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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

219 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 219
Reviews: 106
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.84%
Wants: 182
Gots: 32 | FT: 2
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:
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 added by: Bitterbill on 02-15-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 219 | Reviews: 106 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

300 ml of a bold blend. Black with little head. Mostly bourbon in the aroma and taste. Full mouthfeel. Very drinkable, but it is to be sipped and not gulped. Grape is a distant flavour.Enjoyed as a barleywine, complex, and would like to have again further along aged.
Big thanks to JMBSH.

Sammy, May 30, 2010
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

t0rin0, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -8.5%

djrn2, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared courtesy of bmanning at a recent tasting alongside of Amyliz4 and Heather. Also a thanks to BeerWorld, who sent me a bottle a little while back--now I can see how this one does with some time.

A: Pours a dark chestnut brown with a decent-sized tan head. A tad bit of lacing.

S: Caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit, vanilla, and oak.

T: Very nice caramel notes alongside brown sugar and accompanying sweetness. A bit of toffee. Loads of dark fruits. Nice vanilla and oak coming through, and just a minor hint of alcohol.

M: Nice and fairly thick with good carbonation. Glad that's back on track.

D: Very, very nice. Excellent complexity with everything formed a beautifully-unified whole.

Thorpe429, Apr 03, 2010
Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

zestar, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of nmann08
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

nmann08, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to Dana for sending me this bottle. I really did not think I would ever get ahold of it to be honest. Served chilled and poured into a snifter, this one was consumed on 05/14/2010.

The pour is huge, dark caramel color with a huge billowing head of light tan that reaches three fingers high before it settles down and back to earth. Still coating the sides of the glass with loads of sticky lace, the look alone was enough to scare the crap out of you.

Aroma was to die for, literally to die for as the richness of the toffee and butterscotch notes was overpowering. Huge,, sweet, decadent and dessert like aroma. The things dreams are made of. As it warms rich carame and huge notes of bourbon like oak notes come through clearly. This is a very complex and very intresting beer. Each sip seems to be bigger and more complex then the one before. Butterscotch and toffee roll across your tongue, rich, smooth feel, light carbonation but the sweetness is unparralled here. It was like taking angels share and spiking it. A touch of hotness as it works its way though, but overall it was remarkably smooth and easy to sip on, but it did me in for the night that was for damn sure,

Overall I am soo thrilled to be able to have tried this one. I had tried for a while and it was worth the wait for sure.

mikesgroove, May 16, 2010
Photo of GRG1313
3.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown/black with a light tan fast fading head.

Nose is all sweet black dark chocolate. Pure, dark, sweet chocolate with a hint of vanilla and an undertone aroma of bourbon.

Mouthfeel is thick, creamy and rich. There is elegant "chamgagne type" of carbonation. Viscous and a bit syrupy but generally pleasing; a "big" beer.

Flavors are rich and thick, layered and complex. Black chocolate, sweet black coffee, rum, cooked raisins, prunes and molasses. There is a big licorice character and a big black licorice finish. Sweet cherry/chocolate mid palate but gives way to a licorice syrup and then more black chocolate that would do well with desserts.

This brew is rich and thick and complex enough that I would try it with ice cream! There is an initial bitter burnt molasses character that improves with air and as this one warms.

This one is really not "drinkable" in the general sense of the word. I suspect one would usually consume this much like a brandy or cordial where one would simply sip a small amount. Simply too thick, sweet and rich to really "drink."

More pleasing than the regular Angel's Share.

GRG1313, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
2.5/5  rDev -42.8%
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.

womencantsail, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -8.5%

ygtbsm94, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +14.4%

spycow, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Knapp85, Mar 23, 2014
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +3%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of largadeer
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Toronado's barleywine fest on Saturday. Numerous other beers were ignored so that I could savor a few glasses of this.

Opaque dark chocolate brown in the glass, topped by a quater-inch of caramel-colored froth. The head recedes to a crown that lasts until I finish my glass.

The aroma has a beautiful balance between barrel and beer; I smell brown sugar, raisins, figs and toffee alongside strong but not overwhelming bourbon, which seems to have taken precedence over the brandy barrel components. There's a slightly tart vinous quality along with subtle sherry-like oxidation in the background. Alcohol is present but subtle, lending another layer to the complex aroma.

