Carnevale | The Lost Abbey

very good
321 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: 321 | Ratings: 810
Photo of TMoney2591
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a glass mug.

Props to my brother for finding this bottle intriguing enough to give it a try! It pours a hazy pale straw topped by a minor finger of white foam. The nose comprises lemon zest, orange zest, coriander, wheat, grass, and black pepper. The taste holds notes of coriander, black pepper, grass, light lemon zest, a touch of tart mandarin oranges, and a hint of dry blanket. The body is a very light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry-ish finish. Overall, a nice bit o' saison, one of the more low-key and drinkable versions I've had in a little while. Good times from my bro.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A – A stellar head dominates the glass atop a medium orange honey body. The topography of the foam isn’t quite as crazy as Red Barn, and the color isn’t quite as bright, but both are great nonetheless.

S – Orange citrus, honeysuckle, and green grass. The middle brings in a spike of pink peppercorn, and the citrus fades just enough to let a soft bready malt peak through. Trace of banana-like esters deep in the nose.

T – Tangerine and sage opening into a grass and blackpepper mid. Bright herbal and honey sweetness on the backend.

M – Lightly mineral / peppery finish with a soft, lingering herbal bitterness. Medium body with great carbonation.

O – A saison on the citrus end of the style. On whole, I’d say the quality is on par with Red Barn. Delicious.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.74/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Hazy pale orange yellow. Medium white head. Thin layer of foam.

Smell - Bretty. Bright fruity esters. A bit of stone fruit. Lots of pale malt. Peppery.

Taste - Fruity. Peachy. Pale malt. Earthy brett. Mild bitterness and some white pepper.

Mouthfeel - High carbonation. Earthy bitterness along with the bright fruitiness.

Overall - Nice juxtaposition of flavors.

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

Caged and cork much like all of the Lost Abbey ales, this is a saison with American hops. Pours a clouded orange golden hue with a bright white head forming thick fine bubbled. No pop when I decorked it but no carbonation issues to speak of. Aromatics spicy peppery notes, herbal citrus qualities as well. A touch of phenolic plastic, hint of band aid. More so tropical fruits like mango and pineapple standout than the off tones. Especially in the flavor the tropical fruits are juicy pineapple and ripened mango with nice cereal malt sweetness. Hints of rounded herbaceous, citric hop character. Sometimes American hops and Belgian yeast strains clash, that's not the case here. Back ground has hints of spicy yeast tones with a black peper kick. Mouthfeel is medium bodied carbonation is effervescent, dry finish nice hoppy saison. Drinkability overall is solid a beer I would like to have access to, I hear local Pittsburgh shops are going to start carrying some Philly brews, namingly House of 1000 Beers.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy golden straw color with a fluffy white head that sticks around forever. Aroma is sweet malt and spicy belgian yeast. I don't get much of the American hops that they talk about on the bottle. Taste is overpowered by the spicy belgian yeast, Slightly sweet honey type malt in there too, its really tasty and complex. Medium to thick mouthfeel. Ample carbonation. Great brew, a bit Belgian spicy, feels heavier than it is, but very tasty.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a foggy gold with a quite thin white head. Nose is inky, dough, and some funk. Flavor is citrus themed with quite a bit of dough and spices to match. Quite earthy. Feel is smooth and slightly thin on liquid and carbonation is low. Seems appropriate on all sides. This is a nice saison. Earthy and inky, it's bringing the right levels of funk and flavor.

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

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A nearly clear, lemon dull but with some bright yellow hues and a cascading middle fire of carbonation rising trough the center of the glass nicely. Soapy and bleach bright white head two to three fingers tall and falls at a normal pace to a simple collar.

Nose is intensely floral with classic saison yeast mild funk and pepper. A nice hint of buttery quality that doesn't come off diacetyl in smell. Crisp sensation possibly coming.

Palate hits with a nice effervesence and simple malt depth. Yeast and pepper fill with lots of garden like floral aromas. Tasty tropical melon fruit hits the mid palate, light pepper and a good bit of herbal hop bitterness to round it out and make it very enjoyable. Yeast pepper and hop citrus and herbal sting on the finish.

This is a real easy drinking saison from Lost Abbey. It always surprises me that their regular offerings are so interesting and enjoyable.

