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
94
outstanding

660 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 660
Hads: 1,686
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 586
Gots: 512 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 660 | Hads: 1,686
Photo of WaXHeLL
4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Lost Abbey / Port Brewing's 3rd Anniversary party. 4oz taster. Tasting notes from 5/9/2009. 2009 vintage.

Appearance: Pitch black, with a light brown head. The head moves very well with lacing. No sign of the "flat share" here. Being on tap probably makes up for it. Very nice visually.

Smell: Wow -- complex. It's hard to figure out the nose, based on how unique it is. There is a definite sweet and oaky smell that goes throughout the nose. The smell of bourbon is very apparent. There are hints of oatmeal somewhere in the complexity. There are sweet, slightly floral tones throughout the nose. Very complex, very unique, and quite good. ONe of the few 5.0 rating beers for smell.

Taste: Just as complex as the nose. Starts off very sweet, with a strong bourbon taste. Hints of oak. Finishes bitter with a strong alcohol bite. The aftertaste is definitely is filled with bourbon. Complex and tasty -- I like it. One of the few 5.0 rating beers for taste.

Mouthfeel: There is a pretty complex, oaky, bourbon feel to this beer (if such a thing exists). There is a well executed bitter taste/feel to this beer. Heavy bodied.

Drinkability: Definitely a sipping beer. The alcohol is harsh and very apparent. Definitely a sipping beer and probably is one of those single bottle beers (if that). Tastes like it would complement food very well. Savor this beer.

Overall: This is one of my favorite beers, but again, you can't drink too much in a single sitting. This probably will age very well also. (1,510 characters)

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to bennetj17 for this brew that has been on my Wants for a long time. 375ml bottle from my cellar. The beer overflows with foam upon uncorking but I only lost a bit of it. No lacing on the glass. Dark amber in color. Smells of bourbon, carmel, and something sweet. Tastes mostly of carmel & the bourbon. Mouthfeel is a little less than I expected & if anything there is too much carbonation (a stark contrast in comparison to the Brandy version). Drinkable even with the ABV. I am glad I had a chance to try this brew.

Cheers. (535 characters)

Photo of Blakaeris
4.58/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich chocolate brown with a great deal of suspended yeasty sediment. Head immediately dissipates to nothing

Aroma is alcohol soaked dark fruit. Massive caramel malt and chocolate sweetness. Bourbon comes on strong in a pleasantly effervescent fashion.

Taste is impressively complex. Caramel malt, chocolate, brown sugar, and molasses up front. Then the warming bourbon and dry woody oak take over, followed by dark fruit - plum, date, and raisin. Finish is yeasty with unidentifiable spices and lingering alcohol.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Full bodied with touch oil slickness.

A very big, and complex brew. Flavor is pleasantly unified and interesting enough to find something new with each sip. Bourbon comes on strong, but doesn't overpower the massive caramel and dark fruit sweetness. Certainly a must try. (828 characters)

Photo of bashiba
4.57/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a thick and chewy looking dark brown with lots of sedement and just a hint of off white head.

The smell was huge, a giant vanilla and oak whiskey smell with hints of alcohol sweetness along with a big dark fruity nose with some cherries and raisons.

The taste was mellow and smooth after the assault the aroma gave my nose. Subtle malt sweetness mixing in with a nice musty yeast flavor along with a light bit of vanilla and cedar with a touch of raison and a slightly earthy and bitter hops in the finish.

The mouthfeel is warm and thick with a long lingering resiny finish carrying the flavor on and on.

A very nice sipper of a strong ale, something I would drink plenty of if the price wasn't quite so high and availability was a little greater, still it will be a very nice treat from time to time. (813 characters)

Photo of alleykatking
4.77/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got in a trade with kinnaird...thanks for everything John!!!

I popped this open at DLD and had a couple of people around me become very happy with letting them sample...beer karma is good.

A-Poured into a Dogfish snifter. Pours a nice deep dark brown color almost black but when the light hits it you can see dark brown. Nice brown/tan head that went away rather quickly and left nice lacing on the sides.

