Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) | Allagash Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
886 Reviews
Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel)Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States | website

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Allagash Curieux was the first foray into barrel aging. Curieux is made by aging our Tripel Ale in Jim Beam bourbon barrels for eight weeks in our cold cellars. The aged beer is then blended back with a portion of fresh Tripel. The resulting beer is soft with coconut and vanilla notes, with hints of bourbon.

Added by Todd on 04-05-2004

BEER STATS
Reviews:
886
Ratings:
3,643
Avg:
4.21
pDev:
23.04%
 
 
Wants:
518
Gots:
1,059
For Trade:
39
User Reviews
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Reviews: 886 | Ratings: 3,643
Photo of largadeer
3.06/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Feb 2007 bottle.

Appearance: A rich golden color, very pronounced head and lacing.

Smell: Strong boozy bourbon with lemon, orange peel and just a touch of vanilla. The alcohol overwhelms the delicate base beer, and at the same time doesn't lend much depth itself, just a lot of heat.

Taste: Dry, boozy, slightly tart. The citrusy flavors typical of tripels and the malty vanilla character of the bourbon are equally pronounced here. The alcohol is quite noticable. I would imagine this will mellow with age, but I don't really mind it young; it's just very hot.

Mouthfeel: Extremely crisp and highly carbonated. Despite the complex flavor and heavy booze it maintains a pretty light texture. The rich flavor and alcohol really coat the tongue.

Drinkability: Definitely a sipper - it would take a while to finish an entire bottle alone.

Notes: An interesting experiment, but I think I prefer the Tripel Reserve on its own - the bourbon really overpowers the delicacy of the tripel. I think this would work better with a bolder beer as a base.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
3.06/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Light fleshy fruit aroma up front quickly smothered by the bourbon alcohol (some coconut and rubbing alcohol). Airy, bright white head fades quickly to a thin film. Slightly hazy, golden straw colored beer with a few stray bubbles rising slowly to the surface. Tastes like a bourbon infused triple. Fleshy fruit and yeasty triple flavor goes toe-to-toe with the mild bourbon tones. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth. I thiink I'd rather spend my $15 on two bottles of the triple.

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Photo of DavidEddie
3.06/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottled in May of 2007.

A golden blondish appearance. Very thick white head with some sticky lacing. Aromas of citrus, candied sugar, oak, and soft bourbon. Complex in flavor. Tastes of fruity lemon, green apple, spicy clove, vanilla, and oak. Definitely had that boozy warming effect after each sip. The oak seemed to come out more in the finish. Mouth feel smooth and soft. Moderate carbonation. Overall drinkability was interesting. The bourbon barrel aging didn’t do it for me but never the less it was fun to try. Cheers!

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Photo of SierraFlight
3.07/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

750ml bottle shared in wine glasses. Hazy yellow with a thin white head. Some lacing. Aroma is of coconut, alcohol, vanilla, wood, spices, and some citrus. Taste is alcohol, bitter wood, coconut, vanilla, malt, and spices. Light body, thin texture, soft active carbonation, dry finish.

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Photo of Sixpoint
3.08/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall, I am usually very impressed with Allagash. I think they make a lineup of great beers.

Unfortunately, I did not care for this one as much.

For a triple, the carbonation was lacking. The head quickly dissipated to leave behind a trace of foam.

The aroma actually had a corn smell to it; a slight presence of DMS. The oak aging helped to offset this problem, as it brought out nice shades of vanilla as well.

Overall, the hop flavor was too muted to make the flavor complex. I did perceive a lot of malt, but without the carbonation and nice texture or hop flavor, I thought this beer was too one-dimensional.

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Photo of Dantes
3.11/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Package: 750ml corked and caged bottle, labeled 9.5% ABV. Aged in Bourbon barrels and bottle-conditioned. Classic parchment-like buff label with what looks like hand-lettering and explaining special handling.

