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

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
698 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
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:
698
Ratings:
1,883
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
11.08%
 
 
Wants:
606
Gots:
586
For Trade:
43
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 698 | Ratings: 1,883
Photo of Bitterbill
4.66/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It arrived in my latest Sinners club box(2009). Put in fridge for a while to cool things down.

I have to wedge the cork out of the bottle and....pop! The cork hit the ceiling!

It pours a very very dark brown with a small and quickly disappearing head of foam. Now there's just a ring of foam around the glass and no lacing.

The smell is big bourbon, with dark fruit, vanilla, more bourbon, and some sweetish caramel like malt notes. It smells very inviting though I do notice the ample alcohol in this monster of a brew.

The taste starts with the bourbon goodness followed by mucho malt sweetness, vanilla and oaky tones, some toffee, and both milk(sweet) and dark(bitter) chocolate. Wow! This has some killer flavours and I can definitely feel some warming from the alcohol but hell, I'm home and I'm not planning on going anywhere tonight so I can sit and sip and enjoy.;^)

The mouthfeel is medium bordering on thick and the carbonation is light but works nicely. It finishes full of bourbon with a bit of bitterness. I think this is another brew that a wine fancier could enjoy. Hell, I betcha a Bourbon drinker would find this right up his/her alley.

Drinkability? This one is not for timid! The full flavour demands your attention but take it slow and easy, dagnabit, so you can really enjoy the session. That being said, the 375ml didn't take me all that long to finish. Dammit.

Edit: 2010 Edition

A small pop when I removed the cork, it has the same colour but there's over an inch of tannish foam and plenty of lacing. No comparison to the 2009.

Smell and taste are, thankfully, right up there with my review of 2009. No change.

Mouthfeel gets a bump thanks to the slight but still very noticeable increase in carbonation. Just a better mouthfeel overall.

Drinkability? It's still a strong brew at 12%abv and there is nothing one can do about that but like the 2009, it is just as good a sipper. No change.

 1,926 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

- 12.5% bot. 2013. consumed 9/14 @ recommended 55F serving temp in a duvel glass.

(4.10) A: Auburn-chocolate pour is thick and viscose on the exit producing a billowing tan head 3+ inches tall. Good retention rate with a milky cream texture with an equally impressive lace coverage that smothers the vessel. Micro-effervesce is light along the edges.

(4.25) S: Aroma of dark rum raisin upon immediate uncorking, with sweet dark fruit liquor (figs and plums). Rich chocolate oak notes with burnt molasses sweetness blends beautifully with a smooth silky coffee roast. The alcohol is fairly reserved for 12.5% aromatic wise with a nice smoothing complexity that flows very well and a good level of awareness.

(4.30) T: The flavor starts off with big alcohol notes, dark fruit, sweet figs and plums following the nose, blending with a whiskey-chocolate combination making a big first impression. Dark raisin, with an earthy bittering finish with some lingering whiskey. The flavor is very polished, eloquent and refined.

(4.15) M: Medium milky body, with a light mention of carbonation. Nice chocolate-alcohol warmth with a slippery smooth texture that just slides off the tongue.

(4.25) O: a world class offering, solid A rating. A bit pricey at $18 spent on a 12 oz but worth the unique experience. Sticky, syrupy, oaky goodness in a bottle with a lingering after-effect of alcohol deep in the belly long after the swallow. Definitely one of the better BA stouts, but its no BCBS by comparison.

 1,504 characters

Photo of sweemzander
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375mL corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage.

(A)- Pours a pitch black color; one of the darkest strong ales in memory. Produced some minimal tan bubbles.

(S)- A rich profile of molasses, brown sugar, caramel, fig, raisin, cocoa, and a mild butterscotch aroma. Rich does not really cover it; very decadent and dessert-like.

(T)- Very much like the smell predicted. A rich core of a molasses/caramel/cocoa profile. Sweet, but not overly sugary or unbalanced. I like its delicate/complex nature despite its full body.

(M)- A good carbonation level; not flat by any means, but lower than your typical beer. Has a nice balance to it. Sweet and rich, but restrained. Great ABV integration for being 12.5%; feels much less than that. Thick, but not overly so; a happy medium of strength and complexity.

(D)- Despite its richness, strength, and full-bodied profile; it is quite enjoyable and delicate. Has a nice sweet smoothness with a warmth great for those cold winter nights. I would get more of this for special nights if the price was not so ridiculously high; which happens to be my biggest complaint for this. $17 for this tiny bottle? Really?

