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

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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
Ratings:
1,886
Reviews:
699
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
11.08%
 
 
Wants:
605
Gots:
585
For Trade:
43
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,886 |  Reviews: 699
Photo of seaoflament
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I wanted to try out my new Lost Abbey stemware glass and the only proper way to break it in is with a top-notch Lost Abbey beer. I've had this beer back in March at the release but didn't take notes. This bottle is now about 5 months old.

Ok, with all the stories of over-carbonated Angel's Share (bourbon) bottles I can't say I wasn't scared of taking off the cork and popping this one. LOUD pop with foam slowly rising to the top of the bottle so I quickly tipped the bottle to my glass. Poured a dark caramel color with about two inches of mocha colored foam; there are some shades of red when held to the light. The foam was soft looking and soapy, leaving a coat of bubbles on the side of the glass as it settled. Impressive retention and lacing with a string of bubble racing upward from the side of the glass.

Boy, do I love Angel's Share. Sweet raisins, caramel, bourbon, and brown sugar hit the nose instantly. The second wave includes notes of nutty malts, chocolate, coffee, dates, vanilla and wood. The aroma is really soft but complex. Very little heat is detected, but mostly it's just wrapped around the aroma. After a while I can smell some grape and cherry notes. As the beer settles it opens up more roasted qualities and more chocolate to the front. The aroma tends to tone down but I'm still enjoying it. A little vinous aroma develops also.

The first sip is almost an intense sweetness. I taste some molasses, rich chocolate, brown sugar, bourbon, roasted malts, caramel, maple syrup and some alcohol heat in the finish. More dark fruits reveal themselves in the succeeding sips; there are some raisins, caramelized fruits, and a bit of dates in the finish. The sweetness seems to either tone down or the palate gets accustomed to it.

The beer has a somewhat thin mouth-feel near the end, it doesn't exactly coat the palate, and the carbonation just doesn't seem to work for me. This beer has the type of carbonation that feels forced and attacks the tongue a little bit instead of lifting the beer and gliding past the tongue. The alcohol is also a tad too present. After the beer warms up a bit there are more chocolate, coffee, and a bit of toffee flavors in the finish.

I remember the brandy version being a bit smoother and more easy to drink (so easy that the 12.5% sneaked up on me! And that one was 750ml too). This one is still pretty drinkable but it could be better.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black as night with a murky look to it. Tiny wisp of off white head is scarce. A little bit of Brussels lacing is present. All I get in the aroma is sweet bourbon and a bit of dark malt. The mouth is silky smooth and viscous. The flavor is initially dark malt and roasted barley and quickly turns very sweet with the bourbon,black licorice,fig and plum notes.

 359 characters

Photo of NWHopinator
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Damian
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank from a 12.7 ounce bottle
Served in a snifter
Acquired in a trade with mikesgroove

Review #450

The beer poured a dark brown color with a thin, bubbly, tan head that quickly faded to a thick, frothy, lasting ring. Definitely lighter in color and thinner in viscosity than I anticipated.

The aroma was outrageous. Holy bourbon. After cracking the cork, I could smell the beer from nearly two feet away. Super sweet and oaky with strong notes of vanilla. Pure Madagascar vanilla beans, to be precise. Dried fruits (figs and plums) came through as well. Almost candy-like.

The taste was very similar to the aroma. Super oaky and bourbony with a rich alcohol warming. Vanilla and brown sugar came through strong. Maple sugar notes appeared as well. Some dark fruits (prunes and raisin) were also detectable. The beer was a touch roasty and spicy on the back end with a dry, woody, tannic, alcohol-rich finish. As much as I enjoyed the bourbon element in this brew, the beer became rather hot by the drink's end.

The mouthfeel was light, frothy and a touch airy on the palate with a crisp, large bubbled carbonation. I cannot remember having a beer that was so high in alcohol yet so thin in body.

This beer is definitely a sipper. Because of the intense sweetness and the overwhelming alcohol presence, it is best enjoyed in small quantities.

The Angel's Share was definitely one of the most bourbon-rich brews I have ever tried. While I loved the flavor and aroma, I found the intensity of the alcohol to be distracting. A bit more time in the cellar perhaps might help it mellow out.

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Photo of number1bum
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was part of a NEPA BC split back in November. Had the infamous Brandy Angel's Share a little over a year ago and thought it was very tasty, although certainly hurt by lack of carbonation.

So when popping the cork on this one, I was certainly surprised to hear very little in the way of a pop, and just as surprised (or maybe I shouldn't be) to see no head whatsoever generated on the pour. Just a flat murky dark brown. So far so good LA.

The smell, despite the complete lack of head, is quite nice. It's rich and alcoholic, but in a good, sweet, bourbony way. Rich dark malts are quite robust, consisting of brown sugar, dark caramel and even some dark chocolate. The bourbon is sweet with notes of vanilla and oak.

