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Allagash Black - Allagash Brewing Company

Allagash BlackAllagash Black

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,756 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1756
Reviews: 628
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.14%

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: 1,756 | Reviews: 628 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask (with cocoa nibs added) during Flying Saucer Raleigh's 11th anniversary served in a standard pint glass a deep not quite opaque black with a barely there head that diminishes to a ring. Aroma is slight cocoa and spice. The taste is a nice amount of smooth cocoa in front of dark malts and mild dried fruits. The beer is medium bodied and is very smooth and easy drinking. This is a very enjoyable Belgian beer, one I would love to have on cask again.

Serving type: cask

02-26-2011 22:08:24 | More by atsprings
Photo of StaveHooks


4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - A dense off- white heads sets on top of a jet blacked body.

S - Fresh woody malt. Spicy Belgain yeast esters. Fresh green coffee beans. Sweetened dark chocolate.

T - Sweet dark chocolate malt, sour agave, over ripened apples, roasted grain, sweetened coffee, golden raisins. Has a roasted oat finish. Velvety smooth.

Very complex. You could drink this 10 times and not figure out everything. Just a well crafted brew. The elegant body matches the complex flavors. This is a world class beer.

Serving type: cask

10-05-2010 23:11:03 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of ToasterChef


4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on cask at the Great Lost Bear; poured into a 13.5 oz tulip glass.

This beer looks more like a stout than a strong dark ale. The liquid is black (how surprising!) with a tan foam head. As the beer is consumed, even foam lacing is left behind.

The beer has a really good roasted malt aroma. There are some charred wood scents that remind me of a campfire. There is also some sweetness; I think smells like candied dark fruits.

Interesting flavor. I can taste some licorice & black jelly bean flavors. This may sound bad to some, but I am the kind of person who avoids black jelly beans at all costs, but this beer tastes good. It doesn't have the harshness of licorice that I don't enjoy. A brown sugar sweetness is apparent in the finish, and it lingers. A coffee bitterness is present throughout each sip, but is more focused immediately as the beer hits my tongue, and comes back after I swallow.

This is an interesting beer to have cask'd. It retains its full body, but has very low carbonation. It gives it a viscous feeling I don't remember getting from the regular draft or bottled versions. I really enjoy it, but I can see non-cask ale fans not liking these qualities.

I think this is pretty drinkable, but maybe not as much as the bottled version is. I can see myself finishing an entire 750ml bottle, but I'll be fine with just one glass of the cask'd variety. I would recommend trying this one if you saw it available, especially if you're a fan of Allagash.

Serving type: cask

10-04-2010 20:03:49 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of Thorpe429


4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a near black with a nice, off-white to tan head that leaves behind a pretty good amount of lacing. Aroma is nice and strong, bringing forth some Belgian yeast esters along with some roast, dark fruits, bitter chocolate, and a whiff of espresso. Taste is similar but not quite as complex, with many of the roast aspects taking over the more delicate flavors. Mouthfeel is nice and full enough for the flavors. Very nice beer on cask; I'd love to encounter more Belgian-style brews in this manner.

Serving type: cask

10-02-2010 15:20:05 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of oglmcdgl


4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On the hand pump at tnd. Served in a nice big snifter.

A- comes to me with two huge fingers of light tan creamy head atop a sea of black.

S- coffee, bitter sweet chocolate, vanilla. Dark roasted malts a bit of stone fruits.

T- opens up with roasty malts and a bit dark fruits then rolls into the chocolate and coffee. Bits of sweet cream and vanilla with a mild woody character and char.

M- medium body that leans in the full direction with a light and creamy carb. Semi dry finish.

D- big and roasty but this stuff on a hand pump is a revelation. Very good.

Serving type: cask

07-17-2010 20:27:12 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of Pahn

New York

4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a cask at Bukowski's, Cambridge, MA.

Appearance: Huge, thick 1.5 inch head that sticks around forever and leaves lacing everywhere. Beer is mostly solid black with auburn highlights at the edges. Lacing up and down the glass.

Smell: Some orange, clove, and Belgian yeast. Pretty subdued.

