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Allagash Black - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash BlackAllagash Black

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

688 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 688
Hads: 2,399
rAvg: 4
pDev: 9.5%
Wants: 139
Gots: 414 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 688 | Hads: 2,399
Photo of bball208
1.7/5  rDev -57.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1

Yuck. This beer smelled like canned tuna. I'm dead serious.

I just don't believe that Belgians and stouts should be tried unless you're going to blow my mind away. This fell EXTREMELY short on all levels. The aroma was very off putting. I literally got roasted tuna.

The taste was the aroma magnified. I just didn't get it. It was a wrong marriage of two styles and flavors. I still have the aftertaste of tuna in my mouth. My significant other feels exactly the same.

Needless to say, I will never drink this beer again. Allagash is one of the most overrated breweries. (576 characters)

Photo of MbpBugeye
2.33/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to InebriatedJoker for this. Spidder889 had his bottle around numerous times but it ended up being passed over each time. Seems I nearly dodged a bullet.

Appearance
There isn't a whole lot to this appearance, which I soon found out is some pretty strong foreshadowing of the beer to come. Its thinner than I expected; a burnt red, barely achieving black.

Aroma
Not much going on here either. Where's the decadent imperial stout goodness? I'm getting dry yeasty nonsense in the form of your typical "Belgian" phenols. There is some nondescript spice and roasted malts, but not enough deep fruitiness.

Taste
I noticed some metallic flavors, whoopee! The rest of the beer is very generic, mostly made up of steeped grains. A little bit of light roast and chocolate try to break up the monotony.

Mouthfeel
The body is thin, much thinner than it should be. But the worst issue here is that horrible, horrible carbonation. No wonder I can barely taste the stuff. The carbonation is far too high and fizzy. I've heard that CO2 tastes metallic, perhaps that's what I was picking up in the flavor profile.

Overall
This stuff is thin, way over carbonated and doesn't have enough redeeming flavors to save it. Not worth buying. Lately I've been very happy I didn't spend the money on Allagash beers while they were distributed in Ohio. (1,341 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
2.59/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From on tap poured into a tulip glass an interesting walnut red color with big brown opaque appearance. Faint chestnut colored head that leaves a ring throughout the glass.

A very closed bouqeut. Faint and does contain weak coffee notes but not fruit components whatsoever.

Taste is way too carbonated with a soda finish but has a neat bitter coffee and yeast like tinge.

This would have been great if it had some sort of fruit or estery component on the nose or taste but it doesn't. Very dissapointing I don't care for it at all. (534 characters)

Photo of Gotti311
2.75/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

The front of this beer was really fantastic. The yeast strain they use, plays very nicely with the roasty notes and mouth feel is great. Then something goes completely wrong. The far back end/lingering flavor I can only think of one word to describe: sewer. There is a dirty/rank flavor that wasn't completely overpowering, but definitely present enough to ruin the beer. The other people that I shared the bottle with didnt seem to detect it so I am guessing it is something specific to my palate that just didnt sit right. (529 characters)

Photo of fscottkey
2.78/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

A: Dark but with some light penetration. Light shows hints of reddish hue. Pour produces a thin cap that disappears almost immediately.

S: Roasted malts and a slight metallic smell.

T: Strong roasted flavors with a slight coffee finish.

M: Carbonated and tingly.

O: There are definitely better examples of this variety. Nothing noteworthy or worth getting another one if other choices are available. (403 characters)

Photo of Smurf2055
2.79/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Pours in between black and deep dark red with a khaki head.

Smell is a bit fruity, belgium yeast, and a bit of roast.

Taste is very roasty, almost like an imperial porter, bit of a burning on the tail end. Red fruit present, but ash and bitter coffee dominates, the Belgium sweetness doesn’t come through in the flavor.

Slightly disappointing. (350 characters)

Photo of johncampbell
2.81/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I've had this 750 ml bottle in a temperature controlled wine cellar for over a year.

The cork was still fresh and holding pressure (it was stored on it's side at an angle). It poured black with a hint of red-brown around the edges when held to the light. It had a nice 3/4" tan head that slowly dissipated to an 1/8" cap that covered the surface for the duration. It left a thick, creamy lace in the glass.

The aromas were of dark chocolate, roasted malt and sweet Belgian yeast, but with a worrisome old ale smell.

The beer tasted oxidized. I'm not sure how long it had been on the shelf before I bought it, but it tasted old and not as vibrant as I'd hoped. There was still a distinct dark-roasted malt flavor with hints of espresso and bitter chocolate, but the age left an unpleasant taste in my mouth.

The mouthfeel was good - a medium-bodied beer with lively carbonation.

I have to say that the drinkability wasn't there. I love Allagash beers and think this one was simply stored too long. There was no date or batch number.

Aging is not recommended.

I look forward to trying this beer again and changing my review. (1,130 characters)

Photo of Sixpoint
2.83/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

In my humble opinion, this is the weakest offering from a great artisinal craft brewer.

I've made/tasted/sampled many "Belgian Stouts" over the past 10 years, and the only conclusion I've arrived at with general consistency is DON'T DO IT.

