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Allagash Avancé - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash AvancéAllagash Avancé

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

39 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
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 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 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 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 Brez07
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap yesterday at Novare. Missed out on bottles so glad to see this available. 10oz pour into my chalice

A: Translucent cherry/raspberry color. Much larger head then I expected (about 2 fingers worth). Impressive sticky lacing along the upper half of the glass

S: Blast of strawberries and raspberries. Reminded me of jam. The real stuff, not Smuckers. There maybe was a hint of honey. Whiff of yeast and some tartness after the fruit

T: Certainly not as much fruit as the nose, but definitely a good profile of it. Raspberries and strawberries again. There is a subtle amount of tartness, just enough that you know it's there. The oak again imparts some wood flavor. I went back and forth whether there was bandaid in the finish

M: Medium boided. Crisp and full of flavor. Dry, almost champagne-like finish

D: Well, this was a damn fine beer. Wouldn't quite put it up with there with the other limited Allagash releases but it's no slouch either. And for 10.8%, it drinks crazy easy

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Photo of gtn80
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft at Novare Res in an Allagash tulip glass.

Appearance is a light red, pink highlights. Small head, tiny bubbles.

Aroma is great, definitely some brett, maybe a bit of strawberries, bit of malt, but more of the brett/funk.

Taste is brett/funk/sour up front, but gives way to to a sweet/strawberry finish with a bit of oak/vanilla.

Mouthfeel is very full, very carbonated.

Drinkability is great for such a high abv sour. A good "starter" sour in that the funk/brett isn't overwhelming, but rather balanced by the sweetness in the base beer (four) and the 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 twelvsies
4.44/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small paper-wrapped corked bottle, picked up from the source at Allagash. Pours a nice pinkish amber with a smallish head, soft and inviting looking. Wow, the nose on this is pretty unreal. A complex array of mild strawberry, oaky notes, funky brett, and a nice vanilla sweetness. Taste follows suit with yes some fruit up front, obviously strawberry but other hints as well, but more heavy handed is the, fresh and lively bretty flavors, melding with the oak and barrel notes. Not sure if the barrels once contained bourbon or not, but there is a nice vanilla boozy vibe to this beer. Really well rounded and a lot of complex flavors coming together. You might say harmonious. Mildly tart, this beer retains a nice dry mouthfeel and finish without the pucker, and enough fruit and sweetness to keep a nice quenching balance. Highly drinkable at 10%+. Wow. Would love to see what this tastes like in a year or two. Very unique, really tasty.

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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 BARFLYB
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Allagash Avance came to me looking a bit more red pink than the usual four which is a bit more brown. This had a redish dark tan tint to this that looks nice in this dark bar. A lot of bubbles and a frothy white head that took it's time receding. Nice patches of lace on the way down. As soon as it sat in front of me the strawberries whiffed up in my nose. On further expection, even more strawberry, with some vanilla and some light funk. Warming brings out minimal quad scents including plum. The berries stand out. Sipping this im torn between wild ale and dank ass quadruple, (not sure why this is classified as a BSDA but im drawing straws). Out of the many dark ale wild with berries added, Advance comes out the most. Possibly due to the freshness here. Some brett mixed in with the berrries mingling with the vanilla and a nice oak tannin. Plums and other darks towards the back. Feel is smooth and tangy, Advance does not finish to dry. The malt from the base has not dissapeared, this is a bit easy to get down, not super accidic but highly carbed off the tap. Body is at a sturdy medium. I enjoyed the taste so much I got another, not many times I go for a 2nd 10%er when im out drinking. Props to Allagash.

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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 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 ToasterChef
4.37/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from my notes. Avance is Allagash's Four aged with strawberries in oak casks. A special keg hand delivered to the Lion's Pride was tapped for their Halloween party. It was kept on for a couple days thereafter; I was lucky enough to get the last pour before they pulled it off, to be stored until a later date.

The beer is opaque, with red and copper coloring. At the bottom of my tulip glass, where the most light can penetrate, it appears nearly orange. A light brown foamy head sits on top, with plenty of carbonation rising up towards it. As I drink, good foamy lacework is left behind.

There is a great funky strawberry nose with some oak notes.

The flavor has impressive pale malts that are crispy and effervescent. The strawberry fruit flavors are a bit creamy--it must be the molasses that was also added. A nice puckering accompanies the finish. The strawberry flavors linger on. This is one tasty beverage.

The body is of medium character, but has high carbonation. It finishes dry with a slight puckering. My tongue is tickled by the sourness and carbonation. Holding the beer in my mouth ans swishing it about intensifies the creaminess.

Avance is never too sour, nor is there too much fruit. I would definitely drink this one again--label approvals suggest that it will be bottled and I want some! It isn't as amazing as Allagash coelship beers, but since this one will be slightly more attainable than those beers, I can't complain.

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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 wedgie9
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted on draft at Lush CBC event. Pours cloudy brown with a thin bubbly head. Nose of malt, stewed red fruits, prune, and raisin. Flavors are bitter chocolate, sour, stewed red fruit, and a nice maltiness. The carbonation is low, the body is full, and the finish is long with bitter, sour, and fruity flavors. This beer is very complex.

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