Barrel & Bean
Allagash Brewing Company

Barrel & BeanBarrel & Bean
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Ranked #15
Ranked #3,457
4.11 | pDev: 8.52%
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Barrel & BeanBarrel & Bean
Notes: Formerly James Bean

Barrel & Bean starts its life as our Tripel—a Belgian-style golden ale. We age that beer in bourbon barrels for just shy of two months, before blending it with cold-brewed coffee from Speckled Ax, a Maine coffee roaster. The sun-dried Ethiopian beans in the coffee are known for their stone fruit and dark berry flavors. The finished beer features rich notes of caramel, bourbon, and coffee.
Reviews: 124 | Ratings: 692 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jzeilinger
jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 11/27/19.

A - Very hazy medium orange gold color with soapy white lacing. For a Tripel, this is pretty messy looking. The beer was poured cold into the snifter so it's chill haze, I get it. Going to let a portion of it warm up, the serving temp is evidently too low. As the beer warms, the clarity becomes more pronounced (I upped the score to a "4" on look). Carbonation is moderate and steady.

S - Pear along with delicate bourbon and light sweet malt aroma. There is some coffee but it's faded and buried in the mix.

T - Light citrus / pear, delicate bourbon presence, and very light sweet malt. Any coffee that's left is almost gone at this point.

M - Thick and silky soft with prickly carbonation hitting the tongue for a brief moment before being squelched in the thickness of the beer.

O - The ABV is extremely well hidden, there is no warming whatsoever, in fact, it drinks more like a 6% beer which is impressive.

Sep 02, 2020
Photo of BucannonXC5
BucannonXC5 from California

4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Reviewed as: Tripel
Glass: Jelly jar
Price: $23.99 for a 4-pack
From: The Bottle Shop in Montecito, Calif.
Purchased: June 11, 2020
Consumed: June 11, 2020
Misc.: Bottled on March 27, 2019 at 9:42 a.m. ET

Was excited to see this at The Bottle Shop in Montecito on a recent mini-vacation. Purchased a 4-pack without even looking at the price, which was $23.99 pre-tax and CRV. I had this once before, giving a taster a 4.25 on Untappd at the 2019 Firestone Invitational. It was super late in the day (3:59) and all I wrote was, “#BiL (Bill) says 4.25.” Allagash’s website called it, “Barrel & Bean starts its life as our Tripel—a Belgian-style golden ale. We age that beer in bourbon barrels for just shy of two months, before blending it with cold-brewed coffee from Speckled Ax, a Maine coffee roaster. The sun-dried Ethiopian beans in the coffee are known for their stone fruit and dark berry flavors. The finished beer features rich notes of caramel, bourbon, and coffee.”

Poured a clear amber color with 2-to-3 fingers of frothy white head. Could see a few bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Excellent spotty lacing. Outstanding retention. (Sight - 4.50)

A lot of different flavors on the nose. In order got roasted coffee, char wood, citrus zest, banana, bourbon, caramel and hints of clovey orange. A little better out of the bottle with more bourbon - caramel, toffee, oak, butterscotch - notes. Could smell all the 10 pct. ABV. (Smell - 3.75)

Tasted better than the nose. Mostly coffee and bourbon initially with no noticeable characteristics of a Tripel. With some more effort got roasted coffee, char wood, ashtray, oaky bourbon, burnt toast, caramel, toffee, vanilla, lemon, citrus zest, orange clove and light banana. Unlike the smell, the taste felt much lower than the 10 pct. ABV. (Taste - 4.25)

Medium body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth finish. (Feel - 4.25)

Definitely an interesting beer. Seemed more imperial stout than Tripel, but it was excellent to me. (Overall - 4.25)

4.15 | 93 | A-

Jul 04, 2020
Photo of kindoflikebilly
kindoflikebilly from New York

4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from amber 12oz bottle into a witbier glass (wanted the headroom for a good sniff) 6 months past the bottling date of 1/2/20. No head to speak of, but I did pour down the side, so. Looks like a nice IIPA, but once the smell hits you, you know you're in for something else: woody, bourbony, earthy. Personally, I can definitely feel the 10%, almost like whiskey going down your throat. Not as heavy mouthfeel as I would have expected. A nice beer, but pace yourself!

