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Allagash Interlude - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash InterludeAllagash Interlude

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1,208 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,208
Reviews: 433
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 10.21%
Wants: 285
Gots: 221 | 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: 1,208 | Reviews: 433
Photo of jcartamdg
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown apple cider color with a one finger head that disapates almost instantly, leaving a ring of foam around my glass producing great lacing. Aroma of oak, red wine, funk and slight vinegar. Taste is tart and fruity with a finish of oak and redwine. This is a fantastic sour, just behind Russian river's Consecration in my opinion.

Photo of Damian
4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank on-tap at Green Street Grill, Cambridge, MA
Served in a wine glass

The beer poured a nearly clear, glowing, orangey-amber color with absolutely no head nor any lacing.

The nose was remarkably fragrant. Funky with strong horse blanket notes. Some wet hay and lemon appeared as well. The tartness was nicely matched by a good dosage of rich malts and ripe fruits. Somewhat caramel-like. Slightly grapey with subtle notes of oak.

The taste was perhaps more interesting and complex than the nose, but the flavors did not meld together as well as I had hoped. The beer was funky on the front end with Brett and horse blanket notes. Slightly fruity with a noticeable biscuity malt presence. As the beer moved along the palate, the flavor profile turned quite dry and a bit sharp. I picked up a surprising amount of piney hops in the center, and they crescendoed into the pithy and bitter finish. Tons of oaky, tannic, red wine notes came through on the back end.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with a fine, sprightly effervescence. This seemed to compliment the flavor profile quite well.

Although I enjoyed this beer and I can appreciate the efforts made by Allagash to concoct a creative version of an American wild ale, the end product did not come together quite as well as I had hoped. Perhaps putting some age on a bottle of Interlude would result in a beer with a more rounded, and better integrated, flavor profile.

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

750mL bottle poured into a flute; December 2009 bottling

Pours an amber color with a firm off-white cap. Some spider web lacing as it retreats. Solid retention.

The nose is of oak, sourdough bread, granny smith apples, cider vinegar, pungent cheese, and wine notes. Amazingly complex and broad. One of the best noses I have come across.

More wine up front on the palate than the nose. Fruity underneath (granny smith apples, peaches, apricots) with a cider vinegar flavor as well. The oak lends a sharp, crisp drying quality.

Medium body, smooth and creamy. High carbonation, but it mellows to a smooth finish. Some vinegar notes linger along with the dryness of the oak.

This is a high quality wild ale. Broad, complex flavors and aromas. Highly enjoyable.

Photo of nickd717
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review dated 5/4/2009. Tap at City Beer Store in SF.

Attractive hazy golden-amber appearance with a foamy off-white head.

Funk, malt, and fruits on the aroma.

Flavor was pale malt, oak, funk, light fruits, green apple, and a Bretty sourness that is much less biting than more hardcore sours like some of the Russian River stuff.

I like that - too sour is just not enjoyable sometimes. (2011 note: I now disagree with this perspective, but that was my viewpoint back in the day). Smooth palate.

Photo of ottovon
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'08, shared by whiterascal.

A: ruby-orange color with an off-white head. The head fell quickly to leave an outer ring around the beer.

S: a nice aroma. I get strawberry, and a subtle sweet aroma. hints of earth and cherry. Some merlot notes and oak with a bit of vanilla. As it warms a bit of sourness starts to come out.

T: a bite of alcohol. A bitter finish. Earthiness, musk, hints of cherry and strawberry. A little bit of lactic sourness. I get quite a bit of oak with hints of red wine.

M: thin-medium body with high carb.

O: this is a really good beer. wish we had more.

Photo of jondeelee
4.42/5  rDev +5%
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 russwbeck
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at Rustico Ballston for on Allagash event. Got a free glass too!

A: Slightly clear orange pour without much. Lacing us only minimal. 4

S: The sour smell is present, but as is a sweetness I assume comes from merlot barrels. Fruity for sure. 4

T: The taste is surprisingly light up front followed by a big hit of
Brett. Seems like grapes, or perhaps wine, follow. Only a hint of booze pulls this together nicely. The warming alcohol sensation adds the finishing touches 4.5

MF: Big hit of carbonation and a really light and refreshing body. 4.5

O: Highlight of this Allagash tasting. Truly stands out. 4.5

Photo of AlexFields
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

EDIT: ratings edited on 1/9/2011, review not edited.

Bottle is 2010 vintage, poured in July 2011.

Pure amber yellow, reasonable size head.

Smells of brett, berries, dark grapes, red wine. Nice mix, not super aromatic though.

Wasn't sure if this would be sour or just funky in a brett way, but it's definitely a bit sour. Not mouth puckering but it's tart. Some brett funk too, but red wine is definitely in the forefront here. The barrel aging has really made this beer what it is, I can't imagine it would be all that interesting without it. The red wine tartness and brett work pretty well together.

