Allagash Interlude - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash InterludeAllagash Interlude

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1,253 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,253
Reviews: 440
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 302
Gots: 227 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brewandbbq on 01-15-2006

Two yeast strains were used to create this unique 9.5% ABV Belgian style ale. The first, a Belgian farmhouse yeast, establishes the flavor foundations of a classic Belgian-style ale. The second, a house strain of Brettanomyces yeast, brings it to the next level contributing an intriguing myriad of flavors including pear, apricot, graham cracker, and bread crust. Finally, a portion of the Interlude is aged in French Merlot and Sirah oak barrels, which impart a distinctive vinous plum character and a drying, almost tannic finish.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,253 | Reviews: 440
Reviews by MusicaleMike:
Photo of MusicaleMike
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Reviewed during the "Brett Pack" dinner at Monk's Cafe. Served in a tasting glass. This was Allagash's sixth batch of Interlude. Rob Todd told us about the back story of this beer: they were shooting to brew an Americanized saison, and about halfway through the primary fermentation the yeast stopped working. This is apparently not uncommon for farmhouse yeast, but in their case, the yeast did not want to start working again. They left it in the tanks and sort of forgot about it for a couple of weeks. Surprisingly, it started fermenting again and when it finished up, the beer was funky. They took it to the lab and found out Brettanomyces had found its way into their batch and the end result had a nice sourness. So they aged half the batch in French oak barrels and the other half in stainless steel and combined them in the bottle.

A: Not much of a head was forming out of the tap, but then again that could just be the server. The body was a hazy deep amber color.

S: I think the beer was too cold to really appreciate the various smells in this beer, which is a shame considering the fantastic taste. The most immediate smell was the Brett funk smell. After that, maybe some notes of apricot/peach, but mostly clean.

T: Sweet malt is balanced by funky sour. Up front, the taste is best described as fruity, with notes of apricot/peach, strawberry, and exotic fruit. Towards the swallow, there is a distinct wine presence, creating a pleasant balance to the fruitiness. It has a woody finish.

M: Medium bodied and low carbonation. It felt full and soft, which went well with the taste. At times, there was a good amount of booziness and warmth from the alcohol.

D: This is a delicious beer and I would definitely try this again. However, the amount one could drink in a night is fairly limited by the high alcohol content. It is a great beer to go with food. I enjoyed this beer paired with a warm mouselline of foie gras, Interlude-sauteed pear with a sweet Interlude sauce and a crouton.

More User Reviews:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to SCThaden and Brewbaca who have both sent me samples. This one was cellared for about 6 months at aroudn 52 degrees.

What carbonation! The cork flew off with such force that it dented my ceiling, catapulted itself to the floor and then rebounded almost all the way back to the ceiling for a second go. How Champagne like!

Appearance: Nearly perfect and truly stunning. Body is a mandarin light brown, glowing and sharp. Carbonation is really terrific. Gaseous like Champagne with a 3/8 inch white, creamy cap that lasts and lasts.

Aroma: Tart or unripe fruit. Constrained and purposeful barnyard characteristics. Not overly funky but with a subtle sourness, and damp hay/rotten wood/lemon rind qualities. Rising spiciness and a touch of earth.

Mouthfeel comes before taste because it is very important in this beer. Tartness and carbonation strike the tongue before any discernable flavors. Then a vinous quality, part grape and part wood hits the palate and is followed by tart pear or apple and perhaps a touch of peach. Woodiness continues and spiciness grows in the relatively dry finish.

Drinkability is very good, partially because the funkiness is so subdued. Bret is ever present and plays a major role in the beer but it is never outlandish or overpowering of the other flavors and aromas. It's also balanced and well rounded with a medium body. I would consider this a very approachable wild sort of ale and a good choice for someone just embarking on the funky beer journey. I particularly enjoyed the Champagne like body and assertive carbonation. Well done beer.

March 29th, 2008 update: This beer has cellared well. I just cracked a Jan 07 bottle. The carbonation was initially explosive but then mellowed out. The beer is soft and lovely with a healthy sourness and remains wonderfully complex and drinkable.

Photo of kaimcm
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 bottle, sampled 4/07, poured into a Burgundy wine glass.

