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Allagash Interlude | Allagash Brewing Company

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449 Reviews
Allagash InterludeAllagash Interlude

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Two yeast strains were used to create this unique 9.5% ABV Belgian style ale. The first, a Belgian farmhouse yeast, establishes the flavor foundations of a classic Belgian-style ale. The second, a house strain of Brettanomyces yeast, brings it to the next level contributing an intriguing myriad of flavors including pear, apricot, graham cracker, and bread crust. Finally, a portion of the Interlude is aged in French Merlot and Sirah oak barrels, which impart a distinctive vinous plum character and a drying, almost tannic finish.

Added by brewandbbq on 01-15-2006

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Reviews: 449 | Ratings: 1,370
Photo of bareju
4.69/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow. This beer is complex and delicious, refreshing and strong and easy drinking.

Sweet and funky front, finished with some tannins. Fruity throughout and lightly tart. Perfectly balanced.

Will drink again.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at The Old Toad in Rochester, NY.

Pours a hazy golden orange-ish yellow, with a quarter inch head, and a good amount of lacing.

Smells like heavy citrus, baked bread, wine, and the slightest amount of funky Brett.

The brett is pretty restrained here, it provides a bready, crusty, and slightly sweet finish. The Brett yeast is restrained as mentioned above, providing some light mustiness and the taste of bread. It feels very citrusy, lots of orange and apricot, a little bit of apple juice, and the smallest amount of tartness.

This is light bodied, with a crisp and bready mouthfeel, along with a moderate level of carbonation.

A really unique barrel aged saison. The red wine doesn't show up a whole lot, but the Brett here is the real star. Restrained and elegant and just tasty as fuck.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter at the Union Brewhouse in Weymouth.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a hazy copper amber color with some clarity and vision of tiny bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Funky, bready, vanilla, fruity sweetness, pear, apple, oak, merlot grapes, and some alcohol.

Taste: The oak wine barrels have seemed to blend the above aromas together. Tart and delicious.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, tart, slight funky, smooyh, some alcohol, a little chewy, a little dry, and extremely drinkable.

Overall: It has been some time since I have had this beer, but won't forget it now. So delicious and each dip got better and better.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This beer was served on tap at Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell, New Jersey. It arrived in a generic thickly stemmed globe at the bar, showing hues of a brown strawberry cider. It held a minuscule quarter finger’s worth of white foam for a head, leaving ringed lacing after a brief retention. Major haze cut clarity, but no sediment was found. Carbonation appeared to be moderate. The aroma stood super hot with brett right from the start, supported by a base of amber, pale, and toasty dry caramel grain, soured lemon, white wine vinegar, sweet tea, burlap, strawberry and cherry fermented fruitiness, chemical and Magic Marker phenols, booze, banana Laffy Taffy, beeswax, dried lavender, coriander, rosewater, ammonia grassy funk, and straw. The taste gave massive Bretty funky tartness, bitterest Muscat and Syrah grape, vanilla oak, vodka booziness, amber and pale malts, phenolic chemicals, shoe polish, unpasteurized apple cider, savory Belgian yeastiness, caramel roast and toast, concrete dust, light buttery diacetyls, bittered almond skins, coiny metallics, lemon peel, glass, cider vinegar, red radishes, and clean cherry fruity pucker. The body was full, and the carbonation was high. Nice slurp and smack accompanied each sip, but cream and froth were more distant. Cool prickle gave way to puckered and softer tannic dryness across the palate. As the beer warmed, this thinned out. The abv was appropriate, and the beer disappeared as an easy sipper.

Overall, the Brett is off the freakin’ charts throughout this beer. To make matters even more tart and sour, the oak barreling and bitterness of the wine grapes catapults Interlude to the next level. The latter is remarkable in that you get all of the grapey, skinned bitterness, without any fleshy juiciness or cloying sweetness. At the same time, however, it never comes across at all like a winey flavoring, as the oak itself tends to be more subtle. It is obviously present enough to be able to transfer that intense grape quality, but again, they are distinct and separate entities in their intensity and showiness. For anyone looking to satisfy their craving for a bitter, sour, puckering wild, farmhousy beer, you’re in luck on all accounts. We are so happy to have had the opportunity to try this well-rounded, yet wonderfully unique beer.

