Allagash Four | Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash FourAllagash Four

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
We brew this beer with four malts, four sugars, four hop varieties and we ferment it four times, using four different yeast strains. The complexity of the brewing process is matched by the complexity of this unique beer. Flavors of raisin, candied fruit and plum express themselves throughout.

Added by UnionMade on 03-26-2004

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Reviews: 462 | Ratings: 993
Photo of maximum12
2.59/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hmm, seems I'm in the minority here.

Beautiful caged bomber, the label of which read "Four hops, four malts, fermented four times." To which I ask the question, where the heck did all those ingredients go? I can't taste any hops & barely any malts.

Four is startling average; no nose AT ALL, verified by my marvelous wife who shared the bomber with me. Taste is shallow & twofold: sweet candied sugar followed by a mortar round of alcohol. Nothing else.

I'm a fan of the style & this one left me heartily underwhelmed. Disappointing.

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Photo of deebo
2.7/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A lover of quads, excited to try Allagash's take on the style.

A-Bottle from Batch #25 shared with friends this beer is clear amber with a bubbly white head with no staying power.

S-Not a lot going on here, aromas of sweet malt (caramel) are dominant; weak in those characteristic Belgian yeast esters.

T-Quite non-descript, malt upfront, with a fair punch of alcohol with just a hint of yeasty esters and a quick pop of spicy hops.

M-Alcohol is a bit hot, likely because the malty mouthfeel is low and doesn't carry the heft of a 10% brew well. The fairly high carbonation does not work here very well either.

O-I had hopes that this would be my first excellent quad as Allagash has proven they can knock out a Belgian style (see Allagash White and Tripel) but like other US Brewers miss the complexity deliciousness exemplified by St. Bernardus Abt 12 and Westy XII. This beer needs work. Average compared to US versions I've tried, below average compared to Belgians.

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Photo of harrymel
2.7/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Batch #21

A: Pours a hazy burnt toffee ale with a single finger of peanut head which dissipates quickly to leave a sheet of the same. Spotty lacing. when agitated, a full finger of fluff sticks around for a few minutes.

S: Initially, floral and metallic. Followed up by sweet belgian sugar, malts and earthy yeast. Some hints of green apple skins. Afraid this would not really benefit from more time in the bottle (and I'm unsure of the age on this).

T: Sweet, yeasty, see above. At the back end, the alcohol sharpens and even stabs! Haven't had anything this alcoholic in some time. Afraid this would not really benefit from more time in the bottle (and I'm unsure of the age on this).

M: Medium-lo body with seltzer carbonation. The beer is a bit light on the palate for my preference in a quad. Leaves slick in the mouth.

O: A far cry from the quality I've come to expect from Allagash. The beer is poorly balanced and overly alcoholic. With a mouthfeel inconsistent with the style's big dogs, this beer nearly disappoints. Last time I will buy this one.

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Photo of Pahn
2.81/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Stag's Head in NYC. Served in a snifter.

Appearance: 1/3 foamy white head left by the bartender dissipates quickly into a small froth around the surface of the glass. Color is a hazy reddish amber. Leaves lots of lacing everywhere.

Smell: Belgian yeast, brown sugar, a little raisin and plum. As it warms, some boozy and phenolic notes become dominant. Pretty boring for a quad.

Taste: Belgian yeast, a surprisingly large, offputting witbier flavor, banana, orange, and a hint of some of the expected dark fruit flavors. Mild welcome funk. It's a little sugary and hot. Some nice smoky flavors in the finish.

This beer is a weird mess. It almost starts to make sense every so often, and none of the flavors are really unpleasant (though they don't go together at all), but all in all it's a head scratcher. At first I thought it was just too cold, but I nursed the beer for about 45 minutes and it never stopped being a weird mix of clashing esters, bad watery mouthfeel, and only the mildest suggestion of deep quad flavors.

Mouthfeel: Too watery and thin. Somehow manages to be chalky and sticky while still being way too watery.

Drinkability: Wasted $9 on this. Would only have this on tap again if someone I trusted assured me it was good.

