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Never Summer Ale - Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

Not Rated.
Never Summer AleNever Summer Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

566 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
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 | Display Reviews Only:
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 Shaw
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

Photo of waughbrew
3.84/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of Tballz420
3.62/5  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.

Photo of Kookiekwan
3.14/5  rDev -12.8%
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.

Photo of freed
3.19/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

Photo of karengarys
4.6/5  rDev +27.8%
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!

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 budgood1
3.01/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

Photo of shippos
3.77/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of clvand0
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

Photo of edchicma
4/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Photo of kmpitz2
4/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Photo of Brent
3.09/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

Photo of cncbofh
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Photo of TastyTaste
4.38/5  rDev +21.7%
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.

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 NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
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!

Photo of filabrazilia
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark brown with amber hues and a full light brown head. Beautiful sheets of lace drape the glass.

A sweet malt aroma dominates the nose with an almost barleywine like quality.

The taste is slightly sweet with a roasted malt quality that is balanced by a sharp hop finish.

The mouthfeel is full and sweet with a rich hop balance. The hops linger past the finish to provide a vivid memory of the last sip.

I was really suprised with the balance and complexity of this beer. It reminds me of a subdued American style barlewine. A very good brew indeed.

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 ElGordo
3.23/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep reddish amber with a creamy, off-white head. Aroma of malt and light astringency. Foams up pretty big in the mouth. Palate of deep malt, light hoppiness, and light spice (nutmeg, clove). Decent, but not really what I look for in a winter ale.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Tall 12 ounce brown glass bottle with a cold looking ice-blue and white label depicting an empty chairlift. Described as the 3rd release in the Looking Glass series, it has no listed strength but a Best By Date of FE1604.

Appearance: Dark amber copper body, clear. Off white smooth uniform head descends from ½” to a broken covering at first, but once topped up the head has superb staying power and looks good. When held to the light the tan collar a top the rubidicous body looks very good. Below average carbonation levels.

Nose: Bready aroma mix with some toasted malts and a strong yeast profile at first. The ending has a strong hoppy kick in the aroma.

Taste: Malty beginning with a light spicy malt feel that builds to a crisp, distinct hoppy twang in the middle. The hops are slightly biting but not bitter, nor are they “aggressive” as advertised on the left of the obverse label. Maybe aggressively hopped is a phrase that means something different in So. Cal., I could be spoilt. The hoppiness is a nice balance to the malts, spicy pine feel and caramel malts all wrapped in a yeasty wholemeal bread roll. Not so much a meal in itself, but more a Sandwich. Has a light cloying caramel feel at the back end, thanks to the hops, this never becomes annoying, but more of a distraction.

Mouthfeel: Caramel feel in the mouth aids the body and lends a decent strength to the average feel. Can feel a wee thin at times though, strange that?

Drinkability: Started reasonably easy at first, but as I worked the last third it became a little staid and one-dimensional. Spritzy carbonation is a little spiky in the mouth, but the creamy finish aids your forgiveness of this trait.

Overall: Well imagine my surprise! I mistakenly thought that this was Michael Jackson’s Late Night drink! I mis-read this one; I thought it said ‘Never-land Summer Ale’. But unlike Wacko’s favorite Bedtime Beer, this was close to its stated expiration and probably 12 months older than the Moonwalker would have enjoyed. That said, I enjoyed the beer, the hops balanced the malts well, and the glutinous caramel feel in the ending was nice, but it somehow lacked something to make it a well-rounded offering. More hops perhaps??

Thanks to BigHuge for this Boulder, Colorado offering, much appreciated.

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.

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