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

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

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very good

625 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 625
Reviews: 413
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 20.42%
Wants: 177
Gots: 167 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  12.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: Jason on 04-23-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 625 | Reviews: 413 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of largadeer
4.7/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

'06 vintage on tap at The Bistro's barrel-aged beer fest. Had a few glasses of this one.

Appearance: Dark ruddy amber, a bit hazy. The small tan head disappears pretty quickly, leaving a speckling of lace.

Smell: Smells of dried fruit, toffee, figs, vanilla and molasses with an undercurrent of brandy.

Taste & mouthfeel: Caramelly malt, chocolate, caramelized figs, raisins. Medium-full in body with low carbonation. Vanilla beans, subtle tannins, this has a pretty up-front barrel character. The brandy version is distinctly different from the bourbon barrel variety, namely in the vinous, fruity nuance that the brandy barrel lends the beer. Delicious stuff.

Photo of weeare138
4.7/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Much thanks to TomDecapolis for this...
Appears a dark, russett brown with red edges and a mild tan cap with a thick collar. Spotty lacing is left all over the glass.
Smell is rummy with oak & bourbon notes. These aromas are followed up with complex brown sugar, raisins, fruit cake, black grapes, caramel, and toffee.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a beautiful, sticky mix of caramel, oak, and mollasses.
Mouthfeel is sugary, & medium bodied with a vivacious lingering of raisins, sugar, oaky vanilla, and mollasses.
Well done brew! I felt bad about taking so much for myself but it was in love with this beer and the brandy complexities that it melded together with.

Photo of gthornton
4.7/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had the pleasure of enjoying this on tap with some clase friends this week. I hadn't really ever expected that I would ever have more than a taster of this, since it is so expensive, yet the folks at WineSteals came through.

This was served in an oversized wine glass... almost to the brim, I might add (and for $4 I might add).

A: Dark brown, with a ruby red hue buried deep beneath the surface. It's a barley-wine, so you should not be expecting a head.

S: So much going on here! Toffee, butter, coffee, pumpernickel bread, rye, caramel, dark cherries, maple syrup...

T: All of the aromas come out beautifully on the tongue... best of all, a very mellow boozeyness that took us all for surprise, we were expecting this to feel a lot more oppressive than it was. Very well balanced and smooth.

M: Rich, almost sticky sweet, thick on the tongue, high viscocity... hmm any adjectives I left out?

D: This is a high ABV drink mind you, but for the style this is an exceptionally smooth drink, that now that I have tried it, I think I will fork out the $30 for a bottle, because it is so well crafted.

Photo of LittleBreeze
4.7/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasting 3/29/08

Plain and simple...I love this beer. The fruit flavors, dark sugar sweetness, malt and brandy barrel is a near perfect marriage. And unfortunately I don't think any review can do it justice. The balance is incredible. This is a rich sipper. That cuts drinkability just a tad.

Photo of oakbluff
4.7/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared at the Beer Bistro in Toronto. Gotta splurge sometimes! Dark murky beer with minimal head. Nose is off dark chocolates and fruit- not what I expected for a barleywine! Taste- sublime- the brandy aging has turned this into a very unique beer. Hops are subdued, so really not that much bitterness. Just silky thick tootsie roll, plums and raisins, and vanilla sweetness (to name a few). Almost seems like more Belgian Quad than barleywine. Great sipping beer, but still dangerously drinkable. No hotness to speak of, just pure heaven.

Photo of Spider889
4.68/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Local Option in Chicago. I seriously think that this has been my favorite bar of all time to date!

Dark cherrywood brown with a maple colored head.

The aroma was delicious. I really wish I had had more time to stay and get another glass of this stuff. Very maple heavy, some oak graininess. The brandy is smooth but heavy-handed. Vanilla and molasses meld with the heat of the alcohol. There was eventually a sour twinge appearing over time.

Truffle and cacao notes add both sweetness and a balancing bitterness to the beer. As it warmed I realized that the taste was really just balanced as hell. Everything worked so well in tandem that it was a true thing of beauty. Heavy smoke began to waft forth from my glass, as did brown sugar and light char become interwoven with the other more prominent flavors.

My notes state:
"Smooth as all fuck."

I think that says it all, folks.

Light carbonation, but this was complimentary to the style and sipping nature of the beer. Certainly this is better on tap from all the "flat abbey" rumors I have heard.

