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
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
Reviews:
698
Ratings:
1,883
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
11.08%
 
 
Wants:
606
Gots:
586
For Trade:
43
User Reviews
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Reviews: 698 | Ratings: 1,883
Photo of DIM
4.56/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a murky brown with some hints of amber and orange. This was a foamer with a dangerous cork. The head, for all its fury, was surprisingly short lived.

s: Huge aromas of bourbon soaked raisins, and to a lesser extent, cherries and plums. Sweet elements of brown sugar and vanilla. Mild oak aroams and a little solventy alcohol round things out. I sniffed this one more than I sipped it.

t: This tastes to me like a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, with its strong flavors of raisins and brown sugar. Potent bourbon and vanilla flavors blanket everthing without completely taking over. Minimal oak flavors as well. This was almost perfect and more complex than I am able to describe.

m: Luxuriously thick body, but just a little over carbonated. A very pleasant bourbon tingle lingers for a while.

d: I got this jewel as an extra from rallison. Big thanks Ryan! I am thrilled to have had the chance to try this spectacular offering.

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Photo of MarcWP
4.56/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter.

Pours a dark brown a couple of shades shy of black. Nice active dark tan head giving evidence that this is well carbonated unlike the 2011 vintage I had two years ago.

Aroma is big barrel notes of oak, bourbon, vanilla, and char joined by a chewy Barleywine base showcasing figs, dates, raisins, caramel, and cocoa powder. The aroma is huge and intoxicating. A bit heavy on the barrel but that's not really an issue.

The palate gets struck with a more balanced beast as the barrel character plays well with the dark fruits, caramelized sugars, and powdered chocolate notes. There is booziness but it helps counteract the sweetness. Oak tannins come out in the end to lend a nice touch to the vanilla and charred raisin aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good. A little light but goes with the style. It's not intended to be heavy like a stout. It's more like a creamy light liqueur.

Overall a very nice beer and certainly the carbonation does wonders to the experience. The flavors are very well integrated and drinks rather smooth for the abv. I still prefer Deliverance to this considering it has a bit fuller mouthfeel and more depth of flavor. My belief is this has become a bit under appreciated. Though not a shocker considering the price tag, but still not a beer that's talked about much like it used to be.

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Photo of bashiba
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a thick and chewy looking dark brown with lots of sedement and just a hint of off white head.

The smell was huge, a giant vanilla and oak whiskey smell with hints of alcohol sweetness along with a big dark fruity nose with some cherries and raisons.

The taste was mellow and smooth after the assault the aroma gave my nose. Subtle malt sweetness mixing in with a nice musty yeast flavor along with a light bit of vanilla and cedar with a touch of raison and a slightly earthy and bitter hops in the finish.

The mouthfeel is warm and thick with a long lingering resiny finish carrying the flavor on and on.

A very nice sipper of a strong ale, something I would drink plenty of if the price wasn't quite so high and availability was a little greater, still it will be a very nice treat from time to time.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2011 Vintage.
appearance: Dark dark brown. Nearly opaque save for some ruby highlights around the edges when held to light. Nearly no head.
smell: bourbon and rich decadence. Chocolate, vanilla, coconut, just a depth of rich aromas.
taste: More of the same. surprisingly smooth given the strength and depth of flavor.
overall: Would that I could drink an uninfected one of these each week. awesome. I can't forget that I've had 3 infected as well as an infected Deliverance. Still a great beer but makes me think twice before springing for another.
(To be fair, LA sent me some fantastic glassware when I reported the infected brews).

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Photo of PBoegel
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #150 (lord knows I have drank many more beers, but have not put them in yet, but this one is special)

Corked and caged 375 ml poured into a Brooklyn tulip snifter. The beer had a slight audible carbonation pop on uncorking, deep brown, finished oak wood, port like, very sight coffee ice cream tinted head along the outer rim of the glass only.

Aroma is immediately oak tannins, rum raisin ice cream, whiskey/single malt scotch, sweet chocolate, maple, sweet honey, dark spiced rum. There is some character resemblance to Dogfish Palo Santo, oily and sappy, hard to phrase without the beers side by side, but it came to mind. Chalk, leather, stone earthly tones as it warms.

