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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BA SCORE
86
very good

418 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 418
Hads: 649
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 21%
Wants: 182
Gots: 172 | FT: 10
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: Jason on 04-23-2008

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: 418 | Hads: 649
Photo of BreweryRun
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Very hot and brandy forward. Not bad but too much brandy & heat for me. Still a great base beer, worth a try for comparison purposes if you have had the Bourbon BA version. (174 characters)

Photo of BradleySig
4.96/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Tried this at the brewery this weekend and it's phenomenal! The Brandy barrels sweeten it up just a touch compared to the original but it didn't get cloying. (157 characters)

Photo of retry4z
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Plenty of licorice, cinnamon, and dried plums. The barrel aged aspect of it is its saving grace, otherwise I would not drink it. Prefer the Bourbon Barrels Aged version. (169 characters)

Photo of Dodgerrigo77
4.85/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2006 vintage!! 750ml shared with T.Arthur & Big Daddy @ the T
Nice pop with cork pull
Fantastic smell, brandy, as poured into 6oz tulip.
Great smooth taste, dry finish. 8-9 years in the bottle has reakly worked wonders for this bad boy. The brandy and body of the barley wine is there initially but fades beautifully.
Great feel, minimal carbonation but enough to assure you this was an amazing beer. Cant believe it held up all this time.

Im sure dome will disagree but this vintage was the reason "barleywine should still be made", as a great brewmaster said. Really lucky to get to try this in great company. (613 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.04/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2009 release poured from a caged & corked 375ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark reddish brown color, with no head and no lacing as expected.

S: The aroma contains chocolate, brandy, roasted malts and some dark fruit.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of brandy, chocolate, dark fruit and coffee. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in. There’s a very mild alcohol burn. The hops presence is nearly undetectable. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp and a bit chalky, medium body, very low carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, very strong kick, good representation of style, this is a very flavorful and strong beer to sip on for a long time. (753 characters)

Photo of WoostaBia
4.96/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Had a recent tasting of this beer again. It was perfect in every way. The smell was vanilla, toffee, molasses, sweet balsamic vinegar and caramel, the taste was more of the same with malty sweetness, no roasted bitterness, well balanced with alcohol heat at the finish. Enjoyed this beer at 55F temp, a perfect sipper. Would pick up whenever available. Better than than the Bourbon Barrel version which i also love. (415 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle at Falling Rock Tap House in Denver. Pours pitch black and inky with no head whatsoever. Aroma is sweet brandy and some light anise, molasses, more sweet sugar. Flavor follows with thick brandy and molasses flavors, some light oakiness, burnt caramel, very sweet. Nearly no carbonation in this one, and on the sweet side which cuts through the thickness and puts things a bit on the cloying side. Big bodied though. I definitely liked the bourbon version better than this one, but would be nice on a winter day. (518 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.12/5  rDev -44.4%
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. (798 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.11/5  rDev +7.9%
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... (654 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.37/5  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. (997 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
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. (294 characters)

Photo of zachary80
2.93/5  rDev -23.1%
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. (609 characters)

Photo of Resuin
4.29/5  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. (714 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
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 (1,326 characters)

Photo of Kagarran
2.04/5  rDev -46.5%
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! (918 characters)

Photo of Smurf2055
4.34/5  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. (557 characters)

Photo of flydudehsv
5/5  rDev +31.2%
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! (476 characters)

Photo of smcnulty1981
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
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 (687 characters)

Photo of Boto
4.46/5  rDev +17.1%
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! (469 characters)

Photo of Dope
2.64/5  rDev -30.7%
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. (755 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.16/5  rDev -17.1%
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! (862 characters)

Photo of lovindahops
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
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?) (737 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
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. (740 characters)

Photo of Rutager
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
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 ;-) (983 characters)

Photo of SawDog505
2.24/5  rDev -41.2%
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. (557 characters)

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The Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 418 ratings.