Little Big Beer | Allagash Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
38 Ratings

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed for the 2010 Beer Advocate Belgian Beer Fest. This beer is the "big beer" of the two beers brewed for the 2010 fest. Brewed with two types of Pilsner, Red Wheat Malt, Victory Malt and Demerra Sugar. Hopsped with Northern Brewer, Mt Hood and Nelson Sauvin. Fermented with a blend of Allagash House yeast and Allagash House Brettanomyces. Aged in a mix of french oak wine barrels and bourbon Barrels for 2 months.

Added by Duhast500 on 11-08-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ratings: 38 |  Reviews: 18
Reviews by kkipple:
Photo of kkipple
4.74/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft on the Crazy Field at Charleston Brewvival, where I consumed WELL more than was healthy, and then again! at the Brick Store Pub's 14th Anniversary bash, which was about as brilliant as you can imagine. I love this beer, so here goes, unashamedly:

Two .25 liter pours into an Allagash goblet at the Brick Store. Reviewed from copious notes taken at the bar, God bless it.

A. Little Big is a thick orange gold. Wonderful solid, finger tall head fades to 1cm or so, lace included for no extra charge! A pretty beer, but who is looking for long?

S. Simply amazing. Comparisons with New Belgium's La Terroir will come to mind, which is good, but this does indeed have the edge. Wonderfully pungent, loads of tropical, pineapple and mango esters, tangerine, lactic, wild, tight and explosive. Difficult to fully take in, seems subtle and shifting. I love this nose, and will gladly claim it to be one of the BEST in an American sour to date. Not the sharpest, or most complex even, but simply delightful and running on all cylinders.

T. Again, this is very much a more sour, funky, less hoppy and more carbonated La Terroir - which is high praise. Comparisons will also come to the Allagash / De Proef dual brett collaboration from a few years ago. This has that expressive "house" funk-sour that the best Allagash sours have (Victor Franc) but is really working out well. More yeast notes, some phenolics, 'unfiltered' taste, lemon-orange citrcks, and absolutely no trace of 10.5%... personally I would really question the claimed abv... but it wouldn't stop me from drinking it if you kept putting it in front of me.

M / O. Little Big Beer finishes stupendously, with a long, long, acid-tart bite and just when it should be too much, behold! All turns soft and the sweet notes begin to hum. The one fault I have with this beer is the acidity is a touch too high for my tastes, leaving a minor burning note on the palate, which is a flaw in my opinion. No one is perfect... but this is good. No, it's actually great, and rated accordingly.

Little Big Beer was my favorite beer at Brewvival, and my second favorite of the day at the bar. It is both one of my favorite Allagash beers and in the top 5 commercial beers I've had in 2011. Hawk-eyed readers, if any get this far, may note that I have given this the exact same score as Isabelle Proximus. Yes, it is earned.

Please, seek out Little Big Beer. You will thank me when you do.

 2,443 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of glid02
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Brewvival.

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

Smells of robust funk with mild amounts of tart citrus and pears. Also present are hints of leafy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Light malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by tart citrus flavors. Midway through the sip solid amounts of funk come into play, carrying through to a crisp ending.

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

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I was impressed with this beer, and think it could be the cleanest of any of Allagash's sours. An impressive effort that's worth a shot.

 773 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of thagr81us
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had while at Brewvival! Served from tap into a sampler Brewvival imperial pint. Poured yellow-orange with a one finger off-white head that subside very slowly to a half finger worth. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, acetic acid, sour, slight funk, and citrus. The flavor was of sweet malt, sour, slight acetic acid, funk, and citrus. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. I want to thank kkipple for letting me taste this one which sent me running to Allagash to try it a few times myself. The flavor on this one was very nice and was not overly intrusive to the palate. The aroma was alright and a little mild in intensity. This one is definitely worth seeking out if you can!

 789 characters

Photo of jsanford
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Brewvival 2011.

Poured a nice orange-amber with a huge creamy white head. Smells very nice and Gueuze-like, which was surprising considering I had no idea what kind of beer this was. Aromas and flavors of hay, funk, lemon juice and green apple. Surprisingly creamy with good, crisp carbonation. Nicely drinkable, a very pleasant surprise.

 350 characters

Photo of Patrickbrusil
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of frasergrove
4.14/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had over at Novare Res during their Christmas beer geek week, from my limited notes.

8oz pour.

Pours a golden orange color with a good sized white fluffy head, fades at a very slow rate, some patchy lacing.

Smell is easily the best thing, has a great tart/sour aroma with hints of light fruit without being overwhelming.

Taste isn't as sour or tart as the aroma leads to believe but is still present, perfect amount of funk with good carbonation, slight wood presence that adds some complexity, the strength is well hidden so this is dangerously drinkable.

 560 characters

Photo of Casey10
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at Lion's pride as part of their Belgian Beer Fest. As I missed this in MA last year was excited to try and it did not dissapoint.

Nice hazy yellow color some funk nice bit of bite and really almost undecteable abv at 10.5. This was one nice beer and too bad it is sort of a one off. This wouldbe nice for Allagash to perhaps continue using this recipe to continue make this.

Amazing little beer well worth the name and worth trying as well.

