Summer Ale | Allagash Brewing Company

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Summer AleSummer Ale
68 Ratings
Summer AleSummer Ale

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
This beer became Allagash Speciale Reserve.

Added by stirgy on 04-25-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 68 |  Reviews: 65
Reviews by frank4sail:
Photo of frank4sail
4.32/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweet yeasty wheat clove nose. Nice persistant 1/2 inch white head and a constant lace on the glass as you drink it down. Slightly hazy straw orange color with lots of little bubbles. Sweet marsmellow candi sugar wheat malt sweetness initally. The brew then has a sharp dry tongued clove and nutmeg spice finish. Nice balence. Bubble action on the tongue medium body. An odd "summer beer" but a good beer none the less. Reminds me a little of a Hennipin.. A little bolder and more substantial then a saison. Solid Allagash.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep golden with a good fluffy head that leaves some light lace,aroma are very Belgian a light smokiness and quite yeasty I pick up some spice/croriander notes in there as well.Taste is lightly smokey and pretty dry a decent amount of hop presence I would have liked a little more citruisy edge to it seemed to fall a little flat in the finish but still pretty good.Pretty interesting what it may lack a little in flavor it makes up in drinkabilty.

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Photo of blitz134
3.82/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very little head on the pour, a little disapointing. What head did form was nearly white. Body a medium pale yellow orange that is a little hazy.

An attractive "belgian" nose to this one with clove and fleeting banana. A good smell, but not much else to it. A nice refreshing, simple taste. Basically a typical hefe with a belgian yeast taste to it. A little citrusy with a bit of bready malts. Finishes with a bit of a sharp bite.

A little thin in the mouthfeel area with a good kick from the carbonation. Could be a bit heavier. With the strong hefe and belgian influence one almost expects a heavy body. Drinkability is what this beer is about though. Light and crisp and doesn't sit heavy. They do call it a summer ale and typically this is when it should be enjoyed.

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Photo of sponberg
4.23/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright gold with a white head that lasts longer than the beer does. An estery, yeasty/bready, spicy aroma grabs your attention quickly.

I like this brew a lot. It starts out with a honey-wheat-like maltiness with a degree of lemon rind in the background, and then some guy comes along and dumps over the spice rack. Clove, vanilla, coriander, and citrus/lemon all crack open & join the party along with a nice firm bitterness to make this one helluvan interesting summer brew. Relatively dry, with a tingly, sprightly mouthfeel. Excellent in bottle, and from what I remember a few weeks back, equally tasty on tap.

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Photo of Jason
2.64/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 12oz short twist off bottle with no freshness date, “Allagash Summer Ale … Belgian Style” Belgian style what? Please tell me.

Appearance: A good dense meringue like foam floats on top of the brew. The clarity is almost cloudy with a tawny hue.

Smell: Super yeasty aroma, musty in a way. Some bitter phenols and pale malt in the back of the nose.

Taste: The yeast sucker punches the taste buds and then kicks them while they are down. Obvious twang of the wheat malt. A bit of phenolic action laughs about it. The malt tries to get back up … struggles and wobbles back and forth from the threshold. More yeast flavour comes in the finish with a powdery character. Oddly finishes clean and dry.

Notes: Hmmm … not too sure about this one, the yeast just does not let up and the other flavours are clouded in its presence. Is it Belgian style because they use their house strain that is Belgian? Go figure ...

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Photo of Billolick
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Pours light golden, with honey hues, cloudy, white tiny bubble head,alot of nice fine lacing. Light yeasty nose. Dry light brew, crisp and refreshing. notes of pepper, yeast, flowery and sharp hops.Perhaps a touch of sourness. Light body. Pretty hoppy for a summer brew. Pleasant and fairly complex. Nice summer quaffer. Could use some more phenolics and yeast flavor notes to fit the style. But I'm not complainig.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.57/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Slightly hazed sunshine golden glow to it with a nice silky white head forming with a nice collar of lace. Aroma: Sweet bubblegum tones with a bready yeast character, simple and light but overall pleasant. Taste: A blend of spices rushes across the palate followed by a fruity malt profile and finishes off with some light doses of hops, just enough. Mouthfeel: Has a smooth carbonation level and lighter body definitely fit to be a summer ale not bad at all. Drinkability: A bit tame but overall does the trick of providing a refreshing belgian style summer sipper, no off flavors finishes clean.

