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Allagash Odyssey | Allagash Brewing Company

416 Reviews
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Allagash OdysseyAllagash Odyssey

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Todd on 01-30-2005

User Reviews
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Reviews: 416 | Ratings: 1,219
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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Boilermaker88
3.61/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finally popped the top on this caged and corked bottle I picked up while in Boston. Cost: $14.99. Poured into my Grottenbier chalice.
Odyssey had an impenetrable chestnut color with cinnamon highlights. Barely visible was a lot of fine carbonation rushing upward out of view to the bottom of a densely packed light beige head. Nice sheet lace was the end result.
The nose was quite complex with waves of caramel, vanilla, oak-laden woodiness, brown sugar, raisin, and bourbon (lots of bourbon) wafting out of the glass.
Odyssey turned out to be a sipper as the high alc. content made an immediate impact. The sweetness of caramel and vanilla, raisins and plums, made for a resoundingly sugary start. The oak flavor came out mid-palate but didn't last too long before the rather heavy-handed whiskey taste kicked in and dominated the finish. The feel was full, creamy and coated the tongue.
Overall, while this offering from Allagash is decent, the whiskey taste was a deal-breaker for me. I'm not a big fan of beers that carry a bourbon or whiskey flavor in them and this one does. As such, I know of other offerings in the style that appeal to me more.

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

Pours from the 750ml bottle a dark brown with a thick tan head.

Smell is awesome, alcohol spice, oak, bourbon, and slightly sweet caramel malt.

Taste takes you on quite a ride. Dark coffee, ripe fruit, and more of the great bourbon and oak flavours introduced in the nose. A medium body is mouthcoating with rich flavours. This has an amazing complexity, and the barrel aging definitely imparts a nice profile. Finishes sweet with long warming alcohol, like a fine port.

Even though there is a lot of strength to this, it goes down amazing. It was the perfect beer to relax with after a long day.

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

Busted out a bottle at UJ's in Glenside, pours a ruddy dark brown pour with a standard khaki head cap.

Scents and flavors meet. Muted oak barrel and whiskey that the guy next to me argued about. Some sure bourbon oak barrel but not as bright as Curieux. A solid belgian that contains a barrel oak wood note.

Aftertaste is a slight linger of oak and wood. Worth trying, but I'd say not worth going crazy for.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle from Spirit Haus, Amherst, MA. Corked and caged.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed 1 1/2" of frothy tan head over the garnet-hued brew. Head lasts well due to plentiful bubbling, and lacing is almost a complete coating of heavy foam. Aroma is vanilla, oak notes, and alcohol. Taste is as the nose indicated, but with the strong flavors all melding amazingly well, and none overpowering. Mouthfeel and drinkability, for the style, are incredible, able to go down smoothly and even quickly. Worth the green to give it a try yourself.

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

The beer poured into the chalice a clear deep amber brown with an off-white head which rose nicely and fell rapidly but laced the glass.

The aroma was strong fruits, dark fruits with grapes and plums. The aroma was reminscent of port wine, tawny port to be exact, sweet and nice. As the beer warmed the aroma released more an more oak character and a slight vanilla presence from the oak. The aroma was toasty and nutty as well.

The flavor was nicely accomplished with a strong sherry and port wine flavor components. The flavor was nutty and toasty with a nice oak presence and a nice alcoholic complexity with a slight spice flavor. Alcohol added to the complexity and never detracted from the flavor as the beer warmed.

The finish was dry with lasting oak and toasty flavors coupled with lasting strong port wine character that was very well accomplished into the aftertaste. The body was between medium and medium full and very well done. A very nice beer with interesting characteristics and oak complexity. The alcohol was strongly present in the flavor and in the warming after consumption, but only detracted from the drinkability and not the flavor or complexity.

750 ml bottle, corked and bailed. $14 at Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, VA. Bottling February 2005. Bottle says 10.4% Alcohol by Vol.

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Photo of Truh
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Almost got caught between Scylla and the Chabrides with this one on 6/28/2005. 1 pt. 9.4 fl. oz. corked and caged bomber poured twice in an Allagash glass.

1/8-inch of smart foam at start that falls to a sheen and has some reticent stick. Nice brown hue with a touch of claret swimming about at the outer edges; can barely see through it and no discernible action. Very raisiny on nose, with lots of earthy woodiness, touches of red wine and bourbon, sweet blackstrap molasses, and chewy malt. Hugely vinous on the mouth with some chocolate taffy sugariness, oak mustiness, and some low throttle middle of the pike alcohol heat.

This is wonderful, pure bliss, and quite settling on the nerves.

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Photo of taez555
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled Feb 2005

Poured a dark root beer colored body with a small tan/off-white head. A big choppy head dies rather quickly.

Nose was a mix of mild phenols, oak, leather, wood, bourbon, vanilla, dark malts and alcohol.

Medium bodied and very smooth. This is 10.4%? Damn! Flavors are mostly oak, dark malt, dark silky caramel, chocolate and smooth coffee. There’s a very black coffee type bitterness. A mild earthy hop. Really though, the big oak flavor really dominates and overshadows all other flavors in this beer.

