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

The Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-AgedThe Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-Aged
708 Ratings
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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Ratings: 708 |  Reviews: 423
Photo of Arbitrator
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

First review, of the flat 2008 Brandy 750mL (released in March 2009): 2 / 3.5 / 3 / 1 / 1

Second review, of the 2009 Brandy 375mL (released in January 2010). Supplied by my girlfriend and obtained in rather hilarious fashion: 3.5 / 4.5 / 4.5 / 5.0 / 2.0

Third review. A second bottle of the 2009 Brandy 375mL, shared by largadeer: the beer was totally flat. I just tweaked the scores instead of rewriting the review.

A: Dark ruby brown with reddish tint when held to the light. Yes: there is head. A mild pour produces a short-lived finger of tan foam that lapses into a thin collar on the brew. No lacing. About what I expect from a 12% beer. Not much in the way of legs.

S: Plums, chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla, toffee, tobacco, oak, brandy, dark fruits, and booze. A really captivating aroma, even to the people we split this with, who had never had a beer of this caliber before.

T: Brandy was powerful up front, with an immediate boozy warmth. It then gave way to dark fruits, namely figs and raisins. That progressed into a brown sugar, chocolate, and toffee sweetness. The vanilla, tannins, and tobacco come out in the finish, and the tobacco continues to pull into the aftertaste for a cigar-like presence (a bit strong for my preference). It works fairly well with the booze burn that the beer provides. Unlike last year's, the burn is restrained. The carbonation helps immensely.

M: Full-bodied, and flat. No, not low carbonation (like the first bottle of the 2009 that I had). Dead flat. After having Alpine Great and similarly low-carbed English Barleywines, I have a little more tolerance / understanding for a beer with no bubbles. But I can't totally overlook it in this beer, because it NEEDS some bubbles to suppress the booze a bit. It helps that the beer is not that sweet. I wound up preferring this to the Bourbon version (the Bourbon is a bit hotter).

D: Kind of the same complaint as last year: it's pretty damn expensive. Comes out to a $20 pint if you do the math. I'm not denying the quality of this beer. But I feel it's overpriced in general, and specifically for Lost Abbey, who isn't easily going to pry that much money out of my hands after last year's debacle. I'd have loved to see them pass on the cost savings of the new bottle, like Russian River did. Eh.

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Photo of ahalloin
4.41/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 2009 375ml bottle in the new format received as a devoted Patron Sinner.

The cork was a little difficult to pry off and as expected there was little to no pop or hiss. As Tomme Arthur has intended, this beer is lightly carbonated. All you haters can complain there is no fizz, but I find the low carbonation to be perfectly right for the flavor of the beer...but I digress...

I poured into a snifter a dark brown cloudy fluid that shows itself to be rather thick as I swing the glass. Some caramel highlights permeate the edges when a light source is brought near, but for the most part the fluid is very dead looking. Cloudy. Dull sheen. Brown. I suppose a barrel-aged barley-wine will look like this though. For its lack of impressiveness in the appearance category, I downgrade it somewhat.

The smell has quite the opposite impact of the appearance. There are few beers in the world with this potent and complex of an aroma. Rich toffee, caramel, figs, rum raisin, caramelized fruits, and a very particular smell that can be described as adding dark brown sugar to a heated pan of melted butter. The brandy from the barrel is present but it blends incredibly nicely with the other flavors. Truly delectable!

The taste matches the smell pound for pound. There is a big dark fruity sweetness at the outset that gives way to a much tarter, earthy, slightly heated alcohol finish. Through the first taste, I get caramelized raisins, plums, and figs over a backbone of major toffee sweetness. The finish has a nice balanced alcohol heat to it, that some might perceive as overbearing.

The mouthfeel is smooth and coating. Little to no carbonation remains after the pour making the mouthfeel extremely smooth like a a nice liqueur.

