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Agave Maria | The Lost Abbey

very good
83 Reviews
Agave MariaAgave Maria

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States | website

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: 83 | Ratings: 571
Photo of HattedClassic
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a khaki and slightly creamy head that dissipates moderately fast. the beer itself is a dark purple that is opaque. the smell has a strong spicy, peppery smell mixed with other notes. The beer has also has some of the oak barrel boosted by a black pepper smell. A slight hint of oatmeal notes also exists. The hops are there but are overcome by the agave and pepper notes. The hops are citrus. Overall, the smell has a very spicy and peppery smell that is very good. The beer taste is surprisingly different than the smell. The beer has the same pepper notes as the smell but the hops are much stronger and the taste has slight notes of vanilla and oak. The taste also has a much more sour taste and tiny bit of alcohol that is barely noticeable. The mouthfeel is very smooth with biting carbonation. Overall, a very good beer.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Kurmaraja hooked me up with a couple of these gems... Thanks Ryan!! This was opened with a couple other tequila barrel aged beers at a boutique tequila tasting... This was similar to the Bottleworks 15, but seemed more refined with more of a straight agave presence... okay light khaki head... dark brown brew, with highlights only showing near the stem-end of my glass... Nose has a spicy element from the barrels that shows more than the palate... the taste is still good, but doesn't have as much "ummph" to get things jumping ... a little bit of something that I associate with raisin as it really warmed up... but the agave and the vanilla/oak with the tequila bite really accomplish the brewers' goals. Thicker but still had a good carbonation... Props to Mr. Arthur.

Thanks once again to Kurmaraja... A top-notch trader for sure.


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Photo of Chibeerguy1
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A - Dark brown caramel color, opaque with a very thin whitish head

S - A little tequila on the nose, some sweetness probably from the agave nectar hard to describe this one

T - Very undrwhelming, I was thinking this would be a slightly acidic maybe even a little sour, but its very malty. I'm not noticing a lot of complexity from the barrel other than the tequila. Its got a sweet agave nectar taste followed by tequila.

M - Syrupy and a little viscous.

O - This was alright to try but not worth the money. I applaud Lost Abbey for trying something new, this may have been the first tequila barrel aged beer Ive had and it was unique. Maybe if I was a bigger fan of Tequila I would appreciate this more, but I think if this beer had a little acidity to it it would have been a much better beer. The flavors just lack the complexity to make this a beer worth seeking out.

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Photo of Circles413
4.91/5  rDev +24.9%
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 ricknelson
4.34/5  rDev +10.4%
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 stakem
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

375ml corked and caged bottle poured into a matching lost abbey teku. The brew appears a murkey brown with a light khaki head. Some lighter brown clarity is noted when held to the light. Some spotty to stringy patches of lace hang on the glass snd a swirl revives a finger of froth back to the surface. This has ample carbonation visually as it constantky rises to the surface supporting a film throughout the duration.

The aroma is a little musty. Almosy heavy on a notion of older damp oak with some raisony character blending to toffee, caramel and candy-like sweetness. Booze is prevalent across the back. As it warms up, it has a distinct fruitiness like agave and grass with a mild herbal feel.

The taste is sweet and malty with notes of raison and toffee before some raw oak barrel character. A little hint of must and mushrooms almost like earthen and damp old oakiness blends with agave that has a green grassy note. There is a fruity feel to this before plenty of warming alcohol comes into play. A mild herbal bitterness lasts into the finish.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is quite an enjoyable sipper. The tequila is not prevalent in this other than some alcohol warmth. The agave however is pretty pronounced. Ive heard a lot of conflicting information about bottles of this ranging from flat to infected and sour. I was pleasantly surprised that mine was neither and a pretty good representation of what the label reads. Then again, my bottle went from store shelf to fridge to my mouth in a fairly quick timeframe.

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Photo of JoyJer
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
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 lacqueredmouse
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

375ml caged and corked brown bottle purchased from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco. Shared with Sam in Sydney.

