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:
602
Gots:
570
For Trade:
49
User Reviews
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Reviews: 681 | Ratings: 1,813
Photo of KornWallace
4.71/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Date: 4/6/14
Location: Trade from PA
Glassware: Tulip
Appearance: The beer is black as night. Large viscous ring, no head no carbonation. There is a lot of cling when you sip the beer.
Aromatics: Big dark fruits with plums, dark grapes. Bourbon with a big alcohol smell. Some oxidization, little soy smell.
Flavor: The plums come in strong, heavy on the dark fruit. The bourbon flavoring is nice, warming alcohol, vanilla and some wood.
Mouthfeel: Very viscous, coating my tongue. Very warm alcohol goes all the way down my throat.
Notes: The cork swelled in the bottle, needed a cork screw to get it out. Bottled Dec. 2012. Bottle conditioned for 1 year.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to tayner for an amazing trade.

Pours a dark brown and ruby with a huge rocky light tan head. Appears to be quite overcarbonated. Nose REEKS of bourbon heat and dark fruits, wood. Taste = Bourbon! dark fruit, caramel, bourbon soaked raisins, vanilla, caramel apple, wood and bourbon and alcohol on the finish. Wonderful. Great sweetnes lingers in the mouth and on the lips. This one will be amazing after a few years in the cellar. Mouthfeel is suprisingly thin and waaayyy more carbonated than I expected. Drinkability is good for the style, but will greatly improve with some cellaring I think. Certainly an amazing concoction, bourbon is right up front. Defenitely a great cellar candidate. Pleased to have had the opportunity to have tried it. Thanks again, Dana!

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Photo of bamadog
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Extra special thanks to Kels for sharing this the other night -- easily one of the most amazing beers I've ever had.

Appearance: Pours a very deep brown that is toffee in color with a huge 3+ finger head that is that (the carbonation is so impressive in this beer that when uncorked, a fog rolls out of the bottle and looks like something out of a mad scientist's lab); head slowly dwindles to a full, thick and chewy skim.

Smell: Toffee, vanilla, woody oak and alcohol -- smell is very sweet; essence of some burnt sugar maltiness and even some chocolate in there as well.

Taste: Holy crap. Simply amazing. Almost exactly like the smell with the toffee, vanilla, burnt sugar maltiness and hints of sweet milky chocolate; slight hints of woodiness with the bourbonesque alcohol that runs a little hot, but still very tasty and well blended with the other strong flavors.

Mouthfeel: Very warm and tingly from the alcohol; carbonation is more mild in the mouthfeel than in the appearance and it comes across as smoother than I would have expected; body is a little thick and chewy -- sticky and leaves a mild coating.

Drinkability: Too high for something that clocks in at 12% ABV. The taste is amazing, the body is warm and smooth, the smell is super enticing and matches the flavors perfectly... Quite possibly one of the best beers... EVER.

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Photo of isaac
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

another beer that has compelled me to write... mmm... i like it a lot...

pours a brown, orange-tinged-on the edges, bubbly liquid into my snifter. big, beige head sits cakey for a while, then sinks to lace and film. smell is wonderful - vanilla, oak, bourbon, caramel malts... dates? taste is equally complex: woody (oak with vanilla and something that reminds me of grilled peaches. i have tasted it in bourbon before), sweet like dates, with just a hint of banana. the finish is so pleasantly bourbon-y, with a bit of herbal hops. i love it. mouthfeel is nice, changing from medium to medium-thick as it sits on my tongue. almost like old viscosity in that way.

i am a huge fan, not what i was expecting, but very very good.

thanks lost abbey!

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Photo of TheEremite
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 on tap at the Toronado Barleywine Festival in Feb. of 08.

What an exceptional beer. I'm not convinced this is a barleywine strictly. It's a bit heavy on the dark, chocolate and crystal malts. It pours a dark brown, almost black. It also has a significant chocolate flavor on there. There's also tons of caramel and vanilla from the bourbon barrel. It's pretty thick, full bodied, but it goes down silky smooth. This was by far the best beer at the fest, even though I'm not sure it would classify as a barleywine by BJCP or by GABF standards. I guess that's why lost abbey classifies it as one of their "non-denomination beers." Still, this is a must have for any beer fan. What a treat. I could sit for hours and just sniff that vanilla, caramel, chocolate and oak.