Similar flavors are present on the palate, opening with brown sugar, sweet and tart dark fruit, caramel, lightly boozy bourbon and earthy oxidation. Dried fruit and sherry appear mid-palate along with a kick of bourbon, though it's all remarkably smooth and balanced. The blending of new and old vintages was handled brilliantly; there's a bit of fire from the newer vintages and a bit of oxidation from the older, with neither one overwhelming the palate. The cabernet franc-infused component of the blend makes its presence known as well, lending a vinous backbone that's simultaneously sweet and tart. The body is smooth, rich and nearly void of any harshness, and carbonation is at a perfect moderate level, while the finish lingers on for ages with flavors of dark fruit, sherry, tannins and brown sugar. Easily my favorite batch of Angel's Share yet.

largadeer, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sean for sharing this one!

Poured the last of the bottle into a champagne flute. From a distance the bottle was throwing off maple syrup and brown sugar aromas. It was black in the center and a burnt russet shade in the meniscus of the glass. There was a feeble skim at first that retreated to a sticky collar at the edges, which stuck around.

Nose had the aformentioned maple and brown sugar, mixed with vanilla and traces of sweet bourbon. Not overly sweet, it had a subtle woody character to the nose.

Super rich malt base, dense and cookie-like, maple, tobacco, dark fruit (currant), with a long, mellow bourbon finish. Rich and viscous, a slow sipper for sure. The alcohol stung the back of my gums a little bit, but it wasn't overtly boozy. Good stuff, though I may prefer bourbon Angels Share.

emerge077, Jul 09, 2010
Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

JAHMUR, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev +3%

SocalKicks, Apr 20, 2014
Photo of Kegatron
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

375 ml corked and caged bottle into a Lost Abbey stemmed glass. Thanks go to Sean9689 for hooking me up with this in a trade.

Pours black at first but holding this up to the light reveals more of an actual deep dark brown body on this, topped with about a ½ finger of fizzy burnt mocha head. This dissipates pretty quickly, finishing with a thin foamy ring around the edges that maintains itself nicely and ringing the sides of the glass with light spotty lace and oils that slowly ooze down the sides. Bourbon and brandy play tug-of-war in the nose with notes of fruit, vanilla, and burnt spicy molasses all mingling together into a powerful mélange of woody, sticky, and charred barrel character. Cocoa powder, sugars, and toast sit way underneath but are present if you dig pretty deep on this. Warm alcohol fusels sting the nose a tad.

The taste is once again a tale of two barrels, with the fruitiness, vanilla, and caramel flavors of the brandy mixing with the tannins to give this a green tangy tartness that spreads out through the profile and fluctuates in intensity as I work the bottle. Burnt molasses and brown sugars from the bourbon sit underneath and latches on to the base notes of chocolate and roast. Overall this comes off as a warm burnt stickiness that the drenches the palate and finishes with a smack of vanilla character and a mouth-enveloping charred dryness that seems to stretch for miles. The mouthfeel is full bodied; with a thick creaminess that gets chewier feeling the longer you hold it in your mouth. There is a ton of slickness from the barrel, giving this a slippery feel that counteracts the heaviness of the body. Speaking of which, the 12% ABV is just marvelously hid and despite the obvious beefy alcohol presence, I can't believe just how smooth this is, with no stinging heat and the alcohol mostly being confined to the brandy and bourbon notes.

Uh, this was pretty freaking good. The tartness threw me for a loop at times (I'm pretty sure that this was just a combination of flavors and not anything infection related) but it seemed to fluctuate in its assertiveness and never really become distracting. What does stand out here is the perfect balance of barrel flavors and the absolutely ridiculous drinkibility for such a huge beer. This is fantastic stuff. The Lost Abbey did right by this release.

Kegatron, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of MasterSki
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received as part of my Sinners' 2010 membership. Served in my Darkness snifter.

A - The cork pulls out with a pop and some gunsmoke. A vigorous pour yields a half-finger of tan foam that dissipates to a thin ring and a touch of light haze. A few spots of lace are left behind. THIS is what low carbonation means to me. Very, very, dark brown body that is completely opaque.

S - This is unlike any Angel's Share I've ever smelled. Vinous grape notes emerge first, but as it warms brandy, rum-cake, chocolate truffle, caramel, marshmallow, dark fruits, and oaky tannins and vanillins all join in. Light oxidation adds a touch of sherry. While there are obvious booze notes it's not at all harsh or solventy.

T - The flavor is incredibly rich and smooth. Loads of chocolate truffle, marshmallow, nuts, toffee, and dark fruits. The barrel and grape notes are far more understated, and serve mostly to add depth - they emerge in the finish and contribute a light sour note and a rich tannic aftertaste. Alcohol is masterfully hidden.

