Carnevale | The Lost Abbey

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Very Good
828 Ratings

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 828 |  Reviews: 327
Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev +1%
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 jlindros
3.89/5  rDev -1.8%
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 TheManiacalOne
4.24/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap 5/2/2017 at Flynn's in Mansfield, MA, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains Belgian yeast, wheat, caramelized malts, bananas and some hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of wheat, Belgian yeast and a hearty malt character. Then some sweet flavors of bananas, spice, caramel and citrus come in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this is a very solid beer to drink for a long time.

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Photo of olradetbalder
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

Photo of nickfl
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
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 Thorpe429
3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
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 vfgccp
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
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 smithj4
4/5  rDev +1%

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

Photo of mactrail
3.46/5  rDev -12.6%
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 billab914
4/5  rDev +1%
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.

 757 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.69/5  rDev -6.8%
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 paulish
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +1%
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 Gkruszewski
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
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 atrocity
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of smcolw
3.66/5  rDev -7.6%
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 ZEB89
4/5  rDev +1%

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

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
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 mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
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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Carnevale from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 828 ratings
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