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 Halcyondays
4.6/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle, 2008 edition,

A: Pours a murky brown with no head, just a smattering of ochre bubbles.

S: Great smell, oak, vanilla, wine grapes, brown sugar.

T: Taste is outstanding as well. The flavour is vibrant and complex - heavy toffee and vanilla. Brandy barrel aging is evident, sweet fermented fruit and butterrum candy.

M: Flat, but in this beer I didn't really mind. The flavour keeps your attention, and with the high alcohol, the beer really drinks more like a fortified wine or dessert wine (Pedro Ximenez sherry).

D: This is the second time I have gotten to try this gem of a beer and the taste has been incredible each time. I know people are complaining about the carbonation issues, but I think the controversy is a bit overblown in the context of this beer.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.6/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Burnt pecan shell brown that becomes dark blood red when backlit with bright sunshine. The golden brown sugar colored crown looks fantastic despite the 11.5% ABV. It's firmly creamy, is melting in slow motion and is beginning to deposit an attractive king's crown of sticky lace. In a word... gorgeous.

It was obvious on cork extraction that this is special beer. I'm reminded of a BSDA without the estery Belgian yeast and with a ton of oak barrel character. Knowing The Lost Abbey, that may be exactly what was intended. Each inhale delivers a dizzying array of darkness that includes roasted barley, dark chocolate, dark caramel, dark fruit and vanilla.

The Angel's Share is remarkable beer that tastes even better than it smells. And it smells damn good. First of all, if you aren't thrilled with beer that has been aged in barrels that previously held spirits, you probably won't like it. There's a tremendous amount of brandy character that is almost as warming as the real stuff. I need to continue to sip in order to finish this review with some coherence. It won't be easy.

The major flavors are a perfect combination of a world-class BSDA with a world-class RIS. It isn't quite as roasted as the latter, but it's close. The complexity of the flavor profile is mind-boggling: dark caramel, dark brown sugar, bittersweet chocolate, molasses, a big splash of Sambuca, dark rum-soaked raisins, crushed vanilla beans and... bourbon? I'm 100% sure that this 750 ml bottle is the brandy-aged version, but I'll be damned if it doesn't taste like Kentucky's finest.

It's a good thing that the alcohol, rather than being completely hidden, is right up front. After all, we're not talking about the grain alcohol-like flavor that one might taste in a fresh American barleywine, but the oak-infused goodness of a quality liquor. Big, big difference. The warming glow that has bloomed in my belly is beginning to spread outward and is approaching the tips of my fingers.

It's a mystery how this beautiful brew will age. Probably very well. I tried to hold off on opening it, but couldn't resist even one more day. Warming doesn't change much, other than amplifying what goodness was already present. Then again, the flavor was pretty close to perfect right from the first sip.

The mouthfeel isn't quite perfect. Like everything else about this beer, though, it's close. Slightly more fullness and crushed velvet creaminess needs to be present for the ultimate score to be granted. Nitpicking? Probably. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the amount and quality of the carbonation.

This insanely delicious ale is a masterpiece of the brewer's art. If it isn't the best American strong ale on the planet, then I'd love to know what is. The Angel's Share (Brandy) may be heavenly, but this bottle is mine, all mine. Let the angels get their own damn beer. Talisker deserves my undying gratitude for agreeing to part with one of his bottles.

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Photo of Birdiebeagle
4.59/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle 2008 Pours a murkey brown with no noticable head what so ever. Has a wonderful aroma of wood, sweet fruits, vanilla, and sweet caramel. Has a awesome flavor. Very lightly carbinated. An Awesome mouthfeel. The alcohol is well hidden. Very well balanced. Has a great mouthfeel. A real good finish. This is a wonderful beer. Makes me wish I was an angel for my share. Very well done.

