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Allagash FV 13 | Allagash Brewing Company

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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

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Reviews: 113 | Ratings: 711
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.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12.7 fl oz, March '13
Allagash tulip

A: Pours a murky dark orange color. Lots of carbonation. Effervescent. Good half finger of right bubbles head. Sticks around a while. Leaving some lacing sheeting.

S: Balsamic vinegar. Tart dark cherries. Oak. Touch of vanilla. Tannic wine-like dryness. Earth.

T: Tart cherry and balsamic up front. Tannic dryness for sure. Mid palate you do really taste that oak with hints of vanilla and wood. Finish is fairly dry but not entirely bone dry.

M: Medium bodied. Some creaminess mid palate.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Clear rusty orange body with and an active and whispy white head that leaves just a surface coating.

Storing aromas of cherry, oak, vanilla, and brown sugar. It smells acidic but with some sweet notes.

It has a reply nice balance of fruity sweetness and tart. Dark cherries, oak, vinegar.

Mouthfeel is light with prickly carbonation. Slightly dry in the finish.

This packed enormous aroma and flavor in a light body. The play In the sweet and sour gives it a nice layer of complexity.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.41/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber color with very little head, hardly any lacing.

Smell has a nice woody oak aroma and is the star to the nose, decent vinegar sourness.

Taste starts out with a vinegar sourness with a well rounded oak character, cherry presents a touch of fruity tartness, acidic content is on the high side but I like that, carbonation is close to perfect with a decent body, alcohol is very well hidden making me believe this closer to 4.5% than 8.9% so very impressive.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to Bilco for hooking me up with a bottle

Consumed 7/7/13

Appearance: Pours mostly clear, with a light haze - deep copper with some hints of orange and brown - big, creamy, light beige head - leaves some nice streaks of lacing

Smell: Sour, funky, with some sharp, ripe oak - acidic and lactic sourness - some tartness - an undercurrent of vinegar and some acetone - some fruitiness, like cherries and generic berry skin - loads of oak, very woody, with some wood funk

Taste: Sour, tart, oak, lots of complexity - sharp, acidic sourness, with some damp lactic sour, not exactly mouth-puckering, but definitely sour - average level of tartness - touches of vinegar and something that reminds me of Chap Stick - some nice fruitiness, reminiscent of cherries and raspberries - earthy and a bit musty - loads of oak, with some notable tannins - some caramel malts - alcohol is not really noticeable - starts off decent, achieves greatness when it warms up

Mouthfeel: Medium body, very smooth, nicely carbonated

Overall: A timely reminder that Allagash is pretty awesome

This is not the best sour I've ever had, but it's very, very good. It's very complex, with a wide array of sour, tart, fruity, oaky, and funky notes. I've certainly enjoyed sours from Allagash at fests, and I'm very thankful that I've now had time to sit down with a bottle. I hope they continue to develop their sour program.

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Photo of larryi86
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter

A- A reddish copper with a two finger off-white head.

S- Sour cherries, oak, some spices, some vinegar, smells like a nice Flanders sour.

T- Sour cherries, touch of red wine, some lactic acid, some sweet raspberries, oak, vanilla, nice balance of flavors.

M- Smooth, medium body, slightly creamy, nice carbonation.

O- This is a great sour from Allagash and I am very happy that I was able to get a bottle. This is sour and all the flavors work together and are balanced. Easy to drink and quick to drink.

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Photo of Hugonaut13
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle poured into HF globe

A - Pours a lighter reddish-brown with minimal head, even after a hard pour. Small ring of bubbles remain around the edge of the glass. Leaves a bit of lacing when swirled.

S - Strong scene of oak and cherries on top of oak and cherries. Some plum. A bit of sour funk, but far from strong. Smells tasty.

T - Good mix of sour and tart up front with cherries joining the party in the mid palate. Finishes sweet. Almost refreshing. None of those flavors dominate the palate. As it warmed, more vinegar appeared dropping the score a tad

M - definitely rich mouthfeel for the style. Quite dry. Very smooth.

O - I definitely enjoyed this, but I wouldn't call it complex. Each flavor is very pronounced but blends together well in a harmonious fashion. I would have no problem polishing off a 750ml of this (if they ever made one) by myself. This is a sour that both serves as a great anytime sour and also one which would serve as a great introduction to people new to sours. Well done Allagash.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

375 ml bottle, bottled on 12/21/12, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a murky caramel/amber color, topped with a thin layer of khaki head, leaves a bit of lacing.

S- Has a really great, tart aroma, lots of lactic acidity and cherry, peach, and red wine fruitiness, along with a nice oak and vanilla. There are some oxidized, earthy aromas here too.

