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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
96
world-class

1,547 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,547
Reviews: 649
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 11.45%
Wants: 559
Gots: 468 | FT: 37
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: 1,547 | Reviews: 649 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml sent by JMBH. Pours very dark brown, with no head. Thickish like a malted milkshake. Some bourbon and chocolate aroma, and voila! it taste like well integrated chocolate and bourbon, neither overpowering the other.Nicley drinkable, its like an aged old imperial stout, and without the booziness apparent. Dangerously drinkable.

Photo of t0rin0
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy crap, this just made my top 5 (of 1100) beers within the first sip. I was scared that this was another of those over-hyped beers that I read so much about. Now I'm regretting only buying 8 bottles.

The beer is very carbonated and if youre not careful it will foam over the top of the bottle. Once poured into a glass carefully it will produce a couple inches of nice beige head that lasts and lasts. The lacing isn't just normal lacing, rather its entire chunks of foam that hang on the side of the pint glass. The color is a dark red/purple/black color. The bottles description of "Burgundy" might be a bit more eloquent. Not see through at all but what do you want from a barrel aged beer. Actually its better this way.

The nose is just amazing. If you like scotch or bourbon (and I do) you'll love this. Theres also dark malts, some chocolate (no doubt from aging malts), and some whiskey smells coming out of this. I can't remember when I smelled a beer this good before. Theres been one or two DIPAs that I've tried that come close but the bourbon really gives it something extra.

It almost pains me to not give this beer a 5.0 in taste. Everything is perfect except the alcohol aftertaste. 12.5% abv will do that. Other than that, the chocolate, the oak, the whiskey, the malt, and the hop/alcohol bitterness were right on the money.

The body is nice and heavy. Very very smooth and warming. The CO2 level is just right. Its actually not as carbonated as it looks.

Every sip makes me a little more pissed that Tomme Arthur is on his rag because of his beers being sold on ebay and no longer releasing this beer in 750 ml size. Ya know, selling smaller bottles and charging more isn't going to stop people from ebaying these, its just going to upset the loyal fans and customers.

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap for Churchill's Renaissance at Churchill's Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA.

Pours a murky and dirty dark brown with a beige head that fades to nothing. No lacing on this one. Smell is of roasted malt, vanilla, coconut, bourbon, and wood. Taste is of roasted malt, vanilla, toasted coconut, and bourbon with a nice woody aftertaste. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good bourbon barrel aged barleywine that I enjoyed very much.

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 Edition shared courtesy of bmanning at a recent tasting.

A: Pours a fairly dark brown with some copper hues to it. No head and no lacing.

S: Lots of delicious bourbon accompanied by vanilla, oak, caramel, and toffee. Hints of fruit in the background.

T: The bourbon is the key player, but is balanced quite well by the oak and caramel sweetness of the malt. Quite intriguing and complex.

M: Almost completely flat, but I didn't have a problem with it at all. The bourbon presence is definitely quite overwhelming, but the alcohol isn't too much--went down very smooth.

D: Very complex with powerful yet complementary flavors; a big hit, and I'd love to drink this one again.

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of metter98
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very dark brown and nearly opaque in color. It poured with a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Strong aromas of bourbon are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is filled with flavors of bourbon along with strong notes of underlying vanilla and hints of caramel.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation along with some warming from the alcohol.
O: This beer is quite easy to drink considering its strength because the only alcohol that is noticeable is the bourbon.

Note: 2012 vintage

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of brentk56
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel color with a frothy beige head (after exploding as a gusher) that retains nicely but leaves less lacing than expected

Smell: More like a Heath bar than a Bourbon barrel, the aroma is filled with chocolate, vanilla, caramel and hints of dark fruit

Taste: Lots of rum-soaked dark fruit initially and joined by the vanilla and milk chocolate elements by mid-palate; after the swallow, the Bourbon element become more pronounced, with a lingering sweetness in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, with buoyant carbonation

Drinkability: Superbly complex, sweet but not cloying, this is a beer that lives up to its hype

Note: The 2009 version has no carbonation and is very boozy - a real disappointment

Photo of BEERchitect
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally, a Lost Abbey beer that lives up to its billing.

