Allagash James Bean | Allagash Brewing Company

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59 Reviews
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Allagash James BeanAllagash James Bean
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States
allagash.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
59
Ratings:
498
Avg:
4.08
pDev:
8.82%
 
 
Wants:
37
Gots:
63
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 498
Photo of kojevergas
2.63/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Picked u a 750ml brown glass bottle @ Beercraft in Northern California (Rohnert Park, I think?). Branded white hood-and-gold-wire cage over a cork. Classy white label. Bottled on 05/19/16. 11129.

10.40% ABV. "Bourbon barrel aged Belgian-style golden ale." Brewed with Speckled Ax wood roasted coffee.

Reviewed live. Served cold into a highball and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. I'm really looking forward to this since I adore a lot of Allagash's brews.

After the cork pop, no liquid surges out - this seems well-carbonated.

HEAD:

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Photo of Brew_42
3.11/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Wasn't advertised as barrel aged at the bar I ordered it. Almost no coffee flavor, very strong whiskey favor. Did not enjoy it at all. If you like whiskey flavored beer, get it.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
3.27/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Murky gold draft pour with white head. Coffee nose. Strong espresso flavors superimposed on a sweet malt bill. Medium mouthfeel. Ok-the strong coffee did not marry well with the underlying sweetness. Funny coming from me-I love sugared up coffee in the morning.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy golden amber color, it is very hazy so don't expect much clarity, very little head and no lacing on the glass.

Smell is an odd mix of sweet malt and a light coffee aroma, touches of wood hit the nose as well to add some complexity to the otherwise odd mixture of aromas.

Taste is similar to the aroma with the coffee and pale malt mixture, because it's a fairly light beer the coffee aspect just seems out of place (as opposed to it's natural presence in a porter or stout), I'm just not feeling that combination, the barrel aging is also quite strong since neither of the main aspects are durable enough to keep things balanced, strong carbonation keeps the mouthfeel light but there's a lack of dryness in the finish that would be welcoming.

This is such a weird beer, being a Belgian pale with such strong barrel aging compared to the flavors with a forced coffee presence that is either too weak to blend in or not strong enough to be the focal point.

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Photo of jopezu
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a bright, hazy orangey copper with a big fluffy head that poofs. nose; cold-brewed coffee, ethanol, & very faint oak. taste; again, big overtones of coffee upfront. belgian yeast, moderate ethanol, clove-like spice, & light grassy hops. aftertaste is very light bourbony oak, & ethanol fuel. medium carbonation & mouthfeel. overall a bit boozy/hot. the coffee starts nicely, but eventually everything feels really simple and subdued by the alcohol; it then works well as neither a coffee nor a belgian ale. i would like to try this one with some age on it - it very much needs mellowing.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a goblet during Barcade's 8th anniversary party.

Coffee Curieux pours an opaque tangerine, with about a finger of white head produced by the pour. Retention and lacing are both present, but neither particularly impress. There's very little of the base tripel in the nose, just a bit of a green apple note. The coffee overpowers the Jim Beam barrels in terms of aroma, to an interesting effect. There's a bit more of a pale fruit character to start off the flavor profile. The coffee and bourbon barrels fill in the rest of the blanks. What's unique is that when I look for those flavors I find them separately, but when I let everything just come to me, they meld together to create a slightly toasty peanut butter flavor. The mouthfeel is decidedly not Belgian, as the body"s a little too full and the carbonation is slightly dull. When I first heard about Coffee Curieix I was skeptical best that it could be pulled off, but Allagash did an admirable job with this.

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Photo of jlindros
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tap at prohibition pig
Light fizzy head, touch of lacing, hazy golden tan color, typical of a tripel at 11%.

Nose light creamy malt, hint of vanilla aroma like barrel, hint of fruity esters, nice mocha vanilla coffee aroma, quite strong, and slightly nutty.

