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Allagash Interlude | Allagash Brewing Company

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448 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: 448 | Ratings: 1,360
Photo of SportsandJorts
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2009. Drank November, 2013

Appearance: a reddish orange color. completely opaque. it foamed up when i opened it but very little foamy tan head when poured. a lacing stays behind around the edges. a pretty tasty looking beer

Smell: immediately hits with vinous characteristics. fruity and oaky. very light brett funk. its a good smell but just a bit weak

Taste: opens up grapes and wine-like flavors. develops into a oak and brett flavor. those flavors dominate but cover up a nice yeasty belgian flavor. very complexity beer that comes from the aging. if you don't look hard you could miss the underlying beer.

Mouthfeel: pretty light. some feel from the saison. but a lot of brett funk and wood left behind

Overall: a great and complex beer. a bit pricy but is a nice treat when you are in the mood for something like this. I'd love to do a side by side of this age and a fresher one to see how it develops

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Photo of Smurf2055
3.71/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Second beer at the Bottleworks Cellar Tasting for Seattle Beer Week. 2005 Vintage.

Pours hazy blond with a small head, quick dissipation.

Smell is light funk, crisp.

Taste is a lot like the smell, sour and a bit bitter, juicy.

Little carbonation. Interesting.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

October 2012 vintage. Poured from a cork and caged bottle into a snifter, the beer is a ruby-tinged golden coloring with an uneven, sparse, quickly dispersing white head. Aromas of tart wine-like characteristics, cherry and grape sweet, woody notes, and some earthy character. Smells robust. Flavors are dark cherry sweet forward, with an effervescent body that keeps everything very light. Subtle cinnamon spice noted as you drink. Very sweet, crisp flavor profiles across the palate. The fruit characteristics diversify into grape, apple, and berry towards the end of the palate. The tart and sourness builds as you drink, with a slightly acidic building character. Fruits and esthers in the aftertaste, with a slight puckering feel in mouth. The finish is crisp, dry, and slightly astringent. Very drinkable, very robust.

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Photo of Jmamay22
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I have been looking forward to this beer. Hopefully it meets the expectations! Bottled October 2012. The beer pours a copper hued orange with a thin ecru collar. There is little carbonation seen in the glass, but there was a strong pop of the cork.

The smell is a wonderful scent reminiscent of funky runny cheese. The Brett has done its work creating the expected farmyard and horse blanket funkiness. Underneath that intense scent is a touch of apple, pear, and candy sugar.

The flavor is similar with a strong Brett forward flavor, but moves on to a spicy and well seasoned flavor of white peppercorn and clove. The finish is the only brief moment where the character of the red wine barrels comes through. There is a brief acidic or tannic like bite that rounds out the flavor with a resounding snap readying you for the next sip. The mouthfeel is surprisingly well carbonated despite little action in the glass. Typical Belgian like voluminous effect of tiny bubbles of carbonation. I've always enjoyed that effect and it comes into play well in this beer as it pushes forth the flavor progression.

As with many Allagash beers it is pricey, but leaves you feeling it was worth the pinch in your pocket.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

on tap at sams in Durham. into an allagash flute glass.

pours a dark golden color with a light head.

smell is slightly tart, unexpected. taste is big sour notes with hints of berry fruits. wow this is lovely. I wasn't expecting the sourness at all, I love it. medium bodied with light carbonation.

overall love the taste on this one. recommended highly.

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Photo of Philousa
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Imbibed at Original Gravity on 6/21/13.

Pours an opaque orange with little head. Aroma is typical sour: lots of berries (blue, straw, rasp) and put fruit (apricots, nectarines) along with the typical farmhouse aromas of straw, earth, and spice. I even get some sweaty horse with a swirl as it warms. Flavor starts with pungent Belgian Pils and spice, followed by astringent alcohol, vinegar, and some slight tartness. The bitterness is grassy and vinous, earthy, barkish. Lots of nuances in the bitterness which is interesting and rare, imho. Some of this is from the oak, which is balanced and not overdone. Feel is slightly watery with a very dry finish.