T- Nice blend of cherry fruitiness with caramel and a vanilla/oak flavor. Along with the cherry there's a bit of medicinal flavor. Has solid tartness, mostly lactic but a bit of acetic too. Has a dry, vinous finish.

M- Medium-bodied, has a smooth, dry, tannic feel, moderate alcohol warmth.

O- A very tasty beer and another very solid sour from Allagash, I'm glad I've got another bottle of this to hang onto.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Slight haze. Mostly clear. A muddled copper with some gold at the edges. Head is off-white and creamy. Drops to a small cap in short order, but has solid retention. Moderate carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Tart in the acetic way. Some lactic tartness as well. Oak runs rampant. Sweet malt base. Straight up vinegar. Cherry skin, tart flesh. Some vague dark berry juice. Seriously heavy on the acetic and acid. Some alcohol that hits closer to acetone than anything else. Funky with an undercurrent of bleu cheese. Very woody. Slightly earthy. Decidedly funky.

Taste: Cherry flesh, but in a vague juice way more than the actual fruit. Deep oak. Barrel and straight up pieces of wood. Acetic. Pushes aged balsamic vinegar and ripe cheese along the edges. Sweet with a dark berry/plum thing. Tart, but not aggressively so. Nice layers of funk add complexity. A bit damp with some grass. Some lactic tart edges as it warms. Fruity. So much oak, but it works well here. Warming really allows the flavors to pop and meld. Some sweet malt presence.

Mouthfeel: Mediumish body with a light to moderate carbonation. Smooth with a wet sip and slightly dry finish.

Overall: Allagash thank you for reminding me why I love you.

Not the most complex or intense wild on the market, but damn if it's not fantastic. Heavy on the acetic and wood, but it works with the sweetness. Aging will just make this better.

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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.

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Photo of nrs207
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Golden color, small head. On par with good beers of the style.

S - Awesome smell. Nice and tart. Some apple and pear.

T - Serious letdown. Doesn't live up to the smell whatsoever. Tart, some generic fruit, but nothing pronounced or special. Flavors are muddled.

M - Gets points for having no alcohol presence whatsoever. At this abv, that's a nice plus.

O - Another letdown from Allagash. They don't do anything special in my opinion. When I smelled this I was very impressed and hoping they finally pulled one off, but I was wrong. I'd drink it, but I probably wouldn't buy it.

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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.

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Photo of zac16125
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

375mL bottle into a Teku glass
Bottled on: 11/8/112

Was pretty excited to stumble across this one at my local bottle shop. The only bottle on the shelf, after not seeing it around in about 4-5 months.

A: Pours a very murky brownish color with orange hues and 1 fingers width of off white head that dissipates down quickly. Lots of sedimentation can be seen suspended in the glass, but thats ok the Scooby snacks are good for you. Leaves effectively zero lacing.

S: Sweet fruits, predominately cherry but red grape and dates as well. Somewhat vinous and a bit of estery banana. Oak barrel. A hint of lactic acidity but I dont get many sour or funky notes.

T: Apple cider vinegar, tartness, and caramel are the first notes I get. There is a funkiness that Im assuming if from Brett, that has a rotten apple like character. Much maltier than other Wild Ales Ive had, with toffee and even a touch of semi-sweet chocolate. I also get some sweet fruits (again cherry predominate), green apple, and a subtle bitterness. There is a small degree of lactic acidity but I certainly wouldn't call this sour.

M/D: Full bodied, somewhat syrupy, carbonation on the higher end of the spectrum, ABV is very well masked but drinkability is somewhat limited by the combination of higher carbonation and maltiness.

O: Overall, its a well done beer, but I prefer my Wilds Ales more lacto and pedio and less brett. I was hoping for much more sour presence. Im glad I was able to try this one, but for the price I dont think its something I would get again, even if it were available to me on the shelves. 4

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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

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Photo of Etan
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml into a snifter.

A. Caramel color, small off-white head.

S. Lots of gamey brett, vinegar and green apple.

T. Moderate acetic and lactic sourness, lemon and sour apple, dry oak, light vanilla and toffee in the finish.

M. Light-bodied, tannic feel, moderate carbonation.

O: This is a pretty good aceto/brett-centered beer. The acidity is balanced by a decent amount of malt/tannic sweetness.

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Photo of kevanb
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml, dated 11/29/2012, poured into an Allagash Coolship tumbler.

