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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

1,639 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,639
Reviews: 660
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 11.21%
Wants: 577
Gots: 509 | FT: 42
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: 1,639 | Reviews: 660
Photo of crossovert
3.22/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12.7 oz corked and caged brown bottle. 2010 vintage. 12.5% alcohol.

It pours a dark brown with a fizzy off-white head that never gets very large and dissipates immediately with no lacing.

The smell is dominated by bourbon through and through. There are hints of oak, alcohol, and fruits. It isn't super complex, mainly bourbon. There is a hint of chocolate that hints in but never becomes super noticeable.

The bourbon dominates the flavor, though it isn't as alcoholic as I was expecting. It has some caramel, vanilla, and oak, but that is about it. There is some walnuttiness that comes through, almost like a stale maibock in the finish I was hoping for something with more complexity, this is basically bourbon flavored beer.

The bottle was overpriced, it is a bit overhyped.

Photo of ne0m00re
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%
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 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 DarthGuitarHero
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of JustinQ
3.26/5  rDev -23.8%
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 AstroAcks6
3.26/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-- Cork barely popped, jet black, tiny head that disappeared immediately

S- Strongly bourbon and oak nose. Some vanilla as well. The smell on this one is amazing!

T- Total bourbon with oak notes. No malt, definitely no hops.

M- Coats the tongue for a moment. Alcohol sticks.

O-- Completely unbalanced but a barrel-aged lovers dream. Pricey for what you get. Worth trying but I'll stick with GI BCBS

Photo of megahurts4
3.28/5  rDev -23.4%
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 afksports
3.32/5  rDev -22.4%
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 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 deltatauhobbit
3.35/5  rDev -21.7%
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 GuruDel
3.37/5  rDev -21.3%
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 Crosling
3.37/5  rDev -21.3%
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 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 yemenmocha
3.38/5  rDev -21%
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 HalfFull
3.39/5  rDev -20.8%
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 joebrewer
3.43/5  rDev -19.9%
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 spointon
3.44/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I poured this from a 750ml brown bottle (2008 vintage) into a St. Bernardus chalice glass. As I eased the cork from this bottle I could tell there was no pressure inside the bottle helping to push the cork out...and alas this turned out to be one of the infamous uncarbonated examples of Angel's Share.

A= Poured a slightly murky blackish brown color. With a super hard pour I was not able raise any sort of head. Completely still beer. No lacing at all.

S= The aroma of this ale was very boozy and filled with dark, sweet, malty notes. There were also some nice vanilla and oak character in there as well, but this was harder to find in the wash of bourbon.

T= Similar to the nose. Started off with sweet dark malts and caramel then the bourbon kicked in and brought some light vanilla with it. No hops to speak of. Lots of alcohol throughout leading into a somewhat hot finish. Lots of chest-warming alcohol aftereffects.

MF= Medium bodied, with zero carbonation. The flatness gave this a thin and watery feel.

D= The no carbonation thing is a huge flaw in this beer, but it had its moments. The ABV makes this a sipper either way. I would love to try this again if it was properly carbonated.

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 Arbitrator
3.45/5  rDev -19.4%
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 safaricook
3.46/5  rDev -19.2%
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 PhxHorn
3.46/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I saved this one for 4 months at 75° waiting for it to carbonate. the cork came out without a pop. It pours a dark cloudy brown, with the slightest of bubbles clawing their way to the surface. Tastes of malt, caramel, coffee, bourbon. A great and powerful combination of flavors. Too bad the carbonation is barely present. There is a hint of head around the edge and on the glass when I tilt it, so there is a little bit, but not much. A major flaw in a great beer. Took me 75 minutes to get through this one, just because it's such a heavy flavor and heavy alcohol and flat. I was pretty tipsy when I was done, and my wife was under the table. We had a good time drinking this, though, and that's what was important. Some bubbles and this would be a great one. Too bad the bubbly guys are missing.

Photo of jim1904
3.48/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

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.

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The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,639 ratings.