I think the drinkability is quite good for a high alcohol beer like this. The flavors are very well balanced without being overly sweet. The alcohol finish may detract somewhat.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 release, 12.7oz bottle, $15.99 in Chicago. The price is high, but I was glad to get a smaller bottle as I'm pretty sure 750mL would be way too much of this beer. The beer is dark brown and opaque, thin ring of head, no lace but above all there are BUBBLES! The aroma is strong brandy, caramel-like sugar, plums and other dark fruits, boozy alcohol. The taste is all brandy, I'm not sure how much the base beer matters against the strength of these barrels. I'd like to try Angel's Share without the barrel aging so I could get a better feel for the beer itself, but that's not to say this isn't good. Any flavors I list are likely to be from the brandy, dark fruits like figs and plums, strong booze, etc. Lightly carbonated with a velvety mouthfeel, I honestly think the light mouthfeel suits the style well.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at The Catch in Anaheim. On to the beer:

There was no head on this beer when I received it in my tulip. The color is chocolate brown wih hues of caramel orange. Maybe I shouldn't have expeced a head, after all, this is a strong ale. The nsoe is where things run smoothly, and is the best part of the Angel's Share experience. You can smell dark fruits, coffee, oak, liquor, and maple syrup. Yum!

To no surprise, the taste is strong. Red grapes and liquor come to mind at first. Oak gets into the picture, as does a little bit of "good alcohol". As the beer finishes, it leaves a very sweet (and boozy) aftertaste. Very lightly carbonated, and no, this wasn't from the infamous bottles of the 2008 Vintage, but a keg (sorry, don't know what vintage). No as heavy as expected for the size, seems medium to middle-heavy in texture. Oh, and it's a slow drinker.

Tastes like an English Barleywine thrown in barrels. A 750 ml of Angel's Share costs an arm and a leg (usually $30 in SoCal!), but 11.5 ounces from draft cost me $9 in Anaheim (a $20 equivalent for 750 ml). Even the 11.5 ounce size was a slow ride, but a tasty one, so don't be afraid to share a bottle with others.

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Photo of snpub540
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark almost black hue, pretty much identical to coffee. Tiny ring of foam bubbles but I didn't expect any. No lacing.

Smell is very intense. Dark fruits, oak, alcohol, and tobacco. Definately very complex, but also kind of intimidating.

Taste is pretty much identical to the aromas. A nice touch of vanilla, with an oaky dryness, and the sweetness of the dark fruits. Very smooth but definately a sipper.

Mouthfeel is silky and smooth. Alcohol is pretty intense so sipping is a must. Has the perfect amount of carbonation for such a big beer. This a great beer to share and I'm glad I grabbed another to put some time on.

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Photo of jgasparine
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- A very dark (filtered) garnet color, with no visible carbonation, no head, nor lacing. The drink clings to the sides of the glass with legs like a fine liquour. I need to give this a little leeway though on the Appearance rating for the knowledge that it was aged in wooden barrels immediately before bottling.

S- Incredibly deep and complex nose. I could just sit here and sniff this for hours. Madiera, candied walnuts, raisins, prunes, fruitcake, brandy... the list of perceived aromas goes on-and-on. Absolutely incredible.

T- An incredibly sweet replicate of the nose with some substantial (but unoffensive) warming booziness midway and through the finish. The finish itself lasts for a remarkable amount of time on the palate. Truly like drinking a fine liquour.

M- A medium body with syrupy and oily mouthfeel. There is a super-faint trace of delicate carbonation here. If the carbonation were more abundant, the perceived mouthfeel would be much bigger.

D- This stuff is an incredible pleasure to drink, but the booziness can become overwhelming with time. This knocks the drinkability down in my book.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 version in a corked 12.7 oz bottle.

A very deep ruby colored beer with no head to speak of and very light carbonation.

Aromas of malt, oak, alcohol - brandy soaked dark fruits.

First taste is of oak, malt, prunes, and lots of alcohol. The flavors linger long after the sip is gone.

Mouthfeel is medium, with lots of drying tannins from the oak. Not cloying or filling. But the tannins have a definite drying effect on your mouth.