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Photo of Hab11
3.71/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Allagash Interlude 2013 750 ml Cork and Cage w/Three Lions.
Look: Have to start with in the Bottle, Looks awesome here like a nice blush wine in the bottle or a rose^! Just put it in the glass, carbonation looks like the jump to light speed in the original Star Wars trilogy. Orange or tangelo like in appearance. Cider like! Actually unfiltered, unpasteurized cider might hit it on the head. Super fun looking concoction!
Smell: Red wine and the barrel really come through. French oak has such a nice character to it and it's in here in abundance. I love this smell so I'm biased for sure. I get the grapes here with this one. I even get the good molds that wine grapes can possess. Brett is apparent but not overdone. Butterscotch sweetness, vanilla lots of it. I like the smell of this it's better than fresh cut flowers! Complex as well as tasteful.
Taste: Candied sour fruit, very malty, bitter on the tale end. Smell is so much better than the taste. Maybe it's the age of this but the tannins are super prevalent. Might be a case of what makes the nose diminished the taste. I think I need to try this young. Unfortunately in its current state it's just ok to me.
Feel: like letting a sugar cube dissolve on your tongue. Vanilla not in flavor but in feel. It's not spectacular it's not bad it just is. It plays and not in a good way with my palette and my sinuses. Even leaving a bitter feel. My mom describes Guinness as "drinking the inside of a wood stove"...this kind of feels to me like licking a wood pile, splinters and all!
Overall: Like the hot girl at the bar that sucks in bed this is all about looks and smell. It's a show with no substance or style. At the end of the day you're better off with your old sock!

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Photo of ThreeLions
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

October 2013 vintage split with Hab11
Appearance: Quite a unique orange/brown color. Browrange? What? Looks like someone mixed apple juice with orange juice then stirred in some dirt. Rust color? Cool looking. C
Very subtle head. Interesting carbonation. Lots of bubbles on the bottom of the glass with only a few breaking free and rising g to the surface. Super tiny bubbles forming in the top third of the glass. Great activity for a year and a half old.
Smell: well alright. Great Brett funk right off the bat. Artificial grape like pixie stick smell but also red grape aromas too. Tart, sour, acidic. Background caramel notes from the barrel. Vinous. French oak. Quite a complex and awesome smell. Many layers and we'll balanced.
Taste: Not what I was expecting. Tastes like candy. Sour grapes. Candied sweet bitter fruit like a warhead candy. The smell was much better than the taste. The oak tannins came through to a fault in this. Not sure where to go. Not a big fan. The taste was disappointing here.
Mouth: carbonation is quite low. The bitterness and overwhelming oak tannin are off putting and it is also cloying.
Overall. The appearance and smell of this beer are really quite exceptional. The taste and mouth were both disappointing and unpleasant. Not what I was expecting. It's like all the bad parts of barrel aging with brettanomyces came together with this beer. It's unfortunate. Probably would not buy again. Well that's wrong. I would like to try thus fresh and note the differences but after a year and a half I'm not really a fan.

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Photo of 7Sport
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Rating from an October 2012 750ml corked/caged bottle from my cellar

Just drank a 2011 bottle (02/12/15) and it was phenomenal. Taste score on the 2011 would be a 4.5 with a similar bump in the overall score. Not sure if it's the age or the particular vintage but the 2011 was a different beer, and by far my favorite (compared to 2012-2014) vintages.

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Photo of NateF90
4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 release in a red wine glass on New Year's. All I remember were the crazy cantaloupe and honeydew melon flavors, presumably from the brett. Would love to try again.

