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Allagash Vrienden - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash VriendenAllagash Vrienden

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

138 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 138
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 51
Gots: 27 | FT: 1
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)
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Ratings: 138 | Reviews: 68 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazed orange amber color, cap of off-white head, minimal retention and lacing. Scent is quite fruity - strawberry and blueberry (no idea what an elderberry smells like) with moderate musty wood and funk. Taste follows scent, musty wood, berries, lightly tart with some candied sugar sweetness. Medum bodied, quite hefty, no lingering notes. An average wild ale that could have benefitied from some more tartness to stand up to its relatively hefty body.

Serving type: on-tap

06-13-2011 13:06:59 | More by rfgetz
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured a hazy red-orange with a minimal white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, sour, tart, and fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, sour, tart, fruit, and very slight funk. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. The mouthfeel on this one was a little too thin for my liking on this style. It had a pretty good aroma going on, but the flavor seemed a little muted. No sign of alcohol anywhere... Definitely worth trying if you get the opportunity.

Serving type: on-tap

06-10-2011 13:27:14 | More by thagr81us
Photo of illidurit


3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at burger. in Santa Cruz. Pours a hazy tangerine flesh color with a sticky light-tan head that leaves fine Belgian lacing. Served a bit too cold and so the aroma is somewhat subdued. Upon a bit of warming the nose gets some almost tripel-like qualities, with apple flesh and mild phenolics. I have no idea what elderberries smell or taste like but I have to assume some of the fruity sweetness is the result of it. Flavor is part tripel and part wild saison. Tart but not even close to sour. Plenty of hay, apple and pear, with a dry phenolic finish. Not very much berry on the palate, maybe just a hint of it midpalate. Tiny bit of vegetal influence from the dandelion, with a slight astringency. Underneath it all is a basic pale malt note. Not really what you'd expect from a 'wild ale' but this is a good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-10-2011 04:49:29 | More by illidurit
Photo of rtepiak


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

a sour that is suprisingly meaty... In the finish though. Prefect for mineral strong meats. Pour is amber orange with a small head. Standard brett nose... With a undertone of strawberry. Palate is first and foremost... Sour... A given but it comes in with a interesting pork fat salty finish. Perfect for oysters, pickled hints in smoked pork... Kalbasa, fatty with horseradish. Spanish chorizo.

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2011 20:26:08 | More by rtepiak
Photo of metter98

New York

3.98/5  rDev -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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-07-2011 02:51:00 | More by metter98
Photo of glid02


4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Leon’s Full Service in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy light copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of light malts with moderate amounts of funk. Also present are slight amounts of floral hops, light herbs, and citrus rind.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though more robust. Light malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by light citrus rind flavors. Midway through the sip a surprisingly robust hit of funk comes into play before being tempered by earthy hops. The hops fade out into a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It’s got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I had no problems finishing my glass and could easily have a few more.

Overall I enjoyed this version better than NB’s as the flavors were cleaner and more robust. Worth a shot.

Serving type: on-tap

06-01-2011 02:25:23 | More by glid02
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 cbutova


3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Smith's Billiards.

A- Amber orange body with a small fizzy white head. Thin ring fails to leave lace (wild).

S- Sour and funky Brett and bacteria, solid. Some floral and fruit but hard to ID dandelion and elderberry.

T- Sour wild ale funk profile with good sour and wine note feel. A strong earthy floral flavor and generosity fruit.

MF- Very creamy and carbonated with a bitterness in the finish.

Serving type: on-tap

05-27-2011 02:33:48 | More by cbutova
Photo of oline73


3.98/5  rDev -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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-27-2011 00:06:54 | More by oline73
Photo of Neffbeer


3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: It pours a hazy light amber color that reveals and orange hue in the light. There was a small white head that quickly faded leaving no lacing.

S: The nose is full of fruits, specifically berries (perhaps the elderberries). There is a pleasant lactic sourness present that is followed by some toasty grain and cracked wheat. The funk is relatively subdued with the fruit taking charge.

T: It begins with a some noble hops and tart berries, jammy is the adjective that comes to mind. The toasted grain and wheat surfaces mid-palate and it finish slightly sour and semi-dry.

