FV 13 | Allagash Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
4.31/5
Outstanding
FV 13FV 13
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
FV 13 marks our first venture into the world of foudre beers. Foudres are giant oak tanks used for aging (this one holds 2700 gallons.) FV 13 is a blend of wild yeast and bacteria, a base beer with lots of malt character, and about four years of patience.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
127
Ratings:
781
pDev:
9.05%
 
 
Wants:
164
Gots:
204
Trade:
21
 
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 127 | Ratings: 781
Photo of avalon07
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Had this beer on-tap at Capital Ale House - Innsbrook, poured into a snifter glass. Had a golden yellow color and a hazy consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A funky and sweet aroma of yeast, wood, citrus fruit, and stone fruit.

T: Tasted of a hint of wood (the barrel-aging), some stone fruit notes (cherries, in particular), lots of funky Belgian-style yeast, and a decent shot of citrus fruit (lemon, orange). Like the aroma, the flavor is sweet, tart, sour, and a bit funky. There's a slightly earthy quality to offset those qualities. Extremely vibrant and tasty.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a sharp finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A totally enjoyable sour beer. Drinkable.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a golden orange body with minimal head and slight lace. Tart, vinous, cherry aroma with that hint of oak. Light to medium body, slightly sticky, the yeast and “wildness” is tempered by a vinous tartness that gives off cherry sweetness and tart, crisp finish.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured into a tulip glass to a light orange that's a little hazy which is topped by a finger and a half of dense white head which fades to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing.
S: Smells of light sourness and heavy funk with a lot of citrus peel.
T: Taste is bright sourness and some clean funk with a lot of citrus and fruity notes. Slight acetone at times. Hints of stone fruits along with that strong and bright sourness throughout. Swallow is more funk with a hint of band aid and medicinal notes with more fruits and citrus.
M: This beer has a moderate amount of body with effervescent carbonation. The acidity gives the beer a drying finish.
O: Overall this one is pretty solid. It's rare to find a beer that can bring just as much funk as it does with sour. It has some great flavors and complexity along with a healthy dose of funk. It's worth a try if you can find it and like the style.

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Photo of ptykozoon
3.9/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a glowing amber.

Brett, oak, lemon peel, bread, acidity.

Taste is an interesting balance of lime/orange citrusy sourness. Some spices and malty notes. Finish is an unexpected melody of dark fruits (which may be just a bit too cloying/sticky after a while).

Good carb with mild alcohol heat - I would guess 7.5%. Rich and full bodied.

A lot of sweetness/sour with some complexity to it.

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Photo of LeRose
4.16/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden/coppery color with a pure white fluffy head that recedes gracefully throughout the consumption and leaves ample lacing on the glass.

The smell is fruity, but kind of fruity vinegar - like apple cider, but with more notes of berries in a non-definitive way, a bit of the oak, a little funk, a little grassy green smell. Promise of acidity with the vinegar-like notes.

Despite the aroma, the taste opens with malty goodness and a tad bit of sweetness that gets washed over with the restrained sourness. The funk is moderate - noticeable but not overwhelming. Somewhat surprising lemony citrus shows up, and a lot of floral and herbal flavors. Noticeable earthiness. Fruit takes more of an apple flavor in the taste, but can still find that somewhat non-descript red berry flavor that leans toward strawberry.

The feel - this beer light and deceptive. No trace of the alcohol making this a dangerously easy to drink beer. Nicely carbonated, a little acid tingle and cider vinegar aftereffect. There's a tannin "slickness" as well, moderately dry.

Overall, this beer is a delight and I would recommend giving it a try. Another good effort from Allagash.

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Photo of Frudel
4.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer isn't unfriendly at all, the cork almost didn't need any help to pop! No gush tho.

A golden/amber liquid falls into my glass and let an incredible white head on top, we can see fine bubbles going up to keep that head alive,
You only have to take one smell to know you'll have fun with this bottle.
A malty character, a nice funk, huge oak scent with a point of acetic acid.
Then you take a sip, really good presence of malt in it and a sharp acidity hits you but stays well balanced nonetheless, finish with oak and brett.
Medium body, can't feel the abv, perfect carbonation.

A great beer again from Allagash!

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Photo of Zythophile
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Date: 5/5/16
Palate Contaminants: none

Color is a medium-dark gold. Good amount of fine head, but only minor lacing. Moderately opaque.

