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Allagash Black - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash BlackAllagash Black

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,023 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,023
Reviews: 650
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 103
Gots: 236 | FT: 5
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:
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 added by: Bassetdawg on 12-14-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,023 | Reviews: 650 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jsanford
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml C&C bottle poured into a Tulip Glass. Batch #25.

A - Pours a dark cola brown with a creamy, mocha-colored head. Very nice retention, leaves some soapy lacing as it recedes.
S - Dark roasted malt, Belgian yeast, caramel, coffee and chocolate.
T - Spot-on with the nose, big "roasty" flavors with a nice spicy Belgian yeast profile. Very tasty.
M - Creamy, with a medium-full mouth-feel and moderately crisp carbonation.
O - Very good beer, and an excellent take on the BSDA style. One of Allagash's best offerings.

jsanford, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of saccro
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - dark mahogany. ruby highlights. nice lasting head that clings to glass.

S - Belgian phenolic aromatics. Sweet crystal aroma. No much in the way of hops. Slight black olive aroma. Maybe a little nail polish. Very apply. I'm not getting much "stout". No coffee roastiness. Chocolate perhaps.

T - didn't expect the taste from the aroma. Very chocolately. Like chocolate covered apples. Really nice clean malt profile. Slight bitterness at the end. Chocolate is the main component here.

M - the mouthfeel is amazing. Really smooth and creamy.

D - I was skeptical from the aroma, but the flavor is very nice. More "porter" than "stout"

saccro, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of Rainintheface
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber

A: Why, yes it is black. Has a two finger rocky, tan head with decent retention

S: quite chocolaty, coffee, caramel

T: dark, slightly bitter chocolate. coffee is present as this stout warms, roasted malts. some faint smoke is hidden in the mix

M: medium bodied, a tad creamy with moderate carbonation and dry finish

D: nice beer. quite drinkable. wasn't quite sure what i was getting with a belgian style stout but it works.

Rainintheface, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of mvanaskie13
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%

Poured into a medium chalice: color is dark brown with brown edges, hed is tan but dissipates to a ring quickly.

Aroma is deep and pleasant, great chocolate, roast and espresso blend.

Taste is has more present candi sugar flavor with chocolate, roast and espresso providing lingering flavors that fluctuate as it warms.

Mouthfeel is a bit sweet, light cloying sweetness on the tongue.

Overall, a nice tasting brew that goes well with sweeter foods.

mvanaskie13, Aug 19, 2014
Photo of 4000qtrap
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Source/Serving: Draft

Smell: Intense, fresh roasted coffee with some vanilla roundness. Reminiscent of mocha ice cream.

Taste: Intense medium level roastiness permeates everything. Has a delightful roast quality that, for me, is step up from the roastiness in most dark beers. Semisweet and oaky in the middle with some rich, raisiny fruits but not super exciting. Finish is semidry with beautiful roast cocoa, caramelized oaky malts, a pinch of ripe fruits

4000qtrap, Apr 28, 2010
Photo of GClarkage
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4/13/08- Purchased at Bevmo in Sunnyvale, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, both caged and corked. No freshness info, bit it is a 2008 release. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Medium colored black pour. Full one inch head upon pour, settles at a nice rim or larger. Patch lacing is present.

Smell- Deeper roasted chocolate malts, maybe a slight touch of hops, not really any dark fruits noted...mostly malt and more malt.

Taste- Strong Dark Ale? I'm thinking along the lines of Foreign Export Stout. Has that nice mid abv stout taste. Not a double, but not an ordinary one either. Quite a deep, almost burnt chocolate malt flavor. A wee bit of hops mingle in the aftertaste. A bit milky as well. Imperial Milk Stout?

Mouthfeel- A touch watery with solid carbonation and light bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- I enjoyed this brew, but not as the bargain price of $12.99 I paid. Put the price down about $4 and I'll buy this regularly.

GClarkage, Apr 15, 2008
Photo of GCBrewery
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%

GCBrewery, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of OrangeAmps
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Battleship Brewhouse, fall river, MA. Consumed in a pint glass

A: Dark brown with an almond colored head that is tiny, but clings to the sides a bit.

S: dark roast malt and alcohol. not much in the way of aromatic hops

T: dark chocolate, roasted malts, slight coffee vibe. some dark fuits toward the end.

Very good beer!

