Never Summer Ale - Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

Not Rated.
Never Summer AleNever Summer Ale

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566 Ratings
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Ratings: 566
Reviews: 344
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 12.78%
Wants: 3
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: comat0se on 04-28-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 566 | Reviews: 344
Reviews by comat0se:
Photo of comat0se
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a winter spiced ale... No category for that anymore so, I guess it'll get lumped with all the others.

Pours a medium brown with red highlights. Large, foamy, creamy off-white head with crazy retention leaving large hunks of foam on the glass. Aroma is sweet and fruity with passing thoughts of spices.

Taste is sweet up front, and you notice the thick viscosity of this beer with foam left in your mouth after you swallow. Then it dries out with an almost metallic taste, followed quickly by a lightly sweet, slight spiced finish, light alcohol. Spices taste of clove, nutmeg, cinnamon... but are non-obtrusive. Better as this beer warms up...

The metallic flavor is somewhat annoying, but overall this is a decent beer with subtle spicing. Rockies Looking Glass Series are definitely a step above their previous offerings. Overall, this is my least favorite Looking Glass beer as compared to the Killer Penguin, and Hazed and Infused.

Keep an eye out for an upcoming <something> Spider which they are currently developing.... I think it's going to be an Imperial IPA.

From the Rockies Brewing Company website:

Never Summer Ale is a bold new look at winter beers: gutsy, full-bodied and an aggressive fusion of secret spices. Like the first run of the day, this ale is deep and clean, crisp and drinkable, perfectly blended for a smooth ride... through the Looking Glass

British Dark Caramel Malt, U.S. 2-row Barley.

Nugget, Willamette, Cascade and Top-Secret Brewmaster's Spice.
Original Gravity:15.2
Alcohol by Volume: 5.94%.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.61/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I believe this is my first Boulder Beer offering even while living in Denver did I ever try any of their products.Anyways a nice pour from this beer,a deep rich amber with 1/2 finger white head,aromas were malt dominant mainly brown sugar and a touch of vanilla.A winter warmer in its big sweetness with brown sugar really hitting strong with notes of caramel and spiced cherry the hops have little presence with a light drying herbal effect in the finish.Nice flavors but I think it could be a little cloying after one or two and "generous" hops per the bottle were not there,still a decent beer.

Photo of JMD71
3.47/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Prior to starting the review, I should state that I bought this beer as part of a 12-pack in July. As it is a Winter release, it was not fresh & may not have tasted as it should have. That being said:

Appearance: Deep ruby red, with a small white head. Thin layer persists after a few minutes. Very little carbonation noted.

Aroma: Malt & caramel prevalent. Little hop profile noted. Slight fruitness detected.

Taste: Big malty flavor with offsetting bitterness in the finish. Dried fruits. A bit sour in the middle could be caused by the age & handling of the beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Crisp, but slightly cloying. The bitterness sticks in the mouth for a while.

Drinkability: Medium. A bit too bitter to have more than one, A good sipper, though...

Comments: A hearty ale with a solid dose of malt with a bit too much bitterness, I would try again, but would like to try it fresh. As their 12-pack packaging does not indicate a bottling date, this makes it difficult. The bottles are marked, but not the outer packaging.

Photo of skybluewater
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark copper color. Smells of malt, in a very generic way (not bad, just average). Taste isn't alll that bad. Hints of just baked bread and sometimes a bit of fruitiness pokes through. (This actually seems like the lost malt half of Hazed and Infused.) While there's no date on the bottle, I think this may be an older sample.

Not a bad brew here, just not one I'd buy again.

Photo of Beaver13
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The Never Summer poured a ruby red, with a thin head that dissipated quickly to a collar. It had a pleasing sweet malt smell with a hints of spices. It has a sweet malt start with a spicy, hoppy finish. The tastes are well balanced. The palate was a little on the thin side. Overall, a nice winter brew...great tasting, and very drinkable.

Photo of warriorsoul
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany in color and less than 1/4 finger of bright white head...attractive lacing forms as I work my way thru the pint.
Faint aromas...cherries, mild spice and dark malt.
Taste is real nice for the style...I consider this a winter warmer at 6%. Roasted flavor, a hint of smoke, slight sweetness and a generous hop profile to add to the balance.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and the carbonation is just a touch too high...either way, it is very enjoyable and just what I need on a cold winter evening. Another good one in the Looking Glass Series from Boulder. Give it a try...