Nice and oaky scent. Slightly funky and slightly cidery. Floral and apple. It tilts a little toward perfume. There's even a bit of soft cheese character. Finally, more oak. I like it.

The main taste is apple cider. Other than some rearranging, the scent is a pretty good indication of what's in the taste.

Good moderate weight, but it's slightly prickly. Aftertaste is cider vinegar. I'm a little surprised that I can pick out a moderate level of alcohol, considering it's an eighter.

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Photo of brother_rebus
3.64/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Crisp clear copper with a minimal ring head. Smells like a belgian esthered green nail polish remover. Tastes good and Belgiany and oaky- a touch sweet. Malts maybe, sourness isnt puckering. Feels fizzy and crisp- also a mellowed body of sorts. Overall pretty satisfying. Would buy again.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.09/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time I ever had this, I thought it was the worse beer ever on the face of this planet. However, years later after a couple revisits and being able to meet some of the "kings" and "queens" of the beer world. Here is my take on this today:

Poured into a tulip, the appearance was a transparent copper color with a short finger's worth of foamy white head that slid off at an adequate smooth looking pace. Not much lace, somewhat sliding.
The aroma had a blend of sour to funky to sweet grassy and lemon-like pulpy quality rubbing noses with some champagne and a delicate floral hop character.
The flavor was sour up front, fairly puckering and substantial tightly pummeling the sweet and the funk to crisp up the aftertaste in a vinous sweet to tart sort of way.
The mouthfeel was between light and medium bodied. Carbonation felt good. ABV felt appropriate.
Overall, damn, son, well, sometimes in life when you think you hate a beer, what's so great about this beer system we have called Beer Advocate is that we can come back and re-word and even re-rate the beer. Damn glad I did.

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Photo of Jmamay22
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beautifully clear copper with a full mousse like head that holds up seemingly forever. Nice fruity esters, a touch of hay, and acid in the nose. The fruit comes forward in the flavor with strong notes of strawberry. A bit of lemon combines with a clean acidity for a nice clean finish. The brett character is there in the nose, but not much in the flavor. Low levels of funk. Medium acidity. Medium light bodied. Very enjoyable if not quite reaching the depth of Geueze, but with some comparable characteristics.

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Photo of duffman14
4.21/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful copper with lively effervescence. Lime citrus and hint of sweet cedar on the nose, fleeting berry sweetness before grapefruit explosion, moderate vinegar finish

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is barn and apples and vinegar in a glass. Copper colored with a white head. Smells like cow dung, sour milk, straw and apples. The taste is like slightly turned cider with barn and hints of moldy cheese. What a great beer. Another stellar beer from Allagash.

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Photo of brianmandell
3.99/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

May 2016 bottling.

Smells of raspberry jam, grape and vinegar.

Flavors are heavier handed than I expected. Sweet raspberry, grape, apple, lemon, lime, oak and vinegar. Moderate acetic acid burn. Some booze on the finish. Drying oak tannins and bready malt on the finish. Compared to the Belgians, more like a flanders than a lambic.

Excellent mouthfeel. Classic Allagash.

Well made beer but not my favorite style.

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Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.39/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear and light amber
S: Tart lime, honey graham sweetness, vinous, apricot, oak,
T: Lime, earthy Brett, oak, green grape, vanilla, balanced lactic, honey
M: Light with totally hidden alcohol
O: Reminiscent of a an American gueuze. Very complex and I'm curious to see how this ages

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a murky amber color. The head is a finger high and white in shade. Retention isn't great by normal beer standards, but it's solid for a wild ale. No lacing is left on the glass.

Oh yes. I love how buttery and barrel-laden the aroma comes across. Vanilla, coconut, banana, and even a touch of toasted marshmallow all show up. There's a nuanced sourness beneath the barrel presence, bringing both a tart bite and a delicate funk. Since this is a high-gravity sour, some light caramel sweetness seems to also appear. Yeah, Allagash knows how to make a proper sour ale.

The flavor starts off with powerful notes of cherry, strawberry, apricot, and peach. Candied sugar appears assertively around the middle, tempering some of the acidic bite. Still, the finish is nice and puckering. This tartness appears alongside the nuanced oak barrel qualities - the latter offering a melange of coconut, banana, and vanilla. Exhales reveal nice amounts of cinnamon. It's appropriately deep for an 8.8% wild ale, but the integration (as razor-sharp as it is) isn't quite as stunning as the aroma suggested. Oh well, this is still a wonderful sour.

