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Allagash Odyssey - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash OdysseyAllagash Odyssey

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,004 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,004
Reviews: 390
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.41%
Wants: 265
Gots: 197 | FT: 18
Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.40% 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: 1,004 | Reviews: 390 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of Slatetank
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am sincerely thankful to my brother tenderbranson69 for sharing this bottle with me- poured chilled from the corked and caged 750ml into a tulip glass.

A - An opaque mahogany shade w/ caramel translucent color at the glass' base w/ thick creamy light pale tan cap w/ tiny bead. The beer appears substantial in the glass and head retention is good. The lace is like a webbing of sugar pulled and stuck on the glass.

S - The aroma that you want a scente candle of - I could sniff this for hours. The scent of dark toffee and cocoa w/ toasted nuts. A mild maple + spice-like odor w/ belgian yeast esters which give a hint of fig and molasses aroma. The scent of coconut and light pepper rounds out the nose

M- A full feeling beer on the palate, moderately high effervesence w/ subtle warming. The feel is spicy w/ semi-dry finish. There is a creamy quality in the middle w/ slight sugary texture throughout.

T - The taste of dark nutty toffee and oaky toasted coconut w/ hints of dark cocoa and mild spice w/ a slight molasses hint in the background. The beer has a subtle pine hop taste which goes well with the yeast spiciness and also is complemented by the flavor of candy sugar. The alcohol is noticeable in the taste as well, but does not detract one bit, it finishes slightly strong and dry.

D - The drinkability is seriously high for such a high abv beer - 10%. I have probably not had a more drinkable beer of its strength, the flavor of the oak aging pushes the beer along and never gets in the way of the other components. Lots of belgian yeast character - a Must Try to me!

Photo of gford217
4.67/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

January 2008 bottling, poured into a tulip.

Pours dark, dark brown with hints of copper showing when held up to light. There is a small creamy tan head that recedes to a small collar and swirl in the middle.

The aroma is sweet with dark chocolate, molasses and dark fruit - raisins, plums and even some grapes. There is also a noticeable dark roasted malt character and some wood and bourbon.

The taste is spectacular and unbelievably complex. There is a base of roasted chocolate malts with molasses and dark fruits mixed in. The finish is chocolaty but with a definite bourbon and oak presence. The flavors just keep coming as it warms - figs, raisins, rum, tobacco, licorice, you name it.

The mouthfeel is very, very smooth, full bodied with good carbonation. Dessert-like overall.

I had this beer about a year ago and remembered it being good, but, wow, this is an excellent beer, probably my favorite from Allagash. It has so many things going on but they all seem to merge together perfectly. Superb beer.

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.

Photo of jsapunor
4.69/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have been looking forward to trying this Allahash offering for over a year now and thanks to West Lakeview Liquors in Chicago, I was able to obtain a bottle.

This is the July 2009 bottling. It pours a very nice dark color into the Allagash tulip with about two fingers of ecru head.

The aroma is intriguing. Dark fruits like figs and raisins with tobacco, cloves, bourbon and oak mixed in.

I love big beers that bludgeon you with whatever flavor they have chosen to feature like Stone Ruination or Allagash Curieux. Odyssey is not one of these, All of the flavors in the nose are present in the taste and they engage in a subtle interplay which is delightful. I was expecting something strong like Curieux but this is nothing like that. All of these flavors dance around in balance showing off the fabulous complexity of this beer. The nice alcohol note at the finish is to be expected given the 10.4 ABV but it, like everything else, is muted and melds well with the rest.

A nice soft warming mouthfeel rounds out the experience.

Some of the best beers in the world are marvels of balance, Westmalle Tripel and Chimay Blue come to mind. Odyssey belongs with them in the pantheon of world class beers.

Photo of Casey10
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this a couple of times such a great beer. It is a bit pricey but so well done it is worth it !!!

A - Poured into a Portsmouth tulip dark pour with a small head very dark.

S - Grapes, candi sugars, nice oak background notes as well.

T - This one is smooth yet a small bite really nice you have to drink this to see what I mean.

M - Leaves a creamy feel slightly vinous again the oak leaves a nice feel as well.

D - Wow might leave a 5 here but the price is a bit prohibative, either way a must have!!

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

July 2009 Bottling

Poured into a snifter glass. The Odyssey has a reddish-grape, brown body with a thin, off-white head. Some sudsy lacing is apparent.

The aroma consists of grapes, cherries, a bit of earthiness and some funky alcohol notes. Not pulling out too much oak in the aroma of this one, but there are some faint wood notes.

