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

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

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-AgedThe Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
BA SCORE
4.29/5
Outstanding
1,903 Ratings
The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-AgedThe Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States
lostabbey.com

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Down in Kentucky and across the pond in Scotland, distillers who age their whiskeys for many years refer to the evaporation of the spirits from their barrels as “The Angel’s Share.” We couldn’t agree more. Each time a barrel is filled, a measure of liquid seeps into the oak and is lost for good.This striking Strong Ale is brewed with copious amounts of Caramel malt to emphasize the vanilla and oak flavors found in freshly emptied bourbon or brandy barrels. The beer spends a year in oak before it is packaged for release.

Added by scottoale on 08-23-2006

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#593
Reviews:
701
Ratings:
1,903
pDev:
10.96%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
607
Gots:
577
Trade:
41
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,903 |  Reviews: 701
Photo of Arbitrator
3.45/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2010 release on tap a couple of times at the Rose & Crown, once at Gourmet Haus Staudt since my girlfriend wanted to try it.

A: Pours a very dark maroon body. There is some light penetration at the edges. A small half-finger of light beige foam caps the beer, breaking into thin islands of scattered film within a minute. No lacing.

S: Great aroma, though it's more bourbon-forward than last year's. Lots of caramel/bourbon, vanilla, oak. After some agitation and sniffing I can finally make out other aspects that are overwhelmed by the barrel: raisins, caramel, chocolate. A sting of booze. Too barrel-dominated to merit a stronger rating.

T: Bourbon dominates. Vanilla and oak are also quite strong. The barrel really took over on this flavor. I eventually pick out raisins, dates, and chocolate. Bourbon and vanilla resurgence in the finish. Quite solid, though it definitely appeals to people who enjoy bourbon bombs.

M: Medium-full bodied. It has quite a bit of heat from the barrel dominance. Good carbonation levels, good coating.

D: This beer just isn't for me. It's over-barreled and isn't worth the cost. I gave it enough tries, you all can have my share.

 1,176 characters

Photo of safaricook
3.46/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Palm snifter.

body is dark brown but clear and looks oily when poured into the glass. No head at all or carbonation visible.

smell is of oxidized (tawny) port, oak and bourbon

taste is port, oak, vanilla, dominating sourness in the aftertaste

no carbonation sensed, body is thick and oily, warming alcohol

Boy, I do not know what to make of this. On the nose it is very much like drinking an aged portwine and also in the mouthfeel as there is no carbonation. I do like that, but what I don't like is the sour aftertaste. It makes the whole experience unbalanced. Infected? Big dissapointment.

Just read the other reviews and saw that they do have some carbonation. Therefore I guess mine has somehow gone bad. Sad.

 739 characters

Photo of PhxHorn
3.46/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I saved this one for 4 months at 75° waiting for it to carbonate. the cork came out without a pop. It pours a dark cloudy brown, with the slightest of bubbles clawing their way to the surface. Tastes of malt, caramel, coffee, bourbon. A great and powerful combination of flavors. Too bad the carbonation is barely present. There is a hint of head around the edge and on the glass when I tilt it, so there is a little bit, but not much. A major flaw in a great beer. Took me 75 minutes to get through this one, just because it's such a heavy flavor and heavy alcohol and flat. I was pretty tipsy when I was done, and my wife was under the table. We had a good time drinking this, though, and that's what was important. Some bubbles and this would be a great one. Too bad the bubbly guys are missing.

 799 characters

Photo of Tinfang
3.47/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

i bought two of these and thought the first one had gone bad. I let the second sit for six months before trying it out. The first bottle was in fact off in flavor - all the other defects are apparently inherent in this beer.

Look - murky cola dark in the glass with a faint green tint. No head even with a direct pour. Little or no glass appeal.
Smell - thought this was a sour when I pulled the cork and sniffed the neck. Sulfur and sugar. vastly improved by the pour - bourbon and fruits and a hint of alcohol.
Taste - really remarkable and complex. The bourbon note was present both on the initial sip and as an aftertaste. Unfortunately there was also a lingering bitterness. Alcohol was hard to detect.
Feel - not pleasant. The beer is syrupy and the bottles I bought had zero carbonation. Disappointing given the care that must have gone into producing it.

Overall great flavors with a single really wrong note and flat on the palette.

 953 characters

Photo of jim1904
3.48/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from the standard Lost Abbey 750ml into a crystal goblet. Cork popped with a little tiny plunk, kinda cute actually.

A - Had just a thin sheet of head on it. Not quite as flat as previous reports had led me to believe, but nowhere near an acceptable level of carbonation. Color is great... murky amber, very ominous-looking American barleywine. Lovely.

S - I'm having this pretty warm (probably hovering around 55-60 degrees) and the alcohol smell is really insanely strong, but is tempered by a little bourbon backbone that makes it not offensive. Very sharp, spicy, boozy, malty sweet and dank.

T - WOW. Even for a prematurely released brew, the taste of this one knocks my socks off. Strong, STRONG cassis notes, boozy bourbon kick, fiery alcohol warmth, and a really unique, delicious caramel finish. Even with all the overpowering bourbon/caramel flavors, I can pick out interesting estery flourishes that separate this one from the teeming masses. Banana, Mexican chocolate, and especially oak are all very present in the finish.

