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

1,683 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,683
Reviews: 668
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.42%
Wants: 584
Gots: 511 | FT: 43
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: 1,683 | Reviews: 668
Photo of BostonHops
4.37/5  rDev +1.9%
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 vic21234
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter. Served at cellar temperature.

A- Corked bottle opened with a weak pop. Pours very cola-like, dark with some light appearing through the top of the glass. A small amount of head quickly fades to just a filmy lacing along the side of the glass.

S- Smells very boozey with the bourbon shining through. Some caramel is hidden in there as well.

T- Starts off smooth with some caramel notes. I also get the oak/ woody notes, but really no vanilla. The back end of the taste is all booze.

M- Little to no carbonation, this one is a definite sipper. The 12.5% ABV is certainly apparent, and I would possibly call it one of the hottest tastes beers I've had, which isn't a bad thing. Each sip ends with a warming alcohol tingle down my throat.

Good stuff, would have liked to had two bottles so I can lay one down for even longer to see if the boozey notes subside a bit.

Photo of SawDog505
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 20 oz Duvel tulip, bottled in 2011. Pours a really dark mahogany, with just a ring of lacing, with even the most aggressive pour. That ring has amazing retention. Smell is bourbon, burnt brown sugar, fig, molasses, prunes, and vanilla. Taste is so crazy complex. Everything I got from the nose, but so balanced, except a pungent bourbon and vanilla flavor that grabs you by the short hairs and makes you crave the next sip. Body is medium, not much carbonation, a dry finish, and a very drinkable sipper. This is so special now, I need to find out what a few more years will do.

Photo of Hophead717
2.94/5  rDev -31.5%
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 ChugginOil
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark dark brown with reddish tints when held to the light. Tiny amount of tan head. Zero lace.

The nose has a ton of bourbon charateristics. Vanilla, butterscotxh, oak and caramel dominate. The heat from the high alcohol content lingers.

The taste is full of caramel, light cocoa, butterscotch, vanilla, light dry tannin, and a sweetness that is bold but evenly matched with roasty and dry barrel characteristics.

The mouthfeel is thick, viscous, bold, beastly. Ample carbonation nails it for the style.

Overall, glorious bourbon treatment that allows a lot of the base beer to show alongside the bourbon. Very nice.

Photo of JustinQ
3.26/5  rDev -24%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

15.99 For 375 ml Bottle

Serving Type: Bottle poured into snifter

Appearence: dark dark red/ Light brown, cloudy. FLAT

Aroma: Bourbon straight. No malt or hops just straight up bourbon

Taste: Vanilla. oak. alcohol. Residual sweetness

Mouthfeel: Flat and thick

Overall: C. Good beer. not a fan of the co2 levels or the price.

Photo of zeff80
3.8/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

Photo of AgentMunky
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 375mL bottle into a brandy snifter.

A: Mud brown. No head. No lacing. Opaque

S: Winey, huge grapey fruits, whiffs of molasses, touch of oak and of bourbon. Powerful.

T: Strong malt-alcoholic sweetness. Incredibly brief maintaste -- flash of fruit and the like -- but strong vanilla bean on the aftertaste more than makes up for it. Obvious and excellent bourbon.

M: Smooth and flat.

O: One of the more bourbony beers I've experienced. It smells great, and it tastes good as well. It gains character as it warms; recommended.

Photo of hansgruber
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375 mL 2010 version drank sometime in early 2011 I believe. Served into a Dogfish Head snifter...from notes

No pop upon removing cork. Pours a dark brown cola color with not much visible carbonation. The bubbles are in there though, just very fine. They leave a thin, light tan collar. The visible carbonation does increase as the beer warms.

The nose is bourbon, sweet malts, raisins, and a bit of oak. There's some dark fruits backing all that up and a hint of butterscotch buried in there too.

Taste a nice very balanced blend of bourbon, vanilla, sweet malt, oak, and a fruity undertone. Nothing stands out too much, the balance is just great.

It has a thick full body with a slick mouthfeel. The carbonation is present and I don't feel I need it to be any greater than it is. The booze provides some bite to this as well.

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Alright so $18/bottle is pretty steep...but I've heard great things...

The beer pours a deep, dark brown with no head or lacing. There's a little sediment in the bottom, but not copious amounts. The beer reeks of bourbon, but also has potent notes of vanilla and bread. The taste follows suit with incredible vanilla smoothness (even at a warm serving temperature), moderate-intense booziness, and banana breadiness that pulls it all together. The mouthfeel is quite balanced with hints of everything in the beer's nose and taste, but it's smoothed out for casual sipping in comparison. There is a slightly bitter tobacco aftertaste that saturates your palate and lingers for some time. It's really what all barrel aged beers should be like as far as taste and mouthfeel...although it's still not a perfect 5/5 in either category.
Overall this beer was pretty incredible, but it's still hard to spend this much for 375mL bottle...especially when you're splitting it with someone else! A period of aging would be quite appropriate.

Photo of zaphodchak
4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, deep brown body. No head, no lace.

Smells goood. Bourbon barrel beer goodness. Quintessential. Some dank mushrooms as well.

