Allagash Avancé | Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash AvancéAllagash Avancé

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by wedgie9 on 05-12-2010

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Reviews: 71 | Ratings: 273
Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of BSiegs
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of CTbrew32
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -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!

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of Ready4aHeady
4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
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!

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Photo of larryi86
4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of SMZBrew
4.66/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | 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's choices, specifically why the hell I only bought one bottle of this.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
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!

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.61/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This one pours a nice slightly hazy red color- looks like a lot of fruit was used in this one. There's basically no head or lacing.

This has probably the most authentic fresh strawberry aroma and flavor that I've ever gotten out of a beer. It just leaps out of the glass- unbelievable. It's a little sweet smelling, but mostly sour, while still remaining juicy. There's some definite oak, caramelized sugar, and light bourbon.

This is probably the best strawberry sour that I've ever had. It's loaded to the gills with tart, macerated strawberry, it dominates, but doesn't overwhelm the other nice flavors. There's definitely a bit of sugary sweetness, which sets the strawberry tartness nicely. There's just a hint of oak and vanillin flavors, along with the slightest hint of mild bourbon sweetness. Using bourbon rather than wine barrels was an interesting choice for sure, and I really like the different dimension it gave to this sour.

This is pretty light bodied, and very drinkable, with a crisp and sparkling level of carbonation.

This is absolutely mind-blowing- possibly the best beer I've had from Allagash other than Resurgam or Cuvee D'Industrial.

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Photo of OrangeMen
4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016 vintage
~6 months from bottling date

Appearance- Pours a medium amber, glistening burnt orange color, mildly hazy. Half finger thick, slight off white colored head, fizzy and soapy. Touches of spotty head lacing on glass.

Aroma- Sweet strawberry preserves, bright berry notes, underlying creamy vanilla and sweet sugary malts. Spicy and toasty oak, grassy and earthy yeast notes. Slight tartness, lemon and green apple.

Taste- Sweet strawberries, jammy and fruity, underlying tartness, lemon, green apple. Earthy oak, creamy vanilla quality, sugary sweet malts. Funky yeast, wet hay and bright tropical fruits.

Feel- Medium bodied, has a bright tartness but also syrupy and malty, slight creaminess. Moderate carbonation, crisp yet smooth in spots.

Overall- A different kind of sour / wild ale, has all the bright fruit qualities and tart notes but also has an undeniable malt backbone. Strawberries comes through with a very sweet, jammy quality. Barrel adds a lot of oak and vanilla, very little bourbon if any. Lots of earthy and funky yeast qualities on the finish. Very different for the style, and complex.

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Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark orange with off white head that quickly dissipates
S: Sweet strawberry, dark candy sugar, oak, lactic tartness, yogurt
T: Sweet and tart strawberry, oak tannin, light vanilla, lactic, light earthy funk, very balanced, medium sour, sweet Belgian candy sugar, yogurt, complex
M: Medium, light but lively carbonation
O: Amazing representation of strawberry in a sour. No detectable alcohol. Almost perfect mix of funky yeast, sweet fruit, oak and sour.

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Photo of FBarber
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours orangish brown and completely opaque. Off-white thinnish head dissipates leaving no lacing or residual head. Some spotty foaming is noted on top. Beer appears thinnish, but not unusually so for the style.

Smell has aromas of tart strawberries, vinegar, lacto, sugar, and bourbon.

Taste follows the nose with a nice blend of tart strawberries, lacto, with hints of bourbon and sugar. The beer is rather sweet, but with the tartness it really balances it all out. Grainy taste is left on the finish.

Feel is light and thin. Medium carbonation.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer. Its a well crafted wild ale from Allagash.

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Photo of DBosco
4.59/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

375 ml. vessel bottled on July 14th, 2016. Cloudy dark orange with a reddish tinge, just a little creamy foam on top. Smells of some sourness, strawberry with a slight hint of bourbon - nice blend of aromas. Taste is moderately sour, oaky, with aged strawberry flavor that is not particularly sweet after all the fermentation and aging, and just a trace of bourbon in the background. Mouthfeel has very little carbonation, puckering from sour and oak, but a smooth drink otherwise. Overall, right now drinking it 6 months after it was bottled, it is a really good sour ale with excellent added tastes - high quality.

