Allagash Brewing Company

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Wild Ale
Ranked #329
Ranked #2,672
4.17 | pDev: 9.83%
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Notes: Avancé is a strong, sour ale with aromas of strawberry preserves and toasted oak. Berries and more oak continue in the flavor, which concludes with a warm, sweet finish. The beer is brewed with multiple sugars including molasses, date sugar, white cane sugar, and dark rock candi. It’s then fermented with three different yeast strains and aged in oak bourbon barrels for a year with Lactobacillus and Pediococcus. After transferring the beer to stainless we add one pound per gallon of fresh, locally picked strawberries and age it for another six months.
Reviews: 84 | Ratings: 335 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ryan1788a5
ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

4.29/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12.7oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Red-orange color with perfect clarity. Head dies almost instantly and there is no lacing.

S: Strawberry jam in a big way. Hard strawberry candy. Lemony lactic acid, hint of cider vinegar. Very subtle and delicate whiff of funk and a touch of clovey phenols. Hint of oaky vanillins far in the background.

T: Strawberry jam as well as freshly picked strawberries. Loads of them too, it’s all over the attack. Very real, and very pleasant. Brisk tartness, though it stops just shy of being puckering. Lactic and lemony. A little bit of that cider vinegar too. Molasses. Slight funk, briefly, and a medicinal phenol flavor that lingers a bit. Woody vanillins middle to end, and a mild corny bourbon sweetness. Finish is subtle trailing funk and phenol, tame barrel flavors, and a whole lot of lingering strawberry.

M: Medium-Full body. A little bit of weight and heft. Round and creamy with ample carbonation. Very gentle tug of tannin.

O: Delicious. It’s so easy to find the bottom of your glass well before you ever intended. That strawberry flavor is so delightful and hedonistic. This does not seem like a beer that is nearly 10% either. If you can hang onto it long enough to savor some of the nuance, there are another few layers of complexity to enjoy too. It’s got something for everybody. Definitely grab it if you see it.

May 04, 2020
Photo of Tony210
Tony210 from New Jersey

4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear reddish amber with minimal head. Nice funky strawberry aroma. Flavor is very wood-forward. Starts out with heavy funk. Quite oaky, lots of bourbon barrel, earthy, not sweet considering all the different sugars they added, quite tart and good acidity that makes it tangy. Has a nice light strawberry finish. Carbonation adds a nice texture that compliments the tartness. Overall a fun beer, a little to heavy on the oak for me, but glad I tried it.

375 ml bottle, no date, 10% abv - thanks Adam
4.25 rating

Jan 09, 2020
Photo of andypeters1971
andypeters1971 from Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Extremely complex beer that presents far more taste and feel profiles and characteristics than my unsophisticated palate can discern or explain. In the end, it was outstanding and I'd have several more

Sep 08, 2019
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mntlover from Tennessee

4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours burnt brown amber color, no real head from bar pour. Aroma light malt oak notes hints of light bourbon, strawberry fruit. Taste is the same but better nice tart strawberries, oak light bourbon, good malt base tart but not overly sour easy drinking even though you want to savor it. Mouthfeel is lighter side medium carbonation. Overall enjoyable.

Jul 21, 2019
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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on draft

dark golden in color, clear, with thin white head that fades. interesting aroma - mild tartness, oak, mild burnt sugar, strawberry fruitiness. similar taste, very deep and complex flavors - definitely unique. thin to medium bodied, a bit sticky of a mouthfeel.

Jan 06, 2019
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KTCamm from New Jersey

4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

8/11/18...light copper amber with white foam . Strawberry fruit nose, strong fruit fragrance. Heavy sour tart. Wildly complex flavors. Loads of strawberry, can taste the seeds and all. Spectacular.

