Name: Angel’s Share Ale
Brewery: The Lost Abbey
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: San Marcos, California
Style: American Strong Ale
Alcohol Content (ABV): 12.50%
First Brewed: 2006
Pours an amber brown color and settles in the glass beneath a mild tannish head. There are notes of sweet caramel malt, dark fruits, and molasses in the nose. Flavor is sweet dark chocolate and brown sugar, with hints of spice and a mild alcohol burn.
For $14.99, this beer better be good! I haven’t had a lot of beers from The Lost Abbey, but what I have had I have really enjoyed. This one is special, because it comes from our trade with my buddy Erick. He provided us a ton of bottles on the list, so you will hear me talking about him quite a bit. This beer also has a high ABV. For that much, it better!
This beer is aged in oak barrels. That is such a trend right now in craft beer. Just because you have an empty oak barrel doesn’t mean you need to age your beer in it! But from what I hear, this is a beer that is worth every penny and worth every drop. Cool story on where they get the name, too. This one is for you, Erick!
In the Glass: The beer is flat and looks like a flat soda in the glass. That doesn’t upset me, as this beer should be somewhat flat. I don’t want a barrel aged beer with too many bubbles. There isn’t much head, and the lace is pretty boring. It does leave a thin layer of sticky residue on the side of the glass, but nothing to write home about.
Nose: I poured the beer and before I could turn around, Sheryl goes, “Smells like wine.” I guess I know what to expect when I smell this beer! She’s right, though. It does smell like wine. Imagine a nice woody Merlot. The beer is ice cold, but I wanted to try it both cold and at room temperature. I am not going to wait until it heats up to drink it. I am impatient! Cheers!
Flavor: This beer is a seasonal release from The Lost Abbey, and it did hit store shelves here in the Valley earlier this year. However, before I even knew it was here it was gone. At $14.99 a bottle, it better be delicious. Let’s find out.
Oh. My. GOD! That’s not beer. Nope. That is NOT beer. That is heaven in a glass. I guess the name Angel’s Share is fitting. If this is what the angels are drinking, I hope to become one when I am dead and gone. There is SO much complexity here. You can definitely taste the high ABV, but then a nice layer of sweetness sets in and the alcohol heat is a thing of the past.
You can really taste the barrels in this beer, which is something not a lot of barrel aged beers can say. I bet this beer would age really well, too. That is what I was hoping it would taste like. Holy crap, that’s good! For a brewery that is somewhat new to the craft beer scene, this is a great example of what makes a brewery succeed. i know why they limit the release on this, but I want a keg of this in my belly right now!!!
Mouthfeel: It’s flat. It’s also thick. There is a thin line of bubble around the edges, but I am focused on the sweetness in this release. I mean, wow. I am having a hard time finding the words to say to explain this beer. There is just so much flavor. As you swallow, a nice subtle dryness sets in and leave your palate just happy longing for another sip. I would love to see how this ages. Imagine this in 3, 5, even 7 year from now. What a treat!
Aftertaste: I wish the aftertaste lasted a little bit longer. It hangs around for a few minutes but it is not as intense as I had hoped. I bet this would be a great beer to pair a nice cigar with. We are planning a long weekend to San Diego this fall, and The Lost Abbey will be a stop on our list. I can’t to see what else this brewery can do.
Erick, thank you so much for making this beer a reality. This is SO good. I hope you, living in San Diego, get the chance to try this and many more rare bottles from The Lost Abbey. I am jealous that you are so close to a brewery that can produce beers this delicious. I don’t want it to end!
Angel’s Share – The bottle says: “Way down in Kentucky and across the pond in Scotland, distillers age their Whiskey for many years in oak barrels. Over time, some Whiskey is lost to evaporation. They refer to this loss as “The Angel’s Share.” Each time a barrel is filled, a measure of this liquid seeps into the oak and is lost forever.”
“Our Angel’s Share is a barrel aged burgundy colored ale infused with copious amounts of dark caramel malt to emphasize the vanilla and oak flavors found in the freshly emptied Bourbon barrels. Each batch spends no less than 9 months aging in the oak. As with all our beers, this beer is brewed for sinners and saints alike. So be an angel and share it with a friend or two.”
Ricky has been excited about this beer that we are going to try. Also, it sounds like it was expensive. It looks and smells pretty good. In fact, it kind of smells like wine. When he poured it into the glass, there wasn’t really much head at all. It pours out very dark and thick, though. It’s not quite black, but a very dark brown, and you can’t see anything through it in the glass. It smells very sweet, almost like raisins. I’m excited to try it now, too!
Mmmm… wow, that is VERY good. It’s very sweet, and kind of reminds me of a barleywine. It’s got a lot of heat. I’d have to imagine that this has a very high ABV. It’s got a powerful kick to it, that’s for sure. The heat almost knocks you out. I could taste it almost before I took a sip! It does taste a lot like raisins to me, though. It’s got a sweet, wine-like taste. It’s really good, but not something you can drink every day. This is a sipping beer, something for a special occasion. It’s something everyone should try. I’d definitely grab one again if I had the money and the opportunity, especially to celebrate something. Good stuff – highly enjoyable!