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 Sammy
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chocolate rules! Here is a barleywine well malted by the includion of quality chocolate, and must lead to an increase in score. Because of the darker look, the sweeter chocolate smell, and of course the Hershey chocolate taste with brandy from the barells. Above average mouthfeel. Better more complex barleywines, Belgiums? Of course. A very expensive choice of $70 bomber all-in at Beerbistro.

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Photo of GRG1313
2.38/5  rDev -38%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Tasted shortly after release 2009 and was very disappointed by one of the most expensive ales on the market. Post tasting discovered that Lost Abbey supposedly has said that despite it's release it "must be aged" at least another six months! What's that about? They released it and are now stuck with the results. (I will, admittedly, taste it again at least 6 months from now and probably even later).

However, perhaps it shouldn't have been released and would have benefited from age at the brewery. Pours brown with no head. Thick carmel and malt nose and pours and feels thick in the glass (a good thing). Big body with bold and somewhat unpleasant flavors of burnt carmel and toffee with tons of malt. A big ripe apricot flavor and character with some sour possibly brettanomyces characteristics. Thick sweet malt flavors with sour undertones.

Very light, almost non-existent carbonation. All in all, not very pleasant. Will try again in the future. Lost Abbey is going to be stuck with these kinds of reviews and conclusions if it releases beer unreasonably early. Just my opinion.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to AndrewK for sharing this one at his tasting.

2009 vintage.

Pours an almost opaque brown-black with no head and no lace. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, raisins, dark fruits, vanilla, brandy, and wood. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick on the finish and a woody aftertaste that lingers after each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is good beer that smells better than it tastes. I just wish the carbonation level was better.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | 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.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I managed to get a really generous discount on a bottle of this brew one night from a guy I became friends with who was a server at a bar I really enjoy. He ended up only charging like $14 for a bottle of this that on the menu should have been almost $40.

Anyway we opened the bottle and it was poured into a wine glass, fitting for this brew because it looked just like a dark red wine as it poured out. The beer had no head on it at all. The smell was very rich with lots of sweet boozy aromas. We drank this one slowly trying to savor everything we could in this. The flavors of sweet brandy and the dark malts gave this beer a very unique flavor. The mouthfeel was a little flat and didn't really spark my interest too much... It finished with a dry aftertaste and was a little on the boring side I thought. Overall I'd like to try it fresh, not sure how old the bottle was that we had but I would enjoy having it right from the brewery.

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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 brentk56
3.03/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

2008 Bottling

Appearance: As others have noted, this looks like prune juice, not beer - no carbonation at all

Smell: The best attribute of this beer, as the lack of carbonation has no impact; the boozy element hits the nostrils right away, with a little bit of burn; underneath is the dark fruit (prune juice, perhaps) and brandy

Taste: Prune dominated dark fruit, with raisins and molasses, up front; by mid-palate, they oak and brandy elements rise to the fore and linger after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body and flabby, with no carbonation but plenty of warmth

Drinkability: The flavors are enjoyable but this beer seems to be heading downhill, not only from the lack of carbonation, but from the effects of oxidation; such a pity that the carbonation issues across so many of the Lost Abbey beers have compromised the brewery's reputation but they chose economics over reputation

Note: I am now drinking the 2009 on 4/1/11 and have gotten over the lack of carbonation and decided just to focus on the flavors. While I am going to leave the ratings from the 2008 alone, I have to say that I am rather enjoying the taste of this one. The port-like character of the aroma and the taste is enticing and, while there is some booziness, it has mellowed into a flavorful melange.

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Photo of largadeer
4.69/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

'06 vintage on tap at The Bistro's barrel-aged beer fest. Had a few glasses of this one.

Appearance: Dark ruddy amber, a bit hazy. The small tan head disappears pretty quickly, leaving a speckling of lace.

Smell: Smells of dried fruit, toffee, figs, vanilla and molasses with an undercurrent of brandy.

Taste & mouthfeel: Caramelly malt, chocolate, caramelized figs, raisins. Medium-full in body with low carbonation. Vanilla beans, subtle tannins, this has a pretty up-front barrel character. The brandy version is distinctly different from the bourbon barrel variety, namely in the vinous, fruity nuance that the brandy barrel lends the beer. Delicious stuff.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.3/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a deep murky brown color ale with no head whatsoever. Aroma of of alcohol vapor with some gross residual sugar. Taste is overly dominated by brandy notes with some sweet sugary malt with an almost gross feel. Body is full with no carbonation and strong alcohol showing. I know the issue this beer had with carbonation but the fundamental issue are bigger then only carbonation - way too much alcohol is showing even though I understand beer as been barrel-aged with a lack of complexity. I must admit that this example is definitely over-hyped and fall well below my expectations.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7 fl oz brown glass bottle with hood-and-wire cap over a cork served into a Fort Collins Brewing pilsner glass in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live.

