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

1,683 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,683
Reviews: 668
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.42%
Wants: 585
Gots: 510 | 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: 1,683 | Reviews: 668
Photo of 50marathons
3.87/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Good flavor. Notes of vanilla.

Photo of scottfrie
3.85/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12.7oz bottle into snifter. Bottom of the bottle says Bourbon 2010. Consumed 8/5/2010.

A: Pours an extremely dark woody brown that looks black with basically no head. The beer is not flat, but it hardly frothed up with a vigorous pour. Faint collar around the glass that left spots of faint lace.
S: Big wiff of bourbon with a touch of vanilla and raisins. Very strong smelling. After it mellows a bit I get notes of dark fruit and various spices. Potent but great smelling.
T: Lots of bourbon, raisin, caramel, molasses, vanilla and woody spices. Definitely a sipper. Alcohol has some heat to it. Aftertaste is full of butterscotch and toffee. Slight medicinal cherry syrup notes as well.
M: Thick mouthfeel that is slick and pretty much flat. Alcohol is hot and rich. Could use a year or two.
D: Very smooth, complex and delicious flavors, but the alcohol overpowers much of them. I'm not opening my other bottle for a while. This beer could also use more carbonation. I don't know if it's just my bottle or if LA famous carbonation issue has reached my taste buds. Either way not a bad brew...if you like bourbon.

EDIT: 3/28/2012. Two year old bottle is still surprisingly hot and bourbon forward, and still very under-carbonated. I wasn't expecting it to get anymore bubbles, I'm just saying all the bottles I've tried are flat. Alcohol burn has gone down slightly, but not as much as I was expecting. Still a good beer, but if you hate bourbon stay away.

Photo of BretSikkink
3.85/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This bottle is definitely under-carbonated, but the firm pour still elicits a cap of large bubbles. These settle down quickly, and the alcohol keeps the lace from settling on the glass. Amber brown color that settles into a deep brown in the glass, only lightened by a certain amount of ruby highlighting. I would hope for more carbonation.

The nose is quite vinous, with a lot of darkly fruity, bourbon-accented notes. Vanilla, woodiness, and a bit of diacetyl all make an appearance. There's a lot going on, and the power is good.

The flavor is strong and full. Complex notes of butterscotch, toasted malt, caramel and Goji berry run deeply through the tongue. Definitely a sipper, although 12+% doesn't weight quite as much in the mouth as I thought it might. The Bourbon is present, with lots of vanilla, hints of chocolate, a spicy oak pepper, and a mix of dessert-type wines. The mouthfeel is a little light given the overall size of this thing.

Underneath is a somewhat musty flavor, like its been aged, but this is a 2008 bottle. Very intriguing and complex notes, although a little bit "off". Not overly inviting or easy to drink, but a lot of fun and definitely off the beaten path. I expect nothing less from the Lost Abbey.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.84/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle we picked up at the Lost Abbey/Port brewery. We poured into a wide mouthed wine glass to allow the beer to breath a bit. The beer is an extremely caramel-brown color, with an appearance of thick, syrupy consistency. No head or other signs of carbonation. Definite aromas of oak/wood, as well as sweet malty/sugary smells. The beer has an initial sweet malt flavor, heavy in molasses and caramel notes, that remains robust but becomes crisp on the finish. The bourbon barrel aging definitely had a huge influence on this brew. Deep down, there are hints of some spice that dances in and out of your mouth. The overall sweet flavor makes this a very rich beer for me personally. I do enjoy the robust and strong flavors. The finish, as I said, is crisp, with slight sweet and sour highlights.

Photo of cvm4
3.84/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark brown with no head whatsoever.

S - Bourbon, sweet vanilla, caramel & oak.

T - Very sweet vanilla and tart following into an oak center with toffee and bourbon finish.

M - medium body & carbonation.

O - A flow down bourbon lane. Very good slightly too tart for me.

Photo of Dope
3.84/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle date is obscured a bit, believe it to be a 2010 bottle. Possibly 2011.

