Allagash Odyssey - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash OdysseyAllagash Odyssey

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,114 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,114
Reviews: 407
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.18%
Wants: 297
Gots: 243 | FT: 19
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,114 | Reviews: 407
Photo of TastyTaste
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown body, steady streams of carbonation. Head is ok, fast fading, creamy looking.

Smell: Vinous and yeasty, oakey, yes (you can smell it across the room). Earthy, you can smell the alcohol. Nice, very interesting.

Taste: The oak gives it the initial impression of wine. The yeast and malt are strong yet smooth, the backend of the flavor is fortified by the alcohol (and hops, plenty of hops).

Drinkability: A very interesting oaked beer, enjoyable, rich and unique.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.85/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark raspberry tea with a great deal of carbonation leading up to a gorgeous cap of golden ecru froth that filled more than half the glass on the pour. Backlighting brings out wonderful ruby highlights that make a fantastic looking beer look even better. Now this is how a BSDA should look.

The aroma is impressive. It was merely good initially, but with warming has acquired a power and a complexity that mirrors the flavor profile. With a wee bit more vividness and more definition, it could easily compete with the best Belgians. Hell, it just might do so now. I smell figs, tobacco and ground clove above all else.

Odyssey is amazingly delicious beer! Rarely, if ever, has my mouth been so awash in so many flavors that change from the beginning of each mouthful to the end. I've only had a few samples so far, but this might be the best BSDA that I've ever had. I bow before the brilliance of Allagash.

I'm not even sure where to begin in attempting to describe what I'm tasting. First off, this beer eschews power for nuance. That isn't to say that it isn't absolutely bursting with flavor, just that it's so refined and so angelic in the mouth that one doesn't feel as if they're being bullied the way that some big beers tend to do.

Sweetened fig puree, sticky dates, raisins, the finest oak-aged single batch bourbon, light molasses, dark toffee, plum jam, pipe tobacco, cloves... and on and on and on. Even though there's a considerable amount of sweetness, it doesn't come close to sticky or cloying. Like just about everything else about this beer, the sweet-bitter-sour balance is sheer perfection.

I originally felt that the mouthfeel was a tad too light to be deserving of the ultimate score. No longer. I can't imagine a more heavenly mouthfeel than the one greeting me with each and every sip... now that I'm well into the middle of the bottle. It's such a perfect (there's that word again) combination of suppleness, silkiness, light chewiness and buoyant carbonation that no other score is possible.

Allagash proved long ago that they're one of my favorite breweries in all the world. No other American brewer so reliably recreates the classically Belgian styles, and oftentimes meets and surpasses the best that that country has to offer. Simply put, Odyssey is an outstanding BSDA and is one of the best beers of any style that I've ever had the pleasure to drink.

Photo of cbl2
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

4/12/2005 $12.99 750 mL 10.40% Bottled February 2005; 1 of 5460 bottles.

Appearance:

Resembles Coca-cola, as it is poured, with a dark, almost opaque black/brown body topped by about a half inch of tight white bubbles that are slow to settle.

Aroma:

Extremely complex aroma that yields ripe plums/figs, vanilla, subtle hints of chocolate and smoke. Definitely intriguing.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Oak is definitely present in this one, with flavor characteristics reminiscent of a dry chardonnay. Plenty of vanilla accompanied by a mouth warming alcohol presence are the first flavor sensations. A semi-sweet chocolate presence creeps in towards the end of the sip as well, but this one is mainly vanilla due to the oaking. Interesting, though not spectacular, I'd like to see how this ages.

Photo of GClarkage
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

07/25/06- Received in a trade with Jetsbeer.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, caged and corked. Bottled in February 2005. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Sort of a peat colored pour. Darker than brown, but lighter than black with a kinda dark green glow. Different to be sure. Full 3/4 inch head...settles in with a nice bit less than 1/4 inch frothy remaining head. Lacing it streaky and spotty.

Smell- Wonderful vinous oak barrel scent...especially as it warms. Made the mistake of drinking most of this at a lower than desired temperature. Lots of creamy caramel scent in the malt. One of the few beers that I enjoyed smelling more than I did consuming.

Taste- Rich and dark caramel malt with a quite large woody and oaky flavor. Much more than the Cruiex. Even a nice hoppy aftertaste. Licroice or anise flavor kicks in after the swallow. A few prunes, raisins and plums tossed in for good measure...maybe a bit bready as well.

