Allagash James Bean | Allagash Brewing Company

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63 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:
63
Ratings:
504
Avg:
4.07
pDev:
8.85%
 
 
Wants:
38
Gots:
60
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 63 | Ratings: 504
Photo of kojevergas
2.63/5  rDev -35.4%
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 -23.6%
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 -19.7%
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%
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%
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 -13.3%
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 -10.3%
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 -7.9%
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 ArkyVaughan
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pour at the Modern Times Carnival of Caffeination. I love Allagash, but this one just didn't do it for me. Coffee just didn't seem to pair all that well with the base beer. As usual, well-executed, just not my favorite flavor profile.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.76/5  rDev -7.6%
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 -7.6%
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 -6.4%
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 -6.4%
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 -5.7%
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 -5.4%
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 BlackBeerPirate
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Taste: smooth, big barley malt, coffee, woody, rich notes. Boozy bourbon, coffee bean nose. Honey/Amber color, semi clear, with a refine head of delicate lattice of lace. Medium/Full body. Alcohol sneaks up on you.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
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 -3.4%
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 -3.2%
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 stortore
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip snifter. Bottled 5/29/16, had 11/5/16.

Pours a golden/apricot, mostly clear, with a one inch head and a good amount of foamy lacing. The smell is Belgian yeast, coffee, slight funk/straw, a little black pepper in the head. Not very aromatic, at least not as you would expect. The taste also leads with the yeast and coffee, then bourbon- stronger as it warms, light oak, a little vanilla. Smooth, creamy, a good, medium body, well carbonated.

Liked this, good flavor, iffy aroma. Well balanced. But it seemed like this could be better than it is. By a lot. High price point for what you get. Not a repeat purchase.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.99/5  rDev -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 -1.2%
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%
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 -0.7%
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 -0.5%
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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Allagash James Bean from Allagash Brewing Company
4.07 out of 5 based on 504 ratings.
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