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The Angel's Share Grand Cru - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
The Angel's Share Grand CruThe Angel's Share Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.

109 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 109
Hads: 256
Avg: 4.36
pDev: 9.63%
Wants: 184
Gots: 32 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  16.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bitterbill on 02-15-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

A blend of both bourbon and brandy barrel aged Angel's Share aged in oak barrels from 1-5 years
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 109 | Hads: 256
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.09/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a caged & corked 12.7oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with no head as expected and likewise no lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, bourbon, chocolate, dark fruit and licorice.

T: The taste starts out very sweet with flavors of chocolate, bourbon, dark fruit and licorice. Then a decent alcohol sting follows along with some oak-aging essence. The roasted malt character is very hearty. There is very little hops presence as you would expect in this type of beer and yet there is still a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet

M: Crisp and very smooth, quite viscous, medium-to-heavy body, very light carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, slightly filling, very strong kick, good aged representation of style, this is a good high-octane sipper to drink for a long time.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at 38 Degrees Ale House in Alhambra, CA. Snifter glass.

A- Dark brown-purple body, minimal head, no retention. It's quite placid and flat, although it did come with a small white film at first. Looks slick, has a small bit of legs on it.

S- Tons and tons of barrel vanilla, brandy and bourbon. Astounding aromas. Dark fruits, bourbon, oak, raisins, vanilla. At the same time, there isn't much heat or fusel alcohol. That's quite impressive for a beer of this magnitude. The brandy meshes in well with the bourbon on the nose; both spirits remain distinct however.

F- Quite different than the nose. There is quite a bit less of the vanilla and brandy, more of the bourbon. Which is fine, the bourbon brings a nice smoky sweetness to the dark fruit, caramel and raisins. Plenty of oak as well. Very nice complexity, although unlike the nose, there is a fair amount of heat and booziness from the get-go. Which is not surprising, of course. Lots of intensity, complexity and depth of flavour.

M- Medium bodied, on the thicker end of the spectrum. Low in carbonation, but not completely flat. Drinks slick and quite strongly, if that makes sense. Lots of depth to the flavour despite it being almost flat. Finish is a warming bourbon sweetness mixed in with some milk chocolate and raisins.

O- This is ridiculously complex, and the nose expresses a perfect blend of brandy and bourbon barrels. The Angel's Share base beer does a great job of expressing the barrels it's aged in (individually), and the double barrel blend here does a great job of expressing both barrels' best characteristics in the right places. I'm generally not a huge fan of Lost Abbey beers, but this is one of the exceptions.

Final score: 4.30

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.22/5  rDev -3.2%

Generously taken from the cellar and poured by my main man at Beachwood in Seal Beach, CA.

Aged well like the one and only Claudia Cardinale. Had all those rum/raisin barrel textures along with a slight musk from the grape. Kind of like Chopin sitting at the piano, Raul was digging this.


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Photo of GoneARye
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

On draft, Malt and Vine, 10 oz pour

A: Beer is a deep brown, slightly cloudy
S: Warm alcohol smells, followed by a sweetness, and the barrel
MF: A small amount of carbonation dances on the tongue. Beer is thick and chewy. Slight alcohol burn present while experiencing
T: Sweetness, caramel, deep burnt flavors, bourbon, and the barrel. Amazingly complex as it warms, not quite like any beer I've had.
O: A delight.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.07/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

This beer has incredible bottle variation, particularly with age, IMHO. I've had bottles that have blown me away (4.5 level) and bottles that have been half poured out.

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Photo of chinchill
4.26/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Served in a small snifter.

Essentiially black; excellent lacing.

Feel: excellent except for some high ABV harshness; near full body; very good, if relatively high (for style), carbonation.

Taste: Sweet up front; Rich and complex; dark roasted malts dominate the bitter/sweet aftertaste.

O: Outstanding. Improved with warming and more warming.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.11/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass at Smoke & Barrel DC, for the DC bottle share. From notes.

Really looks like brandy, with a great clear caramel color and amber body. No head presented.

Nose seems intriguing. Mild funk. Closed but a little subtle. Some hiding sweet caramel with a noticeable vinegar and acid. Not sure where this is going.

