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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

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,584 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,584
Reviews: 654
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 11.45%
Wants: 565
Gots: 479 | FT: 36
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  12.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: scottoale on 08-23-2006

Down in Kentucky and across the pond in Scotland, distillers who age their whiskeys for many years refer to the evaporation of the spirits from their barrels as “The Angel’s Share.” We couldn’t agree more. Each time a barrel is filled, a measure of liquid seeps into the oak and is lost for good.This striking Strong Ale is brewed with copious amounts of Caramel malt to emphasize the vanilla and oak flavors found in freshly emptied bourbon or brandy barrels. The beer spends a year in oak before it is packaged for release.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,584 | Reviews: 654 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ChrisPro
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft at Monk's during Philly Beer Week 2010.

Pours murky brown with some hints of ruby, very few tan bubbles that could be what you would call head.

Aroma was a mix of bourbon, bourbon and more bourbon with some cherries and vanilla bourbon thrown in for good measure. You get some oak, but this is a very one-note aroma, and that's perfectly fine by me.

Flavor was a rich blend of vanilla, molasses, chocolate and cherry. Slightly dry oaky finish on the tongue that balances out the sweetness well.

Big, full beer with little carbonation (again, perfectly fine!), that leaves a slick oily bourbon finish on the tongue.

Amazingly drinkable and I wish I could have this every day.

Photo of BillHilly
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of DNICE555
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Batch - shout out to thebestever

A - Dark brown body with a small ring of head that dissipates quickly. Appears carbonated!!!

S - Bourbon, oak, vanilla, malt... very nice

T - Bourbon, vanilla, oak, malt, and a bit of alcohol

M - Huge flavor with a nice low level of carbonation

D - A very well done ale. Very bold. For a 12 percent ABV this is very drinkable.

Photo of ArchEnemyBrew
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of Sigmund
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cask conditioned at the Great British Beer Festival 2008, gravity dispense. Nearly black colour (very dark reddish brown). Intense and lovely aroma of various subtropical woods, winey notes. The mouthfeel has lots of alcoholic warmth as expected. The flavour has notes of oak and fortified wine. Very good.

Photo of Jeffrey2310
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of csustar001
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of Dogleg
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BostonHops
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12.7oz bottle served in an oversized wineglass.

pours a dark, murky chestnut tone reminiscent of a quad, only darker. not much of a head, but i'm not going to hold that against it too much due to what it would appear the lost abbey is going for here, dialing back the carbonation.

the aroma is out of this world. bourbon, vanilla, malts, molasses, butterscotch, alcohol, a touch of caramel, oak... really fantastic. i could smell this all night.

taste is also fantastically complex: a melange of the aroma profile plus subtle notes of chocolate and some dark fruits that combine with the alcohol to suggest almost a muted vinous character. wow, excellent flavor profile.

very, very low carbonation, reminds me of SA utopias, both from the flavor profile and low carbonation. really enjoying this beer. drinkability is a tougher nut to crack. this has instantly jumped into my top 5 favorite beers, but i can't see drinking more than one. i've had some other lost abbey brews and always seemed to be underwhelmed, but not here. well done.

original review on: 07-26-2010

Photo of Hophead717
2.9/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

A: Dark brown--raisin hued, with no head whatsoever. Not a good sign for carbonation levels.

S: All bourbon, all the time. Some dark fruits in the back, but it's kind of hard to find anything else through the strong bourbon. It works nicely though.

T: Bourbon-soaked raisins. Entirely one-dimensional.

M: Flat. Devoid of all carbonation. Definitely lacks the properties of beer.

O: This is a disappointing beer. Between the one-dimensional taste and entire lack of carbonation, this beer is a letdown. Not one I'd seek out or recommend.

Photo of mscudder
3/5  rDev -29.9%

Photo of Goliath
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown and opaque with a thin light tan head.

The smell? Bourbon, bourbon, bourbon. Of course oak and vanilla as well as a bit of smoke, sweet grain and raisins.

Wow, what a flavor burst on first sip. I wish I had a shot at this in my tasting prime, I almost feel ill equipped. Anyway, bourbon remnants are dominant with huge notes of vanilla, smoke, raisins, and booze. It's quite delicious and a bit of a monster.

Mouthfeel is great. Full bodied, thick, chewy. It comes complete with ample fine bubbled carbonation.

Overall, I'm a bit floored over the whole experience. A few years ago this was a bucket list beer for me and I'm thrilled to have stumbled on it. The downside for me is I feel like I've had this beer before. I'm just getting tired of Bourbon Barrel Beers, they are all starting to run together and it's not special anymore. Great beer, but I would have appreciated it more 3 years ago.

Photo of mithrascruor
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12.7 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: The beer looks almost syrup-like while pouring. In the glass it is a solid, opaque black-brown color with the tiniest bit of tan film around the edges of the glass. No visible carbonation. Leaves a little bit of lacing.

Smell: Has a strong boozy/alcohol note in the aroma. Aside from that, there's some roasted malts, and a good amount of raisins, figs, and currants.

Taste: I find it tough pinning down the specific flavors here. Malt flavor that is somewhat sweet, but tempered with some bitterness. There's a bit of booze throughout. The finish and aftertaste follow along the same lines, but add a bit of sourness, reminding me of the smell of whisky mash - so that's presumably coming from the whiskey/bourbon barrels. I think that I can detect a bit of spice here, but I can't really identify it and it might just be the alcohol. I sense a bit of dark chocolate in the aftertaste. There's really no presence of fruits anywhere.

Mouthfeel: Definitely a heavy-bodied beer. Thick and almost oil-like in how it coats the mouth. There's really no carbonation, and the beer is quite smooth. But, there's also a bit of alcohol burn in the finish.

