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Allagash Vrienden - Allagash Brewing Company

Allagash VriendenAllagash Vrienden

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

137 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 137
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

Vrienden is a collaboration with New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, CO and was brewed in July of 2010. Brewmaster Peter Bouckart worked with us to come up with a recipe to be brewed both at their facility and at ours, with subtle differences in each. Both beers used the same base recipe. The Vrienden- Fort Collins version was brewed with belgian endive and hibiscus flower. The Vrienden- Portland version was brewed with dandelion greens and elderberries. Peter then came to Allagash to assist with the brew itself and, a few weeks later, Jason and Rob went there to help with their brew. The beers were fermented using a blend of New Belgium's Lactobacillus strain and the Allagash Brettanomyces strain.

The resulting beer is mildly tart, fruity and slightly hoppy.

(Beer added by: Thorpe429 on 03-15-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 137 | Reviews: 68 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of wisrarebeer


2.55/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: amber brown color, clear with good carbonation and light creamy head
S: nose is mild and sweeter, nothing unusual
T: very disappointing, cloying, malt with some hop balance but really no noticeable bret nor lacto
M: sweet, no noticeable funk
O: sweet, bland, no funk, reminded me a bit of a Belgian white

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2013 03:06:59 | More by wisrarebeer
Photo of thepeter

United Kingdom (England)

4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fluffy and pretty nice head clinging to the glass. Light in color, Aroma of lemon zest, floural, earth and funk. Tastes similar very light and not too strongly flavored. An easy sour beer that has toned down elements of funk and osur, without much if any barnyard. Very soft and light on the palate. Overall a very nice beer that I am glad to have tried, alcohol was very well hidden and I liked how easy it was to drink and enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2012 23:54:26 | More by thepeter
Photo of BearsOnAcid


3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Light copper pour; off white fluffy head with sticky lacing

Slight mettalic and vegetal nose. Saison esters, lemony. A little dirty.

Light berry and saison flavor. Light tartness and lemony. A little bit of a leafy broccoli flavor probably from the dandelion greens. This was much better than the New Belgium version. Decent but not great.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 20:21:13 | More by BearsOnAcid
Photo of jlenik

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a: hazy, translucent, and golden. some head, disappeared quickly and loudly.

s: tropical fruits are present, bright spice notes as well.

t: I'm getting a decent amount of sweetness out of this one and I'm assuming it's from the elderberries. bitterness is not pronounced but it is definitely present. tart but not overly sour.

m: the finish can become dry and as I drink it I can taste some alcohol lingering but I don't mind.

o: a very enjoyable wild ale from Allagash. wish this was in a larger format.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 04:24:38 | More by jlenik
Photo of ToasterChef


4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bottle has been in my cellar since the day it was released at the Allagash Brewery. I'm serving it in an Allagash flute at a chilly temperature.

The beer has a very light copper color; it's nearly tan. There is a great number of tiny bubbles rising within the beer. A rather large white foam head rests on top. It has settled some—leaving behind a few rings of foamy lace—but it still over a finger in thickness.

Vrienden has a grassy farmhouse funk aroma. I believe some of the grassiness comes from the hops, but I imagine that at least a portion is from the dandelion greens added to the brew. The funkiness is mild, but prevalent enough to let you know that you are in for a beer that lives on the wild side.

This beer comes across as very tart. Lots of grass and floral flavors are tasted first. Powdered sugar sweetness comes in next, but it is quickly overshadowed but the tart flavors. The tartness has a slight citrus quality to it (like a lemon), but there isn't any of the grapefruit flavors you find in some hoppy beers. It provides a welcome fruitiness to the beer without making it taste like a fruit beer.

This beer has a fuller body and plenty of carbonation—the bottle opened with a resounding POP. A touch of stickiness is left on the lips; the coating left within my mouth is also sticky. It is a thin coat and is holds onto some of the tart flavors. Some puckering is felt by the beer; but as a drink more of it, the physical reaction grows less strong with each sip.

This is another impressive wild ale from Allagash. I'm a little sad that I only have one bottle of this left, but I bet there are still a few kegs of Vrienden sitting in the brewery. I would certainly order a glass if I saw it offered.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2012 02:13:03 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of Jason


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml brown bottle, no freshness date needed as this one will probably be good to drink for a while.

LOOK: Bright orange hue, pasty lacing ... looks inviting.

SMELL: Grassy, vegtal, tart, marmalade, musty cellar, herbal, woody, mint, esters, lemon zest

TASTE: Smooth, dry, tart, lemon pith, vegtal, medicinal, dried grass, chalky yeast, musty, funk, faint barn yard, sweet onion, sour berries, dry finish

Really out there, smacks the palate with tartness. If not for the dry character it would not be so drinkable. A sipper still, glad I did not subject myself to getting this in growler form as that was not the brewers intent. I'm thinking this one will start to peak in about a year but I'm satisfied with opening it now.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2011 04:52:24 | More by Jason
Photo of scottfrie


4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle into Portsmouth snifter. A huge thank you to SneezyAchew for hooking it up (and for the glass)!

