Curieux | Allagash Brewing Company

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3,862 Ratings

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: Belgian 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: 3,862 |  Reviews: 928
Photo of blackie
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

July 2005 bottling

appearance: The pour off of the sediment gives a bone white head that steadily falls back into the glass, leaving not much more than a ring behind. The beer is a crystal clear, bright golden in color.

smell: Smells delicious. Moderately sweet aromas of pale malts bring notes of apples and similar light fruits with a tropical touch. A touch of alcohol fume and a light, bourbon soaked wood aroma...the ethanol presence acting as an asset in this instance. Light to moderate aged European hop aroma.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is between medium and high, and the body on the light side of the medium range. Very delicate mouthfeel.

taste: Delicate pale malt flavors give a light sweetness on the tongue. Very subtle woody bourbon note. A light, aged Belgian hop flavor and bitterness. The alcohol is very well hidden, only noticeable for a second in the aftertaste. I understand that one needs to be conservative when adding flavors to a tripel, but I would have liked just a touch more bourbon presence. Maybe the subtlety is lost on me, but I'd like a little more depth in general.

drinkability: Pretty easy to drink, but the intoxicating effect and subtle character of the flavors make it a definate sipper.

750 mL bottle purchased from Whole Foods about a year ago.

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Photo of roybentley
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle split with a friend.

Poured a great honey color. Minimal head.

Nose is fruity oaky vanilla. Very pleasant. Very little alcohol.

Tastes a touch fruity at first, quickly fades to oak and vanilla. Becomes more spicey as it warms.

Very drinkable, especially considering the 11% abv.

(My first review, don't kill me because it sucks :P )

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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 scruffwhor
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared a 750ml corked and capped bottle with a good friend over great conversation. The way a good beer should be experienced.

Bottled on June 2006, number of cases bottled 398, and a.b.v. 11%. So sayeth the bottle.

Appearance- One of the deepest banana skin colors I've ever seen in a triple. Looked like it was aged in bourbon barrels for quite some time. Not a lot of teh bubbling visible because of the hazy, deep yellow. No lacing wither. A little lack-luster than what I expected.

Smell- The first five sips were like mild apple juice. Then the oak started to take some effect.

Taste- Starts with hints of spicey apples. Then the oak hit in the middle along with a little alcoholic burn. A spicey, ainse with whiskey finish ends the experience.

Mouthfeel- A little bubbly, but sweet with some complex oakeyness with hinst of Evan Williams.

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Photo of gosurfobx
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light straw color with a small head. The smell is sweet and accented by the smell of bourbon. The taste is like a tripel but without the hop bitterness which is replaced by the sweet taste of bourbon. The mouth is light with a low level of carbination. A drinkable yet very different tasting beer.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.65/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On tap at Roman's in Milwaukee.

Dusty orange gold body with spritzer carbonation and a healthy white cloud atop.

Huge vanilla/oak aroma is surprisingly balanced out by a luscious tropical fruit medley of lime, apricot, papaya, and an abundance of peach skin.

Smooth and warming feel with a bit of an alcohol bite/burn. Tropical fruit flavors are overwhelmed by the boozey/oaky/vanilla character. I find the barrel aging to be a detraction from an already solid, albeit delicate beer. Some spice and hop bitterness manages to shine through the booze.

Drinkability is destroyed by the barrel aging.

Not my cup of tea at all, but I’m not that in to barrel aging of most beers.

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

It pours a crystal clear and fairly carbonated classic ingot gold. A finger of white head drops away promptly to vestigial froth. Thin ropes of lacing string the inside of the glass.

The aroma displays a poignantly sweet grain backbone, with candy sugar and a light woody earthiness. A draft of alcohol drifts softly but notably.

Upon tasting, malted grain sweetness lays clear claim, driving forth an almost cloying rock candy presence, concentrated more by a bourbon oak directive. A creamy dollop of vanilla bends to a whiskey-esque vent of alcohol. A mellow spiciness, savory and peppered, turns to a rounded bitterness. A brief return of grain sweetness is dried by a lingering finish of muted bitterness. It has an interesting profile buoyed by a gentlemanly character.

Medium bodied, the cloying nature coats like syrup, and the result is a very pleasant feel.

