12 Beers of Christmas 2017 – 9: Lost Abbey Gnoel de Abbey


The good news is we don’t have to blather on here about the confusion that sometimes arises about Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey being the same brewery. We went through all that in yesterday’s review of Santa’s Little Helper.

Tomme Arthur

Tomme Arthur

Why don’t we just post another photo of Tomme Arthur and call it a day as far as that goes? Then, should you have a glass of Gnoel de Abbey on hand to lift to Arthur, lift it, and say, “Well done.”

It certainly is. Gnoel de Abbey is called a “Holiday Brown Ale,” and it pours out an opaque brown, with a thick tan head, throwing off appealing aromas similar to some of my favorite cigars: a smoky, charcoal, leathery burliness, an espresso grind, with hints of chocolate and other vapors of the deep.

The palate follows suit, but with a smoother mouthfeel. The tough guy has turned into a sophisticate, with a strong lean toward vanilla and oak, a distinct pucker at the finish, a touch of sour and then out the door, leaving behind a mild astonishment. In short, I think I could drink this one all night long, except that at 8.5% ABV it would level me out long before dawn.

Gnoel cork (2)

I have been pretty leveled out for days now as is, with a dreadful cold that started to rev up on Christmas eve. I made it through Christmas, and even a showing of “The Last Jedi” on Boxing Day, but then it was pretty much five straight days on the couch after that, a run on the household supply of Kleenex and a major disruption to The 12 Beers of Christmas.

My palate was shot. I tried a spiced Christmas beer a couple of days ago and—nothing. For two days I had no beer whatsoever, which begins to describe the magnitude of the crisis; a comparable historical eruption eludes me, unless the last Presidential election will do. Shock to the system.

Truth be told, though I’m on the road to recovery, there’s still one wheel in the ditch. There were two earlier, but those gnomes on the label went to work, and have just about set me right.


Name: Gnoel de Abbey
Brewer: The Lost Abbey, San Marcos, California
Style: Winter warmer
ABV: 8.5%
Availability: Nov-Dec, in AZ, CA, CO, GA, IL, MA, NJ, PA, WA
For More Information: www.lostabbey.com

[Jan. 2, 2018]

< 12 Beers of Christmas 8: Port Brewing Santa’s Little Helper
12 Beers of Christmas 10: Nøgne Ø Special Holiday Ale >

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