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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 grahamboudreaux
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of afsdan
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of rab53
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of hyuga
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of blakesell
3.2/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch #9 I can only assume bottled into the 750ml caged and corked bottle in 2001. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Beer pours amber yellow orange with a two finger head of eggshell white foam that quickly dissipates into a fingernail thin foam head. There appears to be yeasty dregs swimming around in the bottle as it settles.

Smell- Very Belgian, yeasty and estery and not the slightest trace of hops (no surprises there). Light perry smells, no citrus, trace amounts of base malts.

Taste- Past it's prime for certain, yeasty esters attempt to distract the palate with light cotton candy flavors and sherry oxidation, should have aged something with a little more alcohol to hone the backbone of this beer but it does hold its own OK.

Mouthfeel- Thin, watery, extremely yeasty, not warming, not alcoholic, medium high in carbonation, lightly drinkable.

Drinkability- good for once, no way I will ever find a nine year old bottle again, so a good thing that I can't find it again for a 2nd try.

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

750ml bottle, batch #4.

The cork head broke when trying to disgorge, followed by a corkscrew to finish the job. An incredibly stubbord cork.

Pours clear copper with particulates in suspension and a one inch head of stark white.

Candied pears, tangerine pulp, and melons lead off the nose. Red apples, hard candies, and a hint of mango follow through.

Medium bodied with a crisp, juicy mouthfeel.

Ripe fruit, cotton candy, and biscuity malt start the palate. Apples, pears, and cantalope. A honey-like rounded sweetness follows through.

Finishes with lingering residuals, light spice, and candied apples.

Given the age of this beer, I'm really surprised that it hasn't dried up more. Minimal oxidation with plenty of fruit and liveliness.

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Photo of session1979
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked bottle - batch #7 - Sampled from a large snifter

Appearance - Poured a clear honey color with moderate head and carbonation bubbles racing throughout the glass.

Smell - Smelled of light fruit, fresh flowers and slight citrus.

Taste - Fresh palate with hints of fruit, understated yeast and bread. Very dry on the finish, almost like a brut champagne.

Mouth - Light body, very refreshing with high carbonation.

Drinkability - Very drinkable with very little to no alcohol presence.

Overall - A very light and refreshing beer, not surprising for a summer release such as this. I liken it to Orval yet not quite as sophisticated or enjoyable. Would pair very nicely with a plate full of barbecue or spicy carne asade.

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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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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 MuddyFeet
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A surprising find when I was in Fairfield, CT for my high school reunion a few weeks ago. Been wanting to try this for a while.

Pours a nice peachy orang-ish in color. Layer of scummy head on top. Somewhat cloudy. Nose is a bit more than slightly spicy. Malt's sugars are coming through just a bit.

Very nice all-around Belgian Pale Ale. Bits of sweetness wrapped around bits of spices and cloves. Even a bit of a honey flavor going on in the background. Little bits of clover. Slightly watery but I am attributing that to the style. Very smooth and easy drinking. could probably drink this beer for a while.

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Photo of bruachan
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

it's a good lookin amber color and the lacing sticks around very nicely

my first impression: watery. spicy aroma and flavor, but the cork seems to have asserted itself in the flavor of the beer...not delicious. on second inspection this beer doesn't feel watery, as the mouthfeel is acceptable, it just tastes diluted. that being said, there are moments when i don't find it so offensive

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Photo of geexploitation
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Allagash keeps cranking out quality brews, let's see what this one is like. Pours a light caramelized brown, with a huge white head that fades pretty quickly to a light dusting on top of the liquid. Aroma-wise, this beer is pretty lackluster, not too interesting. There's some light phenols, herbs and yeast, but the overall effect is a bit like soap (and yes, my glass is thoroughly clean and rinsed). The taste is a bit more expressive, with lots of candi sugar sweetness right up front, followed by a light pear flavor and some crisp bitterness. The mouthfeel is on the light side for a Belgian-style beer, but full of crisp carbonation.