In the flavor the first recall is Bailey's Irish Cream, followed by waves of pure maple, vanilla bean, cookie dough, currants and raisins. Big whiskey finish with powerful warming sensation across the tongue to the back of the throat. Apple butter notes, sour cherries, pie crust (deeply browned to burnt), dried apricot and plums.

To call this beer full bodied is the understatement of the century. Very light carbonation, low bitterness with wood tannins on the tongue and cheeks. Tannins help balance the sweetness, this Share finishes semi-sweet with lingering after taste of plums, rum, bourbon and currants.

If you are not sure of barrel aged beers the thing is barrel aging requires in my opinion a very strong rich bodied well developed beer in order to shine and not be overrun by the whiskey/bourbon/other barrel characteristics. The bourbon and wood tones are strong in Angels Share to be sure, but the dried fruit and alcohol character from the base beer blend well with the former. While the carbonation is low the alcohol is allowing it to age much like Port Wine.

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Photo of CHickman
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Popped the cork and it pours a black looking mahogany brown with a 1-2 finger tan foamy head that was full of tiny bubbles and dissipated quicker than expected, leaving a creamy ring around the top.

Wow, the bourbon or whatever was in those oak barrels hit my nose about 6 inches from the snifter. Lots of toffee, caramel, molasses, maple syrup and brown sugar before more booze kicks in and unleashes earthy and oaky notes, light vanilla, roasted grains and/or smoked malts, dark chocolate and a strong sweetness that never crossed over to cloying and kept the aroma wonderfully complex. Great smelling brew. I read the label and it is indeed bourbon barrels that gives this that extra kick into the barrel aging heaven stratosphere.

Taste is a lot smoother than I expected since there is an initial heat wave with the first sip, but that settles down and just becomes part of the whole bourbon barrel aged experience. Like the nose, the flavor is rich and full of sweet malt and oaky notes which include the aforementioned toffee, caramel, molasses, maple syrup, brown sugar, earthy and oaky notes, vanilla, roasted grains and/or smoked malts, dark chocolate and of course bourbon...good bourbon with that smoky peat moss and burnt copper tin mash essence. Like the nose there is a strong sweetness that never crossed over to cloying and keeps getting better and more complex as it warms, even with the 12.5% ABV letting you know it's there with each and every sip. The aftertaste has soy sauce, burnt campfire marshmallow, more woody and oak notes and some faint piney hops that are woven into the sweet bourbon. It's a shame this bottle is only 12.7 oz.

Mouthfeel is buttery smooth and creamy considering that the booze and heat strike right from the first sip. The body is chewy and on the heavy side with very light to almost watery carbonation, a boozy, oaky finish that trails off on the sweet side with brown sugar, burnt coffee grinds, toffee and bourbon making for a nice complex ending. Enjoyable beer from start to finish, so much easier to drink than it should be - golf clap here for being so well done.

Overall the sum of all the collective parts of this brew to made this exceptional. It was very tasty, easier to drink that it should be at this high ABV level, and naturally got better as it warmed. I'm going to actively seek this out again and suggest any bourbon barrel aged beer lover do the same.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The cork comes off with a bang, followed by slow sustained foam creeping out of the bottle. In the glass, this thankfully slowed down. The colors seeping through this dark brown mass are hints of raisin and burgundy. The head is a finger of frothy tan.

Smells big and sticky sweet with ridiculous amounts of gooey barley, brown and candy sugar, ripe and tangy dark fruits, rice crispies and marshmallows, all nestled into a sweet and subtle bourbon. Wow...

Starts with a cola and rock candy sweetness with little nips of enticing (unnameable) herbs. This takes off into a tobacco earthy hop and a slight touch of anise. This ride too comes to an end at a nice boozy sting with the dryness lingering.

Feels fine and velvety with a soft scrubbing of carbonation. This felt a little too lively for the flavors present. I would have liked something a little more tame to let the flavors out a little more calmly. Still nice though...

