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Allagash Vrienden - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash VriendenAllagash Vrienden

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

144 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 144
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 9.83%
Wants: 50
Gots: 26 | FT: 2
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: 144 | Reviews: 68 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From Allagash's e-mail: "A collaboration brew with New Belgium Brewing. Brewed with dandelions and elderberries. Fermented with Allagash Brettanomyces and New Belgium's Lactobacillus. Tart, fruity, earthy. 1500 bottles for sale at the brewery only, proceeds to benefit friends of Casco Bay (.org). Limit two (2) bottles per person. $10.00 per bottle."

On tap at the Day Session of Extreme Beer Fest 2011. At least I believe it was on tap based on what I saw, i.e. a lack of bottles. It also looks like quite a few people had Vagabond on tap.

Pour yielded a light copper to amber colored brew with a nice off-white head settling atop it after a good swirl or two. The nose was a bit of a hodge podge at this point. There was definitely a bit of acid plus a nice fruitiness and a bit of Brett funk and earthiness. The elderberries are pretty interesting and I like what they did.

The taste really brought things together a lot better. The combination of the elderberries with the funky Brett was nice, and the light acid provided a nice complement. Taste is slightly tannic, though not at all in a bad way. Feel had good carbonation for the accompanying brew with a really nice funkiness that went well with the flavors from the fruit. Good dry finish.

Overall, this was quite interesting. Not necessarily my favorite wild from Allagash, but it was certainly intriguing enough to get me to hit their table up a few times. Looking forward to hopefully getting to taste how this develops in the future.

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy amber/orange in color. It poured with a thin white head that died down and left some lacing on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderate aromas of elderberries and sourness in the nose.
T: The overall taste has a light to moderate amount of sourness along with some notes of elderberry flavors. The taste improves and becomes more complex as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is easy to drink compared to others in the style because the sour flavors are only light to moderately strong and do not overpower the taste.

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

big thanks for the nice growler of this one, great to be able to try this one!

. A light pink in color with a huge head of white that came up over the top to a height of around an inch before dropping back down to earth with little in the way of lacing. Aroma was wonderful though. Nice touches of raspberries, hints of light cherry and a touch of sour apples as well. Really quite nice, and very light and refreshing. Smooth and light flavor here as well. Not especially sour, but people need to realize a wild ale does not need to be sour. Anyway. Cherries and Raspberries dominate here, light touches of grape skin, apples and a smooth, and light sugary note to it as well.

Photo of womencantsail
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ

A: The beer pours a slightly hazed golden orange color with a thin white head.

S: Not the most assertive nose. Fairly floral with a touch of banana, too. A very light tartness to it, maybe a light pear sourness. Some apple skins and a light malt note to it, maybe a bit of oak.

T: Fairly sweet for a sour beer. Lots if pear and apple, a bit of banana, as well. Light bread flavor with some oak and a touch of lemon and lemon zest. Some other citrus notes, too.

M: Medium bodied with a low to medium carbonation.

O: This was a bit better than the New Belgium version, but it still didn't do much for me.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of jlindros
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap at Armsby Abbey, also a bottle thanks to thirdeye11.

Big frothy 1 finger head with sticky lacing all around, over a hazy ruby reddish golden orange color.

Nose brings funk, some wild Brett funk with light horse hair and earthy funk, some light tart lacto like funk as well, very light sour fruit, light bready malts.

Taste brings tart fruit to start, light sour lacto, some earthy wild Brett dunno, light barnyard, light bready malts, some darker reddish earthy malts as well, semi sweet, fruit include sour grapes, light apricot, funk isn't too crazy as it seems cut with fruit juice as well. Finish dries a bit but could use more, light sticky flemmy tart fruit and wild funk.

Mouth is med bodied decent carb.

Overall a great funky wild, great Brett nose, tart fruits, juicy, the finish could have been a bit drier but I very that will come with bottle aging.

