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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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BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,548 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,548
Reviews: 649
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 11.45%
Wants: 562
Gots: 468 | FT: 37
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
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Ratings: 1,548 | Reviews: 649 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Halcyondays
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a very dark brown with a whisp of an off-white head. Fair head retention.

S: Elegant full bourbon nose. Vanilla central, wood, a joy to smell.

T: A rather roasty, dark chocolate flavours meets me initially. The bourbon comes in and smooths it out, but this is almost stout like at times. Not sure if there's less residual sugar than Brandy Angel's Share but it certainly tastes like it. A good flavour, but not as strikingly delicious as the Brandy version for me.

M: Full-bodied, thick, nice warming alcohol in the finish. Light carbonation.

D: I've only had tasters in the past and have wanted to have a full pour of this. It's weird to have a beer on-tap that's much cheaper than in the bottle. This is good, but for Angel's Share it looks like brandy is the way to go, my palate is clearly gravitating towards the brandy barrel aged beers, but I certainly enjoyed this.

Photo of WanderingFool
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Angel Share pours flat black into the glass. Dark brown edges when held to the light. No carbonation or head is present. Reminds me of a cold cup of coffee.

The aroma more than makes up for the flat appearance. Lots of oak, vanilla, bourbon, dark fruit and alcohol.

This full bodied beer is very smooth and silky with an oily feel on the palate. The flavor is full of oak, vanilla, chocolate, ripe fruit, bourbon and a touch of smoke. As it warms some maple notes come out. It finishes oaky and leaves behind flavors of vanilla, bourbon and oak.

This is an intense, full flavored beer that's easy to drink. It needs more carbonation, but otherwise what a great beer!

Photo of jrallen34
3.55/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I drank this 2009 version from a 375ml bottle into my Orval glass.

The beer pours an ugly dark brown with not carbonation at all. I got no head rise, I heard the 08 had a carbonation problem, 09 too?

The aroma is relatively strong delivering a ton of vanilla on the nose with a finish that provides some nice depth with oak dominating followed by some distinct bourbon flavor.

The taste is super super sweet. There is a ton of vanilla, which is nice, but probably too much here. BI BCS is a better example that provides the perfect amount. The vanilla would be more tolerable if it was better balanced out with other flavors. If there was big hit of oak or bourbon to break up the vanilla which really lasts to the end, then it could be ok.

The feel is pretty poor, its very light without much lasting flavor.

The drinkability is limited by its one-note-edness.

Overall, a little disappointed here. The bourbon is better than the brandy version, but the Grand Cru dominates, them both its not even funny. A couple minor changes and this could be really good.

Photo of thain709
3.48/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Vintage 2008

A - This beer pours a deep and thick brown body...it's not black but a very dark brown...there was absolutely no head...actually a few spots of faint lace did show up

S - The oak aroma really filled the nose...bourbon and vanilla were mixed in there...some notes of dark fruits (raisins and dates)...a nice chocolate aroma

T - The flavors really worked well together until the bourbon/alcohol presence took over...a sweet vanilla flavor hits you up front and mellows out into the sweet caramel flavor of dates...the bourbon flavor takes over midway through the beer and took away all of the other flavors for me...if the oak characteristic was tuned down a bit it would have worked better

M - Full bodied...smooth and chewy...leaves a linger chocolate flavor that creeps up a minute or two after you swallow

D - I shared this bottle on my birthday which was an awesome birthday present...but I was left a little disappointed...the beer starts off with nice flavors but the oak (bourbon) age just got to me

Photo of thequeen711
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured a deep rich brown, no head, not even lacing. Aroma of dark fruits, caramel, molasses...a mild oakieness also. The taste was definitely of the dark fruits (from the aroma), and the alcohol comes in to play, not too sweet again, not too boozey. After this glass warmed to room temperature, the taste was more prevalent of the flavours. I recommend drinking this at room temp to appreciate all the flavours of the fruits, as well as the sweetness of the caramel and molasses. Port Brewing does it again!

Photo of treehugger02010
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this 12.7 ounce bottle at TJ Everydays in Paoli, PA. It came in a snifter. It came too cold so I let it warm for awhile.
A: The body is a dark deep purple. The head is nonexistent. No lacing.
S: The aromas are caca, alcohol and oak.
T: The flavors are mocha, grape and slightly warming alcohol.
M: The mouthfeel is very smooth and the body is full.
D: This beer is great.
Don't drink and review.

Photo of rye726
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy mahogany with a thin tan head.

Nose has bourbon, vanilla, oak, caramel, toffee, cherries, plums and chocolate.

