11th Anniversary Ale | Allagash Brewing Company

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11th Anniversary Ale11th Anniversary Ale
Very Good
105 Ratings
11th Anniversary Ale11th Anniversary Ale

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
To acknowledge this year's anniversary, our 11th, Allagash's brewers decided to use a champagne yeast for both the primary and secondary fermentations. This beer was brewed with both Cascade and Northern Brewer hops and copious amounts of Belgian Aromatic Malt to achieve its vibrant garnet color and unique, malty palate. At a hefty 9% ABV, the alcohol in this brew is balanced by a light sweetness, a full-bodied mouth feel and a gentle, lingering hop character.

Added by geexploitation on 08-05-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 105 |  Reviews: 90
Reviews by Gmann:
Photo of Gmann
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy brown color with an average head and head retention; left a sparse cap. The smell is sweet and spicy. I pick up brown sugar, figs, prunes followed by a big corriander profile and cloves. The taste starts off with bit of a jumble of flavors. A fairly bready malt mixes with notes of sweet citrus, prunes, green apple, and a stronger than needed spice profile. I feel the spice (corriander?) really takes over this brew. The feel is moderate with fizzy carbonation, a tad sticky, finishes sweet though not quite cloying. Definitely tastes like an authentic Belgian brew but the combination of the sticky sweetness and the spice profile does not make this a favorite of mine.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This big beer is a shiny orange-brown in color and glowing. There’s little head on this powerful BSDA.

Smell – The yeast here is big and typical of Allagash’s interpretation of the style. The malts are lightly toasted, there’s plenty of candied sugars, and the alcohol is unmistakable.

Taste – The fruits explode at the taste. The sweet oranges and spritely tangerine are huge, and the beautiful cherries make a wonderful compliment. There’s also some plums to complete the package. Sure we’ve got malts and yeast, but this is really all about the big fruits.

Mouthfeel – This is a little on the big side of medium-bodied. It’s lightly-carbonated with some big alcohol but without any stinging effect.

Drinkability – This is a special occasion beer. It’s an excellent sipper, in fact one of the better high-octane beers that I’ve had.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky red orange pour into my glass with a small ring of eggshell colored bubbles. Aromas of sweet malts with caramel and deep fruits coming through. Brown sugar and plum along with underlying yeast spiciness. Somewhat bready as well with a candy backbone.

First sip brings big, smooth malts upfront with an intertwined mix of caramel and deep fruit flavors. Plum and apple mix in with dates and a mellow earthy breadiness. Spicy yeast kicks in on the way down along with some raisin flavors. The finish brings just a touch of hops and a kiss of bitterness. Alcohol is slightly noticeable with a lingering warming.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and a bit creamy. This is a big, malty BSDA. A touch warming and tasty overall. I ended up cellaring this and while it's held up nicely I would have liked to try it fresh as well. If you have any left it's drinking pretty nice right now.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm biased; I love Allagash. The 11th Anniversary is a wonderful beer. It was a hazy brown color with a medium head and some great lacing. Aroma was dark fruit and bread. Complex taste: sweet, fruity, malty, hoppy. As it warmed up, the fruit flavor predominated. Nicely carbonated, though not as much as I expected. A great beer.

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Photo of Duster72
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby color with some haziness. Aroma is mild sweet fruits, spices, sugar, and alcohol. Taste is dominated by Belgian yeast with definite dark fruit tones. Fruit mix is pleasant but does not knock my socks off. Mouthfeel is on the light side which compliments the brew nicely. I was able to down two challices, but my wife didn't care much for it.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served into a large gold rimmed tulip glass from a corked and caged 750ML brown bottle from WVbeergeek split 2 ways with the geek.

Mirky,glowing reddish/orange,many very tightly knit strings of bubbles very lively looking.Off-white head,very creamy with very good retention and spotty strings of lace.

Great moderate,complex nose very fruity,citrusy,a bit grapefruitty,dark fruit aromas mostly of figs,a bit of bananna,carmelly,some clove,slight hints of yeast and alcohol.

