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:
601
Gots:
572
For Trade:
50
User Reviews
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Reviews: 681 | Ratings: 1,813
Photo of SQNfan
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured mahogany in color with a creamy head. The nose was nicely complex with scents of roasted malts, vanilla, chocolate, dark fruit and a slight herbalness. The palate is similarly complex and medium to full-bodied with great richness and balance. There is plenty of carbonation to keep this deep beer fresh. Aging should allow this to mellow out a bit and be potentially perfect for my palate.

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Photo of throwitallaway
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Decanted from the bottle into a snifter. Pours a dark color with a massive head. The head subsides quite a bit, leaving a thin layer of foam across the top. Aroma is intense. Big notes of vanilla, bourbon, plums, caramel, and alcohol. Taste starts with bourbon and vanilla, then transitions to caramel malts and plums, finally ending with a mild coffee-like bitterness. Damn there's a lot going on. Mouthfeel is right in the middle and quite creamy. This is a big beer and definitely a sipper. Overall I have zero criticism for this beer. It is excellent in general.

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

2009 bottle. Pours dark brown to black with a head that dissipates quickly. Bourbon and sweet burnt caramel aromas linger in the room. Some fig, maple, and oak in there as well. Mouthfeel is silky/syrupy very, very light carbonation but not entirely flat like the brandy. The alcohol is a little more noticable than I like, but still enjoyable. Flavors are like the aroma with a pronounced bourbon whisky flavor. Why can't they just get some more carbonation in here and it would be a phenominal brew.

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

Nice brown color with attractive beige foam. Nice lacing.
I get a very strong bourbon nose with lots of caramel. Very nice.
Taste...lot's of licorice dark chocolate. Fizzy coke like mouth feel with a nice sweet"ish" finish. Some heat for sure but not too boozy. Very, very nice ba. Still like Wulver better but could drink this any time.

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Photo of sessycuban
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got this in a trade with Joey. You're a good man, Joey.

A - The beer pours a muddy brown. Perhaps a bit over-carbonated but I just let it settle. Great lacing, very sticky head.

S - Bourbon and caramel. This beer screams Tennessee.

T - Lots of caramel malts, huge malty backbone. The bourbon barrels also give it a slight peet taste. Yum!

M - Medium to full bodied, very rich. This one is definitely a sipper.

D - Much too hot for my taste, but a very interesting beer. I can't quite believe that this beer is only 12.5% abv as it is very boozy. Thumbs up to Tomme for putting out another creative brew.

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Photo of mpcrump
4.74/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle at one of my favorite places - Monks Café in Philly.

A: Deep dark brown. Decent carbonation and head. Head is lighter brown in color.

S: Very strong bourbon smell. I get a hint of vanilla and something fruity. Can't quite catch it. Decent smell of some dark fruits as well - figs/plums.

T: Ah, this is what we came for. I will admit - I had this after a Deliverance. Cherries and then some dark fruits up front. Then some toffee and some light chocolate. Finishes with bourbon and a hint of vanilla.

M: Very nice. Moderate to high carbonation but still feels creamy. Very interesting.

O: Give it to Lost Abbey to make another wonder bourbon barrel aged beer. Definitely a quality beer.

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

A - dark leather, nice head
S - oak, bourbon, dark fruit, even some chocolate
T - bourbon forward, dark fruit
M - nice, some thickness
O - good BBA beer, bourbon a bit too dominate to let more other flavor come through, though. I think aging a bit might have made this even better.

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Photo of leakyfaucet12
4.01/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a- This beer was thinner than what I was expecting. There is barely any head and I tried to agitate it to bring some life back into it with no success.

s- tons of dark fruits and strong booze tones. I can smell some vanilla and chocolate at the same time and a hint of hazelnut. Pretty tasty smelling.

t- very sweet with hints of dark fruits and maple syrup flavor almost. This beer definately has some heat to it but it is definately hidden with the sweet malts.

m- This beer lacks the carbonation that I look for. It almost is too syrupy with the mouthfeel. I do like the warmth that the alcohol gives me but overall I really would like more from this

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

Very expensive but I'm super excited to try this.

Pours an opaque brown-black with a slight ring of bubbles and zero lacing.

On the nose, booze is pretty strong, raisins, caramel, vanilla, bourbon. Really nice and formidable aroma.

