Avant Garde | The Lost Abbey

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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: 718
Photo of BMMillsy
3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Pizzacato in San Diego. Pours deep golden, clear, with a big creamy white head. Hay aroma, some yeast, with light pale malt sweetness. Flavor is very light hay and hops, again with light malt honey sweetness. Does not finish particularly clean or crisp, and there is lingering yeast on the palate. relatively light bodied with medium carbonation. This tasted much like a standard Helles lager to me when I was expecting a bit more farmhouse and light yeasty goodness. Only OK in my book.

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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 oberon
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Lost Abbey beer to try.Pours into my Hennepin glass a slight hazed peach color with a great looking thick one finger off white head that leaves a nice full ring of broken lace as it settles ever so slowly.I pick up vanilla with a peaches cream-like note,some mildy nutty pilsner malt as well.Flavors of nutty pilsner malts,vanilla,and a light tart green apple in the finish.A great food beer with alot of richness and subtle flavors.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle poured into a tulip
A: Amber color with a lingering one-finger head, good carbonation
S: Lots of nice malt, some yeast & a hint of fruit esters
T: This is okay but just not speaking to me in any way. Slightly sweet malt/bread backed up by a bit of apple & a touch of yeast.
M: Medium-bodied, pleasant carbonation, just a touch viscous from the sweet malt
O: Nice overall, just not something I'd go out of the way to search out

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Photo of beertunes
3.04/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Thanks to OKComputer for this one. Poured into 10oz goblet. Poured a cloudy straw gold color with about an inch of white head that had moderate retention and no lacing.

The aroma was mostly slightly funky yeast, with some underlying grain. The taste was pretty similar, tangy funk, some earthy grains and perhaps a slight cigarette taste. The flavors dissipated quickly on the finish.

The body was was on the light side of medium, and the finish was so light as to be non-existent. Drinkability would have been OK, except for the weird funk and ashtray taste. Overall, not terrible, but I was expecting more.

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Photo of MarioM
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml poured into SN snifter

A: Very clear copper color with an off white head composed of small to medium size bubbles. Moderate to high carbonation, no bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass.

S: Spicy, fruity, lightly phenolic with a slight hint of orange and maybe orange peel.

T: Very fruity, light bitterness and slightly citrus like but not overpowering. Very refreshing on a hot day I would imagine. Great example of this style.

M: Medium bodies yet dry and refreshing. Bitterness balances out the sweetness quite well while not being overpowering at all, just as it should be.

O: A great beer from Lost Abbey, as always. Refreshing and fruity, great after a hard hays work at the farm. Would buy again and hopefully share with friends.

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Photo of joshbhs04
3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- Hazy color with a nice slowly dissipating head. Super tiny bubbles moving along the edge of the glass
S- Lemon, hay, Belgian funky ( my term lol). Aroma doesn’t linger long
T- Lemon, Def get the bread yeast flavors. A lil medicine flavor on the back of the tongue.
M- Good carb that seems to dance on the tongue, medium mouth feel. Lingers on the throat a lil bit.
O- A good beire de garde, typical of the style from my experience ( which isn’t a lot for this style). A beer I could drink in the summer sitting in the yard relaxing.

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Photo of portia99
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle (bottled 10/4/11) poured into an Allagash stemmed glass. Found this old bottle sitting on the shelf at an out of the way store and figured I'd give it a shot.

A - After a nearly impossible to remove cork finally lets loose this pours hazy and finely sedimented glowing orange body with two fingers of fluffy off-white head that shows excellent staying power and leaves lots of lacing on the glass.

S - This is super fruity on the nose with tons of green apples, really bright lemon aromas, some oranges, still nice hoppy bitterness, quite estery, some spices.

T - Surprisingly bitter hoppiness that trends towards being a bit medicinal which also overpowers most of the other flavors. Still manages to put out some solid fruity flavors consistent with the aroma - lemons, oranges, apples...but all at a lower and less satisfying intensity.

