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

Not Rated.
The Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-AgedThe Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-Aged

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very good

618 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 618
Reviews: 413
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 20.68%
Wants: 175
Gots: 166 | FT: 9
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: 618 | Reviews: 413 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Billolick
4.7/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, on tap at the EBF, this past Saturday. The only brew I took notes on all weekend. Enjoyed 2 large sized samples that were truly savored. Poured burnt dark chocolate, near black, under a fierce looking dark tan head, sticks and sticks and emits loads of raisins and bourbon to the waiting nose. Rich, chewy and complex in the mouth and around the tongue. I picked up luscious notes of more raisins, dark chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, ripe dark fruits...lovely beer....

Billolick, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of Georgiabeer
2.05/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

2008 edition. I won't go into any long diatribe about how much this beer sucked, nor will I address the debate about whether it should have been released or whether the brewery took ownership of the problems with this beer and reasonably addressed them. I will say that I am very, very disappointed by this beer and do think Lost Abbey ought to have been more proactive in dealing with quality control issues with Sinners rather than having the few who initiated resolution of the issue be taken care of, but no one else. When this brewery is good, their beers can be out of this world. When bad...well, here is an example. Pours with absolutely no carbonation. None. Nada, in a beer that screams out for it. Thick and viscous with no head. Without any effervescence, this beer smells flat and overly sweet, with heavy caramel notes and a whiff of brandy that doesn't go nearly far enough to cut the sweetness. The taste is similar, with flat oak flavors out of balance with the light brandy notes and sweetness. Thick and viscous in the mouth, but not entirely unpleasant here. Drain pour for me. This could have been so great- but for the price, I just won't risk it again.

Georgiabeer, Jun 25, 2010
Photo of akorsak
4.43/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A snifter or two at the Brass Rail Deli. Memo at my side with a Shirley Temple.

A: The Angel's Share is black, a midnight-hued color that is as imposing as it gets. A thin head, off-white with a tan hue, comes with both pours.

S: The nose is brandy strength, booze and oaken vanilla, along with hyper-roasted stout notes. The brandy element is deceptively sweet, drawing me in with each inhale.

T: The brandy barrel drives the flavor, oaken and vinous, fortified for extra special strength. The oak adds vanilla while the brandy adds the grapey vinous notes. The strength of the ale is always just below the surface, a big filling ale no matter how you slice it. Darker, roasted malts emerge in the finish, lending a stout-like ending to the ale. Both barrel and roasted malts linger, with the brandy recurring in periodic burps.

M: The mouthfeel is lush and rich, drawing on the experience of the barrel before yielding to the fullness of the stout. The brandy barrel is a pronounced difference from a bourbon barrel, intense but not in the same manner.

I'm glad to finally have an Angel's Share on tap; a brilliant ale from Lost Abbey.

akorsak, Apr 22, 2011
Photo of mothman
4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 on tap at Lost Abbey

Poured into a mini wine like glass. (also had the 09 375 bottle which were carbonated as well)

Served with no head, could be do to the pour. Color is a dark murky caramel brown. Near black.

Aroma: Tons of brandy and malt. This beer is packing a lot. Sharp grassy hops, caramel, toffee, raisins, cherries, and plums. A ton of flavor here.

Taste: Brand and more brandy. Lots of toffee and caramel. Then the raisins and molasses kick in with some plum notes in the background. It has some nice grassy hops and it an all around big beer.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and rich. It has booze but not really hot. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation (yes it is carbonated!). Ends malty and rich, just a little dry.

Overall, I was glad to see the carbonation here. A nice beer and I really enjoyed the heavy brandy notes. Fairly drinkable and the 375 would be ideal.

mothman, Jan 29, 2010
Photo of DoubleJ
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at The Catch in Anaheim. On to the beer:

There was no head on this beer when I received it in my tulip. The color is chocolate brown wih hues of caramel orange. Maybe I shouldn't have expeced a head, after all, this is a strong ale. The nsoe is where things run smoothly, and is the best part of the Angel's Share experience. You can smell dark fruits, coffee, oak, liquor, and maple syrup. Yum!

To no surprise, the taste is strong. Red grapes and liquor come to mind at first. Oak gets into the picture, as does a little bit of "good alcohol". As the beer finishes, it leaves a very sweet (and boozy) aftertaste. Very lightly carbonated, and no, this wasn't from the infamous bottles of the 2008 Vintage, but a keg (sorry, don't know what vintage). No as heavy as expected for the size, seems medium to middle-heavy in texture. Oh, and it's a slow drinker.

Tastes like an English Barleywine thrown in barrels. A 750 ml of Angel's Share costs an arm and a leg (usually $30 in SoCal!), but 11.5 ounces from draft cost me $9 in Anaheim (a $20 equivalent for 750 ml). Even the 11.5 ounce size was a slow ride, but a tasty one, so don't be afraid to share a bottle with others.

DoubleJ, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of BARFLYB
4.45/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brandy Angel's share on tap at Capone's in a small snifter.

