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Allagash James Bean | Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash James BeanAllagash James 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 470
Photo of jeff12hoops
4.85/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Incredible brew. Tasted this on tap during SF beer week at the Willows.

I had never tasted a light-hued beer with coffee flavor before, and this one was outstanding. At first smell, I noted a pure, balanced, coffee aroma that wasn't overpowering. The taste was smooth and light, but rich in flavor that mixed the best qualities of a Belgian and a coffee porter. Excellent balance, smooth finish, and pleasant aftertaste. Thoroughly impressed. I tried a bunch of Allagash offerings tonight and this one was the cream of the crop.

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Photo of tkdchampxi
4.76/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is not really a tripel. Missing all of the banana and clove that I use to define the style. More Belgian strong pale or a light Belgian IPA with coffee flavors.

Very nice beer though. Lots of great coffee flavors coming through over a lighter base. If this were a coffee IPA, it would be my favorite

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Photo of Claude-Irishman
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very good. Actually delicious. Sort of expensive. I prefer this to KBS. I realize they are completely different styles. The coffee is prevalent . As well as vanilla, Oak, sort of Banana taste. Excellent.

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Photo of palma
4.65/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at the Allagash even at Rattle n Hum bar NYC.

Peanut butter! Thats what I taste and I love it. The mouthfeel is amazing smooth it works with the flavor great.

Also flavors of oak and rum and citrus fruits. Great combination and an excellent example of american brewing ingenuity.

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Photo of bluehende
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful color of gold with a strong coffee taste to it. The coffee moves the bourbon to the background and makes this beer excellent. One of the best barrel aged beers I have had.

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Photo of antott0523
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Three Penny's in Montpelier, VT. 5/22/14.

This beer is extremely drinkable for such a high ABV beer. The alcohol did not come through, and I could not drink it more quickly because it tasted so freaking great. It pours a rich amber color, which decries the nose and palate, as the beer has such a strong coffee flavor. It may not be something that a traditional Belgian style ale enthusiast enjoys, but the coffee marries so well with the Belgian flavor profile. Coffee is star here, and it is done so well.

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Photo of crob3888
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy Amber color; side by side with Curieaux and it's slightly darker and more Amber colored. Smell and flavors of Belgian yeast, spiciness, vanilla, oak, and smooth coffee flavors. Very creamy mouthfeel, low-medium carbonation. Another excellent Allagash offering, though it does not surpass the original Curieaux.

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Photo of JFear
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at Mekong in Richmond. The combination of flavors seemed too bizarre to pass up. Served in a wine glass.

The beer has a nice golden appearance, resembling agave nectar in color. The aroma is enticing. Big whiffs of caramel and bourbon dominate the nose, with a bit of coffee sneaking in and intermingling with those big aromas. The flavor is a marvelous combination of all of the elements present in the aroma, with the coffee wedging itself in with the vanilla, caramel, and bourbon notes. The yeast character of a traditional tripel is present, albeit very subdued, with a bit of apple making its way in. I would normally knock the brewer a bit for not making the yeast a highlight in a tripel, but if it was more forward in this beer, it would not marry all that well with the barrel character and coffee. The beer is surprisingly well-carbonated for being barrel-aged, and it's all the better for it, as the spritely carbonation carries big flavors across the tongue easily.

Overall, an incredibly impressive beer. A mixture of elements I would normally think of being incongruous, handled deftly by the brewers at Allagash, results in an entirely unique and supremely satisfying experience.

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Photo of imonhiatus
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

what a unique twist on a alla gash classic. the cold brew coffee at first was a bit odd but as I sipped the brew and my taste buds adjusted to this unique flavor and found myself drawn in further and further. abv is invisible. delish.

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I was worried that adding coffee to one of my favorite beers would put it over the edge and ruin the nice balance that Curieux has. I worried for nothing. While I prefer Curieux, this is really good.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at EBF in Boston, MA.

This one pours a golden orange-brown, with a quarter inch head, and a little bit of lacing, not a whole lot.

This one smells like sweet coffee, stone fruit, caramel, vanilla, and white chocolate.

