Allagash Brewing Company

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Imperial Red Ale
4 | pDev: 6.5%
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Notes: Complex Amber Ale

A blend of four beers brewed with malt sourced from Maine, these beers spent time in Vermouth, Rye Whiskey, Bourbon, Gin, Red Wine, Port, Rum, and Brandy barrels for between three and four months before being blended together.
Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 65 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a really crazy blended beer here, beginning with a blend of four different beers, but then being aged in just about every barrel imaginable and then recombined, red wine, gin, vermouth, rye, rum, bourbon, port, and brandy, for the love of god! usually these massive barrel blends like this do not appeal to me, just too much of a kitchen sink to really take anything special away, but thats not the case here, likely due to some careful and patient cellaring by my brother, it was just right when we popped it a few days ago. a pretty crimson color on this, and a surprisingly white and airy head, like a cirrus cloud on top, pretty beer. aroma is very interesting, and i have to sniff awhile to start to break it down, the dark fruit of the red wine and the port are there right away for me, enhancing the richer malt base and giving it an almost instantly fancy vibe. there is also a cool belgian yeast strain at play, whose esters cut through a lot of the barrels, which gives this some needed and unexpected unity and cohesiveness, some white pepper and green banana to it. i also get a little juniper from the gin and spice from the rye, which go together oddly well, the rest seem a little muddled to me, but not in a bad way. the flavor is really complex and remarkably coherent to me, whiskey and oak and vanilla notes are more prominent to me now, as is the brandy, combined with the sweeter malt, toffee and honey notes there. still some red fruit from the wine, an interesting tang from the vermouth, and a little more sweetness than it needs from the rum, but the efficient belgian yeast helps with that, and overall this isnt too sugary at all. i like how daring it is, and how it somehow has balance, and i also like that its not off the charts strong. usually a barrel blend like this could be north of 12% abv, and this would be way too much at that range, so i like it holding a little something back on the alcohol, it is a non factor in the taste experience. more and more dynamic as it warms, tons going on, gin imparts a pine note late, and overall i find this to be a fantastic fireside sipper. above expectations, nice and mature now, wholly unique.

 2,172 characters

Photo of polloenfuego
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice beer that gets perhaps a little lost at times, but being Allagash it finds its way back. The look is nice and appropriate to the style. Amber in color and a nice frothy three fingers of head. Retention bis amazing and lacing is quite nice. Smell is definitely barrel forward...but which barrel. I picked up the booze of the barrels but was confused as to which of the multiple barrels was on the nose. Taste is similar to the nose, but you can discern the various barrels and oak a bit better. There is also a nice malt to this beer. Feel is medium bodied, with medium carbonation. The booze from the barrel warms, and the finish is coating.

A good beer, but not Allagash's best. I applaud the effort, but this one gets a little too complex for its own good.

 769 characters

polloenfuego from Ontario (Canada), Jun 21, 2018
Photo of clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a copper body with decent head and woody, oaky, boozy aroma with some malty goodness. Smooth, thick, sweet (think toffee and caramel), has a slight dark cherry vibe which is probably from wine barrels (doesn't taste like grape to me), and finishes clean.

 262 characters

clayrock81 from Florida, Jun 04, 2018
Photo of Hyptochrons
4.29/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

immense complexity is well integrated with lots of different hints of hard alcohol without being close to boozy. a super interesting and well executed brew... definitely worth trying!

 183 characters

Hyptochrons from Massachusetts, May 21, 2018
Photo of illpass78
4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

10 oz. on tap (tulip) at North 43 in South Portland, Maine. Paired with the Impossible Burger.

Appearance: Slightly cloudy ruby with a big eggshell head. Head recedes to lace after a couple minutes. Looks great in the glass.

Aroma: Wine, cereal grains, malt, booze. Slight smoke or wood chips.

Taste: Very complex, enjoyable flavor profile. Cherries. Grapes. Wine. Booze a la bourbon or scotch. Cereal grains, toast, malt. Good stuff.

Mouthfeel: Very drinkable even with high booze and aggressive flavor.

Overall: Allagash can do no wrong. Very nice, complex, drinkable, boozy red ale.

 590 characters

Photo of REVZEB
3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Holy Barrels Batman! The different barrels are very noticeable on the nose, oak, rye, cherrywood, general booziness, brandy sweetness, amber malt, biscuit, and light lemon floral notes. The taste however is so light and fleeting on the palate that it makes you work to appreciate them all before they are gone. Would love to have the same barrel treatment to heavier beer.

 375 characters

REVZEB from Illinois, May 07, 2018
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Allagash Brewing Company "Pastiche"
750 ml borwn glass bottle, corked and caged, "BOTTLED ON 12/07/17 11:51"
$17.99 @ Roger Wilco, Pennsuaken, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: So the label reads "Blended Barrel-Aged Ale". I was under the impression that all barrel-aged beers made in any quantity were blended, so I read furtherand discovered that it's made from 4 different beers aged in 8 different kinds of barrels. That's ambitious!