Taste: Really smooth and creamy. Perfectly balanced. Belgian yeast blends with the subdued esters, spice, mild smokiness and chocolate notes, and occasional tickle of carbonation.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy, and medium bodied.

Drinkability: Excellent. The balance is amazing, the ABV nowhere to be detected, and the feel smooth and never overwhelmingly rich or heavy.

For me, this beer was meant for a cask. The flavor is bright and spicy enough not to be dulled into too-rich thickness. The balance you end up getting from the taste is sublime.

Serving type: cask

02-21-2010 04:47:37 | More by Pahn
Photo of mdfb79

New York

4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 2/13/10 notes. Had at Max's Belgian Beer Fest in Baltimore, MD.

a - Poured a pitch black color that lets no light through.

s - Smells strongly of chocolate, as well as yeast and some spice. Very interesting mix

t - Tastes of chocolate, sweet and roasted malts. Tastes more like a stout than it smelled.

m - Medium body but I was surprised; it was much lighter than I thought it was going to be. No carbonation.

d - Overall I enjoyed this quite a bit. The smell was a very interesting Stout/Belgian mix, and the taste was more of a stout, even though it was surprisingly light. Pretty good and I'd definitely try it again.

Serving type: cask

02-20-2010 21:02:40 | More by mdfb79
Photo of SpeedwayJim

New York

4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at Rattle-n-Hum during craft beer week with capra12. Served from a pint glass.

A: Thick, 1 finger creamy head on top of a deep, full mahogany brew. Although not layered, there was ample lacing reminicent of a magnificent beer.

S: Belgian yeast, sugar, honey, citrus, and milk chocolate/cocoa.

T: Opens with roasted malts and that signature Belgian yeast flavor that fades into a dark fruit, maybe raisins, and finishes surprising light and crisp with a distinct milk chocolate flavor.

M: Light to medium bodied. This one really surprised me based purely on the look and lacing. However, although there is ample carbonation, the brew is very silky.

D: Glad I had a chance to try this and its truly a unique and worthy interpretation of an English or American stout in a Belgian style.

Serving type: cask

09-12-2009 01:45:26 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of capra12

New York

4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed @ Rattle N Hum courtesy of speedwayjim.

Appearance: dark amber with little head, weblike lacing.

Smell:roasted coffee beans

Taste: Opens malty with milk chocolate. From the middle there is a sweet coffee and licorice which leaves a coffee aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: light bodied, and smooth with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: I would definitely have this again and if difinitely worth the try.

Serving type: cask

09-11-2009 21:40:14 | More by capra12
Photo of donniecuffs

New Jersey

5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of if not the best example of an American-made Belgian dark ale I have ever tried..

A: The name says it all. Very dark brown/black, with a tan head.

S: Malty, chocolatey, spicy, etc, etc, etc..this bouquet is amazing.

T: All of the aromas you pick up initially, certainly come to fruition when you take your first sip. Full-flavored, and nicely balanced between start and finish. Warm yet not overpowering aftertaste.

M/D: Velvet on the tongue. Full-bodied, yet easy to drink. Tiptoes the line between one-off and session beer. Surprising for such a high-alcohol beer.

This review was written based on my cask tasting, but since then I have had a regular tapping as well as many 750ml bottle pours. All were/are fantastic. One of my personal favorite beers, of which I have several now aging in my basement.

Serving type: cask

08-18-2009 17:56:39 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of ahalloin


4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This was my second trip to the cask in the "Casks of March" Event at Rustico in Northern VA.

Well, what I can I say, the appearance lives up to its name. Certainly black in color with virtually no light passing through. A creamy lush light tan head formed atop the beer after the pour. Swirling the beer caused this head to cling fairly far up the glass and stick, much like milk would.

The smell is roasty chocolate, toasted grains, and cocoa dusted ripe banana. Quick anecdote: Once I got this idea of ripe banana in my head it was almost impossible to shake with this beer! Ripe banana became the focal point of the smell and taste with everyone at the table. Difficult to shake an idea once it is stuck in your head!

Taste....well.... ripe banana? Some toasty grains, clove, coffee soaked ripe bananas! :)

Silkly smooth mouthfeel! Awesome.

