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Allagash Interlude - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash InterludeAllagash Interlude

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433 Reviews

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Reviews: 433
Hads: 1,261
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.55%
Wants: 305
Gots: 231 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 433 | Hads: 1,261
Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very few beers deliver on the promise of the lable, nor the hype. This beer exceeds all expectations. Though I'm not sure about the Belgian Strong Pale characterization, the beer is great at any style. Distinctly Belgian aromas (tartness and sourness) with a musty, farmhouse astringent that challenges the tastebuds. The challenge of the brew stops short of agression or harsh, instead tempered with aged hops, oak barrels and a complex vineous roundness. The beer is well matured and balanced offering rich, over-rippened pineapples, peaches and pears for sweetness. The alcohols are well woven into the fruity, spiciness with merged with nuttiness, oakiness, and strong berry tartness. This is one of the better beers sampled in quite some time, and just in time for the spring season. (788 characters)

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Clear rich golden color with a medium sized foamy head and a delicate ring of lacing.

S - Very funky. Horse blanket, strawberries, musty lemon, white peaches. Very good saison aroma.

T - The flavor has an upfront musty lemon and horse blanket flavor with some faint caramel malt and white pepper underneath that both linger through to the aftertaste where the horse blanket becomes dominant. A faint warming alcohol says just enough to make its presence known. A bit of mild nutmeg throughout and . . . egg white? in the aftertaste are detectable with some effort to ascertain the complex flavors underneath the dominate ones. Not a hint of sweetness. A pretty good flavor, but it doesn't impress me in anyway.

M - Harsh from high carbonation, level of champagne. Medium bodied and pretty refreshing.

D - Good. It is easy to drink, I had no difficulty finishing the fifth alone. Absurdly pricey. I would have to say it is not worth the $20 it cost me. Maybe for a special occasion - like if I am having dinner with several beer aficiandos and a saison would go perfectly, then it might be worth that much, but it is still overpriced (maybe it actually costs a lot to manufacture, but in that case the product return is fairly mediocre). Sure it is a good beer, but you can do better in the style. Worth a try if you can afford it. (1,346 characters)

Photo of BlindPig
4.82/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Thick off white head on a clear darker orange body.
S- A huge complexity in the nose right away. Light oak, almost a white wine aroma, little bit of funk to it, light sour notes, hints of alcohol that tingle the nose just a little, and just such a big blend of other aromas that you just can't pick out.
T- The wine flavors do come through. Almost more a white wine flavor. Oak can come through too. Light warming from alcohol in back of throat. Yeast comes through, light fruits like orange, very light hints of some kind of funk, light bitterness is left on the tongue from a mixture of grass and light earthy hops. There is just so much to this beer that I don't think I can pick out each flavor. It is very complex and nothing is over powering.
M-Medium body with light champagne like carbonation.
D- I think this beer is great and gets better the more you drink of it and the more flavors you can figure out. I don't think this is just a relaxing beer to have that you could drink every day but it is a great special treat and one you would want to sit down and think about. I think I would pay the money for it again but it wouldn't be a lot. (1,158 characters)

Photo of DogFood11
4.97/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a chalice it forms a thin white head above an orange body. Fine carbonation sticks to the side of the glass.

Nice!! that was my first thought. Second was that I feel like I've tasted a beer with similar characteristics. Orval. It has alot of the belgian pale ale hit points and then jacks it up with some wild type yeast that brightens the day. A light fruitiness is spiced into submission only to have a wild and vinous (sour) backside. Extremely complex and as it warms there is wooded, dry type feeling to it. Awesome.