Because of its relative sweetness, the acidic bite is felt more in the stomach than on the palate. Though the carbonation is just assertive enough to cleanse the finish, it's still a big, bulky-feeling brew. A warming touch also appears post-swallow. Make no mistake, this is a sipper. A damn good one at that!

This is both absurdly complex and absurdly tasty. It's not moronically sour, either. A must try for anyone who has even a minor familiarity of this style.

4.24/5: Another brilliant sour from Allagash

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Photo of dar482
4.69/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a pale to medium amber color with carbonation rushing up the glass.

The aroma hits of sweet graham cracker, a bit of spice, sharply tart with lime zest, vinous, woody oak, vanilla, a bit of green tea, dried lemon.

The flavor follows an initial sensation of creaminess and vanilla, onto grapefruit bitterness, sour apple, raspberry seeds, medium plus tart, a chewy malts, earthy, a bit musty, horse blanket, onto sherry notes, oxidation, a crisp light oaky finish, with a tinge of sugary sweetness at the end.

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Photo of TheElectricOne
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a capped and corked 2016 bottle into a tulip glass:

Appearance: pours brick-orange, nearly red in color. Body is completely translucent, with a purely white head that lingers for nearly a minute before dissipating.

Aroma: loads of oak, moderate tartness. Some vanilla and mildly sweet notes to go with the sour. Cherry perhaps too....

Taste: following the smell, the barrel is banging here. Some sour apple and lemony notes, along with the sweeter cherry and vanilla mentioned above. Nicely balanced and moderately sour.

Feel: crisp, with a puckering mouthfeel and a medium body,

Overall: this is a great beer. Allagash continues to pump out the highest quality of sours with lots of distribution and a relatively slim price tag. Awesome.

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Photo of DBosco
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Looks beautiful, clear but with a dense orange color; nice head that settles with some lacing. Smell is a clean sour. Taste is sour, a trace of sweet and floral, with plenty of oak. Mouthfeel is a little creamy, carbonated, puckering from the sour and oak; very drinkable. Overall, a great beer - as good as I have had in the "sour wild oak ale" category.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a nice white and semi-creamy head that sticks around a little bit. The beer itself is a nice pale amber color that is clear. It's a pretty good and appealing look for a wild ale and I'm willing to go as far to say that it's one of their nicer looking ones..

The beer smell is wonderful. The beer has a nice and balanced but complex smell. The beer smell contains notes such as a nice wood that combines well with the funk from the brett. The smell also contains a slight sour vinegar note but is hard to detect underneath the other notes. The beer smell is touched by a nice and sweet raspberry jam note at the end. While there is a bitter hop note, it gets lost underneath the stronger lime note. There also seem to be a bunch of other lighter notes that seem to amount to a graham cracker but they aren't very strong.

The taste is a bit different and a lot more simple than the smell. The stronger notes seem to be the funk and the tartness with a slight wood note coming out. In addition, the lime zest note is still there and works well with the other notes. While the other notes aren't as present, the simplicity is still very good.

The feel is pretty good. It's a medium bodied beer that is pretty smooth with some nice carbonation. It has a pretty dry finish to it.

Overall, another really good wild ale from Allagash and worth trying.

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Photo of mschrei
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into wine glass. Minimal activity in the glass, very cloudy brownish gold. Tart funky scent. Tangy, funky, lemony taste with just a hint of barrel on it. Very smooth for an almost 9%. Yet another winner from Allagash.

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Photo of JackRWatkins
4.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Room temp (from bottle) in an oversided wine glass (imitation teku)
A: golden but with a warmth of color resembling bourbon, minimal fizzy head quickly disspitating, no lacing to speak of
S: warm sweet graham cracker and a touch of lime bitterness as described on the label, wonderful, also subtle hints of darker fruit in nose as well (very subtle and fleeting)
T: immediate sharp oak notes, vanilla, and booziness (not in the heavy sense though), bears a vague similarity in the character of the funk to petrus aged pale (this, by virtue of the nose alone is far better), the oak presence, by virtue of the other flavors here immediately recalls bourbon though it doesn't taste like bourbon, has a strong estery suggesstion of miscellaneous fruits that bleeds into the subtle candied sweetness of that graham cracker flavor
M: oily and astringent, pretty much what you'd expect with a real bite going down (also like bourbon)
O: hands down the best american sour beer I've had, I generally don't think much of the sour/salt over substance sour beers a lot of american brewers put out but this is deep, very complex and exquisite all around, it's a beer that feels special as soon as you pour it into a glass and you immediately feel lucky to drink it. loved it, buy it if you can find it, and buy some to keep back for a special occasion or to share with a discerning friend you deem worthy

