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

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887 Reviews
Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel)Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel)

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

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

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Reviews: 887 | Ratings: 3,661
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a hazy (real hazy, I just can’t see through my glass) golden color ale with a medium bubbly white head with minimum retention. Aroma of bourbon is quiet easy to detect but also some real funky yeast is present which remind of a saison or even a lambic without the sourness though. Taste is a bit too sharp in alcohol at first, which kind of ruin it for me since I don’t like the warming feeling. But you get used to it and it seems to disappear (or I might just be getting drunk) and then I can see some traces of a nice abbey tripel with a strong yeast profile, which provide a farmhouse side that I really enjoyed. Overall, probably not something I would go for on a regular basis but I still enjoyed. If I was to rate on experiment alone though, I would have rated this much higher since I appreciated the fact that Allagash tried to do something different.

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Photo of emerge077
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nov. '06 bottle

Soft peachy color, bisected in two, yellow edge at the meniscus of the glass, fading into a rich orange tone, glowing in the light. Constant head of foam, irregular lacing that fulfills the visual aesthetic requirement.

Lightly sweet aroma that's full of fruit without any cloying element.

Every sip is something to savor and enjoy. The bourbon is obviously a unique element in the mix. Tropical fruit sweetness and a subtle malt breadiness work their way in too. Overall it's a really smooth and integrated combination.

Full bodied with mild carbonation, this is a sipper for sure at 11%. Good for the cellar, can't say more than 2 years would be necessary, this is drinking well now.

After having a 5 year old Dulle Teve last weekend, I can honestly say this domestic Tripel is the best i've ever tasted.

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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 zeff80
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a somewhat cloudy, golden-yellow color with a small, fizzy, white head. It left minimal traces of lace.

S - It smelled of yeast, grains, citrus and floral notes.

T - It tasted quite spicy and zesty. The bourbon flavors really came through with a sweet kick.

M - It was sharp, crisp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This was a great Tripel. It was the first that I have had that was bourbon barrel aged and I liked the kick.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.93/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a lift caramel color that is somewhat opaque. Nose brings forward a god dose of light bourbon along with some caramel sweetness and bread. Sligt spicing. The taste just doesn't really work for me, with some strange bread and banana interacting with the bourbon. It sounds good, but just isn't very appetizig to me. Mouthfeel is a bit boozy and thin. This one just did not work for me.

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Photo of oberon
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Sticks ans Stones tonight.Poured into a goblit a lightly hazed lighter golden with a nicely formed white head.Aromas are big in the bourbon barrel department with mild phenols and spiced pears,a nice mix of things going on.Sweet bourbon vanilla flavors along with more sweet alcohol,spiced phenols are there but kept in check pretty well,some boozy fruit in the finish.A nice barrel aged tripel not over the top bourbon wise but it packs a kick.

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Photo of nickfl
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - One finger of pure, white head on a hazy golden body. Leaves nice lace as the head settles.

S - Strong boozy, vanilla scent (actually smells more like rum than bourbon to me). Sour cherries, sweet alcohol, herbal hops, and an inoffensive hint of sulphur.

T - Sweet malt, very sugary and lots of vanilla and bourbon character (really tastes like bourbon instead of rum this time). Sticky almost cloying sweetness up top with a strong, woody oak note. There is some definite bitterness and hop flavor, but not quite enought to balance the sweetness. The finish is mellow and smooth with notes of oak and vanilla and a good bit of warming alcohol.

M - Moderate carbonation and heavy body but a surprisingly dry finish despite the initially heavy sweetness.

D - Wow, quite a big, interesting beer. It is extremely heavy but the finish leaves me practically itching for more. The bourbon notes are really great and have me wondering why I stopped drinking hard liquor (though at 11% if I finish the bottle in one sitting I might remember the reason).

I am initially inclined to think that this would be a great beer with a cigar, but I wonder if it might be too sweet to make a good match. Perhaps it would go well with something light and spicy, but there is only one way to find out.

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

Bottled November 2008

Pours a white head. Decent retention with splattered lace left. Color is a hazed golden orange.

Aroma: Oak/wood, a lot of spice flavor, I get a little bourbon as well. Some dry light fruits, peaches stick out a lot.

Taste: A lot of oak, bourbon, and vanilla. Raisins, cherries, pepper, spice. Nice flavors.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with a little amount of heat showing. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with the -bal aged flavors.

Overall, a decent beer, but nothing I would go out of my way for it. However, I really like the bourbon -bal aging that was done to the triple.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at the Capital Ale House in Midlothian, VA. 10 oz serving in a tulip glass during American Craft Beer Sunday for a whopping $3.00 Great price for this!

