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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 189 |  Reviews: 159
Photo of FightingEntropy
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On Allagash's web, it says this is a Belgian inspired version of a Scotch Ale since it is often brewed there. The beer has a thick off white head that lingers and never really settles away, even pouring the second half of the bottle the high carbonation builds a strong, lasting head. Not much nose--had to swirl it to get some vanilla and light spice over a sweet malt. The taste is Belgian in character, oily and yeasty, but with a solid malty base underneath and oak with a bit of charcoal. The 10% alcohol warms nicely and evaporates up through the nose. Drink the beer at 55 like the bottle says because the balance is better; lower temp made the alcohol dominate over the other lighter flavor. A bit light for a mouthfeel and overall the beer lacks depth and character, though it was still a very fine night of tasting.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Unlike the Curieux, which I thought was too "oakey", this is an excellent offering from one of my favorite US breweries. Has an almost brown hue, decent head which disappaited quickly. No overt aroma or taste, but very good overall flavor and balance. Gets better as it goes. A very easy drinker for a 10% ABV brew. A hint of oak, but nothing to detract. Spicy and flavorful. My only real criticism is the price. Compared to the tripel (which is still the better brew), it's more than double the price.

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Photo of TheBungyo
3.87/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I did pour quite gently as the bottle suggested but at the same time, the head was not what I'd like. Body is a nice ruby brown but the head struggles to even fight its way atop. Nose is snappy bubblegum, an almost woody mahogany smell, followed by brown sugar and caramel. Finish is like licking a slab of cardboard ... but pleasant. I know of no other way to describe it. Taste is at once caramel, brown sugar, rum, vanilla, with the finish being dry. Mouth was at first perhaps overly carbonated but later very very smooth.
In all, this is a damn fine and tasty brew. The real question is:
should you pay nearly $20 for it? Nope. This tastes great but there are so MANY other great beers out there begging to be bought for a fraction of the price. I would honestly rather have my four Ommegangs to this one Allagash. Save your money and smile.

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Photo of Raymond69
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Small head , some lacing. Hazy brown.

Smell is very fruity , dark cherries, grapes, and some citrus,

This beer has a nice fruity taste that is tamed by a slight alcoholic warmth. Small hop profile.

Mouthfeel is thick and sweet.

Drinkability suffers slightly because of the sweetness and ABV, but I like this beer,

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Photo of BuckSpin
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750ml wiretop (bottling date of May 2006), cellared in my possession for one year, in a flared tulip glass.

Cork came out with some attitude. Poured with some nice surge and crackle. Deep, fruited wood nose, resonating with wet oak, sour cherry, tannins, leather, thick caramelized malts...a deep, dark yet soft aroma. With some bloom and warmth a sweet toffee quality as well as some bread crust & yeast emerge. The head was surprisingly loose and alive with a faint crackle, a solid 2 fingers of tight, blanched almond hued foam that formed an almost solid 1/4" blanket of the same when it settled and clung with faint lacing. Refreshing the glass with subsequent repours restores the head wonderfully to its original state. The body is a breathtakingly beautiful ruddy-brassy Southwest sunset cherry amber, lush, hinting of barreled spirits, crystal clear, just wonderful. Thus far my eyes & nose are happy. Give me a second here... Wonderfully thick, warm & overrippened stone fruits (dark cherry) bring a syrupy sweetness overtop a solid oak dancefloor thick with history & faint dirt, all near a fireplace that not only brings some faint smoke to the party but also imparts some warmth as my mouth begins to softly glow already from the alcohol. This is going to be a long, slow dance, but I'm in no hurry to get anywhere fast soon.

Its almost chewy with deep, not quite but almost burnt caramelized malts that add a bittersweet backdrop to the Highland festivities going on in my mouth. There is an unusual bitter nibble (hops?) in the background that takes on a orange pekoe tea like astringency, further rounding out the taste experience. Rounding out everything is a semi-dry mouthfeel that adds a toffee like crunchiness to all. There is a lot going on here. Definitely a sipper by command and just desiring to savor this slow striptease of a seduction.

