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The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-AgedThe Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,607 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,607
Reviews: 655
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 11.45%
Wants: 575
Gots: 498 | FT: 42
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  12.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: scottoale on 08-23-2006

Down in Kentucky and across the pond in Scotland, distillers who age their whiskeys for many years refer to the evaporation of the spirits from their barrels as “The Angel’s Share.” We couldn’t agree more. Each time a barrel is filled, a measure of liquid seeps into the oak and is lost for good.This striking Strong Ale is brewed with copious amounts of Caramel malt to emphasize the vanilla and oak flavors found in freshly emptied bourbon or brandy barrels. The beer spends a year in oak before it is packaged for release.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,607 | Reviews: 655 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of iskeptopotamus
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of gueuzegossage
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of elgiacomo
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

32oz Growler, 2011 Bourbon. Served at around 45-50F to room temperature.

Pours murky dark brown, nearly black in the glass with a faint brown head that recedes to almost nothing pretty quick. Second pour was closer to room temp and produced a decent head with slightly better retention.

Aroma is strong bourbon and a lot of rich, complex malt. Tons of dark fruit, prunes, figs, raisins, dates, black currants, some molasses, nuts, dark bread/toast, vanilla and oak. Very good strength.

Flavor starts with a blast of bourbon, oak, vanilla, rich dark fruit and malt, prunes, figs, raisins, black currant, molasses, anise, hints of caramel and bread, dark tobaccos, strong warming alcohol on the finish, fairly sweet. Virtually no hop presence/bitterness detected...any that may be there are overwhelmed by the massive malt bill and bourbon.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus bodied, low carbonation, sticky.

Fantastic stuff. Huge and incredibly complex beer. You better love bourbon as it isn’t subtle at all. I think I like this a touch better than the Brandy Barrel version. While I can live with the near lack of carbonation, some bubbles certainly would ramp this up a bit in the appearance and mouthfeel categories. Letting this warm up to near room temperature really helped open this up a lot.

Photo of spinrsx
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle from 2008 - thanks to pushkinwow for this

Appearance - Brown colour with pretty much no head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is isn't much lacing on the sides of the glass. The bottle opened without a 'pop'..

Smell - Malts, dark fruits, chocolate, booze

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a very low amount of carbonation (if any?) and I can taste chocolate mixed with malts and some dark fruits. There is also a touch of butterscotch/molasses and a some bourbon/booze. It ends with a sweet aftertaste with a lingering warming feeling from the booze.

Overall – A delicious and complex yet very drinkable beer. Of course I'd like some carbonation, but the fact that there isn't any leaves the beer feeling very velvety on the tongue. This is the perfect bottle for sharing on a special occasion and I'll buy it the next time I see it.

Photo of cld253
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of ahijevyc
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of azureoval
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of JimmyW
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of pinkgrenade
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of texantiff
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

S: Very boozy aroma and taste.
T: Lots of caramel.
M: Not much carbonation.
A:Heavy sediment. Dark brown color with red hints.

Had at a bottle share & the crowd's response was 50/50. Some felt that it was too sweet, others loved it.

There was also a heavy yeast flavor that wasn't over powering, but definitely noticeable.

Photo of schlimenhaumer
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks once again to kojevergas! Poured from the bottle into a nonic Guinness pint glass at altitude in Denver.

A: Pours a dark murky reddish color with a thin cream-colored head that leaves a bit of spotty lacing on the glass.

S: Smells like a less alcoholic glass of bourbon, with plenty of floral oak notes. A bit of booziness in the background on this one.

T: Smooth bourbon flavors with plenty of oak. There’s a bit of yeast on the finish here to let you know you’re still drinking a beer. The alcohol’s concealed nicely here.

M: Full-bodied and very smooth. A bit dry on the finish, but very pleasant.

D: The difference between this and the brandy-barrel aged version was astounding; these two really illuminated what a difference aging can make. This is a very smooth, drinkable beer, but the bourbon characteristics make it a bit of a sipper.

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

2011 Vintage. Pours an extremely murky, dark brown color with a tiny bit of bubbles...no head whatsoever...dammit. Scent makes me completely forget about the lack in carbonation, with it's heavenly aroma. I quickly get smooth bourbon and oak aromas with sweet vanilla and candied dark fruits. Wow, this scent is just bursting with complexity and deliciousness. Taste is just as the aroma begins, except with a little more dark fruit. Lovely dark fruits with oak and vanilla. Some caramel as well. A bit of molasses with some amazing bourbon notes. Slight alcohol burn, but just the right amount. Mouthfeel is vinous... not much carbonation at all. Kinda works for this full-bodied, big, delicious beer. Drinkability is fairly high...as long as I sip slowly to not get too drunk. Overall, I always enjoy a carbonated beer more than a non-carbonated beer. This just happens to work for this beer,...somewhat. I would still like it more if it were carbonated, but supposedly that's not what Tomme is going for with his Angel's Share.

