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 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.

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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.

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Photo of Chizoad
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.

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Photo of Mitchster
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).

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Photo of Catracho5
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle poured into a Lost Abbey rastal glass

A: Pours a burnt, rusty orange with a cream colored head, decent amount of carbonation, some head retention, head was full and creamy, some lacing, looks pretty good.

A: Hint of brettanomyces, some pepper, spice, hint of clove, some fruit like aromas, lots of aromas going on, all subtle.

T: Belgian yeast, biscuit, bready notes, some brett funkiness comes through, finish is dry. As the beer warms some hints of apricot, pear, green apples. It has a noticeable medicinal taste that throws the beer off.

M: Medium bodied mouthfeel with a crisp, dry finish.

O: Not sure what to think of this, lots of aromas and flavors, it's not bad but nothing impressive. There is a noticeable medicinal flavor that is out of place, besides that this would be a really good beer.

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Photo of cheer4beer_
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is my first experience with this style of beer. I likes the look of the beer right after the pour. It had a large foamy head and a cloudy brown amber color. It had a toasted malty aroma with a malty sweetness. The alcohol taste was very present up front after a few sips the alcohol taste mellowed, Aa mild hop flavor is also present.

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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 BeerDocT
4.24/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a chilled tulip glass.

Appearance 4.0: I was expecting a golden beer like the other bier de gardes I have tried! This beer is an amber color with a good (1/4") head. No lacing.

Smell 4.25: Nice bouquet and pleasantly unusual. Smells sour, musty and peppery. I also detect hints of brettanomyces, which is not a bad thing in my book.

Taste 4.25: Front is somewhat sour, but this quickly switches into the Middle where a huge wave of tangy and sweet malt invades from all angles. A slight alkaline hop hit comes in at the Finish, along with a slight chocolate taste. Aftertaste is short, bitter and very refreshing after the malt wave. In the Aftertaste, there is a slightly warm feel of booze in the mouth, but no actual boozy taste.

Mouthfeel 4.25: Good and balanced mouthfeel for a beer this big. The beer is just expertly balanced on the palate at almost every level.

Overall 4.25: Very enjoyable, delicious beer., is this strong... but is entirely sessionable. Would be fantastic in front of the fire on a cold winter night. Unfortunately, it is 70 degrees here in December in Georgia as I type this. I just need to turn up the A/C I guess! A bit expensive, but you are getting a 12% beer and an unusual (and delectable) style. Recommended.

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 750ml bottle in a tulip glass.

L- Bottle conditioned looking reddish honey-brown color with a durable 2f off-white colored head. Decent lacing and bubbles.

S- Malty sweet booziness. Some yeast and light fruit hops.

T- Like a Belgian strong ale. Yeast, malt fruit and floral. Some spice. The flavors nicely trump the alcohol sweetness. Better than I expected.

M- Smooth medium body. Drinkable high abv ale. Dry hop finish for balance.

O- Again, better than I expected, but more like a strong ale. One glass was enough, I'm glad that there was someone to share it with.

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Photo of bmeehan
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Gift of the Maggi pours a beautiful shade of reddish brown and tastes mildly fruity with a dry aftertaste. I find it pairs well with a spicier food, but I think it'll pair with the typical foods Belgians pair well with as well (cheeses, salty meats, etc.) This is a great beer from a great brewery.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Cloudy amber, jaundice head that retreats to a ring with islands, good carbonation. Aroma is of earthy yeast, faint spice, light fruit, piercing alcohol. Flavor diminishes the alcohol, but adds mild barnyard funk, in addition to the pepper spice and faint apricot/orange/papaya fruit. Biggest contributor is the earthy, chalky yeast, a positive person would call it rustic. Medium, viscous body.
Surely as exotic as the magi's gifts, but surely less enjoyable. Heavily reminiscent of a Belgian triple, this beer brought earth, fruit, and spice in equally timid amounts, but basked them all in a chalky and alcoholic overtone.

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Photo of draheim
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750mL into a tulip. Pours a clear amber w/ a 1-finger off-white head.

Aroma is fruity and sweet, bready and floral. Belgian yeast, fermented white grapes.

Taste is sugary sweet - dried apricots, raisins, prunes. Floral Old World hops provide a moderate bitter counterbalance.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied, lingering aftertaste.

Overall a good beer, but not really all that true to style.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a light brown color with a slight haze. Fizzy head that dies down to a ring, with carbonation rising up and creating a foam island in the middle. The aroma has brown sugar, butterscotch, toffee and dark fruits. The flavor has more dark fruits, caramel and citrus. Slight earthy flavor like dry wood rounded out with a kiss of alcohol. Really damn smooth for 12% abv. Impressive beer that reminded me of a Trappist quad.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Lost Abbey in San Marcos, CA.

A- Clear reddish-brown body. Half finger white head, relatively minimal retention time, no lacing.

S- Cloves, non-specific spices, dark fruits, crackers, bread, toffee. Reasonably spice-forward. A bit of alcohol.

F- Dark fruits, cloves, bread, plums, crackers, more holiday spices that I can't put a finger on at this particular moment in time. It's a reasonably strong beer with decent complexity in terms of the amount of flavours, but it doesn't seem to completely jive together here.

