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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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1,521 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,521
Reviews: 645
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 557
Gots: 459 | FT: 32
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,521 | Reviews: 645 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dmsohyea
2.98/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 1 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

375ml bottle to a snifter glass. 2011 Vintage.

A - terrible... pours out like sludge and completely flat. Murky and nasty looking. No head, no lace, just gross.

S - Smells good, nice bourbon and vanilla notes, some chocolate and a good burst of brown sugar.

T - tastes alright, nearly exactly as I described the nose. But does have this weird metallic taste somewhere in the mid palate. No hops, just all malty bourbon flavors. Alcohol is pretty well hidden for the 12%.

M - Ugh. Flat and oily. Not enjoyable at all. No carbonation whatsoever.

O - if it was carbonated it would be a nice beer, maybe a B+. Not so with this bottle.

dmsohyea, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of GoldenVIKE
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: hazy brown-mahogany color with almost no head or visible carbonation.

S: caramel, dark fruit, malt, woody whiskey

T: Very sweet taste of rich caramel, toffee, and dark fruit. Very malty and earthy wood flavors with just enough of a bourbon presence to add complexity, but it's not overpowering by any means. Did not get as much of an alcohol burn as you'd think given the 12% ABV.

M: Medium bodied with almost no carbonation. I'd prefer more carbonation given the fact that this isn't a boozy beer.

O: Very unique, complex and interesting. I'd be curious to try the brandy and bourbon-aged varieties in one sitting to compare

GoldenVIKE, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of Retail1LO
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is an update. Original tasting was done of a bullshit flat bottle. I had a change to get a 32 oz. growler of this, and it's completely different. It's amazing what some carbonation can do to change a beer. I don't have much experience with American Strong Ales to know if this tastes like most, but to me, this is more stoutish. Poured from a 32 oz. growler into a pint glass. Pours jet black with a one-finger deep crown. The smell is up there with the best I've ever smelled. Rich bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, and even some clove. The taste is right up there with the nose. So rich and lucious. The mouthfeel is allstar quality. Very smooth and creamy. Overall, this is a stellar beer. I wish they'd get their shit together and learn how to bottle this.

Poured from a small corked bottle into 5 oz. snifter.

a 2
s 4
t 3
m 3
o 2.5

Well, this started off poorly. Uncaged the beer and slowly coerced the cork out of the neck of the bottle, without a single sound. No pop, no formation of carbonation at the top of the beer. Flat as a pancake. Poured without any head whatsoever. I hate to label, but "Flat Abbey" is appropriate. The nose is real boozy. Wreaks of bourbon. However, it has a ton of subtleties to it including chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon. The taste follows the nose nearly to a T, so I won't bother to repeat. The mouthfeel is void of any carbonation whatsoever. What's strange about this, is it has the mouthfeel of a stout...and exactly the way I like my stouts. If this WERE a stout, I'd likely grade this higher in the mouthfeel and appearance departments. I can see this needing age behind it...but why age a flat beer? This is so boozy, without everything playing out properly, I don't see myself battling the entire beer. Likely a drainpour.

Retail1LO, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of beerdweeb
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage on tap @ Beachwood Brewing

A: Dark with a thin tan head that dissipated quickly

S: Intense! Bourbon, super caramelly, and malty

T: Rich caramel and bourbon come through. Roasted malt and dark fruit. A tad warm.

M: Full bodied with little carbonation.

O: Good beer. Bunch of extreme flavors present. Buy bottles and wait a year after trying it fresh. It's good now but seems like a great candidate for aging.

beerdweeb, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of beerpirates
3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12.7 oz bottel poured into my lost abbey glass

A - Pours an opaque dark brown with no head

S - Booouuuurbon. Lots of it. Also some caramel, spices, and dark fruits.

T - Loads of bourbon, sweet caramel malt, spices, figs/dark fruits, vanilla, and wood. Alcohol also very noticeable. Tasty though.

M - Lots of alcohol on the finish and a medium-full palate. Carbonation is medium to low

D - This is good stuff but maybe a little heavy on the bourbon, and that hampers the drinkability a bit ,

beerpirates, Sep 08, 2011
Photo of xnicknj
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottle poured into snifter - thanks gill!

Pours a dark opaque blackness with some faint browned tones. Very thin bubbled head dissolves quickly with a few gasps of retention.

Supremely rich nose with chocolate cake, vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Notes of burnt sugar with roasted malts and candied dark fruit.

