Allagash Avancé - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash AvancéAllagash Avancé

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very good

39 Reviews
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Reviews: 39
Hads: 162
Avg: 3.94
pDev: 12.18%
Wants: 119
Gots: 17 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  10.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: wedgie9 on 05-12-2010

Allagash Avance is a product of patience. Aged with strawberries for three years in bourbon barrels, this strong, sour ale has the aroma of strawberry preserves and toasted oak. The oak and berries continue their presence in flavor, and compliment the sweet, warm finish.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 39 | Hads: 162
Photo of BearsOnAcid
1.62/5  rDev -58.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Caramel body; off white head that reduces quickly

Malty mollasses and dark fruit aroma. Strange strawberries and cream aroma. When the beer is agitate a strong plastic/bandaid aroma become really offensive.

Light malty flavor. Little bit of sweetness but the mouthfeel is light as well. Strong pithy bitterness that is consistent with a lot of Allagash wilds. Charred oak and vanilla. Strawberry finish with a lingering funky bitterness. Very unpleasant drying sensation and plastic. This beer should've never been released. It's just a strange mix of flavors and bad off-flavors. It didn't change much at all since the release, which was a sample I poured down the drain, so I don't believe time will fix this beer.

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Photo of Reagan1984
2.69/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A moment of light beige head and then it fades to a thin cap. The beer is a deep amber color that lies somewhere between ruby and orange.

Aroma isn't very inviting.. There is a nice strawberry component, but this seems to be held down by a medicinal/burnt rubber aroma. Fairly musty as well. Just a touch of lacing.

The medicinal notes in the aroma are clearly present in the flavor. There is a slight note of the bitterness from the molasses. A moment of strawberry and alcohol. Not really wild about what the medicinal flavors are doing here. The more you work through the glass, the more consistent the strawberry flavor.

Light bodied, effervescent carbonation. Light on the tongue.

Not a huge fan and planning my next beer, which is not a great sign about the drinkability here.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.75/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to gtn80 for the trade on this one. Shared with the Chicago Crew at our UFC 126 tasting.

A - Red/orange colored beer that looks a little bit light for something that was a quad. Solid head with some moderate lacing, confusing, but not bad looking.

S - Some lactic sour notes, strawberries, and some barrel oak/vanilla. This doesn't smell bad, particularly since strawberry beers seem hard (impossible?) to get right. Victor Francenstein got my hopes up, and although the nose on this one is not as good as that, it's somewhat promising and interesting.

T - Unfortunately the taste is a let down. Strawberries are present, but they don't taste good. Somehow they taste old or slightly moldy, doesn't taste like a quad, tastes like mashed up strawberries in a belgian beer that got a little mushy and were then thrown into a barrel. I don't really care for this at all.

M - Medium bodied with some strong carbonation, I'm not sure if it works for this beer, but I'm not sure what would.

T - The taste makes this a hard beer to drink, it is just somehow unpleasant, although I will concede that the alcohol is nicely hidden. Not a fan, wouldn't drink again.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.06/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a challice. This one pours a mostly foam to start. Way more head than beer so this took away. Eventually we've got a muddy amber brown body with almost two inches of head and lots of soapy lace.

Alsmost smells like strawberries that are simply a bit past their prime. Vanilla and oak come through but this is somehow a strange mixture. Musty strawberries on the pallet with oak. This one is the slightest bit tart and the bourbon comes through a bit on the finish.

the body is medium with coarse carbonation and the finish is a bit dry. Overall this isn't Allagash's finest. Maybe this will suit someone but it just seems off to me.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to Mike, poured into a perfect pint glass... This pours a light watery reddish orange. The head is off white, watery and whispy, but has decent retention and lacing. Weird color but ok... The aroma is shockingly decent for a strawberry beer. Strawberries are dominant on the front and they come off nice and fresh. I also get some oak and lactic sour. Can't tell this is a quad, no notes of that at all... The taste is a total 180, the strawberries are now stale and old, gross finish. I try to get past the berries, pull out some oak, and hint of dark fruits, not sour enough at all.

From the description and being an Allagash beer I was expecting total garbage. It wasn't quite that bad but not a recommend. So essentially it exceeded my expectations but not good.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.4/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thank you, Mike!

A - Pours a rusty reddish/brown color, off-white head, spotty lacing, and some bubbles remain here and there on top with a fimly thin cap.

S - Lots of oak, strawberries, sugary sweetness, slightly sour.

