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Allagash Odyssey - Allagash Brewing Company

Allagash OdysseyAllagash Odyssey

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

804 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 804
Reviews: 375
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.39%


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:
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 added by: Todd on 01-30-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 804 | Reviews: 375 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Pahn
Pahn

New York

4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into Duvel tulip. Bottled January 2008, drank September 18, 2011.

Appearance: Free pour yields a one and a half inch frothy offwhite head that sticks around a long time and leaves behind sweeping lacing. Pours a very dark ruby. Leaves streaks and islands of lacing.

Smell: At first, very roasted smelling, with a heavy layer of vanilla oak and some background dark fruitiness. The aroma gradually builds toward sugary and fruity. Some apple and booziness come out as well. Eventually, it smells strongly of a toffee / marzipan based pastry, with the oak influence always in the forefront.

Somehow, the aroma doesn't really elevate the taste (I think it smells a bit too different from the taste), but it is a very nice smell nonetheless.

Taste: Lots of roasted malt up front, then a healthy dose of oaky vanilla, resolving into a thin, very carbonated hit of simplistic BSDA dark fruit and Belgian yeast. The long aftertaste of the first sip is almost exactly like Raisinets, which is not at all a bad thing. Age has apparently smoothed out any hint of booziness.

Subsequent sips are similar, but always different to the point of interesting (and good). There's a slight note of oxidation up front (that i like), along with a persistent roasted barley and oak. Finish and aftertaste occasionally have a strong coconut flavor. Belgian yeast and apple-y, BSPA/tripel flavors start to appear up front adding lots of complexity to the flavor. Finish is mildly warming, but never "hot" nor solvent-like in the least.

It's worth noting that this is not the malty ester bomb exemplified by many other world class BSDAs. It's more of a wheatwine-ified Dubbel... with roasted malt; it's pretty crazy actually. Weird feel, weird flavors, but they go together very well. The heavily present oak adds a beautiful richness to both the flavor and aroma.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Moderate to high carbonation. Slightly watery with an occasionally sticky finish. Feel-wise, this beer hits highs and lows. I like it for what it is, but it bears noting that other world class BSDAs have better mouthfeels that would also suit these flavors better.

Overall: As I said above, this is like a wheat wine with roasted malt and Belgian yeast. Call Allagash whatever you want, but don't say they aren't creative.

Personally, I find this beer to be a delicious experiment, and a masterful use of oak barrel aging (the disparate flavors sing when unified by that rich vanilla/coconut oak note, while they would probably crash and burn without it). I also think this is one of those beers that rewards the apparent gimmickry of aging. After 4~ years, the beer is smooth and well-integrated, despite a huge 10.4% ABV and wildly disparate flavors.

Another expensive Allagash beer where you get what you pay for. On a personal note, it makes me smile that one of the first craft breweries that ever caught my interest can continue to satisfy me no matter how many beers I try or "palate changes" I experience.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2011 02:29:33 | More by Pahn
Photo of brewcrew76
brewcrew76

Wisconsin

3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2011 23:50:57 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of cjacobsen
cjacobsen

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again to sweemzander for sharing this one.

(A) Dark deep ruby, almost looks brownish, but in the light it shines a really nice red. Pretty decent head on this one, about 1.5" of off white, tight bubbled head.

(S) Fruity with some citrus. Smells a bit yeasty. Some cherry. Wet wood. Some alcohol.

(T) The oakiness is quite apparent and pleasant. There's some plum, cocoa, caramel, some other dark fruits. You get some earthy taste from the choice of malts.

(M) It's very thin, light and dry

(O) Even though there is a slight hint of alcohol in the nose, it's not found in the taste. There's a good balance in this beer but there is a decent amount going on in the taste. The more it opens up, warmer it gets, and longer you take to drink it, it develops a lot and gradually changes.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2011 13:00:54 | More by cjacobsen
Photo of dasenebler
dasenebler

Maine

4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL, January 2010 bottling.

Pours a dark, dark brown with ruby highlights. The head was generous at first; the lacing and retention, decent.