Overall an exquisite beer. Seek it out, it won't disappoint.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.68/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Lost Abbey. Despite the incredible fall from grace that this beer has had to endure, it still was one of my most anticipated beers of the day. Enough so that I was willing to drink a pint in a warehouse when it was 100 degrees out

A: Dark chestnut brown with a thin brown head with OK retention. Great clarity, this beer looks pretty nice. Retention could be better, but at 12%, that's asking for a bit much

S: Insane. Brandy booziness layered over complex sweetness with caramel, dark honey, mild nuttiness. Alcohol is practically non-existent. Oak is present, with a tannic character that works well with the booze.

T: Opening up with sweet brandy and plenty of complex fruity sweetness - figs, caramel, honey. Rather light in body, and that prevents this beer from being cloying (it's far from it), and the drying tannic finish is excellent

M: I can see why the carbonation is essential - it simply highlights everything that's good about this beer - an excellent palate, a mild zing to go with both the dryness and the tannic finish. Fantastic stuff.

D: If I wasn't going to an epic tasting after this, I would have drunk the hell out of this and the bourbon AS on tap. Excellent beers, along with DDG, the only beers I kept wanting to drink in the 100 degree heat.

Photo of GClarkage
4.68/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

03/06/09- Shared at a tasting with BA member Talisker.

Presentation- Either a late '08 or early '09 release. Last shipment of the Sinners Club. 375ml bottle, caged and corked. Poured into my Westvleteren chalice.

Appearance- Murky and thick looking pureed raisin color. Oh so slight head upon pour and quickly vanishes before your eyes. Leaves some light lace remnents. but looks very docile.

Smell- Lots of caramel, lots of rasins and dates. Definite alcohol scent. Couldn't really detect if it was bradny or not though.

Taste- The smell pretty much rounds it out. Very slight alcohol burn. Definite brandy barrel flavor. Lots of caramel and candied rasin flavor. Minor hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel- Ultra low cask-like carbonation level. Gets a touch watery after the swallow at times...about the only picky drawback. Lots of sugary fruit goodness in the taste.

Drinkability- Tremendous beer, whatever type it may be considered.

Photo of HopHead84
4.68/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 Brandy Barrel on tap at O'Brien's Lost Abbey night. Pours nearly black with a tiny head and no lacing. Strong aroma of Brandy, dark fruits, sweet toffee, vanilla, and oak. The last Angel's Share I enjoyed was the bourbon barrel, and this is my favorite of the two. Delicious brandy character throughout, with hints of vanilla and oak. Alcohol is strong but I love it. The finish is long, sweet, and full of brandy. One of my favorite barleywines. Full bodied with low-medium carbonation.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.65/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage bottle in the new 375ml bottles.

Pours into my glass a deeply dark brown with some garnet highlights and a wisp of light tan foam that quickly fades, small bubbles rise up from the bottom. Aromas start with an enticing mix of dark sweet malts, raisins, oak and a healthy dose of brandy. Sweet ripe fruits meander with plum, vanilla and touch of anise and tobacco. Lush and vibrant.

First sip brings smooth, sweet dark malts with raisins, ripe fruits, oak wood tannins and a swirl of warming brandy that really shines through. Caramel accents along with vanilla and a touch of tobacco. Spicy and a tad earthy. Flows down and finishes with a beautiful meld of oak and brandy. Warming and downright delicious.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit slick. Carbonation is mellow but well placed for the style and ABV in my opinion. I really wouldn't want it more carbonated. A 375ml bottle is the perfect serving size for this and I really am enjoying this years bottling. Decadent.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.65/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle served at 50 degrees and poured into gold rimmed New Belgium Snifter

A - Poured a very dark brown, nearly opaque with only the slightest bit of light coming through on both the sides and the bottom of the glass. Very rich color, with slight reddish tints, but mostly just a deep russet brown. A smallish maybe one finger high head of gold and tan colored foam rose up from the bottom and lay across the top of the glass like a pillow. This settled down eventually, but left behind a thin film covering the top and very nice side glass lace. The side glass presentation was a bit remarkable in that it almost had a gold shine to it as it swirled around, very nice looking.

