Old HLT
Allagash Brewing Company

Old HLTOld HLT
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Style:
Wild Ale
ABV:
8%
Score:
91
Avg:
4.1 | pDev: 9.76%
Reviews:
64
Ratings:
213
From:
Allagash Brewing Company
 
Maine, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  44
Gots
  38
SCORE
91
Outstanding
Old HLTOld HLT
Notes: llagash Old HLT is an ale three years in the making. We started by brewing an amber colored beer consisting of Pilsner, Wheat and Munich malts and Belgian candi syrup. We then fermented the beer with our house yeast. After primary fermentation, it was transferred to our old hot liquor (water) tank to age on 2,000 lbs of fresh, tart Montmorency cherries from Michigan for two years. Old HLT was dosed with fresh yeast and sugar at packaging to ensure further complexity and a lively carbonation. The finished beer is a reddish copper hue with an aroma of ripened cherries, spice and a slight nuttiness. The tart cherry flavor is complimented by vanilla and the presence of malt. A sour, dry finish makes this beer refreshing and incredibly drinkable.
Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 213 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of maddogruss
maddogruss from New Jersey

3.49/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Based on notes from 2012. Had on draft.

A: pours dark amber body with small white head with nice retention and lacing
S: sour smelling beer; band-aid?
T: tastes like prosciutto; somewhat salty and definitely and spit aftertaste
M: medium bodied and somewhat smooth; decent
D: ok mouthfeel and taste combo; pretty sour beer, but pretty mellow beer overall

Feb 28, 2020
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another gem brought by james. Pours red and light brown. Compared to the balaton coolship, this was a more candied cherry aroma, more sweet, less tart, sour, bitter and bright respectively but with an earthy funk that the other did not.

Taste is also similar to the nose in that this leaned a little sweeter variety or medley of cherries. A light brett with it. Oak isn't as dry. The sweetness again taking away from that. I don't mean to make it sound like this is a sweet beer, it isn't, its just sweeter than the balaton, in terms of the cherries used. The base seems a tad bit soft, they used a deft touch. Hid alcohol pretty good.

Mar 11, 2018
Photo of Jason
Jason from Massachusetts

4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

375ml brown bottle, sample from the brewery.

Tawny hue, very clear. Minimal lacing. Smells of ripe cherries, fermented candi sugar, toasted grain, alcoholic esters, and a bit of clean phenols. Dry and crisp with a little bit of body, lots of tart cherry flavor that goes jammy in the finish. Warming alcohol, complex toasted and cracker-like graininess. Flavors seem to go back and forth and with each sip another level of complexity opens. Another winner from Allagash, lets hope this brew it again.

Aug 10, 2016
Photo of Davepoolesque
Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up on my first trip to Allagash back in 2011. Sour cherries, oak, lacto and brett. Smells much more sour than it is. Very restrained, but has a great cherry flavor. Super short finish. Lots of carb, great mouthfeel. Not too bad.

Sep 14, 2015
Photo of gcamparone
gcamparone from Rhode Island

4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12.7oz bottle into an Allagash stemmed glass. Acquired in a trade with ChrisInRI, thank you!

Pours a deep, hazy, brick red body with a small fizzy white head that reduces quickly to leave little lacing and no retention. Very nice color.

Aromas are potent and inviting - lots of cherries coming through, very Kriek-like, tart fruityness, lactic sourness.

On the tongue, the first notes to come through are a light cherry, tart fruitskins, funky barnyard, saisony yeast, musty basement, lemon juice, light banana, with an acidic astringency left on the tongue on the finish. Medium-high carbonation, medium body. No alcohol detected for 8%.

Very nice, complex and flavorful, nicely balanced and tart.

Mar 02, 2015
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium from Florida

3.67/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Golden copper body. Fleeting head. Large islands of foam remain.

Smell - Musty cherry with some caramel malts. Not very acidic smelling, but it's there.

Taste - Sour. Acetic sourness, but it isn't overpowering. Cherry tartness blends into a caramel malt flavor.

Mouthfeel - Medium low carbonation. Moderate sourness.

Overall - Good flavors, but not a very complex beer.

Jun 18, 2014
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou from District of Columbia

4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

bottle pour, NYE 2013

Very clear rose body and low carbonation. Aged on an aggressive amount of Michigan cherries for two years. The Allagash yeast strain is pretty premier for a US brewer. The cherries provide a puckering tartness but the fruit flavor seems to have faded in time. Good stuff, but have had better from the allagash LE line

Jan 01, 2014
Photo of sitarist
sitarist from Ohio

4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is it, the last one for this round of blind bif. This one is a smaller corked & caged bottle.