It seems I always have bad luck with big beers that develop depth in the bottle when I have them on tap. What I had today at the bar was awful, which particularly disappointed me because I've had Allagash Four before, and it's good in the bottle.

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Photo of Zorro
2.84/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled through "I Want That" BIF 2 and mikesgroove after a shattered bottle and a reship.

A cloudy brown colored ale with very little head formation.

The smell is sweet and spicy with a faint sourness.

The taste begins sweet and spicy with a faint sour flavor, Maybe this bottle is spoiled? Doesn't taste much like a Quadrupel, tastes like a substandard Belgian Strong Brown Ale.

The mouthfeel is OK.

Well I have had better and I seriously doubt that I will bother trying to sample this again.

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Photo of misinformed
2.91/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Batch 21, poured into a snifter. Reviewed 11/27.

A- Poured with a nice 1 1/2" light tan, foamy head that settled down to a dusting eventually. The beer is dark, burnt orange and semi-opaque.

S- Mostly dominated by yeast. Some fruit and a touch of malt. Alcohol at times, especially after it warmed up a bit.

T- More going on than the smell indicates. Some grassy, floral notes upfront followed by toasted malt, caramel, and candy sugar. Finishes strong on spicy yeast. Alcohol is often detectable as well. The combination of spice and alcohol was very medicinal to me. Really harsh/jumbled flavor profile that doesn't seem balanced at all.

M- Lighter side of medium. Very smooth, no carbonation that I noticed. Lightly dry finish.

D- The spicy yeast flavors overshadowed everything in this one for me from the getgo, so I didn't particularly enjoy it. Flavorwise this reminds me of a Belgian strong pale. Some hops are present upfront, but the maltiness is lacking here. The different flavors just never jived for me enough to really enjoy this. Unfortunately not worth the high price tag.

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Photo of CampusCrew
2.95/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance: hazy copper, and little head for a belgian.

smell: fruity, dark fruits, IE raisins, plum...

taste: bad alcohol bite, again some fruity aspect. an uncomfortable medicine bite

mouthfeel: light carbonation, had a elixir feel

drinkability: not a good belgian at all, it's hard to mess them up too.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
2.98/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750 ml bottle. Left a small surface skim head with a little bit of spotty lacing here and there. Body was a brown garnet.

Smell - esters, phenols, chalky yeast, dark bready malt, dark dried fruits like dates and raisins, overripe apples and pears, bananas.

Taste - similiar to smell. Esters and phenols with bananas, date, raisins, overripe apples, overripe pears. Dark bread and caramel. Chalky yeast sometimes, also adds some spiciness. Not a hint at all of 10% abv, not one; no warmth, no burn. Aftertaste of caramel.

Mouthfeel - thin to moderate, low carbonation, slight hop oil slickness.

Drinkablity - this is a decent, but not great beer. Also high abv of 10 % limits this to one 750 in any given session.

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Photo of rdilauro
3/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I havent had a Quad in a wile. It poured a real dirty brown cloudy hue. Very little if any noticeable head
The initial nose had lots of malt in it.. I also detected alittle pear on the nose
The first taste was very big, a bit dull but big and full. Lots of malt and a good amount of alcohol in it
The second and third taste was the same.

Not a lingering aftertaste

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Photo of sweemzander
3/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a taster glass. Thanks to chris for sharing! Batch#21.

(A)- Pours an orange colored amber. Some tan froth.

(S)- A ripe cider-like yeasty banana and very mild clove.

(T)- Similar to the smell. A big ester-like yeast. Bits of cider and banana.

(M)- A good carbonation level. A decent balance, though seems thin, yet heavy on the yeast and a pretty potent warmth the longer it sits.

(D)- Not what I was expecting. Seems either past its prime or just disjointed and heavy. Became very sweet the longer it sat in the glass too.

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Photo of jwc215
3.03/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a glass chalice

Pours hazy orageish-caramel colored with a few fizzles that leaves a small patch. Very little lacing is left.

The smell is of sour apples, caramel, some alcohol. The smell of green apples leads me to think that something went wrong here...