M: Medium to light bodied with soft, lush carbonation.

O: Tasty but not as sour or funky as I was anticipating. It tastes a bit young and would probably benefit from a little age.

Serving type: on-tap

05-24-2011 19:55:59 | More by Neffbeer
Photo of nataku00


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

On tap poured into a tulip glass. Pours a bronze color, slightly hazy, with some red at the edge of the glass when held up to the light. Initial half a finger of white frothy head dissipated to light collar along the edges. Some carbonation visible at the edge of the glass, but not too carbonated. Swirling brings up the head to a half a finger, but retention is still weak, and no lacing.

The beer was poured too cold initially so there very light aroma, but even after warming, the nose was not as pungent as you would expect from this style. A grassy bitterness, light berry and floral notes, light lemon juice, earthy funk, and a touch of wood.

Taking a sip, bitter upfront, grassy and herby bitterness that does taste a bit like endive. Light fruit flavors come out midtongue, strawberry and tart lemon, and a nice bright floral component. Earthy and woody funk finishes off. A decent lingering light sourness on the tongue.

Light to medium bodied and mildly carbonated. A bit slick and oily on the tongue. Alcohol was well hidden for a fairly big wild ale.

A decent wild ale, and definitely better than the New Belgium version of this which was more grassy bitter than anything else.

Serving type: on-tap

05-21-2011 18:23:14 | More by nataku00
Photo of mltobin


3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the Ginger Man in South Norwalk.

Appearance is a hazy orange color with a small head that laces quickly. The smell has grains, elderberries , brett, some overall funk. Vrienden tastes of the elderberries along with other fruit notes, belgian yeast, grains and flowers come out as well. It is a fairly "earthy" beer. The mouth light-medium w/ a tartness to it. If you enjoy Allagash`s other more interesting offerings, this one is worth your time as well.

Serving type: on-tap

05-20-2011 23:56:37 | More by mltobin
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 AgentZero


3.15/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A - Copper red beer with a white head that dissipated to a partial ring and left some sparse splotches on the side.

S - Sweet fruit that is lightly reminicent or raspberries, assuming this is the elderberry aroma. Somewhat tart with an outdoorsy smell from the dandilion greens. Smells good, but sweet.

T - Very sweet and syrup sugary. The tartness from the nose is lost. Finish is dandilion greens down the back of the throat. Really not a huge fan of this, it is candy sweet with nothing to balance it out. Alcohol is very well hidden though.

M - Not enough carbonation gives this one a mouthfeel that is once again, too syrupy. It is light bodied so the lack of carb just makes it seem flat.

O - Don't like this, too sweet, too flat, too boring. At 9% can be a killer though, ABV is undetectable.

Serving type: on-tap

05-10-2011 23:05:51 | More by AgentZero
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 Rifugium


3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-03-2011 03:25:12 | More by Rifugium
Photo of Gfunk720


3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to DeCicco's for a growler. This one is definitely best at closer to room temperature, at fridge temp it really tasted bland.

A- A nice clean amber color, with a very light white head. Little bubbles cling to the side of the glass.

S- Funky grass and flowers. I get some vinegar notes and wine, with a touch of berrys.

T- This is a very interesting beer. Very smooth at first, and transitioning to a sweet malty flavor with a touch of vinegar. The lacto and dandelions are evident in the aftertaste. Nothing too sour or funky, but tasty.

M- Good for the style, and I would never guess in a million years that it was 9.3%. It has a nice complex flavor, and good aftertaste. Carbonation is pretty on point.

O- Not your typical wild ale, but tasty none the less. I really recommend drinking it at close to room temperature as possible, as cold it was just really one dimensional. Overall, not bad.


Serving type: growler

04-28-2011 23:28:25 | More by Gfunk720
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Serving type: growler

04-28-2011 00:16:13 | More by Billolick
Photo of Chico1985


3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Dirty Truth.

Pours a light red with some orange highlights, off-white head retains for a while as a cap eventually becoming a ring, not much lace left.

