Rastacouere (6154) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 23, 2006
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Hazy peat moss colored, its light off-white head quickly dies. A somewhat complex nose, minty, leafy, brandy nuanced in its woodiness, some pleasant oak notes, but undeniably bourbon dominated, drowned in bourbon even as the strong alcohol masks a good part of the ABTor quad fruity character. Sure the bourbon appears fairly integrated, it’s not done by novices, but it nonetheless diminishes the interest, sweetening the whole process with strong toffee component and chocolate powder, after eight minty, woody flavours that grow oily. Watery edges betray the stolen character from the barrel, I certainly don’t remember the Four as being light-medium bodied at best and oily at that rather than Belgian carbonated. You feel the dying presence of grapes underneath, drowning, the background earthiness, drowning. Bourbon is stronger than beer, a lesson to remember. It’s a matter of personal preferences really, because I can see myself falling in love with the same beer done in a bordeaux barrel à la Stille Nacht.
muzzlehatch (4422) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - FEB 15, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sample at EBF 2006. Murky dark amber-orange with almost no head....raisins and currants are the dominant first scents wafting out, grapiness and oaky barrel character last throughout, light caramel-burnt notes as well...the body is quite luscious, sweet raisingy-vanilla, basically echoing the fragrance...carbonation is as noted before very low, though this works for me as this is quite candy-like and not meant in the least bit to be refreshing or I think drunk in quantity. A rare sipping beer, perhaps a little over-the-top in its whiskeyish component and no improvement on the original, but fascinating nonetheless.
MartinT (8351) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 13, 2006
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Any first impressions?
-A ring of head surrounds the cloudy, dull red blanket.
-A portentous barrel perfume surges from the glass, yet fits exquisitely with the caramelized raisins, blackberries, and other dark fruit.
-Alcohol heat is felt a little too much, perhaps due to the important barrel apport.
-The low carbonated mouthfeel is a bit lazy for my taste.
What if you dig deeper?
-Cherries and pepper emerge after the barrel aroma slightly subsides, once you get used to it that is.
-Nutty, almond sweetness walks with melons and cantaloups.
-Sweetness is a little one-dimensional in the end, which might displease some.
-The barrel use is a little too strong imho, as in most of Allagash’s barrel-aged beers. But this doesn’t take away anything from the fact that this is a flavorful, well-designed brew.
Sampled at Extreme Beer Fest ’06.
dirtymike (2016) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - DEC 5, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
NEBF ’05 Light brown in colro with a small off-white lacing. Aroma and flavor of oak,whiskey,fruit and bready malt. Flavors of sugar,dark fruit with a mild dry finish and warming alcohol character.
Cletus (6354) - Connecticut, USA - NOV 26, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours orangey red with no a thin white head. Taste and smell is fruity with some mellow bourbon characteristics. Some chocolatey elements pop in at the finish.
Crosling (1864) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - NOV 14, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Hazy orange red color. Nose has a soft bourbon barrel character, with coconut and vanilla notes, which combines with the dark fruit notes of the original beer and smells balanced and nice. In the flavor, the bourbon character and the original beer balance quite well. It still remains very Belgian in character with juicy fruit flavors and the barrel injected some nice flavors as well. The best of the Allagash bourbon beers.
ClarkVV (4003) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 5, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
On draught at NEBF, 10/29/2005. Similar pour to the Four, a murky, deep auburn-chestnut brown, with some darker solid brown tinges and a strong beige head, with fair retention, though it’s mainly due to the draught nature of the carbonation. Little to no lacing. Aroma of prunes, dates, moderate vinousness and some vanilla cream. Bourbon character comes in late, and is quite well-done. I was rather skeptical of how the barrel aging would be done, not having cared for the Odyssey and the Curieux. But the flavor shows great restraint, with only a light coconut and whiskey-like flavor appearing on the finish. Through the middle it is mostly chocolate, light alcohol, dark grapes and vanilla. Yeast is light in apparency with a thick, chewy texture, yet without being too heavy. Perhaps a little too chocolatey, moreso than I remember, but the wood and whiskey dryness adds a nice touch and dosent horribly interrupt the Belgian character of the beer. Still think I preferred the first batch of Four.
SuIIy (1983) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - NOV 1, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 13/20
Draft @ NEBF. Pours a flat brown caramel color. Nose is a very nice, even , bourbon with some caramel and malt notes swirling throughout. Taste is a very tasty bourbon whiskey, not too heavy, but big and full. Some more malty caramel notes come through as well. Palate is nice, thick and smooth. finishes with an alcohol warmth.