Allagash Merveilleux - Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash MerveilleuxAllagash Merveilleux

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40 Reviews
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Reviews: 40
Hads: 309
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 22.64%
Wants: 92
Gots: 85 | FT: 19
Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  9.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 08-14-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

This beer is a blend of five different beers fermented in a mix of both bourbon and wine barrels. Brettanomyces, pediococcus and lactobacillus were all utilized to create a myriad of flavors in this unique copper colored beer. The aroma is defined by the presence of the Brett resulting in both a crusty bread and fruit character. The tartness works well with the light oak and distinct citrus flavors, which are followed by a gentle maltiness and dry finish.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 40 | Hads: 309
Photo of Kirk_Grant
3.4/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color: Hazy amber with a thin head
Smell: sour notes with hints of brown sugar and spice
Taste: Slightly sour with a strong presence of oak.
Overall: I think I've finally reached the point where the oak is just too dominant in these beers for me to enjoy them. Maybe after a few batches are behind them and the oak dies down so the beer can shine through I'll be happy again. Right now the cost is enough to make me pass for buying any more bottles.

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Photo of Luk13
3.56/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pour a golden-amber pour with small white head that recedes quickly. Aroma leans more toward bourbon with vanilla notes. Some white flowers, honey, light barnyard funk and vinegar. Taste is very woody, some brett and definitly acetic. Alcohol is somewhat present with bourbon sweetness which makes it feel heavy for a sour. Not a bad sour by Allagash but definitly not a style I enjoy much. Decent.

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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.79/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle, this beer is a medium amber-brown color with a nice light coating of foam that stays forever. The carbonation is medium.

The nose is just a touch of brett funk and then I am hit with a medium dose of bourbon, on the tail end there is also a bit of alcoholic heat.

The beer is pretty sweet up front, almost fruity with the sweetness (maybe apricot?) and then I am hit by a pretty big wallop of brett funk, some mild bitterness (not hoppy, I think it is from the yeast) and then a bit of alcoholic heat on the aftertaste. On the aftertaste I get some more of that bourbon that was coming through in the nose (at 8% I guess thats not terribly surprising that I am getting some heat).

This beer is decent overrall. It tastes like it did some time in bourbon barrels (or was mixed with a beer that did) and the abv is a bit high for my personal tastes. Still, this is a very complex beer that is a lot of fun to dig into. Not my favorite of their limited release series, but a very solid beer.

**After reading the description, this beer is a mix of beers, some of which did age in bourbon barrels. I wonder if the sweetness of the bourbon held the lacto and pedio in check to keep this beer so sweet, it really is not nearly as sour or funky as many of their other "wild beers."

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Photo of palma
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$30 for the bottle at the Allagash event at Rattle n Hum in NYC.
Smell is fresh oak, must, sour, slight brett funk.
Flavors of tart green grapes. Crusty bread. Musty. Less bourbon barrel flavor and more wine like. I was looking for some deeper fruit flavors here but they never came.
A good non-fruit sour although it is lacking complexity.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.84/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is hazy glowing copper with a tight tan head. Nose is meaty and fleshy with a fairly present barrel note. There are some hints of vanilla from the barrel with a decent sour cherry in back. Very Flanders red esq. Taste is similar, a bit less fleshy with oak and vanilla cascading over sour cherry. Brett is strong especially through the finish. Strong carbonation on a light body and fairly dry finish.

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Photo of GJ40
3.99/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Sampled from a 375ml bottle dates 5/17/13. Thanks surge1311!

A - Amber with a reddish tint, good clarity and a moderate beige head. The head lingers nicely and clings to the glass well.

S - Oak, funk and cherries. Balanced and complex.

T - Tart with aspects of malt, fruit and oak. Dry and a little rough.

M - A moderate consistency and carbonation. Smooth.

O - A very flavorful beer but I'm not sure it all comes together as well as it should.

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Photo of TheBeerDrinker
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a really nice oaring/red with a nice two-finger white head with good retention and some decent lacing.

Smells is brett, sweet cherries, vanilla, nice sour, and maybe a tad of pineapple,

Taste is nice tart lacto and pedio with brett taking the background. Really a nice tart cherry/citrus taste. Really nicely put together.

Mouthfeel is light to a little medium as one would expect from a beer like this.

Overall one of the nicest sours I have tasted in a long time.

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Photo of aleigator
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Many, many thanks to Jason for this one!

Has a small, fizzy head with a ruby-red color, containing oak-brown hints.

Aromas yield leathery, musty malts with wooden oak notes, rounded up by tart, very funky acidity. Also lemon rind qualities get revealed among a gentle sour barnyard character.

