654. Allagash Interlude 2006

654. Allagash Interlude 2006

I purchased a bottle of 2006 Interlude at Downtown Wine & Spirits several months ago. It's been sitting in my fridge ever since. I finally got around to opening it tonight. It comes in a corked and caged 750 mL bottle with a simple beige label. There's a tag attached to the cork that says "bop belgian" on the front; the inside says:
Interlude - somewhere between the leap and the landing. It's a jazz solo, the riffing, the unexpected improvisation. Rooted in a Belgian theme, Interlude soars from a second fermentation with our own wild Brettanomyces yeast. Then takes five in French oak wine barrels that once cellared fine Merlots and Sirahs. And then a bottle conditioning. In all, an outrageous effort to make a bottle of beer. But then, if you prefer to swing with magnificent red wine notes and funky farmhouse flavors dancing in the undercurrents of a crisp, remarkable brew, then Interlude has that thing. C'est le goût, toujours!. It's the taste that is always an adventure.
I let this warm to the 40s and served it in one of my Duvel tulip glasses.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Allagash Brewing Company
Year: 2006
Alcohol: 9.50%
Serving: Bottle, 750 mL
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale, BJCP Style Guide, American Wild Ale

Appearance (5.0): Pours a clear copper with a thick, creamy, off-white head that's fed by a massive quantity of bubbles. Retention is excellent, the head slowly fades to a persistent quarter-inch layer leaving lace that clings to the glass in thick patches. I can't think of a single thing wrong with the way this beer looks.

Smell (4.5): Initially the aromas are a mingling of fruit and Brettanomyces. I predominantly detect aromas of lemon and sour apple. There's also a nice earthy, grassy aroma. Swirling brings the earthiness to the fore along with, maybe, a hint of woodiness. I really love the Brett aromas in this one.

Taste (4.5): Lightly sweet upfront, before moving into a fruity, lemony sourness, which maintains its presence through to the finish. The center is dominated by sourness with some vinous characters making an appearance as well. The finish is funky and earthy with a nice grassy quality from the hops. The sourness and hops create a finish that is sour and mildly bitter. Both bitterness and sourness last well into the aftertaste where they're met by a spicy warming sensation. Pouring the yeast into the glass makes the finish a bit funkier.

Mouthfeel (3.5): Light-to-medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation, with a nice mildly dry finish. Honestly it feels a bit thin to me, perhaps a little more carbonation would help. Decanting the yeast helps.

Drinkability (4.0): Very flavorful with nice sour and funky flavors that aren't overpowering. The alcohol is very well hidden.

Overall (4.45): This seems like a stronger, fruitier and more sour Orval. I really, really like beers that use Brettanomyces, so take the ratings with a grain of salt. I wish I would have purchased another bottle to cellar.

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