Allagash Black | Allagash Brewing Company

707 Reviews
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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: 707 | Ratings: 2,543
Photo of TubaManJack
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- A thin head of foam and an opaque black body. There was a fair amount of lace and little carbonation.
Smell- A bit of licorice and drip coffee. There was a bit of sweetness but little roasted notes.
Taste- A bit of sweetness and mild roasted blend of flavors. Coffee and toasted grain blend together. There was a bit of yeast flavor but mostly filtered out and concealed.
Mouthfeel - A meduim body with a lit carbonation and a mild finish. It appears to be a part stout/porter/dark beer.
Drinkability- Its quite a confusing beer because it a unique interpretation of a style. However on a hot summer day it has all the characteristics of a satisfaction. Its lighter on flavor intensity and body, but not complexity.

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

It's color lives up to it's namesake. About one-fingers worth of caramel colored foam makes the head. This recedes to a thin filmy covering. The lacing is quite good, but also quite slippery.

A wonderfully thick smell of malts dominates this one. Smells nicely sweet with a load of toastiness. Big notes of caramel and brown sugars. Nice hints of dark fruits. Light notes of vanilla and a smooth nutty scent. Hints of coffee notes.
There are a decent amount of scents going on in here, but you have to look for them. On the surface it seems quite subdued.

Now the roasted malts and the coffee notes are out in front. Hints of smoke and chocolates, both dark and milk. Nice vanilla notes. Toast flavor is all over this one. Great level of lactose sweetness. Mild caramel notes. Nutty hazelnut flavor. Mild hints of smoke and anise. Light spiciness in the dry finish.

A fairly full-bodied brew. Nicely creamy. A bit of roughness around the edges keeps it from being overly smooth.

The 7.5%abv is very well hidden within this one. Throw in that the flavor is very good, well-balanced, and not overpowering, at all, and this is a tasty, drinkable, brew.

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Photo of nickfl
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - One and a half fingers of light brown head on an opaque black body. The head settles quickly and leaves little lace.

S - Smoky coffee aromas with a hint of chocolate. Some nutty caramel and sweet brown sugar as well.

T - Lots of chocolate and coffee up front. The mocha character is partially replaced in the middle by caramel and brown sugar with some fruity belgian yeast notes. The finish darkens with more coffee notes and moderate european hop flavor balanced by moderate malt bitterness. Lingering flavors of tobacco and smoke.

M - Medium-thick body, moderately high carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - A nice belgian stout, leaning more towards stout and less towards belgian, which is probably a good mix. The malt character is dark and complex while the yeast lends a mild fruity character that lifts the whole experience in a way that compliments the stout character without becoming cloying. One of those beers that is more than the sum of its parts.

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Photo of koopa
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at the Copper Mine Pub

Appearance: Nice black body with a light brown 1 finger crown that bares some retention and lacing.

Smell: Beautiful toasty malt notes with some hints of coffee and Belgian yeast.

Taste: Very nice flavor profile going here...roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and a touch of toffee sweetness.

Mouthfeel: A touch too thin for my preference.

Drinkability: Fairly good.

I liked this much more on tap than my previous bottle samplings.

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Photo of battlekow
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Allagash Black is definitely a grower, not a shower. It poured with a prodigious head; I had to wait about five minutes before I could drink it, and another couple before the foamy head taste had subsided enough to really appreciate the flavors. The smell is also unremarkable, pretty similar to other Allagash beers in its Belgian yeastiness.

But oh, those flavors, once you're quiet and let them peak their heads around the corner--it's like Allagash White mixed with chocolate. Really smooth and delicious, hardly any roastedness, but no fruitiness either. Almost like those bite-sized Charleston Chews. Not as dry as I expected. Very elegant, luxuriant mouthfeel. Really tastes and feels like a treat.

Don't be disappointed initially. Give it some time to warm up and you'll find yourself warming up in return.

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

Appearance: Pours with a very large, almost four-finger head - extremely lively stuff, the color of egg whites or off-white. This settles slowly into a one-finger head. Lacing is there, but not particularly prominent and also pretty fleeting, but it does leave a variety of patterns on the glass rim. Body is a jet stout black. Looks like a stout.