S-From the first smell I could just pickup a sweet smelling bourbon. One I let it breathe for about a minute I could get more complex smells of vanilla and some fruitiness to it as well. Also the malts come in to play but only as a backbone I think. Just so much to take in.

T-This is one of the best tasting barrel aged beers I have ever had. Kind of on a sweet taste that comes out of nowhere which goes with the vanilla that I smelled earlier. The roasted malts come through nicely along with a nice touch of fruit and figs. The bourbon comes through with this but it is not overpowering at all. The warmer it becomes the better I think it is becoming.

M-For such a complex tasting beer it has a nice mouthfeel. A little on the heavy side but the carbination makes up for it very nicely. Coats the palate but doesn't leave a lingering feel after it is gone.

D- This beer is dangerous. I mean dangerous. It is so drinkable and I could get enough of it. The ABV is very hidden and I was sad once I took my last sip. I wish I could get my hands on more of this. (1,475 characters)

Photo of jjayjaye
4.57/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This one is the 750ml corked and caged. Pours a deep mahogany color with a full finger wispy light tan head that fades quickly to surface. Thin but significant patterns of Belgian lacing as you go. The smell is amazing!! Right out of the bottle, the first pour reveals big bourbon notes. As it warms the aroma becomes fruitier and sweeter, brown sugar from a far with a berry tartness further in. The mouth feel is bright and tangy, medium-light bodied, tart with a balanced creamy texture. The flavor is crazy unique; tart apple and berries, bourbon and vanilla with fig and notes of molasses. The experience lingers nicely! One of the best drinkers around!! It goes in a flash while you attempt to consider all of its complexities. (733 characters)

Photo of BretSikkink
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This bottle is definitely under-carbonated, but the firm pour still elicits a cap of large bubbles. These settle down quickly, and the alcohol keeps the lace from settling on the glass. Amber brown color that settles into a deep brown in the glass, only lightened by a certain amount of ruby highlighting. I would hope for more carbonation.

The nose is quite vinous, with a lot of darkly fruity, bourbon-accented notes. Vanilla, woodiness, and a bit of diacetyl all make an appearance. There's a lot going on, and the power is good.

The flavor is strong and full. Complex notes of butterscotch, toasted malt, caramel and Goji berry run deeply through the tongue. Definitely a sipper, although 12+% doesn't weight quite as much in the mouth as I thought it might. The Bourbon is present, with lots of vanilla, hints of chocolate, a spicy oak pepper, and a mix of dessert-type wines. The mouthfeel is a little light given the overall size of this thing.

Underneath is a somewhat musty flavor, like its been aged, but this is a 2008 bottle. Very intriguing and complex notes, although a little bit "off". Not overly inviting or easy to drink, but a lot of fun and definitely off the beaten path. I expect nothing less from the Lost Abbey. (1,241 characters)

Photo of bort11
4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

mikesgroove sent this with Fight Club: Project Mayhem BIF. Thank you so much Mike.

12.7 oz corked and caged bottle. I split this with my wife. I'm such a nice guy. Once the cork popped, there was a slow gusher of foam. I poured into an Ommegang tulip. Very active head for a higher ABV beer. Color is a dark khaki, very slow to recede. Color is a murky chocolate brown.

Smell is WOW!. Very sweet, but never cloying. There is toasted coconut, brown sugar, wood, smoke. Very bold aroma. Taste is equally bold. Coconut is really standing out. That is a rare flavor in a beer. I've only come across it a few times. As it warms more spices come through. Dark candied ginger, still very woody.

Mouthfeel is a little on the light side, and the carbonation could calm down a little bit. However the flavor and smell makes up for any faults there. This is an absolutely fantastic beer.

Blipped "Angel" by Massive Attack (914 characters)

Photo of jim1904
3.48/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from the standard Lost Abbey 750ml into a crystal goblet. Cork popped with a little tiny plunk, kinda cute actually.

