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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 899 | Ratings: 3,717
Photo of brushtachio
4.79/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

shared a 750 ml bottle with a co-worker while having dinner at the publick house in the Boston area (Brookline) Poured golden with a temporary head. Well carbonated. The smell was intriguing- vanilla,wood, and bourbon mixed with the traditional spicy sweet aromas of a Belgian trippel. The taste delivered all of what was promised in the nose but in a layered complex way. First, the sweet malty taste. Then a strong bourbon wave that faded to vanilla and wood. Finally finished with the clove, banana and yeast flavors I would expect from a Belgian-style trippel. Really an exciting experience. My co worker doesnt stray from the Macros much, but he really enjoyed it as well. I am currently trying to hunt it down in my area.

 727 characters

Photo of Thiestru
4.64/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint-sized pub glass.

Appearance: Golden, with a frothy white head that receded quickly. No lacing.

Smell: Oak, vanilla, and, most importantly, whiskey! This is one of the most remarkable-smelling beers I've ever encountered.

Taste: Again, that distinctly vanilla-oaky taste of whiskey. I'm trying hard to look past this flavor (which I love), but it's so prominent that it's difficult to. It whelms the tongue immediately. Underneath this, there's something that's very 'Belgian', a certain unique sweetness from the yeast that only Belgian (-style) beers have. As a beer AND whiskey fan, I'm very impressed by this beer.

Mouthfeel: Nothing extraordinary, but that doesn't mean it's bad. It just isn't imposing one way or the other.

Drinkability: Have you ever wished you could have the flavor of a good whiskey without the alcohol content? Well, now you can! Of course, this is still 11% alcohol, so it's not weak. What it is, though, it damned excellent.

Do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle of this. The style may be Belgian, but its soul is somewhere in Appalachia.

 1,108 characters

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

750 ml bottle poured into a wine glass.

Appearance- Despite a careful pour, I got a slightly hazy golden yellow/orange; sort of apricot body. It had a small white head that dissipated fairly quickly leaving a sparse lacing on surface.

Smell - An interesting mix of fruitiness and sourness. A tad bready. Almost smells like a white wine with a hint of Brettanomyces.

Taste- Good, solid tripel. Lots of light, sweet maltiness with a nice, light balance of pepper mixed fruits and a hint of complex citrus. A hint of dried dark fruit and fig on the very tip of the tongue and at the very back. Not super-complex, but complex enough to keep it interesting.

Mouthfeel- light-medium body, a decent alcohol warming. Good level of carbonation and effervescence. It dances of the tongue nicely. Coats the mouth well and has an interesting puckering quality right in the middle.

Drinkability- This is a great beer. I'd love to just sip it after a light dinner with some friends on the porch.

 987 characters

Photo of Traquairlover
4.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into snifters.

A = Hazy golden yellow with light orange tint, small white head dissipates quickly leaving spotty lace on surface.

S = The oak comes through clearly but too strongly, smells a lot like a California Chardonnay, underneath the oak is a nice bouquet of wet flowers, white pepper, strong earthy scents.

T = Definite oak, but not overpowering, once past the oak, there are great flavors of pepper and other spices from the yeast, good light malt flavors as from a white wheat bread perfectly cooked, mixed fruits as well, dates, figs, mandarin orange. Very complex. Very balanced.

M = Medium-heavy body, great mouthcoating, alcohol burns a little too much too get a perfect score but otherwise very good.

D = This is a great beer. It would be a great drink as an aperitif or as an accompaniment to fish or possibly chicken.

 858 characters

Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Allagash Curieux
750mL brown bottle (caged & corked)

A: poured into a snifter. Curieux pours a very hazy yellowish orange with a nice white head on top. Good retention rate and very nice lacing.

S: nice sweet belgian tripel aroma. Spices, honey and some fall fruits. not hoppy at all. some hints of oak and some bourbon, but nothing over the top.

T: wonderful belgian tripel flavors, sweet cereal malts with a dash of honey and some fall fruits, like apples, plums, raisins, figs and dates. Some serious spices are in this as well, mostly clove and nutmeg. Now enter the bourbon barrel aging which leads to flavors of vanilla, oak, and some coconut and cherries.

