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The Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-Aged - The Lost Abbey

The Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-AgedThe Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-Aged

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

598 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 598
Reviews: 411
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 20.68%

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
A barrel aged burgundy colored ale infused with copious amounts of dark caramel malt aged in the oak.

(Beer added by: Jason on 04-23-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 598 | Reviews: 411 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Alieniloquium


2.08/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter. No idea on the age of this bottle.

Appearance - No pop when I pulled the cork. Lifeless as I pour it. Dark brown body. No head. Not a single bubble.

Smell - Lots of dark fruits. Musty oak. Vinous notes. Acidic grapes. Brown sugar and vanilla round it out. Not a promising smell, since I believe this bottle is from the era of the "troubles" at Lost Abbey.

Taste - Yep, it's pretty tart. Syrupy at first. Brown sugar monster. Oak. Dark cherries. Then a vinegar sourness kicks in. Red wine vinous notes. Oaky finish.

Mouthfeel - Flat as can be. Heavy. Sluggish to drink.

Overall - I suspected this might be infected and/or flat. I got both. Anyway, I think I've had this beer on tap a couple times, but I can't remember, so this is the experience I can rate.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2014 01:18:52 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of BierJager89


4.09/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with maybe a slight purple tint, almost black, with a few mocha bubbles of head.

S: Brown sugar, oak, vanilla, dark moscato, red wine, red grapes in the nose.

T: Red wine, fruity brandy, oak, a bit tart, red grapes, orange zest, very vibrant flavors, though I wish there was a bit of vanilla.

M: Full bodied and pretty smooth.

O: 12% alcohol is not present, which is impressive. That said, this is disappointing after the bourbon barrel aged version, and I wasn't expecting it to be as good (bourbon Angel's Share is one of my favorite beers). THAT said, this is a really good beer, recommended, but worth a try? At $15, I'm not sure...

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2014 00:41:19 | More by BierJager89
Photo of StonedTrippin


4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

bottle from 2008 is drinking extremely well right now. tried side by side with cuvee de tomme, a once in a lifetime opportunity. dark brown in color, sludgy thick, very little visible carbonation. a nose like a fine cognac, with warming but not caustic alcohol intensity. lots of layered sugars and spices here from vanilla to clove to nutmeg to brown butter richness, this has a whole lot going on. i get some nice oak sweetness and mellowness in there too, but to me this is a little less interesting than the bourbon barrel edition, which stands as one of my favorite beers of all time. the brandy flavors have maybe worn off a bit with age, so i get the oak and the booze without all the flavor i got from the bourbon barrel. still. the angels share is a ridiculous beer in its own right, so i have no complaints really at all. smooth as velvet with warming booze, almost no carbonation, but it isnt missed. a little goes a long way here with this incredibly rich and strong flavor experience.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 18:50:24 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of HuskyinPDX


3.21/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle opened on 10.15.13
2010 Vintage

A - Pours a very dark brown and completely flat. No head at all.

S - Sweet, syrupy, dark fruit.

T - Very sweet and bitter fruit. Not good.

D - No carbonation to speak of with a heavy body.

O - Sweet, syrupy, dark fruit with no carbonation. No thanks.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2013 20:53:24 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of zachary80


2.9/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to tat2dhllblly for the trade at DLD 2012.

12.7oz C&C. 2009 vintage. Pops open with only the slightest hiss

Pours very dark brown with no head. No lacing.

Aroma is good - sweet and malty, smooth.

Flavor is harmed by the lack of carbonation, otherwise follows the aroma. Hard to pick out any details, but melds together well.

Mouthfeel also takes a huge hit. Light alcohol presence is welcome and not harsh at al.

Overall the lack of carbonation pretty much ruined what seems like it would be an excellent beer. I would never be able to pick out the brandy barrel aging, but it does seem complex.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2013 22:17:41 | More by zachary80
Photo of Resuin


4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

2010 version poured from a 375 mL bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown and leaves zero head.

Smell: Brandy, cocoa, dark fruits: plums & figs, mild cherry, oak. Pleasant but light & mild.

Taste: Plenty of tasty brandy, dark fruits, oak and a hint of sour fruit. Very tasty.

Mouth-feel: Definitely pretty flat but not 100% (wish it had a bit more carbonation though), medium body but it works for this beer. Very smooth for the ABV, smooth finish.

