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

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86
very good
703 Ratings
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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:
182
Gots:
171
For Trade:
10
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 703 |  Reviews: 423
Photo of fropones
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Blind Pig 1/14/10

A - Dark dark brown with minimal tan head.

S - Smells of brandy and actually some bourbon. A bit autolysed.

T - Tastes like brandy, still a bit autolysed. A sweet finish. More bourbon notes as well.

M - Nice carbonation, thick and creamy.

D - Very interesting. Drinks more like a liqueur or a brandy than an actual beer. Alcohol makes its presence known with a nice warming in the finish.

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

A: almost no carbonation is evident from a rather vigorous pour. The few bubbles that do appear quickly disappear and leave a thick and oily brew. No lacing whatsoever. A thick, dark plum in color.

S: Brandy, caramel, and a slight note of butterscotch are present in the nose. There are also dark fruits--heavy raisins and prunes, maybe plums. The alcohol at times gets into your nose and is slightly abrasive.

T: Really heavy alcohol as well as oak, vanilla, candies, and dark fruit--specifically, figs. In a way tastes like chewing caramel. Heavy anise and licorice is about all I can get out of this once it warms.

M: not too thick considering the small amount of carbonation, but a bit thick and syrupy nonetheless. There is in fact a small bit of carbonation with little, fine, bubbles that dance to the top. I can't imagine that this is what the mouthfeel was intended to be like, but nonetheless it's not terrible. However, the above is true only for perhaps...the first ten minutes this one sits out. At around that point, there's absolutely no carbonation, which makes it really hard to drink. Ugh.

D: hard to drink, heavy head, but good in spite of this. Got to sip it though. I wonder how it would be on tap...

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Photo of woosterbill
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at Sunset Tap & Grill into a snifter.

A: Opaque black body with (surprise surprise) zero bubbles. No carbonation at all. Come on.

S: Sweet, sweet smell of cinnamon, chocolate, roasted nuts, oak, port, and brandy. Hugely sweet and complex, with all the booze melded seamlessly into the brandy/vinous notes.

T: Follows the nose, with emphasis on the alcohol, plus major maple presence. I'd put this stuff on pancakes. Delicious, rich, and complex.

M: Thick and mouth-coating; sticky-sweet, but (guess what) no carbonation to smooth things out.

D: 8 ounces is a bit too much for me; I can't imagine killing a 750.

Notes: An amazing, albeit flawed, example of brewing ingenuity. Delicious and absolutely overwhelming.

Cheers!

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.99/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brandy Barrel-Aged Angel's Share, courtesy of a BA whose name has been lost to the ages due to a combination of an untimely hard drive crash and poor record keeping. Shared at the the January C'ville tasting.

Let me preface by describing what I've done with this bottle since receiving it over 6 months ago. I kept it at a constant 65 - 68 degrees F. I kept it in the dark. Every two weeks, I would remove the bottle from my warmbox, turn it upside down, agitate it ever so slightly, and then right it and put it back. I treated whatever yeast might be present in this beer like kings. And this is how they repay me ...

Appearance: A pop - barely! - comes after I rip the cork out of this one. You can tell even before you remove the cork from a Lost Abbey beer if it's going to be carbonated as soon as you begin to attempt to remove it, so I knew what it would look like before the meager pop, and long before the pour. It pours a thick, turgid, burned amber brown, transparent about the edges, and capped by ... well, nothing on mine, though proteus93's pour (which he did entirely vertically) did elicit one finger of head and a fair amount of residual carbonation. Again, though I have no surface dusting, collar, or lacing, he has some of all (though very little lacing). So, mixed bag I have here, and since appearance can be shared and spread across several beers ... I'll give it a 3.0.

