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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

626 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 626
Reviews: 413
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 20.1%
Wants: 179
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:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 626 | Reviews: 413 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of waltonc
1.06/5  rDev -72.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I have to revise my review of this beer in light of the many infected and/or flat examples I have had. Just not a beer that's worth taking the risk on any more in light of the great expense. Not sure Lost Abbey is capable of brewing a non-sour barrel aged beer any more.

Prior review from 11/28/08: (4.5, 4.5, 4.5, 4.5, 4.5)

The grand finale beer on cask at the Lost Abbey barrel tasting. Reddish brown appearance. Not nearly as much carbonation as the bourbon version I've had from a bottle. Admittedly, I had a few beers by the time I drank this, so my tongue could have just been scorched, but this seemed a little rough around the edges, not quite as smooth as the bourbon version. Though I hear maybe this is just because we were having a sneak preview of what will not be released in bottles until down the road. In any event, this was still great - lots of dark fruit, oak, vanilla, carmel, and what I guess is brandy (I'm not even sure I've drank brandy before). Definitely distinguishable from the bourbon counterpart. I'd love to try the two side-by-side.

Photo of largadeer
4.69/5  rDev +22.5%
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 egajdzis
4.53/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a reddish brown color with a thin, light tan head, that left sticky lacing on the glass. Aroma of tons of dark fruits, vanilla, oak, cocoa, caramel malts, and a touch of alcohol as well. Taste of some toffee, roasted malts, dried fruits, more oak, and vanilla, with a bit of alcohol in the finish. Fantastic barleywine, thanks EDA!

Photo of kirok1999
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy copper with bits of lacing and a thin white head.
Smells of a nice mix of sweet and bitter fruit. Some malt sweetness as well.
Taste is somewhat sour and acidic. I expected much more sweetness. Lots of fruit yet the bitterness overwhelms. There's a lot going on yet I wonder if this might have had an air leak into the bottle.
Feels rich and tightly carbonated, almost has a sting to it on the tongue.
Not so easy to drink due to the sourness.

Photo of hopdog
4.62/5  rDev +20.6%
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 tpd975
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, to Dave, aka ibrew2or3 for this one. You Rock my friend!

A: A deep russet brown hue with ruby highlights, small tan head and good lace.

S: The nose starts out nice and fruity with hints of plum, raisin, and starfruit. Touches of spice with notes of cardamom, clove and anise. Hints of nutty toffee, roasted malt, and vanilla before the barrel kicks in.

T: Wonerful malt caramelization starts this one off with a bang. Some semi-sweet chocolate comes next with hints of pure vanilla beans. Vinous qualities come thru and then boom, the barrel. Light toasted oak and hints of booze finish this one off in a light but perfect way.

M: Medium full body with moderate carbonation. Just a touch of booze from the barrel.

D: Wonderful! Give me a cigar, and a 750 of this gem and I am set for the evening.

Thanks Dave, this rare gem was a real treat!

Photo of BeerTruth
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

***Moved - Reviewed on: 01-24-2008 00:13:56***

Huge thanks goes out to sirhc and wetherel for this rare treat.

750 mL cage and corked bottle poured into a chalice.

Pours a dark molasses with a t hin half finger head that quickly dies down to a thin ring of bubbles. Swaying the glass back and forth leaves a sticky webbing on the sides. Rich brown sugar and caramel engulf the senses with a tiny hint of bourbon. Sweet raisins, dates, and fig dance in the nose as well. Heavy vanilla and a slight oak aroma can be detected too. Not as strong smelling as I had anticipated, but I think that's why I enjoy it, not overpowering. Taste is smokey sweet malts up front of chocolate, caramel, and butterscotch. Woody vanilla notes with pepper and spice dry the mouth a tad. An interesting pumpkin bread flavor on the tongue as well. Surprisingly I find very little alcohol on the tongue with this one. Mouthfeel is not nearly as heavy as I was expecting. Medium to full silky smooth body with a tingling carbonation. A sipper for sure, but I pretty much knew that would be the case. I look forward to see what a few years will do to this. I can't wait to try more barrel aged beers from Lost Abbey. Thanks again guys for hooking me up with this beauty.

