Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel)Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

833 Reviews
THE BROS
99
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 833
Hads: 3,382
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10.24%
Wants: 439
Gots: 855 | FT: 37
Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
Tripel |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 04-05-2004

Allagash Curieux was the first foray into barrel aging. Curieux is made by aging our Tripel Ale in Jim Beam bourbon barrels for eight weeks in our cold cellars. The aged beer is then blended back with a portion of fresh Tripel. The resulting beer is soft with coconut and vanilla notes, with hints of bourbon.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) Alström Bros
Reviews: 833 | Hads: 3,382
Photo of liquoredgoat
4.88/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a rich metallic gold with a snow white one finger head that has foamy latte retention. Great lacing. The beer is replete with quickly ascending bubbles.

S: Ripe pears, candy, spiced peaches, alcohol, wet grass

T: Great Tripel character. Dried fruit. More peaches. Slight woodiness. Alcohol hides in the background, being much less present than the ABV would suggest. A dry finish that suggests an enjoyable pairing with a sharp Irish cheddar or a similar cheese.

M: Silky and light, but with gravity. Expands and fills the mouth. A creamy rather than an overly carbonated character. Carbonation is very light.

O: This is a great Tripel that is given an enhanced and slightly different flavor profile thanks to the barrel aging. The balanced mouthfeel and taste is extraordinary, avoiding the extremes of being either too heavy and boozy or too fizzy and dry. It rests in the middle with the mouthfeel gravity and character of a fat balloon and classic Tripel taste with added unique dimensions. Among those of the style I have yet tried, this is second only to Chimay Blue, or maybe even better. (1,108 characters)

Photo of streetcommander
4.88/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served at 58F

This is perhaps the best beer I've ever had. Many times the product can't match hype and propaganda, but this is the impressive exception we all painstakingly drink so many beers searching for.

I'm not generally a fan of high gravity beers or the state of Maine, but I give a sincere hat tip to the folks at this brewery, they are true artisans.

Cold crisp and refreshing. No booze taste, no sweet syrups, no chemical adjuncts, just simple perfection, just as Almighty God intended it.

My only consternation is the price. A craftsman is due his craft's market value, that I will never deny him, but damnit, this stuff should flow from fast food fountain drink dispensers with free refills...in my Utopia. The price of admission is steep, at $15 per 22oz. At $50 per 22oz, it would still be worthy. (816 characters)

Photo of Dankuel
4.88/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured beer into a brandy snifter glass. Beer has the appearance of a typical tripel: a cloudy brown/orange color with a thin frothy head and moderate lacing on the side of the glass. At cold temperatures the estery/fruity and phenolic aromas really stand out. There is also some very light oak in the background. As the beer warms the oak comes out a bit more. The spice of the bourbon really hits the nose but compliments the esters and phenols quite well. It definitely tastes like a tripel but is extremely well balanced and complimented with the bourbon oak. The aftertaste is something to be applauded; a nice pungent burn that leaves me feeling as if I took a shot. Amazing mouthfeel, my palate begins to go dry after a few swigs of this, I love it.

Great beer, can't wait to pick up another bottle and age it. (819 characters)

Photo of silentjay
4.88/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

an old favorite I have yet to review. The first beer I actually felt deserved to be priced close to $20. This one has 6 months age on it.

pours hazy and golden, with a huge, fluffy pure white head that sticks around a while and leaves tons of lacing, consistent with the best tripels I've seen.

smells a bit spicy and fruity with a good amount of booze and some bourbon/oaky smoothness that adds maybe some vanilla and nougat.

flavor is one of the most complex I have ever had, and changes drastically as the beer warms (getting better with each sip). starts off spicy and estery with plenty of booze. The tripel flavors still dominate with some vanilla extract added in on the finish. after warming a bit, the oakiness and bourbon come into play with a tamed down alcohol harshness, but increased sweetness and caramel/toffee flavors, while still keeping a bit of the spicy yeasty tripel character.

has the mouthfeel of an authentic Belgian Tripel. velvety smooth, but with soft-bubbled carbonation and a nice warmth that lingers well after the swallow.

