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: 3,717
Photo of nick76
3.82/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is tremendous with a whole lot of bourbon and a decent amount of malt, wood, and yeast. The appearance is deep gold and cloudy with an orange hue to it. The flavor is strong and sweet and very much like the aroma. The palate is smooth with an alcohol finish. Overall it's well made but strong and not a session beer (is more like liquor).

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Photo of Douglas14
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a glorious, rich golden color with one of the most impressive heads that I have ever seen on an American Tripel. I say American because it does not have that traditional rocky head that Belgains do. But because it is Allagash I'm certain they want this head the way it is. The smell is heavily of sugar, oak, and bourbon. The taste is the same. The bourbon is very noticeable and very warming. I'm not a big fan of bourbon so I usually don't enjoy the bourbon-aged beers as much as others do, but the Curieux delivers the flavors in such a balanced way that I am enjoying this bourbon-aged beer very much. Pretty damn good shit.

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Photo of nickss
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy yellow-orange. Bright white foam pops up, but almost instantly subsides. I attribute this as much to a poorly cleaned glass as anything... I have shamed myself.

Bright, fruity esters... very sweet to the nose, with an underlying bourbon bouquet. A little spicier as it warms... nice.

Big oak on the front end... delicious! Some bourbon and phenolic qualities take shape slowly. The fruitiness so common to tripels comes quietly at the end, almost completely overwhelmed by the other flavors. I could see how this would be unbalanced to some, but I find it simply fantastic.

A little crisp, but all in all pretty close to perfect.

Alas, this is the only section where I must punish this brew. While it is certainly drinkable as far as being a great beer with a very nice taste... the heat of the alcohol is very much there (no surprise given the abv). Still, not terrible, just not a session beer by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, this is one to sip slowly and enjoy. Yet another fantastic brew from the Allagash specialty series. Well done.

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

Enjoyed a couple of these on tap with abfraser last night at City Beer Store. This is one of my favorite all around beers. There's a lot going on with the flavor of this one - sweet, vanilla, oak, lots of alcohol, but at the same time not so overwhelming that you cant' gulp it down. Mouthfeel is kind of creamy, something I wasn't expecting from a lighter looking beer. If this were cheaper I'd be drinking it quite often.

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Photo of abfraser
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy golden color with a nice fat white head.

S: Citrus fruit, spice and something nice. A little sharpness from some sour. Some oaky notes but nothing too strong

T/M: Damn tasty. Spicy, orange, cloves, a little banana. The bourbon barrel flavor profile is faint but noticeable. Medium-bodied, great carbonation balance. Can't believe this thing is 11% it's so smooth

D: I could drink this stuff all night. And I'd gladly hate myself in the morning for it.

Another Allagash gem. I think they consistently make some of the best beers out there.

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Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

10% version. Their regular ale,aged for a while in Bourbon casks. The result is smooth but it is corn and us Canucks are not as awesome fans on this taste. Some decent whitish head. Bourbon aroma and it is strong. Interesting enhancement for the style.
21 months later, on draft at Prime 16 and it was tremendous. Bourbon sourness in aroma, in taste. Grapefruit colour, lots of lace. Dramatic improvement in rating, so moving it over to the draft side.
Bottle at brewer. Bourbon aroma. White wine, champagne and funky farmhouse taste.

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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 Onslow
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

time for a party, a fresh bottle of barrel aged trippel, bought at the downtown specs ... . bottled on June 8th 2008 ... pours a gold colour, has a ring of small bubbles, average lacing ... is somewhat mead like i tell ya what ... is a tasty beverage, thank you..

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Beer Run, Charlottesville, VA. Served in a 10 oz. snifter.

Appearance: A hazy, dusty orange-yellow bodied brew with fine, pinpoint carbonation, a foamy, slightly off-white head, and delicate and avant-garde lacing.

Aroma: Oak, vanilla, lemon zest (and grass) and - to a lesser extent - orange notes, some traditional Belgian yeasty notes (cloves, mild faint banana), and some faint, sweet, slightly boozy bourbon. Pretty fantastic.

Taste: All of the above plus a little more. Copy/paste, and add a slightly fuller and more robust fruit profile, grassy hop bitterness and spiciness, and a very well-rounded, tasty bourbon quality. Absolutely outstanding.

Mouthfeel: Subdued, even, fluffy, delicate, with mild, light, sprizty carbonation and a light prickly quality.

Drinkability: I'm going to echo a lot of other reviewers here and say that I'm really impressed that the bourbon notes here worked so well with a delicate Belgian style. There was a lot that could have gone wrong here, but everything seems to meld well, smell good, and taste better, without anything overpowering anything else. Granted, 11% abv is sorta crazy high for a tripel, but who cares? This is a damn good beer. Kudos to Allagash for a brew well done. Recommended.