Photo of WeeObese
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours with a dark coffee color and a small tan head that clings to the sides of the glass. The smell is sweet dark chocolate, a light fruitiness, a moderate booze, and wonderful barrel aged sourness. The taste, wow. I had a bottle of this fresh and on tap and it had evolved. It is not as sweet and brandy-like now and the sourness has really become dominate. Sweet malt, carmel, liquor filled chocolates, slight oak/barrel, brandy, sour, funkiness from barrel aging (oxidation). The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a slight alcohol burn, and a clinging finish. For an 11.5% abv this beer goes down easily, maybe too easily. I really like this beer and am glad I have few more sitting in my cellar. I hear the next batch (2008) will be from freshly emptied brandy barrels, so I look forward to that beer.

Photo of Blursimarsi
4.58/5  rDev +19.6%
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 Deuane
4.49/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A 750 ml bottle of Batch 001 appeared out of akorsak's cellar! Thanks much!

A second bottle was sampled late November 2009 thanks to Ray and Cornelia for sharing a 750 ml bottle of the 2007 vintage. Shared with Ffejherb, Brewslut and SierraGs

A-Deep, ruby tinged, brownish copper. A medium tan head held on until reducing to a thin ring. Light webbed lace left behind.

S-Sweet alcohol blast and notes of oak, vanilla, light chocolate and turbinado. Sweet malts backing with toffee and caramel. A touch of alcohol heat sneaks in at the end.

T-Deep, dark, complex and mysterious is a good way to describe this brew. All of the expected flavours from the brandy barrel aging and heavy malts--->but, in a much more subdued delivery than I initially imagined. Did leave me somewhat wanting for more. Drying earthy and oak finish.

M-Grand Canyon deep and Gordian Knot complex. You get the idea! Amazingly tantalizing on the palate. While it looks still in the glass it bursts with palate stimulating carbonation with each sip. Like an amusement park in your mouth!

D-Whoa! This is some complex stuff. Hard to even explain all that is going on with this concoction! A wonderful sipper one has to try for themselves to understand. This is a highly enjoyable and palate stimulating sipper. A mighty fine drinking brew.

Photo of mcallister
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep garnet colored and nearly opaque. A tan head of a half inch fades quickly leaving a nice thin spotty lace that is in a peculiar swirl motion around the Dogfish snifter.

Wood, oxidation very sherry esque with a noticeable amount of brandy grape ester. Unsweetened chocolate with a brown sugar and mollasses appeal. Caramel with a hint of prune. Nice and aromatic too say the least. Could sniff on this for hours and just keep adding to the aroma review.

Well unfortunately this may either be slightly infected or a bit of sourness should be in there? However it is still very nice with a good amount of wood, oxidation, grape, fig, dried black cherries, mollasses, with an acrid acidic finish. Good amount of alcohol shows through in the chest.

Somewhat thin upon drinking but a creamy texture does come through on the middle. Have two more bottles of this so I'll have to try them...soon.

Photo of ncvbc
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very deep brown, almost black before held to the light. Ruby edges and a small tan head. Big wood and oak in the smell. Some caramel and chocolate waft through the air. Light toasted bread. Taste is very interesting and pretty enjoyable. Definitely see the influence of the Brandy here. Oak, wood, light vanilla. Some fruits including raisin and fig. Again, some healthy malt as well; toffee, caramel, chocolate. Low carbonation and very smooth, slightly dry finish. Unlike many beers that I've come across. While it isn't one of my favorites ever, it's quite solid. I shared this with a friend who really enjoys wine, though he has a pretty good knowledge of beer as well and has tried many fine offerings. This was his favorite beer ever and I can imagine why. Very unique stuff and very well done.

Cheers to seaoflament for this 750ml bottle from 2007!

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.6/5  rDev +20.1%
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.

4.97/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Instantly as you open the bottle you get a smell of oak. Blackish brown and burgundy body is seductively attractive. Smooth and creamy carmel brown head stands at a solid inch. The nose is one of the best I've ever experienced on a beer, it includes huge amounts of oaky bourbon, carmel malts, buttered toffee, vanilla and dark fruit. As you take first sip the senses are flooded with layers of smooth sweet bourbon, Carmalived malt, zesty dark fruit, a bit of spice and well as you see it keeps pretty nicely with the nose. Amazing complexity, while being approachable and lovely. Alchol is only present as it warms the belly. Mouthfeel is very attractive. It is almost impossible for me to find any fault in this beer. Perfectly drinkable.

