Carnevale | The Lost Abbey

very good
320 Reviews
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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: 320 | Ratings: 804
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.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


2012 bottle into a snifter.

A: Transparent yellow gold with an absurdly large craggy white sea foam head that never really recedes. Foam is all over the glass. Fantastic looking beer.

S: Light biscuity, crackery malt with effusive floral and grassy notes. White pepper accompanies a dash of clove. Leather is restrained. I get a good amount of lemon, as well as granny smith apple and green grape.

T: A little sweet malt with notes of lemon, apple, earth, white pepper, and a touch of clove. A little leather mingles with grassy and floral notes. Crisp dry finish.

M: Upper light body with high carbonation. Dry, well attenuated mouthfeel.

Overall: A very nice Saison. I'm going to set my last few bottles from this vintage aside and let the Brett do some work.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pale orange with a slight haze and bubbles rising. Nice foamy head, but a soft head, not tons of density. The foam clings to the side and doesn't let go as you drain the glass.

Some must and yeast and spice- some white pepper. The nose is definitely saison. There is also a green herbal note, which I assume is the hop addition to this beer.

Bitter malt and some funk up front. Some yeast, but that is pushed aside by another type of bitterness. A bit herbal in the bitterness, and this beer gets a little chalky and mineral-like. Light tartness, but barely there. Bitterness asserts itself at the end, and this one dries right out.

Lighter bodied with carbonation, but there's enough to swish around.

I like this beer, but not as much as some other saisons. A little too bitter, and that upsets the balance and all of the other wonderful nuances present. Very worth trying, and any flaws are minimum.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750mL corked & caged bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: light golden hue with a moderate haze and a strong effervescence. Head poured nearly 3 fingers of frothy white foam. Lacing and head retention are both great. Wonderful!

Smell: light malt with a bit of sweetness and a light, balanced funkiness. There's also a hint of sourness in the mix which works rather well. I like it!

Taste: nice, moderate funkiness with an earthy, slightly citrusy hop character and a strong but balanced bitterness. I like it.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a massive carbonation and a great creaminess. Love it!

Overall: I find this to be a highly tasty and drinkable saison. I would gladly have this beer again.

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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 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 philbe311
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2012

A - A huge three finger's worth of big chunky fluffy airy slightly off-white colored head... Slight retention gives was to full airy moderately thick lacing... The color is a vibrant orangish gold... Loaded with swirling moderate paced carbonation...

S - Brett is at the forefront and dominates... Some lemon zest... Some yeasty notes... Clove... Some grassy notes as well...

T - The palate is dominated by brett, yeast and clove... A touch of banana... Not too much in terms of the complexity I associate with the style... Fairly one dimensional...

M - On the lighter side of medium bodied... Loaded with fizzy carbonation... The finish displays just the slightest touch of dryness...

D - Not a bad Saison, but a bit of a disappointment overall as this one is average at best... Perhaps a bit more time in the bottle would help meld the flavors and provide much needed complexity...

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Photo of Jmamay22
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a straw colored yellow with an off white head. Good head retention with sticky white rings of foam showing the progression of each sip. Has a nice spicy scent of the American hops detailed on the label. Some nice fruity complexity from the yeast as well.

The taste may be a little too spicy for my tastes. It covers some of the complexity. But really I'm being picky and this is a good beer. The hops are spicy and American providing a twist onthe common saison. An effervescent mouthfeel with tiny Belgian bubbles. A solid beer from a great brewery.

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Photo of axeman9182
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle from Amanti Vino's "Beer of the Month" club. It's marked "vintage 2012" and was allowed to warm some before being poured into my Brooklyn Brewery tulip.

Carnevale pours a crystal clear golden yellow. The monstrous pile of foam atop the beer maxes out at about four fingers in height. Head retention and lacing are both very good, but neither are quite on par with the very best of the style The nose has lots of earthy brett funk, but with a light peppery aroma present as well. The flavor profile follows a similar layout, with the brett profile having a prominent, wet hay, barnyard essence to it. The pepper-like phenols are muted and in the background, but definitely present. The label advertises American hops, but outside of a gentle bitterness I don't find evidence of any. The body is nice and dry, and the carbonation has plenty of life to it, spot on mouthfeel for a saison. I really enjoyed this relatively fresh bottle o Carnevale, and I'd be curious to see what it's like with a little bit more age on it.

