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Carnevale - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.

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

668 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 668
Reviews: 304
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 9.34%
Wants: 44
Gots: 63 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.50% ABV

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.

(Beer added by: seaoflament on 02-12-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 668 | Reviews: 304 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pwoods
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged brown bottle poured into a flute/tulip. Notes.

A: Pours a glowing orangishs straw color. 1 1/2 fingers of pearly white head that dies slowly to a fat fluff. Nice lacing.

S: Spicy yeast with loads of other spices and some flowery aroma. Light crisp hops and sweet Belgian malts.

T/M: Great bread, earthy, harvest taste. Crisp spicy hops with loads of spices and spicy yeast. The yeast is fantastic. Light body and nice and crisp. Carbonation is great.

D: Very manageable ABV and drinks easy enough. Very tasty and unique.

Photo of PartyBear
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy blonde honey colour with a soft pillowy white head. Very light carbonation.

Aroma: Quite sharp on the nose, with pungent lemon, and a multitude of spices. Also, faint hints of wheat.

Taste: Follows the nose in the sharpness, and zestiness, with a strong taste of lemon juice. Lots of grapefruit, and a subtle touch of hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Fresh and clean on the palete, with a deceptively light body.

Drinkability: Not my style but I can appreciate the quality of this beer, and it does seem to be surprisingly easy to drink.

Photo of BDLbrewster
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a mildly hazed orange hued peanut butter color. A small effervescent head off of a less than careful pour, tiny bits of visible carbonation.

The smell is rip with sour smelling funk on the front. Tons of spice and fruity yeast bringing up hints of ripe green apple and straw. Very little sweetness in the nose, mainly spice and mild barnyard.

The taste is full of barnyard and straw. Mild funk lends a slight apple like tartness that is greatly overshadowed by layers of earthy goodness. The hops impart a notable spiciness that is crushed by the dryness and lactic character of the finish.

The mouthfeel is in the medium bodied range, and the lack of carbonation is definitely noticed.

This is a true to style brew, albeit not overly notable. Good flavor with glaring weaknesses elsewhere, the 750 will satisfy my thirst for this one and I will not go out of my way to get another.

Photo of jrallen34
3.08/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

It pours a cloudy light orange with about a half finger head that goes quickly. There is some decent lacing.

The aroma is very strong with a sour citrus note, hops, and there is smell of yeast.

The taste is interesting, and but plain. The mostly tastes hoppy, light notes of citrus. Its very drinkable, smooth taste through out but nothing overly special.

Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 edition. This one's carbonation edged off, still a nice summer saison. Light cloudy colour, pleasant spicy odor. Easy mouthfeel, with some caramel, zesty cardamom, orange citrus, pepper, nutmeg, cloves. grassy hops build in finish. Another decent and different Lost Abbey.
2012 edition much better owing to fresh lemony taste and hops n finish.This rating is the 2012.

Photo of botham
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

on tap at the brewery in San Marcos. pours a crystal clear pale golden color with no head and no lacings.

aroma is of light belgian yeast with a distinct funk and light sourness. a touch of pale malt is present as well. a wonderful saison in the nose.

taste is more of the same with a subtle pale malt character and a light funk and sour character close behind. nicely composed and perfectly subtle. the sour note from the aroma is less pronounced here, which is a bit of a let down.

mouthfeel is light bodied and refreshing with just enough funk to give it a 'saison' like character. finishes on a crisp note of residual funk. very fresh on the palate.

drinkability is good. very refreshing and light on the palate. just what a good saison should be. excellent. cheers!

Photo of rfgetz
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy. Golden straw in color. Thin, whispy white head. Good retention.

S: Light, delicate balance of citrus, yeast, pepper, bread.

T: Once again, delicate balance of citrus, yeast, complexity added with white pepper. Amazingly refreshing.

M: Medium bodied, plesent, refreshing mouthfeel. perfect carbonation level.

D: Was sitting outside at the Belgian Cafe on a humid summer night and this beer, served cold was perfectly refreshing and light, without sacrificing flavor and complexity.

Photo of ahalloin
4.65/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I received this bottle in Feb. 2008 as part of the Patron Saints Club, so this is the older version of Carnevale, prior to them adding Brettanomyces to the recipe.

Poured into my Unibroue tulip glass a golden straw colored hazy fluid with bubbles filtering to the top constantly. A generous rocky white head formed of two fingers width, but then receded to lacing at the edges and a thing ring atop the beer.

The smell is sweet fruity but with an earthy background, with a strong spice presence, probably coriander and some orange peel...classic additions to any Saison! The smell is fairly powerful.