A: Pours a lightly hazy glowing golden amber with a fluffy light tan head that faded into a thick film leaving a great network of thin lacing down the glass.
S: Light notes of lemon, peaches, brett, and a bit of dry hay and earthy saison-esque notes.
T: Follows the nose but I also get notes of tart berries (elderberries?), green apples, oak, and floral notes. The finish is lightly bitter and tart, and the aftertaste is dry and has a tartness akin to fruit skins. There is a good fruity sweetness to the brew throughout.
M: Dry mouthfeel, medium body, and normal soft carbonation.
O: Really solid beer that isn’t too mouth-puckering. Very refreshing actually, with a good fruity, bretty, floral flavor. Thanks again Michael!

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2011 02:27:33 | More by scottfrie
Photo of ThePorterSorter


4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light copper ale with a thin white head. There is a huge amount of haze, especially once the bottom sediment is poured off. I noticed something very interesting with this beer's head, several small, foam-producing doughnuts.

Ethanol and cardboard with a little bit of carbon earthiness. This beer smells utterly funkified and wild. Definitely a beer to be served warm.

Sour and cultured. The alcohol melding with the beer's natural zest is super refreshing. The traditional, yet somehow now exotic spices are a very interesting addition to this beverage. However, the sourness is up front and forward.

Sour and biting with stinging ethanol. Very bubbly and refreshing beverage that burns and leaves a herbal/funky aftertaste. The thick sediment doesn't lend much to the beer's body, which remains fairly light. When the beer warms there is a strong, mouth-watering acidity. This is an exciting beverage indeed!

For the price/quantity, this beer is fairly expensive. I like their creativity and collaboration in making this beer because both Allagash and New Belgium are completely capable breweries. I liked how the beer can be consumed at room temp and only get more complex and sour!

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2011 02:25:59 | More by ThePorterSorter
Photo of armock

New York

4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Hiphop1 for sending me this bottle in the 666 BIF.

A - Poured a hazy copper color with no real head to it

S - Has a very tart nose with citrus and floral scents to it

T - Like the nose the tartness smacks you in the mouth then the citrus comes out in the finish

M - This beer has a medium body with high carbonation to it

O - I'm really enjoying this one there's not going to be any issues with finishing this bottle myself other than the heartburn later this beer has a good tart taste that's very easy to drink the alcohol isn't noticeable either so if you like sours this is a beer to hunt down

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2011 01:10:18 | More by armock
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

31. Cosmicevan with damico (vrienden – tick it together) – looks exactly like vlad which damico was holding at the time.

D: Amber dark orange
C: Murky…
D: Murky, but not too murky (4 solid).
C: Bubbly but no head, swirling brings it alive…
D: Not to lacy at all
C: But covers the surface? No?
D: Yeah, covers the surface
C: Fruity, almost sour…but like a tinge of sweet tart…but sweet citric, maybe?
D: Yeah, but not bitter…not bitter, like very soft notes of the sweet fruit, very soft notes and not too funky either. (4, yeah it’s good)
C: Again, much like the nose leads you to believe…
D: I’m getting mellon on the nose now.
C: Yeah, after taking a sip mellon is definitely there and much like the nose it tastes like the nose, subtle sweet tart, but like fruity citric mellony.
D: That’s exactly what I’m getting, subtle sweet tart, not overbearing at all and then the citric mellon, which isn’t bitter, it doesn’t (inaudible noises)…at all.
C: I think I’m getting work emails now? (laughs) Sorry…
D: That’s perfect!
C: Mouth…like a good bittery…
D: Lighter
C: Medium bodied.
D: Medium bodied and easy to take down.
C: Take another sip…
D: Thank you very much
C: Mouth, I might even want to say 4.5 cause it’s that smooth…
D: It’s that close because I could drink it probably like a huge glass…
C&D: All night all day long
C: Overall, even though I feel like I have a 4.5 on flavor I would say 4.5 overall…
D: Can we give the mouthfeel the full monty of 5 out of 5?
C: I’m in…5 out of 5 on mouthfeel. I’m going to transcribe this word for word (laughs)
D: So flavor out of 10, I’m thinking 8 to 9
C: Which is a solid 4.5 or 5.
C: Overall an easy 4.5
D: 18ish
C: I’m not a ratebeer guy
D: I know you are a BA.
C: 18ish on RB, I would give it a solid 4.5, possibly even a 5 overall. I mean this is a…
D: Overall give it the top? It is ridiculously good.
C: This is a trade-worthy beer.
D: I can’t believe how smooth it is. Especially the body and the bite is not there at all. There is no…
C: Ok, well we are at 2 and a half minutes now so we are gonna cut it, (laughs) but you get the idea. Read the transcription, grades to follow…cheers!

