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

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Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel)Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel)
3,804 Ratings
Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel)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:
First brewed back in 2004, Curieux was our first foray into barrel aging. To make Curieux, we take our Tripel and let it age in bourbon barrels for seven weeks. Once that time is up, we take the beer out of our cold cellars and blend it back with a portion of fresh Tripel. The resulting rich, golden ale features smooth notes of coconut, vanilla, and a hint of bourbon.

Added by Todd on 04-05-2004

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Ratings: 3,804 |  Reviews: 912
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

What am I going to do without the Blind Tiger? Yet another gem that was part of the VSK night. I was absolutely floored by the sheer originality of this beer. It retained all the characters of a tripel. The smooth, dry, fruity palate; hints of creamsicle. And yet constantly my nose and tongue were convinced I was enjoying a snifter of good kentucky sipping bourbon. Curious indeed! There were notes of vanilla and just a hint of smoke that tickled my nose and rolled off the back of my tongue and I swear there was the distinct warming sensation I get when partaking in any type of scotch or whisky derivitive. Quite a wonderful beer though I can't imagine drinking too much of it. Three cheers for allagash!

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Photo of Zorro
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750-ML bottle corked and caged. Bottled July 2005.

Pours a clear golden beer with a subdued head.

Smell is strong fruit and floral with a medium strong scent of bourbon. Citrus and flowers mix well with the vanilla and oak from the barrel aging. A pleasant odor of whiskey floats on the alcohol fumes from the glass giving this an odor very similar to southern comfort whiskey liquor.

Taste is dry with fruit and oak with a pleasant hit of whisky in the taste. The triple flavors of flowers and spicy hops mixes very well with the flavors of vanilla, apples, oak and faint smoke from the bourbon barrel. Orange peel and coriander are in here but the bourbon flavors mostly mask them.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Hard to assign a drinkability score for this particular beer, bourbon barrel triple isn't really a style of it's own. As a triple this is good but not outstanding. As a beer not confined to a style this is a unique and interesting beer. The flavors of a Belgian triple and bourbon whiskey complement each other very well and it is a pairing I would have never thought to try. This is a MUST for any beer drinker that also likes top of the line whiskeys. For a beer only drinker this is a must try just for the uniqueness. As just a highly creative beer this is outstanding in the drinkability department. I will find another bottle of this for Thanksgiving this year.

Highly recommended.

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Photo of GolgiIPAratus
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled: 10.11.05

It faded quickly, but a light head once sat on this pale gold nectar. Bubbles arise from the 2 inch depths. Slight lacing, very slight.

The smell is, at first, of typical tripel style. There are orangey esters deep in the nose, but overall the beautiful bourbon qualities take a hold. Wooden overtones and a rich dryness give this beer’s aroma a wonderfully distinctive quality.

The flavor is delicious. There’s an apparent sweetness with complex malts all around the tongue. The bourbon burns with just the right amount of heat, not too much. Practically perfection. The brew is light in the mouth, yet quit apparent with the alcohol heat.

It should be obvious, but this is a brew made for lengthy, shared enjoyment. At a listed 11% or so on the bottle combined with the whiskey flavor, made me take it slow. But the slower you drink it, the more you can enjoy it!

Notes: I drank this on my 2nd year anniversary while my wife was unfortunately away on business. I didn’t (want to) drink the whole thing, and it held up well for one night with a wine stopper. Still tasted fantastic the next night!

UPDATE: 2006 Edition - the 2006 Curieux is loaded with vanilla and oak aromas and flavors which hid the alcohol much better this year. Whether that's good or not...

But still a truly delicious offering.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was pumped when I found this on the shelves of Table and Vine in Northampton. They have several beers from Allagash, this one was a new addition. I was unsure of what type of beer it actually was, good old BA fills the gaps...again.

Hazy peach in color, quickly dissipated head, good lacing. Fairly aromatic- peach esters and of course a slight tinge of bourbon.

