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 | website

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:
681
Ratings:
1,813
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
11.32%
 
 
Wants:
602
Gots:
570
For Trade:
48
User Reviews
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Reviews: 681 | Ratings: 1,813
Photo of Catracho5
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle poured into a Lost Abbey Teku glass

A: Nice mahogany color, off white vanilla colored head that quickly vanished, not much, if any, carbonation, some minor lacing, cloudy.

A: Bourbon, toffee, vanilla, oak, raisins, very complex aroma, smells really good.

T: Bourbon, dark fruits, raisins, figs, vanilla, nice dry finish, some alcohol on the backend, but very drinkable.

M: Medium mouthfeel, finishes dry.

O: Very impressed, complex, balanced beer, lots of aroma and flavor, nice medium mouthfeel, my only complaint is that it seems light on carbonation, semi-flat, but once again, Lost Abbey impresses me. Definitely worth a try and while I don't think this is Lost Abbey's best beer, I would not pass it up.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Spokeasy Public House

A: Pours murky deep brown with a creamy khaki head that settles and laces lightly.

S: Molasses, brown sugar, a little maple, smooth bourbon, maybe a bit of dark chocolate.

T: Rich dark sugar, toffee, molasses, brown sugar, smooth bourbon, hint of vanilla, fig, raisin, and maybe a touch of chocolate.

M: Medium to heavy body, moderate carbonation that keeps it from getting syrupy, quite smooth, a little warmth as it goes down.

O: Rich, smooth, and indulgent, bordering on being too sweet, but still a hell of a beer.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

375ml cork top bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a deep murky brown color with a small fizzy tan colored head that reduces completely, leaving nothing behind

S- big sweet malt aroma that is reminiscent of an English barleywine; notes of caramel/butterscotch, plums, fig, currant, dark grape, molasses, oaky vanilla, whisky alcohol, toasted coconut and black cherry

T- strong flavors of caramel malt and butterscotch up front , dark fruit flavors of black cherry, raisin & fig kick in, followed by nutty flavors, along with barrel juice, vanilla, toasted oak and toasted coconut. Whisky alcohol ad more dark fruits on the linger

M- medium viscous body with low carbonation leads to a slick mouthfeel and a warming finish

O- big and malty with plenty of bourbon flavor and aroma, it is drinking a hit hot at this point

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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.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Row 34 in Boston, MA.

This one pours a dark, opaque brown, with not a whole lot of head formation, or lacing.

Smells like caramel, chocolate, bourbon, toffee, and a slight hint of booze.

This one tastes amazing, such a nice interplay between the caramel and chocolate flavors. Sweet and decadent, but not too sweet, with some nice spicy bourbon, and a bit of warming alcohol. The alcohol is present, but it doesn't feel as strong as the 12.5% would suggest it be.

This is medium bodied, I wish it was a tiny bit thicker, but at least it's not syrupy. This has a lower level of carbonation.

A really well done BA strong ale/barleywine, whatever. It jus tastes excellent, has a nice complexity, and is not too boozy. Dangerously drinkable for the ABV.

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Photo of parris
2.98/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.25

Opened a properly aged 2008 bottle - so not a fresh bottle and probably not a great representation of the beer. I wish there was some sort of "vintage" option for BA ratings.

Completely flat pour
Nose is molasses, musty, Brett
Taste is similar to nose but super muted and a tad oaky
Super thin mouthfeel, body has completely disappeared over the past 6 years.
Aged beers can be a bit of a gamble, I totally lost on this one.

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Photo of PeterParker
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very expensive but I'm super excited to try this.

Pours an opaque brown-black with a slight ring of bubbles and zero lacing.

On the nose, booze is pretty strong, raisins, caramel, vanilla, bourbon. Really nice and formidable aroma.

Intense! This would be perfect with some cellaring. Powerful bourbon, booze, vanilla from the barrel, cloves, raisins, some residual sweetness. Nice.

Definitely a sipper. Strong alcohol taste and some burn. Thin and slick with very low carbonation as expected.

