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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 hero27
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12.7 oz corked/caged bottle.
12.5% abv

Obtained via trade with barleywinebrewer, thanks again!

Let this warm up to near room temp before taking a sip.
Pours a very dark burgundy..head of bubbly caramel-colored foam fades away slowly..leaving the rest of the dark, opaque liquid behind.
Aroma of candied fruits, sweet caramel malt, raisin, & oaky vanilla...
Flavor is more of the same..with a warming alcohol burn, a plethora of dark fruits, oaky bourbon-soaked malts, and bold vanilla.. delicious.
Had this brew after dinner this evening and it is a treat for any beer lover..very glad to have the opportunity to try this one.

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Photo of emerge077
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Garnet tone, with an ample head of tan foam. Lasting head with ribbons of lace. Body is dark with reddish glints where the light passes through. Great head retention.

Vanilla and homemade marshmallow sweetness, creme brulee and toasted caramel aroma.

Lots of wet, woody oak and long lasting vanilla flavors from the barrel. Earthy in the middle, with dark malt and light warmth from the smooth bourbon flavor. Effervescent body, with alot of subdued complexity, finishing somewhat dry. It's strength is well integrated and makes it easy to forget the 12% lurking within.

Thanks to Aaron and Jason for the chance to try this!

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375 ml

A - Murky, deep brown with ruby highlights and 3 fingers of fizzy, tan cola head.

S - Big bourbon, vanilla, oak and sweet caramel aroma. Pretty one dimensional in the bourbon sense but very nice.

T - Sweet caramel, bourbon, vanilla, oak, raisin, caramelized brown sugar, milk chocolate and a smoky finish.

M - Highly carbonated which makes it appear lighter than it is. A little fizzy on the tongue at first but that turns into a nice creaminess as it warms.

D - Reminds me slightly of a highly carbonated Bourbon County Stout. Somewhat one dimensional on the bourbon side but that is not a bad thing coming from this bourbon fan.

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Photo of wl0307
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tasted by a 1/3 pint in a tall goblet, gravity-pour on cask @ BSF bar, GBBF 2008, London.

A: deep dark brown with copper-red hues, still, and no beer head (due to the gravity pour).
S: bourbon whisky and a lively vanilla scent from the new oak barrels lead the chorus, backed by a deep syrupy aroma of raisins. Rich but very mellow in terms of alcohol; the super thick malty backbone seems to wrap the relatively restrained piney hop aroma in the middle.
T: a rather sharp attack of hop fragrance upfront, consisting of oily malts, apples, piney hops, then falls heavily down the throat with a wave of warmth almost like a true spirit! Slightly dry in the oily palate in the aftertaste, where dark-fruit jam, vanilla scent of bourbon barrels, and high-octave dark maltiness intertwine before a decent and firm flow of hop bitterness rounds up the finish.
M&D: full-bodied, devilishly smooth with super-fine carbonation, and a tad oily on the palate, this oak-aged dark barley wine is great as a night-cap, satisfying in a spirit-lifting way. Better served in a sniffer, I say!

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Photo of atsprings
4.95/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Corsendonk tulip a nice dark brown with a huge frothy head. Aroma is a nice blend of Bourbon and brown malts. The taste is absolutely unworldly! Toasted brown malt, burnt caramel, Bourbon and dried fruits provide an indescribable complexity. The beer is on the heavy side of medium with moderately present alcohol and slight carbonation, certainly a sipper. This beer is simply wonderful, one of the best I've ever had!

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

375 ml bottle. 2008 bottling. 12.5% abv.

Leathery dark brown with murky, ruddy amber edges. Head starts off big and rocky and settles down to a small finger of peanut brown. Good lacing. Big bourbon aroma up front. Oak and vanilla show off the barrel aging nicely. Solid dark fruit and grape sweetness. Sweet candy edge.

Suggestions of roasted malts up front. Burnt brown sugar and herbal hop bitterness are there as well. Big bourbon flavors follow. Boozy dark fruit sweetness adds another dimension. Oak and vanilla accents blend in nicely. Sweet fruits and bourbon warmth peak before a long, warming finish. Lingering plum and grape sweetness gradually fades away. Full-bodied with a rather effervescent, rocky feel that helps lift the heavier fruit and bourbon off the palate, but almost feels over-carbonated.

