I hear a lot of complaining about the prices of beer, and only some of it is justified. It does feel like some places intentionally inflate their prices, I am amazed how many 4 packs of local IPA break the $20 mark. In fairness, a lot of popular breweries could pump up their prices even more. For example, how high would Tree House prices need to go before those lines started to dwindle? One beer style that typically demands a premium price is barrel aged beers. This makes sense, there is a substantial cost involved in acquiring the appropriate barrels and then storing the beer to age, and the best examples of these styles require significant expertise. I am usually hesitant to drop big money on unfamiliar barrel-aged bottles, unless I have heard rave reviews from trusted sources. There are a few exceptions, breweries that have earned my trust to the point that I’ll try pretty much anything they release regardless of style and price. The number one example of this is Allagash Brewing, their barrel aged and special release beers are usually stellar and always worth the money. A great example is Interlude, released every late fall/early winter. Interlude is a blend on a beer fermented with traditional saison yeast, another fermented with Brettanomyces and a portion aged in red wine barrels. the ability to mix the proper amounts of each beer in a way that lets all of the flavors come together is an art, and few places do it like Allagash. Allagash Interlude 2017 is available in 750 mL bottles while they last.
Allagash Interlude 2017 pours deep red-gold with a small white head, The aroma is complex, fruit, funk and a bit if acidity. The flavor is even more complex, there is a lot going on in this beer. The fermentation adds notes of cherry, sour apple, pear and pepper along with a light tart bite. This is complemented by the flavors imparted by the barrel aging, hints of oak, plum, raspberry and red grape. The malts add a backbone of hay and cereal, and there is minimal hop character. Interlude 2017 has a medium body and drinks incredibly easy for a beer with 10.6% ABV. The finish is crisp and tart with a lingering fruity and funky flavor. This is a stellar beer, amazing flavor and drinkability, releases like this set Allagash apart. Worth every penny. Hoppy Boston score: 5.0/5.
Previous Allagash Reviews:
Allagash Coolship Red, Allagash Hibernal Fluxus 2016, Allagash Sixteen Counties, Allagash Tiarna, Allagash Confluence 2015, Allagash Curieux, Allagash White, Allagash Dubbel, Allagash/Maine Beer/Rising Tide Prince Tuesday, Allagash Saison, Allagash Black