Gift Of The Magi | The Lost Abbey

very good
310 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 310 | Ratings: 733
Photo of jwinship83
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2008 bottle with a 10% abv listed.

A- amber, almost copper colored body with a finger of sticky head thats a shade or two lighter than the beer itself.

S- caramel/toffee right from the start. apples, pears, grapes, and other light summer fruits. not as much yeast or spice as i would expect. some of the "barnyard" odor associated with wild yeast strains.

T- much more of the barnyard taste than i could smell. lots more spice too. alot more alcohol in here than i would have guessed. the caramel and toffee malts are just as present in the taste as the smell. pretty large helping of hops finish this one off. hops become more pronounced as it warms up.

M- rather full bodied with lots of carbonation. slight warming from the alcohol.

D- one bottle is plenty. the high ABV and different tastes make this one hard to want more than one. glad i got to try it, and glad that its sold here now.

 898 characters

Photo of jdaelhousen
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour produces a large amount of frothy cream colored head. Body color is amber, and the nose contains fruit notes of cherry, lemon and orange zest, a boozy essence trails.
Taste at the center contains notes of tart apple, pear, and cherry. These fruit flavors are backed by a strong boozyness, and the finish provides remaining lingering tartness that makes the mouth pucker a while longer. Overall, a very different beer being that it's a strong biere de garde. Almost replicates a lighter malted barleywine. Excellent quality by The Lost Abbey.

 546 characters

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

A dry-hopped golden ale brewed with Frankincense, Myrrh, and Brettanomyces. I've been excited about trying this one since the day it arrived. Here it goes:

a: Beautiful amber body with a white head.

s: A subtle nose consisting of malt, spice and fruit.

t: Caramel sweetness, a faint hint of mild barnyard brett notes, some spice and a very complex bitter finish. The spice may be myrrh, but I wouldn't know myrrh from coriander, so who knows. The finish is predominantly spicy hops, but there is something else to it, maybe the Frankincense bark?

m: Active carbonation and a trail of spicy bitterness on tongue.

d: A contemplative and subtle brew that made me sit and ponder the various flavors I was experiencing. Nuanced, balanced and a welcome change for the holidays.

 777 characters

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)

 864 characters

Photo of ejquin
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Copperish with very thin white head fading to bubbles around the edge. Little lacing.

S: Some sourness going on. Mostly sour green apples with a touch of brown sugar and hops. Slight bit of vanilla

T/M: Practically no carbonation. Smooth but a touch thin. Not as much sourness in the taste. Mostly caramel and malt, with some hearth clove spice, fades to some hop spice, and a touch boozy on the finish.

 408 characters

Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3rd beer in a series on my birthday. 2008 label. Label says 10.0 % alchol, not 9.5 as listed on here.

Very late developing small head after an incredible vigorous pour from a 2008 bottle. Beer is a nice dark amber color, with a pathetic white colored head.

A bit of alcohol, with a hint of citrus on the nose.

On the palate.. starts with a hint of malt, then evolves into a bit of sourness, but I think is mainly the alcohol. I just think this beer is too young.

Mouthfeel fairly heavy. Lingering warmth, most likely from the alcohol.

Its drinkable, but I feel this beer is simply too young. The alcohol totally sneaks up on you. Unfortunately I'm not tasting much more than the alcohol, but admittedly it is smooth and decent. I love Lost Abbey/Port Brewing. Definitely seek this beer out, and try to age it if you can.

 825 characters

Photo of weeare138
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears an orange hued gold with a small white head that quickly fades out into a mild cap. Spotty traces of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of an interesting spiced brew that could go with either fall, or winter. Lots of citrus and herbs pounding the senses.
Taste is of spiced, clovey, pineapple, and melon...interesting and engaging.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, spiced, rum cider-esque comes to mind with a little bit of abv being noticed in the body.

 465 characters

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.

 505 characters

Photo of hopdog
4.42/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked bottle.

Poured a medium amberish / golden color with a huge sized off white head. Subsequent pours yielded a smaller, yet average head. Aromas of fruitiness, some spices, citrus, lightly earthy, and pine. Tastes of fruitiness, caramel, toffee, light earth, and light spices. Medium sweet.

Notes from 12/25/07 (yes, appropriate date to pop this one).

 365 characters

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Lost Abbey, in Illinois, I think I may be in heaven (ha!).

It's weird, pouring this out of the bottle I was convinced this was mislabled. I've never seen a pale ale this...not pale...before. Instead its a deep, woody amber and topped with a soft looking, pillowy head that gets thicker after each pour from the bottle and leaves some good lacing on the sides of the glass.

