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

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

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3,001 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,001
Reviews: 800
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 353
Gots: 591 | FT: 32
Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
Tripel |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: Todd on 04-05-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,001 | Reviews: 800 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of weazal
3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

SMELL: Warm, sweet citrus. Pulpy in the likes of mandarin oranges and tropical fruits. Full, potent aroma that's immensely pleasing and begs you to take a sip. There is a balanced spiciness to it along the lines of white pepper.

TASTE: Starts off mildly spicy with a prevalent, but not overpowering degree of bourbon, alcohol, and dryness. The citrus and sweetness from the aroma is much more toned down if not even really present at all. Enjoyable, fuller mouthfeel and balanced carbonation.

More enjoyable in small sips with the mindset of sipping bourbon. Unique, but not a favorite.

weazal, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.83/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

ktrillionaire, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of morimech
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled March 2010

Clear golden color with a large white head that hung around for a long time before settling to a thick cap. Just a little lacing however. Smells wonderful. I was wondering how bourbon would meld into a tripel and found out it does quite well. The fruity, vinous qualities of the tripel is complimented by the hint of bourbon. The bourbon is not as strong in the flavor and that allows the base ale to really shine. Flavor features fruit such as pears, apples, and grapes. Some spice such as cloves and pepper. The alcohol flavor and warmth is a little too prominent to garner a perfect score. I would of liked a little more body to help carry the flavors and alcohol but has nearly perfect carbonation. Just about nearly perfect in all categories. The high ABV limits drinkability, a true sipper.

morimech, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of hoppyhampy
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured on tap into a footed allagash glass. Cloudy pale yellow-orange. Half inch of head that quickly dissipates. Light carbonation and minimal lacing. Interesting rich malt smell, similar to a lager. Also some orange citrus and a bit of coriander aroma. I can tease out some nice sweet oaky notes but not much else. Full bodied on the palate. Coats my mouth with a syrupy texture. Oaky vanilla, butterscotch, and orange peel. Not as heavy as the malty aroma suggests but still very big. Bitter, slightly hoppy gives it a cleaner impression overall, aiding drinkability. Only slightly less drinkable than other tripels. I usually don't care for barrel aged ales because the oak can be overwhelming but I thought this one had nice balance. Not my favorite but a nice twist on the style.

hoppyhampy, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of thagr81us
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage. Served from tap into a tulip. Poured a slightly hazy golden yellow orange with a two finger pure white head. Maintained excellent lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, bread, dark fruit, and a slight sour note. The flavor was of sweet malt, bananas, slight oak, subtle bread, and alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a very nice brew. The aroma and flavor were both very good and was exactly what I was looking for at the time. I have a bottle of this in my cellar and can't wait to see what a little time will do for it. This one is a must try for sure.

thagr81us, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of russwbeck
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to 603BeerMe for this one!

A: Pours a hazy golden caramel color with a small head and very nice retention. Constant bubbles racing to the top.

S: Wonderful smell. I'm getting your typical Belgian Tripel smell, but with a nice kick of liquor. The hit of liquor almost smells like vanilla. This is my first Barrel-Aged brew, so it really impresses me.

T: Smooth Belgian start, that blends into a Bourbon finish. Not as dry a finish as I'm accustomed to by this style, this is almost creamy.

MF: Light body with a nice amount of carbonation that keeps the flavors fresh.

D: This is a beer that the drinkability is interesting. I would love to drink this all the time, but I don't see it as an everyday beer.

russwbeck, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of wknight167
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apearance - Pours a cloudy, dirty orange with a halh finger white head that leaves behind a thin cap and a solid sheet of lacing.

Nose- Vanilla, pineapple, passion fruit and sweet mango.

Palate- Big lemon up front, then spicy, woody vanilla and finally bourbon accompanied by carmalized sugar. The bourbon flavors work well with the belgian yeastiness. I will admit, I love bourbon and tripels, but did not forsee this working out. Alcohol is evident, but that only adds to the bourbon qualities.

Mouthfeel- Med-full body, light, smoot, creamy carbonation.

Drinkability- A sipper no doubt, but one i wouldn't mind sipping on for a while.

wknight167, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

TMoney2591, Oct 21, 2010
Photo of Vdubb86
3.55/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass

Thanks to TMoney2591 for sharing this whilst we planned a new brew.

