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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.
very good

616 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 616
Reviews: 295
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 53
Gots: 84 | 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
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Ratings: 616 | Reviews: 295 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of Halcyondays
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

25.4 oz., 750 mL bottle,

A: Pours a burnt, hazy yellow, with a nice full, off-white head, great retention, good Belgian-style lacing.

S: Very yeasty, musty smell, with some spice, esters, a little bit of banana, and alcohol.

T: An interesting flavour in this beer, it's got a lot of stuff going on. Pear and apple esters are there for sure, with an earthy hit coming from the hops, along with ginger notes and black pepper. Also had a big slug of alcohol in the end. A nice flavour, though it wasn't exactly my style.

M: Nice mouthfeel - Silky smooth, full carboantion, very warming, good on a December night.

D: It's a good beer, but in the end, I wasn't as in to it as I thought I would be after the hype. Definitely worth a try though.

Halcyondays, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of GClarkage
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/14/07- Generously shared with BA member Talisker.

Presentation- 750ml bottle. Not sure of the freshness info. He had just received the shipment though. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deeper golden colored pour with a 1/2 inch, maybe a bit more in head retention. Left behind light lacing streks.

Smell- Odd funky, maybe even soggy cardboard scent as Ethan described. Couldn't really tell what it was, but it wasn't necessarily good. Got some hops in the nose as well.

Taste- Odd flavor as well, but I did like it. A touch off corriander, maybe some plum grape kinda of taste. Definite perfumy and even some flavors like minty or spearmint. Very different. Hops are present with each sip also.

Mouthfeel- Brisk carbonation, light hoppy taste remaining afterwards.

Drinkability- Would really like to try this one again. Was in a hurry and really didn't get the full effect and didn't quite get to enjoy it as much as I wanted too. As it, it was tasty and quite different from any other beer I've had. Very odd spicy flavors that melded pretty well.

GClarkage, Dec 17, 2007
Photo of tayner
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

figured i better sample and review this one before i traded them all away, so here it goes..

popped the cork and poured into my anderson valley snifter (okay, lame, but it all i have)... it pours a deep amber color with a 2-3 finger foamy, billowing head that stays for a long time, lacing the glass when it finally starts to fall. Very appealing to look at.

Smell is light, floral, citrus hops jump out. I am sure this is because it is dry-hopped. It has sort of a spicy, peppery smell as well.

This is very good. It has a piney, floral hop flavor to it along with some peppery background. It is a very flavorful ale, and for hop fans (i am more of a malt head) this is a good brew as the dry hopping definitely can be tasted (not DIPA style, but the hops are definitely there).

It is fairly light and clean feeling. dry back end due to the hops, making you want to drink more and more. I am not sure what the Brettanomyces is really doing for this beer right now (my palate is not THAT mature yet) but i think in time it will be come more apparent to me. I wish i had a version on tap without them to compare.

As for drinkability, i do not think i will have any problems finishing off this 750 by myself in one sitting. I am having a hard time believing it is 11%. I am sweating while i am drinking it, but i dont feel much, if any, alcohol burn going down... very well disguised.

I am eager to see what some cellar time will do to a bottle or two as i prefer more malt and less hops, so thinking maybe the older it gets the more i will enjoy it, although i do enjoy it quite a bit now.

This is definitely worth a try if you can find it, another fine brew from Lost Abbey!

tayner, Dec 11, 2007
Photo of beerceller99
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A patron saint was kind enough to purchase this for me at last fridays (nov 23) Older Viscosity bottle release. This Magis label states it was bottle conditioned with brettanomyces. Pours cloudy blood orange with a white head that had orange globs in it. Aroma is mostly dry with black pepper, fresh hops. and barnyard. Has a dry, chalky mouthfeel. Musty dry flavors at first of bready malts, yeast, and tart lemon giving way to a light sweetness and mild boozyness to finish. A fairly complex brew here. Wish I had a bottle to age.

beerceller99, Nov 29, 2007
Photo of IntriqKen
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a review of the bottle although I enjoyed the tap version first and found it mellower and without the wild yeast 'funk' that is developing in the bottle. It will be interesting to see what new dimensions are added as this one ages.

Pours a golden orange with a nice 2 fingers of white foam that melts rather quickly to almost nothing. Sort of typical for a brew with such a high ABV.

The first thing that hit me in the aroma was apricots...fresh, smooth, and sweet apricots with a bit of citrus ting and brightness as you inhale. Only a slight bit of caramel and Belgium yeast aromas make themselves known if you go looking for them.

The taste is again apricots with some sweet Belgium candy sugars and lots of hops at the end along with lots of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is creamy and rich...I didn't find it thin at all. Again, lots of candied sugars to keep it creamy.

Right now, the bottled version is a little to hot to be completely enjoyed like the tap version was at the Brewery. Still a wonderful take on a Belgium style and I am really looking forward to age mellowing this just a little.
It's a pleasure now.
It will be a dessert in another year.

IntriqKen, Nov 27, 2007
Photo of Overlord
2.45/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Am I the first to review this? Amazing. I actually forgot this was being offered along with Older Viscosity.

Pours a hazy orange-ish yellow. Surprising amount of carbonation. Inch or two white head, settled down quite a bit after five or six minutes, but kept a thin rim of white throughout the session. Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side, but not overly so. Rather dry, quasi champagne-like finish.

I notice at "the other site" that a few folks are complaining about the lack of carbonation: whatever problem they had, it appears to have been remedied by the time bottling rolled around, as this was not under-carbonated.

The smell, and flavor, are unusual. Bold hop flavor, but rather than pine or grapefruit this is mostly orange, apple, and ... apricot? I'm a sucker for apricot. A bit overboard on some of the weird spiciness, though. As in, the weird, horribly medicinal/fresh foliage spices just absolutely destroy what could have been a good beer. Spices FTL

Definitely on the sweeter side. All in all, not very good.

Overlord, Nov 25, 2007
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Gift Of The Magi from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 616 ratings.