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 ahalloin
4.62/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I received this bottle in Feb. 2008 as part of the Patron Saints Club, so this is the older version of Carnevale, prior to them adding Brettanomyces to the recipe.

Poured into my Unibroue tulip glass a golden straw colored hazy fluid with bubbles filtering to the top constantly. A generous rocky white head formed of two fingers width, but then receded to lacing at the edges and a thing ring atop the beer.

The smell is sweet fruity but with an earthy background, with a strong spice presence, probably coriander and some orange peel...classic additions to any Saison! The smell is fairly powerful.

A drink reveals a very refreshing and complex beer. I will attempt to record the experience of my taste buds, but i am sure it will be inadequate...The initial nose has a nice subdued malty sweetness with a tinge of orange peel, but is immediately overtaken by a powerful spicy presence and bitterness which lingers through two more changes of taste. After the powerful abdomen of spice recedes a bit, there is another hint of malty sweetness, but with a darker flavor than the initial taste. The finish is long and dry, and mouth-stiningly spicy. I don't usually spend this much verbiage on taste, but as my rating suggests, this is an exceptional taste. I don't take that rating lightly!

The mouthfeel is very nice with a high carbonation that keeps the beer coating your mouth long after the swallow.

Drinkability for me is very good, but this is a complex beer that deserves a critical pallet. If you love Saisons, seek this party out!

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

This was the last bottle that I had remaining from my trip to San Diego. Saison meets West Coast Hops. Living on the East Coast you almost forget what hops taste like;-)

A - Pours a nice golden cloudy mixture. I did my best to get the unfiltered goodness off the bottom of the bottle but couldn't get it all.
S - Slight scent of alcohol and maybe a little bit of lavander.
T - Very tasty... Take your favorite Saison and add a whole bunch of hops. Gotta love the West Coast
D - Enjoyable, goes down smooth. Very enjoyable, pretty hoppy.
M - Nice body to this beer.

Before my trip to the West Coast I would say that I wasn't a huge fan of the uber hops, but I am a changed man. I can't wait to go back!

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Photo of dbmernin83
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours like a hefe, cloudy golden, great head.
Cloves, citrus fruits, yeast, with a little caramel sweetness. Clean and refined, yet uninteresting in the saison world in my opinion. Delicious, yet safe, this beverage yields a great light yet fluffy saison feel, but lacks in depth. I'd have a second, but I wouldn't seek it out.

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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.

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Photo of GuzzLah
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - hazy yellow beer with a fluffy white head, good lacing and bubbles.

S - nice aroma of tart brett, mild leather, soft malt and yeasty / hoppy spice.

T - like the aroma plus some lemon and orange. Peppery hops. Could be more robust.

M - light body with a medium-high carbonation. Dry, semi-tart and peppery finish.

O - slightly more bitter than the typical Saison. The flavor isn't quite as interesting as the wonderful aroma. Overall, it was a pleasure to drink and reasonably priced.

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Photo of kasper
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful, cloudy yellow gold with orange hues towards the center of the glass. Wet and bubbly off-white head makes a brief appearance before fading to a ring with minimal lacing.

Mild aromas of semi-sour, semi sweet citrus -- notably lemon; just a tad of grassy/earthy funkiness from the brett and faint hints of spice that I can't put my finger on. Aromas are comparable to what a fledgeling Beatification may smell like (it looks like a Beatification too).

Flavor is certainly not as sour as the nose may imply. Citrus malt flavors (orange) hit the palate first, followed by a bit of the funkiness from the wild yeast which leads into quite the spicy finish (pepper). There's indeed a crispness to this beer if you consider the spice refreshing, which I honestly do not.

Straight up medium bodied. Smooth and easy drinking with mild carbonation. A tad grainy, but that's to be expected.

First time trying this. I love the nose but spicy finish is almost a bit too much for me and kills the session potential of this beer because I'd seek out something with a tad less spark on the tail end of the sip. It's not bad though, and I would drink it again if it were offered to me.

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

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy/opaque pear gold orange body, with a huge frothy head, and spot-patterned, consistent lacing. A very nice looking beer in a tulip glass.

Smell: Perfume-like aroma, very lightly on the front end. Hay. This is perhaps the "cleanest" smelling beer I've ever sniffed. White pepper. Brett on the back end, ever-so-faint. Wow, this is going to be something else.

Taste: Brett, orange rind, a very slight metallic taste, alcohol more prevalent here, and spiciness. This just tastes so clean and light, it's like the ultimate session beer for my tastes. However, the alcohol perceptibility and very slight metallicness detract, admittedly.

Mouthfeel: This is one of the best mouthfeels on a beer I've ever experienced. Just, as I've said, clean, clean, clean. Fizzy. Light. Slick. Wonderful beer to drink, it just *feels* good, and not from the ABV.

Drinkability: The most drinkable beer I've ever experienced. I guess this probably has to do with me not being a huge session beer guy, but it just was a great drinking experience - it's infinitely quaffable, you could have ten of them and it would just fly by.

