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Allagash Summer Ale | Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash Summer AleAllagash Summer Ale
68 Ratings
Allagash Summer AleAllagash Summer 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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 68 |  Reviews: 65
Photo of donnebaby
4.48/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Clear rich gold, with lots of suspended particles and streaming carbonation bubble streams. Head's a bulbous uneven thing that settles to a goofy haze. Nose is citric witbier with some sweet malt underlay.

Taste holds awesome complexity. Initially there's the wit citus/coriander taste with the sweet malts, coming across from the smell, but there's also dry grains present, too--just under the wit. Fragile carbonation falls in immediately and helps to blend the taste to bitter hops that are mild but hit from all directions. Notes of bubble gum and instances of nuttiness. One of the best summer brews I've had.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.47/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Orange-ish with a moderate light tan head, decent carbonation, and almost no lace. Nice soft malt aroma with a light Belgian yeastiness and mild clove-like notes. Tastes much like it smells -- a light version of a tripel; fruity and lightly spicy. Medium bodied, soft and smooth.

Very nice Belgian Pale Ale ! Worth the price and not just for Summer....

Per Allagash website (*Same as Speciale Reserve*):
Alcohol Content: 5% ABV
Original Gravity: 1047

2003 version
Tasted: 07/03/03 & 05/04/04 (Bottled ver. better when fresh)

($8.99 / 6-pack)

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Photo of Scooter77
4.47/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Allagash just simply never ceases to amaze me; this is an exceptional beer. Pours a dark golden color with traces of tiny little bubbles. Immediately upon pouring, an intensely rich and creamy off-white head presents itself, which dissipates moderately leaving a nice lace on the glass. Aromas of yeasty dough and sweet citrus peel seem to intermix very nicely with the sweetness of apple and a hint of pepper spiciness. This is one great tasting beer! The flavors seem to match the aroma perfectly. It tastes sweet, yet bitter from the citrus and leaves a wonderful peppery spiciness on the tongue. This is one great beer from one great brewery.

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Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.43/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had been waiting several weeks for the weather to warm enough for me to not feel guilty about breaking out a summer ale. Well, finally it was warm enough. I LOVE Allagash! Such focus and quality in their brews. I will never, ever turn one down. The Summer Ale poured a rich, dark, golden reminicent of a sunset with a little white head to match. There was plenty of sediment swirling about like sparrows in the evening sky., which settled lazily at the bottom of my Duvel glass. The first whiff brought on wave after wave of wheaty, sweat honey malts and just a dash of damp yeast. The taste was wonderfully refreshing, bounding with sweet, syrupy malts and perhaps a loaf or two of wheat bread baked with honey. The Allagash was not lacking in a nice crisp hop bite(as all summers have). This is certainly a departure from some of the more traditional summers i.e. Gearys, Sam Adams etc. but who wants to be grounded in tradition all the time? My only question is, why was the weather not nicer sooner?

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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 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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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 brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a light amber, slightly hazy body with a small white head and some scattered lacing

Smell: Belgian yeast, banana and some coriander

Taste: Relatively neutral start, with a bit of banana, a bit of orange and a smidge of coriander herbaciousness; finish has a nice touch of subtle hoppy bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium/light bodied with plenty of carbonation

Drinkability: Not one of the more complex Belgian style beers out there, this is nonetheless a wonderfully drinkable lighter style beer; perfect when the weather is hot

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

Twelve ounce brown twist cap bottle. No dates.

Pale shade of copper with a slight chill haze. Creamy looking beige head leaves nice rings of lace behind.

Toasted malt aromas follow through with warm baking spices & grassy hop notes.

Smooth, sweet, toasted malt flavours lead the way. Spicy Belgian characteristics emerge leading to some subtle fruit flavours. Ends dry & clean with some fresh herbal hop flavours. Light-medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

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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 tgbljb
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured a deep amber, slightly cloudy color with modest white head. Fell to a thin ring but had a nice stickiness along the sides of the glass. Smell is nice a spicy with strongs notes of cloves and corriander. Taste is very refreshing with moderate spiciness and some light malt notes detected. Finishes very smooth with a slight dryness that beckons for another taste. A very easy drinking beer that went down very nicely on a suprisingly warm September afternoon. Not quite what I was expecting, but I really enjoyed this beer.

