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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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1,584 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,584
Reviews: 654
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 11.45%
Wants: 565
Gots: 481 | FT: 36
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: 1,584 | Reviews: 654 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drabmuh
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this side by side with the brandy barrel aged and I preferred the brandy slightly to this one.

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Lots of head, beer smells slightly sweet but really strong liquor. Beer is brown, dark brown. There isn't much to say about it really. It was sweet, strong, mostly liquor tasting but surprisingly drinkable. Whatever the base of this bal aged beer is it was overwhelmed by the aging process. I'm curious if it was aged in "wet" barrels.

Photo of ArrogantB
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The cork flew out of this 375ml and then the beer erupted. Dark brown, it looks just like the brandy version. Nice bourbon and wood smell. Tastes like cola and vanilla coupled with bourbon, some licorice. This is a very flavorful beer and the alcohol was well hidden. I preferred the profile on the brandy barrel version a little more but this was still very good.

Photo of BS68280
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to dregs78 for a great trade! Poured from an 09 375ml bottle into my trusty DFH signature glass. Please don't be flat, please don't be flat.

A: Very dark brown. When held up to the night it is obvious that it is more of a dark cloudy brown then black. A couple bubbles... it turns out this isn't a completely flat one. Very very very lightly carbonated, no head but not completely flat.

S: Up front is a good amount of bourbon which fades into a tempting sweet vanilla, carmel. Boozy, but once you get past that it gets better.

T: Again with the bourbon up front. This rivals BCS with the amount of bourbon. A little oaky flavor and burnt malts which is followed by a good bit of alcohol heat. I am left with a taste of sweet dark fruits and a slightly chocolatey burnt malt.

M: Medium to thick body. Pretty flat too but i still like it a lot.

D: I thought this was a damn good beer. However the heat is a little much and the ABV shows through more than many other beers I've had.

Photo of 510a
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Pencible
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a muddy dark mahogany with no head. Not the most attractive sight.
S: It smelled like strong oak and bourbon and vanilla, with rich chocolate and toffee and port.
T: It tasted like rich caramel and toffee and honey wheat, with lots of oak and vanilla and bourbon, and a bit of port and chocolate. It had a smooth and mostly sweet aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with a little carbonation. Decent body.
D: This had the perfect combination and balance of flavors for a bourbon ale. Very delicious and complex. The body was decent (could have been fuller), and the alcohol wasn't very noticeable. So it was pretty easy to sip, but should never be drunk any faster. Lots of potential for aging this one. Excellent beer.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

thanks to Jason for bringing this 2008 bottle (i think it was 2008)

poured deep black and rather thick, i had a trace of carbonation but overall it was hard to find.

giant scents of bourbon mainly with alcohol and chocolate behind it.

mainly bourbon. there were faint hints of chocolate, some light vanilla, and maybe some oak. there was some serious heat on this, so alcohol dominated and as it warmed, it was even more dominant.

mainly a syrupy feel however there was a burning and warming sensation from the booze. the top of my tongue suffered as well as my stomach. this was a very slow sipper. i was not getting as much burn as others.

this was very good although it needs more time to mellow and allow the flavors to blend together. there was far too much bourbon in this that it took away from everything else. i can imagine another year+, this would be amazing.

Photo of Prager62
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of StormKing47
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Split a '10 with Jwiss22 and it was an indulgence of debauchery after some other quality brews. Reviewed from notes, served in my trusty Weyerbacher cuvee and this is how it went...

A- A very deep and dark brown color that is accompanied with no head as it has quickly dissipated away by the actual abundance of carb. Really, carb from this one glad '09 is over. I need a cigar for this one as it looks like a fine brandy sitting in the glass. Very inviting and calming.

S- Kapow! I am attacked by aromas that continue to pull you in for sniff after sniff. Tons of vanilla, gobs of bourbon, some sweet raisins in the back accompanied by caramel, oak and tannin aromas. Continued warming brings out the brown sugar, faint molasses and an all around sweet smell of this one. Would someone please light my cigar as I spark the duraflame log for the fire.

T- A really, really smooth taste of vanilla, raisins with caramel that the alcohol gives an almost rum cake or rum raisin sweetness. I love it, it really is divine. The bourbon taste is quite strong, but actually enjoyable as it melds with the oak, vanilla, raisin and even faint brown sugar sweetness that comes through in this one very well done.

M- Quite syrupy and coating almost like freshly tapped maple syrup. It's very viscous and extremely chewy from all of the complex flavors and ingredients present in this one. Not much prickle from the carb it just lets you know its there as this one runs crazy in your mouth.

D- Honestly not too sessionable, but very enjoyable a great sipper for the fire and enjoyed with a fine cigar. Oh the simple, sometimes overlooked pleasures of life. It's high abv says just one, but the smoothness and balance says three or four.

Another great example of the Master, The Tomme at his finest. Great beer!

