Allagash Curieux, Our Drink of the Week!

Allagash Curieux, Our Drink of the Week!
Taylor Hamby

The Allagash Brewery of Portland, Maine has combined two drinks that aught be kept separate in a night's worth of drinking, according to conventional alcoholic wisdom; tripel ale and bourbon. Good thing craft breweries defy conventional wisdom. Unlike the often-dastardly beer cocktail, Curieux isn't one part whiskey, one part beer, mixed, bottled and corked; instead, it takes Allagash's honey and fruit-sweet ale, Tripel Reserve, and ages it in Jim Beam oak barrels for eight weeks. They produce a limited batch each month; the September 2011 batch tested for this review had only 930 cases bottled. If you can resist the temptation, it's a fine ale to let age for a year and enjoy. Perhaps one of the best things about the beer--other than drinking it--is cooking with it. Several recipes are available on Allagash's website, like Allagash-Glazed Sliders with Curieux Carmelized Onions, Bacon and Blue Cheese.

The Drink: At first sip, the bourbon is all there. The bitter-to-sweet transition of Jim Beam blends with the relatively light ale for a taste quite unlike most Belgian-style beers. The bourbon taste slips into the background and reveals notes of vanilla and coconut; the bitterness comes back lightly in the aftertaste. It's bottled in a brown 750 mL bottle with a cork. Of course, it doesn't forget its liquor-based roots: after a glass or two of this "curiosity," you'll be sittin' pretty thanks to the generous 11% ABV. Are you curious?

Allagash Curieux is available at fine beer retailers in Orange County such as Total Wine and Hi-Time Wine Cellar.

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Hi-Time Wine Cellars

250 Ogle St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627


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