1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Allagash Black - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash BlackAllagash Black

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,134 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,134
Reviews: 661
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 112
Gots: 261 | FT: 6
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Allagash Black Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,134 | Reviews: 661 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jdhilt
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a three-finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Totally black color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Roasted coffee nose. Flavor is roasted coffee with a slight sweet background, burnt coffee finish. Nice Belgian stout. Pricey at $13.00 for a 750ml bottle from a Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, ME.

jdhilt, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of neenerzig
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review here being written from notes as I drank this over 2 months ago now while on vacation in Boston visiting my sister. Served to me in a tulip glass. This beer is a dark brown, almost black color. Nice tan head about 1/4 inch thick when served. Good staying power. Sets to a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass. Decent lace. Aromas of bitter coffee and dark chocolate notes filled my nostrils. The taste is the same along with slightly roasted malt, a trace of hops, and a bit of caramel rounding this beer's flavors out. Gets a bit more bitter as it starts to warm up. Has a smooth, frothy, full bodied mouthfeel with light to moderate carbonation. Easy to drink. I believe the establishment where I had this beer listed it as being a stout on their beer menu, and based on the heavy coffee and chocolate notes of this beer I can understand how easily they could have made a mistake. this beer is unlike any other Belgian Strong Dark Ale I have ever had before, and I have had quite a few of them. A good beer here.

Eric

neenerzig, Dec 26, 2008
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 7/11/08. Bottle. Pours black with a small ring of tan head. Aroma of roast, coffee, and sweet roasted malt. Flavor of lots of coffee and roasted malt, some peanut brittle and roasted nuts. A nice body- very rich, silky, smooth, and creamy. So drinkable for a stout. Quite enjoyable. I would like to see more Belgian characteristics in this one however.
7/4/8/5/14 (3.8/5)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of beer2day
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged 1 year in the beer fridge.

Pours very dark with a thick head, leaving faint lacing on my snifter.

Roasted chocolate nose that grows sweeter and fruitier as the beer warms. Initial hit is very roasty with a chocolate finish. Some fruitiness in between, tasting of plums and prunes.

Mouthfeel is very smooth. I was expecting a little more thickness from the appearance, but seems about right for the style.

Overall, a good one-timer.

beer2day, Dec 19, 2008
Photo of bruachan
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

stuff's dark. and the head proportionally poofy.

from said poof emanates figs, smoke, floral hop, coffee, coriander and a hint of heat

the belgian character is generally subdued (visit Trinity brewpub for a super belgian stout). big woody hop flavor and bitterness, very deeply roasty, with even a touch of astringency. the mouthfeel also come across as fairly smooth (which i see might be attributable to oats). the truth is that the flavor seems a little underwhelming: stouts and belgians are of the richest and most dynamic styles, yet their brood seems a little peaked. tasty, no doubt, but perhaps a warmer fermentation would have helped

ok, so it's roasty and spicy and belgiany and minimallyfruity and hoppy. tasty, but i feel it could be better

bruachan, Dec 15, 2008
Photo of popery
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A sweet and complex beer that ends up trying a bit too hard. I guess I was just expecting more out of it. I'd seen it in stores, and the price tag made me stay away but also secretly harbor a strong desire. When I stopped in at Toronado last night (my first time but definitely not my last) and saw it on tap, I jumped at the chance to try it without putting out for a whole bottle. It came in a proper tulip and looked pretty good. First, let me say that I'm not sure how to compare it to other Belgian Strong Darks. This beer has clearly been handled with extreme care and lots of fancy ingredients no doubt have been used.

Back to the review. The beer is a very dark brown with little head. I prefer a somewhat lighter color for the style but again this beer does not seem to be trying to compete with classic Belgian Strong Darks and certainly looks nice in the glass. The smell is sweet but well-balanced. You can certainly smell the Belgian candy sugars. There are notes of vanilla, oak and earthy Belgian yeasts. It's a refined scent but not exactly my cup of tea at this point in my tasting life. I can imagine warming to this beer in time. The taste gives further signs of the care put into the beer. This beer certainly spent some time in fine casks. There are a lot of understated sweet notes and both rich chocolatey malt and perfectly balanced hops. However, it just doesn't quite add up for me. It's too sweet and too refined. It doesn't help that the feel is so light. I don't think anything about this beer is unintentional, so I'll just put it down to difference in taste. I'm sure that the most people will enjoy this beer and it would certainly make a good gift. It's a bit like a good dessert wine. I just don't happen to be a fan of that kind of thing. I aspire to like it even more, but this is my review for now.

