Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) - Allagash Brewing Company
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Ratings: 2,222 | Reviews: 755 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by jondeelee:
4.44/5 rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Curieux opens to a banana and clove-laced Belgian nose that also bears intense apple aromas, with tart Granny Smith and sugary Golden Delicious notes spilling forth. These apple aromas fade after a few seconds, replaced by an ashy note, like faint cigarette smoke mixed with char and bourbon remnants, much like the interior of a gentleman’s club. The banana and clove notes still remain, spiced up with vanilla and peppercorn, with small touches of caramel and brown sugar for sweetness, and all that atop light sweet biscuits, berries, and blood orange slices. The ashy, faintly bourbon notes are what separate this from other Tripels, especially in the intensity of the cigarette smoke notes. As a whole, the aroma is very nice, being subtle and understated, but simultaneously potent and nuanced, and setting a high bar for other beers to follow.
On the tongue, the beer opens with a banana and clove note that is joined instantly by sour lemons and pink grapefruits, as well as maraschino cherries, berries, blood oranges, and bits of pineapple, the fruit esters being unbelievably complex and varied, as well as potent, bordering on fruit cocktail extract. Threads of vanilla, caramel, and brown sugar add further levels of sweetness. The bourbon barrel aging does bring in further vanilla, but also adds light wood, and a heavy dose of smoky, spicy bourbon, coming across here like world-class spiced rum, blending excellently with the complex fruits. Biscuit, baguette, and a smidgen of rising whole wheat dough add earthiness. The aftertaste is a continuation of the main mouthful, though here the complex fruits are joined by one of the beer’s only weak points, being a bourbon-vodka alcohol vapor that permeates everything and somewhat spoils the taste, though it does die off somewhat after a time, leaving only a smoky, spicy bourbon note with some remaining fruits lingering on the tongue. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.
Overall, this is excellent beer, and a fine example of the subtleties that can come from barrel aging, as opposed to the bourbon slams that often result. The beer as a whole is very well balanced between fruits and smoky, spicy alcohols, and is definitely in a class of its own, as opposed to the dozens of Tripels that seem like clones of each other in comparison. Well worth trying.
Serving type: bottle
07-26-2013 23:36:51 | More by jondeelee
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Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) from Allagash Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 2,222 ratings.