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Allagash Black - Allagash Brewing Company

Allagash BlackAllagash Black

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,755 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1755
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
Ratings: 1,755 | Reviews: 628 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of shivtim


3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of my continuing love affair with Allagash. Gotta love 'em for making a Belgian Brew called "Black." Great minimalist bottle too. As for the actual product, it's not my favorite from them, but it's still pretty good.
Poured into a goblet. Looks like black cola with a small tan head and brown edges. Nose is malts, slightly metallic, some Euro hops in there too. Mild. taste is gently toasted malts, some farmy/barny flavors, and oil. Mouthfeel is tangy and full. Somewhat drinkable, but better for sharing.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2008 16:38:58 | More by shivtim
Photo of BlindPig


4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-About a 1" tan head on a black body.
S- Lots of spices, some banana, roasted malts, clove, grass hops, and just a touch of alcohol.
T- Big roast character with lots of spices to really help liven it up. Even just a hint of chocolate under some banana. Nice dry finish with cloves, chocolate, and burnt malt all staying around for the aftertaste. Alcohol is very well hidden in this.
M- Medium to full body with low to medium carbonation.
D- Think this is an excellent Belgian Stout. I couldn't imagine a better depiction of this style.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2008 06:40:22 | More by BlindPig
Photo of hckyfn9999


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

Pours a very dark, although not black, amberish color. Creamy tan head. Aroma is of roasted malt, anise, chocolate, and dark fruit.

Taste is of roasted, almost burnt malt, with a coffee like characteristic. Chocolate is in there, as well as a touch of licorice and spice, and a bit of fruity yeast in the background. Mouthfeel is medium and smooth. I would like a little more body but its not bad. Alcohol is completely hidden here. I enjoy this beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2008 01:31:42 | More by hckyfn9999
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2008 22:53:55 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of akorsak


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

A 750 mL corked and caged bottle purchased at Capone's.

A: This Belgian stout looks black from a distance. As you get closer and inspect it, deep ruby red color emerges through the darkness. The attractive black velvet has little in the way of head, just an off-white pool.

S: Chocolate and burnt toast dominate the nose, showing off some coffee bitterness but no hint of spices that I'd expect for a Belgian style stout.

T: Even without the spice profile that I was looking for, this stout packs a wallop. The chocolate malts are nicely roasted, burnt with a sweet finish. Coffee flavors are abundant and make up for the aforementioned lack of spices. The finish has a slight flourish of hops that bitter up the taste. As the ale warms in my mouth, the distinct Allagash yeast emerges with the touches of fruitiness that I was looking for earlier.

M: Lots of chocolate and burnt toast with Allagash yeast fruitiness. The stout sits quite nicely on the palate.

D: A big Belgian ale that weighs in at under 8%? I am in heaven. I like this beer, especially as it warms on the tongue.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2008 00:46:58 | More by akorsak
Photo of BBM

New York

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

Poured jet black into a pint glass with a very thin brown head. Aroma was smoky and sweet; roasted nuts also present.

This beer had all the makings of an Imperial Stout with just a subtle hint of Belgian spices. Big smoky, chocolate flavor up front, with roasted nuts and spices following. Very minimal hop presence, but it didn't detract from the experience. SLight dark fruit flavor as well. Mouthfeel was a touch on the thin side. Overall I really enjoyed this one. Not quite Belgian, not quite RIS, but very enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

05-05-2008 15:36:59 | More by BBM
Photo of Blakaeris


3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours completely opaque black. Not a hint of light shines through. Tan head is huge and frothy, and looks very crisp next to the inky black body.

Aroma is very bitter with plenty of roasted coffee and dark chocolate. Smokey and yeasty with an herbal quality.

Taste is bitter burnt dark grain, very smokey. A hint of dark fruit sweetness surfaces for just a moment before being eclipsed by the dry coffee and cocoa flavors. Finish is tart and dry with lingering yeasty spices and herbal hop.

Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied. I would enjoy a little more viscosity.

Overall a decent offering. I drank this one at room temperature, but there was something off in the conflicting flavors. Perhaps too much of an herbal character.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2008 22:11:02 | More by Blakaeris
Photo of Sixpoint

New York

2.8/5  rDev -30.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2008 19:35:02 | More by Sixpoint
Photo of brdc


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

Thanks to cookin420 for this one.

