Brewery: Allagash Brewing Company
Style: American Wild Ale
Cost: $15 (12.7 oz)
Availability: Brewed Once
Purchased @: Allagash Brewery
Quick Take: This is a balanced wild yeast ale that doesn’t excel in any particular area, but is a tasty sum of its parts. Tiarna is a worthy beer that is priced a little high for what you get (beer/size). Definitely worth a try if you like Allagash wild beers that keep the must/funk to a minimum and you don’t mind paying for the privilege.
Brew Facts: Allagash started in Portland Maine circa 1995 with the intent on filling a craft beer niche by providing Belgian style ales. They’ve gone on to become one of the biggest brewers, specializing in Beglian inspired and wild yeast brews, including Tiarna. Tiarna is described by the brewer as “a blend of two beers, one aged in oak and fermented with 100% brettanomyces and the other fermented in stainless with a blend of two Belgian yeast strains.”
Appearance: Yellow/orange hazy hue, like grapefruit juice. Thin white head, pours big bubbled and settles down to thin film. A lacey wave of white foam leaves a small bit of Brussels lacing. Coats the glass clear, slightly oily.
Aroma: The oat/grain undertone that you come to love and expect from Allagash is present and accounted for here. The odor of earthy grains is bolstered by a hint of pineapple and creamy orange juiciness. There is a vague astringency that skulks in background, but not enough to spoil the bouquet.
Taste/Mouth Feel: On initial sip, my mouth filled with tiny-bubbles to the extreme, like a boldly carbonated Belgian. There is a bit of malt, but the bready sweetness is subtle. From the aroma, you anticipate something much sweeter and over the top. It’s a teensy warm on the finish, with a heat that hits the bottom of the throat. A mild citrus tang hangs on the tongue. Considering this is oak barrel-aged, I don’t get overt wood from this…you heard me. Oak aging a beer like this really allows it to blend well, toning down the sweetness and keeping it from becoming musty.
Final Thoughts: This is a balanced wild yeast ale that doesn’t excel in any particular area, but is a solid sum of its parts. Not musty, but still has the yeast and grain body to it to make it a satisfying beer. The subtle blending from the oak barrel means that the complexity isn’t quite there. I think I prefer the Allagash FV 13 due to the depth and character that comes from a lengthy aging with a wild yeast/bacteria mix. Regardless, the Tiarna is worthy beer that is priced a little high for the size. Definitely worth a try if you like Allagash beers wild beers, want to keep the must and funk to a minimum, and don’t mind paying a bit for the privilege.
Second Thoughts (Chris): Well-balanced, not musty, used fruity qualities well. Good beer for warmer weather. This would probably go well with fish or sea food. My biggest problem with this beer is that I don’t have more bottles to enjoy over the summer. Probably my favorite wild beer I have had from the Gash, and that includes FV 13.