Allagash Musette | Allagash Brewing Company

BA SCORE
89
very good
189 Ratings
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Allagash MusetteAllagash Musette
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States
allagash.com

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.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
189
Reviews:
159
Avg:
4.02
pDev:
10.2%
 
 
Wants:
50
Gots:
6
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 189 |  Reviews: 159
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.52/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy deep copper color, with a off white head. In the aroma, oaky almost nutty, small vanilla, hints a dark fruits. In the taste, dark fruits, figs and prunes, small vanilla, and a touch of alcohol. A smooth and big to medium mouthfeel, with a semi dry vanilla aftertaste. Nice oak presence, big flavors, and quite nice.

 328 characters

Photo of tavernjef
4.85/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dulled light maple brown color with a bit of dark orange cast to it. Dense medium capping of light tanned foam sits firmly for a bit before fading to a light skim. Lacing is impressive in big sticky sheets.

Aroma is a well rounded display of dulled malty tones that enrich the thoughts of thick vanilla, brown sugar, raisin, fig, and a slight nuttyness. Thickly sweet and dulled like that of something being caramelized. But there's a very nice noting to a slight yeasty funk that adds just the right amount of bardyard sourness.

Taste is rich and fulfilling with malt enduced flavors and thickness. A fair blend of vanilla and caramelized candy coated breads texturize the palate into submission. Sweetness is tamed only by slight accents to some smokey, lofty oaken wood notes and slight tang of Belgian soured candy and floral farmhouse funk. Finishes thick and impressive with lots of tone and length. Malts are lovely in this one. Yummyrific!

Feel is velvety thick and lasting. Smooth in tone but substantail in a malty girth that screams thickness, yet yells softness as it bellows them both out during each wonerful taste. It has a great soaking nature to it that engulfs you into the session and the enjoyment is heightened.

A lovely beer by Allagash. Thick, rich, lasting, inviting, and overtaking. Really at this point I'm left speechless as it supercedes words for the most part. Heavenly.

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Photo of jfcaa193
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

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 jophish17
2.5/5  rDev -37.8%

Photo of Reagan1984
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was really excited to try this beer, especially after having some other barrel aged items recently. My overall feeling was disappointment after slowly savoring this product over an hour and a half.

I am not saying it's a bad beer, it's not. And for style, it actually is fairly close to the mark. But I really didn't get as much Oak Barrel flavor/sense as I had hoped. And what I did get seemed out of harmony with the rest of the flavors. Just seemed out of sync.

Anyway, the bottle said to pour slowly into a wide mouth glass. I did so and this produced no head whatsoever.. Later, I did pour more aggressively and did produce a bot of creamy tan head. The beer was a deep mahogany color that was translucent, but so dark you could look into it vs. through it. There were individual strands of carbonation haphazardly making their way to the top of the brew. No lacing to speak of.

The aroma was not as strong or pleasant as I had hoped. Especially after their recommend slow pour. Later I was getting some sweetness, fruit and a bit of yeast. The fruits were dark and later sensed in the flavor as well.

The taste was really cloyingly sweet without a great deal of balance. There were lots of interesting flavors and a great deal going on, again, just didn't seem to work together.

The fruits were intense and dark. Cherry, Fig, Date, plum all present. Then there was an oak & hop sense that came later. In the middle there was a strong sense of the yeast.
Strong sense of the alcohol, even when it warmed up.

Mouth feel was a bit sticky. This is a sipper and one to be savored.

Again, it was better than decent, not quite good.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

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 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.

 1,083 characters

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 merlin48
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

August 2006 bottling. Pours a clear and radiant mahogany body with a small beige head that leaves ample patch lacing. Aroma of oak, caramel, vanilla, and faint tropical fruits. Medium body with some obtrusive alcohol. Taste is malty sweet caramel, bubblegum, and candied pineapple with some subtle oak tones and a hint of vanilla and spicy pepper. Some boozy alcohol again intrudes. Not my favorite Allagash by a long shot and much more Belgian than Scotch.

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

This was a version that was dry-hopped. On tap at Capone's during the Philly Beer Week Big Beer offering.

A-Clear, dark copper with a thin tan head that laced well.

S-Bourbonesque with some matly sweetness and the funk of "belgian" yeast.

T-Very complex with creamy sweetness, smoke, bourbon/scotch and woodiness. A bit of nuttiness too. Then in the finish the hop bite kicks in! This is an all in one brew!

M-Medium-light body with a puckering astringency. Slightly syrupy at the end.

D-This is a crazy mixed up brew that comes out all good in the end IMHO! A very nice offering.

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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!

 1,041 characters

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.

 1,487 characters

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.

 368 characters

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

The beer poured into the chalice clear amber brown with an effervescent off-white head which rose tall and fell rapidly but tried to lace the glass.

The aroma was malty and caramel with a light Belgian yeast spice character and an earthy note. There was a phenolice, a slight one, probably due to alcohol in the aroma. Some dark fruits, raisins and prunes were notable.

The flavor was dark caramel and a strong malt backbone coupled with a Belgian yeast spice presence. The flavor contained dark fruits, once again, raisins and prunes. The flavor became biscuity and lightly toasty the more the beer warmed. The spice also increased as the beer warmed and was peppery with perhaps a bit of cinnamon.

The finish was dry with lasting peppery spice and caramel impression into the aftertaste. The body was medium and the carbonation seemed moderate. The alcohol warming after consumption was fairly high. A drinkable beer with some complexity, but no real oak presence stood out. Seems like a Belgian Strong Dark more than a Scottish to me.

750 ml corked and bailed bottle.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of cliff1066
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Magery
4/5  rDev -0.5%

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.

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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.

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Photo of JMBSH
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of SPLITGRIN
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

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