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Allagash Speciale Reserve | Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash Speciale ReserveAllagash Speciale Reserve
Very Good
68 Ratings
Allagash Speciale ReserveAllagash Speciale Reserve

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-25-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 68 |  Reviews: 62
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.79/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If you like your Belgians high in alcohol with lots of oomph, don't try this beer, the beauty and complexity of this beer is there precisely because this beer is not a super charged 'American' Belgian ale.

This beer was batch #7. This beer pours a hazy orangish gold to copper color, it has a lively carbonation and a dense cream colored head. The aroma is fruity but grassy, with a floral hop note, there is a yeasty-musty-herbal note to it as well, basically it has a pretty complex aroma. This is a light refreshing brew, a style that so many breweries do not pay attention to or just do plain poorly. It is slightly sweet, but mostly dry, and the carbonation just dances on my tongue. There is a hint of banana in the finish, a bit of sharp biting carbonic acidity (from the carbonation obviously). At only 5% alcohol by volume this is a wonderfully complex Belgian ale. This beer is lightly bittered in the finish and it seems to have some woodiness to it as well. This would pair really well with a light nutty creamy cheese. As it warms up the malt brings a certain softness to this beer. There is still a bit of barely perceptible acidity and a fruitiness that, in combination, remind me a bit of cider. This beer has a definite malt backbone to it and though light and refreshing it has a wonderful mouth coating feel to it as it flows down my throat.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.65/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

$5.79 for a 750ml bottle. 5.0% ABV. Batch #10. I have no idea of the ingrediants as it's not on the website.

This one was a bugger to open, the cork was cemented to the bottle. I had to get out a corkscrew to open it. Pours to a hazy light amber, forming a tall whipped slightly off-white head with very good retention and a solid sheet of lacing...in no doubt helped by it's firm carbonation. The aroma is nutty and full of ripe melon, candi sugar, toast, and kiwi. The mouthfeel is less spritzy than I would imagine and has a nice initial sheen and basement-y finish. Medium-light body. The taste was a recap of the aroma..there is a ton of melon, leather and some dark fruits reminding me of Fantome yeast. As it warms, Brettanomyces and basement character comes out in the nose, but it really isn't until you taste it that you can pick up on it. Delicate candi sugar taste but not very sweet..Lightly toasty but thankfully not bready. Interesting semi-sour gym shoes funky finish that blossoms as it warms... This beer gets better as it warms and sits oh so comfortably in the gut.

A very interesting brew...this is as authentically Belgian as you can get in the states. I could see this made with dark candi sugar and more amber malts and it would be an amazing brew comparable to fantomes offerings. As a brewer, I can appreciate the skill involved in creating a beer as authentic, complex and balanced as this. Kudos to Allagash and Rob.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Orange-ish with a moderate light tan head, decent carbonation, and almost no lace. Nice soft malt aroma with a light Belgian yeastiness and mild clove-like notes. Tastes much like it smells -- a light version of a tripel; fruity and lightly spicy. Medium bodied, soft and smooth.

Very nice Belgian Pale Ale !

Per Allagash website: (*Same as Summer Ale*)
Alcohol Content: 5% ABV
Original Gravity: 1047

Batch #6
Tasted: 05/04/04

(25.4 oz / 750 ml Brown Champagne Style Bottle - Corked and Caged)

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Photo of beernut7
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I happened to be in town and near my favorite nicely stocked liquor store. Came across this brew in its huge bottle and added it to the spree. Fresh hoppy herbal aromas spark right from the popped cork-hole. Nice foamy pour with a quiclky integrated carbonation and clear light copper color. The aromas become stronger in the wide-mouthed glass. Flavors of slightly roasted malts and an almost wine-like fruit palate delight the taste-buds. This beer has a clean finish and is almost as refreshign as the Allagash white ale.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml batch # 10

Lively straw yellow in color with a thickly whipped head of pale white. Good retention and thick bubbly lace.

Sweet and fragrant golden malts on the nose supported by light fruits, banana (a lot more than my 1st bottle had), yeast, and spices, mainly coriander and light clove.

