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
Very Good
713 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): 14.70%

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: 713 |  Reviews: 424
Photo of Jwale73
4.22/5  rDev +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 +10.1%
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 -25.1%
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 -14%
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 -20.7%
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 -5.2%
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 -36.7%
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 +11.6%
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 -1.3%
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 -62.3%
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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Photo of HopHeadLouie
2.18/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This beer should never have been released or once it got out it should have been recalled. Mouth feel is appalling! Not "appropriate for the style" not "mildly carbonated" not even close! Dead flat! Dishwater! Smells pleasant enough and you can vaguely see the potential of what it could be if it were properly carbonated, but it's not. It is hard to even describe this swill as beer, it reminds me more of a glass of iced tea after all the cubes have melted. As a Patron Sinner, I am very disappointed that Lost Abbey let this one out of the brewery.

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Photo of DNICE555
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 bottle

A - Thick black sludge

S - Oak but not overpowering, sweetness, vanilla, coffee.

T - Caramel, raisins, plums, and a warming alcohol sensation. Very complex beer. I'm missing tons here, my palate feels overwhelmed.

M - Carbonation issues apparent with my bottle. Heavy complex body. Warming blast simulating carbonation with each sip.

D - So much going on with this beer. Very enjoyable even without the carbonation. Would love to try a carbonated bottle. Normally oak aged beers have an overpowering wood chip smell and taste. Not the case with this beer, very well balanced and oak does nothing but enhance the flavors. This is a sipping beer with a mandatory 2 minute break in-between sips. If this beer played Call of Duty 5 - it would def be a 5 star general.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.19/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

had this on tap at the EBF, refreshed my memory with a 2008 vintage bottle. Carbonation problems are well known, and this was a bottle with said flatness, but having had it prior on tap i wont hold that against it for the reviews sake, now as for it costing over $31...

A - inky black with no head of course

S - brandy barrels aroma is very evident, oaky and woody with hints of the liquor, a sweetness as well, vanilla and toffe style

T - caramel emerges in the taste, specifically a burnt caramel/malt flavors, some fruity esthers come to bear as well, raisins, plum, even overripe apple, and strong alcohol flavors as well

M&D - this portion is a bit from memory, i wont judge based ona bottle suffering from a well documented issue. at the EBF i remember a significant liveliness, yet highly drinkable, i know that after the EBF it became kind of my "white whale" and when i saw a bottle i spared no expense. hopefully the carbonation issues will be/have been settled and i can have this great brew from a great brewery again

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.12/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Vintage 2007, 750ml bottle from the cellar.

A whisp of carbonation escaped when removing the cork, followed by a quarter inch head of beige atop a dark brown body with a ruby hue.
Sparkling clarity from being laid down for two years. A partial skim coat remained for the duration of the glass as well as a few dots of lacework.

Aromatics start off with tart cherries, vineous fruits, boozy brandy, and soured apples. Hints of chocolate, oak, raisins, and citrus follow through.

Medium bodied with a syrupish mouthfeel. Tacky, sticky and chewy.

Soured fruits start the palate with acid-laced cherries, granny smith apples, and apricot pits. Warming, boozy alcohol quickly steps forward and shades of chocolate, char, and citrus follow though.

Finishes with a jowel-watering sourness, boozy fusels, and a mild throat burn.

I believe this was the vintage that Tommee used Brandy barrels that had aleady been used for the previous Angel's Share. Maybe that is where the obvious infection came from. Certainly a different animal from the versions I've had at fests or on draught at the Public house. Too bad I traded some really awesome beer for this really infected beer.
Ah well, at least it was carbonated.