Pours a clear golden yellow with about a 1/4 finger of brite-white head that retains around the edges, with some thin wisps across the center, leaving a nice smattering of lace behind. The aroma is not super assertive at first but then opens up very nicely as it nears room temp. Big bourbon notes out front that meld well into softer flavors of vanilla and caramel. Not much of the Tripel character is picked up but the Bourbon aging notes more than make up for it.

The Tripel comes out more in the taste with candied sugars, caramel, yeast, and spice making themselves known. The Bourbon really pops in the finish though with additional notes of silky vanilla and yes, even a touch of coconut in there. The mouthfeel is medium to full with a bit of beef but for the most part remains smooth and creamy without much stinging at all from the alcohol presence.

The more I drank this, the more I enjoyed it. Luckily a good amount of the Tripel comes out to keep this from being too one-dimensional from the Bourbon aging and I can't believe how smooth this drank for a 11% beer. Good work here form Allagash.

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Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip, bottled in June 2008. Pours hazy golden amber color with a fairly dense 2 finger white head with great retention, that reduces to a fairly thick cap. A bit of thick lacing clings to the glass as well. Aromas of big lemon, clove, banana, pepper, citrus peel, honey-like sweetness, white grape, oak, and bourbon. Surprisingly no real booziness was noticed, and there is a great amount of complexity going on here. Taste of tons of oak, lemon, clove, banana, vanilla, bourbon, white grape, and yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of of mainly bourbon, oak, and vanilla; with a bit of pepper, light fruits, and spices as well. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a decent slightly prickly mouthfeel that is still very smooth. No alcohol noticed other than a warming on the finish. Overall this is an excellent barrel aged tripel. I would definitely like to try a fresher bottle of this because I hear it is even better while it is younger.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Interesting beer. At first I wasn't sure if I loved it or I hated it, but it quickly won me over. The cork popped with a decent crack, and it poured a mainly clear golden-orange body (cellaring has sedimented it nicely) beneath a frothy, and then creamy, head of white. The retention was good and it left some very nice sheets of lace about the goblet.

The nose is unlike any other beer I've ever encountered, with notes of tropical, citrus, and summer fruits (tangerine, papaya, pineapple, peach, melon) amidst sweetish vanilla notes from the wood. It's bready, doughy, and sweet with a suggestion of bourbon, and some balance from the oak. Alcohol is present, but welcome... far from "hot".

In the mouth it's surprisingly creamy with a medium-light body and "airy" effervescent carbonation from bottle-conditioning.

The flavor is not unlike the nose, except that perhaps the fruitiness is softened a bit as it's immersed in sweetish, vanilla-accented, golden malt. The alcohol remains, but the bitterness is limited and it actually helps to balance and dry the beer, as does the oak in the finish. As you progress, the alcohol steps in and changes it slightly, covering over - or blinding your tastebuds to - the sweet malt, leaving it more spicy, fruity/subtly tangish, and dry with wood. It also helps to let the mild herbal hops that are there come through; and gives it a greater complexity - of course, you can't taste much after you're through, but it's a nice ride!

This beer has aged nicely. It's become much more rounded and focused than I initially remember it, where the fruitiness seemed to want to express a sharper, more juicy/tart side and the vanilla/candyish malt fluffed over it. Perhaps it's dried out a little bit and now the two sides have come a little bit closer together. I wish I had another bottle to try a year from now... Impressive!

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Photo of chinchill
3.99/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Tupelo Honey Cafe in Greenville. (confirmed with tap sample in Dec. 2014 and bottle sample in August 2015).

Very pale golden; light Haze.
Sweet aroma with a pronounced contribution from bourbon barrel aging. The bourbon barrel is even more obvious in tasting and approaches, but does not exceed, a reasonable level. Lots of vanilla from the bourbon barrel. Still, a bit more bourbon flavor than I would prefer. Good thing this is a blend of BB and fresh ale.
High ABV is partly hidden but there is some inevitable warming.
Medium-light body with ample carbonation.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

October 2005 bottling. Sun-splashed lemon with a wealth of fine carbonation enlisted in the creation of a regal white head. The texture of the foam isn't quite as spectacular as on most authentically Belgian ales, but it's still mighty attractive. Thick sheets of lace look like they'll stick until the cows come home. Like most Allagash beer, this one is a looker.

The nose is very nice, it's just that I was expecting some indication that the beer was actually aged in Jim Beam barrels. It smells like an excellent, impressively fruity tripel that... wait just a minute... a few more sniffs deliver a little woodiness... that still isn't very whiskey-like. Here's hoping the flavor profile is as advertised. [note: warming opens up the nose so much that it approaches the quality of the flavor at roughly the midway mark of the bottle.]

Curieux is outstanding beer! For some strange reason, my nose didn't identify what my palate is having no trouble identifying and greeting like an old friend. Allagash says there's a 'hint of bourbon'. I respectfully disagree. There's as much bourbon whiskey present as there is tripel. It's no surprise that these guys have found the perfect balance between the base beer (Tripel Reserve) and the flavor imparted by the wood.