S - The aroma was huge, and full of alcohol from the first whiff. I did not think this would be coming off as strong as it did. Lots of wood and oak like aroma mixed in as well. I had to let this one sit and warm up to see what else was going to be coming through from it. The next whiff was much more complex then the first. Lots of oak notes still underlying, however these were now being layered in with a good bit of dark fruity notes, plums, or raisins perhaps. Still a touch hot from the aroma, as the alcohol was very discernable. There was definitely some spiciness to it as well, like a good spiced rum smell almost. Very dark and complex, I was getting the feeling that this one was going to put a hurting on me.

T - So I build it up and dive in for a taste. I had waited a long time to try this one, and I was not disappointed. Avery robust and full flavor profile, this was definitely one to sit down and think about as you go through it. A full on blast of spiced alcohol was the first thing that I noticed, kinda hot, but as it warmed it mellowed out and by the end of the session had all but blended into the background and simply become an outstanding ale. Loads of dark fruit notes were permeating through the flavor. Prunes, Raisins, Figs all very discernable in the flavor and really adding balance to it as they melded together. Lots of spice here as well, very big. The notes of oak and wood in the flavor were clearly becoming evident as it warmed, giving it a very subtle, yet very powerful presence. I can see why people rave about this; it is very unique, very dark, and very seductive almost. The flavor really needed some time to catch up with you, the first few sips were nothing compared to the last few, really outstanding I have to say and very different then anything I had in the past.

M - Super smooth and creamy, this medium bodied ale was just about perfect in the way it should have felt. Great carbonation profile throughout the session really never let up and gave it that silky smoothness that really lets the flavor pop and keeps it from getting too heavy. In fact it was really not filling at all, despite how big it was it was excellent as far as that.

D - Now if there was ever something designed to be sipped, this was it. I mean it was tremendous, and to be honest, I did not share and took care of this bottle on my own over the course of about 3 hours. It was just amazing how well it tasted. I thought in the beginning it was going to be a little too hot, but that was my fault for serving too cold, or being to anxious take your pick. But after letting this come up in temperature, it turned into one of the best I have ever had, really a tremendously good beer.

Overall I really loved this one. Now I have not really had anything from Lost Abbey that I have not liked, but this and Devotion on back to back nights have really taken this thing to a while new level. The complexity displayed in the is uncanny and I really had a touch time with this review, as I am not usually at a loss for words with my reviews, but this one had me there, it was just that good. I really look forward to the Brandy and Bourbon barrel aged editions later this year; they will truly be breathtaking as I can only imagine the heights to which this one will get.

Photo of NorCalYeti
4.65/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

taste- caramel, alcohol, vanilla, oak, brown sugar, candy, graham crackers, maple syrup, dark fruit, bittersweet chocolate in the finish

color- deep brown

clarity- pours dense and murky

smell- black cherries, barnyard, chocolate, red wine, raisins, brown sugar, soft oak

body- smooth on the palate, the alcohol slowly expands on the roof of the mouth and leaves you with a smooth, warm, medium-length finish, velvety, soft and rounded, oily

appearance- completely flat, the faintest hint of lace in one or two spots on the glass, no noticable active carbonation

overall impression- characteristic of some of my favorite barleywine styles, great drinker and it packs a punch...i can't imagine drinking a 750mL, it would seem like a waste of beer considering the 375mL is the perfect amount to enjoy after dinner, nice digestif

notes and comments- pulled the cork on this one and there was no carbonation present...really had me worried considering i bought the beer a couple weeks ago. the lack of carbonation leaves the mouthfeel a little flat. as the beer warms, the alcohol becomes more present and slightly less enjoyable resulting in a burning sensation, spent yeast on the bottom of the bottle, pour carefully, no vintage on the label although i have to assume it's a 2009

beer spy- bevmo, walnut creek ca, february 2011, $15.99, 375mL

glassware: tulip

Photo of JDV
4.65/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

06 Bottle shared by Miketd alongside with my 07 from Padrefan98 in trade. Thanks to both of you! This rating of the 06, which I liked a bit better.
Pours almost black, with a light tan head. Smell is vanilla, raisins, dates, sweet dried fruity, and is just bursting out of the glass with goodness. Taste is super rich, smooth creamy sticky malt, vanilla, modest hops, dates, and decadent. Very drinkable. One of my all time favorites.

Photo of Westsidethreat
4.65/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks for hooking me up Scottoale!

A: Appears a lot like an instant coffee with garnet highlights when held to the light. Body appears clear for the most part but its hard to tell with the dark color. Head fell quickly leaving a slick across the top and a good ring of toasted marshmallow colored bubbles.