The taste is of Belgian-ish spices (clove, predominantly) that were not in the aroma. The taste of green apples gives it something cidery, although it faded to the background as the drink progressed. A dollop of caramel almost covers it, but not quite. Alcohol gives it a booziness that sticks around. There is a citric tone in the back, but it's virtually lost. Although there is some spiciness in the finish, it is not quite as dry as I would expect.

It has something of a creaminess about it, though the alcohol lingers longer than the flavors.

This one was a disappointment for me. Maybe this one was infected or something, as the green apple character just didn't sit well. Too caramelish for style, esp. as there are three other malts in the mix...It might need to age more, also, as the alcohol was just a bit too masking.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.1/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Batch #20

A clover-honey color with amber hues, solid haze and a rather lovely khaki colored 2" head and dissipates rapidly.

Dankly sweet fruity nose, wild strawberries, sour red grapes, sugar coated dates, pineapple with some heat tingle...zesty, sour candies and some citric acid.

A brew fermented four times should have some serious depth, and it does. It's very complex but the malt(S) simple goes over the edge, I simple do not care for the darker malt used which gives a smokey, buttery, heavy Old Ale-like feel and flavor that is just not right here. It's a shame becuase the rest of this brew is pretty nice, resinous fruits, sweet and tangy all-over with a balance of dry, herbal yeast and hops that brings out a strange but deep flavor spectrum. The feel is jazzy and crisp which is fine, but the malt proves to be to heavy and slick, cloying in fact. A bitter, medicinal and herbal yeast with vodka-esque heat runs a bit wild, the wood and brown sugar malt comes back with a sour-edge that i really don't care for in this style. The yeast cannot reach it's true potential with the dominating maltiness. Some slight metallic-sour yeastiness comes out later on adding to it's medicinal kick.

Complexity is high and if you like a big malty quad this will be to our likking, but it's off balance and rather strange to me. Sip, slow share with friends and maybe your closest enemy.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.11/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This brew poured out as a brownish orange color with a tan foamy head. The smell of the beer had a mix of sweet and sour aromas. The taste was pretty much just like the nose but was mostly on the sour side. The mouthfeel was decent. I thought this beer sounded pretty awesome but after having it I wasn't all that impressed with it. I was pretty bummed out actually I thought would have been better.

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Photo of beertunes
3.15/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from batch #18. Poured into tulip. Poured a slightly reddish brown with barely any head, just a thin ring around the outside edge, but that little head managed to have decent retention and very low lacing.

The aroma was fruity and yeasty, as expected for the style, but much more subdued than I look for. The flavor also was spicy, yeasty and fruity, but again, not as bold as I look for in this style.

The body was very thin for the style, and for me the fullness is one of the things I like best about this style. Drinkability was very good, the beer is smooth and easy to quaff.

Overall, this is an OK brew. I really like the other brews I've had from this brewery and this is among my favorite styles, so maybe my expectations were too high. Certainly worth trying, but not in the same class as Chimay Blue or Ommegang 3 Philosophers.

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Photo of RussBecker1
3.16/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap during an allagash event at Kudu coffee house Charleston, SC

A-Pours a nice ruby red that hints at the fruits hidden inside. Much lighter than other quads I have had, and frankly I prefer a darker, thicker appearance as this was almost indistinguishable from their dubbel.

S- Painfully underwhelming. Given the nature of a quad I expected deep lavish notes, but got hardly any of that as the nose was rather bland.

T- Not bad, but when compared to other quads, or even other allagash products, I was left disappointed. It hits on a couple subtle notes of fruits and malt, but in comparison to the similarly styled dubbel, the latter is far superior.

M-To its credit, FOUR possesses one of the better feels I have had in recent memory. A surprisingly impressive balance of carbonation that settles on the palate, which actually proves to be very very smooth.

O-Very disappointing to have just an average brew from a great brewery and a great style. I will choose either dubbel, curieux or white over this in a heartbeat, but it was nice to try.

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Photo of devinoconnor
3.18/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A let down for me. Perhaps they tried a little toooo hard to make a unique beer???

