Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Avant Garde | The Lost Abbey

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Avant GardeAvant Garde
Very Good
724 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 724 |  Reviews: 349
Photo of TommyW
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Dark golden body, slightly hazy, with a medium, bubbly, white head.

S- Lots of ripe fruits with a faint hint of herbal hops.

T- Big taste of overly ripe fruits that is quickly balanced with a slightly bitter and dry medicinal yesty flavor. The bitter, dryness lingers for a bit.

M- Medium body with a crisp feel.

D- Not very familiar with this style, but this is one tasty beer. Will definitely be buying this again.

 423 characters

Photo of SirRuss
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'll skip over the details of this review since I'm writing from memory.

Overall - really impressed. Great expressions of Belgian yeast, and a perfect compromise between simplicity and character. Very easy drinking and incredibly refreshing.

Definitely worth trying, definitely worth buying again. Bring on the summer so we can really enjoy this one.

 354 characters

Photo of sjverla
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nose: Sweet and fruity. Lightly raisiny--almost like strawberry jelly. Mild yeastiness.

Appearance: Hazy honey-gold. A thing white head coats the top and laces down. Pretty.

Taste: Big and fruity. Sharp bitterness that sticks to the sides. A tiny bit alcoholic, but well-balanced by the creamy and smooth feel.

 312 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy golden color with a fairly large head that fades pretty lazily.

S: Light malts and freshly baked bread in the smell.

T: In my notes, I wrote that it tastes like a saison but without the funk. Something very earthy about the taste. Freshly baked bread in the taste as well along with a slight hint of earthy hops.

 323 characters

Photo of Phelps
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed during a tasting of Bieres de Garde, poured into a plastic tasting glass.

The color of honey with a frothy half-finger off-white head with fairly good retention.

The nose: honey, caramel and very subtle green apple along with a floral character -- maybe roses or orange blossoms. There's also a tiny bit of nuttiness and not a lot of cellar character, though it is perhaps a little oxidized.

The musty cellar quality emerges in the flavor. Earthy, roses, very very subtle wild yeast, honey and some savory notes. Finishes on the sweet side.

This bottle might be old -- it's nearly flat, though the body is a nice velvety medium. It's a little soapy, lingering on the tongue for a while alongside a subtle tinge of alcohol.

Avant Garde has a pretty nice, complex flavor, but wasn't the best of the style I tried that day.

 838 characters

Photo of samie85
3.44/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

 894 characters

Photo of PhillyStyle
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1 pint 9.4 oz, corked and caged bottle
Bottled 12/9/10:

The beer poured a bright, cloudy amber/light orange. It produced a huge foamy white head that was well retained. The beer had noticeable carbonation floating to the top and yeast particle floating throughout the beer. A slightly thicker than a thin cap remained.

The beer gave off a nice aroma...seemed more like a pilsner aroma (more toasted grains) than Belgian aroma that was expected. I did get a hint of perhaps some orange or other citrus.

The taste of the beer was not at all what I expected, I guess that I expected more a long the lines of a Belgian strong pale ale, but this was not as sweet, but more sweet than most beers and the hops were a little more noticeable than a strong pale ale. I guess it would be a lighter version of a strong pale ale.

The beer had a medium body with extreme carbonation, but the right carbonation. The beer was smooth, creamy and easy to drink. This was my first for the style and was a little unsure of what to expect but I will definitely be trying more.

 1,059 characters

Photo of Eschulz91
2.94/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It poured hazy golden. Lingering bitterness on the back of the pallet. And not in the good way. Nose rather unimpressive, mostly lagerish. It did follow a rich malty aged nick. Still, drinkable, yet really not sold on this ale. Still want to try their other styles.

 265 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.18/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by Darrell at a recent tasting. Served in a snifter.

Pours a yellow-orange color with a white head and a moderate amount of lacing on the way down. The nose brings forward quite a bit of grain and bread with some mild yeast presence and a touch of a farmhouse character. The taste is mostly just a bit of grainy malt without too much else. The finish is oddly dry and a bit too bitter. Not terribly drinkable.

 424 characters

Photo of Pardishcreel
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

It looked a golden color with lots of head. It's overly carbonated.
The taste was sweet but very fruit infused I thought the sweetness came out nice really balanced with the abv%.
The mouthfull had to much carbonation, but as for the drinkability it was a beer I could have anytime.

 283 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

 713 characters

3.31/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL to tulip.

A: With a semi-vigorous pour, four fingers of yellow tinted head is created, frothy, airy and very long lasting. The body is lightly cloudy and has a tangerine hue with medium saturation. Lacing is spare to fair.

S: Light scents of toasted grain and straw compliment the delicatedly hopped nose. Hop aromas include herbs, grass and celery with a light lemony-orange zest brightening things up a bit. An earthy character remains, balancing must with light funk and barnyard. Whiffs of menthol come as a detriment to the overall aroma profile.

T: The flavor follows the nose closely and isn't any more impressive. Mainly earthy with semi-sweet fruity flavors supporting. Dusty, spicy. Lightly sweet and lightly bitter. Unwelcomed flavors of bandage mixed with light medicinal notes.

M: Medium body with a dry and chalky finish. Fizzy carbonation. A mild tartness and very light sourness rounds out the mouthfeel almost perfectly.