Aroma: I know we're having it fairly warm, but - even though the first second of every inhalation is wonderful - the remainder is very hot, spicy, sharp. That is, there's a lot of booze, though that's not surprising at 12.5% abv. So while that's a knock, the rest - that is, the first second, but also what's buried under the heat in the remainder - is amazing. Mild brown sugar, dark toffee, light toffee, moderately-roasted toffee, vinous notes, and raisins compliment the oaky beauty of this wonderfully balanced brew. Faint smoke emerges as it warms to room temperature, providing an earthy balance to a roasted, fruity brandy component that does far more for this beer than the bourbon did for the bourbon barrel-aged version. Would get a 5.0 without the overwhelming heat.

Taste: A huge fantastic array of malts dominates this one - maple syrup, brown sugar, faint cocoa, sweet breads, chocolate cake, caramel and toffee, and anise and black licorice grow in intensity as this one warms further. Knowing what this beer could be suggests that I should remark that I find the Angel's Share base beer to be truly, truly one of the most amazing creations I've ever had the pleasure of tasting. It's an artistic masterpiece, and that's why it's so sad when it comes out like this. It's a strong, woody brew, showcasing an amazingly complex array of malty (brown sugar, caramel, dark toffee, faint earth), fruity (grapes, cherries, raising), and barrel (coconut, slightly spicy, estery brandy) flavors, and I would kill to try it on tap.

Mouthfeel: There is definitely some carbonation present in this one. And given how much I made love to this bottle over the past 6 months, I'd expect as much. And though I hoped for more, I'm not really disappointed - proteus93 suggests that we think of it as a pour from a firkin of Angel's share, smooth and soft, and when I think about it like that ... it's far less unappealing, actually. And to be fair, as Bankhead suggests, the brandy barrel version of this beer is far less aggressive and abrasive than the bourbon version. So there's that.

Drinkability: I think I've gotten most of my generic observations out of the way above. Does this beer suffer from lack of carbonation? Yes. Does it - hypothetically - probably suffer less than the bourbon version would? Yes. Is the base beer amazing? Yes. Would I die to try this on tap? Yes. Do I hope Tomme Arthur works out his carbonation issues? Despite all the vitriol he's gotten on this site, in these reviews, and on the forums, I hope - for everyone's sake - that he does.

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Photo of Proteus93
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one comes to the table courtesy of CrellMoset. Thanks, Chris... the time spent in the closet has seen this beer turned every couple weeks to try to allow the yeast to work every last moment that it could possibly do so. For a beer that is 'famously flat,' it is holding onto something!

A: I managed to get a head out of a vigorous pour, and there's not a lot more that I can ask for considering the background. That said, it's a very deep and chocolatey brown and the head maintains a nice little collar that wraps a thin line around the beer.

S: The oak aging is a nice touch, with a wonderful dark fruit aroma sitting behind. Plum is a strong note on my nose, and I pick up on some touches of chocolate and tiny hints of maple.

T: Big alcohol notes stand out, giving it a big booziness. Some hot vanilla notes, anise... quite an intense black licorice, at that.

M + D: A little touch of carbonation prickle, but for the most half, this feels like a cask conditioned ale. The temperature is appropriate for the feel, and works with the flavours quite nicely. While I pick up a note of licorice a little strong, it was a strong "4" all around.

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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 John_M
4.36/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Uber tonight. The menu (and bartender) confirmed that this was the brandy barrel aged version.

The beer pours a muddy dark brown color with minimal head retention and lacing. The nose is stunning, with milk chocolate, brown sugar, hazelnuts and lots of brandy (in case there was any doubt as to what I was drinking). Flavors replicate the nose pretty closely, and I'm happy to report the draft version has adequate carbonation. The flavor profile, while impressive, isn't quite as intense as the aroma profile Also, while the booziness in this beer doesn't bother me at all on the nose, it's a bit much on the palate. Still, that's really just nit picking.... this beer tastes wonderful, no two ways about it. Mouthfeel is full, very rich, sweet and long. Drinkability is OK, but this is definitely a sipper, with the alcohol front and center in this beer.

Very impressive and quite different from the bourbon barrel version. Excellent stuff.

