Allagash Merveilleux | Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash MerveilleuxAllagash Merveilleux

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
This beer is a blend of five different beers fermented in a mix of both bourbon and wine barrels. Brettanomyces, pediococcus and lactobacillus were all utilized to create a myriad of flavors in this unique copper colored beer. The aroma is defined by the presence of the Brett resulting in both a crusty bread and fruit character. The tartness works well with the light oak and distinct citrus flavors, which are followed by a gentle maltiness and dry finish.

Added by MasterSki on 08-14-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 320
Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is very hazy brownish yellow in color and also has some amber hues. It poured with a thin off white head that consistently left lots of thick wispy laces of bubbles on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of sourness are present in the nose along with notes of oak and hints of wine.
T: The taste follows the smell, except that there are also notes of bourbon and this along with the red wine, oak and sourness are perfectly balanced.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and slightly both tart and creamy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a really great balance of flavors in the taste and has interesting complexities.

Note: Bottled 5/17/13

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Photo of brentk56
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: The liquid pours out with a rather unusual color blending, goldenstraw with a touch of pink lemonade; the head is modest though it does leave some shards behind

Smell: Acetic sour tones, with tart cherry, green apple, red wine grape and Bourbon

Taste: Cherries dominate the front end, though the lacto and acetic elements build rapidly; underneath the red wine barrel flavors start to emerge, in the middle; after the swallow, Bourbon, vanilla and oak elements add a subtle dimension, though the sour aspect of the beer really dominates through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with buoyant carbonation

Overall: This beer heads in a lot of different directions but it manages to pull it off though I think the sourness obscures some of the other complexities; still, I am quite impressed by the range of flavors in this beer

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Photo of emerge077
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a small tasting goblet, quick review from notes.

Bright copper color, thin layer of foam that left behind some spotty lace, sharp clarity.

Woody aroma with a bright fruity acidity, more light acidity in the taste. Nutty, woody oak, expressive barrel character. Dry puckering finish and a pleasant lingering aftertaste. Medium bodied with a smooth feel, spritzy carbonation that scrubs the palate. Nicely balanced and very enjoyable.

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Photo of jlindros
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 5/17/13, been sitting on it a while, but should be interesting for sure.

Pours a light fizzy 1/2 finger head that fades at a med pace, light lacing, hazy sediment laden but semi clear auburn orange-red color.

Nose like an oude bruin, nice sour malts, tart funk, plenty of lacto sour creamy funk but also Brett souring funk and a little pedio funk perhaps not as sure on that one, quite acidic, with some tart brown fruits like soured fig, and some mild vanilla oak notes.

Taste brings plenty of sour funk again, lacto creamy sticky sourness, lactic acid, plenty of acidity in general, sour malt flavors, perhaps sour mash, and some Brett souring funk, maybe pedio but less likely. A little sticky malt that attempts to get sweet but fails as it was probably attentuated a lot more in the past couple years, as the carbonation is big. Little tart fruit, almost dark cherry and fig like, touch of tingly booze mixes with the acidity for the extra tingle, and a mild toasty buttery oak lingering. Finish sticky flemmy acidic, more tart cherry fig fruits, and some sour funk lingering.

Mouth is med to bit heavier bod, plenty of acidity, little tingly booze, and nice fluffy carb.

Overall not bad, def an oude bruin like style, nice funk and sourness, nice acidity, malts are OK, barrel notes are lighter but a nice touch, a decent sour but not at the top of the line... esp for some of the incredible ones Allagash makes.

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

Bottle shared by jayhawk73. Thanks Jeff.

The beer is copper hued with a thin beige head. The aroma is quite nice, offering various barrel characteristics, cherries, funk, oak, wild yeast. Complex and delicious. Cherries and oak barrels with alcohol content well hidden. Perhaps a touch of bourbon as well? Surprisingly smooth on the palate. Tart and sour character is stronger up front, finishing gently. A great beer.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Poured in nearly pitch black conditions, but it's an amber body. Clear. Almost no head.

Smell - Bourbon and wine barrels smell great. Bretty. Some acidity. Cherry and caramel malt.

Taste - Very similar to the smell. More caramel. Cherry fruits. Musty brett. Vanilla and oak. Not all that sour, but it's kinda acetic in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, maybe medium heavy. Minimal sourness. Well carbonated.