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Photo of jwc215
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Wasatch for this one!

Bottled in May 2007, poured into a wide-mouth glass:

Pours hazy golden with a white head that becomes a lasting wide patch that leaves lacing.

The smell is of sweet grain with some sour, vanilla, cinnamon, bourbon, some banana - quite complex.

The taste is of sweet grain with some sour and citrus peel (lemon/orange) and a hint of banana. THe bourbon and oak play in nicely to give it vanilla and cinnamon notes that are quite strong but not overly masking. It has a nice, dry finish.

The body is light-to-medium with effervescent carbonation.

Smmoth as anything. Very drinkable for a (well-hidden in sharpness) 11%'er! If you like bourbon-barrel aged beers, this one should certainly be on your list of beers to try!

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shout out to jgarci13 (the newest wiseman) for purchasing this one! UPDATE (10-12-2009): Jorge and I sampled this again tonight. Commentary shown below.

Appearance: Cloudy orange-gold with rich, tight, white head. Amazing head retention, and full web-like lacing all the way down.

Smell: Unripened banana, apricot, brown sugar, maybe some citrus, sour Belgian yeast, and a good dosage of bourbon. Alcohol is very apparent and warms the nostrils. UPDATE (10-12-2009): Alcohol is very apparent still, but it comes in the form of fruity esters; the bourbon character has become lost. Creamy banana and oak are also quite strong, and the yeast picks up strength as it warms.

Taste: Fruit flavors not as strong as expected. Orange zest for sure! A little bit apricot (especially in the aftertaste), and some banana, along with bready yeast, and a very smooth molasses-bourbon finish. Subtle complexity and creamy deliciousness. UPDATE (10-12-2009): Citrus flavors are nearly muted. Bread, bourbon, peach, apricot, and sour malt make up the flavor profile this time around. We gave it a 4.5 the first time around, but we each agreed that a 4.0 is more suiting this time.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy, with a nice amount of mouth-numbing. Moderate carbonation, and a great warming sensation as well. UPDATE (10-12-2009): Still awesomely creamy. Damn, that's nice! Great mouth-coating with a flavorful, dry finish. Money.

Drinkability: For 11% ABV, this is remarkably smooth. Flavor is subtle, yet sophisticated. A very classy drink (both in taste and price). UPDATE (10-12-2009): In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, palabra.

Wiseman Nick: A (4.25)
Wiseman Jorge: A (4.3)

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

(Served in a snifter)
bottled June 08
case bottled 524
A- This beer has an apricot colored body with a slight haze. There is a sea of micro bubbles gliding to the surface where a thick sticky mousse head last for a bit.

S- The clean smell of fresh rain and marshmallow fluff give way to an herbal green hop aroma.

T- This beer has light cheese notes with a white bourbon and oaky flavor to follow. There is an apple note and a bit of a rummy quality to it. The dry taste of circus peanuts has a note of cloves and a white wine hint which finishes with a green herbal flavor with a slight tartness.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a creamy texture and a soft alcohol heat that increases as the beer warms.

D- This beer had a pretty light malt flavor and a light barrel flavor with not much depth but a hint of complexity. It was just too subtle to be interesting.

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Photo of 1759Girl
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

WOW. This one packs a punch.

Appearance> Golden yellow, lacy, little to no head, v. lively

Smell> Yeasty, very very very alcoholic, reminds me of drinking too much whiskey.. or what I hear about drinking too much whiskey :-p

Taste> The taste of the bourbon is actually so over powering, that it ruins the balance, unless you love bourbon, I guess. Some taste of bananas I found quite lovely.

Mouf> Pretty nice, actually.

Drinkability> Yeah, not bad once I got over myself and stopped saying it tasted too much like bourbon.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.43/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Max's today. Served in a goblet. Listed at 12%

A: Light yellow with great clarity. Thin white head that slowly recedes leaving some lace.

S: Spicy as hell with a lot of pepper and clove. Bourbon is hardly detectable but is present in the back

T: Starts off rather spicy and herbal with a lot of pepper and rosemary-like flavors. Bourbon comes through mildly on the dry finish, along with alcohol. Alcohol is a lot more noticeable as this warms up

M: Light with pleasant carbonation but the spiciness and the alcohol heat take away from this beer.

D: Glad i got to try this - wasn't in a hurry to drop $12+ for this one and glad i didn't

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Photo of Proteus93
4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A snifter of slightly hazy golden - close to the colour of apple juice, with a modest, though slightly short-lived head of white foam.

S: Spiciness and plenty of yeasty esters offering something of a tropical fruit aroma. Some subtle aromas of the bourbon barrel that adds a nice touch.