My mouth is fully warmed, nasal cavities slowly open, teeth tingle & shake. After about 1/2 of it has been enjoyed the mouthfeel actually lightens (I am sure in part, or directly attributed to, the high ABV). The sweetness grows thicker and more syrupy, yet the overall mouthfeel lightens. The hop bitters get sharper on the palate (my teeth & gums are quite numb right now) with tannins and dry bite, and it finishes (sadly) thinner, weaker than it did originally. Not sure if its the beer growing thinner with temperature warmth or my mouth growing number with alcoholic warmth, or a combination, but its getting more & more even, flatter, thinner on the finish, leaving a warm, chewy, thick, slightly filmy and faintly chalked aftertaste. Still, a wild ride.

This was wonderful, though I think it would be best enjoyed at the correct temps in that it begins to fade with warmth & air. That said, this would make an excellent beer to share with a friend in that each could enjoy a glass while its at its peak. Its like a roller coaster that starts out huge and has lots of great, fast thrill in the first 2/3 of the ride, but begins to fade some as it draws near the finish. Still, a fantastic beer that I would wholehearted recommend, but perhaps not a whole bottle by one's self. Actually, a beer like this deserves to be shared. Could see it paring famously with a good cheddar or a strong, veined cheese, actually that may help extend the foreplay. Yeah, thats it, now I have a way to fill out that 2nd half so I can enjoy another bottle all by myself! Definitely recommended, a fantastic Wee Heavy.

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Photo of drumrboy22
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled December 2006. Poured into an Ommegang chalice. Beer was a slightly hazy, copper color, with a one-finger, creamy head. Intricate lacing and slow, soft carbonation.

Aroma was sweet malt, pecans, nuts and caramel. Moderate aroma.

Taste was caramel, raisins, sweet apples, candi sugar and very light maple syrup.

Smooth and easy drinking. Delicious beer. It's drinking very well.

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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 m1ked
4.11/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dlucky for this one.

A- Clear dark caramel with active bubbles streaming.

S- Low sweet maltiness. Almost salty biscuity, with definite caramel.

T- Subtle creamy sweetness, light smokey peatness. Some nuttiness, slight bitter finish, noticeable heat with some sort of spiciness to it.

M- Slightly syrupy, tight carbonation.

D- Yet another very enjoyable offering from Allagash. I could drink a whole bottle of this stuff.

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Photo of Sephiroth
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in August of 2006. Pours with lots of carbonation, some lacing, the beer is brown with a touch of red. Smells fruity, a little yeasty, the oak is there too.

Taste is new and unique to me. Like a Belgian brown ale that has been barrel-aged, not a Wee-Heavy. I think the oak is a little overpowering for the rest of the beer. I can just barely separate the fruity malt from the oak, which adds a dry character. I am having trouble identifying any particular flavor, so I will leave it at that. However, it does have that special something that makes this beer taste "authentically Belgian," I think it is Allagash's yeast, as all their beers have that character.

Mouthfeel is excellent, and as this warms, I am liking it better than my words above might suggest. There is no trace of the high alcohol content, and...just tasted some bourbon... I will buy at least one more of these to cellar.

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Photo of bluegrassbrew
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a snifter.

Pours a caramel copper color with a huge fluffy off white head that last throughout.

Smell is oak and bourbon.

Taste is sweet caramel and a hint of vanilla. Some oaky notes make themselves known eventually. Not an inkling of alcohol in the taste.

Overall, very tasty brew. Creamy and delicious.

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Photo of pinotboy007
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Splendid mahogany with a sensational, creamy, pillow-top head that simply won't quit. Ringed lacing along the glass with each sip.

S - Honey, leather, vanilla.

T/M - Vanilla, green olive, leather, maple syrup. Creamy with a touch of carbonation in support. Very nice!

D - Probably not food friendly but more than pleasant as an after dinner ale. At 10% ABV, caution is in order.

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Photo of cabsandking
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber with red/orange highlights and an off white, thin pool and lace ring. Aromas of candied fruits, papaya, tea herbals, slight alcohol tinge and oak barrel tones. Dominant oak barrel flavor but not too strong. Belgian yeastiness ending big on sour but balanced well with a complex sweetness, brown sugar. Buttery, caramel, peach, and peppery spice and nutty, husky malt tones come through as is develops. Full body and respectable mouthfeel, crisp carbonation is just right. The finish is dry with oak tones and a pleasantly lasting sweetness.

