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Carnevale | The Lost Abbey

very good
312 Reviews
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Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States | website

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed in celebration of Lent and Easter season, Carnevale is light bodied Saison, using Brettanomyces along with Amarillo and Simcoe hops to generate flavor and depth. Carnevale’s complexity grows with time. The citrus notes tend to wane and the wild yeast rears its wonderfully tasting head.

2008 (first release) did not have brettanomyces.

Added by seaoflament on 02-12-2008

User Reviews
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Reviews: 312 | Ratings: 775
Photo of KFBR392
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

2012 Vintage

Appearance: Pours with a massive bubbly head which is retained while drinking. Light golden color with a lot of active carbonation in the glass while drinking. Murky body to the brew.

Smell: Really bright yeast character with a subdued but active brettanomyces. Really sweet butterscotch, dough, and prairie grass. Earthy straw aroma keeps this aroma down to earth. Bright carbonation and sweet hops finish it off. Light and very interesting.

Taste: The bright active carbonation hits the palate right away. Tones of straw, funky brett, and yeast warm up on the body. The body transforms into a very earthy palate heavy feeling. The finish is slightly dry with accents of juicy bright hops.

Mouthfeel: I was hoping for a little more of a wild yeast feeling. But overall the hop presence is very good which a rich yeast body.

Overall: A very solid brew. The brettanomyces add a nice extra level in the aroma mainly with some accents on the taste. Maybe with some more time the yeasty funkiness will come out some more.

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Photo of morimech
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear golden color with a massive meringue type head that was slow to settle. Heavy lacing is left down the glass.

This beer is brewed with Brett? Find that hard to believe from the bottle I am drinking. What I do get is something that smells like a Belgian beer. From the way the malt and yeast combine to give a pleasant vinous, dry malt, spicy aroma. This could of come from St. Bernardus or Dupont.

The flavor is likewise pleasant. The brewer treated the yeast right. This tastes Belgian. While many American attempts makes a beer that tastes like cardboard or a paper sack, this is just right. The right amount of spicy phenols but mostly just fruity esters. The malt provides a solid foundation for the yeast qualities. Finishes with a little alcohol flavor and warmth.

The body is the least impressive part of the beer. Has a slick, oily feel that I find a bit unpleasant. A little bigger than medium body.

Overall an impressive beer even though I do not detect any Brett qualities.

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Photo of smcolw
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Huge first head. Settles slowly with lots of lumps. Leaves chunky lace on the glass. The liquid is quite cloudy with an orange hued, dirty gold color.

The smell is a blend of raw grain and subtle spices of clove and oregano(?). I like the softness of the aroma; there's nothing about this that is in your face.

The flavor begins with raw grain flavor. Not as sour as most Saisons. Strong black pepper finish. This is an easier Saison than most to drink. There's nothing over-the-top about this except the long aftertaste. The body leans to the thin side like most of this style. The carbonation is very high.

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Photo of tut2528
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: pours a dense gold with a massive 2-3 fingers worth of head formation that settles down into a monstrous fluffy head that is about 1 fingers worth thick.

S: right off the bat, I notice just how well balanced this brew is and its high end complexity. lemon zest, banana, musty attic funk, wet wood, peppery spice, and some sharp floral aroma that I can't seem to pinpoint

T: nowhere near as complex as the nose. big funkiness is the dominate player and it lasts all the way through to the the finish. big pepper and spices in the middle of the body that is held together by a sweet malt note. there is a slight touch of fruit here, but its note much

M: medium bodied, acidic, crisp, bitter, an extremely dry finish. the palate is left with overwhelming funk note.

O: this one let me down. thought the appearance and the smell was terrific, but it completely misses the mark in my book on the mouthfeel.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.39/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A nearly clear, lemon dull but with some bright yellow hues and a cascading middle fire of carbonation rising trough the center of the glass nicely. Soapy and bleach bright white head two to three fingers tall and falls at a normal pace to a simple collar.

Nose is intensely floral with classic saison yeast mild funk and pepper. A nice hint of buttery quality that doesn't come off diacetyl in smell. Crisp sensation possibly coming.

