Allagash Musette - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash MusetteAllagash Musette

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

189 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 189
Reviews: 160
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.45%
Wants: 44
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: barleywinebrewer on 05-22-2006

Our interpretation of a Belgian-inspired Scotch ale, Musette undergoes a caramelization process in the kettle, where the first runnings are condensed and caramelized, imparting a unique and subtle caramel character and amber color to the beer. Following fermentation, a portion of it is aged in oak bourbon barrels for three months. Musette features raisin and ripened banana aromas. Its taste is malty and caramel with a hint of roast, and its warm finish strikes a balance between dry and caramel characters with a hint of smoke.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 189 | Reviews: 160
Photo of DrJay
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from May 2006.
This beer was clear and a dark burnt orange colour topped by a thin layer of bright white foam composed of small bubbles. The head eventually receded to a collar and produced some spotty lacing. The aroma was quite fruity, some white grape character, with lots of earthy notes - some vanilla, oak, and tobacco. Low bitterness with a fruity flavour, fairly spicy with a bit of alcohol throughout. Bready malt and vinous character balanced tobacco leaf and peppery spice, and there was some vanilla and oak in the background. Though there was plenty of warmth it definitely wasn't hot. Medium to full bodied with carbonation on the high side, the texture was a bit slick. Good stuff, pretty complex but still accessible. The oak didn't come off as overdone or unbalanced next to the base beer.

Photo of Viggo
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy brown/orange, thicks off white head forms, awesome lace, great retention, it really sticks. Smell is very sweet and malty, lots of toffee, vanilla, some spices, real nice oak character, some pears and apples, little bit of alcohol. Taste is very oaky, bourbon vanilla, some toffee, apples, some alcohol, very nice though, I really enjoyed the oak character. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, very well attenuated, low to medium carbonation. A very enjoyable beer, definate sipper.

Photo of Bighuge
4.52/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in August 2006.

Appearance: Clear burgandy. Lots of carbonation noted surfacing through the body of the beer. Healthy looking beige head. Moderate amounts of lace left while I drink.

Aroma: Oak, candy, sweet malts, Belgianesque like yeastiness, and a little cherry like fruitiness.

Flavor: Lots of complex subtleties. Sweet candied malts. Belgian yeastiness. Slight oak. Fruity esters abound. Sublte dryness. The slight alcohol that is present is integrated beautifully. This is really a tasty beer.

Mouthfeel: This is one of those rare beers that just kind of dissolves in the mouth. (Similar to a lot of the St. Bernardus brews in that respect.) LIght-medium body. Carbonation is perfect. Mouthfeel is perfect.

Drinkability: This is very drinkable. The alcohol is well integrated. This is not a classic Wee Heavy by any means. More of a belgian beer. Let's call it a Belgian inspired Wee Heavy. In any case, it's delicious.

Photo of cjgator3
3.67/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled May 2006

Corked and caged 750ml bottle. Pours a dark brown with a bit of orangish hues when held up to the light. Aroma is sweet fruity malts with a bit of spice and smoked oak. Taste starts out malty but quickly turns a bit spicey. There is also a large presence from the belgian yeast in the taste as well. Overall, this is a pretty good brew but I cannot help but be dissapointed in it from the steep price tag.

Photo of glid02
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this courtesy of daryk77 - thanks!

Pours a cloudy red-orange color with a large off-white head. The head slowly dissipates into a thin pancake on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of fruits mostly - pears, raisins, and lightly tart apples, with some caramel malt and earthy aromas coming out as well - definitely not the Wee Heavy aroma I was expecting.

Tastes similar to how it smells. The fruit flavors are front and center, with malt flavors that are middle and slightly left. A slight earthy flavor is back and far right, but still contributes.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good thickness with soft carbonation that make this go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing my glass, but unlike most other offerings from Allagash I'm not sure I'd be down with drinking the entire bottle.

Overall this is a very interesting beer, but I'd rank a few other Allagash beers ahead of it. Worth a shot, just don't expect a Wee Heavy.

