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 fartingdog
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Dark with deep amber highlights when held to the light. Tan head dissipates to a thin layer. Nice lacing on the glass.

S- Oh god, this is good- rich and complex. Pit fruit (plum?), vanilla, light oak, hints of bourbon. Luscious.

T- Malty, rich and complex. I get bourbon, vanilla, hints of cherry, fig and oak. Big, bold and amazing.

M- Rich throughout the mouth, not too thick, not too thin- just right for a beer like this. Pleasant alcohol warming in the finish.

D- Well, this is perhaps my most favorite beer, ever. I would drink this daily if I had the stores. Absolutely amazing stuff. Definitely a bit of heaven.

 626 characters

Photo of USCTrojanBrian
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12.7 oz bottle Poured into a tulip glass.

Massive initial head aided by an unsteady, strong pour (oops). Dark as night. Beautiful bubbles in the head, lots of carbonation visible through the glass.

Raisin in the nose, perhaps? Nothing too dominant, but I can tell it's gonna be sweet. Taste very similar/trademark something about it to everything else I've had from Lost Abbey.

Chocolate. Alcohol. Super carbonated, not affecting mouthfeel but I can just see the bubbles bursting through the head. A hint of vanilla.

Creamy as it warms up (as opposed to watery or syrupy/gooey).

I'm really enjoying this, the overall flavor trumps whatever individual notes I'm picking up. Not a flavor I'd usually enjoy either, but the texture, the aroma, the flavors are working in combo really well. Well worth the raves it draws.

The one setback is, and maybe its just my own taste, I'm not getting a lot of the oak/bourbon in here. Maybe it's the sweetness (and I like bourbon because of its sweetness) in this that reveals the bourbon character, but I don't know.

Can't complain, I recommend this to anyone, its more of a sit at home and drink beer than a bar beer, if that makes sense. Grab a book, have some cheese or chocolate nearby, sit in a comfy chair, and relax type beer.

 1,276 characters

Photo of ItsMe
4.84/5  rDev +14.2%

Snow day. Bourbon barrel aged beer with cork and cage. It's gotta be good right?!

Pours a murky dark mahogany with a thin rim of a head

The nose is heavy on brandy, vanilla, plums, raisins, chocolate, and oak.

The taste follows the nose. Very sweet. Vanilla, chocolate, and dark fruits. Alcohol warmth hits you in the chest in a nice way.

Super creamy and smooth. Light/medium carbonation, very easy drinking.

This beer is easily worth large price tag.

 460 characters

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

Sampled at the West Coast Barrel Aged Beer Fest in Hayward, CA.

2006 vintage. Poured dark brown with yellow/orange highlights. Aroma mostly of bourbon and toffee, with a tiny hint of alcohol.

Aroma carries through in flavor dominated by bourbon, vanilla, toffee and caramel, with an underlying belgin ester quality. Creamy mouthfeel.

Damn good stuff for sure, and glad I got to try it so I know for certain this is wildly overpriced and not something I would purchase on its own. Not nearly as complex as I would have expected, came across as less intersting than other barrel aged ales I've encountered, such as Firestone 11 and a handful of others sampled at the same event. Good stuff again, but the wife and I agreed that for something with such hype and inflated pricing, it's a bit mundane.

 800 characters

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

Pours from a 350ml with a MASSIVE cream head that I could not keep in check and a virtually black body - looks like a dark plum. The head just...keeps...growing... Surprised I didn't have a gusher on my hands. Getting fig above all else from the nose, backed up by brown sugar, a really rich caramel scent and the suggestion of bourbon ("might I recommed you have some bourbon in you beer, sir" it says). I reply that I would, and taking a drink, I'm quite pleased with my bourbon-rific concoction I've been served. Beyond that, there's almost too much to describe here - caramel, prune, fig, cracked black pepper, oak, chocholate, vanilla, some more bourbon, a little fusel burn ("is 'burn' a flavor... really?" it questions) and a caramel finish again on the end. Quite cyclical, which just begs one to continue the cycle. Might be too much oaky bitterness at warmer temps. This is rich as all get out, but the mouthfeel is surprisingly light - and that's a welcome thing. Were this even a touch more viscous, I think it might approach undrinkable. A sipper, a dessert beer, and even at this size sharing is mandatory, but delightful to drink. The taste bud overload of richie-richness is nigh overwhelming - teeters on the edge of being way too much ("why, I believe I could say the same of you" it opines) but buries the needle just before the line. Quite good, but some flaws here and there that distract from pure drinking enjoynment

...uh, and points deducted for it being sentient...