Pours an amber hue that glows when held up to the light. An aggressive pour yields a minimal head, that has a coral color. Whatever head there was fades quick, and leaves next to no lacing, spots, ring, etc... 3.75

Dare I say that this smells like an Italian hookers armpit? To say that its' funky is an understatement! I smell ripe cheese, and ripe cherries. Funks me right up the nose. Is this the horse-blanket smell that I have read about? Call me weird, but I kinda like it. 4.0

Wow is this a tasty mother? There is a lot more going on in the flavor department. Tart, and funky, with just enough sweetness to keep it balanced. I taste cranberry, Cherry Sucrets, lemon, green apple, balsamic vinegar, and an earthy funk.

4.25

It has a medium body, yet is effervescent. It dances on my tongue, and has a champagne like dryness. It really delivers the flavors well. 4.0

I must admit I was horrified with the first sniff, but this turned out to be a pleasant surprise. A sipper that is fun to savor. 4.0

My guess is an American Wild Ale by Allagash. And it is an Old HLT by Allagash.

All I can say is wow! What a great end to a great box.

Thanks Brez.

Jul 25, 2013
Photo of NuclearRich
NuclearRich from Connecticut

3.66/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

After a full year in the cellar, here is another go:

A. Same color, but crystal clear. No head formation at all.

S. Funky, like mildew or dirty laundry. A hint of cherries comes out as it warms.

T. Slightly tart, fairly dominant wild funk, slightly sweet at the end. Not much, but much more pleasant than I remember.

M. Thin, a bit under-carbonated.

O. Better with the year of age, with a few exceptions: carbonation has really mellowed, and there is that rather unpleasant smell. The taste is better though, and that's more important.

OLD REVIEW 7/10/2012
A 4.5hr 250 mile ride netted me 6 of these rarities, in addition to some Prince Tuesday and my favorite, Victoria.

Poured into an Allagash flute. Tasting notes from a scribble during a homebrew session.

A: 4.00 Copper/Amber/Orange/Sunset. Mostly clear, just a little haze. Off white, dense head that thins to a solid cap. Minimal Lacing

S: 4.00 Tart. Sour. Brett-like, and a tad funky.

T: 3.00 Sour & tart, just as it smells, nothing more nothing less.

M: 3.50 Full of bite, nice high carbonation leaves the mouth coated with that tartness.

O: 4.00 Very interesting and fun to drink. Certainly holds up against sours, and while not something that I will drink everday, I am very happy to have it.

Jul 08, 2013
Photo of Seanniek91
Seanniek91 from Rhode Island

4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served from a 375ml C&C bottle from November 2011.

Appearance- Hazy pinkish/orange with absolutely gorgeous white head that leaves a constant 1/4 of a finger of beautiful lacing.

Smell- Tons of tart lemons and brett, some peach and cherry, and sour candy. Beautiful.

Taste- Muted tart cherry, funky yeast, and tons of oak. No booze taste. Mild tartness.

Mouthfeel- Mild tartness, medium carbonation, mild booze heat going down. Well balanced tartness with sweetness.

Overall- This is another great wild from Allagash. I bet the cherries were more intense fresh, but never the less, it's great.

Jun 14, 2013
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73 from Rhode Island

4.11/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to newbrewbb for sharing. Color is burnt-orange with a soapy white swirl for a head. Nose is tart and expresses citrus, rind, cork and perhaps apricots. Taste reveals some tropical fruit flavors behind the tartness. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a lively carbonation and a slight acidity. Overall another very good wild from Allagash that continues to improve as it warms. That said, I'm not sure where the cherries are in this beer.

Jun 11, 2013
Photo of MRsojourner
MRsojourner from Massachusetts

3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served from caged and corked bottle into a tulip.
appearance is a nice caramel rose type color that poured with a 2 inch head that dissipated quickly with little to no lacing throughout the glass.

the nose is slightly tart fermented cherries and vanilla with a touch of light vinegar.

the taste is heavy cherries and lightly acidic and tart but considerably mellow and easily quaffable. no hint of the ABV at all and no vinegar in the taste. it finishes nice and dry and clean with little aftertaste. drinks like a dry rose wine in a way with carbonation.

overall this is an easy drinker and not overly complex but does the cherries justice and allows them to come through nicely and shine throughout the beer.

Jun 05, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy from Georgia

3.81/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

10 ounce pour - $6.00 at Leon’s Full Service in Decatur, Georgia as part of their Allagash Takeover event.

Appearance: Hazed, amber-esque body with a smallish, ivory-hued head fed by little streams of bubbles.

Smell: A moderate aroma of tartish whole cherries forward of the faintly sweet-scented, toasty malts and thin wafts of phenols.

