Never Summer Ale | Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

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Never Summer AleNever Summer Ale

Brewed by:
Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
Colorado, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by comat0se on 04-28-2003

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Reviews: 345 | Ratings: 572
Photo of Brenden
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Never Summer is a warm and inviting, rich-looking red in color with deep copper infused. A light tan head just over one finger tall drops a thick ring at the top, then leaves a broken sheet of thick lacing that, if it remained consistent all the way down, would be stellar. It's still quite good, though.
The aroma offers a malts and hops balance with primarily caramel and grains giving way to a bit of pine and citrus. A mildly grassy aroma lingers beneath. It's a little hard to draw out, a good aroma that ought to have a little more strength.
All of the elements are found in the flavor, but warming draws out some toast and a touch of dark fruits along with more citrus hops and a light roastiness coming through just at the end.
This beer is fairly thick and rich, a touch filling in a smooth medium body with medium levels of carbonation.
I like this Winter Warmer, not spiced per se but with a touch of sweetness and very good balance.

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well it is still is winter, even though it was 84 degrees today. This is courtesy of BOTMC, let's give it a whirl. Popping the top I get a smell of cocoa and cinnamon almost cappuccino like. Pours to a light root beer colour with a medium size bubble head that stands up. Initial taste is very evidently cocoa with some flatly bitter earthy hops. Taste then transitions to a sweeter malty and heath bar like middle while still maintaining a degree of bitterness the finishes with a flat bitterness that has sweetness around the edges and as such fades into the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is a bit to sparkly but, overall, very tasty brew. Would be great as a dessert beer and next to the fireplace it would be quite at home.

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear muddy red, almost dark amber, with loads of visible carbonation. Head has a dense & creamy texture, off white in color, small with ecent lacing.

S: A nice caramel malt aroma with notes of spices, toffee, and hint of dark fruit. Getting a little bit of nuttiness too.

T: A crisp bready flavor with almost a dark fruitiness to it. Slight hoppy bitterness balanced with sweet caramel mats. Finishes dry, spicy, but the taste lingers.

M: Medium body, tingling carbonation, crisp texture.

O: Picked this up on a whim because I've had some of their beers that I liked before. Thought this was good, but I don't see myself getting this again. Easy to drink, just nothing amazing.

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

A Nice ruddish amber appearance. Head faded fast and just a thin film of head as you drank. Little lacing on the glass

S I get the carmel smell along with the malt extract smell, also pick up a slight hop smell which makes it pleasing on the nose

T This is wear this beer did better than expected. Being a winter warmer I expected a big malt alcohol taste that would be a little to sweet. The flavor is nice since they added enough hops to give it a little more character. I'm really enjoying this more than I thought. Nice job on this winter warmer

M Again not a heavy syruppy mouth feel that I would have expected. nice carbination and with a hop finish I like.

D Pour me another as the bottle states "Makes even the coldest Colorado peaks seem warm" Bring on the snow bunnies!!

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Photo of vapodge
3.64/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A - dark, clear amber; minimal head and lacing

S - hard candy (think root beer barrels), sweet and malty

T - brighter and tangier than other winter warmers, almost like a fruity creme brulee dusted with some nutmeg

M - fairly crisp due to relatively high level of carbonation

D - a little too light and sweet to command respect -- more like hanging out with a friend than an authority figure -- you can have a good time with this, but it won't make you change how you see the world

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Photo of TAMU99
4.3/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

in short, it's rated high because it's a tasty, drinkable beer.

Pours a clear reddish oaken color with a light tan head that retreats to a thin foam and leaves a sweet lace on the glass. Scents of are of alcohol, hops and burnt sugar with maybe some bread aromas too. Taste is brisk - the hops are perfectly bitter. There is a beery sweetness underlying the hops that makes them more flavorful. Goes down easily with a lingering alcoholic heat and tasty bitterness on the back of your tongue. Smooth mouthfeel with just enough carbonation.

Very drinkable - great session beer and definitely worth buying again and again.

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Photo of cbutova
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably one of the last winter warmers I will have this year.

A- Very dark red with a small light tan head that really doesn't build up to above a finger. Head retention is low and the cap falls to a small ring. A nice coat of lace from what I thought was a weak head.

S- A somewhat roasty and spicy feel amidst a general raisin and caramel malt profile. Dark fruit and zest in here as well.

T- I get an array of different flavors. Caramel, dark fruit, raisin, nutmeg and floral English hops come in pretty strong. I also feel a certain amount of pine, zest and very slight roast.

MF- Creamy body with silky carbonation. Finishes somewhat bitter from the hops. Matches flavors pretty well.

