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Never Summer Ale - Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

Not Rated.
Never Summer AleNever Summer Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

344 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 344
Hads: 568
Avg: 3.62
pDev: 16.3%
Wants: 3
Gots: 13 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 344 | Hads: 568
Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

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Photo of metter98
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.41/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a radiant glowing redish with an average off-white head. looks fantastic! nose is candied sugars and perhaps a slight spice infusion, backed up by what is sure to be a sturdy malt body. yup, there it is, not as sweet as the nose might indicate, balanced nicely for the heavier mouthfeel. modest carbonation lets this one gently prickle the palate a bit as it goes down. overall a pretty good start to the winter warmer season here, but with an abv under 6%, i am going to be searching for something "warmer" come the snows.

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Photo of brentk56
3.67/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a modest head that leaves the occasional shard of lace

Smell: Big caramel base aroma with a grassy hop element wafting through

Taste: Opens with a pithy and grassy bitter flavor that is joined by the caramel base and becomes increasingly herbacious by mid-palate; after the swallow, the caramel tones pick up but the finish continues to display a bitter almost medicinal aspect

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: As the beer warmed, it was a little easier to enjoy, but it has a harshness and a lack of balance that is a detraction

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.07/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Aroma: Nice and malty. Combined with a hearty dosage of caramel and nuts. Mild spiciness perhapse from the hopping.
Appearance: Deep Copper to medium brown. 1 inch head that shrank quickly to about a quarer inch and stayed. Off white head, tight bubbles. Moderately carbonated. little to no belgian lace.
Taste: Definate caramel and nutty flavors on the nose. Hops become more prevailant in the body to create a nice balance. Finishes a bit metalic and weak. But must say, a nicely balanced winter beer.
Aftertaste: Most weak and metalic. Hops stick around and clear your throat for the next sip. Tacky mouthfeel, but enjoy the sweetness.
Impression: A nice winter beer. More hoppy than most, but that is my preferrence. Good beer for the money.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderately dark brown color with a bit of red in there. Nose brings forward some caramel malt and a little bit of apple as well as some light hops. Taste is pretty malty without much spice, as would be expected. Caramel and some brown sugar with a bit of apple and lighter fruits. Medium, creamy body with good carbonation. A good beer, and a nice alternative to many of the overspiced editions that find their way around during the winter.

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Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a light burgandy color with a reddish tint. It had atan, bubbly, one-finger head that left nice traces of lace.

S - It smelled of tons of malt and a little spice.

T - It tasted of bittersweet roasted malt. There was also a little nutmeg and cinamon flavors.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice winter warmer. It has a nice blend of malt and spices.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brick red-influenced bronze with ripe orange accents. The toffee colored head is thickly creamy and craggy, sits at two fingers for a bit and eventually leaves patchwork lace on the sides of the glass. Never Summer resembles a winter warmer more than an APA (since changed to an American Strong Ale).

The impressively aromatic nose is chock full of sweet caramel and abundantly spicy, citric hops. I'll accept the fact that there are spices present ('secret Brewmaster's spice' to be exact), but I could also believe that this aroma resulted from nothing other than the standard malt, hops and yeast. Very nice.

The beer is a boldly flavored, near equal mix of malt and hops and is definitely not for the faint of palate. If I didn't know any better, I'd have said that shovelfuls of Chinook hops were used (the actual hop bill consists of Nugget, Willamette and Cascade). Although Never Summer lacks the sheer power and unrelenting hoppiness of Arrogant Bastard, it does remind me of that beer due to the heavily caramelized brown sugar-covered grapefruit peel flavor. It also provides a nice 'spruce goose' to the taste buds in addition to all the citrus zest.

Spice is even more apparent on the palate than it was in the nose, but there's too much flavor from malt and hops to tease out any specifics. The beer is sweet and bitter at once with a long, lingering, mouth coating, increasingly bitter finish. For a winter warmer, the mouthfeel is medium. If we insist on calling it an APA (it isn't), then it's medium-full.

Never Summer Ale (a great name and a great label) is a 'tweener' and deserves some credit for originality. It comes off as a slightly weaker, less complex, hoppier version of a classic winter warmer. I found it to be delicious and will definitely look for it again. Keep an eye on the Looking Glass series of beers from Boulder. The two that I've had so far have been excellent.