M- Medium in body, a bit syrupy and sweet on the finish with the accompanying spices adding a bit of herbal bitterness. Good carbonation. A bit of boozy heat on the backend.

O- Decent Biere de Garde, a lot of things going on but it's a bit heavy handed and a bit too much to drink for me.

Final score: 3.55

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Photo of BenwayPHD
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Pours an orange red with a three finger light mocha head that sticks around for quite some time. The nose is very yeasty and spicy. Orange peel, coriander, currant, and a sweet bready malt. The flavor follows the nose pretty closely, but there is an unexpectedly strong hop bitterness. Normally, I find a strong hop presence distracting and out place in this style, but here I like it.

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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 reebtaerG
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had on draft at Lost Abbey on 4/3/14

A-Dark hazy copper with a thick off white head.

S-Aroma is pepper with caramel, plum and raisin.

T-Taste follows suit and adds some toffee and light vanilla notes. Medium alcohol presence.

M-Mouthfeel has a stickyness and moderate carbonation.

O-Overall a decent biere de garde from Lost Abbey nice balance of fruit and spice and yeast and malt.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a pint glass. Only 2013 is readable from the freshness stamp
A: Orange-ish brown with a two-finger head that slowly settles
S: Fig, caramel, candied orange peel, toast
T: Raisins, fig, caramel, toffee, baking spice
M: Full-bodied, a bit sweet, short finish though hides the 10% well
O: Apparently this is only the third Bière de Garde style I've had. I need to try more. This particular bottle is not a bad beer but I doubt I'll actively look for more. I didn't pick up any of the brett mentioned on the back label

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Photo of JamieDuncan
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Can't really remember where I picked this beer up but my beer guru noticed it and said they were a really good brewery so we gave it a run. Good, but not great looking beer and smell was similar. Good taste but nothing outstanding. Gains some bonus points overall for ABV that does not come across as boozy. Overall I would not buy this again.

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Photo of seand
3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a cloudy brown with a fair amount of tan head. Clumps of foam retain on the surface and around the edge of the glass, leaving a fair amount of lacing.

S: Mild funky grainy sweetness.

T: Strong, spiced, sweet, boozy, and again a touch funky. It's a pleasant overall blend.

M: Medium to full body, medium carbonation.

Overall, quite nice, and dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle from the Palm Desert CA Total Wine for $5 on clear out

Appearance – Brown colour with an above average size fizzy beige coloured head. The head lasted for 5 minutes before it was gone. A few flaoties are around.

Smell – Malts, grapes/raisins, plums, yeast

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and some yeast. There is also some dark fruit, anise, and a burnt molasses like flavour.

Overall – Just a little rough during the after taste.. other than that, a great scent and a solid flavour. Another great beer from this brewer.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, 2013 vintage. Pours very hazy deep ruby red color with a 2-3 finger fairly dense and rocky light khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Spotty foamy lacing clings around the glass, with a large amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big plum, pear, peach, apricot, apple, caramel, brown sugar, toast, clove, pepper, herbal, floral, grass, light mustiness, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and fruity/spicy yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, apricot, pear, apple, caramel, brown sugar, clove, pepper, toast, herbal, floral, grass, light mustiness, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of raisin, plum, apricot, pear, apple, caramel, brown sugar, toast, clove, pepper, herbal, light mustiness, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity of fruity/spicy yeast and malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. High carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly slick, crisp, and moderately prickly mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent biere de garde style! All around great complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2012 bottle opened Jan 2014.

A - Deep nectarine orange / brown body. Creamy off-white head settles quickly with ok lace.

S - Unique nose; apricot, rhubarbe, cherry twisters, fresh oregano, dandilion flowers.

T - Herbal spiciness, watermelon rind, rose water, raw nutmeg, waxy bitter greens.

M - Medium frame with a really nice spice that lightens the body. Silky smooth finish.

O - Bright, herbal, and spicy. An off-beat, well executed beer.

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

Poured from the bottle to a snifter.

A: Poured a dark amber with about two fingers of beige head. More than average carbonation.

S: Fruity, little bit of funk. Smells pretty sweet. A little floral, grassy.

T: Sweet malt pretty much throughout the entire beer. Some sweet fruit as well. Floral and slightly bitter hops on the end. Grassy.

M: Medium bodied. Quite a bit of carbonation. Fairly easy to drink, besides the sweetness.

Overall pretty good, a little too malty sweet for me, but it still has some nice balance as to not be too overwhelmingly sweet.

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Photo of ISmith87
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - 3.75 - Nice orange amber misty color to it. Off white head that leaves okay lacing. Bottle is Lost Abbey style.
S - 3.75 - Sweet, caramel smell, peach, banana, cinnamon, bread.
T - 4.0 - sweet, caramel taste, peach, banana, bready taste. Not much from the Brett? Maybe if it sat longer it would have more of a barnyard taste.
M - 4.0 - medium mouthfeel, very sweet, alc covered, aftertaste is sweet and syrupy.
O - 4.0 - Not too bad, nice holiday beer, one of the better ones I've had. I'm a little dissapointed I didn't get any brett out of it though? It probably hasn't been aged long enough.

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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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