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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

1,404 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,404
Reviews: 634
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 11.71%
Wants: 557
Gots: 435 | FT: 30
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
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Ratings: 1,404 | Reviews: 634 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

I've gotten a pair o' these guys in recent trades/BIFs, so thanks to those who sent them! I think this particular bottle came from GoGriz.

VDubb seems pretty interested in this one, so here's some more vicariousness. It pours a bleakly murky brown with not much of a head to speak of. The nose is rather bourbon-centric, with some oak, milk chocolate, vanilla, caramel, pretzels, and a smidge of roasted malts piled in there as well. The taste similarly whiskey-forward, with an added kick; the rest of the smell's constitutive elements, minus the chocolate, return for a second season, but the bourbon seems to have an ego issue that would preclude further contract extensions. The body is fairly hefty, with a very light carbonation (I thought the '10s fixed this...?) and an almost chewy feel. Overall, I feel this brew just missed the landing zone, fracturing a leg on landing. It'll heal, but the memory will malinger for a while. I'm thinking about aging the other bottle, if only to see how things go if the bourbon settles a tad. Beyond that, the other flavors seemed kinda weak, and the almost-flat, murky liquid was not very appealing. This one just wasn't fully for me.

TMoney2591, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of emerge077
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
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!

emerge077, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of largadeer
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft at Gourmet Haus Staudt.

The beer flows from the tap with the color and viscosity of maple syrup. A two finger head tops it initially, which settles to a frothy collar. Swirling the beer coats the glass in oily legs and revives the head to a small cap.

It has an intense aroma, rich and alcoholic. Caramelized malts and bourbon lie at the forefront, but it exhibits notes of vanilla and oatmeal raisin cookie, earth and oak, vinous fruits; it's hard to pull the nose away and take a sip. Sharp alcohol is evident as well, stinging the nostrils with each whiff.

Caramel flavors almost overwhelm the tongue initially. It's hot, boozy, rich, sweet, absolutely decadent and delicious. Full-bodied, nearly syrupy on the palate, somehow this is immensely drinkable. Strong tannins dry the palate, and so does the sharp alcohol, balancing the initial richness. It finishes almost dry, with lingering flavors of oak, leather, pipe tobacco and just a bit of lingering toffee. Such an outstanding beer, it's hard to put down despite the high alcohol and intense character.

largadeer, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of zeff80
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark brown color with almost no head. Not much lacing, either.

S - It smelled of vanilla and oak with some toasty notes. Light caramel notes, too.

T - It tasted very malty with a strong boozy character. Some oak, bourbon and vanilla flavors.

M - It was fairly crisp and sharp. A full bodied ale with a clean finish.

O - This was pretty tasty. A nice bourbon barrel aged brew.

zeff80, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7oz bottle, thanks be to doktorzee for the bottle. Warning - bring out your corkscrew for this one - wrist action, teeth, nor pliers would do the trick otherwise.

This beer pours a murky, very dark roan brown hue, with ever so slight basal cola edges, and one finger of tightly foamy, and mostly just straight-up creamy beige head, which settles rather quickly, leaving some decent swaths of snow rime lace around the glass as things duly sink away.

It smells of fairly woody oak, with a lesser vanilla/caramel sweetness, floral, raisiny red wine, bittersweet chocolate, spicy grain alcohol, further besotted dark orchard fruit, and a wee oily nuttiness. The taste is big caramel/toffee malt, sugary bourbon barrel notes - vanilla, more caramel, and a rather denatured alcohol sweetness - cherry pie, butterscotch, dried coconut flesh, dark baking sugar, and a slight earthy dryness.

The carbonation is quite innocuous, the body a sturdy medium-heavy weight, and really quite smooth, and even a tad creamy - no hops gadding about, messing up this metric. It finishes on the mildly saccharine side, the very same sort that has assaulted my sweet tooth over the past half hour - caramel, vanilla, booze, and indistinct fleshy fruit.

