The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged - The Lost Abbey

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The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-AgedThe Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,684 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,684
Reviews: 668
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.42%
Wants: 583
Gots: 511 | FT: 43
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  12.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: scottoale on 08-23-2006

Down in Kentucky and across the pond in Scotland, distillers who age their whiskeys for many years refer to the evaporation of the spirits from their barrels as “The Angel’s Share.” We couldn’t agree more. Each time a barrel is filled, a measure of liquid seeps into the oak and is lost for good.This striking Strong Ale is brewed with copious amounts of Caramel malt to emphasize the vanilla and oak flavors found in freshly emptied bourbon or brandy barrels. The beer spends a year in oak before it is packaged for release.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,684 | Reviews: 668
Reviews by Cakanator:
Photo of Cakanator
4.72/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Yes this was third course 09 BGBBD @ sierra, just sick to know that it was the bourbon instead of the brandy. So dark and happy, I've had the bourbon in bottle before and loved it and this was no exception. Poured dark with little head. Aromas were huge so much vanilla like I remembered it and thank god I got a snifter of this at the end. Went down too smooth and easy. I could care less about carb issues, this was almost complete and for me was up there with BBVD, BA Boris and Nor'easter Cl for best bourbon brews.

More User Reviews:
Photo of ricke
4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage.

Pours a very dark brown, almost opaque. No head whatsoever.

The aroma is a bit restrained due to the obvious lack of carbonation, but it's still quite impressive with smooth bourbon notes on top of toffee, nuts, oak and vanilla. Lovely hints of vinous fruits.

The flavor is sweet and warming. Perfect integration between the bourbon and the malty backbone. Notes of vanilla, nuts and oak blend wonderfully with caramel malts, toffee and leather. Ends warming with notes of alcohol, bourbon and dried fruits.

Full-bodied and smooth but it feels a bit dull in the mouth as it is as flat as [insert something that makes a dirty joke out of this].

Photo of brownbeer
2.67/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I don't know what year this is.

No pop whatsoever upon pulling the sad cork out. Pours dark brown with maybe a trace of foam around the edges. The aroma is the only saving grace with this beer. It's very bourbony with traces of molasses, maple, vanilla extract, and sharp alcohol. There is no way in hell I could drink a bottle of this flat, boozy, utter mess of a beer. The taste is packing some serious heat along with some of the aforementioned aromas coming through in the taste, but the mouthfeel flat out sucks and I can't believe The Lost Abbey is still letting stores sell this flat bourbon water. Sorry, no good.

Photo of explosivebeer
4.95/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It's difficult to write an appropriate description of a transcendental experience. This divine concoction changed my perspective on what beer could be. It offers every bit of complexity of a great wine melded with the deep satisfaction of a superb beer. Most barleywines seem to be overly sweet or harshly alcoholic but the balance in this beer is tremendous. Do whatever you can to secure some of this incredible beer.

Photo of newk340
4.37/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

split 12oz bottle w/ hu5om (received in a trade) in 6oz sampler glasses.

A: an inky murky brown, no evident carbonation and no head. a rather unassuming appearance.

S: strong whiffs of bourbon and oak, very smooth on the olfactory senses.

T: smooth sips of bourbon and oak are evident with underlying hints of caramel and a subtle vanilla aftertaste.

MF/D: very flat with a dry finish similar to a merlot wine, but smooth the whole way down. certainly can feel the heat after a few sips leaving a solid, yet enjoyable, buzz.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage 375ml bottle. Pours into my glass a deep dark rich brown with a inch of creamy bubbly light tan head on top as well. The cork popped quite loudly here and I was glad I had a glass nearby! Aromas start with a deep, rich roasted maltiness with raisins, figs, dark fruit, caramel and molasses all in play. Enticing and flowing trails of vanilla and bright, woody oak accents. Big bourbon wafts up into the nose.

First sip brings a lush, somewhat sweet rich maltiness that is lightly roasted. Notes of raisins, cocoa, brown sugar and caramelized sugars. Vibrant vanilla flavors cavort with hints of dark fruits. As it flows down woody oak flavors kiss the palate and make me envision barrels of this amazing beer lying patiently at wait in the Lost Abbey brewery waiting for just the right moment to be released from its wooden confinement. Smooth bourbon shines through on the finish and the alcohol is nearly non-existent here. A deeply complex and insanely tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and has somewhat of a creaminess to it as well. This is quite carbonated and personally I think the carbonation is a little overdone here. Overall though, it's intensely complex, warming and contemplative. Definitely a sipper, but one I could sip all night. An amazing beer that I would recommend any day of the week!

