Allagash Vagabond Ale | Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash Vagabond AleAllagash Vagabond Ale

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
With only 500 bottles made, this beer is from one of the only barrels to move with us into our new brewery three years ago. Aged four years in American oak barrels, it boasts a complex aroma of maple syrup and port, with background notes of marzipan, plum and dill. Flavors of tart, unripened plum and caramel give way to a warming, toasted almond finish.

Added by mikey711 on 10-19-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 102 |  Reviews: 70
Photo of Miamilice
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of daryk77
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of Diomede
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of LostHighway
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Pamola
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of rvdoorn
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: the beer pours a nice brown-red color with a small head
Smell: Maple syrup, caramel, dark fruits, vinegar, tart sour cherries and oak.
Taste: Plum, spicy, caramel, malts, almond, sour and tart.
Mouthfeel: Soft and smooth
Overall: A nice mixture of a Faro and a Vlaams oud bruin.

 284 characters

Photo of Amyliz4
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of nathanjohnson
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of imperialking
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of AgentZero
3.37/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to lurchingbeast for sharing this longtime want of mine.

A - Not the best looking sour. A dark amber/almost brown colored beer with a moderate off-white head that left very little in the way of stick on the sides.

S - Smells of oak, some sweetness, maple, earth tones. Not really sour or particularly funky, which was kind of disappointing.

T - Slightly more tart than the nose suggests. A lot of earth as well as some maple sugar sweetness that kind of obliterates any of the tartness there might have been. Some earth tones. Just kind of sweet and boring, not a great taste.

M - Medium bodied, softer carbonation, nice dry finish.

O - For something I'd heard a lot abut, this beer was somewhat disappointing. Not that it was bad, per se, just not really that great. Wouldn't care if I never had this one again.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a nice 375ml bottle.

A - Pours a hazy slightly murky mahogany color with some slight copper and amber colors. There is almost no head on this beer. A bit of a swirl conjures up a thin mat of beer.

S - Aroma is delicious. Strong oaky and woody notes. There is some slight boozy sweetness and some slight red wine notes in the nose. There is definitely some nice tart notes in there some apples and slight white wine. The nose is quite complex with some slight caramel notes as well.

T & M - Flavors are all over the place. Very complex brew. There is caramel sweetness, there is some nice red wine notes. There is some nice tartness that is complimented well with some residual sweetness. Some slight date notes as well as some slight bourbon notes. The woody notes are a bit more prevalent. There is some oak and very nice funky woody notes. Some slight vanilla and a bit of spice as well. Great mouthfeel that is light for such a complex beer and carbonation is on the lower end but not too low.

O - Really good sour ale. It is not too intense but all the flavors are lively and well crafted. Good brew.

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Photo of brentk56
4.71/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a tawny color with a very modest head that quickly becomes a film; very little lacing

Smell: A cornucopia of aromatice elements, ranging from undertones of caramel, maple syrup and port to the more subtle elements of oak, vanilla, strawberries and tart apples

Taste: A real dichotomy of flavors, ranging from the sweet ones on the opening (caramel, maple syrup and port) to tart ones that arrive shortly thereafter (tart apple, unripe strawberry and balsamic vinegar; by mid-palate, swallow, the vanilla, oak and chocolate elements add complexity; after the swallow, the tart elements take it up a notch, with the sweeter ones lingering underneath into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low carbonation

Overall: I love the contrasting elements of this beer, finding much more complexity here than in many others that are more straightforward sours

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Photo of Verecund
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to beerness for sharing this. This is another one I never expected to have. Opened on May 10, 2011.

Darker than I expected, Vagabond pours a red-hued muddy sienna. A small tanned white head leaves as quickly as it came.

Sweet and sour cherry and port notes, strawberry vinegar, and a little bit of an herb note. (I settled on caraway in my notes.) Decently sour on the nose, with lots of dark fruit and berry as well.

