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Allagash Vagabond Ale - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash Vagabond AleAllagash Vagabond Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

98 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 98
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 224
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

With only 500 bottles made, this beer is from one of the only barrels to move with us into our new brewery three years ago. Aged four years in American oak barrels, it boasts a complex aroma of maple syrup and port, with background notes of marzipan, plum and dill. Flavors of tart, unripened plum and caramel give way to a warming, toasted almond finish.

(Beer added by: mikey711 on 10-19-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 98 | Reviews: 69 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

3.25/5  rDev -21.7%

08-18-2012 12:48:50 | More by t0rin0
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -3.6%

01-13-2012 22:38:46 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to bmanning for opening this up at a recent tasting.

A: Pours a dark reddish copper with some nice carbonation throughout.

S: Lots of oak and sweetness coming from dark fruit and hints of maple syrup. A little bit of funk in there as well. Very unique.

T: Quite similar to the nose with just a lot going on. Not completely blended together in the flavor department, but there were so many little things about it that I enjoyed. The dark fruits, oak, and funk were a great combination.

M: Pretty smooth with fairly low carbonation and a light-to-medium mouthfeel.

D: Definitely would not have guessed that this one was 10%. Very drinkable with some nice flavor characteristics.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2010 10:36:26 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a tawny color with a very modest head that quickly becomes a film; very little lacing

Smell: A cornucopia of aromatice elements, ranging from undertones of caramel, maple syrup and port to the more subtle elements of oak, vanilla, strawberries and tart apples

Taste: A real dichotomy of flavors, ranging from the sweet ones on the opening (caramel, maple syrup and port) to tart ones that arrive shortly thereafter (tart apple, unripe strawberry and balsamic vinegar; by mid-palate, swallow, the vanilla, oak and chocolate elements add complexity; after the swallow, the tart elements take it up a notch, with the sweeter ones lingering underneath into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low carbonation

Overall: I love the contrasting elements of this beer, finding much more complexity here than in many others that are more straightforward sours

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2011 02:04:54 | More by brentk56
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

01-06-2013 14:38:22 | More by acurtis
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.15/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours amber in color with a short lived off-white head. Smells just terribly buttery. Lots of diacetyl overall. Butterscotch and maple syrup are also present, maybe some over-ripe fruits. A bit of spicy oak and a light herbal note. The flavor is really no different from the aroma. A bit more oak and herbal character, however. But still a lot of butter, butterscotch, caramel, and maple syrup. Just really odd. Not a fan.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2012 20:29:05 | More by womencantsail
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

01-26-2012 07:21:13 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

4/5  rDev -3.6%

01-17-2013 05:39:51 | More by spycow
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to Joe for sharing this one!

Paper wrapped with a simple card illustrating a hobo's bindle sack. Cork popped with little fanfare, and the beer poured placidly into a small stemmed tulip glass. It appeared nearly still with a sanguine copper color a few trace bubbles around the edges.

Aroma of wet wood, dark cherry skins, port, musty, light oxidation.

Tastes rich and lightly tart with dark cherry skin flavors coming to the forefront. Fairly substantial feel despite the very low carb level. Caramel and prunes in the periphery. Overall it's unique, though the long aging period makes me more curious what it was like in the early stages.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2014 04:51:17 | More by emerge077
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

4/5  rDev -3.6%

11-15-2011 18:40:33 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by ipa247. Thanks, Jeff!

Vagabond is a clear chestnut brown in the glass, beautifully colored but virtually headless. The aroma is musty, fruity, a bit buttery, like a rich California chardonnay. There's a touch of solvent beneath the surface, and a sweet vinous aroma that reminds me of cognac. On the palate it's nutty and warming, cognac coming to mind again along with dark fruits, white wine and malt vinegar. The finish is dry, woody, very tannic, and the mouthfeel a bit slick. This isn't sour per se; more tart, musty and oaky. An interesting and drinkable beer, clearly a big step up from Gargamel, but nothing outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2010 04:20:27 | More by largadeer
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JAHMUR

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

11-15-2011 00:45:24 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to d0b for sharing a bottle of this with me on New Beer Sunday. I also had a 3oz pour at Night of the Funk, but wanted a second crack at this brew before I posted my thoughts. Served in a Hopleaf tulip glass.

A - A finger of quick-dissolving light tan foam that leaves a slight haze and thick collar. Visible carbonation at the edges of the glass in an otherwise murky dark red-brown body. Lots of suspended sediment. I think Dave's pour looked a bit better (more clarity and glow).

