Gift Of The Magi
The Lost Abbey

Gift Of The MagiGift Of The Magi
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The Lost Abbey
California, United States
Bière de Garde
Ranked #40
Ranked #20,208
3.82 | pDev: 11.52%
Dec 20, 2020
Jun 10, 2007
Very Good
Gift Of The MagiGift Of The Magi
Notes: It seems that everyone knows the story of the Three Kings. Sent to follow the star in the sky each brought a gift for the baby they sought. One King brought Gold, the other Frankincense and the other Myrrh. Many breweries produce a Christmas Seasonal beer and this is our beer to celebrate the holiday season.
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Photo of MikeWard
Reviewed by MikeWard from Pennsylvania

3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
750ml bottle into a tulip. NO freshness dating.

Looks very nice in the glass. Deep burgundy red body with a small but persistent off white head. Decent lacing at first

Aroma of boiled candy and sweet malt.

On tasting, it initially follows the nose. It is quite warm in the throat. Then, as was the case in TLA's Devotion beer, a wave of dry hopped bitterness comes in, crushing all before it.

Mouth just above medium, finish sweet then dry bitterness.

Overall, not a bad beer by any means. Some might appreciate the dry hopping to balance out the sweetness. I am less enthusiastic about it.
Dec 20, 2020
Photo of TrojanRB
Reviewed by TrojanRB from Texas

3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Pours a clear coppery amber with persistent white head

Smell is raisin, rum, brown sugar

Taste is definitely a bit of farmhouse funk...different flavor profile from the nose. Lots of muddled flavors, but the most prominent is a charred caramel

A little oily, moderate can tell it’s high ABV but I wouldn’t have guessed >10%
Feb 18, 2020
Photo of jmdrpi
Reviewed by jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
750 ml corked and caged bottle

tan colored, clear, foamy head. funky earthy aroma, bready and spicey. taste is complex and a bit grassy and herbal, dry. thin bodied.
Jan 24, 2020
Rated: 3.75 by brittanylicious from Indiana

Oct 20, 2019
Rated: 4.54 by Luke_Warmwater from Pennsylvania

Oct 26, 2018
Photo of JackRWatkins
Reviewed by JackRWatkins from Georgia

2.77/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75
A: Pours a deep ruby red with a creamy, two-finger beige head
S: Strong notes of cherry, dark fruit and raisin with something of a candied prune note as well, a touch of sugary sweetness and a slight tartness coming through
T: Immediately, pretty off putting. Doesn't much resemble it's nose, is a Bière de Garde in name only (though to be fair I wasn't really expecting it to be traditional). This beer has a strong, chemical astringency right out the gate that I find very hard to get past. The booziness here is handled well, (noticeable but not painful). It is very malty, and some dulled undertones of the fruit suggested in the nose do come through. There is supposedly Brettanomyces in this beer, but I'd say you are about as likely to notice that as you are the candied yams they added late in the boil (if you are now staring at the label wondering where it says anything about candied yams, it doesn't, because they didn't and that's my point). The astringency does dissipate but for my money it doesn't exactly leave much behind to enjoy or discuss. At this point it kind of tasted like a less flavorful cherry cough syrup.
M: medium body, medium carbonation, decently dry but not overly so.
O: This was my first non-collaboration beer from The Lost Abbey and I have to say, I hope they make better beers than this because if this was all they made I might suggest that they should stay lost. That being said, this isn't awful, but it isn't good. I would never order it and if it was offered to me, I would likely turn it down. I like strong beer, but the beer has to be worth my sacrifice of drinking other, lower abv beers (anything lower that 10%) and this beer is not worth it. I hate to say it but, skip this one. If you want a good Bière de Garde similar to this in approach, might I suggest Smistletoe from Smuttynose and if you want a more traditional Bière de Garde then go for Cuvee Des Jonquilles if you can find it and if not that then there's really not a great one (that speaks truly to the style) that's easy as pie to get so just don't worry about it.
May 17, 2018
Rated: 3.75 by jgunther71 from Illinois

Jan 19, 2018
Rated: 4 by krome from Illinois

Jan 18, 2018
Rated: 4.25 by bigred89 from Maryland

Jan 07, 2018
Rated: 3.5 by 1971bernat from Virginia

Jan 04, 2018
Rated: 3.94 by heymikew from California

Dec 31, 2017
Photo of Avitra
Reviewed by Avitra from California

4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
An almost warm lager, it has some bitterness, though very different than that of an IPA. There aren't many 12% Lagers, and there's no question this one is boozy due to it's alcohol content, but overall pretty balanced between citrus, bitterness and booziness. Good beer by one of my favorite breweries,, but not as great as some of their others
Dec 31, 2017
Photo of Beginner2
Reviewed by Beginner2 from Illinois

4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Now in its tenth year, this is the only Christmas beer I know that also is a biere d'garde. And it is brilliant !
In fact, it reminded me of Dupont's Avec Les Bons Voeux. I hope to have them alongside each other next year.

