Hive 56 | Allagash Brewing Company

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Hive 56Hive 56
141 Ratings
Hive 56Hive 56

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Hive 56 is a dark sour ale aged with honey in an oak foudre for eighteen months. The beer is deep mahogany in color with aromas of strawberries, lemon, and tropical fruit; notes of dark chocolate, raspberries, and figs present themselves upon the first sip, followed by a lingering tartness.

We brew this beer with a blend of dark Munich malt, chocolate wheat, midnight wheat, and roasted barley, and hop with Cascade and Northern Brewer. Hive 56 undergoes initial fermentation with our house yeast; we then transfer the beer to a foudre with Brettanomyces bruxellensis and fresh honey from our Allagash beehives. Over the course of the next 18 months, the Brettanomyces transforms the honey, resulting in a beer with bold, roasty flavors, and a hint of tropical fruit.

Added by ThatsThatDude on 02-24-2016

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Ratings: 141 |  Reviews: 29
Photo of StoutElk_92
4.51/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Lightly tart, berries, lemon, tropical, some funk, dark malt, chocolate, coffee, caramel, dried fruit, honey

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Photo of SierraNevallagash
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Cork and cage 375ml bottle - dated June 22nd, 2017 - poured into a tulip at 45f.

Pours a very dark brown with some amber highlights. Not full black like a stout. This is brown and thinner looking. Fizzy light brown 2+ finger headhead dissipates to a thin foamy cap, which slowly dissipates to a collar.

Nose is some dark malts, wild yeast, a bit of a sour note, and an underlying sweetness, probably from the honey. There's also the tiniest fume of alcohol. There's a fruitiness in the nose. Like sour raspberries. A berry fruitiness.

Palate is lightly toasted malt - like a whole grain cracker, and some very identifiable Brett character. Once you're familiar with Brett, it's easy to spot. Musty, overripe stone fruit and dark berries. A see a lot of people say "brett sourness". This bothers me. Brett is not sour. It's funky and fruity. While many sour ales have Brett, it's not actually sour *because* of the brett. This does have a very faint tartness, as most wild ales do, but it's quite restrained. The Brett really adds depth and character. Funky, fruity, layered flavors that open up and evolve right before your very tongue, in waves of different notes. The 9.2% ABV is not detectable at all in flavor. In a blind taste, I'd guess this was probably 6.5%. I'm also getting an undeniable minty characteristic that's quite unique, and plays well with this. I'm not quite getting honey, but there's plenty of huge brett flavors that make up for it. Though I would have loved that honey note. Overall, Brett is the star of the show here.

Mouthfeel is on the lightest side of medium, or the heaviest side of light. It has a fine, fair carbonation. Right in the middle. Very finely fizzy. It's not completely dry. It has a little bit of lingering "wetness" to it.

Overall: I can never really knock anything by Allagash, because I love everything I try of theirs (minus White, perhaps). This is good. It's a great wild ale. It has loads of brett character that lends to flavors on flavors on nuances on depth. I love that. I do really wish there was more, or really ANY honey character to it. But I get that it's difficult to brew something with sugar, and have that translate to the palate. The yeast just wants to munch it all up and turn it into alcohol and bubbles. This bottle has a little bit of age though, and maybe a new bottle would be different. Either way, this is still great. If you want an ale with honey, look elsewhere. If you want a wild ale with tons of Brett - look no further than Hive 56.

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Photo of FlintB
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of brother_rebus
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

spicy. weird. but good.

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Photo of beergoot
3.96/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany body; thick, long lasting, creamy head. Wild ale aroma; tart and vinegary; trace hints of cocoa powder. The taste has similarities to the aroma, less tart but with more dark malt quality. Medium body; rather smooth on the palate; some sour tang mixed with a powdery dryness.

An interesting beer, very nice looking for a wild ale. The taste and body mixes a unique blend of dark and wheat malts with a mildly sour undertone. It is not your every-day wild ale. Different and worth a try...

