Allagash Brewing Company

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Belgian Saison
Ranked #71
Ranked #1,260
4.24 | pDev: 9.91%
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Notes: Two yeast strains were used to create this unique Belgian-style ale. The first, a Saison yeast, establishes the flavor foundations of a classic Belgian-style ale. The second, our house strain of Brettanomyces yeast, contributes myriad flavors including pear, apricot, graham cracker, and bread crust. A portion of Interlude is aged in red wine barrels, which imparts a distinctive vinous, plum character and a dry, almost tannic, finish.
Reviews: 459 | Ratings: 1,452 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of StoutElk_92
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Bottled on 07/27/16

Notes of funky red wine, oak barrel, mild leather, slight acetic vinegar, barnyard farmhouse, hay, straw, spice, toasted bready malts, graham cracker, caramel, toffee, vanilla, dried fruit, tart apple, pear, apricot, cherry, plum, pineapple, with floral earthy herbal hops

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Photo of MrOH
4.56/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy copper, not much head to speak of, no retention or lace
Very vinous, but not winy. Brett derived fruitiness, some wine aromatics, hint of phenolics.
Flavor is very wine-like, but doesn't remind me of any wine I've had. Maybe it's the bit of malt backbone. Otherwise, follows the aroma.
Definitely doesn't feel like a 10.6% beer. Dry, the bit of tannins from the barrel keep in cleansing, no booziness
Dang good. Not something I'd drink all the time, but definitely enjoyable here and there.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.84/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle served in a pair of snifters. 2017, bottled on 06/01/17.

Pours a murky, flat, brownish-red. No head, little carbonation. Smell is rich, tart, cherries and/or red wine.

Taste similar, but with a strong brett funk in the background. Kind of interesting.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and flat. Overall, it's a tasty and interesting beer, but it needs some carbonation.

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Photo of fitzy84
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Seymour in Greenfield. The beer had a murky copper appearance with no real head. Amazingly, the aromas I sensed from this beer were very close to an apple-like smell. The taste definitely expanded that with a sharp, tart flavor, reminding me of apples, but mixed with a generally red wine flavor. This beer was very drinkable and approachable thanks to its medium body. Overall, this was excellent, especially with its smell-taste dynamic.

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Photo of ordybill
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the tap into a pint glass at the World of Beer in Pooler, GA. The appearance is a clear reddish amber color white a small white head. The aroma is very close to a red wine. The taste is tart fruit an a red wine finish.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Prohibition Pig Brewpub, June 30th, 2017.
This was poured into a tulip.
The appearance was a sturdy golden bronze color with a cap of a little white foamy head that slid off at a mild pace. Sly somewhat messy lace.
The aroma had some graham cracker and bread crust playing with a light apricot and then a super strong red wine that seems to be bugging my nose a bit. Even as it warmed, the red wine overtook the apricot, graham cracker and bread crust.
The flavor leaned into the vinous to semi-sour quality boldly to pummel out the graham cracker/bread crust tone. Aftertaste was bit strong on the red wine.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sipping quality about it. Carbonation felt fine. ABV did feel as projected. Vinous harshness was a bit stronger in this than expected.
Overall, for a beer from 2014, I would have thought it would have smoothed out more by now, but seemed odd to me that it had the vinous strength it did. Guessing Allagash doesn't fool around when aging Interlude. My numbers are nice, though I'm not a fan of wine.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Distinct copper with a minimal fizzy khaki head dying to a moderate ring.

Smell is round and delectable grape, cherry, red wine, and light oak with a little black pepper.

This tastes quite tart, actually a little acetic, with woody, dark oak, cherry, grape, and savory red wine. There are notes of an almost hoppy pine accent with black pepper and blackberry.

This is both acidic and boozy which gives a slight burn as my only real knock on this beer, which has an otherwise perfect bitter bite to compliment all the waves of fruit, wine and tartness. Interlude becomes substantially more funky with the final pour.

The feel is quite frothy and light on the palate, but full. Very rarely do I see 10% on this kind of beer, but whoa, it drinks almost like a fine wine so it might as well be pushing the boundary.

2015 vintage

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Photo of whitetale
4.64/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Obtained a growler of Interlude 2012 (!) at Applachian Vintners in Asheville two weeks ago. Poured into crystal tulips.
Color is copper. Small white head with some lacing.
Aroma is fruit and a little sour, almost like a tart cider. No sweetness detected.
Taste is tart apples and pears. Maybe some grape in the background? The complexity of this beer is very well balanced. No alcohol taste at all - good for a 9.5%. As others have said, there are layers upon layers of funk and fruit. They build off of each other and keep coming up as you drink. Each sip reveals another layer of something you didn't get before. Improves as it warms. Being a 2012 this has had some time to smooth and grow. The Brett has done wonders.
Mouthfeel is very smooth and tart. Medium carbonation (maybe from being in the growler?). Middle is a little sweet then the finish is dry and tart with a little fruit lingering. Did I say very well balanced.
Overall very, very good. Truly unique, even unbelievable. Definitely a sipper but well worth the time. Am glad I found it. I may never find the 2012 again but I'll keep looking. Seek it out.