Why? Well, something about the yeast that brings out the soy sauce and licorice character of these beers. In extreme cases it tastes exactly like Kodiak chewing tobacco.

Good try with undoubtedly good intentions, but off the mark IMHO. (478 characters)

Photo of Spider889
2.95/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle purchased while I was in DE. Shared with beace.

Poured into a snifter. Nice black color with a very tall dark sandy head. Lacing was alright. The foam was pretty fine though, and the beer was a bit thin, evidence of the Belgian yeast strain.

The smell was pretty damn estery. The yeast doesn't mess around with this one. Lots of banana and clove spiciness, along with a light roast and muddled char.

I have not found many a Belgian RIS I have liked much. The yeast, in this case at least, overpowers everything that a good stout normally aims to be. The beer is all spice and blindingly strong carbonation. Quite a strong mineral presence as well. Perhaps it's just the overabundant C02 from all this carbonation.

Very light hints of chocolate and black malt trickle through, but this beer is a Belgian yeast bomb.

Again, the mouthfeel is both thin and over-carbonated. Both qualities I usually loathe in a RIS. Prickly and thus seemingly bozzier than it should have felt.

Overall I wasn't very impressed, and the price tag was high for what it was (I want to say $14-15 for this 750ml). (1,101 characters)

Photo of alysmith4
2.97/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not as impressed with this beer as I thought I'd be. I'm not sure if I didn't give it a good pour, but their was almost no head to it. The smell was of maple, coffee, and bitter chocolate. The taste was similar, with a more syrupy, burnt toffee flavor. It was a lot like Dogfish Head's Chicory Stout. I was hoping for a sweeter flavor, but it wasn't coming through - even when the beer warmed. On a more positive note, I think the bottle (label) is sexy as hell! (462 characters)

Photo of schwaeh
2.98/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

750ml shared by inebriated joker.

A: Monstrous cascading head on top of this thinner-looking black beer. Brown and ruby hues around the edges of my glass.

S: Roasted malts and tons of Belgian yeast are easy to pick out here. Some candy sugar, light faded hops, and some slight metallic scents are in there as well.

T: The stout shows up a bit more in the flavor, otherwise I may have thought this was some crappy dubbel. The malts are lightly roasted with a fair amount of char. Candy sugar and Belgo yeast stand out quite a bit, adding some odd banana and clove to this beer. Light chocolate and grassy, metallic hops come out as it warms. This is sweet for sure.

M: This has a thin mouthfeel and high carbonation. Its a sticky beer.

O: I don't really know about this identity crisis that this beer has. They are going too many directions with this and ruining two styles that are good on their own. I heard this was quite an investment at around $14-15 to boot, no way. (976 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
2.98/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A - Tall, foamy, light khaki head with ok retention and poor lace. Dark cherry wood body with bright cranberry highlights.

S - Dusty roast grains and dry cocoa powder.

T - Dry roast coffee. Milk chocolate. Tart grape sins. Copper penny aftertaste.

M - Relatively light frame.

O - The label says belgian stout, but BA has it down as a belgian strong dark ale. I'd tend to agree with the latter. (400 characters)

Photo of ohiobeer29
3/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had out of bottle pours black with decent tan head mouth feel is thin but light taste of chocolate and malt not bad not great but good really solid brew would drink again as it goes down easy (191 characters)

Photo of dedrinker
3/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

It's black with a thin and rapidly dissipating chocolate milk colored head. - you can find a variety of lighter hues depending upon how you struggle to hold it up to various lights at various angles in various glasses. Pardon me for being cynical on that score. There is an aroma of roasted malts - some cocoa and black coffee with hints of phenols appropriate to Belgian ale yeasts interacting with "a large addition of Belgian dark candi." The flavor is roasty, acidic and bitter - the qualities that cause most people to insist on cream and sugar with their coffee. The mouth feel is thin with prickly carbonation that lifts the acidic coffee flavor to the roof of the mouth and up the nose through the back door in your throat. This may very well benefit from some aging, though not for too long. Maybe up to a year? As it warms up, the aroma becomes more stout-like, and the flavor more Belgian. Objectively speaking, this is an interesting study for my palette. Subjectively speaking, I'm not very fond of it, but don't worry, timtim is on his way here within 48 hours with a disorienting rave review. (1,107 characters)

Photo of MisterClean
3.03/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

At Manderes' Allagash tasting

A - Black, but slightly see-through, with a nice sized head, which dissipates moderately.

S - Light notes of chocolate and malt.

T - Dark chocolate and deep roasted malts.

M - Lightly carbonated and smooth.

D - Missing all qualities of a belgian and did not live up to its description. It was decent, but replaceable with most other stouts. (375 characters)

Photo of biglite351
3.03/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - A good bit of orange around the edges. Tall creamy off-white head.

S - Smells like a bock. The belgian influence is up front and a majority of the scent. A touch of fruit and cocoa (just a hint).

T - Mild. A bit of the yeast, some malt. A little cocoa in the mix.