The aroma is mainly yeasty, with phenolic notes, some dark fruit and oak.

The flavor is quite complex and big, yet smooth and refined. Lots of toasty, nearly roasty malt flavor and a sweet brown sugar component. Not terribly fruity, some date maybe. Oaky flavor is prominent, but not overpowering. The Allagash yeast character is really nice with this beer, and the finish is long and dry. Only weak point is the mouthfeel, which seems really light for a beer of this gravity, though the carbonation is great and creams things up nicely.

Really nice Belgian Strong Dark here. One and a half years of cellaring is just about right.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2011 04:33:55 | More by dasenebler
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the 2009 Bistro Barrel Aged fest in Hayward, reviewed 11/14/2009.

Dark brown with purple hues and a small beige head.

Aroma is dark fruit, caramel, alcohol, and spices.

Flavor is nice but not quite worth the bottle price. Caramel malt, spice, raisin, fig, and vanilla.

Alcohol well-hidden. Dry finish with medium body and a pretty average mouthfeel.

Serving type: on-tap

08-26-2011 15:42:23 | More by nickd717
Photo of slentz
slentz

Pennsylvania

3.45/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

January 2010 bottling. From notes.

First of all if you have a bottle of this batch heed caution. This bottle was a head hunter and almost committed murder on kiddynamite920. I only twisted the cage a few times and the cork shot across the room with gusto. Watch out!

A: Poured at about 45 degrees into a huge wide mouth Belgian glass from iron hill. Slow pour down the center of the glass leads to a thin head after two minutes only a thin ring remains. Wow this one has really tight bubbles and awesome legs. When held up to light it is a beautiful glowing red. 4.5

S: Smell is really muted but picking up cherries with bready and yeasty undertones. Only a hint of alcohol. Smell is definitely lacking. 3.0

T: Taste is also somewhat bland but picking up cherries, molasses and brown sugar. This one is very sweet. All in all pretty smooth but maybe this one is passed its prime. 3.5

M: Lively carbonation leaving a sweet coating on the teeth. Goes down pretty smooth. 3.5

O: Overall not too bad I'd like to try a fresher bottle next time. Appearance is where this beer really shines. All in all I'm glad I got to try this one. Again heed caution with the cork! Sorry Billy! 3.5

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2011 13:47:04 | More by slentz
Photo of NuclearRich
NuclearRich

Connecticut

3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Feb 2011 bottle poured into a snifter style glass.

A. A deep dark abyss with a medium sized head of an almost opposite color of light tan. The head fades rather quickly into a thin cap and has minimal lacing.
S. Dark fruit, vanilla notes surrounding a slightly boozy belgian ester background.
T&M. A big carbonated bite cascades over the tongue, smoothing into a robust thick and roasty character. Actually reminds me of a porter. Robust, roasty, thick, a slight bitterness and a hint of dark fruit.
O. Pretty good stuff. The oak isn't as strong as I thought it would be, but personally I think that's good. I would be happy to have it again.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2011 17:33:49 | More by NuclearRich
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984

Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the Allagash brewery in Maine, earlier this year. I’ve heard some nice comments, so I am pleased to drink this while watching some pre-season Pats football. Feb ‘ 11 batch
Pours with a fluffy light tan head that rises to about 3 fingers and fades rather quickly. The beer is dark with a burgundy/ruby tint when held to the light some very light lacing.
Aroma has a lot going on. Dark fruits, spice and cocoa powder dominate.
Cocoa powder is again the first thing that comes to mind in the flavor. Some prunes, vanilla. Nice malt flavors mix with the cocoa notes. Oak just below the surface but well rounded. Not the raw oak notes that sometimes accompany an oak barrel beer. Some star anise and clove in the finish.
Interesting dry fluffy carbonation. Pillowy in your mouth.
A very good beer, but not quite the giant that I had hoped for. I kept waiting for it to open up even more as it warmed and it never really became epic. Very good…just not great.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2011 00:42:46 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of russwbeck
russwbeck

Virginia

3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 00:58:50 | More by russwbeck
Photo of Bendurgin
Bendurgin

Maine

4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Andy pulled this one out to share with the gang tonight. Poured into a tulip. This one pours a very dark brown with creamy beige head. Sticky soapy lace.

