFood11, Jan 12, 2008
Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

$14 750ml bottle from Southbay Drugs. Nice orange color with an initially huge white head and then nothing. The first glass was clear but they got murkier as the bottle was consumed. Smells sour at first and then sweet. The flavors are myriad and I couldn't pick them out individually at first. My friend commented on how complex the flavor was. At first it was so peppery and it washed over the tongue with a tanginess, then slight fruity flavors, I briefly tasted the funky barnyard hay-type flavor and alcohol comes and goes. While I am not sure it is worth the price tag, this was a very interesting and unique offering. I'll be looking forward to the next Lost Abbey beer from the cellar.

ArrogantB, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of ChazMania
4.55/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged.
A) Interesting pour, very effervescent.

S) Aroma is light and sort of, sort of, well I can't pinpoint it. A little sweet and a little like soil.

T) The first sip was so tasty! Very well balanced and complex. There is alot of hints of fruit but nothing overly sweet, some orange, apricot and raisin. After a few minutes, I looked over at the bottle and it was foaming up with the yeasts. I took my finger and scooped up foamy yeast...not bad! The second pour then became a little more cloudy and more of the earthy tones are coming forward.

M) Very complex. Like a Belgian stong, but not. Like an Abbey Dubbel, but not. Like an IPA, but not.

D). So delicious! Lost Abbey never dissapoints. I love the complexity of all their beers I have sampled and I'm excited to be a patron saint this year!

ChazMania, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of Bitterbill
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought my bottle from South Bay Drugs & Liquors.

This pours from 750ml caged and corked bottle a hazy deep amber-gold with about a finger head of foam. It slowly recedes to a fine layer and it has plenty of lacing.

The smell is fruity and spicy with some notes of pepper and some nice funk.

The taste is very complex. I'm getting notes of caramel malt, pepper, lots of funk, some citrus, some grass. Then about midway through the sip, a really bitter & sour flavour mix that jumps to the forefront, lingers for a while, and then slides back down into the background. Interesting hop profile there. Btw, there are some flavours here that I can't really identify. Again, interesting. It does give me a bit of warming during and after the swallow and I'd say it has a medium mouthfeel.

Wow, that bitter/sour kick just hit me again and it tickles the tip of my tongue. The finish is quite bitter with grassy hoppy goodness along with another good dose of funk.

I'm on my second pour now and, as I expected, the appearance has turned totally cloudy. Man, the Brett is just ruling it now so, me being a fan, the drinkability factor just crept up a notch. Great sipping Ale, indeed. I'd buy it again.

Bitterbill, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of badbeer
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Caramel colored with an off-white head with excellent retention and lacing. Somewhat funky aroma, I swear I get a small amount of resinous hops too. Earthy, hay, maybe a touch of funk, but I still get more of the resinous hops in here. I think I get some tastes of lemon and oats too, if that makes sense. Medium bodied with a dry-ish hoppy finish; higher than medium carbonation. A rather different beer, but still quite good.

badbeer, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of sfoley333
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of 750ml bottle corked and caged bought from lost abbey. Poured into my duvel snifter. Poured a golden copperish orange color with nice thick foamy head that retained for a long time. Smell is of cinnamon, honey, a slight resinous herbal scent. Taste is a citrus hoppy biere de garde with semi sweet dryish musty earth flavor. The mouthfeel is smooth and the alcohol while present is very subtle and balance nicely by the malt and hop profile. I am sure this beer will improve when the brett flavor and aromas develope with a little time.

sfoley333, Jan 01, 2008
Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to some others on here for recommending I pick this up while I was in Southern California. Really turned out to be worth the purchase.

Appearance: Not sure why we're calling this a Strong Belgian Pale from the pour: pours with a huge three to three and a half-finger head, off-white. Lacing is nice and mountainous, lasting for some time. Settles into a half-finger, approaching a finger, after about three to five minutes of lively Brett-fueled frothing. Body is not pale at all, but a deep ruby/blood orange red amber color, which is quite pretty to look at. A great looking beer.

Smell: Fascinating. On the front end is a DIPA-like blast of alpha oil hops with a dosing of Brett. Sea salt, banana, apple juice, clove, cinnamon, pepper, mango, key lime linger underneath. Vanilla, molasses, cane sugar. Really wonderful smelling, keeps bringing me back for more and more inhales. Excellent.

