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

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

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3,126 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,126
Reviews: 824
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 11.21%
Wants: 385
Gots: 693 | 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
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Ratings: 3,126 | Reviews: 824 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeanBone
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

May 2009 Bottling

Appearance: A bright and hazy golden-orange body capped by over two fingers of fluffy near-white head that features good retention and decent lacing.

Aroma: All of the usual citrus and spice notes you'd expect from a Tripel mixed with plenty of booze around the edges and some vanilla and whiskey notes presumably imparted during the barrel aging process.

Taste: It's fruity, spicy, and bready like most Tripels, but there's far more complexity to come. You certainly don't have to look far to find plenty of oak and whiskey notes, unlike some barrel-aged beers I've tried. That eleven percent alcohol is present throughout and adds plenty of additional spiciness, but never seems out of place. Booze, whiskey, and vanilla come together in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and creamy with smooth carbonation. There's a few hints of burn from the alcohol profile, but it's all rather deceptively smooth. Dries up in the finish.

Drinkability: A beer crafted for savoring, to be sure.

Verdict: Curieux is quite a special beer; it's essentially a damn good Tripel accompanied (not dominated) by complex barrel and alcohol character. If I had the funds, I'd secure some bottles for cellaring, as I'm sure this just gets better with age.

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

I had this at an Allagash tasting on 7/23/2009. It was a rooftop bar - hard to get anything off the nose when the wind was whipping the aroma of the beer across the isle of manhattan!

What Allagash had to say:
Our tripel ale aged in Jim Beam bourdon barrels for 8 weeks where complex new flavors develop, most notably coconut and vanilla. 9.5 - 10.5% abv

What I had to say:
I'm picking up more passion fruit on this brew. It was an interesting smokey quality - I assume from the barrels. Bourbon barrels are charred for both smokey and sweet qualities. I will either love this beer or be overwhelmed by it as it sits. The beer develops a white pepper characteristic which is a nice foil to the passion fruit. The palate is very alcohol driven. I would age this beer a little longer.

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

A- Clear amberish orange. No head with little to no lacing.

S- Belgian yest, faint citrus, even more faint vanilla and booze.

T- A smooth, beligian wit (citrus, wheat and yeast) with a deleicate balance of flavors picked up from the barrel (vanilla, oak and burbon). I expected more burbon and got an extremely smooth taste, which was very good for such a high ABV.

M- Very smooth yet dry finnish from the aging. All around medium body. No alcohohol lingers.

D- Very good to have another barrel aged beer without the overly aggressive booze flavor. ALthough the tastes are delicate, they are not overly complex.

Photo of smithflipper
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a lovely orange hue, clear as the yeast was carefully decanted.Big rocky head as you'd expect froma tripel.

Smell. Spicey vanilla, some bannana, oak, ginger. A faint finish of anise.

Taste. Tan bark, fresh pine chips. Faint smokey bourbon character then lods of vanilla pods. Loads of ginger. Plenty of oak. Alot going on, would be 5 if my tastebuds weren't so confused.

Highly carbonated, good mouthfeel.

Great beer, so much flavour, but thats what hurts the drinkability, shared the bottle with a friend, and that was plenty

Photo of sholland119
3.61/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this on cask at Teresa's Next Door.

A-Pours a hazy apricot golden color with a fluffy white head and great lacing.

S-Sweet with a heavy aroma of chardonnay grapes. No real bourbon character or funk.

T-Yeasty and sweet with just a bit of funkiness. Bourbon barrel notes really not apparent here.

M-Light to medium bodied.

D-Tasty but not up to either the bottle or tap versions. Will be interesting to see if age helps this one.


Photo of Overlord
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

One of those beers where I wish I could have tried it pre-aging, just to figure out whether the barrel added or subtracted from the final brew (kind of like what happens to about 50% of Alesmith's barrel aged releases- they aren't improved).

Pours a light creamy gold with a surprisingly robust off-white head. Smells like vanilla, bourbon, and ... maybe a whiff of hay/grass. Hmmm. I was expecting more complexity from a tripel.

Taste is nice, soft bourbon/vanilla overlaying some interesting spice, bananas ... is that a hint of coconut?, and hay/grass. The beer is sweet. Quite sweet. It's got a grainy, sickly sweet maltiness to it that was completely unexpected.

Not my cup of tea, but an interesting beer.