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Photo of FFreak
4.61/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Picked up at Costco for ~$16. Poured into glasses and shared with friends who love Brett. This beer was wonderful. It has a fruitiness that I'd not experienced in a beer before because I believe it comes from the Brett rather than hops, which I'm more accustomed to. Pineapple, apricot, peach and some dried fruit and none of the horse blanket/straw I'd learned to expect from Brett. Just about perfect mouth feel and carbonation. Overall, this beer really floored me with how good it is.

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Photo of seedyone
1.5/5  rDev -64.2%

03/29/13 At Rattle N Hum on tap. Strangest assault on the ol' taste buds in a long time. Not sure what they were going for here as much as "let's just throw some stuff down the chute & see what comes out". IMHO this is an aimless taste profile. Befuddling at best. If it wasn't that I paid for it & the 9.5% ABV, I would have poured it on the floor as a wax remover. The only "notes" I'm registering are "don't waste your time & money on this focus-less nonsense".

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Photo of chinchill
3.42/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the Community Tap (SC).

Flavor & Aroma: Plenty of red wine flavors with oak too. These also permeate the aroma where hints of barnyard smells detract.
Bottle in April 2016 cpfirms tasting

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Photo of FLima
3.84/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange color with short head retention.
Sweet and very orchard aroma with mild funky notes.
Predominant flavor of apples and grapes fermentation, some elegant funkiness, oranges, Asian plum liquor, pear, bretta and white wine.
Dry aftertaste with a medium bitterness and tart sensation.
Light to medium body with appropriate carbonation of tiny bubbles.
Outstanding beer, very elegant with amazing complexity and lots of grapes and bretta. It felt like a mix of a Saison and a Belgian Strong Golden Ale.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -4.5%

On tap at Cask and Vine with Mr Barleywine.
Light and fruity with a bretty funky earthy edge to it. Tannic and tart with a bit of a vinous character to it. Nice beer.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

so much character to this beauty, lucky enough to find it on tap at the farmhouse Burlington. pale in color, unassuming, and even drab, but one sniff confirms its place amongst the top dwelling wild ales of the word. a ton of jammy red wine essence, the barrel character is first and foremost here, with the brett right behind in tow. the flavor is a little different, with the yeast way out ahead of the red wine, almost strident in its assertiveness, packing both alcohol rawness and oaky maturity, its truly a weirdo in the best sense of the word. flavor features more base malt than anticipated, with some amount of wheat and the brett before other yeasts. its super dry but doesn't lose its fruity red wine character. I am impressed with the subtlety of the alcohol, and all the cherry character of the booze. enough body for all the flavors to hold up, but it still seems light to me for some reason. carbonation is relatively up beat too. complex as they come, and different from the wild ale crowd. something special here.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

In honor of our family's impending trip to shores of Maine...
Poured into an Allagash small tulip glass: color is lighter amber, slightly opaque, copper hues on the glass edges, head is light tan and presents 1/2 inch thick then dissipates to a ring, no lacing.

Smell is tilted towards the tart, sourness of the brett yeast off notes, pear, maybe some sour grapes, with a subtle farmhouse funk with some biscuit.

Taste is more balance between the two yeast strains: immediate flavor is sour, tart brett like sourness; then there is transition to dryer farmhouse style crispness. I can't identify the wine barrel presence, but I'm sure the tilt in aroma and upfront flavor towards grape and pear like sourness is amplified by this. Almost forgot to mention that this beer has incredible flavor and presence with no indication its the strength. On second thought, i think the wine barrel aging has softened any esters or strong flavors from the strength.

Mouthfeel is a great balance again: sourness provides lingering intriguing flavors, while the softness from the wine barrels creates great presence on the cheeks and there is even the drying qualities from the farmhouse yeast.

Overall, a great beer, incredible flavor and complexity when you understand where its subtleties come from. And to top it off its strong and sweet but not overpowering, another great ale from Allagash.

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Photo of tigg924
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, low carbonation, gold in color, hazy

Smell: oak and dark fruit

Taste: oak, dark fruit, toasted malt, and hay

Mouthfeel: sweet and funky, light in body, medium carbonation

Overall: An excellent saison that tastes like it is mixed with a healthy helping of fruit juices. I think this beer is right up there with the best that Allagash makes. I would certainly get this on tap if again.