Taste: Again, some DIPA-like alpha oil hops with some orange and pine character along with general bitterness on the tongue. Some darker fruits here than in the nose: dark cherries, plums, some slight vinousity. Alcohol. Kind of a let-down comparitive to the nose, but interesting in its contrast. Brett is also here but a bit more subtle. Perhaps worth sitting on a bottle of this to round out its bold flavors.

Mouthfeel: Lively, carbonated Brett-induced stuff. Astringent/dry a bit, but tolerable.

Drinkability: A sipper. There are some overwhelming flavors in this that would keep one from drinking too quickly.

RidiculedDisplay, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of msubulldog25
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big 750mL caged & corked bottle, traded by tayner (thank you, Dana). Really wanted to give this a go on Christmas Eve or Night; Dec. 26th will have to do. Poured to one of our 'La Chouffe' tulip glasses.

Front label shows a pretty rendition of the journey of the magi toward Bethlehem's Star; rear label says this was brewed to be a more 'contemplative Biere de Garde'. Paying homage to the traditional gifts the Bible says were brought from afar to the infant Jesus, the Lost Abbey website describes: "Gold in color and bittered with the bark of Frankincense, we have even used the smallest amount of Myrrh which is an herb that has roots in ancient winemaking as well." Interesting...

A: Pours a coppery caramel, quite clear and absolutely loaded with rising carbonation. A fluffy, fizzling white head squeezes up through the tulip's neck, cresting at nearly 3-fingers. It drops slowly, leveling off as a dense 1/2 finger with speckles of lace dotting the glass...

S: Oh, the rustic smell of brettanomyces yeast! Sweet and 'barny', there's grass/hay aroma, a lightly candied tart apple, a green herbal and spicy hoppiness. Musty (in a very good way) and smelling a little of wet cork; exactly why it's delicious smelling I'm not sure - it just is.

T: Plenty complex: a beautiful melding of sweet-tart fruits (from green apples to raw figs and apricots), plenty of grassy yeast, vinous grapeskins. A jolt of fresh hops joins a twist of cracked white pepper to dry this out substantially. Some woodiness, a juicier citrus orange and grainy booze in the lingering finish.

M: Crisply carbonated, though once the initial shock of bubbles subsides, a gentle warmth begins building in layers. Every couple sips, the mouthfeel seems to fold back upon itself, becoming a bit more woody and musky. The light tartness kept me salivating, though the alcoholic heaviness catches up mid-glass and slows the sipping to a snail's pace. Well, not that slow...maybe a camel's pace...

D: Drinkable now, no doubt. Given a few months of 'contemplation' in the bottle, this could be a truly 'magical' gift. A pleasing slow sipper this winter evening, one I'd certainly seek out again - though next time getting an extra to see what a bit of age might do.

msubulldog25, Dec 27, 2007
Photo of BlindPig
4.68/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Really thick tan head on a pretty clear copper body.
S- Big yeast aroma, pepper, sweet caramel, appricots, a light musky kind of aroma, few other spices, big floral hops, and some other kind of spice or fruit that makes this have one of it's main aromas. Almost a hint of ginger?
T- Very interesting flavor. Really hard to pick out the flavors in this. Here goes my best shot. Hint of caramel, yeast coming from all angles, pepper, floral and a hint of grass hops, apricots, some of the musky aroma transfers into the taste, and just a really subtle and complex hop mixture. Little alcohol to warm the back of throat, medium bitterness, and flavors from all over the place rest on tongue for the aftertaste. I think there is just one ingredient that is different from the norm and really helps bring it all together and for the life of me I can't think of what the flavor is.
M- Full body with low carbonation. Nice dry palate afterward.
D- At the first sip I was kind of weary about it. Drinking more and more of it it really pulls you in to the interesting complexity and variety of flavors this beer offers. I plan to sit on my other bottle for about 6-12 months to see what its like when the bretta kicks in. I can see that making this into a completely different beer like the 10 Commandments.

BlindPig, Dec 26, 2007
Gift Of The Magi from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 606 ratings.