Carnevale | The Lost Abbey

very good
813 Ratings
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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

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Reviews: 322 | Ratings: 813
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 edition. This one's carbonation edged off, still a nice summer saison. Light cloudy colour, pleasant spicy odor. Easy mouthfeel, with some caramel, zesty cardamom, orange citrus, pepper, nutmeg, cloves. grassy hops build in finish. Another decent and different Lost Abbey.
2012 edition much better owing to fresh lemony taste and hops n finish.This rating is the 2012.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: two fInger white frothy head on a murky pale golden body.

S: A little musty with nice yeasty character with lemon custard, clove and herbal notes.

T: flavor is a touch flat up front with a strong herbal and yeasty finish. some fruitiness from lemon presence.

M: light body and high carbonation. Crisp and sharp with a moister finish than is typical of a saison.

Overall; I wasn't impressed by this one. Saisons are similar across brewers and this one doesn't stand out really.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Los Abbey/Port tasting room in San Marcos, CA.

Pours a clear yellow with an off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain/malt, citrus, spices, and yeast. Taste is the same with a mild spice bitterness on the finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good saison that is pretty tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

this is as much a tripel as it is a saison, a beautiful marriage of the two. the pour is hazy and golden, with just a finger or two of white lasting head that leaves wedding style rings on the edges of the chalice. the nose is sweet and yeasty, big high gravity malt body with some attitude, also more booze than it really is comes through. I taste Belgian cultured yeast before any farmhouse funk, and there is that malty sweetness of a classic tripel, cornsyrupy in a good way and lots of carbonation and body. this is sort of a genre bender, dry and sweet both, unusual in that way. maybe a little overpriced, but its complexity is appreciated here. really round and smooth in the feel, I wish it would quit straddling the fence between a farmy saison and a sugary tripel, it cant quite decide, and that hurts it a little. this is a beer without a true identity, but one with plenty of unique flavors and a mind of its own. on tap at cheeky monk on Colfax for more than its worth, but it tastes good and itll drink forever. lost abbey is back.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out as a typical looking Saison brew. The beer is yellow and kind of cloudy looking. The smell is a little earthy but not too much, had some nice fresh hops aromas in there as well. The taste didn't give off much of a farmhouse taste but it did have a good floral quality to it. The mouthfeel overall was pretty good. I enjoyed this beer the carbonation was pretty good despite some of the issues lost abbey was having. This brew is worthy of trying I think.

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Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy light golden yellow in color. It poured with a finger high white head.
S: There are aromas of lemon citrus, yeast and pepper in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has a slight amount of barnyard funk.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a nice and refreshing saison; the subtle hints of funk make it quite interesting to drink.

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Photo of brentk56
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy honey color with a fluffy head that hangs around for a while but sheets the chalice with a very nice pattern

Smell: This beer has the Saison aroma down to a tee, with a blend of herbaciousness, sweet candi sugar, mashed banana, grapefruit pith and a hint of funk; it could be a bit funkier, if I had my druthers, but it is fine as is

Taste: The initial wheat bread and slightly sweet flavors give way, mid-palate, to the herbacious bitterness and grapefruit pith; after the swallow, the bitterness is mellowed by the sweeter elements, including pineapple and apricot, although the herbacious side hangs around for the duration

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with spritzy carbonation

Drinkability: Having just consumed a Red Barn, this kissing cousin has a tough precedent to live up to; I think I prefer the layered complexity of the Red Barn, but this is well suited to a warmer summer occasion - too bad we are in December, right now

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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.


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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Kegbear: Poured a bright golden yellow color ale with a pure white large foamy head with great retention and perfect lacing. Aroma of European dry hops with light notes of Brett. Aroma of dominated by European hops (Saaz?) with some light bretty notes and some distinctive Belgian malt. Taste is also dominated by some dry hoppy notes with a nice Belgian malt backbone. I didn't notice as much ester as I would have expected but I still quite enjoyed this one. Full body with great carbonation and no alcohol note whatsoever.

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Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, straw yellow color with a large, white, bubbly head of foam. It left some sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of barnyard funk and sour fruits. A touch of caramel aroma, too.