Serving type: cask

03-12-2009 01:47:58 | More by ahalloin
Photo of JohnQVegas


4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cask, into Imperial Pint.

Pours black with a healthy, creamy light tan head.

Nose is cocoa and roasty coffee, with a hint of floral hops mixed in.

Taste is so smooth - cocoa and roasty espresso meld with a mellow dark fruit & cherry note, and floral hops asserting themselves just enough to balance, with almost no acidity.

Silky smooth, with full but fairly light body. Really fantastic beer when cask conditioned. I literally did not want to stop drinking it.

Serving type: cask

02-05-2009 13:51:11 | More by JohnQVegas
Photo of neenerzig


4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review here being written from notes as I drank this over 2 months ago now while on vacation in Boston visiting my sister. Served to me in a tulip glass. This beer is a dark brown, almost black color. Nice tan head about 1/4 inch thick when served. Good staying power. Sets to a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass. Decent lace. Aromas of bitter coffee and dark chocolate notes filled my nostrils. The taste is the same along with slightly roasted malt, a trace of hops, and a bit of caramel rounding this beer's flavors out. Gets a bit more bitter as it starts to warm up. Has a smooth, frothy, full bodied mouthfeel with light to moderate carbonation. Easy to drink. I believe the establishment where I had this beer listed it as being a stout on their beer menu, and based on the heavy coffee and chocolate notes of this beer I can understand how easily they could have made a mistake. this beer is unlike any other Belgian Strong Dark Ale I have ever had before, and I have had quite a few of them. A good beer here.


Serving type: cask

12-26-2008 05:59:07 | More by neenerzig
Photo of Pamola


4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this at the Great Lost Bear along with a few other Belgians in a flight. Never had this on tap before, let alone from a cask.

A: Small fairly white head, pretty darn opaque brew. Black as night.

S: Mellow cask scent. not much of a belgian twang to it but a good deal of chocolate and roast malt.

T: Incredible. Light in front from the cask aging. Chocolate, plum, slight belgian yeast note.

M: Medium Body. Slightly silky.

D: I prefer this one from the bottle. It seems like the cask steals too much of the body on this one.

Serving type: cask

11-29-2008 00:37:48 | More by Pamola
Photo of Hojaminbag


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this sucker on cask at the Sunset grill and tap in Allston, MA.

Dark black body with almost not head.

Smells like roasted malts with a hint of hops.

Taste is mostly roasted malt. Roasted chocolate and caramel. A little bit of dark fruits and hops in the background. I think I would guess this was an oatmeal stout in a blind taste test.

Slighty creamy mouthfeel, on cask so no carbonation.

A really drinkable beer. Smooth and tasty.

Serving type: cask

08-29-2008 14:36:26 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of iceball585

New York

4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pitch black color, non-transparent, fluffy head that disolved quickly to a thin layer

S- Milk chocolate, coffee beans, earthy, dark malts, roasted auroma

T- Roasted coffee beans, dark, chocolate malts, smokey, yeast, slight bitterness

M- Medium/heavy body, low/medium carbonation, smooth, creamy

D- Worth buying again

Another brew by Allagash that I was fairly impressed with. Nothing too crazy but was still very good over all.

Serving type: cask

06-23-2008 23:31:45 | More by iceball585
Photo of scottg


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

Had on cask at the Real Ale Regalia at American Flatbread in Burlington, VT.
Served in a pint glass.

Has a dark black color with a one finger tan creamy head with great retention leaving significant lacing. Roasted malts, chocolate, and alcohol are the main aromas. The up front taste is light smoke, dark chocolate and alcohol which leads to a bitter hop finish and a chocolate aftertaste. Full bodied, light carbonation, starts with a creamy mouthfeel and ends with a chalky one. Not as complex as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale should be, but good drinkability anyway.

Serving type: cask

06-02-2008 19:48:52 | More by scottg
Photo of fitzy84


3.33/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had on cask at Moan and Dove. The appearance was great: it had a dark black look with immediate lacing. Very strong alcohol aromas were detected with other flavors such as mocha sensed in the back burner. It did have a pretty malty flavor but its alcohol aftertaste was wicked. I felt the mouthfeel was the weakest aspect of the drink: very low body feel. It was not watery or anything, but the drink lacked any spirit or soul to it. It was just plain flat I felt. Overall, this drink has some wonderful dimensions here and there, but perhaps I should try it beyond its cask.

