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

1,556 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,556
Reviews: 650
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 11.45%
Wants: 562
Gots: 472 | FT: 38
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  12.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: scottoale on 08-23-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,556 | Reviews: 650 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nycwinter
3.23/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

375ml bottle poured into a snifter. Stamped near the bottom reads, "Bourbon 2010"

A= Not very carbonated, viscous, and no head to speak of. Black body with dark orange-brown hues where the light hits it at the rim of the glass.

S= Bourbon soaked raisins hit the nose first. Some sourness comes through as the glass is swirled.

T= Very sweet caramel malt and alcohol hotness in the beginning, middle, and end. There is some wild yeast earthiness mixed with sourness. Very barley wine like other than what the wild yeast adds to it.

M= Dry with mid-heavy viscosity makes this a sipper.

D=Not sure if I could do this again without a friend to share it with. Strike that...an angel to share it with.

Photo of jwswigs
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of Beerandboards
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of Chengyin
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of unclejazz
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of afksports
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

The bourbon-barrel aged Angel's Share is a beer from the "Saints and Sinners" brewery The Lost Abbey that also has its highs and lows. And the highs are high, the lows are low.

This is another one that reeks of bourbon. Pours smooth, looks dark, limited head initially that goes away totally by the middle of the glass. It's dark, dark dark, and has a brown hue that lets light through on the edges. Smells and tastes of bourbon, bites of alcohol, and malts complement the sharp edge to the end of the sip.

And that's what it is; a sipper. While it feels good going down, you just can't drink too much of this. And you certainly don't love the taste of it either - unless bourbon is your thing. For me, it's not. A Top100, yes it is. It's undeniably complex.

But not a Top100 for me. Especially at its price of acquisition.

(ps. the calories on this have got to be out of control!)

Photo of DarthGuitarHero
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of ne0m00re
3.3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 1 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

08/20/11- Had a 375mL bottle of this one.
A: Murky mahogany with no carbonation. Looks legitimately bad and flat.
S: Bourbon, nice woody character, cabernet sour and oxidized character. It is obviously not the intended beer, but it's decent.
T: Sweet molasses, some butter, pear and plum and raisins with an obvious bourbon kick. Again woody and oxidized. Pretty good.
M: Flat and thin.
O: Two wrongs kind of make a right here... it's flat and it's sour. Either one might have garnished a bad score alone but I don't mind flat sours. Chalk this up as my second experience of Flat Abbey.

Photo of JustinQ
3.3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

15.99 For 375 ml Bottle

Serving Type: Bottle poured into snifter

Appearence: dark dark red/ Light brown, cloudy. FLAT

Aroma: Bourbon straight. No malt or hops just straight up bourbon

Taste: Vanilla. oak. alcohol. Residual sweetness

Mouthfeel: Flat and thick

Overall: C. Good beer. not a fan of the co2 levels or the price.

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.33/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a Duvel tulip

A- pours black with no head at all. HOORAY FOR UNCARBONATED BEER! Thanks, Lost Abbey

S- bourbon. Dark fruits. Getting some toffee as well. Really, it smells pretty good

T- bourbon. Lots, and lots of bourbon. The finish is sweet from the vanilla and oak. The thing is...I can't make out any flavors that haven't been imparted into the beer from the barrel. It's not like I'm drinking a barrel aged stout, where I get some of the stout qualities....I'm just drinking a liquefied barrel.

M- syrupy. Super thick. Combine that with the barrel flavors are you're in to be overwhelmed

O- if you're a HUGE bourbon fan, this one is for you. I can't really touch hard liquor, so it's not for me. Definite sipper. Plus, I paid (I think) 16 bucks for a 375 mL bottle. That's insanity.

Photo of GuruDel
3.35/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

375ml bottle into a tulip, split 3 ways

A: Pitch black pour yields no head, no bubbles, like pouring cold black coffee into a glass. Definetly an 09.

S: Big boozy dark fruits, oak, vanilla and chocolate.