Pours a golden copper color with a nice amount of head.

Smell is sweet, fruity a bit, and of course sugary. Sense of alcohol smell is also prevalent.

Taste is very malty and sweet. A little too much for me.

Overall, disappointed.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.19/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1

Chilled bomber into a glass.

A: Pours a murky mahogany color with dark copper tones when held to the light. Starts with an inch of head that lapses into a collar around the brew. No lacing down the sides.

S: Toffee, brown sugar, plums, cherries, raisins, and coriander.

T: Lots of dark malt, brown sugar, and lastly toffee on the initial taste. It broadens into a dark fruit base in plum, cherry, and raisin tones as I sample the swig some more. Some currant and apple too. A nice coriander and pepper bite right at the dry finish, letting it end cleanly with no aftertaste.

M: Medium to full bodied, with moderate carbonation. It sits well on the tongue without being too syrupy or too foamy, which is a fantastic balance. A dry finish with spicy bite. No alcohol burn.

D: This is a good quad, but it reminds me of Three Philosophers, which is half the cost and pretty much twice the value. I really don't see myself paying $17 to grab this again.

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Photo of jsanford
3.21/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml C&C bottle poured into a Tulip Glass. Batch #22.

A - Pours a cloudy mahogany with a slight reddish tint and a creamy white head that leaves lots of soapy lacing as it recedes.
S - Sweet caramel malt, earthy hops, and some spicy yeast.
T - More sweet flavors of caramel/toffee with a bit of earthy hops and spicy malt. Really wish I could pick out more flavors, seeing as there are so may ingredients in this beer, but it all comes together in one big, muddy package. Not very memorable.
M - Slick with a medium body and moderate carbonation.
O - Not bad, but not at all memorable. Definitely an example of bigger not being better!

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Photo of iD9
3.21/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in world's smallest stemmed wine (taster) glass.

Appearance: Hazy, unfiltered golden-orange. Suspended sediment evident in the glass. Head forms ever-so-slightly off-white and retains a pleasing ring around the edge of the glass. Pleasant lacing is also evident.

Smell: Slight smell of malts and spice (potpourri); slight heat from alcohol? Mild sweetness, of candied-sugars? Not particularly impressive.

Taste: Malty, some spicy notes (possibly from the yeast). Light sweetness but not too invasive. Has a slightly bitter body. Again, a little bit of heat from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, smooth. Finishes with a slightly bitter after taste: a bit more than I had expected.

Overall: A solid beer. Not overly impressive but seems to carry several of the distinct attributes of belgian-style beers. A little more bitter than I would have hoped.

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Photo of cjacobsen
3.28/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(A) Looks like a caramel and honey color, kind of golden with a bit of orange in there. Decent head that dissipates fast.

(S) Smells malty. Has an odd hop aroma that isn't necessarily good or bad. Some fruits and a bit sweet.

(T) The big overlying part of the taste is the yeasty characteristic. It's very yeast-heavy and it only worsens as it opens up. I think it was a bit too much. There's some slight booze. Candi sugar is very prominent. Big malts. There's a bit of a banana taste toward the end. Some honey.

(M) It's a bit carbonated and isn't very well balanced.

(O) This was odd. I wasn't too thrilled with it. I think they could have just used 1 type of yeast and one decent fermentation. The novelty aspect of the beer is great but the execution and final product was less than satisfying.

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Photo of xgrigorix
3.36/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown bottle, 750 ml size, corked & caged, no dates.

Lovely shade of ruddy brown. Clear with intense looking carbonation. Huge, pillowy beige head retains extraordinarily well.

Spicy Belgianesque aromas wrapped up in fruit.

The taste mirrors the nose. Rather 2 dimensional. Hopefully this will mature into something impressive, because right now its just average. Medium/full bodied with robust, but soft carbonation.

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Photo of corby112
3.36/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: on-tap at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne, PA.

