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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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839 Reviews

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Reviews: 839
Hads: 3,405
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 5%
Wants: 441
Gots: 880 | FT: 36
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 839 | Hads: 3,405
Photo of krkearney
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled most recently on draft at Capone's (Norristown, PA) during the Allagash promo on 6/19/07. Hazy yellow, with a moderate sized off-white head. Complex aroma, fruit, oak, whisky, and yeast most notable. The wood aging adds some interesting flavors, like tropical fruit, whiskey, oak, alcohol, and yeast. Delicious beer, but I think the alcohol overwhelms the other more delicate flavors. (392 characters)

Photo of MiScusi
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL corked and caged bottle. Poured a hazy golden yellow with a minimal bubbly white head. The smell is sweet, fruity, and yeasty, but more like a Belgian Strong Pale Ale than a Tripel. Maybe the oak mellowed it out a little more? The taste is also very similiar to a Belgain pale ale. Fruit and classic belgain yeast with a warming alcohol finish. Not as much bourbon feel or vanilla from the oak as I would expect, in fact I hardly picked any up at all. The beer is very smooth and like I said, feels more like a belgain pale ale than any Tripel I've ever had. (564 characters)

Photo of cracgor
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

golden body with a nice thick creamy white head. Good retention and the sexy lace belgians are famous for. Fruity smell with melons and a kick of vanilla and an odd sour not that I can't quite place, but do like, with an earthy hint. It has a nice rich body, not cakey or syrupy, but pleasantly dry. The taste is more vanilla, more grassy, somewhat sweetened with alcohol, but neither overpowering or burning. (409 characters)

Photo of smurphy77
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. One thing is clear after one sip of this beer - you won't forget about it. Pale, radiant golden color poured into a tulip glass. Smells sweet, almost like the aromas that would come from a bourbon glaze. Taste is overwhelmingly bourbon, moreso than the lost abbey bourbon-barrel ale I sampled previously. Butter and vanilla flavors come through with the bourbon, and the finish is at the same time both sweet and puckering. Powerful stuff. Certainly a sipping beer, not a swigging beer. Even my 13oz pour was perhaps a bit much, but definitely worth a try. (561 characters)

Photo of akorsak
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A growler of Curieux filled on 6/19 at Capone's and opened on 7/22. This concludes my Allagash week, a big HUGE thanks to Matt C. and Capone's for the chance to try these beers on tap.

A: The ale is not nearly as hazy at it appeared to be in Capone's. It is an orange-yellow color, moderately translucent with an apparent haze that prevents complete visibility. The head has maintained itself nicely, measuring near 1.5 fingers and lacing extensively in the glass.

S: The nose, as always, is silky sweet bourbon. Buttery with vanilla and a strong undercurrent of alcohol. The bourbon is so strong that you expect a mouthful of Basil Hayden's (my bourbon of choice), hot damn I love it. The nose just keeps getting better and better over time.

T: Even fresh out of the fridge, the ale shows off its robust bourbon body. The sweetness of the barrel brings out a sweet yellow corn taste that is augmented with some buttery oak and vanilla. Tripel flavors emerge immediately from a sip, kicking up a bit of peppery zest that is quickly gobbled up by the bourbon. The sugary sweetness of the finish is enough to keep one coming back for more.

M: This is bourbon without the big alcohol component, how could you ever disparage that? I couldn't, so don't even try...

D: This is a monumental drink, so smooth and so delicious. The growler, between my wife and I, didn't survive the night. The flavor is so robust, so strong and profound that words barely do it justice. Showstopping work from the Allagash crew. (1,508 characters)

Photo of Phatz
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What a fantastic treat. Served on-tap at Capone’s last night in a small snifter glass.

Appearance: Served a light golden orange color with a small froth cap.

Smell: vanilla and oak with a sweet white grape give it a distinct wine like aroma. A touch of fruit, some peach and banana and an element of lemon, sit beside a distinct wine like alcohol.

