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

Not Rated.
The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-AgedThe Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,474 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,474
Reviews: 641
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 11.71%
Wants: 552
Gots: 455 | FT: 31
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  12.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Old Ale aged in bourbon barrels for 12 months.

(Beer added by: scottoale on 08-23-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,474 | Reviews: 641 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by GreenWBush:
Photo of GreenWBush
4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2007.

Thanks go out to Shane for this bottle, an extra to beat all extras. I still owe that dude more than the, uh, Oatis that was my Cherry Adam extra in our trade. Bygones.

After reading myriad threads about this beer, I started to think obsessively about the bottle I got 4 or 5 months ago. With the riff-raff / brouhaha / shitstorm that surrounded the most recent release I figured it more than an apt time to stop imagining the beer, wondering when I should present it to a crowd of beer geeks, waiting for a solar eclipse, etc, and got down to drinking it.

Nervously, I thought about it from time to time - all the reviews made it seem like such a crapshoot - and when I finally decided to pul the trigger, it chilled all day at low temps. I popped it, and to my happy surprise it was not a gusher and it was not [at all] dead. Go.

Just a gorgeous beer, both in my snifter and my wife's. I never know why, but beers coming from those gorgeously and generally ridiculously priced 12.7 oz bottles just seem to contain more than a regular 12oz. Can't be. Deep, mysteriously murky, and as brown as you get before you run smack into black. Endless lace tides.

Nose is silken vanilla, treacle, malt syrup, and whispy strikes of peaty alcohol. Smells rich, if that's possible, and envelops you with aroma alone.

Holy crap raisin-bomb. Welcome to the Mellow Meldo-Rama! Everything is perfectly balanced, and has its place: oak, soft vanilla tannins, even the alcohol bite just fits. Only thing keeping this beer from perfection is the tiniest touch of 'off' sweetness that hits just as all the other ingredients fade. How that can the avoided with such a huge beer? The oak also really adds to the potentially lopsided English BW maltiness.

Drinkability is about as good as you could hope for in a beer this big, but it does go down better than even what I expected. Wish this would never end.

There's been some serious chatter about this brewery, and some of the rumors are disturbing. But I can only review what comes from the bottles I've had, and I've never had a bad bottle. Actually I've never had anything less than an exceptional bottle...

GreenWBush, Mar 10, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of ricke
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
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].

ricke, Apr 21, 2010
Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

t2grogan, Oct 12, 2014
Photo of brownbeer
2.63/5  rDev -38.4%
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.

brownbeer, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of abeerdude
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

abeerdude, Jul 10, 2012
Photo of Dabeel
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Dabeel, Jul 16, 2013
Photo of explosivebeer
4.95/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

explosivebeer, Mar 17, 2008
Photo of bdkucharski
3.5/5  rDev -18%

bdkucharski, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of newk340
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

newk340, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
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!

orbitalr0x, Nov 05, 2008
Photo of EastBay_Nick
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

EastBay_Nick, Jul 31, 2013
Photo of heddar33
5/5  rDev +17.1%

heddar33, Nov 21, 2012
Photo of warnerry
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

warnerry, Aug 18, 2013
Photo of Callmecoon
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Callmecoon, May 23, 2013
Photo of Swongler
4.51/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Swongler, Sep 10, 2013
Photo of TimoP
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

TimoP, May 02, 2013
Photo of 77apm
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

77apm, Sunday at 06:50 PM
Photo of Snikwad1020
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Snikwad1020, Mar 08, 2013
Photo of megamass
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

megamass, May 26, 2013
Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Jason, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of tjthresh
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

tjthresh, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of charlieos
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

charlieos, Aug 05, 2010
Photo of badbeer
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

badbeer, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of Mora2000
3.93/5  rDev -8%
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.

Mora2000, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of BigE90
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

BigE90, May 21, 2011
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The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
93 out of 100 based on 1,474 ratings.