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Allagash Black - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash BlackAllagash Black

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687 Reviews

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Reviews: 687
Hads: 2,395
rAvg: 4
pDev: 9.5%
Wants: 139
Gots: 413 | 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: 687 | Hads: 2,395
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. (917 characters)

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. (502 characters)

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. (2,623 characters)

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. (849 characters)

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.

-Oelergud (472 characters)

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

I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. I didn't know what it was when I ordered it, but upon tasting it I found it to be Belgian-style stout or porter.

It was black in the glass beneath a full head of dark tan froth that took some time to subside. The aroma was soft, and expressed a bit of candy, some delicate dark fruit, soft chocolate, and just a hint of roastiness.

The flavor followed suit with the addition of some sweet clove and a gently toasty, caramelish-dark chocolate maltiness. It's a very smooth, velvety beer, and that may be cutting down on my perception of the roastiness. It seems more chocolatey than roasty, but there is a bit there. It's not rich, aggressive, or acidic in anyway. I think it tastes like the smell of diner coffee, if that's possible. A soft, underlying bitterness balances it, and the whole of it seems to simply fade away in the finish.

Quite enjoyable! I found it almost relaxing as it was rich and supple, and I enjoyed it at a much slower rate than I would have most other beers. Very nicely done, and at a good price. (1,068 characters)

Photo of soupyman10
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Excellent Christmas present from my dad. Pours a dark brown color, some lighter brown highlights. On top, a two finger tan head that dissolves quickly down to a fairly thin layer of film. A touch of lacing.

Nose is interesting. Roasted malt, chocolate, then some Belgian candy and molasses sweetness. Nice. Bread and cookies.

Flavor is nice as well - more stouty than the nose would let on. Light dried fruit and bread and candy malt for an instant, then rolls right into roasted malt. A touch of coffee and chocolate. A pretty good job of hitting that "stout" and "Belgian" mix.

Body is solid, although not quite as full as it could be (I had a couple oddly thin mouthfuls). Nice mild carbonation.

Overall a very nice beer, extremely unique and tasty. (760 characters)

Photo of Vancer
3.61/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Review 1350 - what a journey!

Poured slowly into my Maredsous tulip, the black mass of goodness still cranks out an impressive tan head. Not unexpected, the cork from the 750 shot out like a cannon while opening this caged brew.

Enticing chocolate, molasses, coffee mixed with a malt-shake in the aroma. Dark fruit of plum and black cherry ask to join the dance for the quaff. Roasted coffee along with hints of the Belgium yeast add to a charming finish. A pop of cherry cough syrup does add some distraction, and it does thin considerably by mid-bottle. More dark ale than stout.

No taste of alcohol, but not surprising as this one only checks in at 7.5% - also a tad expensive at $12 for the low alcohol brew. (716 characters)

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

Bottle from River's Bend.

Poured a black color with an average frothy off-white head that lasted and produced good lacing. Good roasted malt aroma. Medium to full body with a smooth texture. Complex roasted stout flavor with a medium bittersweet smooth finish of moderate to long duration.

Very well balanced standout beer. (325 characters)

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

Lumpy, large off-white head. Recedes with a lot of webby lace. Deep, dark brown color where only the faintest of light shining through.

Initial smell is of the Belgian yeast. Soon it is overtaken by the darker malts. Some cream and "refrigerator" aroma. Light hop and alcohol in the background.

Full and creamy body with a light level of carbonation. This is predominantly a mocha flavor brew. The swallow and aftertaste has a good dose of hop. Well balanced. Notable alcohol warmth. (485 characters)

Photo of BDIMike
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours exactly as the beer is named: black. It is a black viscousy color with a very thin white lacing that barely exists.
Smell is very faint of chocolate malts and dark fruits, like plum. There is a good bit of sweet sugar to the smell too.
Taste is very nice on this belgian dark. There is a good balance of dark malts and chocolate against some sweet fruits and sugar.
Mouthfeel is a bit thin for my liking, however there is nice silky smoothness to the feel.
Drinkability is good for such a strong belgian dark ale. The balance of the two parts of the beer makes nothing overbearable in the drink. This is a nice representation of the style that is worth trying, but it will not blow your socks off. (703 characters)

Photo of Yeastcakes
3.71/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving notes: brandy snifter, cellar temp.
Aroma: slight sourness, light roast.
Appearance: Pitch black, completely opaque. Good 1" head. Nice lacing.
Mouthfeel: full body, fills the entire pallet, light carbonation.
Taste: Light roast is balanced perfectly with malty sweetness and a sourness that one would expect from a brewery like Allagash. Dry finish makes this a deceptively easy beer to drink. Very slight chocolate notes.
Drinkability: While this beer goes down easy, one bottle is good for the evening. I will definitely be looking for this one again though. (569 characters)

Photo of DrJay
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Ding as part of my Good, Bad and Ugly BIF package. Thanks!
Very dark brown with a fluffy tan head, lots of supporting carbonation rising to the surface. Lighter edges, chunky lacing. Aromas of dry yeast, bread crust, chocolate milk, malt, roast and dark fruits. Malt forward flavour, lots of chocolate notes (milk and semi-sweet), roast, dark fruits and a hint of sour cherry. Bitterness was average, making its presence known but not getting in the way of the malt. Not overly sweet though, with a bit of alcohol towards the end. Texture was decent, medium bodied with carbonation a little higher than average. Light warmth and a bit of dryness from the dark grains. Pretty good overall. (707 characters)

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cask, into Imperial Pint.