Palate hits with a nice effervesence and simple malt depth. Yeast and pepper fill with lots of garden like floral aromas. Tasty tropical melon fruit hits the mid palate, light pepper and a good bit of herbal hop bitterness to round it out and make it very enjoyable. Yeast pepper and hop citrus and herbal sting on the finish.

This is a real easy drinking saison from Lost Abbey. It always surprises me that their regular offerings are so interesting and enjoyable.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at Jamison Pourhouse.
Came to me a hazy golden blush. A taller head atop the brew make a nice contrast, The head lingers a good while before fading to a wispy collar.
The aroma finds some wheat malt and yeast. Some fruits and a slight medicinal flair.
Drinks malt with some fruits and spices. I can pick out sutle hints of floral hops and somthing medicinal.
Drinks prickly on the tongue and is slight dry and bitter.
Good choice by me.

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Photo of Suds
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Slightly hazy, golden colored brew. Champaign-like effervescence is notable in the the appearance. A floral funk and tartness is notable...some earthy barnyard and appleskin scents stand out. The taste is on the sweet side, with the tartness and funk alongside. Sugar in the mid taste. Full in body and a solid bitterness in the finish.

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Photo of alaimoa
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Smells sour fruity and initial pour has massive white head that lingers for a while. A bit dissappinted with first sip that tasted watery but got better with the second sip and tasted some good slightly bitter fruits and a lingering taste in a good way. It's good, not great but I'd drink it again

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Photo of pkalix
4.48/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

very nice opaque yellow with a good, creamy topping on top.
smell is fruity, belgian, yeasty.
taste is sweet and malty, belgian-y. nice little bit of bitterness at the end.
feels a little thin on the tongue, so i downgraded it a bit there, but that's just opinion.
overall, a very decent brew. emulates the belgian sister very well. rich, fruity. huge head.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

this is as much a tripel as it is a saison, a beautiful marriage of the two. the pour is hazy and golden, with just a finger or two of white lasting head that leaves wedding style rings on the edges of the chalice. the nose is sweet and yeasty, big high gravity malt body with some attitude, also more booze than it really is comes through. I taste Belgian cultured yeast before any farmhouse funk, and there is that malty sweetness of a classic tripel, cornsyrupy in a good way and lots of carbonation and body. this is sort of a genre bender, dry and sweet both, unusual in that way. maybe a little overpriced, but its complexity is appreciated here. really round and smooth in the feel, I wish it would quit straddling the fence between a farmy saison and a sugary tripel, it cant quite decide, and that hurts it a little. this is a beer without a true identity, but one with plenty of unique flavors and a mind of its own. on tap at cheeky monk on Colfax for more than its worth, but it tastes good and itll drink forever. lost abbey is back.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.69/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Cloudy straw-yellow pour, with a huge puff of white head that took a while to settle to a servable size, but was pretty tame after that. Barnyard funk in the nose, hints of citrus pith and fruity esters. Funky taste, echoing the aroma, toasted grains, notes of peppery spice and citrus pith. Light-medium body, with a dry, bitter aftertaste. Pretty typical for the style all around. If you like standard saisons, you'll like this.

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Photo of GuzzLah
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - hazy yellow beer with a fluffy white head, good lacing and bubbles.

S - nice aroma of tart brett, mild leather, soft malt and yeasty / hoppy spice.

T - like the aroma plus some lemon and orange. Peppery hops. Could be more robust.

M - light body with a medium-high carbonation. Dry, semi-tart and peppery finish.

O - slightly more bitter than the typical Saison. The flavor isn't quite as interesting as the wonderful aroma. Overall, it was a pleasure to drink and reasonably priced.

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Photo of beagle75
3.42/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Slightly hazy, pale golden color with two fingers of persistent white foam head. Heavy spotty lacing remains on the glass.

S: Husky grain, bright fruit, mineral salts, and almond-like yeast phenolics provide considerable range. While qualities associated with the smell are diverse and copacetic, the intensity could be greater.