Drinkability: Definitely a beer to enjoy in moderation. Strong in alcohol, strong in taste. For small sips, slowly, and in small quantities. But it works that way.

I'd been aware of this beer for a few years, and known it to be something of a "holy grail". Honestly, I am not all that impressed, but I can totally understand how others might love this. The dense, syrupy mouthfeel and the noticeable presence of alcohol are not what I'd call an acquired taste, but just something that I small percentage of people absolutely appreciate. This definitely has a unique and interesting flavor, and I think with the alcohol turned down I'd enjoy it more. As it is, this is for either the truly dedicated & interested, or those loving the strongest old ales & strong ales. I could certainly imagine consuming this with some very rich dark chocolate & raspberry dessert, but until I do that next, I think I'll pass on grabbing another bottle of this.

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

64oz growler (why the hell didn't I just get the 32?)

Pours with no real head, just a film that fades quickly to the tiniest of rings. Opaque deep brown body with orange edges.

Aromas are full of bourbon, vanilla/oak, Heath bar, and a slight vinous finish.

Pretty creamy on the palate, and one of the most full-of-flavor beers you'll ever have. The sweetness does take over on the flavor to trump the bourbon. Syrup, toffee, caramel, butter, bourbon, port wine...in that order. Very tasty! There was just a hint of carbonation, which is fine for the style. Smooth as baby skin on the mouthfeel.

This one - strangely enough - would be phenomenal with some french toast and bacon. If I didn't have church tomorrow, that would be SO on the breakfast menu.

Photo of Anonymous1
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of nygannon
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of dcloeren
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

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

Poured into my Duvel Tulip, this ASA pours a very very deep mahogany with very little head.

S: The nose is bourbon dominate. From the pop of the cork, to the last sip bourbon fills my nose. Notes from the oak barrels, along with some dark caramel malt and a touch of chocolate round off the nose. This brew almost rivals KBS as the most bourbon like nose.

T: The flavor is a bourbon bomb!. Very smooth and refined. Oak barrels really smooth this baby out, and add the traditional vanilla hints you'd find in a brew like this. More chocolate pokes out in the flavor then the nose. Would have liked to see a better incarnation of some hoppy bitterness being that this is an ASA, but really there is almost no flaw here.

MF: Mouthfeel is a little light, and the 12% ABV coupled with the bourbon leaves the mouth a little dry and burns the back of the throat. However, the bourbon flavor does linger and is certainly tasty!

D: Drinkability is excellent. This thing is going down like water!

Overall, thanks to portia99 for hooking me up with this brew. Lost Abby has done an excellent job crafting this ASA. My only major gripe....the price tag!

Photo of Gosox8787
3.08/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to calinalu for this bottle I split with a friend. A corked and caged 12.7 oz. bottle poured into a wine glass. Served slightly chilled. 2009 Vintage.

Appearance: Deep dark brown in color. The lack of any head whatsoever really is disheartening. Some sediment floats toward the bottom of my glass.

Aroma: Nice bourbon, oak, vanilla, and some milk chocolate. A bit of heat here too but nicely balanced overall.

Taste: The rich bourbon and vanilla really stand out here, as does the heat from the alcohol. Much less balanced and more boozy in the taste. There is also some oak and chocolate in teh background of the bourbon, but nowhere near as pronounced.

Mouthfeel: This literally fell flat here for me. This bottle was clearly carbonated badly and the entire beer suffered for it. More like a spirit than a beer unfortunately.

Drinkability: The heat from the booze and the completely falt mouthfeel kill it for me here. I was barely able to finish my half of the bottle.

Overall, a really nice beer but the carbonation on mine really killed it. The aroma was amazing and the taste was really complex. The booze heat and flat mouthfeel took hold though and made it less enjoyable.

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottling poured into a (proper) Lost Abbey Teku. The pour is very dark, but clear with ruby-red highlights. There is little to no carbonation (certainly not a good sign), but the nose is pretty nice. Lots of dark fruits, alcohol, toffee, and a hint of butterscotch.

Very full body, a sweet flavor profile, and an uber-creamy feel. I expected a hot, boozy mess, but 3 years in my cellar has tamed this monster and showed it who's boss. Lots of sweet, malty, toffee-like notes up front followed up by a mild alcohol warmth accented by some vanilla and chocolate notes. Unfortunately, I don't get much of the bourbon (other than the vanilla), but that's the price you pay for aging beers. Still, I have no regrets. As it is, it's drinking like a liquid Heath bar - full of sweet, syrupy vanilla and marshmallow-like goodness.

I found it interesting how many BAs said this beer (when fresh) was too hot and boozy. Let it be known - this beast has been tamed! It is now a warm, cuddly lap dog in your glass. It licks your face, fetches your slippers, and cowers when you raise your voice. I rank this ahead of Insanity but noticeably behind Bourbon County Brand Barleywine.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2011 Vintage.
appearance: Dark dark brown. Nearly opaque save for some ruby highlights around the edges when held to light. Nearly no head.
smell: bourbon and rich decadence. Chocolate, vanilla, coconut, just a depth of rich aromas.
taste: More of the same. surprisingly smooth given the strength and depth of flavor.
overall: Would that I could drink an uninfected one of these each week. awesome. I can't forget that I've had 3 infected as well as an infected Deliverance. Still a great beer but makes me think twice before springing for another.
(To be fair, LA sent me some fantastic glassware when I reported the infected brews).

Photo of ttylicki
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of WoostaBia
4.86/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Pecan
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of patm1986
5/5  rDev +16.8%

The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,584 ratings.