 454 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. On tap at Night of the Funk. Beer pours a somewhat murky orangish-copper color with a thin white head and a bit of lacing. The nose brings forward a bit of bread crust along with some citrus fruits and a bit of green apple. Taste is nice with a blend of citrus and some light breadiness. Nothing too complex, but pretty good for what it is. Light spice in the background. Feel consists of some very effervescent carbonation on a light to medium body. Drinkability was pretty decent, but it wasn't quite what I hoped for.

 541 characters

Photo of MaineMike
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of clord717
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of SaintNathaniel
5/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of sideshowe
5/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of DefenCorps
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at 72 Hours of Belgium. This was the last beer I reviewed, before we ended up being rather debaucherous with bottles of Schaerbeekse Kriek, 3F Oude Gueuze and 1882 to go with the about 4 glasses of the Jendrain-Jandranouille IV that I drank.

Amber with thin head. The nose has sweet wine, vinegar, bread, yeast, citrus and honey. The palate opens with tropical fruit, honey, citrus, bread dough. Mild sourness, lemony and vinegar, with some lactic character too. Drying but sweet on the finish, there's some booze. Medium-full in body with moderate carbonation, this is good. Mild tropical fruit character is present on the finish,this is good stuff, better than Confluence IMO.

 688 characters

Photo of Duhast500
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the Night of the Funk, November 5, 2010.

Poured from the tap into a tasting glass.

The color was a hazy orange with a thin wisp of foamy white head and some slight lacing on the glass.

The smell is a bit of vanilla and some good funky flavor with some oak flavor.

The taste is a little sweet and a bit funky. This is a little young so the sour character in this beer is just starting to mix itself into the the malty flavor. The vanilla is nice and the woody flavor is there to complete the flavor profile.

The feel of this beer is pretty smooth with a medium body and a nice funky feel to it. Complex but light this beer goes down quickly and has a nice aftertaste.

 693 characters

Photo of polishkaz
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Pamola
5/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of ToasterChef
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from my notes. Served in my uprising chalice at Novare Res.

The beer is translucent and golden colored. It has a thick white foam head. It appears similar to a strong Belgian pale.

Little Big has that great Allagash Belgian style yeast strain aroma. Also some pepper and sugar notes.

The flavor is semi-dry, with good candi sugar sweetness. The alcohol is well hidden.

The beer feels smooth and full bodied. Average levels of carbonation. There is some coating, but nothing too much.

This is a very drinkable beer. For a Belgian Strong, it goes down very easily. ABV is a bit high, but otherwise, exceptional.

 623 characters

Photo of waiting4lunch
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of ferrari29
4.37/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer served from tap into a Tulip glass

A - Golden straw color body; clear and crisp; poured into my glass with a 1 finger white head; the beer was well carbonated

S - Citrus & flowery scents come up; Allagash house yeast produces a subtle fruity scent of orange and lemon; some light graininess to the beer on the back-end

T - You can taste the citrus and fruity flavors in the beer; but it does have a astringent sour/tart taste to it, especially when it rolls towards the back of the palate; the aftertaste is bitter and dry but smooth from the barrel fermentation

M - Thin and slightly effervescent; it lacks some of the bite and full body I expect from the beer; it has a champagne dry feel to it

D- I could definitely have a few more of these beers; very good collaboration brew; more of this should be made, i understand the reason for making it a limited brew for the November 2010 Belgian Beer Fest, but the folks at Allagash should reconsider, please; the taste of the beer reminds he a bit of Gumballhead

 1,020 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.65/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap for Allagash night at Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Pours a hazy super light yellow with a white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. A foamy curtain of lace lines the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain and some sour/tart grape-like fruity aromas. Taste is of grain, spices, and some fruity flavors. There is an earthy/herbal bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but it's slightly watery and not very wild in the flavor department.

 581 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very nice surprise at the Brick Store Pub's 14th anniversary bash. Had on-tap. I had heard it was a sour, and it definitely delivered. Poured a murky golden amber with a thin head that settles to a ring. Smells quite sour and acetic with dusky notes of preserved lemons and some apricot. Quite savory in the nose, not sweet at all. The taste is awesome. Quite sour with citrus and apricot flavors, a hint of tropical fruit, a touch of barnyard notes, some oak, and red grapefruit. Very tart in the mouth, but smooth without being slippery. Quite a nice package overall, and it sounds like it has evolved quite a bit for the better since the early reviews, becoming more sour and complex.

 689 characters

Photo of beauweaver
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Just attended the Boston Belgian Beer Fest and this was one of my very favorites. Well, I love Rodenbach and any Flemish Sour Red Ales, so it is sort of a given. Nevertheless, I had been tasting another winner at The Lost Abbey brewery stand and the guy sent me to Allagash to taste this marvelous brew.
Outstanding colour and taste with an amazing finish. This beer is now on my top five favorites with Rodenbach and Anit Ox (from The Lost Abbey brewery).
I have never been too fond of extremely hoppy brews and Flemish Sour Red Ales are on the top of my list.
If you have never had one, try the Little Big Beer. It's not that little, trust me. It's a big wonderful and rather BIG offering.

 699 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Little Big Beer from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.21 out of 5 with 38 ratings