DB- A bit better from what I was expecting, a winter warmer with a nice array of balanced flavors.

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Photo of Redrover
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown longneck poured in a pint glass, the beer is a chill hazed garnet with a tan head and minimal lacing.

The beer has an aroma of biscuty malts, crackers and some pine notes.

The beer leads with the malts and they add a grainy taste. There is a bit brown sugar and a hint of chocolate. The hops add some nice balance and they are a touch piney.

The mouth is slightly thickish with low carbonation. I think this is a pretty easy beer to session. It has some interesting facets but is not overpowering in any of its taste elements.

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Photo of bsp77
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Clear brownish-red with thin off-white head and some light lacing.

Smell: Cherry, caramel and spicy, floral English hops.

Taste: Caramel and cherry malt backbone, with some nice English hops providing a light spicy bitterness on the finish. Fairly nice balance but leans a little to the sweet side. Thankfully does not have a medicinal, metallic aftertaste, as the smell had me concerned about that.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, slightly too thin body with a semi-dry finish.

Drinkability: Pretty good English Strong Ale that could use a titch more body, as well as a little more hops to balance the sweetness. Still, quite enjoyable.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated 1.26.11
A: deep reddish copper, perfectly clear. Nice tan head and lacing.
S: dark caramel and toffee, dark fruit, and spice-not sure if it's actual spices or from the hops, but definitely present. Some darkish breadiness.
T: light to medium sweet caramel malts are washed out by a smooth bitterness. Lingering dessert spice finish is nice.
M: nicely carbonated, which in my case means not too little. Just under medium in body. Nice and frothy with a bit of chewiness.
D: one of the best winter warmers I've had, and would definitely consider getting again. Also I like the low abv for the style. I could have more than one of these.

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Photo of lbaker
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

For starters, its reviews like the one below that make me wish we could report crappy reviews. It's called "Never Summer Ale". Put the emphasis on never. It wasn't intended to be a fruity summer beer you want to sip on the lawn while watching your boyfriend play tetherball in those cute denim shorts of his. It's even got a picture of snow covered mountains on the friggin bottle!? Moving on...
No. Nitro tap? Shut up.
Now moving on.

Tried this beer for the first time at Indy's Winterfest this past Saturday. Was one of my favorite new pours and decided to grab a 6 pack and hide from the ice!

(a) Pours a very dark ruby red, reminiscent of a bright barley wine. Little head. Little carbonation. Good appearance by winter warmer standards. (4/5)

(s) Poured a little too cold but as it warms up it comes alive. Sweet smell, maybe because of the carmel malts. (3.5/5)

(t) Sweet, smooth and warm. Everything I want in a winter warmer. First few drinks were metallic. Like sam adams octoberfest metallic. Still, great sweet winter comfort flavors. (4/5)

(m) Not as much bite in traditional winter warmers. ABV% is a little low, but its still very smooth on the palete with a little kick at the end. (3.5/5)

(d) Other winter warmers, 2-3 max. I feel like I could stand on the porch Christmas Eve with friends and polish off 6 of em before the cigar runs out. Great drinkability. (4.5/5)

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Photo of scubasteve04
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In light of the 8 feet of snow covering half of North America, I thought it appropriate to pop open this Winter Warmer from Boulder, CO and pour in into a nice and hearty goblet.

A: Nice looking brew, a lovely clear copper liquid blanketed by a thin but durable off white head. Very few bubbles.

S: The roasted and caramel malts seem to be dominating the nose, with subtle hop aroma, but not a lot. Loosely reminds me of a Twix bar, or a Roll-o, with maybe a bit more chocolate aroma. Strange, but inviting.

T: Let the brew warm for about 10 minutes before the first sip to about 45* F (estimation. Not nearly as much caramel and chocolate as the nose lead you to believe. After a relatively docile malt presence, the brew finished with an unexpectedly high level of bitterness and herbal hop flavor for the style. I'm missing some of the usual suspects in the spice category of a WW (clove, nutmeg, etc.).

M: Medium body, and lightly carbonated. Not quite as rich as you might expect for a WW, but still enough viscosity to coat your stomach and warm you up with its detectable 6% abv.

D: I don't know if I've ever had a WW that was truly "drinkable", but this one was pretty good, but I don't know if I'd do more than one or two.

O: A very good brew, but doesn't quite hit the mark as a true WW in my opinion. I think the assertive hop bitterness may have masked a lot of other flavors that were probably in there.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear deep red amber with an off white that retains very well

S - Biscuity malt with a dose of green citrus hops mixed in. Water chestnuts, faint hints of spice reside in the background.