A: Just the tiniest hiss as I remove the cork. Pours a very dark brown. No head, no lacing. Appears to be almost completely flat just like the terrible brandy version I just endured. Let's see if we can go 0/2 when drinking extremely expensive beers. Swirling it produces just the tiniest bit of foam for a second, so there is just a little bit of carbonation at least.

S: Smells like bourbon mixed with rubbing alcohol. Get some nice vanilla. Swear I get a band-aid type aroma too.

T: Bourbon up front, lots of it. Nice caramel and vanilla mixes in with some bright toffee. Get some chocolate in the middle, maybe a little char too. Finishes with a slap of grain alcohol and some oaky notes. Very boozy, lingering alcohol in the aftertaste.

M: Heavy but not as heavy as you'd expect a 12.5% flat beer to be. I think the high amount of bourbon waters it down and cuts it nicely with tons of alcohol. Still lacking, unfortunately.

O: Huh, that was a close one. Fully expected this to be terrible like the brandy version but it's pretty good. Super boozy and heavy on the bourbon. Flatness (though not completely flat) hurts the mouthfeel but honestly not as bad as you'd expect since the bourbon cuts the beer nicely. It's basically a sweet chocolate bourbon bomb, that's the best way I can describe it.

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

Poured from a corked and caged 12.7oz bottle into two FoBAB tasters. Thanks to HollyAnn for the assist!

BOURBON 2010

A: Took a little effort to get the cork out but there was no "pop" when it released. A vigorous pour netted a tiny but creamy film of mocha colored foam. Head retained for about 30 seconds and not one speck of lace was left behind.

S: Very nice aroma of bourbon, dark/fudgy chocolate, bruised dark fruit, brownies, brown sugar, and wet barrel.

T: Pretty much as above with the addition of a pretty distinct alcohol flavor. It fits in nicely and doesn't detract from the savory flavors.

M: A bit more slick and syrupy than I would've cared for. This could've used some much needed carbonation. Finish is quite long and develops nicely.

D: Splitting this small bottle was just the perfect size. Our taste buds were wrecked by this and we wondered how this would've scored if it had some frigging bubbles in it. I love paying a premium for flat beer.

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

Appearance: A tiny bit of a dark tan hed that dissipates instantly. The beer itself is a very dark brown.

Smell: The aroma is dominated with vanilla, bourbon, alcohol, dark fruits, and plums.

Taste: A fair amount of sweetness, with a good bit of alcohol presence without being too hot. A tiny bit of bitterness to balance out all of the sweetness. There is some serious bourbon and a hint of vanilla, with a back end of dark fruits.

Mouthfeel: It was lighter than I expected with a medium to full body that didn't coat the mouth like I expected.

Drinkability: The first half of the 375 ml was not a challenge to drink, but by the last quarter of the bottle I wished I had split the beer with someone. It is rather powerful in flavor and just an intense beer that really is best in small quantities.

Photo of birchstick
3.81/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - color is rustic brownish without any head to speak of

S - the nose is of sweet bourbony aromas of vanilla and some caramel; there are also dark fruits present on the nose

T - sweet dark fruits open this one up nicely. Next up are some raisins and sticky malts mixed with a little cola. A load of bourbon shows up on the backend and overwhelms everything else. Pretty solid taste profile going on here.

M - flat and watery, underwhelming

D - this is a solid beer, love the bourbon and vanilla flavors in it. For some reason, it just seemed to fall a bit short as a complete beer, though. The price point has kept me away from it in the past and I think it will continue to do so in the future.

Photo of tempest
3.8/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Bookstore Speakeasy. I'm told this is one of 4 kegs in the state. Lucky me.

The beer doesn't live up to the hype, but it's still pretty tasty. In short, it was a large snifter of bourbon candy. The character was rich and sweet, but the flavors were too smooth, making it hard to pick out many flavors. It came off a little dull for such a big beer. The bourbon character dominated and as it warmed the alcohol began to emerge. I'm glad I tried this beer, but wished it had approached everything I'd heard about it.