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Photo of Cakanator
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Yes this was third course 09 BGBBD @ sierra, just sick to know that it was the bourbon instead of the brandy. So dark and happy, I've had the bourbon in bottle before and loved it and this was no exception. Poured dark with little head. Aromas were huge so much vanilla like I remembered it and thank god I got a snifter of this at the end. Went down too smooth and easy. I could care less about carb issues, this was almost complete and for me was up there with BBVD, BA Boris and Nor'easter Cl for best bourbon brews.

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Photo of WaXHeLL
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Lost Abbey / Port Brewing's 3rd Anniversary party. 4oz taster. Tasting notes from 5/9/2009. 2009 vintage.

Appearance: Pitch black, with a light brown head. The head moves very well with lacing. No sign of the "flat share" here. Being on tap probably makes up for it. Very nice visually.

Smell: Wow -- complex. It's hard to figure out the nose, based on how unique it is. There is a definite sweet and oaky smell that goes throughout the nose. The smell of bourbon is very apparent. There are hints of oatmeal somewhere in the complexity. There are sweet, slightly floral tones throughout the nose. Very complex, very unique, and quite good. ONe of the few 5.0 rating beers for smell.

Taste: Just as complex as the nose. Starts off very sweet, with a strong bourbon taste. Hints of oak. Finishes bitter with a strong alcohol bite. The aftertaste is definitely is filled with bourbon. Complex and tasty -- I like it. One of the few 5.0 rating beers for taste.

Mouthfeel: There is a pretty complex, oaky, bourbon feel to this beer (if such a thing exists). There is a well executed bitter taste/feel to this beer. Heavy bodied.

Drinkability: Definitely a sipping beer. The alcohol is harsh and very apparent. Definitely a sipping beer and probably is one of those single bottle beers (if that). Tastes like it would complement food very well. Savor this beer.

Overall: This is one of my favorite beers, but again, you can't drink too much in a single sitting. This probably will age very well also.

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Photo of Lothore
4.73/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me first say that at first I really wanted to not like this beer. Something about this whole frequent special releases thing kind of rubs me the wrong way for some reason.

A- I have to say this looks just about perfect. Very dark brown, almost black with a creamy, tan head that leaves quite a bit of lacing as it falls.

S- Smell is very enticing, sweet, brown sugar, spices, almost detect a sour note towards the end, slight coffee, a bit of bourbon.

T- Taste is much different than I was suspecting from the smell. Tastes creamy, mixed spices in the middle, sweet cream, a slight bit of bourbon. Can detect the alcohol warming but it blends in so superbly. The sweetness wears on you after a while. Definitely a sipper.

M- A bit thinner than I would have guessed, very crisp with a lot of carbonation. Refreshing, I'm a little tired of beers that are way too thick, this is excellent.

D- I really really wanted to not like this beer. I tried to find as much wrong with it as I could but I just couldn't. Not a huge fan of the brewery, didn't buy into the hype and I loved it. Try to get a bottle now why there is still some in circulation, you won't regret it.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 )

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

(review of the draft version during the Bottle Release in 2008)
I went to the Bourbon Barrel release and was fortunate enough to be able to sample it in line - 3 times. Absolutely a stunning beer from first to last taste.

Glass arrived with a faint head on it with the brew a strikingly dark crimson approaching black. The bourbon nose was bold but not near overpowering.

Flavors of malt, vanilla, chocolate, with hints of molasses, bourbon, and toffee. The tastes don't linger too long, so there is no overpowering buildup. Moderate carbonation helps to cleanse the palate. Somewhat hot, much smoother than the Brandy version. A fantastic, world class beer.

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

Must thanks to MuenchenerKindl for this treat.