A well-wrought strong ale, with heady bourbon barrel notes, and a more or less tempered sweetness, overall, somehow. I'm sure there's more to say about the nature of this affair, including the idea espoused in the name and on the label, but I'm too tired, and this beer is too good, for me to get any more florid than I already am.

biboergosum, Sep 20, 2013
Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

JAHMUR, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Lost Abbey, Angel's Share Ale
No discernable date or code. 12.7 oz. bottle
$17.49 @ The Cold Point Pub/Whole Foods Market, Plymouth Meeting, PA

Even a rough pour fails to bring up any real head atop its deep brown body, but what is there is a big-bubbled dark tan that doesn't stick around for too long. It leaves no lacing on the glass, nor does it display much in the way of "legs". Raised directly to the light you'll find ruby highlights gleaming just below the surface. With a rough pour my sample is obviously cloudy as the yeast has been roused.

The aroma is rich and full displaying sweetish dark toffee, damp wood, slightly tart dark-skinned fruits, Bourbon, chocolate fudge, coconut, vanilla, oak, and a hint of alcohol.

In the mouth it's full bodied and smooth with the exception of a little bit of alcoholic heat.

The flavor is as the nose suggests, with the exception of more fruit amidst the maltiness (red grape, fig, plum/prune) and a more distinct Bourbon character (I also get scotch at times). The oak lends a pleasing dryness to it, and along with the alcohol they balance it nicely (I'm not sure how much bitterness is actually in here). It finishes in different way as you progress through the glass and your taste buds adapt. For the most part it's generally dark-fruit and mild tartness followed by wood, then a rising note of alcohol backed by Bourbon flavor, and finally fading into soft fudge and coconut... or some slightly changed re-arrangement of such.

It's a big beer, and a sipper to be sure. Clearly displayed alcohol is not normally something I find pleasant (or acceptable), but it works here (and I've certainly tasted 'hotter' beers). It reminds me in many ways of Sam Adams Triple Bock, which as been shunned on BeerAdvocate, currently scoring a "C" (mediocre) with 569 reviews - how that can be, I don't know. This is thinner, yes; more fruity and perhaps a bit less 'malty', OK; and it presents Bourbon instead of maple syrup but they're still in the same general ballpark. Thus my score is in the same general ball park... an A.

NeroFiddled, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

SocalKicks, Nov 05, 2013
Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Jason, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Flat Abbey is officially dead, this cork shot out of the bottle with a huge burst of sound. What a great experience, dark almost black burgundy amber body with a light tan head filling my glass. Aroma is straight up bourbon vanilla/oak/charred wood you name it straight up bourbon barrel aging effects. Served at 50-55 degrees, this beer has sweet bourbon notes hidden fruit, plum/alcohol/raisin notes. But a dominant Kentucky bourbon barrel aged beer is perfect for Fat Tuesday, the alcohol isn't nearly as hot as the nose would entail. There's also hints of molasses and other burnt sugars along the way. The woody character on the palate carries each sip, to the bourbon drinker this beer would be a god send, and I do believe it deserves the hype I'm just not a huge bourbon drinker so this wouldn't be my desert Island beer. However, I appreciate the flavors so much that I'm impressed by the amount of bourbon I'm able to pick up, mouthfeel is oily intense and lingering between sips but complex enough and not just straight bourbon barrel aging. I had deliverance on tap and believe me I love it but they are apples and oranges both excellent in their own right I'm amazed at the mellow carbonation on the palate and the smoothness between sips, this definitely deserves the title Angel's Share.

WVbeergeek, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

RblWthACoz, Aug 18, 2008
Photo of nickfl
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours with almost no head on a very dark brown body. Low retention and no lace.

S - Boozy notes of vanilla, caramel, and toasted oak with brown sugar, molasses and lots of toffee.

T - Sweet, thick malt up front with notes of caramel, vanilla, and toffee. Lots of vanilla and whiskey character in the middle and a finish of peppery bourbon, bakers chocolate, smoke, and lingering charcoal.

M - A moderately thick body, low carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - well, it is a little low on carbonation, as feared, but it is in not excessively sweet and it is wonderfully complex. The dark chocolate is not excessively sweet but has an intensely dark character to it that works well with the whiskey notes. Dense and complex with a sweetness that lingers just a bit more than it should.

nickfl, Sep 18, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml corked & caged bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a extremely dark brown/pretty much black with quite the foamy heat off a aggressive pour but it doesn't take too long to settle down to the point where I can get enough in the glass to properly check out the look of this guy. The final head stands about 2 fingers or so of foamy light caramel colored head. ½ finger of retention that's more creamy in nature than the initial pour and flares up quite nicely when swirled, leaving a fantastic thick cascade of lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is a strong waft of Bourbon right off the bat that melds extremely well into silky sweet notes of cocoa powder, toffee, a touch of dark fruit tang, and maybe even some floral tones underneath. There is also an unmistakable sniff of heat that intermingles with the other flavors.

