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

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outstanding
691 Reviews
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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
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
Reviews:
691
Ratings:
1,855
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
18.16%
 
 
Wants:
602
Gots:
579
For Trade:
46
User Reviews
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Reviews: 691 | Ratings: 1,855
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.

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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!

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of GabrielM
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first review, so thought I would save it for something special.

A - Awesome bottle and cover design, with "bourbon 2010" on the back. There was no hiss or pop as I pulled the cork, which was a bit disheartening, especially since hearing of all the carbonation problems with LA lately. The beer pours a dark brownish caramel-apple color, with a very thin line of head that dissipates somewhat quickly. A swirl brings it back, which is a good sign.

S - Strong bourbon up front, then caramel and brown sugar. Alcohol is present, but masked (or maybe enhanced) by the intense bourbon aroma.

T - Thick, warm bourbon on the palate, caramel, a bit of chocolate and molasses. The alcohol is felt soon after swallowing as it warms the throat and chest, but only for a second. It's actually a quite pleasurable "burn" if you enjoy the aforementioned flavors. Carbonation is weak, but definitely there.

M - As stated above, thick bourbon is the best way to describe the feel. Given its high ABV, this one is definitely strong in the mouth, but deserves a good swishing around to open up all the remaining nuances.

D - Given the intensity and strength, the warmth/burn is pronounced, but not overwhelming. A great sipper that requires a pause between drinks, but always has you looking forward to the next. Being a huge scotch drinker and complete fan of bourbon barrel aged brews, I am always excited to try a fresh batch, and this is one of the best I've had. However, let this baby age for a while and you'll have a much mellower, flavor-filled masterpiece on your hands.

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Photo of bhalter8
4.67/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My 100th review needed to be special, so here it is, courtesy of piclee, thanks for the trade (a while back now). This also my home beer, before heading off to my birthday party, what great timing! I have stored this one in a fridge, in a paper bag, in my basement, to make sure it would stay in as good of condition as possible. I am not let down.
Pours a deep brown color with tan colored head resting atop. Within the dark brew is some slight, murky particles. I am a little surprised by how dark it is, to be honest, but the head, and associated pop when uncorked relieved all carbonation concerns I had.
The bourbon aroma is right there, but it is not alone, as other bourbon barrel aged beers can be. There is a sweet caramel and dark fruit background that blends together quite nicely in this brew.
That taste follows suit, as far as complexity goes. The bourbon is pronounced, but this beer is far more complex than that. That sweet caramel smell is there in the flavor, along with brown sugar, I think, its not all caramel for sure. A slight vanilla hint, adds to the sweetness, as well. The dark fruits, raisins and prunes, add to the cornucopia of flavors in this beer.
The carbonation gives it a definitive zest in your mouth, but I must commend them on concealing the boozy alcohol that would normally accompany a 12% bourbon barrel aged beer.
Again, well concealed, so incredibly drinkable for the style, but to drink too quickly would probably rob you of enjoying all that is going on in this beer. I see now, why this beer is worthy of such lofty praise.

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

C. Cloudy even though it is dark
H. Carmel-ish Dark Brown
N. HUGE alcohol burn in the nose, almost smelled like children's vitamins with alcohol

There was a slight "pop" to this cork, although it was less carbonated, which seems to be an on going issue with previous The Lost Abbey's I have had. Possibly an issue with shipping? That said this beer almost drank like Sam Adam's Utopia's which to me was the consistency of a Cognac. I guess you could say this is the "poor-man's Utopias" although it isn't as large ABV wise it taste similar. Like a sexy tall woman the legs take over the glass. The alcohol is very present in the nose, but not so much on the palette. Making this beer one that could creep up quick. Overall a very solid beer.

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Photo of Igotmypistola
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Hot ass 100 degree Cali night. and im in the mood for stouts and bourbon.

problems.
answers.

Blast the AC to 68 and act like it's winter!

With the idea in mind i grab Angel's Share (BOURBON) edition of course... open to no pop.. pours with no head. no carbonation. no wonderful lacing. hmm. coloring is murky dark. like a swamp at night.

Smellin, and it is in fact bourbon, hot bourbon. not overwhelming, sort of one dimensional.

Booozy. But delicious taste and aftertaste. i was in the mood for bourbon after all. i just wish it wasn't so flat. i drank a deliverance last night that was in fact quite carbonated. soo just my bottle perhaps.

