Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Much Anticipated Lost Abbey Angel's Share

The much anticipated release of this year's Angel's Share happened Saturday morning and I had to be down at the brewery to get a few bottles. Believe me when I say I understand how high in demand this beer is. In the last 6 months or so I've seen many people all over the country looking for bottles from the previous release. I had an opportunity in August at the Lost Abbey's First Annual Barrel Tasting to try this batch and I know it gave me a fairly good impression (it was the last beer in a long line of beers that night). In fact, if I had liked the barrel-aged version that night, I had loved the non-barrel-aged version they served alongside it. So anyway, although I'm not the biggest fan of whiskey, bourbon, scotch, or brandy, I'm pretty surprised I've liked as many of these new barrel-aged beers that are coming out (especially ones that are aged in used bourbon or brandy barrels). Taking this into account, I just had to grab some bottles of this to really sit down with.

It took about 11 hours before I called a couple friends over to share a bottle. Some vitals to note, 11.5% ABV, with "copious amounts of dark caramel malt to emphasize the vanilla and oak flavors found in freshly emptied oak barrels." You can see the pour in the picture. The aroma contained a lot of oak, a little fruit, a little sugar all intertwined with that big alcohol content. The taste confirmed that this indeed was a heavily oaky beer. You get a real oak-alcohol-molasses combination finishing with just the slightest sweetness of sugar at the end. For my tastes, this combination of flavors isn't what I'm use to liking, as was previously stated. With that in mind I finished my glass and poured another. For what this beer is, it sure does it well, and being beer enthusiasts I think we have to keep that in mind, even if you don't particularly like a style. I couldn't drink this every day, I probably couldn't drink it every week, but the two small glasses I had proved to me that this is a pretty darn good strong barrel-aged ale.

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