Flavors of delicate golden fruits, banana, pear, bubblegum, yeast, and terrifically floral saaz hops. Nice complexity, better than my last bottle for sure. Great balance.

Medium in body with rolling active carbonation and a crisp, fruity mouthfeel with a nice dry finish. A real bargain at less than $6 a 750ml.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.36/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

01/15/06- Purchased at Sun Devil Liquors in Mesa, AZ.

Presentation- 750ml bottle from batch #7. At least two full years aged. Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance- Kind of a blood orange colored pour. Full inch plus head which a full 1/4 inch remains until the finish. Nice patchy and streaky lace everywhere.

Smell- Mostky peppery spices and maybe a touch of hops in the nose. Maybe a bit bready as well.

Taste- This one has a really good flavor for a 5.5abv belgian. Loads of white pepper, a touch or corriander. Maybe a bit of a rotted banana flavor also. Sweeter and kind of tangy at the same time.

Mouthfeel- Higher carbonation level. A tad creamy as well. Fuller mouthfeel which is odd for a lower abv brew.

Drinkability- Flavorful and tasty Belgian. One of the better ones I have had for sure. Recommended.

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Photo of cbl2
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Note: Batch #8 2003


Crystal bronze that is very effervescent. Extremely huge white head.


Hints of nutmeg, coriander and perhaps some ginger are present.

Unbelievably smooth, with some nice malty character coupled with a hoppy finish that also reveals the blend of spices present in the aroma. This is labeled as a spring beer, that I've aged for fall, but it was well worth the wait!

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Photo of rkhaze
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch # 8. Poured a light copper color with a huge dense creamy white head. It almost looked like a cloud. Lots of carbonation. Great lace. Sweet, spicy aromas of malt and mild tropical fruits. There were some herbal notes and a slight lemony yeastiness.
The flavor was complex yet subtle. Lots of stuff here, but nothing too huge. Sweet earthy and herbal. Malt, light fruitiness and a hint of hay/grass. Finishes dry with a tart yeast flavor. Nicely done.
Medium bodied but with a light mouthfeel due to the carbonation.
This would be a wonderful drinking beer in the summer and not too shaby in December for that matter. I really liked the interplay of complexity and subtlety.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This is quite an enjoyable brew for a late summer's night, after having worked all day in the heat. Thanks to GCBrewingCo for the bottle (batch #5, apparently).

The beer pours fairly average. It has a light pale golden color that appears amber in the shade. Has a light carbonation and a thin and fine white head. Looks pretty standard for a belgian pale.

The smell is of herbal, spicy noble hops, a yeasty clove scent, and a touch of sweet graininess and light candi sugar.

There is a nice herbal flavor to the hops throughout the taste, as well as a bit of the aforementioned yeast/clove flavor. Only the slightest bit sweet. Perfect, and not over the top on sweet candi sugars like some brewers. It all finishes quite wet with no hint of an aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is fairly light in body, but still nice and creamy. Drinkability is quite exceptional at 5% ABV. The 750 ml bottle is downed quite quickly with minimal buzz. This beer is very highly recommended for a good belgian style lawnmower ale.

It is not the most complex and interesting belgian style beer, but it has its time and place. I seem to have found a good time and place in our current nation-wide heat wave.

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Photo of Realale
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750 ml of Batch #6.

Slightly hazy orangish-tan color. Big, tight beige head slowly settles to a mostly complete rocky cap.

Nose is Granny Smith apple peel with a crisp underlying maltiness. Initially the palate is all malt, with both crackery and bready malt notes playing key roles. There is an excellent minerally quality, which gives good length. The mouthfeel is full and round. Spicy/slightly phenolic notes are apparent in both the nose and palate with time. Very lively carbonation. Really enjoyable session beer with excellent complexity.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml. bottle, corked and caged. 5% ABV, Batch 9. Hazy orange/golden color. Thick white fluffy head. A bit of sediment floating in the glass. Great head retention.

Big fruity aroma, lots of green apples, pears and peaches. A bit of spicy, yeasty notes follow in the background. Very nice.

