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Allagash Odyssey - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash OdysseyAllagash Odyssey

Educational use only; do not reuse.

411 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 411
Hads: 1,178
Avg: 4.25
pDev: 15.76%
Wants: 315
Gots: 250 | FT: 18
Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 01-30-2005

Allagash Odyssey is a dark wheat beer aged for ten months, a portion in oak barrels and the remainder in stainless tanks. The recipe includes 2-row barley, malted wheat, a generous amount of roasted barley and Belgian candi sugar. This deep brown beer boasts an aroma of black treacle and raisin. The flavor hints at dates, with a mildly roasted finish imparted by aging in both medium and heavy toast American Oak barrels. The finish is dry, punctuated by vanilla.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Allagash Odyssey Alström Bros
Reviews: 411 | Hads: 1,178
Photo of Crosling
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark burgundy color. Coconut and cork aromas, with hints of vanilla, bourbon and fruit. Not much aromas from the actual original brew, but the barrel contribution is vibrant. Flavor is very vinous, with hints of raisins and grapes, chocolate and perhaps a hint of amarone. Hints of bourbon and vanilla as well. Pretty rich, with a nice body to boot.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.87/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This poured with a light, deep-brown head. The beer itself was a deep brown color and the nose gave off an unmistakable smell of bouron whiskey as imparted by its aging in used barrels. The mouthfeel is thin, light, and unobtrusive, whch was somewhat surprising. Both the taste on the tongue and the finish are awash with a bourbon-sweetness, sort of like coconut. I'd like to have Lew Bryson weigh in with his thoughts on this one.

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Photo of egajdzis
3.87/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a cherry amber color with a small, light tan head that left light lacing on the glass. Aroma of dried fruits, cherries, toasted oak, caramel and alcohol. Taste of vanilla, caramel, earthy yeast, toasted oak, tart cherries and alcohol. This was very nice.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.86/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled January 2010. A relatively young beer and bought on sale.

A: Pours out with a massive mocha colored puff of tightly packed foam. The beer itself is a deep cherry red, almost purple

S: A quick swirl of the glass gives off a hot breath of alcohol that gives the hairs on the inside a tickle (sorry to be so graphic). I think I want to see what letting this beer warm would do but I am initially getting the oaky, vanilla sweetness, nutmeg and light cinnamon and cocoa powder.

T/MF: Barrel character is apparent on the first sip, smooth and silky with the same sweet notes of vanilla and subtle herbal spiciness. For a beer of this size it is incredibly subtle will the wonderfully soft barrel character coming in and mixing with the previously mentioned herbal/light spicy characteristics. I want to say there is a slight peaty character to this beer (am I using that word too much?) and I want to say even slightly salty/meaty/chocolatly, a flavor that (for me at least is almost impossible to describe).

D: A different beer but a bit young I think. This salty/meaty thing though not as prevalent as this review might indicate, is just enough of a distraction to make this beer less enjoyable than it should considering how amazingly smooth this beer is. I would like to pick up this beer again and lay it down for a couple of years and see what some age might do for this beer.

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Photo of bashiba
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark cola brown color with a thick full head.

Had a light sweet molasses smell with dark belgian candi sugar and a light bit of yeast.

Sweet dark fruits dominate with a clean oaky malt finish. Touches of Sweet dark sugar, cherries, and raisons flavors come through nicely.

Mouthfeel is full with lots of carbonation and a bit of an oily clinging finish.

A nice Belgian dark, but nothing to special, the barrel ageing is only mildly noticeable.

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Photo of ewright
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Tyler's in Durham about a month ago. I just found my notes tonight.

A: Poured dark brown, with just a slight amount of light showing through. As with most Tyler's pours, there is minimal head in the glass.

S: There's a slight oak aroma evident from the barrel aging process. Other than that, there's not much there other than a bit of wheat sourness.

T: The oak aging shows up in the flavor as well and is sadly the most prominent flavor. The wheat provides a sour twang as well, but I'm not picking out too many other flavors. That's not to say I don't like it, but it's a bit of a muddled mess of flavors.

M: Medium body and carbonation with a bit of alcoholic bite late. There's a slight astringency in the aftertaste as well.

D: This one goes down easy for 10%, but I've had it once and don't think it's worth the exorbitant price Allagash wants for it.

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Photo of NuclearRich
3.83/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Feb 2011 bottle poured into a snifter style glass.

