The Lost Abbey

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Belgian Saison
Ranked #479
Ranked #7,974
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
Reviews by HALB:
Photo of HALB
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

More User Reviews:
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.

 1,426 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of ColSanders123
4/5  rDev +0.8%

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

Photo of bonkers
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of mikennat
4/5  rDev +0.8%

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

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into red wine glass, 2009 on label.

Pours a very hazy orangey-gold, some bubbles climbing the edge of the glass, with a nice fluffy finger-and-a-half white cap. Nice stickage.

Nose is spicy, hints of lots of tropical fruit, apricot, and citrus, clean and quite peppery. Hint of farmhouse funk underneath. Really nice nose.

Taste is peppery up front, lightly bitter, very clean. Yeast has a very spicy note to it. Some tropical fruits and lemony citrus come through as well to balance. Really perfectly balanced, there's a lingering off-sweetness that's delicious. Finish is long, peppery, lightly bitter but yet exhales a bready, fruity sweetness. A well crafted Saison is a thing of beauty, and this stands up to the best American examples I've tried.

Mouthfeel is softly but crisply carbonated, a but syrupy. Lip smacking.

Drinkability is, like any great saison, fantastic.

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Photo of flayedandskinned
2.75/5  rDev -30.7%

Photo of bkwhoppa66
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jwelsh
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Sarunas7
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of spoonsock
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of popery
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of jl28r1
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of ricecracker420
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of ckeegan04
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Tanslucent orange with hints of golden brown at the thicker part of the galss. Big frothy off-white head. Excellent retention and lacing. Tons of carbonation bubbles quickly rising to the top.

S - Spicy and fruity in the nose. A little white pepper, lemon zest, and even a little peach. Some mild citrus notes in addition to the lemon as well. Excellent Belgian aroma.

T - Crisp spiciness initially. A lemon zest linger sunderneath with that standard Belgian yeast tartness. A mid drink sweetness gives way to a light finishing tartness. A very good balance of tastes but nothing truly special. Very good saison though.

M/D - Light and crisp, very well carbonated. Easy drinking. An excellent saison, but nothing exceptional.

 732 characters

Photo of mattreitz49
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of cornejo
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of kasper
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful, cloudy yellow gold with orange hues towards the center of the glass. Wet and bubbly off-white head makes a brief appearance before fading to a ring with minimal lacing.

Mild aromas of semi-sour, semi sweet citrus -- notably lemon; just a tad of grassy/earthy funkiness from the brett and faint hints of spice that I can't put my finger on. Aromas are comparable to what a fledgeling Beatification may smell like (it looks like a Beatification too).

Flavor is certainly not as sour as the nose may imply. Citrus malt flavors (orange) hit the palate first, followed by a bit of the funkiness from the wild yeast which leads into quite the spicy finish (pepper). There's indeed a crispness to this beer if you consider the spice refreshing, which I honestly do not.

Straight up medium bodied. Smooth and easy drinking with mild carbonation. A tad grainy, but that's to be expected.

First time trying this. I love the nose but spicy finish is almost a bit too much for me and kills the session potential of this beer because I'd seek out something with a tad less spark on the tail end of the sip. It's not bad though, and I would drink it again if it were offered to me.

 1,192 characters

Photo of brotherloco
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml C&C bottle. I think this is a 2011 edition, but it could be from 2010. Served in a tulip.

Pours a slightly hazy golden-straw color with a solid two finger white head. Foam has a real meringue texture. Bubbles continue to cascade up through the beer. Tons of thick lacing.

Aroma is rich, vinous, and slightly sour and funky. Citrusy hop notes are present, a good deal of sugar, and some perfumy floral notes. Sweeter fruits emerge as well.

Flavor is nicely balanced and isn't as sweet as the aroma let on. Not too dry either. Fruit notes tilt towards juicy apples and pears. Flavor evolves through the middle and finish. It dries up a bit and bitter hoppiness takes the forefront, spicy pepper emerges, but fruity sweetness never completely disappears.

Body is on the fuller side of medium with really nice medium-high natural carbonation. Real lively, great feel.

 873 characters

Photo of frlrv1020
4/5  rDev +0.8%

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 Nugganooch
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml C&C bottle split two ways – GF Le Freak Tulip glass for me
Notes taken on 03/14/14

A: Saffron yellow body clouded with a bit of yeast haze. Plenty of carb produces a billowy mass of course khaki suds that slips down to a chunky thick halo. Large globules of stick run down the glass.

S: Fragrant banana like esters on the nose with some fruity bubblegum, spices, and freshly sliced golden fruits. Pear and crisp apples come to mind. Lightly sweet with some earthy musk and a bit of alfalfa but not particularly Brett forward. No funk here at least. Smells like a solid Belgian to me with its pronounced yeast and peppery spice notes.

T: Fresh golden fruit with a mild tartness, dry grass, and cracked peppercorns give way to some really bright citrus underpins. Yeast is incorporated nicely with the bubblegum and spice. A light honey cracker malt base provides some supple sweetness and good counter balance to the other flavors. Floral hops lead to a finish of some earthy mineral like qualities but nothing about this screams funk. It’s a more restrained use of the Brett like Rayon Vert. Very smooth and dry with alcohol completely disguised. Crisp and flavorful yet simple in its approach. Totally refreshing.

M: Light to moderate body. Frothy feel with an upper level of prickly carbonation. Very dry in the finish as to be expected with the style. A nice clean retreat in the end.

D: Better than I was expecting. I am not big on Saisons in general so I often passed up on this one but this is darn tasty and incredibly refreshing. Very well done with good balance sans some of those sharp smoky phenols many Saisons can produce.
Drinks more like a hoppy Trippel if you ask me…which is probably why I am digging this.

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