Some berry vinegar, though this isn't altogether sour; caramel/toffee sweetness, light oak, and a good bit of cherry peeking through. Not what I expected, though I do prefer this to many similar wild ales.

Medium-low carbonation, Vagabond is a almost heavy and sticky on the tongue. It doesn't dance. Still, for the ABV, this went down easily, and each sip brought something new to the table. A bit odd as an American wild, I'd prefer a little more sourness.

 889 characters

Photo of rye726
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Really happy with the chance to try this. Their standard sours are pretty good. So I have always wanted to try something from this series. Had this at a tasting with many other fantastic bottles, and this was easily one of my favorite beers of the night.

Pours a dark, woody brown with a silky tan head. Nose has lots of sweet fruits, port, sherry, oak, maple, bourbon, oak, vanilla, coconut, candy malts and sour funky yeast. Taste is a very nice blend of sweet and sour flavors that are well balanced by the barrels. Lacks teh vast complexity found in the nose. Full yet crisp body. Dry, acidic finish.

 605 characters

Photo of woosterbill
4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle into a Weyerbacher tulip. Huge thanks to Jason for sharing this rare gem.

A: Dark, muddy amber. Thin tan head. Pretty gross in my glass, but I got some of the dregs; other tasters' samples looked significantly better. I'll average things out to average.

S: Sour candy apple. Caramel, vanilla, and straight lactic tartness. Crazy and awesome.

T: Sourness up front, backed up by sweet, buttery richness. Tart caramel apple, sweet butterscotch, and a dry finish. Weird and great.

M: Eminently smooth body, low carbonation.

D: Intense acidity, huge sweetness, and yet I crave more and more. I can't believe it's 10%.

Notes: This was a fantastic beer, and extremely distinctive. I didn't know what to expect going in (other than it being a sour, of course), and it was a shock to see how evenly the emphasis was divided between fruity sourness and sweet maltiness. The brief descriptor can't be anything other than a candied apple, and yet that doesn't begin to do this beer justice. Great stuff.


 1,014 characters

Photo of grub
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

lantern corps beer summit 2010 - day 2, oct 9/2010. Maltzilla contributed this one. thanks diego!

375ml corked and caged bottle.

pours crystal clear deep orange. a small white head forms, dropping fast and leaving a few spots of lace.

aroma is great. bourbon and vanilla. cherry and dark chocolate. biscuit and whole wheat bread. light alcohol.

taste is good. bourbon and vanilla again. cherry and dark chocolate. hint of sourness, more like brett-y mouthfeel than flavour. biscuit and whole wheat bread. a bit boozy. light acidity. comes across more as a barleywine or wee heavy than a sour.

mouthfeel is great. medium body with a dry finish. definitely has that brett-like mouthfeel. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. great balance. not reall sour, more like a barleywine or wee heavy with added brett. neat though. hint of booze.

 852 characters

Photo of treyrab
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I realized I have not reviewed this fine beer that was offered so generously by Dan (NittanyBeerFan), so I figured what better beer to review to make me a Zealot of Deer. Brought out by Dan for our first main tasting, and this one was very looked forward to. The story behind this beer is rather cool too. This was the only beer that Allagash traveled with to its new location. Kept it in the barrels and all as they moved. Barrel Aged almost four years if I recall correctly. Reviewed from detailed notes.

A: Vagabond pours a deep mahogany red almost similar to a Rosso e Marrone. Pretty clear from being still so long in the cellar, with some yeast floaties, and a thin, spritzy light khaki head that quickly goes to a still, flat look.

S: A huge whiff of cherry vinegar smacks my olfactory gland. Smells sour, with tons of sour cherry, balsamic vinegar, lemon rinds, dry oak, and some more dark fruits (dates perhaps). Very nice scent. Not much alcohol at all surprisingly for the high ABV.

