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

899 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: 899 | Ratings: 3,718
Photo of Lukecook
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle(Dec 2009) poured into a tulip glass

A- Golden in color, big fizzy head that diminishes quickly.

S- Strong oak and mildly fruity. touch alchol.

T- Oak is strong, touch of vanilla and fruity undertones.

M- Medium body with good carbonation.

D- I think that this beer is everything it is ment to be, but for me I find the oak overbearing.

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Photo of gr0g
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2013 vintage poured into a snifter. Cloudy amber-gold in color with a two finger head. Leaves some nice but spotty lacing behind. Yeasty notes of the standard Allagash tripel are more subdued here. Faint notes of oak and vanilla are additional contributions from the barrels. Overall floral note with maybe some ripe pear.

The flavor follows the nose in being less fruity and yeasty with a corresponding increase in sweetness and woodiness. Dull aftertaste that kind of lingers. Some alcohol heat but no sting, which is impressive for an 11% beer. By no means a mediocre tripel, this still hits most of the right notes for the style, but the vibrancy of the fruit and yeast notes are missing.

Overall, the barrel aging doesn't really do any favors. Allagash makes an excellent tripel that isn't improved upon here.

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Photo of VitBAficionado
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

1-yr-old cellared bottle brought over by the old man. Pours a cloudy golden-rust with an off-white head so big and thick looking I thick it could support a kiwi dollar. Leaves behind lots of delicate lacing. Smells of vanilla, oak and alcohol. Didn't pick up any whiskey/bourbon notes in the aroma but it comes though very clearly in the taste... along with associated flavors such as vanilla and oak. Bit of honey sweetness and spicey yeast as well. Produces a nice warming effect in the aftertaste. Velvety smooth texture with just enough carbonation. Not as complex as I hoped or the easiest thing to drink but still highly enjoyable. Better than the first time I had it.

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Photo of RuckusDu
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - The foam on this is almost three fingers tall and a little off-white, slight yellow. Some good lacing. Body is a mostly clear wheat color.

S - A nice sweet to this, almost cotton candy like. A little vanilla and banana. Very creamy.

T - I can't figure this thing out. A truly unique experience. The bourbon is there and forward (along with some alcohol). I guess it fits what it is going for, a bourbon barrel aged tripel. Vanilla, slight banana, a little clove, and some pepper.

M - Alcohol burn, drying, great carbonation and body, and goes down easy. Even though there is that alcohol burn, it still drinks very easy.

O - Like I've said, this is weird. But it is so drinkable and pleasant, that I can't put it down.

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Photo of skomahon
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On cask at the Dirty Truth in Northampton--I love cask ale, and was excited to hear about an Allagash tripel on cask while I was there.

Pours a blonde color into a chalice-style glass. Very rich aroma, lots of citrus and other fruit flavors mixed with some hints of alcohol and also a distinct richness--I could sense complexity from the very first smell of the beer.

It may have been this pour, but the mouthfeel was surprising! I wonder if this would have been better bottled, or maybe it was the surprise of low carbonation from the cask with a distinct alcohol flavor that I more regularly associate with the powerful, viscous, mouthfeel of belgian tripels, but I would have liked a bit more richness here. The taste itself is rich and complex, not overpowering--and actually is probably more drinkable than many other of its style. However, after being so excited about the smell and it being on cask, I was a bit disappointed...definitely worth trying, and an ambitious project from Allagash.

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

Appearance - half finger head atop a clear yellow body. Not bad. Not sure why I thought there would be haze.

Aroma was of light apples and light citrusy hops. Very well balanced.

Taste started with a strong biscuit flavor, followed by some woodiness and tannins. The barrel aging was evident here, and it worked well.

Mouthfeel was somewhat smooth, a little thick and creamy, maybe a little much for a tripel but I liked it.

Drinkability is good. Too bad this one is so expensive. But it's evident a lot of work, care, and craftsmanship went into this one.

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Photo of WillCarrera
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750 ml bottle, bottled on August 24, 2012, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a clear golden color, topped with a thick, sticky white head, leaves lots of excellent lacing.

S- Interesting, sort of weird mix of sweet bourbon flavors with lots of caramel and vanilla, as well as spicy, fruity esters and candi sugar.

T- Lots of fruit, esters that lend clove and banana flavors, as well as some spice and yeast. Has some nice sweet caramel and vanilla bourbon flavors, which are very tasty but seem to clash with the fruit and esters.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth feel.