Photo of dirtylou
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml split with Blackie, bought at Riley's, $13.99

appearance: poured into a snifter...glowing dark garnet body, light beige head with pretty much no retention, lacing around the rim...pretty clear body and a nice looking pour

smell: strong vinous aroma, brown sugar, fig, dates, a bit boozy, sweet malt, yeasty, a touch peppery, raisins, pruins, nice woody nature, vanilla...nice ale

taste: First of all, this is not a scotch ale and should be reclassified because that is an extremely misleading classification. What it is is a nice Belgian Strong Ale. flavour is dominated by malt sweetness, strong belgian yeast presence, vinous alcohol bite, big dark fruit flavours - plum, raisin, prune, red apple...biscuity, oak woodyness, vanilla, toffee

mouthfeel: spicy pepper feel is a tad distracting, moderate carbonation, medium body

drinkability: about average, good opener

Photo of ccrida
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled December 2006, poured into my Scotch Silly tulip, Musette is a clear amber a large, rocky off-white head that settles down pretty quickly, but leaves huge hunks of foamy lace.

The smell is earthy pine, sweet malt, spice, smoke and vanilla. Almost like a smoked bier de garde. Strong, complex, and very appealing, I just can't get enough. My favorite aspect of this beer, just phenomenal.

The taste is not a bright as the aroma, and is generally more reserved then I was expecting. Fairly malty, but neither sweet nor thick, and tempered by a peppery spiciness, fading to some vanilla notes before a clean, dry finish, reviling the clean tasting alcohol, hinting at bourbon. Again, I'm reminded of a bier de garde, certainly moreso then a wee heavy...since a musette is actually a french bag pipe, maybe I'm on to something! Regardless of style, it's a great tasting beer, although I could have used a bit more umph.

The mouthfeel is light and creamy, can this really be 10% ABV?

This is a dangerously drinkable beer, very smooth and easy drinking for such a heavy hitter. I did however notice that the booze started to build on the tongue after a while, as did a bit of an ash tray like smoke (which was evident in the nose, but not the taste).

Photo of clayrock81
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A copper, light brown color with a two-finger head in my glass that was tan-colored and stuck aroudn for a while due to good carbonation. I know there is some caramel or sweet malt in here because the last few ounces of pour where a syrupy discharge. Also picked up some dark fruits or something tart along with a little floral hops. My nose seems to be everywhere on this one. Medium-bodied and overall smooth, passes over the tongue and leaves a sweet and at the same time tart, almost sour fruit taste on the front. There is definitely some spices there as there is a peppery bite in the mouth and it has a dry, but not too dry or crisp, backbite. Still maintains a smoothness from the oak. This is a great beer that my pourous review doesn't really do justice. I just couldn't categorize the taste properly. Too bad it hurt my wallet a little.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.52/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy deep copper color, with a off white head. In the aroma, oaky almost nutty, small vanilla, hints a dark fruits. In the taste, dark fruits, figs and prunes, small vanilla, and a touch of alcohol. A smooth and big to medium mouthfeel, with a semi dry vanilla aftertaste. Nice oak presence, big flavors, and quite nice.

Photo of tavernjef
4.85/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dulled light maple brown color with a bit of dark orange cast to it. Dense medium capping of light tanned foam sits firmly for a bit before fading to a light skim. Lacing is impressive in big sticky sheets.

Aroma is a well rounded display of dulled malty tones that enrich the thoughts of thick vanilla, brown sugar, raisin, fig, and a slight nuttyness. Thickly sweet and dulled like that of something being caramelized. But there's a very nice noting to a slight yeasty funk that adds just the right amount of bardyard sourness.

Taste is rich and fulfilling with malt enduced flavors and thickness. A fair blend of vanilla and caramelized candy coated breads texturize the palate into submission. Sweetness is tamed only by slight accents to some smokey, lofty oaken wood notes and slight tang of Belgian soured candy and floral farmhouse funk. Finishes thick and impressive with lots of tone and length. Malts are lovely in this one. Yummyrific!

