Allagash Odyssey - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash OdysseyAllagash Odyssey

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

403 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 403
Hads: 1,142
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 8.24%
Wants: 307
Gots: 246 | 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: 1,142
Photo of cjgiant
3.82/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottled in January 2014:
Pours a deep auburn brown, clarity visible at edges. Head is small bubbles, off white, and sustaining (light lacing). Initial pour rise to a couple fingers, but leveled off at about 1/2 cm. Nose has syrupy sugar to molasses as described. Some raisin bread provides the non-sugar notes. Only a light hint of alcohol.

Taste is subdued from the wood the pervades the sip. Taste is cola, indistinct dark fruit, and a bite of the wood at the end. The flavors come across more as the beer warms, including molasses and root beer. The carbonation from the feel is also biting, very effervescent. The wood adds a dry feel to the end of the taste.

Would like a little more strength of flavor from this beer. The flavors seemed ok to maybe even a little weak, but I think the carbonation detracted from the flavor in an unfortunate way. (863 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
3.81/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass. Sent by a generous benefactor who will remain nameless for now...

February 2011 bottling.

A: Pours a dark maroon body, opaque in the center but with a small edge translucence. A 1.5" tan head is formed upon pouring; it falls into a thin cap on top of the beer. It leave some curtains during sips.

S: Figs, raisins, cloves, and a mild aroma of oak. It's not all that pungent, and even with swirling I can't raise much complexity out of the beer. Not at all bad, but it could use some work.

T: Oak is unmistakable on this one; it has a drying effect that closes the taste out nicely. And yet, it's not dominant or overpowering. The beer uses it to great effect. The main taste delivers flavors of figs, raisins, cloves, pepper, and soft vanilla. It is remarkably balanced for its complexity. While it delivers a smorgasbord of sweet components, it doesn't come off as a cloying mixture; the simpler sugars have fermented out, and the remaining ones are counterbalanced by oak to lower the perceived sweetness. I don't like the dominance of the phenolic flavors, but that's just a personal preference.

M: It's on the dry side for the style, but that is emphasized by the light astringency of the oak, and the spices in the finish. And yes, being dry is a good thing in my eyes (or mouth, whatever). Medium-bodied, with soft, velvety carbonation.

O: It's quite good. I find the spices played up too much for my liking, but its dryness is appealing, and the superb use of oak makes it stand out from other examples of the style. Hopefully they'll play around with the recipe some more to make it better (or what I consider better). (1,667 characters)

Photo of sabrills70
3.81/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle witha bottling date of October 2006. Pours a deep mahagony brown with a 2 finger head and very nice lace. Hard to get a decent aroma - I'm brewing right now so I will give it a average. Fruity, earthy, a bit smokey and roasty. Ok hop bitterness cosidering the style. Alcohol fairly well hidden. Smooth and very drinkable. I'm glad I aged this for a year. Nice beer. (395 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 brewcrew76
3.8/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sept 2008

A - Brown with ruby hues. Thin tan head quickly disappears to a ring of lace.

S - Oaky vanilla with some dark fruits. Some bready malts but fairly subtle.

T - Oak and vanilla, toasted bread, fig, sweet malt, hints of prune, molasses and cocoa.

M - Low carbonation giving it a soft almost watery mouthfeel that leaves a bit of stickiness on the tongue.

D - A little more malt complexity would really work well with the oak. Solid beer. (449 characters)

Photo of erz316
3.8/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

july 2009, westmalle chalice

the cork comes off with no real pop. the body is almost black, no sight of turbidity, the head is reluctant to form and has a light off white colour, maybe cream coloured. the nose is lacking potency and a few elements (no real spiciness or alcohol). the taste is nothing special; I would just go for th trappistes instead of bothering with thi brew. the taste is almost slightly cola-infused, with a light fruitiness, good malts, and some alcohol. the body is well carbonated and a hair light, but all in all it is a drinkable belgian. (566 characters)

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. (656 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 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. (1,647 characters)

Photo of Overlord
3.78/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to lightindarkness for the trade.

Pours a dark brownish black ... maybe some red highlights. Kind of a strange pinkish hued foam, actually. Pretty neat.

After the phenomenal interlude, I had high hopes for Odyssey. Alas, it didn't really live up to them. It's a strangely well carbonated beer. Not a terribly thick mouthfeel. Smells like roasted malt and oak. An earlier reviewer mentioned that this was a lot like drinking carbonated wine: I agree. There's gigantic vinous and oak notes. I'm not sure what the base included ... maybe prunes/figs/raisins. As you sip/let it warm, there's definitely a bit of candi or molasses sweetening the pot.

