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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

619 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 619
Reviews: 413
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 20.42%
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: 619 | Reviews: 413 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WeeObese
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

WeeObese, Oct 11, 2008
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!

Blursimarsi, Oct 04, 2008
Photo of Deuane
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
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.

Deuane, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of mcallister
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

mcallister, Sep 13, 2008
Photo of ncvbc
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
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!

ncvbc, Jul 24, 2008
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.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 17, 2008
Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.97/5  rDev +30.1%
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.

SPLITGRIN, Jul 15, 2008
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.
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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.

JDV, Jun 09, 2008
Photo of kkipple
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

kkipple, Jun 05, 2008
Photo of MiScusi
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

MiScusi, May 18, 2008
Photo of sfoley333
4.88/5  rDev +27.7%
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

sfoley333, May 13, 2008
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.

weeare138, May 13, 2008
Photo of genog
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
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!

genog, May 06, 2008
Photo of scottoale
5/5  rDev +30.9%
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!

scottoale, May 05, 2008
Photo of srroos
4.88/5  rDev +27.7%
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!

srroos, May 01, 2008
Photo of WeisGuy
4.83/5  rDev +26.4%
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.

WeisGuy, Apr 24, 2008
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.

mikesgroove, Apr 24, 2008
Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
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.

francisweizen, Apr 23, 2008
Photo of ArrogantB
1.98/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

750ml bottle, 2007 brandy-barrel vintage courtesy of Weibull, thanks! I have been looking forward to this beer and my birthday seemed as good a day as any to pop this bottle. The color is a real nice dark-brown with red edges and a nice foam that dissolves into a smattering of off-white bubbles ringing the glass. It looks good! The aroma is very oaky, woody, and boozy with some vanilla. This sounds weird but the smell reminds me of Oaked Yeti but there is also just the hint of cognac. The flavor is pretty exceptional the moment it passes the lips. It is woody, more booze and sweet syrups abound. Wow, the flavor is also kind of hard to pin down as I am tasting different flavors with each sip, and odd gum flavor like Blackjack and candy. Perfect silky mouth-feel but the drink-ability is oddly not hampered by the ABV and the beer is boozy (in a very good way). This is a very complex tasting beer and if I was more articulate I would tell you why. Instead, all I can say is that if you like barrel-aged beers, seek this out, its tasty. The complexity of the flavor is helpful, aiding the drink-ability making you want to keep sipping and get blasted with a new taste. I had to bump the drinkability score, no problem drinking the whole bottle.

update 11/2008 2007 batch

sour, dirty diapers, drainpour...

update 07/2009 2008 batch

its flat and it sucks, what happened?

ArrogantB, Apr 15, 2008
Photo of SacoDeToro
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Lost Abbey during the release party.

The beer poured a deep chesnut brown with a small dense off-white head.

The aroma of the beer was full with vanilla, oak, brandy, rich caramel malts, and a faint hint of chocolate. No hops in the aroma. Some alcohol.

The flavor of the beer was a rich creamy caramel vanilla that was balanced by some slight delicate chocolate in the finish. The hops had a decent presence, but were there only so much as to balance out the richness. There were flavors of vanilla, mild oak, and a nicely blended brandy note.

The mouthfeel was viscous, but had a wonderful velvety texture. The carbonation was delicate and dialed in perfectly. Very full bodied.

A fantastically crafted beer with a very nice barrel character. I still prefer the creamier flavors and texture of the bourbon barrel version.

SacoDeToro, Apr 07, 2008
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.

LittleBreeze, Apr 03, 2008
Photo of badbeer
1.98/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Very dark brown, almost black. Light tan head with a ring around the glass, no lacing left behind. Smell of brandy, figs, prunes, vanilla; quite sweet. Brandy and some oak greet the tongue intitially, leading into vanillia, figs, and dark fruits. Thicker than medium body, with carbonation on the lower side. Solid beer, but not exactly what I thought it might be. Perhaps some age will develop it more.

Update: I've gotten to try some bottles of this that were not good at all.

badbeer, Apr 01, 2008
Photo of Avryle
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Night in the Woods" tasting 3.29.08
Thanks to drseamus for this contribution of goodness

A- Pours a very dark brown with ruby highlights around the edge of the glass

S- Strong nose of vanilla & wood. Lots of sweet malt coming through

T- Sweet malts right up front then the brandy & wood comes through Lots of caramel & vanilla notes. A lot of complexity to the flavors. Very barleywine in character

M- Very warm & full-boded.

D- Sip slowly & enjoy! There is such a complexity of flavors running through that change as the glass warms in your hand. Disappointed that this will have probably have been my one and only Angel's Share experience.

Avryle, Mar 30, 2008
Photo of aerozeppl
4.72/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go to Drseamus for bringing this beer.

A: Super dark red/brown in color.

S: Dark fruits, raisins, sweetness. Like a barley wine for the most part but with a hint of the brandy from the barrel aging. The complexity of the smell is staggering.

T: Starts off like a standard barley wine. You get the sweetness from the malt up front. Then you get the brandy coming in but it is not overwhelming. The brandy complements the sweetness of the rest of the beer. You get the standard dark fruit as well. Also got a hint of candy sugar in the finish.

M:Nice and thick. Carbonation was subtle but noticeable.

D: This beer is so complex that it almost cuts down in drinkability. Your simple ape brain cannot even begin to process what is being thrown at it. The amazing this is that there is not one taste that really dominates. One of the best balanced beers I have ever had.

aerozeppl, Mar 30, 2008
Photo of grub
4.9/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle, corked and caged. sampled at beerbistro on feb 27/08. i believe this is the 2006 vintage. extra label added by the LCBO indicates that it is 12.6%abv and not the 11% shown on the label.

pours deep brown, not quite black, with a bit of ruby and orange at the edges. a small dense light brown head forms from the rough pour, dropping slowly to about a 1/16" layer that lingers for a long time. spotty lace.

aroma is great. vanilla and brandy. light alcohol. tons of fruit - date, raisin, dried cherry and cranberry. bread and crackers. raw oak. a nice light smoky character too. a bit earthy. maybe some leather and tobacco leaves too.

taste is excellent. wow. i need a minute to process everything that's going on in this one. brandy and a bit of smoke up front. vanilla. light alcohol. raw oak. crackers and bread. great dark fruit in many layers - date, raisin, bit of dried cranberry and cherry. light caramel sweetness. low bitterness level. rereading this, i really don't think i'm doing it justice. this is a damn fine beer.

mouthfeel is great. low carbonation level, very well integrated and silky smooth. medium body. fairly dry finish pulling things together and helping the drinkability even more.

drinkability is excellent. this may be my new all-time favourite beer. even at nearly $60 a bottle in this restaurant, i want to buy another all for myself and just sit here and savor it for hours. perfectly balanced. perfectly complimentary interplay between the barrel and the base beer, never overpowering and accentuating all the good parts. truly spectacular. such a shame to see the glass empty. need to find another excuse to come back for another bottle while they still have some...

kudos to the staff at beerbistro for the time and effort involved in getting these rare treats available in ontario. it isn't easy, and it isn't cheap, but it's so worth it.

grub, Feb 28, 2008
The Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
86 out of 100 based on 619 ratings.