The beer pours with a cola-like russet brown/red color with slight haze. Light carbonation allows a lace of foam to settle and blanket the beer. Light on lacing but brandy-like with the legs.

Irresistable aromas of heavy malts, cotton-candy sweetness, sweet rums and brandy alcohols, dried fruits of currants, plumbs, dates, prunes, grapes, raisons, apples, and berries. Hops are low and may take on an herbal tone that gets lost in the woodsy oak and nutty character.

Flavors are more balanced between the sweet malts, fruits, and alcohols; and the bitter and tannin rich woods and hop bitterness. Still has all the right ingredients but the bourbon flavor and oak character interfere with the delicate sweetness more in taste than in aroma.

Rich and rounded up front without thickness or heaviness. Tanin astringency helps to dry out the beer going into the finish; maybe too much. Powdery and bitter late.

It's obvious to see why this is among the world's best beers. If the rest of the beer lived up to that aroma, we'd be talking flawless here.

Thanks JNN4V!

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear deep brown color ale with a medium foamy head with little to no retention and no lacing. Aroma of bourbon with light vanilla and balanced sweet rich malt. Taste is a well balanced mix between some deep rich English style malt with light dry fruits and with great notes of bourbon and light vanilla. Body is fuller then average with very low carbonation but still enough to be enjoyable with no apparent alcohol which is surprising considering the clear notes of bourbon. Not bad thought not sure it is worth the price tag or should be ion the top 50 but glad I tried it anyway.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Opaque mahogany with no highlights whatsoever, despite bright morning sunshine behind the snifter. The pale caramel colored crown filled most of the glass on the pour, indicating plenty of carbonation. The lightly creamy foam is melting in fine fashion, leaving a delicate collar of lace in the process. The second pour looks even better than the first.

The outstanding aroma is redolent of dark chocolate-covered caramels, bourbon whiskey, oily coconut shavings and loads of vanilla and toasted oak. If things open up a little more with warming, a perfect score isn't out of the question.

Once I tasted how great the Brandy Barrel-Aged version was, I knew the Bourbon Barrel-Aged brew would be something special as well. Especially since bourbon is my favorite spirit (along with single malt Scotch whiskey). Too bad there's only 375 ml in this bottle because I could sip this beauty all day and half the night, never tiring of attempting to appreciate its complexities.

First of all, the bourbon character is front and center. That said, the base beer comes through loud and clear. A perfect amount of time in the barrels is the obvious reason why those flavors are so well-balanced and so well-integrated. Warming is definitely making a bold beer even bolder... and even better.

The insanely complex flavor profile is made up of gooey caramels dipped in bittersweet chocolate, raisins and figs soaked in Kentucky's finest, sticky dates, sweetened coconut and a generous splash of vanilla. There's also a fair amount of bitterness that keeps the sweetness from running roughshod. As in all great high-ABV beer, alcohol adds power, intensity and a pleasantly spreading warmth.

There were slightly too many bubbles early, and there are exactly the right amount now, 30 minutes after cork extraction. More full and more sticky would have been fine, but I'm more than okay with the lightly supple silkiness that greets my every sip.

The Angel's Share (Bourbon Barrel) is yet one more amazing ale in a long line of amazing ales from The Lost Abbey. Here's hoping that Tomme gets the kinks worked out and is able to ensure that all future releases are properly bubbled, like this one. Even though my glass is now sadly empty, this was a hell of a ride that I can't wait to take again.

Photo of kylehay2004
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: no head or lacing on a deep brown body.

S: butter, bourbon, oak, roasted malts and syrup.

T: movie popcorn butter, fairly bitter with the bourbon and oak very strong here. The roasted malts are mild with sweetness from vanilla late in the finish.

M: thick body and light carbonation. this one probably lost its carbonation as I have heard others from this brewery do.

Overall: I have a hard time with the buttery flavors overpowering my taste buds with some bourbon stouts. so for my tastes, this is a good rating considering the butter notes are off set well by the other flavors.