At the time I am posting this review I have now had both the Brandy and Bourbon versions, and I can say that the Brandy version is easily my favorite of the two.

Photo of JDV
4.65/5  rDev +21.4%
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 kkipple
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had from a 750ml bottle in Feb 08 at the now-legend Foothills Sexual Chocolate release party. Thanks to KP (I believe) for this gem. Reviewed from notes.

A. Deep and hazy black-brown with red highlights. Clear. The smallish head goes to the edges of my glass. No lacing.

S. Mm, wild... sweet and toasty caramel, barrel funk with a bit of tartness, singed oak, wonderful malt complexity, even a bit of coffee. There is no doubt that this is oak aged, but it's not too insistent about it. Alcohol is quite present.

T. Sweet and malty, then bitter and burnt grains blended with oak wood and vanilla. Warm and rich, chocolate and alcohol spring out into the palate, oak complements the toffee carbon wonderfully. Dark fruits swirl amidst everything else. This is pretty oak heavy, but that's not a complaint...

M. Fluffy and expansive, finishes oaky and dry like wine.

Angel's Share might be over-hyped, but it's great stuff all the same.

Photo of MiScusi
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So I reviewed this a long time ago and just recently with all the merging and then splitting up again of the Brandy and Bourbon barrel releases they filed my Brandy review under the Bourbon Angel's Share. So, here is the brandy review again...

November 10th, 2007 release. 11.5% ABV.

A: Poured a pretty dark brown, though the liquid itself is clear. It's got a tan head that is hard to form and doesn't last long. The body looks to be about medium on the pour.

S: Lots of oak and dark malt. Fruit and sugars as well.

T: Oaky. Alcohol. Quite a malt body to this too, with sugar making a quick appearance at the end. Definitely a highly oaked beer, but very tasty.

M: The carbonation was there but subdued, allowing the smooth malt, oak, and slick alcohol to glide over the tongue.

D: As a strong barrel aged beer I found this to be very tasty. I normally don't like boozy beer, especially ones with a lot of oak, but this beer was crafted well and didn't float off in any one direction. I can't consume a lot of this in one sitting but a small glass is very nice.

Photo of sfoley333
4.87/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My review was moved to the wrong AS version so here is a copy of the real review for AS Brandy version.

Bought my 6 bottle limit back in November and still have a couple from last year. This is the first bottle from this year that I have opened and since I was traviling to Brasil to visit the in laws for christmas thought it would be a cool time to pop one open. Shared with 5 other brazilians in Sao Paulo during christmas eve.

Poured into clear plastic 6oz cups. Poured a muddy brown color with nice white head. Smells is upfront sweet malt mixed with alcohol, oak, and an almost port smell. Taste is a mellow blend of carmel, sweet malty liquid bread, dark fruit, chocolate, oak, warming alcohol, and a hint of coffee. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a light supple carbonation. While far from a session beer this beer is highly drinkable for such a malt and alcohol bomb, the oak aging really pays off on the finish.

By the way only my brother-in law and my cousin who works for mtv brasil liked this beer the others thought it was to strong and went back to drinking their skol. To each his own.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 12-25-2007 20:59:22

Photo of weeare138
4.69/5  rDev +22.5%
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 genog
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big Thanks to franksnbeans for sharing one of these treasures.

Beautiful muddy, and thick, brown color with a light brown head that leaves very little lacing. Every swirl of this Angel produces a generous head back. Smell is of doughy, cookie and a rich toffee, buttery, and maple syrup boozy bourbon notes. Taste is sweet and awfully creamy. Mouthfeeling is great and allows you palate to soak in all the tasty bourbon and leaves a lingering warming. Great beer!

Photo of scottoale
5/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2006 vintage-750ml. cork finished brown bottle with classy styled, artistic labels.

This ale pours a deep, rich mahogany-black with a fat finger of mustard-tan head. Fine carbonation bubbles thicken the frothy cap that eventually settles to a ring with patches on the surface. In the Duvel tulip this stuff looks mouth-watering.

Huge, complex aroma...sweet dark ripened fruits, vanilla, oak, molassas, licorice and big note of alcohol that really surfaces as the brew warms. I absolutely love the smell of this ale.

