InterludeSeptember 1, 2006 Portland, ME
Allagash Brewing Co.
Available: ME, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC, VA, NC
Interlude, the first release in Allagash’s new experimental series, is brewed with two yeasts: a Belgian farmhouse yeast, followed by a house strain of Brettanomyces. Finally, it is aged in French merlot and syrah oak barrels.
Alcohol (wt.): 7.5
Alcohol (vol.): 9.5
Color: reddish amber
Original Gravity: 1080
Final gravity: 1005
Malts used: Pilsner, Malted Wheat, Caramel, Turbinado Sugar
Hops used: Northern Brewer, Tettnanger, Strissel Spalt
There’s a definite Belgian inspiration to this, evident from the aromatic mix of dried and fresh apricot and peach, gentle vanilla and tannic notes, plus a bit of a trip out back of the barnyard. The body is no less captivating, with herbal notes up front leading to a complex mix of oak, tart fruit (green grapes, lemon zest, dried apricot), vanilla, fresh pear, and the faintest hint of smoke. A fascinating and wonderful strong ale and one I would seriously consider for a meal of dumplings and garlicky stir fry.
- Stephen Beaumont
“Aged in oak barrels.” Hah! What an understatement! Symphonic aromatic overtures of vanillaed oak, perfumed and sweet coriander seed and apricots. Stampeded by flavors likewise, plus complex fermentation-induced fruitiness and alcohol. Nothing gets crazy. It all makes sense from the first and to last drop. An “interlude,” indeed. As in ludicrously fantastic. A treasure and a treat. Food? Go ahead have some—but who needs it with this Maine goodie.
- Charlie Papazian
A cloudy deep orange beer, this almost looks like a country cider as the head recedes. It wears its brettanomyces on its sleeve and the horsy wild yeast aroma combines with a big cherry note. On the palate it pulls a neat trick; slightly sweet, yet drying, zingy acidity, great juicy fruit, and just enough bitterness to keep it on the rails. The finish is long and contemplative. No real oak flavors, but no matter—this is a masterly performance. Try it with monkfish sautéed with chunky bacon.
- Garrett Oliver
Stephen Beaumont boarded his first plane at the age of 15 and hasn’t looked back since, obsessing about travel to the point that he gets nervous if he doesn’t have a ticket or two stacked on the corner of his desk. When he’s not running around in search of new taste experiences, he makes his home in Toronto, where a new cultural experience is only as far away as the next neighborhood.
Author of the New Complete Joy of Homebrewing, founder of the Great American Beer Festival and a Beer Examiner at www.examiner.com, Papazian is a leading voice in beer and brewing.
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.
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