Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Allagash FV 13 | Allagash Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
113 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Allagash FV 13Allagash FV 13

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

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.

Added by Jason on 01-09-2013

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 113 | Ratings: 711
Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
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

 290 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
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

 1,654 characters

Photo of dar482
4.69/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

 528 characters

Photo of TheElectricOne
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

 756 characters

Photo of HattedClassic
4.25/5  rDev 0%
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.

 1,362 characters

Photo of mschrei
4.56/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

 224 characters

Photo of JackRWatkins
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
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

 1,591 characters

Photo of CraftFan5
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

 981 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
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...

 1,539 characters

Photo of putonyourwalkingshoes
2.71/5  rDev -36.2%
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.

 431 characters

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.74/5  rDev -12%
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.

 690 characters

Photo of Rutager
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up at the Carlsbad Pizza Port bottle shop almost a year ago.

Appearance. Pours a fairly clear, orangy amber-brown with half a finger of frothy off-white head that fades to a collar pretty quickly.

Smell. Cherries, funky barrel and sweet smooth caramel malts. Smells very "Flanders"with some bright cherry pie filling notes.

Taste. Tastes quite Flanders as well. Tart pie cherries, tannic barrel wood, fairly sweet with a touch of brown sugar and some dry red wine.

Mouthfeel. Medium body, below medium amount of fine carbonation. Slightly drying.

Overall. Good stuff if you like a flanders style.

 614 characters

Photo of thedoubler55
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

A: Pours a nice clear valentines day red, with a good transparency, a nice redish white head at the top that left some nice lacing around the glass.

S: A lot of cherry, a lot! Some alcohol scent as well coming through and some caramel on the tail end.

T: Pretty sour cherry flavor up front backed by some roasted malts notes and some booze as well.

M: Medium bodied, warming, light carbonation.

O: Sweet and sour, just like I like it, this brew was aged for about a year so the flavors settled a little but the booze was very present. A good beer, fruitful.

 564 characters

Photo of WantonFaun
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When I drink a sour, I don't usually expect to smell/taste vanilla. But this thing delivers it in spades, amidst a rich sour profile of apple cider vinegar and lemons. A true shame it is now retired. It is perhaps my favourite beer from Allagash (even having tried Coolship Red), and easily one of the the best sours I've had to date.

Bottled in 2012.

 352 characters

Photo of jbaker67
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear brown-amber with small head. Aroma is very oaky, cherries and caramel malts. Alcohol is not very perceptible for such a high abv sour, but the strong malt base is certainly distinctive. I’m not surprised about the long oak-aging period as the taste is incredibly woody. Other flavors are coherent with aroma (cherries, caramel) with a decent tart finish.

 370 characters

Photo of N_Schleret
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a brown amber color with a one finger off white head that dissipates to sudsy lacing.
S: Sweet cherry, plum, oak, funk.
T: Tart cherry, plum, vinegar, funk.
M: medium body, light puckering, and dry.
O: I would have liked a little more puckering sourness.

 267 characters

Photo of Jimmys
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12.7 fl oz bottle into GM tulip. date bottled: 12/21/14.

A: pours blond out of the bottle, but looks much more ruby in my glass.

S: smells very musty with a heavy dose of sour cherries. smells sour and vinous.

T: sweet and tart. a lot of barny funk and horse blanket flavor. good. sour cherry flavor as well. not too tart in the finish. in fact a little bit grainy and dry.

M: solid carb and pop coming out of the bottle. carb is zesty. medium bodied.

D: really good stuff. wouldn't expect anything less from these guys when it comes to funk. worth it if you can find any at this point. to all my cellar-heads out there, drinks great now and im sure it will hold up great for a few more years.

 701 characters

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 12/2012. Poured into a teku. Delicious, sour, smooth. It might have been a tad more sour if I drank a few months ago, but I found this delicious anyway. Allagash continues to impress with their higher-end beers, with bold and complex flavors. It smells great and it drink just as satisfyingly. I didn't get the funk that others did--something I noticed with most old ales. Instead, I got an appealing sour and tart taste that is balanced by the right amount of heat. Can't wait to get my hands on this again next year.

 526 characters

Photo of Stevedore
3.99/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle, dated 11/29/2012; so about 1.25 years old. I can't remember who sent this to me; I think it was John G. So if that's you, thanks a lot! Poured into a Surly Darkness goblet today, 2/5/2014.

App- Medium-dark brown-amber body, clear with a 1 finger white head with decent retention and a little bit of lacing. Nothing particularly special.

Smell- Tart cherries, sweet dark toffee. Smells acidic, perhaps 4/10 acidity so not a true sour that induces heartburn from just the smell, but its fairly sour. A good whiff of that Allagash funk. But yeah, the cherry tartness comes out well here. A bit of oak wood comes out here too. Complex and interesting.

Flavour- Similar to the nose. Oak, toffee, vinegar, tart cherries, faint funk. The cherries are strong here. This drinks basically like a Flanders red. Fair acidity, 4/10.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied for a sour, great carbonation. Not difficult to drink but easy to sip on. Don't feel the ABV on this despite this being 8.90%!

