Allagash Odyssey - Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash OdysseyAllagash Odyssey

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

403 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 403
Hads: 1,140
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 4.94%
Wants: 307
Gots: 247 | 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: 403 | Hads: 1,140
Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.93/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter at cellar-room temperature. Bottled December 2011.

L – Ruby brown color with a 2-finger cream-colored head that is bubbly and rocky at first, then progressing to a cap of froth reminiscent of a nitro beer (think Guinness). Excellent retention and lacing with great clarity and tons of bubbles. This is also the first time that I’ve ever seen “legs” in a beer. I’m sure I’ve had beers with them before, but this is the first time that they’ve really stood out to me.

S – This aroma has some incredible things going on. There are tons of malty-sweet scents. I’m getting caramel, molasses, brown sugar, dark candi sugar, raisins, figs, dates, a hint of cocoa, and some vanilla. There’s also the perfect amount of musty, woody oak. This is a fantastic-smelling beer.

T – The taste follows the aroma perfectly and is just as phenomenal. It’s sweet nearly all the way through with caramel, molasses, raisins, dates, figs, and vanilla. Some cocoa comes through as the taste progresses. At mid-taste, some spicy clove-like yeast flavors appear and serve as a great introduction to the woody, dry oak that shines at the finish.

F – Medium-to-full-bodied with great carbonation, a sticky, prickly, creamy, and mouth-coating feel all in one, and a sweet, slightly spicy, and dry finish. Malt sweetness, clove spiciness, and oak dryness all linger and combine amazingly with a very smooth throat-warming sensation from the alcohol.

O – This beer not only rivals most good actual Belgian strong dark ales, but also surpasses a good amount of them. If I did a blind tasting, there is no way I would think that this was from anywhere other than Belgium. Even the mouthfeel mimics the true Belgians. Of all the aspects of a beer, I’ve found that American brewers have the hardest time finding the right Belgian mouthfeel. Drinking this beer was a truly wonderful experience. I can’t give a beer a perfect 5, but this is very, very close. It stands up with some of the best Belgians out there. This is a must try. (2,070 characters)

Photo of AlexFields
4.54/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, thick wooden mahogany color, hazy and complex, with a very elegant and even dark creamy head. Looks wonderful, reminds me of really nice furniture.

Smells of grape, dark chocolate, dark wheaty bread, yeast, and wood. Very nice aroma, and complex. Sweet raisin starts to emerge too as it warms a little.

Taste is fantastic. Like a super dark loaf of rich whole wheat bread, with raisins and nuts and dark chocolate. Spices and yeast too, subtle vanilla and oak. This is just amazingly elegant and perfect.

Mouthfeel is really thick and rich and elegant, perfectly carbonated and drinks just right.

This is a damn good beer, haven't had anything quite like it. Complex, rich, elegant, well balanced and ultimately unique. Wish I had a case of this to see how it ages.

9.3/10 (791 characters)

Photo of draheim
4.04/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750mL (bottled February 2011) into a chalice. Pours a clear mahogany w/ a rich creamy khaki head, good lacing.

Aroma is deep and complex. Red grapes, brown sugar, molasses, raisins, slight cocoa.

Taste is sweet and fruity, tempered by the dry oak. Lots of residual sugars, Belgian yeast, dark bready malt, spice, and a strong dash of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is velvety, medium-bodied, with a clean dry finish.

Overall a good BSDA, but maybe not a favorite. (456 characters)

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

A: Pours a murky chestnut color with a thin cream-colored head. Some spotty lacing.

S: Lots of dark fruit and Belgian yeast on the nose. Plum and date stand out the most along with a good amount of oak.

T: Rich and malty upfront with a good hit of dates and raisins. Lots of oak, some chocolate and brown sugar. Finishes on a bit of a dry note, but has a great full mouthfeel. Good stuff but I don't think it's worth the price. (429 characters)

Photo of palma
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great looking head.