Flavor starts off like the aroma with a somewhat vinous character,which then gives way to a nice malt base and various pairings of sugared figs and cherries. The oak becomes more pronounced in the flavor, but is still somewhat subtle. Slight hints of vanilla as well.

Mouthfeel is quite smooth, lighter than I was expecting, yet somewhat creamy.

Drinkability is good. More of a sipper, but quite enjoyable. ABV is pretty well hidden and could creep up on you easily.

Overall, this is probably one of the best beers I have had by Allagash. Nice looking, decently complex flavor and smooth body. I would have enjoyed a little more oak presence, but I respect that they kept it subtle. For the price I'm not sure if I would pick this up again, but I would be interested in trying an aged version at some point.

Photo of jamie2dope
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I tend to go through little stints of gravitating toward certain styles without really realizing it, and the last few months it has been towards strong Belgian dark ales. Allagash Odyssey comes out a nice dark brown, with lovely ruby hues at the bottom of the glass. Not much heading, but a decent amount of lace sticks around. Nose is nice mix of dark fruit....figs, dates, plums, things of that nature. The plum character really shines through in the taste, with the bourbon also coming in to compliment things. Mouthfeel is beautifully balanced, and one of the beer's best characteristics. It has a fairly large body, but does not come off overdone at all. Drinking this is far too easy. It is tough not to chug this stuff. My final comments are that it took me way too long to try this beer from Allagash (one of their best IMO) and that it is just begging to be paired with a whole slew of rich dishes.

Photo of GJ40
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at Tyler's in Apex, NC.

A - Brown with a reddish tinge and very little head. Some light comes through and it appears to have good clarity.

S - Oak, cherries and brown sugar.

T - Leads with rich malts, raisins, toffee and caramel. The oak blends in well and isn't overpowering. It's somewhat on the dry side.

M - A little thin for a rich, dark beer. A nice low carbonation.

D - I'm not big on oak aged beers but this one works. It's interesting and complex.

Photo of asabreed
4.04/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

25.4 oz. caged and corked bottle into a Brooklyn tulip. Bottled in February 2005. A friend of mine just got his book accepted for publication, and this may be on the cusp anyway, so looks like it's time.

Appearance: Very dark amber in color, and even lighter when looking into the glass as you sip. Off-white soapy head leaves little rings and not many drops of lacing and fades fairly quickly.

Smell: Huge grape jam aromas initially. A bit of sourness. Bright fruity Zinfandel-like red wine aromas, along with some sour red wine vinegar. Darker plum aromas. Unsweetened chocolate. More wood and sourness as it warms. Almost some cherry soda aromas or cherry 7-Up comes through as it warms. Caramel drizzle or syrup. Cherry pie filling. Definitely more Flemish Red sourness as it warms, along with the oak and woody aromas with some vanilla and sweet cream mixed with the sour. Nuanced, balanced, and very layered.

Taste: Good combination of bright fruit esters, dark yet mild chocolate and coffee flavors, and oak flavors like vanilla, yet there's some forward nuanced sourness and cherries, wood and oak, caramel syrup, chocolate powder, cherry pie filling, and good roasted malts. Finish is lingering dark roasted malts and mild sourness, with a bit of citrus hops there too.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation, right now, just can't handle the body of this brew. After a minute or two in the glass, whereas in those two minutes it works well, but it then becomes slightly syrupy and cloying, yet it's still not to the point of off-putting, though it's certainly noticeable and I expected more.

Drinkability: Is almost 5 years too long for a beer like this? I wonder what it's like fresh, because I can't compare the two. As I said, it seems like one of the big things is the carbonation factor, where it didn't hold up as much as I expected, which was evident from the initial to the last pour. It still has legs, don't get me wrong, but I feel like it's lost a step from what I can imagine a fresh batch tastes like. Though I still enjoyed it, maybe 5 years was too long, and I hoped for more.

Photo of cptierney
4.69/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a 750ml brown bottle with a bottled date of July 2009, poured into a Chimay chalice.

The beer pours an impressive deep mahogany. There is a troubling lack of carbonation to the beer, but not enough to raise too much of an alarm as the white bubbles are present but quickly recede. The lacing is minimal as I drink.

Oh, that glorious smell. Chimay, eat your heart out. Along with a parade of dark fruits, this guy has that sweet candied sugar smell that screams BSA and on top of that has this amazing layer of deep woodiness.

