Allagash – Curieux

Tasting: March 4, 2012
Style: Tripel
ABV: 11%
Other notes: Bottled in January of 2012. 985 cases produced.

Allagash Curieux

There are a number of stouts in the market that are aged in used bourbon barrels. My experience has been that the barrel lends a wonderful vanilla and burnt oak to an already rich stout. You might wonder how all these bourbon barrels make it to the market for use by beer brewers. To be called bourbon, the whiskey needs to be aged in new, charred oak barrels. So, by rule — a bourbon barrel can’t be reused to make bourbon. So with bourbon production on the rise – there should be plenty of barrels available. Here’s to hoping that the better breweries getting ample supplies of these barrels. Now, I’m starting to see other styles aged in bourbon barrels — porter, English-ale — and now I have a belgian-style triple aged in Jim Beam bourbon barrels.

Pours a cloudy orange with little head. Aroma is minimal. First sip gives me the belgian spice, mellow candied sugar and subtle grapes. Honestly, I thought that the bourbon barrel would really overpower this ale – but it’s almost too subdued. Yes, the vanilla and oak are present – but not enough in my book. A nice sipper – but at $15, I’ll call this a one and done. I was really hoping for a classic — but a very respectable 88 points for me.

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