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Allagash Brewing Company
Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Limited (brewed once).
The Origin of BAT + BAM
If there's one thing that's distinctly Belgian, it's that way they have of imbuing each batch of beer with a sense of history. For this year’s Allagash / BeerAdvocate collaboration brew, we tried to do the same. First, we got our base going: a 9-percent, 35-IBU (International Bittering Units) beer made with Pilsner malt, honey malt and rye, Northern Brewer bittering hops, and Mt. Hood and Czech Saaz as late additions. One-third of that base beer was destined for a Herradura tequila barrel, where it sat for three months. The rest was aged for three months in barrels with a more complicated history—they were Jim Beam bourbon barrels before Allagash used them for Curieux (their barrel-aged Tripel); then the barrels were used by two different mead makers, Artesano in Vermont and Maine Mead Works in Portland. The resulting two beers offer nuanced flavors that are unique to this batch, thanks to the rich history of the wood it was aged in—and what's more Belgian that that?
The base beer, an Amber of sorts, aged for three months in a tequila barrel. Smoky, with some nutty and dried fruit character.
The same base beer used in BAT, aged for three months in two mead barrels, which lend a chardonnay-like nose, some tropical fruit character, honey and some toasted oak flavor. Beers from the two barrels were blended into one final batch.
| Show Hads:
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
On-tap at Bar on Buena. Served in a tulip.
A - Looks nearly identical to BAM.
S - Like BAM, the base Belgian amber is quite present, but there's an odd juxtaposition of oak and and spicy tequila. The barrel-aging is definitely more present here, with that distinctive smoke, spirit, and oak character. The base beer offers contrasting sweet fruits, bread, and Belgian yeast.
T - The taste is a bit more heavy on the base beer, but the tequila brightens things by cutting some of the malt sweetness and yeast character. The combination of fruits, sugary malt, and tangy tequila actually gives this an apple cider-esque quality to it.
M - Medium body, smooth texture, lower carbonation, and an oaky finish. Again, some alcohol warmth, but nothing excessive for 9%.
D - I think Allagash found the right balance of spirit and beer here. In BAM, the mead/Jim Beam barrels barely show up at all, and in other tequila beers I've had the spirit overwhelms. In this case the tequila provides balance and depth to a sweet and somewhat unexciting base Belgian. I'd order this one again if I saw it somewhere.
Serving type: on-tap
05-29-2013 20:13:46 |
More by MasterSki
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Had on tap at the ginger man in nyc.
Pours a translucent red with a hint of head.
Smell is fruity, with apple and some hints of grape, pear and Madeira.
Taste is much like the smell, fruity apples, pears, and grape. There is a strong madeira taste that turns to tequila and just lingers.
Mouthfeel is smooth and buttery with little to no carbonation.
Overall I think this is a great beer. I am happy to have tried it.
Serving type: on-tap
05-23-2013 21:40:52 |
More by tikk
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
From 05/14/13 notes. Had this on tap at Ginger Man in NYC. 12 oz. pour in a tulip.
a - Pours a murky, bright amber-red color with one inch of off white head and light to moderate carbonation evident. Looks pretty nice.
s - Smells of sticky sweet fruits, strawberries, tequila, oak, fruity malts, smokey malts, toasted malts, alcohol, rum, and tannins. Tons of sticky sweet dark fruits though not overly sweet. Nice nose.
t - Tastes of strawberries, raspberriers, sticky sweet dark fruits, oak, vanilla, tequila, fruity malts, light smoke, light must, and toasted malts. taste has more berries than the nose and is sweeter as well. Pretty nice.
m - Medium body and low carbonation. Not muchalcohol heat and pretty smooth; very nice mouthfeel.
o - Overall an interesting beer that overall is pretty nice and worked for me. A lot of berries and sweet dark fruits to this once, with very very light tequila throughout it. Easy to drink, though not sure I'd want more than a glass of it at a time. Probably the best tequila BA'd beer I've had as that is normally a barrel I don't like, would definitely try it again.
Serving type: on-tap
05-15-2013 15:15:02 |
More by mdfb79
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
This brew was served from on tap at The Blind Tiger in New York, NY. It arrived in a generic tulip glass glowing a honey brown coloring, with reddish hues when held to light. No real head was noted, with the faintest rings of bubbles around the glass as the liquid disappeared. There was moderate haze, no sediment, and lighter carbonation. The aroma gave chemical bitterness, and the sour lactics of a gueuze. The spiciness of tequila, and a surprising oaky strength are noticed, along with pale and caramel malts, sweat and salty figs, and additional black cherry sourness. Our first impression was that the beer was sweeter than expected, but with nice wood and bitterness to match its sugariness. The flavoring opened with apple and fructose sugars mixing with caramel grain, boozy depth, and oak. The middle showed fermented apple sweetness to the peak, adding more agedness and musk. The finish was of intense fusel booze, grape and lime sugars, herbal bitterness, and the dryness of lemony breakfast tea. The aftertaste breathed of red grape sweetness, light oak, brown sugar, and a sour fruitiness, much like the nose. The body was medium, and the carbonation was stronger. There was an initial hearty coating, with a bubbly coat. There was a final sucking dryness of booze and wood, gliding astringency down the palate. Slurp, sip, cream, and froth were decent. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank easily.
Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the sourness and biting tequila woodiness that began in the nose and finished in the mouth. At times things even approached the sourness and wild qualities of the traditional lambic, while maintaining the strength of a booze, Belgian backing. This beer was very creamy and warming, while delivering all the flavoring we expected. This is definitely the best tequila infused beer we’ve had, with the strength of flavoring and base to back it up.
Serving type: on-tap
11-20-2012 14:48:04 |
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