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

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887 Reviews
Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel)Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel)

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States | website

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: 887 | Ratings: 3,644
Photo of brdc
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large corked and caged. Bottled June 2007.
Poured into a goblet.

Bright golden, at times almost orange, but still somewhat opaque and even a little bit turbid, despite being on the cellar for 3 months and being poured slowly. Head is a foamy white, that dissipates quickly likely because of its high ABV, but laces the top of the beer and sides of the glass all the way down.
Peculiar aroma, fruity, yeasty, even some bananas and oranges, minimal oak and vanilla.
Creamy on the palate, it is suprisingly smooth and easy to drink, with just some hints of bourbon/acohol, mostly just its warmth.
It is lightly sweet and fruity again, yeasty, malted, spiced, with some dryness to round it up, but little bitterness.
Quite impressive, I wish I had more to age.

Second bottle, bottled June 2008

This one had more bourbon and oak notes; less complexity; more citric notes. Appearance is also a bit different as lacing was not as pronounced.
There is a clear consistency problem here, as I rated my initial bottle very high, and was quite disappointed by the second one.

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Photo of Flyer
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The 11 percent alcohol and oak-laced flavors make this trippel unique. It pours a pale golden, but still slightly ruddy, color, with a thick white head. The aroma is all oak. Classic Belgiany trippel flavor up front, with notes of honey, whiskey, and oak throughout,and an alcohol-warmed aftertaste. The mouthfeel is very thin, and that's not normally a plus for me, but the experience is bolstered by that intense alcohol presence and the oak, so I'd call it "delicate but earthy." Nothing else quite like this out there, and along with another entry in this Allagash line (the Musette) these ales could obsolete wine as far as I'm concerned.

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

I really liked this beer. As soon as I read about it, I had to try it. Thanks to James at Grapevine Market for holding a bottle for me.

Appearance - It poured a hazy honey orange color. It was slightly translucent during the initial pour and slowly became transparent as the beer warmed to room temperature. It produced a 1/2 finger foamy white head that dissipated very quickly.

Smell - I could detect notes of vanilla from the oak, a slight hint of caramel-like malt, and a Belgian-esque yeast scent. I also could smell notes of fruit like green apples, orange and lemon peel. I could also smell booze, and it became more pronounced the more the beer warmed to room temp. There was a very detectable bourbon scent.

Taste - The alcohol flavor showed up the more the beer warmed. It tasted very much like it smelled - there was a definite bourbon flavor, along with vanilla, green apple, citrus and yeast. Very tasty. If you like bourbon, this beer is delicious.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. There wasn't enough carbonation for me, and because of this, it felt a little too thin for the style.

Drinkability - It is definitely a sipper. You will feel the alcohol a lot sooner than you think. That said, it was very easy drinking - while the alcohol is present in the taste and scent, it felt absent on the way down.

It was worth the wait and it was worth searching out. It is a very interesting interpretation of the style.

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Photo of loren01
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: Pours cloudy yellow color, good sized white head, slight lacing.
S: Aroma is very rich. Fruity (bananas and pears), woody scent, also nice and spicy.
T: Tastes very fruity, lemony. Woody taste is also there. ETOH is very present.
M: Medium to full bodied, beer is very smooth with lots of warming
D: Wow, after 1/8th of a glass, I was feeling the punch from this. Great sipping Belgian style. Thanks to limesmut for this beer.

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Photo of domtronzero
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a burnt copper color with a massive three-finger white rocky head. Lacing left through the finish. Aroma is slighlty sweet with a definite bourbon/wood. Taste also has strong notes of bourbon, fruitiness, with a slightly noticeable hop bitterness in the background. Smooth and easy to drink, but there is a definite alcohol presence drying out my tongue. An excellent brew that gets even more complex as it warms. Highly recommended.

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Photo of dnichols
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured a 750 ml caged and corked bottle into a chilled tulip.

A: It poured a cloudy golden burnt yellow with an abundant slightly off white head of about three fingers. The head receded quickly but the sticky bubbles clung to the side of the glass and provided excellent lacing.

S: It has a wonderfully rich aroma of gently toasted malts, fresh whole wheat bread, and light fruits including bananas and mandarin oranges.

