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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: 2,399
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
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Reviews: 688 | Hads: 2,399
Photo of bashiba
4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This Black Belgian Style Stout pours midnight black with the thickest and fullest head I have seen in quite some time, incredible retention and tons of lacing. Superb look!

Has a nice big chocolate and coffee smell with a touch of smokey burnt black malts and just a hint of anise.

The flavor follows the smell to a T. Big bold black and burnt malty flavor with a touch of chocolate and coffee and some nice smokey flavors.

The mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth with a decent bit of carbonation zip and a touch of ABV warmth.

A solid easy drinking stout, very smooth and balanced. (587 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (826 characters)

Photo of Proteus93
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a large snifter to provide a 'wide bowl.' Printed with "Batch #4" on the side of the bottle:

A: Completely opaque black... fitting for the name. Considering the deep colouring of this beer, the head is surprisingly pale - a sandy colour. Comes up fairly creamy, and retention is about mediocre. The sheer blackness of the brew itself is the ticket with this one.

S: Unsweetened chocolate, some heavily roasted malts, very slight notes of licorice, and a yeast ester aroma.

T + M: The flavour is a surprise... I expected a little thicker and perhaps stickier with a more intense flavour. Instead, flavours manage to have some restraint without giving up the "big" profile. It then finishes incredibly clean with no stickiness. Quite a nice and dry touch. Roasted malt / chocolate flavours, an intriguing fruitiness... closer to dark berry than it would be to 'dark fruits' like date, fig, or raisin. Something like blackberry or serviceberry. Finishes with a very modest bittering and a touch of smokiness to boot. Quite nice.

D: A pleasant surprise. Not too sure what I was really expecting, but this went beyond that. I look forward to another date with this one. A good choice. (1,198 characters)

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a glass that resembled a heavy weighted pilsner glass.

The color was near black with a clear ruby tint when held to the light. There was just about a finger's width of light brown foam head that hung around for most of the glass and left some light brown lacing down the side of the glass.

I had a hard time getting much aroma off from this. What I did get was some very mild chocolate and touch of alcohol - both incredibly faint.

Incredibly rich and complex malts engulf the tongue in a display of more balance than expected. There isn't much in the way of hops but there are some bittering elements from some of the malts that seem to balance the sweetness of some of the other malts. This reminded me of a great stout with strong chocolate and coffee flavors with the addition of one noticeable difference - that flavor of Belgian candy sugar and dark fruit. It's subtle, but it's there and it works great! The finish is slow and chocolaty with some more of that dark fruit flavor but has an extended linger of coffee.

Rich. Bold. Chewy. Refined. This is a great brew and I very much enjoyed it. Highly recommended. (1,136 characters)

Photo of gte893m
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been looking forward to this one. Allagash produces some of the bast belgian-syle beer in the US. The beer poured a dark black. Holding my glass up to the light you can see some reddish-brown peaking through. Head is a nice mocha color with good retention and nice lacing. Note I've poured this into a glass with a nucleation point at the bottom. Flavor is complex with deep roasted malts, coffee and faint hints of chocolate. Finish is wonderful and is really the only chance to notice the alcohol. A beautiful stout. (523 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap Friday at night at Tyler's Taproom in Carrboro.Poured into a small goblet a deep but not entirely opaque black, a bit of ruby did show thru with a thinner light mocha colored head.Aromas were not as bold as expected,I picked up some roasted malt and brown sugar,the chocolate was very faint.Flavors were great with some good complexity,starting out with some brown sugar and bitter chocolate melding into a roasted and smoky finish,I really liked the smoke element it went well with the light sweetness of the beer.To me very stout-like on the palate,a very nice brew. (579 characters)

Photo of drumrboy22
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle received from Mudpuppet in trade. Poured into a snifter. Beer was a deep, dark brown almost black color with a two finger, creamy, tan head. Moderate lacing.

Aroma was roasted grains, toffee, chocolate and malt.

Taste was chocolate, malt and coffee. German chocolate cake comes to mind.