T - Oak, strawberries, some dark fruit notes from the base beer, slightly sour but not enough to make this one all that enjoyable. Needs a bit more funk, as the strawberries and oak just dont cut it.

M - Light, good carbonation (possibly a tad too much), semi dry finish.

D - Meh. My least favorite of the limited Allagash releases so far. Not terrible, by any means, but not uber-enjoyable.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by Thorpe429 alongside several other Allagash sour/wild ales. Thank you very much, Mike!

The beer is light brown with subtle highlights of crimson and pink. The aroma brings a grandiose scent of strawberries soaked in alcohol. Subtle notes of oak. While the beer brings some potent flavor, the swetness of the alcohol and strawberries, a naturally sweet fruit, together is a bit overbearing. Medium bodied with moderately light carbonation. Alcohol presence is bold throughout. Mostly sweet with a touch of tartness. Overall, this was OK.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375 mL bottle poured into a wine glass.

Appearance - Slightly hazy reddish brown. More brownish red, I guess. Discrete bubbles in a medium collar.

Smell - Strawberry, vanilla, oak, and some acidity. Acetic mostly in nature.

Taste - Strawberry is nice. Not the freshest, but I get it. Tart strawberries backed by a hefty malt presence. Oak and vanilla in the back, almost like a bourbon barrel would lend. Moderately sour.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy with a tempered sourness from the malt.

Overall - I like how balanced it is, but as a result nothing is standout.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in an Allagash coolship tumbler. Nose has a good dose of barrel character and noticeable strawberry. Flavor is too oxidized. Dry and slightly sour. This was an interesting one, but did not quite compare to the Coolship Series, which were much better. Still an interesting beer.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared by a Thorpe recently with all the rest, thanks, Not the best one but it still is good / decent.

Not much strawberry left in this one. It is amber and has a thin white head, small bubbles.

Aroma is mostly oak, mild sour / tart.

Beer is light in body, dry on the finish, a little fruit lingers but it is mostly gone. It is a decent beer but not a repeat for me.

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Photo of cbutova
3.74/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

No reviews in about 8 months, might as well put my notes down. Served at Armsby Abbey at an Allagash tap event. Reviewed from notes.

A- Poured from the tap into an Allagash tulip with a dark red slightly hazy body. Just a bit of foam on top but no true head I would say. Ends looking like a wine with a lack of lace. Very old Wild Ale I guess none of this is surprising.

S- Berry forward nose like a jam or preserve in a way. Strawberries, blackberries and some cherry hints come to mind, kind of a medley. Some oak and a sort of Flanders acetic tart hint.

T- Like the nose, the bulk of the taste is made up of strawberry and that general berry medley/cocktail of flavors. Somewhat vinous with an oaked hint but not much from the barrels in general. Some acetic-balsamic acidity as well as a lemon sour hint that reminds me of lambics. Tiniest Bourbon alcohol hint.

MF- Super light bodied and fairly dried out like most Wild Ales. Moderately sour/tart and a complimentary moderate foamy carbonation.

Gets pretty sour after some time and just has a berry preserve sort of feel. Reminds me of some juice cocktails with berry flavors. Minimal barrel influence. Between the strong berry flavor and fairly high ABV something just feels too strong, hard to put a name to it. Just had an edge that wasn't as smooth as great Wilds.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz pour served in a teardrop shaped glass. Round two from Allagash night at Rattle n Hum.

Avance pours a murky not-quite brown (just a hint towards more of a burnt orange). Head and lacing are both 100% nonexistent. I'm normally a bit more lenient with scoring appearance of a draft beer, due to possible bad pours, but there's no way that can take all the blame. Every bartender working there tonight was serving Avance like this. Alcohol immediately jumps out with each whiff. It's a bit overpowering, and has me a little bit concerned. Once I make it past that I can pick up both strawberries and more traditional plum and raisin type dark fruit aromas. The alcohol is much more restrained on my palate than in the nose. It's still present, but works much better with the other flavors as it just provides a warming sensation. Strawberries and other fruits return, along with a nice swirl of toffee that I wasn't expecting. Shame I can't pick up anything from the barrels, a little oak or (even better) vanilla really would have elevated this beer to the next level. As it is though, Avance is damn tasty. Unfortunately, I feel even more secure in not blaming the bar staff for Avance's appearance, as it's almost entirely dull from a carbonation standpoint. It's also a little bit thin for a 10% Belgian Strong Dark/Quad. Avance tastes great, but it has some fundamental flaws that I don't remember Four as having, and that keep it from scoring a bit higher in most categories.