Very fruitty taste,dark fruits,very citrusy some subtle cherry flavors,a hint of clove,a sweet sugary carmelly taste throughout. Slight tastes of alcohol and yeast,not overpowering.Leaves a sweet,citrusy taste lingering on the palate. A very complex taste that's very pleasing

Very creamy and smooth,leaving an airy mouthfeel. A sipping beer that could be sipped all night long. A very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle opens with a loud pop, body looks clouded mahogany blood orange toned with a nice full sized resilient tan head leaves behind fine bubbled nicely hung strands of lacing. Aroma has full citrus and pine scented hops some warming spice compontents play nicely with the bread soothing even malt sweetness finishes with an herbal funky quality in there. Flavor has more upfront citrus and pine hops with a touch of tree bark esque tone noted, and a spiced up sweet malt profile adds the right amount of doughy bread sweetness to the healthy bitterness from the hops. Mouthfeel is effervescent with a carbonation that seems to tickle the palate I'm guessing this is due to the champagne yeast incorporated overall a meadium bodied ale that coats the palate quite nicely. Drinkability is very quaffable and on that should be enjoyed in the accompany of friends who also brough fine beers to sample.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a warm dense amber body that glows when held to the light. There is a sea of micro bubbles gliding to the surface supporting a creamy wavy head of light tan. The head last and last.

S- The soft floral smell of perfume and sweet lightly toasted malt comes through with a hint of fresh rain. There is a soft note that is green but not noticeably hops.

T- The taste of soft sweet caramel malt has a buttery quality to it and a note of light toasted malt. The finish is a pine wood note and then bitter hop flavor. The finish has a slight fusel alcohol note that hangs on with hops bitterness and malt sweetness.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft alcohol heat in the finish. As the beer warms there is more of a watery texture that comes through.

D- This beer is smooth and has a nice sweetness to it with some note of hops and alcohol. I would classify this as a nice little anniversary beer but it might be interesting to age.

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Photo of Dewey0603
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a deep clear ruby red with a giant tan foamy head. A very impressive looking brew. The smell is moderately pungent with yeast, banana,clove,and alittle alcohol. The taste is bizarre mixture of creamy sweet malt and a crisp highly carbonate alcohol aftertaste. Other flavors include vanilla, candy sugar, dark fruit,and pepper. The m/f is light and very well balanced. This is an incredible beer. Great job Allagash.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.59/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out hazy, a reddish rust that glow majestically. Not much head at all, but the skim/crown lasts a good while.

I haven't been totally knocked out by a beer aroma like this in a long while. Just mesmerizing. Cherry, dark grape and plum are in there, big and bold, with a superb malt sweetness that's like standing in the middle of a taffy factory. Alcohol adds a robust edge but lacks any kind of forbidding heat. Faint leather-ness. Yeast is also a huge factor here, 100% Belgian in character, a character so strong it takes me back to drinking Belgian ales of various varieties right at the source. Couldn't be more sublime. Even if the taste sucks, it was worth the price.

The fruit/malt sweetness in the nose turns a little tart in the flavor, but it seems to be exactly what they were shooting for. This is a Belgian dark for fans of that kind of thing and Belgian sours, although it never crosses over into uber-sour territory or anything. Lots of cooked apple and apple skin flavor, bright cherry too; leather; toffee; grape/raisin; big caramel; sweet spices, especially in the finish; spicy winter/fruit tea, steeped strong and long; yeast not quite as impressive as the nose, but not complaining; alcohol is extremely well-incorporated, underlining everything above it.

A little bit sticky, with tingly carbonation and a nice medium-to-heavy body.

Complex, fascinating and totally delicious. A fantastic comfort beer for lovers of beer both big and Belgian. Continues Allagash's streak of greatness...from where I'm sitting and drinking anyway.