Taste is slightly brash, boozy and a trace astringent. Bourbony, and good. I get gouda as well. The sediment is the best part.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, not bad.

Impressive bourbon barrel stout. Sublime and best towards the bottom of the bottle.

Photo of AstroAcks6
3.26/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-- Cork barely popped, jet black, tiny head that disappeared immediately

S- Strongly bourbon and oak nose. Some vanilla as well. The smell on this one is amazing!

T- Total bourbon with oak notes. No malt, definitely no hops.

M- Coats the tongue for a moment. Alcohol sticks.

O-- Completely unbalanced but a barrel-aged lovers dream. Pricey for what you get. Worth trying but I'll stick with GI BCBS

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bourbon from 2010.

A: opaque, jet black, poured with very little head that quickly dissipated
S: full, intense, deep bourbon and extreme roasted malt
T: really mellow for 2010 but hot, sweeter, velvet with great bourbon, earthy
M: earthy, thinner but good, more bourbon than malt

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of ericmunley
1.99/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The first time I tried this beer (bottle poured in a Chimay chalice) I was really disappointed.

The second time I tried this beer (on draft) it was a little better, but not worth the buzz.

The third time I tried this beer (on draft...again) it was barely palatable.

I've tried this beer three times because of its "acclaim", but no matter how many times I try Angel's Share, it still tastes like Jack Daniels with cough syrup in it. Horribly unbalanced; just an overall substandard beer.

Photo of FATC1TY
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a goblet from a 32 oz growlette.

A: Black, almost black really, slightly lighter near the top, little to no head on this. Thin line around the rim. Almost not carbonation to this.

S: What could smell better than this?! Bourbon loves rejoice. It's sweet, boozy fruit. Reminds of a cherries soaked in bourbon and chocolate. Just a smooth, but strong whiff of whats to come.

T: Tastes like it smells. Strong was the first thing that came to mind. Malty and sweet, then the caramel, and vanilla come in. Slight bite, but it's the alcohol. Swallow this and you can tell there is a higher ABV. It's not hiding at all. It's smooth like a fine bourbon, and despite wishing it was more carbonated, it's complex and blends really well with all that.

M: Medium body, no carbonation, and slides down easy. Good easy drinker, except it's a bit heavy on the alcohol side I think. I like the high ABV, just doesn't lend it's self to mingle as nice as I wanted.

Overall- Great complete beer with alot going on. I love bourbon as well as beer, and I think this is the better one out there doing the barrel aging. Aged for a year, and you can taste/smell the notes that the bourbon placed in here. Tasted better as I sipped and it warmed up. I enjoyed it, worth the try. Although, it's pricey.

Photo of notchucknorris
3.87/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black with almost no head.

S: Pretty amazing smells out of this one. Lots of bourbon sweetness, caramel, oak, coconut and chocolate. Smells fantastic.

T: Lots of dark and booze soaked fruit flavors. A good bit of sweetness from the bourbon and some notes of wood. A bit boozy on the finish, but pretty tasty stuff.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

is there a better beer in the world than this? bring it to me. this pours into an 8oz chalice a lovely red/brown color with a minimal and fading off white head. smells like a billion delicious things, belgian yeast, caramel, milk chocolate, oak chips, sweet malt, booze. flavor at first is that of a liquid rollo candy, chocolate and gooey caramel combined, but soon after a barleywine sweetness and strength assert themselves and a wood aged sort of depth is in your face. this is so complex and evolving its insane. notes of dried fruit, toll house semisweet chips, and jim beam come through. there is no other beer like this. mouthfeel is near perfect too, plenty of bubbles, and a fuller medium body, strong alcohol burn as it warms. magnificent beer, with everything you could want and more. 12.5% is well hidden until it gets warm. i cant say enough good things about this one. damn damn damn. only thing i dont like is the price, $12 for an 8oz. pour.

Photo of sentomaster
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bottle poured into DFH goblet

A- very disappointing. An ever so faint pop from the cork, not a good sign. Pour is a deep ruddy, black, thick, and murky color with almost no carbonation.

S- monster whiff of grapey, sherry-like alcohol. if you really look for it, a touch of bourbon and oak, but it has really faded over time. Gooey, fudgy caramel; rum soaked dark cherries.

T&M- peppery alcohol is still strong. Chocolate cake like consistency. Shockingly, this is actually carbed up pretty decently- considering the alternative of zero bubbles which I've gotten with this beer before. Oh so slight...but it is there, and the very, very fine carbonation actually manages to lend to the rich and decadent mouthfeel; still it needs a step up. it gets even better as it warms. Dark fruits really present themselves and start to shine and flex next to the huge alcohol notes. While the spicy alcohol is big, it's really not at all overwhelming at this point. Vanilla and bourbon also vie for the stage as it warms. Rum soaked dark cherries appear again this time covered in dark chocolate.

O- rich and decadent is how I would describe this, but it's just missing an extra dimension that would send this beer into the stratosphere. I had this on tap and it was amazing, this doesn't quite measure up.

Photo of Casey10
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this for awhile finally decided to crack it open.

