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Allagash Vrienden - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash VriendenAllagash Vrienden

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

142 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 142
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 50
Gots: 27 | 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: 142 | Reviews: 68 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

djrn2, Jan 13, 2012
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.

ToasterChef, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of jt0818
4/5  rDev -1.5%

jt0818, Dec 26, 2011
Photo of MaineMike
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

MaineMike, Dec 18, 2011
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.

Jason, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of MacQ32
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured aggressively, super clear copper decent half finger of off white head, dissipates pretty quickly, little to no lacing. Looks like a light 9.3%

S - Smells kind of bready and sweet with caramel up front, not at all what I was expecting. Tart fruity/funkiness and acidity come into play. Brett, apricot and lemon.

T - Some mild fruity tartness, caramel and slight hint of earthy hops as it sits on my pallet. Once swallowed the tart fruity qualities and Brett take over. Little dry at the finish, really digging the aftertaste

M - Pretty light bodied, kind of lacking in carbonation but fits the body appropriately.

O - Drinkable & refreshing wild ale. Alcohol undetectable, pretty tasty for sure, a nice tolerable amount of funk (not a huge wild ale guy). If I was going to drink a funk brew I'd definitely come back to this.

MacQ32, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of THECPJ
5/5  rDev +23.2%

THECPJ, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of daryk77
5/5  rDev +23.2%

daryk77, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of stevefinny
4/5  rDev -1.5%

stevefinny, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of kingcrowing
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a wine glass.

Pours a clear orange red color with a small white head along with some thin lacing. Nose is fairly tame and mellow, wish I could say more.

Taste is very well balanced. Not too sour but it is tart and fruity. With rich carbonation and a crisp finish that's got an odd vegital flavor.

kingcrowing, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of Diomede
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Diomede, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of deapokid
4/5  rDev -1.5%

deapokid, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of Pamola
5/5  rDev +23.2%

Pamola, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +23.2%

HopStoopid120, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of PEIhop
5/5  rDev +23.2%

PEIhop, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of DoctorB2B
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

DoctorB2B, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of nathanjohnson
4/5  rDev -1.5%

nathanjohnson, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of codynevels
4/5  rDev -1.5%

codynevels, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of patm1986
5/5  rDev +23.2%

patm1986, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of shufon
5/5  rDev +23.2%

shufon, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of ithinkimasofa
4/5  rDev -1.5%

ithinkimasofa, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -1.5%

JAHMUR, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of sideshowe
4/5  rDev -1.5%

sideshowe, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of TurdFurgison
4/5  rDev -1.5%

TurdFurgison, Nov 14, 2011
Allagash Vrienden from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 142 ratings.