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

896 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: 896 | Ratings: 3,708
Photo of angrybabboon
3.43/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this beer. Purchased at the brewery in August, 2008. I don't remember what I bought on that day, so I assume I drank it soon after.

Appearance: Cloudy light amber, somewhere between light brown and dark orange, with some gold - small, off-white head - not surprising considering this bottle is four and a half years old - still leaves a wall of lacing

Smell: Mild bourbon and pale malts - light caramel malts, candi sugar, light bread - some hints that this was once a tripel, including banana esters, and some yeasty spices - for this particular bottle, both the bourbon and tripel aspects have mellowed considerably

Taste: A mellow tripel with a strong backdrop of bourbon - oh, Jim Beam, you remind me of a number of bad decisions - even with over four years of aging, the bourbon is still quite potent - vanilla, wood - pale malts, with some caramel, and some yeasty bread - bananas, cloves, and other typical yeasty aspects - mellow overall, due to the bourbon barrels and subsequent cellaring

Mouthfeel: On the heavy side of medium, smooth, with some woody stickiness (I swear this is a thing), low carbonation

Overall: Many years ago, I loved this beer.

The first time I had this beer, I loved it. Then I had it again, and it just wasn't the same (perhaps, too fresh). Now, I have an old bottle, back when from when it really blew my mind. And it's just not the same. Too much Jim Beam, not enough Allagash Tripel charm. It kind of breaks my heart. Cue Taylor Swift:

Loving [this beer] is like driving a new Maserati down a dead end street
Faster than the wind
Passionate as sin, ended so suddenly

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Photo of Lilbeck23
3.43/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Smell is very different. Has a bourbon smell and light look to it. It was not what I pictured it to be. However, it is not overpowering on bourbon and it has notes of vanilla and tropical fruit meledy. It is light but hits home on ABV.

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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 mentor
3.46/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

July 2005 bottling maintained carefully in my cool dark cellar. Pours a fizzy soda pop head with vigorous streaming. Off white soapy head. Liquid is perfectly clear golden, a touch dull. Smells fruity. Cherry and strawberry mostly. Oak sour tannin. Bready.

Tastes oak mostly to start with wet smooth malt rising. Vanilla and toasted grains. Oranges. Doughy and thin on the malt character. Mostly, this beer is about the wood. A thin light beer that tells the character of the barrels. A touch of chocolat almost comes across as malty. Wheat beer character is a touch yeasty Clove.

Md-light body and strong carbonation. Okay to drink, but there isn't much here. Isn't the oxidized bomb that I was fearing. Nice carbonation for the age.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.48/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

appearance: Slightly hazy golden with an off white reasonably sized (for an 11%) head.
smell: Sugary malt though more subdued than expected. No hint of the bourbon barrel aging.
taste: tasty, not great. Fairly average tripel imo. Missing the barrel aging.
overall: this one's tasty but not worth the price and not exceptional imo.

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Photo of TBonez477
3.51/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Don't know why I was expecting to enjoy this one. Was hoping for stronger barrel flavor, also did not look closely enough when ordering to see it was a Tripel base beer. Can't get past the Belgian yeast.

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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.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought this having very high hopes. I really enjoy Bourbon Barrel aged brews so when I saw this one I was really excited to try it. I opened the bottle and gave it a pour, it comes out as a hazy yellowish gold color with a white head on top. Gave the brew a good noseful and got mostly a sour aroma to it. Perhaps it's from the Oak barrels, thats fine I was expecting a sweet vanilla aroma from the Bourbon or something but it smelled more like a sour tripel than anything else. The taste was basically the same way, Mostly had a tart flavor to it and virtually no Bourbon flavors that I could pick up at all. The mouthfeel was decent, it had a good feel to it and it was still drinkable. Overall I was just a little bummed about this brew to say the least. I was hoping it would have been a bit different than it was. I haveanother bottle that I'm hanging on to, one day I'll have it again.

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Photo of nickthetick
3.54/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: pours a clouded, opaque straw gold into a tulip with a finger of pure white head that dissipates slowly and leaves a beautiful lacing on the way down the glass.

S: some yellow fruits, bananas, white grapes, apricots and an amazing amount of pineapple with out a whole lot of spice or bread qualities. And the alcohol scent scares me a bit.

T: a lot like the nose the fruit smells are in the mouth in doubles, but there is a bit more of a pronounced spice and yeast quality to it then lead to believe what was possible from the nose. The alcohol is there and very noticeable but the nice flavors tone it down a bit.

MF: a tad on the side of heavy, ok effervescence, hot and dry.

O: an interesting triple that adds a new page to my previous triple experience. I would not pass this beer up if I saw it again but I wouldn't look for it specifically.

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Photo of BuccoFan
3.54/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I was actually a little disappointed with the barrel flavoring. I found it more weak than subtle. I think I'd give it high grades in a blind taste as a tripel, but I was looking forward to a relatively unique barrel aged pairing (a la Founders' Doom).

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.55/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours hazy and the color of honey. Head is very small. Not a complete layer.