Sep 03, 2018
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angrybabboon from Massachusetts

4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 5/16/18

Note: 2016 bottle

A: Medium to deep amber with some serious red undertones, copper highlights - hazy, probably could have decanted a bit more carefully - pours with a small, off-white head, fades to a few wisps of lacing and leaves some nice lacing

S: Like a handful of strawberries - not overly sweet, like strawberry preserves - fleshy, ripe strawberries - a fistful of sour funk under that - sharp, acidic sour and some musty, lactic, old basement sour - loads of oak and funky oak - the oak aroma is about as, if not more, potent than the bourbon, which comes later - some lactic frutiness, with touches of cherry - cork - not really picking up on any of the sugars in the aroma, as the strawberry and wood dominate

T: Strawberries and oak, to start - rich strawberry flavor - like biting into a fresh strawberry, not a generic "strawberry flavor" - some strawberry tartness, as if it's an under-ripe strawberry - very tart, very sour, very funky overall - sharp acidic sour, but more of a damp, musty lactic sour funk - old, dirty basement, old wet barrel - tons of acidic and lactic oak barrel funk and flavor - bourbon, but it's really overpowered by the strawberry and oak flavors - touches of molasses and sugar late in the flavor profile, but I would not call this sweet overall - the sourness really takes center stage to the point that acid, rather that sugar, lingers in the aftertaste

M: Medium body, carbonation on the low side, finishes with sour

O: Bourbon and strawberries, yet another breakfast of champions

Not many breweries take the effort to brew beer with strawberries. As would surprise nobody, Allagash can pull it off. Frankly, for my current tastes, this is overly sour and funky. But I am not going to reduce points for that. This is a unique experience if you can find a bottle.

May 17, 2018
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DaverCS from Arizona

4.39/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Quick review:

Smells of funky strawberries, vanilla, and peppercorns

Taste is of more strawberry, sherbet, horse blanket, tennis ball, rubber.

On draft at toronado SD. Keg kicked after my pour. Good beer; perhaps a bit unbalanced on the unnecessarily sour side. Good strawberry character but perhaps a bit too much pure citric/lactic acid. It gets a 87.5/100.

Jan 24, 2018
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Boto from Connecticut

4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Brewery (bottled July 24, 2016): This one pours a clear, darker amber color. Even though it opened with a "pop", there was no head or lacing. Good nose! Definitely brett. Some oakiness and tart strawberries coming thru. The taste is very good. Lots of tart strawberry flavor. A bit of the oakiness, maybe a hint of vanilla. Some other fruits an a hint of the breadiness. Surprisingly there doesn't seem to be any evidence of the bourbon in the aroma or taste.

Jan 09, 2018
Photo of Jps715
Jps715 from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From discussions with someone at the brewery, this beer meaningfully changed two years ago. Changing rating from 2 to 4.25 as previous beer tasted like nail polish remover and the new one is delicious.

Oct 22, 2017
Photo of mkh012
mkh012 from Colorado

4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

13 oz. bottle, bottled 13 months ago.

Pours deep amber with zero head.

Sour strawberry and bread crust on the nose. Another reviewer said this smells like a dentist's office and I thought that was a random observation, but it kind of makes sense upon smelling it. A little bit of a rubber glove-y note, but not in a bad way. Hard to describe. The predominant notes are typical Allagash yeast-funk, and jammy red fruit.

The taste opens medium-sour, with raspberry and strawberry. Blue cheese and oak mid-palate. Dry on the backend, with lingering, tart berry. Complex.

Overall, there are better Allagash Wild Ales but this is very good. 8+/10

Aug 06, 2017
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tap at the brewery
Light fizzy head, little lacing, semi clear rosy orangey color

Nose loaded with strawberries, little sweet malt, slight funky saison like yeast note

Taste tart with loads of strawberry, sour green strawberry, little seed, fair acidity, little bready funk, farmhouse saison bright acidity

Mouth is med to lighter bod, big acidity, nice fluffy carb

Overall pretty nice, great strawberry, acidity, booze level is nice

Jul 29, 2017
Photo of rudzud
rudzud from Massachusetts

4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed at the brewery.

A - Poured into a snifter a nice clear ruby hue with a thin white head that fades to leave light lacIng.

S - Aromas of nice strawberry jam, good perfumey notes with a little bit of oak and bourbon.

T - Taste is similar to the nose with nice jammy red berries, good bright strawberries, nice bourbon notes and oak, good light tartness.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, alcohol hidden nicely with light crispness.

O - Overall this was a very solid strawberry beer with nice tartness. Very very nicely done.

