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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843 Reviews

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Reviews: 843
Hads: 3,439
Avg: 4.21
pDev: 23.04%
Wants: 448
Gots: 896 | 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
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Reviews: 843 | Hads: 3,439
Photo of Dantes
3.11/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Package: 750ml corked and caged bottle, labeled 9.5% ABV. Aged in Bourbon barrels and bottle-conditioned. Classic parchment-like buff label with what looks like hand-lettering and explaining special handling.

Cost: $9.99 at Ramsey Liquors

Presentation: tulip glass at ~55º

Appearance: Cloudy, pale yellow color with some burnished tints. Voluminously fluffy, dry, tight head that persisted through both servings. Numerous streams of extremely fine bubbles cut through the cloudy body. Light, insubstantial lacing. Very vigorous cork pop and gunsmoke, with a lot of lees at the bottom of the bottle.

Smell: Quite alcoholic, with strong bourbon vanilla notes. Faint hints of the citrus zest, banana, clove, and coriander that are so lovely in the “plain old” tripel reserve. Not very subtle in beating one about the olfactory bulbs with the bourbon.

Taste: Again, the bourbon permeates the first impressions. It’s hot on the palate, alcoholic, and overly vanilla-sweet. The orange zest and some banana come through, but the rest of the complex flavors I love in this beer are pretty much flattened. There’s some yeastiness and malt, but they are suffused in sweetness. Their tripel reserve (q.v.) is one of my favorite beers, but this just goes too far. Contrary to the regular tripel, this one seems to worsen as it warms, the bourbon becoming even more apparent.

Mouthfeel: Continues the Allagash tradition of bottle-conditioning super-smooth, creamy beers with fine carbonation and great mouthfeel. Without any crispness though, this verges on the syrupy.

Drinkability: Not very for me. I’ll stick with the superior standard offering (practically two for one). This is the second beer in a week (Edition 2004 being the other) that I found to be way too sweet for me.

Backwash: WHAT HAVE THEY DONE WITH MY BELOVED TRIPEL RESERVE! At least they had the good sense not to name this Heresy, which is what it is. I’ve been pretty disappointed with most of the bourbon-barrel aged beers I’ve had lately (e.g. Heresy). Frankly, tripel is one of the last styles I’d expect to show well after being aged in bourbon barrels. It’s a delicate (if high-ABV) beer with a balance of sweet and complex flavors. The bourbon simply overwhelms it. If Allagash wishes to experiment with different expressions, I think aging in port, sherry, or rum casks might work much better.

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Photo of froghop
3.12/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a semi-hazy orange with a small off-white head, lively carbonation, okay lacing.

smell of fruit, bread, grain, touch of toasted caramel, nuts, malt, some spice.

taste is smooth, sweet, pear, apricot, green grape, grain, carbonation, some wood, slight spice.

overall a little too sweet for my liking.

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Photo of hobbes2112
3.12/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750 mL December 04 Listed as 11% ABV (not 9.5 as listed here)

Pours a bright yellow with golden core, very little initial head with next to zero retention.

Aroma is straw, oak (though a lot more sweet than one would expect in a bourbon) and a yeasty smell like those ready to bake dinner rolls.

Taste is alcohol first and foremost, a lot more of the woody notes coming in towards the end of the draw. Really sharp bite right as the aftertaste kicks in, leads into a dark cherry.

This is an intense beer, I liked it but expected more. At roughly $15 I doubt I will get this again.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.15/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours hazy light gold with a minimal white head.

Aroma has some upfront fruits. Banana, pear other lighter fruits, vanilla spice and a little graininess. A touch of bourbon

Flavor is similar to the aroma although there is a lot of pepper in the flavor. The banana and fruit notes are nice, but the bourbon and the pepper create an odd and not entirely pleasant flavor profile. This beer seems a bit confused as to what it wants to shine through.

Medium carbonation, mouthfeel on the lighter side with some alcohol present.

Ok concept, but didn't really do much for me. The flavor profile was very muddy and even though I split it 5 ways it still got a bit cloying by the end of the glass.

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Photo of Damian
3.16/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Drank from a 1 pint 9.4 fl oz (750 ml) corked and caged bottle purchased at Julio's Liquors, Westboro, MA
Bottling September 13, 2012
Served in a tulip

The hazy, yellow-amber liquid was topped by an inch-tall crown of sudsy, off-white froth. Splotches of lacing coated the glass. The head faded to a thin, lasting film.

