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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
681 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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:
601
Gots:
572
For Trade:
50
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 681 | Ratings: 1,813
Photo of tmzl
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle, 12,5 % ABV

Look: Pours with large 2 thumb thick brown, creamy, slightly reddish foam. Medium retention, some of the foam forms a compact thin layer on the top for the whole ride. Carbonation visible. Color is dark brown/black, murky, can't see through, some yeast visible. Pours with thick/syrupy body, fair amount of lacing.

Smell: Dark, burned caramel, dark/milk chocolate, bourbon, oak, then some sweetness, dark fruit, raisins, vanilla. Holy shit intense - filled the room the second it was opened. Rich, oily, hint of coconut, fat overall.

Taste: Bourbon, oak, vanilla. Rich complex sweet taste of different types of chocolate, burned caramel. Fat play between bourbon and rich malt character - lovely. Aftertaste consists of malty bitterness and bourbon, maybe slightly sour. Can't detect any hop flavour/aroma. There's some alcohol in finish.

Mouthfeel: Full, creamy. Med-low carbonation - expected for such a fat boy. There is some warming from the alcohol.

Overall: Smooth and sweet ride for a 12,5 % ABV bourbon and malt bomb. Aging did some splendid work on it. Was a feast, but holy shit - half gone and I was drunk. Not your typical Sunday stroll.

 1,180 characters

Photo of hophead247
4.64/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It was carbonated....Dark brown in color with a tan head. Aroma: Bourbon, molasses, dark fruits, and vanilla. Taste: alot of molasses, bourbon, chocolate, dark fruits, oak and vanilla. Body is big but the beer is actually very smooth. Alcohol is moderate in the finish. I've been wanting to try this for a long time...with carbonation that is, and it did not disappoint...

 372 characters

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.

 1,350 characters

Photo of mikennat
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not real great at reviews but give it a shot.
WOW, let me say i love Lost Abbey. This is a very sweet beer to smell and taste. Smells bourbon and sweet. Tastes very sweet (get the point-very sweet). Very caramel and fruit. Taste very much matches smell. A little stronger bourbon than expected. I love it. Warms you up a little in the end!

 339 characters

Photo of punkrkr27
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

375mL 2009 bottle. Dark nearly black pour with some mahogany highlights and no carbonation.. Very rich dark fruit with notes of vanilla bean, oak, and alcoholic bourbon. There's also some hints of tobacco and black tea. The flavor is almost too rich at first but as it rolls past your tongue it leaves wonderful notes of dates, oak, cognac, vanilla, bourbon and a nice alcohol kick on the end. The body is oily and full with no carbonation and strong alcohol warming.

 467 characters

Photo of boomer31
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My first review in too long...time to get back to it. First I must premise this review with a disclaimer, I've been wanting to try this beer since I became a BA 2 years ago, thanks mikesgroove!!!

A: a little pop after the cork came out, more than what I expected to hear from prior reviews but less than I wanted. Deep mahogany color with no head

S: sweet bourbon and dark fruits. Sweeter smell than anticipated

T: similar to the smell, sweet bourbon and dark fruits. Caramel malts and almost no alcohol burn for a 12%+ ABV. Really nice overall, one of the better BA beers I've had even with no carbonation this was a great one to taste.

M: Smooth and almost viscous as it warms. The small amount of carbonation does not hinder the taste one bit...dare I say that it works?!?

D: at 12%+ this works very well for a sipper after dinner. The sweetness is enhanced as it warms but an overall ve3ry nice beer.

Very happy to try this beer. One of the better barrel aged beers I've had and did not disappoint after a couple years of waiting. Definately looking to score a few more of these.

 1,089 characters

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.

 1,613 characters

Photo of newk340
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

split 12oz bottle w/ hu5om (received in a trade) in 6oz sampler glasses.

A: an inky murky brown, no evident carbonation and no head. a rather unassuming appearance.

S: strong whiffs of bourbon and oak, very smooth on the olfactory senses.

T: smooth sips of bourbon and oak are evident with underlying hints of caramel and a subtle vanilla aftertaste.