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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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Photo of pastradul
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep gold, with a thick bright white head. Lives some lacing but not a lot.

I a mild bready yeast smell to it, but nothing over powering with a balancing dark fruit aroma.

The mouth feel is tingly from the high carb...but his is very pleasant. helps break up the sweetness of the fruit a bit.

finishes on the dryer smooth side.

A great beer to start to session of with. All the flavors are so subtle, gets the palat primed for something a bit heavier!

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Photo of Pray_For_Mojo
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cellared 2 years +.

Poured into a tulip.

Appearance: wonderfully bright with a rocky off-white head with excellent retention. The head lasted 10 minutes without fading!

Aroma: light sweet bready malt with a distinctive Belgian yeast aroma. No alcohol or hops in the nose.

Flavor: quite enjoyable. Very well balanced. The yeast, as in the nose, is distinctly Belgian, but is restrained. The mail is light, sweet and bready. Sometimes Saisons are too sweet; this beer is not. It is just very well balanced. There is no alcohol or hops in the flavor.

Mouthfeel: light, not thin, but very light bodied. This would pair very well with Thanksgiving.

Overall: much better than expected. Saisons seem to be hit or miss. Lost Abbey hit the mark with this one. The takeaway from this beer is how well balanced it is.

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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.

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Photo of organicbrewer
3.52/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml poured into a tulip.

A-Deep Gold. Brilliantly Clear with a big eggshell head. Huge streams of bubble streaming up the glass.

S-Sour dough bread. Mostly funk. The smell is approaching all brett. No hop aroma.

T-Barnyard funk. slightly plasticy phenols. Firm bitterness. Not getting much hop flavor. Last time I had this I guess it was fresher. Would be better with a little less brett (did I just say that) and more hop flavor.

M-Seems fairly dry. Medium carbonation. No alcohol burn or anything.

D- Easy to put away. The Brettiness might start to get old after a while though.

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Photo of MerryTapster
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light golden yellow. Huge fluffy head, appx 5 fingers or so. Way to big IMO and it lasts a while.

S: Spicy, slight funkiness, Lemons and bread.

T: Corriander like spice, bready. Citrus zests. Typical farmhouse funk. Really a delightful taste.

M: Smooth, Refreshing and fluffy. Goes down smooth.

O: Typical Saison. I like the majority of the Lost Abbey's brews and this is one of them. Give it a shot.

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Photo of surfer4life
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a transparent gold with a fat head and good lacing.

S - Nice lemon smell with banana/clove hints. Pepper comes through big on the end with some alcohol smell. Not your typical smell for this style, but great none the less.

T - Delicious! The pepper from the smell is big in the taste. First off you get the fruity citrus taste, followed by some hop bitterness and a good amount of pepper and perhaps coriander.

M - Light bodies as with most Saisons, however this one lacks a bit of the texture.

D - This one is very drinkable, will drink again.

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Photo of WOTO97
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: cloudy lemonade with slight pale orange, initial pour gave thin soapy head with thin and nominal web-like lacing

S: nice floral yeast character, faint rose petals, soft citrus-lemon crispness, as it warms some interesting funk (slight vinegar) becomes present

T: light lemon zest, soft white pepper on finish, faint doughy malt in background, grass and wildflowers, some straw, interesting mild hop bite, barnyard character becomes much more prevalent as it comes closer to room temp

M: light chalkiness with creamy finish, bright carbonation feel on front that leads to sticky throat feel, still finishes relatively dry

D: the Brett doesn't really hit the palate until the finish and leaves a prominant lingering flavor that balances against some nice hop bitterness; pretty interesting slightly against-style effort that works pretty well; likely a one-and-done

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

On tap at Fathers Office.

Pours a Pale mild orange color. Seems to have a pretty weak head here. A fair ammount of lacing following.

Smells acidic in a wheaty way. Some spices coming from the yeast as well. Not a bad armoma just not a great one.

Tastes a little sour/acidic. Not that great. Gets a little sweeter and spicer after the first couple sips.

This is a decent beer but its definitely not my favorite and probably wont order it again

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Photo of xraided81
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml 2012 most recent release.
Pours a vibrant cloudy orange color, with a 1 inch persistent foamy white head.
S: Tropical, citrus fruits in the aroma, candied orange peels come to mind. A floral bouquet of aromas, as swirl the tulip glass.
T: american hops, malt, grainy, very dry and refreshing. dont get many spices, which is great, not a big fan of spiced saisons.

M: Medium bodied, beer, is not light in mouth feel as many saisons are.
O: Great saison, im not much of a saison fan, got turned off by the super spicy offerings, but this is mellow, not many spices in this, lost abbey let the yeast and hops bring out the spice in this one, pick this up, if you find it i know i will

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Photo of jsapunor
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice orange/yellow color into a tulip glass. The head is dense and white which dissipates slowly leaving a good amount of lacing.

Fruits dominate the aroma but there is a definite hop presence that I was expecting only because the label told me to look for it. A nice spicy aroma.

