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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

226 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 226
Reviews: 107
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.84%
Wants: 179
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: 226 | Reviews: 107 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sugit
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Very aggresive pour yeilded about a finger of head, but quick gone from there to nothing. Dark brown with a tinge of red. Zero lacing. Very little carbonation.

S: Very strong aroma. Hits you from a foot away. Very sweet smelling and lots of bourbon. Toffee and a little bit of woodiness.

Really a nice aroma to it. Reminds me a lot of AS Brandy.

T: Very rich. Lots of things going on. As with the nose, very sweet brandy and lots of bourbon take the forefront. A little more oak/wood than in the nose. Some dark fruit, prunes from what I can tell, also mixed in there. Every so slight grape notes, that make you go ah ha! That's what that is!

M: Nice and think, almost perfect in that sense for me. Too low of a carbonation level though. I hope LA doesn't make this a habit again. It really hurts the experience for me.

D: Def a sipper. Would glad to split a bottle with someone. A little too low of a carb level for me. Slight booze burn that reminds you it's a 12% beer.

sugit, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of HopHead84
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Commercial Description:

"Nearly four years ago, we hired some Angels to work their magic on all manners of oak barrels and beers in our barrel program. As Angels go, they're alright. Sometimes they misplace barrels. Other times, they're selfish and hide the best barrels. And at least one of these Angels is mischievous from time to time adding grapes to the barrels to see what might happen. Recently, we found some of these "Angels Barrels" which we'd lost over time. After tasting them, we decided to marry some of the barrels together creating a time in a bottle snapshot of some of our favorite Angel's Share barrels. This Grand Cru bottling has been thoughtfully blended to bridge the first batches with our most recent releases. We hope that you, like us and our Angels, find it worthy of the designation Angels Share Grand Cru."

1/22/11

I had the pleasure of trying 10 different randomly selected bottles of Angel's Share Grand Cru earlier today. Only one bottle showed a slight off note, and it was only really detectable next to the other 9 bottles. On its own, I don't think it would have raised a red flag. I'm not really sure what's going on with the few off bottles I've heard about and the one that I tried, but I think the problem isn't batch wide. That being said, I'd still recommend opening your bottles now because the beer simply cannot improve. It's great right now but I think it was as good, if not better, on the day it was released. What are you waiting for? Drink it.

12/30/2010

It pains me to report that this beer is now infected, and it's not for the better. 5 friends around San Diego (I have 5 friends!) told me about opening infected bottles over the last month, so I cracked one of my own a couple weeks ago...not infected, still delicious! However, the bottle I opened tonight was clearly infected and just not enjoyable. AS Grand Cru as I knew it and loved it is now gone. Perhaps one of my last couple bottles will be fine, but I don't have high hopes for it given the recent trend. If you have it, open it _now_ and you might get lucky. Mine have been stored at 55 degrees, so perhaps those that were cold stored have fared better. With the addition of grapes, I knew that holding on to this delicious beverage for any length of time was a gamble. It was ready to drink when it was released, and I should have drank them all. You win some and you lose some, but with barrel aged beers I seem to losing more often than not as of late. I don't think I'll be hanging on to these types of beers anymore, rather, I will make more of an effort to drink them fresh. Score not adjusted to reflect infection, original score is from 2/14/2010. RIP.

2/14/2010

I tried the beer out of two separate bottles yesterday, but decided to wait and review it after opening my own bottle in a calmer setting. The beer pours dark brown with an auburn tinge. A frothy one finger head flares up as a result of the hard pour. Retention is good and lacing is scattered. I've come to expect little to no head from Barrel Aged Barleywines, so this was a welcome sight. After the head dies down, a swirl of the glass revitalizes it. Legs are perceivable on the sides of the glass.

The aroma is of dark toffee, oak, brown sugar, and a little caramel, with strong vanilla notes and evident barrel tannins. The Cabernet Franc grapes are immediately noticeable, providing a light vinous sweetness, and they do the beer credit. Oxidation is sherry-like and graceful. Dark fruits, aside from the grapes, are of dates and figs. Notes of bourbon and brandy are both prominent.

The flavor opens with sweet dark toffee, dates, and caramel. Cabernet Franc grapes enter with celerity and linger for the duration of the taste. The marriage of rich barrel aged barleywine and vinous notes is a wonderful thing to behold. Oak is evident, and there's just a dash of tartness accompanying notes of light sherry oxidation. I find both bourbon and brandy in the flavor, but the bourbon has a slightly stronger presence. As the beer warms, the grapes become more prevalent and I begin to detect plums. The brown sugar toffee finish is rich and vinous, ending somewhat dry and sticky. Alcohol is well hidden throughout, making itself most known in the finish and imparting a warming quality.

