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Allagash Black - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash BlackAllagash Black

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2,264 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,264
Reviews: 676
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.89%
Wants: 126
Gots: 333 | 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: 2,264 | Reviews: 676 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BethanyB
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

This review is based on style, with a bit of subjectivity. ;)

Appearance: Dark brown and coppery color, with good clarity. Persistent, bright, off-white head is a bit less creamy than one would expect from the strong dark ale style.

Smell: The typical coffee, dark chocolate, and caramel scents were easily detected, as was a particularly unique aroma that reminded me of the aftermath of a summer monsoon. A small part of me wondered if this was due to oxidation, but if it was, it was not unpleasant! There's something romantic about a steamy warm rainstorm!

Taste: Dark mocha and cream were prevalent, and more roasty than sweet. I did expect a more complex taste from a strong dark ale (more plum and spice perhaps?), but this simpler version was rather refreshing!

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation with a light, yet noticeable alcohol warmth. Felt both true to style, and totally complementary for this particular interpretation!

Overall: I've adored more complicated strong dark ales, but this could be a real go-to! I think it has an interesting, yet rather universal appeal (if the universe were made up of people who at least appreciated and understood good beer, that is). Color me solidly impressed.

Photo of inlimbo77
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber bottle into tulip glass.

A: Pours a deep, dark black color. Good carbonation and head that sticks around. Lacing is nice.

S: The nose isn't has pronounced as I would have thought from the appearance. There are hints of coffee/chocolate, but it is not overpowering at any point.

T: I got the dark malts, mild coffee, and extremely mild chocolate notes. Not as major as in other stouts that fall into this same price point.

M: Doesn't coat the mouth as much as others do. Actually felt like a watered down stout to me after trying others recently. Wasn't a bad thing, but different.

D: Really easy drinking and the 7.2 ABV wasn't killer for your evening. I wouldn't slam 3 of these bombers but I could definitely enjoy more than one glass.

Overall a good stout. Another solid product from Allagash...seems to be a trend.

Photo of TheViolator666
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750 ml. caged and corked bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Nearly opaque, dark brown with a nice 2 finger head. Left some slight lacing on the way down.

S: Pretty good, some chocolate notes as well as a ton of malt. Earthy hops as well as a bit of yeast.

T: Chocolate was the most up front, roasted malt and a certain earthy character made this one pretty complex. A hint of dark fruit was trying to fight its way into the taste as well. The Belgian yeast left a very dry aftertaste paired with some roasted malt.

M/D: The bottle conditioning gave this one a ton of carbonation. Medium-full body and hid the alcohol well.

Overall, not a bad experience.

Photo of jjboesen
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Begins with an explosion of billowy beige foam that dissipates quickly - quicker than I expected. There is neither lacing nor perceptable clingage. There is a deep, dark body that is impervious to any natural light.

Heavy notes of cocoa powder compliment the extreme alcoholic aroma. The palate detects an initial, and lingering, bitterness complimented by malty notes of biscuit; yet it possesse a surprisingly underwhelming mouthfeel.

Something different here, but nothing to seek out.

Photo of stbfan
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours dark brown with a nice two finger tan head. lots of fizzing.(doesn't retain ead very long.) smells like malts, chocolate, hops. Tastes dark chocolate, bitter, woody, roasted coffee. decnt mouthfeel with a bitter finish. nice delayed alcohol effect. a pretty good offering.

Photo of katan
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz into a goblet

A - Pours a deep dark black with some mahogany highlights. Head formation is light, mocha in color. Breaks down to a film. Very opaque looking.

S - Chocolate, light amounts of vanilla and caramel, even a hint of a wooden scent. Yeast is very hidden with only a small whiff of some fruity esters.

T - Starts off with a light roasted malty flavor, chocolate mainly. Mid-stream gets more roasted, some bitterness, but overall a malt forward beer. Finishes with a more fruity note, perhaps of grapefruit - indicating a good belgian yeast production.

M - Solid beer body, somewhat understated carbonation. Seems heavy on the palette. Finishes with a sticky sugary film. No alcohol warmth.

O/D - Moderately easy drinking ale, a little bit too americanized I feel for the style - although the hopping isn't extreme either. Just seems to straddle the line. ABV is managable.

A good black ale.

Photo of TKEbeerman
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Tulip

A: Decided to go out on a limb and pour this dark brew into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip. Definitely the darkest beer ever poured into this glass. Allagash Black pours black (duh), but not an RIS, light extinguishing black, with a beautifully thick sandy brown head. The head dissipates rather fast and leaves little evidence behind.

S: The nose of this beer falls way, way short of it's appearance. No hop prescience at all, the aroma is relevant to that of a brown ale. Nutty, and light roasted notes are present.

