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Allagash 11th Anniversary Ale | Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash 11th Anniversary AleAllagash 11th Anniversary Ale
Very Good
105 Ratings
Allagash 11th Anniversary AleAllagash 11th 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.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 105 |  Reviews: 90
Photo of TastyTaste
4.92/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark copper color. Almost no head, but good lacing.

Smell: Fruit (pineapple and citrus), brown sugar and yeast.

Taste: Fruit tinged hoppy bliss. Impressive and delicious, very smooth and savory. An awesome dessert beer, I really like this one, can you tell? The ABV is well hidden, sweet but not cloying. Great job, Allagash.

Drinkability: The bottle goes down sublimely, an easy, delicious drinker.

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4.75/5  rDev +19.6%

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 jwc215
4.57/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml corked bottle, poured into an Allagash glass.

Pours hazed ruby brown with a two-finger head that slowly descends to a thin cover, then a lasting patch. Some trailing lace sticks to glass.

The smell is spicy, bready, with hints of caramel and a touch of peppery alcohol.

The taste is of a spicy fruitcake - spicy, bready, with dark and citrus fruits. Brown sugar and caramel give it a sweetness that is present, but not overwhelming. Peppery alcohol lend spiciness and warmth without interfering in the wonderful, rich taste. Overall - sweet with spice and fruits.

The body is medium with a soft, creamy smoothness. Coating, lingering flavors cover the mouth in a long, dry finish.

A wonderful "sip and savor". This bottle was over two hours of enjoyment. A taste of Belgium in America. A nice anniversary ale that will be missed when it runs out (as it is a limited edition).

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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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Photo of FenwaySquid
4.52/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750 ml corked brown bottle, no dating of any kind, poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, completely opaque in fact, dark reddish brown color.The head formed about 1 finger thick and tan colored, and retained nicely.

Aroma: Quite complex, candied sugars mixed with some citrusy Belgian white aromas. Very sweet.

Taste: Also complex. Sweet maltiness at first, then sugar, apples, and some sweet orange flavors all blend in nicely. The finish is sweet and spicy, with the spiciness lingering a little.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, but very smooth and creamy. The carbonation tingled, and balanced nicely.

Overall: From what I can gather, even though I just bought this within the last few months, it was bottled about two years ago. Simply stated it has aged very well. If you're cellaring a bottle crack it open now, it'll taste great.

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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 jongullotti
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Rich deep amber with a robust tan head
S - Mild caramel malt, spicy Belgian yeast character
T - Caramel malt, belgian candi sugars, spicy belgian yeast and a ripe fruit flavor at the edges.
M - medium bodied. Nice carbonation, a welcome warming as I finished the bottle. Very tasty.
D - very nice drink

11 years!! Great stuff yet again from Allagash.

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Photo of Foxman
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a hazy and very carbonated coppery brown. Two fingers of beige head deconstruct slowly to frothy tufts. Curlicues of lacing calligraph the inside of the glass.

The aroma brings a tangy, yeasty malty sweetness, fruity with cherry and green apple, and smoothed with a light caramel and vanilla duo. A touch of clove and muted floral esters just manage to minimize a tendon of alcohol.

Upon tasting, there eases in a sedate malt sweetness, gently earthy and tart, with darker cherry and plum, and accompanied by buttery toffee. Granny Smith apple crisps its way toward a clove spice note. Another flash of cherry sweetness punctuates a sheet of airy alcohol, and then a mildly sour doughiness leads into a crisp, dry lingering bitterness. It's wonderfully rich and complex, and damned good.

Medium bodied, the grain sweetness is buoyed by the carbonation, and it coats along with a definitive bitterness.

I could wax rhapsodic over this for some time, but this time shorter seems better. It's complex, blended, and artful, and though the ABV is a world-class warmer, it drinks like a sweet dream. If every anniversary beer was this good, the world would be a much happier place.

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Photo of geexploitation
4.46/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Allagash 11th Anniversary Ale pours a cloudy dark cider color, with a fluffy head, nearly perfectly white, that fades to a light dusting, with lacing stuck to the glass. Aroma is rather faint, with some candi sugar hinting at sweetness to come, along with a sharp yeasty note that reminds me (appropriately enough) of champagne.

On the palate, there's an initial blast of chocolate orange sweetness (mixed in, strangely but pleasingly, with a green apple note). It's nectary in character -- not a thick and viscous sweetness but rather like a delicately made simple syrup. The bready character then created by the malt and yeast yields to a marmalade-like phase that flashes into acidic dryness magnified by a tight hoppiness. Thick, juicy carbonation amps up the thickness apparent in the mouthfeel. Puzzlingly, the finish is not totally dry; the nectary sweetness comes back at the very end.

This is actually a hard beer to pin down; it's deceptively simple, but gives an impression of depth nonetheless. That tight, high-note champagne characteristic is never far from the surface, but the fruitiness of a champagne is dialed back to something more solid and malty in this beer. A very interesting experiment and a very enjoyable beer.

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

750 ml bottle: This one pours a slightly hazy, ruby tinged amber color. It has a large tan head that settles down fairly quickly. The nose is interesting. The first thing that I notice is a somewhat champagne-like aroma. Then I notice from the description of the beer that they use champagne yeast. That explains that, anyway. I also get some fruits and yeastiness also. Interesting taste. One of the first things that I noticed is a dryness to it. Not like some other beers, but like a dry champagne. There is also a light carbonation on the tongue. A nice mix of caramel and fruit flavors. The fruits are evident, but subtle, with none of them really jumping out to the forefront. This was quite nice.

