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
94
outstanding

660 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 660
Hads: 1,686
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 7.6%
Wants: 586
Gots: 513 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 660 | Hads: 1,686
Photo of hophead247
4.64/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It was carbonated....Dark brown in color with a tan head. Aroma: Bourbon, molasses, dark fruits, and vanilla. Taste: alot of molasses, bourbon, chocolate, dark fruits, oak and vanilla. Body is big but the beer is actually very smooth. Alcohol is moderate in the finish. I've been wanting to try this for a long time...with carbonation that is, and it did not disappoint... (372 characters)

Photo of drseamus
4.64/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I want this beer brought up on charges of attempted murder. As I was preparing to open the beer I got barely two twists off on the cage and it struck. The cork blew out of the bottle breaking the cage on the way. If my face had been in the way I would have been immediately killed.

A: Dark brown with a nice mocha head.

S: Bourbon first and foremost. Brown sugar, plum, and a touch of raisin follow. Slight must basement character.

T: SUPER SMOOTH. This has aged beautifully. On tap initially it had too much bourbon but it seems to smoothed out considerably and lost the heat. The bourbon is only there for flavor now and doesn't burn at all. Nice malty/sugary sweetness with dark fruits. More fruit in the nose than the flavor though.

M: Super smooth. Butter.

D: Why did Lost Abbey go from 750's to 375's? Those cheap bastards. (834 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage 375ml bottle. Pours into my glass a deep dark rich brown with a inch of creamy bubbly light tan head on top as well. The cork popped quite loudly here and I was glad I had a glass nearby! Aromas start with a deep, rich roasted maltiness with raisins, figs, dark fruit, caramel and molasses all in play. Enticing and flowing trails of vanilla and bright, woody oak accents. Big bourbon wafts up into the nose.

First sip brings a lush, somewhat sweet rich maltiness that is lightly roasted. Notes of raisins, cocoa, brown sugar and caramelized sugars. Vibrant vanilla flavors cavort with hints of dark fruits. As it flows down woody oak flavors kiss the palate and make me envision barrels of this amazing beer lying patiently at wait in the Lost Abbey brewery waiting for just the right moment to be released from its wooden confinement. Smooth bourbon shines through on the finish and the alcohol is nearly non-existent here. A deeply complex and insanely tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and has somewhat of a creaminess to it as well. This is quite carbonated and personally I think the carbonation is a little overdone here. Overall though, it's intensely complex, warming and contemplative. Definitely a sipper, but one I could sip all night. An amazing beer that I would recommend any day of the week! (1,327 characters)

Photo of prototypic
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to Adam for sending me this one. Flat out phenomenal beer. Thank you.

Appearance: It pours a very dark mahogany color. There's a hint of red peaking around the edges. Carbonation is extremely active and yields a nearly four finger deep head that's mocha brown in color. It was extremely slow to dissipate and left an excellent coat of lace on the glass.

Smell: This is a very unique and excellent aroma. It's very malty and features a refined bourbon smell. The bourbon appears to be perfectly blended and the nose suggests it plays a more subtle, complementary role rather than simply overwhelming the other scents and flavors. This is my preference for the style and the aroma has created extremely high expectations. There are some light spicy notes as well as a distinct toffee aroma. It certainly has an oak/wood chip scent. Light vanilla and dark fruit round it out.

Taste: With the nose raising my expectations even further, the flavor delivers and then some. Wow! This is one hell of a fine tasting beer. It's malty and sweet up front. It has a unique toffee flavor that distinguishes it a little from other releases of this style. The bourbon flavor emerges and is a near carbon copy of the nose. It's extremely well blended and complementary in nature. Vanilla and light spice flavors really open it up. It's very complex and tasty. Oak, light dark fruit, and very faint roasted coffee flavors emerge on the tail. Finishes sweet with a slight alcohol warming.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied. Feels a little thinner than I prefer. This would be an absolute knockout if the feel were just a little smoother. It just lacks that ultra-creamy smooth feel that I was hoping for. Carbonation is high and active, but doesn't negate the feel. Drinkability is extremely high. At 12%, it's very strong. But, alcohol is barely noticeable and it's difficult to savor. It's just too damn tasty.

