Gift Of The Magi | The Lost Abbey

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

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States

Style: 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.

Added by BeerBeing on 06-10-2007

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 751 |  Reviews: 316
Photo of Diomede
5/5  rDev +30.9%

Photo of Grant35
5/5  rDev +30.9%

Photo of DustinSWB
5/5  rDev +30.9%

Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +30.9%

Photo of seanmugs
5/5  rDev +30.9%

Photo of mikennat
5/5  rDev +30.9%

Photo of CoalCellar
4.87/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into my goblet.

A: Pours a deep golden color and quickly builds a sustained frothy white head.

S: FUNK! Dark belgian fruits, metallic belgian yeast, BRETT in all its glory.

T: OUTSTANDING! More of a brett flavor than I anticipated. Band aids, musty horse blanket, lemons, oranges, belgian fruits, medicinal flavors, faint hops.

M: Crisp and delicious.

D: Extremely drinkable. Its a crime I can't get more. I could sip this stuff every night. An outstanding christmas ale from Lost Abbey. Can't wait to see what this stuff does in the cellar.

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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.

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Photo of rxdrewthejew
4.8/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked this up about a month ago at Beverage Warehouse. Tried to let it age, but I just couldn't wait any longer.

A: A hazy reddish amber. I looked pretty light coming out of the bottle but this is pretty dark for a pale. Don't see too many red Belgian-style beers, so something unique. The head is off white and quite thick, plenty of pitting and lacing, and I'm left with about a one finger head after a fairly passive pour.

S: Spice, funk and plenty of sour cherries. The sour isn't overwhelming, but it's quite noticable. I note some floral and honey sweetness as well.

T: This has a real American Strong Ale quality too it. Sweet dominates the beer. Opening is a bit subtle, but then it quickly blossoms to a sweet alcohol feel. Fruity with apple, cherry and even some tropical esters in there. A bit of funk towards the end and a touch of sourness and bitterness. I expected this to be more sour in light of the Brett used in the breweing. Finish is honey/syrupy sweet but super dry with a hint of the hops.

MF: Good carbonation, a full beer although not especially thick. Just a huge sweet alcohol feel, warms up the mouth and then the rest of the body follows. The dry finish is fantastic.

D: This is reall, really good. My favorite offering from TLA to date. Everything comes together really well. The flavor is pretty bold, even for the style, but it's not overpowering or tough to drink. I do think this could use to age a little longer as it's still a bit rough around the edges, and I think the Brett hadn't really permeated the flavor yet. Not a sessionable beer. I felt the alcohol from the first sip. Bottom line-I really like Biere de Garde anyway, but taking and making it into this is a really nice peice of work. Highly recommend if you can get your hands on it.

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Photo of slayer3604
4.79/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just got this in the store 2 days ago and already it has shown potential of being a good seller.

A- amber tangerine color, with a pinky finger head that dissipates into blotches of off white head, with odd galaxy patterns floating wherever! neat!

S- spicy, alcoholic, and malty. lots to this guy. i let it sit out for a few minutes to let the 'share' go away a tad. lots and lots of layers to the nose on this beer.

T- brett (duh), which leads into citrus, spice, a little bit of musty oak and a not so surprisingly dry finish. i can see this beer rounding out very well over a year or so.

M- I swirled the hell out of it, releasing all of the carbonation, but second pour gave me a great chewy feel, with lots of bitter orange peel twangs at the back of my palate. INTERESTING beer. Wasn't expecting this much complexity out of such a young beer (08 vintage)

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Photo of dearbornhustler
4.75/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.75/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A wonderful 750ml corked and caged bottle Served initially right out of the fridge, but the second and third pours were done at cellar temperature. All servings were done in a Triple Karmeliet Goblet.

A - This one poured beautifully into my goblet, via a semi hard pour, giving off an enormous head of white frothy foam. Really gorgeous pillow like formation here that you just do not get to see often enough. Loads of white just sitting for what seemed to be forever, virtually holding their own and not fading what so ever. Once it finally did settle down, all that was left of it was ohh...still like two inches of froth on the top. Seriously insanely good retention here. Lots of sticky foam like lace coating the insides of the glass here as well, virtually obscuring all light from coming in, even when the glass was empty. Now, as for the color what a wonderful shade this one exhibited. A wonderful golden copper or amber color was clearly evident from the first pour. I actually found this to be much brighter then others, with only the slightest bit of an orange tint to it; this was definitely a Belgian pale. Very cloudy and hazy, but minimal sedimentation, this was truly a fantastic. I was thoroughly pleased with the overall look to this one, as I am with virtually anything I see from Lost Abbey, I was really looking forward to getting more into this one.