Overall- Interesting oak-aged sour, but certainly nothing near the best beers that Allagash makes. I'm looking at you, Resurgam. I won't be looking for this one again, but I'm glad to have tried the first beer they made in their foeders. Allagash is the closest you can get to Belgium without going there.

 1,296 characters

Photo of Gatch
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled on 11/29/12

A: Burnt sienna to brownish amber in color with a fizzy off white head and a bit of lace and retention.

S: Very funky, yeasty, fruity, earthy. Very inviting and a sign of greatness to come.

T: Soooo mellow. Lots of barrel, earth, wood, some bourbon, tart fruit. So complex yet simply incredible.

M: Unique and funky finish with a greet body. Creamy is the best word to describe it.

O: Another amazing Wild from Allagash! Plenty of time in the bottle smoothed this baby out wonderfully.

 510 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.5/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep orange body. Clear with a small white head.

Smell - Fruity and bretty. Caramel. Acidic.

Taste - Light cherry tardiness, but more of a caramel and brett character. Very bretty, really. Acetic tartness builds in the finish. Sweet.

Mouthfeel - Medium sourness. Medium heavy body.

Overall - A little disappointing. Just not very exciting.

 396 characters

Photo of cvm4
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours amber with a slight haze to it. The light khaki head dissipates quickly and there's not really any retention or lacing to speak of.

S - Mildly sweet vinegar, oak, mustiness and tartness.

T - Tart cherries, red wine qualities, vinegar, oak and light sweetness throughout.

M - Medium bodied/carbonation. Seems a bit too thick for the style.

O - A fine example here. Taste is always subjective, but this will do.

 423 characters

Photo of EliotRosewater
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - amber, copper color with little head.

S - massive oak and vinous aroma. Mild funk and tropical fruit.

T - very mild funk. Lots of oak and wine. Reminds me of some New World style Pinot Noirs. Just enough acidity to balance out the sweetness.

M - medium carbonation with mouth-coating sweetness.

O - the oak and balanced funk/acidity are the highlights on this beer. Absolutely delicious.

 399 characters

Photo of Damian
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 12.7 fl oz (375 ml) corked and caged bottle purchased at Whole Foods, Cambridge, MA
Date Bottled: 10/27/2012
Served in a tulip

The slightly hazed, crimson-amber liquid was topped by a small, frothy mass of off-white bubbles. Spotty droplets of lacing clung to the sides of the glass. The bubbly head quickly transformed into a lasting ringlet.

The aroma was amazingly complex and reminded me a lot of a Flemish red ale. Super winey, oaky and tart with strong sour cherry notes. A heavily oaked Cabernet came to mind. Lots of brett and funk. Musty with an aged, cellar-y quality. The tartness was nicely balanced by a rich, balsamic vinegar-like sweetness.

Like the nose, the flavor profile was superb. Crisp and fruity with sour cherry notes dominating. Lots of brett, oakiness and red wine qualities. Tart and quite musty. Noticeable amount of lactic and acetic acid. Notes of balsamic vinegar were again apparent. The beer was anchored by a bready malt base. Hints of caramel came through as well. Nice balance between tart and sweet. Lemon and hay notes appeared in the center. The finish contained a mix of oaky dryness and fruity tartness. Notes of lemon peel, aged vinegar and a subtle, boozy sweetness were all evident.

While the taste and aroma were outstanding, the mouthfeel was slightly disappointing. It was moderately creamy and smooth but rather thin for the style. The liquid contained a super fine and mellow effervescence.

I have been a big fan of Allagash's sour program since its inception a few years back, but this beer really takes the prize as being the best of the bunch thus far. Kudos to Rob and company for creating a Flemish sour ale that competes with some of the best examples that Belgium has to offer.

 1,751 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

375ml bottle poured into a gueuze glass.

A: Rusty golden color with a good deal of haze. A thin cap of white head retains surprisingly well. A thin ring of lacing slides slowly back down into the liquid.

S: Sharp acidity. Sour white grapes, green apple, sour cherry. Musty and wild funk. Well rounded malt character of caramelized sugar, coconut flakes, and vanilla cake. Fragrant and pervasive oak. Mouth-watering.

T: Sharp, acidic tartness. Green apple, sour cherry, and vinous white grape. Soft touch of vinous alcohol. Layers of rustic funk. Thick caramel and custard. Oak drops in and dries things out. Dry oaky finish with faint caramelized sugar, pear, and tart green apple.

M: Thick body for the style. Robust and chewy. Round and hefty. Low scrubbing carbonation. Warming alcohol.

O: Holy Christ this is excellent. Lots of big and round malt character with all the requisite tartness and funk. It offers another dimension not found in most sours. A real eye-opener for those who think only of Belgium when discussing world-class sours.

 1,049 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Allagash FV 13 from Allagash Brewing Company
4.25 out of 5 based on 711 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!