M - Agressive carbonation that is fizzy and foamy in the mouth. Body is a lightish medium. The medicinal bitterness sadly lingers long past the swallow and drowns out the other nuances that are trying to come out.

O - Started out really great with a beautiful appearance and really great and aromatic presence in the glass. Unfortunately perhaps the age hurt this one with the medicinal bitterness overpowering the more delicate fruitiness. Maybe I will seek out a fresher bottle for comparison. Had high hopes on opening and suffered a bit of a letdown in the taste test. Still plenty drinkable and enjoyable, but what the aroma promised could have been something great if the flavor lived up to it.

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Photo of GuinnessAtRogerWilco
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml cork and cage bottle into a Chimay chalice glass.

AP: straw-gold colour with a 1/2" white lace head that slowly dissipates, strands of tight little bubbles floating to the top

AR: for whatever reason I'm not getting much aroma here, some faint bread, hay/grass and Belgian yeast. Smell is a bit bland.

T: taste makes up for the lack of aroma. Baked bread, apple, pear, peach, nectarine and a soft kiss of herbal hops on the finish. Very tasty.

M: a slight effervescence soon as it hits your tongue, good carbonation on this without being too much, finishes crisp and palate cleansing without being too dry

OV: I really like this beer and feel the Biere de Garde style is underrated. The flavours were really nice, which is the main aspect of any beer. It paired very well with my mushroom burger on multi-grain bread with salsa veggies and swiss. Definitely a good food beer for light to moderate fare.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml Bottle from Bevmo La Quinta for 10$

Appearance - Slightly hazy yellow colour with a large size fizzy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fairly good lacing. The head lasted for 3-4 minutes.

Smell - Breads/grains, lemons, ginger/spices

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste bread/grains mixed with some lemons, ginger, and noble hops. There is also a bit a herbal/grassy flavour. It ends with a bready/grainy aftertaste with a light bitterness.

Overall - Good, not great. Every beer I've had from this brewer has been fantastic so my expectations were high. Not a repeat buy for me.

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Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy golden yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half high off white head that took a long time to died down and left a huge pillow of bubbles in the center of the glass, a collar around the edge, and lots of lacing down the sides.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of earthy yeast in the nose along with notes of grassy hops and some hints of peppery spices towards the finish.
T: The taste is similar to the smell notes of grainy malts and a light amount of bitterness. The light bits of spices are most noticeable towards the back end of the taste and linger through the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and slightly dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and has some interesting aromas and flavors, but the dryness seems unusual for the style and cuts through (instead of emphasizing) the malty and earthy flavors.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

a fun, if understated brew. the pour is a little hazy, light orangey yellow with a finger or two of white head. nice lacing left behind. the nose is yeasty, just past neutral on the acid front, some fruit and gentle candy sugar notes. the flavor is surprisingly subtle, not intense or aggressive at all, more of like a high class session ale, well balanced, interesting flavors, and good carbonation with an airy texture and an easier feel than 7% abv would usually allow for. some sugar in the finish, but it isn't too much, and there is a summery vibe to this beyond a saison. grassy and spunky, exacerbated by bright bubbling, I like the feel of this more than anything. clean finish, but not dry, especially compared to some other lost abbey stuff. overall a very well made beer, one that could be an every day drink for me if it wasn't so expensive, but damn its refreshing, satisfying, and yet undifferentiated in some ways...

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

Bright orange in body with white bubbly head that stays as a thin film. Aroma of citrus, horse blanket, vague grass, circus peanuts. Tastes of citrus notes, fresh kiwi, wet grass, mild horse blanket towards the finish with light booze and orange rind bitterness. Medium bodied with high carbonation. Very prickly. A pleasant drink that features more citrus than horse blanket. Good choice for food pairings with its bubbly mouthfeel to clean the palate.

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Photo of jtierney89
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gorgeous looking golden brew with a giant white craggy head and lots of visible carbonation.

Fruity nose, soft fresh peaches and floral hops.

