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:
1,892
Reviews:
701
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
11.08%
 
 
Wants:
606
Gots:
581
For Trade:
42
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,892 |  Reviews: 701
Photo of zeff80
3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark brown color with almost no head. Not much lacing, either.

S - It smelled of vanilla and oak with some toasty notes. Light caramel notes, too.

T - It tasted very malty with a strong boozy character. Some oak, bourbon and vanilla flavors.

M - It was fairly crisp and sharp. A full bodied ale with a clean finish.

O - This was pretty tasty. A nice bourbon barrel aged brew.

 396 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of largadeer
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft at Gourmet Haus Staudt.

The beer flows from the tap with the color and viscosity of maple syrup. A two finger head tops it initially, which settles to a frothy collar. Swirling the beer coats the glass in oily legs and revives the head to a small cap.

It has an intense aroma, rich and alcoholic. Caramelized malts and bourbon lie at the forefront, but it exhibits notes of vanilla and oatmeal raisin cookie, earth and oak, vinous fruits; it's hard to pull the nose away and take a sip. Sharp alcohol is evident as well, stinging the nostrils with each whiff.

Caramel flavors almost overwhelm the tongue initially. It's hot, boozy, rich, sweet, absolutely decadent and delicious. Full-bodied, nearly syrupy on the palate, somehow this is immensely drinkable. Strong tannins dry the palate, and so does the sharp alcohol, balancing the initial richness. It finishes almost dry, with lingering flavors of oak, leather, pipe tobacco and just a bit of lingering toffee. Such an outstanding beer, it's hard to put down despite the high alcohol and intense character.

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Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

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

Thanks to largadeer for sending this out.

2010 vintage

Poured into kbs chalice

Very little pop from the cork. Pours a very light fizzy tan head. Color is a deep caramel brown, near black.

Aroma: Bourbon and then some. Oak, vanilla, dark fruits, cherries, raisins, grapes. Very warming.

Taste: The bourbon is very warming and I like it. Nice amount of oak. Vanilla stands out a lot. Very malty with lots of dried fruits. Grapes and cherries. Roasted malt in the aftertaste. Lots of great flavors here.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy and warm. Reminds me a bit of an olde ale. Medium to full bodied. Lower amount of carbonation but works well with a beer like this.

Overall, dangerously drinkable at the high abv. I had no problem with this one. The alcohol shows, but in a good way. Very well done.

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Photo of DrBier
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2010

12 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -5.7%

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

The Lost Abbey, Angel's Share Ale
No discernable date or code. 12.7 oz. bottle
$17.49 @ The Cold Point Pub/Whole Foods Market, Plymouth Meeting, PA

Even a rough pour fails to bring up any real head atop its deep brown body, but what is there is a big-bubbled dark tan that doesn't stick around for too long. It leaves no lacing on the glass, nor does it display much in the way of "legs". Raised directly to the light you'll find ruby highlights gleaming just below the surface. With a rough pour my sample is obviously cloudy as the yeast has been roused.

The aroma is rich and full displaying sweetish dark toffee, damp wood, slightly tart dark-skinned fruits, Bourbon, chocolate fudge, coconut, vanilla, oak, and a hint of alcohol.

In the mouth it's full bodied and smooth with the exception of a little bit of alcoholic heat.

The flavor is as the nose suggests, with the exception of more fruit amidst the maltiness (red grape, fig, plum/prune) and a more distinct Bourbon character (I also get scotch at times). The oak lends a pleasing dryness to it, and along with the alcohol they balance it nicely (I'm not sure how much bitterness is actually in here). It finishes in different way as you progress through the glass and your taste buds adapt. For the most part it's generally dark-fruit and mild tartness followed by wood, then a rising note of alcohol backed by Bourbon flavor, and finally fading into soft fudge and coconut... or some slightly changed re-arrangement of such.

It's a big beer, and a sipper to be sure. Clearly displayed alcohol is not normally something I find pleasant (or acceptable), but it works here (and I've certainly tasted 'hotter' beers). It reminds me in many ways of Sam Adams Triple Bock, which as been shunned on BeerAdvocate, currently scoring a "C" (mediocre) with 569 reviews - how that can be, I don't know. This is thinner, yes; more fruity and perhaps a bit less 'malty', OK; and it presents Bourbon instead of maple syrup but they're still in the same general ballpark. Thus my score is in the same general ball park... an A.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.56/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 Edition shared courtesy of bmanning at a recent tasting.

