Allagash Black - Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash BlackAllagash Black

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684 Reviews

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Reviews: 684
Hads: 2,377
rAvg: 4
pDev: 9.5%
Wants: 137
Gots: 402 | 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: 684 | Hads: 2,377
Photo of BeerSox
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into 8oz snifter.

Deep black with a thick light tan head. It's completely opaque without any ruby edges. Spotty lacing along the glass.

The aroma is sharp bitter malts, unusual for any Belgian style ale. Hints of coffee are around, and a bit of alcohol.

The taste starts off more like any stout, with roasty malts and light bitterness. Toward the end, the flavor shifts to more of an estery Belgian mix that is more typical for the style. Full bodied with good carbonation. The finish is a slight amount of the bitter malts, with more of the estery fruit flavors that linger.

This is a great blend of an American/English style with a Belgian brewing technique. It doesn't taste forced at all. It's like this has been the main tradition for centuries. It's a Belgian Strong Dark Ale by name only, it's more of a Belgian Strong Stout. I think this is one of the better ultra-dark Belgian ales. Recommended. (921 characters)

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

Note: this review is from a bottle that was aged for approximately 20 months - I've had this fresh, and I know that cellaring matters (it makes it better!)

Review adapted from notes taken 4/3/2010

Appearance: Arguably more of a dark brown than an actual black, but who cares? Nice beige head and nice lacing

Smell: Roasty/burnt malts, chocolate, some sweetness, some dark fruits in the background, something that smells woody

Taste: Complex and delicious - the malts impart a combination of roasted, burnt, and mellow pale flavors - I realize this doesn't make much sense, but this is what is going on - chocolate, coffee, caramel - some Belgian yeast under the layers of malt flavor - definitely tastes like an Allagash beer (not a bad thing) - some subtle dark fruits - kind of tastes like a stout that is decidedly not a stout

Mouthfeel: Remarkably light despite how flavorful the beer is - it seems thin, but it seems to fit the style - well-carbonated

Overall: Tastes like a sipper but the ABV really isn't high - very drinkable

This is one of my favorites from Allagash. The balance is very interesting. It's like a hybrid between a Belgian dark ale and an American stout. The beer is tasty to begin with, and it gets better with age. (1,247 characters)

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! (567 characters)

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

Poured 22 oz to tulip.

Apperance: Poured 2 fingers light tan head. Thick and dark. Hints of dark amber and brown around the edges.

Nose: Belgian yeast and malts. Coffee, caramel, raisins, very mild hint of alcohol. Slight "funk" of the yeast gives a delicate mossy or subtle mushroom smell hidden in there somewhere.

Taste: Dark malts, bitter chocolate, coffee, dried fruit. Small amount of alcohol heat near the end. Almost a mildly bitter and woody flavor (oak-ish) that lingers.

Mouthfeel: Well balanced. Round, but not syrupy. Mild carbonation, but enough to put a slight peppery spice on the tongue which quickly and pleasantly fades.

Drinkability: The usual for Allagash --- excellent. Slow sipper. Would be excellent with gamey meats, beef roasts, or an after dinner drink in lieu of dessert. I'd find it again. (824 characters)

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

A - Almost jet-black, but still brown by a hair. Nice one-finger, tan head and just enough carbonation to keep a residual head after each sip. Not very much lacing. I feel like the richness of the color hints at the complexity of flavors in this beer. 4.0

S - Fruity smell of figs or prunes combined with roasted malt, cloves and a hint of phenols. If it weren't for the smokiness and I were blindfolded, I'd mistake this for a Belgian Pale Ale or something of the like on the count of the heavy presence of fruit and esters. That being said though, the nose is incredibly good and yet also slightly mysterious. It only hints at the flavor of the beer and some of the more subtle aspects of the taste. 4.5

T - Wow. The taste is incredible. Very smooth and sweet introduction combining flavors of molasses, coffee, roasted malts...and mystery. The flavors are so complex it's almost impossible to break it down into individual components. Finish is bitter with a hoppy and smokey flavor. Leaves a perfectly bittersweet flavor on the tongue that urges you to have another sip to try and figure out what the hell it was you just drank. 4.5

M - Heavy-bodied and slightly creamy, but still lighter than a stout or a thick porter. Nice mouthfeel, not watery at all. Slight tingle of carbonation on the sides of the tongue as well. 4.5

O - This is probably one of the finest beers I have ever had. I would highly recommend this to anyone, regardless of their taste in beer. I'd consider it a sin not to try this beer. I think the body could have been a bit heavier and if there was a bit more lacing and head retention this would have received a solid A/A+. Those are just tiny things the long run, this beer is wonderful and I'd pay top-dollar for it any day :D 4.5 (1,775 characters)

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

Deep black like the label suggests. Two-finger thick head. Very creamy looking.