T: Taste was mainly boozy dark fruits but as it warmed up, oak and vanilla crept in with some dark chocolate at the finish. Once this got to room temperature it was sweet, so sweet that it was like drinking a glass of maple syrup.

M: No carb what so ever, dead flat which made this harder to drink. Syrupy consistence coats the mouth and lingers for some time.

O: a fine beer for sure, just wish it had carbonation. I will seek out other vintages.

Photo of HalfFull
3.35/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Corked 375 ml. bottle poured into a wine glass. The Angel's Share opens with a shy whisper and pours a deep flat brown. A bit of tan ring sits atop a hazy muddled mahogany pour and leaves some spots of lacing.

Nose is pleasant but pretty much limited to bourbon and oak along with a strong alcohol presence initially. Some light chocolate and caramelized cherry sit in back and only as the beer warms notably, yet still offering only moderate complexity.

Ditto on the flavor. Some fudgy chocolate up front and with a short and simple finish with a bit of bourbon flashing by en route. The beer warms to offer some chalky brown sugar and dark chocolate but the bourbon notes expand as well masking it to a degree.

Feel improves with warming, finishing with a bit of chocolate and brown sugar. Not as sweet as feared by viewing some other reviews, the beer drinks well for its heft.

Overall a largely mediocre beer that grew on me somewhat from start to finish but still doesn't make the grade even at half the price. Apparently I got the wrong vintage of sorts though I won't be risking such things again as for carbonation issues. I generally find that Lost Abbey beers seek sweet complexity through large amounts of simple unfermentable ingredients and this is no exception. And many nuances are lost in this route. And given the so oft light carbonation, what is the need for the expensive bottle I've heard many discussions about? Just put it in a simple bottle. Cheers.

Photo of megahurts4
3.35/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The Lost Abbey 2009 Angel's Share

Appearance: dark brown, no head, and no lacing.

Smell: slight oak and an odd dark musty aroma.

Taste: roasted caramel and vanilla extract.

Mouthfeel: medium.

Overall:
It seems similar to maple syrup. This bottle may have been aged too long, but the flavor is still intact. There was no carbonation at all. The smell was quite strong and seemed sour. But as I drink it, it grows on me and feels very earthy. It is also very strong. The taste is better than the aroma.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.38/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

375ml bottle, not sure what year though.

Pours a dark brown almost black color, not much head, more like some bubbles hanging out at the top that quickly go away, no lacing, although it is more lively than the brandy version.

Smell has a strong alcohol presence that's a bit astringent to the nose, behind it though is a fair amount of dark fruit and oak.

Taste has a huge punch of dark fruit, such as raisins and fig, and of course bourbon, unfortunately a lot of the complexities are burned out by the alcohol burn, it is severely hot, in fact my throat feels it the most, reminds me like I've taken some Robitussin or something, carbonation is quite soft but I wouldn't call it flat like the brandy or that it's detrimental in this case either, there's a good deal of barrel properties in this beer and for the most part I think they meld quite well unlike some other barrel aged beers I've had.

I have a feeling this would have been a good, maybe almost great, beer if it wasn't for the fact that the alcohol burn is so strong, that's what vodka shots are for. Maybe 3-5 years of age on this would have mellowed it out, emphasizing the maybe. Considering the cost though, I don't think I'll be picking any more up to try that experiment, plenty of better beers at cheaper prices.

Photo of rpstevens
3.38/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to overlord for the trade, poured from a 375ml bottle into a snifter.

The pour creates a thin mocha head on top of a deep brown/ruby/almost black body. The head fades very quickly, there is little carbonation on this brew. The lacing is oily, but slides down the glass quickly.

The smell is pretty one dimensional, it's mostly just the bourbon. If you are persistent there are some tobacco and chocolate notes, but they are pretty much drowned out by the bourbon/alcohol as well.

The taste is better than the smell would have indicated. There are some hints of dark fruits, chocolate and the barrel starts to come through and neutralize the bourbon a bit. The bourbon flavor is intense on this one though, a bit too much.