Pours black with a healthy, creamy light tan head.

Nose is cocoa and roasty coffee, with a hint of floral hops mixed in.

Taste is so smooth - cocoa and roasty espresso meld with a mellow dark fruit & cherry note, and floral hops asserting themselves just enough to balance, with almost no acidity.

Silky smooth, with full but fairly light body. Really fantastic beer when cask conditioned. I literally did not want to stop drinking it. (469 characters)

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

A- 750mL caged and corked brown bottle poured into a tulip glass. 1.5 inch tan head and black beer. Head settles in after a few minutes and doesn't leave very much lacing.

S- Yeasty, spicy, with notes of red fruit, especially grape.

T- Starts with a yeasty/grapey red fruit classic Belgian flavor and transitions quickly to stout-like flavors of roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee. The roasted and stout flavors become more dominant as the beer warms. Red fruit in the aftertaste.

M- Full-bodied beer which coats your mouth and lingers. Not too carbonated and not too viscous. Very nice.

D- Great flavor with moderate alcohol makes this bottle a pleasure to finish. I definitely wouldn't pop another, though. (713 characters)

Photo of ibbjamin
3.91/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $12.99 for a 750ml bottle from BevMo in San Jose, CA. Poured into my Chimay Chalice.

About an inch of frothy light tan head of fine bubbles. Very dark, nearly black with ruby hints when held to a light. Thick lacing and excellent head retention. Rather carbonated.

Smells quite spicy and yeasty. Bubbly and carbonated.

Taste is much different than the smell. Much more reminiscent of a stout, while the nose was screaming Belgian Dark. Quite malty up front, the creaminess lends to a longer finish of a spicy belgian. The yeast is better balanced in the mouth and adds a nice touch to stout qualities.

This one is medium bodied, smooth and creamy, but not silky smooth. Rather carbonated, pretty easy going down.

A nice spin on combining two somewhat contrasting styles. And certainly was worth trying. (814 characters)

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

There seem to be a lot of brewers experimenting with "Belgian style" stouts lately...or at least I seem to be trying a lot of them for the first time lately. They tend to fall in one of a few categories: either they are Un-Belgian-y (just stout-like and roasty), too Belgian-y (Buffalo Belgian Stout), or just right (Weyerbacher XIII). I would put this one in the Un-Belgian-y category...there was plenty of roastiness, but none of the mouthfeel or yeast or spice notes that I associate with Belgian-style beer.

It was black, it was roasty, it was ot very Belgian-y. It reminded me of a milk stout, and a very good milk stout at that. I would suggest that this beer is not exactly on-target (as far as the description is concerned) but I nonetheless thought this to be a very good beer.

I bought this at Rick's Wine on Duke Street in Alexandria, VA. I enjoyed it with SurlySober and Flyer at a tasting at my house which also included RR Beatification and Westvleteren 12 (quite respectable, eh?). (998 characters)

Photo of NEhophead
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

25.4 oz brown bottle; caged & corked. Served in an oversized wine glass.
Batch #7.

Pours a somewhat opaque, deep maple in color beneath a densely foamy, coffee-colored head with very stable retention. Some patchy, carbonation-filled ringed lacing with decent strength.

Espresso, dark chocolate, and bittered caramel aromas: almost rich, but lacking an expected sweetness. Some candied sugar that is engulfed by a spicy licorice given a brisk must and dryness. Rich, semi-sweet, and spicy.

Licorice, saffron, and spicy clove almost immediately. This dark spice profile, in combination with a mild astringent yeast, gives off a lingering dryness. Light rich and creamy caramel, coffee, and even dry hazlenut. The carbonation is very intense, which takes away some of the rich and dry flavors allowing the spices to run wild.

Medium bodied; good lord, the carbonation is out of control. As stated, the carbonation exacerbates the spiciness, which I do not think is this ale's best quality. Dry, unfortunately unbalanced.

Some unique flavors; however, the carbonation is extremely intense. An interesting idea from Allagash, but heavy on the spice and lacking in richness. (1,175 characters)

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

Allagash Black, sampled on three different occasions, with composite notes from all three. The first set was written on a napkin, and the beer enjoyed on tap at Summits Wayside Tavern, Snellville, GA. The second was from a sample, enjoyed at the World Beer Festival in Durham, NC. The third and final was at Capital Ale House, Innsbrook location, Richmond, VA. Yep.

