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Allagash Musette | Allagash Brewing Company

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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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Reviews: 159 | Ratings: 189
Photo of DrJay
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from May 2006.
This beer was clear and a dark burnt orange colour topped by a thin layer of bright white foam composed of small bubbles. The head eventually receded to a collar and produced some spotty lacing. The aroma was quite fruity, some white grape character, with lots of earthy notes - some vanilla, oak, and tobacco. Low bitterness with a fruity flavour, fairly spicy with a bit of alcohol throughout. Bready malt and vinous character balanced tobacco leaf and peppery spice, and there was some vanilla and oak in the background. Though there was plenty of warmth it definitely wasn't hot. Medium to full bodied with carbonation on the high side, the texture was a bit slick. Good stuff, pretty complex but still accessible. The oak didn't come off as overdone or unbalanced next to the base beer.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark Brown/red body with ruby-red highlights. Head is around an inch thick and dissipates slowly. Smells citrusy and peaty. Malty sweet, roasty, hints of citrus in the flavor. Some earthy element to it too. Medium bodied. Not like any other Scotch Ale I've had - cleary "Belgian Insipired" as the brewery says. Not as owerwealmingly malty or heavy as some Scotch ale can be. A nice balance, and a really good interpretation of the style.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another good beer from Allagash. I'm not quite sure if it is $16 good, but damn tasty. Pours to a dark amber color, almost brown. A nice tall off-white head with a decent retention. Hardly any lacing, however. Good carbonation rising up from the D etching in my Duvel tulip.

The smell is the weakest link. A bit of a soft soap aroma and some copper. At the same time it smells beautifully crisp and dry, almost like a brett beer. A hint of brown sugar, candi sugar and dark caramel malts. Some english noble hops as well. If it weren't for the soapy and coppery aromas, it would actually smell quite phenomenal.

The taste is better. The soap and copper flavors are more subdued and thus outshined by the malts and hops. A light banana ester as well as a hint of clove and some saddle sweat funk. Very crisp and dry, but the caramelized malt flavors are still a standout. Dark candi sugar in the finish with a hint of lingering hops. A bit of a smoked barrel char flavor with a feint hint of vanilla in the finish as well, rounding everything out.

The body is fairly light for such a strong beer. The alcohol is very well hidden as well. Very crisp and carbonated, and on the dry side as well. Fairly good drinkability, but not when you take the price tag into consideration. Worth a try, in any case.

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Photo of tmoneyba
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Poured cloudy brown hue with an average fizzy off-white head that mostly diminished with good lacing. Heavy complex caramel malty and wood aroma. Medium to full body with a slick texture. Heavy balanced flavor with a medium sweet bitter finish of long duration with a small alcohol bite.

Another very good Allagash beer

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Photo of Ego
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

found for $12.99 (yeah, they mismarked it)

well carbonated, one finger of clingy/semi chunky head, lacing is decent, deep brown with some amber highlights, pretty good looking

strong sweet aromas, the yeast plays almost perfectly off the sweetness, the alcohol is in the nose but not astringent in any way, underneath is a mat of dryness, it almost has a grape/wine odor component, very nice.

taste etc...
nice and almost creamy in the mouth, good body, the alcohol warms but does not affect the flavor in the mouth, the is a touch of bitterness left in the back caverns of your tongue, everything you smell is identical to the taste, it is a touch sweet but not overly so, it finishes dry and almost peaty? dare I say? This is pretty easy drinking for the ABV as it is a touch lighter than alot of scotch ales. (and also not as "too sweet" as some scotch ales)

$20 a bottle? I think that is a bit much. Granted I paid less and for that money I would buy it in a second.

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Photo of glid02
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this courtesy of daryk77 - thanks!

Pours a cloudy red-orange color with a large off-white head. The head slowly dissipates into a thin pancake on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of fruits mostly - pears, raisins, and lightly tart apples, with some caramel malt and earthy aromas coming out as well - definitely not the Wee Heavy aroma I was expecting.

Tastes similar to how it smells. The fruit flavors are front and center, with malt flavors that are middle and slightly left. A slight earthy flavor is back and far right, but still contributes.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good thickness with soft carbonation that make this go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing my glass, but unlike most other offerings from Allagash I'm not sure I'd be down with drinking the entire bottle.

Overall this is a very interesting beer, but I'd rank a few other Allagash beers ahead of it. Worth a shot, just don't expect a Wee Heavy.

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Photo of illidurit
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip.
A: 3 fingers of fluffy tan head floating on a deep amber body. Reduces to a healthy cap without much lacing.

S: Smells very Belgian, yeasty, estery, a bit of oakiness.

T: Tastes like a 75/25 split between Belgian strong dark ale and Scotch ale. Dark fruits, horseblanket/yeast, apple, caramel, wood.

M: Pretty smooth, not as thick as it should be for the style, kinda flimsy even.

D: Very nice, alcohol is hidden well and it's easy to get through the entire 750.

Interesting interpretation, but not really wee heavy enough.

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

(Served in a snifter)
Bottled May 2006

A- This beer has a warm brown crystal clear body with a sea of tiny bubbles racing toward the surface. There is a thick rocky tan foam that holds for a good bit.

S- The light toasted sweet malt note have strong notes of oak and some green wood qualities. There is a soft sherry alcohol smell in the finish.

T- This beer has a caramel sweet malt flavor with some alcohol taste that is mellow but definitely present. There are some strong notes of oak, and green wood in the finish of the taste also.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel probably from the strong carbonation and a light alcohol heat in the finish which cuts down the sweetness nicely.

D- This beer is complex but still pretty chaotic. With some more age it should really mellow and when all the flavors blend it should be amazing.

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

$20 bomber limited to 690 cases. Oak aged ale.

A: Poured a ruby red color, with a soft white head.

S: On the nose was tart citrus, dried fruit and sweet caramel malt as well some light alcohol notes.

T: a nice oaky woodiness, vanilla and dried caramel. There was some light dried fruit (raisins, prunes), and figs. A very nice complexity with a light smokiness and yeasty character (bananas).

M: smooth with a medium-fullness, creamy while the carbonation was just right.

D: An drink that was very easy going down and easy to enjoy. The abv is nicely hidden behind a sweet malting.

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

The body of this beer is a dark orange/red heavy amber and it holds a diminishing thumb thick white head that is quite creamy and made up of very small bubbles. Aroma, lightly yeasty, pineapple, bourbon, oak and sweet fruity malt. Very nice aroma with a nice range of distinct smells.

Fore is very oak laded. Has a woody spiciness to it in fact. The bourbon is fainter here, but some of that wood/bourbon mix that, to me, approximates pineapple is present here. Some earthy malt makes it feel a tad dusty, but in more of a barnyard funk way. ItÂ’s very soft on the tongue. More fruity notes pop as it warms up more.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep copper color ale with a big foamy head with good retention and small lacing rings. Aroma of sweet malt with some notes of light oak. Taste is dominated by a big sweet malt base with some toffee notes. The bourbon and the alcohol were not discernable. I was expecting more peat malt and less sweetness but I enjoyed this one very much even thought it stray very much from the style guideline.

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

appearance: The pour produces a low, light khaki head that soon recedes to just a ring around the glass. The beer is a deep orange amber in color.

smell: Aromas of sweet toasted malts, dried dark tree fruits, and raw sugars greet me first...not to say that the aroma is very sweet, it is not. Then come hints of orange pulp, oak, and a mild to moderate ethanol note. The hop aroma is of a papery, aged variety. Pretty subtle yet pleasantly complex.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is high, and the body somewhere between light and medium. A little more body would be nice, as it seems a little overly fizzy to me.

taste: Sweet, tempered flavors of dried figs and dates with a healthy dose of Belgian yeast character upfront. Just a hint of woodiness and an even more subtle hint of bourbon. In the finish is a touch of ethanol in the back of the throat and a light flavor and bitterness of aged noble hops.

drinkability: easy enough

Bottle split with dirtylou during my stay in Madison...May 2006 bottling. I'll rate this beer with both a scotch and belgian strong in mind.

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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 brdc
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks cookin420 for this one, large corked bottle poured into a tulip.

Dark brown, reddish edges, nice dense tan head with good retention but not a lot of lacing.
Aroma, just like the flavor, is rather simple, although quite pleasant.
Sweetish malts, with lots of caramel, some bread, a somewhat dry finish.
Medium body, needed a bit more complexity and density to turn into a great beer, but still makes for a very nice late night drink.

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

Bottled May 2006, Sampled November 2006
Pours with a frothy, thick three finger thick, tan colored head. The beer shows a lightly hazy, ruby, amber color when held up to the light, otherwise it sits a slightly dull, burnt, concentrated amber color. As I pour this beer I get a nice, sweetish fruity note of plums. Yep, notes of plum and raisins play a forward role in this beer. Towards the end the oak starts to become noticeably; touches of vanillin, and buttery oak character. The oak actually seems to accentuate the alcohol aromatics here, it almost gives it a hot, even bourbon like edge. Malty, caramelized notes of rum, brown sugar and toasted bread crust. There is also a touch of something that makes the aroma smell a bit tart; it sort of reminds me of tamarind.

The taste has a touch of complex sweetness to it up front, that dies down a bit in the middle and then picks up again through to a long, caramelized finish. Definitely has a certain tartness to it; it seems to remind me of plums and perhaps a touch of apples. For an oak aged beer, the wood is fairly subtle. Don't get me wrong, it is definitely noticeable, but it is not so in your face that it is the first thing I notice. The oak first becomes noticeable towards the finish, with notes of vanilla, a touch of astringent oak, and perhaps a hint of buttery oak. This beer has a nice fullness to it, it is not heavy, though it does manage to coat the palate for quite some time after the beer has left. Once again the wood seems to accentuate some hot alcohol notes, but it is even more subtle in the taste than it is in the aroma. The notes makes me think of spicy notes of pepper.

This is a nice beer to contemplate over an evening. Perhaps the best thing about this beer is that the oak is fairly subtle, so often the wood is overdone in the wood aged beers. In this one it plays a supporting role & it just works. As the beer warms and my palate gets used to it, it loses the sweetness that was initially here. It becomes actually a bit meatier, more chewy and more savory even. Perhaps not mind blowingly good, but this is certainly quite tasty and I am enjoying this quite nicely right now.

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

Fours across the board on this one. Poured up a lovely red bronze colour with a finger and a half sand coloured foamy head. Very attractive. Smell is sweet, toasted grains, some fresh fruit (sliced pears, maybe / perhaps some figs), some earthy hops, and alcohol. A nice mix of aromas in this one. Taste is well balanced with pleasantly sweet malts up front giving way to delightfully bitter hops on the finish. All the while, the mouthfeel is pleasantly thick and "coating". A wonderfully crafted, immensely flavourful offering from Allagash perfect for sipping on chilly evenings. Recommended, for sure

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear burgandy. Mild cloudiness. Plenty of carbonation. Beige head. Mild lacing and retention.

Aroma: Caramel, oak, yeast, apples, and cherries.

Taste: Nice caramel candy malt. There is some apple tartness and sweet cherries. Tastes vaguely Belgian. The oak comes through during the finish.

Mouthfeel: Manages to be light but complex. It just evaporates in the mouth.

Drinkability: Nicely integrated alcohol. I will definitely try to get another of these.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 received in trade with I think nflmvp (If I am wrong beermail me and I will edit immediately).. shared with Steven.. mine in my New Belgium snifter.

Big fizzy head drops pretty quickly into a reddish brown brew.. fairly clear but not alot of lacing.

Malty and fruity at the same time... not as Scottish as I would have guessed.. there is a big whiff of Belgium in there. A little oak.. and touches of vanilla as it approaches room temperature... notes of almonds.

Flavor is again the cross continental mash-up ... but in a good way. Rich malts with medium caramel popcorn notes... raisins and subtle plums... not as much Bourbon and wood as expected but still more than present. Less Belgian fruitiness than the nose but it adds well to the overall complexity. Mouthfeel is significantly lighter than a wee heavy.. and carbonation is much more. Again this is a pretty good colliding of the style guidelines.. I like it more and more as it warms... and the viscosity also increases quite a bit as do the bourbon barrel notes.

I really enjoyed this brew... now I just wish I had access to this fantastic brewing company... I've been hearing rumors that Allagash is coming to Boise sometime in the Spring .... now somebody just needs to make it happen.

Thanks again to nflmvp (I think .... I recently lost my trading notebook).

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

A - Murky 'orange pekoe tea', chunky off white head reduces to just covering beer with some sticky lacing.

S - Some wood, caramel malt, something earthy.

T - Nice malt center, some wood and booze. Nice sweet note on finish, but by no means cloying.

M - Creamy balanced, good coverage and lots of carbonation.

D - Very easy to drink, especially considering the ABV.

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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 nickfl
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - One finger of off white foam with a tinge of brown, settles quickly to a thick film. Extraordinary copper-red color with good clarity.

S - Malty, oaky aroma. Lots of caramel with notes of vanilla and coco.

T - Lots of woody oak flavor up front. Thin caramel flavor in the middle followed by some chocolate and coffee flavors. The finish is drawn out with lots of oak and some smoky tobacco flavors.

M - Smooth, slightly thick body with moderately high carbonation and alcoholic warmth in the finish.

D - Pretty drinkable for a strong, wood aged beer. The flavor of the base beer is a bit weak, but the oak character is quite nice; substantial, but not overwhelming. The finish is particularly complex.

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Photo of shroompod
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 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 ColoradoBobs
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, corked and caged.

Moderate pour into a tulip glass yields a huge rocky light tan head over a hazy dark copper body. Lots and lots of thick thick lacing. Very attractive beer.

Nose of caramel, crackers, biscuit, a slight note of pepper, a tiny bit of floral-pine hops.

Taste is good, though not what I expected. Much milder flavors. Caramel, crackers, some mild spices, light date-like sweetness. Best part of the taste is the long spicey-dry mildly bitter finish. However, where's the oak-vanilla-tannin I was expecting?

Mouthfeel is really excellent. Good carbonation and nice round-mouth fullness, without being sticky. Interestingly enough, the alcohol is completely masked.

Drinkability is excellent. The easiest-drinking 10% beer I've ever had. You could almost gulp this down (except for the price!), and then it would hammer you. If you are thirsty, be careful with this one -- tastes and feels like a 5.5% beer.

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