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Allagash Black - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash BlackAllagash Black

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,032 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,032
Reviews: 650
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 104
Gots: 236 | FT: 5
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: 2,032 | Reviews: 650 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brewerburgundy
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25.4oz bottle, Bruery tulip, Batch #22.

I see why this is categorized as a BSDA, it's that murky slightly red brown color to begin with. The head is more Belgian Dark than Stout; lightly tan, fizzily dissipated with only a ring of small bubbles.

Aromas begin with slightly spicy dark berry Belgian yeast and then yield up dry roast and chocolate. Nothing crazy, but nice, and with more of a phenolic character than I'd expected. Fusel alcohol exposes it self after some warming.

Belgian and Stout characteristics flip-flop. Now the roast and chocolate is much stronger while the clove is toned down. The chocolate is dry. The dark fruit is subtle, as is everything about this beer.

Malty up front with a drying finish, the carbonation is definitely BSDA territory with its gentle fizz.

I'm appreciating that Allagash did not try to be extreme here. The abv isn't extreme, the yeast isn't extreme, none of the flavors are extreme.

brewerburgundy, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of mntlover
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky looking deep brown color, looks black in my St. Bernardus glass away from the light. Smaller tan head falls to ring and laces well.

Aroma is dark fruits mingled with coco very light roasted notes. Some liquorice hints mingle with fruity notes also some light herbal notes spice or hops. It is soft and subtle but very inviting smells of so good.

Taste is roasted malts t start lightly playing on the tongue some soft chocolate appears and transforms to dark fruits along with the liquorice notes. Fruity liquorice lingers into the finish along with some light herbal hop notes. Finish is lightly dry would say chalky but that sounds bad and this isn't bad at all. More of a stout but with definite Belgian notes.

Mouthfeel is solid medium is about it with excellent smooth carbonation, which is big plus for me as lots of Belgians tend to be to fizzy.

Drinkability is good an enjoyable experience maybe not best cost to enjoyment ratio but defiantly worth having if you haven't.

mntlover, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of BucBasil
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap into a Chimay chalice at 1739 Public House in Los Feliz, LA.

A: The beer is a very deep opaque and murky brown color with only a bit of light coming in around the edges. Head was 1 finger thick, light tan, and had ok retention.

S: The smell is unfortunately quite faint with a fleeting sweetness. Earthy and slightly spicy with some tobacco, dark fruit, and cocoa.

T: Hugely malty with fleeting notes of brown sugar and caramel. Some sweetness and slight anise spice contained inside an intense dark chocolate and and roasted (mocha?) backbone. Strong roasted coffee bitterness in the finish. Soooo smooth going down.

M: Notable because of how damn smooth it is. Perfect and exactly what I am looking for in this kind of beer.

Notes: This isn't so much a Belgian style in my opinion, but a stout. Either way it's a damn good beer and great on tap. Recommended.

BucBasil, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of Redrover
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was served in a .40 cl marked Allagash glass at Tannins in downtown Elmhurst, IL. Tannins is a great wine & beer bar. The beer is black with some port red highlights. The head is brown and leaves lots of lace.

It has a nose of cocoa, dark fruit and roasted malts

The beer leads with raisins, slightly smoky deep roasted malts and some coffee. There is a bit of bakers chocolate like bitterness in the finish. There was lots of liquorish mid glass, which was a bit distracting.

The mouth has sharp carbonation. Not sure why, but I was looking for a smoother feel.

I liked the complexity and would have again on an occasional basis.

Redrover, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of inlimbo77
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber bottle into tulip glass.

A: Pours a deep, dark black color. Good carbonation and head that sticks around. Lacing is nice.

S: The nose isn't has pronounced as I would have thought from the appearance. There are hints of coffee/chocolate, but it is not overpowering at any point.

T: I got the dark malts, mild coffee, and extremely mild chocolate notes. Not as major as in other stouts that fall into this same price point.

