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

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
3,732 Ratings
Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel)Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States
allagash.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
3,732
Reviews:
901
Avg:
4.21
pDev:
11.4%
 
 
Wants:
534
Gots:
1,098
For Trade:
38
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,732 |  Reviews: 901
Photo of billab914
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

October 2005 bottling. Sun-splashed lemon with a wealth of fine carbonation enlisted in the creation of a regal white head. The texture of the foam isn't quite as spectacular as on most authentically Belgian ales, but it's still mighty attractive. Thick sheets of lace look like they'll stick until the cows come home. Like most Allagash beer, this one is a looker.

The nose is very nice, it's just that I was expecting some indication that the beer was actually aged in Jim Beam barrels. It smells like an excellent, impressively fruity tripel that... wait just a minute... a few more sniffs deliver a little woodiness... that still isn't very whiskey-like. Here's hoping the flavor profile is as advertised. [note: warming opens up the nose so much that it approaches the quality of the flavor at roughly the midway mark of the bottle.]

Curieux is outstanding beer! For some strange reason, my nose didn't identify what my palate is having no trouble identifying and greeting like an old friend. Allagash says there's a 'hint of bourbon'. I respectfully disagree. There's as much bourbon whiskey present as there is tripel. It's no surprise that these guys have found the perfect balance between the base beer (Tripel Reserve) and the flavor imparted by the wood.

Their decision to age the beer in bourbon barrels has done several things. It has effectively eliminated the ethereal complexity of Tripel Reserve and has replaced it with the power and deliciousness of Kentucky's finest. As a bourbon fanatic, I love the outcome. It's as if the brewers created an entirely new world-class beer from one that was world-class to begin with.

The flavor profile consists of ripe, buttery pears; caramelized sugar; charred oak and a huge splash of vanilla. Allagash has definitely done their homework (as always) because they've managed to imbue the beer with the very essence of the barrels' former occupant. As far as I'm concerned, the decision to age the beer eight weeks was perfect.

I love those light and airy Belgian tripels and I also love this one. It's heavily silky, lightly sticky and aggressively carbonated. When the bubbles wear off on the swallow, the flavor lingers with a determination that reminds me of my favorite bourbons. Not only that, but the huge ABV is warming me nicely and is beginning to blur my senses. Time to slow down so that I can finish this review with some sort of coherence.

Curieux had three huge things going for it right off the bat. It's brewed by Allagash, it uses Tripel Reserve (one of my favorite tripels) as its base beer, and it's aged in bourbon barrels (my favorite liquor). Therefore, I'm not the least bit surprised that I've been gobsmacked yet again. If you like beautifully crafted, amazingly delicious, Belgian-style ales with an American flair, it doesn't get any better than Allagash Curieux.

 2,866 characters

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

 685 characters

Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

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

Review from notes. Had on tap at the Pickled Pig Pub

A: Pours a hazy golden color with a 1.5 finger white head on top that has good retention, with a slow fade to a tight layer of foam on top. Some sporadic, but thick lacing left behind.

S: A good bit of Belgian yeast and some light fruit - mostly banana with a bit of bruised apple and faint citrus. There is some doughy malt and spices. The bourbon is present and there is a bit of an alcohol presence.

T: Similar to the aroma with some apples, Belgian yeast, caramel, and to a lesser extent some banana. The bourbon is less present than it was in the aroma, but there is some residual heat from the alcohol.

M: Medium bodied with light to medium carbonation. Drinks rather smooth with a clean finish.

O: A pretty tasty beer with a nice flavor profile. The alcohol presence knocks it down a tad for me, but would certainly give this one another shot. Would like to try it from a bottle to see how that changes it.

 975 characters

Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of Slatetank
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this courtesy of Kimball's - the 2007 version on tap, served in a smallt taster goblet.

A - A very clear dark golden, the clarity is great for being barrel aged and a pale cap w/ micro beading

S - Sweet mellow coconut and candy-like aromas w/ oak. Almost pina colada w/ fruity yeast notes and a mild alcohol hint w/ spiced elemnents in the nose

M - A very dry mouthfeel w/ spicy and sweet maltiness and a hint of nuttiness w/ a pleasant alcohol tinge as it finishes smoothly

T - A fantastic sweet candy-like malt w/ nutty coconut and vanilla from the bourbon aging. The wood gives a toasty brown sugar and light pepper is in the flavor too from the yeast. There is subtle pineapple and the beer finishes w/ a mild flavor of alcohol as mentioned in the feel

D - So excellent of Kimball's to share this, a really beauty of a Bourbon barrel aged ale, very few come close to the drinkability especially at 11%, The taste was awesome making only wish I had more, the smoothest tripel aged in oak I may ever have.

