Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Allagash Black - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash BlackAllagash Black

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

688 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 688
Hads: 2,398
rAvg: 4
pDev: 9.5%
Wants: 139
Gots: 414 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Allagash Black Alström Bros
Reviews: 688 | Hads: 2,398
Photo of Blakaeris
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours completely opaque black. Not a hint of light shines through. Tan head is huge and frothy, and looks very crisp next to the inky black body.

Aroma is very bitter with plenty of roasted coffee and dark chocolate. Smokey and yeasty with an herbal quality.

Taste is bitter burnt dark grain, very smokey. A hint of dark fruit sweetness surfaces for just a moment before being eclipsed by the dry coffee and cocoa flavors. Finish is tart and dry with lingering yeasty spices and herbal hop.

Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied. I would enjoy a little more viscosity.

Overall a decent offering. I drank this one at room temperature, but there was something off in the conflicting flavors. Perhaps too much of an herbal character. (732 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, pitch-black color with an eighth of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Roasted malt and freshly baked dark bread. Some notes of dark molasses and coffee.

Taste: Malty up front, followed by some smoky, roasted malt and/or coffee. There are some subtle notes of dark chocolate as the beer warms up, as well as some caramel-like sweetness. The beer finishes with some subtle hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Slightly chewy, with hardly any carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 7.5%, there is just a touch of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a very tasty stout. Not world class or excellent, but a very solid, very tasty stout. Definitely worth getting. (819 characters)

Photo of Mistofminn
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this bottle in a trade with Rrheisler. Thanks Ryan!

Pours a dark, but translucent, brown color. It's definitely dark, but not anywhere near what a "stout" should be. Very nice creamy light tan head to go along with it, with excellent retention. Also leaves very nice lacing. For a Belgian Style "Stout" I just wish it was more opaque.

The nose is distinctly Belgian. Yeast and dark dried fruits are the focal point, but there is a nice light toasted malt character in the background. Smells like someone dumped a Trois Pistoles into a Cadillac Mountain Stout (don't ask why I chose those two as examples).

Taste is very similar to the nose, with the dark dried fruits and spices being the key, but there is a chocolatey, bitter coffee bean, toasted malt character that comes in right at the end and leaves a nice bitter aftertaste. It's good, but I'm just not feeling it.

Mouthfeel, at first, is way too overcarbonated. I served this right at cellar temperature, so no need to let it warm up, just needed a little bit to calm down the carbonation. After the carbonation reaches an appropriate level, it gets really smooth and creamy, very easy drinking.

Overall, not a bad beer. This is my first foray into Allagash, and I wasn't expecting much. Of all the Allagash brews I have in the cellar (various trades, but mostly from Ryan!) I figured this one would benefit the least from aging, so I thought I would give it a shot and wasn't expecting anything too great. Nevertheless I was impressed. It doesn't really pull off the "Stout" as much as I would have liked, but it's still a good Belgian Strong Dark Ale. (1,620 characters)

Photo of DrewOSU
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2008 bottle, shared by beachbum1975, thanks man

A: Huge pop on the cork. Thought it was going to hit the ceiling. Pours dark brown to black with a ½ inch, thick, frothy head.

S: Licorice, light cocoa and a small amount of coffee and roasted malts. Belgium sugars in the background.

M/T: A heavier light to light medium body. I get a lot more roasted malts on the pallet then on the nose. I get roasted malts, followed by a slightly hot alcohol base. Again finishes with a rich roasted malt and cocoa flavor. Aftertaste is a little thick. With the slightly hot alcohol base, tongue feels dry and chocolaty. It backs up after half a glass, but nothing obnoxious.

D: Aftertaste is big with this one. Not a bad beer, rich at times, but doesn't fill you up. A nice alternative to an American Stout. (799 characters)

Photo of Bendurgin
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared with courtisy of McWhirk. Thanks pal. Pours black with a rocky light tan head that has lost of big bubbles. Settles down pretty quick to sticky lace. Lots of sticky lacing.

