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Allagash Black - Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash BlackAllagash Black

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2,288 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,288
Reviews: 682
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.89%
Wants: 127
Gots: 351 | FT: 7
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:
Beer added by: Bassetdawg on 12-14-2007

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,288 | Reviews: 682
Photo of katan
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz into a goblet

A - Pours a deep dark black with some mahogany highlights. Head formation is light, mocha in color. Breaks down to a film. Very opaque looking.

S - Chocolate, light amounts of vanilla and caramel, even a hint of a wooden scent. Yeast is very hidden with only a small whiff of some fruity esters.

T - Starts off with a light roasted malty flavor, chocolate mainly. Mid-stream gets more roasted, some bitterness, but overall a malt forward beer. Finishes with a more fruity note, perhaps of grapefruit - indicating a good belgian yeast production.

M - Solid beer body, somewhat understated carbonation. Seems heavy on the palette. Finishes with a sticky sugary film. No alcohol warmth.

O/D - Moderately easy drinking ale, a little bit too americanized I feel for the style - although the hopping isn't extreme either. Just seems to straddle the line. ABV is managable.

A good black ale.

Photo of beerandcycling88
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A Pours a dark brown. About the same color as cola. The head is about 2 fingers and has good retention.

S The nose is full of roasted malt, chocolate, a hint of yeast and some alcohol.

T This one has a nice taste. Lots of roasted coffee and malt plus dark fruit, and some smooth alcohol.

M a thickish feel with some nice warming alcohol. Very easy to drink.

Overall this was a good one, the great combination of stout and Belgian like qualities makes this a great smelling and tasting beer that makes me sad that Allagash is leaving Washington.

Photo of OrangeAmps
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Battleship Brewhouse, fall river, MA. Consumed in a pint glass

A: Dark brown with an almond colored head that is tiny, but clings to the sides a bit.

S: dark roast malt and alcohol. not much in the way of aromatic hops

T: dark chocolate, roasted malts, slight coffee vibe. some dark fuits toward the end.

Very good beer!

Photo of argock
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. Batch #27 on the side of the label. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $9.49.

A: Black body with 1-finger beige bubbly head with average retention and no lacing.

S: Very earthy, phenolic aroma with a lot of roasted barley. Not sure if the herbal aromas are phenol plus dark malts or herbal hoppiness. There is little to no spicy yeast aromas.

T: This did not drink as well as the on-tap version, by a long way. The phenolic, herbal notes are far too strong and dominate all of the other flavors which include coffee, chocolate, roasted malt, and earthy hoppiness.

M: Slick feel with medium body and heavy carbonation and a very dry, crisp finish.

O: Not the best as the body is light and the phenol is too heavy. High Allagash prices are a turn-off too, but this is still a solid brew, just not destined to be a favorite.

Photo of nhindian
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into an Allagash cervois. Bottle provided by 603BeerMe, thanks Clark!

Batch 20.

A - Pours a cola-colored brown, actually quite lighter than I would've though. When held up to a light, it's easy to see through it, and there is a torrent of carbonation rushing up from the bottom of the glass. There are some nice, deep red and chestnut highlights. The head is unmistakably Allagash; 2.5-fingers worth of tan, tightly condensed foam sits on top as if poured out of a nitro-tap. It's thick and creamy, as with many other big Allagash beers, and I'm amazed at how they consistently pull it off. Retention is absurd, and I actually have to actively work to slough off some of the foam before I can drink. What's left is half-head, half-thick-as-hell cap. Lacing is fantastic as well, with the head pretty much enveloping the entire glass as it dissipates.

S - The nose has a big oat smell, that's immediately noticeable from the start and lasts throughout. Very roasty and definitely brings out the bittersweet chocolate and espresso notes. The chocolate lingers and is present throughout the aroma, and the candied sugar comes in about halfway through. Not as bold and robust as other big stouts out there, but it doesn't smell anywhere close to a 7.5% beer.

