Avant Garde | The Lost Abbey

very good
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Avant GardeAvant Garde

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
At the Lost Abbey, we pride ourselves on producing beers of the highest quality and distinction. Avant Garde is our commitment to brewing beers to no particular style. Some might want to label this as a beer brewed in the Biere de Garde tradition of Northern France. We would prefer to say it was brewed in the Avant Garde style of beers that will reward all those who seek the not so ordinary. Deep gold in color with hints of biscuits, caramel and fresh baked bread, this beer is sure to delight the senses and palates of consumers everywhere.

Added by xlperro on 05-12-2006

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Reviews: 347 | Ratings: 715
Photo of samie85
3.44/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The cork was impossible to get cleanly out of this bottle. The top part of the cork broke off so I tried a wine corkscrew to get out the rest. The cork was obliterated by the corkscrew and refused to come out cleanly. I had to resort to a steak knife to get the rest of the cork out and not surprisingly, tiny pieces of cork ended up in the beer.

A-Pours a hazy orange color with three fingers of white head with tiny bits of cork suspended in the head (that I picked out to the best of my knowledge).

S-Slightly spicy with some apple notes and light toasty malts.

T-Toasty and bready malts with a mildly peppery and bitter orange finish.

M-Rich and mouth-coating with light, yet prickly carbonation and a medium body.

D-A very satisfying, delicious, and easy drinking beer. The frustration with the cork that I experienced was enough to make me consider avoiding Lost Abbey in the future.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.44/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a tap into a pint glass at Vine Cottage in San Diego (La Mesa), Calif. Caramel color with about 1 ¼ inches of foamy head. Nice lacing on the top, while the film on the sides were in rings. Very impressive looking beer.

Nothing too special on the smell, but I was 0-for-2 on the smells tonight, so who knows? I got some hints of some kind of malts and citrus hops. Kind of bland overall.

Some fruity stuff up front, but not overbearing. Slightly bitter finish. Just a tad better than the nose.

Medium body. Average-to-lively carbonation. Bitter on the tongue after.

A bit disappointed for my first (EDIT: second) Lost Abbey beer. The look was the part of his beer.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bright translucent orange with a thin marrow white head. Head collars and leaves a few lacey stragglers.

This beer is as farmy as a skyscraper. Pleasant, albiet subtle, spiciness, fresh clementine orange and mild caramel maltyness. Melds to a nondescript citrus candi sugar.

Taste is more clementine and apricot fruit, tame mustiness, and a very mild maltyness in back. Leaks flavor as it warms.

Pretty tame beer. Good, but tame. I expect more from Lost Abbey.

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Photo of Jmamay22
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Avant Garde, my second Lost Abbey beer, pours a pale rust colored orange with an ecru colored head. The slightly cloudy liquid shows a steady stream of carbonation rising to the top. The nose features a very fruity yeast consisting of pear and apple notes. Sweet candy sugar comes through as well.

Very sweet and fruity tasting, but refrains from becoming cloying. Earthy undertones don't reach the full level of complexity I would hope for, but may offer a suggestion of aging opportunity. Reminds me more of an American take at a Belgian styled tripel than a Biere de Garde. Very slight hop bitterness perceived in the finish. The carbonation is light and approaches being under carbonated. The fruity esters dominate this brew that provides an alternative vision of the Biere de Garde style. Worth a try, but slightly overpriced for the experience.

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Photo of treehugger02010
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had a bottle of this at T.J.'s Everyday in Paoli, Pa. It was poured into a snifter.
Appearance: The body is a clear light orange color. The head is white, one finger tall, good retention and not much lacing.
Smell: The aroma is fruity and sweet.
Taste: The dominate flavor is yeast, but there is a strong malt backbone in guide it.
Mouthfeel: This is a very dry beer.
Drinkability: This is a very good beer.
Don't drink and review.

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Photo of SaucyA
3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Slow bubbles rise to the surface of this deep orange brew. Served into a tulip, the head isn't very prevelent, and it's okay looking, but I've seen better. Has a nice glow and color.

S - Belgian candied sugar, slight yeast undertones, tangerines, pineapples, fruit punch. Strawberries. Fruity. Sweet.

T - Fruity, on the sweeter side of things. Belgian yeast plays a huge role in the taste. A little on the boozy side, but that's fine. There's a lone fruit fly that's hovering over it... it's sweet. Tends to get cloying :(

M - A little too thick, a little too undercarbonated... for my tastes. For a Lost Abbey brew, I expected sparkly.

D - Cloying, so I really have to knock some points off. The taste on the back-end has a Robitussin vibe that's messing with me.

Notes: Tastes like a Dragonmead brew. After looking at the other reviews, this bottle may be a little off. Neither the rocky head nor sparkly body is here.