Photo of uconnalum2
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish-brown color with a foamy one-finger head that leaves some lacing. The smell is sweet, citrusy and of hops. The taste is a nice balance of malt and hops. There is also some berry flavor and a bit of alcohol. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium-bodied with a fair amount of carbonation. Pretty good drinkability. Overall, this is a decent winter seasonal.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber courtesy of Blatzman. Thanks, Art!

Poured a clear and dark amber in color. Thin layer of tannish-colored head died quickly yet managed to ring the glass with lace. Aromas are a somewhat subdued mix of sweet malts and citrus/piney hops. Flavor is more of the same. Had a nice "winter" brew flavor. Good dose of spicy hop flavor mixed with some caramel and dark fruits. Nice zap of hoppy bitterness at the end. Fairly creamy smooth on the palate and drinkable.

An easy-to-drink winter beer that doesn't beg to be contemplated.

Photo of bsp77
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Clear brownish-red with thin off-white head and some light lacing.

Smell: Cherry, caramel and spicy, floral English hops.

Taste: Caramel and cherry malt backbone, with some nice English hops providing a light spicy bitterness on the finish. Fairly nice balance but leans a little to the sweet side. Thankfully does not have a medicinal, metallic aftertaste, as the smell had me concerned about that.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, slightly too thin body with a semi-dry finish.

Drinkability: Pretty good English Strong Ale that could use a titch more body, as well as a little more hops to balance the sweetness. Still, quite enjoyable.

Photo of pat61
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I am drinking this the same month as its best by date. It has an earthy spicy hop nose, and some cardamom to cola. It pours brilliant burn amber to garnet under an off-white foam cap. The palate starts creamy and malty and then there a little tanginess arises followed by some smooth malt flavors that fade as it dries out in the finish and lingers with a mingling of malty and bitter after tastes with just a touch of pepper. A hint of heat, very faint roast, medium body and medium to a shade less on the carbonation.

Photo of monkeybeer
2.9/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - A very nice golden red

S- A caramel hoppy bouquet

T- A distinct malty hoppy flavor slight spice bite to it

M- Tends to linger little too long with a bitter after taste

D- Not bad a little too hoppy for my liking, but if you like that then it would be for you.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.44/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice red and amber color, almost leaning into light brown territory, but with a 1" off white head to it, she's a looker. Aroma, a little bitter harshness, doesn't really come across like a winter warmer, but more of your standard red ale.

Taste, better than the smell, the somewhat acrid bitterness now is right where it should be, complimenting the mild malt bill of a red ale, the alcohol is very much lower than most warmers, this is like a hybrid session red warmer or something. I'd guess around 40 ibus, enough hop and bitter presence. Kind of a sweet caramel sweetness to it as well. Can't make out what the spice is, if its anything at all, maybe a ginger presence.

Not bad stuff, something I can't put my finger on, but a unique enough brew, and as far as mystery beers go in a variety 12 pack, this one is legit.

Photo of ADR
3.67/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part three of the "Looking Glass" series...

Clear dark copper color, yellowish head of two bubble sizes but not much height. Vertical dot and string lace. Neutral aroma, leans toward maple syrup with some black pepper background. Mouthfeel is medium as is carbonation, malt is heavy on cinnamon and brown sugar, some black cherry, but hauled back by floral and somewhat ashy hopping. Hits the back of the throat thickly, with a little bit of heat. Overall, a better-than-average beer, but a little too tight and underspiced for my expectations, came off almost as an ESB...

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served up at Fuel and Fuddle in Oakland the other night while listening to the "Saturday Night Special" Don Zjak playing his style "whiskey blues" good mix of everything switching it up between his ol' Gibson acoustic and Fender backed by his boy Frank George on the sax and harmonica. Now that I set the mood here's this seasonal outta Colorado appears dark caramel amber ruby with a tan two finger sized head leaves even amount of lace. Aroma contains pine cone scented hops caramel doughy dosed malt backbone. Taste is pretty even not as aggressively hopped as the label claims it is, still solid hop flavor and bitterness the pine and caramel mix to form a nice Christmas seasonal. Mouthfeel is medium bodied evenly carbonated smooth finish goes down quite nicely. Drinkability solid hoppy winter warmer not my favorite for the season but definitely a beer I would revisit in the right setting.

