1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,376 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,376
Reviews: 632
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 11.71%
Wants: 544
Gots: 416 | FT: 29
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  12.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Old Ale aged in bourbon barrels for 12 months.

(Beer added by: scottoale on 08-23-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,376 | Reviews: 632 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of claytong


4.47/5  rDev +4.7%

i had an 2007 or 06 in 2011.
a terrific beer. cherry, warm, bourbon, vanilla.
no criticism, a very well crafted beer, not everything ideal, so no 5.0s.
it reminded me a lot of averys beer.
not sure how often id actually buy it though because of the price.

05-24-2011 06:39:04 | More by claytong
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%

Thanks to largadeer for sending this out.

2010 vintage

Poured into kbs chalice

Very little pop from the cork. Pours a very light fizzy tan head. Color is a deep caramel brown, near black.

Aroma: Bourbon and then some. Oak, vanilla, dark fruits, cherries, raisins, grapes. Very warming.

Taste: The bourbon is very warming and I like it. Nice amount of oak. Vanilla stands out a lot. Very malty with lots of dried fruits. Grapes and cherries. Roasted malt in the aftertaste. Lots of great flavors here.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy and warm. Reminds me a bit of an olde ale. Medium to full bodied. Lower amount of carbonation but works well with a beer like this.

Overall, dangerously drinkable at the high abv. I had no problem with this one. The alcohol shows, but in a good way. Very well done.

06-23-2010 18:57:18 | More by mothman
Photo of chaz01


4.47/5  rDev +4.7%

Had a sample tasting at Dark Lord Day -- big thanks to the folks in SF who brought this. Took a picture of the label and what I tasted (and am reviewing) is a smaller bottle - I think it's 12.7 ounces -and says "Lost Abbey 2009" and below says "Malt beverage aged in oak barrels -- Angel Share Ale".

A: Dark brown almost black in appearance, with little head or carbonation present

S: Pleasant alcohol and brandy aroma along with some vanilla and oak.

T: Intense flavor that just really blew me away. More pleasant brandy and alcohol flavors, along with dark fruits, vanilla, oak and roasted maltiness.

M: Little or no carbonation gives the beer more brandy-like qualities. Full bodied, thick and oily.

D: My first experience with Angel Share -- this was a sheer delight to taste. Very much a sipping beer, I'd rank this up with any barley wine or after dinner cordial.

05-02-2010 03:59:08 | More by chaz01
Photo of ThreeWiseMen


4.47/5  rDev +4.7%

Corked and caged 12.7oz. bottle poured into a 7oz. snifter. Alcohol listed at 12.5%. I assume it's a 2010 version.

Appearance: Wow, I actually had to pull the cork out of the bottle. No pop at all! Not a good start. Poured out murky brown and completely flat. When swirled vigorously, a hair-thin light brown head forms on top. Body is opaque, dark brown, and slick. No lacing. Second pour produced a bit more head - looked much nicer.

Smell: Whoa-whoa-wee-wah! Welcome back to my good graces! Thick bourbon attacks the nostrils. No burn though - this smell is all about molasses, figs (tons of figs!), vanilla, raisins, milk chocolate, white pepper, and ever-so-slight alcohol. There's so much more though; I'm finding new subtleties every minute! What a treat! I'm in love with this smell!

Taste: All sorts-o-bourbon. Mainly I get vanilla, molasses/caramel, figs, and other sweet, dark fruits. Alcohol is quite apparent, and it picks up strength as the beer warms. Very sweet and complex - there are a lot of bourbon-associated flavors floating around in here. Very good. I dig.

Mouthfeel: Very lightly carbonated, heavy, warm, prickly, and dry. This drinks much like a spirit, while still containing many beer characteristics. Very sticky/sugary and syrupy. Definitely a sipper.

Drinkability: Slow going, but complex and delicious. This is a beautifully crafted beer! I think this Angel's Share can easily hang with Firestone's anniversary beers, which I consider the best barrel-aged beers out there. A must try. Split a 375mL with a friend, and a 750mL with multiple friends.

07-08-2010 05:38:35 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of Jmoore50


4.47/5  rDev +4.7%

I tried the Bourbon, Brandy, and Grand Cru side by side. This was the best of the three. It had the best carbonation, the best barrel flavor, great background. Awesome beer.

The appearance on this one is darker than expected. A really dark brown color with lighter edges. There is a light tan head that does not stick around, but that was expected. Thick oily legs, great viscosity.