Bready, slightly toasty malt character. Some spices, and yeasty flavors. A bit of apple and peach, but not as much fruit as the aroma would lead onto. Crisp, with some earthy, floral hop notes in the finish.

Light body, good carbonation. Very easy to enjoy on a warm day. Refreshing.

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4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of afsdan
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of WaltTrombone
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #6

It pours a golden amber, with a big sticky tan head. The aroma was malt, mild hops, and clove. Lots of flavors in the taste, with toasted malt, mild grapefruit, mild hops, leather, wintergreen, thyme, clove. The mouthfeel was smooth with light carbonation, and the finish was nicely balanced between malt and hops.

A yummy beer with complex flavors, very versatile.

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Photo of crookedhalo
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch #4. Poured a hazy orangish gold with a thick greyish tan head that rested to a thin layer of floating foaminess. Smells musty and of subtle spice. Yeast character and a bit of malty sweetness really comes through it the aroma. When I first tasted this, I thought it tasted like Corsendonk Pale only stepped down a notch in body. Has a nice blend of malty sweetness mixed with the spicing of a witbier and finishes with it going towards the drier and mustier side of things. Spritzy and well-carbonated. Wickedly drinkable. Enjoyable.

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Photo of finepaws
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, corked topped like all the others. Batch number 10 for this bottle. First glass pours a clear honey color. Small white head. Very evervesant. Smells yeasty, and citrus like. Tastes, well , yummy. Another excellent Allagash brew. Can't wait to one day try their other ales that are above 6% ABV! Lots of bubbles. Somewhat sweet, then hoppy, then a nice dry apple flavor.

On 2nd pour we get a cloudy honey color, same head, lots of bubbles, tiny bubbles..oooh, aah. Grabing the edges of the glass in thick lace. Smells flowery, must be the hops coming thru. Flavors all still there, but more spicey, herbal like. Also more yeasty flavor. Sweet. Still a nice dry finish. Nice heady feeling, this probably shouldn't be my dinner, huh?

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Photo of mcallister
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy copper orange with some ruby at the edges. Carbonation is heavy and is highly populated in clumps toward the top of the glass. Nice white head is crisp and fine and has good retention.

Fruit galore in the nose. Green apple, apple cider, pear, peach, spicey and herbacious, and showings of apricot. Fruit bomb just great smelling.

Not at all what I expected in the taste. Cramel malt is chewy, heavy, and thick. Chewy mouthfeel yet light and spritzey. Still overly suprised with the depth of malt which wasn't noticeable in the aroma. Fruit is much more laid back in the mouth then compared to the nose. Not enormously complex but genuinely refreshing. More pear than apple unlike the nose. Nice zesty finish.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #4. The name "Speciale Reserve Ale" had me expecting something much bigger, but once I realized it was a Belgian-style pale ale I was pleasantly surprised. It's slightly hazy (bottle conditioned), and golden-orange in color, topped by a large, frothy, off-white head that holds well and leaves some nice lace in the glass. The aroma is fairly mild with a softly fruity, lightly biscuity malt, and some lightly spicy yeastiness. The body is medium with a very fine and somewhat effervescent carbonation that gives it a pillowy softness in the mouth. The flavor is of a softly fruity, lightly sweet, and gently caramel maltiness with some very nice peppery spiciness in the finish. There's a gently earthy and lightly musty character that gives it an authenticity normally not matched by American breweries. Very nice. A wonderful, lighter style beer to enjoy during the summer. It pairs well with quite a range of lighter flavored foods including grilled chicken, mussels and barbequed shrimp. A beer that's probably misunderstood, and underappreciated, by many American drinkers. Well done.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #8, 750 mL corked and caged bottle. Served chilled in a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Nice gunsmoke when the cork was popped, letting me know that this sucker was gonna give head like a metaphor I shouldn't complete on this family site. Explosive and generous head (about 2 inches worth, potentially caused by a bad pour). Made of itty-bitty bubbles and cream-colored, the head stuck around for a good amount of time, it being replenished by a steady stream of bubbles in middle of the glass. Excellent lacing, probably the best I've seen in a Belgian style in a long time. The liquid was a light copper color, very similar to a Märzen.

