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

885 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: 885 | Ratings: 3,637
Photo of Gobzilla
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured a hazy golden orange in color with pale yellow highlights and had a thin bubbly head leaving a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: had nice bourbon character with slight funky bretty, honey, mild apple, oaky, with a little belgian yeast coming through as well.

T: the belgian yeast flavor was more apparent on the taste with oaky, bretty, apple, bourbon, spice, vanilla accents and a touch of citrus but plenty of booze.

M: the brew was medium in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a sweet, bourbon, oaky, fruity, and boozy finish.

D: definitely a sipper due to the ABV and was a very nice example of a barrel aged tripel.

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

Had a goblet at Liberty St. Tavern for $5, not a bad deal. The barrel aging isn't overpowering and is balanced nicely against the spicy and slightly fruity - apricot and candy apple - tripel. It really makes the brew more candy-like without making for a thick beer. I didn't know a tripel could benefit so greatly from a bourbon barrel. Hats off to Allagash.

UPDATE 8/8/10 - Tried from the bottle and thought it was superior to the draft. It picks up a more traditionally Belgian crisp mouthfeel from the bottle carbonation.

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Photo of Gavage
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: bottle labelled July 2005. Pours a clear golden yellow color with a short surface foam head. Carbonation level seems low.

Smell: the nose picks up earthy and fruity tones.

Taste: nice maltiness, green apples, vanilla, hints of yeast, decent bitterness, a bit of alcohol, and a very faint hint of bourbon. Well balanced but a somewhat dry earthiness lingers throughout.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp and dry throughout. Malt, alcohol, and earth tones linger a while after swallowing. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: very easy drinking even though the alcohol is noticeable especially as it warms. I could enjoy more than one bottle, but it will be over a long evening. Must try this beer.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My co-worker asked me if I had ever had this beer before. No, I haven't. He said he tried a bottle and described this as the first beer he's ever needed a chaser for. That was my spark to buy a bottle of this over Angel's Share. Question...does an oversized wine glass qualify as a "wide mouthglass". Well, let the journey begin:

It's a very heady brew. It's looks like shaving cream on top a body of dusk orange. Smells like oak and pine. It's not nearly as strong as I would have hoped, but it's all about the taste, right?

The oak flavor is dominant, but never too intense. Where's the tripel? It's very light. Some maple notes cling on the palate into the aftertaste. It has a nice full mouthfeel without too much carbonation, and the booze is masked well. .... on second though, as it warms, the fruity sweetness associated with a tripel shows up. To my surprise, I found it very easy to drink.

This is a good barrel-aged beer considering how tame it is. It's a bit pricey in terms of flavor/price ratio (@ $14 per 750 ml), but there aren't that many 11% ABV barrel-aged beers out there with this kind of drinkability.

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

Bottled September 2004, Sampled December 2004
Pours a hazy straw gold color, and is topped by a light cream colored head that is driven by an ample carbonation that dances up from the bottom of my Duvel glass. As I pour this notes of vanilla and bourbon waft to my nose. As I go in deeper I note that the oak/ vanilla notes are what dominate, but underneath I get notes of the Tripel that this beer once was. There are aromatic hints of lemon peel, herbs, and hay.

The taste is initially soft and creamy up front, but then moves to a spicy Tripel dominated mid section, which then moves to a hint of oak in the finish. The bourbon character is here, but it is not as strong as the nose suggests, and I consider this a good thing. In the flavor the bourbon barrel is more an accompaniment, than the only noticeable thing. This beer is pretty tasty, The notes of the Tripel are strongly here, but there is an undercurrent of bourbon, oak and vanilla. I will admit that I enjoy the regular Tripel a wee bit more than this concoction, though I am certainly enjoying this beer.

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

Thanks goes out to Callenak for this brew.