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle served at 50 degrees and poured into gold rimmed New Belgium Snifter

A – Poured a very dark brown, nearly opaque with only the slightest bit of light coming through on both the sides and the bottom of the glass. Very rich color, with slight reddish tints, but mostly just a deep russet brown. A smallish maybe one finger high head of gold and tan colored foam rose up from the bottom and lay across the top of the glass like a pillow. This settled down eventually, but left behind a thin film covering the top and very nice side glass lace. The side glass presentation was a bit remarkable in that it almost had a gold shine to it as it swirled around, very nice looking.

S – The aroma was huge, and full of alcohol from the first whiff. I did not think this would be coming off as strong as it did. Lots of wood and oak like aroma mixed in as well. I had to let this one sit and warm up to see what else was going to be coming through from it. The next whiff was much more complex then the first. Lots of oak notes still underlying, however these were now being layered in with a good bit of dark fruity notes, plums, or raisins perhaps. Still a touch hot from the aroma, as the alcohol was very discernable. There was definitely some spiciness to it as well, like a good spiced rum smell almost. Very dark and complex, I was getting the feeling that this one was going to put a hurting on me.

T – So I build it up and dive in for a taste. I had waited a long time to try this one, and I was not disappointed. Avery robust and full flavor profile, this was definitely one to sit down and think about as you go through it. A full on blast of spiced alcohol was the first thing that I noticed, kinda hot, but as it warmed it mellowed out and by the end of the session had all but blended into the background and simply become an outstanding ale. Loads of dark fruit notes were permeating through the flavor. Prunes, Raisins, Figs all very discernable in the flavor and really adding balance to it as they melded together. Lots of spice here as well, very big. The notes of oak and wood in the flavor were clearly becoming evident as it warmed, giving it a very subtle, yet very powerful presence. I can see why people rave about this; it is very unique, very dark, and very seductive almost. The flavor really needed some time to catch up with you, the first few sips were nothing compared to the last few, really outstanding I have to say and very different then anything I had in the past.

M – Super smooth and creamy, this medium bodied ale was just about perfect in the way it should have felt. Great carbonation profile throughout the session really never let up and gave it that silky smoothness that really lets the flavor pop and keeps it from getting too heavy. In fact it was really not filling at all, despite how big it was it was excellent as far as that.

D – Now if there was ever something designed to be sipped, this was it. I mean it was tremendous, and to be honest, I did not share and took care of this bottle on my own over the course of about 3 hours. It was just amazing how well it tasted. I thought in the beginning it was going to be a little too hot, but that was my fault for serving too cold, or being to anxious take your pick. But after letting this come up in temperature, it turned into one of the best I have ever had, really a tremendously good beer.

Overall I really loved this one. Now I have not really had anything from Lost Abbey that I have not liked, but this and Devotion on back to back nights have really taken this thing to a while new level. The complexity displayed in the is uncanny and I really had a touch time with this review, as I am not usually at a loss for words with my reviews, but this one had me there, it was just that good. I really look forward to the Brandy and Bourbon barrel aged editions later this year; they will truly be breathtaking as I can only imagine the heights to which this one will get.

Photo of womencantsail
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A bottle from the 2010 release.

A: A dark brown color with a slight muddiness to it and a medium tan head.

S: Very strong and pleasant vanilla aroma along with some mild oak, toffee, and a heavy chocolate. The bourbon is warming and inviting.

T: The alcohol is not overwhelming at all, despite a strong bourbon presence in the nose (and a pronounced flavor). The vanilla, chocolate, toffee, and molasses carry the beer and work wonderfully with the booze and oak.

M: A full bodied beer to say the least with adequate (low to moderate) carbonation.

D: I have a hard time choosing which I like better, the brandy or the bourbon. But luckily both of them are generally available and neither is a bad choice.

Photo of Knapp85
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage: This beer poured out as a deep looking brown color. There is no head or lacing at all on this beer. Looks like a murky flat cola. The smell is loaded with bourbon notes... It's very boozy smelling but sweet at the same time. The taste is sweet, lots of vanilla and bourbon in this beer. The malts a hidden as well as the hops also. There is a hint of molasses in there also. The mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied but not much carbonation at all. Overall it's a big flavorful beer, could use some help but the carbonation was minimal. Perhaps newer vintages have a bit more to offer. Still very good but pricey, worth trying if you can afford it.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

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The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
96 out of 100 based on 1,547 ratings.