Barrel & Bean | Allagash Brewing Company

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Barrel & BeanBarrel & Bean
Barrel & BeanBarrel & Bean

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: Belgian Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 653
Photo of Sheppard
3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of chinchill
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of drtth
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of Tony210
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
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

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Photo of Thomas_Wikman
3.94/5  rDev -4.4%
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

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Photo of Prometheus75
3.07/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from 2/7/2019 (4 pack)

Disappointed - I was expecting to enjoy either the Belgian Tripel characteristics, or the coffee - preferably both.

I can barely make out a hint of coffee. The beer is closer to a blonde ale than a tripel - I can make out the bourbon, but its not like its overpowering so I can't explain why nothing else is showing up.

Seems like this is very different on tap - I won't buy another bottle but would try again based on tap reviews.

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Photo of hman43
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: It pours golden with some slight haze and a white head. Head retention is moderate.

Smell: It starts with a strong smell of coffee beans. It has some spiciness in the background with some grainy sweetness.

Taste: The initial flavors are coffee and sweetness from the grains. The spiciness is subtle with the bourbon. There is a very low level of lemon. As it warms the earthly flavors begin to come into the background and the spiciness becomes a bit more pronounced.

Feel: The feel has a bit of slickness to it and is medium full.

Overall, a very interesting flavor combination but the coffee is a little more dominant which suppresses the other flavors.

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Photo of Buck89
3.94/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a tulip glass. A slightly hazy golden color with a medium white head. Rich coffee aroma, with faint bourbon and fruity esters. Taste followed. Definitely coffee forward but the others elements shined. A bit sweet and too coffee-focused for me. Silky feel.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a semi-cloudy orange gold with decent head and minimal lace. Aroma is mild coffee with a yeasty maltiness. Thick, slightly sticky, mostly a malty and mild coffee sweetness with a peppery zip on finish.

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Photo of Roguer
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Strong head production, with an off-white foam a little more than a finger tall sitting atop a dark orange/light caramel body.

The nose has classic Belgian yeast tones coming through quite cleanly, along with toffee and caramel from the malt, and a touch of mash and coconut from the bourbon barrel aging. Very pleasant nose.

The coffee comes through initially on the palate (bitter, fruity, and slightly earthy), but is soon supplanted by the Belgian yeast, itself carrying alternating dry spice and bubblegum notes. The coffee comes back toward the end of the middle third, and the back end features restrained but noticeable bourbon notes of oak, vanilla, and coconut. Throughout, caramel and toffee occasionally surface to remind you of the malt base - usually for just a brief moment, however, as there's quite a bit going on that usually is more prominent.

Perhaps appropriately for the style, at the one year point the Allagash house yeast is the most dominant flavor throughout the entire sip, with the malt providing a chewy, sweet base for the yeast, coffee, and bourbon. Any more of the bourbon might be too much, with the decision to age for only two months seeming to pay off. The coffee may be a touch heavy, by contrast, but it's a relatively brief impact on the palate, and isn't unpleasant.

Fair amount of heat. Medium bodied and a touch sticky.

Overall an interesting and pleasant brew.

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Photo of BeanBump
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Killer beer and one of my all-time favs. The natural maltiness of the Belgian ale pairs perfectly with the dark, roasty coffee in a beer thats just the right mix of sweet, bitter and boozy. This is a beer that I dont share.

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Photo of smcolw
3.63/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, darker gold color. Moderate head which settles to a tight formation of rim bubbles. Decent lace with a combination of blankets and streaks.

Oddly, I get some smokiness from the smell, almost like cigarette smoke. This dominates the subtler pale malt and light alcohol aroma.

Highly carbonated, the body doesn't bring enough umph to balance this brew. The beer is relatively dry with a smoky, ashen flavor. The s swallow and aftertaste are more of the same.

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Photo of EMH73
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear copper color with an extremely well retained one inch fluffy white head that leaves ample lacing. Smells of coffee, bourbon, caramel and vanilla. Tastes of coffee, bourbon, vanilla, oak, caramel, sweet malts, Belgian yeast and a hint of lemon. Medium bodied and carbonated with a dry finish.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft at yard house in dc
Pours a murky, burnt orange. Smell is interesting blend of bourbon, coffee and typical belgian floral/fruit. Taste is sweet malty with a vanilla and smoky bites, hint of coffee and a clean, almost astringent finish. All the flavors smoothly blended- medium mouthfeel- and thoroughly enjoyable

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Photo of DaveMaciolek21
3.66/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Still getting used to having light-colored coffee flavored beer. This one is a solid knockoff of a Belgian strong ale. The bourbon barrel aged flavor is just a hint--very underplayed.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a snifter at Consume.

Drooklyn's got a winning team... Ahem. This stuff pours a clear sunset brass-copper topped by a finger or so of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises mild coffee, mild booze, light Belgian yeast, sweet biscuit, honey, and a touch of lemon (I think). The taste brings in more of the same, adding some tiny bits of chocolate-covered bananas and some more boozy wood for the sake of it. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, I didn't expect much from this odd combination, but I'll be damned if it didn't work. It's not something I'm gonna reach for on the regular, but it's a rather tasty treat for every now and again.

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Photo of Avitra
3.1/5  rDev -24.8%
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 HoppingMadMonk
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
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 csmrx7
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
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 -2.9%
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%
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 +2.7%
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 Greywulfken
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
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 +4.1%
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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Barrel & Bean from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 653 ratings