Overall - Complex barrel character. Reminiscent of a Cascade.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the Drinkery
Pours a slightly hazy red amber color with a smallish tightly bubbled off white head that dissipates quickly. Aromas of raspberry and sour cherry with hints of balsamic and a bready funky almost plastic aroma rounding it out. The flavor is all over the place. Tart lemony cherry up front with a hint of brown sugary malts and a light vanilla oak. Bready funky bretty flavors roll in next before being washed away with a solid hit of alcohol Lactic and carbonic acid. Medium body with a moderate to high level of carbonation and a tart almost puckering mouthfeel. Interesting beer, certainly something I could get behind more often if it weren't so difficult to acquire.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Tan light and creamy two to three finger tall head off the pour, with a nice settling creamy puck that stays at about half a finger tall. Body color is a bursting tangerine orange, quite dark if almost a bit red, with some hard to see through opaque body that has some rising carbonation,.

The bouquet is quite citrus fruity, with tinges of sour and mild acid. Light sour apricots and orange a small hint of brown sugar caramel but very light. Good amount of buttered chardonnay like sensing oak notes on this also, with some mild pepper.

Palate is a nice fruit punch orange and apricot juicy quality at first but then comes with a real hot swallow of brett and funk. Very peppery finish that makes you want to blow smoke rings. Light tight prickly carbonation just a little bit on first sips. Light toasty brown sugar comes out with some time as well. Real nicely balanced between all the flavors here.

Overall, it's a great beer but I am not as drawn to it as much as the FV-13.

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Photo of rudzud
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Big thanks to Tim for picking me up a few bottles of this beer. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - So, for starters this one was a LOUD pop. Poured with a very nice one finger off white head atop a clear burnt honey hue with loads of effervesce. Lots of sticky lacing and a thick blanket. For nearly 10% this is just awesome.

S - Aromas of big sour acetic tones, cherries, apples, wood, bourbon, faint vanilla, light funk. Definitely getting lacto and brett

T- Taste is loads of cherries, lacto, tart cherry, light vinous notes. Not too harsh on the sour. Loads of bourbon on the finish, oak, vanilla, wood, then rounding out with more lingering tart sour notes like a great sour candy.

M - Mouthfeel is really, really nice for the style. Brightly carbonated, tart, sour, lightly flemmy. All while masking the almost 10% ABV.

O - Overall, this was a delicious sour from Allagash. Well played and well worth the price. Wish I had more in the cellar.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a dark copper amber color with a generously thick creamy white lacing ring.

S - Funky medium colored fruit with tartness and a touch of sweetness.

T - Tart sourness abounds here with dried cherries and a nice sour sweet puckering finish.

M - Medium body, to heavier medium body with very delicate carbonation and a nice lingering sour tart finish.

O - Nicely done, Allagash.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375mL corked and caged bottle pouredi nto a tulip. 5-17-13 bottled date.

(A)- Pours an orange-like red amber hued color; almost like clay tinted mud, but did produce a light layer of white froth.

(S)- An intense cherry and strawberry-like oaky acidity to this up front. Ever so slight dry funk to it, but otherwise a very inviting oaky fruited sourness.

(T)- What I like about it is how oak forward this is ; similar to a flanders in that sense. Subdued darker berry fruits but with that great funky yet sour oak barrel throughout.

(M)- A great carbonation level balances well with what is going on in the glass. Its sour, but balances well with the dry funk, oak, and subtle fruit levels.

(O)- A tasty sour, that I wish were easier to track down around my parts here in the Midwest. Big oak flavors that mesh well with the acidic sourness and fruit.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours a crimson color. Transparent body. Rather modest head of thin bubbly tan fluff. Speckles and dots of lacing.

S-Some tartness is present but there is a nice base beer behind the tartness. Oaky with sour fruit. Some caramel and brownish maltiness. A bit spicy. Definitely Bretty.

T-The sourness is more in control of the overall flavor here. Still, after most of the tartness fades the base beer finishes out the flavor. A soft, sweet base of breadiness and caramel.The sour fruits and wild yeast plays well with the oak, too.

M-Tartness really clings to the lips. Medium bodied. A bit tannic. Softer carbonation. Booze hidden beautifully.

O/D-A tasty brew that is quite pricey. I enjoyed it but wouldn't she'll out another $17 for a 375ml. It's another solid sour from Allagash that punishes the ol' bank account.

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Photo of bylerteck
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at ChurchKey in DC. From notes.

A - Poured copperish with one finger of thick white head. Awesome lace wall and half finger of retention.

S - Grape, dusty, earthy.

T - Acidic, grape, tart, lemon candy, a bit of sweetness with a good tart note. Vinegar and much sweeter with yeast added. Similarities to gueuze.

M - Strong carbonation, medium body, acidic and tart finish approaching sour that stings the cheeks a bit.

