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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

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States | website

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.50%

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.

Added by scottoale on 08-23-2006

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Reviews: 677 | Ratings: 1,795
Photo of larryarms847
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a silky rusty brown with a solid fluffy finger of off-white foam.

Raisin, fig, plum, candied sugar, caramel, vanilla, oak, and bourbon.

Caramelized sugar and candy like sweetness along with toffee, dates, vanilla, barrel, and sweet bourbon.

Medium-heavy bodied, low-medium carbonation, chewy, sticky sweet, warming.

Overall, BBA strong ales have really grown on me and this is another truly outstanding example.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown pour. World class head volume, lacing and retention.

Borderline world class very complex nose of charred oak, candied dark fruit (plum, raisin), bourbon, light notes of tobacco and leather, caramel and prune over a slightly sweet malt base.

Medium body with a smooth texture that has some creaminess. Superb carbonation that is well balanced with the body providing a bit of effervescence in the middle and a nice burst in the finish.

The flavor profile is borderline world class, especially for 12.5% ABV. Survive the onslaught of the first few sips and you will be in for quite a treat after your palate normalizes. Alcohol astringency is very well covered with just a bit emerging in the finish. Balance is world class, for a beer of this strength and it is a brewing masterpiece. A lot goes on in this complex beer, yet each element has its moment on the stage. Bourbon never leaves the palate but ebbs and flows allowing others to pop to the surface. A sweet bourbon leads off then flows into caramel by the middle. Here the other flavors of the nose arrive in roughly the following order: tobacco and leather, oak - which lingers, dark fruits and finally prune. The finish delivers a final crescendo of rich caramel that ebbs as bourbon lingers in the remarkable slightly dry finish. A little heat at the back of the throat, but far less than typical for an ale of this strength.

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Photo of CoreyC
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - dark leather, nice head
S - oak, bourbon, dark fruit, even some chocolate
T - bourbon forward, dark fruit
M - nice, some thickness
O - good BBA beer, bourbon a bit too dominate to let more other flavor come through, though. I think aging a bit might have made this even better.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

375 ml cork and cage bottle. 2010 vintage cellared since new in my basement.

Angel's Share is a very deep reddish brown color with good clarity on the pour (sediment left in the bottle). No head whatsoever.

Aroma is malty sweet with bourbon barrel in the background.

Flavor is also mostly sweet with caramel, figs, and candied nuts. The hops from the base barleywine have totally faded but the overall balance of the beer is still fantastic. The bourbon is subtle but adds a nice layer of depth.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and super smooth with almost no carbonation at all.

Overall an excellent barleywine and the bourbon barrel aging adds great character. The only downside is that it's basically flat but, for the style I don't really mind.

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Photo of LADaveBN
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours brown black with almost half a finger head. Not as dark as I expected it to be. Nose is all bourbon. Front and center. Taste is also mostly like drinking bourbon without the sting of the alcohol. I get quite a bit of oak. Moderate to heavy carbonation is surprising. However, I think it works in this case by giving it a creamy feel albeit thinner than I'd like for a BBA ale. Alcohol is hidden well. Overall, pretty good. Wouldn't seek it out again due to the high price point but enjoyable nevertheless.

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Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12.7 oz bottle poured into a Stone glass.Pour is dark brown in color.You can smell the Bourbon in there.Taste is Bourbon up front but you can also taste fruit.For me I could taste raisins.More dried fruit.Maybe a hint of Vanilla.I liked it a lot.It has a fantastic flavor to it.To me the Bourbon is blended pretty well with the other flavors.I probable would not drink this beer that often because of price.For a 12.7 oz bottle it was around 16.00.Pretty high but I just had to try it.If you got the bucks give it a try.

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Photo of DrSpaceman
3.16/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into snifter, pours flat muddy brown. Before warm up, beer is strongly sulfurous. No smell, largely unpleasant. As beer comes up to temperature more dried fruit, oak, and vanilla come through in the smell. Belgian candi sugar, oxidation, and booze. Less refined than expected, especially at this price point. Feel is too thin for the alcohol content, definitely has some heat on the finish. Overall, I am underwhelmed with both Angel's Share and Deliverance Ale.

