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

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-AgedThe Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
BA SCORE
4.29/5
Outstanding
1,913 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#628
Reviews:
705
Ratings:
1,913
pDev:
10.96%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
608
Gots:
576
Trade:
40
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,913 |  Reviews: 705
Photo of rkarimi
4.41/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1-8

3 characters

Photo of jplopez21
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of jkrug5
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of mikeburd1128
2.5/5  rDev -41.7%

Photo of whitenads
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of woodchip
4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of spointon
3.44/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I poured this from a 750ml brown bottle (2008 vintage) into a St. Bernardus chalice glass. As I eased the cork from this bottle I could tell there was no pressure inside the bottle helping to push the cork out...and alas this turned out to be one of the infamous uncarbonated examples of Angel's Share.

A= Poured a slightly murky blackish brown color. With a super hard pour I was not able raise any sort of head. Completely still beer. No lacing at all.

S= The aroma of this ale was very boozy and filled with dark, sweet, malty notes. There were also some nice vanilla and oak character in there as well, but this was harder to find in the wash of bourbon.

T= Similar to the nose. Started off with sweet dark malts and caramel then the bourbon kicked in and brought some light vanilla with it. No hops to speak of. Lots of alcohol throughout leading into a somewhat hot finish. Lots of chest-warming alcohol aftereffects.

MF= Medium bodied, with zero carbonation. The flatness gave this a thin and watery feel.

D= The no carbonation thing is a huge flaw in this beer, but it had its moments. The ABV makes this a sipper either way. I would love to try this again if it was properly carbonated.

 1,202 characters

Photo of ldhughes3
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of tedho21
3/5  rDev -30.1%

Photo of jmccraney
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of aerozeppl
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice deep brown color. Minimal amount of brown head. Some spotty lacing.

S: Bourbon up front. A nice earthy mustiness right behind it. Hints of basement which is a positive for me. Raisins, brown sugar plums with a slight funk. Quite a bit of fruit in there as well.

T: Very subtle. The bourbon was much more muted than I thought it would be. A nice sweetness is there with hints of molasses. Very complex.

M: Very bubbly. Nice crisp mouthfeel which was more than a little unexpected.

D: Just a really great beer. Very complex. A nice mix of the barrel and a great base beer. Recommended.

 595 characters

Photo of bashiba
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a thick and chewy looking dark brown with lots of sedement and just a hint of off white head.

The smell was huge, a giant vanilla and oak whiskey smell with hints of alcohol sweetness along with a big dark fruity nose with some cherries and raisons.

The taste was mellow and smooth after the assault the aroma gave my nose. Subtle malt sweetness mixing in with a nice musty yeast flavor along with a light bit of vanilla and cedar with a touch of raison and a slightly earthy and bitter hops in the finish.

The mouthfeel is warm and thick with a long lingering resiny finish carrying the flavor on and on.

A very nice sipper of a strong ale, something I would drink plenty of if the price wasn't quite so high and availability was a little greater, still it will be a very nice treat from time to time.

 813 characters

Photo of Paccamacca
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dataylor21
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of randylangford
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of thufflife
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of CrellMoset
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle courtesy of gford217 - thanks for this long-time want!! Poured into a 12 oz. brandy snifter. I struggled to get the cork out of this one after removing the electric tape from the corked/caged apparatus sealing this bottle shut. Eventually it came out with a thunderous pop and - watch out! - it was a gusher!

Appearance: This one's a strange thing. The pour happened quickly (as it was a gusher), glub glub glub, a thick-looking nearly black brew settling quickly into the snifter. The interesting part was that the head - while initially a big, foamy, bubbly, fizzy, cola-esque cocoa brown - somehow manages to continuously replenish itself. The initial one-finger fades quickly, and seems like it would like to continue doing so, but there's enough spare carbonation in this one just bursting to the surface that a seething sheen of bubbles foams a surface nest of carbonation that, well, at least resembles a head. The collar is similarly foamy, faintly sticky, but very bubbly and effervescence, just like the "faux head." There actually is a little bit of lace stickage - a few blobs and islands on the sides of the glass. A solid start.

Aroma: Spicy, incredibly woody, and slightly warming bourbon dominates the nose, blending well with an earthy, well-toasted malt note that lends an air of coffee to the aroma. The balance - molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup, slight cocoa, tons of dark fruit (overwhelming raisin, figs) and a soupcon of lighter fruity esters (cherries, pears) - is pleasant too. The malts emerge a little more as this one warms, subduing the bourbon slightly. Oh, and the cork smells intensely of maple syrup.