M: a little thick, but expected from an 11% tripel. Full bodied, with a typical, high carbonation level. very smooth on the palate.

D: such a great beer....but 11% is a little too much. Plus, as much as I like tripels and oak aging, I don't like them together as much as I like tripels on their own, plus I like oak aging stouts and IPAs. Solid brew, but I think that it is a bottle to be shared.

 1,067 characters

Photo of Strix
3.82/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy peach, minimal head with good lacing.

A complex smell - alcohol, wood, pear, and pineapple.

Started to drink this too cold, and it had a fairly boozy finish. As it warms, the alcohol is slightly less present, but still packs a punch. Tastes of vanilla with notes of wood and light fruit. Also a buttery caramel taste to things. This is all right, but not earth shattering for me. Guess I'm in the minority.

Mouthfeel smooth and dense, yet slippery.

Not worth the high price for me personally - for $15, I was expecting to be blown away.

 547 characters

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

I think more than enough has been written about how well this beer goes down, and my initial tasting of this brew definitely confirmed that it does have all the exceptional characteristics previously touted in spades! It doesn't come on too strong, or taste overly acoholic. Pouring out one of these into a large glass is a stellar night cap following an exhausting day.

I believe you can cellar this particular tripel as well and age it even more as an added bonus.

 467 characters

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

On tap in Portland, Maine at the Great Lost Bear.

Appearance was brown with a one-finger head.

Smell was strong, fragant, almost like hard booze, but still pleasant.

The taste was spicy, rich, and powerful, almost like I was drinker a Makers Mark version of a belgian beer.

Mouthfeel was full and complex, interesting.

Drinkability is good, just be sure not to have more than a couple of these.

 399 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.82/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Dr. Dogbeer who sent this in my very first trade. The label has this one bottled in November 2007. So young.

Pours a cloudy orange with a definite head. Swirling the glass even a little makes it reappear almost instantly. Cool. Smells fantastic!

Tastes even better. The oak gives the bourbon a nice backing & the whole package is subtle & smooth. We're consuming our first bottle with fresh-caught fish & it makes a good meal leap into the magnificent range. The alchohol is definitely present but caught up in the rest of the ingredients & warms my tummy like a warm bottle of milk sucked through the nipple of a baby's bottle. Mmmm.

This is exactly what I was hoping for from an Allagash beer & hadn't quite found it in the few I'd tried. Approachable, subtle, complex, drinkable, tasty, with a smell that starts in my nose hairs & ends someplace in my spinal column. I've vowed to lay off trading for a bit but my wife wants another. OK!

This is a fantastic beer.

 981 characters

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

Out of a 750ml corked and caged bottle. Pours a hazy golden orange color with a nice off-white head that dissipated into a light ring. The aroma is of Belgian yeast phenols and candi sugar, followed by a strong scent of bourbon, vanilla. Some floral aromas as well. The taste is sweet from the candi sugar which is cut by the strong bourbon flavor. There is a nice honey malt backbone and a trace of grassy hops in the end. This brew sits very well on the tongue and tickles with the fizzy carbonation. Finishes sweet but not sticky or syrupy; very much like a bourbon. The alcohol is hidden very well, no burn for this 11%ABV. Will need to pick up an extra bottle to cellar.

I had this brew on cask at The Ginger Man this past winter. The aroma and taste was very strong on the oak and bourbon flavors, it was quite the experience. If you enjoy barrel-aged brews, try to find this one on cask.

 895 characters

Photo of azagthoth
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into my Chimay glass.

Appearance - A hazy golden straw in color with moderate head retention.

Smell - A puissant display of bourbon that is ever so ravishing as it overpowers hints of vanilla and tropical fruits.

Taste - Bourbon and wood first come to mind. The alcohol is much present at 11% ABV which compliments the vanilla & sweet fruit taste with a cordial spice in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Perhaps not as smooth as its competitors, but arguably spot on in the carbonation and quite smooth for how lightly it went down. The alcohol was also very existent.

Drinkability - Very easy to consume when you consider it's ABV, and most definitely an evening sipper. Well worth the $$$ for a single bottle of this stuff.

