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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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666 Reviews
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Reviews: 666
Hads: 1,713
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 18.4%
Wants: 591
Gots: 524 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 666 | Hads: 1,713
Photo of bhalter8
4.67/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My 100th review needed to be special, so here it is, courtesy of piclee, thanks for the trade (a while back now). This also my home beer, before heading off to my birthday party, what great timing! I have stored this one in a fridge, in a paper bag, in my basement, to make sure it would stay in as good of condition as possible. I am not let down.
Pours a deep brown color with tan colored head resting atop. Within the dark brew is some slight, murky particles. I am a little surprised by how dark it is, to be honest, but the head, and associated pop when uncorked relieved all carbonation concerns I had.
The bourbon aroma is right there, but it is not alone, as other bourbon barrel aged beers can be. There is a sweet caramel and dark fruit background that blends together quite nicely in this brew.
That taste follows suit, as far as complexity goes. The bourbon is pronounced, but this beer is far more complex than that. That sweet caramel smell is there in the flavor, along with brown sugar, I think, its not all caramel for sure. A slight vanilla hint, adds to the sweetness, as well. The dark fruits, raisins and prunes, add to the cornucopia of flavors in this beer.
The carbonation gives it a definitive zest in your mouth, but I must commend them on concealing the boozy alcohol that would normally accompany a 12% bourbon barrel aged beer.
Again, well concealed, so incredibly drinkable for the style, but to drink too quickly would probably rob you of enjoying all that is going on in this beer. I see now, why this beer is worthy of such lofty praise.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Imagine my surprise when tonight I was presented the opportunity to have Angel Share Bourbon Barrel... Frankly, I didn't expect it and was brimming with anticipation.

We enjoyed this in the proper Lost Abbey Glass. The beer pours with a frothy/effervescent light tan head that shows some initial retention, but then bows to gravity. A small amount of foam does ring the glass. Later there was the lightest touch of lacing, but not much at all. The beer was a murky deep brown color. Almost a purplish tone to it... But not as pronounced ass some Belgian Quads...

Aroma was very interesting. Lots of vanilla and a touch of sharp, acidic tone that almost forecasts a sour flavor to come. (It never came)

O.K., so now I understand the reason why this is so highly thought of. What a beer. Vanilla, brown sugar, maple, over and over again. The bourbon flavor is so smooth and prevalent it's not even funny. The complexity is amazing. There are deep fruits, but they don't pop out as a single fruit to me. I could list a dark fruit or two, but I won't since none claimed center stage. You get a sense of the alcohol, but not heat. Just a warming glow.

Silky smooth and it gets smoother as it warms. Certainly a BIG mouth feel, but one that you savor....

The drinkability is insane. Savor and enjoy.

This is on the short list of the best beers I've had.

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Photo of kmeves
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown with a medium frothy lasting beige head and lacing. Aroma is fruity sweet with heavy amounts of caramel malt, rasin, plum, licorice, bourbon, oak and light chocolate. Flavor is sweet with a nice medley of vanilla, chocolate, caramel and infused wood. Full bodied, somewhat oily texture. Very little carbonation, finishes mildly alcoholic.

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Photo of sonicdescent
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for the opportunity to try this one Dennis! The controversial Lost Abbey, which for the record has been pretty good to me so far.

Pours a very dark red/brown, looks black without light. Head produces a belgian loking foamy goodness, mocha in color.

Scent is strong bourbon up front. Smell some chocolate, rasins, and caramel in there. I'd like to try a non barrel aged version of this, the sheer strength of the bourbon overshadows what smells pretty damn interesting, but I digress, it still smells very good.

Taste is not nearly as boozy as the smell, and actually makes for a nice concoction. I believe this is from the 2008 batch, and the little bit of age has taken the booze to the back, some very nice roasted and chocolate malts in front. Damn great tasting drink. I didn't expect to like this one as much as I do.

Mouth is a slight issue, while the body is adequately thick at around a medium on the scale, it is a tad too bubbly. I may actually prefer the "flat" brandy version from this year. I rank just above average because while it is distracting, it doesn't ruin the drink by any means.

I curve this one high and will seek out some more.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Opaque mahogany with no highlights whatsoever, despite bright morning sunshine behind the snifter. The pale caramel colored crown filled most of the glass on the pour, indicating plenty of carbonation. The lightly creamy foam is melting in fine fashion, leaving a delicate collar of lace in the process. The second pour looks even better than the first.

The outstanding aroma is redolent of dark chocolate-covered caramels, bourbon whiskey, oily coconut shavings and loads of vanilla and toasted oak. If things open up a little more with warming, a perfect score isn't out of the question.

Once I tasted how great the Brandy Barrel-Aged version was, I knew the Bourbon Barrel-Aged brew would be something special as well. Especially since bourbon is my favorite spirit (along with single malt Scotch whiskey). Too bad there's only 375 ml in this bottle because I could sip this beauty all day and half the night, never tiring of attempting to appreciate its complexities.

First of all, the bourbon character is front and center. That said, the base beer comes through loud and clear. A perfect amount of time in the barrels is the obvious reason why those flavors are so well-balanced and so well-integrated. Warming is definitely making a bold beer even bolder... and even better.

The insanely complex flavor profile is made up of gooey caramels dipped in bittersweet chocolate, raisins and figs soaked in Kentucky's finest, sticky dates, sweetened coconut and a generous splash of vanilla. There's also a fair amount of bitterness that keeps the sweetness from running roughshod. As in all great high-ABV beer, alcohol adds power, intensity and a pleasantly spreading warmth.

There were slightly too many bubbles early, and there are exactly the right amount now, 30 minutes after cork extraction. More full and more sticky would have been fine, but I'm more than okay with the lightly supple silkiness that greets my every sip.

The Angel's Share (Bourbon Barrel) is yet one more amazing ale in a long line of amazing ales from The Lost Abbey. Here's hoping that Tomme gets the kinks worked out and is able to ensure that all future releases are properly bubbled, like this one. Even though my glass is now sadly empty, this was a hell of a ride that I can't wait to take again.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Popped it open, little carbonation and hardly any bubbles or head on the pur. Looked sad! Poured a deep amber color with reddish and brown hues to it. Nose was flatter than I expected due to carbonation I am sure. But the bourbon was there for sure as was brown sugar, candied fruits, caramel, vanilla, oak. Taste was strong on bourbon and despite crappy carbonation it still tasted good. Mouthfeel was not has creamy and good but nevertheless it was still tasty.

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Photo of WaXHeLL
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
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.


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Photo of Blakaeris
4.58/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of bashiba
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

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Photo of bort11
4.67/5  rDev +10.1%
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

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Photo of jim1904
3.48/5  rDev -17.9%
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.

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Photo of maximum12
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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Photo of gregc
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


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.

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Photo of blackie
4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
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

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Photo of isubsmith
3.72/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

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Photo of treyrab
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.75/5  rDev +12%
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.

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Photo of DrDogbeer
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
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!

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of GreenWBush
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


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...

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Photo of bradford
2.49/5  rDev -41.3%
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.

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The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 666 ratings.