Wow coffee flavor really comes out, fresh roasted coffee beans with cold extraction smoothness. Booze starts to tingle a bit, with a mild sweetness, light taste of the syrup that would be used to flavor coffee, light creamy golden malts, just a hint of citrus. Finish is long, slight bitterness, long smooth nutty coffee finish, still fairly sweet, hint of booze on the finish.

Mouth is med to fuller bodied, decent carb, some warming and tingly booze borderline fuesel.

Overall interesting, lots of coffee flavor packed into the small amount of beer, although the beer itself kind of gets lost in the coffee, smooth cold extracted coffee though, and booze gets a bit much especially as it warms.

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Photo of Mantooth
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Interesting idea. I've had a few coffee IPAs really recently that are definitely love em or hate ems - but at least I could tell they were IPAs - with coffee. No way could I guess this beer is a Tripel. It's just boozy coffee. Not a horrible beer but I feel the praise here is unwarranted. Your mileage may differ. Cheers!

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.76/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Prohibition Pig. Served in a short pint.

Appearance - Hazy deep orange. Fluffy white head that leaves thick foam dripping down the inside of the glass.

Smell - Bourbon, vanilla, and oak. Some coffee. Lighter malts give it a fruitiness. Even some citrus.

Taste - Strange grain flavor that really blends quite well with the bourbon and coffee. Grainy, sweet, but not heavy or sugary. Belgian yeast in the finish with some oak.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Well carbonated.

Overall - More interesting than I expected. It's good because of the adjuncts, but the tripel is pretty lost there.

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Photo of Noyt
3.76/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From tap at the Festival. Clear gold pour with white head. Intense coffee aroma, vegetal notes but also roasty, definitely smells just like cold pressed coffee. Some light bourbony wood notes are perceptible, but barely. Very intense coffee flavor. The most peculiar part of this beer is that it has the palate of cold pressed coffee (plus carbonation), very silky mouthfeel with a long bitter aftertaste. Not my favorite beer, not sure I’d drink a pint but this is very well made.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.81/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served from tap into a Raleigh Rare & Vintage Beer Tasting snifter. Poured a hazy golden yellow-orange with a minimal white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, wood, coffee, and vanilla. The flavor was of sweet malt, fruit, wood, dark chocolate, coffee, and sweet alcohol. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. I am a pretty big fan of the base brew as far as a representation of the style and this one was no exception. All of the right right things going on that you would expect plus that nice touch of coffee. The coffee seemed to be more integrated on the nose than in the flavor which was a bit of a letdown for me. Still a solid offering that I would not hesitate to try again in the future if I have the opportunity.

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Photo of AlpacaAlpaca
3.81/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pretty interesting, but its elements didn't hang together well. The base beer didn't meld with the coffee which didn't really lend itself to the barrel under these circumstances. Surprisingly drinkable, even refreshing, but it didn't deliver on its description.

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Photo of brianmandell
3.84/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Draft at City Swiggers. Imagine a curiuex with coffee and this is what you get. The combination of coffee and triple is unusual and I would not say it's better than the original. The coffee overpowers the subtle bourbon flavors but this is still a solid and enjoyable brew. Drinks light with a little kick.

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Photo of avalon07
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a gold-orange color and a cloudy texture. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Not a whole lot of lacing, though.

S: A nice aroma of coffee, fruit, yeast, and some spices.

T: Tasted of a bit of spicy Belgian yeast, vanilla, cloves, a good amount of the advertised coffee, some light fruit (apples), citrus (orange), a hint of oak, caramel, and honey. This is an uneven flavor, with a lot of coffee in the front, but a thin finish. Not quite as complex as it aspires to be, but a solid flavor.

F: A good shot of carbonation with a dry finish. Light-bodied.

O: Definitely one of the more uneven beers I've had from Allagash. Certainly not terrible, and an interesting idea for a tripel, but it's uneven in spots.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.91/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Yard House in Northridge, CA.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy orange-white head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, caramel, toffee, honey, coffee bean, and yeast aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel, toffee, coffee bean, vanilla, and slight bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a coffee presence that is noticeable but it is somewhat muted against the base beer and barrel aged qualities.

