360. Allagash Brewing Confluence

This was the final beer of my all Allagash Brewing beer week and without realizing it I left the best for last. As you can tell from the photo we got just a bit of snow here which made for a great photo.

This beer has a nice light orange color with a thick white head. Smell pales in comparison to the taste with only a hint of funk, a bit of grape almost wine like and a touch of green apple. Taste is where this one excels with a little bit of everything. You have the apple, pear from the Belgian yeast, quite a bit of funk from the Brett, a bit of lemon and citrus from the hops and some spiciness. Overall this beer has something for everyone as long as you enjoy some funk in your beer.

Finish is very crisp and clean. This beer is just so smooth and well done that if you have never tried it keep your eye out for a bottle. 
Pros:
Incredibly complex 
Cons: 

Alcohol Content: 7.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness):
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Allagash Brewing
Brewers Description: Allagash Confluence Ale is created with a mixed fermentation; utilizing our house primary Belgian style yeast in combination with our proprietary Brettanomyces strain. The two yeast strains work in tandem creating a marriage between spice and fruit flavors that ultimately leave a lingering silky mouth feel. Confluence is brewed with a blend of both imported pilsner and domestic pale malts as well as a portion of caramel malt, resulting in a complex malty profile. Tettnang and East Kent Golding hops are added in the brew process to balance the intricate malty profile while adding a sweet and spicy citrus aroma. After fermentation, Confluence undergoes a lengthy aging process in stainless steel tanks to enhance the flavors. Prior to bottling, it is dry hopped with a Glacier hops, providing a pleasant balance of aromas.

359. Allagash Brewing Black

After reviewing some of Allagash’s more expensive limited and specialty beers I decided to open a bottle of Black. This beer is one  of six that are available year round from Allagash and it is available in both 750 ml bottles and recently released in 12 oz bottle 4-packs.

Appearance is well black…. no surprise there. Nice thin tan head that leaves a  fair amount of lacing. Let this beer warm up a bit before drinking and you will get plenty of chocolate and a little coffee in the aroma. The Belgian yeast works very well with the roasted flavors of the stout.

Body is what you would expect from a stout with fairly low carbonation, slightly heavier than the other beers reviewed from Allagash leaving a light film in your mouth. As with the others from Allagash this is a complex beer and if you don’t enjoy the first taste let it warm and try it again.
Pros: 
Complex Belgian yeast / Stout works well together
Cons: 

Alcohol Content: 7.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★★☆
Brewers Website: Allagash Brewing
Brewers Description: Allagash Black is a Belgian style stout brewed with 2 Row barley, torrified wheat, oats, both roasted and chocolate malt and a generous portion of dark caramelized candi sugar. The silky mouth feel is a great balance to the roasted character, coffee and dark chocolate notes expressed throughout this beer.

358. Allagash Brewing Fluxus (2012)

This is the first year I have tried Allagash Fluxus but according to their site this beer changes each year. This years version has green and pink peppercorns in it.

Appearance is very similar to the past few beers from Allagash – orange with a nice white head. The head on this one was slightly thinner than some of the others but still a nice looking beer. The aroma has some spice and of course the typical Belgian yeast smell from Allagash beer. Taste is pleasant with lots of pepper and some coriander as well as a nice lingering bitterness. There is also a bit of funk with this beer to add another layer of complexity.

Finish is clean and the 750 ml bottle was gone fairly quickly. An enjoyable beer but not sure it was worth the money as I believe this was a $15+ bottle of beer. 
Pros: 
Complex flavor
Cons:
Expensive
Alcohol Content: 7.7% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★☆
Brewers Website: Allagash Brewing
Brewers Description: Fluxus is a beer brewed every year to commemorate the anniversary of our first beer sold in July 1995. The name Fluxus is Latin for continuous change, something we seem to find ourselves in. Every year, Fluxus is brewed with a different recipe, giving our brewers a chance to push the limits of beer.

*Allagash Fluxus is brewed to help fund a scholarship set up for pediatric nurses at The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center. For details on the great work that they do there, go to mmc.org.

357. Allagash Brewing Hugh Malone Ale

This beer was my second Belgian IPA in two nights after having the Prince Tuesday the night before. These beers were very similar but I enjoyed the Prince Tuesday just a bit more than this one.