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.42/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed (Draft at Brouwer's, Seattle, TX):

Pours a somewhat cloudy body, very pale yellow. Fluffy white head creamy and lasting. Sweet sour aroma, light. Sour taste, pretty sweet. Not rotten, or acidic-ly sour. Relatively smooth. Refreshing. Fruity tasting. A little dry on the aftertaste. Tasty.

Photo of champ103
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cloudy golden/orange color. A one finger white head forms and recedes to a ring in an instant. Light lace is left behind.
S: Lots of wood, vanilla, and a light fruitiness. Not all that aromatic, but enjoyable. Some alcohol in the nose as well.
T: Wood, vanilla, and alcohol from the bourbon. A nice sweet fruit flavor and spice. Really well balanced with the bourbon and fruit.
M/D: A full body with good carbonation. Rich and creamy. The alcohol is noticeable, but a very easy beer to sip on.

Another good beer from Allagash. This is very unique. Something I would recommend.

Photo of billshmeinke
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 750 ml bottle into an Affligem chalice.

A: Hazy golden/orange color, modest (3-4cm) head that dies down to a slim layer of foam on top focused around the edge of the glass, modest lacing lacing.

S: The smell of bourbon is immediately apparent underneath that there is some spice (cloves), a hint of vanilla, oak and a modest citrus fruit smell.

T: Taste follows smell. Strong bourbon/whiskey flavor is immediately apparent, but not overpowering. Spicy alcohol is present (you can definitely taste that 11% abv). Taste of ripened bananas, spicy cloves, vague molasses and an oaky vanilla flavor. Flavor reminds me of a hefe-weizen a bit aside from the barrel characteristics.

M: Medium bodied, well carbonated sort of bubbly/foamy in the mouth, very true to belgian style tripels. I find the mouth feel to be very impressive for a bourbon barrel aged beer.

D: Quite drinkable for such a strong abv and bourbon flavor, but definitely not a beer you'll find yourself drinking quickly.

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

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD

A: The beer poured a fairly cloudy, straw-yellow with virtually no head into a chalice. Had to take off a bit for the cloudiness.

S: Slight hop aroma, with citrus, lemon, and orange undertones and a slight bourbon aroma.

T: Very nicely balanced, with a stringent hop bitterness and wonderfully subdued bourbon flavor, not overpowering. The alcohol is well-masked (a very drinkable beer for its 11% ABV).

M: Medium, a bit fizzy, with light lacing down the glass.

D: A surprisingly drinkable ale (given the high ABV). I especially like the fact that the bourbon flavor is not overpowering, as it can be with other "barrel-aged" ales. Nicely done.

Photo of bilyboy65
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a fantastic glass of beer.

Overall it's a little bitter, but not by much as its a very balanced beer. Looking at it you see a very cloudy dark yellow color with a paper thin head. Not many markings on the glass. And its aroma comes at you like a tidal wave of apples and bourbon. Anyone say christmas cider? Tasting it is not as good as smelling it as a bitterness to the beer seeps in. There is an apple cider taste to it up front with a sharp alcohol taste going down. Not a bad taste but still there. As it finishes though in your mouth you detect why it's bitter and the oak and bourbon really come through leaving nothing but good feelings on your taste buds. This is a very drinkable beer as it is a medium bodied even keel beer all around. Can't wait to taste the second in the series.

Photo of redneckchugger
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best beer i have ever had.
Beautiful head, lacing all the way down the tulip, just gorgeous.
Its a tripel aged in bourbon casks and it smells like it. I get the classic phenolic tripel smell with cloves, bread and a hint of bananas, along with the vanilla of bourbon,
Tastes amazing, classic tripel flavors, but so creamy so smooth with the oak and bourbon in the mid-palate.
This beer has the best mouthfeel of any beer i have ever had, so smooth and creamy.
I don't care if this beer is 16 bones a pop , i will buy several bottles every time i see it. One of the best beers i have ever had.

Photo of puboflyons
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 750 ml. corked bottle marked March 2009. Sampled on June 20, 2009. It pours a cloudy yellow-gold with a bubbly head that builds up quickly and then diminishes. The aroma is of yeast and sour malts. The mouthfeel is pretty good while the taste is a mixture of yeast, alcohol, and grass. It is much like a Belgian style Tripel is supposed taste and it is brewed in Maine. Tastes like Belgium.

Photo of Naerhu
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this at Bevmo in LA for $15 or so.

Appearance - Great white sticky head, with yellow yeasty body.
Smell - No bourbon in the nose, but lots of citrus fruit, tangerine, bubblegum and yeast.
Taste - Mildly sweet and delish. Again, no bourbon flavors.
Mouthfeel - Fine carbonation on a full bodied beauty.
Drinkability - Despite the high alcohol, this baby was extremely easy drinking. A little high in the alcohol to become a daily brew, but would make an awesome stand in for white wine.

Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

March 2009 Bottling.

So the wife dragged me to the grocery store on a day when we had no kids and I snuck this bottle into the shopping cart. Shh don't tell her how much it cost :)

Pours a slightly cloudy Golden color with a big bubbly white head that sticks around for a while and coats the side of the glass. Smells of Phenolics, oak, alcohol, citrus, lightly fruity, some bubblegum, and spicy yeast. Taste is filled with fruits, oak, alcohol. A bit sweet with a semi-dry finish. Leaves a lingering alcohol hot/sweetness in the finish. Carbonation is high, body is full, mouthfeel is sweet creamy. Great Oak aged Belgianesque brew. Not something I would enjoy often, but great to try.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pops the cork with a very impressive sound. Pours a beautiful cloudy golden yellow with a nice thick head of crunchy, crackling milk-coloured bubbles. Great lacing. Looks a top drop.

Lots of phenolic activity on the nose. Big oaky characters, citrus, resin, a bit of wine cork, unique but refined, fresh but aged. Lots of sharp fruit as well, maybe cherries or cranberries, in a lingering overtone. Very nice indeed.

Smooth sweet entry, with a blossoming robust oak character. Sweet, lightly citric notes on the mid palate before the long finish, dry and crisp, with a noticeable alcohol heat. Mouthfeel has a perfect sheen on it, and only at the end when the big alcohol presence is felt is there a tingling on the tongue. Yet in a way the prominent alcohol character numbs this away.

For me, this is such a classic American craft beer. A Belgian style tripel aged in bourbon casks. Where else in the world could such a beer be possible?

A big beer, very refined, but somewhat hard to approach as well. There are some really lovely characters to this. The huge ABV is daunting, and to be honest, isn't necessary. There's just a bit too much of it noticeable on the palate.

But this is a very nice beer nonetheless. Not something for every day, but something worth savouring on a rare occasion. Try it once now, and then maybe again in a year or so.

Photo of ThirstyBird
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at Julians/Providence
A - Hazy Honey color - nice light off white head.
S - Little bourbon, some sweet malt, some oak.
T - Light bourbon. some vanilla, oak, sweet malts. Alcohol lingers a bit too.
M/F - Medium body. Light and subtle carbonation. Very nice.
D - Very smooth and enjoyable. I enjoy cask beer and this one was a real treat.

Photo of bwd110
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's in Norristown, PA 05/28/09

A: Pours a golden honey, a touch darker than your standard tripel, with a big fluffy off-white head. Not much head retention or lacing to speak of.

S: Bourbon. Vaniilla. Coconut. Goodness. Slight yeasty, tart fruit smell when you dig a little deeper in this one. Very complex.

T: Goodness, this is a tasty beverage! Very well crafted, very complex. Bourbon, wood and vanilla mix SO well together. Like coconut flavor contrasts nicely to the light tart fruit notes. Almost too complex to completely describe after one sitting. Alcohol esters are prevalent, however.

M: Nothing short of perfect. Great creamy feel despite the higher level of carbonation. The barrel aging adds a real smooth texture to this one - like velvet.

D: Best shared and sipped. A big boy for sure.

I WILL be buying some bottles of this one.

Photo of trbergman
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml poured into a teardrop.

A - Golden orange body with plenty of carbonation and a tall crown of white foam.

S - Aromas of spices - cloves, perhaps coriander - some esters of fruit and bubblegum. There's a hint of dry candi sugar as well.

T/M - Dry and peppery with a slightly creamy body. The barrel aging is fully evident, with a touch of astringency and the flavor and warmth of Bourbon. Wood may be too present - it could probably use more time in the bottle.

D - Delicious, and overall quite pleasant.

Photo of sweetbrew82
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ML into a snifter/ Bottled in March 2009

P: This honey-infused bronze liquid is topped with a soapy-like, off white head that's semi-dense and puffy with an expectedly below average retention from the alcohol.

A: Aromatics don't jump out of the glass like I had hoped, that's for sure. Bourbon, obviously, is the first thing I notice. It's not overpowering, but does smell sweet and delicious. Then, fruity aromas reminiscent of apples, pears, peaches and some citrus make their presence known. Some oak is definitely present here as well, along with cloves and yeast.