Very tasty and high drinkability. Would recommend drinking at cellar temperature. Some of the flavors are subtle and open up as the beer warms. (447 characters)

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.94/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

750 ML corked & caged bottle > Chimay Goblet/Duvel Goblet

This is a very dark brown color, not opaque with only a bit of ruby red light popping through the top. The crown is a swirly, creamy mocha color rising 2" with a classic fluffy cap. dissipates slow with a nice peak in the middle. The center of the crown is very bubbly and remains so.

The aroma is simply wonderful. Sweet malt complexity with chocolate cocoa mix, chai tea, Hershey's chocolate, honey, brown suagr, peanutbutter and then comes the extreme fruitiness! blackberries and boysenberries up-front that's gentle and very inticing. There's tangy, wild hop like earthiness to round it out.

This Belgian-style stout has a very lively and crisp feel that is classiclly Belgian but with the massive malt complexity it really is very smooth going down. I'm loving the bold flavor's of a stout with the luxurious feel of a Strong-Dark Belgian ale. Flavor's range from big, ripe dark fruits and berries to mild and sweet milk chocolate, brown sugar, and malted milk balls. The wonderful balance between the chocolate and sweet fruity flavor's is only enhanced when the spicy, earthy hops kick in right at the end with the well-hidden 7.5% abv heat. No trace of bitterness in this stout. Think Belgian Strong Dark ale meets Obsidian Stout. amazingly complex, yet easy to drink. A smooth yet lively feel, full but approachable makes this complex yet easy.

We have a winner! unique with a perfect balance, complexity is off the charts...I just don't want to see it end!! (1,539 characters)

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

Dark brown/black color with a fully foaming and long lasting head of foam. Intricate nose showcases notes of cocoa and roast, as well as dark fruit notes of syrah grapes and blackberries. Flavor has nice balance, but is perhaps a bit sweet. Similar notes as in the aroma, lots of sweet dark red fruit notes. Could have more dark malt notes to improve it. Overall, it's a well made ale. (385 characters)

Photo of gonzo46and2
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like a stout but a bit thinner a livelier. Dark, black and opaque. Smells a bit mild. Coffee and chocolate. Didn't smell like belgian yeast/malt as much as I'd hoped but the belgian attributes were almost there. It definitely had the irish stout/belgian quadruppel hybrid-type aroma and taste. It was just a bit too mild for me. Still a good beer. Very drinkable. (369 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.63/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear black color ale with a large off-white foamy head with great retention and good lacing. Aroma of light roasted malt with some medium sweet malt notes. Taste is also dominated by some light chocolate roasted malt notes with a nice Belgian-style malt backbone. Average body with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not bad but I was expecting more complexity and maybe more chocolate, vanilla or maybe some ester. A bit like the Troubadour Obscura but with a heftier price tag. (504 characters)

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

A really tasty and drinkable Belgian... stout? Sure.... ok.

And it shares a helluva lot more in common with a stout than a strong Belgian dark/Quad.

Pours a deep, deep, deep, mahogany brown that's mostly black until you get up close and personal. Reasonably frothy, pillowy head that dissipates and falls away rather quickly.

Aroma is.... well, 3.5 might be low.... but it's disappointing. Nice roasted malt notes, with maybe a hint of esters, but no strong Belgian yeast character or truly complex malt aromas.

Taste is a slightly better balance. It's an eminently smooth chocolate and roasted malt forward malt with some mid-bodied sweetness that has a drying finish that reminds of both spicy hop and dark malt. It's very... good, and I'd happily have more, but I'm not going nuts.

That said... the mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, and not so highly carbonated as to be too spritzy, but not silky either.

It's more drinkable than it deserves to be, I feel. Maybe it's the bottle, maybe it's the relative simplicity of it all... but I want more, even as I wasn't blown away by any particular aspect. (1,106 characters)

Photo of iceball585
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pitch black color, non-transparent, fluffy head that disolved quickly to a thin layer

S- Milk chocolate, coffee beans, earthy, dark malts, roasted auroma

T- Roasted coffee beans, dark, chocolate malts, smokey, yeast, slight bitterness

M- Medium/heavy body, low/medium carbonation, smooth, creamy

D- Worth buying again

Another brew by Allagash that I was fairly impressed with. Nothing too crazy but was still very good over all. (436 characters)

