Sunday, October 2, 2011
Day 69 (10/1/2011): Allagash Tripel Reserve
This was a beautiful beer. Sadly, since I was drinking it at a hotel out of a plastic cup, I have no pictures. I just couldn't bear degrading it that way. Take my word, though, it was the brightest golden imaginable with a huge billowing white head.
The smell was classic tripel: spices, banana, apple, bread, and biscuity yeast. The taste is a tad sweeter than I expected from the smell and perhaps a tad sweeter than I would have liked, but it still was great. The spiciness is slightly less than in the smell and the fruit (more tropical than the smell) was a bit more dominating. It is also slightly American-ized with a tad bit of hops on the finish that I haven't really noticed in Belgian versions. What is amazing to me is that, at 9%, how little the alcohol comes through. They did a great job of hiding it. Maybe a slight but of warmth, but that's it.
I wouldn't put this quite at the level of my favorite tripel from Westmalle, but it is darn close. A beautiful, fragrant, tasty take on the Belgian classic from an American brewery that surely knows what it's doing. I have a bottle of Curieux, the bourbon barrel aged version of this tripel, that I really, really can't wait to open. I give Allagash Tripel Reserve an A-.
Beer Advocate: A-