From a truly unique and awesome looking bottle, pours a dark as sin liquid with ample tan head, leaving lacing all about the glass, a swirl bringing back the head quickly, leaving even more lacing. The aroma wreaks of bourbon, lots of sweet, sticky malts, vanilla, oak, caramels, marvelous.

Taste is right up there, similar to all hints in the nose, add a twist of rum, some dark fruits. A medium full body, starting tickling with carbonation, drying into the finish, and a bit slick. An exceptional beer, maybe a bit too carbonated for my taste, but a joy to drink.

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

Whoa - when popping the cork, you could smell the bourbon instantly, and oh what a heavenly smell.

Poured into my glass cold so it wouldn't gush as much out of the bottle, it was dark and purpley. As it warmed up, it smelled so sweet and I tasted the bready bourbon sweetness. It definitely has a candied and spicy flavor that gives it an awesome balanced complexity over the oak and bourbon which blends well together.

Imagine how well this is going to age! I'm looking forward to trying this again soon.

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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 meatyard
4.76/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opens with a soft pffft. Poured into a snifter.

Pours out a very dark, murky brown with a cap of tan foam that lasts about 30 seconds and becomes a ring and a small atoll.

The smell is a luscious bourbon aroma and dark chocolate and cherries.

The taste is a really powerful bourbon flavor that makes you take notice of it and nothing else around you for a brief moment or two. After that there are many things that come and go; there's chocolate covered cherries, vanilla. It's very sweet in the aftertaste. This is a complex beer and very warming with some noticeable alcohol.

Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy with a lack of carbonation.

Overall: I had this a couple of times on tap and wish this had the carbonation levels of that. Still, sitting at home and being able to concentrate on the beer, you really get a feel for all of the complexity in this. It really is a very good beer. I don't know if the price warrants buying it very often, more likely whenever I see it on tap I will go for it.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got in a trade with kinnaird...thanks for everything John!!!

I popped this open at DLD and had a couple of people around me become very happy with letting them sample...beer karma is good.

A-Poured into a Dogfish snifter. Pours a nice deep dark brown color almost black but when the light hits it you can see dark brown. Nice brown/tan head that went away rather quickly and left nice lacing on the sides.

S-From the first smell I could just pickup a sweet smelling bourbon. One I let it breathe for about a minute I could get more complex smells of vanilla and some fruitiness to it as well. Also the malts come in to play but only as a backbone I think. Just so much to take in.

T-This is one of the best tasting barrel aged beers I have ever had. Kind of on a sweet taste that comes out of nowhere which goes with the vanilla that I smelled earlier. The roasted malts come through nicely along with a nice touch of fruit and figs. The bourbon comes through with this but it is not overpowering at all. The warmer it becomes the better I think it is becoming.

M-For such a complex tasting beer it has a nice mouthfeel. A little on the heavy side but the carbination makes up for it very nicely. Coats the palate but doesn't leave a lingering feel after it is gone.

D- This beer is dangerous. I mean dangerous. It is so drinkable and I could get enough of it. The ABV is very hidden and I was sad once I took my last sip. I wish I could get my hands on more of this.

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Photo of blackie
4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: cautiously uncorked after hearing various gusher stories on ba, no such happening but there is a slow rise up the neck of the bottle easily parried off by a gentle pour into my St. Bernardus chalice, lovely mocha-foam head shows permanent retention, fed by numerous slow eruptions of gas from the bottom like island generation in time-lapse, the beer itself is nearly black at first glance, producing brown tones when lifted to the light

s: upfront, sticking your head inside a bourbon-logged oak barrel emptied after a decade or more of waiting once the sharp alcohols have had time to evaporate away and become the angel's share - only the sweet and smoky caramelized sugars, damp oak, and woody vanilla remain, deep layers of dark cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate, thick compote of date and fig with a molasses touch, roasty espresso dark chocolate cookies, aged hops appropriately add only a dried herbal flavor, flawlessly stitched together

