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: 703
Photo of badbeer
1.98/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

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

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

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Photo of Avryle
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Night in the Woods" tasting 3.29.08
Thanks to drseamus for this contribution of goodness

A- Pours a very dark brown with ruby highlights around the edge of the glass

S- Strong nose of vanilla & wood. Lots of sweet malt coming through

T- Sweet malts right up front then the brandy & wood comes through Lots of caramel & vanilla notes. A lot of complexity to the flavors. Very barleywine in character

M- Very warm & full-boded.

D- Sip slowly & enjoy! There is such a complexity of flavors running through that change as the glass warms in your hand. Disappointed that this will have probably have been my one and only Angel's Share experience.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.7/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go to Drseamus for bringing this beer.

A: Super dark red/brown in color.

S: Dark fruits, raisins, sweetness. Like a barley wine for the most part but with a hint of the brandy from the barrel aging. The complexity of the smell is staggering.

T: Starts off like a standard barley wine. You get the sweetness from the malt up front. Then you get the brandy coming in but it is not overwhelming. The brandy complements the sweetness of the rest of the beer. You get the standard dark fruit as well. Also got a hint of candy sugar in the finish.

M:Nice and thick. Carbonation was subtle but noticeable.

D: This beer is so complex that it almost cuts down in drinkability. Your simple ape brain cannot even begin to process what is being thrown at it. The amazing this is that there is not one taste that really dominates. One of the best balanced beers I have ever had.

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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 Viggo
4.77/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 ml corked and caged bottle, split with Lexx at Beerbistro.

Poured into snifters, a cloudy brown/orange, thin tan head forms, settles down to a thin ring, leaves some spots on the glass, and has some nice legs. Smell is amazing, sherry, oak, rich raisins and fig, toffee, brandy, some alcohol, vanilla and chocolate, dark fruits, bananas foster, insanely rich, sweet brown sugar/molasses, just great. Taste is just as good, lots of toffee coated figs and raisins, brandy and oak, alcohol, vanilla, rum raisins, chocolate, bourbon, date pudding, caramelized bananas, toast, simply amazing. Mouthfeel is thick and viscous, low carbonation, warming, alcohol hidden very well, really coats your mouth and is insanely smooth for such a big beer. Very long finish, very rich, one of the best liquids I've ever put in my mouth.

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Photo of Oxymoron
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I tried this beer at the Big Beers Barleywine & Belgian Festival in Vail, one of the first I tried (and tried again & again & again…). Angle Share poured a mostly muddy dark brown with some red highlights around.

The nose is malty with noticeable cask and oak condition qualities. Most noticeable is the caramel notes but some fusel and brandy characters as well. The oak flavor is blended nicely overall. Some sugary notes with a touch of molasses and toffee as well as some tropical fruit flavors as well.

The taste is well balanced. I would have thought more solvent like notes but very smooth with nice creamy and malty flavor. The oak flavor is easily detectable with some vanilla and more of a brandy like taste. A nice touch of raisin and plum flavors finish off a smooth flavor. Some off alcohol flavor but surprisingly blended and easy to drink.

Overall this was a very nice treat. I would have expected this would need more aging but is very good as is. I am very impressive with Lost Abbey. Good beer.

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

I was almost afraid to open this bottle of angel's share to try it, afraid i might ruin the "mystique"... lets hope that isnt the case...

I poured half of the 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass. If i hadnt poured it myself i would almost think it was a glass of rootbeer. There is a small off white head and there are alot of carbonation bubbles attached to the glass to about half way down.

smells of wood and brandy. sweet aroma.. certainly makes me want to taste it..

Oak right off the top with a hot brandy on the way down. You cant miss the 11% for sure in this one. Despite the hotness of this one i can still make out some vanilla and dark fruit hints as well. Very complex with every swallow slightly stronger in one aspect that the other.. a belch brings up the wood strong and hard again...

In the mouth it feels very creamy.. creamier than i can remember any strong ale feeling in my mouth (at least that ive had). The texture of this beer is outstanding.