This beer pours a cloudy golden color with a white fluffy/coarse head that diminishes to a film on the surface. The aroma smells of the sourness of oak, there is a rye whiskey note as well. There is a lemon and orange citrus smell as well. The flavor is quite oaky in nature and so odd for a tripel. The sourness of the oak combined with the booze from the bourbon are quite intense and cover any tripel flavor that might be there. I really don't taste the Belgian yeast at all. This is really a weird beer. It's not that bad on the palate and it's definitely a sipper. This is an example in my opinion of a beer that doesn't work with bourbon barrel aging.

Vdubb86, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of Pencible
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a cloudy light gold with moderate white head.
S: It smelled like lemon zest and grassy hops and wild yeast, with oak and a bit of toasted bready malt.
T: It tasted like citrus and grassy hops and wild yeast up front (like a standard tripel), followed by strong oak and vanilla bourbon notes. It has a clean bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with smooth natural carbonation. Just about right for the style.
D: This had a somewhat weak scent, but the taste had a great mix of tripel and bourbon. I was surprised at how well the elements complimented each other, leading to a very rounded and balanced beer. It had nice body and hid the alcohol well too, so it was easy to drink. But the depth and complexity made it worth sipping. Some potential for improving with age, but excellent fresh.

Pencible, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of impending
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


750ml into a tulip. Bottled May 2010. Pours a hazy light dirty straw. Appropriate head, excellent lacing.

Sweet, sweet aroma with fresh baked white bread and many types of exotic fruits backed by a tangerine - truly a superb scent.

Tingly mouthfeel, full bodied. An amplified tripel. The barrel aging is very prominent but not of the vanilla type surprisingly, I taste the wood and the echo of its previous inhabitant. The alcohol is the good type of warm, you don't doubt the abv. Nearly zero phenolic characteristic. Great lingering aftertaste. Warms very well.

This is a big brew. Allagash demonstrate their prowess with this brew. Do not think this is a minor change from their tripel, this is majorly different. Everything about this says typical (excellent) tripel until past the halfway point of the taste when the barrel comes forward making this a unique tripel.

impending, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of prototypic
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in February, 2009.

Curieux pours an interesting copper stained gold color. It's mostly clear, and looks to have an orange tint when held to light. An active white head tops it off, and rises to about a finger and a half in depth. It recedes slowly to a surface covering and holds steady there. Lacing was somewhat light and sticky.

The nose is very impressive. It kicks off with a moderately strong bourbon scent. It's not totally overpowering, but there's no questioning its presence. There's also a healthy dose of oak. This stuff has tons of character and depth. The Tripel elements follow - a little apple and pear, Belgian yeast, a touch of caramel sweetness, light vanilla, and pepper. Did I mention this stuff was deep? Alcohol is noted, but I'm not sure it suggests 11%. Nonetheless, it is there.

The flavor is good, but doesn't quite deliver like the nose. It kicks off with an excellent mix of bourbon, vanilla, and oak. Obviously the barrel aging evidence is front and center. I like the fact that it's a moderate bourbon flavor. It allows the other flavors to breathe and shine just when needed. Slightly sweet apple and pear flavors blend with a touch of caramel and pepper spices. I was hopeful that the Tripel flavor would be identifiable in light of the bourbon. No need to worry. Belgian yeast is a little noticeable on the tail, but somehow is a little lost in the mix. That's the only real negative in my book. Alcohol is there, but isn't warm or hot. Finishes with an oak and bourbon twist.

Curieux has a medium body. Carbonation is very light and does much to smooth it out. Nicely done. Drinkability is good for such a big beer. A 750? Yes, I believe I can handle that. At 11%, that's plenty enough, but damn if this stuff isn't tasty, easy drinking.

Allagash Brewing Company is a special brewery. I'm really disappointed that they won't be distributing in Ohio anymore. As for Curieux, it's simply another fine release in their lineup. It is very good, but could probably be a tad better. More Belgian yeast would instantly upgrade the flavor. Small qualm. This is great stuff. Find a bottle.

prototypic, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
2.88/5  rDev -32.6%
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.

Thorpe429, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of smakawhat
2.85/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had to admit this Belgian style triple with oak aged Bourbon casks was a bit dissapointing. Not much of the characteristics they mention in the product came through in the tasting (oak, vanilla, caramel/toffee).