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Photo of fourstringer
3.96/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked & caged 750 mL bottle into a Brewer's Art goblet. Dated October 2013. Cork hit the ceiling, but no gushing.

A: Amber/rose-colored body with good clarity. Scant white head that rapidly disappears. Light lacing.

S: Light brett with vinous quality. Grapes and more subdued stone fruit. Mild earth.

T: Tart initially with a dry, even-handed Brett character shortly thereafter. There is the presence of red wine and associated tannins. Mostly dry finish. Lightly hopped. Alcohol presence is average for the ABV. Tartness lingers in the aftertaste.

M: Light-to-moderate carbonation with a fairly light body. Open on the palate.

O: Solid brew, if a bit less impressive than expected. Probably should have sat on this one a bit longer. I was hoping for a bit more complexity, but fans of wine barrel aging and brettanomyces will enjoy this.


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Photo of LeRose
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at beer pairing dinner event, 300 ml pour.

Can I just say OH MY and stop writing? This may get weird...this beer made an impression.

Appearance - an amber/coppery color with a compact head that quickly vanished leaving a ring around the glass. Visually pleasant.

Aroma - I now understand the term funk - this has it and I get it. Maybe some acidic fruit presence. Grapes, apricot, and almost graham cracker-like aroma or dark bread crust. Overall it feels "earthy" and connected, somehow rustic and comforting.

Taste - very tart initially, then this odd yet undeniably pleasant sensation that I assume is from the Brettanomyces. Definite imagery of the farmhouse... Then it gets dry and tannic and winelike with grape flavors, apricot sweetness just a little, some bready character. It's exactly as Allagash describes, but the description can't possibly capture the sensation and I am no better.

Mouthfeel - the tart is welcome, a great cleansing sensation, yet there is a smoothness. Then again it is drying. A big package of flavors and sensation that leaves me wanting more. And oh by the way it's 9.5%...really?

Overall this beer was a great experience to which I can hardly do justice. Each sip is a little different as the flavors play off one another. Sour, sweet, earthy/funky. Some beautiful stuff here that I think speaks to the skill of managing two separate fermentations, letting each contribute to the fullest.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.91/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Pours a bright copper color with great clarity and a quickly diminishing head.

Smell is musty, vinegar like and malty. Kind of fruity with a kiss of malt vinegar.

In the taste, nice sourness, more of a winesque tartness. Wine and some funk, light oak. The body is light, carbonation is low.

Overall the flavors are sublime and it drinks really smooth. It was delicious and moderately complex, my review is nothing compared to this beer. It's hard to describe.

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Photo of Andrew041180
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Notes: Just starting to understand wild ales. Limited review by design.

A - Arrived with a creamy, but slim head. Good retention and some thin lacing. Great color. Super cloudy golden orange.

S - Per the description, a nice mix of Belgian-style aromas, mixed with an acidic quality. Great level of potency, and quite pleasant.

T - I can't quite pick out the complexities here yet, because I am still mostly focused on the acidic nature of this style of beer. However, I did enjoy it, and it was definitely a nice blend of characteristics.

M - This was great. Really nice supportive carbonation.

O - This is first full glass of a sour beer that I've gotten through and enjoyed. It's a luxury, and not something that I see myself having a lot of, but I definitely look forward to more of these from an outstanding brewery.

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Photo of antott0523
3.64/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle dated October 2013 into a goblet.

A: Deep amber with a touch of haze. Off white head disappears across the plane of the beer, but a thin ring remains around the rim. Effervescent when pouring, and settled to a more mild carbonation.

S: Beautiful balance of tart and sweet. Notes of a sour grape and pear juice, a touch of dried fruit including prunes, apricot, and papaya, and sourdough bread. The alcohol is subdued on the nose.

T: Initially well balanced with tart notes of sour grape and sweeter notes of dried fruit and bread. These attractive notes fade quickly to an an overpowering amount of alcohol. The finish is moderately tart and dry.

