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Allagash Black - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash BlackAllagash Black

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

2,068 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,068
Reviews: 655
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 107
Gots: 249 | FT: 6
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Allagash Black Alström Bros
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Ratings: 2,068 | Reviews: 655 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at Ashley's. Satisfying, its black yes with off-white head and its very lacey. A roasted stout aroma, medium mouthfeel. Coffee and roast, nutty, caramel, some candi. Aggressive carbonation. a good balance overall, and so good drinkability.

Sammy, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -1%

t0rin0, Aug 21, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ransackingpete for sharing this one!

Batch # 34.

Pours an almost opaque murky dark brown with a 1 inch puffy khaki head that settles to a thin cap. Small dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt and Belgian yeast. Taste is of dark roasted malt, burnt coffee beans, and slight yeast flavors. This beer has a higher level of carbonation with a nice crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good Belgian style take on a stout.

UCLABrewN84, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -1%

djrn2, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -1%

zestar, May 16, 2014
Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

spycow, Mar 11, 2013
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.

Thorpe429, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -1%

acurtis, Mar 31, 2013
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -1%

nmann08, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark brown in color (near black) and poured with a finger high tan head that quickly died down yet left wispy patterns of bubbles on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of dark fruits in the nose along with notes of candi sugar and hints of coffee and roasted malts.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell, except that the finish has flavors of bittersweet chocolate.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is relatively easy to drink because the alcohol is well hidden. The taste is very balanced and the flavors intensify as the beer warms up.

metter98, Apr 07, 2011
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -1%

Texasfan549, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of brentk56
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a pretty darn dark brown color with a tan head that pancakes down rather quickly for a Belgian style but leaves a bunch of dots of lacing

Smell: Roasty and rather peaty, with hints of charcoal, chicory, black currants and milk chocolate

Taste: Starts out with milk Stout flavors of chocolate, lactose and a developing anise and charcoal character; by mid-palate, the flavor profile adds caramel and peat to the mix; after the swallow, the yeasty phenols build as does a smokey character with coffee undertones; the finish is surprisingly dry for a stout which starts out somewhat sweet

Mouthfeel: Medium body, almost creamy, with effervescent carbonation

Drinkability: Extremely interesting, with characteristics from a number of styles; highly recommended and enjoyable

brentk56, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

BuckeyeNation, May 11, 2008
Photo of BEERchitect
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

As the combination of Belgian beers and stout-like roast are gaining momentum in America's artisan brewing world, the question has to be asked- how much complexity can a beer have on display before the beer becomes muddled and complicated?

The dark concoction flows into the snifter and unleashes an expanding tan head that consists of loosely-knit froath that had great retention and lace.

Aromas of nuttiness, Coffee roasty, heavy toast all combine with a smoky, tart, toasty belgian character. The peppery spice and fruity esters compliment the harsh bitterness of roast and hops with more challenge than softness. A powdery, cocoa flavor followed a sharp berry-like astringency makes for the delivery of complexity and reservation.

Although arguments can be made for all of these varying flavors having too much contrast and confilict. The texture is lighter on the toung that expected, because of high carbonation levels and high attenuation rates. The beer finishes ashy, smoky and astringent and with a roasted grain bitterness that thankfully closes the beer with little after taste or texture.

BEERchitect, Feb 01, 2008
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear black color ale with a large off-white foamy head with great retention and good lacing. Aroma of light roasted malt with some medium sweet malt notes. Taste is also dominated by some light chocolate roasted malt notes with a nice Belgian-style malt backbone. Average body with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not bad but I was expecting more complexity and maybe more chocolate, vanilla or maybe some ester. A bit like the Troubadour Obscura but with a heftier price tag.

Phyl21ca, Jun 24, 2008
Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

kjkinsey, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

GRG1313, Sep 01, 2013
Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Barleys last night. It had been a good long while since I had this one and decided to take a flyer on it again. Served in a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/17/2010.

The pour was dark, nearly totally black with a nice two fingers of chocolate colored foam on the top of the glass. Settling down nearly perfectly with sticky lace that thoroughly coated the inside of the glass. Aroma is roasted malts. Charcoal and hints of spice coming through now as well. Touches of rye and a hint of a light peppery touch on the nose. Warming and very smooth flavor. Roasted malts, cocoa, hints of peppery rye and a nice touch of caramel round it out nicely. A little light and a touch overcarbonated made it feel slightly lighter then I would have liked, but I think it still kind of worked and I was able to pull enough out of the profile to keep it intresting.

Overall pretty good. It worked but needed to be a little fuller and well rounded to really make an impression.

mikesgroove, Apr 19, 2010
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

ygtbsm94, Aug 12, 2013
Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

jaydoc, Oct 19, 2013
Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark copper in color with an off-white head. Sweet caramel and toffee notes with a bit more in the way of roast and chocolate than I usually expect in a quad. Still, decently sweet. The roast and slight coffee flavors are a bit strange, but they work, I suppose. A touch of chocolate along with dark fruit and the usual toffee, caramel, and brown sugar notes.

womencantsail, Jul 16, 2012
Photo of kylehay2004
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 2.5 finger off white head on a slightly hazy black/dark brown body.

S: fruity belgian yeast actually comes through on this one which is stronger once the head fades. Coffee and roasted malts as well.

T: blunted tropical fruit and belgian yeast up front fading to chocolate, espresso and roasted malts.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: very well made, fairly complex. The belgian yeast meshes well and better than I expected with the usual harsher notes of a mildly coffee heavy stout.

kylehay2004, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out just like it's name, Black. The head was fluffy and tan in color. The lacing that was left behind was light and a bit scattered. The smell of the beer was roasted and had some Belgian Yeast peaking through. The taste had a light burnt flavor with a slight sweetness in there too. The other flavors of some soft Belgian Yeast and a little spice come in after the metallic flavor fades by mid glass. The mouthfeel had some decent carbonation to it. Overall I felt this was a pretty good brew.

Knapp85, Jul 13, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a black body with an immense, frothy beige head.

Smell: Aroma saturated with the scent of Belgian yeast and roastiness and containing notes of mentholyptus, burnt wood, cocoa powder, and the juice of one lemon.

Taste: Bittersweet chocolate, dark caramel, and a dash of cola start things off with a restrained, rather brief sweetness. A pop of lemony acidity. Tastes of coffee, half a Halls Menthol cough drop, and a few chunks of smokey fire-charred wood follow. Medium bitterness. Plenty of yeast. Very dry finish leaves you with a lingering roasty, bitter herb aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation. Slight creaminess to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A decent Belgian-minded stout from the folks at Allagash, though I didn't care for that herbal, mentholyptus-esque taste and aroma I kept running into even if it cured me off my nagging cough.

ChainGangGuy, Mar 09, 2008
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 15, 2011
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Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,068 ratings.