O/D - Nearly a Belgian take on a sour. Nice to sip with the sweetness to work and mingle with the sourness. ABV is nowhere to be found. Excellent.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml corked and caged bottle generously shared by Ineedabeerhere (thanks Joe). Pours the color of unpasteurized cider with a semi-hazy clarity and no head. Nose is slight vinous and also reveals buttery oak notes. Taste consistent with nose - grapes, toasted oak and a slightly caustic element, but not in a bad way. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a lively carbonation, a light acidity and a semi-dry finish. Overall, it's drinking fairly well fresh; however, I think some medicinal qualities might begin to develop (for better or worse) over time.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12.7 oz bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours a mildly hazy orange color with plenty of carbonation. The head is a one finger off-white shade. It also has really excellent retention for nearly 10% sour, but its soft texture means it doesn't leave much (if any) lacing behind.

S: As expected, it's quite tart-smelling. What makes the lactic tartness work so well is that it's backed by an expressive fruity backbone. Lemons, cherries, and oranges make up the primary fruit notes. There's an ever-so-slight bourbon note as well, but I really have to concentrate in order to pick that up. It brings the sourness along with a delicate, contemplative depth, and that's pretty much exactly what I ask for from a sour. After a long while, some funkiness comes out to play.

T: It opens with a pleasing lemon-esque tartness. Its sour qualities are mellowed by its bready, oaky, yet subtly fruited finish. This one really brings forth a bourbon-forward nature, which balances the wild yeast quite well. It finishes with a decent amount of brett funk, as well. Make no mistake, the depth is there, but it's not as forward as I'd like it to be. That's it's only real flaw: the complexity requires a bit too much work to discover. The complexity becomes more defined near the bottom of the glass.

M: Unbelievably drinkable for nearly 10%. Seriously, wow. There's a slight boozy tingle on the finish, but it almost doesn't matter given how quickly it fades on the aftertaste. No wait, those are the oak tannins. So this isn't boozy at all. It's well carbonated and light (though very creamy) on the tongue, which helps it go down so well.

O: This isn't the most sour wild ale in the world...though neither was Le Terroir, and that was freaking fantastic. This isn't quite as incredible, but it's razor-sharp blend of tartness and bourbon qualities still make it a winner. Would I pay ~$15 (!) for this small bottle again? No, probably not. Still, it's good enough where I'd reckon it's still a must try at least once.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.84/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is hazy glowing copper with a tight tan head. Nose is meaty and fleshy with a fairly present barrel note. There are some hints of vanilla from the barrel with a decent sour cherry in back. Very Flanders red esq. Taste is similar, a bit less fleshy with oak and vanilla cascading over sour cherry. Brett is strong especially through the finish. Strong carbonation on a light body and fairly dry finish.

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Photo of Dope
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 5/17/13.

A: Pours a deep and cloudy red. Tall frothy white head with a pinkish tinge to it. Great head retention as it slowly fades away. Pretty substantial fluffy lacing too.

S: Lightly tart cherries. Lots of oak and leather. Indistinct hint of red wine. Swear I even get some sweet caramel.

T: Tart, sour cherries up front. Melds into a mild drying fruity red wine. Caramel backbone with quite a bit of leather. A bit of old bread in the finish. Very oaky, spicy and drying on the back end.

M: Nice medium body that you wouldn't expect from almost 10%. No real alcohol bite. Chunks of floaties swimming around detracts a bit.

O: A big, sharp sour. Very bold flavors with a surprisingly high ABV. Layers of flavors, hard to discern them all sometimes (or maybe I don't have the palate yet). Loads of oaky/leather tannins that's for sure. Flavors surprisingly meld together quite nicely despite their sharpness. Overall, a wonderfully constructed sour I'd say. One of the best I've had, though I think I preferred FV13.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.39/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Purchased form the brewery. Very lucky to have been in town when this went on sale.

Beer is caramel in colour, with a small off-white head.

Smell is very good. Oak, balsamic vinegar, light fruits. Slightly funky. Very nice.

The taste is excellent. Oak, balsamic vinegar, light fruits. Mildly sour. A great balance. Complex and very tasty.

Medium bodied, low to moderate carbonation level. A bit sticky.

Overall, just excellent. A wonderful beer. Just wish they had allowed me to buy more.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottled 5/17/13
Consumed @ Monks Cafe

A- pours a hazy dark copper color with a two-finger foamy white head that retains nicely, leaving some short lasting lace behind

S- lots of oaky vanilla up front meshes with tart white grape aroma, with notes of peach, grannysmith apple, and lemon. Yeasty funk gives out notes of hay, basement must and woodsy aroma

T- puckering tartness up front with flavors of white grape, sour apple, peach and wild dark grape. The yeast provide an earthy tone with some musty notes. Oaky barrel gives a subtle vanilla flavor and finishes dry with more linger of wild dark grape. Oak continues to linger on the palate

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a smooth and silky , bone dry finish

O- really liked this, there was a common component with their Broken Elevator that gave it a wild grape sourness that I loved. The only thing that kept the flavor from being perfect, is that is falls off pretty quick, leaving only a bit of oak on the palate. Overall very well done

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Photo of MacQ32
4.79/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A - Pours an amber tinted copper color with a merveilleaux finger of dense, tan head. Retention is 5/5, 15 minutes later there is still a nice dense half finger of head covering the entire surface, head reaches the edge of the glass to form a thick ring crawling up all sides of the glass.