I had high expectations for this one and they've actually been exceeded. It's hard to find any fault in this beer. My one small criticism is that it needs to be a tad thicker and have the feel smoothed out a little. Nevertheless, Lost Abbey has crafted a world class beer with this one. You must find it...somehow, someway. (2,243 characters)

Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WTF! is all I can say as the cork shoots out of the bottle almost breaking the light at the top of my ceiling. I cant say that I was not warned though.

Crazy carbonation flows a four finger rich tan head over the top of the glass. Body is of the blackest brown in color. Nose is delecious with toffee, molases and lovely oak infused bourbon. Waves of lace are left as the head fades. A mix of creamy carbonation carries carmalized richness into the mouth with first sip. Tasty buttered rum and toffee tones meet with lots of sweet dark fruit on the palate. Alchol tones are very well hidden except for the ways the flavors properly bring them out. This beer drinks better and smooths as it warms. Mouthfeel is a bit thick and chorolately like a bourbon truffel. Superbly drinkable. (782 characters)

Photo of YonderWanderer
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours from a 350ml bottle, and man, it's a gusher. Even out of the fridge, it still flows freely from the bottle. A steady pour kept it under control, but still yielded three fingers of cream-colored, bubbly foam. Body is almost black, with no light coming through. Held up to a light, a hint of red is around the edge.

S: Lots of dark fruit in the nose, some wood, some vanilla, a shade of bourbon, bread and dough, even a hint of chocolate perhaps. Fantastic.

T: This brew is most certainly not overrated. The taste is incredibly complex. Dark fruits, big caramel malt, brown sugar, molasses, bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, and more all combine into a wonderful burst of flavor. I don't even know how to begin to describe it. Rich and strong, but delicious.

M: Smooth and viscous, with a bit of heat from the alcohol coming through.

D: While it is certainly not a session ale, it's a fantastic brew overall. Wish it was brewed more frequently and easier to get, but I'm just happy I got to try it once. (1,017 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Release, received in trade from aromatorio and OldSock. Thanks a bunch for a chance to try these brews! Poured into my Duvel tulip

A: The cork comes off with a resounding pop and into my glass, this brew goes! Deep reddish brown with a gorgeous 3-finger latte-colored head. Plenty of lace too.

S: Deliciously complex. This one starts off with a moderate bourbon note with a solid oak note. The oak is fairly strong and makes me think it was rather fresh. Underneath lies a hint of vanilla and a complex malt profile with figs and prunes. There's a hint of tobacco too. Very, very good - very well balanced

T: Starts off a complex mixture of bourbon, oak, brown sugar, dried figs and apricots. Mildly tannic. Medium bodied but dries up incredibly on the finish with some alcohol heat.

M: Excellent - great carbonation and a wonderfully dry finish

D: I'm savoring this one immensely and for the ABV, I really have to hold myself back

**Edit 01 May 2010**

Drinking my last bottle of this batch (2008), and I have to say that it hasn't changed too much. Still very bourbon-forward up front with some vanilla and coconut working brilliantly with the tobacco and dark fruit. The booze has died down a touch, but good god, this is a brilliant beer! Bravo, Tomme! (1,267 characters)

Photo of grumpy
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Holy cow! I can’t even begin to follow CharlesDarwin’s review. There nothing left to cover! So, I’ll just say that this is a huge, complex, delicious Barley Wine. If you hopheads that like your American BWs to be 1st cousin to an I2PA could pull yourselves away for one moment and give this stuff a whirl….

Yes, it’s worth the price. (341 characters)

Photo of SQNfan
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured mahogany in color with a creamy head. The nose was nicely complex with scents of roasted malts, vanilla, chocolate, dark fruit and a slight herbalness. The palate is similarly complex and medium to full-bodied with great richness and balance. There is plenty of carbonation to keep this deep beer fresh. Aging should allow this to mellow out a bit and be potentially perfect for my palate. (401 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.66/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It arrived in my latest Sinners club box(2009). Put in fridge for a while to cool things down.

I have to wedge the cork out of the bottle and....pop! The cork hit the ceiling!

It pours a very very dark brown with a small and quickly disappearing head of foam. Now there's just a ring of foam around the glass and no lacing.

The smell is big bourbon, with dark fruit, vanilla, more bourbon, and some sweetish caramel like malt notes. It smells very inviting though I do notice the ample alcohol in this monster of a brew.

