Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) - Allagash Brewing Company
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Ratings: 2,796 | Reviews: 781 | Display Reviews Only:
4.28/5 rDev +0.2%
750 ml bottle, poured into a few tulip glasses. Bourbon barrel aged Tripel, well if that doesn't sound absolutely intoxicating and delicious to any bourbon and beer lover, I don't know what does.
A: Slightly hazy yellow / golden body with a fluffy, creamy white head. The retention is very impressive as well as the nice lacing left clinging to the glass.
S: Subtle but potent bourbon and wood notes lead off the aromas, followed by a spicy yeast note. It's very traditional in nature and adds the need depth to present it's Tripel-like qualities. Vanilla and a bit of grain round out the profile on the nose -- very mellow and blended.
T: A very wood-centric bourbon note opens up first and doesn't really provide much depth for the flavor profile. It, at first, seems very one dimensional. Subsequent sips reveal the wonderful Belgian-style Tripel profile underneath. Elements of yeasty spice, clove and a bit of pale malt comes through blending well with the inherent bourbon notes.
M: Prickly, bubbly and medium-bodied. Really great for the style and has a pleasant subtle warming alcohol coating on the palate in the finish.
I've nearly passed this beer up almost every time I see it, mainly because of the higher price tag for the bottle ($15 around here), but it is in fact worth every dollar. It's a very unique and interesting spin on a Tripel that is executed extremely well.
06-28-2011 18:38:58 | More by ShanePB
4.43/5 rDev +3.7%
This poured a hazy straw color with creamy thin head that fades fast but leaves nice lacing.
The aroma was awesome! Sweet bourbon is dominant with soft vanilla oak rounding off the rough edges. This melts into some sharp funk from fruity esters of banana, pear, and tart green apple. A sugary honey with nutty tones is highlighted with subtle hints of spice, black pepper, cloves, and a touch of nutmeg. A faint floral quality lingers in the background. Quite complex and pleasant.
The flavor follows the nose with dominating sweet bourbon that lingers a pleasant boozy burn to the tounge. Again soft vanilla and woody oak round off the rough edges. Fruity tartness of fresh green apples, pear and funky yeasty qualities of banana and clove. Some black pepper notes, sugar and nutmeg are subtle background to a white wine and honey backbone. Some funky and sharp fruity notes with sweet edges and a nice boozy complexity.
The boozy burn of bourbon and alcohol esters are a pleasant burn with some spices that fades fast, but the sweet bourbon taste lingers. Its a silky, medium bodied, slightly grainy feel. Very nice.
Overall, a definite complex, dessert like beer. Not cloying, not overly boozy, but one to share and savor.
06-27-2011 12:54:42 | More by JayS2629
3.9/5 rDev -8.7%
A- clear yellow with a little bit of head
S-very strong bourbon, and little bit of yeast
T- the bourbon is very unbalanced with the beer. You can really taste it and that is not good. Would be very good if it was more mellow
M-medium body and smooth finish
O-good beer. Wish it was more balanced
06-26-2011 20:18:49 | More by brew3crew
4.22/5 rDev -1.2%
Poured from a 22oz bottle into a schooner. No obvious best before date (but this was the new release).
A - Slightly cloudy yellow with a lot of obvious carbonation in the glass. Super fluffy head that lingered for quite a while and left behind some streaky lacing.
S - Sweet and sour fruit with a hint of yeast on the nose.
T - Extremely smooth with just a hint of bitterness resolving into a combination of woody oak/vanilla and sour ripe fruit. Moderate alcohol warming.
M - Fairly light with only light carbonation.
D - Surprisingly drinkable considering how much alcohol is present. A bit of a sipper, but goes down very smooth.
Overall an excellent and unique beer; great combination of the wood and sour ripe fruit leads to a very different experience.
06-26-2011 01:07:41 | More by DoktorZee
5/5 rDev +17.1%
Poured out of 750ml bottle into Duvel tulip. April 2011 Batch.
Appearance: Gorgeous hazy golden color with beautiful fluffy white head. Nice visible carbonation and lacing.
Smell: Heavenly - both the bourbon and the yeast aromas are readily apparent and blend together perfectly in the nose.
Taste: This is one delicious and complex beer. The fruity yeast esters and the bourbon slug it out on the taste buds on the front end and then resolve into a beautiful lingering bourbon finish. Smooth tasting with the 11% ABV astonishingly hidden/buried. I had some trepidation about how the seemingly contradictory aspects of a Belgian Tripel and bourbon would work together, but Allagash nailed it with this one.
Mouthfeel: Excellent carbonation gives this beer a luxuriant and silky mouthfeel. Not heavy, but incredibly smooth.