750ml Bottle
May 2007

Poured into a chalice a murky light/medium golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy white head, a few oil slicks and sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is malty, yeasty, nice touch of the bourbon, a touch of caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, a tad on the yeasty side, a nice touch of bourbon. The alcohol is hidden fairly well. Full body. Very drinkable, this is a nice take on a Tripel, another awesome brew from Allagash, highly recommended.

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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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Photo of yourefragile
3.77/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Tally Ho in Bethlehem

A: Slightly hazed, but mostly clear deep golden color with a nice carbonation and a retentive thin white head.
S: Fruity, white wine aroma (in general, triple like) with mild smell of bourbon and vanilla.
T: Surprisingly mild and smooth, the bourbon isn't nearly as stiff as expected. Ripe fruit, slight hop bitterness and strong oak-y, vanilla flavor. Alcohol/bourbon is present in the finish but not unpleasant. Very smooth, full body. Finish is very dry and clean. This is very easy to drink, almost to easy to drink for this style. It's very drinkable, but a little too mellow and I'm left wanting a little more complexity.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Hollingshead's in Orange, CA, $8.50 for a 12 oz. pour into a Chimay chalice, 2007 Edition, I'm pretty sure of it,

A: Pours a standard goldenrod yellow, with a nice white head, average retention, with average retention.

S: Bourbon, spices, ale yeast esters.

T: Very tasty, at first tastes just like a really good tripel, great yeast esters - spices, apple and pear - straightforward, the bourbon then comes in and adds a light touch of vanilla and oak/wood, some more complexity to just put i over the top. Absolutely delicious in a style I did not think would benefit much from Bourbon Barrel aging, great job Allagash.

M: Very crisp for its weight, great carbonation character, and very smooth with the aging.

D: A great beer, it seems to have lost some of its bourbon character from the 2006 edition which I last had on Halloween Night, 2006, but still is an excellent beer. Expensive, but well worth it, very satisfying.

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

I had this at the Lunar Brewery in Villa Park, Illinois outside of Chicago. Golden in color and slightly cloudy. Light fruity aroma with a hint of wood or oak. Bourbon/whiskey in flavor with a sugary taste as well. Alcohol is not overpowering. Amazing beer.

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Photo of Zorro
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750-ML bottle corked and caged. Bottled July 2005.

Pours a clear golden beer with a subdued head.

Smell is strong fruit and floral with a medium strong scent of bourbon. Citrus and flowers mix well with the vanilla and oak from the barrel aging. A pleasant odor of whiskey floats on the alcohol fumes from the glass giving this an odor very similar to southern comfort whiskey liquor.

Taste is dry with fruit and oak with a pleasant hit of whisky in the taste. The triple flavors of flowers and spicy hops mixes very well with the flavors of vanilla, apples, oak and faint smoke from the bourbon barrel. Orange peel and coriander are in here but the bourbon flavors mostly mask them.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Hard to assign a drinkability score for this particular beer, bourbon barrel triple isn't really a style of it's own. As a triple this is good but not outstanding. As a beer not confined to a style this is a unique and interesting beer. The flavors of a Belgian triple and bourbon whiskey complement each other very well and it is a pairing I would have never thought to try. This is a MUST for any beer drinker that also likes top of the line whiskeys. For a beer only drinker this is a must try just for the uniqueness. As just a highly creative beer this is outstanding in the drinkability department. I will find another bottle of this for Thanksgiving this year.

Highly recommended.

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

Hadthis one on tap at the Brick Store Pub. I've hadthis a number of times now, several times on draft and several in the bottle. The bottle is good, but draft is better, not quite as spicy and harsh and the bourbon flavor seems purer and cleaner while also being a tad more delicate. I can't recall any other Bourbon tripels that I've had, surprisingly that elixer works well with this style of beer.

