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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: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
This brew was served from the tap at The Blind Tiger in New York, NY into a stemless chalice. It glowed a reddish golden amber, showing a half finger tall head of stark white bubbles. A ghostly film was left across the top, but lacing appeared minimal. There was a heavy haze to the clarity, but no sediment was noted. Carbonation appeared average. The aroma showed nice oak barrels, honey and and maple sweetness, heavy malts of wheat and pales alike, and a final milky, lactic sweetness to cut the seriousness of wood. Our first impression was that there was nice fruity sweetness to the flavoring, with a hearty souring grain mash to the back. As we sipped, sugary sweetness of violet grapes and old apples started things off. These prepared the palate for the onslaught of booze to the peak, with fusel ethanol boxing hard against caramel malts, coin, and bittering magic marker phenols. The finish gave more apple sweetness, peppery booze, and black cherry sweetness. The aftertaste breathed of honey, booze, pale and caramel grain, metallic coin, and mineral water. The body was medium, and the carbonation was medium. There was drying bite through the middle, with chalky, bone dry astringency on the back. Slurp, cream, and froth were all nice. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank okay.
Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the sweetness through the taste. This is seriously tested throughout the taste, with hearty strength to the malty backbone and boozy bite. The final flavoring, however, ends up nicely balancing the sweetness to this bitterness. While the blend is nice, BAM is weaker in overt punch when compared directly to Allagash’s other special offerings.
Serving type: on-tap
11-20-2012 14:51:03 |
More by TheBrewo
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
On-tap at Publick House, 12oz serving into an Allagash tulip.
A- Pours a fairly hazy orange golden with decent carbonation and about half finger of white foamy bubbly head that has nice retention slowly receding to a thin layer and leaving spotty lacing.
S- Has a lightly sweet Belgian candy aroma of oranges, lemons, bananas and other fruits. Not citrusy but more of just a sweet fruity aroma. Decently aromatic and fairly pleasant smelling.
T- Like the aroma the taste has a Belgian fruity sweetness to it of oranges, lemons (not acidic or citrusy), bananas, and honey. The mead doesn't present itself too strongly but it accentuates the fruitiness and adds a nice extra sweetness to it.
M- Smooth, easy drinking, nice carbonation, abv well hidden.
O- This beer didn't blow my mind, but it was a unique well executed beer. You don't see too many beers that have been aged in spent mead barrels and I thought this beer made nice use of it. The mead added a nice sweetness to the beer that balanced well with the Belgian fruitiness of the Belgian Strong Pale Ale. It wasn't overly flavorful or the best Belgian Strong Pale Ale, but it was interesting to try and I'm glad I got to enjoy a glass.
Serving type: on-tap
09-08-2012 18:45:55 |
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