A. A deep dark abyss with a medium sized head of an almost opposite color of light tan. The head fades rather quickly into a thin cap and has minimal lacing.
S. Dark fruit, vanilla notes surrounding a slightly boozy belgian ester background.
T&M. A big carbonated bite cascades over the tongue, smoothing into a robust thick and roasty character. Actually reminds me of a porter. Robust, roasty, thick, a slight bitterness and a hint of dark fruit.
O. Pretty good stuff. The oak isn't as strong as I thought it would be, but personally I think that's good. I would be happy to have it again.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.82/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown color, almost into stout territory. The head is a finger high, with a mocha shade. It's superbly creamy-looking, and has excellent retention. A creamy ring of lacing sticks to the glass. Very aesthetically pleasing.

S: Very much like a Belgian stout, in a manner of speaking. I'm getting goodly amounts of chocolate, brown sugar, toast, and smoke. Subtle hints of dark fruits lie beneath those primary notes. I'm also getting the oak barrel in a subtle expression - very soft hints of toasted coconut and vanilla can be found. I was disappointed at the lack of Belgian presence at first, but it develops a nice tone of biscuit after a while. It hits all of the right notes quite well.

T: A nice initial flavor of chocolate and brown sugar open it up. Then it transitions into coffee, and it finishes off with some Belgian yeast characteristics - biscuit, black pepper, and white grapes. Oak is gentle throughout. I think it could stand to be brighter: all of the sweet chocolate and brown sugar notes are very rich, almost to a fault. Having said that, this drinks like pure luxury.

M: Holy fork, this is one creamy-feeling beer. Easily, this is the most velvety soft Belgian-style beer I've ever had. The extremely fine carbonation is part of the reason why. Creamy, rich...and despite the dry finish, not spectacularly drinkable. The alcohol is hidden superbly, however.

O: Everything apart from the taste is excellent, and even the latter is still pretty good. Maybe it's just personal tastes - this is superbly crafted, but not to my BSDA preferences. This is an excellent dessert beer, however (definitely worth snagging another to age a year or two).

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Photo of cjgiant
3.82/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottled in January 2014:
Pours a deep auburn brown, clarity visible at edges. Head is small bubbles, off white, and sustaining (light lacing). Initial pour rise to a couple fingers, but leveled off at about 1/2 cm. Nose has syrupy sugar to molasses as described. Some raisin bread provides the non-sugar notes. Only a light hint of alcohol.

Taste is subdued from the wood the pervades the sip. Taste is cola, indistinct dark fruit, and a bite of the wood at the end. The flavors come across more as the beer warms, including molasses and root beer. The carbonation from the feel is also biting, very effervescent. The wood adds a dry feel to the end of the taste.

Would like a little more strength of flavor from this beer. The flavors seemed ok to maybe even a little weak, but I think the carbonation detracted from the flavor in an unfortunate way.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.81/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass. Sent by a generous benefactor who will remain nameless for now...

February 2011 bottling.

A: Pours a dark maroon body, opaque in the center but with a small edge translucence. A 1.5" tan head is formed upon pouring; it falls into a thin cap on top of the beer. It leave some curtains during sips.

S: Figs, raisins, cloves, and a mild aroma of oak. It's not all that pungent, and even with swirling I can't raise much complexity out of the beer. Not at all bad, but it could use some work.

T: Oak is unmistakable on this one; it has a drying effect that closes the taste out nicely. And yet, it's not dominant or overpowering. The beer uses it to great effect. The main taste delivers flavors of figs, raisins, cloves, pepper, and soft vanilla. It is remarkably balanced for its complexity. While it delivers a smorgasbord of sweet components, it doesn't come off as a cloying mixture; the simpler sugars have fermented out, and the remaining ones are counterbalanced by oak to lower the perceived sweetness. I don't like the dominance of the phenolic flavors, but that's just a personal preference.

M: It's on the dry side for the style, but that is emphasized by the light astringency of the oak, and the spices in the finish. And yes, being dry is a good thing in my eyes (or mouth, whatever). Medium-bodied, with soft, velvety carbonation.

O: It's quite good. I find the spices played up too much for my liking, but its dryness is appealing, and the superb use of oak makes it stand out from other examples of the style. Hopefully they'll play around with the recipe some more to make it better (or what I consider better).

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Photo of sabrills70
3.81/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle witha bottling date of October 2006. Pours a deep mahagony brown with a 2 finger head and very nice lace. Hard to get a decent aroma - I'm brewing right now so I will give it a average. Fruity, earthy, a bit smokey and roasty. Ok hop bitterness cosidering the style. Alcohol fairly well hidden. Smooth and very drinkable. I'm glad I aged this for a year. Nice beer.