M: Doesn't coat the mouth as much as others do. Actually felt like a watered down stout to me after trying others recently. Wasn't a bad thing, but different.

D: Really easy drinking and the 7.2 ABV wasn't killer for your evening. I wouldn't slam 3 of these bombers but I could definitely enjoy more than one glass.

Overall a good stout. Another solid product from Allagash...seems to be a trend.

inlimbo77, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
2.58/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From on tap poured into a tulip glass an interesting walnut red color with big brown opaque appearance. Faint chestnut colored head that leaves a ring throughout the glass.

A very closed bouqeut. Faint and does contain weak coffee notes but not fruit components whatsoever.

Taste is way too carbonated with a soda finish but has a neat bitter coffee and yeast like tinge.

This would have been great if it had some sort of fruit or estery component on the nose or taste but it doesn't. Very dissapointing I don't care for it at all.

smakawhat, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of CountJustinian
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours real dark, close to actual black. Substantial creamy foaming of a about 2-3 inches. Mild nose for a stout with hints of yeast and sugar. Very smooth mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Tastes of malts, cocoa, fudge and sugar with no one dominant flavor. Not overwhelmingly chocolaty like others; just an exceptional blend of tastes.

CountJustinian, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of brendanbeer
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

at barcade in brooklyn.

a. nice rich dark color, almost looks like a stout. little head appears.

s. nice belgian smells, bready, sweet n woody.

t. lovely citrus notes balance with dark malty notes.

m. good. silky.

d. good, nough said i think. its a nice beer, easy to drink and exhibits pleasant belgian properties.

brendanbeer, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of rdilauro
4.46/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

For starters, I love almost all Stouts and I love Belgian Ales.
Over the Christmas holiday, I had about my 10th Allagash Black in the past month or so.
I served it to a number of guests after dinner. Everyone enjoyed the smoothness and drink ability.
There were some hints of coffee with just a whisper of chocolate.
Even at its medium price range, it was something definitely worth while drinking

rdilauro, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of LacquerHead
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have looked through many reviews and have concluded that I am definitely in the minority. I was very excited to try this beer as I love stouts and Belgians.

I maybe the only one who thought the aroma was reminiscent of a raw fillet mignon. This had a Belgian yeast smell mixed with a charcoal stout aroma...along with raw meat. While I didn't really like the aroma, I thought it was very distinctive and interesting. But hey, at least it had a top notch raw meat smell!

For me the taste had a conflict of interest. It was as if someone cut a Belgian ale with a smoked stout. There was a yeast taste. It also had a moderately robust malt flavor. Some coco flavors, a hint of aromatic spice like cloves, and a smoked flowery underlay. It was like mixing the floral nature of tea with the robustness of coffee.

Conclusion: I liked where this beer was trying to go. I thought it was very interesting. I wouldn't discourage anyone from trying this, but for me it was not entirely my pint of beer. More than likely I will give this another chance - it did have a flavor that was worth exploring again.

LacquerHead, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of Haybeerman
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep brown, almost black; no light. Poured a wispy dark tan head that dissipated to the edge. Lace washed down the glass.

S: Burnt toast, coffee and dark fruit. Anise and faint alcohol aroma.

T: Toasted malt; dark fruits, chocolate and coffee. Smooth and rich; pretty well balanced. Bitter coffee lingers through the bitter finish. Very flavorful.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Smooth yet not real thick. Flavorful and balanced.

D: Very flavorful and balanced. Rich, but not thick or filling. Disguises the alcohol well.