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

Pours a slightly hazy dark brown with faint ruby highlights when held to light. Lots of carbonation produced a huge fluffy off white head that impaled itself to the sides of the glass. Smells of bourbon, licorice, toffee, some higher alcohols and maybe a faint brett type smell. Tastes of sweet malt, some plums, some alcohol, some bourbon. Carbonation is a bit high and affects the mouthfeel a bit feels prickly with carbonation as well as a bit syrupy. Heavy thick body. Good brew, I wish the carbonation was a bit lower, but overall solid brew. At 15 dollars plus shipping for a little more than 12 ounces I can safely say that I probably won't seek this one out again.

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 paco1029384756
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

20009 vintage thanks to OlieIPA.

Pours a very dark burgundy color, nearly black with a tiny bubbly tan head.

Scent of strong oak, vanilla, prunes, caramel, chocolate, bourbon, and sharp alcohol. A nice strong scent, the alcohol balances the intense oak out well to keep it from being overpowering.

Taste of creamy vanilla, bourbon, oak, chocolate, dark fruit, sugars, and alcohol. Again, the alcohol seems to balance things out, but it goes to into the finish as well. Big oak and bourbon flavors make for one very tasty beer.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy bodied, silky smooth and fairly flat. The same sharp bite of alcohol keeps it a bit lively.

A very drinkable, but boozy Strong Ale.

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

Thanks to Adam @ Platinum.

Have been eagerly anticipating this one as for my money Lost Abbey make some godlike stuff.

...And it's carbed. Thin half-head, but it's there. Dark, dark black (not the "burgundy coloured" beer claimed on the label). Good lacing. Head can be enhanced with some intense swirling also, at least initially.

Rich aromas of bourbon, muscatels, burnt tyres, rich rich cream desserts. An earthiness. Chocolate/ vanilla. Rich stuff.

Taste is massive muscatels and port. Very porty. Lots of chocolate and vanilla; and alcohol but it's never unwelcome. Huge chocolate port flavours in this. Fig. Mix of nutty, grapey flavours.

Mouthfeel is silky and a bit hot; really dry beer actually. The sugar is comprehensively hidden by alcohol.

Overall a superb, very rich beer. Big sipper.

Photo of hu5om
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

thanks to primetime3882 for the first of many delicacies!
split with newk340
a- dark brown, almost black. miniscule ring of fine bubbles.
s- sweet and smoky, caramel, toffee, chocolate, vanilla
t- smoky, heavy caramel, chocolate, toffee, vanilla after taste lingers. sweet with a light heat and slight booziness.
m- flat. strange. drinks a bit like red wine, really. decent tingle on the tongue but without carbonation, feels thin.
d- the flatness is weird, the taste still makes it worth trying, but not sure i'd get a bottle again. is the cork too small to keep air out? tick it if that's your thing, but there are alternatives.

Photo of WanderingFool
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Angel Share pours flat black into the glass. Dark brown edges when held to the light. No carbonation or head is present. Reminds me of a cold cup of coffee.

The aroma more than makes up for the flat appearance. Lots of oak, vanilla, bourbon, dark fruit and alcohol.

This full bodied beer is very smooth and silky with an oily feel on the palate. The flavor is full of oak, vanilla, chocolate, ripe fruit, bourbon and a touch of smoke. As it warms some maple notes come out. It finishes oaky and leaves behind flavors of vanilla, bourbon and oak.

This is an intense, full flavored beer that's easy to drink. It needs more carbonation, but otherwise what a great beer!

Photo of KAP1356
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375 ml. bottle dated 2010 into a Russian River stemmed glass...

A - Uh oh...no pop when the cork is pulled. I didn't think there were carbonation issues with this years release, but I'm a little scared. Pours a murky, dark brown raisin like color that produces no head when poured vigorously. A very, very minute fizzy cream colored collar forms and dissapears as quickly as it forms.

S - Awesome aroma. Notes of bourbon, vanilla and oak along with dark sticky fruits (raisins, dates, figs). Everything mixes together very nicely and the bourbon doesn't overshadow anything else.

T - Follows the smell quite closely. Bourbon, sweet vanilla and oak mixed very nicely with dark sticky fruits. Real nice barrel integration here. Getting some caramel favors and, flavors of chocolate. Booze and sweetness actually add nicely to the other flavors.

M - Hmmm. Well, it's not flat, but there is very, very little carbonation. Very slight heat in the throat from the alcohol. Slight carbonation on the tongue, although more would really be nice.

D - Well, at $22 fr a 375 ml. bottle, I was expecting a little more, but I have come to realize that LA beers are a little more buck for their bang. Although, I must admit, that aside from Older Viscosity, this was the best offering I have had from them. Big ABV makes this one a slow sipper, but much like good bourbon, it is very well worth every sip.

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375ml, 2010 version, not sure where I got this from, but it was around $15. Into a Delirium Tremens snifter.

A: Bottle opens with a faint pop, and a vigorous pour yields a very dark brown beer with a few small bubbles that don't stick around very long . Fairly dark and, for the most part opaque. Not a bad looking beer, but a little bit of a head would really help it.

