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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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

660 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 660
Hads: 1,686
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 7.6%
Wants: 586
Gots: 513 | FT: 41
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 660 | Hads: 1,686
Photo of isubsmith
3.72/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Another beer brought back from CA by my friend.

Appearance: Dark syrupy brown. Lots of head initially, but it instantly retreated to nothingness.

Smell: Wow. Lots and lots and lots of bourbon. Vanilla, caramel. Lots of toasted malt. Dark fruits - raisins and figs. Some toffee. Very complex nose.

Taste: Overpowering for me. It follows the nose, but it's just too much. This is coming from someone that loves bourbon and loves beer and had very high expectations for this beer. Its just too sweet I think. Too much malt, too much bourbon. I really wish I had another bottle to store in the cellar for a while. I think it could mellow out nicely. But the fresh bottle we had was just too much.

Mouthfeel: Very light carbonation. Surprisingly light body given the syrupy pour. Almost airy, especially as it warmed up.

Drinkability: I really wanted to like this beer and I'm quiet surprised I didn't. The sweetness was just too overpowering. Maybe I can get another bottle and age it for a while and see how that goes. (1,020 characters)

Photo of gtn80
3.06/5  rDev -27.3%
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 (780 characters)

Photo of TheEremite
4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 on tap at the Toronado Barleywine Festival in Feb. of 08.

What an exceptional beer. I'm not convinced this is a barleywine strictly. It's a bit heavy on the dark, chocolate and crystal malts. It pours a dark brown, almost black. It also has a significant chocolate flavor on there. There's also tons of caramel and vanilla from the bourbon barrel. It's pretty thick, full bodied, but it goes down silky smooth. This was by far the best beer at the fest, even though I'm not sure it would classify as a barleywine by BJCP or by GABF standards. I guess that's why lost abbey classifies it as one of their "non-denomination beers." Still, this is a must have for any beer fan. What a treat. I could sit for hours and just sniff that vanilla, caramel, chocolate and oak. (772 characters)

Photo of bgramer
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Whoa - when popping the cork, you could smell the bourbon instantly, and oh what a heavenly smell.

Poured into my glass cold so it wouldn't gush as much out of the bottle, it was dark and purpley. As it warmed up, it smelled so sweet and I tasted the bready bourbon sweetness. It definitely has a candied and spicy flavor that gives it an awesome balanced complexity over the oak and bourbon which blends well together.

Imagine how well this is going to age! I'm looking forward to trying this again soon. (507 characters)

Photo of guzzle211
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml received in a cross-country trade in the beginning of the year, stored carefully for the right occasion.

Healthy pop from the cork was a good start, followed by a very slow geyser (nothing major.) Poured into a crystal tulip glass in order to celebrate my birthday and just having won the 2008 BA Fantasy Nascar title. Deep murky dark brown cider appearance, thin tan head disappears quickly. As the brew settles it begins to resemble cola.

The nose is complicated and changes quite a bit as this complex brew warms up. The first notes of liquor sweetness and chocolate are balanced by the pruney malt backbone. There is a lingering sweetness, reminiscent of cotton candy.

The taste grows increasingly complex as it warms. The malt really comes to the forefront, but it is balance so well by the bourbon barrel accents and sweetness. There is a subtle prune juice feel to the tongue.

Mouthfeel is fizzy and biting due to the continuous carbonation. Although the carbonation keeps the brew fresh, it does work against the tongue.

Drinkability is high (as far as long slow sips go.) The abv is completely hidden, and there is nothing that overpowers the palate. Such a pleasant experience ...

