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

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
692 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-AgedThe Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States
lostabbey.com

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by scottoale on 08-23-2006

BEER STATS
Reviews:
692
Ratings:
1,862
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
11.08%
 
 
Wants:
605
Gots:
585
For Trade:
46
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 692 | Ratings: 1,862
Photo of FosterJM
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1732nd Review on BA
Bottle to Lost Abbey Teku
375ml c/c

Purchased at Party House Liquors, Chino Hills, CA

App- out of the gate I am surprised to see as much carbonation as I do see. This coloring is more of a soda brown with some darker browns in the center and some reds on the outsides. A nice 1/2" head was there and then gone. Didnt leave any lace or cling.

Smell- I get the culmination of the parts of this beer but don't really get them all by themselves. It's a good base old ale, strong malts and a touch of dark fruits. Secondly you get a bit of the bourbon with some oak and vanilla. Pretty smooth on the nose for 12.5%

Taste- I enjoyed this much more than the brandy barrel aged version. This has a very good base beer and then with the addition of the bourbon creates a nice flavor and layers. At 1st you get really only the malts as it settles, I get more dark fruits and a little chocolate covered cherries. Finally the bourbon and the booze comes in with some vanilla as well.

Mouth- This is a thick medium body that just got to that level. A bit thin at parts but the carbonation was a solid medium with a nice and puffy bubbles that allows the flavors to linger.

Drink- I was skeptical to grab a bottle but tickers gotta tick lists. This was better than I thought actually. Carbonated. Layered and very flavorful. I had the brandy on tap, but would like both on tap to do a side by side.

 1,410 characters

Photo of SykDoc
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip. It pours a brown that essentially turns black when held to the light. A 1/8 inch light tan head forms and reduces to no lacing.

The aroma is quite good with a blend of bourbon, vanilla, oak, and chocolate/fruity malt sweetness. Definite alcohol.

The taste is that healthy dose of dark fruit and chocolate mixed with a punch of bourbon/vanilla/oak goodness. Again, alcohol is present but balanced with other flavors.

The mouth feel is medium-full bodied with a lacking of carbonation. It is smooth and leaves a nice dryness. Uniquely, coffee bitterness and a good amount of alcohol burn.

Overall, this beer has some significant merits. I am fortunate that it was carbonated. Booziness and lack of solid carbonation hindered its drinkability but the flavor and nose make up for that.

 821 characters

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage

A- Body is a translucent, nearly opaque dark brown body. A rather aggressive pour still leaves this beer flat-with absolutely no head. Flat abbey strikes again (actually I've had probably 20 or so brews from them and this is only the second or third flat one).

S- Nose is potent and pretty much as the bottle describes-A ton of caramel malt and bourbon characteristics, as well as a good amount of alcohol astringency. A mild to moderate amount of wet oak looms in the background as well as the slightest touch of toffee and chocolate.

T-Overall impression of the taste is slightly sweet, slightly boozy. Its got a good bit of caramel and molasses to it and the heat comes in up front. Letting the sip linger on the palate really brings out a lot of complexity with chocolate, oak, and toffee- the finish has a touch of what seems to be an impression of candi sugar before the heat returns-and lingers on and on.

M- Mild carbonation and a thick, viscous body that would be ultra velvety smooth if it wasnt for the alcohol consistency/astringency with a moderate presence. The feel isn't nearly as flat as the appearance.

D- This is an interesting beer overall. Kind of comes off as a BA scotch ale-which is a very cool concept-and I havent tried many. The bourbon is a little hot and heavy and I probably could have been a bit more patient with this one.