The word that first springs to mind is interesting, and I'd follow that with blended, crafted, unique, and quite good. The bourbon presence is surprisingly strong, but it meshes almost seamlessly with everything else. The ABV is muscular and has a spirit quality, but it's all part of the drinkable show. Put it like this- I'd like to know which bourbon aged in this barrel first, because it goes damned well with this beer.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

07/18/06- Received in a trade with Jetsbeer.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, bottled in mid 2005. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Dark peach colored elixer. Maybe even on the copper side. Pours with a 1/2 inch head which fades pretty quickly, but leaves behind nice streaks of lacing.

Smell- Tons of oak barrel in the nose. A bit of bourbon fusel alcohol scents as well. Some light spices with a good dose of vanilla. Different and a treat to the nose.

Taste- Vanilla is the first thing to hit my taste buds. A wonderful sweet tongue coating. The oak flavors and absolutely huge in the beer. Very wine like...maybe on the chardonnaly side as my drinking partner Spinlock had mentioned. Bourbon notes come through more as the beer warms. Corriander, powdered sugar and maybe a few alcohol soaked fruits finish it out. As Rachael Ray would say....Yummo!

Mouthfeel- Smooth, silky and a tad dry. Lower on the carbonation level.

Drinkability- I had the abv listed as 9.5 on my excel sheet and thought that it didn't even feel that high...then I looked at the bottle and saw it's actually 11%! Super easy drinking beer that is flavorful and a pleasure to drink. Another big winner from Allagash. Thanks much Steven!

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really enjoyed this tremendous beer. Very bold and vibrant from the color to the finish. Begins with a hazy hefeweizen hue, but with a firm belgian strong pale ale aroma. Twangy Belgian yeast with good pilsner malts and candied, along with carying mild woodsy rounded aromas as well. Flavors show more soft Belgian character with Wit-like flavors and textures before the imense alcohols kick in The fruity pears, apricots, pineapples, and berries rest on a cookie dough maltiness. The oak rounds out the rough edges nicely, but the bourbon flavors never rise. They may provide a light vanilla and coconut flavor, but they are slight. The cottony feel is contrasted by thinning alcohols. The heat displays nutral qualities, not phenolic or fusal, plain and simply warm. Finishes powdery and dry with a refreshing citrus lingering. Very good brew; I highly recommend, but not for the bourbon character.

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Photo of kmo1030
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

hazy orangey gold with thin large bubbled head.
fruity nose with notes of orange rind, coconut, pineapple and banana. the barrel aging is apparent with vanilla oak aromas. it's pretty yeasty smelling too with some bread that kind of sneaks in at the end.
very orangey taste sort of like grand marnier with mild whiskey. the alcohol is a little hot, and the back end is a little sweet. if it weren't for those two things this would easily have a 4.5 for taste. fortunately some age will probably fix both those things.
medium body with moderate carbonation.
fairly good drinkability, but especially good. not to take away from this beer thogh it is very good, and very unique.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared this bottle with my dad this afternoon. Bottled September 2004. After struggling with the cork a bit it popped out nicely. The beer poured a wonderful bright golden color with a small bubbly white head. A touch cloudy with lots of active carbonation. Aromas of bountiful tropical fruit with a fresh yeastiness. Candy sweet scents meld into a warm bourbon undertone. Hints of vanilla and wood work their way into the simply lovely aroma. Each inhalation beckons me to take a sip.

Curieux brings a smooth, slightly creamy maltiness accented by a mix of tropical fruit flavors, coconut and vanilla. Midway through I get a nice yeastiness with a warming stream of bourbon. Finishes beautifully, a bit dry with a touch of lingering wood. An awesome barrel aged tripel, easily the best I've ever sampled. Delicately balanced with only a hint of alcohol and the perfect marriage of bourbon flavors from the barrel.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied. Goes down so easily and is actually quite refreshing. This is almost deceptively drinkable, at over 9% abv I could be in trouble before I know it with this one. A treat to drink, I'm sad this is my only bottle. Hopefully I will come across this beer again. Cheers to Allagash for creating a Jim Beam barrel aged work of art.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer sat in my private reserves for over a year. The bottle said that it was bottled in Dec'04. I opened this beer on my birthday...deciding that this was as good of a time as any to enjoy such a special beer.

Appearance: Initially pours pretty cloudy with a solid 1/4" head of small tight bubbles. The beer is an orangish golden color with lots of bubbles rising to keep the head maintaining at 1/8".

