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

BA SCORE
86
very good
703 Ratings
THE BROS
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The Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-AgedThe Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States
lostabbey.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
703
Reviews:
423
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
19.27%
 
 
Wants:
181
Gots:
171
For Trade:
10
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 703 |  Reviews: 423
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.

 395 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of Texasfan549
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

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 kylehay2004
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +4.2%

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.

 503 characters

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +4.2%

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.

 997 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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.

 943 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.89/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

 1,722 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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.

 675 characters

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.

 1,294 characters

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 :(

 507 characters

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.

 595 characters

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.

 664 characters

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.

 472 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

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.

 616 characters

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The Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
3.84 out of 5 based on 703 ratings.
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