1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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
95
world-class

3,172 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,172
Reviews: 830
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 11.21%
Wants: 394
Gots: 731 | FT: 35
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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,172 | Reviews: 830 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thorpe429
2.93/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a lift caramel color that is somewhat opaque. Nose brings forward a god dose of light bourbon along with some caramel sweetness and bread. Sligt spicing. The taste just doesn't really work for me, with some strange bread and banana interacting with the bourbon. It sounds good, but just isn't very appetizig to me. Mouthfeel is a bit boozy and thin. This one just did not work for me.

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is cloudy golden yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense white head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of alcohol, bourbon, pepper, vanilla and yeast in the nose.
T: The bourbon flavors from the barrel aging really stand out in front of those of the tripel but are not that strong and also have notes of oak and hints of vanilla. Flavors of fruit, spices and yeast are also present from the underlying tripel.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There is warming from the alcohol in the finish.
O: The alcohol is noticeable in the both the smell and taste but this doesn’t make the beer overly difficult to drink. It is definitely a good beer to sip.

Note: Bottled August 2011

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: half finger head on a murky pale golden with subtle crimson hued body. nice lacing.

S: I really felt like this one had a very weak aroma. Mostly clove, oak, bourbon but I was disappointed here but the flavor makes up for it...

T: Top notch here. up front clove, banana, wheat, earthy hops fade to a bourbon and sweet cedar/oak finish.

M: medium body and moderate to high carbonation and nice moist finish.

Overall: I actually feel I have had better bourbon barreled triples but this is the best I have had that is widely distributed. Very drinkable, alcohol very very well hidden and complex. Only knock is the weak aroma.

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy honey color with a modest head that retains a meringue topping and leaves copious splashes of lace around the chalice

Smell: Smells like a bourbon barrel; but there is a lot going on underneath - pears, candi sugar and a hint of bubblegum

Taste: Starts with a fairly neutral, bready flavor that, mid-palate becomes a fruit/nut (pear and almonds) and coconut blend; after the swallow, the bourbon, vanilla, oak and bubblegum flavors emerge and dominate the finish

Mouthfeel: Light and somewhat effervescent; considerable warming on the finish

Overall: I tried this a few years ago (2006) and have now updated my review (the Feb 2011 bottling consumed in Apr 2011); either the beer has changed a lot for the better or my palate is different, but this is a lot more balanced than my previous experience; really like the way the bourbon and tripel flavors have merged to create a delightful synergy

Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really enjoyed this tremendous beer. Very bold and vibrant from the color to the finish. Begins with a hazy hefeweizen hue, but with a firm belgian strong pale ale aroma. Twangy Belgian yeast with good pilsner malts and candied, along with carying mild woodsy rounded aromas as well. Flavors show more soft Belgian character with Wit-like flavors and textures before the imense alcohols kick in The fruity pears, apricots, pineapples, and berries rest on a cookie dough maltiness. The oak rounds out the rough edges nicely, but the bourbon flavors never rise. They may provide a light vanilla and coconut flavor, but they are slight. The cottony feel is contrasted by thinning alcohols. The heat displays nutral qualities, not phenolic or fusal, plain and simply warm. Finishes powdery and dry with a refreshing citrus lingering. Very good brew; I highly recommend, but not for the bourbon character.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a hazy (real hazy, I just can’t see through my glass) golden color ale with a medium bubbly white head with minimum retention. Aroma of bourbon is quiet easy to detect but also some real funky yeast is present which remind of a saison or even a lambic without the sourness though. Taste is a bit too sharp in alcohol at first, which kind of ruin it for me since I don’t like the warming feeling. But you get used to it and it seems to disappear (or I might just be getting drunk) and then I can see some traces of a nice abbey tripel with a strong yeast profile, which provide a farmhouse side that I really enjoyed. Overall, probably not something I would go for on a regular basis but I still enjoyed. If I was to rate on experiment alone though, I would have rated this much higher since I appreciated the fact that Allagash tried to do something different.

Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought this having very high hopes. I really enjoy Bourbon Barrel aged brews so when I saw this one I was really excited to try it. I opened the bottle and gave it a pour, it comes out as a hazy yellowish gold color with a white head on top. Gave the brew a good noseful and got mostly a sour aroma to it. Perhaps it's from the Oak barrels, thats fine I was expecting a sweet vanilla aroma from the Bourbon or something but it smelled more like a sour tripel than anything else. The taste was basically the same way, Mostly had a tart flavor to it and virtually no Bourbon flavors that I could pick up at all. The mouthfeel was decent, it had a good feel to it and it was still drinkable. Overall I was just a little bummed about this brew to say the least. I was hoping it would have been a bit different than it was. I haveanother bottle that I'm hanging on to, one day I'll have it again.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at American Craft

A: The beer pours a slightly hazed golden straw color with a finger of white head.