This reminds me a bit of a less good Temptation using red instead of white wine. A nice sour but not one I'm going to pay $22 for again.


Photo of twiggamortis420
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle from the 2007 vintage courtesy of bboyshatter...this is the last beer from my first BIF ever, Black Booty Vol.3! Pours a hazed gold color with a small white head.

Nose is impressively sour. Grainy tartness with some brettanomyces, not much fruit though. Some oak and maybe a little sugar.

Wow, sourness does a total 180 and is very light on the taste. Brett still holds firm, as well as sweet grains and alcohol. Barrel conditioning is quite evident and shows off some pretty impressive oakiness. At first I was a bit disappointed at the downturn in sourness, but the depth of oak and complexity are really quite enjoyable. Actually reminds me of Curieux, minus the bourbon and funk of course. I dont think it quite lived up to my expectations, but was enjoyable nonetheless.

Photo of Cavery
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml 2009 bottle shared with SundaySour, Saturday night brew.

Split into Stone Nonics. Review from notes.

A: Deep cloudy unfiltered orange. So amber like that it makes me think of Jurassic Park. Some off red colors make it look like the ripe line of a peach. Two finger head with lightly pink foam leaves cobwebs of lacing on the rim.

S: Subtle coriander note up front that gives into flour on rustic breads. Amazing not-too-sweet savory bread in the nose. The light sweetness that exists is suggestive of french bread crusts. A crisp lingering of carbonation/dryness that is reminiscent of champagne.

T: Green apple skins crunch in your mouth. A lightly acidic bite gives way to champagne dryness. Fine bready malts add a savory dimensio0n. Alcohol sweetens in the bread, and races the yeast in a complex and warming finish. the juxtaposition of yeast and alcohol is magical in the mouth.

M: The carbonation sizzles like hot oil on contact. The tingling mouth never seems to go away. I can't tell if it's a temporary numbness caused by the initial sting of high carbonation, or if this is the energizer bunny of lively mouth-feels. A memorable mouth for sure.

O: A reasonably complex brew. The different characteristics of this beer really blend for an introspective drinking experience. Love the dryness and crisp flavors. The mouth really accentuates the flavor transitions. The silent champion of this beer is the oak, strong flavors are subdued in favor of nuanced ones. Sour oaking is quite nice.

Photo of Spider889
3.68/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Cabgoddess for breaking this out at a recent tasting.

2007 bottling.

A- Gold, a bit cloudy, ok head to it but no lace to speak of.

S- BRETT! Slightly sour with some dry oaky funk. There's also a nice fruity kick on the back end featuring sour green plum. I liked the aroma a lot, actually.

T- Tart and spicy. Belgian yeast is big here, overpowering the Brett more than one might imagine.

M- Good and strong carbonation, and dry.

O- Not a bad beer at all. I am not sure the age has helped it though.

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

Pours an interesting reddish orange hue, somewhere between a blood orange and grapefruit, minimal spots of head. Scent was quite fruity, white and red wine, with notes of tropical (mango) and citrus (tangerine), notes of musty hay, damp wood and dry oak - quite unique. Flavor was quite exquisite, the notes of wine grapes work wonderfuly with the notes mango and tangerine, the woodieness of the beer contains both musty notes from the yeast and dry, toasted notes from the wine barrels. Light notes of vanilla and grahmn cracker provide sweetness. Medium bodied, carbonation is under control, quite dry on the palate. Quite the standout beer.

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

2009 Bottle

A- Deep Orange amber color. Nice white lacing around the edges and some lacing on the glass.

S- Smells like wood, fruits (apples, cranberries), and yeast. Smells like a sangria almost...

T- Lots of fruit syrupy sweetness. There is a lot going on in this beer. A lot of the wine made its way into the beer.

M- Nice on the palate, shows some life with the carbonation. cleans out very nicely as most allagash beers do.

O- Good beer, wish it had more wild characteristics towards the way of a lambic, then this would be killer.

Photo of alf212
4.92/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

August 2008 bottle

Appearance: Hazy ruby orange. Not much head retention but tonsa bubbles from the carbonation

Smell: Sour grapes n berries. Very very funky n yeasty with some malt but it's really all bout the berry funkiness with this beer. Exceptional taste. I haven't tried too many other wild ales but IM really digging this. I love saisons but this really just took it to another level with the taste. Two words Refined boldness

Drinkability: very dry champagne finish that keeps you coming for more and more. It's very refreshing and easy to drink

Definitely worth trying out. It's a shame its so expensive or I'd be drinking this all summer. Definitely a good beer to let wine drinkers know what's reallly good

Photo of pmlondrigan
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

June 2009 vintage. Opens with a resounding pop. Nice audible sizzle, and a two finger head that sits atop and never seams to fade too much. Belgian lace abounds, pale in color. Initially smells sour and of grape skin, then transitions to a more leathery, smoky brett based aroma. But there is always some wine barrel and woody presence in the aroma. Complex and soft flavors. Bretty leather, smoke, and earth-y-ness off the bat and then some wood, wine, and a tad of sour. The age of this beer coupled with french oak creates a real fruity quality.
Super clean and dry mouthfeel, really well attenuated beer almost no after taste. Really pleased I let this sit for very well near 2 years. It has aged very well, now I wish I had more. I must say Allagash beers always seem to age well.