Taste: The taste is similar to the nose. Yeasty fruity flavors and a woody notes of vanilla, coriander, orange and wine. I know this is Bourbon aged but I thought there was more vinous alcohol and vanilla oak than I typically associate with the charred wood flavor of bourbon. Still, I see that it is there.

Mouthfeel: A dry and spicy triple that is gloriously boozy.

Drinkability: It is hot and yet quite nice to drink. Still, I much preferred the Interlude for a sessionable beer. This is a decent sipper.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers! (905 characters)

Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A hazy golden brew with a small head with lengthy retention and a decent amount of lacing.

S - Very nice. A funky, slightly sweet, slightly sour, smelling, brew with strong oak wood and mild leather aromas. Some mild lemon rind, horse blanket and banana is decernable. Abv is detectable, if you are looking.

T - A very complex flavor. Dominated by a pleasant oak, a faint leathery flavor, with some banana and coconut backing. Alcohol is detectable, but flows well with the character. A real treat.

M - Very thick, smooth, a little drying from alcohol. A definite warming presence.

D - This is definitely not a beer to sit down and drink. It is something to be shared with friends over dinner or something to that effect. It is a power house that I imagine could open many a wine aficianado to the wonderful world of beer. A must have in my opinion. (865 characters)

Photo of largadeer
3.06/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Feb 2007 bottle.

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

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

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

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

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

Notes: An interesting experiment, but I think I prefer the Tripel Reserve on its own - the bourbon really overpowers the delicacy of the tripel. I think this would work better with a bolder beer as a base. (1,048 characters)

Photo of OStrungT
4.9/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a clear yellow color with a thick, fluffy off white head, with a slight yellow tint. The head fades very slowly, leaving a huge lacing.

This beer has a sour viniger like aroma. I mean that in a good way. I smell some grainy aroma. It has a nice citrus aroma from the hops. It has a slight Bourbon like aroma as well.

This beer tastes much like it smells. Sour up front, but not too cloying. It tastes slightly grainy also. Some lemony citrus hop flavor is also present. I only taste the Bourbon slightly.

This beer is crisp and refreshing. It goes down smooth, leaving a citrusy sour aftertaste. This beer is perfectly carbonated.

I think this beer would make a good session beer. It tastes great, and is not overbearing. The only problem is the alcohol content.

Overall: This beer is great. I am glad to have gotten to try it. (858 characters)

Photo of MCDuhamel
4.39/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked and caged 750 ml bottle into a Westmalle chalice. Bottle indicates October 2005 bottling.

A: Pours a nice copper color, showing moderate carbonation with tiny bubbles. Quite clear. Absolutely no head, which is really the only flaw (although not a minor one) in the visual presentation.

S: Aroma shows oak, like a California chardonnay, and a sweet vanilla. There is a whiff of Bourbon, although it is not at all pronounced. No hops at all.

T: This is a unique beer, and it is quite striking. Oak and vanilla clearly dominate the flavor, with a honey like center and a surprisingly dry finish. There is a barely perceptable banana highlight, and perhaps some tropical fruit. Alcoholic warmth is present, but it is not hot or harsh. Some yeastiness and biscuity notes also make themselves felt, but this is nothing at all like a Belgian tripel.

M: The mouthfeel is an interesting contrast between the syrupy vanilla and oakey flavor and a generally light body, with carbonation cutting though the beer to prevent if from being cloying.

D: This is definitely a sipping beer. It is very pleasant, though, and I do not find myself getting palate fatigue.

Overall: The recent trend of bourbon barrel aged beers does not always yield a drinkable product. There are a few noteworthy exceptions, and this is among them. This is an outstanding beer worth seeking out. I have cellared this for about half a year, and I suspect my remaining bottle may age for another year or two very nicely. I wouldn't drink it too cold, say much below 50 degrees, in order to ensure that the nose and vanilla accents are not unduly supressed. (1,657 characters)

Photo of Tim2000
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the 2007 Mondiale de la Bière.