Serving Type: on tap

Jul 29, 2017
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superspak from Ohio

4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a BIF from Roguer. 375 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 7/14/2016. Pours slightly hazy pinkish golden/orange color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and fluffy off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big juicy strawberries, lightly tart lemon, green apple, raspberry, cherry, red grape, brown sugar, and toasted oak; with light hay, leather, musty funk, bourbon, pepper, and yeast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of strawberries, malt/sugars, oak barrel, and light-moderate fruity/funky yeast notes; with great strength. Taste of huge tart/sour raspberry, strawberry, lemon, green apple, red grape, brown sugar, and toasted oak; with light hay, leather, musty funk, bourbon, vanilla, pepper, red wine vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness. Light-moderate fruity/lactic sourness and light yeast/oak spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of sour raspberry, strawberry, lemon, green apple, red grape, brown sugar, toasted oak, red wine vinegar, light musty funk, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, strawberries, malt/sugars, and oak barrel flavors; with a great malt/sourness balance. Lightly puckering, but not astringent after the finish. Moderate dryness from acidity/oak tannins, increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and moderately acidic/tannic/grainy balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Mildly warming alcohol for 9.7%. Overall this is an outstanding fruited sour ale! All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, strawberries, malt/sugars, and oak barrel flavors; very smooth and easy to sip on for the big ABV; and despite the increasingly lactic/tannic/drying finish. Interesting contrast between aromas and flavors. Nose was very sweet and juicy on fruit notes, with much less funk/sourness; but the taste was much more in line with what I expected for a sour ale on flavor complexity. A highly enjoyable offering.

Apr 23, 2017
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BSiegs from Illinois

4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Murky, muddy reddish brown in color. Little off white foam that recedes quickly and leaves no lacing. Aroma is funk, molasses, and strawberries. Jam-like and with mild notes of oak. The taste starts with tart funkiness, which is then blended beautifully with strawberries, slight molasses sweetness, acidity, and a touch of bourbon character. Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, and an extremely dry finish. A very complex beer with waves of different flavors. Very enjoyable.

Apr 09, 2017
Photo of CTbrew32
CTbrew32 from Rhode Island

3.82/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance- Dark red, turbid, and pours a once inch head.

aroma- Vinegar with a little bit of strawberries.

taste- Upfront there's a good amount of sourness, but not overwhelming. This transitions to more of a tart strawberry taste, eventually finishing with a very mild amount of sourness. There's a little bit of vanilla and oak flavor mixed in as well, but the fruit and barrel flavors are pretty well blended.

feel- Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Finishes dry, but with a little sweetness as well.

overall- Haven't had too many sours but this is very solid and balanced. There's a decent amount of tartness at first, but this fades relatively quickly letting the strawberry and barrel flavors to takeover.

Apr 03, 2017
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4DAloveofSTOUT from Illinois

4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml C&C bottle.

Date bottled: July 14, 2016

poured into Allagash stemmed glass.

Appearance: Opaque orangish crimson red bodied beer. 2 full fingers of off white head that quickly drops to a thin cap.

Smell: Strawberry preserves. Signature Allagash house funk. Lots of dry oak barrel.

Taste: Moderate almost high and assertive sourness; 6.5 out of 10. This has a lot of strawberry flavor and is probably one of the best tasting strawberry wild ales that I have tasted. The strawberries tastes like real strawberries and does not taste watered down like most other strawberry wild ales tend to be. Acetic sourness. Lemons and green apples. Malt profiles reminds me of a weaker version of a Flanders Reds' malt profile, but one with a strong fruit (strawberry) presence. Hint of oak and funk, but this beer is more about the high acidity and fruit presence. Finish has more strawberries, earthy oak, raw acidity, and a hint of bourbon sweetness. This is a seriously fantastic fruited sour beer.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Moderate carbonation. Better than a semi-dry finish. This wild ale is a sipper because of big flavors, high acidity, and big dry character after each sip.

Overall: This is one of the best strawberry wild ales that I have drank. Very under appreciated beer. There is no surprise that Allagash was the brewer to make this masterpiece. This beer will continue to age really nicely; there is just a ton of strawberries in this beer. The bourbon barrel adds a nice finesse touch to the beer, but you really don't get a good appreciation for the bourbon barrel aging until the beer gets to room temperature.

Mar 29, 2017
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Immortale25 from North Carolina

4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Wicked Weed snifter. Label says Bottled On: July 14, 2016.

A- Pours a reddish dark amber color with a 1/4 inch light tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and minimal surface foam. Not-so-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Super bright strawberry puree nose with a bit of complementary Brett funk.