Photo of unitmonster
3.8/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Lost Abbey, 8/13/11. We had a sample of all their bourbon beers on tap for a friends 30th bday.

A - Dark, but not black. More like a very dark barley wine.

S - Sweet taste of the Angel's Share strong ale, and then some bourbon mixed in.

T - This beer is almost too sweet. Out of the three that we tried (Bourbon Santa, Older, Bourbon AS), this one was my least favorite.

O - Great beer, but the sweetness is too much for me.

Photo of rayjay
3.8/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage into a goblet

Still appearance. Tiny bubbles around the edge and that's it. I was expecting this, and not offended by it because of my love for traditional English strong beers which are often quite flat. Murky appearance, deep dark brown beer full of hazy stuff (looks like yeast slurry).

Rich aroma just full of bourbon barrel. Intoxicating and strong aroma. Smells great but rough around the edges (young) and mean (high alcohol).

Lots of sweet bourbon flavors everywhere. Sweet toffee and cookies, rich black malts (no real roasted bitterness, just dark richness), carmel malts, bitterness from alcohol. Lots of very smooth bourbon masks the beer underneath. Lots of mineral water too.

The flat mouthfeel was nice with Older, but not quite working with this one. Needs more CO2, certainly the downfall of this brew. Way flatter than an English barleywine, of which I've had many. More like a watered down glass of whiskey. Value is also factored in to this review, as an expensive beer like this should have no obvious flaws.

As delicious as it is, it's a waste of great beer to serve like this. Lack of carbonation cuts way back on the drinkability, also the mouthfeel, aroma, and appearance, and why the hell not the flavor too.

Edit: I had this on tap in 2007 for the first time, and noted how flat it was (and liked it). I also like this year's flat Santa's and Older...it just somehow didn't work out for this beer like it should have. Recommended if you have $30 to blow, otherwise you'll find beers this good in the $10-15 range.

Photo of zeff80
3.8/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark brown color with almost no head. Not much lacing, either.

S - It smelled of vanilla and oak with some toasty notes. Light caramel notes, too.

T - It tasted very malty with a strong boozy character. Some oak, bourbon and vanilla flavors.

M - It was fairly crisp and sharp. A full bodied ale with a clean finish.

O - This was pretty tasty. A nice bourbon barrel aged brew.

Photo of rudzud
3.8/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From notes taken on 11/10/10 at the Armsby Abbey. Poured into a snifter.

A - A rich, dark not quite black pour with no light passing through. There was a one finger dark tan head that dissolved quickly into a tan halo.

S - HUGE bourbon aromas upfront. After getting past all that bourbon there was some dark earthy fruits and a touch of carmel.

T - Very, very similar to the nose with just more dark fruits and carmel. Still that huge bourbon flavours that really is first and foremost.

M - Low carbonation, creamy. You can really feel the alcohol on the tongue.

D - I almost feel that this needs some age on it, as the alcohol is FAR too up front with this. Smooth, creamy, and potent with nice complex flavours but still far too agressive.

Photo of egajdzis
3.8/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy red brown color with a small, light tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of roasted malts, light cocoa, vanilla, dried fruits, caramel, and a bit of bourbon as well. Taste of more cocoa, some roast, raisins, and other dark fruits, some vanilla, oak, and a bit of bourbony alcohol in the finish. I guess I'll be part of the camp who prefers the Brandy version to this one, but big thanks to EDA for sharing this!

Photo of TMoney2591
3.79/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

I've gotten a pair o' these guys in recent trades/BIFs, so thanks to those who sent them! I think this particular bottle came from GoGriz.

