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Allagash Black | Allagash Brewing Company

708 Reviews
For Trade:
Allagash BlackAllagash Black

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

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.

Added by Bassetdawg on 12-14-2007

User Reviews
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Reviews: 708 | Ratings: 2,552
Photo of tillmac62
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

BOD 156/14. Pours almost black with a quite a bit of dark ruby. Normal head with above normal lacing and retention. Light nose of chocolate, Belgian yeast, candi sugar and hints of dark fruit and roast. Medium bodied with a nice slick texture that hints at creaminess. Above normal carbonation with effervescence in the middle and finish. The excellent flavor profile is of reasonable intensity, quite complex and exceptionally balanced. It begins with semisweet dark chocolate over a very mild roast character. As the effervescent middle begins, the chocolate fades to candi sugar sweetness and more of the roast character is noted. As this sweetness fades, dark fruit notes come to the forefront. The finish is smooth, but has dry characteristics, and a bit of hop flavor and bitterness in addition to hints of coffee. A slight dark chocolate note lingers. The alcohol (7.5%) is totally hidden.

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Photo of EHopkinsi
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip pint and consumed 13 November 2014.

Look- Pours a deep chocolate brown, no head, no lacing, not especially thick but has a syrupy look to it. Nice.

Smell- Earthy malts, and hops. Anise?

Taste- Good stuff; rich malt, chocolate notes, a hint of spices, and that hint of anise from the nose shows up now and then. Hops in adequate quantity to keep malts in check but not a hop-heavy beer.

Feel- A little thin, but not bad at all. Not a ton of carbonation, but that works well for this beer. It has kind of a paradoxical "thin syrup" thing going on.

Overall- a distinctive beer with neat tastes and feel working for it.

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Dark brown with a one-finger head that quickly settles
S: A nice mix of roasted malt, cocoa and hops
T: Matches the nose; balanced
M: Medium-bodied, smooth
O: Clean, tasty and balanced as I find most Allagash beers to be

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter from a 12 ounce bottle.

The pour produces a finger and a half of frothy, chewy-looking, oatmeal-colored head. This sits over a pitch-black body with trickles of carbonation. There's light lacing. 4.25

Floral notes blend with chocolatey and dark roasted malt aromas. Sweet, creamy caramel and yeast also add to the medley. 4.25

Floral, slightly fruity, like dark fruit, flavors begin, before leading to sweet vanilla and caramel, which leads to a dark, almost tobacco-like flavor. 4

This brew is highly effervescent, highly bitter at the finish, and quite dry. There are creamy elements and moments of smoothness, which help balance the strong bitterness. 3.75

This is a tasty brew somewhat undermined by the aggressive bitterness. 4

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Photo of Jeffo
3.22/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Mom & dad grabbed this for me while in the US a while back. Cheers guys!

From a bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Very clear brown and transparent pour yields a 2 ½ finger, foamy, creamy white head with good retention. Head fades to a foamy cap. Dark brown body with no real carbonation evident. Rather light in color for a stout called “black.” Clear with ruby hues around the edges. A splotchy wisp remains leaving dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Lightly roasted notes, spicy yeast, cloves, some dark fruit and aromas of brown sugar.

TASTE: Very much a strong dark ale with some roasted malts thrown in for fun. Roasted malts, dark, sweet fruits and brown sugar up front, with finish of spicy yeast and cloves. Medium and lingering aftertaste of spicy yeast, sweet dark fruits and brown sugar, as well as some lightly roasted notes. Flavorful, sweet and spicy as well. Enjoyable, though not really a Belgian stout.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes dry. Some spiciness lingers. Good feel.

OVERALL: This is labeled a Belgian style stout and is called Black, but this is certainly more of a Belgian strong dark ale and is more ruby and brown in color. Not all that great of a stout, even for a Belgian stout, but a decent strong dark ale. Glad to have tried it, but wouldn’t need to drink it again per se. Thanks again for the beers guys!

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Photo of garymuchow
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A sweet and spicy phenolic aroma masked a bit by the huge tan head over a dark red body.
Clear coffee flavor in a belgian drink is unique and takes a bit to get used to. Nice dryness on the tongue with more hints of the roast lingering. The "stout" flavors intermingle with laid back beglian flavors of phenols, spice and yeast. Interesting mix. Good feel, soft and heavy.
Not great, but interesting.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured into HF wine Stem.

Appearance: light black bodied beer with mahogany brown hue when held up to light. Thick and foamy khaki head that is easily 2 fingers tall. Lots of lacing on the side of the glass. The head has great staying power as well.

