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Allagash Interlude | Allagash Brewing Company

448 Reviews
Allagash InterludeAllagash Interlude

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States | website

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: 1,351
Photo of jwjon1
3.43/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2008 Batch. CCRIDA's review nailed it. Wine barrel aged, brett-ridden beers can be heavenly. For my palate, this falls short. I was hoping for a vinous delight, but there was no trace of wine-like qualities to be found save for wood tannin. An acidic backbone would help, and would make this a much more enjoyable quaff.

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Photo of deg
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I poured the beer into a wide mouth goblet. A nice honey color with a thick head. I couldn't smell a thing, which disappointed me. However, this isn't the first beer this has happened to, so I am not sure what to make of that (maybe I'm losing my sense of smell?). I took a taste. Vanilla, cream, and a fruitiness. I couldn't quite identify the fruit. The beer felt nice and creamy and soft on my tongue, really easy to drink. One concern I have about the drinkability of this beer is that you can't tell it is 9.5%ABV, and it goes down quite smoothly. That's not necessarily a bad thing, it's got not to be whacked in the face with an alcohol taste.

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Photo of femALEist
3.69/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Toronado during SF Beer week.

Interlude by Allagash is a wild ale aged in French Merlot and Sirah oak barrels. 9.5% abv. It poured a deep sienna orange brown without any head. It smelled of cherry, dark fruits, malt, toffee and some red wine. It tasted like lemons, malt, caramel, touch of vanilla, oak and a sour ending with a dry finish. It is very wine like but it seems a bit off. There's some astringency going on with some phenol and solvent characters- not a good sign.

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Photo of ColForbin
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Allagash Interlude was my favorite beer at the 2006 Extreme Beer Fest, and I picked up a bottle on the way home. It is every bit as good as I remembered. It pours a hazy orange color with a white head that gives a good bit of lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma is sour and spicy and a little bit funky. Taste is sour fruit, with some spicy dry notes and some slightly buttery merlot and peppery sirah flavors that linger. But this beer isn't overwhelmed by the barrel it was aged in. It still tastes like beer, and even some hoppiness or is it just earthiness makes an appearance in the aftertaste. Medium to full bodied with a high rate of carbonation. I wouldn't call this a saison, though - just an amazing beer. This would probably cellar well, but I wouldn't be able to hold on to it long enough to find out.

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Photo of mjn5036
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in December of 2009. Poured slowly from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into a red wine glass. Pours a brownish-orange color. Like a cider in appearance. No head of any substance and very little to no lacing on the glass, but it seems very carbonated. Smells of funk and brett. Oaky and with wine like qualities. The barrel aging did some nice things for the overall complexity of this brew. Pear and overall fruit flavors are apparent along with the funkiness and bready notes. I found it to be mild and restrained for a wild. Very little sourness to it. This is a good beer, very drinkable with delicious wine-like qualities. I was however slightly disappointed this time. I have had only bottles and had this on tap and felt that this particular one was slightly lackluster and over carbonated. I think some age will do this beer well. Luckily I have two older bottles tucked away in my basement. I can't wait to review this beer again in a few months.

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Photo of rdickey
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden orange into a tulip; fine white one-finger head.

Smell: There's lots going on here, but I can't identify all of it. There's a definite funk to it, and tart cherries come through across the top.

Taste: Wow. I will confess that I was overwhelmed on the first taste. The tartness comes through loud and clear, but it's not overpowering as it sometimes is in a grand cru; here it's more subtle and just tasty. The Brett provides a funky hop backbone that I just love. Follow George Clinton's advice and let the funk flow through.

Mouthfeel: Fabulous. Medium-bodied with high carbonation, which is spot-on for this beer.

Drinkability: It's a good thing I had only one bottle of this because I would have drunk it until I lost consciousness. It's that good, and although you feel the high ABV, the tartness makes it so quenching that it goes down smooth. If it's not obvious, I really like this beer and, even though it may not be for everyone, would urge everyone to give it a shot at least once.

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

A: lovely, hazy golden with fluffy head

S: funk and carbonation tickle the nostrils

T: a mellow funk that's kind of lactic, with some peach notes

M: good amount of carbonation, nice and crisp

D: high, especially since it seems to taste better than the last time I had it.

Of all the times I've had this beer, I think this time was the best. Does talking to Mr. Rob Tod while imbibing make it better?