The nose was nice, but the taste is better. It's rich and very smooth, not hot at all. Dark caramel, molasses, brown sugar and some chocolate comprise the bulk of the malty flavors, while the bourbon aging really complements the flavors nicely. Like the nose it is sweet with layers of vanilla and oak, and a slightly nutty quality to it as well. It's very smooth and well put together. Lack of carbonation does not hurt the taste in the least.

Mouthfeel is medium-full and quite smooth, and drinks a lot like an apertif given the lack of carbonation. Frankly I don't think it hurts the beer much at all, although a little tickle in the finish would be nice. It's not heavy, though, and despite being close to full bodied it feels a bit softer than that and is pretty clean in the finish.

This is another very nice, although flawed beer from Lost Abbey. These guys clearly know how to brew, they just don't know how to finish their product to best present it to their consumers. Carbonating a beer should not be this hard. Still, I can't and won't take away much on that basis because it's a very tasty beer. I enjoyed it, and would like to try it on tap when the carbonation can be forced into it, despite LA's best efforts to keep it out.

 1,968 characters

Photo of anteater
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JakerLou
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of GTJayG
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of alcstradamus
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Flat 2009 release

Pours a lifeless black with some air bubbles but no head to speak of. Smell is an absolutely beautiful but holy-cow-powerful dose of bourbon and oak. Toffee, chocolate, vanilla, alcohol burn, dark fruits, just blistering my the senses. This one might end up being a bit too hot.

Surprisingly, the taste is not really hot at all (relatively speaking). In fact, the aggressive nature of the nose is tamed quite a bit once it hits the tongue, which saves this beer from being a hot mess which it very well could have been without the carbonation. A nice, flavorful mix of boubon, oak, and toffee. Still as flat as a pancake, but unlike the '08 Brandy version this one works a little bit better in its current state. Still needs some damn bubbles, but I won't complain too much in this case.

I could have given the mouthfeel a 1 or 2 if I was truly keeping it as a separate category, but because the flatness doesn't detract to the point that it hurts the taste I will be merciful.

This is actually quite drinkable as well for a beer of it's magnitude. I probably won't buy another flat bottle, but I did happen to enjoy it quite a bit. I just want to wait until this beer is in it's true form before I give it another shot.

 1,242 characters

Photo of Dave_Treat
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage. An exceptional beer. Poured from bottle into a snifter. Dark almost black ale, with a burgundy undertone. Small head with decent lacing. Smells of caramel and fruits. Taste is extended with the vanilla of the barrels. Smooth. Little alcohol heat.

 267 characters

Photo of Viggo
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml corked and caged bottle, traded by my boy oakbluff!

Pours a cloudy mahogany, nice dark red highlights around the edges, thick tan head rises, tight bubbles, settles to a thin layer and medium ring around the glass, looks top notch. Smell is crazy, tons of caramel and wood, bourbon, very bready, yeast, bit of chocolate, more caramel, more oak, dark fruits, brown sugar and dates. Taste is rich buttery toffee, vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, tons of wood, bready, yeast, alcohol comes through a bit, nice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation, alcohol is well hidden, but the carbonation is way too high. I prefer the Brandy barrel version, but this is still some good stuff. Thanks Scott!

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Photo of OlieIPA
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Listed as a 08' edition.

A: The initial un-corking of this cherished beer produced a very violent burst of excited onto the scene. Along with the flying projectile, the cork if you are wondering, a very heady substance started to overflow out from the orifice of the bottle. Quickly my friend was able to get some of this liquid goodness into my glass. What appeared next was a pleasant looking light-tan head accompanied by a very dark brown liquid underneath.

S: Very earthy quality, which is very similar to Stone's Arrogant Bastard, along with a subtle amount of bourbon and oak aroma.

T: A very apparent alcohol burning sensation in the beginning and tail-end of initial sip. Some of the flavors I pick up include dark figs and perhaps a molasses/brown sugar. This could have the vanilla that was described on the label of the bottle, but it didn't seem to express itself that way in the taste.

M: Medium-body with a gentle carbonation.

D: Definitely a sipper! The bourbon quality was very subtle in the aroma, but came out strong with every gulp I had. Very tasty, but too much to enjoy a whole bottle to yourself.

Overall: A very, very, very good beer....but I'm not sure if it is a "holy grail" type of beer. Complex flavors and smell, accompanied by a nice amount of bourbon aging that wasn't too overwhelming. A try it beer for sure. Cheers!

 1,362 characters

Photo of Goliath
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown and opaque with a thin light tan head.

The smell? Bourbon, bourbon, bourbon. Of course oak and vanilla as well as a bit of smoke, sweet grain and raisins.

