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

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States

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 Jason on 04-23-2008

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Reviews: 423 | Ratings: 702
Photo of scottoale
5/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2006 vintage-750ml. cork finished brown bottle with classy styled, artistic labels.

This ale pours a deep, rich mahogany-black with a fat finger of mustard-tan head. Fine carbonation bubbles thicken the frothy cap that eventually settles to a ring with patches on the surface. In the Duvel tulip this stuff looks mouth-watering.

Huge, complex aroma...sweet dark ripened fruits, vanilla, oak, molassas, licorice and big note of alcohol that really surfaces as the brew warms. I absolutely love the smell of this ale.

The flavor...ah, the flavour...this fine coctail of a beer is Heaven sent. Sweet dark caramel malts explode with flavors untold. Rich dark fruit of fig, prune, raisen, along with licorice, vanilla, oak and spirits, give this brew a flavor that I honestly crave. This is one ale that leaves no room for improvement...this is as good as it gets, period.

Big body with perfect carbonation and a velvety mouthfeel. A very boozy, yet not overwhelmed by the spirits that were previously in the oak, awesome ale.

This ale deserves all the praise that it gets...yeah, it is that good (hype or not)!

Thanks Tomme!

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Photo of ZX6Chris
5/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the 2009.

A-Just a touch lighter then pitch black. Brown black around the edges. Barely carbonated but the bubbles hanging in the side of the glass are just enough. Surprisingly small amount of lacing.

S-Brandy, oak barrel, licorice, sweet and a touch of alcohol. I wish I could describe this better, when it warms up it has an even more amazing aroma.

T-Sweet brandy, nice oak barrel, grapes, licorice, alcohol on the finish. As it warms that oak barrel really shines through. The alcohol is pleasant and compliments this very nicely. There's alot going on there but I can't describe it all.

M-Not as thick as you'd think but a good medium body. Like the appearance suggests it's got just a touch of carbonation. Smooth and very pleasant. Dry finish.

D-Amazing flavors that aren't overbearing. Great mouthfeel. A sipper that you can't sip because it taste too damn good!

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Photo of flydudehsv
5/5  rDev +30.2%
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!

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Photo of chaz410
5/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was blessed with this amazing offering at the Rare Beer Sampling for Pints for Prostate during the GABF.
The appearance is of dark amber with a very very thin light head.
Smell is more than worth the effort in finding this gem. Smells of vanilla, rich cherry and dark fruit malts, dark brandy sweet notes, bourbon roastiness, sweet caramel and rich toffee.
Taste is Unreal! This is the most beautifully blended mix of sweet liquor-like accents such as brandy, bourbon, oak, dark cherry and toffee mixed into strong ale notes like sweet caramel, light malts and small hints of subtle hops.
The mouthfeel is like silk and extremely smooth.
The overall sensation of drinking this beer is not at all harsh but must be enjoyed at a moderate pace.
It will age well and is possibly one of the best beers I've ever had!

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Photo of slayer3604
5/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the best beer I have ever tasted. Period.
2006 Brandy A.S. from a 750ml, tasted 11/20/2010.

A-Pruned dark brown with a tinge of head....I gave this a 5 because any other four year old 10.5 year old beer looks like a donkey's dick swamped in turbid crack vomit.

S- Rum raisin, booze, but just shallow enough to give way to oodles of fig-cake, port wine, ginger, and a lot of malt. Even at four years old, this beer is offering a lot of snap!!!

T- Spice, subtle rum raisin, BOOZE, silky nuances, bitter eulogies laced with aromatic sensations that rouse even the most unending qualms of human ignorance...This masterpiece is why i continue to give hope to Lost Abbey. They messed up, but in tasting their vintage products, it has given me hope beyond impulsive homogenous reprise.

M- Thick, syrup, bread laced and spicy equilibrium.

D- For a 10.5, I find nothing of the equal, and might never. This is a perfect beer IMO.