Drinkability: This beer is dangerously drinkable for 11% ABV. This is a beer that should be sipped and savored - but it is so delectable that the bottle can vanish very quickly.
Overall - This is one of very best Tripels I have ever had (along with La Fin Du Monde and Tripel Karmeliet) and has easily found a place as one of my personal favorite beers of all time - perfection in a bottle. It is a bit pricey - but worth every penny as an occasional treat...
06-21-2011 18:21:49 | More by Jazzfan333
3.95/5 rDev -7.5%
750ml poured into cervoise. December 2010 on the bottle
A - Pours a light, hazy orange with 1.5 fingers bubbly white head. I expected it to be a touch darker but still good looking.
S - Lots of vanilla and caramel. A good funkiness mixed in with the yeast. Some cloves, nutmeg and nuts.
T - The bourbon is there but not as strong as you'd think, which is fine. It doesn't overpower the strong woody flavour or the vanilla. The cloves, spices, peppers and some bananas and oranges are also supporting. Pretty good.
M - A bit thin and not exactly perfectly organized. Flavours could stand to be better meshed but still decent.
O - This one is fairly boozy and a bit hot. The soft approach of the flavour profile makes the booze easier to handle. The bourbon could have been a wee bit stronger but it was still tasty.
06-20-2011 16:13:27 | More by OakedCanuck
4.83/5 rDev +13.1%
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.
06-19-2011 09:05:03 | More by ExplosivoSR
4.47/5 rDev +4.7%
13.5 oz pour on draft at the Great Lost Bear in Portland, ME.
A: Pours a cloudy honey-gold with marmalade highlights. 1-finger head settles to a ring thin ring around the glass, leaving a great deal of lacing.
S: Banana, pear and pineapple in the nose. Smells quite fruity, but not at all sweet.
T: Vanilla and oak notes right off the bat from the bourbon barrel, with plenty of spice in the center. Finishes dry and just slightly bitter with banana, pear, fresh cream and a touch of licorice.
M: Medium body and carbonation causes this to cream up very nicely on the palate. Sharp at first, but mellows quickly.
O: Curieux may have been the first beer that REALLY got me started on my passion for craft, back when the Portland Hannaford mistakenly marked it at $8.99 for a 750 in 2006. Creamy, beautiful and remarkably different from the Tripel that serves as its base, this beer needs no introduction. One sip and you're hooked.
A gorgeous, truly unique beer.
06-16-2011 19:48:56 | More by sk8man121
4.03/5 rDev -5.6%
Allagash Curieux bottled in January 2008 and purchased two years ago at King Richard's in Michigan City for $14.99.
Served in New Belgium tulip.
A: Pours clear, polished pale gold with a short-lived head. Some random lacing and very good effervescence.
S: Belgian candy sugar, toasted grain, bourbon, spiciness. Some toffee/caramel. Secondary barrel characteristics of vanilla, mint and coconut figure prominently in nose. A little butterscotch.
T: Sweetness and spiciness, especially cloves, jump out. Bourbon/alcohol is still strong. Crystal malts are mature and subdued, supplying light caramel and raisin flavors. A note of oxidation. Dried out from aging. The secondary barrel characteristics are somewhat buried under bourbon, but they add complexity.
M: Medium-heavy body and medium-light carbonation. Full mouthfeel that is mouthcoating and warming.
O: I'm not a big fan of tripels and barrel-aged tripels; nonetheless, I find Curieux to be an enjoyable sipper.
06-11-2011 04:07:33 | More by Wadsey
4.68/5 rDev +9.6%
Allagash Curieux on tap at Shorty's, HK-NYC.
Appearance: Served in a Delirium snifter, a bit too cold. Less than a finger of snow-white head, but good retention. A rim, a mantle and some substantial bubbles linger and remain. Color is a light golden, summer hay drying up and about to catch fire.
Taste: Clear, floral, a bit medicinal and astringent. Citrus, vodka-and-orange in a tall glass. Orange peel. No wood or bourbon are immediately detectable, but there is some sweet vanilla around. The bourbon does come through, ever so subtly, as a tongue-biter at the end, barely a prickling sensation.
*On a new keg that arrived soon after the one I tried at the bar, the bourbon was much more noticeable both in the nose and the mouth, hence my re-reviewing. Bourbon and prickly booze are present in the taste, reminding me of drinking the Elijah Craig I have at home. It is quite surprising how much the barrel feel changes from keg to keg. I'm bumping up the smell rating to "5"*
Mouthfeel: Rightly carbonated, medium-to-full body and full flavor. Crisp, fresh, gorgeous. Picture picking slightly tart apples from a grove, squeezing them right away and enjoying the juice. Yeah. Spicy, dry finish with a tad of sticky sweetness.