Angel's Share has, in the past, been rife with inconsistent levels of carbonation, but I can't ask for any more than I find here. Carbonation is at an upper low to lower moderate level. The mouthfeel is full and sticky. Lost Abbey nailed it on this one. Despite the painful price ($20), I have no regrets about buying this. This is probably my favorite version of Angel's Share to date.

HopHead84, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Been waiting for this one. Took a while to track down, but thanks to some generous traders I was able to track a couple bottles down. I've heard good things...

Pours a very dark brown in color. There are some reddish highlights around the edges. Looks great on the pour. A nice quarter inch of head forms on the pour. Cheers to Lost Abbey!
Smell is heavenly brandy, toffee and sweetness. Right up my alley. The brandy and the oak are the standouts here. Outstanding.
Taste is even better than the smell. More brandy, oak, toffee, tannins and a subtle sweetness. Incredible. Everything I look for in a sipper. Perfect mouthfeel and amazingly drinkable for the ABV. A truly worldclass beer. Unfortunately this is a little difficult to track down. I could drink this on a regular basis. I hope Tomme gives this one another go around at least. World Class!

FtownThrowDown, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of alleykatking
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 375ml caged and corked bottle. Many thanks go out to jdefont for bringing this to a recent tasting. I've been looking forward to this one Justin!

A- Pours a very deep brown color. 1/4 finger tan head that dies rather quickly. Very light spots of lace on the sides of the snifters.

S- This one is interesting to say the least. There is a lot of darker fruits with plums, raisins, and some fig. Heavy alcohol tones which display a light bourbon hint in the nose. There isn't much in the way of the brandy barrel but I suspect this will come out more in the taste. Oak tones come in the ending more which quickly gets covered by a medicinal alcohol aroma.

T- Light roasted malts in the front along with a nice brandy barrel tone (think green apple skins, caramel, and light vanilla) along with a alcohol flavor. Middle of the beer mellows out a bit with darker fruits mixing with brown sugar and light vanilla undertones. The bourbon barrel comes into the ending with a nice warming alcohol from the back of the flavor to the aftertaste. Other ending tones consist of oak and light charred overtones. Some more of the vanilla that comes has been in the whole beer still appears in the ending.

M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style being a little low (which I think is what they are going for..no carbonation issue here). Barrel notes and light roasted darker fruits left on the palate. Warming alcohol with vanilla, darker fruits, and charred barrels in the aftertaste. Flavors I thought were well balanced for the beer. Heavy drying on the palate from the alcohol. Clean tasting through and through.

D- This was a good beer to sip on. Lost Abbey has never put out a bad beer in my opinion. The ABV was not in your face the entire time in the forefront but you could tell it was a 12% beer. A glass of this of enough for me but I would love to share this one with a friend or two.

alleykatking, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of corby112
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle opened with a faint pop which is alarming considering all of the LA carbonation issues. Fortunately it appears that this bottle is carbonation. Pours pitch black and completely opaque without even the slightest trace of lighter color when held to a ligh source. Thin fizzy half finger mocha colored head that immediately fades into a thin lasting ring. No lacing whatsoever.

The nose on this beer is absolutely incredible! Lots of earthy oak notes accomanied by hints of vanilla, bourbon, brandy, roasted malt and dark fruit. Lately, a lot of BA age beers I've had smell and taste like alcohol bombs but this smells incredibly complex and well balanced.

Chewy medium body that has all the complexity and balance that the nose suggested. There is plenty of heat and sweet alcohol from the high ABV and barrels but this is countered by a slightly smokey roasted malt body. Hints of chocolate and toast as well as some dark fruit notes, especially grape and dark berries. Vinous with plenty of bourbon flavor and maybe some brandy too accompanied by subtle vanilla flavor from the barrel aging. Surprisingly the ABV is well masked making this pretty quaffable een though there is some nice warmth in the finish. I've been harsh critic of alost Abbey beers recently but this one is awesome and I highly recommend it.

corby112, Dec 25, 2010
Photo of bmwats
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a mini-snifter tasting glass.

A: Very dark brown. No real head or lacing to speak of. Very deep, dark, and intimidating.

S: A little grain note, but mostly wine grape goodness. Just a little dark chocolate, grape, and blueberry.

