Gift Of The Magi | The Lost Abbey

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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

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Reviews: 310 | Ratings: 736
Photo of MikeBuff
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage bottle. Making room in the cellar and decided to pull this one out. Poured at around 50 deg F into a Lost Abbey tulip glass. The head receded really quickly and left no lacking on the top. Right away I get some crazy funk coming on the nose always can tell that aged Brett. The mouth feel in this bottle is no existent. The funk I first smelled has calmed down into a nice fruity complex but does not come across on the taste. The copper color is really nice and the tannins from the oak of the other range of flavors keep this a relatively calm beer. I'm probably going to pop my 2009 vintage and see how it compares in this style of" keeping beers". Over all a very nice beer.

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Photo of jwhancher
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My wife received a bottle as a Christmas present and shared some with me last night. Poured into a chalice glass.

A: nice frothy, rocky off white head. Color seemed a hazy amber. Head lasted quite awhile. Subtle carbonation.

S: reminded me of a rustic barnhouse. Faint sour notes with a peppery, spicy like yeast character. The aromas aren't in-your-face and seem to work well.

T: tastes a little bland to me. Reminded me of an average craft amber beer. Notes of caramel and some hop bitterness, but not a whole lot of flavorful notes.

M: felt medium with some warm alcohol notes.

O: not bad, but was expecting more from this Biere de Garde. Was expecting some more funk and Belgian-French characteristics. Seemed like an average craft amber to me.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

25.4 oz., 750 mL bottle,

A: Pours a burnt, hazy yellow, with a nice full, off-white head, great retention, good Belgian-style lacing.

S: Very yeasty, musty smell, with some spice, esters, a little bit of banana, and alcohol.

T: An interesting flavour in this beer, it's got a lot of stuff going on. Pear and apple esters are there for sure, with an earthy hit coming from the hops, along with ginger notes and black pepper. Also had a big slug of alcohol in the end. A nice flavour, though it wasn't exactly my style.

M: Nice mouthfeel - Silky smooth, full carboantion, very warming, good on a December night.

D: It's a good beer, but in the end, I wasn't as in to it as I thought I would be after the hype. Definitely worth a try though.

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Photo of number1bum
3.32/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Removal of the cork gave off barely a pop, which led me to believe that this may be undercarbonated. The pour didn't inspire me to believe differently, as a vigorous pour produced only half a finger of fizzy light beige head, which subsequently fizzled down to leave no more than a rimjob and a small swirl. It sits on top of a hazy reddish copper colored, hazy brew.

Smells boozy and fruity, like rum soaked fruits maybe, with some spice notes. It's quite fruity and that's the best aspect of this nose - there are tropical fruits and some oranges, but they get overwhelmed by the booze. The spices remind me of clove but beyond that they're indistinbuishable; surely the frankincense and myrrh are contributing but not knowing what those smell like I'll just say that it smells spiced and somewhat perfume like. If it wasn't for the overwhelming booze this would be better.

Taste starts off with some sweetness, but it's an interesting sweetness that is candy like. There is a good deal of fruit like there was in the smell, as well - tropical fruits, oranges, pears. Then there are the spice elements, which are floral and perfumey along with some clove. Unfortunately, and I'm hitting a theme here, booze is also everpresent and is just too noticeable. As it warms the booze settles down a bit but never completely goes away. Also as it warms the sweetness takes on a bit more of a honey quality.

Mouthfeel is close to full bodied and surprisingly dry in the finish. Carbonation is low which gives it a bit of a sherry feel to it. It's pretty smooth otherwise, but the alcohol bites back a bit.

This is a disappointment in my opinion. Too boozy, carbonation problems, and frankly just not all that interesting. It has some nice elements but it's also sort of a jumbled, boozy mess. I was excited to find this at Julio's on the way to EBF, but I don't think I'll be seeking it out again next year.

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Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
3.31/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle was a yr old 10/2011 poured into a pint glass.

A: Deep yellow almost carmel color. Tons of carbonation, straight bubble lines. Nice lacing and head retentions. 2 finger head.

S: Very Malty/carmel aroma, with some sweet fruit coming in. Little bit of funk as well.

T: First thought was that it tastes like a American Strong Ale brewed with Belgian Yeast. Best way I can think of describing it. Strong alcohol finish.