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Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Typical LA presentation, caged and corked w/o freshness info of any sort to be had. Pours moderately cloudy light honey, light tan loose head, leaving clouds of lacing. Floral notes and light pepper in the nose. Yummy typical saison notes, spice, yeast, hops. Pepper up front, drying hops throughout.Minor sour character, add just a bit to the complexity. Major league yeast cake on the bottom of the bottle, leading to an enjoyable yeasty final pour and nutty/yeasty final memory of this offering. Pleasant and worthy creation from Lost Abbey. Bring on the spicy food/BBQ and enjoy this one.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage. Don't remember where I purchased this bottle. Served in a Delerium Tremens snifter.

A - A small white foam settles to wisps and a thin collar, but not lace. Hazy peach body. Surprisingly little carbonation for the style - seems recent batches have more bubbles.

S - Tropical fruits, some dusty brett, white pepper, a bit medicinal, and an apricot stone fruit backdrop. Somewhat understated.

T - Taste is a little boring - some stone fruit and citrus malt characters, but very little overt brett character. The finish has some of the spicy farmhouse yeast present. Hops are long gone.

M - Medium-full body, with a nice chewy texture to it. Some light dryness in the finish, and no alcohol presence. Needs a bit more spritz to it.

D - It's a pretty decent American Saison, but the brett didn't seems to take off the way it did in Saints' Red Barn or Saints' Devotion (or even Brouwers Imagination 2008). Perhaps I'll revisit this fresh to see if I like it more.

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

11/20/08- Generously shared by BA member Talisker.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, both caged and corked with no freshness info. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Light yellow colored pour. Larger four fingered head, very clumpy looking with light yeast sediment settling at the bottom of the glass. Leaves some lace trails and light patches.

Smell- Very perfumey, maybe even a slight medicinal. Powdered sugar and a good amount of white pepper.

Taste- Has a light hoppy bite. White pepper dominates this beer with confectioniers sugar adding a light sweetness. Not really farmhouse in flavor or smell.

Mouthfeel- Ultra dry for a saison. Medium to higher carbonation level. Quenching.

Drinkability- Better than average saison. Would have liked some funk though. Maybe a bit more of a lemon flavor as well. Still very drinakble.

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

A: poured a murky pineapple golden yellow with pale yellow highlights that had a thin frothy head and left some good lacing sticking to the glass.

S: some applesauce notes pop out first on the aroma with bretty funk character, various grains, mild spice, corinader, and citrusy notes.

T: the applesauce and coriander flavors were more apparent on the palate with citrusy, spice, and bretty funk accents but a touch of various grains.

M: the brew was light to medium in body with a pleseant amount of carbonation which had a brett funky, spice, mild fruity, and tingly finish.

D: the brew is a solid saison which is good on tap as well and drinks fairly good. Definitely a beer to enjoy on a hot summer day poolside.

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Photo of Gavage
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a cloudy orange color with a one inch head that lasts a while.

Smell: citrus, some spicy yeast, and pears.

Taste: grassy malt profile, with pears, golden apples, some pepper spice, yeast, and a moderate floral bitterness. Well balanced.

Mouthfeel: medum bodied. Lightly crisp throughout. Some dryness arrive late. Aftertaste is short lived.

Overall: an easy drinking saison that is nicely flavored and has enough spiciness to keep it interesting.

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

Had this at a party celebrating garlic...i brought it, thinking that it would counteract the smelly flower (or whatever).

A light copper, cloudy color. Second pour looked like a beat egg yolk. Good head, 1 finger, quick swirl brought it around again. OK lacing.

This is a tart beer. Just shy of sour. Starts out as a good farmhouse, semi spicey with clove and coriander. Semi sweet in the middle, and a tart finish. A quick tart, it doesn't last long, which is good. It's just enough to be intriguing and stops short of a Flanders sour.

overall good. Not my thing, but good.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Bitterbill for this brew.


Pours a very nice hazy golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little white foamy head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, some nice spicyness, and some caramel. The taste is slightly sweet at first, then some bitterness crawls up on ya, yeasty, I like the spicyness on this one, just right, not to overpowering like other Saison's, nice touch of caramel notes. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a exceptional Saison, again not like a Belgium, but I like it. Thanks Bill.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kaiser81 for sending me this bottle.

This is the 2009 vintage which was brewed using Brettanomyces. The beer pours a slightly hazy golden color with a white head. The aroma is brett with some citrus. I also get some tartness. The flavor is a nice mix of citrus, spices, Belgian yeast and some brett characteristics. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazed golden straw color with white head and plenty of lacing. The aroma is full of yeast driven esters giving off both fruity, winesque and earthy aromas. Some hay, bread, not too much funk but undeniably Belgian in nature.

