Carnevale | The Lost Abbey

very good
321 Reviews
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by seaoflament on 02-12-2008

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 321 | Ratings: 808
Photo of jtierney89
2.65/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale straw color some haze but for the most part good clarity. Bright white massive sticky white head.

Nice nose of earthy hops, banana, clove, some barnyard and medicinal flavors and underlying citric and grapefruit hops. Smells like a classic Belgian saison with some American influence.

Very brisk and effervescent. Full but smooth body. Lots of yeast bite and spice. Initial sweetness of banana and pear. Rolls into earthy yeast like flavors and clove which round out the sweetness and then finishes with a big yeast bite. Takes a few sips to get used to it.

A complex brew with lots of fruit rind flavor. Enough tart like quality on the back of the tongue to remind you its a saison. Traditional yet innovative. Yeast bite really takes away from the beer though unfortunately ruining its drinkability a bit.

 815 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.8/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Checked this out at the SDIBF, like most of the LA releases, glad I had this at a fest rather than dropping a hefty fee. Pours gold, very hazy, great lace retention. Aroma was complex, funky, yeasty and clove-ish.

Taste, the same descriptors as the aroma, a little offputting some of them, would have paired this down a little, tastes like a bunch of flowers and musty.

Reminded me of a hefeweizen with a bunch of hibiscus flowers in it, with some wet dog to round it out.

 474 characters

Photo of triplecoil
3.03/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter.

Pours a straw yellow with orange low lights and not much head. Nose is citrus and coriander, slight farmhouse. Taste is really thin...citrusy, bready...that's about it. Mouthfeel is under carbonated and clean.

This was a real let down. I wasn't sure if I was drinking a saison or a witte. Either way, it wasn't very impressive. If they somehow kicked up the flavor and made it more rich, it would have some legs, but it's just not there.

 482 characters

Photo of AgentZero
3.03/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - Amber with a hint of red that looks orange from the right angle. Beautiful two finger head on this that receded slowly with some very fine lacing down the side. Very nice looking beer.

S - Apples and maybe even grapes start off a fruity nose and the citrusy smell of orange peel and some nice floral and belgian yeast. Smells very good.

T - Does not taste as good as it smells. Not sweet enough, not yeasty enough, not dry enough, just not enough going on here. It's tart, with the taste of apples coming through, but it's a little hollow, finishes sour.

M - Pretty light bodied. Surprising lack of carbonation given the beautiful head on this. Just too flat, not good.

D - It's not hard to drink, I just don't like it and won't drink more.

 749 characters

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.

 357 characters

Photo of jrallen34
3.06/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

It pours a cloudy light orange with about a half finger head that goes quickly. There is some decent lacing.

The aroma is very strong with a sour citrus note, hops, and there is smell of yeast.

The taste is interesting, and but plain. The mostly tastes hoppy, light notes of citrus. Its very drinkable, smooth taste through out but nothing overly special.

 404 characters

Photo of scoots511
3.15/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a 750mL corked and caged bottle. Cork was really difficult to remove. I usually think that means there may be a problem with carbonation but this bottle is right on. Pours a white foamy head.

S: Light citrus and possibly a slight farmhouse aroma

T: Pepper, citrus, some earthy flavors and some sweet but light residuals. The flavors stay for awhile after the first drink.

M: Huh, creamy, this is the first time I have described a beer as creamy

O: I'm giving this beer an average rating. I'm picking up a lot of lemony citrus flavors that aren't really to my taste and there is a taste, maybe from a combination of flavors that reminds me of a metallic taste, not sure how else to describe it.

 709 characters

Photo of Overlord
3.16/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up today. Always excited to see a Lost Abbey brew. This was one beautiful bottle, by the way.

Poured a light orange. Quite murky and cloudy, and the edges and top were noticeably lighter than the core. White fluffy foam. Settled down to a thin crust fairly quickly.

Smells like zesty citrus and yeast. Taste is mostly grapefruity/yeast, with some bread/grains tones and a hint of funk. Maybe some bananas, as well.

It's kind of a strange hybrid, actually. The bottle mentions hops. If they're there, it's mostly in the grapefruit flavor, because this beer is definitely more sour than bitter. It's not particularly similar to other saisons I've sampled. The beer is way too flat. With this kind of zesty, complicated mouthfeel, I would have appreciated a bit more body and liveliness.