This is a real treat, though I wish I could get some more sourness in the flavor. The alcohol is warming but not overbearing and the Belgian flavors and dryness is balanced. The beer achieves most of what it's setting out to accomplish. It's quite the tightrope walk and mostly successful.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-hazy slightly red amber color with a decent white head and some lacing

S-tart, grapes, yeasty bread, funk, hint of pepper

T-tart grapes, yeasty bread, slight orange, pepper, funky, hint of sweetness, earthy

F-medium body with moderate prickly carbonation, crisp and refreshing

O-a nice farmhouse ale with a great range of flavors, tart and refreshing

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

2012 bottle

A: poured into a duvel tulip to a deep orange with a slight reddish tint and a finger of dense off white head that retains well
S: slightly tart on the nose with a bit of red wine, a slight funk and some chalky brett
T: barnyard and funk up front with a bit of tartness, slightly fruity, a little oaky, some peppery spice and a bit of yeastyness. swallow is a lot of tannins, oak, horseblanket and funk. slightly tart on the swallow as well
M: soft and slightly prickly carbonation with a medium mouthfeel. very dry finish
O: A great beer. I could swear that this one used to be classified as an American Wild but either way it's fantastic. A bit steep but the flavors and complexity are worth it.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a nice white and bubbly head that dissipates very quickly. The beer itself is a nice and clear amber orange color. The look is really nice and has a nice metallic hue to it.

The smell is pretty good. The aroma has a nice complex mixture of notes that make this a beer worth drinking in warm temperatures at night. The beer has a nice pear and apple note that are fairly strong with a nice plum note from the wine barrels. The apricot note is definitely there and has a nice tartness to it that is pretty restrained when compared to most other wild ales. The tart also seems to blend in well with a tannis note.

The taste is pretty good as well. The taste starts off with an apricot note and a nice mild tart note from the bret. The plum note is a lot more distinct and noticeable compared to the smell; it's stronger and a bit more sugary. The tannis is still there but weaker. The non-Bret yeast strain has a stronger appearance in this beer and comes off as a honey graham cracker, which is an interesting note when it contrasts to everything else.

The feel is good. The beer is certainly smooth and the carbonation gives it a nice softness to the beer. The beer almost goes down a little bit like wine with a slight dry aftertaste to it.

Overall, a very good beer and definitely worth the cost. It's a very nice blending of beer and wine that borrow the best of both styles to create a broadly appealing beer.

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Photo of superspak
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, August 2008 vintage. Pours very hazy reddish copper color with a 1-2 finger foamy off white head with decent retention, that reduces to a nothing. Minimal lacing on the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of big sour apple, lemon, grape, cherry, straw, hay, clove, pepper, oak, leather, funk, and earthy yeast spiciness. Fantastic aromas with great complexity and balance of wild yeast character and barrel notes. Taste of tart apple, lemon, grape, cherry, pepper, clove, oak, wheat, hay, straw, grass, leather, funk, and earthy yeast spiciness. Light earthy tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of tart light fruits, oak, pepper, clove, wheat, leather, hay, straw, grass, funk, and earthy yeast spiciness on the finish for a while. Very nice balance and complexity of malt and wild yeast flavors; with a nice malt/ester flavors balance; and zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a slick, crisp, and fairly prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent wild saison style. Very nice balance and complexity of wild yeast esters and malt notes; and quite smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering. Would like to try a younger vintage of this in the future to compare.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Blind Tiger.

Beer is cloudy amber in colour. No head.

Nose is tart, with green grape and apple both present. A good dose of yeast. A bit like a tart apple or white grape juice. Nice.

Taste is quite tart. A variety of light fruits are present. I get peach, green apple and grape. Yeasty and bready. A bit of a honey flavour. Also a slight herbal flavour, particularly in the finish. A fair bit going on.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. Sticky and refreshing.

Overall, quite good.

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Photo of Etan
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml into a wine glass.

A: Pours a murky orange-tinged amber with a surprisingly small white head.

S: Sticky citrus, cakey esters, some gamey notes from the brett, dry wine barrel tannins, a bit of pleasant acidity.

T: Very dry vinous tannins dominate the flavor. Light dark fruits from the barrel, oak, slightly fruity brett (a bit of pineapple), ghost of pale malt sweetness. Dry and tannic in the finish.

M: Medium-bodied with light carbonation.

O: While tasty, I would have liked to see a bit more of the base saison shine through.

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Photo of SHerninko
3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle at BYOB in Phoenixville, PA (Thanks Owen)

*Appearance is a nice gold color, light saison with some reddish ting.
*Smell is fruity, bubbly, raspberry.
*Taste is like a bubbly wine - Charddonay with a red fruit from the wine barrels.
*Mouthfeel is like a champagne, very carbonated from the Bretts. A bit of a bite from alcohol and bubbles.
*Overall--Good saison taste, the aging in barrels adds to its appeal. I would not seek this again unless someone wanted a bubbly wine tasting beer or to show this as an example of something you would never think to call "beer".