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Photo of PartyBear
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 Vintage

As soon as the bottle was open I was hit by a massive port-like alcohol smell, with a sweet edge. It pours as a thick and oily dark brown with a few big tan bubbles but apart from that it has very little carbonation. The aroma starts quite vinegary, with light grapes, and clean alcohol but as it warms and opens up with vanilla, banana, and a woody scent. The taste is layered with heady alcohol and grapes upfront and sweeter caramel malts with vanilla bean flavours hiding behind.

The last few releases have been criticised quite heavily for the lack of carbonation, which is justified to a degree but I don't think it completely ruins the beer like many people seem to suggest.
It's a big complex beer and well worth getting hold of.

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Photo of Goliath
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, almost black. There was absolutely no head on the pour, but I'm not surprised since this is from the batch of duds.

The aroma is pretty nice. There's a big dose of caramel followed by some vanilla. There's a bit of those oh so familiar brandy aromas available as well.

The taste is decent. There's a big dose of vanilla and caramel for sure. It's sweet up front with a slight bitterness on the finish. There's some fruit flavors, and a touch of alcohol as well. It's ok, but some bubbles would be nice.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, pretty thick and a bit chewy. There is zero carbonation which is a big downer.

Drinkability is moderate to high. The flavor profile is nice which makes for good drinking. The alcohol is fairly high, but well incorporated so I have no major qualms there. Unfortunately the lack of carbonation is definitely an issue for me. All in all it's a good beer, but it could be better.

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Photo of philbe311
3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Here we go... I'm hoping for a small after Christmas miracle in the form of carbonation... I've been holding on to this one for close to a year, storing it on its side at room temperature and rotating on a regular basis hoping to aid the process... So without further ado...

A - All of my efforts appear to be rewarded with the a slight bit of carbonation... A very vigorous pour produces some big chunky bubbles that sit a top and quickly fizz away... A small ring of bubbles can be seen around the edge of the glass... When held up to the light and gently rocked back and forth some very amount of small carbonation streaks can be seen rising towards the top of the glass... The color is a lovely deep rich mix of burgundy and plum... Murky... A thick syrupy film coats the glass... Some minor sediment can be seen floating... Closer to opaque than translucent, but a considerable amount of light still sneaks into the glass...

S - A wonderfully pleasing aroma... The attributes of the oak aging are at the fore front mingle with dark fruit (plums, raisins, and figs) to intrigue... Also present are notes of vanilla and caramel... Sinfully sweet and rich...

T - The palette follows very closely to the nose... Oak... Vanilla... Dark fruits... Alcohol... Terrific balance and complexity...

M - Though I thought I may been lucky enough to coax some carbonation out of this, there is none to be found on tongue... On the thin side of medium bodied... The mouthfeel is more reminiscent of a weak red wine rather than that of beer... It's not necessarily bad, it's just quite different... The alcoholic warmth that is created is minimal, but rather enjoyable... A little more carbonation would be nice, but it is far from a deal breaker...

D - This beer was a challenge to review... Trying to put aside its once lofty status as well as its well known issues was difficult... While I'm pretty sure this isn't what Tommy envisioned when he brewed it or what the majority of BAs expected when they purchased, the result is a still enjoyable "misstep"... A 750ml is a little tough to work through solo, but this is far from the drain pour that many BAs make it out to be... I keep taking sip after sip and seem to be having a hard time putting my glass down...

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Photo of aglose45
3.16/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

The first beer I have had poured into my brand new DFH Snifter that I got for Christmas...

A: Almost pitch black with a little bit of noticeable floaties (yeast), but no head, giving signs of little to no carbonation that many others have noted.

S: This smells fantastic! There are notes of brandy, vanilla, oak, caramel and dark fruits. I'm hoping that this tastes as good as it smells!

T: The taste is pretty much what the nose suggests. There is a ton of barrel aged flavors, as noted above, but there is a lack of flavor delivered due to the fact there is minimal to no carbonation. The lack of carbonation inhibits the hiding of the alcohol flavor.