OrangeAmps, May 06, 2011
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.

srandycarter, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of markwise
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark brownish-black with a strong cocoa nib/ chocolate aroma. It has a tan head and a flavor of cocoa, earth, licorice, and some hop bitterness. Good Belgian-style stout with a nice lingering semi-hoppy, coffee bitterness in the finish.

markwise, Oct 30, 2008
Photo of gonzo46and2
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like a stout but a bit thinner a livelier. Dark, black and opaque. Smells a bit mild. Coffee and chocolate. Didn't smell like belgian yeast/malt as much as I'd hoped but the belgian attributes were almost there. It definitely had the irish stout/belgian quadruppel hybrid-type aroma and taste. It was just a bit too mild for me. Still a good beer. Very drinkable.

gonzo46and2, Jul 04, 2008
Photo of drumrboy22
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle received from Mudpuppet in trade. Poured into a snifter. Beer was a deep, dark brown almost black color with a two finger, creamy, tan head. Moderate lacing.

Aroma was roasted grains, toffee, chocolate and malt.

Taste was chocolate, malt and coffee. German chocolate cake comes to mind.

Very tasty and high drinkability. Would recommend drinking at cellar temperature. Some of the flavors are subtle and open up as the beer warms.

drumrboy22, Jul 11, 2008
Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip-shaped Allagash glass at Delaney's in New Haven, Conn.

A: Poured a deep brown-amber color, near black, with a very generous two-finger head of off-white foam which left some nice lacing on this bulbous glass.

S: Smells fairly roasty with bits of cocoa nib and floral, bitter coffee bean aromatics. A little fake, dessert candle aroma as well.

T: Flavor is the real deal; deep roasted, bittersweet caramel malts, weak coffee and cocoa powder with light, red berry and plum flavors. the hopping is light and just enough to balance the thorough malt sweetness of the brew. A slightly spicy, gummy, yeasty black ale with charred, sweetened malts added to the mix.

M: Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and I'd hazard that it's best enjoyed on its own. A bit too viscous and savory for food outside of a carefully selected cheese pairing.

D: A nice, strong sweet bracer for a night out, or a good dessert accompaniment to a roast or BBQ fowl dinner. At 7.5% ABV, it's not like you'd pick up a bomber for yourself all that often. Good for what it is, but I'm unlikely to get it again.

Gambrinus1184, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black isn't black and isn't opaque. It's really, really, really, really, really, really dark walnut brown. I can understand why the brewery didn't call it that, since there's only so much room on the label. The golden beige cap is almost up to Belgian ale standards. It has a wonderful texture and is sticky enough to leave attractive sheets of lace.

How do Belgian stouts and BSDAs differ. Allagash calls this offering a 'Belgian Style Stout'. According to the nose, there's too much roasted maltiness for it to be a BSDA. In addition, there isn't much dark fruitiness and there's almost no Belgian yeasty spiciness. In the end, the nose isn't assertive enough to earn the next highest score.

Even though they're somewhat different, Black is much better than the Northeast's other Belgian style stout, Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence. This beer is on the subtle side as well, but at least it has some malty guts and has a decent amount of flavor depth. In essence, it tastes like a BSDA that uses more roasted malt than is typical for the style.

Black coffee dominates. Additional flavors include dark chocolate, darkest caramel, ground clove and maybe even a dash of anise seed. The beer is perfectly attenutated. In other words, it has an ideal combination of sweetness (early) and drying bitterness (late).

The Allagash website informs the interested beer drinker that Black is refermented in the bottle using the methode champenoise. That certainly sounds impressive, but I wish it resulted in a mouthfeel that could stand toe-to-toe with some of Belgium's finest. It's smooth, supple, softly carbonated and enjoyable. It isn't outstanding, though.

Allagash isn't as consistently excellent as they need to be for inclusion in the firmament of great American craft breweries. They're capable of brewing some of the best Belgian style ales in America. And they're also capable of brewing beer that is merely good. It's hard to complain too loudly about Black, but Russian River and The Lost Abbey are beginning to leave these guys in their dust. That said, I'm still a huge fan.

BuckeyeNation, May 11, 2008
Photo of garuda
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 21 - a date of some kind would be a lot more useful.

A - Black, with an off-white head that retains well, but somehow doesn't lace all that much.

