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The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged - The Lost Abbey

The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-AgedThe Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,313 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1313
Reviews: 630
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 11.74%


Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  12.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Old Ale aged in bourbon barrels for 12 months.

(Beer added by: scottoale on 08-23-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,313 | Reviews: 630 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2010 00:40:29 | More by Sammy
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UCLABrewN84

California

4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2012 22:47:42 | More by UCLABrewN84
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BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.6/5  rDev +8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2009 15:02:25 | More by BuckeyeNation
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mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2008 11:23:28 | More by mikesgroove
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womencantsail

California

4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2010 19:00:17 | More by womencantsail
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brentk56

North Carolina

4.83/5  rDev +13.4%
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

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2008 02:19:37 | More by brentk56
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Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2009 02:51:28 | More by Phyl21ca
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BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2009 02:52:35 | More by BEERchitect
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Thorpe429

Illinois

4.6/5  rDev +8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2010 15:18:27 | More by Thorpe429
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metter98

New York

4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
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

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2013 19:38:34 | More by metter98
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ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a reddish, dark brown body with some gunky murkiness to it and a large, fizzy, tan head.

Smell: Pleasantly pungent aroma of heavenly, heavily caramelized sugars, golden raisins, and a gratifying waft of alcohol. Plenty of distinct bourbon barrel accents, too.

Taste: Dark, rich caramelly malts, tons of dark fruitiness, a spoonful of vanilla creme brullee, and with a big taste of brown sugar striking the palate. Nice, complimenting blend of woodiness and top-shelf bourbon. Faint, faint touch of roast picked up on the otherwise sweet, warm, and wooden finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Full carbonation that really fizzles up the mouth.

Drinkability: For me, it was more than a bit overcarbonated, but thankfully it delivered a satisfying tastiness to warrant fighting the fizzies.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2008 18:14:43 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

I've gotten a pair o' these guys in recent trades/BIFs, so thanks to those who sent them! I think this particular bottle came from GoGriz.

VDubb seems pretty interested in this one, so here's some more vicariousness. It pours a bleakly murky brown with not much of a head to speak of. The nose is rather bourbon-centric, with some oak, milk chocolate, vanilla, caramel, pretzels, and a smidge of roasted malts piled in there as well. The taste similarly whiskey-forward, with an added kick; the rest of the smell's constitutive elements, minus the chocolate, return for a second season, but the bourbon seems to have an ego issue that would preclude further contract extensions. The body is fairly hefty, with a very light carbonation (I thought the '10s fixed this...?) and an almost chewy feel. Overall, I feel this brew just missed the landing zone, fracturing a leg on landing. It'll heal, but the memory will malinger for a while. I'm thinking about aging the other bottle, if only to see how things go if the bourbon settles a tad. Beyond that, the other flavors seemed kinda weak, and the almost-flat, murky liquid was not very appealing. This one just wasn't fully for me.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2010 04:01:26 | More by TMoney2591
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NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Lost Abbey, Angel's Share Ale
No discernable date or code. 12.7 oz. bottle
$17.49 @ The Cold Point Pub/Whole Foods Market, Plymouth Meeting, PA

Even a rough pour fails to bring up any real head atop its deep brown body, but what is there is a big-bubbled dark tan that doesn't stick around for too long. It leaves no lacing on the glass, nor does it display much in the way of "legs". Raised directly to the light you'll find ruby highlights gleaming just below the surface. With a rough pour my sample is obviously cloudy as the yeast has been roused.

The aroma is rich and full displaying sweetish dark toffee, damp wood, slightly tart dark-skinned fruits, Bourbon, chocolate fudge, coconut, vanilla, oak, and a hint of alcohol.

In the mouth it's full bodied and smooth with the exception of a little bit of alcoholic heat.

The flavor is as the nose suggests, with the exception of more fruit amidst the maltiness (red grape, fig, plum/prune) and a more distinct Bourbon character (I also get scotch at times). The oak lends a pleasing dryness to it, and along with the alcohol they balance it nicely (I'm not sure how much bitterness is actually in here). It finishes in different way as you progress through the glass and your taste buds adapt. For the most part it's generally dark-fruit and mild tartness followed by wood, then a rising note of alcohol backed by Bourbon flavor, and finally fading into soft fudge and coconut... or some slightly changed re-arrangement of such.

It's a big beer, and a sipper to be sure. Clearly displayed alcohol is not normally something I find pleasant (or acceptable), but it works here (and I've certainly tasted 'hotter' beers). It reminds me in many ways of Sam Adams Triple Bock, which as been shunned on BeerAdvocate, currently scoring a "C" (mediocre) with 569 reviews - how that can be, I don't know. This is thinner, yes; more fruity and perhaps a bit less 'malty', OK; and it presents Bourbon instead of maple syrup but they're still in the same general ballpark. Thus my score is in the same general ball park... an A.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2011 16:56:58 | More by NeroFiddled
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biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7oz bottle, thanks be to doktorzee for the bottle. Warning - bring out your corkscrew for this one - wrist action, teeth, nor pliers would do the trick otherwise.