Scents of dark cocoa, coffee, along with hints of anise, yeast, and a velvety sweetness.

Nice bitter espresso flavors upfront. Notes of dry cocoa powder. Develops hints of dark fruity black currant in the background along with a brief refreshing sweetness. A good amount of bitterness in the middle balances the sweetness of the roasted malts in this beer. Finish toggles between dry dark chocolate and mildly sweet hints of anise.

Extremely smooth with low carbonation.

An extremely dark and complex stout. Great for sipping over an extended period of time. There were also some fleeting floral herb notes in this beer, but I could not pinpoint at which stage I was tasting them. It's a very fine offering from Allagash. Recommend. (867 characters)

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

A: Nice thick brown color with a thick tan head. Left a good amount of lacing.

S: Nice aroma typical of a Belgian style brew.

T: Very nice sweet flavor that balances well with the beers slight bitterness. A good set of earthy flavors -nuts, barley, malts, with just a slight hint of hops at the end and also a nice smokey flavor. Very nice.

M: A real nice thick beer. Great amount of chew. It definitely delivered.

D: A very drinkable beer. Very great beer, so I wouldnt mind putting back a few more of these.

Overall: Overall the beer was very good. If delivered on all fronts. I would highly recommend this beer to ANY beer drinker. Well done. (653 characters)

Photo of ChugsMugs
4.48/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #25 poured into Goblet.

A-Fantastic presentation, poured two finger cream/tan head that quickly returns to a thin cover. Consistent thick lacing.

S-Sweets, estery aromas. Mildly phenolic (bandaids).

T- Sweet up front, complex. slight roasted malt, chocolate, hops give off brief citrus. Flavors become more complex and varying as it warms.

M- Intensely smooth and inviting.

D- An exceptional sipping beer. I'm fully hooked, especially being one of Allagash's more affordable beers.(Paid $7.99) (504 characters)

Photo of rootbeerman
4.48/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into Duvel tulip

A: pours black, with a huge 3 finger frothy light brown head that laced the glass and held a thin layer for a long time.
S: bitter chocolate, coffee, sweet malt.
T: sweet malt coffee and a sweeter chocolate. a bitter chocolate and sweet aftertaste
M: thick and heavy, coating carbonation is mild.
D: rather easy, find myself taking bigger and bigger sips. (383 characters)

Photo of ponderous
4.48/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a New Belgium globe glass.

Appearance: It's a pretty beer. Near black. Almost as black as my ex-girlfriend's mother's heart, which must have been awfully black to have created a witch like my ex-girlfriend. An off-white head falls to a cap which persists for the duration of this review, no matter how hard I shake the glass. It just gets bigger. Thinks it's smarter than me, eh? Perhaps. But better looking? Probably, actually.

Smell: smells spicy like Belgian yeast. bit of alcohol on the nose if you really shove it in there. Not too far though. Don't snort the beer. There you go. Just right.

Taste: Awesome. The spicy profile of a dark belgian ale at first, reminds me of Trois Pistoles, opens up to chocolate malts on the way down. Some roasty bitterness but not much. Quite awfully well balanced. Awfully because I could see myself drinking too many of these.

Mouthfeel: Perfect. This beer is creamy and smooth. I want to bite it. I keep trying but it evades me. Damn liquids. The carbonation isn't off the wall as it is with some beers brewed in quasi-Belgian traditions.

Overall: 4.5? I don't want to give this beer too much credit but I quite like it. I'm a fan of the dark malts and slight roastiness combined with Allagash's ester-y Belgian overtones. If only it weren't so damn expensive. $13 for a 4/pack! Never again, no matter how much I like it! Well, maybe once more, but never again after that! (1,436 characters)

Photo of corey0212
4.48/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep brown, borderline-black with dark ruby highlights, big foamy tan head hanging around for a loooong time, lots of lacing on the glass. Some dark fruit aroma, yeasty, some burnt coffee and smokiness. Lots of initial spice in the taste, mild coffee, some bittersweet chocolate. Medium-bodied, really creamy, light carbonation, some gentle lingering spice and bitterness. This is tasty, I'm sure it would pair well with lots of dishes, and I'd definitely seek this one out again. (488 characters)

Photo of khiasmus
4.48/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Very dark, though not quite "Black" as the name suggested. A thick pillow of light tan head that laces quite well.

