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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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BA SCORE
95
world-class

2,826 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,826
Reviews: 785
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 318
Gots: 522 | FT: 28
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: 2,826 | Reviews: 785 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nase
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%

Carbonation was rather high initially but completely went away as it warmed; Smell and taste of bourbon blends well with the citrus lending to adequate drinkability; mouthfeel is creamy

think i might prefer allagash's regular tripel but hard to say

Appearance - 3.0
Smell - 4.0
Taste - 4.0
Mouthfeel - 4.0
Drinkability - 3.5

nase, Jan 26, 2007
Photo of Fugazme
3.7/5  rDev -13.3%

An awfully nice looking beer... deep yellow/copper... nice 1/2", bright white head with great staying power... excellent lacing... foams up around the edges... quite good.

Aroma: First whiff... big strawberry notes... definitely sweet... vanilla... not much for wood... lots of alcohol after sitting a few minutes.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, touch of alcohol burn... nice.

Taste: Malty, sweet... some grassy bitterness on the backend swallow... vanilla... caramel... bourbon, yes.

Overall... I'm enjoying it very much... alcohol is high and quite prevelant... wouldn't mind it at all if it were tamed down a bit.

Thanks Aprilluvsbeer! (SS '06)

Fugazme, Jan 18, 2007
Photo of weeare138
4.4/5  rDev +3%

This is the 2006 version...
Appears a hazy, light orange toned gold with a fluffy, 2 finger white head that slowly fades out. Lots of sticky lacing is left around the glass. Small pockets of CO2 quickly rise to the top.
Smell is of tropical fruit salad, leather, peach, oaky vanilla, dough, caramel, and a nice bourbon aroma that is excellent to inhale. There is a warmness found in the aroma but not a hot boozy burn as I seem to remember from the 2004 version.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas and it seems to meld together nicely. This is one of the few Bourbon Barrel Tripels I've had and I think the peachy, apricot, tropical, doughyness really compliments the bourbony caramel, and vanilla warmness.
Mouthfeel is slightly sweet up front with a smooth warming vanilla and spice flow across the palate. Finishes semi dry with bourbon and oak resonating and making me lick my lips awaiting the next sip.

weeare138, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of cabsandking
2.98/5  rDev -30.2%

Golden to light copper color and a white head quickly diminishing to some scant lacing. Aromas display big woodsy oak barrel characters, earthiness, golden apples, soft fruits, and something lactic like yogurt. Large alcoholic burn dominates beer along with oaky bourbon flavor, vanilla, and bananas. BA spice characters meld well with those of the tripel but as it warms they seem to consume the other flavors. Typical tripel mouthfeel...thin, fizzy carbonation. Lots of alcohol and bourbon in the finish. Before I finish the bottle all I can taste is sweet, sweet, sweet aspartame and bourbon. Just couldn’t appreciate much of the tripels nuances... maybe some extensive aging would do this better justice.

cabsandking, Jan 09, 2007
Photo of Westsidethreat
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%

Thanks to Fro for this one.

2006 Vintage, 398 cases bottled.

A: Golden rod color with a lot of micro sediment. Head fell quick leaving wisps across the top and a solid ring of white bubbles around the glass.

S: Oak, wet hay, bourbon, vanilla and grass clippings. Interesting. Wife describes it as "wet dog". So be it.

T: Begins sweet at the tip of the tongue with melon, papaya and apricot. The oak starts sneaking in at this point with an earthy quality to it. The vanilla is nice; its not over powering or fake tasting but very smooth and attractive. A buttery orange aspect begins to develop and mingles with white peach, pineapple and golden raisins. The bourbon is most noticeable when the fruity flavors are present and becomes prevalent once the beer warms up. Finishes sweet and fruity like marmalade with lingering oak.

M: Full body with a syrupy mouthfeel.

D: This beer could use some age but its nice now. With 2-3 years under its belt, this would be really superb. As it warms, the fruit gets really sweet and the bourbon really expands in caliber. Although it becomes more flavorful, it also becomes more cloying.

Westsidethreat, Jan 01, 2007
Photo of brewcrew76
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%

Bottled October 2005

A - Pours a dirty golden with 2 fingers of white lively bubbles.

S - Sweet candy, tropical fruits, vanilla. I am getting slight hints of scotch instead of bourbon. Very weird since I enjoy bourbon so much.

