Allagash Odyssey - Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash OdysseyAllagash Odyssey

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409 Reviews

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Reviews: 409
Hads: 1,165
Avg: 4.25
pDev: 15.76%
Wants: 311
Gots: 248 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 409 | Hads: 1,165
Photo of Rifugium
3.53/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to the BAer who brought this to the Nov. '12 Philly burbs bottle share. Ray (baybum) I think. I'm not sure what vintage this one was.

Dark brown pour, hazy, with a small off-white head that dissipated mostly, leaving some thin lacing behind. Caramel malts in the nose, stone fruits, herbal hops and a touch of smoke. I actually got quite a bit of oak up front in this one, pretty toasty at that, caramel, peach and pear, a little raisin, yeast, herbal hops; no vanilla detected. Medium body, moderate carbonation, drinkable, and decent overall.

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Photo of smcolw
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nearly black in color (no light shines through); Awesome lasting lace; good head that lessens to a half finger.

Dark chocolate smells along with light bitter hops, alcohol and cream.

Wonderful complex flavor--some elements of a dark porter (chocolate, smooth full body with ample carbonation) and a Belgian dark ale (notable alcohol and yeast flavor). Strong alcohol warmth in the swallow with a hoppy aftertaste (the chocolate remains throughout).

This is a very rich and satisfying brew. I don't know whether I could have several of these, but one is definitely a great experience.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Suited for adventure: husky brown, crimson highlights, cocoa head, a classic countenance, sets the mind in anticipation and the imagination loose.
whiskey screams from the nose, escaped from the bottle and ready to let fly with it's malt and alcohol at the helm, steering us into the situation...prune, oak, raisin, plum are at guard on the side. what first stung now seems mellow, even sweet. Glorious.
Bold entrance on the palate, the rich, roasty, lush and fruity flavor floods the gates, and breaks down the door. Bourbon-y feel dominates the mouthfeel.
Other associations beckon forth...dark rum, molasses, slick, yet leathery...berries and grapes, the darker kind, come to match the onslaught of the whiskey.
Medium bodied,yet full with flavor, an relenting river of taste washes up and out with every swallow.
Finish is rather dry, just a touch sweet. Like any good drama.
The rush has been resolved, the quarrel abated, and the goals have been met: satisfaction sits in the glass, and a happy smile on the face of the drinker. We've gone to a wonderful place, throught the vessel that is this bottle, and it's noble contents, and come back better, stronger, wiser, even.
Can beer do that?
It already did.
May the force be with you.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 03/25/11 notes. Shared by jslot38; thanks Justin. January 2010 bottle, case 970.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with one inch of light tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of spices, dark fruit, bready malts, pepper.

t - Tastes of dark fruit, spices, yeast, and bread again. A little too much spice for me.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A good beer, but a little to much spice for me. Glad to have tried it and would given another shot, but probably wouldn't seek out again.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Sheffield's last night for Phil's going away party. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Pours with a nice one-plus fingers of tan foam. Excellent retention that eventually gives way to a thick cap and ring and leaves plenty of attractive lacing. Body is a dark, dark brown color with slight transparency at the fringes of the glass.

S - This is reminiscent of a dark wheat/dunkelweizen, but on 'roids. Malted wheat, cloves, cocoa, candi sugar, as well as spicy, fruity, and rummy esters. Not picking up much of the barrel character - either it's very well integrated or very light. Very subtle and nuanced, and takes a while to warm up

T - Sweet caramel malts, a bit of sharp wheat, cocoa, light nuttiness, and a touch of toasted oak. Less clove and spice than in the nose. Again, it's very much like an imperial dunkelweizen with a touch of barrel. Booze is more mellow in the flavor than in the aroma.

M - Viscous, chewy, smooth, medium-full body. Nice soft, but still present, carbonation. Not overly hot in the finish. A little bit sticky, but not excessively so.

D - This is a slow sipper, and a brew where I'd be happy with only one glass. It's very rich and nuanced, and as such demands a lot of engagement from the drinker. Also, while well-crafted, this particular collection of flavors doesn't personally speak to me - I like a little more roast and dark fruits in my BSDAs (a la The Viking or Rochefort 8).

I'm guessing the keg at the party was an earlier vintage, as there wasn't much of the barrel flavor noted by many other reviewers. It took about half a glass before I started to perceive appreciable oakiness. I'd be curious about comparing my experience to that from a fresh bottle.

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Photo of chinchill
3.89/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

on tap at Duckworths (NC)

Pour is a bit light for the style; but then I see this is partly a dark wheat beer. The clear dark brown/amber body is covered by a bone head that has great retention

Mouthfeel: near medium body with well-chose, soft carbonation. Very smooth.

