Archive for the tag “The Lost Abbey”

Gift of the Magi – The Lost Abbey (Cellar-Aged)

gift_of_the_magi

10.0% ABV
Purchased at Total Wine and More in late December 2011, cellared for 1 year, and poured into tulip gla
sses.

His Notes:

The Lost Abbey’s high-alcohol holiday biere de garde pours a reddish-orange with a voluminous, frothy, dirty-white head.  The distinctly Belgian nose offers pineapple, barnyard funk (due to the brett-aided bottle-conditioning), and other tropical aromas.  The first swallow has more caramel and grass than I remember – with a darker hue to match the more robust flavor – and a long, boozy, incredibly pleasing warmth to the finish.  This is no longer the “contemplative biere de garde” promised on the bottle; instead, it’s a brutish strong ale for a lonely Christmas Eve, with a mouthful of dusky hops entering on subsequent swallows.  Gift of the Magi has a fascinating mélange of flavors, ranging from grassy to woody to spicy and slightly fruity, offering new discoveries with each sip.

toasts-5-small    5 Toasts

Her Notes:

magi_aged

 toasts-4.5    4.5 Toasts

Original Review from January 2012:

10.0% ABV
Purchased at Total Wine & More ($3.99/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

His Notes:

This Lost Abbey Xmas annual pours a murky orange with a frothy, quickly retreating, off-white head.  The smell is strong with grapes, fresh dark fruits, berries, spices, and barnyard funk, along with the unmistakable quasi-tropical aroma of wild yeast.  Very inviting on the palette with fruit, grass, and a mild sourness, but it quickly warms up to reveal layer after layer of woody texture and complex spice.  Gift of the Magi is a fascinating hybrid of a Belgian farmhouse beer and a spicy winter ale, with oak notes, brandy, orchard fruits, bready yeast, and wild grass all present.  It gives you so much complex flavor to chew on, you can easily overlook the double-digit alcohol content.  A real masterpiece, Gift of the Magi overwhelms you with its Tower of Babel flavors instead of its’ ABV.

toasts-4.5    4.5 Toasts

Her Notes:

LostAbbey_Magi

 toasts-4    4 Toasts

Serpent’s Stout – The Lost Abbey

serpent_stout_bttl11.0% ABV

Purchased at Pangaea Bottle Shoppe ($12.99/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into globe glasses..

This imperial stout pours a midnight black with a medium-sized, brown sugar-colored head, and a beckoning nose of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, port grapes, and a little licorice root.  The profound aroma suggests little in the way of sweetness, and the first swallow follows suit, offering bitter dark chocolate, dark-roasted coffee, a pronounced wood character, rich loam, and a fairly heavy hop profile.  Mostly black coffee flavors are present throughout, but a bit more black forest cake-style sweetness emerges as it warms in the glass.  More barrel wood comes through than booziness, even at 11% ABV, and there is nothing silly or gimmicky about this beer – it’s a heaven for fans of big stouts.


toasts-4.5
   4.5 Toasts


SerpentsStout

 toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

 

A SoCal Taster

During the last week of August, His & Hers Beer Notes took a long-desired trip through the thriving San Diego beer scene, with brief stopovers in Escondido (Stone), San Marcos (The Lost Abbey), and Anaheim (The Bruery).

In San Diego, we hit many of the city’s notable brewery tasting rooms (including Ballast Point, Alesmith, and Green Flash) and bars (we made it to Small Bar, Toronado, and Blind Lady Ale House) during our three-day stay. Our goal was to try as many new and interesting brews as we could while leaving time for sober sightseeing in the sunlight hours, and San Diego did not disappoint on either count.

On the ride from San Diego to the LA area, we stopped at the immense and impressive Stone World Bistro and Gardens in Escondido, as well as The Lost Abbey’s much more scaled-down business park tasting room a few miles up the road.