Lost Abbey brews have always been a bit of a "hit or miss" experience for me. This one's clearly a miss. I was kind of taken aback by some of the high reviews, as this beer, while solid, is not one of their upper tier efforts. If this was priced in the three to five dollar range, I'd probably chalk it up as an interesting experiment and maybe buy a few to sample later. At 8.99, though, there are far better options amongst Lost Abbey offerings, let alone other breweries.

 1,278 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
3.21/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle courtesy of numbeercruncher. nice hazy orange color with a filmy white head. Smells rustic and reminds me of red barn. Taste is very similar to red Barn with a candy sweetness to it. Decent beer but after having Ne Goien this just doesn't do it for me.

 265 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
3.23/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Chilled bomber into a glass.

A: Pours a cloudy straw-colored gold with translucent yellow edges when held against a lamp. Takes several pours to get into the glass, as the off-white head is an overly energetic and fluffy cap that threatens to overflow. Leaves intricate ivy lacing down the sides.

S: Belgian yeast, some funk, and a strong lemon rind scent that combines tartness with a little bitter sting. A mild hint of pepper.

T: The pepper I detected in the nose sets the initial taste with a little yeasty sourness. That progresses quite nicely into a lemon and pineapple citrus hop mid-taste. The finish continues these fruit notes, but is dominated by a bready malt and pepper again. A light spice lingers into the aftertaste, which is the only deviation from a crisp and clean finish.

M: Light-bodied, but very well carbonated. A good saison.

D: Seems very similar to their other saison, Red Barn. It's not bad at all, but I think I'd go with something else in terms of value.

 994 characters

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.

 662 characters

Photo of Crosling
3.31/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Light golden color with a full head that lasts well. Aroma is ok, with some doughy malts, spice, some fruit, some belgian character. Flavor is heavily spiced, with some fruits and farmhouse. Overall, it's a pleasant beer, but really doesn't compare to most imported Belgians.

 275 characters

Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Light yellow, straw or light gold witha faint amber hue in the center, lightens around the edges, moderate carbonation, 1/2 finger head with some lacing lacing

S: sweet honey notes with apricot and pear and peach overtones, very crisp, the added hops are faint

T: the hops are drying at the outset and followed almost immediately by sweet biscuit honey notes. the tastes have a very seamless interplay, which adds complexity to the usually simple dry refeshing saison. The hops aren't too aggressive, but present - it's more of a pale ale meets saison rather than an IPA. The faintness and/or masking from the dryness of the saison makes it difficult to classify the hops, certainly nothing with ultra-high alpha acids such as tomahawk or warrior, but a welcome addition to old tradition.

M: the mouthfeel is a bit creamy, nothing too overwhelming with the coating but still refreshing and crisp. it welcomes warmer weather and/or working on a TransAm. It is not filling and the initial creaminess subsidse pretty quickly into a thinner nature, making the next sip welcomed sooner rather than later.

D: this is where this beer shines above all. The drinkability gives mundane pilsners and lagers a run for their money, while retaining complexity and great flavor. It is a shame that this is a seasonal and relatively expensive (8$ - 22oz?) it would easily join the ranks of great warm weather beers.

Narrative: "Carrot. Zucchini. God is that all there is? Vegetable medley every Wednesday, lasagna on Thursdays." She lamented idly while cutting away the vegetables and her Wednesday afternoon. The granite counters were not pedestrian, but nothing to write home about. The routine provided stability yet- "Why hello..." her eyes strayed as a festive Guatemalan man began skimming her pool. "I don't recall seeing him before" She watched him, pep within his step remove dead frogs from the skimmer basket, an artful spin while he skimmed the weeping willow leaves from the surface of the pool. "Such grace, finding majesty in the menial" her eyes glazed over as she startled herself upon cutting to the end of an overly ripe zucchini. "How could he add such panache to seemingly uninteresting tasks?" The spring heat seemed to lean oppresively upon the task of the ceiling fan, clicking under the stress of its laborious gyrations. "HE FINDS SUCH PLEASURE IN THE MENIAL" Menial to some, a festive reatreat to others, he removes the dead leaves of fall with aplomb, casting their black vestiges into the soil. "Senora, la piscina esta limpia" she exhales and pushed the vegetables into a united medley, "work on joyful Pan, the season of Carneval is upon us."

 2,666 characters

Photo of Mudpuppet
3.36/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter. Pours an yellow-orange with a light lacing on top.

S- This smells of coriander and bitter orange. I get a bit of saison/farmhouse nose but mostly the nose of a wit.

T- I feel like I am drinking a wit. This is not a bad beer but I think it should be a wit not a saison. I get a strong bitter orange and coriander. I also get a strong hop profile for a saison.