This one is great. The coffee, combined with the barrel aging, gives the impression of white-chocolate infused coffee with caramel and coconut. So delicious. Lots of really sweet decadent flavors, probably best in small doses with this one.

This one is medium bodied, slightly syrupy, with a lower level of carbonation. This one's very drinkable.

Been waiting to try this beauty for a while, thanks EBF and Allagash for finally giving me the chance.

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Photo of brureview
4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cider like copper- yellow color in a Stone Snifter with a 1 F head.

Right from the start- strong coffee aroma- not burnt, roasted, or espresso. The fruit and berry come out from this Ethiopian coffee. There is also an oak presence.

Light malty MF, light carbonation.

Taste is exquisite. The coffee aroma follows to the taste. The berry is even more prominent in the taste, especially as the beer warms up. The coffee taste is not over-roasted. The Ethiopian berry comes out. This is in women in most coffee beers.

Overall, a wonderful well-balanced, not overdone coffee ale. Often, coffee aroma and taste are overdone and over roasted. Not in this beer which brings out the berry quality of the Ethiopian coffee.

Overall, excellent beer which I greatly enjoyed

A snifter is a good glass for this beer.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

A: considering coffee was added, it's a bit light. Don't recall what regular Curieux looked like, but this doesn't seem too different. A swirl returns the head that sustains decently.

S: coffee and cigarettes, initially, maybe a little citrus in the back

T: tasting this reminded me of "Regular Coffee" I had at Extreme Beerfest, though not as sweet. The front taste is on the lightly sweet coffee side. To be sure, the coffee is the predominant taste, but it's doesn't seem to be the coffee-hinted, roasted malt taste of some stouts (maybe b/c actual coffee added?). The back end taste is toffee to me, carrying the sweetness forward.

M: iffy on this, there's some body there, but the carbonation is surprisingly meh. This attribute means much less to me on this beer than others, for some reason.

O: I really enjoyed this beer. Hopefully it's not just the situation. I'm not thinking this beer is for everyone (my girlfriend is not a coffee fan and only noticed coffee bitterness). I might've overrated it slightly, but hope for another chance to find out.

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Photo of groutenberg
4.31/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Delicious nose w mild coffee and chocolate aroma, pours a somewhat cloudy amber color, really nice beer, maybe more of a cold weather beer. Just wish it wasn't sooooo expensive. It's $17 for a 750ml bottle! As a point of reference this beer is $0.67/oz while TreeHouse Alter Ego or Green (yes, different beer) is $0.23/oz or Epiphany across the street is $0.25/oz. Like I said, delish, more of a winter beer for me, but pretty steep such that I just wont enjoy it very often.

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Photo of Gregaroo
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Get two. This was on tap at Monk's in Philly to celebrate Allagash's 20th Anniversary. 20 different Allagash beers on tap!!! Had to get two James Beans. Curieux is my favorite, and this one is Curieux with Maine cold pressed coffee! No change in color (that I can tell) and minimal head. I had to try two to really get the coffee tones. I may need a third, as the coffee is not at the front. Get some now if you can.

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Photo of rudzud
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at the dive bar on Allagash tap takeover. Poured into an Allagash tulip.

A - Poured a slightly hazy golden hue with a nice thin lacing and good creamy blanket.

S - Aromas of coffee haggle, faint barrel notes, the coffee mellowed out the aromas of the base beer. Still a quite nice aroma.

T - Taste is loads of coffee, light bourbon, light base beer but for the most part this is a glass of cold pressed coffee.

M - Mouthfeel is nice for the ABV, light carbonation, alcohol well hidden here, tremendously so.

O - Overall I was happy with this one, best of the night even if it crushed the base beer. Delicious.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer poured a clear gold color without any head.
Coffee aroma. Some sweet fruit.
Strong coffee up front, then a bit of milk chocolate, with some pear at the end.
Incredibly smooth, with no note of the alcohol.
Loved it.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 03/07/14 notes. Have had a few times, review from 12 oz. pour at One Mile House in NYC.

a - Pours a deep orange color with one inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of fresh coffee grinds, whiskey, caramel, oak, toasted notes, light fruity malts. Nice nose, lots of coffee to it.

t - Taste mirrors the nose closely. Lots of coffee, nice sweet whiskey, and some fruits and caramel. Very good taste.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. No heat.

o - Overall I like this one a lot. Awesome coffee mixing wiht swete bourbon, but on a lighter tripel beer than the average stout. Highly recommend checking out.

