Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) - Allagash Brewing Company
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Ratings: 2,705 | Reviews: 777 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by LambicPentameter:
4.11/5 rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Thanks to BA SammyJaxxx for sending this one along in a trade. He's never let me down before, and I seriously doubt this will be the first time that occurs. Enjoyed out of a brown 750 mL cork & cage bottle with a label that lists a bottling date of 4/19/2013 and notes the fact that this is one of 750 cases bottled. Poured into a Boulevard Smokestack Series chalice.
Appearance - An aggressive pour yields a translucent golden body with amber highlights. A steady stream of carbonation bubbles rising up throughout the glass replenishes the bone-white head on top. At initial pour, the head is about a finger thick, but dissipates to a thick permafilm across the top that never completely goes away due to the aforementioned carbonation bubbles. Lacing is pronounced only insofar as the foam leaves a small sheet of lacing just above the top of the body, but that fades as I drink it down, with no stick to speak of.
Smell - I honestly expected more whiskey characteristics, which come through in faint notes of vanilla and coconut, with slightly stronger profiles of toasted oak and bourbon. Mostly, however, this gives the impression of a nice tripel, with generic fruity phenols of plantain, nectarine and pear. There is a touch of spiciness, which reminds me of ginger in some ways. As the bottle continues to warm, the woodiness of the barrel becomes more pronounced but never rises to the level of heat that I would expect--the base beer certainly holds it's own against the assault of the whiskey.
Taste - Here, the bourbon is more noticeable, even at fridge temperature, but like the smell, the whiskey elements become more pronounced with warmth. The fruit isn't as obvious at this point, instead making way for the yeasty spice (like clove) that is so common in the Belgian style that serves as the starting point for this barrel-aged beer. King's Hawaiian and fresh-baking bread come through, but as it warms, there are wonderfully subtle notes of brown sugar, coconut and again, vanilla. Unlike in the smell, the taste has a component that brings straight Kentucky bourbon to mind.
Mouthfeel - Light bodied and fairly thin of mouthfeel, which is to be expected of a barrel-aged beer, especially one that doesn't start out with the body that a hefty stout might. Carbonation is moderate and makes for a slightly creamy, effervescent feel. Finish is slightly sweet.
Overall, a style that I've not tried from barrels before, and while it was interesting, I must admit to being a little bit let down by my high expectations. Not the beer's fault by any means, and in fairness, my expectations didn't come from anywhere other than excitement at the uniqueness of this take on the style. Would be curious to try it again with less age, or another barrel-aged tripel, just to see how they compare.
Serving type: bottle
02-18-2014 07:10:59 | More by LambicPentameter
More User Reviews:
4.39/5 rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Tasted On: 07-23-2014
Freshness: Bottled 02-07-2014
Packaging: 750ml brown bottle, corked and caged
Purchased: Received in a trade
I don't concern myself too much with review numbers, but saw I was coming up on #700 and thought this would be a good milestone review...
Appearance is a clear, brilliant golden color, with a large white head that shows excellent lacing and retention.
Aromas have lemongrass, spices, musty Belgian yeast, and some Hefeweizen like qualities of cloves and banana fruitiness. Very pleasing to smell.
The taste has a sharp and tart quality up front. Woodiness and also whiskey alcohol notes then come into play. Overall it is dry, but has some sweetness of fruits to balance. Low bitterness and hop presence.
Mouthfeel has a high carbonation and finishes somewhat dry, with notes of citrus (lemon and oranges) plus some added sweetness and warmth from the bourbon barrels.
Overall a first-class beer that I'm glad to have tried.
Thanks to Treyliff for this one!
Serving type: bottle
07-24-2014 04:32:57 | More by sommersb
Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) from Allagash Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 2,705 ratings.