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 bashiba
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep cloudy dark amber with a light sticky tan head.

The smell was very sweet and fruity with a big basement yeasty funk, some nice cherry notes in there.

The flavor was very mild and much different than the nose with a nice toasted malt base and smooth light tropical fruit notes with pineapple and mango. A long lingering orange peel hop finish balances out the fruity sweetness nicely.

The mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth with a long lingering finish and nice warmth from the high alcohol.

Very drinkable, excellent big farmhouse style.

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Photo of emerge077
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cellared 2008 bottle, hoping for more Brett expression.

Floral aromas waft from the bottle, some spice and pineapple from the Brett yeast. Dry, Belgian yeast character. Full body, rich and dry, awash with subtle spice and hay-like hops. Some mild sweetness and alcohol present as it warms. Brett is here in full form, but not in a funky way, more hay/floral/spice. The dryness keeps you sipping on it for awhile. Nice pairing with a washed rind cheese, I had Winnimere.

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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 FishGetter
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviwed on 12-26-09 2009 Vintage
Nice bottle and cork combo. Cloudy nut brown color. Small head disapates.
Candied fruit nose, figs. Sweet malt tones, some mild hop aroma with a slight boozieness to it.
Tons of sweetened malt mixes with alot of wintery spices, cinnomon, nutmeg and citrus hops. Slight oak flavor and dryness too. Boozie tones to finish it off.
A medium body that builds with aggitation. Spices and alchole linger on tounge.
Nice offering here. Definate winter season brew. A bit to boozie and spicy for the reviewer, but true to the style.

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Photo of Gehrig
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy amber with two fingers of off-white froth, and modest retention with moderate lacing. Fair Brett aroma for a funky farmhouse smell, with some citrus (orange peel, grapefruit) and a bit of dried fruit.

Musty taste, not bad, fruity and more malty than I expected. It does have an oderiferous emanation, no question. Sweet and sour, with a distinct bitter finish.

I found myself letting this sit for some time. It isn't as though I didn't enjoy it but, rather, it didn't really grab me. Definitely unique, I must admit that it could be that I had hoped for a little more for the $10.99 price. Still, not bad, and kudos to The Lost Abbey for creativity. Decent stuff.

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Photo of strengthdoc
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The ale poured into the glass to reveal an almost orange color. There was a light tan head and little lacing. The aroma was of clove, brown sugar and cherries. The mouthfeel was much lighter than expected with a slight buttery feel. The taste was mildly sweet with maple and cherry. There was light hoppiness and alcohol in the finish.

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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 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 BlackHoleBrew42
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 bottle. Pours a beautiful ruby honey golden nectar color. Can smell the funk, but also grain, oak, alcohol maybe pine and caramelized sugar? odd. Not too carbonated, nice and resinous mouthfeel, sticks around and adds to complexity. Drinks like a less burly barleywine, definitely very very interesting, far more floral notes in the afterburn. Alcohol kinda burns, in a good warming on a cold Colorado night way, but I'm sure the year and half in the bottle has mellowed that somewhat. Its a sipper that i feel is just a step away from being highly sessionable. Biere de garde - Beer for keeping ...Just glad i had the chance to try it, so now i know to go but more and age even longer. Love it.

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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 Aenema
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/9 - Gift of the Magi - 2008
Appearance - Pours a hazy, reddish orange, creamy one-finger, off-white head. Splotchy lacing.
Smell - Slight funk, citrus/lemon, sweet malts.
Taste - Barnyard funk, unique flavor, which I'm guessing is the frankensense/myrr, slight biscuity malt, grapefruity bitterness, alcohol (a little hot).
Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied and well-balanced.
Drinkability - Enjoyable change of pace.

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.42/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Uncorked a 2008 bottle after New Year's 2010.

A - Golden brown with deep red colors, not a lot of head or lacing if any (maybe the glass wasn't clean enough). Appeared to be pretty well filtered.

S - VERY herbally, kind of like the herb garden you grow in your kitchen. Lots of exotic spices and a small hop presence in the background. Not too much of a grain sweetness but did have a hint of Belgian sugar thrown in there.

T - Very funky, but in a good way I suppose. I assume it's from the Brettanomyces strain used combined with the frankincense and myrrh thrown in during brewing. The herbal taste parts like the Red Sea and a subtle spicy hop flavor forces its way in. Finishes with a semi-sweet malt flavor with the aftertaste of herbs.

M/D - Medium body with average carbonation, finishes semi-dry but hardly any ethyl flavors from the high alcohol content. I would consider this a sipping beer but not too sure if it should be served warmer or just out of the fridge.

I don't have much experience with the Bière de Garde style but I am assuming this is a bit of an outlier due to the ingredients used. I would like to revisit this beer some day down the road.

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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 Thorpe429
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Capone's in December 2009.

A: Pours a pale apricot with a nice, creamy white head.

S: Nice spice profile to this one with some coriander and citrus. Very nice, but a little too light.

T: A bit of sourness, but more toward the sweet end of things with apricot, lemon, and spice coming through.

M: Medium bodied and quite crisp.

D: Fairly high in alcohol with the typical accompanying flavors, so not my favorite Lost Abbey brew, but still very nice.

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Photo of scootny
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the Night of the Epiphany. The twelfth night. The celebration of the arrival of the Magi at the birthplace of the Lord Jesus Christ. What better beer to celebrate and reflect on the revelation of God to the Gentiles.

This is a 2008 bottle. A lovely terracotta with a bit of cloudiness. Head is kinda light and but there is a decent amount of decoration on the sides of the glass.

Nose is quite malty with a rich buttery funk and a combination of spice and alcohol. A touch on the subtle side but nice.