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Photo of Phatz
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The style here is hard to place a finger on. It may actually be a Bière de Champagne / Bière Brut as originally suspected because it is not very dark for a BSDA but it does have a few of those flavors and not quite the carbonation of a Brut. Regardless, it is extremely tasty and easy drinking and everything about it is pleasant other than the nearly $20 price tag.

Appearance: Pours a hazy copper color with a red brown, and orange hues working simultaneously. A fluffy whit head fades to a cap then a color and leaves behind noteworthy lacing.

Smell: Belgian. It does smell, like sweet Belgian biscuity malts and sugars with a citrusy orange attribute and a hint of lemon and honey.

Taste: It has a very sweet sugary flavor with orange peel and vanilla yeast attribute playing into a bit of tart cherry licorice, dark fruits, fig, and a sprinkling of hops and dryness in the back end. Overall, dominantly sweet but well balanced.

Mouthfeel: This would be where it falls short of BdC. It is full bodied but not quite the bubbly of more than a BSDA.

Drinkability: This is a very tasty celebratory classy beer that I could drink all night at a black tie party if not for the cost =)

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of BlindPig
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Thin light tan head on a clear ruby body with dark orange hues.
S- Sweet burnt caramel malts fill the nose along with touches of alcohol, clove, maybe some nutmeg, cherries, light plums, few earthy tones, and some sugars.
T- Sweet burnt sugars mixed with a lightly burnt caramel flavor. Hops tingle the tongue along with some hints of alcohol and leave the tip of tongue dry with a light bitterness. The alcohol also gently warms the back of throat. Sugars really come through quite a bit. Hints of some cherries, and blend of spices like clove and nutmeg.
M- Full body with medium carbonation.
D- I think this is a very nice brew. There are a few others I prefer from Allagash but this doesn't let me down. Really good beer and would recommend it to anyone.

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Photo of chaz410
4.39/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle from a great beer friend in the area.
Smells of sour dark fruit notes. Dates and sour cherries ring out.
Has a great spice upfront of cardomen and possible tumeric. Dark aged fruit notes layer over thick dark caramel and belgian malts. Fruit notes of dates and sour bing cherries. A slight sour finish with a little chocolate and sweet caramel ringing out.
There is a good alcohol singe after the swallow but other than that, an exceptionally easy to drink beer for the age and ABV

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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 bwyker
4.36/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a chestnut brown, with hints of orange. Last year’s anniversary ale exploded in foam from the bottle. – lost a little more to foam than I cared for With champagne yeast used in the primary and secondary fermentation, I expected the cork to shoot out of this one, with even more loss to foam. Surprisingly, the head was very tame and diminished quickly. In smell and taste I felt it reminded me of the Corsendonk Xmas. Dark fruit with a pepper spice undertone. Mouthfeel is overall smooth, with a little caramel stickyness. Lots of carbonation. Moderately drinkable. The 9% alcohol isn’t totally noticeable, but I paced myself with this one. The timing of the release seems perfect – a good transition from summer pales to autumn ambers.

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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 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 GCBrewingCo
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the chalice deep amber with a brownish tan head which rose tall and moussy and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was earthy with a woodsy Belgian yeast character and a light phenolic spice. Behind the earthy character was a mild bit of citrus and a moderate caramel malt presence.

The flavor was malty with a deep caramel malt character and a strong maltiness. The flavor was strong with caramel and a bit of chocolate and contained citrus in the mix. The earthiness from the aroma was present, but without the woodsy character. Some dark fruits emerged as the beer warmed, raisins and prunes. Those fruits were coupled with a nice spice that contained some pepper, coriander and maybe even some cinnamon.

The finish was dry with lasting impressions of caramel and chocolate with dark fruits long into the aftertaste. The body was almost medium full and the carbonation was much lighter than expected, but still moderate. Who the heck entered this as a Bière de Champagne / Bière Brut? This is a Belgian Strong Dark.

750 ml bottle.

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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 dsa7783
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ML bottle purchased for $13.99 from Super Saver in Somerville - the only place I have ever seen this beer for sale...
Impressive, dark-brown, mahogany hue with a touch of ruby-red in the mix...
Very nutty, extremely malty aroma and taste... The candied sugars and phenols are really evident in both the nose and mouth... Aroma and flavor are also hit with a strong suggestion of caramel, vanilla, dehyrdrated fruits, plums, figs, dates, and raisins...
Overall, this is a very well-balanced, malty brew, and very different from all others I've sampled from Allagash... I am glad to have gotten the opportunity to try this one...
Creamy, rich mouthfeel, albeit sweet, fruity, and malty... Essences of sweet apple candy are also redolent with a hint of yeast...
Good drinkability as well, with the hefty 9.2% ABV difficult to detect behind a rich conglomeration of sweet flavors and aromas...

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

Received as part of BC2 from both BlackAngus and nlmartin. Thanks guys!
This one poured a murky burnt orange into the glass with kind of a reddish hue when held to the light. The beige foam was quite impressive after the pour, slowly receding to a thin cap and leaving plenty of sticky, clumpy lacing behind. The aroma was mild, sort of soft feeling, but still with its complexity - maltiness hit up front, followed by notes of grain, apple, pear, and yeasty bread. The flavour was fairly sweet on the first sip, but again complexity appeared after subsequent sips and as it warmed. It was actually quite fruity, mostly plum and pear, with a solid maltiness (caramel and bread crust). Brown sugar filled out the middle, and the finish was of spicy alcohol and yeast. Full bodied with creamy, fine carbonation and just off-dry. Good attenuation level. This beer had a very nice balance with a great fruity character. Very easy drinking for a big beer and definitely recommended. I'm glad I have a second bottle to hold on to for a while!

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