T: Pretty much follows the nose, but with the oak meter turned up a bit. Smooth malt bill propels the fruit to the forefront with flavors of pink apples, pears, and the sweetness of peaches that tastes great! The yeast and cloves work together to provide a nice spicy kick, while the Bourbon oversees everything with a hyper-active personality, mainly because it's so fresh. A sweet undercurrent of vanilla notes round things out.

M: Full-bodied for a tripel, smooth and slick, slightly creamy with a gentle carbonation.

Notes: While this Bourbon barrel-aged tripel tastes pretty good, it's just too damn fresh. As of right now, the flavors just don't meld together quite right. The bourbon is a bit too pronounced, which kind of disjoints the rest of the flavor profile. So obviously, the potential of this one is through the roof! Glad I got one in the cellar because it should be a fuckin' rock star in 2 to 3 years.

Photo of GRG1313
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A wonderfully well balanced and obviously well made, quality ale. Pleasant full fruit nose with hints of whiskey; big integrated fruit/hop flavors with refined carbonation and some fresh sweet characteristics. Very pleasant bouron finish. This appears to be a drink that would impress and please most.

Photo of TheMistler
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A hazy, pleasingly gold color. Not as much head as I anticipated from Belgian where you can see quite the sheet of yeast on the bottom. Does barrel aging quiet it down a bit? Nonetheless, a good head, creamy in color and appearance. Sticky lacing and nice retention.

A boozy aroma. Biscuit dough, caramel-tinged, tripel-standard sweet notes are seriously sharpened by alcohol. Wood tannins, vanilla notes. Golden raisins and citrus. Oddly, while it does have some spicy, very peppery notes, it clears the sinuses much more than I'd anticipate.

There is certainly some oak to taste, with some very subdued but nonetheless noticeable bourbon. Citrus. Somewhat bitter, alcohol-muted biscuit. Yeasty dustiness. Vanilla cream in towards the end of the taste. Alcohol drying - a mouthsmacking finish. Vanilla lingers as the aftertaste as well.

Creamy. I wouldn't necessarily say the ABV is well hidden, but it is integrated well into the structure of the beer. Crisp carbonation becomes very creamy. Medium bodied. Despite the highly noticeable ABV, this beer ranks as above average, drinkability wise.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My co-worker asked me if I had ever had this beer before. No, I haven't. He said he tried a bottle and described this as the first beer he's ever needed a chaser for. That was my spark to buy a bottle of this over Angel's Share. Question...does an oversized wine glass qualify as a "wide mouthglass". Well, let the journey begin:

It's a very heady brew. It's looks like shaving cream on top a body of dusk orange. Smells like oak and pine. It's not nearly as strong as I would have hoped, but it's all about the taste, right?

The oak flavor is dominant, but never too intense. Where's the tripel? It's very light. Some maple notes cling on the palate into the aftertaste. It has a nice full mouthfeel without too much carbonation, and the booze is masked well. .... on second though, as it warms, the fruity sweetness associated with a tripel shows up. To my surprise, I found it very easy to drink.

This is a good barrel-aged beer considering how tame it is. It's a bit pricey in terms of flavor/price ratio (@ $14 per 750 ml), but there aren't that many 11% ABV barrel-aged beers out there with this kind of drinkability.

Photo of konisko
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Woof ... this is a review after having tasted at least 5 different bottles of different batches. (Not all at the same time ... apologies to the Long Beach Hopheads)

The appearance is always truly that of amber beauty.

It's difficult to rate it's appearance because it's smell is so delicate and aromatic as to overwhelm my vision of its appearance.

Sorry ... I love this beer!!!!

I buy it when I have an extra buck to simply store it to age.

My pilgrimage this summer is to visit the brewery (and the gf's family who live near it ... lucky me ... poor them)

It tastes like a delicate bourbon, it feels like a newly freed virgin (apologies to my minister).

Drinkability ... VG ... but share the bottle ... otherwise you may see ... ok ... just drink the bottle!!!

Photo of Yesac
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Crystal clear amberish orange. No head, a ring forms around the edges. Little to no lacing.

S- Weak aroma. Some Belgiun yeast, some citrus and sharp alcohol.

T- Very dry and to the point. Wooden and bourbony tones seem to lay on an underlying sweet vanilla-like base. Citrus sharpness and a toasty malt finish. Hats off to Allagash for not making this overly bourbony.. its a wonderful balance.

M- medium carbonation. medium bodied. Way to dry.

D- Awesome sipper and a unique brew. The appearance is dull, the smell is weak and the dryness leaves a bad mouthfeel.

Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) from Allagash Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 3,126 ratings.