Palate hits with a giant mix of acid and caramel sweetness. Medium mouthfeel to let some of the malts carry around, but the tartness on this is just huge, with a big blast of acetic quality, which really doesn't mix with this thick caramel at all.

I don't think this is by design, this went somewhere else, it feels like there's a good brew hiding in here somewhere, but I don't even know what to think after drinking this.

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

3/9/11. 375mL bottle courtesy hellomynameis. Opaque reddish-brown pour with a small ring of brown head. Very complex aroma of dark fruits, brown sugar, black licorice, bourbon, vanilla, fudge, buttery coconut, and more. Sweet malty flavor that hints at sour grapes along with a solid dose of oak, buttery coconut, vanilla, dark fruits, brown sugar, and more. This is intense and quite nice. It’s like a sour bourbon barleywine. Awesome! Love it!

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Photo of Drazzamatazz
3.47/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared this with Brez07, pretty much copying his review since we were both in agreement. I'll put my notes in brackets.

A: Small pop when opening the bottle. Dark brown with lots of amber (almost purple) highlights. Minimal amount of head present, none of which is retained. [Carbonated, but barely.]

S: I got bourbon and brandy; a 1, 2 combination. Found this to be somewhat red wine-ish. Dark fruit. Initially lots of tannins, but these die off a little and more red wine fruit and barrel aspects come out. Occassionally you get just bourbon, which made me happy. [Reminded me a of a big full-bodied red wine, but bourbon and brandy kept letting me know it was a barrel-aged beer.]

T: Probably the beer equivilant of red wine. Some bourbon manages to come through (with caramel and light chocolate), but this is mostly dark fruit and tannins. Sourness from infection, but not crazy tart

M: Full bodied. Smooth with a red wine bite and [very drying finish].

O: I'm thinking this is one of the good infection bottles. Obviously I'm not sure how this is supposed to taste, but I enjoyed the ~4 oz that I drank. [Would have liked to have it the way it was meant to be, but definitely one of the more drinkable infections.]

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Photo of Brez07
3.47/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Split this last week with Drazzamatazz. 375ml bottle poured into a mini snifter

A: Small pop when opening the bottle. Dark brown with lots of amber (almost purple) highlights. Minimal amount of head present, none of which is retained

S: I got bourbon and brandy; a 1, 2 combination. Found this to be somewhat red wine-ish. Dark fruit. Initially lots of tannins, but these die off a little and more red wine fruit and barrel aspects come out. Occassionally you get just bourbon, which made me happy

T: Probably the beer equivilant of red wine. Some bourbon manages to come through (with caramel and light chocolate), but this is mostly dark fruit and tannins. Sourness from infection, but not crazy tart

M: Full bodied. Smooth with a red wine bite and dryness

D: I'm thinking this is one of the good infection bottles. Obviously I'm not sure how this is supposed to taste, but I enjoyed the ~4 oz that I drank

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.22/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle opened with a big pop. Drank side-by-side next to a flat '09 bourbon Angel's Share. Dark brown body and a big mocha colored head.

Acidic super vinous/red wine aroma. Bourbon upfront with a fortified wine scent in the background. Robust dark chocolate rounds out the smell.

More of that acidity comes out in the flavor but not like other infected bottles I've had. This one was more drinkable. This tastes more like a sour red wine. Very vinous. Toffee, chocolate coats your tongue. Vanilla on the finish. Very decadent. This actually reminds me of a much less tannic and carbonated V009.

I did actually enjoy this but not nearly as much as what it was originally. It reminded me of a sour cab mixed with chocolate. Previous infected bottles I've had were drain pours. The sample I had off a keg when fresh was incredible. So sad to see this beer become infected.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.51/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: The beer pours a hazy amber color with a rather large off-white head.

S: Very sour. Lemon, raspberry, and cherry with plenty of vinegar. Light bourbon and brandy notes with some mild vanilla and red grapes.

T: The flavor is just as off. Tons of lemon and vinegar notes. Lots of red fruits, especially raspberries, almost like a framboise in a sense. Light bourbon and brandy, a little bit of vanilla, too.

M: Medium bodied with very high carbonation.

O: Obviously this one has gone off the deep end.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.47/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had high hopes for this one, but it seemed off, maybe infected, I'm not really sure. Thanks to bmanning for sharing this at the tasting 6/25/11.