S: Some bourbon and oak does come through, but it's more vanilla and tripel. Lots of spice notes to it with a nice banana and pear flavor. Plenty of sweet malt, mostly bread, and a bit of candi sugar.

T: As with the aroma, not the most intense bourbon flavor. Again, a decent vanilla note, though. I do get some sweet fruits (mostly banana) and a bit of spice character (mostly clove). Again, a fairly strong dose of sweet malt.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O: Would have preferred a bit more bourbon flavors, but still very nice.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the original and best version of this style, and when I revisit it, I am always reminded why its so popular, highly acclaimed, and darn tasty. it pours a opaque bright golden color with as much head as you care to stir up. bone white and permanent. it smells really strongly of vanilla, intense bourbon whiskey notes, wheat malt, Belgian yeast, fresh oak, and warming alcohol. there are subtle floral notes from the yeast in the taste, elegant and lively, while the sweetness of the vanilla brings out the best of the cereal malts. bourbon is obvious, its familiar too, and the barrel just brings it all together. I don't taste booze at all, which shocks me at 11% abv. it drinks just way too easy. carbonated very effervescently, this beer simply dances on the palate. usually tripels are sweeter than I like, but this one comes out just right on the sugar scale. complex doesn't begin to describe curieux, which has to be up there with allagashs best work. this is one of those beers that every serious beer drinker needs to try in their lifetime.

Photo of largadeer
3.06/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Feb 2007 bottle.

Appearance: A rich golden color, very pronounced head and lacing.

Smell: Strong boozy bourbon with lemon, orange peel and just a touch of vanilla. The alcohol overwhelms the delicate base beer, and at the same time doesn't lend much depth itself, just a lot of heat.

Taste: Dry, boozy, slightly tart. The citrusy flavors typical of tripels and the malty vanilla character of the bourbon are equally pronounced here. The alcohol is quite noticable. I would imagine this will mellow with age, but I don't really mind it young; it's just very hot.

Mouthfeel: Extremely crisp and highly carbonated. Despite the complex flavor and heavy booze it maintains a pretty light texture. The rich flavor and alcohol really coat the tongue.

Drinkability: Definitely a sipper - it would take a while to finish an entire bottle alone.

Notes: An interesting experiment, but I think I prefer the Tripel Reserve on its own - the bourbon really overpowers the delicacy of the tripel. I think this would work better with a bolder beer as a base.

Photo of oberon
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Sticks ans Stones tonight.Poured into a goblit a lightly hazed lighter golden with a nicely formed white head.Aromas are big in the bourbon barrel department with mild phenols and spiced pears,a nice mix of things going on.Sweet bourbon vanilla flavors along with more sweet alcohol,spiced phenols are there but kept in check pretty well,some boozy fruit in the finish.A nice barrel aged tripel not over the top bourbon wise but it packs a kick.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap @ Taco Mac in Crabapple (Crabble Mac).

Appearance: Pours a clear blonde body with a small, white head.

Smell: Restrained aroma of bourbon mixed with white wine and candy.

Taste: Bourbon-influenced, semi-sweet pale malt flavor and notes of vanilla, wood. Dash of pinot grigio. Lemon sorbet fruitiness and light spice in back of the bourbon. Hint of honeysuckle. There's plenty of candi sweetness on this ride, but it still manages to finish somewhat dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied bolstered by a creamy mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's pretty good. Go on, give it a try. What harm could it do?

Photo of emerge077
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nov. '06 bottle

Soft peachy color, bisected in two, yellow edge at the meniscus of the glass, fading into a rich orange tone, glowing in the light. Constant head of foam, irregular lacing that fulfills the visual aesthetic requirement.

Lightly sweet aroma that's full of fruit without any cloying element.

Every sip is something to savor and enjoy. The bourbon is obviously a unique element in the mix. Tropical fruit sweetness and a subtle malt breadiness work their way in too. Overall it's a really smooth and integrated combination.

Full bodied with mild carbonation, this is a sipper for sure at 11%. Good for the cellar, can't say more than 2 years would be necessary, this is drinking well now.

