Allagash Musette | Allagash Brewing Company

very good
189 Ratings
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Allagash MusetteAllagash Musette

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our interpretation of a Belgian-inspired Scotch ale, Musette undergoes a caramelization process in the kettle, where the first runnings are condensed and caramelized, imparting a unique and subtle caramel character and amber color to the beer. Following fermentation, a portion of it is aged in oak bourbon barrels for three months. Musette features raisin and ripened banana aromas. Its taste is malty and caramel with a hint of roast, and its warm finish strikes a balance between dry and caramel characters with a hint of smoke.

Added by barleywinebrewer on 05-22-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 189 |  Reviews: 159
Photo of drseamus
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to dmeadows for sharing this.

A: Amber body topped with a nice white head. The head is replenished by the super active carbonation.

S: Sweet caramel backed by some floral notes and a touch of smoke.

T: Whiskey barrel right up front. I'm not sure what type of whiskey it is but I'd guess scotch because there is a good amount of smoke and maybe some peat. Smooth malt behind it all.

M: Highly carbonated.

D: Nice smoke. Good beer.

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed a 2006 bottle on 04-10-10
Reviewed cold than room temp from a bottle to a glass

Thanks again to Shango42 for sharing this one!!

A - Dark like coffee, no head retention, ok lacing ring on top

S - Malts, bourbon and sweet but slight tart fruit aroma with some vanilla lingering

T - Full bodied brew but goes down very smooth and finished dry

M/D - Very much so enjoyed this brew, this one started out pretty good cold but really after some time in the room temperature like maybe a half hour to 45 minutes, the flavors really came out. Love to try the brew fresh, very lucky though to try this one with a couple of years on it. Will keep this brew on the radar for the future. A must try for anyone that likes the style

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked up this bottle in Portland ME. Pouring into a pint glass at room temp the beer exhibits a very clear copper to mahogany color with a frothy yet soft off white head of 3 cm that recedes slowly to .5 cm and holds. The aroma is malty with brown sugar, some oak, and bourbon notes as expected. First sip reveals an average body with very fine carbonation that is very tingly.
Flavor is sweet through and through with brown sugar, some drak fruit (plums) red grapes, borubon and a bit of oak and vanilla. I get just a hint of hot booze on the finish that makes the beer a bit of a sipper. Overall this is a tasy beer and I hope to score more next time it comes around.

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Photo of BlindPig
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- About a 2" tan head on a cloudy amber and brown body.
S- A light blend of dark fruits, oak, yeast, sugars, big earthy tones, sweet caramel, and some earthy hops.
T- A very balance blend of earthy hops that leave a big bitterness on front of tongue, light dark fruits, some kind of earthy dark sweet caramel malt, some big wood and vanilla, and light tingle of alcohol that leaves a big warming in the back of throat. It has a nice different taste to it and I think a lot of that comes from what kind of wood they used. It really lends some kind of earthy and rich feel to it. I think it is a blend of a Belgian strong dark ale with a wee heavy.
M- Medium to full body with low to medium carbonation.
D- I think this is really good. I don't think it is to true to the style but I can see why this one would be the scotch ale from a Belgian beer brewing company. Allagash have yet to let me and they didn't stop at this one.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 bottle cellared by dmeadows

A: Nice deep brown color. Tons of bubbly carbonation with a half finger of white head.

S: Tons of sweetness. Nice Belgian yeast nose. Some hints of peat/smoke as well.

T: Nice sweetness. Big whiskey flavor. Some hints of vanilla as well. Tastes like whiskey but in a good way.

M:Very prickly mouthfeel. Well carbonated.

D: Really nice. Didn't know to expect going in to this one but I got a pleasant surprise. A belgian inspired wee heavy? Why not.

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Photo of Boto
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle: 2006 vintage. This one pours a fairly clear, ruby tinged amber color. There was a bit of a tan head on it, but it didn't linger long, nor leave any lacing. The aroma is nice. There is a fair amount of the oak in the initial nose. Lots of other aromas in there: fruits, bread, caramel, faint spice, maybe some peat. The taste is quite good. It is quite complex and starts a touch sweet, but there is a bit of caramel, fruits and smokiness on top. There is a bit of oakiness there also, as well as a slight bitterness to the finish. Almost a bit of a port wine characteristic to it also. Very Nice!