 1,372 characters

Photo of tonistruth
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- deep burgundy color with mahogany hues, tall tan fluffy head with good retention, head settles a thin crown of foam that remains throughout drinking

S- alcohol, woody, spicy hop, vanilla, and dried fruit

T-dried fruit flavors with a ton of woody flavors and some alcohol in the background are most dominant flavors. nutty, vanilla, oak, toffee, and toasted caramel also come to mind. pine and citrus from hops

M- creamy body that has some heat at finish

D- amazingly complex but alcohol is too harsh for my liking. Thus i wont go out of my way to search for it but a do recommend trying it, again, the complexity is great

 628 characters

Photo of NickMunford
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a soupy dark brown with no head. Smells of obvious bourbon, in a good way, with some malty undertones. The barrel aging really comes through. Aside from the bourbon, I'm picking up a hint of molasses and light bitterness. It doesn't have that hot alcohol feeling like I would expect from a barrel aged beer of this sort, but still gives of those bourbony vapors in the mouth, which is a pleasant surprise. Extremely light on the carbonation. It's drinkable in that it's very flavorful and enjoyable, but I wouldn't want more than one.

 540 characters

Photo of seeswo
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 mL, Pretty sure this is an 09. Pours black with a small amount of tan head that fades quick. Smell is vanilla, coconut, dark fruit, booze and a hint of maybe chocolate. Nice on the nose. Its got that boozy bourbon flavor that carries through the middle of the beer. Otherwise, the base beer itself isn't boozy and it is accompanied by dark fruit and a balanced, small amount of sweetness. Some sips it really comes together and some sips it comes off with too much bourbon. Even when it comes together, it is nothing stellar. Relatively thin (for what it is) in the body with low, but present carbonation. Overall, I like it but don't love it. Really don't understand the A grade above across this many reviews, even adjusting for the average review of an A- for a lot of reviewers. Ah well...

 797 characters

Photo of vfgccp
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottle, opened in June 2011.

A – Cola black with trace brown highlights. Not head at all.

S – Vanilla and molten brown sugar, oak, and soft booze. Faint lace of merlot and toasted nuts. Overall soft and balanced towards sweet.

T – Bone dry. Plum, oak, blackberries, leather and vanilla. Warm backend with bitter dark chocolate. Soft and well integrated flavor profile.

M – Low carbonation. Full body. Dry, oaky finish with a light chocolate note.

O – Interesting chocolate wine quality to the profile.

***

2009 bottle, opened in September 2012.

Similar appearance and aroma. Thicker flavor profile with more caramel and molasses sweetness, which has the side effect of elevating the chocolate in the profile. I'd bump the taste and mouthfeel up half a point each on this vintage.

 802 characters

Photo of woosterbill
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On-tap at Sunset Grill + Tap into a 5oz tasting flute.

A: The body is jet black with just the faintest hints of dark copper highlights, and (thankfully) sports a thin but distinct head of ultra-fine tan bubbles. A ring sticks around for the duration, and leaves some light lacing. Nice.

S: Strong bourbon, oak, vanilla, maple, caramelized fruit, and some booze. Intense, yet surprisingly balanced.

T: Starts out with straight whiskey, then soon becomes redolent of deep, rich, sweet malts. The interplay of oaky vanilla and fruity, caramel malt is intoxicating (both literally and figuratively). The downside is a hugely boozy finish, but it's hard to complain too much when the beer's 12%. Quite tasty.

M: Sticky and medium bodied with moderate, fine carbonation. Fine.

D: Five ounces is plenty (especially in a flight with other big beers).

Notes: I had this as part of a flight that included Double Crooked Tree, Allagash BA Black, and Péché Mortel. All were delicious, but this one stood out for being (surprisingly) the most balanced. It wasn't quite the blast of crazy huge syrupy flavor that I remember the Brandy version being, but it's a massive and delicious beer in its own right. I'd love to try the Grand Cru.

Cheers!

 1,239 characters

Photo of Telix
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Taken from OLD notes, so I apologize:

A: A deep chocolate with fainter brown on the edges. Shows very minimal carbonation. It actually looks kind of thin...

S: Intense. Sweet, raisiny, some bitterness. Hoppiness is evident. Some cocoa.

T: Quite sweet, quite intense, with a porty, raisiny character. There is a bitter bite that shows a high level of hopping. There is a big, zesty character on the entire palate, which makes it feel effervescent on the tongue. There is some chocolate, and the finish is big, zesty, and bitter. It's an interesting brew. Big, boozy, sweet, with a huge tongue-zipping bitterness. Maybe some blueberry? Other fruits?