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Photo of Blursimarsi
4.58/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(Bottle, thanks WeeHeavySD) Pours very dark brown with deep reddish hints and a light brown head. Elegant and complex aroma with tones of chocolate, caramel, nuts, English toffee, English fruit cake, lingonberries, blackberries maybe some blueberry and strawberry jam and a wide subtle fruit spectra of raisins, plums, sweet pears, yellow apples and banana in the background. The oak wood blends in very well with soft tones of vanilla, cocoa nut and some butter. Also some hints of yeast, sugar, spices, peppery mint and sal ammoniac. Well balanced alcohol warmth carrying every aroma beautifully. The nose is extremely soft with notes of gruel. The flavour starts of with a second of chocolate, coffee and dark fruit. Then a rather full caramelly and fruity sweetness comes along with some fiery alcohol. The finish carries all the sweetness with a balanced sour berry touch. Oak, vanilla and some subtle sugar sources goes through every stage of the beer. Undertones of dark berries and dark fruits like raisins and black currant lemonade. Hints of liquorice, salt and hops. Medium to full sweet and syrupy with a light tart edge. Light bitter and light dry. The mouthfeel is maybe the best ever with a silky, smooth and velvety character. The carbonation is perfect for the mouthfeel and carries the beer gentle down your palate. Sugar, chocolate, vanilla, salty liquorice and some earthiness linger in the aftertaste. Near full bodied. What a perfect beer from our new favourite brewery! Yeah baby!

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Photo of bigbelcher
4.57/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Despite the well documented and accurate posts about the lack of carbonation I bought a bottle to split with some friends. A very slight pop. Poured no head whatsoever. The beer is flat. However in the vein of Sam Adams Utopias this beer really doesn't need the carbonation. The brandy barrel aging comes through big time in the aroma. Flavor was that of sherry with a little bit of oak. Like most high alcohol beers it is on the sweeter side. Not cloying but more a a rich caramel sweetness. Depsite the lack of carbonation the beer is medium to full bodied. A great beer and much maligned in my opinion because it doesnt need the carbonation.

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Photo of abfraser
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the Toronado event last night in SF.

A: Not the most attractive looking beer. Black, with no sign of carbonation yet again (see my past Lost Abbey reviews for more on the lack of carbonation). It could have been sitting out all night for all I know--that's what it looked like.

S: Much better. Just an amazing smell of oak, vanilla, dark fruits, brown sugar. Amazingly complex here. Honestly, I don't remember the difference between this and the bourbon barrel aged. I look forward to the Sinners shipments to better compare. Either way, great stuff

T/M: Sweet sugary oaky fruit. Everything on the smell and then some. Vanilla is very noticeable. The mouthfeel, while still nice, gets dinged in my book because of the lack of carbonation. Overall, amazing stuff.

D: Pretty intense. Two glasses at most for me. On a side note, I can't believe this stuff was $3.50 with the happy hour pricing. God, I love Toronado

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Photo of Duhast500
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a Dogfish Head snifter glass.

The color is a complete black with no highlights and no head or no lacing.

The smell is a bit grape in flavor with a nice molasses flavor. Some hints of coffee flavor comes out to take this beer on to the next stage.

The taste is really strong with a nice brandy warming flavor. It has great deep oak flavor that comes up on you in a quick minute. There are hints of coffee grounds, cola syrup, dark malts, motor oil, brandy, and a full bodied cigar.

The feel of beer is heavy bodied, and it's best to be prepared for it. It will sneak up on you if you take it too lightly. It slowly goes into a gradual lowering of flavor. It hits then drops, slowly with a smooth texture and a nice kick. It is the beer you will talk about for time to come.

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Photo of illidurit
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at 515 in Santa Cruz. I've tried most of Lost Abbey's rarer barrel program beers but this, one of the most common ones, has always eluded me. And even when I did see it in stores, I was wary of paying 30 bucks for probably flat beer. So obviously I'm extremely excited to pay five bucks for a snifterful of the stuff.

Nice deep mahogany color with a fluffy tan head that sticks around quite a while. Aroma is fantastic. Lush brandy notes, plenty of sweet toffee maltiness, vanilla, fruits, and a bit of spice. The flavor is out of this world. Raisins, molasses, pudding, chocolate, high-quality spirits, caramel, port. Thick and sweet, definitely a sipper meant to be enjoyed slowly. A little heat but not too much. Nice lasting finish.

For all the shit Lost Abbey gets over their carbonation problems, I felt that the level of CO2 in my force-carbonated glassful was far too high. It would have been completely suitable by any other beer's standards, but that much carbonation in The Angel's Share is TOO MUCH. After a period of swirling to kill off the excess, the result was simply incredible. This beer clearly CLEARLY benefits from lower carbonation.

