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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The Lost Abbey
California, United States
American Strong Ale
Ranked #18
Ranked #1,406
4.29 | pDev: 10.72%
Mar 23, 2023
Aug 23, 2006
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.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by patre_tim:
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Reviewed by patre_tim from Thailand

4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
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
More User Ratings:
Rated: 4.25 by bruindre from Massachusetts

Feb 08, 2023
Rated: 3.87 by not2quick from Missouri

Jan 14, 2023
Rated: 4.25 by brandoneast from Texas

Sep 17, 2022
Rated: 4.31 by Wisconsin_IPA_Lover from Wisconsin

Aug 20, 2022
Photo of NCSapiens
Rated by NCSapiens from Indiana

3.99/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Nice whiskey barrel flavors compliment a base ale.
May 08, 2022
Rated: 4.31 by hopley from Massachusetts

Feb 12, 2022
Rated: 4.14 by 22Blue from Kansas

Nov 14, 2021
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Reviewed by DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
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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Reviewed by bret27 from California

4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
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
Photo of DrStiffington
Reviewed by DrStiffington from New Jersey

4.46/5  rDev +4%
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
Rated: 4.41 by Bogdawg from Massachusetts

Dec 26, 2020
Rated: 4.31 by Tcsox from Massachusetts

Dec 26, 2020
Rated: 4.18 by NolaHopHead from Louisiana

Dec 02, 2020
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Reviewed by StJamesGate from New York

4.16/5  rDev -3%
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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Reviewed by DvdP from Netherlands

4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
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
Photo of Apellonious
Reviewed by 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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Reviewed by Luscious_Malfoy from Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
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
Rated: 4.25 by Patches826 from Massachusetts

Apr 15, 2020
Rated: 4.5 by TylerJ from Iowa

Sep 04, 2019
Rated: 4.06 by NotAlcoholicJustAHobby from Vermont

Aug 31, 2019
Rated: 4.23 by cd34 from Illinois

Aug 11, 2019
Rated: 4.39 by Duncian from Pennsylvania

Aug 09, 2019
Rated: 4.45 by Dharmelink from Wisconsin

Jun 18, 2019
Rated: 4.76 by Trmmilwwi from Illinois

Jun 01, 2019
Rated: 4.45 by Hopelessly0 from California

May 14, 2019
Rated: 3.84 by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

May 06, 2019
Photo of TheGent
Reviewed by TheGent from New Jersey

4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
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
Rated: 3.65 by buzzedup from Pennsylvania

Mar 31, 2019
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Reviewed by EMH73 from New York

4.32/5  rDev +0.7%
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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Reviewed by sweetbrew82 from California

4.04/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4
2016 Vintage

Uncorking let out the wimpiest of "pops" so I'm assuming its gonna be flat after 7 years in the bottle. Poured aggressively produces no head to speak of.

Nose is dark fruits blended into toffee pudding and smeared across a massive slice of caramel bread that's been soaked in Bourbon.

Taste follows suit. Starts rather sweet with fruity jam, English toffee, caramel, oak-y vanilla, bready malts with the Bourbon riding shotgun throughout. It doesn't overpower the other flavors but its always at the forefront. ABV is well hidden but it definitely has a nail polish kinda alcohol warmth on the finish.

Very complex and tasty for sure but I really wish it had some carbonation left as it would really help the mouthfeel blossom and support the weight of the flavors a bit more. 7 years is too much age for this
Feb 24, 2019
Rated: 3.75 by mmilyko from Nevada

Feb 13, 2019
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Rated by StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.68/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Dark, rich brandy, booze soaked raisins, chocolate, coffee, oak barrel, bourbon, vanilla, dark caramel, molasses, dark dried fruits
Feb 08, 2019
Rated: 4.5 by bigred89 from Maryland

Feb 03, 2019
Photo of EMV
Reviewed by EMV from Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
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
Rated: 4.29 by KMcGrath from Massachusetts

Dec 03, 2018
Rated: 4.7 by WheelOfTheLaw from Washington

Aug 15, 2018
Rated: 4.28 by Cpmitchno1 from Virginia

Aug 13, 2018
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Reviewed by WunderLlama from Massachusetts

4.36/5  rDev +1.6%
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
The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 1951 ratings