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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

843 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 843
Hads: 3,439
Avg: 4.21
pDev: 23.04%
Wants: 448
Gots: 897 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) Alström Bros
Reviews: 843 | Hads: 3,439
Photo of rohrbachsfan
4.36/5  rDev +3.6%
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 -6.2%
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 +10.2%
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 -4.8%
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

Photo of kms910
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A bright golden amber, Medium head quickly recedes to skim surface

S- Strong bourbon and oak aromas with a little banana on the end

T- Sweet malts or pure honey and a lasting Jim Beam bourbon alcohol burn - a treat!

M- Creamy with just enough alcohol to make it interesting and delightful

D- Excellent drink-ability, the bourbon barrel paired the triple, makes it a must have - Allagash does a great job with this brew

 433 characters

Photo of instrumentality
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I received this beer as a housewarming gift from a buddy of mine. He tends to have good taste, and this will be my first Allagash experience (they just recently started distributing to California, from what I understand), so I'm
doubly excited.

One of the more informative labels, this one says it was bottled in August 2006, is from one of 520 cases bottled, and is 11% ABV.

Poured into my Stone IRS tulip glass, this beer emerges a cloudy golden apple cider color with minimal head that disappears quickly, leaving a foamy white halo and lace. I thought it was a tripel by look before I even identified that this truly was the style. Mouth-watering.

The odor strikes me as a mixture of phenol/band-aid, honey, and a bit of pepper. Not exactly mouth-watering, but intriguing nonetheless.

The first sip is definitely true to how I understand the style, but with a bit of a twist. Up front, the burn of alcohol is apparent, but this soon subsides into a honey sweetness before finishing off with the spiciness of cloves. What stands out, though, is the mouthfeel. At first, it almost feels flat, but then the carbonation begins to make itself known, and then the body takes on a thin yet creamy quality.

I'm not familiar with the characteristics of bourbon, so I can't say what bourbon barrel aging does for this beer, but it's definitely unique. As I take more sips, the burning becomes easier, and the honey sweetness comes more to the forefront. The mix of honey sweetness and clove spiciness doesn't entirely work for me, as it's as if the beer is trying to be refreshing and warming at the same time, and to me, these two efforts contradict each other.

However, the more I sip and the warmer this drink gets, the more everything comes together. Both the spiciness and the sweetness mellow out and the tasting experience becomes remarkably balanced due to the emergence of a third element that was previously masked by the spiciness: banana. This new medley of flavors is nearly perfect--more on the warming side than the refreshing side, but very smooth going down.

It took some time, but in the end, this beer has won me over, and if I can track it down, I will definitely buy more bottles.

 2,218 characters

Photo of plaztikjezuz
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bwyker for this bottle, my first trade.

Allagash, i have heard so much about this brewery, but i unfortunately live in a state with no distribution. Thankfully there is BA and the beer trade so i am able to now taste this malty beverage that I read about on this very site about 2 years ago. This beer is very much a Belgian from it's 750ml champagne corked style bottle to the simple label telling of the contents and a bottling date November 2006.
This beer is also very much a Belgian is it aroma, very subtle like Chimay, I personally expected something more because its an American brewery and we do things a little over the top in the craft beer new world. there is a good yeastie, fruity, citrus with a hint of bourbon and alcohol.
The flavor is soft, malty, hints of spice and citrus, subtle herbal flavor, a very balanced background bourbon flavor, and a smooth hint of alcohol. This is a wonderful example of a Belgian Tripel, very flavorful, light, and rich.
Try it you will not be disappointed, I definitely was not.

 1,044 characters

Photo of mentor
3.46/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

July 2005 bottling maintained carefully in my cool dark cellar. Pours a fizzy soda pop head with vigorous streaming. Off white soapy head. Liquid is perfectly clear golden, a touch dull. Smells fruity. Cherry and strawberry mostly. Oak sour tannin. Bready.

Tastes oak mostly to start with wet smooth malt rising. Vanilla and toasted grains. Oranges. Doughy and thin on the malt character. Mostly, this beer is about the wood. A thin light beer that tells the character of the barrels. A touch of chocolat almost comes across as malty. Wheat beer character is a touch yeasty Clove.