Notes: My favorite from Allagash and one of my favorite of all time. Price tag is worth every penny. (640 characters)

Photo of BillyB
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
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. (741 characters)

Photo of peabody
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark honey orange with very little white suds but the lacing is very prominent.
You can smell this as soon as you pour it to the tulip glass. Wonderful spice and fruitiness. Lemon plegde with a caramel aroma.Oak smell makes it seem like it is going to be really sour.
The taste while a little sour, still has a sweetness that probably comes from the 9.5% abv. This is one step ahead(well ahead) of the Petrus oak. This sucker cost me more than 30 bucks to get here to Kentucky. I ordered it from San Diego. I wish I knew more about this style. I am loving this flavor.
Mouthfeel is very clean and refreshing. The oak bitterness just makes you salivate and want another drink.
If I could get this at a decent price and it was available I would consider this a great session beer. The high ABV(which is very well hidden) might scare some off. Great brew here. (873 characters)

4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Honey wheat colored body is a little darker than expected from the style. It yields a little more light twords the bottom of the glass. Off white head at three fingers is fluffy, and leaves nice lace. Invigorating spicey nose really penatrates the senses and opens the eyes. Includes hints of apple and peppery spice. Enters the mouth with a sharp fresh fruit with a large dose of spicey tongue tingle. There is a lot going on with the palate, very complex with nice layers. Nicely hidden alchol. Good balance overall. Mouthfeel is souredsweet and long. Very drinkably good. This beer is very good but not worth its almost 20 dollar price tag. (643 characters)

Photo of
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked & caged. 2006 Vintage.

Pours a hazy, orange-light brown color. Modest, creamy ivory head. Streaming bubbles.

Aroma is Belgian by birth or inspiration. Funky and yeasty. Citrus and floral wind through there as well. Spices, maybe clove and coriander. As far as wine aroma goes, it struck me as more like a white than a red.

Taste, well, wow, this is a trip! Up front, mainly citrus. Sweet in middle and in the aftertaste, fruit-like. Wine notes, a light red, just there, again almost more in the aftertaste. Some bittering at finish, floral and grassy. I am not doing this beer any justice at all. It is very good, and my palate is simply too inexperienced to explain it very well.

Taste started as light, but moved to medium as it warmed and some of the carbonation subsided. Huge and bubbly, almost champagne like. I didn't expect this as the opening pop was fairly muted, and the head was relatively small. Nice and dry. Alcohol warming starts to take effect early. Body reminds me just a bit of Duvel.

Economics. At around $20/750ml, many will ask is it worth it? My opinion is yes. A champagne like mouthfeel and an incredibly complex taste you have to work to figure out. This is not an every day beer, but it is certainly one I will revisit a couple times a year. Bet it would be great with sushi. (1,331 characters)

Photo of jaluria
3.47/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appeared a yellow-hay color with a big frothy white head. Semi-murky with some nice lacing left behind. Aromas of yeast, pines, honey, and passion fruit; very interesting. The taste was bold with brett flavors working seemlessly with unique fruits. Clean and a touch of spice. Very flavorful and exciting with so many things going on. An excellent beer. (353 characters)

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 edition.

Pours a glowing amber color with a few streams of slow moving carbonation. The head is smallish but has very good retention and leaves thick streams of lace on the glass. The aroma abounds with brett; sweet, sour, herbal, leathery, horsey. There is also some delicate oak and biscuity malt in the nose. The taste is of melons, citrus and pears, with a noticeable sourness (from the brett no doubt) and a subtle oaky character. It may just be my imagination, but I have always enjoyed beers aged in wine barrels more than whiskey or bourbon barrels, the oak is subtler and you pick up more tannins. The mouthfeel is light and softly carbonated with a bit of alcohol numb. The finish is slightly sour, fruity and sweet. Very nice. Hops are pretty subdued throughout.

This beer reminded me a lot of Orval, no doubt because of the yeast used. Its very complex and dry. Very light and easy to drink for its ABV as well. (934 characters)

Photo of GolgiIPAratus
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled: 9.30.06

**(2005 Vintage)**

Brew is a clear light orange under very little head and leaving even less lacing.

Smell is woody and winey. Tart apples mingle with the molasses malts.

Taste is tart & sour at first. This mellows into some earthy vanilla and woody sweetness. Wine notes diminish with a slight bitterness upon swallow. Despite the small head retention, the beer feels like medium to high carbonation, but sits light in the mouth. The alcohol is warming and present, but never overstates itself.

