Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

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
1,903 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:
#594
Reviews:
701
Ratings:
1,903
pDev:
10.96%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
607
Gots:
577
Trade:
41
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,903 |  Reviews: 701
Photo of runner440
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of Pecan
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of astidad
5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of jgluck
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of mbixler
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of metapod
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of baybum
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of redliner8
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of roblund
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of jzeilinger
4.42/5  rDev +3%
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.

 768 characters

Photo of Dope
3.84/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle date is obscured a bit, believe it to be a 2010 bottle. Possibly 2011.

A: Just the tiniest hiss as I remove the cork. Pours a very dark brown. No head, no lacing. Appears to be almost completely flat just like the terrible brandy version I just endured. Let's see if we can go 0/2 when drinking extremely expensive beers. Swirling it produces just the tiniest bit of foam for a second, so there is just a little bit of carbonation at least.

S: Smells like bourbon mixed with rubbing alcohol. Get some nice vanilla. Swear I get a band-aid type aroma too.

T: Bourbon up front, lots of it. Nice caramel and vanilla mixes in with some bright toffee. Get some chocolate in the middle, maybe a little char too. Finishes with a slap of grain alcohol and some oaky notes. Very boozy, lingering alcohol in the aftertaste.

M: Heavy but not as heavy as you'd expect a 12.5% flat beer to be. I think the high amount of bourbon waters it down and cuts it nicely with tons of alcohol. Still lacking, unfortunately.

O: Huh, that was a close one. Fully expected this to be terrible like the brandy version but it's pretty good. Super boozy and heavy on the bourbon. Flatness (though not completely flat) hurts the mouthfeel but honestly not as bad as you'd expect since the bourbon cuts the beer nicely. It's basically a sweet chocolate bourbon bomb, that's the best way I can describe it.

 1,387 characters

Photo of RichardMNixon
2.75/5  rDev -35.9%

Photo of jculler82
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Phacoman
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Knapp85
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage: This beer poured out as a deep looking brown color. There is no head or lacing at all on this beer. Looks like a murky flat cola. The smell is loaded with bourbon notes... It's very boozy smelling but sweet at the same time. The taste is sweet, lots of vanilla and bourbon in this beer. The malts a hidden as well as the hops also. There is a hint of molasses in there also. The mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied but not much carbonation at all. Overall it's a big flavorful beer, could use some help but the carbonation was minimal. Perhaps newer vintages have a bit more to offer. Still very good but pricey, worth trying if you can afford it.

 660 characters

Photo of bmur112
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of DaveAnderson
3.87/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2009 bottle, poured into a Darkness tulip.

A: Looks like cowboy coffee, only less carbonated. You would need to add CO2 to reach "flat". It's muddy and murky, which would be promising, if only it weren't flatter than the Texas Panhandle.

S: A lot of Bourbon-barrel beers smell great. This is no exception. It has the usual notes -- toffee, caramel, oak -- but I can't help thinking it would reveal more of itself if it had some bubbles popping. A little time and temperature change does not seem to coax more depth from this beer. Pity.

T: There's a sourness that wasn't hinted on the nose. It is otherwise very consistent with the smell. The label says 11.5% (I presume later years are the listed 12.5%), but it's well-masked.

M: Lack of carbonation really hurts this beer. It just seems thin.

O: I presume I would have given this beer at least 1/2 points higher on every metric, if it had even modest carbonation. As is was, I was really disappointed.

 958 characters

Photo of heddar33
5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of Chris_Cali_2o9
2.5/5  rDev -41.7%

Photo of McD0uche
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 1,636 characters

Photo of sneaks2210
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of strongaf
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of TidalDave
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Mister_Joshy
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 4.29 out of 5 with 1,903 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.