The taste is full of rich notes of sweetness, including caramel, toffee, and chocolate that encapsulated in thick Bourbon notes. The blending and balance of this is just phenomenal, with neither the Bourbon nor the other flavors of sweetness taking control at any given time. It finishes sweet and a touch warm as it clears the palette and heads down the throat. The mouthfeel feels fuller bodied at first up front but then a smoother and creamier carbonation takes control, polishing out the feel, and making this immensely drinkable. Warmth is imparted by both the ABV and Bourbon character but is never stinging and doesn't interfere at all with the majority of what is going on with other flavors. As a matter of fact the richness and balance if so good, that I sometimes have a hard time picking up a hint of the ABV at all.

This is another perfectly crafted work of art from the Lost Abbey. It's just one of those beers that is so rich, complex, and well balanced that it's easy to get lost in its awesomeness, and then because of its' fantastic quaffability, not realize that it's all gone until your licking the last drop out of the glass. Extremely well done! I loved every drop!

Kegatron, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of russpowell
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cheers to Biterbill, basically throwing this as an extra for me!

(09 Vintage) 375 ml bottle opens with a slight pop, pours a mahogany hued chestnut with minimal tan head. Nice oily sheen to this, minimal lacing & head retention

S: Big time raisins & prune & a whisper of bourbon, plus some praline as this warms

T: Big time Bourbon with cherries & raisins, plus some booze in your face up front, along with some oakyness. This smooths out quite a bit as this warms, oaky dryness really asserts itself, along with more pruneyness, leafy hops & caramel. Finishes dry with praline like sweetness with booze soaked raisins & cherries, almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Rich, slick, with minimal carbonation, VERY warming, starts thinning a bit once warm

Drinks pretty easy for the ABV & style but to be be sipped for sure! Not the best barrel aged ale I've ever had, but in the top 20 percentile at the very least. Had higher expectations, but I am always thrilled to get to try any & all well made big beers. I kind of put this on a par with New Holland's Dragon's Milk, which is not even half the price. Would love to try this on tap...

russpowell, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of MasterSki
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the Sixth Annual Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer. Listed as the 2006 vintage.

A - Rich, deep brown color with a one-finger mocha head and a tiny bit of carbonation. A handsome brew.

S - Tons of stuff going on here - bourbon, coffee, licorice, caramel, malt, chocolate, oak, dark fruit, and perhaps even some apricot in there. Pretty incredible!

T - Bourbon nose with a little kick, then mellows into the sweeter malt and caramel flavors. I don't get the same complexity on taste as I do with the smell, which is a touch disappointing.

M - Lighter than I expected - carbonation tingles the back of the throat, complementing the bourbon nicely. Felt a tiny bit thin.

D - Easier to drink than Bourbon County Stout, but with the same depth of flavors and intensity. I kept going back to this one during the tasting for more.

A fantastic brew - can't wait to try the brandy version.

MasterSki, Nov 09, 2008
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Darkest brown, with ruby edges, under a fuzzy, toasted tan head.

Sweet, smokey bourbon hits the nose first, with alcohol tagging along, ...oak, vanilla, and a hint of cherry comes behind....matched by caramel and cocoa...deep and mighty.

big buzz on the tongue, thick, slick, and whiskey-ish galore....chocolate meets rich brandy-ish favors, right up next to the bourbon feel. Long, finish, lushly textured, utterly luxuruious. Hoppy bitter smack on the tongue.

lovely stuff, satisfies my bourbon-loving sweet tooth (tongue?), though it feels like an imperial stout.

feloniousmonk, Apr 11, 2008
Photo of Slatetank
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My earlier review was deleted(host error) so here goes my redo from notes: Served chilled in a goblet (10oz) at the Drafting room. Thanks to tb69.

