Agave Maria | The Lost Abbey

very good
88 Reviews
Agave MariaAgave Maria

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.50%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Using a blend of Anejo and Reposado barrels and aged for a minimum of ten months, Agave Maria has hints of black pepper, sweet sugar, oatmeal, and oak with an earthy, bitter smoked chocolate on the finish. The base beer, a new Agave strong ale, was created specifically to pair with the spiciness of the Tequila, adding a sweet honey-like quality to the beer.

Added by dwagner003 on 03-26-2014

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Reviews: 88 | Ratings: 582
Photo of macrosmatic
3.02/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Thanks to eyebereej for sending this! Reviewed from long-standing notes (drank May 30, 2015). Poured from a 12.7 oz. bottle into a Brooklyn Brewing tulip glass.

A: Murky brown, average visible carbonation, and a thin to nonexistent thin tan head.

S: Sweet malts, acetic acid, tequila spices and some barrel tannins. A touch of toffee as well. Not terrible, but may be infected – wasn’t expecting any acetic acid.

T: Sweet malts, a tequila bite, and the acetic acid tang. More toffee here as well. The acetic acid is joined by some mild funk after the swallow, and it stays acidic on the way down.

M: Medium body, but it seems thick due to the low carbonation sensation. Alcohol is obvious but not overly prominent.

O: I'm not sure that this is what this beer is supposed to be at all. But still, it isn’t undrinkably awful, even if it is infected. Maybe a C-Minus though.

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Photo of mrmaps
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

L: Light brown with no foam at all -- looks completely flat but I have held it for a couple of years
S: Light malt aroma --- not smelling any tequila notes. But the beer was cold when first poured
T: Very odd flavor during first sip. Sort of sour not the rounded . Very faint taste of tequila and as the beer warms it gets stronger. The tequila is surprising laid back. As it warms the astringent tequila flavors rise up a bit. The taste is not as intense as I would expect. Maybe this is an off batch. Tastes more like a standard strong ale.
F: Wish there was some carbonation it it. The beer is completely flat which definitely detracts from it.
O: An unusual beer for an unusual time. I really like that this company is willing to take these kind of risks. I am not certain is has paid off -- but it is so far out for the usual bourbon barrel -- fruit -- spice type of beer it is hard to be prepared for it. I kind of like it.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bit of a murky mahogany with a half inch khaki head. Smells of fig, raisin, caramel, oak, and a bit of tequila. Taste is incredible with those sweet dark fruits shining and well complimented by wood and mild sourness (I guess I am getting a much lesser concentration of tequila than most). Feel is lightly carbonated, semi acidic, medium bodied, and pretty well balanced favoring sweetness. Wonderfully complex, this beer brings the sweetness and strength of a Belgian Quad and the acidity of a mild barrel aged sour together perfectly, which I would have never guessed based on its own description. Very glad to have tried it. Cheers!

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Photo of ReviewingUnderInfluence
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Awesome flavours of herbal, wood tequila with some caramel and chocolate on the background and a hint of tart cherries. 375 ml bottle for $15 usd good? Not really.

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Photo of FBarber
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a orange tinged brown with almost no head.

Smell has notes of dark fruits, brown sugar, oak and TONS of tequila. Wow, this is probably the booziest smelling beer I've ever had - if not just because the tequila aroma is so so strong.

Taste is strongly sour tequila. You get the tequila up front with some lime and salt notes. Nice oatmeal flavor isn't prominent but underlies the beer and really gives it some balance with that tequila. the lime gives it a margarita like flavor that is really interesting. Still, the tequila just dominates the flavor of this beer making it very boozy.

Feel has mild carbonation, smooth, velvety in the mouth. The boozy nature results in a real warming sensation in the face.

Really interesting beer. Its well done for what it is, but its so unique. I don't think I'd ever want to drink it again, although I'm really glad I got to try it.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 5/15/2016 at Natty Greene’s Tavern in North Attleboro, MA, served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a very deep dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, chocolate, toasted oats, licorice and agave fruit.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of chocolate, licorice, coffee and agave. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in. The hops presence is very mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty with good complexity, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, very strong kick, good representation of style, this is a flavorful beer to sip on for a long time.

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Photo of mothman
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fizzy tan head. Brown color.

The tequila dominates this beer. It's like a sour tequila beer. Lots of agave. Brown sugar and malt with some sweetness combined with tequila.

Very interesting beer.

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Photo of nonpo
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark caramel into a teku glass with slight beige head

Aromas are of date and raisin with boozy tartness

Taste comes through with some complexity... Up front I get a dry tart bite almost like a carbonation bite but by appearance it shouldn't be.... Middle mouth is full of date, raisin, dark fruit and a hint of sweet Belgian Candy? Once that clears I get a tart funkiness that fades into a slight boozy after taste... Obviously has tequila notes messing with my taste buds (in a good way) throughout flavors...