Smell: light to medium roast and bittersweet chocolates. Fairly yeasty in a good way. You can tell it has that signature "Allagash" smell about it.

Taste: light roast and also slightly toasty. Semi-sweet chocolate mixes with cocoa flavors delivering a lot of chocolate flavor. Hint of dark fruits and a hint of anise. Hint of meaty smoke. A slight hint of Allagash yeast(spicy and fruity notes) show up in the finish and its in just the right proportions to make this stout interesting without having too much Belgian influence.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. This stout has a really creamy mouthfeel. Slight booze kick too that is welcomed.

Overall: Allagash labels this beer as a Belgian stout on the label and I reviewed it as such(I didnt review this as a Belgian strong dark ale). I am not a huge fan of Belgian stouts, but this Belgian stout by Allagash is among the best that I have drank. This is a complex and layered beer with a fantastic mouthfeel.

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Photo of mattbk
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful looking. Black as night with just a touch of brown at the bottom of the glass, nice thick white head.
S: Hmm. I don't always love the combo of belgian yeast and roasted malts. This is featuring both, but in a nice way, both present but in balance.
T: More roast then belgian, but the estery funk of the yeast is hanging out. What I like about this is that it isn't too dry or overcarbed. The roast is very present, on the border of but not quite acrid. No sweetness and fairly bitter from roast character. This make the beer a bit less than very drinkable. However - I like it, interesting in a way many of these types of beers are not.
M: Not much to complain about here, not overcarbed, not too dry.
O: Solid beer, not my style very much but well done. A little less bitter roast would improve drinkability. Allagash has climbed my upper eschelon of breweries.

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Photo of pat61
4.7/5  rDev +17.2%

Nose: prunes, raisins, spice, chocolate
Pours pitch black under a dense 2" tan tinted off-white foam cap, good lacing.
Palate: caramel and toffee flavors meld into chocolate over some spiciness - not much apparent hop bitterness and no big roast bitterness. Not as big of fruit presence on the palate as on the nose.
The texture really makes this beer - the creamy, very fine soft carbonation enhances the malt flavors and have you wanting more. The body is lighter than the flavor and alcohol might suggest but the creaminess makes it feel like more. Carbonation is a little above average.

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Photo of minterro
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%

Got as a gift from NYC. Poured in a snifter.

A&S: Jet black coloration, lively looking beer with a big creamy light brown head. Fantastic looking beer. Dark fruits in the aroma along with mild chocolate tones, and some higher phenols.

T&M: Spices come through in this one as it warms. I would like to see more chocolate. Alcohol is well hidden. Very creamy and smooth texture. If anything a little thick on the palate.

Overall: Initially I was going to give this beer a lower rating, but as I drank it, it grew on me. Very drinkable for the style. For sure on the low end ABV for this style, but still pulled off well. At almost 4 bucks a bottle I wouldn't recommend it, because there are other options that are, I believe, better.

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Photo of Motleydrunk56
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%

Pours jet black,hence the name.I have to say that thisjust didn`t hit me as being that great.Maybe the price of 10.99 is the reason i expected more.Nothing really jumps out at you when you taste this .So many of the better beers really have a flavor that just says i`m a badass.This doesn`t have it.Try if you must but i think you might be disapointed.

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Photo of leffebrown84th
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Very smooth, drank it fairly quickly. Taste like almost nothing except belgian hops. I tasted no fruits nor sugars or anything really. Rather bland but very smooth. I sure felt it after drinking it

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Photo of utopiajane
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Pours the darkest brown with cola hues and a mocha head of foam. Nose is malty nutty, rich fruity with orange zest, orange blossom honey. Just lovely malt with a touch of honey and spice. Fruit and perfume like fruits and nuts, wheat. Light subtle sweet cocoa, earthy complex malts, dry yeast. Twigs and fruit. Biscuity malt, faint char, a bit of burnt wood. Some kind of bright herbal hop spice. Cheerful hop bitter in a dry pleasant finish. Creamy oats. Lustrous mouthfeel with a malty depth. Bubbly light with a light crisp middle. Dry bitter finish with some sweet caramel to lie underneath.

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Photo of illpass78
4.65/5  rDev +16%

12 oz. bottle poured into a Libby stout glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with heavy carbonation. Head is short. Held to the light, it has a kind of very dark amber appearance. Not much in the way of lacing.

Aroma: This beer has an inviting, complex nose of dark fruit, licorice, herbal notes, chocolate, and coffee beans. It definitely has aromas that entice the drinker.