Photo of cdog3
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer poured black almost opaque but not cloudy at all with a tan head. The aroma was a beautiful roasty and chocolate with slight hints of coffee. The flavor has the same roast as in the flavor with out a lot of complexity. It was chocolaty but the mouthfeel was a little thin and spritzy. Maybe a little more oats in the malt bill would have improved the beers creaminess and helped to round out the flavor profile. Overall very drinkable, but the top Belgian stout that I have ever had. (488 characters)

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

The beer pours a black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, earthy, black, chocolate, and roasted malt scent along with a light Belgian yeast fruitiness. The taste is great! I'm not sure I'm a huge fan of this concept, but this seems to be the benchmark for Belgian stouts; dry, earthy, thinner mouthfeel, fruity yeast esters. This is a damn good stout. The mouthfeel is fine. It's full bodied with adequate carbonation, but it's thinner than a regular imperial stout. This beer drinks well. It's complex and flavorful, but it doesn't sell out the stout style. (620 characters)

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

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a pint glass. 06/16/08.

Pours nearly pitch black, with bits of brown around the edges. Three fingers of puffy tan head pop up, and slowly recede leaving slight lacing. Aromas of roasted malt and chocolate, with quite a bit of yeasty bread.

Taste starts with lots of creamy milk chocolate and toasted malts and finishes with bitter lightly-roasted coffee. Underneath both is the Belgian yeast taste and a very subtle American hop flavor. Not the most flavorful stout in terms of complexity and different flavors, but it is very nice with a Belgian kick.

Feel is nice and smooth, almost creamy with just the right amount of carbonation. Doesn't leave my mouth all sticky either, pretty clean finish. Drinkability is great. It goes down so smoothly, and the alcohol stays hidden.

A very nice stout. Disregard the "Belgian Strong Dark Ale" label on BA, the bottle itself brands it as a "Belgian style stout," which seems more accurate. I think it's a bit pricey (maybe $10) but it is very good, I'm definitely going to buy another bottle. (1,071 characters)

Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Not a whole lot to say about the appearance besides black. Even when holding it up to the light, you can't see anything but black. Maybe I poured it too slow, but I had nothing more than a slight ring of carbonation for the head. Since I really think this is a Stout and not a Strong Dark Ale I reduced the appearance rating due to the lack of any head.

S: Roasted malt is the main aroma. There are hints of Belgian yeast, coffee, and chocolate as well.

T: The initial taste is that of coffee and chocolate. That seems to switch to a dominant flavor of roasted malt with that classic Belgian yeast taste mixed in. It finishes with a bit of a bitter kick with the coffee flavor coming through again. This is an interesting example of a stout. It seems much more complex than many stouts I have had.

M: It is very thick as you would expect from a stout, but it is not creamy like nitrogen stouts. Even though there wasn't any head to speak of, the in mouth carbonation really tickles the tongue. It leaves your mouth slightly sticky when swallow the liquid.

D: For a stout, it is relatively drinkable. However, since its not as creamy as some I cant give it the highest of marks. (1,184 characters)

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

This offering from Allagash nicely priced for an Allagash beer by the way pours a deep dark brown almost black leaving a thick tan head. The nose is delicious, completely Belgian, sweet fruit, dark pitted ripened fruit, honey, tart, wheat grass, fantastic nose.

The taste starts fruity, chocolate, malty, syrupy fruit, slightly boozey, nice alcohol presence. There is a nice hop profile for balance. Apple, plum, fruit, a small alcohol presence finishes sweet with enough balance to make this phenomenal very different, I will be going back to this beer and have. (564 characters)

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

A : Pours a nice black with a good tan head which dissipates quickly. Leaves good lacing behind

S : Roasted malt, coffee, typical Belgian stout

T : Coffee, roasted flavors, a bitterness on the finish.

M : Very soft and creamy

D : Real good drinkability. Defintely different than the typical American stout. (310 characters)

Photo of Blaise
3.79/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

When I first opened the bottle I could immediately smell coffee and cocoa. Not being a huge fan of coffee I was a little hesitant. Once I tried it I was hit with much more chocolate and toffee flavors. This was a nice surprise since I wasn't looking foward too much to the coffee. It felt creamy on the tongue with a bit of that stouty bitterness. The coffee came up strong on the finish, but wasn't overpowering. All in all I was pretty impressed with Allagash Black and would drink it again for sure. (502 characters)

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

Source: 750 ml corked and caged bottle; no discernable freshness date.