VDubb seems pretty interested in this one, so here's some more vicariousness. It pours a bleakly murky brown with not much of a head to speak of. The nose is rather bourbon-centric, with some oak, milk chocolate, vanilla, caramel, pretzels, and a smidge of roasted malts piled in there as well. The taste similarly whiskey-forward, with an added kick; the rest of the smell's constitutive elements, minus the chocolate, return for a second season, but the bourbon seems to have an ego issue that would preclude further contract extensions. The body is fairly hefty, with a very light carbonation (I thought the '10s fixed this...?) and an almost chewy feel. Overall, I feel this brew just missed the landing zone, fracturing a leg on landing. It'll heal, but the memory will malinger for a while. I'm thinking about aging the other bottle, if only to see how things go if the bourbon settles a tad. Beyond that, the other flavors seemed kinda weak, and the almost-flat, murky liquid was not very appealing. This one just wasn't fully for me.

Photo of Bmoyer0301
3.78/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance:

Tonight I am reaching for one of my standard glasses in my cupboard, my Dogfish Head goblet which always creates a nice head due to the etching on the bottom. I proceeded to pull off the cage and pull the cork out and surprisingly it slipped out fairly easily. When the cork released there was almost no popping sound and this worried me right off the start but I went on. On the pour I decided to go slow and straight on trying to entice some form of head and I never got it. There is absolutely no bubbles or foam on this syrupy ale. When I hold my glass up to the light it is a murky hazy deep plum and brown color with no light passing through. Something I noticed that was different was that there is a shiny sheen that catches the light every once and a while on top of my beer that resembles a oil slick. As typical I gave a generous swirl and was left with a fairly heavy lacing creeping down the glass walls.

Smell:

Wow, bourbon takes front and center is this excellent smelling ale. Smooth notes of brown sugar, burnt toffee, and figs are wrapped around the warming alcohol. The sweetness is just so prominent and right behind the bourbon that it almost comes off cloying. I think something that makes this seem so well rounded is the fact that the base beer is very complex on its' own then aged to perfection in the barrel. I have had numerous beers where the base is lacking then they try and spice it up with a barrel of some kind and it falls flat in my opinion. In the finish there just a tinge of the heat alcohol and oaky tannins with copious amounts of vanilla and no hop presence.

Taste:

Wow, this is a punch in the face from a whiskey distillery! Again, bourbon really is the main act and runs quickly across your tongue and warms your throat the whole time. Loads of caramel sweetness and raisins cut through the sharp bourbon notes making it sweet and enjoyable. In the middle I feel like I just had a teaspoon of vanilla extract but that's not such a bad thing trust me. Some spicy earthiness from the oak that adds another layer of complexity which I really enjoy. The only downfall here is the fact that this is pretty much flat and I am can't get any carbonation out of this. Looks like another let down from Tomme Arthur in the carbonation department, but besides that I really love all of the flavors and complexity.In the finish I am pulling out some thick creamy flavors that resemble tiramisu and cool whip.

Drinkability:

Overall, a really sold beer that has a lot of bold complex flavors that I feel like many will enjoy. The only set back is Tomme needs to work out some of the fine details on his beers. If you like bourbon and strong Belgian styled ales this will be right up your alley. I really enjoyed drinking this beer even thought the minor mistakes were there but hey we all can't be perfect all the time right? If you come across this beer be sure to grab it and give it a shot becuase it is definitely worth the hype and fairly reasonably priced.

Photo of gregalobeer
3.78/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I bought the Angel's Share at my usual store with lots of corked big beers on the shelf. It must have been positioned above the wrong price tag that day (and I must have been stocking up), because I don't remember spending $30. Though last time I went, that was the price. In any case ... I wasn't setting the bar particularly high to "get my money's worth."

My first reaction was that the beer had very little carbonation. I am vindicated by the other reviewers who had the same reaction from the bottled Angle (I know, I shouldn't have read them before; won't happen again).

The color and smell were impressive, despite the poor carbonation. Alcohol was apparent. So was the brandy casking. The beer tasted almost like a martini with bourbon coating the tumbler and a raisin/carmel/malt-heavy brown ale in the mix.

I had a lot of fun drinking this beer for about 10 minutes, sipping more than gulping, though I prefer a mouthfull with darker beers.