This is another sipper to enjoy from Allagash. Fans of tarter sours might like this more than say, the tripel styled Curieux, or heavier Musette. Certainly going for blending and fuzzying of that line between beer & wine, but doing so with success and quality. (789 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stunning! From the fruity Brettanomyces nose to the lightly chalky and vinous notes in the finish, Allagash's Interlude seduces!

With it's hazy-but-glowing orange body and creamy yellowed-white cap it beckons! The head retention is quite good, bolstered by streams of very-fine gently-effervescent natural bubbles rising from beneath. It eventually drops to a wide collar and whispy surface covering, but the initial walls of solid lace remain.

The aroma is the siren song here; beautifully delicate, bright, fruity, and funky all at the same time. "Barnyard" is just too ugly of a word to describe the rich Brettanomyces character, yet it's perfectly justified. Wet-straw, horses, mud, a bit of manure, and damp wood all come together with a waft of juicy summer fruit (strawberries, tangerine, apricot, papaya) to make one beautiful, delicate, but wide-ranging portrait.

In the mouth it's gently effervescent, caressing the tongue more than bristling against it. It's light-medium in body; supple rather than crisp, and slick across the palate.

The flavor starts with a combination of softly sweet, just slightly honeyish malt, and juicy fruit (apricot, tangerine, papaya, melon). It's intense with sugar and tartness and fruit! As it warms and the tartness softens and the sweetness spreads, the woody/earthy/funky character of the Brett becomes apparent. It may be an acquired taste, but once you're hooked it's enough to lead you blindly straight into the depths of hell. Quite enticing!!! The woodiness and vinous character of the oak barrels appears in the finish, along with a sublime bitterness and touch of yeasty chalkiness. It lays in the mouth, but dully, and without really disturbing anything. The bitterness fades, and really all that's left is some chalkiness and oaky dryness.

I remember thinking when I bought this that it was expensive, but having tasted it I'd gladly pay more - although I hope I don't have to as I intend to buy more!!! It ranks right up there with the other Brett and oak enhanced ales coming out of the US, and in my opinion it's a little more rounded, softer, and more drinkable. The alcohol is never noticeable, and there's enough Brett character to satisfy even the die-hard fan without becoming sharp. It's rounded, well-balanced, and interesting! Superb! (2,316 characters)

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -4.5%
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. (265 characters)

Photo of Kendo
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a tulip glass. Hazy apricot with a slight, small fizzy white head.

S: Sour cherries and candied fruit all at once. Becomes fruitier and mustier in the nose as it warms. Also hints of alcohol spice.

T: Like the nose -- sour and fruity sweet at the same time. Green apples and some red wine tannins have it leaning towards sourness, but the musk and sweetness (presumably from the yeast) is more prevalent as it warms.

M: Very well-carbonated in a spritzy, fizzy, dry sort of way. Along with that sourness, it cleans the palate nicely, encouraging that next sip and keeping the sweeter flavors from becoming cloyingly overwhelming (or is that overwhelmingly cloying?).

D: Very smooth -- like I said, the feel on this one encourages you to take the next sip, and with all that's going on flavor-wise, you'd want to do that anyway. Well done.

Thanks MRMOJORISIN for sharing this pricey brew. . . . (924 characters)

Photo of Sephiroth
4.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have long anticipated this beer. With the prices in Indy, this beer cost me $23. As I pop the cork, it looks as though it might be a gusher, as bubbles race into the neck of the bottle, but no such problems here. Big head on the pour, leaving nice lacing. The beer is a toasted golden color.

I got a whiff of this beer the instant I popped the cork, and the odor grows stronger as I pour. Brett, spices, very slight vanilla, along with the oak, and wine. The smell is intoxicating. The taste does not disappoint, and is just as deep. This beer is sour, but all the other flavors make you forget about the Brett. Vinous fruits, vanilla, oak, and the spices of an earthy Saison make this one of the best beers I have ever had. Mouthfeel is smoothly carbonated, and incredibly full.

