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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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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,611 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,611
Reviews: 655
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 11.45%
Wants: 575
Gots: 499 | 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: 1,611 | Reviews: 655 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
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
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
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
3.56/5  rDev -16.8%
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
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
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
1.52/5  rDev -64.5%
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
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
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
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
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
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
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
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
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
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

Photo of drpimento
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Really big beer, but, I just need more than the vaguest hint of carbonation to make this work right. Poured with zero head. Color is opaque dark brown/black. Aroma is so decadently rich whiskey, malty, coffee, cocoa, sin, fecund earth, worked leather, turkish tobacco. and sinful love. Flav's about the same. heady. Roasty and chocolate too. Killer. Man, what an expression of beer.

Photo of hopstat
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the dog and pony

A: dark dried fruits - cherries, big chocolate and slight bourbon notes

T: amazing morph from dried fruit to big chocolate (like a dark chocolate syrup) to bitter chocolate to mocha to esspresso.

Overall: an amazing beer so complex you're sure to taste something new when you sale up in the morning

Photo of mikecharley
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review #50... (I know, I know...)
Saved this review for my first minor milestone, cause it was a doozie. This was an 08 375 (carbonated) that I got about 1.5 years ago from a fellow ba... Thanks! Split with my sister's bf rick.

Gushes out of the 375. Pours a really dark dark mahogany/nut color. about 1.5 inch of head sticks around.

The nose is insanely complex. Dark chocolate, toffee, cocoa, carmel, etc... INSANE I TELL YOU!!!

The taste delivers on the promise of the nose.
The chocolate and the toffee notes intermix so well in the mouth too. Also to go along with this complexity, is the nice hint (just a hint) of alcohol burn. There is some faint vanilla from the barrel in the background too, along with some bourbon sweetness.

I have had some really good beers in my time here on ba, and this is a bold, bold statement, but this is BY FAR the best beer I have ever had. So glad that I received another in a trade recently.

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

on tap at big wood @ brouwer's. have had previously as well. very dark, almost black, little bit of carbonation, definitely not flat, which i've been hearing is a serious problem with this in the bottles. the last bottle i had did have decent carbonation as well. maybe i got lucky. smells like brandy with a little caramel and chocolate hiding in there. the cold taste was not very revealing but when this baby warmed up, it came alive. the alcohol lingers all throughout each sip and plays well with others, the caramel, chocolate, a spot of vanilla, bourbon. fun stuff. warm, it is very enjoyable. always happy to have some lost abbey, always lucky to not be disappointed. i just wish we'd had a table at that time so i could've ordered something else while letting it warm.

Photo of ShrLSU
2.18/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

So Lost Abbey gets one more shot and steals my hard earned money. This better be good, and by good I mean carbonated.

It pours a murky brown color with little to no head and very little lacing.

The nose is basically just bourbon. This isn't looking good.

The taste is just bleh. If i wanted a glass of bourbon I'd pour one from my liquor cabinet. I don't get what this is trying to be. It's like drinking a glass of good bourbon that someone left out for 6 days. You can tell the thought was there and this should be good but it isn't. I don't even want to drink the rest of it honestly.

Overall this is pretty awful. I can't see what the hype is with this beer. Maybe this was flat, I don't know. If this is what it's supposed to taste like then God help anyone that tries to finish a bottle. If it's a bad bottle (one of many from Lost Abbey) then that would make my fourth bottle of different variety that I have had which was a waste of money. If I wanted to waste money on a tease I'd drop $35 at a titty bar. I'm done with Lost Abbey. Let's pull the pin on the hype train for this brewery. Flat or not Flat, this one simply sucked.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear deep brown color ale with a medium foamy head with little to no retention and no lacing. Aroma of bourbon with light vanilla and balanced sweet rich malt. Taste is a well balanced mix between some deep rich English style malt with light dry fruits and with great notes of bourbon and light vanilla. Body is fuller then average with very low carbonation but still enough to be enjoyable with no apparent alcohol which is surprising considering the clear notes of bourbon. Not bad thought not sure it is worth the price tag or should be ion the top 50 but glad I tried it anyway.

Photo of jwc215
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to bitterbill for this!

12.7 oz. cage-corked bottle - 2009 vintage - poured into tulip glass -

Pours black with slight rubyish highlights and a wisp rather than a head. Dotted lace and some "legs" slide down the glass.

The smell is of rich bourbon - vanilla/oak with a toffee backing. It has a cherry-like fruity touch. It is a beautiful, robust aroma.

