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

698 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: 698 | Ratings: 1,877
Photo of DrSpaceman
3.16/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into snifter, pours flat muddy brown. Before warm up, beer is strongly sulfurous. No smell, largely unpleasant. As beer comes up to temperature more dried fruit, oak, and vanilla come through in the smell. Belgian candi sugar, oxidation, and booze. Less refined than expected, especially at this price point. Feel is too thin for the alcohol content, definitely has some heat on the finish. Overall, I am underwhelmed with both Angel's Share and Deliverance Ale.

 469 characters

Photo of timc100
4.51/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 2015

Lost Abbey's barrel aged beers are reliably accompanied by a large price tag keeping them out of the regular rotation. Very happy these hit distribution.

Lost Abbey can pack in more straight whiskey flavor into a beer than most breweries specializing in barrel aging. Even as an avid whiskey drinker it can be a bit overkill (i.e. Bourbon Santa's Little Helper). Angel's Share boasts an impressive and intense bourbon flavor without muting the notes around it. Vibrant broozy sweet flavors of caramel, toffee, and vanilla icing. Has enough raw whiskey flavor and oak to keep it from being overly sweet. Drinks incredibly smooth, appropriate carbonation and medium-full body to hold the flavors, though avoids syrupy territory.

Great barrel aged beer, probably best in the Lost Abbey lineup that hits distribution - second to Churchill's Finest Hour.

 872 characters

Photo of Dave_Treat
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage. An exceptional beer. Poured from bottle into a snifter. Dark almost black ale, with a burgundy undertone. Small head with decent lacing. Smells of caramel and fruits. Taste is extended with the vanilla of the barrels. Smooth. Little alcohol heat.

 267 characters

Photo of hophugger
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aromas of malt and bourbon. Flavors of dark fruits, raisins, bourbon, some oakiness and sweet booze.
Overall, very nicely balanced, with the 12.50abv coming through quite strongly, especially as this beer warms

 210 characters

Photo of bgold86
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter glass, pours a real nice dark brown. Big dried fruits nose, dates, raisins and figs, slight vanilla and roasted coconut. Taste of caramel, big vanilla and dried dark fruits sweetness, a definite winner!

 224 characters

Photo of LouAleHead
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I love malts, and this one is no exception, great feel and aroma, the taste is there but was over powered a bit by the alcohol, am i the first one to complain about ABV. Little head but it laces, aromas is awesome. So far every Lost Abbey brew i'I've had has been AWESOME!!!!!!!!!

 281 characters

Photo of breadwinner
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Boozy nose at first straight off the tap, but it really evolved nicely into a depth of dark fruit, leather, figs, a really pleasing richness. Palate is a touch syrupy, a touch sweet, a touch boozy, probably a little much overall, but solid in a digestif sort of way. Warming booze burn on the finish. Wonder what the brandy barrel does to this...

 346 characters

Photo of Jonatbr
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Very smooth malt flavor. I'm just not a fan of malty beers so I'm only giving it a 3.5 in taste as a reminder for myself should I forget I tried it. If you like pronounced malts, this is an excellent beer.

 207 characters

Photo of bnes09
4.26/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep, hazy, milk chocolate color. Minimal head on the pour with weak retention.

Sweet caramel and molasses malty aroma. Oak, bourbon, vanilla, smooth booze. Very rich and well balanced in the nose.

Flavor imparts a deep caramel and burnt sugar quality. Mild yeast presence. Subtle leafy, herbal hop. Smooth oak in the finish.

Dense, full bodied, and bordering on syrupy feel. Moderate carbonation.

Highly complex and well rounded barrel aged ale.

 459 characters

Photo of 57md
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Corked and caged 2011 version opened in August of 2015.

Pours the color of bittersweet chocolate with practically no head at all. The bourbon nose is absolutely lovely. The bourbon notes come through in the flavor as well; unfortunately, not much else (flavor-wise) gets past the bourbon presence. The body is thin for the style and too thin to hold up to the bourbon. The finish still has some strong alcohol esters four years later.

 439 characters

Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Really dark brown in the glass but allows lighter brown and orange in around the edge. A small brown head springs to life which is a good sign of carbonation! Ring of head lasts for a while.

The nose presents a nice barrel presence. Sweet and boozy bourbon, caramel, toffee, vanilla, toasted coconut, plums, and raisins.

Fairly sweet on the flavor as well with some heat. Big barrel continues on the palate which is awesome. Bourbon, vanilla, and coconut are there. Lots of rich caramel and toffee.

Mild carbonation tingles the tongue. Body is medium.

While still really good kind of reminds me of a lesser Sucaba.

 621 characters

Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

375 ml corked and caged.
Buttery, creamy, silky, delicious nectar. Lots of bourbon, vanilla, caramelized malts. Very balanced, and not overly sweet. Goes down very easy for 12.5. Much preferred this over Deliverance. One of my favorite of the style

 252 characters

Photo of BWood
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

An exceptional beer. Poured for me at Cannery Row Brewing Company in Monterey, CA. Great selection there btw. Super smooth beer hitting all the right spots for me. Boozy without be I g overbearing. Has the heat but easy to drink. Definitely a top 5 for me. If you see it I suggest you grab as much as you can carry.

 316 characters

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

The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,877 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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