After having a 5 year old Dulle Teve last weekend, I can honestly say this domestic Tripel is the best i've ever tasted.

Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a somewhat cloudy, golden-yellow color with a small, fizzy, white head. It left minimal traces of lace.

S - It smelled of yeast, grains, citrus and floral notes.

T - It tasted quite spicy and zesty. The bourbon flavors really came through with a sweet kick.

M - It was sharp, crisp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This was a great Tripel. It was the first that I have had that was bourbon barrel aged and I liked the kick.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a GameWorks shaker pint glass.

Thanks to papollo for this bottle!

Thanks to Paul, I can give this brew a second chance (I honestly was not impressed the first time). It pours a hazy golden straw topped by a thick white froth. The nose sourly funky wheat, something akin to rye spice, black pepper, buttery biscuits, toffee, light oak, and vanilla. The taste follows this same path (I mean, it's already been bushwhacked and whatnot), with the added company of coriander and a light whiskey. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta dry finish. Overall, this time 'round things went much better. This is indeed a strange brew, one that doesn't really fit nicely into any traditional descriptions but is still pretty dern tasty.

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Interesting beer. At first I wasn't sure if I loved it or I hated it, but it quickly won me over. The cork popped with a decent crack, and it poured a mainly clear golden-orange body (cellaring has sedimented it nicely) beneath a frothy, and then creamy, head of white. The retention was good and it left some very nice sheets of lace about the goblet.

The nose is unlike any other beer I've ever encountered, with notes of tropical, citrus, and summer fruits (tangerine, papaya, pineapple, peach, melon) amidst sweetish vanilla notes from the wood. It's bready, doughy, and sweet with a suggestion of bourbon, and some balance from the oak. Alcohol is present, but welcome... far from "hot".

In the mouth it's surprisingly creamy with a medium-light body and "airy" effervescent carbonation from bottle-conditioning.

The flavor is not unlike the nose, except that perhaps the fruitiness is softened a bit as it's immersed in sweetish, vanilla-accented, golden malt. The alcohol remains, but the bitterness is limited and it actually helps to balance and dry the beer, as does the oak in the finish. As you progress, the alcohol steps in and changes it slightly, covering over - or blinding your tastebuds to - the sweet malt, leaving it more spicy, fruity/subtly tangish, and dry with wood. It also helps to let the mild herbal hops that are there come through; and gives it a greater complexity - of course, you can't taste much after you're through, but it's a nice ride!

This beer has aged nicely. It's become much more rounded and focused than I initially remember it, where the fruitiness seemed to want to express a sharper, more juicy/tart side and the vanilla/candyish malt fluffed over it. Perhaps it's dried out a little bit and now the two sides have come a little bit closer together. I wish I had another bottle to try a year from now... Impressive!

Photo of nickfl
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - One finger of pure, white head on a hazy golden body. Leaves nice lace as the head settles.

S - Strong boozy, vanilla scent (actually smells more like rum than bourbon to me). Sour cherries, sweet alcohol, herbal hops, and an inoffensive hint of sulphur.

T - Sweet malt, very sugary and lots of vanilla and bourbon character (really tastes like bourbon instead of rum this time). Sticky almost cloying sweetness up top with a strong, woody oak note. There is some definite bitterness and hop flavor, but not quite enought to balance the sweetness. The finish is mellow and smooth with notes of oak and vanilla and a good bit of warming alcohol.

M - Moderate carbonation and heavy body but a surprisingly dry finish despite the initially heavy sweetness.

D - Wow, quite a big, interesting beer. It is extremely heavy but the finish leaves me practically itching for more. The bourbon notes are really great and have me wondering why I stopped drinking hard liquor (though at 11% if I finish the bottle in one sitting I might remember the reason).

I am initially inclined to think that this would be a great beer with a cigar, but I wonder if it might be too sweet to make a good match. Perhaps it would go well with something light and spicy, but there is only one way to find out.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-cask 7/3/08 at Doherty's East Ave. Irish Pub, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a dark gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, fruit, light malts, alcohol and some hops.

T: The taste malty and creamy which I wasn't expecting, with flavors of Belgian yeast, apples and caramel. There's a mild hops presence that provides some balance and there's a slightly alcohol sting. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, light carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, the casking seems to add the creaminess to it, whether or not that helps this particular beer is a matter of personal preference. Overall, it's a very good beer that is worth drinking for a while.

Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) from Allagash Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 3,172 ratings.