Cost: $9.99 at Ramsey Liquors

Presentation: tulip glass at ~55º

Appearance: Cloudy, pale yellow color with some burnished tints. Voluminously fluffy, dry, tight head that persisted through both servings. Numerous streams of extremely fine bubbles cut through the cloudy body. Light, insubstantial lacing. Very vigorous cork pop and gunsmoke, with a lot of lees at the bottom of the bottle.

Smell: Quite alcoholic, with strong bourbon vanilla notes. Faint hints of the citrus zest, banana, clove, and coriander that are so lovely in the “plain old” tripel reserve. Not very subtle in beating one about the olfactory bulbs with the bourbon.

Taste: Again, the bourbon permeates the first impressions. It’s hot on the palate, alcoholic, and overly vanilla-sweet. The orange zest and some banana come through, but the rest of the complex flavors I love in this beer are pretty much flattened. There’s some yeastiness and malt, but they are suffused in sweetness. Their tripel reserve (q.v.) is one of my favorite beers, but this just goes too far. Contrary to the regular tripel, this one seems to worsen as it warms, the bourbon becoming even more apparent.

Mouthfeel: Continues the Allagash tradition of bottle-conditioning super-smooth, creamy beers with fine carbonation and great mouthfeel. Without any crispness though, this verges on the syrupy.

Drinkability: Not very for me. I’ll stick with the superior standard offering (practically two for one). This is the second beer in a week (Edition 2004 being the other) that I found to be way too sweet for me.

Backwash: WHAT HAVE THEY DONE WITH MY BELOVED TRIPEL RESERVE! At least they had the good sense not to name this Heresy, which is what it is. I’ve been pretty disappointed with most of the bourbon-barrel aged beers I’ve had lately (e.g. Heresy). Frankly, tripel is one of the last styles I’d expect to show well after being aged in bourbon barrels. It’s a delicate (if high-ABV) beer with a balance of sweet and complex flavors. The bourbon simply overwhelms it. If Allagash wishes to experiment with different expressions, I think aging in port, sherry, or rum casks might work much better.

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Photo of froghop
3.12/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a semi-hazy orange with a small off-white head, lively carbonation, okay lacing.

smell of fruit, bread, grain, touch of toasted caramel, nuts, malt, some spice.

taste is smooth, sweet, pear, apricot, green grape, grain, carbonation, some wood, slight spice.

overall a little too sweet for my liking.

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Photo of hobbes2112
3.12/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750 mL December 04 Listed as 11% ABV (not 9.5 as listed here)

Pours a bright yellow with golden core, very little initial head with next to zero retention.

Aroma is straw, oak (though a lot more sweet than one would expect in a bourbon) and a yeasty smell like those ready to bake dinner rolls.

Taste is alcohol first and foremost, a lot more of the woody notes coming in towards the end of the draw. Really sharp bite right as the aftertaste kicks in, leads into a dark cherry.

This is an intense beer, I liked it but expected more. At roughly $15 I doubt I will get this again.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.15/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours hazy light gold with a minimal white head.

Aroma has some upfront fruits. Banana, pear other lighter fruits, vanilla spice and a little graininess. A touch of bourbon

Flavor is similar to the aroma although there is a lot of pepper in the flavor. The banana and fruit notes are nice, but the bourbon and the pepper create an odd and not entirely pleasant flavor profile. This beer seems a bit confused as to what it wants to shine through.

Medium carbonation, mouthfeel on the lighter side with some alcohol present.

Ok concept, but didn't really do much for me. The flavor profile was very muddy and even though I split it 5 ways it still got a bit cloying by the end of the glass.

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Photo of Damian
3.16/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Drank from a 1 pint 9.4 fl oz (750 ml) corked and caged bottle purchased at Julio's Liquors, Westboro, MA
Bottling September 13, 2012
Served in a tulip

The hazy, yellow-amber liquid was topped by an inch-tall crown of sudsy, off-white froth. Splotches of lacing coated the glass. The head faded to a thin, lasting film.