A: Has a VERY carbonated look with brown and crimson hues, seriously like a volcano of carbonation in the middle like a brut champagne, no joke.

S: Smells like a burnt cherry and port character in the nose, like an old red wine. Some oak barrel, prunes, seems a little off.

T/M: Burnt cherry and leather strap dominate with some prunes, raisins, and toffee. A little astringent and buttery in the feel and taste as well, though with tons of carbonation as the look had foreshadowed. Apple juice and bitters.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured reddish brown color with an average frothy brown head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate to heavy toasted malt, alcohol and wood aroma. Medium to full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Moderate to heavy bourbon and dark fruit sweet flavor with a medium to heavy bourbon sweet finish of moderate to long duration. This is a complex standout beer.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle into a Surly Darkness snifter. Poured a deep red-orange with a three finger off-white very fizzy head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, tart, sour, and raspberries. The flavor was of sweet malt, tart, sour, raspberries, and wood. It had a medium feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was not at all what I was expecting based on having Bourbon and Brandy right before this one. This was a completely different beer in my opinion. With that said, I loved it! Really reminded me of a Lambic if I'm honest. Infection? Perhaps... But who cares, this was tasty. Great flavor and aroma going on in this one. The wild character in this one really shocked me in a good way. A definite must try, infected or not, you won't regret it!

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Photo of youradhere
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's Wednesday night, woo! Thought I'd open this up and see if this was one of the infected bunch. Pours deep mahogany with murky ruddy edges, looks thick and decadent. Not much head to speak of, just a thin tan lacing that quickly dissipates. Smells of bourbon, vanilla, raisins, alcohol, cola and thick molases. Tastes very complex, bourbon vanilla, rum raisins, oak, red grapes, maple, smooth alcohol burn. Mouthfeel is thick and slick, prickly carbonation, pretty good and drinkable for the ABV but this is still pretty hot and heavy on the bourbon. Looks like I got a good bottle, that's too bad I wanted to see what a bad one tasted like.

Opened one of my own for a south sound tasting. Smells of bourbon, vanilla, funk, fruit, tobacco, malt. Really complex. Plenty of carbonation, looks like a very appealing ale with a beige head. Taste is funky bourbon malt with a light and pleasing sour funk. Stone fruits and dark breads, this is a very deep beer with many levels of flavor. Very drinkable and tasty, too bad I only have 2 more bottles for myself!

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Photo of Lunch
3.53/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle poured into my Lost Abbey Rastal tulip glass.

I've been saving this for a while and decided to crack on a relaxing Friday evening. Pours a dark and murky chestnut brown with a bit of light tan head. Smells of cheap grape juice with hints of bourbon and sweet malt. This is disappointing and I am hoping that I did not wait to long to enjoy this bottle. Taste is very forward with artificial white grapes and bits of malt malt that I have loved in both the bourbon and brandy version. Full and mildly carbonated, but I am disappointed with this.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.39/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jedwards for breaking this one out. Served in a Sinners tulip. Pours a murky shade of brown that is just a hint lighter than cola - no head, just a thin band of bubbles around the edges. Nose smells exactly like bourbon Angel's Share - dark malts, brown sugar, bourbon and vanilla notes. That being said, the character changes slightly as it warms, revealing a wine-like quality interspersed with the various aromas. Taste follows nose. The only distinctive difference between this and bourbon Angel's Share is there's a little acidity in the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is medium-light with slightly more carbonation than the standard offering, a slightly silky consistency and some acidity. This is a really excellent brew and I have to say that I'm disappointed it's been retired. The slightly acidic character in the mouthfeel and flavor profile really adds nicely to the complexity of this beer.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.44/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Matt (mtunnell) for this one. Poured from a corked and caged 12oz. bottle into an oversized Southampton snifter.

A: Cork ejects with a moderate pop! This beer is carbonated! Goodie!!! Standard pour yields a .5 finger fine light brown head that dissipates quickly. A thick layer of foam clings to the side of the brew. Beer is a cloudy, near opaque dark brown. Lacing is spotty and sparse with little cling. Nice legs though. Pretty standard for the style and needs a little help in terms of clarity.