M - Thick but light on the coating. Just a hint of timgle on sides of tongue and back of throat.

O - Too bland and boring to drink over most other choices. Not "bad" at all, but not worth picking ove many others.

Review from 2/6/10:

A - 4.5 - very dark, nice froth.

S - 3.5 - mild but nice.

T - 3.5 - taste of a solid stout, but mild. No one flavor over riding the others.

M - 3.5 - mild tingle, not too bitter.

D - 4.0 - the mildness makes this quite drinkable. The problem is the mildness, which could be described as weakness, combined with the price. It is too expensive to really drink often. (876 characters)

Photo of fredmugs
3.03/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was very unimpressive. Little to no aroma with a taste and mouthfeel that was all over the place. Great example of trying to combine several things (belgian style, stout, roasted, chocolate) and having it fail to mesh. (225 characters)

Photo of charlzm
3.04/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Consumed 05/21/08 and 05/23/08.

Clear dark brown pour with excellent carbonation (no doubt due to the bottle conditioning). A tan three finger head formed right away, fading to half a finger that stuck around quite a while, continually replenished by persistent carbonation.

Aroma is charcoal, ashes and mild chocolate. A touch of banana as well. Ashes kinda ruined it for me, though.

Mouthfeel is creamy, though the first bottle was a bit thinner than the second. The first bottle I tasted was quite tart, almost sour and strongly redolent of ashes. The second favored the smooth chocolate character that was mostly missing from the first, though the ashes were present in the background as well. Both bottles exhibited a bit of hot pepper on the finish.

Not a beer I particularly liked, though it was interesting and well-made. (833 characters)

Photo of gr0g
3.15/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A not quite opaque black. A khaki-colored head, about two fingers tall, caps it off. Head retention is quite good, and the head never totally fades away. Lacing is sparse and fleeting. The aroma is tame with a prevailing cocoa note that lives up to Black's billing as a stout. A faint chalky note of Belgian yeast and some candi sugar are the only other smells that come through.

The flavor is similarly tame and somewhat underwhelming. A mix of dark Belgian ale and stout characteristics, as expected. Surprisingly dry flavor profile, which is a trait that doesn't work well in a dark Belgian-style ale. Some smoke from the roasted malt. Off-putting aftertaste. Muted dark fruit notes. One aspect that deserves praise is the mouthfeel, with a nearly silky texture despite vigorous bottle-conditioned carbonation.

Despite being exactly what the bottle says it is -- a Belgian-style stout, Allagash Black is quite disappointing. Boring and demure despite a reasonably stout 7.5% ABV, it's not a bad beer but also not worth the price. (1,034 characters)

Photo of cynicgiraffe
3.17/5  rDev -20.8%
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. (509 characters)

Photo of deebo
3.17/5  rDev -20.8%
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. (706 characters)

Photo of magictrokini
3.2/5  rDev -20%
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. (460 characters)

Photo of jsled
3.22/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle; cork + cage.
Winooski Beverage Warehouse, 2008-01-26.

Pours: Moderately clear very dark deep amber. solid finger of rich tan head, receding modestly. Evident carbonation.

Smell: Roast. Alcohol.

Taste: Rich stout. Roasted barley. Minor tobacco/tar notes. Alcohol. Minor bitterness. Some candi-sugar.

Mouthfeel: Reasonably light for a stout. Little residual presence or bitterness in the mouth.

Drinkability: Medium-high. Certainly a lot more drinkable than some heavy stouts. (494 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
3.22/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Mom & dad grabbed this for me while in the US a while back. Cheers guys!

From a bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Very clear brown and transparent pour yields a 2 ½ finger, foamy, creamy white head with good retention. Head fades to a foamy cap. Dark brown body with no real carbonation evident. Rather light in color for a stout called “black.” Clear with ruby hues around the edges. A splotchy wisp remains leaving dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Lightly roasted notes, spicy yeast, cloves, some dark fruit and aromas of brown sugar.

TASTE: Very much a strong dark ale with some roasted malts thrown in for fun. Roasted malts, dark, sweet fruits and brown sugar up front, with finish of spicy yeast and cloves. Medium and lingering aftertaste of spicy yeast, sweet dark fruits and brown sugar, as well as some lightly roasted notes. Flavorful, sweet and spicy as well. Enjoyable, though not really a Belgian stout.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes dry. Some spiciness lingers. Good feel.

OVERALL: This is labeled a Belgian style stout and is called Black, but this is certainly more of a Belgian strong dark ale and is more ruby and brown in color. Not all that great of a stout, even for a Belgian stout, but a decent strong dark ale. Glad to have tried it, but wouldn’t need to drink it again per se. Thanks again for the beers guys! (1,431 characters)

Photo of brian44556
3.24/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured this into a wine glass. Batch #9.

Pours a pitch black with little to no head forming. Almost no lacing present. The beer smelled of chocolate, roasted malt, molasses, and coffee. Taste was about the same as the smell, strong chocolate and coffee notes. Almost no carbonation was present and the mouthful was extremely thin. Overall an average beer. (357 characters)

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Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 688 ratings.