Avant Garde | The Lost Abbey

very good
721 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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Ratings: 721 |  Reviews: 348
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pleasant orange-tinged golden colour, with a frothy and fine-bubbled head of white foam. Lacing is excellent. Body is really pleasantly cloudy, and looks solid and vibrant in the glass, like a liquified gemstone. Lovely.

Rustic and slightly tart aromas on the nose. A little crushed leaf, some hay bale and a really pleasant vinous or oaky acidity to piece it all together. Very nice BDG nose.

Taste is slightly tart on entry, but is wowed away by big earthy phenols that put this beer smack bang in the centre of its style. Hints of plasticene and leather, welling up through the back before a big spicy, phenolic bitterness on the finish. It's a boisterous Biere de Garde, and an unapologetic one. Mouthfeel is pleasantly leavened by some very fine carbonation, which balances the slight heat of alcohol detectable mid-palate.

A really nice beer and a very good Biere de Garde. I think it could use a tad more acidity on the palate, but that is just what would turn a very good beer into a spectacular one. This is a lovely drop.

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Photo of zoso1967
3.31/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Avent garde pours a slightly amber golden color with a tightly packed head that is just a shade too dark to be called bright white. The head sticks around forever and leaves wonderful lacing on the tulip glass. Before I go any further, I just have to give Lost Abbey props for the name. It is both clever and classy. The aroma is fairly subdued, but quite nuanced with a touch of toasted malt sweetness, a hint of acidic fruit and a bit of musty tartness. The flavor is balanced, but slightly malt forward with a definite breadyness that mixes with noble hop flavor, apricot, lemon and a touch of toasted malt. That cellar tartness is in the flavor as well, though it is not as funky as say, your average saison. As the beer warms, the esters from the yeast really take over and it becomes a bit unpleasant. The mouthfeel is medium with a nice slightly dry finish that has a spiciness to it that is not nearly as prominent before swallowing. The drinkability really suffers from the yeast taking over as it warms. This is my first biere de garde and I am looking forward to trying others in the future.

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

@ The Memphis Taproom off the spout.

A- Bright yellow goldish tannish with a nice bright bubbly head that dies down leaving minimal stick.

S- Smells like a garde with a lot of toasted qualities with grain sticking through. No citrus hops but more down to earth. Caramel and some apple.

T- Getting a nice light mix of a few key flavors. Starting off with some hay and grain with toastyed malts. This goes into apple and some touch of honey. Grassy hops all around.

F- Is pretty easy going if a step below medium. A malty build leaves for a slick finish, not really bitter, just a aftertaste of grass, nothing offensive.

D- I like this but have had better in the style, the toastiness is the main attraction here and thats alright by me. Alcohol is a tad high but who gives a shit. I drank it quick, a quencher.

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

On tap at memphis taproom on the late.

A- comes to me with a finger or so of white loose foam that settles in a bit to some sticky lace and a nice ring. Copper orange yellow in color and almost perfectly clear.

S- earthy and herbal with some wet hops and hay. A tiny bit of barnyard and honey like sweetness.

T- lots of grassy herbal hops and a touch barnyard funk. Belgian yeasty esters at times. Sweet hints here and there. Long grassy linger.

M- a tick less then medium in body and a tick higher in carb.

D- this is a tasty brew. Very good for the style and I like it nuff said.

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

Very clean and crisp pale malt with a load of Noble German hops. Yeast character is subtle with only some esters to enhance maltiness. Smell is of German spice. Taste is spicy, pale malty, and alcoholic. Bartender mentioned that this is brewed with a lager yeast at ale temperatures.

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

750 mL bottle, corked and caged.

A: Pours a reddish orange with a light white head.
S: Spices and a bit of fruit are prevalent.
T: Spicy like a saison, with some fruit on the finish, perhaps it is apple.
M: Medium bodied and well carbonated.
D: Somewhere between a session beer and a sipper. A whole bottle wouldn't be far-fetched.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml, corked and caged. 7% abv. First pour is pretty clear, golden with an orange hue. Good looking rocky white head, held up well by a stream of tiny bubbles. Nice head retention.

Nice fruity aroma, with some sweet caramel. Bready malt. Earthy, slightly floral, and citrusy hops blend very well in the back.

Soft bready malt. A good amount of fruit, citrus and apples. Dry and a bit earthy in the finish. A hint of spice goes very well. Just a bit of a yeasty flavor.

Light to medium body. Fair amount of carbonation, could use a bit more to clean the palate. Only a bit of alcohol is felt. Pretty nice beer.

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

Presentation: Poured from a 750 ml brown bottle into a Duvel chalice. No freshness date.

Appearance: Pours with 1 1/2 fingers of nearly pure white head. This settles, but still retains about 1/4 inch of foam throughout the drink. Nice lacing. The beer itself is amber/orange with a slight chill haze.

Smell: Semi sweet caramel with hints of cinnamon and cloves. Slight sour twang in the finish.

Taste: Sweet caramel malt with slight underlying alcohol sweetness. Bitter orange and mild hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is very thick and creamy.

