Agave Maria | The Lost Abbey

very good
582 Ratings
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 Circles413
4.91/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pour: a nice dark drown with a slight reddish tint. Decent carbonation with nice lacing. Served from a corked & caged bottle & poured into a snifter glass.

Aroma: very boozy from the tequila barrels. Some dark fruits, caramel, molasses & more tequila.

Taste: wow!!! This is a sipper for sure! It's a big sweet & sour beer!!! It gets you in the cheeks from the sweetness & sourness from the agave & tequila. This is an amazing beer & gets even better as it warms up. You definitely get the heat from the barrels!!

Mouth: chewy, syrupy & rich medium mouth feel. Could be a little less carbonated to match the richness & sweetness but still feels good on the tongue.

Overall: this is a great beer!!! It carries so many characteristics from; the agave syrup, to the tequila from the barrels, to sweet & bitter dark fruits. It's a very complex beer but it's very well balanced!!! If you see this beer I strongly suggest you ignore the price & give it a try. You won't be disappointed!!!

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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 pkalix
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

what a beautiful aroma! the last guy MarcWP hit it all right on the head as I read his review and sipped my snifter.... some boozy notes but not at all alcohol-like. just a pleasant taste and aroma of cocoa, toffee, tequila (much like a bourbon, but tequila), fruit... first sip and first taste produced that deja vu sensation of extreme excitement much like that first Eclipse I had.... sweet and dessert-like, yet serious and sincere. Lost Abbey really has some great stuff.

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Photo of skiking1163
4.57/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

375 ml 2014 vintage in tulip

A: Accidentally poured the yeast and all into a tulip. With the yeast, mostly opaque dark brown with small, one finger head that hung around for a little while. Some lacing.

S: Nice light smell with a refreshing, tequila/barrel background. Not much alcohol nose around 45-50 deg.

T: Delicious. Everything good about tequila. Earthy, a little bit of oak, and dark, slightly tart fruit on the back end. Again, not much of an alcohol note, which is really refreshing for a beer over 13%

M: A little sticky and lingering, but I'm not surprised with this abv.

O: I'd been looking for a tequila-aged beer for a long time when I picked this up at the end of last summer and this one has set the bar high. Great one to break out on a cold snow day in the south. Would definitely pick this one up again to share the love with friends.

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Photo of beergoot
4.57/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pouring produced a slightly hazy, deep brown body topped with a lasting, one-finger thick head. The aroma presents a heady mixture of tequila, brown bread, brown sugar, and roasted nuts. The flavor follows the aroma with the addition of an edge of alcohol burn. Mouthfeel is heavy bodied with an overall softness on the palate.

This beer deftly combines elements of malty brown ales, barley wines, and barrel-aged influences. The tequila component pops up from the get go yet doesn't overwhelm things. Delicious, boozy, and malty, all wrapped together in a nicely balanced, fantastically complex big beer package.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.56/5  rDev +16.3%

A - Low retention and lace on a bone-white head. Beautiful deep mahogany body with cranberry highlights.

S - Sweet nose. Raisins, honey, agave, and tangy tequila.

T - Sweet brown bread, golden raisins, tart vinegary oak, smooth agave, and a touch of anise.

M - Medium-light body. Super smooth.

O - Outstanding. Great execution on an interesting experimental style.

4.56 Agave Maria
-- -Jay- -Jon- -Vin- -Avg- Weight Adj
A - 4.00 4.30 4.50 4.27 10% 0.43
S - 4.50 4.75 4.50 4.58 20% 0.92
T - 4.60 4.60 4.70 4.63 40% 1.85
M - 4.40 4.40 4.50 4.43 10% 0.44
O - 4.60 4.60 4.60 4.60 20% 0.92

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Photo of Mikeypnh
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a dark brown, not a whole lot of head, just a few bubbles. The aroma is initially very sweet. Along with oak, tequila, and dark fruit. Very nice smell. The taste is rich with flavor, oak up front, slight chocolate and molasses, caramel, Tabacco?, and tequila. The tequila shines best right at the end. There's that nice tequila alcohol burn right after you swallow. Really good. It also leaves your mouth dry immediately after, making you want to take a sip as soon as you put the glass down. Mouthfeel is a little thick but still easy to drink given the ABV, with little to no carbonation. Very nice beer, especially if you like tequila. Most impressed with the tequila at the end, it's makes it a very nice sipper.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