Overall: A solid beer, the brandy barrels gave this some really nice flavor. The age has made this very smooth and thankfully it still has a bit of carbonation. Definitely a pleasant beer with some nice flavor, especially if you are a brandy fan.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2013 23:18:03 | More by Resuin
Photo of wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

375ml corked and caged 2008 bottle poured into tulip 28/5/13 thanks MasterSki and Sean9689 for sending me one of my longest standing wants

A dark cola liquid but there's just a slight poof when I pop the cork, even dumping it right down the center I get just a short lived film that leaves no lace, just a few pin prick bubbles but for the most part it looks pretty still. some sediment and legs on the side of the glass is something I don't see everyday

S lots of caramels and toffees, brown sugar both crystals and burnt, vanilla and brandy's strong, some sugar coated raisins with a hint of straight booze and oak, smells pretty solid

T a little more booze then the nose and loads of brandy, still woody and some candied dried fruits still there and less sugars and caramels, tastes good but the noes was much better

M silky but flat, some tannins but there's heat too, I like the aftertaste of brandy and caramel but its very still with just a couple bubbles and it may be just a couple as in two bubbles

O I want to love this beer as it smell great and tastes solid but it's pretty much dead in other areas, smell and flavor goes a long way but I'm not getting the whole package

This would be a world class beer if some issues were dealt with, I've only had a few beers from this brewery but I've noticed a trend

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2013 22:22:59 | More by wordemupg
Photo of Kagarran


2.01/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

Serving Type: Bought 2 bottles after seeing good reviews. Paid $15 each. Drank from a wine glass.
A: A dark copper color with zero head.
S: Very fruity
T: I actually cringed the first couple of sips I took. You can definitely taste the brandy, but it was not a good thing. This beer played off the tongue as more of a hybrid wine than anything else.
M: The beer was very thin.

Overall: I had huge expectations for my first Lost Abbey beer. Unfortunately, I was hugely disappointed. I wanted to pour it down the drain, but ended up finishing the bottle. I just couldn't stand the thought of pouring 15 bucks down the drain. I even tried letting it warm a bit, in the hopes that it would get better, but it just didn't. I would not recommend this. After going back and reviewing the beer notes on the Lost Abbey website, I won't write off the brewery just yet. This is for those of you who crave the experimental beers!

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2013 03:36:50 | More by Kagarran
Photo of Smurf2055


4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed December 2011

2009 brandy barrel, into a snifter at Uber Tavern in Seattle.

Appeared almost pitch black with minimal head.

Smells very strongly of espresso and cream. Sort of weak up front, but it somehow gets stronger as you continue smelling. You can tell it’s very rich.

Taste was sweet and syrupy, with a big alcohol burn. Again, lots of coffee, vanilla, and caramel.

Palate was sticky with very little carbonation. It was a very powerful, full, full mouth beer. Big warming sensation.

Overall, a real treat. Age helps it for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2013 21:10:04 | More by Smurf2055
Photo of flydudehsv


5/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one seriously complex beer. I mean there are a ton of things going on in the nose and flavor. Huge aroma of chocolate and oak hit me like a ton of lead. After warming up a bit more sweeter notes came out like brown sugar and a vinous profile came out. An oil mouth feel that was slick, yet sublime at the same time. Flavors were, like the nose, incredibly complex with the same notes as above and a sweet character but balanced by a wine-line tannic kick. I want more!

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2013 08:29:06 | More by flydudehsv
Photo of smcnulty1981

Rhode Island

3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a dark dark brown with no head at all practically no carbonation almost wine like in character color has a brown hue when held to the light

S: no alchol lots of sweet brandy and some oak on the nose with a slight cherry smell

T: I found it a bit difficult to drink there was a lot of brandy taste and cherry there was no alchol but thee was a bit of a fussil taste and extremely sweet

M: very heavy mouthfeel coats the mouth all around however there is a very little carbontation lacking in a finish

O: fairly disappointing u ad heard a lot about the lost Abby and this was my first beer from them i'll defiantly try another but this particular one I would not recommend

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2013 16:04:18 | More by smcnulty1981
Photo of Boto


4.46/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle: 2009 vintage: This one pours an inky, opaque brown color. It is absolutely still: no carbonation at all. Nice nose to it. I definitely get a whiff of the brandy. A little musty aroma. Definitely some dark fruits in there, with a little plum on top. Lots of caramel malts. Very nice taste. Thick caramel, some of the brandy, Lots of mingled dark fruits, some coffee notes. Oak notes also. It doesn’t suffer at all from the lack of carbonation. Very Nice!

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2013 01:20:33 | More by Boto
Photo of Dope


2.6/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

2010 bottle.

A: Cork comes out with just the slightest hiss. Pours dark brown with zero head. Appears to be completely flat. No lacing of course.

S: Boozy brandy and caramel. Not much else. Berries perhaps? Tons of caramel.

T: Brandy up front that turns oddly tart. Lots of caramel but spoiled fruit covers it up. Nothing else to it really other than some leather. Is this infected? Hard to tell versus just a generally crappy beer.