Aroma: The beer has a very dry grainy aroma with a slight lemon. The yeast adds a bready aroma, so the overall experience is like lemon-bread. This is really nice, but there is a noticeable corky or woody thing going on. I know that this is the aging, but it seems rather raw.

Taste: The beer itself is really clean and most fruity. It is a dry beer that gives the impression that it is well attenuated, even though it finishes with some residual sweetness. The malt rules the whole show and stays in charge the entire time. As the beer warms a bit, there is a noticeable spiciness coming out from the alcohol.

Opinion: I am really enjoying this beer, and wish I had another one already. The beer is dangerously drinkable, and you can't even pick up on the fact that it is pushing 10% alcohol. The wood aging definitely changes this beer. I am assuming that this is their regular triple, so the barrel makes the characteristics of the triple a lot more muted. Their original triple was really fresh and fruity with a really clean and sweet bite in the finish. This beer is much more complex and refined. It assaults the palate with respect.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

It is interesting to note how bourbon-aging affects different beers. You can't taste straight bourbon off of this one, but it does seem to give it a funkiness. Maybe a vanilla flavor? A funk is there, but not the same kind of funk as brett would give. But in the same family.

A very nice peach, but lacing and head are tremendous. Mouthfeel has a lot to be desired.

Drinkable? For 9.5%, heck yes! It seems to be one-dimensional to me, but that dimension is oh so deep and worthy of respect and study. Yes, I said study.

Just a note: I got this when this first came out. Been in my basement since. Bottle says it was bottled on September 2004.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottling: February 2006 @ 11% abv.
Case Bottled 380; 750ml corked bottle.

Light peach in color with a chill haze. A lightly foamy, white head that settles to a pillowy sheet leaving a few trails of thin, broken lace.

Creamy, vanilla and coconut-scented candied sugar. Light citrus notes: pear, orange, apple with a spicy touch of corriander. Sharp hints of bourbon that balance this Tripel's sweet nose.

Candied sweetness that is not strong for the style; not artificial tasting in the least. Warming bourbon that compliments the sweet aspect. A creamy, soft coconut flavor is dominant in the flavor profile, but not overpowering. Lemon zest and apple peel follow a soft finish.

A light, medium bodied; soft, mellow, and creamy on the palate.

A very complex and intricate offering. Delicately balanced so that the bourbon flavor doesn't overpower the Tripel's natural flavors. Drinkability is tough, since the alcohol content does pack a punch. This one is best enjoyed when shared with someone who can appreciate the bourbon barrel aged brews.

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Photo of Dewey0603
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

When I saw this I had to buy it. This pours a darkish gold color with a nice white head. The smell is a alcohol,bourbon, and oak aged aroma. The smell is something special. The bourbon taste is alot stronger than I expected. I like this,but if you don't like bourbon don't try it. Like the smell, the taste has a full alcohol and whiskey flavor. The oak wood brings out a earthy and vanilla flavor that is really outstanding. The m/f is medium with a range of flavors that mix perfectly. This beer is one for the ages and if you can find it, buy it. I love this beer.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

December 04 bottling, served into a tall goblet glass. Pours our a slightly dense bright gold color, with a quickly-fading head. Fruity aroma (apple-like, with a dose of honey) and light caramel malt. Fruity initial taste, with sweet, candyish malt presence. Moderate bitterness, enough to balance out the malt. Strongly medicinal alcohol flavor at the finish, way too strong to me, lingering. Full-bodied, moderate carbonation.

For my tastes, the bourbon influence is way overdone. It is an interesting beer, but it's one I just don't care for.

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

I will admit to high expectations with this beer.

The appearance was like many a triple, with a pale head and a nice, golden color. The smell was of some fruit, oak, whiskey, and vanilla.

The taste was complex. There were notes of whiskey, and alcohol that was apparent. There was also vanilla and some fruit flavors like Allagash's excellent Triple. The delicate taste of the triple seemed to be a little subdued by the oak and whiskey flavors.

It was certainly an interesting beer, and worth a try. I prefer their Triple, though. My preferences in oak barrel aging appear to be towards aging impy stouts and barleywines.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jpm30 for this bottle. This stuff is awesome. The concept of a bourbon barrel aged tripel seemed very interesting to me, and it indeed works great. This is the 2004 release, and it lists the ABV as 11% as opposed to BA's 9.5%.

The beer pours to a hazy straw color with fairly little head, as to be expected from an 11% tripel that has been soaked in bourbon. Lacing is subsequently minimal.

