Allagash 11th Anniversary Ale | Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash 11th Anniversary AleAllagash 11th Anniversary Ale
Very Good
105 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 105 |  Reviews: 90
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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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 Lnedrive14
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Like the previous reviewer, i too love allagash. they continually make great brews in great styles and from time to time push the envelope (try the INTERLUDE!!!!). This, however, was not my favorite.

Pours a chestnut brown with a huge pearl head. Quickly dissipating head, that was fluffy (not that Duvel thickness). Lots of caramel sweetness, fresh cherries and apples, maybe even some banana. Some weird stuff in there that i can't really put my fingers on - cloves perhaps? asparagus? black truffle oil? i have no freaking clue. very complicated brew - i respect it, it just didn't work for me. Medium bodied. Drinkability suffers.

I really think this could have been great, it just was missing something. that aside, i still love allagash and support their creativeness.

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

This beer is Biere de Champagne? WTF this is Belgian Strong Ale. The beer was served in a wide mouthed wine goblet. This beer was purchased at Jungle Jims for $12.99

Appearance: The beer pours a pleasing chestnut brown coloration. The head was a tan off biege coloration one finger thick. The lacing was nearing on pancake thickness.

Smell: This beer smells like a melange' of strawberry, bubblegum, candied apples and caramel sweetness. This is in addition too a funky earthy floral combo.

Taste: The beer has a funky yeasty apple malty peppery clove flavor. The beer is complicated to say the least.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is medium bodied and big time carbonated beer. The beer was a very nicely executed beer. I enjoyed the beer from start to finish.

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Photo of phisig137
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle pours a deep blood red, mahogany color, with a creamy one finger head. Good retention slowly falls to leave behind nice lacing one the glass.

The aroma here is slightly sweet, spicy, and vinous. Bready, and smells like a belgian double/triple hybrid. fresh bread, dark fruit, malt, caramel, spicy yeast, and vanilla. Wonderfully complex nose lead to a similar taste. Dry and sweet at the same time, spicy up front and fruity on the finish. Hops are present in the middle and on the finish, while malt peaks through all the way through. Alcohol warms from the first sip to the last.Very complex and enjoyable, this gets considerably beeter as it warms up from cellar temp. At room temp this is incredible. Mouthfeel is creamy and full. Drinkability is decent.

I feel that this is not NEARLY carbonated enough to be a Biere de Champagne, but the flavor and price are right on. I'd like to rate this higher, but I feel that as good as it is, it has even more potential. If it were more heavily carbonated, this could be incredible. But despite this, the beer is fantastic, as are most of the pricier Allagash offerings.

BTW... I don't think this is bottled by method champenoise, as the Allagash website claims... Doesn't that process require disengorgment, and not just bottle conditioning? Perhaps someone can let me know for sure.

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Photo of Dewey0603
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a deep clear ruby red with a giant tan foamy head. A very impressive looking brew. The smell is moderately pungent with yeast, banana,clove,and alittle alcohol. The taste is bizarre mixture of creamy sweet malt and a crisp highly carbonate alcohol aftertaste. Other flavors include vanilla, candy sugar, dark fruit,and pepper. The m/f is light and very well balanced. This is an incredible beer. Great job Allagash.

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Photo of Foxman
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a hazy and very carbonated coppery brown. Two fingers of beige head deconstruct slowly to frothy tufts. Curlicues of lacing calligraph the inside of the glass.

The aroma brings a tangy, yeasty malty sweetness, fruity with cherry and green apple, and smoothed with a light caramel and vanilla duo. A touch of clove and muted floral esters just manage to minimize a tendon of alcohol.

Upon tasting, there eases in a sedate malt sweetness, gently earthy and tart, with darker cherry and plum, and accompanied by buttery toffee. Granny Smith apple crisps its way toward a clove spice note. Another flash of cherry sweetness punctuates a sheet of airy alcohol, and then a mildly sour doughiness leads into a crisp, dry lingering bitterness. It's wonderfully rich and complex, and damned good.

Medium bodied, the grain sweetness is buoyed by the carbonation, and it coats along with a definitive bitterness.

I could wax rhapsodic over this for some time, but this time shorter seems better. It's complex, blended, and artful, and though the ABV is a world-class warmer, it drinks like a sweet dream. If every anniversary beer was this good, the world would be a much happier place.

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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 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 cbl2
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

8/30/2006 $12.99 750 mL 9.20% No best by date.


Cork explodes from the bottle with a resounding POP! Yielding a dark, clear brown that is suffused with ruby red light, and topped by a quarter inch of offwhite head that is moderately carbonated.


Tart and acidic with notes of fresh, ripe cherries and a touch of barnyard funk.


Carbonation is high, as the style tends to (I'm basing this judgement on my sampling of DeuS), with a vibrant fresh fruit (cherry) flavor that is coupled with a Saison-like earthiness. Acidity is rather high throughout, with the high alcohol becoming apparent by midsip. Finish is long and dry with some bitter hop quality. Good, but expensive at $12.99/bottle (though cheaper than DeuS).


As this warms to room temperature it more and more takes on characteristics of a Dubbel, and at some point, even resembles Quelque Chose by Unibroue.

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