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Photo of illpass78
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4 oz. in a stemmed wine glass at Oxbow on Saison Day.

Appearance: A hazy copper/amber with no noticeable head. Some lace. Nice look.

Aroma: Vinous. Big grape presence. Also crackers, funk, maybe even olive oil. Good stuff.

Taste: Very appealing saison with a very nice wine note. Grapes are there on the palate. Earthy, almost brothy.

Mouthfeel: A sipper. Not harsh, though. Fair amount of flavor.

Overall: Very appealing aged saison with a unique flavor profile. One to sip and savor.

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Photo of weareallfalafel
4.96/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750 ml cork and cage bottle dated 5/13/2015 into a teku glass. Pours a deep, hazy af amber color with an inch of off-white head that dissipates slowly. The nose is a huge bouquet of funky Brett, grassy character, foeder, and fruity, vinous notes. Taste is huge and has layers and layers of flavor. First, it's slightly tart, then sweet, then tart again in the swallow. All the while, there are flavors of super funky brettanomyces, grape must, tons of oak, a touch of vanilla, and in the swallow, the grape and the funk stick around for ages. Feel is fairly full in body with light to medium carbonation. Overall, this is a case where words can't suffice, hence the shorter description. This stuff is just layer upon layer of funk and fruit and they build off of each other and keep coming up as you drink. Each sip reveals another layer of something you didn't get before. The age and what it did with the Brett honesty make this damn near unbelievable.

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Photo of JackRWatkins
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2015 bottle, room temp

A: a nice, clear amber with a minimal, fizzy head, the liquid clings to the glass with a certain thickness
S: the red wine comes though immediately in something of a dark fruit medley with a subtle sweetness that seems almost bready, a touch of cinnamon as well
T: pleasant and peculiar, an immediate almost candy (I get marshmallow) like sweetness rolls off the tongue, along with a tartness from the red wine barrel and then a quiet bite there as well. there is a pleasant note of peach and (I want to say) lime here, and the malt body is just right, sweet and pleasant
M: very dry, very much has the mouthfeel of a dry red, right down to the filmy character it has (it coats the tongue but not in the way a stout would)
O: exceptional and different, with many of the qualities of the barrel it was aged in, but also married with a very interesting base beer that makes this a most unique experience, there's a certain common quality that I always pick up from their specialty offerings (the graham cracker and lime), an odd unexpected character that I don't get from other breweries. Seek This out, like all of their specialty offerings, it is quite excellent!

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Photo of mkh012
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage poured into a tulip. A deep reddish-orange.

Sour grape and red wine on the nose.

A variety of fruits on the palate. Cherry, apricot, and pear. Mild sour funk. Quite dry. Alcohol is well-concelead. Complex. Delicate for 10% ABV. Very mature and balanced. Just a touch of bitterness as it warms.

Overall, I enjoyed this. It almost defies categorization. At $20 a bottle, I'm not sure I'd rush back to it, but it's very good. Another solid offering from Allagash. Light and fruity despite the high ABV.

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Photo of mac31
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tulip on draft

Lovely red wine accents imparted in the entry, carrying through the mid-palate. Souring from the Brett is wonderful: aged, mellowed, mature, balanced. Nice familiar oaky/woody notes to round out and soften the beer. Hay, barnyardy funkiness adds a nice layer of complexity. I love the subtle funkiness of this brew. Low carbonation. I love low carbed beers. Alcohol is well covered, specifically by the tannins. Dry and tannic in the finish. Really funky finish as the beer warms up. This sour does not appear rushed or young in any way, which is much appreciated. The drinkability of this beer is exemplary. There isn't much (if any) from Allagash that I haven't liked. This doesn't change my perception. A great beer.

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Photo of ONUMello
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 edition poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip
A: Hazy light brown with a 1+ finger head
S: Malt, yeast, barnyard funk, sour fruit and wine/fermented grapes
T: Funk up front followed by wine grapes, sour fruit, wild yeast and fruit
M: Medium-bodied, sour, a hint bitter
O: Delicious, well balanced and I think age has treated it well

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Photo of OrangeMen
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage
1 year since bottling date

Appearance- Pours a lighter orange, golden color. Glistens w/ transparency, fast rising carbonation bubbles. Finger thick, slight off white colored head, creamy tightly packed bubbles. Slight alcohol legs on glass.

Aroma- Sweet fruit notes, tangerine, apricot, pear, and melon. Dry tannins, oak, sweeter red wine grape, juicy plum, vinous. Slight funky yeast, grassy, crackery bread.

Taste- Tart red fruits, plum, grape. Vinous quality, red wine tannins. Sweeter tropical fruit notes, apricot, melon, lingering juicy pineapple. Funky yeast on the finish, grassy, musty, dry oak and juicy fruits.

Feel- Medium feel, creamy and sweet at times, but leaves a lingering dryness. Moderate carbonation level.