Pours slightly darker than golden with great lacing. Aromas of bourbon, sweet malt underneath that, and stored apples and pears with a touch of cream. Similar flavor profile. Heavy, but clean and pure bourbon, typical tripel tastes and some pear brandy on the finish. Quite creamy mouthfeel. This is a delight to drink. It works, and the bourbon is so well integrated that it doesn't overwhelm the tripel flavors, it enhances them. I've had this with beer lovers who don't like bourbob, and they still really like this.

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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 flagmantho
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip. This was the January 2010 bottling.

Appearance: rich straw hue with plenty of cloudiness and apparent effervescence. The head is a small layer of compact white foam, though I admit I poured conservatively.

Smell: aroma is of sweet malt and wood. I like it, though wood is a new one for me when it comes to tripels. Can't wait to taste.

Taste: goodness gracious, this is a woody beer indeed. I must say, I like wood in rich stouts and love it in sours, but it seems a little out of place here. The flavor is a nice malt with hints of pear and apple cider, topped with a big helping of vanilla and oak. It is certainly unique among beers I've tried so far.

I'm finding I'm liking it more and more as I get through the glass. The brashness of the oak is tempered as I get a chance to appreciate more and more of the beer's nuances.

Mouthfeel: medium body, but the creaminess is both understated and perfect. It is a richly carbonated beer, but between the slight tanniny astringency of the wood and the smooth richness of the body, this may be among my favoritely-textured beers.

Drinkability: this brew is absolutely growing on me. It is a bit on the strong side, which impairs drinkability, but I still find it extremely ... oh goodness, I can't believe I'm going here ... curieux.

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Photo of stevoj
3.69/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I would have guessed wine barrels instead of bourbon. Soft, slippery body of a tripel, hazy golden wth full fluffy head. Barrel aging takes over the flavor, adding some sour flavors to the mix. Normal tripel spiciness, floral essences. A tripel with a twist.

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Photo of weeare138
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the 2006 version...
Appears a hazy, light orange toned gold with a fluffy, 2 finger white head that slowly fades out. Lots of sticky lacing is left around the glass. Small pockets of CO2 quickly rise to the top.
Smell is of tropical fruit salad, leather, peach, oaky vanilla, dough, caramel, and a nice bourbon aroma that is excellent to inhale. There is a warmness found in the aroma but not a hot boozy burn as I seem to remember from the 2004 version.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas and it seems to meld together nicely. This is one of the few Bourbon Barrel Tripels I've had and I think the peachy, apricot, tropical, doughyness really compliments the bourbony caramel, and vanilla warmness.
Mouthfeel is slightly sweet up front with a smooth warming vanilla and spice flow across the palate. Finishes semi dry with bourbon and oak resonating and making me lick my lips awaiting the next sip.

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

Pops the cork with a very impressive sound. Pours a beautiful cloudy golden yellow with a nice thick head of crunchy, crackling milk-coloured bubbles. Great lacing. Looks a top drop.

Lots of phenolic activity on the nose. Big oaky characters, citrus, resin, a bit of wine cork, unique but refined, fresh but aged. Lots of sharp fruit as well, maybe cherries or cranberries, in a lingering overtone. Very nice indeed.

Smooth sweet entry, with a blossoming robust oak character. Sweet, lightly citric notes on the mid palate before the long finish, dry and crisp, with a noticeable alcohol heat. Mouthfeel has a perfect sheen on it, and only at the end when the big alcohol presence is felt is there a tingling on the tongue. Yet in a way the prominent alcohol character numbs this away.

For me, this is such a classic American craft beer. A Belgian style tripel aged in bourbon casks. Where else in the world could such a beer be possible?

A big beer, very refined, but somewhat hard to approach as well. There are some really lovely characters to this. The huge ABV is daunting, and to be honest, isn't necessary. There's just a bit too much of it noticeable on the palate.