Drinkability is hindered by two things.. the rarity of this brew and the high 11% abv. I think that aging this one will certainly help mellow that abv and likely allow the overall complexity of the other flavors to be that much better. This is a sipper right now, and i wish i had someone here to help me polish off this bottle... guess i will have to try and polish off myself.. good thing im not going anywhere tonight!

I am glad to have a couple more of these to age, and to possibly compare side by side with next years batch.

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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 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 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 oakbluff
4.67/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared at the Beer Bistro in Toronto. Gotta splurge sometimes! Dark murky beer with minimal head. Nose is off dark chocolates and fruit- not what I expected for a barleywine! Taste- sublime- the brandy aging has turned this into a very unique beer. Hops are subdued, so really not that much bitterness. Just silky thick tootsie roll, plums and raisins, and vanilla sweetness (to name a few). Almost seems like more Belgian Quad than barleywine. Great sipping beer, but still dangerously drinkable. No hotness to speak of, just pure heaven.

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Photo of seaoflament
4.67/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally, my 100th review.

2007 Release.

I pour the Brandy Angle's Share into my Stone 11th Anniversary pint glass. The color is a dark caramel, like a wood barrel, with a half inch of cream colored foam. It looks darker in the glass. Carbonation is not too active but a thin layer does sustain for a few minutes and settles to a ring.

The aroma is very complex. There are some light brandy-like notes mixed with some chocolate malts, vanilla and oak, milk chocolate, toffee, and a bit of cake batter. As it warms up I get more aromas of malted milk and woodsy licorice. Hints of cherries, dates, and ripe, soft prunes make an appearance as well. The caramel malt that is mentioned in the bottle is also very present and earlier I described it as toffee; but the caramel malt is used very well and blends nicely to the flavors provided by the oak barrels. One of the best smelling beers I have had! As it comes to room temperature there is more and more chocolate aromas, a decadent beer! I take my time smelling this beer as I do tasting it.

The taste is so damn good, and the alcohol is hidden in the taste but masterfully placed in the finish, creating a warming sensation as you sip this beer. Chocolate, slightly roasted barley flavor or roasted malts, oak, a bit of vanilla, some brown sugar, toasted bread, and a few others I can't describe. The flavor is so well blended that I don't see how much better this can get with ageing, but I'm sure as hell plan to find out.

Incredibly smooth and drinkability is surprisingly very high. I don't remember the last beer I had with 11% that was so easy to drink, watch out people because it does creep up on you!

***Update 11/8/08***

Almost a year since this was released, heard some rumors that this beer might have gotten an infection so I decided to test a bottle out:

Pours similar to what I remember. Dark caramel color with a nice inch of tan colored foam. Decent retention and a quick swirl brings back another half to a full inch of foam.

The aroma is not as intense as I remember it. There is a grape/vinous aroma in the background, signs of oxidation, which is not entirely bad but I remember a stronger Brandy/Caramel malt combination. The aroma also seems thin. There is still a good amount of caramel and milk chocolate notes but again, not as intense as before. Wood and oak aromas are very subtle. I do get some vanilla in there when I look for it. Caramelized raisins, a few other dark fruits, and a hint of alcohol in the back.

Oh no!!!! my worst fears have come true! Sour upfront, dark fruits, raisins, caramel, a bit of chocolate and heat but fuck it all, it's sour!

There's some carbonation but the beer itself feels thin and lacks the delicious aftertaste it once did.

This is sad...

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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 Overlord
3.06/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

**here's my original review from years ago:

To be quite honest, I've enjoyed the Lost Abbey beers, but not as much as their reputation would have led me to expect. I picked up a half case of Angel's Share, and tried one tonight. It is, to summarize, a triumph.

Pours a murky reddish tan, with a fairly minimal deep tan head. Looks appealing, but it is the smell that first lets you know this is something special. I rarely, if ever, praise a beer extensively for its aroma, but this is both a treasure for your nose and your taste buds.

Rich with oak, candied molasses, plums?/figs?/raisins?/cherries?/prunes? and god knows what other dark fruits, the hint of carbonation gives a wonderfully complex malty backbone just enough "levity" to spruce up this heavy, heavy concoction. There's brandy, some chocolate (dark, bitter chocolate), and a whole bunch of other stuff going on here as well.

