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

375ml bottled 5/17/13. Served in a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours an amber orange color with less than a finger of head that settles into an off white collar. Body is lightly hazy with moderate amounts of visible carbonation streaming throughout the glass.

Smell: Red wine grape, black currants, oak, sour cherry, lactic acid, caramel and bourbon. There's a mild funkiness, but overall it's pretty subdued. Aroma is moderately sour, but it's more of a clean sourness

Taste: Sour cherries stand out the most followed by red wine grape, dark berries, lots of oak, with more subtle notes of vanilla and bourbon (which open up a bit more as the beer warms) and an underlying breadiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, slightly creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is high. Booze is hidden well.

Overall: Another good sour from Allagash. The barrels really impart quite a bit of their character onto the final product which produces a very complex and flavorful beer. This reminds me a lot Russian River's sours, which is a major compliment. The price point stings a bit, but I would still buy more of this if given the chance.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another great beer from the series of specialty sours from Allagash.

The color is a nice muddy reddish color with not a lot more than a ring of weak white bubbles, not much lacing in the snifter I have.

The smell is much more subtle than I would have expected, but it has a nice somewhat vinegar tinged sour smell with some dark fruit and oak reminds me very much of a great oud bruin. Nice sweeter edge to the yeast combination they use also, the Brett in it perhaps. Opens up nicely when it comes to room temperature.

The flavor explodes with a combination of farmhouse tart yeast, dark berries and cherry, oak, almost a sweet and tart rhubarb pie like taste to it, some tartness up front. Very, very tasty and supple in feel, a great level of carbonation that doesn't get in the way of the big flavors. Not super tart, but definitely great flavors.

Overall, a success again. Worth the price tag as well.

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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 kevanb
4.07/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml C&C bottle, dated 5/17/13, poured into an Allagash Coolship tumbler.

The beer pours a thick, murky, caramel color, hues of orange and amber with a nice frothy finger of bone colored head that has great retention and leaves a few spots of lace behind. The aroma is of dark cherry, tart apple, light lemon citrus, subtle funk, grapey wine with some soft oak, with some caramel malt character, the bourbon fails to appear on the nose, dominated by sour fruit and wine character, but still delightful. The flavors are more complex, sharp fruit flavors of tart apple, sour cherry, crisp red grape that highlights the wine barrels, oak is chewy and lightly woody with some nice underlying funk but the finish is highlighted by just a subtle kiss of bourbon and toffee that plays very, very well with the fruit. The mouthfeel is crisp, lively, lots of carbonation that is a bit prickly at times, coats the mouth decently well but finishes with a nice creamy touch and a surprising warming sensation from the alcohol.

Verdict: A very well executed wild ale from Allagash, another solid product from their coolship and wild program. The alcohol definitely sneaks up at the end but doesn't detract from the flavors at all. It's ambitious and perhaps overly so as there are a lot of bolder flavors vying for attention, but the soft bourbon finish was very enjoyable.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 Kirk_Grant
3.4/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color: Hazy amber with a thin head
Smell: sour notes with hints of brown sugar and spice
Taste: Slightly sour with a strong presence of oak.
Overall: I think I've finally reached the point where the oak is just too dominant in these beers for me to enjoy them. Maybe after a few batches are behind them and the oak dies down so the beer can shine through I'll be happy again. Right now the cost is enough to make me pass for buying any more bottles.

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Photo of RichD
4.56/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged bottle with a date of 5/17/13 poured into a stemmed Allagash glass.

A: Pours a cloudy dark copper color with a finger or 2 of an off-white head. This is so cloudy, there is no way to even see a finger behind this.

S: The aroma lets me know that this will be a little sour. There's a funky, tart brett and other wild yeasts that are immediately picked up. I pick up some cherries and oak. What perhaps is the biggest surprise is the presence of the aforementioned by Allagash bready scent. Definitely something different for a wild ale. I really like it though.

T: Upon sipping this, the first thing that hits my pallet is the tartness of the yeasts and the cherries. Some oak comes through as well. The breadiness comes through for a strong finish. This is a really great tasting beer. With some wild ales the tartness is the main attraction. With this beer Allagash definitely took a malt forward approach and it is a great choice.

M: There is a medium mouthfeel. A good amount of carbonation and this hides the 9.6% ABV very well. I actually had to look up the percentage.

Overall: Allagash continues to impress me with their spontaneous fermentation program. The fact that this isn't a pucker your face sour I think that those just getting into the sour taste can really like this one. If you're a sour lover then you may be impress by the spectrum of flavors here. Me, being fairly new into sour beers, but have had my own fair share am very satisfied with this beer. 12 bucks is a little pricy, but I'm pretty sure if I see this again I'll pick it up.

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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 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 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 Doshkin
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - nice opaque brown copper (I poured all the tasty yeasties right in there). Good 2" head on my fairly gentle pour into my allagash stemmed glass.

Smell - sweet, sour, lots of bread. Not so much citrus or sweetness compares to their other sours that I've had. Definitely more focus on the yeast attributes. I like the "crusty" bread term that allagash used for their description.

Taste - wow. Very impressive blending of the sour with the bread. The flavors are very robust and melded together best when I took a good sized sip and really let it roll around for a while.

Mothfeel - medium thickness, bubbly, very smooth. Classic allagash tiny bubble effervescence.

Overall - personally my favorite sour. The focus on yeast versus citrus compared to what I usually find in a sour was a welcome difference (granted in not a sour beer expert by any means). Absolutely must try. Pricey for sure, so be ready to take a hit on the $15 for a small bottle. 9.6% abv does compensate for the price per volume a little bit.


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