It is a beautiful pitch black, topped by a cofee and milk, creamy head that coats the sides of the glass as you swirl it around, and eventually leaves a lot of lacing.
Aroma is a little too delicate, but very nice, think a combination of a stout with a belgian strong dark ale, with candy sweetness, lightly roasted malts, dark fruits and chocolate.
Creamy on the mouth, it shows the same pattern of taste that you would expect from the aroma, improving as it warms up - it is somewhat bitter and chocolatey, but it has sweet layers of candy and fruits, and it all goes down easy.
Very good.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2008 00:56:46 | More by brdc
Photo of Slynger


4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep, opaque black with the bearest of ruby highlights in the bottom of my glass. A light tan lid of Belgian fuzz slips to leave slick lacing.

S: Hints of plum and chocolate malt sweetness lead, and flow into dark roasted malts yeast.

M/T: Medium bodied with full, Belgian style, massaging fuzziness. The taste mirrors the aroma with light dark fruit and chocolate sweetness melding with roasted and yeasty characters.

This is an interesting hybrid between stout and BSDA. It is unlike anything I've previously tried, but very nicely done. My taste buds just wish the dark fruit presence was a little stronger.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2008 03:26:03 | More by Slynger
Photo of NCSUdo


3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle

A: Pours a deep black under a very small slightly off white head. No lace, a small ring of retention.

S: Sweet, roasted malt, mild chocolate and a pinch of coffee, slightly nutty.

T: Much of the same, roasted malt, sweet and some chocolate. Bit of coffee and nutty hint. Mild bitterness and grassy hop in the finish.

M/D: Full bodied, a bit thin, light carbonation, good mouthfeel and good drinkability. A pretty decent brew. I wouldn't really call it a stout or strong dark ale, more like souped up brown ale (that isn't a stout or a porter). Pretty good beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2008 00:03:42 | More by NCSUdo
Photo of edskirk3


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

Pours into a pint glass opaque black with 1.5 fingers of thick and creamy froth. It deflates a little bit over time but for the most part it holds up.

Smell of cocoa powder and coffee, dark bread and peat.

Similar but slightly more complex taste. Dry cocoa powder and pumpernickel bread with the sweetness of plums and a touch of smoke. These flavors will blossom forth when the beer is allowed to warm slightly. Dry, but creamy mouthfeel.

I've had a couple of these "Belgian-style stouts" lately and so far I'm a fan.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2008 01:58:02 | More by edskirk3
Photo of RoyalT


4/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This poured a darkish brown in color with a relatively mild head considering the style.

Smell - The nose is dominated by a stiff aroma of coffee grounds and maybe a hint of dark chocolate. I can get a little table sugar but no yeast or malty character whatsoever. I like the smell but it lacked complexity.

Taste - I get much more of the malts at the taste. Again the raw coffee grounds are powerful and there is still that hint of chocolate. Otherwise, the biggest deviation from the smell is the plentiful sugars. I've got all kind of sugars going on at the taste that I didn't catch at the nose even as the ale warmed to room temperature.

Mouthfeel - This is a solid medium-bodied with a classic carbonation worthy of the BSDA style. The carbs are very tight and tickle the cheeks and there just is enough dry malty bitterness at the finish to command respect.

Drinkability - I enjoyed Allagash's effort at the style. It reminded me so much of their Dubbel Reserve which lacked in complexity as well but more than made up for it with the wonderful chocolate notes and first class carbonation. This one focused a bit less on the chocolate and more on the coffee but delivered the same one-two punch. Nicely done, Allagash.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2008 02:44:16 | More by RoyalT
Photo of amiles


3.38/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black as can be, nice tan head but quickly narrows down to a few bubbles holding on to the brim of the glass.

S: Not much going on here. Very mild roasted character.

T: Very light on taste. Knowing Allagash, I was hoping for something interesting and different. All I got was roasted malts, with a touch of chocolate. These weren't in your face like most of their brews.

M: The REALLY dark character and stout like characters throw me off since it's quite a light feeling beer. Was decent though...

D: This went back fast, would have another if it were a bit better overall.

Gotta be my least favorite from the Allagash brand, though I'm glad I tried it.

