Allagash Vrienden | Allagash Brewing Company

Allagash VriendenAllagash Vrienden
146 Ratings
Allagash VriendenAllagash Vrienden

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:
Vrienden is a collaboration with New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, CO and was brewed in July of 2010. Brewmaster Peter Bouckart worked with us to come up with a recipe to be brewed both at their facility and at ours, with subtle differences in each. Both beers used the same base recipe. The Vrienden- Fort Collins version was brewed with belgian endive and hibiscus flower. The Vrienden- Portland version was brewed with dandelion greens and elderberries. Peter then came to Allagash to assist with the brew itself and, a few weeks later, Jason and Rob went there to help with their brew. The beers were fermented using a blend of New Belgium's Lactobacillus strain and the Allagash Brettanomyces strain.

The resulting beer is mildly tart, fruity and slightly hoppy.

Added by Thorpe429 on 03-15-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 146 |  Reviews: 68
Photo of cosmicevan
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

31. Cosmicevan with damico (vrienden – tick it together) – looks exactly like vlad which damico was holding at the time.

D: Amber dark orange
C: Murky…
D: Murky, but not too murky (4 solid).
C: Bubbly but no head, swirling brings it alive…
D: Not to lacy at all
C: But covers the surface? No?
D: Yeah, covers the surface
C: Fruity, almost sour…but like a tinge of sweet tart…but sweet citric, maybe?
D: Yeah, but not bitter…not bitter, like very soft notes of the sweet fruit, very soft notes and not too funky either. (4, yeah it’s good)
C: Again, much like the nose leads you to believe…
D: I’m getting mellon on the nose now.
C: Yeah, after taking a sip mellon is definitely there and much like the nose it tastes like the nose, subtle sweet tart, but like fruity citric mellony.
D: That’s exactly what I’m getting, subtle sweet tart, not overbearing at all and then the citric mellon, which isn’t bitter, it doesn’t (inaudible noises)…at all.
C: I think I’m getting work emails now? (laughs) Sorry…
D: That’s perfect!
C: Mouth…like a good bittery…
D: Lighter
C: Medium bodied.
D: Medium bodied and easy to take down.
C: Take another sip…
D: Thank you very much
C: Mouth, I might even want to say 4.5 cause it’s that smooth…
D: It’s that close because I could drink it probably like a huge glass…
C&D: All night all day long
C: Overall, even though I feel like I have a 4.5 on flavor I would say 4.5 overall…
D: Can we give the mouthfeel the full monty of 5 out of 5?
C: I’m in…5 out of 5 on mouthfeel. I’m going to transcribe this word for word (laughs)
D: So flavor out of 10, I’m thinking 8 to 9
C: Which is a solid 4.5 or 5.
C: Overall an easy 4.5
D: 18ish
C: I’m not a ratebeer guy
D: I know you are a BA.
C: 18ish on RB, I would give it a solid 4.5, possibly even a 5 overall. I mean this is a…
D: Overall give it the top? It is ridiculously good.
C: This is a trade-worthy beer.
D: I can’t believe how smooth it is. Especially the body and the bite is not there at all. There is no…
C: Ok, well we are at 2 and a half minutes now so we are gonna cut it, (laughs) but you get the idea. Read the transcription, grades to follow…cheers!

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Photo of jsanford
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Distillery in Savannah, GA as part of their Allagash Night.

A - Poured a hazy orange with a thin white head that settled down to a thin haze.
S - Slightly subdued aromas of lemon juice, apple cider, grapes, and "funk" with a moderate earthy finish.
T - Pretty similar to the nose, flavors of lemon juice, cider, flowers, and earthy funk. Not as floral as I'd expected, nor as sour, but still nicely drinkable.
M - Slick, with a medium body and moderately crisp carbonation.
O - A very nice Wild, and a great counterpoint to the New Belgium version. Would have loved to actually tried these side-by-side, but oh well.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vrienden pours a hazy straw yellow with a small white head on top. The foam dissolves quickly leaving only a few spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is funky with tart aromas of grapes and hay.

Each sip of this light bodied beer is dry and watery with an effervescent fizz. Easy drinking. The flavor is tart with fruity notes of apples, grapes and strawberries. In the middle some funky barnyard hay appears. It finishes grassy with lingering tart flavors.