S - Tons of great funky tart sour aromas, rich oaky aromas, light chardonnay, yuzu type citrus notes and minimal bready character.

T - Oh wow!! Initially lots of funk/yuzu mixes with dry chardonnay type flavors (chardonnay is very minimal to the other flavors, but very much there). After the sourness begins to subside the fairly sour yuzu flavors linger and run into a wall of light vanilla/oaky boozyness.

M - Totally ideal. Lighter bodied, well carbonated but still leaves a fairly thick feeling on your tongue. Easily my favorite allagash!!

O - Just absolutely phenomenal.

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Photo of Mikeypnh
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Small bubbly head, about one finger. Light brown with a organe hue in the light. Smells very sour. That's all I can pick up, maybe a little bit of oak. Taste is an absolute delight, sour, but not puckering. Initial sweetness fades into a nice fruity taste, cherry, apple, with some oak on the finish. This is really good. Slightly fizzy mouthfeel, leaves bubbles on my tongue, making me want more immediately. Really smooth with some nice tartness. Almost didn't buy this, hopefully I can go grab another bottle tomorrow.

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Photo of Damian
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 12.7 fl oz (375 ml) corked and caged bottle purchased at Cambridge Wine & Spirits, Cambridge, MA
Date bottled: 5/17/13
Served in a tulip

Really interesting appearance. The slightly hazed liquid poured a medium amber color with a slight pink-ish, purple-ish hue. A one-finger tall, off-white, sea foam crown topped the beer. Thick, streaky patches of lacing coated the glass.

The aroma was tart, dry and funky with loads of oak and barrel character. Quite fruity. Subtle raspberry and strawberry notes were detectible. There was also a strong hay/barnyard-like presence. A touch of alcohol came through as well.

The flavor profile was quite funky and sour. Super crisp, dry and yeasty with intense woody/oaky notes. Lots of tart lemon and wheat. Slightly fruity with hints of underripe raspberries and strawberries. Red wine vinegar came through on the back end. The finish was really oaky and tannic and contained strong notes of sour and bitter lemon rind.

On the palate, the liquid was frothy and highly effervescent. Crisp and lighter bodied. Spritzy and almost a bit Champagne-like.

Allagash's Merveilleux is an interesting wild ale with an intense barrel character and a lot of acidity. The bottle I reviewed was cellared for over six months and really seemed to transform in that time. I actually preferred this beer fresher when there was more fruity sweetness in the flavor profile.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: amber copper body, vaguely translucent; tan foam a few fingers high retained as a foamy collar with arms of lace trailed behind

S: suggests wine barrels and musty basement funk; orchard and vine fruits aromas percolate through...

T: wine-like and woodsy barrel notes, brett and fungal funk bring tartness and chew, bread and biscuit grains underscore tart orchard and vine fruits; complex and tart

M: medium-weight, tart, puckering close, drying along the way; wood vapors at the roof

O: super-nice ale, elegant and rich with complex character bringing sweet and tart, funk and spice; crisp and clever, sure to deliver. Pricey little bottle worth a buy.

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Photo of larryi86
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12.7 oz bottle poured into a snifters

A- A clear copper color with a small off-white head.

S- Citrus, sour, some Chardonnay, some oak, mild funkiness, nice fruitiness.

T- Fruity, citrus, sour, mild funk, some Chardonnay, some bourbon that add a touch of heat, nice amount of oak, well balanced.

M- Smooth, dry, nice carbonation.

O- Another well done sour from Allagash. Can't wait to pick up another bottle, worth the price tag.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 5/17/13

Pours a orange amber color with a good sized white head, fades at a decent rate, pretty hazy but without large sediment in the glass that can sometimes happen with Allagash.

Smell has a large woody aroma right off the bat, touch of lactic sourness hits the nose, only the slightest hint of light fruit.

Taste starts with a strong mix of sourness and oak, it is not the most sour I've had because the wood presence imparted quite a bit of complexity to even it out, fairly vinegary, most of the fruit presence has been pushed aside for straight tartness, strength is well hidden, carbonation is medium-high, semi-dry finish.

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Allagash Merveilleux from Allagash Brewing Company
4.22 out of 5 based on 320 ratings.
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