Belgian yeast notes were apparent in the nose. Crisp, fruity and phenolic. Slightly sweet with subtle vanilla notes. Touch of citrus. Lemon peel was most apparent. Hints of bourbon came through as well.

The flavor profile was rather lackluster. Belgian yeast notes appeared on the front end. Slightly phenolic. Subtle bready, toasty notes were present as well. Crisp, dry and lemony in the center. Hints of tart and bitter citrus rind were noticeable on the back end. The finish was oaky, dry and much hotter than I anticipated. I was amazed that this was only 11%.

The mouthfeel was one of the better things about this beer. It was smooth, supple and frothy. The liquid contained a fine, lively effervescence.

Curieux was a huge letdown, especially considering that I paid nearly $20 for this bottle. Not only was the flavor profile simplistic and quite harsh, but the bourbon element was practically non-existant. Allagash makes some terrific beers, but this definitely is not one of them.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.16/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Normyk for the opportunity to try this. I had missed this beer many times over.

Much lighter than I expected. It seems like the barrels barely had an effect on the color. Its a pale golden. Clear and bright with a white head and good lacing.

Again, the barreling is very understated, allowing the beer to be more of a Tripel. Lemon notes, and understated, almost bretty funkiness with light, sweet dough. Some yeasty spice is there as well. Things are smoothed over by a little bit of butter and coconut.

Very tripel like with very little in the way of bourbon. Spicy and chalky yeast with some apple-like fruitiness. There is some faint vanilla and lemon mixed in.

The carbonation is too high, that seems to be the way of Allagash though. This beer finishes hot and dry.

Not what I expected at all. After this, Black and a couple others I've had I'll be removing the rest of the Allagash beers from my wants list now.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.22/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served on-draught into a mason jar at Villain's in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed from notes. Expectations were high; I've loved the beers I've had from Allagash in the past.

A: Pours a one finger head of fair cream, decent thickness, and pretty good retention. Colour is a semitransparent yellow. I wouldn't know it was 11% to look at it.

Sm: Very fruity - melon, peach, orange clementine, and nuts. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Cream, heavy fruit, alcohol, and banana. Some hops. It's got a heavy tropical vibe - maybe pineapple and passion fruit. Lots of coconut too. Evocative of a pina colada to an extent. Complex but very strange. I like that it's bold and inventive, but it's sort of a failed experiment. Awkwardly balanced.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Generally suits the flavours.

Dr: Among the strangest beers I've tried. Everyone should try it because it's experimental; it's sort of a novelty item. Very drinkable for the ABV. Curious indeed.

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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.

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3.26/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of fx20736
3.26/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

received as a gift, March 2015. Poured in a goblet at dcellar temp.

Look: Old Gold, fizzy white head, good lacing

Smell: vinegar, maybe some Noble Hops

Taste: unexpected skunk note, pale malt, orchard fruit, some alcohol ester

Feel: soft, mousse like

Overall: major disappointment. Was really looking forward to this one

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.28/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I have this in my beer cellar going back to the original release. I love how this tastes and it's only gotten better with time. That said, I had a May 2007 bottle last night and way overkill on the Jim Beam. It tasted like the tripel with too much bourbon in it. If you like Jim Beam then you'll love this beer. Otherwise I'd stash a couple of the May relase away for a few years then come back to it or buy an older release for a more subtle brew.

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Photo of Didier
3.31/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Not a bad beer by any standards, but since I'm apparently the only person here who doesn't flat out worship this beer and am only giving it an "average" rating (or has average become below average?), BeerAdvocate demands a review. Well, I'm just not that impressed by bourbon barrel aged beers. If I wanted my brew to taste like hard liquor, I'd make it a snakebite and drop a shot of whiskey in my glass. I did like this beer, it was tasty and didn't quite taste like the 11% it is (but it definitely does taste strong).

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Photo of SteveO1231
3.32/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle from the brewery on July 17th, Enjoyed on August 13th.

Pours a hazy yellow with some dark copper in the deeper sections of my Allagash glass. Thick fluffy white head and lots of tiny bubbles floating to the surface rapidly.

Nose of candi sugar, pineapple, apricot, peach and a ton of oak.