M: Full bodied, malty as hell. Tons of carbonation, beer really made me feel full.

O: It was a very interesting beer, solid overall. Glad I shared the bottle, wouldn't want to finish the bomber myself. Great beer for the cooler nights to sip on, not a beer you're going to drink quickly.

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Photo of bulletrain76
3.28/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

75cl bottle. Dark amber with a medium yellow tinged head and plenty of lace. Hoppy, alcoholic, earthy, and lightly bretty aroma. The flavor has a good dose of caramel a toasty grain and spices, with bitter, earthy hops and a light funky and tart brett edge. Medium bodied with creamy carbonation. There is a little too much alcohol, but it dries out the finish along with the ample hop bitterness. Brett is detectable but very subtle. Alright, but I would have liked this better with less bitterness and alcohol.

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Photo of DovaliHops
3.26/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, dark amber color with a medium, off-white head that disappears quickly. Scent is very malty with some farmhouse aroma and wild yeast...brett? Some burnt malt and English hop aromas. Some dark fruits and bread as well. Taste is very malty...caramel and biscuit malt with some light, bitter hoppiness. A bit of brown sugar and brett flavors. Floral notes and booze as well. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and smooth. Drinkability is fair. Overall, it is a decent beer, but nowhere near my favorite offering from Lost Abbey or Biere de Gardes.

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Photo of MonkeyBread
3.24/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Described as a ramped up Biere de Gard with Brettanomyces added and clocking in at 12% this is a truly strange combination. Very dark beer, a little too dark for a Biere de Garde. Very opaque dark brown. Smell is of little. Barnyard funk, dust, dirt.

Tastes like nothing I've had before and not in a good way. Astringent black bread, moss, sour horse blanket, medicinal herbs, malty English biscuits with a hot alcohol after taste. This is drinkable but not by much. Only excuse I can make is at least it is 12%. A strange mess of a beer.

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Photo of champ103
3.23/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a hazy copper/brown color. At first, a two finger beige head forms and sticks around for a minute. As the foam finally recedes, some light lace is left behind.
S: Some funky barnyard and herbal tea like aromas. Lightly floral hops. Some dry apple cider aromas. Spice.
T: Funky, dry, wood, apple cider. Strange spices that don't mess well for me. I am guessing that is from the Frankincense and Myrrh. Interesting, but odd.
M/D: A medium body with high carbonation. The alcohol shows. Not a bad beer to sip on, but not all that inviting either.

This is really interesting, different, and odd. There seems like a good Biere de Garde base, but the Brett, Frankincense, and Myrrh make for an odd mix of flavors. Not bad, and worth a try for your more adventurous taste buds.

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Photo of Zorro
3.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep amber colored beer with the color of weathered bronze. A clear beer with a small light brown colored head.

Smells malty with a slight sour aroma. Grassy noble hop aroma more herbs than hop.

Starts out sweet and malty. Continues to be herbal with a little bit of soy sauce flavor. Kind of boring though, not a lot of flavor.

Mouthfeel is OK; the carbonation is on the low side.

Drinkability isn't all it could be. I'm sure it has its fans but I didn't really care that much for this one.

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Photo of AChamberlain
3.17/5  rDev -17%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks Javier for bringing me this bottle from City Beer in San Francisco. I popped the top, well actually I pushed the cork out, but it made no popping sound. Hmmm, that is weird. Poured with no head. Could this be a bad bottle, I don't think so. Tea colored, hazy. Brett and hop aroma. Same flavors as the aroma. Not bad for what may be a flat brew. The tartness was nice. Overall I did enjoy it, just wish I had more experience with this beer. If I have it again, I will edit my review.

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Photo of Philousa
3.15/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Imbibed on tap at Harry's Hofbrau on 2/10/12.

Poured an opaque, slightly darker than pale color with a cherry tinge. Not much head to speak of. What's left on the glass sinks into the drink. Very bready nose with fruity esters. Sweet, subdued fruit. Strawberry was the first that came to mind. Taste starts with light malt and aforementioned fruit, but is knocked out quickly by bittering hops. Fruit is still with the hops, keeping it light. The feel is balanced in viscosity with some acidic and harsh alcohol feel. Balanced finish.