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Photo of gyllstromk
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy bright orange. Nose is funky, tart lemon. Flavor is
marmalade, melon, with a lightly phenolic finish leading to a tart kick. Not as tart as a nice gueuze/wild could be. A little twang that makes it slightly rough around the edges, but this was improved by letting the bottle breath and warm to room temperature. Just a little off, can't really put my finger on it. Overall, a nice wild that may benefit from a little more time in the barrel.

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Photo of hillvt4me
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a cloudy orange-yellow with a small white head.

S: Sour, salt, citrus, notes from the Brett.

T: Sour vinous notes, oak, and slightly fruity brett.

M: Mild-Medium-bodied with light carbonation.

O: Solid sour offering from Allagash, worth a repeat and a pause.

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Photo of BeerGodz
3.52/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Look: Light copper color, slightly cloudy, not much head with little to no lacing

Smell: Wine, brett funk, oak, vanilla, apple

Taste: Up Front: Sour apple, oak, Brett funk. Finish: White grape, white wine, Belgian yeast

Mouthfeel: Creamy, medium body with low carbonation.

Drinkability: Slightly tart with dry finish

Overall Impression: A very complex beer that had too much of a wine-like flavor for my palate. It is no doubt an excellent beer, but the flavor combination did not work for me. At $19.99 + tax, I would advise against trying it unless you're big on wine.

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Photo of Manoftyr
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip

Appearance-Pours a burnt-tangerine into the glass and gives momentary rise to a wispy white head. The head bubbles away rather quickly but leaves a solid ring of lacing that manages to last through sips.

Aroma-Definitely smell bret upfront with scents of tart apricot and pear with that distinct sour funk. Some grapeish winelike qualities but they form an undercurrent. Other fruity smells like that of unripened raspberries and apples are abundant.

Taste-Similar to the aroma with the same unripened pear and apricot character, just a touch of tart raspberry as well, but the oak really comes through with a character very similar to tannis. A lot of green apple on the mid-palette, very refreshing, ends dry and tart but not overwhelmingly so.

Mouthfeel-Bubbly carbonation with a very plush body; very nice.

Drinkability-The tartness definitely ensures this beer is far from cloying and the fruity flavors can get rather addictive with successive sips. For what it's worth, and costs, this beer is dangerous on the drinkability.

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Photo of dejrrma
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Printed on Bottle. 750ml for $19. poured into a dogfish head snifter.

a- Pours an orangey amber with a fluffly white head, creamy top, and thick lacing.

s- red wine, green apples, tartness, alcohol

t- not as sour as the smell led me to believe, but there's a bit of tartness. there's some of the acidic apple smell with the wine definitely coming through. a little malt/sweetness, and yeast/brett is present. there's also a bit of woodiness. the alcohol is noticeable.

m- nice carbonation a body like white wine. its crisp but wet and ends with a nice dryness and the warming of the alcohol.

o- i was expecting something much more sour than this, and i was slightly disappointed.but the beer is still delcious and i think i might go get another bottle to age.

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Photo of andrewm190
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nicely done from Allagash. Poured a medium to smallish head, while releasing an interesting and pleasing aroma. Notes a bit of citrus, as well as perhaps some apple - or otherwise fruity taste. Complex and a bit difficult to pinpoint, but nonetheless delightful. Perhaps the oak barrels give it that difficult to corner taste. A smooth mouthfeel, albeit for a touch of crisp. Also very dry, even before the aftertaste. On the lighter side for such a complex beer.

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

From a brown 750 ml bottle, corked, caged, and brewed in 2005.
Pale copper colored brew with a bunch of bubbles feeding up to a thinnish off-white head. Little retention and spotty lacing.
Oak and animal funk, as if one were strolling along the farm whilst trying a nicely aged chardonnay.
Earthy/grassy hops are there in the fruity flavor. I thought that it came off more tart than anything else. Some pear/apple tones running the show. The oak is here too, just quite subdued. Light bodied with the loads of carbonation being somewhat tingly on the tongue. A little pricey, especially given that brett brews aren’t necessarily my favority. Otherwise, very nice complex brew. I’ll have to try the musette next.

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Photo of Flyer
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is an excellent beer, and yet I was a little disappointed, because I had HUGE expectations based on my love of the other Allagash oak-aged beers and the price -- $19 (compared to $14 for Curieaux). It pours a golden ruddy color with a good head, nice lacing, and a continuous stream of fine bubbles. Big aroma dominated by oak and Belgian-y floral notes. More of the same flavor-wise, with some late fruity notes (cherry? peach?) and maybe a little anise. A pleasantly bracing sharpness hits the back of the palate late. Not as complex as expected, but still very very good. Truly, I do heartily recommend this, but I enjoyed the Curieaux and the Musette more.