Great with food. I had this with a varied cheese plate at lunch. (I know, a bit strong for lunch... but even the wine drinkers liked it.) As for the label's claim of Brett, I was apprehensive. If there is Brett, Lost Abbey hides it better than any... IMHO.
Other than less alcohol.... If there is a way to improve this ale, I do not know what way that is.
Dec 20, 2017
Rated: 4.15 by goopy from California

Aug 28, 2017
Rated: 3.57 by anon from California

Aug 26, 2017
Photo of BeerDawgs
Reviewed by BeerDawgs from Georgia

4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
L - Murky, cloudy brown, with 1/2 a finger of head and no lacing

S - Belgian yeast, candy sugar, apples

T - Hoppy, sweet, and a hidden ABV.

F - Medium carbonation, medium body.

O - This brew is a few years old, but tasty still.
Aug 13, 2017
Photo of danasofia
Reviewed by danasofia from California

4.83/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5
Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a goblet glass. Nice, quick-forming white head that fades to lacing quickly. Large chunks of sediment visible in the bottle.

Look - Overall color is murky orange/amber, more reddish when held to light or with less beer left in the glass. Doesn't catch much light and is very opaque, nice but nothing special.

Smell - Earthy and grassy outdoor notes, sweet malt, faint alcohol, and orchard and stone fruit.

Taste - The highlight of this beer and a surprise after the nose. Unusual funky flavors (earthy, herbal, outdoor, woody ), very subtle fruity tartness accompanying acrid, leathery brett flavors, prominent pear, apple, and peach flavors that are tempered by the brett and biscuity malt. Earthy and spicy European hops. Nutty and woody flavors on the finish that highlight the alcohol, which is hidden very well otherwise. Most of all, this beer is still a lager despite how unusual it is. The sweet, biscuity malt is akin to a steam beer and the body and carbonation are on-point for the lager style. An incredibly interesting brew because it mixes those lager traits with brett, high abv, and nutty/woody amber flavors. Surprisingly drinkable and refreshing for its alcohol content and unusual flavors.

Feel - Very nice and also in line with lager style. Fairly light, but more sticky and viscous. Definite alcohol presence and high carbonation for such a strong beer, this complements the spicy hops and the initial sip resolves quickly, while the bitter and acrid herbal/woody flavors (from the addition of frankincense and myrrh?) linger significantly.

Overall - A fantastic brew if you approach it looking for the ways that it is a lager, probably disappointing if you look for other qualities (wild ale, sour ale, strong ale, or what have you). Incredibly unusual and worth a try, but not necessarily something to have again and again.
Jun 27, 2017
Rated: 4.12 by JaeTea from New Jersey

Jun 24, 2017
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Reviewed by jopezu from Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
pours a murky, dark copper-mahogany with a medium head that hangs around for a bit. nose; bread, yeast funk, brett, hay, & light berry scents. taste; biscuity malt, band-aid brett, vinous grape, pear sweets, banana, yeast, light ethanol, hay/grass, & light citrus hops. all-around musky & "earthy". medium carbonation & mouthfeel. the 12%abv is wonderfully tamed. among the nicer of the "wet blanket" beers i've tried! :)
Jun 03, 2017
Photo of q33jeff
Reviewed by q33jeff from New Jersey

2.76/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75
On Tap at Uno's. California No IPA day.

LOOK: Caramel color. Zero head.
AROMA: hops, but stale. Light banana,
TASTE: hoppy, funky, touch of pine,
FEEL: Medium body, low carb.

OA: I would not categorize this as a holiday beer. Spice is non existent. No sweetness. Ok, but not something I'd look for.
Jun 03, 2017
Rated: 4 by bshefftz from California

Apr 27, 2017
Rated: 3.87 by JuiceMan818 from California

Mar 16, 2017
Rated: 3.51 by Timtac from New Jersey

Mar 15, 2017
Rated: 3.5 by tylerstravis from Colorado

Mar 01, 2017
Rated: 3.94 by rarigney from Washington

Feb 13, 2017
Rated: 3.58 by StephenCollinsMarshall from California

Feb 11, 2017
Photo of Tone
Reviewed by Tone from Missouri

4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4
Pours a cloudy brown color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, yeast, alcohol, mustiness, stone, hint of citrus, slight spice, and slight earthiness. Mouth feel is very sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. There is also a dryness and slight alcohol bitterness. Fits the style of Biere de Garde. Tastes of sweet malt, fresh pale malt, yeast, strong alcohol, slight piney hops, spicy hops, slight floral notes, and a hint of spice. Overall, great appearance, amazing aroma, good body and blend. The complexity of the aroma and body is a real treat.
Feb 05, 2017
Photo of meinperpetualmotion
Reviewed by meinperpetualmotion from Illinois

3.69/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4
A: very appealing, darker than gold. smooth creamy head. one of the best looking beers of this color I've seen.

