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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 105 |  Reviews: 90
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 GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I wrestled with this beer quite a bit. The quality of which is not in question. The balance was very smooth and rich, it almost seemed effortless, almost bland. The flavors came together very well, almost to suggest simplicity. I know this is not the case. There is a lot going on: from very bold sweet malts and sugars, to earthy spicy hops and yeast, to bready tart textures, the beer is quite wonderful. Full and rich to the mouth, nearly too sweet. Alcoholic warmth and sweetness with a dry finish. Though the beer exhibits no stand-out characteristics as compared to its brethern brews, it is a beer of great quality.

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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 brentk56
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark amber color with a modest head (for a Belgian) and leaves scattered lacing

Smell: Dried cherries, figs and apple fruity esters with a touch of cinnamon/clove

Taste: Initially fruit-sweet, with red apple, grape, fig, banana and pear flavors that are joined by a spicy cinnamon/clove aspect, mid-palate; after the swallow, the yeasty spices jump to the fore and there is a earthy/hoppy kick to the finish

Mouthfeel: Light body but slightly undercarbonated for a Belgian

Drinkability: Good, not great, in the pantheon of BSDAs; lacks the malty depth of the great ones

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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 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 zestar
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

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

Appearance: Pours out a clouded amber body with a fluffy, off-white head.

Smell: Partly tart nose, with light notes of toasted caramel, sugar cookies, apples, and apricots. Heck, there's even some bananas in there!

Taste: A light toffee sweetness comes through in moderation, reshaped by the flavors of cinnamon spiced apples, molasses, spearmint, and fresh ground pepper. All with a distinct vinosity! Only in the finish do the hops, providing a moderate bitterness, fully emerge.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body that is bolstered by a delightfully lively, almost spritzy carbonation.

Drinkability: Subtle, elegant, but interesting - a fairly nice Belgian Strong Ale.

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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 rab53
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

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 imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +0.8%

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 Georgiabeer
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A delicious beer, par for the course from Allagash. Pours quite reddish, with some sediment and a good head that fades to a ring. Decent lacing, but nothing spectacular. The smell is slightly winey, and with good fruit.Maybe dried cherries and some orange rind. The taste is very well balanced, with a deep cherry fruitiness carrying through to the finish. There is also rounded malt flavors, some slight banana, a touch of sour and some dark fruit and vanilla on the finish. Beautiful mouthfeel- great body and nice creaminess. Very nice offering.Not my absolute favorite from them, but very good.

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

Had this on tap at Max's the other day.

I'm a big fan of Allagash beers, so had high expectations for this one. While a good beer, I was expecting something a bit more impressive. Oh well...

The beer pours a cloudy amber orange color, with very nice head retentition and good lacing. The nose is fairly subtle, but what there is smells like sweet fruit and Belgium spice. The beer is quite sweet with good fruit (cherry and melon) on the palate, but seems just a bit one dimensional. The beer has a very nice soft, smooth mouthfeel, and is not the least bit heavy or cloying. The beer finishes very nicely, and although the alcohol is noticeable, the beer is still pretty drinkable.

Nice beer from Allagash.

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

Pours with a brilliantly clear, pretty red color when held up to the light, otherwise it is a dark amber to brown color. The head is a frothy, initially two-finger thick, dirty, tan color. The aroma has a dry-leaning fruitiness to it up front, where a touch of tartness is noticeable. There is a touch of sweet aromatics, just enough to bring out notes of plums, a touch of figs and some notes of raisins. A touch of clove leads some light spice aromatics, which really play a background role here. When rooting around in the aroma, I find that the depth that the fruit notes lead here is quite interesting. The dark fruit notes are certainly a characteristic from both the malt and yeast character. The malt character is heavily caramelized, with a touch of chewier bread like notes.

The taste is sweet and chewy up front. This beer certainly has a heft to it that just sits on the palate and even coats the tongue a bit as it slides down my throat. An up front fruitiness leads to a slightly chalky almost chocolate note that adds a touch of dryness to this beer. This also finishes with a spicy bite. This spicy bite seems to be made up of a carbonation zing, higher alcohols (and even just a warming character from regular old ethanol) as well as notes reminiscent of pepper, ginger, clove, and something akin to cardamom. The finish even has a slightly astringent woodiness to it, as well as a solid bitterness that is substantial enough to be evident underneath this powerful beer.

This beer has a definite warming character to it, as it slides down the throat I can feel a light warming that marks its travel to my belly. Lingering on in the palate afterwards is something that is almost oak-like, perhaps it is a certain toasted grain astringency. In fact I think that a large part of it is derived from some toasty malt character; it is sort of like concentrated bread crust. This is one of those beers that I could see aging quite well for at least a good five years, if not ten or more.

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

Pours with a two-finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Almost cloudy amber color. Medium bodied and good carbonation. Nose is raisins. Flavor sweet raisins, malt and some alcohol. Slight alcohol aftertaste. Totally different from their 10th anniversary ale. Expensive at $16.00 for a 750ml bottle from Tully's Beer and Wine Wells, ME.

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Photo of weeare138
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks TomDecapolis for this...
Appears an orange toned light brown with a small, white head that fades into a gentle collar.
Smell is of sweet, citrusy, cardamom, orange peel, cream, nutmeg, and yeasty bread with a touch of mild sourness.
Taste of the mentioned aromas mixed into a lightly spiced, fruity brew.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, semi-sweet, with orange peel, and other citrusy hops hitting the sides of the tongue and leading to a semi-dry, yeasty finish.

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