Smell: Cork wood, belgian yeast, grape flavored cough syrup on the front end. Grape cough syrup aroma seems to be a result of the lower end's coffee notes hitting the belgian yeast and cork wood aromas. Burnt sugar, almost a similar aroma to when you're actually making home-made caramel, really prominent about halfway through the inhale. A general sweet char quality, like tira misu crust, accompanied by vanilla (again, tira misu crust). Chocolate notes are buried, in my opinion, and only really hinted at. It's intriguing.

Taste: Much more stout in the flavor than in the nose. A sort of sweet See's candy chocolate lollipop flavor followed by some dark fruit esters, such as grape and fig. Grapes there, as well. Coffee upon swallowing along with some peanut brittle. Really, pretty delicious, and a lot better in the bottle, I think, than the one time I had it on draft.

Mouthfeel: Syrup-y, well carbonated. Pretty damn dry, though, although not quite enough to be detrimental.

Drinkability: It's a sipper, but not too bad of one. The alcohol others seem to be talking about in their reviews I can't really find too well - which is a good thing, given that it's "only" 7.5%.

This beer really is one-of-a-kind, to my knowledge, and I really enjoyed its flavors. On-tap this beer just seemed confused, a misguided experiment in mashing two disparate styles, but I really enjoyed this in the bottle a lot more, so maybe age/secondary ferm. had something to do with it.

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Photo of jjboesen
3.78/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Begins with an explosion of billowy beige foam that dissipates quickly - quicker than I expected. There is neither lacing nor perceptable clingage. There is a deep, dark body that is impervious to any natural light.

Heavy notes of cocoa powder compliment the extreme alcoholic aroma. The palate detects an initial, and lingering, bitterness complimented by malty notes of biscuit; yet it possesse a surprisingly underwhelming mouthfeel.

Something different here, but nothing to seek out.

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Photo of csmiley
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark chocolate brown and lets some light through. Color is really pushing into stout territory. The tan head tops out at just under half inch and stays around for a few minutes. Some lace is left behind but nothing to get too excited about.

S - Some bittersweet chocolate is followed by a smoother milk chocolate. A pretty significant smoke aroma makes its presence known midway. Smell kind of drops out after that. Not bad but kind of a letdown. On a good note, alcohol is nowhere to be found.

T - Now we're talking. Several stout flavors really jump out and grab the palate. Bittersweet chocolate, smoke, dry roastiness, the list goes on. Nice complexity going on here. Alcohol barely comes through on the end and has a nice warm feeling. There is just a hint of a metallic flavor that comes and goes. There is also something on the end that is hard to pick out. Could be a dry spiciness.

M - Medium to light bodied with a carbonation level that just tickles the roof of the mouth. Pretty creamy. Finish is dry and sticks around for a while.

D - Drinkability is good for the Black. The flavor works really well overall. Alcohol is hidden really well which makes this brew go down quicker than expected. The aroma could really use some work but everything else comes together to make a solid brew. Glad I got to try this one out. As it warms, the brew really smooths out in the flavor and drinkability categories.

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Photo of brentk56
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a pretty darn dark brown color with a tan head that pancakes down rather quickly for a Belgian style but leaves a bunch of dots of lacing

Smell: Roasty and rather peaty, with hints of charcoal, chicory, black currants and milk chocolate

Taste: Starts out with milk Stout flavors of chocolate, lactose and a developing anise and charcoal character; by mid-palate, the flavor profile adds caramel and peat to the mix; after the swallow, the yeasty phenols build as does a smokey character with coffee undertones; the finish is surprisingly dry for a stout which starts out somewhat sweet

Mouthfeel: Medium body, almost creamy, with effervescent carbonation

Drinkability: Extremely interesting, with characteristics from a number of styles; highly recommended and enjoyable

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Photo of IceTrey9785
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I received a 750ml bottle from a friend -- kept it for a few months before the itch to open it finally got to me.