Slightly hazy straw yellow beer with a dense head.

Aroma is tart and cidery with hints of spice.

This is a very complex brew. Lots of cider character, apple and pear fruitiness. Lots of oak and some tannins. Sweet and tart at the same time, with honey and floral notes as well as some spice. Alcohol is warming but well masked.

Mouthfeel is fairly thick with moderate carbonation.

Unusual and delicious. (461 characters)

Photo of jjayjaye
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy bright yellow color with less than a finger whispy white head that fades quickly. Little lacing observed.

The smell is a sharp lemon citrus, yeasty and slightly astringent.

The mouth feel is light. A tingle from the carbonation while the alcohol soaks and coats the tongue. Which contributes to a lingering presence.

The flavor is light, the oak gives it a nice complexity, but the bitterness in the nose is reflected in the taste.

Drinkability. The alcohol burn is there. Not a big fan of the style but this one is a nice sipper.
Ohhhh how our tastes mature!!!
Bright light pastel yellow..totally cloudy with visible effervescence. The collar kept alive from below..the tiny micro-bubbles add significantly to the smooth creamy mouth texture. The smell is classic and aggressive. Tart..citrus with harvest fruit from the yeast. The mouthfeel is really nice light refreshing smooth and creamy. The taste doesn't have the same intense character as the nose or the mouth, but it is quite nice!! ...and oh by the way, the 11% ABV will take you there!!! VERY NICE!!! (1,092 characters)

Photo of orfeu
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been holding on to this one for a while, now...Bottled in July 2005, from one of 390 cases. Golden peach with a respectable topping of slightly greying white froth that quickly fades to a thin skimming layer and ring. Estery aromas of tart apple cider, Chardonnay-esque buttery green grape skins, and really only the faintest whiff of Kentucky's finest. But that bourbon is certainly not missing from the taste. Atop the sugary pineapple nectar and grape-apple-melon fruit melange so welcome in the best tripels rides an almost regal oaky bourbon flavor, with alcohol vapor spirit breath lashing the palate toward a powerfully whiskey-laced finish. Pleasant phenolic banana-pineapple notes in the aftertaste. Light and airy, just like a tripel ought to feel, with, of course, a very deceptive alcohol content. Eminently drinkable in my estimation. Now, what one thinks of this beer will depend quite a lot on one's feelings about bourbon. In the example at hand, the latter will sneak up on the drinker who doesn't expect it, but those who enjoy and appreciate significant bourbon/whiskey flavors in their beer (like myself) will find much to admire in Allagash's Curieux. (1,177 characters)

Photo of atsprings
4.79/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a hazy pale orange with a decent head that slowly diminishes to a ring. The aroma is a very strong mix of sweet fruit, oak, citrus hops, yeast and alcohol. The taste is an extremely complex blend of the same flavors that blend together in almost perfect harmony. The beer is quite heavy and the alcohol is somewhat present, but not too harsh for 11%. This is a sipper to say the least, but an extremely enjoyable one. (432 characters)

Photo of BlindPig
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Thin white head on a lightly cloudy orange body with some yellow hues.
S- Big wood and banana aroma right off the bat, hints of vanilla, breads, cloves, and other light spices. Hints of caramel malt body. Alcohol aroma is really hidden here especially for 11%. There are very faint hints of bourbon here and there. Just a very nice blend of aromas and nothing is over whelming.
T- Bourbon comes through a bit stronger in the taste than the aroma. Everything is very well balanced and once again (like the aroma) nothing is over powering. The bourbon makes itself known but not to much. The wood comes through the beer nicely too. I get bourbon, wood, vanilla, bananas, light esters, cloves, hints of other spices, other light fruits, some light grassy hops, and a few other flavors I just can't pick out from this complex brew. Everything just fits into itself perfectly. The alcohol also doesn't give much of a warming here at all (just a very faint one), however, the bourbon flavor just lingers on the tongue for quite some time.
M- Medium body with low carbonation.
D- This is a almost perfect beer. It feels like everything comes out when it is supposed to and stays around for just enough time. Has amazing complexity and nothing over powers the other. Just a great beer for some very special occasions. (1,316 characters)

Photo of scorched
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a 750ml bottle, corked like champagne. When the cork was popped, it sounded like champagne.