Jul 01, 2020
Photo of dbl_delta
dbl_delta from Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So a confession: I do not like Belgian beers. But I bought this Barrel & Bean because it's BBA and has coffee in it. Sounds a lot like a stout, and I'm a big fan of stouts.
Bottle dated 01/02/20 into pint glass. doesn't LOOK like a stout. Pours a hazy golden honey color with a persistent fine-bubbled head. Great lacing. Initial impression is bourbon, coffee, and caramel - exactly as advertised. There is a hint of the Belgian banana and spices, but it's definitely not your typical Tripel. Alcohol is surprisingly well hidden. Finish is sweet and sticky.
Overall, I have to give Allagash credit for brewing outside the box on this one. Purists would probably call this a travesty rather than a Tripel, but I think it's excellent!

Jun 21, 2020
Photo of beersampler6
beersampler6 from Michigan

4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow this was a very interesting beer. Belgian tripels are not usually my thing but the addition of the bourbon barrels and cold brew coffee really helped to elevate this beer. 1/2/20 date printed on bottle. Pours a darker amber color with a little fluffy off-white head and some small scant areas of lingering lacing that slowly faded. Smells of nice Belgian yeast, medium roast coffee, bourbon, oak, caramel, vanilla, malt and maybe some faint hops. Taste follows the nose, very good balance and depth. Excellent well hidden higher ABV. Mouthfeel was slightly sticky, smooth and enjoyable, good amount of carbonation. A great beer.

May 27, 2020
Photo of Bouleboubier
Bouleboubier from New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

(12 oz bottle, bottled on 08/22/19; purchased single off shelf at Bobkat yesterday... decanted into fat tulip)

L: crystal-clear, honey-gold colored liquid; tall, tight, billowy off-white foam... head makes slow descent, smearing ring of lace in the process... streaky, speckled sediment left behind in bottle

S: first impression: mezcal?!... subtle notes of dried yeast, dried banana, spicy-sweet capsicum... very faint flicker of phenolic booze... coffee eventually emerges, a nutty, earthy, whole-bean medium roast scent... overall intensity mellow

T: coffee does leap out immediately, but is quickly rushed away by a slow, light caramel/toffee swell, with mildly banana-vanilla undertones... dry, light-toasted cookie finish; vanilla-kissed, clove spice creeping up behind; banana and toffee shimmering in late... by the second or third sip, a coffee-ish aftertaste does begin to develop and sustain; it's basically riding/tailing the base flavors

F: everything sanded smooth - booze, carbonation, body contour... very little definition to its body, it's just feathery-soft malt milk, quiet storm boozy warmth... feels almost as if poured from a gravity cask; lovely, easy drinking

O: let's be honest, I only bought this because some of the other beers I'd hoped to find singles of weren't available; I did notice the older bottling and decided to take a chance anyway... Allagash is often verymuch on point, and this held up nicely, though I'm sure the coffee expression has long since decayed... I will grab a fresher bottle though; twas a tasty drop (1664)

May 13, 2020
Photo of Yaroslav
Yaroslav from New York

2.57/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.25

I love what ABC brews. Their tripel is one of my favorites. It's always in my fridge.

Barrel and Bean is a miss in my opinion. It is as if I poured a bit of my morning coffee into such a fine tripel. I had a difficult time finishing one of a four pack and am looking for someone to take the remaining three.

In the meantime I'll pour another straight up ABC tripel and enjoy this world class brew.

Apr 26, 2020
Photo of DokiDokiLitFam
DokiDokiLitFam from New Jersey

3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 10/23/19

Pours a translucent dark gold with a finger of white head. Mild retention. Mild spotty lacing.

Nose is very subdued. Light subtle scents. You get the normal tripel scents. Banana, funk. But the slight hint of coffee provides a very delicate nutty, roasty quality. Very far from what I'm used to. Slight hint of booze. Intriguing.

