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
Reviews:
698
Ratings:
1,877
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
11.08%
 
 
Wants:
606
Gots:
588
For Trade:
46
User Reviews
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Reviews: 698 | Ratings: 1,877
Photo of stevoj
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Barley wine bottle share on 1/31. Very smooth, tasty stuff. Pours out a nice mahogany, , lots of sweetness, brown sugar, molasses. Silky, syrupy mouth feel, tons of warmth. deserving of the (mostly) high praise.

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

A: poured a dark brown with brown highlights that had a thin head and left a little bubbly lacing sticking to the glass.

S: the aroma is big on the bourbon that smacks your nose on the first whiff but also comes with vanilla, cocoa, slight brown sugar, caramel, and booze notes; quite complex.

T: the vanilla and the bourbon pop out immediately but work well together which displayed slight oak character. It also had caramel, brown sugar, and cocoa accents with a good booze presence.

M: the brew was medium to full in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a sweet, boozy, sticky, and silky finish.

D: drank pretty good considering the ABV on this bourbon bomb and was better than last years version IMO. I definitely like the bourbon version over the brandy. Overall it was a good offering from lost abbey.

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Photo of tempest
3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Bookstore Speakeasy. I'm told this is one of 4 kegs in the state. Lucky me.

The beer doesn't live up to the hype, but it's still pretty tasty. In short, it was a large snifter of bourbon candy. The character was rich and sweet, but the flavors were too smooth, making it hard to pick out many flavors. It came off a little dull for such a big beer. The bourbon character dominated and as it warmed the alcohol began to emerge. I'm glad I tried this beer, but wished it had approached everything I'd heard about it.

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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 TheSevenDuffs
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 Vintage.

A - Very dark murky brown colour with a thin layer of dirty taupe head.

S - Sweet bourbon, vanilla and oak. Caramel, raisin, toffee.

T - Barrel at first: bourbon, charred oak and vanilla with a good sweetness. Toffee, caramel, brown sugar, molasses.

M - Medium to full body. Creamy. Light.

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

Thanks goes out to kryptic for this brew.

12.7oz
Caged/Corked

Poured into my Westy glass a very nice black color, very nice carbonation, nice one-finger plus foamy/fizzy tannish head, which left a big island in the middle of my glass, with some sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is malty, good touch of bourbon, oak, and vanilla. The taste is malty, a healthy note of bourbon, with some oak, and vanilla. Starts of sweet, then the big malts kick in. Full body. The alcohol is present, but not too much. Very drinkable, I've waited a long time to try this one out, finally, the wait is over. Thanks Mike.

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

Another on-tap beer I enjoyed at Beachwood BBQ, and another with WTF pricing (read the end). On to the beer:

Dark brown color, not a whole lot of head or retention for this beer. Strong barrel aroma. That's the bourbon talking with notes of maple and raisins. The taste was bliss at first sip. Just tons of maple and raisins. But the further I got along, the beer lost of its lust. It was still good, but not as heavenly, and it seemed to "thin out" some. Fruity alcohol infused well within this beer. Not viscous, rather it went down easy.

It's good, just not shit my pants good. $30 for a 25.7 oz bottle in stores, but "just" $6 for a 10 ounce draft (about $15 for 25.7 oz on draft), what gives?

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Photo of Mora2000
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Mar.

Pours dark brown with no head. This one is definitely flat. Aroma is a combination of roasted malts and bourbon, with maybe come chocolate and caramel mixed in. The flavor is lots of bourbon, oak and vanilla with some alcohol, roasted malt and chocolate/coffee. A very complex flavor. The mouthfeel is hurt by the fact the beer is flat as a pancake. Still, it is pretty drinkable and a good beer overall. I think it would be better with proper carbonation.

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

Have had the bottled version a number of times, but finally had it on tap at the LA/Port tasting room. This is just such a beautifully crafted rich decadent sipper. Really loved it on tap. And allways enjoy the tasting room vibe. But AS BBA really needed to be matched with some veiny cheese and finished with a sunset. Maybe not everyone's idea of a good time...but I'd pull out a good Padron 1964 to accompany as well.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.97/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours black with some faint brown showing up around the edges when held up to the light. Great tight head that sticks around as a somewhat thick cap. Especially impressive given the huge abv. The aromas are heavenly. Just the right amount of Bourbon right off the bat. Lovely aromas of caramel, gentle but pure Bourbon, sweet oak, vanilla, gentle malt, chestnut honey, and various dark fruit, all nicely integrated and not hot smelling. The taste is also amazing. Extremely well integrated flavors with great Bourbon and oak up front followed by cream, vanilla, and fruit flavors. Very nice level of carbonation, not too aggressive at all. The mouthfeel is ultra rich and creamy, but with the alcohol well hidden. An absolutely amazing sipper. I really like bourbon influenced oak aged beers if they are done well. I think this is probably my favorite to date. When this brewery is firing on all cylinders, they can really be fantastic. This beer sure is.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Drafting Room in Exton, a 10oz serving.