Overall, this is a nice offering. I don't think it quite lives up to the hype, especially for the price tag, but this is definitely worth a try for barrel aged beer lovers.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer was a brownish black with little head.

Smell - The bourbon really comes through the aroma.

Taste - My initial impression is the sweetness. Other impressions include a slight nuttiness and sticky fruits. The aftertaste is warm and slightly medicinal.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation is low, as expected because of the aging.

Overall - I am not certain is I aged this one too long, but it is not as flavorful as I would hope. Still, it is very nice.

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Photo of kdahnke123
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter at room temperature.
A - Poured a medium brown color with minimal head which quickly disappeared leaving minimal lacing.
S - Has a very pleasant smell. Bourbon, alcohol, dark fruit and plenty of medium roast malt.
T - Carmel, dark fruit and bourbon and a long lasting alcohol finish.
M - A little on the light side for mouthfeel. Low on carbonation.
O - I have wanted to try this for a while. It has a very nice smell and flavor. It is a little pricey given all the other high end BA ales out there. It's worth trying once but I would stock up on Fremont or Firestone Walker for cellaring.

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Photo of KATCanada
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice brown color with attractive beige foam. Nice lacing.
I get a very strong bourbon nose with lots of caramel. Very nice.
Taste...lot's of licorice dark chocolate. Fizzy coke like mouth feel with a nice sweet"ish" finish. Some heat for sure but not too boozy. Very, very nice ba. Still like Wulver better but could drink this any time.

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Photo of BrainGrenades
5/5  rDev +17.9%

For a balanced barrel-aged sipping beer it seriously doesn't get better than this. The perfect beer for cold winter nights. One of my favs from Lost Abbey.

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Photo of spacecake9
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

A - Pours a dark reddish-brown with a small creamy tan head.
S - Smells like dark fruit, like dried raisins and cherries.
T - Definitely boozy but not overwhelming. The alcohol seems to ride on top of the raisin flavor.
M - Medium-thick mouth feel, the flavor hung around until my next sip. No carbonation.
O - Definitely a sipping beer. Wish I had a roaring fire going in the fire place and a good book in hand. I really enjoyed this beer and will buy it again next time I see it. Another excellent beer from Lost Abbey.

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Photo of VashonGuy
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

2014 version on tap at Monk's Kettle, SF. Note that the 2014 version is now up to 14.8% ABV!!

I first had Angel's Share (Bourbon version) a few years ago. It was the first bourbon barrel ale I had, and it knocked my socks off. I thought of it as a peak experience.

Since then, I've had a lot of big beers, and a lot of barrel aged beers. So revisiting Angel's Share this year, I had more context for judging it. And it no longer knocks my socks off. It's a very lovely beer, no mistake about it, and I'd happily be grateful to anyone who gave me a bottle. But I've had better ones, where the underlying beer is more complex and more interesting, and not just a vehicle for the bourbon.

Angels Share is a very sweet beer, with lots of bourbon aroma and flavor. Very smooth. Yes, you do notice the ABV. Fine beer.

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Photo of Azeotrope
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

So well balanced. So tasty. I had to double check the style after drinking it because it just was not what I expected and it surprised me with it's flavor. Not too much of anything, just smooth and tasty and strong.

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Photo of SensorySupernova
4.74/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Black with a wispy brown head and plenty of lacing on the way down.

Smell: Coconut, caramel, figs.

Taste: Up front it’s big time caramel malt with vanilla. Bitterness peeks in a bit. Fades into a woody sweet ethanol taste. Leaves a bourbon aftertaste on the breath.

Mouthfeel: Very thick with fine carbonation.