 745 characters

Photo of dhd1491
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Whoa. This is one of those brews that, the second it hit my tongue, it was a revelation. The only other brew to strike me that way recently was Chimay's Grande Reserve. Curieux was close to the near-religious experience that I had with the Chimay and a plate of St. Louis-style BBQ ribs.

Pours clear golden with one finger of off-white froth. Aroma is cloves and bourbon. Bourbon explodes on the palate. I imagine that some beer purists will not enjoy this brew since the power of the bourbon is such that it almost comes across as a "flavored beer" (which I usually detest). However, I found the flavor so unique and subtle, with oak and vanilla and a sweet, smoky aftertaste, that I have only kudos for this beer.

My only dissension would be that I probably would not want this brew as my everyday imbibe, simply because it is such a "curious" flavor.

 855 characters

Photo of amiles
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap... From notes a while back.

A: Beautifully carbonated, thin white head, straw colored body.

S: Aroma is fruity with hints of bourbon.

T: Definitely one of the better beers I've had in my life. There is something about a well made tripel... but this ones got bourbon notes. Excellent!

M: Again, carbonated to keep it interesting till the last sip.

D: Amazing, but dangerous.

One of my favs.

 404 characters

Photo of SLeffler27
4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here we have an opaque golden brew with constantly streaming bubbles feeding the 1" head of white foam.

Is it appropriate to thank God for beer? Sure it is. Bourbon wafts through the room, emanating from this Goliath of beers. Memories of afternoons with my grandfather race to fill my mind like it was just yesterday.

The bourbon flavor is more subtle and sublime than its aroma, as it competes with vanilla and butter.

Smooth as fine combed silk, light as angel food cake, warming alcohol, and decadent.

I'm not sharing this bottle with anyone, but will rush out and get another for friends. If only I were younger, I'd spend the entire day sipping away. Oh, what the hell, bring it on baby!

 697 characters

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

750 ml bottle, bottled on August 2006. Served at 45 degrees F.

Pours a clear, brilliant golden with yellow straw edges. Small, half inch of tight-bubbled off-white head. Some lacing, but not a lot. Nose of spiced cider, manuka honey, white pepper, ripe pears, Chardonnay oakiness, and mild bourbon. Surprisingly Chardonnay-esque.

Soft, lightly-toasted wheat malt and mild astringency up front. Pear cider tangy-ness and tropical fruit sweetness fill out the palate. Light alcohol and definite bourbon notes around the edges. Some honey sweetness mixes with peppery notes. Hints of vanilla and oak in the warming finish. Mild peppery, herbal hop bitterness is there as well. Lingering tropical fruit and oaky bourbon. Excellent. Full-bodied with a very nice creamy, mouth-coating feel. A very well conceived and executed beer. I love the way the light bourbon and oak mix with the sweet, peppery base. Delicious!

 914 characters

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

Tasting 3/29/08

This beer was very surprisingly good. I'm not sure why I had it in my mind that I wouldn't like it but that certainly wasn't the case. Very outstanding beer.

It pours a cloudy straw color with a thin white head. I got the bottom of the bottle because I like the yeast so that was the cause of the cloudiness. The first beers poured were much clearer. The aroma is filled with bourbon and citrus and is very pleasant. The flavor is nice, light, and very balanced with just a hint of bourbon and a good sweetness. This was a perfect mix of bourbon aging and tripel. Light to medium bodied and there is NO WAY to detect any of the 11% ABV. INCREDIBLY drinkable.

 676 characters

Photo of JDV
3.52/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a pale yellowish orange color. Cloudy with a very small quickly fading head. Smell is lemony, bright, and cedary. Pretty fresh aroma and taste is much the same with bright lemony notes and definite strong woody flavors from the barrell more so than the actual bourbon. Slightly creamy. A very unique beer, and I was pleasantly surprised by this one.

 355 characters

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.

 548 characters

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

I bought this bottle in early 2007 and I think it's time to open it.

Bottling: November 2006
Cases Bottled: 496

Big pop once I removed the cork.

Pours a pale to golden yellow with a thin crown of foam which quickly dissipates.