M- Good carbonation and thickness for this brew.

D- I am torn on this beer. It drinks like a wit but is billed as "Saison-style." It is a decent wit but a poor saison. Give it a shot if you can but it is leaving me conflicted.

 635 characters

Photo of Murrhey
3.36/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured on tap in a taster at The Lost Abbey in San Marcos, Calif. Reviewed from notes.

A- Half finger white head. Medium retention. Filmy lacing. Clear pale straw color.

S- Sour, straw, grains and sugar.

T- Sour, vinous, some sugar sweetness.

M- Vinous and light.

O- Weird beer. Not a huge fan. Might like to try it again though. I feel I wasn't able to give it a fair shake.

 381 characters

Photo of TexIndy
3.37/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Got from ummagum - many thanks! Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip. 2009 edition. It was a hazy golden honey color with a good carb stream in the center. It opened with a low pop and the carb stream in the center is markedly less than other beers I've had in this glass lately so seems to have somewhat of the LA carb issue. Slight sliding lace. It had an average sized fizzy white head that dissipated into a collar and some center foam.

The aroma was really good. Classic saison with some brett funk thrown in. A good sniffer but could have used a little more spice and dry to it. The taste was good but not as good as the aroma. The low spice level really showed here. Starts out with a little flavor and then does a slow build but never crests then fades to a watery finish. With that good an aroma it's hard to believe the lack of flavor. Mouthfeel is hurt by the watery taste and too low of a carb level.

Overall, a bit of a disappointment especially after getting the first whafts of aroma. Smells great but lacks in flavor with watery finish. Lost Abbey continues to be wild hits or misses for me and this one is a miss. At this price point, I don't recommend. One and done for me.


 1,211 characters

Photo of BDLbrewster
3.41/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a mildly hazed orange hued peanut butter color. A small effervescent head off of a less than careful pour, tiny bits of visible carbonation.

The smell is rip with sour smelling funk on the front. Tons of spice and fruity yeast bringing up hints of ripe green apple and straw. Very little sweetness in the nose, mainly spice and mild barnyard.

The taste is full of barnyard and straw. Mild funk lends a slight apple like tartness that is greatly overshadowed by layers of earthy goodness. The hops impart a notable spiciness that is crushed by the dryness and lactic character of the finish.

The mouthfeel is in the medium bodied range, and the lack of carbonation is definitely noticed.

This is a true to style brew, albeit not overly notable. Good flavor with glaring weaknesses elsewhere, the 750 will satisfy my thirst for this one and I will not go out of my way to get another.

 895 characters

Photo of beagle75
3.42/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Slightly hazy, pale golden color with two fingers of persistent white foam head. Heavy spotty lacing remains on the glass.

S: Husky grain, bright fruit, mineral salts, and almond-like yeast phenolics provide considerable range. While qualities associated with the smell are diverse and copacetic, the intensity could be greater.

T: Begins off-dry, with mixed fruit, refined bready malt, and possibly a whiff of pet urine. Acidity is moderate into the middle where mild white pepper gives way to rustic butter. A mild combination of yeast-derived bread and apple fruit lingers in the finish.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, cooling and slightly sticky on the palate, with brisk carbonation.

D/O: This attractive-looking saison exhibits some potent Belgian yeast character against otherwise traditional and unremarkable sensory qualities.

 889 characters

Photo of rxdrewthejew
3.45/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a honey color with a fluffy white head that retains fairly well, about 1 finger or so left well after the pour. Bit hazy but no sediment.

S: Honey sweetness and belgian spices.

T: Real funky barnyard flavor with a bit of honey in the backgroud. Hops come out pretty soon and do dominate the end of the flavor. Not a very distinct hop flavor, just bitter.

MF: Thin but prickly, as you would expect from the style. Finish is somewhat dry, probably owing to the hops. Fairly subdued alcohol, not much aftertaste either.

D: My feeling about this is about the same as with their year-round brew Devotion. It's not bad, but at the rate that I'm going to drink a hopped up pale ale, I would probably look elsewhere.

 721 characters

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.

 262 characters

Photo of TenHornsProud
3.46/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice golden/slightly orange with a big white heat.

Smell is yeast forward but without a lot of distinct aroma.

Tastes of some sweet, pale malt without a lot else going on. There are some subtle sweet, hop hints and a little bit of earthy-ness, no real spice to speak of.

Mouthfeel is good. High carbonation and a dry-ish finish make this good for the style.