But this is a very nice beer nonetheless. Not something for every day, but something worth savouring on a rare occasion. Try it once now, and then maybe again in a year or so.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a two-finger cream head that goes slowly and leaves a good lace. Cloudy, light amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is alcohol, starts with a distinct alcohol/bourbon flavor some sweetness, finishes with a slight sourness. Nothing like the sweet Belgian triples but is very good. Bottled 10/2004, the ABV is now 10%. 750ml bottle for $14.00 from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of corby112
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy copperish golden yellow color with a 2 finger creamy white head that has good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that leaves sporadic spots of soapy lacing.

Earthy oak/wood aroma with crisp light fruit and citrus notes. The bourbon presence is there but doesn't dominate and is actually quite subtle.

Smooth medium body which was very surprising considering the high ABV. Very flavorful and not too hot. Alcohol is excellently masked making it very drinkable.

Sour earthy oak wood flavor with some sweet crisp light estery fruit notes, mostly apple and pear, slight citrus peel notes and again a nice bourbon presence. The bourbon flavor is well integrated and doesn't overpower the other flavors. Very well balanced with some more bourbon flavor coming through in the oaky dry finish.

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

From the 750 ml. corked bottle marked March 2009. Sampled on June 20, 2009. It pours a cloudy yellow-gold with a bubbly head that builds up quickly and then diminishes. The aroma is of yeast and sour malts. The mouthfeel is pretty good while the taste is a mixture of yeast, alcohol, and grass. It is much like a Belgian style Tripel is supposed taste and it is brewed in Maine. Tastes like Belgium.

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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 akorsak
4.64/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A growler of Curieux filled on 6/19 at Capone's and opened on 7/22. This concludes my Allagash week, a big HUGE thanks to Matt C. and Capone's for the chance to try these beers on tap.

A: The ale is not nearly as hazy at it appeared to be in Capone's. It is an orange-yellow color, moderately translucent with an apparent haze that prevents complete visibility. The head has maintained itself nicely, measuring near 1.5 fingers and lacing extensively in the glass.

S: The nose, as always, is silky sweet bourbon. Buttery with vanilla and a strong undercurrent of alcohol. The bourbon is so strong that you expect a mouthful of Basil Hayden's (my bourbon of choice), hot damn I love it. The nose just keeps getting better and better over time.

T: Even fresh out of the fridge, the ale shows off its robust bourbon body. The sweetness of the barrel brings out a sweet yellow corn taste that is augmented with some buttery oak and vanilla. Tripel flavors emerge immediately from a sip, kicking up a bit of peppery zest that is quickly gobbled up by the bourbon. The sugary sweetness of the finish is enough to keep one coming back for more.

M: This is bourbon without the big alcohol component, how could you ever disparage that? I couldn't, so don't even try...

D: This is a monumental drink, so smooth and so delicious. The growler, between my wife and I, didn't survive the night. The flavor is so robust, so strong and profound that words barely do it justice. Showstopping work from the Allagash crew.

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

Picked up a bottle of this last year at the ghoulschip release, bottled September 2011, poured into my dogfish head tulip.

A - Poured a crystal clear golden hue with a nice one finger head that left a nice light lacing and a thin blanket.

S - Aromas of light barrel and bourbon with some sweet malts and light typical tripel notes. No banana though.

T - Taste is very very bourbony this is just awesome! A year has aged this wonderfully and is so freaking tasty. Now, the bourbon overpowers the tripel flavours but it is so delicious alcohol isn't that noticeable either!

M - Mouthfeel is very very nice with nice solid amount of carbonation with the alcohol not really noticeable.

O - Overall I was really impressed with this beer. Truthfully I did not want to crack it but I noticed the level in the bottle.had dropped so I had no choice. A damn damn good beer.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on draft at sams in Durham. into a flute glass.

pours a cloudy yellow with a nice inch thick white head. smell is faint bourbon, could be more there. the taste however is amazing... great bourbon character but not too strong, balanced very well with the triple. you know its a triple and not just straight bourbon. medium bodied with medium carbonation. goes down smooth and easy.

overall a superb triple. allagash always impresses.

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Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel) from Allagash Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 885 ratings.
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