James & Julie
Allagash Brewing Company

James & JulieJames & Julie
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Sour - Flanders Oud Bruin
Ranked #7
Ranked #1,610
4.26 | pDev: 7.75%
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States
James & JulieJames & Julie
Notes: James and Julie is our take on a Flemish sour brown and offers an aroma of raisins, figs, cherries, and caramelized sugar. Mahogany in color, this medium-bodied ale finishes with clean acidity and a hint of spice. We brew this sour brown ale with Pilsner, Special B, Maize, and Chocolate Malt and ferment it with our house yeast strain. It then ages for two years on stainless steel with our own blend of Lactobacillus and Pediococcus cultures.
Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 241 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of npolachek
npolachek from New York

4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very solid Flemish brown ale. Tastes sour, but not too sour. good aromas with dankiness as well as tartness bundled into one. Very earthy and great drinking.

Dec 20, 2019
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Gatch from Massachusetts

4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled June 20, 2019 and picked up at the brewery on October 12th. It’s a rare occurrence that I get to drink a Flemish sour brown ale and even more special coming from such a top notch brewery. Nose is super aromatic and complex, with dank wood, dark sugary fruits, and even bourbon barrel?? Flavor is similar, though heavier on the earthy, fruity character. Pleasantly tart with plenty of carbonation. A seriously well-executed Flanders Oud Bruin!

Nov 08, 2019
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Thomas_Wikman from Texas

4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It is the first time I've had an Oude Bruin, but I thought it tasted pretty similar to Flanders Red Ales. It is a tart beer but very crisp and drinkable.

Look: clear brown with a very thick tan head

Aroma: lemon, tart cherries

Taste: tart, a bit sweet, caramel, red wine, tart cherries and oak.

Feel: light and somewhat bubbly

Apr 01, 2019
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Sabtos from Ohio

3.57/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Even after a full pour, the body is clear, with tiny light bubbles under a shadow of dark acorn red with a head that fizzles out so quickly you never know it was there.

Smell seems pretty acetic and vinegary. Balsamic, dark oak, red wine grapes and cherry with a slight nostril-stinging draft.

Taste up front is startlingly sour at first, tart and sharp, and very Oud Bruin-esque, but you warm up to it quickly. It's not acetic as the nose would suggest, but is at the same time very old world, oaky, and balsamic-like without being full on vinegary. There's some plum, cherry and red grape, but the overall "sour brown" is the main takeaway.

Feel is crisp, tingly and moderately thin with a semi-dry finish.

Nov 09, 2018
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Damian from Massachusetts

3.74/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Drank from a 12.7 fl oz (375 ml) corked and caged bottle purchased at Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont, MA
Date Bottled: Oct. 11, 2017
Served in a tulip

Crystal clear mahogany appearance. The body was topped by a tight, creamy, light khaki crown that fell to a frothy film. Streaky patches of lacing stuck along the glass.

The nose was mild but had a dominant plastic-y quality to it. Some mild tartness and funk were detectable as well. Touch of caramel malt sweetness. The aroma definitely improved as the beer warmed. The plastic notes dissipated and the sweetness came forth. A slightly oxidized, sherry-like note was also detectable. Hint of smoke as well.

The plastic presence also came through in the flavor. There was a moderate tartness too. Mildly acidic. Underripe raspberries came to mind. Bit of malty sweetness. Carmel malts were noticeable. Lemon appeared on the back end. The beer finished quite dry with even more tartness and acidity. Pithy lemon peel notes were apparent as well.

The beer was light and fluffy on the palate. A touch airy perhaps. The liquid contained a zippy, rather aggressive effervescence that was somewhat reminiscent of Champagne. Toward the drink’s end, the acids in the beer made my teeth feel super sensitive.

I tend to really enjoy most Flemish sour ales, but James & Julie seemed rather thin in both flavor and body and contained an odd plastic-y quality. I think a bigger malt backbone would balance this out and improve the beer substantially.

Sep 30, 2018
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Franziskaner from Missouri

3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Dark copper colored and very clear in complexion. There's a fingernail of brown around the rim and covering the majority of the top. The aroma is of barnyard funk and horse blanket along with some apple cider. I'm tasting apple cider, horse blanket, and a touch of pear. The mouth is moderately carbonated and very dry.

