Gargamel Ale | Allagash Brewing Company

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Gargamel AleGargamel Ale
94 Ratings
Gargamel AleGargamel Ale

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our brewers used a blend of American 2-row barley Malt, Raw and Malted wheat and selected caramel malt to brew this beer. After primary fermentation the beer was inoculated with our house Brettanomyces aged in French Oak wine barrels with a generous amount of local raspberries for over 18 months. Gargamel's aroma is full of un-ripened raspberry, vanilla and citrus notes. This medium bodied beer has hints of biscuit and graham cracker with a clean, fruity and refreshingly tart finish.

Added by mikeale on 05-08-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 94 |  Reviews: 65
Reviews by cpinto6:
Photo of cpinto6
4/5  rDev -6.1%

More User Reviews:
Photo of ricke
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden orange with pinkish hues and a small ivory-colored head that leaves some lacings.

Nice genuine raspberry aromas in the nose coupled with prominent barrel notes, a hint of vanilla and lactic tart notes. Perhaps a gentle spicy tone.

The flavor is tart with pleasant raspberry aromas. The raspberries are nicely integrated with the other flavors. Notes of fruit pits, lemon and oak barrels. Some herbs and spices. Ends with a note of alcohol, grassy bitterness, a mild bretty character and some lactic sourness.

It's surprisingly full-bodied, and this is a nice feature that leads the way to a dry finish.

All in all, a well made, complex and very easy to drink.

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Photo of Jason
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml green corked and caged bottle, no freshness date but it is not needed. Nice pop of the cork.

LOOK: Stunningly clear amber as my decanting profession is up to 513 (grand master). Thin lacing but more than I expected.

SMELL: Tartness, strawberries, taffy, chalk, rhubarb jam, musty, dried grass, faint bubble gum

TASTE: Tart, dry, crisp, cellar, goaty, funk, grassy, yeast, medicinal, herbal, mineral, sour berries, mint, alcohol, broth, spice

Complexities reach heights rarely seen, epic proportions of flavors unfold with each sip taken. Perhaps this bottle is about to reach its prime and that timeline could be pretty board though I am glad i popped this one open now. Only a handful of brewers really have a handle or should I say they know how to tame the beast ... Allagash is one of those breweries.

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Photo of boatshoes
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of rudylaw
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This bottle given to me as a wedding gift by the most generous of BAs this June. Thanks a million, Jack!

Pours very hazy beer with a rosy hue. A fizzy head that all but disappears immediately.

A very funky and tart smell. I'm getting berries, apple with the slightest hint of vanilla.

Whew is this tart! Puckering and acidic. Getting mostly apple up front while it finishes very dry. There are raspberry and cherry notes here as well. A champagne like mouthfeel with plenty of fizz.

An amazing opportunity to try one of craft beer's most desirable offerings! Unfortunately, it falls short of the hype for me. Still, this has been a humbling experience that I'll never forget.

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Photo of glid02
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Grant - thanks!

Pours a hazy dark amber color with a half-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of tart berries and currants with good amounts of funk. Also present are hints of oak that serve to smooth out the aroma and very faint hints of light citrus.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Medium malt flavors kick things off and are overtaken almost immediately by moderately tart berry flavors. The tartness subsides a bit shortly thereafter with the addition of funk and slight amounts of oak. The berry and funk flavors carry through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinakbility is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall the flavor profile in this beer was relatively tame for the style but it was nicely nuanced. After tasting all three my order, from least to most favorite, is Vagabond, Gargamel, and VF, however all of them are certainly worth a shot if you have the opportunity.

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Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of mikeale
4.95/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in my Allagash glass.

Opens with a loud Pop.

A. Rusty, pink to orange when held up to light. Carbonation is rising to the top of the glass. Nice head, settles quickly off-white. Small amount of lacing.

S. Raspberries then some sour cherries, funky brett, hints vanilla.

T. Tart cherries, fruity, bready biscuit malt.

M. Medium bodied mouth coating, can most definitely can feel the carbonation. Tart finish.

D. I want more, this is a outstanding beer!
Well balanced, alcohol is not overpowering neither is the brett.

I'm glad I took the day off from work, stood out in the rain. This is my favorite sour beer by far!