Belgian yeast notes were apparent in the nose. Crisp, fruity and phenolic. Slightly sweet with subtle vanilla notes. Touch of citrus. Lemon peel was most apparent. Hints of bourbon came through as well.

The flavor profile was rather lackluster. Belgian yeast notes appeared on the front end. Slightly phenolic. Subtle bready, toasty notes were present as well. Crisp, dry and lemony in the center. Hints of tart and bitter citrus rind were noticeable on the back end. The finish was oaky, dry and much hotter than I anticipated. I was amazed that this was only 11%.

The mouthfeel was one of the better things about this beer. It was smooth, supple and frothy. The liquid contained a fine, lively effervescence.

Curieux was a huge letdown, especially considering that I paid nearly $20 for this bottle. Not only was the flavor profile simplistic and quite harsh, but the bourbon element was practically non-existant. Allagash makes some terrific beers, but this definitely is not one of them.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.16/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Normyk for the opportunity to try this. I had missed this beer many times over.

Appearance
Much lighter than I expected. It seems like the barrels barely had an effect on the color. Its a pale golden. Clear and bright with a white head and good lacing.

Aroma
Again, the barreling is very understated, allowing the beer to be more of a Tripel. Lemon notes, and understated, almost bretty funkiness with light, sweet dough. Some yeasty spice is there as well. Things are smoothed over by a little bit of butter and coconut.

Taste
Very tripel like with very little in the way of bourbon. Spicy and chalky yeast with some apple-like fruitiness. There is some faint vanilla and lemon mixed in.

Mouthfeel
The carbonation is too high, that seems to be the way of Allagash though. This beer finishes hot and dry.

Overall
Not what I expected at all. After this, Black and a couple others I've had I'll be removing the rest of the Allagash beers from my wants list now.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.22/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served on-draught into a mason jar at Villain's in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed from notes. Expectations were high; I've loved the beers I've had from Allagash in the past.

A: Pours a one finger head of fair cream, decent thickness, and pretty good retention. Colour is a semitransparent yellow. I wouldn't know it was 11% to look at it.

Sm: Very fruity - melon, peach, orange clementine, and nuts. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Cream, heavy fruit, alcohol, and banana. Some hops. It's got a heavy tropical vibe - maybe pineapple and passion fruit. Lots of coconut too. Evocative of a pina colada to an extent. Complex but very strange. I like that it's bold and inventive, but it's sort of a failed experiment. Awkwardly balanced.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Generally suits the flavours.

Dr: Among the strangest beers I've tried. Everyone should try it because it's experimental; it's sort of a novelty item. Very drinkable for the ABV. Curious indeed.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.25/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served at cellar temperature in a Chimay chalice. Bottled in September, 2004.

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear burnished gold with a quarter-inch cap of foam, replenished slowly from the etched fleur de lis.

Smell- Old, boozy oak barrels with a strong vanilla and wood character. Musty cellar. Notes of mold and wet carpet.

Taste- Bourbon clearly out front, with its alcohol sweetness coating the entire mouth and tongue. The usual nuances of a Tripel are, unfortunately, masked by the overwhelming bourbon oak barrel influence.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Exquisite development in the mouth from beginning to end... the initial subtle carbonation becomes impossibly creamy and remains so throughout.

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Photo of SPLITGRIN
3.26/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours looking like well carbonated honey gold that really glows. Hosts a huge off-white head. Nose is a creamy wheat and citrus balance. Enters the mouth rich with a strong oiley wheat tone. Includes a sour syrupy feel on the main part of the palate. This beer balances beter and mellows out as it warms a bit. The long soured wheat feel is the dominating attribute to this beer. The alchol is well hidden. Drinks pretty well overall but for $16 a bottle I was expecting much more.

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Photo of fx20736
3.26/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

received as a gift, March 2015. Poured in a goblet at dcellar temp.

