Allagash Four - Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash FourAllagash Four

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948 Ratings
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Ratings: 948
Reviews: 458
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 106
Gots: 136 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: UnionMade on 03-26-2004

We brew this beer with four malts, four sugars, four hop varieties and we ferment it four times, using four different yeast strains. The complexity of the brewing process is matched by the complexity of this unique beer. Flavors of raisin, candied fruit and plum express themselves throughout.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 948 | Reviews: 458
Photo of augustgarage
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Been aging this one for at least a year, maybe two - Batch 15. Poured from a 750mL caged-and-corked bottle into my Trappist Westvleteren goblet. Served very lightly chilled.

Clear, maroon body with bright venetian and candy apple red highlights. A gentle collar rings a slow moving slick, traced out in beige in the center of the glass. Very light lacing.

Figs, leather, prunes, brandy, well aged sourdough, and violets erupt in the ester-heavy nose.

Complex, rich malt profile suggestive of caramel, cloves, cocoa nibs, and cedar. The sweetness is accentuated by more of the dark fruit notes observed in the aroma, though the spicy alcohol flavors in concert with a weak bitterness attenuate the sugars sufficiently. Maraschino and tea emerge from the finish which resolves to a single blended flavor.

Sufficient carbonation, low effervesence, medium-bodied, but a bit oily.

This beer seems to do better with age. Maybe I should wait a full FOUR years for consistency, but this is about as good a domestic version of this difficult style as you could hope for.

Photo of Brabander
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I traded this beer with Sean (claaarck13) and his wife Amber for some westy beer. We had a great time in Belgium when we met in may 2011.

I poured out this bottles during a beertasting at my cousin Peter's place. There were a lot of starting beer geeks who could not believe that there are so many good beers in the world.

Poured out in a wineglass this beer is deep ambercoloured. To say this is a quad...i am not sure if it deserves this type. For the rest this is a very good and very drinkable beer with a nice foamy head

Photo of jsanford
3.21/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml C&C bottle poured into a Tulip Glass. Batch #22.

A - Pours a cloudy mahogany with a slight reddish tint and a creamy white head that leaves lots of soapy lacing as it recedes.
S - Sweet caramel malt, earthy hops, and some spicy yeast.
T - More sweet flavors of caramel/toffee with a bit of earthy hops and spicy malt. Really wish I could pick out more flavors, seeing as there are so may ingredients in this beer, but it all comes together in one big, muddy package. Not very memorable.
M - Slick with a medium body and moderate carbonation.
O - Not bad, but not at all memorable. Definitely an example of bigger not being better!

Photo of Knapp85
3.11/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This brew poured out as a brownish orange color with a tan foamy head. The smell of the beer had a mix of sweet and sour aromas. The taste was pretty much just like the nose but was mostly on the sour side. The mouthfeel was decent. I thought this beer sounded pretty awesome but after having it I wasn't all that impressed with it. I was pretty bummed out actually I thought would have been better.

Photo of harrymel
2.7/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Batch #21

A: Pours a hazy burnt toffee ale with a single finger of peanut head which dissipates quickly to leave a sheet of the same. Spotty lacing. when agitated, a full finger of fluff sticks around for a few minutes.

S: Initially, floral and metallic. Followed up by sweet belgian sugar, malts and earthy yeast. Some hints of green apple skins. Afraid this would not really benefit from more time in the bottle (and I'm unsure of the age on this).

T: Sweet, yeasty, see above. At the back end, the alcohol sharpens and even stabs! Haven't had anything this alcoholic in some time. Afraid this would not really benefit from more time in the bottle (and I'm unsure of the age on this).

M: Medium-lo body with seltzer carbonation. The beer is a bit light on the palate for my preference in a quad. Leaves slick in the mouth.

O: A far cry from the quality I've come to expect from Allagash. The beer is poorly balanced and overly alcoholic. With a mouthfeel inconsistent with the style's big dogs, this beer nearly disappoints. Last time I will buy this one.

Photo of flannelman808
3.86/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This guy pours a copper color with hints of yellow around the edges. Just off white head forms and has a cake batter quality to it. Good retention as well as lacing.