I think the alcohol content kept this beer back. The alcohol burn took away from the light feel that would have made this brew stand out from the rest. The aroma seemed subdued for some reason as well. An interesting beer, but I'd go with an old standby over this one.

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Photo of GbVDave
3.12/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into two white wine glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!


A: Pours a hazy, light apple cider color. Barely any "pop" from the cork. No head, no lace.

S: Faint aromas of apples, pears, and ummmm.

T: See above. Vaguely fruity...meh.

M: Spicy without a lot of nuance. Feels unfinished.

D: Wow, this was one boring beer. Sadly, I've been pretty underwhelmed by LA's year 'rounders.

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Photo of walshclimb
3.08/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2008 Magi poured 4/19/09 at about 55F. Pours clear chestnut color with decent white foamy head after an aggresive pour. Head dissipates relatively quickly leaving a thin film with more bubbles around the glass that leave a spotty lace. Sweet malt, musty yeast, and spices in the aroma. Malty IF with a syruppy, mildly bitter aftertaste. The spices don't come through as much in the flavor. Mouthfeel is thick and syruppy with a mild carbonation. I think an increase in the carbonation might improve the syrupy nature of this brew. It is not flat, so I don't think I have a bad bottle, but the texture is a little on the cough syrup side. This is my least favorite beer that I have had from this brewery, and I probably wouldn't bother to buy it again. I definitely give it a below average for drinkability. Not very interesting flavor and syrupy mouthfeel. I probably won't finish the whole bottle.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.07/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a chalice at Plainfield's Tap House.

Apparently the Tap House has a 12 Beers of Christmas thing going on. I wonder if the bartender realized we weren't gonna be back any time soon when she gave us the punch card... Either way, this stuff pours a hazy sunset amber topped by a finger of dirty cream foam. The nose comprises orange zest, caramel, brown sugar, nutmeg, and light fig. The taste holds notes of pine resin, caramel, sharp Swiss cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and rye bread. This combination does not sit well on the tongue at all, and a touch of booziness makes the experience all the more unpleasant. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and an almost chewy feel. Overall, I did not enjoy this beer. I think my note of "kinda boo", though a bit weird, is more than appropriate.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.05/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2008 750ml corked and caged bottle.

Pours a deep walnut amber. Not much of a head or bubbling. The best part of this beers appearance is the color. For a Belgian this beer lacks some crucial appearance points. The aroma is pretty herbal, can't really specify. Pretty boozey and full of toasted caramel. Maybe a little too boozey. Insanely herbal taste upfront. Sweet, boozey bananas and candi sugar. But a hoppy herbal and earthy finish. Somewhat chalky and sweet, but with a somewhat well whiskey linger. Meant for sipping only. A bit heavy on the booze.

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Photo of thequeen711
3.05/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Caramel and spices, toasted grains, bread yeast, and sour apples? Does this sound like a great beer to you? First aroma was of apples...Must have been a bad day for me to taste beer, because my beer king brother recommended this as a good beer, and he's always correct in his reviews, but I found this to be not as appealing to my tastes.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.01/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery. Cost was $9.99 at my local beer store.

Served quite cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Poured with standard vigor even though carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a healthy vibrant khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness, and great retention for the high ABV (at least four minutes). Colour is a hazy vibrant copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Heavy on the spice. Rosemary, cinnamon, pumpkin. It's a bit perfumey. Clean and fragrant. Incense comes through. A mild strength, subtle aroma. Right on the money for the style. I'm looking forward to it. No alcohol or yeast comes through.

T: The spice is quite dominant in the flavour as well. Bretts come through, as does a very light lactic touch. There's some off-notes and the ABV does come through. Badly hopped, with floral notes in all the wrong places. Badly balanced. Clean malts provide the foundation. There's just something wrong here. The spice is nice, but the build is severely flawed.

Mf: Fluffy and coarse. It succeeds at achieving a surprising lightness. Wet. Aimless. Too thin. Doesn't suit the flavour well at all.

Dr: A huge disappointment from Lost Abbey. I expected far better. Very pricey for its lack of quality. I wouldn't get this again.

Maybe it ages well. Hard to tell.