Smell/taste - Pretty much just tart elderberries, raspberries, strawberries, red berries in general. Definitely oak and and a bit of brett but not much of a funk profile. Not so much sour rather than just a little tart.

The fruit flavors are nice but it was a little one-note for me, not much funk or character to make this memorable.

Serving type: on-tap

04-27-2011 13:38:26 | More by Chico1985
Photo of BARFLYB


4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2011 04:17:11 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of woosterbill


4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Prime 16 into a Gulden Draak tulip.

A: Hazy, warm orange-brown body with a finger of fine, creamy tan foam. Ok retention and some attractive lace. Nice-looking beer.

S: Sour, floral, and fruity, with a mixture of lactic and acetic acidity nicely offset by apple, lemon, grapefruit, and grassy notes. I can’t pick out dandelion specifically, but there’s a solidly aromatic floral presence on top of the primary sourness. I’d like a bit more aggression and crispness from the acidity, but this is excellent.

T: Follows the nose, with a deliriously complex array of sour, fruity, and floral flavors all dancing across my tongue. Lactic and fruity at first, with some white wine vinegar and dry floral flavors following it up. Sticky, pear-heavy finish. A bit of alcohol creeps in, but nothing beyond what I’d expect for a 9.3% beer. Very, very tasty.

M: Svelte, mouth-filling medium body with moderate, lively carbonation. Substantial and enjoyable.

O: This was yet another great sour from Allagash, although it suffers from the same slight lacto-heavy dullness that has kept Interlude from fully blowing me away lately. All the flavors work well together, and the complexity is truly impressive, but at heart there’s just a heaviness that keeps the tartness from taking flight like tartness can (and does in the best of sours – viz. Cantillon). Given that this is included in the Prime 16 happy hour, I’ll definitely be having another, minor quibbles aside. Well done, Allagash.


Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2011 13:54:03 | More by woosterbill
Photo of pmlondrigan

New York

3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Oh Allagash....Not much goin on in the appearance of this beer. Orange-ish hugh, and a quickly fading head (though perhaps this is a result of a pour growler fill), no lacing on my glass but some spots on my fiances glass. Pretty aroma, faintly funky, light brett C aroma, flowery and fresh cut grass.
Complex flavors begins more like a saison, with earthy grassy tones and brett-y funk. Soft mid-palate. There is a clear presence of tart drying elderberries. Pretty dry beer here.
Overall this beer clearly falls into the funky and complex realm of American Wild Ales. A nice effort that could have used more time to develop, just not funky enough and clearly not sour.

Serving type: growler

04-19-2011 01:13:23 | More by pmlondrigan
Photo of SpeedwayJim

New York

3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 32oz. growler filled 4/16/11 at Decicco's in Ardsley, NY, into LA stemware.

A: Standard pour yields a .5 finger coarse white head with poor retention. Beer is a semi-clear flourescent orange-peach. Lacing is stringy and spotty and sticks close to the top of the brew. Nice legs though. Great color too.

S: Nose is aromatic and sweet. Orange and other citrus peel, coriander, unidentified spices. Also a bit of peach and pineapple tartness. Slightly powdery with a touch of cane sugar. Very appetizing though mostly lacking in funk save for a bit of tickling Brett presence in the background.

T: Opens light citrus, coriander, other spices, and wild flowers. Feels like I'm chewing on grass mixed with lemon and orange tartness. Tropical pineapple in the middle with a powdery cane sugar end. Finish is more floral sweetness and dry. Aftertaste is a variety of sweet spices. More of a Saison than a wild ale. There's no funk and no tartness though plenty of complexity.

M: Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Mellow and slightly watery in the mouth and goes down smooth. Finish is clean and dry with a powdery, floral aftertaste that lingers. Could use some more bubbles and dryness for its style.

O: Overall I'm a bit dissapointed by this brew. However, that being said, its pretty much in line with all of Allagash's other limited sour offerings. Flavor is mellow and beer is more floral and wild than funky and sour. Worth trying if you get a chance just to experience something different within the style. However, being that the Allagash offering is very limited, probably not worth the effort.

Serving type: growler

04-17-2011 22:29:30 | More by SpeedwayJim
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
Allagash Vrienden from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.