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

The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-AgedThe Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
BA SCORE
91.5%
Liked This Beer
4.28 w/ 1,893 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:
#630
Reviews:
701
Ratings:
1,893
Liked:
1,733
Avg:
4.28/5
pDev:
10.98%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
607
Gots:
580
Trade:
42
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,893 |  Reviews: 701
Photo of paulish
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mdaschaf
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes. Thanks to ShanePB for sharing.

A: Pours a dark brown color with no head or lacing at all...does not bode well for this beer.

S: Nice aroma of bourbon, roasted malt, caramel, and a hints of dark fruit and chocolate.

T: Very nice flavor profile of bourbon, some oak and vanilla with brown sugar and caramel.

M: Totally flat. Not unexpected really based on previous reviews, but was still hoping this bottle was carbonated. Can see how it would be great with some bubbles.

O: Again, besides it being flat, I enjoyed this beer very much.

 561 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Opaque mahogany with no highlights whatsoever, despite bright morning sunshine behind the snifter. The pale caramel colored crown filled most of the glass on the pour, indicating plenty of carbonation. The lightly creamy foam is melting in fine fashion, leaving a delicate collar of lace in the process. The second pour looks even better than the first.

The outstanding aroma is redolent of dark chocolate-covered caramels, bourbon whiskey, oily coconut shavings and loads of vanilla and toasted oak. If things open up a little more with warming, a perfect score isn't out of the question.

Once I tasted how great the Brandy Barrel-Aged version was, I knew the Bourbon Barrel-Aged brew would be something special as well. Especially since bourbon is my favorite spirit (along with single malt Scotch whiskey). Too bad there's only 375 ml in this bottle because I could sip this beauty all day and half the night, never tiring of attempting to appreciate its complexities.

First of all, the bourbon character is front and center. That said, the base beer comes through loud and clear. A perfect amount of time in the barrels is the obvious reason why those flavors are so well-balanced and so well-integrated. Warming is definitely making a bold beer even bolder... and even better.

The insanely complex flavor profile is made up of gooey caramels dipped in bittersweet chocolate, raisins and figs soaked in Kentucky's finest, sticky dates, sweetened coconut and a generous splash of vanilla. There's also a fair amount of bitterness that keeps the sweetness from running roughshod. As in all great high-ABV beer, alcohol adds power, intensity and a pleasantly spreading warmth.

There were slightly too many bubbles early, and there are exactly the right amount now, 30 minutes after cork extraction. More full and more sticky would have been fine, but I'm more than okay with the lightly supple silkiness that greets my every sip.

The Angel's Share (Bourbon Barrel) is yet one more amazing ale in a long line of amazing ales from The Lost Abbey. Here's hoping that Tomme gets the kinks worked out and is able to ensure that all future releases are properly bubbled, like this one. Even though my glass is now sadly empty, this was a hell of a ride that I can't wait to take again.

 2,286 characters

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of ZEB89
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle served at 50 degrees and poured into gold rimmed New Belgium Snifter

A – Poured a very dark brown, nearly opaque with only the slightest bit of light coming through on both the sides and the bottom of the glass. Very rich color, with slight reddish tints, but mostly just a deep russet brown. A smallish maybe one finger high head of gold and tan colored foam rose up from the bottom and lay across the top of the glass like a pillow. This settled down eventually, but left behind a thin film covering the top and very nice side glass lace. The side glass presentation was a bit remarkable in that it almost had a gold shine to it as it swirled around, very nice looking.

S – The aroma was huge, and full of alcohol from the first whiff. I did not think this would be coming off as strong as it did. Lots of wood and oak like aroma mixed in as well. I had to let this one sit and warm up to see what else was going to be coming through from it. The next whiff was much more complex then the first. Lots of oak notes still underlying, however these were now being layered in with a good bit of dark fruity notes, plums, or raisins perhaps. Still a touch hot from the aroma, as the alcohol was very discernable. There was definitely some spiciness to it as well, like a good spiced rum smell almost. Very dark and complex, I was getting the feeling that this one was going to put a hurting on me.

