Barrel & Bean
Allagash Brewing Company

Barrel & BeanBarrel & Bean
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Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Ranked #20
Ranked #6,146
4.1 | pDev: 8.29%
Sep 18, 2022
Jul 09, 2012
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.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 3.71 by howardnss from Pennsylvania

Sep 18, 2022
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Rated by entheos from California

3.52/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
An interesting coffee taste, but not all that great.
Feb 06, 2022
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Reviewed by teromous from Virginia

3.34/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
From the side of the label: "BOTTLED ON 10/28/21 18:41"

Appearance: The body is a medium-gold color with a very murky appearance. Very fuzzy shadows are only just visible through it. The head is white, creamy textured, and short.

Aroma: There is a pleasant coffee aroma that has a slightly earthy note.

Taste: Up front there is a Belgian yeast character that immediately comes through with a strong coffee flavor. As it rolls over the tongue it picks up a bit of clove character and a hint of black pepper. Towards the back of the palate there isn't much flavor development, and there isn't a lot of aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is somewhat high which is good. It has a body on the upper edge of light with a slight smoothness.

Overall: The label says that this is a "BOURBON BARREL-AGED GOLDEN ALE blended with COLD-BREWED COFFEE." The coffee character comes through in both the aroma and flavor which is nice. The coffee adds an interesting note to the Belgian yeast notes and it creates a pleasant twist, mostly in the flavor. Unfortunately the advertised barrel character is completely absent. There is no bourbon flavor or aroma and the same can be said for any kind of wood notes. It's disappointing to have a major component of a beer be entirely absent. As a whole I liked what was present in the beer but I wouldn't buy it again given the lack of any barrel or bourbon character. I wouldn't recommend it given the lack of advertised flavors and aromas, but if you're just looking for a coffee beer with a nice Belgian character to it then this does a nice job.
Feb 01, 2022
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Reviewed by DIM from Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Bottled 5/22

This didn't sound good to me, morbid curiosity prompted the purchase. Danged if it isn't good.

The balance is nice here. Belgian yeast esters and coffee commingle nicely up front. Like having a cup of coffee alongside spiced banana bread... sort of. The barrels are subtle and finish is kind of muddled, but this works overall.
Jan 29, 2022
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Reviewed by harrypowers from Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Pours a lightly hazy golden color with a small white head and a lot of lacing.

Smells of yeasty bread, coffee and sweet fruit.

Tastes of bread, sweet fruit, oaky bourbon and coffee with a bit of spice and a warm boozy finish.

Medium body with light carbonation. Lightly lush and syrupy mouthfeel.

This is an excellent re-envisioning of the traditional Belgian Triple. The addition of aging, bourbon and coffee to the mix make it a great sipper. Well done!
Jan 26, 2022
Rated: 4.24 by clm9 from North Carolina

Jan 22, 2022
Rated: 4.38 by jmbeerdude91 from Arizona

Jan 17, 2022
Rated: 4.28 by irishevans from California

Dec 30, 2021
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Reviewed by JamFuel from Sweden

4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Pours a fairly clear orange with fine head and pretty lacing.

Smell is fruity and oaky with notes of bourbon, dried fruit, coffee beans and fudge.

Taste is oaky with lots of bourbon and some fruitiness. Notes of coffee grounds, espresso, dried fruit and some vanilla.

Mouthfeel is medium, smooth and velverty, with good carbonation.

Overall, a very nice hybrid beer where the coffee isn't overpowering.
Dec 21, 2021
Rated: 3.9 by newcastlemike from Connecticut

Nov 28, 2021
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Reviewed by RaulMondesi from California

4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Umm. Wow. What? A triple with coffee? Sure, why the hell not. It’s pretty wild, so I am going to jump into this one like Felix Bumgarner from the edge of space.

Thoughts? I’m enlightened. Not everything can be beautiful together, but like Miranda Kerr and a crop top, we have a winner. It’s just different (like Miranda), and sexy (like Miranda).

Ok, I’m out of here.
Oct 30, 2021
Rated: 4.02 by Newtobeet345 from Georgia

Oct 18, 2021
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Reviewed by geearreff from California

4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Opening the bottle, smells like peanut butter. Taste has a distinct mix of coffee and orange peel. Smell becomes more coffee-like after pouring into glass. Taste remains fairly consistent as it warms.

This beer is very pleasant. I highly recommend it if you're like experimenting outside traditional brews.
Aug 20, 2021
Rated: 4 by Zekenyce from New Jersey

Aug 07, 2021
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Reviewed by Peach63 from New York

4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Pours golden yellow with a 1.5" foamy, white head, which lasts. Heavy lacing to the end. Slight haze.

