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

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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,892 |  Reviews: 701
Photo of BigV
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of sponch51
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of jawas
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of mjw1200
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of Casey3236
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of rhhjr
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of SeattleBoB76
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of dvanhandel
4.99/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of marcshur
4.98/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of bshefftz
4.98/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of BradleySig
4.98/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.97/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Damn. First, big thanks to Joey at South Bay Drugs for selling me this bottle. He is awesome, and everyone should check out his online services. And thank you Tomme Arthur, for allowing Joey to sell this at his establishment. Again, damn... this beer is amazing. Worth every penny, all 2,500 of 'em.

I unhinged the cage, and 15 seconds later the cork flew out of the bottle with the force that could have easily removed an eye. The beer started to foam out of the bottle and I was able to save the vast majority of the beer before it landed on the table. I poured the brew into a snifter, and sucked up the 3 or 4 milliliters that landed on the table with a long slurp. My fiancee laughed at me, but I wasn't going to let any of this beer go to waste.

Poured a 375ml bottle into a snifter.

Appearance - After the cork exploded out of the bottle, it produced a 4 finger tannish rocky head. It slowly dissipated to a thin crown that never fully disappeared. A swirl of the glass brings the head to a full 2 fingers - great retention. It leaves spotty lacing behind the further along I drink. It is a deep translucent, nearly opaque, deep brown color.

Smell - Oh man this smells fantastic. I love bourbon. It has the perfect level of sweet vanilla, woody oak, and bourbon scent - it doesn't beat you in the face. All of the scents associated with the bourbon transition to toffee, caramel, burnt sugar and a hint of chocolate. Toward the end of the scent, the presence of dark fruits, cherry and an herbal note make itself known. The scent is very complex, and though bourbon component is the dominant feature of the scent, it doesn't hinder the other scents from making their mark.

Taste - Where is the ABV? It says that it is 12.5% on the bottle, where are they hiding it? Man...the flavor is every bit as complex as the scent. The flavor opens with woody oak, vanilla, and bourbon and transitions into toffee, caramel, chocolate covered cherries and dark fruit. The flavor profile is an evolution, each flavor melding into the next. The bourbon is a huge component of the flavor, but just like the scent, it doesn't prevent the other flavors from making their presence known. It has a creamy flavor which my palate ties to the caramel. The aftertaste has a very pleasant flavor of oak and toffee that lingers long after each sip. I am struggling not to drink this one too fast. A lot of bourbon barrel aged beers seem to soak up the bourbon flavor and heat, but this beer doesn't taste hot - this beer is definitely infused with the flavor of bourbon, but I don't detect the booze at all. Well done, Tomme, well done...

Mouthfeel - It has a medium body. It is creamy, silky, and smooth as it travels over the tongue. Initially, the carbonation left a prickly, dry finish. The longer the beer sits, the less prickly it feels, and the more creamy it becomes. It feels thick as it first runs over the tongue, and then seems to thin out. I would have liked the thickness to persist throughout the entire sip - hell, now it just seems like I am nitpicking. Oh, who am I kidding? - I can't find anything wrong with the mouthfeel. It is just so creamy, and slightly sticky. The alcohol is absent in the mouthfeel, but not in my stomach - very warming. And it isn't absent in my brain function either...

Drinkability - This beer is nothing short of amazing. This is truly a feat of brewing prowess. Where did you hide that 12.5% ABV, Tomme? I don't believe you. This has been an absolute pleasure to drink from start, to... well, I'm not finished with it yet. The urge to drink this beer gives me the same sensation as I felt when I was quitting cigarettes..."just hold out for another couple of minutes... don't give in to the urge... drinking too fast... come on, maintain... SHIT! I am taking another sip."

Just get a bottle. These words won't mean anything until you taste it yourself. This is a beer that should be experienced, and only a lucky few of us will ever be able to. Get a bottle and drink it by yourself. If you are lucky enough to get a second bottle, share that one with friends.

Joey - you are awesome! Thanks for supplying the lucky few of us that actually acquired a bottle. I am in your debt. I didn't do you the favor by buying it, you did me the favor by selling it.

 4,294 characters

Photo of tops851
4.97/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a very large wide bowl wine glass.

A - Dark, opaque maroon-raisin colour that almost turns clearer towards the edge as if a pure alcohol "floater" were present (which there very well could be at 12½%)! No head at all, no; none whatsoever. Gone. (Save for a few "archipelagos" in a very dark sea, and when swirled they slide down the glass VERY sllloooow).

S - Woooow... yummy. Strong sweet whiskey notes for sure, (kinda Yukon Jack-like nose actually) sweet caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, molasses, faint toasted coconut even, definately expressive.

