The Lost Abbey

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Belgian Saison
Ranked #472
Ranked #7,674
3.97 | pDev: 9.07%
The Lost Abbey
California, United States
Very Good
Notes: Farmhouse style Saison with Brettanomyces, Amarillo and Simcoe Hops.

Brewed in celebration of Lent and Easter season, Carnevale is light bodied Saison, using Brettanomyces along with Amarillo and Simcoe hops to generate flavor and depth. Carnevale’s complexity grows with time. The citrus notes tend to wane and the wild yeast rears its wonderfully tasting head.

2008 (first release) did not have brettanomyces.
Reviews: 334 | Ratings: 856 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of mothmanscott
4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From notes 12/26/12: Pours a near-clear and very effervescent deep gold producing a huge 3-4+ (depending on the pour from this bottle) fingers of shaving cream fluffy, off-white, insanely lasting head that leaves a thick and sticky coating of lace. This brew is very hard to pour due to its carbonation. Aroma is white fruity Belgian yeast esters with a Brett mustiness present, lemon zest with a little grass, cloves and a very faint hint of banana. Taste is sweet, dominated by the fruity yeast esters of apple, peach, pear and white grape. Brett must is there and some cloves but far less than in the nose. I do not detect the faint banana of the nose. Sweet and fruity with a lightly dry finish that quickly dissipates to a somewhat fruity and mildly astringent aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and alive with carbonation but lacks much of the spicy prickliness one would expect from such carbonation.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.56/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.5

It's been a long time since I've reviewed a beer, but brett saisons are at the top of my favorites, so here I go. 750ml bottle.

Pours a clear golden orange, little fizz, only a half finger of fluff on the surface, but it's persistent and sticky.

Smell is not what I was expecting - light and very grainy. If I did, I get the brett funk and some floral aromatics, but it's not bowling me over.

Taste is fairly thin, again pretty grainy. Where's the yeast, the pungency? A dry bitterness in the finish. Okay.

Feel is fantastic. Light and airy, with tons of small-bubble buzz that fades at just the right time, and dries out taking any remnants of the beer with it.

Some high points, some low points. Most of all, I want more yeast presence!

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Photo of Buck89
4.39/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap into a pint glass. A slightly hazy golden color with a medium white head. Great aroma with loads of hay, white bread, lemon pepper, and grass. This was delicious. A huge Brett presence with all of the above notes mixed in. Brett for days. A clean, dry finish. Overall possibly my favorite straightforward Saison with the bit Brett element.

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Photo of CHickman
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass it pours hazy gold color and has a massive 3+ finger thick white head that was packed with bubbles of all sizes, dissipating stupidly slowly, dropping over a 5 minute period and leaving excellent foamy lacing. It was like a soft puffy cloud that wanted to torture me and not go away so I couldn't drink this beer. All good though.

Aroma starts off with funk, brett, peppery spices, malty sweetness, yeasty and some caramel and/or candied sugar. Then I got wheat, biscuit, coriander, orange peel, very mild booze, citrus notes, flowers and herbs. Trailing lemon zest and a white wine essence mix with earthy notes to balance this out.

Fruity and zesty, the flavor like the nose completely masks the 8% ABV and allows the funk, brett, peppery spices, biscuit, coriander, orange peel, malty sweetness, lemon zest, yeast, light caramel, flowers and candied sugar balance malts, spices and mild hops. The brett and barnyard funk give off a tartness which tame the spices and help this go down easy and refreshing. Really good representation of the style, I'd definitely have it again.

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Photo of ordybill
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap into a tulip glass. the appearance is a fairly clear golden yellow Colo with a small white head. The aroma is malt, orange and some pepper. The taste is a nice blend of malt, grain, clove and pepper.

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

Designed to be a dance party for the mouth, The Lost Abbey brings out big palate rewards not only for the Lent season but for anyone fortunate enough to find their farmhouse saison any time of the year.

Carnevale draws the nose with a burst of citrus and estery aromatics that lead with lemon and herb yet also tingling the nose with white wine, pepper and grain. Bright straw, the ale is woven with a mild haze and a billowing eggshell froth for an appetizing upstart to a racy session. Raw grain sweetness invites a taste of honey and the slightness of pulled candy as the early palate carries a mildly sweet tone.

As the ale traverses across the middle palate, its sweetness rapidly fades and the fruit and spice character bring a balanced attack to the tastebuds. Lemon, dried orange, pear and apple all seem tangy and of the dehydrated varieties while bracing against a late palate of peppery spice, vinous white wine, grapefruit peel and white pepper. Hints of hay and cork have a musty sensation to bring the trueness of the farmhouse to mind.

Medium bodied and creamy in texture, the beer favors a dry, spicy and earthy character deeper into the taste with the hop bitterness of grapefruit, dry grasses and straw in a uniquely pilsneresque way. A medium length afterglow of dried citrus and bitter spice favors the spice while the strong carbonated presence has the ale bouncing from the tongue with vigor and zeal.