Soft delicate fruits on the tip of the tongue, apples and peaches and rose petals. Brisk carbonation with a rolling body. Cuts clean and crisp with European hop bitterness. Mild alcohol on the back of the fruit lends to a slightly Fruity finish but again this is balances by the nice balancing crisp bitterness. Semi sweet with a balancing quality. Warm buttery finish yet the finish is still clean. Faint earthiness.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours hazy golden orange color with a nice 3 finger fluffy white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big apple, pear, pepper, orange peel, caramel, bread, floral, grass, coriander, earth, honey, light funk, and herbal. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity. Taste of pear, apple, pepper, citrus peel, coriander, bread, caramel, clove, honey, floral, grass, earth, and herbal spiciness. Lingering notes of light fruits, citrus, pepper, bread, coriander, clove, caramel, floral, grass, honey, and herbal spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Great balance and complexity of flavors; with a very nice malt and yeast spiciness balance; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Biere de Garde style. Very nice flavor complexity and balance; very smooth and crisp to sip on. Really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours a cloudy copper color with bubbles constantly rising to the top for a thick white head. The aroma has a yeasty, banana, farmhouse ale scent. The initial flavors are wheat mixed with citrus that create a well balanced flavor with the yeast. The texture is superb while being light tasting to the tongue with a dry finish.

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Photo of PeterIngemi
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a 750 ml poured into a dfh snifter.

A: pours a very nice golden orange with a finger if fluffy white head.... Excellent retention... The head dissaptes To a film and remains for the rest of the glass... Incredible coating of lacing. Great looking beer!

S: pleasant fruity yeasty aroma, not overly spicy like some Belgian yeast tends to be, a touch of bready yeastyness as well... Very nice aroma, and I don't even usually care for yeast forward aromas.

T: yum, very nice light fruit notes of apple and pear, a very faint hint of caramel in with the fruit sweetness, and a bready yeasty finish, very gentle and well rounded. Lots of nice apple notes.

M: creamy and lush, excellent lively moderate carbonation, nice am slightly dry,
Bready yeasty finish. Love the mouthfeel on this one.

O: this is an excellent saison, great use of yeast, excellent balance, I'm not huge fan of this style, but this was great.

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Photo of MadScientist
4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A pale gold with good clarity and a persistent off-white head comprised of rocky and thick creamy bubble that leaves lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is spicy, hoppy and fruity. There is a moderate pepper phenol and apricot ester with moderate spicy hops. There is a malt sweetness and a very slight perfume alcohol. Some light orange peel in there as well.

T: Moderate hops bitterness with a bunch of spicy that seems to be from both the yeast and the hops flavor so it's peppery and noble hop-like. There is some malt sweetness which does linger into the aftertaste. The finish is fairly dry. The balance seems to be modestly bitter.

M: The body is medium-light with high carbonation. There is a little bit of that astringency common to the Biere de Garde style.

O: A very drinkable example of this style and I will search long and wide for the sour version because layering some sour notes one will make a fantastic beer.

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Photo of smakawhat
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.

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Photo of pkalix
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not as impressive of a color as the ommegang GARDE I just had, and equally absent of head on the first pour, but I can see the trending of the styles. On the 2nd pour of this 750ml, I saw a much larger (3 finger) head and sediment in the bottom of the bottle.
Definitely some smell in this chalice but I cant make out any semblance to the ingredients I expected in it; mostly just a malt-y type of nose. Much more bitter in comparison with the other brew of this type I just had and these are the first real tries of this type. Flavor is more malt and I don’t much like the ‘tang’ I get from the hops- it seems a bit mismatched.
Overall, it’s not a bad brew. And for 7% it doesn’t impart a tremendous amount of alcohol taste, nor does it taste bad. The Lost Abbey collection has not been a preferred one for me although I am planning a nice motorcycle ride down the coast to their tasting room soon.

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Photo of Blackwolf
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured into an oversized wine glass, thin head, slippery lacing, if any at all. Deep straw-orange peel in color, it looks very beautiful in ambient lighting.