The above review is in lieu of a great night....Got to hang out with a black Labrador, watching 007 Golden Eye, and Braveheart, after a long long day of work. This was paired with the urge to experience a bottle that I knew was best in the collection. Nothing short of curiosity was to blame, and to which, I render immediate thanks to the contrary of principle.

Thank you, L.A. for creating such a fine spiri/beer

I just deleted my first and only review of this beer...This is a huge sign of grace, because it was one of the worst beer I've ever had. It was a solid mass of malty bukakke and I wish that $19 and an hour of my life was given back somehow, but that is LIFE! You live, grow, and become something better. Same with this beer. Haters gon hate!

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Photo of WoostaBia
5/5  rDev +30.2%
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.

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4.97/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Instantly as you open the bottle you get a smell of oak. Blackish brown and burgundy body is seductively attractive. Smooth and creamy carmel brown head stands at a solid inch. The nose is one of the best I've ever experienced on a beer, it includes huge amounts of oaky bourbon, carmel malts, buttered toffee, vanilla and dark fruit. As you take first sip the senses are flooded with layers of smooth sweet bourbon, Carmalived malt, zesty dark fruit, a bit of spice and well as you see it keeps pretty nicely with the nose. Amazing complexity, while being approachable and lovely. Alchol is only present as it warms the belly. Mouthfeel is very attractive. It is almost impossible for me to find any fault in this beer. Perfectly drinkable.

At the time I am posting this review I have now had both the Brandy and Bourbon versions, and I can say that the Brandy version is easily my favorite of the two.

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Photo of BradleySig
4.96/5  rDev +29.2%
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.

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Photo of MisterClean
4.94/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On board with bifrost. Best beer at Toronados barleywine fest, enjoyed on the 15th. Glad all of my friends hated it, more for me!!

A - Poured dark brown with no head. No dissipation and no lacing, um, no head.

S/T - Brandy and equal amounts of honey/toffee malts.

M - So rich delicious. Excellent mouthfeel and full-bodied. Really felt this would go well with a good book and a brandy glass.

D - My #1 at Toronados, no doubts.

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Photo of BrewBakerE
4.92/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

o man, got this straight from the brewery and poured it into a brandy sniffter. poured a lot darker than expected but thats a good thing. almost opaque with a ruby hue around the edge. the nose offers up brandy, vanilla, and oak. carbonation is perfect for my taste. this is one of the best beers i have ever drinken. im holding onto my remaing bottles for special occasions only.

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Photo of Floydster
4.9/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I will start off by saying that was the second best I have ever had against Russian River's Pliny the Elder

After lots of contemplation, I chose to drink this one on my birthday last night with numerous attractive beers waiting for me in my cellar and it had to have been the best choice

I bought this at Port Brewing Company last weekend for fifteen dollars and it was worth every single penny, it a 750 ml corked and caged bottle with nice artwork and a cool shape, the brewery spends two dollars for each 750 ml bottle they use just for the glass

Poured into my Flying Dog imperial pint glass with a dark murky brown color and 1/2 inch light tan head that did not budge, this left the most lacing out of any strong ale I have ever seen

Smell was predominantly vanilla and oak with a strong alcoholic aroma, could also smell various dark fruits and hints of rich toffee, I knew this was going to be a winner after catching the first whiff when I popped that cork and it squirted all over the sink

Taste was as complex as a beer can ever get, loads of brandy hit my lips immediately, followed by chocolate and mountains of sugar, ridiculous amounts of caramel, a great oak taste from its aging process that is at least six months long, starts off sweet with a boozy brandy taste that fades into a dry potent dry finish, lots of sweetness throughout this one that definitely makes it a sipper or dessert beer if there ever was one, sugar comes out more and more as it warms to room temperature, always want more after each sip, it is going to be hard to not drink that other bottle of mine soon and it will take more willpower than I probably posses

This had the fullest and thickest body you can imagine, a serious mouthfeel with taste that never mellowed, in your face stuff that keeps packing its punch, not very carbonated which is expected