M: Pretty solid. Zippy on the tongue. Not too thick. The lack of carbonation lends to a bit of syrupyness.

D: Hrm. Sooo sweet, sticky, flat, pruney, porty... I could have had half the amount and been OK with it. Does that say something about it?

 898 characters

Photo of Philousa
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Imbibed on tap at Harry's Hofbrau on 7/1/2012. This is a 2012 batch.

The beer sits a dark violet, brownish, like a drip brewed coffee, no cream. Poured with a slight ring of head around the glass. I can't even cover the top with a good swirl. Aroma starts with wood/oak with mild bourbon. Dark fruits - plums, dates - lies behind the stronger aromas. Black licorice, dark chocolate, vanilla bean, and wood dominate the palate on the first sip. The vanilla and wood stick around the whole time as it warms. There is a firm alcohol bite and fumey aftertaste. This beer ain't kidding! Teasing out the malt: lots of caramel sweetness to counter the alcohol bitterness. I'd attribute this sweetness to bourbon's natural sweetness, but I'm no hard alcohol expert. Makes me wonder what the brandy barrel aged version tastes like. Also, some raisin comes as it warms. Middling mouthfeel with a very dry aftertaste.

This comes across as an old ale to my untrained palate. The strong alcohol flavor is biting and abrasive, but in a beery way. It's just a notch below distilled, and there is complexity there. This is the best beer of that style I've had thus far. This is a treat. I'd only want this a couple times a year, if that.

 1,223 characters

Photo of Jonatbr
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Very smooth malt flavor. I'm just not a fan of malty beers so I'm only giving it a 3.5 in taste as a reminder for myself should I forget I tried it. If you like pronounced malts, this is an excellent beer.

 207 characters

Photo of callmescraps
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2010 on-tap at the Goat.

Appearance- Black? Deep reddish/brown. A nice inch of thick head, caps nicely on tap. Not much lacing.

Smell- Bourbon. Vanilla, cherry and raisins. A little booze. Nice.

Taste- Raisin for sure. Too much of it in fact. Bourbon is a little too mellow for me. Some coffee-ish roast. Dry. Seems to lack a little depth. I want there to be a flavor behind the flavor.

Mouth- Thin? How? It looked so nice. But it wasn't.

Drink- Easy as it goes.

I feel like other beers have passed this one by. It's a little thin, it lacks depth, and too much raisin for my taste. It's a good beer, but it could have been a great beer.

 647 characters

Photo of mmercede
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on Cask at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne, PA

A: Jet black with amber hues in the light

S: Oak, whiskey, sweet complex malt, dark fruits

T: A very nice strong bourbon flavor. Almost comparable to a Manhattan. similar to the smell with all sorts of complex malty flavors. The wood is especially evident toward the end.

M: Thick and Oily, but nice. Definitely a sipper.

D: I liked this one slightly more than the brady version. However, I'm not actively seeking it soon. I think it could age very well though.

 518 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.89/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown color. Light shines through only on the edges. Beige head. Great right lace after each sip.

Strong sweet molasses to the nose. Lots of raisin.

Overwhelmingly warming from the alcohol. Save this as a dessert. Think dark treacle on the tongue. Very thick body with a low level of carbonation.

 305 characters

Photo of MrDanno96
3.89/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2008 Vintage

A: Looks like one of the uncarbonated bottles... Cork came out with barely any sound. Pours a dark brown/mahogany with virtually no head. No lacing to speak of, but there are some legs sliding down the sides of the glass.

S: Figs, chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, and a mix of nondescript booze and warming bourbon. Sweet and complex.

T: Lots of dark fruit sweetness, some dark chocolate, vanilla, and a little bourbon flavor too. Just a touch of bitterness hits the palate in the finish. Pretty nice balance overall, but it became just a touch cloying towards the end of the glass.

M: Thick and full bodied and pretty harsh from alcohol. The alcohol bite was a little surprising considering this bottle had 2 years on it. There was absolutely no carbonation in this either. Due to the nature of this brew, I don't think the lack of carbonation took TOO much away from the experience. However, I do think it would have been better with the appropriate amount of subtle carbonation.