A great beer. One of the more exciting ones I've tried in a while.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A restoration of a review lost in the great purge of '09... originally sampled in July '09 at Monk's for my b-day

A-Deep rich dark brown. Khaki head that went away rather quickly but left nice lacing on the sides.

S-Rich, complex blend of aromas of burbon, vanilla oak, dark fruit, wine, herbs and hints of malt. Nothing overpowers another scent.

T- While the scents of the beer all hinted towards rich and full flavors, everything contained there-in was in a delicate balance where each sip brought on a new taste. Amazingly complex flavors of vanilla oak, burbon, dark fruit, wine and spice all with a nice backbone of malt.

M-Rediculously smooth for all of the complexities. Nicely carbonated.

D-Amazing. A must have, in a class of its own

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Photo of BrianBoruma
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Snifter glass

A: Only complaint is thin head that dissipates quickly. Was off white, now gone. Sad. Body is dark, black, appears viscous as I swirl.

S: I could smell this forever. Lots of spicy oak and vanilla notes. A bit of toffee in there too. I want to keep smelling this.

T: Exactly like it smells. First impression is vanilla, backed by the woody oak from the barrel aging. Lingering burn from the alcohol though on the back of the throat. I feel it slide down and settle into my belly. It's giving me the warm belly feeling, I like that. Toffee notes aren't as pronounced as in the smell. Main impression is of vanilla and oak and some dark fruits.

M: A little thick for a dark strong in my opinion. It's not overly displeasing, just more what I would imagine the mouthfeel of a barleywine or a stout to be.

D: I would definitely have another one, on a cold night when I want to drive the cihll from my bones, but at 12.5% it would be just one more. Anything past that and I'm sleeping at the bar.

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Photo of FATC1TY
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a goblet from a 32 oz growlette.

A: Black, almost black really, slightly lighter near the top, little to no head on this. Thin line around the rim. Almost not carbonation to this.

S: What could smell better than this?! Bourbon loves rejoice. It's sweet, boozy fruit. Reminds of a cherries soaked in bourbon and chocolate. Just a smooth, but strong whiff of whats to come.

T: Tastes like it smells. Strong was the first thing that came to mind. Malty and sweet, then the caramel, and vanilla come in. Slight bite, but it's the alcohol. Swallow this and you can tell there is a higher ABV. It's not hiding at all. It's smooth like a fine bourbon, and despite wishing it was more carbonated, it's complex and blends really well with all that.

M: Medium body, no carbonation, and slides down easy. Good easy drinker, except it's a bit heavy on the alcohol side I think. I like the high ABV, just doesn't lend it's self to mingle as nice as I wanted.

Overall- Great complete beer with alot going on. I love bourbon as well as beer, and I think this is the better one out there doing the barrel aging. Aged for a year, and you can taste/smell the notes that the bourbon placed in here. Tasted better as I sipped and it warmed up. I enjoyed it, worth the try. Although, it's pricey.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This one is the 750ml corked and caged. Pours a deep mahogany color with a full finger wispy light tan head that fades quickly to surface. Thin but significant patterns of Belgian lacing as you go. The smell is amazing!! Right out of the bottle, the first pour reveals big bourbon notes. As it warms the aroma becomes fruitier and sweeter, brown sugar from a far with a berry tartness further in. The mouth feel is bright and tangy, medium-light bodied, tart with a balanced creamy texture. The flavor is crazy unique; tart apple and berries, bourbon and vanilla with fig and notes of molasses. The experience lingers nicely! One of the best drinkers around!! It goes in a flash while you attempt to consider all of its complexities.

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees
VINTAGE: 2010 375ml Corked & Caged
Super thanks to BigTomZ for hooking me up with this one!

This one pours up a very dark brown color with a slight golden tint, at the edges. A small-ish tan colored head forms and dissipates to a thin, spotty surface covering film. The lacing is in spots, which slowly slide down the side of the glass, through the oiliness, to the liquid.
A slightly better head would get this one a perfect appearnace score...lost .5 for the small head.