A drink reveals a very refreshing and complex beer. I will attempt to record the experience of my taste buds, but i am sure it will be inadequate...The initial nose has a nice subdued malty sweetness with a tinge of orange peel, but is immediately overtaken by a powerful spicy presence and bitterness which lingers through two more changes of taste. After the powerful abdomen of spice recedes a bit, there is another hint of malty sweetness, but with a darker flavor than the initial taste. The finish is long and dry, and mouth-stiningly spicy. I don't usually spend this much verbiage on taste, but as my rating suggests, this is an exceptional taste. I don't take that rating lightly!

The mouthfeel is very nice with a high carbonation that keeps the beer coating your mouth long after the swallow.

Drinkability for me is very good, but this is a complex beer that deserves a critical pallet. If you love Saisons, seek this party out!

Photo of rye726
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy straw color with a silky beige head. Nice lacing and retention. Nose has a collection of tropical and citrus fruits, bready malts, zesty spices, herbal hops and musky barnyard funk. Taste not quite as impressive, but well balanced. Fruity malts, earthy hops, peppery spices and a subtle wild yeast presence. Crisp body is well carbonated. Tasty stuff indeed.

Photo of dirtylou
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, scooped at west lakeview liquors in chicago - i'm a sucker for the port/lost abbey line for some reason so i picked up a bunch of bottles

split with the lady, paired with a prepared thai-curry dish

cell phone notes

appearance: served in a delirium chalice, hazy apricot body, fluffy beige cap with light retention

smell: musty yeast, grassy hops, melon - a little light on the funk

taste: a good brew but a little underwhelming for the saison style - white pepper, grassy hops, melon, white corn, minimal yeast

mouthfeel: moderate-light, active yeast

drinkability: good

Photo of TexIndy
3.3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Got from ummagum - many thanks! Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip. 2009 edition. It was a hazy golden honey color with a good carb stream in the center. It opened with a low pop and the carb stream in the center is markedly less than other beers I've had in this glass lately so seems to have somewhat of the LA carb issue. Slight sliding lace. It had an average sized fizzy white head that dissipated into a collar and some center foam.

The aroma was really good. Classic saison with some brett funk thrown in. A good sniffer but could have used a little more spice and dry to it. The taste was good but not as good as the aroma. The low spice level really showed here. Starts out with a little flavor and then does a slow build but never crests then fades to a watery finish. With that good an aroma it's hard to believe the lack of flavor. Mouthfeel is hurt by the watery taste and too low of a carb level.

Overall, a bit of a disappointment especially after getting the first whafts of aroma. Smells great but lacks in flavor with watery finish. Lost Abbey continues to be wild hits or misses for me and this one is a miss. At this price point, I don't recommend. One and done for me.


Photo of Murchmac
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottle, no carbonation issues...

Off the wall straw color with lots of tiny bubbles. If this beer were the man in the mirror, that man would have a cloudy body with a white foamy head that gives way to ring around the collar.

King of Pop the top off and you get a whiff of the funk. Not the funk of forty thousand years, but that funk that makes you just wanna ....ooow (grabs crotch and moonwalks)... Some citrus hops and candied malts too.

This beer has to be starting something, so it starts off with that wild funk. Metallic to me, but biting sour that I dont like. It Rocks with you all night until the hops and sweetness kick and rides the boogie....By the end, the evil is the thriller.

Say Say Say what you want, but Sir Paul McCartney himself would argue its human nature to like this beer. Carnevale is not my lover, its just a beer, but its a pretty good one. RIP MJ.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a semi-hazey, dull golden hay color. Maybe some faint amber hues mixed in there as well. The aroma is sweet toasted malts, light apple juice, and some unindetifiable herbs. Starts off sweet from the malts and fruity from the yeast. The middle is more grainy and herbal with the effervescant bubbles throughout the entire palate. I love the carbonation, but the mix of favors don't segue well from one o the other. Not bad though.

Photo of BWH3
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Amazing slightly hazy gold with puffy 2 finger white head. Extremely still.

S: Melon and musty yeast aroma. The hops add a refined mineral and hay scent.

T: A lovely sweet cereal grain combined with a light honey and melon. The bitterness is earthy.

M: More thick than expected. A bit like syrup. Sticky thick head. The thickness is unusual for Belgian beers.

D: Quite delicious. Delicate and relatively complex. More like a Belgian Golden Ale than a Saison or Farmhouse because it lacks the musty and funky yeast flavors. Instead flavor relies on the balanced and smooth malt flavors.