M: Heavy, syrupy and completely flat. Needs some carbonation to cut it.

O: After sipping on this for a bit I have to assume it's infected. It's just pure tart/sour fruit and a little caramel. Boy was this a waste of money. Let's try the bourbon version, maybe it can redeem itself. As for this one, I drain poured it.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2012 03:58:23 | More by Dope
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.1/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

2008 vintage 750ml
A vigorous pour produces a viscous black liquid with a handful of bubbles that dissipate almost instantly. Smells of oaky vanilla with a boozy edge. Hints of chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit and tobacco round out the nose quite nicely. The flavor is sweet like an aged barleywine. Sweet sugar and caramel mixed with some vinous notes. A touch of ethanol and a nice flavor of dark fruits, grapes, chocolate, and tobacco. Medium to thick body with a sweet syrupy mouthfeel and not a lick of carbonation. I've sat on this bottle for quite some time fearing the disappointment that would ensue with the inevitable flat bottle. The lack of carbonation ruins the mouthfeel on this beer and makes a sweet beer even stickier. This smells wonderful! It's too bad I couldn't get a proper sample of this beer because I'll bet its really great!

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2012 22:39:35 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of lovindahops

New York

4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow first lost abbey beer!

A- dark, opaque, and intimidating with no head of foam whatever. However, as we all know it's what lies beneath

S- tart Oaked, darkened fruit and alcohol. Very unique as fruit flavors mingle with the oak aged attribute.

T- wow!!! Pears and sweet caramel sugar combat a boozy California raisin without the cartoon characters dancing in unison! The best way to describe this is darkened prunes that are steeped in barrels. Very delicious!

M- watery yet coating with flavor

O- This was one of the most unique beers I have ever had. The fruit is predominant and you don't get any smokiness until the end. Ummmm can I have more lost abbey???

How about if I host a tasting of lost abbey (tomme will you come?)

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2012 00:09:38 | More by lovindahops
Photo of Gobzilla


4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a dark brown in color with brown highlights and a thin head that left a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: lots od dark fruits especially raisins in the aroma with plenty of brandy woody barrel character, hints of vanilla, slight vinous notes, pear esters, maple syrup tones and plenty of booze.

T: the pear and maple syrup was more apparent on the taste alongside woody brandy barrel character, dark fruits, vanilla accents, and quite a bit of heat.

M: the brew was medium to full in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, woody, dark fruity, boozy, and sticky finish.

O: it was an 09 vintage and it was still pretty hot, I honestly thought it would have mellowed out somewhat; still tasty though.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2012 18:39:48 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

3.13/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

2010 poured into a stemmed Lost Abbey tulip.

Appearance. Pours a murky cola brown with no head, very still.

Smell. Boozy brandy, some old wood and vanilla, cherries and dark berries. This actually smells quite nice.

Taste. Old wood and raisins with a bit of sour grape juice, just a little bitter cocoa powder. Not very boozy, especially considering the abv.

Mouthfeel. The body is a nice medium-full but the near complete lack (and I say near because there actually is a very small amount) of carbonation is just not very pleasant.

Overall. This beer is just a great tragedy for me. A fine brew that's ruined by having no carbonation. Maybe this was the brewer's intention but it wouldn't be my choice as a consumer. Bummed that this cost me $17. More fuel for the devil side of my love/hate for this brewery ;-)

Edit: I drank the whole thing! Not sure if it was a train wreck that I just couldn't turn away from, or if I couldn't bear to pour so much $$$ down the drain ;-)

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2012 02:12:48 | More by Rutager
Photo of SawDog505

New Hampshire

2.2/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured very aggressive into a 20 oz Duvel tulip, bottled in 2010. Pours a very dark brown, with no head at all and subsequently no lace. Smell is dark fruits, molasses, whiskey, and vanilla. Taste is not correct, thinking this is tainted. No pop at all with the cork and a very flat and stale tasting beer. Very sour and boozy and this was my daughter's celebration beer. Going to contact brewery. Body thin, terrible carbonation, not sure if it is dry, and going down the sink, what does that say about drinkability? Trying to figure out what to drink now.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2012 01:29:10 | More by SawDog505
Photo of rodlavers


3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage, split and poured into a snifter. Such a weird beer.

Murky brown in color, absolutely zero head. Serious legs.

Boozey, I guess brandy aromas. It almost smells like a wine; nearly sour, but also sweet.

Taste is really sour and tart, but does improve as it warms. Brandy, and some subtle notes of oak and perhaps light, light caramel.

Mouthfeel is like a wine, really smooth up front and bitter on the end. No carbonation.

