1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Allagash Black - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash BlackAllagash Black

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,176 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,176
Reviews: 666
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 116
Gots: 272 | FT: 6
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:
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 added by: Bassetdawg on 12-14-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Allagash Black Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,176 | Reviews: 666 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheSixthRing
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
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".

Photo of Stigs
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz pour at Sunset Grill, served in a tulip

A - served with a solid finger of frothy and creamy khaki colored foam. the beer is well, black! creamy sticky lacing left behind most of the drink.

S - deep roasted almost charred malts, fresh dark coffee, oaky sweetness, and dark chocolate.

T - begins a bit sweeter than expected with a heavy amount of vanilla and oak, dark roasted malts cut through rather quickly bringing some bittering earth hops along, some dark fruits, and brewers licorice. rounded out at the end with (creamed) coffee, rum, and toasted nuts. very minor alcohol heat.

M - medium bodied and VERY chewy, leaves the mouth coated with a layer of wool...despite that the body has a nice pleasant creaminess to it.

D - solid all around, excellent example of a Belgian-influenced stout. nice and robust but not too extreme.

Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at Ashley's. Satisfying, its black yes with off-white head and its very lacey. A roasted stout aroma, medium mouthfeel. Coffee and roast, nutty, caramel, some candi. Aggressive carbonation. a good balance overall, and so good drinkability.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle from Batch 14. Pours a dark brown color with an airy tan head. Retention is decent and leaves some spotty lacing.

Nose is chocolate, roast, bready yeast and some anise. Pretty nice, the Belgian yeast definitely makes is presence felt.

Taste is along the same lines as the nose along with some licorice, sassafras and herbal hop flavors. Has a relaxing feel to it and goes down easy. Mouthfeel is not as creamy and viscous as I would like, but not too big of a deal. Carbonation is higher like a Belgian Strong Pale as opposed to a stout. I am pleased the yeast esters add something unique to the beer. And it is not really a fruity aspect, more of a bready, zesty spice character. It's a good beer, I'd probably buy another one. Might be a good candidate for the cellar too.

Photo of claspada
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aromas of coffee and chocolate. Subtley sweet and slightly earthy. A bit of char and as it warms you get some nice dark fruits (from either the yeast or complex dark caramel malts), mainly figs and prunes. Not too complex but nothing wrong here either.
The tastes begin with rich coffee, dark chocolate and the figs I detected in the aroma. The warmer it got the more it seemed to pick up on that burnt/char maltiness
The mouthfeel is luscious and creamy, dominating by an active carbonation profile that really never let this one become dull or boring in anyway. (This is one of my favorite aspects of this hybrid style.)
Overall this is an extremely drinkable stout, almost dangerously so, especially as it warmed as you started to take hold of all the notes of prune and dark fruits. Probably the best example of the hybrid style beer and well recommened and will definitely be revisted in the future.

Photo of IBUnit63
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in tulip - Starbucks espresso-dark. Head is tight, rye/whole wheat in color but dissipates quickly.

Scent is loaded with coffee and hearty roasted chocolate malt. Good stuff - piney hops way is background - not a lot of alcohol here. All working well together.

This is hefty hefty hefty...loads of malt with slight vegetal hop presence and a hint of alcohol burn that keeps it from being too chewy.

Mouthfeel is a little disjointed - this one rolls a little heavy with an alcohol spike on the finish.

Definitely a sipper - maybe time will even this out. Good stuff - a little heavy with an independent alcohol burn though.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"If it's black, send it back! If it's brown, drink it down!" - Homer Simpson

Contrary to the name Black is actually dark brown. Light tan head that looks so pillowy soft I want to rest my weary head on it. Thick sheet of retention rides down the glass and leaves thick swatches of foam. Shame about the color though...and the name.

Smells of earthy roots and dirt like a rich brown ale. Subtle hints of dark fruit and some char sprinkled in are the only real stout qualities. Taste is light charcoal and earthen chocolate. Richer as it warms.

Not much stout to this stout. It's good but doesn't live up to the Allagash name. Speaking of which, Allagash hasn't been living up to their price tag as of late.