Haybeerman, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a blackish body with soapy tan head that died quick but left a lace ring. A very malty/hearty aroma of chocolate, oak/wood, roasted malts, a little alcohol in the nose. A solid yeast aroma as well and a little bit of orange/citric feel (hints of bread, figs, black cherry and maple are all scents one might pick up). Typical meal in a bottle as a medium-bodied beer passes that is smooth and creamy and yet also has a stickiness on the back end. Has a large sweet malt base of cocoa, vanilla, caramel, candy sugar. Also a roasted, touch of coffee, malt base for balance so it not only has sweetness but a dry edge around the beer. A nice citric sharp twang along with some fruit falvors like black cherry and a noticeable orange taste (possible grapeskin taste as well). The moderate ABV hides itself well and this is like a mixture of a sweet stout and a Belgian ale and it is done very nicely; must-try for anyone.

clayrock81, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of TheBrewo
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Our pour gives us an impenetrable black colored beer with a one finger tan head. As the bubbles slowly recede they leave flecks of lacing around the glass. Light carbonation is noted at the edges of the glass, but no other details of clarity are discernible. The aroma is thick with roasted malts and espresso beans. Phenols are strong, but they mix with some of the other, more subtle aromatics, to give off a minty, clovey odor. There is also the faintest hint of bright hops towards the back of the nose. As we begin to sip, the mouth is bombarded with dark, bitter spice (black pepper and, maybe, fresh cinnamon) and heavy roasted malts. The latter remain to highlight the middle, whereas the spice is kicked aside by medicinal phenols. The finish and aftertaste contain the alcoholic bite that goes otherwise, to this point, unnoticed. Even so, this is almost disguised itself as dark black pepper, with a breath of black coffee. Upon completion of the sip, the mouth is moderately dry. The carbonation prickles a bit up front, but contributes little else to the experience. The mouthfeel is slick, leaving a slight coating, whereas the overall beer warms the drinker nicely. With a well masked abv and uniquely bitter, but inviting taste, this beer drinks quite well.

Overall, what was best about this brew was how well it keeps to its name. The look fit, the aroma was spicy and robust, and the flavors were perfectly attuned to a beer with the name of "Black".

TheBrewo, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #13

Poured from a 750ml bottle into an Old Raspy pint glass...

A - Poures a cherrywood brown with a two finger tan head. Head dissipates at a good pace, and there is not to much lacing to be had, but besides that; this one looks beautiful...

S - Smells of anise, coffee and fruits. I don't detect any alcohol through the smell...

T - Chocolate, dark fruits, and dark roasted malts followed by a smooth anise flavoring. Ends on a coffee note, that is just enough to let you know that it is there. This one is very well balanced. I am not usaully a big fan of the dark licorice/black jelly bean flavor, but the anise comes across perfectly. Also get a smokey flavor that makes its presence known. Very tasty...

M - Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Was hoping the mouthfeel would be a little more thick...

D - Allagash brewed a winner here. Don't know why I passed on this one for so long. Definitely something that is going to make an appereance in my rotation...


comfortablynumb1, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of MirImage
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bomber Poured into a "Chimay" wide mouth goblet

A: Dark, slightly red to the light hues. An off white head that sits comfortably above the black liquid hugging the glass. Great Lacing.

S: Very musty at 1st. When it warms you get notes of alcohol, dark candies and chocolate.

T: Dark grains, chocolate and alcohol notes. You get some hop bitterness on the back of the pallet.

M: Feels almost as smooth as silk but there is a little burn to it. Burn actually goes away when beer warms up.

D: Its not a beer you drink all night by any means but it goes down very smooth. Heavier body, but goes down very, very smooth.

MirImage, Nov 23, 2010
Photo of mtnbikerpa
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked this brew up at The Belfast Co-Op in Maine. Poured from the caged and corked bottle into 2 small snifters. (One for myself and one for my wife.) Poured a dark black color with a burnt tan color head. An amazing array of scents the Belgian yeast, and some burnt charcoal smells and minor dark fruits. Smooth mouthfeel, very easy to drink. First to hit the tip of my tongue is the malt, then a fruity dark bitter chocolate flavor. I am comfortable sipping on this sniffer. having split the 750 ml bottle.

mtnbikerpa, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of Smokee
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very drinkable, slightly more carbonated than I would have expected for the style, but this was welcome.