i havent had a beer this interesting in a long time, and have never seen a better expression of tequila in a beer. a strong ale, like only the lost abbey can brew, using agave nectar instead of the usual belgian candy sugar or other sweetener, and then aged in a mix of repo and anejo barrels for what just be quite awhile. listed on the bottle at 13.5% abv, it drinks like about 8%, just no heat at all and very pleasant all the way through. rich amber color, mahogany really, cherry wood red, with a lot of haze and viscosity, and an average cream head. it smells fruity as heck, super sweet, and lush like the agave plant itself. i get plenty of sweet oak, red and brown malts, and just the smallest hint of booze. the flavor is tequila heavy, but not in a hot or caustic or stomach turning way. its rich and sweet, like a tequila desert made from some top shelf stuff. tons of oak and a hint of vanilla in with the fresh agave plant juice. malt base is enormous, but right where it belongs. i get toasted almonds, coconut, black pepper, and molasses all wrapped up in this, but its agave all the way, and as smooth and mellow as the best of them. a hint of smoke to cut the sweetness after the swallow. very dense beer too, almost gelatinous, but slippery and drinkable for what it is. lost abbey takes come criticism from users of this site for whatever reason, but its beers like this that keep me loyal. fantastically interesting and well crafted beer, up there with anything, near flawless, i need more.

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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 HopHead84
4.49/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Bottle into Lost Abbey stemware. The cork comes off with a big pop and the beer pours dark brown with a lively inch of beige foam. Lacing is scattered.

The aroma has a strong tequila influence. Caramel blends with vanilla and agave. The base beer is bready with some brown sugar and a touch of chocolate. There's a light spiciness as well, maybe some floral character accompanying oak and earth.

The flavor is bursting with agave, caramel, and oak. There's a touch of chocolate as well. I'd like to imagine that the deep caramel and vanilla notes are from the experienced hand of the añejo, while the livelier, spicy notes can be attributed to the reposado. Alcohol is very well hidden. There's some citrus in the dry, sticky, warming finish. Caramel, earth, and oak linger. Carbonation is at a medium level.

Overall, this is a beautiful beer with the fine flavors of a good tequila. The base beer seems to be the perfect vehicle for the agave. Highly recommended.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured bottle into Lost Abbey Teku

A-Pours a dark brown color with a small beige head that soon recedes to a fine ring.

S-The aroma is sweet with agave nectar, dark fruits and tequila.

T-The taste is similarly sweet with raisins, dates, plums and a trace of mellow tequila.

M-The mouthfeel is oily and viscous and the carbonation is soft. Finishes long and cloying.

O-Overall was quite surprised and impressed with. Would definitely get again to age and compare.

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Photo of MarcWP
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Toppling Goliath chalice.

Pours a dark brown and when settled in the glass looks almost black. Small tan head that dissipates to the thinnest of rings around the edge of glass.

Aroma is truely wonderful. Rich chocolate, tequila reposado (literally), light caramel, maple, oak, Brandy, and a fruity coffee lingers in the background. The tequila in this I would say is more pronounced than in the PNC or any other beer aged in tequila barrels that I've had (which isn't more than I can count with the fingers of one hand!)

The palate brings pretty much what was present on the nose. Cocoa, caramel, grade b maple syrup, smooth tequila (you know, the good shit), some silky agave sweetness, raw sugar cane (have you ever chewed on fresh sugar cane? I have), and fruity black tea. This finish is so smooth, refined and decadent. At 13.5 abv it's hard to believe there is no booziness. The only hint of booziness you get is from the tequila flavors but even those are more flavor than actual fusel alcohol notes.

Mouthfeel is silky heavy medium with low carbonation that seems fitted to this beer. I don't see the need for more carbonation but maybe some would not agree. The beer has sweetness throughout but is not cloying in any shape or form.

A risky, innovative approach by The Lost Abbey in pursuing a 100 percent tequila barrel-aged strong ale and calling it a regular among their seasonal lineup. I think tequila is at the bottom of choices for spirit barrel usage by brewers to age their beers in. I grew up in the Mexican culture (I am Mexican) and have had many drinking binges consuming all sorts of tequila (growing up, as I don't exactly binge drink anymore) and I have to say, Agave Maria is probably the best vehicle for enjoying those agave and tequila flavors :). The beer really showcases the Tequila reposado and agave flavors while also presenting barleywine like characteristics uniting it all in a smooth drinking package. Well done, Lost Abbey, well done.

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Photo of neurobot01
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375ml corked & caged bottle at cellar temp into a snifter, in honor of Cinco de Mayo. Bottle lists abv at 13.5%.