A: No head at all. Dark caramel murky brown colour.

Sm: Brandy, raisin, grape, and yeast. Sweet. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Brandy tones infuse about the balance. Sweet - especially on the finish, akin to port but less powerful. Complex, with lovely grape flavours. It's strange, but bold and inspired. I do fancy it, but all said it's a bit simple. Lovely yeast.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with a rich complexity.

Dr: Very drinkable for the high ABV. I'd never know it was 11.5%. I really like this.

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Photo of emerge077
2.48/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks Don for the chance to try a bottle i'd never take the risk on... an aged 750 served in a snifter glass.

Pours a tawny dark brown, transparent in the glass with a feeble ring of bubbles around the edges. No visible carbonation, looks a bit still.

Smells interesting, likely infected, but a bit of sour mash, maltiness and odd musty barrel character. Taste touches on these notes with a bit of tartness and a mealy unpleasant taste as well. Thin and tart, the drain drank more of this than I did :(

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Photo of zeff80
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a brown color with a red tint. Almost no head and no lacing.

S - It smelled a little like Sweet Tarts candy. Some caramel sweetness, too.

T - It tasted sweet and slightly tart. Lots of booziness. I guess a little brandy taste. Some maltiness with hints of caramel and Belgian spices.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a nice beer. Don't know if this was how it was intended, but it certainly was interesting.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.19/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375mL bottle (2009 edition) shared by bmanning at a recent tasting.

A: Dark brown with very little head. Some head after a bit of agitation.

S: Brandy, oak, dark sugars, dark fruits, and a bit of alcohol. Very nice complexity.

T: Very similar to the nose, but a little heavy on the alcohol at this point. A greater emphasis on the brandy than in the nose.

M: Didn't really have any carbonation issues--this one fits about right considering the style and alcohol level. A bit boozy, my only complaint at this point.

D: Very drinkable for how hot it was. Nice and complex, this is a good one to savor for a while.

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Photo of mothman
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 on tap at Lost Abbey

Poured into a mini wine like glass. (also had the 09 375 bottle which were carbonated as well)

Served with no head, could be do to the pour. Color is a dark murky caramel brown. Near black.

Aroma: Tons of brandy and malt. This beer is packing a lot. Sharp grassy hops, caramel, toffee, raisins, cherries, and plums. A ton of flavor here.

Taste: Brand and more brandy. Lots of toffee and caramel. Then the raisins and molasses kick in with some plum notes in the background. It has some nice grassy hops and it an all around big beer.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and rich. It has booze but not really hot. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation (yes it is carbonated!). Ends malty and rich, just a little dry.

Overall, I was glad to see the carbonation here. A nice beer and I really enjoyed the heavy brandy notes. Fairly drinkable and the 375 would be ideal.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.29/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml corked & caged bottle into a tulip glass. I'm not sure if this is a late '09 or early '10 release but it's the one in the new style of bottle.

Pours black in the glass, with a very thin covering of bubbly off-white foamy head. This completely dissipates in all of about 5 seconds, leaving the surface dark and still. No lacing at all is left behind. The aroma has a heavy stickiness to it up front, with notes of baker's chocolate and caramel pushing themselves to the front. The brandy flavor pulls up the rear of the nose, giving up fruity tones and subtle notes of vanilla and wood. A sizable heat presence hangs on the edges of the bouquet and singes the eyes a little as you go down into the glass for each sniff.

Man, the brandy is strong in the taste, spreading a ton of fruity warmth and char around in the mouth, mingling with thick base of cocoa, toffee, and roast. The finish is fruity and dry with leftover barrel notes of vanilla and slick oaky char. The mouthfeel is full bodied in the mouth, with a generally pretty easy and bubbly feel to the carbonation. The easier overall feel is off-set by a sharp pang of alcohol heat after each sip, which seems to worsen the deeper you get into the glass. This definitely tows a boozy line in parts but I wouldn't say that it absolutely hurts the overall feel. Hell, I'm just glad that the body was carbonated for this release!