Feel is velvety thick and lasting. Smooth in tone but substantail in a malty girth that screams thickness, yet yells softness as it bellows them both out during each wonerful taste. It has a great soaking nature to it that engulfs you into the session and the enjoyment is heightened.

A lovely beer by Allagash. Thick, rich, lasting, inviting, and overtaking. Really at this point I'm left speechless as it supercedes words for the most part. Heavenly.

Photo of maximum12
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in May 2006 per the nifty Allagash label. For $19/bottle, I can see why it's been hanging around, but hey, I'm on vacation, one expensive bottle won't kill me! I wonder if this was distributed in 2006 & has been on the shelf since then, or if it was aged in the bottle for a while. Guess I'll never know. And now that I ponder the matter, who cares?

Pours Mississippi brown muddy with the a sickly sweet aroma.

Taste is pretty wild. The first note is that this feels more like a wine than a beer. It's deep, with layers of flava, & a thickness on the tongue I recall fondly from Sonoma County. The next, as it warms a bit, is the wood, which layers over all of the complexity underneath. There's plenty of fruits there & just a hint of something that isn't quite scotch, but close. No clue what that is.

Splitting this with the wife, but I think, given no place to go tomorrow, I could take down the entire bomber. I don't cotton much to bombers in this high-falutin' price range, but I'm very glad I tried this. Excellent beer!

Photo of illidurit
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip.
A: 3 fingers of fluffy tan head floating on a deep amber body. Reduces to a healthy cap without much lacing.

S: Smells very Belgian, yeasty, estery, a bit of oakiness.

T: Tastes like a 75/25 split between Belgian strong dark ale and Scotch ale. Dark fruits, horseblanket/yeast, apple, caramel, wood.

M: Pretty smooth, not as thick as it should be for the style, kinda flimsy even.

D: Very nice, alcohol is hidden well and it's easy to get through the entire 750.

Interesting interpretation, but not really wee heavy enough.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am of the opinion that Allagash can do no wrong, and this beer does nothing to dissuade me. I had a 750ml bottle, purchased at Tully's, that stated it was bottled May of 2006. It was a medium brown color, with a thin white, sticky head. It had a sweet, oaken aroma, with some maltiness. It tasted fruity, some vanilla, and fairly big malt that lingered a long time. Good mouthfeel, and very drinkable, as long as you remember to sip and not guzzle.

Photo of Pencible
3.87/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured a hazy, dull copper color with light tan head. It smelled like a perfectly balanced blend of wild Belgian yeast, caramel malt, and floral and pine hops. It immediately had a watered-down oaky flavor, along with the semi-sweet/semi-bitter taste of burnt honey, caramel, salt, and lemon hops. It was slightly thick with some carbonation, and had a clean and sweet aftertaste. Overall this was an interesting drink with many good elements, but could have been further refined with a bolder flavor and body.

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

appearance: The pour produces a low, light khaki head that soon recedes to just a ring around the glass. The beer is a deep orange amber in color.

smell: Aromas of sweet toasted malts, dried dark tree fruits, and raw sugars greet me first...not to say that the aroma is very sweet, it is not. Then come hints of orange pulp, oak, and a mild to moderate ethanol note. The hop aroma is of a papery, aged variety. Pretty subtle yet pleasantly complex.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is high, and the body somewhere between light and medium. A little more body would be nice, as it seems a little overly fizzy to me.

taste: Sweet, tempered flavors of dried figs and dates with a healthy dose of Belgian yeast character upfront. Just a hint of woodiness and an even more subtle hint of bourbon. In the finish is a touch of ethanol in the back of the throat and a light flavor and bitterness of aged noble hops.

drinkability: easy enough

Bottle split with dirtylou during my stay in Madison...May 2006 bottling. I'll rate this beer with both a scotch and belgian strong in mind.

