Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
683 Reviews
no score
Send samples
The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-AgedThe Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 683 | Ratings: 1,833
Photo of Nugganooch
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2014 release 375ml c&c bottle - Lost Abbey stemware
Notes from 10/18/2014

A: Angel's Share pours a dark cola brown with lots of tiny bubbles trapped in suspension along the glass walls. A thin rim of yellowish tan suds forms and holds for a mere moment. Light on the stick with some nice alcohol runners there.

S: Smells of bourbon soaked raisins. I get caramlized fig with plum and toasted coconut. Bourbon infused vanilla bean. Bready malts laid down underneath. Smells divine and much like a Belgian Quad would.

T: Tastes like a damn bourbon vanilla malt shake. So exquisite. Like flambeyed stone fruits with notes of coconut and vanilla creme. Good hearty bread crust and sugary caramel malt smacks at the lips. I get some berry like fruits mixed in and a hit of bittering hops there with a kick of fiery alcohol but its all in good here. Simply delicious.

M: Heavy and full bodied yet somehow seemingly frothy on the palate. Definitely has a gooey thickness that sticks to the gums a bit but enough ample carb and bitter hops to cut through it all and round up some dryness in the finish.

D: A fireside sipper but oh so damn delicious. Bourbon vanilla, darkened breads, ester fruitiness, and malt sugars all come into harmony for one tasty brew. A must try for all.

 1,294 characters

Photo of Radome
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12.7 oz cork-stopped bottle.

L - Deepest brown without being black. No light gets through. Very little head, mostly just wispy swirls on the surface and an off-white ring around the glass. Light Belgian lace.

S - Aromas of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, tobacco, oak. Hops are not obvious, but might be present intermixed with the tobacco aroma. No overt yeast notes. Light whiskey-tinged alcohol aromatics.

T - The flavors follow the aromas, but with some fruitiness as well. Coffee; chocolate milk; light plums; vanilla; coconut. There is a low aged, oxidized character similar to soy sauce, but it fits with the other flavors rather than detracting. Somewhat dry finish.

F - Thick body. Low carbonation. Surprisingly low alcohol burn for the ABV. Bracing hop bitterness, but not over the top.

O - This is an incredibly rich and complex beer. I t emphasizes rounded qualities from aging over the direct oak or whiskey it was aged in.

 965 characters

Photo of Catracho5
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle poured into a Lost Abbey Teku glass

A: Nice mahogany color, off white vanilla colored head that quickly vanished, not much, if any, carbonation, some minor lacing, cloudy.

A: Bourbon, toffee, vanilla, oak, raisins, very complex aroma, smells really good.

T: Bourbon, dark fruits, raisins, figs, vanilla, nice dry finish, some alcohol on the backend, but very drinkable.

M: Medium mouthfeel, finishes dry.

O: Very impressed, complex, balanced beer, lots of aroma and flavor, nice medium mouthfeel, my only complaint is that it seems light on carbonation, semi-flat, but once again, Lost Abbey impresses me. Definitely worth a try and while I don't think this is Lost Abbey's best beer, I would not pass it up.

 728 characters

Photo of RyanK252
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Spokeasy Public House

A: Pours murky deep brown with a creamy khaki head that settles and laces lightly.

S: Molasses, brown sugar, a little maple, smooth bourbon, maybe a bit of dark chocolate.

T: Rich dark sugar, toffee, molasses, brown sugar, smooth bourbon, hint of vanilla, fig, raisin, and maybe a touch of chocolate.

M: Medium to heavy body, moderate carbonation that keeps it from getting syrupy, quite smooth, a little warmth as it goes down.

O: Rich, smooth, and indulgent, bordering on being too sweet, but still a hell of a beer.

 558 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

375ml cork top bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a deep murky brown color with a small fizzy tan colored head that reduces completely, leaving nothing behind

S- big sweet malt aroma that is reminiscent of an English barleywine; notes of caramel/butterscotch, plums, fig, currant, dark grape, molasses, oaky vanilla, whisky alcohol, toasted coconut and black cherry

T- strong flavors of caramel malt and butterscotch up front , dark fruit flavors of black cherry, raisin & fig kick in, followed by nutty flavors, along with barrel juice, vanilla, toasted oak and toasted coconut. Whisky alcohol ad more dark fruits on the linger

M- medium viscous body with low carbonation leads to a slick mouthfeel and a warming finish

O- big and malty with plenty of bourbon flavor and aroma, it is drinking a hit hot at this point

 830 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.89/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown color. Light shines through only on the edges. Beige head. Great right lace after each sip.

Strong sweet molasses to the nose. Lots of raisin.

Overwhelmingly warming from the alcohol. Save this as a dessert. Think dark treacle on the tongue. Very thick body with a low level of carbonation.

 305 characters

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.

