Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Allagash Black - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash BlackAllagash Black

Educational use only; do not reuse.

698 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 698
Hads: 2,501
Avg: 4
pDev: 20.5%
Wants: 150
Gots: 482 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Allagash Black Alström Bros
Reviews: 698 | Hads: 2,501
Photo of BeerNinja007
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL cork+crown bottle poured into a chilled pint glass. Bottle stamped with batch #15.

Beautiful rocky taupe head, decent retention, condenses into larger bubbles as it settles. Pretty dark, but against a light it becomes murky brown with orange highlights. Smells of yeast, banana, silage and raw grains, burnt sugar, melon, clove, hardwood smoke. Taste is much darker than the smell and not as complicated. Hardwood smoke, bitter chocolate, tad of cinnamon and clove, some very subtle yeasty fruitiness. Finishes with clove, lingering smoke, and a pinch of lemon rind. Nice and smooth, has a bit of a starchy raw grain feel. Appropriate carbonation. Alcohol only mildly apparent.

Smell and taste develop interestingly as it airs and warms. I find myself adding aspects to my description as it intensified. Very enjoyable.

 828 characters

Photo of CHADMC3
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This sample of batch number 4 pours a nearly opaque black with a soft, faint tan head full of tight carbonation, which seems to last for only a short time after pour with little to no lacing.

You do not have to get very close to this beer to experience its aromatic qualities. Roasted malt, chocolate, coffee and perhaps some bread qualities waft from this masterpiece.

More roasted palate pleasure in the flavor with chocolate and coffee notes mirroring the aroma. In addition, there is just a slight smoky quality, which is more pronounced in the aftertaste, especially as this friend warms.

Extremely smooth and well balanced. No particular flavor dominates this beer, yet it is still very rich. This is a particularly crisp and refreshing Belgian stout.

This is an instant favorite. It does not sit heavy and could be enjoyed with a variety of foods. A slow drinker to imbibe in anytime.

 895 characters

Photo of MadScientist
4.26/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

 1,445 characters

Photo of JAA
4.26/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, this is my first review. I hope i don't sound like a dumbass, 23 year old kid.

I bought this growler at this new beer store in Bradenton,FL. The owner keeps it behind the counter to protect it from touchy-feely beer shoppers. After i poured it into a rocks glass, the beer developed about a one finger medium tan head. I don't think my sense of smell has been properly trained, so i won't even guess. The aroma wasn't anything out of the ordinary. The beer had a spicy-smokey onset that faded into a very dark chocolate and ashy aftertaste that lingered for quite a while. Mouthfeel was silky-smooth with what seemed to be the perfect amount of carbonation.

I was quite impressed with this allagash after tasting another, less satisfactory, variety. I would drink this quite often, if it weren't 22 bucks a growler. If you like 60%-72% cacao chocolate you'll probably enjoy this beer a lot.

Edit: well you knew i was new at this, because i said that this was a "growler". It actually was a 750 ml bottle. Der der der der der.

 1,038 characters

Photo of mjaskula
4.26/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, batch 15. It is certainly named appropriately, only a hint of red on the edges when held up to the light. The head is thick, dense and tan like a stout. It thins down to a film and laces nicely.

The aroma is faint, dark malts and dark sweet fruits, a little alcohol. Flavor, is also as expected, 'belgian style stout' describes it very well. Dark roasted malts are predominant but not overpowering. The flavor is balanced with a malty fruity sweetness. Chocolate and spices are in the background. Flavor is very smooth and balanced. Carbonation is high. Very drinkable.

 584 characters

Photo of HattedClassic
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice creamy tan head that diminishes quickly but leaves a lasting cover. Very nice lacing. Pours a dark brown that resembles chocolate with a slight hint of copper to it.

Smell: Hints of Belgian spices dominated by a mix of chocolate, coffee and roasted malts. After mixing it a little you can get a little bit of alcohol in it.

Taste: Chocolate mixed with coffee and roasted malts dominate the palate. Underscore of hops and Belgian spices which mix very well.

Mouthfeel: Light body with medium carbonation.

Overall: A very good beer for a warm night or a cold room. Recommend.

 594 characters

Photo of GrinkoN
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Dark with hints of red. Slight head.

Smell: Roasted malt, coffee?

Taste/Mouthfeel: chocolaty toasted malt, slightly bitter on the back end. Felt a little thick was enjoyable.

Overall: It was a great beer, would buy again.

 230 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Tim for bringing this down and sharing it with the Central NE BA Meetup.

A: Creamy 1 finger head fades semi quickly, over a pitch black color.

N: Great nose, nice roasty earthy bitterness from the charred malts, with more roasted malt, chocolate malt, chewy dark malts with a little creamy porter aromas, little coffee, fluffy, slight nougat and very hint of marshmellow, little hops, earthy chewy and spicy hops with a hint of grassy hops.