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear burgandy. Mild cloudiness. Plenty of carbonation. Beige head. Mild lacing and retention.

Aroma: Caramel, oak, yeast, apples, and cherries.

Taste: Nice caramel candy malt. There is some apple tartness and sweet cherries. Tastes vaguely Belgian. The oak comes through during the finish.

Mouthfeel: Manages to be light but complex. It just evaporates in the mouth.

Drinkability: Nicely integrated alcohol. I will definitely try to get another of these.

Photo of Reagan1984
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was really excited to try this beer, especially after having some other barrel aged items recently. My overall feeling was disappointment after slowly savoring this product over an hour and a half.

I am not saying it's a bad beer, it's not. And for style, it actually is fairly close to the mark. But I really didn't get as much Oak Barrel flavor/sense as I had hoped. And what I did get seemed out of harmony with the rest of the flavors. Just seemed out of sync.

Anyway, the bottle said to pour slowly into a wide mouth glass. I did so and this produced no head whatsoever.. Later, I did pour more aggressively and did produce a bot of creamy tan head. The beer was a deep mahogany color that was translucent, but so dark you could look into it vs. through it. There were individual strands of carbonation haphazardly making their way to the top of the brew. No lacing to speak of.

The aroma was not as strong or pleasant as I had hoped. Especially after their recommend slow pour. Later I was getting some sweetness, fruit and a bit of yeast. The fruits were dark and later sensed in the flavor as well.

The taste was really cloyingly sweet without a great deal of balance. There were lots of interesting flavors and a great deal going on, again, just didn't seem to work together.

The fruits were intense and dark. Cherry, Fig, Date, plum all present. Then there was an oak & hop sense that came later. In the middle there was a strong sense of the yeast.
Strong sense of the alcohol, even when it warmed up.

Mouth feel was a bit sticky. This is a sipper and one to be savored.

Again, it was better than decent, not quite good.

Photo of merlin48
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

August 2006 bottling. Pours a clear and radiant mahogany body with a small beige head that leaves ample patch lacing. Aroma of oak, caramel, vanilla, and faint tropical fruits. Medium body with some obtrusive alcohol. Taste is malty sweet caramel, bubblegum, and candied pineapple with some subtle oak tones and a hint of vanilla and spicy pepper. Some boozy alcohol again intrudes. Not my favorite Allagash by a long shot and much more Belgian than Scotch.

Photo of Deuane
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a version that was dry-hopped. On tap at Capone's during the Philly Beer Week Big Beer offering.

A-Clear, dark copper with a thin tan head that laced well.

S-Bourbonesque with some matly sweetness and the funk of "belgian" yeast.

T-Very complex with creamy sweetness, smoke, bourbon/scotch and woodiness. A bit of nuttiness too. Then in the finish the hop bite kicks in! This is an all in one brew!

M-Medium-light body with a puckering astringency. Slightly syrupy at the end.

D-This is a crazy mixed up brew that comes out all good in the end IMHO! A very nice offering.

Photo of Boto
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle: 2006 vintage. This one pours a fairly clear, ruby tinged amber color. There was a bit of a tan head on it, but it didn't linger long, nor leave any lacing. The aroma is nice. There is a fair amount of the oak in the initial nose. Lots of other aromas in there: fruits, bread, caramel, faint spice, maybe some peat. The taste is quite good. It is quite complex and starts a touch sweet, but there is a bit of caramel, fruits and smokiness on top. There is a bit of oakiness there also, as well as a slight bitterness to the finish. Almost a bit of a port wine characteristic to it also. Very Nice!

Photo of msubulldog25
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big 750 ml, caged & corked; a classy label with a small illustration of a set of bagpipes (a cryptic hint to the scotch ale/wee heavy style...). Bottled in May 2006, enjoyed in February 2007. Poured to two Chimay goblets.

A: Murky golden-brown, deep & rich. Crowned with a eggshell-colored creamy head 1/2 to 1 finger, depending on the vigor of the pour. Head dwindles to gauzy film and eventually a pencil-thin ring. Carbonation visible only when the glass is held before strong light.