Taste is in style and a boundary stretcher at the same time. Thick malt is cut by a a sharp alcohol and slightly astringent bitterness. Spicy and fragrant hops with a peppered accent. If indeed there is frankincense and myrrh in this stuff it works better in this style and beer than the rosemary in Ten Commandments. While they may bring out a booziness it nonetheless works quite well. This is a strong and sharp beer that you start out sipping and find yourself gulping as you grasp what your taste buds are experiencing. Complex dry finish leaves a tasty combination on your palate and tongue. Yeast is best left in the bottle as is tends to knock the balance off.

Feel is quite creamy and satisfying event though the carbonation is quite mild.

Quite a nice one for this time of year. Truly a winter warming BDG and a real " Gift " from Lost Abbey

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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 sweemzander
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL corked bottle poured into an imperial pint. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a cloudy caramel-like amber color that produced an ample tan head with good retention.

(S)- Toasted biscuits & nuts with bits of raisins

(T)- Malty nuttiness with an ample hop bitterness. Bits of syrupy raisins & caramel.

(M)- A good carbonation level with a big malty & hop bite, but balances decently well.

(D)- A decent beer with a much bigger & bold body than I was expecting. A little off-putting due to how malty & bitter it is, but an interesting interpretation of the style.

** In my opinion, this greatly improves with at least a year or two on it as the Brett has time to develop and really carves this beer into a much better being that it is fresh ** I have updated this review based upon that.

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Photo of Florida9
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Publican

A: A light reddish brown in color. Served in a goblet with just a surface coating of head. Looks "flat"

S: Light fruity esters.

T: A light caramel, brown sugar sweetness followed by peat and then a very noticeable bitterness, bordering on astringency. Very light sourness to it that balances well against the sweetness. Quite tasty.

M: Medium body with medium carbonation. Almost astringent.

D: Good. Complex, but drinkable. This typically isn't my style of beer, but I had no problems getting this one down.

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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 ccrida
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 bottle that I've cellared since it's release last year. Poured into my Lost Abbey chalice, Gifts of the Magi is pale orange with a creamy off-white head.

Smell is sweeter, Belgian aromatic malts, brett, and a touch of solvents.

Taste is mostly brett, lots of horsey barnyard flavors, with only a hint of the sweet malty backbone. The alcohol is clean and sweet. The spices aren't overt, maybe a hint of incense from the frankincense, which I'm thankful for - I dislike heavy-handed adjuncts.

Mouthfeel is dry and crisp.

Drinkability is pretty good, nice funky, strong biere de garde. I'm glad I let it sit, based on other reviews of it being too boozy fresh. The strength is here, but it's clean, and fairly well hidden by the brett.

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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 CaptMurdock
4.19/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a tap into a tulip glass.

I have to say that I may be a biased in this review due to the setting. I had this on Christmas Eve sitting at one of my favorite bars with one of my favorite friends.

Appearance: It poured darker than I expected and was almost pumpkin in color. By the time the glass arrived to me there was almost no head to speak of and absolutely no lacing throughout.

Aroma: Wow! This was like figgy pudding in a glass (or at least figgy pudding the way my mom made it). Dates, plums and sweetness take center stage with sugar and sour apples playing supporting roles.

Taste: As expected the sour fruit was very noticeable. I was a tad bit surprised at how pronounced the alcohol was. Luckily it played very well with the slight sour flavor and the sweetness of the dates to create a very cohesive taste. I was also a little surprised at the amount of yeast that was noticeable here as well. I wish I had more time for a second glass because I was halfway through this before I was truly comfortable with the unexpected flavors.

Feel: Superb. The tartness and sweetness really send the taste buds into a tizzy and then the alcohol moves right in and warms everything. This is finished off with a dry sensation that really invites another sip.

Drinkability: For me I could easily sip a few glasses of this on a cold winter night around the holidays or a few during a lunch break with some great company.

Next year I will certainly be seeking out a few bottles to have on hand for the holiday season.

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Photo of Minotaur
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A unique ale that delivered a taste I in no way expected.

It pours a light amber-brown with red highlights. The color seems overall thin. There as no real head.

The aroma was very strong: bready, nutty, slightly sour. It was in no way overbearing but was not a shy in the nose.

The taste was predominantly bitter even with the apparently sweet and high malt profile. Most of the sweetness seemed to prune/plumb/raisin in nature. There was a real brandy like quality that came through in the taste and a bit in the nose when drinking the beer. There was very little spice but seemed to have an herbal, slightly sour taste but not "funky".

It felt much more like a liquor in the mouth than a beer. I'd say due to the unique taste and thin mouthfeel many would not find it too drinkable. However I found it quite drinkable in a liquor kind of way.

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Photo of bonkers
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured from a 750 ml bottle into a snifter. It pours a murky,dark, ruby red with a big white effervescent head. The aroma is big on funkiness, also some spice and green apples. The flavors of spice and funky green apples come through, along with a sweet alcohol backbone. The finish lingers with hot alcohol. The beer is very well carbonated, medium bodied, creamy mouthfeel and for me a sipper. A nice complex beer, for me the hot alcohol knocked the score down a bit.

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Photo of Gavage
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: orange-amber in color with a one inch head that flass apart quickly. No lace develops.

Smell: yeast spiciness, alcohol, and some frui sweetness is easy to pull from the glass.

Taste: caramel, green apples, plums, brown sugar, yeast, and a moderate bitterness are most detectable. Alcohol is definitely warming and adds to the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp throughout with some mild dryness late. Long aftertaste here.

Drinkability: this is a true slow sipping beer where one glass is all you need in a session. Very flavorful and worth seeking this one out.

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