I am pleasantly reminded of Supplication from RR as I drink this, and I am off to eat goat cheese and lobster tail with the rest of the bottle. (934 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
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! (455 characters)

Photo of CRJMellor
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a medium amber tone with a slightly off-white head with minimum lacing or retention.
Aromas of musty flowers, fruity malts and some sourness great the olfactory nerve. As it warmed the yeast profile began to emerge with additional musty and floral notes.
Flavor and a tart fruit twinge to a light dose of pale malt. As it warmed the complexity arose and a diverse set of additional malt and fruit notes jumped at the tongue.
Mouthfeel had a light tart covering spicy yet subdued brew. Well carbonated to play up the flavor transitions. Slightly alcoholic pop on the finish but very delicious beer.
Drinkability was top-notch as it is with most Allagash beers. Great addition to their stable of wild Belgian-style American beers. (741 characters)

Photo of dedrinker
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Wow. The aroma was most intriquing, with spicy/ fruity phenolic earthy complexity. The flavor delivers on the aroma, and adds tartness and a hint of fruity banana. This tastes like what you would get if you crossed a Saison with Flemish brown ale, and Geuze! Weird. Delicious. Expensive. Totally worth it. Do not miss the chance if it comes your way. (350 characters)

Photo of blackie
4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 Bottling

appearance: Pours into my favorite beer glass with a 0.3" white head that steadily falls back to leave behind a thin ring. The beer is a clear copper in color.

smell: Smells wonderful....farmhouse and tannic dark red wine notes upfront with an underlying pale malt graininess. Underripened pear. Low on the sweetness and high on complexity. Dry, papery hop aromas. Perfect touch of ethanol.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is high, but smooth. The body seems to be around medium, yet clean and light on the tongue.

taste: Light malts give just a touch of pale grain flavor, thought it's hard to pick out behind the funk (good funk). Very dry beer...little sweetness. After the swallow, light, somewhat tannic notes of red wine come out. Barnyard flavors everywhere with some grain husk coming out. As in the aroma, I find notes of underripened pear and green apple. The hop flavor is light...papery and aged. The finish is considerably dry, but due more to the biotic makeup and wine-barrel aging of the beer rather than the light bitterness provided by the hops (or so I think).

drinkability: easy, ABV well hidden (1,139 characters)

Photo of bwyker
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to nlmartin for the bottle. From 2005. Served at cellar temps in snifters.

Pours a hazed butterscotch with a very brief off-white, fizzy head of foam. Settles to a light ring quickly. Smells of sour cherry Brett and light notes of alcohol. Taste is similar, along with grapes and some green apples. Prominent dark-toasted oak finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied and slightly drying. Every sip should be taken with slow appreciation. Outstanding! (454 characters)

Photo of phisig137
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Cork releases from the 2006 bottle of Interlude with a mighty loud pop, and pours a brilliant amber orange color, and a sticky one finger head. Beautiful retention of the creamy head falls leavign behind delicate lace everywhere. Tiny bubbles continually rise from the bottom of the glass as if it were champagne.

First sniff of the aroma is quite interesting. Fairly restrained and faint, you really have to concentrate on this one. Pears, biscuit malt, apples, bread, brett, fruity red wine, and vanilla are all present, but just barely. Everything is so well blended that it's hard to pick any one of them out. Very promising.

The flavor here is outstanding. Again, it is fairly muted, and everything is integrated so well, and in balance with each other, it is hard to pick out anything major. I taste a touch of maltiness up front, and a wave of fruity red wine, slightly tart acidity, a little wheat, plums, apricots, pears, vanilla, and a dry lingering finish. Outrageously complex, and only a hint of the brett in the flavor. For some reason I was expecting a George Clinton level of funk from the brett, but I'm pleased that it isn't here. I wouldn't call it a saison, but then again, it doesn't fit into any category. This is an odd bastard child of wine and beer, but it is beautiful in it's own way. Incredibly complex, and incredibly balanced. Mouthfeel is velvet smooth, due to the delicately small bubbles in the carbonation. Drinkability is decent, but you're so overwhelmed by the flavor, you need to sip this one slow.