S - So, what do we have hear. I lean in for the first whiff of this one and I would be lying if I did not say I was completely blown away by this one. It was remarkable how good this smelled. The first thing I noticed was a tremendous amount of fresh citrus hop aroma. Loads of grapefruit, grass like smells, even a touch of lemon going throughout this. Really bright aroma here, and soo much of it, this was a really different kind of experience here. Wonderful yeast aromas coming out now, really adding to the overall fruitiness of it. Some apple and pears, and even some peach aromas coming though. Some light grain and yeast now also starting to percolate through it now as well. Really well done here. Lots of hoppiness, which was surprising, and lots of light fruits. The best word to be able to describe this one would be bright, very very bright smells. Some sour strains becoming apparent as it warmed, giving it that little bit extra sourness and bite that was the last possible thing it could have used to make it any better. The smell was so inviting I could not wait to get into this.

T - Ok, well now comes the real test. This has held up so well through the start, can the actual taste really live up to the whole package. The answer is a most assuredly yes. This was just fantastic and lived up to every bit of what I thought it was going to be. Started out very crisp and fresh, with a wonderful fruity and tart hoppiness that rolled over the tongue the moment you took that first sip. What a wonderful full flavor profile, so complex with it constantly evolving with each and every taste. These first sips were simply filled with loads of hops. Very fresh orange and grapefruit flavors were dominant here, even hints of pineapple and lemon rolling through here as well. Very complex, and yet very light and the same time. Lots of fresh earthy grass like flavors now rolling through and mingling with the grainy cereal like underbelly here, virtually assuring even more complexity then I had before. Now the yeast was starting to kick in, very nice bitter, sour, and tart flavors, nothing too strong at all, more along the lines of just a slight hint, giving it a little more bitterness. The finish was very long and drawn out, with big hop flavors and a huge dry finish, almost puckering, leaving behind only a small touch of light fruit and hops to beg you to come back and get another round of it. Very complex and a wonderful flavor explosion on the palate.

M - This was an interesting one. Being such a rich profile, it was remarkably light, which shocked me a little as to how god it really was. A very nice light profile in a light to medium-bodied ale. Excellent carbonation held up throughout the entire session really making this a sparkling gem of a beer. The finish was simply awesome, no hint of alcohol here at least not for me. Therefore, smooth and rich I would have loved to just keep drinking this.

D - Now, keep in mind this is well over 9% so it is no slouch, but I could barely tell that by drinking it. I found no hint of the alcohol in it, just a lovely light hoppiness that simply would not let up, and a great yeast profile that was really outstanding. A great sipper I could have kept going on this one all night long, it was just that good.

Overall I thought this was fantastic, really one of the best I have had and another rare gem from Lost Abbey. I just do not know what it is with them, its like they cannot lose, every beer they make seems to be better then the one before that. This was one of the finest drinks I have ever had and I look forward to having another.

 4,996 characters

Photo of beans923
4.75/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of JimO732
4.75/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of hockeyfighter19
4.75/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of hpthebull
4.75/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of joshuasamantha
4.69/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance was average- comes in a corked bottle which we accidentally broke into the beer :/ The art they use for the labels are simplistic but enticing nonetheless.

This beer smells so good! I'm not completely schooled on the vernacular everyone is using to appropriately describe beers, but I can say the smell is nice and it makes you want to drink it :)

The taste of this beer is exactly as it's titled-a gift. It has a nice even flavor that most could appreciate.

Gift of the Magi has a slightly thick mouth feel to it but it's a not a bad thing.

The beer is very drinkable; in my beer budget, it is a treat because it's slightly pricey but well worth it. Also, it's a nice beer to share with someone that appreciates quality!

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Photo of BlindPig
4.65/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Really thick tan head on a pretty clear copper body.
S- Big yeast aroma, pepper, sweet caramel, appricots, a light musky kind of aroma, few other spices, big floral hops, and some other kind of spice or fruit that makes this have one of it's main aromas. Almost a hint of ginger?
T- Very interesting flavor. Really hard to pick out the flavors in this. Here goes my best shot. Hint of caramel, yeast coming from all angles, pepper, floral and a hint of grass hops, apricots, some of the musky aroma transfers into the taste, and just a really subtle and complex hop mixture. Little alcohol to warm the back of throat, medium bitterness, and flavors from all over the place rest on tongue for the aftertaste. I think there is just one ingredient that is different from the norm and really helps bring it all together and for the life of me I can't think of what the flavor is.
M- Full body with low carbonation. Nice dry palate afterward.
D- At the first sip I was kind of weary about it. Drinking more and more of it it really pulls you in to the interesting complexity and variety of flavors this beer offers. I plan to sit on my other bottle for about 6-12 months to see what its like when the bretta kicks in. I can see that making this into a completely different beer like the 10 Commandments.

