I love the irony of a dude named "Oly" sending me a big effin' box of Allagash beer. Yep, it's one of the perks of this job. I not only got to interview one of my favorite bands about one of my favorite albums for Decibel Magazine (Trouble's Psalm 9, in issue #62, Dec. 2009), I got a full selection of Allagash's finest for my efforts.
So, what's the connection between Allagash and Trouble? A dude named Oly, of course. Jeff "Oly" Olson was Trouble's longtime on-again/off-again drummer. He's the guy who played on Psalm 9, so while I was interviewing him for that Hall of Fame article it came up that he worked at Allagash. When I finally was able to follow up on that hot tip, I interviewed him a second time—this time for my Brewtal Truth column in Decibel—mostly about beer and what he does at Allagash. Shortly thereafter a box of Allagashy goodness arrived that contained a bottle each of their Tripel, Dubbel, Black, Curieux and 4 bottles of the White. None of which I had tasted before. All of which (so far) are amazing. I've only tasted the White and the Tripel because I'm cellaring the other three for a bit to see how they age. That said, they may not last the year if the right occasion comes along to pop one or two open. I'll admit it, I'm weak that way.
As for tasting notes, well the Tripel is a thing to behold—a really well-built take on the mammoth Belgian style. There's tons of tempting fruit ester aromas and the taste is pleasantly (slightly) sweet and spicy, thanks to a decent dose of hops to balance everything out. The White would be the perfect beer to introduce a neophyte to the witbier style. It's just amazingly complex, refreshing and well-balanced.