S-I was really expecting more here. It's not very intense. The barrel aging didn't do much for the nose. Of course, the oak is there, but boy is it soft. On the contrary, I really enjoyed how the nose is not violently yeasty like most Tripels. It has its goods and bads.

T-Pretty good. Pale fleshed fruit, honey and moderate spice. Again, happy that there isn't an excessive yeast boom. Sweet. Barrel aging again comes up short. Just mild notes of oak, vanilla and Bourbon.

M- Light for the ABV. Dry with some booze. Sweetness lends a sticky feel.

O/D-I have actually been waiting to try this for quite a while. I am disappointed. Lacks a hearty barrel-influenced flavor. I enjoyed its rather mellow degree of Belgian yeast, but the flavor is still a bit bland. High potential, low yield.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.55/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass

Thanks to TMoney2591 for sharing this whilst we planned a new brew.

This beer pours a cloudy golden color with a white fluffy/coarse head that diminishes to a film on the surface. The aroma smells of the sourness of oak, there is a rye whiskey note as well. There is a lemon and orange citrus smell as well. The flavor is quite oaky in nature and so odd for a tripel. The sourness of the oak combined with the booze from the bourbon are quite intense and cover any tripel flavor that might be there. I really don't taste the Belgian yeast at all. This is really a weird beer. It's not that bad on the palate and it's definitely a sipper. This is an example in my opinion of a beer that doesn't work with bourbon barrel aging.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.55/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

8 oz of 2007 vintage on tap last month at Rattle n Hum and served in a goblet. This review is formed from notes taken as I drank it.

The glass of four year old Curieux I'm brought contains liquid that's a bright golden to lemon yellow, with just a bit of visibility through it. There's just a tiny bit of white foam (due somewhat to the pour), and as a result not much in the way of lacing or head retention. The nose is heavy on vanilla soaked pale fruits, with bourbon and oak playing supporting roles (and the former shining through more than the latter). I'm surprised not to find any clove or pepper aromas anywhere. The flavor brings more of the same. Sweetened fruitiness opens the beer, and a bourbon presence that's a bit more prominent/aggresssive than in the aroma cuts though mid palate, before a subtle woodiness closes the beer out. Once again I'm somewhat let down by the lack of yeasty phenols, as they are somewhat standard for the style. For a beer that's firmly in the double digit ABV territory, it's got an impressive lightness of body. The carbonation is just a tad dull, but it's a minor issue. As a pure drinking experience I enjoyed Curieux a bit more than the score here would indicate, but looking at it as a triple I can't grade it too highly when it's missing one of the hallmark characteristics of the style.

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Photo of bnuttz
3.55/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a golden yellow with a little orange tinge. A nice foamy white head on this one. Smells like straight up burboun, but if you smell closer you can smell belgian yeast aromas. There is definitely a belgian beer in there. Tastes like grain alcohol. This stuff is pretty stiff actually. Some vanilla and coconut flavors are present, basically burboun. Its not bad, but I wont more tripple here. You can feel the burn in your mouth with this stuff. Alright, and different, but not stellar

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Photo of gotbeer
3.55/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I will admit to high expectations with this beer.

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

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

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

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Photo of warmstorage
3.56/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked & caged bottle, $15.99 at BevMo, Natomas, Sacramento.

Appearance: Hazy yellow to orange, with active, visible carbonation. Dense, slightly rocky off-white head with lots of lacing.

Aroma: Lemon, sugar, yeast, spicy esters. A little bit of aluminum and flatness detected.

Taste: Deep fruity and spicy esters, lemon. Starting about midway through, a big, sweet deep bourbon flavor, which continues through the finish and lingers for a bit. Notes of other fruit are there, but I can't really say what. The Belgian yeast isn't very pronounced, and as a tripel, it's fairly average.

Mouth: Crisp and warm, but not particularly hot, especially given the high alcohol content. Lingers long, with a crisp carbonation.

Overall: A very tasty, very pleasant beer, but absolutely not worth the $16. I can get equal and better beers in 22 ounce bombers for half of the price. I guess I feel like the base tripel is somewhat thin and lacking of character, and the bourbon aging is all that makes it interesting. Easy to drink, but for a beer which should be exploding with character and depth and interesting flavors, it's, well, not. I'm glad I tasted it once, but definitely wouldn't pay for it again.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.56/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 20 oz Duvel tulip, bottled in September of 2011. Pours a cloudy yellow orange with a 3 inch white head with lacing everywhere. Smell is huge clove, banana, musk, and some fig. The taste is wow, much more aggressive with clove and a big tickle of bourbon. Body is medium, enought carbonation for its large size, not overly dry for me, and drinkable enough and this isn't my favorite style at all. This is an excellent beer, especially if Belgians are your thing. I prefer Hoppy beers, but this is well done even so.

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Photo of AlexJ
3.57/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Slightly hazed light amber pour produces 2 inches of snow white froth that quickly settles to a thin but lasting veil.

Aroma is mango, pinapple, banana, pear, cotton candy, and peppery yeast shadowed by strong bourbon notes of vanilla and oak. As it warms, the bourbon completely takes over.

