I have lived in Massachusetts for most of my adult life (outside of a 2-year sabbatical to Connecticut for my post-doc), but I was born and raised a Mainer. I grew up in Knox County, my family now lives in Waldo County and I went to college in Cumberland County. I also have some great memories involving towns in many of the other 13 counties in the great state of Maine. I have really enjoyed seeing the Maine beer scene take off and begin to attract national attention, every time I make a trip up north I try to hit a brewery or two and check out their offerings. While much of the attention is being paid to the exciting newer breweries in the state, Allagash Brewing Company has been a Maine staple for many years and continues of produce some of the highest quality beers in the country. One of their newest releases is Sixteen Counties, a celebration of the entire state of Maine brewed with grains sourced from four different local farms. The craft beer boom, and the resulting focus on locally sourced ingredients, has been a boon for farmers and many small malt houses have begun to open in order to meet this demand. Allagash Sixteen Counties is available now on draft and in 750 mL bottles.
Allagash Sixteen Counties pours a hazy copper with a huge off-white head. The scent is mostly the fruity esters produced by the expressive Belgian style house yeast strain. The yeast also leads the flavor contributing notes of apple, clove and pear. This is complemented by solid hop flavor, touches of grass, herbs and lemon. The malts round out the profile with hints of whole grain bread, crackers and plenty of body from the oats. Even with the medium to full body and 7.3% ABV the beer drinks very easy. The finish is crisp and dry with a complex mixture of flavors in the aftertaste that makes you want to keep exploring the beer. Sixteen Counties is a great example of what Allagash does so well, expertly melding diverse flavors from a number of ingrdients to create complex beers that are still approachable and delicious. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.
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