Taste: The taste fulfills the promise of the nose, and then some. Chocolate and mocha are right up front, with those dark fruit notes very present. There's a lingering dark chocolate flavor that gets more pronounced as it warms. Some pleasant herbaceous flavor in there, too. Complex and enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: The balance is just right. It's velvet smooth, but imminently drinkable - not sludgy at all. The body isn't all that stout-like - more akin to a dark ale or maybe a porter.

Overall: A terrific beer - one to savor and enjoy. Inviting, complex, and delicious. A personal favorite that I'd recommend to anyone.

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Photo of Digimaika2
4.25/5  rDev +6%

A: Caramel brown with a finger of white head that recedes promptly to a ring.

S: Caramel-toffee, dried dark fruits, plum, dark chocolate, coffee, and oak. This has a toffee-caramel aroma – you can almost smell that stickyness – with a bit of an oaky-boozy aroma too.

T: Dried dark fruits (mostly dates), plums, cherries, toffee-caramel, spices, and an oaky finish. This definitely comes across as well roasted with a very robust and near burnt (pleasantly so) quality.

M: Medium bodied with lower carbonation. Perfectly slick and oily.

D: The best part for me is the plums and cherries – which really standout here, and isn’t usually the case in this style – coupled with the heavily roasted malt.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%

Poured into a medium chalice: color is dark brown with brown edges, hed is tan but dissipates to a ring quickly.

Aroma is deep and pleasant, great chocolate, roast and espresso blend.

Taste is has more present candi sugar flavor with chocolate, roast and espresso providing lingering flavors that fluctuate as it warms.

Mouthfeel is a bit sweet, light cloying sweetness on the tongue.

Overall, a nice tasting brew that goes well with sweeter foods.

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Photo of tkdchampxi
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%

Had this bottled ages ago and it was not impressive (maybe it was to warm when I had it). It seemed overcarbonated at the time.

Just had this again from a sixtel tapped at home and it was excellent. A refreshing, malty, black ale full of subtle flavor qualities, with some hop presence and great drinkability. The ability to dial in the carbonation at home really helped.

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Photo of JLSIV
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a Allagash Brewery Tulip glass….Gorgeous Deep Chestnut color, almost Black. Liight tan small bubble head, dissipates quickly with decent lacing.

Aroma is subtle malt with a little anise in background.

Taste is a rich espresso almost liquor-like, with coffee, alcohol, and slight licorice/anise in the background.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and mellow, but the alcohol warmth follows, with some bite at the finish. Bite is probably not the right word, because the smoothness overall is the main feature…much more mellow than Chimay or other Belgian brews of this type. I like the lower carbonation level, very pleasant.

Overall, this is a great American option to Chimay Blue. Not to say that it doesn't measure up, it is an Outstanding overall beer in its own right. I would by this one again, and will definitely seek it out on tap.

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Photo of CHickman
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours very dark chestnut brown color with red color near the edges where the light hits it and a thick foamy 1 very light tan colored head that looked like a milkshake with a ton of very small bubbles in it, fading on the quicker side leaving spotty foamy lacing.

Smells like a milk stout, with chocolate, vanilla, powdered shake notes, oats, heavy cream, milk chocolate, a cold cup of espresso, cocoa powder and some nutty notes. No hops in the aroma and much sweeter than I expected, but a very nice smelling stout overall.

Tastes like a cross between a chocolate milk and an espresso with a shot of liqueur in it; flavor is a mix of roasted grains, caramel, toffee, burnt toast, coffee grinds, toasted nuts, cocoa powder, vanilla, brown sugar, citrus hops, pepper, tea leaf and other spices like coriander, yeast, charcoal, licorice and a hint of booze. Coffee flavor sticks around and seems like a Sambuca shot, but this stout has some malty sweetness and real nice hoppy leaf hop notes or bready yeast notes that add balance and a variety of flavors as it warmed up.

Mouthfeel is smooth to and almost slick, with a light body for a stout that seems thin and watery, mild/below average carbonation, and a sweet coffee-like finish that has sharp licorice or anise notes and a mild alcohol bite.

Overall this is an interesting beer that starts out like a stout and then morphs into a more dynamic Belgian influenced beer with more changes and flavors coming out as it warmed. I liked this brew and want to try it again to see how it may differ and hopefully be better.

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Photo of ordybill
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Aroma- Has a blend of coffee and maybe licorice (?), interesting combo Appearance- Dark amber colored with a tan colored small head Taste- Strong well balanced coffee & malt mix Palate- medium bodied with light carbonation Overall- A great beer (I haven’t had a bad one from Allagash yet)

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Photo of Tone
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a black color. 1/4 inch head of an off-tan color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of chocolate, sweet malt, yeast, hint of hop, and oatmeal. Fits the style of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, yeast, hint of hop, roasted malt, chocolate, and slight oatmeal. Overall, weak appearance, but decent aroma and body, good feel and blend.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle on date of 04/04/14

Appearance - Pours opaque black with cola brown edging where light can penetrate. Light tan, two-finger width head with fair retention, resulting in a broken layer of surface suds and a fair ring around the edge of the glass. Very little in the way of lacing.