A - Had just a thin sheet of head on it. Not quite as flat as previous reports had led me to believe, but nowhere near an acceptable level of carbonation. Color is great... murky amber, very ominous-looking American barleywine. Lovely.

S - I'm having this pretty warm (probably hovering around 55-60 degrees) and the alcohol smell is really insanely strong, but is tempered by a little bourbon backbone that makes it not offensive. Very sharp, spicy, boozy, malty sweet and dank.

T - WOW. Even for a prematurely released brew, the taste of this one knocks my socks off. Strong, STRONG cassis notes, boozy bourbon kick, fiery alcohol warmth, and a really unique, delicious caramel finish. Even with all the overpowering bourbon/caramel flavors, I can pick out interesting estery flourishes that separate this one from the teeming masses. Banana, Mexican chocolate, and especially oak are all very present in the finish.

M - Just short of cough syrup. Barely prickly. Not exactly medicinal, but certainly not very quaffable. Alcohol is nigh offensive on the throat. Very very powerful.

D - I have to struggle with this one. Definitely a sipper in its current state.

Overall: Really, I'm not as pissed off at this beer as previous reports might indicate. They released it very green, to be sure, but it's kinda interesting to taste such a great beer in such an infantile stage. The predominant thought I had while drinking this is "Wow, once this grows up a little bit it will literally be one of the best beers I've ever had". I think that says something. (1,683 characters)

Photo of maximum12
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to tpd975 for sending a 375ML bottle of this my way about a year ago. I've been waiting for the right time to pop it open & who knew that would be around 9PM, April 8th, watching the Twins beat the Mariners in game 3 of the 2009 season. Good a reason as any I figger.

Cork pops convincingly, but no gusher, just a steady stream of bubbles. Smell is like being thrown in prison, except the prison is built all out of planks of wood freshly harvested from bourbon barrels. Nothing else, but I'm not complaining.

One tiny sip convinces me to let it warm, & it's a much better beer once it closes in on room temperature. And it gets tastier the more it warms; maybe I'll stick it in the microwave... the bourbon is the gunslinger here, but it's a surprisingly light touch based on the scent. There's all kinds of complexities going on in here I'm aware of but not savvy enough to sniff out. There's a layer of sweetness underneath the oak-aging, like my favorite Wisconsin maple syrup & a kick of dark, bloody fruit lurking like a predator, too. There's some other more subtle stuff. Lots of layers.

Drinkable...hmmmm. Kind of. I'm enjoying this & am pretty sure I could have handled the rest of the 375 I split with my wife. For a big beer the alcohol is hidden (if you don't count the bourbon!) & it's a pleasure to sip.

Overall I think this comes really close to living up to the hype. It's one of those strange, over-complex brews that I'm really enjoying, & think is really good, but I'm not sure I ever need another one. But a very good beer. (1,559 characters)

Photo of gregc
4.82/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle

Dark syrupy brown, small tan head, looks intense.

So much going on her...Big bourbon smell, brown sugar, vanilla, figs, smokey rasins and a small amount of funk. The taste is increadable...so complex, everything from rasins soaked in bourbon, oak, vanilla beans, maple syrup, dark fruit and wet hay, the alcohol is very well balanced with the rest of the components of this beer. Slick mouthfeel, super smooth. Very drinkable but it sneaks up on you. (459 characters)

Photo of blackie
4.77/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: cautiously uncorked after hearing various gusher stories on ba, no such happening but there is a slow rise up the neck of the bottle easily parried off by a gentle pour into my St. Bernardus chalice, lovely mocha-foam head shows permanent retention, fed by numerous slow eruptions of gas from the bottom like island generation in time-lapse, the beer itself is nearly black at first glance, producing brown tones when lifted to the light

s: upfront, sticking your head inside a bourbon-logged oak barrel emptied after a decade or more of waiting once the sharp alcohols have had time to evaporate away and become the angel's share - only the sweet and smoky caramelized sugars, damp oak, and woody vanilla remain, deep layers of dark cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate, thick compote of date and fig with a molasses touch, roasty espresso dark chocolate cookies, aged hops appropriately add only a dried herbal flavor, flawlessly stitched together

