Allagash Summer Ale | Allagash Brewing Company

68 Ratings
Read the review
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.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 68 |  Reviews: 65
Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
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

 552 characters

Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

 456 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
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!

 1,154 characters

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.

 1,265 characters

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 ...

 936 characters

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.

 609 characters

Photo of rab53
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

Photo of Billolick
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

 429 characters

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.

 613 characters

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.

 409 characters

Photo of RBorsato
4.47/5  rDev +21.8%
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)

 559 characters

Photo of Suds
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful lace forms from a stable white head atop a hazy burnt-golden liquid. Nice aroma: fruit (grapefruit, lemons) and yeast, grain and spice. Essentially no hops in the aroma, and very little in the taste. The beer semi-sweet, and has a distinctive tanginess. It’s quite good, and would be an excellent summertime out-on-the-deck beer. Mouthfeel is soft, with medium body. I was very pleased with this one.

 411 characters

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.

 334 characters

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.

 542 characters

Photo of blackie
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

 629 characters

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle, twist off cap, no date.

This ale poured a hazy, golden-amber color with off-white foam (with coaxing) that settled fairly quickly and clung minimally to the glass. The smell was good but modest: grain, malt, a vinous aroma, and some hops. The taste was malty and hoppy with a similar ester profile to some other Allagash ales, but there was quite a strong floral hop component to this ale -- an almost sharp, phenolic taste. There was also a fruity aspect (oranges?) and a hint of Belgian mustiness. The mouthfeel was smooth with a very dry, hoppy finish and aftertaste (almost "chalky" in its dryness). The body was medium-light. Overall a good summer ale, but I would still prefer the White.

 716 characters

Photo of tgbljb
4.22/5  rDev +15%
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.

 529 characters

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.

 897 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
4/5  rDev +9%
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.

 402 characters

Photo of Crosling
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brownish-orange with a large, initially bubbly head, which settles in a light covering cream. Freshly cut tangerines and lemon meringue pie in the nose. Soft and supple Belgian yeast which invokes a dry and funky, saison-like character and complements the array of fruits quite well. Pretty delicious if you ask me, althought the aroma is a bit light and the flavor is a bit sweet.

 381 characters

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.

 266 characters

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.

 340 characters

Photo of NEhophead
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Foamy white head that lingers as a thin creamy sheet. Some condensed lacing with average strength. A burnt light copper in color with a chill haze.

The aroma is filled with spices: a lot of pepper, some corriander. Also a faint hint of diacetyl.

Wheat and grain driven flavors met by a bold spiciness. Pepper is the primary spice here that lingers throughout the aftertaste. Slightly astringent with a fairly evident diacetyl character. Finishes a bit dry due to the spice. Lemon, pepper, and crisp wheat make up the aftertaste.

A shade under medium bodied; soft and lightly spiced on the palate.

A pretty good version of the style, light enough to drink on a hot summer day. A nice ale to enjoy outside when you're grilling. Nothing to really seek out, but a decent offering from Allagash. Probably my least favorite so far from the brewery, but still a competent effort.

 885 characters

Photo of UnionMade
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

 744 characters

Photo of probert
4/5  rDev +9%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Allagash Summer Ale from Allagash Brewing Company
3.67 out of 5 based on 68 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More