The taste is quite interesting. The barrel aged aspect takes away from many of the Belgium characteristics I find so enjoyable. Nonetheless is has a nice taste. Pretty sharp on the tongue, loads of sweet summer fruits, followed by an intensely sharp bourbon aftertaste.

A nice beer that is warming on this early Fall evening. A decent beer that is worth seeking out if this is your style. Cost to pleasure ratio is pretty low $11.00 a bottle.

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Photo of ColForbin
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Curieux is presented in a 750ml bottle with a caged cork. Mine is listed as being bottled in July 2005 and with an ABV of 11% (unlike the 9.5% listed above). The cork releases with an audible pop. Pours a hazy orange color with a 1cm white head into my Chimay chalice. The head soon fades to an islade of white foam in the middle of the beer. Aroma is floral, with some honey and some spices in there as well. Taste is spicy, with cloves and coriander and maybe some orange peel, with a heavy contribution of vanilla and other bourbon like flavors. Slick, full bodied mouthfeel with a slightly hot alcoholic finish. Definitely feels like it is every bit of the 11% listed on the bottle, in fact without the alcohol feel this would be one easy drinking beer. A fine American tripel.

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Photo of czechsaaz
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sweet, honey malt aroma, just a touch of wood. Some bret. like notes.

Golden, slightly hazy, no head at all.

Nice Malty flavor. Peaches and honey malt. Somewhat dry from the wood. The wood is aparent but not tannic or bitter. Bourbon character is there, but not over-the-top. Light hop bitterness.

Nice warming from alcohol but no noticeable alcohol flavor. Creamy and full bodied.

REally a fine beer. Love it. Wish I had more.

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Photo of battlekow
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared a bottle of this with my BA buddy, murrayswine. The customers at his store could smell the bourbon from five feet away.

God, it was pretty. A cloudy, pale yellow, capped with the creamiest, finest, whitest, most tenacious head you could ever ask for. I love it. Smells extremely yeasty when first opened, and then the bourbon hits you. Curieux smells and tastes a lot like bourbon--that much you probably guessed. But unlike some bourbon barrel-aged beers I've had, it complements the beer's other characteristics, rather than running roughshod over them.

Curieux's smell has a deep, buttery, vanilla sweetness, which contrasts nicely with the spiciness of the bourbon and 11% ABV. The overall taste is similar--creamy vanilla sweetness complemented by a spicy alcohol character. One thing the bourbon does do is mute the yeast flavors, at least until the end of the bottle. The mouthfeel, like the rest, is a study of contrasts between the velvety carbonation and the slight burn of the booze.

Man, just another really great beer from Allagash. Personally, I think Allagash takes Ommegang easily in the "Belgian-American" category.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very nice golden orange color. The head quickly receedes from a huge snow white fluff into a thin 1/8" layer. Big malty and vinuous aroma. I get more wine then anything resembling bourbon. Some oak and yeast. The flavor however is quite bourbon laced. I liken it more to single malt scotch then a bourbon but the whiskey/bourbon presence is right there. Decent alcohol burn in the finish. Somewhat sweet as well. No real hop bitterness its realy all oveshadowed by the oak and bourbon flavors. Good mouthfeel. I have to knock down the dinkability a bit as I dont know how much of this I could consume in a sitting or evening. Very well done and interesting beer-just not something I could consume a lot of or very often. Well worth a try.

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Photo of Sixpoint
3.08/5  rDev -28%
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 bashiba
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice hazy golden orange with a thick creamy off white head and tons of lacing.

Smell was dominated by a heavy vanilla bourbon odor.

Taste was a mixture of classic bourbon flavors - Vanilla, Honey, and Charred Oak all showing signs here. The boubon flavors just seem to become more and more dominant the more you drink. Good, but you might as well almost be drinking Bourbon.

Mouthfeel was creamy and just a touch hot due to the very present high ABV.

