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:
603
Gots:
570
For Trade:
48
User Reviews
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Reviews: 681 | Ratings: 1,813
Photo of jrallen34
3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I drank this 2009 version from a 375ml bottle into my Orval glass.

The beer pours an ugly dark brown with not carbonation at all. I got no head rise, I heard the 08 had a carbonation problem, 09 too?

The aroma is relatively strong delivering a ton of vanilla on the nose with a finish that provides some nice depth with oak dominating followed by some distinct bourbon flavor.

The taste is super super sweet. There is a ton of vanilla, which is nice, but probably too much here. BI BCS is a better example that provides the perfect amount. The vanilla would be more tolerable if it was better balanced out with other flavors. If there was big hit of oak or bourbon to break up the vanilla which really lasts to the end, then it could be ok.

The feel is pretty poor, its very light without much lasting flavor.

The drinkability is limited by its one-note-edness.

Overall, a little disappointed here. The bourbon is better than the brandy version, but the Grand Cru dominates, them both its not even funny. A couple minor changes and this could be really good.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 version on tap at American Craft, 8oz pour for about $7. The beer was dark brown with a reddish bent, more opaque than not, with an initial centimeter of tan foam that settled into a thin ring around the glass. No danger of low carbonation on tap, so that was a big plus. The aroma was really good and strong, moving the boundary to something between beer and liquor. Lots of bourbon but also lots of strong malt aromas (caramel, sweet roast) and maybe some oak aromas (some vanilla unless I'm imagining it).

This tasted like a serious drink, definitely a sipper with all the large flavors. Dark fruits like plums and raisins along with a nicely sweet malty base beer, contrasted with the bourbon punch. The bourbon tended to be the dominant flavor but I did enjoy the underlying beer. Somewhat thick bodied, giving a mouthfeel that matches the flavors and leaves a long lasting impression after each sip.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.77/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from the tap in a tulip glass.

Appears a murky dark brown, not quite black. Very little head. Aroma is strong and boozy, tons of whiskey. Taste is dominated by the bourbon as well, but too much in my opinion. Alcohol, oak, a little vanilla. Thin to medium body, moderate carbonation. It could be thicker to match the power of the flavor.

Finally got to try this , I had been on the look out for it on draft, as I wasn't willing to chance a flat bottle. But for the high price, I probably won't seek it out again

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Photo of Jwale73
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Armsby Abbey on 5/23/10. Served in a snifter. Poured one shade shy of black with a frothy, tan-colored head that dissipates into a cluster of bubbles around the edges. Nose reveals bourbon, toffee and a hint of wood. Taste consistent with nose - rich, buttery and decadent with a complexity that improves as it warms. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with a smooth, even carbonation that is lighter than anticipated. Bourbon Angel's Share is one of my favorite brews - a great sipper that improves as it warms. Definitely seek this one out if it is available on tap.

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Photo of glid02
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Joe - much obliged!

Pours a chestnut brown color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of smooth and sweet caramel malts with good amounts of vanilla and bourbon. Also present are deep milk chocolate aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Robust caramel malt flavors - sticky yet far from cloying - that indicate the base beer must be a pretty damn good beer in it's own right kick things off. Soon afterward milk chocolate flavors join in along with darker toffee. Midway through the sip bourbon and vanilla flavors make their way into the flavor profile, carrying through to a sweet and crisp ending with a bit of heat.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a very nice thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have another.

Overall I was impressed with this bad boy, and was happy that the carbonation was at a good level. After having the Grand Cru and Bourbon I'm very interested to try the Brandy. I'd be willing to be that it's worth a shot, as is this one.

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Photo of cbutova
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Re-review at Sierra Grille, original review from May2010. Mostly the same, edited appearence and smell.

A- Dark brown around edges with black in middle. Small dark tan head with a nice ring but no lace.
OLD: No head, lace or ring at all. Looks more like a dark wine, reminiscent of the Brandy one.

