The Lost Abbey Gift of the Magi Ale
Brewed by: The Lost Abbey
Beer Classification and Specs
- Style: French
- Variation: Bière de Garde
- Seasonal: Winter
- ABV: 12%
- IBU: N/A
Brewer’s Notes and Ingredients
It seems that everyone knows the story of the Three Kings. Sent to follow the star in the sky each brought a gift for the baby they sought. One King brought Gold, the other Frankincense and the other Myrrh. Many breweries produce a Christmas Seasonal beer and this is our beer to celebrate the holiday season. Gold in color and bittered with the bark of Frankincense, we have even used the smallest amount of Myrrh which is an herb that has roots in ancient winemaking as well. A massive Golden Ale fit for a king (or Queen) we offer the Gift of the Magi each holiday season.
Additional: Myrrh, Frankincense
More Gift of the Magi Images
Artwork: The Three Kings making their journey through the desert on camels.
Color: Cloudy amber.
Aroma: Basic, like lager yeast.
Arrived in: 750 ML Bottle
Served in: Short Tulip
Bière de Garde, or “keeping beer” is a pale ale native to France, very similar to a Saison from its neighbor in Belgium. Both styles are brewed at farmhouses, then cellared after bottling. We have only drank a Bière de Garde twice, and they both happen to have been brewed by The Lost Abbey.
Gift of the Magi poured a cloudy amber hue, with a minimalistic off-white colored head. For being bottle conditioned with Brettanomyces, we were surprised at how under control this beer poured, since we have had some Lost Abbeys range from “pour carefully” to “absolute gushers” in the past.
Judging by its darker color and haziness, we were expecting Gift of the Magi to be creamy, and it sure was. But for a malty ale it still managed to have a sharper mouthfeel. Just as the spices jumped out in the flavor, so did the sharpness in the finish.
As indicated in the official brewer’s notes, Gift of the Magi was definitely a uniquely spiced winter ale, that relied on two rare ingredients. Myrrh, a natural gum often used in perfume, incense, medicine, or ingested with wine, and another resin extract called Frankincense.
This hearty ale gave flashes of earthy flavors up front that included honey and plum, paired with its maltiness. The finish had a small bite to it like a mild red ale, along with the candiness of caramel. Its flavors improved after it warmed a bit, once the sugary elements congealed more.
We enjoyed further exploring a fairly rare beer style to us (Bière de Garde), as well as rarely used ingredients like Frankincense and Myrrh. If you blindfolded us for the tasting we would have probably guessed Gift of the Magi Ale was a Belgian brown/dark ale, based on its candiness.
Final Score: 3.5/5
Gift of the Magi’s maltiness was very pleasing, and conducive to winter seasonals, but after a while its syrupy sweetness became a bit overwhelming. It could have used some additional bitterness, which the Brettanomyces would likely produce if we aged the bottle.