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Allagash Tiarna

Drink Reviews
Allagash Tiarna

While I recognize that Urban Dictionary ranks as more a distraction than an authoritative resource, their definition of Tiarna—which also happens to be the name of a limited-release beer from Allagash—works too well to ignore.

“This person is one of the most beautiful people you’ll meet on the inside and outside but no matter how much you tell them they wont believe you.”

Somewhat forceful personification aside, this is an apt description of this complex, attractive brew, which is actually a combination of two beers, one aged in French oak, fermented with 100% brettanomyces, and the other from a stainless barrel with a blend of two Belgian yeast strains. Both were brewed with a combo of two row and wheat malt, along with a mixture of special grains, then hopped with Hallertau, Styrian, Goldings, and Cascade.

The beer pours a dark gold, like the glow of the sun in the dog days of summer when it’s filtered through a haze of dense humidity. Bursts of citrus, pineapple, and funk bloom on the nose. And the brett funk comes through on the first sip. Hay and slight grain, paired with grapefruit, lemon, and yeasty bread crust, with a full mouthfeel that leads to a long, satisfying, dry finish. Here, a whisper of dry lemon marries nicely with the hoppy bitterness. In all, this is one of the better beers to toast away the hot days of summer.

As for the modesty alluded to in the description quoted above, it’s harder to pinpoint. Can a beer even be modest? The label is pretty reserved. But let’s shift the compliment of modesty to the brewery itself. Allagash started as a one-man operation in Portland, Maine, back in 1995 by founder Rob Tod, and, with carefully placed baby steps, the brewery now produces six year-round beers, seven annual releases, and a good handful of one-offs, limited-edition, and keg-only releases like the Tiarna. Compared to other breweries—even those ranked as craft brewers—the turnout is relatively low key. Reserved, even.

And we just love that.

Brewery: Allagash
City: Portland, Maine
Style: American Wild Ale
ABV: 7.1%

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