T - The taste is really interesting for sure. The blend of typical stout qualities with a Belgian twist really throws my palate for a loop. The candi sugar comes through earlier here, giving it a sweet boost that accentuates the bittersweet chocolate in the malts. Conversely, the coffee is a bit more subdued and imparts more a roasty characteristic rather than any actual espresso flavors. A little bit watery in the finish, but no hint of alcohol to be found here.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. A little bit thin for a stout, doesn't have an incredibly bold mouthfeel or presence. Given the stream of carbonation that can be seen in the glass, it actually isn't overcarbonated, thankfully. Incredibly smooth and creamy, and leaves a roasty finish.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. While the Belgian influence is a welcome change in a style I've had my fair share of, it's not exactly brimming with flavor and the mouthfeel is a bit of a disappointment. I would've loved to see this be a bit fuller in the mouth.

Photo of jpro
3.61/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at Closed for Business. 10oz serving in a small Allagash shaped glass...

A: Dark brown with some mahogany on the edges; almond head leaves some specks of lace and manages pretty good retention.

S: Belgian yeast; dark roast malt; some alcohol. Not too aromatic, really.

T: Black malt, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, fruity / doughy yeast; some dry qualities toward the finish.

M: Medium bodied; high carbonation.

D: Pretty drinkable... interesting flavors... nothing too crazy, but good.

Photo of brian44556
3.24/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured this into a wine glass. Batch #9.

Pours a pitch black with little to no head forming. Almost no lacing present. The beer smelled of chocolate, roasted malt, molasses, and coffee. Taste was about the same as the smell, strong chocolate and coffee notes. Almost no carbonation was present and the mouthful was extremely thin. Overall an average beer.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.
Batch # 25

A - Pours a dark mahogany brown with a .5 inch head that is light tan in color and has very dense bubbles.

S - Sweet candy notes some slight toasted malts and some nice phenols. There is some slight chocolate sweetness and cocoa powder notes. Quite yeasty aroma.

T & M - Taste starts off with some roasted malt notes. There is some cocoa powder notes as well. There are slight yeast phenols and some nice slight funk that gives the beer a clean dryness. There is some slight smokiness and some nice bready malt. The beer is quite smooth and delicious. It is surprisingly similar to an oatmeal stout in my opinion because of the fluffy notes from eh yeast. The higher ABV is not that forward. It has a nice medium mouthfeel with some good carbonation, roasted notes and sweet chocolate.

O - Good offering from Allagash. Quality Belgian style brews always.

Photo of JRed
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep black in body with off-white bubbly head that leaves behind some lacing. Aroma of chocolate nibs, raspberry, grapes, slight cola. Eclectic flavor including cola, Belgian candy sugar, subtle cocoa, warming booze, grapes, hop bitterness and mint to finish the drink. Medium bodied with high carbonation. A delicate but assertive beer that is one of a kind.

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

Poured into an oversized tulip glass. Batch #27.

A- Pours a nice rich brown hue with a big khaki head. Lots of carb present.

S- Interesting, unlike anything i've smelled before. The belgian side really comes through, banana, cloves, spice. Additionally a tanginess with some choc comes through. A slight herbal/ mint character also is detectable.

T- Rather like a typical BSD but with some stout notes. A some chocolate gives it a some sweetness, flavor and a slight tang. Also light coffee kicks in.

M- Med-Big bodied. Hits all of palate, wet. Sticks to all of tongue but doesn't over power.

O- A very good BSDA hybrid. Enjoyable and nice to drink. Worth trying if your a fan of Belgians and/ or stouts.

Photo of Retsinis
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap last night at Instant replay.

A: The beer was served in a Chimay glass. The beer pours a near black with a earthy brown hue. The head is a light tan colored, with a creamy head rose about a half inch, and stuck around for a while. Slowly receding head, but it lasted pretty much throughout. Nice full bubbly coating lacing.

