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 hawkmage
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of Pete27lax
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of brother_kenneth
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of bkwhoppa66
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of Alpha309
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of anthony23cippy
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of brdc
3.03/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Large corked bottle, poured into a tulip.

Dark orange in color, with a fluffy white head that holds reasonably well, with average lacing. At least this one does not seem to have the usual Lost Abbey problems with carbonation.
Decent aroma, tangy fruitiness, some cookie notes. No funkiness. But that is all.
Medium bodied, the taste is pleasant but not complex, with some fruity notes, tangy for most, cookie maltiness, slightly bitter with grassy hops.
Lacks complexity, and it ends up being a below the average biere de garde. Another disappointment from this highly regarded brewery.

 591 characters

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 JDV
3.06/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle shared at tasting courtesy of Humulone_Red. Thanks!
Pours a hazy, orange color and smells of lemony sweet tea. Taste is mild, dry dusty sweet lemony character. Light to medium bodied and a fizzy mouthfeel. Pretty unique, and very drinkable. I liked this one ok, but it was a bit sweet.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.08/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass. I initially got a flat one but didn't review it; Lost Abbey sent me a replacement after I sent them an e-mail, and this is a review of the replacement.

A: A hazy honey / light amber body with gold tint when held to the light. Pours with a finger of head that quickly recedes into nothing, despite a vigorous pour. Uh oh. I think this one is flat, too. That explains why it took so much work to pull out the cork.

S: Lots of earthy must with leather. Closer sniffing reveals orange (sweet) and fig. Couldn't detect any hop aromas.

T: Light orange on the initial taste. The mid-taste is mostly leather and earthy must, which remains through to the slightly sweet fig-based finish. Earthiness lingers well into the aftertaste. A pretty nice flavor. A Biere de Garde should have more hops though.

M: Medium body. Totally flat, unfortunately, which detracts from the score a lot. Has a well masked ABV.

D: Pretty easy to down this one. Unfortunately, after two flat bottles of this, I'm not going to be buying more, especially at the price.

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Photo of rodenbach99
3.08/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml brown bottle with cork. Thanks to Julien and Pierre-Luc. Golden blond ale, a white thick head is on top. The nose is unidimentional, grainy and fruity (cherry). The grain is omnipresent and ackward. The taste doesn't differ from the nose with grain and maize. Some hops in the aftertaste. Medium bodied. Overall an easy drinking bière de garde that would have benefit from less grain and more malt (!!)

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Photo of maximum12
3.11/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up during an air raid through Seattle some time ago, this has been bottle-conditioning in the cellar ever since. Shipped home with dirty underwear, socks, & shirts as the packing material. Glad it & its mates arrived in one piece (& there was glass seperating it from the clothes...).

Cloudy orange, IPA-looking brew. Smell is pretty minimal; but instantly reminds me of my empty tasting glass at a festival after fourteen beers have passed through it & it's now empty. Odd. Don't think that's what the brewer was aiming for?

Avant Garde speaks of a slight apple tartness &/or sourness, a bit of balancing sweetness, but yeasty, with a bit of ash thrown in the mix. I'm not sure what the overall impression was meant to be, but this beer leaves me cold. Not bad, just not interesting at all. Dull. Splitting the bomber with the wife, & half will be just fine, thank you.

Nothing wrong with Avant Garde, just very pedestrian, & I've had much better within the category (I'm lookin' at you, Schlafly).

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Photo of kojevergas
3.12/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork acquired at Wades Wine in Westlake Village, California and served into Beer Passion Weekend 2011 stemware in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Cost was $7.99 USD plus tax. Expectations are quite high given the brewery.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over time. Not paired with food.

Side-poured without any additional vigor as I didn't anticipate carbonation issues (in spite of the brewery's reputation as of late).

A: Pours a one finger head of white colour, slight cream, fair thickness, and above-average retention for the ABV. Colour is a clear gold. Some yeast particles are visible. In truth, it isn't much to look at overall.

Sm: Biscuity yeast, berries, grapes, fruit esters, and clean malts. The berry and bright fruits are dominant. There's maybe even a light hint of vinegar. A mild strength aroma, and quite a pleasant one.

T: Bright fruit and light berries hit me first, with clean unobtrusive malts not far behind. A hint of vinegar in the back end, and some grape in the beginning of the body. The yeast is quite buried. No alcohol comes through. Melllow and nicely balanced for the style. I like it, but it's pretty simple. There's nothing unique or special that draws me to it.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the flavours of the body. It might be a too wet, though, releasing the flavours before they've been fully experienced. Adequately carbonated. Perhaps a bit too thin, especially as it nears the third act and finish.

Dr: Very drinkable for the ABV. Comparable to other beers in the style. It's quite overpriced for the quality; other (and better) biere de gardes can be had for less. Moreover, Lost Abbey has far better offerings. Still, it's a nice little beer. Fans of the style will likely enjoy it. The berry in particular is quite enjoyable.