The smell is amazing. Bourbon, vanilla, candy sugar, brown sugar, plums, booze.

This beer has a lot of barrel flavor, and it pushes everything through. Vanilla, chocolate, booze, wood & grain, all great flavors that meld very well. Delicious.

The mouthfeel is perfectly carbonated, up front barrel flavor, great body. This beer is impressive. Great after dinner beer.

06-08-2010 06:46:16 | More by Jmoore50
Photo of wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%

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!

08-25-2008 10:20:15 | More by wl0307
Photo of SShelly


4.47/5  rDev +4.7%

On tap at Verdugo.

Big malt nose with booze and some dark fruit.

Cloudy medium brown with a thin head that vanishes quick.

Big malt and dark fruit burst, lots of bourbon booze, nice warming of the chest .

10 oz pour ofthis is more than enough, very enjoyable very boost.

01-29-2010 02:38:10 | More by SShelly
Photo of zaphodchak


4.45/5  rDev +4.2%

Deep, deep brown body. No head, no lace.

Smells goood. Bourbon barrel beer goodness. Quintessential. Some dank mushrooms as well.

Taste is slightly brash, boozy and a trace astringent. Bourbony, and good. I get gouda as well. The sediment is the best part.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, not bad.

Impressive bourbon barrel stout. Sublime and best towards the bottom of the bottle.

03-17-2012 03:55:32 | More by zaphodchak
Photo of WeisGuy

New York

4.45/5  rDev +4.2%

[My review for the bourbon barrel AS was deleted evidently and replaced with the brandy barrel review, so this is to the best of my recollection and isn't as detailed as the original review...the score, however, is exactly the same]

Big thanks to Jw347 and calsbeek for bottles of this delicious beer.

a - pour a deep dark brown nearing black, one finger brown head, decent retention and lacing

s - aromas of caramel malt and dark fruits, plum and raisin, definite notes of bourbon and oak, very well integrated, but doesn't jump out of the bottle as the brandy barrel version does

t - just like the aroma, caramel malt engulfs the palate along with dark fruits, some black cherry and plum, oak and bourbon notes linger on the finish, alcohol noticeable on the breath, very smooth and well integrated

m - medium-to-full bodied, moderate carbonation, well balanced finish with significant alcohol warming

d - this is definitely a sipper, intense flavors and a little boozy, but that's exactly what this style dictates

Props to Tomme on perfectly harnessing the power of the bourbon barrel. Although I don't like this one quite as much as the brandy barrel version, both are absolutely world class beers.

04-07-2008 00:45:16 | More by WeisGuy
Photo of FtownThrowDown


4.45/5  rDev +4.2%

Cork popped with much force. Plenty of carbonation and the beer started storming up the neck of the bottle. Pours a very dark brown in color. Some nice bourbon, oak and toffee notes in the nose. Taste is more of the bourbon, but you get the other flavors from the barrel as well. Some nice oak and vanilla help out. Very carbonated and bubbly on the mouthfeel. Would have liked it to be a bit smoother. I preferred this one to the brandy version. This seems to be much more balanced and the flavors seem to compliment each other and work well.

11-30-2008 17:01:32 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of jwc215


4.45/5  rDev +4.2%

Thanks to bitterbill for this!

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

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

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

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

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

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

11-30-2009 23:29:04 | More by jwc215
Photo of sweemzander


4.45/5  rDev +4.2%

375mL corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage.

(A)- Pours a pitch black color; one of the darkest strong ales in memory. Produced some minimal tan bubbles.

(S)- A rich profile of molasses, brown sugar, caramel, fig, raisin, cocoa, and a mild butterscotch aroma. Rich does not really cover it; very decadent and dessert-like.

(T)- Very much like the smell predicted. A rich core of a molasses/caramel/cocoa profile. Sweet, but not overly sugary or unbalanced. I like its delicate/complex nature despite its full body.

(M)- A good carbonation level; not flat by any means, but lower than your typical beer. Has a nice balance to it. Sweet and rich, but restrained. Great ABV integration for being 12.5%; feels much less than that. Thick, but not overly so; a happy medium of strength and complexity.

(D)- Despite its richness, strength, and full-bodied profile; it is quite enjoyable and delicate. Has a nice sweet smoothness with a warmth great for those cold winter nights. I would get more of this for special nights if the price was not so ridiculously high; which happens to be my biggest complaint for this. $17 for this tiny bottle? Really?