m: lively but delicate carbonation, medium-full body

t: taking a bite of a moist, fresh dark chocolate and espresso molasses cake while sucking on a damp, charred piece of oak chipped from the inside of a long-used bourbon barrel, rich date and fig reduction, again I love the barrel presence here - all the best contributions of the oak and bourbon, midway the sweetness falls back just a bit as a dry roast seeps in, all of this lingers together with an herbal hop flavor and mild bitterness in a long, loitering finish, delicious

d: just an enchanting beer with an absurdly well concealed abv of twelve point five percent, yeah it's drinkable, but I had a great time enjoying it over the course of a few hours

finally made the leap on this open window windy evening during the seasonal transition, good cheese pairing with Meadow Creek Appalachian Tomme (that my cheese shares its name with the brewer was not planned, swear), Sexual Chocolate in exchange for a 375 ml some time ago, via MiScusi playing middleman for a BA outsider (1,994 characters)

Photo of isubsmith
3.72/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Another beer brought back from CA by my friend.

Appearance: Dark syrupy brown. Lots of head initially, but it instantly retreated to nothingness.

Smell: Wow. Lots and lots and lots of bourbon. Vanilla, caramel. Lots of toasted malt. Dark fruits - raisins and figs. Some toffee. Very complex nose.

Taste: Overpowering for me. It follows the nose, but it's just too much. This is coming from someone that loves bourbon and loves beer and had very high expectations for this beer. Its just too sweet I think. Too much malt, too much bourbon. I really wish I had another bottle to store in the cellar for a while. I think it could mellow out nicely. But the fresh bottle we had was just too much.

Mouthfeel: Very light carbonation. Surprisingly light body given the syrupy pour. Almost airy, especially as it warmed up.

Drinkability: I really wanted to like this beer and I'm quiet surprised I didn't. The sweetness was just too overpowering. Maybe I can get another bottle and age it for a while and see how that goes. (1,020 characters)

Photo of treyrab
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jac5084 for bringing this to our tasting. Lucky for me, I got to pop the cork. The cork flew off with incredible velocity and nearly took my eye out. Instead it left a nice cork mark on the ceiling. In other words: be ready and have a glass handy.

A: Pours a murky brown with raisin, mahogany and crimson hues. It yields a huge three-four finger head with some brown spotty yeast particles atop the head. Looks great, but the head is enormous.

S: The smell is muffled a little bit by the huge head. Once the head dies down great bourbon aromas come to the forefront and are matched right away with smooth dark fruits (raisins and figs predominantly), some sweet caramel and toffee. Overall, this beer smell great but the bourbon is the dominant scent.

T: The taste is spectacular. The bourbon comes into play so well and soaks up all of the flavors of raisins and figs that were aforementioned. Very complex flavor that yields a nice dry bourbony finish.

M: A little light, and too carbonated.

Overall, this is a spectacular beer. It is complex and has all the necessary flavors. Definitely lived up to the hype. (1,127 characters)

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Must thanks to MuenchenerKindl for this treat.

From a truly unique and awesome looking bottle, pours a dark as sin liquid with ample tan head, leaving lacing all about the glass, a swirl bringing back the head quickly, leaving even more lacing. The aroma wreaks of bourbon, lots of sweet, sticky malts, vanilla, oak, caramels, marvelous.