It's poured a very hazy, almost chestnut brown colored body beneath a full head of creamy off-white. The aroma is malty, sharply fruity, mineralish, vinous, a touch oaky, a little like gin, and also a touch like Bourbon. I'm sure if you sit with it and let it warm you'll find even more than that. The flavor follows the aroma, with a wide mix of notes running through it. It clearly shows that there's a very caramelish beer there, and a sour beer as well, and the Bourbon barrel remains as does the spicy and botanical nature of the gin. What other barrels were in there? Vermouth, ah, yes, I get that, there's a raspy herbal note to it... rye, red wine, port, rum, and brandy as well. I'm finding some rum as well, but to be honest, it's just not coming together for me. I assume they've used the name pastiche in connection with it's secondary meaning, a blend or mix, which it certainly is, but in my mind this is a perfect case of "sometimes less is more". It's not very cohesive. What I'm finding is a beer that's got a lot of edges to it that bump together and contrast rather than complement each other. It's complex but the whole isn't the better for it, and in my opinion, it's rather boring. I've got a malty, caramelish ale that's got some interesting notes that don't quite fit in. So now I have to wonder, why was this created? Was it to make something very complex and interesting, or was it just to use up some barrels that weren't working in their original intention. Or to try some new and different barrels? If it was to make something very complex and interesting it just got too muddied. That's a little disappointing, but in the end the beer isn't deplorable. The appearance is good with great head retention and lacing, and I like the way the herbs from the Vermouth stick around in the finish, and the way that the other notes seem to come and go, popping out here and there. It's an OK beer, and for the price not bad, but it could have been so much more.

 2,428 characters

NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania, Apr 21, 2018
Photo of stortore
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into a tulip snifter. Bottled 12/7/17, had 3/17/17.

Pours a hazy reddish amber, with a one and a half inch head with very good retention and a good amount of foamy lacing. Aromas of the red wine and vermouth barrels early, light bourbon later. Strawberries, light brown sugar, a little malt, some black pepper when warm. The taste is more expansive for barrel identification- red wine, rum, bourbon, vermouth early, brandy, some gin, light rye whiskey later. Malt- but kinda light to support the barrel brigade, some caramel, oak, a light bitterness on the finish. Smooth, a little dry and creamy, a good lighter to medium body, well carbonated.

Interesting and very enjoyable, and kind of like a guessing game, too. Besides it seeming to need a stronger malt presence, I notice my notes don’t really pull in much more than the barrels. Not sure if that’s a good thing. But, it was at a good price point, so it’s definitely worth a purchase for the uniqueness, if nothing else.

 1,008 characters

stortore from Illinois, Apr 17, 2018
Photo of LeRose
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Allagash Pastiche pours in the middle of the amber and red spectrum. An aggressive pour results tight khaki-colored head that lasts a long while. There is a very light haze which goes away once the beer warms a bit from fridge temp.

The aroma struck me as sweet with notes of some of the barrels used in evidence immediately. Definitely get the gin as a juniper-like hit, the sweetness I will give to the rum, then there is vanilla/bourbon, and more wine-like notes emerge as the beer warms. There is a light fruit note that seems like apple to me that floats through all the other smells, and very light plum. While it sounds like it is, this is definitely not a jumbled mess by any means. Perfectly harmonious - no, but not a horror show. The aroma is actually pretty restrained in intensity, melded well enough, and overall quite pleasant.

The taste is another of the mighty morphing flavor beers I have come to enjoy from Allagash. It opens fruity and fairly sweet, but eventually other flavors are coaxed out of hiding. Easily detectable are gin and bourbon. I think the rum is there, but I have never enjoyed rum very much so I cant say for sure. There is a caramel sweetness. Vanilla comes and goes, then wine and brandy tastes follow. I am getting more of a liquor/wine sense here with the base beer pretty deeply hidden - any malt is pretty far in the background. Apple fruitiness and wine grapes play back and forth, a bit of plum, as do the liquor flavors in kind of a shimmery effect. Very slightly acidic/tart so the rye is coming into play as well. The vinous flavor seems to win out a bit, maybe reinforced by port, wine, AND brandy barrels.

Medium bodied and kinda bubbly yet not overly carbonated. It is slightly astringent and moderately drying. Certainly a sipper and one to ponder.

Overall I find this enjoyable. It is a madhouse of smells and flavors that are not exactly playing smoothly in the sandbox, but do come to a reasonable truce. Nothing jagged or jarring, yet the individual components stand out at different times. AGing could go either way with this beer - it could mellow into a smooth symphony, or the individual flavors could become more accented with time. Not entirely sure it is an amber/red, but seems close enough...

