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Allagash Black - Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash BlackAllagash Black

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2,269 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,269
Reviews: 677
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.89%
Wants: 127
Gots: 334 | 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: 2,269 | Reviews: 677 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SnowGoon99
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Serving type: bottle, poured into pint glass.

First off the appearance of this beer is what you expect from the name but not of a Belgian Strong Dark. More of a stout type color.

Aroma was amazing. Slight roasted notes but also estery notes from the yeast.

Taste matched the aroma. The balance was right on for the type of beer it is. The roastiness was subdued but was detectable. The belgian qualities were also subdued but were more apparent than the roastiness. It made you want to drink more. Mouthfeel was creamy but was cut a little by the carbonation.

Overall a perfectly balanced beer that i could see would improve even more so on oak. The only criticism i have is the carbonation but it can be easily overlooked. Could drink a lot of this.

Photo of alysmith4
2.97/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not as impressed with this beer as I thought I'd be. I'm not sure if I didn't give it a good pour, but their was almost no head to it. The smell was of maple, coffee, and bitter chocolate. The taste was similar, with a more syrupy, burnt toffee flavor. It was a lot like Dogfish Head's Chicory Stout. I was hoping for a sweeter flavor, but it wasn't coming through - even when the beer warmed. On a more positive note, I think the bottle (label) is sexy as hell!

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

The Allagash Brewery is a unique artisan brewhouse in Portland Maine producing a large range of classic beers in a very modern way. Their focus is on Belgian-style, bottle conditioned beers brewed with modern techniques, controls, and technology. 100% of the electricity used at the brewery is wind powered. The first Allagash beer I ever had was their 2007 Flexus; a Rye Beer brewed with yarrow, an ingredient used in beer in the 1800′s before hops were widely accepted.

This was a exceptionally spicy and appetizing beer, and really enticed me to explore the rest of their range. I journeyed though a few other beers, but nothing that really struck me as astounding - then came the Allagash Black. This Belgian-style Stout now lives among the high rollers in my stout collection, and is a prized bottle in my cellar.

The Allagash Black is unfortunately not available in Ontario, but is available across much of the United States. You can find it however is some great beer bars like the Beer Bistroon occasion. It comes only in 750 corked bottles, and is 7.5% abv. I have also heard that it can be found on tap in the U.S., if that is the case I will be looking for it!

It is brewed with German 2 row barley, roasted malts, torrified wheat and oats, and a large amount of Belgian candi sugar. It stands dark and silent in the bottle until you open it and unleash a sumptuous black stout with impressive character and distinct flavors.

I brought the Black out at a cool temperature, around 10C (50F) and poured it into a nice gold rimmed smooth chalice. A very soft and deep pour created an alluring black beer with rich nutty browns and amber highlights flickering throughout it. It was completely opaque and very close to pure black. A one and a half inch creamy tan, almost brown head rested gently atop the beer creating a beautiful contrast. Looking deep into the beer you can see the bottle conditioning can created a very effervescent beer, something rather unique to a stout.

The nose was rich, immediately bringing smoke and roast scents to my nose. Going in for another nose allowed me to then absorb coffee beans, cocoa, floral herbs, light earth, a touch of hops and bitter dark chocolate. A slight fruitiness existed here also in the back, probably from the candi sugar.

The back gently danced over my palate in a strange combination of a smooth oat and rye stout, but also bottle conditioned Belgian spice. It's hard to really explain the sensation - it was smooth and creamy, but at the same time showed effervescence and delicate crackling carbonation. However you would explain it, it was perfect at lifting rich flavors across my palate.

Sweet roasty malts and smoke make their way in first closely followed by bitter roast coffee, high percentage cocoa chocolate, and malty caramel. It is sweeter than I was expecting showing notes of dried fruits, plums and dark berries. Belgian spicy character is loaded in every inch of the beer aiding its ability to plant rich flavors deep in your taste buds.

Really though, it is not overbearing or heavy as it may sound. At 7.5% it is totally reasonable, and its mouthfeel is elegant and uplifting. The black still shows light hops and elegant floral herb notes, and I still contest that there is a distinct yeast and earth-like flavor hiding deep inside the beer. This, along with its spice and lively feeling helps balance out the gummy, charred, sweet smoky flavors in the Black.

The finish is dry and malty, and also very appetizing. I definitely enjoyed this stout, and I think it has a lot of unique characteristics valuable to a stout which you don't often see in one. Try it with roast beef, shepherds pie, or herbed goat cheeses. It would also be delicious with ice cream, cookies, or fruit cake.