This saison is nice in that it is very drinkable and refreshing, but it lacks depth all around. There are SOME subtle elements but not enough to make this anything special. Even the lower alcohol percent stands out because of this. It just needs something more in any direction.

 649 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.46/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pleasant dry light golden ale.

Attractive in the glass with nice fine-grained foam, which is very long lasting. The right straw-lemon color for a Saison. Light in body but very pleasing bursting bubbles on the tongue. a little citrus on the nose. Rather acidic with malt in the background. Hops are more forward. Long bitterish aftertaste. Belgian flavors and yeasty zest are fairly robust.

A nice beery Saison and quite drinkable. A little harsh in the back of the mouth. Worth a try. Personally I like a little more mellowness to go with the tart.

 552 characters

Photo of PeterIngemi
3.46/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Split a 750 ml poured into a duvel glass
High expectations for this one with it having just revived a gold medal.

A: pours a hazy golden yellow... With a slight orange to it... Massive 4 finger white mountainous head... That disapates nicley and leavs a nice amount of lacing.

S: an interesting aroma... Get strong notes of bannana/bubblegum and clove... A lot of citrus in there as well, along with an earthy barnyard aroma.... Interesting and complex but not particularly pleasing to me.

T: much like the flavor, barnyard funk, mixed with a healthy dose of Belgian yeasty flavors, like bubblegum, clove, and bannana.... Mixed with citrus, apple and pear notes.... I think this brew is just not my style.

M: nice medium body, with lower carbonation for the style... I enjoy the mouth feel and find it on the lush side and very drinkable.

O: I could see this maybe being good if you enjoyed this kinda thing... But it is deffinatly not my style.... To much Belgian yeast for me....

 987 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.47/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2011 1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork served into a Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I had this on draught before and gave it a B-, but saisons tend to be best out of the bottle. Acqiored at Wades Wines in Westlake Village, California. Cost was $8.49 plus tax.

Served a little cooler than room temperature. Side-poured with more than standard vigor as carbonation issues are often foreseen with this brewery.

I'm really in the mood for a good saison.

A: Pours a four finger head of soft slight cream, good lacing, nice fluffy thickness, white colour, and great retention for the above average ABV. Colour is a clear light yellow. A predictable looking saison, but a nice one no doubt. The lacing is quite appropriate for the style, with a little residue left about the inside of the goblet. No yeast particles are visible, but I'm pretty early in a large bottle.

Sm: Hints of lemon peel, subtle spices, some light hints of earthiness, cream, clean malts, and very fresh wild yeast. Very light, pleasant, and fresh. It gets me excited to try the beer. As it should be for the style.

T: Light lemon, touches of yeast, pleasant subtle spice, very restrained clean malt (very hard to find), and hints of an underlying earthiness when I really really look for them. It's quite refreshing all around, but it honestly isn't all that complex. Some subtlety is present but not as much as anticipated. No real layering. No alcohol comes through.

Mf: Really glides down the tongue. Very delicate and soft. Fresh, light, and thin (in a pleasant way). It has enough presence for the flavours but seeks to maximize drinkability - and succeeds. Some cream in the open adds a nice touch. Slightly undercarbonated.

Dr: Very easy to drink. Refreshing, clean, and enjoyable. I'd have it again at a better price. I don't know that aging did a whole lot for it. I wouldn't recommend it to friends, but it's a nice little saison.


 2,052 characters

Photo of kkipple
3.47/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Got two bottles of this in the mail from my Saint's club. Neat bottle artwork, really engaging. Looks like someone used to drawing for wine bottles did the label.

A. The cork is released with an anemic pop and the beer pours yellow and hazy with a very small head. Really low carbonation in here, the head gives up the ghost before it even starts.

S. Citrus hops and a strong yeasty bread note up front, a hint of funk and some spice (clove, pepper) along with the sugary malt sweetness. It's good, but not too crazy -- or interesting.

T. Pretty decent, really. Sweet and bready with green apples, barnyard funk, grain husks and a little starch. No noticeable alcohol, but it is only 6.5%. Clean. Good for an American Saison.

M. Thin, watery, lowly carbonated, alas! Finishes semi dry and yeasty with a hint of sugar sweetness.

D. Carnevale is just... ok. More carbonation and a little more assertiveness would do wonders for this beer. It's not bad by any means, but it's Lost Abbey and they can, and do, make far better beers.

 1,033 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Carnevale from The Lost Abbey
3.97 out of 5 based on 808 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

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.