D: The drinkability is fine but the uninspired aromas and flavors will likely keep Avant Garde from being a repeat purchase.

 1,074 characters

Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.52/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light orange with nice streams of fine bubbles and a thick rocky white head that leaves nice lacing.
Aroma is dry and spicy with a nice light malty note. More fruity than spicy with some light applish esters and a touch of pepper.
The flavor begins nice and sharp from the high carbonation great for style. Once that carb backs off the balance of toasty dry malt comes through and some more of the subtle yet stylistically accurate belgian notes come through. The flavor of the malt is very nicely balanced with the light fruit notes and the high carbonation keeps things refreshing.
Mouthfeel is great for a belgian style ale and is right up there with actual belgian beers. This beer does an excellent job of blurring the lines between a belgian style and an authentic belgian beer. Very refreshing and drinkable this is a great food beer and would go well with poultry or light fish dishes.

 902 characters

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.45/5  rDev -9%
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.

 466 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
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 kenito799
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, Rare tasting.
Fizzy apricot-colored brew, clear but by the end of the bottle lees pour in to make it cloudy. Almost no head.
Aroma, surprisingly enough, recalls tart, lemony apricot...maybe suggested by the color but once ii though apricot I swear I smell it. A hint of nutmeg as well.
Very fresh and clean on the palate, appetizing, refreshing. The lees add some complexity but mainly this is a nice fresh tangy brew that is simple and pleasing. Quite dry, with a balanced bitter finish. Not challenging or funky in any way, but very nice.

 553 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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 gregshead
3.89/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a light copper/almost a golden color with 2+ fingers of head. Wow it has some carbonation to it.

S: Smell of sweet bready malts and apple juice.

T: Similar to the aroma, sweet light bread taste, sweet apple flavors, little bit of astringency.

M: Big carbonation feel with a medium thickness feel.

D: And by drinkable do you mean taking down the whole bottle by myself? Then yes. An enjoyable beer. Glad I can get this one year round.

 448 characters

Photo of dstc
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very cloudy rusty copper (does copper rust?). Nice tan head falls very slow and stays as a small one. Very decent lacing.

Very appealing aroma that is clean with hints of fruit. Maybe some funk buried I'm there?

Nice taste that has some farmhouse qualities and tart fruit flavors. That funk is in there as well.

Medium bodied and quite sharp on the tongue.

Good stuff. Much enjoyed.

 398 characters

Photo of armock
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
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

 402 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
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 nataku00
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark burnt orange/copper colored beer poured from a bottle into a Lost Abbey tulip glass. Large initial head, two fingers worth, slightly off white in color and very fluffy with small bubbles. Head clings and laces nicely on the glass, and starts to dissipate fairly quickly to about half a finger worth. Plenty of carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass to keep the head at the half finger level.

Nose is mostly malt and a little bit of sour twang. A bit of hops detected, a little bit of citrus peel but not as strong aroma.

Taste follows the nose, though the hops makes itself much more well known. Good balance of hops and malt. Hops flavor profile is mostly a orange peel, with a pleasant lasting bitterness on the tongue.

Medium bodied but creamy beer. The carbonation is very good in this beer, making the beer very appealing on the tongue and in the mouth, without excess gas. Alcohol is barely noticed in the beer, and I could have easily finished the 750 ml without noticing it.

 1,004 characters

Photo of GilGarp
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle, corked and caged, no date.

Served cooler than cellar temp into an etched-bottom goblet. Avant Garde is a bright golden yellow color with good clarity. The head is thick and long-lasting with a creamy smooth texture.

Aroma is immediately evident when the cork is popped. Tropical fruits mix with floral notes and a very mild yeast. It's unusual but pleasant.

Flavor is very mild with the same sort of characteristics that were discovered in the aroma. It has light fruit, floral, and herbal qualities. On top of that, or rather in the background, elements of funky yeast and peppery spices.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body, well-carbonated, and balanced. Actually, the first thing that strikes me about this beer is how dry it is. Every sip finishes bone dry.

Overall an interesting take but definately needs to be paired with food. As the label suggests: bread, apple, cheese; any of the three will do.

 924 characters

Photo of Ghenna
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first go with this style of beer. Pours golden straw, moderate head that quickly reduces to a lingering, but thin, cover.

Smells of Belgian yeast with a bit of malt sweetness. Taste was kind of different from what I expected. Nice light malt sweet initially, followed by a subtle bitter that lingers along with the sweet. Carbonation is champagne tight.

Interesting, if a little uncomplicated, beer. Body is fairly light so that makes for easy drinking. Not my favorite from LA, but one I might pick up again to compliment a meal.

 535 characters

Photo of tempest
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a glass at Ortino's Northside and it appeared a lightly hazy amber (mostly clear) with ashort white head. This was a tasty beer, but for unknown reasons, it really reminded me of a good maibock. The mixing of juicy esters and grains came off like a loaf of sweet bread with cherries and dried fruit (though not a traditional fruit cake). Additionally, there were herbal, spicy hops that reminded me of noble varieties.

Wait a second, I just checked the Lost Abbery website...
Yeast- House Lager strain with hybrid fermentation at ale temperature.

I suppose that helps explain the maibock similarity. Still, that's not a bad thing, this beer just stretches the style to make a complex and interesting beer. Definitely worth checking out.

 742 characters

Avant Garde from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 724 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.