The Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-Aged
The Lost Abbey

The Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-AgedThe Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-Aged
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Strong Ale - American
Ranked #83
Ranked #11,079
3.96 | pDev: 18.69%
The Lost Abbey
California, United States
Very Good
The Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-AgedThe Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-Aged
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 426 | Ratings: 714 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Three Penny Taproom in Montpelier, VT. 2015 vintage.

This one pours a dark-ish brown color, with a small head, and a little bit of lacing.

This smells like chocolate, dried fruit, tobacco, caramel, oak, and vanilla.

This has aged really well and is a real treat to find on draft. There’s no booziness, with great barrel character - vanilla, oak, tobacco, dried fruit, etc. There’s also spicy breadiness, caramel, and toffee. It’s very nimble for a barleywine - not too heavy tasting.

This is medium bodied, clean on the finish, no booze, with a nice creaminess and richness.

I really enjoyed this one - Lost Abbey is pretty underrated.

Jul 10, 2021
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superspak from North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16 ounce prowler into snifter, filled on 11/4/2017. 2017 vintage, 14.5%. Pours slightly hazy very dark brown color with a thin light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a spotty lace cap that lingers. Slight spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big raisin, prune, plum, fig, cherry, date, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, brandy, rum, toasted oak, and brown bread; with light notes of coconut, smoke, molasses, leather, tobacco, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Touch of booze in the aromas as it warms, but not overwhelming. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready malts, fruity yeast, and brandy barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of huge raisin, prune, plum, fig, cherry, date, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, brandy, rum, toasted oak, and brown bread; with light notes of coconut, smoke, chocolate, molasses, leather, tobacco, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Mild herbal hop and brandy/oak spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of dark fruits, cherry, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, brandy, rum, toasted oak, brown bread, coconut, light chocolate/molasses, leather, tobacco, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malts, fruity yeast, and brandy barrel flavors; with a nice malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Slightly increasing dryness from bitter/spiciness. Very mild carbonation and full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky/rich, and lightly velvety/slick/tannic balanced mouthfeel that is awesome. Alcohol is extremely well hidden; a mildly increasing warmth with zero barrel barrel booziness lingering after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic English barelywine! All around outstanding complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malts, fruity yeast, and brandy barrel flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV and very mild carbonation. Amazingly balanced between all flavors. Awesome barrel integration and complexity; without being overly boozy, tannic, or drying. A highly enjoyable offering, and spot on style example.

Nov 11, 2017
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had the bourbon version and was hoping this would be similar. Not quite. Still nice barrel character but the brandy does not adhere as well to the other flavors as well as the bourbon did. More boozy in this variant as well, and the feel is thinned out a little. This all being said, in a vacuum this is a very good beer, pretty sweet with brandy and caramel, with great barleywine flavors to with strong ale booze and raisin.

May 31, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Flat beer gonna pour flat. Not flat, but undercarbonated even for style. Poured black. Aroma was nice, the brandy brings out the vanilla which brings out the sweetness. Some oak and chocolate malt beyond that.

Taste was a sweet, enjoyable sipper. Some dark fruit, but its sweetness not bitterness. Good, albeit expensive stuff. Prolly won't repeat given its expensive nature.

Mar 28, 2016
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fitzy84 from Massachusetts

4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Had this at Extreme Beer Fest. The beer had a thick, light brown head and a black appearance. The aromas included a strong vanilla malt smell mixed with other flavors like dark fruit and that brandy its aged in. The taste was a large punch of flavors including sweet heavy malts, alcohol, and a little bit of earthy dark fruits. Decent mouthfeel with a creamy body and medium carbonation. Overall, this beer was a taste explosion with a wonderful, boozy flavor.

Feb 09, 2016
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VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

3.69/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

EBF sample pour. Dark pour. Very sweet in the nose. The brandy was noticeable. This one did verge on cloying. Lots of caramel, sugar & dark fruits. The flavor was pretty hot and sweet albeit compex in its fruitiness. Heavy bodied. An exhausting little sample.

Feb 09, 2016
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tkdchampxi from New Jersey

4.79/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Received a 6oz pour from draft at a bar.

Poured black, with a small 1cm caramel head.

Drank side-by-side with Angel's Share Bourbon Barrel.

I preferred this beer for it's slightly sweeter, slightly softer quality. Less boozy and more refined, with more fruitiness and possibly more vanilla than the Bourbon Barrel variant. All-in-all, a great sipper.

Oct 26, 2015
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Gregaroo from Pennsylvania

4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Yo! Wake up! Still on tap at Monk's in Philly after the Pope's historic visit. Surprised this wa still available. So so good! You could light this one on fire. Awesome brandy undertones. Each sip yields stronger aroma due to talked stemmed LA signature tulip glass. Stop in soon!

Sep 29, 2015
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BreweryRun from California

3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Very hot and brandy forward. Not bad but too much brandy & heat for me. Still a great base beer, worth a try for comparison purposes if you have had the Bourbon BA version.