Feel on this beer is full and rich and leaves a nice "after lace" on your tongue.... Follows through with a nice boozy burn....

Overall- If you have a bad history with tequila don't shy away from this beer... It delivers great flavors with tequila accents but not enough to give you flashbacks to previous tequila overindulgence stay likely lead you to "driving the porcelain bus" or "calling Dinosaurs" if you get a chance seek this one out... But avoid 2014 vintage bottles (should be stamped on the neck... Subsequent years to not appear to have date stamp) as they were prone to infection due to vast numbers of little monsters from the tequila barrels that were fed when bottles were pitched with yeast and sugar for conditioning.....

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Photo of Dentist666
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

0.375 ml bottle.
Poured into tulip.
Pours opaque dark brown beer with 2-finger beige head, so-so retention.
Smell - tequila, something herbal (agave?), wood, wild yeasts sourness, pepper, chocolate.
Taste - follows the smell, complex of tequila/agave notes, woodiness, siginificant acidity, dark fruits.
Full, oily body, low carbonation.
Very solid brew.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer poured a deep brown. The shade of brown seemed a little odd.

Smell - Lime and tequila dominate the nose. Is this a shot?

Taste - The lime jumps out, quite sour and realistic. The tequila notes are also very present, but are not too hot. I really can't tell much about the base beer. The lime/tequila renains strong in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Allegedly, this is a strong ale. There was little carbonation and seemed a little thin.

Overall - A unique beer, but not a world changer.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12.7 oz. Bottle

Poured into a chalice a very nice brownish color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice one-finger foamy off-white head, which leaves a nice huge island and some sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, with some very nice grapes, raisins, fig, plum notes, some nice tartness. The taste is malty, yeasty, very nice touch of dark fruits, very nice touch of oak, tequila, kinda winey, tarty like. Medium body, with a nice little bitter/dry finish, pretty complex as well. Overall, this is a very fine brew, to me quite a different take on the style. Always a joy to drink a brew from this brewery.

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Photo of khoff5
4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Excellent mix of sweet and tart, like they mixed a strong and a sour, my dream mix! High ABV was hardly noticeable, great look, smell, flavor and aftertaste. Def will buy again.

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Photo of BillRoth
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from recent trip to SD. Well made and a nice note or two from barrel. Largely complex but not very interesting in nose or taste. Shared with others who's only comment was about the sweetness. Can't all be home runs I guess. Not a bad beer, but don't expect to try again.

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Photo of jmasher85
4.36/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer has everything I look for in a great strong ale - depth of flavor, complexity, balance, temperance, and uniqueness. The flavor is at times funky, sweet, tart, and savory. The honey sweetness and malt are balanced by good yeasty flavors that add fermented, very mild tartness to the mix, plus a bit of peppery spice. There's a lot going on here. I expected this to taste like tequila-beer and was pleasantly surprised when I only got just a hint of the liquor's presence.

It's also smooth, real smooth. For a beer breaching 13% abv, and for me to not notice any remarkable burn on the first sip, that stuff is really well-tempered. The feel of the beer also stays with you as much as the flavor. It's an opaque muddy brownish red color - hazy but not gritty, and stays on your tongue for a while with it's chewy, heavy body. And yet for a beer of that consistency, there's quite a bit of fizz on it. It actually foamed out of the bottle as I opened it like champagne which felt like a tragic waste, but cest la vie.

All in all, from the price, abv, and style, this is clearly a special occasion beer and while aging it longer than the 6 months it spent in my cellar might have done wonders to it, it might have just as easily overpowered it and with no bottling date present, I'm okay with enjoying it as is and will definitely seek it out again. And while my first impressions of it were not as a world-class beer, it definitely grew tastier and more interesting as the drinking went on (and I don't even think that's simply because I was getting tipsier).

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light black in color with just a hint of light partially seeping through. There's a fingernail of beige surrounding the rim and covering the majority of the top. I smell sweet tequila and slightly vegetal agave. Later passes include fig and black pepper. The taste is predominantly sweet from the tequila. It transitions into a dark Belgian ale and then finishes with more sweet tequila notes. The alcohol is well masked and yet the mouth is fairly thick, chewy, and syrupy.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.72/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a two=finger light tan head leaving some lace. Very dark color, no highlights, yeast left in bottle. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Sour ale nose, flavor is almost like a sour ale but more a sweet & sour ale. Clean finish. No alcohol burn - the very high (13.5%) ABV is hidden. Seriously expensive at $18.99 for a caged & corked 375ml bottle from Julio’s Liquors Westborough, MA.

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Photo of joeseppy
4.34/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cola caramel pour with mocha lace cap. Aroma of fig Newton, raisin, molasses and candied dates. I never would of guessed tequila but it can be picked out. Strong ale with a mellifluous sweetness. I've been adding agave this past summer to my margaritas and it is most accommodating here. Syrup sticks to the back of your throat. Figgy and aftertaste of unsulphured molasses. Mouthfeel is creamy. Lips getting sticky. Ale has some staying strength. Bold and audacious yet the Tequila barreling is not overpowering and give this a sparkle. Would buy again.

