Barrel-Aged Beer at The Refuge

Tonight I had dinner at The Refuge in San Carlos, CA. I had the pleasure of drinking a fine Belgian-style beer from Maine that was matured in ex-Bourbon barrels: Allagash Curieux.

The aromas of the Bourbon came through nicely. I really liked this beer! Here is the brewer’s description:

Allagash Curieux

In October of 2004, we released the first beer in our series of Barrel Aged beers, Allagash Curieux. To make the Curieux (French for “curious”), we age our Tripel Ale in Jim Beam barrels for 8 weeks in our cellar. During the aging process in bourbon barrels, the beer is totally transformed, and many new flavors and aromas develop. Most notably, the beer picks up soft coconut and vanilla characteristics…and also a hint of bourbon flavor!

Available in: 750 ml bottle and 5.17 gal kegs

ABV: 9.5% – 10.5%
Original Gravity: 1080
Recommended Serving Temperature: 55°F
Recommended Cellaring Temperature: 55°F

This was a strong beer in terms of ABV, so I only had the one. The flavor profile is light and I’d probably seek it out again when the weather is warmer. Tonight I dined outdoors and it was in the low 50s (Fahrenheit!), so it’s not exactly Summer (or even Spring) here, yet.

The next time I’m in Durham, New Hampshire (maybe in June…), I will definitely drive the one hour North to Portland, Maine to visit the nice folks at Allagash. I am very interested in the interplay between whisk(e)y and beer, so I feel like this trip is mandatory!



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  jjchristie wrote @

Please, come to my hometown of Portland and check out the brewery! Allagash does some awesome barrel-aged brews – they recently did a batch of their Black (a Belgian stout) aged in bourbon that was out of this world.

  tmaufer wrote @

The Allagash Black was on the menu, too, but the menu said that the Curieux was limited quantity so I wanted to make sure I tried it if they had it. I’ll try the rest of them before the year is out. BTW, all the Allagash brews at The Refuge are on tap, not in bottles.

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