A- Angels share looks dark almost black coming off the tap. Once it's in front of me i'm looking at adeeply brown liquid with just a bit of light able to shine through. Nothing on top instead of some caramel colored scattered pieces of foam that does not make a cap. No lacing.

S- Angel's share smells like Bourbon County Stout to me with more emphasis on the oak/wood. Im getting a ton of bourbon backed with vanilla and a ton of malt background giving off toffee. Hops dont come into play at all, but im sure some were used in the making. A slight smell of coffee in here as well.

T- Wow, If you like bourbon, get a hold of this one because it's the main contender. A big taste of bourbon when str8 off of the tap, you need to warm this to get the full experience. That includes big vanilla and wood from the barrel giving off some oak as well. The wood/oak comes out of this more than any other BB beer i've had, it's huge. In the middle a few styles of malt make for more sweetness plus some coffee and dark chocolate as well. This actually reminds me of a imperial brown ale with tons of bourbon. Alcohol is not totally hidden.

M&D- This one is thick and chewy. The feel is a kinda hot on the way down but that is expected just from the hugeness of this beer. It probably would of been much hotter if not for the huge body and malt build. The carbonation is low but not lifeless off of the tap, I can't comment on the bottle version as I don't have one. This is a huge beer that demands time be put into it. A slow sipper for sure. After I was done my glass, I really did not want to indulge with any more.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 375mL bottle into a tulip. This is the 2010 version clocking in at 12.5% ABV. Might be young yet, but I can't wait.

Appearance: extremely dark non-translucent brown hue with a finger of tan head which dissipates rapidly. A strong showing for a strong ale.

Smell: in a word: rich. Heady malt with dark and dried fruits, blackcurrant and raisin and date; a rich woodiness which is both distinct and highly complementary; an alcohol burn in my nose which is either part of the bourbon aging or simply on the beer's own copious merits. I was wondering whether this beer would live up to the hype (and price), and if the smell is any indication it well and truly has.

Taste: rich and warm; chocolate, the aforementioned fruits and a hint of the bourbon character are all in place. The wood has subsided a bit from the aroma, but there's a faint mustiness which has replaced it to good effect. Bitterness is there, but is low for the mega malt flavors; hop flavor is almost indiscernible to me. Still, what an incredible beer.

Mouthfeel: thick body; incredibly silky and smooth on the palate. Low carbonation but the consistency and body make it creamy nonetheless; this is just delightful.

Drinkability: I could and would drink this all night if possible. It's not drinkable in the swillable sense, but it is certainly so in that I would gladly quaff another right after this one.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.65/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2008 bottle release; Sampled April 2008
Wow, Bourbon Barrel Angel's Share is a gusher, I lost something less than a quarter bottle, even though the bottle was at 48°F / 9°C. A careful pour yields an over-flowing six-finger thick, darkened tan colored head. The beer is a deeply burnt, amber color, and shows a hint of concentrated ruby if held up directly to the light. Rich caramelized malt notes are immediately proceeded by Bourbon barrel notes of vanillin, spicy oak / Bourbon and some buttery oak character. The barrel / Bourbon notes are fairly restrained, but still are perhaps the most noticeable character in the aroma. As my nose gets used to the beer, the butterscotch / butter barrel notes become more apparent as does a warming alcohol aroma. Even a touch of mustiness seems to lurk in the background. The Bourbon barrel character actually gets a bit sharp, even harsh at times, but for the most part the nose remains deeply caramel infused, smooth bourbon barrel character.

It has been ten minutes since pouring this beer and it is still quite well carbonated; a quick swirl of my glass releases the excess CO2 though. Sweet and deeply caramelized with malt induced flavors of toffee and raisins. Starting in the middle a toasty, brown malt character kicks in and provides a touch of dryness, though not enough to offset the lingering, rich, complex, malt sweetness that just sticks to the palate. Quite a bit lighter than one might expect from a beer that is 12.5% abv; it does have some heft to it as it is certainly a sipping beer, but it definitely has a light feel to it and at times can seem a bit thin. The Bourbon barrel character is quite a bit softer than it was in the aroma. Typical flavors of spicy oak, vanillin and buttery oak (this last more so in the finish) are found here and the Bourbon provides some alcohol heat. Somehow the beer actually tastes a bit vinous to me; a mix of port, sherry and a full bodied Sancerre. The finish is spicy and sharp with hot Bourbon notes (though not overwhelmingly so).