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A dense four inch creamy meringue slowly melts from top to bottom leaving dense lace clinging to a Lost Abbey pint glass like fluffy clouds. The beer is almost clear (SRM 3-4), light gold with slowly rising, occasional tiny bubbles.

The nose is herbal, sweet and subtle. Notes of coriander, banana and doughy yeast clearly identify this as a Farmhouse Ale.

Sourdough bread opens while bitterness is slightly greater than the sweetness. Yeast and acid balance, while spices give way to a hint of sulphur. The finish is modest and lengthy, building sour notes as it warms to reveal floral notes.

Texture is soft and smooth like flannel, while the body is medium. Alcohol is as expected, while very light, spritzy carbonation reveals mineral qualities.

This is an excellent beer to enjoy while relaxing on a gentle afternoon in a cool shady garden.Quiet, casual conversation adds to the exquisite subtleties of the experience.

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Photo of TryThemAllOnce
4.79/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Purchased at BevMo on 8/11 opened next day. No freshness ir bottling date found.

Since the 2008 version, the ABV has bumped up to 8% as of whenever this was made. It really is one of the 2 or 3 best Brett saisons that I have run onto.

Cottony billowing white foam that lasts, wonderful lacing. This atop the murky orange/yellow liquid that is common for the style.

The nose is mostly the Brett yeast, as is the dominant taste. Slight hint of spices, clove perhaps?

The alcohol is masked well but present, and a nice crisp finish as it hits the many taste sensors on the tongue.

I would definitely look for this again, it is really well-executed. Cheers!

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Photo of jopezu
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a murky straw gold with a huge head that hangs around for a bit. nose; sweet bread, yeast funk, sweet drupe pulp, & light lemongrass. taste; bready sweet malt, white toast, lemon & orange rind, banana, gum, citrus hops, sweet peach/apricot, & light hay/grassy notes. easy peppery spice and semi-dry on the finish. heavy carbonation & medium+ mouthfeel (quickly carbonates into a heavy froth if held). more malty than most saisons and i like it! solid farmhouse ale.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Sparkling gold with a crisp carbonation continuously swirling up from the bottom forming a large, foamy, lumpy white head that settles to a persistent, patchy blanket.

Smells of pear, lemon, hay, grass, dough, and little spicy Brett and phenols.

Tastes of plenty of phenol and graham cracker, bringing mostly Belgian yeast flavors, but also a slightly tart apple and some earthy bread.

Body is moderate, slightly frothy, with a semi-wet, slightly spicy finish.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap 5/2/2017 at Flynn's in Mansfield, MA, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains Belgian yeast, wheat, caramelized malts, bananas and some hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of wheat, Belgian yeast and a hearty malt character. Then some sweet flavors of bananas, spice, caramel and citrus come in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this is a very solid beer to drink for a long time.

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 750ml bottle into Bell's Hopslam Tulip. Wired and Caged. Corked. No vintage date sadly.

L: Cloudy orange, finger and a half off-white head is very fluffy and has good staying power.

S: Lots of yeasty funk there, very bready, banana, clove, citrus.

T: Follows the nose closely, alcohol is more present here. Not bad tasting.

F: Light, dry.

O: Not a bad beer or Saison but not particularly great.

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Photo of Gregaroo
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3/4/17 - Enjoyed a 2016 vintage bottle at home with the wife on the first Saturday of lent. Poured into my tall stemmed teku glass. Hazy light straw color with frothy white head. Subtle aromas yielded a smooth taste and feel. Brett not so overwhelming, which was nice.

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Photo of MMOSNN
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - a nice hazy golden orange with a huge fluffy white head and great retention and lacing.
Smell - juicy citrus, clove, banana, and some slight notes of vanilla.
Taste - barnyard yeast notes are most dominant, clove, and some citrus.
Feel - good carbonation, medium body, and smooth finish.

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Photo of wedge
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A tall fluffy head crowns a foggy golden-orange liquid. Aromas of doughy yeast, creamy citrus, bananas foster, grass, and vanilla. Fruity yeast esters in the flavor with citrus peel, honey, apricot, light peppery herbs, and some pale malt sweetness. On the lighter side of medium bodied, creamy, and drying. Nice.

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

Bottle shared at Klooster. Semi-hazy golden pour with a tall white head. Notes of grass hops, honey, spices, yeast. Medium body and carbonation and a bitter-sweet finish.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2014 vintage; drank 4/9/14 on draft @ Fischman's.

Murky yellow hue.

White head; thick lace.

Banana, orange & a hint of yeast funk in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Banana, sweet citrus & mild clove; a worthy sipper. Above average.

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Photo of Pray_For_Mojo
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cellared 2 years +.

Poured into a tulip.

Appearance: wonderfully bright with a rocky off-white head with excellent retention. The head lasted 10 minutes without fading!