This beer pours a murky, very dark roan brown hue, with ever so slight basal cola edges, and one finger of tightly foamy, and mostly just straight-up creamy beige head, which settles rather quickly, leaving some decent swaths of snow rime lace around the glass as things duly sink away.

It smells of fairly woody oak, with a lesser vanilla/caramel sweetness, floral, raisiny red wine, bittersweet chocolate, spicy grain alcohol, further besotted dark orchard fruit, and a wee oily nuttiness. The taste is big caramel/toffee malt, sugary bourbon barrel notes - vanilla, more caramel, and a rather denatured alcohol sweetness - cherry pie, butterscotch, dried coconut flesh, dark baking sugar, and a slight earthy dryness.

The carbonation is quite innocuous, the body a sturdy medium-heavy weight, and really quite smooth, and even a tad creamy - no hops gadding about, messing up this metric. It finishes on the mildly saccharine side, the very same sort that has assaulted my sweet tooth over the past half hour - caramel, vanilla, booze, and indistinct fleshy fruit.

A well-wrought strong ale, with heady bourbon barrel notes, and a more or less tempered sweetness, overall, somehow. I'm sure there's more to say about the nature of this affair, including the idea espoused in the name and on the label, but I'm too tired, and this beer is too good, for me to get any more florid than I already am.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2013 04:10:14 | More by biboergosum
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feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Darkest brown, with ruby edges, under a fuzzy, toasted tan head.

Sweet, smokey bourbon hits the nose first, with alcohol tagging along, ...oak, vanilla, and a hint of cherry comes behind....matched by caramel and cocoa...deep and mighty.

big buzz on the tongue, thick, slick, and whiskey-ish galore....chocolate meets rich brandy-ish favors, right up next to the bourbon feel. Long, finish, lushly textured, utterly luxuruious. Hoppy bitter smack on the tongue.

lovely stuff, satisfies my bourbon-loving sweet tooth (tongue?), though it feels like an imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2008 01:47:55 | More by feloniousmonk
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MasterSki

Illinois

4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the Sixth Annual Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer. Listed as the 2006 vintage.

A - Rich, deep brown color with a one-finger mocha head and a tiny bit of carbonation. A handsome brew.

S - Tons of stuff going on here - bourbon, coffee, licorice, caramel, malt, chocolate, oak, dark fruit, and perhaps even some apricot in there. Pretty incredible!

T - Bourbon nose with a little kick, then mellows into the sweeter malt and caramel flavors. I don't get the same complexity on taste as I do with the smell, which is a touch disappointing.

M - Lighter than I expected - carbonation tingles the back of the throat, complementing the bourbon nicely. Felt a tiny bit thin.

D - Easier to drink than Bourbon County Stout, but with the same depth of flavors and intensity. I kept going back to this one during the tasting for more.

A fantastic brew - can't wait to try the brandy version.

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2008 16:00:15 | More by MasterSki
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emerge077

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Garnet tone, with an ample head of tan foam. Lasting head with ribbons of lace. Body is dark with reddish glints where the light passes through. Great head retention.

Vanilla and homemade marshmallow sweetness, creme brulee and toasted caramel aroma.

Lots of wet, woody oak and long lasting vanilla flavors from the barrel. Earthy in the middle, with dark malt and light warmth from the smooth bourbon flavor. Effervescent body, with alot of subdued complexity, finishing somewhat dry. It's strength is well integrated and makes it easy to forget the 12% lurking within.

Thanks to Aaron and Jason for the chance to try this!

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2008 21:25:33 | More by emerge077
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russpowell

Oklahoma

4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cheers to Biterbill, basically throwing this as an extra for me!

(09 Vintage) 375 ml bottle opens with a slight pop, pours a mahogany hued chestnut with minimal tan head. Nice oily sheen to this, minimal lacing & head retention

S: Big time raisins & prune & a whisper of bourbon, plus some praline as this warms

T: Big time Bourbon with cherries & raisins, plus some booze in your face up front, along with some oakyness. This smooths out quite a bit as this warms, oaky dryness really asserts itself, along with more pruneyness, leafy hops & caramel. Finishes dry with praline like sweetness with booze soaked raisins & cherries, almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Rich, slick, with minimal carbonation, VERY warming, starts thinning a bit once warm

Drinks pretty easy for the ABV & style but to be be sipped for sure! Not the best barrel aged ale I've ever had, but in the top 20 percentile at the very least. Had higher expectations, but I am always thrilled to get to try any & all well made big beers. I kind of put this on a par with New Holland's Dragon's Milk, which is not even half the price. Would love to try this on tap...

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2010 06:28:21 | More by russpowell
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drabmuh

Maryland

4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this side by side with the brandy barrel aged and I preferred the brandy slightly to this one.

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Lots of head, beer smells slightly sweet but really strong liquor. Beer is brown, dark brown. There isn't much to say about it really. It was sweet, strong, mostly liquor tasting but surprisingly drinkable. Whatever the base of this bal aged beer is it was overwhelmed by the aging process. I'm curious if it was aged in "wet" barrels.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2010 17:40:02 | More by drabmuh
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Mora2000

Texas

3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Mar.