T: Tastes like a nice merlot. Grape, blueberry and licorice notes.

M: Thick and robust. Really full-flavored and heady. Sweet notes up front, dry in the finish. A slightly sour-sweet lingers throughout.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is pretty nice. Appearance is deep, dark, and intimidating. No head or lacing to speak of. Nose is full on wine grape with a little grain. Flavor similarly, is mostly dominated by the red wine characteristics. Not in a bad way though. The beer notes combine well. Very unique and flavorful combination, in my opinion. A unique and flavorful experience. Overall, a great quaff.

bmwats, Dec 24, 2010
Photo of AgentZero
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Contributed by myself to our Epic Chicago Tasting.

A - A very brown beer, nearly block. Not a ton of head on this one, had to do the hard pour to get anything to show up. Head was tan, that left some spots on the sides.

S - Interesting smell, I get a lot of buttery goodness on this, which I actually like. It melds well with the dark fruit and chocolate. Little bit of wood, I find this to be really great smelling.

T - Love this one, great buttery taste with chocolate, cherries, dark fruit, and some vanilla. Hints of molasses come in on th end, making this one nicely complex with a lot of depth. Fantastic beer.

M - Thick, syrupy, maybe could do with a touch more carbonation but it works well for this beer.

D - Solidly drinkable considering the ABV. The sweetness may get to some at some point, but this is an awesome beer I would love to have more of.

AgentZero, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of Lukafer
3.83/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jdefont for the pour!

Pours dark brown, little to no head, almost no carb visible.  Smells are bourbon, and oak, really boozy smell.  Tastes are oak, slight chocolate and licorice, oaky and boozy, slight burnt sugar as well. Extremely high alcohol flavor.  Mouthfeel is slightly disappointing, with little carb. Despite the lack of carb,  drinkability is still pretty good for a high ABV. Not as good as I was hoping it'd be, but still a good beer. 

Lukafer, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of nkersten
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a NB globe. Very dark brown slightly translucent at the edges, thin foamy tan head settles to a ring at the edge of the glass. Smell is lots of dark fruit, raisins, oak, bourbon, a bit of apple and grapes, alcohol. Taste is boozey barrel up front followed by a silky, buttery vanilla, bourbon, oak, grape skins, slightly tannic, raisins, and a bit of heat in the finish. A very heavy body with low carbonation. The heat takes away from the drinkability a little, but overall this is a very tastey beer.

nkersten, Dec 04, 2010
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 CrellMoset
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

New 500 mL (I think?) bottle of The Angel's Share Grand Cru, courtesy of a very generous New England BA - many thanks! Served in a Bruery snifter on a brisk, near-Turkey Day night.

Appearance: Pours a dirty, raw sepia, sort of the color that beer actually appears through brown glass. It's definitely been filtered, a fact suggested by the crystalline transparency that this beer achieves right around the edges, enough to reveal this beer's appearance's most charming characteristic - thousands of jewel-like streams of imperceptibly tiny, darting bubbles, racing upwards to replenish a foamy collar, itself bejeweled, bright and shiny. For the record, the collar is all that remains of what was formerly one-finger of lightly tanned, fizzy head. It showcases the sort of retention you have to expect from a beer with overwhelming barrel characteristics that clocks in at 12.0% abv, with no side lacing of which to speak, only slight and intermittent surface dusting, and the aforementioned collar (which is only kept alive by aforementioned carbonation). A good looking beer overall, especially if you know what to expect going in.

Aroma: Barrel #184 is making love to my nose here, and dominates the aroma. That is, the nose is characterized - in the barrel sense of things - by a strongly brandy-esque note, lightly fruity, simply sweet, and with strong notes of French oak. It's a refined booziness, elegant and high up in the olfactory register, and mingles well with the elements of the base beer - slight char, toast, toffee, and brown sugar, all quite dry. Slight vanilla is present around the edges, but it's buried a little by the ethanol-esque (but not hot) liquor notes.

Taste: Way more of the base bere here, though it's still a somewhat refined, well-aged beer. Unsurprising, given, well, the age of many of the constituent components of this one. First, we'll tackle the base beer, as it's definitely the one constant in all the AS releases and additions here. It's ... well, it's Angel's Share, quintessential and undeniably unique. Strong brown sugar dominates - sweeter than in the nose - with flourishes of toffee, molasses, and caramel as well as a slew of dark fruits, mostly raisin, though plenty of fig as well.