Roasty fruity aroma to this. Dark fruits like figs and dates come through. More fruit than anything to this, but a roasty profile is noticable. Dry dark fruity flavor. It has a really malty profile and dry flavor. I'd say it has a lot of grape flavor to it.

Feels alright; kind of dry to finish, coarse carbonation with a medium body. Not my favorite of the style. I guess I'd just rather have a Belgian. (595 characters)

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. (311 characters)

Photo of brystmar
3.48/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into a Chimay chalice, split over dinner.

I've only had a few Belgian-style stouts before, and this one certainly lives up to its purported style. Ratings take style & personal preference (against the traditional style) into consideration.

Black pour, decent head and lace. Aroma mostly just holds Belgian yeast with some chocolate malts hiding underneath. Mild dark fruit character lurks in the shadows as well.

Bold yeast character grabs you by the pearls right off the bar. Dark fruits and roasted malts add complexity, but this is unmistakeably Belgian. Very active body helps the liquid dissolve into fizz when swirled in my mouth. Distinctly Belgian, yes, but I like my stouts creamy and viscous with mild carbonation.

I love stouts, particularly of the imperial variety, and this just doesn't rub me the right way. My beer roots are strongly Belgian, and I suspect I'd have LOVED this brew about 3 years ago. But nowadays, this isn't for me at all. Allagash nailed the style here; it just isn't for me. (1,026 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.48/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

As the combination of Belgian beers and stout-like roast are gaining momentum in America's artisan brewing world, the question has to be asked- how much complexity can a beer have on display before the beer becomes muddled and complicated?

The dark concoction flows into the snifter and unleashes an expanding tan head that consists of loosely-knit froath that had great retention and lace.

Aromas of nuttiness, Coffee roasty, heavy toast all combine with a smoky, tart, toasty belgian character. The peppery spice and fruity esters compliment the harsh bitterness of roast and hops with more challenge than softness. A powdery, cocoa flavor followed a sharp berry-like astringency makes for the delivery of complexity and reservation.

Although arguments can be made for all of these varying flavors having too much contrast and confilict. The texture is lighter on the toung that expected, because of high carbonation levels and high attenuation rates. The beer finishes ashy, smoky and astringent and with a roasted grain bitterness that thankfully closes the beer with little after taste or texture. (1,107 characters)

Photo of dino213aa
3.48/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Although this is self described as a "belgian style stout" I will agree with BA that it resembles a strong dark ale. This is especially true in terms of appearance and mouthfeel.

A: True to its name, this brew is opaque bordering on black. Minimal head which quickly dissipates. Practically no lacing as poured into an Ommegang Abbey chalice.

S: Burnt with some spice and solvent notes.

T&M: Definite coffee and chocolate flavors. My wife commented that this brew seems incredibly sweet.. which I would say is how it finishes. Also somewhere between the taste and aroma there is a faint papery note. Sort of a corrugated paper but very faint and could just be this bottle.

D: Overall the drinkability of this brew is mediocre. I'm not a big fan of any brew with an identity crisis. Not my favorite as a stout and not my favorite as a strong dark ale. Not bad, but I doubt I'll buy it again. (895 characters)

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. (490 characters)

Photo of allinthehead
3.46/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

In a Bruery tulip glass

appearance: lovely red-brown with persistent head

smell: coffee, chocolate, smoke

taste: coffee, black licquorice, dark fruits

mouthfeel: watery, a little effervescent

overall, a nice ale, but not one I'll be searching out again (257 characters)

Photo of champ103
3.46/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown color with some ruby highlights around the edges. A large light tan head rises to about two fingers, but quickly recedes to a ring. Light lace is left behind.
S: Sweet toffee and Belgian yeast. Dank and musky with a metallic twang.
T: Sweet malt flavors. Some toffee and chocolate. Slightly roasted with an acrid coffee flavor.
M/D: A medium to full body. Creamy and smooth. Easy to drink. This is comparatively low on the alcohol for the style, and it makes it that much easier to drink.