Mouthfeel- A bit to carbonated for the style in my opinion. Because of the oaky qualities I would expect more of an old ale texture...instead it's pretty highly carbonated, even after sitting in the glass for an hour. Won't knock it down too much though.

Drinkability- Overall a very quality brew with a fabulous scent and great flavor. This one will be interesting to taste 5 years down the line....if I only had a bottle...sob :(

Photo of kmo1030
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottled february '05

deep dark cola brown with with a thin tan head that leaves a little lacing.
it has a big simultaneously whiskey-like and vinous aroma. it's got bits and pieces of rasins, vanilla, chocolate, rootbeer, black licorice (actually a little jäger like). a little beat of wheat here and there. with warmth fruitcake aromas come out.
the smell is a good approximation of what it tastes like with a lot of whiskey character, vanilla, wood, and somewhat vinous in the effect of the alcohol. dark ripe fruit especially juicy grape lies underneath the whiskey mingling with the alcohol.
lighter full body with substantial not sharp, but effervescent carbonation.
good drinkability in the context of what it is: a sipper. overall a very impressive unique beer that a little bit of age helped to round out.

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.

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.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.77/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I loved this beer. They need to make more. Being a limited it has run out in the various stores I frequent.

Pours a very nice ruby black. Nice carbonation and head.

The smell is wonderful. Knowing this was their dubbel I was not expecting the aroma. Toffee, vanilla, oak, molasses. Definitely says take a drink.

The oak is definitely up front in the tast. Welcoming and complimentary, not overpowering. Toffee, molasses, vanilla, wonderful belgian candy sugar presence and a nice alcohol warming effect as the beer comes to room temp.

This is an immensly drinkable brew. When the brewery released a few cases at a crazy $20 a bottle I had to go back and pick up a couple more to continue to enjoy this beer.

If they make it again buy as much as you can find and enjoy!

Photo of tavernjef
4.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled Feb. 2005 - Glossy black body with deep burgandy highlights within. Inch high, puffy tannish foam sits for good length before settling to a big fluffy collar and a solid skim. Minimal lacing in small globby strings and a few spots.

Heavenly aroma of vinous-like oak decorated in lots of dark nuances of dark fruity malt, black licorice, tootsie roll chocolate, carob, vanilla, and a splash of good Ol' alcoholic breath.

Taste has an emaculately creamy front that's airy and rounded with a full brunt of dark fruity malts. Has a short stay middling area of chocolate and date flavors. Lively and full on the swallow with warmth and alcoholic texture bringing a breeze of vanilla and port flavors. Hints to carob, root beer, black licorice and, anise. Finishes great with great length and memory with a leftover melting pot of rich chocolate laced with dark fruityness and sticky maltyness and lightly fluffed with some cocoa powder composition. Its much more complex then what I'm able to describe and soak in, but take my word for it. Its damn good!

Feel is a very solid medium body with a uniform ride of interchanging full areas gliding from point to point, as do warming qualities, creamyness, smoothness, and maltyness. Looong finishing area, it sticks with you for a day and a half. A very complexing texture and character to this beer. Quite spectacular!

Yum, yum, and yum, this stuff is killer! Fantastic job by Allagash. No surprise really, but damn I could never get sick of this stuff. Me likey.

Two thumbs for RealityDeviant for coming through and getting me some!

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.

Photo of MuddyFeet
4.77/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Definitely one of my favorite choices for the style. Poured dark. When held up to the light there was some slight shimmering around the edges of the glass. Finger-width deep head of white foam that receded to a stringy film. No lacing. Slight heat in the nose. Also pulled out some licorice and spices.

Very full flavor that holds up--and even improves--as the beer warms. Some tingley spices at first quickly followed by a bit of heat from the alcohol. That licorice I pick up in the nose comes out a bit more in the flavor. Belgian sugars give this beer a thick, dense feel and a sweet tooth. The oak was very subtle and was not the focus in this beer. Very thick mouthfeel that finishes a tad dry. A wonderful, slow-sipping dessert beer.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a sublime beer. It has a dark red-brown color with a moderate-sized creamy head. It has a sweet spicy odor with vanilla undertones as well as some spice. A sweet taste, with a charcoal/smoky flavor. A very good mouthfeel, not too bubbly. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer, and could drink it all night, except its 10.4%ABV precludes this (at least if I want to function the next day).

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.16/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (February 2005 drank in January 2006): Poured a deep ruby color ale with a quite large off-white foamy head with better then average retention. Aroma of alcohol is detectable with some sweet malt. Taste has definite bourbon presence with some semi-sweet malt. Body is definitely thinner then expected. I was expecting a bit more complexity from this beer – no yeast signature, alcohol taste too evident, thin body.