Appearance: A solid, black-bodied beer, with a relatively fast-fading tan head that leaves a solid sheen of lace, a little thin collar, and a few glittery sheets and streaks here and there. Retention leaves a bit to be desired, and that and the lacing is pretty much all you can review as far as appearance goes in a beer this dark, no?

Aroma: Banana dominates, though smoke, very heavily toasted malts, char, and a few bready notes that give a faint air of banana bread provide the balance. All in all its a little faint, and a little too heavily roasted, but that's ok.

Taste: Char is strong here, and it almost lends that bourbon barrel note, though it's obviously a result of all the woody earthiness. Plenty of cocoa and a dash of coffee lends a mocha-like edge with a few lactic notes. Relatively dry, on the whole. A few faint spices.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, relatively crisp and dry, with mild and even effervescence. This beer's best aspect.

Drinkability: Not my cup of tea, really. Hell Hath No Fury was better than this. This one's just a little too heavily roasted, a little too dry. It's worth at least one try, though I can't say I see myself going back to this one. (1,553 characters)

Photo of HeyItsChili
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours black with brown highlights and an ecru head that slowly recedes to a viscous white film.

S - Roasted malts, coffee beans, bitter dark chocolate.

T - I wouldn't exactly say it makes my tastebuds pop n lock uncontrollably, but they're nodding their heads a little bit. Dark malty upfront with a bitterness creeping in and a little licorice essence. Little bit o' coffee as well.

M - I wasn't enamored with the mouthfeel because I felt it should've been thicker, but I don't discount that too much as it wasn't really my decision to make, but the brewers'. Good carbonation.

Notes - Good drinkability, the ABV isn't evident in the lack of strong alcohol taste. (672 characters)

Photo of glid02
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a color one shade away from being black. The head is one-finger of off-white foam that recedes into a thin pancake on top with decent lacing.

Smells of roasted malts with hints of coffee and licorice. As the beer warms the licorice becomes more apparent.

Tastes good. Mild roasted malt flavors up front that segue into hints of licorice. Depending on the sip the initial flavor switches between roasted malt and roasted coffee. Ending is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. It's a bit more carbonated than I was expecting, but the thickness is good and it goes down pretty smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I finished one glass with no problem and could have a few more.

Overall this isn't my favorite from Allagash, but it's still a solid offering. Worth a shot. (807 characters)

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

750ml Bottle
Batch 4

Poured into a chalice a very nice black color, nice carbonation, nice little one-finger creamy tan head, which does leave some nice oil slicks and slight sticky lacing. The nose is malty, with some coffee/chocolate, some slight figs/prunes/raisins. The taste is malty, slightly bitter, nice notes of coffee/chocolate, also a hint of dark fruits. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is not a BSDA, but a Belgian Stout like the bottle sez, probably the first I've had, lol Recommended. (516 characters)

Photo of SLeffler27
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A huge, dense, tan froth fills half of this tulip glass. The other half is filled with a dark, black beer that displays a dark, ruby halo. Enormous lacing leads to a big, puffy pillow, while serious legs defy gravity.

Initially, pumpernickel bread dominates, but is quickly followed by coffee, molasses and light cedar aromas.

Flavor profile presents bourbon early followed by espresso and a mild, bitter finish.

Allagash Black is a creamy, full-bodied beer with soft carbonation and moderately warming alcohol.

This would be a great selection any time of day, but perhaps best as a sipper while reading after dinner. Fortunately, this one's not too big to back for seconds or even thirds.

Date consumed: 22 August 2008 (724 characters)

Photo of Viggo
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Russ for sharing this 750 ml corked and caged bottle.

Pours a slightly opaque dark reddish black, slightly cloudy, drops a pretty nice film of tan lacing on the glass, very thick layer and ring forms on the glass, very sticky lacing, looks nice. Smell is roasty, some chocolate, dark fruits, real toasty malts, some raisins, lots of Belgian fruity character, but some real nice stout character as well. Taste is nice, really raisiny some caramel malts, lots of fruity malt, some roasty middle, chocolate, very toasty, really nice and clean flavour, currants and raisins, spice in the finish but well balanced. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, smooth, some warmth from alcohol but generally a well put together beer, real nice job. THanks Russ! (777 characters)

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

750ml bottle, corked and caged. sampled dec 31/08.

pours nearly black and mostly opaque with a small dense light brown head. the head drops very slowly and leaves lots of lace.

aroma is good. dark and milk chocolate. coffee. multi-grain bread and biscuit. bit of cracker. light alcohol. light roast and toasty character. bit of dark fruit.

taste is great. milk and dark chocolate. multi-grain bread and biscuit. bit of cracker. light alcohol. coffee. some dark fruit - date, fig, red grape, raisin.

mouthfeel is good. medium-large body. medium carbonation.

drinkability is good. nice balance. the stout and belgian allagash characters mesh well together. good stuff. i have another in the cellar and am interested to see how it changes with time. (751 characters)

Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 687 ratings.