Apr 15, 2015
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BradleySig from California

4.96/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Tried this at the brewery this weekend and it's phenomenal! The Brandy barrels sweeten it up just a touch compared to the original but it didn't get cloying.

Mar 23, 2015
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retry4z from California

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Plenty of licorice, cinnamon, and dried plums. The barrel aged aspect of it is its saving grace, otherwise I would not drink it. Prefer the Bourbon Barrels Aged version.

Mar 17, 2015
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Dodgerrigo77 from California

4.85/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2006 vintage!! 750ml shared with T.Arthur & Big Daddy @ the T
Nice pop with cork pull
Fantastic smell, brandy, as poured into 6oz tulip.
Great smooth taste, dry finish. 8-9 years in the bottle has reakly worked wonders for this bad boy. The brandy and body of the barley wine is there initially but fades beautifully.
Great feel, minimal carbonation but enough to assure you this was an amazing beer. Cant believe it held up all this time.

Im sure dome will disagree but this vintage was the reason "barleywine should still be made", as a great brewmaster said. Really lucky to get to try this in great company.

Feb 10, 2015
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2009 release poured from a caged & corked 375ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark reddish brown color, with no head and no lacing as expected.

S: The aroma contains chocolate, brandy, roasted malts and some dark fruit.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of brandy, chocolate, dark fruit and coffee. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in. There’s a very mild alcohol burn. The hops presence is nearly undetectable. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp and a bit chalky, medium body, very low carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, very strong kick, good representation of style, this is a very flavorful and strong beer to sip on for a long time.

Oct 09, 2014
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WoostaBia from Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is perfect in every way. The smell was vanilla, toffee, molasses, sweet balsamic vinegar and caramel, the taste was more of the same with malty sweetness, no roasted bitterness, well balanced with an alcohol heat at the finish. Enjoyed this beer at 55F temp, a perfect sipper. Would pick up whenever available. Better than the Bourbon Barrel version which is also an excellent beer.

Sep 24, 2014
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BMMillsy from Florida

3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle at Falling Rock Tap House in Denver. Pours pitch black and inky with no head whatsoever. Aroma is sweet brandy and some light anise, molasses, more sweet sugar. Flavor follows with thick brandy and molasses flavors, some light oakiness, burnt caramel, very sweet. Nearly no carbonation in this one, and on the sweet side which cuts through the thickness and puts things a bit on the cloying side. Big bodied though. I definitely liked the bourbon version better than this one, but would be nice on a winter day.

Jul 04, 2014
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Alieniloquium from Florida

2.12/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter. No idea on the age of this bottle.

Appearance - No pop when I pulled the cork. Lifeless as I pour it. Dark brown body. No head. Not a single bubble.

Smell - Lots of dark fruits. Musty oak. Vinous notes. Acidic grapes. Brown sugar and vanilla round it out. Not a promising smell, since I believe this bottle is from the era of the "troubles" at Lost Abbey.

Taste - Yep, it's pretty tart. Syrupy at first. Brown sugar monster. Oak. Dark cherries. Then a vinegar sourness kicks in. Red wine vinous notes. Oaky finish.

Mouthfeel - Flat as can be. Heavy. Sluggish to drink.

Overall - I suspected this might be infected and/or flat. I got both. Anyway, I think I've had this beer on tap a couple times, but I can't remember, so this is the experience I can rate.

Apr 08, 2014
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BierJager89 from California

4.11/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with maybe a slight purple tint, almost black, with a few mocha bubbles of head.

S: Brown sugar, oak, vanilla, dark moscato, red wine, red grapes in the nose.

T: Red wine, fruity brandy, oak, a bit tart, red grapes, orange zest, very vibrant flavors, though I wish there was a bit of vanilla.

M: Full bodied and pretty smooth.

O: 12% alcohol is not present, which is impressive. That said, this is disappointing after the bourbon barrel aged version, and I wasn't expecting it to be as good (bourbon Angel's Share is one of my favorite beers). THAT said, this is a really good beer, recommended, but worth a try? At $15, I'm not sure...

Feb 06, 2014
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

bottle from 2008 is drinking extremely well right now. tried side by side with cuvee de tomme, a once in a lifetime opportunity. dark brown in color, sludgy thick, very little visible carbonation. a nose like a fine cognac, with warming but not caustic alcohol intensity. lots of layered sugars and spices here from vanilla to clove to nutmeg to brown butter richness, this has a whole lot going on. i get some nice oak sweetness and mellowness in there too, but to me this is a little less interesting than the bourbon barrel edition, which stands as one of my favorite beers of all time. the brandy flavors have maybe worn off a bit with age, so i get the oak and the booze without all the flavor i got from the bourbon barrel. still. the angels share is a ridiculous beer in its own right, so i have no complaints really at all. smooth as velvet with warming booze, almost no carbonation, but it isnt missed. a little goes a long way here with this incredibly rich and strong flavor experience.

edit: was lucky enough to try a fresh pour of this at the brewery, and it really is divine, one of their best beers and totally pioneering in the style. so thick and decadent, the brandy flavors complimenting the malts so well. this is really one of a kind, somehow doesnt get the attention (or ratings) it deserves...