 764 characters

Photo of parris
2.98/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.25

Opened a properly aged 2008 bottle - so not a fresh bottle and probably not a great representation of the beer. I wish there was some sort of "vintage" option for BA ratings.

Completely flat pour
Nose is molasses, musty, Brett
Taste is similar to nose but super muted and a tad oaky
Super thin mouthfeel, body has completely disappeared over the past 6 years.
Aged beers can be a bit of a gamble, I totally lost on this one.

 428 characters

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.

 677 characters

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer was a brownish black with little head.

Smell - The bourbon really comes through the aroma.

Taste - My initial impression is the sweetness. Other impressions include a slight nuttiness and sticky fruits. The aftertaste is warm and slightly medicinal.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation is low, as expected because of the aging.

Overall - I am not certain is I aged this one too long, but it is not as flavorful as I would hope. Still, it is very nice.

 471 characters

Photo of kdahnke123
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter at room temperature.
A - Poured a medium brown color with minimal head which quickly disappeared leaving minimal lacing.
S - Has a very pleasant smell. Bourbon, alcohol, dark fruit and plenty of medium roast malt.
T - Carmel, dark fruit and bourbon and a long lasting alcohol finish.
M - A little on the light side for mouthfeel. Low on carbonation.
O - I have wanted to try this for a while. It has a very nice smell and flavor. It is a little pricey given all the other high end BA ales out there. It's worth trying once but I would stock up on Fremont or Firestone Walker for cellaring.

 616 characters

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.

 337 characters

Photo of BrainGrenades
5/5  rDev +17.9%

For a balanced barrel-aged sipping beer it seriously doesn't get better than this. The perfect beer for cold winter nights. One of my favs from Lost Abbey.

 155 characters

Photo of spacecake9
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

A - Pours a dark reddish-brown with a small creamy tan head.
S - Smells like dark fruit, like dried raisins and cherries.
T - Definitely boozy but not overwhelming. The alcohol seems to ride on top of the raisin flavor.
M - Medium-thick mouth feel, the flavor hung around until my next sip. No carbonation.
O - Definitely a sipping beer. Wish I had a roaring fire going in the fire place and a good book in hand. I really enjoyed this beer and will buy it again next time I see it. Another excellent beer from Lost Abbey.

 526 characters

Photo of VashonGuy
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

2014 version on tap at Monk's Kettle, SF. Note that the 2014 version is now up to 14.8% ABV!!

I first had Angel's Share (Bourbon version) a few years ago. It was the first bourbon barrel ale I had, and it knocked my socks off. I thought of it as a peak experience.

Since then, I've had a lot of big beers, and a lot of barrel aged beers. So revisiting Angel's Share this year, I had more context for judging it. And it no longer knocks my socks off. It's a very lovely beer, no mistake about it, and I'd happily be grateful to anyone who gave me a bottle. But I've had better ones, where the underlying beer is more complex and more interesting, and not just a vehicle for the bourbon.

Angels Share is a very sweet beer, with lots of bourbon aroma and flavor. Very smooth. Yes, you do notice the ABV. Fine beer.

 835 characters

Photo of Azeotrope
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

So well balanced. So tasty. I had to double check the style after drinking it because it just was not what I expected and it surprised me with it's flavor. Not too much of anything, just smooth and tasty and strong.

 215 characters

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

Appearance: Black with a wispy brown head and plenty of lacing on the way down.

Smell: Coconut, caramel, figs.

Taste: Up front it’s big time caramel malt with vanilla. Bitterness peeks in a bit. Fades into a woody sweet ethanol taste. Leaves a bourbon aftertaste on the breath.

Mouthfeel: Very thick with fine carbonation.

Overall: Great sipping beer. Strong, boozy, and delicious.

 387 characters

Photo of SomethingClever
4.51/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into snifter

A: dark murky brown not much head at all I thought it was flat

S: lots of bourbon, vanilla, toffee, candied fruit

T: soft vanilla, toffee, a little bit of that hot bourbon taste

m: a little thin for this huge of bourbon taste

O: this is a great tasting beer, but I want to pause here and wonder this beer I can taste no base beer. I love the bourbon but what is the point except to round out the rough edges of bourbon with a sweeter taste. Anyway let me think on this I mag edit this.

 525 characters

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Pours dense deep brown, not much head, lacy with some legs. The nose is sherry, leather, prune, tobacco, vanilla, hint of bourbon. Big bold palate with dark dried fruit, figs, prunes, sherry, vanilla, bourbon, oak, chocolate and some malt. Very rich and bourbon.

 262 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours a dark, ruddy brown color with a head that dissipates nearly as fast as it's being poured, leaving a flat, barren surface with only the thinnest of rings around the edge of the glass. Lacing is spotty and near pin-head in size with virtually no stick.

Smell - Strong, sweet and boozy bourbon notes that hit on caramel and vanilla with hints of oak. Astringency is also quite apparent.