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Photo of maximum12
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in May 2006 per the nifty Allagash label. For $19/bottle, I can see why it's been hanging around, but hey, I'm on vacation, one expensive bottle won't kill me! I wonder if this was distributed in 2006 & has been on the shelf since then, or if it was aged in the bottle for a while. Guess I'll never know. And now that I ponder the matter, who cares?

Pours Mississippi brown muddy with the a sickly sweet aroma.

Taste is pretty wild. The first note is that this feels more like a wine than a beer. It's deep, with layers of flava, & a thickness on the tongue I recall fondly from Sonoma County. The next, as it warms a bit, is the wood, which layers over all of the complexity underneath. There's plenty of fruits there & just a hint of something that isn't quite scotch, but close. No clue what that is.

Splitting this with the wife, but I think, given no place to go tomorrow, I could take down the entire bomber. I don't cotton much to bombers in this high-falutin' price range, but I'm very glad I tried this. Excellent beer!

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Photo of allengarvin
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$24 bottle of beer.... but hey, I'm always willing to spend good money on a beer named for the genteel French bagpipes. Maybe a hurdy-gurdy beer could be next? The picture looks like a woodcut from Praetorius's Syntagma musicum, with a fontanelle covering a lower key; it's mouthblown rather than most later musettes which were usually bellow-powered.

Pours out a hazy bright ruby color with a smallish head. Aroma is truly oaky, far woodier than any other wood-aged beer I've had. There's a fruity underlying malt as well, but the wood dominates the nose. The wood is, thankfully, less dominant in the flavor. It's still there, but there's a strong sweet malt and a wonderful dark-fruit yeast character that one finds in the best of Belgian-style beers. Hops are restrained but the character is never cloying. Alcohol character blends with a last hint of wood at the finish.

A complex and interesting beer! And a nice concept too. For some nice mid-18th century musette music, seek out Michel Courette or Joseph Bodin de Boismortier!

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Photo of ccrida
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled December 2006, poured into my Scotch Silly tulip, Musette is a clear amber a large, rocky off-white head that settles down pretty quickly, but leaves huge hunks of foamy lace.

The smell is earthy pine, sweet malt, spice, smoke and vanilla. Almost like a smoked bier de garde. Strong, complex, and very appealing, I just can't get enough. My favorite aspect of this beer, just phenomenal.

The taste is not a bright as the aroma, and is generally more reserved then I was expecting. Fairly malty, but neither sweet nor thick, and tempered by a peppery spiciness, fading to some vanilla notes before a clean, dry finish, reviling the clean tasting alcohol, hinting at bourbon. Again, I'm reminded of a bier de garde, certainly moreso then a wee heavy...since a musette is actually a french bag pipe, maybe I'm on to something! Regardless of style, it's a great tasting beer, although I could have used a bit more umph.

The mouthfeel is light and creamy, can this really be 10% ABV?

This is a dangerously drinkable beer, very smooth and easy drinking for such a heavy hitter. I did however notice that the booze started to build on the tongue after a while, as did a bit of an ash tray like smoke (which was evident in the nose, but not the taste).

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled May 2006

A - Pours a clear ruby/mahogany with a thin tan head and spotty lacing.

S - Dark cherries, raisins, spicy Belgian yeast, hints of vanilla, oak and prunes, sweet Belgian candy sugar.

T - Dark fruits, raisins and prunes, spicy pepper, sweet sugar. There is a slight hotness from the alcohol that mixed with vanilla and oak reminds me of a bourbon aftertaste that lingers in the mouth.

M - Medium bodied and slightly bubbly on the tongue with a dry spicy finish.

D - Although I don't think this is close to a scotch ale (maybe a Dubbel or Belgian Strong) it is a very tasty beer.

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Photo of lpayette
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

March 2008 bottling, picked up at the brewery in June.

Appearance- no surprises here really. nice typical wee heavy color (deep burgandy/mohagony). Lots of lacing, big head, very nice.

Smell- very rich and complicated. I love the malt backbone.

Taste- Again very complicated with a concentration on moderately ripe and dark fruits such as raisins and apples combined with some alcohol notes. Excellent job with the malt, perfectly balanced for the style.

Mouthfeel- Ample or better carbonation provides some tingle on the tip of the tongue making this almost velvety when combined with the exceptional smoothness.

Drinkability/other notes- Just another outstanding example of a style from allagash. They prove once again to me that their beers are worth a premium price. I'd gladly buy this over a $15 wine ANY day. No, this doesn't fit the style perfectly. The yeast (belgian and scottish ale I'd venture) makes this way better and more complex than most in this style. A great example of an American brewery venturing out on a limb at bit and succeeding beautifully as always.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big 750 ml, caged & corked; a classy label with a small illustration of a set of bagpipes (a cryptic hint to the scotch ale/wee heavy style...). Bottled in May 2006, enjoyed in February 2007. Poured to two Chimay goblets.