MF/D: very flat with a dry finish similar to a merlot wine, but smooth the whole way down. certainly can feel the heat after a few sips leaving a solid, yet enjoyable, buzz.

 528 characters

Photo of ShrLSU
2.18/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

So Lost Abbey gets one more shot and steals my hard earned money. This better be good, and by good I mean carbonated.

It pours a murky brown color with little to no head and very little lacing.

The nose is basically just bourbon. This isn't looking good.

The taste is just bleh. If i wanted a glass of bourbon I'd pour one from my liquor cabinet. I don't get what this is trying to be. It's like drinking a glass of good bourbon that someone left out for 6 days. You can tell the thought was there and this should be good but it isn't. I don't even want to drink the rest of it honestly.

Overall this is pretty awful. I can't see what the hype is with this beer. Maybe this was flat, I don't know. If this is what it's supposed to taste like then God help anyone that tries to finish a bottle. If it's a bad bottle (one of many from Lost Abbey) then that would make my fourth bottle of different variety that I have had which was a waste of money. If I wanted to waste money on a tease I'd drop $35 at a titty bar. I'm done with Lost Abbey. Let's pull the pin on the hype train for this brewery. Flat or not Flat, this one simply sucked.

 1,141 characters

Photo of JoeMayo
4.9/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to TProkop7 for popping this delicious brew.

A- Pours a very dark brown, approaching black. A thick cap of foam forms and recedes to thin film of foam, leaving heavy sheets of lacing down the side of the glass.

S- Dark and malty. Chocolate covered malt balls dominate the smell, along with smoky notes of bourbon and vanilla.

T- Wow, I am FLOORED by this beer. It is extremely well balanced and very smooth. This brew is very bourbony without being boozy. Dark malts with very strong notes of bourbon, vanilla, and deliciousness. It reminds me of chocolate covered malt balls, but is far more complex and WONDERFUL!

M- Slightly dry, although very rich.

D- Goes down very easy in spite of the high ABV and bourbon barrel aging.

 739 characters

Photo of squaremile
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown/black, nose is alcohol, dark fruits, and heavenly goodness. Taste is dark fruit, caramel, and something else I can't put my finger on. This is definitely a sipper, but one that is lovely to experience. Despite some alcohol in the nose, it is hidden well at serving temp, but emerges to create more hotness as it warms.

 337 characters

Photo of Tripphop
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bourbon 2010. 375ml bottle.

Pours a murky mud color with no head whatsoever. No lacing present, the beer actually looks kind of dead with the exception of tiny bubbles around the edges of the glass indicating a trace of carbonation. The color is attractive despite the murky pond water appearance, there is a deep mahogony color with a tinge of tawny gold around the edges. Reminiscent of a nice tawny port. The aromas are enticing, lots of vanilla and bourbon, reminds me of an old ale. There are also chocolate undertones with splashes of dried fig and plum. The flavor accurately reflects the aroma with a burst of dark fruits and chocolate with lingering bourbon and white pepper on the finish. Well balanced and quite drinkable for a 12% beer, incredibly smooth and silky finish. If it was slightly more carbonated this would be a delight. Definitely glad to have the opportunity to try this one, the finish is one to remember.

 933 characters

Photo of sfoley333
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought my 6 bottle limit back in November and still have a couple from last year. This is the first bottle from this year that I have opened and since I was traviling to Brasil to visit the in laws for christmas thought it would be a cool time to pop one open. Shared with 5 other brazilians in Sao Paulo during christmas eve.

Poured into clear plastic 6oz cups. Poured a muddy brown color with nice white head. Smells is upfront sweet malt mixed with alcohol, oak, and an almost port smell. Taste is a mellow blend of carmel, sweet malty liquid bread, dark fruit, chocolate, oak, warming alcohol, and a hint of coffee. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a light supple carbonation. While far from a session beer this beer is highly drinkable for such a malt and alcohol bomb, the oak aging really pays off on the finish.

By the way only my brother-in law and my cousin who works for mtv brasil liked this beer the others thought it was to strong and went back to drinking their skol. To each his own.