The taste starts with the bourbon goodness followed by mucho malt sweetness, vanilla and oaky tones, some toffee, and both milk(sweet) and dark(bitter) chocolate. Wow! This has some killer flavours and I can definitely feel some warming from the alcohol but hell, I'm home and I'm not planning on going anywhere tonight so I can sit and sip and enjoy.;^)

The mouthfeel is medium bordering on thick and the carbonation is light but works nicely. It finishes full of bourbon with a bit of bitterness. I think this is another brew that a wine fancier could enjoy. Hell, I betcha a Bourbon drinker would find this right up his/her alley.

Drinkability? This one is not for timid! The full flavour demands your attention but take it slow and easy, dagnabit, so you can really enjoy the session. That being said, the 375ml didn't take me all that long to finish. Dammit.

Edit: 2010 Edition

A small pop when I removed the cork, it has the same colour but there's over an inch of tannish foam and plenty of lacing. No comparison to the 2009.

Smell and taste are, thankfully, right up there with my review of 2009. No change.

Mouthfeel gets a bump thanks to the slight but still very noticeable increase in carbonation. Just a better mouthfeel overall.

Drinkability? It's still a strong brew at 12%abv and there is nothing one can do about that but like the 2009, it is just as good a sipper. No change. (1,926 characters)

Photo of Beersnake1
4.66/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was poured at 59 degrees into a snifter.

It poured black with a finger of head. The first smell was amazing. Completely took me off guard. Overwhelming sweet smells of brandy, caramel, prunes, and liquor.

Taste did not disappoint. Strong hints of caramel, port, brandy, and dark fruit. Absolutely amazing.

Overall, this is an amazing beer. It's one of my favorites, if not my favorite. I picked up a couple of extras, so I look forward to trying this again in a year or so. (483 characters)

Photo of RomanW70
4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Great thanks to Jwale73 for sharing is absurdly great beer! Pours black with a minimal head. Nose is absurd, maybe the best I've ever O smelled it for about 10 minutes. Vanilla, caramel, toffee, oak, bourbon, and dark fruits. Taste is excellent as well, incredibly rich and complex, with maple, toffee, bourbon, vanilla, and raisins dancing in a thick, rich goodness. Finish has some alcohol, but nicley balanced by a little sweet and a little bitter. Just a wonderful beer. (474 characters)

Photo of flayedandskinned
4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage
Poured into a standard tulip glass.

Appearance: (4.75)
Pours a deep, cloudy, dark brown that verges on black. A gigantic, frothy, tightly bubbled, 3 fingers tall, khaki head shoots out of the viscous liquid almost immediately and lasts an absolutely incredible length of time. I've never seen a high ABV, barrel aged beer have head that was for one, this tall and lasted this long. As it finally recedes, it leaves thick sheets of lacing along the edges of the glass, again highly unusual for such a high ABV, barrel aged beer. Absolutely outstanding.

Aroma: (4.5)
Wow. Waves and waves of bourbon drifts up from the depths of the dark, alluring beer. The spicy bourbon character takes on subtle nuances of vanilla and light coconut. Underneath the massive barrel character, there are sizable notes of toffee, figs, plums, rum soaked cherries and caramel. for nearly 13%, the alcohol is very well masked, by the sweet malt character.

Taste: (4.75)
Sweet cherries upfront, with big, dark fruits not far behind; mostly more of the fig and the plum that is found in the nose. Underneath the juicy notes of fruit there is a solid, sweet wall of rich toffee and silky, milk chocolate. While this somewhat bread-y malt backbone is sweet, it never comes close to being cloying. The beer finish off dry from the high ABV and leaves resounding, lingering notes of sweet fig, cherry plum, toffee, powdered cocoa and bread. There are massive bourbon barrel notes in the finish as well; vanilla and faint coconut. The alcohol is hidden massively well, wow.

Mouthfeel: (5)
Robust and full mouthfeel with a delightfully, creamy, silky smooth body. Hides the alcohol extraordinarily well. Consistent, moderate to high carbonation. High drinkability.

Overall: (4.5)
Wow! This is an absolutely incredible beer, really hits on all cylinders! Huge, bourbon character in both the nose and in the taste, the base beer is an incredible example of a barleywine and the mouthfeel is up there with some of the best beers I've ever had. Extremely little alcohol in the taste. I've heard that Lost Abbey has had some problems with carbonation in this beer before, but rest assured, there is NO issue with this year's vintage. It's 100% ready to drink now. Buy this asap. (2,264 characters)

Photo of bort11
4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

mikesgroove sent this with Fight Club: Project Mayhem BIF. Thank you so much Mike.

