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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

671 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 671
Hads: 1,734
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 11.32%
Wants: 594
Gots: 534 | FT: 43
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: 671 | Hads: 1,734
Photo of LouAleHead
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I love malts, and this one is no exception, great feel and aroma, the taste is there but was over powered a bit by the alcohol, am i the first one to complain about ABV. Little head but it laces, aromas is awesome. So far every Lost Abbey brew i'I've had has been AWESOME!!!!!!!!!

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Photo of sentomaster
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bottle poured into DFH goblet

A- very disappointing. An ever so faint pop from the cork, not a good sign. Pour is a deep ruddy, black, thick, and murky color with almost no carbonation.

S- monster whiff of grapey, sherry-like alcohol. if you really look for it, a touch of bourbon and oak, but it has really faded over time. Gooey, fudgy caramel; rum soaked dark cherries.

T&M- peppery alcohol is still strong. Chocolate cake like consistency. Shockingly, this is actually carbed up pretty decently- considering the alternative of zero bubbles which I've gotten with this beer before. Oh so slight...but it is there, and the very, very fine carbonation actually manages to lend to the rich and decadent mouthfeel; still it needs a step up. it gets even better as it warms. Dark fruits really present themselves and start to shine and flex next to the huge alcohol notes. While the spicy alcohol is big, it's really not at all overwhelming at this point. Vanilla and bourbon also vie for the stage as it warms. Rum soaked dark cherries appear again this time covered in dark chocolate.

O- rich and decadent is how I would describe this, but it's just missing an extra dimension that would send this beer into the stratosphere. I had this on tap and it was amazing, this doesn't quite measure up.

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Photo of tprokop7
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to tayner for this botltle from her winning box the first ever TIF. Shared with BA rbuckstar, half of a 375 poured into a DFH oversized wine glass. Two twists of the cage and the cork almost went through the ceiling with the biggest bang I've heard from a bottle of beer.

A - Deep, reddish brown with an uneven, three finger tan head.

S - Smooth bourbon, with loads of vanilla and oak.

T - Malty and sweet, with just a little too much bourbon for my tastes.

M - Very nice on the tongue, with just the right amount of carbonation (after it was all released on opening).

D - It's a great, well put together, complex beer, but it almost seems futile to rate the drinkability of such a rare beer.

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Photo of Cakanator
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Yes this was third course 09 BGBBD @ sierra, just sick to know that it was the bourbon instead of the brandy. So dark and happy, I've had the bourbon in bottle before and loved it and this was no exception. Poured dark with little head. Aromas were huge so much vanilla like I remembered it and thank god I got a snifter of this at the end. Went down too smooth and easy. I could care less about carb issues, this was almost complete and for me was up there with BBVD, BA Boris and Nor'easter Cl for best bourbon brews.

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Photo of hrking
4.92/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, all I can say about this brew is GET IT. I have had 1000's of different brews before this whole rating thing ever even came about. I seldom take the time to sit down and write a review but this one is totally worthy.It's all here the smell, the taste, the appearance, the bottling, this is the holy grail of brews.
I'm a big fan of bourbon aged beers, oak aged beers, and those beers that just seem to bring a little something extra to the table. This beer totally runs the gauntlet. Popping the cork on this bad boy and pouring it I knew I was in for something special. Then you put it to your nose. All I could say was WOW! If this taste as good as it smells, sweet oak aged vanilla, bourbon, Belgian Candi sugar..Then.. the taste Smooth beyond all belief, alcohol was very well hidden basically because my palette was busy moshing over all the flavors of vanilla, oak, and bourbon and sugars that were to be what I expected from the nose. It did not let up! Holy Moses sweet fathers of the brewing Gods. I have seen the light and it beem through a bottle of Bourbon Barrel Aged Lost Abbey Angel's Share!

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Photo of osusullins
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a really enjoyable bourbon stout. I was able to taste a vertical of 10' and 11' on draft. They were similar, however the 10' was much smoother with the bourbon taste having subsided a little making it slightly more enjoyable then the 11'. Both were tasty, however I liked the 10' better.

Both poured a pitch black with no head.

The noses were similar too. Bourbon, bourbon, and more bourbon. Traces of vanilla, but it is hard picking up anything other then bourbon.

When it comes to taste, the differences are very subtle. In the 10' the bourbon is immediate, but it does allow the vanilla and chocolate. Finishes strong. The 11' is pretty much all bourbon from start to finish.

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Photo of wd40
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark and cloudy blackish brown with no head at all. The carbonation is very low, but gives a pleasant mouthfeel to a very thick brew.

The smell is strongly of raisins and fig. I can tell it is sweet even before drinking it because the dried fruitiness of the aroma is so strong. I can also smell the oak of the bourbon barrels and a bit of the bourbon.

The taste is slightly hot with alcohol (kind of like drinking actual bourbon). The beer is indeed very sweet.

The mouthfeel is soft since there is so little carbonation.

The drinkability is good. The beer is fairly smooth but a little sweet to drink entirely in one sitting without something to cleanse the palate.

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Photo of phattysbox
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

350 ml bottle from a trade with ralflord. Chilled down to try reduce the chance of a gusher but to no avail. Almost took my head off and my cat ran cover. Quickly poured into Duvel tulip glass. Left almost four inches of soapy brown head that retreated very slowly. Dark ruby in color. Lovely webbing and lace stayed through the whole experience. Smells of vanilla and sweet candy.

Taste: Simply amamzing. Extremely complex notes of vanilla, bourbon, oak and sweet figs. Twinge of hops in the background but the sweetness and oak overpowers and is an amazing show stopper. The alcohol is present, but not harsh - wamrs the core. Body is slick and smooth with a medium-dry finish. I thought the carbonation would detract from this brew but adds to complexity instead.

Drinkability is somewhat average due to gusher and high alcohol but since it is so dang smooth I want another. My bottle went way to quick and will be seeking out more.

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Photo of mrkrispy
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(review of the draft version during the Bottle Release in 2008)
I went to the Bourbon Barrel release and was fortunate enough to be able to sample it in line - 3 times. Absolutely a stunning beer from first to last taste.

Glass arrived with a faint head on it with the brew a strikingly dark crimson approaching black. The bourbon nose was bold but not near overpowering.

Flavors of malt, vanilla, chocolate, with hints of molasses, bourbon, and toffee. The tastes don't linger too long, so there is no overpowering buildup. Moderate carbonation helps to cleanse the palate. Somewhat hot, much smoother than the Brandy version. A fantastic, world class beer.

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Photo of isubsmith
3.72/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

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Photo of gtn80
3.06/5  rDev -27.8%
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

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Photo of TheEremite
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

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Photo of guzzle211
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Photo of bgramer
4.75/5  rDev +12%
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.

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Photo of isaac
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
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!

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Photo of Kranders
4.07/5  rDev -4%
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.

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Photo of SQNfan
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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Photo of throwitallaway
4.75/5  rDev +12%
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.

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Photo of mbrasi
4.07/5  rDev -4%
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.

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Photo of sessycuban
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of mpcrump
4.74/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

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Photo of KATCanada
4/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

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Photo of leakyfaucet12
4.01/5  rDev -5.4%
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

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Photo of thickerfreakness
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of PeterParker
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 671 ratings.