T - Follows the nose.Soft Scotch-Bourbon, vanilla, rich caramelly oak faint coconut. Not too sweet but definitely dessert! Boozy notes adding to the dark rum-raisin-surprise complexity for sure, oh;.. it's rich baby,.. it's rich!

M - Heavy syrupy body, mild carbonation, coatingly luxurious.

D - Amazing. Duh definitely NOT a session beer (can you say "too loaded"), but so smooth it's ridiculous for what is essentially "wine." A top "nightcap nipper!"
I was really having a tough time coughin' up $16 for a 375ml, but really wanted to taste it bad enough, sure glad I did. This beer really highlights bourbon barrel aging in a way I have yet to experience. Allagash Curieux was smooth but I could barely tell, whereas this REALLY let's the whiskey notes sing. Love this ale alright,.. probably too much for how bad it stings the pocketbook!

 1,428 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.97/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours black with some faint brown showing up around the edges when held up to the light. Great tight head that sticks around as a somewhat thick cap. Especially impressive given the huge abv. The aromas are heavenly. Just the right amount of Bourbon right off the bat. Lovely aromas of caramel, gentle but pure Bourbon, sweet oak, vanilla, gentle malt, chestnut honey, and various dark fruit, all nicely integrated and not hot smelling. The taste is also amazing. Extremely well integrated flavors with great Bourbon and oak up front followed by cream, vanilla, and fruit flavors. Very nice level of carbonation, not too aggressive at all. The mouthfeel is ultra rich and creamy, but with the alcohol well hidden. An absolutely amazing sipper. I really like bourbon influenced oak aged beers if they are done well. I think this is probably my favorite to date. When this brewery is firing on all cylinders, they can really be fantastic. This beer sure is.

 955 characters

Photo of reitzbrewing
4.96/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Had on draft in a 10 oz snifter glass. One of best strong barrel aged beers I have ever tried. A must if you ever see it

120 characters

Photo of DaveRinn
4.96/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of explosivebeer
4.95/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It's difficult to write an appropriate description of a transcendental experience. This divine concoction changed my perspective on what beer could be. It offers every bit of complexity of a great wine melded with the deep satisfaction of a superb beer. Most barleywines seem to be overly sweet or harshly alcoholic but the balance in this beer is tremendous. Do whatever you can to secure some of this incredible beer.

 419 characters

Photo of atsprings
4.95/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Corsendonk tulip a nice dark brown with a huge frothy head. Aroma is a nice blend of Bourbon and brown malts. The taste is absolutely unworldly! Toasted brown malt, burnt caramel, Bourbon and dried fruits provide an indescribable complexity. The beer is on the heavy side of medium with moderately present alcohol and slight carbonation, certainly a sipper. This beer is simply wonderful, one of the best I've ever had!

 433 characters

Photo of 0110x011
4.95/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Lost Abbey is, without a doubt, my favorite brewery. This beer is one of the reasons why.

Pours a dark, dark brown with red highlights into a snifter. Thick, off-white two finger head fades fairly quickly, leaving a thin collar and spotty lacing. Sweet malts, bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, and a bit of booze on the nose, with some spice and dark fruits in the mix as well. Chocolate hits the palate first, with the bourbon & vanilla quickly backing it up. The complexity of this stuff is unreal. Oak, fig & plum, spice, sherry, and a bit of alcohol all fade in & out with each sip. Magnificent. Coarse carbonation takes a bit away from the mouthfeel, but only slightly. Insanely drinkable. The 12% abv barely shows.

Believe the hype.

 736 characters

Photo of t8dd
4.94/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

Review #50... (I know, I know...)
Saved this review for my first minor milestone, cause it was a doozie. This was an 08 375 (carbonated) that I got about 1.5 years ago from a fellow ba... Thanks! Split with my sister's bf rick.

Gushes out of the 375. Pours a really dark dark mahogany/nut color. about 1.5 inch of head sticks around.

The nose is insanely complex. Dark chocolate, toffee, cocoa, carmel, etc... INSANE I TELL YOU!!!

The taste delivers on the promise of the nose.
The chocolate and the toffee notes intermix so well in the mouth too. Also to go along with this complexity, is the nice hint (just a hint) of alcohol burn. There is some faint vanilla from the barrel in the background too, along with some bourbon sweetness.

I have had some really good beers in my time here on ba, and this is a bold, bold statement, but this is BY FAR the best beer I have ever had. So glad that I received another in a trade recently.

 940 characters

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 NateSharpless
4.91/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
4.9/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of pinatax
4.9/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,892 ratings.
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