Photo of oline73
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at Max's, poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish amber, there is very little off white head and it goes away completely.

Smell: Sour fruit and vinegar. There is also some sweetness from the malt.

Taste: Sweet malt with some tart fruit and vinegar notes. The tart flavors don't dominate, but there is a nice amount. The finish is bitter from the greens that are used, really like the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with mild tingly carbonation. The finish is dry.

Overall: I enjoyed this beer. The most interesting part was definitely the bitterness from the greens in the finish. Nice balance.

Photo of MasterSki
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Map Room. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Arrived with two fingers of white foam that slowly settled to a solid cap, leaving splotchy lace. Hazed brownish-red body.

S - Slight lactic sourness, some herbs and spices. Grassy, with some vaguely tea-like notes to it as well.

T - Again, light lactic sourness, and herbal bitterness (I'm guessing from the dandelion greens). Bready malt character, with some peppery Belgian yeast. Alcohol is well-hidden. I didn't get elderberries at all, and the brett only seems to add a vaguely musty, earthy note.

M - Smooth texture, medium body, medium carbonation. Fairly clean finish, which was mildly surprising.

D - I liked this better than the New Belgium version, but this may be my least favorite of the Allagash small batch releases. It took me a fair bit of time to work through my glass, although to be fair it was pretty late in the evening.

Edit: Cracked a bottle 01-05-2011. A lot of the herbal flavors has mellowed out, lactic presence has increased, and the brett has imparted some nice citrus and tropical notes. Probably more of a ~4 beer these days.

Photo of Rifugium
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at the Pour House, Westmont, NJ

Poured orange-brown with very little head; some carbonation visible. Floral aroma with some citrus notes. Taste was surprisingly sour up front, but not overbearing. Grassiness mixed with citrus followed leaving a nice crispness in the mouth. Light-medium body, and fairly drinkable. I probably wouldn't have more than a glass at any given sitting, but I would definitely not mind having that one glass if it was available.

Photo of DrunkinYogi
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of imperialking
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of corby112
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the Great Lost bear in maine a week or two ago and now a growler pour from DeCiccio's in Ardsley, NY.

Pours hazed/clouded auburn amber, minor medium tan head, quick to depart, leaves just a faint film, thin collar and no lace. On the low side of the carbonation scale.

Nose faintly of sweet and ripe tropical fruits, not much else.

On the tongue is where the interest rises, tart, fruity, herbal, moderatly sour. More ripe fruits, cherry for sure coming through as well as plums. Super dry finish, with more tart and sour goodness. Complex, interesting and flavorful offering. Glad I had the chance to give this one a couple of tries.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Photo of Gonzoillini
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.03/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at The Hulmeville Inn, poured into a big ass goblet.

Vrienden came to me looking bright golden orange and some tangerine shades thrown in as well. A bit cloudy but not dirty. Just some loose bubbles floating on top. While not pretty, it's not dead looking.

Smell is quite pungent and on the wild side. The lacto basically pours out with a nice brett backing. Floral is quite the word and with some warming, dandelions and whatever they used bites. Not quite Cuvee De Flures(SH) flower ridden, but a nice bouquet. Fruity with slight citrus, maybe some mango.

Taste kinda falls off for me. The flower is the main taste for me and dominates the beer. Some sharp brett/lacto action, than a long flower/floral taste, going into a fruity finish. Orange, pineapple slices. the yeast comes out more and more and kinda gets in the way as well, im not a huge fan of alot of allagash strains.

Feel is nice and alive, while not looking great on appearance, the feel is a wave of lacto sour opening and although all the other flavor does not jive with me, they do not go down so bad. Im not gagging on it is what im saying.

Overall, A nice 'sour' from Allagash And New Belgium. Would like to see what this does in a bottle but I don't think I'll get a shot at that. Easy enough to drink, if this was at 5%, I would be all over it.

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Allagash Vrienden from Allagash Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.