S: Huge aroma as soon as the cork is out of the bottle. Smells of bourbon, and chocolate, rich caramel, a bit of oak, and a huge note of vanilla on the very end. Rich and decadent, essentially like a bourbon caramel vanilla cheesecake. Fantastic. I could live in the headspace of this snifter.

T: Bourbon, chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla and oak, a hint of sherry on the finish as well, maybe a touch oxidized. I really enjoy all of the sweet flavors that mix together into a great combination of dessert liquor, but it still is definitely a beer. Not much else that I can say about this other than it is delicious.

M: Fairly heavy body with faint carbonation, in fact if you didn't try and seek out the carbonation you might miss it, its that faint. Pretty warm, but this has mellowed out a bit since the last bottle I had. Bourbon/Oak lends a certain dryness. Not bad, but maybe a touch more carbonation would really bring this around.

D: I will have no issues finishing this bottle off, and I'm quite happy this is in the 375ml format, as it is the perfect size. Very enjoyable after dinner type beer. It is getting a touch oxidized, so I'm not sure how much longer it really should be aged. Still a damn fine beer. Definitely lives up to the hype.

Photo of Mattdshangraw
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of xnicknj
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottle poured into snifter - thanks gill!

Pours a dark opaque blackness with some faint browned tones. Very thin bubbled head dissolves quickly with a few gasps of retention.

Supremely rich nose with chocolate cake, vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Notes of burnt sugar with roasted malts and candied dark fruit.

Waves of flavor begin with deep, dark chocolate and syrupy caramel. Cake-like notes swirl with vanilla and oak, with a continuing note of sweet bourbon. Excellent integration between the boozy and the sweet, along with dark fruit. Finishes boozy, warm, and memorable.

Full body, mild carbonation (lol), sticky and syrupy on the tongue. Absolutely wonderful flavor and scent, and the carbonation seemed to hold up on this one - If all Angel's Share bottles were like this I'd buy more.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Dreadnaught33. Thanks Jonathan!

The beer has a color similar to that of a cup of coffee or perhaps cola. There is very little head that leaves absolutely no lacing. The aroma is bold and powerful. Caramels and butterscotch candies soaked in bourbon over a strong malt bill. The taste is very bold and enjoyable. The feel would be great if this beer was adequately carbonated. I would definitely drink this again.


2008 vintage

Carbonation was perfect. Similar flavor. Still some heat, but delicious.
4/4.5/4.5/4/4 or 4.5

Photo of zhanson88
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I believe this one is the '09 version. Big thanks to pvequalsnrt for this one. Looking forward to trying this infamous beer.

Appearance: When I removed the cork on this I did get the slightest "pop" sound. Seems more promising than many bottles of this that have been opened. Pours out a very dark brown color that appears pitch black in the glass. Maybe the slightest caramel colors around the edges when held up to the light. A small amount of soapy head forms, but a swirl of the glass does conjure up a small amount of tan head. Retention and lacing are quite poor. Overall, it could be much worse. Some carbonation is evident.

Smell: Lots of delicious chocolate and toffee come out. I can tell this beer has aged for a period, because the bourbon has calmed and has given way to some off-the-fucking-chain vanilla scents. Of course, the oak from the barrels is evident as well. The vanilla in this really stands out as great.

Taste: Lots of chocolate and oaky vanilla are present first and foremost, followed by toffee and a small kick of bourbon flavor at the end. Very similar to the smell, and it really is delicious.

Mouthfeel/Overall: This beer is medium bodied with extremely low carbonation, admittedly. There is some there, but the mouthfeel is very slick nonetheless. Could be better. Overall, the flavors in this beer are quite good, almost awesome, but the carbonation or lack thereof really hold it back. Still, a pretty damn good beer and one I would gladly have again. It's drinking very nicely right now.

Photo of diehl07
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of youradhere
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle from Sinners Club shipment.

Cork pulls with the tiniest of "pft", poured into a tulip. Deep mahogany with edges of reddish chocolate brown that touches the glass. No head, but faint lacing swirls atop. Smells of bourbon and vanilla, with some fainter notes of chocolate. Bourbon up front, like taking a watered down shot, as the palate warms chocolate and figs come up. Slightly dry with alcohol burn, the modicum carbonation helps to take the edge off of the bourbon and distracts enough to taste the other elements of the beer. Mouthfeel isn't as thick, but we will see as it warms. Not something you would want to session all night, but is a good treat to sip on for a bit.

Photo of hardy008
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle.

Dark brown, almost black with raisin highlights. Has very little head. What there is, is a light tan. The aroma has bourbon, raisins, vanilla, and oak. The smell of bourbon is very strong.

The taste is very sweet. Caramel, raisins, bourbon, vanilla, and oak all stand out, and combine beautifully. The taste of the bourbon, is not as strong as the aroma. This surprised me.

Full bodied, low carbonation, but not flat. Very sweet, almost syrupy. This is kind of hard to figure overall, due to the low carbonation, but this is still very good.

Photo of DahWag
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of EastBay_Nick
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,584 ratings.