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
Photo of MuddyFeet
2.58/5  rDev -35%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Nice beer in-and-of-itself but not particularly true to the style.

A weak brown in color with a thin white head that vanished nearly altogether. There is a slight red hue to the beer. Nose is fruity and if I wasn't sure this beer was still good I would think this one had passed its prime.

Flavor was smoothly sweet. Some slight tartness from the fruit--which come across as cherry, prunes and some slight raisins. Malts are sweet but more sickly sweet in nature. The flavor makes me think of my vegetable drawer when it has not been cleaned for a while. I am thinking old cucumbers. Light mouthfeel and not the heavy vinuous feel I associate with the style. Really just a disspointing beer all around. I know it is not fresh but I cannot see this beer any better poured out of the tap at the brewery.

Sorry, I am usually a huge fan of this brewry but this beer is a bit of a disappointment.

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Photo of AleWatcher
2.72/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Reviewed from voice notes taken at a previous tasting.
Typed up in an attempt to finally consolidate all of my reviews in one place.

Shared by imperialking (he also shared the 10th anny as well)

This is like a reddish brown color-- well, slightly brown, kinda beige. Loose lazy bubbles form a ring. Some spotty lace left, but nothing to really talk about.

The nose has a bunch of spices, perhaps some toffee and even a little biscuity malt flavor. A little sweet hawaiin bread note here as well.
The flavor has everything the nose has, but adds a reallly dry finish.

Not really impressing me.... *at this point the voice note has devolved into a conversation about which batman was the best/

Medium feel... ample carbonation.

OLverall... I'm gonna say I'm glad to have tried it... But it may just be passed its prime.

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Photo of Bighuge
2.76/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Orange/scarlet red appearance. Big fluffy dirty white head. Great retention and lace properties. Very sticky. Aroma is of dark fruits, cherry juice, rummy alcohol and sweet malts. Sweet candy like tones mix with an astringent huskiness to give this beer an odd taste. It's not horrible, but it's definitely not that good. Cherry juice is around with some other fruit tones, but the astringency seems to be a constant nuisance. Alcohol gives a little sting to the aftertaste, as it is not hidden that well. This was a waste of money for $13.

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Photo of battlekow
2.98/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I certainly am unsure of the baseline to which I should compare Allagash's 11th Anniversary Ale, but I do feel strongly that it's a rather dull beer no matter what style. The champagne yeast makes itself obvious, and I tend to agree with AKSmokedPorter's assertion that it's a "a spritzy dubbel" rather than a biere de champagne (though I've never had one of those, so what do I know?); however, now that I think about it, I'd say it's more spritzy than dubbel. Moldy bread and slight fruitiness comprise the main flavors. There's an unpleasant metallic finish to go along with the slight hoppiness (or is that the champagne again?) and lingering notes of honey. My boat remains aground, dreaming from the hill.

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Photo of Toddv29424
3.18/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a red color with a little head. The smell must be teased out with a few swirls but it reminds me of freshness... mostly of the malty kind and it definitely leaves something to be desired. The taste is good, but much like other ales that I have tasted. I just don’t taste the complexities that I was expecting out of such a beer especially from this company. Don't get me wrong, this is something to be sought out, but for an anniversary ale I was expecting much more of a robust flavor and this beer does not have it A beer that I would still seek out for its flavor, but not the best ale that I've ever had.

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Photo of jj21
3.2/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a murky orange-brown into a chalice with a thin whispy off-white head that quickly disappears into a lace across the top. Lively carbonation streams to the top. Aromas of Dark fruit, orange, musty oak and yeast. Taste of sour cherry and orange, clove and other spices. Carbonation dances on the tongue. I expected to have a fuller mouthfeel, but still, not bad. A good offering from Allagash, but not one I'll run out to have again right away. I'll pick up more from cellaring longer than the 3 months I had done this time.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.41/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle bought at Julio's, Marlboro, MA. Corked and caged.

Carefully poured in a Rapscallion glass, formed a 3/4" tan head, which holds its own for quite some time due to a rain of upward bubbles. Over a murky amber brew, the head leaves extremely slow-falling and heavy lace.

Nose is lightly of spices and tart fruit. Taste follows the nose, malt sweetness upfront, spices and fruit in the middle, with an extremely dry close. Alcohol flavor and warmth apparent upon swallow. Mouthfeel and drinkability are ok, but this beer just doesn't get everything together as well as I had hoped.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.43/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy sienna with an orange-reddish tint, large head, lots of lacing.

S - Malty, elderberries, caramel, apricot.

T - Slgihtly sweet malt, caramel, grassy hops and apricot. Aftertaste is bitter with a grassy hop presence.

M - Smooth, thin, refreshing.

D - Good, worht a try, why do so many breweries have their better offerings as a special edition?

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Photo of
3.49/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Light brown in color, with red tones. Slightly hazy, large off-white head.

Classic Belgian aroma, yeast and earth. Some fruity/phenolic scents. Hops not really noticeable. Some alcohol as it warmed.

Taste was primarily sweet - caramel like. Some dark fruits and cherries along with the caramel. Bittering/balance came from spiciness and alcohol. For me at least, hops were still pretty minimal.

I perceived this beer as rather heavy in body, and medium in carbonation. It was rather drying, probably from the alcohol which warmed you up a bit as you drank.

Overall, didn't do a lot for me. Not bad, just not great either. I have a bottle at home, which I plan to let age for a while, then try it again. At the price point, many other beers I would grab before this one.