Light to medium bodied with a fluffy texture and slick mouthfeel. Candi sugar sweetness up front with some fruity flavors of peach and pineapple juice. The oak and abv dominate with a spicy drying quality. The oak leaves the palate dry and the alcohol really warms the palate ans stomach. This brew is a bit on the hot side, and the oak seriously overpowered the beer. Perhaps it is better with a little age on it.


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Photo of hammer09
3.33/5  rDev -20.9%
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.

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Photo of magictacosinus
3.35/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a chalice out of a 750ml bottle. Label states that it was bottled on October 2011.

Well, well. I must first admit that I'm not quite knowledgeable about barrel-aged beers. I'm fairly familiar with the process, but have tried very few in the past to form any solid opinions about them. Nevertheless, beer aged in Jim Beam bourbon barrels sounds good enough to me!

Color is golden (as expected, being a tripel) though there is very low carbonation despite a small, foamy head. Not much lacing involved, and difficult to actually spot any alcohol on the edge of the glass. Clear, and hardly any sign of it being non-filtered.

Holds an aroma that is sugary and alcohol like many tripels I've had in the past, and contains hints of grapes and other sweet fruits. Definitely a woody smell at the front. While is obviously has liquor notes, there's far less of it than I expected. The smell of alcohol is far too overpowering here instead, without being able to reveal any of the subtleties that tripels usually have.

A first sip reveals instant bitterness at the front, but follows with a smooth bourbon finish. Overall, very boozy and warming, though lacking in fruitiness. If anything shines here, it's the woodiness and dryness of this beer. It's truly a successful barrel-aged product, as it manages to combine the sweetness and spiciness of tripels in terms of flavors, and the smoothness and fullness of bourbon. Nevertheless, it is absolutely nothing but a sipping beer and becomes progressively more sour as it warms and thins out. I unfortunately couldn't finish my glass as a result, and would sooner recommend this to be consumed cold rather than at room temperature.

I personally found it to be a special recipe from Allagash, although not really worth the $20 price. I've had far better tripels and while the barrel-aging does provide complexities of its own, it really distracts the overall flavor and throws it off balance with too much alcohol. I realize what this beer is trying to achieve (and it achieves it very well) but I personally can't bring myself to have it again anytime soon due to these traits.

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Photo of brendan13
3.35/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Smithflipper for sharing!
A - Poured into an oversized wine glass a clear golden with 2cm white head that slowly falls away.
S - Spicy notes, some light candied fruit with some woody touches and alcohol.
T - Spice and fruity phenols with vanilla and bourbon hints.
M - Quite a sweet Tripel, fairly high carbonation.
D - Worth trying but not something I'd rush into again.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.36/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

At the time of this review, this is the #7 Tripel on beeradvocate. I wanted to try this beer for so long but the size of the bottle, the ABV, and the cost prevented me from doing so, but I will get a 6 ounce pour of it for 4$ at a local bar. Neat. Served in a tumbler for some stupid reason.

Beer is yellow and mostly clear with a lazy thin wispy head of small bubbles, some carbonation, some lacing, looks fine.

Aroma is like dilute whiskey, nothing else.

Beer is thin and watery with a strong dry finish, lots of whiskey, the whole thing is like drinking a whiskey with a little bit of bitters in it. Not very enjoyable as a beer, as the liquor character shades the entire beer. I'm glad I didn't buy a 25 ounce bottle.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.38/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The most clarity of anything I've had barrel aged. Dark yellow. Aroma lacked bourbon. More of the belgian yeast aroma than anything.

Taste, mild, smooth sure, but I wanted some heft and whatnot. Wood comes across more than whiskey. Minimal spice and vanilla. At least the alcohol remains well hidden despite its massiveness. I'll give them points for making a bourbon barrel something so unique, but its a mellow beer without a lot of taste.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.38/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Purchased August 2008 at the brewery. July 2008 bottling. Split with angrybabboon.

Appearance: Deeply hazed golden brown. Small bright-white head drops to a wispy cap and small, tight collar. Moderate carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Tiny hints of bourbon. Deeply breast and biscuity. Half-cooked dough. Some vanilla and toffee. Slight hints of oxidation add some sherry notes. Cooked and caramelized malts. Banana and a hint of banana jam, because it must exist. Touches of alcohol and a backing yeasty spiciness.