popery, Dec 05, 2008
Photo of magictrokini
3.15/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown, almost black. Foamy, cascading brown head. Pleasant aroma of vanilla, anise, chocolate malt, oak, and a kind of yeasty funkiness. Watery mouthfeel in terms of a stout. Some roasted malt and chocolate, but no coffee, bittersweet chocolate, or smokiness. Instead, there is the fruity-yeasty tastes one would expect from a dubbel. Anise, molasses, and some prune flavors come out when it warms. I hate saying this, but an overall disappointment.

magictrokini, Dec 04, 2008
Photo of ccrida
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into my Delirium snifter, Black is black, with a dense tan head that leaves heavy lace.

Smell is deep, dark fruit, milk chocolate, roasty, a berry like vinousness.

Taste is very rich and complex. Boozy roast, nice dark fruit esters, oaky notes, minty hop snap, fantastic balance, wow, I'm really impressed. A true masterpiece. As it opens, the esters really come out and say the balance from the stout to the Belgian side, getting better and better with every sip. I think this is a saison yeast , I love the fruits. Not sure I've given many, if any other beers a 5, to style primarily or otherwise, out of over 800.

Mouthfeel is exceptional, very silky smooth, great viscosity.

Drinkability is high, in that this is a fantastic beer. With exceptional depth, it's not one to drink with anything but a revered appreciation. Tempered by its limited availability and price, it's nevertheless absolutely worth seeking out. A benchmark for the style.

ccrida, Dec 01, 2008
Photo of Pamola
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this at the Great Lost Bear along with a few other Belgians in a flight. Never had this on tap before, let alone from a cask.

A: Small fairly white head, pretty darn opaque brew. Black as night.

S: Mellow cask scent. not much of a belgian twang to it but a good deal of chocolate and roast malt.

T: Incredible. Light in front from the cask aging. Chocolate, plum, slight belgian yeast note.

M: Medium Body. Slightly silky.

D: I prefer this one from the bottle. It seems like the cask steals too much of the body on this one.

Pamola, Nov 29, 2008
Photo of corby112
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the South Philadelphia Taproom in Philadelphia, PA.

Pours a dark black color with a foamy beige head. Aroma of roasted malt, chocolate, toast, coffee and toffee. Full bodied and smooth with loads of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee and sugar cane. Dry bitter finish.

corby112, Nov 28, 2008
Photo of bifrostguard
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Black with a light tan head.

S - Yeasty, coffee, chocolate and spice.

T - Yeast is the first thing that catches my attention. Chocolate and spice soon follow. Not bad.

M - Medium bodied.

D - Although I thought this was good, I'm not sure I could drink more than one without thinking about switching to something else.

bifrostguard, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of kasper
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark chocolate with a foamy tan head, lilly pad lacing sticks on the glass.

S: Aromas of chewing gum sweetness (from the belgian yeast), sweet milk chocolate, tad of spiciness.

T: Flavors are much of the same, dominated by belgian candy sugars, milky chocolate, tad of dried dark fruit.

M: Well carbonated, bit velvety but not all the way there. Medium bodied.

D: I've been warming up to this (especially after the last flood of casks into Manhattan). I find it pretty drinkable. I could have more than one.

kasper, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of hopdog
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.

Poured a medium to deeper brown color with a huge (5+ finger) sized head. Aromas of roast, chocolate, some coffee grounds, tobbaco and smoke. Tastes of roast, tobbaco, chocolate, and coffee. Body on the thinner side.

Notes from 5/17/08

hopdog, Nov 19, 2008
Photo of nick76
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is almost salty with chocolate, coffee and toasted malt. The appearance is dark brown with a nice large head. The flavor is like the aroma and bitter. The palate is smooth. Overall interesting but not great considering the brewer. I would drink again but still not what I was expecting.

nick76, Nov 13, 2008
Photo of Douglas88
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle thanks to hopscotch. Pours a mostly black color with some red edges. A thick light brown head. The aroma is very nice; a sweet and rich fruity malt. Also some yeast, coffee and light milk chocolates. The flavor was excellent; toasted malts, rich chocolates, some sweet dark fruits, a bit of yeast, and a slight bitter coffee bean and hops. A excellent mouthfeel; rich and creamy. Just a great beer. I drank the 750 with ease, and wanted more.