Allagash never fails to please, especially with thier barrel series. This is no exception. Truly fantastic in every way. If you're looking for something different, it doesn't get much more different than this. One thing that I'm truly impressed with, is how they were able to make a beer with so many flavors, and such huge complexity, without having it be big, brash and unbalanced. It really does taste and feel like a beer of only 6% or so. For that reason, I give Allagash a huge amount of credit. Is it worth the $21 I paid for it??? I think so, but that's really your call. If you haven't tried it, it's worth it. If you have tried it, it's worth the $21 again... I know I'll be going back for more to stick in the cellar.

After writting this, I REALLY need to write them an email, and figure out how they primed this beer. The carbonation is just so perfect in everyway, I need to know how to do that for my next homebrew belgian. (2,488 characters)

Photo of murrayswine
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of the most peculiar yetr amazing beers I have ever had. I read quite a few reviews going into this, and yet I'm still perplexed by this beer.

It poured an overly attractive amber/pumpkin with beautiful a white head and soft steady lacing.

The smell is truffels, champagne, slight alcohol permeate heavily with this beer.

The taste is sweet and sour with grapes, slight honey, mushrooms, wood, like a muscato di' asti.

This beer is a king in it's class, absolutely enigmatic and amazing all at the same time. (533 characters)

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

From a brown 750 ml bottle, corked, caged, and brewed in 2005.
Pale copper colored brew with a bunch of bubbles feeding up to a thinnish off-white head. Little retention and spotty lacing.
Oak and animal funk, as if one were strolling along the farm whilst trying a nicely aged chardonnay.
Earthy/grassy hops are there in the fruity flavor. I thought that it came off more tart than anything else. Some pear/apple tones running the show. The oak is here too, just quite subdued. Light bodied with the loads of carbonation being somewhat tingly on the tongue. A little pricey, especially given that brett brews aren’t necessarily my favority. Otherwise, very nice complex brew. I’ll have to try the musette next. (717 characters)

Photo of cbl2
4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

$18.99 750 mL 9.50% No best by date, and none required, this is meant to last.


Pours a pale orange-brown that is fairly clear, though speckled by an abundance of carbonation. Head is thin and white.


Tart and sour with some cherry notes. Smells somewhat musty and acrid due to the brettyanomyces. Faint notes of oak and a jammy syrah aroma.


Delicate is the best way to describe this one as it dances across the tongue. I've never loved saisons, but this is spectacular. Sweet ripe cherries with a mildly oaked quality pervade the mouth. Notes of merlot and dark berry jam explode upon the tongue as this warms. This is luscious and subtle all at the same time. Intensely complex, this is one of the best offerings out of Allagash or any brewery. (802 characters)

Photo of kmo1030
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

the '05 tasted on 7/24/06
a hazy orangey gold with a thin off white head.
very fruity in a white wine kind of way, mild citrus, pineapple, ripe strawberry with a little farmhouse funk thrown in for good measure. some oak sits in the back, i also pick of some perfumey, flowery not quite fruit aromas, although close, it's more like lavender or lilac. finally some bread when it's got a fresh head after a pour. very nice.
the fruity tang is the first thing that hits your tongue, mostly a white grape, strawberry, apple, raspberry, and hint of blueberry (in no particular order, it has such a balance though that there is absolutely no harshness to be found. very vinous, with a mellow oak flavor that i think is a major contributor to the excellent balance. there is some spicy stuff going on in there too, some cinnamon, and some other baking spices i can't really discern, maybe some corriander. the balance and complexity is killer.
full medium body with smooth but moderate carbonation.
very nice drinkability, despite the high alcohol, it drinks very easy.
an absolutely awesome saison. I wish i had picked up a couple more bottles, and i hope it's planned again for this year. (1,189 characters)

Allagash Interlude from Allagash Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 433 ratings.