 1,004 characters

Photo of jimmy82063
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No pop on the bottle opening pours a very nice nut brown into a brandy snifter.

A - As stated a very nice nut brown. No carbonation at all.

S - Alcohol and caramel...why am I drinking this in the summer!

T - Smooth. Get the molasses, caramel, chocolate and vanilla....bourbon really shines

M - Again very smooth....not really a beer in my opinion but something special!

D - Can only do one of these a night.

Not sure where all the carbonation issues arise with these guys. Not sure if I would like this fizzy! That said I am happy to do the three hour round trip to Mass to get Lost Abbey/Port Brewing beers. Very good!

 625 characters

Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Cigar City snifter on 5/14/11.

Pours very dark almost black with no head or carbonation.

Smells of barrel aging vanilla, chocolate, and even a little fruit. The booze is almost to much as the brew warms, lots of bourbon.

Taste is all bourbon to start and then some chocolate on the backside.

Mouthfeel is not all the great. It has a medium weight but with no carbonation it felt strange. Nice resin leaves a chocolate coffee flavor.

Overall I liked this beer even though it was a little flat. Drinkability is high on this brew. I would like to get another bottle to see if the carb changes. Good brew.

 621 characters

Photo of JonathanL7890
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle from Southbay - Thanks Joey.
Shared this among 4 friends. Poured into an 8oz snifter. Pour was dark brown- black with an aggressive brown head.
Aroma was very bourbony , some caramel notes also.
Taste was very complex. The bourbon was not as prominent as in the smell. It blended well with the malt and hop flavors to bring out a wonderful cornucopia of tastes. Raisin, carmel, vanilla, woody oak fantastic.
The alcohol was well hidden and not noticeable at all until it warmed the gullet.
Mouthfeel was silky smooth - definitely a 5.
Drinkability - off the charts -- I wish there was more than a 375ml bottle.
Definitely a pleasure to drink this.

 657 characters

Photo of 0110x011
4.95/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Lost Abbey is, without a doubt, my favorite brewery. This beer is one of the reasons why.

Pours a dark, dark brown with red highlights into a snifter. Thick, off-white two finger head fades fairly quickly, leaving a thin collar and spotty lacing. Sweet malts, bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, and a bit of booze on the nose, with some spice and dark fruits in the mix as well. Chocolate hits the palate first, with the bourbon & vanilla quickly backing it up. The complexity of this stuff is unreal. Oak, fig & plum, spice, sherry, and a bit of alcohol all fade in & out with each sip. Magnificent. Coarse carbonation takes a bit away from the mouthfeel, but only slightly. Insanely drinkable. The 12% abv barely shows.

Believe the hype.

 736 characters

Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12.7 oz bottle poured into a Stone glass.Pour is dark brown in color.You can smell the Bourbon in there.Taste is Bourbon up front but you can also taste fruit.For me I could taste raisins.More dried fruit.Maybe a hint of Vanilla.I liked it a lot.It has a fantastic flavor to it.To me the Bourbon is blended pretty well with the other flavors.I probable would not drink this beer that often because of price.For a 12.7 oz bottle it was around 16.00.Pretty high but I just had to try it.If you got the bucks give it a try.

 520 characters

Photo of paytoplay
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tough to pick up on the 12% alc. 2008 Bottle at O'Brien's SD a while back. Interesting mix of sour and burbon. Dark rich ale flavor, malt, sweet oak / burbon flavor that provides a complex and long finish that I have not experienced before. Still young and I feel it can age for several years. Lots of yeast in this one, but don't pour it out. The last small glass, cloudy and chunky, was outstanding!

 401 characters

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 )

 1,157 characters

Photo of beerdweeb
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage on tap @ Beachwood Brewing

A: Dark with a thin tan head that dissipated quickly

S: Intense! Bourbon, super caramelly, and malty

T: Rich caramel and bourbon come through. Roasted malt and dark fruit. A tad warm.

M: Full bodied with little carbonation.