The taste follows suit with an earthy, bready character, a touch of spice, but mainly a very expressive Belgian yeast strain. Borders on tart but never really gets there. Medium bodied, highly carbonated feel. Overall, this is a really solid Belgian style ale.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden with a slight head. What head there is sticks around as a swirly cap. The aroma is an intereesting combo of earthy/piney hops and some typical Saison aromas of Belgian yeast, coriander, white pepper and citrus rind. Pretty pleasant. Taste has similar components with a fairly pronounced bitterness at the end. Lots of citrus rind flavors here. These American hopped Belgian styles seem all the rage for certain breweries now, and while this shares some of those typical flavor components, it doesn't go overboard with the hops or spicing and achieves a nice balance. My only complaint is that it's a bit soft in the mouth. I need a litttle more bracing pepperiness or herbal zing in my Saison. Still, quite nice.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml caged & corked bottle recieved in trade through Brotherliam. Thanks brother. Poured into a large snifter twice.

A- A distinct pop after releasing the cork, Carnevale pours out a slight golden color with light tan hues towards the edges. Slighty orange in spots. A nice two fingers of loose frothy foam came up and left immediatly. Not much retention at all. This left minimal globs of lace on the glass.

S- LAC has nice scents of earthy hops on top of a bunch of spices. The hops in the nose have held up well from this fairly old bottle. The spices are there with pepper taking the forefront. Some yeasty zest is detected as well. Some sweet malts and a dash of honey. Some fruit such as apple with warming.

T- carnevale is not a in your face type of brew but what flavors are there work together nicely. A lot more focus on the fruit aspect in taste including the apple along with some pineapple. Up next is the spices with the pepper and some clove with hops intermingled. This is followed by some bready malt. Carnevale has a slight sour/tart twang towards the back with some lemon juice and orange. A very solid and put together saison.

M- Starts out somewhat modest with the spice/malt/hops working together, but out of nowhere a surge of tartness invades the mouth. Nothing to over the top though and actually the tartness makes this saison stand out. Carnevale has a nice crispness to it that finishes dry. Medium bodied with slight carbonation make this wonderful.

D- I wish I waited until spring time to drink this as i think it would be more appropriate, but carnevale was staring me down in the cellar. Either way i am glad that I tried this out and would like to try a fairly fresh bottle in the future. At 6.5% the 750ml is the perfect size as I wanted no more & no less, even though I could drink more of this for sure. I really enjoyed the tart aspect of this.

Another one down in my quest to drink all lost abbey's.

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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 biegaman
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Carnevale has some head on it! Seriously, it's the kind of thing you'd need a ladder to build. And the lacing it leaves, like the universe, seems to have no vestige of a beginning and no prospect of an end. It'd be perfect except its complexion is so bleak; a tired orange tone looks as faded as last year's straw and provides no highlights or clarity what so ever.

I don't know that this actually is what the Belgian countryside smells like in summer, but that's the image that popped into my mind after first sniffing this thing. The scent of hay and tall grass spew out the glass, followed by barnyard must and floral and fruity accents. Usually "stinky" is a bad word, but with regards to saisons it's greatly embraced.

Each sip, in a nutshell, is why I think saisons are so fantastic. Carnevale has an almost alarming spiciness - rammed into the palate with brute force, courtesy of a heavy-duty carbonation - that doesn't flame out so much as gradually wilt into an herbal, savory aftertaste. Tart and acidic notes dwell in orchard fruit (apple, pear) and barnyard flavours.

The beer isn't shy about its strength and wears its weight proudly. Bubbles just shy of champagne-level help scrub much of the warmth away but leave behind a soapy, herbal hop character that is very dry and earthy. It is gritty and pungent yet possesses a certain rustic charm that makes it curiously satisfying, as if you're afforded a taste of how ales once were.

