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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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1,639 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,639
Reviews: 660
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 11.21%
Wants: 578
Gots: 508 | FT: 42
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: 1,639 | Reviews: 660
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.

Photo of bs870621345
4.28/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of harrymel
1.44/5  rDev -66.4%
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.

Photo of tmoneyba
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Photo of thagr81us
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Photo of emmasdad
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Photo of Zorro
3.49/5  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.

Photo of Krakistophales
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of Soonami
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.33/5  rDev -22.2%
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.

Photo of hdelavega
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
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!

Photo of meatyard
4.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opens with a soft pffft. Poured into a snifter.

Pours out a very dark, murky brown with a cap of tan foam that lasts about 30 seconds and becomes a ring and a small atoll.

The smell is a luscious bourbon aroma and dark chocolate and cherries.

The taste is a really powerful bourbon flavor that makes you take notice of it and nothing else around you for a brief moment or two. After that there are many things that come and go; there's chocolate covered cherries, vanilla. It's very sweet in the aftertaste. This is a complex beer and very warming with some noticeable alcohol.

Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy with a lack of carbonation.

Overall: I had this a couple of times on tap and wish this had the carbonation levels of that. Still, sitting at home and being able to concentrate on the beer, you really get a feel for all of the complexity in this. It really is a very good beer. I don't know if the price warrants buying it very often, more likely whenever I see it on tap I will go for it.

Photo of draheim
3.64/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

My very first review, after drinking more than 250 different beers over the last 8 months in an effort to develop my palate. No particular reason why I chose this one for my first review.

375mL bottle, vintage 2010, poured into a snifter. Zero carbonation at first; a few tiny bubbles soon materialize along the side of the glass, rising lazily to the surface. Color is deep brown with hints of burgundy around the edges. Looks like a flat cola.

Booze hits the nose first, along with plums, raisins, and bourbon. Hints of what's to come.

Mouthfeel is thick, sticky. Taste of caramel, whiskey, toffee. Alcohol warming to the throat. Flavor is rich and complex, but almost cloying. Bigger sips reveal an almost cough syrup quality, alcohol burn on the swallow. The booze presence is clearly dominant and not entirely pleasant. This little bottle is almost a chore to get through.

Overall, I was not much impressed by this one - particularly considering the price tag. I don't think I've ever poured a beer so almost completely flat right out of the bottle. High ABV explains this to a degree, but some carbonation would have helped the mouthfeel and would have also concealed the booze a bit and provided more balance.

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours an almost black color, with very little head. The smell was malty, and a bit strong on the alchool. The taste was increabily complex. There was changes of coffee, choclate, toffee, oat flavors. The taste was very strong, and stayed on your paltetee for a while. Overall this was a good beer. It was very differnlty, and didnt have much a beer flvaor, much more like a sipping liquer, but still good.

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

375ml bottle poured into my stemmed Lost Abbey glass.

Appearance: Black with some brown around the edges when held up to the light.

Smell: Chocolate, toffee, caramel, molasses, and sweetness hit me big time. Very alluring smell. Some booziness, more pronounced than the brandy version.

Taste: A nice mix of caramel, molasses and chocolate. Some breadiness. Good alcohol presence, very warming. Minimal bourbon in the background but has that calssic bourbon burn taste. Very enjoyable. Quite sweet.

Mouthfeel: Nice and thick. Low carbonation but it really goes well with the style and flavors.

Overall: A good beer. I am so glad it was not completely flat or infected. I enjoy it though I do not know if the risk of the aforementioned problems is worth the dollar amount. A lot of alcohol warmth, I would love this on a cold winter night. Did a side by side with the Brandy, I liked the Brandy better but this was still a very solid offering.

Photo of ehammond1
4.86/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On Tap

Lost Abbey
San Marcos, CA

A dark brown and murky pour with a very thin head. Not much lacing on the glass.

After having just smelled this beer once, I knew it was something incredibly special--magnificent. There's so much going on here it's tough to find it all and list it on paper. Initial biting bourbon, sweet dark fruits like cherries and raisins, deep and rich chocolate, some sweet caramel and butterscotch, woody elements and vanilla as well. So complex, so varied, yet tremendous! Bravo!

A bit more bourbon in the flavor than in the aroma, but it ties the whole beer together exceptionally well. The sweet caramel, butterscotch, and vanilla flavors are cut extraordinarily well by the bite of the alcohol, the woody elements are a nice backdrop of ever-present flavor, and dark fruity flavors of burnt cherries, raisins, and figs round out this incredibly complex beer. A true masterpiece!

A thick and substantial sipper--exceptionally well crafted.

An astounding beer--a beer that makes you stop and think and appreciate the liquid inside your glass. Sublime nirvana.

Photo of billzav
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Burgundy in color, The Angel’s Share has appreciable notes of caramel and vanilla followed by a big bourbon kick from the barrel aging with a hint of dark fruit at the finish. The oaky bourbon character of this ale makes the alcohol content very noticeable, so The Angel’s Share won’t sneak up on you. This is the beer that you will savor at the end of the evening.

Photo of orangesol
3.69/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 Bottle poured into a few taster glasses. I had intended to open this one and then the 2009 but we struggled to finish this one.

A - Pours deep dark brown, mostly black, with a thin film of off-white head leaving no lace at all down the glass.

S - Smells of chocolate, vanilla, toffee, toasted wood, and warming bourbon. The booze is still VERY strong in this one but the base flavors are very nice.

T - Starts off with a nice mix of chocolate, vanilla, and toffee sweetness quickly giving way to a STRONG alcohol burn, lingering through the finish and then some. The bourbon is ever present, offering a warming sensation that blends well with the base flavors. I think a bit more time in the bottle would have done this one wonders but I didn't want to wait and find out it was flat. Oh well.

M - Heavy body and flavor with low carbonation. Big, heavy, feel with a mix of dark flavors and strong alcohol burn in the finish.

O - I have had this on-tap and it was much better than this. The flavors are complex and very enjoyable but it is just WAY too hot. Once it tones down a bit this will be a great beer but at the moment it is still too raw.

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The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,639 ratings.