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Photo of macster
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

December 2006 750ml.

Pours into the chalice a clear amber-burgundy hue. Pour creates an impressive 1" frothy, tight beige colored head with superb retention throughout. No lacing noted.

Ddn't seem to get a whole lot of punch from the aroma side of things here. Nothing off, but very reserved notes of caramel apples, fresh cut hay, brown sugar, vanilla, white grape and a touch of cut wood just barely tickle the olfactory nerve.

Very smooth and fluffy mouthfeel with a lively carbonation but a silky finish.

The flavor has a bit more oomph than the smell. Moderately sweet notes of caramel candy, melted brown sugar, buckwheat honey, nuts, toffee, vanilla bean and just a hint of grass and oaky chardonnay come through. A faint touch of hoppy bitterness makes a late appearance. Any perception of 10% alcohol is fairly non-existant making this a deceivingly easy big Belgian-style beer to put away.

Economically not such a great deal at $16.99 when you can get the real deals from overseas for a lot less. Not sure what Allagash is thinking of at that price.

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Photo of bigbelcher
4.52/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Recieved in a trade with gregc. Big frothy head that sits for a good while, dark red, almost brown color beer. A little murky but bottled was passed around quite a bit unfortunately before opening. Very malty... not as sweet as most Scottish Ales I have had. A little oak but not overbearing, some vanilla in the aroma and taste.
Pretty rich but well balanced, like I said not overly sweet. A little bit of belgian charecter with some raisins. A pretty complex beer. Medium body. I wish we could get Allagash beers in Arizona again.

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Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought this at Grapevine Market about six months ago. Thanks James. This is my first scotch ale.

December 2006 vintage.

Poured part of a 750ml bottle into a snifter.

Appearance - It produced a solid two finger whitish head. It has really great head retention - the head never really dies, it just becomes a thick crown on the surface of the beer. It leaves light lacing behind. It is a transparent ruby burgundy, and has a constant carbonation stream rising to the top. Very nice.

Smell - I can smell the alcohol as the beer warms to room temperature. The alcohol presence doesn't affect it in a negative way, IMO. I can smell vanilla and oak notes. There is a dark fruit scent as well, almost like rum raisin, or figs. There is a tiny citrus scent as well. It also has that Belgian yeast scent contained in pretty much all Allagash brews.

Flavor – The brew has a slightly sweet taste as it first enters the mouth, along the lines of toffee or butterscotch. The middle flavors are the fruits – there is a large dark fruit presence like raisin and fig. There are also flavors of banana, which intermingles with the vanilla very nicely. The end flavors are slightly smoky tied in with a bitter hops. The whiskey flavor comes into play heavily at the end. The alcohol presence makes itself known, but it doesn’t detract from the flavor in any way.

Mouthfeel – It is medium bodied. It has a very effervescent mouthfeel, but goes down creamy and smooth. It isn’t sticky or oily – it barely coats the mouth.

Drinkability – This is a pretty drinkable beer. It is very tasty, and it goes down pretty smoothly. I would never be able to tell that this was 10% ABV unless I read the label. I would definitely drink it again… if I wasn’t paying for it.

This beer was just way too expensive for what it is. $17 is just not worth it. It would be worth it for $8 or $9, maybe – but $17 is pretty ridiculous. If you have a heap of cash to spare, give it a shot. Otherwise, save your money, there are much better and cheaper beers out there.

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Photo of tbeck
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was provided to me by my good beer buddy dnichols, excellent choice for my 100th beer review.

Pours a dark reddish brown with a one-finger brownish white head that collared nicely. Aroma is of malt, brown sugar and very fruity. Taste is brandy-like but smooth. On the sweet side but also remindes me of a Belgium-ale. Mouthfeel is carbonated and thick, although not syrupy. This beer is a little on the sweet side but the taste is outstanding. Highly recommended and an excellent session beer.