Taste has booze drenched fruits, wood, vanilla, caramlized candies, whiskey, cocoa and sweet bready malts.

Creamy body is lightly carbonated. Long, lasting finish.

Great stuff, another well done barrel aged beer from Lost Abbey.

Photo of mdfb79
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 2/6/10 notes. Got to try this thanks to a generous BA at SC Day.

a - Very very brown, almost black pour. No carbonation.

s - Bourbon is obviously the biggest smell here, but also a little bit of oak and caramel. Smells great.

t - Bourbon again is the main taste here, but also get a little oak, caramel, and vanilla. Reminds me of BCS a bit, a little bit hot.

m - Full bodied and a litt hot from all the bourbon.

d - Overall I really like this one, but it was a little hot. I'm a big bourbon fan so loved the smell and taste and would definitely like to try this one again.

Photo of ccrida
3.63/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On draught at Brouwer's Big Wood, served in a snifter, Angel's Share Bourbon Barrel-Aged is black with a small tan collar leaving no lace.

Smell is big caramel, some raisin and lots of bourbon.

Taste is also big on the caramel, some sweetness countered by some roast, raisiny and hot.

Mouthfeel is slick and dry, with very low carbonation.

Drinkability is average, not nearly as exciting as I hoped, this is way over priced, I'm glad I only spent $9 on a draft then $30 on a bottle! I will definitely never bother with this again unless the price comes way down, in line with the plethora of other bourbon barrel aged bombers, $8-10...3 times the cost and average for the style.

Photo of BS68280
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to dregs78 for a great trade! Poured from an 09 375ml bottle into my trusty DFH signature glass. Please don't be flat, please don't be flat.

A: Very dark brown. When held up to the night it is obvious that it is more of a dark cloudy brown then black. A couple bubbles... it turns out this isn't a completely flat one. Very very very lightly carbonated, no head but not completely flat.

S: Up front is a good amount of bourbon which fades into a tempting sweet vanilla, carmel. Boozy, but once you get past that it gets better.

T: Again with the bourbon up front. This rivals BCS with the amount of bourbon. A little oaky flavor and burnt malts which is followed by a good bit of alcohol heat. I am left with a taste of sweet dark fruits and a slightly chocolatey burnt malt.

M: Medium to thick body. Pretty flat too but i still like it a lot.

D: I thought this was a damn good beer. However the heat is a little much and the ABV shows through more than many other beers I've had.

Photo of punkrkr27
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

375mL 2009 bottle. Dark nearly black pour with some mahogany highlights and no carbonation.. Very rich dark fruit with notes of vanilla bean, oak, and alcoholic bourbon. There's also some hints of tobacco and black tea. The flavor is almost too rich at first but as it rolls past your tongue it leaves wonderful notes of dates, oak, cognac, vanilla, bourbon and a nice alcohol kick on the end. The body is oily and full with no carbonation and strong alcohol warming.

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

A: Upon opening, the cork's removal makes a definite sound - very encouraging. Pours an opaque brown with absolutely no head, although a scant bit of lacing sticks around for a while.

S: Bourbon. Heavy bourbon up front although I wouldn't call it overpowering and despite the fact that it's been well over six months since it was bottled, it hasn't mellowed too much, other than a bit of heat going away. A melange of aromas lie behind the bourbon - vanilla, oak, caramel, dark fruits (especially raisins) and a hint of chocolate.

T: The bourbon is less dominant in the taste than the aroma, with the dark fruits and caramel coming up front. The bourbon, vanilla, and oakiness come in on the second half, leaving a balance at the end of all of the flavors involved. Each sip leaves me contemplating each component, but enjoying the overall sum more than any specific piece.

M: Sufficient carbonation to be enjoyable...perhaps there could be just a touch more, but compared to the bourbon barrel Santa's Little Helper, this is a world of difference.

D: If not for the price and availability, I could sit down and drive a few bottles of this in an evening...and then sleep very, very soundly.

Photo of Sammy
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml sent by JMBH. Pours very dark brown, with no head. Thickish like a malted milkshake. Some bourbon and chocolate aroma, and voila! it taste like well integrated chocolate and bourbon, neither overpowering the other.Nicley drinkable, its like an aged old imperial stout, and without the booziness apparent. Dangerously drinkable.

Photo of SShelly
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Verdugo.

Big malt nose with booze and some dark fruit.

Cloudy medium brown with a thin head that vanishes quick.

Big malt and dark fruit burst, lots of bourbon booze, nice warming of the chest .