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Photo of Burlyn
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: clear orange with a thick head.

Sm: slightly sweet with hints of malt and stone fruits

T: very mild, an easy to drink summer beer. apricot, grass, and a little spice followed by a bitter after taste

M: Carbonation quickly dissipates, feels crisp on the tongue and feels clean

O: Pretty tasty, good for drinking at a picnic with light farmers market foods as the day winds down. Be aware of the alcohol.

 409 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.14/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bright blonde yellow, super virgin white head on it, looks pretty. Super bready, belgian yeast esters flow deep and hard. Sweet lemon like that candy.

Still comes through bready, chalky and phenolic alcohol. Mildly bitter, mostly from the alcohol I'd guess.

This stuff is everywhere LA is on a shelf for some reason. Maybe they should make less of this and more of another kind.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.14/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served at just over cellar temperature, this 750ml corked and caged bottle was acquired through the Rare Beer Club in 2006. Poured into a Duvel tulip for maximum rewards.

Appearance- Pours a surprisingly crystal clear honey orange color, it's absolutely *glowing* in the glass. On a traditional pour, the head pushes three fingers in an awkward, stumbling fashion... the crown just looks messy. As the beer settles, we've got a thin, dissonent mat that offers no lacing.

Smell- Tremendous malt notes and a dollop of honey... there are definitely some faint hops rounding out the nose, notably Saaz and a few other familiar spicy Belgian types. It almost seems like there is a barrel-aged character about the aroma, though I'm not sure this ever touched wood... *hehe*... he said "wood".

Taste- Sweet, syrupy honey flavors dominate the entrance into the mouth... the middle offers a toasted malt character with some alcohol burn, not too detracting but a little out of balance. The swallow is where this beer goes south... the mouth-stinging afterburn combined with bone dry hops are not impressive.

Mouthfeel- The weight changes radically once the liquid has a chance to explore the mouth... thin at first, it swells to a slicker, more enjoyable texture as time goes on. The swallow is relatively quiet and nice.

Drinkability- With the belly warmth and accompanying fuzziness about the limbs, I'm quite surprised this beer weighs in at only 7%. I'm glad to have tried this obscure brew from the West Coast, however it won't leave any lasting impression.

 1,569 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
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 hopsaplenty
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml brown bottle, no date information.

Honey gold with a thick parchment cap topped with big bubbles. Slowly settling to a thin skim, dots of lace a left behind. Swirling, fast moving columns of fine bubbled carbonation break the surface. The aromas are of bread dough, green apples, honey, cracked peppercorns, and Anjou pears. The flavor of warm white bread drizzled with honey opens up into sweet apple and pear flesh. Plenty of peppery spice works itself through the finish. There is a fair amount of fruit sweetness as well as a bit of lemon pith which arrives at the tail end. As it warms a bit of alcohol becomes noticeable. Medium body with an initially tingle carbonation, this calms down to become almost still. This became a bit monotonous during consumption, and it seemed to be missing some spark.

 815 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a hazy yellow color with good carbonation and a fluffy white head. Nose is yeast, fruits, spice, and booze.Taste is biiger malt up fron,t spice, sugars, grassy and a sticky, buttery note that sordove lingered around, it sordove declined the mouthfeel since was not pleasant and would not go away. Ok beer but not a go to beer either.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.21/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice blonde yellow, much like many of the acclaimed belgian strong pale ales with its glow and virgin white head. Aroma was more bready than pale, but the pungent belgian yeast esters were here. Lemons and spice in a restrained amount.

one of the light and bready beers, thats impressive when you can pull it off, but not necessarily going to bbe something I'm all about as a recurring customer. I'm not a biere de garde guy, but as far as they go, this one is decent enough. There's a fine hop quality, very small, built with a belgian yeast, light body but bready quality that is probably a relatively difficult beer to pull off.

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Photo of Jredner
3.24/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle. Aroma is bready and grassy with lots of floral and citric notes. The body is dull golden color and holds a diminishing thumb thick white head. Fore is bitter and herbal-like with some dry fruit notes and a green herbal-bitter finish reminiscent of the fore flavor, but even more concentrated. Seems to lack appropriate carbonation level as well.

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Photo of MisterKilderkin
3.24/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of olradetbalder
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Photo of chinchill
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the brewery in San Marcos.

Pours amber with a white head that soon reduces to a ring but leaves some lacing.

Aroma: intriguing fruity aroma with a good malt base; hints of white wine.

Flavor: more funky and less fruity than the aroma, but not challenging to drink. Lightly bitter finish.

Feel: medium body; medium, lightly crisp carbonation.

O: strong (ABV) for style.

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Photo of mikeburd1128
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

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