Photo of Swongler
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I did not expect that. I did not expect this to be so good. I don't know why. I just came in with low standards and was blown away. This is easily one of my favorite beers now. Had on tab, and I own bottles of the 2011 and 2013 vintages; I'm looking forward to opening these.

A - Not too impressive for a world class beer. Dark, thin, a hint of red rose and maroon coloring when held up to the light.

S - Roses, sweet bourbon, dark cherries, a little stout smell. Instantly knew my expectations were about to be destroyed when I smelled this one.

T - This took me to another place. Ripped me from reality. Tastes about as good as it smells. If you let it fall to the sides of your tongue you taste the bourbon. Sweet, home-made chocolate. Almost a stout flavor as well. This tastes great. EDIT: Oh, a little bit of port. I noticed this when I was writing the "Overall" rating up.

M - Slightly sticky. Some spilled over the side of the glass and felt just as sticky on my glass as it did in my mouth. Runs straight over the tongue and into the back of your throat, almost challenges you to put it in a shot glass and throw one back.

O - Very impressed. If you can find a bottle under $15, I would recommend picking it up. Easy buy. I could drink this all night, and it is the perfect post-dinner beer, like a port. Easy to drink despite how chewy it is to me. One of my favorite beers.

Because of Angel's Share on tap, I picked up 2 bottles (2011, 2013), and a bottle of 2011 Deliverance, which I am excited to try.

Photo of tjthresh
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown/mahogany with a brown head. Heavy dark friut aroma with lots of oak. Rich, and very malty with lots of fruity goodness up front. This was the last beer of a long night of sampling for me and Mike. Hopefully I will be lucky enough some day to have another bottle of this fine beer.

Photo of charlieos
3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm a bourbon country stout veteran, so much of this is in comparison to that (fair or unfair):

Real nice nose. no head at all. Pretty good bourbon flavor - a more bright/rye-ish bourbon feel. Mouth feel is really weak. You get this great bourbon flavor, but without the thick creaminess I expect after BCS. On the flip side, it's "smoother," which makes it less heavy (for better or worse).

As a chicagoan, given the choice of this or readily available bcs, i would probably go with the latter.

Photo of badbeer
4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown with a reddish head, great retention and lacing. Smell is very sweet with maple syrup, caramel, bourbon, and toffee all being noticed. Taste is sweet caramel, bourbon, some vanilla, dark fruits, and the a boozy finish. Slightly less than high carbonation with a full body. Good beer, probably will get better with age. Thanks to pepsican for the sample. Had this again and it has much improved already; a top notch beer.

Photo of reitzbrewing
4.96/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Had on draft in a 10 oz snifter glass. One of best strong barrel aged beers I have ever tried. A must if you ever see it

Photo of Mora2000
3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Mar.

Pours dark brown with no head. This one is definitely flat. Aroma is a combination of roasted malts and bourbon, with maybe come chocolate and caramel mixed in. The flavor is lots of bourbon, oak and vanilla with some alcohol, roasted malt and chocolate/coffee. A very complex flavor. The mouthfeel is hurt by the fact the beer is flat as a pancake. Still, it is pretty drinkable and a good beer overall. I think it would be better with proper carbonation.

Photo of BigE90
3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage poured into my Deschutes Sniffer glass

A: Poured virtually black, very little light coming through unless you hold up to the light. Not head, only a few bubbles evident.

S: Vanilla and Caramel jump right out followed by the alcohol. Then some fruitiness comes in to balance out the full fragrance.

T: Taste flat, the alcohol on this is very evident. I don't know if more aging would help but it taste a little hot to me. The Vanilla and Caramel are right there followed by some fruit, maybe figs or dates.

M: Strong alcohol is overpowering everything.

O: A little disappointed. Had the Brandy version a while back and I was very pleased. I hope this will mellow some with age. The flavors are there it is just not the right time yet to consume.

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to bennetj17 for this brew that has been on my Wants for a long time. 375ml bottle from my cellar. The beer overflows with foam upon uncorking but I only lost a bit of it. No lacing on the glass. Dark amber in color. Smells of bourbon, carmel, and something sweet. Tastes mostly of carmel & the bourbon. Mouthfeel is a little less than I expected & if anything there is too much carbonation (a stark contrast in comparison to the Brandy version). Drinkable even with the ABV. I am glad I had a chance to try this brew.

Cheers.

Photo of magictrokini
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque ruby brown with a ring of bubbles. Nose is heavily bourbon. Some brief hints of raisins, vanilla and oak. Fortunately, the taste rounds out the bourbon with stronger vanilla, oak, chocolate, and cocoa powder. Pleasant alcoholic warmth. Sadly, and probably because of the build-up to finally having this beer, it left me wanting more. Not complaining, this was excellent, but I still wanted more.

