Brewery: Allagash Brewing Company
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Portland, Maine
Alcohol Content (ABV): 11%
First Brewed: 2004
Color is hazy orange/blond topped by a solid foamy head; the nose throws off volumes of honey, fruit, and almond. The first sip is of a typical tripel, with a sweet but not cloying honey and tingly yeast bite, followed by rivers of complex flavors of oak, vanilla, and bourbon.
I am not sure if I have had any beers from Allagash. We can’t get them here, and I had to get this and the other bottle on our list in a trade. I guess this beer is rare. I was looking for this beer online, and found it on RateBeer and BeerAdvocate. This beer is rated 99 on RateBeer and 100 on BeerAdvocate. It must be good! I have been on a tripel kick lately. I am not a huge fan of blond (or blonde) beers, love a good dubbel, and don’t really care for most quads. However, most tripels deliver.
Now that I think about it, I don’t know many breweries from Maine. I saw they were from Portland, and thought… Portland, Maine? Never heard of such a place! Doesn’t mean they don’t know how to make good beer. Actually, doesn’t mean they don’t know how to luck into making good beer. Fun story on how this beer was first discovered. The bottling date on the bottle says, “February 1, 2013″… and I am sure a few years on this would help. But we are impatient. Oh, and it’s the 4th of July. Might as well celebrate. Cheers!
In the Glass: This looks like a glass of champagne. There are TONS of bubbles here. The beer looks like a tripel in the glass, with a nice thick white head. Funny story… I am getting a text message from Josh Williams about the Founders Devil Dancer. It’s a triple IPA. Not the same as this… but funny they both sound the same. Anyway, this beer is inviting especially knowing they use Jim Beam barrels.
Nose: Not much bourbon on the nose. It has a nice somewhat sweet aroma with a hint of honey. Speaking of honey, I bought some honey for a recipe the other day. I have been eating a spoon of it every morning. It’s SO good. The beer still has a pretty thick head, so I will wait for a few minutes.
Flavor: The flavor just coats my palate and gives me a typical tripel experience at first. Then, as I swallow the booze becomes obvious; it’s a little bit too hot. I am sure a few years in the bottle would fix that. It is also a bit too cold. I could spend an hour with this bottle if I had to. Maybe I will… it’s a holiday. I don’t have anything else going on today.
I swished the beer around in my mouth on the second sip, and the sweetness really opened up. For as much as this beer is, and for the trouble we had to go to get it, I am not blown away with the flavor. I would like to try the tripel without the barrels. You don’t really get much bourbon flavor here. Not as much as I was expecting. Cool story on where they get their bottles, though.
Mouthfeel: Like I said, there are a ton of bubbles in the glass. Not as much when you sip it. They aren’t obvious, and the beer isn’t that carbonated. I bet, as this beer heats up, the bubbles will mellow out and the beer will also mellow out in terms of the complexity. This beer has high ratings online, and it’s good… but it’s not “world-class”.
Aftertaste: The finish is nice and somewhat drying, but not the typical sweetness that I get from a good Belgian tripel. Barrel aged beers are tough for me. They are either amazing and you can really taste the bourbon, or they are like this and you pick up some of the flavors from the barrel, but you don’t taste the bourbon itself. I wonder if I were to toss in a splash of bourbon and mix it up if that would change the flavor of the beer. I’m not going to, but it’s a thought!
According to the label, they only bottled 1400 cases of this beer. It’s rare… but it didn’t blow me away. Also, as I was tracking this beer on Untappd, I see they have a Booker’s Barrel, and a Four Roses Barrel offering. Does anyone know if that is more rate than this? I would love to try them all side by side. Maybe I will get a bottle of their Tripel in my next trade to compare. Not a bad beer, just not what I was expecting. Cheers and happy 4th of July, everyone!
Curieux – The can says: “ALE AGED IN OAK BOURBON BARRELS”
Happy 4th of July! We are spending the holiday in today, rather than to venture out into the Arizona heat. We decided to have a lazy, low-key day at home. We made a fun breakfast and have a yummy dinner planned as well, interspersed with beers and movies in-between and fireworks after dark. It’s my kind of holiday.
This is the first beer we are reviewing today. It was in a big bottle, and Ricky poured it into a tall tulip glass. There’s probably a more official name for it, but to me it just looks like a taller, skinnier tulip glass. It’s a dark golden yellow in color and looks very thick, not transparent at all. It also had a lot of head. Ricky had to wait on the head to go down so he could pour it all into the glasses. Judging from the color, it looks fruity or citrusy, but let’s smell it to see. It does smell fruity and citrusy, and also slightly spicy. I’m really not sure what it’s going to taste like. Let’s see!
Well, first of all, it’s very carbonated. That’s definitely the first thing that hits me. The head that’s still lingering there gets in the way a bit right now, and the carbonation hits you first, so that’s all you taste in the first sip. It’s very hot, very boozy. I am left with an aftertaste with a very hot feeling. Taking a second drink, I can taste more flavor. It’s not as fruity or citrusy as I imagined. It is a good taste, though. It tastes carbonated, full, thick, and only slightly citrusy. But it’s a good, rich flavor. It’s a good summer beer, if a bit heavy. But I like it. I think this is definitely one I’d buy again given the opportunity.