A: Pours a fairly dark brown with some copper hues to it. No head and no lacing.

S: Lots of delicious bourbon accompanied by vanilla, oak, caramel, and toffee. Hints of fruit in the background.

T: The bourbon is the key player, but is balanced quite well by the oak and caramel sweetness of the malt. Quite intriguing and complex.

M: Almost completely flat, but I didn't have a problem with it at all. The bourbon presence is definitely quite overwhelming, but the alcohol isn't too much--went down very smooth.

D: Very complex with powerful yet complementary flavors; a big hit, and I'd love to drink this one again.

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Photo of nickfl
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours with almost no head on a very dark brown body. Low retention and no lace.

S - Boozy notes of vanilla, caramel, and toasted oak with brown sugar, molasses and lots of toffee.

T - Sweet, thick malt up front with notes of caramel, vanilla, and toffee. Lots of vanilla and whiskey character in the middle and a finish of peppery bourbon, bakers chocolate, smoke, and lingering charcoal.

M - A moderately thick body, low carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - well, it is a little low on carbonation, as feared, but it is in not excessively sweet and it is wonderfully complex. The dark chocolate is not excessively sweet but has an intensely dark character to it that works well with the whiskey notes. Dense and complex with a sweetness that lingers just a bit more than it should.

 793 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 Vintage

A: Pours a murky dark amber in color with very light amounts of visible carbonation and some brown + ruby red highlights. The beer has a very thin light beige film that quickly reduces to a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Minimal to light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Heavy aromas of bourbon and vanilla with some lighter notes of oak, caramel, and toffee.

T: Similar to the smell, the flavor of this beer is dominated by the taste of bourbon. There are also some moderate flavors of vanilla and oak with light to moderate amounts of caramel and toffee malt sweetness. Very little bitterness and it fades immediately.

M: Just shy of full bodied with light amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of alcohol warmth in the finish.

O: Overall for a beer as big as this one, the alcohol is fairly well hidden. I'm a big bourbon fan so I was pretty excited to pick this one up and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Huge bourbon presence.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -5.7%

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

375 ml corked & caged bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a extremely dark brown/pretty much black with quite the foamy heat off a aggressive pour but it doesn't take too long to settle down to the point where I can get enough in the glass to properly check out the look of this guy. The final head stands about 2 fingers or so of foamy light caramel colored head. ½ finger of retention that's more creamy in nature than the initial pour and flares up quite nicely when swirled, leaving a fantastic thick cascade of lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is a strong waft of Bourbon right off the bat that melds extremely well into silky sweet notes of cocoa powder, toffee, a touch of dark fruit tang, and maybe even some floral tones underneath. There is also an unmistakable sniff of heat that intermingles with the other flavors.

The taste is full of rich notes of sweetness, including caramel, toffee, and chocolate that encapsulated in thick Bourbon notes. The blending and balance of this is just phenomenal, with neither the Bourbon nor the other flavors of sweetness taking control at any given time. It finishes sweet and a touch warm as it clears the palette and heads down the throat. The mouthfeel feels fuller bodied at first up front but then a smoother and creamier carbonation takes control, polishing out the feel, and making this immensely drinkable. Warmth is imparted by both the ABV and Bourbon character but is never stinging and doesn't interfere at all with the majority of what is going on with other flavors. As a matter of fact the richness and balance if so good, that I sometimes have a hard time picking up a hint of the ABV at all.

This is another perfectly crafted work of art from the Lost Abbey. It's just one of those beers that is so rich, complex, and well balanced that it's easy to get lost in its awesomeness, and then because of its' fantastic quaffability, not realize that it's all gone until your licking the last drop out of the glass. Extremely well done! I loved every drop!