S: Fruity flavors on the nose, I'm thinking ripe strawberry and confectionery sugar.

T: Highly carbonated, and very clean as the beer seems to fizzle right off the tongue. White bakers sugar sort of sweetness strikes me first, next dried stone fruit and dried sweet over ripened cherry seem to follow. Finishing quite clean, however, in the end this is a bit on the sweet side of things. A little bit of pepto bismol sneaks in as it warms.

M: Alka seltzer

O: Good stuff but too expensive and frankly too sweet for my palate. Also I find it to be over carbonated to the point of hurting its score.

Photo of Bung
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tap at Macs Steel Creek.
Murky brown and gold mix. Whitish head, just a little amount of lacing.

Aroma, some malt, caramel. More fruitcake, banana, rumcake and the typical yeasty presence.

Taste is quite spicey. Nutmeg, clove. Caramel, light chocolate, raisin, green grapes. Light red fruits, banana. Quite interesting.

Lighter mid body with a soft carbonation. Dangerously easy drinking. Cost prevents me from drinking much Allagash, but this is good stuff.

Photo of zaphodchak
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 22
Rusty amber body with single finger of ecru-white head from a slow pour (as prescribed on the bottle). Laces nicely.

Some apple on the nose, and some Belgian tartness. I'm congested, so my opinion here is impaired.

Taste is impressive, far exceeds the nose: apple, black cherry, plenty of spice and some tartness to balance it out. Hops just present enough to balance it out and clean up the finish. There's an aftertaste, vegetal, and not objectionable.

Mouthfeel is great; super creamy and rich, to round out a spicy and tangy beer.

It's impressive, no doubt about that, but it's definitely a sipping beer. Food pairings (brie? possibly steak?) are possible, but this is a powerful standalone.

Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: dark amber tone with lightening and deep gold around the rim of the cup, an exceptional amount of lacing and only outdone by the ridiculous amount of carbonation, probably amongst the most I have seen from a beer, 1 to 10 head to beer ratio at first pour, impressive

S: theres a strange metallic copper smell to it, I hope i dont have a skunked bottle but it has sweet notes to it as well, with a dull raisin, stong alcohol presence

T: The taste is nothing like smell and far outdoes it. theres a sweet toffee note with figs and a burnt cherry finish.

M: The overall coating has a caramel texture with great maltiness that bathes the entire mouth for seconds after the swallow, the bitter centers get their fair share of hops as well, with a nice woody middle note that interplays well with the sweetness

D: For a 10% abv beer, exceptionally drinkable, I would not relegate this to the "winter cabin" or "after dinner" stout realm, it would not be out of place out of doors. Although, like most quads, its not a very portable/sharable/inexpensive endeavor. Most people that you attempted to share it with would liken it to a "newcastle" or "alaskan amber" for lack of palate distinction. Dont waste this one on the uninformed, not in an elitist sense, it's your beer, but I would venture a guess that their opinion might alter your own.

Narrative: His polished leather heels clicked lightly on the linoleum floor, waiting, with knowing expectations of his own ability. "The same magazines every time, far below my interests, yet beyond my ability to resist-" he reached forward and thumbed lazily through a copy of "OUTDOOR MONTHLY" noting esoteric information about tent liners. This wasnt his first job interview, but his resume made it clear that he was overqualified, so why was he here, filling a middle management role? It was not for want of ambition, for after all, he prepared 4 times as long as most other candidates. Nor was it for want of character, his euphemisms and passing comments regailed even the most dourfaced water cooler circles. "Glade plug ins, figures, quite the way to garnish the first foyer that expectant clients will encounter." No, it was his robust complexity that was his own undoing, the sheer force of his resume that created expectations that he could not fill and pretentions that filled the void. There was a condescending upshot to the end of his sentences that connoted that all parties present should have known what he said beforehand. "HoW long did THEY HAPPEN t0... SAY?" He requested of the overqualified intern, equally nonplussed with the generic waiting room. It was his content that wowed, but his overall presentation, the custom tailored suit, the wry witticisims that ultimately cost him that job. It did not matter, in his mind he knew that he was four times as qualified as the other candidates. It was that personal victory that carried the day.

