For a few months now, I've been wanting to try some of The Lost Abbey's beer. Lost Abbey was started by two of the head brewers from Pizza Port (a really awesome pizza and beer place down here in San Diego) who wanted to start a brewery that specialized in Belgian style beers. Most of their beers have pretty amazing names (Duck Duck Gooze, Judgment Day, 10 Commandments, etc.) and I had heard nothing but good things about all of their beer, so it was time. On Sunday, I found one of their beers, Avant Garde, at Bristol Farms and it was go time.
There are some beers that you have to drink fast. Usually, these are beers that taste terrible once they get warm (A.K.A.- Anything with "Lite" in the name, almost any beer that would be good with sushi, PBR). Avant Garde is not one of these beers. As soon as you pour it, you just know that it's a beer that you'd like to spend a little time with before it's gone. The beer pours a hazy gold with a fairly large head that recedes lazily to a light foam cap. The aromas coming from the beer are wonderful. Light malts and freshly baked bread make up the majority of the smell, but there are other things present and it takes a while for them to come out.
The flavor of this beer was wonderful. I can't pinpoint why exactly, but this reminded me a lot of a saison but without the "funk." There was something very earthy about the taste that had "saison" written all over it. The hops were present but pretty subtle and very earthy. There was also a little sweetness from the malts and a lot of that fresh baked bread flavor that was present in the smell. There is so much going on in this beer that drinking it too fast would be a sin. It's a wonderful beer, but one you need to have some time to drink. I can't wait to try some more of their brews. This one was special.
Final Grade: A