Pours a dark brown with amber edges and beige head. Aroma of spice, roasted malt, hops, dark fruit and candi sugar. Flavor is similar to aroma with dark fruits, malts and sugar cane. High ABV is very well masked.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.37/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork purchased at Wades Wines in Westlake Village, California for $19.99 plus tax and served into a Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are extremely high given the brewery - which I've been very impressed with so far - and the style - which is one of my favourites. Batch #25. No best before date.

Not paired with food.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Gives a rather powerful satisfying pop when the cork comes out. I got the cork out quickly with just my hands.

A: Pours a three finger head of nice cream, good thickness, and great retention for the 10% ABV. Colour is a dark copper orange. Not at all vibrant; a bit dull. Semitransparent. Non-opaque. No floating yeast particles are visible, but I'm judging from the top of a large bottle here. Pretty good lacing.

Sm: Biscuity yeast, cream, delightful malts, and well balanced hops. The yeasts are dominant and quite appealing. Hints of dried fruit. A nice aroma for a quad. Moderate in strength. Subtle. The notes don't ring distinct, but seem to work well together. Let's hope that carries over in the flavour.

T: Pleasant biscuity yeasts. The malts are a bit more troublesome, not quite providing the subtle foundation expected. Cream comes through. Some dried fruit - plums and fig - is far too restrained to sincerely impact the flavour profile. The hops are a bit too present considering the style. It's quite biscuity all around. The flavour just isn't bold and distinct enough to make it a great quad. Needs more fruit and more of a focus. The yeasts are nice but they still come off feeling restrained and underplayed, and even take a turn for the worse on the finish. Needs more complexity. It's subtle, but could and should be moreso. Good layering but the end result isn't ideal. I wish it were more bold and focused. No alcohol comes through.

Mf: Entirely too thin. Not strong enough to support the flavours. Nicely smooth and wet, with some cream. Adequately carbonated.

Dr: Quite overpriced for the quality, though not a bad quad by any means. Hides its ABV well. It's disappointing, but then I expected a lot of it. The third act bothers me and it's too hoppy for the style. A decent effort from Allagash, but not on par with their other offerings. Give it a go if you have the money, but don't expect too much from it. I might get it again aged at a good price. I wouldn't recommend it to friends though. Certainly drinkable.

Low B-

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Photo of ibbjamin
3.39/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Paid $16.49 for a 750ml bottle from BevMo in San Jose, CA. Batch #15 as indicated on bottle. Poured into a Chimay Chalice.

Very small fizzy head after a standard pour. No head retention, minimal lacing. Very cloudy with many fairly large sediment particles floating evenly in the brew. A very dark amber, almost reddish-brown color.

I can smell this one as I pour it with my nose a foot and a half away. Very fruity; white grapes, raisin and some apple. Some mild yeast esters and even more mild spiciness; just enough to let you know they are present, but well balanced and certainly not overpowering like some other belgian-styled ales can be. Sweet malts with molasses balance this out even more.

Taste is quite invigorating. A bit too much on the sweet side, which I suspected may be the case as mentioned from the dominating nose character. The alcohol comes through in the taste, something I missed in the nose. Banana, white grape and raisin dominate the taste with some sweetness of molasses and malt. They should have made this more balanced and less fruity and sweet.

Good carbonation, medium bodied. The mouth is too crisp and the aftertaste is somewhat lasting and overly sweet.

For this price level, I certainly I am not impressed. Allagash has many great brews and I would not consider this to be one of them.

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Photo of vacax
3.41/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch 15.

Pours maroon brown with hints of gold at the edges of my glass. Medium head is khaki colored and thick, leaving abundant lacing. Aromas of apple cider, grapes, and candi sugar all complement a Belgian style yeasty nose.

Spicy and fruity flavors dominate this sweet mapley brew thanks to the four yeast strains. Raisins, grapes, white pepper, and thyme all are evident with a spicy roasty finish. Flavors are aggressive, personally I would prefer a milder brew. Body is medium and it is excessively bubbly.

This strikes me as a very American quadrupel, taking the subtle fruity complexity of a Belgian quad and ratcheting it up to the next extreme level. It is a little much for me.

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Allagash Four from Allagash Brewing Company
4.07 out of 5 based on 993 ratings.
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