A nice smooth drink for the high abv.

A - really nice dark not much carb but not bad either.

S - Dark chocolate some raisin notes. Strong alcohol.

T - More of the same as smell again strong.

M - Mouthfeel tingles from th alcohol and stays with you.

O - A really nice beer a bit pricey but worth trying at least once.

Photo of bcostner1
3.49/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

This bottle was sent to me as a replacement for an infected, flat bottle of Brandy Angel's share that I purchased. Poured into a snifter.

A: Very minimal carbonation evident. Virtually no head whatsoever. It is not completely flat (like the infected bottle of Brandy Angel's Share that I had to drainpour) but it is obviously lacking in significant carbonation. Some carbonation does appear upon swirling the glass. Otherwise, pours a dark brown with tinges of dark ruby red evident as well.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, malt, booze, dark fruits. The aroma is enticing. I have smelled better but I have also smelled worse. I think the aroma would be significantly improved if the carbonation were present to a higher degree.

T: I have to say, I do love the taste of this. Very smooth. Lots of vanilla and bourbon for sure. Also get some booze, raisins, figs, dates, brown sugar, and molasses too. Pretty strong malt backbone. A little bit of wood. Hints of chocolate as well. I really can't knock the taste of this one despite the lack of appropriate carbonation. All of the tastes are pretty well balanced in my opinion and I enjoyed it.

M: Again, very little carbonation evident. That being said, this remains a relatively easy drinker in my opinion. A little on the slick side. While some alcohol is evident, it is definitely not overpowering, offensive, or "hot" in the least. I just wish there were more carbonation there.

I appreciate Ruby Johnson sending me this replacement beer for the bad one that I purchased. I definitely enjoyed it but can certainly see how it would be even more enjoyable when imbibed from an appropriately carbonated bottle or, better yet, tap/keg. I would love to try it in this format if I ever get the chance but I can't say that I would necessarily buy a bottle again until I hear that their carbonation issues have improved.

Photo of elgiacomo
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

32oz Growler, 2011 Bourbon. Served at around 45-50F to room temperature.

Pours murky dark brown, nearly black in the glass with a faint brown head that recedes to almost nothing pretty quick. Second pour was closer to room temp and produced a decent head with slightly better retention.

Aroma is strong bourbon and a lot of rich, complex malt. Tons of dark fruit, prunes, figs, raisins, dates, black currants, some molasses, nuts, dark bread/toast, vanilla and oak. Very good strength.

Flavor starts with a blast of bourbon, oak, vanilla, rich dark fruit and malt, prunes, figs, raisins, black currant, molasses, anise, hints of caramel and bread, dark tobaccos, strong warming alcohol on the finish, fairly sweet. Virtually no hop presence/bitterness detected...any that may be there are overwhelmed by the massive malt bill and bourbon.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus bodied, low carbonation, sticky.

Fantastic stuff. Huge and incredibly complex beer. You better love bourbon as it isn’t subtle at all. I think I like this a touch better than the Brandy Barrel version. While I can live with the near lack of carbonation, some bubbles certainly would ramp this up a bit in the appearance and mouthfeel categories. Letting this warm up to near room temperature really helped open this up a lot.

Photo of spinrsx
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle from 2008 - thanks to pushkinwow for this

Appearance - Brown colour with pretty much no head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is isn't much lacing on the sides of the glass. The bottle opened without a 'pop'..

Smell - Malts, dark fruits, chocolate, booze

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a very low amount of carbonation (if any?) and I can taste chocolate mixed with malts and some dark fruits. There is also a touch of butterscotch/molasses and a some bourbon/booze. It ends with a sweet aftertaste with a lingering warming feeling from the booze.

Overall – A delicious and complex yet very drinkable beer. Of course I'd like some carbonation, but the fact that there isn't any leaves the beer feeling very velvety on the tongue. This is the perfect bottle for sharing on a special occasion and I'll buy it the next time I see it.

Photo of texantiff
3.96/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

S: Very boozy aroma and taste.
T: Lots of caramel.
M: Not much carbonation.
A:Heavy sediment. Dark brown color with red hints.

Had at a bottle share & the crowd's response was 50/50. Some felt that it was too sweet, others loved it.

There was also a heavy yeast flavor that wasn't over powering, but definitely noticeable.

Photo of schlimenhaumer
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks once again to kojevergas! Poured from the bottle into a nonic Guinness pint glass at altitude in Denver.

A: Pours a dark murky reddish color with a thin cream-colored head that leaves a bit of spotty lacing on the glass.

S: Smells like a less alcoholic glass of bourbon, with plenty of floral oak notes. A bit of booziness in the background on this one.

T: Smooth bourbon flavors with plenty of oak. There’s a bit of yeast on the finish here to let you know you’re still drinking a beer. The alcohol’s concealed nicely here.

M: Full-bodied and very smooth. A bit dry on the finish, but very pleasant.

D: The difference between this and the brandy-barrel aged version was astounding; these two really illuminated what a difference aging can make. This is a very smooth, drinkable beer, but the bourbon characteristics make it a bit of a sipper.

The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,683 ratings.