Somehow not nearly as well integrated, nor nearly so tasty as the 2006 Brandy version (I have yet to try the 2007). I could see this getting close, but somehow the base beer has changed too much while residing in the barrel. I wonder if the changed flavor, lightened body, along with the gushing, is caused by a slight infection? If so it is not so much as to drastically effect things or even be overtly noticeable, but this beer is just enough off to keep it from being great.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed back on 888, reviewed from fairly meticulous notes. Shared with SAS, Inflatablechair, and theotherbeerguy.

My share poured into a Chimay goblet... was a gusher but didn't erupt.

Coffee brown.. sticky tan head with good lacing that lasts for the entire glass..

Aroma is caramel, rum, and more than enough raisin.. Fair amount of alcohol as it hits room temp and only then does the wood and bourbon raise its head.

Flavor mirrors aroma but with pronounced vanilla.. some chocolate and the perfect amount of bourbon. body is thick and smooth at the same time.. the excessive carbonation goes away by the end of the glass.

Very very rich and with a sturdy complexity... I wish I had more than the couple that are in the basement... hint hint.

4/4.5/4.5/4.5/4

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Photo of Zorro
3.49/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

No carbonation, had to pry the cork out.

Flat brown colored ale without any head whatsoever.

Strong bourbon smell and vanilla with a really strong fig aroma. Fruit scents of cherries and pineapples.

Starts out sweet and boozy with a strong whiskey flavor and a little grape and fig in it. Very strong on the fig flavor almost to the point of annoyance. Patent malt is present but the booze obliterates it.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall this is just average. The lack of carbonation just kills this.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.56/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter at "The Bookstore" in Bethlehem, PA.

The looks of this pour are fairly unremarkable, very dark brown, near black with a thin light brown head that has little retention and leaves no lacing. Aroma is exceptional, very strong and nuanced balance of bourbon, oak, molasses, vanilla, etc. Very sweet and boozy, almost overwhelming in strength. Flavor is very similar to the nose, primarily bourbon and oak flavors, with a caramel malt backbone trying to poke through. Alcohol is obviously present, though not uncomfortably so. Finish has strong lingering bourbon taste. Mild notes of dark fruits, raisins, slightly spicy. No problems with carbonation in this serving, full bodied, very smooth and pleasing on the palate. For the complexity and booziness of this beer compared to others of similar styles this is very drinkable, but (this goes without saying) this is obviously a sipper for sharing.

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Photo of John_M
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Drafting Room in Exton during their Lost Abbey/Port Brewing event.

The beer pours a rich dark brown color with very good head retention and lots of sticky lacing. The beer is very viscuous appearing, looking almost like dark chocolate mud. The nose is very rich, sweet and attractive, with considerable chocolate, brown sugar and molasses. There's also some underlying spice, which includes a hint of black pepper. Flavors replicate the nose, but with a bit more hoppy bitterness then I recall from the bottled version. This helps to cut the sweetness somewhat, though this is still a very rich, sweet tasting beer. Mouthfeel is rich, very full, and long. The carbonation is fairly low (nothing like the bottles of brandy AS however), which adds to the smoothness on the palate. Drinkability is OK, though you can tell the alcohol is up there, and it wears on you after a while.

An excellent beer (of course), though without doubt a little bit goes a long way.

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

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a very dark brown with a whisp of an off-white head. Fair head retention.

S: Elegant full bourbon nose. Vanilla central, wood, a joy to smell.

T: A rather roasty, dark chocolate flavours meets me initially. The bourbon comes in and smooths it out, but this is almost stout like at times. Not sure if there's less residual sugar than Brandy Angel's Share but it certainly tastes like it. A good flavour, but not as strikingly delicious as the Brandy version for me.

M: Full-bodied, thick, nice warming alcohol in the finish. Light carbonation.

D: I've only had tasters in the past and have wanted to have a full pour of this. It's weird to have a beer on-tap that's much cheaper than in the bottle. This is good, but for Angel's Share it looks like brandy is the way to go, my palate is clearly gravitating towards the brandy barrel aged beers, but I certainly enjoyed this.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed on tap at Stone on 11/12/2009 and poured into a snifter. The beer is dark brown, nearly black with a two finger light brown head and good retention.

The nose blows me away. A wonderful balance is struck between bourbon, brown sugar, and vanilla. Oak notes are evident, as well as alcohol heat that compliments the other characteristics. I'm salivating from the bourbon in the nose. This is easily one of my favorite bourbon barrel barleywines.

