The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
The Lost Abbey

The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-AgedThe Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
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Strong Ale - American
Ranked #9
Ranked #694
4.33 | pDev: 10.85%
The Lost Abbey
California, United States
The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-AgedThe Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Notes: Down in Kentucky and across the pond in Scotland, distillers who age their whiskeys for many years refer to the evaporation of the spirits from their barrels as “The Angel’s Share.” We couldn’t agree more. Each time a barrel is filled, a measure of liquid seeps into the oak and is lost for good.This striking Strong Ale is brewed with copious amounts of Caramel malt to emphasize the vanilla and oak flavors found in freshly emptied bourbon or brandy barrels. The beer spends a year in oak before it is packaged for release.
Reviews: 720 | Ratings: 1,943 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Muddy brown strong ale, no head whatsoever, and absolutely no more disappointment after that. Great silky mouthfeel, vanilla flavor mildly allowing bourbon and even brandy notes to overtake it. Nice caramel malt finish, smooth from top of the glass to the bottom. Brandy flavor is more at the top, bourbon predominant through last sip. Superior effort!

Mar 07, 2021
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bret27 from California

4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2009 Vintage courtesy of acurtis.
(12 years old!)
Dark fruits,(prune, raisins), toffee, leather, wood, slight oxidization.
99% flat. No booziness. Smooth.
Overall: Though definitely old, this ages pretty well. Those melded flavors only age can produce. Ages better than most beers out there. From what I’ve read Lost Abbey was probably flat even when fresh.

Feb 02, 2021
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DrStiffington from New Jersey

4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The Angel’s Share is from 2016. Pours dark, dark brown. Almost black. Very little carbonation during the pour, and then a bit after it was all poured. Immediate aroma of bourbon. I was surprised it was so strong after 4-5 years. Taste follows - big bourbon presence, which makes me happy, because I love bourbon barrel aged beers. Between the color being almost black and the bourbon dominating, this is very close to a bourbon barrel aged stout instead of a barleywine. If given in a blind tasing I might think it was. There’s very little barleywine characteristic: it’s not sweet, don’t get any caramel or toffee. It’s still a bit boozy, but I like that in beers like this.

Jan 30, 2021
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StJamesGate from New York

4.16/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Viscous, opaque garnet-brown with no head; strong bourbon nose with hints of wood, cherry stone, candy sugar, moss, plum and oak smoke; fig, milk chocolate, red currants, a whisky hit with a big thread of vanilla, sweet comeback + warming end; medium-full, chewy, round.

3.75 4.5 4 4 4.25

Sat on this for 5 years.
No looker, but smells like a humidor - once you get past the booziness, the complexity of the aroma drips down the back of your throat.
The taste is dried dark fruit more than any caramel sweetness. And then that bourbon drops in… while among the most harmonious I’ve encountered, it does take over more than complement the base beer.
Not perfect: it’s flat + boozy - hard to avoid at 12.5%, but it should've mellowed with age. I see lots of good ratings for this, but some are a decade old - maybe this beer jumped out more before everything was getting put in barrels.
Overall, this has more in common with treacly English strong ales than anything else. But with a lot of bourbon.

More an advertisement for bourbon barrel aging than a complete beer.

Nov 26, 2020
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DvdP from Netherlands

4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Cork didn't want to get out, no pop. Pours dark brown, flat. Smells bourbon. Smooth mouthfeel, but could do with some carb. No alcohol to speak of. Taste is dry, woody, with some bice bourbon. Bit herbal, that old leather tobacco flavour from good barrels

Nov 14, 2020
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Apellonious from North Carolina

4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2016. Poured into a tulip glass. No head to speak of, just a full murky ruby brown. Aromas of fig,barrel, and caramel. Taste is similar, no hops semblance at this point. And that is ...Ok. I’ll give you six dollars if you can name where that quote came from. The heft was surprisingly light, carbonation low, mildly sticky as everything warmed. Delicious and coating.