10-08-2010 17:26:54 | More by sweemzander
Photo of bbb099


4.45/5  rDev +4.2%

Split with mjyoung.

Appearance - No foam or head when poured. It appears to have a watery consistency. Color is a deep dark brown.

Smell - Heavy roasted barley aroma along with the alcohol smell you'd expect from a strong ale.

Taste - Very rich. Has smoky and nutty flavors followed with a light alcohol aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Quite flat. Avoid this beer if you prefer a well-carbonated beer.

Drinkability - Smoother than what I expected. A great winter beer in my opinion as I gulped this down after spending time outside in the cold.

12-16-2010 08:31:30 | More by bbb099
Photo of mphopkins99


4.45/5  rDev +4.2%

Many thanks to barleywinebrewer for passing this one on.

Poured darn near black, no head and almost no carbonation to speak of. Smell of oak, caramel and a very heavy bourbon presence. Went down amazingly smooth, particularly for a 12.5% ABV. Just a wonderful, warm alcohol presence.

The ABV limits the drinkability, but this is a fantastic beer that should be savored and enjoyed. Well worth seeking out.


08-24-2009 00:13:56 | More by mphopkins99
Photo of sessycuban


4.45/5  rDev +4.2%

Got this in a trade with Joey. You're a good man, Joey.

A - The beer pours a muddy brown. Perhaps a bit over-carbonated but I just let it settle. Great lacing, very sticky head.

S - Bourbon and caramel. This beer screams Tennessee.

T - Lots of caramel malts, huge malty backbone. The bourbon barrels also give it a slight peet taste. Yum!

M - Medium to full bodied, very rich. This one is definitely a sipper.

D - Much too hot for my taste, but a very interesting beer. I can't quite believe that this beer is only 12.5% abv as it is very boozy. Thumbs up to Tomme for putting out another creative brew.

05-12-2008 18:46:24 | More by sessycuban
Photo of brewcrew76


4.45/5  rDev +4.2%

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.

09-07-2008 00:30:29 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of eduardolinhalis


4.45/5  rDev +4.2%

375ml bottle served in a snifter glass.

A: Pours a cloudy brown color. No head is formed. No lacings are left

S: Smell is great. Strong on wood and whiskey (Oh yeah! :)). Toffee, Caramel, roasted malts and alcohol

T: Delicious. Sweet upfront: toffee and caramel malts. Oak. Roasted malts bitterness. And some earthy hops bitterness too

M: Heavy body. Really molasses. Low carbonation. Sweet upfront and pleasant bitter aftertaste

O: Very drinkable. Excellent beer

07-28-2012 14:07:34 | More by eduardolinhalis
Photo of ThirstyBird


4.45/5  rDev +4.2%

2007 bottled consumed 1/09 from notes
A - Deep dark caramel in color with red highlights. Thick tan head that stays - beautiful.
S - Bourbon, vanilla, maple syrup.
T - Taste follows nose with sweet dark fruit and a dry finish.
M/F - Medium body and a bit highly carbonated.
D - A very tasty beer that is busting with flavor. A real sipper.

01-02-2010 17:32:05 | More by ThirstyBird
Photo of DovaliHops


4.45/5  rDev +4.2%

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.

01-20-2012 07:11:29 | More by DovaliHops
Photo of alexgash


4.45/5  rDev +4.2%

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.

08-22-2008 02:49:24 | More by alexgash
Photo of SadMachine

New Jersey

4.44/5  rDev +4%

Reviewed from notes

A- Pours an opaque mahogany, with reddish brown hues on the edges when held to the light. A finger and a half head of tight tan foam slowly recedes to a collar and film, leaving some lacing.

S- The aroma is rich and complex, very reminiscent of a bourbon barrel aged English Barleywine, but a bit more sharp and assertive. Sweet dark fruits, mostly date and fig, but also black cherries, are the dominant aromas. This is followed by toffee, caramel, and a touch of dark chocolate. A healthy dose of booze, woody tannins, and some faint tart granny smith apple. A lot going on, but lacks a bit of that "wow" factor.

T- When I first sipped this I was wondering where all the flavors were, but when it got to the back of my tongue I was wowed! It's a bit bland and nondescript on the front of the tongue, with just some basic malt and caramel flavor. However, on the back of the tongue I get huge dark chocolate, black cherry, and toffee notes. Caramel and vanilla pile on, and then I'm left with some dry, minutely tart, oaky tannins. Delicious!