Anaheim led us to the thriving upstart Anaheim Brewery, and our first-ever trip to His and Hers’ Holy Grail of Tasting Rooms, The Bruery’s recently renovated space in Placentia.  We also made a return browse through the eminently tasteful bottle selection at The Bruery Provisions Store in Orange, scoring a few unseen-in-Sacramento treasures for the cellar.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be reliving our Southern California beer-cation with sketches and reviews of some of the new beers we sampled, also spotlighting some of our favorite new discoveries along the way. 

Cheers!

Mo’ Betta Bretta – The Lost Abbey/New Belgium

6.15% ABV
Purchased at Davis Beer Shoppe ($7.99/12.7 oz. bottle) and poured into flute glasses.

His Notes:

This collaboration between California’s The Lost Abbey and Colorado’s New Belgium pours an opaque lemony orange with a tight white head and plenty of bubbles in the body.  Mo’ Betta Bretta has a nose that is pleasant but lacks distinction, combining the expected smells of tropical yeast, fresh grains, and a little faint funk.  The first swallow is a little flat, and has a taste much like a standard blonde ale with some wild yeast added to the mix.  There is some semi-sweet melon on subsequent swallows, but I was not a big fan of the skunk-funk aftertaste.  Perhaps it would have fared better in a blind taste – this is a fairly refreshing, summery brew, but not the Collaboration of the Titans you would have hoped for.

  3 Toasts

Her Notes:

  3 Toasts

Readers’ Reserve – Witch’s Wit (The Lost Abbey)

4.8% ABV
Purchased at Total Wine and More ($7.99/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

His Notes:

This low-alcohol honey beer from The Lost Abbey pours a transparent pale yellow with a frothy, bright white head.  It offers a pleasantly pungent nose of citrus and honey, and there is more honey and mildly bitter citrus on the smooth and refreshing finish, with a touch of tongue-coating spices (including coriander and orange peel).  Witch’s Wit is not particularly dazzling, but it has more integrity and complexity than most beers of its’ ilk, and would be a welcome addition to any summer barbeque.  The honey adds just a dollop of sweetness to the spicy Belgian wit style, rather than a whole honeycomb’s worth.

  4.5 Toasts

Her Notes:

  4 Toasts

Lost and Found (The Lost Abbey)

8.0% ABV
Purchased at BevMo ($7.99/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

His Notes:

Lost and Found pours a ruddy, raisin brown with an insubstantial, light brown head, and smells of sour fruit, sweet wood, and a prominent yeastiness.  The taste is heavy on fruits and a mature sourness, but there is also a solid ale backbone.  Although the bottle advertises this brew as “Ale Brewed With Raisins”, the raisin taste is not especially notable upfront, only barely peaking through the bitter-sour aftertaste.  This tastes like a barrel-aged beer, most likely with wild yeast added, and the contribution of the raisins is probably towards the earthy, textured mouthfeel.  The flavor profile is filled with complexity – some Dubbel-like features, hop bitterness, chewy yeast, back-end sourness – that rises and falls in waves across the palette.   Lost and Found does seem to go flat pretty quickly, yet it’s too heavy for anything more than slow sipping and moderate consumption.

   3 1/2 Toasts

Her Notes:

   3 1/2 Toasts


Gift of the Magi (The Lost Abbey)

 

10.0% ABV
Purchased at Total Wine & More ($3.99/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

His Notes:

This Lost Abbey Xmas annual pours a murky orange with a frothy, quickly retreating, off-white head.  The smell is strong with grapes, fresh dark fruits, berries, spices, and barnyard funk, along with the unmistakable quasi-tropical aroma of wild yeast.  Very inviting on the palette with fruit, grass, and a mild sourness, but it quickly warms up to reveal layer after layer of woody texture and complex spice.  Gift of the Magi is a fascinating hybrid of a Belgian farmhouse beer and a spicy winter ale, with oak notes, brandy, orchard fruits, bready yeast, and wild grass all present.  It gives you so much complex flavor to chew on, you can easily overlook the double-digit alcohol content.  A real masterpiece, Gift of the Magi overwhelms you with its Tower of Babel flavors instead of its’ ABV.

  4 1/2 Toasts

 

Her Notes:

  4 Toasts


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