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

figured I would try a lost abbey brew for true blood tonight

A- very hazy orange with loads of fluffy white foam tackling the glass. Very hazy and vibrant with the orange colors

S- yeast and clove with some mango in the scent. A good amount of barnyard funk really all over the glass

T- very good blend of spices, clove, and citrus flavors that balance and complement eachother very well. The flavor is very hearty and that makes for a fuller saison, versus a thinner one

M- carbonation is tackling and very good

O- as this is my first lost abbey brew, I am very satifsfied. Too often do saison attempts have only thin yeasty qualities. Carnevale makes for a thicker, fuller version. Enjoyable.

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

consumed on 6/30, while I was "on Hiatus." picked up in boston a while ago. enjoyed from my lost abbey teku.
2009 vintage

a - brew opened with a pop and poured a transparent yellow with some subtle visible carbonation and a finger plus of bubbly head that zipped away leaving a thin film of bubbles on the surface. some streaky bubbly lacing on the side of the glass.

s - some nice sweet grassiness. little bubblegum and little clove.

t - really nice and subtle saison. a bit more funky than i'm used to, but there is good clove and weak bubblegum flavors. some zingy fruitiness as well.

m - tingly with nice bite. medium to light bodied.

o - overall a really nice saison that has held up well over the past few years and is rather refreshing in the warmer months. definitely has some funk to it too which is a nice change.


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

Poured from bottle into a tulip. Pours a hazy yellow color with a nice and foamy head.

Nice and spicy aromas. Good depth with a touch of brett and aromas of citrus, spices, and oranges.

Silky medium body. Lacking a slight bit on the mid, but very smooth and tasty. Balanced with good flavors of spices, citrus and some florals with a touch of oranges.

This is a real nice saison. Has the good feel with it along with having a slight bit of bretty touch to it on the back end.

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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 BeerManDan
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color of a hazy wheat yellow, with a lot of white foam and a fair amount of lace on the side of the pint glass. The smell of citrus, hops and alcoholic carbonation filled the nose with a pleasant aroma. The taste had the flavor of carbonated lemons, hops and a bitter/sweet finish on the aftertaste that lingered for quite awhile. The longer you sip this ale the more complex flavors you got on your palate.

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Photo of KajII
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in a Tulip glass]

The pour was a hazy yellow with a huge (3-4 finger) white pillowy head that lasted a little while, receding to a large puddle and collar of residue, which had good spotty lacing.

The aroma was of light grain and cereal malts, herbal hops and a funky Brett yeast with notes of citrus (orange and lemon), and a hint of spice (coriander and clove).

The taste was a little sweet and a tad sour with a hint of citrus at first and then became rather hoppy with a slight bitter lemon peel presence and a mild peppery spice ending. The flavor lasted an average time proceeding the swallow, with a hoppy slightly sour peppery taste left to settle on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was just beyond light in body with a smooth dry texture and a prickly carbonation.

Overall a refreshingly different Saison, with a nice sour spicy taste that had an outstanding blending with the hops...

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

2009 - only realized until after I bought it...a blessing in disguise.

A: Cloudy, golden-yellow & straw-colored with a white, fizzy head. A bit of lace and head retention.

S: Tart fruit, slight funk, barn. You can tell how this has aged. Everything has mellowed. Old brett is there.

T: Mellowed funk. A bit boozy but malty, funky, slightly fruity. Delicious.

M: Super smooth, tasty, and easy to drink.

O: Haven't had an aged Saison prior to this review but I am already a fan.