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Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A tasty and smooth Belgian ale. Dark with a significant light colored head. Fruity but not overly sweet. Cascade and Northern Brewer hops add some bitterness. I am not a fan of champ. yeast and may have avoided its impact on my system. Went very well with fish and soup. Very drinkable.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Charming is the word that first came to mind upon tasting my first sip of Allagash's 11th Anniversary Ale.

The cork released from the bottle quite easily, and it poured a short head of frothy yellowed-tan foam that settled shortly into a thin lid of creamy ivory. Tiny spots and average-sized splashes of lace were left behind on the glass as it receeded to an average collar and whispy surface covering.

A combination of lightly sugary malt and red and dark fruits combined in the nose (apples, red berries, plum, soft orange/lemon/grapefruit), along with a touch of mild piney hops, an edge of alcohol, and some spiciness (anise? nutmeg?) that lent it a sublimely woody/vinous note.

In the mouth it was quite supple and smooth, with a medium-full body and a delicate, gently-effervescent and airy carbonation.

The flavor was very much as the aroma indicated it would be, but fuller. It was initially gently sweet (candyish, but not overtly sugary) and fruity, and then subtly vinous, with notes of caramel, raisin, and light spice (cardamom, nutmeg, and delicate anise). It's smooth, rounded and supple with a mild, sublime bitterness. The alcohol was present, but kept itself well hidden until at least halfway through the glass. It finished soft and smooth with some residual dull spice and a suggestion of very soft piney/grapefruity hops.

Overall, I found it quite accessible, and yet still very interesting. Quite drinkable!

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Photo of dirtylou
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle split with the prince of darkness, $9.99 at rileys

appearance: poured into wine glass...bright garnet body, frothy beige head with strong lacing

smell: sparkling grape juice, tart and sugary, belgian-esque, honey, apricot/peach, lots of sweetness

taste: rather vinous flavour...sparkling grape juice, sweet sugars, apricot/peach/light citrus...mildly boozy, honey and caramel sweetness, very mild hopping...interesting - me likes

mouthfeel: vinous, medium body, light bitter booze aftertaste

drinkability: good

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Photo of cliff1066
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of silver0rlead
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bottle is just under a year old (per Allagash website) and the beer pours a slightly cloudy deep amber color, with a thick tan head that retains well for a cellared, high ABV brew. The aroma is impressively malty, with a big apple rind character initially, followed by some dark fruits (fig, plum, currant), yeasty breadiness, spices (corriander, curacao, grains of paradise), a spicy hoppiness and a touch of alcohol. The flavor has a complex fruitiness upfront with notes of apple, pear, plum and fig with some yeasty breadiness, tobacco, corriander, anise, citrusy and resiny hops and an alcoholic bite. The mouthfeel is smooth with prickly carbonation and drinkability is excellent. This beer has aged remarkably well and is incredibly complex right now, cheers to Allagash for another fine brew.

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Photo of bashiba
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy bright amber red with a thin off white head.

Smell has a musty yeast quality with some light sweet fruit notes.

Taste has a very bready toasted caramel malt backbone with hints of pears and apricots. It finishes with a mild clove and other spices and a light earthy hop.

Mouthfeel is a medium body with a bit of tongue warming, with a crisp dry finish.

An enjoyable complex beer, I would drink often if it weren't for such limited availability and the high price.

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Photo of andrewm190
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Super delicious beer here from Allagash. Certainly nothing shy in the taste department, very much bold indeed. Instantly one gets the smell of fruit right on the nose when the drink is poured; the pallet hit is even more obvious. Sweet as she wants to be - walks a thin line over towards the barley wine side of the house. Also a hint of spice; nothing overwhelming but enough to keep you intrigued. Not nearly as aggressive as, at least I, find barely wines tend to be, which is a major plus. A slow drinker this one, and not so heavy that you feel finishing the glass to be anything like a chore. Success.

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Photo of Lnedrive14
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Like the previous reviewer, i too love allagash. they continually make great brews in great styles and from time to time push the envelope (try the INTERLUDE!!!!). This, however, was not my favorite.