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Photo of jdklks
3.12/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

goddamn, i've waited for this beer for a long time. i absolutely love uncorking beer and champagne bottles. the shooting of the cork; the crisp pssst sound; the sensation of being immediately immersed in the aroma escaping from within. yes, carbonation does wonderful things. so you can imagine that i was a little disappointed when i had to pull this one out like a wine cork, and, pouring with the vigour and conviction of a religious crusader, discovered that there was no head atop the deep and dark mahogony body. the head that would be there if this beer was carbonated looks amazing, in my imagination... oh, what a lovely head! the smell is strong with brandy (and seemingly bourbon) and dark fruity sweet malts, caramel, and vanilla. very pleasant.

holy shit, what this beer would be if it were carbonated!!! "Amazing" would be the word, if one word could describe it, and if it were carbonated. a huge brandy-almost-bourbon presence that blends beautifully with the caramel and vanilla. dark fruit sweetness complimented by a smooth and invigorating alcohol presence (12.5%), much like an imperial stout... its damn decent right now, but so much greater in my carbonated imagination.

Mouthfeel is fantastically thick, smooth and velvety on the palate... and in my imagination it is perfectly carbonated. But since in reality it is not at all carbonated, the mouthfeel sucks. drinkability is also imaginatively huge.

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Photo of chaz410
5/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was blessed with this amazing offering at the Rare Beer Sampling for Pints for Prostate during the GABF.
The appearance is of dark amber with a very very thin light head.
Smell is more than worth the effort in finding this gem. Smells of vanilla, rich cherry and dark fruit malts, dark brandy sweet notes, bourbon roastiness, sweet caramel and rich toffee.
Taste is Unreal! This is the most beautifully blended mix of sweet liquor-like accents such as brandy, bourbon, oak, dark cherry and toffee mixed into strong ale notes like sweet caramel, light malts and small hints of subtle hops.
The mouthfeel is like silk and extremely smooth.
The overall sensation of drinking this beer is not at all harsh but must be enjoyed at a moderate pace.
It will age well and is possibly one of the best beers I've ever had!

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Photo of brownbeer
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Falling Rock.

A- Dark brown, no head.

S- Nose is prunes, maple syrup, dark fruit.

T- Flavor is similar to a tawny port. Rich molasses, imported chocolate, bold and definately tastes so.

M- Not much by way of carbonation but that lends itself to being soft and smooth.

D- I personally would want to split a bottle several ways due to the rich nature. Also, the fact that one should share something so awesome.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ok, so the trend now is to age the beer in used liquor barrels. Fine, most taste the same and few are highly drinkable. So when I tried this one I was surprised. It's a bit closer to SA Utopias than any other barrel aged beer I've had. The pour is a dark reddish, caramelly pond of richness. A pretty good head on it adds to the richness.
Aroma doesn't betray the abv. This is a smooth smell of caramel, light chocolate, vanilla and a touch of very dry timber. Oh, how I wish it were colder outside and the fireplace lit. Anywho, the taste follows the aroma. The caramel is a bit thicker and the vanilla clings to the woodiness. almost seems like a carbonated port. Some chocolate comes and goes as well as unripe figs and apricots. Very nice. I likey like this one. Alcohol does hit hard in the end...i'd like to see this one age a bit longer.

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Photo of DIM
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2008 version, 750ml bottle

a: Well, it isn't flat. A hard pour yielded a thin ring of medium sized bubbles that quickly faded. This could be revived with a swirl. The body was a very dark, ruby tinted brown. It was almost opaque.

s: Only my second brandy barrel aged beer and I can't keep my nose out of the glass. Warm but not hot, sweet but not cloying the brandy takes center stage. It is warm and inviting with oak and vanilla accents. Behind that are some dark fruits like raisins and plums plus a little toffee and brown sugar. Not overpowering like many barrel aged beers, instead this is almost subtle and very enticing.

t: Here again the brandy barrel is at the forefront, but just a little of the complexity from the nose is lost. Sweet elements of of brandy, vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, and caramel. The dark fruits from the aroma are harder to find here, but they peek through every now and then. On the sweet side for sure, but it works well with this one.

m: Yeah, this is a little undercarbonated, but not by all that much. I don't like gassy b-wines, but this was just a bit too still. The body was viscous and somewhat silky.