Photo of petacutlasaurus
3.77/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Allagash's four is like a quad with a lot of elements from a wild ale, sans funk. I enjoyed it, but it felt like it was all over the board without much direction.

Pours lightly with lots of carbonation and an inch or more of quick settling head. Sweetness comes from lighter fruits - citrus and apple compounded by some grape tastes... lots of spice and a strong bite. The mouthfeel was the same, some sting coming through that light, turbulent body. Very bubbly.

I enjoyed the four, but it wasn't what I expected. If it were a little heavier I think I would have gotten more of the "4X" approach and would have been able to taste more of the yeasts and hops they emphasize so much.

Photo of rowingbrewer
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a copper color with a nice off white head. the smell is spicey slightly sweet and malty with a small alcohol tinge to it. the flavor follows the smell with the spice and malt in the front with a little alcohol in the finish. the mouthfeel is medium body with good carbonation. overal this beer is good would drink again but its a littel pricey.

Photo of papat444
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

***Batch 16***

Thanks to Masterski for this one. Shared with a few family members last Saturday. Notes are brief due to having many people around.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle.

Appearance: Pours a nice amber-brown body with a 2 fingers head. Really coasts the glass all around.

Smell: Sweetness and some dark fruits.

Taste: Dark fruits, brown sugar and one family member metions molasses though i can't detect that.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is good and very smooth and creamy all around.

Overall: A very nice beer that was a hit with the family. The ABV is very well hidden. A top notch brew.

Photo of Kinsman
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful pour results in a slightly hazy coppery red color with a thick and frothy, light tan colored head and it has plenty of staying power.

Aroma is notably sweet with hints of caramel and brown sugar and some bready malts linger in the background. Yeast profile seems to add just a hint of clove spice.

Taste has a strong bready and caramel like malt presence with hints of an apple like sweetness. Clove and cinnamon detected in a spice note and finishes with an ever so slight kiss of flowery hops.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy but doesn't finish quite as dry as expected. Overall, a different take on the Quad but certainly one worth trying.

Photo of clayrock81
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a seethru red-tinged copper with bubbly head that died quick and left no lace. The first I notice in the aroma is the definitely comes out. There's also that candy, sugary aroma (though mild) as well as that faint citric hop aroma. Thicker and fuller-bodied, chewey even, the beer is greatly balanced. Also prickly with great carbonation, the sticky heaviness of the beer is countered and not murkey. I pick up sweet malts like candy sugar and some bready malts as well. Also picking up some tartness like cherry and a hint of citric hop flavoring. Fines nice and smooth and plush, ABV minimized, so it feels like I'm drinking a great fruit and sweet ale that is heavy and crisp and real easy to drink. A real treat.

Photo of YouSkeete
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orange/red with an almost amber-like tint. Cloudy. Small white head, fades into some lacing quickly.

S: Belgian yeast, fresh dry and bitter hops, thick malt aroma. Fruits such as apples, grapes, and oranges.

T: Smooth, thick and creamy malt character. Hops aren't as strong as i'd had wished. Fruit body quickly comes full force; apples, oranges, pears, grapes. Burn of alcohol lingers. Nice bread-like Belgian yeast flavor, powerful but not overwhelming. Spicy and lemony aftertaste.

M: Milky, sticky. Medium to full bodied with medium carbonation.

D: A great quad, but if youre looking for a more "in-your-face," or heavy quad, look elsewhere. Well done, Allagash.

Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is cloudy light amber in color with some orange highlights and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a two finger high beige head that quickly died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: The nose has aromas of fruit, spices and yeast.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and also has notes of malty sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate to high amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness in the finish.
D: The beer is quite drinkable considering its strength because the alcohol is well masked from the taste.

Note: Batch #23

Photo of Stigs
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml cork and cage. Batch #18. Purchased this at least two years ago at a Total Wine. Split, served in chalices.

A - pours with just a thin amount of short lived light tan foam. settles to a thin film and ring. the beer is slightly cloudy, dirty brown in color.