Their decision to age the beer in bourbon barrels has done several things. It has effectively eliminated the ethereal complexity of Tripel Reserve and has replaced it with the power and deliciousness of Kentucky's finest. As a bourbon fanatic, I love the outcome. It's as if the brewers created an entirely new world-class beer from one that was world-class to begin with.

The flavor profile consists of ripe, buttery pears; caramelized sugar; charred oak and a huge splash of vanilla. Allagash has definitely done their homework (as always) because they've managed to imbue the beer with the very essence of the barrels' former occupant. As far as I'm concerned, the decision to age the beer eight weeks was perfect.

I love those light and airy Belgian tripels and I also love this one. It's heavily silky, lightly sticky and aggressively carbonated. When the bubbles wear off on the swallow, the flavor lingers with a determination that reminds me of my favorite bourbons. Not only that, but the huge ABV is warming me nicely and is beginning to blur my senses. Time to slow down so that I can finish this review with some sort of coherence.

Curieux had three huge things going for it right off the bat. It's brewed by Allagash, it uses Tripel Reserve (one of my favorite tripels) as its base beer, and it's aged in bourbon barrels (my favorite liquor). Therefore, I'm not the least bit surprised that I've been gobsmacked yet again. If you like beautifully crafted, amazingly delicious, Belgian-style ales with an American flair, it doesn't get any better than Allagash Curieux.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.02/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap @ Taco Mac in Crabapple (Crabble Mac).

Appearance: Pours a clear blonde body with a small, white head.

Smell: Restrained aroma of bourbon mixed with white wine and candy.

Taste: Bourbon-influenced, semi-sweet pale malt flavor and notes of vanilla, wood. Dash of pinot grigio. Lemon sorbet fruitiness and light spice in back of the bourbon. Hint of honeysuckle. There's plenty of candi sweetness on this ride, but it still manages to finish somewhat dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied bolstered by a creamy mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's pretty good. Go on, give it a try. What harm could it do?

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-cask 7/3/08 at Doherty's East Ave. Irish Pub, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a dark gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, fruit, light malts, alcohol and some hops.

T: The taste malty and creamy which I wasn't expecting, with flavors of Belgian yeast, apples and caramel. There's a mild hops presence that provides some balance and there's a slightly alcohol sting. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, light carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, the casking seems to add the creaminess to it, whether or not that helps this particular beer is a matter of personal preference. Overall, it's a very good beer that is worth drinking for a while.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this courtesy of Kimball's - the 2007 version on tap, served in a smallt taster goblet.

A - A very clear dark golden, the clarity is great for being barrel aged and a pale cap w/ micro beading

S - Sweet mellow coconut and candy-like aromas w/ oak. Almost pina colada w/ fruity yeast notes and a mild alcohol hint w/ spiced elemnents in the nose

M - A very dry mouthfeel w/ spicy and sweet maltiness and a hint of nuttiness w/ a pleasant alcohol tinge as it finishes smoothly

T - A fantastic sweet candy-like malt w/ nutty coconut and vanilla from the bourbon aging. The wood gives a toasty brown sugar and light pepper is in the flavor too from the yeast. There is subtle pineapple and the beer finishes w/ a mild flavor of alcohol as mentioned in the feel

D - So excellent of Kimball's to share this, a really beauty of a Bourbon barrel aged ale, very few come close to the drinkability especially at 11%, The taste was awesome making only wish I had more, the smoothest tripel aged in oak I may ever have.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at American Craft

A: The beer pours a slightly hazed golden straw color with a finger of white head.

S: Some bourbon and oak does come through, but it's more vanilla and tripel. Lots of spice notes to it with a nice banana and pear flavor. Plenty of sweet malt, mostly bread, and a bit of candi sugar.

T: As with the aroma, not the most intense bourbon flavor. Again, a decent vanilla note, though. I do get some sweet fruits (mostly banana) and a bit of spice character (mostly clove). Again, a fairly strong dose of sweet malt.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O: Would have preferred a bit more bourbon flavors, but still very nice.

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Photo of russpowell
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I think I got this from JasonA, I think, if not cheers to whomever & JasonA!

Pours bronze with a pinky of beige head. Good lacing & head retention

S: Apples & pears

T: Apples, butterscotch booze, booze infused apples & honey up front, plus lemony hops & oaky dryness. Toffee, dryness, more honey character, plus some passion fruit as this warms, p;us vanilla bourbon notes. Finishes with some nice pineapple & passion fruit & grapefruit hops

MF: Syrup, with low levels of carbonation, became creamy as this warmed. Love the complexity!