The mouthfeel is fine for the style, I don't think big strong ales and stouts have to be carbed up to be pleasurable, but a little carbonation wouldn't hurt either... The alcohol is very present throughout, this might get better with age, but all that bourbon might take over as well, it's hard to say. The intense bourbon and alcohol flavors make this a sipper, and not a beer that I am anxious to revisit.

Photo of joebrewer
3.4/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2008 vintage.

Served between 45-55 degrees as the tasting progressed.

Appearance of flat coca cola.

Smells of smoke and vanilla.

Full, sweet, and warm mouthfeel.

Tastes of vanilla, bourbon, and caramel. Only enough bitterning hops to balance. No hop flavor or aroma gets through. Wood and smoke linger through, some fruit in the middle.

Almost flat. I will remember to make sure to split this bottle at least 4 ways. More than a small glass is overwhelming.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.43/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2010 release on tap a couple of times at the Rose & Crown, once at Gourmet Haus Staudt since my girlfriend wanted to try it.

A: Pours a very dark maroon body. There is some light penetration at the edges. A small half-finger of light beige foam caps the beer, breaking into thin islands of scattered film within a minute. No lacing.

S: Great aroma, though it's more bourbon-forward than last year's. Lots of caramel/bourbon, vanilla, oak. After some agitation and sniffing I can finally make out other aspects that are overwhelmed by the barrel: raisins, caramel, chocolate. A sting of booze. Too barrel-dominated to merit a stronger rating.

T: Bourbon dominates. Vanilla and oak are also quite strong. The barrel really took over on this flavor. I eventually pick out raisins, dates, and chocolate. Bourbon and vanilla resurgence in the finish. Quite solid, though it definitely appeals to people who enjoy bourbon bombs.

M: Medium-full bodied. It has quite a bit of heat from the barrel dominance. Good carbonation levels, good coating.

D: This beer just isn't for me. It's over-barreled and isn't worth the cost. I gave it enough tries, you all can have my share.

Photo of Crosling
3.43/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown color with a full head. Hard to get much out of the nose at all. Velvety mouth feel with a smooth texture. Not very complex overall, with out nuance or depth. It does have a nice hint of dried chocolate on the finish, but other than that, there isn't a lot of describable character. Good, solid ale. I have found these new versions of angels share beers to be just ok, both the latest batches are not as good as the original batch at GABF 2006.

Photo of yemenmocha
3.43/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Corked bottle opened up without much sound and the virtually-uncarbonated black ale poured into my two large snifters. No head whatsoever, which ruined the appearance for me.

Nose has a delightful aroma of bourbon and roasted malt, perhaps with some very dark chocolate and/or coffee bean.

Flavors are good with a bright and sweet bourbon flavor that mixes well with the roasty/chocolately malt.

Mouthfeel is ruined with the lack of carbonation.

Drinkability suffers because it has no carbonation. It's like drinking wine or some other beverage than beer that isn't carbonated. Like many others, I want my $30 back.

Photo of safaricook
3.44/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Palm snifter.

body is dark brown but clear and looks oily when poured into the glass. No head at all or carbonation visible.

smell is of oxidized (tawny) port, oak and bourbon

taste is port, oak, vanilla, dominating sourness in the aftertaste

no carbonation sensed, body is thick and oily, warming alcohol

Boy, I do not know what to make of this. On the nose it is very much like drinking an aged portwine and also in the mouthfeel as there is no carbonation. I do like that, but what I don't like is the sour aftertaste. It makes the whole experience unbalanced. Infected? Big dissapointment.

Just read the other reviews and saw that they do have some carbonation. Therefore I guess mine has somehow gone bad. Sad.

Photo of haazer
3.45/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2nd beer at the Blue Dog while awaiting the CBS raffle.

A- Dark brown brew, not quite black. Not much light, but I do see few bubbles rising up the glass. Very tiny amount of cola head fizzes away to nothing.

S- Burning hot bourbon, with a bit of mellowing vanilla. Buried under the bourbon is some oak, more booze, and faint resinous hops. I found myself searching for these.

