Allagash Interlude | Allagash Brewing Company

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
1,409 Ratings
Allagash InterludeAllagash Interlude
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States
allagash.com

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by brewandbbq on 01-15-2006

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,409
Reviews:
455
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
10.02%
 
 
Wants:
336
Gots:
292
For Trade:
12
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,409 |  Reviews: 455
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -4.5%

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.

 1,383 characters

Photo of mothman
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aug. 08 Edition.

Poured into mini snifter.

Pours hardly any head. No retention or lace. Color is a hazed sunset orange.

Aroma: Some oak, sour flavors, lemons, yeast. Some barnyard funk. Lots of brett flavor. Pretty decent.

Taste: A lot of oak and brett. Lemon spices, farmyard funk. A little heat shows. It's not to bad, but for a wild ale I was expecting more than just a huge amount of brett.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, dry, and thin. Some carbonation bubbles roll over the palate. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with a dry spiced aftertaste.

Overall, not a bad beer. Not anything that I am overly impressed, but solid and I am glad I got to try it. However, I do wish it had some other bugs in it.

 722 characters

Photo of Boone757
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of DrBier
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

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

Stunning! From the fruity Brettanomyces nose to the lightly chalky and vinous notes in the finish, Allagash's Interlude seduces!

With it's hazy-but-glowing orange body and creamy yellowed-white cap it beckons! The head retention is quite good, bolstered by streams of very-fine gently-effervescent natural bubbles rising from beneath. It eventually drops to a wide collar and whispy surface covering, but the initial walls of solid lace remain.

The aroma is the siren song here; beautifully delicate, bright, fruity, and funky all at the same time. "Barnyard" is just too ugly of a word to describe the rich Brettanomyces character, yet it's perfectly justified. Wet-straw, horses, mud, a bit of manure, and damp wood all come together with a waft of juicy summer fruit (strawberries, tangerine, apricot, papaya) to make one beautiful, delicate, but wide-ranging portrait.

In the mouth it's gently effervescent, caressing the tongue more than bristling against it. It's light-medium in body; supple rather than crisp, and slick across the palate.

The flavor starts with a combination of softly sweet, just slightly honeyish malt, and juicy fruit (apricot, tangerine, papaya, melon). It's intense with sugar and tartness and fruit! As it warms and the tartness softens and the sweetness spreads, the woody/earthy/funky character of the Brett becomes apparent. It may be an acquired taste, but once you're hooked it's enough to lead you blindly straight into the depths of hell. Quite enticing!!! The woodiness and vinous character of the oak barrels appears in the finish, along with a sublime bitterness and touch of yeasty chalkiness. It lays in the mouth, but dully, and without really disturbing anything. The bitterness fades, and really all that's left is some chalkiness and oaky dryness.

I remember thinking when I bought this that it was expensive, but having tasted it I'd gladly pay more - although I hope I don't have to as I intend to buy more!!! It ranks right up there with the other Brett and oak enhanced ales coming out of the US, and in my opinion it's a little more rounded, softer, and more drinkable. The alcohol is never noticeable, and there's enough Brett character to satisfy even the die-hard fan without becoming sharp. It's rounded, well-balanced, and interesting! Superb!

 2,316 characters

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

 200 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark golden copper with a fairly slight head that leaves a good ring around the top of the beer. The aroma is quite nice, with a lot of citrus, green apple, ripe fruits, Brett, and a bit of acid. Taste is quite similar. A lot going on here, and in addition to the nose I picked up a bit from the barrels. Mouthfeel is very nice. Some puckering qualities, but nothing too harsh. A bit sweet in addition to the sour. This would be more of an everyday drinking sour. Very drinkable all around.

 498 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Armsby Abbey.

A: Hazy golden wheat orange color with quickly fading fluffy head.

N: Some sour fruit, a little yeast with some bready malts, slight funk.

T: Taste starts right out with some funk, sour fruit, some yeast and some bready malts. A nice sour fruit taste, not too heavy but definitely there and the main character. It starts to get a little chewy as it goes down. Some sour cherry specifically, with a little creaminess. there is also hints of oak and vanilla.

M: Medium to lighter body with decent carbonation (bottle conditioned was better I think).

F: Very dry finish with some lingering sour fruit and bready malts, a very little funk, but mostly the long dry bready taste.

I think the beer is better with bottle conditioning than on tap. It's one of those rare things.

 803 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with a small, light tan head on top of a cloudy, amber body. The foam settles quickly and leaves little lace.

S - Lots of citrusy funk and musty cherries. Notes of orange, sweet malt and some toffee.

T - Tangy wheat and lactic acid with candied orange. Some toffee malt and light caramel in the middle. Finishes tart with sherbet-like notes of tropical fruit, lingering funk, and vanilla oak flavors.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - This is a very nice beer that is easily drinkable despite its sour character and high ABV. It is nicely balanced between the complex, sour funk and the rich malt. The malt notes are quite rich and creamy for a sour beer and they are accentuated by the oak aging. The final impression is of a complex and somewhat saison like beer.

 817 characters

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.

 846 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 Vintage

A: Pours a hazy golden orange color with a finger high fluffy head. There was limited head retention and lacing.

S: This beer had lovely sours aromas with hints of red wine.

T: The beer was not as sour as one might have suspected from the aroma though the tastes of the red wine were present. For a beer this strong, the taste of the alcohol was nicely hidden.