T + M: Fruit flavours - pineapple, some pear and apple. A note of vanilla is detected. The aging has added a nice complementary flavour - nothing overpowering. A note of vanilla is detected. Spices and a little heat of alcohol that warms gently as it goes down. Finishes smooth, with a bit of slickness to the body.

D: Quite a nicely done tripel... hats off to Allagash on this offering. They've maintained the gentle complexities of the tripel style and turned it up a notch without going overboard. A big one to sip at for some time. Very nice.

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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 bluemoonswoon
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A: Pours a rich and clear dark red and brown mixed together amber and topped with a tightly packed and tightly bubbled one and a half inch head. The head bubbles down in about five minutes or so and rests into a nice thin cap that leaves some streaks of lacing, but not much to write home about.

S: Light and fresh lemony zestiness mixed with a mild vanilla and husky gaininess.

T/MF: Very interesting to say the least. The first thing I notice is the finish as the first few sips are rather standard tripel wise. The mildly hot bourbon finish is something that I think would not work in a beer like this, but everthing is presented with perfect attention to detail. The bourbon is kept in check until the finish while the rest of the time the beer takes on the traditional tripel character. Lemon zest, pear, and dusty yeast mix wonderfully together with a solid oak and vanilla combination that is all tied together in the end with a strong bourbon finish. Mouthfeel is at first rather prickly but smooths out a great deal on subsequent sips and a bit too much so for my personal taste.

D: All in all not a bad beer, just about the most unique tripel I've ever come across, and the bourbon and oak barrels work in perfect haromony, but sometimes I felt as though I was drinking a rather one dimensional beer.

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Photo of Night
4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

February 2007 bottling. Cases bottled: 508. Pours hazy honey-gold with copper and blonde tones with flecks of crimson. Large, fluffy, somewhat bubbly off-white head. Partial to near-full rings of lightly bubbly lace. Aroma is very warming and yeasty with rich notes of grape, figs, raisins, other dark fruits, candied nuts, and honey. Mouthfeel is silky with a gentle but assertive tingle. Medium body. Flavor hits immediately with strong pineapple and coconut tones followed by a bitter bourbon spike and a wash of sweet and mild buttery caramel and sourdough maltiness. Mild underpinnings of yeast balance the strong fruit flavors. Finish is sharp and sour with a touch of woodiness. Lingering aftertaste is dry, yeasty, and very warm.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottling: June 2008
Cases Bottled: 524
11% Alcohol By Vol.


Soft and malty, the nose is subtle. Playful hops - bright, floral - and yeast - fruity and a little spicy. Slight caramelized sugar to the malt, and a hint of alcohol. Very fruity, but still quite subdued.

Pours a buttery apricot color / deep yellow to mild orange, highly translucent - no detectable haze, moderate creamy, creamy head with moderate retention.

First sip rolls in the tartness, for a moment, then generous yeasty fruitiness, dry hop-tannin-like bitterness, and sticky sweetness on a slow viscous body. Zesty spiciness is all over the place - white pepper to orient spice to exotic fruit. Pear with sharp cheese and honey. More semi-hard cheese than bleu, but it does poke around Gorgonzola or something. Grassy hops are dry and leafy with herbal arguments. Honey flavor intensifies reminding me of honey when it begins crystallizing and is raw, concentrated, and gritty. Caramel-like aftertaste slowly fades from sweet to dry as the tannins and chalky yeasty bits linger. The thick, sweet, and alcoholic body suggest whiskey and I'd like to say I taste that Bourbon or oaky influence, but I'm not sure. Flavor profile as of Glass One is still delicately understated. I'm surprised the high alcohol content doesn't impart more sensation than the seductive <English-cockney> "c'mon, 'ave another sip love" </English-cockney> whisper. This is a carefully brewed beer.

As it warms, I'm seeing more soft cheese (like Brie) in both flavor and overall oral sensation - the juxtaposition of quaint off-flavors, supple nuttiness, and sharpness/tartness/sourness. Wilder fruit, bolder funk, and more alcohol. This is euphoric. After such a tame flavor & mouthfeel for over the half the bottle, I'm amazed how Curieux just went off like a firecracker. Vanilla now, not just vanilla... oak! Finally the oak I'd hoped for makes a statement. It just needed to warm up a bit.

No yeast in the bottle.

With head creaminess like a nitro carbonation on top of the thick and saucy body, there are few better feelings than the mouthfeel of this beer. This is truly phenomenal.

Paired with Swiss Emmenthaler & Finnish Rye it is bolder, tarter, and more fruity/floral.

What a wonderful, wondrous beer. At first it was kind of boring, then it sparked up and became one of the better beers I've had. I'm glad, considering the price. But seriously, it is very good and if anything I wish it came in a bigger bottle.

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Photo of slayer3604
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Viscious white head two fingers embracing a fizzy yellow beer. Great lacing and there apears to be head on head on head.