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

Thank you to Samichlaus for hooking me up with this bottle as an extra in a trade for Vagabond. Bottle is a 750mL from batch 11. Poured into a snifter.

For a beer called "Black," the body of this beer was more dark brown than it was black. As it poured into the glass, the stream of liquid was almost garnet in color. In the glass, there is a ring of ruby-brown hue due to the light. There is a coarse and slight.

The nose is full of chocolate and Belgian yeasty esters, finished off by a touch of boozy warmth. The palate is much more complex. The yeasty spice really adds a lot to the cocoa powder and slight roast evident from the malts. There are also some dark fruity esters of dates and figs that round out the flavor. The finish brings back dark bitter chocolate.

Smooth and medium consistency, the carbonation is a bit low for a Belgian, but it gives it a very creamy finish. Hardly feels like the 7.5% ABV that it is, I could enjoy this whole bottle with no trouble at all.

Photo of puboflyons
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the 750 ml. corked bottle marked 1050-19:49. Sampled on August 14, 2010. It pours a handsome mahogany brown with ruby red hues glimmering around the glass. The head is a delicate, silky tannish color. Yeast, malts, cocoa, and spices highlight the well-balanced and inviting aroma. The body is rather bold but the fluffy head tickles the lips. The taste is a well-balanced combination of malts, wheat, and yeast with a little hoppiness around the edges to give it a little zing. A wonderfully well-rounded beer.

Photo of SFLpunk
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750mL brown glass cork and cage bottle. Batch #17.

Appearance: Pitch black with creamy cream-colored head that stands up and won't quit.

Nose: Cafe au lait aromas, sugar in the raw, some fennel notes, sage, really complex.

Palate: Medium-bodied and really herbal and dry. Dry export style stout with some creamy carbonation. Dry and spicy! Serious beer and seriously dry for a stout.

Notes: A tasty brew and I like the new pricing a lot better! Drinkability suffers due to its heft and spiciness.

Photo of Pittsburgh
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Strong offering from Allagash, in both flavor and ABV. Poured at the bar into a tulip, black color, not much foam.

Taste is strong, can slightly taste the ABV, coffee flavor is delayed in the release, after you swallow it get a heavy dose of it.

Not an overly drinkable beer, I was hoping for a little more in the flavor and complexity of the beer, still a solid offering, not something I would look for again though.

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

Nice beer. Not as big as anticipated. Poured with a nice sized light tan foamy frothy head and lots of lace. Color is a very dark, almost opaque brown, with dark cherry highlights. Aroma is roasty, bitter, old leather, dark wood. Flavor is quite different and mild. I'm drinking this colder than recommende. It is a stout, but quite mild and not like any other Belgian stout I've had. Body is ok but the carbonation is perhaps a bit fizzy. Finiish is like flavor and short.

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

Pours to a rich and foamy tan head over nearly black beer. Head quickly reforms with a swirl.

Malty and mild aromas of black currants and spice with deep, rich cocoa and hazelnut flavors and hints of black plum.

Very luscious texture set off by a a nearly chalky finish. You can feel the booze at the very end.

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

12oz pour at Sunset Grill, served in a tulip

A - served with a solid finger of frothy and creamy khaki colored foam. the beer is well, black! creamy sticky lacing left behind most of the drink.

S - deep roasted almost charred malts, fresh dark coffee, oaky sweetness, and dark chocolate.

T - begins a bit sweeter than expected with a heavy amount of vanilla and oak, dark roasted malts cut through rather quickly bringing some bittering earth hops along, some dark fruits, and brewers licorice. rounded out at the end with (creamed) coffee, rum, and toasted nuts. very minor alcohol heat.

M - medium bodied and VERY chewy, leaves the mouth coated with a layer of wool...despite that the body has a nice pleasant creaminess to it.

D - solid all around, excellent example of a Belgian-influenced stout. nice and robust but not too extreme.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.39/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

THANKS to papollo for this wonderful brew!

A - Dark muddy brown, much more transparent in light. Thick creamy off white head.

S/T - Both the smell and the taste are very much the same. Very roasted and toasty. Hints of rich chocolate and some bitter coffee. No alcohol in the nose, but there is a very tiny bit of warmth that hits the back of your throat.

M - On the high end of medium bodied, with a bit of creaminess. Definitely smooth.