Taste blossoms out a little more. Coffee comes through more strongly, but still subtle. Banana, lemon, vanilla as well. There is a whisper of oak/barrel presence. Hardly even there. I takes me back to the time I had Allagash's Curieux and not being very impressed overall. The coffee makes this a little more interesting and gives your mind and taste buds some more information to assess and unravel.

Mouthfeel is very simple. Light-medium bodied with mild carbonation.

Overall an interesting concept and an enjoyable brew. Allagash makes very reserved, quiet, subtle beers. Not over the top or bombastic. Respectable.

Apr 23, 2020
Photo of Beginner2
Beginner2 from Illinois

4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Is this how a brewer extends a good base recipe and adds new flourishes to create a product line ?
And we should recognize there is risk in putting a tripel into a barrel and adding coffee. Allagash made it work well. Art.

I liked Allagash's Tripel quite enough to try another variation. And I was not disappointed by its two renditions I've had on multiple occasions. Barrel & Bean is no different: an interesting rendition. Much like its base recipe, it keeps it simple.

The drying sensation from the coffee distinguishes B&B from, say, Curieux which has a heavier bourbon barrel-age. B&B's coffee keeps the barrel flavors (vanilla and other sweets) in check... or at least distracts the buds.

I had B&B before and during dinner. I generally avoid Tripels at the table; but B&B was suitable.
I bought a 4-pack, so I am not done with this review.

Apr 10, 2020
Photo of Sabtos
Sabtos from Ohio

3.82/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Slightly foggy burnt gold with a lumpy, airy off-white foam settling to a bubbly film.

The smoothly medium body has a mildly fluffy fizz where muted tripel notes are smoothed out in a unique way by a lightly sweet vanilla character possibly attributable to the oak, but also from the coffee bean, which is simultaneously earthy. A caramelly barrel note comes out on the exhale.

The tripel continues to transform in unique ways, almost coming across like a strong lager of sorts, with what the coffee is doing to the spice and malt, and there's no boozy heat to boot. The tingly semi-wet finish just seems to emphasize the fact that this is exceptionally smooth, mellow and unassuming for a tripel. It's to a point that it's really completely off style. Which is fine but it's also confusing my palate.

Mar 30, 2020
Photo of EMV
EMV from Pennsylvania

4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Bright hazy golden pour with 2 fingers of foamy white head. Lasts awhile with great lacing.

S: Sweet belgian candy sugar, cold brew coffee, bourbon, vanilla, and a bit of yeast. Complex

T.F: Follows the nose. Semi-sweet up front. Mild espresso but not sharp/bitter. Vanilla and bourbon... and the tripel is present but in the background. Very mellow beer. Some spice and yeasty esters. Oak and grains. This should be WAY boozier than it is. Creamy mouthfeel and medium bodied. A bit more coffee and bourbon at the finish.

O: A unique and delicious beer. Super drinkable and the flavors go along together nicely. Stellar work here.

Mar 11, 2020
Photo of Gajo74
Gajo74 from New York

4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From the bottle it pours a clear golden color that appears slightly cloudy in the glass. A thumb length foam head, placid looking, displays great retention. Copious amounts of thick lathery and sudsy lacing compliment the nice overall look of this beer.

The nose opens like a typical Belgian Tripel with notes of cracker and honey malts and fruity esters. The fruity aromas evoke notes of grape, white raisin, apricot and citrus. However, the barrel aging soon comes to dominate the nose, particularly with its strong notes of fresh coffee beans. There are also notes of vanilla and oak, as well as a touch of grassy hops.

The taste opens sweetly with notes of candi sugar, honey, biscuit and graham cracker malts. Lots of fruity ester flavors of grape, date, white raisin, melon, jammy apricot and a bright citrus middle palate. However, the sweetness is dialed down as the palate is dry and the malts well attenuated. Furthermore, as with the aroma, the coffee flavors begin to assert themselves and add roasty notes along with a developing grassy hops bitterness.