Drinkability is good, but it helps that I like Bourbon, non bourbon drinkers will probably be turned off.

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Photo of meathookjones
2.45/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Fairly clear golden orange body with a tall foamy white head. Some scattered light lacing was left around the glass. Aroma was a mix of sweet fruits and strong bourbon alcohol notes. There was minimal spice as well but the more this warmed the more the alcohol and bourbon drowned out everything else. Taste was more of the same. Too much bourbon and alcohol to let anything else but some sweetness gets through. There were light fruit and spice notes but as the bottle warmed the alcohol became even more evident. Very unpleasant towards the end of the bottle. I really dig their standard triple but this was way too hot to enjoy. I figured it might have mellowed some but that was not the case. Mouthfeel was solid. Drinkability was shot to hell by the alcohol. Seems like triples and bourbon barreling don’t mix well.

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Photo of bnuttz
3.55/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a golden yellow with a little orange tinge. A nice foamy white head on this one. Smells like straight up burboun, but if you smell closer you can smell belgian yeast aromas. There is definitely a belgian beer in there. Tastes like grain alcohol. This stuff is pretty stiff actually. Some vanilla and coconut flavors are present, basically burboun. Its not bad, but I wont more tripple here. You can feel the burn in your mouth with this stuff. Alright, and different, but not stellar

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Photo of watermelonman
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured to a nice dark gold with a medium head. There's a small amount of lace left behind.

The smell is interesting and very, very good. Bourbon comes through plain and clear on top of light malts and a touch of citrus. The taste is good as well. Oak comes out lightly, while bourbon remains strong on top of the pale malts and yeast. The mouthfeel is fairly light and very appealing. Drinkability takes a slight hit for the alcohol, but remains fairly high.

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Photo of hobbes2112
3.12/5  rDev -27.1%
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 mzwolinski
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I tried this at the Pizza Port Belgian Beer Fest and was not terribly impressed at the time. Saw it at a local liquor store the other day and figured I'd give it a shot under more favorable circumstancs (big smelly crowds, hot sun, and too many good beers don't make ideal conditions for tasting!)

Pours cloudy peach in color, with a thinnish off-white head. The aroma is very oaky indeed -- like someone scraping on bark with a knife. As the beer warms, the aroma picks up a slightly fruity character, but it is quite buried under the scents of wood and alcohol.

Oak flavors start off the taste as well, though here they quickly give way to a strong bourbony character. Some black licorice flavors all the way through and just a hint of mildly tart fruitiness mid-palate. Mostly a typically bourbon-like burn at the back of the throat. This is one hot mother. Thankfully, the carbonation is even enough to lighten up the mouthfeeel and keep the beer from feeling too heavy.

As the bottle says, I expect this will improve with age, but I ain't got the patience or the space. As it is, it's drinkable, though definitely a sippin' beer. Recommended for whiskey fans, but not your typical beer by a Kentucky mile.

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Photo of MrSeth
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

My first bottle of Curieux was like a first date or something. Too many great things going on all at once to really stop and take try to explain it. My second bottle was so bad that I swore off buying it again. I'm hopeful that the third time is a charm.

[Bottled in Feb. 2005]

Poured into a Xlarge tulip with deep murky golden color, also with some brown tones. The head was ridiculously huge. But after the fight I had with the cork, it doesn't surprise me.. where's that saber when you need it?

The nose has some soft bourbon aromas in it, somewhere between the previous two I tasted in strength. Oakiness stands out in the smell.. a bit musky, but I love that in its proper dose. All the various ingredients come together in a doughy-bourbon medley that works well.

First sip, whew! Starts with straight bourbon flavor, bold enough for a bourbon fan - interesting enough character to outshine the other bourbon aged ales. Then a sweet, lightly toasted malt taste.. There's also a light estery, cherryish sweetness helping to make it much more palatable. This is no wimpy ale! It's a very warming brew, with alot of alcohol at the end.