10 oz pour ofthis is more than enough, very enjoyable very boost.

Photo of drabmuh
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this side by side with the brandy barrel aged and I preferred the brandy slightly to this one.

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Lots of head, beer smells slightly sweet but really strong liquor. Beer is brown, dark brown. There isn't much to say about it really. It was sweet, strong, mostly liquor tasting but surprisingly drinkable. Whatever the base of this bal aged beer is it was overwhelmed by the aging process. I'm curious if it was aged in "wet" barrels.

Photo of bulletrain76
3.6/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle, 2009. Dark brown with almost no head. Bourbon, dried fruit, soy sauce, wood and caramel in the aroma. The flavor is smoother and lacks the oxidized soy notes of the aroma. Lots of dried fruit, tobacco, toasty grain, some chocolate and oak. Rich and alcoholic but not harsh. Thick and flat on the tongue. Great flavor and immensely complex, but the weird oxidized soy notes in aroma and lack of bubbles hurt it overall.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 Edition shared courtesy of bmanning at a recent tasting.

A: Pours a fairly dark brown with some copper hues to it. No head and no lacing.

S: Lots of delicious bourbon accompanied by vanilla, oak, caramel, and toffee. Hints of fruit in the background.

T: The bourbon is the key player, but is balanced quite well by the oak and caramel sweetness of the malt. Quite intriguing and complex.

M: Almost completely flat, but I didn't have a problem with it at all. The bourbon presence is definitely quite overwhelming, but the alcohol isn't too much--went down very smooth.

D: Very complex with powerful yet complementary flavors; a big hit, and I'd love to drink this one again.

Photo of craytonic
1.55/5  rDev -63.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Received this as part of the 2009 Sinner's club mailings.

Appearance: Flat. Shit. Was afraid that would be the case. I complained to the brewery and received replacement bottles that were supposedly carbonated, but this is flat as a plank. No head, no lacing. I raised the bottle higher and higher as I poured but still nothing. I might as well get out a straw and start blowing at this point.

Smell: Booze and burt oak with some medicinal elements. There are some prunes and raisins as well, but they are buried by the aforementioned elements. Was hoping for something else but just booze.

Taste: Booze, burt oak, and medicinal elements.

Mouthfeel: Flat, and it should not be.

Drinkability: Drained poured this flat, boozy bastard. Complete disaster of a beer. At least I can finish a bottle of bud light, so what does that say about this beer?

I'll try again next year perhaps. I think Lost Abbey does make some great beers, so I am not on a smear campaign (see my other reviews for many praises), but this beer is flat undrinkable.

Photo of shivtim
3.6/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Konrad for bringing this from CA to share.
Pours out beautifully into a pint glass. Dark black/brown, with brown edges when held up to the light. Minor brown head. Nose is oaky bourbon and sweet plum. Great so far!
Taste is a little less refined. strong bourbon and concord grapes. Strong alcohol finish. Slightly undercarbonated mouthfeel.
Average drinkability.

Sure, it's a sipper, but it's a well crafted beer. Looks and smells great.

Photo of ThirstyBird
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 bottled consumed 1/09 from notes
A - Deep dark caramel in color with red highlights. Thick tan head that stays - beautiful.
S - Bourbon, vanilla, maple syrup.
T - Taste follows nose with sweet dark fruit and a dry finish.
M/F - Medium body and a bit highly carbonated.
D - A very tasty beer that is busting with flavor. A real sipper.

Photo of russpowell
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cheers to Biterbill, basically throwing this as an extra for me!

(09 Vintage) 375 ml bottle opens with a slight pop, pours a mahogany hued chestnut with minimal tan head. Nice oily sheen to this, minimal lacing & head retention

S: Big time raisins & prune & a whisper of bourbon, plus some praline as this warms

T: Big time Bourbon with cherries & raisins, plus some booze in your face up front, along with some oakyness. This smooths out quite a bit as this warms, oaky dryness really asserts itself, along with more pruneyness, leafy hops & caramel. Finishes dry with praline like sweetness with booze soaked raisins & cherries, almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Rich, slick, with minimal carbonation, VERY warming, starts thinning a bit once warm

Drinks pretty easy for the ABV & style but to be be sipped for sure! Not the best barrel aged ale I've ever had, but in the top 20 percentile at the very least. Had higher expectations, but I am always thrilled to get to try any & all well made big beers. I kind of put this on a par with New Holland's Dragon's Milk, which is not even half the price. Would love to try this on tap...

