Allagash Interlude (2007)

December 23, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | Filed under Brewer: Allagash, Country: America, Grade: A plus, Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

9.5% from a bomber

Brewers, if you want me to buy your product, here’s a few simple and cheap things you can do to dupe me into purchasing it:

1. Cork the beer and add one of those cheap metal caps and twisty things.

2. Cover the cap and neck in that cheap Reese’s peanut butter cup-like foil.

3. Put the bottle in a cheap cardboard box.

4. Call it a limited bottling and perhaps even add numbers to the label or aforementioned box.  It doesn’t even matter if it is that truly of limited of bottling.

And one more expensive thing you can do to dupe me is to barrel your beer in something else. This week is coincidentally dedicated to beers like this, many of which coincidentally are also world-class beers.

Allagash is one of my favorite breweries but also one whose beers I rarely sample for reasons two-fold:  their bombers are prohibitively expensive and New York City seems to always be sold out of the truly good ones.  For the longest time I’ve thought the two top Allagash beers were the rarely-seen Curieux and Interlude, in that order, but this weekend, sampling one after the other, I would learn that the reverse is actually true.

Interlude is created with two yeast strains, a Belgian farmhouse yeast and a house strain of Brettanomyces wild yeast, which contributes flavors including pear, apricot, graham cracker, and bread crust.  Then, unlike the Curieux which is aged in Jim Beam bourbon barrels, Interlude is aged in French Merlot and Sirah oak barrels.

Much more of a bourbon fan than a red wine fan–though I do like it–maybe I had convinced myself ipso facto that I preferred Curieux more.  However, side by side I quickly saw Interlude as being the ultimate Allagash masterpiece.  And, I know I’ve been saying it a lot lately, but there really is not another beer on the planet like this one.  In fact, I’m struggling to think of another major beer released that is aged in red wine barrels.  Although please correct me in the comments if you know of any, and, again, I’m not talking about special limited limited dicking-around releases from breweries no one has ever heard of.

Interlude is really winey, tart and funky, with a nice bit of carbonation and booziness.  Not much else to say except that this is a classic and I hope you’re lucky enough to one day find it.


3 Responses to “Allagash Interlude (2007)”

  1. Dave says:

    I’m picking up a bottle of 2008 this paycheck. Good thing you waited a year to drink the 07. I hear a year really makes this beer.

  2. Dave says:

    Oh and if you see Odyssey, pick it up. I hear it’s a pain in the ass to get and a little rare.

  3. I had a brand new bottle of ’07 in ’07 and it was not as good as this one. It was great, don’t get me wrong, but if memory serves it poured much lighter and had far less body, complexity, and tannin-ness.

    Already reviewed the Odyssey!

    But, yes, I think you’re right, I NEVER see it on shelves. Luckily my patron saint of finding beer got it for us.

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