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Allagash Black - Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash BlackAllagash Black

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2,260 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,260
Reviews: 676
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.89%
Wants: 125
Gots: 333 | 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: 2,260 | Reviews: 676 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alcstradamus
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black pour with a mountain of head. Aroma is dark fruits and heavy spices in the forefront. Earthy hoppiness creeps in along with some dry woodiness, booze, and a citric sting.

The flavor is very dry and woody. Not as much fruit as I anticipated. Spices are also toned down. Some marshmallow and floral hoppiness in the finish. With warming comes a bit more of the fruit, and the Belgian-style construction becomes readily apparent.

The body is on the full side of medium and the carbonation is plentiful and perhaps even a bit excessive.

Drinkability is good. At 7.5%, this is about the perfect strength to enjoy a bomber of. There is enough depth of flavor for enjoyment, but not enough to really wow me. Overall this is a fine beer and one and I would happily drink again.

Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked and caged 750ml bottle poured into a Chimay chalice. Very thick tan head atop an almost black beer. When held to the light I get some deep brown and ruby edges. The head fades slow and leaves a solid ring of lacing on the glass.

A nice roasty sweet aroma, with some licorice and an underlying yeasty character. Taste is roasty at first, with some yeasty earthy notes. Licorice and alcohol dominate the middle. A nice sweetness that is not at all over done. I do not detect any hop flavor, but a mildly bitter finish does come through.

This is a medium bodied ale, not heavy and very easy to drink. A nice smooth mouthfeel throughout, with only a mild carbonation burn at the end.

Really much more of a stout that a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, and I assume this is exactly what Allagash was looking for. Some of the Belgian yeasty character comes through behind the roasty sweetness, and it all works very well together. Recommended.

Photo of champ103
3.46/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown color with some ruby highlights around the edges. A large light tan head rises to about two fingers, but quickly recedes to a ring. Light lace is left behind.
S: Sweet toffee and Belgian yeast. Dank and musky with a metallic twang.
T: Sweet malt flavors. Some toffee and chocolate. Slightly roasted with an acrid coffee flavor.
M/D: A medium to full body. Creamy and smooth. Easy to drink. This is comparatively low on the alcohol for the style, and it makes it that much easier to drink.

Not bad, like most Allagash beers this is very solid. Though, like most Allagash beers this is nothing all that exceptional either. Still very much worth a try.

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

Pours a nice dark color (befitting the name) into a goblet. The head is a soft coffee color. There is only about an inch of head which does not last very long. The aroma is rather pleasant, being full of malts and coffee and toffee. The taste is coffee, malty, and not bad. The mouth feel is thick and rich. Certainly a stout to give a try. While I may not rush out drink this again in the near future, I certainly would not turn it down if offered to me. I hope to taste this beer on tap.

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

pours very dark brown, nearly black, just as the label says...
thick foamy head, leaves a lot of lacing on the way down.

smells of big dark roasted scents, a bit of coffee and chocolate, with some sweeter hints of fruit, corn, and malts.
tastes a little bitter initially, but boy do those toasty flavors come through. sweetness blends perfectly with the coffee and roasted malt flavors. just a hint of alcohol is present, but since this one is much lighter bodied than I expected for its style, I really don't mind.

can't wait to start grilling and try this with some steaks or burgers, I can tell the darker flavors would be great with any grilled beef with BBQ sauce. absolutely worth seeking out.

Photo of cleanneon98
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought a 750ml bottle at Cold Springs in Yardley PA for IIRC $15.

Appearance: nice dark tone, didn't pay much attention to that since I enjoyed drinking it oh so much.

Smell: to me, it smelled like sweet canned corn, it's really unlike any beer I've had before, and I don't mean that in a bad way. Had a strong aroma as soon as I opened the bottle, in fact I liked the smell so much that I didn't wash the bottle for a few weeks after drinking so I could enjoy sniffing it

Taste: much like it's smell, it had a taste of sweet corn. it was my first beer of that kind so I can't compare it to others of similar brew but it was very good for me. Don't think this is a corn smoothie though, it still tastes like a good beer just with hints of corn.

Mouthfeel: don't really remember but it was nothing notably bad so I gave it a 4.5, simply because it's not the notable best that I've ever had.

Drinkability: I realy enjoyed it because of it's unique to me taste. A few friends and I finished the bottle fairly quickly.