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Photo of cvm4
3.8/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled December 2011

A - Pours a dark brown. Light tan, one finger head. Minimal lacing.

S - Definite oak on the nose. Background of dark fruit and cinnamon.

T - Smokey oak all the way through from beginning to end! Plums and raisins too. Hint of dark cherries. As it warms, it gets sweeter. I don't find this enjoyable at all.

M - High carbonation. Medium bodied. Finishes dry.

O - What a distinct style of beer! The smokey oak plays off wonderfully against the dark fruits here. It just comes off a little too sweet for my palette.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.8/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sept 2008

A - Brown with ruby hues. Thin tan head quickly disappears to a ring of lace.

S - Oaky vanilla with some dark fruits. Some bready malts but fairly subtle.

T - Oak and vanilla, toasted bread, fig, sweet malt, hints of prune, molasses and cocoa.

M - Low carbonation giving it a soft almost watery mouthfeel that leaves a bit of stickiness on the tongue.

D - A little more malt complexity would really work well with the oak. Solid beer.

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Photo of erz316
3.8/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

july 2009, westmalle chalice

the cork comes off with no real pop. the body is almost black, no sight of turbidity, the head is reluctant to form and has a light off white colour, maybe cream coloured. the nose is lacking potency and a few elements (no real spiciness or alcohol). the taste is nothing special; I would just go for th trappistes instead of bothering with thi brew. the taste is almost slightly cola-infused, with a light fruitiness, good malts, and some alcohol. the body is well carbonated and a hair light, but all in all it is a drinkable belgian.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.8/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I drank this July 2009 bottling from a 22 oz bottle into a Rochefort glass.

This strong ale pours a dark brown, you can really tell its brownness in the light, with a light tan head. The head is about a finger but sadly is gone quickly. There is nice lacing but its not very thick or alluring.

The aroma is light but you can say it smells like most strong ales. You get whiffs of hops and a little oak, but I'd really like a lot more.

The taste is light and hides the 10% good. There is sweet malty start with a light oak finish.

The feel is viscous and surprisingly drinkable.

Overall the beer is ok, drinkable but nothing special or distinguihable.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.79/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, from Ned's. $18.

Appearance: Dark red-brown. Beautifully clear garnet when held to light. Thick off-white head with great retention and pretty good lacing.

Smell: Really not too interesting. A sort of generic spicy Belgian yeast smell with some dark fruit. If it weren't for the oak notes in there, I'd be hard pressed to distinguish this from a yeast starter made with Belgian yeast-- no complexity.

Taste: Big improvement over the smell, but its not mind blowing. Spicy yeast flavors without the strong doughy/bready flavor I like in this kind of beer. Some raisin/plum dark fruit flavors. A surprising hint of chocolate is interesting as are the oak notes which give some toast and vanilla to the flavor. Just a kiss of bitterness is all you can taste of the 10%.

Mouthfeel: Again good, not great. I was hoping for a super soft wheat beer mouthfeel, but not so much. It is a well carbonated, smooth beer with a long sweet, oaky finish.

Overall: Good. I'll not buy another for 18 bucks though.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.78/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

February 2005 Bottling, Sampled January 2006
Pours quite dark, as I am pouring it, it shows a deep amber-brown color that is pretty clear. The beer sits a dark espresso color and is topped by frothy tan colored head that is initially two-fingers thick. As I pour this beer I immediately get notes of oak and alcohol mixed together. The oak is definitely the dominant note here, it smells woody with mixed notes of buttery oak, and hints of vanilla, and some sort of note that reminds me of cola. Underneath the oak is a nice fruitiness that reminds me of raisins. The combination of the vanilla oak notes and the malt remind me of some sort of fresh bready pastry or muffin perhaps.

The taste is initially quite dry up front, but has a certain fullness and amount of body to it, that seems like it might be contributed from the oak & tannins. The body has a soft creaminess to it that is accentuated by a soft vanilla note. This beer hides its alcohol quite well, and even the oak is not so egregious as to be overwhelming. The oak is definitely pretty prominent here, buttery oak is foremost, but there is a woody almost nutty note as well. As in the aroma I get a certain note here that reminds me of cola, interesting and it seems to work here.

While the oak is not too dominant in this beer, I think that it is a bit too much. There is not enough of the rich beer notes that I would like to see. The malt is too subtle underneath the oak; perhaps a bit of caramel and a certain fullness that I would attribute to malt character. This is certainly drinkable, and I would even want a few more bottles of this to age for a couple of years.

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Photo of Overlord
3.78/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to lightindarkness for the trade.

