The Lost Abbey - 2012 Bourbon Barrel Angel’s Share Ale

image     To be honest I was scared to buy this when I saw it hit the shelves today at the local liquor store.  For those who are not familiar with this beer, the past few years have had all kinds of bottling issues.  Most bottles were completely flat.  This isn’t a cheap beer, so to drop the money for one of these only to have it be undrinkable is a hell of gamble.  I figured word had gotten out so much about this issue there was no way they could let this happen again, luckily I was right.  Those who I’ve talked that have had this on tap compare it to the likes of KBS and BCBS.  I now see why.  On the nose you get a ton of oaky vanilla sweetness and defiantly alcohol.  Angel Share comes in at a hefy 12.5% ABV after all.  I’ve talked about how an acetone alcohol taste can kill a beer for me, but not with this one.  Right up front you get a beautiful vanilla slightly sweet taste with some good barrel notes, then the booze takes over and overwhelms.  It works with this beer though, the alcohol taste is just right, it tastes more like bourbon than nail polish.  This finishes like you just took a swig of bourbon.  You get warming all the way down your throat, but also a vanilla tinged sweetness creeps up to balance that out and then a big oak barrel note finishes you off.  It’s a relatively thin beer for the amount going on, but that works to its advantage I feel.  It would be really hard to power through a glass it it were much thicker.  I’m glad I took the chance on this one and will probably go back tomorrow to grab one more before word gets out that the 2012 Angel Share is carbonated!  I recommend you do the same.  Cheers!!

P.S.  They also make a brandy barrel version.  You can tell the difference because they stamp the style and date on the bottle in white letters.