T - It tasted like a good farmhouse ale - funky, phenolic and spiced. Just enough sweet caramel malt to combat the barnyard taste.

M - It was crisp, sharp and extremely dry. A medium bodied ale that drinks fairly easy despite all the nuances in flavor.

D - Lost Abbey does it again. Another really, really good brew.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to daysinthewake for getting this bottle out to me. Served in a Lost Abbey long-stem tulip.

Pours a slightly-hazy peach color with a thick and foamy white head. Loads of lacing on the way down and a thick collar throughout. The nose carries some light fruit plus a bit of white pepper and spice. Light coriander character and a bit of citrus peel. Light wheat. Slight dryness to the finish. Medium-high carbonation. Good malt backbone with a nice bit of spice and yeast bite throughout. Quite nice.

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Photo of superspak
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, vintage 2012 bottle. Pours lightly hazy golden straw color with a very nice fluffy 3 finger white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Some nice soapy lacing on the glass, with a fair amount of carbonation streaming up. Aromas of big lemon, apple, pear, orange zest, herbal, floral, pepper, wheat, grass, coriander, mustiness, and yeast spiciness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity. Taste of lemon, pear, pepper, apple, orange zest, grass, herbal, floral, coriander, pineapple, wheat, earth, and yeast spices. Lingering notes of citrus, pear, apple, pineapple, herbal, pepper, coriander, earth, and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic flavor complexity and balance of sweetness/peppery flavors. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very nice crisp and slightly slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely fantastic saison! Huge flavor complexity and balance; and extremely smooth to sip on. I had no idea this had Brett in it when I bought it online, but the outcome was fantastic.

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Photo of nickfl
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Two fingers of white head with decent retention and minor lace. The body is orange-yellow and very hazy.

S - Big notes of wheat and yeast. Some mild, citrus notes and a bit of vanilla and pepper in the background.

T - Lots of spicy wheat flavor with some pepper and orange. Herbal bitterness in the middle. Pithy bitterness in the finish with a hint of pine.

M - Smooth, slightly thick body with moderately low carbonation and a slightly dry, mildly astringent finish.

D - Reasonably drinkable and very reminiscent of a witbier. Not too complex, but enjoyable overall, with an excellent mouthfeel.

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Photo of jlindros
3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to rudzud for sharing, 2009 vintage when it was with Brett.

Light fizzy foamy head covering, light lacing, mostly clear golden honey color.

Nose nice golden ale to start, sweet like golden malts, light fruity esters like golden apple, light peppery yeasty touch, mild Brett funk, with an almost creamy, hint citrus lemon zest,

Taste mild Brett very little, mood horse hair funk, golden apple light fruity ester, hint peppery yeast, nice honey character, light sweet honey malt and golden malt character. Mild grassy bitterness, nectar like flavors. Finish is dry and bit of floral hop, more golden apple and honey light sweet malt lingering.

Mouth is med to lighter bod, lighter but decent enough carb.

Overall not bad but very little Brett. Age didn't seem to do much.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a mirky, cloudy orangish-yellow haze with a decent fluffy white head. Yeasty nose with spicy notes like clove and allspice. Some citrus oil scents also seem very inviting. Biscuit bite is up front with a dry and slightly tart finish. A bit of fruitiness and some Brett funk in there too. Refreshing and pleasant. Lacing clings well. Wishing there was more funk. Overall a good one.

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

750 ml bottle into a Duvel snifter.

Pours a clear golden straw yellow color with 2+ fingers of poofy brite-white head. Almost a solid finger of retention that flares up nicely and leaves big swathes of sticky lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is fairly earthy smelling with hoppy phenols and grass popping out. I'm also picking up some spice, sour citrus notes, and a vinous yeasty character.

The taste is a mellow, earthy mix of bready malts, citrus, additional sour notes, peppery spices, and a grassy hop bitterness that leaves a dry, bitter feel through the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth yet crisp feel and creamy carbonation on the tongue.

Nice take on a Saison with the additional hopping of this, adding some punch to the taste. This was quite tasty and refreshing. I liked it.