Photo of DIM
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a moderately dark, clear golden color. It poured with a large, firm, fizzy cap that faded to clumpy lace.

s: Interesting and very funky. Farmhouse yeast and wine barrels definitely take a back seat, which is kind of a shame. Still, what is here is quite appealing. Lots of sour fruit like grapes, pears, and apples, plus plenty of the good ole barnyard funkiness.

t: Funk first here as well. Plenty of tart tangy fruit flavors, a little oakiness, and lots of difficult for me to describe sourness. There is also a little something sugary trying to emerge. I didn't taste anything to suggest an abv of 9.5%.

m: Crisp body and effervescent carbonation.

o: I loved this as is, but I would love to try it with the funk dialed down sometime.

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.64/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: June 2009 bottling. Corked/caged, with Allagash's typically-classy/minimalist designing. Was half expecting this thing to foam out all over the place, after reading other people's reviews. Yet, although the cork pretty much cannoned out, the beer all stayed in the bottle.

Appearance: Absolutely gorgeous dusty rose beer with orange highlights. The first half of this bottle went into my New Belgium globe and pours remarkably clear for a bottle-conditioned Belgian-style ale. Creamy ivory cap with good staying power and some nice lace.

Smell: Vibrantly fruity, bretty goodness up front, with a slightly sourish/vinous presence supporting. This could be the result of some mix of bugs or perhaps from the aging in French Merlot and Syrah barrels. Oak isn't really appreciated, nor is any real malt presence. Pleasant for sure, but not a ton of depth; the fruity bretty notes are pretty powerful (not that that's necessarily a bad thing).

Taste: Nice fruity brett funk up front. It's mildly tart, though not as tart as I was expecting it to be perhaps. As the beer leaves the mouth, you're left with a bit of tart raspberry and some underripe strawberry. Again, considering that this was fermented in the primary phase with a farmhouse yeast, I expected a bit more character fron this beer, but the fruity flavors are nice. I can detect just the faintest hint of dry, tannic oak. Would I have picked this out if I didn't know this was a barrel-aged beer? I'm not sure. This beer would have the next highest scroe in flavor except for one significant flaw. I realize that Interlude is 9.5% but the alcohol comes through a bit stronger than I'd expect it to, especially at about two years of age. I know that this is very highly attenuated (first a saison-type yeast and then Allagash's house Brett strain) and perhaps this dryness accentuates the alcohol a bit. Either way, it's somewhat distracting and takes away from the overall enjoyment of the beer.

Mouthfeel: Fairly high levels of carbonation, but somehow manages to be fairly smooth/velvety at the same time. Just a prickle of carbonation, but it seems oddly full as well.

Overall: Huge thanks to whichever generous trader hooked me up with this bottle (sorry, it was last summer)! I saved this for a special occasion (turns out that I got an A in medieval Latin and finished grading 120 student exams). I'm glad I saved it for a special occasion, as it's a really interesting/special beer. The verdict? Tasty beer, and one of the sexiest-looking libations I've ever had grace my glass. That said, at $20.00, it's not quite perfect enough to justify picking it up at the asking price (unlike Allagash's Curieux, which I'd probably pay double for).

Photo of andrewinski1
3.55/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The bottle is from 2008. I got my tulips ready but I still wasn't quite quick enough for this gusher. Lots of foam when poured, most likely from additional fermentation in the bottle. The color is reddish orange. There is a small layer of bubbles that linger after the foam settles.

The aroma is full of spicy yeast. Only a deep big whiff reveals slightly tart notes. I detect a little sweetness in the malt, but not much.

This beer starts out dry and leaves a lot of oak on the tongue. The finish is full of oak and wood.

The body is light to medium. There is medium carbonation.

This is a decent beer. I think I like it fresher better, but still enjoyable.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this gem from baconsausage in the Regional GIF. Thanks man. 2009 vintage poured into a snifter.

Pours a very nice golden amber color. Thin white head dissipated to a ring after a while. Slight lacing.

Aroma is very barnyard funky. Slight sweet aroma.

Taste is more funky than sour. Lots of barnyard funk. Slight lemony tartness left on your tongue after swallow.

Mouthfeel is nice and dry. Nice high carb.

Overall a tasty beer. Not in my top 10 sours but still tasty.