This is a sipping beer that has a good balance of sweet and sour. It's very tasting with interesting characteristics.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

icked this up the day of the release in Maine.

A light bright amber color with a thin wispy head that quixkly fades to a thing ring of foam around the edge of the glass. A touch of sudsy lace clings

Aroma is very herbal and fresh. Smells like you are in a garden. While I would say there is some fruit/berry aroma, I couldn't pick the smell of Elderberries out of a line-up if my life depending on it.

Herbal, grassy, the slightest tart finish. Some light fruit just below the surface. Perhaps a bit of that Sweettart flavor. Getting some oak in the finish. If you hold it in your mouth some menthol comes out. Pretty complex, I like it.

Fizzy effervesent carbonation. Pretty delicate mouth feel. Light and refreshing.

I actually like this quite a bit. Tendermorsel commented that the bottle version was even better than the draft. I have to agree.

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Photo of corby112
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375ml shared by foretfu at a recent tasting. Thanks again man! Sampled next to the New Belgium Lips of Faith version.

Pours a hazy dark golden orange color that is opaque with tangerine hues and a half finger white head that quickly settles into a lasting ring.  Spotty lasting.

EArthy, slightly funky aroma that is very floral aroma with of bready yeast and citrus fruit notes, especially tangerine and orange peel.

Tart puckering mouthfeel with earthy funk and dry Brett efervescence.  Slight creamy presence with citrus fruit.  Floral not hoppy with sweeter fruit and a  dry finish with lingering sourness.   The better of the two versions.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Brez07 for sending this to me in a LIF. Review from notes.

A: Pours light pink in color with a small white head on top. Quick dissipation with no lacing.

S: Light tartness, almost has a candy sweetness to the aroma. There is some grassy and a a flower like quality that I can only assume is the dandelions. Light funk.

T: Not as sour/tart as most wilds, but that doesn't bother me at all. Nice fruit flavors with some lemon/citrus, elderberries, and some other fruits.

M: Light to medium bodied with a nice level of carbonation. As mentioned, not mouth puckering sour/tart, but I thought the level of sour was nice.

O: Extremely easy drinking, especially for 9%. Was surprised it was so high actually after drinking it. Not my favorite AWA, but well put together. Something I would love to get some more of and drink again.

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Photo of benclimbs
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

L - pours Nice for a sour what it should look like golden with a slight head

Smell is really good a fantastic mix of yeasty esters and fruit character, a hint of spices in there too oaken just a hair, not overwhelming

Taste is solid, not amazing but very good and quite balanced as sours go I can't say I care for the mineral driven finish
But the fruit character and dry aged complexity come through

Overall a very nice and balanced wild ale

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

big thanks for the nice growler of this one, great to be able to try this one!

. A light pink in color with a huge head of white that came up over the top to a height of around an inch before dropping back down to earth with little in the way of lacing. Aroma was wonderful though. Nice touches of raspberries, hints of light cherry and a touch of sour apples as well. Really quite nice, and very light and refreshing. Smooth and light flavor here as well. Not especially sour, but people need to realize a wild ale does not need to be sour. Anyway. Cherries and Raspberries dominate here, light touches of grape skin, apples and a smooth, and light sugary note to it as well.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazed orange amber color, cap of off-white head, minimal retention and lacing. Scent is quite fruity - strawberry and blueberry (no idea what an elderberry smells like) with moderate musty wood and funk. Taste follows scent, musty wood, berries, lightly tart with some candied sugar sweetness. Medum bodied, quite hefty, no lingering notes. An average wild ale that could have benefitied from some more tartness to stand up to its relatively hefty body.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.57/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured a hazy red-orange with a minimal white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, sour, tart, and fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, sour, tart, fruit, and very slight funk. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. The mouthfeel on this one was a little too thin for my liking on this style. It had a pretty good aroma going on, but the flavor seemed a little muted. No sign of alcohol anywhere... Definitely worth trying if you get the opportunity.