Granted that this is strong at eleven and a half percent and is super heavy stuff, it is incredibly easy to drink and almost had to pace myself so I could fully enjoy it, took about two hours to finish the bottle myself, I do not even want to know what this beer is calorically but it is probably equivalent to a meal

I had never tried this beer before but have heard a whole lot of hype about it and judging by the line that day I knew it was going to be a fantastic beer but that is an understatement, I cannot explain how amazing this tastes and I will make the drive next time they release this with bourbon barrels in a second

The best Lost Abbey offering I have had and it seems to be their pride and joy as well, good thing they had a six bottle limit because I probably would have emptied out my bank account for these if they had not, hope to try this on tap someday, I got to try Veritas and Funky Barrel the day I purchased these though, that was a nice treat

There is a reason everbody wants this stuff, it is amazing and I wish I had not traded so many of my bottles already, I do not think any barrel aged beer will ever live up to the quality of this one, trade whatever you have in order to get a bottle of this and you will not be sorry, I recommend this over them all, this beer is practically perfect

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Photo of steeltown71
4.89/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2008 Brandy Barrel Aged, found a bottle on the shelf at the Cracked Kettle. I've been wanting to try this for a long time so here goes & let's try not to be biased:

A: Pours dark brown-gold with mild carbonation.

S: Huge presence, intense, multi-layered aroma - caramel, hazelnut, cognac, almost approaches a Utopias-sweetness in smell.

T: Sweet caramel at first, massive complexity, vanilla, toffee, s'mores - still sweet on finish with noticeable oak, brandy. Long finish - I could think of a thousand things this would go well with.

M: This is far, far more lively than I expected. With all the no-carbonation/undrinkable horror stories out there about AS, I guess I was expecting it to be completely flat. Maybe that's the '09 batch only because this has the perfect amount of carbonation for what it is.

D: My only regret is not buying every bottle they had. I can't imagine a better evening cordial to sip than this.

Met and exceeded high expectations. Not sure what happened with the '09 batch but if there is any '08 left seize it immediately.

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Photo of JonathanL7890
4.89/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had a couple of samples at the Extreme Beer Fest.
Poured from a pitcher with little apparent head.
Appearance is a dark, dark brown, almost black, not quite.

Aroma was oak ,vanilla, some caramel notes also.
Taste was very complex. The oak was not as prominent as in the smell. It blended well with the malt and hop flavors to bring out a wonderful array 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. A little more carbonation would've made it a 5.
Drinkability - excellent. I hit the booth a couple times for this.
Definitely one of my favorites. This makes me weak in the knees every time I taste this.

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Photo of grub
4.88/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle, corked and caged. sampled at beerbistro on feb 27/08. i believe this is the 2006 vintage. extra label added by the LCBO indicates that it is 12.6%abv and not the 11% shown on the label.

pours deep brown, not quite black, with a bit of ruby and orange at the edges. a small dense light brown head forms from the rough pour, dropping slowly to about a 1/16" layer that lingers for a long time. spotty lace.

aroma is great. vanilla and brandy. light alcohol. tons of fruit - date, raisin, dried cherry and cranberry. bread and crackers. raw oak. a nice light smoky character too. a bit earthy. maybe some leather and tobacco leaves too.

taste is excellent. wow. i need a minute to process everything that's going on in this one. brandy and a bit of smoke up front. vanilla. light alcohol. raw oak. crackers and bread. great dark fruit in many layers - date, raisin, bit of dried cranberry and cherry. light caramel sweetness. low bitterness level. rereading this, i really don't think i'm doing it justice. this is a damn fine beer.

mouthfeel is great. low carbonation level, very well integrated and silky smooth. medium body. fairly dry finish pulling things together and helping the drinkability even more.

drinkability is excellent. this may be my new all-time favourite beer. even at nearly $60 a bottle in this restaurant, i want to buy another all for myself and just sit here and savor it for hours. perfectly balanced. perfectly complimentary interplay between the barrel and the base beer, never overpowering and accentuating all the good parts. truly spectacular. such a shame to see the glass empty. need to find another excuse to come back for another bottle while they still have some...

kudos to the staff at beerbistro for the time and effort involved in getting these rare treats available in ontario. it isn't easy, and it isn't cheap, but it's so worth it.