T - Caramel malt with a tinge of metal. Citrus and pine hops back the malt and provide good levels of flavor well as some peppery spice. Some maple floral sweetness combined with a nutmeg sort of spice. Hard to pin down. Has some strawberry rhubarb tang on the finish. Aftertaste is a balance of malt and clean hops.

M - Full bodied, lush type of carbonation.

A different take on the style for sure. Low on the spice level. Nice malt and nice hops. It actually makes me think of summer rather than winter. A great beer on any occasion.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a dimpled mug. A sleeper of the winter/christmas beer bunch I evaluated. Pours a deep orange-red with a frothy, beige head that leaves behind creamy lace. Dark caramel malt, light nuttiness and piny/earthy hops all merge to create a pleasant aroma. Light to medium-bodied and creamy with a slightly dry and moderately bitter finish. The flavor is a solid, dark caramel front with notes of spicy, earthy hops and light nuts.

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

This was from my second shipment of the Beer of the Month Club, a birthday gift from my girlfriend. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Two-finger pour with a good amount leftover in the form of white cobwebs. Maple coloration and clear body give this one a healthy, inviting appearance.

Initial hit of berries subsides into smells of cinnamon, light molasses, and caramel, with a strong impression of booze. An impressionable smell that distinguishes itself by its unity rather than a stand-out flavor.

Butterscotch, hops, and spices seem only to half mask the booziness, which is surprising considering the low ABV of this brew. An appreciated, slightly bready flavor that usually accompanies darker ales is present. The scotch-y beginning mellows into a caramel flavor and then ends with a sharp berry accent. The sharp fruitiness at the end is reminiscent of coffees brewed with huckleberry.

Low carbonation, a balanced palette and a lower than expected ABV make this a drinkable brew, especially for the Winter Warmer style. Not sure if I'd get this anytime other than "snowed-in" periods of a Northeast Winter, but it seems that the brewmasters at Boulder Beer Club thought the same thing when naming this one.

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Photo of samie85
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a deep, copper color with two and a half fingers
of off white/very light tan head.

S-Smells of fruity yeast esters with a bit of caramel and a bit of chocolate.

T-Chocolate and caramel malt with more of the fruity esters from the nose.

M-Medium bodied with a smooth and slick feel and an appropriate level of carbonation.

D-Very easy drinking and balanced beer. One of the more user friendly winter warmers/spiced beer out there.

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Photo of Natural510
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, best-by 3-28-11.

Pours a darker amber-bronze with quality head and lacing.
Fairly spicy and sweet to the nose, offering a prelude of what's to come.
Spicy, astringent with a sweet, full malt and dry hop, with notes of caramel, clove, pine and hibiscus. Spice notes are fairly heavy.
Medium body is light enough to go down easy but full enough to display the flavor elements.
Drinkability depends on one's tolerance for a dry, spicy beer. For me, it was the right flavor combination and would be a good choice after a day on the slopes.

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Photo of JBIII
2.04/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

with a name like summer ale, this beer should be a lot lighter. Not a summer session beer, not even any type of sessional beer! Very sharp after taste. Harsh, metallic and does not go down smoothly! Don't even waste your time ordering this beer. You'd waste your money and time! I'd only drink this beer if it was free.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the first shipment of my craft beer subscription, a Christmas present from my fiancees parents. If this is a sign of things to come, this has a lot of potential. Poured this into my Duvel tulip...

The pour produces a two-finger head that sits briefly atop a crisp and completely clear garnet body. Gobs of irregular and intermittent lace adorn the sides of the glass.

Cinnamon, allspice, some clove, and some white peppercorn aromas atop a backbone of biscuit and caramel malts. A touch of booziness shows up later on, which is surprising, given the relatively low ABV for a winter warmer. Overall, the nose has a solid complexity, and while it could improve in some areas, it is very solid.

The palate is similar, with the spices toned down just a bit. The caramel comes out accompanied by a light breadiness that is a welcome flavor in a winter warmer. There isn't a whole lot of spice, but the warmth from the alcohol comes through, but not in an adverse way. There are some notes of sherry/grapes and darker fruits as well.

Smooth and medium textured, the carbonation is low, and the feel is enjoyable. The palate is solid, and as a result, the beer lends itself perfectly to drinking. While not my favorite winter warmer, I am excited to drink the next 2 bottles.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.27/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a reddish brown with a dense tan head that slowly recedes into a small pool. It looks the part
S: A touch on the hoppy side with some caramel sweetness. This may not be your typical malt bomb winter warmer
T: Starts off a little toasty and then the first wave of hop goodness washes over the taste buds. It gets thrown back with a vast amount of caramel sweetness with a slight toasted biscuit flavor. The aftertaste is a slightly oily hoppiness with some residual sweetness. I like the balance this beer has
M: Good carbonation and a delicate mouthfeel. Definitely not watery.
D: pretty good. this is a solid beer and I'd drink a few more given the chance

Overall: One of my favorite winter beers. It's well balanced and possibly a little heavy handed on the hops for the style, but I love me some hoppy goodness.