Douglas88, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of pwoods
3.33/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml corked and caged brown bottle, purchased at The Root Cellar, poured into a Chimay chalice. No dating.

A: Pours a nearly solid black with just a scratch of light on the edges when backlit. 1ish finger worth of khaki colored head forms somewhat creamy but a bit frothy at the same time. Decent retention and lacing.

S: Soft notes of deeply roasted malts... odd that such a robust aroma can be soft. Definitely a bit of char. Some sweetness from either burnt caramel sugar or burn molasses. Some light alcohol accompanied by light Euro hops. A touch of spicy yeast rounds things out.

T/M: Alcohol is pretty assertive for only 7.5% especially through the finish where it's pushing a flat out raw feel. Lots of deeply roasted or burnt malts... plenty of char and soot, maybe even a wisp of smoke. Very controlled sweetness in the back, burnt black strap. Hops are a bit more present and lend some oily resins to the alcohol and brings out some bitterness to a very soft super dark chocolate prick in the back. The Belgian yeast is tasty and nearly a saving grace. Body is nearly full and lightly cut by the tiny carbonation bubbles.

D: Not bad but it definitely pales in comparison to other great Belgian Strong Stouts like Black Albert and Bolshoi. 7.5% isn't extremely high, especially for the style but the alcohol is quite present and makes this drink like a much stronger beer.

pwoods, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sold to me by Peanut at the Dilly Deli. I'm toasting him tonight with hopes for his speedy recovery from a recent spill on the ol' two-wheeler.

Appearance - after unwiring the cage, one twist of the cork was all the encouragement it needed to pop off. Whew, one of the few corked bottles I've had where the cage was actually necessary. Pours a dark cola red. It has two fingers of mocha foam which fade back quickly but have a smooth semi-creamy appearance. The head maintains a thin but full cover and puts some occasional but thick pieces of lacing on the glass.

Aroma - powdery grain smell, some Belgian yeast/farmy bit, but really not much of that.

Taste - good roasted grains on the Black, the sweetness is well done, reminding me of thin chocolate milk. Coffee notes on the swallow, good stuff! Just a touch of the Belgian yeast, some vague fruitiness happening generally towards the front of the palate. The swallow has just a touch of finishing hops, it could just as easily be a bit of char from the malt too. Finishes warm with more coffee and chocolate syrup notes, an occasional estery burp in there.

Mouthfeel - average weight I think. Pretty crisp, does the beer well.

Drinkability - one of the more drinkable Belgians I've had, that it's fashioned into a stout-like style certainly helps. Thanks for the recommendation, Peanut, here's to your quickly restored good health my friend.

brewdlyhooked13, Nov 08, 2008
Photo of AltBock
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Corked and caged 750ml bottle that has a simple black label with "Allagash" in gray letters and everything else in white letters. To the far left of the label is the barcode and Government warning. To the far right is a 1-800 number, deposit prices, pouring instructions, proper glassware, and a batch #. Mine was batch #4 which means that it's from early 2008.

Appearance: The label said it should be poured into a wide mouth glass, so I poured it into a Chimay Chailse. It can't get any more wider than that. This 'black" Belgian stout actually poured a black color. It wasn't as thick and black like crude oil, but it did pour a solid midnight black color. Sitting on top of this black brew was a fluffy 3/4 of an inch head of foam. The color of this head wasn't tan or mocha. It was little bit of both. This multi colored head of foam had great retention that left behind a small film, spotty rings, and few spots of lace around the glass.

Smell: It wasn't overflowing with aromas, but it was still pretty good and interesting. The aroma was lightly chocolately with Belgian milk chocolate, a subtle hint of roasted malts, a few roasted coffee beans, and then this chocolately aroma finishes up with a small whiff of sweet and dried yeast. I thought it was interesting because the chocolate had sweet and dried yeast backing it up. You don't encounter that very often.

Taste: I like my Stouts chewy, roasted, robust, and with a ton of dark roasted flavors. This Stout had some of those qualities. It was still chocolately with roasted coffee beans, like it was in the aroma, but it was in the taste where they increased the roasted coffee and kept the chocolate where it was. Behind the roasted coffee beans and Belgian milk chocolate was a small hint of dark roasted malts, a quick splash of plum, a drop of sweet yeast, and then ends on a slightly hoppy finish with bitter citrus hops. There was a very little hop profile like a good Stout should have. I have to give to Allagash for making an interesting and delicious chocolately beer.

