I should drink more Allagash. Along with Ommegang, they’re the other major east-coast brewery that seems to specialize in Belgian style beer, so it’s no suprise that I tend to enjoy their beers. They make the standard Belgian styles, but they aren’t afraid to experiment either. Their 2009 Fluxus was a bit of a revelation for me. “Ale brewed with sweet potatoes and black pepper.” It certainly doesn’t sound all that appealing, but it was a unique take on the Saison style. I would love to try it again, but alas, it was only a one-time brew (Fluxus is released once a year, but the recipe changes – 2010 was an Imperial Chocolate Stout). Sometimes their experimentation isn’t quite as successful, but I’m always game for a new one. However, I’ve been a bit neglectful of late. Indeed, I’ve had this bottle sitting on my shelf for a solid six months (and according to the label, it was bottled in May 2010).
Allagash Curieux is a Belgian-style Tripel aged in Jim Beam bourbon barrels. It was apparently their first foray into the world of barrel-aged beer, though they’ve clearly expanded their scope in the past few years.
Pours a cloudy golden color with minimal head. Smells of sugary sweet fruit, spicy Belgian yeast and maybe even a little of that Bourbon. Tastes very sweet. Candi sugar, fruits, some spiciness. Finishes dry with some sticky alcohol in the aftertaste (perhaps a hint of Bourbon in there too). Mouthfeel is quite harsh, making this more of a sipping beer. A good thing, too, considering the 11% ABV. As it warms, the beer becomes more clear and a little more smooth, though it’s still full bodied and the alcohol still asserts itself. It’s perhaps a bit too hot for the style, and certainly not an everyday beer, but it’s another interesting offering from Allagash. A-
Beer Nerd Details: 11% ABV bottled (750 ml, caged and corked). Bottled May 2010. Drank out of a Goblet on 5/14/11.
In case you can’t tell from the past several reviews, I’m in the midst of a bit of a drink-down right now. I’ve collected quite a few bottles over the previous months, and despite my best efforts, quite a backlog has accrued. Most of them tend to be high ABV monsters, which partially explains it, but I’ve also been a bit overzealous in my procurement. This is, of course, a good problem to have. I’m a bit behind on reviews as well, and may end up grouping a few together here and there. In any case, whenever I manage to dig out of this wonderful hole of great beer, I plan to try out a few more of Allagash’s limited releases. I’ve had their standard stuff, and several of the limited releases, but I’d really like to explore more. However, looking at the beer on my shelf (not to mention the homebrew that’s building up), that may be a while.