It was poured into a tripel karmeliet glass, a brilliant orange with a large head, which surprisingly enough dissipated quickly, leaving a lacing around the glass.

The smell is high is citrus and notes of alcohol.

The taste, a fantastically smooth (hence the bourbon-barrel aging), tripel with high alcohol notes.

Mouthfeel, once again is smooth to insanity.

The only thing that is keeping this drinkability down is the alcohol content. Strong, but nice. (571 characters)

Photo of TexIndy
3.06/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 750 corked and caged bottle into a my DT glass. Label shows Aug 2006 bottling with 510 cases bottled. It opened with a good pop and was a clear golden honey color. It barely had a head and that went away quickly. It also had a steady small stream of carb throughout. The smell was very heavy on the oaked bourbon from the barrell. It was so dominant that no other smells really came to the front. The taste followed suit and it made me think of a bourbon and water more than a beer. This barrell trend is really hot right now and I've seen it done well where it adds some new flavor to the beer but this one barely shows any of the beer. Can't tell it was a tripel except for the identification here. I can see why some might love it but for me it's a one and done. Don't recommend. (2.5, NA, ML, N) (813 characters)

Photo of techdiver
4.69/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled August 2006 Pours a hazy deep gold with minimal head and modest lacing.

Alcohol, vanilla, mango, and papaya to the nose.

Taste is well balanced with malt, hops, and tropical fruit flavors melding together with the noticeable alcohol content.

Great mouthfeel, very smooth and well carbonated.

Again, I'll have no trouble finishing this 750. And again, of my recent foray into these special Allagsh offerings, my favorite is still Odyssey. (457 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, corked and caged, bottled in February 2006. I believe this was acquired in a trade sometime back. In a very gradual process to significantly reduce my stock of beer and make an eventual move to enjoying more of the beers i have come to love instead of rating everything in site, this one's number has been called...

appearance: poured into a snifter...glowing golden orange body, clear body with a simple snowy white froth...a remarkably bright and vivid beer

smell: belgian spices at the root, big oak and vanilla whiffs, smooth bourbon polishing...booze noticeable on the nose

taste: very nicely done, as expected, by allagash...nice tripel base - yeasty with light banana. Vanilla mixed with booze comes in strong with the bourbon effects potent but subtle. Oak aging is noticeable. Quality beer

mouthfeel: boozy and warming, medium body with crisp carbonation

drinkability: its a biggin (919 characters)

Photo of hammer09
3.33/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy, honey-colored ale with 1/2 inch head. Head dissipates quickly and lacing is relatively thin. Smell is mildly cidery and sour with little hop character. For a bourbon barrel-aged tripel, this beer doesn't really exhibit the aroma of bourbon barrel aging. Taste is alcoholic and sweet, but not overly flavorful at first. However, the flavor does improve as the beer is consumed. But, I wasn't blown away by the flavor as I expected. As with smell, the bourbon-barrel characteristics are not present in the taste of this beer. Flavors typically associated with a Belgian Tripel are present and in this respect this beer reminds me of one of the Unibroue Special Editon series. Mouthfeel is warming and alcoholic; carbonation is crisp. While not overly impressed with its lack of bourbon flavors, this is still a good, drinkable beer, albeit in limited quantities due to its relatively high %abv. (909 characters)

Photo of djwilson
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: Bottle, bottled february 2005.
Consumed out of a large Brandy snifter.
Aged two years.

Appearance: Very light copper color, slightly unfiltered, nice head retention. Leaves a nice Belgian lace on glass.

Smell: Very Little Oak, Big Bourbon nose, slight hint of vanilla, and caramel.