Md-light body and strong carbonation. Okay to drink, but there isn't much here. Isn't the oxidized bomb that I was fearing. Nice carbonation for the age.

 740 characters

Photo of HardTarget
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Inspection: Notes bottling date “December 04”, bought roughly at that time in Texas, cellared personally until sampled in March 07, 340 cases bottled, suggests a wide mouth glass. Brown 750ml corked and caged.

Aroma: Bourbon’s heady alcoholic flush, kept silently in deep wood.

Appearance: Hazy apricot glass with a thin cover and collar that leaves a bit of lace.

Flavor: Mild sweetness is almost worty, firm bourbon, an earthy wheat note, all well blended, no flavor overpowering the other. I’m not the biggest bourbon fan, but this worked very well.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, good carbonation, lively but not fizzy, dry but lingering.

Overall Impression: Easy but firm. I’ve been looking forward to this and after reading opinions in the cellaring forum voting against holding this one, I feel it stood up well to what I gave it time wise. I’ll be looking for more to hold.

 902 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

October 2005 bottling. Sun-splashed lemon with a wealth of fine carbonation enlisted in the creation of a regal white head. The texture of the foam isn't quite as spectacular as on most authentically Belgian ales, but it's still mighty attractive. Thick sheets of lace look like they'll stick until the cows come home. Like most Allagash beer, this one is a looker.

The nose is very nice, it's just that I was expecting some indication that the beer was actually aged in Jim Beam barrels. It smells like an excellent, impressively fruity tripel that... wait just a minute... a few more sniffs deliver a little woodiness... that still isn't very whiskey-like. Here's hoping the flavor profile is as advertised. [note: warming opens up the nose so much that it approaches the quality of the flavor at roughly the midway mark of the bottle.]

Curieux is outstanding beer! For some strange reason, my nose didn't identify what my palate is having no trouble identifying and greeting like an old friend. Allagash says there's a 'hint of bourbon'. I respectfully disagree. There's as much bourbon whiskey present as there is tripel. It's no surprise that these guys have found the perfect balance between the base beer (Tripel Reserve) and the flavor imparted by the wood.

Their decision to age the beer in bourbon barrels has done several things. It has effectively eliminated the ethereal complexity of Tripel Reserve and has replaced it with the power and deliciousness of Kentucky's finest. As a bourbon fanatic, I love the outcome. It's as if the brewers created an entirely new world-class beer from one that was world-class to begin with.

The flavor profile consists of ripe, buttery pears; caramelized sugar; charred oak and a huge splash of vanilla. Allagash has definitely done their homework (as always) because they've managed to imbue the beer with the very essence of the barrels' former occupant. As far as I'm concerned, the decision to age the beer eight weeks was perfect.

I love those light and airy Belgian tripels and I also love this one. It's heavily silky, lightly sticky and aggressively carbonated. When the bubbles wear off on the swallow, the flavor lingers with a determination that reminds me of my favorite bourbons. Not only that, but the huge ABV is warming me nicely and is beginning to blur my senses. Time to slow down so that I can finish this review with some sort of coherence.

Curieux had three huge things going for it right off the bat. It's brewed by Allagash, it uses Tripel Reserve (one of my favorite tripels) as its base beer, and it's aged in bourbon barrels (my favorite liquor). Therefore, I'm not the least bit surprised that I've been gobsmacked yet again. If you like beautifully crafted, amazingly delicious, Belgian-style ales with an American flair, it doesn't get any better than Allagash Curieux.

 2,866 characters

Photo of mmmbeer
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The second beer from my four beer sampler at the Sunset Grill and Tap - 5 oz. in a miniature pokal. It appears a hazed straw with light carbonation and a small white head that leaves little lacing. The aroma is very tropical (mostly orange and pineapple) with an oaky/vanilla kick - quite distinct. It is also quite tropical on the palate, with orange, pineapple, peach, melon rind, and banana, along with notes of wheat, green hops, yeast, vanilla, oak, and a peppery character. The body is medium and very smooth, with medium carbonation and finish. It's also dangerously drinkable, hiding the alcohol well, and I especially like what the bourbon has done to this brew. Recommended - I wish I had a bottle for aging.