The head just keeps going, with bubbly still feeding it. It adds a creamy mouthfeel to an already very smooth, easy drinking brew.

What can I say, I'm floored all over again! My thanks to Nick at Bauer Wine for mentioning that this ale still tastes great AND kicks ass. I would be drinking alot less great beer without your suggestions bro.

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Photo of BrewMaster
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Labeled as "Bottling February '05." 11% ABV.

Appearance: Poured into a 25 oz crystal sniffer. Cloudy reddish orange with a thick, creamy white head. Excellent head retention. Very smooth head. Light swirling revives the head to full size.

Smell: Apple, pear, pepper, grass, and a strong alcohol scent. There's also a flutter of a wood aroma.

Taste: Smoky and slightly toasty flavor. Sweet, dry scotch flavor. Sandy, with a big malty and fruity flavor. Light apple, lemon, and a crisp wood flavor that lasts through into the aftertaste. The wood is very much like hickory or mesquite in flavor. It reminds me of the wood chips used to smoke meat. Earthy and gritty in a good way. A light hop ending as well with a bit of yeasty spice. There's also a very light lingering alcohol flavor that is balanced very well with the woody malt flavors. This tastes great. It is not your ordinary tripel.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and velvety. Well carbonated but not sharp on the palate at all. Coats the palate very well and the flavor opens up nicely.

Drinkability: This beer is absolutely delectable. Wonderfully smooth with a balanced and complex flavor. Other brewers should strive to brew something this good.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottled December '04 (11% abv version)

Pours a hazy, bright, slightly yellowed orange. blinding white head forms and quickly fades. Collar is nice but not particularly impressive.
Smell is peaches, pears, green apples, bourbon whiskey, a woodsy aroma, and a slight bit of hops. Alcohol prominent as is a fairly nice yeast characteristic.
Taste is fruity, bourbon (LOTS of bourbon), bitter hops - quite a bit more than I expected - and oaky sweetness.Yeastiness is present as well. Alcohol is strong, but not overwhelming. The flavor of the bourbon is intense but there is very little heat to the 11% here. The problem I am having with this one is that the bourbon kind of overtakes much of the other flavors in the beer (which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just mentioning it).
Mouthfeel is okay, decent carbonation, no overwhelming sweetness, or alcohol.
Overall, A nice experiment from Allagash. Very glad I tried this one, but I'm not sure that it was worth the $15.99 I paid for it. Nevertheless, I bought it like 3 months ago and it's been cellaring since, so I'm not that upset. Drinkability suffers only because of the abv and the intensity of the bourbon flavors.

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Photo of NiceGuyMike
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I stumbled upon this beer in an unexpected place. I wasn't in the position to buy at the time, but I did make a special trip to get his brew.

Boy, was it worth the effort. I have had mixed results with Tripels, so I'm pleasently surpised with this.

Looks good with a dark golden color. Brilliant oak flavor. A bit sweet for my tastes make a dry version and I be all over this. Carbination lingers behind a thick mouth feel. Very nice. High alcohol content leaves this a bit rough and not highly drinkable. But nice and very enjoyable.

I'll be sure to pick this marvel up again.

I cannot wait to try the Odyssey.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Perfectly hazy orange appearance, solid slab, of rocky white foam on top...excellent look for a tripel
Nose is full of citrus, fruits, and spice, like a wicked apricot whipping a naughty peach...and the whiskey whispers in...oak, vanilla, and sweet malt peeking over the fruit...quite unique! The more I sniff it, the more astounding it feels...honestly.
taste: big, brisk, full and bold, the alcoholic kick isn't shy at all, ...all the taste of a tripel, but kicked up a notch (how much do I owe Emeril?) ...abundant fruit, very sweet, but matched immediately with the slick character of whiskey, creating a complex union, not found in any brew yet encountered...extraordinary, really...every taste gets better...yummy, methinks...yummy McYummersons...
I am profoundly grateful to have had the oppurtunity to try this delicious creation, and thank UncleJimbo for providing....wish I could have a case in the cellar for future tastings.