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Photo of MonkeyBread
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

More of a French saison than a biere de garde. Not bad, not great. Lot of rustic Apple flavor and cornmeal malt. Needs to be breadier. Too effervescent and color should be darker.

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

Appearance – This is a shiny golden brown in color with little head. The color is really more copper, like a shiny copper pipe.

Smell – The malts are lightly toasted and, with the significant alcohol sense, almost smells like a strong Eisbock or some other type of high-octane European brew.

Taste – This is not as threatening as it looked and smelled. The booze is light but present, the malts turned a tad farmy with some good earth and must, and the sweets are just barely there.

Mouthfeel – This is medium-bodied and not very carbonated with some bitter leafy notes way up front and a moderate alcohol sting.

Drinkability – This one went down well enough. It has all the right components but is a bit too “in your face” for the style.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a medium yellow color ale with a big foamy white head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of medium sweet malt with a distinctive yeast presence. Taste is dominated by medium sweet malt with some bread and yeast notes and a slightly dry finish. Body is about average with some great carbonation. Interesting but lacking some character to make this truly interesting and I cannot see this beer aging well.

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Photo of jsanford
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml C&C bottle poured into a LA San Marco Tumbler.

A - Pours a hazy orange-gold with a fluffy white head that settles to a thick cap, leaving sudsy lacing as it recedes.
S - Crisp toasted grains, citrus zest, and herbal Noble hops. Very clean and refreshing.
T - More crisp malt with a touch of citrus and floral hops. This isn't as clean as I'd hoped, and the alcohol is creeping in, as is a metallic "copper penny" flavor that adds an unpleasant astringency to the finish. This is a pretty fresh bottle, so it's odd to find a metallic flavor that I usually associate with old bottle, so perhaps it's supposed to be in there? I don't know enough about the Biere de Garde style to make any assumptions, but I'm not digging it.
M - Crisp, with a medium-thin body and sharp carbonation.
O - Not a bad hot-day sorta brew, this is fairly sessionable despite the 7% ABV. I just wish the flavor stacked up to the nose, and that the unpleasant metallic flavor wasn't there.

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

First had: on tap at Eulogy, Philly, PA

Pretty tasty. Poured a hazy golden brown with a large head that settles down but doesn't completely dissipate. Nice lacing and some carbonation. Grainy, bready aroma, with a definite presence of hops. Similar taste, very grainy, hoppy with some fruitiness to it: citrus and light Prunus fruits and a touch of almond. Medium mouthfeel. I'd drink more if given the chance.

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

On tap @ the Lost Abbey brewery in San Marcos. Pours a clear golden color with a light white head, some lacing, minimal carbonation.

Aroma is slightly flowery, subtle, muted.

Taste is pale grainy malt and some slight Belgian funk, accompanied by a slight hint of tartness. Everything seems a bit muddled.

Overall this is not what I expect from a Bière de Garde. Lacks the vinous quality, the carbonation... just didn't measure up to the few other versions I've had in this style.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle corked and caged. Poured into a small tulip it forms an easily managed 2 finger head with fine carbonation. It is highly filtered to produce a shiney light copper body.

Suggestions of green apple and light citrus. Malts produce a subtle toasty character and some candied caramel. This brew is fairly subdued. Earthy w/ an herbal hop backside. This is a malty brew considering the light color.

Notes: For the price I'll have to pass on this in the future. Is it good? you bet. At the end of the day though this is average even when considering within the style.

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Photo of DrJay
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep gold and slightly hazy, a thick cap of off-white soapy bubbles appeared after a hard pour. Sheets of sticky lace clung to the glass as the head slowly receded. Lemon zest and bread appeared first in the aroma, followed by notes of cereal, yeast, and ripe fruit. Most of the flavour was quite mild, a little bread and fruit, some lemon. But there was a strong, bitter clove character and alcohol warmth that overshadowed the rest and were quite distracting - the spicy bitterness lingered long into the finish all by itself too. Nice texture though, with a peppery tingle on the tongue and generous, airy carbonation. Not bad overall - I got used to the weirdness in the flavour after a while, maybe it just wasn't as prominent as it warmed. Either way, still worth a try.

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Photo of TerribleTaste
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

After purchasing a bottle of Inferno from this company I went and bought two others, Avant Garde and Devotion. And after trying all 3 I'm starting to notice the same backbone and foreground from each of these beers but each have their own little fling that makes them unique.

The bottle date was 9/26/15
And was consumed on 12/26/15
Avant Garde offered up a really berry fruit based smell and taste, after the initial fruiting died away there was a hop flavor too that I personally liked. I enjoy how dark this beer presents it self but gives up a really smooth honey light feel and taste. But then again I have Terrible Taste ;D

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Photo of LiquidBread219
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle with a cork and cage seal.