Waves of flavor begin with deep, dark chocolate and syrupy caramel. Cake-like notes swirl with vanilla and oak, with a continuing note of sweet bourbon. Excellent integration between the boozy and the sweet, along with dark fruit. Finishes boozy, warm, and memorable.

Full body, mild carbonation (lol), sticky and syrupy on the tongue. Absolutely wonderful flavor and scent, and the carbonation seemed to hold up on this one - If all Angel's Share bottles were like this I'd buy more.

xnicknj, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of Mar02x
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this beer about six weeks ago. I wasn't a member of BA and I didn't know how to review. But what the hack. This was the first beer I tried from The Lost Abbey and what a start.

S: A big, strong aroma of malt, caramel and dark fruit.

T: Tasted of caramel, dark fruit (raisins especially) and a big malty presence. The bourbon barrel flavor did peek through, but wasn't as prominent as you might think. Surprisingly, the ABV% wasn't that noticeable. A good, solid flavor.

M: A shockingly low amount of carbonation with a smooth, clean finish. Medium- to full-bodied.

O: This is an interesting and well-made beer. Definitely worth a shot.

Mar02x, Sep 04, 2011
Photo of ne0m00re
3.3/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 1 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

08/20/11- Had a 375mL bottle of this one.
A: Murky mahogany with no carbonation. Looks legitimately bad and flat.
S: Bourbon, nice woody character, cabernet sour and oxidized character. It is obviously not the intended beer, but it's decent.
T: Sweet molasses, some butter, pear and plum and raisins with an obvious bourbon kick. Again woody and oxidized. Pretty good.
M: Flat and thin.
O: Two wrongs kind of make a right here... it's flat and it's sour. Either one might have garnished a bad score alone but I don't mind flat sours. Chalk this up as my second experience of Flat Abbey.

ne0m00re, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of avalon07
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a deep, brown color and a thick, impenetrable texture. There was absolutely no head or lacing to speak of.

S: A big, strong aroma of malt, caramel and dark fruit.

T: Tasted of caramel, dark fruit (raisins especially) and a big malty presence. The bourbon barrel flavor did peek through, but wasn't as prominent as you might think. Surprisingly, the ABV% wasn't that noticeable. A good, solid flavor.

M: A shockingly low amount of carbonation with a smooth, clean finish. Medium- to full-bodied.

O: This is an interesting and well-made beer. Definitely worth a shot.

avalon07, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of jsanford
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage. 375ml C&C bottle poured into a Lost Abbey Stemmed Glass.

A - Pours a dark brown with with no head or visible carbonation. No surprises here.
S - Smells lovely, lots of dark malt, chocolate, raisins, and Bourbon. Really enjoying the nose here, like a rum-soaked chocolate raisin.
T - More big chocolate malt, raisins, and Bourbon. Definitely on the boozy side, but given the high ABV and large amount of chocolate backing it up I'm okay with it. Really enjoying this, But it's certainly a slow sipper.
M - Slick and slightly sticky, with a full mouthfeel and practically no carbonation. I'm not gonna jump on the "Flat Abbey" bandwagon here, in this case I think the lack of carbonation works perfectly well (whether intentional or not is up to debate) given the booziness and big chocolate flavors.
O - Really impressed by this beer, despite all the negativity surrounding it (and LA). Enjoy it for what it is, and don't immediately proclaim it to be a "drainpour"!

jsanford, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of unitmonster
3.78/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Lost Abbey, 8/13/11. We had a sample of all their bourbon beers on tap for a friends 30th bday.

A - Dark, but not black. More like a very dark barley wine.

S - Sweet taste of the Angel's Share strong ale, and then some bourbon mixed in.

T - This beer is almost too sweet. Out of the three that we tried (Bourbon Santa, Older, Bourbon AS), this one was my least favorite.

O - Great beer, but the sweetness is too much for me.

unitmonster, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of TheDudeRules
2.4/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into my snifter.

I didn't know what to expect going into it.

The beer poured a very dark brown with zero head. Smells of raisins and bourbon. Very straight forward. Complexity is non existent here. Taste is on par with the smell. Straight on raisin beer with a slight alcohol burn. The beer seemed pretty good at first. The more I put the rim of my glass to my mouth, I wanted it less and less. It was so thin in my mouth. Like room temperature water.

If you like raisins than this one trick pony is for you. I ended up dumping it out. Ick.