Good god, I love the smell of this one! Bourbon notes are all up in your face. Not bashful about it, at all. I love that!
The wonderful part is that you can also easily find massive oakiness and vanilla notes. Along with brown sugar, toasted caramel and black strap molasses notes. There's some kind of dark fruit sweetness buried in there, as well.

Roasted malt notes blend with vanilla, oak and bourbon, to create something wonderfully delicious. Nice....
Dark and golden brown sugars both play here, along with that molasses that was spotted in the nose. The caramel has gone down deep, but the dark fruit presence has come up a tad bit. Definite hints of dates and a light fig taste.
The booziness does not hide itself inside of this one. You feel and taste every bit of the 12%abv, and it's oh so good!

This body is thick. Not quite Dark Lord thick, but possibly the closest that I've yet found. Very oily and viscous. The low level of carbonation is perfectly set for keeping this one just active enough.

Okay, as much as I love it, the in-your-face booziness of this one does not lend itself to extreme drinkability. Other than that though, it has great flavor and amazing body, meaning that I'd never turn this one away.
Delicious! Totally worth the effort that it took me to finally land one of these.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle courtesy of gford217 - thanks for this long-time want!! Poured into a 12 oz. brandy snifter. I struggled to get the cork out of this one after removing the electric tape from the corked/caged apparatus sealing this bottle shut. Eventually it came out with a thunderous pop and - watch out! - it was a gusher!

Appearance: This one's a strange thing. The pour happened quickly (as it was a gusher), glub glub glub, a thick-looking nearly black brew settling quickly into the snifter. The interesting part was that the head - while initially a big, foamy, bubbly, fizzy, cola-esque cocoa brown - somehow manages to continuously replenish itself. The initial one-finger fades quickly, and seems like it would like to continue doing so, but there's enough spare carbonation in this one just bursting to the surface that a seething sheen of bubbles foams a surface nest of carbonation that, well, at least resembles a head. The collar is similarly foamy, faintly sticky, but very bubbly and effervescence, just like the "faux head." There actually is a little bit of lace stickage - a few blobs and islands on the sides of the glass. A solid start.

Aroma: Spicy, incredibly woody, and slightly warming bourbon dominates the nose, blending well with an earthy, well-toasted malt note that lends an air of coffee to the aroma. The balance - molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup, slight cocoa, tons of dark fruit (overwhelming raisin, figs) and a soupcon of lighter fruity esters (cherries, pears) - is pleasant too. The malts emerge a little more as this one warms, subduing the bourbon slightly. Oh, and the cork smells intensely of maple syrup.

Taste: Where this beer really comes into its own. Absolutely phenomenal. The bourbon is spicy, earthy, well-integrated, and not hot at all. The malt backbone is all over the place, and that's a good thing - sweet, heavy maple syrup is interlaced with thick, black molasses which intermingles with brown sugar, backed up by a four-part harmony of solid bittersweet chocolate, sweet and in some places slightly tart cherry, light Bradford pears, and dark raisins. Plenty of woody notes and their accompanying vanillan, along with a surprisingly prickly, piney hop profile round out this incredibly full, complex, multi-faceted brew.

Mouthfeel: The appearance gave away what this one would probably feel like. The body itself is probably fairly thick, but there's so much effervescence, fast, crisp, huge, but somehow still surprisingly even. This makes it incredibly light, Belgian-almost, in that it sort of floats over the tongue, airy and cloud-like. It thickens up just a little bit as it warms and the carbonation mellows out, resulting in a light, airy, but still somewhat creamy beer, almost like thinned-out whipped cream.

Drinkability: Well this one's really good. Damn good. I had the Great Lakes Barrel Aged Blackout Stout the other night, and though similar, the contrast mainly lies in the fruits. The base beer here - the Angel's Share, I s'pose - is far fruitier across the board, both in the light and dark fruit department, different in neither a good way nor a bad way. This beer is, naturally, world class, absolutely delicious, aromatic, creamy and light, and only lacking in those areas where a beer of this abv% is almost certain to lack (lacing, head retention, pure drinkablity). I'd love to have one of these to cellar, though I do fear Lost Abbey's quality control issues! Highly recommended.