Would go decently with salads.

High C

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Photo of craytonic
3/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Orange-red-amber pour, small head, no lacing.

Smell: I have no clue what frankincense and Myrrh are supposed to taste or smell like, but I don't get anything that would be fit for a king. I do get some caramel malts an faint spiceness.

Taste: Certainly a biere de garde, not my preferred style. Also not my favorite beer from that style. Bit of funk, caramel, toffee, brown bread, and spice.

Mouthfeel: Best part of the beer, nice medium-heavy weight and a good creaminess. Not one to try a second time.

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Photo of juhl31
2.93/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

an '08 version

-looks like an unfiltered apple cider. sediment galore

-smells of a sour beer with apples. harsh bubble gum with some plantain in there

-nothing like the smell to me. there is a dirty bitterness in the aftertaste. earthy i guess

-my tongue is angry

-i dont really want this ever again except for maybe a sip to check if it was a bad bottle

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Photo of OStrungT
2.9/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This beer pours a cloudy reddish ornage color, with almost no head. The tiny head fades instantly, leaving a very light lacing.

This beer has a spicy aroma of coriander. I can detect some citrus lemony aroma. Some grain aroma is also present.

This beer tastes like it smells. Some citrus fruit and spice. It has a slight earthy funky flavor also. There may be avery subtle sour flavor, but it is so faint that I cant be sure.

This beer is pretty much flat. It leaves a grainy aftertaste.

This beer wouldnt be the best session beer. It is high in alcohol, and the flavor isnt too great.

Overall: Decent beer at best. Maybe carbonation would help. I hope these guys fix their problems soon.

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Photo of BZero007
2.89/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

As there was no pop at all from this bottle, I will purchase at some point and re-review.

Poured from a bottle in to my Portsmouth Tulip glass. Pours a orangy yellow with hints of amber floating around. The head was no where to be found on this particular bottle as was the entire bottle very flat. The aroma was hard to detect but was very sweet. The taste again was extremly sweet and carried a funk to it. The mouthfeel was very smooth as there was no carbonation to the drink. I would hesitate on purchasing this particular brew again, the overly sweet tones were not suited to my taste buds. Will try to grab a fresh pint somewhere to compare and re-review.

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Photo of homebrew311
2.85/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: hazy reddish appearance with no head, looks like some fruit juice in the glass

S: the smell is quite muted, all I get is some hints of grape and raisin along with some ethyl alcohol

T: the flavor profile is more pronounced than the nose, but it isn't balanced. There is a fruity sweetness that includes candi sugar and a burning finish with alcohol, some notes of spice come through

MF: even though there is no apperant head, it is still quite harsh on the mouthfeel due to high carbonation

D: I was quite disappointed by this. For being a Belgian pale ale, it didn't appear pale. The flavor profile was very one dimensional and hot from the alcohol, I would not get this beer again.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.83/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a orange color with a nice white head, good carbonation. Nose of yeast, spices, citrus and earth notes. Taste is earthy, spices and some booze. Had a offputting aftertaste, like bitter, buttery or something. Mouthfeel is heavy, flay and bad. Not a fan and not drinkable, drain pour on a Lost Abbey, indeed.

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Photo of brdc
2.8/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Large corked bottle, got directly from the brewery, it is supposed to be fresh.

The cork is hard to remove, but as it comes out, the lack of any "pop" betrays a problem I am unfortunately getting used to in Lost Abbey beers, the lack of carbonation.
It pours a little better than flat, as the reddish copper brew manages to produce a frothy but sparse one finger head that dissipates quickly and leaves little lacing behind.
Aroma is definitely more alcoholic than I would have liked, obscuring the fruity and spicy notes that come along in the background.
The body, given the near absolute lack of carbonation despite the stated bottle conditioning with Brett, is quite disappointing. The taste is interesting at times, but like the aroma, heavily alcoholic and the fruits and spices do not blend all that well. Lightly sweet and hot, spicy as the most important note after the alcohol, but the spices are hard to identify.
Some people suggested, although in previous batches, that aging would improve this one. I am not sure; it might quiet down the heat, but so far this is disappointing, at best.

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Gift Of The Magi from The Lost Abbey
3.82 out of 5 based on 736 ratings.
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