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Photo of DLucky
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Chambic
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: really dark, almost black, but looks a bit thin

S: unique blend of fruit and malt, with something else I can't decipher

T: sweet, but the fruit notes in it are surprising. Detected some coconut and a light grape flavor

M: pretty smooth for something so sweet and high in alcohol

D: not too bad

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Photo of ojiikun
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

August 2006 bottling poured into a nice, wee tulip. Typical 750mL cork, cage, and brown glass. Body is a very dark red and nearly clear save a bit of chill haze. Head is burnt-creme white and took a bit of coaxing to produce. Fell fast to spotty clumps and not much in the way of lace.

Smell is sweet and malty, clearly with newage belgian yeast. Oaking is surprisingly subtle, first-used burnt oak, I'd guess. Some grassy notes. Mild booze and chalky chocolate.

Taste is meaty as can be at first, then the oak really pours out. Less smokey than on the nose and not at all bitter. Yeast continues to make an upfront statement. More grassy and herbal notes - fresh parsley. Not much fruit save some mild berry character. Malting is really quite hard to place. More cocoa and burnt milk. Finishes a bit more tart.

Insanely clean mouthfeel for a 10% beer. Carbonation is strong and no coating can be felt. This along with a brilliant flavour makes this all too easy a drink.

The first of the Allagash oaks that I've tried, this beer is unexpectedly delicate. Serve warm, stay away from rich food pairings, and enjoy slowly. It might drink like water, but it hits like a brick.

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Photo of unklesyd
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split this bottle with my wife, who took more than I after proclaiming that she loved it and yelling at me for only buying one bottle.

Pours a dark ruby at the beginning of the bottle, muddled clayish red-brown at the end. Short, dense head that maintains as a ring and skin.

Earthy Belgian nose and bitterness. Very characteristic of a BSDA. Very warming phenolics without the overbearing mouthfeel or aromatics. Nice touch.

Mouthfeel is what sets this apart as a Scotch-style Belgian. More chewy and dense than a standard BSDA, but with a drying aftertaste. Interesting.

Overall, nice brew, but glad that I only had half the bottle, and only bought the one.

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Photo of Umbra
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a red wine glass at Max's.
Red-hued copper with a tan head. Light retention and nice lacing. Apples, malt and some vanilla on the nose.
Comes off sweet and fruity, but is saved by it's very light mouthfeel. It doesn't appear anywhere near cloying. Wood and alcohol on the finish.
overall: Seemed to have less body and interestingness on tap than in the bottle. However, it was much more drinkable in the long run.

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

A thing of beauty. I like anything barrel-aged, but this is the first ale I've had that seems like it was designed just to be aged in oak. It pours the color of a cherry tea, with a thick head and lots of good lacing. The aroma and initial flavor is heavy on the oak, but then some notes of bitter cherry, orange peel, and plum enter the mix. Not overly complex, but it does have a faint ale funk throughout, and a nice, crisp, vaguely hoppy finish. This struck me as great for wine-type occasions.

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Photo of jhu1995
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled date of August 2006.

Pours a copper color with a slightly off-white head.

Aromas of vanilla, tartness, and slight alcohol.

Taste is subdued vanilla and oak, almost whiskey like, with a mild tartness. Slight warming alcohol in the background.

Medium-bodied, but the tartness gives it a very dry feel. Overall a good beer.

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Photo of leftmindedrighty
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Capone's. Advertised as being the Dry Hopped version.

Smell, Tart cherries, fig, caramel, and light raison with some underlying funkiness

Taste, pretty much keeps going where the nose was heading. This baby is tart, but not over powering like a Flanders Red. Light notes of hops, which I couldn't pick up in the nose. Also this beer has a good raison flavor, but its not over the top. Subtle caramel and oak notes round out the beer.

Overall, a wonderful beer. Saying this one is complex is a terrible understatement. Layer upon layer of flavor. Seek the Musette, you'll be happy you did.

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Photo of RomanW70
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Publick House in Boston. Pours dark amber with minimal light tan head. Aroma of caramel, brown sugar, and whisky. Really nice taste. The flavor has real complexity, with notes of chocolate and dark fruits in addition to the caramel and whisky. The whisky is present throughout, but adds to, rather than dominates the flavor. Warming alcohol on the finish. Excellent offering.

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