Intense! This would be perfect with some cellaring. Powerful bourbon, booze, vanilla from the barrel, cloves, raisins, some residual sweetness. Nice.

Definitely a sipper. Strong alcohol taste and some burn. Thin and slick with very low carbonation as expected.

Overall, this is a nice offering. I don't think it quite lives up to the hype, especially for the price tag, but this is definitely worth a try for barrel aged beer lovers.

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Photo of thickerfreakness
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to kinnaird for throwing this in as an EXTRA. Seriously thanks John.

After having some small one ounce samples before I was now able to split this one with my step-dad (who loves bourbon barrel beers) and enjoy it over a longer period of time.

Poured this one really cold out of the fridge to try and prevent any gushing. Its a very dark ruby brown with a slight half-inch, cream colored head that fades to a slight film that covers the top of the beer.

One of the best smelling bourbon beers I have ever had. The nose is dominated by smooth bourbon, vanilla, rich creamy caramels and oak with some chocolate and dark fruits.

Taste is really close to smell with just a really silky smooth bourbon flavor that is accented by tons of vanilla, oak, bittersweet chocolate and dark fruit. There is a little bit of alcohol burn on the after taste but it goes away after a bit and as it warms the sweet creamy caramel becomes an amazing addition to the flavor.

Its a little overcarbonated for this style of beer but its got a silky smooth mouthfeel otherwise.

An extremely drinkable and smooth big beer but ABV is still too high for a great score.

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Photo of mahak213
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one in a trade, thanks so much sixt9coug!

Appearance: Pours a deep brown, almost black beer with the thinnest ring of head you can imagine. Whatever head was there dissipated very quickly. Looks like very little carbonation.

Smell: Strong bourbon notes with hints of vanilla and booze in the back. Boozey in the most appealing sense of the word. Very sweet smelling.

Taste: initially very sweet on the palate, a marshmellowy candy, vanilla sweetness. Bourbon undertones throughout the entire taste profile, finishing with a very pleasant toasted coconut. Boozey, helps to cut the sweetness of the beer and adds a nice bite to the finish.

Mouthfeel: smooth and creamy, lightly carbed and coating.

Overall: What a special beer! Really excited to get to try this one. Wish I was able to get some more lost abbey offerings!

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Photo of steadydose
4.69/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

375 ml bottle 2009 version

Cork came out with an audible pop, Co2 mist escapes from the bottle. I usually don't smell the cork, but the aroma that came out of the bottle, prompted me to take a whiff. The smell of chocolate and bourbon were easily recognizable, this is going to be good.

Beer is dark brown, carbonation is evident with bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass. No lasting head, just a little froth around the edges of the glass, looks like a creamier coca cola.

The aroma is where this beer shines. Smell is wonderful. A mix of bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, and toffee. Just an overall sweet aroma, which grows more complex as the beer warms.

The taste follows the smell with bourbon, vanilla, slight bitterness. This beer finishes with some heat. Lots of bourbon flavor, damn good.

Mouthfeel is nice. My bottle is definetly carbonated, prickly on the toungue at first then beer ends up with a soft and creamy mouthfeel.

Smelling and savoring this beer is an absolute treat. Deep, luxurious, and delicious all come to mind when I think of describing this beer. One of my favorites of 2009, I can't imagine this beer gets any better with age, luckily I have a few more bottles to find out.

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Photo of Telix
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Taken from OLD notes, so I apologize:

A: A deep chocolate with fainter brown on the edges. Shows very minimal carbonation. It actually looks kind of thin...

S: Intense. Sweet, raisiny, some bitterness. Hoppiness is evident. Some cocoa.

T: Quite sweet, quite intense, with a porty, raisiny character. There is a bitter bite that shows a high level of hopping. There is a big, zesty character on the entire palate, which makes it feel effervescent on the tongue. There is some chocolate, and the finish is big, zesty, and bitter. It's an interesting brew. Big, boozy, sweet, with a huge tongue-zipping bitterness. Maybe some blueberry? Other fruits?

M: Pretty solid. Zippy on the tongue. Not too thick. The lack of carbonation lends to a bit of syrupyness.

D: Hrm. Sooo sweet, sticky, flat, pruney, porty... I could have had half the amount and been OK with it. Does that say something about it?