Tangerine, orange, liveley spices and a hop presence in the flavor. This is a dry, lively package. A "well mannered" saison if you will. It doesn't blast you with the horseblanket barnyard sensation but delights with an extremely smooth blend of flavors. The crisp clean dryness is very refreshing.

A medium alcohol level, good carbonation and a body on the lighter side with just enough tartness to make it interesting.

This is an extremely easy to drink saison that was much better and more interesting than I anticipated.

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Photo of ChazMania
3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first of 2 bottles from the Saints club. The cork was tight as heck, but there was no loud 'pop', does that mean it's less carbonated, or? Not much of a head. The aroma reminded me of a cross between the banana peel aroma in a few Hefe's and the yeasty flair of the Saison styling it's attributed too. Flavor has all that of the aromas along with some lemon, grapefruit and honey. It's very easy to drink, matter of fact if my wife was not asleep, I would give her some as she likes this style beer...but alas, it's all for me!
One of the lower abv beers I have had from Lost Abbey but tasty indeed.

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Photo of kleffman
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed a bottle today and poured into a tall Brugse Zot glass. Pours a very yellow golden color. Probably brewed with all Pilsner malt, wheat and oats. Just a small head and not a ton of retention.

Very nice Saison style aroma. Earthy yeast characters blending well with a spicy, peppery note and citrusy hops. Claims to be all american hops, which is quite noticeable in the nose. Definite lemon rind as well.

Taste is similar, with a spicy hop character and earthy peppery yeast flavors. There is some light malt and fruity components that all make for a light refreshing and well balanced american saison style ale.

Pretty decent drinkability with a light bodied mouthfeel. Could probably be a little more carbonated, but that may develop over time too. A lot of sediment in the bottle, which I'm not sure how much of that is yeast and how much is just from the wheat and oats used as Tomme suggested.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer, but it probably would've gone better with a hot summer day and some babes in bikinis rather than me sitting here freezing on a friday watching UFC.

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Photo of jnezda
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a wine glass with great half inch head. Dark golden color and white head but it faded quickly and there is a slight chill haze to add color. Not overly carbonated and the smell is traditional saison. Good spice notes of coriander and orange with a slight back end herb flavor. Over all good beer but the finish left a bit of an oily mouthfeel. Another pretty good beer from Lost Abbey. Need to make it back to the brewery for some Ten Commandments.

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Photo of nectar14
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 2009 750 mL:

A- Clear at the top of the bottle, cloudy near the bottom. Rocky white head and good lacing down the glass.

S- Banana and grains. Later, with more yeast, some cloves.

T- Slight citrus, flowers, grain, and tropical fruits. Not aggressive, quite nice. In the same ballpark as a good hefeweizen, but more rustic.

M- Medium in body but not sticky or sweet. Gentle carbonation.

D- Really drinkable. I put back a 750 mL fairly quick... to my surprise. Disappears fast.

Really enjoyed this. I guess I don't have enough experience to say this was a classic Saison, but it meets the criteria of being fairly dry, refreshing, and somewhat rustic. Nice all around.

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Photo of Patchmaster
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Samples this with my father and brother in law. Brother in law brought back for a last beer hoorah before the family headed back to the Emerald City.

A - Poured with a nice thick head. The head disappeared quickly and opened up the smell of the beer. The beer was a very hazy golden color.

S - If the beer tasted up to what I smelled. It had a very woodsy aroma to it. It really had a nice character to it almost more fir like in smell. The yeast was present and gave way on the taste.

T - Not my favorite sour. It did have a great initial flavor to it. The citrus characteristics wanted to take over but were out ruled by the yeasts.

M - Very light there were some citrus maybe orange coming through but finished with more then I would like of carbonation and a malt finish.

D - A different Saison interpretation. I would probably try something different next time. Might be worth a try on a nice warm day.

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

Poured at cellar temp producing a decent head over clouded light gold color. Good amount of lacing that lasted quite a while thoughout the session. Nose was light floral with some sourness though taste had nothing but floral, sweet, belgian yeast scents. Not as complex as was hoped after smell though quite a good beer and though not really a 'session' beer (as stated above), at 6.5% ABV, it's not over-the-top in alcohol and the taste is light enough that it is quite drinkable...if this were on-tap, i'd say i would be happy to order a few of these during an evening. Mouthfeel is good and certainly a solid representation of Belgian/Farmhouse ale.

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Photo of onewetpaw
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip from the corked and caged 759ml bottle.

A- Light tangerine and clove. Not a overly fruity nose, rather subdued. No harsh phenols. I smell a whiff of Brett immediately after uncorking, but that's it for funk. I expect this is due to its young age.

A- Golden with warm haze. Thick white head that grows slightly out of the glass.

F- Mellow citrus and cloves are present here as well. A slight pepper flavor along with a general slight sweetness.

M- Crisp prickly carbonation. Slightly full body and a minimally oil texture, likely from the oats.

O- An interesting twist on a great style. I really like their interpretation of this one. The mouthfeel stands out to me as a positive. I like the oat additions.

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