Allagash 11th Anniversary Ale | Allagash Brewing Company

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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.

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Reviews: 90 | Ratings: 105
Photo of sulldaddy
4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

SAmpling a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. The beer pours a clear mahogany color with minimal beige fluffy head that fades to an edge layer fairly quickly after the pour.
Aroma is mild but I get some toffee and brown sugar with a little dark fruit with plums and raisins.
First sip reveals an average body with fine tingly carbonation, very smooth texture.
Flavor is some more sweet malt with brown sugar and dark fruit, plums and raisins, just a little bit of booze on each finishing sip. I do get just a hint of oxidation, but not too bad.
The beer is a nice malty brew with no flaws, there is maybe a little bit past its prime but I still enjoy the beverage.
Definitely a malt dominant beer, a winner by Allagash.

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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 GradyS1
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes 2/18/2011

A-Nice amber/maroon color that has a one finger head that retains itself for a few minutes
S- For having a few years this has a strong fruit characteristic. orange peel and a small amount of lemon citrus. I get sweet apples in the finish, with some roasty malts and Belgian sugars
T-Cherry, dark cherries with Belgian candy, yeast, malty but with a sweet fruit finish.
M- almost sour, in a good way, up front. full bodied with nice medium finish
Overall, a very fruity and enjoyable beer, this one held up with age nicely

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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 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 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 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 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 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 CrellMoset
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL corked and caged bottle from City Beverages, Winston-Salem, NC. Poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Pours - on the first half - a really robust, bright, lively ruby amber, transparent, and capped by a good two-finger, bubbly, light khaki head of average retention. The second half pours a cloudy, hazy, more dead-looking brown amber, capped by less of a head, and with a persistent foam collar and a thin, wispy dusting of lace. The glass lacing is runny, glittery, a little soapy, sort of what you'd expect from a relatively high-abv% Belgian.

Aroma: First, the bad - it's still a little hot. There's a spicy, peppery alcohol that sort of tingles the nosehairs - it's not overpowering, but it definitely makes its presence known. The remainder is thick, decadent dark and stone fruits - raisins, prunes, grapes, and cherries, mostly - candied up in a thick brown sugar, bready, earthy, slightly yeasty package.

Taste: A bit of a step up from the nose, I think, but not quite enough for a point bump. The alcohol is more in check here, or at least the remainder of the flavors are a little more pungent - raisins and prunes, cherries, pears, brown sugar, molasses, bread crusts, a few stray medicinal phenols, perhaps faint nutmeg.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, probably this beer's best aspect. The body is thick without being cloying, smooth yet crisp, and nice and even. It doesn't quite reach the pillowy, sublimating perfection of some Belgian brews, but it's a very sold feeling beer.

Drinkability: Solid, and about what I was expecting - a traditional, straightforward Belgian strong dark. Nothing about it really blew me away, but nothing about it was underwhelming, either. The 9.2% is hefty, but really not too high for the style, either. If you see this one, give it a shot if Belgian darks are your thing. I'm not sure it was worth the $16.89 pricetag, though that may have just been the venue I picked it up at. A solid if not amazing brew.

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Photo of PBoegel
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked and caged 750 ml poured into a Duvel tulip.

I found this beer at a local beer store, while clearly it has not been cellared by proper standards I have to say right up front, I was beyond pleasantly surprised by who his beer stands up.

Appearance is deep amber to light brown, with a nice foamy head light tan in color.

Aromas were dried fruit, cherry pie, baked apples, raisin, rum and wheat/rye vodka.

The taste was tremendously deep, very rich, mineral and chalky notes, vanilla, dry fruit, dark rum.

Extremely drinkable at this point, this beer was bottled in 2006 as I understand it, going to buy the remaining bottles and sit on them.

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Photo of gford217
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at the HMoG at the Brick Store.

Pours a dark, clear amber with a small tan head that showed very good staying power and left a little bit of lacing.

The aroma is very sweet with both light and dark fruits, starting with some ripe apples and apricots but also with some raisins and plums on top of the Belgian yeast and hints of spices

The taste brings out some sweet malts with more of the ripe, sweet fruits. The spices come out a little more in the taste than the aroma would suggest and the finish is dry and slightly peppery.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with less carbonation than I expected which probably detracts slightly from the overall experience.

