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

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The Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-AgedThe Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-Aged
Very Good
713 Ratings
The Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-AgedThe Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-Aged

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.70%

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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 713 |  Reviews: 425
Reviews by shredder83:
Photo of shredder83
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of ricke
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage.

A: Very dark brown with small ruby edges, basically opaque. Absolutely no head, no lacings, nothing happens when I swirl the glass.

S: A decent amount of boozy brandy aromas. Fudge, caramel, vanilla, wood and brandy. You can really tell that the beer suffers from the lack of carbonation, it's like the aromas are stuck without the ability to hijack the carbonation and escape the liquid. Too bad, but still a good smell.

T: The taste is better with more things going on. It's very sweet with lots of brandy notes. Vanilla, fudge, dark caramel and nice oak barrel flavors. Some fruit aromas and raisins. The finish is really boozy with a brandy-like character. Quite an intense flavor, that's just slightly too boozy.

M: Full-bodied, sticky texture. Absolutely no carbonation, completely flat.

D: Although it obviously suffers from the lack of carbonation, it's still a really good beer. Perhaps it could have been slightly less boozy, but the brandy flavors give it a rather rich character.

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Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes on 8-21-10. I tried this with TCGoalie, zoso1967, and BuckyFresh at a fun tasting get together. Thanks to zoso for bringing from PA and to both zoso and Goalie for sharing their bottles.

A: Pours a dark brown to black hue with no head into my oversized wine glass. The beer is definitely lacking carbonation and leaves me wondering if it is flat. A swirl of the brew leaves wine-like legs in arches down the sides of the glass. There is no lacing.

S: This beer provides a giant impression on my nose. A ton of chocolate, molasses, brandy, and oak just explode into my olfactory. The smell alone is intoxicating! Sweet dark fruits, brown sugar, alcoholic heat, and an old house mustiness accompany the aforementioned aromas.

T: The brandy really pops at first, followed by the rich chocolate and molasses flavors. Throughout the sip there is a sweet alcoholic heat that complements the other flavors. The finish is surprisingly dry with how much of that sweet alcoholic heat there is. A tartness accompanies the drying finish.

M: At the same time, this has a sweet coating sensation on my palate, but is also surprisingly thin for how high the a.b.v. is. Despite that thinness, the beer does tantalize the entirety of my palate.

D: I would certainly have another and really the smellability of this beer tips the drinkability scales for me. I absolutely loved the scent. This is a very interesting and complex beer.

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Photo of brownbeer
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Falling Rock.

A- Dark brown, no head.

S- Nose is prunes, maple syrup, dark fruit.

T- Flavor is similar to a tawny port. Rich molasses, imported chocolate, bold and definately tastes so.

M- Not much by way of carbonation but that lends itself to being soft and smooth.

D- I personally would want to split a bottle several ways due to the rich nature. Also, the fact that one should share something so awesome.

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Photo of weatherdog
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage had side by side with Angels Share Grand Cru with a huge thanks to Tony for providing it at a March tasting.

The cork popped off with a hopeful whiff of gunsmoke and it poured into the glass with some carbonation but eventually looked lifeless. The color was a muddy deep brown.

The nose was heavy on the brandy and alcohol with some minor oak and vanilla notes.

The flavor was once again huge on the Brandy. Besides that there was some oak, vanilla and port type flavors. The flavor was pretty dominant on the Brandy which was too overpowering. I would really like to have tasted more of the base beer.

The mouthfeel was full and while there was a noticeable lack of carbonation I felt it didn't hurt the beer too much. Sure some more would have been appreciated but I don't think it took much away from the beer. The dominant Brandy and alcohol flavors hampered the drinkability to me.

I'm really happy as to have tried this and having it side by side with the Grand Cru was a great experience. I just wasn't digging this version too much and when price is factored in I don't see myself picking up more of this. On the other hand the Grand Cru version was outstanding and if you have the chance to try it I would highly recommend it.

 1,254 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.62/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage bottle in the new 375ml bottles.

Pours into my glass a deeply dark brown with some garnet highlights and a wisp of light tan foam that quickly fades, small bubbles rise up from the bottom. Aromas start with an enticing mix of dark sweet malts, raisins, oak and a healthy dose of brandy. Sweet ripe fruits meander with plum, vanilla and touch of anise and tobacco. Lush and vibrant.

First sip brings smooth, sweet dark malts with raisins, ripe fruits, oak wood tannins and a swirl of warming brandy that really shines through. Caramel accents along with vanilla and a touch of tobacco. Spicy and a tad earthy. Flows down and finishes with a beautiful meld of oak and brandy. Warming and downright delicious.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit slick. Carbonation is mellow but well placed for the style and ABV in my opinion. I really wouldn't want it more carbonated. A 375ml bottle is the perfect serving size for this and I really am enjoying this years bottling. Decadent.

 992 characters

Photo of heddar33
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of Beaver13
2.04/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12.7oz bottle, 2009 version. Pours a dark brown black with a little fizz for a head that quickly disappears completely.

The aroma is dark fruits, bready chocolate and molasses, some vanilla and a harsh medicinal alcohol.

The flavor is sweet sugary plums and figs and vanilla with some bready malts and a harsh alcoholic bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with no carbonation.

Overall, it's interesting with a lot of complex flavors, but it's way too over the top for me, esp in alcohol and sweetness - more like a liquor than a beer. Tastes a bit like plum or fig cough medicine.