S - dark fruits, mostly plums and raisins. dark candi sugar. lightly spicy yeast and some sweet phenols. rounded out with some apple, lightly oxidized hops, and some light toffee.

T - following suit from the nose begins somewhat sweet. good amount of raisin and mild red apples. turns a bit bready through the middle, with the addition of red grapes augmented by a hint of clove and banana from the yeast. hops have completely died out at this point, with a slightly cidery finish.

M - medium bodied, low amount yet slightly tingly carbonation. sticky from the sweetness. the 10% ABV is absolutely vanished at this point.

D - this might be slightly past its peak, but still held together quite well. scents and flavors are well meshed but get lost a bit. alcohol is completely gone, making this quite dangerous. a bit different for the style but still a well made brew.

Photo of jayavery
4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer: Allagash Four
Brewer: Allagash Brewing Company. Maine, United States
Style: Belgian Quadrupel (QUAD)
ABV: 10%

Beer Advocate: Jay Avery
Rating: A+

Allagash four was recommended to me from my buddy Scot Wood. The only other Allagash brew I've tried was the white and for a Belgian white, it's up there in my top 5. As far as this one goes, it is a really BIG BEER. The Allagash Four Belgian QUAD contains 4 malts, 4 hops, fermented 4 times with 4 types of yeasts and 4 different sugars. It's about as complex as it gets. Here's my review...

Reviewed 02/24/2011 750ml Bottle corked and caged Batch # 21. Aged 9 months poured into an Affligem Goblet. Stored in my fridge at 37 degrees, I took the bottle out and let is stand for 20 minutes. I gave it a slow pour then let it stand for another 5 mins. I'm pretty close to 50 degrees at the first sip and it only gets better and more flavorful as it warms.

This one pours a thick amber caramel bronze color with a thin, soapy cappuccino head. Lacing quickly dissipates and the head retention is mediocre at best.

Immediately I get an earthy spiced oak barrel nose with fruity esters and a hint of molasses with a bit of sour cherry supplication.

Soft but full bodied almost chewy with a tingle from the carbonation on the backend that lingers on your lips just a bit after each sip. This one is a lot creamier than I expected and thick thru and thru.

To say this beer is complex is the tip of the iceberg. No apparent hoppines for me but rich, thick and bready fruitcake with a plum body up front. I get some midrange heat from the 10% abv then it I'm hit with a sugary caramelized malty finish. This one is super Intense, I can truly appreciate the amount of work it took to bring this brew to life!

A definite beast of a beer and still it does a much better job at masking the alcohol content than a lot of 10's out there, I compare this one to a Trappistes Rochefort 10, only smoother and without the phenolic bite. Dangerously drinkable! I've finished 25cl so far and as I wrap up this review, I'm already too impaired to go grab another bottle. I guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow to get more. An awesome quad that stands up in its class to the likes of St. Bernardus 12 and the rest of the 1st class Belgian Quads! If you're into Belgian Stong Darks/Quads and the spicy complexity that comes along with 'em, this is a must try brew! I give it an A+

Photo of charlzm
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed February 19th, 2011 at Bier Academy, Santa Clarita, CA.

Beer is a deep caramel/golden/amber brown (hard to pin down, exactly) with good clarity. Very little head as served; what is there is just a fine off-white skin providing almost negligible sheeting.

Aroma has a peppery spice to it with sweet floral notes (honeysuckle?).

Flavor has a touch of melonoidin; fresh dark bread, soft powdery yeast, powdered sugar, some fruitiness (apricot?), low but still present bitterness.

Medium mouthfeel, slight carbonation tingle, slight dryness on finish.

Excellent camouflage of the ABV. Well-balanced and somewhat flavorful, but not really a shining example of a quad. Still, the beer went down quickly and easily, so points for that.

Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle at 50 degrees into a Chimay chalice. Batch #22.

A: It pours a clouded, dark red color with a finger of large-bubbled, dirty-white head that recedes quickly and forms a thin layer on top, while the lacing is decent at best.

S: Strong dark fruits, cloves, a little booze, and a hefty dose of candy sugar.

