Wow. Right before I cracked this bottle of Allagash Curieux someone told me the beer was “life changing” … and I tend to agree. It’s been awhile since Belgians have really excited me, given me a reason to want to rush right out and buy another. I feel like I probably overdid it with Belgian Tripels and Quads when I first started getting into craft beer (especially with Ommegang and their beer fest at my fingertips). So for me to crack out a tripel that not only do I genuinely enjoy, but totally floors me the way that today only the hoppiest DIPAs and biggest barrel-aged imperial stouts do is even more impressive.
The first thing you notice when you crack open the bottle is the huge bourbon/vanilla nose the beer gets from it’s aging process in Jim Beam barrels. This combo carries through to the flavor of the beer with some oak added and some fruity sweetness along with the usual character Belgian yeast adds to a beer. Like most Tripels, the drinkability of this 11% beer categorizes this as a ninja beer for me, because it’s going to sneak up you and knock you out.
I picked this up on our stop at Table & Vine on our way back from StoutFest and I couldn’t be happier that I did. This is an outstanding Tripel that’s restored my faith in Belgian-style ales, and merits a brewery visit the next time I’m in Maine.