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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

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,381 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,381
Reviews: 632
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 11.71%
Wants: 547
Gots: 415 | FT: 29
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: 1,381 | Reviews: 632 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of writerLJBerg
writerLJBerg

Oregon

3.5/5  rDev -18%

11-14-2011 17:37:58 | More by writerLJBerg
Photo of brother_kenneth
brother_kenneth

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -18%

04-29-2014 22:04:56 | More by brother_kenneth
Photo of muletrane
muletrane

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -18%

02-19-2012 05:59:02 | More by muletrane
Photo of bullywee
bullywee

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -18%

02-21-2012 06:41:13 | More by bullywee
Photo of 4thelvofbeer
4thelvofbeer

Virginia

3.51/5  rDev -17.8%

Enjoyed a bottle of this on Saturday, 19 May 2012.

A: Translucent deep, dark amber in color. Almost no head.
S: Alcohol (almost overpowering) with sweet bourbon undertones.

T: Strangely , the smell and tastes are quite a bit different. Sweet flavors of bourbon, dark fruits and a nice heat from the alcohol, but no overpowering alcohol taste as in the smell...really nice flavor with a lot of good depth.

M: Very light, almost watery (could be influence by drinking a couple of heavy stouts before this beer).

O: Really nice; not outstanding (especially since the price of these bottles is borderline ridiculous), but a good beer that is drinkable in moderate quantity (like one of these a night). Definitely not the beer you want to have a few of.

05-21-2012 18:10:19 | More by 4thelvofbeer
Photo of Adriatic
Adriatic

California

3.53/5  rDev -17.3%

Unique beer that has a unique taste. Was not my personal favorite. I get a weird prune taste during and after I take a sip. I experienced this same sensation with Thelonious Monk. Maybe I just have not developed my palate enough for this type of beer. First beer I have tried from The Lost Abbey. Will hopefully have more luck with another beer from this brewer.

10-07-2013 04:17:37 | More by Adriatic
Photo of IdrinkGas
IdrinkGas

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -17.3%

Poured from a 375ml corked/caged bottle into a snifter.

A:Very little carbonation. Like 3 bubbles. No head. It looks like a dark syrupy non-carbonated cola.

S: Oak plus a strong Bourbon and booze smell. Also picking up some vanilla and carmel notes. Thought the alcohol would be much more subtle since its been aged for a year but it still smells strong.

T: Bourbon, oak, vanilla, Definitely a sipper.

M: Think and syrupy mouthfeel.

Great aroma and flavors but not worth the $23.99 I paid for the 12.7oz bottle.

07-28-2010 22:22:29 | More by IdrinkGas
Photo of bcostner1
bcostner1

Tennessee

3.53/5  rDev -17.3%

This bottle was sent to me as a replacement for an infected, flat bottle of Brandy Angel's share that I purchased. Poured into a snifter.

A: Very minimal carbonation evident. Virtually no head whatsoever. It is not completely flat (like the infected bottle of Brandy Angel's Share that I had to drainpour) but it is obviously lacking in significant carbonation. Some carbonation does appear upon swirling the glass. Otherwise, pours a dark brown with tinges of dark ruby red evident as well.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, malt, booze, dark fruits. The aroma is enticing. I have smelled better but I have also smelled worse. I think the aroma would be significantly improved if the carbonation were present to a higher degree.

T: I have to say, I do love the taste of this. Very smooth. Lots of vanilla and bourbon for sure. Also get some booze, raisins, figs, dates, brown sugar, and molasses too. Pretty strong malt backbone. A little bit of wood. Hints of chocolate as well. I really can't knock the taste of this one despite the lack of appropriate carbonation. All of the tastes are pretty well balanced in my opinion and I enjoyed it.

M: Again, very little carbonation evident. That being said, this remains a relatively easy drinker in my opinion. A little on the slick side. While some alcohol is evident, it is definitely not overpowering, offensive, or "hot" in the least. I just wish there were more carbonation there.

I appreciate Ruby Johnson sending me this replacement beer for the bad one that I purchased. I definitely enjoyed it but can certainly see how it would be even more enjoyable when imbibed from an appropriately carbonated bottle or, better yet, tap/keg. I would love to try it in this format if I ever get the chance but I can't say that I would necessarily buy a bottle again until I hear that their carbonation issues have improved.