S: Nose is aromatic and complex. Booze, vanilla, oak, chocolate, prunes, raisins, molasses, and brown sugar. Heat is apparent but the flavors are really well integrated in this one.

T: Opens caramel, molasses and brown sugar. Very sweet. Hints of vanilla are apparent at the start. Booziness becomes heightens in the middle, complementing prunes, raisins, and other dark fruit sweetness. Chocolate and sweet figs towards the end along with a pleasant sweet roasted malt flavor. Finish is brown sugar and more caramel and molasses with a sticky, sweet molasses finish. This is heads and shoulders above the Brandy and Bourbon Angel's Share. A phenomenal brew.

M: Medium to full bodied and moderately carbonated. Hot and slightly lively in the mouth but smooth and warming going down. Finish is messy with an aftertaste that lingers. The ABV could be hidden a bit better but overall very solid.

O: I personally see Lost Abbey and Tomme Arthur as very hit or miss. In this case, Angel's Share Grand Cru is a definite hit. Good carbonation, great complexity, and very solid feel. This one's worth seeking out and trying and will only get better with time.

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Photo of Damian
4.51/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 12.7 ounces bottle
Served in a snifter
Acquired in a trade with stawn

The beer looked nearly flat on the pour. Dark molasses in appearance with no head whatsoever. A few tiny brown bubbles sat atop the liquid, but they quickly dissipated.

The aroma was unlike anything I have smelled from a beer. Sweet and tart with some red wine-like qualities. Cocoa drizzled red grapes instantly came to mind. Dried fruits were noticeable. Brown sugar notes and a caramel-like sweetness came out as the beer warmed. Unlike the bourbon and brandy versions, the booziness was surprisingly subdued. Already, this beer seemed like an entirely different beast.

Like the nose, the flavor profile was very unique. Malty up front. Lots of sweet caramel, toffee and brown sugar notes. Oaky. Nutty in the center. The finish was the only somewhat disappointing aspect of this beer. It was noticeably metallic. Sour, oaky and dry with hints of brett. Some woody tannins lingered in the aftertaste. Strangely, this reminded me a lot of a cross between a Flanders Red Ale and an Oud Bruin. As in the aroma, this beer masked its alcohol incredibly well.

The liquid was medium bodied. Creamy and frothy on the palate with a fine and surprisingly lively effervescence.

While the flavor of this beer did not blow me away, it deserves a tremendous amount of respect based on its uniqueness alone. The addition of grapes transformed this Angel's Share into a completely different beer from the bourbon and brandy versions. I really hope it will be made again someday.

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Photo of domtronzero
4.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Slightly murky reddish brown colored with a shory lived tiny fizzy head of mocha colored bubbles. The tiny head quickly dissipated into a thin ring around the glass.

S - Pleasant sweet malty overload with tons of complex vanilla and bourbon and caramel. Nice perfumy bourbony booze flavors round it out.

F/M - Sweet caramelly malts and a luscious chocolatey vanilla mocha bourbin flavor. Rich maltiness lingers as a sweet candy bourbon flavor long after the finish. Thick, rich, sweet and full bodied with moderately low but sufficient carbonation. Pleasant bourbony sweet booziness helps the beer finish quite nicely.

D - Absolutely fantastic. So much more complex and delicious than any other version of Angels Share that is available on the shelves.

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Photo of billab914
4.56/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375ml bottle into my Lost Abbey Sinner stemware. It poured a darker, cola like brown color with a very thin, bubbly, tan head circling the edges of the glass.

The aroma has a lot of brown sugar, molasses and vanilla coming through. A woody oak and some moderate bourbon add some barrel aging depth to it. Some dark fruit with some notes of cherry, raisin and fig come through as well. It's very smooth and complex. A bit on the sweet side, but it fits the beer very well. An excellent aroma overall.

The taste shows the woody, oak and vanilla right up front. Midway it starts to get a lot sweeter with some of the brown sugar and molasses coming through. In the finish the bourbon really comes out, but is also very smooth. The vanilla lasts through the finish and some of the dark fruits come out as well. I get some bitterness to the finish, which really helps bring all the sweetness back in check. A moderate alcohol heat is there in the finish as well. Excellent flavors overall.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being low. Drinkability was very good, It was very complex and flavorful but also smooth. The barrel flavors really enhanced the flavors and depth, but also allowed the beer to shine through. Definitely the best version of AS that I've had, and just a great beer overall.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 300 mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: The pour is molasses brown, with a small cocoa colored head. With the ABV what it is, I am not surprised at the quick disappearance of the head or lack of lace.