S: Brandy, oak, vanilla, caramelized figs, puréed prunes, chocolate mousse and butterfinger.

T: First thing I notice is vanilla and tangy fruits across the tip of the tongue…the tang being identifiable as brandy. Saturated dark fruits come next absolutely simmering with rich flavor. Bakers chocolate, café au lait and ruby berries move in with a walloping malt base…really a lot like black velvet cake. Some molasses going on but on the sweet opposed to malty end of the spectrum. Brandy is way apparent in this brew adding an almost stark red apple aspect to it. Bitterness comes towards the end with low lying coffee and syrupy vanilla and caramel. Finishes with a hint of pine hops, burnt brown sugar and cloying treacle. As it warms, the alcohol kicks into high gear, spelunking its way through the nasal cavity.

M: Full mouthfeel with a smooth nature and an overall syrupy portrait.

D: The oak is strong in this one. Brilliant. I’m totally digging these alternatively barreled versions of beer. Brandy barrels, sherry barrels, bourbon barrels…bring it!

Photo of seaoflament
4.65/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally, my 100th review.

2007 Release.

I pour the Brandy Angle's Share into my Stone 11th Anniversary pint glass. The color is a dark caramel, like a wood barrel, with a half inch of cream colored foam. It looks darker in the glass. Carbonation is not too active but a thin layer does sustain for a few minutes and settles to a ring.

The aroma is very complex. There are some light brandy-like notes mixed with some chocolate malts, vanilla and oak, milk chocolate, toffee, and a bit of cake batter. As it warms up I get more aromas of malted milk and woodsy licorice. Hints of cherries, dates, and ripe, soft prunes make an appearance as well. The caramel malt that is mentioned in the bottle is also very present and earlier I described it as toffee; but the caramel malt is used very well and blends nicely to the flavors provided by the oak barrels. One of the best smelling beers I have had! As it comes to room temperature there is more and more chocolate aromas, a decadent beer! I take my time smelling this beer as I do tasting it.

The taste is so damn good, and the alcohol is hidden in the taste but masterfully placed in the finish, creating a warming sensation as you sip this beer. Chocolate, slightly roasted barley flavor or roasted malts, oak, a bit of vanilla, some brown sugar, toasted bread, and a few others I can't describe. The flavor is so well blended that I don't see how much better this can get with ageing, but I'm sure as hell plan to find out.

Incredibly smooth and drinkability is surprisingly very high. I don't remember the last beer I had with 11% that was so easy to drink, watch out people because it does creep up on you!

***Update 11/8/08***

Almost a year since this was released, heard some rumors that this beer might have gotten an infection so I decided to test a bottle out:

Pours similar to what I remember. Dark caramel color with a nice inch of tan colored foam. Decent retention and a quick swirl brings back another half to a full inch of foam.

The aroma is not as intense as I remember it. There is a grape/vinous aroma in the background, signs of oxidation, which is not entirely bad but I remember a stronger Brandy/Caramel malt combination. The aroma also seems thin. There is still a good amount of caramel and milk chocolate notes but again, not as intense as before. Wood and oak aromas are very subtle. I do get some vanilla in there when I look for it. Caramelized raisins, a few other dark fruits, and a hint of alcohol in the back.

Oh no!!!! my worst fears have come true! Sour upfront, dark fruits, raisins, caramel, a bit of chocolate and heat but fuck it all, it's sour!

There's some carbonation but the beer itself feels thin and lacks the delicious aftertaste it once did.

This is sad...

Photo of Halcyondays
4.63/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle, 2008 edition,

A: Pours a murky brown with no head, just a smattering of ochre bubbles.

S: Great smell, oak, vanilla, wine grapes, brown sugar.

T: Taste is outstanding as well. The flavour is vibrant and complex - heavy toffee and vanilla. Brandy barrel aging is evident, sweet fermented fruit and butterrum candy.

M: Flat, but in this beer I didn't really mind. The flavour keeps your attention, and with the high alcohol, the beer really drinks more like a fortified wine or dessert wine (Pedro Ximenez sherry).

D: This is the second time I have gotten to try this gem of a beer and the taste has been incredible each time. I know people are complaining about the carbonation issues, but I think the controversy is a bit overblown in the context of this beer.