Silky mouth feel. Tasting of chocolate, oats, a little orange/citrus. Fairly toasty smell, maybe, maybe the tiniest hint of something a little off on the smell, but it may be the cold i have. Overall ....

Very good

Smokee, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of twiggamortis420
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle from Batch 14. Pours a dark brown color with an airy tan head. Retention is decent and leaves some spotty lacing.

Nose is chocolate, roast, bready yeast and some anise. Pretty nice, the Belgian yeast definitely makes is presence felt.

Taste is along the same lines as the nose along with some licorice, sassafras and herbal hop flavors. Has a relaxing feel to it and goes down easy. Mouthfeel is not as creamy and viscous as I would like, but not too big of a deal. Carbonation is higher like a Belgian Strong Pale as opposed to a stout. I am pleased the yeast esters add something unique to the beer. And it is not really a fruity aspect, more of a bready, zesty spice character. It's a good beer, I'd probably buy another one. Might be a good candidate for the cellar too.

twiggamortis420, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of Jayli
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Jayli, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

bucklemyshoe, Nov 06, 2010
Photo of johncampbell
2.78/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I've had this 750 ml bottle in a temperature controlled wine cellar for over a year.

The cork was still fresh and holding pressure (it was stored on it's side at an angle). It poured black with a hint of red-brown around the edges when held to the light. It had a nice 3/4" tan head that slowly dissipated to an 1/8" cap that covered the surface for the duration. It left a thick, creamy lace in the glass.

The aromas were of dark chocolate, roasted malt and sweet Belgian yeast, but with a worrisome old ale smell.

The beer tasted oxidized. I'm not sure how long it had been on the shelf before I bought it, but it tasted old and not as vibrant as I'd hoped. There was still a distinct dark-roasted malt flavor with hints of espresso and bitter chocolate, but the age left an unpleasant taste in my mouth.

The mouthfeel was good - a medium-bodied beer with lively carbonation.

I have to say that the drinkability wasn't there. I love Allagash beers and think this one was simply stored too long. There was no date or batch number.

Aging is not recommended.

I look forward to trying this beer again and changing my review.

johncampbell, Nov 06, 2010
Photo of whoneeds8
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received from Desaparecido in the winnings for Week 4 of the Sunday Night Football Squares LIF.

Poured into a Ommegang chalice black with a thin off white head. Bottle says Batch #7. It's allergy season and I can't smell much of anything. I do find a hint of belgian yeast in the nose. The taste is almost like a Black IPA with belgian yeast. Dark carmel malts with a hint of a hop bitterness. Then the belgian yeast adds to a complexity. Mouthfeel is a little thin in body for my likes to such a dark brew. But that really doesn't take much away from this being a really good dark ale.

whoneeds8, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of thekanna
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a 750 ml tulip into a Chimay goblet. Dark brown with a tan veneer of head that refuses to dissipate.

S: Smells strongly of roasted malts and spices; coffee and tar, leather, smoke are all present.

T/M: Roasted malt taste with medium body ends in peppery spices, slight tobacco and coffee essence. Carbonation is only really perceived at the end as a complement to the pepper.

D: Excellent Belgian style brew, and great for sipping.

thekanna, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of terrapinfan88
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Brooklyn snifter

Appearance: Almost opaque with a burnt umber ora around its tar colored center when held to light.

Smell: Very bright sweet cocoa smell, burnt carmel, black licorice very complex layers and olfactory orgasm if you will.

Taste: pronounced charcoal, Roasted malts, Dark chocolate, Espresso on the back end and more so on the exhale.

Mouthfeel: Smooth earthy dryness thats not to powerful and dissipates quickly preparing you for the next gulp, very mild heat from alcohol.

Drinkability: Quite potable, could easily drink 1500 MLs of this stuff hides its 7.5 ABV well.

terrapinfan88, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of ams0286
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
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!

ams0286, Oct 23, 2010
Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,032 ratings.