Look is very similar, nice orange color and thick white head. The Belgian yeast is dominant in the aroma with some floral hops coming through. Taste is very well balanced with lots of malt character in the beginning, followed by a nice wave of Belgian yeast flavor and then the hops come in. Some apple and a nice bitter finish. Alcohol is there but certainly not overpowering and no burn.

Overall this is a very good Belgian IPA but this style is one that I am just beginning to appreciate. 
Pros:
Bold/Complex flavors
Cons:
Belgian yeast is dominant
Alcohol Content: 7.8% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: 
Brewers Description: Hugh Malone begins with a grain bill featuring a blend of Maine grown barley, imported Pilsner, and raw wheat malt. At the beginning of run off, we add a portion of hops to the sweet wort in the kettle; a technique known as “first wort hopping”. As the boil begins, a generous amount of Chinook hops are added for bittering. Later, in the whirlpool, the beer is hopped with a blend of Centennial and Amarillo, for aroma. This same blend is used, post fermentation, to lend additional hop character to the finished beer. The result is a complex brew with a malty palate, intense hop aromas, pronounced bitterness and a pleasantly dry finish.

*Hugh Malone is a tribute to responsible agricultural practices and informed consumption. Allagash Brewing Company donates $1 from every bottle of Hugh Malone sold, to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), the country’s oldest and largest state organic farmer coalition. MOFGA is a non-profit organization that educates farmers and gardeners about organic cultivation. They work to create resources for consumers interested in buying local and organic foods. With more than 5,500 members and 2,000 active volunteers MOFGA continues to inform consumers about the connection between healthful food, and environmentally sound growing practices. www.mofga.org

356. Allagash / Maine Beer / Rising Tide – Prince Tuesday

This is a collaboration beer between 3 breweries that were all located on Industrial  Way in Portland. After this beer was brewed Rising Tide moved to Fox Street in Portland but the other 2 remain. I believe this beer uses Allagash’s yeast, Rising Tide’s malt and hops from Maine Beer Company. It was brewed at Allagash, bottled by them in 750 ml cork and cage bottles and distributed by through their distribution channels.  I went to the release party at Mama’s Crowbar and met fellow bloggers as well as Nathan and Heather from Rising Tide and David from Maine Beer. I left before Rob Tod arrived but it was still a fun event.

Nice looking beer with a solid white head when poured into a tulip glass. Aroma is fairly subdued with some of the Belgian yeast and a bit of floral hops. Nothing overpowering here but what is there is pleasant enough.  Taste is alright with the Belgian yeast taking over but a slightly bitter finish makes this an easy drinking beer.

Overall this is a nice beer that is not quite as good as Hugh Malone from Allagash which I believe is my next beer to be reviewed. 
Pros: 

Cons: 

Alcohol Content: 8.1% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★★☆
Brewers Website: Allagash Brewing / Maine Beer Company / Rising Tide
Brewers Description: Brewed at Allagash Brewing Co. w/ Rising Tide and Maine Beer Co. with Maine grown rye, copious amounts of hops and a Belgian yeast strain. Proceeds to Portland Trails.

355. Allagash Coolship Resurgam

This is another brewery only beer from Allagash and one that I have been sitting on for some time. The beer comes from their coolship series of open fermentation and is a blend like many Gueze. Again this beer came in a 375 ml bottle and went down too quickly.

Appearance is a nice pale orange with almost no head. Aroma is different but what a gueze should be with some tart apple and an earthy funk to it. Taste has some citrus, plenty of funk and acid but in a good way.

Overall this was a great beer that is from a completely different style. If you are used to drinking IPAs, stouts, porters or other ales and lagers you will be surprised by the complexity and unique character of this beer. If you see Allagash post about a Coolship beer going on sale in the brewery get in your car and go as the last release was gone the second day. 
Pros: 
Very tasty and complex
Cons: 

Alcohol Content: 6.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★★☆
Brewers Website: Allagash Brewing
Brewers Description: Coolship Resurgam is a blend of both old and young unfruited spontaneous beer. The name comes from the motto of our fair city, Portland, Me. It means “I shall rise again”. Coolship Resurgam won a Silver medal at the 2010 GABF.