Note to LA carbonation haters: You're wrong. You are wrong. Your palate is wrong, your taste is wrong, your reviews are wrong, your indignation is wrong, your opinion. is. wrong.

Angel's Share is right.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.54/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The much anticipated and heavily scrutinized beer finally sits in my chalice and begging to be drank.

Without over doing it, the beer can be summed up with words like port, chocolate, raisons, plumb, cherries, rum, licorice, apples, figs, dates, nuts, berries, vanilla, caramel, sorgum, grapes, anise, currant, pepper, vineous, woodsy, nutty, bready, candied, whisky... the descriptors can go on and on.

What makes this beer special is the well aged, sherry notes that become the thread that weaves in and out of all of the characteristics of the beer and ties them together. The beer harks to the beers of Sam Adams, in the Utopia and Tripple Bock. Extreamily candies and rum-soakes fruits throughout. Dehydrated fruits of pineapple, cherries, and raisons remind me of an alcoholic fruit cake.

Complex and surreal throughout, this is a unique and unforgettable drinking experience. The beer has a mystical quality about it that goes well beyond beer and into an experience of after dinner wines and brandies- imagine that. The high, and boozy, alcohols don't bother me as they only lead to added complexity, strength and boldness in this beer that strives to behave more like a liquor than a beer.

Sure the recent controversy about the carbonation level has come up and with a lot of dissatisfaction. This beer wasn't carbonated to my liking, but wasn't flat either- perhaps somewhere in between. It may cause the beer to take a hint on the appearance and mouthfeel, but the meat and potatoes of the beer hold firm. This beer ranks up there with the Utopias, J.W. Lee's, and Thomas Hardy's of the world. A truely unique beer. Thanks to Lost Abbey for the challenge of the palate!

Thanks to Adamdc! Rock on Rockstar!

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Photo of joepais
4.54/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go out to Jw347 for this long time want a 750 ml Bottle from 07 with gold metallic lettering caged and corked 11.5% ABV. When I opened the cork a nice pop ensued. No sour in the cork aroma Yea! I was concerned after reading some threads so I chilled this one down and went for it

The bottle pored into a snifter produced a tan head for a minute the trailed of to a nice thin lace. The body was a dark I mean dark brown with burgandy highlights.

The aromas coming from my glass are incredible it really wasn't a special occasion today but smelling this glass made it one.
It has an awesome balance of sweat malts and brandy some whiffs of alcohol come thru as well. A nice oak presence, caramel, vanilla, I could go on and on. This brew deserves to be in the top 100.

Flavor wise this follows the nose, medium in the mouth and somewhat creamy. Some of the flavors I found that weren't mentioned above were raisins, dark fruits, and brown sugar.

This is a great sipper that will be enjoyed through the night glad I got to try it and it wasn't infected. I must say this is defiantly my favorite American Strong Ale I have tried so far. I will defiantly seek another Angels share out for the future

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Photo of egajdzis
4.53/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a reddish brown color with a thin, light tan head, that left sticky lacing on the glass. Aroma of tons of dark fruits, vanilla, oak, cocoa, caramel malts, and a touch of alcohol as well. Taste of some toffee, roasted malts, dried fruits, more oak, and vanilla, with a bit of alcohol in the finish. Fantastic barleywine, thanks EDA!

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Photo of tjthresh
4.52/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

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Photo of bismarksays
4.52/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this recently and split a bottle with a fellow beer lover. I didn't take notes at the time, but here is what I remember

Appearance- Poured dark with a slight hints of brown and red when held up to the light. Almost no head, but this isn't too big of a shock for a barrel aged beer.

Smell- Caramel, roasted wood (oak?), maybe vanilla plus a general malty nose with a tinge of alcohol

Taste/Mouthfeel- It felt more like drinking a fine liqour than a beer. It was sweet yet refined, as the above noted smells were all aparent right away in the taste. The brandy felt like it did not overpower the beer, but wedded witih it nicely. Truely a unique and rewarding flavor.

Drinkability- How does one score something that they would drink again in a heartbeat but would probably not drink two of in a session? This for me is the hardest category for a bold beer, but I woulds say it rated high as I always wanted to enjoy another sip.