Drinkability is hard to place on this one. I'm going to enjoy slowly sipping this glass of beer. But I would not go back for a second, and am glad that I didn't opt for the 750 ml bottle, not without someone to share it with. Very enjoyable beer, though.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.62/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage bottle in the new 375ml bottles.

Pours into my glass a deeply dark brown with some garnet highlights and a wisp of light tan foam that quickly fades, small bubbles rise up from the bottom. Aromas start with an enticing mix of dark sweet malts, raisins, oak and a healthy dose of brandy. Sweet ripe fruits meander with plum, vanilla and touch of anise and tobacco. Lush and vibrant.

First sip brings smooth, sweet dark malts with raisins, ripe fruits, oak wood tannins and a swirl of warming brandy that really shines through. Caramel accents along with vanilla and a touch of tobacco. Spicy and a tad earthy. Flows down and finishes with a beautiful meld of oak and brandy. Warming and downright delicious.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit slick. Carbonation is mellow but well placed for the style and ABV in my opinion. I really wouldn't want it more carbonated. A 375ml bottle is the perfect serving size for this and I really am enjoying this years bottling. Decadent.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
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 HopGoblin
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in an 8oz snifter. This one poured thick black and had a strong aroma of alcohol and candied fruits. The taste waste alcohol and brandy up front, giving way to flavors of dark fruit. Incredibly smooth with a nice thickness to it. The drinkablity is very good, but be careful it packs a punch. An excellent brew. Glad I had the pleasure of trying this on tap.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at UJ's for their Strong Ale Fest on 2/13/10.

A - Appeared in a tulip as a dark brown, mocha-colored liquid with absolutely no head at all... hence no lacing either.

S - The prominent brandy presence imparts a pitted fruit character paired with woody oak notes and an inkling of sugar candy sweetness. As the liquid reached room temperature, hints of soy sauce, chocolate and molasses also emerged. Overall, the aroma is sweet yet slightly boozy with a prevalent dark fruit tang.

T - Initial aroma suggests a warm, candied-dark-fruit-soaked-in-brandy character, subtle oaky notes and a hint of soy sauce. The dark fruit character suggests apricots, plums and raisins. Malt is sweet with plenty of caramel and toffee forming the backbone of the ale. The alcohol presence really gains strength as the liquid warmed up.

M - Medium bodied with light carbonation and a slick, fairly oily texture. Finishes with moderate alcohol sting on the tongue.

D - This one got pretty intense as it warmed up, and the brandy is obviously apparent. While it wasn't much to look at, it delivered a complex flavor profile overall while maintaining its drinkability for a 12% Strong Ale.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.29/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle to chalice. 2009 vintage. 11.5% abv. A little beer left in the bottle to leave yeast behind.

Looks like a very dark brown almost black beer. Almost no head. Very tiny foam ring where the beer meets the glass. Not any lacing to speak of.

Smells of brandy, vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, plumbs, raisins, and a light booziness that says beware.

The taste follows the smell for the most part. Brandy, vanilla, toffee, caramel, brown sugar, plumbs, raisins, a light oak flavor and tasty booze in the flavor profile.

So, many complain about the carbonation issues with this beer. The 2009 brandy version has very nice carbonation. I would say this beer has medium to high carbonation, despite the lack of head (probably killed off by over a year of barrel aging). Very full bodied. Honestly, I think the mouthfeel greatly complements this style.

I could drink too much of this. Very good. If you can get your hands on it, try it. Especially now that it comes in a 375ml bottle so you don't have to drop 30+

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2009, 12.7oz bottle, noted as 11.5% on the bottle. From Wilbur's in Ft. Collins, around $15.

A: Very dark brown verging on black, a few tan bubbles surfaced but quickly disappeared, no lacing, mostly cloudy from what I can tell. Some highlights of red and dark brown when held to the light.