Look: Old Gold, fizzy white head, good lacing

Smell: vinegar, maybe some Noble Hops

Taste: unexpected skunk note, pale malt, orchard fruit, some alcohol ester

Feel: soft, mousse like

Overall: major disappointment. Was really looking forward to this one

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.28/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I have this in my beer cellar going back to the original release. I love how this tastes and it's only gotten better with time. That said, I had a May 2007 bottle last night and way overkill on the Jim Beam. It tasted like the tripel with too much bourbon in it. If you like Jim Beam then you'll love this beer. Otherwise I'd stash a couple of the May relase away for a few years then come back to it or buy an older release for a more subtle brew.

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Photo of Didier
3.31/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Not a bad beer by any standards, but since I'm apparently the only person here who doesn't flat out worship this beer and am only giving it an "average" rating (or has average become below average?), BeerAdvocate demands a review. Well, I'm just not that impressed by bourbon barrel aged beers. If I wanted my brew to taste like hard liquor, I'd make it a snakebite and drop a shot of whiskey in my glass. I did like this beer, it was tasty and didn't quite taste like the 11% it is (but it definitely does taste strong).

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Photo of SteveO1231
3.32/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle from the brewery on July 17th, Enjoyed on August 13th.

Pours a hazy yellow with some dark copper in the deeper sections of my Allagash glass. Thick fluffy white head and lots of tiny bubbles floating to the surface rapidly.

Nose of candi sugar, pineapple, apricot, peach and a ton of oak.

Light to medium bodied with a fluffy texture and slick mouthfeel. Candi sugar sweetness up front with some fruity flavors of peach and pineapple juice. The oak and abv dominate with a spicy drying quality. The oak leaves the palate dry and the alcohol really warms the palate ans stomach. This brew is a bit on the hot side, and the oak seriously overpowered the beer. Perhaps it is better with a little age on it.

Cheers!

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Photo of hammer09
3.33/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy, honey-colored ale with 1/2 inch head. Head dissipates quickly and lacing is relatively thin. Smell is mildly cidery and sour with little hop character. For a bourbon barrel-aged tripel, this beer doesn't really exhibit the aroma of bourbon barrel aging. Taste is alcoholic and sweet, but not overly flavorful at first. However, the flavor does improve as the beer is consumed. But, I wasn't blown away by the flavor as I expected. As with smell, the bourbon-barrel characteristics are not present in the taste of this beer. Flavors typically associated with a Belgian Tripel are present and in this respect this beer reminds me of one of the Unibroue Special Editon series. Mouthfeel is warming and alcoholic; carbonation is crisp. While not overly impressed with its lack of bourbon flavors, this is still a good, drinkable beer, albeit in limited quantities due to its relatively high %abv.

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Photo of magictacosinus
3.35/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a chalice out of a 750ml bottle. Label states that it was bottled on October 2011.

Well, well. I must first admit that I'm not quite knowledgeable about barrel-aged beers. I'm fairly familiar with the process, but have tried very few in the past to form any solid opinions about them. Nevertheless, beer aged in Jim Beam bourbon barrels sounds good enough to me!

Color is golden (as expected, being a tripel) though there is very low carbonation despite a small, foamy head. Not much lacing involved, and difficult to actually spot any alcohol on the edge of the glass. Clear, and hardly any sign of it being non-filtered.

Holds an aroma that is sugary and alcohol like many tripels I've had in the past, and contains hints of grapes and other sweet fruits. Definitely a woody smell at the front. While is obviously has liquor notes, there's far less of it than I expected. The smell of alcohol is far too overpowering here instead, without being able to reveal any of the subtleties that tripels usually have.

A first sip reveals instant bitterness at the front, but follows with a smooth bourbon finish. Overall, very boozy and warming, though lacking in fruitiness. If anything shines here, it's the woodiness and dryness of this beer. It's truly a successful barrel-aged product, as it manages to combine the sweetness and spiciness of tripels in terms of flavors, and the smoothness and fullness of bourbon. Nevertheless, it is absolutely nothing but a sipping beer and becomes progressively more sour as it warms and thins out. I unfortunately couldn't finish my glass as a result, and would sooner recommend this to be consumed cold rather than at room temperature.