S - This is not what I was expecting when I read about this brew. Very sweet, with a good amount of funk that tapers off a bit as the brew warms up. Lots of maple and nuttiness, with some light earthy tones and a bit of vinous character as well. There's a slight hint of booze when it warms up, but I'd never guess 10%. Very complex and works quite well.

T - Starts with a slight touch of pucker and tartness, then quickly moves back towards the maple sweetness, hazelnut, and a bit of oakiness. The finish is very barrel heavy and also contains a fair amount of butteriness - more cashew butter than microwave popcorn, but still a little off-putting for me. I think I'm personally very sensitive to this type of flavor, so one's mileage may vary. It's not bad, and the booze is well hidden, but it's not really what I want from a wild ale - not enough sour or tart elements to interest me.

M - Feel is terrific - nice dry tannic finish, no alcohol heat, low soft carbonation, medium viscosity. Might even surpass Gargamel in this regard.

D - I could drink a 375ml no problem thanks to the well-hidden booze, but I wouldn't go out of my way to trade for this one. It's good, but don't believe all the hype.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2009 00:55:09 | More by MasterSki
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is dark and has nearly no head. Its hazy, the smallish head forms a halo of tiny off white to light brown bubbles that leaves a little lacing on the glass.

Aroma is tart with a malty sweetness up front, not very lactic in the nose, almost acetic and citric.

Beer is sweet and malty that gives way to a light midpalate body and a tart / citric finish. Minimal acetic brightness and the forward is not creamy as I was expecting. Almost a chocolate like sweetness up front with some bitterness in the back. Interesting. Easy drinking and a clean finish.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 18:19:19 | More by drabmuh
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark maple brown color with a light head that fades semi quickly.

Nose of light tart fruits light malts and brown sugar and maple syrup. A bit of oak and vanilla.

Taste light tart darker fruit, little sweet malts, touch of syrupy flavor with more maple and brown sugar and light bready malts. Some light oak and vanilla too. A bit of a bready malts and touch of dry musty taste. Sticky finish lingering tart fruit.

Sticky mouth with med to lighter body and decent carbonation.

Drinkability is OK, lots of tart fruit and a bit of sticky mouth, touch of flemmy feel, bit of booze, and dry bready finish.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2010 20:43:09 | More by jlindros
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled March 2010
A soft pour produces a fat, one-finger thick, amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a dark, concentrated red color that shows a clear, rich ruby hue when held up to the light. Quite fruity smelling with raspberry seed notes, bright berry aromas, some light tartness, quite a bit of tannic, spicy oak. The more I inspect this the more the oak becomes apparent and the fruit falls to the background; almost smells like a freshly cut oak plank at times. The fruit aromatics come out if I take a break from the nose; this really is quite fruity with a spicy, fleshy raspberry, perhaps a touch of dark plum notes and some complimentary clove aromatics and brown sugar notes.

Quite tart tasting based on the light spiciness that was in the aroma. This has quite a bit of body to it, and it seems to have a lactic slickness to it that washes the beer off the palate; there is also a tannic texture to this. Oak flavors are perhaps the most dominant (at least after the initial hit of lactic sourness), with ample peppery, oak-derived spiciness, a freshly cut wood-plank flavor, some very soft butterscotch, and maybe just a hint of vanillin. The fruit flavors are much more subdued compared to the aroma; but still notes of rich plum, seedy raspberries and some soft berry notes are noticeable under the oak. A rich, caramelized, perhaps even maple like note mixes with oxidized, dry sherry notes and perhaps some hints of port sans sweetness.

This is just a bit too over-oaked; it gets in the way of the other flavors and can seem a bit heavy-handed at times; having said that, if you don't mind oak flavors, this is actually a pretty tasty brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2010 16:24:44 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of zestar
zestar

California

4/5  rDev -3.6%

05-16-2014 08:15:39 | More by zestar
Photo of imperialking
imperialking

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

11-15-2011 03:23:50 | More by imperialking
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark mahogany/coppery chestnut brown color with a one finger pinkish off white head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. Minimal spots of lacing.

Slightly oaky butterny aroma with some roasted nut character. Surprising amount of malt alongside some faint dark fruit notes.