S- Initially roasty, then as it warms, all the spice and character comes out. A bit metallic, and hints of fruit - peach? Mango? One of the most difficult beers to describe in the nose, ever. You just have to smell it yourself.

T- Very roasty, malty, sweet honey, fruit, yeast, bread, alcohol. Very well-balanced, and extremely tasty.

M- Smooth, creamy, well-carbonated, and dry, oily and warming.

D- Outrageously drinkable. The balance between the sweet, Belgian notes and the coffeeish, roasty notes is excellent. (638 characters)

Photo of JohnL9013
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had bad experiences with Allagash in the past, but definitely not this time. This stuff is seriously amazing. For such a low abv beer (only 7.5%), it packs an unbelievable flavorful punch, up there with many great Imperial Stouts that I've had before.

It's really more of a stout than a BSA, but I don't care. They can call it whatever they want, I'm buying this stuff again.

Taste: A little on the bitter side, prominent dark malts, slightly sweet, slight coffee flavor with some yeast esters and light hopping. (519 characters)

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First time I tried this - a small sample - I didn't think much of it. But, oh, later in the week, when I decided to give it another go - oh boy! - was I astounded how very good this is.

In the glass, it looks like a Belgian ale with its silky-smooth, tight-spongy tan cream head and the gem glow of it's warm, deep, reddish-brown hue.

A little bit of alcohol first hits the nose, then a soft, sweet caramel-topped coffee aroma swirls up, gradually joined by a subtle, clean fruitiness of indiscriminate likeness.

What a rich, delectable taste! Smooth, medium-intense caramel and a lightly cake-y malt assault the palate up front and hold firm and lasting through the end, with just the right amount of delicate and soothing friction. The roasted flavor stays mostly in the background and, I believe, is a slightly muted by the Belgian yeast character.

This can come across as a dessert beer, if you wish - accompanying some vanilla ice cream, for example. It's great by itself, too. Doesn't drink heavy nor is it boozy. Very well balanced and not too much going on. Draws from the best qualities of the Belgian dark and Belgian stout styles. Looking forward to having this (over and over) again. (1,199 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz acquired locally, enjoyed from a allagash 49cl glass.

a - none more black, frothy foamy off white head that hung out for the full adventure and left milkshake like lace.

s - nose is fairly nutty with a nice roast chocolate.

t/m/o - opens up with deliciousness...I mean this beer kills it. Great roasted chocolate with a fairly forward nuttiness. Almost tastes like a peanut butter beer...must be the Belgian sufpgars and the hopping (this is a fairly fresh bottle as I understand it). Super easy drinking while having the body of an oatmeal stout. Really good. Belgian stout indeed! (595 characters)

Photo of Paul68
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice black color, thick head of tan colored foam that faded slowly with little lacing on the glass.
Smelled malts, chocolate, and also a little fruity. Tastes of coffee and chocolates with a hint of alcohol in it. Great carbonation in this beer and the flavors stay with you long after you take a sip. I think Allagash makes a great beer that i will absolutely have again. (381 characters)

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #29 in my Duvel tulip.

A: 1/2" mocha coloured head that left a nice lacing over extremely dark brown/almost black liquid.

S: Yeast, chocolate, coffee, caramel.

T: Bitter dark chocolate and coffee up front which transitions to a caramel and toasted malt finish with a partially nutty taste.

M: Thick viscosity and a high level of fine carbonation.

O: A definite thick sipper that is best for sharing, I enjoyed the malts used in this beer. (449 characters)

Photo of alexgash
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle. Batch #8.

Cola caramel brown body. Big, rocky, creamy, khaki mud head. Great lacing. Nose of prunes, plums, raisins, tobacco, molasses, faint dark chocolate, and lightly roasted coffee. Very nice and complex.

Roasted barley and tinny bitterness up front. Peaty-smoked-charred roastedness surrounds dark fruits (figs, plums, raisins). Dark chocolate and roasted coffee mix with tobacco before a flash of sugary sweet molasses into the finish. Lingering roasted bitterness along with some leafy hops and some funky yeast. Delicious and complex, with a medium-full body, and creamy feel. (602 characters)

Photo of magine
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel glass.

