1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Never Summer Ale - Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

Not Rated.
Never Summer AleNever Summer Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

546 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 546
Reviews: 342
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 3
Gots: 8 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: comat0se on 04-28-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 546 | Reviews: 342 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of texashammer


3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark red color and reasonable middle-thick, almost creamy head. Head stays a good while but not forever. Definitely nice to look at. I like the darker color red. Red beers often scare me.
Smells nothing at first; too cold. When it warms, can smell some floral hops, sweetness (molasses?) and yeast. Yum!
Taste: Good flowery hops and also caramel and candy-suger sweetness. Finishes clean fairly quickly. Very drinkable. This beer could get someone in trouble; it's easy to drink especially for almost 6% alcohol. Doesn't taste that high. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth. Lively carbonation but still smooth. Body is a little thin for my tastes generally but it suits this beer.
As my native Coloradan friend (who is contributing to this review) says, this is a very typical good Colorado microbrew. "Everything that's good about Colorado microbrews" he says. Certainly no Avery, say I. But I like it.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2005 03:28:05 | More by texashammer
Photo of beercollector


3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber color with a creamy lace head that stays for a bit thenm drops and clears. A light malty smell but very light.

The first taste cold is light and malty. As the beer warmes there is a slight bitterness and then a herb flavor.

It has a smooth quick mouth with little after taste just a slight hop bitterness. It is good for a short session of one ore two beers. Not light but not that strong either.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2005 03:51:48 | More by beercollector
Photo of FenwaySquid


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

Presentation: 12 oz bottle (nice artwork) poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Deep amber color, average head that dissipated into a generous amount of lacing.

Aroma: Not too strong, somewhat hoppy

Taste: A great blend of malt and hops initially. The malt flavors take over in the middle, and the hops come back for the finish.

Overall: Well balanced, an excellent winter brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2005 00:07:48 | More by FenwaySquid
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

2.73/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a two-finger cream head that stays leaving a lot lace. Clear amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Hoppy nose. Starts with more hops than malts, hoppy finish with a hint of sweetness, hoppy aftertaste. Typical American pale. $1.45 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2005 00:43:09 | More by jdhilt
Photo of oracle


4.08/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle served in a nonic pint glass

Beer poured a clear medium copper color with thin foam that left a minor amout of lacing in the glass.

I like this beer quite a bit. Nice hop bite up front, with a sweeter than expected middle. Some quite nice carmel flavor playing of the citrusy hops.

Medium bodied with a clean finish.

quite nice

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2005 03:23:01 | More by oracle
Photo of DarrellK


4.33/5  rDev +19.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2005 23:02:32 | More by DarrellK
Photo of Shaw


4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This looks like an American Pale Ale: it's ruby in color with a short off-white head. It has a nice smell of hops. Gotta like that.

The taste is good, too. Nice and hoppy with good bitterness but with a noticeable sweetness in the aftertaste. This bottle I'm having now is the last of a six pack. For some reason this one seems better than the others. Maybe it's because I finally looked up the style? I guess I was expecting a barleywine at first.

The body is smooth. Man, this beer really hits the spot.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2005 06:49:32 | More by Shaw
Photo of waughbrew


3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pretty ruby red with creme head with some lacing. Smells of oranges and cherries, with an impressive melding of hop aroma and esters. Tastes a great dark caramel, but not dark fruit or roast. Good rounded american hop flavor. Medium-thin, well-balanced, easy drinking.

Overall very nice. Like a more balanced SNCA with darker caramel flavor and muted flavor and aroma hops. Pleasantly surprised.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2005 21:37:25 | More by waughbrew
Photo of Tballz420


3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew is a deep amber/brown color, small tan head on the top. Thick caramel malt scent, some bitter hop undertones. The taste is more like a amber ale than a PA, caramel malt front, some decent bittering hop in the finish. Medium mouth. Like i said, i would call this an amber before i called it a PA, overall its alright but nothing amazing.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2005 22:19:46 | More by Tballz420
Photo of Kookiekwan


3.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours orange/amber has a 1/2 finger head with no retention or lacing to speak of. The aroma is faint but of roasted malt with hints of pine. The taste is malty caramel and smooth. The beer is medium bodied and quite drinkable.

Reflection: If your looking for a good winter seasonal this isn't it. This beer doesn't stand out in any way, it's not a bad beer but I was expecting more.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2005 13:47:26 | More by Kookiekwan
Photo of freed


3.2/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hippy looking logo on this twelve ounce. Nice colors though. Pours a rum and cola brown with a garnet glow. Slight fizz that wanes quickly. Almost no carbonation, which might have been a bottle issue since there was some residue around the cap.

The aroma is nearly flat and barley suggests that its a malt beverage at all. Nothings stands out on the hops front.

The taste mimics a slightly astringent amber ale with just a tad of spice to it, but the aftertaste is very sweet and suggestive of LME. Its not bad, just not unique or spicy liked I'd hoped.

Maybe some hop spiciness from an old-country variety would be enough, but it doesn't really stand out as a winter ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2004 02:27:08 | More by freed
Photo of karengarys


4.6/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours deep clear dark mahogany, leaving a slight head, and a foam ring.