O- An interesting beer, the bourbon flavors are really nice but it doesn't work especially nicely with the Tripel flavors in my opinion. It's worth giving a shot, but I probably won't need to try this again anytime soon.

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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 Boppar
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in an over-sized wine glass.

A: very pretty. Darker than a normal tripel (yay for barrel-aging). Two fingers of delicate foamy lace and hea. Good retention.

S: Awesome. Broan sugar, vanilla, Belgian yeast, (very slight) alcohol spice, esters.

T: Opens up tasting a little bit like a tripel, but with the addition of vanilla and brown sugar. This beer was fairly weak from the mid-late palate through the finish, although it did have an awesom bourbon aftertaste.

M: Too thin! Not creamy or yeasty enough.

D: Yes, as a tripel should be.

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Photo of Floydster
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

5 ounce glass at O'Briens in San Diego for $2.50 on the barrel aged beer night during their 14th Anniversary week

Color was a yellow orange color with a golden tint when held up to the light, expected this one to be much darker, nice 1/2 inch soapy white head, good retention, and some very impressive lacing

Smell did not have that much bourbon in it which was a little shocking to me, instead there was a lot of sweet sugary aromas, several different kinds of sweet malt and fruity scents, also some oak and vanilla

Taste was a lot more calm than I expected it to be, the bourbon accents were very faint and provided no real intense boozy flavor, definitely traces of Belgian yeast, lots of sugar, some caramel and other sweet malt accents, lots of vanilla once the beer warmed, the oak started to shine through towards the end as well, could have used a faint amount of hoppiness to balance out more but it was still good, not a bad barrel aged beer overall

Body was pretty thick but needed some more carbonation to balance out its syrupy texture, taste lasted long quite a long time, creamy mouthfeel

Could have drank a pint or two of this, the ABV will catch up to you in a hurry though, I do not see anybody drinking too much of this, alcohol is hidden pretty well for a beer over ten percent nevertheless, pretty heavy on the stomach

Fairly new to Allagash brews and this one was the best of their beers I have tasted, I need to try Interlude next, very calm for a strong beer and quite unqiue, despite the very expensive price tag, around sixteen dollars for a 750 ml bottle, I recommend this bourbon barrel tripel to those who have not tasted it yet

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Photo of SIRIUS2
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 10oz glass at Tyler's Taproom in Apex, NC.

Fantastic 2-fingers or so of head sitting on top of a slightly hazy light golden yellow brew. Lots of active carbonation. Head retention was very good and lacing was strong almost all the way down the glass.

The aroma is the first hint of something different here - there is a nice hint of the bourbon-vanilla-oak thing, presumably from the barrel aging. It's complex with some other fruit aromas mingling in there as well.

Trips are a favorite of mine and I wasn't sure about messing with it, but I'm glad Allagash did because this was awesome. The notes of oak, vanilla, and the spice notes of the tripel are simply a great combination. There is definitely a warming from the alcohol content, especially on the finish.

Overall a great brew. I love the tripel style and I like Allagash's take on the style. Nice!

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3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft pour into a tulip.

A: Decent head and retention, white and bubbly eventually becoming a ring. The body is pale golden yellow in color and foggy. Minimal lacing.

S: Well mannered bourbon, vanilla and oak are the predominant aromas.

T: Sweet enough, nothing bitter and well concealed alcohol, especially given the ABV. I would have preferred that the Curieux be leaning more heavily towards the tripel end of the spectrum, as the bourbon component is less subtle than advertised.

M: Nearly perfect mouthfeel. Smooth, creamy texture with a prickly carbonation and a well endured finish with the oaky bourbon lingering on.

D: I realize that this is a very good beer. And I enjoyed it as such. Ultimately, it's drinkability comes up short for my personal preference considering I've come to accept that bourbon flavor in my beer is not a favorable flavor component. It is restrained though, and subtle enough that I think many will find this brew highly palatable.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750mL corked & caged bottle split. Poured into a tulip. Bottled January 2010.

(A)- Pours a clear golden orange color that produced a great white head that left a thin ring of lacing as it slowly dissipated.

(S)- Yeasty, with a good woody oak vanilla-ish bourbon note in front of a light biscuity-wheat & banana earthiness; very subtle though.

(T)- A light & spicy wheat & lemon behind a big, warm, & woody oak vanilla sweet middle. Finishes the same as the middle.