Overall not nearly as good as the bourbon, but worth a try. Such an interesting beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2012 21:27:24 | More by rodlavers
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to AndrewK for sharing this one at his tasting.

2009 vintage.

Pours an almost opaque brown-black with no head and no lace. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, raisins, dark fruits, vanilla, brandy, and wood. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick on the finish and a woody aftertaste that lingers after each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is good beer that smells better than it tastes. I just wish the carbonation level was better.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2012 01:04:14 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of TK5150


3/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not sure of the Vinatge, the year was printed pporly on the bottle.

A- Pours dark brown with pretty much no carbonation or head.

S- Smells of molasses, caramelized malts, oak, and brandy/grapes. The best part of this beer.

T- Tart chardonnay (tart/sour white grapes) and oaky tannins. A bit buttery as well. Hints of sharp cheddar cheese. Not hot at all, but a warming sensation is felt down the esophagus. A very tart beer, actually. Just a weird flavor combination that doesn't really work.

M- Lighter side of medium bodied. Fairly smooth. Flat.

O- A major disappointment from The Lost Abbey, especially at the massive price point. The bourbon version is much better, but either way, these angel's share versions are really expensive for what you get.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2012 22:21:32 | More by TK5150
Photo of sentomaster


2.23/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

09 Angels Share poured into a bruery tulip

A- no pop from the cork- not a good sign. Looks like another LA carbonation fail job. The pour leads to even more skepticism, not a single bubble to be found. By the end of pouring a dark and sinister liquid from the bottle there appears to be a faint few, tiny bubbles rising within...

S- Major heat coming off this- port wine heat with massive vanilla and fudge

T/M- HEAT....almost zero carbonation, maybe zero. Thick, full and sweet

O- what a disaster. I've had this on tap and it was great, this was terrible. Tastes like 3 shots of Sambuca made it into the small bottle

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2012 19:26:39 | More by sentomaster
Photo of B33R501


4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

needed something hefty after 2 nitro cans of youngs double chocolate (that was interesting) this will do. $7.00 per 10oz serving at a little oasis Ortino's Northside makes this a must buy. seen this priced $22-$25 12 oz bottle, that's ridiculous, it's a beer. i completely agree with something i saw posted here, paying more than $1 per ounce any beer, you're paying too much.

pours very dark not much head or carbonation but i didnt think this was flat at all. nice aroma of brandy sweetness and caramel, almost barleywine like. taste follows, the wood aging very evident, sweet but not cloying at all. this beer demands to be sipped and savored, just a little alcohol let's you know this is serious.
smooth and satisfying, massive yet delicate.

outstanding. but i still wont pay $22 for 12oz.
great little hideaway bar, also picked up 6 celebration, listed $4 each, they gave it to me for a reasonable $12.

and much better than kbs. on par with 2 fantastic beers, central waters bbb and weyerbacher insanity.

Serving type: on-tap

05-02-2012 13:20:19 | More by B33R501
Photo of Tilley4


2.43/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

It's with some hesitancy that I even bought this beer but while I'm down in Atlanta, I did some shopping around and found 3 bottles of this staring back at me... I know of the carbonation issues they've had... but I bought it anyway. I just couldn't pass it up as it's probably the only bottle I'll ever have of it....

Pouring it into a red wine glass.. Here we go...

Well, it's definitely lacking carbonation... Pours like thinned down motor oil... Hmmm...

I'm actually digging the aromas I'm getting off of this... Big doses of oak and brandy and vanilla... Doesn't smell boozy though... Very intriguing aromas... Very complex...

And... nope... Flat and watery right up front and then I'm overwhelmed by this musty sour earthiness that wipes out every positive thing about this beer away... I love sours and wild ales but I don't think this is what they were looking for with this at all... It's painful to sip on... I'm trying to like it and give it the benefit of the doubt and pick out some positives but.... With a little carbonation and that putrid sourness gone, this would be a really good sipper at the end of the night..

As is? Drain pour and at $14.99 a pop, a rip off. I should have listened to my instincts on this.... I now know why there were 3 more on the shelves...

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2012 23:59:01 | More by Tilley4
Photo of LiquidAmber


4.55/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from 1/2011 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours dark, dark red brown amber. No head or carbonation. Rich aroma of brandy, dark fruits, malt and alcohol. Nice. Dark fruits with an emphasis on plums, brandy, some sherry notes. Heavy bodied and complex. Finishes sweet and boozy. A pleasant complex strong ale. This will definitely be interesting to age. It needs a bit more carbonation to rate higher, but I'll still get this again.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2012 03:11:29 | More by LiquidAmber
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The Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 598 ratings.