Jan 12, 2014
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HuskyinPDX from Washington

3.23/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle opened on 10.15.13
2010 Vintage

A - Pours a very dark brown and completely flat. No head at all.

S - Sweet, syrupy, dark fruit.

T - Very sweet and bitter fruit. Not good.

D - No carbonation to speak of with a heavy body.

O - Sweet, syrupy, dark fruit with no carbonation. No thanks.

Oct 31, 2013
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zachary80 from Indiana

2.93/5  rDev -26%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to tat2dhllblly for the trade at DLD 2012.

12.7oz C&C. 2009 vintage. Pops open with only the slightest hiss

Pours very dark brown with no head. No lacing.

Aroma is good - sweet and malty, smooth.

Flavor is harmed by the lack of carbonation, otherwise follows the aroma. Hard to pick out any details, but melds together well.

Mouthfeel also takes a huge hit. Light alcohol presence is welcome and not harsh at al.

Overall the lack of carbonation pretty much ruined what seems like it would be an excellent beer. I would never be able to pick out the brandy barrel aging, but it does seem complex.

Oct 12, 2013
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Resuin from Massachusetts

4.29/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

2010 version poured from a 375 mL bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown and leaves zero head.

Smell: Brandy, cocoa, dark fruits: plums & figs, mild cherry, oak. Pleasant but light & mild.

Taste: Plenty of tasty brandy, dark fruits, oak and a hint of sour fruit. Very tasty.

Mouth-feel: Definitely pretty flat but not 100% (wish it had a bit more carbonation though), medium body but it works for this beer. Very smooth for the ABV, smooth finish.

Overall: A solid beer, the brandy barrels gave this some really nice flavor. The age has made this very smooth and thankfully it still has a bit of carbonation. Definitely a pleasant beer with some nice flavor, especially if you are a brandy fan.

Jun 21, 2013
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wordemupg from Canada (AB)

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

375ml corked and caged 2008 bottle poured into tulip 28/5/13 thanks MasterSki and Sean9689 for sending me one of my longest standing wants

A dark cola liquid but there's just a slight poof when I pop the cork, even dumping it right down the center I get just a short lived film that leaves no lace, just a few pin prick bubbles but for the most part it looks pretty still. some sediment and legs on the side of the glass is something I don't see everyday

S lots of caramels and toffees, brown sugar both crystals and burnt, vanilla and brandy's strong, some sugar coated raisins with a hint of straight booze and oak, smells pretty solid

T a little more booze then the nose and loads of brandy, still woody and some candied dried fruits still there and less sugars and caramels, tastes good but the noes was much better

M silky but flat, some tannins but there's heat too, I like the aftertaste of brandy and caramel but its very still with just a couple bubbles and it may be just a couple as in two bubbles

O I want to love this beer as it smell great and tastes solid but it's pretty much dead in other areas, smell and flavor goes a long way but I'm not getting the whole package

This would be a world class beer if some issues were dealt with, I've only had a few beers from this brewery but I've noticed a trend

May 28, 2013
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Kagarran from Washington

2.04/5  rDev -48.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

Serving Type: Bought 2 bottles after seeing good reviews. Paid $15 each. Drank from a wine glass.
A: A dark copper color with zero head.
S: Very fruity
T: I actually cringed the first couple of sips I took. You can definitely taste the brandy, but it was not a good thing. This beer played off the tongue as more of a hybrid wine than anything else.
M: The beer was very thin.

Overall: I had huge expectations for my first Lost Abbey beer. Unfortunately, I was hugely disappointed. I wanted to pour it down the drain, but ended up finishing the bottle. I just couldn't stand the thought of pouring 15 bucks down the drain. I even tried letting it warm a bit, in the hopes that it would get better, but it just didn't. I would not recommend this. After going back and reviewing the beer notes on the Lost Abbey website, I won't write off the brewery just yet. This is for those of you who crave the experimental beers!

Apr 08, 2013
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Smurf2055 from Washington

4.34/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed December 2011

2009 brandy barrel, into a snifter at Uber Tavern in Seattle.

Appeared almost pitch black with minimal head.

Smells very strongly of espresso and cream. Sort of weak up front, but it somehow gets stronger as you continue smelling. You can tell it’s very rich.

Taste was sweet and syrupy, with a big alcohol burn. Again, lots of coffee, vanilla, and caramel.

Palate was sticky with very little carbonation. It was a very powerful, full, full mouth beer. Big warming sensation.

Overall, a real treat. Age helps it for sure.

Apr 01, 2013
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flydudehsv from California

5/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one seriously complex beer. I mean there are a ton of things going on in the nose and flavor. Huge aroma of chocolate and oak hit me like a ton of lead. After warming up a bit more sweeter notes came out like brown sugar and a vinous profile came out. An oil mouth feel that was slick, yet sublime at the same time. Flavors were, like the nose, incredibly complex with the same notes as above and a sweet character but balanced by a wine-line tannic kick. I want more!

Mar 14, 2013
The Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 714 ratings