Sweet, smooth, incredible. (1,230 characters)

Photo of isaac
4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

another beer that has compelled me to write... mmm... i like it a lot...

pours a brown, orange-tinged-on the edges, bubbly liquid into my snifter. big, beige head sits cakey for a while, then sinks to lace and film. smell is wonderful - vanilla, oak, bourbon, caramel malts... dates? taste is equally complex: woody (oak with vanilla and something that reminds me of grilled peaches. i have tasted it in bourbon before), sweet like dates, with just a hint of banana. the finish is so pleasantly bourbon-y, with a bit of herbal hops. i love it. mouthfeel is nice, changing from medium to medium-thick as it sits on my tongue. almost like old viscosity in that way.

i am a huge fan, not what i was expecting, but very very good.

thanks lost abbey! (748 characters)

Photo of Kranders
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap pre-thanksgiving. Small 5oz pour. Fantastic strong bourbon filled aroma that really set the tone for the beer. Nice malty taste with a little bit of oaky-barrel flavor coming through and a nice strong bourbon finish. Kind of straddled the line between a thick and thin beer, with aspects of both that muddled it up a little. Great overall beer, but not the most exceptional barrel aged RIS. (401 characters)

Photo of SQNfan
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured mahogany in color with a creamy head. The nose was nicely complex with scents of roasted malts, vanilla, chocolate, dark fruit and a slight herbalness. The palate is similarly complex and medium to full-bodied with great richness and balance. There is plenty of carbonation to keep this deep beer fresh. Aging should allow this to mellow out a bit and be potentially perfect for my palate. (401 characters)

Photo of throwitallaway
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Decanted from the bottle into a snifter. Pours a dark color with a massive head. The head subsides quite a bit, leaving a thin layer of foam across the top. Aroma is intense. Big notes of vanilla, bourbon, plums, caramel, and alcohol. Taste starts with bourbon and vanilla, then transitions to caramel malts and plums, finally ending with a mild coffee-like bitterness. Damn there's a lot going on. Mouthfeel is right in the middle and quite creamy. This is a big beer and definitely a sipper. Overall I have zero criticism for this beer. It is excellent in general. (566 characters)

Photo of mbrasi
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 bottle. Pours dark brown to black with a head that dissipates quickly. Bourbon and sweet burnt caramel aromas linger in the room. Some fig, maple, and oak in there as well. Mouthfeel is silky/syrupy very, very light carbonation but not entirely flat like the brandy. The alcohol is a little more noticable than I like, but still enjoyable. Flavors are like the aroma with a pronounced bourbon whisky flavor. Why can't they just get some more carbonation in here and it would be a phenominal brew. (501 characters)

Photo of sessycuban
4.44/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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. (609 characters)

Photo of mpcrump
4.74/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle at one of my favorite places - Monks Café in Philly.

A: Deep dark brown. Decent carbonation and head. Head is lighter brown in color.

S: Very strong bourbon smell. I get a hint of vanilla and something fruity. Can't quite catch it. Decent smell of some dark fruits as well - figs/plums.

T: Ah, this is what we came for. I will admit - I had this after a Deliverance. Cherries and then some dark fruits up front. Then some toffee and some light chocolate. Finishes with bourbon and a hint of vanilla.

M: Very nice. Moderate to high carbonation but still feels creamy. Very interesting.

O: Give it to Lost Abbey to make another wonder bourbon barrel aged beer. Definitely a quality beer. (711 characters)

Photo of leakyfaucet12
4.01/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a- This beer was thinner than what I was expecting. There is barely any head and I tried to agitate it to bring some life back into it with no success.

s- tons of dark fruits and strong booze tones. I can smell some vanilla and chocolate at the same time and a hint of hazelnut. Pretty tasty smelling.

t- very sweet with hints of dark fruits and maple syrup flavor almost. This beer definately has some heat to it but it is definately hidden with the sweet malts.

m- This beer lacks the carbonation that I look for. It almost is too syrupy with the mouthfeel. I do like the warmth that the alcohol gives me but overall I really would like more from this (657 characters)

Photo of thickerfreakness
4.44/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (1,161 characters)

Photo of PeterParker
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very expensive but I'm super excited to try this.