01-29-2012 22:58:26 | More by bcostner1
Photo of jim1904
jim1904

California

3.53/5  rDev -17.3%

Poured from the standard Lost Abbey 750ml into a crystal goblet. Cork popped with a little tiny plunk, kinda cute actually.

A - Had just a thin sheet of head on it. Not quite as flat as previous reports had led me to believe, but nowhere near an acceptable level of carbonation. Color is great... murky amber, very ominous-looking American barleywine. Lovely.

S - I'm having this pretty warm (probably hovering around 55-60 degrees) and the alcohol smell is really insanely strong, but is tempered by a little bourbon backbone that makes it not offensive. Very sharp, spicy, boozy, malty sweet and dank.

T - WOW. Even for a prematurely released brew, the taste of this one knocks my socks off. Strong, STRONG cassis notes, boozy bourbon kick, fiery alcohol warmth, and a really unique, delicious caramel finish. Even with all the overpowering bourbon/caramel flavors, I can pick out interesting estery flourishes that separate this one from the teeming masses. Banana, Mexican chocolate, and especially oak are all very present in the finish.

M - Just short of cough syrup. Barely prickly. Not exactly medicinal, but certainly not very quaffable. Alcohol is nigh offensive on the throat. Very very powerful.

D - I have to struggle with this one. Definitely a sipper in its current state.

Overall: Really, I'm not as pissed off at this beer as previous reports might indicate. They released it very green, to be sure, but it's kinda interesting to taste such a great beer in such an infantile stage. The predominant thought I had while drinking this is "Wow, once this grows up a little bit it will literally be one of the best beers I've ever had". I think that says something.

04-11-2009 06:13:50 | More by jim1904
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

3.54/5  rDev -17.1%

A: Pours mahogany, brown color. At first a one finger beige head forms, and recedes in a second. No lace.
S: Vanilla, oak, chocolate. Toasted malts, and molasses. That is it. Pretty straight forward and all barrel.
T: Like the nose, fairly standard for a barrel aged strong ale. Sweet chocolate, vanilla, light oak.
M/D: A fairly lifeless body. Low carbonation, but certainly not flat. Though on the thin side. Fusel, almost ethanol like alcohol. Which makes this a slow sipper.

While this is not nearly as flat as other bottles of LA I have had, and really not bad. This just leaves me wanting more. Fairly standard. Too expensive, and plenty of other better examples of the style. For me, locally brewed at that.

01-14-2014 00:27:44 | More by champ103
Photo of drgonzo3705
drgonzo3705

Ohio

3.55/5  rDev -16.9%

A: Pours a deep brown cola color with no head whatsoever. The only slightest bit of carbonation was a few tiny bubbles around the edge that barely made the rise to the top.

S: Sweet toffee and caramel candied malts aromas lay beneath the big nose of oak, vanilla, and bourbon.

T: Big big bourbon with just a touch of the candy malts and a bit of oak not much else makes it through the bourbon.

M: Full bodied with a nice oily slickness left behind. I only wish it had a little carbonation to perk this up.

D: I like the beer itself but am a bit let down overall. I enjoy a big bourbon filled beer, which this certainly delivers on but I thought the carbonation issue was fixed with this release. Maybe I got a bum bottle, which I hope it was but I expected a bit more out of this beer and it didn't deliver like I thought it would.

07-05-2009 15:39:22 | More by drgonzo3705
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

3.55/5  rDev -16.9%

I drank this 2009 version from a 375ml bottle into my Orval glass.

The beer pours an ugly dark brown with not carbonation at all. I got no head rise, I heard the 08 had a carbonation problem, 09 too?

The aroma is relatively strong delivering a ton of vanilla on the nose with a finish that provides some nice depth with oak dominating followed by some distinct bourbon flavor.

The taste is super super sweet. There is a ton of vanilla, which is nice, but probably too much here. BI BCS is a better example that provides the perfect amount. The vanilla would be more tolerable if it was better balanced out with other flavors. If there was big hit of oak or bourbon to break up the vanilla which really lasts to the end, then it could be ok.

The feel is pretty poor, its very light without much lasting flavor.