Rich milk chocolate aromas with lots of oak in the aroma. A little bit of a char aroma with some fruity characters in the background. The pallet mirrors the aroma nicely. Rich chocolate with a little bit of a bitter powdered cocoa to the flavor. Lots of oak and a bit of vanilla. More of a prominent fruity profile is noticeable on the pallet.

Creamy and full body with really subtle carbonation. Overall a pretty rockin' brew. Pretty complex and a lot going on. Really enjoyable sipper.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2011 03:16:25 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of andrewinski1
andrewinski1

New Hampshire

4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottling from February 2011. Poured into a tulip. The body is almost black and there is a giant light tan head that leaves a lot of sticky lacing.

The aroma is chocolatey and woody mostly. Close examination reveals some typical Belgian fruity aromas.

The taste starts out slightly sweet with the same chocolate flavors introduced in the aroma. The oak is dominant in the middle leading to a dryish finish (for a Belgian Strong Dark Ale) that has a slight bit of heat. This is another really complex beer from Allagash's line-up.

The body is mediumish with a nice amount of carbonation.

More great stuff from Allagash. This is top notch. I'll be looking to replace this bottle soon.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2011 03:04:24 | More by andrewinski1
Photo of ferrari29
ferrari29

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Beer poured from bottle into a Baladin stemmed wine shaped glass - Aged for two years (July 2009 bottle)

A - Beer poured with a dark brown, almost black, colored body; espresso latte colored head formed, one finger in size; the head held well and formed a nice ringed layer of lacing around the edge of the glass

S - Cherry; figs; dark fruit; cork and oak scent edges; caramel malt back-end; vanilla; maple syrup; molasses

T - Latte espresso flavor up-front followed up by a creme/coffee, oak flavored taste; some hints of chocolate; as the beer warms, dark fruit flavors come up and finishes off with a nice hint of honey sweetness; oatmeal; vanilla; maple syrup; toffee

M - Thin body with a slight chewy feel; dry but semi-sweet flavor leaves a nice lingering feeling, so the flavor doesn't disappear very quickly; sweet and then dry aftertaste

D - Awesome drink; this is fantastic; great taste and flavor; awesome nose (could have used a hint of more oak and toffee); just really great stuff; enjoy, I know you will!

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2011 00:38:27 | More by ferrari29
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a tulip. January 2010 vintage.

(A)- Pours a deep plum color. Produced a beautiful huge crown of eggshell colored fluffy head with solid retention and plenty of lace left behind.

(S)- A mellow biscuit and plum/cassis aroma. Bits of dry oak.

(T)- Interesting. Lots of ripe plum and cassis. Mellow roasty biscuits with a dry, almost earthy oak with banana and a subtle cocoa bit in there.

(M)- A mellow carbonation level. A nice balance of fruit, oak, and classic belgian notes. Superb ABV integration; where is the 10.3% this is supposed to have?

(D)- This is excellent. Though, not much on the nose, this is elegantly balanced with a great feel and taste. Just excellent and possibly one of the best of the style coming from the states.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2011 04:05:29 | More by sweemzander
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this one up because sometimes Allagash really gets my attention. I knew I hadn't tried this one before so I wanted to give it a shot. The beer poured out as a nice dark brown color. There was a light lacing from the white head on the glass. The smell of the beer had some wheat, fig and wood aromas going on in there. The taste pulled all those things to gether with the addition of a minimal tartness and a hint of grapes or raison. The mouthfeel was pretty good, it had a decent carbonation it and it had a steady medium body as well. I'm glad I tried this one because I ended up liking it more than I expected to. Would drink this one again.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2011 19:59:41 | More by Knapp85
Photo of Sam21
Sam21

Connecticut

4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

750ml cork/cage bottle purchased for $16. Bottled January 2011. Poured into snifter.