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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 yen157
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Allagash does it again.

medium sized bubbles comprise the khaki-colored, 1/3”, sticky head. Hazy, light copper gold brew. Slightly sweet malt aroma with wonderful esters making things interesting.

Toastier than I would have expected, but totally appropriate. Toast turned into relatively dry pale malt flavor. The beer finished with these soft flavors intertwined with mild, peppery hops. Some retro nasal graininess was perceived. Slight astringency helped the gentle carbonation in creating a crisp mouth feel. Tiny bit of phenols came out as it warmed, but I’ll pretend it didn’t happen.


Belgain pale malt, softly fruity, a little yeast in the nose. Light acidity keeps malt pretty subdued. Strange muddle of flavors, yeast, grain, phenol, and carbonic tasting as well. Warm milk aftertaste. Zippy carbonation, a little too zippy IMO. Too carbonated too be a summer quaffer (personal preference), so that leaves me wondering why I would want to drink this. Not bad, just not what I expected from this great brewery.

[scores from original review]

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Photo of mschofield
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, well carbonated orange-rose. Topped with a two finger puffy white head, leaves webs of lacing behind.
Sweet, wood, floral and herb filled aroma. Quite floral and a hint of cinammon.
Wildflower honey, clove, and apricot or peach in the taste, spices. A bit sour to offset some of the sweetness.
Medium bodied, a bit too "thick" the taste is too coating for a summer beer, I think it's positioned for the wrong season.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This cloudy amber brew is topped by a fast fading white head and trails of sticky lace. A spice, hop, malt and alcohol aroma share center stage along with a damp basement smell. This is a little maltier than other Summer Ales I've sampled. A spicy, clovey bitterness, reminiscent of Belgian Ales stands out. I don't understand the summer connection with this beer, besides its fluid drinkability but it is quite good.

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Photo of nomad
4.01/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very opaque, burnt orange color, with a small flat foam head, good staining, and some good lace. Smelled of cloves, a little hay/farm scents, and a strong sweet yet yeasty smell. Overall, smell was simple and too subtly quiet. Taste was herby, fruity, hoppy, like a roastier Poppering Hommel. Had a mix of Saaz/Goldings and American-Oregon style bitter profile. Refreshing in an earthy bitter way, it also had a quick dry finish, where it was very drying but the parched feeling dissapeared. Went well with the slightly thick mouthfeel and the barely spritzy action on my tongue.

A rather good seasonal from Allagash, a mark better than their Speciale but less than the Grand Cru. Different from American summer beers.

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Photo of probert
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of kmpitz2
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark gold color. The nose is mostly malt with some hop coming through. The taste is malt with hop highlights at the end of the beer. Mouthfeel is moderately thick; with no burning from the carbonation. Mouthfeel is moderately thick, but not offensive. I could drink a few of these a night, but it's not a session beer in my book. Drink it if you find it, but don't worry if you don't.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the first time that I have seen this beer. I love all the other Allagash products, so I figured that I couldn't go wrong. I was not disappointed. Golden yellow in color with a small head that doesn't seem to last that long. The smell is sweet with hints of something spicy. The taste is similar but with more pepper and something spicy.

This is similar to the White but different. If that makes any sense. Get some and you will see.

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Photo of jvajda
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Orange-brown color with wheat cloudiness. It had a moderate head.
Smell: Malt and fruit smells.
Taste: It tasted very fruity, almost sour. Many different herbal and fruit flavors are mixed, giving it good complexity. Very well balanced.
Mouthfeel: This a real thirst quencher that is welcome in the mouth.
Drinkability: A good summer ale for a hot summers day.

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

Pours a cloudy pale amber, leaning towards yellow. Thick fluffy head. Very attractive looking. i drank it out of a regular pint glass.
Aroma is decidedly belgian, with the sweet sugary aroma, surprising hoppiness, and lots and lots of esters. Very nice.
Flavor reminds me of a saison. Very similar to the Ommegang Hennepin, in terms of hops and sweetness. A slight tartness towards the end of the sip, but not present in the finish. A raw sugar kind of sweetness throughout, particularly up front, with hints of fig, grape, and apple. Effervescent, medium bodied. All the flavors work very well together and serve to compliment each other. Probably one of the best summer beers out, in terms of being interesting and a real pleasure to drink.

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