A: This was the first Belgian Dark that I ever tried -- I was surprised that it poured so easily (considering it said stout on the label). It was pretty viscous, with a coffee colored head that lasted for a good while. Still, not quite as thick and soupy as I expected.

S: WOW -- where to begin -- this beer showed a ton of malt, licorice, coffee, and an abundance of yeast. I knew from my first sniff that this was a beer that I wouldn't share with anyone.

T&M: When I took a sip, coffee hit me initially. There were undertones of dark chocolate, anise, and a faint hint of hops. Hazelnuts were more noticeable as the beer warmed -- kind of reminded me of a whole wheat baguette with Nutella on top. Very complex, but the mouthfeel was a little sweeter and longer lasting than I anticipated (I decided to share it afterwards -- too rich for one person).

This might be one of my favorite beers. I love the complexity, and the variety of flavors that continue to evolve as the beer warms. I wish it came in a smaller bottle, a 750ml is definitely too much for one person to handle on their own. A 4-pack would be most welcome, but regardless of size, a fantastic brew that really warms you in the winter months.

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Photo of rapidsequence
4.52/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from that pretty corked and caged bottle at the top of the page. The bottle clearly says "Belgian Style Stout," whatever that means. You have to buy that don't you? Before its poured, I already love it.

Appearance: Pours thin for a stout, super dark for a belgian dark. White-tan head with a little lacing.

Smell: Well, roasty stout goodness and bready belgian yeastiness.

Taste:Holy shit, its a belgian stout. Exactly how I wanted it to be.

Mouthfeel: Like the pour, its thin in the mouth for a stout. Well, not really. Its thin for an imperial stout which I want it to be. Otherwise, nice.

Drinkability: At 7.5% I have no intention of ever sharing this, other than to convert some anti-belgian stout/hopheads to the joy of more complex belgian flavors. This stuff is great. I'd love for some more breweries to try this idea-- make it 10%, thick, and syrupy.

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4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Questions have been raised as to whether this one is a stout or not. Well lets see.

Body pours like a black ale and settles black in the glass. Doesn't have the huge thickness though. Head is a rocky biscuity light brown that initially stands at nearly three fingers and has nice retention. Nose is soft but has some nice yeasty chocolate esters to it. Enters the mouth creamy smooth and really reminds me of a well made milk stout. Chocolate pastry feel kind of like a doughnut makes up the charmingly sweet body of this brew. The Belgian styling really shines through in a positive way. Mouthfeel is a blanket of coco and Belgian yeast that mixes well together. Exceptional drinkability and just right amount of alcohol. Belgian stout it is.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown. Thin creme head. Flavor is quite dough forward. Lots of it. Too much IMO. Minor spices in comparison, but still enough to make a prevalent stance. Minor funky tone. Feel has a pretty biting carbonation. Liquid is well bodied. Eh. For a Belgian style stout, this doesn't work for me. It's not that this beer is bad though. I've had this numerous times and have been equally impressed each time.

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Photo of damienblack
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours medium to dark brown, but more like a brown ale than a stout - not as thick or as dark as you would normally see. Sticky tan head, decent but not outstanding retention. Smell is superstrong yeast - like a burnt yeast, in keeping with the stout theme. Taste just like it smells - sweet like a milk stout, yeasty like a belgian, with a slight roasty overtone bringing the two together. It really is almost more like a belgian strong dark, but it lacks the complexity you like to see in the style. Slight roastiness lingers on the palate, but it's like drinking a Coffee Coolada compared to the real thing - kind of artificial sweet, meant to approximate the real thing, but not to be the real thing. Overall medium body, definitely on the lighter side for a stout. No real depth to the roastiness at all, like imitation instant coffee is to real coffee. Almost tastes watered down. Drinkability is OK, not really hampered by the alcohol content, but by the way the yeast and stouty bitterness merge - not offensive, but a bit disconcerting. I'm not a huge fan of this brew, and Allagash has done far greater things.

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Photo of colts9016
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this from mikeale, thank you for this bottle.

Poured into a goblet at 46 degrees.