The drinkability is limited by its one-note-edness.

Overall, a little disappointed here. The bourbon is better than the brandy version, but the Grand Cru dominates, them both its not even funny. A couple minor changes and this could be really good.

03-16-2010 01:43:30 | More by jrallen34
Photo of Treebs
Treebs

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev -16.2%

2011 version, 12.7 oz C&C bottle served in a DFH signature glass.

A: Whoa, carbonation! Not just from the etching on the bottom of the glass, but there were lots of bubbles and a thin light tan head actually formed on the pour. That subsided quickly leaving a pretty still dark brown, cola looking body with a thin ring around the rim. Some splotchy lace is left down the glass.

S: Smells of bourbon, oak, dark pitted fruits and some subtle sweetness all fill the nose.

T: Big bourbon up front that lingers throughout the whole sip. As it develops in the mouth the oak comes through as well as a caramel like sweetness. Some dried fruits, mainly figs and dates, also pop up in the taste. There is some definite heat in there, but it is far from from overpowering.

M: Heavy bodied, slightly chewy in nature with some actually prickly carbonation. I'm psyched. A little heat and some subtle sweetness left on the palate. As the beer warms the carbonation goes by the wayside, but it doesn't hurt the beer.

O: Well this gets major points because it's actually somewhat carbonated. The bourbon flavor is bold and lingers throughout the whole sip, but still is pretty tasty. This is definitely a sipper.

11-05-2011 19:32:26 | More by Treebs
Photo of charlzm
charlzm

California

3.6/5  rDev -15.7%

Consumed April 23rd, 2014 from an undated bottle that I have had for at least 6 months. Poured into a DFH snifter.

Cork came out of the bottle with the tiniest little pop, indicating that there is precious little carbonation within. A vigorous pour confirms this; no head forms at all. None.

The beer is an opaque dark brown with slightly less opaque deep purple/ruby highlights when held to strong light. Did I mention it has no head whatsoever? The beer does have some modest legs when the glass is swirled, so there is that.

Aroma is candied, pitted fruit, vanilla and wood. Boozy.

Flavor is a lot like the nose: it stars with a strong showing of sweet prunes, dates and raisin. Some thin wood bitterness and boozy vanilla wash in before the whole thing fades into a medicinal memory down the gullet. "Cloying" is a word I throw about a little, but here it is appropriate; this beer is just so boozy and so sweet that it desperately needs some carbonation.

Mouthfeel is slightly thick and slightly slick and maybe even a little oily. If only there were some soft carbonation...

The flavors in this beer are fine, but the lack of carbonation is a critical flaw that causes the whole affair to come down like a house of cards. I won't be buying this one again.

04-23-2014 03:35:57 | More by charlzm
Photo of shivtim
shivtim

Georgia

3.6/5  rDev -15.7%

Thanks to Konrad for bringing this from CA to share.
Pours out beautifully into a pint glass. Dark black/brown, with brown edges when held up to the light. Minor brown head. Nose is oaky bourbon and sweet plum. Great so far!
Taste is a little less refined. strong bourbon and concord grapes. Strong alcohol finish. Slightly undercarbonated mouthfeel.
Average drinkability.

Sure, it's a sipper, but it's a well crafted beer. Looks and smells great.

01-07-2010 02:30:43 | More by shivtim
Photo of bulletrain76
bulletrain76

California

3.6/5  rDev -15.7%

375ml bottle, 2009. Dark brown with almost no head. Bourbon, dried fruit, soy sauce, wood and caramel in the aroma. The flavor is smoother and lacks the oxidized soy notes of the aroma. Lots of dried fruit, tobacco, toasty grain, some chocolate and oak. Rich and alcoholic but not harsh. Thick and flat on the tongue. Great flavor and immensely complex, but the weird oxidized soy notes in aroma and lack of bubbles hurt it overall.

01-19-2010 07:36:50 | More by bulletrain76
Photo of BeerOnTheWall
BeerOnTheWall

California

3.6/5  rDev -15.7%

Appearance: This beer pours dark brownish black (almost a mahogany tint to it). Very little head or carbonation...what head there is, is slight and dissipates quickly. Little to no lacing left on the glass.