The aroma is where things get a bit more familiar. That candi sweetness is very present, quite hop centric too, sweet grapefruit, caramel, honey and spice.

Again quite hoppy, though it is not as apparent here as it is in the nose, it gradually grows in bitterness than lingers throughout the tasting session. The beer is very rich, very full and very good. Lots of different things happening at once. Hop bitterness is there but more than anything a thick and chewy sweet maltiness dominates. Good mix of spiciness and sweetness adds to the complexity. Honey, brown sugar, earthy hops, fresh baked pop-overs. Really a treat.

Turns out this beer is more of a dressed up biere de guarde than a belgian strong pale ale as stated on the back of the bottle, so things make a bit more sense now. Drank a whole 750 of this in about an hour so its pretty damn drinkable, then 10ABV is well hidden and could get you into some trouble if not careful. Very, very good beer.

 1,344 characters

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

2007 Bottling.

Finally, the Brett shows itself.

Smells of delicious Brett-cheese with some caramel sweetness character in the background.

Sweet caramel in the taste is nicely muted by some funky character and spice. Bottle tasted a week ago was a bit better, but this one is still good.

Mouthfeel is moderate in carbonation, with a not-overly-coating body.

Drinkability is good.

Overall, this has aged well. This bottle is not nearly as good as the same-vintage bottle I tasted 1-2 weeks ago, but I still like it better than fresh.

 537 characters

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

Wanted a good beer for Election Night.
Cracked this one just in time for the big news. A tinted redish/ambre/brown appeared from the bottle, a better attempt than Biere de Garde.
I have to talk to Tomme about this....where is the HEAD? Maybe a bad bottle, but there was a big zero for carboation, a first for T.L.A.
The Brett it promised was a bit on the thin side for the flavor and very tame with it's sourness but is nice on the nose. Some sweetness came through with a floral almoast honey dryness.
Spices and dries cherries come in at the end.
Old Ale dominates with a sweet alcohol carmeled apple touch that rings in some sourness and bitterness that finishes a little syrupy and dry.
Hops are noticable and clean for this "style"?
All around good to welcome in the new president. For a second term I would work on it.

 826 characters

Photo of abfraser
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 bottling

A: Hazy, reddish brown. Pours with zero head. Again with this total lack of carbonation from Lost Abbey. Not sure why this continues to be a trend. Not a particularly attractive brew.

S: A little sour, sweet malt and spice. Some pear and apple as it warms up. But overall not that potent of a nose.

T/M: Intial Brett sourness gives way to spice and malty sweetness. I get some nutmeg, which basically confirms this as a Xmas beer to me. Totally flat tasting, which is a deterrent. Overall, pretty tasty.

D: Good drinkability, but pretty strong. I liked this a lot better when I gave it chance to warm up. It was too subtle when too cold.

 656 characters

Photo of scottoale
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the latest version 2008, weighing in at 10.0% ABV and pouring a deep copper-burgundy with great clarity initially. The second half poued a murkish orange and looked some how lighter in color. Very low carbonation at this point with minimal head that fades quickly, leaving no lace.

The smell is sweet and fruity off the bat, with a funky tartness from the brett and some fusal notes as it warms.

The flavor starts sweet of caramel with fruit and spice, then turns slightly bitter to a funky tartness. Frankincense and myrrh are noticable along with notes of orange, grapefruit, pineapple, apricot and a pleasant funk of Brettanomyces that lingers in the finish. Not a sour but tart kind of ending.

Medium full body with some warming from the alcohol...more carbonation would aid in the overall drinkability of this fine brew. This is freshly bottled and more carbonation should come in time, i'll let you know in six months when i crack another Gift open. Great seasonal offering that will improve with age regardless, Cheers!

 1,037 characters

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

Bottle enjoyed at City Beer Store with abfraser.

A: Red/orange with minimal head.

S: Brett, fruit, spices.

T: This is like a blend of a little of every flavor, and somehow well balanced - hops, fruit, spice, brett. Works pretty well.

M: Medium/thick body, not a ton of carbonation.

D: Pretty tasty and drinkable, if it weren't for the fact I was at CBS and there were lots of other good things to try.