M - Light carbonation tingle, wonderfully smooth medium body, with a slightly sticky finish and a woody residual feel. The tiny bit of carbonation makes ALL the difference here. There's a touch of alcohol warmth, but it doesn't show up until very late in the bottle.

D - Wow! This stuff is terrific. I had not problem putting down the 375ml bottle on my own - it's much more drinkable than pretty much every other Angel's Share I've ever tried, except maybe the '06 Bourbon version that I had on-tap at FoBAB '08.

While I understand that all Angel's Share can't be blended with this many barrels and variants, if it were all carbonated like this Lost Abbey would go a LONG way to restoring customer confidence.

MasterSki, Mar 02, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A big mix of Angel's share -- I don't want to go over which ones they are. Popped open at a recent tasting out of severe curiosity.

Beer is brown and forms a brownish head of small bubbles. Beer is clear and the head leaves some lacing on the glass but there isn't much in the way of carbonation. Looks good.

WHOA! The aroma on this beer is nearly overwhelming. Its sweet, malty, alcohol, hot, good brandy / bourbon aroma, sweet raisins -- complex.

The flavor is about as complex. There is definitely a port like character to this beer. Medium body, no carbonation in the palate, the alcohol and sweetness comes through with this raisin fruit character in the midpalate. Overall its pretty good. It is very interesting. I've had a lot of the beers that make up this blend but not all of them. I'd be interested in trying the other Angel's share to tease apart the individual characters.

drabmuh, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of mendvicdog
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

mendvicdog, Apr 12, 2014
Photo of mdfb79
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 09/18/10 notes. Poured from a 12.7 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark brown color with less than one inch of tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bourbon, oak, dark fruits, caramel malts, raisins, and sweet fruity malts.

t - Tastes of bourbon, oak, dark fruit, vanilla, grapes, and caramel malts.

m - Medium to full body and low carbonation, very smooth.

d - I thought this was outstanding. The bourbon and brandy Angel's Share beers I've had have been decent, but overly boozy and not carbonated, whereas this one was great. It smelled and tastes very complexed and balanced, and was very easy going down for 12% ABV. Would love to get another bottle of this one.

mdfb79, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Rochefort10nh, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A solid pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a fat-one-finger thick , lightly cocoa-browned, dark tan colored head. The beer is a dark brown, with a touch of amber to it around the edges. The beer remains mostly opaque when held up to the light, but does show some clear, lighter amber-brown hues. The aroma is a rich mix of brandy, rich browned malt aromatics, toasted caramelized notes, dark fruity prune notes, some spicy alcohol, spicy oak notes, definite rich vanillin character and hazel nut aromatics. This definitely has hit the spot, this is the first Angel's share since the batch 1 Brandy version; a very well integrated, smooth mix of Barrel notes, dark fruit, vanilla and rich malt. It reminds me of a decadent, brandy soaked, dark spice cake; it is definitely a desert beer.

The taste is just sweet enough to work well with the spicy barrel character, and rich viscosity. Flavors of vanilla, dark caramel, molasses, brandy soaked plums and raisins, light cocoa notes and brown sugar crusted nuts work harmoniously up front. The beer is still a little cold, which tends to accentuate a spicy oak note in the finish as well as some alcohol warming / heat in the finish. This has a touch of tartness to it somehow; perhaps influenced by the grapes, the barrels and even the alcohol. The rich malt character is quite decadent, but really isn't too much and somehow manages a certain "lightness"; though this is definitely a sipping beer. As this warms up it becomes a touch richer, and a bit less spicy and alcoholic in the finish, though this still remains so. The dominant note here is the malt (though the barrel character is pretty close) with rich brown sugar, a complex nuttiness, smooth toasted malt, browned bread flavors and a really rich caramel character that leans towards buttery, dark toffee. This has just about a perfect balance between light carbonation and chewy body for a beer like this. There is even a touch of barrel derived smokiness and saltiness that comes through, to add to the complexity, as the beer warms up.

This is definitely quite nice, after being disappointed in any Angels Share since the first Brandy batch, I am quite happy to be drinking this; though to be fair much of my previous disappointment is due to the phenomenal status of that first bottled batch. This doesn't quite reach the level of that first batch, as it is a touch hot and not quite as well integrated, but this is a damn fine sipper.

Gueuzedude, Jun 28, 2010
Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev -8.5%

oriolesfan4, Mar 22, 2014
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The Angel's Share Grand Cru from The Lost Abbey
96 out of 100 based on 219 ratings.