d: I admit that I came into this with a chip on my shoulder. I had all kinds of nasty things in mind that I intended to write. It pains me to say it, but this great beer is only a couple bubbles away from being world-class. As great as it was, this is most likely my last Lost Abbey offering. They have taken a beating in the forums in recent months and deservedly so. To repeatedly release flat beer is baffling and unacceptable. Plain and simple, beer needs to be carbonated BEFORE it is sold. The onus should not be on the consumer to properly store a beer while it carbonates before it can be consumed. To do so without a word of warning to the public is particularly outrageous. Because they have failed to do this more than once, their customer service record is irreperably damaged in my eyes. Its a shame that such talented brewer would treat his customers with such disdain. No more LA for me.

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Photo of ppoitras
2.45/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

750ml bottle purchased as a single at Julio's, Westboro, MA. Corked and caged, 2008 vintage.

Poured into a Chimay chalice, and under-carbonated is an understatement. Scant few bubbles form with the hardest of pours. No head to speak of over this opaque dark brown brew. Upon swirling, heavy legs and tiny bubbles are seen along the glass.

Aroma is sweet and sour, tartness coupled with syrupy maltiness. Taste is worlds away from the nose: sweet and fruity upfront, moderately smokey old leather tannins in the middle, with an evaporating alcohol close. Warmth and numbing come along soon enough too. Mouthfeel is thin for the look and flavor, and drinkability is pretty limited.

Save your $30. The bad experience stories are true, much as I wanted to see them wrong.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had to pry the cork out of this one with no carbonation assist. This beer, once in my tulip, was a dark, murky brown with a single bubble collar of foam.

Smells of earthy, slightly smoked barley with a touch of prune and a slight boozy, spicy hint.

Tastes rather thin and bland at first but then unfolds into grainy, ambiguous sweetness. This is followed up with a touch of cinnamon and a boozy, woody dryness.

Feels very thin but with a keen thickening of hidden carbonation that makes this quite playful.

A little dry, but a tasty take on the style. I'd say the carbonation issues with this were overrated.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.49/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

UPDATE 2/14/10: I just cracked my first bottle of the 2009 release. Originally I rated this beer a 4.0 B+ and had given it 2's in both the mouthfeel and drinkability category for the '08 vintage. Although the 2009 release is still "nearly" flat, I do feel that it is a SIGNIFICANT improvement over last years release and the tiny amount of carbonation that is present is enough to turn this into a world class beer. The alcohol burn seems to be quite subdued, and the vanilla and toffee flavors are much more prominent. It would probably be fair to make my overall score an average of the two vintages, but I'm going to go ahead and just change it to reflect the 2009 vintage only. My original review text for the '08 is below


Received this 750 ML 2008 vintage by mistake, but rather than send it back I decided to keep it despite the known carbonation issues.

Poured a deep brown color, nearly black. No head as expected, although even if this wasn't flat I still wouldn't expect much head so I am not going to fault it too much for that.

Smell is big time oak, also a hot alcohol sting. Smooth vanilla, fudge, caramel, toffee, along with a lot of brandy. Really exquisite, this is one area where the lack of carbonation isn't going to really play too negatively. Definitely exceptional in this department.

The brandy comes through huge in the flavor, but it is a warm and inviting heat and luckily not a burning one. But HOLY SHIT is this HOT....I can see why some people are turned off by the flatness, there is nothing here to splash around the flavor and your tongue is just bombarded with a blitzkrieg of booze. 3 sips in and my tongue is literally going numb. Rich vanilla and toffee flavors make up the back end. In small doses this would be incredible, more akin to a fine liquor rather than a beer. The bomber is waayyy too much.

Mouthfeel is, as expected, bad. Flat as a pancake, although truthfully I found the Older Viscosity 2009 to be much worse. The flavors here mesh a bit better with the tools that they have (the toolbox is near empty though). Perhaps since this one has had a few more months on it than the Older Vis it has mellowed out a bit.

