Mar 6, 2018

Allagash Pastiche

I’m going to be honest here, I had to look up what “pastiche” meant. And, now I’m curious who or what Allagash Brewing is celebrating with their imitation, or rather, their 8.5% ABV blend of barrel-aged beers? Are we looking at a beer paying homage to the barrels used to develop the complex flavor profile found within Pastiche? In the end, it really doesn’t matter.

To craft this blend, Allagash brewed four different beers and aged them in eight different barrels (vermouth, rye whiskey, port, rum, bourbon, red wine, brandy and gin) for between three and four months. The final product is Pastiche and an array of flavors that is quite complex. At first the tastebuds aren’t quite sure what to do or what items to decipher, but once you settle into the experience and simply let its softly carbonated and medium-bodied brew wash over the palate everything comes together wonderfully. I personally wasn’t able to pick out each barrel influence consistently and the wife tended to taste elements that I did not — which made for a fun conversation.

I thoroughly enjoyed Pastiche, but at times (as stated above) it was almost too complicated for my not-so-refined palate. Everything ultimately plays nicely with one another in equal measure so it’s really silly on my part to find something to complain about. Despite everything that is going on within each sip, this big beer goes down with deceptive ease. I’m curious how this one would develop with some additional cellaring — I’m sure that the various barrel influences will come and go depending on the length of time each bottle sits in my basement. I suppose there’s only one way to find out.