Taste and Aroma: Wheaty, with plenty of alcohol esters and Belgian yeast. Also rather sweet up front. with hints of caramel and brown sugar, but ends mildly bitter.

O: Low on dark fruit for style, this Belgian ale was disappointing but should appeal more to folks who like wild yeast and wheat in their beers more than I do.

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Photo of jwc215
3.48/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

bottled in October, 2006 - poured into a glass chalice.

Pours very dark brown. The thin head soon becomes patchy.

The smell is winey/vinuous. Grapey with sugar candy sweetness. Subtle hints of oak.

The taste is of sugar candy, grapey wine, and vanilla. Sharp alcohol notes that smooth out over time.

The feel is creamy. A bit too light at first, but gains more of a body as it warms.

This one is different - I'll give it that. For me though, it's too sweet and wine-like.

Edit: Bottled in Jan. 08 - reviewed in Sept. 08:

Adjusted scores by .5 higher on all but drinkability.

It does have some chocolate notes that I picked up this time to add to complexitity. Body is still creamy, but yet sharp. Alcohol sharpness, oak/vanilla and vinuous (with some sourish grapey notes), in a red wine way, dominate. An interesting brew - a slow sipper. I enjoyed this bottle more than I did the first one I reveiwed. I noticed a few more subtlties and some more creaminess, but still not overly thrilled.

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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 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 dbrauneis
3.68/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Mugs Alehouse in Brooklyn, NY

A: Pours a clear amber in color with a thin off-white head. The head reduces to a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light lacing is observed.

S: A very light aroma to this beer which I was a little surprised by... Caramel malt sweetness and just a hint of smoke.

T: The beer has a great caramel malt sweetness and a nice malty body but this is complemented by a very interesting note of smoke.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: One of my favorite styles of beer and this is a good offering - a little different/interesting with the hints of smoke. Quite easy to drink and definitely one to have again.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark brown/mahogany color with a two finger, slightly off white colored, head. Nice retention, lasting for the duration. Decent lacing.

S: Lots of spice on the aroma, and a good bit of belgian yeast. A good bit of oak and brandy, some dark fruit (raisins prominently, as well as cherries).

T: Heavy dark fruit flavors - raisins, plums, cherries, and figs. The oak/wood comes through and intensifies a little as it warms. The alcohol also increases slightly with warmth.

M: Medium bodied ale with moderate carbonation, but it had a nice creamy mouthfeel.

O: Very solid beer, a nice slow sipper that I would like to drink again, maybe even sit on some for a while.

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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 WesWes
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a translucent dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It has a wicked malty scent that boasts of roasted and crystal malts along with a deep whiskey aroma. There is quite a bit of warmth and complexity in the aroma. The taste is great. It has a warming whiskey flavor that is complimented with a complex malt bill. It's roasted and full of Belgian crystal malts; very tastey. The mouthfeel is near perfect. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good beer. The whiskey barrel storage is a great idea. It really adds a whole new flavor to an already solid brew.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer appears a deep, dark shade of brown, nearly black. Atop the beer rests an inch of thick beige head that displays lasting retention, leaving a filmy sheet of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is quite complex, offering prunes, charred malt, smoke, oak, roast, figs, dates, nuts, malt, yeast, spice. Certainly an intriguing beer for the olfactory senses.

The flavor brings Belgian characteritics from the onset. Rich malt, yeast, bread, lightly spiced. A robust beer. Mildly sweet, with lingering notes of dark fruits soaked in alcohol. Roasted chestnuts and/or hazelnuts play a strong role as well.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The beer finishes with a pleasant alcoholic warmth.

A fine choice for a nightcap or to sip on a colder winter evening. Too bad it's so pricy, else I would purchase it again. For the price, I can get two bottles of St. Bernardus Abt 12 or three bottles of Rochefort 10.

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Photo of tdm168
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jtd1969 for sharing this bottle.

A - dark brown with a soft, thick, white head that has little retention

S - the nose was a little faint; dark fruit and clove

T - oak, woody, vanilla, dark fruit, burnt sugar, molasses, mild bitter finish, spicy alcohol

M - warm, full bodied, crisp

This was fantastic. The oak came through and really complimented the base beer. The alcohol is noticeable, but it's spicy and plays well with the yeast and malt. This was a great beer from start to finish.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown to black with a cream-colored head. The aroma is awesome with Belgian yeast, malt and some chocolate. The flavor is roasted malt, yeast, oak and some chocolate and alcohol. I may also get some vanilla, but it is faint if it is there. Medium-thick, creamy mouthfeel with low carbonation. A great beer.

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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 :(

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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 billab914
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my pumking chalice. It poured dark brown in color with a thin but sticky off-white head. The head retreated to the edges of the glass after a minute or so where it left some moderate lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a lot of malty sweetness to it with a moderate roasted malt flavor coming through. Some vanilla and brown sugar add to the malty sweetness flavor coming through. A bit of alcohol to it but not much for how high the abv is.

