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Never Summer Ale - Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

Never Summer AleNever Summer Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

539 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 539
Reviews: 342
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 12.47%

Brewed by:
Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: comat0se on 04-28-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 539 | Reviews: 342 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of schoolboy


3.86/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

How apt for this horrible winter. It also is slightly past the best by date, but I never pay attention to those. Whatever.

It pours a beautiful brown with little head. The aroma is wonderful - a malty, hoppy combo (mostly malty) that is very appealing.

The taste is of a bitter brown ale - very nice. It is more bitter than you might expect for a brown, and not as sweet and not at all spiced, like other warmers. It also is not boozy (enough) for a warmer. The aftertaste grows on you. It's bitter brown and unique.

The sentiment sucks - Never summer. It's how it feels, even as we get our first thaw in two months. Lake Erie is an ice block and I am not going to the Caribbean again until next month. At least we have great beers like this to keep us warm.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2014 00:06:19 | More by schoolboy
Photo of facundoCNB

New Jersey

3.4/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice amber pour with a finger of creamy head, nice amount of lacing. Malty sweet aroma with a slight bit of roast. The flavor is again malty like an amber ale, with dark fruit and chocolate notes. Medium in body with medium carbonation.
A decent winter warmer.. Not sure I've had much from this brewery, but this isn't that bad for a first impression

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2014 17:13:42 | More by facundoCNB
Photo of timmos1


4.31/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Bought it at total wine here in Sacramento.
I like it. Tasty good malt sweetness balanced with hops. Great on a cold night.
Having it for dessert. What I want to say about this beer is that it's very much like jubelale by Deschutes. If you like that beer you'll like this one.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2014 06:32:35 | More by timmos1
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.24/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Served on nitro-tap in a pint glass

Appearance – The beer is served with a brownish colored body filed with tons of nitro bubbles. The cascade of bubbles slowly lifts from the bottom of the glass revealing a copper colored body. A thick foamy head sits upon the top of the brew, very slowly fading to leave some foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is biggest of a sweeter caramel smell with some roasted malt aromas. Along with these smells are some notes of hop with a slightly earthy and grassy smell.

Taste – The taste begins a roasted malt and toasted cracker flavor mixed with a bit of a caramel sweetness. At the start there are some lighter hop flavors of an earthy nature. The earthy hop grows stronger throughout the taste all while the caramel sweetness seems to fade. Some other hop flavors of grass and pine later come to the tongue at the end, and with a bit of toffee sweetness and a slight increase in the roasted and cracker flavors of the brew, one is left with a slightly drier, moderately hopped, toasted cracker flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel - Being a nitro pour the brew had a nice creamy and thicker feel on the tongue. The thicker and creamier body were fairly nice for the hoppy flavors of the brew, really accentuating them on the tongue, although a bit for prickliness form carbonation may have been slightly better for the malt flavors of the beer adding a bit of excitement to the cracker and roasted flavors.

Overall – An alight brew overall, but nothing super exceptional and one I think would actually have been better on traditional tap, not nitro.

Serving type: nitro-tap

01-06-2014 01:53:32 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of rawfish


3.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear cherry color, off white head is a small half finger but creamy in appearance. Retention is there and it leaves very distinct rings of lacing on the glass.

Toffee with slight licorice, tobacco, herbal spiciness and some raisin and um, leather... Hops are a balancing pine and resin. A bit odd but complex.

Malts are bready and robust with cherry sweetness and hints of muscat and cinnamon. Hops are equally balancing with pine and spicy herbs. Finishes with some bitterness, a touch soapy with the warmth of alcohol.

Sticky malt really keeps the bitterness from drying the palate. Moderate carbonation and body makes for a dense amber that is easy enough to put down.

Good beer, appropriate to the style. Malt is sticky and complex the touches of alcohol in a sessionable ale really make this feel true to the season. I want another and then curl up on the couch in front of a fireplace.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2013 06:03:12 | More by rawfish
Photo of Casedogg43


3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Got a couple bottles in a beer of the month club. As bad as the Word is on these Beer of the month clubs. Which ever one I got, has been pretty darn ok.