 1,174 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Whole Foods in Los Altos, CA, and muled back to Australia to drink with @LaitueGonflable.

Pours empty and flat, a deep brown-black. No lace, no head-retention, obviously, because there's no head whatsoever. Despite this, there are tiny bubbles of carbonation trapped in the beer, which become apparent when it's tilted. I prefer a bit of head (don't we all), but it's not a bad look all up.

Nose is pungent and sweet and incredibly boozy, with huge port-like characters dominant. Big barrel characters: marshmallow, toasted coconut, boozy vanilla essence, with sharper notes of resin and glace cherries. Hoo-ey, what a nose. Almost too much to take in; about as complex and intense as any I've had. A winner.

Taste is wonderfully restrained, with a gorgeous vinous acidity tempering big sweet boozy notes of port, vanilla oak, and burnt toffee. Dark notes sit around the edges, giving a wisp of smoke here, a taint of charcoal there. It's a gorgeously malevolent and sneaking edge to a very sweet palate.

Feel is very smooth and supple, and the heat and booze gives it a sharpness that stops it from being too heavy.

Wow, wow, wow. From inauspicious beginnings (and much undercarbonation), this managed to blow me away. It's gorgeous, supple and incredibly complex. What a brew.

 1,298 characters

Photo of corby112
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes:

2008 vintage. Pours pitch black and completely opaque with only the slightest of mahogany edges when held to a light source. Two finger frothy beige head with decent retention, only slowly fading into a thin lasting ring. Sporadic splotches f lacing left behind. Ah, the good old days when LA's big beers were properly carbonated.

The barrel aging has resulted in a boozy bourbon aroma with hints of earthy oak, vanilla and marshmallow. Underneath the huge bourbon barrel presence there's hints of roasted malt, smoke, chocolate, caramel and toffee. All of these elements are blended nicely, creating a very impressive nose.

Medium bodied and better balanced than the aroma suggests. I was expecting a massive, one dimensional bourbon bomb but this beer is very complex with multiple flavors bouncing off of each other. As in the aroma, the bourbon barrel presence is dominant with hints of sweet booze, earthy oak and sweet vanilla notes. The flavor of the bourbon is strong but this beer isn't very hot and the high ABV is well masked. Underneath the bourbon there is some luscious chocolate malt, toffee, caramel, smoke and coffee bean. Slightly roasted with a very subtle lactic creaminess adding to the complexity and improving drnikability. Nice warmth in the finish.

This was the first vintage of this beer that I've sampled and it exceeded all of my expectations. Incredibly complex, well balanced and damn quaffable. Subsequent batches have failed to live to the '08.

 1,493 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008
Popped it open, little carbonation and hardly any bubbles or head on the pur. Looked sad! Poured a deep amber color with reddish and brown hues to it. Nose was flatter than I expected due to carbonation I am sure. But the bourbon was there for sure as was brown sugar, candied fruits, caramel, vanilla, oak. Taste was strong on bourbon and despite crappy carbonation it still tasted good. Mouthfeel was not has creamy and good but nevertheless it was still tasty.

 468 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well you can have very different reviews of this depending on whether you have it on tap (excellent) or whether you play Russian Roulette with the bottles and their potential for being flat and having their customer service department tell you to go pound sand.

Even on tap, its a style of beer that should be designed to have lower than average carbonation. But at least some carbonation. The smallest wisp of tan head on the top is nice, lots of bourbon, raisin, chocolate malt, vanilla and oak aromas come out of it.

The taste is a delight, well balanced, not overly hot, the same feels in the nose are on the palate. Throw in some earthy tobacco, light char and smoke, molasses, this does a good job at being both complex and good.

With that said, I don't recommend purchasing any bottles of this. Its expensive to start with, and if they're flat (a good chance) its so disappointing.

 895 characters

Photo of wl0307
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tasted by a 1/3 pint in a tall goblet, gravity-pour on cask @ BSF bar, GBBF 2008, London.