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Photo of illidurit
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at burger. in Santa Cruz. Pours a hazy tangerine flesh color with a sticky light-tan head that leaves fine Belgian lacing. Served a bit too cold and so the aroma is somewhat subdued. Upon a bit of warming the nose gets some almost tripel-like qualities, with apple flesh and mild phenolics. I have no idea what elderberries smell or taste like but I have to assume some of the fruity sweetness is the result of it. Flavor is part tripel and part wild saison. Tart but not even close to sour. Plenty of hay, apple and pear, with a dry phenolic finish. Not very much berry on the palate, maybe just a hint of it midpalate. Tiny bit of vegetal influence from the dandelion, with a slight astringency. Underneath it all is a basic pale malt note. Not really what you'd expect from a 'wild ale' but this is a good beer.

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Photo of rtepiak
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

a sour that is suprisingly meaty... In the finish though. Prefect for mineral strong meats. Pour is amber orange with a small head. Standard brett nose... With a undertone of strawberry. Palate is first and foremost... Sour... A given but it comes in with a interesting pork fat salty finish. Perfect for oysters, pickled hints in smoked pork... Kalbasa, fatty with horseradish. Spanish chorizo.

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Photo of metter98
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy amber/orange in color. It poured with a thin white head that died down and left some lacing on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderate aromas of elderberries and sourness in the nose.
T: The overall taste has a light to moderate amount of sourness along with some notes of elderberry flavors. The taste improves and becomes more complex as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is easy to drink compared to others in the style because the sour flavors are only light to moderately strong and do not overpower the taste.

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Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Leon’s Full Service in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy light copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of light malts with moderate amounts of funk. Also present are slight amounts of floral hops, light herbs, and citrus rind.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though more robust. Light malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by light citrus rind flavors. Midway through the sip a surprisingly robust hit of funk comes into play before being tempered by earthy hops. The hops fade out into a mildly bitter ending.

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

Drinkability is very good. I had no problems finishing my glass and could easily have a few more.

Overall I enjoyed this version better than NB’s as the flavors were cleaner and more robust. Worth a shot.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.18/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - It pours a hazy light amber hue and is capped with a slight film of small off-white bubbles.

S - The nose is pretty much evocative of sweatsocks, Limburger cheese and wet Golden Retriever. I was hoping to get some of the deliciously strange herbal-green notes of elderberry, but none are here. This is more like the sweatiest Saison in history than it is like a Wild.

T - The flavor is a marked improvement upon the elements of the nose, offering earthy-musty lemon notes atop some toasty grain. I still don't pick out elderberries in the brew.

M - Nice soft carbonation and silky medium-light body.

O - Light years better than the horrendous Lips of Faith version, not stellar, however.

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Photo of cbutova
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Smith's Billiards.

A- Amber orange body with a small fizzy white head. Thin ring fails to leave lace (wild).

S- Sour and funky Brett and bacteria, solid. Some floral and fruit but hard to ID dandelion and elderberry.

T- Sour wild ale funk profile with good sour and wine note feel. A strong earthy floral flavor and generosity fruit.

MF- Very creamy and carbonated with a bitterness in the finish.

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Photo of oline73
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at Max's, poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish amber, there is very little off white head and it goes away completely.

Smell: Sour fruit and vinegar. There is also some sweetness from the malt.

Taste: Sweet malt with some tart fruit and vinegar notes. The tart flavors don't dominate, but there is a nice amount. The finish is bitter from the greens that are used, really like the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with mild tingly carbonation. The finish is dry.

Overall: I enjoyed this beer. The most interesting part was definitely the bitterness from the greens in the finish. Nice balance.

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Photo of Neffbeer
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: It pours a hazy light amber color that reveals and orange hue in the light. There was a small white head that quickly faded leaving no lacing.

S: The nose is full of fruits, specifically berries (perhaps the elderberries). There is a pleasant lactic sourness present that is followed by some toasty grain and cracked wheat. The funk is relatively subdued with the fruit taking charge.

T: It begins with a some noble hops and tart berries, jammy is the adjective that comes to mind. The toasted grain and wheat surfaces mid-palate and it finish slightly sour and semi-dry.

M: Medium to light bodied with soft, lush carbonation.

O: Tasty but not as sour or funky as I was anticipating. It tastes a bit young and would probably benefit from a little age.

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Photo of nataku00
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a tulip glass. Pours a bronze color, slightly hazy, with some red at the edge of the glass when held up to the light. Initial half a finger of white frothy head dissipated to light collar along the edges. Some carbonation visible at the edge of the glass, but not too carbonated. Swirling brings up the head to a half a finger, but retention is still weak, and no lacing.