The lack of carbonation on the appearance of the beer doesn't show up in the mouthfeel. I don't like my BSDA's to be overly biting and this one fits the bill. The carb is creamy and supportive and the beer is easily gulped down.

The taste is robust and complex. There is a natural caramel-like sweetness that makes the palate instantly recognize the Belgian influence, along with that delicious bready maltiness. Dark fruits are also present with the biggest contributor being a hint of a date. The oak is just suggestive and not too overpowering, providing a delicious earthy backdrop for the sweeter malts to come to the fore. Spicing is excellent with some definite hints of cinnamon and clove and ultimately making this deep beer even more complex. The bittering is minimal, this beer is all about the barley and yeast- simply glorious!!!!

For 10% this guy is deadly. The sweet isn't overwhelming and the viscous mouthfeel makes for a quickly disappearing drink. Hats off to Allagash for making a tremendous and affordable beer. One of my favorites!

Photo of JosephLondon
4.92/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

BSDAs are hard to master but when one is, I don't think there is a better beer. I had high expectations for this beer and they have been met and surpassed.

The appearance is a deep ruby brown with a light brown, stubborn head that refuses to budge which floats atop. In the several minutes it has taken the head to recede, it has left its signature of rings on the glass.

The smell is a perfect and well-balanced blend of fresh, ripe fruit and malt. However, the taste is where this beer is king. The complexity of a good BSDA is so meticulous it is impossible to decipher what and how much.

Let's see. There is pear, plum and raisin. I detect green apple, slight molasses as well as a touch of clove and cinnamon.

The mouthfeel is satin on the tongue. It is light, fluffy and silky. It caresses the taste buds upon its departure and while making its journey to its resting place. Just if it were thicker it would have the ultimate score.

Drinkability?: I just finished a 750 ml bottle. Too bad there isn't a store I can get another open at 1:37am

Photo of cpetrone84
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-hazy reddish brown color pouring a light cream colored head that lingers for a decent amount of time and leaves a fair amount of lacing

S-light aromas of oak come in first, immediately over taken by a wild yeast, some clove, hints of pear and citrus

T-the oak comes through first with the yeast flavors following. Sweet cloves, apple, pear, and some light cinnamon come in to complete this beer

M-fuller side of a medium body with a very smooth texture and a low amount of carbonation to allow this to go down nicely

D-very tasty, extremely well hidden alcohol content, great mouthfeel, very good sweetness!

Photo of maestrotmbg
4.49/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

tasted 12/09 bottled 10/06. Hints at butter and jam on the nose. Tastes malty, caramel and mildly sweet. A bit of vanilla from the oak aging is evident and adds to the complexity. Very drinkable for the style, it hides it's alcohol content very well. Flavor has no sharp edges, the beer aged well. No trace of hops. Solid mouthfeel and it's relatively dry despite very little bitterness.

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

Okay, finally succumbed to the $20+ price tag on this one. Worth it. Poured dark brown with a squatty off-white head with good retention. Solid lacing, even in the goblet. Rich, cocoa and wood aroma. Slightly smoked, some tobacco, and some leather, but not nearly enough to overwhelm the softer fruits and malt. Velvety mouthfeel with low carbonation and a long finish. Taste of English brown bread, caramel, and plums as the base. More cocoa and vanilla as the beer warms. Molasses, bourbon, and oak are always there, but very subdued. Much, much better done than the Curiex in terms of balance.

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

beer that looks like coca cola, down to the bubble. not very tight or small and disapate somewhat quickly. nose was quite disappointing at first... rust and dark fruit. though when on the warmer side and with yeast poured into the glass the dark fruit open up. fig, smokey, chocolate in a bourbon fashion. body was good when cold yet the palate didn't seem to mature in the air. when best the palate was cellar temp. nougat, toasty malt, fig, quite woody with a nice earthy smoke. there is a mild sour quality of grape, chocolate, vanilla and astringent smoke... which all ties in nicely into the bourbon warm that it goes down with mildly sweet... great beer. could be a bit better...

i would recommend when chilled to let sit at room temp for 15 minutes before popping. maintain the carbonation and let the palate expand.

Photo of david18
3.72/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is part of a rotating allagash tap at Amsterdam Ale House on new york city's upper west side. This is not my favorite style of beer but it is as good as any belgian strong dark i've had.

Great malty and dark fruit aroma. Great color and decent flavor. I will get this again.

Photo of billshmeinke
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 750ml caged cork bottle. Poured into goblet. Impenetrably black. One finger cream head that retains very well. You can actually see some bubbles skirting up the side of the glass if you look closely. Lacing is quite substantial as well.

