Pastiche | Allagash Brewing Company

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59 Ratings

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: American Imperial Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Britt on 12-22-2017

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 59 |  Reviews: 17
Reviews by stortore:
Photo of stortore
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of LeRose
4.21/5  rDev +6%
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...

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.21/5  rDev +6%
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

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.97/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of prototypic
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of wroywel
4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Keene
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of trevorpost
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of StormAles
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of rjp217
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev -1%
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

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4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of pathman
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

3/30/18 draft @ Tasty Asheville

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Photo of illpass78
4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jakea
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of probert
3.49/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of krome
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of epyon396
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Hyptochrons
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
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!

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Photo of matthewp
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

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Pastiche from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 59 ratings