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Allagash Black | Allagash Brewing Company

708 Reviews
For Trade:
Allagash BlackAllagash Black

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Allagash Black is a Belgian style stout brewed with 2 Row barley, torrified wheat, oats, both roasted and chocolate malt and a generous portion of dark caramelized candi sugar. The silky mouth feel is a great balance to the roasted character, coffee and dark chocolate notes expressed throughout this beer.

Added by Bassetdawg on 12-14-2007

User Reviews
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Reviews: 708 | Ratings: 2,552
Reviews by kkipple:
Photo of kkipple
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Downed this before the fearsome Mikkeller Black. I'm happy to report that Allagash has another hit on their hands.

Allagash Black arrives out of the classy looking bottle a deep nearly-black, and sports a fine tan head that leaves spotty lacing on my goblet and sticks around longer than needed. I like it immediately.

The smell develops as the beer warms, but what you end up with his a pleasing earthy, coffee smelling beer with lots of toasty nutty burnt malt and a touch of booze. There's an odd, although not bad, yeasty, estery smell but it plays second fiddle to the big roasty notes. Very clean and only a hint of sweetness.

Ahh, now we're talking! The flavor delivers! It's very roasty yet not over the top, and the reserved 7.5% is exactly where it needs to be. Dark coffee, burnt (but not charred) grain, and molasses are all expertly balanced. A touch of metallic hops and some walnuts and anise round it off. Delicious.

The mouthfeel is perfect. It's not too thick and the carbonation fluffs it up once it hits your tongue. It's altogether full and wonderful and the best thing going here. Finishes roasty and bittersweet, slightly chalky.

One tires of all these insane 12% abv American Stouts and Barleywines after a while, and Allagash has decided to take an alternate tack and brew something drinkable and mild. Black is quite drinkable and one of the better beers I've had from the brewery, which is saying a lot. Rob Tod and Company absolutely know what they're doing.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of GOBLIN
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pretty typical easy drinking stout. Pleasant aromas and flavors of roasted malts, chocolate and coffee all brought together by the Belgian yeasts to make an extremely enjoyable Belgian stout.

 193 characters

Photo of StoutElk_92
4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown-black with a cream head. Smells of belgian yeast and roasted malts. Tastes dark and roasty, yet sweet and lively. The belgian style uplifts the stout flavor and manages the deep roasted malts well. It goes down easy with light carbonation and medium body. Overall a nice refreshing take on a dark beer/stout style. Well balanced.

 346 characters

Photo of corey0212
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep brown, borderline-black with dark ruby highlights, big foamy tan head hanging around for a loooong time, lots of lacing on the glass. Some dark fruit aroma, yeasty, some burnt coffee and smokiness. Lots of initial spice in the taste, mild coffee, some bittersweet chocolate. Medium-bodied, really creamy, light carbonation, some gentle lingering spice and bitterness. This is tasty, I'm sure it would pair well with lots of dishes, and I'd definitely seek this one out again.

 488 characters

Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap Friday at night at Tyler's Taproom in Carrboro.Poured into a small goblet a deep but not entirely opaque black, a bit of ruby did show thru with a thinner light mocha colored head.Aromas were not as bold as expected,I picked up some roasted malt and brown sugar,the chocolate was very faint.Flavors were great with some good complexity,starting out with some brown sugar and bitter chocolate melding into a roasted and smoky finish,I really liked the smoke element it went well with the light sweetness of the beer.To me very stout-like on the palate,a very nice brew.

 579 characters

Photo of RoyalT
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This poured a darkish brown in color with a relatively mild head considering the style.

Smell - The nose is dominated by a stiff aroma of coffee grounds and maybe a hint of dark chocolate. I can get a little table sugar but no yeast or malty character whatsoever. I like the smell but it lacked complexity.

Taste - I get much more of the malts at the taste. Again the raw coffee grounds are powerful and there is still that hint of chocolate. Otherwise, the biggest deviation from the smell is the plentiful sugars. I've got all kind of sugars going on at the taste that I didn't catch at the nose even as the ale warmed to room temperature.

Mouthfeel - This is a solid medium-bodied with a classic carbonation worthy of the BSDA style. The carbs are very tight and tickle the cheeks and there just is enough dry malty bitterness at the finish to command respect.

Drinkability - I enjoyed Allagash's effort at the style. It reminded me so much of their Dubbel Reserve which lacked in complexity as well but more than made up for it with the wonderful chocolate notes and first class carbonation. This one focused a bit less on the chocolate and more on the coffee but delivered the same one-two punch. Nicely done, Allagash.

 1,241 characters

Photo of aszatk01
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of DanGeo
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of ExtraStout
4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured jet black into a pint glass with a very thin brown head. Aroma was smoky and sweet; roasted nuts also present. Batch #27.

This beer had all the makings of an Imperial Stout with just a subtle hint of Belgian spices. Big smoky, chocolate flavor up front, with roasted nuts and spices following. Very minimal hop presence, but it didn't detract from the experience. SLight dark fruit flavor as well. Mouthfeel was a touch on the thin side. Overall I really enjoyed this one. Not quite Belgian, not quite RIS, but very enjoyable.