Mouthfeel: This Stout was medium bodied with a low level of carbonation and features a light chocolately aftertaste of Belgian milk chocolate, a dab of roasted malts, a splash of sweet caramel, and plenty of roasted coffee beans.This chocolately aftertaste doesn't last too long. It comes in for a second and then it's gone in a flash.

Drinkability: A nice expensive chocolately unique Belgian Stout. I liked all the Belgian chocolates and roasted coffee beans in this beer, but I think the hefty price tag hurts the drinkability. Is it worth it? If you got the cash, then give it a try.

AltBock, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of markwise
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark brownish-black with a strong cocoa nib/ chocolate aroma. It has a tan head and a flavor of cocoa, earth, licorice, and some hop bitterness. Good Belgian-style stout with a nice lingering semi-hoppy, coffee bitterness in the finish.

markwise, Oct 30, 2008
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Comes out of the tap a deep opaque sable with a fairly thick tan head - very appetizing. Aroma is like well-roasted mocha and has just a hint of caramel. Flavor is rich and "stouty" - smoky with strong coffee and unsweetened chocolate components - and has just a touch of sweetness. Finish is smooth and very pleasing. A winner!

Cyberkedi, Oct 26, 2008
Photo of Kendo
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #4, consumed on 9-13-08.

A: Poured into an Augustijn chalice, there's a .5-finger beige-ish/tan head over a black body. Head shrinks a little, but retains well as a foamy dollop in the middle.

S: Roasted malt is noticeable from 2 feet away. As I get closer it's roasted coffee beans and a decent waft of chocolate.

T: Follows the nose, more or less: roasted malt, roasted coffee -- hazelnut coffee, I think, with a bit of nuttiness in there somewhere -- roasted grains and a hint of chocolate. Finishes clean and dry, however, in spite of all those malt flavors in the profile. Got a taste of something metallic at first towards the back of the mouth, but after awhile either it went away or I got used to it and no longer noticed it.

M: Nice feel to this one -- smooth with a good fizziness on the palate that helped it to finish clean and dry. I'd call it medium in weight.

D: Very good. Nice flavors with a nice balance between roasted malt-type tastes and that dry finish.

Kendo, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of radshoesbro
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Somehow before I drank this I thought it was a stout. It's definitely not one!
Pours a nice dark with a creamy look head. Medium malts and hops with a twinge of alcohol sweetness to it. This isn't really something I'd go out of my way to get ahold of, but if offered it I'd be a little happier.

radshoesbro, Oct 19, 2008
Photo of evanackerman
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

beer pours a dark black with a big head, head retention is excellent.

aroma: beer is described on bottle as a Belgian style Stout and that is probably the best way to describe the aroma, Belgian characteristic aroma along with roasted malt.

taste is dry roasted malt and slight bittering hops, toasted malt dominates,

mouthfeel, this is where this beer differs greatly from american stouts, beer is highly effervescent similar to a Tripel, pretty interesting.

overall, an interesting if slightly underwhelming brew, nothing wrong with it at all but nothing worth seeking out again either.

evanackerman, Oct 04, 2008
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from C&C .750L to a pint glass the liquid is close to black and nicely carbonated. The head is tall, light and tan, it fades fast leaving some lace.

The smell is ok, lightly roasty with a faint but noticeable Belgian yeast.

The taste follows, a nice roasty malt, mild hops try to bring balance and of coarse the Belgian yeast and a bit of light breadiness and some fruit notes.

The mouthfeel is ok, not thick but perhaps more carbonated then I would like.

The drinkability is ok, A fine brew and good example of the style, but not quite what I look for. Prosit MK

MuenchenerKindl, Sep 22, 2008
Photo of nickd717
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black with a small tan head. Thick appearance.

S - Roasted malts (chocolate?), coffee, and Belgian yeast. Nice mix of typical stout and Belgian aromas.

T - Excellent. Roasted malts and coffee, mild dark fruits, and some Belgian yeast.

M - Not quite as thick as I expected, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Creamy and smooth.

D - Very drinkable for a stout. I could definitely down a few of these.

nickd717, Sep 21, 2008
Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,134 ratings.