S,T- Heavy notes of delicious chocolate, damn good cocoa. Licorice comes into play a lot. Bourbon flavors with oak take a nice back seat in this one and add hints. The grainy aspect of whiskey is there. Older Viscosity had amazing cocoa like this. Oak comes in more with warmth and is nice. Aroma is Bourbon cocoa greatness.

MF- Very warm but it is nice with flavors of this one. Thick body that is oily and creamy. Medium carbonation slightly hits the palate. Licorice and cocoa stay on the tongue.

DB- Price was good on tap. Very great cocoa flavor with traditional bourbon aged flavors. Bourbon is balanced into this beer amazingly, hard to say for many Bourbon aged ales.

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Photo of champ103
3.54/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A: Pours mahogany, brown color. At first a one finger beige head forms, and recedes in a second. No lace.
S: Vanilla, oak, chocolate. Toasted malts, and molasses. That is it. Pretty straight forward and all barrel.
T: Like the nose, fairly standard for a barrel aged strong ale. Sweet chocolate, vanilla, light oak.
M/D: A fairly lifeless body. Low carbonation, but certainly not flat. Though on the thin side. Fusel, almost ethanol like alcohol. Which makes this a slow sipper.

While this is not nearly as flat as other bottles of LA I have had, and really not bad. This just leaves me wanting more. Fairly standard. Too expensive, and plenty of other better examples of the style. For me, locally brewed at that.

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Photo of maximum12
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to tpd975 for sending a 375ML bottle of this my way about a year ago. I've been waiting for the right time to pop it open & who knew that would be around 9PM, April 8th, watching the Twins beat the Mariners in game 3 of the 2009 season. Good a reason as any I figger.

Cork pops convincingly, but no gusher, just a steady stream of bubbles. Smell is like being thrown in prison, except the prison is built all out of planks of wood freshly harvested from bourbon barrels. Nothing else, but I'm not complaining.

One tiny sip convinces me to let it warm, & it's a much better beer once it closes in on room temperature. And it gets tastier the more it warms; maybe I'll stick it in the microwave... the bourbon is the gunslinger here, but it's a surprisingly light touch based on the scent. There's all kinds of complexities going on in here I'm aware of but not savvy enough to sniff out. There's a layer of sweetness underneath the oak-aging, like my favorite Wisconsin maple syrup & a kick of dark, bloody fruit lurking like a predator, too. There's some other more subtle stuff. Lots of layers.

Drinkable...hmmmm. Kind of. I'm enjoying this & am pretty sure I could have handled the rest of the 375 I split with my wife. For a big beer the alcohol is hidden (if you don't count the bourbon!) & it's a pleasure to sip.

Overall I think this comes really close to living up to the hype. It's one of those strange, over-complex brews that I'm really enjoying, & think is really good, but I'm not sure I ever need another one. But a very good beer.

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Photo of THECPJ
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes 2/17/2011

A: a very murky/muddy brown with no head, leaves just the slightest ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass

S: bourbon, vanilla, oak, dark fruits

T: bourbon is the main taste you get from this one, followed by dark fruits and vanilla, and a hint of oakiness

M: very mildly cabonated, smooth, medium body

D: I found Port Brewing Older Viscosity went down much easier/smoother than this one. the two are similar, but this one is a touch less drinkable

Cheers!
The CPJ

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 375mL bottle into a brandy snifter.

A: Mud brown. No head. No lacing. Opaque

S: Winey, huge grapey fruits, whiffs of molasses, touch of oak and of bourbon. Powerful.

T: Strong malt-alcoholic sweetness. Incredibly brief maintaste -- flash of fruit and the like -- but strong vanilla bean on the aftertaste more than makes up for it. Obvious and excellent bourbon.

M: Smooth and flat.

O: One of the more bourbony beers I've experienced. It smells great, and it tastes good as well. It gains character as it warms; recommended.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

374 ml/12.7 oz corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter. 12.5% ABV, "Bourbon 2010" printed on the back, towards the bottom of the bottle.

One thousand thanks to my amazing girlfriend Trish for not only putting up with this crazy hobby of mine, but for also buying this for me as my 1,000th beer review!