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

2009 vintage

Brown with a purplish tint, no indication of carbonation. Does not resemble beer, but looks intriguing.

Aggressive bourbon aromas burn the inside of the nose with a deep inhalation. Vanilla, chocolate, and layers of dark fruits.

A bourbon-y alcoholic burn dominates, but is complemented by interesting vanilla notes. There is an underlying sweetness which is effectively masked by the alcohol, but which occasionally makes its presence known. The mouthfeel is actually not as thick as expected. No carbonation, which works fine for the pensive mood of this beer. The finish lasts forever and is wonderfully evocative - licorice, toffee, pecan, plum, et al. Bourbon is well integrated into this beer, as it's not clear where the beer ends and the bourbon begins.

I could definitely spend a few hours on these 12.7 ounces. Certainly an experience, though not one I could afford to have often.

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

On-tap at Hops & Pie, served in a Great Divide tulip.

I couldn't drink more than 1-of these, and for me, it needs to be the last beer of the night. With that being said, this was an excellent way to end the meal.

This is the closest beer I've had to a Madeira. It really reminded me of a Madeira with the dried fruit and oxidized notes of raisins, hints of prune, and walnut-like notes, as well as a bit of maple syrup. I like the nose better than the palate, which is a bit sweet for my personal tastes. Good, nonetheless.

Lightly carbonated. With a few swirls, a minimal head re-forms and subsides quickly. Definitely on the sweeter side of things. Nice complexity on the nose and palate, with the aromas blossoming and the flavors becoming more pronounced as the beer warms-up a bit.

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Photo of VRH
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Pours very dark, with a small tan head. Buttery, boozy, wood aromas up front, lead to a smooth caramel, sweet cocoa, toffee taste on medium to full bodied palate. Excellent.

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Photo of jamex
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S - An amazing bouquet when poured into my glass. Imagine legitimate bourbon poured upon freshly cut cedar. Then add dates or figs, maybe dark cherries or grapes. Throw in some beautifully cut oak.

T - More of the same as smell, with a more pronounced date/fig note. Major oak/cedar/bourbon taste.

M - Very buttery, yet exactly what needs to be felt with a brew such as this.

D - Warning: If more than two of these are imbibed you might run the risk of your face melting.

This was an amazing beer - but in NO WAY a session beer. Drink this and you're done - at least I was...

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Photo of pepsican
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very dark ruby, near black with a medium sized off white head. Aroma was strong bourbon and vanilla. flavor was vanilla, oak, bourbon, candi sugar, and caramel. A bit over carbonated, slight hint of the abv but not bad. This would have been much better without the explosive carbonation, but still a pretty solid beer.

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Photo of swthomas55
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Corked 375ml bottle at Papago Brewing, Scottsdale, AZ. 4/12/11. Poured into a snifter. No vintage marked on the bottle. Presumably the most recent (2010?)

Even though it's still cold from the cooler, an intense fruit - bourbon aroma rises from the glass. I am getting plums, pineapple, maybe peaches, and vanilla. Wow.

It's a deep brown, clear, with no head.

It enters the mouth like an aged sherry, and fills my palate with dried fruits that just go on and on and on. The finish is amazing, persisting for minutes. Mincemeat and molasses with rich malt are here in abundance.

There is no carbonation, but it doesn't need any. It is full and smooth, with some warmth. Despite it's strength, this beer is totally smooth. It's still a sippable beer, but there is not much heat from the alcohol.

I really can't come up with sufficient superlatives for this beer. It is truly amazing, a masterful blend of beer, barrel, and age.

After reading the other reviews, I have to agree that some carbonation might improve the beer. I maintain that it doesn't need it, in the same way at a fine sherry doesn't need carbonation. But the possibility of improvement forces me to reduce the 5 I gave to flavor down to 4.5, and to reduce the mouthfeel ranking similarly.