The beer was poured too cold initially so there very light aroma, but even after warming, the nose was not as pungent as you would expect from this style. A grassy bitterness, light berry and floral notes, light lemon juice, earthy funk, and a touch of wood.

Taking a sip, bitter upfront, grassy and herby bitterness that does taste a bit like endive. Light fruit flavors come out midtongue, strawberry and tart lemon, and a nice bright floral component. Earthy and woody funk finishes off. A decent lingering light sourness on the tongue.

Light to medium bodied and mildly carbonated. A bit slick and oily on the tongue. Alcohol was well hidden for a fairly big wild ale.

A decent wild ale, and definitely better than the New Belgium version of this which was more grassy bitter than anything else.

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Photo of mltobin
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the Ginger Man in South Norwalk.

Appearance is a hazy orange color with a small head that laces quickly. The smell has grains, elderberries , brett, some overall funk. Vrienden tastes of the elderberries along with other fruit notes, belgian yeast, grains and flowers come out as well. It is a fairly "earthy" beer. The mouth light-medium w/ a tartness to it. If you enjoy Allagash`s other more interesting offerings, this one is worth your time as well.

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Photo of telecomz
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy, copper orange body. Creamy tan foam that is substantial. Retention is good. Some lacing.

S: Slightly floral, some fruit, grassy that end with funky notes.

T: Same as the nose. No discernible dandelion a la Pissenlit; cannot discern berries. Still, so tasty

M: Medium body with with moderate carbonation.

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Photo of sitarist
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blind beer #2 round 5 from Brez07 is a corked and caged, somewhere around 12 oz bottle.

It pours a weird pink hued, kind of like pink grapefruit juice color. Beer is murky. There is a half inch of white head that falls to a cap. There are a few spots of lacing.

Nice smelling beer! Sweet, slightly funky, and slightly tart. I smell red apple, spice, jam, and wet hay. A little heavy on the sweet, a little too light on the funk.

It has sweet flavors of apples, plums, and fruit jam, with some light sour, salty, and grassy notes. Its wild, but not in a sour way.

Light body, with little carbonation bubbles the fizz briefly on my tongue. It coats my tongue nicely. It is a little bit sticky.

An interesting all around good beer. It doesn't floor me, but it is very well made.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.18/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A - Copper red beer with a white head that dissipated to a partial ring and left some sparse splotches on the side.

S - Sweet fruit that is lightly reminicent or raspberries, assuming this is the elderberry aroma. Somewhat tart with an outdoorsy smell from the dandilion greens. Smells good, but sweet.

T - Very sweet and syrup sugary. The tartness from the nose is lost. Finish is dandilion greens down the back of the throat. Really not a huge fan of this, it is candy sweet with nothing to balance it out. Alcohol is very well hidden though.

M - Not enough carbonation gives this one a mouthfeel that is once again, too syrupy. It is light bodied so the lack of carb just makes it seem flat.

O - Don't like this, too sweet, too flat, too boring. At 9% can be a killer though, ABV is undetectable.

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Photo of ElGallo
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chowdahead for picking up a bottle for me at the brewery. 375 mL bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead longstem snifter. Decent finger of head, good carbonation, lacing that sticks.

Smell is tart and crisp but very plesant on the nose. Some berry, sour apple, a little riesling, and possibly wildflowers or long grass - earthy but light and fresh. The funk is subtle and well balanced with the other scents.

Taste is not as tart as I expected. Not an overwheling meld of flavors, but it's crisp and enjoyable. The berry notes are nice and balance well with the wild funk.

This is not as impressive as Vagabond and Victor Francenstein, but it's still a very solid wild/sour ale. Glad I got to try it.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at the Pour House, Westmont, NJ

Poured orange-brown with very little head; some carbonation visible. Floral aroma with some citrus notes. Taste was surprisingly sour up front, but not overbearing. Grassiness mixed with citrus followed leaving a nice crispness in the mouth. Light-medium body, and fairly drinkable. I probably wouldn't have more than a glass at any given sitting, but I would definitely not mind having that one glass if it was available.

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Allagash Vrienden from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 146 ratings
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