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Photo of jhu1995
4.73/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage. Pours a burnt orange color with a thick, fluffy head that lingers - impressive for the higher alcohol content. Smell was mostly tropical fruit - pineapples mostly - with a hint of alcohol. Taste was outstanding with lots of flavor - pineapples, funkinesss-wild yeast characteristics, and vanilla and butterscoth flavors. The flavors blended really well together. Was velvety smooth on the mouth with some slight sweetness. Would call it medium-bodied. It was very drinkable and left me wanting more. Will definitely seek this one out again.

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

Picked this one up on a recent trip to New York City. My wife and I had a couple of friends over and tasted several different sours. This was our second of the evening.

Poured into my Bruery tulip glass, this beer comes out as a bright, clear, butterscotch-disk orange that produces a thick foamy head which lingers for quite some time. Small amounts of lace left behind.

The distinctive brett smell overpowers the nose with the rest trying to catch up. There is actually a sweet-tart smell that is produced. Sweet fruits in addition to raw sours...interesting...good.

A gentle sweet flavor hits the tongue first. Reminiscent of unripe fruits, the sweetness is quickly overtaken by a mild lemonesque tartness that lingers for a bit. This is melded with the funky finish found in the style. A bit heaver body than the "confluence" we had earlier, but still in the light to medium category. The carbonation on this one is a little less intense as well. It did have the taste and feel of a wine, but not necessarily a red as might be assumed based on the description of the bottle.

Overall, we were impressed with the beer. A solid wild that had a bit more flavor and body than our previous. A bit higher alcohol content than most wilds, but certainly masked well. Very drinkable, very enjoyable.

Consumed: 3/12/2010

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Photo of LauraAlberts
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this at an Allagash Dinner at EVO's Pizza in North Charleston with Rob Tod of Allagash. EVO's paired the Interlude with Caramel Truffles/SeaSalt/Parmagiano - out of this world amazing. I bought a growler for $20 -that included the growler and fillup of Interlude - great price.
The following evening (today) I opened the growler and had it with BBQ Pork Tenderloin, Three Cheese Macaroni Pie, and Vegetables.

Appearance: Dark Burnt Orange, Ruby tones like that of a Tawny Port. Poured into a twelve ounce chilled mug. Little to no head.

Smell: When first opened from 34 degree cooler, Coriander, White Pepper, Caramelized Pear. As it opens you get more fruit: Strawberry & Chocolate covered Cherry

Taste: 1) Initially: Fresh out of the cooler - the white pepper and coriander are present.
2) After ten minutes: Caramelized Pear starts to develop and grows.
3) After dinner: The beer has opened up considerably. The age effect of the Plump Jack Sirah barrels really put the wine edge on this beer. An array of flavors step out: Grapes, Toast, Malt, Caramelized Pear, Strawberry, Cherry, & White Pepper.
4) The end of the growler: Hints of yeast and bready flavor on the finish.

Overall: I highly recommend this beer for wine drinkers/lovers. Not that it's a wino's beer - it lacks the filling carbonation that most beers have so you are able to eat a meal or drink several pints without the bloat or filling feeling.
This beer has soft fine tannins with a dryness on the tongue and a slightly dry finish. It pairs well with spicy foods like Thai, Spicy BBQ, or Smoked Salmon. Perfect with Thanksgiving food like Turkey, Giblet Gravy, Sweet Potato Casserole, etc...
Sip & enjoy on the dock, over dinner, or by the Growler - easy to drink!

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Photo of beerbiatchMD
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle into a wine glass.

A: light orangy gold in color with a small amount of bright white head, good lacing.

S: a bit of sourness stands out, funkiness, a bit of hay, some zestiness and cherry as well.

T: wheaty with a hit of sour citrus, some Belgian spice as well and some alcohol.

M: crisp, good carbonation, dry, a bit of alcohol.

O: a very good ale, close to a wild but not quite. Would characterize as a good and approachable entry to sours. Highly recommend.

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Photo of boothbeer
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Bottled. June 2009. 9.5%

A: Pours with a huge amount of large bubble head. Disipates to a fingers width. Leaves nice lacing and head eventually reduces to a thin film. Very clear beer with a dark amber color.

S: Smells very crisp and refreshing. Sour grapes are prominent.