T- Lots of oaky astringent flavors that's soon smoothed out by the sweet strawberry. Moderately sour with a hint of bourbon. The ABV is very well hidden.

M- Decent amount of pucker and a drying finish. Medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- Different than what I expected since there's a lot more of that band-aid-like astringency rather than vanilla-y bourbon character, yet the strawberries do a good job of providing a sweet balance. Recommended.

Mar 19, 2017
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Jwale73 from Rhode Island

3.94/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled July 14, 2016. 375ml caged and corked bottled served in a Speigelau tulip. Pours a color somewhat akin to apple cider with a slightly hazy clarity and no head; just a thin frothy band around the edges. Nose is predominantly strawberry preserves with perhaps a hint of ethanol. Tart strawberries predominate, but once you get past the initial pucker and acidity some toasted oak notes come out as well as a kiss of spirits; however, I don't get any of the anticipated bourbon character. Mouthfeel is light in body with a lively carbonation and a bright acidity. Overall - decent. Perhaps needs a little more time in the bottle, but it's a bit one dimensional as is.

Feb 25, 2017
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mothman from Minnesota

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dirty ruby amber color. White head.

First sip is odd but it grows on me. Lots of bourbon. Strawberries and molasses blend together nicely. Sour and acidic. Cherries. Oaky.

Medium bodied. Ends with a bit of funk.

Fun beer to try! Enjoyable!

Feb 15, 2017
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AgentMunky from New York

4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375mL bottle into a Teku glass. Bottled 14 July 2016.
A: Muddy brown-yellow with light head.
S: It smells of fruit alright. And funky yeast. Jam and lactic acid. A lovely sweetness lurks amongst the tart funk.
T: Hrmmm. More barnyard than tart, and less fruity-sticky than anticipated. Initially like a really wild saison before the strawberry arrives, then it dries up and offers just a bite of an acidic bite before a long, perplexing finish that can't decide if it wants to be sour, funky, or sweet. I really like the jammy aspects that sneak in around the corners.
M: Engaging and lively; never too sticky. Only lightly carbonated, which I regret somewhat.
O: A lovely beer for sour-funky fruit fans, but at nearly $1.50/oz, not worth the price of admission. I don't big up any bourbon influence at all; I would have guessed wine barrels.

Feb 12, 2017
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Ready4aHeady from New York

4.44/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As you can see, most of the reviews are very good. Unfortunately, a couple amateurs gave it a low rating and so it shows up at 89. This is great AWA...has the qualities of a very good dark sour, with an awesome kick of strawberries---like serious jam on toast! Well balanced between the sour, bourbon barrel vanilla warmth, and fruit preserves.... well done!

Feb 11, 2017
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larryi86 from Delaware

4.29/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375 ml bottle, July 14, 2016, poured into a flute

A- A clear dirty ruby red with a small off-white head

S- Tart, sweet strawberries, some vanilla/bourbon, oak, leather/tannis.

T- Sour, tart underripe strawberries, some sweet strawberry jam, tannis, leather, oak, just enough bourbon.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- Very fruity and sour, strawberries really linger on the palate. Very drinkable for 9.7%. Leaving to Allagash to brew an excellent strawberry sour; not quite as good as Farm To Face or Nancy, but still worth seeking out.

Jan 29, 2017
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SMZBrew from Pennsylvania

4.86/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

If strawberry jam and beer had a baby, this would be the outcome! Pours a hazy medium brown with a distinctive reddish tint. Small head dissipates quickly. I wound up savoring the sweet, sour, strawberry jam aroma for a while before I started to drink this. It smells fantastic but it tastes even better. Strong sweet strawberry presence, mildly sour, and balanced nicely with a little hop bitterness. High carbonation and great mouthfeel. At the end I wound up smelling the empty bottle and pondering my life choices, specifically why the hell I bought only one bottle of this.

Jan 19, 2017
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Londonderry Quick Stop
Hazy murky amber brown with a thin wisp of a white head that dissipates instantly. Great berry on the nose but the tart lurking underneath makes you stand at attention. Tart earthy berry flavor with a hint of alcohol and what could be some hop bitterness? Medium body tart lemony puckering mouthfeel, moderate carbonation. Pretty tasty beer, the strawberry is well done!

Jan 18, 2017
Avancé from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 335 ratings