Overall: Great sipping beer. Strong, boozy, and delicious.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.51/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into snifter

A: dark murky brown not much head at all I thought it was flat

S: lots of bourbon, vanilla, toffee, candied fruit

T: soft vanilla, toffee, a little bit of that hot bourbon taste

m: a little thin for this huge of bourbon taste

O: this is a great tasting beer, but I want to pause here and wonder this beer I can taste no base beer. I love the bourbon but what is the point except to round out the rough edges of bourbon with a sweeter taste. Anyway let me think on this I mag edit this.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Pours dense deep brown, not much head, lacy with some legs. The nose is sherry, leather, prune, tobacco, vanilla, hint of bourbon. Big bold palate with dark dried fruit, figs, prunes, sherry, vanilla, bourbon, oak, chocolate and some malt. Very rich and bourbon.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours a dark, ruddy brown color with a head that dissipates nearly as fast as it's being poured, leaving a flat, barren surface with only the thinnest of rings around the edge of the glass. Lacing is spotty and near pin-head in size with virtually no stick.

Smell - Strong, sweet and boozy bourbon notes that hit on caramel and vanilla with hints of oak. Astringency is also quite apparent.

Taste - Less aggressive on the tongue than with the aroma. Deep caramel backbone with flavorful notes of oak and vanilla. Bourbon sweetness without much of the bite. Hints of raisin and faint traces of chocolate. Smooth, sweet finish.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied, near syrupy, with low, lightly tingly carbonation. Smooth. Dry, warming finish.

Overall - Simply fantastic. The aroma had me concerned that it was going to be harsh, but it's one of the smoothest bourbon barrel-aged brews I've had to date. It's a steep price to pay for less than a pint's worth, but if you've got a reason to treat yourself, you could do a lot worse.

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Photo of Jjski
4.75/5  rDev +12%

2014 61 degrees F

dark chestnut,
minimal head,
dark fruit, fig, whiskey on the nose
Yeah its hot this year. When I knew I had some more 2014 ordered : I drank my last 2013 last week, which was smoothly sublime.
Cracked the 2014 tonight and got a huge amount of heat, barrel and vaporous alcohol which blunted the beautiful taste of the 2013 that I recalled from last week.

I had started drinking my barrel aged beers fresh ( and only aging the bottle conditioned and standard non barrel beers) in order not to lose the intended flavors of the barrel aging process. This tends to work on beers that don't have huge barrel components (KBS, Backwoods, Merkin, Clown Shoes barreled beers other than Very Angry Beast). HUGE Brews like BCBS and Bruery Smoking Wood, Bois, & Sucre can handle and benefit from time in the cellar IMHO

This one needs some time. Aged a year: 4.75. Fresh 4.0 The next 4 bottles I have coming are going to get tagged not to open for a year.

Earlier in this evening , I split a 22 oz 2013 Scucaba with wifey: and while it definitely was better than this 2014 Angel, the 2013 Angel was beter than the 2013 Scucaba (again imho )

 1,157 characters

Photo of VRH
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Pours very dark, with a small tan head. Buttery, boozy, wood aromas up front, lead to a smooth caramel, sweet cocoa, toffee taste on medium to full bodied palate. Excellent.

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Photo of SurfsideChris
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Had it on tap at Surfside Tap Room in Oceanside California. This year's brew according to Alex, their sales rep, this beer clicked in at 14.8%. Very aggressive and very boozy. Pours a cloudy dark brown with an almost non existent tan head. Beer is phenomenal just not for the faint of heart. Must love bourbon since this one was aged for almost two years in barrels.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter. Some effort on the cork, but a good pop, and lots of smoke. Served at 55 degrees.

Minimal carbonation and a deep red garnet walnut like brown color. Body is oily, with a real slick top that cicles in waves. Very little head when produced but a fine tan bubbled collar. Thick alcohol legs on the glass as well.

Nice oak notes, and hints of fruit barleywine like richness on the nose. Soft toffee and a vodka heat of burning alcohol at first but tolerable. Some warmth really brings out some great coconut aromas, and some fruit brandy like warmth. Very nice and impressive, it just comes off a little hot unfortunately.

Palate comes with a very silky feel. Thick and a bit of matching oily character, it coats everywhere nicely, but doesn't come off as sticky. Palate fills with lots of warmth and alcohol heat. Real interesting nutty like aromas of chestnut and hazelnuts fill the mid palate. Big boozy stomach bomb on the swallow for the aftertaste.