The taste is of strong bourbon - vanilla/oak with a touch of cinnamon spicing. It has a chocolate/toffee backing that supports and complements the bourbon/oak. Some alcohol shows, though not in a raw way - adding pepper and fruity spicing that adds to the complexity. Some dark fruits - dark cherry, prune, plum mix in, adding another layer of complexity. Bourbon (I don't know which one - not listed on website) is delicious and stays ahead, but with great support. It is sweet, but rounded out with a minty dryness in the finish.

The feel is velvety/silky - rich and full-bodied, but the carbonation keeps it from being thick or syrupy. A pleasant aftertaste lingers.

Wonderfully complex and I don't know what Bourbon is used (not listed on site), but it's a nice one, and with a great malty richness. A treat, and one to seek out if you are a lover of bourbon-barrel-aged beer!

Photo of portia99
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle (2009 release) received from brdc. Thanks! Poured into a Bruery tulip. Opened with a nice pop...not overwhelming, but satisfying pop.

A - Some tiny bubbles around the edge of the glass, but no head at all. A few swirls of bubbles on the surface, but that's about it. Dark, dark brown, almost totally opaque, just a hint of transparency around the edges when held to the light.

S - Caramel, molasses, a bit of milk chocolate, vanilla, toffee and some alcohol, and a touch of prunes, and a bunch of raisins. Very complex.

T - Buttery toffee, molasses, milk chocolate, prunes. Flavors basically mirror the taste. Really good.

M - Carbonation is negligable, body is quite rich and full, and syrupy. Just the slightest hint of carbonation, but that is all it needs. This is really good.

D - 12% is on the high side...a touch boozy, but not overpowering. For what this is, it is rather drinkable. Split the 375ml bottle and it is just about right...probably could finish the 375 on my own, but not any more. For a high alcohol beer, this is pretty smooth, not hot, but noticable alcohol. Very good overall.

Photo of KeefD
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to drgonzo3705 for giving me the chance to try this one!

Nice pop of the cork (shew!) so I know there's some bubbles in there somewhere. Pours a dark brown color with no head or lacing. I can see some carbonation bubbles drifiting slowing to the top edge of the liquid. Big waft of bourbon is the first noticeable aroma followed by chocolate, light coffee and burnt caramel. Smells amazing! Flavor is nice blend of chocolate, roasted malts, dark caramel, bourbon, vanilla, booze, and oak. Mmmm, this is so close to being an imperial stout, but falls just short. Definitely the roastiest strong ale I've ever had. Carbonation is very light but it's nice and doesn't really need anymore for this style, but a touch more would be welcome. Really can't complain, as this beer soft, velvety, and warming. Booze is a little too much in the forefront, and this hampers the drinkability but it's delicious all around.

In all, I'm very happy to have had the chance to try this one and I was impressed. Not the flat mess that was Older Viscosity. Thanks again, Paul!

Photo of tempest
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Bookstore Speakeasy. I'm told this is one of 4 kegs in the state. Lucky me.

The beer doesn't live up to the hype, but it's still pretty tasty. In short, it was a large snifter of bourbon candy. The character was rich and sweet, but the flavors were too smooth, making it hard to pick out many flavors. It came off a little dull for such a big beer. The bourbon character dominated and as it warmed the alcohol began to emerge. I'm glad I tried this beer, but wished it had approached everything I'd heard about it.

Photo of rfgetz
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A restoration of a review lost in the great purge of '09... originally sampled in July '09 at Monk's for my b-day

A-Deep rich dark brown. Khaki head that went away rather quickly but left nice lacing on the sides.

S-Rich, complex blend of aromas of burbon, vanilla oak, dark fruit, wine, herbs and hints of malt. Nothing overpowers another scent.

T- While the scents of the beer all hinted towards rich and full flavors, everything contained there-in was in a delicate balance where each sip brought on a new taste. Amazingly complex flavors of vanilla oak, burbon, dark fruit, wine and spice all with a nice backbone of malt.

M-Rediculously smooth for all of the complexities. Nicely carbonated.

D-Amazing. A must have, in a class of its own

Photo of Cakanator
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Yes this was third course 09 BGBBD @ sierra, just sick to know that it was the bourbon instead of the brandy. So dark and happy, I've had the bourbon in bottle before and loved it and this was no exception. Poured dark with little head. Aromas were huge so much vanilla like I remembered it and thank god I got a snifter of this at the end. Went down too smooth and easy. I could care less about carb issues, this was almost complete and for me was up there with BBVD, BA Boris and Nor'easter Cl for best bourbon brews.

The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,611 ratings.