Overall, its gonna get the job done. maybe not in the way i planned or wanted. but i'll get there. with a smile :)

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Photo of fatmcb1
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Lost Abbey Tasting Room

Pours dark brown slightly lighter edges. Ring of tan head that dissipates and leaves minimal lacing.

Smell starts with bourbon and molasses. There is also chocolate, toffee, and sweet malts.

Taste starts with tons of chocolate, caramel malt, and burnt sugar. There is also significant bourbon flavor, but it is really dominated by sweet flavors.

This is very thick, creamy, and well carbonated.

I thought this beer was mediocre for the style. It is somewhat one dimensional, with a very overpowering sweet taste.

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Photo of ZX6Chris
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch from the beginning of 2010

A-Dark but with hints of brown liquid around the edges.Small amount of head that quickly settles to a ring around the edges.

S-Bourbon! And I like it! Oak, vanilla, sweet malts.

T-Bourbon, boozy, oak, vanilla, chocolate.

M-It's a big beer that's well carbonated to help it go down.

D-Just amazing. I really enjoyed the glass but don't think i could of had too many. Enjoy this in moderation.

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Photo of FATC1TY
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a goblet from a 32 oz growlette.

A: Black, almost black really, slightly lighter near the top, little to no head on this. Thin line around the rim. Almost not carbonation to this.

S: What could smell better than this?! Bourbon loves rejoice. It's sweet, boozy fruit. Reminds of a cherries soaked in bourbon and chocolate. Just a smooth, but strong whiff of whats to come.

T: Tastes like it smells. Strong was the first thing that came to mind. Malty and sweet, then the caramel, and vanilla come in. Slight bite, but it's the alcohol. Swallow this and you can tell there is a higher ABV. It's not hiding at all. It's smooth like a fine bourbon, and despite wishing it was more carbonated, it's complex and blends really well with all that.

M: Medium body, no carbonation, and slides down easy. Good easy drinker, except it's a bit heavy on the alcohol side I think. I like the high ABV, just doesn't lend it's self to mingle as nice as I wanted.

Overall- Great complete beer with alot going on. I love bourbon as well as beer, and I think this is the better one out there doing the barrel aging. Aged for a year, and you can taste/smell the notes that the bourbon placed in here. Tasted better as I sipped and it warmed up. I enjoyed it, worth the try. Although, it's pricey.

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Photo of LittleBreeze
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with a nice creamy head. As expected, the barrel is up front. Then you start to smell the other aspects. A surprise in the aroma is a hint of cherry. Strong bourbon flavor, toffee, and vanilla. Start drinking at cellar temp and allow the beer to warm. This is an amazing beer.

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Photo of leftmindedrighty
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged bottle courtesy of the BA who is a legend, Tayner.

Very loud popping corked and caged bottle poured into a Boulevard chalice. The beer over-flowed the bottle pouring into the glass.

Smell, Very upfront Bourbon notes with some caramel sweetness. Mild hop flavor gets lost in the sweet malt and Bourbon flavor.

Taste, huge malt sweetness hits the tongue. Followed almost instantaneously by a sweet Bourbon flavor. Small hop flavor is detectable here, and it's more of an afterthought. Huge caramel and raisin sweetness are found in this beer, and they almost take the helm as the dominate flavors. That is, if not the the subtle, yet forthcoming Bourbon notes.

Overall, Bourbon snobs (or geeks) will love this beer. It's balanced, flavorful, and possesses lots of great Bourbon notes. Such a great beer. One that every Bourbon snob/geek should seek out.

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Photo of bbb099
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Split with mjyoung.

Appearance - No foam or head when poured. It appears to have a watery consistency. Color is a deep dark brown.

Smell - Heavy roasted barley aroma along with the alcohol smell you'd expect from a strong ale.

Taste - Very rich. Has smoky and nutty flavors followed with a light alcohol aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Quite flat. Avoid this beer if you prefer a well-carbonated beer.

Drinkability - Smoother than what I expected. A great winter beer in my opinion as I gulped this down after spending time outside in the cold.

