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Thread: Allagash - extremes?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    67

    Cool Allagash - extremes?

    I'm not sure what the group here considers "extreme", and whether that it's dependent upon high ABV%, or just radical techniques in general.

    Regardless, a few of the more extreme brews that I've tried are by one of my favorite small brewers: Allagash (of Portland, Maine)

    I've enjoyed the White, Dubbel and Tripel for many years now, though less since moving to Georgia. Perhaps in the future Rob will distribute to GA (since the ABV law was upped to 13%), but for now, I'm limited to what I can get on trips back to the Wash DC area...this Thanksgiving, I was able to get my hands on three I hadn't tried before: Four, Curieux and Musette, all of which are sold only no smaller than 750ml wine bottle style and have ABVs of about 10-11%. Note that everything they try is a variant using Belgian yeasts...

    Four is part of his standard line, consists of four each of malts, hops, sugars, Belgian yeasts and fermentations, the latter using a different yeast each time. The result is a medium bodied, medium brown ale with overtones of alcohol. Decent, but strong.

    Curieux is the 1st in his Oak Aged line of beers. Had this with Thanksgiving dinner...wish I had time to buy another and bring it back to GA! This is essentially the Tripel, aged in Jim Beam oak barrels for 8 weeks...it really does have a slight bourbon aftertaste to it. Fantastic!

    Musette is the latest (3rd) of the Oak Aged Ales...currently remains unopened...will try it at a brewing in January.

    I didn't see the 2nd Oak aged (Odyssey), and did see the sole entry for his Serie D'origine: Interlude. Supposedly Interlude is aged in French oak barrels that give it a wine-like quality, but at $25 per 750ml bottle, I wasn't ready to ante up at the time. Perhaps again later if it is still sold...

    You can see these listed at www.allagash.com

    Anyone else tried Allagash (extreme or others), or other extreme Belgians that are recommended?

    Kai
    Last edited by KaiBueno; 12-11-2006 at 03:15 PM.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    78
    Agreed, Curieux is the best one I've had from Allagash but the
    Interlude is worth the $$$ just to try it and compare with their
    other offerings. I believe they have only brewed one batch of the
    Odyssey and that may be why you did not see it available. I still
    have one in the cellar but I have a dozen Curieux representing
    all three years. I also have a few Musette but have not tasted
    any yet. I like to let them age for six months before tasting so I
    am not far from popping the cork on a Musette. The only one I
    was not that impressed with was the 10th Anniversary.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    17
    ok, so here's the rundown on the bunch, mainly the cask aged beers:

    the curieux needs plenty of time. i just opened my last one from 04 and it was insane. that beer at the start was very oaky with lots of bourbon character. after 3 years of bottle age it was soft, lots of vanilla and nut character, very easy and pleasant. almost like a nice white burgundy, creamy but not overly so.

    the musette needs time. it's great right now. but again, strong. not recommended for drinking until at least another year. i sold my entire allocation, so i won't be able to later comment on it's ageability.

    victorias: if you haven't come across a bottle of this, find it immediately. it was brewed with a significant portion of chardonnay grapes from burgundy, and aged in burgundy barrels. this beer is amazing, and requires a huge amount of bottle ageing. first impression tells you that it has nice complexity, but i must say, this beer will age phenominally with time. it has all the makings of a great st. aubin or or meursault, enjoy ONLY AFTER ageing 1 yr or more.

    odyssey was also great. another beer that was an oak monster right from the gate. i drank/sold all of mine after 1 yr in the bottle and the beer showed excellent improvement. the oak softened, the bourbon disappeared, and vanilla notes increased. this beer, like the curieux will age equally as nice and long. don't be shy putting this one down for 3 to 4 years, and if you have stock, more.

    4. what can be said? this beer is a monster! i've never aged any, nor do i care to. will it age fine? yup. do i like it for it's intensity? of course. do what you will with this beer. it will age, or drink it now. it has the depth and complexity to spend in the bottle, with just enough softness and elegance to consume early. it's a toss up. buy a case and do both if you want to be serious.

    cheers,

    nosaabs
    I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone...but they've always seemed to work for me!

    Hunter S. Thompson

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