T - Earthy malt, sweet, tropical fruits, vanilla with some bourbon undertones. Slightly boozy but the sweetness balances the bourbon very nicely.

M - Medium bodied and smooth. The alcohol is present but also very deceptive.

D - This is a great one to share. The sweetness from the tripel blends nicely with the bourbon. Very smooth.

brewcrew76, Dec 25, 2006
Photo of CharlesRiver
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%

750ml corked and caged bottle. Bottled in Oct of 2004. IIRC this was $13.99 at Amity about 1 1/2 ago. My bottle states 10% not 11%. Maybe they changed later versions?

Pours out a very cloudy orange-yellow with a tiny head that does not last long. Kind of looks like a big bowl of light clover honey.

This might sound odd but the first thing I smell is dill. Second thing is bourbon and not much after that. Funny, the bourbon is the first thing that I notice about the taste as well. Vanilla and oak are some obvious notes that come through. After the first couple of sips you notice that the flavors start to meld, as best they can. I am actual amazed at how much "bourbon" flavor comes through. The alcohol is very well hidden.

One word of caution, if you don't like whisky do not try this one. It has all the great flavors of it without the harsh alcohol burn. To be honest, not my favorite combo but interesting none the less. I applaud Allagash for trying something out of the norm.

CharlesRiver, Dec 17, 2006
Photo of BeerHonky
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%

This beer is fantastic. It pours a bright and hazy golden yellow with slight orange highlights here and there. A thin, prickly looking head doesn't stay for long.

Immediately you can smell a bouquet of citrus fruits. Many come to mind but its very hard to pin point any particular one that stands out amongst the aroma.

This beer also has a fantastic balance of fruity belgian flavor, hints of bourbon, and alcohol. I love bourbon and this was a perfect marriage of the two libations. This is a beer that will also become more flavorful as it warms up. If you can't taste the bourbon, give it some time and you'll start to notice it towards the end.

BeerHonky, Nov 24, 2006
Photo of TastyTaste
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%

What can i say about this beer? A bourbon barrel aged tripels are pretty rare around these parts (read:earth) , and this is my first. Looks like a dark tripel, good sized head. Smell is very yeasty and malty, an unearthly amount of that good bourbon-oakey smell. The taste is also very different. Yeast first, bourbon and alcohol sting like a shot of whiskey. Rises and falls, leaving an earthy flavor. I have never had a beer like this, maybe not the best use of barrel-aging, but certainly worth a shot.

TastyTaste, Nov 22, 2006
Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%

750ml bottle poured into 3 pint glasses (shared this with some lucky friends). Bottled October 2005, consumed November 2006.

This poured a nice light straw color with a thick pure white head. The head took it's time dissipating and left a nice lacing on the glass.

The aroma was oak first,and alcohol second, and that nice yeasty malty tripel all mixed in. The oak in the nose is right out front and very pleasant. I'm a fan of oak chardonnays and this is right up my alley.

Taste is again of oak and alcohol but yet is very smooth going down. You can tell it's strong because it warms you up but by no means does it burn going down. I have never had the Allagash tripel to compare this too, but it does taste like a fine example of the style. The bourbon oak just takes it to a new wonderful level. I am in love with this beer.

Mouthfeel is light and smooth.

This is a great sipping beer. It probably took 30-45 minutes for the three of us to nurse down our 250ml share. Each sip is better than the last, and it is mandatory to take a big whiff of this ale in between sips. Did I mention I love this beer? I have to say it is the best beer I've ever had, though I am no world traveler or anything.

378 cases bottled, 9072 bottles, and I was lucky enough to get a hold of one by total chance. I had never heard of it before but couldn't pass by it when I saw it on the shelf.

ZimZamZoom, Nov 18, 2006
Photo of scott
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%

V.05
This has a substantial pour of thick golden peach, minimal head & lacing. From the getgo, I knew this meant business.
Smell was almost tame, but had hints of vanilla & bourbon that made it's way into your mouth. Alcohol was masked wonderfully, and the carbonation was stellar.
Allagash with casks, what more to ask for. Beautiful, if you enjoy either of these.

scott, Nov 17, 2006
Photo of brentk56
4.48/5  rDev +4.9%

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

brentk56, Nov 09, 2006
Photo of SPLITGRIN
3.28/5  rDev -23.2%

Pours looking like well carbonated honey gold that really glows. Hosts a huge off-white head. Nose is a creamy wheat and citrus balance. Enters the mouth rich with a strong oiley wheat tone. Includes a sour syrupy feel on the main part of the palate. This beer balances beter and mellows out as it warms a bit. The long soured wheat feel is the dominating attribute to this beer. The alchol is well hidden. Drinks pretty well overall but for $16 a bottle I was expecting much more.