D: An interesting sipper that I enjoyed trying. However, it's definitely not worth the $31.50 I paid for this 750 ml bottle. Now that it comes in smaller bottles I'd probably give a newer vintage another go.

 1,208 characters

Photo of aaronplayford
3.89/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured a deep brown with no appearant carbonation. Smells bourbon, Carmel, raisin, and boozy. Love it.
Tastes boozy up front with vanilla but mid way through I get sharp tannin flavor that kills the bourbon experience; tannins take over the rest of the swallow.
Feels thick but not too thick.
This would have been a 4.5-5 but the tannins really kill it for me. It shocks the whole tongue.
I bought it in Fort Collins. The bottle is stamped 2012.

 447 characters

Photo of 51mmz0rz
3.89/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12.7oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: No head to speak of, body is a very dark brown.

S: Deep aged stout aromas, this is how some 4-5 year old stouts I've had smelled. Add extra some boozyness though.

T: Nice dark malt flavors, heavy bourbon flavors as well.

M: Pretty flat, nothing to lift the thickness of the beer.

D: Overall I'm not sure about this one. It's very good, tastes like someone added a shot of bourbon to an old RIS. It's so different however that I find it hard to determine if I'd buy it again.

 531 characters

Photo of popery
3.89/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From notes, 9/5/10. An interesting and complex beer but it doesn’t quite work for me. The base beer seems quite enjoyable. It’s like a big barleywine with some deeper roast and dark fruit notes. There’s more going on in there than I can quite describe, but the bourbon flavor seemed to overpower some of this complexity. It has raisins, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, bourbon, oak and even mild coffee and chocolate. This version just didn’t come together for me as much as the Grand Cru. It’s not quite a mess, but the alcohol heat was a bit much and the bourbon flavor sort of threw things out of whack more than it blended the flavors into a harmony. For bourbon barrel barleywines, I’ll take FW Parabola, AS Grand Cru and even Marin’s -bal Old Dipsea. I would have preferred this beer aged in a neutral oak barrel or perhaps just less time in the bourbon. It’s still rather good - hard to dislike a beer with so many interesting layers to it. Mouthfeel is a bit sticky (and some bottles probably aren’t carbonated properly but my notes are from the keg version). Interesting beer and I may revisit this rating once I try a future version.

 1,161 characters

Photo of Auracom
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. cork&cage bottle share on Halloween 2011. 6-7 oz. poured into my snifter

A - Yup, flat. Deep brown coloring. No head or lacing. Retention amounts to a few light brown bubbles clinging on the sides of my glass.

S - Umm... bourbon. And a hell of a lot of it. Alcohol, oak, caramal, toffee, brown sugar, and syrup sum up the secondary aromas.

T - Not nearly as hot as I was expecting. Initial flavor is brown sugar and syrup followed by bourbon-whiskey barrel. Middle of the tongue highlights a bit of vanilla and oak. Backend shifts to dark fruits and caramel/toffee sweetness. Finish is mouthwatering and alcohol linger in the aftertaste and heats my throat for minutes afterward.

M - Medium body. Obviously low carbonation but I don't believe it ruins this drink. A bit smooth.

D - Judging from the aroma alone, I'd have said this tanks in drinkability. The taste really makes up for the nose in complexity, character, and balance. Still, it's as much a sipper as there's ever been and my friend ended up finish my final 2-3 ounces for me.

 1,055 characters

Photo of jwinship83
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle. 2010 bourbon barrel edition. drank from my new belgium globe glass.

A- the cork comes out of the bottle with a very faint hiss. i was told that this one would have carbonation, but it appears that i was lied to. the pour itself is a very murky dark brown colored body with no more than a crown of khaki colored head. no lacing sticks to the sides of my glass.

S- what this beer lacked in appearance, it made up for in the nose. it starts out with sweet caramel malts. theres also some brown sugar in here. very sweet smelling. somewhat fruity as well. mostly cherries and dates, but a little plum also. the bourbon character is quite strong. so is the oak. there is also a fairly strong odor of alcohol in this one.