T: Nice sourness, but not puckering. Little bit of funk. Pick up a lot of grapes and some citrus and acidity. You can definitely tell this is aged in oak barrels. Very nice flavor. This is a great intro beer into sours.

M: Good amount of carbonation. Tingle on the tongue is just right. Good mouthfeel overall.

D: Very good. Even at 9.5% I've been wanting to try this beer for a while, but the price was holding me back at 17.99. Glad I finally splurged. Very good, and I would buy again, but only for a special occasion.

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Photo of vrazionale
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle at refrigeration temperature poured into a wide-mouthed snifter. Bottled in December 2009.

A - Bright golden body with a swirling, frothy head. Gorgeous.

S - Lots of Brettanomyces funk here, rounded out by a stone fruit and sweet citrus fruitiness. I could happily stick my nose in here for hours on end. So glad that I'm drinking this one out of a snifter!

T - Tart, sour, gamey, and sweet. The oak-barrel aging is evident, but not overdone at all. The sweetness is like biting into a ripe plum or peach - juicy, mouth-watering, addictive, and complex. The sourness is similarly well-balanced - just the right counterpoint to the fruity sweet notes.

M - Just about as refreshing and delightful as it gets. Spot-on carbonation, light-bodied without being boring or bland - cheers, Allagash!

D - Absolutely outstanding. One of the best beers I've ever had. Drinks very similar to a saison. I'd drink this with a fresh-ripened goat cheese, a hearty rustic charcuterie plate, or with a big, heaping plate of sweet potato fries. An absolute must-have. Go find a bottle right now.

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Photo of Fubar1453
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage uncorked on valentines day.

A: Golden orange with a good creamy head.

S: Red wine and apple cider. Really interesting.

T: Same as the smell, its a sour red wine mixed with apple cider. Absolutely no alcohol. The sourness lingers in the back of the throat and I found myself puckering at times. This is the most interesting and complex beer I've ever had.

M: Right amount of carbonation, very crisp.

O: An awesome beer, I ate steak tips with this and it was absolutely incredible, grab a bottle of this if you can.

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Photo of murrayswine
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of the most peculiar yetr amazing beers I have ever had. I read quite a few reviews going into this, and yet I'm still perplexed by this beer.

It poured an overly attractive amber/pumpkin with beautiful a white head and soft steady lacing.

The smell is truffels, champagne, slight alcohol permeate heavily with this beer.

The taste is sweet and sour with grapes, slight honey, mushrooms, wood, like a muscato di' asti.

This beer is a king in it's class, absolutely enigmatic and amazing all at the same time.

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

750 ml bottle poured into wine glass.

The beer pours a beautiful golden color with hues of orange, red, and pink. Almost like one of those sunsets that has so many different colors running together. Just a beautiful beer. Lacing coats the glass nicely.

The smell is extremely complex. I'm getting whiffs of sweet grape balanced by sour funk, wet band aid, black pepper, and then a touch of brown sugar. Tons of fruitiness and spiciness here and it really comes out as the beer warms. The sourness was pretty pungent when the beer was cold, but it really opens up as it warms.

The taste is very sour and funky upfront. This probably masks a little bit of the complexity from the oak barrel, but the flavors are very nice. I get a little bit of the tannic red grape along with the sourness, but mostly sour Brett funk. Not a bad thing, but slightly one dimensional...one of the more sour American beers I've had.

Mouth is fairly prickly and tingly...actually a nice compliment to the sourness. This is definitely a slow sipper to be enjoyed. The sour is fantastic and I love this take on the wild ale. Definitely will seek out again.

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Photo of petacutlasaurus
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up the last dusty bottle of this from Connecticut Ave Wine and Liquors the other day. Looks like it's been bouncing around for a while as it had a few different price tags on it and it and was bottled in 2009. Really enjoyed it in spite of/because of that though. Not sure if the age had much of a +/- effect, mostly because it's so wild already and I can't taste it against anything.

Poured a rich red/gold with a little bit of head. Super smelly beer that reeks of alcohol, spice, and all around wild-ale funk. Pretty carbonated and effervescent, so the smell really punches out of the glass. Awesome.

On tasting, light to medium body with an upfront tartness and sourness. Some apple mixed in with a bit of oak and grass. A bit Bretty, but balanced.

Ultra-drinkable. Great bottle, can't wait till another one bounces its way in front of me.

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Allagash Interlude from Allagash Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 448 ratings.
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