Taste is right up there, similar to all hints in the nose, add a twist of rum, some dark fruits. A medium full body, starting tickling with carbonation, drying into the finish, and a bit slick. An exceptional beer, maybe a bit too carbonated for my taste, but a joy to drink. (615 characters)

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

2007 375 mL bottle. Poured into a snifter. After chilling for a couple weeks in the fridge, I decided to finally warm this puppy up and drink it! Carefully I pried open the cork and made sure it did not completely fizz over. An extermely careful pour produced a murky dark brown/ black beer with a 1" cola like tan head that would not quit. Waited on it for about 5 minutes and no let up! Huge aroma- tons of sweet bourbon, some chocolate, oak. Very inviting smell. Taste was not far off from the smell, but I was surprised how well balanced it was. The first sip was a bit hot with the bourbon, but it mellows quickly and nicely. Molasses, oak, some vanilla, and a bit of booze all work well together. This is a true sipper, though. It warms the whole way down and the aftertaste works overtime. good carbonation in the mouthfeel department, but this one stays heavy, full bodied. Great night cap! (898 characters)

Photo of CrellMoset
4.57/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle courtesy of gford217 - thanks for this long-time want!! Poured into a 12 oz. brandy snifter. I struggled to get the cork out of this one after removing the electric tape from the corked/caged apparatus sealing this bottle shut. Eventually it came out with a thunderous pop and - watch out! - it was a gusher!

Appearance: This one's a strange thing. The pour happened quickly (as it was a gusher), glub glub glub, a thick-looking nearly black brew settling quickly into the snifter. The interesting part was that the head - while initially a big, foamy, bubbly, fizzy, cola-esque cocoa brown - somehow manages to continuously replenish itself. The initial one-finger fades quickly, and seems like it would like to continue doing so, but there's enough spare carbonation in this one just bursting to the surface that a seething sheen of bubbles foams a surface nest of carbonation that, well, at least resembles a head. The collar is similarly foamy, faintly sticky, but very bubbly and effervescence, just like the "faux head." There actually is a little bit of lace stickage - a few blobs and islands on the sides of the glass. A solid start.

Aroma: Spicy, incredibly woody, and slightly warming bourbon dominates the nose, blending well with an earthy, well-toasted malt note that lends an air of coffee to the aroma. The balance - molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup, slight cocoa, tons of dark fruit (overwhelming raisin, figs) and a soupcon of lighter fruity esters (cherries, pears) - is pleasant too. The malts emerge a little more as this one warms, subduing the bourbon slightly. Oh, and the cork smells intensely of maple syrup.

Taste: Where this beer really comes into its own. Absolutely phenomenal. The bourbon is spicy, earthy, well-integrated, and not hot at all. The malt backbone is all over the place, and that's a good thing - sweet, heavy maple syrup is interlaced with thick, black molasses which intermingles with brown sugar, backed up by a four-part harmony of solid bittersweet chocolate, sweet and in some places slightly tart cherry, light Bradford pears, and dark raisins. Plenty of woody notes and their accompanying vanillan, along with a surprisingly prickly, piney hop profile round out this incredibly full, complex, multi-faceted brew.

Mouthfeel: The appearance gave away what this one would probably feel like. The body itself is probably fairly thick, but there's so much effervescence, fast, crisp, huge, but somehow still surprisingly even. This makes it incredibly light, Belgian-almost, in that it sort of floats over the tongue, airy and cloud-like. It thickens up just a little bit as it warms and the carbonation mellows out, resulting in a light, airy, but still somewhat creamy beer, almost like thinned-out whipped cream.

Drinkability: Well this one's really good. Damn good. I had the Great Lakes Barrel Aged Blackout Stout the other night, and though similar, the contrast mainly lies in the fruits. The base beer here - the Angel's Share, I s'pose - is far fruitier across the board, both in the light and dark fruit department, different in neither a good way nor a bad way. This beer is, naturally, world class, absolutely delicious, aromatic, creamy and light, and only lacking in those areas where a beer of this abv% is almost certain to lack (lacing, head retention, pure drinkablity). I'd love to have one of these to cellar, though I do fear Lost Abbey's quality control issues! Highly recommended. (3,473 characters)

Photo of GreenWBush
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2007.

Thanks go out to Shane for this bottle, an extra to beat all extras. I still owe that dude more than the, uh, Oatis that was my Cherry Adam extra in our trade. Bygones.