D - I am looking forward to the rest of this big bottle!

Photo of oglmcdgl
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On the hand pump at tnd. Served in a nice big snifter.

A- comes to me with two huge fingers of light tan creamy head atop a sea of black.

S- coffee, bitter sweet chocolate, vanilla. Dark roasted malts a bit of stone fruits.

T- opens up with roasty malts and a bit dark fruits then rolls into the chocolate and coffee. Bits of sweet cream and vanilla with a mild woody character and char.

M- medium body that leans in the full direction with a light and creamy carb. Semi dry finish.

D- big and roasty but this stuff on a hand pump is a revelation. Very good.

Photo of SShelly
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Comes out black with a finger of foam, leaves nice lacing as the head goes down.

Aroma is roast and yeast,and more roast.

Flavor follows the aroma, large roast, light coffee throughout the sip, with a slight yeast edge to the end of the sip. bitterness for balance only in this and leaves the roast sitting in the mouth.

A good tasting beer but I was pretty much done with it by the end of the glass, probably wont go back.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Sidedoor. I'm glad to be reacquainting myself with the Allagash line. On to the beer:

This one manages to be black with moderate head retention. There are even some legs that stay around for a short time. Very roasty in the aroma, like a coffee. Some dark chocolate in there, and some hi-def pear aromas. Things get even more interesting in the taste. When it's at a cold temperature, there's more Belgian dark to this beer, with fruity esters, pears, a little bit of candied fruit, and some roasted malt. As the beer warms, the fruity flavors slowly die and more astringent, roasty malt comes out. It's like those magic markers I use to color with in grade school, except this is beer. As for the mouthfeel, the carbonation is on the peppy side, with a medium-heavy richness.

This is exactly how I'd expect a Belgian Stout to taste. It's like a 50/50 of stout and Belgian dark. Allagash pulls off another well made "Belgian American".

Photo of ujsplace
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice.

Dark, nearly black colored brew with just the faintest hint of deep amber at the point where the stem meets the bowl (it does lighten up when drinking). Thick, chunky head that dissipates into multiple small, island-like chunks sitting on the what is now the wispy remains of the head.

Smells of sweet yeasty malts, dark fruits - mostly cherry and raisin, roasted caramel, dark chocolate, a hint of coffee and mild alcohol.

Opens mildly bitter, then sweetens up with dark fruitiness - some dark chocolate, roasted malts then finishes up with espresso and some very mild licorice in the end along with a mild perception of alcohol.

This brew is medium/heavy on the tongue, is creamy and with just the right amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is an excellent take on the style - one definitely worthy of a case - should you be fortunate enough...now to enjoy what little remains...

Photo of magine
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel glass.

Pours a near black color, with a tiny bit of red shining in the edges of the glass. Head is light tan. Has a massive pillow chunk head that sits on top. Head settles to a chunk lace head, nice lacing.

Brew smells of yeast, dark fruits, chocolate, roasted malts, slight coffee. Very complex, very tasty smelling brew.

Brew is very smooth; a bit of spicy yeast initially; dark fruits, wheat, roasted malts. A very complex tasty brew. This is a great tasting brew. Leaves a coating on the tongue and is slightly dry.

This is an absolute must try for any craft beer fan. If you are really into Belgian style brews and are a fan of dark brews, this will turn your head after the first sip. I want to pound this, but I have to sip and savor. Yet another top shelf brew from Allagash. Excellent stuff from an excellent brewery.

Photo of jlindros
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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

"If it's black, send it back! If it's brown, drink it down!" - Homer Simpson

Contrary to the name Black is actually dark brown. Light tan head that looks so pillowy soft I want to rest my weary head on it. Thick sheet of retention rides down the glass and leaves thick swatches of foam. Shame about the color though...and the name.

Smells of earthy roots and dirt like a rich brown ale. Subtle hints of dark fruit and some char sprinkled in are the only real stout qualities. Taste is light charcoal and earthen chocolate. Richer as it warms.

Not much stout to this stout. It's good but doesn't live up to the Allagash name. Speaking of which, Allagash hasn't been living up to their price tag as of late.

Photo of jbertsch
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into a wine glass, this is a super-dark brown. Not quite black. Minor lacing.

Aroma: Smokey, hint of fig, roasted coffee beans, faint hops.

Taste: Decent layering of dark fruit, smokey malts, bitter cocoa.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, surprisingly. Also very carbonated.