T: Fluffy, earthy roast, with lots of dark chewy roasty malts, chocolate malt, roasted barley, minerality and bitterness from the charred malts, but still smooth and creamy with a little chocolate milk and oatmeal almost, some bitter spicy earthy hops too. Also slight hints of nougat again.

M: Semi thick, a little heavier but smooth and creamy, with lower but decent carbonation.

F: Semi bitter, lingering earthy roasted malts and some bitterness. Chewy malts with lingering chocolate roast and milk, fluffy nougat still there, with a little roasted barley lingering. A touch of sticky sweetness, but a light dryness.

 1,076 characters

Photo of Jayli
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had at Novare Res on 10/29
Served in a tulip

A: This pours an opaque black, minor reddish edges when held to the light. Two fingers of thick, creamy light brown head. Head holds extremely well and leaves nice big chunks of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is belgian yeast notes, nice roasted malts, chocolate and a bit of hop bite.

T: Taste starts with a mixture of dark fruits, raisin and dates, mingled with nice belgian spiced yeast. Middle has some nice roasty notes, that are quickly overtaked by bitter baker's chocolate, and strong coffee/espresso bite that carries through the finish.

M: Medium body, higher carbonation, slightly thinner body with a dry finish.

D: Goes down easily, nice kick, nice representation of style, a touch less carbonation would be nice, but a damn fine beer that I would easily get again.

 827 characters

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown, almost black, with a coffee colored head. The smell was full of espresso and coffee notes. The taste had a lot of coffee in the beginning and then some sweet dark chocolate flavors came through with a light finish. Very nice stout.

 251 characters

Photo of ColdPoncho
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes, 9-12-2010

A - dark blackish reddish brown body, largely opaque with a small tan head

S - malty chocolate nose with hints of dark fruits.

T - See above. Great balance with nose, chocolate and stone fruits.

M - medium body, decent, not great

O (D) - Drinkable for sure, a pretty good and interesting beer.

 320 characters

Photo of koopa
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at the Copper Mine Pub

Appearance: Nice black body with a light brown 1 finger crown that bares some retention and lacing.

Smell: Beautiful toasty malt notes with some hints of coffee and Belgian yeast.

Taste: Very nice flavor profile going here...roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and a touch of toffee sweetness.

Mouthfeel: A touch too thin for my preference.

Drinkability: Fairly good.

I liked this much more on tap than my previous bottle samplings.

 473 characters

Photo of ikantspel
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a hanger 24 barrel roll tulip

Pours a dark cola color with a carbonated light khaki fizzy head

Great combination of strong Belgian ale smell of dark fruit and spices kicked around with dark chocolate and cocoa

Great balance in taste as the stout is strong and heavy without trying to be and the Belgian ale floors finesse in beautifully. The caramel and roasted malt finish seem to work well in unison with a classic abbey ale spice.

Remarkably a great beer

 478 characters

Photo of Minotaur
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Black - with only the slightest bit of deep amber on the very rim of the Ommegang Adoration goblet. The head is thick and big and evaporates slowly leaving an etching like lacing and skim of smoke grey-tan on the top of the beer.

The aroma is the earth and coffee of stout, with a slight hint of belgian style yeast esters. There is a slight bit of banana as per standard in belgian ales.

The taste is bitter with just a slight bit of sweetness at the back of the tongue. It is amazingly dry like bitter cocoa. There is a slight amount of hops in the flavor and bitterness giving it a bit of tanginess, plus a hint of breadiness from the wheat and Belgian yeast. The bit of chocolate, candi-sugar and roasted malts are deep ane rich.

It has a full, smooth chocolate cake-like mouth feel. There is a definite sense of strength in the back of the mouth but it is not disruptive to the enjoyment of the flavor. It is very drinkable and is an excellent example of two very traditional styles merged to create something luscious and unique.

 1,038 characters

Photo of vandemonian
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Allagash Black has a black (duh) colour with a good head and excellent lacing. The smell is quite yeasty with some notes of bitter chocolate. The taste is malty with some raisins and coffee notes. It ends with a delicious roasty Belgian-yeasty finish. The texture is frothy and excellent. This is a very nice strong dark ale.

 325 characters

Photo of Durge
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another happy discovery at The Grille Room in Portland, Maine, this one's a dark black color, as one might expect, with mahogany edges and a big tan head not to mention fair lacing. The aroma brings light charcoal chocolate hints and maybe a touch of grassy hops. The flavor brings herbal hop and subtle juniper malt and charcoal. Very nice blend and a very pleasant, near velvetty feel with subtle carbonation. This has a beautiful grain hop mix that is pretty drinkable and just pleasantly tasty. Almost a bit of a Christmas beer. Very nice stuff and highly recommended.

 572 characters

Photo of Kromes
4.29/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A clear black with ruby edges and a thin line of bubbles on top.

S: Roasted malt, plum, dark cherry, Belgian yeast, coffee.

T: Sweet Belgian yeast and malt flavor up front followed by some plum and date flavors with a little bit of clove. The clove spice lingers in the finish with a licorace and roasted malt flavor.