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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 BDeibs
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of dherling
3.51/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, clear brown with a touch of red , and topped by a nice off white head that is moderately carbonated. Has a tart, acidic nose, with some sour cherry and saison like spicyness.Tastes acidic again, with everything you got from the nose, but not as big as the nose. One good thing is it does balance out the alcohol nicely. Highly carbonated, with a long bitter finish. The finish was the first time I picked up any signifigant hops.

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

Murky reddish orange body with a few fingers of light tan head. Smells citrusy, yeasty, and peppery (kind of like an Unibroue). Tastes somewhat citrusy, and spicey. Not very carbonated surprsingly. Fairly full-bodied. Tasty, but not Allagash's best... Still a solid, well-crafted brew...

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Photo of sabrills70
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged brown bottle with no freshness date other than its 11th anniversary ale. Pours a slightly hazy medium light brown with a 1 finger head, decent longevity and good lace. Not much aroma but some fruityness and yeast smells are there. Rich malt aromas mixed with hints of sherry and dried fruits. Alcohol comes through most in the aftertaste mixed with a fair amout of bitterness - for a Belgian ale that is. It could stand to be a bit smoother but its not bad. A nice sipping beer.

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Photo of darklordlager
3.62/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Light caramel colour, dirty tan head. Not much head retention.

S: Applesauce, bubblegum, dark fruit.

T: Dark fruit (lots), apples, caramel, and alcohol that works its way in with the caramel.

M: Slightly syrupy, medium carbonation.

Much heavier than I was expecting--with the caramel malt character reminding me a lot of a wee heavy, oddly enough.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Nase for this beer

A: Attractive brew, the color of rust. This a cloudy brew, but not to imply its unkept, just can’t see chit through it. Almost no head, only a thin ring of off white foam around the glass.

S: Guava, passion fruit, cantaloupe, clover honey, plums, coriander and brown sugar. This is going to be a sweet beer.

T: The familiar taste of coriander hits the tip of the tongue from the get go. A caramel cream comes next, almost dulce de leche but not as intense. Bits of peach, mango and strawberry cheesecake add the fruity component that was found in the smell. After the swallow a smooth bitterness rumbles across the palate. Finishes mildly metallic with aspect of candy corn and fresh ground nutmeg.

M: Medium body with a fluffy carbonation.

D: Good beer with nice drinkability. Overall the flavor bores me a bit. A bit like the Grand Cru without the pizzazz.

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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 EPICAC
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was purchased at Downtown Wine & Spirits a few weeks ago. I let this warm to around 45º F and served it in one of my Ommegang chalices, however it approached room temperature as I finished it.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy ruby-brown with a creamy, beige, one inch head, that fades to a persistent patchy film leaving thick lace on the glass.

Smell: The aroma is predominantly sweet and malty. There are notes of candi sugar, dark fruit, yeast, and alcoholic spice. There's a light hop aroma that reminds me of Brettanomyces, but as far as I know this beer hasn't had any contact with Brett.

Taste: Malty, with candi sugar, dark fruit and a nice tartness. The finish is peppery, alcoholic spice and a Brett-like hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, moderate-carbonation, with a lightly dry finish.

Drinkability: The alcohol and spiciness of this beer is a little high.

Overall: A good Belgian Strong Dark Ale (I don't know why the style is wrong). I liked the Brett-like characteristics, even if these were illusory.

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Photo of dnichols
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I poured the 750 ml capped and caged bottle into a chilled challis in celebration of passing my 100th BA review.

A: it poured a murky dirty blond until back lit when the cherry red hue emerged. My bottle poured a modest beige head that receded to a ligtht cover over the liquid and provided a modest lacing deep into the experience.

S: The aroma is yeasty, malty and tangy with strong toasted malts, thick bready yeasts and fruity flavors of tart cherries and green apples.

T: A very creamy semi sweet malt flavor was followed by an earthy and sour taste. The tangy flavor is reminiscent tart apples but the malts have a toffee coated plum flavor.

M: It was medium bodied and left a fuzzy sweet and sour flavorer in my mouth after each swig.

D: This is a filling brew that deserves to be sipped. Its a fine brew from a great brewery, however, other BSDAs better represent the style so I doubt I'll relive this experience.

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Photo of bjohnson
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a muddy purplish rust color. Bubbly cream colored head has slight retention, although it is sticky. Nice lacing. Milky head comes back with a vengeance after a hard swirl of the glass
S: Yeasty fruityness is the most abundant aroma. Plums seem to be the fare of the day here. A bit metallic with a spicy characteristic. Interesting aromas to say the least.
T/M: Plump dark fruit with a nice yeastyness that back it up. Cherries and plums. There's a subtle sweetness that's coupled with the fruit. Not overly sweet, but just a good amount. Slight hoppyness to this one. A bit sharp on the palate at first but becomes quite soft as it warms up. Actually very smooth as it becomes warmer. Abv is kept in check and not noticeable.
D: Drinkable as far as belgian strong darks go, but it didn't wow me. For being an 11th anniv. brew and for the price, I would have expected a bit more.

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Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of scruffwhor
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruddy, red mud with some strong Belgian Bubbling and a little lace after each sip as well. Not too sticky though. The aroma is of caramelized, candied apples and brandy. The flavor defines this apple note to a mildly tart green apple with some notes of licorice and fruit cake. Very smooth and dynamic palate. I think this beer could go well with a lot of foods. I shared this bottle for breakfast with my girlfriend. Great way to start off the day.

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Photo of Satchboogie
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

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