Smell: Spicy phenols of pepper and clove and fruity orange lying over a nice malty smell.

Taste: Great initial splash of orange, pepper, and clove shortly followed by pale and caramel malt flavors. Slightly herby hop finish. I'm reminded of a Märzen again, but only in the malt profile.

Mouthfeel: Just shy of medium bodied. Very light on the palate and in aftertaste.

Drinkability: Quite potable, and not über-high in the booze like a lot of Belgian styles. Definitely a great beer for summer eatin' and sippin', just like the bottle says. I'll be snagging a few of these when the come out next.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 10. This beer comes compliments of my best friend from high school, Dwight. It pours very nice hazy orange color with a 2 finger head that falls only slightly. The nose is spicey, almost woody, with little malty sweetness, slighly lemony. When the beer first crosses my tongue, I get a sour/tart slightly lemony flavor that moves to peppery and woody, with some toasted nutty tones in there. The finish is definately roasty. The feel is thick, slightly creamy texture. This is a nice beer. One of the only Belgian style beers I recall with this pronounced roasted character. Well worth a try.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I can't believe that I haven't tried this beer yet. For some reason I kept passing it by. Corked and caged 750ml bottle. Batch #10.

Pours out a golden-orange with a small head that lasts. Solid stream of bubbles make their way to the top. The smell seems citrusy but very delicate. Some herbal and peppery notes as well.

Very explosive in the mouth. Peppery with some citrus in the beginning. Ends very dry and herbal. I love the ending, it is my favorite part. I really like this beer and am suprised at the lower ratings. Lable states this is brewed in the Brabant style which I believe Rare VOS is as well. I prefer the RV but enjoy this one as well.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big, foamy, active, dark khaki colored head fades briskly to a patchy film while clinging to the edge of the glass. Transparent, pale amber colored beer with a few streams of medium sized bubbles rising through the middle. It's got that funky alcoholic candied hop aroma that I haven't smelled in a while with a yeasty vanilla base. The flavor is fairly light. There's some of that candied hop and a pinch of vanilla up front. Midway through it gets a bit grassy/ dry lemony. Everything disappears in the finish except for a bit of spring flowers (dandelionish). The mouthfeel is light, almost to the point of airy. The mouthfeel was distractingly light at first, but after a few sips I realized there was plenty going on with the smell and taste and the light body made it easy to drink.

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Photo of BillyBrew
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A great Belgian-style brew for non-Belgian brew fans. Great on tap at Great Lost Bear, Portland.

Lightly hazed copper colour with a sticky head with a thick lace and heavy swirls and pint-glass art. Wheat malt, yeast and light banana in the nose. A wheat and yeasty Belgian with a hoppy character and some bananas. Drier taste and mouthfeel than many Belgians. An ultra creamy and smooth medium-heavy body. Very soft and pleasant.

A great hoppier Belgian. An accesible for beer drinkers who do not enjoy Belgian styles.


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Photo of jackndan
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Allagash Speciale Reserve, A Belgian Pale Ale, from batch number 8. Poured out of a 750 ml bottle, with a cork cap and a wire closure. Poured into a wide mouthed glass as per the suggestion on the bottle. Hazy golden color, the first glass was in fact fairly clear. Not much head, large bubbles help it to dissipate very quickly. The aroma is sweet and somewhat citrus. Nice taste, extremely easy to drink and light bodied. The most significant flavors are fruity, with more than a little orange and lemon. Not a bit of hops are noted, but again, this beer would make a terrific summer refresher. The only problem is that it is a little gassy and over carbonated. Very nice.

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Photo of Gavage
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle labelled Batch #6. Pours a copper color with a medium head. The aroma was pleasant, as malt, yeast, and grassy tones were present. The flavor was well balanced. Yeast, malt and peaches were the dominant flavors, with a tinge of bitterness and citrus zest.

Smooth mouthfeel, medium body, and very drinkable. The malt and a slight tingling sensation lasts on the tongue for a bit after swallowing. Carbonation level was good. Overall a nice beer.

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Allagash Speciale Reserve from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 68 ratings
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