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Photo of wisrarebeer
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GregSemenza
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Patches826
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Roy_Hobbs
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BirdsandHops
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of dsshuck
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Dirtyhands
3.4/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of dbrauneis
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours an almost opaque extremely dark chestnut brown (approaching jet black) in color with moderate amounts of fine active visible carbonation rising along the edges of the glass and moderate mahogany + garnet red colored highlights. The beer has a three finger tall sudsy dense foamy tan head that slowly reduces to a large patch of thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Just shy of moderate aromas of dark malts, honey, oak, and tart dark fruits (raspberry + strawberry). There is a light aroma of barnyard funkiness from the brett and some slight sour/vinous aromas in the finish. Hints of lemon citrus.

T: Upfront there are light flavors of dark + chocolate malts and moderate flavors of honey with only a subtle hint of sweetness from the honey. That is followed by just shy of moderate flavors of tart dark fruits (raspberry + strawberry) and light flavors of brett barnyard funkiness. Very light flavors of lemon citrus and a light to moderate flavor of oak which lingers through the finish. Lightly sour.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light to moderate amounts of acidic prickliness.

O: Veyr enjoyable with a lot of complexity to the flavor and aroma- drinks easily with well hidden alcohol. I would gladly have another one these at some point in the future.

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Photo of StartedwithSAM
4.19/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Caged & Corked 375ml bottle
Date Bottled shown as June 22, 2017
Poured into a standard flute glass

This beer appears black in-color, opaque, with an off-white in-color head which dissipates in a minute.

The nose is tart/funk/oak, chocolate, and fruit.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, prickly, the prickliness becomes slightly diminished as the beer warms.

Taste leads with a fruit sweetness that briefly slips into a roasty cocoa quality before finishing with a bitter tartness.

Overall this was an interesting beer, I enjoyed the interesting fruit sweetness with the roasty characteristics which was disrupted only by the prickly mouthfeel that didn't seem to go away.

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Photo of drummerdwzp
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to larryi86 for this brew.

12.7 oz. Bottle
Date Bottled: June 22, 2017
ABV: 9.2%

Poured into a Trillium glass a very nice dark brown color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger light tan head, which also leaves some pretty nice creamy sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, nice little funkyness, with some dark fruit complex (grapes, figs, raisins, dates, plums, cherries), slight chocolate. The taste is really nice, malty, yeasty, very nice dark fruit complex (grapes, figs, raisins, dates, plums, cherries), slight chocolate, nice funk. Medium body, ABV hidden very nicely, a very tasty complex brew. Overall, very nice. Allagash is always a joy to drink.

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Photo of paulish
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dfhhead25
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of OriolesFan1008
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Tony210
3.52/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with l thin light tan head composed of micro bubbles. Foams up easily wth a swirl of the glass. I smell raspberries and sour cherries. Tart and sweet, tastes like a sour framboise. ABV well hidden. Plenty of Allagash's signature carbonation here, fairly light bodied. Overall, not my favorite. I am not a huge fan of Brett beers, but I figured I would give it a shot. I won't dump it out, but I won't buy it again.

375ml bottle bought at brewery 9/2017
This bottle has abv at 9.2%
3.5 rating

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Photo of JoeySchlitz
2.69/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of festizio
3.99/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of VeganUndead
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of edward_boumil
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Looks like a freshly poured cola soda. Black, sleek, and sexy in a chalice glass. Predominantly on the noise is a berry tartness, I definitely pick up a bit of a darker variety of honey, chocolate covered strawberries, raspberry. The taste itself, despite a strong fruity presence, is not overly sweet. Chocolate comes through a bit stronger here, which rounds out the berry tart flavor. Quite balanced, strong flavors but nothing is out of check. Drinks a bit heavy, certainly more of a sipper but its not overbearing like some of the stronger stouts out there. This has a drinkability to it. But what limits you is yourself because you don't wanna slam this, you wanna savor it and delve into it a bit.
I like this beer alot, it has a bit of mystique to it, its complex but approachable, certainly not my baby's first brett but also not crazy funky or sour either. There's depth to this beer for sure.

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Hive 56 from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 141 ratings