Wow, what a flavor burst on first sip. I wish I had a shot at this in my tasting prime, I almost feel ill equipped. Anyway, bourbon remnants are dominant with huge notes of vanilla, smoke, raisins, and booze. It's quite delicious and a bit of a monster.

Mouthfeel is great. Full bodied, thick, chewy. It comes complete with ample fine bubbled carbonation.

Overall, I'm a bit floored over the whole experience. A few years ago this was a bucket list beer for me and I'm thrilled to have stumbled on it. The downside for me is I feel like I've had this beer before. I'm just getting tired of Bourbon Barrel Beers, they are all starting to run together and it's not special anymore. Great beer, but I would have appreciated it more 3 years ago.

 917 characters

Photo of richalexander78
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark with a strong black Cherry aroma. I had this at Brouwers in Seattle during a lost abbey and port tasting. The initial drink is great, heavy strong licurice and sweetness. The finish was a little funky. This was my first lost abbey and a great way to start off.

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Photo of thetomG
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft @ local option...

Aroma is pure bourbon. Flavor is even more bourbon but with some nice malt sweetness balancing things out. Not overly thick or oily and well carbonated which makes it surprisingly easy to drink especially when you factor in the strong bourbon elements, and the overall high ABV.

I'm not huge fan of bourbon barrel aged beers, but I would drink this again anytime. Very tasty!

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Trade from jrgratz. Thanks!!! 2011 dated bottle, enjoyed April 24, 2012. Pours dark brown with ruby edges and no head whatsoever. Smell is strong vanilla, oak, molasses, and lots of bourbon. Thick and viscous mouthfeel with essentially no carbonation. Flavor is big vanilla notes with sweet molasses and brown sugar, finishing with big whiskey notes. Some mellow burnt charcoal taste too that is new to me and relaxing like sittin’ by the fire. Lots of alcohol warmth. Some real astringent alcohol. A sipper for sure, but an awesome sipper.

 542 characters

Photo of siege06nd
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ketan for picking this up for me on his trip to San Diego.

A. Pours a very dark, tobacco brown. Half finger of tight, cream colored head. Very uniform and good looking head. Lacing is excellent.

S. Wow, excellent. Dark, ripe stone fruit, raisin, vanilla, toffee, roasted cashew, and a healthy dose of bourbon. Pleasant roasted nuttiness.

T. Toffee, caramel, vanilla, and dark fruit. Big kiss of booze and some burn on the end. Little bit of earthy darkness from the barrel.

M. Full bodied, cloying, and marshmallow like.

O. A very nice brew, definitely holds up against some of the better. barrel aged strong ales and barleywines out there. Very glad to have enjoyed this one.

 696 characters

Photo of mattreitz49
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of rlee1390
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Brown in the glass, one finger head, not much carbonation, clear amber/ruby when pouring.

S-Good deal of bourbon, vanilla, oak and caramel.

T-Starts with strong bourbon notes, balanced with vanilla and oak. Lots of toffee/caramel. Apples and chocolate as it warms.

M-Lighter, not much carbonation, tad watery.

O-Yay for not getting an infected bottle! A yummy beer but the risk of infection is there.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well you can have very different reviews of this depending on whether you have it on tap (excellent) or whether you play Russian Roulette with the bottles and their potential for being flat and having their customer service department tell you to go pound sand.

Even on tap, its a style of beer that should be designed to have lower than average carbonation. But at least some carbonation. The smallest wisp of tan head on the top is nice, lots of bourbon, raisin, chocolate malt, vanilla and oak aromas come out of it.

The taste is a delight, well balanced, not overly hot, the same feels in the nose are on the palate. Throw in some earthy tobacco, light char and smoke, molasses, this does a good job at being both complex and good.

With that said, I don't recommend purchasing any bottles of this. Its expensive to start with, and if they're flat (a good chance) its so disappointing.

 895 characters

Photo of brayton
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of sposter4
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of juneauscott
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Domvan
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of axeman9182
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a snifter at the Cloverleaf Tavern.

Bourbon Barrel Angel's Share pours a very deep mahogany, with a faint bit of caramel foam crowning the beer. The nose is absolutely heavenly. There's tons of caramelized brown sugar to form the base, and it's augmented by vanilla and oak. Bourbon is a subtle addition to the picture. The flavor profile is a little bit more rough. There's still some lightly burnt sugar, vanilla, and wood, but the bourbon presence is more brassy and harsh. Here it's the center of attention, with everything else playing more of a supporting role. The body is full and rich, but the carbonation is barely there. I like a more restrained carbonation for a malt forward beer, but this is a bit low even for me, and leaves the beer feeling flat. Bourbon Barrel Angel's Share is a decent to good beer right now, but I think it could use a little bit of time to really hit its stride.

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The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,886 ratings.
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