A - Mild Carbonation results in a quiet fizzy pour that allows only seconds of tan head to appear before falling away to a tiny ring of bubbles. Obvious for a beer this high in alcohol. Surprisingly, it's not sludgy like motor oil. Instead it's a clear, very dark brown color with mahogany red slivers around the edge.

S - Dark, rich notes of earthy, dirty old wood pairs well with an incredibly hot bourbon booze in the nose. It's like a slap in the face how hot it smells. Molasses trickles in after the booze but is followed by a scary soy sauce aroma. Let's not have a repeat of "Triple Bock" please... Vanilla and caramel malts find their way in towards the background of the aroma. No hop presence at all as it's almost entirely bourbon.

T - I'm thrown for a loop initially by the rich texture that it's got that it didn't seem to have on the pour. Then I'm thrown for a second loop with hop mild the bourbon alcohol hotness is in the flavor compared to the aroma. Vanilla and sweet milk chocolate with molasses outlines the caramel malt-laced warm wood bourbon barrel flavor nicely. Lot's of deep, rich notes cover up any hops that may actually be in here and actually work very well with the lower bourbon kick. This is incredible.

M - It looked thinner from the pour but boy, was I mistaken. Almost non-existent carbonation leaves this full-bodied, chewy beer smooth as velvet, rich, and thick. It lacks the alcohol kick to the taste (thankfully) that the nose has. Instead, it warms up your innards pretty damn quickly.

D - I'll be sipping this for the next two hours no doubt. It's warm and goes down well but would be best shared and is much more suited for anywhere between late fall and the dead of winter. While the hotness doesn't enter the taste so much, I still find this to be a beer that would only get better with another 5 years.

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Photo of ccrida
3.6/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On draught at Brouwer's Big Wood, served in a snifter, Angel's Share Bourbon Barrel-Aged is black with a small tan collar leaving no lace.

Smell is big caramel, some raisin and lots of bourbon.

Taste is also big on the caramel, some sweetness countered by some roast, raisiny and hot.

Mouthfeel is slick and dry, with very low carbonation.

Drinkability is average, not nearly as exciting as I hoped, this is way over priced, I'm glad I only spent $9 on a draft then $30 on a bottle! I will definitely never bother with this again unless the price comes way down, in line with the plethora of other bourbon barrel aged bombers, $8-10...3 times the cost and average for the style.

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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.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The cork flew out of this 375ml and then the beer erupted. Dark brown, it looks just like the brandy version. Nice bourbon and wood smell. Tastes like cola and vanilla coupled with bourbon, some licorice. This is a very flavorful beer and the alcohol was well hidden. I preferred the profile on the brandy barrel version a little more but this was still very good.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottle poured into snifter - thanks gill!

Pours a dark opaque blackness with some faint browned tones. Very thin bubbled head dissolves quickly with a few gasps of retention.

Supremely rich nose with chocolate cake, vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Notes of burnt sugar with roasted malts and candied dark fruit.

Waves of flavor begin with deep, dark chocolate and syrupy caramel. Cake-like notes swirl with vanilla and oak, with a continuing note of sweet bourbon. Excellent integration between the boozy and the sweet, along with dark fruit. Finishes boozy, warm, and memorable.

Full body, mild carbonation (lol), sticky and syrupy on the tongue. Absolutely wonderful flavor and scent, and the carbonation seemed to hold up on this one - If all Angel's Share bottles were like this I'd buy more.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at tap at Devil's Den in Philadelphia

A-pours a murky dark brown with little thin tan colored head.

S-the nose is of bourbon and light wood up front. A fair bit of chocolate malt and lots of Sweet sugary dark malts come in next. A fair bit of raisins, dried plums, carmelized brown sugar.

T-follows the nose but more vibrant. The chocolate malts are more pronounced, fair bit of raisins, wood notes come in with a strong bourbon presence and decent bit of heat.

M-full bodied, creamy and wet, slightly coats the mouth with a lively finish somewhat prickly.