Aroma is coffee, caramel, spices, vanilla, yeast.

Taste is coffee, caramel, bourbon, cloves, Belgian yeast, oak vanilla.

Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Dry finish with lingering coffee.

An interesting departure from bourbon barrel stouts. This is a very nice Golden Ale.
Jul 22, 2021
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Reviewed by JonnoWillsteed from England

3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Blind-tasted except for the beer's name and brewery/country, zero reviews below read (yet!)...
L- Dark gold, pours with slight haze and a 5mm fine-bubble pale tan head. I also see some sediment left in the bottle. ps after 10mins, holds v well, forms lacing on the way down.
S- It's quite mild though there does seem to be a coffee note here - hence it's name?
T- Quite bright, yes I think that's a gentle coffee note, then swirling around is a liquor note too. For 10% it does a good job of being somewhat subtle about it, I like that. [Previous beer was the WestV8, which in comparison made a bigger ABV% statement than this - surprising!)]. It has a balanced hoppy edge into the finish.
F- It's big and bold, one for slow-sippin'.
O- Ahhh, difficult. I've just finished one the more epic beers I've ever had, the WestVleteren8 which rated as 6th of my 1950-to-date reviews. Sadly for this Allagash that is an almost impossible Beerxperience to follow. So it's ok, but in comparison to the Westv the coffee(?) just feels unecessary and there is a void area in the middle (thinking 3D) of the taste. Interesting to try but no reason to buy again.
Review/scoring all done, now the reveal, I get to read the lables to see what I missed! ==> 'Tripel, bourbon and coffee. Bottled on 10/15/20. Bottle conditioned. Interesting that the ingredients aren't listed.
330ml bottle £6.50 Bought from TremblingMadness, York/UK as part of a large pick-your own consignment to London.
Jul 10, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by steverx8 from England

Jun 27, 2021
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Reviewed by sjrider from California

4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Bottle pour- opaque orange/gold color with white head leaving scattered frosty lacing. Nose is sweet malt and yeast with hints of coffee. Taste follows with hints of barrel wood. Finishes almost dry. Tasty.
Jun 25, 2021
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Reviewed by Rug from Massachusetts

4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Bottled 10/15/20

You know, I can’t say I’ve ever had a coffee barrel aged Tripel, much less even heard of it before getting my hands on this one. I’m really wondering how the flavors will interact with the spiced and fruity yeast of the base Tripel. Let’s dive right into this one and see what it has to offer

Pours a cloudy brownish gold with 2 fingers of white head that quickly fades to a thin cap and leaves decent lacing

Oh wow, the nose on this one is very coffee foward, in a very earthy and roasty way while still maintaining some sweetness. I’m picking up on aromas of earthy medium roast coffee, vanilla, white pepper, doughy malt, overripe banana, and subtle oaky bourbon

This is absolutely full in taste, hitting all the right notes of the aroma and then some. On the front end of the sip I’m tasting coriander, light roast coffee, doughy malt, banana, earthy bourbon, and light pepper. The swallow brings notes of bitter coffee, doughy malt, vanilla, graham cracker, and light orange peel

A medium full body pairs with moderately aggressive carbonation, resulting in a very fizzy and highly drinkable beer for the abv. Finishes mostly dry with a sweetness to counteract the coffee

How the hell is the average on this one not higher? The coffee is so perfectly integrated here, it’s unreal. I get that the barrel isn’t in your face, but I like how it’s a bit more of an afterthought here. Great stuff
Jun 07, 2021
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Reviewed by LifesAnesthesia from Virginia

4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
L - Golden with a minimal white head and no real lacing to speak of.
S - Sweet fruit esters, Belgian yeast, caramel, and bitter coffee
T - Bitter coffee and Belgian yeast dominate follows by bright fruit esters intermixed with caramel and vanilla notes. Not picking up too much bourbon flavor.
F - medium bodied with a light to moderate amount of carbonation. Crisp.
O - A pretty solid beer, but not really what I was expecting - it loses much of the Triple qualities via the barrel aging and addition of coffee
Jun 05, 2021
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Reviewed by CrellMoset from Virginia

4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
My first review in seven years. A lot has changed in seven years, not the least of which is my palate. My penchant and proclivity for prattle have not, however. Has BeerAdvocate's 5000 character limit changed, though?