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2011 04:08:23 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of WanderingFool


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vrienden pours a hazy straw yellow with a small white head on top. The foam dissolves quickly leaving only a few spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is funky with tart aromas of grapes and hay.

Each sip of this light bodied beer is dry and watery with an effervescent fizz. Easy drinking. The flavor is tart with fruity notes of apples, grapes and strawberries. In the middle some funky barnyard hay appears. It finishes grassy with lingering tart flavors.

This is a sipping beer that has a good balance of sweet and sour. It's very tasting with interesting characteristics.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2011 01:44:18 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of Reagan1984


3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

icked this up the day of the release in Maine.

A light bright amber color with a thin wispy head that quixkly fades to a thing ring of foam around the edge of the glass. A touch of sudsy lace clings

Aroma is very herbal and fresh. Smells like you are in a garden. While I would say there is some fruit/berry aroma, I couldn't pick the smell of Elderberries out of a line-up if my life depending on it.

Herbal, grassy, the slightest tart finish. Some light fruit just below the surface. Perhaps a bit of that Sweettart flavor. Getting some oak in the finish. If you hold it in your mouth some menthol comes out. Pretty complex, I like it.

Fizzy effervesent carbonation. Pretty delicate mouth feel. Light and refreshing.

I actually like this quite a bit. Tendermorsel commented that the bottle version was even better than the draft. I have to agree.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2011 19:38:41 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of corby112


3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375ml shared by foretfu at a recent tasting. Thanks again man! Sampled next to the New Belgium Lips of Faith version.

Pours a hazy dark golden orange color that is opaque with tangerine hues and a half finger white head that quickly settles into a lasting ring.  Spotty lasting.

EArthy, slightly funky aroma that is very floral aroma with of bready yeast and citrus fruit notes, especially tangerine and orange peel.

Tart puckering mouthfeel with earthy funk and dry Brett efervescence.  Slight creamy presence with citrus fruit.  Floral not hoppy with sweeter fruit and a  dry finish with lingering sourness.   The better of the two versions.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2011 05:39:58 | More by corby112
Photo of mdaschaf


4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Brez07 for sending this to me in a LIF. Review from notes.

A: Pours light pink in color with a small white head on top. Quick dissipation with no lacing.

S: Light tartness, almost has a candy sweetness to the aroma. There is some grassy and a a flower like quality that I can only assume is the dandelions. Light funk.

T: Not as sour/tart as most wilds, but that doesn't bother me at all. Nice fruit flavors with some lemon/citrus, elderberries, and some other fruits.

M: Light to medium bodied with a nice level of carbonation. As mentioned, not mouth puckering sour/tart, but I thought the level of sour was nice.

O: Extremely easy drinking, especially for 9%. Was surprised it was so high actually after drinking it. Not my favorite AWA, but well put together. Something I would love to get some more of and drink again.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 20:57:35 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of ktrillionaire


3.23/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - It pours a hazy light amber hue and is capped with a slight film of small off-white bubbles.

S - The nose is pretty much evocative of sweatsocks, Limburger cheese and wet Golden Retriever. I was hoping to get some of the deliciously strange herbal-green notes of elderberry, but none are here. This is more like the sweatiest Saison in history than it is like a Wild.

T - The flavor is a marked improvement upon the elements of the nose, offering earthy-musty lemon notes atop some toasty grain. I still don't pick out elderberries in the brew.

M - Nice soft carbonation and silky medium-light body.

O - Light years better than the horrendous Lips of Faith version, not stellar, however.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2011 20:19:48 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of telecomz


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy, copper orange body. Creamy tan foam that is substantial. Retention is good. Some lacing.

S: Slightly floral, some fruit, grassy that end with funky notes.

T: Same as the nose. No discernible dandelion a la Pissenlit; cannot discern berries. Still, so tasty

M: Medium body with with moderate carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2011 00:11:47 | More by telecomz
Photo of sitarist


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blind beer #2 round 5 from Brez07 is a corked and caged, somewhere around 12 oz bottle.

It pours a weird pink hued, kind of like pink grapefruit juice color. Beer is murky. There is a half inch of white head that falls to a cap. There are a few spots of lacing.

Nice smelling beer! Sweet, slightly funky, and slightly tart. I smell red apple, spice, jam, and wet hay. A little heavy on the sweet, a little too light on the funk.

It has sweet flavors of apples, plums, and fruit jam, with some light sour, salty, and grassy notes. Its wild, but not in a sour way.