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Photo of Radcpa
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark appearance with a little head and just the right amount of carbonation. Very pleasant aroma. The taste reminds me of a very strong coconut flavor with a little hint of alcohol. A little aging may improve the flavor even further

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Photo of Blakaeris
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich chocolate brown with a great deal of suspended yeasty sediment. Head immediately dissipates to nothing

Aroma is alcohol soaked dark fruit. Massive caramel malt and chocolate sweetness. Bourbon comes on strong in a pleasantly effervescent fashion.

Taste is impressively complex. Caramel malt, chocolate, brown sugar, and molasses up front. Then the warming bourbon and dry woody oak take over, followed by dark fruit - plum, date, and raisin. Finish is yeasty with unidentifiable spices and lingering alcohol.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Full bodied with touch oil slickness.

A very big, and complex brew. Flavor is pleasantly unified and interesting enough to find something new with each sip. Bourbon comes on strong, but doesn't overpower the massive caramel and dark fruit sweetness. Certainly a must try.

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Photo of jjanega08
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage

A= After an uneventful pop of the cork I got a little worried. My Brady barrel was flat, my Grand Cru was nice, this one is low carbonation but by no means flat. I poured somewhat rigorously into the glass and got a tiny head out of it that sticks around in the thinnest skin I've ever seen on a beer without turning into a plain ol ring around the glass. The lacing is pretty minimal. The color is very dark black with some light shining through on the sides a little to reveal a hazy brown color.

S= Love the way these beers smell. Great bourbon in the nose with just enough heat in it. Nice bready malts as well as some nice tobacco and dark fruit smells. Really complex smelling. It's always a challenge to pick out all the things in an Angel's Share. There's some good vanilla and milk chocolate. For some reason I wanna say it smells a little nutty.

T= Excellent taste. Just as good as the smell. All of the same notes I picked up in the nose. Great bourbon in the taste as well as vanilla. Some really nice wood taste to it. Simply sublime in the taste. I would type all the complex tastes I get but they are the same as the nose.

M= Super thick. A little low on carbonation. While I understand this beer should be low in carbonation this is a little too low. It is there however so don't be fooled.

D= Great brew! The angles share beers are all very very good. The GC being the highlight of the ones I've had this is a close second fav. This beer is worth every penny I spent on it and I would but it again. Nice work LA

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Photo of ahalloin
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 375ml bottle. Removed the cage. Cork came out fairly easily but didn't release much of a pop.

Poured into a Lost Abbey Patron Sinner wine glass. Very dark brown, almost black fluid with dark mahogany highlights. No head formed despite a fairly aggressive pour. However, some light tan cappuccino lacing forms around the outside with some swirling of the glass. Still, I'd like some head please!

The smell is a great balance of a deep malty, caramelly backbone, with touches of oak and significant bourbon notes. Sauteed vanilla bean as well.

The taste is exquisite, and I don't use that term lightly. This beer truly hits on all cylinders with the flavor. If I could give it a higher score than 5 right here, I would. The taste is like a deliciously rich French dessert. Deep caramel, cocoa, almost tiramisu-like flavor coupled with incredibly balanced oak and bourbon notes. Vanilla comes through a bit and even some rich fatty cream is implied. The finish is really amazing though with a slight bitterness and drying effect that keeps the beer from being too cloying.

The mouthfeel is silky smooth and medium full. The carbonation is very subdued and almost nonexistent, but it doesn't really bother me that much. I don't think the beer is ruined by no carbonation but it would benefit from more carbonation. A rich dessert beer like this shouldn't be all spritzy anyway.

Overall, this beer is very, very good and should be hailed as a great blend. I want to give it a 5 in this category but find it hard based on the lower scores in appearance and mouthfeel which stem from the lack of carbonation.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally, a Lost Abbey beer that lives up to its billing.

