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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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1,605 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,605
Reviews: 655
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 11.45%
Wants: 575
Gots: 498 | FT: 40
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: 1,605 | Reviews: 655 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of finewinemike
2.93/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer was popped in celebration of my 27th birthday! The first thing I noticed is that it didn't pop. Off to a good start...
Pours an extremely deep brown, like a fresh layer of varnish on wood. Smells like I would imagine a port aged in bourbon barrels would smell- lots of grape (touriga nacional)/ raisin, vanilla, burnt caramel, and oak. The flavor is semi-sweet and very reminiscent of raisins (actually thought of the old California Raisins claymotion ads while drinking this), but then there's some chocolate on the finish. Really, really hated the mouthfeel- the level of carbonation made the sweetness sit on my tongue longer than I would've liked. Not worth the price to me personally, but to each their own.

Photo of Hophead717
2.94/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

A: Dark brown--raisin hued, with no head whatsoever. Not a good sign for carbonation levels.

S: All bourbon, all the time. Some dark fruits in the back, but it's kind of hard to find anything else through the strong bourbon. It works nicely though.

T: Bourbon-soaked raisins. Entirely one-dimensional.

M: Flat. Devoid of all carbonation. Definitely lacks the properties of beer.

O: This is a disappointing beer. Between the one-dimensional taste and entire lack of carbonation, this beer is a letdown. Not one I'd seek out or recommend.

Photo of rvdoorn
2.94/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2010 vintage
Look: The beer pours a dark brown color with no head
Smell: Chocolate, vanilla, caramel and bourbon
Taste: Overly sweet (dark fruits) and alcoholic. Bourbon is very much present, but the alcohol is sharp and disturbing
Mouthfeel: medium body with low carbonation
Overall: The beer could have been so nice, could, because the alcohol is so badly hidden that I can hardly distinguish this with a bottle of pure ethanol from my work…. After the sour 2009 version, I will not try this beer again.

Photo of dmsohyea
2.97/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 1 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

375ml bottle to a snifter glass. 2011 Vintage.

A - terrible... pours out like sludge and completely flat. Murky and nasty looking. No head, no lace, just gross.

S - Smells good, nice bourbon and vanilla notes, some chocolate and a good burst of brown sugar.

T - tastes alright, nearly exactly as I described the nose. But does have this weird metallic taste somewhere in the mid palate. No hops, just all malty bourbon flavors. Alcohol is pretty well hidden for the 12%.

M - Ugh. Flat and oily. Not enjoyable at all. No carbonation whatsoever.

O - if it was carbonated it would be a nice beer, maybe a B+. Not so with this bottle.

Photo of joecast
2.98/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

The infamous 2009 angels share. Let this warm before opening and did manage a slight pop as the cork was removed.

The pour though I could tell was of a stll liquid. Minimal carbonation. The thinnest rim of bubbles around the edge of the glass and a light swirl of tan bubbles when swirling the glass. The beer itself is near enough to black in this dimly lit room. Interesting black sludge around the bottom edges of the bottle.

Insane aroma. Heavy doses of oak, vanilla and molasses. I mean room filling this smells so strong. Bourbon wafts through in the background. Amazing that the alcohol heat, which is easily noticeable, doesn't burn the hairs in my nose. Usually I don't like beers to have that much alcohol presence in the smell but this has quite a nice accompaniment to it.

Wow. Two sips and I'm feeling buzzed already. This is gonna be a struggle.
Quite a lot of bourbon character. Some oak and vanilla again but this time taking a back seat to the bourbon. Sweet molasses and heavy syrupy mouthfeel. Tough to judge mouthfeel actually cause I think carbonated it would be quite nice. As it is it's quite heavy and a bit sweet. Added to that, the alcohol makes it harder to get down.

Incredible beer but finishing is a struggle. Now I know why it says to share on the back label. Pity I'm not more of a spirits fan cause aside from that, the beer has a nice velvety, oatmeal body and smooth character. Now that I think of it, blend this with some mild oatmeal stout and it could be a winner. Give it five years and some carbonation and who knows.