The flavor...ah, the flavour...this fine coctail of a beer is Heaven sent. Sweet dark caramel malts explode with flavors untold. Rich dark fruit of fig, prune, raisen, along with licorice, vanilla, oak and spirits, give this brew a flavor that I honestly crave. This is one ale that leaves no room for improvement...this is as good as it gets, period.

Big body with perfect carbonation and a velvety mouthfeel. A very boozy, yet not overwhelmed by the spirits that were previously in the oak, awesome ale.

This ale deserves all the praise that it gets...yeah, it is that good (hype or not)!

Thanks Tomme!

Photo of srroos
4.87/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL corked and caged bottle into a Duvel Tulip. Originally reviewed 12-10-07, transfered from the Bourbon Barrel version.

A: Pours an opaque dark brown with caramel edges. The one finger head was rather short lived. Not the best looking beer I've ever had, but hardly much to complain about.

S: Primarily aromas of oak and caramel, with some bittersweet chocolate aroma as well. Between the vanilla of the oak and caramel aromas this is a very sweet smelling beer, but there is a hint of sour in the nose. Very interesting and complex.

T: Powerful oaky taste that dominates the palate while the beer is cool. As it warms, the bitterness and spiciness increases drastically. Very malty as expected, yet not too sweet. So much flavor packed into one beer, but no one flavor takes over once the beer warmed to proper serving temperature. Incredible!

M: Very full bodied and complex as described above, but not too heavy or syrupy on the tongue. Other reviewers seem to consider this a flaw, but to me this seems proper for the style. Any heavier would have been too much. Well carbonated for the style. Right on the mark!

D: Very drinkable, in fact, downright scary drinkable. I am looking at the last few sips of the bottle in my glass as I type this. Downright incredible for the high alcohol content. Sadly though, I can't give a perfect score in this department due to the rarity.

Overall, this beer totally lived up to the hype. It was worth every mile travelled, every minute waiting in line, and every penny spent. I only wish i could have purchased more. A truely remarkable beer and worthy of the highest of scores!

Photo of WeisGuy
4.82/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

[This review was moved to the bourbon barrel version for some reason...so I'm copying back to where it belongs...originally reviewed on April 7]

Big thanks to Jw347 and sfoley333(I think, it's been awhile) for bottles of this delicious beer. This is a 2007 vintage - brandy barrel aged.

a - pour a deep dark brown nearing black, two finger light brown head in my tulip, decent retention and lacing, a whole lot of little bubbles rising up throughout the session

s - very intense caramel malt and alcohol backbone on the nose, great notes of cherry, plum and raisin, lots of dark fruit, vanilla and oak present as well, hints of brown sugar and molasses, incredibly complex!

t - nice caramel malt sweetness up front, mid-palate has a whole lot of dark fruits, cherry and raisin, all underlined by notes of vanilla and oak, finish is more of the caramel with dark fruits along with some booze, which adds nice complexity but doesn't overwhelm, this is what oak aging should be

m - medium-to-full bodied, good deal of carbonation, but not too much, active in the mouth, alcohol warming, well balanced between sweetness and dryness on the finish

d - for a big, big beer, this rates as pretty drinkable to me, the complexity keeps me wanting to take more sips and it's not overly harsh on the palate, towards the end of the bottle, the abv definitely catches up to you though

Props to Tomme on this amazing beer! This is what oak aging should be...not overwhelming but smoothing out flavors and adding complexity. I'm really looking forward to trying the bottles of Bourbon-barrel aged AS.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.65/5  rDev +21.4%
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 francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been lucky enough to sample this one several times, from the wood, from the keg, and from the bottle. I do give the nod to the bourbon barrel one for overall beauty, especially from the wood but this one is damn fine as well. Darker than most barleywines, this one is almost the colour of a chocolate Terry's orange from the UK. The aroma is all brandy, chocolate malt, lovely deep fresh baked bread and spice. The taste is great, with a real depth of chocolate, brandy, and deep roasty malt flavors that are all well integrated and integral. The mouthfeel is medium milkshake thick with a great drinkability. Good stuff. I wish they would bottle all in 375's as well, because honestly without a friend to split this with a 750 is too much.

The Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 626 ratings.