Big thanks to IntriqKen for the bottle

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

Tried this on draft in a small snifter. Dark brown/black with minimal foam. The smell is great. Malt, chocolate, caramel and huge burbon. It almost jumps out of the glass at you. The taste is similarly great. The burbon is up front along with coffee, chocolate and caramel. The alcohol while not overpowering is present. Great beer with tons on flavor.

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Photo of Koufax21
2.75/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Wow... What a disappointment. After having this on tap a few months ago and enjoying it, I decided to buy a bottle. I ignored beerandraiderfan's warning and bought my 14.99 - 12.7 oz. bottle. To his exact description... No carbonation. I mean none. I thought this was only similar in the aroma. Sweet, bourbon, caramel. The taste was off. Some kind of acrid, sour flavor. So disappointed in the bottle version. Just for the record... On tap is 10x the beer. Poor bottling.

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

Bottle

Dark syrupy brown, small tan head, looks intense.

So much going on her...Big bourbon smell, brown sugar, vanilla, figs, smokey rasins and a small amount of funk. The taste is increadable...so complex, everything from rasins soaked in bourbon, oak, vanilla beans, maple syrup, dark fruit and wet hay, the alcohol is very well balanced with the rest of the components of this beer. Slick mouthfeel, super smooth. Very drinkable but it sneaks up on you.

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Photo of spoons
3.77/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip

Pours a dark brown color with watery edges. Looks a little syrupy. Absolutely no head or carbonation to speak of. You can see the alcohol in the form of legs around the sides of the glass.

Smells like a lot of cheap vanilla and malt. Like a port. Chocolate and alcohol (harsh). Some darker fruits like figs and raisins. Whisky.

Taste comes in smooth and syrupy. Tastes like bourbon. A lot of caramel and vanilla. With no carbonation this reminds me of Utopias. Like a not so great port, very muddy. As far as placing it in the beer catergory its not so bad. Could use a little more time.

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Photo of LouAleHead
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I love malts, and this one is no exception, great feel and aroma, the taste is there but was over powered a bit by the alcohol, am i the first one to complain about ABV. Little head but it laces, aromas is awesome. So far every Lost Abbey brew i'I've had has been AWESOME!!!!!!!!!

 281 characters

Photo of sentomaster
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bottle poured into DFH goblet

A- very disappointing. An ever so faint pop from the cork, not a good sign. Pour is a deep ruddy, black, thick, and murky color with almost no carbonation.

S- monster whiff of grapey, sherry-like alcohol. if you really look for it, a touch of bourbon and oak, but it has really faded over time. Gooey, fudgy caramel; rum soaked dark cherries.

T&M- peppery alcohol is still strong. Chocolate cake like consistency. Shockingly, this is actually carbed up pretty decently- considering the alternative of zero bubbles which I've gotten with this beer before. Oh so slight...but it is there, and the very, very fine carbonation actually manages to lend to the rich and decadent mouthfeel; still it needs a step up. it gets even better as it warms. Dark fruits really present themselves and start to shine and flex next to the huge alcohol notes. While the spicy alcohol is big, it's really not at all overwhelming at this point. Vanilla and bourbon also vie for the stage as it warms. Rum soaked dark cherries appear again this time covered in dark chocolate.

O- rich and decadent is how I would describe this, but it's just missing an extra dimension that would send this beer into the stratosphere. I had this on tap and it was amazing, this doesn't quite measure up.

 1,303 characters

Photo of tprokop7
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to tayner for this botltle from her winning box the first ever TIF. Shared with BA rbuckstar, half of a 375 poured into a DFH oversized wine glass. Two twists of the cage and the cork almost went through the ceiling with the biggest bang I've heard from a bottle of beer.

A - Deep, reddish brown with an uneven, three finger tan head.

S - Smooth bourbon, with loads of vanilla and oak.

T - Malty and sweet, with just a little too much bourbon for my tastes.

M - Very nice on the tongue, with just the right amount of carbonation (after it was all released on opening).

D - It's a great, well put together, complex beer, but it almost seems futile to rate the drinkability of such a rare beer.

 704 characters

Photo of Cakanator
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Yes this was third course 09 BGBBD @ sierra, just sick to know that it was the bourbon instead of the brandy. So dark and happy, I've had the bourbon in bottle before and loved it and this was no exception. Poured dark with little head. Aromas were huge so much vanilla like I remembered it and thank god I got a snifter of this at the end. Went down too smooth and easy. I could care less about carb issues, this was almost complete and for me was up there with BBVD, BA Boris and Nor'easter Cl for best bourbon brews.

