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Allagash Odyssey - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash OdysseyAllagash Odyssey

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

406 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 406
Hads: 1,150
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 8.24%
Wants: 308
Gots: 246 | FT: 18
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: 406 | Hads: 1,150
Photo of argock
3.61/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750ml brown corked bottle into a Duvel tulip. February 2011 on front label. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $16.99.

A: Soft brown with 1-2 fingers of light beige big-bubbled head with good retention and generous lacing.

S: The aroma is subtle malty with a lot of prune and grape with muted yeast and earthy hops. Everything is just a little too light all the way around.

T: The flavor is nice but not making me say wow at all. The grape and plum fruit presence is most marked and has a lightly tart edge with a touch of yeast spiciness and a slightly dank, earthy hops component. There is nothing objectionable but it isn't a religious experience for me.

M: Feel is smooth and quite light for the ABV -- nice job there. Carbonation is solid medium-to-high which provides a crispness which works well for the tart barrel notes.

O: I liked the beer but by no means loved it, which you had better at this price. I would definitely take one of the Unibroue BSDAs over this anyday. (1,016 characters)

Photo of rfgetz
3.62/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky reddish brown in color with minimal fluff of head but leaves good lacing. Scent is of sweet malts, touches or fresh grain, earth, oak, light spice and floral hops. Taste is a rather undewhelming blend of dark crsty bread, sweet malts, very mild spicing - failry weak tasting. Lighter side of Medium body but somewhat watery. Just doesnt do much for me, mild without being complex, lacks assertiveness and a good oak quality from he aging. (452 characters)

Photo of Damian
3.62/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank on-tap at the Publick House, Brookline, MA

Poured a near-opaque, deep brown/black with ruby highlights when held to the light. A light tan, wispy head quickly dissipated to a clingy ring of froth.

The aroma was dark and sweet. Oaky and bourbony with notes of vanilla, brown sugar, black licorice and sweet cream. Dark fruits were noticeable as well.

The taste was quite similar to the aroma. Malty rich and creamy up front. Slightly acrid. Dark and oaky with raisins, prunes and figs coming through in the center. Some coffee as well. The finish was bourbony and quite warm (alcohol-wise) with a lingering, sweet, alcohol-rich aftertaste that intensified as the beer warmed.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied (a touch lighter than I was hoping for) and somewhat creamy with a lively, spritzy carbonation.

At 10% ABV I definitely expected the alcohol to be a noticeable component of this beer. However, I felt it was a bit overpowering.

Considering that this is an oak aged beer, I was disappointed by its lack of overall smoothness. Oddly, this beer seemed to contain more of the roasty maltiness associated with a porter or a stout than the phenolic fruitiness found in most Belgian strong ales. This is definitely a unique beer yet I do not feel it is one of the better examples of the style. (1,300 characters)

Photo of sacfly
3.63/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml, Bottling: October 2006
Pours a deep reddish brown color with a large head of tan/brown bubbles. Vanilla and oak in the nose. Taste is roasty with hints of bourbon, tobacco, wood, and a hint of plums. Rather thin mouthfeel. Moderately dry aftertaste. The bourbon comes out more at the end. Enjoyable and different, but not something I would choose often. I think this could use some aging. (396 characters)

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.64/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

January 2008 bottling

Pours a dark ruby color with the perfect amount of head, at first seems fizzy but turns out to have good retention and a nice ring of lacing.

Smell is rather strong in oak with a sharp alcoholic bite, these characteristics seem to override any other subtleties the aroma might have.

Taste also displays a heavy use of barrel aging with a woody aspect coming through strong in the mouth, bit of an alcoholic bite, would be very creamy if not for the lively carbonation, lots of slickness which seems to make my mouth feel oily.

Overall a bit disappointed after having the Interlude, I was expecting something as great as that. Still an above average Belgian ale though, albeit a bit boozy, might need to age a bit to simmer down. (754 characters)

Photo of craytonic
3.65/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Looks like koolaid or crystal light, very watery. Easy to backlight, produces a ruby-mahogany color. Not like other BSDAs or stouts. I didn't get the telltale Allagash head and lacing.

Smell: Dark fruits (fig, plum, grapes, dates), vanilla, molasses, tobacco, toffee. I kept expecting more from it as it warmed but it never really opened up.

Taste: Very heavy on the fresh oak and buttery wood, I wish these were previously used barrels instead of new ones - gives it a very American new oak element. As with the aroma, I kept expecting more as it warmed but this offering never delivered. Some dark fruits (raisins, plum, grapes, dates), vanilla, rum, molasses, tobacco, toffee.

Mouthfeel: A little to light, doesn't compare to the belgian offerings. Mine was also a tad flat. Nowhere near the body I wanted or expected.

Drinkability: Decent, nowhere near the top of the Allagash offerings though. (914 characters)

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

Served on tap at Mugs Alehouse in Brooklyn, NY

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

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

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

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: One of my favorite styles of beer and this is a good offering - a little different/interesting with the hints of smoke. Quite easy to drink and definitely one to have again. (680 characters)

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. (708 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)

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 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 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 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 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 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)

Allagash Odyssey from Allagash Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 406 ratings.