Photo of Jason
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml brown magnum with a bottling date of February 2005 on the label.

A- Two fingers of think head stick to the glass all the way down as bubbles continually rise to the top. A shade of garnet within the deep dark brown colored brew.

S- Candied fruit, almost fruit-cake like smell. Toffee and bread crust, over-cloved molasses cookies. Spicy fermented wheat, phenols and alcohol make for a very complex aroma.

T&M- Molasses cookies, cloves, candied fruit and pecan brittle all come to mind. Lush smoothness with a mild crispness that cradles the delicate yet feigned thick body. Solid oaky bite, teethy with a drying effect. Tad buttery with a alcohol warmth in the back.

D- Crazy Crackers! This has to be, hands down, one of the most flavorful, complex and enjoyable beers I have had in a long time. Allagash makes brewing a quaffable 10% Belgian style beer look simple. Paired this with some hard goat cheese and bunderfleish.

Photo of nlmartin
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a wide mouthed goblet.

Apperance: The beer pours a very nice cloudy ruby coloration. The head was at least two fingers high off white. Small rivelits of lacing was left behind on the glass.

Smell: The beer has a nice malty fruity plum smell accentuated by spicyness.

Taste: The beer leads with a nice fruity sweetness. The sweetness gives way for a peppery bite. Then goes sweet yet again before finishing dry. The alcohol doesnt really make itself known in the taste.

Mouthfeel: This beer has a very creamy mouthfeel. The beer is full bodied and holds its booze well.

Drinkability: This is a very big beer. The beer is very well balanced. It has survived almost a year in my cellar. I hope the remaining bottle is as good next year.

Photo of orfeu
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL, corked and caged. Bottled February 2005, 10.4% abv. Glowing mahogany with garnet highlights and a clinging, sand-colored foamy head. Aromas of figs, dried cherries, and prunes, all soaked in vanilla- and orgeat-infused bourbon. Fluffy and light mouthfeel supports a roasted almonds and vanilla bean/date sugar sweetness. Spicy alcohol emerges right before a dry, sugared filbert finish. Brilliantly balanced and highly drinkable for such a rich and full-flavored ale. I can't wait to see what another year or so will do to this. Delicious.

Photo of doubleipa
3.45/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been waiting since February to drink this. I love Allagash brews, but maybe my expectations were too high. Anyway, aroma was about what I'd expected. Definitely could smell oak and vanilla. The oak seemed more pronouned then others have noticed. To me this didn't have the mouthfeel of a Strong Dark Ale. Didn't really notice the alcohol. I brought this to our neighborhood New Year's Eve party as I'm the beer geek in my neighborhood. I thought this was my chance to convert some of them Mick Light drinkers. We had started with a St Bernardus Tripel, which every one enjoyed. "Wow, this stuff is really good, what else did you bring?" Unfortunately, the Odyssey didn't go over that well. Maybe it was the oak, but I was underimpressed, as well. Not a bad beer, but not great.

Photo of stephendedalus
3.51/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a February 2005 (750 ml) bottle. Poured a deep brown/caramel colour -- decent carbonation and a nice head (maintained head for several minutes). Smell is underwhelming -- expecting more -- just hints of vanilla and oak/bourbon with alcohol spiciness. Taste has the base notes of a dubbel acccented with the expected vanilla and oak flavors -- not much else going on. Pretty good mouthfeel and at 10.4% this is a very drinkable beer -- the ABV will sneak up on you. However, the verdict, unfortunately, is that this is less of an Odyssey and more of a (pleasant) three hour tour. Gilligan!

Photo of Foxman
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a plush ruby brown, cloudy and carbonated. A healthy two fingers of beige head swells, then sinks gradually to a bubbly pillow. Veils of lacing slide down the inside of the glass.

The aroma delivers a cooked malt sweetness, slightly sugary, along with a mellow yeasty sourness and a light touch of alcohol. A hint of plums flirts with a distant woody smokiness.

Upon tasting, the cherry fruit sweetness of roasted malt plies its trade along with a higher pitched but milder note of currants. A fleeting glimpse of vanilla and caramel and a slightly more solid puff of rounded smokey oak give ground grudgingly to a sinus-tickling whiff of alcohol. The finish sees a biscuit grain earthiness that morphs to a graceful spicy close. It's a complex blend that's easy to follow.

Medium bodied, it has a creamy feel on the palate. A pleasant, spicy dry sensation lingers across the tongue.

