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Allagash Black - Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash BlackAllagash Black

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

2,332 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,332
Reviews: 692
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.89%
Wants: 133
Gots: 379 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bassetdawg on 12-14-2007

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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,332 | Reviews: 692
Reviews by srandycarter:
Photo of srandycarter
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Black with red tinge, off white head leaves to ring. Some sudsy, cling lace.

S - Deep malt, slight coffee and chocolate and citrus. Mostly malt.

T - Mocha heavy on the bitter chocolate with slight orange and big malt.

M - Creamy, fairly balanced, maybe overly bitter at finish.

D - One is enough at a time.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of RoyalT
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of ExtraStout
4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

Photo of cdog3
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

Photo of MadScientist
4.26/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Photo of cynicgiraffe
3.17/5  rDev -21.5%
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.

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +4%
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.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Photo of bishopdc0
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice black color a dark brown on the edges when held to the light. A decent head forms tan and subsides

A nice sweet roasted malt miked with chocolate and a hint of Belgian spice

The taste starts with a bit of yeast and a mix of chocolate. Roasted malts come in but finishes with a malty mix of yeast and spiced hops

Very drinkable and nice

Photo of Billolick
3.62/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Belgian bomber, caged and corked, no freshness/bottling date info. Allowed to warm to near room temp. Pours pretty much black, quickly departing 1 inch head, that leaves a thin tiny bubble film and then moderate lacing. Mocha, and subtle cafe au lait infused nose. Interesting yet slightly underwhelming brew. Notes of roasty grains, more light coffee, chocolate mouse and powdered sugars. Drying late with some fruity and yeasty notes. I get a certain tartness and some prickle on the tongue. The finish is strangely flavorless. Not a user friendly brew. Glad I let this one warm up quite a bit. Something about it did not work for me.

Photo of Homebrew35
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 mid year purchase and cellared properly.

Pours two fingers of a white creamy bubbly head. Black body from afar, deep brown on the edges. Clear body on the first pour and some yeasty haze on the second.

Smells of rum raisins, fig and other dark fruits. Some yeasty fruit and light peppery notes. Light alcohol and phenolics.

Tastes like a trappist beer in a few ways. Big dark fruit, light roast or toasted malts. Light earthy notes mixed with some juicy plum and figs. A hint of alcohol and quite a bit of pepper on the finish

Medium thin bodied, high carbonation. Quite dry, peppery and spicy on the finish.

Overall this is a very solid belgian dark. Big yeast fruit and pepper character, subtle dark roast/toasty malt character with a dry finish. Quite drinkable but not quaff-able due to the carbonation and yeasty pepperyness. A bit pricy but for a special occasion, which this was, worked out quite nice.
$9.50 for a 750ml back then

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

Pours as advertised; Solid Black. Darker than Charlie Murphy. Nice bready looking head.

Smells sweet and smoky. Chocolatey malt, with maybe some dark coffee as well.

Nice! Hints of roasted coffee mingling with creamy chocolate. A hint of bitterness mixed with the sweet malt perfectly.

Very little carbonation, adding to the creamy feel and overall smoothness of this brew.

Very drinkable. As it gets closer to room temp, the bitterness takes more of a center stage. This does not completely fight of the sweet chocolate, or the coffeeish flavor. If you have it in a bomber, try a chalice slightly chilled, and another a bit warmer, and you will notice some serious differences. Not sure which is better, but I am leaning toward room temp on this one.

Photo of tigg924
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at BBC Cedarville--served in a pint glass.

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, black in color, opaque

Smell: roasted malt ans light citrus hops

Taste: deep chocolate roasted malts with citrus hops blended in. There is some distinct Belgian spicing at the end.

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, medium-light body,sweet start with a bitter middle and a spicy, less bitter end

Drinkability: My favorite Allagash to date. Nice and complex. Love the roasted malt taste with the Belgian spicyness. The combo works really well. A sipper, but one I would come back to.

Photo of Motleydrunk56
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%

Pours jet black,hence the name.I have to say that thisjust didn`t hit me as being that great.Maybe the price of 10.99 is the reason i expected more.Nothing really jumps out at you when you taste this .So many of the better beers really have a flavor that just says i`m a badass.This doesn`t have it.Try if you must but i think you might be disapointed.