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Photo of ChipChaight
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

32oz growler from Beershop NYC on the UWS
Clear amber with minimal white head, smells like fresh coffee grounds, booze, and oak, taste is sweet milky coffee with warming booze, finishes with a dry coffee bean bitterness, feel is full and finishes dry. A sweet coffee warmer of a beer.

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Photo of cbutova
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pretty excited to see this on-tap at a random visit to the Farmhouse Tap in VT. Reviewed from notes.

A- Golden like Curieux, small white fizzy head with lackluster retention. Falls to foamy ring with a few legs but no true lace it seems.

S- Super laid back Jim Beam and cold brewed coffee reminds me of a nice brownie dessert.

T- Tastes like blondie brownies to me, decadent coffee on Curieux, balanced and almost silly smooth bourbon vanilla barrel feel. Most jarring color vs. taste beer ever. The coffee really makes a huge difference.

MF- Moderately thick body with high end carbonation and some alcohol warmth.

Brownie dessert feel. Coffee is intense and changes the beer a lot in a good way. The vanilla from Bourbon barrels and coffee really work well together.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured on tap and served in a snifter, the beer is a bright, orange-gold coloring with a fluffy, white head. Aromas of berries, all spice, clove, nutmeg, banana, and a bready backbone. Flavors are solid and standard Belgian, with heavy bready and banana notes providing a solid backbone, supporting berry esters, a bevvy of spices, and roasted coffee at the end of the palate, with a bitter and roasted linger. Light, smooth body, with a fruitcake aftertaste. Smooth, light finish. Solid beer. Dynamic and damn tasty.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

look: Clear golden-orange. White head and some messy lacing.
smell: Coffee with a bright oaky vanilla.
taste: like the nose, coffee is most prominent but the other flavors temper it. Not sure i would have known this is barrel aged if it weren't on the bottle but the barrel time seems to be a perfect compliment to the coffee.

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Photo of BergBeer
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Hazy orange gold with a medium white head.

Nose: Bready, vanilla, bourbon, sweet malt, toffee, oak, with a very mild coffee.

Taste: Big vanilla, warm bourbon, Bready malt, light Belgian yeast, notes of baking spices, sweet muffin, and the coffee creeps up to come to dominate the finish. Like bourbon soaked muffin and a coffee!

Feel: Sticky and sweet. Medium bodied drinks velvety with a light booze warmth on the throat. Very drinkable for ABV.

Overall: One tasty brew. All of the flavors form a cohesive tasty beer that is a pleasure to drink. A great dessert beer after a great meal. Allagash really knows their flavors and how to build flavors. Nothing here is superfluous or gimmicky. It's all about adding complimentary flavor. Top notch

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Photo of Flounder57
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter at the Union Brewhouse in Weymouth.

Appearance: A two finger head was poured that reduced to a small puffy layer. It is an orange color with some vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Super frothy tight lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Nice roasted coffee, bourbon, oak, vanilla, a little booze, and earthiness.

Taste: Same as above with a little sweetness, roasted bitterness, booze, oak, vanilla, and powdery yeast.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, silky smooth, medium to full bodied, medium carbonation, a little bitterness, and some booziness.

Overall: Tripel, yes. Aged in bourbon barrels, yes. Then add cold pressed local Maine coffee. Yes please. Sounds weird, but such a great mixture and blend of flavors.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap @ Prohibition Pig

A - Opaque cloudy orange/yellow with a thin film of off white head.

S - Belgian yeast, spice, coffee. Some breadiness.

T - Big coffee flavour up front. Some spice, clove, Belg yeast and coriander. Warming alcohol throughout. The coffee definitely dominates but the other flavours are noticeable as well.

M - Medium body. Dry. Light carbonation.

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Allagash James Bean from Allagash Brewing Company
4.08 out of 5 based on 470 ratings.
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