Appearance – Deep brown body with a respectable tan head. Nice retention as it slowly slides down the glass into a somewhat chunky cap. Carbonation looks active as it helps maintain the head.

Smell – The nose is a wonderful mix of dry toasted oak, thick molasses, raisins, and possible some dates. There may even be a hint of coffee in there as well. Wheat is noticeable. The dark fruit mingle nicely with the oak imparted from barrel aging prior to bottling. Neither piece beats out the other. They work in perfect harmony and create an enticing aroma.

Taste – Similar to the nose, all the elements are in perfect harmony. There are layers of sweetness ranging from rich molasses to sticky raisins that marry perfectly with the prominent oak. Beer finishes moderately dry with dark fruit clinging to the sides and back of the tongue and subtle warming from the alcohol. The oak lingers a bit before eventually fading into the distance.

Mouthfeel – Medium-full body with creamy carbonation. I am really impressed with the body on this beer. Packs a decent heft for a beer of this strength but the carbonation gives it a great creamy feel.

Drinkability – This is one smooth sipping beer. Nice marriage of fruity sweetness, molasses, and oak. Allagash knows how to get it done.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2011 04:22:21 | More by Sam21
Photo of daveytheformer
daveytheformer

Oregon

4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

into a snifter Bottled January 2010

Pours a deep reddish brown almost ruby up to the light. Has a creamy light khaki head that quickly fades to some spotting.

Smells like plums and other dark fruits. Spice, oak, and a little vanilla.

Tastes are molasses, roasted malt, figs, and a light bitter chocolate aftertaste. The oak is not immediately noticeable but with repeated sips it's in there.

Mouthfeel is medium if not a little thin (not in a bad way) for it's style with good carbonation.

Overall is a really good beer. Looking forward to more Allagash stuff.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2011 21:15:21 | More by daveytheformer
Photo of jsanford
jsanford

Georgia

4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml C&C bottle poured into a Tulip Glass. July 2009 vintage.

A - Dark black with a thin off-white head that leaves some sticky lacing as it recedes.
S - Dark malt, chocolate, coffee, and a nice helping of Bourbon flavors : caramel, oak, and ash. Very nice.
T - More dark malt, chocolate, coffee, and Bourbon. Pretty much spot-on with the nose. Very "oaky", and the Bourbon profile is big.
M - Smooth and creamy with a full body and moderate "prickly" carbonation.
O - A solid BA beer, but it really can't compete with the top-tier beers.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2011 00:23:13 | More by jsanford
Photo of kawilliams81
kawilliams81

Yukon (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-05-2011 16:48:59 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of silentjay
silentjay

Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Feb 2011 bottled

a dark mahogany/brown to black color with a rich latte colored head that recedes to two-fingers in height but leaves artwork made up of lacing on the glass.

dark fruits start out in the aroma. figs, dates, raisins. with some cocoa powder, roasted grains, toasted wheat bread. molasses, toffee, clove-like spices. lots going on in the aroma.

roast comes first and it begins almost stout-like, then fruits come into play reminiscent of a belgian dubbel or quad. a bit spicy, then woody (somewhat oaky), then toasty, then dry with a slight sweetness after the swallow.

soft medium bodied brew with delicate carbonation that leaves a pleasant tingle throughout the entire mouth with very little alcohol heat that belies the 10.4% ABV as listed on the bottle.

overall, another wonderful, delicious and complex brew from Allagash. A unique blend of different styles and flavors that work very, very well together.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2011 03:15:45 | More by silentjay
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark brown/mahogany color with a two finger, slightly off white colored, head. Nice retention, lasting for the duration. Decent lacing.

S: Lots of spice on the aroma, and a good bit of belgian yeast. A good bit of oak and brandy, some dark fruit (raisins prominently, as well as cherries).

T: Heavy dark fruit flavors - raisins, plums, cherries, and figs. The oak/wood comes through and intensifies a little as it warms. The alcohol also increases slightly with warmth.

M: Medium bodied ale with moderate carbonation, but it had a nice creamy mouthfeel.