Will definately get this again and I suggest you do too!

Photo of ajhod
4.61/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was an unusual and EXCELLENT beer.

Consumed from wine glasses, poured out of a 750ml corked bottle.

Pours, thick and creamy, nice caramel coloured head-which lingers nicely.

Colour is black...as the label suggests...when held to the light, very dark garnet shows around the edges.

Aroma is good, a bit Belgian in characteristic, roasty notes pronounced.

The taste is exceptional. Everything I love about Belgian yeast strains, fruity and wild, with everything i crave in a dark beer-roasted coffee and chocolate notes.

Mouthfeel is heavy, but appropriate considering the high ABV.

Exceptionally drinkable, but high ABV makes it a special occasion beer for me. Excellent with dark chocolate and white chocolate with dried cherries.

Drink this beer after dinner on a cold night with a friend. I can't wait to get back to the US to get more of this!

Photo of mjaskula
4.26/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, batch 15. It is certainly named appropriately, only a hint of red on the edges when held up to the light. The head is thick, dense and tan like a stout. It thins down to a film and laces nicely.

The aroma is faint, dark malts and dark sweet fruits, a little alcohol. Flavor, is also as expected, 'belgian style stout' describes it very well. Dark roasted malts are predominant but not overpowering. The flavor is balanced with a malty fruity sweetness. Chocolate and spices are in the background. Flavor is very smooth and balanced. Carbonation is high. Very drinkable.

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This beer was black in color with a small amount of haze. Nice thick pillowy tan head settles nicely. Great lacing as this beer goes down.

S: Dark ripe fruits, sweet roasted malts, chocolate, and chicory. Hops come at you with an herbal hit and the yeast imparts a very fruity aroma.

T: Sweet roasted malt with a nice blend of candy sugar and chocolate. Balance is on the malt but the hops add some spice and herbal flavors. Fruity esters from yeast in the finish.

M: Medium to full body with crisp carbonation. Some alcohol warmth to this beer.

D: This beer is big on flavor and not real heavy so drinkability was good. Allagash hits this style very well. Another one of their great beers!

Photo of Backer2004
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

mmm boy. Never wanted to spend the $$ on this one, but if I see it again ina store, i'll pay the price. This was part of a beer dinner at the Charlotte Liberty Gastropub. Enjoyed this as part of a second course, with Cocoa Nib Crusted Yellow Fin Tuna with Braised Pork"Sheppard's Pie" and Irish Rose Potato-Herbed Goat Cheese Crust. I'm not sure I undertood the pairing, but by itself, this was world class. Nice subtle fruit notes, very easy to consume, and a solid medium body. Will get this again

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

Just a quick update on Batch 16 I’m enjoying on New Year’s Eve 2011. This has got some age on it, at least a year if not two. The Belgian yeast characteristics are really forward on this one, particularly the aroma. Definitely more of a Belgian Strong Ale with some underlying stout character than a Stout with some Belgian notes.

--- --- --- ---

Original review, February 28, 2010:
50ml bottle, batch #9. Pours very dark brown with a large 2-3 finger foamy and fluffy light brown head. Maintains a small cap and leaves a few clumps of lacing.

Aroma is roasted malts, milk chocolate, some yeast and bread, aroma strength could be better.

Flavor is much stronger, big milk chocolate, dark roasted malts, some coffee, a little yeast, bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is full and smooth from the oats, but also features very lively carbonation, a foamy overall mouthfeel.

Photo of rootbeerman
4.48/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into Duvel tulip

A: pours black, with a huge 3 finger frothy light brown head that laced the glass and held a thin layer for a long time.
S: bitter chocolate, coffee, sweet malt.
T: sweet malt coffee and a sweeter chocolate. a bitter chocolate and sweet aftertaste
M: thick and heavy, coating carbonation is mild.
D: rather easy, find myself taking bigger and bigger sips.

Photo of BeerGodz
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Dark brown, dense frothy tan head with staying power and excellent lacing

Smell: Chocolate, espresso, and subtle cloves

Taste: Up Front: Chocolate, and roasted malts. Finish: Chocolate, spices, and a slight smokiness

Mouthfeel: Medium body, creamy with medium carbonation

Drinkability: Very drinkable and interesting beer

Overall Impression: This is billed as a Belgian Stout, and it delivers. It has the body and mouthfeel of a Begian Ale, with the chocolate/roasted malt/coffee flavors of a stout in addition to some subtle flavors associated with Belgians. Yet another winner from Allagash!