The barrel aging adds something too, believe it or not. A huge amount of brandy character is present in this one, and whether or not that's a genuine sensory note or the fact that - in the many months since I've had a brandy AS - I've begun to delve in to brandy more I can't quite say. Regardless, the tawny, slightly sweet, mildly chemically, undeniably fruity and estery alcohol note it contributes really compliments both the sweetness of the malts of the underlying base beer as well as its darker fructose-esque notes. A definite spiciness is clearly contributed by the bourbon addition, though it's again a well-refined, aged spiciness, delicate and well-blended. I struggled a little at first to detect the grape addition, but I think - after substantial concentration and warming - that I'm getting a few notes that approach the unique tea leaf-esque tanning contribution that one gets from red grapes, particularly in the way they feel on the tongue. Huge vanilla notes make everything contributed from the underlying beer slightly brûlée-esque, and the entire beer is - of course - permeated by wood sugar, slightly coconut-esque, a little nutty, and all-around delicious.

Mouthfeel: A bit of a contrast, as this beer is initially too carbonated - too eruptive, explosive, over the top when it's at its most attractive - and ultimately levels off to a far less attractive but far more pleasant mouth. Letting this one sit for 20 minutes achieves a level of creaminess that overwhelmingly suggests crème brûlée, but with enough residual carbonation that the malts make nothing sickly sweet. It'd be nice if everything could exist simultaneously, but perhaps I'm asking for too much.

Drinkability: One that grew on me as time we on, but I've noticed that's the way things are with Angel's Share. 4-parts brandy to 2-parts bourbon definitely shows through, particularly in the nose, but the melding of the two has produced something unique and very enjoyable. Is it boozy? Yeah. It is high in abv%? Um, yeah. Is the booze noticeable? In a way, yes. But is it harsh? Oppressive? Off-putting? Unappealing? No on all counts. Any alcohol present in this one is immensely warming, and you feel it not in your nose, not on the roof of your mouth, but instead in your chest. This is a well-blended beer, and one which you're not going to run away from because its ethanol components are shining through a little too brightly. This beer meets the standard and more, and the "fire" and "ice" dichotomy I've heard used several times before is more than applicable here. One of the best beers I've had in the entirety of 2010, this one is a must seek-out for any fan of -bal beers.

CrellMoset, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks for sharing this beachbum1975!

A. Pours a milky brown with little to no head.

S. Brown sugar sweetness rests atop a heavenly bed of oak mixed with the perfect ratio of bourbon to brandy.

T. The bourbon and brandy are both very apparent. In with the mix is the oak, dark fruit flavors, brown sugar sweetness, and some roasted malt chocolate flavor.

M. Full bodied beer with just a touch of carbonation.

D. Delicious. I've yet to meet an Angel's Share that I don't like and this is certainly no exception. Damn I love me some Angel's Share.

BeerAndBourbon, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of beachbum1975
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Shared this with urbancaver and his friends yesterday. Review from notes.

I got the last pour of this beer into my small snifter. Very little head produces after a moderately aggressive pour.

Sits a brown, murky goodness in my glass with oily traces coming up the sides of my glass. I also observed a large (pea sized) chunk of yeast sitting in the bottom of my pour and the legs appeared cloudy or dusty. That's okay by me.

This still has the best nose of any barrel aged beer I've ever had. The use of wood, bourbon and brandy is top notch. I could seriously sit and savor the leathery, woody mix all night long... World class nose.

The flavor of this beer matched the nose. Complex, complex, complex. A heavenly mix on leather, vinous, bourbon, oak and again done by the masters of the trade.

Mouthfeel was my only complaint. It sat with just the smallest bit of carbonation. It it was slightly more carbonated, this would have received a 5.

Fantastic on the senses.

beachbum1975, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of Urbancaver
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Strong strong buttery bourbon flavours with hints of the brandy coming through. Strong alcohol coming through the sweetness and almost syrupy flavors A very potent beer that is incredible smooth and flavourful! So incredibly good. Thank you to Shane who brought that to the barrel aged beer tasting this afternoon!

Urbancaver, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ticked 07-09-10

Thanks to Sean9689 for bringing this to Alex's

A - It pours way black - almost no light passes through - with a moderate tan head and it deposits little curlicues of lace.

S - Delicious aromatic impressions of chocolate-covered dark fruit mingle with sublime booze-barrel notes. Maple and molasses notes appear after a bit.