Pours an opaque brown-black with a slight ring of bubbles and zero lacing.

On the nose, booze is pretty strong, raisins, caramel, vanilla, bourbon. Really nice and formidable aroma.

Intense! This would be perfect with some cellaring. Powerful bourbon, booze, vanilla from the barrel, cloves, raisins, some residual sweetness. Nice.

Definitely a sipper. Strong alcohol taste and some burn. Thin and slick with very low carbonation as expected.

Overall, this is a nice offering. I don't think it quite lives up to the hype, especially for the price tag, but this is definitely worth a try for barrel aged beer lovers. (677 characters)

Photo of steadydose
4.69/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

375 ml bottle 2009 version

Cork came out with an audible pop, Co2 mist escapes from the bottle. I usually don't smell the cork, but the aroma that came out of the bottle, prompted me to take a whiff. The smell of chocolate and bourbon were easily recognizable, this is going to be good.

Beer is dark brown, carbonation is evident with bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass. No lasting head, just a little froth around the edges of the glass, looks like a creamier coca cola.

The aroma is where this beer shines. Smell is wonderful. A mix of bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, and toffee. Just an overall sweet aroma, which grows more complex as the beer warms.

The taste follows the smell with bourbon, vanilla, slight bitterness. This beer finishes with some heat. Lots of bourbon flavor, damn good.

Mouthfeel is nice. My bottle is definetly carbonated, prickly on the toungue at first then beer ends up with a soft and creamy mouthfeel.

Smelling and savoring this beer is an absolute treat. Deep, luxurious, and delicious all come to mind when I think of describing this beer. One of my favorites of 2009, I can't imagine this beer gets any better with age, luckily I have a few more bottles to find out. (1,211 characters)

Photo of Telix
3.92/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Taken from OLD notes, so I apologize:

A: A deep chocolate with fainter brown on the edges. Shows very minimal carbonation. It actually looks kind of thin...

S: Intense. Sweet, raisiny, some bitterness. Hoppiness is evident. Some cocoa.

T: Quite sweet, quite intense, with a porty, raisiny character. There is a bitter bite that shows a high level of hopping. There is a big, zesty character on the entire palate, which makes it feel effervescent on the tongue. There is some chocolate, and the finish is big, zesty, and bitter. It's an interesting brew. Big, boozy, sweet, with a huge tongue-zipping bitterness. Maybe some blueberry? Other fruits?

M: Pretty solid. Zippy on the tongue. Not too thick. The lack of carbonation lends to a bit of syrupyness.

D: Hrm. Sooo sweet, sticky, flat, pruney, porty... I could have had half the amount and been OK with it. Does that say something about it? (898 characters)

Photo of mahak213
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one in a trade, thanks so much sixt9coug!

Appearance: Pours a deep brown, almost black beer with the thinnest ring of head you can imagine. Whatever head was there dissipated very quickly. Looks like very little carbonation.

Smell: Strong bourbon notes with hints of vanilla and booze in the back. Boozey in the most appealing sense of the word. Very sweet smelling.

Taste: initially very sweet on the palate, a marshmellowy candy, vanilla sweetness. Bourbon undertones throughout the entire taste profile, finishing with a very pleasant toasted coconut. Boozey, helps to cut the sweetness of the beer and adds a nice bite to the finish.

Mouthfeel: smooth and creamy, lightly carbed and coating.

Overall: What a special beer! Really excited to get to try this one. Wish I was able to get some more lost abbey offerings! (836 characters)

Photo of KATCanada
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice brown color with attractive beige foam. Nice lacing.
I get a very strong bourbon nose with lots of caramel. Very nice.
Taste...lot's of licorice dark chocolate. Fizzy coke like mouth feel with a nice sweet"ish" finish. Some heat for sure but not too boozy. Very, very nice ba. Still like Wulver better but could drink this any time. (337 characters)

Photo of oceanman
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage

Brown with a purplish tint, no indication of carbonation. Does not resemble beer, but looks intriguing.

