Avant Garde | The Lost Abbey

very good
723 Ratings
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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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 723 |  Reviews: 349
Photo of johnnnniee
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pulled this bottle out of the cellar tonight, it seems it's time had come. This bottle is about a year old at time of review.

Pours a clear dark golden color with a fluffy white head that dissipates to a cap. Nice lacing on the way down. Smells of bread and oranges, fig, a bit of honey. Taste is semi sweet with bready malty sweetness with orange and citrus flavors peaking through an almost earthy character. Lingering alcohol in the finish. Full body, slick mouthfeel, medium carbonation. I really enjoyed this one! Not to phenolic, light and fruity with a touch of alcohol.

 578 characters

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

Bottle shared by durwoodx. Thanks Darrell!

Avant Garde appears a hazy, yellow straw color. There is a half inch of head that leaves a bit of lacing. The aroma is pleasant, with a mild funkiness. The beer has some nice herbal and tea characteristics. I do wish it was more funky and bold. I do not believe that the beer is aptly named, as it is simple and certainly not out of the ordinary or "avant garde." Worth a try, but not something to avidly seek out.

 458 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of InspectorBob
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of rolltide8425
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of imbibehour
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A real gorgeous tangerine orange and red body, crystal clear with a real nice column of carbonation in the middle. Head is off white, slightly yellow, with a sudsy character and makes some noise while pouring. Settles to a nice collar too, real impressive looking.

A nice clean malt action, almost minty and menthol smelling. Kumquat and citrus spritzy character, with a sense of champagne like yeast. Very fruity.

Real crisp carbonation on first sip, with a fruit like palate and sharp bitterness. Citrus oil and flesh orange bitterness mixing with a toasty white bready malt. Great finish and aftertaste. Very oily character to the feel, but a wonderful aromatic palate, and some hints of Belgian like sweetness.

Overall a real pleasant brew to be having.

 804 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Belgian bomber, caged and corked, no fresness info. Pours apricot, cloudy, gauzy eggshell head, leaving thick film, tiny bubble sheen and plenty of ringed and delicate lacing. The nose I pick up is minty, yeasty and fruity. Light peppery notes, yeasty goodness, nutty, caramel, complex, tasty, heady, another high class, BA worthy brew from Lost Abbey. The only problem I have with this brewery is that they do not distribute to NY state...

 440 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly fogged gold amber. Nose is like woody apples. Strong sweet tone is there too. Flavor is a tangy wood. Almost like this was aged in some type of wooden barrel. Feel is thick on carbonation and typical on liquid. Overall this is not really a favorite style of mine. Quite the opposite really. I can say without hesitation that it is one of my least. This one is pretty well made though and is even and consistent. If you can dig the style, give it a shot. For me though, I can't say I will try it again.

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Photo of SadMachine
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of jwc215
3.37/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to nacir69 for this one -

Pours hazed golden. When finishing off the bottle, it was very murky. A thin head almost immediately disappears.

The smell is of caramel, bready yeast and some vague fruitiness.

The taste is of bready yeast, caramel and a touch of banana fruitiness. Herbal notes are restrained, but peek through at times. Sweet, with a warming alcohol finish.

Light-to-medium-bodied,. A bit too yeasty - in a bland doughy way - for me. Maybe they need to take the malt up a notch. Bottom line - not a bad stab at the style, but it falls short of anything approaching greatness or "standing out" for the style.

Got another from bitterbill - thanks Bill!

 674 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured on-tap at the Port/Lost Abbey Brewery. The beer is a dark, pale gold color, with no head. The beer had a sweet nose to it, with a pinch of hops. The beer tastes of very light flavors blended together, including undertones of peanut butter, oddly enough. There are also bits of hops sprinkled into the flavor, as well. The beer has a body somewhere between a gold and an amber. Not overly full, but smooth. The beer is light and loose finished, and the taste just up and dies in your mouth.

 496 characters

Photo of Tone
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, copper/gold color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of hops, yeast, sweet malt, alcohol, and slight wheat. Fits the style of a Biere de Garde. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of hops, yeast, sweet malt, slight wheat, alcohol, and a hint of floral. Overall, good aroma, body, and blend.