Pours a chestnut brown with a huge pearl head. Quickly dissipating head, that was fluffy (not that Duvel thickness). Lots of caramel sweetness, fresh cherries and apples, maybe even some banana. Some weird stuff in there that i can't really put my fingers on - cloves perhaps? asparagus? black truffle oil? i have no freaking clue. very complicated brew - i respect it, it just didn't work for me. Medium bodied. Drinkability suffers.

I really think this could have been great, it just was missing something. that aside, i still love allagash and support their creativeness.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of akorsak
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a C&C 750 mL bottle served in a Chimay goblet. The ale is cool.

A: The ale is a deep burgundy red color with orange hints. There is a small head that does not offer a great deal of retention.

S: The ale has a malty aroma that is grainy and almost reminiscent of a barleywine. Another reviewer mentioned Brett, and while I don't get a big whiff, something there conjures up thoughts of wild yeasts.

T: The ale has a spritzy flavor that conjures up a malty quad, not a biere de champagne. The malts are clean and strong, dominating the taste buds. There are notes of licorice and biscuit in that malt. I also get some cherry (like Three Philosophers) and sugars.

M: The mouthfeel is lively and active, but I don't see the carbonation and airiness of a BdC.

D: The 9.2% is tough, but the overall drinkability is good.

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Photo of emerge077
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish-orangey brown into a Moinette chalice. Some foam, not alot due to the higher ABV most likely.

Raisin and vague spice in the aroma, mineral water, whiff of alcohol as it warms.

Caramel malt, and yeast gives a fairly full mouthfeel. Elements of overripe melon, bitter orange peel, mild nutmeg or clove spicing. The fruit and spice isn't overdone, but it definitely has that "overripe" quality, which isn't completely positive in my opinion. Good, but similar to other BSDA's from Allagash.

Mouthfeel seems to have low to medium carbonation. I was thirsty and drank the bottle easily, but with a 9.2% ABV, you will definitely feel it.

If you are a fan of the style, it's recommended.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of IMtheOptimator: Poured a deep amber color ale with a small foamy head with adequate retention and lacing. Aroma of sweet caramel malt with some spices which may include coriander is very interesting. Taste is somewhat dominated by sweet Belgian style malt with light candy notes and subtle spices. Body is quite full with some medium carbonation (I think a bit more lively would have benefited this beer) and no alcohol was discernable. Another great beer from a very fine brewer.

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Photo of irishkyle21
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a fair sized head. Leaves lots of lacing as it falls. Has a hazy amber color.

The nose is great (IMO). Full of candi sugar, caramel, licorice, spices and some musty yeasty fruitiness.

Tastes just as good as it smells. Dark sweet fruits, spices, caramel and a warming alcohol that leaves a good feeling in my stomach.

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Photo of blackie
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: Pours a one finger khaki colored head that recedes just a little, with good retention of what remains. Numerous strings of bubbles rise from the bottom, feeding the head. The beer is a deep amber-brown in color. Nice lacing.

smell: Pale malts, tropical fruits (grapefruit...), some toasted grain, white grapes, and a Belgian yeast and hop character. Just a touch of ethanol.

mouthfeel: Decent level of smooth, delicate carbonation. The body is medium.

taste: Pale Belgian malts with some toasted barley just behind. Not very deep, weakening even more after the swallow. Some yeastiness, light fruits, and papery hops. Light bitterness in the finish.

drinkability: pretty easy, but not that great

split with dirtylou before heading out on NYE

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Photo of Amalak
4.53/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For my 30th birthday one of my friend's brought this bottle over. He had been aging it for 3 years. He's now my new best friend.
A- Extremely cloudy, opaque brown at top and fades into red. Lots of sediment. Great foamy head and lacing.
S- Nutty malt scent with a slight caramel and soapish scent.
T- Beautiful nutty taste. Extremely complex and I am not nearly experienced enough to differentiate the different flavors. Caramel, apple? I don't know.

Absolutely spectacular aged.

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11th Anniversary Ale from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 105 ratings