T: The taste is equally as nice as the scent. Again, the tart sour/black cherries coats the tongue with a puckering punch, followed by balsamic/red wine vinegar, lemon peel, and dry oak. The beer is very dry, which I like in sours. At the finish, and as the beer warms, a touch of alcohol shines through, but as a compliment.

Overall, this was solid. A very fine sour by Allagash and one I hope to try again. I suspect this will age gracefully.

 1,442 characters

Photo of JAXSON
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 rate.

Bottle, corks open with a nice big pop. Pours a clear deep reddish with brown edges and a pretty beige head with lots of tiny bubbles. A beauty! Nose is of English tea cake, pistachios, vanilla, some sweet cherries. Very unique and expressive. Really lively in the mouth, flavor is highlighted by a fizzy sour cherry fading into more pistachios and cake. Quite sour actually, with a little bit of that "wet sock" brett element sometimes found in wild Allagash beers. Sour cherries dominate the flavor a bit, I actually wanted more of that sweet cake thing. Very good and a bit surprising.

 600 characters

Photo of Damian
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Drank from a 12.7 oz/375ml caged and corked bottle purchased at the Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, ME
Acquired at the Vagabond release
Served in a tulip

Nice faux hand-scripted label. Classy and very austere. A foamy, one-finger cap of khaki colored froth topped the translucent, copper-mahogany liquid. The head faded to a lasting ring. Small droplets of lacing trickled along the glass.

The nose was rich, smooth and complex. Sweet vanilla notes dominated. Some caramel too. Woody and oaky. Brown sugar, raspberries, raisins and plums came through as well. Slightly tart and acidic. A touch funky.

The flavor profile was a bit flat. Strong metallic notes were instantly detectible. I anticipated them to dissipate as the beer opened up, yet this was not the case. Caramel malts appeared up front. Fruity in the center. Raspberries and dark, dried fruits were apparent. This beer shared many characteristics of a port wine. The finish was moderately tart. Subtle, balsamic vinegar notes were noticeable. Oaky and dry with some resonating brett funkiness.

The mouthfeel was fuller bodied for the style. Rich, smooth and rather creamy with a fine, supple effervescence.

Had I not known that Vagabond is 10% ABV, I would have guessed it to be half its strength. Dangerously quaffable.

I definitely enjoyed this beer but I am not sure it was worth the two-hour drive and the day off from work required to procure it.

 1,424 characters

Photo of mothman
3.59/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part 2 of 3 for the Allawelsh tasting.

Poured into snifter. Pours ½ finger of beige head. Color is a mahogany hued caramel brown.

Aroma: Notes of plums, cherries, caramel and oak. I get a big port flavor and some wine like characteristics. It is fairly malty. It is a bit sour.

Taste: Cherries, plums, caramel, nuts, toffee, wine flavors, port, and oak all showing. It has a slight sour flavor with some vinegar notes, but in general, this one is not too sour or funky.

Mouthfeel: A bit sour, fizzy, and almost warming. Medium bodied with a bit higher amount of carbonation. Ends dry, but relatively clean.

Overall, this is quite the odd beer. It has some nice flavors, but it is simply just odd. I guess I really didn't know what to expect with this one. For how high the abv is, it is somewhat drinkable. I just expected more sourness to it.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Courtesy of Mothman. Poured into a CCB snifter a fairly dark hazed deep mahagony rust color with a very thin collared head. The aroma isn't that strong with only subtle notes of dark fruit, oak, and caramel. Light mouthfeel with good carbonation. Sweet dark fruit start with a very wine like grape flavor. Slightly sour with a more malty flavor than sour. Lingering flavor of purple grapes and port wine. Overall, this is a decent beer but nothing to me that is very mind blowing. The flavors are nice and well blended but I think additional sourness wold have balanced out the sweetness a little better, that being said though, I wouldn't turn this beer down at all if offered again. The wine characteristics really dominate the aftertaste.

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Allagash Vagabond Ale from Allagash Brewing Company
4.16 out of 5 based on 102 ratings.
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