Smell - Iced coffee, light smokey char and plenty of chocolate. Faint sour cherry notes.

Taste - Follows the nose. A good amount of roasted malt that hits on coffee roast and chocolate sweetness, along with a fair bit of smoke and sourness. Hints of black cherry and currants. Finishes with nice balance of sweet, roast and sour notes with a slightly earthy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Full in body with fair, tingly carbonation. Really nice drinkability. Not as silky or creamy as most stouts, but it's a fine mouthfeel none the less. Somewhat dry finish.

Overall - Hmm. Pretty, pretty good. Actually reminds me a bit of Grand Teton's Black Cauldron, though I slightly prefer the latter; when price point comes into play, it's a no brainer. Not as much Belgian influence as I expected, but just enough so as to not discredit the claim of "Belgian Style Stout".

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Photo of cjgiant
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: pretty much black in look, but is actually pretty clear; with some effort I can see through it, making me realize it's a dark brown. I did not get any head in my pour, but given other reviews will give a benefit of doubt here

S: mocha, black currant, little tobacco perhaps. Reminded me a bit more of stout smells than a Belgian nose.

T/M: a strange opening of booze, licorice, blackberry, and coffee. This mellows into a burnt sugar taste that slowly fades to the end taste. A swirl of the glass did produce some carbonation that slowly covered the surface, then faded with the same speed. The spiciness of the licorice (or anise) taste provides a feel similar to carbonation, but isn't quite the same, but still works for me.

O: I thought I might like this, even though I can pick out a number if reasons I wouldn't, as well. I think it straddles the tastes of a barleywine and American stout, the Belgian influence subdued or balanced by roasted malt flavors. Will definitely grab this again.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am now committed to reducing, if not eradicating, my backlog of bottles. This one was part of a local, in-person trade with tone77.

From the bottle: "Dark and roasted with chocolate expressed throughout[.]Belgian-style[,]bottle conditioned"; "[B]elgian style stout".

Given The Old Lady's shock & outrage at how I pour beers when I visited her last summer, I promised her that I would be gentle with bottle-conditioned beers or ones that were explicit about how they should be poured. Despite my very slow, gentle pour, I still garnered a finger of foamy, light-tan head with decent retention. Color was a deep, dark reddish-brown (SRM= > 27, < 34) with good clarity and mahogany highlights. Nose was reminiscent of Belgian chocolate - sweet, but not cloying, plus the yeast gave it a slightly vinous quality. Interesting. Mouthfeel was creamy. I have to say, there was an initial fusel alcohol heat with this one. It mellowed out to create a semi-sweet chocolatiness, but when coupled with the yeasty flavors, I am glad that it is not classified as a "Stout" on here. It was Stout-like, but at the same time, it was not a Stout. Finish was semi-dry with it being a battle between the chocolate malt and the yeast plus alcohol for supremacy. I was glad to have been able to drink and review one, but it is not the sort of thing that I would normally buy for myself.

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Photo of ponderous
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a New Belgium globe glass.

Appearance: It's a pretty beer. Near black. Almost as black as my ex-girlfriend's mother's heart, which must have been awfully black to have created a witch like my ex-girlfriend. An off-white head falls to a cap which persists for the duration of this review, no matter how hard I shake the glass. It just gets bigger. Thinks it's smarter than me, eh? Perhaps. But better looking? Probably, actually.

Smell: smells spicy like Belgian yeast. bit of alcohol on the nose if you really shove it in there. Not too far though. Don't snort the beer. There you go. Just right.

Taste: Awesome. The spicy profile of a dark belgian ale at first, reminds me of Trois Pistoles, opens up to chocolate malts on the way down. Some roasty bitterness but not much. Quite awfully well balanced. Awfully because I could see myself drinking too many of these.

Mouthfeel: Perfect. This beer is creamy and smooth. I want to bite it. I keep trying but it evades me. Damn liquids. The carbonation isn't off the wall as it is with some beers brewed in quasi-Belgian traditions.

Overall: 4.5? I don't want to give this beer too much credit but I quite like it. I'm a fan of the dark malts and slight roastiness combined with Allagash's ester-y Belgian overtones. If only it weren't so damn expensive. $13 for a 4/pack! Never again, no matter how much I like it! Well, maybe once more, but never again after that!

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Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 708 ratings.