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

A: Pours a medium golden yellow in color with some light notes of orange. The beer has a half finger tall fizzy white head that reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of brett with some barnyard funkiness and some lighter notes of orange citrus with spicy yeast.

T: There is a light to moderate flavor of pale malts upfront with quite a bit of yeast and spicy notes. On top of that there are good flavors of brett that give some tartness and moderate to heavy amounts of funk.

M: Just lighter than medium bodied with moderate to heavy amount of carbonation. Slight amounts of acidic prickliness and almost creamy. Dry in the finish.

O: Very enjoyable and easy to drink with an appropriate amount of funkiness. The brett flavors are very complementary and do not dominate or overpower the other flavors in the beer - good amounts of complexity.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.69/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Cloudy straw-yellow pour, with a huge puff of white head that took a while to settle to a servable size, but was pretty tame after that. Barnyard funk in the nose, hints of citrus pith and fruity esters. Funky taste, echoing the aroma, toasted grains, notes of peppery spice and citrus pith. Light-medium body, with a dry, bitter aftertaste. Pretty typical for the style all around. If you like standard saisons, you'll like this.

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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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden body with a small, white head.

Smell: Light maltiness with a nice range of juicy citrus fruit notes. A dash of white pepper, a few flower petals, and then it's even more tropical fruits.

Taste: Pale malts with a sugar zip to it. Abounds with fruit flavors, grapefruit, yellow apples, and sour lemons. Citrusy, floral hoppiness with fine amount of bitterness present. Hint of spicy yeast near the crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Refreshing and quite tasty. A real mouth-pleaser!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Haystack gold with the finest yeasty haze imaginable. The alabaster colored crown is both airily soft and sticky, much like the heads on the best Belgian ales. Well... maybe not that gorgeous. Sudsy sheets of lace cover most of the glass and give this offering a fetching appearance.

It turns out that a 'blond saison accented with American hops' smells pretty spectacular. Actually, it smells quite a bit like a tripel or even a BSPA. The aroma is both orchard fruity (ripe pears, zesty lemons) and is wonderfully spicy, thanks to what is undoubtedly a kick-ass yeast strain. Has The Lost Abbey nailed yet another style?

Not quite, but they've given it an admirable effort. Even though the first few ounces don't have me reaching for big taste score, let's see how things progress over the course of the bottle. With a more Belgianesque mouthfeel, Carnevale *might* have been able to run with the big dogs.

The usual flavors are present, they just fall a fraction short of the depth and complexity needed for greatness. Like the nose, the flavor profile is tremendously fruity. Buttery pears and sunshine bright lemons are accented by a beautiful breadiness and a white pepper and clove spiciness. Sweet, bitter, tart, spicy. What more could a craft beer drinker ask for?

The mouthfeel needs a Belgian brewer's touch. It comes close to greatness, but close isn't good enough with beer of this style. More of a light creamy expansiveness is what's called for. That little improvement would go a long way toward putting this American saison into the stratosphere.

Carnevale Ale has some serious competition, since Belgian tripels, BSPAs and saisons are some of the finest beers in all the world. The fact that it doesn't quite enter that rarefied air is nothing to be ashamed of. It's still delicious, immensely drinkable beer that continues the seemingly unending parade of excellence coming out of San Marcos.

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Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my lost Abbey stemware. poured a hazy pale straw color with a thin white lacing scattered across the top of the beer.

The aroma has floral and fruity notes with some citrus, bready sweetness, sour apple, yeast and a little bit of funk to it. The aroma has a nice smooth, refreshing and complex smell to it.

The taste has a good amount of fruity citrus to it with a smooth dry sweetness in the finish. The sweetness is nicely balanced out by the tartness and moderate bitterness. It has a light sour funk to it, just enough to make it noticeable.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with above average carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's a very good tasting, easy drinking and refreshing beer. Very good all around beer.

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Photo of smcolw
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Huge first head. Settles slowly with lots of lumps. Leaves chunky lace on the glass. The liquid is quite cloudy with an orange hued, dirty gold color.

The smell is a blend of raw grain and subtle spices of clove and oregano(?). I like the softness of the aroma; there's nothing about this that is in your face.