Smell: WOW! Bourbon, chocolate, some dried dark fruit...raisin, noticeable oak in the background.

Taste: Man's Beer! At 12.5% abv. and aged in bourbon barrels you can definitely taste the alcohol burn. Again some raisin and oak...but mostly dark malt and bourbon is what I am getting from this.

Mouthfeel / Body: Considering all that's going on with this beer, the mouthfeel on this is fairly clean. Light to medium body, again...very little carbonation. Coats your pallet quickly and then clears away leaving the heavier flavors behind.

Drinkability: This beer is very drinkable...for some beer drinkers. Not for the faint of heart...will probably do better with some more age in the bottle.

06-10-2010 22:26:12 | More by BeerOnTheWall
Photo of berkey
berkey

California

3.63/5  rDev -15%

2009 vintage 750 ml bottle. Seemed appropriate to pour this bal-aged monster of a beer into my Barrel Aged Beer Fest Tulip.

The cork was dispatched with absolutely no pop. Due to this beers reputation I'm now worrying about carbonation. The pour confirms my fears. Zero head, zero bubbles, completely still. I'm fairly tolerant of low carbonation beers in this style but this is just ridiculous. I keep trying to coax up even a small head with an aggressive pour and even stirring the beer vigorously with a fork but it's clearly a lost cause.

Even without the assistance of carbonation this beer still manages to smell quite good. It takes a deeper than usual sniff but I'm getting fairly strong vanilla, caramel, and earthy wood aromas, followed by sweet dates. Not bad at all. The core elements of the Bourbon are coming through without smelling directly like alcohol while the soul of the base beer seems to be mostly intact.

Almost identical in flavor as in the smell. The complex resinous wood, molasses, and sweet dates are nice but it's somewhat difficult to focus, I'm seeing for the first time how important carbonation is in delivering the various flavors. I'm having a degree of success swishing the beer around my mouth but it isn't the same. Beyond the oaky vanilla and dates other dark fruits including hints of figs come through abut I might be reaching a little.

Not sure what more can be said about the feel so I'll move on. The alcohol heat is hidden better than the average strong ale, I'll admit to a degree of surprise seeing the 12% abv when I took a second look the bottle. Not the hot Bourbon bomb I was fearing by any means.

This manages to avoid being a complete fail even with the glaring defects but I think it's fair to expect much more from a near $30 bottle of beer from such a respected brewer. I used to think people were whining unnecessarily about flat Lost Abbey beers but now I kind of get it. Still, this is only my second bottle with carbonation problems out of many dozen from Lost Abbey over the years (the only other problem beer being an 08 Ten Commandments) so I'm far from ready to boycott this brewer the way some seem to be. I'm hoping to try this beer on tap some day so I can truly experience it at it's full potential.

12-26-2009 04:40:34 | More by berkey
Photo of tang3nt
tang3nt

California

3.63/5  rDev -15%

Had on tap at Sunset Bar and Grill on a recent vacation to New England.
Pours a dark brown/black color with tan head. Poor head retention.
Aromas of mostly bourbon, brown sugar and vanilla. Smells tastey.
Huge bourbon flavors up front, and a very strong caramel/vanilla finish. Not much hop presence at all and a lot of viscosity.
Nearly no carbonation in this one, very flat, pretty much expected considering all the other LA beers I've had in the past.
This beer is very drinkable, despite the 12% abv and non existent carbonation.
Overall I really did like this beer a lot. I think it probably would have been better if it had more carbonation but overall a very good brew. Especially happy I was able to try it on tap and avoid the $16-17 375 ml price of buying it elsewhere.

10-23-2010 05:57:08 | More by tang3nt
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

3.63/5  rDev -15%

On draught at Brouwer's Big Wood, served in a snifter, Angel's Share Bourbon Barrel-Aged is black with a small tan collar leaving no lace.

Smell is big caramel, some raisin and lots of bourbon.

Taste is also big on the caramel, some sweetness countered by some roast, raisiny and hot.

Mouthfeel is slick and dry, with very low carbonation.

Drinkability is average, not nearly as exciting as I hoped, this is way over priced, I'm glad I only spent $9 on a draft then $30 on a bottle! I will definitely never bother with this again unless the price comes way down, in line with the plethora of other bourbon barrel aged bombers, $8-10...3 times the cost and average for the style.