Taste - Less aggressive on the tongue than with the aroma. Deep caramel backbone with flavorful notes of oak and vanilla. Bourbon sweetness without much of the bite. Hints of raisin and faint traces of chocolate. Smooth, sweet finish.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied, near syrupy, with low, lightly tingly carbonation. Smooth. Dry, warming finish.

Overall - Simply fantastic. The aroma had me concerned that it was going to be harsh, but it's one of the smoothest bourbon barrel-aged brews I've had to date. It's a steep price to pay for less than a pint's worth, but if you've got a reason to treat yourself, you could do a lot worse.

 1,037 characters

Photo of Jjski
4.75/5  rDev +12%

2014 61 degrees F

dark chestnut,
minimal head,
dark fruit, fig, whiskey on the nose
Yeah its hot this year. When I knew I had some more 2014 ordered : I drank my last 2013 last week, which was smoothly sublime.
Cracked the 2014 tonight and got a huge amount of heat, barrel and vaporous alcohol which blunted the beautiful taste of the 2013 that I recalled from last week.

I had started drinking my barrel aged beers fresh ( and only aging the bottle conditioned and standard non barrel beers) in order not to lose the intended flavors of the barrel aging process. This tends to work on beers that don't have huge barrel components (KBS, Backwoods, Merkin, Clown Shoes barreled beers other than Very Angry Beast). HUGE Brews like BCBS and Bruery Smoking Wood, Bois, & Sucre can handle and benefit from time in the cellar IMHO

This one needs some time. Aged a year: 4.75. Fresh 4.0 The next 4 bottles I have coming are going to get tagged not to open for a year.

Earlier in this evening , I split a 22 oz 2013 Scucaba with wifey: and while it definitely was better than this 2014 Angel, the 2013 Angel was beter than the 2013 Scucaba (again imho )

 1,157 characters

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.

 173 characters

Photo of SurfsideChris
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Had it on tap at Surfside Tap Room in Oceanside California. This year's brew according to Alex, their sales rep, this beer clicked in at 14.8%. Very aggressive and very boozy. Pours a cloudy dark brown with an almost non existent tan head. Beer is phenomenal just not for the faint of heart. Must love bourbon since this one was aged for almost two years in barrels.

 370 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter. Some effort on the cork, but a good pop, and lots of smoke. Served at 55 degrees.

Minimal carbonation and a deep red garnet walnut like brown color. Body is oily, with a real slick top that cicles in waves. Very little head when produced but a fine tan bubbled collar. Thick alcohol legs on the glass as well.

Nice oak notes, and hints of fruit barleywine like richness on the nose. Soft toffee and a vodka heat of burning alcohol at first but tolerable. Some warmth really brings out some great coconut aromas, and some fruit brandy like warmth. Very nice and impressive, it just comes off a little hot unfortunately.

Palate comes with a very silky feel. Thick and a bit of matching oily character, it coats everywhere nicely, but doesn't come off as sticky. Palate fills with lots of warmth and alcohol heat. Real interesting nutty like aromas of chestnut and hazelnuts fill the mid palate. Big boozy stomach bomb on the swallow for the aftertaste.

Overall it's a nice barrel aged strong ale, but it's just a little too hot unfortunately. Easily worth trying, with much to enjoy still though.

 1,150 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

- 12.5% bot. 2013. consumed 9/14 @ recommended 55F serving temp in a duvel glass.

(4.10) A: Auburn-chocolate pour is thick and viscose on the exit producing a billowing tan head 3+ inches tall. Good retention rate with a milky cream texture with an equally impressive lace coverage that smothers the vessel. Micro-effervesce is light along the edges.

(4.25) S: Aroma of dark rum raisin upon immediate uncorking, with sweet dark fruit liquor (figs and plums). Rich chocolate oak notes with burnt molasses sweetness blends beautifully with a smooth silky coffee roast. The alcohol is fairly reserved for 12.5% aromatic wise with a nice smoothing complexity that flows very well and a good level of awareness.

(4.30) T: The flavor starts off with big alcohol notes, dark fruit, sweet figs and plums following the nose, blending with a whiskey-chocolate combination making a big first impression. Dark raisin, with an earthy bittering finish with some lingering whiskey. The flavor is very polished, eloquent and refined.

(4.15) M: Medium milky body, with a light mention of carbonation. Nice chocolate-alcohol warmth with a slippery smooth texture that just slides off the tongue.

(4.25) O: a world class offering, solid A rating. A bit pricey at $18 spent on a 12 oz but worth the unique experience. Sticky, syrupy, oaky goodness in a bottle with a lingering after-effect of alcohol deep in the belly long after the swallow. Definitely one of the better BA stouts, but its no BCBS by comparison.

 1,504 characters

The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,833 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!