A: Murky golden-brown, deep & rich. Crowned with a eggshell-colored creamy head 1/2 to 1 finger, depending on the vigor of the pour. Head dwindles to gauzy film and eventually a pencil-thin ring. Carbonation visible only when the glass is held before strong light.

S: Fairly light brown-sugary smell, with spices (anise for one) and wisps of oak and vanilla.

T: Sugars, malts, yeast with a wonderful spiciness. A complex interplay of flavors develop in the mouth - anise and rum, brown sugar and oak. Peppery dry finish, rounded of with just enough herbal hops. Outstanding balance.

M: Outstanding mouthfeel - a litany of flavors and textures roil around constantly. At times warm and tingly, at times carbonated and spicy, at times creamy smooth, almost velvety. Body is medium-to-full. 10% alcohol and oak aging are hardly apparent.

D: A very well crafted ale, one I really was sorry to have to finish. Split this bottle with my wife over take-out BBQ (smoked beef brisket & pulled pork) - an excellent complement to the meal with enough left over to enjoy for some time after. A joy to drink and a strong recommendation.

Price is lofty (I've seen it sold for $15/bottle) - that's perhaps the only deterent to keep from enjoying this regularly.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled: December 2006

Poured into a tulip a very nice deep reddish/amber color, very nice carbonation, awesome thick/creamy two finger off-white head, which left some very nice thick sticky lacing. The nose is malty, nice touch of yeast, some spices, slight figs, raisins, plums, nice oak presence, with some caramel tones. The taste is awesome, malty/yeast, dark fruits, nice touch of oak/caramel tones. Medium body. The alcohol is hidden very well with this brew. Very drinkable, this one is a joy to drink, thank you Allagash, highly recommended.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - golden brown. nice light head, good lace.

S - rich malty with undertones of ripe fruit, oak and vanilla

T - Rich nicely balance malts with a very pleasing oak / vanilla undertone. Definitely an alcohol presence, but not detracting.

M / D - This is a nice medium bodied brew which drinks way too easy for something so strong. One was enough to know I want to come back for more and leave me eagerly anticipating the bottled version of this brew!

available at the great lost bear on cask!

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Photo of Viggo
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy brown/orange, thicks off white head forms, awesome lace, great retention, it really sticks. Smell is very sweet and malty, lots of toffee, vanilla, some spices, real nice oak character, some pears and apples, little bit of alcohol. Taste is very oaky, bourbon vanilla, some toffee, apples, some alcohol, very nice though, I really enjoyed the oak character. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, very well attenuated, low to medium carbonation. A very enjoyable beer, definate sipper.

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Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.48/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Corked and caged 750 mL, bottled as one of 419 in August 2006. "Ale Aged in Oak Barrels."

Hazy amber in color with an off-white, two finger head. Aroma of Belgian-ish yeast and smooth sugars like maple syrup and caramel. Taste is very smooth, with some hoppy bite and smooth, sugary malts. Very easy to sip, and finishes clean despite the sweetness.

Very, very good.

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Photo of NCSUdo
4.48/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle, bottle May 2006

A: Pours a rusty brown under a medium sized white head. Excellent lace and retention.

S: A lot of sweet fruit, some sweet grapes, malty, toffee, hint of oak, even a little bit of Belgian tropical fruit character. Very nice smell.

T: Oak really comes out here and it is damn near perfect. Very oaked up front, with a bit of sweetness, finishing in a slight bitterness, bit of toffee, booze and alcohol warmth. Excellent taste.

M/D: Full bodied, carbonation is a bit too prickly, alcohol is there but done nicely. It's a sipper and one bottle is probably enough, but this is still a fine beer. Very good example of what oak and oak alone can bring to a beer.

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Photo of sholland119
4.49/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at TJs Everyday.

A-Pours a deep, dark amber with a generous white head and some good lacing.

S-Sweet and bready malts, dark fruits (raisins and figs), some oakiness, spices and Belgian yeast. Oh, a bit of candi sugar as well.

T-Very sweet in the front with the candi sugar and raisin flavors taking the lead. Spices come to the fore in the middle along with the yeasty spiciness and oak, following along to the finish. Excellent. No hint of alcohol either.