Taste: Tastes of, well, cherries, as one might imagine. Some toasted bread and muddled caramel maltiness. Lightly sweet, lightly spicy. Brightly tart and with modest lactic touches popping up here and there. Drying, well-carbonated finish with lingering tart cherries accents.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: Old HLT is a likable cherry brew. I was going to liken it to a more lively carbonated Quelque Chose, but, it's been nearly eight long years since I last had it, and, with all the many brain cells I've outright killed since then, perhaps I should leave the comparison alone.

May 19, 2013
Photo of claspada
claspada from New Jersey

3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, dark orange color with a small effervescent off-white head that recedes to leave a thin ring of foam and little to no lacing.

Aromas begin with a ton of pitted dark cherry flesh and tart cherry skin. The you get some acidic acid, oak and mild barnyard funkiness. There is a touch of sweetness with some caramel malt that emerges as it warms.

The tastes follow the nose but the cherries are much more medicinal and hard to palate. I next get some sweet caramel and pilsner maltiness followed by the oak and barnyard flavors more and more as it warms.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Finish is more malty than I would have suggested but there is still plenty of underlying funk and acidic bite.

Overall for someone who was so in live with Allagashes earlier Wild releases, recently they have been quite dissapointing. Their coolship series was spectacular but this was no where near the quality of those. Too much medicinal cherry flavor and malt to be a great beer.

Apr 22, 2013
Photo of wedge
wedge from North Carolina

4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

@ Milltown

Served a clear amber color with a small white head. Tart, airy clean, cherry aroma - only a trace of dry funk. Very interesting having this right after FV-13. It's tart and fruity, but the absence of a wood element is striking at first. Clean, smooth cherry flavor on a simple malt base. Easy-going, extremely drinkable, glossy, and crisp. Not terribly wild or acidic or anything, just pretty refreshing, mellow, and neat.

Mar 28, 2013
Photo of wisrarebeer
wisrarebeer from Wisconsin

3.64/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the brewery.

A: ruddy brown, hazy, poured with a big bubbled one inch head that quickly dissipated
S: mild to medium nose, earthy, some funk and tartness noticeable
T: nice beer, mild malt, cherry tartness
M: medium bodied, well-balanced, tart but malt balanced

Mar 24, 2013
Photo of rudzud
rudzud from Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Received this from a friend up in Maine, cellared for a year and now poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a slightly hazy honeyed amber with a super fizzy half a finger head that faded to leave an incredibly thin halo. Fairly typical.

S - Fairly malt sweetness heavy, not so much sticky sweet but just well, malts. Cherries aren't quite that potent, some light barrel along with some alcohol. No real vinegar notes, just faint cherries. Some good Brett notes.

T - Super dry, which I dont mind. Its the slight metallic finish that hurts this one for me. Cherries are super faint. Some light tartness. It almost lives a cherry cough syrup (which makes no sense as this is lightly cherry) lingering taste.

M - Mouthfeel isnt bad. High carbonation at first fades to something much more drinkable. Slightly sticky though.

O - Don't really know what to make of this. Perhaps aging ruined this beer as it seems like all the aged reviews are negative due to off flavors and various other issues. Afraid this suffered the same fate. What a shame.

Nov 26, 2012
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drabmuh from Maryland

3.1/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared by Thorpe429, thanks! Served along side other Allagash sours, this is by far the worst out of all of them. It tastes like garbage.

Beer is brown, mostly clear, lazy tan head of small bubbles, low retention, looks fine.

Aroma is lactic, mild roast, something slightly odd.

Beer tastes horrid, solventy, odd finish, not good at all. I regretted drinking it and had to drink something else quickly. I would never have this again.

Nov 21, 2012
Photo of danedelman
danedelman from Pennsylvania

3.57/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-cloudy amber with huge carbonation throwing particles all around. 1 finger head that stuck around for the duration.

S-cherry, funk, lemon, grapefruit zest,

T-very dry, very dry. Not overly sour or flavorful. Get some cherry, malt and lemony tartness which quickly evaporates from the carbonation and dryness.

M-too carbonated for me and almost bubbles the flavor off your tongue.

O-the first one I had I remember being much better due to lower carbonation but this one sat for 6 more months. The dryness and extra carbing is due to the Brett in this one. Was better but rating now on this one.

Nov 19, 2012
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by Thorpe429 alongside several other Allagash sour/wild ales. Thank you very much, Mike!

The beer is dark brown and hazy with crimson highlights. The nose brings cherries, booze, yeast, funk. Notes of mushrooms and earth follow cherries soaked in oak barrels. The flavor is a bit odd and jolting. Booze presence is a bit too forward. Tart finish with moderately low carbonation. Overall, this was just OK.