Begins with earthy, almost buttery malts, building the foundation of this brew, accompanied by a tartness with a gentle barrel infusion to it, revealing a pleasing warmth on the tongue without any signs of somehow distracting booziness. Complexity is added by a crisp citrus note, which stays in contrast to the leathery, oaken flavors of the beer, inviting a sprizzy component to the palate, while barrel aspects remain noteable. The carbonation turns out to be pleasantly low, giving the complex character enough space on the palate to unfold. A hint of berries shines through the wooden malts, confirmed by vinegary lactic acid. Finishes with toasted malts, while a lot of depth is contributed from the barrels, accompanied by a tongue drying sourness. This sourness stays on the palate for a long while, drying off the throat and the back of my teeth.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the Drinkery
Pours a slightly hazy red amber color with a smallish tightly bubbled off white head that dissipates quickly. Aromas of raspberry and sour cherry with hints of balsamic and a bready funky almost plastic aroma rounding it out. The flavor is all over the place. Tart lemony cherry up front with a hint of brown sugary malts and a light vanilla oak. Bready funky bretty flavors roll in next before being washed away with a solid hit of alcohol Lactic and carbonic acid. Medium body with a moderate to high level of carbonation and a tart almost puckering mouthfeel. Interesting beer, certainly something I could get behind more often if it weren't so difficult to acquire.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours a crimson color. Transparent body. Rather modest head of thin bubbly tan fluff. Speckles and dots of lacing.

S-Some tartness is present but there is a nice base beer behind the tartness. Oaky with sour fruit. Some caramel and brownish maltiness. A bit spicy. Definitely Bretty.

T-The sourness is more in control of the overall flavor here. Still, after most of the tartness fades the base beer finishes out the flavor. A soft, sweet base of breadiness and caramel.The sour fruits and wild yeast plays well with the oak, too.

M-Tartness really clings to the lips. Medium bodied. A bit tannic. Softer carbonation. Booze hidden beautifully.

O/D-A tasty brew that is quite pricey. I enjoyed it but wouldn't she'll out another $17 for a 375ml. It's another solid sour from Allagash that punishes the ol' bank account.

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Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is very hazy brownish yellow in color and also has some amber hues. It poured with a thin off white head that consistently left lots of thick wispy laces of bubbles on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of sourness are present in the nose along with notes of oak and hints of wine.
T: The taste follows the smell, except that there are also notes of bourbon and this along with the red wine, oak and sourness are perfectly balanced.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and slightly both tart and creamy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a really great balance of flavors in the taste and has interesting complexities.

Note: Bottled 5/17/13

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Photo of kevanb
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml C&C bottle, dated 5/17/13, poured into an Allagash Coolship tumbler.

The beer pours a thick, murky, caramel color, hues of orange and amber with a nice frothy finger of bone colored head that has great retention and leaves a few spots of lace behind. The aroma is of dark cherry, tart apple, light lemon citrus, subtle funk, grapey wine with some soft oak, with some caramel malt character, the bourbon fails to appear on the nose, dominated by sour fruit and wine character, but still delightful. The flavors are more complex, sharp fruit flavors of tart apple, sour cherry, crisp red grape that highlights the wine barrels, oak is chewy and lightly woody with some nice underlying funk but the finish is highlighted by just a subtle kiss of bourbon and toffee that plays very, very well with the fruit. The mouthfeel is crisp, lively, lots of carbonation that is a bit prickly at times, coats the mouth decently well but finishes with a nice creamy touch and a surprising warming sensation from the alcohol.

Verdict: A very well executed wild ale from Allagash, another solid product from their coolship and wild program. The alcohol definitely sneaks up at the end but doesn't detract from the flavors at all. It's ambitious and perhaps overly so as there are a lot of bolder flavors vying for attention, but the soft bourbon finish was very enjoyable.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml corked and caged bottle generously shared by Ineedabeerhere (thanks Joe). Pours the color of unpasteurized cider with a semi-hazy clarity and no head. Nose is slight vinous and also reveals buttery oak notes. Taste consistent with nose - grapes, toasted oak and a slightly caustic element, but not in a bad way. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a lively carbonation, a light acidity and a semi-dry finish. Overall, it's drinking fairly well fresh; however, I think some medicinal qualities might begin to develop (for better or worse) over time.

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Photo of Doshkin
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - nice opaque brown copper (I poured all the tasty yeasties right in there). Good 2" head on my fairly gentle pour into my allagash stemmed glass.

Smell - sweet, sour, lots of bread. Not so much citrus or sweetness compares to their other sours that I've had. Definitely more focus on the yeast attributes. I like the "crusty" bread term that allagash used for their description.