Taste: Tip of the tounge gets a heavy residual sugar hit, sides of the tounge pick up the destinct bourbon flavor, back center of tounge gets the nice sour belgian charecteristic, Finish is shorter then I expected considering the huge aroma, it does linger for several seconds gradually mellowing, with oak undertones.

Mouthfeel: Fells Light and clean, expected to be shocked with a huge bourbon kick, but it's very well balanced for a beer at 11% ABV.

Drinkability: Dangerously smooth for those who like Bourbon aged beers, Love the big bourbon aged beers but most leave me satisfied with one snifter, this one can be consumed a little to quick for a beer of this SIZE.

I will Say this at the top of my list for Bourbon aged beers. Very nicely done Allagash. Keep up the good work (1,099 characters)

Photo of rohrbachsfan
4.36/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden amber and slightly cloudy from the yeast. Rich foamy head that lasts.

Smell: Sweet malt, fruit, vanilla.

Taste: Malty and sweet. Strong vanilla and bourbon alcohol flavors, but all pleasantly balanced.

Mouthfeel: Rich and Creamy with some crispness from the carbonation. Finishes smooth.

Drinkability: Curieux was the second bourbon barrel aged beer that I have tasted (previously tasted AB’s Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale) and found it way better than AB’s offering (not in the same league). The ale flavors came through and the bourbon and oak vanillins were well balanced. Curieux makes a very nice selection for a special occasion. Try it instead of wine or champagne! (702 characters)

Photo of kirok1999
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, hazy light gold. Thin white head that splits to islands of thin foam. Smells of a serious Belgian, sweet honey, some vanilla, very slight bourbon notes. Tastes again of a good Belgian, sweet honey with some raisins, vanilla, slight bourbon comes through as it warms. This brew seriously needs to be served at cellar temp. I opened it way too cold and didn't get much but as it warmed it came alive! Completely different brew. The warmth lets the alcohol, bourbon, vanilla come through much better. (513 characters)

Photo of scottoale
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the 12 Hour Belgian beer party at Pizza Port Carlsbad as well as O'Brien's...picked up a bottle today just for the heck of it.

Poured into my 0.4L. New Belgium (Rastal,crystal goblet) a light, bright golden elixer with a fat-finger of white, fluffy head...nice. Good carbonation here...the cap settles to an eighth of an inch and leaves some notable lacing behind.

Sweet Belgian aroma...spicy, fruity, some yeast and funkiness at first, but then as it warms, out comes the bourbon, vanilla, oak and more alcoholic spice. Very nice.

The flavor is as it smells, but amplified with a nice sourness thrown in, and some peppery spice. As that gives way, the oak and boozy bourbon shines through, changing this triple into something a little tastier than the norm. And it gets better as it warms.

Full, fluffy mouthfeel, goes down oh-so-easy...beware of the strength as this brew packs a punch, seriously!

A brew very well done, an authentic Belgian ale for sure. (984 characters)

Photo of WanderingFool
4.01/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This bottle of Allagash Curieux dated September 2004 was aged for more than a year in my beer cellar. The beer pours a hazy light amber color with a medium sized creamy white head on top. In the glass large bubbles cling to the bottom as streams of smaller bubbles float up to the surface. Meanwhile, up on top the foam dissolved quickly down to thin sheet on the beer leaving behind a fair amount of netted lace around the glass. An interesting aroma of bread, yeast, alcohol and apple cider hovers over the beer.

Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer is creamy on the palate with a mild carbonated fizz on the tip of the tongue. The flavor is a well balanced combination oak, vanilla and toasted coconut. Towards the end some fruity notes come through with a pineapple flavor. At the end alcohol and a hint of hop bitterness finish off each sip. Once gone oak and vanilla flavors linger on the palate.

I think the time this beer spent in my cellar helped soften the alcohol burn and tame the burbon flavor. As it warmed in my glass different flavors came through with each sip. I've got to get a couple more bottles to drink now and age for later. (1,161 characters)

Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) from Allagash Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 839 ratings.