Actually, this beer seems like something Lost Abbey would put out. It's good, but not great. (749 characters)

Photo of dsa7783
3.77/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ML bottle purchased caged and corked from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
"Bottled January 2008 - Cases Bottled: 600"
Heard a lot of mixed reviews about this one, and since usually almost everything Allagash produces is a solid sample, had high hopes for this corked one which ran almost $14.99...
Pours a tremendous, deep-dark, pitch-black colored hue with hardly any head at all and minimal lacing to say the least...
Strong aroma of vanilla oak present along with a heavy suggestion of malts balanced by a tinge of hops...
The flavor was extremely dominated by a thick oak-presence along with strong vanilla and wine nuances... This thick, rich, full-bodied beer definitely has powerful wine characteristics and really mimics a red-wine both in the nose and mouth...
Mouthfeel was thick, rich, and creamy, but took a slight hit due to the extreme oak-flavor imparted by the taste... I'm sure if I had let this one sit for a year or two, it probably would have mellowed out a bit more...
Drinkability was about average to say the least, as the heavy 10.4% ABV was certainly noticeable and the cloying oak flavor was also present...
Not Allagash's best sample, and in my opinion, definitely not worth the price paid for... (1,239 characters)

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. (665 characters)

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 beeradvocate.com. 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. (502 characters)

Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A very average beer. This beer has a lot going for it, but it is all going in different directions. The lack of balance is quite off-putting and keep you from really enjoying this beer. (187 characters)

Photo of IntriqKen
3.73/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Damn!
Everything by Allagash seems to warrant a 5.0 rating.

Pours a moderate deep brown with a nice slightly off-white head that sticks around for a long time.

Aromas are rich with sugary dark malts, dark brown sugar and alcohol.

Taste is Dark malt with only a hint of oak but lots of brown sugar. Nicely mellow and balanced...not cloying in the least but definitely sweet.

Aftertaste is sweet dark malt but clean, none the less. (433 characters)

Photo of cookin420
3.72/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a big ol' snifta

Blackish with a twinge of ruby. Pale- khaki head is small but coating.

Oak and it's sidekick vanilla, cherries and some smoke? I smell a BBQ. Grapes. Very wine like. Pinot Noir to be specific. I have to wonder what kind of barrels were used.

Well, chocolate milk does come to mind. Minimal roasted character Minimal bittering, big vanilla and plum. Also the Pinot again. I do feel that I should state that I took notes on this brew and when I sat down tonite to review, I saw that this actually was a Belgian yeasted brew. I cannot say that this was a noticeable aspect of the flavor and I would call it's attributes to the flavor minimal to none.

Very creamy. Almost oily. Any more oily and the bell curve would be working against it. Hmmm. Mouth full of whipped cream?

10%? This went down like an ESB Very drinkable. (858 characters)

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. (281 characters)

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

A: Black pour with a big white head. Retention isn't great and not a lot of lacing.

S: Very malty. Caramel, oak, and a bit of booziness noted. Perhaps some chocolate.

T: Matches the smell well. Lots of oak and caramel. Very heavy on the malts and boozy with a slightly roasted finish.

MF: Carbonated well and a little heavier body than I thought. Decently dry.

O: Considering this is 17 months old I'd say its pretty good. Oakiness isn't terribly invasive, but the taste isn't top notch. (491 characters)

Photo of jwinship83
3.72/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged bottle. bottle says it was bottled in jan, 2010 and is 10.3% ABV. drank from my chimay chalice.

A- this one pours out a very thin looking dark brown colored body with a small beige colored head on top. the head is quick to become no more than a crown and doesnt leave much to speak of as far as lacing goes.

S- the first thing i notice about the nose is sweet brown sugar and caramel malts. a little bit of candi sugar. not as heavy on the dark fruits as other examples of this style, but i do pick out some raisins, cherries, and plums. sadly, the oak shows up very faintly.

T- the taste starts out pretty sweet with brown sugar and belgian candi sugar. there is a lesser amount of caramel malts also. after that i get some raisins, plums, and a hint of fig. it almost reminds me of fruitcake. the oak barrel brings some vanilla, but as with the smell, its pretty subdued. alcohol sneaks through at the end.

M- light bodied. very thin and watery. there is a high level of carbonation that fits the style well. some dryness left in my mouth from the oak and alcohol.

D- easy to finish my half of this bottle. not my favorite example of the style, but the oak aging does add something different. the next time i drink a bottle of this, its going to be alot older. 3-4 years maybe? (1,311 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.7/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-draught into an 8 oz stem-goblet at The Bruery Provisions in Orange, California. It was overpriced of course (seeing as it was The Bruery). Expectations were extremely high given the brewery, which I'm rather fond of. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger head of nice cream, good thickness, and great retention for the ABV. Colour is a solid nontransparent dark amber.

Sm: Fruit, plums, amber hops, cream, toasted malts, vanilla bean, and caramelized malt. A mild to moderate strength aroma.