A: rich and slightly hazy garnet/ruby body. clean white, but not bleach white head, tiny bubbles, frothy and smooth. beautiful lacing left all over the glass. head fades but is easily agitated back. the body of this beer looks like a rare gem, just gorgeous.

S: the vinous and barrel qualities hit you just as you approach the glass, before you can even get a nose in. deep rich red wine, oak, and on and on. horse blanket, a hint of mustard, sugar, a distinct brett acidity, strawberries, and a morning dew kinda ozone/fresh snow thing. and more.

T/M: very soft on the mouth, medium bodied at best. coats well and is extremely smooth. wine up front, followed by some fruit, sugar, and drying spice. brett and funk swells throughout but extremely balanced and sophisticated. never overpowering but always present. the brett wont let you forget it, mistake it, or neglect it, but never demands your monogamous. same can be said of the oak/wine quality. this is one extremely balanced and complex liquid from one of our greatest brewing assets. as the sugar and fuit fades, the acidity of the brett is left, the alcohol spice and warmth rises, and the finish is left dry.

D: hard to say. the alcohol in this brew is not very subtle. its not out of balance but its there in both taste and feeling. a magnificent food beer, a great conversations piece to be shared with friends. a very high price tag but worth every penny in my opinion.

I have every intention of consuming more and more of this magnificent brew. a huge cheers to Rob and Allagash for continuing to push themselves and their art. this is the work of a master brewer.

Photo of wesbrownyeah
4.62/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

X2 Allagash Interlude June 2009 ale brewed in oak barrels found in Charleston South Carolina. On vacation from Jax. Fl. nice find and at a price of 19.99!

A- Beautiful amber red fluid poured with thick off white quarter inch head that leaves a smooth and thick frothy lacing on the glass.

S- How do I start? Red wine scent of wood like Merlot nose and a massive sour kick of wild ale charactor in this one with dark scents of plums and grapes. Note: opened second bottle of Interlude on 05/24/10 and the first thing I smelled was bubble gum... strange.

T-M- Unbelevible flavors of wild ass ale in the 9.5% range with heavy red wine kicks of massive sour grapes and tart unripe sour apples and funky farmhouse backbone. Mouthfeel is carbonated and sprized up to run a drinkable red ale run...

D- I'd tear this bad boy up and drink every bit of the mass production of it.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine April 2007.

One of Allagash's experimental beers, Interlude is fermented with a Belgian Farmhouse yeast and a house strain of Brettanomyces. The beer is then aged in French merlot and sirah oak barrels and bottle conditioned.

Pours a rich, golden amber, topped with a massive tight, white foam head that retreats to a respectful lacing. Nose is full of complex oak characters, cheesy and distinct wine notes, with a soft floral and bready background. Medium bodied with a big creamy palate. The carbonation is lively but smooth. Top notes of wine are more than apparent, but beneath, there are unique beer characteristics of ripe stone fruits--a mélange of apricots, peaches and plums. Cracker and bread flavors follow, thanks to the Brett. Deep-rooted foundation of oak provides a sharp, dry edge. Wine-like tannins appear as the beer warms. Soft white-bread flavors and faint grape notes present towards the slow finish.

A fantastic example of the diversity of American brewing, and a primo crossover beer for wine drinkers. It is complex and bold enough to challenge most wines on its own or when pairing. Stand it up against a stinky cheese, smoked salmon or charcuterie plate.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've sampled this brew at the EBF and I'm very excited to have a full 750ml bottle sitting in front of me. The cork pops nice and loud. Pours into my tulip glass a deep opaque reddish orange hue with a nice creamy bubbly white cap. Spotty, streaks of lacing adorn the glass. Aromas begin with a nice fruitiness including peaches, pear, strawberry and red grapes. Beautiful, dare I say elegant, Brett notes envelope the senses and impart a bit of sourness. Spicy tones intermingle with a slight doughiness. Simply wonderful with an exquisite underlying vinous character.

