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Allagash Black - Allagash Brewing Company

Allagash BlackAllagash Black

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,752 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1752
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: 1,752 | Reviews: 628 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-09-2009 20:27:38 | More by Sammy
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2012 06:04:01 | More by UCLABrewN84
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 mikesgroove

South Carolina

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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2010 01:05:50 | More by mikesgroove
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2012 20:57:20 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

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

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2009 18:43:28 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2008 17:55:36 | More by Phyl21ca
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2008 16:14:26 | More by BEERchitect
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 metter98

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2011 01:08:04 | More by metter98
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2008 22:37:53 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap Friday at night at Tyler's Taproom in Carrboro.Poured into a small goblet a deep but not entirely opaque black, a bit of ruby did show thru with a thinner light mocha colored head.Aromas were not as bold as expected,I picked up some roasted malt and brown sugar,the chocolate was very faint.Flavors were great with some good complexity,starting out with some brown sugar and bitter chocolate melding into a roasted and smoky finish,I really liked the smoke element it went well with the light sweetness of the beer.To me very stout-like on the palate,a very nice brew.

Serving type: on-tap

07-13-2008 12:13:28 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591


3.45/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter at Firkin.

It has been too long since I last had this stuff, so it's nice to find it on tap at my favorite haunt. It pours a straight onyx topped by a finger of khaki foam. The nose comprises light dark chocolate and very light roasted malts. Everything is too vague and ethereal to get a good read from. The taste brings in more of the same, though everything is quite stronger, and there's the added bonuses of some very light anise and a hint of a spice medley. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, despite a meek smell and a slightly thin body, this stuff ain't half bad. As the prototypical Belgian stout in the States, I can easily appreciate the effort.

Serving type: on-tap

05-09-2013 16:44:12 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled


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

I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. I didn't know what it was when I ordered it, but upon tasting it I found it to be Belgian-style stout or porter.

It was black in the glass beneath a full head of dark tan froth that took some time to subside. The aroma was soft, and expressed a bit of candy, some delicate dark fruit, soft chocolate, and just a hint of roastiness.

The flavor followed suit with the addition of some sweet clove and a gently toasty, caramelish-dark chocolate maltiness. It's a very smooth, velvety beer, and that may be cutting down on my perception of the roastiness. It seems more chocolatey than roasty, but there is a bit there. It's not rich, aggressive, or acidic in anyway. I think it tastes like the smell of diner coffee, if that's possible. A soft, underlying bitterness balances it, and the whole of it seems to simply fade away in the finish.

Quite enjoyable! I found it almost relaxing as it was rich and supple, and I enjoyed it at a much slower rate than I would have most other beers. Very nicely done, and at a good price.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2009 19:16:58 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of feloniousmonk


3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Allagash Black Belgian-style stout, Allagash Brewing, Portland, Maine. 7.5% Alc. by Vol.

Total blackness throughout, with a slim, roasted tan head.

Aroma is dark fruit and cocoa, dates, figs, raisins. Little bit o' spice, little bit o' sweet.

Taste: there it is on the tongue, the dark fruits, blended with cocoa. Roasty malt below. Vanilla and plums, with chocolate on the side. Tasty, tasty. Just enough of a Belgian twist in the flavor, just a touch of the funky flash. I can drink this.

Here's what the label tells us: "Dark and roasted with chocolate expressed throughout Belgian style -bottle conditioned." There was no punctuation. Is there more? No. Well, maybe that's enough.

This is notoriously one of the worst designed labels I've ever seen. Or is it the best? It is "black" after all.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2013 02:01:38 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

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

On-tap 12/28/08 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a decent off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark fruit, dark chocolate, Belgian yeast and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty but not overly sweet with flavors of dark fruit, chocolate and Belgian yeast. There's a mild but complimentary hops presence that brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, not usually the type of beer that I go for, but this is a good one to drink for a long time if you're in the mood for a very dark Belgian beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2008 04:14:12 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell


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


Pours pitch black with 2+ fingers of caramel colored head. Great head retention & lacing

S: Faint figgyness, a bit of earthy funk, not a much though. Raisins & cherry once warm

T: Chocolate, dark fruit, & molasses up front. Jammy apricot as this warms, plus baker's choclate & a touch of raisin & roasty notes. Finishes roasty with figgy & cherry notes, plus a touch of molasses

MF: Medium bodied, lively carbonation,

Drinks very easy, a great take on the style & one I'd buy again

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2011 03:55:36 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, earthy, black, chocolate, and roasted malt scent along with a light Belgian yeast fruitiness. The taste is great! I'm not sure I'm a huge fan of this concept, but this seems to be the benchmark for Belgian stouts; dry, earthy, thinner mouthfeel, fruity yeast esters. This is a damn good stout. The mouthfeel is fine. It's full bodied with adequate carbonation, but it's thinner than a regular imperial stout. This beer drinks well. It's complex and flavorful, but it doesn't sell out the stout style.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2008 00:40:19 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh


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

On tap at Meridian Pint in DC, beer is black / brown with a thin weak head of tan bubbles, low retention, low carbonation. No lacing, looks OK.

Aroma is roasty with a mild yeast ester character.

Beer is medium to light in body, sweet up front, yeasty in the middle, the finish is dry and bitter from the grains, I guess this is suppose to be like a Belgian Stout? Not really enjoying it, not a repeat.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2012 18:23:59 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000


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

I had been wanting to try this beer for several years and it didn't disappoint.

Pours dark brown to black with a khaki head. There are red highlights around the edges. The aroma is roasted malt, chocolate and Belgian yeast. The flavor is more roasted malt and chocolate, with some Belgian character. You get some bitterness and possibly even some coffee characteristics. The mouthfeel is very creamy with low carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2010 22:27:45 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80


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

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a one-finger, cream colored head of bubbly foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled very roasty with some coffee-like notes. There were some mild dried fruit notes.

T - It tasted of figs and dried plums with a strong coffee flavor. There were chocolate and toffee flavors, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry clean finish.

O - This is a very tasty Belgian Stout. Allagash always does really good beers.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2011 01:02:19 | More by zeff80
Photo of jlindros


4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2010 02:59:02 | More by jlindros
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 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.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2011 14:32:02 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215


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

750 ml cork caged bottle, poured into wide-mouth glass, as per instructions on label:

Pours black with a thick, rich light brown/dark tan head that descends a bit and stays. Patchy lacing sticks.

The smell is of earthy/herbal spicing and rich coffee notes.

The taste is of bitterish, roasted coffee and sweet chocolate with earhthy/herbal spicing and a hint of anise. Nice complexities that interact well. Alcohol mildly noticeable in a peppery way, but otherwise non-interfering. There's a woody dryness in a long finish.

While not quite exceptional, I found the body to be more than adequate - very good, even. Medium-bodied with medium carbonation. Pretty creamy with some effervescence.

An interesting, enjoyable brew that combines a well-done roasty stout with a Belgian Dark (though a bit soft on the fruitiness). A well-balanced sipper.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2008 20:04:18 | More by jwc215
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Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,752 ratings.