Light body, with little carbonation bubbles the fizz briefly on my tongue. It coats my tongue nicely. It is a little bit sticky.

An interesting all around good beer. It doesn't floor me, but it is very well made.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2011 03:09:54 | More by sitarist
Photo of ElGallo

New Hampshire

3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chowdahead for picking up a bottle for me at the brewery. 375 mL bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead longstem snifter. Decent finger of head, good carbonation, lacing that sticks.

Smell is tart and crisp but very plesant on the nose. Some berry, sour apple, a little riesling, and possibly wildflowers or long grass - earthy but light and fresh. The funk is subtle and well balanced with the other scents.

Taste is not as tart as I expected. Not an overwheling meld of flavors, but it's crisp and enjoyable. The berry notes are nice and balance well with the wild funk.

This is not as impressive as Vagabond and Victor Francenstein, but it's still a very solid wild/sour ale. Glad I got to try it.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2011 02:50:05 | More by ElGallo
Photo of andrewinski1

New Hampshire

3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an Allagash chalice. Nice sparkling golden color with a slightly orange hue. This yields a giant head that fizzes and leaves a good 1/8th inch layer on top of the body. There is a bit of sticky lacing.

The aroma has a lot of the distinct brett smell typical of most Allagash wilds. There is a bit of a lemon aroma with mild candy sweetness.

The taste starts out with a nice dose of spicy belgian yeast followed by a mellow orange candy sweetness. The finish is mildly tart with a good dose of grapefruit rind flavor.

The mouthfeel is solid and a little prickly. The body is light to medium.

I really like this one. The adjuncts don't stand out a lot, but perhaps they add the subtle flavors that make this one unique. These Allagash wilds have been pretty tasty thus far.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 05:01:50 | More by andrewinski1
Photo of Bendurgin


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into my Allagash chalice. This one pours a hazy straw color with a thin white head. This settles down to a thin layer of white foam with sticky lace.

This one smells nice and tart. A bit of vinnegar and acidic lemon. A bit of granny smith apple sweetness. This one is a pretty sweet. I'd say it has a sweet cherry on the pallet with a bit of a tart finish. Slightly funky.

The feel on this is good. The body is light and the carbonation is prett good. Overall a pretty good wild ale. Full of good sweet and sour funk.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2011 00:19:15 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of Casey10


4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a tough one to rate went to Allgash on the day of the release. Tried it today and here is my review.

From the bottle this nice carbination my overall impression is that it is good nothing mind blowing however very nice dry finish reminds me somewhat of a RR temptation in that it has that sort of texture and look about. I would say it is a step or two below that.

This is still a really nice beer if you are a fan of wild ales well worth seeking out and worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2011 02:39:42 | More by Casey10
Photo of rudzud


3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the Armsby Abbey.

A - Poured into an Allagash tulip a clear dark golden copper hue with a nice creamy one finger dense head that left sticky lacing down the glass.

S - Aromas of light barrel and vinegar. That's kinda it.

T - Taste brings out nice barrel, good vinegar and light vanilla. Tart fruit skins, lightly sweet and floral.

M - Mouthfeel is super good for a higher ABV, incredibly drinkable and lightly carbonated.

O - Overall this was a tasty brew from Allagash super sessionable. The nose is a bit lacking but other that that this is a nice offering.

Serving type: on-tap

08-23-2012 21:40:58 | More by rudzud
Photo of Georgiabeer


4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Brick Store Pub for their 15th anniversary week. A delicious beer, wonderful that I got a chance to try some. Pours a dark orange with excellent clarity and some very nice lacing. Smells nicely sour without being overly acetic. Nice background notes of stone fruit. Fairly zingy and delicious flavors of bright citrus and apricot, with the faintest metallic twang. Dry and nicely sour. Not as complex as some, but very balanced and tasty.

Serving type: on-tap

06-27-2012 18:44:12 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of UCLABrewN84


4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap for Allagash night at Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Pours a murky honey brown with a tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of sour/tart fruits, herbs, and some slight floral aromas. Taste is very much the same with a very nice tart finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good and tasty wild ale and I like this Allagash version much better than the New Belgium one.

Serving type: on-tap

03-22-2012 05:05:44 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Tucquan


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2011-12-03 in Paoli, PA at TJ's (from tasting notes)

A - Mostly-clear amber with no head.

S - Candied orange, tea leaves and mint. Smells very nice.

T - Lots of wild yeast, funk, elderberry citrus, leafy, straw, dry.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Mildly syrupy.

O - Nice but there are other sours I like a lot more.

Notes: Made with dandelion leaves and elderberries.

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2012 13:57:39 | More by Tucquan
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Allagash Vrienden from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 137 ratings.