Pours a near black color, with a tiny bit of red shining in the edges of the glass. Head is light tan. Has a massive pillow chunk head that sits on top. Head settles to a chunk lace head, nice lacing.

Brew smells of yeast, dark fruits, chocolate, roasted malts, slight coffee. Very complex, very tasty smelling brew.

Brew is very smooth; a bit of spicy yeast initially; dark fruits, wheat, roasted malts. A very complex tasty brew. This is a great tasting brew. Leaves a coating on the tongue and is slightly dry.

This is an absolute must try for any craft beer fan. If you are really into Belgian style brews and are a fan of dark brews, this will turn your head after the first sip. I want to pound this, but I have to sip and savor. Yet another top shelf brew from Allagash. Excellent stuff from an excellent brewery. (851 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
4.51/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet. No head, only a faint covering, dark amber to brown colored. Bubbles visible.

Smells spicy, molasses, black licorice, yeasty and roasted malt.

Bold and rich flavor. Roasted malt, some sweetness at the beginning, bready, lots of burnt malt at the end. Complex profile and perfectly put together.

Light and "fluffy" texture. Low carbonation.

Incredible! Just a bit more on the appearance and this is near perfect. (440 characters)

Photo of MirImage
4.51/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bomber Poured into a "Chimay" wide mouth goblet

A: Dark, slightly red to the light hues. An off white head that sits comfortably above the black liquid hugging the glass. Great Lacing.

S: Very musty at 1st. When it warms you get notes of alcohol, dark candies and chocolate.

T: Dark grains, chocolate and alcohol notes. You get some hop bitterness on the back of the pallet.

M: Feels almost as smooth as silk but there is a little burn to it. Burn actually goes away when beer warms up.

D: Its not a beer you drink all night by any means but it goes down very smooth. Heavier body, but goes down very, very smooth. (620 characters)

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

Maybe not black, but very close to it with brown highlights. Great head retention with a thickish sheet on top after dissapating from a nice 1.5 finger tan head. Spotty lacing. The aroma is vinous with a hint of Belgian yeasty funk and a touch of alcohol that tingles the nose hairs. Just a hint of the dark roasted malts and chocolate malt in the end of the smell, but if I didn't know what it looked like, I would probably guess that it was a Belgian tripel. Very interesting.

Very balanced and full flavor profile. The body is full and creamy, nearly chewy even. It does have vinous qualities as well in a dry feel and finish, despite the creamy body. There is a big and balancing alcohol feel in the middle of the palate that is almost juicy of all things, blending perfectly with the swirl of roasty, dark cocoa malts and Belgian yeast funk. Those malts are never overbearing or sweet, but do have a nice presence to them, letting the drinker know that this is a stout. The Belgian influence swoops in and gives some spicy, clove kind of characteristics, spicing up the stout flavors. This flavor never becomes overbearing either; it just acts as a substantial bit of character. To its advantage, the profile never gets sweet. The texture of this beer sets the whole experience off so well, somehow being smooth and creamy up front, but then drying up and finishing bone-dry, almost puckeringly so, in the back.

Fanatastic beer here. The Belgian style in this stout works particularly well, making for a drinkable, higher ABV beer with plenty of complexity. Definitely one to pick up if you see it. (1,607 characters)

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

pours very dark brown, nearly black, just as the label says...
thick foamy head, leaves a lot of lacing on the way down.

smells of big dark roasted scents, a bit of coffee and chocolate, with some sweeter hints of fruit, corn, and malts.
tastes a little bitter initially, but boy do those toasty flavors come through. sweetness blends perfectly with the coffee and roasted malt flavors. just a hint of alcohol is present, but since this one is much lighter bodied than I expected for its style, I really don't mind.

can't wait to start grilling and try this with some steaks or burgers, I can tell the darker flavors would be great with any grilled beef with BBQ sauce. absolutely worth seeking out. (702 characters)

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. (872 characters)

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

A - A dense off- white heads sets on top of a jet blacked body.

S - Fresh woody malt. Spicy Belgain yeast esters. Fresh green coffee beans. Sweetened dark chocolate.

T - Sweet dark chocolate malt, sour agave, over ripened apples, roasted grain, sweetened coffee, golden raisins. Has a roasted oat finish. Velvety smooth.

Very complex. You could drink this 10 times and not figure out everything. Just a well crafted brew. The elegant body matches the complex flavors. This is a world class beer. (500 characters)

Allagash Black from Allagash Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 684 ratings.