A Belgian style pale ale brewed with Maine ingredients to showcase and support sustainable family farming in Maine’s sixteen counties, this latest style from Allagash reminds me of a saison. The head is massive and long lasting. The nose is grainy and grassy. The middle has zesty lemon, honeysuckle and other floral notes and there’s a quite a bit of grapefruit in the finish. The body is medium and the alcohol is a robust 7.3% ABV. An exceptionally delicious beer.
The nose is sweet with brown sugar, banana and prunes. The middle is malty and fruity with peach, a bit of apricot and some heavy bread that sticks with you through the finish. The finish also has a hint of pepper. An OK dubbel. Light to medium body. 7% ABV.
Allagash calls Hoppy Table Beer a “Dry hopped Belgian-style ale.” What it is not, first off, is an IPA. The head is very light foam, and long lasting. The nose is grassy and crisp. The middle is very hop heavy, but spicy, herbal and dry, not piney or citrusy. There is some prominent lemon in the finish. The body is light to medium and the alcohol is an easy drinking 4.8% ABV. A really unusual, and outstanding beer.
Victoria is a Belgian Strong Pale Ale brewed with 500 lbs of crushed Chardonnay grapes, which are definitely the dominant influence. The nose has grapes, yeast, and a bit of butter. The middle is heavy with sweet grape, contrasted sharply by bitter herbal grassy notes, and some spicy heat in the background, all of which remain and fade in the finish. The body is medium to heavy, and the alcohol is a robust 9.0% ABV.
I’ve done several Allagash reviews lately, and there are more to come, but tonight’s brew is their Tripel ale. It’s a beautiful bottle-conditional standard Belgian Tripel, with yeast, honey, and fruit in the nose. The middle is fruity with pear and grape notes dominating. The finish is sweet and silky, with just a hint of pepper at the end. It’s an outstanding example, perfectly executed, one of the best of the style. The body is medium to heavy, and alcohol is stout at 9.0% ABV.
Allagash calls Black a Belgian-style stout, brewed with roasted and chocolate malt and caramelized candi sugar. The nose has a bit of coffee and dark fruit. The middle is silky smooth and bready. It’s brown sugary sweet, but only mildly so; not too sweet. Coffee and chocolate rise in the finish. The body is medium to heavy, and the alcohol is high for a stout, but not for a Belgian at 7.5% ABV. A beautifully executed stout, in all, and lovely to drink.
Confluence is a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, dry hopped and fermented with Brettanomyces. The fact that it is dry-hopped does not mean this is a “hoppy” beer, and in fact, in traditional Belgian style it is the malt and yeast on display here. Even though this is a “strong” pale ale, it’s certainly on the lighter side for a Belgian, and for Allagash. The head is foamy and quite pronounced. The nose is quite faint, and has some grape and pear notes. I didn’t catch much else. In the middle are strong pear flavors and a bit of lemon. This continues into the finish with the pear fading and the lemon rising, and some pepper entering the mix to spice things up. The body is medium to heavy, and the alcohol is a reasonable 7.1% ABV. A nice, clean, very well done beer.
Victor is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale from Maine’s Allagash Brewing. The Belgian heritage is immediately apparent with a fruity, sour wild yeast nose that promises good things to come. The middle is tart, and bursts with fruit including cherry, banana, raisins and a bit of licorice. The finish is spicy and sweet with pepper, brown sugar and sweet cherry notes. It’s a medium to full bodied beer, and an appropriate 9% ABV, which is just right for the style and well hidden, only coming through with a bit of heat in the finish. Another astoundingly good beer from Allagash.
Fluxus is an anniversary beer for Allagash, and they brew it differently every year. For 2012, it was a Belgian golden ale brewed with barley and spelt malt, and then spiced with green and pink peppercorns. The Belgian yeast is immediately apparent in the nose, which has notes of peach and apricot. The middle is fruity, with plum and grapes added to the mix. There is a hint of spice from the pepper in the finish, but it’s very mild, and it offers a pleasing contrast to the sweet fruit. Beyond the pepper, the finish is best described as buttery. The body is medium to heavy, and the alcohol is a reasonable 7.7% ABV.
Allagash Odyssey is a dark wheat beer in the Belgian Strong Dark Ale style, brewed with Belgian candi sugar and aged in oak. Another way to describe it would be “brilliant.” The nose holds promises of raisins, figs, and ginger. The middle is mellow and muted due to the wheat, with clear and refined flavors of raisins, plums, dates, and a bit of coffee. While the middle is sweet, the finish is dry and flavors that come forward are vanilla, cocoa and tobacco. The body is heavy and the alcohol is an age-able 10.4% ABV. The suggested drinking window is two years, and the example I’m drinking in February 2015 was bottled in January 2014, and it’s clearly still in its prime. My bottom line is that this beer is another long home run from Allagash.