T – So I build it up and dive in for a taste. I had waited a long time to try this one, and I was not disappointed. Avery robust and full flavor profile, this was definitely one to sit down and think about as you go through it. A full on blast of spiced alcohol was the first thing that I noticed, kinda hot, but as it warmed it mellowed out and by the end of the session had all but blended into the background and simply become an outstanding ale. Loads of dark fruit notes were permeating through the flavor. Prunes, Raisins, Figs all very discernable in the flavor and really adding balance to it as they melded together. Lots of spice here as well, very big. The notes of oak and wood in the flavor were clearly becoming evident as it warmed, giving it a very subtle, yet very powerful presence. I can see why people rave about this; it is very unique, very dark, and very seductive almost. The flavor really needed some time to catch up with you, the first few sips were nothing compared to the last few, really outstanding I have to say and very different then anything I had in the past.

M – Super smooth and creamy, this medium bodied ale was just about perfect in the way it should have felt. Great carbonation profile throughout the session really never let up and gave it that silky smoothness that really lets the flavor pop and keeps it from getting too heavy. In fact it was really not filling at all, despite how big it was it was excellent as far as that.

D – Now if there was ever something designed to be sipped, this was it. I mean it was tremendous, and to be honest, I did not share and took care of this bottle on my own over the course of about 3 hours. It was just amazing how well it tasted. I thought in the beginning it was going to be a little too hot, but that was my fault for serving too cold, or being to anxious take your pick. But after letting this come up in temperature, it turned into one of the best I have ever had, really a tremendously good beer.

Overall I really loved this one. Now I have not really had anything from Lost Abbey that I have not liked, but this and Devotion on back to back nights have really taken this thing to a while new level. The complexity displayed in the is uncanny and I really had a touch time with this review, as I am not usually at a loss for words with my reviews, but this one had me there, it was just that good. I really look forward to the Brandy and Bourbon barrel aged editions later this year; they will truly be breathtaking as I can only imagine the heights to which this one will get.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My earlier review was deleted(host error) so here goes my redo from notes: Served chilled in a goblet (10oz) at the Drafting room. Thanks to tb69.

A - A turbid dark walnut brown, w/ no head at all. The ale appears like iced coffee except thicker - still opaque appearance

S - The nose has very boozy impact w/ lots of vanilla and an almost custard-like aroma w/ mild toffee and woody nutty vanilla scent w/ an accent of molasses

M - The feel has very mild carbonation as expected from the appearance. The texture is viscous and sweet/syrupy w/ a mild toasted accent. There is mild astringent and alcohol tannic notes from the wood and finishes w/ a mild residually dark malt sweet note

T - The tastes starts with dark brown sugar and caramel with a subtle dry dark tobacco note and dark toast crust w/ creamy and sugary malts. The flavor is warming w/ dry nut and vanilla from the oak w/ alcohol high in the flavor profile. The taste has a toffee/cinnamon accent w/ mild butter notes and toasted nuts w/ light pepper from the hops. The taste has burnt caramel lasting into the finish w/ a very dry grain accent and prominent alcohol flavor as it nears cellar temp.

D - Definitely not a beer I consider highly drinkable, but considering the style it is for me. I consider it great since it is so complex but really one is plenty as it comes off sweet from such low carbonation and the 12% is apparent w/ a tannic bourbon hint. I am glad I tried this and recommend it if you see it -don't hesitate!

 1,501 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 2/6/10 notes. Got to try this thanks to a generous BA at SC Day.

a - Very very brown, almost black pour. No carbonation.

s - Bourbon is obviously the biggest smell here, but also a little bit of oak and caramel. Smells great.

t - Bourbon again is the main taste here, but also get a little oak, caramel, and vanilla. Reminds me of BCS a bit, a little bit hot.

m - Full bodied and a litt hot from all the bourbon.

d - Overall I really like this one, but it was a little hot. I'm a big bourbon fan so loved the smell and taste and would definitely like to try this one again.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle poured into a CBS snifter. No bottle date.

Appearance - Pours a dark brown, translucent at the edges, opaque everywhere else. Lots of chunky sediment near the end of the bottle. No head. Flat as hell.