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Photo of Spica66
4.52/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Front of bottle stamped with yellow Brandy 09. Shared with a friend in tulips glasses.

A: Extremely red-dark. Very little carbonation. This beer has wine legs!

S: I am not making this up: You can smell just about anything you close your eyes and imagine. Fruit, caramel, brandy, malt...Except hops.

T: Wow, wow, wow! I must have said "wow" at least a dozen times last night. Wonderful, sweet, brandy, caramel, fruit taste when we first poured. As it warmed, the alcohol came more to the front and made it taste even MORE like brandy. Also, more vanilla and coffee notes were present on the finish as it warmed.

M: Another amazing part of this beer. As much legs as it has in the glass and as dark a beer as it is, one would expect sticky mouthfeel. No way! Extremely light on the tongue that allows those flavors to just dance. Not much carbonation, but it didn't bother me at all.

D: For the style, this is very easy to drink. I have had other strong ales that seem to be daring you to drink them they are so strong tasting. This one is a lover, not a fighter. It was very easy to drink my share and then I was eying my friend's glass.

This is one of the best beers I have ever had.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.51/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from 1/2011 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours dark, dark red brown amber. No head or carbonation. Rich aroma of brandy, dark fruits, malt and alcohol. Nice. Dark fruits with an emphasis on plums, brandy, some sherry notes. Heavy bodied and complex. Finishes sweet and boozy. A pleasant complex strong ale. This will definitely be interesting to age. It needs a bit more carbonation to rate higher, but I'll still get this again.

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Photo of zoso1967
4.51/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark muddy brown that shines with ruby highlights when held up to the sunlight. Carbonation is very low, but luckily it is not completely flat like some Lost Abby beers tend to be. The low carbonation means that there is little to no head, but when swirled, a tan foam forms and gives me an idea of what could have been. The nose on this beer is effing incredible. It has plenty of rich chocolate right up front that gives way to, brandy, molasses and a nice earthiness. I also detect a hint of burnt sugar and a bit of Belgian yeast spiciness. Swirling brings out more brandy and some musty smells. The aromas mingle very well, and the sum is definitely greater than that of the individual parts. The flavor is not quite as potent or deep as the aroma. Once again it has plenty of cocoa, but the chocolate flavor lacks the richness that is present in the smell. Other flavors include brandy, molasses, burnt sugar, toffee, and oak. As one would expect, this beer is pretty hot, with a noticeable alcohol component, but it is also strangely dry. The mouthfeel is medium to full and very smooth with a finish that is equally smooth and enjoyable. This beer is one to be savored for sure, but I think it hides its considerable strength quite well. If I was going to take drinkability literally, I would have to mark it down because I would be content to just smell this beer all day. Truly a wonderful beer that I will likely seek out again, even with the premium price tag.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Originally reviewed November 24, 2006. 750 mL Bottle. Aroma is running away and just out of reach initially. There are some insanely, entirely rich bourbon brandy emaciated currants with toasted almost, with bright estery yeast notes. Very warming alcohol, with barrel drawing a bite in the nose. Luxious matuer fruit. The aroma wakes up and glows a little stronger with a little more warmth and swirling. Flavor is so completely delicious, with amazing bourbon touches and a heavy head of canded fruit, sugared mango and crystallized ginger. The beer complexity is lightly muddled and condensed into a sweet, creamy dense flavor. The flavor starts with a real tangy, bright sweet pear, then ascends to a rich malt creaminess over brandy flavor, with piquant yeast richness following. Then a rising phoenix of flaming alcohols appear from the dust. The alchol is enlightening and scorches the nostrils, but it’s not disconcerting. This beer is young and will only get better with time and the alcohols that are perceptible are actually astonishingly characterfull, so they are well appreciated. Even notes of earth and woody mingle in, with a genuflection on the altar of a competely seductive malt character. Figs in honey, maple syrup candy next to hazlenut-chocolate wafers all in one. It reminds me of living in Amsterdam and going down to the market street in the morning and getting large, fresh hot sticky syrupy stroopwafels right off of the griddle and eating them right there at the stall, fresh of crusty caramel and wafer. Finish continues amazing complexity, with bright Chinese cassia, blended aromatic pink and white pepper and redolent in tawn fruit. Oh wow, it’s getting hard to explain all the permutations of this beer. Barrel character is only helpful, and that’s what makes this beer so astonishing. It doesn’t get out of hand or overwhleming, a true team player, adding yet another exciting delicious level. Finally, a closing curtain of grassy mentholness, with some sou spice and a few more bright yeasty esters in juniper. This beer has complete complexity and is an all around winner. Subtleness and exacting execuation make this beer tops, with astounding dry clarity and total excellence. I appreciate the ability to clearly distinguish all the nuanced characters individually and culture appreciate for the niches of this beer. An amazing opportunity.