I don't want to say that all American brewers are crafting Belgian ales that meet, or often exceed, the quality and complexity of their creators, but I think it's fair to say that Tomme Arthur puts out enough of them for the whole country. Carnevale is another one in a long line of Lost Abbey beers that remarkably captures the charm and character of a Belgian classic.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Despite resting in my cellar for two weeks, the beer pours with a very hazy, orangish tinged, light amber color. It is topped by a frothy, off-white head that leaves some lacing on the sides of the glass as it subsides from its initial, fat-two-finger thickness. The aroma is quite appetizing as I pour this brew; dry and spicy being the noted character. A deeper inspection reveals grassy hop and grain notes, an earthy spiciness reminiscent of damp cellars, light phenolics of clove, and a general yeasty / spicy character that runs all over the place, but not enough to really pull out individual components. I'll try though; I get hints of white pepper, citrus zest, grains of paradise, some young ginger notes and some definite floral / nectar aromatics. These are more than likely contributed by the combination of yeast and hop notes, not actual spices, but I could be wrong. A touch of honey, some crushed grain notes and some soda cracker aromas are contributed by the grain bill. A very nice aroma, this beer seems quite authentic for a Saison, based on the nose.

Lightly sweet, yet balancingly hoppy from the get go. The hop notes lean towards grassy, slightly herbal with some soft, sweet-citrus notes coming in to play towards the end. Honey-like flavors, floral-nectar notes, a touch of aromatic varietal apple and even some flint-like white wine grape notes are all accented by the light, but noticeable sweetness. This finishes with a herbal astringency and light, but again noticeable bitterness. The flavor has a very aromatic hop character to it (if that makes any sense), the herbal notes seem to linger on like a vapor residing in the mouth. Initially the beer is fairly light bodied, but as it loses the carbonation (which wasn't ample to begin with), it begins to pick up some heft as well as more of a grain-sweetness. The spice notes, a bit subdued compared to the aroma, yield flavors of clove, white pepper, sweet-young ginger, citrus zest and light clove. The earthiness from the aroma seems to get lost in the flavor, and is not really noticed.

A very interesting beer, definitely the most authentic Saison type beer from the new brewery, though this could be a bit drier, in fact a more vigorous, drier fermentation would probably make this beer quite a bit more tasty. Definitely a beer that makes it quite easy to finish the 750ml bottle all by my lonesome.

Purchased: Patron Saints

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.52/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Received from Weibull as an EXTRA!! I've been sitting on this one since March because I wanted to do a "Saison" tasting that never materialized.. Thank Jason. Poured tonight as my ongoing cellar clearing project into my New Belgium Snifter..

2 finger eggshell head.. looks exactly liked whipped egg whites.. dies almost as slowly with a ton of beautiful lace.. the brew is a slightly hazy golden honey..

The nose is still surprisingly hoppy mixed with a great Belgian yeast component.. funky and citric.. pear juice and lemon zest.. grassy and floral hops are still very present.. but for the most part we're talking yeasty spiciness and citrus zest.

The depth in the palate is surprising.... yet very very balanced.. everything seems sooo in tune... nice bitterness and sorta a cookie dough pale maltiness with an enveloping spiciness and lite citric element throughout.. a little clove and white pepper.. floral and citric hops are wonderfull.. this is very very good.. the body is spot on and so is the carbonation..

I was feeling pretty damn guilty about cellaring a brew like this for sooo long.. but I honestly think it did some cool stuff.. much more complex than any American take on the Saison style I've ever tried.. and a damn site better than many of the Continental counterparts..

Edit: the drinkablity for the Carnevale is off the charts.. I want this beer as my goto beer.. I want this beer as the bottle that I take to parties... I want this beer to show the immense complexity and immense drinkability of great beer.. I love it.

Jason is a proper trader.. we should do it again, yet I doubt I have the ammo.

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Photo of Zorro
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chill hazy golden colored beer with a tall white head.

Smells spicy and herbal coriander and caramel with herbs and a little bit of carrot. Not so complex, coriander is quite strong.

Starts out dry and herbal, the coriander bat really beats your tongue. Might be a slight amount of vinegar. Not a whole lot of complexity here, just a basic Saison.

Mouthfeel is OK.

An OK beer that honestly isn't as good as Hennepin. I find myself thinking OK I drank it, give me a Duvel or Hennepin now.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

25.4 oz. bottle, from Hi-Times,

A: Pours a cloudy off-yellow goldenrod, with a medium white head, good retention, average lacing.

S: Yeast, sour yellow apples, pear, pepper.

T: Very tasty, lemon with some acidic yeasty twang hits at first. The flavour then molds into a more estery production, with lactic fruit and spice.

M: Smooth, spicy, medium-bodied, nice saison feel.

D: A really nice ale from Lost Abbey, had it with an Italian style dinner, it really hit the spot, another winner from Tomme Arthur.

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Carnevale from The Lost Abbey
3.97 out of 5 based on 810 ratings.
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