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Allagash Musette - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash MusetteAllagash Musette

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

188 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 188
Reviews: 160
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 38
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:
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 added by: BeerBeing on 06-23-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 188 | Reviews: 160 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jophish17
2.5/5  rDev -38%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
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 Reagan1984
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
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 Pencible
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
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 jaxon53
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of jfcaa193
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of merlin48
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
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
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
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 stereosforgeeks
4.03/5  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 msubulldog25
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
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%
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
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
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 Boto
4.38/5  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 allengarvin
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
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 bobsy
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage shared by Derek.

Pours a moderate mahogany with a filmy off-white head that stuck around for the course and left a few lace spots behind. Typical wee heavy nose, with brown bread, caramel, peat, wood, spice and alcohol. Well-rounded and pleasing. Earthy, sweet bread flavour, with notes of scotch, alcohol and spice. Alcohol seems like its died a bit down the years, and this is nicely mellowed. Medium body and carbonation.

I'll never be a great lover of this style, but by jove, this one is nice and mellow. Alcohol is well-hidden and the flavours are well-integrated.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

Photo of mcallister
2.53/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Nothing really makes this beer stand out looks wise. A melted caramel brownish color with a small white head that does carry good retention. Not much imagination otherwise.

Sweet black cherry, with a toffeed malt hint and hints of oak. Sweet fig, raisin, brown sugar, and berries also come forth as this beer mingles in the glass awhile. A tad of alcohol also is present. The problem is that all of the aromas are very subdued.

Hmmm. Well I'm thoroughly dissapointed in this beer. I've been sitting on this for awhile now looking forward too the day of it's demise. Not sure if it's a bad bottle or just old but not at all what I expected. Lacking any complexity and not nearly the amount of oak to integrate I was imagining. Well live and die by the bottle:).

Again lots of dried berries, hints of toffee, milk chocolate, cherry, and a lackluster attempt at oak aging. An obvious belgian yeast was used in this and I think Allagash may have been better off using a traditional yeast with this one.

Thin and watery.

As for drinkability; considering it's price I will never try this beer again. Now I have all of these other Allagash "big beers" in my cellar that I've been looking forward too. Hopefully the others will turn out better.

Photo of grub
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

got this one in a trade with johnnnniee. thanks!

750ml bottle, corked and caged. august 2006 vintage. 419 cases bottled. sampled dec 31/07.

pours deep red-brown with a small fluffy tan head. the head drops slowly and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is nice. bourbon and vanilla. bit of peat. bread and biscuit malt. bit of alcohol.

taste is great. big bread and biscuit malts. lots of caramel. bit of toffee. vanilla and bourbon. medium bitterness level. bit of mineral character. hint of peaty smoke.

mouthfeel is good. medium carbonation level. a little more than medium body.

drinkability is good. nice balance, with a good balance between the barrel and the base scotch ale.

Photo of DIM
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: This was a clear coppery amber color with golden edges. It poured with a big, slow forming, long lasting, creamy, and sticky light tan head. The color of this was on the lighter side for the style.

s: It may be my imagination because this is from Allagash, but I think I smell a Belgian yeast strain. Sweet peaty aromas are here of course, but I smell some prickly, mildly sour cherries as well. Candied sugar and a little alcohol blanketing everything round this one out. Very nice nose overall!

t: Starts off with peaty malts along with some Belgianesque tart cherry flavors. The finish is dry, floral, and a bit spicy. The oak lends faint tobacco and vanilla flavors. At times I found a very minor metallic taste at the very end. The alcohol is very well masked here.

m: This one may be a little thin in the body, but the carbonation is lush and long lasting.

d: This is oak aging done right. The oaking takes a definite back seat to a very nice Scotch Ale. I think I liked this more than the score would indicate, that metallic flavor lowered the score a bit.

Photo of cliff1066
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of clvand0
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a brown/red color with a decent head that falls quickly and doesn't leave a lot of lacing on the glass. The aroma is full of dark fruit smells - reminds me of grapes and it has a hint of alcohol. Doesn't really remind me of a scotch ale, but smells good. The flavor is very smooth, but has a hint of alcohol. Very malty and full of dark fruit flavors. The flavor is more of an oak aged belgian brown or something similar, but not a scotch ale. Either way, it's tasty. The body is fairly thick, almost syrupy. The drinkability is pretty good, but the bite from the alcohol hurts it a bit.

Photo of sholland119
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at TJs Everyday.

A-Pours a deep, dark amber with a generous white head and some good lacing.

S-Sweet and bready malts, dark fruits (raisins and figs), some oakiness, spices and Belgian yeast. Oh, a bit of candi sugar as well.

T-Very sweet in the front with the candi sugar and raisin flavors taking the lead. Spices come to the fore in the middle along with the yeasty spiciness and oak, following along to the finish. Excellent. No hint of alcohol either.

M-Surprisingly light for the style and ABV. Not light by any means but not at all heavy.

D-A sipper for sure but not tiring at all, as I often find with this style (though I love the style). More than one a bad idea unless you are at home.

HV

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another beautiful looking bottle from Allagash declaring 690 cases bottled, May 2006, 10% ABV.

Pours with an umber copper hazy hue, topped with a huge pillowy khaki cap coating leaving drippy lace in the glass.

Sweet molasses scents with tootsie roll sugar. Flakey oat grain, delicate suggestion of rum and wooden overtones. Delicious on the nose with a whisper of cocoa.

First swigs: Initial butter pecan ice cream. Soft cocoa chocolate blends with a backing of pistachio. Vanilla extract and rum torte cake sweetness carries this through to a dry powdery finish with hints of smoky wood. Latent hints of cinamon, and apple pie crust. Complexities abound.

Feel is a touch frothy on the palate yet robust. Firm crispness finds a robust interpretation that takes the style to a new level. Unmistakable creaminess. Kudos!

Last swigs: Complex dark buttery toasty sweet!

Beer is good. Happy barrel beering.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 bottle cellared by dmeadows

A: Nice deep brown color. Tons of bubbly carbonation with a half finger of white head.

S: Tons of sweetness. Nice Belgian yeast nose. Some hints of peat/smoke as well.

T: Nice sweetness. Big whiskey flavor. Some hints of vanilla as well. Tastes like whiskey but in a good way.

M:Very prickly mouthfeel. Well carbonated.

D: Really nice. Didn't know to expect going in to this one but I got a pleasant surprise. A belgian inspired wee heavy? Why not.

Photo of bashiba
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep dark copper with a huge thick and pillowy head, super sticky lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell had a big caramel malt odor with a bit of oak and vanilla.

Taste is outstanding! Big slightly sweet malts with great oak, vanilla, smoke, and peat flavors. Very much a superb wee heavy with oak! Has a lightly bitter earthy and smokey finish with a touch of mint.

Mouthfeel is warm and full with a crisp dry finish.

Super drinkable 10% Wee heavy. Only wish it was cheaper and more readily available it would become a staple in my fridge.

Allagash Musette from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.