The beer pours with a cola-like russet brown/red color with slight haze. Light carbonation allows a lace of foam to settle and blanket the beer. Light on lacing but brandy-like with the legs.

Irresistable aromas of heavy malts, cotton-candy sweetness, sweet rums and brandy alcohols, dried fruits of currants, plumbs, dates, prunes, grapes, raisons, apples, and berries. Hops are low and may take on an herbal tone that gets lost in the woodsy oak and nutty character.

Flavors are more balanced between the sweet malts, fruits, and alcohols; and the bitter and tannin rich woods and hop bitterness. Still has all the right ingredients but the bourbon flavor and oak character interfere with the delicate sweetness more in taste than in aroma.

Rich and rounded up front without thickness or heaviness. Tanin astringency helps to dry out the beer going into the finish; maybe too much. Powdery and bitter late.

It's obvious to see why this is among the world's best beers. If the rest of the beer lived up to that aroma, we'd be talking flawless here.

Thanks JNN4V!

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Photo of flagmantho
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 375mL bottle into a tulip. This is the 2010 version clocking in at 12.5% ABV. Might be young yet, but I can't wait.

Appearance: extremely dark non-translucent brown hue with a finger of tan head which dissipates rapidly. A strong showing for a strong ale.

Smell: in a word: rich. Heady malt with dark and dried fruits, blackcurrant and raisin and date; a rich woodiness which is both distinct and highly complementary; an alcohol burn in my nose which is either part of the bourbon aging or simply on the beer's own copious merits. I was wondering whether this beer would live up to the hype (and price), and if the smell is any indication it well and truly has.

Taste: rich and warm; chocolate, the aforementioned fruits and a hint of the bourbon character are all in place. The wood has subsided a bit from the aroma, but there's a faint mustiness which has replaced it to good effect. Bitterness is there, but is low for the mega malt flavors; hop flavor is almost indiscernible to me. Still, what an incredible beer.

Mouthfeel: thick body; incredibly silky and smooth on the palate. Low carbonation but the consistency and body make it creamy nonetheless; this is just delightful.

Drinkability: I could and would drink this all night if possible. It's not drinkable in the swillable sense, but it is certainly so in that I would gladly quaff another right after this one.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed on tap at Stone on 11/12/2009 and poured into a snifter. The beer is dark brown, nearly black with a two finger light brown head and good retention.

The nose blows me away. A wonderful balance is struck between bourbon, brown sugar, and vanilla. Oak notes are evident, as well as alcohol heat that compliments the other characteristics. I'm salivating from the bourbon in the nose. This is easily one of my favorite bourbon barrel barleywines.

The flavor is hot, but pleasant. Brown sugar, vanilla, and prominent bourbon are all present. A low level of sweetness is noticeable, as well as barrel tannins. Notes of booze soaked dates are present, and I detect figs. Simply delicious stuff. The bourbon character is fantastic.

On tap, the carbonation is spot on, and the mouthfeel is viscous, silky, and smooth. Unbelievable stuff, it's a real shame about the 2009 bottles.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Whole Foods in Los Altos, CA, and muled back to Australia to drink with @LaitueGonflable.

Pours empty and flat, a deep brown-black. No lace, no head-retention, obviously, because there's no head whatsoever. Despite this, there are tiny bubbles of carbonation trapped in the beer, which become apparent when it's tilted. I prefer a bit of head (don't we all), but it's not a bad look all up.

Nose is pungent and sweet and incredibly boozy, with huge port-like characters dominant. Big barrel characters: marshmallow, toasted coconut, boozy vanilla essence, with sharper notes of resin and glace cherries. Hoo-ey, what a nose. Almost too much to take in; about as complex and intense as any I've had. A winner.

Taste is wonderfully restrained, with a gorgeous vinous acidity tempering big sweet boozy notes of port, vanilla oak, and burnt toffee. Dark notes sit around the edges, giving a wisp of smoke here, a taint of charcoal there. It's a gorgeously malevolent and sneaking edge to a very sweet palate.

Feel is very smooth and supple, and the heat and booze gives it a sharpness that stops it from being too heavy.

