The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged - The Lost Abbey
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Ratings: 1,350 | Reviews: 632 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jondeelee:
4.23/5 rDev -0.7%
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.
Serving type: bottle
02-24-2013 18:53:07 | More by jondeelee
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The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,350 ratings.