Photo of Gehrig
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On vacation in Galena, IL, I grabbed this at the excellent Galena River Wine and Cheese Shop--literally the first place I've seen something from the well-regarded Lost Abbey here in Illinois. Terrific find, and well worth the price.

Hazy blond body with two fluffy fingers of white foam, nice lacing and duration. Funky but very fruity smell--lots of citrus mitigates the farmhouse funk to offer a distinct and rich aroma base. Plenty of lemon, orange rind, pear and even a bit of melon confront the nose and, thankfully, the palate. The smell is not unlike a tripel.

The fruit flavor is nicely offset by a dry flavor, but much more than many a Saison, this is much more sweet than sour. I don't mind that, and find it still a fine representative of the style. I'm admittedly a bit torn on judging the mouthfeel. I like it quite a bit, but am leering away from a 4.5 primarily because it could be a bit more effervescent. That said, the smooth malty flavor and texture are more than welcome on my palate.

Excellent Saison, one I'll be happy to procure again and one that ensures I will seek out more from the storied Lost Abbey. Very well done. I'm certainly impressed.

Photo of tdawgydog
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the last bottle that I had remaining from my trip to San Diego. Saison meets West Coast Hops. Living on the East Coast you almost forget what hops taste like;-)

A - Pours a nice golden cloudy mixture. I did my best to get the unfiltered goodness off the bottom of the bottle but couldn't get it all.
S - Slight scent of alcohol and maybe a little bit of lavander.
T - Very tasty... Take your favorite Saison and add a whole bunch of hops. Gotta love the West Coast
D - Enjoyable, goes down smooth. Very enjoyable, pretty hoppy.
M - Nice body to this beer.

Before my trip to the West Coast I would say that I wasn't a huge fan of the uber hops, but I am a changed man. I can't wait to go back!

Photo of Docer
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally cracked into this bottle.. the second to last of my Lost Abbey tastings.. Serpents stout is the last.. then I will try to hunt more of the stuff down at Buy-The-Bottle as I hear they carry some Port/LA. Thanks again to BeerMolly for this blessing.

- Mildly cloudy golden yellow.. looks great for a Blonde.. nice slow carbonation.. mild lacing all about... slight pee color really... not meant as a bad thing.. just best describes it.

- Grainy earthy scent... salty... meaty... breads.. lots of breads.. light citrus nose opener.. mild..

- Mmm smooth crisp ale! Yeast and bread notes with a super bright citrus and wheat flare to it... rather sour and only slightly bitter... but boy do i keep taking big drinks... I'm loving the flavor and was caught off guard by it compared to the scent etc...

- A sour aftertaste.. litte bit of lemon zest and herb... clear and light..

- Super drinkable and just the right amount of carbonation... a very nice light ale with the strength of an average IPA... super drinkable!

Photo of paco1029384756
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden color with a short white head and low carbonation.

Scent of lemon zest, earth, yeast and spices. Light, spicy and fruity, I enjoy this scent very much.

Taste of citrus, yeast, earth, spices and lemon zest. A light and tasty Saision, I would definitely drink this one again.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with decent carbonation.

Photo of Ricelikesbeer
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was excited to see something from Lost Abbey that I haven't had.... probably my favorate brewery. Looks almost like an IPA, and the head doesnt' really stick around that long or leave any lacing. Smell is different.... almost like there is some brett in there. very funky. Taste is weird also, this is a freakshow of a beer. Not really sure what to think. The American hops don't stound out too much. Some sweetness, some funk, and that's about it. Decent, but not quite one I would buy again. It goes down easy enough, but seems like it isnt' any one style, which almost detracts from the taste. An interesting concept, but is a little too weird for me. I love saisons, but this was too different.

Photo of organicbrewer
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml poured into a tulip.

A-Deep Gold. Brilliantly Clear with a big eggshell head. Huge streams of bubble streaming up the glass.

S-Sour dough bread. Mostly funk. The smell is approaching all brett. No hop aroma.

T-Barnyard funk. slightly plasticy phenols. Firm bitterness. Not getting much hop flavor. Last time I had this I guess it was fresher. Would be better with a little less brett (did I just say that) and more hop flavor.

M-Seems fairly dry. Medium carbonation. No alcohol burn or anything.

D- Easy to put away. The Brettiness might start to get old after a while though.

Photo of Haybeerman
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Lightly clouded straw/gold color. Poured a finger sark white head with an aggressive pour that dissipated to a skim. Ample lacing in fingers down the glass. Decanted continually.

S: Citrus and lemon rind with a slight funky smell in the background. Friuty yeast notes and a hint of pepper.