The flavor begins with raw grain flavor. Not as sour as most Saisons. Strong black pepper finish. This is an easier Saison than most to drink. There's nothing over-the-top about this except the long aftertaste. The body leans to the thin side like most of this style. The carbonation is very high.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Joey for hooking me up with this one. I am always thrilled when a new Lost Abbey comes out and this was no exception. Could not wait to get it home and pop open this beautifully designed 750 ml bottle. Fantastic artwork on this one as well, really very cool. Served right out of the fridge and poured into a Triple Carmeliet Goblet I could not wait to try it. If this is anything like any of the other brews I have had, I am really in for a treat here, not sure what to make of a dry hopped Saison, but I am sure as hell going to find out!

Appearance - This one poured a rich and extremely hazy golden amber. Lots of hints of orange throughout darkening it up quite a bit and really giving it a really nice overall color. A very large white billowing head of foam then formed on the top and really took off. It reached a height of almost three inches before finally started to calm down and come down to just a thin layer of white foam across the top. Huge amounts of side glass lace then came over it, really thickening up the overall look. Lots of carbonation visible throughout the session via streams of thick bubbles coming up from the bottom to reinforce everything above. Very rich and cloudy in appearance, very typical for the style.

Smell - The aroma was very light at first, which confounded me as usually everything from Lost Abbey overwhelms the senses all at once, however this was just getting warmed up as I would come to realize. A rich deep yeast presence was soon to overwhelm me. Lots of hints of light fruit coming through now, rich banana and peach smells, some light lemon and grapefruit now starting to show off the hops that no doubt lie inside. Some light grains really beginning to flex their muscles now as well. This was getting a little more interesting, just needed to warm up a tad I guess. Hints of some funk now showing up, is it Brett? Maybe, but too light to really tell for sure though... Very interesting aroma for a Saison and stretching the boundaries for sure.

Taste - The flavor followed suit perfectly, really being such a light and vibrant ale, I really did not know what to think of it at first. A wonderful mix her of a light Saison and fruity flavors that is almost impossible to describe, but let me give it a try. Started out with a nice light grain base that opened the door to everything that followed. Big grapefruit plunge came shooting up the alley at you; oh, this was dry hopped alright. Very nice bitter fresh hop flavor coming through now really starting to put through the press on this one. Its starts to wane only to let some of the light yeast fruit flavors move forward. Some hints at Banana now here, peaches, apples, a light smattering of fig, everything blending perfectly, seamlessly into each other. Now here comes the spice, nice tones or coriander and nutmeg, some peppery notes now just swirling about, never anything dominating anything else, but rather all working together to just create a wonderful light palate that was pleasing in every conceivable way. Starting to finish now the flavor is dragging along, really pulling the moisture from you until wait, is it our fried Brett, maybe, perhaps. Nevertheless, definitely some funky little notes here just were dropping in everywhere. Nice hints of sour now really starting to work there way around and give it a full on explosion of flavor, wow, incredibly light yet complex, another work of art here.

Mouthfeel - Much lighter here then I thought it would be. It was extremely well carbonated and had a very light texture and body to it. Strong clean finish and infinitely complex, classic for the style, if this actually fits into a style.

Drinkability - Cannot get better then this as far as a sessionable Saison. I mean c'mon, it is downright gorgeous. An obscenely low ABV of around 6% couple with huge bright flavors and stunning carbonation make for a beer that really could be drank anywhere at anytime, it was just that good. I was in love with this.

Overall, this was another knockout from Tomme and crew. I have said it before; there are two breweries that are just consistently outstanding for me, Lost Abbey and Pisgah. Lost Abbey though is a whole new level and this just reinforces it. If you can get this, you must it is insanely good and well deserving of any hype.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 6/5/10 notes. Had at SAVOR in DC.

a - Pours a nice golden color with an inch of white head.

s - Smells a bit funky, also of citrus and fruit.

t - Tastes of orange, citrus, and some other fruits. No funk like in the smell.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

d - Thought this was a decent saison. I thought the smell was better than the taste and enjoyed the funk it had. Would try again.

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Carnevale from The Lost Abbey
3.97 out of 5 based on 813 ratings.
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