Appearance: A very dark brown the color of burnt motor oil. There is a one finger tan that creamy. There are few effervescence in the bottom of the glass. The clarity of the beer what clarity. There is a lot of lacing on the glass.

Nose: A nice dark toasty malt that is soft on the nose. There is some phenols, dried cherries, and very perfumery. I can smell the noble hops in the beer.

Taste: A very nice toasted malt, soft alcohol presences, there is some phenols, dried cherries, floral, and citrus.

Overall: The mouth feel is creamy and smooth. The body of the beer is thick, and finish is lasting and very good. I have recently became a fan of Allagash. Everything so far that I have tried has been wonderful. This is no exception. I love the balance and flavor throughout the beer.

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Photo of cvfish
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - This beer poured a black color that produced a foamy tan head that had good retention and did a deceent job of lacing the glass

S - The only scent that I could detect was the Belgian yeast

T - The taste of this beer was very interesting, and the Stout characteristics were present, bitter chocolate, smoke on the finish, but also an added yeast funk that wasn't exactly my favorite, but it worked nice and was something different

M - The mouthfeel of this beer was a bit a downer, thin to medium body, but way to thin for a stout, and a moderate amount of carbonation

D - This was a very unique beer, not everything that I imagined in a Stout, but something new that was quite refreshing

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Photo of tempest
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Pearly Baker's in Easton, PA. I've been making the rounds with Belgian stouts and this one stands out, for better or worse. It was not my favorite so far. It's not as drinkable as, say, the 9% De Dolle Extra Stout, but it's also more flavorful. There's a strong grape/plum fruit flavor that's too strong for my liking. Aside from that, there are pleasant roasted grains, dry cocoa, and a hint of espresso, maybe. Worth a try, but not my fav.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Starts with a nice inch thick frothy tan head, pretty much pitch black body, good lacing. The aroma is distinctly stouty, but also distinctly Belgian. Some nice chocolates and burnt malts, pretty soft, some funky yeastiness somewhere in the depths.

Taste is more aggressive than I"d have though from the nose, fair amount of roasted malt, delicate chocolates, some hints of dark fruits, a light peatiness, pretty nice. Mouth is well carbonated, over medium body, and has a decent feel to it. In all, a pretty neat beer, nothing to get too excited about, but I enjoyed it all the same.

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Photo of BarrelO
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Big Hunt. Served in an Allagash chalice.

A: Pours black. Head is rather anemic by both stout and BSDA standards.

S: Dominated by spicy Belgian yeast with the faintest hint of roasted malts.

T: Cloying sugary and spicy. Finishes with roasted bitterness.

M: Silky smooth with plenty of carbonation.

D: Eh. Not really feeling it. I felt like this attempt at a Belgian-style stout ended up not really incorporating the best elements of each. It might be better out of the bottle, but I'm not looking to drop the $12 or so to find out.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a 750 corked and caged with Stopper. poured at cellar temp into an SA "pint" glass. the beer pours a cola brown with creamy tan head of .5 cm foaming up and sticking around.
Aroma is cocoa powder and molasses with some bready yeast and brown sugar with hints of roasted grain to boot. First sip reveals a velvety smooth texture with soft mild spacious carbonation. Flavor is sweet and malty with no hops or hints of ABV. The beer finishes with a little roastiness and sweet brown sugar. Very easy drinking smooth brew. I recommend to all the "maltys" out there!

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Photo of GreatPondBrewer
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml caged and corked

Popped the cork with little trouble. Poured with what has become and all too characteristic Belgian head. Thick, fluffy, and carbonated. Yet, it was cafe au lait. Most, strong dark ales have a slightly more scarlet color. Cool. The body was a dark woody black, with just a hint of brown hue shining through at the bottom of the glass. I was not terribly taken with the nose. Husky, corn-like, slighty witte-like nose belying the yeasty belgianness of the beer. It has almost the same exact nose as the Allagash Witte. Meh. The taste however, was infinitely more to my liking. Had the rich coffee flavors of a stout mixed with the cherry sweetness native to the dark Belgian ales. Very delicious. The mouthfeel was thick, but not chewy. Just enough of the bubbly, refreshing nature to keep it quenchable to my thirst at the end of the day. Despite the nose, I would definitely drink this again.