T: The front end of each sip includes a smooth rich flavor of sweet malts with a ting of sweet smoky bourbon and a dash of nutmeg and white pepper. There is also a lingering flavor of light lemon peels and sweet mandarin oranges. The back end has a bit of a bite of the alcohol that drys the palate but only leaves the lingering smooth richness of the flavor of bourbon and sweet malts.

M: Full bodied, creamy and smooth. It is silky and has a wonderful smoky sweet residual on the palate that makes the next sip an event that one cannot procrastinate.

D: Wow...this has a wonderful flavor, great mouthfeel and it delivers what it promises....a smooth rich aged tripel. A nice complement to its brother tripel from Allagash and an excellent cousin to the finest tripels from Belgium. However, the price per unit of joy is unbalanced compared to others with comparable and at times better qualities. This alone diminishes this fine brews drinkability.

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Photo of thebarracuda
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

bottled june 2007 640 cases 11% alcohol
the bottle suggested that I use my wide mouthed glass so I did.
it poured a pale cloudy orange with a slight white head. the first scent is a slightly lemony alcohol.
the first sip was amazing. I actually had to pause my movie and exclaim "WOW!"
the initial flavor was of creamy lemons the after taste is amazingly silky and creamy. I will certainly try this again!
I suggest trying this beer with some friends in a relaxed setting. not a hot day or a ballpark beer.

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

Bottled in November 2006. This beer pours a hazy pale orange color. The head is large, billowy, fluffy and bright white. Lacing is thorough. The aroma is of citrus, flowers, anise, bourbon, and oak. The balance between tripel and bourbon is perfect. The taste has more bourbon and oak than the aroma, but is not over the top. Bourbon is noticable right of the bat, but then the citruc, floral, and anise notes kick in and add complexity. The mouthfeel is full bodied, silky in texture, and has fine carbonation. Overall, this is quite an interesting beer. I cannot recall having a bourbon aged Belgain style beer before. This might be the most genuinely American interpretation of a Belgain style on the market, and I like it. I would certainly drink this again.

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

Acquired sample unexpectedly at work.

Appearance: Poured a cloudy orangey colour with a small slightly off white head, settling to a thin layer for the duration of the drink.

Aroma: Smells of oak, various wood, spices (pepper & cloves), a nice Jim Beam like bourbon burn. Very deep aromas that a smooth and spicy.

Taste: Lemon peel, and sweet citruses as well. Big malt body loaded with spices and peppery flavours. This all bows down to an oaky bourbon finish with a big alcohol warmth. It does not, however, impede it's drinkability too much, but definately a sipper for sure.

Mouthfeel: Good enough body, soft and creamy.

Final Statement: A great beer, I would think, if you're only going to have one on a cold rainy night. I would love to get my hands on a corked bottle and drink 'er with an Upmann.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.28/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I have this in my beer cellar going back to the original release. I love how this tastes and it's only gotten better with time. That said, I had a May 2007 bottle last night and way overkill on the Jim Beam. It tasted like the tripel with too much bourbon in it. If you like Jim Beam then you'll love this beer. Otherwise I'd stash a couple of the May relase away for a few years then come back to it or buy an older release for a more subtle brew.

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

A- Looks like the tripel. Hazy orange/yellow with a pillowy white head that lasts forever and a hint of lacing.

S- Spicy. Pepper, clove, anise, alcohol. A very strong nose, and decently complex. Can't smell the bourbon barrel at all... hopefully I can taste it.

T- Initial maltiness, with orange peel, pepper, and then tons of alcohol. The 11% is very noticeable. The sweetness is prevalent, almost a cane sugar/honey note... and the bourbon did come through, after all. tastes good.

M- Medium-full body with medium-high carbonation and a lot of warming.

D- It's good. It would be great if it weren't for the strong phenolic alcohol... but I recommend trying it, certainly.

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

A perfect gleam of sunlit, clear chilled lemony yellow. Until the end has reached the bottle and it gets all opaque from the yeast and looks like a gorgeous plastic mold of lemon ochre. Starchy, weakened, plummeting capping of off-white, loose foam creates the roofing. A settled dense, bubbly foam is left at the edges to collar the top like soft ice cream pushed up from a spoon. Inky drawn out lacing splats across the glass with a light embrace.