 718 characters

Photo of DrJay
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy golden colour with a bit of an orange hue and an incredibly dense, bright white head. The thick foam produced a ton of solid, chunky lacing made up of extremely small bubbles. The aroma was very fruity, some papaya and mango, with definite oak and vanilla character. Just a little boozy too. Likewise, the flavour was heavy on the fruit, very tropical, with plenty of papaya and tart pineapple. Notes of vanilla swam in and out of focus, and oak was prominent, along with a woody alcohol warmth reminiscent of finer whiskeys. Although it was quite sweet, there was a solid bitterness underneath it all. Full bodied and palate coating, it didn't quite end up sticky. The carbonation was finely integrated and produced a creamy texture that led into a dry finish. This is truly great stuff from Allagash. The combination of fruitiness and wood aging really worked well together. Thanks Matt!

 903 characters

Photo of yelterdow
3.25/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served at cellar temperature in a Chimay chalice. Bottled in September, 2004.

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear burnished gold with a quarter-inch cap of foam, replenished slowly from the etched fleur de lis.

Smell- Old, boozy oak barrels with a strong vanilla and wood character. Musty cellar. Notes of mold and wet carpet.

Taste- Bourbon clearly out front, with its alcohol sweetness coating the entire mouth and tongue. The usual nuances of a Tripel are, unfortunately, masked by the overwhelming bourbon oak barrel influence.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Exquisite development in the mouth from beginning to end... the initial subtle carbonation becomes impossibly creamy and remains so throughout.

 711 characters

Photo of jaluria
3.73/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appeared a cloudy, yellow color with a white head filled with bubbles. Aromas of hops, yeast, and mellons. The taste was fruit-filled with a hint of smoke and vanilla. Malt and hop flavors dominated the finish. Quite creamy and textured. Smooth and mellow with plenty of depth; I really liked this beer, but it didn't present itself in both appearance and smell as well as it tasted.

 383 characters

Photo of shroompod
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

November 2006 vintage poured into wide mouth glass as recommended on the bottle.

Hazy golden color, not much of a head or carbonation apparent.

Smell has faint grassiness , some alcohol.

Taste has a tart fruitiness, some bready yeast notes, just a hint of the bourbon comes through. A very nice triple.

Mouthfeel is somewhat dry, good carbonation.

Drinkability is very good for a beer with such high ABV. This beer seems to be a good candidate for the cellar.

 475 characters

Photo of bonbright7
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I found this at Whole Foods today while looking for a good beer to match with my most ambitious cooking project from scratch, which was Japanese Wafuu Curry with a double portion of chicken over brown rice.

My first pour registered a slight head on a cloudy orange/gold body that reminded me of the other Allegash offerings in Belgian styles. The first smell of the beer had a pronounced Bourbon spirit to it and the first taste made me wonder if I was drinking a "Boilermaker"(shot of whiskey dropped into a beer, shot glass and all).

The beer flowed easily as I as trying to guess which sour mash maker had supplied the barrel for this particular batch. My guess was either Jim Beam or Maker's Mark because of the wide open sweetness combined with the tripel was very interesting.

As I got to the end of the very strong ale, more of the tripel elements showed themselves to me in the forms of malts and hops with great drinkability.

 946 characters

Photo of Wildman
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a slightly cloudy gold color and formed a bubbly white head the coated the glass with lace as it subsided. A medium amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of citrus with a hint of bourbon in the background. The flavor was of citrus, a hint of caramel and chocolate. The body was medium light with a slight creamy aspect to it. A sweet finish to it. Not a bad beer that could probably age well.

 414 characters

Photo of nase
3.87/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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

 334 characters

Photo of Fugazme
3.73/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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)

 650 characters

Photo of weeare138
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

 910 characters

Photo of cabsandking
3.06/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

 709 characters

Photo of Westsidethreat
4.37/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

 1,145 characters

Photo of brewcrew76
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

 575 characters

Photo of CharlesRiver
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

 997 characters

Photo of BeerHonky
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

 655 characters

Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) from Allagash Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 843 ratings.