Mar 23, 2018

Allagash James & Julie

James & Julie is a Flemish-style sour brown ale from Maine’s Allagash Brewing. The 6.7% ABV ale is brewed with a malt bill including Pilsner Malt, Munich Malt, Special B, Flaked Maize, Chocolate Malt and Caramel 45 and is then fermented with the company’s house yeast before aging for two more years with a combination of Lactobacillus and Pediococcus. Even before this beer makes it to the bottle, you know that it’s going to have a great deal to offer with each sip just based on that introductory information.

For those that are not fans of sour beers, but are still interested in exploring the style, Allagash have themselves an approachable option with James & Julie. The strong malt backbone provides a sturdy platform for an earthy, lightly rustic blend of caramel, dark fruits, tart cherries and bread to fill the mouth while a moderate level of sour tartness peaks smoothly, eventually fading to a lasting tingle. That sourness isn’t overly potent or dominating, instead offering a counter point to the rich malt base. The softer carbonation also adds to the easy drinking nature of the ale.

James & Julie is an outstanding beer with great flavor and smooth hitting sour tartness. I personally enjoy the rustic and earthy edge that the beer presents along side the stable malt bill and just the right amount of sourness. It was the ideal beer to enjoy on a rather wet and dreary early March afternoon. The malt warmed and nourished while that tartness enlivened the tastebuds playfully.