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Allagash Summer Ale | Allagash Brewing Company

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65 Reviews
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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 pezoids on 04-25-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 65 | Ratings: 68
Photo of pezoids
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 donnebaby
4.48/5  rDev +22.1%
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 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 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 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 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.

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Photo of mschofield
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
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 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.

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Photo of cbl2
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Pale yellow-brown mostly clear with 1/2" white head.


Extremely spicy. A blend of orange and nutmeg.


Very smooth. Flavors reminiscent of a pumpkin ale with nutmeg the most prevalent. Very good, though not what I'd call a summer ale.

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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 Hefe
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted on 6/12/04

Appearance: Hazy gold with an off white head.

Smell: Lightly sweet, with fruity phenolics and a touch of yeast.

Taste: Fruity, with tones of citrus and red fruits. Sweet malts, yeast, spice.

Mouthfeel: Active carbonation, light mouthfeel with a slight "bite".

Drinkability: Enjoyable summerbrew, good for a bottle or four.

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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.

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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 xgrigorix
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
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 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 jvajda
4/5  rDev +9%
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 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 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 ybnorml
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This ale has a light presence. The smell has a light corriader spicyness.The color is amber to dark golden. It tastes light with a smooth light hoppy spiceness.The corriander hinted at in the aroma does not present it self in the drinking of this saison style. A summer light belgian style just right for the dog days of summer.

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Photo of RockyTopHeel
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
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 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.

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Photo of nomad
4.01/5  rDev +9.3%
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 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 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.

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Photo of frank4sail
4.32/5  rDev +17.7%
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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Allagash Summer Ale from Allagash Brewing Company
3.67 out of 5 based on 68 ratings.
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