Photo of Pahn
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a cask at Bukowski's, Cambridge, MA.

Appearance: Huge, thick 1.5 inch head that sticks around forever and leaves lacing everywhere. Beer is mostly solid black with auburn highlights at the edges. Lacing up and down the glass.

Smell: Some orange, clove, and Belgian yeast. Pretty subdued.

Taste: Really smooth and creamy. Perfectly balanced. Belgian yeast blends with the subdued esters, spice, mild smokiness and chocolate notes, and occasional tickle of carbonation.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy, and medium bodied.

Drinkability: Excellent. The balance is amazing, the ABV nowhere to be detected, and the feel smooth and never overwhelmingly rich or heavy.

For me, this beer was meant for a cask. The flavor is bright and spicy enough not to be dulled into too-rich thickness. The balance you end up getting from the taste is sublime.

Photo of mdfb79
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 2/13/10 notes. Had at Max's Belgian Beer Fest in Baltimore, MD.

a - Poured a pitch black color that lets no light through.

s - Smells strongly of chocolate, as well as yeast and some spice. Very interesting mix

t - Tastes of chocolate, sweet and roasted malts. Tastes more like a stout than it smelled.

m - Medium body but I was surprised; it was much lighter than I thought it was going to be. No carbonation.

d - Overall I enjoyed this quite a bit. The smell was a very interesting Stout/Belgian mix, and the taste was more of a stout, even though it was surprisingly light. Pretty good and I'd definitely try it again.

Photo of MCartyNH
3.66/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

AR: Yeast Spice/Clove, Slight Roast.

AP: Brown, Very Clean, Nice Tan Head (Short Lived).

F: Light Smoke, Yeast Clove and Slight Roast. Mild Fruit with Increased Temp.

M: Very Light & Highly Carbonated, Slight Bitter Linger.

O: Not bad, but I was expecting a bit more complexity for a Dark Belgian Ale. This is certainly a drinkable beer, though, I am more interested in trying the barrel aged version when I see it.
I would probably buy it again. ($11 in NH)

Photo of BeerNinja007
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL cork+crown bottle poured into a chilled pint glass. Bottle stamped with batch #15.

Beautiful rocky taupe head, decent retention, condenses into larger bubbles as it settles. Pretty dark, but against a light it becomes murky brown with orange highlights. Smells of yeast, banana, silage and raw grains, burnt sugar, melon, clove, hardwood smoke. Taste is much darker than the smell and not as complicated. Hardwood smoke, bitter chocolate, tad of cinnamon and clove, some very subtle yeasty fruitiness. Finishes with clove, lingering smoke, and a pinch of lemon rind. Nice and smooth, has a bit of a starchy raw grain feel. Appropriate carbonation. Alcohol only mildly apparent.

Smell and taste develop interestingly as it airs and warms. I find myself adding aspects to my description as it intensified. Very enjoyable.

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

750ml bottle poured into a sniffer.

A: Black black black liquid with a large, fluffy dense light brown head that took its time receding into a thick film.
S: Hints of licorice, yeast, bread with some roasted notes. Not particularly smelly. Some faint boozy notes come out as it warms.
T: Toasted oats, coffee, dark chocolate, raisins, sour notes, caramel malt, bread dough and some underlying sweet sugary tones. Some almost porter like ambiguous fruit flavors come through as well.
M: Medium body with a more tingly carbonation than other stouts. Has a decent amount of syrupy thickness to it. Slight alcohol warmth in the finish.
D: Not half bad. My first Belgium style stout. Similar to other stouts but a bit more porter like. This wasn't my favorite stout but there was certainly nothing wrong with it. I'd recommend giving it try.

Photo of DNICE555
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chalice of this interesting beer at the B. Never had a Belgian style stout before. Was almost like a porter. Not my favorite but was happy I got to try it.

A - Deep dark brown to black in color.

S - Belgian yeast, chocolate, roasted malts.

T - A yeasty roasted malt with notes of chocolate.

M - Pretty well balanced. More carbonation that most stouts I've had.