This beer pours it was really nice amber color
Has a terrific 1 inch head laced very well
Smells of sweet Amber terrific
Taste sweet but not over-the-top.
Since this is a short review, I'll keep it simple. The beer is pretty darn good, not great but would have again.

A very pleasant surprise!

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2013 03:21:50 | More by Casedogg43
Photo of ranger60

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a 5 oz sample on draft at Tap Room in Warren, NJ.

Appearance; beautiful copper color, with a cream colored head, nice lacing.

Smell: picking up the hops, and some nice spicieness.

Taste: malt and hops are well balanced. good hop aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: I could let this sit on my tongue...perfect level of carbonation, and slight bitterness that seems well placed.

Overall: very drinkable with strong and complex flavors. It is 15 degrees in NJ today, and this beer is hitting the spot at lunchtime!

Serving type: on-tap

01-23-2013 18:12:53 | More by ranger60
Photo of phishsihq


3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a clear, ruby-red color, and a thin off-white head sits atop the brew but dissipates rather quickly. Bready and caramel malt aromas start things off before moving to a pleasant citrus hop-kick. Caramel malt and spice begin to warm the palate before a biting hop-twang balances everything out. The spices throughout the tasting really add an intriguing dimension to this medium-bodied, moderately carbonated brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2013 00:01:14 | More by phishsihq
Photo of BryanCarey


3.74/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber in color, this seasonal brew offers a nose of cocoa, toffee, and bread and a good pour will produce a nice looking topper of foam that holds its own for a reasonable amount of time.

This beer offers a decent level of complexity, with flavors of sweet caramel, toffee, and a light spice- perhaps nutmeg or cinnamon. Some bready notes are present as well, along with earthy notes, a hint of chocolate and some citrus. The body of the beer is medium to light and seems like it is going to finish a little weak, but then a last minute zing of hops hits the palate and keeps it real.

I like the variety of flavors in this beer. Oddly enough, most people do not seem to pick up on any chocolate notes. Maybe my palate is a little different, but I can certainly taste some chocolate and I also noticed it in the aroma. It isn't an overwhelming chocolate presence, but it is still there.

Never Summer isn’t the type of beer I expected it to be, but it is still a good brew overall. I was looking for a maltier, spicier taste, but this beer is still good in its own way. It cannot substitute for the more traditional winter ales in taste, but it is actually a good tasty beer in its own way. It could be consumed during any season

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 03:15:20 | More by BryanCarey
Photo of ZachKelly


3.3/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint.

nice copper color with a head a little darker than the beer. The head lingers throughout the drink.
Gives off a nice malty smell with some citrus and bitter notes with it.
The taste has a nice bitterness that works well with the cold weather. Paired well with a nice salty snack.
Did not leave a bitter aftertaste and did not dry out my mouth like some bitter beers do.
I would recommend it if you are looking for a change of pace or a good winter beer. Not available to me locally on the East Coast like most Colorado beers but I enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2012 02:38:36 | More by ZachKelly
Photo of JuicesFlowing


3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

The beer is a nice dark copper color with an espresso foam head that leaves good rings of lacing.

The beer smells malty and sweet, faint toffee and spices.

Taste profile consists of sweet warm malts, cinnamon, and sweet fruit notes with a hop finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

Overall, a pretty good brew. Good malts and spices.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2012 01:16:10 | More by JuicesFlowing
Photo of thecheapies


3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear brick red brew with astounding head retention and lacing. Big fluffy sepia-white head looks gorgeous as it slowly unravels.

Interesting aroma seems to be dominated by English malts and some orange peel. Nothing visionary, just mild and toasty with a kiss of Noble hop. Some light caramel meets with some citrusy hops and lots of earthy aromas.

Roasty malts of the English variety with some tannins and toffee notes. Still getting some orange peel, as well as some grapefruit from the hops. More caramel and toffee come through with just a touch of spice, although barely an afterthought. Very supple flavor that isn't particularly complex, but it makes for a decent winter seasonal.