12.7 oz corked and caged bottle. I split this with my wife. I'm such a nice guy. Once the cork popped, there was a slow gusher of foam. I poured into an Ommegang tulip. Very active head for a higher ABV beer. Color is a dark khaki, very slow to recede. Color is a murky chocolate brown.

Smell is WOW!. Very sweet, but never cloying. There is toasted coconut, brown sugar, wood, smoke. Very bold aroma. Taste is equally bold. Coconut is really standing out. That is a rare flavor in a beer. I've only come across it a few times. As it warms more spices come through. Dark candied ginger, still very woody.

Mouthfeel is a little on the light side, and the carbonation could calm down a little bit. However the flavor and smell makes up for any faults there. This is an absolutely fantastic beer.

Blipped "Angel" by Massive Attack (914 characters)

Photo of bhalter8
4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My 100th review needed to be special, so here it is, courtesy of piclee, thanks for the trade (a while back now). This also my home beer, before heading off to my birthday party, what great timing! I have stored this one in a fridge, in a paper bag, in my basement, to make sure it would stay in as good of condition as possible. I am not let down.
Pours a deep brown color with tan colored head resting atop. Within the dark brew is some slight, murky particles. I am a little surprised by how dark it is, to be honest, but the head, and associated pop when uncorked relieved all carbonation concerns I had.
The bourbon aroma is right there, but it is not alone, as other bourbon barrel aged beers can be. There is a sweet caramel and dark fruit background that blends together quite nicely in this brew.
That taste follows suit, as far as complexity goes. The bourbon is pronounced, but this beer is far more complex than that. That sweet caramel smell is there in the flavor, along with brown sugar, I think, its not all caramel for sure. A slight vanilla hint, adds to the sweetness, as well. The dark fruits, raisins and prunes, add to the cornucopia of flavors in this beer.
The carbonation gives it a definitive zest in your mouth, but I must commend them on concealing the boozy alcohol that would normally accompany a 12% bourbon barrel aged beer.
Again, well concealed, so incredibly drinkable for the style, but to drink too quickly would probably rob you of enjoying all that is going on in this beer. I see now, why this beer is worthy of such lofty praise. (1,572 characters)

Photo of steadydose
4.69/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

375 ml bottle 2009 version

Cork came out with an audible pop, Co2 mist escapes from the bottle. I usually don't smell the cork, but the aroma that came out of the bottle, prompted me to take a whiff. The smell of chocolate and bourbon were easily recognizable, this is going to be good.

Beer is dark brown, carbonation is evident with bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass. No lasting head, just a little froth around the edges of the glass, looks like a creamier coca cola.

The aroma is where this beer shines. Smell is wonderful. A mix of bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, and toffee. Just an overall sweet aroma, which grows more complex as the beer warms.

The taste follows the smell with bourbon, vanilla, slight bitterness. This beer finishes with some heat. Lots of bourbon flavor, damn good.

Mouthfeel is nice. My bottle is definetly carbonated, prickly on the toungue at first then beer ends up with a soft and creamy mouthfeel.

Smelling and savoring this beer is an absolute treat. Deep, luxurious, and delicious all come to mind when I think of describing this beer. One of my favorites of 2009, I can't imagine this beer gets any better with age, luckily I have a few more bottles to find out. (1,211 characters)

Photo of coalclear
4.69/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I don't usually review beers (this is my 1st review) but I thought I might try it out as this beer is definitely something worth talking about.

Poured into my Delirium Tremens tulip, basically no head, no smoke or visible carbonation and only a tiny pop from the cork. The appearance is nothing special really, a reddish hint in brown with no foamage to speak of.

The smell is wine. Pure unadulterated wine. I've never smelt a beer that smelt exactly like wine. Hints of chocolate and sweets are in there as well. But then comes the wine again. Fantastic.

First sip. And now I realize that this is one of those beers that just hits you like an anvil. After that first sip I knew it's now one of my favorite beers and can appreciate why it's so highly appreciated. This beer just a waterfall of dessert. At first I taste fudge, then wine, then a hint of caramel, and then all the flavors mesh and I'm left with one of the best desertif's I can think of. And then I get the bourbon aftertaste, haha awesome. Now I smell like I've been drinking whisky all night. Seriously this beer is a stunner. One of the most smile-inducing drinks I've had since Speedway Stout.