Jul 15, 2018
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snaotheus from Washington

3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

375ml bottle served in a WABL sampler.

Pours a brownish red with a smallish head and little carbonation. Smell is tart and dark.

Taste is woody, cherries, tart.

Mouthfeel is light and effervescent. Overall, i's pretty good.

Jul 02, 2018
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Apellonious from North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12.7 fl oz bottle poured into a WW tulip glass. A ruby red brown mix, dense, a thin rim of head that moves immediately to a thin lace. The aroma is wood, cider and pear. Immediate, but not overpowering, pucker initially, cider, some pear and dark fruit notes. As it warms, you get more of the dark fruit, but the sourness remains even for the entire glass. The mouthfeel is medium, carbonation sharp. A very well made sour brown, it hits all the notes.

Jul 01, 2018
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Light fizzy head, slight hazy auburn orange color
Nose sour brown, sweet brown malt caramelized sugar, fruity sour funk, acidic, acetobacter, fig, date, etc

Taste mild sweet candy malt, caramelized sugar, toasted, big tart funk, sour malt big fruit, fig, date, maybe berry or cherry, little syrupy note mild flemmy finish, pretty acidic, acetobacter, little sour cherry, candy fruit

Mouth is med bod, little flemmy syrupy sticky, no alcohol, light carb

Overall better than I thought it would be, don't usually like sour brown butt it was lighter and easier to drink, good fruit, nice acidity, not too flemmy

Apr 16, 2018
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Again, ratings are for the style, and as Flanders Oud Bruins go, this is the best I have had in a long time. The smell features a hint of grassiness, followed by a huge bouquet of dark fruits, such as candied plums, figs, raisins, dark cherry, and a cooked caramel and sweet smell. Taste is swirling with these flavors along with gentle compliments of yeast and slightly sour finish. Feel has a great sour, vinegar and boozy mouthfeel. Well done!

Apr 12, 2018
Photo of TH28
TH28 from Florida

4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle. 10/11/17 bottle date. Appearance: Murky cloudy brown, with a low lying off white head Aroma: Acidic Black cherry, with some fig and raisin. A touch of toasted malt. Taste: Moderate malt sweetness with some toasted notes, dark fruit of raisins, figs, and black cherry, and a sharp lactic acidity. A touch of coconut and cranberry. Low bitterness Mouthfeel: Fairly light bodied, with a brisk carbonation. Finish: Very dry with a lingering tartness and dark fruit that is reminiscent of cranberry. Overall: Really good Oud Bruin, with a complex aroma and flavor that balances multiple layers of dark fruit flavors against a strong acidity. Nice body and carbonation to bring it all to life

Apr 07, 2018
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HoppingMadMonk from New Jersey

4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Copper brown color. Champagne like body and feel, definitely above average carbonation. Aroma is vinegar, gtapes, lemon/lime, yeast and malt. Taste is somewhat similar although the vinegar aroma didn't show up in the taste. Lemon/lime produced a mild tart softness but was far from too strong. Very pleasing once I got last the vinegar smell. Very good after dinner dessert beer

Mar 05, 2018
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markjknowles from Oregon

4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't like the stainless steel aging. I miss the barrel. This has an off taste underlying what is otherwise quite good. Funny, I like stainless steel age wine and sometimes prefer it, like with Chardonnay. But this just doesn't taste quite right. Not quite unright either. I'll enjoy it but there is much better for much less.

Feb 12, 2018
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated October 11, 2017.
This was poured into a tulip.
The appearance was a semi-glossy amber to dark orange color with a slim cap of a little white foamy head that slid off moderately. Nice little valleys created inward from this dissipating head. Just a little bit of concave lace around the sides. Carbonation bubbles could be seen rising along the sides of the glass.
The aroma shaped some sweet raisins towards some shifty semi-sweet woody fig notes and a stifled little bit of red wine, then sour cherries, light lemon notes all coming together sweet, sour and tart with a brush of bitterness underneath.
The flavor took all of those prior mentioned aromas and brought them together in a nice sweet to tart to sour embrace first of all. Yet, the bitterness, well, it took, perhaps a shy minute, but like the aroma, it came in underneath. Some chocolate actually started coming through with a little bit more warmth. Aftertaste was semi-fig like with some raisins, lemon acidity and a touch of sour cherries.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sessionability about it. I'd say this definitely leaned towards the European side of having "less pucker" and "acidic harshness" in the feel than a fair amount of it's American counterparts. Finish had some sour cherries, fig, and raisins.
Overall, to me, it seemed very true to it's style and would be one I'd definitely seek again.