I personally found it to be a special recipe from Allagash, although not really worth the $20 price. I've had far better tripels and while the barrel-aging does provide complexities of its own, it really distracts the overall flavor and throws it off balance with too much alcohol. I realize what this beer is trying to achieve (and it achieves it very well) but I personally can't bring myself to have it again anytime soon due to these traits.

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Photo of brendan13
3.35/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Smithflipper for sharing!
A - Poured into an oversized wine glass a clear golden with 2cm white head that slowly falls away.
S - Spicy notes, some light candied fruit with some woody touches and alcohol.
T - Spice and fruity phenols with vanilla and bourbon hints.
M - Quite a sweet Tripel, fairly high carbonation.
D - Worth trying but not something I'd rush into again.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.36/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

At the time of this review, this is the #7 Tripel on beeradvocate. I wanted to try this beer for so long but the size of the bottle, the ABV, and the cost prevented me from doing so, but I will get a 6 ounce pour of it for 4$ at a local bar. Neat. Served in a tumbler for some stupid reason.

Beer is yellow and mostly clear with a lazy thin wispy head of small bubbles, some carbonation, some lacing, looks fine.

Aroma is like dilute whiskey, nothing else.

Beer is thin and watery with a strong dry finish, lots of whiskey, the whole thing is like drinking a whiskey with a little bit of bitters in it. Not very enjoyable as a beer, as the liquor character shades the entire beer. I'm glad I didn't buy a 25 ounce bottle.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.38/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The most clarity of anything I've had barrel aged. Dark yellow. Aroma lacked bourbon. More of the belgian yeast aroma than anything.

Taste, mild, smooth sure, but I wanted some heft and whatnot. Wood comes across more than whiskey. Minimal spice and vanilla. At least the alcohol remains well hidden despite its massiveness. I'll give them points for making a bourbon barrel something so unique, but its a mellow beer without a lot of taste.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.38/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Purchased August 2008 at the brewery. July 2008 bottling. Split with angrybabboon.

Appearance: Deeply hazed golden brown. Small bright-white head drops to a wispy cap and small, tight collar. Moderate carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Tiny hints of bourbon. Deeply breast and biscuity. Half-cooked dough. Some vanilla and toffee. Slight hints of oxidation add some sherry notes. Cooked and caramelized malts. Banana and a hint of banana jam, because it must exist. Touches of alcohol and a backing yeasty spiciness.

Taste: Ripe banana and some.minor peppery clove. Belgian yeast. Bourbon pushes small layers of vanilla, oak, and toffee. Deeply caramelized malts. Bready. Undercooked biscuits. Some pale malts as well. Bourbon still kicks a bit after the years. Slight push of jammy sweetness. Layers of oak and bourbon. Solid malt base. Some pithy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth. Medium body with a moderate to light carbonation. Relatively clean finish.

Overall: A mild curiosity. Probably wouldn't appear in you're average curieux.

Age dampens the bourbon A good bit, but it's still kicking. A solid bass triple that gets a bit more depth with aging in barrels and a cellar. I'm thinking 2 years is prime.

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Photo of popery
3.38/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tap, City Beer Store. Beer pours a hazy but bright golden color with a nice white head that sticks around well. The aroma is milder than expected. There are some light stone fruit and caramel malt notes. The oak note is one of the best parts but a bit too refined not to get pushed out of the way more than I'd liked. It also seems somewhat vinous, though it's a bit hard to tell under the bourbon. The bourbon is fairly harsh and there's too much alcohol heat. The booze really hits in the flavor. I think that I might like the base beer and I might like an aged bottle/keg, but this is too harsh for me fresh.

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Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) from Allagash Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 886 ratings.
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