Not very exciting with the nose. Smells like a typical dark belgian style ale. A little too sweet of an aroma for my liking.

Taste is complex from the get go. Semi dry throughout. wheaty notes. Plum, dates, nutty, Pecan pie. A mild fruitiness. Along with some light clove and banana esters Mild charcoal and toast from the charred barrel ageing I believe. A touch of smoke as an other reviewer has also noted. Very complex and not cloying in the least. A great tasting, complex, and highly drinkable dark beligan.

I dont believe this beer is 10.4 abv. taste more like 8 percent. (602 characters)

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

25.4 oz. bottle poured into a .4L Weizen/Pilsner glass.

Appearance: Deep, dark, amber but not quite brown. Nice initial head of about 2” which quickly recedes to about 1/2”, decent lacing.

Smell: Some floral hops surprisingly, with some hits of malt underneath.

Taste: Interesting, malty almost nut brown-like nut flavor, no dark fruit at all and a nice hoppy bitterness on the finish. The beer matches some of the nutty characteristics of some Belgian Quads (Val-Dieu Grand Cru) but lacks the depth and complexity that the Belgian beers offer. No real flavor development beyond the bready malt and nutty flavor. The bitterness on the finish does provide a nice balance. The alcohol is completely masked. The effects of Oak aging are not noticeable.

Mouth feel: Very smooth pleasant mouthfeel, the hops clean the palate on the finish.

Overall: Not a bad beer; however, as an attempt at a Belgian Quad it again (for most American brewers) misses the mark, matching some of the flavors but missing many major components (dark fruit, Belgian candy sugar, etc.). The price point is another negative as there are much better options out there. (1,147 characters)

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. (552 characters)

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. (502 characters)

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

Bottle dated February 2011. Coming up on 2 years old.

A: Pours a very very dark brown with a hint of red in it. Head is huge and fluffy, light brown with even a little red in it too (almost pink really). Fades slowly, leaving huge fluffy blobs of lacing all over the glass.

S: Surprisingly very wheaty. Like a big old wheatwine. Lots of oak, leather and tobacco in there. Touch of hickory-like smoke. Lightest hint of cocoa.

T: Very unique flavor right off the bat. Loaded with heavy, dark wheat but equally balanced with charred wood. Has an astringent ashy, toasty and chocolate character. Caramel and brown sugar helps sweeten it up and balance it out. Touch of leather and the faintest hint of meat, especially on the back end. A little bit of char and earth in the lingering aftertaste. Flavors are melded quite well, nothing is too sharp - it all just flows together.

M: Heavy but smooth and creamy. A bit astringent from the char. Maybe chalky is a better word. Just a little. Not over the top.

O: What a great beer. What really sets this one apart is the level of complexity while maintaining an excellent balance of flavors. Every sip, something new stands out. I will say I didn't get a huge amount of belgian influence in this one oddly enough. It's a little fruity, a little earthy and a little spicy but nothing really stands out like so many BSDAs do. It's basically a belgian-style wheatwine aged on charred oak. Very tasty, very unique and expertly crafted. (1,479 characters)

Photo of vandemonian
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Allagash Odessey is malty, smoky, dark, good. I didn't find it especially complex, but it was quite nice.

A: Clear dark brown colour and a great 1 cm head. 4.5

S: Malty, umami and a little smoke. 4

T: Malty with hints of smoke and meat. A little oak in the finish. 3.5

M: foamy. 4.5

O: 4 (299 characters)

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. (917 characters)

Photo of jtd1969
4.97/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Carbonation is high. Deep Reddish Brown in color.

S -Plum, raisin, brown sugar, and some oak.

T - So good. Chocolate, raisin, prune, caramel, spice, lots of dark ripe fruit.some smokiness, oak finish. It had a good bitterness along with the mounds of fruit, yeast and smooth malt character. Very complex. It was so good.

M - Medium body with high carbonation. Extremely smooth. Delicious.