Serving type: on tap.

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Photo of MacMalt
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on draught in a pub. 12 oz. pour into Chimay goblet. In my opinion, it was served at too cold a temperature. It poured a coppery-orange color with a thin, milk-white head and lacing that dissipated quickly. The smell was rather subdued but featured bourbon, coffee, vanilla, oak, and Belgian spices. The taste was similar to the nose: there was a pronounced flavor of bourbon with coffee and vanilla notes, some clove, oak, and a slightly hoppy finish. This ale is quite heavily carbonated and you can feel its 10.4% ABV. Overall, I was intrigued by the idea of a BA Belgian Strong Pale Ale but I felt that all of the tastes were subdued, which was disappointing. I think part of the problem was that it was served too cold. A more moderate temperature might enhance both the smell and the taste.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle. Pricey. Poured golden and deep in it's goldenness. Almost like honey. I will say that I was very nervous about this. I usually don't love Trippels nor am I a huge fan of light colored coffee beers. Why the hell did I buy this? Yet, this was pretty good! I was surprised how well the Trippel elements worked with the coffee. There was a load of coffee, too. Also plenty of bourbon. Those two aromas and flavors are almost a perfect matrimony. I liked this more than I was expecting to but the price tag will not have me going back.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Ginger Man: Pours a hazy straw yellow with a half finger of head that settles to a fluffy cap with spots of lace. Definitely smell the booze and some Belgian candy. Very sweet, candy and bourbon. Nice balance.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-surprisingly light to medium golden color with a decent white head and some lacing

S-bourbon, coffee, toffee, light bready malt, little vanilla

T-light caramel malt, bourbon, coffee, vanilla, hint of clove and yeast

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth and silky

O-interesting beer, color and coffee flavor somewhat disparate, having had Curieux before perhaps prejudices my rating as the coffee overwhelmed the base beer so as to make it difficult to recognize the "Curieux" in this beer

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Photo of dsa7783
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at Cloverleaf Tavern. Count on Allagash to give you something different. This beer hardly disappoints. An interesting rendition of a unique style. A triple brewed with coffee beans. I was pleasantly surprised.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.04/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

10 ounce pour - $6.00 at Leon’s Full Service in Decatur, Georgia as part of their Allagash Takeover event.

Appearance: Heavily hazed, darkened gold body with a nearly white head, just shy of a full inch.

Smell: My stars! Certainly a stronger coffee aroma than I had anticipated, delightfully roasty, nutty. Undertone of gently sweet-scented bourbon notes. Faintly fruity, with a bit of lemon, leaving little of the original tripel to recognize.

Taste: Sweetish flavor of roasted coffee beans -- it really does have a surprising depth of coffee in the taste. No, really, it does! Caramel, vanilla, and wooden bourbon accents follow. Then, way waaaay back is the original Allagash Tripel. Ultra faint citrus. Sweetish, coffee finish with a sliver of bourbon and a slight, warming alcohol quality.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: I would enjoy starting my day by downing a pint of James Bean.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Hopleaf. Served in an Allagash tulip.

A - Creamy off-white foam lingers; great retention here with glass-coating lace. Looks almost like a nitro beer. Lightly hazed golden orange body.

S - Loads of coffee! Very odd getting this from such a pale beer. Light vanilla, sweet malt, with an undercurrent of bourbon. Not much Tripel here, as it's largely overwhelmed by the coffee and barrel-aging. Perhaps a touch of tangy Belgian yeast as the beer warms up.

T - The taste is similarly heavy on coffee, with a whiskey and oak finish. There's implied chocolate from the other flavors that I'm guessing isn't really there. Some sweet malts, but nothing to suggest tripel. Perhaps a touch of peach brightness as it reaches room temperature.