Aroma: light sweet bready malt with a distinctive Belgian yeast aroma. No alcohol or hops in the nose.

Flavor: quite enjoyable. Very well balanced. The yeast, as in the nose, is distinctly Belgian, but is restrained. The mail is light, sweet and bready. Sometimes Saisons are too sweet; this beer is not. It is just very well balanced. There is no alcohol or hops in the flavor.

Mouthfeel: light, not thin, but very light bodied. This would pair very well with Thanksgiving.

Overall: much better than expected. Saisons seem to be hit or miss. Lost Abbey hit the mark with this one. The takeaway from this beer is how well balanced it is.

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Photo of FriedSlug
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright gold beer with a pillowy white head and streams of bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass that never end. The smell is sweet, funky, bright citrus, banana and clove. This is a really nice beer.

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Photo of hman43
4.52/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: It pours pale gold with a full white, long lasting head. It has a slight haze to it with Belgian lace as the head recedes.

Smell: It has high citrus aromas with moderate earthly elements. It is moderately spicy with pepper.

Taste: It has flavors highlight by high fruit flavors with citrus and orange. There is also a moderate blend of earthen flavors, spice, and pepper. There is a low sour element as well. The complex flavors work well together.

Feel: It has high carbonation and a moderate feel. There is a low sour and bitter finish that is dry.

Overall, this is a very complex blend of aromas and flavors in an ale highlight by citrus and yeast.

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Photo of ajm5108
3.27/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a medium golden hue with nice fluffy head. Strong retention. Aroma is tradional & on-point for the style - with notes of dry yeast, hay and lemon rind - though it was a tad muted. It's somewhat full-bodied for a saison and a little oily with lots of carbonation.

Flavor profile was a little washed-out to me - the Brett is not very present at all (moreso upfront) and is drowned out by the hop notes, which bring a soft tropical note to it but otherwise is also pretty faded. They do add a bitterness at the end that is also tinged with a vine note. In the end, the lack of any stand-out notes & the too-heavy-for-the-style body was dissapointing for me.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.04/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a golden color, has plenty of haze to it. Drops 4/5" white head, phenomenal retention. Aroma had all the yeast, plenty of clove, brett was a stretch to find.

Taste was floral, musty, wet hay, citrus, hibiscus. For me there was too much clove to it. Kinda seemed like there was wheat as well.

Way too expensive for what it brings to the table.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

(This intro has to do with the importance of beer.)
Yesterday I was in Hawaii with a 79 degree high, a low of 71 and ridiculously pleasant trade winds that only small islands get. Paradise was the half-way house to help me adjust from a month of summer heat in Australia. Today, I am in Chicago and it is Ground Hog Day at a -5 chill factor and clear; (meaning it was too cold for clouds and the ground hog got scared of his shadow and went into his hole... meaning winter will be longer than usual which, in Chicago, means that it seems like it cannot possibly end.) Despite being lucky this entire year, I still needed some serious mood adjustment and popped this bottle 11 days early. (As everyone knows and the bottle says, Carnevale is the day everyone can pretend to be someone else.)

It worked. Halfway through the bottle, weather did not matter much. And ale did matter much more.
Carnevale even Looked to promise better things to come... with its fluffy, Spring-like head. Its Smell added the allure of fruity malts. Tastes start sweetly boosted by Lost Abbey's talent for yeast. Then, there is a slow fade to let the spices in for balance. But as an after-taste in the session, the spices lingered too long for me. (I'd like a future Lost Abbey brew to re-blend its hops from mostly American to those more associated with Belgians.)

Then to right the situation, I ate the food and the spices met their match; doing double duty by cutting through the olive oil and garlic. While I think a great saison should standout as a session, Carnevale at least very much did its job with the meal... the main test of a good saison. Bottomline: I'll look for Carnevale later this year. I've found a new mood-adjuster.

Moral of the story: when pretending to be someone or somewhere else, make the most of the timing... even if you've been lucky all year.

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Photo of Brolo75
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a orange/yellow color with a bright white frothy head, lots of carbonation, lots of lacing, beer is cloudy, looks pretty good.

A: Belgian yeast, spice, clove, touch of citrus, and slight brett funk, picking up some alcohol on the nose, smells pretty complex.

T: Belgian yeast, spice, clove, moderate amount of citrus bitterness in the middle, touch of brett funk at the end, aftertaste is of citrus peel and brett, lots going on, balanced, very tasty.

M: Lots of carbonation, medium/light bodied with smooth mouthfeel, dry finish.

O: Really enjoyed this one, I like the mix of flavors from citrus, yeast, and the touch of brett, very enjoyable.

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Photo of gonzo000
3.46/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is much better as it warms. Look is nice yellow, highly carbonated beer. Smell is belgin hops. Taste is lacking when cold, but improves with time. The spice flavors mellow with warmth. Feel is nice, but over carbonated. A good beer, nothing more.

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Carnevale from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 856 ratings