O: Good beer. Bunch of extreme flavors present. Buy bottles and wait a year after trying it fresh. It's good now but seems like a great candidate for aging.

 426 characters

Photo of nomomentwasted
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Whew. I split the 2008 750ml bottle with tahlstro, his review below. Poured into a Chimay goblet and away we go. By far the most expensive single beer I've ever had and I've been working up the words and feelings on this for the past little while to ascertain how I truly felt about it.

Appearance: Unbeknownst to me at the time, the 2008 bottles have some carbonation issues. I poured it hard on the refill and barely got anything whatsoever. The dark hues and slightest head are beautiful, but in comparison to the frothy, dark-tan head that other reviews here mention in other bottles / ages, this was a little disappointing.

Smell: Decidedly not disappointing. Huge notes of Bourbon and major anise and barley up front, with a alcoholic burn as well. Vanilla, coffee, and chocolate are all there as well.

Taste: The most complex and flavorful beer I've probably ever had. It's such a beast I'm not quite sure if I should even be rating it since I don't really have anything else to compare it to, perhaps save for something like a bourbon-lite with huge undertones of barley, coffee, toffee, and anise. As a IPA/DIPA drinker for the most part, this was just such a heavy-hitting, alcoholic ale that I still am reeling from it's monster taste.

Mouthfeel: Warm and creamy, with almost no carbonation. This drinks syrupy almost, and not really in a bad way. It's beers like this that almost cease being beers and really become its own beast.

Drinkability: Low overall, but for a 12, what do you expect? It's all of that and more. If you can, agitate and roll the 2008s for a few days to try and get some carbonation in there, it probably would help the overall appearance and maybe even the taste. All I know is that this beer is a monster, and a hell of an animal to conquer.

 1,783 characters

Photo of drgonzo3705
3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a deep brown cola color with no head whatsoever. The only slightest bit of carbonation was a few tiny bubbles around the edge that barely made the rise to the top.

S: Sweet toffee and caramel candied malts aromas lay beneath the big nose of oak, vanilla, and bourbon.

T: Big big bourbon with just a touch of the candy malts and a bit of oak not much else makes it through the bourbon.

M: Full bodied with a nice oily slickness left behind. I only wish it had a little carbonation to perk this up.

D: I like the beer itself but am a bit let down overall. I enjoy a big bourbon filled beer, which this certainly delivers on but I thought the carbonation issue was fixed with this release. Maybe I got a bum bottle, which I hope it was but I expected a bit more out of this beer and it didn't deliver like I thought it would.

 839 characters

Photo of nycwinter
3.2/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

375ml bottle poured into a snifter. Stamped near the bottom reads, "Bourbon 2010"

A= Not very carbonated, viscous, and no head to speak of. Black body with dark orange-brown hues where the light hits it at the rim of the glass.

S= Bourbon soaked raisins hit the nose first. Some sourness comes through as the glass is swirled.

T= Very sweet caramel malt and alcohol hotness in the beginning, middle, and end. There is some wild yeast earthiness mixed with sourness. Very barley wine like other than what the wild yeast adds to it.

M= Dry with mid-heavy viscosity makes this a sipper.

D=Not sure if I could do this again without a friend to share it with. Strike that...an angel to share it with.

 702 characters

Photo of capeannbass36
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- From 12.7 oz. bottle into Duvel tulip.
Pours a very dark ruby amber color with just about but a non-existant tan head. Damn near flat. A tiny ring around edge of glass at top of beer. No lacing at all.

S- Sweet malt, bourbon, caramel, perhaps a slight hint of vanilla. Some oak. Boozy no doubt.

T- Follows the nose for the most part. Very unique flavor.

M- Here is where the review gets difficult. There is almost no carbonation whatsoever. Feels thick and smooth on the tongue. Warm on the swallow.

O- While delicious....sure wish there was more carbonation. I do not understand. Isn't this supposed to have some carbonation? If it was more carbonated, I would definitely score it higher. Already afraid that I am rating it higher than it deserves to be?? Certainly over priced! If I drank 3 of these...I would be face down in the gutter.

 846 characters

The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 681 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe