Allagash Musette | Allagash Brewing Company

159 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 159 | Ratings: 189
Photo of DIM
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: This was a clear coppery amber color with golden edges. It poured with a big, slow forming, long lasting, creamy, and sticky light tan head. The color of this was on the lighter side for the style.

s: It may be my imagination because this is from Allagash, but I think I smell a Belgian yeast strain. Sweet peaty aromas are here of course, but I smell some prickly, mildly sour cherries as well. Candied sugar and a little alcohol blanketing everything round this one out. Very nice nose overall!

t: Starts off with peaty malts along with some Belgianesque tart cherry flavors. The finish is dry, floral, and a bit spicy. The oak lends faint tobacco and vanilla flavors. At times I found a very minor metallic taste at the very end. The alcohol is very well masked here.

m: This one may be a little thin in the body, but the carbonation is lush and long lasting.

d: This is oak aging done right. The oaking takes a definite back seat to a very nice Scotch Ale. I think I liked this more than the score would indicate, that metallic flavor lowered the score a bit.

 1,070 characters

Photo of bobsy
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage shared by Derek.

Pours a moderate mahogany with a filmy off-white head that stuck around for the course and left a few lace spots behind. Typical wee heavy nose, with brown bread, caramel, peat, wood, spice and alcohol. Well-rounded and pleasing. Earthy, sweet bread flavour, with notes of scotch, alcohol and spice. Alcohol seems like its died a bit down the years, and this is nicely mellowed. Medium body and carbonation.

I'll never be a great lover of this style, but by jove, this one is nice and mellow. Alcohol is well-hidden and the flavours are well-integrated.

 585 characters

Photo of mcallister
2.53/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Nothing really makes this beer stand out looks wise. A melted caramel brownish color with a small white head that does carry good retention. Not much imagination otherwise.

Sweet black cherry, with a toffeed malt hint and hints of oak. Sweet fig, raisin, brown sugar, and berries also come forth as this beer mingles in the glass awhile. A tad of alcohol also is present. The problem is that all of the aromas are very subdued.

Hmmm. Well I'm thoroughly dissapointed in this beer. I've been sitting on this for awhile now looking forward too the day of it's demise. Not sure if it's a bad bottle or just old but not at all what I expected. Lacking any complexity and not nearly the amount of oak to integrate I was imagining. Well live and die by the bottle:).

Again lots of dried berries, hints of toffee, milk chocolate, cherry, and a lackluster attempt at oak aging. An obvious belgian yeast was used in this and I think Allagash may have been better off using a traditional yeast with this one.

Thin and watery.

As for drinkability; considering it's price I will never try this beer again. Now I have all of these other Allagash "big beers" in my cellar that I've been looking forward too. Hopefully the others will turn out better.

 1,252 characters

Photo of grub
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

got this one in a trade with johnnnniee. thanks!

750ml bottle, corked and caged. august 2006 vintage. 419 cases bottled. sampled dec 31/07.

pours deep red-brown with a small fluffy tan head. the head drops slowly and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is nice. bourbon and vanilla. bit of peat. bread and biscuit malt. bit of alcohol.

taste is great. big bread and biscuit malts. lots of caramel. bit of toffee. vanilla and bourbon. medium bitterness level. bit of mineral character. hint of peaty smoke.

mouthfeel is good. medium carbonation level. a little more than medium body.

drinkability is good. nice balance, with a good balance between the barrel and the base scotch ale.

 678 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
3.89/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage May, 2006, 750ml bottle at 52 degrees.

Pours clear dark chestnut with a cola-like fizzling head of beige. The porous foam fell instantly upon the halt of the pour and revealed a placid, bare surface and zero lacework.

Aromatics lead off with caramel-laced malt, roasted barley, and a hint of burnt plastic.
Sweetish and roasty with plenty of malt and some clovey phenolics.

Medium bodied with a tacky, almost chewy mouthfeel. A bit syrupy with lowish carbonation.

Chewy malt, drizzeled caramel, and roasted barley start the palate. Hints of toffee, figs, and smoke follow through.

Finishes with shades of peaty roast, sweet malt, and chipped toffee.

Probably the least complex beer I've had from Allagash. An interesting take on Scotch ale though.

 761 characters

3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours to 3 fingers of light tan head that has decent staying power. Very deep brown is exemplatory of a scocth style. Nose is a extremely invigorating spicey eye opener. Very fruity hints enter play also. Sweet malt is the first thing you notice on the tongue after enitial sip. Smooth spicey zap on the taste buds is accompinied by mineral notes, and hints of vanilla. Alchol is noticeable but not harsh. I really think this beer would have been better after a year or so in the cellar. Mouthfeel is realatively thick. Easy to enjoy.

 534 characters

Photo of morebeergood
3.54/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

May 2006 bottle, kept in my beer cellar until this past Friday. Poured into two belgian chalices. This beer had a golden tan color, with a fizzy amount of carbonation and a thin head. The oak aging was apparent in the smell. The taste was of raisins and peat, but the oak aspect really stopped at the palate. I have had beers that really tasted oak aged, but this one was faint. It's a good beer but not the best example of oak aging. As for price, I am glad that I got this one for 1/2 off normal price.

 504 characters

Photo of clvand0
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a brown/red color with a decent head that falls quickly and doesn't leave a lot of lacing on the glass. The aroma is full of dark fruit smells - reminds me of grapes and it has a hint of alcohol. Doesn't really remind me of a scotch ale, but smells good. The flavor is very smooth, but has a hint of alcohol. Very malty and full of dark fruit flavors. The flavor is more of an oak aged belgian brown or something similar, but not a scotch ale. Either way, it's tasty. The body is fairly thick, almost syrupy. The drinkability is pretty good, but the bite from the alcohol hurts it a bit.

 603 characters

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.


 712 characters

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another beautiful looking bottle from Allagash declaring 690 cases bottled, May 2006, 10% ABV.

Pours with an umber copper hazy hue, topped with a huge pillowy khaki cap coating leaving drippy lace in the glass.

Sweet molasses scents with tootsie roll sugar. Flakey oat grain, delicate suggestion of rum and wooden overtones. Delicious on the nose with a whisper of cocoa.

First swigs: Initial butter pecan ice cream. Soft cocoa chocolate blends with a backing of pistachio. Vanilla extract and rum torte cake sweetness carries this through to a dry powdery finish with hints of smoky wood. Latent hints of cinamon, and apple pie crust. Complexities abound.

Feel is a touch frothy on the palate yet robust. Firm crispness finds a robust interpretation that takes the style to a new level. Unmistakable creaminess. Kudos!

Last swigs: Complex dark buttery toasty sweet!

Beer is good. Happy barrel beering.

 923 characters

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.

 486 characters

Photo of bashiba
4.58/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep dark copper with a huge thick and pillowy head, super sticky lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell had a big caramel malt odor with a bit of oak and vanilla.

Taste is outstanding! Big slightly sweet malts with great oak, vanilla, smoke, and peat flavors. Very much a superb wee heavy with oak! Has a lightly bitter earthy and smokey finish with a touch of mint.

Mouthfeel is warm and full with a crisp dry finish.

Super drinkable 10% Wee heavy. Only wish it was cheaper and more readily available it would become a staple in my fridge.

 556 characters

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

Pours a darker brownish copper color with sparce bubbles slowly rising to a beige/tan small head that falls fast. Not much lace left behind, still nice relaxing to observe.

Aroma is nice sugary malt with good spices and dark fruits coming thru. Some light bourbon barrel aroma (some light alcohol hints) with cherries, almost sherry like. Some even softer vanilla and oak hints. Nice smelling beer.

Taste is sweet malt, brownsugars/molasses, dried fruits, burbon barrels that add some vanilla and alcohol notes that warm. Finish is bourbon oak flavors hints of vanilla with light spice and some corriander present. More a Belgain Dark then a Wee Heavy, but guess the bag pipes on the bottle got the Scotch ale going but other then the sweet molasses notes don't see much Scothish influence here.

Mouthfeel is nice lightly zesty without being fizzy. Body is nice but only medium but that seems to suit the beer well.

Drinkability is good an enjoyable beer, one of the better Allagash beers I have had as far as enjoyablity goes and would purchase again for special occassion.

 1,086 characters

Photo of nlmartin
4.65/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was purchased at Jungle Jims for $12.99 a 750ml bottle. The beer was served in a snifter.

Appearance: The beer pours a very rich looking caramel amber coloration. The head is a fluffy biege and light tan coloration. Streams of lacing remain on my glass.

Smell: The beer smells odd for a scotch ale but I like it. The beer smells very pleasing like a caramel bourbon soaked raisin banana bread.

Taste: This beer is loaded with caramel maltyness. This combines well with the vanilla and oaked bourbon flavors. This beer delivers a hella good bubble gum and banana bread character to the flavor. This beer has a very warming and present alcohol flavor to the beer. This may be a distraction to others but I like the bourbonesque flavors. The beer has a flash of smoke flavors.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This beer is medium bodied. The beer has a very aggressive and abrasive carbonation that helps to keep the beer on the dry side. The beer has a nice creamy finish. The beer is very drinkable in my opinion. I enjoyed the beer from the begining until the end. At 10% this beer may be too much for others to drink. I enjoyed how strong the beer was.

 1,170 characters

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at Julio's Liquors. One finger head atop a clear amber body.

Aroma was slightly hoppy, which was a surprise for the style. There was a bit of spiciness, and some woodiness and tannins. Didn't get much of a malt presence. Don't get me wrong, I liked it... but I don't think it really fits in with the style well.

The taste, however, was all malt. Medium bodied malts swirled around the tongue, with some caramel notes in for good measure. Not overly sweet.

Mouthfeel was good, mainly because it wasn't sweet and thick.

Drinkability was good. I am a hophead, but sometimes you want to ease up a bit. This was a great diversion.

 639 characters

Photo of peabody
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a fairly clear brown amber. Nice white suds here with lacing all over the glass.
Smell is roasted caramel.Smokey vines and strong yeast/malts.
Taste is a bit of a letdown. Should have tasted lots of Oak but didn't.
Mouthfeel is OK at best. Not a lot going on here either. Needs to be more dry in the mouth.
Drinkability is low because of the problems with the flavors , not the 10% abv.

 400 characters

Photo of Phatz
4.55/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Tria in Philadelphia PA.

Allagash continues to impress me. Another great beer from a brewery that has yet to disappoint.

Appearance: Serve an attractive dark red burgundy color with an ivory head and ring after ring of decorative impressive lacing lining the walls of the glass.

Smell: Sweet caramel syrup, malt, sugars, oak, smoky, vanilla and more caramel malt, load the nose with a rich aroma.

Taste & Mouthfeel: This is a beautifully balanced, well blended sweet beer with barley, maple, caramel malt, oak flavors. Barrel oak vanilla notes bittersweet chocolate, grape and some spices are wrapped in a super silky smooth body; and a light warming dryness on the cheeks. Brilliant!

Drinkability: I love this sweet easy beer. It is big and built for sipping but I could sip it all day. =)

Hope this is helpful.

 858 characters

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.

 608 characters

Photo of SLeffler27
3.71/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The half-inch, creamy-almond head is going nowhere as it guards the top of a clear, auburn brew with lively carbonation in my thistle glass.

The aroma is rather earthy with some highlights of fruit and spice.

The flavors are similar to the aromas, albeit slightly musty. The barrel-aged qualities are less apparent than with other offerings from Allagash.

A heavy body with warming alcohol.

Musette is definitely worth a try. However, with so many other outstanding offers from Allagash, this one suffers from comparison.

 525 characters

Photo of stumac
4.61/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A musette is a French bagpipe.

damn! 20 bucks a bottle! Bottled March '08 and drank May '08....still fresh. pours up a deep brown with reddened edges. a glorious cream colored head. aromas of immediate alcohol. wood and dark malts. tastes of oak, earth, roasted malts, alcohol spice, vanilla. medium to low carbo as it breathes. pretty full bodied. Great brew!

I actually had a one bottled August '06 and drank it in August '07. It was SUPER smoothe! Not as apparent alcohol smell and taste. very well blended flavors. My roommates at the time didn't drink beer (and still don't), but they all loved this year old Musette.

 625 characters

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.

 441 characters

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

 732 characters

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

 329 characters

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.38/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up inC onnecticut a few eeks ago before I saw it on the shevles in either Maine or Massachusetts. Odd but bought it anyways and am only getting around to it now.

Pours a dark, murky brown but still just a bit clear. Light definitely glistens through it all. Thick and foamy head but not nearly as carbonated in appearance as the head made me think. Nose is fairly subtle--mostly malty sweetness and bits of candy.

Flavor is all sorts of caramel and toffee candies. Very sweet but lack any sort of bitterness to provide any balance. The heat from the alcohol provides some balance as it is a bit biting. Some slight tannins from the wood give the beer a nice smoothness. Picking up some slight hints of dark cherries too. Medum body with a bit of alcohol burn. Interesting enough. It was wood aged, but I wonder how this would be if served from a cask engine? I really like that thought.

 899 characters

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

Appearance: Pours a pretty cloudy burnt caramel color with a small, but lasting head of off white bubbles that is only about 1/8" thick. There is no real lacing left on the glass, but the head sticks around for quite some time anyway.

Aroma: Initially in the aroma, I get a lot of fruit like red apples in particular. There is also a bunch of other fruit like pears. The malt is pretty big in this beer, but the fruit dominate the aroma. I can only pick up a bit of sweetness from the malt along with a hint of dark caramel.

Taste: The flavor is really clean and not as dominated by fruit as I expected from the aroma. It has a fruity balance, but it comes across as a light fruit and some sweet caramel to go along with it. This beer tastes a bit like a candy apple. There is a bit of spice here that I would suspect is from the alcohol, but there is very minimal warming on the back of the throat after drinking. It hides the 10%ABV well with the complexity of the flavor. The finish is rather dry and doesn't let on to the amount of caramel and malt flavors that are in here. You can tell that the beer dried out quite a bit during aging.

Opinion: I think that this is a really good beer. It is a bit overpriced IMO at over $16 a bottle. The Curieux was a little more worth it, but this beer is still excellent. I would certainly drink this beer again, but would just as certainly hesitate at the price. If this stuff was closer to $8, I would probably drink it pretty regularly. This is just a treat to have.

 1,531 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.