SPLITGRIN, Nov 01, 2006
Photo of dherling
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%

A slightly hazy beer, honey golden with a small bubbly off white head. The nose is alcoholic, with woodyness, vanilla, and a little fruityness. The taste is like straight forward alcohol, but not totally harsh. It's warming, balanced out with vanilla, wood, and fruit again. Has a thick slick mouthfeel and a fairly dry finish, but the alcohol does repeat a bit.

dherling, Oct 30, 2006
Photo of blackie
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%

July 2005 bottling

appearance: The pour off of the sediment gives a bone white head that steadily falls back into the glass, leaving not much more than a ring behind. The beer is a crystal clear, bright golden in color.

smell: Smells delicious. Moderately sweet aromas of pale malts bring notes of apples and similar light fruits with a tropical touch. A touch of alcohol fume and a light, bourbon soaked wood aroma...the ethanol presence acting as an asset in this instance. Light to moderate aged European hop aroma.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is between medium and high, and the body on the light side of the medium range. Very delicate mouthfeel.

taste: Delicate pale malt flavors give a light sweetness on the tongue. Very subtle woody bourbon note. A light, aged Belgian hop flavor and bitterness. The alcohol is very well hidden, only noticeable for a second in the aftertaste. I understand that one needs to be conservative when adding flavors to a tripel, but I would have liked just a touch more bourbon presence. Maybe the subtlety is lost on me, but I'd like a little more depth in general.

drinkability: Pretty easy to drink, but the intoxicating effect and subtle character of the flavors make it a definate sipper.

750 mL bottle purchased from Whole Foods about a year ago.

blackie, Oct 29, 2006
Photo of roybentley
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

750ml bottle split with a friend.

Poured a great honey color. Minimal head.

Nose is fruity oaky vanilla. Very pleasant. Very little alcohol.

Tastes a touch fruity at first, quickly fades to oak and vanilla. Becomes more spicey as it warms.

Very drinkable, especially considering the 11% abv.

(My first review, don't kill me because it sucks :P )

roybentley, Oct 24, 2006
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

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!

NeroFiddled, Oct 22, 2006
Photo of scruffwhor
4.1/5  rDev -4%

Shared a 750ml corked and capped bottle with a good friend over great conversation. The way a good beer should be experienced.

Bottled on June 2006, number of cases bottled 398, and a.b.v. 11%. So sayeth the bottle.

Appearance- One of the deepest banana skin colors I've ever seen in a triple. Looked like it was aged in bourbon barrels for quite some time. Not a lot of teh bubbling visible because of the hazy, deep yellow. No lacing wither. A little lack-luster than what I expected.

Smell- The first five sips were like mild apple juice. Then the oak started to take some effect.

Taste- Starts with hints of spicey apples. Then the oak hit in the middle along with a little alcoholic burn. A spicey, ainse with whiskey finish ends the experience.

Mouthfeel- A little bubbly, but sweet with some complex oakeyness with hinst of Evan Williams.

scruffwhor, Oct 12, 2006
Photo of gosurfobx
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Pours a light straw color with a small head. The smell is sweet and accented by the smell of bourbon. The taste is like a tripel but without the hop bitterness which is replaced by the sweet taste of bourbon. The mouth is light with a low level of carbination. A drinkable yet very different tasting beer.

gosurfobx, Sep 12, 2006
Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.55/5  rDev -40.3%

On tap at Roman's in Milwaukee.

Dusty orange gold body with spritzer carbonation and a healthy white cloud atop.

Huge vanilla/oak aroma is surprisingly balanced out by a luscious tropical fruit medley of lime, apricot, papaya, and an abundance of peach skin.

Smooth and warming feel with a bit of an alcohol bite/burn. Tropical fruit flavors are overwhelmed by the boozey/oaky/vanilla character. I find the barrel aging to be a detraction from an already solid, albeit delicate beer. Some spice and hop bitterness manages to shine through the booze.

Drinkability is destroyed by the barrel aging.

Not my cup of tea at all, but I’m not that in to barrel aging of most beers.