This is a very good beer though not at the top of my list of Allagash beers. I'm glad I got to try this one though.

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


Poured hazy dark brown with an average frothy off-white head that was mostly lasting with good lacing. Moderate complex malty fruit aroma. Medium body with a smooth texture. Medium bittersweet flavor with a medium balanced finish of long duration.

This is a smooth complex standout beer.

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

750ml bottle shared courtesy of TomDecapolis.

Poured a deep amber color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of fruits, spices, citrus, and light yeast. Tastes of fruits, spices, and citrus. Light alcohol in the finish.

Notes from 11/23/06

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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 Hophead101
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

opened from fridge and poured into a wide mouth glass. i am a big fan of Allagash so i was excited to give this one a try.

appearance: poured a cloudy light reddish brown. minimal head - but what was there was nice and frothy. it dissipated pretty quickly but left a nice lacing on the glass.

smell: orange citrus malty smell. has almost a belgian white smell to it. smell is light, airy and fruity.

taste: crisp and sharp on first taste. reminded me more of a belgian white than a strong dark ale - but great tasting none the less. quality product from the fine folks at allagash.

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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 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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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fiery blood orange with polished pumpkin trim. I love beer that looks like a tropical sunset in a glass. Even though there isn't a huge amount of visible carbonation, the orange-ecru cap was at least four fingers on the initial pour. The texture of the foam is terrific and it's beginning to coat the glass with thick splotches of Belgian lace. 11th Anniversary Ale is a wonderful looking (and lighter than usual looking) BSDA.

The nose is lighter as well. It's long past time to introduce Belgian Golden Ale as a style on this site. I get earthy caramel notes, along with musky apricot skins and a subtle spiciness. Hopefully, the flavor profile will be both broader and deeper.

Like most everything with 'Allagash' on the label, 11th Anniversary Ale is delicious. I'll say this for Rob Tod, his beer tastes authentically Belgian, something that is true for only a small handful of American breweries. Time and drinking will determine whether 11th is as wonderful as 10th. Early signs say... no.

The spotlight is occupied by ripe fruit (figs especially) that has been drizzled with caramel and sprinkled with toast crumbs, golden brown sugar, grapefruit zest and ground cloves. There's almost a caraway seed-rye bread spiciness, but I don't believe that rye malt is in use. As always, the brewey has used what tastes like a fantastic yeast strain.

Apparently, the citrus zestiness is coming from Cascade hops. What an odd choice for a semi-dark Belgian-style ale. It works, though, so no complaints. Since 11th Anniversary was bottled in May '06, I feel like I have to comment on how well it has aged. Very well. The flavors have had plenty of time to get comfortable with one another. And it shows.

The mouthfeel falls a fraction short only when directly compared to the best that Belgium has to offer. It's decently expansive, is creamy enough and has close to an ideal amount of carbonation.

Allagash 11th Anniversary Ale isn't the gobsmacker that 10th Anniversary Ale was, but it's still delicious and is compulsively quaffable. If you're aging a bottle, I'd suggest cracking it open now... or very soon. Shouldn't there have been a 12th Anniversary Ale by now?

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy amber color with little head, leaving a decent ring though.

Smell is quite malty with some fruity undertones, possibly orange or some kind of berry, bit of spice to the nose.

Taste is malty up front, a candied sweetness to it, lots of spicy goodness floating around the mouth, a fruity tartness leads to a dry finish.

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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 ericj551
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Allagash 11th pours a very slightly hazy amber with a beautiful fluffy head that lingers leaving a nice lacing. The aroma is fruity with a sour yeastiness to it that almost reminds me of yogurt. The flavor starts out sweet and fruity with a nice spiced quality. The spiciness gives way to a tart, almost sour finish. The flavor almost leads me to believe its spiced, but not quite. The fruit flavor is the same way, maybe due to the champagne yeast. This is certainly an interesting beer and I'm very happy to try it.

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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 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 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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Allagash 11th Anniversary Ale from Allagash Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 105 ratings.
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