Overall, very, very good.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed back on 888, reviewed from fairly meticulous notes. Shared with SAS, Inflatablechair, and theotherbeerguy.

My share poured into a Chimay goblet... was a gusher but didn't erupt.

Coffee brown.. sticky tan head with good lacing that lasts for the entire glass..

Aroma is caramel, rum, and more than enough raisin.. Fair amount of alcohol as it hits room temp and only then does the wood and bourbon raise its head.

Flavor mirrors aroma but with pronounced vanilla.. some chocolate and the perfect amount of bourbon. body is thick and smooth at the same time.. the excessive carbonation goes away by the end of the glass.

Very very rich and with a sturdy complexity... I wish I had more than the couple that are in the basement... hint hint.


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

Many thanks to prototypic for the chance to try this one.

A - Cork comes out of the bottle with a booming pop. Get this one to glass quick or you run the risk to losing some to spill over. Pours thick and dark brown. Some murkiness lingers around in the glass. The tan pillowy head rose to the top of the glass but did not go over the edge at all. Retention is out of control. Pour this one and then go find something else to do for a while because this head is not going anywhere for a while. The lacing that remains behind is spotty but not bad.

S - A wave of dark fruit hits the nose first. Definitely has some fig and cherry. Could have some of the more tart fruits like cranberry or raspberry but those are hard to pick out. Old wood and bourbon show up around midway and play a nice supporting role to the fruit. Some of the sweeter aromas pop in at the end - caramel and cocoa. Other aromas of note are dark bread and yeast.

T - Wow! Taste follows aroma pretty closely and is superb. This beer might be too complex for words to do justice. Dark fruity goodness is up front with flavors of fig, dried cherries, raisins, and raspberry. Midway shows hints of caramel, toffee, dark bread, chocolate, and yeast. Earthy flavors are more in the background with wood and moss. Bourbon is present throughout and always stays just warm enough to keep this beer delicious.

M - Full bodied with too much carbonation. Carbonation only detracts from the beer a little since it starts level out as the beer warms. Remarkably smooth given the abv. Finish is sweet and warm.

D - Drinkability is very good. This is one amazing beer. The alcohol is hiddeen very well. The taste is very complex and smooth. At 12% it goes down very easy but you will want to savor and sip this beer. I just can't say enough about how good this beer is.

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Photo of bbothen
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 bourbon barrel aged. Shared with Steve.

Dark ruby brown with a gusher of a frothy head. Several swirls brings it down to less than 1 finger bubbly head.

Aromas of raisin, date, bourbon, wood, & sweet caramel.

Tastes like the nose suggests. Big bourbon flavor, raisin, caramel, toffee, vanilla, sweet, delicious.

I would personally enjoy this with a little less carbonation.

12% well hidden.

Awesome achievement here. Wish it wasn't as carbonated as it was. Still quite enjoyable & something that should definately be seeked out.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to T0rin0 for this one.

Pours a dark brown with a tan head. Bourbon barrel nose for sure. Easily noticed vanilla. I thought I got some apples at first too. Flavor brings a great thick tone. Sweet molasses. Rich caramel. Robust, but smooth. Good bourbon tones that don't overpower. A touch hot,but doesn't really matter. Feel has a higher carbonation to it. Liquid is smooth. Very easy to drink. A bit of a sipper, but I force myself to do that to savor the moment.

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Photo of phattysbox
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

350 ml bottle from a trade with ralflord. Chilled down to try reduce the chance of a gusher but to no avail. Almost took my head off and my cat ran cover. Quickly poured into Duvel tulip glass. Left almost four inches of soapy brown head that retreated very slowly. Dark ruby in color. Lovely webbing and lace stayed through the whole experience. Smells of vanilla and sweet candy.

Taste: Simply amamzing. Extremely complex notes of vanilla, bourbon, oak and sweet figs. Twinge of hops in the background but the sweetness and oak overpowers and is an amazing show stopper. The alcohol is present, but not harsh - wamrs the core. Body is slick and smooth with a medium-dry finish. I thought the carbonation would detract from this brew but adds to complexity instead.