D - A bit light and on the thin side for me. When I want a stout I want something with body and a thick mouth feel. I feel like this would be a nice beginner stout

Photo of Shumista
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared a 750 ml bottle. Poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours thinner than I expected. Black with mahogany highlights, off-white head.

S- Subtle aroma. Roasted malts, sour dark fruits.

T- Typical roasty stout profile with a belgian sourness to it. Pretty unique. Unfortunately some sips I get a bit of a metallic taste that is not very pleasant.

M- Thinner than most stouts, highly carbonated.

D- Pretty drinkable beer. Interesting enough that it doesn't get boring but low enough alcohol content that you aren't trashed after a pint.

Overall an interesting belgian take on a familiar style.

Photo of Timmush
3.43/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

nice taste but the first thing I thought about was how boring this was. It was a typical stout. I can think of 5 others that are less expensive that have much more flavor. When my wife tastes it and says "its not bad" I know it is mild.
This was a let down.

Photo of saccro
3.86/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - dark mahogany. ruby highlights. nice lasting head that clings to glass.

S - Belgian phenolic aromatics. Sweet crystal aroma. No much in the way of hops. Slight black olive aroma. Maybe a little nail polish. Very apply. I'm not getting much "stout". No coffee roastiness. Chocolate perhaps.

T - didn't expect the taste from the aroma. Very chocolately. Like chocolate covered apples. Really nice clean malt profile. Slight bitterness at the end. Chocolate is the main component here.

M - the mouthfeel is amazing. Really smooth and creamy.

D - I was skeptical from the aroma, but the flavor is very nice. More "porter" than "stout"

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

Enjoyed and reviewed on 1/29/10.
Poured from 750 mL bottle into pint glass (yeah, not ideal, but I had no other glassware on vacation).
A: Pours a nice black (no light comes through with backlighting) with 1/2 to 1 inch creamy tan frothy head. Very nice for style.
S: Can smell this several feet away. A wonderful mix of dark dried fruit and belgium spices. Hint of yeast. Definitely a belgian here. With warming, more of the stout comes through with a toasted and roasted malt note.
T: Here there is more balance of belgian and stout. Dry toasted malt with caramel malt, belgian spice, yeast, and dark dried fruit. Although I love the two styles by themselves, when they come together here there is a bit of a clash (note: I love both stouts and belgians, so perhaps my expectations were set too high). Good complexity though and nice experimentation. With warming, dry dark chocolate comes through.
M: Starts more belgian--medium body, smooth--with a finish more stout-like--light and dry.
D: Very drinkable and good complexity. What I would imagine if a good dry irish stout was mixed with a darker belgian brew. Seek it out if you are a fan of either--or especially both--styles. Good sessionability.

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

Split a 750 mL 3 ways. reviewed 1/23/2009.

Ar: Dark fruit, oak, powdery floral, roast, alcohol, light metallic, burnt sugars, molasses

Ap: coarse tan head 1", great retention, black

F: roast, chocolate, lingering dark toast, dark fruit, clean coffee roast, dark toasted malt, plum, raisin, molasses, dark toffee, prune, clean hop bitterness

M: high carbonation, thin, toasty end, warming alc

O: solid beer, good roast/toast balance

Photo of TKEbeerman
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Tulip

A: Decided to go out on a limb and pour this dark brew into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip. Definitely the darkest beer ever poured into this glass. Allagash Black pours black (duh), but not an RIS, light extinguishing black, with a beautifully thick sandy brown head. The head dissipates rather fast and leaves little evidence behind.

S: The nose of this beer falls way, way short of it's appearance. No hop prescience at all, the aroma is relevant to that of a brown ale. Nutty, and light roasted notes are present.

T: Not much Belgium in the taste. The taste resembles a porter rather then a stout. Light roasted malt, a little smokiness in the finish, and light hints of cappuccino. Delightful, yet not very bold.

M: Just about the only thing Belgium about this brew is the mouth feel. Excellently crafted, supremely smooth, and very full and ample. Would have liked a bit more carbonation, however this is a mouth feel that compliments the beer's flavor profile and aroma.

D: Smooth and easy on the pallet. This is a great beer to start the night off with, or to just wind down after a long day at work.

Over all I would re-label this beer as Allagash Black Belgium feeling American Porter. This beer is worth the try, but a $14.99 for a 750mL, I'm gonna shy away from buying this one again for a while.

Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,260 ratings.