T: Not much Belgium in the taste. The taste resembles a porter rather then a stout. Light roasted malt, a little smokiness in the finish, and light hints of cappuccino. Delightful, yet not very bold.

M: Just about the only thing Belgium about this brew is the mouth feel. Excellently crafted, supremely smooth, and very full and ample. Would have liked a bit more carbonation, however this is a mouth feel that compliments the beer's flavor profile and aroma.

D: Smooth and easy on the pallet. This is a great beer to start the night off with, or to just wind down after a long day at work.

Over all I would re-label this beer as Allagash Black Belgium feeling American Porter. This beer is worth the try, but a $14.99 for a 750mL, I'm gonna shy away from buying this one again for a while.

Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Kegatron
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of buschbeer
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 FL OZ bottle
Served in a tulip glass

A - It is a ruddy brown color with amber highlights. It has about an inch of tan head.

S - I smell some cocoa and chocolate. I get an off scent too. It's a little skunk and alcohol.

T - The taste is of milk chocolate and cocoa. I get an off taste, too.

M - Moderate

O - I wanted to love this beer. I have liked Allagash since I discovered them in Portland, ME a few years ago on vacation. This beer is okay, but I don't love it.

Photo of Blaise
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

When I first opened the bottle I could immediately smell coffee and cocoa. Not being a huge fan of coffee I was a little hesitant. Once I tried it I was hit with much more chocolate and toffee flavors. This was a nice surprise since I wasn't looking foward too much to the coffee. It felt creamy on the tongue with a bit of that stouty bitterness. The coffee came up strong on the finish, but wasn't overpowering. All in all I was pretty impressed with Allagash Black and would drink it again for sure.

Photo of Twobeards
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a 40 cl allagash glass. Pours a caramel brown/light black. One finger toasty brown head that falls pretty quick. Aroma picks up strength as it warms. Slight yeasty and malty notes with bitter coffee notes and a bit of chocolate. Taste is very similar, with a bit of a dark wheat flavor as well. Some batches seem to have more expressed coffee or chocolate notes, but it's always very good. Fine carbonation in the mouth, easily drinkable. The 7.5 fits it.

Never had it when the bottle has aged for awhile, living close to the brewery I've only ever had it on the fresh side. Curious as to what age (not in a barrel) does to it.

Photo of wmardis
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of xnicknj
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap at varga in philly

Pours an opaque black with a thick, fluffy browned head, nice layer of retention which leaves plenty of patchy lacing.

Belgian yeast in the nose mixed with chocolate and roasted malt, coffee beans and nuts, a bit sweet, but still pretty balanced.

Nice roasted malts up front with bakers chocolate and nuttiness. A little sweet, yeasty Belgian notes and slight funk. Coffee beans and caramel throughout with a touch of vanilla. Finishes a little warm and sticky on the tongue.

Full body, a little higher carbonation, chewy and sticky throughout. Decent Belgo take on the stout, drinkable for the ABV, and an alright balance.

Photo of Crosling
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown/black color with a fully foaming and long lasting head of foam. Intricate nose showcases notes of cocoa and roast, as well as dark fruit notes of syrah grapes and blackberries. Flavor has nice balance, but is perhaps a bit sweet. Similar notes as in the aroma, lots of sweet dark red fruit notes. Could have more dark malt notes to improve it. Overall, it's a well made ale.

Photo of dasenebler
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Allagash Black
12oz (can't decipher date code)

Pours very dark, near black, with brown highlights. Tight off-white head, spotty lacing, average retention. (3.5)

Aroma is vaguely yeasty. Light sulfur, spice, ester, dark fruit , alcohol and roasted malt. (3.5)

Flavor is on the sweet side, but very complex. Notes of licorice, date, clove, pepper, chocolate, molasses and coffee. Roasted malt flavor builds up on palate, but does not dominate at all, letting the Belgian yeast character shine through. I really like the phenol and spice. Mouthfeel is velvety, but could use more carbonation. (4, 3.5)

Much tastier and more complex than I remember. Sweetness and alcohol make it more of a dessert beer. Aroma and head could use improvement. (4)

Photo of popery
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A sweet and complex beer that ends up trying a bit too hard. I guess I was just expecting more out of it. I'd seen it in stores, and the price tag made me stay away but also secretly harbor a strong desire. When I stopped in at Toronado last night (my first time but definitely not my last) and saw it on tap, I jumped at the chance to try it without putting out for a whole bottle. It came in a proper tulip and looked pretty good. First, let me say that I'm not sure how to compare it to other Belgian Strong Darks. This beer has clearly been handled with extreme care and lots of fancy ingredients no doubt have been used.