Oct 03, 2020
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Luscious_Malfoy from Illinois

4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

vintage 2016 poured from a 375mL corked & caged bottle into a snifter. pours light brown but gathers in the glass a bit darker, almost chestnut, with the tiniest amount of khaki colored head that dissipates leaving small khaki swirls. nose is a combination of dark fruit, figs, toffee, chocolate, vanilla, oak and bourbon. taste is a little more oak and bourbon forward followed by sweet toffee and caramel. it suffers from a little oxidation but that’s my own fault for letting this sit so long. mouthfeel is medium to full. it sits on the tongue fairly full then finishes a little thinner. overall, pretty stellar bourbon barrel-aged barleywine. need to track down a fresh vintage as it was not my intention to try this for the first time with so much age on it. very much enjoyed it though.

May 31, 2020
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TheGent from New Jersey

4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 Bottled

Consumed on April 13, 2019.

I pulled the cork slowly to only a slight release of air. No pop.

Brown, large and very loosely packed bubbles, indicating low carbonation. They disappeared very quickly. Dark brown color. Translucent and slightly murky.

This beer has a huge nose. Bourbon, chocolate, toasted coconut, vanilla, oak. Tons of dark, dried fruit including raisins and prunes. Coffee. A hint of cinnamon. Some ABV coming Through.

Lots of chocolate. Notes of sweet and dark over the course of the glass. Chocolate covered, bourbon soaked raisins and cherries. Some cinnamon. Some oak.

A medium body with no carbonation. Pleasant warmth from the 12.5% ABV and a semi-sweet finish with some woody bitterness. Residual, sticky sweetness coats my lips.

I am really enjoying this beer. There is tons of chocolate and dark dried fruit that comes through as chocolate covered cherries and raisins. I pulled this from the basement at 55-60F and put it in the fridge for about 30 mins. This beer has held up beautifully. Has it improved? Based only on my ratings from 14 and 15 I am enjoying this MUCH more, but there are too many variables to say it has improved. Right here, right now, I think it’s excellent. There is definitely some heat, which I think works nicely.

Apr 22, 2019
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EMH73 from New York

4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a medium to dark brown with mahogany highlights. Thin tan ring of head, no lacing present. Really looks like rusty tap water. Smells of bourbon, oak, vanilla, malts and dark fruits. Tastes of bourbon, vanilla, caramel malts oak, raisins, figs molasses and toffee. Medium bodied for the style, minimal carbonation, syrupy mouth feel. An awesome sipper.

Feb 24, 2019
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sweetbrew82 from California

4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016 version. Absolutely phenomenal and incredibly complex! Not much booze to speak of at this age which really lets the deep character of this brew to really shine through. Been wanting to try this forever now and somehow it just always slipped through my fingers but now that I've had it I get all the hype surrounding it. One of the very best beers I've ever had. Period.

Feb 24, 2019
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patre_tim from Thailand

4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown with a murky ruby tinge and no head.

Smells of your typical english barley wine 'stinky foot' and bourbon barrel. Caramel, cherries, and butterscotch.

Tastes of caramel toffee, stinky foot, bourbon barrel, and a butter scotch finish.

Medium, syrupy body with a moderate carbonation.

I got this in Chico, and am drinking it Jan 26th, 2019. Very smooth, very well crafted and thoughtfully done brew.

Jan 27, 2019
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EMV from Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a cork'n'cage 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip. 2016 edition

L: Cloudy viscous dark mahogany brown pour. No head or lacing worth mentioning.

S: Sweet caramel and toffee... bourbon and booze.

T/F: Sweet and thick... big time dark sugars... caramel, toffee, and vanilla. Very boozy... almost overpowering. Warming... unbalanced on the sweet side. Rich and ABV not all that well hidden.

O: I wanted to like this more. It's quality, don't get me wrong... but too sweet/boozy and lacking the depth/balance I was expecting. Very glad I got to try it... but honestly not one I'd seek out again.