Drinkability is very low due to the overall monstrous nature of this. Its just so incredibly rich and boozy there needs to be some carbonation to bring it all together. Hopefully the next bottling of this is an upgrade.

Despite all of this, I still "almost" want to call this a world class beer, even in its current state. It is so close, just a smidgen of carbonation would have been satisfactory. Can I get a smidgen, please?

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Photo of PatronWizard
3.56/5  rDev -8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Was really looking forward to this stuff. The ridiculously generous and fruity OlieIPA opened a big fat 750ml one particular evening. All the hype and disappointment surrounding the flat bottles was about to be tested by the world's leading expert in ... uh .... disappointment.

Just as purported, she looks pretty flat. Zero head, like that time I .... never mind. Color is brown. An almost unpleasant shade of night-after-filet-mignon brown but in a rich, thick, completely opaque poop jello sort of way. The darkest shade of caramel possible.

Big smells of liquor, remniscent of Grand Marnier. Maybe even some wood, nicely done, with figs underlain. Smells big.

Taste of caramel. The oak is prominent and delicious. Big brandy taste. One strong ass beer. Caramel again.

I would like to love this beer, but the utter complete flatness detracted quite a bit from the overall experience, which bothers me on several levels. See extensive forum discussions for details.

Overall: disappointment, want to try another vintage

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.72/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ok, received this bottle from MuenchenerKindl last December, sat on it for a while, and I've been feeling pretty shitty, so what better beer than this for a pick-me-up?!

Into my Duvel glass, pours a rather dark and has the color of chocolate. The head was nice, but receded quickly to a thin film, a foamy ring around the edges, and spiderwebbing lacing down the glass.

The aroma is busy. First impression gives oak, brandy, chocolate, and caramel hints. Dive deeper, you find grapes, raisins, brown sugar, molasses, smaller hints of cherry, and vanilla. Pretty sure I picked up some kitchen sink in there too.

Taste runs the gamut even more. On top of the oak, brandy, brown sugar, raisin, grapes, cherry, sherry, brandy, bourbon (?), its got a smorgasbord of nuances I can scarcely even begin to describe. I am a simple mortal, not worthy of this beer's godliness.

The mouth is exceptional, a medium body, dry and stingy like a fine wine, with a fine effevescent carbonation to remind you you are, actually, still drinking beer, and a warmth that is caring, and forgiving. In fact, I can scarcely believe this is a 12% beer. Until I get to the last few ounces. Then it hits.

Nevertheless, its been a joy to drink, a pleasure. Its the kind of crazy complex brew that the beer aficionado requires, from time to time. Much thanks, Tom. Much thanks.

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Photo of nomomentwasted
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this on cask at O'Brien's, along with the Older Viscosity and Sinner's Blend 2009. Talk about a strong beer line-up.

Appearance: Dark. Darker. But not quite darkest, that title would be saved for the Older Viscosity, but still a very dark brew. Little foamy carbonation, which, apparently, is more than you get in the bottle from last year's batch.

Smell: Huge notes of booze strike the nose first, and at first sniff, you'd guess it's Bourbon. Oaky, with a hint of vanilla and lots and lots of booze. Roasted malt character is present as well.

Taste: Very strong, as the booziness is not very tamed in this form. Hard in some ways to get past, but cask temperature definitely works for this beer, as it develops that vanilla, prune and fig-like fruits, and that sweet brandy tone that can strike just as the booziness is feeling too warm. A lot going on here for sure, but really needed to mellow a bit before being all that perfection it wants to be.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, not overly carbonated (thanks to the cask), but I would've actually liked just a bit more carbonating, would've added some character to this heavy brew.

Drinkability: Relatively low, it's just a little too boozy for my liking. Yes, the taste was good and solid, but with that kind of alcohol burn, it's more like drinking light spirits than enjoying a great brew.

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The Angel's Share - Brandy Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 713 ratings