Pours dark brown with no head. This one is definitely flat. Aroma is a combination of roasted malts and bourbon, with maybe come chocolate and caramel mixed in. The flavor is lots of bourbon, oak and vanilla with some alcohol, roasted malt and chocolate/coffee. A very complex flavor. The mouthfeel is hurt by the fact the beer is flat as a pancake. Still, it is pretty drinkable and a good beer overall. I think it would be better with proper carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2009 04:09:15 | More by Mora2000
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zeff80

Missouri

3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark brown color with almost no head. Not much lacing, either.

S - It smelled of vanilla and oak with some toasty notes. Light caramel notes, too.

T - It tasted very malty with a strong boozy character. Some oak, bourbon and vanilla flavors.

M - It was fairly crisp and sharp. A full bodied ale with a clean finish.

O - This was pretty tasty. A nice bourbon barrel aged brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2012 19:40:21 | More by zeff80
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Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2008 bottle release; Sampled April 2008
Wow, Bourbon Barrel Angel's Share is a gusher, I lost something less than a quarter bottle, even though the bottle was at 48°F / 9°C. A careful pour yields an over-flowing six-finger thick, darkened tan colored head. The beer is a deeply burnt, amber color, and shows a hint of concentrated ruby if held up directly to the light. Rich caramelized malt notes are immediately proceeded by Bourbon barrel notes of vanillin, spicy oak / Bourbon and some buttery oak character. The barrel / Bourbon notes are fairly restrained, but still are perhaps the most noticeable character in the aroma. As my nose gets used to the beer, the butterscotch / butter barrel notes become more apparent as does a warming alcohol aroma. Even a touch of mustiness seems to lurk in the background. The Bourbon barrel character actually gets a bit sharp, even harsh at times, but for the most part the nose remains deeply caramel infused, smooth bourbon barrel character.

It has been ten minutes since pouring this beer and it is still quite well carbonated; a quick swirl of my glass releases the excess CO2 though. Sweet and deeply caramelized with malt induced flavors of toffee and raisins. Starting in the middle a toasty, brown malt character kicks in and provides a touch of dryness, though not enough to offset the lingering, rich, complex, malt sweetness that just sticks to the palate. Quite a bit lighter than one might expect from a beer that is 12.5% abv; it does have some heft to it as it is certainly a sipping beer, but it definitely has a light feel to it and at times can seem a bit thin. The Bourbon barrel character is quite a bit softer than it was in the aroma. Typical flavors of spicy oak, vanillin and buttery oak (this last more so in the finish) are found here and the Bourbon provides some alcohol heat. Somehow the beer actually tastes a bit vinous to me; a mix of port, sherry and a full bodied Sancerre. The finish is spicy and sharp with hot Bourbon notes (though not overwhelmingly so).

Somehow not nearly as well integrated, nor nearly so tasty as the 2006 Brandy version (I have yet to try the 2007). I could see this getting close, but somehow the base beer has changed too much while residing in the barrel. I wonder if the changed flavor, lightened body, along with the gushing, is caused by a slight infection? If so it is not so much as to drastically effect things or even be overtly noticeable, but this beer is just enough off to keep it from being great.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2008 04:44:11 | More by Gueuzedude
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Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2012 19:32:27 | More by Knapp85
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jwc215

Wisconsin

4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to bitterbill for this!

12.7 oz. cage-corked bottle - 2009 vintage - poured into tulip glass -

Pours black with slight rubyish highlights and a wisp rather than a head. Dotted lace and some "legs" slide down the glass.

The smell is of rich bourbon - vanilla/oak with a toffee backing. It has a cherry-like fruity touch. It is a beautiful, robust aroma.

The taste is of strong bourbon - vanilla/oak with a touch of cinnamon spicing. It has a chocolate/toffee backing that supports and complements the bourbon/oak. Some alcohol shows, though not in a raw way - adding pepper and fruity spicing that adds to the complexity. Some dark fruits - dark cherry, prune, plum mix in, adding another layer of complexity. Bourbon (I don't know which one - not listed on website) is delicious and stays ahead, but with great support. It is sweet, but rounded out with a minty dryness in the finish.

The feel is velvety/silky - rich and full-bodied, but the carbonation keeps it from being thick or syrupy. A pleasant aftertaste lingers.

Wonderfully complex and I don't know what Bourbon is used (not listed on site), but it's a nice one, and with a great malty richness. A treat, and one to seek out if you are a lover of bourbon-barrel-aged beer!

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2009 23:29:04 | More by jwc215
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RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to T0rin0 for this one.

Pours a dark brown with a tan head. Bourbon barrel nose for sure. Easily noticed vanilla. I thought I got some apples at first too. Flavor brings a great thick tone. Sweet molasses. Rich caramel. Robust, but smooth. Good bourbon tones that don't overpower. A touch hot,but doesn't really matter. Feel has a higher carbonation to it. Liquid is smooth. Very easy to drink. A bit of a sipper, but I force myself to do that to savor the moment.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2008 16:33:19 | More by RblWthACoz
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The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,313 ratings.