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Allagash Old HLT | Allagash Brewing Company

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very good
62 Reviews
Allagash Old HLTAllagash Old HLT

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Brez07 on 05-12-2010

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Reviews: 62 | Ratings: 209
Photo of MRsojourner
3.94/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of PeterIngemi
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabed one of these at the publick house in Brookline

A: served with a film of white head and a golden ruby body very minimal lacing.

S: the smell is delicious sour funk with a nice sour cherryness, if I didn't know better I'd say I could smell the oak.... But it spent two years in an ild stainless steel hit liquor tank. Sony must be a blend of the sour cheery skins and the Brett. A very well rounded and pleasing aroma.

T: spurt cherry mixes with brett and this wild ale has a perfect mix of funk and brett and tart cherry, very well rounded.... Tannins from the cherry skins... And almost raspberriness on the finish.

M: medium mouth with lower carbonation, not effervescent, but very very nice, very drinkable

O: a great sour, that has a lot of very well rounded features and complexities... I am so fortunate to have been able to try this.

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Photo of pmlondrigan
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

At first I worry, then a sigh of relief, there is the carbonation. Quick, fleeting. Just awful retention and no lacing. Rudy, reddish brown and translucent. The aroma is so subdued, but what is there is brett and cherry pie crust like. I also detect some washed rined cheese on the nose...nice.
Cherry pie, faint / light lactic twinge and some brett like hay. The washed rined cheese shows up again here but more prominent. The flavor is soft and very pleasant. Phenols, bretty phenols on the end. Prickly carbonation, not thin, but light, lemonaid like. While the component parts of this beer are not amazing by themselves put together they create a wonderful beer. To often we look for big flavors instead of nuance. Truly enjoyable.

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Photo of Brez07
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just back from Novare Res. This is a brown ale aged on local tart cherries for 10 months. Description said this was the only keg in existence and was just a preview of what this beer will be. 8oz pour into an Allagash 25cl glass

A: Murky cherry red color that leaves a small fluffy white head. No lacing left on the glass

S: Faint aroma of cherries, sweet fruit and some yeast. Later on I picked up some spice and a hint of raspberries. Maybe the faintest hint of funk going on here. Nothing that sticks out

T: Fairly similar to the nose. Not overly tart, but leaves a bitterness on the tip of the tongue

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation. Very dry finish

D: I enjoyed this beer, but it was lacking some flavor. Nothing really jumped out at me, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised given the brewers have hinted this needs more time to ferment. Glad I could be one of the first to try this

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Photo of AutumnBeerLove
4.52/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Highly carbonated, a thin white head, and looks a pale orange.

S: Tart cherry smell overpowers this beer.

T: A nice fizz with the taste of cherries and mixed fruits. Almost a wine aftertaste.

M: Nice initial bubble feel with a sweet aftertaste.

O: A very good wild ale. I'll gladly enjoy this beer again.

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Photo of danedelman
3.57/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

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Photo of NuclearRich
3.66/5  rDev -9%
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.

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Photo of pitasoup
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Dupont Paradisio for James Brown Night of the Funk

A: murky amber-rose-yellow gradient, low transparency and almost no head. looks like a solid block of sienna. even the edges are not transparent enough to show a shadow, despite the overall lightness of hue

S: tart funk, more brett L than C, cherries, wheat malts, oak, grassy barnyard, delicate florals, low carbonation makes it difficult to draw smells out. what does make it out is nice though

T: lactic and pedio tart, tannic, then cherries. unmalted wheat, grainy almost as if there were oats, then lots more sour. slight bit of sulfur and banana left on the tongue afterwards. as it warms, more pepper, spice, and floral notes come out. not as subtle as supplication, but a very comparable flavor profile overall.

M: light-medium body, tannic almost astringent mouthfeel that finishes dry and dusty, the least likeable part of the beer

O: quite nice overall, but as far as cherry/kriek wild ales go, schaerse and supplication are far tastier, imo. it could use more barnyard stinky funk and less of the grapepeel dry funk. glad to have tasted, but also glad not to know that i'd rather not seek out a bottle.

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Photo of TerrenceOBrien
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep orange, with a slight reddish-brown hue. Slightly cloudy with a thin pale head that dissipates quickly, almost like a soda. The scent is light on the nose, only a hint of cherries and a solid (but hardly overpowering) malt aroma. Flavor continues along the same line. The backbone is a pleasant malty sweetness, but the cherries add their own fruit sweetness along with a pleasant dose of sourness. The sourness is far from overbearing, just enough to highlight crisp and slightly dry flavors.

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Photo of TMath524
4.92/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at When Pigs Fly Pizzeria in Kittery, ME. Tapped just over a week before the bottle release!

Poured into a 10.5 oz glass with a perfect bubbly head that dissipates quickly. Appearance is reddish brown.

Nose is deliciously funky. Tart with just a touch of cherry sweetness. I wish my pillow smelled like this.

Taste was tart and just sweet enough to not get buried by my mushroom and fried eggplant pizza. Earth, oil, funk, and ricotta are making a flavor love-child in my mouth.

Mouthfeel is a touch compromised by the accompanying food, but actually serves as a pretty good palate-cleanser.

Overall I'd say that I'm terribly disappointed that I'm working during the bottle release, but I'm truly glad I could have this beer in its completed form on-tap at When Pigs Fly!

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Photo of DanK4
4.7/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Scored a few of these at the brewery today at the Old HLT release party. Got to meet Rob Tod and the staff of the brewery- one hell of a group of people. Out of a 12.7 capped and crowned bottle into an Allagash Coolship glass.

A: A nice golden ruby color- definitely rich in hue. pours with an off white/coffee 2 finger head that disappears quick. A nice touch of carb but nothing streaming from the bottom. Cloudy and intense looking- definitely looks like a bottle fermented beer.

S: It's got the funk. Great cherry aroma with a grain warmth. Vanilla notes, but smells like a humble country brew.

T: Perfect sour funky bite. Seriously everything I imagined it to be, finishes smooth but that initial cherry tartness is delicious. Not so much vanilla here, but it leaves a silky bite. Awesome beer.

M: Medium-light bodied. The finish is perfect for the density and taste of this brown ale, any heavier and it would almost seem too funky, but any lighter and it would be a tease.

O: Oh yea, it's the good stuff. Definitely worth seeking out, not too partial to brown or cherry ales before but I feel like that is going to change rather quickly.

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Photo of Richard33
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After it gushed onto my carpet, poured into a Unibrue Tulip.

Poured with little to no head. Copper in color with orange hues.

Smell is great! Tart cherries and apple abound. Smells a little metallic with some nice leather like funk.

Cherries up front bite at the cheeks. Green apple and bready crackers. Again, a little metallic flavor as well.

Mouth is super smooth with a minor alcohol warming.

A really interesting mix of sweet and tart. Hope my gusher was an isolated issue. Haven't seen many bottle reviews yet. Overall, a really enjoyable wild ale. My only issue is with the slight metallic taste that seems to last long into the finish.

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Allagash Old HLT from Allagash Brewing Company
4.02 out of 5 based on 209 ratings.
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