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Photo of sfoley333
4.87/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My review was moved to the wrong AS version so here is a copy of the real review for AS Brandy version.

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.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 12-25-2007 20:59:22

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Photo of srroos
4.87/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL corked and caged bottle into a Duvel Tulip. Originally reviewed 12-10-07, transfered from the Bourbon Barrel version.

A: Pours an opaque dark brown with caramel edges. The one finger head was rather short lived. Not the best looking beer I've ever had, but hardly much to complain about.

S: Primarily aromas of oak and caramel, with some bittersweet chocolate aroma as well. Between the vanilla of the oak and caramel aromas this is a very sweet smelling beer, but there is a hint of sour in the nose. Very interesting and complex.

T: Powerful oaky taste that dominates the palate while the beer is cool. As it warms, the bitterness and spiciness increases drastically. Very malty as expected, yet not too sweet. So much flavor packed into one beer, but no one flavor takes over once the beer warmed to proper serving temperature. Incredible!

M: Very full bodied and complex as described above, but not too heavy or syrupy on the tongue. Other reviewers seem to consider this a flaw, but to me this seems proper for the style. Any heavier would have been too much. Well carbonated for the style. Right on the mark!

D: Very drinkable, in fact, downright scary drinkable. I am looking at the last few sips of the bottle in my glass as I type this. Downright incredible for the high alcohol content. Sadly though, I can't give a perfect score in this department due to the rarity.

Overall, this beer totally lived up to the hype. It was worth every mile travelled, every minute waiting in line, and every penny spent. I only wish i could have purchased more. A truely remarkable beer and worthy of the highest of scores!

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Photo of Dodgerrigo77
4.85/5  rDev +26.3%
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.

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Photo of drseamus
4.85/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Repeal Day. Time to pull out all stops. I don't have a Port or Lost Abbey glass so my Westvleteren chalice will have to suffice.

A: Dark brown ruby colored body. It almost looks like a very dark red wine sitting in the glass. Barely enough light passes through to be able to see yeast particles in suspension but I can just make them out. There was initially a small light mocha colored head but it fell soon after pouring leaving only a rim on the edge and a small patch in the center. Fairly typical of a barrel aged beer in my experience. By swirling the glass it seems that the beer is pretty thin but I know better than to judge a book by it's cover. There is almost no visible carbonation.

S: As soon as I popped the cork I could smell brandy. Smelling the beer itself is a magnification of the cork. Brandy, sweet caramel, toffee, vanilla, and dark fruits emanate from the glass. I have never smelled caramel so clearly before in a beer and it smells damn good. Overall, it may be a bit on the sweet end but if so, only by the slimmest of margins.

T: The brandy is very up front but not overpowering. Broken down, I get some caramel, dark chocolate, oak, and a great malt backbone. The caramel is as strong in the flavor as it was in the aroma. The chocolate appears later in the taste joined by a hint of dark fruit and they linger on the tongue, lasting nicely into the aftertaste. There is a slight bitterness in the middle that appears only for an instant before fading into the dark chocolate. As it warms, the flavors become enhanced and richer without becoming too much. If I didn't know this was 11% ABV, I could call you a liar if you told me so. I can't detect any alcoholic burn at all. The smoothness of this beer is out of this world.

M: The body is actually much thinner than I expected, but there is so much flavor packed in there it doesn't even matter. As I mentioned, the smoothness is amazing. It tastes like this should be a sipping beer, but I ended up finishing the first glass rather quickly.