 1,019 characters

Photo of Jason
4.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Mildy spritzy tiny bubbled head, dusty golden hue with some light haze.

The alcoholic aroma of the triple with wafts of bourbon wood (vanilla) and some mixed tropical fruit.

Very smooth with a mellow but stiff alcohol character, warming with undertones of vanilla and ripe fruit. The woody character melds well with the hop bitterness and spiciness of the alcohol with a drying bite.

Simply amazing. Amazing within the realm of barrel aged beer let alone doing it with a more delicate Belgian Style Trippel.

 516 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy pale color with white head. Aroma is floral and perfumey with a touch of bourbon. Taste starts like a typical Belgian tripel, yeasty and sweet but on the aftertaste you get the bourbon barrel. Medium body and carbonation. Not bad at all but I think the flavors don't combine as well as expected.

 309 characters

Photo of atrocity
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of smithj4
4.25/5  rDev +1%

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

On-tap at American Craft

A: The beer pours a slightly hazed golden straw color with a finger of white head.

S: Some bourbon and oak does come through, but it's more vanilla and tripel. Lots of spice notes to it with a nice banana and pear flavor. Plenty of sweet malt, mostly bread, and a bit of candi sugar.

T: As with the aroma, not the most intense bourbon flavor. Again, a decent vanilla note, though. I do get some sweet fruits (mostly banana) and a bit of spice character (mostly clove). Again, a fairly strong dose of sweet malt.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O: Would have preferred a bit more bourbon flavors, but still very nice.

 656 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 5/29/10 notes. Batch is from July 2009.

a - Pours a nice golden color with a little bit of white head.

s - Smells of vanilla, oak, sour fruits, and citrus.

t - Tastes of oak, vanilla, and smooth fruity malts. Also some whiskey, but not as much as I would have thought.

m - Medium body and light carbonation.

d - I thought this was a great tripel. I thought this tripel aged great in whiskey barrels. Would love to try again.

 434 characters

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -5%

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

Special thanks to Frank for bringing this over.

A - Pear gold. Fine white head. Nice lace and retention.

S - Oak, white table wine, caramel, and vanilla. Soft and well integrated.

T - Silky and incredibly smooth. Mellow booze elevates caramel, Chardonnay, oak, and a fantastic vanilla bean note. Oak, vanilla, and honey linger through the finish.

M - Medium/full body with a soft and super smooth frame.

O - Stellar.

 421 characters

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a GameWorks shaker pint glass.

Thanks to papollo for this bottle!

Thanks to Paul, I can give this brew a second chance (I honestly was not impressed the first time). It pours a hazy golden straw topped by a thick white froth. The nose sourly funky wheat, something akin to rye spice, black pepper, buttery biscuits, toffee, light oak, and vanilla. The taste follows this same path (I mean, it's already been bushwhacked and whatnot), with the added company of coriander and a light whiskey. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta dry finish. Overall, this time 'round things went much better. This is indeed a strange brew, one that doesn't really fit nicely into any traditional descriptions but is still pretty dern tasty.

 771 characters

Photo of millerbuffoon
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of ZEB89
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of thatoneguymike
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

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

This has been on my list of beers to try for some time now. I had this on draft years ago, and I believe the keg was infected.

The appearance is translucent and light copper with a fluffy, tan head. The aroma brings an odd combination of Belgian yeast, citric spice, bourbon, vanilla, oak. Not off-putting, just unusual. Certainly an interesting brew. A lot going on, though I must say, I would prefer any of the better tripel beers to this. While the barrel-aging is well executed, I don't believe it adds to a beer of this ilk. There are some flavors that just naturally clash, and perhaps bourbon and tripels were not meant to be united. All that said, this was decent, though I won't buy it again.

 703 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.01/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into an Allagash goblet. Thanks to BennyL1 for both the bottle and the glass!

Appearance - Kind of a dull yellow body with a huge white head. Sticky lacing and an eternal pillow atop the body. Couldn't look better.

Smell - Apple and bananas from the esters. Kinda sweet. Not complex and not very strong. I get no bourbon in the smell.

Taste - Sweet, perhaps overly so. Fruity and bourbony. I finally get the bourbon, which I really wanted. It integrates well, but detracts from the lightness of the beer. Finishes with a honey sweetness that is just a bit too much.

Mouthfeel - Heavy for a tripel. I'm feeling the ABV, though I don't taste it so much. Somewhat low carbonation, despite the appearance. It could use something to establish that effervescence I expect from a tripel.

Overall - Nice taste, but really the bourbon is the best part. The base tripel just isn't that impressive.

 913 characters

Photo of Zaphog
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) from Allagash Brewing Company
4.21 out of 5 based on 3,732 ratings.
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