All in all, the lack of carbonation didn't bother me really. There's plenty to like about Angel's Share in the non-carbonated bottle. I didn't finish it, but I enjoyed it. I recommend splitting it with a few buddies. Approach it like a nice scotch.

Photo of glazeman
3.77/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Just took step 1 of the medical licensing exam...time for a celebratory beer! 12.7 ounce bottle split with my brother. Bottle says 12.5% ABV (vs. the 12% in the description here). Also, the label is a slightly different color than in the picture here (mine was dark amber).

A: Pours a dark, dark, brown, not quite black. A vigorous pour yields only a ½ finger tan head that dissipates quickly into swirl of bubbles with a crown. Minimal lacing.

S: Bourbon is the dominant smell that I get, with notes of chocolate, coffee and caramel in the background.

T: Quite tasty, though not all that complex. Tastes quite similar to the nose. Bourbon is far and away the dominant flavor, some sweet raisins, with only some caramel and alcohol heat on the back end.

M: Smooth, with a nice level of carbonation. Not quite as sticky or full-bodied as I would have liked.

D: Well, it was a nice beer to try, definitely an interesting brew, but it has a hefty price tag. Also, I thought some of the parts were not melded together and as balanced as they could have been.

Photo of jmdrpi
3.77/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from the tap in a tulip glass.

Appears a murky dark brown, not quite black. Very little head. Aroma is strong and boozy, tons of whiskey. Taste is dominated by the bourbon as well, but too much in my opinion. Alcohol, oak, a little vanilla. Thin to medium body, moderate carbonation. It could be thicker to match the power of the flavor.

Finally got to try this , I had been on the look out for it on draft, as I wasn't willing to chance a flat bottle. But for the high price, I probably won't seek it out again

Photo of spoons
3.77/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip

Pours a dark brown color with watery edges. Looks a little syrupy. Absolutely no head or carbonation to speak of. You can see the alcohol in the form of legs around the sides of the glass.

Smells like a lot of cheap vanilla and malt. Like a port. Chocolate and alcohol (harsh). Some darker fruits like figs and raisins. Whisky.

Taste comes in smooth and syrupy. Tastes like bourbon. A lot of caramel and vanilla. With no carbonation this reminds me of Utopias. Like a not so great port, very muddy. As far as placing it in the beer catergory its not so bad. Could use a little more time.

Photo of Gtreid
3.77/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

375 ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Dark brown with a slight mahogany hint. The pour produced a small head that quickly receeded and left no lace.

A: Strong burbon, toffee, caramel malts, oak, and vanilla. Very boozy and sweet.

T: Much of the same as in the nose. The malts blend very nicely with the burbon barrels. I get a nice earthiness, with caramel, vanilla, and oak. The beer finishes smooth and dry, as is with most BA beers.

M: Oily, medium to heavy body. My bottle did have some carbonation, but not as much as I had hoped.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is ok for a beer of this strength. But the lack of sufficient carbonation and and the High ABV will limit it a little. Overall, I think this is a good beer. Although, I think there are many other BA offerings out there that are supierior. Skal.

Photo of froghop
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a dark brown with a very little khaki head, and good lacing.

smell is of bourbon, wood, alcohol, and dark fruit.

taste is strong alcohol, cocoa, and dark fruit, ends with a potent alcohol taste and somewhat dry.

overall a good american strong ale but a little too strong with the alcohol.

Photo of GrandCruDrew
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 Bottle poured into my KBS glass and tasted side by side with a FW Abacus '11.

A- Dark brown, almost black, great carbonation and immediate head, about 1 inch, tan in color. But, decent retention and minimal lacing.

S- I can smell the age, caramel, yeast, malts, def less oak and vanilla then Abacus, but some is there. A little sweetness.

T- Identical to the nose, def Strong Ale w/age, almost Belgian like. Would like more vanilla and bourbon.

M- Good, has a short finish at this point.

Overall- Good beer, Glad I have had it at this age, but would rather have it young.

The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,683 ratings.