Jan 12, 2019
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WunderLlama from Massachusetts

4.36/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Caged and corked bottle poured into a snifter

Murky brown liquid, plenty of carbonation in the glass, a few brown bubbles cling to one side, settles to a ring

Aroma is bourbon whiskey

Taste is bourbon, bit of vanilla, bit of oak. The taste lingers but doesn’t have the alcohol burn

Smooth, almost creamy, no sudsing

Good beer

Aug 09, 2018
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CMEG from Maryland

4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a wonderful drinking experience! I had aged this beer for over 2 years prior to drinking it. The beer pours dark brown, with minimal head. The aroma is one of the most complex and pleasant I have ever experienced. There are hints of blackberry, or currant, with an subtle earthy aroma. The taste is totally different from the aroma - malty, hints of raisin on the front, with a subtle and pleasant flavor of oak and vanilla on the back-end. This is a beer to sip and enjoy for an extended period of time. As the beer got warmer, the flavors only got richer. If you find it on the shelf - pick it up!

Apr 22, 2018
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BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

3.55/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage. 12.7oz bottle poured into 12oz goblet. Poured a very still (no carbonation at all), opaque dark brown color with no head, thus no retention.

The aroma was fantastic, lots of oak, some bourbon, and dark fruits.

The taste was a bit less well defined, with the fruit notes upfront, the oak underlying, and a bit of booze at the back.

Drinkability was good, it was definitely a sipper, not a gulper.

Overall, perhaps a bit past where it was, but still a very nice brew. If you see one, grab it.

Mar 20, 2018
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LinusBohman from Sweden

4.66/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

2009 edition, poured into a tulip glass at room temperature.

L: Dark brown towards black. As it's been cellared so long there is no foam or bubbles but that is expected. Beautiful regarding it's age.

S: Bourbon, molasses, vanilla. Very sweet smell. There is alot to discover.

T: Sweet liqourice, bourbon, chocolate. Bitter bite at the end. Some alcohol but it's elegantly behind a bouqet of flavours.

M: Medium body with some creaminess to it. A bit dry feel on the tounge. Flat.

Overall: This beer has stood the test of time and delivers a sophistacated barrage of elegantly cooperating smells and flavours.
A great end to 2017.

Dec 31, 2017
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Avitra from Switzerland

4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It has all of the good things about a good stout but much more subtle, so without having the bad things about a stout. There's chocolate, vanilla, lots of nuts (esp. almonds) and coconut, but they are all so subtle and embedded in the delicate sweetness of this beer. Another great "Lost Abbey"

Dec 31, 2017
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Derek from Canada (BC)

4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not much carbonation, sweet, boozy aroma with raisins and figs. Lots of bourbon and oak in the flav, caramelized raisins, figs, sponge toffee, hint of roasted nut. Light residual sweetness, but a very drying alcohol finish.

Jul 02, 2017
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Slack from Virginia

4.44/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml

Brown and murky with little head and minor residual legs.

Nose is bourbon and dark fruit with vanilla.

Taste is similar - dates and raisins, bourbon, malt, vanilla, and minor oak.

Mouthful is medium to heavy and full. Carbonation is average to low. Finish is semi sweet.

Really nice bourbon barrel ale. Fruity and sweet with bourbon but all in balance, nothing overwhelming. Very much recommended.

Jul 01, 2017
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danasofia from California

4.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 2016 release 375 mL bottle into a goblet glass.

Look - Dark burgundy mixed with earthy brown, incredibly cloudy and opaque. Held to light, this beer looks very close to a stout. High rating on appearance based on the unique mixture of ruddy and dark colors.

Smell - Bourbon, dates, hazelnuts and walnuts and almonds, some vanilla, strong aroma of bitter cocoa, pervasive alcohol. Not as potent a smell as I would like, but very rich for what does come through. More vanilla apparent as it warms.