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Photo of hrking
4.92/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, all I can say about this brew is GET IT. I have had 1000's of different brews before this whole rating thing ever even came about. I seldom take the time to sit down and write a review but this one is totally worthy.It's all here the smell, the taste, the appearance, the bottling, this is the holy grail of brews.
I'm a big fan of bourbon aged beers, oak aged beers, and those beers that just seem to bring a little something extra to the table. This beer totally runs the gauntlet. Popping the cork on this bad boy and pouring it I knew I was in for something special. Then you put it to your nose. All I could say was WOW! If this taste as good as it smells, sweet oak aged vanilla, bourbon, Belgian Candi sugar..Then.. the taste Smooth beyond all belief, alcohol was very well hidden basically because my palette was busy moshing over all the flavors of vanilla, oak, and bourbon and sugars that were to be what I expected from the nose. It did not let up! Holy Moses sweet fathers of the brewing Gods. I have seen the light and it beem through a bottle of Bourbon Barrel Aged Lost Abbey Angel's Share!

 1,112 characters

Photo of osusullins
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a really enjoyable bourbon stout. I was able to taste a vertical of 10' and 11' on draft. They were similar, however the 10' was much smoother with the bourbon taste having subsided a little making it slightly more enjoyable then the 11'. Both were tasty, however I liked the 10' better.

Both poured a pitch black with no head.

The noses were similar too. Bourbon, bourbon, and more bourbon. Traces of vanilla, but it is hard picking up anything other then bourbon.

When it comes to taste, the differences are very subtle. In the 10' the bourbon is immediate, but it does allow the vanilla and chocolate. Finishes strong. The 11' is pretty much all bourbon from start to finish.

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Photo of wd40
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark and cloudy blackish brown with no head at all. The carbonation is very low, but gives a pleasant mouthfeel to a very thick brew.

The smell is strongly of raisins and fig. I can tell it is sweet even before drinking it because the dried fruitiness of the aroma is so strong. I can also smell the oak of the bourbon barrels and a bit of the bourbon.

The taste is slightly hot with alcohol (kind of like drinking actual bourbon). The beer is indeed very sweet.

The mouthfeel is soft since there is so little carbonation.

The drinkability is good. The beer is fairly smooth but a little sweet to drink entirely in one sitting without something to cleanse the palate.

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Photo of phattysbox
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

350 ml bottle from a trade with ralflord. Chilled down to try reduce the chance of a gusher but to no avail. Almost took my head off and my cat ran cover. Quickly poured into Duvel tulip glass. Left almost four inches of soapy brown head that retreated very slowly. Dark ruby in color. Lovely webbing and lace stayed through the whole experience. Smells of vanilla and sweet candy.

Taste: Simply amamzing. Extremely complex notes of vanilla, bourbon, oak and sweet figs. Twinge of hops in the background but the sweetness and oak overpowers and is an amazing show stopper. The alcohol is present, but not harsh - wamrs the core. Body is slick and smooth with a medium-dry finish. I thought the carbonation would detract from this brew but adds to complexity instead.

Drinkability is somewhat average due to gusher and high alcohol but since it is so dang smooth I want another. My bottle went way to quick and will be seeking out more.

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Photo of mrkrispy
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(review of the draft version during the Bottle Release in 2008)
I went to the Bourbon Barrel release and was fortunate enough to be able to sample it in line - 3 times. Absolutely a stunning beer from first to last taste.

Glass arrived with a faint head on it with the brew a strikingly dark crimson approaching black. The bourbon nose was bold but not near overpowering.

Flavors of malt, vanilla, chocolate, with hints of molasses, bourbon, and toffee. The tastes don't linger too long, so there is no overpowering buildup. Moderate carbonation helps to cleanse the palate. Somewhat hot, much smoother than the Brandy version. A fantastic, world class beer.

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Photo of isubsmith
3.72/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Another beer brought back from CA by my friend.

Appearance: Dark syrupy brown. Lots of head initially, but it instantly retreated to nothingness.

Smell: Wow. Lots and lots and lots of bourbon. Vanilla, caramel. Lots of toasted malt. Dark fruits - raisins and figs. Some toffee. Very complex nose.

Taste: Overpowering for me. It follows the nose, but it's just too much. This is coming from someone that loves bourbon and loves beer and had very high expectations for this beer. Its just too sweet I think. Too much malt, too much bourbon. I really wish I had another bottle to store in the cellar for a while. I think it could mellow out nicely. But the fresh bottle we had was just too much.