Overall it's a nice barrel aged strong ale, but it's just a little too hot unfortunately. Easily worth trying, with much to enjoy still though.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

- 12.5% bot. 2013. consumed 9/14 @ recommended 55F serving temp in a duvel glass.

(4.10) A: Auburn-chocolate pour is thick and viscose on the exit producing a billowing tan head 3+ inches tall. Good retention rate with a milky cream texture with an equally impressive lace coverage that smothers the vessel. Micro-effervesce is light along the edges.

(4.25) S: Aroma of dark rum raisin upon immediate uncorking, with sweet dark fruit liquor (figs and plums). Rich chocolate oak notes with burnt molasses sweetness blends beautifully with a smooth silky coffee roast. The alcohol is fairly reserved for 12.5% aromatic wise with a nice smoothing complexity that flows very well and a good level of awareness.

(4.30) T: The flavor starts off with big alcohol notes, dark fruit, sweet figs and plums following the nose, blending with a whiskey-chocolate combination making a big first impression. Dark raisin, with an earthy bittering finish with some lingering whiskey. The flavor is very polished, eloquent and refined.

(4.15) M: Medium milky body, with a light mention of carbonation. Nice chocolate-alcohol warmth with a slippery smooth texture that just slides off the tongue.

(4.25) O: a world class offering, solid A rating. A bit pricey at $18 spent on a 12 oz but worth the unique experience. Sticky, syrupy, oaky goodness in a bottle with a lingering after-effect of alcohol deep in the belly long after the swallow. Definitely one of the better BA stouts, but its no BCBS by comparison.

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Photo of charlzm
3.59/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Consumed April 23rd, 2014 from an undated bottle that I have had for at least 6 months. Poured into a DFH snifter.

Cork came out of the bottle with the tiniest little pop, indicating that there is precious little carbonation within. A vigorous pour confirms this; no head forms at all. None.

The beer is an opaque dark brown with slightly less opaque deep purple/ruby highlights when held to strong light. Did I mention it has no head whatsoever? The beer does have some modest legs when the glass is swirled, so there is that.

Aroma is candied, pitted fruit, vanilla and wood. Boozy.

Flavor is a lot like the nose: it stars with a strong showing of sweet prunes, dates and raisin. Some thin wood bitterness and boozy vanilla wash in before the whole thing fades into a medicinal memory down the gullet. "Cloying" is a word I throw about a little, but here it is appropriate; this beer is just so boozy and so sweet that it desperately needs some carbonation.

Mouthfeel is slightly thick and slightly slick and maybe even a little oily. If only there were some soft carbonation...

The flavors in this beer are fine, but the lack of carbonation is a critical flaw that causes the whole affair to come down like a house of cards. I won't be buying this one again.

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Photo of SadMachine
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes

A- Pours an opaque mahogany, with reddish brown hues on the edges when held to the light. A finger and a half head of tight tan foam slowly recedes to a collar and film, leaving some lacing.

S- The aroma is rich and complex, very reminiscent of a bourbon barrel aged English Barleywine, but a bit more sharp and assertive. Sweet dark fruits, mostly date and fig, but also black cherries, are the dominant aromas. This is followed by toffee, caramel, and a touch of dark chocolate. A healthy dose of booze, woody tannins, and some faint tart granny smith apple. A lot going on, but lacks a bit of that "wow" factor.

T- When I first sipped this I was wondering where all the flavors were, but when it got to the back of my tongue I was wowed! It's a bit bland and nondescript on the front of the tongue, with just some basic malt and caramel flavor. However, on the back of the tongue I get huge dark chocolate, black cherry, and toffee notes. Caramel and vanilla pile on, and then I'm left with some dry, minutely tart, oaky tannins. Delicious!

M- The mouth feel is incredibly thick and viscous, velvety, with light carbonation. Pretty boozy as expected. Coats the mouth and is pretty drying.

O- Overall this exceeded my expectations, and I wish I hadn't traded away both of my other bottles! An excellent representation of the style.

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The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 681 ratings.
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