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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.

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Photo of nickfl
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - One and a half fingers of light brown head on a clear, amber-brown body with some chunks of sediment. Good head retention and moderate lace.

S - Moderate pine hop aroma with notes of caramel and toffee.

T - Pine hops and brown, toasty malt up front. The hop flavor peaks in the middle then settles to a moderate bitterness. Darker malt notes in the finish, lots of toffee, carmel and some chocolate.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Drinkable, though it is a bit too heavy for a session beer. The hop character is ok, but kind of generic. The malt character is very nice and really makes the beer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a rich mahogany-hued body with a small, frothy, ivory-colored head.

Smell: Aroma full of spice and herb sprinkled caramel with a bit of spruce underneath.

Taste: Dry caramel flavor with a restrained sweetness. Tastes of spice and dried herbs. Medium bitterness. A few spruce tips. Light herbal, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's okay! Relatively mild in terms of flavor and spice character when compared to it's winter warmer brethren. Which is fine, as some of the ones on the far end can, frankly, be rather gross.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2003 edition, cellared for 8 months or so. Pours a clear, ruby-tinted chestnut beneath a creamy head of ivory foam that holds well and leaves some nice rings of craggy lace at the outset of the glass. Piney and citrusy hops ride atop a delicate caramelish malt in the aroma. The body is medium and it's got a surprisingly fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation that lends a light caress to the tongue before allowing it to fade smoothly away. The hops and malt indicated by the nose are exactly what's found in the flavor. They're well-entwined and work almost as one with the fruitiness of the citrusy hops giving a bit of a spark to its otherwise dry, slightly molasses-kissed malt. Piney hop flavor and a bit of spice (?) appear at the swallow as its bitterness steps forward. It finishes dry and lingering with bitterness, pine, and sublime spice. A decent enough holiday or winter beer that's probably worth trying.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.7/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are moderate, but I do love this style.

A: Colour is a semitransparent dark copper. Head is four fingers of fair cream, decent thickness, and good retention. Appealing.

Sm: Toasted malt is all me broken nose detects. All apologies, lads.

T: Light toasted malt, some caramel, and bland muted spices. Bland, boring, and uninspired. Balanced alright but poorly built.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Suits the flavour generally.

Dr: A mundane beer that never tries to surpass its own self-acknowledged mediocrity. Drinkable but undesirable.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, nuts, spices, some fruit and a little bit of hops.

T: The taste is malty up front with flavors of spices, caramel and some fruit, but it's not overly sweet. There's a hearty malt character and a decent hops presence but there doesn't seem to be as good of a balance as there should be. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, decent representation of style, there are definitely several beers within the style that I would choose over this one.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.9/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

A: Clear, amber-brown, light off-white head.

S: Bready, nutty, roasted malts.

T: Lightly roasty malts, kind of unspectacular for a beer labeled as a winter warmer.

M: Medium body. Some carbonation.

D: Smooth, and easily drinkable, but disappointing if you were expecting flavor and/or spiciness of a winter warmer.

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Photo of russpowell
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap @old chicago here. Poured caramel/chestnut with 1" of pearl-white head. Average lacing & head retnetion

S: Breadyness, a bit of caramel

T: Caramel & breadyness up front. Leafy hops take over along with a little brown sugar as this warms. Leafy hops & a bit of caramel sweetness in the finish

MF: Medium-bodied & a touch over-gassed, nice balance

Drank easy, but just a tad too simple for as winter warmers go. Slightly better tap IMO

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of smcolw
4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark copper color, clear. Relatively thin slightly off-white head. Good lace.

Sweet sugary smells of high levels of malt--mostly crystal. Some alcohol aroma, but not overwhelming like some strong ales.

Surprising amounts of hop--provides for very nice balance. Normally I'm not a fan of strong ales, but this one has some depth. Expectedly full bodied (like cream), although the carbonation is a touch low. The malts are interesting and quite dry. The aftertaste is mostly hop bitterness.