Aromas of bananas, green--not yet ripe--grapefruit, bread dough, spices, yeast, apricots and peaches. The vanilla from the oak and wood comes through very lightly in the background but works really well. A slight boozy aroma dances in the background as well. After I let the beer breathe for a few moments (still without taking a sip) some more fruits begin to present themselves. I'm now detecting green apple, ripe mango, and a touch of strawberry. All-in-all it has a wonderful bouquet of tropical fruits, bread and spices.

Tastes more of the same but really well balanced. Apricot, orange, grapefruit, nectarine and mango comes to mind and is quickly followed by bread and spices. A mix of fruits in the finish along with some alcohol warmth. Tastes very sweet with a honey flavor and cheerios. Apple skins appear in the aftertaste as well as grape juice.

Drinks very smooth, for 11% it is dangerously drinkable. Enough carbonation on the tongue to keep this one lively and effervescent.

 1,224 characters

Photo of LittleBreeze
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasting 3/29/08

Clear and somewhere between golden and yellow. This one is really attractive in a glass. I wish I the bottles to experiment with pairing. There is a nice grape/wine and spice aroma. The barrel age is an accent...part of the overall balance of the fruitiness of the beer instead of an alien presence.

This is easy drinking. It tastes good with an inviting sweetness and 11% ABV hiding in wait. Don't let it bounce on you.

I'm going to be on the lookout for bottles of this one.

 495 characters

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

"Night in the Woods" tasting 3.29.08
November 2006 bottling

A- Clear, bright golden in color. Pours very full-bodied with a small white head

S- Spicy sweet malts. Peppery grains of paradise coming right through along with grapes.

T- Sweet & citrusy with a good presence of bourbon & wood

M- Fizzy & full bodied- a nice indication of the syle

D- You'd almost think this was a session beer- its so dangerously drinkable. But that 11% would kick you in the teeth if you tried it!

 481 characters

Photo of aerozeppl
4.56/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Grabbed this a while back for something like 6.99 so I went into this with little expectations.
Nov 2006 bottling.

A: Hazy golden color. Minimal white head. Looked like a standard tripel in the glass.

S: The smell was the one flaw in the beer for me and it was still decent. You could smell the oak and the yeast which was an unusual combo. Behind that I did get hints of grapes.

T: Really hard to describe. It was really sweet with a hint of bourbon and some sugar. The barrel aging totally did something unuiqe to this beer. Really hard to describe.

M: Really good mouthfeel on this. Very traditional take on the style.

D: I would give this beer a 17 on drinkability if I could. If you handed me a glass of this and then told me to guess the ABV I would tell you around 5%. Simply put amazing.

 801 characters

Photo of skibumdc
4.95/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On Tap @ Eat Bar/Talula's in Arlington, VA
Served in a tulip/snifter style glass.
Dirty Blond in color, but perfect clarity. Small head but it stayed throughout entire 6oz sample.
Smells in Pinot Grigio wine or fruits.

Taste had buttery caramel after taste that turned into laces of fruit.
I could tell it weas higher in alcohol, but not too much.
Very drinkable but not a session beer.

 387 characters

Photo of dreadnatty08
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Paradiso.
Pours a very hazy, cloudy medium amber to bright orange color. Just a shimmer or bright white head is formed that quickly is reduced to a covering and soon nothing. The aroma is difficult to grasp with the cask pouring (minimal carbonation hurts), but soon notes of sour cherries, citrus, moderate clove and vanilla come through. On the palate, however, things develop. Flavors of strong oak hit you hard first, followed by vanilla, spicy phenolics, and a little citrus. The cask conditioning makes things a bit muddy, with a bright citrus tripel clashing with the strong oaky and bourbon flavors. The mouthfeel is heavy with low to minimal carbonation. Overall, it was a very enjoyable and extreme beer. The oak was a bit overpowering though hindering the drinkability.

 791 characters

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

Exceptionally smooth and balanced Belgian Triple. Slightly tart and spicy from the wood but not overpowering like other barrel aged beers. Personally I like the Interlude better, but, as always, Allagash comes through in making another kick ass beer.

 250 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.