Allagash Interlude. Should I get it? That was the question. I strongly suspected it would be delightful, but at $9.25 for an 11 ounce glass, would it be that good? I am loathe to pay such prices for beer. Nine bucks (or more in this case) is a lot to ask for less than a 12-ounce serving of beer, and as a rule, I won’t pay it. In this case, though, I was tempted, both because I have enjoyed Allagash beers for so long and because I was in a bit of a celebratory mood.
Still, a little homework seemed in order, so I whipped out my phone and surfed on over to the Allagash website. Here is what they say about Interlude:
Two yeast strains were used to create this unique 9.5% ABV Belgian style ale. The first, a Belgian farmhouse yeast, establishes the flavor foundations of a classic Belgian-style ale. The second, a house strain of Brettanomyces yeast, brings it to the next level contributing an intriguing myriad of flavors including pear, apricot, graham cracker, and bread crust. Finally, a portion of the Interlude is aged in red wine barrels, which impart a distinctive vinous plum character and a drying, almost tannic finish.
That certainly sounded good. They further described the beer as “Red, Bready, Tropical Fruit, Slightly Tart”. Tropical fruit? Does every beer have tropical fruit these days? That aside, aww heck I splurged on Allagash Interlude.
And I am glad I did despite the price. My glass of Allagash Interlude arrived a glowing ruby color with big notes of Brett and sourness in the nose. There was really no head on the beer. Taking a sip, both of those characteristics follow through to the palate with added notes of bitter almonds and sour puckering fruit (black cherries, plums, red grapes), vanilla, oak, and just an amazing refreshing tartness. That tartness and warming alcohol dry the beer perfectly in the finish.
I didn’t get graham crackers really, and I think Allagash is being a bit circumspect by calling Interlude “Slightly Tart”. It’s certainly more than slightly tart and sour, but then that is one of the things I really loved about it. Was it worth the price? Yes, though I am still a bit unhappy with that. Would I buy it again? I think so, but perhaps not as often. Worthy of five stars, I think, but that crazy price is still going to take you down a half a peg, Allagash.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.