The mouthfeel is thick and smooth, can't beat that. Not a lot of carbonation, and I wouldn't have it otherwise.

Drinkability is a funny category to judge. It definitely isn't a session beer because of the high abv, but then again I'd probably take one of these bottles over 3 bottles of hoeggarden or something other. Furthermore it really isn't one of those beers that's so sweet and dessert like that you'd get sick of after too many.

Not much else to say. It's a shame it's one of the highest priced brews out there, but then again only now do I see why. If you're one who hasn't pulled the trigger because of the price you should definitely try it at least once, and make sure you have a big slice of tiramisu to go with it - I guarantee you'll be in your own little happy place. (1,954 characters)

Photo of rudylaw
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Local Option

Pitch black, with a light brown, foamy head.

Smells divine! Very sweet with oaken qualities. There is a bourbon bite along with some vanilla.

It tastes even better! There is a strong alcohol presence but the bourbon isn't as overwhelming as I thought it would be. There are dark fruit skins here, some vanilla notes and chocolate.

This is a sipper but just a little thin in the mouthfeel for me. Also, you cannot do more than 2 helpings of this in a night. It'll floor you... as it did me. Just an awesome, all-around beer! (551 characters)

Photo of MiScusi
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- very dark brown, cola colored as you see the liquid being poured. Light tan head, that gets pretty creamy when it settles down from that huge carbonation in the bottle.

S- At first, being poured cold, I get a big amount of raisin, and some chocolate. As it warms up and the carbonation is worked out of it a lot more chocolate, molasses and wood come out of it with a touch of fruitiness.

T- As expected the flavors really change from going from cold to warmer. This really needs to be consumed warmer and when a good deal of the carbonation is worked out of it. At that point you get lots of chocolate , a little fruit, and finishes with some woody tannins. The sweetness is just amazing in this beer but it's leveled out by the alcohol and the tannins.

M- as highly carbonated as this is, it really levels out fairly fast as it warms up. Getting past the carbonation, the body of this beer is surprisingly light. Quadrupels usually seem relatively light to me when thinking about how massively flavored and high alcohol they are, but Angel's Share reminds me of a Quadrupel in that regard.

D- I wouldn't drink strong ales all the time, but this specific one I could drink any time. It's so flavorful and an amazing experience. (1,235 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml corked & caged bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a extremely dark brown/pretty much black with quite the foamy heat off a aggressive pour but it doesn't take too long to settle down to the point where I can get enough in the glass to properly check out the look of this guy. The final head stands about 2 fingers or so of foamy light caramel colored head. ½ finger of retention that's more creamy in nature than the initial pour and flares up quite nicely when swirled, leaving a fantastic thick cascade of lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is a strong waft of Bourbon right off the bat that melds extremely well into silky sweet notes of cocoa powder, toffee, a touch of dark fruit tang, and maybe even some floral tones underneath. There is also an unmistakable sniff of heat that intermingles with the other flavors.

The taste is full of rich notes of sweetness, including caramel, toffee, and chocolate that encapsulated in thick Bourbon notes. The blending and balance of this is just phenomenal, with neither the Bourbon nor the other flavors of sweetness taking control at any given time. It finishes sweet and a touch warm as it clears the palette and heads down the throat. The mouthfeel feels fuller bodied at first up front but then a smoother and creamier carbonation takes control, polishing out the feel, and making this immensely drinkable. Warmth is imparted by both the ABV and Bourbon character but is never stinging and doesn't interfere at all with the majority of what is going on with other flavors. As a matter of fact the richness and balance if so good, that I sometimes have a hard time picking up a hint of the ABV at all.

This is another perfectly crafted work of art from the Lost Abbey. It's just one of those beers that is so rich, complex, and well balanced that it's easy to get lost in its awesomeness, and then because of its' fantastic quaffability, not realize that it's all gone until your licking the last drop out of the glass. Extremely well done! I loved every drop! (2,033 characters)

Photo of GreenWBush
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2007.

Thanks go out to Shane for this bottle, an extra to beat all extras. I still owe that dude more than the, uh, Oatis that was my Cherry Adam extra in our trade. Bygones.