A=It poured nice white head with a slight amber color but mostly a Golden color. It was a little Hazy in color. Looks pretty Good. Some lacing

S=I pick up a scent of fruit (apricot) and mostly spice notes on the nose

T=The taste is nice get the spice notes in the taste more don't get that much of the fruit notes from the nose.

M=The mouthfeel is decent (medium style) the one thing I just thought it was kind of overcarbonated

O=Overall a nice enjoyable beer, refreshing and light goes really goes down good and is refreshing.

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Photo of ReviewingUnderInfluence
3.51/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Taster drank right at their location in San Marcos. Nice sweet bread and biscuit maltiness, some phenolic Belgian yeast characters. The couple oz's I had were pretty nice.

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Photo of RomanW70
3.52/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours hazy yellow with a fluffy white head. Nose of yeast, citrus, candied sugar, and alcohol. Full malt flavor up front, follwed with a strong grassy flavor at the finish. Both aroma and flavor were fairly mild. Low carbonation and medium thick mouthfeel. A good offering, but a little disappointing from Lost Abbey

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.52/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very quick, and blochy white head that recedes to nothing in a short amount of time. Golden, bright copper amber. Very tiny bubbles help make for a mediocre appearance. Faint green apple skins, a little grassy hops, toasty malts, and maybe some bretty-like yeast in the nose. Very dry toasted malt, maybe a little champagne in flavor. Then the earthy, grassy hops, and add a little lemon peel. Crisp palate with hard to miss earthy hop and yeast notes. Pretty hoppy biere de garde. Pretty good and quaffable.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Pale orange. Nice white head. Thick white collar.

Smell - Pale malt. Some belgian sweetness. Fruity esters. A little peppery.

Taste - Pale malt balanced by white pepper and wine-like fruitiness. Bitter grassy finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Almost too heavy. Well carbonated.

Overall - Straightforward, but tasty.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle (no dating info) that I got from Roberts into my DT snifter. It was a slightly hazy gold color with some carb. No lacing. It had a small, fizzy light beige head that quickly evaporated.

The aroma was very sweet malt with dried fruit. Could also smell some of the alcohol. The taste was good but not great. Starts out good but then finishes off for me. Only my 2nd de Garde and not thinking this is my style. Again, the alcohol was too present.

Overall, a good but not great beer. Can't really recommend unless you can easily get. This is my 3rd Lost Abbey and so far not been real impressed with any of em. I think they might fall into the overhyped cause they are hard to get category.

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Photo of Silenus89
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

POured from 750ml bottle to pint glass

A. Golden brown color maybe copper as well with thick tan colored head

S. Bready grains, spicy yeast

T. Sweet and malty at firs,t lime/citrus taste

MF. Medium body with medium to high carbonation

D. Drinkability isn't to high its too sweet for me and for the price it wasn't worth it

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Photo of Mojo
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle -> Westbrook Brewing snifter

A - hazy medium gold, eventually becoming clear, one finger frothy head which disappears entirely. No lacing can be observed

S - fruity esters dominate, especially oranges. Earthy grain notes are detected too.

T - There is a dry yeasty flavor at work with a simultaneous fruity sweetness. Sort of odd. As the beer warms alcohol taste can be detected.

M - about average. nothing more to really say.

O - This was an old bottle. I'm sure if it falls off with age or improves. Fairly drinkable with a curious taste.

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Photo of Stoneman78
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received as part of my "Patron Saint" membership at Lost Abbey.
A- Pours a slightly murky gold/orange hue with a huge, white, craggy head with thick lacing that sticks to the glass
S- Nose is of yeasty and caramel malts, some nice light fruits (peach mostly), and spices, alcohol is quite noticeable too
T- Initial taste is of caramel malts and peach, followed by some bitter hops and spices, finish is dry and bit acidic in nature
M- Medium-bodied ale with adequate carbonation, texture is creamy and almost oily that coats the entire mouth
D- This is definitely a unique style, but the acidic finish puts me off quite a bit (almost an aspirin-like quality), it is also has the look and smell of a lighter Belgian, but the taste and mouthfeel feels like a heavier beer, overall it lacks any unique qualities that would make me want to get another one in the future (especially given the other great LA offerings)

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Photo of armock
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured an orange color with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Has a fruity spicy yeasty funky nose

T - All sorts of things going on starts off with some fruit and spice then has a yeasty funky finish

M - This beer has a light body with high carbonation to it

D - This is a pretty decent beer not my favorite from Lost Abbey but one that I won't turn away worth giving it a try sometime

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Avant Garde from The Lost Abbey
3.81 out of 5 based on 715 ratings.
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