Smell - Bourbon, vanilla, lots of booze. Toffee and burnt sugar. Booze. Whoa.

Taste - Bourbon, vanilla, oak. Barrel is strong. Lots of vanilla and toffee. Sweet. Oaky and boozy. Buttery in the finish. Oaky and just a touch bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Flat. Thick, but not too syrupy. Boozy and not easy to drink.

Overall - This was much better on tap. The carbonation probably has a lot to do with it. This is my first flat Lost Abbey bottle. I did pretty well, I think. Good beer. Terrible QC.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A bottle from the 2010 release.

A: A dark brown color with a slight muddiness to it and a medium tan head.

S: Very strong and pleasant vanilla aroma along with some mild oak, toffee, and a heavy chocolate. The bourbon is warming and inviting.

T: The alcohol is not overwhelming at all, despite a strong bourbon presence in the nose (and a pronounced flavor). The vanilla, chocolate, toffee, and molasses carry the beer and work wonderfully with the booze and oak.

M: A full bodied beer to say the least with adequate (low to moderate) carbonation.

D: I have a hard time choosing which I like better, the brandy or the bourbon. But luckily both of them are generally available and neither is a bad choice.

 709 characters

Photo of orangesol
3.69/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 Bottle poured into a few taster glasses. I had intended to open this one and then the 2009 but we struggled to finish this one.

A - Pours deep dark brown, mostly black, with a thin film of off-white head leaving no lace at all down the glass.

S - Smells of chocolate, vanilla, toffee, toasted wood, and warming bourbon. The booze is still VERY strong in this one but the base flavors are very nice.

T - Starts off with a nice mix of chocolate, vanilla, and toffee sweetness quickly giving way to a STRONG alcohol burn, lingering through the finish and then some. The bourbon is ever present, offering a warming sensation that blends well with the base flavors. I think a bit more time in the bottle would have done this one wonders but I didn't want to wait and find out it was flat. Oh well.

M - Heavy body and flavor with low carbonation. Big, heavy, feel with a mix of dark flavors and strong alcohol burn in the finish.

O - I have had this on-tap and it was much better than this. The flavors are complex and very enjoyable but it is just WAY too hot. Once it tones down a bit this will be a great beer but at the moment it is still too raw.

 1,155 characters

Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of PA-Michigander
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.79/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

I've gotten a pair o' these guys in recent trades/BIFs, so thanks to those who sent them! I think this particular bottle came from GoGriz.

VDubb seems pretty interested in this one, so here's some more vicariousness. It pours a bleakly murky brown with not much of a head to speak of. The nose is rather bourbon-centric, with some oak, milk chocolate, vanilla, caramel, pretzels, and a smidge of roasted malts piled in there as well. The taste similarly whiskey-forward, with an added kick; the rest of the smell's constitutive elements, minus the chocolate, return for a second season, but the bourbon seems to have an ego issue that would preclude further contract extensions. The body is fairly hefty, with a very light carbonation (I thought the '10s fixed this...?) and an almost chewy feel. Overall, I feel this brew just missed the landing zone, fracturing a leg on landing. It'll heal, but the memory will malinger for a while. I'm thinking about aging the other bottle, if only to see how things go if the bourbon settles a tad. Beyond that, the other flavors seemed kinda weak, and the almost-flat, murky liquid was not very appealing. This one just wasn't fully for me.

 1,216 characters

Photo of thatoneguymike
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of jgunther71
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Dreadnaught33. Thanks Jonathan!

The beer has a color similar to that of a cup of coffee or perhaps cola. There is very little head that leaves absolutely no lacing. The aroma is bold and powerful. Caramels and butterscotch candies soaked in bourbon over a strong malt bill. The taste is very bold and enjoyable. The feel would be great if this beer was adequately carbonated. I would definitely drink this again.