Overall: Exceptional. The drinkability is immense. Beyond belief. 11%? You could never ever tell. So chuggable and balanced it makes me want to cry. Sure, I don't really detect the aging (*see my note above, a new keg of Curieux did deliver a strong presence of bourbon both in the nose and the mouth*), but still- one sip of Curieux and it instantly becomes one of my favorite Belgian beers ever. Also an example of how Americans can brew as good or better than the Belgians (who ever thought of aging a tripel in bourbon??)
I could have a million of these!
06-05-2011 23:02:36 | More by DoubleSimcoe
2.9/5 rDev -32.1%
Man, I was really looking forward to this bottle. I'm wondering if I might have gotten a bad bottle. I heard binny's can produce a bad bottle or 2, because if this is how it normally tastes, it is wayyy overpriced. Color was the best part, nice light murky orange. I smelled almost nothing at all on the nose. Tasted like alot of bourbon, which i do love me some bourbon forward beers, but thats all I got, nothing else. Not much hops, lightly carbonated. Like I said, I think I might have gotten a bad bottle, because this was very unimpressive if this is the norm.
06-05-2011 00:23:37 | More by 1Adam12
4.6/5 rDev +7.7%
This beer blew my mind. I had it on tap at the Barley House in Algonquin.
Pours a great golden orange with a good amount of head. Smells seductivley sweet with honey and yeast shining through. The flavers are absolutely majestic! The belgium spices with the honey and bourbon meld wondrously. The bourbon can be tasted with a good swirl in the mouth. Goes down super smooth; you can just barely taste the 11% alochol. Overall, one of the greatest beers i've had. Adding to my cellar!
05-18-2011 23:22:00 | More by SirBenton
4.38/5 rDev +2.6%
This beer pours a murky orange/yellow with a nice two-finger cream colored head. Tiny carbonation bubbles continuously rise from the bottom of the glass from first pour through last sip. There is not a lot of aroma, but what is there is fruity (maybe banana or pineapple.). As for taste, it starts off sweet and creamy, with the carbonation dancing on my tongue. The finish is more tart, crisp, and dry. Lots of ripe fruit flavors are detectable, as is the wood flavor from the aging process. There is a little alcohol burn with this beer, though not as much as other beers in the 10+ ABV range. This is a very good Tripel, very enjoyable, but also very pricey. I would definitely consider this again for a special occasion.
05-15-2011 02:56:16 | More by pjs234
3.9/5 rDev -8.7%
on tap at manny browns in philly
Pours a clouded golden color with some fluffy white head - fades out slowly with patchy lacing and retention.
Strong bourbon scents with wood and dark fruit. Raisins, cherry, and dates all swirl together with alcohol heat.
Plenty of wood notes up front with bourbon. Dark candied fruit and burnt sugar with alcohol. Bready malt with crust and sugar. Finishes with bourbon, wood, alcohol heat, and fruit sweetness.
Fuller medium body, lighter carbonation, sticky and chewy. Drinks pretty nice, plenty of bourbon barrel flavor, definitely something I want again, but hot up front.
05-14-2011 03:24:33 | More by xnicknj
4.58/5 rDev +7.3%
A - Two fingers worth of audibly fizzy wet light creamy white head with a slightly rocky top that has some be chunky bubbles mixed in... Decent retention gives way to a full rich lacing... Slightly hazed pale amber color... Mostly still with some microscopic carbonation bubbles deep within under very close examination... A bit of lacing clings to the sides of the glass...
S - The nose is stellar... Vanilla... Belgian yeast... Subtle spices... Wood notes... Apple... Pears... Melon... Pineapple... Some additional mild citrus notes... The bourbon is extremely subtle but adds a lot of complexity...
T - Loads of complexity... Every sip is slightly different from the one that proceeded it... Sweet to start - Candied sugars mixed with some citrus... Next some the spiciness... The bourbon notes come next in terms of vanilla, wood, and a bit of heat... What's left on the finish is equal parts bourbon and Belgian yeast...
M - Starts moderately lush... Finishes very dry... Medium bodied... Sleek... The carbonation is mild, but a bit on the fizzy side... A bit sticky... The alcohol burn coats the tongue on the finish...
D - A truly unique beer that is undoubtedly world class... By far my favorite Allagash creation... A sipper for sure... A beer for a special occasion... Sophisticated and complex... A truly exception beer whose edges are just ever so slightly rough which keeps this from being at the pinnacle of beerdom... Well worth the lofty price...