Some issues with the look and feel aside, this was a warming tasty sipper. The brandy added an extra fruity layer of welcome complexity to this that worked well with the vanilla and green tannic character of the barrel. This was nice.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Tria, Philly, PA

Poured into a tulip glass, a nice, cloudy, dark brown, with a small beige head that retains well throughout the drink. Little to no carbonation visible. LOVED the aroma! Big, big chocolate smell, with a definite boozy presence, and underlying dark fruits. Taste of chocolate, alcohol, and dark dried fruits up front, prunes, black cherries, raisins; molasses and brown sugar following, with the brandied-oak finishing things off with a bite, and not quite dry. Tasted best when allowed to sit and reach closer to room temperature. Full bodied, strong, and very drinkable, but not for the weak of heart.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle of the 2007 Angel's Share. A release, I'm told, is rather prone to...well, some issues. Let's hope this little rendezvous is issue-free (at least for the next half hour)!

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body with a thinnish, wispy, beige-hued head.

Smell: Lightly sweet-smelling, particularly fruit nose smelling of homemade jams and marmalade dosed with sugars, booze, and dusky wood notes.

Taste: A sweet (initially) swirl of dark fruits, spiced fig jam, graham cracker crumbs, vanilla sugar, and particularly punchy oak tannins. Very meager hints of roast. A small sprinkling of dark brown sugar and lightly smoked fresh grains. Faint earthy bitterness perceived midway. More puckering oak tastes as it is unwavering. Tablespoon of belly-warming, soul-pleasing brandy. Touch of earthiness in the semi-sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: For me, it wasn't quite deserving of the perceived inflated hype and permissive praise, nor was it one of the accused, loathsome issue-prone bottles. So, I hit happily somewhere in the middle -- a fine beer to accompany me through a few episodes of House and catching up on my e-mail.

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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 mikesgroove
4.65/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle served at 50 degrees and poured into gold rimmed New Belgium Snifter

A - Poured a very dark brown, nearly opaque with only the slightest bit of light coming through on both the sides and the bottom of the glass. Very rich color, with slight reddish tints, but mostly just a deep russet brown. A smallish maybe one finger high head of gold and tan colored foam rose up from the bottom and lay across the top of the glass like a pillow. This settled down eventually, but left behind a thin film covering the top and very nice side glass lace. The side glass presentation was a bit remarkable in that it almost had a gold shine to it as it swirled around, very nice looking.

S - The aroma was huge, and full of alcohol from the first whiff. I did not think this would be coming off as strong as it did. Lots of wood and oak like aroma mixed in as well. I had to let this one sit and warm up to see what else was going to be coming through from it. The next whiff was much more complex then the first. Lots of oak notes still underlying, however these were now being layered in with a good bit of dark fruity notes, plums, or raisins perhaps. Still a touch hot from the aroma, as the alcohol was very discernable. There was definitely some spiciness to it as well, like a good spiced rum smell almost. Very dark and complex, I was getting the feeling that this one was going to put a hurting on me.

T - So I build it up and dive in for a taste. I had waited a long time to try this one, and I was not disappointed. Avery robust and full flavor profile, this was definitely one to sit down and think about as you go through it. A full on blast of spiced alcohol was the first thing that I noticed, kinda hot, but as it warmed it mellowed out and by the end of the session had all but blended into the background and simply become an outstanding ale. Loads of dark fruit notes were permeating through the flavor. Prunes, Raisins, Figs all very discernable in the flavor and really adding balance to it as they melded together. Lots of spice here as well, very big. The notes of oak and wood in the flavor were clearly becoming evident as it warmed, giving it a very subtle, yet very powerful presence. I can see why people rave about this; it is very unique, very dark, and very seductive almost. The flavor really needed some time to catch up with you, the first few sips were nothing compared to the last few, really outstanding I have to say and very different then anything I had in the past.

M - Super smooth and creamy, this medium bodied ale was just about perfect in the way it should have felt. Great carbonation profile throughout the session really never let up and gave it that silky smoothness that really lets the flavor pop and keeps it from getting too heavy. In fact it was really not filling at all, despite how big it was it was excellent as far as that.

D - Now if there was ever something designed to be sipped, this was it. I mean it was tremendous, and to be honest, I did not share and took care of this bottle on my own over the course of about 3 hours. It was just amazing how well it tasted. I thought in the beginning it was going to be a little too hot, but that was my fault for serving too cold, or being to anxious take your pick. But after letting this come up in temperature, it turned into one of the best I have ever had, really a tremendously good beer.

Overall I really loved this one. Now I have not really had anything from Lost Abbey that I have not liked, but this and Devotion on back to back nights have really taken this thing to a while new level. The complexity displayed in the is uncanny and I really had a touch time with this review, as I am not usually at a loss for words with my reviews, but this one had me there, it was just that good. I really look forward to the Brandy and Bourbon barrel aged editions later this year; they will truly be breathtaking as I can only imagine the heights to which this one will get.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I appreciated ffejherb sharing this growler at Stakem's Fish Fry/bottle share event -poured chilled into a snifter.