Easy drinkability. Dextrinous, but lighter-bodied. Carbonation is at a respectable level.

Not enough alcohol to characterize a warmer, might be best shelved among English Milds. Very similar to Mild Winter by Goose Island, although not as good. Still a worthy order on-draft or as a single purchased among a mix-six (or, in my situation, as part of a mixed Xmas case). Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2012 00:29:47 | More by thecheapies
Photo of BMMillsy


3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice winter seasonal. Shared a pint with a friend at Gainesville House of Beer. This one pours reddish brown with very little head. Aroma is pine hops that are mostly subdued by heavy mlats Lots of hop flavor without bitterness, aggressive biscuit and toffee malts take this over a good bit. Warming with a clean finish. Won't seek it out but nice to try.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2012 18:19:31 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of secondtooth


3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber, with a thick head of off-white foam. Beautiful lace!

Nose is sweet and malty, with definite caramel and toffee tones.

Taste is heavy on the toasty malts, with more caramel and sweet toffee. Seems heavy on the body, almost thick & sticky in mouthfeel. Finishes with a slight dryness.

Overall, a decent Winter Warmer, but not one I'd return to.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2012 14:23:13 | More by secondtooth
Photo of metter98

New York

3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear dark red in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense beige head that gradually died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are aromas of sweet caramel malts in the nose. Some hints of spices become noticeable as the beer warms up.
T: Like the smell, the taste is quite malty and has flavors of caramel along with notes of spices and herbal hops. There is some sweetness, but it's not cloying because there are enough hops to help keep things in check.
M: It feels a little more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a nice beer to sip on a chilly night. It doesn't really provide any heat from the alcohol but the malty nature of this beer helps to warm you up from the inside.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2012 03:33:08 | More by metter98
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep reddish brown color with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves some minimal lacing along the glass.

The aromas begin with and odd herbal spiciness (maybe some Columbus or another pungent American hop). Then there is some dark caramelized malts, toasted bread and some light fruitiness.

The taste is malty up front with flavors of caramel, toffee, some fruity yeast, but it's not overly sweet. There is a decent bitter hops presence that doesn't mesh as well as I thought it would have.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. The finish is slightly sticky from the dark caramelized malts and hops.

Overall this is an average winter warmer at best. Something just doesn't gel here with the darker malts and earthy, rustic, almost herbaceous hops. One and done for me here. I like my winter warmers much more balanced and less "Americanized" if you catch my drift.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2012 20:26:12 | More by claspada
Photo of Rhynes2


3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a nice ruby color but there is almost no head to speak of on this beer. I can smell the caramel malts immediately and get hints of the hop aroma. It has a nice warm character to it which i like. It is balanced well with the hops and i detect a little bit of nutmeg. It really brings me back to winter months but unfortunately it just tastes kinda average. I'm not sure if i'll be buying this one again but if you like winter warmers it is worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2012 16:02:59 | More by Rhynes2
Photo of Cylinsier


3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

tap. This beer was advertised as being flavored with cardamom. I don't know if that's normal for this one or if I get a special limited run of it.

Pours hazy orange with a white lacing for a head.

Smells of cardamom and brown sugar malts.

Flavor has notable cardamom. Some dark sweet malts and a hint of hop bitterness. Maybe some cinnamon.

Medium body with very little carbonation.

Very unique, the cardamom is a love-it-or-hate-it affair, but I'm digging it. I don't normally like winter warmers but I could get into this brew.

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2012 23:12:27 | More by Cylinsier
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, ruby red with a big layer of soft, dense, off white head that has great retention. The nose has notes of light bread, caramel, and a mild hop aroma. The flavor is sweet caramel, fruit, baked apples, and mild, piny, bitter hops. The mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied, a bit syrupy and chewy, and well carbonated.

