It’s time for something old and something new from Allagash, the Portland, Maine-based producer of some of the country’s most coveted craft brews.
Allagash Curieux – This was Allagash’s first barrel-aged beer, which starts with its Tripel Ale and goes from there for eight weeks into bourbon barrels. The aged beer is then blended back with a portion of fresh Tripel to form Curieux. Results: The nose is beautiful, wine-like with notes of figs, dates, and dried fruits. The body is malty and rounded, loaded with all of the above fruit notes, and rounded off with vanilla and burnt caramel. Slightly effervescent on the finish, the finale is cleaner and less cloying than expected, despite the whopping 11 percent alcohol. Altogether it’s a great entry to barrel-aged beers. 11% abv. A- / $18 per 750ml bottle
Allagash Hibernal Fluxus 2016 – This is the first of a new annual release from Allagash, a Belgian-style stout brewed with figs, inspired by a recipe devised in 2008 by a member of the Allagash bottling line. It’s a coffee-dark brew that offers aromas of coffee beans, dark chocolate, and spices. The body is where it kicks in with light fig notes, lacing them with malty molasses, hazelnuts, and some maple syrup notes. That all sounds really heavy, but Hibernal Fluxus is surprisingly well-balanced, thanks to a relatively low alcohol level and a deft interplay between it’s various components. All told it’s one of the best beers of the year. Grab it while you can. 8% abv. A / $17 per 750ml bottle