S: Fairly boozey up front, without a doubt a strong brandy profile, behind that is a huge caramel presence. Toffee, strong alcohol notes, some chocolate as well. Vanilla beans and even a slight roasted note. Boozey and nice. Smells quite nice.

T: Right up front is a huge toffee note and a fairly strong vanilla aspect as well. The brandy barrel and darker malts give a nice robust malt profile and a strong oak aspect. Slightly fruity profile as well, maybe a little bit of cherry? All in all very flavorful and interesting. The base beer here would be a great beer without the brandy barrel aging and that speaks volumes for me.

M: Light carbonation, fairly thick and viscous mouthfeel, yet has a dry and clean finish with a fairly strong boozey burn on the way down. I can see where people would knock this for a lack of carbonation, but I think the little bit there is perfect to lighten the beer up.

D: Very enjoyable beer, lots of nice flavors and strong flavors. Overall lots of complex flavors and a very enjoyable beer. Excellent beer for a cold winter night. The booze is definitely a slow down factor on drinking this beer, a constant reminder, but still a nice beer. I hope I can find some of the bourbon barrel. Recommended.

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Photo of strictly4DK
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 1 | overall: 4

Picked up a 2009 bottle, 12.7 oz, from Capones. Poured into my Weyerbacher tulip glass.

A - Pours a dark mahogany with ruby hues. No head from a violent pour. Appears to have a high viscosity.

S - I made a mistake at first in taking a big whiff of the first pour and it stings the nostrils like a brandy or bourbon. Big time alcohol, molasses, and dark fruits.

T - This is where this beer absolutely shines and sets itself apart from all other strong dark ales. As with the nose, brandy influence is humongous, very boozy upfront but in a pleasant way. There is character to the alcohol not like the typical hot, fusel notes. Mid-palate comes some molasses, brown sugar, and some earthy grapes. Slightly vinous. Finishes with figs, dates, rum soaked raisins. Surprisingly smooth on the way down till it hits your stomach and the heat almost erupts.

M - Slightly syrupy with no carbonation. It really does a disservice to the great flavors because the beer lacks the body to hold up in the finish. Makes me finally realize why mouthfeel and body is worth even noting.

D - I'm honestly torn whether the taste and complexity can be truly appreciated with such a lacking body. Sipper if ever I can say there was one. Regardless, this is worth the cost for at least a try and maybe another to lay down.

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Photo of Pecorasc
3.37/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2008 Vintage. Thanks for the extra Photekut. Deceivingly small bottle at 12.7 oz. Removing the cork made more of a suction sound than a traditional pop!

A- Pours completely void of any life; not a single bubble or bead of carbonation. Very hazy, almost mud-like with its deep brown to black color. No visibility when held to light except for a slightly lighter brown-green at the edges of the glass. Well below what an average beer should look like; lacking in several areas.

S- Ingrained with deep chocolate, carmel, maple syrup, and vanilla. Brandy and alcohol aromas remind you of the 12%. Makes me want to smoke a cigar worthy to be its partner. Complex and heavily layered, making a valiant effort at compensating for the appearance.

T- I did my very best to separate the mouthfeel and lack of carbonation while evaluating the taste. Dark chocolate, roasted barley, brandy, and fruits- raspberries and dark cherries, all dance together in the opening. All of these flavors are slowly overtaken by a alcoholic crescendo. The aftertaste leaves oak, vanilla, brandy, and chocolate. A fantastic combination of flavors that is almost completely undermined by the following paragraph.

M- Bigger bodied with a medium to dry finish. A total lack of carbonation comes very close to ruining the beer completely, giving this a wine-like mouthfeel.

D- Not a drain pour, given the incorporation of great flavors, but at 12% and obvious quality control issues, this does not have good drinkability. I can't wait to try this beer with proper carbonation; my expectations are high.

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Photo of NYCWheatFanSC
4.39/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Generously shared by ineedabeerhere at hoppymcgee's tasting, reviewed from notes.

A - Pours a blackish-brown, with very little to no head. Sort of expecting the lack of carbonation with what I've heard about this batch, but wasn't totally flat.