I like this one very much. It is multidimensional and full-flavored.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: bright, clear crimson color, with a decent, cream-colored thinnish head.
Aroma: very mild, but sweet, malty, notes of caramel, nuts, a touch of toffee.
Taste: very minor hops, large malt, recurrent sweetness, almost treacly, the further we sip into it. Body is medium at most, texture/ mouthfeel sticky and sweet, and brief. I think I had this before when it was called Big Sky Powder Hound. That's the closest thing I can conjure to this...certainly not in the league of Young's Winter Warmer, though not too far away from Samuel Smith's in the flavor, now that I think of it.
"Herbed/Spiced Beer", though? Not out of this bottle!
I thought that since this was in their Looking Glass Series, it would be a bit on the wilder, not the milder side, and I was wrong. Not a bad beer, very drinkable, with an appreciable taste, but certainly a far cry from what I was thirsting for...

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Photo of jwc215
4.22/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours ruby-red - nice color/clarity - poor head retention, other than a small swirl.

The smell is bready with pine and caramel.

The taste is of dark caramel balanced by citrus and pine. It has an underlying lemony zest. Just enough alcohol comes through to make it a winter beer, but mild and non-interfering. Hops stay just ahead of the sweet, caramel-ish malt. Nicely textured with a medium to full body. Smooth for the style.
One of the better winter brews out there. Not the most "warming" or spicy but tasty and "sessionable" for the style.

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Photo of mothman
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass.

Color is a mahogany brown. Pours a tan head that left thick lace spots.

Aroma is all earthy hops. There is also some carmel malts. Taste is very malty, mainly carmel notes. It has some slight earthy hops with orange zest.

Mouthfeel is over bitter. Goes down creamy, but leaves a very dry aftertaste. Seems a little undercarbonated.

Overall, not the best winter warmer, but not the worst. I could see myself having another quite easily, as it is very easy to drink.

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Photo of tdm168
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of WesWes
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty scent that boasts of pale, crystal, and roasted malts along with mild hop aroma. The taste is decent. It has a toasted caramel flavor that goes down easy and finishes light and slightly warm. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good seasonal beer. It has good aroma and a nice malty flavor; a good drinker.

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Photo of Gavage
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear copper in color with a 1" head that lingers around a while. No lacing develops.

Smell: very light caramel and fruit sweetness are barely detectable.

Taste: caramel and a nice piney bitterness are up front, with some plums and pears rounding it out. The sweet and bitter balance is pleasant and enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start and smoother towards the finish. Caramel and pine tones stick to the tongue briefly after swallowing. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: easy to quaff and could be a nice staple in the refridgerator for the winter months.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a frothy, initially three-finger thick, creamed-amber colored head that leaves a touch of lacing on the sides of the glass. The beer is brilliantly clear and shows a pretty, deep reddish color when held up to the light. The aroma is certainly hop focused with notes of citrus fruits and herbal pine notes being dominant. Notes of grapefruit, tangerines, & lychees combine to form the citrus component. There is a definite backdrop of malt here though. First off a caramelized malt note is apparent, it is followed by a touch of toasted grain character and perhaps even a hint of roasted character. This has a really nice aroma, it is still quite fresh and hoppy and, while the hops are dominant, I like how the hops interplay with the darker malt notes.

Light and easy drinking, the beer starts out with a touch of malt sweetness and some accentuated hop-like citrus notes of bergamot, candied orange peel and rough ruby-red grapefruit. Herbal notes of pine and menthol mix in the middle and lead to a nicely bitter finish, that lingers on brightly in the finish. Caramelized malt sugars help to give this beer a berry like fruitiness, which combines well with the hop character. As the beer warms up, there is a touch of toasted grain, and even some roasted almost coffee notes noticeable in the finish. As my palate & nose gets used to the beer a strong, fresh berry note becomes quite noticeable.

This beer is eminently drinkable right now, light and quaffable, yet has lots of flavor to keep one interested, but not so much as to distract one from a social session of beer drinking. With an apparent lack of bottle conditioning it will probably deteriorate pretty quickly (like the mojo, which is stellar fresh, but ages quickly), so get some fresh and drink it up.

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Never Summer Ale from Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
82 out of 100 based on 344 ratings.