The smell is great. A nice vanilla with a very smooth boozy aroma. Still some nice sweet grains shining through. The taste is just as great. They took an already good tripel and soaked it in bourbon laced oak barrels. Very good vanilla and bourbon flavor.

The body is uber creamy and thick with a bit of a sting from the bourbon at the finish. Very smooth. I like it alot, and I will definitely seek out another bottle in the future.

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Photo of Crosling
3.63/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Light orange color with a full, Belgianesque covering foam. Aroma is mostly bourbon, alcohol and a few woody elements (dry toasted oak, vanilla), but some Belgian elements remain (although I would suggest the wafting, rather than deeply inhaling the compounds), giving a lightly fruity, yeasty touch. Flavor is predominantly bourbon and booze, with a vanilla and cask wood flavor and an ungodly rich body, which does improve the beer. Some Belgianesque, triple elements remain, providing a slight hint of Belgian yeast and fruit, but it really is very unbalanced. I still find it pretty enjoyable, however.

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Photo of Gavage
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: bottle labelled July 2005. Pours a clear golden yellow color with a short surface foam head. Carbonation level seems low.

Smell: the nose picks up earthy and fruity tones.

Taste: nice maltiness, green apples, vanilla, hints of yeast, decent bitterness, a bit of alcohol, and a very faint hint of bourbon. Well balanced but a somewhat dry earthiness lingers throughout.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp and dry throughout. Malt, alcohol, and earth tones linger a while after swallowing. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: very easy drinking even though the alcohol is noticeable especially as it warms. I could enjoy more than one bottle, but it will be over a long evening. Must try this beer.

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Photo of Gusler
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottling: July 2005
The beer after it’s disemboguing from the 22-ounce cork and caged bottle sets in the glass a honeyed gold color, the head is meaningful in size, the texture creamy and the color a pleasant off white, after its depletion, the lace forms a fine coating upon the glass. Nose has a citrus like crispness, hints of alcohol, corn, and a vanilla like tone, quite a sniffer this one, start is somewhat sweet with a purposeful grain profile, the top is middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is sternly acidic, the hops bashed by the alcohol, quite dry, vinous, and a definite tummy warming noticed, a real “Hoot”, just got to love the brewers at Allagash, they certainly know how to put together one hell of a line of beers.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
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 msubulldog25
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My wife & I shared a bottle last night at Concordia Ale House, Portland, OR. One of just 6 bottles they had ($18 ea.), October 2005 edition. Stated "11% ABV" & "378 cases made" on the label. Served in a chalice.

Appearance: Warm golden/amber, slightly cloudy, very thin white head.

Smell: Rich & oaky, the strong bourbon smell really was notable.

Taste: Very complex and hard for us to discern all that was going on. Alcohol was present, also yeast & citrus, and a lingering hint sweetness which I likened to banana or papaya(?). I'm still "working on" my tasting palette - so it's hard to pick out the individual flavors when the senses get so overwhelmed!

Mouthfeel: Smooth and warm, wraps the tongue like a good bourbon.

Drinkability: Great for sipping and enjoying with dinner or after. We began our beer midway through dinner and found it really paired well with (believe it or not) a BLT - something about the peppery/smoky bacon. Saved most of it to go with desert, a warm caramel-ly bread pudding, which was delicious.

Highly recommended tripel - very happy we tried it.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - translucent yellow/orange pour, slightly clouded. An initially frothy head recedes to a thin cap and hefty collar. Spotty lacing, a great looking beer.

Aroma - yeast, oak, and bourbon dominate. Settles to a lightly sour oak smell.

Taste - sweet and yeasty to start. Developing oak and bourbon flavors come on beautifully. Smoothly delivered bourbon flavors take over. Finishes sweetly, warmly, and nothing like you'd expect an 11% beer to finish. I don't taste any hop influence and really don't mind.

Mouthfeel - smooth, just like a good bourbon. Right on the spot.

Drinkability - a great oak-aged beer that will give your temperance skills a challenge.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This id a wonderful beer. It pours a dark yellow, without too much of a head. There is some lacing, but not a lot. It has a spicy/fruity odor to it. The taste is complex: fruit, spice, and a darker backtaste. It's feels great in the mouth, not too carbonated. A really great beer to drink.

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Curieux from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.28 out of 5 with 3,862 ratings