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: 737
Photo of Soonami
1.79/5  rDev -53.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Served in a 12 oz. goblet, at cellar temps, at SPTR.

A- murky reddish brown with a very thin head that had almost no lasting power

S- I could not smell much more than the burn of alcohol. maybe a little citrus

T- Alcohol is the predominant flavor, there is very little else. It tastes like a vodka and tonic drink that got really watered down

M- the very light body and high alcohol makes the beer very dry and astringent

D- I could only barely finish this one beer, I'm glad I had friends around to help me finish this

This beer completely lacked any kind of fruity, funky flavor I was looking for, it was lacking of body, taste, but certainly not alcohol

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Photo of Jerico
1.8/5  rDev -52.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured this from a 22oz bottle into a goblet.

A - popped the cork and there was no pressure at all (weirdly), and the beer pours an light amber/medium orange color like iced tea. No head on my pour, almost no lacing.

S - not much there, but what's there is spicy and malty, reminds me a lot of a pumpkin beer. I was expecting some funk too, since the label mentions brett, but I don't get much.

T/M/D - again, I taste malt and pumpkin, but really not very smooth and makes me wince a little (and I like pumpkin beers). I'm not picking the brett up either. I gotta wonder if I got a bad bottle of this - no way I'll be able to finish it.

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Photo of aforbes10
2.18/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bought at Ledgers Liquors in Berkeley and saved until tonight. Pours a muddy brown with zero obvious carbonation...until a couple of seconds pass and a short head forms. Still looks a little tepid. Smells a bit of spiced malt, but mostly of strong fruity ethanol. Flavor is a lot like the aroma...dry malt with hints of spice but then a massive ethanol attack. Very aggressive and lingering alcohol, distracting. No sense of the Brett that the bottle says has been added at bottling. Syrupy mouthfeel. Nah. Not my favorite.

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Photo of paco1029384756
2.45/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a murky orange color with very little head and nice lacing.

Scent of yeast, spices, citrus and a little earthiness. Nicely balanced, but there's nothing that really sets this above the rest.

Taste of earthy malts, spices and some alcohol. It loses more points from the bad aftertaste, bread and alcohol linger. Nothing that impressive, there isn't that much going on at all, it's pretty basic. Another disappointing beer from The Lost Abbey.

Mouthfeel is heavy and flat, I don't care much for it.

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Photo of Overlord
2.49/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Am I the first to review this? Amazing. I actually forgot this was being offered along with Older Viscosity.

Pours a hazy orange-ish yellow. Surprising amount of carbonation. Inch or two white head, settled down quite a bit after five or six minutes, but kept a thin rim of white throughout the session. Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side, but not overly so. Rather dry, quasi champagne-like finish.

I notice at "the other site" that a few folks are complaining about the lack of carbonation: whatever problem they had, it appears to have been remedied by the time bottling rolled around, as this was not under-carbonated.

The smell, and flavor, are unusual. Bold hop flavor, but rather than pine or grapefruit this is mostly orange, apple, and ... apricot? I'm a sucker for apricot. A bit overboard on some of the weird spiciness, though. As in, the weird, horribly medicinal/fresh foliage spices just absolutely destroy what could have been a good beer. Spices FTL

Definitely on the sweeter side. All in all, not very good.

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Photo of Mavajo
2.56/5  rDev -33%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Beautiful appearance. Pours an amber/chesnut body with a billowing cream head. One of the most luscious heads you'll see on a beer -- almost looked like the icing on a gourmet cupcake. Brilliant.

Aroma is interesting. Bit of herbal/spice funkiness. Intriguing.

The initial sip yields much of the same notes as the aroma -- herbal/spice, hints of brett and dry hopping. But yeck...what's with this horrible aftertaste? It's a horrendous chemical/medicinal sort of taste that just pounds my tastebuds. I think it's some amalgamation of the dry hopping, brett...and something else. I'm not sure what it is, but it's awful.

The mouthfeel is good. Creamy and appropriately carbonated.

The appearance, aroma and mouthfeel are all spot on. The initial taste is even okay too...but damn that aftertaste is one of the worst things I've encountered in a beer. I was wincing and yeching after every sip. I tried soldiering through it, but I had to tap out. Can't remember the last time I drain-poured that much beer.

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Photo of Chambic
2.71/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

01.14.10 at City Beer Store

A: Was surprised by the light copper color; for some reason, I remember this beer being lighter

S: wet-sock kind of of funk

T: kind of a metallic, alcoholic finish

M: really nice carbonation

D: not my favorite, but then again, not my favorite style.

Overall, it went nicely with the spicy charcuterie I was enjoying.

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Photo of Dennycurr
2.71/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

For those who drink this beer...
Get ready to drink a beer that tastes like there's been a perfume bottle poured into the mix.
YES---it has a distinct flavor and yes....the eyebrows raise, is not for everybody.
The reason I even gave it a bit above average is because the taste is so radical----I dig the difference. Although, this beer would be on the lower rung of diff and distinct beers I would try.
I was told by the people I bought this from, (Monks in Philly), this beer is called the Gift of the Magi because----there is an actual presence of Frankincence and Mir, in the beer.
You actually can taste it.

I give props to a beer that can do that. In fact----that was a big reason I bought it.
Am glad I tried it.
Is a wayyy diff taste than any other beer.
Kudos for that!

But a bit too perfumy, for me.


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Photo of jrallen34
2.72/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I drank this from the 22 oz bottle into a Rochefort glass.

The beer is very carbonated pouring lots of foamy head, about 2 fingers high of tope that lasts several minutes with amazing lacing. The beer itself is a dark brown with ruby red just shining through.

The aroma is nothing special its very light bread and apples but there is a bad sourness.

The taste is very disappointing with lots of alcohol on the front and a bad bitterness on the back.

This is a very disappointing effort.

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Photo of PDXHops
2.78/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Thanks to Mauerhan for hooking me up with this 750 ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Bright golden-orange body with a finger of off-white soap-bubble head (puffy, bubbly structure, but not dense and disappears quickly). There is some lacing, but it's loose, not very sticky.

Smells fairly tame. Sweet bready malt with a with a nice hop punch, but not a lot going on, even after letting it warm up for 25 minutes. A tiny bit of funk from the brett has me bracing for the worst.

Pretty straightforward tasting in the beginning. Lots of general sweetness and fruitiness, but no real bold or spicy qualities that I'm looking for. Decent hoppiness. The brett rears its ugly head torward the end and is the primary factor in the finish/aftertaste. Kind of a boring beer, aside from trying to tolerate the brett.

Mouthfeel is fine. Medium-thick bodied with good carbonation. Unfortunately, this is the best part of the experience.

I'm not a brett fan, but it's just about the most interesting thing about this beer. Not terribly complex and I didn't enjoy it very much. Disappointing.

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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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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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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Gift Of The Magi from The Lost Abbey
3.82 out of 5 based on 737 ratings.
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