Flavor is similar, with tropical fruits, cotton candy or bubblegum, anf vanilla, oak, toasted coconut, and strong bourbon notes. Again, as it warms, the bourbon becomes too strong, drowning out all the other flavors.

Body is medium, with a smooth, creamy texture and a bubbly mouthfeel brought on by high carbonation. Too much booze and bourbon to make this highly drinkable.

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Photo of Stoneman78
3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at O'Brien's Pub 14th Anniversary Barrel-Aged beer night 1/15.
A- Pours a light orange hue, off white head is mostly dissipating, minimal lacing
S- Brandy and oak dominate, subtle aromas of sugary sweet fruits, some malts and vanilla as well
T- Oak and bourbon notes ride in first, subtle molasses and alcohol warming in the midsection, finishes dry and sweet
M- Medium-bodied, oily texture, mild carbonation
D- Interesting blend of flavors with a strong wood presence, however most of the tastes dissipate quickly leaving not much in its wake, underimpressed with this trippel

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Photo of makinbacon
3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drinking on draught. Little head. Straw color. Tastes of: honey, orange zest,lots of oak and strong alcohol/bourbon on the finish. Love some Jim Beam, but almost feel like someone spike my Afflegem with bourbon. Great beer, but not for everyday drinking.

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Photo of BeernerdJeff
3.59/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured beautiful, cloudy golden color with a nice head which quickly died down to a thin lacing around the glass. Very nice smell of peach and oak. First glass was bitter peach flavor on front, with bourbon coming through on back end. Second glass was much less peach flavor and much, much stronger bourbon. Not sure how long bottle had been on the shelf, but it would have benefitted from gentle swirling before opening to mix up the flavors. Good carbonation. This is a beer to be sipped slowly just as you would with a glass of bourbon.

Overall, hard to determine the true characteristics of this beer as the flavors seemed to separate in the bottle, heavier bourbon taste at the bottom and the fruit at the top. Recommend swirling your bottle before opening for a better experience.

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.59/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy, orange-gold color, with a finger of off-white head that quickly faded and left no lacing. Pretty typical appearance for the style.

S: Grapes. White wine. Some faint vanilla and oak aromas as well.

T: Just a hint of malt sweetness initially. Tart,fruity flavors dominate the middle; oak and buttery diacetyl are definitely there as well -- in fact, they are detracting with their forceful presence. The finish is moderately bitter, and slightly phenolic. In short: It tastes more like wine than beer.

M: Moist and well-carbonated, a touch chewy for the style. The finish was rather dry. There's no subtlety to the booze, either.

O: It really tastes like they mixed a tripel with a chardonnay. It's interesting, and good enough to finish, but not good enough for me to buy another. I know that bourbon-barrel aging is all the rage in craft brewing these days, but it seems to suit the stronger/heavier styles better, as the barrel-aging mellows their rough edges; a tripel's delicate flavors are just overwhelmed by the oak.

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Photo of jwchestnut
3.6/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Really gorgeous beer. Golden straw color, small tight bubbles, wonderful creamy pillowy head that staid around for quite a while. The nose is sweet malts, banana, coriander, maybe some grapes and white wine - definitely sweet. Sadly no discernible or strong barrel characters in the nose and similar in the taste. Similar to the nose with some faint oak, but definitely sweet malts and spicy belgian yeasts, faint tart like lemon rind - would never have guessed it was 11%. Very tight carbonation but moderate feel for such a sweet beer goes down easy and dry. All in all this was a fantastic tripel but the consensus was that as there was little apparent barrel character it was somewhat disappointing. If the price point was lower I would definitely try again.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.6/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A yellow colored body with a white head that has some decent retention and leaves a bit of lacing behind. Pretty good looking beer overall. Not surprisingly, this one looks a lot like the allagash triple reserve.

There is a good amount going on in the nose here. I notice the characteristics of the tripel, sweet candied sugar with a good yeast backing. But I would say that the borubon is more powerful. A ton of bourbon in the nose here in fact. A good amount of woody, oaky aroma too, with a bit of vanilla.

The flavor here mirrors the aroma pretty well. Once again, lots of bourbon in this one. I would say broubon is the strongest flavor, followed by wood notes. The woody flavor is prnounced and is also accompanied by a bit of vanilla. After the bourbon and wood comes the standard tripel flavors. Some slightly peppery yeast with a good candied sugar backing. The malt is noticeable and slightly biscuity.

Mouthfeel is good. On the heavy side of medium bodied and slightly creamy. Moderate carbonation, which I would say is appropriate. Big enough to handle the high ABV and the big bourbon flavors.

OK drinkability, good considering the ABV. I like this beer, but I have to say that I'm not on board with all of the really high ratings on here. I'm not convinced the tripel and the bourbon work here, and I do like bourbon. I found myself thinking that I would prefer the Tripel reserve to this. Interesting beer though.

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Photo of Amtchicago
3.6/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

The pour...look and smell was just delightful. After sniffing, I was ready to dive in. But unfortunately the yeast characteristics and barrel characteristics just didnt mesh well for me. Solid but I would not drop $20+ on this again.

Bottled on August 2nd, 2013

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Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) from Allagash Brewing Company
4.21 out of 5 based on 3,708 ratings.
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