 534 characters

Photo of cdog3
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer poured black almost opaque but not cloudy at all with a tan head. The aroma was a beautiful roasty and chocolate with slight hints of coffee. The flavor has the same roast as in the flavor with out a lot of complexity. It was chocolaty but the mouthfeel was a little thin and spritzy. Maybe a little more oats in the malt bill would have improved the beers creaminess and helped to round out the flavor profile. Overall very drinkable, but the top Belgian stout that I have ever had.

 488 characters

Photo of MadScientist
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: A very dark brown with a garnet hue and good clarity. The persistent head is made of creamy dark-tan bubbles that leave a light lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is dark fruit and moderately-light notes of the fruit and spice of Belgian yeast. It has a moderate dark fruit aromas of prunes and some plums. There are some moderately-light dark malt aromas of chocolate and coffee. The light alcohol aroma is soft and floral. There is a slight earthiness that might be the hops.

T: Smooth with the chocolate, coffee and malt sweetness dominating. A moderate dark dried fruit flavor with the yeast lending a bit of orange and light pepper notes. There is a light hops bitterness and little hops flavor. The balance is moderately towards the sweet with a medium-sweet finish. The aftertaste has flavors of dark roasted grains like chocolate, dark fruit and a light alcohol sweetness. There are slight molasses flavor that I catch here and there.

M: medium-full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a light alcohol warmth.

O: A rich and somewhat sweet Belgian with enough dark roasted grains to be a bit more stout than dark strong. There is a ton of flavor going on here. I really enjoyed this years ago and haven't found any for a while, since that time I've grown more partial to drier beers but still a great beer in it's own right. I'd still try this if I find it on tap but I won't be going out of my way for a bottle.

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Photo of cynicgiraffe
3.17/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours opaque black with faint coffee. Not as aromatic as I would think it would be, but maybe I'm a little stuffy. Tan head that clears quickly, but leaves lots of lacing on the glass. Watery taste up front, almost like a tap water taste. It gets better as it gets to the middle and back palette. Coffee with roasted malt. Kind of disappointing, for something in the 95th percentile I expected good flavor and mouthfeel across the whole palette. This didn't deliver, but I will probably revisit it to be sure.

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Photo of woodchipper
3.25/5  rDev -19%

Photo of JacobMutberg
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a glass that resembled a heavy weighted pilsner glass.

The color was near black with a clear ruby tint when held to the light. There was just about a finger's width of light brown foam head that hung around for most of the glass and left some light brown lacing down the side of the glass.

I had a hard time getting much aroma off from this. What I did get was some very mild chocolate and touch of alcohol - both incredibly faint.

Incredibly rich and complex malts engulf the tongue in a display of more balance than expected. There isn't much in the way of hops but there are some bittering elements from some of the malts that seem to balance the sweetness of some of the other malts. This reminded me of a great stout with strong chocolate and coffee flavors with the addition of one noticeable difference - that flavor of Belgian candy sugar and dark fruit. It's subtle, but it's there and it works great! The finish is slow and chocolaty with some more of that dark fruit flavor but has an extended linger of coffee.

Rich. Bold. Chewy. Refined. This is a great brew and I very much enjoyed it. Highly recommended.

 1,136 characters

Photo of sdsimkins
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue VI:

What's that saying? Once you go Belgian you never go back. Or was it black? What the hell, let's hit two birds with one bottle. Big, bubbly tan froth with excellent head retention and lacing on the glass. A shade or two away from pitch black. The aroma ranges from charcoal to dried black currants, from earthy yeast to a mild herbal phenol. A complex nose for sure. Bold crispness and very smooth with a slick medium body. Maltiness is semidry and extremely complex; the silky sweetness from the oats and the graininess meld well with a mild charcoal flavor. Layers of light vanilla, faint anise and cocoa powder come to mind. More charred flavor hits the palate with dark baker's chocolate and espresso. Modest hopping and a warming alcohol help to balance and add their own complex layers. Sort of a semidry mocha finish.

A top pick for the style, and with each sip Black is turning into our current favorite from Allagash.

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Photo of jose_alehouseSD
3.12/5  rDev -22.2%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle pours into my glass black with deep brown edges and a half inch of bubbly light tan head. Good retention. Aromas of roasted grains with cocoa powder. Slightly smoky with a big yeast profile. Undercurrent of clove and a light banana even. Quite nice aroma.

First sip brings a smooth lightly toasted grain malt upfront along with cocoa powder accents. Dark candi sugar notes meet with a tasty, somewhat earthly yeast flavor. Light clove and banana flavors mix in. It flows down with some nice bitterness. The oats in here really bring in a silkiness to the brew.

Mouthfeel is smooth and lighter with good bubbly carbonation. Goes down easy as it is not too heavy. This 750 is a treat and another good brew from Allagash. Check this one out while you can as it is a tasty example of a Belgian style stout.

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Photo of danthehopslamman
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 750ml bottle purchased for $11.99 at Carl's Meat Market in Kittery. Enjoyed it quite a lot, and was happy to hear it will be a year-round beer. Poured into a goblet, it was a very dark brown, almost black, with a medium-sized mocha head. It had a sweet, chocolate aroma, with a little bit of fruitiness. Great taste, milk chocolate, coffee, yeasty. At the end there was a hint of licorice. Not a heavy beer, very drinkable.

 425 characters

Photo of freshflesh
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of csmartin6
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of warnerry
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of dieBlume
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

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Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 708 ratings.