S - Heavy notes of dark fruits - dates, figs, and strong grape notes. Also pretty strong brandy profile.

T - VERY WINEY! Also lots of figs, dark chocolate, and brandy. Strong brandy background.

M - Relatively thin, but still feel like more robust carbonation would help.

D - Personally, I really like this beer. Would seek out again.

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Photo of thedindaniel
4.44/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared this on a double date with great friends at the Point Loma Wine Steals.

Poured dark, dark brown with NO head, none. But no surprise as Lost Abbey is notorious for carbonation issues. Smelled wonderful... caramel, toffee, vanilla and booze! My nose was all over the place. The wood flavors of the barrel really come off on the tongue with hints of toffee and vanilla. Sweet, but not overly sweet. The mouthfeel was surprisingly smoother than I expected but I would prefer more carbonation. What was perhaps most surprising is how easy the beer drank for a 12%.

Have to thank gthorton for letting me know it would be on tap for only $4. Big thank you as well to Wine Steals for the generous pours of this awesome beer, our 4 bucks got us very large goblets full of the sweet nectar!

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Photo of champ103
3.04/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is a 2008 bottle. I found it for a decent price, and thought I would give it a try. As I pull the cork, no pop. Grr.

A: Pours a dark brown color. A tiny bubbly head forms and recedes to nothing in a second. No lace.
S: Dry wood, smoke, vanilla, sweet toffee, and chocolate in the nose. Tons of alcohol.
T: Very sweet. Lots of toffee and vanilla. Cloyingly sweet. Dry wood and smoke. Tons of alcohol
M/D: Thick and syrupy with no carbonation. The lack of carbonation and alcohol makes this a slow sipper.

I wanted to see if the 2008 finally carbonated. It is not, and pretty much ruins this for me. I don't want to harp on that issue to much. It is what it is. I hope I can find some 2009, which I hear is suppose to be carbonated. Will update my review then.

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Photo of JoeySchlitz
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this last weekend - 2009 batch in the new bottle. Actually liked the look of the previous 375 over this one but what's inside is what matters most.

A: The cork came off with a slight pop, but no haze when looking into the bottle neck. A tall pour results in some wispy lacing and bubbles at the edges. There isn't much activity but upon closer inspection - there are some tiny bubbles cascading up the sides of the glass - very faint.

S: A spiced bourbon / brandy aroma with substantial alcohol heat. A mix of sweet cola and root beer with a buttery diacetyl underlay.

T: The alcohol gives an initial bite then warms your stomach. A ton of butterscotch - reminds me of Werther's candies - mixed with a slight bitter astringency. There's a nice lingering maple syrup aftertaste, but overall it seems to lack previous years complexity.

M: It is very lightly carbonated, and I expect that's where it's intended to be. Medium viscosity and it does a good job of coating the mouth. If there was just a bit more carbonation, I think it would breathe a bit more and improve both the smell and taste.

D/O: A much needed improvement over last years and reminds me of a decent english barleywine. Easy to drink but not so easy on the wallet (overpriced at $18) to buy more than one.

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Photo of gthornton
4.67/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had the pleasure of enjoying this on tap with some clase friends this week. I hadn't really ever expected that I would ever have more than a taster of this, since it is so expensive, yet the folks at WineSteals came through.

This was served in an oversized wine glass... almost to the brim, I might add (and for $4 I might add).

A: Dark brown, with a ruby red hue buried deep beneath the surface. It's a barley-wine, so you should not be expecting a head.

S: So much going on here! Toffee, butter, coffee, pumpernickel bread, rye, caramel, dark cherries, maple syrup...

T: All of the aromas come out beautifully on the tongue... best of all, a very mellow boozeyness that took us all for surprise, we were expecting this to feel a lot more oppressive than it was. Very well balanced and smooth.

M: Rich, almost sticky sweet, thick on the tongue, high viscocity... hmm any adjectives I left out?