Taste: Ripe banana and some.minor peppery clove. Belgian yeast. Bourbon pushes small layers of vanilla, oak, and toffee. Deeply caramelized malts. Bready. Undercooked biscuits. Some pale malts as well. Bourbon still kicks a bit after the years. Slight push of jammy sweetness. Layers of oak and bourbon. Solid malt base. Some pithy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth. Medium body with a moderate to light carbonation. Relatively clean finish.

Overall: A mild curiosity. Probably wouldn't appear in you're average curieux.

Age dampens the bourbon A good bit, but it's still kicking. A solid bass triple that gets a bit more depth with aging in barrels and a cellar. I'm thinking 2 years is prime.

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Photo of popery
3.38/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tap, City Beer Store. Beer pours a hazy but bright golden color with a nice white head that sticks around well. The aroma is milder than expected. There are some light stone fruit and caramel malt notes. The oak note is one of the best parts but a bit too refined not to get pushed out of the way more than I'd liked. It also seems somewhat vinous, though it's a bit hard to tell under the bourbon. The bourbon is fairly harsh and there's too much alcohol heat. The booze really hits in the flavor. I think that I might like the base beer and I might like an aged bottle/keg, but this is too harsh for me fresh.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.4/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured dirty gold with a non-existent head. Aroma is thick with caramel malt, spices, and (shockingly) bourbon. The taste was just not that good. Too much bourbon spoiled the subtle beer flavors. Maybe if they used a better bourbon (Makers Mark?) or less time in the Jim Beam barrel, this could be a great beer.

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Photo of donniecuffs
3.4/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Surprisingly decent head for barrel-aged tripel.

S: Wide variety of citrus, pine, bourbon, and cloves. Started salivating..

T: Slightly disappointing relative to the nose. I found the bourbon flavor to be more overpowering than I had anticipated from the nose. Maybe I just got a bad batch..

M: Nice medium-bodied and carbonated pour. Certainly didn't seem like such a strong beer, which is the sign of a good tripel.

D: The mouthfeel was great, but too much bourbon in this pour made this nothing more than a sipping beer.

I love Allagash, so I'll see if I need to re-evaluate this review after a pour from another batch.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.42/5  rDev -18.8%
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.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.43/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this beer. Purchased at the brewery in August, 2008. I don't remember what I bought on that day, so I assume I drank it soon after.

Appearance: Cloudy light amber, somewhere between light brown and dark orange, with some gold - small, off-white head - not surprising considering this bottle is four and a half years old - still leaves a wall of lacing

Smell: Mild bourbon and pale malts - light caramel malts, candi sugar, light bread - some hints that this was once a tripel, including banana esters, and some yeasty spices - for this particular bottle, both the bourbon and tripel aspects have mellowed considerably

Taste: A mellow tripel with a strong backdrop of bourbon - oh, Jim Beam, you remind me of a number of bad decisions - even with over four years of aging, the bourbon is still quite potent - vanilla, wood - pale malts, with some caramel, and some yeasty bread - bananas, cloves, and other typical yeasty aspects - mellow overall, due to the bourbon barrels and subsequent cellaring

Mouthfeel: On the heavy side of medium, smooth, with some woody stickiness (I swear this is a thing), low carbonation

Overall: Many years ago, I loved this beer.

The first time I had this beer, I loved it. Then I had it again, and it just wasn't the same (perhaps, too fresh). Now, I have an old bottle, back when from when it really blew my mind. And it's just not the same. Too much Jim Beam, not enough Allagash Tripel charm. It kind of breaks my heart. Cue Taylor Swift:

Loving [this beer] is like driving a new Maserati down a dead end street
Faster than the wind
Passionate as sin, ended so suddenly

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.43/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Max's today. Served in a goblet. Listed at 12%

A: Light yellow with great clarity. Thin white head that slowly recedes leaving some lace.

S: Spicy as hell with a lot of pepper and clove. Bourbon is hardly detectable but is present in the back

T: Starts off rather spicy and herbal with a lot of pepper and rosemary-like flavors. Bourbon comes through mildly on the dry finish, along with alcohol. Alcohol is a lot more noticeable as this warms up

M: Light with pleasant carbonation but the spiciness and the alcohol heat take away from this beer.

D: Glad i got to try this - wasn't in a hurry to drop $12+ for this one and glad i didn't

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