 406 characters

Photo of ncvbc
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Popped the cork and everything seemed fine. Slowly but surely this baby started foaming. Had to let it sit for twenty minutes or so and finally was able to pour. Funny, the pour produces little to no head and is hazed due to some yeast sediment rising with the carbonation. Smell is lovely. Some citrus fruits in a caramel honey glaze. An added bit of funk and spice make this even more seductive. Taste kind of moves in the wrong direction in that all the elements of the smell are there, just not seemingly in place as they were. There is some funk up front every time. I'm wishing it could be more subtle as it was with the nose. Afterwards, there is a nearly overwhelming sweetness with caramel malt and fruit, followed by minimal hop character but a big dryness. I'd prefer a little more balance. Also a little less of a dry finish. I'm actually thankful the carbonation calmed down, as the bubbles were coming up big and quick as it overflowed from the bottle. It's still a bit too active, though. Definitely has a dryness that isn't the most appealing in the world. Well, I pretty much finished a bottle by myself. Some escaped in the form of foam and some remains in the bottle, too much sediment to drink. This was still a very interesting brew. Lots of character to it and a joy to have had the chance to try.

I owe 0110x011 a big thanks for sending this as a TIF winner's treat. And yes, I did copy and paste your name to help me in the long run!

 1,458 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.52/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A corked and caged 750 mL bottle.

A: The ale opened with a pop and slowly begam to ooze white foam. After an initial pour, the foaming continued and brought a rather large chunk of yeast to the neck. A quick pour put the thick patch in my glass, where it sat in a rather unappetizing manner until I scooped it out. The ale has a hazy sunset orange color.

S: The nose is fresh, lively with a young brett character. Without a doubt, this is an Orval clone.

T: The flavor is interesting, slightly funky with a hoppy afterthought. The dry Belgian yeast strain has brett elements that are not overwhelming. They dry and add just a bit of flavor to the ale. The hop bitterness is citrusy with a grassy flavor that melds well with the yeast.

M: The flavors are interesting, hoppy and funky with no clear middle ground. The hops leave a bitterness that mixes nicely with the brett.

D: The yeast clumps are unappealing and the ale is generally muddled. Not my favorite Lost Abbey offering.

 985 characters

Photo of CrellMoset
3.69/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of dkachur, poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: A really murky, hazy reddish orange brown beer, with a white head of average retention and splotchy, speckly lacing. Nothing too impressive.

Aroma: Smells, quite literally, like pure caramel malt wort, with belgian spices and bananas. Bananas Foster anyone? Slight alcohol too, which doesn't hurt the foster smell. Sticky, syrupy, thick, and sweet smelling.

Taste: Deeply roasted, sticky malts, spicy phenols and hop bitterness and spiciness, a few light stone fruit notes and Belgian spices. Perhaps some slight papery oxidation, as well. Only slightly above average.

Mouthfeel: Silky and smooth, creamy, buttery, medium-bodied, nice.

Drinkability: Not bad, but not too impressive. The aroma is pleasant, but the sheer quantity of yeast rendered the appearance unattractive and the taste was a little bland. On the other hand, the mouthfeel and aroma were very nice. Alcohol is a little high and also, a little noticeable.

 1,003 characters

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

Pours a deep copper orange with a thick off white head. The aroma is medium sweet, yeasty, floral, citrus and light spices. Flavor is floral, orange, herbal, pepper, apple and light pepper. Medium to full body, smooth and creamy texture. Finishes medium with a citrus bitterness.

 279 characters

3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a hazy wheat honey gold color body. Head is two full fingers of rocky tan fuzz that has very nice retention. Nose is faint but includes some crisp and slightly wheaty sour feel. Smooth complexity is teamed with a grassy hop feel and a long dry, almost peppery spice profile that is very consistant. I would think that the brett has not fully taken effect and probably needs a little more time to age. Moughfeel welcomes the next sip and tingles with spice. Nicelyu drinkable now, but would be nice to see what some age does for this one.

 546 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for bringing this back from California and sharing!

750 ml cork-caged bottle, poured into a tulip glass:

Pours cloudy tea-like amber with a thick, rocky, off-white head that leaves some trailing lace in its descent to a thin, lasting cover.

The smell is of orange, plum, lemon with caramel. Mild peppery spicing in the back.

The taste is yeasty with caramelish sweetened citric fruity zest. Sweetness balanced by sour and tart with some spicing. Some sharp booziness is present, but warming more than interfering.

Mild carbonation with a medium body. There's a certain thickness to it that is almost syrupy, but somehow gets washed away.

The label puts this in the Biere de Garde style. Here it is a BSPA... Either works, as neither works...An interesting American spin on a Belgian/French style that turns out to be unique, though not one that thrilled me.

 888 characters

Photo of arizcards
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 750ml bottle from AJ's in mid-December 2007 for $12.99.