D: This is a high ABV drink mind you, but for the style this is an exceptionally smooth drink, that now that I have tried it, I think I will fork out the $30 for a bottle, because it is so well crafted.

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Photo of mothman
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
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 wedgie9
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted from a 750 ml bottle from the 2008 vintage.

Appearance - Pours with no head whatsoever. It is completely opaque and cloudy. The color is almost black with a tint of red.

Aroma - Molasses and brown sugar malt are the first aromas that come to mind. It is also slightly nutty due to some oxidation. It smells a bit like a high alcohol zinfandel. The brandy characteristics are truly coming through.

Taste - High in alcohol. Burnt brown sugar, with a nice charred bitterness. There is a very dried fruitiness, date or fig, that is faint but quickly wiped out by the high alcohol. The nutiness comes through lightly as well. I would rate this beer as having a high complexity. Every drink I take, I am getting a new flavor. Now, a musty earthiness is coming through as well.

Palate - This completely coats the palate with a full body, consistent of the high alcohol. The feel is also very round, hitting and sticking with every part of the palate. I have read a lot about people having problems with carbonation in this beer. It does not pour a head, but on the palate, it feels like a beer. Although the bubbles are very small and dissipate quickly, they are undoubtedly there.

Overall - This is very interesting, and not really like any other beer I have had. I really enjoy it, and think it will continue to get better with even more bottle age.

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Photo of AnswerInQuestion
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Walked up to the table where my friends were waiting with a glass already poured for me. From afar, I thought they had foregone the beer for wine - dark brownish/purple/red. Very little foam on the top, but it had been sitting in the glass for about 10 minutes before I got there.

S: Toffe, Molasses,Sweet nut and a little of that delicious dark bread that they serve you at semi-fancy restaurants. Mmmm!

T: The alcohol content shows up in the taste, but not unpleasantly. Sweet and bitter like figs and old-fashioned molasses candy, with black peppery notes.

M: Very little carbonation, but just right. Smooth on the tongue and down the throat. Slight bite and a lingering slight sting of booze.

D: It tastes powerful and slightly intimidating. Glad I drank slowly, because it definitely packs a punch. Obviously not a session beer (too high in alcohol and price), but something I would love for a well-balanced dinner party with friends; eating something lighter and simple (thin crust cheese pizza) while drinking helped me appreciate the complexity of it with each new sip.

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Photo of PretzelCity
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had the newly released 2009 batch on tap at the Blue Palms. Pours a deep mahogany with no head whatsoever. I'm used to flat Lost Abbey bottles, but not draft. The smell is amazing. The brandy is prominent but not overpowering and blends nicely with sweet malts. I smelled this beer for a couple of minutes before I took my first sip, which sadly did not live up to the nose. There is an alcohol burn that dominates the initial taste and doesn't provide any real flavor. In fact it seems to cover up most of the flavors that slowly try to reveal themselves as the beer warms up but with limited success. There are some traces of sweet malts blended nicely with brandy in the finish but that is pretty much it. The mouthfeel is a little lacking, this batch seems a little watery, thiner than I remember previous batches. Drinkability suffers as this beer is still pretty hot. Hopefully over time the heat will mellow out and the flavors will really develop but it seems like the Lost Abbey didn't really bring their A game with this batch. The brandy barrel AS is my favorite of the two versions but this batch isn't as good as previous years. By no means a bad beer, but a pretty weak batch of a once great beer.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer is dark brown, poured from a bottle into a becher. Beer forms a white head and carbonation is mild.

The aroma is sweet with a back end of brandy in it.

The flavor is complex, very nutty, full bodied. Lots of sweetness and the brandy flavor is in there as well. There is a hint of caramel and a slight roast at the back end. Not a whole lot of bitterness.

Overall, I enjoyed this variant over the bourbon aged variant and apparently I'm in the minority. The flavors of the base beer were not overwhelmed by the brandy as they were, in my opinion, in the bourbon. If I want bourbon, I'll drink bourbon.

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The Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 708 ratings
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