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Photo of wedge
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

@ Flying Saucer (Raleigh)

Clear golden orange body with a slim collar of white foam. Tart, funky aromas greet the nose...grapes, hay, Brett, fruit, and light oak. Flavor follows the smell: tart, slightly sweet grape, Bretty funk, light wood, lemon, and berries. Pretty interesting and satisfying. Dry, medium bodied, tart, and somewhat crisp. Drinks a lot easier than it should...

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Photo of Pinknuggets
3.72/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap to wine glass

A: golden honey with a bit of light orange to amber semi transparent but with a bit of cloudiness there is no head

T: there is definitely some of thy standard barn yard taste but I am not getting anything from the wine barrels some tartness to it but not much disappointed

S:there isn't much smell here at all hops funk not much of anything I am confused

M: smooth and oily that is very drinkable and manageable viscosity abv is completely hidden

O: I feel like this beer stopped 10 yrds before the finish line it has a lot of potential to be good but it really isn't there yet which just leaves me confused and kinda disappointed

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Photo of smakawhat
4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Vintage 2012 October. Solid pop off the cork with a little bit of nudging.

Really pretty body color, opaque with a real nice peach orange body. Lots of rising thin carbonation. Head is a little off white, kind of soapy but manages some retention and settles slowly to an easy finger puck.

Nose has a good pepper brett sense and nice hints of fresh squeezed lemon. A light sweet malt caramel hides in the back. Pretty solid and mouthwatering, with a jammy apricot sense of sweetness. Hints of sugarsnap cookies and dough also. Real interesting.

Palate is fairly solid on the fruit forward angle. Jammy apricot body with a nice round texture. Doesn't feel as carbonated as expected. Very big full fruit and rich mouthfeel with a nice density. Hints raw cookie dough which seems so odd but fun! Tannic quality is really nice if hardly noticeable, with a good softness.

Overall a real neat take and strangely not wine like, but with great wine character. Enjoyable.

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Photo of TheAngryBurrito
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a bottle of the 2012 release on New Years day and I am aging two more bottles to be opened in 2014 and 2015. Pours a cloudy light orange color with almost no head. Starts with an orange peel flavor and finishes with an oak bitterness and mild sour notes throughout. Overall it is a little more bitter than I would have liked and I think aging will give the sourness time to build to a more pleasing level. Purchased at Valley Beverage Company in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Re-Review: I tried this again on tap and it was a totally different experience. The Brett flavors were amazing with a perfect balance of fruit, yeast, and sour. Revising score significantly.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On-tap 1/3/2013 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains grapes and other fruits, wild Belgian yeast and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out sweet flavors of grapes, caramel and citrus followed by a mild tartness. Then some breadiness comes in from Belgian yeast and a heart but not too heavy male character. There’s a mild but complementary hops presence which brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a very solid and complex Belgian-style beer to drink for a long time.

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time using the new rating system for reviews. Let's give it a shot. Change is good.

On-tap @ Barcade in Brooklyn, NY.

10 oz pour served in a medium-sized red wine globe-shaped glass. Beautiful, slightly hazy, orange, plum color. Very small head that possibly suffered from a lack of carbonation. Unfortunate, as I have a feeling it would have really enhanced the overall experience of the beer.

Right off the bat, the complexity of the aroma can be detected. Lots of ripe fruits, notably apples, plums, and apricots, with some mild citrus in the background. Plenty of sour funk but not overwhelming.

The flavor was sweet, fruity, and sour. A little bit of bready malt to balance things out. Coats the tongue well. Quite refreshing and easy on the palate for such complexity.

A really interesting brew that blurs the lines between saison, gueuze, and red wine. Would love to try it out of the bottle next time to see if the carbonation issues are resolved.


Edit (7/22/2015): Split an October 2014 bottle last night. The original review holds up but carbonation was still low. I noticed a lot more oak coming through as a result of the barrel aging. An interesting brew with lots going on. Not worth the $20 bottle price to me, but worth giving it a try if you find it on tap.

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Photo of jbertsch
3.49/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ruby red in color. The aroma is a mix of wine barrel tartness, slightly foul funk, and some fruits underneath like cherry, apple, and apricot. The foul funk toes the line of "bad" territory but without ever getting there. However, it's noticeable on each sip and makes you at least wonder if something is off. I don't think it is...it's just a more challenging note beyond the usual barnyard essence from the brett. The flavor a mix of tartness, funkiness, cherry, apricot and bread. Mouthfeel is average. Not heavy but not too think.