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Photo of AlpacaAlpaca
2.98/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

This is the first Allagash beer I've had that hasn't been very good to exceptional. Boozy, muddled but weirdly thin, overly sweet, and the sourness only accentuates its flaws. I can't tell if the strawberries taste real or fake, because it's so sickly sweet, but it's not good either way. More barrel, more body, and less berry might turn this one around.

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Photo of chicagobeerguy
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Not to appealing, no head only a penicl lining, an amber off color honey, burnt apple juice looking
S: Winey strawberries, deep oak and wood, funky lacto and brett, honey notes, slight cinnamon notes, sweet but funky, smells very complex
T: Oak funk upfront, super farmhousy, finishes sweet and nice with the strawberries, like strawberry jam not fresh strawberries, very complex beer, very woody
F: Medium carb, fine
O: A beer that pushes the wild ale to its limit, definitely not for everyone, the funkiness from the oak barrels was very overpowering but the sweet and tart strawberry finish was nice. Don't think I would buy again but definitely worth a try.

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Photo of jfitzbrew
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This does not disappoint. Slightly murky light mahogany. Beautiful white head. Nice oak, sweet berry/cherry, and brett in the aroma. Similar follow through with moderate acidity that is balanced by sweet berry molasses finish. Very good.

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Photo of bobv
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375 ml. vessel bottled at 9.7% abv, corked, and caged on July 14th, 2016. Moderate pour yields a half inch head that dissipates in a couple minutes. Exhibits no lacing at all. Nose of mostly strawberry jam, with a little molasses, a little oak, and even less bourbon. Taste follows with a nice fruity tartness from the berries. Very nice, full mouthfeel. Yes, another winner from the sour program at Allagash!

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Photo of emerge077
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Multiple drafts at FoBAB 2016.
Darker reddish amber, thin layer of lasting foam and spotty lace.

Funky leather and Bretty horsehair mingles nicely with funky overripe strawberries.

Taste is juicy and tart, with lots of dry Brett in the aftertaste, plenty of cheesy horse blanket funk.
Smooth and well carbed, juicy strawberry presence, complex oak and wild elements in spades.
Overall it was very quenching and unique, I went back for this one several times.

Pretty much a dead on faithful clone of Hanssens Oudbeitje, but with carbonation.

Bottle dated July 14, 2016:
Bright reddish amber, perfect clarity, thin layer of foam. Minimal lacing, still surface eventually.

Aroma has all the same horsey Brett funk and light floral and sweet strawberry fruitiness.

Taste is moderately tart with full juicy strawberry flavors, some light vanilla and oak in the background with lingering traces of restrained horsey Brett funk. Crisp and tart with a dry tannic finish. A little less cheesy funk than the draft, and seemingly a little cleaner.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ok, to start out it smells like it will be sour. Initial flavor is puckering sourness. Color is light amber. As it warms it smells like bandaids, plastic, brown sugar. Flavor is sour, plastic, old starwberries, strange. Boozy, sugary, odd.

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Photo of crob3888
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had a handful of strawberry beers and none of them were very good. But, this is Allagash, so I figured the odds were in my favor. I was right. This is a remarkable brew; exceptionally complex flavors of oak, bourbon, perfectly ripe strawberry, strawberry jam, even a hint of blackberry and dark cherry. Tart puckering, plus nice sweetness. If you like a Manhattan, you'll enjoy this.

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Photo of Mesa512
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Look: light red color. Held up to light you can barely see through

Smell: It smells like fresh picked strawberries. It actually smells to me like an overriped strawberry.

Taste: There is a hint of oak. There is also the classic "funk" taste. The strawberry flavor stays in your mouth for a while.

Feel: Very little carbonation. Not overly sour where you pucker your lips

Overall. A great sour beer from Allagash.

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Allagash Avancé from Allagash Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 273 ratings.
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