Drinkability: A flavorful yet easy drinking beer. I could see visiting this one again, but it doesn't make it out this way, so no luck.

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Photo of mytireisfat
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

P: Tall corked 1 pint 9.4oz bottle. No best by date.

A: Two finger head that dissipates quickly. Golden amber color. Very little lacing.

S: Smells of malt, a little bitter i think from orange.

T: Spices of orange. A grass taste. Malt taste.

M: Medium body and well carbonated.

D: Easy to drink. a very good beer. cant wait to have this one again.

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a (mostly) clear golden-orange hue with a fairly dense foamy (barely) off-white head. Decent lacing.

Smell: A fruity barnyard ale. There's some grass and yeast with a bit of that barnyard funk smell, plus some fruits like maybe orange and pear.

Taste: Lots of grasses with some bits of spices and herbs. A bit yeasty, but not very bready. Not much fruit here. Fairly astringent bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied and quite smooth (a bit creamy, even). Very light "fluffy" carbonation.

Drinkability: The aftertaste is a tad much, but overall a pretty drinkable beer if you are ok with this style. ABV isn't very strong.

Been a long time since I've had a beer of this style. This one sort of seems in between a saison and a tripel. Can't say that I'm a big fan of it, though. A bit too much herbs in it for me, and I don't care for the aftertaste. Still, interesting to try, but I'd try a different beer of this style next time.

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Photo of Brew33
2.96/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My first offering from The Lost Abbey. Stoked! Corked and Caged 750 into my Orval goblet.

The pour is a nice orange amber with a clumpy head. That's about where the fun stops...

The aroma is subtle. Yeast, malt. The flavor is more of the same. Some grassy hops. Light malt, forward yeast character. This beer tastes "red" to me. I know that's crazy but there is a vinous quality that doesn't exactly integrate very well. It's a bit messy. Dry.

Not exactly my thing. This beer is all over the place like some BIG beers can be but this is very subtle and it's still a mess. Not a good integration of flavors. Pass.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a murky orangish-copper color with a big head due to lots of carbonation. I pick up a bit of spicy and grassy notes when smelling it. A bit of sour fruitiness as well...maybe a little funky. After sipping it, I get flavors of fruit, spicy yeast, and bread. This beer has a decent drinkability and has a great mouthfeel.

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Photo of jgasparine
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured from the bottle with a large offwhite head, which quickly receded to a haze layer and collar. No significant lacing. The mildly carbonated body was a turbid honey color- The tubidity comes from sediment disturbed from the bottom of the bottle.

S- The aroma is true to style: malt-forward with some cellar-like musty notes. Subtle nuances of treacle and tropical fruit esters.

T- On the palate it doesn't come-across true to style... it starts out as anticipated, malt-forward with some mild mustiness. But on the midpalate some of those mild tropical fruit-like yeast esters kick in. Into the finish, some mild citrus hop bitterness kicks-in, and lingers resinous in the peppery finish. Nuances of orange-marmalade on all subsequent sips. This is a wonderful American twist on the French style!

M- Thin body, softly carbonated, no astringency. Occasional texture from yeast sediment. Nothing special here.

D- A super-quaffable. The alcohol is exceptionally well hidden. A perfect beer for a warm afternoon on the patio.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Cloudy copper/amber color. Poured a 1 finger off-white head that gave way to a bubbly skim. Decnated continually. Laced in thin rings.

S: Fruity yeast and candi sugar. Malt character in the foundation.

T: Big sweet bready malt and spices. Mild sourness thats not overbearing. Bitter finish to balance.

M: Light-to-medium body. Medium carbonation. Crips an dry in the finish.

D: Flavorful and balanced; not too wild.

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Photo of litheum94
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: Nice golden amber body with a big, dirty, white head that settles to a thin covering. Very little lacing on the glass.

Aromas: Honey, malts, grassy hops and a little hint of lavender.

Taste: Pretty much what I expected from the aromas: nice, honey flavor that coats the mouth; caramel malts; grassy, dry hops leave a dry finish.

This is a really nice beer. Good drinkability, with a good balance of hops and malt. A good entry into a style that I don't have much experience with.

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

750ml bottle bought online from Beermerchants.com

Poured a light golden orange colour... Slightly off white head poured big and foamy then faded to almost nothing... little to no lacing...

Aroma - Juicy spicy fruits (light pears, apples and lemons), biscuity malts, quite bready, floral honey notes, some saltiness, cut grass, some wheat traces, light spicy yeast...

Taste - Light caramel malts, fruity (lemons, apples and pears), quite nutty, earthy, sweet bready notes, vanilla, floral notes, spicy yeast, grassy hops...

Feel - Quite smooth and creamy. Light body... pretty quaffable..