Wow, wow, wow. From inauspicious beginnings (and much undercarbonation), this managed to blow me away. It's gorgeous, supple and incredibly complex. What a brew.

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Photo of drumrboy22
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one in trades with Overlord and SacoDeToro. Thanks guys! Cork was ready to fly out on its own. Beer slowly gushed out the top, but I was prepared and had a big cup to catch any beer that poured out on its' own.

Poured into a La Chouffe tulip. Beer was a very dark brown color with a two-finger, caramel color head.

Aroma was bourbon, licorice, vanilla, raisins, dark fruit and molasses. Smells amazing.

Taste was sweet malts, dark fruits, toffee, vanilla and bourbon.

Really amazing beer. Grows more and more complex as it warms up. Very easy drinking. Seek this one out!

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Photo of gr0g
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage poured from a 375ml bottle. Color is very nearly black while there's quite a bit of carbonation in the form of very fine bubbles. It's enough to yield a finger-high head that leaves some sparse lacing and a fine foamy film behind. Aroma features ripe, dark fruit with nice, subtle barrel-aging notes. Very little fusel presence. Ripe raisin and plum notes. The barrels add a touch of oaky vanilla.

Flavor is very nicely balanced, hardly too sweet and/or boozy. A hint of stout-like roasty, dark-chocolatey character. Dark fruit and barrel notes take over from there. A bit of a syrupy texture with soft, but not quite silky carbonation. There's actually a bit too much carbonation going on, but at least it's not harsh and overly fizzy. Some lingering oak and vanilla on the finish.

The Angel's Share is an expensive proposition, but this bourbon barrel version wow'ed me. Good balance, not at all "hot," this is ready to drink right now. A top-notch barrel-aged ale.

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Photo of 100floods
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Purchased this at city beer. It was a 12oz bottle, apparently you coulda got 750ml bottles for the same price at toronado a few days before, whatever. How often does this beer show up in the city?

I opening it only to run into the kitchen and grab some paper towels. The cork was practically waiting to pop off and give way to a gush of foam. I almost freaked out when i saw that i had almost lost the entire beer to foam. Fortunately i didnt. I still had a glass' worth.

Once it calmed down it pout a dark brown almost black with a cream head which gave way to a thin lacing. The aromas were popping outta the glass as much as the beer was out of the bottle. Heavy, i mean fat albert heavy, aromas of bourbon and vanilla bombard the nasal cavity. I love this stuff. It seems trendy to like the big barrel beers, but man o man, this one is up there. The aromas matched the taste, heavy on the vanilla with bourbon to boot. I love it when beers taste like a liquor, but without the burn. I mean I couldn't find much else. I didn't want to find much else.

The only drags to this beer was the near explosion at the end, and the black schmootz I found at the bottom of the glass. I don't know what the fuck that was, but i didn't drink it. Luckily I have one more bottle of this year's batch. Hopefully it'll mellow out and there will be no accidents.

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Photo of deereless
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Little to no pop on the cork which followed with very light to no carbonation, deep ruby to black in color, slight viscosity is detected from the movement of the beer in the glass - 4.25, S: Intense aromas, the oak is very evident and provides a nice vanilla to the nose as well as obvious whisky smells from the bourbon barrel aging, there is also a marked sweetness that borders on sherry to chocolate covered cherries, also signs of caramel and coconut - 5.00, T: Intense raisin and date, alcohol is upfront which isn't all that surprising considering that the beer is 12.5%, the vanilla, oak and whisky that were rampant on the nose come through on the palate, there is also a strong holiday fruit cake soaked in whisky taste, I taste a hint of hops but it is really lost in all the malts and bourbon barrel - 4.75, M: The low to no carbonation keep this beer a silky smooth, it is also slightly syrupy - 4.50, D: Insanely complex - oodles going on in this beer only a fraction of which I feel like I'm capturing, this is the beer I wanted to ring in 2010 and it does not disappoint, the high alcohol does keep it in the sipping range - 4.50

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The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,883 ratings.
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