O: Very solid beer, a nice slow sipper that I would like to drink again, maybe even sit on some for a while.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2011 00:23:36 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of BeerNemesis
BeerNemesis

New York

4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Allagash Odyssey | 750 ml. | 10.3% ABV | 2011 vintage

Brewer: Allagash Brewing Company
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale (BSDA)
Glass: Duvel tulip

Appearance:
Impenetrable black with a porous khaki head and folds of lacing.

Aroma:
Dark chocolate, toffee, candied fruit, cloves, fermented wheat, whisky.

Taste:
Nuanced but not overpowering, dark fruits (figs, raisins, and dates) roll in first, followed by toffee/molasses/brown sugar sticky-sweetness. At mid-sip you encounter a rich and rounded dark chocolate fudge, saturated with roasted coffee. There is an herbal quality throughout the drink. It ends with a bittersweet, chalky aftertaste and an overtly earthy, oaky texture underpinning flashes of fine single malt scotch.

Mouthfeel:
Full, rich, silky and chewy, it has the weight and feel of an imperial stout.

Harmony:
Odyssey meets and/or excedes my expectations in terms of complexity—it's immediately apparent that you are wading through layers of juicy, full flavor. However, I was most impressed by the level of balance between sweet and tart tastes, and the expert integration of the high ABV content.

Would I get it again?:
Yes, in a heartbeat. It's one of the most complex BSDAs I have yet enjoyed. Unlike many of the Trappist BSDAs, Odyssey tends towards earthy, oaky flavors and away from sweet dark fruit, imbuing it with somber stout-like characteristics.

Bottled: February 2011
Served: May 7, 2011

Price = $16.99

Additional notes:
- Cases bottled: 550

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2011 23:46:29 | More by BeerNemesis
Photo of zoso493
zoso493

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a corked and caged 750 ml bottle into a Dogfish signature glass.

Appearance: Right away, this looks like it's going to be a tasty beer. It pours a very deep, woody brown that looks thick, like a well-malted porter. When held to the light, there are few, if any, tinges of garnet that streak the edges of the glass. Atop the beer is a bubbly, two-finger head that has excellent retention. The head looks a bit too bubbly and not so substantial, though.

Smell: This is a very smooth smelling quadrupel, though it's not the most intricate I've had. There are some dark, estery malts lurking around, with the same dark fruits mixed in right up front. The barrel-aging is only mildly apparent, with bourbon being the most immediate scent. The scent also has a faint bready quality to it.

Taste: From the first sip I can tell that Allagash Odyssey is a very respectable quadrupel. It is not an overpowering quadrupel, but I think that works to its credit. The dark fruits are prevalent with the traditional malts a little more subdued. The barrel-aging gives this beer a real smoky quality that seems slightly out of place in a quadrupel.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is thick and luxurious, yet the beer is very well carbonated and remains firmly crisp. The malts do stick around just long enough to remind you that they are there in full force.

Drinkability: This beer masks alcohol about as well as any I have ever had. You would never guess in a million years that this was 10.3% ABV. It is a somewhat heavy beer despite its non-overwhelming taste, but I think that may be the dinner I just had talking. This deserves the perfect score in drinkability.

Overall, Odyssey is a very good attempt at a Belgian quadrupel, especially for an American brewer. Putting this in oak barrels adds an odd and unexpected twist to the beer, but this just adds to the Americanized intrigue of the brew. I would have this again and drink it with the most highly thought of quadrupels.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2011 01:22:48 | More by zoso493
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
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).

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2011 05:28:55 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Dark ruby and brown in the glass with a very minimal tan head. Leaves the entire glass wet with sticky lacing.

Aromas of dark fruits, namely raisins, figs, and cherries. A presence of tangy Belgian yeast. Smells powerful yet balanced and accessible.

Dark fruits, bitterness, sweet molasses, a touch of alcohol all come together for an incredibly flavorful beer.

Smooth, airy, luscious, divine mouthfeel. Tremendous!

A wonderful BSDA. I would be happy to drink this again anytime, anywhere. I'll drive out of my way to drink this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

05-05-2011 05:17:09 | More by ehammond1
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.73/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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