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Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy brownish amber in color. It poured with a finger high beige head that took a long time to die down but left a thick ring of bubbles on the surface around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of bourbon in the nose along with some notes of strawberries and sourness.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell but the flavors are a bit stronger. The bourbon really stands out in the overall taste but isn’t overpowering; there are also notes of strawberries and sourness along with hints of brown sugar.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a high amount of carbonation.
O: The sourness isn’t that strong but this is definitely a beer that needs to be sipped. The mixture of bourbon and strawberry flavors is interesting, but there’s too much bourbon and not enough balance between the two.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


On tap at the 2011 Pizza Port Barrel Blast.

A: Red tinged orange with a mountainous white head. Great retention and lacing. Nice looking beer. Bright and vibrant.

S: Strawberries with a prominent lactic profile. Some oak and candied sugar. Moderately acetic. More vinegar than strawberries.

T: Strawberry is more pronounced here and is complimented by restrained vinegar. Moderately lactic, with some oak and tannins. Candied sugar sweetness. Bready malt.

M: Medium body with upper moderate carbonation. Sticky and smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: A nice lactic strawberry quad.

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Photo of starrdogg
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Max's Allagash Event

Beer pours a fairly nondescript reddish brown with a fluffy white head. Smells largely of lacto-sour and oak with a hint of strawberries. The flavor is interesting and not quite what I had expected. It's sweeter than I had anticipated, but also has a good bit of sour in there. There's some oak and strawberries as well. It's fairly full-bodied with decent carbonation. Overall, this is a solid beer from Allagash, but not my favorite sour out there. It's perhaps a little too sweet, but I guess that's what happens when you take a big quad and then add strawberries.

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Photo of MrHirschybar
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Last taster of the event - Port's Barrel Blast

A - Pinkish gold type color - more on the pink side, carbonated white head off the tap

S - Fruity, sour and sweet with light oakiness - didn't pick up a strong smell from the strawberries more of the sour and sweet with a little funk

T - Sweet and crisp with following sourness and hints of oakiness before the funk sets in and sneaks in the fruit sense - for being aged with strawberries it played with my palate and I picked up cherry and grape more than the strawberry. Picked up vanilla and oak but initially wrote it off to all the stouts of the day.

M - Tart crisp finish. Mix of flavors playing with you on this one - finished up the day with this and it was the light dry enjoyment to regain life in my palate. Picked up vanilla and some oak, and a mix of fruits though Strawberry wasn't strong I picked up more cherry and grape type flavors with the sour and tartness. Not as sweet as some of the other sours of the day. Medium to high carbonation.

D - Recommended, a few of these throughout the day would have been a nice crisp refresher - had some great sours and this one was nice and crisp and tasty - sour, sweet, funky, with a dry finish. A nice example and well worth a try.

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Photo of Jonny41
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at at Three Crow Restaurants one year anniversary party in Rockland Me.
Great coloring very good looking beer, smell was fantastic, with a bright big aroma,
Taste very sharp flavors strawberry pulls though the sour with a slight pucker.
Great rare treat one of many by Allagash that night

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Photo of corby112
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Monk's Cafe.

Pours a dark golden ruby color with dark golden orange hues when held to a light source. Two finger creamy, pillowy off white head with excellen retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the glas with soapy lacing.

Slightly funky aroma with lots of vinous character, earthy oak and dark fruit. Smells slightly vinegary with vinous dark fruit, especially tart cherries, grape, strawberry and plum. The barrel aging adds a nice earthy oak and vanilla. Slight bug presence but this is all about the barrel and vinous dark fruit.

Slightly tart and puckering but not too harsh or acidic. Dry with again a lot of vinous dark fruit, funky bugs and earthy oak. Slight lactic creaminess adds depth and complexity and there is a really nice balance of sweet fruit, puckering vinegar sourness, oak and vanilla. Each sip picks up more flavor. Plenty of sweet fruit notes, especially cherry, strawberry and grape. Lots of dry Brett and a mouthwatering tart finish that leaves me salivating for more. Recommended.

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Photo of andrewinski1
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an Allagash chalice. Slightly dark reddish orange color with nice clarity. Good creamy tan head on this one that lasts quite a bit.

This smells immediately of strawberry. Closer examination indicates a strawberry and cream or strawberry shortcake kind of aroma.

Well this starts out mildly sweet and finishes with a soft sour berry flavor (like a fresh brightly colored strawberry). There is a slightly alcoholic sting in the middle. The strawberry flavor is again dominant in the taste as it was in the aroma. Great balance in the taste.