05-14-2011 01:35:07 | More by philbe311
4.15/5 rDev -2.8%
Poured from a 750 mL. bottle (Bottled October 2009) into a snifter glass.
A strong pour yields a 2-finger off white head that slowly recedes in a few minutes to a thin dusting and thick foam ring. The body is a hazy golden orange. Decent lacing is seen throughout consumption.
An interesting mix of bourbon and fruity yeast aromas flow from the waning head. Notes of oak, banana, and sour apple can also be noticed.
Bourbon, oak, and vanilla flavors dominate the the beginning of each sip. Green apple and pinapple give the end of the sip a very tropical quality. A low bourbon warmth lingers at the back of the throat.
Medium bodied with excellent carbonation, this beer slides over the tongue easily. The carbonation causes this beer to fizz on your tongue and gives great drinkability.
05-12-2011 05:24:22 | More by output01x
4.45/5 rDev +4.2%
I picked this up about a year ago for aging. the date on the bottle was July 2010. I have been looking forward to pouring this bottle since before I purchased it.
On the pour I had about a 1.5 finger head. The esters were very enjoyable. I liked the yeasty head, and I picked up a lot of fruitiness coming off.
There was a lot of bubbles coming through. They were little bubbles.
The flavor was excellent. I liked the balance in the beer.
I recommend this bottle for an enjoyable pour. It is pretty expensive, but I think it is worth it for a special occasion... like Wednesday night.
05-11-2011 23:25:12 | More by ummswimmin
4.47/5 rDev +4.7%
A: Hazy orange with a finger width head that dies down to a thin line of bubbles. Nice lacing on glass.
S: Oak, alcohol, bubble gum, tropical fruit.
T: The bourbon, alcohol, and oak flavors are very pronounced. There is a tripel somewhere in the background with some sweet tropical fruit flavor. The finish is mostly alcohol burn in this one.
M: Light at first, but the high carbonation comes and fills it out. Leaves a spice along with the alcohol burn.
O: I really like bourbon aged anything and this one doesn't disappoint. Lots of different flavors going on. More so as it warms up.
05-05-2011 22:53:32 | More by Kromes
4.4/5 rDev +3%
750mL brown glass cork & caged. Jan 2011.
Pours a deep golden yellow with 1.5 fingers of stiff bone-white head. Nose smells soft and creamy with some light vanilla pudding-like aroma and some flowery yeast notes.
Palate is crisp with alcohol right off the bat. Apricots (both dried and fresh), golden raisins, a little tanned leather, then oak, thin bourbon (like I dunno, say...Jim Beam?), then back to a drying yeast for a flowery, somewhat earthy finish. Second sip reveals a little banana or banana leaves flavor right on the start. Nice lengthy finish.
Notes: I never thought this beer should work. I've had it before, a bunch of times, and am always impressed with how beautifully executed it is. They are careful with how much bourbon-influence it receives and it's a work of beauty marrying two really unique and very difference flavors. The bottles I find to be a drier experience than the draft. I've also found that the bourbon shows more in the draft version(s). Perhaps the bottle conditioning takes the bourbon down a notch? The price tag is a bit high, but barrel-aged beers can fetch it, so I guess why not?
05-05-2011 03:42:17 | More by SFLpunk
4.5/5 rDev +5.4%
My first foray into the world of Allagash, and a damn fine choice at that.
Poured into a snifter. Hazy light orange-golden color with minimal head that quickly dissipated before the first sip. The lacing really shows the ABV.
Smells of smoky bourbon, through and through. Some slight roasted malts, but that may be the overtones of the bourbon co-mingling with the malts.
The flavor one complex brew— changes drastically as the beer warms. New layers become apparent as you allow the temperature to take effect. There is a fruity nuttiness and spice to it at first that is well balanced and rounded. As it warms vanilla bourbon definitely comes out with a little banana even. Very interesting to taste.
So complex and engrossing. Truly an incredible example of the craft at it's most alchemical.
05-02-2011 03:40:34 | More by StaEva
3.63/5 rDev -15%
2008 bottle that I had in the cellar.
A - Poured a nice cloudy orange. Very little head, almost immediately dissipated.
S - Strong scent of bourbon. You'd think that this came from Tennessee not Portland, Maine.
T - Fruity notes off set by the strong taste of bourbon. I've been cellaring this for close to 3 years now. I'm sure the taste is extremely different now from where it once was.
D - Didn't realize this was 11%. The alcohol is definitely evident but it doesn't overpower the brew. Goes down smooth and warms your insides :-)
M - Smooth, very little carbonation, tastes like a cask offering that has been bottled. I was concerned that I had kept this in the cellar too long but that is not the case. A very good beer.