Photo of jondeelee
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Angel’s Share opens to a sweet, malty, bourbon-infused nose heavy with fruits and sugars. Dark fruit esters are immediately apparent, bringing figs, raisins, prunes, dates, and black cherries, as well as lighter hints of orange and nectarine. These are joined by a bright slam of molasses, as well as a milk chocolate aroma strong enough that it seems a candy bar has been dissolved in the bottle. Overlaying all of these is a heavy, oaky, vanilla-laced tone of bourbon and char, which mingles with the raisins and molasses to create a tawny port overtone. Faint tobacco, toast crust, white pepper and anise add further spice and complexity. As a whole, this is an amazing nose, the milk chocolate and tawny port aromas combining to create what, if it were served as dessert in a five-star restaurant, would probably be a twenty-dollar plate of utter decadence and bliss. In a bottle, the result is astounding, especially how the barrel aging blends perfectly with the existing aromas, adding deep and finely nuanced layers of complexity and variation. The aromas aren’t without slight fault, being possibly too heavy on sugars, and needing just a touch more ash and tobacco for balance, but are still very enticing.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a sweet shot of fig, prune, raisin, and date fruits, joined by a combination of confectioner’s sugar, brown sugar, and molasses that makes the sweetness complex and almost overwhelming. Luckily the bourbon, vanilla, and oak notes jump in quickly from the barrel aging and add welcome darkness and bitterness. Then a thick swath of rising wheat dough and toast crust jumps in, adding earthiness, joined by touches of pine resin from the hops. Hold the beer on the tongue long enough and the sugars will die off almost completely, leaving what is far closer to watered-down bourbon than beer filling the nasal cavities, the vapors heady and strong. It says much of the strength of the flavors that they are still present in subsequent sips, despite the overpowering nature of the bourbon notes in the last half of the mouthful. The aftertaste is more bourbon, with some vanilla, sugar, and bread left over, and the thick vapors cling to the tongue for a very long time. Mouthfeel is a strangely watery medium-light to medium, being both oily and dry (?!) at the same time, and carbonation is medium-light.

Overall, this is very nice beer, but somewhat better on the nose than on the tongue, where the bourbon notes prove simply too strong in the latter half of the mouthful, and the beer becomes more watery bourbon than anything else. The strangely light mouthfeel is also jarring, and when combined with the light carbonation gives the beer a watery mouthfeel, despite the intense flavors. Still, there’s much to enjoy in here—providing you like bourbon, raisins, bourbon, vanilla oak, and bourbon—and fans of extreme barrel aging should give this one a try.

Photo of Franziskaner
4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black as night with a murky look to it. Tiny wisp of off white head is scarce. A little bit of Brussels lacing is present. All I get in the aroma is sweet bourbon and a bit of dark malt. The mouth is silky smooth and viscous. The flavor is initially dark malt and roasted barley and quickly turns very sweet with the bourbon,black licorice,fig and plum notes.

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Pours dense deep brown, not much head, lacy with some legs. The nose is sherry, leather, prune, tobacco, vanilla, hint of bourbon. Big bold palate with dark dried fruit, figs, prunes, sherry, vanilla, bourbon, oak, chocolate and some malt. Very rich and bourbon.

Photo of ehammond1
4.86/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On Tap

Lost Abbey
San Marcos, CA

A dark brown and murky pour with a very thin head. Not much lacing on the glass.

After having just smelled this beer once, I knew it was something incredibly special--magnificent. There's so much going on here it's tough to find it all and list it on paper. Initial biting bourbon, sweet dark fruits like cherries and raisins, deep and rich chocolate, some sweet caramel and butterscotch, woody elements and vanilla as well. So complex, so varied, yet tremendous! Bravo!

A bit more bourbon in the flavor than in the aroma, but it ties the whole beer together exceptionally well. The sweet caramel, butterscotch, and vanilla flavors are cut extraordinarily well by the bite of the alcohol, the woody elements are a nice backdrop of ever-present flavor, and dark fruity flavors of burnt cherries, raisins, and figs round out this incredibly complex beer. A true masterpiece!

A thick and substantial sipper--exceptionally well crafted.

An astounding beer--a beer that makes you stop and think and appreciate the liquid inside your glass. Sublime nirvana.

Photo of far333
3.82/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Opaque and murky medium brown with orangey highlights, some soapy low foam bubbles up slightly leaving no head.

