Posted by: Scott | October 21, 2009

Allagash Curieux Review

Allagash CurieuxYou can’t find Allagash beers in Arizona. I get it, Allagash. It’s hot here. The state’s deodorant gave out some time during the Paleozoic era. So whenever I get a chance to jump state lines, I try to land near a retailer for this outstanding Maine brewery. On my most recent trip, I spotted the Allagash Curieux. Its snazzy corked bottle (which says it was “aged in oak bourbon barrels”) and relatively low $8.99 price tag drew me in like a moth to the bug zapper. The zap occurred when it rang up for $16.49 instead. When I pointed out the error, a Bevmanager got involved—and honored the sticker price. My face smiled politely and expressed thanks. My brain shrieked “SCORE!”

At home, I tear my trophy from its brown paper coat. The cork pops, and mist burbles out. Definitely a Belgian-style tripel; it paints my goblet amber and gold and coats the rim with creamy foam. The head exhales vanilla (a result of oak aging) along with hints of bright fruit and white wine. One sip reveals a hefty alcohol presence—understandable at 11% ABV—but spicy fruit, caramel, and the omnipresent vanilla balance things out. On the palate the brew feels full and creamy, even a bit buttery, like drinking carbonated silk. As it warms, the vanilla makes way for smoky bourbon, an unusual transition that sets my buds ablaze. This one’s a sipper.

OK, I drink Belgian ales like nobody’s beeswax, but the Curieux surprised me. It pummeled my tongue with sugar and smoke, and with it Allagash has given me a new favorite among tripels. Did paying half the price make the beer seem twice as tasty? No idea. But I savored every sip, because at $16.49 a bottle, my next taste might have to wait until flying pigs make the cows come home.

4.5 caps out of 5



  1. Never heard of this one…I’ll have to look for it.

    • If you can afford it (or find a pricing error, as I did) it’s definitely worth a try!

  2. Hey Scott, this is your cousin once removed, Niki. Sandy sent me your webpage. We live in Belgium now and if you haven’t tried Trappist Westvleteren, numbers 8 and 12 you are missing out! And my husband says you can’t call yourself a beer enthusiast! 🙂 Let me know if you want to make a beer trip over here, our house us always open, or would like some shipped your way. There are soooo many good beers here!

    Niki :>)

    • Hi Niki, it’s great to hear from you, and thanks for reading! You can tell your husband to look closely at my banner–bottle caps from all three Westvleteren beers are in there! They were some of the best beers I’ve ever had (a friend paid a pretty penny to ship them over), and I can’t wait to taste them again. I think I might take you up on your offer in the (hopefully) near future! 🙂

  3. i love this beer a bit too much, given my recent limited funds. but it is always worth it. the only trouble is that, on occasion, i can’t find someone to drink it with me and i have to down a bottle by myself. it is not much of a punishment, but still…

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