Allagash Speciale Reserve isn't a party in your mouth, but it's interesting enough, and I imagine it would pair quite well with lighter foods, given its pale malts, light sugar flavors and herbal crispness.

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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 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.

 1,451 characters

Photo of clvand0
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes. Pours an orange color with a moderate head that falls fast and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. The aroma is full of malty and citrus notes with hints of floral hops. The flavor is surprisingly sweet, but also quite malty and well spiced. There is some strange flavor in there that I can't pick out, but it's not really my thing. The mouthfeel is moderate and the drinkability is good.

 402 characters

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.

 1,190 characters

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 meathookjones
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this from a 750ml bottled labeled batch #10. Clear orange with pillowy white foam towering quite high. Scattered lace as the head died down. Great fruity notes in the nose with a light spiciness. A bit biscuity/yeasty as well. Flavor starts off with the light fruitiness of pears and apples before a kick of black pepper and coriander. Light grassy hop undertones. Finishes with a lingering spiciness. Solid flavor and aroma that were quite enjoyable. A bit light in the mouth and very crisp and refreshing. Bubbly on the tongue. Good drinking here, I could have had another bottle. Nice refreshing brew I will come back to again.

 634 characters

Photo of HogHill
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch # 4, from a 750 that was caged and corked.

Appearance: Poured a deep hazy golden orange, topped with an inch of white foam.

Aroma: Familiar yeast Belgian yeast smell, along with some

Taste:this one tasted bready and and had a significant cut grass flavor too. There was a little bit lemon on the finish which overall was very dry.

Mouthfeel: light bodied and dry.

Drinkability: I had no problem polishing off this 750, I really enjoy Belgian Pale ales that are under 7% ABV. This one was quaffable.

Overall: I was slightly dissappointed by this Allagash offering as I usually find their beers to be very good, this one was just a bit uninspiring.

 672 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with a 1/4" white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a fine pale and light crystal malt scent with a dry, yeasty aroma. The taste is decent. It has a dry and weak pale malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes tart and musty. It has a full, robust, musty aroma, but the flavor doesn't add up. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good seasonal, but it could be much better. I like a light flavor, but this one needs more malts.

 529 characters

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This poured into my pilsner glass with a 7 finger, pale tan head. I know it's the wrong glass, but that's what I had clean. Oh well.

The aroma was herbal, spicy, a little malty, with a bit of a floral scent.

The taste was mild, very dry, a bit peppery, with floral tones, and a slightly sweet finish. But it was gone almost immediately after swallowing.

Mouthfeel was disappointingly thin. I am only giving it average drinkability, because I got tired of it less than halfway in... there just didn't seem to be any oomph to it. I really don't think I would have this again... I am not sure I would consider this a good buy at $6.99 either.

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Photo of granger10
3.61/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch #10

Golden peach in color with a large foamy egg white head. Good amount of bubbles rising to the top, lots of lacing. Very floral aroma and somewhat herbal. I can't get much past that. Slightly acidic too. Flavor is also dominated by the floral notes I got in the aroma. Some clove spice is in there and a good amount of sweet breadiness. Quite dry. The herbal, floral flavors still really dominate this beer. It's almost a little overwhelming to me. It's good but I grew tiresome of it after about 12 oz. Still, quite good, esp. for the usually warm weather we're experiencing here in Michigan.

 605 characters

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.

 788 characters

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.54/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice crystal clear amber golden with a white tall frothy head which fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was fruity and estery with a distinct Belgian yeast character and slight spiciness.

The flavor was light caramel but extremely dry. The sweet impression was noticeable on the palate as the beer first made contact, but immediately transformed leaving low dry bittering and a slight fruitiness.

The finish was dry, bone dry. The body was medium light.

750 ml corked and bailed bottle. Batch 6 on the label. I might have had this one forever and a day, but it was kept cellared. It was a royal pain to get the cork out of the bottle. Next time I will try to get to the beer a few years earlier.

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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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