S: faintly sweet and boring. no fruit tones but a bit of herb--wormwood?

T: much better, sweetness is present but not too dominant. The alcohol is hard to taste, but it definitely slows you down quickly. still not getting any tartness, just some mild hops in the finish.

F: absolute best thing about this beer. It feels like cream when you swirl it around in your mouth. thick and luscious.

an adequate beer redeemed by extraordinary looks and texture. might try again some day, but it's not cheap.
Jan 30, 2017
Rated: 3.73 by ctt8410 from Oregon

Jan 15, 2017
Rated: 4 by costanzo_mike from Massachusetts

Jan 06, 2017
Rated: 4.07 by Hootie159 from Massachusetts

Jan 01, 2017
Rated: 4.29 by InfernoBoss from California

Dec 24, 2016
Rated: 3.8 by Sir_Goatman from Oregon

Dec 23, 2016
Rated: 3.94 by keng1343 from Colorado

Dec 13, 2016
Photo of Chizoad
Reviewed by Chizoad from California

3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Sitting on the shelf at Trader Joe's was this unknown beauty, this season's Gift of the Magi. I had a bottle of Fin du Monde in hand but swapped it out for this. $9 for a 12% abv beer, quite impressive. I'm a fan of The Lost Abbey, especially Inferno, so I'm excited to try this monster.

I swear this thing says "Lager" on the side of it. Somewhere. But when I poured this out it looked like no lager I've ever seen. Amber, hazy, decent head on it. Lots of lacing clinging to the glass. It kind of looks like wild honey.

Aroma has golden raisins, maybe some cardboard, doesn't jump out of the glass at all. A little disappointing.

Taste is a much better version of the smell. Well balanced bitterness, boozy, malty. An unusual beer without much complexity. Perhaps it's the lager yeast. The claim is that some Brettanomyces was used but maybe most of it died at 12% abv, because I'm not tasting much of the funk. It's there, but nothing like, say, Orval. In my opinion, the booze overwhelms any subtleties. If you are drinking this, you should let it warm in the glass a little because it does change. For the better? I am not convinced, but it does change.

Great mouthfeel, perfectly carbonated. Just the right density, but the beer itself is just slightly cloying at times. I'm sure I'll be drunk enough that I won't care in a short while.

A good beer, and unusual. I give high marks for originality, but take some away for the lack of complexity. Especially disappointing given the possibilities that Brettanomyces creates. Won't buy it again, but glad I had one.
Nov 23, 2016
Rated: 3.75 by mpenske from California

Nov 19, 2016
Rated: 4 by paulish from New York

Nov 04, 2016
Rated: 4.15 by Ctb6582 from Maryland

Oct 15, 2016
Rated: 3.79 by user785335 from Florida

Jul 13, 2016
Photo of Mitchster
Reviewed by Mitchster from Michigan

4.29/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Evidently brewed with Franki8nscence and Myrrh, fermented with a lager strain, dry hopped, then bottled with Brett. "A Massive golden ale" (not golden), 12% ABV. No other details via the website or bottle. (video says Tettnang and Saaz)
Corked and caged 750ml, purchased at Binnys in Chicago.
Pours out to a hazy medium amber, forming a tall whipped yellow head with very good retention and lacing. Carbonation is moderate, ~2.5 carbs or so. The nose opens with brett, followed by some tropical fruit, minimal hop nose, not much in the way of belgian phenolics. Taste opens with a nice sugary candi syrup like sweetness, followed by a really nice brett and tropical fruit note, then followed by bananas foster in the middle and aftertaste. Bitterness is quite firm, even though it's sweet up front, the bitterness gives the impression of a dry finish. At 12%, it's not boozy tasting, and I'm not detecting any flaws.

I think this one would benefit from aging. The hop bitterness might mellow out a bit, and the brett will gain more character and dry it out a little bit. I'd be interested in trying an aged version of this, but as it is, it's pretty solid. Not a typical quad (as I was thinking when I bought it).
Jul 09, 2016
Gift Of The Magi from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 757 ratings