PS: I know the bourbon seems an odd comparison and though it definitely doesn't taste like bourbon but it feels like it, almost in the sense that it's a spiritual cousin, especially to Belle Meade

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Photo of CraftFan5
3.9/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a special treat. The bottle is almost 3 years old; let's see how it held up. 375 ml bottle into a champagne flute.

A - Slightly hazy burnt orange. That is all. But it's bright! The off-white head was minimal and now there's a thin film around the top. Plenty of bubbles streaming up the side of the flute.

N - Tons of tartness on the nose. It's overpowering everything else. There are some fruits hiding around the edges, but they're having a hard time overcoming that tartness.

T - You know I think I might have waited too long. It's tart, but the flavor is a little flat. There is some carbonation, but not much. It's definitely tasty; I get the remnants of tartness and some sweet fruit: white cherries, apples, clementines.

M - Again, this is a bit on the dead side. It's definitely lingering, but it's thin and a bit flat. Ah well.

O - I get the feeling this could have been a real winner when it was a little younger, but she's a tad past her prime.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.46/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

this really is the best of wild fermentation, and allagash has established themselves as one of the kings of this process. what a cool beer. its sort of rust colored, cloudy but not with visible sediment about, and under an airy white head with good retention and lace as it drinks down. the nose is super sour, lemon lactic acidity, mouthwatering but also caustic and a little harsh, but it smells mellowed well by oak, and seems to have some fruit to it, red grape maybe, but thats all well behind the bacterial front. the flavor is a lot like the nose, with the sourness leading the way. there is plenty of bretty saison sort of funk to it, horsey and moist and dank and rustic, but the acetic properties are still dominant. the fruitiness is there in the taste too, tart, maybe cranberry and lime or something going on, definitely red fruit, but its not sweet in the least. oak profile is also strong here, i guess thats what four years on wood gets you. im impressed with the complexity of this one, and could probably get even more nuance from it if the sourness was scaled back just a bit, but i really wouldnt change a thing about this. carbonation is bright, but not quite effervescent, and the finish is dry, but the acidity lasts long on the tongue and teeth, fresh lime again there too. sort of gueuze-like, but a little richer on the grain side of things. a top tier beer, much appreciated. i wish these guys sent beer out this way, they are one of the few i long for outside of colorado. such unique and diverse wild beers...

edit: just had a bottle from 2016, and this ages really nicely. a couple of years in i get a ton of nuance from the oak, things like peach and nectarine come out, orange marmalade, and vanilla. sourness stays steady, and the funk seems ramped up. really compelling and complex beer, the finest quality wild stuff from allagash again here. seems bulletproof in the cellar...

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Photo of putonyourwalkingshoes
2.71/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Bottle dated from 2012. Oddly enough picked this up at a San Diego liquor store. Did not notice this beer on the shelf previously, it was the last one, and got it this week. Nice pop off the cork and I had high hopes but this was a mess all around. The sour quality was minimal and I got a mess of unbalanced oak with muddled tannin qualities. I really digged Nancy so maybe I got a bad bottle? I just think this is past its prime.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.74/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled in 2012
The beer pours a slightly opaque dark amber (more viscous than cloudy), with no head or sediment. The nose has an off-putting amount of fruity acetone upfront with candi sugar and oak doing little to entice. The taste has a similar nail polish quality, but more tartness and is made drinkable only by a modest brown sugar sweetness that comes in on the back end. It's medium bodied and mildly carbonated with fruity sweetness the lingering element in its semi-dry finish. There is minimal bitterness, but alcohol slowly creeps in for a warming effect. Honestly, this has been a let down for me considering the difficulty it was to track down and seemingly promising ratings.

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FV 13 from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.31 out of 5 with 781 ratings