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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 RWNewhouse
3.5/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of stephendedalus
3.51/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a February 2005 (750 ml) bottle. Poured a deep brown/caramel colour -- decent carbonation and a nice head (maintained head for several minutes). Smell is underwhelming -- expecting more -- just hints of vanilla and oak/bourbon with alcohol spiciness. Taste has the base notes of a dubbel acccented with the expected vanilla and oak flavors -- not much else going on. Pretty good mouthfeel and at 10.4% this is a very drinkable beer -- the ABV will sneak up on you. However, the verdict, unfortunately, is that this is less of an Odyssey and more of a (pleasant) three hour tour. Gilligan!

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.

Photo of kawilliams81
3.53/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Finnegan's

A- dark amber to brown, with little head or lacing

S- get some roasted malts and coffee, get the oak faintly

T- Almost like a light stout. Coffee, roasted malts, some chocolate notes. The oak is noticeable but not overpowering. Slight bittern finish.

M- Medium bodied, creamy semi-dry finish.

O- Again with Allagash I am not all that impressed. Not sure what I was expecting with this beer but not sure I would get it again.

Photo of maximum12
3.53/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ppoitras for shipping me this about a year ago. Bottle is from July '09 & has been resting in great comfort since it arrived. Split with my wife, who's making cheesecake for tomorrow. Love that girl.

Another thanks for taping the cage-and-cork: one gentle tug & the cork nearly levitates from the bottles. Pours such a dark crimson to be mistaken for black, until I hold it up to the light, twisting & turning, looking for a glimmer of color. There, yup. Deep red. Lots of Belgian yeast in the nose, along with clove, banana, this one sets up like a dubbel.

Odyssey warms the cockles of my throat immediately with it's 10% ABV. Beyond the alcohol, there's a strong Belgian yeast component that blurs everything else together, coming on a bit forward for my taste. Tics of dark fruits, wheat (?), & soft sweetness. But the yeast dominates, limiting both it's tastiness & drinkability into the "pretty good" range. A bit prickly; the avid carbonation was evident immediately in the ease with which the cork ended up in the garbage. If I hadn't read the "oak" on the label I might not have picked it out. Evident only in the mild drying on the end of a sip.

Good brew. Above average in all respects but nothing that stands out.

EDIT: just read the description & realized it's a Belgian "wheat" beer. Couldn't figure out where the wheatiness was coming from, now I know I'm not crazy.

Photo of homebrew311
3.54/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Deep purple color with white head. Nose is funky with farmhouse qualities and dry oak character. Notes of dark fruit present along with white oak. Taste is fruit forward with dry notes of oak and grape. Mouthfeel is relatively light with moderate carbonation. Overall, lots of Belgian esters here, not my favorite brew.

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.54/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a dark amber/brown with two fingers of fluffy head. Very good retention and lacing.

S: Caramel, cocoa powder, and sweet vanilla oak. A hint of dark fruits.

T: Caramel, a bit of prunes, and light vanilla. The flavors go well together, but this is not an overly complex BSDA.

M: Medium thickness with fairly strong carbonation.

O: The flavors go nicely together in this beer, but it's not very complex for the style. It's somewhere between a brown ale and a BSDA.

Photo of morimech
3.56/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Bottled January 2010.

Brown color with bright red highlights. A large head forms and has excellant retention before settling to a thick cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass.

I just cannot really get into this aroma. Tobacco, raisins, and a woodsy smell does not make a combination that I particullary enjoyed. Nothing is wrong with the aroma so I scored it just above average.

The flavor also fell short for me. It is not as sweet and fruity as other BSDAs. This is more earthy and woodsy. It also tastes slightly caustic and that is what turned me off a little. There is some sweetness near the finish with hints of prunes and figs. That is until the alcohol brings some warmth and solvent flavor in the finish.

This has a very good mouthfeel. It feels a little light for the style but it has such wonderful texture and carbonation, I soon forget about the weight of the beer.

For a beer that I was looking forward to for such a long time, I was left disappointed. The aroma and flavor just did not do it for me. Maybe I should try a different vintage?

Photo of MisterClean
3.56/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

At Manderes' Allagash tasting

A - Dark brown, chocolate, lots of head, which dissipates moderately.

S - Very oaky, light malts, honey, and biscuit.

T - Oak, honey, with a light smokiness. The smell was great, but got lost in the flavor.

M - Sweet, yet bitter.

D - Not sure I can drink this beer on a consistent basis because, well, the beer isn't very consistent from smell, to taste, to mouthfeel.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to overlord for this bottle. July 2009 bottling.

A: Pours a dark brown that is ever-so-slightly transparent when held to the light. Thin tan head that dissipates with a little lacing in its wake.

S: A good amount of dark fruits. Not super pungent, but the only thing that really stands out. A bit of caramel and toffee in the background.

T: The dark fruits distinguish themselves a bit more alongside caramel, toffee, and some yeasty spices. Not picking up oak here or in the nose.

M: Fairly creamy. Medium body and good carbonation.

D: Better as it warms up past cellar temperature, but nothing terribly special at this point. It's lacking in any real depth, which is surprising given that the bottle is nearly a year old.

Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 03/25/11 notes. Shared by jslot38; thanks Justin. January 2010 bottle, case 970.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with one inch of light tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of spices, dark fruit, bready malts, pepper.

t - Tastes of dark fruit, spices, yeast, and bread again. A little too much spice for me.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A good beer, but a little to much spice for me. Glad to have tried it and would given another shot, but probably wouldn't seek out again.

Photo of nhindian
3.59/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into an Allagash cervois. Bottle generously provided by apollokim as in an extra in the 'You Ain't From Around Here?' BIF, thanks Kim!

A - Pours a very rustic brown color; it's almost hard to see much color in this but with the right light it's possible. For being barrel-aged, it has a ton of carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass. An absolute monster of a head sticks to the top of this beer. 3-fingers worth of dense, cream-colored foam make up the head, and as the edges fade quicker than the middle, a strange volcano shape remains after a few minutes. The retention is excellent, with it still lasting at almost the end of the glass. Lacing is great as well, covering most of the sides of the glass with thick residue.

S - This nose has quite a bit of malts to it, which took me a bit off-guard. At first it's heavy on the grains, lending itself to bread-like qualities. There's some candied sugar in here as well, adding to the sweetness. A good amount of dark fruit comes next in the form of grapes, raisins, plums, and dark fruit. The thing that most surprised me, however, was the slight smell of bittersweet chocolate.

T - The taste follows the progression laid by the nose, however, the malts are a bit toned-down here. The fruit plays a stronger role here, beginning almost immediately and lasting well into the finish. There's a good amount of wheat in this beer from the start, giving it a lighter flavor at first. The sugar does its part to give it that special Belgian quality, and the grapes and plums reciprocate by giving off some tasty flavors. The chocolate in the nose can also be faintly tasted here, somewhere in the finish. It's a bit more alcoholic here, giving off that feel and taste of heat that's common in hotter quads. The finish has a tinge of wood in it, imparted by the barrel it aged in. The finish is long, sweet, and somewhat fruity.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately heavy with good carbonation. Surprisingly carbonated given the time spent in the barrels. Not as mouth-covering as authentic Belgians, but it does leave a finish that makes me want to drink again.

D - Drinkability is moderate. I was looking forward to this beer, so maybe my expectations tempered this beer a little, but I didn't find it completely blowing me away. Solid beer, but given the price I'm sure this bottle cost, I would like to see me influence of the barrel on here. As it is now, the oak imparts only a faint trace of its woodiness to the beer that's almost negligible.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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

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.

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!

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