A- Angel brandy came to me with a dark brown look with mohagany tones and some faint red spots on the edges. Well there is not one spot of foam on this therefore no lacing, I hope this is not dead in the water.

S- Big burst of brandy that only makes itself more noticable with warming. Under that a big caramel malty base that's huge as well. Vanilla, oak and wood, some small hints of dark fruit. Smells wonderful.

T- Well, this is not dead in the water, in fact I think this is the low carbonation that Tomme was talking about that was not present in bottles. Brandy, oak, vanilla, caramel malt and some dark fruits, what else do you need to know, just get some.

M- This is not dead. I was unlucky enough to have a flat bottle of this about a month ago and it was flat tits. On tap, the mild carbonation actually brings out the flavors a whole lot more making for a more flavorful drink. Full bodied, light carb, great taste. Smooth and just a bit hot even with the 12 plus percent.

D- Well if i was not driving, I could of had another, but that was out. I enjoyed sipping on 10 ounces of this over a hour and that's the way it should be. Brandy Angel's share is a sipper and anything else is uncivilized. Get on this if you find a tap version, don't fuck with the bottles, they are a waste of scratch.

BARFLYB, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of Zorro
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Angels Share. July 4th 2009.

Left this warm for a few months, result? Still no carbonation.

Murky brown colored beer with no head. 3

Smells very boozy and strongly of grapes and whiskey, vanilla and brown sugar. Scents of rum and especially brandy. No other way of describing this though, this is a highly aromatic and boozed up beer.

Starts out dry and not nearly as boozy as it smells. Lots of vanilla and oak flavor. Bourbon is the main flavoring here. Strongly boozy though and very warming in the chest.

Mouthfeel is OK; the bottle did manage to create a feeble carbonation in the mouth so this is Luke flat if you know what I mean. Maybe Luke fizz would be a better word?

First thing about drinkability is that this is a nearly flat beer that costs $33 a bottle. Tasty beer but that flaw isn't a point of recommendation, for $33 they should be able to put the fizz in.

Zorro, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of afsdan
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

afsdan, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Lost Abbey : The Angels Share Brandy Barrel Aged 2009 edition.

Corked and caged bottle opens with a small "pffft". Poured into a snifter to capture the aroma, but appeared still upon pouring.

Smell is luscious. Chocolate, Vanilla, Caramel, Brandy, Malty, Butterscotch, Toffee, Candy.

Taste follows the smell somewhat, a gauntlet of flavor, with cocoa, vanilla, big time oak/wood notes. Nice tannins present. Brandy comes through also in a very relaxed fashion, building upon each sip. At times it feels like a Barleywine, with date like fruityness coupled with big doses of caramel and toffee. A pronounced roasted flavor is also very prominant in the taste. Hot damn!

Mouthfeel is ultra smooth, silky, with just a touch of mild carbonation enough to keep this beer from being absolutely still. The small carbonation is enough to carry this big, tasty, sipper/cordial of a beer.

Overall, this is a beer that highlights tastes boldly that I have only experienced hints of previously. I believe its at its peak now, can't imagine this keeping much longer and still being carbonated. A bad mofo of a beer, and this is a sipper worthy of a very intellectual conversation.

Stinkypuss, Jul 26, 2011
Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Gonzoillini, May 25, 2014
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ok, so the trend now is to age the beer in used liquor barrels. Fine, most taste the same and few are highly drinkable. So when I tried this one I was surprised. It's a bit closer to SA Utopias than any other barrel aged beer I've had. The pour is a dark reddish, caramelly pond of richness. A pretty good head on it adds to the richness.
Aroma doesn't betray the abv. This is a smooth smell of caramel, light chocolate, vanilla and a touch of very dry timber. Oh, how I wish it were colder outside and the fireplace lit. Anywho, the taste follows the aroma. The caramel is a bit thicker and the vanilla clings to the woodiness. almost seems like a carbonated port. Some chocolate comes and goes as well as unripe figs and apricots. Very nice. I likey like this one. Alcohol does hit hard in the end...i'd like to see this one age a bit longer.

Mebuzzard, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

BillRoth, Sep 26, 2013
Photo of ppoitras
2.5/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

750ml bottle purchased as a single at Julio's, Westboro, MA. Corked and caged, 2008 vintage.

Poured into a Chimay chalice, and under-carbonated is an understatement. Scant few bubbles form with the hardest of pours. No head to speak of over this opaque dark brown brew. Upon swirling, heavy legs and tiny bubbles are seen along the glass.

Aroma is sweet and sour, tartness coupled with syrupy maltiness. Taste is worlds away from the nose: sweet and fruity upfront, moderately smokey old leather tannins in the middle, with an evaporating alcohol close. Warmth and numbing come along soon enough too. Mouthfeel is thin for the look and flavor, and drinkability is pretty limited.

Save your $30. The bad experience stories are true, much as I wanted to see them wrong.

ppoitras, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of brandoman63
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

brandoman63, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of John_M
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Uber tonight. The menu (and bartender) confirmed that this was the brandy barrel aged version.