After reading myriad threads about this beer, I started to think obsessively about the bottle I got 4 or 5 months ago. With the riff-raff / brouhaha / shitstorm that surrounded the most recent release I figured it more than an apt time to stop imagining the beer, wondering when I should present it to a crowd of beer geeks, waiting for a solar eclipse, etc, and got down to drinking it.

Nervously, I thought about it from time to time - all the reviews made it seem like such a crapshoot - and when I finally decided to pul the trigger, it chilled all day at low temps. I popped it, and to my happy surprise it was not a gusher and it was not [at all] dead. Go.

Just a gorgeous beer, both in my snifter and my wife's. I never know why, but beers coming from those gorgeously and generally ridiculously priced 12.7 oz bottles just seem to contain more than a regular 12oz. Can't be. Deep, mysteriously murky, and as brown as you get before you run smack into black. Endless lace tides.

Nose is silken vanilla, treacle, malt syrup, and whispy strikes of peaty alcohol. Smells rich, if that's possible, and envelops you with aroma alone.

Holy crap raisin-bomb. Welcome to the Mellow Meldo-Rama! Everything is perfectly balanced, and has its place: oak, soft vanilla tannins, even the alcohol bite just fits. Only thing keeping this beer from perfection is the tiniest touch of 'off' sweetness that hits just as all the other ingredients fade. How that can the avoided with such a huge beer? The oak also really adds to the potentially lopsided English BW maltiness.

Drinkability is about as good as you could hope for in a beer this big, but it does go down better than even what I expected. Wish this would never end.

There's been some serious chatter about this brewery, and some of the rumors are disturbing. But I can only review what comes from the bottles I've had, and I've never had a bad bottle. Actually I've never had anything less than an exceptional bottle... (2,154 characters)

Photo of bradford
2.49/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I went down to Lost Abbey for the BBAS release sometime in 07 or early 08, can't really remember. The release party was fun, lots of good people and good beer flowing in line and inside. I bought 6 bottles at $15 a pop! Consumed with some of my good buddies February 09.
Bottle chilled and opened with little carbonation that quickly disappeared. Muddy brown color that really lost my attention due to the lack of carbonation.
Smelled strongly of bourbon and vanilla with raisins and a nutty finish. By far, the best part of the brew for me.
Taste really suffered due to lack of carbonation. All I tasted was raisins and acrid, burnt oak. I get very little bourbon and vanilla that the smell alluded to.
Mouthfeel was not bad, but nothing special. Again, the carbonation would have boosted the score here tremendously.
Drinkability was very poor. This was my third bottle, plus my two samples at the brewery, and they have gotten progressively worse in my opinion. Two of the three bottles I have opened were nearly flat, while the other was a gusher and I lost over half the contents.
I know I am in the minority here, but for $15, I expected a lot more, at least a properly carbonated beer. And now the price of a flat 750 mL bottle is $34.99 @ Hi-Time! Are you kidding me? A brewery releases a beer that has some flaws...fine, it happens. But doubling the price in doing so? You are out of your mind. I know Lost Abbey is catering to an upper-echelon clientele, but give me a break. That is ridiculous.
Note: This review is not based on one single "bad" bottle, and is not a slam against said brewery. More a mounting disappointment with both this over-priced (in my opinion) beer and talented brewery that is losing a loyal fan base because of price gouging. (1,765 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of mikesgroove. Thanks!
The cork came out easy and was followed by a bit of foaming, nothing too extreme but opening it near my sink was a good idea. The beer is dark and opaque, sort of a toffee brown, a little murky, and it has a rocky brownish beige head. Not much head retention with a little chunky lace, not bad for a big beer. Nice aroma! Rich toffee and dried fruits, dates and prunes, bready and sweet with a combination of caramel and bourbon. Mild oak and vanilla with a bit of molasses. Crap, there's a lot of carbonation, too much. It gets in the way of tasting the beer. Alcohol warmth and flavour throughout, lingering into the finish. Bitterness was moderate to low, noticeable without being up front. Malts were quite nice though, very bready with a lot of caramelized sugar character, toffee and a hint of chocolate. Pleasant woody and vanilla, bourbon notes, and plenty of dried fruits, raisins. Slight astringency from the wood, medium to full bodied. Pretty good, very tasty. The only real problem is the overcarbonation, which really detracted from the experience. (1,102 characters)

Photo of aerozeppl
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice deep brown color. Minimal amount of brown head. Some spotty lacing.