S: I get whiffs of mild milk chocolate, some mild roasted malts, coffee, light Belgian yeast ,and a touch of orange peel.

T: Interesting. It it not dry, like a dry Irish stout, or overly sweet like some Russian Imperial stout, but has a bit of the best of both styles in this Belgian stout. (or Belgian Strong Dark Ale apparently) flavors of chocolate, roasted malts, milky espresso, and mild yeast. Alcohol is well melded with the flavors too.

M: Medium mouth, but it is silky smooth, and creamy, with just the right amount of medium carbonation.

O: A bit surprising. I've passed on bottles of this in the store a few times, but glad I tried this on draft. It has all the right flavors, just mellowed out, but I liked that for the occasion.

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

Allagash White's dark reflection, and it's pretty good that way. Not quite as good as the Odyssey (also a Belgian strong dark), but for half the price, I can deal with losing the oak-aging and getting some added body.

From the pour it separates itself from its bigger odyssean brother - a little bit thicker and lacking some of the carbonation. A little muddier as well with less uniformity. A thin layer of almost roasted brown head rests on top. Smells like cocoa, vanilla and sweet malt. Taste is much of the same, with more dark fruit and a complex body. Kind of unsure of itself, honestly, like it could have gone one of many directions a little bit further. Still an awesome brew, and maybe it's just that lack of commitment to one ostentatious note that makes it such a stable, staple beer. Really, I just shouldn't drink it alongside the Odyssey. Very laid back beer here. Can't wait to force it out of a tap one day.

Photo of albertjr21
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm a stranger to Belgian Strong Dark Ale and thought I'd give Allagash Black a try at Rattle N Hum-NYC on 4.12.11. Into a large tulip glass, it certainly lived up to its name with its color. What impressed me most about this was the full flavored yet delicate mouthfeel that prominently displays its roasted coffee and cocoa malt notes without losing its smooth texture. Carbonation was held back just enough for flavors to shine through. There is certainly a Belgian yeast signature in the finish blended with a light ground coffee taste...Black and White, Allagash continues to intrigue me...

Photo of keith712
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber purchased at a Spec's, batch 21, rated at 7.5% abv. Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark, but translucent deep brown/mahogany. Creamy head that sticks a bit then fades away to nothing as it warms.

Nose: Unusual to me, less sweet than I expected. Roasted grains (coffee?), a slight hint of bitter chocolate. Some bitterness apparent in the nose but not objectionable.

Taste: Stout for sure, another charred flavor in there but not quite dominant. Malts assert themselves in lieu of hops, some mild bitter chocolate. The yeasts are obvious and to my limited palate of this style, I assume this is the Belgian yeast influence. Certainly a bit less sweetness (almost none) than I expected.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is medium low to low, initial swallow is thinner than I expected. It finished dry as well. Alcohol is NOT apparent. No chewiness nor a heavy feel left over.

Drinkability: Smooth, easy on the palate and I finished the 22oz in ~ 1 hour. It gets better as it warms up after a half hour. Next time I have this I'll leave it on the counter longer before serving.

Overall, I'll give this a B+. Not my favorite style but interesting nonetheless.

Photo of allanplaysguitar
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

App - Very clean yet dark and almost opaque coffee brown. The head is cream brown and stays around well.
Nose - Dark roasted grains, coffee and a ever-so-slight hint of dark fruits.
Taste - Initially hit with coffee and bitter chocolate. Then a comes the roasted grains and a little bit of bitterness, not harsh, but a compliment finish on.
Aftertaste - Pure roasted grain all the way around.
Mouth Feel - Heavy with a finer than normal carbonation.
Overall - This is combination of two great beer styles. While the Belgium end takes a bit of a back seat to the Stout-ness; this is a very well brewed beer.

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

On tap at a beer festival poured into a sampler glass. From notes: 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.