Softly delicate, lush, and inviting nose of plump citrusy juices, soured candied sugars, and some semi sharp white grapey wine-likeness sweeps to the front on every wiff. Smells much like a fine Italian lemon sorbet.

Taste is vibrant, full, and seeping with a long lasting heated touch of bourbonyness soaked into every inch of the citrusy Tripel ale envelope. Sealed with many malty edges, this sucker gets right in there and makes itself welcome in your soul. Wonderfully pungent and yet soft and delicate in nature along the path of its bittering citrus notes of lemon, orange, pineapple, and tangerine juices, pith, and peels. Perfect malty balance underneath with a semi sweet and tenderly present candy tone. Throw in the always present twinge of bourbony twisted heat and grapey-like flavors and this is one hell of a fun package to open.

Feel is about medium bodied; closing in on fullish; good malt presence sticks it to you right quick and lets all the little things play their part as it firms up the hold of absolutely fantastic, mildly pungent, citrusy sugars, and fun, take their time to unfold under the heat of a great and grapey bourbony kick.

The 11% is evident in smell and taste but not really taken into account while consuming as it goes down with ease. That said, the bourbon that is there does hamper a bit of its overall downability. But not enough to really take away from the performance at hand(bottle). A very solid offering from Allagash!

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Photo of John_M
3.68/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Max's the other night.

The beer pours a hazy gold color with a hint of orange. The beer has a creamy, perstent head and good lacing. I don't get much on the nose, just a hint of orange tartness and vanilla. Maybe a little bit of honey and butter as well. On the palate there are some nice flavors of honey, apple and melon, but the flavors seem a bit muted. I'm not entirely sure that barrel aging benefited this Belgium style trippel. The beer is medium bodied, with the alcohol noticeable in the finish. It's not all that intrusive, but it is noticeable and detracts from drinkability. The finish is otherwise pretty soft and smooth, but drops off pretty quickly. The mouthfeel on this beer is OK, but nothing out of this world.

Ultimately, this is a pretty good beer, but it's hardly as impressive as I was hoping and expecting from Allagash. Again, I'm not sure the oak adds that much to the beer, and might just detract from it. Oh well...

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Photo of roblowther
4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked & caged. Pours a cloudy straw color with little or no head and very little "to do" when the cork is popped. The smell, though, rocks like Sammy Hagar. Apricots, apples, rum, lemons and sweet jeebus my mouth is watering. The taste is right up there. The fruits are there but so is a nice oak, sour mash backing that provides fantastic balance. Wow wow wow. The mouthfeel is silky smooth, bordering on chewy, a remarkable achievement for a tripel. More carbonation than the cork hinted at, enough to stand up to the strong flavors and healthy mouthfeel. The drinkability is great. The alcohol comes on very strongly in the finish, perhaps limiting one's ability to call this perfectly drinkable but dear sweet...holy cow. Get some of this and get me some while you're at it!

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

Case 350, Bottled May 2007

Enjoyed maybe a bit too young, bottle poured, an unfiltered cloudy body, odd for an "aged" beer let alone an oak aged beer. There was no doubt it was whiskey/bourbon aged as pointing to the large buttery hints exploding at the half and finish. Very refreshing beginning. Definitley need to try it again maybe in 3 or 4 years. It was spot on for the style and definition of the beer.

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Photo of albern
3.62/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is definitely unique so it is hard to rate using the scale. The beer pours a pretty nice, carbonated, white frothy head, with sweet alcohol notes in the nose. The lacing is prodigious. There is also a vinous smell, and it reminds me of some chardonnay's I've had that have been aged in wooden casks. The smell is definitely vinous, and noticeably wine like. The alcohol is sweet, strong, and biting. The taste is floral, wine like, medium bodied, and very unique. The bourbon, aged in wooden casks taste is ever present, and provides a sharp taste, not all that pleasing, but not bad either. There is a distinctive after taste that also reminds me of wine, and it lingers well beyond what you would expect from a beer. This beer isn't for everyone, but it is interesting and well worth seeking out. L'Chaim.

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Photo of kajerm
3.68/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Monk's. Pours yellow and cloudy with half a glass of thick, tasty-looking foam. I wasn't expecting it to be this pale-- it almost looks like a witbier.