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

750ml. Nice black pour with a creamish colored head. Roast aromas, mocha and some light fruits, red/banana? Tastes was a good mix of roast malt, cocoa, very light coffee. A little brown sugar, cinnamon roasted pecans. Really don't get the banana flavors I head about and lightly smelled in this. If the body was just a little heavier this could easily pass as a good stout. Finished dry and clean. Normally I don't care for Belgian style ale's of any sort, but this passed the grade with flying colors.

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Photo of everetends
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle I got from Douglas14 out of the BA Fantasy Football payout. Thanks, man. It never crossed my mind to pick this one up, so I am very glad he sent it to me. Served this one up in a chalice.

A: Well this bottle opened with a huge pop, scared the hell out of me actually. Almost lost the cork because hat sucker was ready to go. Well it pours out of the bottle a really nice black in color. Held to the light it lets in some nice dark brown/dark red hues at the very top and bottom of the glass. Inside that red hue, you can find a nice stream of carbonation activity. The head came out a nice finger of mocha colored head. It fell to about half a finger and stayed pretty well from there. The lace is light, but what is there is damned sticky and keeps its place. Pretty good looking beer.

S: Smell is ok. It is pretty much dominated by a powerful presence of Belgian yeast. Lots of that yeast actually. Domination, people. Can't stress this enough. Somewhere hidden behing that you can smell a bit of roasted malts and chocolate. Behind that there MAY be a bit of dark fruits, not sure though. This area is a bit one demensional, but it is decent and not off putting at all.

T: I may be in love. I am not sure, but this is tasty. The cocoa is very nice and subtle. There is a lot more dark/bitter chocolate here than I was expecting. This of course plays well with some really nicely roasted malty goodness that is much like some caramel and bready goodness. This combined with the chocolate really blends nicely with that Belgian yeast flavor. There is a touch of sour darker fruits. Maybe some cherry and plum. There is also a pretty decent banana flavor, and I think that really brings everything together nicely.

M: This beer is lost somewhere between full and medium in body. It is hard to tell because this beer is so silky and velvety on the palate. This really sits light and just glides over the palate. Carbonation is the culprit here and I have to say it is making the feel as good as it is. There is a bit of ABV heat on the throat, but other than that the ABV is well masked. Aftertaste is mostly just some nice dark fruits and cocoa.

D: To tell you the truth, I went into this not expecting much of anything. With that said, I have been pleasantly suprised. I really enjoyed this beer and it drinks pretty nicely for a stout. The flavors are well blended and crafted making this beer . . . harmonious. Very nice overall and I think my girlfriend would really enjoy this as well. Too bad she is asleep, gonna have to finish this 750 all by myself. I will just have to find a way to make it.

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Photo of ahalloin
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This was my second trip to the cask in the "Casks of March" Event at Rustico in Northern VA.

Well, what I can I say, the appearance lives up to its name. Certainly black in color with virtually no light passing through. A creamy lush light tan head formed atop the beer after the pour. Swirling the beer caused this head to cling fairly far up the glass and stick, much like milk would.

The smell is roasty chocolate, toasted grains, and cocoa dusted ripe banana. Quick anecdote: Once I got this idea of ripe banana in my head it was almost impossible to shake with this beer! Ripe banana became the focal point of the smell and taste with everyone at the table. Difficult to shake an idea once it is stuck in your head!

Taste....well.... ripe banana? Some toasty grains, clove, coffee soaked ripe bananas! :)

Silkly smooth mouthfeel! Awesome.

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Photo of oelergud
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Massive 1 pint 9.4oz brown glass bottle corked and caged. Black label with white lettering.
Opaque body only showing mahogany at the edge. Tan small bubbled head with good retention and lace.
Sweet scent of mild malts and gentle hops. Some licorice root and vegetable.
Nice mild flavor of malts and vegetable hops. Some almond and nutskin and a bit of vanilla.
Medium to full body, residual sugars and a nice semidry finish.
Great drinkability, very enjoyable.


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Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 707 ratings.