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Photo of hdelavega
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage (a still batch) poured from a 12.7oz bottle to a Duvel Tulip glass thanks to a buddy Kevin. Poured with vigor to the glass, this brew yielded no head at all with zero lacing but has nice strong legs. The color is a deep murky brown with slights hints of red in the hue. The aroma is wonderful, chocolate, molasses, vanilla, caramel, sweet dark fruit, malt, and a very small amount of booze, the woody aroma I normally find in barrel aged beers is pretty dim. Now I find that oak in the flavor. Very earthy and woody right up front, also vanilla, some sweet plumb, roasted malt, and fig. I find a lot more booze in the taste than I did in the nose, but still pretty well balanced. The mouth feel is pretty interesting... No carbonation at all. However, normally I just get a warming sensation from the alcohol, in this case the lack of carbonation lets me enjoy the light tingling sensation on the back of my tongue from the alcohol that the carbonation normally covers up. It has a light syrupy feel, but also has the same cloudy tongue coating texture you get from a strong cup of cuban espresso that is starting to cool down. It defiantly has some warming to it as well.
I guess this batch was still due to bottling problems when they started using the 12.7oz rather than the 750ml, but I am still really glad I got to try it. I defiantly experienced some flavors and sensations that are normally a little harder to detect. I certainly would like to try the carbonated version, but Im not complaining about this accident!

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Photo of Birdiebeagle
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 2008 Pours an iced tea brown with no head at all. No lacing also, as figures. Has a sweet aroma of bourbon,wood, vanilla and caramel. Has a very light carbonation. The flavor is thick and alcoholic. Has sweet malts and a good burn to it. Has an oily texture. The body is full. Has a strong finish with a sour aftertaste. Shared this with friends and it has good points but seems to miss alittle.

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Photo of RomanW70
4.67/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Great thanks to Jwale73 for sharing is absurdly great beer! Pours black with a minimal head. Nose is absurd, maybe the best I've ever O smelled it for about 10 minutes. Vanilla, caramel, toffee, oak, bourbon, and dark fruits. Taste is excellent as well, incredibly rich and complex, with maple, toffee, bourbon, vanilla, and raisins dancing in a thick, rich goodness. Finish has some alcohol, but nicley balanced by a little sweet and a little bitter. Just a wonderful beer.

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Photo of tedsox31
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12.7 oz size into a brandy snifter. There is almost no head to speak of. What does rise up fizzles quickly. The color is black.

The aroma is extremely strong with bourbon, and oak, vanilla, and raisins. The bourbon is quite intense at first, but as it warms the other scents come through.

Once again, bourbon is the main player here, There is also a lot of vanilla, some roastiness as well, and sweet oak. Some other complex flavors linger in the background.

The mouthfeel is very calm, not much carbonation, and very full. It goes down surprisingly easy for the abv, and has a lovely warming presence.

This is a very delicious beer. The bourbon is quite present at the beginning, but recedes into a very balanced beer once it is warmer. There is a lot going on here, but it is rich enough that I am content with only one. Another wonderful offering from The Lost Abbey.

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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.

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Photo of mjyoung
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split with bbb099. 120z bottle in Anderson Valley snifter.

A: A dark brown, almost black, color with little to no head. It appears very thick, almost viscous, reminiscent of warm molasses.

S: Very pungent. A strong odor of bourbon that hits you over the head with a brick wrapped in gold foil. A powerful malty smell lurks beneath the liquor, waiting to pick up the pieces the gold brick leaves behind.

T: As I raise the glass to my mouth it smellss like someone poured a shot into my beer. I think this beer would be fantastic with another year in the bottle, but as it is it's almost a little too strong. The strong taste of toffee drives away the initial scent of bourbon, with chocolate and a dark nutty fruitness (raisins?) lurking around the corner. There is the lightest hint of hops, but you have to look to find it. The smooth finish completes the taste nicely.

M: A thick syrupy deliciousness that fits the beer perfectly. It doesn't seem to flow, rather to slide.

D: This is definitely a sipping beer. Very smooth, but the alcohol makes it hard to imagine drinking copious quantities

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Photo of grumpy
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Holy cow! I can’t even begin to follow CharlesDarwin’s review. There nothing left to cover! So, I’ll just say that this is a huge, complex, delicious Barley Wine. If you hopheads that like your American BWs to be 1st cousin to an I2PA could pull yourselves away for one moment and give this stuff a whirl….

Yes, it’s worth the price.

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The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,855 ratings.
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