S: Fairly light brown-sugary smell, with spices (anise for one) and wisps of oak and vanilla.

T: Sugars, malts, yeast with a wonderful spiciness. A complex interplay of flavors develop in the mouth - anise and rum, brown sugar and oak. Peppery dry finish, rounded of with just enough herbal hops. Outstanding balance.

M: Outstanding mouthfeel - a litany of flavors and textures roil around constantly. At times warm and tingly, at times carbonated and spicy, at times creamy smooth, almost velvety. Body is medium-to-full. 10% alcohol and oak aging are hardly apparent.

D: A very well crafted ale, one I really was sorry to have to finish. Split this bottle with my wife over take-out BBQ (smoked beef brisket & pulled pork) - an excellent complement to the meal with enough left over to enjoy for some time after. A joy to drink and a strong recommendation.

Price is lofty (I've seen it sold for $15/bottle) - that's perhaps the only deterent to keep from enjoying this regularly.

Photo of srandycarter
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Murky 'orange pekoe tea', chunky off white head reduces to just covering beer with some sticky lacing.

S - Some wood, caramel malt, something earthy.

T - Nice malt center, some wood and booze. Nice sweet note on finish, but by no means cloying.

M - Creamy balanced, good coverage and lots of carbonation.

D - Very easy to drink, especially considering the ABV.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice clear amber brown with an effervescent off-white head which rose tall and fell rapidly but tried to lace the glass.

The aroma was malty and caramel with a light Belgian yeast spice character and an earthy note. There was a phenolice, a slight one, probably due to alcohol in the aroma. Some dark fruits, raisins and prunes were notable.

The flavor was dark caramel and a strong malt backbone coupled with a Belgian yeast spice presence. The flavor contained dark fruits, once again, raisins and prunes. The flavor became biscuity and lightly toasty the more the beer warmed. The spice also increased as the beer warmed and was peppery with perhaps a bit of cinnamon.

The finish was dry with lasting peppery spice and caramel impression into the aftertaste. The body was medium and the carbonation seemed moderate. The alcohol warming after consumption was fairly high. A drinkable beer with some complexity, but no real oak presence stood out. Seems like a Belgian Strong Dark more than a Scottish to me.

750 ml corked and bailed bottle.

Photo of allengarvin
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$24 bottle of beer.... but hey, I'm always willing to spend good money on a beer named for the genteel French bagpipes. Maybe a hurdy-gurdy beer could be next? The picture looks like a woodcut from Praetorius's Syntagma musicum, with a fontanelle covering a lower key; it's mouthblown rather than most later musettes which were usually bellow-powered.

Pours out a hazy bright ruby color with a smallish head. Aroma is truly oaky, far woodier than any other wood-aged beer I've had. There's a fruity underlying malt as well, but the wood dominates the nose. The wood is, thankfully, less dominant in the flavor. It's still there, but there's a strong sweet malt and a wonderful dark-fruit yeast character that one finds in the best of Belgian-style beers. Hops are restrained but the character is never cloying. Alcohol character blends with a last hint of wood at the finish.

A complex and interesting beer! And a nice concept too. For some nice mid-18th century musette music, seek out Michel Courette or Joseph Bodin de Boismortier!

Photo of sulldaddy
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked up this bottle in Portland ME. Pouring into a pint glass at room temp the beer exhibits a very clear copper to mahogany color with a frothy yet soft off white head of 3 cm that recedes slowly to .5 cm and holds. The aroma is malty with brown sugar, some oak, and bourbon notes as expected. First sip reveals an average body with very fine carbonation that is very tingly.
Flavor is sweet through and through with brown sugar, some drak fruit (plums) red grapes, borubon and a bit of oak and vanilla. I get just a hint of hot booze on the finish that makes the beer a bit of a sipper. Overall this is a tasy beer and I hope to score more next time it comes around.

Allagash Musette from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 189 ratings.