D: There was a decent amount of hype surrounding this beer as there is surrounding Dark Lord. When I finally tried Dark Lord for the first time, I was a bit disappointed. Tasting The Angel's Share for the first time was the exact opposite. This beer is as good as, if not better than the hype as far as I'm concerned. The ease of drinking for a beer of this ABV is incredible and the flavor profile is outstanding. This really is a world class beer.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.82/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

[This review was moved to the bourbon barrel version for some I'm copying back to where it belongs...originally reviewed on April 7]

Big thanks to Jw347 and sfoley333(I think, it's been awhile) for bottles of this delicious beer. This is a 2007 vintage - brandy barrel aged.

a - pour a deep dark brown nearing black, two finger light brown head in my tulip, decent retention and lacing, a whole lot of little bubbles rising up throughout the session

s - very intense caramel malt and alcohol backbone on the nose, great notes of cherry, plum and raisin, lots of dark fruit, vanilla and oak present as well, hints of brown sugar and molasses, incredibly complex!

t - nice caramel malt sweetness up front, mid-palate has a whole lot of dark fruits, cherry and raisin, all underlined by notes of vanilla and oak, finish is more of the caramel with dark fruits along with some booze, which adds nice complexity but doesn't overwhelm, this is what oak aging should be

m - medium-to-full bodied, good deal of carbonation, but not too much, active in the mouth, alcohol warming, well balanced between sweetness and dryness on the finish

d - for a big, big beer, this rates as pretty drinkable to me, the complexity keeps me wanting to take more sips and it's not overly harsh on the palate, towards the end of the bottle, the abv definitely catches up to you though

Props to Tomme on this amazing beer! This is what oak aging should be...not overwhelming but smoothing out flavors and adding complexity. I'm really looking forward to trying the bottles of Bourbon-barrel aged AS.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.82/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

thanks to metallitone1 for the chance to try this rare brew! This is a review of the 2006 release.

A - opaque mohagany color, seems almost cloudy as compared to anyting else I've tried from this brewery. Very nice reddish tan head that stays through the full brew.
S - Rich thick caramel, dark ripe fruits oak, vanilla and brandy.
T - a pure masterful symphony of flavors as noted above with a light background hop note to keep it all together perfectly. Did I mention it was a masterful blending of flavors?
M - full bodied, a couple of ticks below too sweet, creamy smooth and heavenly light lingering aftertaste.
D - So smooth and sinful to drink. Drinks like a light abv brew but with so many flavors it is utterly engaging right through till you run out of beer at the end of the glass.

Thankfully I have one more to treasure and savor for a future date!!! A must try beer if you get the chance!

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.82/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle, Batch 1, sampled October 2007
The beer pours quite a bit darker than I was expecting. It is an opaque burnt amber color, that shows a brilliantly clear, light chocolate hue as I pour it. The head starts out a fat two-fingers in height and is frothy, rich amber tinged, dark tan color. Quite barrel influenced; some fruity, brandy-like notes are noticeable at first (including some slightly hot notes, that seem alcohol induced, but are really from the oak character). The nose soon picks up notes of oak-derived vanillin, touches of butterscotch and some spicy oak notes. The underlying beer is still noticeable though throughout all of this, though it does play a secondary, supporting role; aromatic notes of deeply caramelized malt sugars, some chalky cocoa notes, touches of toasty malt / dark bread, hints of dark grain notes (chocolate and something like Special B malt) and some fruit notes which meld with some probable brandy-induced aromas. The combination of the brandy & malt produce aromatic notes of raisins, a touch of cherry and some dried fig character. At times the aroma has me convinced that a mix of vanilla & hazel nut extracts has been added to the brew, or at least it seems that way. This is a very nice aroma, while it is certainly highly barrel influenced, it is not so much that it is detracting for me. I could wish that a bit more richness of the base beer came through though.