Jan 26, 2018
Photo of amesetz
amesetz from California

4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice and tart, but has almost a vinegary finish to it. Not sure if that comes with the beer or whether it was just improperly handled (live in CA and date says bottled in '15). Still not bad and cool to taste a beer aged on stainless. head quickly disappears. Literally bottled 2 years ago almost to the day. First allagash, will definitely try more soon.

Aug 22, 2017
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SLeffler27 from New York

4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A one-inch creamy almond head floats above this gem-clear copper/amber beer. Abundant fine carbonation reinforces the head which drops to half an inch for the duration. Lacing coats and washes down the walls of a Bellegems flute glass.

The aroma is fruity and sour with cherries and modest barnyard. This is elegantly subtle, yet distinct with lots of berry notes.

The flavor is highly refined like the nose and luxurious without being opulent. Wuite tart with blackberries, cherries, boysenberries and wild berries. Very berry. Warms to reveal sweetness and mild bitterness while further developing tart berries. The finish is long, tart and mouthwatering.

A medium body accentuates a cashmere texture. Alcohol, while higher than expected, is well controlled against lively carbonation.

This is a truly exquisite beer perfect for any very special occasion. (I enjoyed it on Leap Day.) Allagash nailed the style and hopefully will produce more.

Jul 09, 2017
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Slack from Virginia

4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml

Pale to medium amber and clear. Head starts at about half an inch and settles to a razor thin ring. No discernible lacing.

Nose is tart, cherries, lactic, a bit of must and oxidation.

Taste is subtle sweet cherry mixed with lactic acid, vinous, oxidation, malt, and muted vinegar.

Mouthful is medium and full. Carbonation is high. Finish is dry.

A sweet and sour beer. Wine like and malty yet not overly sour. A nice example of a sour brown/oud bruin.

May 20, 2017
Photo of Jadjunk
Jadjunk from Georgia

4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

"James and Julie is our take on a Flemish Sour Brown and offers an aroma of raisins, figs, cherries, and caramelized sugar. Mahogany in color , this medium bodied ale finishes with a clean acidity and a hint of spice. We brew this sour brown ale with Pilsner, Special B, Maize and Chocolate Malt and ferment it with our house yeast strain. It then ages for two years on stainless steel with our own blend of Lactobacillus and Pediococcus cultures." Brewed in the style of a Flanders Oud Bruin, available in 375ml. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 375ml. bottle to a tulip glass.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp, frothy head of an ecru white head over a caramel amber body with fine sediment and lively carbonation. Retention is below average and there is no visible lacing. 3

(Smell) Smooth malt body of pilsner and bready malt blend with a gentle sweetness, a gruff acidity of vinegar and tart cherry, and fermented fruit sugars. Subtly peppery, yet clean. Potency is moderate. 4

(Taste) Flavors of tart cherry, vinegar and tangy fruit notes, atop a slick bread malt body. Very tangy and acidic bite- enjoyable and graceful slow sipping flavor. 4.25

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, lightly syrupy, softly chewy, sharply tangy, medium dry. Carbonation is modest, generating a moderate frothiness and a mildly crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is moderately sour and acidic over sweet. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters. 4.25

(Overall) A very enjoyable Flanders Brown with quite a lot of back story going into it. Great, clean malt base with a lot of vinegar sour fermented fruit tang going for it, but not overly dry or riddled with harshness or imbalance; quite nicely composed with a wide range of flavor diversity. A great beer in this small batch series by Allagash, worth seeking out. 4.25

Allagash Brewing Company's
James and Julie

Mar 10, 2017
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ArkyVaughan from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The more Allagash sours I try, the more I'm convinced they are underrated (even though the ratings on here are quite good). They are just so well done and James and Julie is no exception. Perfectly balanced, with a pronounced, but not overwhelming sourness. Aged in stainless, so no oak flavor.

Jan 30, 2017
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ClavisAurea from New York

4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

08/2015 bottling served at cellar temps in a tulip glass

Appearance: muddled brown and red with some haze and sediment. Very thin tan head that sank to nothing.

