Allagash Summer Ale | Allagash Brewing Company

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 jdhilt
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
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 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 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 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 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 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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Allagash Summer Ale from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 68 ratings
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