First sip brings a crisp pale maltiness engulfed in fruit flavors. Notes of citrus, pear, strawberry and red grapes intertwine. Earthy yeast imparts a breadiness as the Brettanomyces meld into the brew wonderfully, imparting a nice sourness. The brew finishes a bit dry with some oakiness and a lingering vinous, grape skin aftertaste. A touch spicy throughout. This is an incredibly flavorful, enjoyable brew. When each sip brings a smile to your face, you know you're drinking something special!

Mouthfeel smooth and on the lighter side with a fast paced carbonation that fills the mouth. An extremely pleasurable brew that is equally easy to imbibe. This bottle is quickly disappearing and I'm loving every minute of it. My new favorite Allagash brew, I'll be looking forward to having this again and see what else their experimental series has to offer. Do yourself a favor and track down a bottle. Cheers to both goodbyeohio and blitheringidiot of the opportunity to sample this one.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.89/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An absolutely amazing beer, although I think you'd have to like this style to really appreciate it. I bought two bottles at the brewery last week, and will be heading back for more. It is a faint hazy orange color with a small head that remains present, and no lace. The fun begins with your nose. Initially spicy/tart, it becomes sweeter and more fruity as it sits. The first impression on tasting is one of cloves/cinnamon, yielding to a fruity taste, and ending with the tannins of the barrel. It's nicely carbonated, and is very pleasant in the mouth. Extremely drinkable, a beer to savor.

By the way, I sampled this at the NEBF last October, and don'y remember it tasting this good.

Photo of bishopdc0
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured golden pale with a slight orange color with a thin head of little bubbles sticking to the side of the glass.

The nose is sour and full of tart fruit and citrus.

The taste is full of fruity flavors. The wild yeast brings many flavors, citrus, piny and sour taste. It is fully of many fruits lemons, pineapples and cherrys.

The beer has a light body with a full carbonation that makes a light feel on the tongue.

Photo of merlin48
4.64/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

January 2007 bottling, thanks to an awesome trade with OldTex29. Poured into a Duvel goblet we have a hazed golden peach body topped by a two finger ecru head. Retention is good and some sheets and patches of lace are left behind.

A prominent fruity aroma is apparent as soon as the cork is removed. Very seductive. Fruity green apple and red grapes are joined by kiwi and ripe strawberry. Oak tones and some subtle spices add to the allure. Earthy and funky notes join the fray as it warms.

Mouthfeel is medium to light medium and carbonation has a lively zing.

Taste is incredibly complex. Spicy cracked brown pepper and a touch of hot alcohol open things off. Brett notes quickly appear with a rain washed gravel taste. Kiwi fruit and underripe strawberries add a nice fruit texture. Woody oak is subtle but noticed. Some wool sweater and white grapeskins appear as it warms. Maple twigs and lemon pez candy notes add some funk. Finishes with a kiwi skin aftertaste.

An exceptional experience, all around. Very enjoyable. Sure seems like an Americqn Wild Ale to me.

Photo of Billolick
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at BARCADE BKLYN NY, on Allagash night 11-17-06, one look at this beer and you know something special is about to cross the lips, cloudy, light apricot with a crazy, puffy, tiny bubble head, leaving outstanding lacing/sheeting, funky, yeasty, floral nose. More funky woody,Brett notes, fresh, tasty, bold, complex, herbal, yeasty, spicy, my kind of beer, thank you Allagash and Barcade for this world class creation which was super to enjoy on tap!

Photo of tigg924
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, low carbonation, gold in color, hazy

Smell: oak and dark fruit

Taste: oak, dark fruit, toasted malt, and hay

Mouthfeel: sweet and funky, light in body, medium carbonation

Overall: An excellent saison that tastes like it is mixed with a healthy helping of fruit juices. I think this beer is right up there with the best that Allagash makes. I would certainly get this on tap if again.

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky orangish-brown with a white head. The aroma is light sour with oak, sour apple and vanilla. The flavor is tart apple with oak, lemon and vanilla. The beer finishes very dry, making you want to drink more and more of it. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice sour that has a lot of flavors besides just sourness.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.72/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap poured into a wine glass. 2010 Vintage.

Pours a hazy orange amberwith almost no head but a small tingevof white foam. Nose is sharp and tart, funky and rich.

Taste is really tart and funky with a nice rich red wine flavor, dry and its almost like there's some tannin in it. Very unique and tasty.