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

would say that this is the quintessential response to a belgian quad in the american sense. quite the beer yet coined with the very american concept of bourbon barrel aging to express beer dynamics instead of unitizing a unique yeast culture to create such a high abv and palate range.

a drinking buddy recommended that i have this on tap in that the bourbon does not muddle the subtleties.

with that said this beer has two layers. the primary and actually quite interesting undertones of fruit, both autumn harvested and preserves. fig, cherry jam, and pear. that is fused and in wood and coated in vanilla and bourbon. great pour. quad look. overall a great beer and one to be had if you're into these elements. but this beer i think is good but at the same time safe.

in the U.S. no one knock a good bourbon case beer. i could just see this becoming dated as a style eventually. but america likes there beer to be manly so it makes beer big. i just think that this is getting typographically standardize in the end and we're disregarding the cultivation of the yeast and ingredient relationship. but then again... we have standardized yeast haven't we.

Photo of gafferjohn
4.76/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of ahalloin
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 375ml bottle. Removed the cage. Cork came out fairly easily but didn't release much of a pop.

Poured into a Lost Abbey Patron Sinner wine glass. Very dark brown, almost black fluid with dark mahogany highlights. No head formed despite a fairly aggressive pour. However, some light tan cappuccino lacing forms around the outside with some swirling of the glass. Still, I'd like some head please!

The smell is a great balance of a deep malty, caramelly backbone, with touches of oak and significant bourbon notes. Sauteed vanilla bean as well.

The taste is exquisite, and I don't use that term lightly. This beer truly hits on all cylinders with the flavor. If I could give it a higher score than 5 right here, I would. The taste is like a deliciously rich French dessert. Deep caramel, cocoa, almost tiramisu-like flavor coupled with incredibly balanced oak and bourbon notes. Vanilla comes through a bit and even some rich fatty cream is implied. The finish is really amazing though with a slight bitterness and drying effect that keeps the beer from being too cloying.

The mouthfeel is silky smooth and medium full. The carbonation is very subdued and almost nonexistent, but it doesn't really bother me that much. I don't think the beer is ruined by no carbonation but it would benefit from more carbonation. A rich dessert beer like this shouldn't be all spritzy anyway.

Overall, this beer is very, very good and should be hailed as a great blend. I want to give it a 5 in this category but find it hard based on the lower scores in appearance and mouthfeel which stem from the lack of carbonation.

Photo of BostonBrewins
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

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

2011 bottle from Hop City Atlanta, GA. Also had on tap at City Beer Store in San Francisco, CA.

A. Dark brown, absolutely no head.

S. Raisins, chocolate,fruit, bacon or some kind of smoked meat.

T. Vinous raisins, dates, Port wine, Chocolately Belgian malt flavor. Little to no hops. Very similar to Dark Lord or Goose Island Bourbon county stout.

M. Minimal carbonation. This does not bother me. This beer is very smooth and full in the mouth.

O. This is one of the best beers I have ever tasted. It compares favorably with Dark Lord, Westveleteren, Utopias, and is actually obtainable and affordable for mere mortal beer drinkers. Make sure you share it with someone. At 12.5% it's a one and done.

Photo of whartontallboy
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of TrappistJohnMD
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours dark chocolate brown into a Stone Imperial Russian Stout snifter/tulip. Absolutely no head except for a few bubbles around wall of glass. Slight bit of lacing as I drink it.

Smells like rich chocolate and caramel. Like a liquid Carmelo candy bar. Raisins are in there too. It smells awesome! There is a hint of bourbon...reminds me of a rich chocolate and bourbon sauce bread pudding.

Taste follows the smell for me. Lots of chocolate and caramel. A hint of coffee. I can't taste any bourbon. Light bitter finish. Very nice!

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy but it is definitely lacking in carbonation.

Overall this is very good. I hate to reiterate what everyone else has said about the carbonation but it definitely needs more. I will buy this again because the rest of it offsets the lack of carbonation for me. This is a sipper. I can't chug this too fast.

Photo of BraatenBrew
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of CMack
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of hoserking
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

Photo of ububru
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of jaidenjb
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of blakelive784
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12.7 fl oz bottle served in a nonic pint glass, reviewed from notes:

A - Pours a very dark shade of brown that still allows some light to pass. The head is half a finger, a bit thin, and it dissipates quickly.

S - Heavy oak, caramel, fruity yeast, sweet ethanol, bitter chocolate, and toasted malt. Awesomely complex and approachable.

T - Oaky bourbon, fruity esters, chocolate, tart fruit, heavy yeast and candied sugar. The caramel bourbon notes play well against the caramel and toasted malt. Strong woody oak adds a nice earthiness to play against the yeast. Complex, with awesome bold flavors. I'm having this one.

M - Medium to full bodied, smooth and wet. Supports the complexity of the flavors well.

D - This one no where near resembles the brandy aged version, which is a good thing. Extremely high quality and it hides its ABV well. I'll be having this again.

The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,607 ratings.