T: Sweet dark fruits, apple, banana, orange peel, candy sugar, mild yeasty spice, and a cereal-like aftertaste. The candy sugar is much more pronounced than in any beer I can think of.

M: The body is medium-thick with a mellow smoothness and a sticky finish. It does not have the strongest flavors but it makes up for it in silky texture.

D: This was good, but to justify $14.99, it ought to be amazing.

Photo of Liverpool08
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber, with a nice 1 inch white head that leaves good lacing. Aroma is malty with hints of dried fruits and Belgian yeast. Flavor continues, with some rasins, malts and nice begian funk. There is also a nice little hop bite in there that makes this a unique take on this style. I found this a very easy drinker with good complex flavors thruout. I just wish the pricetag was a little smaller.

Photo of Neffbeer
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle
batch #16 bottled on 7-15-2008 (info from the brewery)
Poured into an Allagash glass

A: Amber color with ruby highlights in the light, fantastic clarity. Decent size two finger head with a bit of lacing as the head fades.

S: It has a sweet nose, but not sugary, more of a muted caramel brown sugar thing. Belgian yeast steps in and plums and apples linger on. There is a nutty bread aspect going on melding with everything, complex and delicious.

T: Slow the bus down, this is rich and dank beyond my expectations. Two plus years on this bottle has brought out some serious sherry/port notes. The caramel/bread flavors blend together magnificently with the fruit. I taste cherries, apples and plums then some subtle spice notes. All of the flavors are working in harmony.

M: Low carbonation which really suits the style. The beer is still quite full bodied and supple.

D: This is an exquisite take on the Quad from stateside. I have another batch 16 in the cellar which I look forward to opening in another year or two.

Photo of impending
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is not a quad

750ml into a tulip. Pours an orange amber, minor dense bubble head subsided quickly, excellent lacing. The photo of this in a glass on Allagash's website does not match the brew in front of me.

Strong coriander folded into yeasty white bread seeded with other spices. Blindfolded you would never guess a quad, no dark fruits.

Taste is wholly unexpected, an explosion of flavors. The brewers intended a complex brew and they succeeded in spades. The taste evolves dramatically, almost too much perhaps. This brew may cause indigestion, all the sugars are obvious. The alcohol provides a tummy warming. Full bodied creamy mouthfeel.

four does not a quad make

Photo of magine
4.41/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice.

Pours a cloudy (with some sediment) reddish amber color. Has a fluffy off white head. The head settles to a chunky lace island and leaves a lot of creamy lace along the rim. Lace is really sticky and looks great. For a quad this one is tremendous looking.

Brew smells of dark fruits and yeasts, spicy and malty, oily resiny hops. Complex good smell.

The brew is smooth and creamy, dark fruits and spices are in the for front. The hops are for sure the difference maker here. The oily, resiny hops are in the middle and do a fantastic job of tying this brew together, and at the same time takes this quad in a direction that I haven't experienced yet in any other quad. The brew finishes dry and smooth, almost no alcohol for such a big brew. A sessionable big quad - wow thats scary. Has a fantastic mouthfeel and taste, this is a true winner.

Wow - Allagash has some world class brews. This may be the best quad I have had. It is different than any other quad I have had, and this is what makes it stand out. Tremendous stuff.

Photo of billab914
3.81/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up this one at the brewery after the tour today. Poured from a 750ml bottle into my brand new Allagash chalice. It poured a deep caramel brown color with a bubbly and frothy off white head filling the top inch and a half of the glass. Pretty nice head retention to it as I drank it.

The aroma shows a lot of citrus and spice to it. It has some pepper, nutmeg, clove and banana flavors to the spice. Lemon citrus, candi sugar and some caramel malty sweetness are present as well.

The taste shows a lot of the yeast spice to it. Up front it's more peppery with more of the banana and clove spices coming in towards the finish. I get more of a sweeter, caramel malt profile out of it towards the finish as well. Some alcohol comes through as well in the finish.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being above average. Drinkability is decent, it had a lot of flavor to it for sure. It showed a lot of spice to it, but a little of the malty sweetness came through. Pretty good beer overall.

Allagash Four from Allagash Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 948 ratings.