T: Begins off-dry, with mixed fruit, refined bready malt, and possibly a whiff of pet urine. Acidity is moderate into the middle where mild white pepper gives way to rustic butter. A mild combination of yeast-derived bread and apple fruit lingers in the finish.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, cooling and slightly sticky on the palate, with brisk carbonation.

D/O: This attractive-looking saison exhibits some potent Belgian yeast character against otherwise traditional and unremarkable sensory qualities.

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Photo of Florida9
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Fairly hazy dark pastel orange. Forms a moderate sized white head that slowly reduces to a rocky surface coating. Leaves some moderate lacing on the way down.

S: Complex, spicy, and slightly funky aroma. There is the unmistakeable Brett barnyard quality. Lemon, pepper, and hay.

T: Taste is similar, but with a bit more of a sweet fruitiness. Slightly sweet pale malts, lemon, coriander, then some tropical fruits. Dries out on the finish with an earthy spiciness.

M: On the lighter side of medium, though feels a little thick for the style. Sweet on the front; dry on the finish. Mild bitterness.

O: A nice saison - I like how the Brett plays with this style. That said, the taste was a little off balance. Sweet then dry. Fruity then earthy. Interesting, but I also felt it was lacking continuity.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip glass. Thanks, Cliff!

A: Clear lemon yellow. A white, one-finger head that dums down to big bubbles. Significant lacing.

S: Citrus, lemons, Belgian yeast.

T: Light hops, floral. That Belgian yeast rushes in. Citrus-y, tart. Moderate malts. A clean, dry finish.

M: Medium, frothy carbonation.

O: My first from The Lost Abbey. A decent saison. Great with Swiss cheese. Ready for Carnival season now.

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Photo of spicelab
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from Beermasons. 2012 vintage.

Golden straw, near-clear. Large pillowy white head collapses softly with the odd spot of lace. Vigorous bead.

Moderate fruity esters and phenols behind a nice woody, vinuos edge from the Brett. Pear, apricot, and plenty of sharp floral spice with occasional candy floss high notes. Well contained and very nice.

Plenty of malty sweetness initially, before it gradually dries out, so much so that it ultimately finishes a little metallic. Moderate citrus pith sourness.

Syrupy entry, with deceptive micro-carbonation transitioning into the dry finish.

Pretty classy actually. Not a huge measure of Saison or Brett yeast character, but very neat and technically sound. Satisfying.

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Photo of MadScientist
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A light golden color with good clarity. An average pour produces a couple of fingers of thick, long lasting rocky head.

S: Moderate orange and pepper aromas with a slight Pils malt aroma. The malt has a little bit of sweetness to it. There is a moderately-light earthy hops aroma and a very light floral alcohol aroma. There is a slight clove aroma to the yeast as well.

T: There is a bit of malt sweetness right up fron which is surprising, but it is quickly over taken by the peppery phenols and moderately-light hops bitterness. There are moderately-strong flavors of light fruits like oranges and peaches. The isn't much hops flavor to speak of but some hops the alcohol still seems to come through with a floral note. The balance is fruity and somewhat bitter with a dry finish. The aftertaste of orange and bitter orange peel.

M: Kind of fluffy with a creamy, light body and high carbonation. Even at 6.5% there is a light alcohol warmth though out.

O: The malt doesn't have much of the Pils character and the bit of sweetness is a little unusual for the style but it comes together well and accentuates the fruitiness. The bitterness has a bit of orange zest character to which lingers a bit in the finish but would pair well with simple preparations of fish like sushi or a pan fried with a light lemon sauce. Does not pair well with marshmallows by the way.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.36/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured on tap in a taster at The Lost Abbey in San Marcos, Calif. Reviewed from notes.

A- Half finger white head. Medium retention. Filmy lacing. Clear pale straw color.

S- Sour, straw, grains and sugar.

T- Sour, vinous, some sugar sweetness.

M- Vinous and light.

O- Weird beer. Not a huge fan. Might like to try it again though. I feel I wasn't able to give it a fair shake.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


2012 bottle into a snifter.

A: Transparent yellow gold with an absurdly large craggy white sea foam head that never really recedes. Foam is all over the glass. Fantastic looking beer.