Medium bodied with a light on its toes like drinkability. The alcohol is amazingly well hidden. The mouthfeel is relatively smooth with a moderately mellow carbonation. The finish is moderately dry with strong notes of coffee and some residual sweetness.

I bought this thinking this was a typical Tripel, however, the coffee and barrel flavors were unique and a pleasant surprise. Well balanced and delicious overall.

Mar 09, 2020
Photo of mushroomcloud
mushroomcloud from Texas

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

12oz bottled 10-23-19. Opened 3-8-20.
1 finger white head on a gold-orange Tripel...opaque. Good retention down to 1/4" and early lacing.
Initial nose is mild coffee. Wood starts to show about 15 minutes in...toffee, caramel aromas. Bourbon hint late.
Flavor is coffee (smooth and mild) up front followed by a hint of citrus midway through. Coffee, fruit, spice, and the mildest bourbon towards the end.
Medium body and carbonation with a creamy mouthfeel. Dry finish.
Very good and unique.
I suggest spending about an hour with this one for all the nuances to show out.

Mar 09, 2020
Photo of Harrison8
Harrison8 from Missouri

3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a solid orange (imagining a Dragonball) with a foggy tint to it. Head is just over a finger of creamy, white foam. Head retention is good. Aroma is creamy coffee with rich nutty, biscuity, toasty malts and a hit of butter. Oak adds a touch of smoothness and bourbon adds a touch of boozy heat. Flavor profile is nutty, biscuity, crackery, toasty, caramely malts. Coffee comes through, but just barely. Coffee is met with butter in an abrasive, boozy hot mixture, alongside bourbon. It feels and tastes hot, but not in a favorable way. Mouth feel is medium-thick with a hot, prickly effervescence texture that brings the heat even further forward on the tongue. Overall, a bit off balance between the hot tripel below and the coffee on top.

Served in a 15.5oz Spiegalau tulip from a 12oz bottle.

Dec 27, 2019
Photo of Beejay
Beejay from Virginia

3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: a murky orange yellow color with a small of white head.

S: light coffee with vanilla bean, followed by cream and done light spice notes.

T: oak, vanilla, and coffee coffee right out. Light spice and Stone fruit from the Belgian yeast.

M: medium light with fairly high carbonation.

O: overall a tasty brew, but I wish there was a little more of the triple character. It's getting covered up by the aging.

Oct 26, 2019
Photo of jmdrpi
jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

pour from bottle

looks like a triple - slightly hazy light yellow in color, white head. but aroma is definitely very coffee heavy, pleasant. taste is as dominated by slightly roasty coffee flavor. no real Belgian yeast esters or flavor left from the Tripel. some bourbon and vanilla in there too. interesting beer, it works.

Oct 20, 2019
Photo of hoegaardenhero
hoegaardenhero from Virginia

3.86/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

There’s a good idea here, but it’s poorly executed. The aroma was pretty good because the light coffee notes really balanced out some of that bourbon sweetness, but the taste is really watery for a tripel. Also undercharged for the style. Disappointing.

Sep 08, 2019
Photo of Smakawhat
Smakawhat from Maryland

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

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Very nice deep gold to orange body color, with a good middle column of carbonation in the center of the glass. Fluffy white head presented making about two fingers, with a real nice creamy appearance. Always a nice bowled puck on top as well.

Neat aroma. Slight sense of coffee with a creamy milky sense matching with the tripels base flavors. There's a small touch of stone fruit and some candied sugar, mixing with a thick rich malt backbone.

Palate is a real wonderful mix. Creamy sensing malt with touches of vanilla and slight candy sweetness. Mid palate is a nice soft coffee roast, filling with a big touch of earth and ripping crushed coffee beans. Senses a hair fruit of peach a little ester squeaking out for a good contrast, even though this is heavily coffee in flavor. Bold, rich, creamy, a warm sense of booze that only slow creeps up in the stomach as well, not hot at all. There's not much sense of barrel character here in flavor, but in mouthfeel and round character it's huge.

Very impressive tripel, like these coffee examples from Allagash.