The taste shows a brown sugar, molasses sweetness to it along with some nice vanilla flavors coming through as well. It has a little bit of a dark fruit character to it but not as strong as the barrel characteristics. More of the woody, oak flavors come through in the finish along with a bit of warming alcohol. Everything came together very nicely and it was a very flavorful beer. The barrel aging really added to the flavors instead of overpowering them like they can sometimes.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with a little below average carbonation. Drinkability is good, it was a very flavorful and surprisingly easy drinking beer considering the abv %. The barrel flavors really came through nicely without overpowering the beer. Very nice beer overall.

The mouthfeel

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Photo of smakawhat
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into my tulip glass. Bottled Feb 2011 so off we go!

Dark cocoa light cocoa head off the pour with lots of staying power. Some of the bubbles are quite soapy looking and large others not so. A body of super dark red almost black in appearance. Leaves a good puck throughout drinking all the time.

Bouquet fells incredibly mellow and soft. Mellow malt, chewy yeast, dark powdered unsweetened cocoa all play along. Real good aromatics on this, not overpowering either, so pleasant feeling. Hints of pralines and caramel, it's so soft, it's like ah.. puffy clouds!

Upon tasting it feels like scotch ale is coming thick and beautiful, then some small fizzy carbonation and taste of mellowed out dark fruit (raisins/dates dried fig) comes in. This feels like some sort of crazy scotch ale Belgian dark hybrid and I LIKE IT! Drying palate on the swallow, high abv is not noticeable. Dense and light as well.

I was getting a little worried about Allagash, I had many of their beers both on bottle and tap and they were always disappointing me. I was beginning to think they couldn't make good Belgian styles. In a way they did better, they made something that is truly their own.

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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 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.

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

On Tap at The hulmeville Inn, served in a big ass goblet. I've been avoiding this beer for years and I don't quite know why?

Odyssey is a dark ass wheat beer looking pretty black yet comes off tree bark brown with a nice pretty off white/cream colored inch of foam that had some stickage on the glass, kinda coating. Great retention.

Smell is not very pungent, yet very rich and straight forward. Roasty/toasty malt, with a yeasty vibe and oak I guess, I did not really pick up on it, truthfully. Some earthy scents, a dark wheat beer is not to far off, something from bavaria maybe? I can't descrie it, rich though.

Taste is killer, it's so smooth, it's not really hot at all. I heard stories of hotness, but not here, just a hit. Dark wheat up front mixing in with light cocco and deep toasted malt, not really roasty. Oak is very minimal, but Ithink the blend of 1/2 oak, 1/2 stainless really smooths this sucka out. Id imagine this would be quite hot out of a fresh bottle.

like said, smooth, rich and decadent. I lied, there is a bit of heat after extreme warming but it is a afterthought with all this flava. Carb is minimal, but what's there keeps shit together.

Overall, I gotta try this again, cause im pissed I passed this up for so long. On tap this is a must for me now, alcohol be damned.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into an Allagash chalice. Bottled February 2011.

Appearance - Deep brown body with flecks of reddish hues. Barely transparent at the edges. Huge khaki head. Four fingers. Excellent retention and lacing. Looks spectacular, especially for a 10.3% ABV beer.

Smell - Rich caramel. A smokey presence as well that gives the caramel a surprising complexity. A bit of a cola aroma and just a hint of fruitiness behind all of it.

Taste - Deeper and richer caramel than the aroma. Diminished cola presence and nowhere near as sweet as I expected. The smokey character rounds out the flavor with a touch of char and oak that blends everything nicely.

Mouthfeel - Not thick, but definitely not dry, as I had expected from a BSDA. Creamy but remarkably easy to drink. No hint of booze.

Overall - Beautifully crafted beer. Incredible flavors and a perfect mouthfeel. This could stand up to some of the best Belgian darks.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours brown with a light off-white head, good lace.

S: Definite medicinal alcohol, phenol, dark fruit.

T: Prune and date syrup are evident with a bit of molasses and oak. Some phenol is still there, but not as big as in the smell which makes the drink more satisfying in the end.

M: Rather full-bodied, creamy, some ethanol notes.

D: Good, but not as good as I expected, but another solid brew from Allagash and one I's certainly have again.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber with a white foam collar. Aroma of dark fruits and a wine like barrel note. Sweet, fruity and oaky aroma. In the taste, nice and malty, with candied nuts, cocoa, fruity wine, and dark fruit. The body is juicy, yet semi dry and has a rock solid carbonation earned from blending a portion from steel fermenters as well as barrel aging and blending. Overall, this is a winner. A very lively Belgian Strong Dark ale.

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Allagash Odyssey from Allagash Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 409 ratings.