Pours a turbid, murky mahogany brown, with a very fine head that doesn't really form with any verve. Body is incredibly thick, leaving a powdery mess of static carbonation when tilted. It looks really quite interesting, if a little confusing.

Nose is extremely strange, but with stacks of complexity and interest. Noticeable plasticky funk, a hint of smoke, and a syrupy tequila character from the agave. It's spicy, peppery and very unusual—I'm not sure I've ever had a beer quite like this before.

Taste is actually not what I expected from the nose. It does indeed continue some of the weird aromatic characters: especially the pepper and the spice, but there's a pronounced malt backbone giving it a true sweetness to support a lot of complexity. Again there's tequila notes, along with a rather interesting woody oak note that smoothes over the back palate. Feel is very clean and smooth, but with a prickly spice from all of the agave notes.

Overall, this is a really good, and a very unusual beer. It has a lot of really strange twists to it, but manages to pull together something reasonably coherent from the anarchy. I'm genuinely a fan.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Corked and caged 12.7oz bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). 14.99. No dicernable bottling date but I believe this was an early 2014 release. Served in a Bruery snifter.

Pours a murky, opaque, ruddy brown with a mere layer of beige froth. Only a few tiny dots of lace manage to cling to the glass.

Aromas of oak, fruit skins, tequila, burnt brown sugar and a vague vanilla.

A very intriguing array of flavors hit the palate right from the start. A strong, spicey, boozy tequila character is present throughout with charred wood, liquer doused dark fruit, faint vanilla, spice, agave sweetness, brown sugar, mild cocoa, caramel and a soft booziness. It's good in it's own unique way and goes down with an ease that belies the 13.5% abv.

Medium body with fairly light carbonation. Booze, tequila barrel, spice and agave aftertaste.

Agave Maria is certainly one of a kind. Confusing and strangely enjoyable. I liked it but the fifteen dollar cost of entry will probably prohibit a repeat purchase.

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Photo of Brandywine
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Deep ruddy reddish brown.

Smell: Fresh green apples, brown sugar, really sweet fruitiness all around.

Taste: Caramel, apple, oak, smoke, tequila, pepper, really rich caramelized fruits and agave. The tequila is actually quite nuanced.

Mouthfeel: On the medium side of full. Light carbonation.

Overall: This beer is really smooth at 13.5% ABV with the only heat a natural spiciness from the tequila and the oak. It really delivers on the tequila as a whole while still showcasing the rich flavors of the base beer.

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Photo of BRami127
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank this today (6/8/14) after buying the bottle on May 14, 2014. 2014 vintage. Served in a Brooklyn Brewery snifter glass.

Appearance: Almost like a marshy, brown color, very little head. Body is thick, but not syrupy.

Smell: Caramel, not too boozy tequila aroma. I sense a sweet raisin scent to the beer.

Taste: Sweet, raisiny, and another dried fruit that I can't identify. The agave is present, but not a primary flavor (compared to a straight shot of tequila or mescal).

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, but thin. You'd think the sweetness and appearance would make it somwhat like a heavy, sweet stout or barleywine, but it is not. Low carbonation.

Overall: Very good beer. Had to try it at least once. It's not my favorite of all the Lost Abbey beers, but it's a definite must try.

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Photo of Jonada
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

375ml bottle. 2014 vintage. Served in a DFH signature glass

Appearance: Pours a murky brown color with less than a finger of a light tan head that settles to a thick ring. Body is just short of opaque.

Smell: Caramel, mild roast character, agave/tequila, brown sugar, oak, booze.

Taste: Sweet malt, booze soaked raisins and figs, slight smoke and oak. Definite tequila presence, but not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, with a thinner than expected mouthfeel. Carbonation is on the lower end of medium.

Overall: Definitely a good beer,but not one of the Lost Abbey's best. Given the price point, I probably won't revisit this one again.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage poured into LA teku glass.

