Sunday, May 6, 2012

Beer Review: Allagash Curieux

Picture Credit
Today is my 26th birthday.  To celebrate the occasion I decided to look in my beer cellar and pull out something special.  I decided to go with Allagash's Curieux.  This beer is one that I was convinced to buy at my local bottle shop.  Curieux is a Belgian Triple, a portion of  it has been aged in Jim Bean bourbon barrels.  The brewers then take the barrel aged beer and blend it with fresh triple.

To be honest I am not a huge fan of most triples.  I usually find them to be too harsh with hot alcohols that make them not enjoyable to drink. I'm also very skeptical of wiskey barrel aged beers in general. Don't get me wrong I love a good whiskey, especially bourbon, but when I want whiskey I drink whiskey and when I want beer I drink beer. Some times bourbon barrel aged beers have too much bourbon and not enough beer.  None of this is the case with Curieux.  It is very well balanced and smooth.

Allagash has made a great triple and improved it with a shot stay in some Jim Bean barrels.  This beer does not scream "HEY I HAVE BOURBON IN ME!!!!"  instead it says "I have hints of vanilla and coconut that are reminiscent of a good bourbon."  It pours a beautiful straw like gold color with a thick head.  The aroma is all of the yeast character that you expect from a triple with the addition of the vanilla from the oak.  I was expecting to get more bourbon on the nose, but am pleasantly surprised with the subtle oak notes.

The flavor is very smooth.  It does not seem to be 11% abv.  Again I was expecting to be punched in the face with Bourbon.  That is just not the case.  The delicious triple is complimented with light vanilla and coconut.   There is enough alcohol in this beer that reminds you to sip it, but it is not so evident that you wouldn't be able to drink it quickly if you wanted to.  It has a nice biscuit and graham cracker grain backbone.  This helps balance some of the sweetness that is evident from the higher alcohol.  The beer is very carbonated which helps lift the alcohol sweetness off of the pallet.  Even though there is a fair amount of sweetness in this beer it still manages to finish rather dry.  All and all a very easy drinking and enjoyable beer.

I think that this beer would pair extremely well with some BBQ.  It has a nice spicy flavor and aroma that could stand up to spicy pulled pork.  It also has the bourbon flavors so I would recommend using a Jim Beam or other bourbon sauce.


~ Ben