M - Tannic, roasty, coffee texture. Medium-full body, a tad creamy, with pleasant carbonation. Some definite warming alcohol.

D - Odd beer. The coffee and barrel largely overwhelm the base beer, so as a Tripel it's off the mark. That being said, if I tried this blindfolded I'd think it was a pretty good bourbon coffee strong ale or something. High ABV makes things a bit slower drinking, but I'd consider ordering this again.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice white creamy head that dissipates at a moderate pace. The beer itself is a clear pale amber that borders on medium a little bit. The look has a nice sheen in that it almost radiates and has a bit of a golden shine around it. Anyway, it looks really appealing and definitely worth admiring.

The smell is wonderful. It has a nice strong coffee note that resembles blueberry but isn't over the top. The coffee notes mix very well with the more subtle bourbon note to create an interesting partner to the more subtle golden ale notes. The golden ale notes are still there but buried a little bit beneath the other notes. The ale notes has a nice bitterness to it and a good bready yeast note that also gets mixed into the bourbon and coffee. There seems to also be a very light vanilla and oak note that are barely noticeable.

The taste is pretty good. It has the same notes as the smell but with a more subtle bourbon note and the coffee note with its fruitier notes. There is a moderate caramel note that replaces the bourbon as the coffee's strong partner. Also, a light oak note in the aftertaste but more subtle during the actual drinking.

The feel is nice. It's a heavy bodied beer that a fairly smooth feel to it. The feel has some very light carbonation to it but it's enough to give it a tiny bit of texture.

Overall, this is a very good beer. It has a nice, complex note that isn't overwhelming and the notes all subtly blend into one another in order to create a good beer.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler from Bestway in Greensboro, NC

A: Pours a relatively clear medium golden yellow in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and some burnt orange highlights. The beer has a half finger tall foamy off-white head that reduces to a large patch of thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Slightly stronger than moderate aromas of freshly ground coffee with some moderate aromas of bourbon and oak (from the barrel aging). Light notes of vanilla and just a hint of Belgian yeast, light fruits, and pepper.

T: Upfront there is moderate to strong flavors of freshly brewed coffee with some moderate flavors of bourbon, oak, and vanilla. Light flavors of Belgian yeast, light fruit, and just a hint of spice/black pepper. Minimal notes of alcohol.

M: Medium bodied with slightly more than moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and a touch creamy.

O: I was slightly suspect of a bourbon barrel aged tripel with coffee but I should have known the team at Allagash had the skills to pull this beer off... The coffee and bourbon flavors really complement each other and give it hints of chocolate which make this beer pair really nicely with dessert (chocolate pecan pie and pumpkin pie here on Thanksgiving).

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Photo of kevanb
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, 2016 batch, poured into an Allagash Cervoise. Enjoyed on 12.7.16, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a golden amber color, lightly hazy and cloudy with lots of activity in the glass and a foamy white head, about two fingers tall with good retention and plenty of soapy lace. The aroma is quite interesting, light coffee, tons of belgian yeast, light stone fruits, faint bourbon character, strong french oak presence with light toffee and pale cereal grains. The flavors are very fun, very strong coffee, much bigger presence than the nose previewed, vanilla shines nicely, white chocolate, bittersweet with bourbon and toffee being expressed very well, very rich and decadent, stone fruits, yeast, funk, spice and cereal grains support the adjuncts and the BSPA/Tripel base beer is quite rewarding. The mouthfeel is good, medium body that is very lively and active, coats well with plenty of carbonation and a mildly dry finish, smooth and warm from the alcohol.

Verdict: A really nice barrel aged belgian beer from Allagash. I wasn't expecting the coffee to work so well here but boy does it. Nice coffee roast, vanilla bean, chocolate and bourbon with the added complexity of the base beer makes for a great dessert or sipping beer.

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Allagash James Bean from Allagash Brewing Company
4.08 out of 5 based on 498 ratings.
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