James Bean | Allagash Brewing Company

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James BeanJames Bean
BA SCORE
4.11/5
Exceptional
583 Ratings
James BeanJames 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
Ranking:
#2,393
Reviews:
84
Ratings:
583
pDev:
8.52%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
38
Gots:
85
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 583 |  Reviews: 84
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jaydoc
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

the base beer here is barely recognizable to me here, this is all about the coffee, and it just isnt anywhere near as sweet or as whiskey driven as the beer it comes from. some have remarked that the coffee is somewhat subtle, but i really didnt think so. i loved the way it smells bitter and earthy, rather than sugary and vanilla driven. the base beer just seems way lighter, which is odd in something like this, but i really do dig it. the coffee is great, more vibrant in nose than taste, i will agree with that, but its like cold drip or something, concentrated and strong on caffeine, not insane on the pungency in the blend, but the flavor is on point. i remember this being boozy, but the coffee seems to balance some of that, or cover it up, and in the end this seems nowhere near 11% abv to me, not even close. sometimes an extra ingredient doesnt need to dominate in a beer to improve it, and i think this is a perfect example of that. allagash can do no wrong though in my mind, i knew i was going to like this before i ever even ordered it. nice use of the barrel, coffee tastes fresh, and its drier than the original. lovely stuff.

 1,145 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.91/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

 726 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of djrn2
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -20.9%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of kojevergas
2.63/5  rDev -36%
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:

 552 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.99/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

 219 characters

Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of zeff80
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of brentk56
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours out with a clear amber color; the head is impressive and it leaves behind some wisps of lace

Smell: Smells of graham cracker, caramel and coffee, with hints of Bourbon, vanilla and toasted coconut; even more coffee, as the beer warms

Taste: Graham cracker and caramel, up front, with coffee tones building; Bourbon tones, vanilla and toasted coconut, after the swallow, but it is the coffee that takes over and drives through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: Really enjoy the coffee impact here and the creativity of using it with a BSPA

 604 characters

Photo of Boone757
3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of dbrauneis
4.06/5  rDev -1.2%
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).

 1,328 characters

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James Bean from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.11 out of 5 with 583 ratings