M: No carbonation. Heavy mouthfeel, but the lack of tiny little bubbles deadens this beer.

D: I hate to agree with everyone else, but the lack of carbonation kills the drinkabiliy of this beer. As I move through beer, ad it warms, the alcohol flavor becomes more prevalent due to lack of
carbonation.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.68/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 10/24/2009. 2008 bottle. Absolutely no pop at all upon uncorking. Pours a flat dark brown with absolutely no head nor any carbonation. Lots of floating yeast particles. Aroma of booze, raisin, and lots of malt. Flavor is also boozy (although I don't get liquor specifically) with lots of sweet malt, prunes, raisin. Cloying and sweet. Not very complex nor tasty to me.

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Photo of number1bum
3.66/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've been sitting on this 2008 bottle for close to a year now and decided that tonight was a good night to crack it open. When I first got it there was lots of negative buzz and every other poster/reviewer was complaining about the lack of carbonation. I kept it in the kitchen at room temperature, shook it up every couple days, and did my damndest to try to give it the best chance to carbonate if it was ever going to. Then when I moved over the summer I stopped caring quite so much, threw it in the cellar and figured whatever it was going to be was what it was going to be, so there was no sense trying so hard. I left it there, neglected it, occasionally thought about it but consistently relegated it an afterthought as I chose something else.

I chose tonight to pull it out of the cellar because I lost my job today. It was a shitty day. Still is actually. I used to love my job, worked hard and rose quickly. As time passed and the incessant bullshit increased I stopped caring quite so much, shrugged my shoulders when my ability to make an impact waned, flipped into cruise control and tossed it in the proverbial cellar. I still did good work, but maybe I didn't give it the care and attention I should have. Or maybe I was dealt a losing hand, like pitching yeast that don't stand a chance of surviving an onslaught of alcohol. Whatever the case, I never expected to lose my job, but maybe I'm not so surprised or disappointed either. I never expected this beer to carbonate, so as I crack it I'm not all that surprised or disappointed when it clearly hasn't. Seems a fitting drink for my evening.

It's flat alright, producing minimal bubbles and no head. It's dark brown in color and not terribly thick looking.

Smell is boozy and sweet. Lots of dark caramel, molasses, dark fruit and vanilla beans. And lots of boozy brandy and oak. Pretty pleasant actually.

Taste is also very boozy, with some hot alcohol burn giving way to some very pleasant vanilla bean, dark caramel and chocolate flavor. This is actually quite tasty once the burn subsides. It's very flavorful, but the brandy is a bit much and mostly overwhelms the other components. It's a bit of a clusterfuck, kind of like my former company.

Mouthfeel is flat, but I don't find that to be overly bothersome. It's a bit more than a medium body, and maybe doesn't feel as full as it otherwise might with some carbonation. Some lingering alcohol burn persists in the back of my throat, and my tongue is left feeling numb.

All told this is a decent beer. Not as terrible as some people have made it out to be, but certainly not worth the price tag. The lack of carbonation doesn't bother me much. I think a creamy feel would do this beer well, but it drinks ok without it too. And at 12.5% it did the job I wanted it to do, and tasted pretty good doing so.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.61/5  rDev -6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I had an 8 oz pour of this on tap. The beer came in a small snifter with absolutely nothing to show you except for a completely black oily liquid. Looked like it could've been poured two days ago and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

The smell had a fierce scent of brandy, raisins, and dried plums. Taste is somewhat similar with an addition of oak and chocolate in the background. The beer finished nicely and wasn't too boozy for me. By the end, the brandy flavor was getting a little too over-powering. I could probably drink another one but it has a lot of complexity that should only be consumed one glass at a time to really enjoy it.

I liked this one a little bit better than the bourbon version I had on tap. It seemed to have more character and sophistication in it's flavor profile.