O - Beer is something special. So glad I got a pour from this outstanding keg of beer. (483 characters)

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

Drank a 2009 vintage pulled from my cellar this evening. Poured into an Allagash 40cl glass. Dark cola colored body with a ton of carbonation still left after 3 years of aging. Plenty of lacing. Smell has vanilla and bourbon. The taste was a bounty of caramel, rum, raisins, chocolate, and just a bit of smoke. Absolutely wonderful. Mouthfeel was insane. So smooth - it was like silk going down. Three years in the cellar did wonders for this beer. I want to get one another now and eagerly await 2015. (502 characters)

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

750 mL bottled Feb 2011. Poured into Allagash chalice. Bought this at the brewery a year ago this month.

A - Ruby brown in color with three fingers of tan head. Carbonation is extreme, with endless bubbles.

S - Sweet raisin and plum, belgian candy, brown sugar, slightest hint of oak.

T - WOW! Sweet dark fruit, chocolate, yeast, oaky finish, yellow raisins, prunes, the brown sugar is back. Caramel, spice and smoke. So much going on. This is really something special.

M - Medium body with sharp carbonation bubbles. Soothing and smooth. Goes down easy and leaves a slightly drier mouth.

O - Overall I was very pleasantly surprised. This beer is phenomenal. To date only Black and White have wowed me from Allgash, but this is on a whole new level. (754 characters)

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

Received this in a trade some time ago. From the 2009 bottling, review is from notes taken on 8/12/2012 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass (blasphemy, I know...)

Appearance: Pour is a deep, dark coffee brown with some lighter mahogany near the sides; starts with a short one finger tan head that fades quickly to a thin, but full and pretty even cap; a few strands of lacing are left behind; body is quite dark and it's difficult to see in to far, can't get a read on the carbonation.

Smell: It does indeed smell like a Belgian - plenty of dark, and very ripe fruit as well some spiciness (could it be cloves?); bit of a dark, bready yeastiness to it as well; smell is decently strong -- very favorable; perhaps some Candi on the tail end with a touch of sweet booziness as well.

Taste: Really just like the nose -- plenty of those dark and very ripe fruits -- no sense of tartness to them at all; bit of the Candi blends in there as well, but I have to say that it's really blended well, it doesn't even try to take over the fruitiness but lends a little sumpin' sumpin' to it; spiciness is there, mild, though, and I do believe it is cloves that I'm tasting; I feel that there's a bit of something else, and it reminds me a bit of whole-leaf, sticky and sweet, tobacco; touch of alcohol, but again it blends quite well for something over 10%.

Mouthfeel: Body is of medium weight; carbonation is present, but it's very soft and creamy -- really quite smooth; a thick and sticky coating is left all over the roof of the mouth; belly is left a touch warm from the alcohol.

Overall: This is really an excellent beer on all fronts; great scents, even better flavors, a body that's not going to weigh you down too much (a full bottle is going to be quite a bit, but hell, it's not like I come across this a lot), and the alcohol is big, and I'm a fan of that. Cheers to Allagash, on perhaps their best beer that I've come across yet. (1,942 characters)

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

Review from 5/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark orange brown. Medium tan head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, dark fruit and light oak. Unusual flavor of caramel malt, dark fruit, wood, and an odd astringent bitterness up front. Caramel and wood middle and finish with the same light bitterness. The bitter spicing and high alcohol make it appear somewhat medicinal, but this is very complex and well balanced. Medium bodied with some creaminess. A nice, very interesting take on a Belgian dark. Expensive, but worth it for the experience. (587 characters)

Photo of brewskifan55
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. December 2011 batch. Thanks, Cliff.

A: Cola brown; tan, 1 finger head that lingers. Great lacing.

S: I can smell the bourbon a mile away. Wow. Then the malt slides in with a caramel backbeat. Love that malt smell.