Photo of parris
2.98/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.25

Opened a properly aged 2008 bottle - so not a fresh bottle and probably not a great representation of the beer. I wish there was some sort of "vintage" option for BA ratings.

Completely flat pour
Nose is molasses, musty, Brett
Taste is similar to nose but super muted and a tad oaky
Super thin mouthfeel, body has completely disappeared over the past 6 years.
Aged beers can be a bit of a gamble, I totally lost on this one.

Photo of alamode
3/5  rDev -29.9%

Photo of jheezee
3/5  rDev -29.9%

Photo of mscudder
3/5  rDev -29.9%

Photo of Fhantom99
3/5  rDev -29.9%

Photo of CityofBals
3/5  rDev -29.9%

Photo of tedho21
3/5  rDev -29.9%

Photo of Dirty25
3/5  rDev -29.9%

Photo of Captainren
3/5  rDev -29.9%

Photo of jophish17
3/5  rDev -29.9%

Photo of gtn80
3.06/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 2008 bottle into a chalice.

I hate to review a flat bottle, but this bottle was procured and stored properly, but absolutely no carbonation from the pour.

Aroma is tremendous. Dark, rich, malty sugars. Wine grapes and oak.

Beer is a deep brown with ruby highlights when held up to light.

Taste is overpowering without carbonation. Too thick and viscous. Dark fruits are there, molasses, touch of vanilla. Syrupy however, with a touch of an acrid, bitter bite on the finish.

Mouthfeel is horrendous. Viscous, thick, and heavy on the tongue.

Drinkability is horrid, just alcohol and thickness. Cloying.

I hope to get to review a better bottle at some point, as I can tell the flavors are there, but this bottle was not something I enjoyed.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of nrbw23
3.06/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a deep brown color with no head at all. A handful of bubbles that's all.

S- Smell is toffee and caramel malts, oak, vanilla, and bourbon.

T- Big bourbon with just a touch of malts and a bit of oak. I really like the bourbon.

M- Full in body and no carbonation.

D- I enjoyed the big bourbon taste but it was incredibly hard to drink, as it was pretty much flat. Not sure if I got a bad bottle or what. I'll come back to this one some time but until then not really impressed with this one.

Photo of JayS2629
3.11/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A- Dark night black with very little head and what is there fades fast. No lace.

S Amazingly sweet smell. Dark fruit and licorice with woody, oak and bourbon tones in the forefront. Prunes, raisins, and vanilla oak. Dark fruit is prominant. Strong yeasty and hints of spice. Rich deep smells of dark fruit and spice. Deep whiffs of chocolate.

T- Forefront of chocolate with a touch of booze. Rum like taste with a hint of sour grapes. Lots of raisin. Fruity, dark plums, dark cherry, and grape. Mix this with some milk chocolate and a booze bite.

M- Thick, chewy, strong, boozy bite and creamy

D- A definite sipper. Creamy and sweet and boozy. Take it slow.

Photo of russwbeck
3.11/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Enjoyed side by side with Angels Share - Brandy with nhindian. Thanks to Douglasjamjak for this one!

A: As with the brandy version, 0 head. Murky black pour. Worried about the carbonation in this one as well.

S: Lots of oak and bourbon. Big bourbon smell really dominates. Perhaps a bit of coconut, as pointed out by nhindian.

T: As with the smell, the bourbon is at the forefront here. It's followed nicely by a big chocolately middle, and a dry coffee finish. A lot better than Brandy Angels Share, but still not top of the line.

MF: Still no carbonation. The lack of which extremely hurts this beer.

O: I don't hate this one like I hated Brandy Angels Share, but it still isn't very good. Way overpriced for what you get.

Photo of bbeane
3.11/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- Poured into an oversized snifter... a murky copper colored liquid pours producing basically no head. I was expecting this...

S- Very oaky smelling with a copious amount of bourbon presence

T- Bourbon is overwhelming vs the sweet malts of the flat beer. Some earthy wood flavor comes through as well

M- Medium body with no carbonation

O- Despite being flat, I managed to drink a fair amount of the bottle. All the great flavors are there, but the carbonation, or lack there of ruins this one. With the proper carbonation, I could see how this would be considered a solid beer


Photo of Gosox8787
3.12/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to calinalu for this bottle I split with a friend. A corked and caged 12.7 oz. bottle poured into a wine glass. Served slightly chilled. 2009 Vintage.