S/T - Candied dark fruits mostly, with a smooth roast malt underneath, and touches of milk chocolate. Finishes sweet, only a touch bitter.

M - Medium body, carb level is a little higher than I would have liked.

O - A little underwhelming from what I was hoping for. I would try it again if I could determine if it was fresh or not. Maybe this bottle was a little stale.

Edit 3/16/21 - Bumped the scores up a little bit after having another bottle with the same batch number with a bit of a better experience. Smell had much more spice and yeast in it, with the cocoa aspect remaining in the taste. Medium body, high carbonation, but stays fluffy and smooth across the palate.

garuda, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of zac16125
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a tulip
Bottling numbers: 2563 09:33; not sure if that means anything

A: Pours a somewhat thin appearing very dark brown, almost black as it sits in the glass. 1.5 fingers width of light tan head builds then has good retention. Leaves lots of lacing.

S: Aromas of roasted malt, a somewhat astringent plastic, more subtle dark fruits, faint cocoa, belgian fruity-esters.

T: Roasted malt, heavy cream, semi-sweet chocolate, blond roast coffee.

M/D: Medium body, on the lighter side for the style (whether it be a stout or a BSDA), carbonation heavier than I prefer, fairly smooth, drinkability is average.

O: It was kind of meh at first but really grew on me as it warmed. Nothing spectacular but certainly worth a try.

zac16125, Jan 21, 2014
Photo of kbuzz
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a snifter. No bottle date, but labeled "Batch 29".

A: Pours a very dark brown with mahogany highlights. Even with an aggressive pour, only yields a thin off-white fizzy looking head.

S: Definitely some Bretty yeasty funk noticeable. There is roast and smoke in there too, maybe even some vanilla. Some of those dry irish stout qualities noticeable...tobacco, leather...

T: More stout than funk in the taste...some char and tobacco notes, cherry, vanilla and smoke. A little roastiness. Heavier on the smoke and roast than any sort of sweetness. There's a really thick "wet hay" coating over everything - like a stout that's been strained through a wet horse blanket. I get some spicy, earthy hop notes but not a lot.

M: Straight up medium bodied beer. A little thinner than a typical stout, but considering the Belgian qualities of this beer, it wouldn't taste quite right as a full bodied beer. Still get a bit of chewiness in the middle due to the Belgian yeast. Carbonation is solid for a corked bottle. Relatively easy drinking beer.

O: This is the first of this style that I've ever tried and I have to say that I don't know if the Belgian yeast qualities blend all that well with those of a stout. It's interesting...but that's where I'd stop. I can easily name about 20 other stouts that I've had that are better than this beer. And can name about 20 Belgian style beers that I've had that I like better. Glad I tried it...wouldn't mind trying again after I've had a few more examples of the style...then revisit this review.

kbuzz, Oct 07, 2011
Photo of spinrsx
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size creamy light brown/beige coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there isn't whole lot of lacing going on. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - chocolate, malts, coffee, smoky/roasted notes, vanilla

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a very low amount of carbonation and most of the taste consists of chocolate, coffee and malts. There are also smokey/burnt notes mixed with a booziness.

Overall - I could pick up on the alcohol and the beer gave me a nice warming feeling in my chest. I was a little disappointed with the appearance, but the beer had a nice taste and would work very well as a winter warmer. It's worth seeking out.

spinrsx, Apr 08, 2011
Photo of ibbjamin
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $12.99 for a 750ml bottle from BevMo in San Jose, CA. Poured into my Chimay Chalice.

About an inch of frothy light tan head of fine bubbles. Very dark, nearly black with ruby hints when held to a light. Thick lacing and excellent head retention. Rather carbonated.

Smells quite spicy and yeasty. Bubbly and carbonated.

Taste is much different than the smell. Much more reminiscent of a stout, while the nose was screaming Belgian Dark. Quite malty up front, the creaminess lends to a longer finish of a spicy belgian. The yeast is better balanced in the mouth and adds a nice touch to stout qualities.

This one is medium bodied, smooth and creamy, but not silky smooth. Rather carbonated, pretty easy going down.

A nice spin on combining two somewhat contrasting styles. And certainly was worth trying.

ibbjamin, Jan 21, 2009
Photo of woodychandler
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am now committed to reducing, if not eradicating, my backlog of bottles. This one was part of a local, in-person trade with tone77.