S- vanilla, coriander, orange peel, wood, citrus!!!

T- fresh banana peel, tart pear, sour apple (NOT TOO MUCH!!! JUST SOMETHING I FRIGGIN NOTICED! GOSH!), strong dry finish that warms your guts!

M- light, but fluffy, like a bunch of cotton thats soaked in cider!

D- This beer is bad ass and im going to drink some more now.

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Photo of mbenthall
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Murky pale yellow, small head that faded quickly into a lace.

Smell: Fruity with subtle notes of vanilla and alcohol.

Taste: lightly fruity balanced by a subtle vanilla and sweet malt, rounded out nicely with the subtle bitterness and spice.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with low medium body, finishing dry.

Drinkability: This was a great beer, I enjoyed the barrel aging and definately would pick up again.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle into my unfortunately-now-defunct Ommegang chalice (klutz). Lucky I have a spare...anyway, let's go to the videotape...

Body color is split down the middle between Scotch and bourbon, with additional slight orange zest-ish tones. 1st pour has a very flat head with a yeasty top - from the pop of the cork would have expected a little more head, as there is definitely some carbonation there.

I can smell the bourbon oak without trying - this gives it a nice warm feeling, although it's somewhat overpowering at first, 'cause rest is slightly obscured. Orange zest, yeast and apples are present in addition to the bourbon burn.

Wow - thick, soothing coating of bourbon, malt, yeast, sugar...maybe some white grapes and a little bit of piney hops. Carbonation makes it tingle. Needs warmth at first glance but very good. Even a slight sour tinge with a little horse blanket in there (?). Even warmth doesn't mellow out the bourbon - this one may need to age a bit more.

The mouth on this is good but not as herty as expected - it's a little clammy and disjointed at first. Again, needs warmth or even more likely age. Mouthfeel splits between a good bourbon and a mild Trippel or even a Belgian Strong Pale Ale feel. Definitely burning alcohol in there.

This isn't hard to drink but the flavor profile is a little too mild for me and heartily obscured by the oak/bourbon. This probably needs some time. Good but I expected more from this.

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Photo of Goliath
4.37/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

May 2007 bottling

Pours a hazy pale orange color with a very thin layer of white head sitting on top. Poor retention and no lacing.

Aroma is really nice. Smells really fruity, with banana and pineapple. The bourbon I think enhances that. Just really pretty.

Taste is pretty damn good. Nice fruity notes, pineapple dominates, but seemingly a touch of banana and almost coconut. Strong hints of bourbon enhance the flavor and burn on the way down. Really just great.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, fairly thick, and slightly syrupy. There's a nice carbonation tingle to it as well. The kicker is the alcohol warmth which is apparent in both taste and mouthfeel and lingers all the way down.

Drinkability is moderate. Really great flavors and feel making for a great drinking experience. However, at 11% you really feel almost every bit of it. A sipper for sure, and an ass kicker no doubt.

Side note: I'm like 2/3 into the bottle and just loving it. I'm over 2 hours into this beer and have a ridiculous buzz going! I was not expecting this, definitely take even more time with this beer!

Just finished my final sip. Just wanted to say that overall, this beeer is just phenomenal.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a bourbon barrel aged tripel - big, big beer. Sampled on tap two years old at the fabulous Am Flat in downtown B-town. Nice eggshell white head with a yellowing edge at the meniscus of my glass. Nice retention and irregular yet persistent lacing that banded throughout the sample. Aromas of dried cherries and raisins. Clear and rich true-gold color with some orange highlights. The flavors are deceptive (where is that 11% ALC? Oh crap... there it is...) Tropical fruits (sweetness), malty breads, bourbon depth and alcohol heat (esters) especially as it warms up. Good mouthfeel, nicely balanced, smooth and surprising. Impressive aged and will likely get better as it does so. Noted and admired.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 received as an extra .. who includes a Curieux as an EXTRA?! DLucky does and deserves massive props in a fantastic trade. Been sipping on it for a while, this is my 3rd glass poured into my New Belgium snifter...

2 finger head slightly hazy apricot looking brew.. great lacing and head retention.. looks like meringue.

Fruity aroma.. mango and passionfruit .. some pepper but maybe the only "bourbon" I am getting is a little bit of wood and possibly some vanilla bean.

Flavor is classic triple and probably world class triple.. papaya and Meyer lemon (light) are outweighed significantly by green apple.. thick pale malts and a spiciness that is more than noticeable.. white pepper and cardamom notes.. fairly thick body is not a detriment.. good carbonation and overall a better complexity than my palate can describe.. that said, I am getting damn near no bourbon or wood and this brew is pretty much room temperature right now... it is still a righteous triple.

Huge thanks to Dan for the proper hookup!


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Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) from Allagash Brewing Company
4.21 out of 5 based on 3,717 ratings.
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