Smell: The aroma has some tart cherry notes. Molasses, caramel, and brown sugar all provide a sweet aspect to the aroma, and some roasted malt, vanilla, oak, and dark fruits add some serious depth.

Taste: Even knowing how sweet this is going to be, I am still turned off by the overwhelming sweetness. Brown sugar and molasses really overpower the medium roasted malt. Some plums, brandy, vanilla and oak add complexity, but unfortunately add to the sweetness as well. A bit of oak later on helps a bit toward the end. This is clearly a dessert beer.

Mouthfeel: This full bodied strong ale starts off sweet and chewy and finishes a little bit dry from the oak. Light to medium carbonation. A bit of heat is apparent in a warming sensation that hits my stomach.

Drinkability: I enjoyed the small glass I had and thought it was very well-crafted, but I would not really be able to handle much more of this outside of a dessert setting.

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Photo of stakem
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375ml cork and caged bottle poured into a snifter. This brew appears a very deep murky color of dark brown as it resides in my glass. When held to the light, this brew reveals a deep ruby coloration with more clarity than I initially gave it credit for. A thin film of brown head swells up and fizzes away fairly rapidly. The bubbles hang tight to the sides of the glass and stay there throughout the duration of the experience. A bit of swirling and sipping produces some faint spotty lacework from the head and legs of alcohol cling to the glass when swirled.

The aroma of this brew is a bit of sensory overload. As soon as the cork pops there is a strong scent of booze reminiscent of both bourbon and brandy. As it rests in my glass, fruity alcohol notes come out smelling of figs, plums and raisins. Throughout the nose there is a solid indication of chocolate malt and a smooth scent of caramel/vanilla and oak tones. The smell of this brew overall is absolutely awesome. The warmer it gets, the more the properties of barrel aging come forward coupled with some notes of dark molasses and charred wood.

Tasting this brew reveals just as much character as the aroma led on. There is a bold alcohol presence tasting a bit like dark fruits akin to prunes dipped in chocolate and marinaded in bourbon and brandy. Other flavors of molasses, toffee, caramel and vanilla are all present. The chocolate property seemingly wraps itself around my tongue and lasts with a creamy sweetness of milk chocolate not the typical bitter semi-sweet chocolate that dark roast normally imparts in a brew. Yet this offering maintains a pleasant roasted bitterness to contrast the sweetness and accent the alcohol included in this brew. The alcohol has a taste that is lightly spicy and while it is not hidden at all, it is integrated perfectly into this brew. Faintly in the background is a bit of a grape taste that only emerges as the fusel alcohol seemingly evaporates on the tongue and starts to breath. It leaves a layering of flavor inside the mouth that tastes tannic and somewhat like grapes in their raw form. If you were to take over-ripened grapes straight from the vine and throw them into your mouth, with the seeds and some stems included, that is what the finish of this brew tastes like when paired with all the flavorings described above. Each sip reveals a new layer of flavors filled with oak tannins pushing forward flavors of wood and grapes coupled with chocolate, toffee, alcohol and vanilla.

This is a full bodied brew with a pleasant amount of carbonation. While the carbonation favors the low side, it fits this beer perfectly yet it is a little more bubbly than my previous angel's share experiences. I was going to hold on to this brew for awhile before opening but read some reports of possibly infected bottles. I guess I got lucky because this brew was absolutely phenomenal. I would love to get more of these to hold on to for enjoyment down the line like I previously intended.

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Photo of Lothore
4.39/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got the last pour before the keg blew at Toronado BW festival. It was about half head but I got it for $1!

A- Pours a deep, dark brownish color with a huge, tan head.

S- Lots of brandy, raisin, oak.

T- Sweet raisin, bready, spices, brandy, slight alcohol burn.

M- Thick with medium carbonation.

D- Awesome beer, i'm glad I got the chance to taste it (barely!).

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The Angel's Share Grand Cru from The Lost Abbey
96 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.