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Allagash Black - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash BlackAllagash Black

Educational use only; do not reuse.

689 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 689
Hads: 2,412
Avg: 4
pDev: 20.5%
Wants: 141
Gots: 430 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 689 | Hads: 2,412
Photo of CHickman
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
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 Tone
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
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 -1.5%
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 +3.8%
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 -1.3%
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 +12%
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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Photo of jburris64
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Wonderful stout but I did get the metallic after-taste. Packaging is eye catching with twisted wire and captured cork. Nice touch. The label indicated "pour into your favorite glass" which is a first for me but not an issue since I found this while travelling. Definitely one I will have again.

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Photo of KelsoSaaz
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into oversized wine glass

A: Pours a deep brown/black with hints of chocolate brown when held to light. Thin, quickly dissipating khaki head.

S: Roasted malt and chocolate with hints of funky, musty aromas. Notes of caramel and toffee as well.

T: Dark fruit and candi sugar intertwines with dark chocolate and black coffee. Toffee and smoky flavors are present, but subtle. Roasty bitterness lasts through the finish.

M: Medium to slighty-viscous body with moderate carbonation.

O: Allagash puts a tasty twist of the stout here with its strong Belgian overtones. I think this beer is a classic in its own right, along with Allagash White. Anyone who is a fan of either stouts or Belgian beer should try this.

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Photo of fscottkey
2.78/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

A: Dark but with some light penetration. Light shows hints of reddish hue. Pour produces a thin cap that disappears almost immediately.

S: Roasted malts and a slight metallic smell.

T: Strong roasted flavors with a slight coffee finish.

M: Carbonated and tingly.

O: There are definitely better examples of this variety. Nothing noteworthy or worth getting another one if other choices are available.

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Photo of PeterParker
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thick bubbly white head. Tight bubbles with good lacing.

Instantly yeast and dark fruits hit. Following is a bit of breadiness. Very Belgian smelling.

Very roasty, malty, and sweet. A bit of Belgian yeast. More stout than Belgian but very good. A bit metallic on the finish but otherwise good.

Semi thick, a little thin for a stout. Medium carbonation but extremely smooth.

Overall I really like this one. Great combination of yeast and malt.

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Photo of delta490
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 2/7/14 as per bottle. Deep clear brown. A slight ruby hue at the bottom of the glass and nice creamy off-white head. Head has great retention and leaves some nice lacing. Aroma is an interesting blend of traditional roast notes and hints of Belgian yeast. The flavor is interesting, as well. The roasted notes from the dark malt are significantly mellowed out by the Belgian yeast. There is a nice interplay between the two. The weight of the beer is a little lighter than a more traditional stout but with the lighter flavors it matches well. This is an excellent twist on a traditional stout and Belgian dark.

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Photo of teromous
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Black body with a fluffy off-white head that shoots out like rocket smoke. Stands a long time and leaves good lacing on the glass. The head looks nice and loafy.

S: Some mild sweet scent, like light caramel and apples.Mild "Belgianesque" scent (observable phenols) but overly faint.

T: It has a good amount of alcohol flavors, followed by some roasted dark charcoal-like flavor. It's slightly metallic but it only peaks through every few sips. Finishes like a coffee. It's not as spicy or estery as other comparable Belgian Dark's. I feel like the focus of this beer is towards the roasted character less than that of the yeast. I feel that at this point it is important to say that this is labeled as a "Belgian Stout" and not a standard traditional "Belgian Dark." I feel that if the beer is approached with the anticipation of stout-like qualities, it will deliver a much higher score. I will rate it as if it were a stout, in which case I believe it is more than outstanding but slightly less than perfect.

M: The mouthfeel is nice and clean. No complaints in this department, but it doesn't feel as robust or present as what I would expect from a Belgian Dark. It is quite a bit drier and does not coat very well. Judging it more as a stout, I would say that it is perfect. It might appear strange to have such a juxtaposed opinion, but is works very well as a stout.

O: Overall this is quite an enjoyable beer but it could draw quite a bit of controversy if examined closely. It might leave one wondering why I rated this beer in such favorable light. For lovers of Belgian Dark ales, unfortunately I would not recommend this beer to you. It has a great lack of complexity and yeast character. It does quite well as a stout, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for that. I feel that the minor contribution of Belgian yeast flavor does add enough to make it more than your standard stout, so those looking for a delicious stout will undoubtedly agree that this is an outstanding beer.

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Photo of bball208
1.7/5  rDev -57.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1

Yuck. This beer smelled like canned tuna. I'm dead serious.

I just don't believe that Belgians and stouts should be tried unless you're going to blow my mind away. This fell EXTREMELY short on all levels. The aroma was very off putting. I literally got roasted tuna.

The taste was the aroma magnified. I just didn't get it. It was a wrong marriage of two styles and flavors. I still have the aftertaste of tuna in my mouth. My significant other feels exactly the same.

Needless to say, I will never drink this beer again. Allagash is one of the most overrated breweries.

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Photo of BeerDazed
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into Pint glass.

Deep, dark brown color with a dense, lightly tanned head. A fair amount of lacing.

Roasted aroma with caramel, coffee, and chocolates notes - but not real strong.

Medium to full bodied, with a creamy texture and on the medium side of carbonation.

It finished dry, with some roasted bitterness - and I got a bit of coffee and licorice too. Sweet and spice at the end.

Looking forward to trying some more offerings from Allagash. All of there Belgian-style offerings look really good.

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Photo of Chessmaster
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into stout glass

A: During pour, looks dark but translucent, black with light brown highlights. In glass, appears dark. Pours with a nice 2-3 inch head that dissipates to a cap

S: Amazing, very malty, sweet and lightly roasty smell.