 601 characters

Photo of VernonKell
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of tjthresh
4.52/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown/mahogany with a brown head. Heavy dark friut aroma with lots of oak. Rich, and very malty with lots of fruity goodness up front. This was the last beer of a long night of sampling for me and Mike. Hopefully I will be lucky enough some day to have another bottle of this fine beer.

 297 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.67/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, on tap at the EBF, this past Saturday. The only brew I took notes on all weekend. Enjoyed 2 large sized samples that were truly savored. Poured burnt dark chocolate, near black, under a fierce looking dark tan head, sticks and sticks and emits loads of raisins and bourbon to the waiting nose. Rich, chewy and complex in the mouth and around the tongue. I picked up luscious notes of more raisins, dark chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, ripe dark fruits...lovely beer....

 471 characters

Photo of badbeer
1.98/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Very dark brown, almost black. Light tan head with a ring around the glass, no lacing left behind. Smell of brandy, figs, prunes, vanilla; quite sweet. Brandy and some oak greet the tongue intitially, leading into vanillia, figs, and dark fruits. Thicker than medium body, with carbonation on the lower side. Solid beer, but not exactly what I thought it might be. Perhaps some age will develop it more.

Update: I've gotten to try some bottles of this that were not good at all.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

2009 vintage. The beer pours dark brown with only a few bubbles. Looks like this is one of the flat Lost Abbey beers. The aroma is brandy, oak, maple and alcohol. The flavor is even better with a lot of maple notes as well as some oak. You also get a lot of vanilla, brandy, dark fruit chocolate and alcohol. Very low to flat carbonation and a medium to thick mouthfeel. Even with the bottle conditioning issues, this beer was very good. It was sampled side-by-side with a 2010 Bourbon Angel's Share and this beer was superior in my opinion due to the strong maple notes.

 614 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of Altenor
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of magictrokini
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours darker copper, slightly hazy, with a small ring of bubbles around the edges. Alcoholic nose, mostly brandy. Slightly medicinal, oaky, and a hint of pine tar. Lovely, creamy feel. Brandy up front, but not as powerful as in the bourbon barrel version. Vinuous flavors of red wine and fresh white grapes throughout. A bit of cream and vanilla, and a warm, alcohol finish. I thought this was superior to the bourbon barrel.

 425 characters

Photo of OompaMentor
4.63/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Tinypalooza 3/24/2018

21 characters

Photo of ehammond1
4.36/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Lost Abbey
San Marcos, CA

A dark brown and murky pour with a very thin head. Not much lacing on the glass.

A wildly complex and divine aroma. Deep chocolate, dark fruits, warm alcohol, sweet brandy, tart cherries and raisins--all these flavors are here and they all mix superbly well together. It's really something to behold.

The flavor is again complex, and my only complaint is that it's just a little too sweet. The rich chocolate, flavors of cherries, sweet and warming brandy, along with a touch of tartness are really spectacular.

A thick and substantial sipper--but it's the only mouthfeel that would allow for the substantial complexities found in this beer.

An incredible display of art in the glass. So many incredible flavors and aromas all come together for a near masterpiece of a beer.

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Photo of sourdog
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jh1982 for breaking this out for the Marquette/Syracuse game during March Madness. Sweet 16 baby! Pours much darker than I expected, looked at the bottle again to make sure this wasn't the bourbon. Low carbonation, but didn't expect much, and would say it didn't really seem to have much impact on the beer, this seems like one meant to have very little carbonation.

Good oak and vanilla aromas complementing the brandy. Also chocolate?

Taste, nice, a little sweeter than the bourbon version, a definite sipper. Licorice and chocolate seem there. Wood flavors. Raisins. I think I like the blended version better.

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Photo of whoneeds8
4.72/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Bottle

Big thanks to my Big Sister for getting this for me last year on a trip to San Diego for my birthday. We waited a year because of the carbonation problems last spring. Poured into a chalice jet black with no head. There was no pop when I popped the cork. The smell is strong of brandy, which overpowers any of the malted sweetness that may be present. That isn't a bad thing. The taste is of strong brandy at first with malted sweetness. The lack of carbonation is not a problem at all. Infact, I shared this with my sister and brother in law and they both compared this to drinking a dessert brandy. Which as we all know has no carbonation.

My brother in law, who isn't a BA, even asked why she didn't buy two bottles because this is his favorite non macro beer I've given him.

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Photo of daveytheformer
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

from notes. Poured into a stemmed Lost Abbey tulip

Pours a brownish black with a vry thin khaki head that quickly fades to very light lacing with almost no spotting.

Smells like raisins, caramel, vanilla, figs, sweet chocolate, a little vinous, some brown sugar and quite boozy.

Tastes are more raisins and other dark fruits, vanilla, caramel, oak, a little bit sour (only slightly), and a nice roasted malt flavor blending very well with all the booze.

Mouthfeel is medium if not a little thin for what I was expecting. There is very little carbonation at all.

Overall is really good.

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Photo of glid02
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Brick Store during the LA/Port kick-off.

Pours a surprisingly dark brown color with a one-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sticky caramel malts with large amounts of vanilla and booze-soaked dark fruits - plums and raisins. Also present are hints of toffee and butterscotch.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by heavy toffee and butterscotch flavors. Midway through the sip the barrels come into play, with moderate amounts of vanilla and boozy brandy notes. Hints of dark fruit flavors come into play near the end of the sip before fading out into a moderately sweet ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I was a fan of this beer and I found the base beer was augmented very well by the barrel. Well worth a shot.

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The Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 713 ratings