Allagash Speciale Reserve | Allagash Brewing Company

Allagash Speciale ReserveAllagash Speciale Reserve
Liked This Beer
3.91 w/ 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.

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
Ratings: 68 |  Reviews: 62
Photo of taez555
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml cork bottle with no batch number.

This beer poured a foamy white head with a slightly clear translucent orange/brown body. There were huge amounts of bubbles rising in the beer.

The nose was very light and fruity. A light alcohol punch. phenols. pears, apples, some pear peel smell. A very very light touch of spice.

The taste was very interesting. What seemed to jump out the most was the very light toasted malt flavor. Very highly carbonated. Raisons, pears some other soft fruits. A very nice light to medium bitterness with a faint earthy hop flavor. But still what stood out the most was a slightly more intense malt flavor than I'm used to with this style. But it all balanced perfectly against this lovely fruity pear and earthy pear peel hop flavor. Very light and easy drinking.

It ended with a nice roof of the mouth earthy bitterness mixed with the fruit that lingered for a little while.

Light, fruity, malty and so easy to drink, it's a dangerous beer. Overall just another great beer from allagash.

 1,034 characters

Photo of fattychubs
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large 750 ML bottle with a Champaign style cork that almost put someone’s eye out as it exploded from the bottle and beer went onto the floor. Batch #7.

Pours a golden yellow orange, with large bubbles feeding a good sized fluffy white head. Nose is grainy, with ripe citrus and yeast. On top a of a solid malt base, is a good spicy herbal hops, that give some roundness to the orange rind, and biscuit flavors. Taste has a very smooth mouthfeel and texture, with a medium body and fine carbonation.

I really enjoyed this beer, it went great with our summer day and our meal.

 582 characters

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

Batch #7
The beer pours a translucent deep gold to amber color, the head Brobdingnagian in size, spumescent in texture and a winsome light tan in color, as the head evanesces the lace left behind forms a concealing sheet upon the glass. Nose is dominated by the malt, crisp and fresh, lightly sweet, as is the malt-laden start with the top middling in feel to the palate. Finish is stinging in its acidity, the hops robust in their spiciness, quite dry and long lasting aftertaste, another great beer from a great brewery.

 523 characters

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.

 380 characters

Photo of Bighuge
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is on the verge of copper, but not quite there. A little haze is noted and a very thin white coating graces the surface of this beer. The aroma is hugely sweet. Cotton candy, bubblegum esters, rock candy and maltiness. A little mustiness as well. The sweetness is not as obtruse on the palete. Some dim shades of bubblegum are there, but not a lot of other sweet characteristics. There's more of an herbal presence to the taste. And musty as well. A bitterness exists that is subdued and fitting, but not all together necessary in this beer. The toasted malt lays a pretty nice foundation in this beer. Not my favorite Allagash beverage, but certainly decent.

 669 characters

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

Batch # 7

The beer pours a hazy golden yellow with light orange hues. A foamy white head develops and slowly fades to a sheet on the surface leaving a good amount of lace along the sides of the glass. Faint spicy oders (coriander?) and a hint of citrus hover over the beer. This medium bodied beer begins with a mild citrus flavor. Light malts move in which are followed by a slightly spicy finish. None of the flavors seem to dominate. A sticky palette with citrus flavors is left behind.

As the label says this beer would be good to enjoy in the summer. I enjoyed it with a pesto pasta, but I think it would go well with fish or chicken too. The closest thing I can compare this to is a Blue Moon, but the Speciale Reserve is what that beer should taste like!

 767 characters

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.

 554 characters

Photo of MJR
3.05/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Batch #6
750ml bottle

Appearance: Pours a glowing amber with copper edges. Lots of carbonation bubbles fight their way to the surface, which is covered by a thin, off-white cap.

Smell: The strongest smell is the cork... After that, I pick up on an earthy yeast aroma and a touch of fruit. Fairly weak in the nose...

Taste: The taste is an odd balance between the musty yeast flavor and a somewhat harsh, bitter orange peel flavor. There's a touch of a bready character, but it's in the background. Not much of a malt base or a hop bitterness to speak of. I can taste the cork though... This brew is completely lacking in's thin and lifeless.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated with a light, watery mouthfeel. Finishes dry and crisp.