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Photo of cbutova
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pitch black with no sign of life, no head, no lacing. Looks like black wine, not even a ring around the edges of this beer. Not impressed at all with this aspect of the beer. Smell was the best part of this one. Wood, whiskey (not too huge but tasteful), raisins and dark fruit and a pinch of alcohol. There was also a lot of cocoa in the nose that I did not remember in the bottle. A nicely balanced scent on this one. Taste is also good. Huge cocoa and whiskey with raisins and dark fruit, a good wood aspect and a pinch of alcohol that could be overwhelming at points. Once again, I don't remember the cocoa aspect in the bottle. Mouthfeel was a bit light for me, very warm with extremely low carbonation. A wine-like watery consistency with a huge coat of alcohol and whiskey on the tongue. Drinkability is decent. I know this one is too pricey for the quality, better on-tap vs. the bottle, probably have it again ON-TAP due to its rarity in MA, the alcohol started to kill it after 8oz.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml courtesy of RomanW70. Pours the color prune juice with no head. Nose was vanilla, booze and a suggestion of grapes. Taste follows nose with the addition of some cocoa. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with an almost non-existent carbonation presence. Delicious beer with great complexity. This beer doesn't need a lot of carbonation, but a trace more would have really made this beer exquisite. A great offering nonetheless, but definitely one to share.

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Photo of BevMoAndrew
4.26/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Stone Brewing Co. in a snifter

Shows a very dark brown in the glass with absolutely no head. The nose is sweet and dominated with scents of bourbon & brandy oak barrels followed by molasses, chocolate, espresso, black licorice, subtle black pepper, vanilla, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, maple syrup, toasted nuts, baking spices, & belgian waffle aromas. The beer is very syrupy, viscous, & sweet (alcohol) on the palate with good mouthfeel/carbonation and a long finish. Overall, this is an outstanding beer, but on that you'd have to drink over a long period of time and/or with a cigar.

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Photo of TexIndy
2.9/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

2008 Edition. Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle into a snifter. Cork comes out with barely a sound and this after storing warm for months to get some carb going per the forum tips. Flat Abbey strikes again! It was a dark brown with mahogany edges when against the light. Even with a very hard pour there was no head - just a few stray bubbles scattered about. Obviously no lacing.

The aroma was good with oak, vanilla, dark fruits and brandy being very dominant. The taste followed the aroma with oak and alcohol being the main players. Flavor is hurt by lack of carb. I think this is my first brandy beer so can't compare it to other brandy's but would compare nicely to bourbons. Mouthfeel was blah. Absolutely no carbonation so very watery and slick.

Overall, yet another disappointment from Flat Abbey. They continue to baffle me. Their Duck Duck Gooze, Cable Car and Isabelle Proximus are hall of fame beers and among my all-time favorites. But multiple others are just flat, un-carbonated disasters. I got this one for free from a buddy or I'd be pissed about spending $30 for a flat beer.

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Photo of jammalamma
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2008 Had one of these before, hoping this one is better.
Opened it up - silent! not good, but expected

Smells great, deep roasty sweet nose. Taste is complex but lacking carbonation! If it had carbonation I bet it'd be great but this it really lacking. Boozy taste is amplified as it warms and it becomes more difficult to drink.

Not bad, has potential. I have another bottle that Ill age for a few years in hopes it carbs up-

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Photo of rpstevens
3.07/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

2008 750ml bottle shared by jammalamma, poured into a dogfish signature glass. The cork pops without a sound.

The pour yields no head at all, there is a murky amber layer on top of a brown/black head that lets a little light through around the edges.

The smell is molasses, vanilla, brandy booze, dark fruits and sweet caramel. The nose is by far the best part of this beer.

The taste follows the smell nicely, vanilla, molasses and brandy, with more oak characteristics that mellow it out. The alcohol isn't as present in the taste as the smell.

The mouthfeel is incredibly thin, and there is NO carbonation at all in this beer. If this were carbonated it would be better than the bourbon version, the flavors are more balanced and the scent is awesome, but the drinkability is awful, like a thin cough syrup.

