1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Allagash Black - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash BlackAllagash Black

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,293 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,293
Reviews: 685
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.89%
Wants: 128
Gots: 352 | 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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 2,293 | Reviews: 685
Photo of MirImage
4.51/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

Photo of mtnbikerpa
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Photo of Smokee
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
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

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.

Photo of Jayli
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Photo of johncampbell
2.81/5  rDev -30.4%
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.

Photo of whoneeds8
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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.

Photo of terrapinfan88
4.2/5  rDev +4%
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.

Photo of ams0286
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
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!

Photo of TheKingofWichita
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black color with a thick white head and a generous ton of lacing. Smells of dark fruits such as figs, plums, and even prunes with sweet malts. Tastes of figs and plums, sweet malts, sweet chocolate, toffee and caramel. Mouthfeel is thick and satisfying. Drinkability is really great.

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

More brown than black as it pours but in the glass it appears darker. It builds a thick 3-finger head that does not stick around as long as I'd like. Still the retention of the 1/2" remnant is pretty darn good.

So much Belgian yeast "funk" that not much else comes through, but keep at it and you'll get some dark fruit. It pretty much smells more like a dubbel than a stout...even if it is a Belgian one.

Dark fruits continue into the taste, but they're restrained. It's now that more of a stout element comes through as roasted malts take the forefront. You even get some milk chocolate. The finish is dry with a touch of spice...pepper.

Most Belgian stouts I've had have a creamier mouthfeel, this is a bit thinner than that. The spicy, dray finish makes for a nice aftertaste. That allows for some easy drinking.

Photo of StaveHooks
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - A dense off- white heads sets on top of a jet blacked body.

S - Fresh woody malt. Spicy Belgain yeast esters. Fresh green coffee beans. Sweetened dark chocolate.

T - Sweet dark chocolate malt, sour agave, over ripened apples, roasted grain, sweetened coffee, golden raisins. Has a roasted oat finish. Velvety smooth.

Very complex. You could drink this 10 times and not figure out everything. Just a well crafted brew. The elegant body matches the complex flavors. This is a world class beer.

Photo of ToasterChef
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on cask at the Great Lost Bear; poured into a 13.5 oz tulip glass.

This beer looks more like a stout than a strong dark ale. The liquid is black (how surprising!) with a tan foam head. As the beer is consumed, even foam lacing is left behind.

The beer has a really good roasted malt aroma. There are some charred wood scents that remind me of a campfire. There is also some sweetness; I think smells like candied dark fruits.

Interesting flavor. I can taste some licorice & black jelly bean flavors. This may sound bad to some, but I am the kind of person who avoids black jelly beans at all costs, but this beer tastes good. It doesn't have the harshness of licorice that I don't enjoy. A brown sugar sweetness is apparent in the finish, and it lingers. A coffee bitterness is present throughout each sip, but is more focused immediately as the beer hits my tongue, and comes back after I swallow.

This is an interesting beer to have cask'd. It retains its full body, but has very low carbonation. It gives it a viscous feeling I don't remember getting from the regular draft or bottled versions. I really enjoy it, but I can see non-cask ale fans not liking these qualities.

I think this is pretty drinkable, but maybe not as much as the bottled version is. I can see myself finishing an entire 750ml bottle, but I'll be fine with just one glass of the cask'd variety. I would recommend trying this one if you saw it available, especially if you're a fan of Allagash.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev +2%
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.

Photo of flannelman808
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown with just a little bit of light that peeks through the corner. This one is topped with a light tan colored foam which retains fairly well. Tightly packed bubbles, not very much lacing.

S: Spice from the belgian yeast I'm sure as well as a chocolate note.

T: Nice interplay between the bitter dark chocolate I would expect from a stout and the spice I want from a belgian strong dark.

M: carbonic

D: High

Photo of aepb1
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Big off-white/tannish head, very dark body

S- Vanilla/caramel sweet malts

T- Smoked dark flavor and I get some rich sweet raisins too. There's a lot going on here. I do get the vanilla caramel in here too as it warms up a bit. I really enjoy the complexity

M- Smooth with a heavy body

D- I could sip on this all night long!