Nov 15, 2012
Photo of portia99
portia99 from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle received in a trade with hoppymcgee. Thanks Greg! Poured into an Allagash stemmed glass.

A - The cork escapes with a huge pop and wisps of carbon dioxide. Pours a cloudy ruby tinted amber body. Lots of yeasty sediment floats and churns its way throughout the body riding bubbles of carbonation. A finger of thick and fizzy white head that shows surprisingly good staying power.

S - Quite funky on the nose, dirt, mushrooms/fungus, moldy, sour cherries, musty damp basement, a bit nutty.

T - Lightly tart and sour with cherry fruitiness front and center. Nutty, woody, a bit buttery and creamy, earthy. Not much for funk in the flavor. Some mild malt backing things up.

M - Lightish to medium in body with a strong and fizzy carbonation. Nice tart cherry fruitiness complements. Alcohol presence is practically undetectable.

O - Overall another enjoyable wild ale from Allagash. Lots of good fruit presence, interesting wood flavors, mild funk with mid-level tartness. Well integrated and balanced flavor profile. Another winner.

Nov 03, 2012
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf from Indiana

4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to unclejazz for this one!

A: Pours a hazy pinkish/peach color with a fizzy one finger head on top. Nice head retention lasting for the duration. Lacing forms and subsides quickly.

S: Very light cherry aroma mixed with a little bit of funk and a hint of tartness right at the end. A little bit of vinegar.

T: Very nice, some red fruit upfront, a bit of cherry, raspberry, a little stone fruit. Some lactic acidity with faint oak and a nice level of funk.

M: Light to medium bodied with some active carbonation. Easy drinking with a nice level or tartness.

O: Very nice, another solid wild ale from Allagash. Each of their small bottle sours has been great thus far.

Oct 03, 2012
Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
FeDUBBELFIST from Pennsylvania

4.61/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

$7.50 for the pour, served in a small Allagash tulip.
Sampled 10JUL12

The beer menu indicates 7% - but doesn't indicate "old" [HLT] either. From the menu: "This is a wild brown ale aged on cherries for two years..."

[A] A finger and a half of off-white foamy bubbly head, semi quick to deflate. The color of the body is between brassy orange and burgundy brown - something like a weathered copper. Decent transparency. No lacing. Barely a film or collar. The beer comes clean off the glass after each sip - no lacing.

[S & T] Dark natural cherry aroma throughout. Initially a little bit of buttery diacetyl, but that has faded away at this point. There is an extremely subtle balsamic vinegar aroma and flavor that creeps in just under the sweet/sour cherry and is, quite honestly, masterfully incorporated. Wow. Pretty amazing... Screw the upfront diacetyl, the aroma and flavor right now is basically perfect.

[M] The mouthfeel is wonderful. No complaints. Effervescence is lively, providing the relentless tongue biting experience that wild ale lovers crave.

[O] What a fantastic beer. My experience was a lot better than others apparently...

Sep 16, 2012
Photo of cfrances33
cfrances33 from Illinois

4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to WhereTheWildBeersGo. Served in a HF tulip.

Pour: Completely hazy burnt orange. Would go so far to say this is murky. Fizzy off-white head that recedes to a rim. Light carbonation bubbles.

Smell: Lots of cherries with a mild funk in the background. Damp hay, but not the extreme barnyard notes you might expect. Light honey and some pear hang around in there but choose to take a serious back seat.

Taste: Malt forward with some caramel. Really interesting because the caramel and funk play around and intertwine to create a flavor profile I've never seen before. Cherries aren't too strong, and provide a nice sweet tartness. Some green apple and pear sneak around in the shadows.

Mouthfeel: Really nice. Can't decide if I want to sip or drink more quickly. Nice carbonation.

Overall: This beer really threw me for a loop. I don't know what to make of it, and I really like it. Even though it has a strange combination of flavors that I can't compare to any sour I've had before, they work great together to make something that's very unique. Overal score is high than the individual scores would lead one to believe because I appreciate this beer's complexity and uniqueness. I would give taste a 4.25 if I could.

Sep 15, 2012
Photo of ColForbinBC
ColForbinBC from New Jersey

4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from November 2011 poured into a flute

A burnt orange/red color with a bubbly off-white cap that fell to a thin collar and left some random dots of lace.

The nose is of sour cherries, sea salt, vinegar and some pear/green apple tartness.

Loads of cherries on the palate. Tart, sour cherries and balsamic vinegar with a touch of sea salt. Some dry wheat through the finish before more sweetness comes back in.

Medium body with high carbonation, but it doesn't really hinder the experience in any way.

This really reminded me of a gueuze soaked in cherries. Delicious.

Aug 26, 2012
Old HLT from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 213 ratings