Serving type: on-tap

04-25-2008 01:20:42 | More by amiles
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2008 16:54:13 | More by GClarkage
Photo of Flyer


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

Another very good entry from a brewer that's rapidly climbing my list. Pours a dense purplish black with a dense, surging head. Lots of roast on the nose. The initial flavor notes are actually kind of sweet (candi sugar?) but that gives way to a really nice mix of roastiness, Belgian floral, unsweetened chocolate, and some woodiness. Moutheel is amazingly smooth and lush. Aftertaste is pleasantly sharp, mild roasty bitterness layered over some sweetness and floral. Definitely recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2008 21:00:16 | More by Flyer
Photo of cjohnson

South Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours just a shade or two away from black, with an inch-and-a-half of cappuccino colred head that fades pretty quickly. Lacing is average.

Smells like a chocolate stout. Lots of dark chocolate smells, but also some vanilla. Only a little bit of roasted malt smells come through.

Very malty tasting, however. Certainly some chocolate flavors, but not as much as you might guess from the smell. Caramel's pretty noticeable.

A little bit "sticky" in my mouth, which I don't like, but otherwise medium bodied. Not very carbonated.

Definitely drinkable, but the mouthfeel isn't what I'd prefer.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2008 22:55:39 | More by cjohnson
Photo of mnapier


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

Service Temperature, 40 degrees. Service Glassware, 12 ounce Tulip

Appearance, black and dense with a mild salt & pepper foamy head, that quickly recedes away with no lace what so ever.
Aroma, floral with some raisin & cocoa, slight roastedness.
Taste; medium espresso, some raisin, some chocolate, mild compared to some other belgian dark's though in regards to taste.
Carbonation, medium to mild mouthfeel.


Serving type: bottle

04-05-2008 04:44:47 | More by mnapier
Photo of MrRetardedMonkey

New Hampshire

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

Pours dark, nearly opaque, brown with a two-finger tan head that faded slowly, but left no cap and virtually no lacing.

Smells sweet, like Belgian candy sugar and red fruits, with notes of cocoa powder and Belgian yeast, and some coffee aromas in the background.

Taste is Belgian candy sugar, cocoa powder, and bittersweet chocolate up front, with more dark chocolate, roasted malts and coffee flavors coming out as it warms up a bit. Moderately dry finish.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel, with the carbonation keeping it lively on the tongue so it never feels too syrupy.

Very enjoyable to drink, but a bit pricey.

Serving type: on-tap

03-28-2008 19:14:40 | More by MrRetardedMonkey
Photo of JayQue


4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one might be its own style "Belgian Style Stout" like it says on the bottle. Belgian Strong Dark Ale doesn't cover this one. Poured from a 750 ml corked and caged bottle into a chalice. If I had another one, it would go in a pint glass. $12.99 at Grape and Gourmet in Va Beach.

Pours like a stout. Jet black, lightproof with a medium size tan head. Good thick lacing. Initial smell is a Belgian Ale, astringent, sweet Belgian candy sugar but with an undercurrent of roasted malts.

Taste starts out as a Belgian, albeit a mild one. Astringent, dark fruit, Belgian candy sugar. As you keep drinking, the roasted malts, coffee and dark chocolate slowly overtake the standard Belgian style flavors.

Mouthfeel is rich. Drinkability is very good. Flavors are all pleasant and pronounced. Enjoyed the slow shift from Belgian to stout. The 7.5 abv keeps you from getting schnitzed, I am drinking the bomber by myself and the last glass is as good as the first sip.

A very nice experience.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2008 00:58:42 | More by JayQue
Photo of Pencible


4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This Belgian-style stout poured opaque, pitch black with tan head. It had that typical Belgian wild yeast smell mixed with burnt dark chocolate. It tasted like dark chocolate and creamy coffee hops, along with wild yeast. As the beer warmed, the yeast flavor faded, and the coffee flavor really came out. It was watery with slight carbonation and a mildly bitter chocolate aftertaste. Overall this is probably my favorite Belgian style, great to drink by fireside, but this particular beer missed some of it potential. It was quite tasty, but lacked the refinement that could have made me more passionate about it.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2008 20:40:46 | More by Pencible
Photo of Gueuzedude