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Photo of timc100
4.51/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 2015

Lost Abbey's barrel aged beers are reliably accompanied by a large price tag keeping them out of the regular rotation. Very happy these hit distribution.

Lost Abbey can pack in more straight whiskey flavor into a beer than most breweries specializing in barrel aging. Even as an avid whiskey drinker it can be a bit overkill (i.e. Bourbon Santa's Little Helper). Angel's Share boasts an impressive and intense bourbon flavor without muting the notes around it. Vibrant broozy sweet flavors of caramel, toffee, and vanilla icing. Has enough raw whiskey flavor and oak to keep it from being overly sweet. Drinks incredibly smooth, appropriate carbonation and medium-full body to hold the flavors, though avoids syrupy territory.

Great barrel aged beer, probably best in the Lost Abbey lineup that hits distribution - second to Churchill's Finest Hour.

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Photo of Dave_Treat
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage. An exceptional beer. Poured from bottle into a snifter. Dark almost black ale, with a burgundy undertone. Small head with decent lacing. Smells of caramel and fruits. Taste is extended with the vanilla of the barrels. Smooth. Little alcohol heat.

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Photo of hophugger
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aromas of malt and bourbon. Flavors of dark fruits, raisins, bourbon, some oakiness and sweet booze.
Overall, very nicely balanced, with the 12.50abv coming through quite strongly, especially as this beer warms

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Photo of bgold86
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter glass, pours a real nice dark brown. Big dried fruits nose, dates, raisins and figs, slight vanilla and roasted coconut. Taste of caramel, big vanilla and dried dark fruits sweetness, a definite winner!

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Photo of LouAleHead
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I love malts, and this one is no exception, great feel and aroma, the taste is there but was over powered a bit by the alcohol, am i the first one to complain about ABV. Little head but it laces, aromas is awesome. So far every Lost Abbey brew i'I've had has been AWESOME!!!!!!!!!

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Photo of breadwinner
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Boozy nose at first straight off the tap, but it really evolved nicely into a depth of dark fruit, leather, figs, a really pleasing richness. Palate is a touch syrupy, a touch sweet, a touch boozy, probably a little much overall, but solid in a digestif sort of way. Warming booze burn on the finish. Wonder what the brandy barrel does to this...

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Photo of Jonatbr
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Very smooth malt flavor. I'm just not a fan of malty beers so I'm only giving it a 3.5 in taste as a reminder for myself should I forget I tried it. If you like pronounced malts, this is an excellent beer.

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Photo of bnes09
4.26/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep, hazy, milk chocolate color. Minimal head on the pour with weak retention.

Sweet caramel and molasses malty aroma. Oak, bourbon, vanilla, smooth booze. Very rich and well balanced in the nose.

Flavor imparts a deep caramel and burnt sugar quality. Mild yeast presence. Subtle leafy, herbal hop. Smooth oak in the finish.

Dense, full bodied, and bordering on syrupy feel. Moderate carbonation.

Highly complex and well rounded barrel aged ale.

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Photo of 57md
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Corked and caged 2011 version opened in August of 2015.

Pours the color of bittersweet chocolate with practically no head at all. The bourbon nose is absolutely lovely. The bourbon notes come through in the flavor as well; unfortunately, not much else (flavor-wise) gets past the bourbon presence. The body is thin for the style and too thin to hold up to the bourbon. The finish still has some strong alcohol esters four years later.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Really dark brown in the glass but allows lighter brown and orange in around the edge. A small brown head springs to life which is a good sign of carbonation! Ring of head lasts for a while.

The nose presents a nice barrel presence. Sweet and boozy bourbon, caramel, toffee, vanilla, toasted coconut, plums, and raisins.

Fairly sweet on the flavor as well with some heat. Big barrel continues on the palate which is awesome. Bourbon, vanilla, and coconut are there. Lots of rich caramel and toffee.

Mild carbonation tingles the tongue. Body is medium.