Photo of hopdog
4.6/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle shared courtesy of TomDecapolis.

Poured a dark mahogany color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of oak, woody, vanilla, dark fruits, caramel, toffee and light bourbon. Tastes of bourbon/brandy (stronger than the aromas), brown sugar sweetness, caramel, dark fruits, and oak.

Alcohol content well hidden. I went back for seconds of this one and would have gotten more if any was left (good thing I have some more at home!).

Notes from and tasted on 4/18/07

Photo of bigbelcher
4.6/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Despite the well documented and accurate posts about the lack of carbonation I bought a bottle to split with some friends. A very slight pop. Poured no head whatsoever. The beer is flat. However in the vein of Sam Adams Utopias this beer really doesn't need the carbonation. The brandy barrel aging comes through big time in the aroma. Flavor was that of sherry with a little bit of oak. Like most high alcohol beers it is on the sweeter side. Not cloying but more a a rich caramel sweetness. Depsite the lack of carbonation the beer is medium to full bodied. A great beer and much maligned in my opinion because it doesnt need the carbonation.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.6/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Burnt pecan shell brown that becomes dark blood red when backlit with bright sunshine. The golden brown sugar colored crown looks fantastic despite the 11.5% ABV. It's firmly creamy, is melting in slow motion and is beginning to deposit an attractive king's crown of sticky lace. In a word... gorgeous.

It was obvious on cork extraction that this is special beer. I'm reminded of a BSDA without the estery Belgian yeast and with a ton of oak barrel character. Knowing The Lost Abbey, that may be exactly what was intended. Each inhale delivers a dizzying array of darkness that includes roasted barley, dark chocolate, dark caramel, dark fruit and vanilla.

The Angel's Share is remarkable beer that tastes even better than it smells. And it smells damn good. First of all, if you aren't thrilled with beer that has been aged in barrels that previously held spirits, you probably won't like it. There's a tremendous amount of brandy character that is almost as warming as the real stuff. I need to continue to sip in order to finish this review with some coherence. It won't be easy.

The major flavors are a perfect combination of a world-class BSDA with a world-class RIS. It isn't quite as roasted as the latter, but it's close. The complexity of the flavor profile is mind-boggling: dark caramel, dark brown sugar, bittersweet chocolate, molasses, a big splash of Sambuca, dark rum-soaked raisins, crushed vanilla beans and... bourbon? I'm 100% sure that this 750 ml bottle is the brandy-aged version, but I'll be damned if it doesn't taste like Kentucky's finest.

It's a good thing that the alcohol, rather than being completely hidden, is right up front. After all, we're not talking about the grain alcohol-like flavor that one might taste in a fresh American barleywine, but the oak-infused goodness of a quality liquor. Big, big difference. The warming glow that has bloomed in my belly is beginning to spread outward and is approaching the tips of my fingers.

It's a mystery how this beautiful brew will age. Probably very well. I tried to hold off on opening it, but couldn't resist even one more day. Warming doesn't change much, other than amplifying what goodness was already present. Then again, the flavor was pretty close to perfect right from the first sip.

The mouthfeel isn't quite perfect. Like everything else about this beer, though, it's close. Slightly more fullness and crushed velvet creaminess needs to be present for the ultimate score to be granted. Nitpicking? Probably. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the amount and quality of the carbonation.

This insanely delicious ale is a masterpiece of the brewer's art. If it isn't the best American strong ale on the planet, then I'd love to know what is. The Angel's Share (Brandy) may be heavenly, but this bottle is mine, all mine. Let the angels get their own damn beer. Talisker deserves my undying gratitude for agreeing to part with one of his bottles.

Photo of abfraser
4.58/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the Toronado event last night in SF.

A: Not the most attractive looking beer. Black, with no sign of carbonation yet again (see my past Lost Abbey reviews for more on the lack of carbonation). It could have been sitting out all night for all I know--that's what it looked like.

S: Much better. Just an amazing smell of oak, vanilla, dark fruits, brown sugar. Amazingly complex here. Honestly, I don't remember the difference between this and the bourbon barrel aged. I look forward to the Sinners shipments to better compare. Either way, great stuff

T/M: Sweet sugary oaky fruit. Everything on the smell and then some. Vanilla is very noticeable. The mouthfeel, while still nice, gets dinged in my book because of the lack of carbonation. Overall, amazing stuff.