Drinkability is somewhat average due to gusher and high alcohol but since it is so dang smooth I want another. My bottle went way to quick and will be seeking out more.

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Photo of tonistruth
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- deep burgundy color with mahogany hues, tall tan fluffy head with good retention, head settles a thin crown of foam that remains throughout drinking

S- alcohol, woody, spicy hop, vanilla, and dried fruit

T-dried fruit flavors with a ton of woody flavors and some alcohol in the background are most dominant flavors. nutty, vanilla, oak, toffee, and toasted caramel also come to mind. pine and citrus from hops

M- creamy body that has some heat at finish

D- amazingly complex but alcohol is too harsh for my liking. Thus i wont go out of my way to search for it but a do recommend trying it, again, the complexity is great

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Photo of seaoflament
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I wanted to try out my new Lost Abbey stemware glass and the only proper way to break it in is with a top-notch Lost Abbey beer. I've had this beer back in March at the release but didn't take notes. This bottle is now about 5 months old.

Ok, with all the stories of over-carbonated Angel's Share (bourbon) bottles I can't say I wasn't scared of taking off the cork and popping this one. LOUD pop with foam slowly rising to the top of the bottle so I quickly tipped the bottle to my glass. Poured a dark caramel color with about two inches of mocha colored foam; there are some shades of red when held to the light. The foam was soft looking and soapy, leaving a coat of bubbles on the side of the glass as it settled. Impressive retention and lacing with a string of bubble racing upward from the side of the glass.

Boy, do I love Angel's Share. Sweet raisins, caramel, bourbon, and brown sugar hit the nose instantly. The second wave includes notes of nutty malts, chocolate, coffee, dates, vanilla and wood. The aroma is really soft but complex. Very little heat is detected, but mostly it's just wrapped around the aroma. After a while I can smell some grape and cherry notes. As the beer settles it opens up more roasted qualities and more chocolate to the front. The aroma tends to tone down but I'm still enjoying it. A little vinous aroma develops also.

The first sip is almost an intense sweetness. I taste some molasses, rich chocolate, brown sugar, bourbon, roasted malts, caramel, maple syrup and some alcohol heat in the finish. More dark fruits reveal themselves in the succeeding sips; there are some raisins, caramelized fruits, and a bit of dates in the finish. The sweetness seems to either tone down or the palate gets accustomed to it.

The beer has a somewhat thin mouth-feel near the end, it doesn't exactly coat the palate, and the carbonation just doesn't seem to work for me. This beer has the type of carbonation that feels forced and attacks the tongue a little bit instead of lifting the beer and gliding past the tongue. The alcohol is also a tad too present. After the beer warms up a bit there are more chocolate, coffee, and a bit of toffee flavors in the finish.

I remember the brandy version being a bit smoother and more easy to drink (so easy that the 12.5% sneaked up on me! And that one was 750ml too). This one is still pretty drinkable but it could be better.

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

Bottle sampled at Lost Abbey for RBSG 08. Poured into a wine glass. Deep brown color with lots of cocoa foam and visible sediment. Aromas of bourbon and chewy sweet malts. Flavor is maple syrup/brown sugar with the obvious rich bourbon note. Alcohol is extremely well-hidden. Sticky mouthfeel makes the finish very long. Drinkability is ridiculous for 12.5%.

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Photo of Viggo
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml corked and caged bottle, traded by my boy oakbluff!

Pours a cloudy mahogany, nice dark red highlights around the edges, thick tan head rises, tight bubbles, settles to a thin layer and medium ring around the glass, looks top notch. Smell is crazy, tons of caramel and wood, bourbon, very bready, yeast, bit of chocolate, more caramel, more oak, dark fruits, brown sugar and dates. Taste is rich buttery toffee, vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, tons of wood, bready, yeast, alcohol comes through a bit, nice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation, alcohol is well hidden, but the carbonation is way too high. I prefer the Brandy barrel version, but this is still some good stuff. Thanks Scott!

