Allagash James Bean | Allagash Brewing Company

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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:
54
Ratings:
463
Avg:
4.08
pDev:
25.74%
 
 
Wants:
35
Gots:
59
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 54 | Ratings: 463
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Slatetank
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Federal Taphouse in Harrisburg, served chilled in a snifter.

The color is murky golden brown with thin white head with tight bead and slight lace pattern, the color lightens as it sits. The smell is very fragrant with an earthy coffee smell lots of nutty and light caramel with a hint of vanilla and odor of alchol. The feel is nutty, woody toasted grain and malt is dry with a moderately carbonated and medium body with low sweetness and mild alcohol warming near the finish which is mostly dry.

The taste is very good a deep coffee taste which has a fresh and roasty flavor combined with a mild yeast and triple base is apparent with a slight bourbon-like caramel/vanilla from the wood with low alcohol taste and coffee holds on throughout. Overall this is a wonderful coffee-infused barrel aged tripel. I found it interesting from start to finish and would order it again if it were not for it being so limited.

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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 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 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 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 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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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 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 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 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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Allagash James Bean from Allagash Brewing Company
4.08 out of 5 based on 463 ratings.
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