Photo of deereless
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Little to no pop on the cork which followed with very light to no carbonation, deep ruby to black in color, slight viscosity is detected from the movement of the beer in the glass - 4.25, S: Intense aromas, the oak is very evident and provides a nice vanilla to the nose as well as obvious whisky smells from the bourbon barrel aging, there is also a marked sweetness that borders on sherry to chocolate covered cherries, also signs of caramel and coconut - 5.00, T: Intense raisin and date, alcohol is upfront which isn't all that surprising considering that the beer is 12.5%, the vanilla, oak and whisky that were rampant on the nose come through on the palate, there is also a strong holiday fruit cake soaked in whisky taste, I taste a hint of hops but it is really lost in all the malts and bourbon barrel - 4.75, M: The low to no carbonation keep this beer a silky smooth, it is also slightly syrupy - 4.50, D: Insanely complex - oodles going on in this beer only a fraction of which I feel like I'm capturing, this is the beer I wanted to ring in 2010 and it does not disappoint, the high alcohol does keep it in the sipping range - 4.50

Photo of Mora2000
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Mar.

Pours dark brown with no head. This one is definitely flat. Aroma is a combination of roasted malts and bourbon, with maybe come chocolate and caramel mixed in. The flavor is lots of bourbon, oak and vanilla with some alcohol, roasted malt and chocolate/coffee. A very complex flavor. The mouthfeel is hurt by the fact the beer is flat as a pancake. Still, it is pretty drinkable and a good beer overall. I think it would be better with proper carbonation.

Photo of gregalobeer
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I bought the Angel's Share at my usual store with lots of corked big beers on the shelf. It must have been positioned above the wrong price tag that day (and I must have been stocking up), because I don't remember spending $30. Though last time I went, that was the price. In any case ... I wasn't setting the bar particularly high to "get my money's worth."

My first reaction was that the beer had very little carbonation. I am vindicated by the other reviewers who had the same reaction from the bottled Angle (I know, I shouldn't have read them before; won't happen again).

The color and smell were impressive, despite the poor carbonation. Alcohol was apparent. So was the brandy casking. The beer tasted almost like a martini with bourbon coating the tumbler and a raisin/carmel/malt-heavy brown ale in the mix.

I had a lot of fun drinking this beer for about 10 minutes, sipping more than gulping, though I prefer a mouthfull with darker beers.

All in all, the lack of carbonation didn't bother me really. There's plenty to like about Angel's Share in the non-carbonated bottle. I didn't finish it, but I enjoyed it. I recommend splitting it with a few buddies. Approach it like a nice scotch.

Photo of berkey
3.63/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage 750 ml bottle. Seemed appropriate to pour this bal-aged monster of a beer into my Barrel Aged Beer Fest Tulip.

The cork was dispatched with absolutely no pop. Due to this beers reputation I'm now worrying about carbonation. The pour confirms my fears. Zero head, zero bubbles, completely still. I'm fairly tolerant of low carbonation beers in this style but this is just ridiculous. I keep trying to coax up even a small head with an aggressive pour and even stirring the beer vigorously with a fork but it's clearly a lost cause.

Even without the assistance of carbonation this beer still manages to smell quite good. It takes a deeper than usual sniff but I'm getting fairly strong vanilla, caramel, and earthy wood aromas, followed by sweet dates. Not bad at all. The core elements of the Bourbon are coming through without smelling directly like alcohol while the soul of the base beer seems to be mostly intact.

Almost identical in flavor as in the smell. The complex resinous wood, molasses, and sweet dates are nice but it's somewhat difficult to focus, I'm seeing for the first time how important carbonation is in delivering the various flavors. I'm having a degree of success swishing the beer around my mouth but it isn't the same. Beyond the oaky vanilla and dates other dark fruits including hints of figs come through abut I might be reaching a little.

Not sure what more can be said about the feel so I'll move on. The alcohol heat is hidden better than the average strong ale, I'll admit to a degree of surprise seeing the 12% abv when I took a second look the bottle. Not the hot Bourbon bomb I was fearing by any means.

This manages to avoid being a complete fail even with the glaring defects but I think it's fair to expect much more from a near $30 bottle of beer from such a respected brewer. I used to think people were whining unnecessarily about flat Lost Abbey beers but now I kind of get it. Still, this is only my second bottle with carbonation problems out of many dozen from Lost Abbey over the years (the only other problem beer being an 08 Ten Commandments) so I'm far from ready to boycott this brewer the way some seem to be. I'm hoping to try this beer on tap some day so I can truly experience it at it's full potential.

The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
96 out of 100 based on 1,548 ratings.