A: deep dark brown with copper-red hues, still, and no beer head (due to the gravity pour).
S: bourbon whisky and a lively vanilla scent from the new oak barrels lead the chorus, backed by a deep syrupy aroma of raisins. Rich but very mellow in terms of alcohol; the super thick malty backbone seems to wrap the relatively restrained piney hop aroma in the middle.
T: a rather sharp attack of hop fragrance upfront, consisting of oily malts, apples, piney hops, then falls heavily down the throat with a wave of warmth almost like a true spirit! Slightly dry in the oily palate in the aftertaste, where dark-fruit jam, vanilla scent of bourbon barrels, and high-octave dark maltiness intertwine before a decent and firm flow of hop bitterness rounds up the finish.
M&D: full-bodied, devilishly smooth with super-fine carbonation, and a tad oily on the palate, this oak-aged dark barley wine is great as a night-cap, satisfying in a spirit-lifting way. Better served in a sniffer, I say!

 1,077 characters

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Pours dense deep brown, not much head, lacy with some legs. The nose is sherry, leather, prune, tobacco, vanilla, hint of bourbon. Big bold palate with dark dried fruit, figs, prunes, sherry, vanilla, bourbon, oak, chocolate and some malt. Very rich and bourbon.

 262 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Served in a snifter)
A- The dense opaque brown body has a creamy tan head that fades to a thick ring soon after a bit. The creamy head slowly slides down the glass after each sip with some long legs to follow. S- The vanilla oak and bourbon note is like perfume even during the pour. There is some nice sweet dark malt aromas underneath supporting all that weight.
T- The warm boozy bourbon taste has big oak and vanilla flavors with a faint peat quality and some nice caramel malt sweetness to it. There is a a bittersweet chocolate malt flavor that leads to a dry woody tart note in the finish.
M- The medium-full mouthfeel has a big alcohol warmth and a gentle fizz that gives a creaminess to the texture.
D- This is a full bourbon beer with some good support from sweet dark malt. It is very drinkable once I could get passed sniffing it all day long.

 860 characters

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

Thanks to mikesgroove for this 375 mL corked and caged bottle from the 2007 release (or so). I chilled it in the freezer before opening it and had no gushing issues. Consumed on 31-Oct-09.

A: The ale is a dark, mysterious black hue that offers out occasional deep ruby hues. As expected, condensation from the freezer temperatures is blanketing my snifter. A finger and a half of off-white head, dense, scaled back without lacing.

S: My snifter is still far too cold to the touch, preventing me from sniffing too early. The strong ale is formidable, heavy with oak, vanilla, brown sugar, and chocolate. The nose is very inviting, heavy with booze but wickedly complex.

T: Much like the brandy barrel version, this ale is phenomenal. Rich dark flavors start off, full and almost chewy, before transitioning to the wood and bourbon. The bourbon barrel has layered vanilla and brown sugar, along with a strong oaken body. The ale is sweet, benefiting from the from the bourbon, without a tell-tale boozy hit. The bourbon aspect of the ale is subtle, almost an afterthought behind the oak. The good news is that the oak aspect still carries the day. The complexity, from first sip to last, is a real treat; an excellent after dinner drink.

M: The mouthfeel is so deep, so complex, that words hardly do it justice. Oak, bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, all working in tandem to deliver an epic experience.

D: So delicious, so complex, I'd suffer an untold number of hangovers to drink this every day. Beers like this make the U.S. the greatest country, brewing-wise, in the world. It also is a reminder that the Lost Abbey is world class.

 1,636 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a deep, brown color and a thick, impenetrable texture. There was absolutely no head or lacing to speak of.

S: A big, strong aroma of malt, caramel and dark fruit.

T: Tasted of caramel, dark fruit (raisins especially) and a big malty presence. The bourbon barrel flavor did peek through, but wasn't as prominent as you might think. Surprisingly, the ABV% wasn't that noticeable. A good, solid flavor.

M: A shockingly low amount of carbonation with a smooth, clean finish. Medium- to full-bodied.

O: This is an interesting and well-made beer. Definitely worth a shot.

 614 characters

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

A restoration of a review lost in the great purge of '09... originally sampled in July '09 at Monk's for my b-day

A-Deep rich dark brown. Khaki head that went away rather quickly but left nice lacing on the sides.

S-Rich, complex blend of aromas of burbon, vanilla oak, dark fruit, wine, herbs and hints of malt. Nothing overpowers another scent.

T- While the scents of the beer all hinted towards rich and full flavors, everything contained there-in was in a delicate balance where each sip brought on a new taste. Amazingly complex flavors of vanilla oak, burbon, dark fruit, wine and spice all with a nice backbone of malt.

M-Rediculously smooth for all of the complexities. Nicely carbonated.