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Photo of tang3nt
3.62/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Sunset Bar and Grill on a recent vacation to New England.
Pours a dark brown/black color with tan head. Poor head retention.
Aromas of mostly bourbon, brown sugar and vanilla. Smells tastey.
Huge bourbon flavors up front, and a very strong caramel/vanilla finish. Not much hop presence at all and a lot of viscosity.
Nearly no carbonation in this one, very flat, pretty much expected considering all the other LA beers I've had in the past.
This beer is very drinkable, despite the 12% abv and non existent carbonation.
Overall I really did like this beer a lot. I think it probably would have been better if it had more carbonation but overall a very good brew. Especially happy I was able to try it on tap and avoid the $16-17 375 ml price of buying it elsewhere.

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Photo of McD0uche
4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass:

A: Pours a black/brown color with a light brown, one-finger head. The retention isn't great and there isn't any initial lacing to speak of. Carbonation is completely absent. As you consume the beer, the overall stickiness becomes apparent, with streaks of lacing ringing the glass. This latter quality ups the overall appearance.

S: A pleasant, complex aroma that includes toffee, malts, raisins, sweet bread, vanilla, and a bit of oak. A healthy dose of a booziness floats in the scent as well. Overall, it smells outrageously delicious, and I'm salivating just contemplating the taste.

T: The taste is very similar to the smell, with sweet raisin bread filling out the backbone of the flavor complex. Toffee flavors and malt notes float in the mix, with a big, hefty, boozy flavor kicking you in the dome on the way down. Finishes bitter. Since the flavor is intense and the alcohol is heavy, this beer is best enjoyed slowly at a sipping pace.

M: Soft and velvety. The carbonation is so subdued, you wouldn't really notice it unless you tried. Overall, it's alright. It works with the flavor and strength of the beer, but doesn't have any qualities to write home about. Probably the weakest aspect of the beer.

O: Generally speaking, this was awesome. Despite a lazy appearance and lackluster mouthfeel, this strong ale came through big time on smell and flavor. It compares very similarly in taste to Firestone's Abacus (now §ucaba) barleywine, so if you haven't ever had a chance to try that, this can fill in as an imitator. Kudos to Lost Abbey for putting out a memorable strong ale.

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

I had the pleasure of sampling this at the Strong Ale Fest at Avery Brewing and at the Lost Abbey 4th Anniversary party.

Dark brown color with small head. The aroma is alcohol bourbon with carmel, toffee notes. Sweet bourbon malty taste with alcohol and vanilla. Alcohol warmth. Medium body. A very pleasant experience that tipped off my tasting at the 4th Anniversay party. The rest is a haze.

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Photo of GrandCruDrew
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 Bottle poured into my KBS glass and tasted side by side with a FW Abacus '11.

A- Dark brown, almost black, great carbonation and immediate head, about 1 inch, tan in color. But, decent retention and minimal lacing.

S- I can smell the age, caramel, yeast, malts, def less oak and vanilla then Abacus, but some is there. A little sweetness.

T- Identical to the nose, def Strong Ale w/age, almost Belgian like. Would like more vanilla and bourbon.

M- Good, has a short finish at this point.

Overall- Good beer, Glad I have had it at this age, but would rather have it young.

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Photo of mmercede
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on Cask at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne, PA

A: Jet black with amber hues in the light

S: Oak, whiskey, sweet complex malt, dark fruits

T: A very nice strong bourbon flavor. Almost comparable to a Manhattan. similar to the smell with all sorts of complex malty flavors. The wood is especially evident toward the end.

M: Thick and Oily, but nice. Definitely a sipper.

D: I liked this one slightly more than the brady version. However, I'm not actively seeking it soon. I think it could age very well though.

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Photo of BS68280
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to dregs78 for a great trade! Poured from an 09 375ml bottle into my trusty DFH signature glass. Please don't be flat, please don't be flat.

A: Very dark brown. When held up to the night it is obvious that it is more of a dark cloudy brown then black. A couple bubbles... it turns out this isn't a completely flat one. Very very very lightly carbonated, no head but not completely flat.

S: Up front is a good amount of bourbon which fades into a tempting sweet vanilla, carmel. Boozy, but once you get past that it gets better.

T: Again with the bourbon up front. This rivals BCS with the amount of bourbon. A little oaky flavor and burnt malts which is followed by a good bit of alcohol heat. I am left with a taste of sweet dark fruits and a slightly chocolatey burnt malt.

M: Medium to thick body. Pretty flat too but i still like it a lot.

D: I thought this was a damn good beer. However the heat is a little much and the ABV shows through more than many other beers I've had.

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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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