A: Pours a very deep caramel brown with a faint soft collar for a head.
S: Tequila barrel comes through strongly alongside hints of roasted malts, sweet agave syrup, and maybe a mint hint of chocolate.
T: Interesting and much smoother flavors than expected from the nose. Tequila barrel hints first with that characteristic agave and oak taste, followed by notes of caramel, vanilla, leather, tobacco, roast, and milk chocolate. The finish is sweet with agave syrup and full of spice, and the aftertaste is buttery, smooth and has a lingering taste of chocolate and tequila. Tons of sticky caramel comes out as the beer reaches room temp.
M: Full and fairly viscous body, low carbonation that thankfully fluffs up a bit in my mouth and adds some chewiness to the mouthfeel, and a sticky and slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is warming but not distracting.
O: Impressive. I didn’t know what to think given the barrel, but I thoroughly enjoyed sipping on this.

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Photo of scottbrew4u
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
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 AgentMunky
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 375mL bottle into a footed glass.

A: Murky brown. No head.

S: salty. Tequila is obvious. Sweetish malt. Spicy.

T: This is really tasty. Sticky caramel/toffee. Dusty yeast. Distant booziness. Astringent citrus peel, agave, yeast.

M: Smooooth.

O: Great, interesting beer. Really worthwhile. Would recommend!

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
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 StonedTrippin
4.52/5  rDev +15%
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 cbutova
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Armsby Abbey Worcester, MA. Notes taken 3 days ago.

A- Dark brown almost black body poured from the tap to a goblet. Small frothy tan head is just a thin layer atop the beer. Big creamy ring and nice sheets and webs of lace.

S- Deep and rich with cocoa, roast malts, plums that almost feel like a truffle. With some time wet oak and tequila come out to be fairly strong. Fruity and something spicy, smoky.

T- Tequila feel is more assertive in the flavor. Agave also stronger here as well and they both blend well with notes of rich fig, plum, cocoa, wet oak and spice.

MF- Medium body with a foamy, creamy carbonation. Strong warmth from the alcohol heating up the palate in the finish.

Perhaps has the strongest tequila presence of any beer I have had thus far. The tequila works just fine with the Strong Ale aged on it and nothing is abrasive about the experience.

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Photo of gr0g
4.41/5  rDev +12.2%
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 smakawhat
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter. Vintage 2014. Very small pop, and some muscle to get the cork out.

Deep somewhat murky brown, a strange reddish glow, and hints of lemon yellow edges. No head produced, looks a little lifeless on the pour, but has a nice tan collar, very fine and thin. Not too bad, not too slick or oily top either.

Great aroma. Hints of tequila, but a real nice soft sweetness from the agave syrup. A little bit of smoke aromas round out, faint heat of tequila warmth as well. Maybe even a little briney sensing.

Nice palate. Great texture of silky sugars that aren't horribly sweet from the agave syrup. Syrup light bodied with some playful carbonation. Hints of red wine grape, a little bit of smoke on the finish, and roasty warmth in the gut, and some good grass aromatics. Nice butterscotch and caramel action more giving to style of a classic strong and old ale, picking up a beer character more so than hinted on the nose.

Quite a fun little beer, and if you are into aged tequila which I enjoy, you will dig this.

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Photo of neurobot01
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
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 LiquidAmber
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Gavroche tulip. Pours a very dark mahogany amber with little light transmission and a thin off-white head that dissipates quickly to a ring around the glass, slight lacing. Aroma of toasted malt, brown sugar, light tequila; woody and a bit boozy. Flavor is caramel and mild toasted malt, wood, toffee, dark fruit, earthy and woody with light tequila hints in the finish. Medium bodied with light carbonation. An interesting strong ale with the rich, complex flavors I expect from this brewery's more powerful brews, the flavors are so well integrated that they seem mellow at first, although the barrel elements become more noticeable as the flavor develops. The tequila influence is well done without being intrusive and the whole flavor blends together quite well. A very interesting and satisfying strong ale. A warming sipper.

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Photo of Mikeypnh
4.55/5  rDev +15.8%
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 pkalix
4.62/5  rDev +17.6%
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 MarcWP
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
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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Agave Maria from The Lost Abbey
88 out of 100 based on 83 ratings.
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