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 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 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 NEhophead
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1pt 9.4 fl oz caged and corked brown bottle.
Served in an oversized wine glass.

Cloudy, light russett-brown in color beneath a carbonated layer of white foam. After a minute, the delicate head settles to a thin layer of film leaving a few droplets of spotted lace around the glass.

Sweet, carmelized Belgian sugar over faint hints of fig, plum, raisin, and green apple. The light tartness is pleasant, but too subtle; as are the rest of the aromatics.

Belgian-candied, malt sweetness upfront: brown sugar, maple syrup, and nutmeg. A dried, peppered-spice weaves in and out of the sweet, creamy maltiness giving way to notes of slightly tart fruity esters: apple, orange, and pear. The finish is a bit dry with a pleasant mustiness. The aftertaste is slightly sweet with hints of tartness and warming, dark fruit.

Medium bodied; not quite smooth, yet not quite slick. A perfect amount of carbonation for an Allagash-brewed ale.

This isn't a great beer per se, but it is a treat to share in Allagash's 11th year. The biggest accomplishment of this Belgian-style ale is how well hidden the 9.2% abv is. Tremendous!

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

Pours very cloudy chestnut brown with a crisp off white head that offers excellent sheets of lacing.

Smell is sweetly malty, with a thick bready musty quality with interesting fruit notes.

Taste is generous caramel malt and brown sugar up front. Then citrus fruit flavor makes an impression. Tropical fruit with a strong tangerine presence that blends into the same bready mustiness as appeared in the nose. Finish has lingering spice, notably nutmeg and ginger, with a strong warming alcohol character.

Mouthfeel is medium to full.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer. The flavor is interesting and unusual. The spices, and the mustiness is hard to identify but very tasty. recommended for any BSD lover.

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Photo of bashiba
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy bright amber red with a thin off white head.

Smell has a musty yeast quality with some light sweet fruit notes.

Taste has a very bready toasted caramel malt backbone with hints of pears and apricots. It finishes with a mild clove and other spices and a light earthy hop.

Mouthfeel is a medium body with a bit of tongue warming, with a crisp dry finish.

An enjoyable complex beer, I would drink often if it weren't for such limited availability and the high price.

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

Sampled: 9.4.06

The beer pours a cloudy cider. There is a small head and leaves little lacing as the beer descends.

The nose is fruity with a wine-like tangy sharpness. Caramel malts mixing with these aromas gives the brief impression of a Weizenbock.

The flavor dominated by malted barley flavors, with some fruit, but not nearly as much carried over from the nose. Though, caramel from the aroma definitely comes through. There’s a bitter finish that lingers on the palate after the swallow. It’s quite present in the mouth, but stays chewy without getting thick and syrupy. The alcohol heat is relatively low, but strengthens gradually as the brew warms.

This is clearly another of Allagash’s brews made to sip & savor. Though despite the high alcohol content, it doesn’t hit you too hard. And, in my opinion, it really has a wheat or barley wine style feel to it. And though it might not be one of my favorites from Allagash’s All Star line up, it was still another good beer.

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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 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 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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Photo of blackie
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: Pours a one finger khaki colored head that recedes just a little, with good retention of what remains. Numerous strings of bubbles rise from the bottom, feeding the head. The beer is a deep amber-brown in color. Nice lacing.

smell: Pale malts, tropical fruits (grapefruit...), some toasted grain, white grapes, and a Belgian yeast and hop character. Just a touch of ethanol.

mouthfeel: Decent level of smooth, delicate carbonation. The body is medium.

taste: Pale Belgian malts with some toasted barley just behind. Not very deep, weakening even more after the swallow. Some yeastiness, light fruits, and papery hops. Light bitterness in the finish.

drinkability: pretty easy, but not that great

split with dirtylou before heading out on NYE

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Photo of dirtylou
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle split with the prince of darkness, $9.99 at rileys

appearance: poured into wine glass...bright garnet body, frothy beige head with strong lacing

smell: sparkling grape juice, tart and sugary, belgian-esque, honey, apricot/peach, lots of sweetness

taste: rather vinous flavour...sparkling grape juice, sweet sugars, apricot/peach/light citrus...mildly boozy, honey and caramel sweetness, very mild hopping...interesting - me likes

mouthfeel: vinous, medium body, light bitter booze aftertaste

drinkability: good

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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 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 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
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 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 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 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 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 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 clvand0
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a murky brown color with a medium head that falls quickly and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. The aroma is ... more hoppy than expected with some fruits and a lot less spice than I thought it would be. Nothing bad, I just expected more spices. The flavor is quite sweet and smooth and lacking in spices. Some dark fruits are in there and some bitterness comes through as well. But this oen seems like the yeast just didn't come through and spice it up like most Allagash beers have. Body is medium and the drinkability is good. Tasty beer, but I want more complexity. The alcohol is very well hidden as well.

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

Uncaged corked 750 mL snapped open with a wild POP! after a tiny cork twist. 9.2% ABV label.

Pours as a ruby hazy mahagony topped with a statuesque frothy vanilla thin albeit solid craggy head cap leaving spotty lattice lace in the glass encapsulating a few scant rising bubbles.

Sweet Belgian candi sugar nose with a clean scent of crisp coffee cake brown sugar hints.

First swigs: Thick table sugar aggressive front followed by a tea leaf breakfast tea and cream flavor. A subtle hint of liquorice and rock candy sugar dominate the palate.

Feel is defined with a soft fluffy pillowy gentle restrained carbonation and a full bodied texture due to a high concentration of ingredients. Thick tongue coating overly residual sugary syrupy tack.

Last swigs: Unique, for sure. A sugary treat that will cause a cavity if nothing else. Like Filter said, "nice shot" perhaps a little overblown with sweets.

Beer is good. Happy sweet sugar beering.

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