04-30-2011 21:17:57 | More by tdawgydog
4.22/5 rDev -1.2%
Review is from notes taken on 4/27/2011 and poured from the bottle (2009 vintage) to a tulip.
Appearance: Pour is a light orange/coppery color and it starts with a massive 2 and 1/2 finger off-white head that is typically indicative of a Belgian style; body has a little bit of haze/cloudiness to it, but it shows massive amounts of tiny bubbles swirling around and up; head slowly fades to a full and firm cap, and leaves big patches and swaths of foam lingering behind
Smell: Smell is tart, green apple, possibly some green grapes; some Belgian spiciness, including coriander, cardamom; bit of a sweet vanilla and oakiness hangs out in there too.
Taste: Wow. This beer is the shit. The tart, green apples and green grapes are present, but the tartness is definitely mellowed out and balanced with the sweetness from the Bourbon barrel treatment as there is definitely some oakiness to it, but there is definitely some sweet vanilla that is present; the spiciness from the Belgian yeast is present, and really compliments the flavors of the fruit and bourbon; slight alcohol presence, but it's not fusel at all -- really sweet and smooth.
Mouthfeel: Body is of a solid, medium weight; comes across a little slick and oily; carbonation is great -- soft, foamy, still lively and interesting without being dulled by the barrel aging; a moderately thick and semi-dry and sticky coating is left on the mouth, and it becomes cottony dry; belly is left warm from the acidity of the fruit and the ABV.
Overall: This beer is way too drinkable for being 11% -- I feel the alcohol is masked and blended well enough that it really comes across as closer to the 7-8% in terms of the mouth and flavors; good balance between the tart, green fruits and the smooth and sweet Bourbon and vanilla aspects, and I have to admit it's a little surprising as the Tripel isn't necessarily one I would think of immediately when it comes to styles I would barrel age. Cheers to Allagash for this excellent and epic beer.
04-28-2011 01:30:14 | More by bamadog
3.88/5 rDev -9.1%
A: Hazy amber with only a 1/2 finger of frothy white head with not much retention that leaves almost a full circle of lacing. Once the head is gone the top of the beer retains a fw spots of head.
S: Well rounded tripel smell with yeast, banana/clove and hints of pineapple. Also a nice vanilla aroma comes through. Very appealing aroma.
T: Huge kick of alcohol mixed with a woody/oak flavor. Under the alcohol comes sweet fruit flavors, and the finish is really rich with oak and vanilla. Not as much bourbon as many "bourbon barrel ales" that I've had, which isn't really a bad thing. I just wish that the alcohol was not the dominant taste.
M:medium bodied, medium carbonation. Slightly sticky but goes down incredibly smooth.
O: Easy to drink, but it's very up front about its 11% ABV. If you can get past the alcohol the flavor is well balanced and delicious. For my taste, if I wanted something that tasted this much like alcohol I would skip the beer and go straight for the bourbon. Still, very good in its own right.
04-27-2011 21:03:30 | More by DaveBlack
4.45/5 rDev +4.2%
Purchased this 750mL bottle in Dec 2010. Opened April 2010. 4 months in the cellar.
Had this on draft leading up to me popping my aging bottle and was not impressed, so hope this is worth it...
Chimay Goblet (possibly wrong glassware)
A: Pours hazy golden with whitest of white head like a cloud in the sky, sizeable, thick and does not dissipate. Carbonation exploding from the bottom of my glass keeps the cloud intact, lacing everywhere.
S: Familiar Belgian Yeast laced with booze. Some dried fruit aroma but the end is only bourbon, but not overpowering, quite nice.
T: Whoa. Heat at first, slight spicyness and melded tripel with bourbon which gives way to the creamy head that mixes well and flows across the palate and ends with a bit of sweetness. The creamyness was unexpected based on my previous tasting, but very much welcome addition. The flavors seem to mix well together, wonder why others haven't copied this mix like the imperial stouts have.
M: The creamyness of the brew makes me want more of this one. Very smooth. Multiple levels of flavor in each sip as the meld intices you to think about what Im actually tasting in each sip.
D: Borderline High. Personally I downed a bottle of this in one sitting booze is well hidden and proably would have drank more of it in the right setting.
Went and bought more bottles to age for a while after tasting how much better the bottled version was over the draft. Excellent beer. Highly Reccomended.
04-20-2011 20:59:50 | More by beenitty
4.9/5 rDev +14.8%
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.
04-20-2011 03:17:14 | More by silentjay
Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) from Allagash Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 2,796 ratings.