(M)- A good carbonation level. A tad high in the boozy warmth as it goes down with that oaky vanilla sweetness. Some of the traditional tripel nuances come through, but at this stage, the barrel aging is taking center stage. The richest tripel to have crossed my lips.

(D)- An interesting tripel. I have never seen a bourbon barrel aged one at that, so this one intrigued me. Definitely is a good one, but the barrel aging definitely overpowers most of what this has to offer; over time should smooth this out. I am glad I split this, cause I would have difficulty.

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Photo of Reaper16
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle (dated 2009) served into a Trappistes Rochefort chalice (Thanks, FernMaster!)

Pours a honeyed yellow, like a Halls mentho-lyptus cough drop. FernMaster got a sizable amount of head pouring this into a pint glass while I got a nice, tight cap of white foam into my wide-mouthed chalice. The head coats the glass when tipped; lacing is strong.

Lots of sweet stuff in the nose. Plenty of sweet malt and orange zest. Something generically sweet... like a candy necklace or something. There is some vinegar sourness that I think comes from the barrel aging. There isn't so much a woodsy smell from the oak barrels but what the aging has brought is depth to the sweet scents that tripels have.

The oak barrel aging process lends more obvious elements to the taste of the beer. There is a drying, kind of vinous aspect along with vanilla flavors that go well with the bready sweetness of the tripel body. Some floral, rose petal like taste to the finish is unique. To be honest this isn't as complex as I thought it was going to be.

I love the mouthfeel of Curieux. it is very thick; I've had imperial stouts with thinner mouthfeel than this beer. I don't know if such a thick feel is the best choice for this beer, but the surprise of it is novelty enough to excite me. Drinkability is ok for the style, I suppose. There is a smidge of fusel alcohol on the back end. I don't think I would want to tackle a whole 750mL by myself.

What a cool idea -- barrel aging a tripel. Does this beer make a successful argument for more tripels undergoing barrel aging? Nah, I don't think so. This beer is very good but ultimately not going to revolutionize the style. A valiant experiment.

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Photo of perrymarcus
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged bottle served in an oversized wineglass. bottled august 2010.

pours a cloudy, dull yellow with a finger and a half of white head. retention is so-so; most of it recedes somewhat quickly although a lasting cap remains. nice walls of lacing.

in the nose i get a lot of the traditional tripel aromas: belgian yeasts, spices, fruitiness (notably lemon and a bit... almost tropical), and some subtle malt characteristics. not picking up on much bourbon, though there is a touch of booze.

flavor follows the smell to some degree but then branches out into all kinds of directions. first of all, the alcohol is a much bigger player than the nose had me believe it would be; very boozy, barely hidden at all... the fruitness combines with the spices and opens up more mid-palate, and is quite tasty... interestingly, i get some bourbon out front and then again in the aftertaste, where its presence is most felt. unique approach. delcious? not sure i'd go that far. despite its heat it is good, maybe i'm just not completely in love with a boubon barrel-aged tripel.

really creamy mouthfeel with a medium body, appropriate carbonation. IMO not tremendously drinkable no matter how you look at it: too boozy to drink much of in a sitting, too cost-prohibitive to return to unless you're ga ga over it, which i'm not. nice, tasty beer, don't get me wrong, but i probably won't be returning considering the previously mentioned.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to McWhirk for cracking this pricey number with me. Poured into a goblet. The beer pours a hazy straw color with about a finger of frothy white head and sticky soapy lace and lots of visible carbonation. the aroma is kind very malty right up front with just a nice lingering bourbon aroma that's very nicely balanced. It finishes the aroma with just a slight bitter hop scent. The taste follows the aroma really well. Rich malts coat the pallet with a nice caramel/bourbon flavor and an oak finish. Slightly hot a boozy on the pallet but still pretty rockin'. The mouthfeel is great, light and good carbonation. Certainly a sipper though, especially at a big elven percent with a bit of heat at the end.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml poured into cervoise. December 2010 on the bottle

A - Pours a light, hazy orange with 1.5 fingers bubbly white head. I expected it to be a touch darker but still good looking.

S - Lots of vanilla and caramel. A good funkiness mixed in with the yeast. Some cloves, nutmeg and nuts.

T - The bourbon is there but not as strong as you'd think, which is fine. It doesn't overpower the strong woody flavour or the vanilla. The cloves, spices, peppers and some bananas and oranges are also supporting. Pretty good.