The beer pours a muddy dark brown color with minimal head retention and lacing. The nose is stunning, with milk chocolate, brown sugar, hazelnuts and lots of brandy (in case there was any doubt as to what I was drinking). Flavors replicate the nose pretty closely, and I'm happy to report the draft version has adequate carbonation. The flavor profile, while impressive, isn't quite as intense as the aroma profile Also, while the booziness in this beer doesn't bother me at all on the nose, it's a bit much on the palate. Still, that's really just nit picking.... this beer tastes wonderful, no two ways about it. Mouthfeel is full, very rich, sweet and long. Drinkability is OK, but this is definitely a sipper, with the alcohol front and center in this beer.

Very impressive and quite different from the bourbon barrel version. Excellent stuff.

John_M, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of rab53
5/5  rDev +30.9%

rab53, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of billab914
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2009 vintage poured from a 375ml bottle into my Lost Abbey stemware. Poured a dark brown, cola like color. Carbonation fizzed moderately but didn't form any sort of head. No lacing to speak of either. Could definitely use some improvement in this category.

The aroma shows a lot of the brandy and wood characteristics right off the bat. The wood comes through with a nice bold oak and vanilla flavor. There is also a big malty, dark fruit component to the nose just as big as the barrel flavors. Some sweet, plum, raisin and prune flavors all come through. Pretty nice complex and appealing nose, and not much alcohol heat.

The taste shows the dark fruit flavors up front as soon as I take a sip. It mellows into a very nice vanilla and oak flavor before finishing with a dry alcohol presence. The alcohol lingers with a warming sensation, but isn't overly hot. The malty sweet, dark fruit flavor really carries through to the finish nicely and leaves a sweet almost syrupy taste on the palate. The flavors mix very nicely together making a very good tasting beer overall. If the alcohol heat dissipates a little over time I'd definitely consider this a 4.5 in taste instead of a 4.

The mouthfeel is full bodied and carbonation is low. A little carbonation is there for me but a little too low overall. Drinkability is pretty good, it had some excellent flavors to it but the warming alcohol hurts the drinkability a bit.

Overall a good beer that I enjoyed sipping on this evening. Could use some improvement in the appearance and mouthfeel categories in relation to carbonation though. My overall rating definitely won't reflect how much I enjoyed this one given the high weight appearance has.

billab914, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of Kelp
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Kelp, Apr 27, 2013
Photo of sendbeer
2.25/5  rDev -41.1%

sendbeer, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of Viggo
4.78/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 ml corked and caged bottle, split with Lexx at Beerbistro.

Poured into snifters, a cloudy brown/orange, thin tan head forms, settles down to a thin ring, leaves some spots on the glass, and has some nice legs. Smell is amazing, sherry, oak, rich raisins and fig, toffee, brandy, some alcohol, vanilla and chocolate, dark fruits, bananas foster, insanely rich, sweet brown sugar/molasses, just great. Taste is just as good, lots of toffee coated figs and raisins, brandy and oak, alcohol, vanilla, rum raisins, chocolate, bourbon, date pudding, caramelized bananas, toast, simply amazing. Mouthfeel is thick and viscous, low carbonation, warming, alcohol hidden very well, really coats your mouth and is insanely smooth for such a big beer. Very long finish, very rich, one of the best liquids I've ever put in my mouth.

Viggo, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jh1982 for breaking this out for the Marquette/Syracuse game during March Madness. Sweet 16 baby! Pours much darker than I expected, looked at the bottle again to make sure this wasn't the bourbon. Low carbonation, but didn't expect much, and would say it didn't really seem to have much impact on the beer, this seems like one meant to have very little carbonation.

Good oak and vanilla aromas complementing the brandy. Also chocolate?

Taste, nice, a little sweeter than the bourbon version, a definite sipper. Licorice and chocolate seem there. Wood flavors. Raisins. I think I like the blended version better.

Beerandraiderfan, Apr 26, 2011
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

'09 small bottles... reviewed from notes from a bottle picked up at Brewforia.... Steven pulled one of these out tonight... poured into my Delirium goblet.

1/2" tan head... dark brown brew... nice lace.. descent cap....

very complex deep maltiness... tons of misc malts with barrel presence... chocolate malt.. toasty elements.. the brandy is very light (thankfully)... but some oak is there too.

Flavor is very nice... good dark dried fruit essence.. slight cocoa... figgy.. bit of golden raisin... some cigar box with warmth... I don't like cigars, but this works.. EtOH.. a bit spicy.. very complex.. the Brandy essence is pretty unique, but falls flat for me.. instead. the base beer really is my favorite....

The carbonation is light.. but I like it... medium/full body..

This is a truly great beer... I've had most of the "debated" vintages and have always been amazed with the complex and deeply flavorful brews within. I really hope Lost Abbey will continue to make it to Boise... I don't care what the naysayers have to say.. The '09 is a great beer.


JohnGalt1, Apr 03, 2010
Photo of Zaphog
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Zaphog, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of KAF
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

KAF, Jul 07, 2014
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

iL0VEbeer, Feb 05, 2013
The Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 618 ratings.