Appearance: Deep dark brown in color. The lack of any head whatsoever really is disheartening. Some sediment floats toward the bottom of my glass.

Aroma: Nice bourbon, oak, vanilla, and some milk chocolate. A bit of heat here too but nicely balanced overall.

Taste: The rich bourbon and vanilla really stand out here, as does the heat from the alcohol. Much less balanced and more boozy in the taste. There is also some oak and chocolate in teh background of the bourbon, but nowhere near as pronounced.

Mouthfeel: This literally fell flat here for me. This bottle was clearly carbonated badly and the entire beer suffered for it. More like a spirit than a beer unfortunately.

Drinkability: The heat from the booze and the completely falt mouthfeel kill it for me here. I was barely able to finish my half of the bottle.

Overall, a really nice beer but the carbonation on mine really killed it. The aroma was amazing and the taste was really complex. The booze heat and flat mouthfeel took hold though and made it less enjoyable.

Photo of RustyDiamond
3.2/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared with bro-inlaw in two RR BA stems. Cork really popped out and said "Merry Christmas you shithead sinners!" Small amount of ooze but settled down, thank goodness. Dark brown with ruby highlights. Big head that settled down...beige colored. Deep aromas of vanilla and bourbon, with a slice of pecan praline pie. Truly intoxicating and exotic, to the point that I just could not pull my nose out. Big, malty flavor with some plums thrown in. A touch of hot caramel sweetness, vanilla, bourbon somehow nicely blended together. A noticeable carbonation poke on the tongue. Brightness felt in the mouthfeel, quite effervescent. Beige fizz ring stays on top of the glorious liquid throughout.

Really wish I had more than 12 ounces to share...truly special.

2009 Edition (375ml bottle)
Small pop of cork. Poured into RR BA glass...flat as a 10 year old girl. Dark brown like a cup of coffee. Good flavor, but very sad tasting. The beer is crying. C+

Photo of nycwinter
3.2/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

375ml bottle poured into a snifter. Stamped near the bottom reads, "Bourbon 2010"

A= Not very carbonated, viscous, and no head to speak of. Black body with dark orange-brown hues where the light hits it at the rim of the glass.

S= Bourbon soaked raisins hit the nose first. Some sourness comes through as the glass is swirled.

T= Very sweet caramel malt and alcohol hotness in the beginning, middle, and end. There is some wild yeast earthiness mixed with sourness. Very barley wine like other than what the wild yeast adds to it.

M= Dry with mid-heavy viscosity makes this a sipper.

D=Not sure if I could do this again without a friend to share it with. Strike that...an angel to share it with.

Photo of beagle75
3.21/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12.7 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: A nearly-opaque, dark brown color with a thin ring of light beige foam head. Just a few specks of lacing remain on the glass. Solids are present at the bottom of the glass.

S: This beer smells of strong bourbon, dark brown sugar, roasted malt, and weak vanilla extract (alcohol included). There is some synergy at work here that results in a sharp smell like a liquid vitamin tincture.

T: While bourbon is very strong here, and demands the attention of the drinker, the roasted malt establishes itself early and does not back down. Dark fruit is also present here (even though it is absent from the smell). The finish is earthy, slightly metallic, and moderately bitter.

M: Viscosity is heavy, with very little carbonation. Alcohol is unpleasantly hot on the palate.

D: This beer is hard to finish--and this is one of the new, smaller (and cheaper) bottles. It changes from sip to sip, ranging from delicious to harsh and unpalatable. Strong dark ales can be a pleasure with every sip--this one, however, is not.

Photo of Blanco
3.22/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes

Color is a dark chocolate brown with no apparent head. smell is of chocolate and roasted malt with light bourbon undertone. Taste is of malt, slightly chocolate with a molasses presence. medium bodied. decent drinkability for a -bal beer, but i'm not as keen on this as I am -bal stouts. still, a good beer.

The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,605 ratings.