Carla Jean Lauter

The Beer Babe

Allagash – Curieux

I put this in my fridge with hopes of making it a review for tomorrow night. I twittered my regrets that I wouldn’t be able to try this tonight because of its temperature. I was immediately reminded that this beer tastes wonderful and should be enjoyed not cold, but allowed to warm slightly and let the complexities out. I took their advice to heart and retrieved the bottle from the fridge.

Curieux is described as an ale aged in oak bourbon barrels. I’m a fan of aged beer, and I’m a fan of Allagash, so this had very little potential to dissapoint me.
I poured it out and a fluffy head rose up due to its temperature. It was a light yellow and quite clear (for some reason I expected cloudiness?) The smell was of sweet alcohol and yeast, and in general very inviting. I don’t detect the woody smell that sometimes lingers when you age in barrels or throw wood into the mix. 
The taste is almost Belgian in its yeastiness, and there’s very little wood here. But there’s an undertone of sweetness and tartness, which gets more and more unwrapped as it warms. This one is another example of the level of sophistication that beer is capable of. There are layers of flavors that change with the temperature, and it is a delicious beverage, no doubt. It doesn’t have that residual sickening sweetness that some whiskey-barrel aged beers can have, and for me that’s a good thing, too.
It is also something I would love to pair with food, though I’m struggling to think what could complement this – maybe scallops? On Allgash’s site it suggests desserts or barbeque, but I’m not sure I agree.
The downside to Curieux is that it can be very expensive. At more than $15.00 a bottle, it is more something that you would bring as a gift to a dinner party than something you’d have around all the time. I think that Allagash can be understood for charging the higher price, though, because their quality is high – just be careful that you don’t assume it’s in the same price range as similarly sized bottles from other brewers, or you might end up with some sticker shock at your local beer store.
Curieux is one of several beers in the same series by Allagash. Curieux, Oddesy and Musette, and there are other limited edition series that come in the same size and package style. I hope one day to get up to Allgash to sample more of these – because they do a fine job with the ones I’ve tried. 

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1 Comment

  1. B.E. Earl

    I love the Allagash brews. My lovely lady walked in the door a little while ago with some beers, one of which was an Allagash Tripel Reserve which I will be enjoying tonight.

    She’s the best!

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