A - A turbid dark walnut brown, w/ no head at all. The ale appears like iced coffee except thicker - still opaque appearance

S - The nose has very boozy impact w/ lots of vanilla and an almost custard-like aroma w/ mild toffee and woody nutty vanilla scent w/ an accent of molasses

M - The feel has very mild carbonation as expected from the appearance. The texture is viscous and sweet/syrupy w/ a mild toasted accent. There is mild astringent and alcohol tannic notes from the wood and finishes w/ a mild residually dark malt sweet note

T - The tastes starts with dark brown sugar and caramel with a subtle dry dark tobacco note and dark toast crust w/ creamy and sugary malts. The flavor is warming w/ dry nut and vanilla from the oak w/ alcohol high in the flavor profile. The taste has a toffee/cinnamon accent w/ mild butter notes and toasted nuts w/ light pepper from the hops. The taste has burnt caramel lasting into the finish w/ a very dry grain accent and prominent alcohol flavor as it nears cellar temp.

D - Definitely not a beer I consider highly drinkable, but considering the style it is for me. I consider it great since it is so complex but really one is plenty as it comes off sweet from such low carbonation and the 12% is apparent w/ a tannic bourbon hint. I am glad I tried this and recommend it if you see it -don't hesitate!

Slatetank, Oct 29, 2009
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

is there a better beer in the world than this? bring it to me. this pours into an 8oz chalice a lovely red/brown color with a minimal and fading off white head. smells like a billion delicious things, belgian yeast, caramel, milk chocolate, oak chips, sweet malt, booze. flavor at first is that of a liquid rollo candy, chocolate and gooey caramel combined, but soon after a barleywine sweetness and strength assert themselves and a wood aged sort of depth is in your face. this is so complex and evolving its insane. notes of dried fruit, toll house semisweet chips, and jim beam come through. there is no other beer like this. mouthfeel is near perfect too, plenty of bubbles, and a fuller medium body, strong alcohol burn as it warms. magnificent beer, with everything you could want and more. 12.5% is well hidden until it gets warm. i cant say enough good things about this one. damn damn damn. only thing i dont like is the price, $12 for an 8oz. pour.

StonedTrippin, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of drabmuh
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

drabmuh, Jan 26, 2010
Photo of oline73
5/5  rDev +17.1%

oline73, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Poured into a snifter a dark, opaque brown with no head to speak of other than a few stray bubbles. Aroma of caramel, vanilla, and oak-soaked bourbon. Taste was slick and sweet right off the bat, with an obvious alcohol kick, dark malts and bourbon are dominant, and balance each other pretty good. Some subtle fruit notes come through. Full-bodied, strong, but smooth and fairly drinkable...to be savored slowly, and definitely at a warmer temperature. Better if you are a fan of bourbon obviously. I did like the brandy version of this beer much better.

Rifugium, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of mactrail
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You can feel it slowly scorching its way down your throat. Tastes totally boozy, like it has a shot of Old Crow topped off with stout. Chocolate cake with chocholate cherries. Rich, hot, huge flavors. If you're in the mood for a monstrous big crack pipe of a beer, this would be the one. Dessert in a glass. Ideal slow sipping beer. Clear, dark stout color. Nice lacing in the tulip glass.

It doesn't get much better than this for sheer intensity of a beery sort. On tap at Pizza Port OB.

mactrail, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of mendvicdog
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

mendvicdog, Dec 11, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
3.93/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Mar.

Pours dark brown with no head. This one is definitely flat. Aroma is a combination of roasted malts and bourbon, with maybe come chocolate and caramel mixed in. The flavor is lots of bourbon, oak and vanilla with some alcohol, roasted malt and chocolate/coffee. A very complex flavor. The mouthfeel is hurt by the fact the beer is flat as a pancake. Still, it is pretty drinkable and a good beer overall. I think it would be better with proper carbonation.

Mora2000, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of mdfb79
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 2/6/10 notes. Got to try this thanks to a generous BA at SC Day.

a - Very very brown, almost black pour. No carbonation.

s - Bourbon is obviously the biggest smell here, but also a little bit of oak and caramel. Smells great.

t - Bourbon again is the main taste here, but also get a little oak, caramel, and vanilla. Reminds me of BCS a bit, a little bit hot.

m - Full bodied and a litt hot from all the bourbon.

d - Overall I really like this one, but it was a little hot. I'm a big bourbon fan so loved the smell and taste and would definitely like to try this one again.

mdfb79, Feb 23, 2010
The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,404 ratings.