Taste: Where this beer really comes into its own. Absolutely phenomenal. The bourbon is spicy, earthy, well-integrated, and not hot at all. The malt backbone is all over the place, and that's a good thing - sweet, heavy maple syrup is interlaced with thick, black molasses which intermingles with brown sugar, backed up by a four-part harmony of solid bittersweet chocolate, sweet and in some places slightly tart cherry, light Bradford pears, and dark raisins. Plenty of woody notes and their accompanying vanillan, along with a surprisingly prickly, piney hop profile round out this incredibly full, complex, multi-faceted brew.

Mouthfeel: The appearance gave away what this one would probably feel like. The body itself is probably fairly thick, but there's so much effervescence, fast, crisp, huge, but somehow still surprisingly even. This makes it incredibly light, Belgian-almost, in that it sort of floats over the tongue, airy and cloud-like. It thickens up just a little bit as it warms and the carbonation mellows out, resulting in a light, airy, but still somewhat creamy beer, almost like thinned-out whipped cream.

Drinkability: Well this one's really good. Damn good. I had the Great Lakes Barrel Aged Blackout Stout the other night, and though similar, the contrast mainly lies in the fruits. The base beer here - the Angel's Share, I s'pose - is far fruitier across the board, both in the light and dark fruit department, different in neither a good way nor a bad way. This beer is, naturally, world class, absolutely delicious, aromatic, creamy and light, and only lacking in those areas where a beer of this abv% is almost certain to lack (lacing, head retention, pure drinkablity). I'd love to have one of these to cellar, though I do fear Lost Abbey's quality control issues! Highly recommended.

 3,473 characters

Photo of inlimbo77
4.01/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml, '08 Vintage
Snifter, split bottle between two people
***600th BA review***

A: Pours completely carbonation less. Flat. Flatter than flat. Dark dirty brown. Reddish hues towards corners. Murky brown color. Carbonation is knocking this down for me.

S: Rum soaked raisins. Dark fruits. Barrel is there. Vanilla notes. Wood. Toffee and caramel for sure. Maybe some oxidation too.

T: Tons of dark fruits. Rum soaked raisin. Lots of vanilla. Lack of carbonation sucks, but the flavors are still very good.

M: Full bodied. Carbonation lack sucks.

I know this beer would have been killer if there was carbonation, and maybe a little less age on it.

 652 characters

Photo of Kramerwtmf
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle poured into a large snifter

A: pours a deep brown with no light transmission. small tan head recedes quickly to form a small collar around the glass
S: smells of bourbon with notes of caramel, oak, vanilla, a tinge of chocolate and hint of coffee along with a bit of alcohol and booze.
T: lighter than I anticipated from the nose. those same flavors are there but muted a bit. still a lot of oak vanilla and caramel. slight alcohol burn and booziness. fairly smooth though. aftertaste is pretty alcoholic but has some notes of chocolate, caramel and vanilla
M: light carbonation and a surprisingly thin mouthfeel. it doesn't feel like it has the substance of a 12.5% beer. not bad though, and I'm quite pleased that it's carbonated.
O: buying this beer was a gamble due to lost abbey's purported carbonation issues, but this is fantastic with loads of complexity and great flavors. I'm gonna need to pick up another one.

 933 characters

Photo of hopkrid
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of jacewg
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of crossovert
3.22/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12.7 oz corked and caged brown bottle. 2010 vintage. 12.5% alcohol.

It pours a dark brown with a fizzy off-white head that never gets very large and dissipates immediately with no lacing.

The smell is dominated by bourbon through and through. There are hints of oak, alcohol, and fruits. It isn't super complex, mainly bourbon. There is a hint of chocolate that hints in but never becomes super noticeable.

The bourbon dominates the flavor, though it isn't as alcoholic as I was expecting. It has some caramel, vanilla, and oak, but that is about it. There is some walnuttiness that comes through, almost like a stale maibock in the finish I was hoping for something with more complexity, this is basically bourbon flavored beer.

The bottle was overpriced, it is a bit overhyped.

 783 characters

Photo of facesnorth
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of ambruns1979
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 4.29 out of 5 with 1,913 ratings