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had been wanting to try this beer for several years and it didn't disappoint.

Pours dark brown to black with a khaki head. There are red highlights around the edges. The aroma is roasted malt, chocolate and Belgian yeast. The flavor is more roasted malt and chocolate, with some Belgian character. You get some bitterness and possibly even some coffee characteristics. The mouthfeel is very creamy with low carbonation.

Photo of lostandwandering
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours black with a solid two finger head that lasts. Persistent lacing remains on the glass with each sip.

S- Roasty and earthy. Not all together unpleasent.

T- Some slight fruitiness with plenty of roasted malt. Smokey flavor towards the end.

M- well carbonated. Medium body. Not thick like an Oatmeal or mild stout, but not thin either.

O- Very good beer. Got this for my birthday and didn't get around to it until now. This is my first offering from Allagash and I am rather impressed. Would higly recommend this one.

Photo of magictrokini
3.2/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown, almost black. Foamy, cascading brown head. Pleasant aroma of vanilla, anise, chocolate malt, oak, and a kind of yeasty funkiness. Watery mouthfeel in terms of a stout. Some roasted malt and chocolate, but no coffee, bittersweet chocolate, or smokiness. Instead, there is the fruity-yeasty tastes one would expect from a dubbel. Anise, molasses, and some prune flavors come out when it warms. I hate saying this, but an overall disappointment.

Photo of deebo
3.17/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A-Poured in a chalice this brew is indeed black as night with a finger of dense light tan foam, a little retention and lacing.
S-Aromas of those Belgian yeasts slap you in the face. Beneath this, notes of dark chocolate and coffee accentuated barley malt.
T-Taste is predominantly dark malts with flavors of rich coffee with a lingering bitter aftertaste, the estery flavor of Belgian yeast is also noticeable, especially upon warming.
M-Rather medium in body with a little bitterness and astringency in the finish, moderate level of carbonation.
O-Nothing really stands out about this beer, pretty average. Maybe I’m just getting spoiled with the great selection of super beers to choose from nowadays.

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

Pours a thick 2 finger khaki colored head, dissipates within 30 seconds or so. Darker than I imagined; it's nearly opaque.

Bold, roasty, and slightly chocolatey aroma up front. I can also detect some subtle dark fruits.

Does not taste as chocolatey as the nose let on. I get more of a coffee flavor. Follows up with raisin and banana. Feels like the phenols are somewhat high. Overall very complex and inviting flavor.

This is surprisingly drinkable. Carbonation is medium low, and it's quite smooth. Clean finish.

Probably the best I've had by Allagash to date. I'll definitely pick this up again. But the question remains... is this a stout or dark ale!?

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

Pouring a dark nut-brown/light black, Black smells immediately of coffee and chocolate malts, the aromas of deeply roasted grains wafting up from the glass lazily. Heavy, languid sugars lie beneath, including notes of molasses and caramelized brown sugars, as well as dark fruit esters.

On the tongue, the brew does have an immediate chocolate malt and coffee taste, closely mimicking the nose, but with the added benefit of a Belgian-style layer of spicy fruit beneath, mixing oranges and apricots with cloves and spice. This intertwining of stout and Belgian ale flavors is unique and intoxicating, each adding to the other in a symbiotic swirl, leaving the tongue wondering on what it's supposed to focus.

Purists will probably criticize the brew for this duality, and it does seem at times like Black is searching for an identity. However, I think the result is interesting, and worth trying--if a little strange. Beware, though: as Black comes with a champagne-style cork (which won't go back in the bottle), it looks like you're going to have to drink the whole thing in one sitting. Darn.

Photo of pat61
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%

Nose: prunes, raisins, spice, chocolate
Pours pitch black under a dense 2" tan tinted off-white foam cap, good lacing.
Palate: caramel and toffee flavors meld into chocolate over some spiciness - not much apparent hop bitterness and no big roast bitterness. Not as big of fruit presence on the palate as on the nose.
The texture really makes this beer - the creamy, very fine soft carbonation enhances the malt flavors and have you wanting more. The body is lighter than the flavor and alcohol might suggest but the creaminess makes it feel like more. Carbonation is a little above average.

Photo of GOBLIN
4/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,332 ratings.