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a beautiful crisp clear light golden yellow pour with 2 fingers fluffy white head (which stayed throughout), great lacing, constant visible carbonation - not only is this perfect for a saison, but a very dead on interpretation of what a beer should look like in general.

smells of pepper, coriander, lemongrass, a strange fungus like raw mushroom smell. taste is very subtle.. hints of sweetness up front followed up by a slightly bitter/zesty vegetable taste (celery comes to mind), subtle breadyness, slight hint of pepper lingers.. a very flavorful, yet not overwhelming beer.

light bodied (plus) with a seltzer like carbonation. very refreshing, very crisp. the zest/pepper is a nice subject on the palate/cheeks, there is a nice cream feel on the lips.

overall, this is a damn good saison. i'll have to keep an eye out for a bottle of this and hope it's as good as on tap.

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

Poured in a 12 oz glass
smells of bubble gum lemon, orange, sour wheat, grains touch of floral and herbs. A nice blast of pepper and yeast adds another note of complexity. Finishing up the blend notes ofplum sour grain and somehow chocolate comes into play
Vanilla, orange, lemon, pepper, lavender all with a pinch of pepper and spice.the bitter malt, sweet mix of candi sugar and low hop profile almost create a gruit
I'm left with a nice pepper lingering tingle in the throat. This beer is slightly on the sweet side for me in the saison category but the herbal spice chapter add a nice depth that I really like.
overall not my favorite from lost abbey but having said that, still a stellar brew heads and shoulders above most.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A lemony brass coloring is translucent in nature with a showering uprising of micro-bubbles at a quick pace. The head stands a proud 3+ fingers high with a flour white color that was rocky and porous, leaving large sudsy chunks on the glass for lace. Soapy macro-bubbles are porous along the vessel walls.

S: Musky, funky barnyard scent, sour oranges, lemons, and musky grains.

T: The flavor is funky with a barnyard flair, dry sour oranges, wheat mixes with a spicy tone of musky fruitiness of pear and pineapple and soft apple. Musky pale grains, cherries with some toasted sweetness.

M: bubbly, frothy, with a light body.

O: Overall a nice level of funky sourness that is balanced just right, not to pungent, not to light, but finds that sweet spot drink ability wise while still giving you enough to appreciate per style.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice. The color is hazy straw. There is a giant foamy white head that lasts. Excellent retention

The aroma has some nice spicy peppery yeast to go with a touch of honey malt sweetness.

The taste balance malt sweetness in the front with zesty yeast flavor and a touch of grassy hops. The aftertaste has some breadyness.

This is light bodied with lots of carbonation. Very drinkable; very enjoyable.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. This one pours a slightly cloudy golden straw with a thick white pillowy head with sticky gobs of lace. Real nice head retention.

The aroma has a fruity berry yeast character with hints of floral hops. Hints of spice and pepper in the background with some floral hop notes. Nice amount of funk. Funky flavor profile with some grassy hop notes. Hints of lemon and cracked pepper with berries and a yeasty finish.

The body is light and has somewhat coarse carbonation. Overall a pretty solid offering. Glad to have tried this.

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Photo of Nay
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Super saison style bretty, fruity/apple aroma mixed with Brett. Nicely dry, but still a bit big. Amber-toasty malt flavor lingers with sweet/sour funk: not a standard saison, but pretty tasty. Another solid offering from the lost abbey . Z z.. 250 words yet?

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap and served in a tumbler pint, the beer is a slightly hazed, goldenrod coloring with a slow flow of carbonation bubbles and a dense, chunky, white head with decent retention. Aromas of subtle coriander and nutmeg spicing, with a toasty biscuit backbone. Flavors are smooth, with a subtle honey sweet kick to the toasty backbone, both supporting the spicey overtones. Nutmeg, coriander, and lavender flavors dance on the tongue, and the more you drink the more diverse the flavors get. Smooth bodied with a crisp finish from all the spicy input. The aftertaste is slightly hopped, with some cedar and bitters joining the already complex spice profile. Tasty brew.

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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 pigc
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours light blonde with three finger pure white foam head.

S - Light fruit, little spice, slight funkiness, bready malt

T - Floral esters up front with a slight hoppy spice coming in next followed clover and then a slightly dry finish.

M - Light to medium bodied with good carbonation.

O - Pretty sessionable farmhouse ale. Not my favorite of styles but this was refreshing after a long day.

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Carnevale from The Lost Abbey
3.97 out of 5 based on 804 ratings.
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