S: Bourbon up front. A nice earthy mustiness right behind it. Hints of basement which is a positive for me. Raisins, brown sugar plums with a slight funk. Quite a bit of fruit in there as well.

T: Very subtle. The bourbon was much more muted than I thought it would be. A nice sweetness is there with hints of molasses. Very complex.

M: Very bubbly. Nice crisp mouthfeel which was more than a little unexpected.

D: Just a really great beer. Very complex. A nice mix of the barrel and a great base beer. Recommended. (595 characters)

Photo of drseamus
4.64/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I want this beer brought up on charges of attempted murder. As I was preparing to open the beer I got barely two twists off on the cage and it struck. The cork blew out of the bottle breaking the cage on the way. If my face had been in the way I would have been immediately killed.

A: Dark brown with a nice mocha head.

S: Bourbon first and foremost. Brown sugar, plum, and a touch of raisin follow. Slight must basement character.

T: SUPER SMOOTH. This has aged beautifully. On tap initially it had too much bourbon but it seems to smoothed out considerably and lost the heat. The bourbon is only there for flavor now and doesn't burn at all. Nice malty/sugary sweetness with dark fruits. More fruit in the nose than the flavor though.

M: Super smooth. Butter.

D: Why did Lost Abbey go from 750's to 375's? Those cheap bastards. (834 characters)

Photo of bigbelcher
4.77/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Arizona Strong Beer Festival. Color was a rudy dark brown color. Lots of head and the keg poured very foamy when it was first tapped but settled down later on. Had a big white head. Aroma of oak barrels and toffee with a slightly high alcohol awareness evident. Taste was of a woody, oak barrel sweet malt beer. Very excellent beer and one of my favorites at the festival. The rep said some bottles would be coming to Arizona soon. (445 characters)

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.57/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The cork comes off with a bang, followed by slow sustained foam creeping out of the bottle. In the glass, this thankfully slowed down. The colors seeping through this dark brown mass are hints of raisin and burgundy. The head is a finger of frothy tan.

Smells big and sticky sweet with ridiculous amounts of gooey barley, brown and candy sugar, ripe and tangy dark fruits, rice crispies and marshmallows, all nestled into a sweet and subtle bourbon. Wow...

Starts with a cola and rock candy sweetness with little nips of enticing (unnameable) herbs. This takes off into a tobacco earthy hop and a slight touch of anise. This ride too comes to an end at a nice boozy sting with the dryness lingering.

Feels fine and velvety with a soft scrubbing of carbonation. This felt a little too lively for the flavors present. I would have liked something a little more tame to let the flavors out a little more calmly. Still nice though...

A great beer. One of the more exciting ones I've tried in a while. (1,001 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - the cork pops with force and after a few seconds, foam starts rising up the bottle neck. Better get this in a glass pronto, eh? A cola-like pour shows deep burgundy hues against good light. Two fingers of tan foam form up, which eventually dries out into a cakey block. It eventually falls back, but not before leaving a solid wall of tan lace around the glass.

Aroma - light to moderate oak/bourbon. Decent, not overly strong though, even a touch of butter.

Taste - malty, sweet, and plenty of mashy booze. Background notes of coffee and chocolate liqueur, but the waves of smooth bourbon continue. The swallow displays some appreciable abv warmth, melding nicely. Delicious and quite warm in the belly. A notably long finish, the oaky flavors hang around well after the swallow.

Mouthfeel - big and bubbly, like a bourbon champagne. The body is expectedly smooth.

Drinkability - a superb sipper. Not sure I'd spring for these too often even if they were more easily attained, but I'm certainly thankful to South Bay for this one. (1,048 characters)

The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 660 ratings.