 1,304 characters

Photo of pat61
4.6/5  rDev +20.4%

Prune and dark dried fruit dominate the nose over some dark sugar and molasses aromas.
The beer pours deep dark reddish amber and produces a 2” off white finely bubbled foam cap that produced prodigious lace and some legs when the glass is swirled.
This big and bold beer hits the palate with creamy dark dried fruits, big malt, spice and dark sugars suggesting dense fruit cake flavors but with all its big boldness it comes across surprisingly light. While the beer leaves a little sugar on the lips at the finish, yeast fruit flavors, alcohol and hops keep the malt in control resulting in a beer with rich complexity that is never cloying or out of balance. It suggests a bourbon drink made with bitters such as an old fashioned or Manhattan.
Although you notice a slight warming as you drink the beer, the rich flavors for the most part keep the alcohol hidden.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.57/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a golden caramel-brown body with a dense thick light tan head of foam that last and lasts. There is a good carbonation of tiny bubbles that supports the head.

S- This beer has a slightly sweet musty smell that starts as caramel that grows as the beer warms but melds into a bit more of a pineapple aroma with a note of cardamom. It finishes with a nice pine needle hop note that increases in spiciness as the beer warms.

T- This beer has a smooth sweet note that has some caramel qualities to it but is overtaken by a toasted malt flavor. There is a softer earthy flavor that has a minty quality to it along with some peppercorn hints and a bretti tartness. The finish of this beer is a soft piney hop flavor that lingers just a bit.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a full texture on the tongue. There is no alcohol heat noticed until the last sip.

D- This is how spiced winter beers should be. Good solid beer with some mysterious spice qualities that can't be teased apart. All the flavors work well together complimenting each other. They managed to put spice and malt and hops together and it works. I don't know if they used Frankincense and Myrrh but whatever it is its great.

 1,238 characters

Photo of itsromy
4.55/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First off... Happy St. Patty's day!!

Awesome beer. Unfortunately, poured into a plastic cup at Churchill's in San Marcos, CA. Getting past that was easy due to the fact that beer smelled oh so good. The look of it was beautiful; a dark chocolate/nut brown color with about a half inch of head in the cup. Very very tasty... Hints of citrus, fruits, and spices. I would be able to drink a couple of these without feeling to full or bloated....

Cheers to Lost Abbey!

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Photo of mcallister
4.55/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Solid looking with nice depth of color. A copper ruby color with a thin yet full and long lasting. So whispy and leaving chunky white lacing behind.

Wonderful nose. Light Spice with big floral compoents. Violet and earth. Somewhat barny. Some yesty notes and a caramel type twist. Candi sugar and clove.

Man this is a damn tasty So thick and creamy with huge caramel bursts, banana, clove and flowery finishings. A slight bitterness on the finish and minimal residual sugar. Again light spices with more of a "teroir" type feel that only Lost Abbey could accomplish. Can't get over the creamy thick caramel middle. Damn this is fine. There is a bit of alcohol in the chest but this is so tasty it gets a pass.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.55/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Interesting how split people seem to be about this brew. Personally, I think this beer is fantastic and a bit different. Pours a hazy orange/amber. Smells sweet with some spicebox, and a bit hot, and with some fruity esters, but fairly simple. The taste is far more complex. Honeyed and long in the mouth with some light spice, some bright but subdued fruit, and a long bitter herbal fruitiness that is just wonderful and nicely balances the sweetness on the front end. Very smooth and delicious, and a nice winter treat.

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Photo of Jimmy_Melnarik
4.52/5  rDev +18.3%

Photo of msmezher
4.52/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Note: Scores are for my tasting on-tap, but I will include notes on the beer in bottle form as well.

My first smell of Gift of the Magi was of spices, caramel malts, and a tart, sour, lactic aroma. In terms of taste Gift of the Magi matched its smell rather nicely, a medium-light bodied beer with a beautiful sour feel that tasted of cherries, dried fruit, and spices. I almost regretted swallowing this beer, it felt so good in my mouth. I'd give the goblet of this I had on tap a solid 4.5 rating, I really enjoyed it on its own and missed it when it was gone.

I later had Gift of the Magi poured from a bottle and was a little disappointed. I'm not certain if it was past expiration, but the tartness and sourness were almost unnoticeable. The beer still felt high quality, but it was the sourness and finish that were so apparent from the keg that I loved the first time I tasted it that gave it its high ranking. In bottle I would give Gift of the Magi around a 3.75, overall quite good, but lacking the spark I first felt. Again, I cannot be certain of the beer's age/expiration, as the bottle has probably been melted down and made into new bottles by now, so if it was past due sue me.

I <3 Lost Abbey.

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Gift Of The Magi from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 751 ratings