TheDudeRules, Aug 13, 2011
Photo of rvdoorn
2.83/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2010 vintage
Look: The beer pours a dark brown color with no head
Smell: Chocolate, vanilla, caramel and bourbon
Taste: Overly sweet (dark fruits) and alcoholic. Bourbon is very much present, but the alcohol is sharp and disturbing
Mouthfeel: medium body with low carbonation
Overall: The beer could have been so nice, could, because the alcohol is so badly hidden that I can hardly distinguish this with a bottle of pure ethanol from my work…. After the sour 2009 version, I will not try this beer again.

rvdoorn, Aug 13, 2011
Photo of richalexander78
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark with a strong black Cherry aroma. I had this at Brouwers in Seattle during a lost abbey and port tasting. The initial drink is great, heavy strong licurice and sweetness. The finish was a little funky. This was my first lost abbey and a great way to start off.

richalexander78, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of capeannbass36
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- From 12.7 oz. bottle into Duvel tulip.
Pours a very dark ruby amber color with just about but a non-existant tan head. Damn near flat. A tiny ring around edge of glass at top of beer. No lacing at all.

S- Sweet malt, bourbon, caramel, perhaps a slight hint of vanilla. Some oak. Boozy no doubt.

T- Follows the nose for the most part. Very unique flavor.

M- Here is where the review gets difficult. There is almost no carbonation whatsoever. Feels thick and smooth on the tongue. Warm on the swallow.

O- While delicious....sure wish there was more carbonation. I do not understand. Isn't this supposed to have some carbonation? If it was more carbonated, I would definitely score it higher. Already afraid that I am rating it higher than it deserves to be?? Certainly over priced! If I drank 3 of these...I would be face down in the gutter.

capeannbass36, Aug 05, 2011
Photo of bs870621345
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 version split with Jesse on the night where we popped a brandy and bourbon at the same time.

Pours a ruby deep amber color with minimal head and minimal lacing.

Smells like oak, vanilla, caramel, molasses, bourbon, and alcohol.

Taste opens up with a strong bourbon flavor that moves into a caramel flavor. There is a major oak, vanilla, molasses, and caramel flavors all over the place. Finishes with alcohol burn but cleans up nicely.

Mouthfeel is thick and good enough on the carbonation.

Overall, better than the brandy, but over priced.

bs870621345, Jul 15, 2011
Photo of harrymel
1.43/5  rDev -66.5%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Hey Tomme, stop releasing this series until you can work out the details, or just put it on tap so we can go ahead an carbonated it for you as it seems to be very difficult.
2009 Bourbon version.

A: I struggle to pull the plug on this one. It reminds me of decorking a wine bottle; I say this because it has so little carbonation evident on the corking, that there can't be any carb. So I pour it, and here we are: flat as Kansas. Dark brown. No lacing. Hazy even at the edges.

S: Bourbon, minerals, maybe a hint of urine. Lots of sweet malt. A little over the top with the minerals. Some raisin.

T: The bourbon is again, quite strong. It then reminds me of a good helping of burnt peanuts or peanut butter on burnt toast. Hints of dark raisin and dark chocolate.

M: Well, without any carbonation, I'm left with a cloyingly sweet and thick ale. Dry finish. Shit.

O: Well, I have had Brandy and Bourbon version several times. I will no longer be purchasing Angel's Share. Tomme can't manage to do properly and appears to be too proud to make it right.

harrymel, Jul 13, 2011
Photo of tmoneyba
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured hazy reddish brown color with an average frothy brown head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate to heavy dark fruity, toasted malt, alcohol and wood aroma. Medium to full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Moderate to heavy dark fruit bittersweet flavor with a medium to heavy dark bittersweet finish of moderate to long duration. This is a complex standout beer.

tmoneyba, Jul 12, 2011
Photo of thagr81us
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to my boy Lunch for sending me this one in a past trade! 2010 Vintage! Tasted back-to-back-to-back with Brandy and Grand Cru. Served from bottle into a Surly Darkness snifter. Poured a deep murky brown with a basically non-existant off-white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, wood, dark fruit, dark chocolate, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, wood, sweet alcohol, and dark fruit. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this brew was pretty tasty. This is one of those instances that you can tell that the beer had sat in bourbon barrels rather than just knowing that it was in a barrel. Really good flavor and aroma going on in this one. I was honestly afraid when I cracked the top on this one and didn't hear a pop from the cork. Was also concerned when there was basically no head formation. However, this one turned out quite well and was really enjoyable.

thagr81us, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of emmasdad
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Ken for sharing a bottle of this one at schmittymack's first tasting (one closer to Ratman with the double tick). Poured a rich dark brown color with a light brown head. Aromas of bourbon, raisins, figs, oak and vanilla. On the palate, this one was full bodied, with flavors of bourbon, vanilla, dark fruits and alcohol.

emmasdad, Jul 07, 2011
Photo of Zorro
3.48/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

No carbonation, had to pry the cork out.

