Friday, November 14, 2014

Allagash Fluxus (2013 vintage)

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1216) - Albany, New York, USA - NOV 14, 2014
I’ve never been a fan of using Belgian yeast to ferment porters and stouts. But if there’s any brewery than can do it right, it’s probably Allagash. The 2013 edition of Fluxus was a robust porter brewed with blood oranges and then fermented with their classic Belgian yeast strain. I do enjoy the solid porter base and the unique flavors here, but it’s not especially amazing.

I poured a 750ml bottle into the official Allagash tulip glass. It was a 2013 vintage (no specific bottling date) and cost $18.99 ($0.75 per ounce). Thanks to my girlfriend Renee for picking up this bottle ;)

Appearance: Seemingly black, but actually a deep shade of ruby red which is visible at the edge. Pours to a dark tan, foamy head which retains well but doesn’t leave much lacing.

Smell: Fairly strong aroma of coffee and chocolate and a general Belgian yeast ester.

Taste: Right away, the palate is quite familiar of a classic robust porter. A rich sweetness of chocolate emerges immediately, followed by roasted malt and light coffee notes. The Belgian yeast character doesn’t appear until the second half and creates for a slightly smoky and astringent flavor (maybe even a little phenolic). It’s not fruity like you often get in most Belgian beers, so it’s a little awkward. The orange flavor is subtle and shows up right as the beer finishes and lingers momentarily in the aftertaste. Perhaps a fresh bottle would be much more robust, so perhaps it’s not fair to review an older bottle (not that this bottle was seriously harmed by a year’s worth of aging). As it warms, all the flavors grow stronger creating for an interesting palette of chocolate and Belgian yeast esters. In fact, this 2013 Fluxus is probably best describe not as good or bad, but “interesting.” Take that for what it’s worth.

Drinkability: It’s weird drinking the 2013 Allagash Fluxus, since the yeast gives the body a slightly spastic level of carbonation and thus makes it much less smooth than it would normally be. The mouthfeel is thin, with a slight carbonation bite to it. It’s smooth once it calms down, and it leaves a fairly clean aftertaste with no cloying sweetness. 
Grade: 7/10

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