Overall - A pretty decent brew. Glad i tried it but at the price not something i'd be going back to.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky gold color, plume of fizzy white head, quickly diminishing but leaving enough behind for lacing. Smell is a very faint blend of fresh cut grass, dried grains, fresh baked bread, mellow lemon and faint spice. Taste is akin to biting into a fresh loaf of artisan bread with a faint kiss of herbs. Lighter side of medium bodied, moderate carbonation levels. Finnished as dray as any liquid i have ever ingested. A nice beer, somewhat mild, but a plesent drinking experience.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, milky golden color, capped off with an inch or so of rocky white foam. Smells lightly malty, with some grassy hops and maybe a hint of lemon. A nicely carbonated beer, with a decent malt backbone and some citrusy hop flavor. A nicely balanced, decently refreshing beer.

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Photo of crossovert
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle.

Pours a brownish orange color with a big fluffy white head. It has some lacing.

Smells like saison-light, it has some good farmhouse style ale scents such as a clean bready grain profile, yeast twang, slight spiciness, and some fruitiness but it isn't as intense as Belgian examples, I'm not sure why though.

The taste is mellow with alot of yeast character, some caramel, and fruitiness, ending with a spicy bitterness. There is a very acute spice character. It s pleasant.

Overall it is good but not great, I enjoy the Belgian produced ones a bit better.

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Photo of NCBeernut
4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brought home from a friend during his visit to Cali...

Poured into a New Belgium globe glass. Big ass billowing white head. Glowing sunset orange. Bubbles are streaming like crazy from the etching in the glass.

Pretty light delicate aroma. A little Belgian yeast spiciness and a little munich matiness mary together nicely, with the spiciness being most noticable. A tiny bit earthy.

Ok, this just about tastes like a nice malty bock. Crazy and unexpected. Super munich maltiness, and I love me some munich! A bit of toastiness. Not much in the way of hops in this one. Perfectly balanced bittering, but not enough to get in the way of the malty goodness. Maybe a slight noble hop flavor reminiscent of Sazz. Very light belgian spiciness, but again, the malt prevails. Pretty clean for a Belgian style actually. A little EtOH comes out as is really starts to warm up. I'm diggin this one. Oh, and it has carbonation! Not just that, but perfect carbonation!

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Photo of tigg924
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, clear, orange brown in color, high carbonation

Smell: bread, fruit, toffee, and toasted malt

Taste: bread, honey, peach, and toasted malt

Mouthfeel: sweet, light bodied with high carbonation

Drinkability: I really like this beer. A very good and bready beer with just the right spicing. Nice and malty, I cannot wait to have this again.

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Photo of zeff80
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a very cloudy, bronze/copper color with a one-finger, tan head of thick foam. It left some nice rings of lace.

S - It smelled yeasty and of candy sugar. There was a fairly strong malty quality, too.

T - Good malt backbone with a spicy yeast taste. There was a mild sourness that you'd expect in a Biere de Garde but it wasn't very strong.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A medium-bodied beer that is pretty easy-drinking.

D - This is a good Belgian-style ale from The Lost Abbey but seems to be a little style-confused.

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

A: Poured very clear at first and then developed the saison cloudy characteristic. Large, airy head was at about 2 fingers and dissipated quickly.

S: Champagne like with caramel apple on a wet stick and pear undertones. Grassy. Not fresh cut grass, but wet spring grass.

T: Quite malty for being a farmhouse style ale. I was expecting a bit more sour taste, but I get nothing like that. Pear comes out again in the taste as does the earthy, grass and slight woody taste. Towards the end there is a bread taste at the back of my throat.

M: Full flavor and taste. It feels like I'm drinking a beer that was aged in a wet barn with some hay rather than being served fresh. But I think that adds a lot of pleasant flavor.

D: I would definitely drink this beer again, perhaps more if I could buy it in my state, but then I might get sick of it. Very tasty, low ABV and reasonably priced if you don't factor in the 8 hour drive to get it.

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Photo of tedsox31
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml into my Saison glass. The color is a copper-red with a white head that quickly dissipates. Somewhat hazy.

The smell is bready, with some malt. As it warms the malt seems to decrease some. Some sort of sour/tart notes are also in there.

Taste is bready, with some sweet notes. There is also a decent dose of hops, which I like. The Belgian yeast is in the background providing some spicy notes.

Mouthfeel is on the thinner side and carbonated. Finishes crisp and dry. Appropriate.

A very drinkable beer. Blonde Bier de garde can be easy drinking and delicious when done well, which I believe is an appropriate description for this beer.

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Photo of SpdKilz
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first beer from The Lost Abbey. Here it goes...

Appearance - Pours into my Bell's tulip with a hazy tangerine color. A vigorous pour only yields about half a finger of white head that is gone in a blink of an eye and leaves minimal lacing.

Smell - Malty/yeasty with what smells like darker fruits oddly such as figs. After a few more whiffs I can smell light pear, numerous spices such as cinnamon, and biscuits.

Taste - Lots of bready malt and yeast. Slight bitter hops and a more pronounced apple/pear flavor than in the nose. Finishes up with caramel overtones.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, low carbonation, finishes a bit dry.

Drinkability - Relatively so - a bit sweeter than I was expecting. I'm going to pair it up with a bit of cheese right now and see how that goes. I'd rather buy a JP style Bière de Garde in the future.

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Avant Garde from The Lost Abbey
3.81 out of 5 based on 721 ratings.
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