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Photo of beergod1
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Plastic cup at UPick6 in Erie PA. Poured a clear amber with nice off-white head. I originally thought this was a Summer Ale, I didn't realize the play on words. Beer Nose is hoppy with citrus, spices and some light Malt sweetness. Flavor is light caramel malt, hops, citrus, and spices. Mouth feel is a touch watery but is crisp and clean. Not your usual "Winter Warmer". Boulder Beer Says:
"bold new look at winter beers". Well....I like my Winter Brew the way it was. This was a good tasting Ale, But I like more Body and Flavor.

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Photo of jdflyer06
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. into a snifter.

A: Reddish orange. Clear in a appearance with no visible head or lacing. Pretty, but nothing special.

S: Apples and various spices; nutmeg, cinnamon and some peppery notes. Wild yeast come through and some caramel malt.

M: The carbonation is a bit sharp. Very dry and somewhat bitter on the palate.

T: Bitter hops and plenty of spice. I can't get over the bitternes of this beer. It overpowers the well done subtleness of the spice. Hops are prevelant but again, the malt balanc is overpowered.

O: It's pretty drinkable, but overall not all that impressive. Not saying that it's bad, it just doesn't stand out. As a winter warmer, it doesn't hit its mark.

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Photo of philbertk
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rockies Brewing Company--Boulder Beer Company--never summer ale--Looking Glass Series--2007 22 oz. Bottle. 5.94% ABV--45 IBU's. (4.5 / 5.0) Winter Ale--ESB. Rich tight lacy ocher head. Clear deep amber red color. Malty toasted mild earthy fruit hop front. Creamy rich malty crisp toffee biscuit black cherry fruit ester body. Smooth mellow hop spice end. Nice. Sampled 5/8/2007.

Rockies Brewing Company--Boulder Beer Company never summer ale--Looking Glass Series 3rd Release--Boulder Beer Cap--2010 12 oz. Bottle. 5.94% ABV. 45 IBU's. (4.0 / 5.0) Winter Ale--ESB? Tan off white medium lace light head. Clear bright rich ruby red color. Malty floral dark fruit aromatic toasted hop front. Dry sweet mildly creamy black cherry caramel malty dark fruitbread tangy body. Rich hop spice dry mild nutritious dark ale citrus end. Sampled 6/16/2010. 6-Pack $9.00.

Rockies Brewing Company--Boulder Beer Company never summer ale--Looking Glass Series--2010 12 oz. Bottle. 6.50% ABV. 40 IBU's. (4.25 / 5.) Orange-tan lasting dense lacy head. Thick pour. Clear bright rich amber color. Floral malt hop mild toasted fruit biscuit front. Creamy cloying mellow sweet light toasted caramel cocoa hint doughy body. Mellow hop spice satisfying smooth malty end. Tasty! Sampled 12/23/2010. Malt of the Earth Beer of the Month Club Selection December 2010.

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Photo of Kinsman
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A toast to the Winter Solstice with the aptly named Never Summer. A blend of ruby red with a copper orange color and a light ecru colored head that built up quickly to just over a finger thick but faded all too quickly.

As with most winter warmers, the aroma suggest plenty of malts and some spice which I'm finding hard to pinpoint. Malts suggest toasted bread and some nutty and sweet flavors. Hops linger in the background with some floralness.

Taste is certainly malt-forward with some sweetness but comes across rather soft followed by a bit of a hop bite. The secret "Brewers Spice" certainly contributes to the flavor but it's hard to pinpoint what exactly it is that I'm tasting.

Mouthfeel is lighter than expected but has clean and crisp feel. Overall, an enjoyable winter beer but nothing spectacular going on here.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark amber with medium carbonation and an inch of head that quickly turns to a nice solid foam ring

S - Slight hops but mostly hops and spice. I can pick up some very mild I want to say all spice but maybe cinnamon, damn my nose sucks when I am a few deep.

T - Very interesting I get a mild spice, a good hop presence which is welcoming and a caramel finish. Nothing bitter or off putting. In other words... smooth.

M - Light to medium body.

D - Well I really don't love it in a sense that its an in your face spice fest like I love in warmers but after it warms a bit the bitterness of the hops (English?) makes itself know and it gives it a bitter and unforgiving tone to the beer. I like it but would not love it to try again.

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Never Summer Ale from Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
3.62 out of 5 based on 572 ratings.
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