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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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1,606 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,606
Reviews: 655
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 11.45%
Wants: 575
Gots: 498 | FT: 41
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: 1,606 | Reviews: 655 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of doughanson78
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap poured into a tulip.

A: Pitch black with some dark red/brown at the edges. A one finger mocha colored head. Lacking in retention but still some decent lacing.

S: Big bourbon. Good amount of oak coming through. Vanilla, chocolate, and some light coffee. A tinge of alcohol.

T: Again big bourbon. Lots of alcohol. Oak, roasted caramel, vanilla, chocolate and coffee.

M: Medium bodied, a bit light. Light carbonation. Lacking creaminess. Lots of alcohol burn.

O: A very complex beer which would be awesome if there wouldn't be so much alcohol present. Might be awesome with some age if the alcohol mellows.

Photo of kevanb
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 Caged and corked 375ml bottle into a whiskey glass.

Only the faintest of pops greets you as the cork comes out. It pours out like motor oil and shares the color although a bit darker thankfully. It has minimal carbonation, but more than I was expecting based on other reviews for the 2011 vintage. It has no head whatsoever but there is a tiny bit of caramel color on the top. It smells really great, LOTS of bourbon with some nice firm oak aromas with faint vanilla. Flavors are pretty strong, lots of oaky bourbon with vanilla and some dark fruits, plums and raisins come to mind. The flavors are strong, but not really balanced and get a bit washed by the strong alcohol. It is a bit thin and the alcohol is really strong but I found it to be drinkable, although this is a sipper for SURE.

Verdict: Pretty strong sipper here, but most importantly enjoyable. I did prefer the 2010 Brandy version but this vintage was done well. I'll be excited to see how my second bottle turns out in a year or so.

Photo of Spider889
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brackish brown color with a light tan colored head of frothy, soapy foam. Decent retention on it.

Smelled pretty damn good, this is a pure bourbon bomb. The liquor is rather one-dimensional, but it is really inviting nonetheless. Dark charred oak and big vanilla overpower much of the base beer.

The flavor was good as well, but again, the one-dimensional bourbon bitch slap that this beer produces starts to get in the way. SOME balance is needed here. Sweet caramel leads into the sticky mouthfeel. Boozy.

Overall I much preferred the brandy version to this.

Photo of amphion1065
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

10 oz. draft enjoyed at Tria, served in an odd-looking cylindrical glass approximating a tulip. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a very dark, slightly turbid brown. There's just a wisp of a tan head, but it's there. More legs than lacing around my glass.

Aromatically, this is dessert in a glass. Very sweet - borderline cloying, but not quite - figs and other dark fruits. Toffee and caramel like an aged English barleywine. Bourbon comes through, but it's not dominant. The base beer is so fragrant that it largely overpowers the barrel, which would be a bad thing if that base beer weren't so damn enticing.

Alcohol is far more present in the taste. Again, there's a classic barleywine-esque combination of figs, caramel, and a boatload of toffee. All of those saccharine sweet flavors are balanced out by a woodsy, vanilla, alcohol-rich bourbon presence. While the barrel flavor is very assertive, it never feels overpowering or overly dominant.

One of the obvious virtues of enjoying this beer on tap is the mouthfeel. In this case, it borders on perfection: thick and viscous like syrup, with just enough carbonation to enliven the flavors. Though those 375 mL bottles are prohibitively expensive, I could see why that particular format is appropriate - though very tasty, this is a beer to be enjoyed in small quantities.

For considerations of cash and carbonation, draft is the way to go. A huge, sweet beer and a pretty ideal nightcap (or mid-afternoon cheese accompaniment).

Photo of fatmcb1
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Lost Abbey Tasting Room

Pours dark brown slightly lighter edges. Ring of tan head that dissipates and leaves minimal lacing.

Smell starts with bourbon and molasses. There is also chocolate, toffee, and sweet malts.

Taste starts with tons of chocolate, caramel malt, and burnt sugar. There is also significant bourbon flavor, but it is really dominated by sweet flavors.

This is very thick, creamy, and well carbonated.

I thought this beer was mediocre for the style. It is somewhat one dimensional, with a very overpowering sweet taste.

Photo of ottovon
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

shared by fowlelanguage.

A: murky, reddish brown with minimal head. leaves just a ring of head.

S: nice aromas of bourbon, it is one of the first things i noticed. there is candi sugar, oak, vanilla, chocolate, and a nice toffee aroma.

T: just like the aroma. bourbon, vanilla, oak, roasted malt, and toffee. subtle cherry and berry aromas. chocolate and burnt sugar are also in there.

M: smooth, creamy, thick and low carbed.

O: this is a great beer. a slow sipper.

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
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 JonathanG
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Hops & Pie, served in a Great Divide tulip.

I couldn't drink more than 1-of these, and for me, it needs to be the last beer of the night. With that being said, this was an excellent way to end the meal.

This is the closest beer I've had to a Madeira. It really reminded me of a Madeira with the dried fruit and oxidized notes of raisins, hints of prune, and walnut-like notes, as well as a bit of maple syrup. I like the nose better than the palate, which is a bit sweet for my personal tastes. Good, nonetheless.

Lightly carbonated. With a few swirls, a minimal head re-forms and subsides quickly. Definitely on the sweeter side of things. Nice complexity on the nose and palate, with the aromas blossoming and the flavors becoming more pronounced as the beer warms-up a bit.

Photo of claaark13
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle, 2010 version. Poured into Founders snifter.

A - Pours a nice dark, dark brown. Lacing is evident and retains well for a 12.5% bourbon aged strong ale. For what it is, it looks really nice.

S - Really nice bourbon aroma. Lots of bourbon, and there is a very little amount of booze coming through at the end. Mild fudge attributes and some toffee/caramel. Probably just a little too hot on the nose.

T - Vanilla, slight burn and lots of toffee. Ends with bourbon and toffee. The slight hot flavor tells me that I should have trusted my instinct and let this one sit for just a little while longer. However, it is still very pleasant. It really isn't that complex of a flavor, but it is pretty balanced and easy to enjoy.

M - Mild carbonation, medium body that is able to keep the flavor together. Right about where it should be for the style.

O - Pretty good beer. I didn't quite know what to expect with this one. Pretty good, bourbon is very dominating and will probably age well over the next year or two. Still a little hot at the moment.

Photo of mikennat
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not real great at reviews but give it a shot.
WOW, let me say i love Lost Abbey. This is a very sweet beer to smell and taste. Smells bourbon and sweet. Tastes very sweet (get the point-very sweet). Very caramel and fruit. Taste very much matches smell. A little stronger bourbon than expected. I love it. Warms you up a little in the end!

Photo of dmsohyea
2.97/5  rDev -30.6%
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.

Photo of GoldenVIKE
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
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

Photo of Retail1LO
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Photo of beerdweeb
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Photo of beerpirates
3.72/5  rDev -13.1%
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 ,

Photo of xnicknj
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Photo of Mar02x
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

Photo of ne0m00re
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%
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.

Photo of avalon07
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Photo of jsanford
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
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"!

Photo of unitmonster
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Photo of TheDudeRules
2.46/5  rDev -42.5%
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.

Photo of rvdoorn
2.94/5  rDev -31.3%
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.

Photo of richalexander78
4.15/5  rDev -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.

Photo of capeannbass36
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,606 ratings.