Taste - wow. Very impressive blending of the sour with the bread. The flavors are very robust and melded together best when I took a good sized sip and really let it roll around for a while.

Mothfeel - medium thickness, bubbly, very smooth. Classic allagash tiny bubble effervescence.

Overall - personally my favorite sour. The focus on yeast versus citrus compared to what I usually find in a sour was a welcome difference (granted in not a sour beer expert by any means). Absolutely must try. Pricey for sure, so be ready to take a hit on the $15 for a small bottle. 9.6% abv does compensate for the price per volume a little bit.


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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12.7 oz bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours a mildly hazy orange color with plenty of carbonation. The head is a one finger off-white shade. It also has really excellent retention for nearly 10% sour, but its soft texture means it doesn't leave much (if any) lacing behind.

S: As expected, it's quite tart-smelling. What makes the lactic tartness work so well is that it's backed by an expressive fruity backbone. Lemons, cherries, and oranges make up the primary fruit notes. There's an ever-so-slight bourbon note as well, but I really have to concentrate in order to pick that up. It brings the sourness along with a delicate, contemplative depth, and that's pretty much exactly what I ask for from a sour. After a long while, some funkiness comes out to play.

T: It opens with a pleasing lemon-esque tartness. Its sour qualities are mellowed by its bready, oaky, yet subtly fruited finish. This one really brings forth a bourbon-forward nature, which balances the wild yeast quite well. It finishes with a decent amount of brett funk, as well. Make no mistake, the depth is there, but it's not as forward as I'd like it to be. That's it's only real flaw: the complexity requires a bit too much work to discover. The complexity becomes more defined near the bottom of the glass.

M: Unbelievably drinkable for nearly 10%. Seriously, wow. There's a slight boozy tingle on the finish, but it almost doesn't matter given how quickly it fades on the aftertaste. No wait, those are the oak tannins. So this isn't boozy at all. It's well carbonated and light (though very creamy) on the tongue, which helps it go down so well.

O: This isn't the most sour wild ale in the world...though neither was Le Terroir, and that was freaking fantastic. This isn't quite as incredible, but it's razor-sharp blend of tartness and bourbon qualities still make it a winner. Would I pay ~$15 (!) for this small bottle again? No, probably not. Still, it's good enough where I'd reckon it's still a must try at least once.

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Photo of Dope
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 5/17/13.

A: Pours a deep and cloudy red. Tall frothy white head with a pinkish tinge to it. Great head retention as it slowly fades away. Pretty substantial fluffy lacing too.

S: Lightly tart cherries. Lots of oak and leather. Indistinct hint of red wine. Swear I even get some sweet caramel.

T: Tart, sour cherries up front. Melds into a mild drying fruity red wine. Caramel backbone with quite a bit of leather. A bit of old bread in the finish. Very oaky, spicy and drying on the back end.

M: Nice medium body that you wouldn't expect from almost 10%. No real alcohol bite. Chunks of floaties swimming around detracts a bit.

O: A big, sharp sour. Very bold flavors with a surprisingly high ABV. Layers of flavors, hard to discern them all sometimes (or maybe I don't have the palate yet). Loads of oaky/leather tannins that's for sure. Flavors surprisingly meld together quite nicely despite their sharpness. Overall, a wonderfully constructed sour I'd say. One of the best I've had, though I think I preferred FV13.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Poured in nearly pitch black conditions, but it's an amber body. Clear. Almost no head.

Smell - Bourbon and wine barrels smell great. Bretty. Some acidity. Cherry and caramel malt.

Taste - Very similar to the smell. More caramel. Cherry fruits. Musty brett. Vanilla and oak. Not all that sour, but it's kinda acetic in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, maybe medium heavy. Minimal sourness. Well carbonated.

Overall - Complex barrel character. Reminiscent of a Cascade.

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Photo of emerge077
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a small tasting goblet, quick review from notes.

Bright copper color, thin layer of foam that left behind some spotty lace, sharp clarity.

Woody aroma with a bright fruity acidity, more light acidity in the taste. Nutty, woody oak, expressive barrel character. Dry puckering finish and a pleasant lingering aftertaste. Medium bodied with a smooth feel, spritzy carbonation that scrubs the palate. Nicely balanced and very enjoyable.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a dark copper amber color with a generously thick creamy white lacing ring.

S - Funky medium colored fruit with tartness and a touch of sweetness.

T - Tart sourness abounds here with dried cherries and a nice sour sweet puckering finish.

M - Medium body, to heavier medium body with very delicate carbonation and a nice lingering sour tart finish.

O - Nicely done, Allagash.