S- My second ale of the night that unfortunately had a very light scent to it. Bread, apples, a touch of malt and a tickly tease of banana hidden deep between the aroma of all the above.

T- Not quite a 5.0 but damn close! I am a big fan of cheese, bread and delicate meats... This is DEFINITELY an ale to take to the beach or to the park for a picnic, pop out some prosciutto, sharp nutty cheese, apples/melon, a fresh baguette and sip away!
YUM!!!! ~A sweet, slight country/homey taste, subtle and I mean subtle sweet malt, there is a hint of apple and yeasty bread in it. Good balance, deep and scrumptious! The finish sticks around for a couple of seconds and leaves you waiting for more.

MF- Light-medium gritty stickiness to the palate, carbonation is very light too, and tickles the tongue quickly on the finish.

O- This can quickly become your "Sunday Evening Ale." It is an impressive ale, though, if the aroma was much more deeper than I expected it to be, this could definitely entice me A LOT more to make it into my weekly rounds. Price shouldn't be an issue with this one, if you see it, try it. It is by far, not disappointing, but also not a must in my book. ~bottoms up! :)

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Photo of BlackBelt5112203
3.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to FosterJM for this one!

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.

L – Deep gold color with a huge 5-finger cream-colored bubbly and pillowy head. Really nice retention and great lacing. Clear with tons of bubbles. This certainly does not have any of the carbonation issues that Lost Abbey beers are somewhat infamous for having.

S – Bready and toasty malts with apple, pear, and grape esters. There’s also a little bit of an earthy, woody, musty aroma here as well. Smells nice.

T – Starts off sweet with bready malt, apple, and pear flavors and rapidly shifts to a yeast spiciness, an earthy hop bitterness, and finally a woody astringency. The astringency isn’t huge, but it takes away from the pleasantness of the beer and is sort of magnified by the spice and bitterness.

F – Medium-bodied with good carbonation, a silky-smooth mouthfeel, and a spicy, slightly bitter, and very dry finish. Spicy and astringent dryness lingers for a little bit along with a subtle palate-warming sensation from the alcohol.

O – This beer is kind of all over the place. It looks fantastic and smells great, but the flavor and mouthfeel share this woody astringency that takes away from all the good flavors included. It doesn’t make it a bad beer, but it’s just not as good as it could be. Still a tasty beer, and I’m very glad I got to try it.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy deep yellow color with an off white head. In the aroma, earthy and cheese like notes. In the taste, tart and earthy, with notes of white grape. Quite smooth and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dryness that leads into the tartness of white grape in the aftertaste. Missing some hop presence, yet nice tartness, smooth and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of paleoplant
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer had a nice cloudy color and I was looking forward to trying it. Since I am a fan of smelling the beer, I was expecting a strong aroma, but unfortunately this beer has little odor at all. Obviously that doesn't discount this beer, it's was just deceiving. The first sip had a nice mouthfeel: nicely carbonated but not too muc. The taste of this beer is subtle. If you are looking for a bold flavor, it does not exist here, although I found the crisp, mild taste to be quite enjoyable. I say you should try it...

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Photo of The_Blodge
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Serve from a Belgian bottle in a tulip glass. Color is deep dark copper or a burnt orange. Nice 2-3 finger head that dissipates slowly. Moderately low lacing. Head fades to a thin film on the surface. Beer is clear with no chill haze or yeast sediment.

S: Alcohol comes through immediately. Fruit and Belgian yeast esters. Slight tobacco. Apple.

T: Malt is the star. Buttered toast well balanced with noble hops. Alcohol is there, but not overpowering. Hop bitterness lingers wonderfully on the tongue.

M: Medium body with playful carbonation that tickles the tongue.

O: Great beer that showcases the malt in a fantastic way. Well balanced sweetness/alcohol/hops. Good beer to keep on hand in the cellar.

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Avant Garde from The Lost Abbey
3.81 out of 5 based on 718 ratings.
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