Photo of spinrsx
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size creamy light brown/beige coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there isn't whole lot of lacing going on. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - chocolate, malts, coffee, smoky/roasted notes, vanilla

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a very low amount of carbonation and most of the taste consists of chocolate, coffee and malts. There are also smokey/burnt notes mixed with a booziness.

Overall - I could pick up on the alcohol and the beer gave me a nice warming feeling in my chest. I was a little disappointed with the appearance, but the beer had a nice taste and would work very well as a winter warmer. It's worth seeking out.

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.

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

A: poured a dark brown in color with a thin head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: banana, brown sugar, and oatmeal grains were noticeable on the first whiff with hints of booze, dark fruits, and char notes.

T: the taste had the banana brown sugar flavors upfront with oatmeal grain, maple, and char notes but had mild booze.

M: the brew was medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a boozy, sweet, mild bitter, and roasty finish.

D: pretty damn drinkable but had a nice belgian twist to it. I'd drink some again.

Photo of ExtraStout
4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured jet black into a pint glass with a very thin brown head. Aroma was smoky and sweet; roasted nuts also present. Batch #27.

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.

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

Allagash Black has a black (duh) colour with a good head and excellent lacing. The smell is quite yeasty with some notes of bitter chocolate. The taste is malty with some raisins and coffee notes. It ends with a delicious roasty Belgian-yeasty finish. The texture is frothy and excellent. This is a very nice strong dark ale.

Photo of ColdPoncho
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes, 9-12-2010

A - dark blackish reddish brown body, largely opaque with a small tan head

S - malty chocolate nose with hints of dark fruits.

T - See above. Great balance with nose, chocolate and stone fruits.

M - medium body, decent, not great

O (D) - Drinkable for sure, a pretty good and interesting beer.

Photo of harrymel
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 15

A: pours a dark, dark coffee crown with murky clarity. Thin, fine foam cap forms on the surface and stick around for the duration.

S: lots of candy, raw sugar smell. Sweet roated malts are light on the nasal passage and offer up some backgrounds of nuts, earthy noble hops. Pretty good.

T: Less sweet than anticipated. Anise, cloves, coffee, dry roasted malts. Really nice. Finish is short lived, but strong like I were drinking an americano. Yum!

M: Medium bodied with near high carbonation. Spritely and alive on the tongue up front, but nearly creams while falling over the oropharyngeal aspect. Good.

O: This is a very well crafted beer. Happy to see Allagash making more and more delicious beers. Just wish my pocket book could handle them.

Photo of maximum12
3.56/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Funny thing happens after multiple beer 'trips' & 170 plus trades/BIFs: for the first time, I have no earthly idea how this beer ended up in my cellar. It may have been part of the self-sent box from Seattle eighteen months ago...but who knows? Early onset memory loss, setting in. Batch #4 bomber set to split with my tired, nervous wife. Considering the current reviews are batch #25, my guess is this is going on two years in my basement.

Pours like a cloudy night in the BWCA, white above, black below. Smell is understated, mellow roasted malts, mildest tang of sour, bare Belgian yeasties.

Allagash Black is a seriously chilled out beer; unsure if it's the age or its innate nature, but this is laid back & relaxed. Mild roasts come through clean, black grapes give up a vineyard characteristic, low-rolling sweetness holds it together & finishes it up with a White-smooth lick of cocoa. Just the barest tang of dog iron mars the taste.

Good beer with higher marks for being easy to sip & velvety than anything else. Solid Belgian stout in a distinctly Allagash style.

Photo of ebby82
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown or light black into a tulip glass.

A- Dark chocolate, coffee, and perhaps a nutty aroma. Very sweet with just a hint of the Belgian yeast.

T- Roasted malts and coffee, beneath a dubbel like taste, perhaps a bit of dark fruit. Dry, with a bit of the alcohol showing through.

M- Very dry and light, medium carbonation.

D- Very quaffable because of the lighter viscosity than normal dark stouts.

A very interesting, very tasty brew.


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Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,288 ratings.