M-Surprisingly light for the style and ABV. Not light by any means but not at all heavy.

D-A sipper for sure but not tiring at all, as I often find with this style (though I love the style). More than one a bad idea unless you are at home.


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Photo of Billolick
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Large Belgian bottle, caged and corked, "bottled August 2006" Pours cloudy, dull dark brown, typical tan head showing fine retention and leaving nice, fine and also blotchy lacing. Nose is musty,malty and sweet. Notes of more malt, light raisins and a hint of wood and rum. Fine, fine stuff, very smooht and enjoyable mouthfeel. Go get some! Thanks to my beer bud, Daver, for bringing this fine brew over..

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, corked and caged. The cork released easily. Bottled August 2006. I had no idea what this beer was until just now, and I found the drawing on the label curious (or is that curioux?), but now I see it's a bag pipe. Great name. Great label. Great beer.

Poured into a wide goblet, it's a very hazy deep chestnut with a ruby cast. A short head of creamy ivory froth rests atop, slowly settling into a wide collar with islands, peninsulas, and a single isthmus of lace across the surface. Creamy walls of lace rise from the surface along the glass, and as you sip and disturb the beer, it's roused to form a solid, silky veil across the surface. Very fine bubbles rise from below, helping to maintain the creamy collar and whispy surface covering. Very nice appearance.

In the nose it's lightly smokey and oak-like... not just woody, but woody and oak-like. Maltiness lies still beneath, not in any hurry to truly reveal itself, and a bit of yeasty fruitiness (chalky tangerine) seems to be up to the same game.

The flavor initially offers a strong note of vanilla with the wood, but with subsequent sips that disappears into the lush, smokey and deeply caramelish - scorched sugar maltiness. Yeasty fruitiness does make an appearance, but it's still restrained. It displays apple, pear, apricot, subtle cherry, and some mild dark skinned fruits. Alcohol hits the palate midway with a splash of spiciness, and leads into dry and oaky finish. Even cedar-like? The combination of fruit and burnt sugar and wood is quite remarkable. It's rich and flavorful but far from overwhelming... more like 'refreshing'... and it's perfect for cold weather! It finishes dry with a wash of sm-oak-iness, and lays on the palate with a touch of smoked meat character.

A really nice, very interesting Scottish style Ale. Solidly flavored with lots of complexity. A beautiful sipper.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a solid dark amber that fades to straw near the edges of my glass. The head was even, creamy and off-white.

Smells of an awesome blend of green sappy oak, a dab of honey and a cool woody barley that’s slightly sour.

Tastes of a nice gooey barley and brown sugar over-laid with an electric oak, easy woody hop and alcohol that sweetens in the finish.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a creamy carbonation.

This one’s really well rounded. It was nice to have a barrel aged beer that wasn’t overly-dominated by the oak.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Into a St Bernardus chalice, pours (what I'll call) a russet orange, a half inch of creamy head sticking around for a little bit, settling to a thin film. The lacing falls in sheets down the glass, not sticking but for a few instances, the head reforming upon a gentle swirl.

The aroma is light, even shy, kind of a tricky buoy, but delightfully woody, lots of oak, earthy, the fruits vague and .... dank? And then there is the yeastiness that takes on a BSDA quality, very odd, very unique, very nice.

The taste is a wonderful kind of vague that I love, where the individual qualities are second to the overall cohesive whole. And its like a Scotch-Belgian hybrid, very interesting, the oak and malts giving it its highland feel, while yeasty spices impart that unmistakable Belgian impression.

The mouth is about medium (read: not thin), which leaves me yearning for a bit more heft. But the carbonation is just right, it warms the tongue real nice, but above all its a deliciously smooth ride. Overall, its a very interesting beer, another wonderful Allagash beer, most delicious.

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Photo of JMBSH
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of DmanGTR
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of Blakaeris
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours red-caramel brown with a pillowy beige head. Sticky with plenty of lacing.

Aroma is very sweet with caramel malt and candied sugar. Light fruit, with underlying yeasty spices.

Taste is toasted malt and a peaty smokiness. Fruit and strong alcohol notes add a brandylike quality. Finish is dry and woody, with earthy hops and mild spices.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy.

An unusual and very tasty brew. Complex flavor profile, and dangerously easy to drink. Who knew that the malty smoky aspect of a scoth ale would match well with belgian sweetness and spices. Good stuff.

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Allagash Musette from Allagash Brewing Company
4.02 out of 5 based on 189 ratings.
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