my favorite Allagash brew, my favorite Tripel, and one of my favorite barrel-aged beers. they hit a grand slam with this one. (1,186 characters)

Photo of hopmonkey
4.87/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hot and hoppy, but also with mellow and sweet vanilla notes. The bourbon flavor profile is hinted at, but the bountiful hops never let you forget this is a tripel, not Jim Beam. Great, lively mouthfeel. Exceptionally clean and cohesive finish for such layered flavors. Really just an outstanding beer. (301 characters)

Photo of mrquartetman
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Golden amber, cloudy, big head

S: Citrus, spice, big malt, like a spicy cake, lots of aromatics, a clear bourbon backgrouind aroma.

T: Starts out gingery, then citrus kicks in, but is quickly overwhelmed by a huge malty surge, banana and the cake that the aroma promised. The bourbon flavor is quite present, but other great spicy flavors contend with it.

M: Dense, quite sweet, though not at all cloying; very complex, very big.

D: The temptation would be to just keep drinking this one, it is so good, but its alcohol level might be a bit of a caution.

This is truly "curious." Allagash says of it, "To make the Curieux (French for "curious"), we age our Tripel Ale in Jim Beam barrels for 8 weeks in our cellar."

This is one helluva beer. (750 characters)

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got this in a trade from Pipmeister. Thanks buddy.

Poured into a goblit. Has almost no head and dissapeared fast. Has a beautiful apricot color to it.

Smells nice and malty with a little burbon to it. Little yeasty goodness as well.

Taste is wonderful. Have yet to be dissapointed by any of this companies beers. This is one of my favorite tripels. Tastes as it smells.

Mouthfeel is good with a good carbonation.

Drinkability is high and can't wait to have it again. (471 characters)

Photo of Minotaur
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A hazy, foamy golden triple; the head remains for most of the glass staying about half a finger above the grainy looking liquer.

The aroma is alcoholic with a superior malty depth and just a few bright fruit and bitter notes from the yeast and hops. There is an exceptional liquer essence hanging above every sip.

The taste that comes through most strongly is a smooth malty wine-like draught which could be overly sweet if not for the very heady spice, tangerine, and grape-fruit like notes. This is intentionally a Belgian style as identified with the underlay of breadiness. However there is a sharpness that fades into a pleasant sourness. A bit of funk liners on the back of the tongue but remains integrated and pleasant.

The mouthfeel is like a fine, slightly chalky smooth confection. Creamy and rich. It is highly drinkable even though packed with alcohol. The alcoholic sharpness remains subdued and the warmth adds to the pleasantry.

Allagash at their best; one of the best American brewed Belgian style ales out there. (1,034 characters)

Photo of ButtonBeer
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is silky smooth with a complex nose and medium bodied flavor that hangs on long after each swallow. One can definitely detect the bourbon as well as a hint of honey. By my standards, this was pricy but worth it. Forced to write more in order to post. So, there is also a hint of an English ale - like Old Speckled Hen, but only a hint. (340 characters)

Photo of BlindPig
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Thin white head on a lightly cloudy orange body with some yellow hues.
S- Big wood and banana aroma right off the bat, hints of vanilla, breads, cloves, and other light spices. Hints of caramel malt body. Alcohol aroma is really hidden here especially for 11%. There are very faint hints of bourbon here and there. Just a very nice blend of aromas and nothing is over whelming.
T- Bourbon comes through a bit stronger in the taste than the aroma. Everything is very well balanced and once again (like the aroma) nothing is over powering. The bourbon makes itself known but not to much. The wood comes through the beer nicely too. I get bourbon, wood, vanilla, bananas, light esters, cloves, hints of other spices, other light fruits, some light grassy hops, and a few other flavors I just can't pick out from this complex brew. Everything just fits into itself perfectly. The alcohol also doesn't give much of a warming here at all (just a very faint one), however, the bourbon flavor just lingers on the tongue for quite some time.
M- Medium body with low carbonation.
D- This is a almost perfect beer. It feels like everything comes out when it is supposed to and stays around for just enough time. Has amazing complexity and nothing over powers the other. Just a great beer for some very special occasions. (1,316 characters)