Photo of cbutova
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pitch black body poured into a tall tulip. Massive foamy off white head forms with good retention. Not much lace to speak of.

S- Basically as advertised. Stout qualities like cocoa powder, roast cereal grains from malt. The Belgian yeast brings spice, raisins and dark fruit. Slight Euro hops.

T- A bit spicier than the nose and overall the yeast makes itself more present here. It almost has a Dubbel yeast profile (spice, raisin) balanced out with the dark cocoa, roast grains and sweets. Spicy grassy Euro hops.

MF- Foamy yet creamy with a smooth Belgian overall feel. Carbonation is on the lower side but it helps support the spicy stout flavor. Slight alcohol warming. Perhaps more dried out than I wouldlwould like but it makes sense with Belgian yeast.

It delivers what they say it will. Good Belgian spicy yeast profile with a dark cocoa roast stout balancing.

Photo of HeyItsChili
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of beachbum1975
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared this one with DrewOSU tonight. I've had it before, but never reviewed it.This is a bottle purchased in late '08.

Pours black with mahogany highlights. A nice creamy, white head sits on top with a good 1/8 inch retention.

Moderately complex mix of sweet malts, cocoa, light coffee grounds and a bit of alcohol.

Taste reflects the nose... Sweet malts amidst light coffee and chocolate. I really like the light body and high carbonation on this one, it really adds to the summertime drinkability.

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a chalice; batch #4

Pours almost a pitch black in color, and shows off some light ruby red highlights when held up to the sun. Thick, frothy mocha head rose a solid finger and left spotty, spider web lacing.

Smell is of roasted chocolate malts, dark fruits, mild anise, coffee, and clove. Smells like a typical stout only with a yeast strain indicative of the Belgian style.

Taste mimics the smell, only with the chocolate and coffee dominating. Fruity and sweet up front and finishes dry. There is a decent amount of warming left behind in its wake.

Smooth and light, adequately carbonated, but definitely not outstanding.

Relatively easy to drink, a definite sipper. A solid offering, but there is room for improvement. Definitely not a BSDA.

Photo of DrJay
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of Jwale73
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirstybird for this one. 750 ml corked & caged bottle; batch #4 indicated on the label. Served in my Delirium Tremens tulip. Poured an opaque black with a one inch loose white head; tiny ringlets embedded in the cap. Head dissipated into a thin skim that coalesced around the perimeter of the glass; lacing was spotty and sparse. Nose presented with dark fruity esters and cocoa with a trace of alcohol. Taste consistent with nose; however, a light roasted coffee character is revealed in the mouth with a bit of char at the finish. Mouthfeel was light- to medium-bodied, but with a little too much carbonation, followed by a bit of alcohol astringency that lingers slightly between quaffs. Very enjoyable brew falling somewhere between a belgian strong dark and a foreign export stout. Nice blending of the styles.

Photo of gford217
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottles poured into a snifter.

Pours dark brown out of the bottle before settling in as a pitch black in the glass with a fluffy off-white head. Lacing was excellent. Roasted malts and hints of coffee in the nose. The taste is also dry and roasty with dark chocolate and a bit of roasted coffee in the taste. There is definitely a Belgian yeast presence in the background as well. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and highly carbonated with a very dry finish. This is a very nice and different stout from Allagash. Highly drinkable.

Photo of NCSUdo
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle

A: Pours a deep black under a very small slightly off white head. No lace, a small ring of retention.

S: Sweet, roasted malt, mild chocolate and a pinch of coffee, slightly nutty.

T: Much of the same, roasted malt, sweet and some chocolate. Bit of coffee and nutty hint. Mild bitterness and grassy hop in the finish.

M/D: Full bodied, a bit thin, light carbonation, good mouthfeel and good drinkability. A pretty decent brew. I wouldn't really call it a stout or strong dark ale, more like souped up brown ale (that isn't a stout or a porter). Pretty good beer.

Photo of jwinship83
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle drank from my ommegang chalice. this bottle is from batch 25.