Flat brown colored ale without any head whatsoever.

Strong bourbon smell and vanilla with a really strong fig aroma. Fruit scents of cherries and pineapples.

Starts out sweet and boozy with a strong whiskey flavor and a little grape and fig in it. Very strong on the fig flavor almost to the point of annoyance. Patent malt is present but the booze obliterates it.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall this is just average. The lack of carbonation just kills this.

Zorro, Jul 05, 2011
Photo of Krakistophales
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours plum color with zero head, no carbonation.

S: Vanilla, sweet malt, caramel, and bourbon booziness.

T: This one has more pronounced vanilla and caramel notes, though still retains the dark candied fruit flavor across all the angel's shares. A touch of bourbon more than sherry from the other one.

O: This one is a bit tastier than the other one, but they're almost identical in aroma and flavor. Still, a damn fine ale.

Krakistophales, Jul 04, 2011
Photo of Soonami
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bourbon Angel's Share served in a tulip at Resurrection Alehouse ($7.75 for a ~12 oz pour).

Opaque brown with a reddish mahogany highlight, no head.

Very malty nose--lots of pale and caramel malt with a hint of booze in the nosewith vanilla and oak

Sweet and figgy with rich caramel & chocolate (dry cocoa); solid bitterness with a drying alcoholic finish. wood tannins also contribute a fair amount of asntringency. A little sour cherry tartness

Low carbonation & smooth, puckering alcohol with a very soft mouthfell.

Overall, a good beer with nice interplay of flavors and a well integrated bourbon barrel flavor that allows the beer to dominate.

Soonami, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of bigfnjoe
3.33/5  rDev -22%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a Duvel tulip

A- pours black with no head at all. HOORAY FOR UNCARBONATED BEER! Thanks, Lost Abbey

S- bourbon. Dark fruits. Getting some toffee as well. Really, it smells pretty good

T- bourbon. Lots, and lots of bourbon. The finish is sweet from the vanilla and oak. The thing is...I can't make out any flavors that haven't been imparted into the beer from the barrel. It's not like I'm drinking a barrel aged stout, where I get some of the stout qualities....I'm just drinking a liquefied barrel.

M- syrupy. Super thick. Combine that with the barrel flavors are you're in to be overwhelmed

O- if you're a HUGE bourbon fan, this one is for you. I can't really touch hard liquor, so it's not for me. Definite sipper. Plus, I paid (I think) 16 bucks for a 375 mL bottle. That's insanity.

bigfnjoe, Jun 23, 2011
Photo of hdelavega
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage (a still batch) poured from a 12.7oz bottle to a Duvel Tulip glass thanks to a buddy Kevin. Poured with vigor to the glass, this brew yielded no head at all with zero lacing but has nice strong legs. The color is a deep murky brown with slights hints of red in the hue. The aroma is wonderful, chocolate, molasses, vanilla, caramel, sweet dark fruit, malt, and a very small amount of booze, the woody aroma I normally find in barrel aged beers is pretty dim. Now I find that oak in the flavor. Very earthy and woody right up front, also vanilla, some sweet plumb, roasted malt, and fig. I find a lot more booze in the taste than I did in the nose, but still pretty well balanced. The mouth feel is pretty interesting... No carbonation at all. However, normally I just get a warming sensation from the alcohol, in this case the lack of carbonation lets me enjoy the light tingling sensation on the back of my tongue from the alcohol that the carbonation normally covers up. It has a light syrupy feel, but also has the same cloudy tongue coating texture you get from a strong cup of cuban espresso that is starting to cool down. It defiantly has some warming to it as well.
I guess this batch was still due to bottling problems when they started using the 12.7oz rather than the 750ml, but I am still really glad I got to try it. I defiantly experienced some flavors and sensations that are normally a little harder to detect. I certainly would like to try the carbonated version, but Im not complaining about this accident!

hdelavega, Jun 23, 2011
The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,521 ratings.