Appearance: A deep copper, hazy from the get-go even with a nod given towards gentle decanting, but made more hazy with the contribution from the B-12 shot at the bottom of the bottle. A volume of carbonation typical for the style, but the speed at which the effervescence tends skyward suggests some quantity of residual sugar, and keeps a ring of foam continually suspended around the perimeter of the cervoise, the only bit of foam that persists after the original pour, itself suggestive of the abv%. All in all, an attractive hue, rich, warm, inviting, though lacking in that crisp firm lacing and head retention that one seeks even in beers where it's near-impossible.

Aroma: Coffee is the immediate foreground note, rich, slightly nutty, suggestive of caramel, oily green tea, peanut brittle-like nuttiness, the depth of which amplifies in ones mind the warmer spice notes of the base beer - cardamom predominantly. Honeyed graham cracker emerges as it warms, again, itself suggesting both the sweetness of the base beer/bourbon addition but also the estery spices thrown by the yeast. A bit dull around the edges, so many lighter roasted coffees will throw acidity and citrus that would seem to pair splendidly with a bourbon-barrel aged Belgian like this one, but I'm not detecting too much brightness in the nose.

Taste: Dryer than one might imagine from the velocity of the bubbles, at least. Barrel and coffee notes dominate here - vanilla, coconut, toasted char, that sweet honeyed Wethers original-esque butterscotch note one gets from bourbon occasionally (that's something that's changed in the last seven years - I've consumed copious quantities of bourbon in the interim, hey-o). An earthy green spice that sits squarely in the middle and lingers on the tongue afterwards. As it warms, the spice emerges more fully, heavy, earthy, a bit smoky at least in suggestion, or at least phenolic in the more chemical sense of the word. Nutmeg is definitely present, cardamom again (black), maybe some slight white pepper and cloves. A really nice synergy between the trinity here (the coffee, the yeasty spice of the base Tripel, and the bourbon barrel aging).

Mouthfeel: Pretty thick and oily, though the carbonation does a solid job of brightening that up, sublimating off the tongue nicely. Still, a fat beer, with a body that matches the heft of the flavor profile.

Drinkability: Initially, a quite pleasant drink, with the brightness of flavor and aroma that matches its levity of body. After a while, it becomes a bit more challenging, with the increasing warmth drawing out heavier, earthier notes and the retreating carbonation deadening the experience somewhat. Enjoyable, though, on the whole.

One I'd seen on the shelf quite a few times and had put off due to the price point. Still one that's not an amazing value proposition, but is definitely worth trying, and is quite enjoyable, all things considered.
May 24, 2021
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Reviewed by arizcards from North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Picked up a single from the Blue Door Bottleshop in Hendersonville 5-14-21 for $5.25. Bottled on 1-14-21; consumed 5-21-21.

Beer poured a coffee infused orange brown with a very nice white head that has some very good hang time.

Nose has a nice dose of coffee but nothing that totally dominates.

Taste is very good, the light but lethal pilsner malt base allows the coffee and bourbon to jell nicely together and display a dark fruit flavor to go with the base coffee and also some vanilla from the bourbon. Finishes with a nice bourbon touch in the background to balance all nicely.

Mouthfeel is light and delightfully refreshing considering the high gravity of this brew.

Overall a wonderful spin on an old world style. Nice job Allagash!
May 21, 2021
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Reviewed by JayQue from Virginia

3.77/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Good beer!!!! Didn't seem like a Tripel though. I expect Tripels to feature a lot of yeastiness, spicing (a lot of black pepper) and some of the best ones feature something that resembles cheese!!!! This beer had the fruit (apples and pears) kind of thing, a golden ale background and very light alcohol taste. Barrel and Bean featured other things though. Poured into a goblet, the beer started out a clear gold color with a medium size frothy white head with good retention and some lacing. The bourbon barrel was very restrained, but the coffee was very prominent. This was a golden ale with coffee flavoring. Mouthfeel is rich and smooth. No trace of alcohol (like a good Tripel). I enjoyed this take on a Tripel but I would have labeled it a Belgian Strong Pale Ale.
May 03, 2021
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Reviewed by Wxb1111 from Rhode Island

4.56/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
This is a great barrel aged triple. On the front of the palate I get dark roast coffee followed by hints of bourbon, malt, and caramel/toffee. It drinks much easier than it's 10% would indicate. I must say this beer is amazing. You cannot go wrong with a Belgian triple , barrel aging, and coffee.
Apr 21, 2021
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Reviewed by 57md from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours a light golden copper with a finger of head. The nose has distinct coffee notes that blend nicely with the soft bourbon essence in the background. The coffee and bourbon carry over into the flavor profile along with some breadiness.