M: Heavy with light carbonation, smooth. Warm in the finish.

O: A very good Belgian dark ale. Great flavors.

 433 characters

Photo of leantom
4.29/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Another old classic. Picked this up while in Virginia before heading back to Indiana. Here goes:

A: Great. Black with a red hue. Pours a passive head with great lacing as well.

S: Belgian yeast with a hint of roasted malt. Yeast imparts scents of coriander, clove, white pepper, and bread. Malt is slightly burnt. Also has lots of candied sugar.

T: Follows the nose. Lots of candied sugar. Initially taste the spicy, bready yeast, but this gives way to chocolatey, roasted malt. Great mix-mash of the yeast and malt.

F: Thick and bready with great carbonation.

O: Great beer.

 595 characters

Photo of bishopdc0
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
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

 347 characters

Photo of haddon
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It was black in the glass with a dark tan froth and lots of lacing sticking all the way down the glass.

The aroma was candied sugar, dark fruit, chocolate, and roasted malts.

The flavor was caramel and chocolate malt with a hint of coffee bean. a very rich and complex flavor that comes across as smooth. I believe it is more chocolate than coffee. hard to explain but very tasty.

Medium body with a very velvety feel.

this beer is very well done and has a very rich flavor. hard to explain but it really has a complexity to it while staying light, smooth and quite enjoyable to drink. this is one of my first experiences with Allagash and I am very impressed.

 668 characters

Photo of ams0286
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I purchased this beer in the 750 ML format corked bottle with no freshness date but it was bottled from batch #16. I love dark beers in the Fall/Winter which is what prompted me to purchase this one in particular (the first cold night where I lit up the wood stove!).

As for appearance it is right on par with the style, almost completely pitch black when held up to the light. The one issue I had was a lack of head retention and lacing. I think I can blame this on the glassware as I had just washed it with regular dish detergent.

The second mistake I made was storing the bottle too cold. So I am currently allowing the temperature to come up and the beer is opening up nicely. Great aromas of dark dried fruits like plums and raisins. I'm also getting a bit of milk chocolate undertone with the roasted malt scent. This is definitely a Belgian and I love that funk!

This is where the beer really takes you for a ride. Up front you get a great amount of complexity from the roasted malts. As the beer warms I am getting a small amount of warming alcohol, and a little bit of a bitter coffee/espresso flavor, again great for a cold night.

The mouth feel is lighter in body than I would have expected and perhaps this is caused by the high level of champagne like carbonation, after all this is bottle conditioned.

I would say this would be a great bottle to share with friends who enjoy other complex beers. This is by no means a session beer, that would just be a waste of such a robust offering. Do yourself a favor, buy two bottles, drink one now and put one in your cellar for a year or two!

 1,604 characters

Photo of jtierney89
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep deep brown with a sticky off white head. Sweet fruity belgian yeast notes on the nose along with sweet dark malts. Asphalt, chocolate covered raisins, and dark fruits.

This beer melts in your mouth. Sweet chocolate malts with a creamy mouthfeel. Sweet dark Belgian candy sugars upfront followed by an intense roasted character. Finishes with decadent sweet chocolate covered dark fruits, a fine earthy bitterness, and a touch a smoke. The rich body holds up perfectly to the carbonation creating a truly layered flavor experience. So many flavors hide itself in this dark brew including bananas, hazelnuts, plums, and leather. Allagash Black has the drinkability of it's fine Belgian counterparts, with the depth of a classic Russian imperial stout! This is an intense beer!

 781 characters

Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, batch 16, at 45* into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: This pours pitch black with a fingerful of tan, frothy head. The head recedes to the edges eventually but leaves behind a great deal of lace.

S: The nose is as expected: Belgian yeast, chocolate, coffee, and anise.

T: The taste is geared more to the espresso side early but finishes with some funkiness and fruitiness on the back end.

M: It's pleasantly creamy and a bit lactic.

D: This is a very unique and enjoyable brew.

 487 characters

Photo of u2carew
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml (batch 22)
A) Pours with a two finger head, tan in color. Dark chestnut colored body. Sticky lacing on the drink down.
S) Roasted grains. Hints of chocolate. Subtle caramel. Typical Belgian dark aromas - raisins, candi sugar.
T) Smoky. Sweet tree fruit - raisin, plum.
M) Medium-full bodied. Lightly carbonated. Creamy.
O) A delicious Belgian dark. Classic Belgian characteristics with a pleasant stout twist.

 416 characters

Photo of gte893m
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been looking forward to this one. Allagash produces some of the bast belgian-syle beer in the US. The beer poured a dark black. Holding my glass up to the light you can see some reddish-brown peaking through. Head is a nice mocha color with good retention and nice lacing. Note I've poured this into a glass with a nucleation point at the bottom. Flavor is complex with deep roasted malts, coffee and faint hints of chocolate. Finish is wonderful and is really the only chance to notice the alcohol. A beautiful stout.

 523 characters

Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 698 ratings.