M: A bit shy of medium bodied, this beer had moderate carbonation and a dry finish (probably from the red wine).

O: Enjoyable but not the best of the "brett" offerings from Allagash, probably would not pick it up again.

 599 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of nathanmiller
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of billab914
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my lost Abbey stemware. It poured a murky, orange/amber color with a moderate fluffy and bubbly white head to it. The head faded but left some moderate lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma is tart, acidic and sour with a lot of the Brett coming through. It has a lot of floral notes to it with some tart fruits coming through as well. Very nice wild ale aroma.

The taste shows a good amount of the sharp, acidic, sourness to it. It also has a lot of tart, fruity, apple, pear, grape like flavors coming through as well. Some hints of spice seem to be hiding in the background. The finish really shows off more of those tart fruit like flavors and lingers nicely.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium high carbonation. Drinkability is good, it had some great flavors and was a very good beer overall. It had some very nice sour and tart flavors without becoming too extreme. Paired great with dinner tonight too.

 963 characters

Photo of smithj4
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of vfgccp
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dec 2009 bottle drank in March 2011.

A - Clear, clean, gold. Nice lace on a low white head.

S - A fairly straight forward grassy, tangy, sweet-tart candy aroma.

T - Tart apples, oak, vanilla, honey. Sour hay.

M - Medium light body. Dry finish, but mildly so for the style.

O - Overall the flavors show restraint and balance, and have some nice beveled edges instead of dominating your palate.

 399 characters

Photo of atrocity
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of smcolw
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The cap blew off the bottle with a slight twist to the cork....a minor amount spilled out. That said, there is little head, but it has staying power and leaves a gentle lace on the glass. Light amber and crystal clear.

Some sour cherry aromas, all-spice, cinnamon, slight nutmeg; some alcohol warmth in the aroma also.

More sour than most American Belgians (is that an oxymoron?). Much spiciness as described in the aroma is present in the flavor as well. This is an extraordinarily complex ale. The aftertaste lasts for a long time.

A potent concoction with a lovely blend of interesting flavors and smells. This is a strong ale and it shows in the alcohol warmth.

 674 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.06/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, coppery body with a medium-sized, ivory-colored head.

Smell: Aroma dominated by Brett with a dailed up musk factor and old, tired oak vessels with a lesser note of sour apple.

Taste: Some malts and a syrupy sugar sweetness get quickly dislodged by a powerful tangy tartness and coarse astringent tannins. Splash of sour apple vinegar. Slight vinousnicity. Touch of sour-tasting yeast, a small hint of booze. Oaky finish with a slap of acidity and chock full of tannins. Argh!

Mouthfeel: A hair above medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Quite the tongue-coating mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Here's my problem, I found it to be overly tart, sharply so, and a bit heavy on the oak. For me, this left the overall taste to be rather disjointed, with nothing really coming together for me.

 809 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%

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

2005 vintage. Radiant mandarin orange with a sparkling visage thanks to an impressive number of Champagne-like bubbles. Things become much more quiet at the two minute mark, but not before a stunning crown of alabaster foam has been created. I can't think of a single American brewery whose heads are this consistently Belgianesque. A modest amount of sea foam lace graces the glass.

Brettanomyces has such a distinctive aroma that it was instantly noted as beer exited bottle. The flavor profile might be a different story, but at this point in the proceedings, I wish it had been left out. I was looking forward to smelling what the Belgian yeast and the Merlot and Sirah oak barrel aging were able to contribute. It's still a remarkably appealing nose, but it might have been stunning with less barnyard funk.

I feel the same way about the flavor profile. I like wild yeast just fine, but there's no point in attempting to add other, more delicate, flavors to a beer when they have to struggle mightily to be noticed. Having said that, the funkiness is controlled rather than out of control. It's still possible to appreciate the incredible craftsmanship of yet another outstanding, outstandingly drinkable, Allagash ale.

I agree with the brewers that the beer has 'remarkable wine-like qualities'. It seems to me, though, that it's more white wine-like than it is reminiscent of Merlot or Sirah. There's a tart white grape vibe motoring along beneath all the yeast, with unripe pears firmly ensconced in the sidecar. A welcome clove spiciness is the only evidence of the traditional Belgian yeast strain. I don't believe that I've had a double-yeasted beer prior to this one.

I can't believe that much candi sugar was used. The beer is minimally sweet early and dries out considerably as each mouthful progresses. It finishes crisp and tart, like biting into, again, an unripe pear. As far as any qualities that might have been gained from the oak barrel aging, I can appreciate only an indeterminate woodiness that I wouldn't have noted if I hadn't known the details of the beer's creation.

The body/mouthfeel more than holds up its end of the bargain. It isn't what I would consider stunning, but intense scrutiny fails to find any real flaws. It's amazingly supple and bathes the mouth in an appealing fashion. A perfect amount and feel to the carbonation is the icing on the BSPA cake.

Interlude may not rise to the stratospheric heights of some of the brewery's other offerings, but it isn't far behind. I'd like to see them mix things up from year to year, perhaps adding a little less Brettanomyces next time. I hope they continue to push the brewing envelope because I almost always love the result. Allagash is a national treasure.

 2,763 characters

Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Allagash Interlude from Allagash Brewing Company
4.19 out of 5 based on 1,409 ratings.
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