This offering does not resemble a traditional tripel, but I'm not saying that's a bad thing. Also, the drinkability is off the charts for a beer that's close to a double-digit ABV,
Apr 17, 2021
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Reviewed by NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Allagash Brewing Co. "Barrel & Bean"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "BOTTLED ON 01/14/21 11:35"
$4.79 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: This is not my first Barrel & Bean, although I've never reviewed it. It might be sitting within the fairly large folder I have of reviews that I've never gotten around to writing up. It may, however be your first so here goes. It's Bourbon barrel-aged Allagash Tripel that's then blended with cold brewed coffee. It's deep gold in color, somewhat hazy, and fairly lively with thousands of steadily rising tiny bubbles within. The head is a solid cap of creamy white foam. Mostly what I find in the aroma is coffee, but it's a very soft coffee. It's not roasty, and really more like smelling the oily coffee beans in a bin at the store than a cup of fresh brewed Joe. There's a little bit of the Bourbon barrel as well, and a bit of the sweetish, grainy malt. The flavor is where it shines, however, delivering that same, soft, nutty coffee atop the Bourbon-barrel washed tripel. The spiciness from the yeast is quite apparent at the finish although I don't otherwise really get the tripel while it's in my mouth except for an orange and apple-like fruitiness. It really is a completely different beer than the tripel on its own. Of the three components I'd say that the coffee is the strongest, with the Bourbon barrel and base beer combining nicely into one secondary side. The dry oak and rich grainy malt work superbly well together, and I'm not sure, but they probably tame the coffee a bit as it's got a lot to work against. It's got some bitterness to it, what's in the tripel already - obviously - and that's balanced, but it's also balanced with the coffee and oak added in. Looking back, I should now note, I still have a thin but solid foam surface that covers everything, and the lacing is almost a solid sheet. What was I saying though, the balance? Yes, it's remarkably well balanced. It's a beautiful, strong, and yet in no way brash or harsh beer to sit down and relax with. I treat this like I would treat a barleywine. I probably should have bought more. Final note, the body, It's medium bodied and a little bit dextrinous, and gently crisp; not as crisp as the tripel is on its own. Remarkable beer.
Review #7,299
Apr 09, 2021
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Reviewed by JohnG190 from New York

4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Pours a hazy, golden honey color with little to no head. On the nose, hints of coffee, bourbon barrel and that slight banana aroma you get from triples. On the front of the palate I get dark roast coffee followed by hints of bourbon, malt, and caramel/toffee. Finishes slightly sweet and drinks much easier than it's 10% would indicate. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with little carbonation. I have to be honest, I had my doubts about a barrel aged tripel infused with cold brew coffee but this beer really delivered! It combined my love of Belgian beer, barrel aging, and coffee!
Mar 25, 2021
Rated: 3.89 by imanidiot777 from Pennsylvania

Mar 22, 2021
Rated: 4.1 by Taenim from New Jersey

Mar 06, 2021
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Reviewed by BuxMontBeerLover from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
4pk purchased at Bound Beverage in Warrington, PA. $20/4pk

Pours a hazy, golden honey color with little to no head.

Intial aroma is of coffee. A slight hint of the traditional banana smell I associate with tripels.

The first sip delivers a mix of sweetness with a distinct bitter coffee taste. I don't get much of the bourban barrel flavor per se but I'm really enjoying the overall taste.

The feel is on the thinker side with just the right amount of carbonation.

Overall...this is a really great tasting beer. A combination that I've never experienced before but it works. Recommended!
Jan 31, 2021
Rated: 3.75 by Chipwells from Georgia

Jan 31, 2021
Rated: 4.1 by hozersr from Pennsylvania

Jan 03, 2021
Rated: 3.48 by pdcleff from Pennsylvania

Jan 03, 2021
Rated: 4.21 by jcoleMA66 from Massachusetts

Jan 01, 2021
Rated: 5 by KrissyKat6 from New York

Dec 27, 2020
Rated: 4.63 by ryan0834 from South Carolina

Dec 17, 2020
Rated: 3.91 by MGibbons from Maryland

Dec 07, 2020
Rated: 4.34 by Jcarriglio from Florida

Dec 01, 2020
Rated: 3.8 by SaraMatt from California

Oct 26, 2020
Rated: 4.89 by Shan-man from New Jersey

Oct 03, 2020
Barrel & Bean from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 732 ratings