T: Similar to smell, very malty. I was actually reminded more of a doppelbock in terms of sweet maltiness than a stout. Not very roasty, no balancing hop bitterness. The overall taste is good, but again doesn't fit the style exactly.

M: Nice, smooth mouthfeel with good carbonation.

O: A very enjoyable beer, on the malty and sweet side. Not really a stout though

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Photo of i4ourgot
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I really liked this beer it is the perfect winter complement to their Allagash White. I got some light clove notes from the yeast that blended really well with the flavors from dark roasted malts. The Belgium yeast was very dominant in the aroma with light notes of coffee.

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Photo of stckhndlr
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

A- starts out very dark with rusty red tones around the edges. Sea foam head that topped out at a good 2 fingers and settled to a whispy thin layer that stayed until the last sip. good lacing.

S- Definitely has that belgian aroma to it. Raisin and yeast. Not getting alot of much of the chocolate.

T- Ah, there's the chocolate. Roasted notes and the dark fruit are there but there is a consistent chocolate flavor throughout the entire sip. Start to finish.

M- Starts mid body but creams up to a good full body. Really fills the palate.

O- It's a pretty good beer, the flavors really ring true to the belgian style. It does seem to tire out the palate a bit. Little heavy on the roast to me. But over all not bad.

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Photo of SteveTheDog
3.47/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

This beer poured very smoothly into a snifter with a soul blacker than curious George is curious. The snifter definitely accentuated the smells and it was a divine aroma of dark chocolate coffee and maybe BlackBerries. I was just slightly less whelmed by the taste which had more of ground-up cigarettes to it. I was underwhelmed by the finish which was a little rough. Overall this was an okay beer I can't say that I'm going to go out and get another one especially considering the price.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
3.86/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thank you SplashyFob for this one.

I get a light brown head over a dark, kinda cola brown looking body. The head fades to nearly nothing, and no lacing is noted.

The aroma is rich in malt, chocolate, dark fruit and caramelized sugar.

The flavor is almost delicate, and quite enjoyable. Dark fruit joins a sugariness up front, then transitions into roasted malt, earthy hops and a baker's chocolate finish.

The mouthfeel is a smooth medium bodied feel. It is rather easy going.

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Photo of zac16125
3.91/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a tulip
Bottling numbers: 2563 09:33; not sure if that means anything

A: Pours a somewhat thin appearing very dark brown, almost black as it sits in the glass. 1.5 fingers width of light tan head builds then has good retention. Leaves lots of lacing.

S: Aromas of roasted malt, a somewhat astringent plastic, more subtle dark fruits, faint cocoa, belgian fruity-esters.

T: Roasted malt, heavy cream, semi-sweet chocolate, blond roast coffee.

M/D: Medium body, on the lighter side for the style (whether it be a stout or a BSDA), carbonation heavier than I prefer, fairly smooth, drinkability is average.

O: It was kind of meh at first but really grew on me as it warmed. Nothing spectacular but certainly worth a try.

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Photo of mralphabet
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass

A: Very dark brown with a red hue, poured with a good 2 fingers worth of head that settles to a nice thin layer. Wonderful lacing from start to finish.

S: I'm getting some dark fruit, little spicy Belgian yeast and a good helping of chocolate and coffee mixed in. I'm also getting a little light alcohol aroma.

T: The chocolate and coffee dominate the overall taste right up front. The dark fruit flavors kick in near the end. Pretty well balanced... Malty up top then a light hop bitterness at the end. It is sweet but unsweet at the same time.... Quite complex, with a nice alcohol warmth at the end.

M: Medium bodied with a sharp carbonation. A lot lighter bodied than I was expecting.

O: Overall a great looking and tasty complex little brew, well worth looking for. Allagash is never disappointing.

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Photo of tone77
3.48/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of some chocolate, a bit of yeast and fruits. Taste is kind of mild, roasted malts, a hint of chocolate, a very mild bitterness. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer, but didn't meet my expectations.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Saint Somewhere wine-style glass. No readable freshness date.

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a 1/4 light tan head that retains a bit before becoming a thick bubbly ring around the edge of the glass and a wispy pattern of surface foam. Sudsy non-resilient lacing slides quickly down the glass.

S- Phenols from the Belgian yeast emanate from the glass along with some dark roast. Slightly soapy and a bit spicy.

T- More richness from the yeast creates a sweet fruitiness that pairs well with the mild dark roast. Very smooth and drinkable. Notes of dark fruit, cocoa and a hint of astringency.

M- Somewhat thick and slick. Medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- I swear, I have yet to have an Allagash beer that's anything less than excellent.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.71/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle at Ava’s in Easton. Poured into a pint glass. Pours dark brown with some ruby showing through the light, not particularly dark for a stout. Aroma of yeast, candi sugar, some chocolate, spice. Flavor follows with a similar profile: candi sugar and yeast, some light chocolate, sweet and spice finish. This tastes closer to a Belgian Strong Dark ale than any stout, but good in that vein. Medium mouthfeel with medium carbonation, rather light for a stout. Overall this was a pretty good beer but not one to go for if you’re looking for a creamy stout. Definitely Belgian inspired.

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Photo of JWU
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into a chalice.

A- Very dark brown, not quite black. A nice light tan head sits on top and laces fantastically.

S- some light char, black currants, and a slight Belgian sugar note.

T- Very soft, but quite complex in what's there. Light char, with hints on anise, vanilla, currants, oats, up front, melds into a bitter espresso, and cocoa powder finish. One of those beers that as you sip on it, you can pull out different things on each sip.

M- Solid medium body, but very creamy and slick. An active carbonation is there as well. You can tell there are oats in this one. Dries pleasantly on the finish.

O- I will certainly seek this out again, an excellent offering from Allagash.

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Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 689 ratings.