Drinks damn easy for the style & ABV, the warming sensation hints not to stay on this too long. Not a true tripel per se, but more enjoyable IMO

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Photo of Jason
4.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Mildy spritzy tiny bubbled head, dusty golden hue with some light haze.

The alcoholic aroma of the triple with wafts of bourbon wood (vanilla) and some mixed tropical fruit.

Very smooth with a mellow but stiff alcohol character, warming with undertones of vanilla and ripe fruit. The woody character melds well with the hop bitterness and spiciness of the alcohol with a drying bite.

Simply amazing. Amazing within the realm of barrel aged beer let alone doing it with a more delicate Belgian Style Trippel.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.31/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Note: Bottled December 8, 2011

A: Pours a lightly cloudy medium golden yellow in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation, moderate amounts of medium sized light yeast particles in suspension, and faint copper highlights. The beer has a finger tall dense foamy off-white head that slowly reduces to a large patch of very thin film covering the entire surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of biscuit and pale malts with spicy and fruity Belgian yeast. That is followed by slightly stronger aromas of vanilla, coconut, bourbon, and oak. Moderate aromas of candi sugar sweetness.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavors of biscuit, pilsner, and pale malts with a moderate to strong amount of candi sugar sweetness. That is followed by strong flavors of bourbon, vanilla, coconut, and toasted oak. Finally there is a moderate flavor of spicy + fruity Belgian yeast. Minimal amounts of bitterness with a moderate lingering sweetness/booziness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light to moderate amounts of alcohol warming in the finish which intensifies as the beer warms up.

O: This is a wonderful beer that is very easy to drink considering the strength and needs to be slowly sipped and enjoyed. I have tried this beer numerous times (not sure why I am just getting around to writing up a full review of it) fresh and with some age on it, I find that it does not change very much over time... perhaps the booziness is a little diminished but this is a great beer fresh or aged. I find the combination of bourbon barrel and tripel to be quite an interesting and successful combination.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a GameWorks shaker pint glass.

Thanks to papollo for this bottle!

Thanks to Paul, I can give this brew a second chance (I honestly was not impressed the first time). It pours a hazy golden straw topped by a thick white froth. The nose sourly funky wheat, something akin to rye spice, black pepper, buttery biscuits, toffee, light oak, and vanilla. The taste follows this same path (I mean, it's already been bushwhacked and whatnot), with the added company of coriander and a light whiskey. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta dry finish. Overall, this time 'round things went much better. This is indeed a strange brew, one that doesn't really fit nicely into any traditional descriptions but is still pretty dern tasty.

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

Review from notes. Had on tap at the Pickled Pig Pub

A: Pours a hazy golden color with a 1.5 finger white head on top that has good retention, with a slow fade to a tight layer of foam on top. Some sporadic, but thick lacing left behind.

S: A good bit of Belgian yeast and some light fruit - mostly banana with a bit of bruised apple and faint citrus. There is some doughy malt and spices. The bourbon is present and there is a bit of an alcohol presence.

T: Similar to the aroma with some apples, Belgian yeast, caramel, and to a lesser extent some banana. The bourbon is less present than it was in the aroma, but there is some residual heat from the alcohol.

M: Medium bodied with light to medium carbonation. Drinks rather smooth with a clean finish.

O: A pretty tasty beer with a nice flavor profile. The alcohol presence knocks it down a tad for me, but would certainly give this one another shot. Would like to try it from a bottle to see how that changes it.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 5/29/10 notes. Batch is from July 2009.

a - Pours a nice golden color with a little bit of white head.

s - Smells of vanilla, oak, sour fruits, and citrus.

t - Tastes of oak, vanilla, and smooth fruity malts. Also some whiskey, but not as much as I would have thought.

m - Medium body and light carbonation.

d - I thought this was a great tripel. I thought this tripel aged great in whiskey barrels. Would love to try again.

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

This has been on my list of beers to try for some time now. I had this on draft years ago, and I believe the keg was infected.

The appearance is translucent and light copper with a fluffy, tan head. The aroma brings an odd combination of Belgian yeast, citric spice, bourbon, vanilla, oak. Not off-putting, just unusual. Certainly an interesting brew. A lot going on, though I must say, I would prefer any of the better tripel beers to this. While the barrel-aging is well executed, I don't believe it adds to a beer of this ilk. There are some flavors that just naturally clash, and perhaps bourbon and tripels were not meant to be united. All that said, this was decent, though I won't buy it again.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a gold orange that is a bit darker and clouded of course. The flavor is presented with an almost milky mouthfeel that is thick and wooded. Smooth and almost a bit spicy, but subdued in nature. Supremely crafted and masterfully aged. This is a definite pleasure to drink.

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Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) from Allagash Brewing Company
4.21 out of 5 based on 3,661 ratings.
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