 380 characters

Photo of VeganUndead
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of BEER88
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BeerOps
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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

I like the beers of Lost Abbey, that I've had (not many, but I'm trying) and I greatly respect Tomme Arthur's skill...but the label copy really honks me, man!
Check this out: "Grab a seat on the porch, some soft cheese, and a tree ripened apple from your grandmother's old orchard."
What the Hell? Who can they possibly be addressing here?
Sorry, gang, I live on the fourth floor of an apartment, I'm fresh out of cheese, and neither of my dead grandmothers ever owned an orchard, old or new!
Way to make me feel inadequate!
Makes it kind of hard to "relax and watch the evening arrive as the afternoon sun is consumed by the illuminating moon"? Especially since I'm having it at midnight, as I look out the window at sparse lit skyscrapers of the downtown skyline, as motorists buzz home like bees on the freeway below
Can't I just drink it in my living room, with a slice of pizza, while stroking my cat?


Hazed straw yellow, smallish white head as it sits in my chalice.

Citrus and bread aroma, light spice, rather nice! Rustic and refined at the same time.

More of that climbs on board the tongue, soft and luscious, waves on waves of flavor, ending in satisfaction, finishes even and dry. A little lemon, a little peach, more spices, and plenty of toasted malt.

Beautiful beer, a great companion for food.
I mean, tree ripened apples from my grandmother's old orchard, of course.

 1,400 characters

Photo of GClarkage
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12/01/06- Rceived as part of a trade with Jetsbeer.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, both caged and corked. No freshness dating found. Poured into my St Bernardus chalice.

Appearance- Off orange-rust colored pour. Slight 1/4 inch head which leaves behind nice lace streaks.

Smell- Fairly high level of dark malts. Spicy white pepper with a sugary fruitcake flavor. Alcohol noticed as well.

Taste- Pretty well hopped per style. Good biiterness from the lightly fruited hops. Peppered spices combined with a sugary caramel malt base. A bit tartness in the flavor. Really suprised at the deep malt flavor.

Mouthfeel- Semi dry with an average crisp carbonation. Nice bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- Really nice brew with some interesting qualities. Worth a try.

 771 characters

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

750ml Bottle

Poured into a chalice a nice golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice one finger creamy white head, which leaves some nice small islands and sticky lacing throught out the drink. The nose is malty, yeasty, and slightly spicy. The taste pretty much follows the nose. Medium body, a complex brew to an extent. Drinkable, this is a nice brew from LA/PB, recommended.

 393 characters

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of Gavage
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark orange color with a nice two finger head that lingers around a while. Some lace develops during the session.

Smell: grass, fruit sweetness, and a hint of spice is what the nose picks up here.

Taste: grass, pear, golden apple, a bit of earthiness, some pepper spice, and a moderate bitterness make up a well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp throughout, somewhat dry at the finish. Refreshing.

Overall: a solid tasty beer where one can have more that one glass in a session. Very quaffable.

 531 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Darrell, thanks.

Beer is yellow with a slight haze with a decent but short lasting head of small and medium bubbles that leaves only a little lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate to low. Looks OK.

Aroma is odd with almost a harsh bitterness to it but it's not hoppy. The bitterness is coming from some sort of yeast / grain, it's not too offputting but it's not what I expected.

Beer is medium bodied and boring. There is nothing of note that would make you think that this beer is a Biere de Garde. It has that graininess that I feared from the aroma at the back end of the mouth. I suppose when push comes to shove it's just an OK beer, a pretty big disappointment for me personally.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured and orangish yellow with a thin head and left a little bit of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: very light toasty bready malts with some sweetness but it did have faint hops in the background and grainy citrus notes. There was also some booze character as well.

T/M: citrus, various grains, and bready toasty malts dominate the palate alongside slight brett notes which adds tartness and wheat accents. The brew was light in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a bready, malty, citric, and slight tart finish.

D: it drank exceptionally good due to how light the flavor and the body was but was still a decent beer but not a beer that I would be excited to drink often.

 693 characters

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +5%

Avant Garde from The Lost Abbey
3.81 out of 5 based on 723 ratings.
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