Not bad, like most Allagash beers this is very solid. Though, like most Allagash beers this is nothing all that exceptional either. Still very much worth a try. (672 characters)

Photo of GatheringBrews
3.46/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma of dark candy, Belgian yeast, malt.

Pours a chocolately dark brown with a good 1-2 finger head that settles out into a nice thin head that laces well.

Slightly thin mouthfeel, not a ton of body, but certainly tasty.

Finish is just a tiny bit sweet with bitter chocolate. Overall, a very unique beer. (309 characters)

Photo of shivtim
3.46/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of my continuing love affair with Allagash. Gotta love 'em for making a Belgian Brew called "Black." Great minimalist bottle too. As for the actual product, it's not my favorite from them, but it's still pretty good.
Poured into a goblet. Looks like black cola with a small tan head and brown edges. Nose is malts, slightly metallic, some Euro hops in there too. Mild. taste is gently toasted malts, some farmy/barny flavors, and oil. Mouthfeel is tangy and full. Somewhat drinkable, but better for sharing. (513 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.46/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours not quite black but damn close. Light does manages to illuminate some of the beer's body. Head is a thick, tan clump. It laces well.

S-semi-subdued. Was expecting more strength here. Definitely has a Belgian Stout aroma. You get your chocolate and your coffee but there is a noticeable Belgian yeast addition.

T-Chocolate and coffee but there is also a black licorice/anise aspect to the flavor. Also a bit charred. Definitely getting a bit of metal unfortunately.

M-Not as full as it looks. Medium-to-full but not fully full if that makes any sense. Softer carbonation. Booze masked well.

O/D-Tough to really get a grasp on this one. Had its highs and lows. This one really isn't cut out for me. (709 characters)

Photo of Doogermeister
3.46/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is typical for a stout, black. The head is very tall and light, similar to other Belgian style beers.

Smell is very light. Nothing much to speak of. Has a light general Belgian style beer smell to it. It does not distinguish the fact that it is a stout.

The taste is a very smooth, light Belgian style stout flavor. Not major notes to speak of except for a light hint of dark chocolate bitterness. The ale says coffee-chocolate but the coffee is nowhere to be found in my opinion. Compared to a coffee stout, this has none of that.

Mouthfeel is very thin for a stout, has small bubbles reminiscent of the bubbles from the red chimay. Smooth drinking, with a mouthfeel that isn't too thick to enjoy more than one.

Overall this beer is pretty decent, but I have a hard time finding anything about this beer that I would dub as special. It's surprisingly light for a stout which makes it easier to drink than most American stouts but comes up short in the flavor category. Overall a great beer for those looking to make a stout a session beer. (1,059 characters)

Photo of MrSnrub
3.45/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bottle consumed on 14.5.2010.

Pours black (go figure) with ruby highlights and big, pillowy tan head. Smells of malt & yeast, like toasted dark bread. Somewhat thin in the mouth at first, but a quick swish brings the natural carbonation to life. Tastes of roasted dark malt, espresso, and yeast. A very well crafted beer, but it doesn't really excite me. (362 characters)

Photo of arktos
3.45/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

02/21/11 - Had on tap at British Beer Co. in Hyannis, MA.

10oz Chalice

A: Pours almost black with dark brown highlights, 1 finger creamy khaki colored head, lacing was minimal.

S: Smells of dark roasted malts, some dark fruits, hint of smoke, licorice, and a bit of alcohol.

T: Dark fruits, roasted malt, a decent bit of hops, anise, licorice; I pictured slightly spiced up black jelly beans? Wish I had picked up some of the chocolate or coffee others had mentioned.

M: Medium with decent amount of carbonation brightening things up, finishes semi-dry with a touch of alcohol

I'm fairly new to the craft brew scene and this is my first Belgian Stout so I probably don't know what the hell I'm talking about... wasn't bad, reminded me of a Black Ale, I'd give it another shot. (782 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.45/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter at Firkin.