Look: murky red-tinged brown, with essentially no head, and little carbonation (but not the infamous Lost-Abbey-flat).

Smell: unmistakably of tequila. This is the part where I remember that tequila and I do not get along particularly well. Having a pretty hard time picking up anything else.

Taste: unmistakably of awesome! Quite sweet (duh, the base beer's brewed with agave nectar), and definitely a wallop of tequila, but without a strong alcohol bite, and with brown sugar, figs, overripe banana, a tiny bit of cinnamon and nutmeg, and honey backing up the tequila. Given how little heat there is on this, I'm not sure what aging will add—but, that's not going to stop me from sitting on my second bottle for a year.

Feel: pretty syrupy, but not unpleasantly so. Just the mildest hint of carbonation, but basically right for the style.

Overall: if I didn't find the smell of tequila somewhat aversive, this would be a 4.75 overall. That said, at $16/bottle, there are probably other examples of the style that are a better value. Definitely worth trying for fans of tequila.

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Photo of gr0g
4.41/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown, mahogany highlights showing. Off white color on the head, composed of very fine bubbles. Tequila is unmistakable on the nose. The "sting" associated with Tequila is tempered nicely. Woody, vanilla-like notes reflect the barrel-aging. Plenty of agave and brown sugar character. Alcohol presence is notable but not overwhelming; it doesn't hide the good qualities present.

Strong, sweet flavor profile. Any heat or sting from the tequila is tempered nicely, with the barrel qualities allowed to shine through. Comparisons in flavor profile to an English barleywine are accurate. Tons of caramellized sugar. The finish is dry and clean. Mouthfeel has a slight syrupy quality, but it's not very viscous. Not quite moderately carbonated, and it's not prickly.

Lost Abbey comes through again with another top notch barrel-aged strong ale. The tequila qualities are expertly balanced with the base beer. Pricey, for sure, but there's a strong argument to be made that it's worth it.

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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 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 JoyJer
4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The soul of a wormed devil as settled in this beer. The barrel this was aged in had to if been from a cartels special cellar because something that taste this great out if a bottle has to be illegal..

So I called the INS & DEA they both repeated ensured me that this beer is legal to drink and if I keep calling in, I'd get arrested for disturbing the peace .

So drink this beer do so without fear, it's legal and delicious like a 8 week old slaughtered lamb slapped in the grill .

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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 largadeer
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle into a Lost Abbey teku. Cork comes out with a pop, and miraculously, this has perfect carbonation. Pours a clear dark brown with a clinging finger of head.

Lots of agave goodness on the nose - plenty of tequila character that brings fruity sweetness and caramel. The big brown ale base brings some nice toasty sweetness, but the barrel is really the dominant aspect here and it works nicely.

Sweet and fruity on the palate, big tequila and agave presence with layers of caramel, vanilla and smoke. The body isn't overly hefty, and there's not much booziness despite the high ABV. The base beer is pretty simple, a bit toasty and sweet; little more than a showcase for the agave and barrel.

Having been really impressed with Firestone's tequila barrel aged stout, I had high hopes for this one, and it delivers. It's also nice to see a really polished strong ale coming from Lost Abbey, fully carbonated and without a large amount of sediment.

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

Shared this with a couple of fellow BA'ers and found it to be quite good, but not quite up to my Gold Standard, as set by Goose Island Proprietor's. But did a side by side tasting of it along with Bell's Black Note, and found it did get edged out by Bell's Black Note by a nose. Pun intended.
The taste was very different from most Lost Abbey beers; it was sweeter, but a solid 4.25 beer.

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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 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 scottbrew4u
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Served in a snifter a beautiful, light brown color, clear with garnet highlights and a tight tan head.
S: Toffee, oak, light smoke, raisins soaked in tequila, and a rich roasted malt profile.
T: Caramel, oak, tequila, raisins and dried plums. Rich layers of roasted malt and a kick of boozy tequila finish on the tongue but it still remains smooth.
M: Medium to full body with a smooth, light carbonation. Alcohol warmth is noticeable but where it should be and not harsh.
O: A terrific sipper! Lots of smooth layers that keep developing. This is a harmonious balance between a strong ale and tequila! Seek this beer out!

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.31/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I first had this on a bottle and wasn't impressed, then on tap and wasn't impressed. Now on tap at Khyber Pass in Philadelphia for a Lost Abbey event and it blew me away.

The tequila barrel is smooth and the beer is chocolat-y and delicious

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