Photo of jondeelee
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This review is for the August, 2008 edition. Typical of Belgians, this one sports a strong fruity and spicy nose, replete with hints of spiced oranges, bananas, and cloves, in addition to bearing more than a passing resemblance to ice ciders.

On the tongue, most of those fruit flavors translate nicely, though the spiciness does come through far more strongly, building as the liquid swirls in your mouth. Light caramels and brown sugars are also present, as well as a good thread of toasted grains. The oak aging has allowed this brew to build up a nice, complex head of flavors, and as well, there are just the slightest hints of oak on the edges of the mouthful, resembling in this sense perhaps an extremely fruity chardonnay. Whether it's the fruity spiciness, the carbonation, or the alcohol, this one will also leave your tongue tingling. The aftertaste is a slow burnoff of the spicy fruit flavors, lasting a surprisingly long time.

Overall, I was impressed with this brew, and thought the oak aging was well worth the time and effort.

Photo of ehammond1
3.54/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Clear, bright mandarin orange in color with a very thin off-white head. Not much cling left on the glass.

Sweet and fruity aroma along with a mild muskiness and distinct Brett yeast. The fruits consist of green apple, sweet pear, white/green grapes, and a mild strawberry hint.

The green apple, pear, and white/green grapes play the largest role in this beer's flavor, almost making it taste far more like a wine than a beer. The sourness is very, very mild and the mustiness is somewhat lost as well.

Thin bodied and very low carbonation, nearly reminiscent of white wine.

A flavorful, fruity, very mildly sour ale from Allagash. I was actually somewhat disappointed with this one, though I didn't know at all what to expect.

Photo of boatshoes
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this beer on tap at the Blind Tiger when taking my girlfriend out for her birthday (she chose the location too!!!). My second experience with the beer, the first being out of the bottle, but I'm logging the review off of the more recent tap experience.

Appearance- Pours a crimson-tinted medium shade of brown in the dim bar light. About a half a finger of sparse head sits atop the body of the beer and dies down to a ring very quickly. Moderate carbonation but not much in the way of any sort of lacing left as I drink. Not a real looker, but pretty solid for a wild ale.

Smell- Very interesting nose. I can really smell the cabernet barrel aging on this one. A lot of vinous, red grapes come through for me. Additionally, there are hints of barnyard and funk.

Taste- Even more interesting and difficult for me to describe. Again, very vinous and in many ways similar to a red wine for me. Mildly tart red grapes and perhaps some plum followed by a mild touch of funk. The lactic tartness is present but really underplayed on this one compared to other wilds. Strange for me but not bad by any means, almost tastes like a slightly sour, mildly carbonated red wine.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- The only place I found this beer to be slightly lacking was in the mouthfeel. I felt that coming off the tap it was somewhat watery even for the style. Given that it was only mildly carbonated and slightly tart, I thought that it seemed thin. However, it didn't take away from the drinkability much for me and I still found this one to go down quite easy.

Overall, a curious brew but well worth trying. If you're looking for something new and interesting, give it a shot.

Photo of BranfordBound
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My favorite from Allagash so far. Sour, wine, yeasty, spicy, it's all there in a beautiful melange. Had on tap at Prime 16 and I wouldn't hesitate to have again. Beers like these are what made Allagash famous.

Photo of chinchill
3.47/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at TCT (SC).
Plenty of red wine flavors with oak too. These also permeate the aroma where hints of barnyard smells detract.

Photo of OStrungT
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear golden color. It sports a thin off white head. The head fades quickly, leaving a good amount of lace.

This beer smells tart and sour. I can detect a fain citrusy aroma as well. I can also smell a slight grainy aroma. Some spicey notes are present as well. Just a touch of corriander.

This beer tastes much like it smells. Sour up front, but after the sourness, I taste the grainyness. It defiantely has a farmhouse ale like flavor. Strange, a farmhouse ale that is sour.

This beer is highly carbonated. It leaves a slightly sour grainy aftertaste. The alcohol in well hidden in the flavor, aroma and mouthfeel.

I dont know how well this beer would be as a session beer. It has a unique flavor, but I dont think I would want to drink many at one time.