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Photo of Damian
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 12.7 fl oz (375 ml) corked and caged bottle purchased at Cambridge Wine & Spirits, Cambridge, MA
Date bottled: 5/17/13
Served in a tulip

Really interesting appearance. The slightly hazed liquid poured a medium amber color with a slight pink-ish, purple-ish hue. A one-finger tall, off-white, sea foam crown topped the beer. Thick, streaky patches of lacing coated the glass.

The aroma was tart, dry and funky with loads of oak and barrel character. Quite fruity. Subtle raspberry and strawberry notes were detectible. There was also a strong hay/barnyard-like presence. A touch of alcohol came through as well.

The flavor profile was quite funky and sour. Super crisp, dry and yeasty with intense woody/oaky notes. Lots of tart lemon and wheat. Slightly fruity with hints of underripe raspberries and strawberries. Red wine vinegar came through on the back end. The finish was really oaky and tannic and contained strong notes of sour and bitter lemon rind.

On the palate, the liquid was frothy and highly effervescent. Crisp and lighter bodied. Spritzy and almost a bit Champagne-like.

Allagash's Merveilleux is an interesting wild ale with an intense barrel character and a lot of acidity. The bottle I reviewed was cellared for over six months and really seemed to transform in that time. I actually preferred this beer fresher when there was more fruity sweetness in the flavor profile.

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Photo of brianmandell
4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 5/17/13, enjoyed at Monk's Cafe

Hazy, deep amber pour retaining a ring of lacing in the glass. There is some bright lemon and grape followed by a deep, sweet malt and a dry okay finish. I taste the wine barrel finish in a similar way to supplication and consecration. Sourness is at a medium level is slightly vinegary adding imparting a slightly peppery flavor. There is a nice earthy funk throughout that balances out the sourness. The slight sweetness from the malt in addition to the acetic quality is reminiscent of a good Flanders ale. The beer is slightly overcarbonated which brightens the fruit flavors in the tongue. Outstanding and well done.

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Photo of brentk56
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: The liquid pours out with a rather unusual color blending, goldenstraw with a touch of pink lemonade; the head is modest though it does leave some shards behind

Smell: Acetic sour tones, with tart cherry, green apple, red wine grape and Bourbon

Taste: Cherries dominate the front end, though the lacto and acetic elements build rapidly; underneath the red wine barrel flavors start to emerge, in the middle; after the swallow, Bourbon, vanilla and oak elements add a subtle dimension, though the sour aspect of the beer really dominates through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with buoyant carbonation

Overall: This beer heads in a lot of different directions but it manages to pull it off though I think the sourness obscures some of the other complexities; still, I am quite impressed by the range of flavors in this beer

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 5/17/13

Pours a orange amber color with a good sized white head, fades at a decent rate, pretty hazy but without large sediment in the glass that can sometimes happen with Allagash.

Smell has a large woody aroma right off the bat, touch of lactic sourness hits the nose, only the slightest hint of light fruit.

Taste starts with a strong mix of sourness and oak, it is not the most sour I've had because the wood presence imparted quite a bit of complexity to even it out, fairly vinegary, most of the fruit presence has been pushed aside for straight tartness, strength is well hidden, carbonation is medium-high, semi-dry finish.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: amber copper body, vaguely translucent; tan foam a few fingers high retained as a foamy collar with arms of lace trailed behind

S: suggests wine barrels and musty basement funk; orchard and vine fruits aromas percolate through...

T: wine-like and woodsy barrel notes, brett and fungal funk bring tartness and chew, bread and biscuit grains underscore tart orchard and vine fruits; complex and tart

M: medium-weight, tart, puckering close, drying along the way; wood vapors at the roof

O: super-nice ale, elegant and rich with complex character bringing sweet and tart, funk and spice; crisp and clever, sure to deliver. Pricey little bottle worth a buy.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375mL corked and caged bottle pouredi nto a tulip. 5-17-13 bottled date.

(A)- Pours an orange-like red amber hued color; almost like clay tinted mud, but did produce a light layer of white froth.

(S)- An intense cherry and strawberry-like oaky acidity to this up front. Ever so slight dry funk to it, but otherwise a very inviting oaky fruited sourness.

(T)- What I like about it is how oak forward this is ; similar to a flanders in that sense. Subdued darker berry fruits but with that great funky yet sour oak barrel throughout.

(M)- A great carbonation level balances well with what is going on in the glass. Its sour, but balances well with the dry funk, oak, and subtle fruit levels.

(O)- A tasty sour, that I wish were easier to track down around my parts here in the Midwest. Big oak flavors that mesh well with the acidic sourness and fruit.

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Allagash Merveilleux from Allagash Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.