S: Belgian yeast funk. Dark fruit, raisins mostly I'd say. Brown sugar. A little caramel, and a slight oak scent.

T: Complete opposite of what I expected from the smell. Vanilla, bourbon, molasses and oak hit you first and tend to dominate. Some bready belgian yeast in the middle. A light, sweet dark fruit, more akin to plum in the flavor, come out at the end. Sweet vanilla oak lingers.

M: Light to medium bodied. Nicely carbonated. The finish is the opposite of dry. A little warm going down reminding you of the 10.4 abv.

D: The price was hard to swallow, but the beer wasn't. In fact it was totally worth it.

If you have the chance to try this one I highly recommend it.

Photo of champ103
3.68/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nearly opaque black. Just a bit of brown around the edges. A two finger beige head gently rises, and recedes to a ring after a minute. Light lace is left behind.
S: Some Belgian yeast and light funk up front. Dry oak/wood aromas, with some light dark fruits.
T: Follows the nose. Yeast is prevalent along with some typical funk. Caramel and bread. Light wood and dark fruits linger.
M/D: A medium to full body that is low on the carbonation. Creamy and soft. Not hard to drink. The ABV is well hidden a good beer to sip on.

This is a good BSDA. Allagash continues to make good quality Belgian styles, they just never seem to blow me away. Very much worth a try, just not my favorite of the style.

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

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

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

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

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

The feel is viscous and surprisingly drinkable.

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

Photo of MrMonkey
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled July '09

Pours an extremely dark brown with a one-finger tan head that fades slowly to a skim coat and stick ring.

Smell is dominated up front by candied fruits with strong notes of prunes and raisins. There are also notes of oak and dark sugar.

Taste is very much like the nose: candied fruits up front with oak and yeast notes. There are hints of chocolate and caramel as well. The finish is on the sweet side for sure.

Medium-bodied, lightly carbonated mouthfeel.

A great beer fresh. I can't wait to see what some older bottlings are tasting like right now.

Photo of thedindaniel
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Split this (in drink and cost) with a friend tonight, as it is not a cheap bottle and I wasn't sure what to expect...

A - Dark mahogany body with a beautiful light head. Very small bubbles that cling to the glass.
S - Whoa! Barrel smell comes out for sure with a caramel-oak thing going on but an undertone of grapes. Totally smell the alcohol.
T - Here is where the let down is... very mellow compared to the smell. Has a vanilla-y flavor though.
M - Crisp, clean... dances on the tongue.
D - So, so drinkable. The 10.4 percent is a bit deceiving here and I could see myself drinking a lot of this if it weren't $22 a bottle.

Overall, worth a try if you like the style and enjoy barrel-aged beers... but not quite worth getting more than one bottle of.

Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.87/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL corked and caged. Bottling September 2008. Cases Bottled: 530. 10.3% ABV.

Pours a dark, rich brown with little to no head. Aroma of candied raisins, molasses, and spices.

Warm and whole in the mouth. More candied fruit - figs, raisins and dates; toffee, spice, dark molasses and something bready - somewhere between rum cake and the bread they serve at Outback. Incredibly quaffable for something with over 10% ABV - the alcohol is barely fainted at on the tongue but warms the belly.

Delicious, complex, and warming on a chilly November day.

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

Had on tap at the Brick House Pub. The beer is dark brown colored with a light tan head that laces in transient wet streams. The aroma is really complex, it seems they crammed everything possible into this beer. The strongest note is chocolate, with lots of berries and fruit, some sweet malty aspects too. The beer tastes way strong, sweet and estery, maybe some real fruit was steeped in here, plums or figs or something similar, a little roasted malt, and some burning alcohol holds it all together. This is too big to be anything but a sipper, but it's a really good one.

Photo of glid02
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours one shade from black with dark maroon highlights and a 1.5-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of dark fruits - plums, dried figs, and raisins - with good amounts of dark malts. Traces of tobacco waft out and increase a bit as the beer warms.

Tastes very good. Muted yet robust dark fruit flavors up front are backed by dark malt flavors. As with the smell peat and tobacco flavors come out midway through the sip and become larger as the beer warms. The ending is crisp and mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel is great. It's got a very smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could easily have a few more.

Overall this is a very good BSDA that is even better thanks to the barrel-aging. Another nicely done BA beer by Allagash and one that's well worth a shot.

Allagash Odyssey from Allagash Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,004 ratings.