Back to the review. The beer is a very dark brown with little head. I prefer a somewhat lighter color for the style but again this beer does not seem to be trying to compete with classic Belgian Strong Darks and certainly looks nice in the glass. The smell is sweet but well-balanced. You can certainly smell the Belgian candy sugars. There are notes of vanilla, oak and earthy Belgian yeasts. It's a refined scent but not exactly my cup of tea at this point in my tasting life. I can imagine warming to this beer in time. The taste gives further signs of the care put into the beer. This beer certainly spent some time in fine casks. There are a lot of understated sweet notes and both rich chocolatey malt and perfectly balanced hops. However, it just doesn't quite add up for me. It's too sweet and too refined. It doesn't help that the feel is so light. I don't think anything about this beer is unintentional, so I'll just put it down to difference in taste. I'm sure that the most people will enjoy this beer and it would certainly make a good gift. It's a bit like a good dessert wine. I just don't happen to be a fan of that kind of thing. I aspire to like it even more, but this is my review for now.

Photo of petacutlasaurus
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Allagash White's dark reflection, and it's pretty good that way. Not quite as good as the Odyssey (also a Belgian strong dark), but for half the price, I can deal with losing the oak-aging and getting some added body.

From the pour it separates itself from its bigger odyssean brother - a little bit thicker and lacking some of the carbonation. A little muddier as well with less uniformity. A thin layer of almost roasted brown head rests on top. Smells like cocoa, vanilla and sweet malt. Taste is much of the same, with more dark fruit and a complex body. Kind of unsure of itself, honestly, like it could have gone one of many directions a little bit further. Still an awesome brew, and maybe it's just that lack of commitment to one ostentatious note that makes it such a stable, staple beer. Really, I just shouldn't drink it alongside the Odyssey. Very laid back beer here. Can't wait to force it out of a tap one day.

Photo of keith712
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber purchased at a Spec's, batch 21, rated at 7.5% abv. Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark, but translucent deep brown/mahogany. Creamy head that sticks a bit then fades away to nothing as it warms.

Nose: Unusual to me, less sweet than I expected. Roasted grains (coffee?), a slight hint of bitter chocolate. Some bitterness apparent in the nose but not objectionable.

Taste: Stout for sure, another charred flavor in there but not quite dominant. Malts assert themselves in lieu of hops, some mild bitter chocolate. The yeasts are obvious and to my limited palate of this style, I assume this is the Belgian yeast influence. Certainly a bit less sweetness (almost none) than I expected.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is medium low to low, initial swallow is thinner than I expected. It finished dry as well. Alcohol is NOT apparent. No chewiness nor a heavy feel left over.

Drinkability: Smooth, easy on the palate and I finished the 22oz in ~ 1 hour. It gets better as it warms up after a half hour. Next time I have this I'll leave it on the counter longer before serving.

Overall, I'll give this a B+. Not my favorite style but interesting nonetheless.

Photo of LacquerHead
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have looked through many reviews and have concluded that I am definitely in the minority. I was very excited to try this beer as I love stouts and Belgians.

I maybe the only one who thought the aroma was reminiscent of a raw fillet mignon. This had a Belgian yeast smell mixed with a charcoal stout aroma...along with raw meat. While I didn't really like the aroma, I thought it was very distinctive and interesting. But hey, at least it had a top notch raw meat smell!

For me the taste had a conflict of interest. It was as if someone cut a Belgian ale with a smoked stout. There was a yeast taste. It also had a moderately robust malt flavor. Some coco flavors, a hint of aromatic spice like cloves, and a smoked flowery underlay. It was like mixing the floral nature of tea with the robustness of coffee.

Conclusion: I liked where this beer was trying to go. I thought it was very interesting. I wouldn't discourage anyone from trying this, but for me it was not entirely my pint of beer. More than likely I will give this another chance - it did have a flavor that was worth exploring again.

Photo of nhindian
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into an Allagash cervois. Bottle provided by 603BeerMe, thanks Clark!

Batch 20.

A - Pours a cola-colored brown, actually quite lighter than I would've though. When held up to a light, it's easy to see through it, and there is a torrent of carbonation rushing up from the bottom of the glass. There are some nice, deep red and chestnut highlights. The head is unmistakably Allagash; 2.5-fingers worth of tan, tightly condensed foam sits on top as if poured out of a nitro-tap. It's thick and creamy, as with many other big Allagash beers, and I'm amazed at how they consistently pull it off. Retention is absurd, and I actually have to actively work to slough off some of the foam before I can drink. What's left is half-head, half-thick-as-hell cap. Lacing is fantastic as well, with the head pretty much enveloping the entire glass as it dissipates.

S - The nose has a big oat smell, that's immediately noticeable from the start and lasts throughout. Very roasty and definitely brings out the bittersweet chocolate and espresso notes. The chocolate lingers and is present throughout the aroma, and the candied sugar comes in about halfway through. Not as bold and robust as other big stouts out there, but it doesn't smell anywhere close to a 7.5% beer.