M - A bit thin and not exactly perfectly organized. Flavours could stand to be better meshed but still decent.

O - This one is fairly boozy and a bit hot. The soft approach of the flavour profile makes the booze easier to handle. The bourbon could have been a wee bit stronger but it was still tasty.

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Photo of busterthecat
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into 2 wine glasses. bottled 2/2011?

A- Pours a semi-transparent rosey peach hue. A big bright foamy head forms. Looks interesting and inviting.

S- Sweet floral and fruity notes. The fruitiness has a juiciness. Some spice and yeast present. Medium

T- Similar to smell. Sweet juicy fruit and floral tones upfront that give way to a blossoming of mellow oak, vanilla, and bourbon. The flavors then blend back into equality and gently linger.

M- A nice moist feel with a slight drying action. Light- medium body. Feels nice.

O- A very good beer. Interesting. They nailed the bourbon flavor without over powering the rest. Will be buying again.

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Photo of kirok1999
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, hazy light gold. Thin white head that splits to islands of thin foam. Smells of a serious Belgian, sweet honey, some vanilla, very slight bourbon notes. Tastes again of a good Belgian, sweet honey with some raisins, vanilla, slight bourbon comes through as it warms. This brew seriously needs to be served at cellar temp. I opened it way too cold and didn't get much but as it warmed it came alive! Completely different brew. The warmth lets the alcohol, bourbon, vanilla come through much better.

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Photo of Truh
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The strange, funky, and wild just kept coming with this one on 11/5/2004. 1 pt. 9.4 fl. oz. poured twice in a goblet.

Initial soft covering of carbonation, with some littering out into striated jettrails. Very understated nose of sifted stew, golden raisins, and a bit of ginger. Pale yellow hue with just a hint of haze, but on the whole fairly clear and opalescent. Some biting bourbon of flashing heat and woody oak up front, followed by a warming alcohol suppressant. Wonderful balance of all inputs, great fall/winter offering.

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Photo of AlexFields
3.94/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to N8DAGR8 for sending me this as an extra.

Aroma is unique, lots of wood, mild bourbon, dominated by malt character, something 'old' smelling that is hard to place, like the malt profile of an old ale maybe? I don't really get the pear/apple/yeast aromas that are typical of the style and that other reviews mention.

Taste is pretty similar but a little better. Lots of wood/bourbon character from the barrel, but it's a pretty unique barrel character, very different from the way bourbon barrels usually interact with stouts for example, much more subtle. Again, an unusual and complex malt character that reminds me in some ways of an old ale.

A very good and unique beer. This pour was somewhat different from how I remembered the beer, would like to revisit this review after I try it again.


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Photo of ccrida
3.94/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottling dated May 2007, poured into my Koningshoeven goblet, Curieux ('curious') is a hazy gold with a thin a thin white head that leaves modest, sticky lace.

Aroma is very heavy on the vanilla and bourbon aspects of the oak, with much less of the fruity, spicy Belgian yeast of a tripel. While I enjoy the smell, it is my affinity for bourbon, not tripels, that is piqued.

Taste, while plenty of bourbon, is better integrated with the base tripel then the draught I was pouring at a beer festival this summer (and had plenty of samples of). Still, even with a few more months age, this tastes more to me like a tripel with a shot of bourbon in it then anything else. And that's not all bad, particularly since I love tripels and bourbon is pretty much the only booze I'll drink. Still, it's a bit heavy-handed, and I think they'll need to count on time to afford them the experience to tweak the formula more appropriately. The fusels are just too strong, in spite of the effect of the bourbon smell/taste. This would probably be much better at 9% then 11%. I do, however, appreciate the 'woodiness', a bit like the cedar 'taste' of a humidor, as well as the tinge of honey.

In spite of the thin head and viscosity of the booze, the mouthfeel is ceramy, with a medium body.

Drinkability is above average, but this is a very robust and boozy tripel that begets respect. But there's not denying it's spite of the fact that every time I've had this, I've been less then impressed, taking my time with the whole bottle has lead me to really want to milk those last few ml...

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Photo of barnzy78
3.94/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Bavarian Lodge - Lisle, IL

I liked it, but I prefer a regular tripel for what it is. I don't think everything needs to be bourbon barrel aged these days.

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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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Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) from Allagash Brewing Company
4.21 out of 5 based on 3,718 ratings.
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