The Lost Abbey Gnoel de Abbey Holiday Brown Ale
Brewed by: The Lost Abbey
Beer Classification and Specs
- Style: Brown Ale
- Variation: Winter Warmer
- Seasonal: Winter
- ABV: 8.0%
- IBU: N/A
Notes: Bottled for the first time in 2017.
Brewer’s Notes and Ingredients
Mischievous Merry Makers, it must be tough to be a gnome. We feel bad for them, we really do. Every December they get trotted out of the box and set on a shelf to remind us of a Christmas Cheer. It’s amazing they can be so happy after spending almost a year in a box tucked away in the attic, but look at them!
We’re convinced they are the ultimate party animals and the epitome of youthful exuberance trapped in a ridiculously impish body. It certainly doesn’t seem like any of them have aged in over 400 years. Around our houses, everyone giggles and smiles when the Christmas gnomes come out, so we thought it was time to give them The Lost Abbey treatment. Hopefully you open this bottle and share this season’s greetings, from us to you.
More Gnoel de Abbey Holiday Brown Ale Images
Artwork: A merry scene of elves playing in the snow.
Aroma: Bready, dark malts and a hint of rum sweetness.
Arrived in: 750 mL Bottle
Served in: Short Tulip Glass
Meet The Lost Abbey’s new winter seasonal, Gnoel de Abbey, a holiday brown ale. This beer was announced in late October, and after one look at the festive elf party on the label it didn’t do anything but heighten our excitement for the holidays!
Gnoel de Abbey poured a rich mahogany color, with a thick tan head. Its topper foamed up beautifully, and the retention on this beer was impressive. A resilient layer of froth was left behind for the entire glass, which helped cream this dark ale up nicely.
On the nose we encountered a more complex aroma than we were expecting. There was deep dark maltiness along with some bread or biscuit, but at the end of each whiff a sweetness emerged. It was like Gnoel de Abbey was rum barrel aged, or the vanilla a bourbon barrel aged beer can emit.
Flavor wise, Gnoel de Abbey was just as intricate as its aromatics. This medium bodied brown ale offered dark roastiness up front, where it brightened up into sugary flavors of dried fruit. The finish offered mild vanilla and oakiness with a touch of burn to it, but in a gently warming way.
Again, these are the types of attributes you’d expect to find in a barrel aged beer. Our palates were left with a pleasing aftertaste of dark roast bitterness like a coffee stout.
Edit: Since writing this up, we have learned that Gnoel de Abbey is actually a blend of The Lost Abbey’s Road to Helles, and a Port Brewing Barrel Aged Santa’s Little Helper. That would explain the oak and vanilla! You can hear more about this beer on Three B Zine Podcast! Episode 146 – Jingle Beers Christmas.
At 8.0% Gnoel de Abbey packed the punch we’d expect out of a winter warmer, without making it too hefty. Its flavors were complex to warrant sipping slow like a stout, without worrying about getting too weighed down.
Final Score: 4/5
We loved the direction The Lost Abbey was heading in with a brown ale for the holiday season, and this beer didn’t disappoint in the least. Gnoel de Abbey will definitely be on our winter seasonal “nice list” going forward.