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Photo of gimmehead
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours orange -peach with a small white head that coats the glass nicely. Smells of charcoal and bourbon, banana, spicy and peppery, some mild fruity esters and citric notes, and an excellent musty oak aroma. WOW, is this a complex brew. Tastes very spicy. Extremely evident bourbon flavor and alcohol kick. Very warming, almost overpowering. Bready notes with some citric tones, and some sugary sweetness hidden under the alcohol burn. Maybe some tart apple and sweet peaches. Like I said, very complex. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, with a little carbonation tickle. A great beer to sip and enjoy with a good book- don't be in a hurry with this one. I must have one for the cellar.

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Photo of merlin48
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

September, 2004, bottling, served at cellar temperature in a goblet. Pours a clear, clover honey body that is alive with carbonation. Thousands of tiny bubbles mingle about in the glass. Head is one centimeter tall and vanilla in color, and tightknit. Excellent retention and some delicate sheets of lace are left on the sides of the goblet. Very attractive.
Aroma begins with an unexpected note of white grapes, quickly followed by oaky vanilla and some vinous alcohol.
Mouthfeel is medium full bodied, with effervescent Belgianesque carbonation and an alcohol sting.
Taste begins fruity, with white grape juice and some tropical pineapple and mango. Bourbon notes are prominent. Oak wood and vanilla become prominent at room temperature, along with a strong note of warming alcohol. Tropical mango and sytraight bourbon make up the finish.
Nicely executed Tripel with a great deal of complexity. Allagash is probably my favorite American brewer of Belgian styles, and Curieux doesn't disappoint. The alcohol presence could have been better concealed, as this bottle has some overdone warming that is almost "hot" at times. I would prefer their ordinary Tripel to this one, but I'm looking forward to sampling a different batch of Curieux to compare with this September, 2004, bottling.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.81/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into the chalice crystal clear light golden with a white head which rose tall, fell slowly and lasted well to lace the glass.

The aroma was fruity with a strong bourbon alcohol presence and a strong oak barrel presence. The spicy higher alcohols phenols burn the nostrils as the aroma is perceived.

The flavor was light with a strong oak presence and a strong bourbon impression. The flavor was crisp and contained the impression of a triple, but the oak and bourbon overpowered the balance and the alcohol detracted.

The finish was dry with lasting oak and bourbon. The body was medium and well done, but the alcohol made the impression of the body much less than actual. The alcohol and the bourbon made this one tough to consume. If you want a bourbon alcoholic triple this is the beer for you.

750 ml corked and bailed bottle. Bottled on September 2004. $13.99 price tag at Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, VA...ouch. Definitely not worth the price of admission.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am sampling this 750 bottle in a snifter at room temp. The bottle opens with a loud pop! ALmost expect a geyser but not even a little foam. I pour the beer into the snifter and it exhibits a clear golden orange hue with a fluffy bleached white head of 1 cm resting on the surface. Aroma is light but caramel and some mild spicy hops are overpowered with by a sweet bourbon presence. First sip reveals a very fine yet slightly prickly carbonation and a slightly syrupy body. Flavor is rich and complex with a hint of dry wood and some tangy yeast hits mixing with the strong bourbon flavor. The bourbon notes leave a sweet smooth coating on my palate. I enjoy this beer, but I also really like bourbon too. If you are looking for more typical belgian notes, this may not be the beer for you. No hint of the 10% abv anywhere.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a two-finger cream head that goes slowly and leaves a good lace. Cloudy, light amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is alcohol, starts with a distinct alcohol/bourbon flavor some sweetness, finishes with a slight sourness. Nothing like the sweet Belgian triples but is very good. Bottled 10/2004, the ABV is now 10%. 750ml bottle for $14.00 from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.28 out of 5 with 3,804 ratings