The beer pours a rich caramel color, medium amber, with slight orange hue that is very clear, with a handful bubbles rising to the top of the glass. A thick, soapy, off white head rises out of the glass, nearly 2 fingers high that has very, very good retention and leaves some sticky lace behind. The aroma is of light funk, tart cherry, soft oak, brown sugar and rich malted grain. It's not an overly complex aroma, but very nicely balanced and surprisingly malty, but not over the top, the sweetness and tartness play nicely together. The flavors are very similar, rich grain, tart cherry with a nice amount oak that brings out some caramel and brown sugar with some soft and light funk at the end. The mouthfeel is nice, lots of carbonation, but it reads very smoothly, coats the mouth well and finishes softly with a creamy touch and lightly dry sensation.

Verdict: A very nice Wild Ale from Allagash. Yet another success in their line of sour and wild ales, and one of the more peculiar wild ales I've tried to date with the malt character. Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared, thanks to Al at CT wine and liquors in DC for hooking me up with this.

A nice ruby red and orange body with some darker edges, this beer has a decent ring of white head and some lacing on the sides of the glass.

The aroma has some nice notes of vinegar, slight oak character, wild yeast, and some ripened darker skinned fruits and berries, nice.

The taste has some nice character and body to it, some very tart notes up front and also lingering in the finish, but it is slightly nail polishy in some ways too without a big fruit or malt presence behind the sour and oak. Not the most thick beer either, and without those fruit or malt notes it is more noticeable for me.

Overall, a nice beer, not great though compared to many others.

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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.

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

Corked and caged 12.7 oz bottle dated 11/29/2012 poured into an Allagash glass.

A: Initially when I poured this it appeared that it was going to be a dark blonde color. As the glass filled up it became a reddish brown color. Looks nice.

S: Smells of oak and some tart. I pick up some green apple and maybe some pear. I didn't really pick up any alcohol, no real hop presence and maybe a little bit of malts.

T: Man, this is delicious. Some tart and green apple are the stars of this show. Some pear is picked up as well. The oak and vanilla really add another dimension to this brew. As someone who is just getting into wild ales, this is a very solid beer. I get the tart from the yeast, as well as the fruit and wood character.

M: A pretty medium mouthfeel. The carbonation is ideal and the finish is dry and crisp. The lack of alcohol present really makes this an enjoyable experience.

Overall: As my first full bottle of the American Wild Ale style, I can truly say that I'm extremely impressed. I'm a supporter of Allagash and everything they do, so it was only natural that my first experience with my style would be brewed by them. Their coolship program is definitely paying dividends and I really can't wait to crack open the Cerise I have.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of teromous
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Slightly hazy but mostly transparent dark tea-colored body. A short white head fades down to a sliver. Patchwork of lacing.

S: Sour smelling grapes, tree bark, a little bit of alcohol comes through, and a funky musky scent.

T: It starts out with a sour tart flavor that has a bit of cherry and grape-like flavors. It fades out quickly and there is an earthy quality that starts to take over. It seems like I get a bit of hop flavor in there as well. At the end it has a bit of smoky or charcoal quality that is very faint. Some caramel sweetness in the end that counterbalances the sourness. Some musky flavor at the end.

M: The mouthfeel starts off with a puckering sensation, but it trails off very quickly to a mellow presence. It's very pleasant to drink because it doesn't stay tart through the whole sip. It is lightly carbonated, and has a medium mouthfeel.

O: Overall I really enjoyed this beer. I would recommend it and would buy it again. I think that everything I have to say was said before. I really don't have any negatives for the beer. It is a very impressive beer.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: 12.7 oz corked and caged bottle poured into my Russian River tulip glass. Bought this today at the brewery. Bottled on 10/28/2012.

Appearance: Light brown in color with a touch of amber. Pours a pretty minimal head but holds a nice, light beige lacing throughout.

Aroma: The wild yeast is definitely strong here. Red wine and sweet cherries provide some really nice fruity tones. A touch of caramel as well. There is a slight burn from the alcohol as well but it is not too strong at all.

Taste: Not overly tart upfront or at all. Some subtle tartness with red wine tones. Really nice balanced sweetness of cherries. Oak, caramel and a touch of vanilla as well. Really smooth and the alcohol is really nicely toned down.

Mouthfeel: Really nice lively carbonation and light bodied.

Overall, a really solid wild ale from Allagash. The balance of the red wine, oak, and sour tones is well done. The alcohol is really deftly handled as well and doesn't feel too boozy.

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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.

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Photo of yamar68
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Hugonaut13 for this one!

Dark copper body with loads of beading and a thick milky off-white head. Great lace.

Tremendous, vinous nose... red grape, the booze bill catches me off guard.

A creamy sense of tartness, sour grains... surprisingly wet on the palate. Extremely palatable with bits of astringent oak. Reminiscent of Supplication in some ways - strong red wine flavors that compliment a subtly tart flavor profile.

This is the real deal.

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Allagash FV 13 from Allagash Brewing Company
4.25 out of 5 based on 711 ratings.
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