Aggressive bourbon aromas burn the inside of the nose with a deep inhalation. Vanilla, chocolate, and layers of dark fruits.

A bourbon-y alcoholic burn dominates, but is complemented by interesting vanilla notes. There is an underlying sweetness which is effectively masked by the alcohol, but which occasionally makes its presence known. The mouthfeel is actually not as thick as expected. No carbonation, which works fine for the pensive mood of this beer. The finish lasts forever and is wonderfully evocative - licorice, toffee, pecan, plum, et al. Bourbon is well integrated into this beer, as it's not clear where the beer ends and the bourbon begins.

I could definitely spend a few hours on these 12.7 ounces. Certainly an experience, though not one I could afford to have often. (908 characters)

Photo of JonathanG
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Hops & Pie, served in a Great Divide tulip.

I couldn't drink more than 1-of these, and for me, it needs to be the last beer of the night. With that being said, this was an excellent way to end the meal.

This is the closest beer I've had to a Madeira. It really reminded me of a Madeira with the dried fruit and oxidized notes of raisins, hints of prune, and walnut-like notes, as well as a bit of maple syrup. I like the nose better than the palate, which is a bit sweet for my personal tastes. Good, nonetheless.

Lightly carbonated. With a few swirls, a minimal head re-forms and subsides quickly. Definitely on the sweeter side of things. Nice complexity on the nose and palate, with the aromas blossoming and the flavors becoming more pronounced as the beer warms-up a bit. (789 characters)

Photo of pepsican
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very dark ruby, near black with a medium sized off white head. Aroma was strong bourbon and vanilla. flavor was vanilla, oak, bourbon, candi sugar, and caramel. A bit over carbonated, slight hint of the abv but not bad. This would have been much better without the explosive carbonation, but still a pretty solid beer. (326 characters)

Photo of swthomas55
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Corked 375ml bottle at Papago Brewing, Scottsdale, AZ. 4/12/11. Poured into a snifter. No vintage marked on the bottle. Presumably the most recent (2010?)

Even though it's still cold from the cooler, an intense fruit - bourbon aroma rises from the glass. I am getting plums, pineapple, maybe peaches, and vanilla. Wow.

It's a deep brown, clear, with no head.

It enters the mouth like an aged sherry, and fills my palate with dried fruits that just go on and on and on. The finish is amazing, persisting for minutes. Mincemeat and molasses with rich malt are here in abundance.

There is no carbonation, but it doesn't need any. It is full and smooth, with some warmth. Despite it's strength, this beer is totally smooth. It's still a sippable beer, but there is not much heat from the alcohol.

I really can't come up with sufficient superlatives for this beer. It is truly amazing, a masterful blend of beer, barrel, and age.

After reading the other reviews, I have to agree that some carbonation might improve the beer. I maintain that it doesn't need it, in the same way at a fine sherry doesn't need carbonation. But the possibility of improvement forces me to reduce the 5 I gave to flavor down to 4.5, and to reduce the mouthfeel ranking similarly. (1,259 characters)

Photo of jamex
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S - An amazing bouquet when poured into my glass. Imagine legitimate bourbon poured upon freshly cut cedar. Then add dates or figs, maybe dark cherries or grapes. Throw in some beautifully cut oak.

T - More of the same as smell, with a more pronounced date/fig note. Major oak/cedar/bourbon taste.

M - Very buttery, yet exactly what needs to be felt with a brew such as this.

D - Warning: If more than two of these are imbibed you might run the risk of your face melting.

This was an amazing beer - but in NO WAY a session beer. Drink this and you're done - at least I was... (579 characters)

Photo of VRH
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Pours very dark, with a small tan head. Buttery, boozy, wood aromas up front, lead to a smooth caramel, sweet cocoa, toffee taste on medium to full bodied palate. Excellent. (173 characters)

The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 660 ratings.