Drinking a bottle of Lost Abbey Angels' Share, about 5 or 6 years old, and I am just stunned by it.
First of all, I rarely enjoy barley wines. Usually they taste hot and harsh to me. But this is just warming, mellow and very smooth..
Second, I rarely enjoy aged beers, or at least rarely enjoy them as much as a fresh sample of the same beer. But this beer has really come together without losing its brightness.
Third, I don't like most barrel aged beers, outside of sours. Again, this proves the exception. Nice notes of vanilla and caramel that do not overwhelm the beer itself.
Fourth, I usually don't much care for sweet beers, and while this isn't cloying, it's certainly sweeter than my typical favorites.
And finally, this beer became somewhat infamous a few years ago when several consumers reported that their bottles had become infected with some undesirable microorganisms that rendered the product undrinkable. Well, that is terribly unfortunate, because this bottle, which is definitely not infected with anything odd, is delicious.
It has a great malt presence that reminds me of some of the great Belgian strong ales from Rochefort of St. Bernardus. Nice carbonation and surprisingly refreshing, the body seems quite light for a beer of this strength, making it dangerously easy to drink.
It certainly shows me that a well made beer is a beautiful thing even if it's far from my usual favorite styles.