What can I say about this beer? It was good, I’d drink it again, but for the price it’s not worth it at all. I paid nearly $14 for this beer, and I know price shouldn’t factor in, but for the price I could get a big oak aged beer just as good for half the price. Worth a try, but not worth the price.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to clvand0 for sharing this with me.

It pours a bad-ass deep dark brown color with a 2 finger head that falls to a chunky coating over top. Very good looking beer. The nose is rather winey. I get rum-soaked raisin, light vanilla, puffs of alcohol, and spiceyness. Wow. Lots going on, but not over the top. The flavor is pretty darn nice. Ny initial taste gave me the impression that it was going to be boring. Just a spicey alcohol-enhanced raisiney fig flavor, but I gave it a minute to show me the full potential. The finish is not as sudden as other brews. It took a good 10 seconds to hit, but the woody, slight vanilla, but mostly just a wood flavor, comes through and lingers. I like it. The feel is a solid moderate with a light to moderate carbonation. I do get alcohol in the flavor and in the nose, but its not offensive. It enhances the experience. For this size and the complexity of nose and flavor, the drinkability is very good. I like it a lot better than the Curieux.

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Photo of clvand0
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked 750mL bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a very dark brown color with ta tall head that falls slowly and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. The aroma is very odd - reminds me of sherry, oak, fruit, and a little alcohol. Nice. The flavor has a lot going on. Lots of dark fruityness. Small hints of alcohol and vanilla. Lots of oak character at the end. The alcohol isn't very prominent in the flavor, but it is very warming. Also some fruity sweetness on the finish. The mouthfeel is on the heavy end of medium. Drinkability is really good for the alcohol levels. Very nice beer. Let it warm and it's even better.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.59/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one heck of a beer. Not black as night, like a good stout. But dark and black. And no other colors seem to be peaking out. Nice head. Good lacing on my drink. As I poured more later, lacing wasn't so good.

Smell: very complex and pleasant. A lot of bourbon in there. I want to say figs and other darkish fruits in it, but it is hard for me to identify like smells. Very complex.

Taste: bourbon and some belgian esters. You can also tell, besides with your eyeballs, that this is a dark beer. Bourbon tastes become progressively more integrated into the beer as it warms.

Mouthfeel: good at first but becomes smoother as the temp increases.

Drinkable? Yes. Very good for the high alcohol %.

I hope they keep this one around for awhile. Excellent and highly recommended, esp. for bourbon lovers. Bourbon dominates but doesn't overwhelm.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I am sampling this bottle at room temp in a tulip/snifter.

The cork comes off with a loud pop and releases a small cloud.
The beer pours a dark crimson with a fluffy beige head foaming up 4 cm easy even with a gentle pour. Several lines of carbonation rise from the bottom of the glass to the surface. The head recedes ever so slowly leaving a large crater in the center of the head.
The aroma is sweet and spicy with some bourbon hints, mixing with some sweet brown sugar and a bit of dry wood/sawdust scent.
Even a little smokiness comes out with some deeper sniffs.

First sip reveals a very fine rolling carbonation that feels like a uniform covering on my palate as I sip the brew and swish it in my mouth. The body is a little liter than expected, but definitely not watery. Smooth and easy to drink for sure.

Flavor is very nice! Flavor starts with some bourbony, brown sugar, and vanilla sweetness. Quite well intertwined IMO.
The bourbon takes over in the middle and follows through the swallow. The swallow also reveals the well hidden alcohol in this brew. A nice warming rolls down my throat with each swallow.

This is the second time I have opened a bottle of this brew and I definitely enjoy it just as much this time. If you can get one, there is no doubt that you should buy it. Well worth your $$!!

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Photo of zen
4.82/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

after having heard from a couple of people that this was just an awesome beer i just had to have it. i work in a supermarket and i work the beer section i just had to get this. after calling my beer guy i got 2 cases in. after having this i now have a favorite beer. the flavor was just amazing and has the smell of vanilla. i bought a second bottle just to age and cant wait until that is ready to taste

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mikeys01 of the bottle.
Pour a hazy, chocolate and mahogany with a bright white head that leaves line of lace on the goblet.
Aroma has some nuttiness and rich vanilla and oak flavor with some chocolate and dark cirtrus note subtlely in the background.

Flavors of chocolate covered spice with a barbeques molasses note. Very spicy and dry and alcoholic pop is just evident above the flavors.
Mouthfeel is alive and ubbly but still pretty light. Fairly sweet notes dominates with just a touch of sourness and some smoke and charcoal notes.
Drinkability is very solid but the oak imparts abit too much and really overshadows everything, especailly as the beer warms. A bit to over the top but still a nice beer and obviously impeccably brewed.

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Photo of Sixpoint
4.74/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Outstanding beer. Given to me by Joe Carroll of Spuyten Duyvil.

Aroma was very complex, but for me, it's all about the vanilla. I love the vanilla from the oak!

This beer was balanced and drinkable, and it was only a few months old. I am looking forward to what it may be like after extended cellaring.

By far the best beer I've had from Allagash. Superb!

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Allagash Odyssey from Allagash Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 416 ratings.