Smells wonderful. Sweet. Spicey. Cinnamoney. Malty. Hoppy. Honey.

Tastes wonderful. Sweet. Carmeley. Spicey, like cinnamon. Maltey. And a nice clean dry hop at the end. This doesn't have that overburdoning correander edgey taste, rather it is very smooth instead.

Mouthfeel is great. Creamy. Hangs on throughout the drink.

Finish starts syrupey, and the hop leaves a nice crips cleanliness in the mouth.

This is one wonderful brew. I'm not much of a correander person, and that would be typical of many winter beers. This isn't like that. Instead, Rockie's choice of flavors makes for what I consider the most enjoyable winter brew I have experienced. Kudos!

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2004 01:43:43 | More by karengarys
Photo of skybluewater


3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2004 04:19:49 | More by skybluewater
Photo of budgood1


3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours out a beautiful dark ruby red colour, with a thin fine head and sparse rings of lace. pleasant hop and candy spice in the nose...smells nice. sweet and sugary taste...lots of candyish aspects to this one...and a small dose of x-mas spice. there is a fair amount of hoppiness to round out the profile, and a hint of alcohol bite in the end. the body seems a bit thin for a brew that touts itself as an "aggressive winter seasonal". the mouthfeel is slick and oily and this beer as a whole is a bit cloying at times. drinkability suffers from the fact that this brew isn't as good as advertised. a nice attempt at intermingling flavours of holiday cheer.

worth a six pack every winter, just not worth a case or two of the winter seasonals i enjoy more.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2004 01:14:36 | More by budgood1
Photo of shippos

New York

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

courtesy of clvand0 via bif-xmas.

poured with a average tannish head and a deep amber reddish color. thick syrupy malsty and bready aroma with some alcohol and a spicy hop aroma. light body and mouthfeel, very misleading from the aroma. has a mild chocolatly note and some decent hop character. more toward and ipa I think but who cares, very drinkable and a decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2004 22:44:39 | More by shippos
Photo of clvand0


3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark red color with no head and doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. The aroma is caramel malts and a subdued hop. The flavor is well balanced - caramel malt sweetness with an adequate amount of hops. A little weak in the hops for an APA, but still a very good beer that I would have again.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2004 19:15:51 | More by clvand0
Photo of edchicma


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

A very nice brew. Poured a very nice amber with a chunky head that leaves an excellent lacing. Smell is a nice blend of malt and hops...invite you to try more. Taste is likewise a blend of malt and hops....starts sweet on the front palate and finishes in a light hop finish...lends an overall smoothness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth quality...lightly slick. Very easy on the palate as far as drinkability goes...would be easy to have more than one.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2004 23:09:37 | More by edchicma
Photo of kmpitz2


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

Thanks to clvand0 for this beer. It pours a ruby red color with no real head. The nose is deep caramel malts with nice earthy hops that balance well with it. The flavor is nice, with a good sweetness to balance the earthy hop better than other APA's I've had recently. I like this for an APA. Most tend to be too much on the earthy side, but this one balances well between sweet and earthy. The feel is just moderate, but still nice. I would want just a hair more. Drinkability is also good on this one. All around, one of the better APA's I've had in a while.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2004 02:44:28 | More by kmpitz2
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2004 22:07:36 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of Brent


3.08/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This really looked like a strong contender at first, but then faltered leaving the starting gate and never got back on its feet. Poured a radiant garnet. Nose was a bit sweet, with modest floral hops. I'm thinking this will be along the lines of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. The malt was insubstanital, failing to keep the promise of the appearance. Hopping was likewise lacking in follow through on the aroma. Overall, on the thin side, with some acidic notes. Lackluster. Verdict - a winter ale for Florida.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2004 03:15:28 | More by Brent
Photo of cncbofh


3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sugary sweet brown sugar maltiness and smell... reddish brown ale with a decent head that managed to stick around for a while. Very spicy bite of hops mixed with a malty sweetness. The hops and malt battle it out in my glass and never seem to come together just right. Not a great balance.

The spices, while noticeable, are very subdued and I would have liked a little more pronounced flavor - but despite it's shortcomings, I still very much enjoyed this beer. Warmed me up on a cold winter day.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2004 01:45:48 | More by cncbofh
Photo of TastyTaste


4.4/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a mahogany brown color, with sizable tan head. Smell is sweet with floral hops and spices, with hints of cinammon and corriander. Big malt presence, to really balance out this beer. This is a very different APA, if it turely is one. It has a larger malt presence, and a spicier flavor (on top of the normal hoppiness of the style). Very, very good.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2004 21:12:08 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh


3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2004 21:25:32 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2004 16:48:14 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of PhantomVodoo


3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tan head atop an attractive amber colored brew.
Aroma of toasty caramel malt and floral, piney hops. Hint of fruit.

Taste shows a solid hop bite that is piney, floral and fairly resinous. Toasty caramel malt backbone can't keep up with the resinous hop bite. Touch of fruitiness.

Good body and mouthfeel.
Hop bitterness is a little too bitey for this one to be real drinkable.
Overall, a solid offering. Big thanks to Blatzman for the bottle!

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2004 03:28:33 | More by PhantomVodoo
Never Summer Ale from Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
82 out of 100 based on 546 ratings.