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Photo of miketd
3.15/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from Cedromar. I appreciate the chance to try this! Pours a dark copper with a nice, fluffy head. Aroma is lemon, spice and a bit woody. Flavor is odd as it has some burnt popcorn and butter. It got better as it warmed with some sour fruit and spice. It is pretty dry and has a lasting buttery finish. Decent sour but nothing great.

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Photo of nickd717
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A forgotten review from awhile back...

500ml bottle thanks to pantanap on RB. Whoa! Cork would have killed Nanoslug if the cage hadn't stopped it. Damn, that was a close call.

Pours a brilliant reddish-amber color with a small off-white head leaving nice foam on top.

Nice aroma, fairly woody and leathery, with raspberry. A little buttery.

The flavor has raspberry, caramel, oak, butter, and a slight herbal note. Tasty but not as amazing as the hype would suggest.

Smooth on the mouthfeel with medium body and soft carbonation. Average acidity.

A pretty good American wild ale, but not that amazing.

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Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of hippityhops85
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a Russian River '-Tion' glass. Pours a murky orange/brown with little to no head. Oil-slick bubbles present on the meniscus.

Nose has a really delicate sour cherry aroma, some pronounced "funk", oak really nice but really subtle for what I was expecting.

The taste is amazing. This must be hitting it's prime right now. Really delicate sour cherry flavors mingle with the funkiness and a velvety-smooth lactic acid note really cleans it all up. Really subtle I didn't expect this at all. Wow wow wow.

The mouth feel is excellent for the style. Good carbonation but not aggressive by any means.

I'd kill for another bottle of this. It's almost quaff-able. ABV is not present even for the beer being 9.2% abv.

An outstanding accomplishment by Rob Todd and the rest at Allagash.

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Photo of jsilva
3.75/5  rDev -12%

4.74/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A big thanks to brdc for this one. Pours to a murky, orange amber toned body almost resembling apple cider. Head is a light beige that barely reaches an inch before it quickly recedes to a consistent skim. Nose is full of ripe fruit tones including pear, plum and a mixture of berries. There are some powdered candied notes that bring about the tartness that is nicely intense. When you take first sip you get a truely unique drinking experience. The sour feel enters the mouth and is so amazingly mouth-filling, it is almost electric. The yeast plays a big part in making it pillowy soft on the mouth while carrying a biscuity feel to it. The tartness shows such balance and fullness. This beer is very yeast driven but in a good way. The horse blanket effect is perfect here. It really sets up a beautiful mouthfeel. Sensation-ably drinkable.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big, big thanks for getting me this bottle. This was a biggie on my wants list for sure so I was thrilled to death when it came rolling my way. Served at cellar temp and poured into a snifter, this one was enjoyed on 06/04/2009.
The ruby red highlights on the pour were very nice. Rich looking, mostly opaque with a deep, rich looking head on top that reached a height of damn near two inches before reluctantly falling back down to earth. This thing was a monster looking good beer. Rich aromas of raspberries and light grape notes, even some light fig touches are layered on top of a nice tart, sour funk. Really complex. As I take the first sip it just gets better for me. Rich, sour notes, like a wonderful brown ale that was infused with just the right amount of sour notes and a light sweetness, and tartness from the raspberries, simply sublime. Light body with great carbonation it was smooth as silk going down and each sip literally got better then the one before. As solid as could be with no hint of the 9% it held underneath and a fully wonderful, sour, dry finish.
Overall this was excellent. More rich and earthy tasting then I thought it would be, but definitely in a class of its own. This was a wonderful cross between a fruit and sour, very well done, and glad I could try it.

 1,297 characters

Photo of Mike
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of largadeer
2.96/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Got this one from spacecoyote. Thanks!