Aug 26, 2019
Photo of mntlover
mntlover from Tennessee

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

Pours a hazy golden color small white bar pour head. Aroma is wow loads of coffee covering up a sweeter triple fruity malty base with light bourbon. Taste is the same loads of coffee, light bourbon and caramel notes still riding on a triple base that is fruity. Mouthfeel is medium and mellow for the style or medium. Overall enjoyable suprised on how much coffee came out in this beer, no hint of the 10%.

Jul 21, 2019
Photo of Sheppard
Sheppard from Virginia

3.96/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden hazy. A little banana on the nose with barrel and coffee. Some notes of vanilla as well. It's a little drier than I expected. The coffee definitely cuts the sweetness of the tripel a great deal. It makes it feel much more dry and less fruity and boozy than a regular tripel. There's some vanilla character in there as well. While not necessarily my favorite, I certainly appreciate the execution.

Jul 18, 2019
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ from Wisconsin

4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Allagash Tripel = yum. Allagash Curieux = fun. Barrel & Bean = ?
On to the beer:

Clouded golden blonde color with a small whispy, yet creamy head above. The color seems to glow as I get it close to light. The coffee aroma is dominant and strong, nearly covering up the bourbon and tripel layers. Strong coffee laced with sweet creamer, and behind the wall a whisper of tripel. As the beer warms, the aromas meld together better.

Now it gets fun. It first arrives like a tripel with candied apricot before switching into soft, sweet coffee. At the end is where we get the bourbon notes. I just want to say one thing, just one thing; mouthfeel. One of the best I've had in awhile, as its full airy body seems light, soft carbonation lifts the character, and leaves pleasing toasted bourbon chips in the aftertaste. I more I sip, the more I enjoy it; I can separate this layered beer better into tripel, bourbon, and coffee.

This sounds like a risky plan to pull off, but Allagash did it. Coffee barrel aged stouts seem to be a dime a dozen now, but doing this with a tripel is a brave feet to pull. This is the reward of it.

Jul 10, 2019
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at Yard House in Greenville SC.
While the aroma is a bit funky, the flavor is not. Coffee, bourbon, wood, and malts mix nicely with good balance.
Smooth medium body and medium carbonation.

Jul 02, 2019
Photo of drtth
drtth from Pennsylvania

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

The clear amber colored beer pours out into a snifter glass with a 1/2” off white head that recedes slowly to a cap and then a thin irregular island of foam and a ring around the glass while leaving a ring and some legs of lacing. Sipping creates several scattered patches and legs of lacing.

The aromas include coffee, some light bourbon, vanilla and oak. There’s also some light green orchard fruits and a bit of pepper.

The flavors are pretty much as expected from the nose with some coffee and some light bourbon, vanilla and oak, some lifer green orchard fruit and a bit of pepper. The crackery malt sweetness has a light caramel character and almost conceals the light herbal earthy bitterness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and both creamy and slightly prickly with the moderate finely bubbled carbonation. The finish begins as most of the flavors begin to fade leaving the coffee and a light herbal earthy bitterness to fade slowly away.

Overall I’m finding that I enjoy this beer a bit more than expected. It’s drinkable/sippable and enjoyable. The coffee blends nicely with both the flavors of a Tripel and with those contributed by bourbon barrel aging making for a complex interplay over time. This beer would be a good choice either for sipping while reading a good book or being served as a digestif for post dinner enjoyment when entertaining friends.

Jul 01, 2019
Photo of Tony210
Tony210 from New Jersey

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

Pretty basic offering from Allagash. Very good triple that had some barrel exposure and coffee added. Barrel aging wasn’t very noticeable. An ok beer, probably would not buy again.

12 oz bottle - thanks Roach
4 rating

May 26, 2019
Photo of Thomas_Wikman
Thomas_Wikman from Texas

3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a nice tripel from Allagash

Look: light brown with a thick white head

Aroma: wheat, yeast, bourbon.

Taste: The flavor is wheat crackers, yeast, banana, and bourbon, maybe some coffee but I can't taste it for sure.

Body/Overall: medium to full body

Apr 30, 2019
Barrel & Bean from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 692 ratings