The aroma is ten pounds of bananas, along with light malts, and lots of candi sugar. Maybe a little vanilla from the barrel-aging, but I really could be making that up.

The flavor is packed with light malts, pretty sweet, with some nuts and vanilla that must be from the bourbon barrels. The finish is spicy with tons of fruity esters. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy; drinkability is extremely good, especially considering how much sauce this beer has.

Initially, I had this ridiculously mispaired with the Monk's Roquefort-Rochefort filet mignon. This steak just completely kicked the beer's ass, and probably mucked up my tasting. I can think of worse things than having to re-rate this, though.

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

Pours a slightly cloudy golden amber color with a nice 1 finger white head.

Smells like caramel and toffee with some alcohol. Very nice smelling actually.

Tastes so good! Lots of caramel and toffee, but with a distinctive Belgian twist. Nice touch of alcohol warmth. Extremely well balanced. Oh, so tasty!

Mouthfeel is relatively creamy and perfect carbonation. Nice.

Drinkability is exceptionally high based on the alcohol.

Highly recommended. Too expensive, but oh so good.

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

Got this in a trade from sephiroth.

Bottled February 2006.

A: golden yellow that's hard to see through. one inch offwhite head

S: sour fruit notes like a wild ale. hints of the bourbon are there.

T: starts off like a high ABV trippel, then the bourbon comes in, but not too much. the sour fruit notes are quite nice.

M: the alcohol warms the mouth and throat and belly. still the carbonation makes up for it somehow.

D: given the alcohol percentage, It's not bad drinkability. Still, after one 750 of this, and I'd be pretty trashed.

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Photo of tpd975
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sudsdog sent this one out to me in our own little version of a BIF (Have I mentioned he's the best?). I kept it back to enjoy with a Bourbon loving buddy of mine. We started off our day downing Stella's then threw some nicely marinated ribs on the grill to go along with this brew.

A: It pours a wonderful reddish yellow color with brown highlights. There is a steady stream of bubbles to keep a half finger head present. Leaves behind a nice pattern of lace that is more beautiful than any doily known to man.

S: Oh yes, I held this one back for a special occasion and I have the feeling it is going to be worth the wait. The marriage of America and Belgium. Bourbon and Beer. Smoke, Vanilla, and Malty Fruity Sweetness. Oh my!

T: This is what I have been waiting for. WOW! This is one fine triple. If that is all we had I would be raving about it, then BAM, Smoke Oak, and Vanilla...Tennessee Bourbon Baby. Oh yeah this one is barrel aged and let me tell you the ageing did wonders. The bourbon taste makes this beer almost too complex to process. There is a perfect match of beer and liquor. It is absolutely AMAZING with the ribs cooked we over charcoal and hickory!

M: Drinks like a Triple kicks like a bourbon on the rocks. A perfect sipping beer.

D: Not one I would down, but I could sit by a fire all night and sip this one. I could swear off liquor from here on out and turn to this drink if I am in the mood to sip.

Overall: Allagash makes some wonderful versions of Belgium's best beers. This one is not that. They have charted their own course and made a beer all their own. This beer is wonderful, unique, and perfect...and best of all AMERICAN. We finished off the bottle which amounted to no more than one glass each. We turned to some 20 year old scotch, and all I was left thinking was MAN I WISH I HAD ANOTHER BOTTLE OF THAT CURIEUX.

Allagash, keep making this brew. And to the BA'ers keep reviewing this one so that it can get its place in the top 100 where it deserves to be.

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

Appearance: Hazy pale golden color, with a large white head, thick glass-coating lace, and profuse streams of fine carbonation.

Aroma: Intense, but pleasant aroma of bourbon and wood aroma, with sweet, tangy malt, and mild flora hops.

Taste: Sweet malt at the open, followed by a mildly fruity note, and a mild aroma of cheese. As the taste progresses, a lingering note of vanilla and wood predominates, with oak notes lingering well past the end of the taste, and well-moderated notes of alcohol. The finish is rather dry.

Mouth feel: Smooth and exceptionally full, soft.

Drinkability/notes: A very well-crafted example, and an interesting take on the Tripel style.

Presentation: Packaged in a 750 ml Belgian bottle with a cork and cage, served in a Belgian chalice.

