Allagash Summer Ale | Allagash Brewing Company

68 Ratings
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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.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 68 |  Reviews: 65
Photo of rab53
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

Photo of Jason
2.64/5  rDev -28.1%
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 Gavage
2.96/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hazy orange copper in color with a thin 1/2" head with some spotty lacing. The head disappated rather quickly. The aroma was strong but somewhat displeasing as bread and yeast were nice but rotten fruit tones completely ruined it. The flavor was slightly sweet on the malt side with some spices, yeast, and that overripe fruit flavor just stuck to the tongue. Definitely a Belgian style ale, but somewhat thin and has little bitterness.

This has a mildly crisp mouthfeel and a dry malty finish. Not very refreshing and tasty for a summer ale, so the drinkability is down to average. Disappointed with this one.

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Photo of necoadam
2.98/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured out a deep crisp golden color with a good foaming head. Smell consisted of some hops and malts, some coriander as well, along with some other light spices, and of course, some yeast as well. Taste wasn't what I expected. Hops and some fruit start out (orange and spices) with a rush of malts and spices blend in, but everything just falls apart in the middle and toward the end. Mouthfeel was light medium with a some carbonation lacking. Aftertaste was pretty watered down and lacking excitement. Yeah it's meant to be light because it's a "summer" beer, but there's hardly and flavors at the end of this beer. If I want a clean summer beer I'll pick up some kolsch beers.

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Photo of rastaman
3/5  rDev -18.3%
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 buckiflyer
3.05/5  rDev -16.9%
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 goz
3.1/5  rDev -15.5%
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 Foxman
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a hazy golden orange. A single finger of soft, off-white head grows, then dwindles rapidly to a thin veil of froth. Droopy lacing slides down the inside of the glass.

The aroma delivers a soft-edged grain sweetness coupled a muted, vague spicy character, though clove and coriander are lightly hinted. A mellow yeastiness comes through at the close.

Upon sipping, a quick burst of grain sweetness is promptly truncated by a thin, twisting spiciness. The middle is dominated by a grassy presence that yields an oddly vegetal aura. A crisp, flat bitterness lingers at the finish. The flavor is not brutally off-putting, but overall, it's a disappointment.

A bit more than light bodied, it coats ably enough, and a dry bitter glow lingers pleasantly.

Well, I've never had anything from Allagash that I can honestly say I did not like, but this one comes perilously close. Simply, average just doesn't cut it for these folks. The flavor didn't deliver what I'd hoped, foregoing balance or any semblance of a smooth blend. It's refreshing enough, but I'm not sure what would inspire me to have more when I can be refreshed by something I enjoy more. Oh well, they can't all be winners, so I'll just chalk this up as one of those inevitable aberrations.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured slightly hazy golden orange.The head was white and fell back quickly to the edges of the surface, but laced the glass.

The aroma was definitely Belgian in character. Some higher alcohols were present with a slight spiciness.

The flavor was not overly impressive with some orange/citrus flavors and a slight spice. The flavors are muted and originate on the tip of the tongue, but the orange peel bitterness is substantial and stays with you on the back of the tongue.

The finish was dry with peel bitterness that lasts and lasts. The body was almost medium but left a definite watery impression.

12 ounce bottle with twist off cap. I was expecting more...I got less. Only $1.49 for the bottle at Whole Foods in Charlottesville, VA and the guy stocking the shelves was suggesting the beer to another patron. Guess next time I see him I will know to skip his suggestions.

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Photo of ncbrewerbun
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
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 jdhilt
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A light amber color, pours without much head and leaves no lace. Yeasty nose. Light bodied, no doubt this is a summer ale, it would be easy to pound down a few of these after working outside. Label has "Belgian Style" - what kind of Belgian is a summer ale? Good mix of hops and malt, some sweetness with yeast overtones, a very slight hoppy finish. $1.69 for 12 oz bottle from Tulley's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Awfully cloudy, perhaps because of the style. But it was sampled on-tap so there was no bottling conditioning going on. Otherwise, very light and gold in color. Nose was fairly malty, but not much else. Flavor did have some nice sugars going on as well. Malt come through as very rich and sweet. Some fruits (bananas) and cloves were wandering around the edges too. This beer was fairly light on the tongue and struck me as quite refreshing to drink over an extended and delayed session.

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Photo of AlexJ
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Fuzzy glowing apricot in color with a dense chunky head that lasts for about 30 seconds before settling into a thin veil, leaving jigsaw puzzle pieces of lace.

Aroma is essentially your typical Belgian pale with a lemony burst. Sweet, slightly musty, with a good measure of yeasty spice.

Flavor is also good and unique. Starts with malt and wheaty flavors, lemony throughout, and has an unexpected hoppy nip in the tail end. There's an slightly iron-like minerality in here, but it does not detract from the beer.