D: Pretty intense. Two glasses at most for me. On a side note, I can't believe this stuff was $3.50 with the happy hour pricing. God, I love Toronado

Photo of Duhast500
4.58/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a Dogfish Head snifter glass.

The color is a complete black with no highlights and no head or no lacing.

The smell is a bit grape in flavor with a nice molasses flavor. Some hints of coffee flavor comes out to take this beer on to the next stage.

The taste is really strong with a nice brandy warming flavor. It has great deep oak flavor that comes up on you in a quick minute. There are hints of coffee grounds, cola syrup, dark malts, motor oil, brandy, and a full bodied cigar.

The feel of beer is heavy bodied, and it's best to be prepared for it. It will sneak up on you if you take it too lightly. It slowly goes into a gradual lowering of flavor. It hits then drops, slowly with a smooth texture and a nice kick. It is the beer you will talk about for time to come.

Photo of Blursimarsi
4.58/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(Bottle, thanks WeeHeavySD) Pours very dark brown with deep reddish hints and a light brown head. Elegant and complex aroma with tones of chocolate, caramel, nuts, English toffee, English fruit cake, lingonberries, blackberries maybe some blueberry and strawberry jam and a wide subtle fruit spectra of raisins, plums, sweet pears, yellow apples and banana in the background. The oak wood blends in very well with soft tones of vanilla, cocoa nut and some butter. Also some hints of yeast, sugar, spices, peppery mint and sal ammoniac. Well balanced alcohol warmth carrying every aroma beautifully. The nose is extremely soft with notes of gruel. The flavour starts of with a second of chocolate, coffee and dark fruit. Then a rather full caramelly and fruity sweetness comes along with some fiery alcohol. The finish carries all the sweetness with a balanced sour berry touch. Oak, vanilla and some subtle sugar sources goes through every stage of the beer. Undertones of dark berries and dark fruits like raisins and black currant lemonade. Hints of liquorice, salt and hops. Medium to full sweet and syrupy with a light tart edge. Light bitter and light dry. The mouthfeel is maybe the best ever with a silky, smooth and velvety character. The carbonation is perfect for the mouthfeel and carries the beer gentle down your palate. Sugar, chocolate, vanilla, salty liquorice and some earthiness linger in the aftertaste. Near full bodied. What a perfect beer from our new favourite brewery! Yeah baby!

Photo of illidurit
4.58/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at 515 in Santa Cruz. I've tried most of Lost Abbey's rarer barrel program beers but this, one of the most common ones, has always eluded me. And even when I did see it in stores, I was wary of paying 30 bucks for probably flat beer. So obviously I'm extremely excited to pay five bucks for a snifterful of the stuff.

Nice deep mahogany color with a fluffy tan head that sticks around quite a while. Aroma is fantastic. Lush brandy notes, plenty of sweet toffee maltiness, vanilla, fruits, and a bit of spice. The flavor is out of this world. Raisins, molasses, pudding, chocolate, high-quality spirits, caramel, port. Thick and sweet, definitely a sipper meant to be enjoyed slowly. A little heat but not too much. Nice lasting finish.

For all the shit Lost Abbey gets over their carbonation problems, I felt that the level of CO2 in my force-carbonated glassful was far too high. It would have been completely suitable by any other beer's standards, but that much carbonation in The Angel's Share is TOO MUCH. After a period of swirling to kill off the excess, the result was simply incredible. This beer clearly CLEARLY benefits from lower carbonation.

Note to LA carbonation haters: You're wrong. You are wrong. Your palate is wrong, your taste is wrong, your reviews are wrong, your indignation is wrong, your opinion. is. wrong.

Angel's Share is right.

Photo of Birdiebeagle
4.58/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle 2008 Pours a murkey brown with no noticable head what so ever. Has a wonderful aroma of wood, sweet fruits, vanilla, and sweet caramel. Has a awesome flavor. Very lightly carbinated. An Awesome mouthfeel. The alcohol is well hidden. Very well balanced. Has a great mouthfeel. A real good finish. This is a wonderful beer. Makes me wish I was an angel for my share. Very well done.

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

Pours dark brown/mahogany with a brown head. Heavy dark friut aroma with lots of oak. Rich, and very malty with lots of fruity goodness up front. This was the last beer of a long night of sampling for me and Mike. Hopefully I will be lucky enough some day to have another bottle of this fine beer.

The Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 625 ratings.