It drinks like a blend of porter and a brown. I'm not sure any characteristics stood out as stellar, but I love the Belgian yeast aspect blended with the American stout characteristics that I love. All-in-all it's enjoyable. I like it even better on tap.

Photo of hayesez
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This one has been sitting in one of my beer fridges for quite some time, so I figured it was about time to give it a shot. Our second and final beer of the afternoon, Kate and Ridgley joined me for this one. Split between the three of us and poured into snifters. Although not one of my top beers or anything, this one was definitely enjoyable to drink. Both the taste and the smell morphed toward each other throughout the session. By the end, they had basically flip-flopped. Very interesting to say the least.

A fairly thin, dark brown beer poured into my Portsmouth snifter. A huge sandstone colored head quickly surged to the top and wasn't in any hurry to return. A ton of thick lace was left behind as this one slowly backed down.

So we started out drinking this one right out of the fridge. At the time, the smell was led by the Belgian yeast spiciness that I was expecting. Cloves, a bit of coffee, but quite a bit of the Belgian spice. As it warmed up, the Belgian smells diminished to the point where they were actually very difficult to discern. A very roasty maltiness crept over the top of the Belgian and kicked it right out. Chocolate and coffee become the preeminent scents, with spiciness , cloves, etc. all but gone. Very odd.

After taking the initial whiff of this beer, I was fully expecting a Belgian taste to smack me in the tongue. I was quite surprised when I took a drink, looked around, and realized that the Belgian had left the building. Seriously, where was that spicy, yeasty taste I expected? Very, very roasty for a Belgian style...I guess that is where the "Black" comes in. At the very end, there was a bit of spice, but it was quite muted. However, as this thing warmed up, somehow the smell morphed into taste, and although it was no longer evident on the nose, this thing turned Belgian. Spicy, cloves, a bit of that fruitiness that comes from Belgian yeast. Again, quite different than I expected...but good!

The mouthfeel definitely fell a bit short. Medium-bodied with good carbonation, but no volume and nothing notable. Quite easy to drink, and certainly enjoyable. I'm not sure about the whole "Belgian and Stout" combination, but it was certainly something different.

Consumed: 6/16/2010

Photo of BraveUlysses
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Delicious. Pours very dark, with a bit of a reddish tint in the glass. Aroma is mostly coffee with some hint of Belgian yeast. Taste is rick and complex: a strong coffee flavor (I can taste roasted malts) and some fantastic dark chocolate undertones. There's some bitterness at the end...the hops are represented as well. This beer has a nice middle-ground carbonation and a wonderful mouthfeel. Not at all syrupy like an imperial stout, but plenty of body to give this a very full mouth experience. Once again, delicious.

Photo of weeare138
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

thanks to liquidarrogance for this...
Appears a dark brown nearing black with a dark tan head that quickly fades into a mlld tan head that mellows out into a mild floating film and collar. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of roasted grains, ripe fruit, cocoa powder, and light astringency.
Taste is of the aromas with earthy minerals, cocoa, vanilla, and astringent graininess.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, yeasty, astringent, and lip smacking. A mild touch of cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanlla.

Photo of stbfan
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours dark brown with a nice two finger tan head. lots of fizzing.(doesn't retain ead very long.) smells like malts, chocolate, hops. Tastes dark chocolate, bitter, woody, roasted coffee. decnt mouthfeel with a bitter finish. nice delayed alcohol effect. a pretty good offering.

Photo of morebeergood
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Portland Lobster Co. restaurant this past weekend. Dark brown color to the body, almost black. Not as much head as I would have liked to have seen. Nice roasted coffee smell. Taste was a lot like a nice stout, but much more subtle. There was a nice combination of chocolate, cocoa, and roasted barley, but the mouthfeel was a lot more smoother than a normal stout. Also, the abv was in a manageable range, so it was an easy beer to drink. I like this beer because it satisfied the stout lover in me, but hit the spot for a nice dark ale with my meal. A unique offering from Allagash.

Photo of Casey10
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After sitting in my cellar for a year finaly got around to reviewing this .

A- Pours a 1 finger head with lots of bubbles and a dark appearance.

S - Light chocolate notes with a some black liquious as well.

T - For the style it taste like dark belgian candi sugars which is what I believe the brewer is looking for. I like it and rate it high based on that .

M - Has a nice after feel nothing overwhelming but nice and worth the rating.

D - If this is the style that I am looking for I want this. Well done and will have again.

Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,269 ratings.