Mouthfeel is light and airey with a very light body, definately a summer beer all the way. This may be my new "lawnmower beer", even though I don't own a mower!

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
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 jaluria
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a yellowish-tan color with off-white head that dissipates quickly and leaves behind only traces of lacing. Aromas of yeast, wheat, and alcohol seem to dominate; not very impressive. The taste is milder than might be expected for this style with more of a balanced malt/hop profile. There is a lingering bitterness that develops in the aftertaste that is rather nice. However, due to it's mild character, this beer did not really appeal to me the way other Allagash selections have. I had one bottle of this and have not wanted another since (this is a summer seasonal selection, mind you).

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Photo of stirgy
3.42/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a slight haze and was golden orange in color. Topped with a thin, cream-like head. The aroma has bittersweet grapefruit notes. There’s a strong tartness here – almost like tart lemony pledge. The taste is light and fruity and very refreshing. Some slight metallic grainy notes in there. A watery body of lemony-citrus grains. Clean finish but nothing extraordinary here.

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Photo of whartontallboy
3.42/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange with little white head that disappears pretty quickly.

Smell is heavily yeasty with a slight spicy sensation on top of a big citrus scent.

Flavor is lots of pale malty flavors with a bit of spice. The yeast dominates the flavor, but I'm not sure I love this yeast. Finishes spicy and quite dry.

Mouthfeel is somewhat watery, but it holds up okay.

Overall: Not terrible, but I don't really like this one too much. The yeasty flavors just don't really hit for me, and it turns out to be just kind of average.

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Photo of twelvsies
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured this one into my brand new Red Sox pint glass. Nice. Appears a fuzzy orange color, with a thin little layer of bubbly head. Smells strongly of yeast, with maybe a tinge of apircots or other fruity aromas. Of course it tastes very yeasty as well, with a few Belgian spices thrown in somewhere. This is very carbonated and feels fizzy in the mouth. Basically the main thing about this beer is the intense yeast taste and wheaty malts. It's pretty solid, interesting beer, but I think Allagash has better brews in their line-up.

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Photo of clvand0
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A friend gave me a bottle of this and I'm just now getting around to trying it. Pours an orange color with very little head and left no lacing on the glass. The aroma had some citrus and a little floral. Not very strong in the aroma category. The flavor had a wheat feel with a little fruit in there. Easy to drink, but tastes watered down.

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Photo of Dithyramb
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at Cook's Lobster in Bailey, Maine. Poured an amber tinged orange. Clearer than expected with pretty white head. Great lacing and retention. Spicy nose. This one had a very "clean" taste. There were faint citrus, spicy, and grassy malts, but they were subdued. Light mouthfeel that left a dryness. Very good summer brew for watching the sun set over lobster pots.

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Photo of francisweizen
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew is a dark orange colour with a tight white head of fine-streamed little bubbles. The aroma is all wheat, yeast nuances, coriander, and other spices. Light, airy, and summery. The taste is one-dimensional but nice. Soft carbonation leads to a light mouthfeel and the drinkability is OK. Good, but I won't search it out again.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rich golden amber with a whisper of orange, topped by an ivory-colored cap of foam that leaves Swiss cheesy lace as it descends. The nose is fruity, earthy and clove spicy all at once. The clove spicy Belgian yeast is uppermost in terms of intensity.

Spiciness dominates the palate as well with flavors of clove, mace and cardamom. There isn't a great deal of malt, but taking style into consideration (and the fact that it's a summer beer) makes that more than okay. There's a feint toward sweet when the beer first enters the mouth. It then fades to finish slightly sour and more dry. Hops provide a modest bitterness, but any flavor that they might impart is superceded by the spiciness of the yeast, which becomes even more evident with warming.

The body is light, not thin, and is almost perfectly suited to the summer beer designation. If one can handle the cumulative spice load, multiple bottles could be consumed with ease. One is more than enough for me however.

Allagash Summer Ale is a bit of a different take on the whole summer beer thing; as befits a brewery that excels in Belgian-style beer I suppose. I prefer my warm weather pale ales to be more citrusy than spicy. Not a bad effort, but it's fairly far down on my summer drinking list.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
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 UncleFrank
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
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 objectivemonkey
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Into a pint glass, pours an amber gold at bottom tapering to darker copper amber at top, with slight head at first fading to patchy film and bubbles. Aroma is not all too assertive at first, warmed to find bready malt and spice, a bit of yeast, kind of stuffy, still subdued, but pleasant nonetheless. Taste has a pretty strong yeasty front, a definite wheatiness to it, not completely a good thing, kind of has a shy earthiness to it. A sweet malt tries kind of peeks in here and there, wish it were more assertive. A slightly light medium body with much carbonation, a little distracting, and finished dry. Kind of an odd duck, wish I could like it more.

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Allagash Summer Ale from Allagash Brewing Company
3.67 out of 5 based on 68 ratings.
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