An almost black, deep brown color w/ opaque clarity and tan ring of bubbles that is thin w/ a tight bead. Speckles of lace stick to the glass which are more like 'legs' than lace. The smell is dessert-like with very sweet and almost custard-like vanilla elements w/ slight fruity figgy and raisin w/ gentle woody scent. The feel is so thick and viscous, yet there is a pleasing level of carbonation which augments the spicy dry quality of the high abv brew. The finish is long and lush with lots of residual sugar and alcohol.

The flavor is wonderfully nutty and dessert-like with lots of caramel and dark wood w/ a moderate amount of toffee and mild spice and nut in the flavor w/ toastiness and alcohol mingling amongest the slight creamy taste of the malt. There is a subtle vanilla and mild bitter malt flavor that compliments the mild barrel tannin level. I found this to be good overall and a incredible difference from the first time I tasted thiss w/ the uncarbonated version a huge letdown. I found this to be the best tasting of all the samples I have tried of Angel's Share -just head and shoulders above even the bourbon version!

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Photo of billab914
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2009 vintage poured from a 375ml bottle into my Lost Abbey stemware. Poured a dark brown, cola like color. Carbonation fizzed moderately but didn't form any sort of head. No lacing to speak of either. Could definitely use some improvement in this category.

The aroma shows a lot of the brandy and wood characteristics right off the bat. The wood comes through with a nice bold oak and vanilla flavor. There is also a big malty, dark fruit component to the nose just as big as the barrel flavors. Some sweet, plum, raisin and prune flavors all come through. Pretty nice complex and appealing nose, and not much alcohol heat.

The taste shows the dark fruit flavors up front as soon as I take a sip. It mellows into a very nice vanilla and oak flavor before finishing with a dry alcohol presence. The alcohol lingers with a warming sensation, but isn't overly hot. The malty sweet, dark fruit flavor really carries through to the finish nicely and leaves a sweet almost syrupy taste on the palate. The flavors mix very nicely together making a very good tasting beer overall. If the alcohol heat dissipates a little over time I'd definitely consider this a 4.5 in taste instead of a 4.

The mouthfeel is full bodied and carbonation is low. A little carbonation is there for me but a little too low overall. Drinkability is pretty good, it had some excellent flavors to it but the warming alcohol hurts the drinkability a bit.

Overall a good beer that I enjoyed sipping on this evening. Could use some improvement in the appearance and mouthfeel categories in relation to carbonation though. My overall rating definitely won't reflect how much I enjoyed this one given the high weight appearance has.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tomme for replacing a flat bottle for me with a re-conditioned one. I appreciate the gesture and hopefully it will help to get some people to open up to LA again.

A: The pour from the cork and caged bottle is a dark, dark brown color with some highlights and a ring of tan foam. There was indeed a nice pop upon opening the bottle, but not too much in the way of visible carbonation.

S: This is definitely not for the faint of heart. A rich, chocolatey aroma with lots of brandy notes and also a bit of oak and sugar.

T: The flavors follow the nose for the most part. The brandy is very prominent on the front end but quickly fades to a combination of chocolate, brown sugar, and a slight oakiness on the finish.

M: A low level of carbonation on the tongue, but it really lends the beer a silky and full feel on the tongue.

D: I want to keep drinking this, but I also don't want to fall on my face. A great strong ale in that it hides the alcoholic burn, but it's present enough to remind you what you're drinking.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tumbler.

Big thanks to papollo for this gem!

Tried the bourbon version, now on to it's cousin. It pours a nearly opaque black-brown topped by a sputter of off-white foam. The nose comprises oak, whiskey, toffee, butterscotch, raisins, and molasses. The taste brings more of the same, though the whiskey has transmogrified into brandy, some chocolate is added, and there is a distinct alcoholic burn in the back. The body is a straight medium, with a rather light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a very nice brew, though the heavy brandy and oak notes and the more-than-palpable burn detract a good deal. Still, I liked this one more than I did the bourbon version.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 6/12/10 notes. 2009 vintage, one of the bottles that isn't carbonated.

a - Pours a dark brown with no head or carb.

s - Smells of straight up bourbon, oak, vanilla, and sweet dark fruits. Not bad but the bourbon dominates.

t - Tastes of bourbon, oak, and vanilla, and dark fruits again. And again, the bourbon just dominates everything else.

m - Medium to heavy body and no carbonation.

d - Very disappointing. I like bourbon beers a lot, but in this one the bourbon just dominates everything in the smell and taste. Being flat doesn't help it either. Would not want to have again, unless it had some age on it.

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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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