Overall- Incredibly complex w/ well integrated flavors. Lots of tart fruits mixing with a great vinous quality, then balanced out with sweet tropical fruit notes. If that wasn’t enough the funky yeast comes through on the finish and helps dry the beer out. Mouthfeel is wonderful, creamy yet dry. Astoundingly drinkable for the higher abv. Allagash ALWAYS impresses me every time i drink one of their beers, and this one is no different.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.32/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On Tap at Blend. Yellow Orange with a Big White head. Aroma is citrus, orange, yeast. A little wang. Taste has more Wang, but no too much. Pretty good, but not my style.

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Turns an Offero glass dark amber to bright copper (SRM 13-15). A creamy, off-white head builds to a quarter of an inch with tiny carbonation rapidly streaming up from within the glass. Consequentially, the head never fully dissipates. I left the yeast in the bottle.

The aroma opens with funky apple vinegar, followed by red wine, perhaps Merlot or Syrah. Musty oak provides an undertone while warmth delivers dehydrated apricots.

The initial expression is sour before quickly turning sweet with a mild bitterness in the background. Quite fruity with pronounced apricot and plum. Oak and faint red wine are present through the middle, while Champagne comes out in a long, sour finish. Warmth accentuates the oaky-ness.

Alcohol is mild, but about as expected in this light-to-medium bodied Saison. A silky texture plays against fine, yet energetic carbonation. The finish is quite drying.

In my opinion, this is a hybrid of a Saison style. Regardless, it fires on twelve cylinders. I can imagine pairing this with lemon-seared fish or creamy bleu cheese. It is perfect for relaxing outside on a warm summer Sunday afternoon.

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Photo of dd43
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer is amazingly complex. The Brett notes are present but not overpoweringly so. Definitely some earthy funk. Nice level of tartness here, again very restrained. Definitely some puckering pear in the flavor. The barrel qualities are also balanced nicely in that there's a Pinot noir impression and an oaky touch that play off the fruit notes in the aroma and taste. Dry on the finish, quite astringent actually, and the booze comes through but just a bit. Very faint traces of alcohol legs in the glass, not much head after the initial fat finger. The wine characteristics announce themselves more as it warms up. This is a beer you can sit with for a good long while and pick apart.

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Photo of StraightNoChaser
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

look: hazy reddish peach. Thick small bubble white head.
smell: Gentle sour and tart. Some citrus jam notes.
taste: Wow, so much going on here. Mostly dry. Starts with notes much like the nose followed by a wave of oaky, nutty, earthiness. Then theres some red wine notes. Wow.

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sample glass at Growler Garage, South Burlington, VT. The appearance was a hazy burnt red color with a quickly dissipating barely there white cap of a head. Bar pour, rating adjust appropriately. The smell started off with some sweet apples roaming into a sly bitter to semi-sour lemon. Fresh tart green apples slide in for the balance. The taste was sour with touches of sweet, bitter and tart through the previously mentioned flavors. A semi-sour apple aftertaste leads into the finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a nice sessionable feel to it. Carbonation runs fairly light. Sour hits on my tongue appropriately. Overall, I’d say this was a really nice American Wild ale really taking in the sweeter side some AWA’s are afraid to lean towards.

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Photo of ptykozoon
3.34/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Amber, hazy apricot. No head and spotty lacing. A distinct lack of head.

Oak, olive juice, smell is distinct but very subtle.

Vermouth, bitter, martini. Red wine. Light sour. Floral and earthy.

Light mouthfeel, light sour. Dry.

Not bad.

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Photo of BillRoth
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tour at brewery. Nice very complex beer that seemed more wine oriented in the nose and palate. Expect it would be a good food beer. Dry but not astringent/harsh. Unfortunately had to rush drinking it because we had to leave the part of the brewery where the tour tastings are done. May have had stronger impressions of the complex flavors if I had more time to savor. Still...clearly a very good beer and one I'd try again.

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Photo of ajm5108
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It has an autumn gold color, very little head retention but very bubbly like a champagne. Aroma has a sweet mulled cider with accents of pear, white grape must and just a bit of the Brett funk. Flavor picks up a lot of the wine barrel from the aging, though I got almost all Shirah and not much Merlot, which is fine by me as I'm not a merlot guy. Sharp grape must, faint oak, some more dry pear and the Brett is just delicactely floating in the background, accentuating the soft tartness of the grape notes but not overpowering anything. Very dry and crisp finish, good medium carbonation that isnt too fizzy. All in all, another excellent beer from Allagash. I think they might be the best brewery out there when it comes to incorporating Brett into their concoctions. All the flavors here accentuate and play off each other like a good jazz riff, a little beer, a little wine, a little champagne and a litle brett, all perfectly balanced and in harmony. Awesome.

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Photo of Cannabanoid
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I got this bottle as a birthday present from my best friend. This beer was fantastic. I'm sure this would have been a good saison in and of itself. However the addition of Brett and aging in red wine barrels has completely put this on a new level of delicious. Allagash has never disappointed me.

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Photo of Bugs318
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very lightly hazy red-tinged orange, with a creamy thick white head of sold retention and fluffy lacing. Nose wafts grape must forward with mild dustiness, and light wood. Taste is a touch sweet up front but dries up nicely in a red wine dominant fashion. Syrah barrel is most forward. Medium full bodied, with low feeling carbonation and a subsequent creamy feel, while booze is very well hidden.

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Interlude from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 1452 ratings