M- The mouth feel is incredibly thick and viscous, velvety, with light carbonation. Pretty boozy as expected. Coats the mouth and is pretty drying.

O- Overall this exceeded my expectations, and I wish I hadn't traded away both of my other bottles! An excellent representation of the style.

04-21-2014 04:04:42 | More by SadMachine
Photo of deadonhisfeet


4.43/5  rDev +3.7%

2011 bottling poured into a (proper) Lost Abbey Teku. The pour is very dark, but clear with ruby-red highlights. There is little to no carbonation (certainly not a good sign), but the nose is pretty nice. Lots of dark fruits, alcohol, toffee, and a hint of butterscotch.

Very full body, a sweet flavor profile, and an uber-creamy feel. I expected a hot, boozy mess, but 3 years in my cellar has tamed this monster and showed it who's boss. Lots of sweet, malty, toffee-like notes up front followed up by a mild alcohol warmth accented by some vanilla and chocolate notes. Unfortunately, I don't get much of the bourbon (other than the vanilla), but that's the price you pay for aging beers. Still, I have no regrets. As it is, it's drinking like a liquid Heath bar - full of sweet, syrupy vanilla and marshmallow-like goodness.

I found it interesting how many BAs said this beer (when fresh) was too hot and boozy. Let it be known - this beast has been tamed! It is now a warm, cuddly lap dog in your glass. It licks your face, fetches your slippers, and cowers when you raise your voice. I rank this ahead of Insanity but noticeably behind Bourbon County Brand Barleywine.

01-19-2014 23:04:17 | More by deadonhisfeet
Photo of Xul


4.43/5  rDev +3.7%

A: Upon opening, the cork's removal makes a definite sound - very encouraging. Pours an opaque brown with absolutely no head, although a scant bit of lacing sticks around for a while.

S: Bourbon. Heavy bourbon up front although I wouldn't call it overpowering and despite the fact that it's been well over six months since it was bottled, it hasn't mellowed too much, other than a bit of heat going away. A melange of aromas lie behind the bourbon - vanilla, oak, caramel, dark fruits (especially raisins) and a hint of chocolate.

T: The bourbon is less dominant in the taste than the aroma, with the dark fruits and caramel coming up front. The bourbon, vanilla, and oakiness come in on the second half, leaving a balance at the end of all of the flavors involved. Each sip leaves me contemplating each component, but enjoying the overall sum more than any specific piece.

M: Sufficient carbonation to be enjoyable...perhaps there could be just a touch more, but compared to the bourbon barrel Santa's Little Helper, this is a world of difference.

D: If not for the price and availability, I could sit down and drive a few bottles of this in an evening...and then sleep very, very soundly.

02-14-2010 20:44:09 | More by Xul
Photo of thickerfreakness


4.43/5  rDev +3.7%

Many thanks to kinnaird for throwing this in as an EXTRA. Seriously thanks John.

After having some small one ounce samples before I was now able to split this one with my step-dad (who loves bourbon barrel beers) and enjoy it over a longer period of time.

Poured this one really cold out of the fridge to try and prevent any gushing. Its a very dark ruby brown with a slight half-inch, cream colored head that fades to a slight film that covers the top of the beer.

One of the best smelling bourbon beers I have ever had. The nose is dominated by smooth bourbon, vanilla, rich creamy caramels and oak with some chocolate and dark fruits.

Taste is really close to smell with just a really silky smooth bourbon flavor that is accented by tons of vanilla, oak, bittersweet chocolate and dark fruit. There is a little bit of alcohol burn on the after taste but it goes away after a bit and as it warms the sweet creamy caramel becomes an amazing addition to the flavor.

Its a little overcarbonated for this style of beer but its got a silky smooth mouthfeel otherwise.

An extremely drinkable and smooth big beer but ABV is still too high for a great score.

06-27-2008 01:50:44 | More by thickerfreakness
Photo of hopdog


4.43/5  rDev +3.7%

Bottle shared courtesy of EDA (not 750ml - Thanks Carlos for pointing out my cut and paste error, I really do appreciate it!).

Poured a brownish color with a medium sized off white head. Aromas of wood, vanilla, raisins, and bourbon. Tastes of raisins and all around dark fruits, lighter bourbon, wood, and vanilla. Lively body.

Notes from and tasted on 4/14/08

11-05-2008 00:17:18 | More by hopdog
The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,376 ratings.