Photo of For_those_near_death
4.84/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A = anticipation
S= great, but lets not dwell on it
T=life's short, cut to the chase
M=swallowed every time
O=will buy more

ok, the counter says that I must say more- ok, got it. If you are aware of being past 'half way' there, this beer might be for you. Time, sometimes, and beer, is all we have. (299 characters)

Photo of Arithmeticus
4.84/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured at basement temp in snifter (good call for the aroma)

A: cloudy yellow; thin head, good carbonation
S: powerful bourbon smell with streaks of leather; very, very pleasant
T: this is pretty much a bourbon with a trippel; not very hoppy; a woody flavor is prominent; highly spiced
M: buzzy

This is a beer you can chew on; it's expensive, so save it for friends; you will not be disappointed, they will be deeply impressed (428 characters)

Photo of IntriqKen
4.82/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is amazing.
May 2007 batch.
A cloudy golden orange fills the glass and is topped with a half finger of densely packed white bubbles that melt to a sticky ring.

Aroma is definitely Belgium Triple with bready, biscuit yeast and soft tropical fruits but it gets quickly buried by the vanilla oak, bourbon and strong alcohol. Don't get me wrong...the aroma is delicious.

Taste is solidly Belguim again....lots of soft tropical fruit, candied sugars and a biscuit bready yeast with lots of strong alcohol warmth and flavors in the end but it is all melded and mellowed by the oak tones that the aging has given it. And then of course is that delicious bourbon undertone to it all.

I love barrel aged beers.
I love the oak aromas.
I love bourbon.
I love an honest Triple.
I love this brew.
Period. (799 characters)

Photo of jsapunor
4.82/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a 2008 bottling. Lots of beautiful white head on a typical tripel colored base. As I drink it, the lacing holds fast to the sides of the glass. A very pretty beer.

The aroma tells you right away that it was aged in bourbon barrels. I've had an '09 bottling and the nose on the 08 is much more civilized; the bourbon is not as overwhealming as in the more recent vintage. There is a definite woodiness lurking in the background.

The '08 bourbon flavor is nicely moderated and blends wonderfully with the oak and tripel in beautiful balance. The alcohol is well hidden. This is a beautiful beer, so good I don't want to finish it. The carbonation delivers all the wonderful flavors in perfect harmony.

Allagash makes great beers and this is one of their best! (768 characters)

Photo of maximum12
4.82/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Dr. Dogbeer who sent this in my very first trade. The label has this one bottled in November 2007. So young.

Pours a cloudy orange with a definite head. Swirling the glass even a little makes it reappear almost instantly. Cool. Smells fantastic!

Tastes even better. The oak gives the bourbon a nice backing & the whole package is subtle & smooth. We're consuming our first bottle with fresh-caught fish & it makes a good meal leap into the magnificent range. The alchohol is definitely present but caught up in the rest of the ingredients & warms my tummy like a warm bottle of milk sucked through the nipple of a baby's bottle. Mmmm.

This is exactly what I was hoping for from an Allagash beer & hadn't quite found it in the few I'd tried. Approachable, subtle, complex, drinkable, tasty, with a smell that starts in my nose hairs & ends someplace in my spinal column. I've vowed to lay off trading for a bit but my wife wants another. OK!

This is a fantastic beer. (981 characters)

Photo of reebtaerG
4.82/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip glass
A-light straw color with white head good lacing
S-smell of tropical fruits and a wood oak and vanilla
T-taste spices at first with a sweet candy and the bourbon oak finish
M-medium body with good carbonation that finishes crisp
O-this is great version of a Belguim triple (297 characters)

Photo of ordybill
4.81/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the tap into a pint glass.
Aroma-Hops and yeast
Appearance- A nice gold color with a small white head
Taste- Hops and a bourbon back end, very nice
Palate- A medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation
Overall- An outstanding beer, very well made (259 characters)

Photo of fishyakLA
4.81/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Simply, put I love this beer. (I also like tripels AND bourbon so this is no surprise.) The barrel aging gives just enough bourbon flavor to be a hint, not a hammer. I had this at Yard House, but I've had it on a number of occasions including bottled at home. IMO, this beer pairs well with pork, like grilled pork chops or BBQ. As beers go, its expensive, so I put it in the treat versus daily category. (409 characters)