Photo of DarrellK
4.32/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pretty complex brew that is called a seasonal ( winter brew ) and it really fits the style. It really needs to be served at no more than 50-55F, otherwise all the character is lost. Once at the right temperature the malty nose comes out to complement the clear brandy color and fairly full head for the style.
Nice balance of dark malt and hops in the mouth with malt slightly in control, with hops coming in at the finish.
A whiskey drinker might think of this as a Jack Daniels without the alcohol content.

Photo of Brenden
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Never Summer is a warm and inviting, rich-looking red in color with deep copper infused. A light tan head just over one finger tall drops a thick ring at the top, then leaves a broken sheet of thick lacing that, if it remained consistent all the way down, would be stellar. It's still quite good, though.
The aroma offers a malts and hops balance with primarily caramel and grains giving way to a bit of pine and citrus. A mildly grassy aroma lingers beneath. It's a little hard to draw out, a good aroma that ought to have a little more strength.
All of the elements are found in the flavor, but warming draws out some toast and a touch of dark fruits along with more citrus hops and a light roastiness coming through just at the end.
This beer is fairly thick and rich, a touch filling in a smooth medium body with medium levels of carbonation.
I like this Winter Warmer, not spiced per se but with a touch of sweetness and very good balance.

Photo of dacrza1
3.44/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a glowing red amber body in a tumbler with a short off-white head that settles quickly--almost the appearance of iced tea...nice barley and malt aroma straight away with the slight spruce and hops moving in late--with some spices too--nice balance! Smooth, mildly effervescent body that warms with each sip... somewhat fizzy... quite a malty ale with minimal hop balance belying its nose... quite an American approximation of the ESB? Brother Jer decided to select this as our "light" beer to the Yanks/O's tailgate--whoops... that "never" implies a year-round such, not bad, borderlining as complex, but still holds to its basic caramel malts--the spices are too "secret" to move the beer into that winter beer genre...

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Boulder- Never Summer

On tap at Isaac Newton's- Newtown, PA

A- Bright amber with a small head.
S- Spicey, peppery malt with a touch of vanilla.
T- Vanilla, clove, black pepper, and molasses. Dry earthy hops detected in the end.
M- Spicey throughout with a dry earthy malt backbone.

Overall- A good quaffable session.

Photo of jmz62565
3.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a dark ruby color with an average tan head. The smell is bready with some hops,but nothing really great. The taste has a sweet malt,nutty,carmel flavor that's pretty good. The hop presence gives this a slightly bitter aftertaste,but leaves the beer with malt and hop flavors very well balanced. This is a tasty brew that I would pick up again.

Photo of Stigs
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, pint glass

A - pours a nice inch of off white, bubbly and creamy head, lacing nicely. crystal clear burnt amber color.

S - smells of fruity and floral hops with some sweetness. toasted nuts, pine, and spice.

T - carmelly sweetness right off the bat, then floral hops kick in. slight bit of spice here and there. tastes a bit like an IPA slightly past its date.

M - prickly carbonation and sticky tastes. nothing unpleasant.

D - i like that its not overpowering on the spices like most within the style, with a nice subtle hop presence.

Photo of TooleBurger
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a: medium brown pour

s: very hoppy smell with a little bit of orange and lemon, nice nose overall

t: delicious for a winter ale, not too bitter with nice fruit notes

m: very smooth, tastes like it smells

d: you could have a few of these in one night. I will be drinking this again during the colder months for sure

Photo of cokes
2.88/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Auburn-shaded copper with a thin beige skim.
Nose of caramel malt and light piney-floral hops.
Taste is much of the same. Begins heavily caramelized, then shifts more towards toastedness. Maybe even some vague cocoa hues. Graininess is noted, and joins with a big salty, astringent blast. The astringency lingers through the remainder, not hidden in the least by the floral hops.
Light bodied.
I sort of liked this intially, but the astringency proved to be too much. By the end, it was difficult to drink, and even worse with food.

Thanks anyway, Huge

Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Half is carmel and X thickness on the tongue, and half is a hopped apple and citrus fruitiness. Somewhat lagerish and also an ale. Some peachy colour, and a maltiness in the aroma. The X could be some wheat or even flour, there may be some cinammon in here. Not a bad one.

Photo of tdm168
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Photo of secondtooth
3.31/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Never Summer Ale from Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
82 out of 100 based on 566 ratings.