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Photo of kappldav123
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle looks incredibly good. The beer in the glass deep black, almost oily, no head. Wonderful malty-old aroma. Starts fiery-malty, very complex, very woody notes, very strong, modest alcoholic. Very nice finish, warming, well balanced, prickly, very long. Wonderful beer!

Big thanks to scrizz for sending that beer to my house!

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Photo of BlindPig
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- 1/4" tan head on a black body with few brown hues. Nice lacing that covers the whole top.
S- Nice oak smell comes right off the bat with some hard alcohol like brandy. Bit burnt or ashey? Light deep fruits are hidden beneath a caramel malt barrel. The brandy and oak comes out the most though.
T- Big oak and brandy flavor. Really heats the back of throat and chest. Has a big caramel flavor also (probably from the brandy and the malts). A light hint of deep fruits come out also. A light amount of grass hops help to balance out the big rich flavor of this beast. The aftertaste is a light hint of the fruits, caramel malts, hint of wood, and a richness from the brandy. Also can't leave out the big warmth it gives you in the back of throat and chest.
M- Full body with low carbonation. Nice big size body for all this flavor. Goes down smooth but not so smooth you don't know its going down.
D- This is an amazing beer. It really is a sipper with these such strong flavors but it really pulls it all off in my eyes. Can't see myself sitting with a better sipper for a special occasion. This was a great choice for my 300th brew. After coming soo close to finishing it I think it can get kind of sickly I think it would be better in a 12oz. When you finish it you would still be craving more. It has taking me about close to 3 hours to drink it. It's great just gets kind of cloggy and sickly near the end. Still a great brew I just had to take some points away from it.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been lucky enough to sample this one several times, from the wood, from the keg, and from the bottle. I do give the nod to the bourbon barrel one for overall beauty, especially from the wood but this one is damn fine as well. Darker than most barleywines, this one is almost the colour of a chocolate Terry's orange from the UK. The aroma is all brandy, chocolate malt, lovely deep fresh baked bread and spice. The taste is great, with a real depth of chocolate, brandy, and deep roasty malt flavors that are all well integrated and integral. The mouthfeel is medium milkshake thick with a great drinkability. Good stuff. I wish they would bottle all in 375's as well, because honestly without a friend to split this with a 750 is too much.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.49/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

UPDATE 2/14/10: I just cracked my first bottle of the 2009 release. Originally I rated this beer a 4.0 B+ and had given it 2's in both the mouthfeel and drinkability category for the '08 vintage. Although the 2009 release is still "nearly" flat, I do feel that it is a SIGNIFICANT improvement over last years release and the tiny amount of carbonation that is present is enough to turn this into a world class beer. The alcohol burn seems to be quite subdued, and the vanilla and toffee flavors are much more prominent. It would probably be fair to make my overall score an average of the two vintages, but I'm going to go ahead and just change it to reflect the 2009 vintage only. My original review text for the '08 is below


Received this 750 ML 2008 vintage by mistake, but rather than send it back I decided to keep it despite the known carbonation issues.

Poured a deep brown color, nearly black. No head as expected, although even if this wasn't flat I still wouldn't expect much head so I am not going to fault it too much for that.

Smell is big time oak, also a hot alcohol sting. Smooth vanilla, fudge, caramel, toffee, along with a lot of brandy. Really exquisite, this is one area where the lack of carbonation isn't going to really play too negatively. Definitely exceptional in this department.

