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 #697
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: 1,944 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by StJamesGate:
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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
More User Reviews:
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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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bnes09 from Illinois

4.26/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep, hazy, milk chocolate color. Minimal head on the pour with weak retention.

Sweet caramel and molasses malty aroma. Oak, bourbon, vanilla, smooth booze. Very rich and well balanced in the nose.

Flavor imparts a deep caramel and burnt sugar quality. Mild yeast presence. Subtle leafy, herbal hop. Smooth oak in the finish.

Dense, full bodied, and bordering on syrupy feel. Moderate carbonation.

Highly complex and well rounded barrel aged ale.

Aug 14, 2015
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unclekeith from Alaska

4.02/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

L: Poured nearly still, dark brown with a thin head quick to dissipate - opened with a pathetic little "pop"
A: Bourbon, vanilla, heat
T: Sweet, dark fruit
M: not impressive, thin for style, no carb, hot
O: A very good beer that could've been great with some carbonation

Sep 10, 2016
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tjthresh from Indiana

4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown/mahogany with a brown head. Heavy dark friut aroma with lots of oak. Rich, and very malty with lots of fruity goodness up front. This was the last beer of a long night of sampling for me and Mike. Hopefully I will be lucky enough some day to have another bottle of this fine beer.

Jan 18, 2008
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bigdaddypolite from Minnesota

5/5  rDev +15.5%

Nov 20, 2011
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ncstateplaya from North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Jan 02, 2014
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Rick778 from California

3.91/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jan 15, 2016
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Jdotswizz from Texas

5/5  rDev +15.5%

Apr 07, 2014
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NYR_Rob from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +15.5%

Dec 07, 2013
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t8dd from Illinois

4.94/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Feb 27, 2015
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3.64/5  rDev -15.9%

Sep 20, 2014
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ububru from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Jan 08, 2012
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dar482 from New York

4.73/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Mar 24, 2015
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Diablerie from California

3.97/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Since I first became serious about quality beers, this has been my White Stag. Finally, I was able to try it.

Interestingly, it was not exactly what I had expected. It was darker and much more aggressive than I was under the impression it would (or should, perhaps) be.

I realize that with the 08 batch, there were some complications with the carbonation process, but I don't think that significantly affected the beer in a negative manner.

A--From Cask, served in a pint glass; Dark coloration (zero translucence); minimal head; appears to have a thick, syrupy quality to it.

S--Medicinal scent to it. Definitely catch hints of the Bourbon. Smells slightly of charcoal.

T--A very gruff taste to it. The alcohol content is strong and the beer is complex enough to offset this. However, the alcohol unfortunately comes through on the aftertaste. The bourbon infusion is very noticeable. As I had mentioned, it is aggressive, but otherwise, it is very palatable.

M--It burns a bit, but apart from that, there is a smooth, silky quality to it.

D--Definitely for sipping.

Aug 15, 2009
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IrishColonial from Texas

3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

Nov 09, 2013
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rolltide8425 from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Nov 06, 2012
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cclark67789 from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +15.5%

Feb 25, 2013
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johnny29er from California

4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Aug 08, 2013
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Sanderson from Washington

4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jun 14, 2015
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weeare138 from Pennsylvania

4.82/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 version - Appears a turbid dark russett brown with a dark tan head tan that slowly fades into a small collar. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of mollasses, brown sugar, caramel, creme brûlée, vanilla, port, bourbon, and complex cocoa infusions.
Taste is of the aromas with sweet bourbon based bread pudding... Very beautiful.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, sweet, cake like, yeasty, dessert drink for the ages that I would put up there with the finest bourbons, brandy, or ports.

Old Review from 2008 A- 4.5, S - 4, T - 4, M - 4, D - 4
Much thanks to TomDecapolis for this...btw, I've never seen pressure like this in a bottle, other than the Saint Bernardus Christmas bottle that I opened at Tom's place. This bottle couldn't wait to pop the cork out. Tom barely touched the cage 1 turn and the cork shot out like a 12 gauge blast, leaving a mark in my 9 foot high ceiling. WARNING: Point cork away from anyone, or anything of value.
Appears a dark, russett brown with red edges and a mild, 1 finger tan cap with a thick collar. Scattered lacing is left all over the glass.
Smell is of bourbon, oak, vanilla, and caramel.
Taste is of the saturated oak, caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, and dark fruit.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, hot, oaky, with chewy, sugary caramel along the palate.

May 13, 2008
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oglmcdgl from Pennsylvania

4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the grey lodge watching the flyers winning 4-0. Go broad street bullies.

A- comes to me filled to the brim so no head but I'm not complaining about getting more beer. Deep dark cloudy black walnut in color just some hints of light on the edges.

S- bourbon soaked raisins and dates. Brown sugar and shoo fly pie. Dark bread and molasses.

T- raisin toast with molasses on top. Lots of bourbon and dates. Chocolate and brown sugar. Deep oak under tones. Its keeps coming back to the sweet dried fruits and the bourbon and I'm glad.

M- full bodied for sure but being that this has carbonation and just the right amount that it aerates and opens this brew up beautifully. Slightly sticky and chewy and a bit of heat but hey it is 12 abv and called a bourbon barrel its home for a time.

D- for 12 abv its pretty damn drinkable if you like bourbon that is. I love it and out side of the sweetness I would drink all I could get my hands on.

May 17, 2010
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TheRowan from Vermont

4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Aug 11, 2014
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MacQ32 from South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Oct 10, 2013
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hilgart1 from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Feb 16, 2014
The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 1944 ratings