 2,262 characters

LeRose from Massachusetts, Mar 12, 2018
Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is hazy red in color. It poured with a quarter finger high white head that died down a bit but consistently left a short head covering the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of the various parts of the barrel aging—gin and rum seem to stand out in particular—are present in the nose,
T: The taste follows the smell and has flavors of gin, port, and rum.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the plate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer does not have a very good balance between the different barrel aged versions and is all over the place. You can taste the individual components, which are really good, but overall this beer is all over the place.

Serving type: bottle

 693 characters

metter98 from New York, Mar 11, 2018
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.48/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

All those barrels and blends sound great, but the result is lacking and uneven. I was expecting a wild ale and it is not. More of a brown ale with a bit of barrel flavor. I get some of the sweeter barrels like port and rum, but overall it is unexciting. I quit half way.

 270 characters

DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania, Mar 05, 2018
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

6 oz serving tasted in a snifter from draft at The Vine on February 24, 2018. This is, without question, a quality beer with a very complex blend of flavors. I found it rather difficult to drink though.

 202 characters

Photo of avalon07
3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark amber color and a cloudy texture. There was a two inch, creamy, off white, long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A pretty good aroma of hops, malt, bourbon, and a vinous quality.

T: Tasted of a moderate amount of malt, a little bit of caramel, some bourbon notes, a tinge of red wine, a fair shot of hops, light rum notes, some citrus (lemon), and oak. A solid enough flavor, but it doesn't quite live up to the hype. Some of the barrel-ageing really doesn't come through, but what does seems to work. Not a bad taste.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: An uneven beer, to be sure, but one with good qualities. Worth a look.

 719 characters

avalon07 from South Carolina, Feb 27, 2018
Photo of Act25
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Discovered at Threes in Brooklyn's park slope, which I suggest you discover.

Never disappointed by Allagash, but this one is over the top - rare and good.
a) No surprise it's dark reddish amber with creamy head that lasts and laces.
s) Amazingly no one barrel dominates and there's a complex twist of scents of wood, char, whiskey, wine on the amber sweet malt base. Sturdy.
t) More significant is the taste which raises the bar as it warms from whiskey barrel to wine cellar.
f) Creamy, serious, meditative. I'd enjoy more of this. Reminds me of my favorite strong ales like Arrogant Bastard.

 597 characters

Act25 from New Jersey, Feb 25, 2018
Photo of bobv
4.26/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Moderate to vigorous pour yields a slightly off white head over a light to medium mahogany body with some lacing. Nose is all over the map; malty, roast-y, dark fruity, citrus-y. tropical fruity, bready, boozy, caramel-y, and, and...jeez, I don't know what else. Wait, spicy! Taste has all of the nose's attributes with the spice prevalent. Very nice feel, and overall, an amazingly complex and exceptionally smooth offering from Portland, ME. Cheers!

 451 characters

bobv from Vermont, Feb 25, 2018
Photo of rolltide8425
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served chilled....I imagine more complexity would come out if the beer was warmer. I get gin right away and also notes from the port and brandy barrels. This could easily have been a mess but was well blended.

 209 characters

rolltide8425 from Pennsylvania, Feb 18, 2018
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer is a dark amber color and it is well-carbonated. It has a large meringue-like head and sheets of lace. A beautiful beer!
Aroma of fruit, caramel, and booze.
Fruit and caramel taste. I get some whiskey and bourbon initially. As the beer warms, the red wine, port, and brandy become apparent.
Despite my initial concerns, this is a beautiful, well-constructed beer

 371 characters

lordofthewiens from New Mexico, Feb 18, 2018
Photo of matthewp
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass similar to a nonic pint (here's a picture of the glass from the brewery:

The beer was refrigerated but it was taken out long enough to bring the beer temperature up into the suggested range of 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit. I slowly sipped the beer over the course of an hour or so to get a feel for its changes as the temperature increased. In general the beer was excellent, very smooth. Given all of the barrels it was aged in including Vermouth, Rye Whiskey, Bourbon, Gin, Red Wine, Port, Rum, and Brandy I expected more depth of flavors. Perhaps its due to the base beer(s) being an Amber Ale that it didn't have more character. It could also be due to expectations, the description alone puts a lot of expectations on the beer. It would really be interesting to try the base beers prior to being barrel aged to really understand what flavors are brought out. I really wish Allagash would move away from 750 mL beers. It appears some of their newer beers are being sold in smaller formats. At roughly $20 I probably wouldn't buy another 750 mL bottle of it but I would probably get it on tap if it was available.

 1,209 characters

matthewp from Massachusetts, Feb 05, 2018
Pastiche from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 65 ratings