Serving type: cask

04-14-2008 03:04:24 | More by fitzy84
Photo of Mudpuppet


4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Taken off the cask at the Ginger Man in NYC. Poured into a pint glass. This beer is a dark brown or black. Lacing left on the glass as I drank this beer.

S- Not a strong nose. Some dark malts and slight coffee nose.

T- Great tasting beer. Definite dark malt flavor with notes of chocolate and coffee. There are some definite notes of the Belgian yeast with some slightly fruity esters.

M- Obviously there was very low carbonation b/c it was from a cask. This really allowed the flavors of the beer to come through.

D- Give me another bartender! I really like this beer. Great flavor w/o being overwhelming. This beer does hide it's alcohol well also.

Serving type: cask

01-28-2008 00:26:49 | More by Mudpuppet
Photo of gwong

New York

4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black with a thick tan head that leaves behind some lacing on the glass.

S: A roasted coffee aroma in the nose.

T: Roasted bitterness taste on the tongue - it's a combination of coffee and chocolate, which is a pleasant surprise since I couldn't detect chocolate in its aroma.

M: Smooth but a bit thinner than I expected it to be.

D: Somewhat drinkable - I could have gone for another but I'd probably have stopped with the second if I did.

Serving type: cask

01-27-2008 20:57:22 | More by gwong
Photo of teromous


4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Black body with a fluffy off-white head that shoots out like rocket smoke. Stands a long time and leaves good lacing on the glass. The head looks nice and loafy.

S: Some mild sweet scent, like light caramel and apples.Mild "Belgianesque" scent (observable phenols) but overly faint.

T: It has a good amount of alcohol flavors, followed by some roasted dark charcoal-like flavor. It's slightly metallic but it only peaks through every few sips. Finishes like a coffee. It's not as spicy or estery as other comparable Belgian Dark's. I feel like the focus of this beer is towards the roasted character less than that of the yeast. I feel that at this point it is important to say that this is labeled as a "Belgian Stout" and not a standard traditional "Belgian Dark." I feel that if the beer is approached with the anticipation of stout-like qualities, it will deliver a much higher score. I will rate it as if it were a stout, in which case I believe it is more than outstanding but slightly less than perfect.

M: The mouthfeel is nice and clean. No complaints in this department, but it doesn't feel as robust or present as what I would expect from a Belgian Dark. It is quite a bit drier and does not coat very well. Judging it more as a stout, I would say that it is perfect. It might appear strange to have such a juxtaposed opinion, but is works very well as a stout.

O: Overall this is quite an enjoyable beer but it could draw quite a bit of controversy if examined closely. It might leave one wondering why I rated this beer in such favorable light. For lovers of Belgian Dark ales, unfortunately I would not recommend this beer to you. It has a great lack of complexity and yeast character. It does quite well as a stout, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for that. I feel that the minor contribution of Belgian yeast flavor does add enough to make it more than your standard stout, so those looking for a delicious stout will undoubtedly agree that this is an outstanding beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2014 21:49:47 | More by teromous
Photo of bball208

New Jersey

1.73/5  rDev -57.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2014 17:57:24 | More by bball208
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2014 19:07:02 | More by BeerDazed
Photo of Chessmaster


4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into stout glass

A: During pour, looks dark but translucent, black with light brown highlights. In glass, appears dark. Pours with a nice 2-3 inch head that dissipates to a cap

S: Amazing, very malty, sweet and lightly roasty smell.

T: Similar to smell, very malty. I was actually reminded more of a doppelbock in terms of sweet maltiness than a stout. Not very roasty, no balancing hop bitterness. The overall taste is good, but again doesn't fit the style exactly.

M: Nice, smooth mouthfeel with good carbonation.

O: A very enjoyable beer, on the malty and sweet side. Not really a stout though

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 16:31:58 | More by Chessmaster
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 23:34:12 | More by i4ourgot
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Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,756 ratings.