The mouthfeel is relatively light and sparkling for such a strong beer. Even though there is a slight sting that I mentioned in the taste, the overall drinkability is high for the strength. This is not only a unique beer, but an enjoyable one.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Cask Republic into a wine glass.

A: Clear deep red body with three fingers of creamy tan head. Great retention and plenty of lace. Lovely, if a bit too foamy (the bartenders were not enjoying pouring this beer).

S: Intense aroma of fruit (strawberries, cherries, and grapes), tannic oak, and light malt. No real traces of a traditional quad, but a lovely, lightly sour aroma.

T: Highly vinous, slightly tart flavors of oak, strawberry, and vanilla. Delicious and complex, if a bit too dry and astringent. Again, no traces of BSDA flavors, but I'm not complaining.

M: The carbonation has been somewhat drained, but it's still smooth and pleasant.

D: Solid for a sour, average for a BSDA, great for the ABV.

Notes: Awesome beer, and awesome to see it on tap - well done, Cask Republic! It's crazy to see how strongly the barrel aging changes the beer; I love FOUR, and can't find any trace of it here. Instead, there's a delicious, complex sour.


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Photo of craytonic
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I think this one will be much better in a few months

Appearance: Rusty reddish pour, off-white head

Aroma: Incredibly fresh strawberries followed by oak and lactic sourness. A bit of horseblanket/mushroom cheese funk in the back that will hopefully develop.

Taste: Very fresh strawberries followed by oak, vanilla, and lactic acid sourness. I think it needs a bit of time to develop. There is some funk to it but it is young and seems to still be developing, tannins don't seem quite melded yet.

Mouthfeel: Very dry, slightly creamy

Drinkability: THis is good but needs some time

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Photo of glid02
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on-tap multiple times at Brewvival.

Pours a deep amber-orange color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of large amounts of lightly tart strawberries with decent amounts of oak. Also present are medium malts and slight funk.

Tastes very similar to how it smells, though not quite as robust. Medium malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by moderately tart strawberry flavors. Slight vanilla flavors join in shortly thereafter from the oak. Midway through the sip the flavor profile dries out a bit with the addition of funk and hints of earthy hops. The funk and strawberries carry through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I wasn't terribly impressed with this beer as the strawberries didn't integrate with the rest of the flavor profile as I'd hoped. Still, another tasty sour from the boys at Allagash that's worth a shot.

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Photo of Luk13
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to ChuckyCheese (BA). Poured into two cantillon tulips, one had a nice little finger of foam that lasted until the very last sip and the other’s head faded very quickly, brown pour with a distinct reddish tint. Aroma: At first I get a lot earthy, damp forest floor like aromas but the strawberries are very present and strong. Some molasses is still perceptible in the aroma. Taste is sweet and tart, the strawberry and oak flavors are dominant here. Palate: Medium-light carbonation, a bit of alcohol perceptible on the finish. Very nice beer, it grew on to me.

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Photo of jsanford
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at 2011 Brewvival.

Poured a dark, cloudy orange with a thin khaki-colored head.
Strong nose of strawberries, lemon zest, hay, oak and funk. Taste is very similar to the nose, strong lactic tartness and nice sweet strawberries. Medium-thin bodied with medium-low carbonation, not quite as crisp as I'd hoped. Still, very drinkable and delicious, one of the highlights of the day for me.

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Photo of ahalloin
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured at the Lupulin Renuless at RFD June 2. I love it when brewers for these events actually bring hard to acquire beer as opposed to stuff I could buy off the shelf in my area or nearby. Kudos to Rob Tod for bringing two little beauties.

Pours a dark reddish raspberry color with a slightly off white head. Almost brilliant clairy but with some slight haze. Great looking beer.

The aroma is big and pungent with loads of jammy notes. At first I was thinking it was raspberries but then Rob talked about the beer and said it was strawberries were used. Berry sweetness mingles with medium sour notes. The signature of the oak barrel is prevalent as well.

The taste is exactly what you'd expect from the description and smell. Strong berry components coupled with strong lactic sour and barnyard funk notes. The strawberry flavor seems a bit articial though.

The mouthfeel is quite nice with medium high carbonation and a drying finish that refreshes. The 10.8% ABV is well masked.

Overall this is a very neat beer to get to try. I haven't had too many beers that incorporate strawberries so successfully. My one gripe would be the artificial nature of the strawberry flavor.

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Allagash Avancé from Allagash Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.