Photo of iguenard
4.57/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2005 Vintage

( 41/50, 9.5% alc/vol, Degustation Alpha BDT) Body is dark red, blood red with a generous but dissipating head of cream color. Aromas are of an old oak barrel, dusty and dry. Notes of balsamic vinegar rise to the nose along with ice cider whisps. Deliciously belgian, Flemish aromas. Wonderful achievement for an american beer. Brettanomyces - belgian wild yeasts - abund in this complex nose. Raspberries and gueuze-like acidity pucker the tongue and play with a deliciously fruity, vinegary alcoholic profile. Reminds me of a duchesse de bourgogne, only cooler, and more fruity. The body is rather light, with a citric demeanour that gives lightness to a body that otherwise is controlled by its vinegar tartness. Dry and puckering. Dry, puckering, sweet and tart raspberry-flavoured sour beer. Wonderful.

Photo of nhindian
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into an Allagash cervois. Bottle generously provided as an extra by thagr81us in the 'Nice Piece of Glass CIF', thanks a ton Calton!

September 2010 vintage.

A - Pours a hazy orange tangerine color, essentially completely opaque but still possible to see some carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass. The head is easily recognizable as Allagash; if nothing else they are incredibly consistent. Two fingers of white foam lay on top, but as thick and creamy as others, but still on the heavier side of texture. Not so much made up of bubbles as a layer of foam. Lacing, as always for this brewery, is fantastic and covers nearly every inch of glass.

S - The smell is really funky barnyard with a bit of must to it. More tart than sour but the Brett shines. Tart apples, lemon, and a bit of grapes make up the fruit notes in the nose, but there's also some breadiness as well.

T - The first thing about the taste that surprised me is that it's pretty dry and musty. Some pears combine with the apple and lemon zest to give it a hearty fruit taste at first. Surprisingly it's not incredibly vinous or grape-influenced despite the wine barrel aging. Some slight oak and vanilla in the finish, but slight compared to the fruit and Brett. It feels a little bit restrained, and I would've loved to get more of the French Merlot and Sirah barrels out of this.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with adequate carbonation. The tartness on this is pretty tame and doesn't immediately destroy the palate is it's pretty easy to keep this one drinking. Finish is all Brett and lemon.

D - Drinkability is moderately high. Alcohol is invisible, and flavors aren't abrasive at all. I would've liked to see a bit more depth out of this, most noticeably out of the wine barrels, but Brett has a way of imparting its own distinct flavors. Worth a try for sure!

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

June 2009 batch.

Orange and hazy, very nice head, and good lacing too.

Smell is sour funky apples, a touch of breadiness, and a nice woody background.

Taste is quite bretty, with a good amount of sourness, tart apples and plenty of barrel flavor too.

Feel is pretty light, quite well carbonated, and very dry on the finish.

Drinks well. A nice wild ale that obviously took some fine craftsmanship to brew.

Photo of nrbw23
2.73/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Quite a bit of foam blasted out of the top of this one. Pours a golden yellow color with just a handful of bubbles on top. These bubbles stayed the whole time and left no lacing.

S- A lot of funkiness going on here, brett all over, tart, a touch of wood, bread and yeast.

T- Pretty sour over all. Yeasty spices, brett, touch of vinegar and green apples.

M- Light in body with a nice amount of carbonation.

O- This was a 2007 vinetage, which I thought was pretty cool, but these wilds I think are just my thing. I think this one is just too sour, but some BA's will clearly love this one. If I had access to another I'd split for sure no way I could handle this dude myself.

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.03/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

January 07 vintage shared by cabgoddess at a tasting.

A bit of gushing, but it looked pretty controllable. More of a slow stream of growing foam, but nothing a couple pours couldn't keep at bay. There was a big pillow of foam left in the bottom of the bottle at the end though. Strangely my pour barely had a head, at least not one that had any longevity to it. The color was very nice though. It was a deep, raw honey yellow.

Quite funky with notes of old dry oak. I wasn't aware of the use of wine barrels but I wasn't getting notes of grape or wine anyway. The oak was coming through pretty strongly though. There is clearly lots of Brett being utilized in this beer.

Lots of dusty Brett, its very yeasty and gritty. Old dried out oak, sawdust and hay dust flavors with a slight twinge of unripe fruits trying to provide some tartness.

Pretty light bodied with a very spritzy carbonation that pokes and prods the tongue. Finish is dry and gritty.

Maybe this beer is past its prime because the brett has really taken hold here. Its by far and away the dominate flavor and aroma. I can't get any notes from the wine because of it.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy orange-ish to yellow color with a small off white head. In the aroma, white grape sourness and hints of cabernet. In the taste, sour white grapes, Sweet Tarts, and a small dryness of a cabernet. A sour bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry sour whine like aftertaste. Big sourness and I think I might like wine now.

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Allagash Interlude from Allagash Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,208 ratings.