Very buttery, slick medium body that is prett tart and puckering without being acidic. The sourness is balanced out by the buttery notes and nutty character. This tastes a lot like a buttery white wine which is surprising given the style and appearance. Long dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2010 23:56:20 | More by corby112
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part 2 of 3 for the Allawelsh tasting.

Poured into snifter. Pours ½ finger of beige head. Color is a mahogany hued caramel brown.

Aroma: Notes of plums, cherries, caramel and oak. I get a big port flavor and some wine like characteristics. It is fairly malty. It is a bit sour.

Taste: Cherries, plums, caramel, nuts, toffee, wine flavors, port, and oak all showing. It has a slight sour flavor with some vinegar notes, but in general, this one is not too sour or funky.

Mouthfeel: A bit sour, fizzy, and almost warming. Medium bodied with a bit higher amount of carbonation. Ends dry, but relatively clean.

Overall, this is quite the odd beer. It has some nice flavors, but it is simply just odd. I guess I really didn't know what to expect with this one. For how high the abv is, it is somewhat drinkable. I just expected more sourness to it.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2010 18:36:58 | More by mothman
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared by Thorpe429 alongside several other Allagash sour/wild ales. Thank you very much, Mike!

The beer appears a dark, reddish copper hue with a small, fletting head. The aroma brings maple syrup, booze, overly ripe dark fruits, caramel. The flavor follows suit. Complex and tasty. Notes of earth and nuts. Not especially tart or sour. Medium to full bodied with fairly low carbonation. Overall, I enjoyed this and am thankful to have tried it.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2012 18:55:31 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of Gonzoillini
Gonzoillini

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

04-13-2013 21:03:20 | More by Gonzoillini
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a big ass Jeroboam at BBF. I got about 4 oz because that thing must have been hard as hell to pour.

Pours a very lightly hazy dark orange brown, thin off white head forms, settles to a thin ring, leaves some lace spots on the glass.

Smell is wacky, lots of acidity, vanilla, wood, raisin and other fruit, feet, butter, lemons, vinegar, lightly nutty, some funky sourness, pretty cool, nice wood character.

Taste is similar, vanilla and nuts, hazelnuts to be more precise, nougat, sour fruit, butter and oak, acidic lemony and wood finish, some neat sour and tart notes, light on funk.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, real nice acidic bite, bit of astringency from the wood, not overly sour but pretty damn drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2009 21:39:23 | More by Viggo
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Joe - thanks!

Pours a murky amber-brown color with a half-finger light tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells interesting. Indistinct medium malt aromas mingle with deep port aromas, similar to booze-soaked tart black cherries with a hint of chocolate. Also present are mild amounts of maple and very slight amounts of funk.

Tastes good, though not as complex as the aroma. Moderately dry caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by very mildly tart medium fruit flavors. Midway through the sip the port flavors take over, overrunning the light tart flavors. Near the end of the sip the flavor profile sweetens a bit with hints of maple and brown sugar before fading out into a slightly muddled ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I thought this was the weakest of the three (currently available) limited releases, and others agreed. It was interesting to be sure but the flavors didn't seem to meld together very well. Worth a shot but not worth trading a kingdom.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2010 01:02:10 | More by glid02
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to a generous trader for the bottle. Consumed on a nice day in Carlsbad on 11/03/2009 and poured into a snifter.

The beer appears brownish burgundy with a small wispy off white head, decent retention, and scattered lacing.

The nose is tart unripe plum and berry-like with strong nutty notes. It's very, very oaky. I guess 4 years in American oak will do that. Notes of maple syrup and subtle brown sugar are evident. After reading the beer's description, I suppose I can pinpoint the dill that is mentioned. I don't think I would have otherwise, as it's subtle and I've never associated beer with dill. Other aromas are of dark unripe berries and low lactic notes. Great and complex aroma.

The taste is moderately acidic and tart unripe plums. The flavor is nutty throughout with a dominant yet pleasant oak character. The oak has contributed a moderate tannic quality, and maple provides a low sugary quality. There's a distinct earthiness to the beer, and the finish is toasted pecans with unripe plums and a low moderate lactic sourness. Alcohol is strong in the finish when the beer warms. The beer possesses an unexpected combination of interesting flavors that combine to be pretty enjoyable. The beer is medium bodied with a nice medium level of carbonation.

This is an interesting beer with a great aroma. I can't say I've ever before tried anything like it. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2009 23:45:47 | More by HopHead84
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Allagash Vagabond Ale from Allagash Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.