T: Complex and subtle, with all the notes from the nose plus more bright fermented fruit like cherry or even raspberry. Lightly toasted malt forms the foundation. Almonds, dried fruit, and raisins are all present. Quite nice. Full bodied yet delicate and enjoyable. No yeast. Nice layering. Incredibly well balanced. Nicely built for the style.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with a subtle cream undertone. Complements the flavours well. Delicate and light on the palate.

Dr: Very drinkable for the ABV - which is itself really well hidden. I rather enjoy it. It was high priced, but worth it. All things considered, I did expect this to be better - especially given its reputation and seeming trade value. It's really good, but it isn't great. Not worth trading some great for.

A good candidate for aging.

High B (1,324 characters)

Photo of WhiteOak
3.7/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark, clear, bright copper color, verging on cola brown. Tan head settles quickly without lacing.

S- Burnt caramel, brown sugar, raisins, all rounded-off with oak's influence.

T- A touch of Dopple Bock/Belgian stout fusion here.

M, D- Medium-full bodied, but quite drinkable. A touch weak on CO2. (303 characters)

Photo of ccrida
3.7/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Jan 08 bottling poured into my St. Feuillien goblet, Odyssey is a dark brown with a creamy tan head that has long last and leaves heavy sheets of foamy lace. I choose this beer as the nightcap to my 30th birthday after sitting on it since it was release. I can't express how much I enjoy Jerry's solo's, but listening to his work on Jack Straw at Madison Square Garden on 9/04/1979, I'm just floored - magic! Not quite like this beer, but it nevertheless adds to the overall gluttonous pleasure of the situation.

Smell is sweet dark malts, with a soft, boozy, dark fruitiness, some vanilla. Served at at cellar temp. He's really working out Sugaree, and it's just dripping with honey. You've got to be kidding me, even fiercer then nose on this brew!

Taste is also very rich, a lingering, spicy astringent finish, this one is still a bit hot, like the guitar work in Me and My Uncle, even after almost a whole year of perfect conditioning! Light notes of cured fruits, nuts, madeira, with a bitter, sharp, lingering finish. Unlike this set, it took me a while to warm up. As an interesting contrast, I had a few St Bernabus Noel's on draught tonight. While of course a spiced BDSA will be sweeter then a barrel-aged one, there's no question I preferred the succulency of the noel.

Mouthfeel is thicker, solvent like, dry and spicy, with no where near the flow of Jerry's picking on Big River!

Drinkability isn't too high, this is an intense beer that is a very slow sipper. Couple that with the $15 price tag and that fact that this year's vintage was only 600 cases, and you're talking special occasions only. Much unlike Candyman, which I can listen to all day, particularly this rendition! As the old man I've become, I've realized my number one occupation is no longer taking women from their men - but I was still born in the desert and raised in a lion's den! (1,873 characters)

Photo of nick76
3.7/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is very wooden and earthy with toasted malt, yeast, maple bacon, whiskey, brown sugar. The appearance is dark brown with a one finger head. The flavor is like the aroma with a touch of chocolate. The palate is thick. I like it but it's just to wooden for me. (268 characters)

Photo of AlexJ
3.7/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2005 Vintage

Dark ruby-tinged brown pour with a billowing head of light tan suds. Head retains well and leaves plenty of lace.

Aroma is dark berries, musty grape, fruity sweetness, and plenty of dry oaky notes with hints of vanilla and spice.

The flavor is quite similar. It is filled with dark fruit and berry notes, musty minerality, powdery yeast, and hints of red wine. The oak is a bit strong, but delivers a nice touch of creamy vanilla and charred wood. It is dry at first, but sweetens a bit as it warms in my goblet.

Mouthfeel is crisp and bubbly with a medium body and big bubbles. It tastes stronger than 10%, limiting drinkability. I'm glad I had someone to split the 750.

Overall a nice cellaring experiment, now i just need to try a fresh bottle! (776 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
3.69/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

750ml C&C bottle from February 2011. Generously sent to me by Gunch. Thanks John. Poured into an unlabeled snifter today, 2/6/2014.

App- Dark black body, looks a bit thin but definitely a non-illuminable brown; comes with a nice fluffy 2 finger white head that makes for a nice contrast. Good retention, no lacing.

Smell- Sweet caramel, vanilla, roast malts, some dark fruits, good oak presence. No real hint of the Belgian yeast that was presumably used here.

Flavour- Caramel, roast malts, figs. Less complex than the nose. Less oak is present on the palate. Even is a bit metallic.. not enough to detract from the whole experience. Not a particularly intense or complex beer, but still tasty. No alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel- On the thin side, a bit watery. Fine carbonation. Aftertaste is a solid sweet vanilla flavour that fades away quickly. Fairly drinkable for the ABV.

Overall- Interesting take on the BSDA; unfortunately this style must not be for me. Seeing how expensive this one is makes me shake my head. I wouldn't buy this again if it was just me; though if you like BSDAs, this might be for you. (1,116 characters)

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