This is a good beer, but rather run of the mill for a winter warmer. It's your typical over spiced ale, but rather a more simple, malty ale that in some respects resembles an amber ale. I wouldn't turn this down, but I wouldn't seek this out.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2012 00:20:49 | More by tdm168
Photo of Infamous7100


3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a carmel to copper brown with a very slight tan head.
S: all kinds of spice and malty notes. Perhaps some cinnamon/nutmeg in there. Very appealing.
T: malty notes up front joined by the spices. Shockingly, this fades into a hoppy middle to back. A little too much for me for this style of beer. Not the best finish.
M:Meduim bodied, slightly creamy, bitter hang.
O: not a bad beer, but not the best representative for the style. Not quite the warming, spicy, malt bomb I was looking for.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 00:45:18 | More by Infamous7100
Photo of PatDreadful


3.35/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Nonic Pint

Appearance: A very nice dark nutmeg color that is really what I look for in a winter warmer. A tan one finger head rises and slowly fades leaving minimal lacing throughout.

Smell: The aroma is of winter spices and caramel malt. I also detect a small amount of hops.

Taste: I'm hit with the hops initially which is a surprise because I'm used to Winter Warmers being big malt bombs. After the hops initially fade I get the caramel malt with some earthy spices. I really like the idea of incorporating the hops into the overall flavor but it just seemed a little disjointed. Not bad but not really what I am looking for in a Winter Seasonal.

Mouthfeel: A very creamy feel that lingers heavy in the mouth which is very nice for the style. There is also very little carbonation which again was very pleasant.

Drinkability: Nothing was really overpowering and the mouthfeel was pleasant so I could certainly see this as a drinkable Winter warmer

If this was the only winter warmer available to me I certainly would drink it but with other options out there I think I may reach for another.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2012 13:36:10 | More by PatDreadful
Photo of andrewjraab


3.9/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a Deep rich mahogany and had about a finger of creamy off white head.

S - Faint smell of mixed spices and caramel.

T - Smooth balance of maltiness and spices with a faint touch of hops.

O - This is the best beer I received in the first month of the "amazing Beer Club" collection. I love it and wish I could get my hands on a sixer. This is a nice winter warmer that reminds me of my favorite winter warmer (Old Fezziweg).

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 02:18:29 | More by andrewjraab
Photo of legalpete19340


3.93/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a vibrant red with no head.

S: Crisp apple cider with mulling spice, hint of cinnamon, and maybe coriander. Definite bready notes and some grapefruit. Smells like St Bernardus Christmas ale to me.

T: Starts out with loads of caramel and malt which is quickly erased by spicy herbal hops. The bitterness is welcome and mitigates the sweetness. Some spice notes and then the malt and caramel are back. Interesting.

M: Thinner than medium without fizz.

O: Solid and interesting beer. A good balance of malt, hop and spice perfect for the cold weather. I could drink a couple. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 22:58:42 | More by legalpete19340
Photo of BigPlay1824

New York

2.63/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Enjoyed in a pint glass

A: pours a crystal clear amber color with no carbonation bubbles and a finger of off white head that dissipates rapidly and leaves a decent amount of lacing
S: not finding much here in the scent at all, possibly pumpernickel, idk, overall not much at all
T: piney in the beginning, then moves into a bit of roasted maltiness which linger on the palate, not a bad tasting brew but really doesn't stand out like the others ive come to enjoy, id call it sub par
M: medium carbonation, leaves the mouth silky and freshened, mouthfeel is probably the best part of this brew
O: unfortunately not even close to what i expect or look for in this style, just doesn't have the depth or interesting notes i have found in anchor, harpoon, or Samuel smiths, just missed on this one, its too bad too because i do enjoy boulder beers

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2012 01:11:47 | More by BigPlay1824
Photo of chilly460


3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a redish amber color with a decent white head that leaves decent lacing.

S: Very hop forward, earthy and grassy types. Some dryer malty background, biscuity.

T: The taste follows the smell. The beer starts off with some earthy hop flavor but not overly strong. Malts follow, light and clean.

M: Medium body and carbonation, solid.

O: Nice beer, but not really what I think of with a warmer with the hop forward profile.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2012 00:18:49 | More by chilly460
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Never Summer Ale from Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
82 out of 100 based on 539 ratings.