D-slightly bourbon heavy and somewhat hot but nice complexity of malt flavors balanced by a fair bit of sweetness.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Strong aroma is quite fruity, what I expect from a barleywine, with a syrupy feel and an overtone of caramel and brown sugar. It pours a dark opaque chocolate brown with a thin tan head that quickly hits the road. Flavor is fruity with hints of caramel, brandy and molasses and a strong but not too fierce alcohol bite. Texture is smooth as almond milk with a nice sharp and ragged edge. This one is spendy, but if you are a barleywine nut I'm sure it will be up your alley.

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Photo of mynie
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

imstillthegman is, indeed, still the gman. I don't even need to know what that means to know that it's true. Why? Because he deserves my trust.

Excellent pour. Just--just remarkable, right there. It's like there's a whole little world that died just to make this pour, it's that's goddamn good.

Smells very, very... umm, what's the word? "Strong." There we go. That's the word. It's quite strong. Lots of insanely sweet malt, medium-strength west coast hops. As it warms, the strength stays at about the same intensity, but the individual flavors mellow slightly enough that the become discernible from one another. Heavy nodes of vanilla and oaken whiskey are present, along with some sweet, fruity, and lightly peaty malts. Sort of a cross between Bourbon County stout and a good dubbel.

Tastes very much as it smells. Starts hugely strong, big giant nodes of toffee, raisins, sweet brandywine, chocolate, vanilla, oak, sweet fruit lingers at the end with bitterness. Hops? No--I thought I smelled some but I think I was wrong.

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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 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.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Popped open the 12.7oz bottle and poured into my new Lost Abbey tulip.

a - Poured a bright reddish gorgeous liquid into the glass which settled much darker and murkier. More of a purple. No head...but that's expected with a Bourbon Barrel-Aged beer. Has a bit of the bourbony shine, but not as much as others. More subtle.

s - Bourbon sweetness...but balanced and not over powering. Underneath is fruit punch and dark fruit flavor. Malty goodness...soaked in bourbon. Pretty big and bold.

t - Chocolate bourbon dipped grapes. The bourbon flavor is nice, but the heat is there immediately.

m/d - Extremely smooth...very boozy, liked spiked fruit punch. Leaves a really nice alcohol tingle and bourbon aftertaste. Very easy drinker. I'm a big bourbon fan and a fan of the stouts in bourbon, the strong ale is a nice mix. Very enjoyable and easy. solid beer.

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Photo of Pencible
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a muddy dark mahogany with no head. Not the most attractive sight.
S: It smelled like strong oak and bourbon and vanilla, with rich chocolate and toffee and port.
T: It tasted like rich caramel and toffee and honey wheat, with lots of oak and vanilla and bourbon, and a bit of port and chocolate. It had a smooth and mostly sweet aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with a little carbonation. Decent body.
D: This had the perfect combination and balance of flavors for a bourbon ale. Very delicious and complex. The body was decent (could have been fuller), and the alcohol wasn't very noticeable. So it was pretty easy to sip, but should never be drunk any faster. Lots of potential for aging this one. Excellent beer.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to my boy Lunch for sending me this one in a past trade! 2010 Vintage! Tasted back-to-back-to-back with Brandy and Grand Cru. Served from bottle into a Surly Darkness snifter. Poured a deep murky brown with a basically non-existant off-white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, wood, dark fruit, dark chocolate, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, wood, sweet alcohol, and dark fruit. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this brew was pretty tasty. This is one of those instances that you can tell that the beer had sat in bourbon barrels rather than just knowing that it was in a barrel. Really good flavor and aroma going on in this one. I was honestly afraid when I cracked the top on this one and didn't hear a pop from the cork. Was also concerned when there was basically no head formation. However, this one turned out quite well and was really enjoyable.

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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.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep amber to a black color with a big, yeasty tan head. In the aroma, oak, vanilla, roasty malt, bourbon and just a hint of chocolate. In the taste, bourbon, vanilla, oaky, with hints of chocolate and alcohol. A smooth and big bodied mouthfeel, with a dry bourbon and alcohol aftertaste. A great sipper, and perfect to share, great flavors, and all around, pretty freakin' great!

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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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