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

An aggressive pour produces an emphemeral tan head--all but vanishing, it leaves a thin ring of foam around the edges. Body is amber, with ruby red highlights and a mahogany core. This beer is quite well carbonated for its high alcohol content, and some yeast particles float aimlessly throughout the chalice.

The aroma presents notes of granny smith apple, oak, vanilla, cranberry, cider, caramel, and a touch of alcohol. The taste is full of sour mash, lemon peel, oaken barrels, and a touch of vanilla. A strong, sweet malty backbone is present as well. Mouthfeel is well-carbonated and the body is dry, medium-thin on the palate, and leaves behind a sour/bitter finish. This beer is somewhat difficult to put away, but the complexity and flavor make up for what it lacks in drinkability. Overall, its a solid offering from the beer-makers in Maine.

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Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has a translucent red-amber color and produced a mild head that laced the glass and slowly settled back to its origin.

Nose is also a non-descript "mild" with a hint of alcohol.

Flavor came on with a burst of effervescence and then fell flat leaving me with the sense that the ingredients dissolved leaving no trace of their initial appearance.

The flavor characteristic is that of hops and malt tinged with alcohol. Flavor was more hops than malt, but not much else.

Hops notes lingered with a long clean linear finish.

Over all I'd say this is a quality ale but nothing to celebrate. At every sip I hoped to find something special to help me remember this ale next time I'm at the store, but with each taste I'm left wondering.

It's not an unpleasant ale, but it seems like it needs more of something special-- to make it fill the moniker of an "anniversary ale".

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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 montageman
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice.

Up until recently Allagash wasn't available in Michigan, so when I purchase this from Brawley's in North Carolina - I was very excited. Allagash is now available in MI, but I'm still glad I purchased this when I was visiting NC last year. If nothing else, it is a reminder of the excellent experience of visiting Brawley's.

The cloudy rich amber color is reminiscent of a caramel candy. The off white head quickly disappears leaving a slight bit of lacing. The aroma is dominated by sweetness - date, cherry, and chocolate. The taste is complex - cherry sweetness with a layer of dark chocolate as well. The mouthfeel should have more body - there is a thinness here that should not be. Overall, this is a very good Belgian style ale with some room for improvement. 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 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 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 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 mcallister
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fiery amber scarlet colored with a small saphire hinted head that fades into no lacing. Some floaties abound.

Very big on the belgian spicey, yeasty notes. clove and golden raisins, with a bubble gum twist. Fruity and earthy with caramel driven malts. Some stone fruit as well.

Very nice and drinkable with good carbonation that really brings this beer to life. The big belgian spice is nicely integrated in the flavor. Sweet caramel malts with some toffee intricasies. Round and chewy with an earthy gamey finish. Rich clove, raisin, plum, cherries, flowers and a hint of butterscotch. Very drinkable as well.

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