It has been too long since I last had this stuff, so it's nice to find it on tap at my favorite haunt. It pours a straight onyx topped by a finger of khaki foam. The nose comprises light dark chocolate and very light roasted malts. Everything is too vague and ethereal to get a good read from. The taste brings in more of the same, though everything is quite stronger, and there's the added bonuses of some very light anise and a hint of a spice medley. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, despite a meek smell and a slightly thin body, this stuff ain't half bad. As the prototypical Belgian stout in the States, I can easily appreciate the effort. (734 characters)

Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.44/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark walnut color. As the beer hit my glass, it came alive producing a nicely controlled enduring head that laced the walls of my glass. Effervescence came alive from within the depths of the beer.
Not much of a nose-I noted perhaps a bit of alcohol and a waft of malt but that's it. Maybe, perhaps, possibly, a hint of yeast lurking around the confines of the glass.
Flavor was not particularly complex-- first hit my palate by the beer's effervescence. I would venture to say that's the notable part of the beer's flavor. I also noted toasted malt and the bitter notes of hops. I wish there was more yeast in the flavor. If the flavor was compared to a fabric, it would be one I could readily see through. The hops helped to leave a clean lasting finish. Also adding to the finish was that notable effervescence.

Mouthfeel was thin although it wasn't uncomfortable.

Drinkability - moderate. I think if I were served a pint of this beer , upon the next round I'd ask for something else.

Now the final criterion--was it worth $12 something for 750ml? Hmmm... good question. (1,087 characters)

Photo of Timmush
3.43/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

nice taste but the first thing I thought about was how boring this was. It was a typical stout. I can think of 5 others that are less expensive that have much more flavor. When my wife tastes it and says "its not bad" I know it is mild.
This was a let down. (258 characters)

Photo of tlazaroff
3.43/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

There is something distinct about the aroma coming off this beer. I want to say it's kind of chalky with raisins and a bit of roast and toast.

The beer looks black but when held to the light it is very very dark brown. The head dissipates to a thin, spotty coat pretty quickly, but of what does persist it is a nice tan color.

Flavors are very roasty with a nice dark fruit notes like dark cherry and raisin.

Carbonation is on the high side with a nice creamy body and dry finish. Overall Allagash Black is better than average and I think is priced a bit high for the quality, but I'd probably buy it again. (610 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
3.42/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour is dark brown with a light tan head. Nose is moderate roast, a bit of oily hop resin, notes of citrus, candied sugar and a touch of belgian yeast. Flavor is overly roasted, slightly bitter, citrus hop, lightly creamy with a hint of milk chocolate, light grainy yeast. Soft feel, high carb, creamy texture. (313 characters)

Photo of tonistruth
3.42/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap @ Pizza Port in Carlsbad, CA

A- deep brown to black with a milky head that doesnt stick around very long, patchy lacing

S- malty, roasted and burnt malts, some alcohol

T- malty sweet overall with flavors that include toasted caramel and roasted chocolate malts, though nicely balanced. chocolate and roasted aftertaste

M- full, wel carbonated body

D- some complexing but nothing i find outstanding, an easy dark beer for people who are afraid of trying a stout. i do like this better than Ommegangs' because the alcohol is better hidden (548 characters)

Photo of craytonic
3.4/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sadly my least favorite Allagash beer, lowest score I have given the brewery. I didn't know what it would be like, I just saw Allagash on tap and ordered immediately.

Appearance: Black or near black, decent head and lacing.

Smell: Big roasted malt and a bit too much coffee. Coffee completely dominates, perhaps a faint touch of dark chocolate as well, and dark bread crumbs. A bit earthy.

Taste: Coffee dominates, followed by roasted malt and some chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Relatively full body, but something is off about the carbonation.

Drinkability: I was very thankful I had only a glass, and not a bomber, of this one. (626 characters)

Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 688 ratings.