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Photo of carps12
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 1 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

10oz pour at Tria in Philly. Purple/brown in color. Looks DEAD flat. No bubbles, head or lacing. Big fail here. Hoping the keg helps this 2009 flat version out. Smells of extreme chocolate covered raisins and rasberries. There is enough carbonation in taste to keep it alive. That's a plus. A lot of chocolate in taste and dark fruits. Noticable booze in taste. Not bad. Tough to drink a lot of this.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
2.45/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Reviewed 8/10/2009 (Bottle 2008):

Pours a very dark reddish colored body. Small off-white head, diminishing. Smells like whiskey, brandy. Smooth fruity aroma. A little funky smelling. Muted aroma, not very strong. Slick taste, dark fruit aftertaste. Some roasted flavors, doesn't taste like beer at all. Funky taste, slick like whiskey. Not sure how to rate this, doesn't taste like any beer I've had before. Better as it warms, some chocolate taste comes out. Dark fruit like fig.

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

Served on tap in a 10 oz. snifter at Tria

(Side-note- I sampled a flat bottle of the Brandy AS back in May of 2009 before I began reviewing, but this is a review of a carbonated version had on tap, which is markedly better.)

A- Dark brown and murky, but thins out around the edges where it is fairly transparent. Virtually no head that dissipated rapidly and left no lacing. Leaves a syrupy residue/legs on the glass as I swirl it as would a dessert wine.

S- Sweet, dark fruits, molasses, caramel, brandy booziness. I would put this smell in the ballpark (though nowhere near in strength or complexity) of Utopias.

T- I tasted this flat and this is one of the categories of my review that shows drastic improvement with this on-tap, properly-carbonated version. Still boozy, but not in an unwelcome way. Some vanilla/caramel upfront with some spiciness. I detect slightly sour apricots somewhere around mid-palate. Also, some woodiness is detectable in the finish rounding off the brandy flavors.

M- A little syrupy leaving a sort of coating on my palate, but ever-so-slight effervescence polishes it off nicely (especially compared to the unwanted lingering booziness of the flat, bottled version.

D- Keeping in mind that it is a 12% strong ale aged in Brandy barrels, this is quite a drinkable beer. One might call it a great "sipper."

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Photo of corby112
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown almost black color with some dark red wine mahogany hues. Completely opaque with a very thin beige head that immediately fades into complete stillness. This is disappointing after what I've experienced from the bottle(non flat vintage).

Aroma is dominated by brandy but there is also some earthy oak an vanilla notes as well as some dark fruit and toasted malt. The aroma is really dominated by alcohol/brandy and smells very sweet.

Soft carbonation up front that quickly turns into a sweet earthy, oaky and vinous flavor. Very vinous in fact with a very strong brandy presence that once again dominates and hinders the other flavors from shining. Dark fruit/berries compliment the oak and there is a pretty decent vanilla flavor. Slightly dry finish with a lot of alcohol heat. The flavors open up and this becomes substantially better as it warms. Slight tartness in the finish.

I was excited to try this on tap because the bottles I had were amazing. One of my favorite beers of all time. This batch was way too boozy and not very well balanced. Avoid and try to find some bottle from 2007 that aren't infected.

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Photo of AgentZero
1.46/5  rDev -62%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

A - From the infamously unactivated yeast = no carbonation batch of '08, this pours out dead flat and looks like coffe that's been sitting around too long or pond water that's starting to scum up. No head whatsoever.

S - Smell caramel, a lot of brandy, I don't like the smell of these at all. Dark fruits, possibly some cherry but for lack of a better term, this just smells weird. Kind of chemically.

T - Not sure how to describe this, some caramal malts, minimal on thte brandy, no real subtlety or complexity whatsoever. Horribly dissapointing, honestly, it's kind of gross.

M - Horrible, thick, oily. No carbonation, between this and the taste this is just bad.

D - Can't drink this anymore, me and my friend dumped it all down the sink. It's that bad. What a complete waste of money.

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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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