I was blown away.

**How can I leave the above review intact? This no longer reflects the Brandy Barrel Angel's Share that has been released. Apparently the flat, un-carbonated monstrosity that I purchased at an inflated price was "intended" as an "English Barleywine" with absolutely no carbonation, and I was just too dumb to realize it. I will average the scores of one of my favorite beers, and come up with something that reflects the two vintages.

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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 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 Goldorak
4.72/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very dark for the style, but that's not a problem for me. It looked almost like a porter, with a cream, tan head.

Smell: Started off with prunes and the first alcoholic effluves were spicy like a fruitcake, then as it warmed the fusels came out a bit more, giving it a powerful aroma that oscillated between a fine Kirschwasser and a cask strenght whiskey. Whoh.

Taste: Quite rich but never going overboard, the barrel-aging is just at the right level where Brandy and Rhum flavors are present but without draining out the body. The booze flavor is there but without the burning or harshness you can find sometimes, only a nice warm feeling in the throat at the very end. The body is quite malty and easy to drink, even at near room temp. Surprising how it can seem so simple in one sip, then throw you for a loop the next. It just evolved and flowed, and deserves all the hype and then some.

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

Pours a dark brown in color with ruby and copper hues in the light, a good sized coffee and cream colored head slowly recedes. Aroma is big and rich, sweet dark fruits, prunes, figs, and raisins. Some nice buttery caramel as well as some strong leather, saltiness, and a grapey sweet boozy brandy aroma. Also a hint of sweet red licorice. Taste follows the aroma, nice raisin and prune barleywine characteristics, a decent sized grapey-ness, somewhat bready, buttery caramel is also present in the taste up front. Finish is a blend of dry woodiness/oak and a very nice warming alcohol. Medium to heavy in body, not overly thick or cloying, the dryness from the hops and the wood adds a nice balance to the malty sweetness. An outstanding beer, the best I've had thius far from the lost abbey. Definitely belongs in the american barleywine category, my favorite style, rather than strong ale. You can smell this one over and over and it excellent each time, the brandy comes thru quite well in the aroma. Glad to have an extra to lay down for a little.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.67/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks for hooking me up Scottoale!

A: Appears a lot like an instant coffee with garnet highlights when held to the light. Body appears clear for the most part but its hard to tell with the dark color. Head fell quickly leaving a slick across the top and a good ring of toasted marshmallow colored bubbles.

S: Brandy, oak, vanilla, caramelized figs, puréed prunes, chocolate mousse and butterfinger.

T: First thing I notice is vanilla and tangy fruits across the tip of the tongue…the tang being identifiable as brandy. Saturated dark fruits come next absolutely simmering with rich flavor. Bakers chocolate, café au lait and ruby berries move in with a walloping malt base…really a lot like black velvet cake. Some molasses going on but on the sweet opposed to malty end of the spectrum. Brandy is way apparent in this brew adding an almost stark red apple aspect to it. Bitterness comes towards the end with low lying coffee and syrupy vanilla and caramel. Finishes with a hint of pine hops, burnt brown sugar and cloying treacle. As it warms, the alcohol kicks into high gear, spelunking its way through the nasal cavity.

M: Full mouthfeel with a smooth nature and an overall syrupy portrait.

D: The oak is strong in this one. Brilliant. I’m totally digging these alternatively barreled versions of beer. Brandy barrels, sherry barrels, bourbon barrels…bring it!

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Photo of ggaughan
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I first go to try this bad boy at the GABF but not enough of a sample to give it a proper review. My review comes from the generous samples I got at the Monk's Cafe Lost Abbey beer dinner a few nights ago.

The beer poured a deep brown, slighty amber body with a thick tan, almost redish hugh with some solid lacing around the glass. The nose is a bit malty, sweet and had a touch of wood and the high abve. The taste is complex and has some nice wood notes, high abv which brings out some characteritics of a port or brandy. This is a sipping beer and with a nice full body, I can see why. Another treat from Lost Abbey.

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