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

Pours with a frothy, initially three-finger thick, dirty, brown-tinged, tan colored head that slowly collapses into a dense, varied surface terrain. The beer is a deep, burnt, concentrated amber color (almost, but not quite black color). While mostly opaque, if held up to the light, flashes of ruby can be seen at times. The aroma is quite roast dominated; aromatic notes of chocolate, charcoal, deeply toasted malt and even blackened whole-grain bread crust aromas. A deep inspection of the nose yields notes of phenolic driven peat-smoke, burnt prunes and burnt wine notes too. An interesting aroma, mostly roast dominated, but one gets hints of yeast character (fruit & phenolic notes), though these are fairly subtle at times. After my second pour the nose starts to pick up some spicy aromatic notes that remind me faintly of cardamom & ginger.

Sweeter than I was expecting up front, though not overly so; this accentuates a flavor of sweet plums up front just before the roast character kicks in and washes over the palate. The beer finishes with roast driven flavors of salty-smoky peat, a roasted acidity, flavors of burnt cocoa, a roasted bitterness and a substantial, darkly toasted grain not that lingers on in the palate. The long finish also gets a touch phenolic with just a hint of warming alcohol to it as well. Up front flavors of cocoa combine with the fruit flavors (raisin notes are here too). The body is on the light side for a beer of this strength, though it is not down right thin like some super-attenuated Belgian beers are, instead this has a mild heft to it that seems to allow the smoky, cocoa & toasted notes to cling to the palate.

As the beer warms up (60+°F / 15.6°C) the fruit notes become a touch more noticeable, though not any sweeter, and the roast character becomes much more rounded and rich tasting. It really starts to open up and the yeast character becomes much more evident; there is nothing quite new, but the plum notes begin to pick up a bit of tartness and spicy notes of pepper & clove are added to the previously noticed, but now accented spice flavors. The spice & phenolic notes begin to mix quite interestingly with the roast character towards the end of my second glass.

An interesting beer, the dark malt at times can overwhelm the softer yeast character, but I have a feeling that it contributes more than one might expect (probably adds to the smokiness of this brew). On the other hand I was feeling like a roasty stout this evening, and this most definitely fits the bill (with a little added complexity & lighter body than one would typically find in one). As the beer warmed it becomes more complex, which definitely helps my enjoyment.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2008 06:26:51 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of orsulacp


4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured with a small tan head on dark brown body. The head was a little small, but it lasted for the entire glass. Very interesting smell, spicy clove notes over a chocolate espresso roasted malt background. This is very effervescent and it brings the cloves out right away, then giving away to the chocolate/coffee smoothness. There is a bitterness component here too but the dry finish gets rid of that quickly. A very unique beer, not a stout, not a belgian strong dark ale, I would call it a dark triple. Very interesting and tasty.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2008 02:34:46 | More by orsulacp
Photo of Floydster


3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml corked and caged bottle from Beverages and More in Redlands, cost was fourteen dollars, split with my friend last night, poured into a pint glass

A-Very dark brown but not quite black, small 1/4 mocha colored head that settled almost immediately, not much retention or lacing

S-Hint of faint coffee, charcoal, Belgian yeast, dark chocolate, roasted malt, smokiness, caramel, smell was not very strong but it was good

T-First of all, this does not seem like a Belgian dark ale to me, starts off tasting like a fairly dry porter or stout, then fades into a little chocolate, finish is dry with some chocolate and a small amount of hops, later on is when things got interesting and I began to taste some unique spices in the aftertaste, some coffee and burned malt took over at the end when the liquid reached room temperature, nicely balanced for the most part, nteresting twist on what I thought was a stout

M-Medium to full body, not much carbonation at all, dry and spicy mouthfeel, taste did not linger too long, weird stinging sensation once it warmed

D-Probably could not have drank this bottle by myself, pretty heavy and syrupy at times, ABV is not too high, smooth for the most part

Surprised to see this, so I grabbed it even though it had a high price tag, never though Allagash would make a dark beer but what do I know, would drink again only if I did not have to pay for it, recommended to try once though

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2008 16:34:08 | More by Floydster
Photo of Dukeofearl


3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
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!

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2008 03:07:03 | More by Dukeofearl
Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,755 ratings.