Overall: This beer is good. I love sour beers, and this one is no exception. Not only is it sour, but it is different, with it being very saison like. Too bad it is not cheep.

Photo of glid02
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask at Hotoberfest - sampled multiple times.

Pours a hazy golden color with a pillowy two-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer leaving solid lacing.

Smells of sweet medium malts with large amounts of ripe pear aromas. Also present are mild amounts of funk - wet hay mostly - with hints of grassiness. The funk aromas intensify as the beer warms.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Lightly grainy yet sweet medium malt flavors kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are good amounts of sweet pear flavors. Midway through the sip the flavor profile dries out a bit as the pear flavors tarten up a bit and becomes more funky - wet hay as with the aroma. The funky flavors carry through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a smooth thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have another.

Overall this was a solid beer however the different flavors didn't seem to meld terribly well. Still, it's worth a shot.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a crystal clear light reddish hued body with a sea of swirling tiny bubbles to support a sticky off-white head. There is a good bit of lacing after each sip.

S- This beer has a smell of fresh rain leading into a musty light fruit hint. There is a note of wet wood and a nice vinegar note to follow up. A note of red apples comes through in the vinegar as the beer warms.

T- The soft sweet malty hint blends into a dry red wine tannin flavors with alight chalk hint to it. The beer finish with an odd but tasty plastic flavor almost like cheesy hops. The finish has some tastes of nectarines and apples skins blended together as it warms.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a light sticky texture and no real alcohol heat.

D- This beer has some nice mysterious complexity and a good flavor but the plastic note at the end is a bit odd yet interesting.

Photo of IntriqKen
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm disappointed.
This is so typically a Belgian Pale Ale that it disappoints me. I was expecting something 'special'. The oak barrel aging is so subtle it is almost none existent.

I have to apologize because this is probably exactly what they were attempting to achieve.

Perfect color...nice head retention...flavors are absolutely Belgian....oak is present but very subdued..not overpowering at all. Merely blended to create a slightly different dimension.

Good..maybe great in what they attempted.
Still...I'm disappointed.
I was hoping for someing...'more'.

Rating it straight '4's' is because the qualifier for 4 is 'good'. It's good. But almost to the point of being 'average'.

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

Very complex and interesting beer from Allagash.
Fermented first with a farmhouse yeast and then a secondary with brett. The part I can't beleive is that it then goes through FIVE additional fermentations in oak Syrah and Merlot bbls! Then it's bottle conditioned! Now that is craftmanship.

Pours a beautiful orange/copper color with a one finger white head.

Citrusy, floral hop aromas. Fruity, funky, earthy, wild barnyard. Winey notes as well. More white than red. Spicey, peppery.

Taste is tart, sour, oakey, earthy vanilla with some peppery character possibly from the Syrah bbls. Also had a taste profile closer to a white wine than a red, strangely enough.

I couldn't drink too much of this but it was an absolute delight.

Photo of schinebd
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle in a large Duvel tulip glass

Appearance - Brownish red with a fluffy head at pour that recedes into about 2 cm of white head that retains for the long haul. When I take a sip the head coats the back of the glass in a sheet of white...magnificent.

Smell - Fruit, spice...everything nice.

Taste - Absolutely superb. Immediate tartness gives way to white grapes and pears. The finish brings forth the oak wine and nicely complements the sweet fruits that hold up the bulk of the body. That's the short version...I could write a dissertation about the different flavors contained in this beer.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and very lightly carbonated to really bring the flavors to life in the mouth.

Drinkability - I wouldn't believe the 9.5 ABV if I didn't get a little buzz from bomber. Quenching, dry and delicious...a dangerous recipe when combined with the high alcohol content.

Passed up many opportunities to have this beer up until now...not sure why. I know Russian River's sours get a lot of buzz here in the north east, I guess because they are scarce in the area, but we take for granted what great brews we have coming from places like Allagash that are so easy to come by out here.

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cidery aroma and appearance, something Cantillon. Some lace. But more enjoyable on the palate, malt and incredibly subdued from being wild and funky. Wine and woody taste, an easy drink, far better accompanied by food. Spicy and herbal.Not sweet, a fine beverage.

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Allagash Interlude from Allagash Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,253 ratings.