Photo of malthegal
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a rich dark, nearly jet black hue. Beautiful foamy off-white head. Excellent lacing.

S: Vanilla and caramel aroma is what I picked up the most, also hints of dark fruits.

T: A very balanced interplay of vanilla and cocoa, a medley oat and I taste a slight hint of anise. A very slight residual bitterness, but none to speak of initially in your sip.

M: Velvety smooth and creamy, very effortless flow as it hits all of your tastebuds.

D: Exceptional, I could definitely drink more than one.

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

A - Minimal to no head, pitch black, oil colored, and NO carbonation that I can see.

S - Lots of expresso, black licorise, and anise.

T - Has a smoked dark chocolate flavor, dark molasses, very slight touch of vanilla. Has some breadiness to the taste also.

M - Velvet smooth, no carbonartion on the tongue, heavy medium body,

D - Good, but couldn't do more than one.

Photo of SuperSpy
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a Chimay glass.

Pours a great head. Tan, big, lots of staying power and tons of lace. The beer is pitch black. Can't even see through it when I hold it up to the light. The first smell is coffee, currants and charcoal followed by sweet roasted malts. The beer velvety smooth and delicious. The flavor has everything that was in the aroma and then some. All of the dark and roasted flavors are accompanied by hints of vanilla and dark fruits. This beer is amazing and right now I'm regretting that I gave my half the other half of the bottle.

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

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue VI:

What's that saying? Once you go Belgian you never go back. Or was it black? What the hell, let's hit two birds with one bottle. Big, bubbly tan froth with excellent head retention and lacing on the glass. A shade or two away from pitch black. The aroma ranges from charcoal to dried black currants, from earthy yeast to a mild herbal phenol. A complex nose for sure. Bold crispness and very smooth with a slick medium body. Maltiness is semidry and extremely complex; the silky sweetness from the oats and the graininess meld well with a mild charcoal flavor. Layers of light vanilla, faint anise and cocoa powder come to mind. More charred flavor hits the palate with dark baker's chocolate and espresso. Modest hopping and a warming alcohol help to balance and add their own complex layers. Sort of a semidry mocha finish.

A top pick for the style, and with each sip Black is turning into our current favorite from Allagash.

Photo of bgildea
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice thick brown color with a thick tan head. Left a good amount of lacing.

S: Nice aroma typical of a Belgian style brew.

T: Very nice sweet flavor that balances well with the beers slight bitterness. A good set of earthy flavors -nuts, barley, malts, with just a slight hint of hops at the end and also a nice smokey flavor. Very nice.

M: A real nice thick beer. Great amount of chew. It definitely delivered.

D: A very drinkable beer. Very great beer, so I wouldnt mind putting back a few more of these.

Overall: Overall the beer was very good. If delivered on all fronts. I would highly recommend this beer to ANY beer drinker. Well done.

Photo of bobsy
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with a finger of creamy tan head that leaves lacing in sheets. Another Belgian style stout, and another great looking beer, this time from an American brewer! Light roast malts on the nose don't cream stout, but combine with esters and spice to create a smooth and subdued aroma. In an ideal world I'd amp it up a little at this point.

In the flavour, coffee notes lead off before being hauled down by some wonderfully smooth chocolate, a dash of dark fruit and a spicy finish with cloves and aniseed. Sweet up front with a dry and bitter finish that betrays none of the 7.5% alcohol listed on the label. Moderate mouthfeel with a medium-low carbonation that seemed appropriate and blended nicely with the smoothness of the flavours.

In the battle of North American takes on the Belgian Stout style, I'd still pick Ommegang for its refined dusty cocoa flavour, but this is a damn close race, and Allagash have made another excellent beer. My only complaint is that the nose could do with a bit more zip, as it lest down an otherwise impeccable brew.

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.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,293 ratings.