From the bottle: "Dark and roasted with chocolate expressed throughout[.]Belgian-style[,]bottle conditioned"; "[B]elgian style stout".

Given The Old Lady's shock & outrage at how I pour beers when I visited her last summer, I promised her that I would be gentle with bottle-conditioned beers or ones that were explicit about how they should be poured. Despite my very slow, gentle pour, I still garnered a finger of foamy, light-tan head with decent retention. Color was a deep, dark reddish-brown (SRM= > 27, < 34) with good clarity and mahogany highlights. Nose was reminiscent of Belgian chocolate - sweet, but not cloying, plus the yeast gave it a slightly vinous quality. Interesting. Mouthfeel was creamy. I have to say, there was an initial fusel alcohol heat with this one. It mellowed out to create a semi-sweet chocolatiness, but when coupled with the yeasty flavors, I am glad that it is not classified as a "Stout" on here. It was Stout-like, but at the same time, it was not a Stout. Finish was semi-dry with it being a battle between the chocolate malt and the yeast plus alcohol for supremacy. I was glad to have been able to drink and review one, but it is not the sort of thing that I would normally buy for myself.

woodychandler, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of scottfrie
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a sniffer.

A: Black black black liquid with a large, fluffy dense light brown head that took its time receding into a thick film.
S: Hints of licorice, yeast, bread with some roasted notes. Not particularly smelly. Some faint boozy notes come out as it warms.
T: Toasted oats, coffee, dark chocolate, raisins, sour notes, caramel malt, bread dough and some underlying sweet sugary tones. Some almost porter like ambiguous fruit flavors come through as well.
M: Medium body with a more tingly carbonation than other stouts. Has a decent amount of syrupy thickness to it. Slight alcohol warmth in the finish.
D: Not half bad. My first Belgium style stout. Similar to other stouts but a bit more porter like. This wasn't my favorite stout but there was certainly nothing wrong with it. I'd recommend giving it try.

scottfrie, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of lifeboyq
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich brown translucent on the edges with a tan head that lasts with solid lacing. Smells a phenolic peculiar yeast offering without much malt aroma coming through. Taste is quite malty, slightly biter, dark black patent malts a hint of dark caramel malts. Well balanced slightly bitter very well done stout with just enough hops to kill the chance of the beer being cloying. Well done and a nice twist to the typical stout with a flair of Belgian (or allagashian) yeast peculiarity.

lifeboyq, Mar 08, 2008
Photo of BeerDazed
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into Pint glass.

Deep, dark brown color with a dense, lightly tanned head. A fair amount of lacing.

Roasted aroma with caramel, coffee, and chocolates notes - but not real strong.

Medium to full bodied, with a creamy texture and on the medium side of carbonation.

It finished dry, with some roasted bitterness - and I got a bit of coffee and licorice too. Sweet and spice at the end.

Looking forward to trying some more offerings from Allagash. All of there Belgian-style offerings look really good.

BeerDazed, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of i4ourgot
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I really liked this beer it is the perfect winter complement to their Allagash White. I got some light clove notes from the yeast that blended really well with the flavors from dark roasted malts. The Belgium yeast was very dominant in the aroma with light notes of coffee.

i4ourgot, Feb 07, 2014
Photo of Shroud0fdoom
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

*12 oz. bottle* On to the appearance of this ale. It pours dense dark brown with velvet hues, A half of finger off white head. Chocolate hits the nose with passion. Roasted malts seems to breath just fine. A slight molasses sweetness shrouds a charred undertone. There is a slight touch of spice with hints of coffee beans. The taste on this is roasted malts, and a subtle smooth chocolate feel. Coffee beans with a soft hint of vanilla. Charred wood with a red apple skin that make way for a dry bitter finish. The feel of this ale is a little off. For a stout I would expect a fuller feel. The carbonation is a bit active and slightly harsh.

Overall: This stout is a little safe. For a Belgian style stout I would expect some sort of funkiness or spiciness from the yeast. This is delicate and can leave you wanting something more out of it. The feel on this beer is where it really lets me down. The body could be more fuller and smoother for being a stout. Maybe it is, but the carbonation makes sure your attention is more on the poppy sensation on your palate. This is very polished and well crafted. Just some of my pet peeves at work. This one just isn't all that entertaining in my opinion. This ale was still worthy of my time.

Shroud0fdoom, Nov 03, 2013
Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,023 ratings.