Pours a dark brownish black ... maybe some red highlights. Kind of a strange pinkish hued foam, actually. Pretty neat.

After the phenomenal interlude, I had high hopes for Odyssey. Alas, it didn't really live up to them. It's a strangely well carbonated beer. Not a terribly thick mouthfeel. Smells like roasted malt and oak. An earlier reviewer mentioned that this was a lot like drinking carbonated wine: I agree. There's gigantic vinous and oak notes. I'm not sure what the base included ... maybe prunes/figs/raisins. As you sip/let it warm, there's definitely a bit of candi or molasses sweetening the pot.

Actually, this beer seems like something Lost Abbey would put out. It's good, but not great.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.77/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This delivers a periphery of high marks but when it came to taste it fell short in my opinion. Light chocolate malt was upfront, with some weak coconut and vanilla. A slight booziness and brandy this never impressed.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.77/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ML bottle purchased caged and corked from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
"Bottled January 2008 - Cases Bottled: 600"
Heard a lot of mixed reviews about this one, and since usually almost everything Allagash produces is a solid sample, had high hopes for this corked one which ran almost $14.99...
Pours a tremendous, deep-dark, pitch-black colored hue with hardly any head at all and minimal lacing to say the least...
Strong aroma of vanilla oak present along with a heavy suggestion of malts balanced by a tinge of hops...
The flavor was extremely dominated by a thick oak-presence along with strong vanilla and wine nuances... This thick, rich, full-bodied beer definitely has powerful wine characteristics and really mimics a red-wine both in the nose and mouth...
Mouthfeel was thick, rich, and creamy, but took a slight hit due to the extreme oak-flavor imparted by the taste... I'm sure if I had let this one sit for a year or two, it probably would have mellowed out a bit more...
Drinkability was about average to say the least, as the heavy 10.4% ABV was certainly noticeable and the cloying oak flavor was also present...
Not Allagash's best sample, and in my opinion, definitely not worth the price paid for...

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Photo of mothman
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Feb 2011 edition

Poured into chalice. Pours 1 finger of khaki tan head. Good retention with lace rings. Color is a dark mahogany brown.

Aroma: A lot of oak, vanilla, spices. A lot of dark fruits as well. Plums, pears and apples. Some alcohol shows.

Taste: A lot more roasted than I expected. Fairly earthy. Figs, plums, dark dried fruits. Lighter oak flavor, spices, and alcohol. Bready malts.

Mouthfeel: Dry and roasted. Medium bodied with a medium to high amount of carbonation. Ends very dry and roasted.

Overall, not really was I was expecting. Too roasted for a Belgian. I liked the oak in the nose, but it was much more faint in the taste, unfortunately.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

At the time of this review, this is the #4 beer on the "Top Beers - Belgian Strong Dark Ale" list on beeradvocate.com. Served in a snifter.

Beer is dark brown, hazy, thin lazy head of tan bubbles, minimal lacing and carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, a little oaky / woody, some yeast. Malt.

Beer is lighter in body than expected, strong throughout though. The oakiness adds a sort of bitterness almost like a hop at the end of the palate, this beer is fine but not good enough for the cost in my opinion.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A very average beer. This beer has a lot going for it, but it is all going in different directions. The lack of balance is quite off-putting and keep you from really enjoying this beer.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.73/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Everything by Allagash seems to warrant a 5.0 rating.

Pours a moderate deep brown with a nice slightly off-white head that sticks around for a long time.

Aromas are rich with sugary dark malts, dark brown sugar and alcohol.

Taste is Dark malt with only a hint of oak but lots of brown sugar. Nicely mellow and balanced...not cloying in the least but definitely sweet.

Aftertaste is sweet dark malt but clean, none the less.

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Photo of cookin420
3.72/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a big ol' snifta

Blackish with a twinge of ruby. Pale- khaki head is small but coating.

Oak and it's sidekick vanilla, cherries and some smoke? I smell a BBQ. Grapes. Very wine like. Pinot Noir to be specific. I have to wonder what kind of barrels were used.

Well, chocolate milk does come to mind. Minimal roasted character Minimal bittering, big vanilla and plum. Also the Pinot again. I do feel that I should state that I took notes on this brew and when I sat down tonite to review, I saw that this actually was a Belgian yeasted brew. I cannot say that this was a noticeable aspect of the flavor and I would call it's attributes to the flavor minimal to none.

Very creamy. Almost oily. Any more oily and the bell curve would be working against it. Hmmm. Mouth full of whipped cream?

10%? This went down like an ESB Very drinkable.

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Allagash Odyssey from Allagash Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 411 ratings.