354. Allagash Brewing Old HLT

Allagash Old HLT - 354This beer was the start of my all Allagash week. It was a brewery only beer with a release on a Saturday morning. The release party was a lot of fun with cherry pie eating contests, pit spitting contests, cherry muffins and of course beer.  If you have never been to an Allagash event keep an eye on their Facebook page and Twitter feed as they do a great job.

The bottle is small – 375 ml – cork and cage, barely more than a glass full. Appearance is a cherry red with single finger off white head. A fair amount of carbonation and decent retention make this a nice a looking beer. Aroma has some funk and a slightly sour smell – not overwhelming and pleasant.

Taste is slightly sour with very little funk, I was hoping for a bit more in the taste. Alcohol is there but there is no burn. Overall I am pleased with the beer but there are others from Allagash I enjoy more than Old HLT. Glad I had the opportunity to try it but it is not a beer you should go out of your way to obtain through trades. 
Pros: 

Cons: 

Alcohol Content: 8.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Allagash Brewing
Brewers Description: 

353. Lagunitas Brewing Little Sumpin’ Wild

Right after I finished the Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ I decided to open my bomber of Little Sumpin’ Wild. They use a Belgian yeast strain for this one.

Appearance is similar to the Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ but that is where the similarities end. Lots and lots aroma with plenty of funk to it and some nice sweet candy smells. You also get a fair amount of citrus – basically there is a lot going with the aroma and it is all excellent.

This is certainly one of the more complex beers I have had with a little bit of everything in the taste. You have the flavors from the Belgian yeast, a nice hop character and just the right amount of funk from the wild yeast.  The taste lingers forever and with an ABV approaching 9% you definitely feel this beer.

Overall this is a very good beer and a beer that would work well to introduce others to the wild yeast beers. 
Pros:
Complex flavor and huge aroma
Cons: 

Alcohol Content: 8.7% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★★☆
Brewers Website: Lagunitas Brewing
Brewers Description: Another Big Sister of the Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale…. Lots of Malted Wheat for a Curious Malt Complexity & and Fermented with Our Belgian Yeast strain leaving it Huge in Flavor and Satisfaction.

352. Lagunitas Brewing Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale

Lagunitas has been available in Maine for less than a year and I have only tried a few of their beers but overall I have enjoyed their offerings. This one is a pale ale but is very close to being an IPA.

Appearance is nothing special with a decent copper color and thin white head. Leaves a bit of lacing on the glass but again nothing to get too excited about. Aroma has lots of floral hops and is very pleasing. The taste has a bit more citrus than the nose but is balanced well with plenty of bready malts. Hops are definitely dominant in this one and for me that is not a bad thing.

The beer is quite refreshing and very easy to drink for a 7.5% ABV beer. A nice pale ale that nearly crosses the line to an IPA.
Pros: Floral aroma, easy to drink
Cons:
Very hoppy for a pale ale
Alcohol Content: 7.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Lagunitas Brewing
Brewers Description: Sneaky Smooth with a Touch of What We Call Wheatly-esque-ish-ness. Crispy Wheat and Pale Malt flavors with a Big Round & Juicy Hop Finish. Everyone Needs A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Sometimes. You Can Get It All Year Now… in a Six-Pack!

351. Blue Lobster Brewing Gales of November

It took me far too long to post my review of this beer. In fact I have waited so long the beer is no longer available for growlers or 750s at the brewery only tastings. Hopefully they bring it back soon as it is certainly worth trying.

Gales of November is a milk stout which is a style of beer that I have not had often so I don’t have a lot to compare this to. This one is super dark with minimal carbonation. There is a very thin tan head that dissipates quickly. Nose has plenty of cocoa and a hint of coffee. Taste follows the nose but the mouthfeel is excellent, very creamy and smooth. Very impressed with this stout from Blue Lobster and looking forward to more like it. 
Pros:
Mouthfeel, taste
Cons: 

Alcohol Content: 6.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★★☆
Brewers Website: Blue Lobster (Facebook Page)
Brewers Description: Luscious chocolate milk taste in this robust milk stout