It is so refreshing to try an oak-aged beer in which the wood isn't a bat hitting you in the throat. Instead, it's a complimentary note to a soothing sonata of malt, yeast and muted spice. the ABV is bold and brash, but is balanced nicely with the muscular-enough flavor profile. The result is a potent but quite drinkable brew. The bottom line is a bold, well-crafted big beer, and it's well worth every breath you take, every move you make, every sip you take.

Photo of mntlover
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mahogany with deep red hints showing thru when held to the light has a light tan head that leaves some light sheet lace.

Aroma is fruity dark plums, raisins dipped in molasses floating on a woody vanillia bourbon backdrop. As it warms cherries mingled with alcohol become noticable. Very nice aroma on this one.

Taste is light bourbon flavored fruit with good vanillia flavors. Some light alcohol mingles with sweet molasses and fruit. Again as it warms some black cherry notes appear in the flavor as well. Overall good nice flavorable brew.

Mouthfeel is lighter then I expected but it is smooth and has a nice mellow amount of carbonation.

Drinkability is good, smooth easy drinking for 10% alcohol is noticed but feels like it should be there and mingles well with the other flavors. Want to thank merlin48 for sharing this one with me. Bottled in Feb 2005.

Photo of Billolick
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

large bottle, caged and corked, dated, numbered, the works. Simply stated this has got to be one of the best brews on the planet. Large, flavorful, strong, complex. Tons of wood, figs, raisins, rum.Words cannot do justice to this flavorful tipple. Get a few bottles, put em away for about 5 years and enjoy, or crack em open tonight and savor this nectar. One of the best brews I've ever had the priviledge of drinking.

Photo of merlin48
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, corked and caged, February 2005 bottling. Deep brown pour reveals a clear ruby mahogany when held to light. Creamy, beige head is lush and inviting, with good retention. Some sheet lacing is apparent on the snifter.

Bourbon whiskey notes dominate the aroma, with an assertive oak wood and vanilla presence right behind. Dark fruits and cherries easily come forth as it warms a bit.

Mouthfeel has a solid medium body, alcohol warming, and a very smooth feel.

Taste is smooth and bourbony, with plums and dates intermingling with some caramel maltiness. Slight warming alcohol is not overdone and folds into the malts very well. Dark fruits transform into a tart cherry note as it warms. Lots of vanilla and woody oak from the barrel aging. A kiss of chocolate adds a nice touch as it reaches room temperature.

Better drinkability than I expected from a bourbony 10.4% dark ale. Smooth and pleasing, and very well constructed.

Photo of Sammy
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A really good one. Bourbon alcoholly aroma, coca cola colour, lots of lace. But the taste, bourbon more than whiskey, and very drinkable. Went down really well, smooth on the tongue. A great example of wood working, with vanilla coming through. Suitable understated carbonation. A must try.

Photo of lou91
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Feb 2005. Great pop on the champagne cork unveiled an amazing nose of oak, peaches, rum, raisins and booze. It poured dark, thick with a nice lather. I took a small sip and it felt like I took a big swig. Huge flavors of oak and bourbon in a rich creamy ale. The sweetness is one of vanilla, peaches and honey which helps balance some of the alcohol burn. This is a serious beer. If you like what I’ve described then you will love this but it isn’t for everyone. I was going to ding this beer on the drink ability. After I few sips I thought I would only drink half a bottle but after drinking 3/4 of the bottle I wanted more. Once it warmed, a great ale shined through. It paired great with blue cheese and aged Gouda. Thanks to Jetsbeer.

Photo of meathookjones
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottles in February 05. Pours out a very dark brown with a healthy sized light tan head filling the rest of the chalice. Streaky and clumps of lace coated the glass for the most part. Sweet candy sugar and big dark ripe fruitiness hit my nose first. Good amount of spiciness was there as was a bit of dark chocolate. Light alcohol notes as it warmed, very delicious smelling. Taste has a big fruitiness up from with figs and plums with some brown sugar sweetness. A mix of spices is in there but I can’t pick any out. Caramel, oak and some bourbon notes all mix flawlessly adding to the incredible taste. As it warmed the alcohol showed its face more but never added negatively to the flavor. One of the best tasting Belgian Dark Ales I have ever had. Pretty thick and creamy body with a bit of a warmth to bit due to the big alcohol. Ridiculously drinkable. With as strong as the alcohol is and the complexity in this brew it went down very easy and I wish I had another bottle to follow it with. Excellent stuff.

Allagash Odyssey from Allagash Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,114 ratings.