DaPeculierDane, Aug 17, 2006
Photo of Foxman
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%

It pours a crystal clear and fairly carbonated classic ingot gold. A finger of white head drops away promptly to vestigial froth. Thin ropes of lacing string the inside of the glass.

The aroma displays a poignantly sweet grain backbone, with candy sugar and a light woody earthiness. A draft of alcohol drifts softly but notably.

Upon tasting, malted grain sweetness lays clear claim, driving forth an almost cloying rock candy presence, concentrated more by a bourbon oak directive. A creamy dollop of vanilla bends to a whiskey-esque vent of alcohol. A mellow spiciness, savory and peppered, turns to a rounded bitterness. A brief return of grain sweetness is dried by a lingering finish of muted bitterness. It has an interesting profile buoyed by a gentlemanly character.

Medium bodied, the cloying nature coats like syrup, and the result is a very pleasant feel.

The word that first springs to mind is interesting, and I'd follow that with blended, crafted, unique, and quite good. The bourbon presence is surprisingly strong, but it meshes almost seamlessly with everything else. The ABV is muscular and has a spirit quality, but it's all part of the drinkable show. Put it like this- I'd like to know which bourbon aged in this barrel first, because it goes damned well with this beer.

Foxman, Aug 08, 2006
Photo of GClarkage
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%

07/18/06- Received in a trade with Jetsbeer.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, bottled in mid 2005. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Dark peach colored elixer. Maybe even on the copper side. Pours with a 1/2 inch head which fades pretty quickly, but leaves behind nice streaks of lacing.

Smell- Tons of oak barrel in the nose. A bit of bourbon fusel alcohol scents as well. Some light spices with a good dose of vanilla. Different and a treat to the nose.

Taste- Vanilla is the first thing to hit my taste buds. A wonderful sweet tongue coating. The oak flavors and absolutely huge in the beer. Very wine like...maybe on the chardonnaly side as my drinking partner Spinlock had mentioned. Bourbon notes come through more as the beer warms. Corriander, powdered sugar and maybe a few alcohol soaked fruits finish it out. As Rachael Ray would say....Yummo!

Mouthfeel- Smooth, silky and a tad dry. Lower on the carbonation level.

Drinkability- I had the abv listed as 9.5 on my excel sheet and thought that it didn't even feel that high...then I looked at the bottle and saw it's actually 11%! Super easy drinking beer that is flavorful and a pleasure to drink. Another big winner from Allagash. Thanks much Steven!

GClarkage, Jul 20, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%

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.

BEERchitect, Jun 19, 2006
Photo of kmo1030
4/5  rDev -6.3%

hazy orangey gold with thin large bubbled head.
fruity nose with notes of orange rind, coconut, pineapple and banana. the barrel aging is apparent with vanilla oak aromas. it's pretty yeasty smelling too with some bread that kind of sneaks in at the end.
very orangey taste sort of like grand marnier with mild whiskey. the alcohol is a little hot, and the back end is a little sweet. if it weren't for those two things this would easily have a 4.5 for taste. fortunately some age will probably fix both those things.
medium body with moderate carbonation.
fairly good drinkability, but especially good. not to take away from this beer thogh it is very good, and very unique.

kmo1030, Jun 16, 2006
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%

Shared this bottle with my dad this afternoon. Bottled September 2004. After struggling with the cork a bit it popped out nicely. The beer poured a wonderful bright golden color with a small bubbly white head. A touch cloudy with lots of active carbonation. Aromas of bountiful tropical fruit with a fresh yeastiness. Candy sweet scents meld into a warm bourbon undertone. Hints of vanilla and wood work their way into the simply lovely aroma. Each inhalation beckons me to take a sip.

Curieux brings a smooth, slightly creamy maltiness accented by a mix of tropical fruit flavors, coconut and vanilla. Midway through I get a nice yeastiness with a warming stream of bourbon. Finishes beautifully, a bit dry with a touch of lingering wood. An awesome barrel aged tripel, easily the best I've ever sampled. Delicately balanced with only a hint of alcohol and the perfect marriage of bourbon flavors from the barrel.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied. Goes down so easily and is actually quite refreshing. This is almost deceptively drinkable, at over 9% abv I could be in trouble before I know it with this one. A treat to drink, I'm sad this is my only bottle. Hopefully I will come across this beer again. Cheers to Allagash for creating a Jim Beam barrel aged work of art.

orbitalr0x, Jun 12, 2006
Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) from Allagash Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 2,826 ratings.