02-20-2010 20:19:23 | More by ccrida
Photo of doughanson78
doughanson78

Washington

3.63/5  rDev -15%

On tap poured into a tulip.

A: Pitch black with some dark red/brown at the edges. A one finger mocha colored head. Lacking in retention but still some decent lacing.

S: Big bourbon. Good amount of oak coming through. Vanilla, chocolate, and some light coffee. A tinge of alcohol.

T: Again big bourbon. Lots of alcohol. Oak, roasted caramel, vanilla, chocolate and coffee.

M: Medium bodied, a bit light. Light carbonation. Lacking creaminess. Lots of alcohol burn.

O: A very complex beer which would be awesome if there wouldn't be so much alcohol present. Might be awesome with some age if the alcohol mellows.

10-16-2011 18:22:31 | More by doughanson78
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.63/5  rDev -15%

Bottle (2008 I think). Bottle a dark brown with a thick tan head. Aroma of cohcolate, roasted malt and bourbon. Flavor of sharp bourbon initially. Some buttery popcorn too. Hmm, I like the aroma but the flavor is too bourbony. Overall, ok but not great.

08-27-2009 00:39:27 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev -14.5%

12.7oz bottle purchased somewhere local. Not sure why I got this, considering the cost and my bad experience with the brandy barrel offering last year, guess I'm just an optimist. Corked and caged, 2009 vintage.

Sedate pftt upon uncorking, does not instill confidence. Poured into a DFH tulip, a few small bubbles form, nothing evenly remotely resembling a head above the totally cloudy opaque dark brown brew. Legs galore, but not much lacing. Aroma is intense vanilla-tinged bourbon.

Taste is sweet upfront, chocolatey into the middle, where the barrel and bourbon take over and dominate. Nothing sedate about the flavors here. Numbness in mouth lasts and lasts after swallowing. Mouthfeel is slickery, too flat for my taste, and drinkability is okay, buoyed by the depth of flavors to pique interest. Not much redemption here for Lost Abbey.

09-12-2010 03:06:35 | More by ppoitras
Photo of draheim
draheim

Washington

3.65/5  rDev -14.5%

My very first review, after drinking more than 250 different beers over the last 8 months in an effort to develop my palate. No particular reason why I chose this one for my first review.

375mL bottle, vintage 2010, poured into a snifter. Zero carbonation at first; a few tiny bubbles soon materialize along the side of the glass, rising lazily to the surface. Color is deep brown with hints of burgundy around the edges. Looks like a flat cola.

Booze hits the nose first, along with plums, raisins, and bourbon. Hints of what's to come.

Mouthfeel is thick, sticky. Taste of caramel, whiskey, toffee. Alcohol warming to the throat. Flavor is rich and complex, but almost cloying. Bigger sips reveal an almost cough syrup quality, alcohol burn on the swallow. The booze presence is clearly dominant and not entirely pleasant. This little bottle is almost a chore to get through.

Overall, I was not much impressed by this one - particularly considering the price tag. I don't think I've ever poured a beer so almost completely flat right out of the bottle. High ABV explains this to a degree, but some carbonation would have helped the mouthfeel and would have also concealed the booze a bit and provided more balance.

06-20-2011 04:58:30 | More by draheim
Photo of callmemickey
callmemickey

Pennsylvania

3.65/5  rDev -14.5%

A: Dark, dark brown. Slight mahogany hues around the edges. No head, skim, foam, residue, lacing etc. Perfectly still looking.

S: Massive bourbon blast. Roasted malts. Oak and vanilla.

T: The taste is a different story as the bourbon really overpowered all the subtle flavors that make bourbon barrel-aged beers special. I just couldn't find the things that could have made this beer special.

M: Lightly carbonated (but in a good way). Nice booze burn at 12%.

D: In the end, there is just too much bourbon coming through in the flavor to make this more than a once in a blue moon beer. It took me quite a bit of time to finish my five ounce pour. Glad to get this on the cheap as opposed to shelling out for a big bottle that I'd struggle to finish.

10-27-2009 03:18:45 | More by callmemickey
The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,381 ratings.