T - The taste is really interesting for sure. The blend of typical stout qualities with a Belgian twist really throws my palate for a loop. The candi sugar comes through earlier here, giving it a sweet boost that accentuates the bittersweet chocolate in the malts. Conversely, the coffee is a bit more subdued and imparts more a roasty characteristic rather than any actual espresso flavors. A little bit watery in the finish, but no hint of alcohol to be found here.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. A little bit thin for a stout, doesn't have an incredibly bold mouthfeel or presence. Given the stream of carbonation that can be seen in the glass, it actually isn't overcarbonated, thankfully. Incredibly smooth and creamy, and leaves a roasty finish.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. While the Belgian influence is a welcome change in a style I've had my fair share of, it's not exactly brimming with flavor and the mouthfeel is a bit of a disappointment. I would've loved to see this be a bit fuller in the mouth.

Photo of ClavisAurea
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a wide mouth Belgian beer glass at fridge temps. No freshness date to be found.

Appearance: lighter black and fairly see through around the edges with no head to speak of at all. Disappointing really. The pour was pretty thin as well.

Nose: Heavy on the roasted malts, burnt coffee at the bottom of the pot, sweet creme brûlée in the end.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is much more substantial that the pour and appearance would have suggested, like the nose it is heavy on the roasted malts (black and maybe a little chocolate), decent bitterness that would put it in line with a classic American west coast stout, slight coffee character with some chocolate but the burnt carries through, there is a creaminess in the middle that lingers to a nice creamy finish that is full of roasted flavors and a slight sweetness.

This is an interesting beer. BA has it down as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale but Allagash markets it as a Belgian Style Stout. I have to agree with the brewer on this one; it is far more consistent with a stout than a BSDA. I've reviewed 7 beers in the BSDA category (and many more unlogged) and 25 stouts. I'd like to try this again but it doesn't scream Belgian to me. Much more of an American double stout. Nice beer though.

Photo of AltBock
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Corked and caged 750ml bottle that has a simple black label with "Allagash" in gray letters and everything else in white letters. To the far left of the label is the barcode and Government warning. To the far right is a 1-800 number, deposit prices, pouring instructions, proper glassware, and a batch #. Mine was batch #4 which means that it's from early 2008.

Appearance: The label said it should be poured into a wide mouth glass, so I poured it into a Chimay Chailse. It can't get any more wider than that. This 'black" Belgian stout actually poured a black color. It wasn't as thick and black like crude oil, but it did pour a solid midnight black color. Sitting on top of this black brew was a fluffy 3/4 of an inch head of foam. The color of this head wasn't tan or mocha. It was little bit of both. This multi colored head of foam had great retention that left behind a small film, spotty rings, and few spots of lace around the glass.

Smell: It wasn't overflowing with aromas, but it was still pretty good and interesting. The aroma was lightly chocolately with Belgian milk chocolate, a subtle hint of roasted malts, a few roasted coffee beans, and then this chocolately aroma finishes up with a small whiff of sweet and dried yeast. I thought it was interesting because the chocolate had sweet and dried yeast backing it up. You don't encounter that very often.

Taste: I like my Stouts chewy, roasted, robust, and with a ton of dark roasted flavors. This Stout had some of those qualities. It was still chocolately with roasted coffee beans, like it was in the aroma, but it was in the taste where they increased the roasted coffee and kept the chocolate where it was. Behind the roasted coffee beans and Belgian milk chocolate was a small hint of dark roasted malts, a quick splash of plum, a drop of sweet yeast, and then ends on a slightly hoppy finish with bitter citrus hops. There was a very little hop profile like a good Stout should have. I have to give to Allagash for making an interesting and delicious chocolately beer.

Mouthfeel: This Stout was medium bodied with a low level of carbonation and features a light chocolately aftertaste of Belgian milk chocolate, a dab of roasted malts, a splash of sweet caramel, and plenty of roasted coffee beans.This chocolately aftertaste doesn't last too long. It comes in for a second and then it's gone in a flash.

Drinkability: A nice expensive chocolately unique Belgian Stout. I liked all the Belgian chocolates and roasted coffee beans in this beer, but I think the hefty price tag hurts the drinkability. Is it worth it? If you got the cash, then give it a try.

Photo of Beastcpa
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle for a whopping $14.99 at La Bodega in Riverside, CA. Prices are going up!

Pours a murky black with just a hint of a tan head- virtually no carbonation.

Aroma is not very strong, but it definitely has that Belgian yeasty aroma that I recognize but can't describe. Light espresso notes.

Flavor is a decent rich stout-strong dark ale hybrid. Some sweet fruit notes (dark cherries and dates come to mind) but an ashen coffee ending is more stout-like. What is it??? :)

Overall, I like this one- an easy taster, nicely drinkable, interesting, pleasant, but too expensive!

Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,264 ratings.