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Never Summer Ale - Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

Not Rated.
Never Summer AleNever Summer Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

559 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 559
Reviews: 342
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 12.74%
Wants: 3
Gots: 9 | 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
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Ratings: 559 | Reviews: 342 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of skybluewater
3.45/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

skybluewater, Dec 20, 2004
Photo of budgood1
3/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

budgood1, Dec 18, 2004
Photo of shippos
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

shippos, Dec 13, 2004
Photo of clvand0
3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

clvand0, Dec 07, 2004
Photo of edchicma
4/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

edchicma, Dec 01, 2004
Photo of kmpitz2
4/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

kmpitz2, Dec 01, 2004
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 30, 2004
Photo of Brent
3.08/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

Brent, Nov 23, 2004
Photo of cncbofh
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

cncbofh, Nov 22, 2004
Photo of TastyTaste
4.4/5  rDev +21.9%
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.

TastyTaste, Nov 15, 2004
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

OldFrothingSlosh, Aug 09, 2004
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

NeroFiddled, Jul 10, 2004
Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
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!

PhantomVodoo, May 17, 2004
Photo of filabrazilia
4.22/5  rDev +16.9%
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.

filabrazilia, Apr 27, 2004
Photo of cokes
2.83/5  rDev -21.6%
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

cokes, Apr 20, 2004
Photo of ElGordo
3.25/5  rDev -10%
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.

ElGordo, Mar 20, 2004
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

TheLongBeachBum, Jan 24, 2004
Photo of Beaver13
4/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Beaver13, Jan 19, 2004
Photo of maxpower
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark and clear amber-copper color, nice foamy off white head that leaves some lace in the glass, malty caramel aroma, sweet malty nutty flavors, medium bodied with a soft and light mouthfeel. It does finish with a nice and clean dryness , not bad at all.

maxpower, Jan 16, 2004
Photo of BigRedN
2.98/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark ruby red, thin off-white head which soon faded. Traces of lace down the glass to the finish.
Smell: Hoppy, spiced yet slightly sweet with a touch of caramel.
Taste: Nothing exciting. One dimensional. Hoppy, bitter finish.
Mouthfeel: Slightly carbonated. Light to medium bodied. Relatively easy going down.
Drinkability: Not the best seasonal beer I have had.

Final Thoughts: Part of a mixed six, this was not the most enjoyable beer of the bunch. Would have guessed by its one-dimensional profile that it was a strong/old ale, not a herb/spiced beer. Slightly disappointing. I guess I expected too much.

BigRedN, Jan 14, 2004
Photo of ZAP
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear cherrywood color...nice 1/4 inch creamy tan head...nose is sweet caramel...I like the way it smells..body a little light for a winter...medium body but leans toward the lighter side of medium...nice sweet flavor..caramel notes...surprisingly finishes dry and tight...theres some strategic hopping here...overall an enjoyable beer...not a top tier winter beer but decent enough...I wish this had more body, but enjoyable to drink...

ZAP, Jan 13, 2004
Photo of tavernjef
3.18/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Hazen deep ruby brownish color with a soft tannish head about a finger high that sits briefly, lace gets some spots sticking as it goes. Smell is inticing with a nice mingling of dark caramel malts and spicy/herbal hops that has a touch of pineyness to it and woodish notes. Taste is all together bland and characterless, lacks depth, richness, and above all taste. The front is upheld in some light mild maltyness and roasty tones, thin, with metallic notes, the hops come through in the finish which were nice and had some spicy hints and pine but had a watery taste that always seemed to keep getting in the way. Which didn't help the feel at all, very thin and watery. There's nothing warming or "assertively hopped" as it states about it. Its got hops, thats for sure, assertively? Nah...another look in the looking glass series they need to do with this one. Never Summer is never good. Average all the way, borderline boring.

tavernjef, Dec 27, 2003
Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep ruby hue; thin off-white ring, minor carbonation. Some winter spices and malts, even some hops graze the nose, most pleasantly. Sharp malts off the cuff, some cinammon and even caramel notes. Hop-dominated palate, decent amount of carbonation. Spicy notes in patches, decently hopped, fresh fruit finish, a throat grabber. Decent winter beverage.

GeoffRizzo, Dec 25, 2003
Photo of Gusler
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

The beer departs the 12-ounce brown bottle a deep garnet color with the head modest, creamy in texture and a nice light tan, as it slowly dissolves; the lace forms a tight sheet to conceal the glass. Malt dominated nose, just a hint of spice, fresh, clean and sweet with the start nicely malted and lightly sweet, top was a bit thin for my liking which detracts much, just not enough body,. Finish is well hopped, spicy and pleasing to the palate, very dry aftertaste and a drinkable brew, maybe just a tad above average, if it only had more body?

Gusler, Dec 22, 2003
Photo of garymuchow
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is a mix of hops (primarily) and some malt backing.
Good looking beer, esp. initially, but full head settles pretty quickly. Reddish hue (mahogany) and clear.
Hoppy bitterness is first noticeable, but a little too bitter and doesn't mellow enough as warms. Malt backing present with slight caramel notes. Bitterness on the finish has slightly citrus notes, esp. in the dryness.
Too biting and doesn't mellow to a nice ale smoothness. Feels a little too thin for a winter warmer. Nicely carbonated.
Something seems lacking. Somewhat bold, esp. in the hops, but somehow still not full or firm enough. Doesn't get smooth enough. Drinkable, but doesn't separate itself from the pack.

garymuchow, Dec 18, 2003
Never Summer Ale from Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
82 out of 100 based on 559 ratings.