James Bean | Allagash Brewing Company

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James BeanJames Bean
587 Ratings
James BeanJames Bean

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
James Bean is a bourbon barrel aged, Belgian-style strong ale that is infused with cold press coffee, post fermentation. Coffee, vanilla and bourbon dominate the aroma. Flavors of caramel, coffee, bourbon, and oak present themselves throughout this full-bodied beer. The coffee used in James Bean is Speckled Ax, roasted right here in Maine. The beans used are Ethiopia Amaro Gayo and are known for their lush blackberry and blueberry fruit flavors.

Grains: Allagash 2-Row Malted Barley Blend
Hops: Tettnang and Hallertau
Spices/Other: White Cane Sugar, Cold-Brewed Coffee
Yeast: House
Original Gravity: 1.074, 18 degrees Plato

Added by jlindros on 07-09-2012

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 587 |  Reviews: 85
Photo of Avitra
3.1/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Complexity doesn't man it's good. This one is complex, there's the Stout coffeeness in the aroma and the sourness in the taste and lemon and cutrus but the combination doesn't work for me. The balance is not there and the beer is really just meh.

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Photo of Radome
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Hoptometrist
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of NeilSilber1
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Alagash Belgium tripel bourbon barrel aged strong ale with notes of cold pressed Coffee and whiskey, need I say more - excellent!!

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Photo of Prost76
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of wroywel
4.46/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of YinzBrew
4.06/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of HoppingMadMonk
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aroma of bourbon,caramel, and fresh roasted coffee. Taste is identical,bourbon isn't overpowering but still comes off delicate and enjoyable. The caramel and coffee make a great backdrop to the bourbon taste

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Photo of smithj4
4.26/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Dougwillhike
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of HabaJohn
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of csmrx7
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Not a style I would normally go for but was an interesting share with a few friends as it is pretty unique, and starts lots of conversation. The real stand out was the mouthfeel

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

Poured from 750mL corked & caged bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: medium golden hue with a little bit of haze and a moderate effervescence. Head is a finger of pillowy ivory foam that has good retention. Attractive!

Smell: sweetish, malty aroma with a lightly fruity Belgian character and a subtle but interesting coffee character. It's pretty enticing.

Taste: some nice orchardy fruitiness in the flavor, and the coffee is particularly smooth and enjoyable. There's a bit of alcohol heat tailing off at the end, but that's kind of expected in a beer this size. I really like each of the individual flavor components here, but I'm really not sold on how well they work together. Pear + coffee? Maybe a bit out there for me.

Mouthfeel: medium-rich body with a moderate level of carbonation and a nicely smooth creaminess.

Overall: I want to like this beer more. Its individual pieces are all really good, and it's clear that this is a well-crafted beer. But the unorthodox flavor combination is perhaps just a little too bizarre for me.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.16/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

[IMG] Thanks @lordofthewiens for this bottle and a very nice opening. Pours a fairly light clear brown with a 2 plus finger white head that disappears quickly leaving some remenience of webby lace and very near room temperature. 4

Smell is dry coffee grounds, banana bread, clove, hazelnut, oaked vanilla, and just a hint alcohol. 4.25

Taste follows coffee leads, hazelnut, vanilla, banana, clove, and just a tiny amount of alcohol in the very balanced finish. 4.25

Mouthfeel is about medium, plenty of carbonation, definetly a tad dry, and at 10.1% ABV plenty approachable. 4

Overall this is not a style I normally seek out, but I have to say this is a very nice Belgian Strong Ale that I would drink again. 4

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Photo of jrc1093
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Malted Barley in Westerly, RI

Pours a charred amber with a small but fluffy white head

There's a ton going on in the aroma here: freshly-roasted coffee beans that are bright but light, allowing notes of caramel, molasses, malty chocolate, and sweet vanilla to enter the picture

Taste carries beautiful, balanced burnt coffee bitterness and some delicate caramel malt

The mouthfeel carries so the coffee well, maintaining almost paradoxically a thinness that both hinders and helps the beer's primary flavors come across the palate really nicely

A really unique quad from Allagash that uses some really vibrant but nuanced coffee notes to make a pretty high ABV beer really quite drinkable.

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Photo of George2744
4.39/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Greywulfken
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One day after having Swiftwater's Kaffe Cafe Koffie tripel, a coffee-infused Belgian-style tripel...

Medium-dark gold body just shy of clear, few fingers of ivory head trailed lace down the glass... Represents the bourbon barrel aging and coffee infusion right off the bat, with coffee, whiskey, and wood notes on the nose and palate... Softer fruit impressions are of murky orchard and stone fruits, pale, fleshy, and sweet, with some brighter points of berry... Sinews of vanilla wind through as do the coffee flavors - reminded me a bit of Dannon coffee yogurt's flavor, aided by the smooth feel... Medium weight, low bitterness, moderate sweetness, moderate carbonation... Uses "Speckled Ax" coffee, featuring Ethiopia Amaro Gayo beans...

Similar to the coffee tripel yesterday, but with the bourbon adding that bourbon barrel element to the mix - can't say it necessarily made this a better beer than Swiftwater's non-BBA tripel (with a lower 7.9% abv), but it was certainly equally enjoyable... As with the Swiftwater, if you like pale ales with coffee, and here, bourbon barrel aging, its sure to be something you'll really dig...

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Photo of ajm5108
4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Interesting beer - obviously there is a big coffee element but so used to getting that in a stout it was refreshing to have those flavors here in a golden style / quasi tripel - lots of vanilla, burnt toffee, treacle, warm nut, cold pressed coffee. Decadent but delicious

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

Photo of markjknowles
4.54/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 bottle poured into my "good for just about everything" Garre glass. Thin white head of foam rests on top of an amber haze. Not quite opaque. I pored this cold from the fridge and needed to let it warm a bit. Cold, everything well balanced but muted. When it warmed, that balance stayed but all the flavors really amplified. Coffee and bourbon and Belgian yeast blonde ale popped the ale dominated, beautifully accented by the coffee and bourbon. Honestly, this is a brewery in masterful control of both the ingredients and the process. I way West in the opposite Portland hoping more Allagash comes my way.

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

Photo of wshinevar
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of bshu
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Dewsby
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L) Pours a lovely dark amber with a creamy white head.

S) Smell is very boozy and grainy. The maltiness is lovely, and there is a lot of vanilla, but be ready for the intense booziness and farmhouse nature on the nose.

T) The flavor profile is similar. Definitely more bourbon than coffee. The cold press is much more evident on the end, where the pleasant roastiness mingles with the hoppiness at play.

F) This brew has a lovely creamy mouthfeel with a medium carbonation. Works very well with the flavors at play.

O) A good brew for the overlap in coffee, farmhouse, and barrel-aged lovers. Definitely not going to impress everyone, but a very solid (and boozy) bourbon barrel ale.

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

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James Bean from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.11 out of 5 with 587 ratings