ClarkVV (4003) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 30, 2008
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Original release bottle, drunk a couple times in the past six months, most recently on 11/24/07
So at about 20ish months in the bottle, this one still shows a mountainous size of well-retained off-white head that laces as well as any Belgian-brewed Belgian ale. No surprise there. Leaving the sediment behind, the beer is a dark, but muted copper color in the middle, with lighter gold hues on the edges. Clarity is high, carbonation plentiful.
Aroma is full of grape fermentation notes (sharp esters and phenols, with nectarine notes and some higher alcohols, to briefly sum up what I associate with the grapes). The malt is surprisingly rather full in the nose, with rich, rich honey dough notes (definitely some sticky caramel as well). As far as that goes, it balances the sharp fruit esters and alcohols very nicely. With warming, vanilla and even light citrus notes (esters) emerge to add some complexity, though I donít know that the vanilla works well with the fruit notes and breadiness. Still, the aroma is full, strong and not flawed, as well as distinctly Belgian. The alcohol is the most problematic, but I donít see this as any more alcoholic than any other Belgian ale fermented (non-spontaneously) with fruits.
In the flavor is a luxurious amount of honey, caramel, peach and nectarine, with the tell-tale vanilla on the finish. I like the interplay of the more dry fruit notes with the honey and caramel, but probably itís even a bit syrupy/sugary at this point. There is a touch "breadiness" or premature oxidation that dulls some of the malt intensity (not necessarily a bad thing) and with the alcohol on the finish, itís quite dry and balanced by the end. Phenolic spiciness is easily noted throughout, with an almost herbal-like bitterness on the finish. Texture, as with most Allagash beers, and especially with this amount of malt softness, is extremely supple with engaging carbonation.
As with most of these Allagash one-offs, patience once again proves to be rewarding.
drpimento (2403) - La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 12, 2015
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
I think the best thing about this beer is its appearance- a huge thick, foamy, off-white, slow to settle head with lots of lace and a very clear golden color. Aroma is malt, grain, yeast. Flavor is very mild, understated, malty, slightly metallic, yeast, a bit of carbonic tart, fairly dry. Texture is light, soft. This is a very low-key Belgian Style Strong.
johnnnniee (2707) - Bedford, New Hampshire, USA - NOV 21, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at Cask and Vine while enjoying the company of Todd the Hoople.
Lightly hazy deep straw with hints of wine yellow if that makes any sense. Fruity earthy spicy aromas and flavor. Interesting brew a bit outside of the box. I enjoyed this more than its counterpart.
katrinaez (373) - norristown, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 11, 2014
3.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: APR 5, 2015 Note that it is better to have wIth salty foods than with sweet/chocolate foods. You can taste the grapes as it has a sIght raisin oaked barrel taste. Not a hearted beer, rather heavy but easy enough to finish a 750ml alone in 2 hours! Bottle
symmetric (65) - - OCT 11, 2014
2.5 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Yeasty, slightly phenolic nose, hint of apple underneath. Cloudy opaque gold color with a fine white frothy head. Slightly syrupy body, grapey and grassy taste with an astringent bitter finish.
Drake (9999) - Free Union, Virginia, USA - SEP 30, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Keg at The Answer Brewpub. Pours a clear golden with a thin white head. Decent head retention. Aroma of pale malt, tart grapes, scuppernongs, citrus, yeast. The taste is grapes, yeast, citrus, apricot, marzipan,. Medium bodied, low carbonation, mild lingering yeast.
jackl (5404) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - SEP 29, 2014
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Keg @ The Answer. Light gold with a small head. Belgian yeast, pear and apple juice. Similar flavor. Somewhat boozy. Sweet grain and honey. Hot apples. Sugar. Full body, oily.
slowrunner77 (6634) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 25, 2014
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
"Nice mix of honey and white grape sweetness, and light funk (though more pronounced than Victor). A rare blend of refresher and contemplative sipper. Very nice."
ejh8 (105) - - AUG 31, 2014
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Is there anything better than the Allagash reserves? Just opened a caged and corked 750ml bottle from 2011. Pours a gentle yellow with a thick consistent cloud. Strong ale taste that draws you into the whole bottle. Just another wonderful offering from the great brewers in Portland, Maine. Cheers!
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
FROTHINGSLOSH (5250) - GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 24, 2014
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: AUG 25, 2014 Sampled on draft at 3R6P this beer poured a vibrant glowing peach-golden color with a large soapy-foamy white head that left decent lacing. The aroma was tangy and sweet golden fruits, wood, must and bubblegum. The flavor was very tangy with bread dough,m ust, wood, bubblegum, strong golden fruits and sugar. Long finish. Moderately full bodied. Excellent.
solidfunk (4912) - Washington D.C., Washington DC, USA - AUG 14, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Very understated beer. Pours cloudy blonde with great head and carpet lacing. Some citrus and florals, though citrus is rather more pronounced than most of style. Finishes with light sweetness. Light oajy bitterness as well. Tap at RFD.