Photo of stmartinpale
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This maybe my favorite beer. I love triples and I haven't found one that beats this. I understand that Fin de Monde is good and fairly inexpensive but it does not have the complexity of Curieux nor the flavor. Each time I try it, I find something new. Bananas,nutmeg, spice, certainly bourbon, booze and it all blends perfectly. I love Val Dieu and St Bernardus, even Fin de Monde but Curieux is the cat's ass. It don't get no better. (434 characters)

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Eternal gratitude to Bobby Z for coming through with this deliciousness.

Bottled July 2005.

A - It pours nearly still, with a slightly hazy orange-tan hue. It seems the color and character of old wood.

S - Smells of barrel, bready, lemony, grassy-leafy, pickled vanilla, oak. Words do not suffice in ascribing the gifts that age has bestowed upon this beer.

T - Huge flavor in this one; notes of oak, vanilla, bourbon, anise and pickling spice. The Tripel which once was has been decimated by age, replaced with a delicious EBW-like testament to the virtues of barrel-aging.

M - Very very rarely can a brew escape the flatness w/o being the 'bammer'; this one does, easily. Silky, velvety, decadently luxurious.

D - The quality here is outrageous. Of course, it took a half-decade of aging to get there, but it was worth it. (831 characters)

Photo of ExplosivoSR
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes.

A - Clear golden pale yellow with finger tall head and awesome lacing all the way down.

S - Vanilla, banana, a bit of white wine, just a touch of funk. Bourbon shines through nicely. Very fruity.

T - Vanilla and bourbon up front, and a bit of yeasty spiciness, which leads back into the boozy burn of bourbon. Delicious!

M - Coats the mouth quite nicely with a warming sensation. Medium carbonation.

O - I liked this before, but dear lord this is amazing. I'm in love. (494 characters)

Photo of apintofknowledge
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! I'd be tempted to give this one 5 across the board, though there's so many beers out there left for me to try that I need to allow some room in case something better comes along...

With that said, I shared this amazing bottle with a few friends last night. All agreed the aroma was just great... honey, vanilla, caramel... all very sweet smells. The taste... it's complex, but very enjoyable. Those initial sweet smells of honey, vanilla and caramel are the first noticable flavors, followed by the noticable but not overpowering influence of the Jim Beam that lingered through the finish. Some citrus came though as well, but more sweet juice orange than sour lemon. I think I can even taste the oak from the barrel in there.

Warm flavors abound, and while there's some spice, no strong bitterness comes through. Even the alcohol taste was quite mild compared with other tripels. All said, a very drinkable and enjoyable one-of-a-kind brew... surprisingly smooth to drink, but nothing simple about the taste. One of the few beers in this price range that is truly worth every penny and then some.

Be sure to read the Alstrom Brothers' article on this one to learn more... (1,186 characters)

Photo of jtd1969
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - mirky golden with a hint of orange. lacing and good carbonation

S - sweet fruit with bourbon. some yeast

T - bourbon, slight banana , some pepper, (not hot), subtle sweetness

M - smooth and mellow, good bourbon mouth burn, yet mild. ABV is noticeable in my opinion.

O - Really really good. A delight to drink anytime, but especially after a long day at work. (366 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
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. (2,866 characters)

Photo of SteveGNC
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another outstanding beer from Allagash. I think I have enjoyed everything I have tried from them. This one pours very frothy, nice pale orange/yellow color. Great head which dissipates slowly. Wonderful aroma - vanilla, bourbon - but not too much. The taste is fantastic. Some bourbon barrel aged brews are too heavy on the bourbon taste for me - this one gets it perfectly. This may be the first Tripel style that I have tasted that was bourbon aged. Wonderful combination in my opinion. A fantastic sipper - a little pricey, but worth it. I'm going to have to go back and buy a few more. I'm guessing this will be even better with time. This one was bottled in May 11. (670 characters)

Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) from Allagash Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 833 ratings.