A decent beer. But I can't help but feel there's significant room for improvement. Ultimately the $23 price tag renders this beer not worth the money (at least not for repeat purchases).

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

A: Pours a hazed burnt golden color with a thin bone white head.

S: A bit of a musty an tart smell with notes of Brett, pear, white grape, pale malt and some cherry.

T: A musty funk right away with heavy white grape and triple notes. A definite touch o white wine in the middle with a finish that's heavy on the crackery malt and shows some brett as well. A kind of lingering tartness throughout that never turns sour. Overall a really tasty beer.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pouring a 2008 bottle at cellar temp into a pint glass. The corked and caged 750 bottle is a bit of a gusher upon popping the cork. The beer is a bright clear copper to amber hue. There is some minimal beige to eggshell white heat the fades to nothing fairly quickly after the pour.
Aroma is some booze and dry woody notes with a hit of caramel and dark fruit. I think I get red grape or maybe a general vinous quality.
First sip reveals an average body with soft yet slightly sticky texture. The carbonation is mild and rolls across my palate.
The flavor is rich and malty with caramel, red grapes, some toffee, yeasty funkiness and dry popsicle stick wood notes.
I also get fair amounts of warm booze with each sip and by the end of the bottle it has caught up with me a little.
The beer is very interesting and complex, Im surprised by the amount of heat still left after 4 years, but it is an enjoyable late night brew.

I am glad I drank this now as I dont anticipate it would have improved any more.

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Photo of Dope
3.67/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

October 2012 batch, about two months old.

A: Pours a semi-hazy, light amber. Big fluffy light tan head. Fades somewhat quickly, leaving just a speck or two of lacing behind.

S: Lemons, apple and tart grapes with traces of other fruits. Some crackery malt aspect. In fact, I swear I get graham cracker sometime, like graham cracker crust to be specific.

T: Very tart grape skin, apples and lemons up front. Borderline sour (stronger as it warms up), but at least it's crisp. Kind of an oaky leather in the middle mixed with wine. Turns graham cracker in the lingering aftertaste with more traces of tart fruits.

M: Decently full bodied and smooth. Drying on the back end.

O: Tough beer to score. Initial hit is very sour like a wild ale or a really bad saison. But it slowly gets better through the taste - decent in the middle with a really pleasant graham cracker crust aftertaste. I tried not to knock it down too hard, it's well balanced, complex and it has some aspects that I enjoy. But it has some really off flavors too with the extreme funkiness and sour notes. I ended up drain pouring it but tried to give it a fair shake on the scores.

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Photo of Gatch
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Meadhall in Cambridge for 12 Brewers of Christmas.

A: Hazy blood orange with shades of brown. Small off-white head.

S: Wonderful sour nose. Like a lambic. Sour, funk, barn. A lot of brett and some barrel.

T: You get the Tripel right away but it's subdued and pushed aside by barrel, wood, funk, yeast, earth, sour fruit, booze, and brett. More of the Tripel base shows itself as it warms. Seriously delicious.

M: Crazy smooth, properly carbonated, huge flavor. A fun beer to drink. Every sip is special.

O: This is everything I was hoping it to be and more. They nailed the style and the barrel/aging/brett component perfectly. Been waiting to try this for years and it completely surpassed my expectations.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.48/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy light red with a few bubbles of white head that fades immediately. Slight lacing. I'll also mention here, this was the worst bottle ever as far as uncorking. Took forever, then broke and stuck to the sides of the bottle. Ended up having to push the cork into the bottle to have access and had to filter out cork all glass long.

Aroma features lots of brett with some lemon and spices. Getting almost no wine barrel charcter from the aroma.

Very bretty and fruity up front. Apple and lemon with a heavy brett funk and a bit of oak and spice at the end. I really didn't like this one at all when first opened, but as it approached room temp, some more flavors came together and was actually quite enjoyable by the end. I could use more wine barrel presence and felt it was very lacking. This is more funky than sour as it approached only "tart" in a liberal definition.

Medium mouthfeel. Reached a good creamy texture approaching room temp with a crisp finish from the carbonation. Finishes oaky and dry leaving a good aftertaste.

I had some issues with this beer, but in the end, once it approached room temperature it was a very nice beer although I still feel the wine character was lacking. I'd definitely drink this again after letting it warm, but probably won't go out of my way to get a bottle.

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Allagash Interlude from Allagash Brewing Company
4.19 out of 5 based on 1,360 ratings.
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