While still really good kind of reminds me of a lesser Sucaba.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

375 ml corked and caged.
Buttery, creamy, silky, delicious nectar. Lots of bourbon, vanilla, caramelized malts. Very balanced, and not overly sweet. Goes down very easy for 12.5. Much preferred this over Deliverance. One of my favorite of the style

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Photo of BWood
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

An exceptional beer. Poured for me at Cannery Row Brewing Company in Monterey, CA. Great selection there btw. Super smooth beer hitting all the right spots for me. Boozy without be I g overbearing. Has the heat but easy to drink. Definitely a top 5 for me. If you see it I suggest you grab as much as you can carry.

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Photo of Nugganooch
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2014 release 375ml c&c bottle - Lost Abbey stemware
Notes from 10/18/2014

A: Angel's Share pours a dark cola brown with lots of tiny bubbles trapped in suspension along the glass walls. A thin rim of yellowish tan suds forms and holds for a mere moment. Light on the stick with some nice alcohol runners there.

S: Smells of bourbon soaked raisins. I get caramlized fig with plum and toasted coconut. Bourbon infused vanilla bean. Bready malts laid down underneath. Smells divine and much like a Belgian Quad would.

T: Tastes like a damn bourbon vanilla malt shake. So exquisite. Like flambeyed stone fruits with notes of coconut and vanilla creme. Good hearty bread crust and sugary caramel malt smacks at the lips. I get some berry like fruits mixed in and a hit of bittering hops there with a kick of fiery alcohol but its all in good here. Simply delicious.

M: Heavy and full bodied yet somehow seemingly frothy on the palate. Definitely has a gooey thickness that sticks to the gums a bit but enough ample carb and bitter hops to cut through it all and round up some dryness in the finish.

D: A fireside sipper but oh so damn delicious. Bourbon vanilla, darkened breads, ester fruitiness, and malt sugars all come into harmony for one tasty brew. A must try for all.

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Photo of Radome
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle poured into a Lost Abbey Teku glass

A: Nice mahogany color, off white vanilla colored head that quickly vanished, not much, if any, carbonation, some minor lacing, cloudy.

A: Bourbon, toffee, vanilla, oak, raisins, very complex aroma, smells really good.

T: Bourbon, dark fruits, raisins, figs, vanilla, nice dry finish, some alcohol on the backend, but very drinkable.

M: Medium mouthfeel, finishes dry.

O: Very impressed, complex, balanced beer, lots of aroma and flavor, nice medium mouthfeel, my only complaint is that it seems light on carbonation, semi-flat, but once again, Lost Abbey impresses me. Definitely worth a try and while I don't think this is Lost Abbey's best beer, I would not pass it up.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Spokeasy Public House

A: Pours murky deep brown with a creamy khaki head that settles and laces lightly.

S: Molasses, brown sugar, a little maple, smooth bourbon, maybe a bit of dark chocolate.

T: Rich dark sugar, toffee, molasses, brown sugar, smooth bourbon, hint of vanilla, fig, raisin, and maybe a touch of chocolate.

M: Medium to heavy body, moderate carbonation that keeps it from getting syrupy, quite smooth, a little warmth as it goes down.

O: Rich, smooth, and indulgent, bordering on being too sweet, but still a hell of a beer.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

375ml cork top bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a deep murky brown color with a small fizzy tan colored head that reduces completely, leaving nothing behind

S- big sweet malt aroma that is reminiscent of an English barleywine; notes of caramel/butterscotch, plums, fig, currant, dark grape, molasses, oaky vanilla, whisky alcohol, toasted coconut and black cherry

T- strong flavors of caramel malt and butterscotch up front , dark fruit flavors of black cherry, raisin & fig kick in, followed by nutty flavors, along with barrel juice, vanilla, toasted oak and toasted coconut. Whisky alcohol ad more dark fruits on the linger

M- medium viscous body with low carbonation leads to a slick mouthfeel and a warming finish

O- big and malty with plenty of bourbon flavor and aroma, it is drinking a hit hot at this point

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Photo of smcolw
3.89/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown color. Light shines through only on the edges. Beige head. Great right lace after each sip.

Strong sweet molasses to the nose. Lots of raisin.

Overwhelmingly warming from the alcohol. Save this as a dessert. Think dark treacle on the tongue. Very thick body with a low level of carbonation.

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The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 677 ratings.