T: Oaken, smokey, bourbon-y, caramel, toasty, molassas. A chewy finish. Just spectacular. Alcohol slides in to seal the deal.

M: Heavy carbonation, frothy on the tongue.

O: This is just an outstanding ale. An excellent after dinner drink. (483 characters)

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. (541 characters)

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

750ml corked and caged bottle served in a snifter.
bottled february 2011 (10.4% ABV)

pours a murky chestnut tone yielding a nice 1 and 3/4" foamy tan head. superb retention with lacing in abundance. excellent presentation. nose is headlined by a bready, toasty maltiness. secondary notes of spice, belgian yeast, and a hint of dark fruits, maybe candied sugar.

unusually spice-forward flavor profile, definitely above average for the style; i'm getting a decent amount of clove and pepper... a big bready malt presence is there as expected... decent sweet element to it with the dark fruits and candied sugar but nowhere near cloyingly so. maybe even a touch of bitter chocolate in the background. very good. creamy, medium bodied mouthfeel with average to slightly below average carbonation.

my initial reaction was that it was a bit too spicy, but as i drank and the beer warmed, it opened up some and appreciably improved. you don't get a lot of bang for you buck here but it's a high quality brew worthy of the splurge from time to time.

(originally reviewed: 04-24-2011) (1,079 characters)

Photo of tigg924
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

ad on tap at the New World Tavern--Plymouth

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, amber in color, clear

Smell: dark fruit, chocolate, oak, and smoke

Taste: smoky start,followed by sweet dark cherries,other dark fruit, moderate oak and a big alcohol kick at the end.

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, medium-light body,sweet and smoky--but not smoky enough for a smoke beer--with a bitter back bone and an alcohol rush at the end

Overall: Love the whole combination here. Truly an exceptional beer, the smoke and oak play delightfully with the great qualities of a BSDA. Am going back to find this again. (594 characters)

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. (1,015 characters)

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. (933 characters)

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

750ml corked and caged poured into a goblet. Bottled Dec 2011. From the brewery.

A: Pours a brownish ruby with a 1 1/2 finger off white head. Thick and chunky head stays present as I drink. Carbonation is still visible in it.

S: Hits you with some nice belgian yeast and notes. Carmely wheat notes with a touch of bourbon. Dark fruits and a nuttiness in there too. Some alcohol on the aroma too.

T: Pretty complex yet balanced taste. Has the wheat base with dark fruits and banana. Bourbony oak creeps up on you at the end but isnt overpowering.

M: Smooth and creamy. Ample carbonation. Easy drinking for being so strong.

Overall a delicious beer, very enjoyable. Love the hints of bourbon on the wheat base. (715 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark brown with a creamy head that slips down into a collar

S: dark fruits (like raisin) and molasses/toffee

T: wheat, candi sugar, roasted barley; suggestions of dark fruits like dates and raisins; some oak - a very "classy" dry finish with hints of vanilla

M: crisp and toasty - especially for a dark beer - medium body, some sparkle

O: high class beer here - very impressed with Allagash again - this is a very well-balanced, smooth, and complex beer (460 characters)

Photo of PeterIngemi
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 bottled dec 2011 into a duvel glass

A: pours a dark ruby brown with a two finger khaki head.... Nice retention and nice lacing.

S: dark fruit, plums, raisins, toasty grains, chocolate, a bit of yeast... Light coffee aroma, overall the aroma is very well balanced.

T: toasty grains, chocolate, a touch of coffee, the dark wheat becomes apparent in the flavor.... A bit of underlying dark fruit, a very well balanced flavor

M: medium body with low carbonation and a creamy mouthfeel. The alcohol is very well hidden and this brew ha a nice drink ability.

O: a solid brew.... Especially of one I didn't think I would like to much.... I typically don't really enjoy wheat beers or Belgians.... But this one was so nicley rounded and well done it was impossible not to enjoy. (794 characters)

Allagash Odyssey from Allagash Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 403 ratings.