Aroma of nutty cocoa, brandy, dark malt and overripe fruit. Rich flavors of dark malt, whisky-soaked raisins, some oakey woodiness, vanilla and marshmallow, some cocoa. Very strong and boozey, but not too overpowering.

Moderate mouthfeel despite nearly no carbonation, a bit of tingle in the finish. Some warming of the cheeks and numbing of the tongue. Tasty beer, but IMO perhaps a bit overhyped.

Photo of TKEbeerman
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into my Duvel Tulip, this ASA pours a very very deep mahogany with very little head.

S: The nose is bourbon dominate. From the pop of the cork, to the last sip bourbon fills my nose. Notes from the oak barrels, along with some dark caramel malt and a touch of chocolate round off the nose. This brew almost rivals KBS as the most bourbon like nose.

T: The flavor is a bourbon bomb!. Very smooth and refined. Oak barrels really smooth this baby out, and add the traditional vanilla hints you'd find in a brew like this. More chocolate pokes out in the flavor then the nose. Would have liked to see a better incarnation of some hoppy bitterness being that this is an ASA, but really there is almost no flaw here.

MF: Mouthfeel is a little light, and the 12% ABV coupled with the bourbon leaves the mouth a little dry and burns the back of the throat. However, the bourbon flavor does linger and is certainly tasty!

D: Drinkability is excellent. This thing is going down like water!

Overall, thanks to portia99 for hooking me up with this brew. Lost Abby has done an excellent job crafting this ASA. My only major gripe....the price tag!

Photo of toreysan
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

a - very rich looking dark brown with nice mellow head. great lacing.

s - wow! smells of dark carmel, subtle vanilla and caramelized sugar.

t - like no beer i have ever tasted! extremely complex and delightful. i can taste the bourbon barrels. sweet oak. a little black licorice?

m - mmm. velvety, smooth, good amount of carbonation. finish is to die for!

d - this is so good it pains me that i cannot get this as often as i would like. thank you sooo much chefscott79!!!!

Photo of Soonami
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bourbon Angel's Share served in a tulip at Resurrection Alehouse ($7.75 for a ~12 oz pour).

Opaque brown with a reddish mahogany highlight, no head.

Very malty nose--lots of pale and caramel malt with a hint of booze in the nosewith vanilla and oak

Sweet and figgy with rich caramel & chocolate (dry cocoa); solid bitterness with a drying alcoholic finish. wood tannins also contribute a fair amount of asntringency. A little sour cherry tartness

Low carbonation & smooth, puckering alcohol with a very soft mouthfell.

Overall, a good beer with nice interplay of flavors and a well integrated bourbon barrel flavor that allows the beer to dominate.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.32/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, the only problem with this beer is the price and the carbonation.

A pop of the top would not be accurate. Just a lil hiss. Pours, the smallest amount of carbonation forms an almost transluscent head, nothing to retain, but it is a beautiful dark brown and black color, with a great bourbon aroma to it.

The taste amazing as well, and if any style of beer can do w/o adequate carbonation, it is this. But damn if these scores wouldn't be perfect if this was carbonated. Frankly, if I was 100% sure I could get another super fresh bottle w/ lots of carbonation, it would make a great blend. Anyways, burnt malt, molasses and bourbon are the biggest flavors. Tobacco, booze and vanilla, its like a strip club up in here!

At $17, drinkability suffers, along w/ carbonation issues. $10 or under, and more carbonation = 5.0 on drinkability.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Flat Abbey is officially dead, this cork shot out of the bottle with a huge burst of sound. What a great experience, dark almost black burgundy amber body with a light tan head filling my glass. Aroma is straight up bourbon vanilla/oak/charred wood you name it straight up bourbon barrel aging effects. Served at 50-55 degrees, this beer has sweet bourbon notes hidden fruit, plum/alcohol/raisin notes. But a dominant Kentucky bourbon barrel aged beer is perfect for Fat Tuesday, the alcohol isn't nearly as hot as the nose would entail. There's also hints of molasses and other burnt sugars along the way. The woody character on the palate carries each sip, to the bourbon drinker this beer would be a god send, and I do believe it deserves the hype I'm just not a huge bourbon drinker so this wouldn't be my desert Island beer. However, I appreciate the flavors so much that I'm impressed by the amount of bourbon I'm able to pick up, mouthfeel is oily intense and lingering between sips but complex enough and not just straight bourbon barrel aging. I had deliverance on tap and believe me I love it but they are apples and oranges both excellent in their own right I'm amazed at the mellow carbonation on the palate and the smoothness between sips, this definitely deserves the title Angel's Share.

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The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,684 ratings.