T - The blend of beer, barrel and booze lends big flavors of chocolate-cocoa-hazelnut, impressions of vanilla, caramelized sugar, and maple, as well as dark fruity notes of raisin, date, fig, and prune. There is a vinous, Quad-y or EBW-like quality to the taste and feel. Super delicious.

M - Silky smooth, softly carbonated, very nice.

D - Exceptional.

ktrillionaire, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of Verecund
1.93/5  rDev -55.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle with Bucketboy on 10.26.2010.

Pours a dark, nearly night black with a thin tan head. Spoiler: This is my favorite part of the beer. It's all downhill from here.

Sweet booziness, caramel, and buttery popcorn. Grape brandy.
I don't want to dwell too much on this, so I'll make it quick: tastes of sour white grapes, plums, molasses, booze, and a brandy-like sweetness runs through it (to little effect). As it warms, I can't get through the permeating, unbalanced soured grape / vinous flavor. This is not good.

Surprisingly light and not as rich or thick as I expected. Tannic finish. Somewhat hot.

I came here to commiserate, but it looks like I may be alone here in finding this rather unbalanced, overly grapey, and not as rich as I expected, given a recent tasting of Deliverance (which was far superior, IMHO).

EDIT (Jan 2011): Based on others' recent experiences, this may have been an infected bottle.

Verecund, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of kbutler1
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Shared by fbm115. Pours a fairly dark copper/caramel color with a very slight tan head. The aroma is actually fairly sweet with notes of caramel, toffee and a slight alcohol note. Smells somewhat oaky as well. The first sip yields a nice rich flavor that goes down pretty smooth. The sweetness is the first taste that I pick up with the caramel and toffee notes. Nice medium mouthfeel. For 12% this goes down way too easy!

kbutler1, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12.7 ounce bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip style glass.

Beer comes out dark brown, almost black, withe lighter brown edges. A light brown colored small head that fades very quickly. Not much lacing to it but I'm digging the look overall. As you take each sip the liquid itself slowly trickles down back to the pool at the bottom. It almost looks as if it's a carbonated pure maple syrup, a little thinner than that, but not much, pretty looking.

Smell is good as well. There were several reviews I read in the past of bourbon, whiskey and a few other spirits and I can see that. There is a prominent feature of alcohol that tickles your nose during each sniff. However it's a bit sweet in the smell in my opinion, similar to a cognac, or a cognac/barleywine love child. Malts and hops are present but certainly not the primary features as you sniff.

The taste is a slight step up, very good. Sweet malts are present right away, slight caramel and bitter chocolate characteristics. There is also a liquor, malty flavor to it. Hops more present in the flavor than the smell in my opinion, still not that strong though. There are some slight maple flavors to it as well.

I didn't like the mouthfeel at first, a bit too complex, but it really grew on me. It's certainly full bodied, but overall well balanced. There is a warmth from the alcohol that feels like the 12.5% that the bottle indicates but it doesn't really bite at you, has a clean/fresh finish. The drinkablility is very good, but certainly a sipper. Nice on a cool day.

Like this beer alot, love to have it again, but don't know if that will happen. My first of hopefully many Lost Abbey brews.

AndyAvalanche, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of donkeyrunner
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Tired of figuring things out on my own, angel's wings won't you carry me home?" - Social Distortion

I boycott breweries that sue other breweries (Bear Republic, Lost Abbey, etc) so I'm pretty stoked that my girlfriend picked this up on her own volition. Pours a dark, dark chestnut color. No head but Angel's Share manages to squeek out the tiniest of tiny foam collars and a wispy skim that looks like a profile of Sonic the hedgehog.

This. Smells. Awesome. Bourbon leaps upon the nose carrying licorice, vanilla, molasses and raisin. Boozey sophistication.

Tastes like it smells: dark caramel, bourbon, fig, and vanilla. Hints of decadent chocolate, more boozey sophistication. Has a burnt, steely flavor as it warms which is the only thing that prevents this from being a 5. Scant carbonation which goes over well.

Honestly my first thoughts (following "wow, this is good stuff") were this is Founder's KBS done Belgian style. A sipper but something that I could sip all night, every night...if I were a millionaire.

donkeyrunner, Oct 02, 2010
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 emmasdad
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got the opportunity to try this one (much to my surprise). Pours a rich, deep dark brown, with a minimal amount of faded white head. This one has a great nose, with raisins, plums, wood and booze. As was to be expected, there is light oxidation (which adds a bit of complexity, in this case), along with grapes, plums, bourbon, brandy, vanilla and oak. Amazing flavor here. After trying deliverance, and now this one, LA needs to keep blending the brandy AS, hopefully with more stellar results.

emmasdad, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of kels
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Mmmm....thanks pwoods for sharing this one with me. Probably not something I'd ever see otherwise.