The brandy comes through huge in the flavor, but it is a warm and inviting heat and luckily not a burning one. But HOLY SHIT is this HOT....I can see why some people are turned off by the flatness, there is nothing here to splash around the flavor and your tongue is just bombarded with a blitzkrieg of booze. 3 sips in and my tongue is literally going numb. Rich vanilla and toffee flavors make up the back end. In small doses this would be incredible, more akin to a fine liquor rather than a beer. The bomber is waayyy too much.

Mouthfeel is, as expected, bad. Flat as a pancake, although truthfully I found the Older Viscosity 2009 to be much worse. The flavors here mesh a bit better with the tools that they have (the toolbox is near empty though). Perhaps since this one has had a few more months on it than the Older Vis it has mellowed out a bit.

Drinkability is very low due to the overall monstrous nature of this. Its just so incredibly rich and boozy there needs to be some carbonation to bring it all together. Hopefully the next bottling of this is an upgrade.

Despite all of this, I still "almost" want to call this a world class beer, even in its current state. It is so close, just a smidgen of carbonation would have been satisfactory. Can I get a smidgen, please?

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Photo of Deuane
4.49/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A 750 ml bottle of Batch 001 appeared out of akorsak's cellar! Thanks much!

A second bottle was sampled late November 2009 thanks to Ray and Cornelia for sharing a 750 ml bottle of the 2007 vintage. Shared with Ffejherb, Brewslut and SierraGs

A-Deep, ruby tinged, brownish copper. A medium tan head held on until reducing to a thin ring. Light webbed lace left behind.

S-Sweet alcohol blast and notes of oak, vanilla, light chocolate and turbinado. Sweet malts backing with toffee and caramel. A touch of alcohol heat sneaks in at the end.

T-Deep, dark, complex and mysterious is a good way to describe this brew. All of the expected flavours from the brandy barrel aging and heavy malts--->but, in a much more subdued delivery than I initially imagined. Did leave me somewhat wanting for more. Drying earthy and oak finish.

M-Grand Canyon deep and Gordian Knot complex. You get the idea! Amazingly tantalizing on the palate. While it looks still in the glass it bursts with palate stimulating carbonation with each sip. Like an amusement park in your mouth!

D-Whoa! This is some complex stuff. Hard to even explain all that is going on with this concoction! A wonderful sipper one has to try for themselves to understand. This is a highly enjoyable and palate stimulating sipper. A mighty fine drinking brew.

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Photo of zaphodchak
4.48/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Small pour into a snifter. No head, looks like Coke without the fizz.

Smell is grape, wine, leather, mushroom.

Taste is incredibly potent. Rich, faintly spicy, leathery, tastes like tart port. So rich you'd want to sip it, and only a bit, but magnificently complex and full of flavors that expand the definition of beer.

Mouthfeel is almost water, but this is not a bad thing.

Overall remarkable, but even a small bottle is plenty.

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Photo of glid02
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
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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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ok, so I will start out by saying that I had the privilege of trying this beer while it was nicely carbonated. A big thank you goes out to the staff at Teresa's who put together Tomme Arthur Night. It was an awesome event with some incredible beers.

A: Pours a dark brown with some mahogany notes around the edges. There is a film of thin and dark brown coarse head that lingers for all of 10 seconds. There is no lacing, but this beer looks very appetizing. Almost reminds me of what this would look like if poured from a firkin.

S: The bouquet erupts with an explosion of dark fruits, especially wine grapes. Sherry and brandy pour from the mouth of my tulip inviting me in for a deeper smell. As I lean in closer, I can also make out a distinctive aroma of oakey vanilla from the barrels, as well as some molasses notes. Maple syrup aromas also develop as the beer warms.

T: The taste follows in kind with the complex aroma, but also brings more to the table. Currants, dates, and raisins complement the wine grapes. The sherry and brandy come through even more than they do in the aroma. There is also an alcohol warmth that detracts slightly from the flavor, otherwise, this is as good as a fine sherry.

M/D: This was phenomenal; lightly carbonated like a cask ale, the feel is syrupy and medium to heavy in consistency. The texture is great for the style. There is a sour twinge towards the end and a sweetness that leaves me looking for a glass of water. Not a guzzler, nor should it take less than a half hour to drink a single glass, but I enjoyed every second that it took me to drink this.

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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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