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Photo of grub
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Viggo shared this rare treat. thanks eric!

12.7oz bottle, corked and caged. bottle label says 12.5% abv.

cork comes out with a hefty pop. poured fairly gently it still had a pretty hearty dense tan head. the body is a nice deep red-brown. the head dropped fairly quick and left a few spots of lace behind.

aroma is great. light alcohol. vanilla. oak and bourbon. lots of fruit too - date, fig, raisin, dried cranberry and cherry. biscuit and multi-grain bread. dark chocolate. hint of coffee.

taste is great. alcohol. bourbon. oak. light vanilla. dark chocolate. toasted multi-grain bread. biscuit. lots of dark fruit - date, raisin, fig, currants, dried cranberries and cherries. just a hint of coffee. alcohol is a bit warm actually.

mouthfeel is nice. medium body. high carbonation is a little too much for me and takes away from the beer overall.

drinkability is pretty good, but could be better. the alcohol warmth and high carbonation really take away from it overall. it gets better once it's had some time for the carbonation to dissipate. to me this one just doesn't quite have the depth and fullness that the original brandy barrel aged version had.

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Photo of DIM
4.56/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a murky brown with some hints of amber and orange. This was a foamer with a dangerous cork. The head, for all its fury, was surprisingly short lived.

s: Huge aromas of bourbon soaked raisins, and to a lesser extent, cherries and plums. Sweet elements of brown sugar and vanilla. Mild oak aroams and a little solventy alcohol round things out. I sniffed this one more than I sipped it.

t: This tastes to me like a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, with its strong flavors of raisins and brown sugar. Potent bourbon and vanilla flavors blanket everthing without completely taking over. Minimal oak flavors as well. This was almost perfect and more complex than I am able to describe.

m: Luxuriously thick body, but just a little over carbonated. A very pleasant bourbon tingle lingers for a while.

d: I got this jewel as an extra from rallison. Big thanks Ryan! I am thrilled to have had the chance to try this spectacular offering.

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Photo of cannabanaceae
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was lucky to get this one in seattle after finagling.

Look, Very dark brown with a beautiful head retention.

Smell, The smell was like carmel and bourbon with a little hop presence.

Taste , was Bourbon up front followed by hop bitterness then a malt backbone. This was the best breakfast ive had for quiet some time.

Had a little burnt brown shards in the bottom of my glass. This was extemly drinkable and is worth all the hype surrounding it. I WANT MORE!

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Photo of hoppymeal
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky dark cola brown to black in color with a massive dark tan head that just keeps on hanging around. Aroma is a nice strong woodiness, alcohol definitely evident in the aroma, rich and sugary pruney malts mixed with vanilla. Taste follows with some sweet caramel malts up front, strong vanilla notes, raisins, oakiness, and a nice bourbon presence along with a good dose of warming alcohol. Mouthfeel is a medium to heavy, sugary body that is cut well by a good sized woody bitterness and warmth of alcohol, as well as an active and somewhat peppery and crisp carbonation. Absolutely delicious, how will I keep my hands off of what's left in the cellar? The barrel ageing works very well with this beer, extremely well done.

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Photo of hrking
4.92/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, all I can say about this brew is GET IT. I have had 1000's of different brews before this whole rating thing ever even came about. I seldom take the time to sit down and write a review but this one is totally worthy.It's all here the smell, the taste, the appearance, the bottling, this is the holy grail of brews.
I'm a big fan of bourbon aged beers, oak aged beers, and those beers that just seem to bring a little something extra to the table. This beer totally runs the gauntlet. Popping the cork on this bad boy and pouring it I knew I was in for something special. Then you put it to your nose. All I could say was WOW! If this taste as good as it smells, sweet oak aged vanilla, bourbon, Belgian Candi sugar..Then.. the taste Smooth beyond all belief, alcohol was very well hidden basically because my palette was busy moshing over all the flavors of vanilla, oak, and bourbon and sugars that were to be what I expected from the nose. It did not let up! Holy Moses sweet fathers of the brewing Gods. I have seen the light and it beem through a bottle of Bourbon Barrel Aged Lost Abbey Angel's Share!