D-Amazing. A must have, in a class of its own

 749 characters

Photo of mltobin
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance is dark brown with just a couple specks of foam. The Lost Abbey has an aroma of vanilla, bourbon, some oak. Upon sipping, I taste raisins, alcohol, malt & some butterscotch. For the barrel aging and other characteristics of this beer, it is well balanced, the end has some warm booze. A very good beer to cap your evening.

 371 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3.69/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12.7oz bottle purchased somewhere local. Not sure why I got this, considering the cost and my bad experience with the brandy barrel offering last year, guess I'm just an optimist. Corked and caged, 2009 vintage.

Sedate pftt upon uncorking, does not instill confidence. Poured into a DFH tulip, a few small bubbles form, nothing evenly remotely resembling a head above the totally cloudy opaque dark brown brew. Legs galore, but not much lacing. Aroma is intense vanilla-tinged bourbon.

Taste is sweet upfront, chocolatey into the middle, where the barrel and bourbon take over and dominate. Nothing sedate about the flavors here. Numbness in mouth lasts and lasts after swallowing. Mouthfeel is slickery, too flat for my taste, and drinkability is okay, buoyed by the depth of flavors to pique interest. Not much redemption here for Lost Abbey.

 846 characters

Photo of IdrinkGas
3.51/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a 375ml corked/caged bottle into a snifter.

A:Very little carbonation. Like 3 bubbles. No head. It looks like a dark syrupy non-carbonated cola.

S: Oak plus a strong Bourbon and booze smell. Also picking up some vanilla and carmel notes. Thought the alcohol would be much more subtle since its been aged for a year but it still smells strong.

T: Bourbon, oak, vanilla, Definitely a sipper.

M: Think and syrupy mouthfeel.

Great aroma and flavors but not worth the $23.99 I paid for the 12.7oz bottle.

 520 characters

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

2008 Release, received in trade from aromatorio and OldSock. Thanks a bunch for a chance to try these brews! Poured into my Duvel tulip

A: The cork comes off with a resounding pop and into my glass, this brew goes! Deep reddish brown with a gorgeous 3-finger latte-colored head. Plenty of lace too.

S: Deliciously complex. This one starts off with a moderate bourbon note with a solid oak note. The oak is fairly strong and makes me think it was rather fresh. Underneath lies a hint of vanilla and a complex malt profile with figs and prunes. There's a hint of tobacco too. Very, very good - very well balanced

T: Starts off a complex mixture of bourbon, oak, brown sugar, dried figs and apricots. Mildly tannic. Medium bodied but dries up incredibly on the finish with some alcohol heat.

M: Excellent - great carbonation and a wonderfully dry finish

D: I'm savoring this one immensely and for the ABV, I really have to hold myself back

**Edit 01 May 2010**

Drinking my last bottle of this batch (2008), and I have to say that it hasn't changed too much. Still very bourbon-forward up front with some vanilla and coconut working brilliantly with the tobacco and dark fruit. The booze has died down a touch, but good god, this is a brilliant beer! Bravo, Tomme!

 1,267 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 ColForbinBC
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

550mL bottle poured into a snifter; 2010 vintage

Pours a murky, ominous brown body with no head whatsoever. Some bubbles upon the pour, but that's about it. Therefore, no lace to be found. Syrupy when swirled, and leaves a thin oily layer in its wake.

The main aroma here is bourbon. Lots and lots of bourbon. Vanilla, toffee, oak and dark fruits round out the nose, but a beautiful bourbon aroma is first and foremost.

Huge bourbon notes, vanilla, raisins/dates, and wet/damp oak. The sugary sweetness from the malts is nearly overpowered by a huge dose of booze.

Thick, syrupy body with absolutely no carbonation. This is a big, ballsy beer that leaves a wake of bourbon, juicy raisins, and ethanol heat.

This is an after dinner sipper. With that in mind, it drinks just as you would expect.

 798 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
3.77/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from the tap in a tulip glass.

Appears a murky dark brown, not quite black. Very little head. Aroma is strong and boozy, tons of whiskey. Taste is dominated by the bourbon as well, but too much in my opinion. Alcohol, oak, a little vanilla. Thin to medium body, moderate carbonation. It could be thicker to match the power of the flavor.