Nose: tart cherries, a little funk, very pleasant

Taste: highly carbonated and lifts off the tongue well, tart cherries, cracker malts, biscuit sweetness, mild funk, classic Allagash sour bacteria character.

Overall: very nice American version of the Flemish Brown

Jan 18, 2017
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OrangeMen from New York

4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage
~1 year from bottle date

Appearance- Pours a glistening bright, amber orange color, deeper reddish hues. Fast rising carbonation bubbles, pours a half finger thick head, fizzy and soapy, dissipates rather quickly. Not much head lacing.

Aroma- Tart acidity, sour cherries, dark fruits of raisin and vinous red grapes. Sweeter malts, brown sugar, spicy yeast, lingering fruitiness and earthy grassiness.

Taste- Bright, tart cherries and dark fruits. Figs and raisins, sweeter berries. Vinous red wine grapes, vinegar and acidity. Brown sugar sweetness, maltiness. Spicy yeast qualities, earthy, woody spice.

Feel- Medium bodied, moderate tartness. Good amount of acidity but it doesn’t linger on too much, some stickiness as well. Moderate carbonation.

Overall- Really enjoyable, layers of tart fruit flavors combined with a classic acidic vinegar quality. Some sugary sweetness and spice from the yeast comes through to balance on the finish and add some complexity.

Aug 21, 2016
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angrybabboon from Massachusetts

4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Note: Last review from Lyme, NH and conincidentially review #1150

Consumed 7/13/16

A: Medium amber with some really nice shades of orange, red, and brown - pours with a huge, fluffy, beige head, very slowly fades to a solid medium cap, leaves impressive blobs and streaks of lacing

S: Tart and funky with some juicy dark fruit - lactic, damp mustiness balanced by some brighter acidity with a touch of lemon - some general tartness and some tart, dark berries, cherries - other dark fruits and some light caramel sweetness - some fairly bright oak

T: Funky, tart, lightly juicy - funky and tart, lightly sour - some damp, musty, dirty basement lacto and some sharp acidity - lemons - dark fruits, dark berries, cherries - cherry skin - grapes - lightly sweet balsamic vinegar in the mix - some light malty sweetness with some caramel - lots of oak, works well with the other flavors - finishes with lingering funk and vinegar

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, tart finish

O: Jimmy and Bimmy!

Just about every time I review one of these one-offs from Allgash, I make some kind of comment about how their sour game is on point. That being said, James and Julie is exceptional, even for Allagash's standards. I wish I had bought more of this when I had the chance.

Jul 13, 2016
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corby112 from Pennsylvania

3.86/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby red/copper color with mahogany edges and a two finger off-white head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Visible carb bubbling up. Very good retention, lingering for most of the pour with sporadic streaks of soapy lace left behind.

Sweet acetic aroma with subtle solvent character along with strong vinous fruit character and a sweet malt backbone. Balsamic and red wine vinegar along with tart cherry, vinous grape, red wine and other dark berries. Sweet malts coming through with hints of caramel, toffee and dark bread. Nice but the acetic quality is a touch heavy.

Medium body with soft carb and tart puckering acidity lingering over vinous fruit and a sweet malt backbone into a tart, dry finish. Some acetic quality but not as harsh or solvent-like as in the nose with notes of Balsamic and red wine vinegar. Very dry, tart and sour with heavy red wine tannins. Dryer notes help counter acetic acid which is complimented by dry red wine flavor vinous fruit sweetness. Dark grape, sour cherry, currant other dark berries followed by caramel, toffee, vinous fruits and light bread. Pretty well balanced and easier to drink than expected. I usually don't like this strong of an acetic character but it's well integrated here adding strong sourness that's nicely countered by the other notes.

May 12, 2016
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bubseymour from Maryland

4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Brown and highly carbonated with 1 finger head. Nice mild horseblanket and musky smell. Really superbly dialed in with the sour and sweet notes. Reminds me a lot of a Rodenbach Grand Cru which is saying something really good. Excellent sour as always from Allagash.

May 07, 2016
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mothman from Minnesota

3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fizzy tan head that fades away. Golden bronze color.

Sour and vinegar flavors. Cherry pie flavors. Lemon acidity. Brown sugar. Fruity, tart, and sour.

Light bodied. Fizzy carbonation.

Solid sour!

Apr 15, 2016
James & Julie from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 241 ratings