After reading myriad threads about this beer, I started to think obsessively about the bottle I got 4 or 5 months ago. With the riff-raff / brouhaha / shitstorm that surrounded the most recent release I figured it more than an apt time to stop imagining the beer, wondering when I should present it to a crowd of beer geeks, waiting for a solar eclipse, etc, and got down to drinking it.

Nervously, I thought about it from time to time - all the reviews made it seem like such a crapshoot - and when I finally decided to pul the trigger, it chilled all day at low temps. I popped it, and to my happy surprise it was not a gusher and it was not [at all] dead. Go.

Just a gorgeous beer, both in my snifter and my wife's. I never know why, but beers coming from those gorgeously and generally ridiculously priced 12.7 oz bottles just seem to contain more than a regular 12oz. Can't be. Deep, mysteriously murky, and as brown as you get before you run smack into black. Endless lace tides.

Nose is silken vanilla, treacle, malt syrup, and whispy strikes of peaty alcohol. Smells rich, if that's possible, and envelops you with aroma alone.

Holy crap raisin-bomb. Welcome to the Mellow Meldo-Rama! Everything is perfectly balanced, and has its place: oak, soft vanilla tannins, even the alcohol bite just fits. Only thing keeping this beer from perfection is the tiniest touch of 'off' sweetness that hits just as all the other ingredients fade. How that can the avoided with such a huge beer? The oak also really adds to the potentially lopsided English BW maltiness.

Drinkability is about as good as you could hope for in a beer this big, but it does go down better than even what I expected. Wish this would never end.

There's been some serious chatter about this brewery, and some of the rumors are disturbing. But I can only review what comes from the bottles I've had, and I've never had a bad bottle. Actually I've never had anything less than an exceptional bottle... (2,154 characters)

Photo of natelocc787
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage.

Angels Share is a fitting name for this heavenly ale. Tiny head but no head needed for this fine sipper. When then chalice was tilted only slightly, it took literally almost 30 seconds for the last bubbles to reach the surface. And I only tilted it enough to show a 1/4 inch of lace. A lexicon of flavors show in the nose and taste, one of the most complex and well crafted brews I've come across. Molasses, figs, caramelized candi sugar, plum, chocolate covered dark cherries and bourbon. Much more. Carbonation was low and the mouthfeel was pure velvet. Perfect. I'm on my way to grab more this weekend, don't be scared to drink it fresh, I know it can be cellar'd but it's hard to imagine an improvement over this. (732 characters)

Photo of Brob245
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - a deep murky dark sepia with no head or lacing as expected.

Smell - very strong, you can smell the oak. Hints of vanilla and sweets dark fruits.

Taste - Wow, loads of flavors. Vanilla, chocolate with a healthy dose of bourbon with an earthy finish.

Mouthfeel - medium carbonation but still very drinkable for the alcohol content.

Overall - again WOW. A rich complex beer that's definitely worth a try. (419 characters)

Photo of lackenhauser
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep, deep brown color-poured from the bottle a beautiful burgundy. Small head gone all too quickly. Sweet smelling-very port and raisen like. Wonderfully deep and rich flavor. Great notes of vanilla and oak. Noticeable alcohol flavors. Whiskey like flavors as well. Very smooth and creamy considering the abv. Lingering whiskey bite on the tongue. Very impressive beer. Night cap describes it all. Many thanks to callenak for this treat from Secret Santa 2006. Best US strong I have had-period. (495 characters)

Photo of Radome
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12.7 oz cork-stopped bottle.

L - Deepest brown without being black. No light gets through. Very little head, mostly just wispy swirls on the surface and an off-white ring around the glass. Light Belgian lace.

S - Aromas of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, tobacco, oak. Hops are not obvious, but might be present intermixed with the tobacco aroma. No overt yeast notes. Light whiskey-tinged alcohol aromatics.

T - The flavors follow the aromas, but with some fruitiness as well. Coffee; chocolate milk; light plums; vanilla; coconut. There is a low aged, oxidized character similar to soy sauce, but it fits with the other flavors rather than detracting. Somewhat dry finish.

F - Thick body. Low carbonation. Surprisingly low alcohol burn for the ABV. Bracing hop bitterness, but not over the top.

O - This is an incredibly rich and complex beer. I t emphasizes rounded qualities from aging over the direct oak or whiskey it was aged in. (965 characters)

The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 660 ratings.