The flavor is hot, but pleasant. Brown sugar, vanilla, and prominent bourbon are all present. A low level of sweetness is noticeable, as well as barrel tannins. Notes of booze soaked dates are present, and I detect figs. Simply delicious stuff. The bourbon character is fantastic.

On tap, the carbonation is spot on, and the mouthfeel is viscous, silky, and smooth. Unbelievable stuff, it's a real shame about the 2009 bottles.

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Photo of rudzud
3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From notes taken on 11/10/10 at the Armsby Abbey. Poured into a snifter.

A - A rich, dark not quite black pour with no light passing through. There was a one finger dark tan head that dissolved quickly into a tan halo.

S - HUGE bourbon aromas upfront. After getting past all that bourbon there was some dark earthy fruits and a touch of carmel.

T - Very, very similar to the nose with just more dark fruits and carmel. Still that huge bourbon flavours that really is first and foremost.

M - Low carbonation, creamy. You can really feel the alcohol on the tongue.

D - I almost feel that this needs some age on it, as the alcohol is FAR too up front with this. Smooth, creamy, and potent with nice complex flavours but still far too agressive.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours no head so no lace. Deep brown almost black color, ton of yeast left in bottle. No carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Nose is bourbon, flavor is slightly sweet bourbon. High ABV is up front. Needs some carbonation, there are 11.5% beers out there that have carbonation like Harpoons Leviathan Triticus. Very warming. This is bottle #3000 for my collection!! Seriously expensive at $18.99 for a caged and corked 375ml bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

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Photo of weeare138
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Update...
2010 version - Appears a turbid dark russett brown with a dark tan head tan that slowly fades into a small collar. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of mollasses, brown sugar, caramel, creme brûlée, vanilla, port, bourbon, and complex cocoa infusions.
Taste is of the aromas with sweet bourbon based bread pudding... Very beautiful.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, sweet, cake like, yeasty, dessert drink for the ages that I would put up there with the finest bourbons, brandy, or ports.

Old Review from 2008 A- 4.5, S - 4, T - 4, M - 4, D - 4
Much thanks to TomDecapolis for this...btw, I've never seen pressure like this in a bottle, other than the Saint Bernardus Christmas bottle that I opened at Tom's place. This bottle couldn't wait to pop the cork out. Tom barely touched the cage 1 turn and the cork shot out like a 12 gauge blast, leaving a mark in my 9 foot high ceiling. WARNING: Point cork away from anyone, or anything of value.
Appears a dark, russett brown with red edges and a mild, 1 finger tan cap with a thick collar. Scattered lacing is left all over the glass.
Smell is of bourbon, oak, vanilla, and caramel.
Taste is of the saturated oak, caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, and dark fruit.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, hot, oaky, with chewy, sugary caramel along the palate.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pours a deep reddish brown to black with a tan colored head that stats for about 2 minutes. Aroma of sweet bourbon and dark fruits like figs. A bunch of vanilla and some alcohol. The taste is sweet with some vanilla accents and a slight heat. There is a caramel taste at the end along with the heat. The carbonation is spot on and the feel is silky smooth.

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

What I'm reviewing is a 2009 that was on tap.

A - Pours very dark with a light toffee colored lacing ring.

S - Figs, dark toasted chocolate malt, bourbon, oak, vanilla.

T - Sweet and a little cloying at times from the dark roasted malt and bourbon. Blends evenly with dark fruit, dark chocolate, vanilla, roasted caramel, oak, and bourbon dominating the palette. The oak tannins contribute a slight welcome dryness to an already sweet and boozy beer. Taste is complex, deep, and overall very rich.

M - Thick and somewhat syrupy with lip smacking stickiness, nice gentle carbonation that's borderline velvety.

O - Incredible beer, wish I had a few bottles of these in my cellar but can't complain because what are the odds of finding this gem tap like I did today.

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

750ml Bottle from 2008 - thanks to pushkinwow for this

Appearance - Brown colour with pretty much no head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is isn't much lacing on the sides of the glass. The bottle opened without a 'pop'..

Smell - Malts, dark fruits, chocolate, booze

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a very low amount of carbonation (if any?) and I can taste chocolate mixed with malts and some dark fruits. There is also a touch of butterscotch/molasses and a some bourbon/booze. It ends with a sweet aftertaste with a lingering warming feeling from the booze.

Overall – A delicious and complex yet very drinkable beer. Of course I'd like some carbonation, but the fact that there isn't any leaves the beer feeling very velvety on the tongue. This is the perfect bottle for sharing on a special occasion and I'll buy it the next time I see it.

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The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,877 ratings.
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