A- this one pours a very dark (almost black) colored body with a small khaki colored head on top. the head lasts for a few minutes before becoming a skin on the top of my glass. small spots of lacing are left behind.

S- the first thing im able to pick out of the nose are roasted malts. very dark and almost burnt smelling. this beer is also heavy on the coffee. a little bit of belgian yeast and milk chocolate.

T- as with the nose, the taste opens with some darkly roasted and nearly burnt malts. after that it moves quickly into some semisweet chocolate. plenty of belgian yeast (would it be allagash without it?). theres a bit of smoke in here also. lots of dark roasted coffee at the end, along with a little bit of earthiness.

M- very much on the thin side. almost watery. extremely highly carbonated.

D- other than the thin mouthfeel that isnt right on a stout, this was a very enjoyable beer. something id like to sample again. maybe an older bottle next time. another success from allagash. lots of flavor packed into a beer without too much alcohol.

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a wellington glass. (my favorite glass).
Bottled November 2011.

Appearance: very dark brown, almost opaque a tan head little lighter than normal rising to maybe half an inch.

Smell: Light yeast with light chocolate; good but light I personally prefer a deeper smell (FYI).

Taste: Robust bitter dark chocolate but light not overwhelming with the right blend of yeast.

Mouth: Medium to heavy carbonation, sharp texture, you might not be able to see the bubbles but you can sure feel them.

Overall: Pretty good beer, little different considering the what it is representing...dark, robust, and overall tasty. Salud!

Photo of radshoesbro
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Somehow before I drank this I thought it was a stout. It's definitely not one!
Pours a nice dark with a creamy look head. Medium malts and hops with a twinge of alcohol sweetness to it. This isn't really something I'd go out of my way to get ahold of, but if offered it I'd be a little happier.

Photo of MaximalC
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours nearly black with only the faintest umber highlights and one finger of variegated khaki foam. Foam soon settles into patchy frogspawn while reticulated swaths of lacing cling to the glass. Aroma smells of coriander and yeast--much lighter than the appearance would suggest. Flavor is spicy up front with a peppery bite and a pronounced yeast presence, along with some coriander. This is augmented by a bitterness that tastes one part roast and one part resinous hops. The hops assert themselves more in the finish as the initial spices subside. There's not much sweetness to speak of, at least not while it's still fairly cool. The bottle touts "chocolate throughout", but I'm not tasting it here. Perhaps some traces of milk chocolate manage to sneak through on the back end after the beer has warmed substantially. The mouthfeel is zesty and lively, as is to be expected with a Belgian style ale, and it serves to exacerbate the spiciness almost to the point of being too aggressive.

Overall, this is a tasty and vivacious brew that's nearly too perky for its own good. A little more sweet and mellow, and this could be really exceptional. As it stands, it tastes more like a less sophisticated version of Pepe Nero, which is hardly a bad thing.

Photo of vtfan77
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Well, it pretty much lives up to its name. Little light gets through and the appearance is stout-like, although maybe not as dark as most stouts. A decent head forms and sticks around for a little while.

S- The initial whiffs are all clove and banana, so there is no doubt that a Belgian yeast strain was used. Underneath that are distinct stout-like aromas of cocoa and burnt toast. Very interesting.

T- While the Belgian characteristics dominated the aroma, they take a back seat to the stout characteristics in the taste. Burnt malt is the main taste here, but the yeast byproducts have their say with fruit and spice flavors. The finish is dry and fairly bitter thanks to some moderately aggressive hops.

M- Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Decent enough mouthfeel.

D- Sure, I'd have another. Not a session beer by any means, but decent in this category.

This is definitely a good beer, although not one of the best I've had. It's a unique combination of flavors for sure, but nothing really stands out, and there's not really anything new here. Regardless, it's still very good and I recommend it.

Photo of mralphabet
3.96/5  rDev -2%
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.

Photo of TGriffing26
3.96/5  rDev -2%

Photo of stckhndlr
3.96/5  rDev -2%
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.

Photo of brbrocc
3.96/5  rDev -2%

Photo of tkdchampxi
3.96/5  rDev -2%

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

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

Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,176 ratings.