The beer also from a mouthfeel and taste is a bit lacking as well compared to other tripels I've had. No big heavy fruit or breadyness that I was expecting, also the beer felt to heavy on the alcohol side compared to other tripels whose body and taste profile could mask the alcohol I've had. It's a good beer but I found it hard to drink, and felt it really needed to be paired with food, you couldn't just casually drink it.

smakawhat, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of drpimento
3.65/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hmm. Had this at the beer tasting in Boston this summer and I recall it being better than it is now. Pours with a large, foamy, frothy, cream colored head, that settles down to just a little cover quickly and no lace. Color is a slightly hazy amber with no bubble trails. Aroma is yeast, bread dough, and heavy caramel. Flavor is not as complex: mostly sweet, a little bubblegum, and some tang from carbonic acid. Body is decent and carbonation is very good for this beer. Finish is like flavor with the tang lasting a while and some alcohol at the end.

drpimento, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of Sneers
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I feel the need to state at the beginning that this beer is between just one and two months old, excluding its 8-week stay in the barrel. I am almost certain that this beer would be quite different with some age on it.

Pours a hazy lemon-golden color with not much head to it, though the engraving at the bottom of my Chimay goblet keeps a thin sheet constant replenished. The nose starts out more like classic tripel, with a little fruitiness, namely, banana and pear, and some spice. Once past, an impressive woody, slightly smoky bourbon aroma fills the nostrils and the effect of the barrels has clearly made its presence known.

The taste is exactly what I would expect a bourbon infused tripel to taste like. Like the aroma, the flavor starts out fruity and spicy with a somewhat of a lemony brightness on the front of the tongue. I find the bourbon takes the stage late in the sip, but fills the mouth with a warm, lingering alcoholic flavor. The light sweetness of each the tripel and the bourbon is a great mediator between the two flavors. The bourbon flavor is certainly more than the "hint" Allagash proposes this beer to have. I've had other barrel-aged beers, but they were stouts, so the liquor flavor is added to an already intense flavor. Doing it with the more subtle flavors of a tripel, however, makes for a wonderfully complex and delicious drink.

The mouthfeel is super smooth and luscious. Very drinkable unless you find bourbon flavors less than appealing. I'll definitely buying more of this to stick in the cellar. Allagash is easily one of my favorite breweries and this unique offering helps solidify its status as such.

Sneers, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of sitarist
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Prufrock!

Pours a slightly hazy, golden yellow color with a faint orange tint. There are various size bubbles rising up to a white head that is two fingers thick. The head falls to a 1/16' top that leaves sheets of lacing.

I smell banana, vanilla, rum, walnuts, and brown sugar. Reminds me of bananas foster or a banana split. The aroma is fairly subdued but all so wonderful. As it warms up I start to smell sour apples and pears.

Spices (vanilla and pepper) lead the way followed by green bananas and apples. Nice mix of spice and sweet. As it warms I faintly detect the bourbon.

Lighter body and silky, the high carbonation is creamy and does not prick. The flavors linger. Very well made beer!

Highly drinkable and deceiving; this beer packs a punch!

Edit: 7-21-13...

2nd to last beer from Brez is a corked & caged 750ml bottle.

Pours a golden straw color, light, and mostly clear. Bubbles raise up to half an inch of frothy white head. The head falls to a cap that leave a few wisps of lacing. 4.0

It has a complex, yet subdued aroma. So nicely balanced it is hard to discern any one note. I get ripe pear, vanilla, puff pastry, faint hints of oak, and faint whiffs of tropical fruit. One fine smelling concoction. 5.0

Flavors are nicely balanced as well. I get ripe pear, banana, papaya, pastry, mint, vanilla, with a little white pepper at the end. As it warms I get some whiskey, rum, bourbon? 4.25

Light to medium in body, its' carbonation massages the tongue. Smooth, and easy to quaff. 4.5

This is a very enjoyable beer. It is pleasing to my senses, and gets me buzzed quickly. I could enjoy this one anytime. 4.75

I'm thinking that I have had this before, I just cant put my finger on it. I'm guessing that its a Strong Pale, or Tripel.

The reveal is... Curieux by Allagash. I have enjoyed this one in the past, and is as good if not better than I remember. I want more, I want more!

Thanks Brez, I cant wait to pop the last one.

sitarist, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of Manoftyr
3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into snifter

Appearance-Pours a lightly yellowed golden with just the sligtest orange highlights. Some significant white head rises and bubbles away leaving solid rings of lace and a dusting of white wisps along the top.

Aroma-There's the faint undercurrent of the base triple but the aroma is dominated by woodsy bourbon-soaked oak.

