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Gift Of The Magi | The Lost Abbey

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Gift Of The MagiGift Of The Magi
Very Good
753 Ratings
Gift Of The MagiGift Of The Magi

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States

Style: French Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 753 |  Reviews: 318
Photo of Luke_Warmwater
4.54/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JackRWatkins
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.

 2,081 characters

Photo of jgunther71
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of krome
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bigred89
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 1971bernat
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of heymikew
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Avitra
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

 344 characters

Photo of Beginner2
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.

 579 characters

Photo of goopy
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of anon
3.57/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BeerDawgs
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.

 233 characters

Photo of danasofia
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.

 1,889 characters

Photo of JaeTea
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jopezu
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! :)

 428 characters

Photo of q33jeff
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.

 328 characters

Photo of bshefftz
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JuiceMan818
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Timtac
3.51/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of tylerstravis
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of rarigney
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of StephenCollinsMarshall
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Tone
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.

 629 characters

Photo of meinperpetualmotion
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.

 616 characters

Photo of ctt8410
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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Gift Of The Magi from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 753 ratings