M: The feel similar to moderately dry champagne. The finish is dry with minor notes of tannin and grapefruit pith.

Overall: This is my first experience with red wine barrel aged ales, and my fourth or fifth experience with wild ales. The nose is amazing. But I am torn between the pleasant flavors and the unpleasant amount of alcohol on the finish. The beer is too delicate to withstand the presence of alcohol. If I can find another 2013 bottle I will age it for another year or so. If I can find another vintage I will definitely try it. Otherwise, and it pains me to say this because there are some really attractive elements to this beer, I would have no reason to buy this beer again.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.49/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml C&C bottle. October 2013 vintage.

poured into a pair of tulip glasses.

Appearance: cloudy orange bodied beer with 1 full finger of white head. Head drops down to a ring around the glass.

Smell: Wheat malts, lots of red wine and oak, yeast and peppery. Citrusy and fruity.

Taste: mild to moderate tartness. Nice grainy, wet hay, and yeasty flavors. Fruity and earthy brett flavors. Citrusy flavors mostly oranges, but a hint of lemons too and hint of black pepper. Vinous red wine. Deep oakiness. Finishes with mild tartness, vinous red wine notes, and those grainy wheat malts. Such great balance of all the flavors and everything is soo well integrated.

Mouthfeel: light bodied beer almost medium bodied beer. Moderate carbonation. Drinks like its a low abv saison. doesnt become boozey at all. Soft and slightly creamy carbonation that has a little bit of driness to it. The beer has a supple and delicate mouthfeel that feels classy!

Overall: What a nice rustic saison by Allagash! A red wine barrel aged saison with brett! Yes please! $25 a bottle wow that hurts the wallet, but its definately worth its hefty price tag. It is such a great saison and the red wine notes are near flawlessly integrated into the saison! What a great beer by Allagash and its a shelf turd to boot!!!

Paired this beer with grilled chicken and coleslaw. What a great beer to pair with many different dishes! The beer doesnt overpower the food and it doesnt get boozey after a bite of food either. This beer is a class act all around wether you are just drinking the beer or having a food pairing with Interlude! I would recommend chicken, pork, any seafood, or freshwater fish paired with this beer!

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Photo of garuda
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Golden, hazed, thin white head actually has some retention and lacing.

S/T - Sour funkiness, floral, wine, a candy sugar mid palate, finishing with oak dryness and a mild sourness.

M - Lightish body, medium carbonation, finishes dry with a mild sourness, not overpowering.

O - Very enjoyable. I like the candy sweetness mid palate, and how the sourness is complementary to the flavors.

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Photo of pants678
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On the red side with a white head.

Fruit on the nose, almost tart (can you smell tart?).

The wine barrels round out the brett on a beer I would not otherwise call a saison/farmhouse. Floral, oak and grapes that lends to a flavor that's not quite sour.

Lighter body with a crisp finish.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Re-reviewed on tap 11/26
A: rosé side of golden, pretty cloudy, but I wasn't too careful with the pour. Popping the cork was easy and not much of a pop, if any when it released. The beer did get a small head with a more vigorous than normal pour. On tap pour had fair amount edge head and generated spots if lacing.

S: definitely get the wine notes, light tart grape in nature. I get some Belgian yeast as well, together forming a strange alternate scent of watermelon.

T/M: follows the nose, pretty much. Almost tastes like a wine up front, then a weak wine as the beer takes over. Apple, wine grape, and a surprising carbonation give the pour. The body is a bit light, but that helps make the beer refreshing. The ending does have a tart lime taste grab as it seems like the taste is dying. The draft pour was less tart and had more dry woodsy hop notes, but otherwise fits the bottle pour.

O: rated this a straight 4 before. Probably gonna end up just north of that. Wonder if the bottle was just a little off given the opening, but it didn't end up affecting my enjoyment. Tap pour changed no category rating.

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Allagash Interlude from Allagash Brewing Company
4.19 out of 5 based on 1,370 ratings.
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