Hazy amber body with a white cap that recedes almost immediately. The nose is surprisingly muted; it's mostly butter and oak up front. Some vigorous swirling brings out more fruit and vanilla. The raspberry aroma isn't nearly as bold as I was expecting, but it comes through nicely on the palate. Fruit, mild red wine vinegar, green apples and woody tannins make for a pleasant mid-palate, but the finish is marred by huge amounts of diacetyl. The slick, buttery mouthfeel is at odds with the champagne-like carbonation. Decent beer, but the mouthfeel really brings it down.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.92/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My first wild ale and certainly a great one to start out with.

Pours an orange-reddish color with a sizable head and tons of sticky lacing along the glass.

Smell has a light funkiness and a strong fruity aroma, raspberries of course, slight tartness which I'm sure will come through in the taste.

Taste has a good sour/tartness, but it's not so overly sour that it makes your entire mouth pucker too much, assertive carbonation, the fruitiness really comes through but not in a sweet cloying manner. I can make out a slight alcohol presence in the aftertaste but it certainly doesn't distract.

A first of its kind to be made in Maine (as far as I'm aware of) and I certainly hope Allagash continues to make more of its kind (with other brewers to follow suit).

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Photo of gameface23
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a muddy red color with a finger-sized head that leaves nice lacing.

S: The commercial description pretty much nails it on the head: un-ripened raspberries, vanilla and citrus. I didn't pick up too much too much brett funk in the smell, but the raspberries provided enough aroma.

T: Very complex and champagne-like. The raspberries do not taste artificial in any sort of way. They are held in check by the brett and barrel characteristics.

M: Very effervescent. Again, champagne-like.

D: The alcohol is very well hidden. I feel fortunate to have tried this beer.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of weeare138
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review 2,000.
Much thanks to hopdog for supplying the sample...
Appears a hazy, light gold with a small white cap that fades into a small collar. Streaky bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of tart berries, vanilla, citrus, gentle funk, & cookies.
Taste echoes the aromas with barrel aged wine(zinfandel), tart berries, and a dessert like finish.
Mouthfeel is tart, medium bodied, bitey, dry, berry-like in the finish.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.58/5  rDev -16%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not much head; dirty copper hue. Not the prettiest girl.

Berry tea, funk, lemon in the nose. Caramel/malt.

Vinious flavor. Dirty funk. Light berry taste. Nutty, graham cracker is found, oaky and tannic finish. This actually reminds of really old Fantomes I've had. Ones that you get pumped for and find they are really over the hill and the malt has become oxidized and one dimensional.

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Photo of Casey10
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Let this beer warm up a bit

Smell and taste crushed after it warmed a bit. Really one of the best beers I have ever had.

Appearance is exceptional a hazy brown.

Smell is a sour apple smell.

Taste is a citrousy sour apple taste.

Mouthfeel will give you a taste of citrus and again a sour apple feel.

Drinkabilty - Well these are very drinkable, the scarry thing is that a lot of these will wreck you.

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Photo of twelvsies
4.92/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Took the trip up north to Portland, ME and was rewarded with this fine tasty brew. Paper wrapped, gold stamped, corked, caged. Clean, handscribed type label, 375ml bottle. Great presentation, classy looking beer. They opened up a couple on the brewery tour and each one, including the one I recently opened, delivers a very loud and crisp POP! Quite fun and satisfying. After the hazy whisps settle the beer pours very nicely into two wine glasses. Garnet in color with some brown rusty tint, short lived but foamy head. Really pretty. An array of otherworldly aromas. Aside from a deep but subtle raspberry character, I'm hit with something almost reminiscent of gas, like from a stove before you light the match. Unexplainable. Deep mineral notes, earthy tones, and a wild funk rounding it out. Flavor is wild and earthy, sweet pastry notes, funky and yeasty, with a deep but gentle smacking of raspberries. Horsey, hay fields and a nice warm juicyness that turns softly sour and dry in the finish. Supple. Delicious. Complex. Slick and velvety on the palate, nice and thick for the style really, full and rewarding. A real treat to drink. I'm hoping this is not the one and only batch ever to be brewed. It is too good not to be enjoyed time and time again. Earth to Rob Tod: breweth more of thyne dang tasty treat.

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Gargamel Ale from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 94 ratings