***

2008 vintage

Carbonation was perfect. Similar flavor. Still some heat, but delicious.
4/4.5/4.5/4/4 or 4.5

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy dark brown with faint ruby highlights when held to light. Lots of carbonation produced a huge fluffy off white head that impaled itself to the sides of the glass. Smells of bourbon, licorice, toffee, some higher alcohols and maybe a faint brett type smell. Tastes of sweet malt, some plums, some alcohol, some bourbon. Carbonation is a bit high and affects the mouthfeel a bit feels prickly with carbonation as well as a bit syrupy. Heavy thick body. Good brew, I wish the carbonation was a bit lower, but overall solid brew. At 15 dollars plus shipping for a little more than 12 ounces I can safely say that I probably won't seek this one out again.

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Photo of dfhhead25
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clearly printed "BOURBON 2012" on the neck of the bottle. Nice 12.7 ounce corked bottle.

A - Hazy brown, slight lacing. A touch of burgundy in the body and orange hues on the edges.

S - Deep, dark bourbon bouquet. Its sweet and viscous in the nose, with strong aromas of oak and alcohol. A dark sugar complexity with molasses and brown sugar. An earthy dryness and whiskey kick.

T - Deep and rich taste. Dark, sugary sweet bourbon. The alcohol is spiced, warming, and tingly in the finish. The oak stands through plenty but is smooth and mellow with the amount of sweetness present. This is my favorite bourbon barrel beer to date because it doesn't have that fiery bourbon kick in the throat. This beer's abv is presented wonderfully and smoothly.

M - Medium bodied the beer is soft and luscious. Just enough carbonation to hold up to the sturdy body. Once again, its very easy drinking for its strength. Warming finish all the way down.

O - Delicious, complex brew with a lot of character and harmony.

 1,008 characters

Photo of BMart
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of stakem
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes taken on 11/29/10. A 375ml '10 bottle split with wishuwerebeer and poured into a 6oz snifter.

Appears with a coloration that looks like a deep hazed reddish brown. This looks like liquefied raisins...or dark plum juice maybe. A few dark tan bubbles appear around the perimeter of glass when swirled. This is hardly a display of head, it appears pretty much still. When held to the light, some ruby clarity shines through.

The aroma is a pretty straight forward shot of bourbon that burns the nose. Even though it is bold with alcohol it gives off scents of oak and a misleading vanilla sweetness meshed with a fine fruity smell of raisins and chocolate. Some caramel notes come through the back.

The taste is equally bold and fully bourbonized. Mid palate there are some caramel flavors and notes of smooth vanilla and oak that abruptly turns fusel and burning with alcohol. A light earthy to mineral taste evolves in the finish with a light contrasting hoppy bitterness mixed with chocolate.

Full in the feel and very lightly carbonated. While the low level of carbonation might be customary and understandable I would have enjoyed a bit more of it. This brew is clingy and coats the inside of the mouth yet it is high enough in abv to almost seem evaporative as well. Being someone who enjoys spirits, I really liked this brew as a slow sipper. I wouldn't mind having a couple more bottles of varying years but the price holds me back.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Flat Abbey is officially dead, this cork shot out of the bottle with a huge burst of sound. What a great experience, dark almost black burgundy amber body with a light tan head filling my glass. Aroma is straight up bourbon vanilla/oak/charred wood you name it straight up bourbon barrel aging effects. Served at 50-55 degrees, this beer has sweet bourbon notes hidden fruit, plum/alcohol/raisin notes. But a dominant Kentucky bourbon barrel aged beer is perfect for Fat Tuesday, the alcohol isn't nearly as hot as the nose would entail. There's also hints of molasses and other burnt sugars along the way. The woody character on the palate carries each sip, to the bourbon drinker this beer would be a god send, and I do believe it deserves the hype I'm just not a huge bourbon drinker so this wouldn't be my desert Island beer. However, I appreciate the flavors so much that I'm impressed by the amount of bourbon I'm able to pick up, mouthfeel is oily intense and lingering between sips but complex enough and not just straight bourbon barrel aging. I had deliverance on tap and believe me I love it but they are apples and oranges both excellent in their own right I'm amazed at the mellow carbonation on the palate and the smoothness between sips, this definitely deserves the title Angel's Share.

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The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 91.5% out of 100 with 1,893 ratings
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