m: lively but delicate carbonation, medium-full body

t: taking a bite of a moist, fresh dark chocolate and espresso molasses cake while sucking on a damp, charred piece of oak chipped from the inside of a long-used bourbon barrel, rich date and fig reduction, again I love the barrel presence here - all the best contributions of the oak and bourbon, midway the sweetness falls back just a bit as a dry roast seeps in, all of this lingers together with an herbal hop flavor and mild bitterness in a long, loitering finish, delicious

d: just an enchanting beer with an absurdly well concealed abv of twelve point five percent, yeah it's drinkable, but I had a great time enjoying it over the course of a few hours

finally made the leap on this open window windy evening during the seasonal transition, good cheese pairing with Meadow Creek Appalachian Tomme (that my cheese shares its name with the brewer was not planned, swear), Sexual Chocolate in exchange for a 375 ml some time ago, via MiScusi playing middleman for a BA outsider

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Photo of
4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

375ml bottle.

Poured a very dark brown, virtually opaque even when held up to light. Edges suggest red tones. Formed a massive, creamy, tan colored head. Lacing was minimal, good legs after the head moved on.

Aroma gives away the bourbon barrel right out of the gate. Dark fruits (cherries & figs). Just a touch of funkiness. Pine and herbal notes. Overall, scent is very sweet.

Taste gives me coffee and chocolate. Bourbon and vanilla. Cherries, caramel and the herbal notes near the end.

Body is full and silky. Carbonation is high initially, but calms down a lot. Medium in dryness, seemed to be more noticeable in the finish than while drinking (that statement makes very little sense, even to me, but I don't know how else to express it). Alcohol content starts to warm you up right away.

This is an incredibly complex beer. Calling it a strong ale is almost insulting, but I don't know where else it should go either. I sipped this over the course of two hours and enjoyed every minute of it.

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Photo of bigbelcher
4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Arizona Strong Beer Festival. Color was a rudy dark brown color. Lots of head and the keg poured very foamy when it was first tapped but settled down later on. Had a big white head. Aroma of oak barrels and toffee with a slightly high alcohol awareness evident. Taste was of a woody, oak barrel sweet malt beer. Very excellent beer and one of my favorites at the festival. The rep said some bottles would be coming to Arizona soon.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

is there a better beer in the world than this? bring it to me. this pours into an 8oz chalice a lovely red/brown color with a minimal and fading off white head. smells like a billion delicious things, belgian yeast, caramel, milk chocolate, oak chips, sweet malt, booze. flavor at first is that of a liquid rollo candy, chocolate and gooey caramel combined, but soon after a barleywine sweetness and strength assert themselves and a wood aged sort of depth is in your face. this is so complex and evolving its insane. notes of dried fruit, toll house semisweet chips, and jim beam come through. there is no other beer like this. mouthfeel is near perfect too, plenty of bubbles, and a fuller medium body, strong alcohol burn as it warms. magnificent beer, with everything you could want and more. 12.5% is well hidden until it gets warm. i cant say enough good things about this one. damn damn damn. only thing i dont like is the price, $12 for an 8oz. pour.

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Photo of hopstat
4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the dog and pony

A: dark dried fruits - cherries, big chocolate and slight bourbon notes

T: amazing morph from dried fruit to big chocolate (like a dark chocolate syrup) to bitter chocolate to mocha to esspresso.

Overall: an amazing beer so complex you're sure to taste something new when you sale up in the morning

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Photo of abfraser
4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

375ml purchased in 2008

A: Opens with a serious pop. Carbonation isn't going to a worry here, unlike many other Lost Abbeys lately. Dark rudy brown, with a beautiful creamy head that lasts the entire beer. Beautiful.

S: Oak. More oak. Nice bourbon and vanilla aromas. Dark caramel malt. Dark cherries. The barrel aromas are dominant at first, but dark fruit really comes out as this warms up.

T/M: Every in the smell and then some. Awesome bourbon, vanilla flavors and cherries and fruit in the background. The caramel malt is potent definitely laying the backbone for everything else. It's got a nice carbonation, doesn't taste syrupy at all. Amazing stuff.

D: Man, if only...

Near perfection in a barrel aged beer. The first Lost Abbey brew I've had that's met the hype

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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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