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Photo of BWood
3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Smells almost like a sour to me. Murky looking beer that holds a small cream head throughout the glass. Though not much to look at or smell it does have a nice smooth taste once you get use to it. First few drinks were so so but then half way through it became nice and smooth. Not sure if I would seek this out but not a bad try it once beer.

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Photo of JamesStreet
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look - pours a cloudy, burnt caramel color and a slight ruby tint in the light with an off-white head of about 3/4". Retention is pretty good and lacing is moderate.
Smell - This really is a cacophony of interesting flavors. Toffee, burnt sugar, vanilla, wood, pepper, molasses, alcohol.
Taste - A mix of woody leather taste with hints of chocolate, syrup, and a lime-like tartness. Interesting to say the least. I'm just not sure it balances well together. It does seem a bit muddled. Definitely get the alcohol burn in there as well.
Feel - I wouldn't quite put it in the heavy-bodied range, but it is right under there; so we'll call it heavy-medium. Carbonation is moderate. It does finish with a somewhat dry effect carried over from the tartness.
Overall - This beer definitely falls in the "interesting" category. I'm not sure it was executed perfectly. Maybe a bit too much, as far as flavors go. This is probably a one-taste thing for me.

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Photo of Kevinpitts
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty unique tasting beer. Tequila comes through with a smoky agave sweetness. Smoother than the 13.5% it is. Nothing spectacular, but worth a try if you like tequila.

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Photo of Dope
3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

No bottling date.

A: Pours a dark red. Mid-sized fizzy light brown head. Head is thin and effervescent and fades out fairly quickly as a result. No real lacing, just a hint here and there.

S: Huh. Sweet and sour. Like literal sweet and sour sauce. Tequila is notable. Light tart berries. Interesting if a bit head-scratching.

T: Lots of tequila up front with that sweet agave. Once it fades there's loads of tart berries. In the finish there's sort of a...burnt fruit and oak flavor? Get some bittersweet cocoa in there too. Pretty quick and clean finish with lingering tartness and drying oak.

M: Heavy, tart and shockingly dry for 13.5%. A little alcohol sting (which may be the drying part).

O: Hmph. Very unique beer. I'm honestly not even sure if I like it. It's an interesting concept but it just feels muddled and doesn't really hit the spot for me. It's kinda like a random collection of flavors that don't necessarily work together. I give them credit for trying but not something I'd buy again.

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Photo of James_Michaud91
1.95/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This bottle is clearly infected/spoiled. The nose is sour, with some underlying sweetness and surprisingly a decently noticeable tequila presence. Where as the nose was sour, but still halfway pleasant, the palate is not. It is sour and funky in all the bad ways. There are clearly some good flavors hidden in this beer, would love to try a non-infected bottle.

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Photo of Dikfour
4.68/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Pours a couple fingers of Tan/Orangeish head that has average retention. Dark dark brown. Not a whole lot of light gets through this beer. Streaks of tan around the edges.

Smell: Bitter sweet chocolate malts followed closely by that pungent agave smell. A little oak and a bit of booze.

Taste: Chocolate, toffee, agave (salty) sweetness up front but really follows through and develops through out the sip. Bitter chocolate finish. A square of dark chocolate followed by a quick swig of nice tequila is what this tastes like. Never thought I'd ever care to know what that tasted like but totally love it. Malty sweetness does an excellent job of covering the booze.

Feel: Big and dairy creamy. Booze lightly numbs the gums.

Overall: It'd be a cost prohibitive six pack but if I some how stumbled upon six of these I could see myself slurping all six down in fairly rapid succession and not realizing how hammered I was because I never stood up. This one is a monster and I approve. I have an extra one and look forward to what a little bottle age will do to this one. Get one already.

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Photo of WoostaBia
4.34/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The smell is amazing- toffee, caramel, molasses and bourbon wood alcohol finish. Taste is much the same with a herbal middle, light salty tequila influence felt and small alcohol heat going down. Well made beer.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #90 (July 2014):

Raisins, Tequila, Agave

A strong ale brewed with agave syrup and aged in tequila barrels? Yep. Drops into the glass dark reddish brown, opaque, and with a creamy beige head. Aromas of agave nectar, lime rinds, apples, candied fruit, boozy tequila, and wood. Creamy, silky, and oily on the palate, with a massive toffee note, hint of vanilla, toasted malts, distinct tequila flavors, a smack of lime, suggestions of salt, plum, and an underlying charred raisin note throughout and into the finish with a boozy heat and pepperiness in the linger. What we have here is an awesome use of tequila barrels.

STYLE: American Strong Ale | ABV: 13.5% | AVAILABILITY: Limited

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Agave Maria from The Lost Abbey
3.92 out of 5 based on 582 ratings.
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