Drinkability: Below be honest, this brew is downright boring. It's weak in flavor and watery in body, and I'm having trouble finishing the bottle.

Gentle and subtle? No...the word is bland. This is a disappointing brew from a usually outstanding brewery.

 1,029 characters

Photo of marc77
3.47/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Turbid orange hue, topped by an ivory white persistent head. Decent lace is left. Pungently ripe citrus and musty yeast hit the nose at first, then are ensued by mellow clove and notes of grainy wheat tartness. Moderate hop and perhaps dried orange peel bitterness upfront followed by slightly cidery sweetness, pronounced yeast derived nuttiness and clove. Moderate in body, with a light, yet silky mouthfeel. Hints of bread crust and chalk emerge late. Finishes dry, w/ light mineral notes briefly lingering. Speciale Reserve is quite refreshing and relatively light on the palate, but lacked overall balance. Yeastiness was a touch too pronounced. An enjoyable brew, nonetheless. "Batch #6"

 693 characters

Photo of LarryV
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very light aroma, almost non existent. This was from batch #4. Pours a light coppery color with a nice head. A rather tasty brew if I do say so myself. Yeasty with a lingering hop bitterness. Nothing particularly special, but a likable, drinkable brew.

 252 characters

Photo of Jarod
3.12/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It poured into the glass a gold color with a slight haze to it. The head was a white-ish color that was thick and it left a nice lace behind. The aroma is fairly mild with a soft fruity tones (apples, pears, etc), light wheat and malt, and some hops and light spice. The flavor is fruity, somewhat sweet (hints of the apples), and caramel maltiness with some spiciness at the end. Drier then I would have thought from this style. It was quite carbonated as well.

 462 characters

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.


 549 characters

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.

 1,096 characters

Photo of aracauna
2.84/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was expecting something great from Allagash, they being one of the more highly respected brewers at Asheville's Brewgrass festival. Unfortunately, I found the beer to be more of a dark amber, light brown ale with little distinguishing character other than a slightly noticeable citric hoppiness.

 297 characters

Photo of Bierman9
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch #4 had a very pleasing medium-golden color, with a bit of cloudiness, and a huge(!) frothy, fine white head. Head stuck around all day, and created some nice lacing in the glass. Lots of little yeasty chunks added to the mix near the end of the quaffing session. Picked up a grainy, biscuity malt aroma, with some yeasty hints, though all on the mild side. Body was well-presented, but a bit too carbonated (for me). The carbonation diminished as the bier warmed somewhat. Detected some mild, pale malty flavors as well as some fruity touches. Flavors, in general, were on the light side, and the bier finished a bit bitter and dry. Not a bad brew, but I'd not go out of my way for it.

overall: 3.65
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3


 788 characters

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.

 529 characters

Photo of Jason
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 750ml brown magnum bottle corked and caged. Batch #1. No freshness date on the bottle. This beer is not meant for extended cellaring as you would for their other Reserve ales.

Appearance: Slightly hazed sunny copper hue, medium sized bubbles rush to the top and help keep the frothy off white lace. Quite appealing to the eye.

Smell: A touch earthy yeast with a light level of medicinal phenols in the nose, herbal and mild exotic / citric rind fruity aromas come forth also.

Taste: Moderate body with an incredibly smooth mouth feel that still retains a crisp carbonation. Crisp and spicy with complex flares of flavour. Dryish malt palate with a distinguished toasted biscuit flavour that holds dominance. A little medicinal from the phenols, a little herbal and peppery also. Fruity with suggestions of red delicious apples and pears, mild on the alcoholic esters but still apparent. Hops are delicate with just enough bitterness to balance and not be out of place. The well footed texture and an even keeled balance add to the drinkablity. Toasted malt flavour flows far into the after taste.

Notes: This is a great lazy summer time lunch time beer, a crisp spicy Belgian style ale with spicy tang bbq would make a perfect lunch. Forget all of those wine writing fools that think wine can beer paired with anything, they are dead wrong beer is better and this one proves it with its pair ability with virtually anything.

 1,450 characters

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

Very smooth ale - abv 5%

24 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
Allagash Speciale Reserve from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 67.6% out of 100 with 68 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.