M - Just short of cough syrup. Barely prickly. Not exactly medicinal, but certainly not very quaffable. Alcohol is nigh offensive on the throat. Very very powerful.

D - I have to struggle with this one. Definitely a sipper in its current state.

Overall: Really, I'm not as pissed off at this beer as previous reports might indicate. They released it very green, to be sure, but it's kinda interesting to taste such a great beer in such an infantile stage. The predominant thought I had while drinking this is "Wow, once this grows up a little bit it will literally be one of the best beers I've ever had". I think that says something.

 1,683 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.49/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

No carbonation, had to pry the cork out.

Flat brown colored ale without any head whatsoever.

Strong bourbon smell and vanilla with a really strong fig aroma. Fruit scents of cherries and pineapples.

Starts out sweet and boozy with a strong whiskey flavor and a little grape and fig in it. Very strong on the fig flavor almost to the point of annoyance. Patent malt is present but the booze obliterates it.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall this is just average. The lack of carbonation just kills this.

 498 characters

Photo of bcostner1
3.49/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

This bottle was sent to me as a replacement for an infected, flat bottle of Brandy Angel's share that I purchased. Poured into a snifter.

A: Very minimal carbonation evident. Virtually no head whatsoever. It is not completely flat (like the infected bottle of Brandy Angel's Share that I had to drainpour) but it is obviously lacking in significant carbonation. Some carbonation does appear upon swirling the glass. Otherwise, pours a dark brown with tinges of dark ruby red evident as well.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, malt, booze, dark fruits. The aroma is enticing. I have smelled better but I have also smelled worse. I think the aroma would be significantly improved if the carbonation were present to a higher degree.

T: I have to say, I do love the taste of this. Very smooth. Lots of vanilla and bourbon for sure. Also get some booze, raisins, figs, dates, brown sugar, and molasses too. Pretty strong malt backbone. A little bit of wood. Hints of chocolate as well. I really can't knock the taste of this one despite the lack of appropriate carbonation. All of the tastes are pretty well balanced in my opinion and I enjoyed it.

M: Again, very little carbonation evident. That being said, this remains a relatively easy drinker in my opinion. A little on the slick side. While some alcohol is evident, it is definitely not overpowering, offensive, or "hot" in the least. I just wish there were more carbonation there.

I appreciate Ruby Johnson sending me this replacement beer for the bad one that I purchased. I definitely enjoyed it but can certainly see how it would be even more enjoyable when imbibed from an appropriately carbonated bottle or, better yet, tap/keg. I would love to try it in this format if I ever get the chance but I can't say that I would necessarily buy a bottle again until I hear that their carbonation issues have improved.

 1,860 characters

Photo of bdkucharski
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of KyleMA
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of ipc2000
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of UTvolFAN16
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of Seaba
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of falconxman
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of EliotRosewater
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of jhillwastaken
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of roodie
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of dasmusik
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of PriorDoubleDark
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of BFCarr
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of BarrytheBear
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank while fantasy football mock drafting...ah the life we lead. Shared with milwaukeeclassic (who is a mighty douche for certain) and steepH20. Bottle courtesy of Ryan as an extremely thoughtful extra. Thanks Ryan!

Huzzah carbonation...shimmery burgundy when held to the light

Mighty bourbon on the nose along with some raisin, dark fruits, and vanilla. Bourbon-tastic for sure

Taste is caramel malts, bourbon, and quite a bit of alcohol. Very hot and sweet.

Limited carbonation, oily, and again....hot. I understand it's 12%, but this beer does little to cloak any of the massive heat that radiates off this beast.

Glad this was split. Thanks for the generosity though Ryan.

 683 characters

Photo of klipper
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of Hugonaut13
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of thain709
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Vintage 2008

A - This beer pours a deep and thick brown body...it's not black but a very dark brown...there was absolutely no head...actually a few spots of faint lace did show up

S - The oak aroma really filled the nose...bourbon and vanilla were mixed in there...some notes of dark fruits (raisins and dates)...a nice chocolate aroma

T - The flavors really worked well together until the bourbon/alcohol presence took over...a sweet vanilla flavor hits you up front and mellows out into the sweet caramel flavor of dates...the bourbon flavor takes over midway through the beer and took away all of the other flavors for me...if the oak characteristic was tuned down a bit it would have worked better

M - Full bodied...smooth and chewy...leaves a linger chocolate flavor that creeps up a minute or two after you swallow

D - I shared this bottle on my birthday which was an awesome birthday present...but I was left a little disappointed...the beer starts off with nice flavors but the oak (bourbon) age just got to me

 1,024 characters

Photo of JDV
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Not nearly as good as the regular Angel's Share, in my opinion. Pours a dark cola color with light tan colored super fizzy head. Bottle gushed upon opening too. Smell is vanilla, raisin, bourbon and sweet malt. Taste is similar, but much more mild than the standard angel's share which was really rich and strongly flavored. The carbonation was way too high in this body and it just foamed in the mouth, which drives me nuts. Overcarbonated and underflavored.

 459 characters

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

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

    Learn More
  • Our Community

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

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

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