T: Kind of a sweet/sour tasted with light fruits (like apricot and pineapply) balanced with a sour yeast characterisitic. Big bready malts dominate the middle with the fruity flavors. Peppery spice lingers in the finish which is eventually crisp and dry.

M: Light side of medium body. ammple carbonation. Nice balance of a variety of flavors.

D: Very flavorful and easy to drink with the nice balance.

Photo of yemenmocha
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium golden hue, some haze, and bright white head. Nose comes across as sour fruit mix and peach juice. On the palate, this is a whopper of a sour ale with pear flavors, some malt sweetness, a pleasant sourness, and some candy sugar sweetness at the end on the finish.

Photo of number1bum
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a vibrant golden color with only about a half finger of off-white head; pour was vigorous but head was minimal. Keeps a very thin lace with a splash of webbing here and there on the sides. The second pour produced a head with much better staying power and left a lot more stick.

Smell is grassy and herbal with a dash of grain and earth. It has a cooling, minty/menthol sort of quality to it. Also a good deal of spice and some fruit. A whiff of booze sneaks its way in as this warms.

Taste has all the same components as the smell but they're all a bit more subtle. There is a very lightly sweet, bready and slightly grainy base with some toasty and spicy qualities to it. Hops are lending some grassy and herbal flavors and a good dose of earthy bitterness. More spice and herbal leaf flavors in the finish. There is some fruit here as well, lemon zest in particular, but it's mostly hidden behind the spice, grain and herbal/earthy bitterness. At first I was thinking that this seemed a bit bland but the flavors all came out more as it warmed. They remain subtle, but there is plenty of flavor and it's nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and quite smooth. Carbonation is on the modest side, as evidenced by the weak head. I was expecting it to be a bit drier than it is; it's only slightly dry in the finish.

This is an interesting, very tasty saison. The aroma pops a bit more than the taste, which is more subtle and dominated more by the spicing and hops, but overall I enjoyed this very much. It doesn't rate with my favorite saisons or my favorite LA beers, but it's one I would certainly come back to.

Photo of vtfan77
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Slightly hazy, light gold with an ok head owing to an extremely aggressive pour. Leaves good lacing on the sides of the glass, though.

S- Starts out with a nice tart, slightly funky, very Belgian aroma. There are hints of clove and a sort of cheese-like smell. There's also a nice dose of citrusy hops which do a good job of complementing the other aromas.

T- Starts out with a slightly sweet, bready taste. The "Belgian" flavors are there, although somewhat muted compared to the aroma. A touch of clove accents the flavor, as does a slight dose of barnyard funk. A vegetal character comes through from time to time. The hops add a little citrus to the flavor. The finish is dry and only slightly bitter.

M- The carbonation is a little low here. I don't know if that's due to the long trip the beer had to take from California to Virginia or something on the brewery's end. Either way, it definitely hurts the beer in this category, as this is a style that I usually associate with high carbonation. Otherwise it's not bad with a good medium body and enough carbonation to tickle the tongue a little.

D- I have to say that it's quite a drinkable beer. The flavors are good and the alcohol's not too high. The carbonation issue hurts it a little, but not much.

I thought this was a good domestic saison, nothing more. The addition of American hops was a good idea, although I don't believe it did a whole lot in this instance. The main issue here was the carbonation which, admittedly, could have been due to the fact that I had the beer shipped all the way across the country (although I doubt it because I've had other beers shipped from the same place that were fine carbonation-wise). Still, I have to say that this was a good beer. It's probably not worth ordering online and paying for shipping, but if it's available in your area, give it a try. Recommended.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.23/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Chilled bomber into a glass.

A: Pours a cloudy straw-colored gold with translucent yellow edges when held against a lamp. Takes several pours to get into the glass, as the off-white head is an overly energetic and fluffy cap that threatens to overflow. Leaves intricate ivy lacing down the sides.

S: Belgian yeast, some funk, and a strong lemon rind scent that combines tartness with a little bitter sting. A mild hint of pepper.

T: The pepper I detected in the nose sets the initial taste with a little yeasty sourness. That progresses quite nicely into a lemon and pineapple citrus hop mid-taste. The finish continues these fruit notes, but is dominated by a bready malt and pepper again. A light spice lingers into the aftertaste, which is the only deviation from a crisp and clean finish.

M: Light-bodied, but very well carbonated. A good saison.

D: Seems very similar to their other saison, Red Barn. It's not bad at all, but I think I'd go with something else in terms of value.

Carnevale from The Lost Abbey
89 out of 100 based on 668 ratings.