Pours deepest chocolate, more or less black. It is completely opaque, save a layer of semitransparent alcohol that seems to separate and float just above the beer. There are deep ruby-raspberry highlights that present in the light. The initial 1/2 finger of fizzy tan foam fades immediately with little memory left behind. Just a slight ring hugs the sides of the glass and spots the walls momentarily after the wash.

The aroma of this beer is out of this world. It is so complex and deep. There's an immediate plummy, dark cherry fruitiness coupled with the warmth of charred wood. The alcohol doesn't hide itself nor come across sharply, but instead presents in a soothing and deepening way. Keep smelling a little longer, and find a rich, caramelly sweetness that is more candy-like than milk-like.

The taste really stands up to the smell - just as good. It is simultaneously caramelly, fruity, oaky, and alcoholic. The sweetness of the caramel gets a surprising complement from a juicy, chewy fruit note. The heat of the alcohol is well tamed by the warmth of the wood. The aftertaste reveals a bit of anise, vanilla and a hint of sour cherry.

Feel is not as viscous as expected from the appearance, but it holds its own at a moderate mouth. It is very smooth, and there's just a little hit of carbonation at the ends that holds the sticky, tongue-coating aftertaste around for extra long-lasting enjoyment.

Drinkability is waaay higher than it should be. It is so tasty and smooth and satisfying that it drinks easily. Too bad about that sneaky 12%...

kels, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of pwoods
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Stoad for the bottle!

375ml split with Kels, poured into snifters.

A: Pours a murky brown, opaque. Moderate head on the pours with only a ring of retention. Decent lacing. Lots of barrel, obviously. A good swirl brings the head back but there's too much abv and barrel to hold it long. The beer takes on a bit of a raspberry color once it get further down in the glass and the light tries to get through it.

S: Holy fuck, this is how a beer should smell. A good amount of bourbon and brandy with a slight nod to the bourbon. Lots of alcohol from both but fitting for the beer. Lots of barrel, deep and dank, that compliments the big alcohol and malt profile. Big deep chocolate and molasses notes. Brownie and spicy brown bread. Unbelievably complex.

T/M: Very very good. Lots of alcohol right when it hits your tongue but instantly mellow out in to a nicely oxidized, supremely complex sipper. Some definition between the bourbon and brandy but plenty of melding and smoothing out of the alcohol. More of the big barrel profile but mellowed and blended in nicely with the alcohol and complex malt bill. More of the chocolate and molasses with some spicy brown bread. As it warms even further, the alcohol starts to come out in the swallow and warms the belly even more. The body is medium full to full with more carbonation than I expected but still low and smooth enough to not take anything away from the beer.

D: ABV is high but it's so smooth and complex that I want another sip as soon as I swallow. Definitely a home run with this one.

pwoods, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of popery
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From old notes (probably from Toronado's Barleywine Fest 2010). My favorite of the three versions of AS that I've tried. I found the normal bourbon version to be a bit dominated by bourbon, but the Grand Cru is smooth and the bourbon barrel-aging blends very well. This beer has a ton of different flavors bouncing around, though they all manage to fuse into a sweet, complex explosion. There are notes of brown sugar, molasses, raisins, grapes, cherries, oak, bourbon, caramel, vanilla and chocolate. The booze is felt but is warming without being harsh. Mouthfeel is smooth with a good level of carbonation for the beer (another point for this one over some other versions of AS, though that's only a bottle issue, as far as I know). I'm not sure why anyone would care about appearance here, but I've never seen a pretty glass of Angel's Share. It's a murky, muddy. dark reddish brown, approaching black, with a dissipating head, but who cares? It's also delicious. Definitely one of TLA's best.

popery, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of JAXSON
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle. Pours near black, nice head that settles to a wispy ring. Big alcohol heat on the nose, heavy on leafy tobacco and leather. First impression in the mouth is that the body is more thick and chewy than are some similar beers. Flavor is much more vinous than the nose, with wood and grapes in the forefront, moving into some tobacco, malt, and a pleasantly hot finish. Excellent beer, the best variation or vintage of Angels Share I've had by far.

JAXSON, Sep 07, 2010
The Angel's Share Grand Cru from The Lost Abbey
96 out of 100 based on 226 ratings.