Finally got to try this , I had been on the look out for it on draft, as I wasn't willing to chance a flat bottle. But for the high price, I probably won't seek it out again

 520 characters

Photo of DrJay
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of mikesgroove. Thanks!
The cork came out easy and was followed by a bit of foaming, nothing too extreme but opening it near my sink was a good idea. The beer is dark and opaque, sort of a toffee brown, a little murky, and it has a rocky brownish beige head. Not much head retention with a little chunky lace, not bad for a big beer. Nice aroma! Rich toffee and dried fruits, dates and prunes, bready and sweet with a combination of caramel and bourbon. Mild oak and vanilla with a bit of molasses. Crap, there's a lot of carbonation, too much. It gets in the way of tasting the beer. Alcohol warmth and flavour throughout, lingering into the finish. Bitterness was moderate to low, noticeable without being up front. Malts were quite nice though, very bready with a lot of caramelized sugar character, toffee and a hint of chocolate. Pleasant woody and vanilla, bourbon notes, and plenty of dried fruits, raisins. Slight astringency from the wood, medium to full bodied. Pretty good, very tasty. The only real problem is the overcarbonation, which really detracted from the experience.

 1,102 characters

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

Re-review at Sierra Grille, original review from May2010. Mostly the same, edited appearence and smell.

A- Dark brown around edges with black in middle. Small dark tan head with a nice ring but no lace.
OLD: No head, lace or ring at all. Looks more like a dark wine, reminiscent of the Brandy one.

S,T- Heavy notes of delicious chocolate, damn good cocoa. Licorice comes into play a lot. Bourbon flavors with oak take a nice back seat in this one and add hints. The grainy aspect of whiskey is there. Older Viscosity had amazing cocoa like this. Oak comes in more with warmth and is nice. Aroma is Bourbon cocoa greatness.

MF- Very warm but it is nice with flavors of this one. Thick body that is oily and creamy. Medium carbonation slightly hits the palate. Licorice and cocoa stay on the tongue.

DB- Price was good on tap. Very great cocoa flavor with traditional bourbon aged flavors. Bourbon is balanced into this beer amazingly, hard to say for many Bourbon aged ales.

 977 characters

Photo of Jwale73
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Armsby Abbey on 5/23/10. Served in a snifter. Poured one shade shy of black with a frothy, tan-colored head that dissipates into a cluster of bubbles around the edges. Nose reveals bourbon, toffee and a hint of wood. Taste consistent with nose - rich, buttery and decadent with a complexity that improves as it warms. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with a smooth, even carbonation that is lighter than anticipated. Bourbon Angel's Share is one of my favorite brews - a great sipper that improves as it warms. Definitely seek this one out if it is available on tap.

 575 characters

Photo of Viggo
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml corked and caged bottle, traded by my boy oakbluff!

Pours a cloudy mahogany, nice dark red highlights around the edges, thick tan head rises, tight bubbles, settles to a thin layer and medium ring around the glass, looks top notch. Smell is crazy, tons of caramel and wood, bourbon, very bready, yeast, bit of chocolate, more caramel, more oak, dark fruits, brown sugar and dates. Taste is rich buttery toffee, vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, tons of wood, bready, yeast, alcohol comes through a bit, nice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation, alcohol is well hidden, but the carbonation is way too high. I prefer the Brandy barrel version, but this is still some good stuff. Thanks Scott!

 707 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to tpd975 for sending a 375ML bottle of this my way about a year ago. I've been waiting for the right time to pop it open & who knew that would be around 9PM, April 8th, watching the Twins beat the Mariners in game 3 of the 2009 season. Good a reason as any I figger.

Cork pops convincingly, but no gusher, just a steady stream of bubbles. Smell is like being thrown in prison, except the prison is built all out of planks of wood freshly harvested from bourbon barrels. Nothing else, but I'm not complaining.

One tiny sip convinces me to let it warm, & it's a much better beer once it closes in on room temperature. And it gets tastier the more it warms; maybe I'll stick it in the microwave... the bourbon is the gunslinger here, but it's a surprisingly light touch based on the scent. There's all kinds of complexities going on in here I'm aware of but not savvy enough to sniff out. There's a layer of sweetness underneath the oak-aging, like my favorite Wisconsin maple syrup & a kick of dark, bloody fruit lurking like a predator, too. There's some other more subtle stuff. Lots of layers.

Drinkable...hmmmm. Kind of. I'm enjoying this & am pretty sure I could have handled the rest of the 375 I split with my wife. For a big beer the alcohol is hidden (if you don't count the bourbon!) & it's a pleasure to sip.

Overall I think this comes really close to living up to the hype. It's one of those strange, over-complex brews that I'm really enjoying, & think is really good, but I'm not sure I ever need another one. But a very good beer.

 1,559 characters

The Angel's Share - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,883 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.

    Subscribe