S: Light biscuity, crackery malt with effusive floral and grassy notes. White pepper accompanies a dash of clove. Leather is restrained. I get a good amount of lemon, as well as granny smith apple and green grape.

T: A little sweet malt with notes of lemon, apple, earth, white pepper, and a touch of clove. A little leather mingles with grassy and floral notes. Crisp dry finish.

M: Upper light body with high carbonation. Dry, well attenuated mouthfeel.

Overall: A very nice Saison. I'm going to set my last few bottles from this vintage aside and let the Brett do some work.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pale orange with a slight haze and bubbles rising. Nice foamy head, but a soft head, not tons of density. The foam clings to the side and doesn't let go as you drain the glass.

Some must and yeast and spice- some white pepper. The nose is definitely saison. There is also a green herbal note, which I assume is the hop addition to this beer.

Bitter malt and some funk up front. Some yeast, but that is pushed aside by another type of bitterness. A bit herbal in the bitterness, and this beer gets a little chalky and mineral-like. Light tartness, but barely there. Bitterness asserts itself at the end, and this one dries right out.

Lighter bodied with carbonation, but there's enough to swish around.

I like this beer, but not as much as some other saisons. A little too bitter, and that upsets the balance and all of the other wonderful nuances present. Very worth trying, and any flaws are minimum.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750mL corked & caged bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: light golden hue with a moderate haze and a strong effervescence. Head poured nearly 3 fingers of frothy white foam. Lacing and head retention are both great. Wonderful!

Smell: light malt with a bit of sweetness and a light, balanced funkiness. There's also a hint of sourness in the mix which works rather well. I like it!

Taste: nice, moderate funkiness with an earthy, slightly citrusy hop character and a strong but balanced bitterness. I like it.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a massive carbonation and a great creaminess. Love it!

Overall: I find this to be a highly tasty and drinkable saison. I would gladly have this beer again.

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Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy light golden yellow in color. It poured with a finger high white head.
S: There are aromas of lemon citrus, yeast and pepper in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has a slight amount of barnyard funk.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a nice and refreshing saison; the subtle hints of funk make it quite interesting to drink.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a medium golden yellow in color with some light notes of orange. The beer has a half finger tall fizzy white head that reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of brett with some barnyard funkiness and some lighter notes of orange citrus with spicy yeast.

T: There is a light to moderate flavor of pale malts upfront with quite a bit of yeast and spicy notes. On top of that there are good flavors of brett that give some tartness and moderate to heavy amounts of funk.

M: Just lighter than medium bodied with moderate to heavy amount of carbonation. Slight amounts of acidic prickliness and almost creamy. Dry in the finish.

O: Very enjoyable and easy to drink with an appropriate amount of funkiness. The brett flavors are very complementary and do not dominate or overpower the other flavors in the beer - good amounts of complexity.

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Photo of philbe311
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2012

A - A huge three finger's worth of big chunky fluffy airy slightly off-white colored head... Slight retention gives was to full airy moderately thick lacing... The color is a vibrant orangish gold... Loaded with swirling moderate paced carbonation...

S - Brett is at the forefront and dominates... Some lemon zest... Some yeasty notes... Clove... Some grassy notes as well...

T - The palate is dominated by brett, yeast and clove... A touch of banana... Not too much in terms of the complexity I associate with the style... Fairly one dimensional...

M - On the lighter side of medium bodied... Loaded with fizzy carbonation... The finish displays just the slightest touch of dryness...

D - Not a bad Saison, but a bit of a disappointment overall as this one is average at best... Perhaps a bit more time in the bottle would help meld the flavors and provide much needed complexity...

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Photo of Jmamay22
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a straw colored yellow with an off white head. Good head retention with sticky white rings of foam showing the progression of each sip. Has a nice spicy scent of the American hops detailed on the label. Some nice fruity complexity from the yeast as well.

The taste may be a little too spicy for my tastes. It covers some of the complexity. But really I'm being picky and this is a good beer. The hops are spicy and American providing a twist onthe common saison. An effervescent mouthfeel with tiny Belgian bubbles. A solid beer from a great brewery.

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Carnevale from The Lost Abbey
89 out of 100 based on 312 ratings.