Some Beers are Even Whiter than Me

Posted by Jim on Aug 5th, 2010
Aug 5

Allagash White

A+ / 4.65
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | drink: 5

I can’t believe I’ve never reviewed this beer. Allagash White was my gateway beer. I can still remember the Allagash night I went to at my college’s pub, where I got a pint of White in a logo pint glass I got to keep. It started my beer glass collection. Anyway, I’m reviewing a fridge chilled 12oz bottle poured into a different Allagash logo glass (a 25cl flute). I can only fit about 2/3 of the bottle into this glass, so the appearance may change after I pour in the yeast. The liquid is a slighty tarnished yellow, with a small white head. There is a lot of rising carbonation and a bit that clings to the sides. [After emptying the bottle, I bumped this category up from a 4 to a 5. There is a huge pure white head now, great lacing, and a beautiful opaque body. It looks as a wit should.] This beer has a great aroma. It is dry and sweet, with lots of Belgian sugar and yeast. I can also smell wheat, grass and a bit of pepper spice. The beer tastes of wheat and Belgian candi sugar. It has some champagne-like flavors up front, but I wouldn’t say I can taste white grapes specifically. The finish has more spices; black pepper and coriander. The wheat and yeast wrap things up in the aftertaste that lingers slightly. The white has a medium body and plenty of carbonation. There isn’t much coating after I swallow, but it feels like it covers every corner of my mouth white I’m drinking each sip. And oh does each sip come easily. This is such a drinkable beer. On a warm, humid day like today, I could easily drink a number of these beers. No aspect of this beer every gets tiring. Unfortunately, I think this beer gets a slightly bad rap in its hometown. I know that a number of us Portland beer nerds (aka beer snobs) occasionally look down at people who order an Allagash White when there are more adventurous beers available. A lot of us see this beer as Portland’s training wheels craft beer; its fine if your scared, but real beer drinkers will get a strong, more intense beer. Is this a side-effect of the demand for extreme, barrel-aged everything? Perhaps. Either way, White deserve all the respect it can get. This is an incredible beer and a wonderful flagship for one of the best breweries in the country. It is worth ordering, no matter what the other folks at the bar think; just don’t ask for a slice of lemon with it…[Just try asking the wrong bartender at Novare for a piece of lemon; I’ve seen reactions from the sarcastic to all-out death stares]