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Photo of mactrail
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You can feel it slowly scorching its way down your throat. Tastes totally boozy, like it has a shot of Old Crow topped off with stout. Chocolate cake with chocholate cherries. Rich, hot, huge flavors. If you're in the mood for a monstrous big crack pipe of a beer, this would be the one. Dessert in a glass. Ideal slow sipping beer. Clear, dark stout color. Nice lacing in the tulip glass.

It doesn't get much better than this for sheer intensity of a beery sort. On tap at Pizza Port OB.

 490 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Rifugium
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Poured into a snifter a dark, opaque brown with no head to speak of other than a few stray bubbles. Aroma of caramel, vanilla, and oak-soaked bourbon. Taste was slick and sweet right off the bat, with an obvious alcohol kick, dark malts and bourbon are dominant, and balance each other pretty good. Some subtle fruit notes come through. Full-bodied, strong, but smooth and fairly drinkable...to be savored slowly, and definitely at a warmer temperature. Better if you are a fan of bourbon obviously. I did like the brandy version of this beer much better.

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Photo of nathanmiller
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of billab914
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage poured from a 375ml bottle into my Lost Abbey stemware. It poured a very dark brown color that almost looked black when not in the light. It started with a thin and creamy tan head to it but it retreated to the edges of the glass after a minute or so. It did leave some decent lacing as I drank it though.

The aroma shows a ton of oak and vanilla to it along with a moderate bourbon alcohol heat. It's probably the most pronounced barrel characteristic in a beer I've had in recent memory. A malty sweetness with a some dark fruits, brown sugar and molasses come through as well. It has a very appealing aroma to it.

The taste really is intense with the barrel and bourbon characteristics as well. It starts with more of a woody, oak flavor but fades into more of a vanilla and bourbon flavor. The bourbon finishes with a strong and warming alcohol sensation. A bit of the malty sweet, brown sugar, dark fruit flavor comes through but the bourbon and barrel flavors are pretty dominating. A little bit of that brown sugar flavor lingers with the bourbon after the finish.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side and carbonation is low but present. Drinkability is decent, it had some great flavors but the bourbon alcohol flavor hurts drinkability a bit. Overall a good beer but the bourbon is a bit overpowering. It would have been nice to see some more of the beer flavors come through and the finish to be not as hot. A complex and very good beer overall but you have to be in the mood so sip on something slowly. If the bourbon heat fades away with age I could easily see myself scoring this much higher in a few years.

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Photo of mendvicdog
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

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.

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Photo of russpowell
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cheers to Biterbill, basically throwing this as an extra for me!

(09 Vintage) 375 ml bottle opens with a slight pop, pours a mahogany hued chestnut with minimal tan head. Nice oily sheen to this, minimal lacing & head retention

S: Big time raisins & prune & a whisper of bourbon, plus some praline as this warms

T: Big time Bourbon with cherries & raisins, plus some booze in your face up front, along with some oakyness. This smooths out quite a bit as this warms, oaky dryness really asserts itself, along with more pruneyness, leafy hops & caramel. Finishes dry with praline like sweetness with booze soaked raisins & cherries, almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Rich, slick, with minimal carbonation, VERY warming, starts thinning a bit once warm

Drinks pretty easy for the ABV & style but to be be sipped for sure! Not the best barrel aged ale I've ever had, but in the top 20 percentile at the very least. Had higher expectations, but I am always thrilled to get to try any & all well made big beers. I kind of put this on a par with New Holland's Dragon's Milk, which is not even half the price. Would love to try this on tap...

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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 ChainGangGuy
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a reddish, dark brown body with some gunky murkiness to it and a large, fizzy, tan head.

Smell: Pleasantly pungent aroma of heavenly, heavily caramelized sugars, golden raisins, and a gratifying waft of alcohol. Plenty of distinct bourbon barrel accents, too.

Taste: Dark, rich caramelly malts, tons of dark fruitiness, a spoonful of vanilla creme brullee, and with a big taste of brown sugar striking the palate. Nice, complimenting blend of woodiness and top-shelf bourbon. Faint, faint touch of roast picked up on the otherwise sweet, warm, and wooden finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Full carbonation that really fizzles up the mouth.

Drinkability: For me, it was more than a bit overcarbonated, but thankfully it delivered a satisfying tastiness to warrant fighting the fizzies.

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The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,892 ratings.
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