Beer poured a golden orange with a nice off white head. 4.0

Nose was fragrant of floral hops and alcohol on the initial pour. 4.0

Taste is sweet, of warming alcohol on the intial sips, pepper, coriander, and a blast of citrus-apricot hops to finish. 4.5

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and is very smooth compliments of the belgian yeast and candied sugar. 4.5

Overall drinkability is very good as this beer has aged quite nicely. It is unique in that there is a well played blend of the Belgian and San Diego IPA2 styles that I have not seen very often. Definitely worth the splurge!

Re-review 7-1-12.
Picked up a 750 ml caged and corked bottle from Total Wine in early January for $3.99. Wow...must have been miss-priced. Bottled on 10-27-11.

Beer poured golden orange with a decent white head for such a big beer. 4.0

Nose has hints of light fruit and touch of sour. 3.5

Taste is light fruits, a bit of white pepper, lemon peel, candied sugar, and a sour touch in the finish. 4.0

Mouthfeel is classic belgian yeast strain, light and effervescent yet smooth. 4.5.

Overall this is a pretty solid brew. Definitely a seasonal worth coming back to.

 1,220 characters

Photo of flexabull
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of jshufelt, thanks again!

Beer pours a bright, yet somewhat dark gold color, with a nice thick white head, and some good lacing.

Aromas are nice. Lots of fruits noticed. And the smell is strong, I noticed it as soon as the cork was popped. Mostly I notice citrus, and a very pineapple like note, with a bit of funk sour brett yeast.

Flavors is mostly about fruit. A bit astringent, and quite dry. A certain dusty quality, as well as some creamy malts. Not all that sweet. I mostly taste citrus, that is bitter, sour, and dry. Lemon? Grapefruit maybe? Also a bit peppery and spicy.

Mouthfeel is good. Crisp, clean, with good carbonation, and a nice full feel.

Drinkability is not bad. But this one didn't do much for me. It's interesting, and worth a try. But it's a bit too dry and bitter for my liking. It's a good beer, but not a favorite for me...

 872 characters

Photo of jamie2dope
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bottle was obtained via a trade with Smokingmex. Many thanks for the opportunity. Poured in to my Stella Artois glass a cloudy (perhaps from the low temp) orange/red color, with a decent enough looking white head that quickly faded in to a lace crown. First thing that comes to mind with smell is light stone fruit such as Strawberry and Raspberry. There is also a light presence of funk in the smell, which I suspect is a result of the addition of some Brett. Taste is sort of surprising to me in that it is much more hoppy than I was expecting. The brett adds a slight tartness, along some dry grain and fruit in the beginning. Mouthfeel is medium. Drinkability is good, but the alcohol presence makes itself known, making it a brew that would be good to share with friends. Reminds me a bit of the Avant Garde ale in some ways. GOTM is indeed a gift from a brewery that I have been gaining respect for with each new tasting. Hopefully it will make it to Boston soon, like some of its counterparts such as Serpent's Stout, Carnevale, and Devotion. More than worth seeking out. Cheers

 1,090 characters

Photo of seaoflament
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ripe golden orange color with a good inch of foam that quickly begins to trickle down. The head settles to a thin layer but a quick little stir and you're back to a good half inch of head that sticks around for a few moments.

Aroma is very fruity with grapefruit, orange, tart cherries, peach, yeast and spices. There's a lot going on in this one but somehow it comes out well blended together. The spices, fruit and malt complement each other very well. Slight funky aromas linger in the background, very earthy too. As it warms up the toast and bread aromas begin to take a stronger role and there is some honey or orange blossom honey too. I really like the aroma of this beer.

Tastes of bitter citrus, then yeast and spices, some tartness and finishes with bready malt and more spices. A little bit of alcohol heat in the back of the throat. Brett seems to start to show itself in the middle and the finish, a little tart and funk. There's also a taste of flowers or rosemary in the finish and aftertaste, a little strong but interesting nonetheless. Somehow it's too bitter and dry in the finish with a combination of bitter citrus, bitter flowers and the brett. Hmm, the bitterness does tone down as it warms up and becomes much more pleasant, so I'm actually giving this a little more points.

Pretty well carbonated, a touch too aggressive maybe but still decent.

I've wanted to try this one since it came out but since it was bottle conditioned with Brett I decided to sit on it for a few months to let that do its work. I think it could still use a couple of more months to tone down the spices.

 1,616 characters

Gift Of The Magi from The Lost Abbey
3.82 out of 5 based on 733 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.