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Photo of rastaman
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml corked bottle. Definite Belgian character, really soft Belgian yeast, apple and lemons. Really soft mouthfeel, felt empty at times, but easy to drink. Short, and as i said before slightly empty flavour, i was a bit dissapointed with this one it has to be said.

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Photo of RockyTopHeel
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Allagash Summer Ale is a cloudy, light copper color with a thin, airy head that dissipates quickly and visible suspended sediment. It has a soft, slightly sweet smell reminiscent of other Belgian Pale Ales and even similar to some witbiers. The taste is slightly fruity (apricot?) with a crisp, short bite and a light touch of hops.

Summer Ale is easy drinking and enjoyable, though a touch too sweet for me to have more than one or two in an evening. After trying Allagash White, I had high expectations for Summer Ale, and it didn't disappoint me. The taste is complex enough to warrant further tastings (especially because I had a cold during this tasting). A great summer offering.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I believe that this beer is simply the former "Speciale Reserve Summer Seasonal" in a 12 oz bottle rather than the former 750 ml package (although it's slightly different than I remember it - maybe it's been tweaked).

It's slightly hazy (bottle conditioned); and golden-amber in color; topped by a large, frothy, off-white head that holds well and leaves some very nice rings of lace about the glass. The aroma delivers some softly fruity and lightly biscuity malt accentuated by a peppery spiciness. The body is light/medium with a very fine and gently effervescent carbonation that leaves it mildly crisp in the mouth. Softly fruity and lightly sweet malt appear in the flavor with some very nice peppery spiciness adding to the finish. It's extremely well-balanced with a mild, underlying bitterness that's offset by it's peppery character. It's quite accessible; and very drinkable. Actually... a perfect summer beer! It's delicate and refreshing; and pairs well with light cheeses and crisp golden apples. A perfect beer to enjoy while camping; out for a day on the boat; or relaxing in the back yard after an afternoon of gardening. Quite nice!

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Photo of UncleFrank
3.57/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice golden beer with no head. Nice sweet candy and honey aromas. Hop aroma none, which is correct for style. Lingering slick maltiness stays in the mouth. Dry warm finish.

This is a nice beer. I don’t think you can style classify it though. A summer beer is light, a Belgian is high ABV. This is both so it’s interesting enough to make me want more but not on a hot bar-b-q type night.

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Photo of Samdaddy
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a cloudy yellow as most Belgian style ales do. The mouthfeel is soft yet still tasty (comparable to Allagash's own white ale). It slides down your throat easier than a ten-year old on a greasy slide. Very easy to drink. A perfect beer for a hot summer night!

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Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Outrageous. Simply outrageous. I can't believe some one created a Summer Belgium. And a good one to boot. A nice hazy orange color. Great hops and spices. This changes everything, from barbarcues to get togethers. I can't wait to bring this to summer gatherings. I only wish it had come out sooner.

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Photo of silver0rlead
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy, pale yellow with a small white head that dissapates quickly, somewhat dissapointing looking. Smell is fruity belgian yeast esters with a hint of bready malt. Taste is mix of fruity yeast esters and a light malt profile that tastes like bread/crackers, you get a slight hint of spices like corriander and clove but it fades quicktly. The mouthfeel is smooth and moderate to highly carbonated. The drinkability is quite high, i could drink this all night, its decently flavorful and complex but extremely refreshing. Kind of like a toned down and more carbonated version of the speciale reserve.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.82/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Belgian Pale Ale, that's what it is!! Now that I figured the style, it's a bit easier to review. I've only had one other of this same style and have liked both of them. Poured an average head, cloudy tangerine color, little lacing. Smells of spices, clove, and light citrus. Nice aftertaste and easy enough to drink to be a session beer. Just bought one as a single for $1.29 and was well worth the purchase.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.36/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cloudy off-yellow hue, thin head, tiny carbonation and tiny lacing. Faint yeasty aroma, very little noted on the nose. Off the top, some Belgium yeast and spicy flavoring, medium bodied. Some acidity and a tinge of citrus noted in the body. Slightly chewy, slightly sugary as should be for the style. Drinkability is down, two of these does it for the palate.