Mouthfeel: Very light carbonation. Surprisingly light body given the syrupy pour. Almost airy, especially as it warmed up.

Drinkability: I really wanted to like this beer and I'm quiet surprised I didn't. The sweetness was just too overpowering. Maybe I can get another bottle and age it for a while and see how that goes.

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Photo of gtn80
3.06/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 2008 bottle into a chalice.

I hate to review a flat bottle, but this bottle was procured and stored properly, but absolutely no carbonation from the pour.

Aroma is tremendous. Dark, rich, malty sugars. Wine grapes and oak.

Beer is a deep brown with ruby highlights when held up to light.

Taste is overpowering without carbonation. Too thick and viscous. Dark fruits are there, molasses, touch of vanilla. Syrupy however, with a touch of an acrid, bitter bite on the finish.

Mouthfeel is horrendous. Viscous, thick, and heavy on the tongue.

Drinkability is horrid, just alcohol and thickness. Cloying.

I hope to get to review a better bottle at some point, as I can tell the flavors are there, but this bottle was not something I enjoyed.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of TheEremite
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 on tap at the Toronado Barleywine Festival in Feb. of 08.

What an exceptional beer. I'm not convinced this is a barleywine strictly. It's a bit heavy on the dark, chocolate and crystal malts. It pours a dark brown, almost black. It also has a significant chocolate flavor on there. There's also tons of caramel and vanilla from the bourbon barrel. It's pretty thick, full bodied, but it goes down silky smooth. This was by far the best beer at the fest, even though I'm not sure it would classify as a barleywine by BJCP or by GABF standards. I guess that's why lost abbey classifies it as one of their "non-denomination beers." Still, this is a must have for any beer fan. What a treat. I could sit for hours and just sniff that vanilla, caramel, chocolate and oak.

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Photo of guzzle211
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml received in a cross-country trade in the beginning of the year, stored carefully for the right occasion.

Healthy pop from the cork was a good start, followed by a very slow geyser (nothing major.) Poured into a crystal tulip glass in order to celebrate my birthday and just having won the 2008 BA Fantasy Nascar title. Deep murky dark brown cider appearance, thin tan head disappears quickly. As the brew settles it begins to resemble cola.

The nose is complicated and changes quite a bit as this complex brew warms up. The first notes of liquor sweetness and chocolate are balanced by the pruney malt backbone. There is a lingering sweetness, reminiscent of cotton candy.

The taste grows increasingly complex as it warms. The malt really comes to the forefront, but it is balance so well by the bourbon barrel accents and sweetness. There is a subtle prune juice feel to the tongue.

Mouthfeel is fizzy and biting due to the continuous carbonation. Although the carbonation keeps the brew fresh, it does work against the tongue.

Drinkability is high (as far as long slow sips go.) The abv is completely hidden, and there is nothing that overpowers the palate. Such a pleasant experience ...

Sweet, smooth, incredible.

 1,230 characters

Photo of bgramer
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Whoa - when popping the cork, you could smell the bourbon instantly, and oh what a heavenly smell.

Poured into my glass cold so it wouldn't gush as much out of the bottle, it was dark and purpley. As it warmed up, it smelled so sweet and I tasted the bready bourbon sweetness. It definitely has a candied and spicy flavor that gives it an awesome balanced complexity over the oak and bourbon which blends well together.

Imagine how well this is going to age! I'm looking forward to trying this again soon.

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Photo of isaac
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

another beer that has compelled me to write... mmm... i like it a lot...

pours a brown, orange-tinged-on the edges, bubbly liquid into my snifter. big, beige head sits cakey for a while, then sinks to lace and film. smell is wonderful - vanilla, oak, bourbon, caramel malts... dates? taste is equally complex: woody (oak with vanilla and something that reminds me of grilled peaches. i have tasted it in bourbon before), sweet like dates, with just a hint of banana. the finish is so pleasantly bourbon-y, with a bit of herbal hops. i love it. mouthfeel is nice, changing from medium to medium-thick as it sits on my tongue. almost like old viscosity in that way.

i am a huge fan, not what i was expecting, but very very good.

thanks lost abbey!

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

Had on-tap pre-thanksgiving. Small 5oz pour. Fantastic strong bourbon filled aroma that really set the tone for the beer. Nice malty taste with a little bit of oaky-barrel flavor coming through and a nice strong bourbon finish. Kind of straddled the line between a thick and thin beer, with aspects of both that muddled it up a little. Great overall beer, but not the most exceptional barrel aged RIS.

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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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