Taste - Simple in its movements, but largely well-executed: slight bourbon up front, followed by incredibly rich malt and dark fruity sweetness along with slight vanilla again and a broad bourbon flavor (very earthy and oaky), with plenty of boozy warmth, resting underneath all the other flavors. As with the nose, more vanilla manifest as the beer warms. Not quite perfect, but very good nonetheless, particularly because of the strong bitter coca taste that is stands out unusually compared to other barley wines. Maybe lacking, I think, in carbonation and viscosity (could see this being a bit more syrupy, just to push the look and texture its already working with further).

Feel - Sticky sweet and thick and rich, more than enough to impress me but still a bit thin and edging on watery overall. The deep, complex flavors hit hard enough to more than make up for this, but the lack of greater viscosity, syrupiness feels like it holds this beer back a bit.

Overall, this beer isn't quite at the best it could be, but still very, very good. A bit iffy on this, but end up feeling this way because of the things that make it unusual for its type: opaque and murky ruby red, brown, and black color that seems like a mixture of a more clear, bright barley wine and a stout; mixture of bitter cocoa stout flavors with malty, dark fruit, and sweet flavors of a more typical barley wine.

May 07, 2017
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crosenkrantz from Switzerland

2.75/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Bottle bought in 2013, no date. Perfectly stored.
After more than 4 years sitting in the bottle. At the first sip this appears to have a very well integrated bourbon flavors, very round, aged and mellowed. After a while, you realize that the flavor is actually thin, and quickly decays to an alcohol-only aftertaste. Looked like a bad implementation of alcohol+barrel.
Tasted in parallel to Lervig's BBA Barleywine, this one looked like a punch-less version of the other.
Maybe it needs 5 more years of cellaring.

Mar 12, 2017
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buschbeer from Ohio

4.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12.7 OUNCE bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours a very deep shade of brown. When held to a light a small amount of ruby light comes through. It is topped with less than an inch of tan head that disappears quickly leaving no lacing.

The bourbon character really comes through in the smell. The is a lot of caramel and vanilla with hints of oak and chocolate.

The flavor contains everything I smelled. It starts out with rich caramel and vanilla flavor. Through the middle a get a little dryness from the oak, meanwhile a slight boozy flavor pervades my senses leaving me with a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Full, thick, syrupy, and smooth mouthfeel with low carbonation

This is a damn good beer. The base beer supports the bourbon barrel treatment very well, and three plus years in the cellar did not hurt it at all.

Mar 01, 2017
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silverblaze540 from Virginia

4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep Espresso color with minimal head
S - Figs, prunes, sweet bourbon, and malt
T - Lots of booze with a malty sweetness and and the aftertaste is a bit like soy sauce
M - Medium heavy thickness with lots of burn
O - Very strong flavor and very boozey; works for me.

Feb 20, 2017
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yesterdayfaraway from Missouri

3.7/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: dark ruby color, no head
S: boozy, sharp bourbon.
T: high booze just like the nose. All booze, not good.
F: fire...all booze. Good god this needs 10 years to mellow out.

Feb 19, 2017
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TinFang from California

3.47/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

i bought two of these and thought the first one had gone bad. I let the second sit for six months before trying it out. The first bottle was in fact off in flavor - all the other defects are apparently inherent in this beer.

Look - murky cola dark in the glass with a faint green tint. No head even with a direct pour. Little or no glass appeal.
Smell - thought this was a sour when I pulled the cork and sniffed the neck. Sulfur and sugar. vastly improved by the pour - bourbon and fruits and a hint of alcohol.
Taste - really remarkable and complex. The bourbon note was present both on the initial sip and as an aftertaste. Unfortunately there was also a lingering bitterness. Alcohol was hard to detect.
Feel - not pleasant. The beer is syrupy and the bottles I bought had zero carbonation. Disappointing given the care that must have gone into producing it.

Overall great flavors with a single really wrong note and flat on the palette.

Jan 03, 2017
The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 1943 ratings