T- the taste starts out with a kick of bourbon. after that come the sweet malts i could smell. lots of caramel and fruits. cherries, plums, and raisins. the barrel aging makes itself known with plenty of vanilla. theres a little bit of alcohol burn also, but its very forgivable considering that this is a barrel aged barleywine.

M- the mouthfeel is this and syrupy. palate coating. there is a decently strong warming from the alcohol, but its expected. the carbonation is low, even for the english barleywine style which is supposed to have a low level of carbonation. not quite flat, but not what it should be either.

D- this is a slow sipper for sure. ideal for colder weather but i can see this being enjoyable anytime. more than one isnt an option because its too strong, and too expensive at $17 per bottle. ill pick up another one next year.

 1,588 characters

Photo of GuyFawkes
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

2015 vintage; drank 11/11/15 @ the Yarchives.

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

Opaque brown/purple/black appearance.

A rough pour yielded a minimal khaki head; minimal lace.

Bourbon heat, oak & faint cream notes in the nose.

Thick, creamy mouthfeel.

Cream & milk chocolate flavors up front; bourbon heat oak notes on the finish. As this warmed it got even boozier. Too hot to truly enjoy fresh; wish I had one to lay down...

 439 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
3.87/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black with almost no head.

S: Pretty amazing smells out of this one. Lots of bourbon sweetness, caramel, oak, coconut and chocolate. Smells fantastic.

T: Lots of dark and booze soaked fruit flavors. A good bit of sweetness from the bourbon and some notes of wood. A bit boozy on the finish, but pretty tasty stuff.

 321 characters

Photo of homebrew311
3.87/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on draft @ Durty Nellies. Not a bad deal @ 7.50 per 10 oz considering an 375 ml bottle costs 15.99 at the store.

A; pours a murky dark brown, opaque, no head... doesn't look pretty but at 12.5% and a barleywine, I wouldn't expect much more

S: wow--- bourbon all over!! it is super strong. lots of vanilla and boozey notes, not picking up much in the way of beer notes, maybe some sweet malts...

T: just like the nose, this one is stiff when it comes to the bourbon. Tons of vanilla along with some sweet malts, somewhat spicey and boozey on the finish

MF: medium body- not thick and syrupy like I'd expect for a barleywine (this is a +)

D: well drinkability is a an interesting term when it comes to a bourbon barrel aged barley wine that hits 12.5 in the ABV dept. But I must say, this is balanced nicely as it isn't overly hot and there are a lot of delicate bourbon features present. My only complaint is that the bourbon hides the base beer too much.

 966 characters

Photo of DaveAnderson
3.87/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2009 bottle, poured into a Darkness tulip.

A: Looks like cowboy coffee, only less carbonated. You would need to add CO2 to reach "flat". It's muddy and murky, which would be promising, if only it weren't flatter than the Texas Panhandle.

S: A lot of Bourbon-barrel beers smell great. This is no exception. It has the usual notes -- toffee, caramel, oak -- but I can't help thinking it would reveal more of itself if it had some bubbles popping. A little time and temperature change does not seem to coax more depth from this beer. Pity.

T: There's a sourness that wasn't hinted on the nose. It is otherwise very consistent with the smell. The label says 11.5% (I presume later years are the listed 12.5%), but it's well-masked.

M: Lack of carbonation really hurts this beer. It just seems thin.

O: I presume I would have given this beer at least 1/2 points higher on every metric, if it had even modest carbonation. As is was, I was really disappointed.

 958 characters

Photo of OGShotzy
3.86/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle was under filled. Beer never made it to the neck. I didn't realize until I left the store. Poured flat with no carbonation and certainly no lacing that others have written about. Smelled pretty good like vanilla and tobacco. However, the mouthfeel was much too flat to impress on taste or otherwise. Hopefully this was just a bad bottle (which certainly happens with barrel aged beers).

 399 characters

The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,862 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.

    Subscribe