Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) - Allagash Brewing Company
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Ratings: 2,224 | Reviews: 755 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by BuckeyeNation:
4.83/5 rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
October 2005 bottling. Sun-splashed lemon with a wealth of fine carbonation enlisted in the creation of a regal white head. The texture of the foam isn't quite as spectacular as on most authentically Belgian ales, but it's still mighty attractive. Thick sheets of lace look like they'll stick until the cows come home. Like most Allagash beer, this one is a looker.
The nose is very nice, it's just that I was expecting some indication that the beer was actually aged in Jim Beam barrels. It smells like an excellent, impressively fruity tripel that... wait just a minute... a few more sniffs deliver a little woodiness... that still isn't very whiskey-like. Here's hoping the flavor profile is as advertised. [note: warming opens up the nose so much that it approaches the quality of the flavor at roughly the midway mark of the bottle.]
Curieux is outstanding beer! For some strange reason, my nose didn't identify what my palate is having no trouble identifying and greeting like an old friend. Allagash says there's a 'hint of bourbon'. I respectfully disagree. There's as much bourbon whiskey present as there is tripel. It's no surprise that these guys have found the perfect balance between the base beer (Tripel Reserve) and the flavor imparted by the wood.
Their decision to age the beer in bourbon barrels has done several things. It has effectively eliminated the ethereal complexity of Tripel Reserve and has replaced it with the power and deliciousness of Kentucky's finest. As a bourbon fanatic, I love the outcome. It's as if the brewers created an entirely new world-class beer from one that was world-class to begin with.
The flavor profile consists of ripe, buttery pears; caramelized sugar; charred oak and a huge splash of vanilla. Allagash has definitely done their homework (as always) because they've managed to imbue the beer with the very essence of the barrels' former occupant. As far as I'm concerned, the decision to age the beer eight weeks was perfect.
I love those light and airy Belgian tripels and I also love this one. It's heavily silky, lightly sticky and aggressively carbonated. When the bubbles wear off on the swallow, the flavor lingers with a determination that reminds me of my favorite bourbons. Not only that, but the huge ABV is warming me nicely and is beginning to blur my senses. Time to slow down so that I can finish this review with some sort of coherence.
Curieux had three huge things going for it right off the bat. It's brewed by Allagash, it uses Tripel Reserve (one of my favorite tripels) as its base beer, and it's aged in bourbon barrels (my favorite liquor). Therefore, I'm not the least bit surprised that I've been gobsmacked yet again. If you like beautifully crafted, amazingly delicious, Belgian-style ales with an American flair, it doesn't get any better than Allagash Curieux.
Serving type: bottle
02-27-2007 23:33:29 | More by BuckeyeNation
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Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) from Allagash Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 2,224 ratings.