Taste-Same as the aroma with a stiff alcohol-kick, bourbon flavor throughout, undertones of oak and woodiness. Finishes semi-dry.

Mouthfeel-Crisp and spritzy with ample carbonation, a tad thin for a triple by my reckoning though.

Drinkability-The drinkability is decent, but the bourbon character can get a bit overwhelming.

Manoftyr, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of poonamibaxter
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Really nice small bubbles with an inch head that settles down perfectly

S: you can get a hint of the barrel but mostly just that nice sugary tripel smell

T:Hot Damn this is good. honey sugary malts with the nice hint of oak

M: alot going on, what you would expect from a tripel

D: like all tripels it is going to get sweet

poonamibaxter, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of gford217
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

November 2008 bottle.

Pours a clear golden amber with a huge stream of bubbles rushing to the top and feeding a bubbly beige head that recedes to a cap quickly and leaves little lacing.

The aroma has fruity esters, vanilla, apples and pears. I do get a little vanilla and oak though the bourbon is subtle. Also some earthy spiciness in the nose.

The taste has a smooth vanilla sweetness up front immediately following by some yeasty spiciness and sweet fruity esters. The finish is the first trace of Bourbon which burns just slightly and also includes a dry oaky character.

The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with the dryness lingering with some strong carbonation.

The aroma led me to believe there wasn't much bourbon in here but the taste brought the whiskey to the front. An excellent use of barrels.

gford217, Sep 17, 2010
Photo of JAXSON
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, thanks Cody. Pours a crystal clear honey gold with a large white head. Nose is pears, granny smith apples, candy sugar. Zero bourbon or oak, a classic tripel at this point. Lots of rich sugars in the mouth -- caramelized pears, sweet apples, honey. Finish is nicely dry, maybe a touch of spicy oak in the back. As it breathes some bourbon does come through in the back palate and lends some complexity. Really nice, doesn't deviate too far from their regular tripel other than a kiss of oak and subtle bourbon in the back palate. Nice stuff.

JAXSON, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of sogrady
4.78/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is, for the sake of full disclosure, my favorite beer. It's not a beer that you can consume in any real quantity, but for a glass or two it's about as well as you're going to do.

Strong even for a Tripel, the bourbon flavor is absolutely present but not dominating. It warms, complementing the existing oak, vanilla etc tones cleanly.

Appearance is a brilliant gold, and the nose is divine. One of the best examples I know of of the potential for casked aging. This beer, in short, is a treat.

sogrady, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of Phelps
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been searching for this one for a while, so imagine my excitement to see it on tap at the San Diego Toronado. Served to me in a tulip.

Looks: a chill-hazed yellow-green the color of pear skin. A puffy white head of about a finger becomes a thick, foamy layer that never really leaves and deposits some beautiful webs of lacing.

Smells: tart. Green apples, tons of oak and pine, with a backbone of sourness.

Tastes: like a deviation. Interestingly, I get zero tartness as opposed to the nose. It's almost saison-like in spiciness and the dry finish. Pear and apple juice, both sweet, with something bright and citrusy as well. Everything's perfectly in-check -- not too sweet, spicy or dry. A warming alcohol rolls down the throat.

Feels: crisp and yet not too light. Medium-high carbonation, with a body a notch under medium. The dryness and bitterness are both perfect.

Drinks: far too easily for its own good. Great aroma, great flavors, great feel -- another superlative Belgian-style ale from Allagash.

Phelps, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of carpezytha
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in tulip

A: Two fingers settles to a 1/4". Beautiful foam, pure white with nice lacing tops murky honey body.
S: Nuts, bread dough, bark, bananas.
T: Vavoom. An intense concoction of marmalade, vanilla, star anise, certainly with a finish that brings forth the bourbon and oak, but without being overpoweringly "oaky". There are a lot of other flavors happening here. Every sip brings up more.
M: Big active body with active carbonation keeping a slew of flavors pouring across your tongue.
D: Yes, I could drink this daily, at least for a while.

It will be interesting to see how this tastes after having been put away for a while.

carpezytha, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of makinbacon
3.63/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drinking on draught. Little head. Straw color. Tastes of: honey, orange zest,lots of oak and strong alcohol/bourbon on the finish. Love some Jim Beam, but almost feel like someone spike my Afflegem with bourbon. Great beer, but not for everyday drinking.

makinbacon, Sep 06, 2010
Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) from Allagash Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 3,001 ratings.