T- Not a whole lot in this. Vanilla, bourbon, dark fruits and some wood. All the flavors are subtle, and no real standout.

M- Medium to full bodied brew with almost no carbonation, very low. One plus is there isn't much heat in the mouth from this abv.

O- I was a little let down by this. It was decent, but I was expecting more. This was the 2010 version and the bourbon was still pretty strong. I was tempted to splurge the cash on a bottle before, but glad I never did.

Photo of Zorro
3.48/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

No carbonation, had to pry the cork out.

Flat brown colored ale without any head whatsoever.

Strong bourbon smell and vanilla with a really strong fig aroma. Fruit scents of cherries and pineapples.

Starts out sweet and boozy with a strong whiskey flavor and a little grape and fig in it. Very strong on the fig flavor almost to the point of annoyance. Patent malt is present but the booze obliterates it.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall this is just average. The lack of carbonation just kills this.

Photo of nhindian
3.48/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

375ml bottle poured into a snifter. Big thanks to russwbeck for sharing this, thanks Russ!

A - This beer looks pretty much identical to the brandy version. The color is somewhere between muddy swamp water and the first hint of darkness after the sun goes down. Neither of these bottles opened with so much as a pop after uncaging them. No head or lacing to be seen with this version either.

S - For how good the nose on the brandy version was, this one is even better. There are big notes of chocolate and vanilla that complement each other nicely. The barrel is more subtle here than in the brandy version, but the big kicker for this aroma is a ton of coconut. I'm not sure where it's coming from, but I'm getting a lot of coconut here. Compared to the brandy version, this beer is slightly more boozy.

T - After first sampling the brandy version first, I was bracing myself for a letdown of epic proportions with the taste. Much to my fortune, I was rewarded with a beer that wasn't a complete mess. There are bold flavors of chocolate and coffee here, and the bourbon is sweet and imparts an almost dark fruit characteristic to the flavor. However, much like the brandy, it's rather flat and doesn't help at all. Slightly more of an alcohol kick at the end, but I feel the 12.00% is hidden nicely.

M - The mouthfeel here is again flat and lifeless. It does feel a bit more robust in the mouth than the brandy, but I'm not sure if its because of the fuller flavors as it doesn't seem to have significantly more carbonation. It's strange having the flavors of a full-bodied stout without the mouthfeel to match.

D - Drinkability is moderate. Leagues ahead of the brandy version, but the complete lack of carbonation is a killer for me. I would never think carbonation would make that much of a difference for a beer of this size and style, but it absolutely does. Halfway through I was contemplating mixing it with a mild stout to force some into it, but didn't have anything cold...

Photo of thain709
3.48/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Vintage 2008

A - This beer pours a deep and thick brown body...it's not black but a very dark brown...there was absolutely no head...actually a few spots of faint lace did show up

S - The oak aroma really filled the nose...bourbon and vanilla were mixed in there...some notes of dark fruits (raisins and dates)...a nice chocolate aroma

T - The flavors really worked well together until the bourbon/alcohol presence took over...a sweet vanilla flavor hits you up front and mellows out into the sweet caramel flavor of dates...the bourbon flavor takes over midway through the beer and took away all of the other flavors for me...if the oak characteristic was tuned down a bit it would have worked better

M - Full bodied...smooth and chewy...leaves a linger chocolate flavor that creeps up a minute or two after you swallow

D - I shared this bottle on my birthday which was an awesome birthday present...but I was left a little disappointed...the beer starts off with nice flavors but the oak (bourbon) age just got to me

Photo of JDV
3.48/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Not nearly as good as the regular Angel's Share, in my opinion. Pours a dark cola color with light tan colored super fizzy head. Bottle gushed upon opening too. Smell is vanilla, raisin, bourbon and sweet malt. Taste is similar, but much more mild than the standard angel's share which was really rich and strongly flavored. The carbonation was way too high in this body and it just foamed in the mouth, which drives me nuts. Overcarbonated and underflavored.

The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,556 ratings.