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

A most gracious thank you to BeerTruth for sending me this bottle.

750ml, corked and caged. Ale aged in oak barrels, 11% abv. A total of 398 cases were bottled for this June 2006 edition. It is being sampled on the evening of July 7th, 2007. Just over one year of experience under its belt.

I must also disclaim that I am truly sorry for my VERY selfish (and slightly brave) endeavor of drinking this all to myself. I know some of you haven't reviewed this and that a $15, 750ml, 11% sample is MORE than enough for one person... Quite frankly, I couldn't wait, and the moment struck as being right.

The bottle would emit a deep 'gulp, gulp' sound as the liquid within flow out frometh. I'd initially observe a peachy white head but that quickly drew below the surface. Any slight stir of the chalice seems to awaken it. The colour is like saffron, with an almost olive yellow/beige tint. The body is glossed over. Curiously no lacing.
The bourbon aging is evident from the smell. Tremendously rich and decadent notes of vanilla, spice, and oak. Not a typical tripel aroma. Stirring arises some pretty 'hot' character.
The mouthfeel, quite contrary to its aroma, is delicate and soft. A silky presence. Absolutely zero bitterness. The alcohol is slightly disruptive on the finish, but otherwise this drinks like a dream.
The flavours too seem to be hiding. The malts have mellowed. Very soft fruity esters - banana, apple and pear. A good portion of the bourbon flavour seems to have faded over the year. The tripel style seems to suit the bourbon barrel aging (is there any style that doesn't?) but I would not say as well as an Imperial Stout of the same gravity. Things in the flavour department have become meek.
As for what I look for in a tripel, this hits the spot nicely. But in terms of what I'd expect from such a limited (and expensive) barrel aged seasonal, this doesn't overly impress. Perhaps I'm simply underwhelmed but it would seem (despite what the folks at Allagash suggest) much of this beers' essence has faded over the last year. I can enjoy this still, but I know this isn't what it use to be. This has faded...

*I return to the computer, after working most of my way through this bottle, and must admit it still is something special. A thin, sandy level of white head has persisted and the aroma has only continued to grow on me. My complaint remains, however, that it comes out the gate with such ferocity and then disappears. I think this bottle would have been better a year ago. She is good, no doubt, maybe just a little too old...?

*** I have since reviewing tried the beer again twice, both relatively fresh samples, and had to come back and up the marks. The beer really is something to be had. Well done Allagash!

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Photo of bosco7
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mildly hazy golden color. Nice fluffy white head that leaves a substantial amount of lacing.

Lemon rind, pear, spicy hops, acetic acid, and a hint of toasted malt.

The aroma of this beer is misleading, in that it smells like it was inoculated with a bit of wild microbes. Tastes completely different. Big malt up front: biscuit and light caramel come to mind. Estery flavors follow which include: banana, pear, and apple. Barrels definitely add to the complexity to this beer; very smooth, some light tannin pucker, vanilla and oaky flavors apparent. The beer finishes spicy, phenolic, and a bit of subtle tartness.

Medium body with smooth mouthfeel. Carbonation is perfect and provides a counterpoint to the heavier than normal body.

Taste is definitely this beer's strong point but everything else is well above average. I would stash this away until Fall when the nights become cooler and thoughts deeper.

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Photo of krkearney
3.78/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled most recently on draft at Capone's (Norristown, PA) during the Allagash promo on 6/19/07. Hazy yellow, with a moderate sized off-white head. Complex aroma, fruit, oak, whisky, and yeast most notable. The wood aging adds some interesting flavors, like tropical fruit, whiskey, oak, alcohol, and yeast. Delicious beer, but I think the alcohol overwhelms the other more delicate flavors.

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

750mL corked and caged bottle. Poured a hazy golden yellow with a minimal bubbly white head. The smell is sweet, fruity, and yeasty, but more like a Belgian Strong Pale Ale than a Tripel. Maybe the oak mellowed it out a little more? The taste is also very similiar to a Belgain pale ale. Fruit and classic belgain yeast with a warming alcohol finish. Not as much bourbon feel or vanilla from the oak as I would expect, in fact I hardly picked any up at all. The beer is very smooth and like I said, feels more like a belgain pale ale than any Tripel I've ever had.

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Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) from Allagash Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 887 ratings.
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