Allagash 10th Anniversary Ale

750 mL bottle courtesy of finewinemike in my 2010 Secret Santa package – many thanks Mike. Obviously this beer is quite old, and probably at an age way beyond what the brewer originally intended so the review should be viewed in that context.
Corked & Caged affair that opens with a pretty small pop and a touch of gun smoke.
The pour is a fairly bright orange color, with a still body an a disappointing lack of carbonation/head/lace. I suppose that given the age of the beer that the carbonation situation should not be that surprising, but nevertheless it’s a bit of a shame. The color is especially striking.
The nose reveals a sugary sweetness and not a lot else.
The body is a little cleaner than the sweetness in the nose would suggest. No cloying notes (that I was a little concerned about).
In terms of taste, to be honest the beer isn’t as good as I was expecting, but equally it seems a little unfair of me to expect that a beer this old would still perform as well as originally intended. Having said that, at 10% there might be a small degree of expectation that things would have held up OK. Any spices that were there originally have largely disappeared and there is a degree of mild oxidation. With the oxidation comes a very, very light touch of sherry (good), but also of course of touch of cardboard (bad). That’s something that you have to live with when you are dealing with older beers.
In the very back end there is some light alcohol notes.
Despite the condition of the beer, it’s still tasty and pretty drinkable I just wish that had drunk this beer when it had first come out – my bet is that this was amazing at the outset. One thing to note, age means that this beer drinks nothing like a Witbier now – the degree to which it did originally is unknown to me, so perhaps there has not been much change there at all, or maybe there has been a huge change.
Strangely (or perhaps NOT strangely at ALL) a very similar reaction to this beer as my reaction to Allagash 11th.

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12/26/2010
Style:
Witbier
Format:
bottle
ABV: 10.0 %
Appearance: 3
Taste: 4
Mouthfeel: 3.5
Smell: 3
Overall: 4
Total: 3.7
Series Name:
Year:

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