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a reddish, dark brown body with some gunky murkiness to it and a large, fizzy, tan head.

Smell: Pleasantly pungent aroma of heavenly, heavily caramelized sugars, golden raisins, and a gratifying waft of alcohol. Plenty of distinct bourbon barrel accents, too.

Taste: Dark, rich caramelly malts, tons of dark fruitiness, a spoonful of vanilla creme brullee, and with a big taste of brown sugar striking the palate. Nice, complimenting blend of woodiness and top-shelf bourbon. Faint, faint touch of roast picked up on the otherwise sweet, warm, and wooden finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Full carbonation that really fizzles up the mouth.

Drinkability: For me, it was more than a bit overcarbonated, but thankfully it delivered a satisfying tastiness to warrant fighting the fizzies.

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Photo of tprokop7
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to tayner for this botltle from her winning box the first ever TIF. Shared with BA rbuckstar, half of a 375 poured into a DFH oversized wine glass. Two twists of the cage and the cork almost went through the ceiling with the biggest bang I've heard from a bottle of beer.

A - Deep, reddish brown with an uneven, three finger tan head.

S - Smooth bourbon, with loads of vanilla and oak.

T - Malty and sweet, with just a little too much bourbon for my tastes.

M - Very nice on the tongue, with just the right amount of carbonation (after it was all released on opening).

D - It's a great, well put together, complex beer, but it almost seems futile to rate the drinkability of such a rare beer.

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Photo of mentor
3.71/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle. Large pop when opened. huge brown-tan head over a dark liquid. Smells fruity, bourbon, vanilla, clean alcohol, but not much raw oak character. Alcohol dries out the aroma. Chocolate step forward as the beer breaths and warms.

Tastes oaky emptiness over malt sweet and alcohol. Chocolate powder, like Nestle cocoa. Bourbon and mild fruitiness. Nice, but not overly complex. The alcohol and sweet conflict in comparable intensity. Md-light body and oaky dries out the finish. Decent drinkablility.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Release, received in trade from aromatorio and OldSock. Thanks a bunch for a chance to try these brews! Poured into my Duvel tulip

A: The cork comes off with a resounding pop and into my glass, this brew goes! Deep reddish brown with a gorgeous 3-finger latte-colored head. Plenty of lace too.

S: Deliciously complex. This one starts off with a moderate bourbon note with a solid oak note. The oak is fairly strong and makes me think it was rather fresh. Underneath lies a hint of vanilla and a complex malt profile with figs and prunes. There's a hint of tobacco too. Very, very good - very well balanced

T: Starts off a complex mixture of bourbon, oak, brown sugar, dried figs and apricots. Mildly tannic. Medium bodied but dries up incredibly on the finish with some alcohol heat.

M: Excellent - great carbonation and a wonderfully dry finish

D: I'm savoring this one immensely and for the ABV, I really have to hold myself back

**Edit 01 May 2010**

Drinking my last bottle of this batch (2008), and I have to say that it hasn't changed too much. Still very bourbon-forward up front with some vanilla and coconut working brilliantly with the tobacco and dark fruit. The booze has died down a touch, but good god, this is a brilliant beer! Bravo, Tomme!

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Photo of YonderWanderer
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours from a 350ml bottle, and man, it's a gusher. Even out of the fridge, it still flows freely from the bottle. A steady pour kept it under control, but still yielded three fingers of cream-colored, bubbly foam. Body is almost black, with no light coming through. Held up to a light, a hint of red is around the edge.

S: Lots of dark fruit in the nose, some wood, some vanilla, a shade of bourbon, bread and dough, even a hint of chocolate perhaps. Fantastic.

T: This brew is most certainly not overrated. The taste is incredibly complex. Dark fruits, big caramel malt, brown sugar, molasses, bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, and more all combine into a wonderful burst of flavor. I don't even know how to begin to describe it. Rich and strong, but delicious.

M: Smooth and viscous, with a bit of heat from the alcohol coming through.

D: While it is certainly not a session ale, it's a fantastic brew overall. Wish it was brewed more frequently and easier to get, but I'm just happy I got to try it once.

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