Soft, creamy, malt textures up front yield to a light spritz provided by the carbonation, but the beer really doesn’t lose that creamy texture. In fact the malts cling to the palate, even coating the mouth in their velvety touch even after the beer has left my mouth. As I was sort of expecting, the oak plays the secondary role in the flavor to the combination of beer & brandy flavors (opposite to the aromas balance). The malt & brandy contribute a nice level of fruit character here, including notes of concentrated raisins, figs, and a very slight cherry note. The fruit notes seem to be slightly roasted in character; the dark malts used here contribute a slightly chalky roast grain character, touches of chocolate & really something that seems like burnt raisins. The oak really provides an incredible balance & contrast to the flavors of this brew. As the beer warms, flavors of sweet nut extracts start to become quite prominent; touches of hazelnut, almond and something much like amaretto become quite pronounced and enjoyable.

The oak flavors are very well integrated here; soft notes of vanillin are noticeable at times, and towards the middle through to the end is noticeable a subtle butterscotch note. Spicy oak flavors are noticeable throughout, but especially show up in the finish; in combination with the hop bitterness, these notes provide a balance to the sweet malt & fruit notes. I get the feeling that this beer has a nice hop influence to it, but for some reason (other than the fair amount of bitterness) I can't separate these contributions out from the rest of the competing flavors. As the beer warms up, the vanilla flavors really become much more prominent.

While I was expecting this to be at least good, I really am impressed how good this really is. This beer really works quite well with the brandy barrel. This is truly and enjoyable sipping brew, as the label states, 750ml is definitely a good size for slowly sipping & savoring amongst friends. I really like the flavors found in this brew as well as the silky textures of the body / mouthfeel; the two really compliment each other quite well. I can't actually the texture of this beer being any better for this particular set of flavors. I really think more brewers need to explore this particular barrel type, as I just transferred a bunch of a Belgian-style Quad from a Heaven Hill Brandy barrel (same type of barrel used here I believe), that is shaping up to be quite phenomenal as well. Speaking of which, the brandy character really seems to move this beer into the realm of a strong, dark, Belgian beer like a Quad; ultimately, I think this is why I like this beer so much, barrel & barley wine did not really excite me that much, but little did I realize that the combination would evoke the complexity & fruit character that I like so much in a really good Quad. Quite surprisingly (at least to this lover of funky beers), this is easily, objectively (removing the situational aspect) the best beer I have ever had from Tomme. I really wish I had at least a couple more bottles of this batch as I have a feeling it is going to age quite well. Without the barrel character (brandy & oak derived), this beer would merely be at most good and more like just decent; really it is the marriage of all of the components of this brew that make it so incredible.

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Photo of franksnbeans
4.8/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Incredible. Pours a caramel brown, almost opaque with a thick creamy head and contiuous lacing. Nose is big brandy at first followed by caramel, chocolate, dark fruits and if taken in altogether without picking them out it smells like plain yogourt. Big brandy up front but not boozy whatsoever. Chocolate, brown sugar, caramel and dark fruits all take their turn on your pallate then a smooth as silk brandy finish. Insanely drinkable and I couldnt detect half the abv. A world class libation.

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Photo of tkdchampxi
4.79/5  rDev +24.7%
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.

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Photo of kirkmichel
4.79/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Leon's full service in Decatur, GA
last time I was able to taste this was at Pints for prostate event at GABF in 2009, and I was impressed
A-Inky brown-blackL opaque with a tick tan head that dissipates fairly rapidly.
S-Dark chocolate, ground coffee, cherry liquer,
T-Alcohol tempered by cherries and brandy with dark chocolaate tones in the background. Absolutely delicious and almost dessert wine-like.
M-Almost syrupy, which doesn't seem wierd considering how dense with flavor and alcohol this is.
D-I could drink several of these, but if I did, I'd be on the floor. In this case, "D" is for Dangerous.

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Photo of drowland
4.78/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Rating 1700! 375 millimeter bottle sampled at RBWG 2010 - shared by kp, I believe! Huge Wow this is amazing. Dark reddish/brown pour with a small tan head that fades fast. The aroma and flavor are both awesome vanilla, apples, coconut, barrel, and so much more. Amazing stuff!

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The Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
3.84 out of 5 based on 702 ratings.
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