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Photo of Darkale
3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very bready, yeasty aroma. Head is not quite as fast and furious as the typical Belgium's head, but it fades as quickly, to a creamy skin. Lacing is extensive.

Body is cloudy, dull gold.

Slightly chewy with a dull malt backbone. Peppery, with almost a smoky taste in there. In the end, just a bit hollow.

Refreshing, though. Very drinkable. A great beer to have on hand during the summer -- just interesting enough to deserve "Belgian style" on the label, but not so overwhelming that you can't have 2 or 3 in the afternoon.

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Photo of ncbrewerbun
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had to test two bottles of this one on successive days. The first I poured without knowing it was bottle conditioned and figured it must have had a significant effect on my judging. Turned out to be only a slight effect.

The beer poured a rusty amber color, with orange hues that came through holding it up to the light. The head was minimal, and didn't last very long.

The aroma was very subtle overall. If you swirled the glass and really got your nose near the beer you can pick up malt and citrus notes along with some yeast characteristics...a little bit of the Belgian "barnyardiness".

The taste was surprisingly non-descript. Some of the biscuit flavor and maltiness comes through, and there is a slighlty bitter aftertaste; but there is very little happening here.

Not a bad drinking beer...pretty smooth, but it struck me as a just a decent beer.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. Slightly hazy peach coloring with copious fine carbonation and a foamy white head.
Nose had elements of banana and clove, coriander, and fruity esters. As it warmed a bit of alcohol phenolics became noticeable.
The taste was pretty decent although the phenolics were even more prevalent. Decent levels of peppery spices, candy sugar, and fruity sweetness layered over a sweet malt base provided for an enjoyable experience with each pull.
The feel was medium/full in body with a lushness derived from the abundant carbonation.
Overall, this was a nice summertime after dinner beer to enjoy near the pool at the end of a hot day. Not a top tier Belgian pale ale but worth keeping on hand as a refresher.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy medium gold, with a medium head that quickly dies off to a thin cover. Smells really good (how's that for descriptive?)! Aroma is bright, refreshing, light sweet sugar, slightly toasted, gentle unidentified spices. Flavor is orange citrus with a nice hop finish. Balance is very good. Hops aren't overpowering, but are present. Very nice!

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Photo of blackie
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Produces a thin, short lived head when poured. Color is very light brown/golden.

Aroma: banana, clove, spicy hops, slightest hint of malt. Nothing really stands out too much other than the estery aroma.

Mouthfeel: I like the level of carbonation, not as high as I expected. On the tongue, the feel is appropriately clean.

Taste: Not much stands out here. Pretty dry, slight estery flavors, hop bitterness comes out in the finish. Slightly watery, but I think that is to be expected.

I could probably finish a six of these, nice and easy drinking. Nothing I will run out to buy, but one to consider for those hot days.

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Photo of goz
3.1/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden, somewhat cloudy, medium creamy white head that leaves a little lacing. Aroma is grainy, grassy, some cereal notes in there. Flavor is dominated with a cereal flavor, quite sweet, backed with a bit of grassiness. Fairly thin bodied, kinda boring.

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Photo of buckiflyer
3.05/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted on a Friday after work.
Poured from bottle cloudy orangish brown color. Small head with carbonation bubbles. Citrus and spice smell. Weak mouth feel. Smooth malt taste with a spice and citrus finish. Not a huge fan of Belgian Pale Ales, prefer Blue Moon over this.

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Photo of StevieW
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Medium dull copper to orange color. Nice, bubbly rich, white head. Stuck to sides of the glass all the way down. Smells were mostly rich belgian yeast, hints of bread. Nice smooth, very soft flavors. Belgian yeast, hints of citrus and a soft metallic, simialer to hard water flavors, rolls down your tongue. Brings a unique taste through the finish. Medium to light bodied, but not watery. Very flavorful and well worth a try. I would keep this on hand all summer. Very different from anything else I have had from Allagash, but just as good. Cheers to my friend JohnnyP for the sample.

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Photo of danlib21
3.61/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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Summer Ale from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 68 ratings