Appearance: I wanted to say, "how much more black could it be? The answer is none. None more black." But I've actually seen more black, like the Gonzo Imperial Porter, so I'll say simply that this was an incredibly dark brown pour into a tulip, with a rocky two-finger off white head that lingered and left nice sheet lacing.

Smell: Roasted malt is the main course, with a little chocolate and coffee on the side. I could not detect any of the spice I generally associate with a Belgian strong dark ale, so I have some quibble with the BA classification.

Taste: My quibbles with the classification continue. This is a very nice ale, but I don't think it's a Belgian strong dark ale; rather, it's a dry American stout by way of Belgium. I can't figure out precisely what the Belgian element is, but there's a certain depth to it - perhaps from the yeast - that provides just a hint. The slightly burnt roasted malt continues to be the main feature, but there is also a little piney American hops that serves as a nice counterpoint. I love the finish, which reminds me, of all things, of an American macro lager (but in a good way).

Mouthfeel: Very nice... a little more zippy than expected, but it works with the strong malt flavor. Much more depth than a typical stout, but not at all overpowering or off-putting.

Drinkability: I'm not sure how this lines up with my expectations, because I'm not sure what my expectations were. This is probably a bit much for a session beer, given the ABV, but I'd love to try the classic pairing (at least for my classification) with several dozen oysters. (1,668 characters)

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

A: Poured a beautiful rich cola-brown with a huge, foamy 3 finger khaki head. Visible carbonation was slow and steady with showering micro-bubbles that were densely packed raining upwards. The head was as well densely packed showing an excellent retention and hardly gave an inch after several minutes. The lacing left was moderate with 2 towering streaks left down the sides of the glass.

S: yeasty with bananas and light cocoa powder.

T: roasted malt with yeasty attributes of creamed bananas and cocoa powder. There was a slight coffee bitterness in the finish as well some dark bitter bakers chocolate. A beautiful flavor with yeasty character adds a great level of complexity and transition of flavor from rich, bitter and dark to a yeasty finish.

M: very soft, creamy, and smooth with hardly a trace of carbonation. A very smooth and soft roastes bitterness graces the tongue.

D: Very good drinkability, which just may be an understatement. (953 characters)

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

Thanks going out to DavidEddie for the opportunity to consider this one.

Pours a clear dark brown color that's almost opaque. Yields a large foamy tan head, of tiny bubbles, that fades fairly quickly leaving spotty patterns of lacing. The smell is an ever-so-slightly roasted malt chocolate, NECCO wafer aroma. Adequately carbonated, a small tingle of hops and alcohol, the mouth feel is light-medium bodied. The flavor and the nose are quite similar. There is a subtle tangy character of the mouth that's keeping things interesting. I guess i shouldn't be as shocked as i am about the enormity of acceptable interpretations of the "Belgian Strong Dark Ale". I've come to expect an earthy yeast component and a dark fruit character, neither of which was predominant in this sample. Goes to show...keep your expectations in check. The marketing department tells us that anything in a corked and caged 750 from Allagash must be 'special'. Stow it. (946 characters)

Photo of JAA
4.26/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, this is my first review. I hope i don't sound like a dumbass, 23 year old kid.

I bought this growler at this new beer store in Bradenton,FL. The owner keeps it behind the counter to protect it from touchy-feely beer shoppers. After i poured it into a rocks glass, the beer developed about a one finger medium tan head. I don't think my sense of smell has been properly trained, so i won't even guess. The aroma wasn't anything out of the ordinary. The beer had a spicy-smokey onset that faded into a very dark chocolate and ashy aftertaste that lingered for quite a while. Mouthfeel was silky-smooth with what seemed to be the perfect amount of carbonation.

I was quite impressed with this allagash after tasting another, less satisfactory, variety. I would drink this quite often, if it weren't 22 bucks a growler. If you like 60%-72% cacao chocolate you'll probably enjoy this beer a lot.

Edit: well you knew i was new at this, because i said that this was a "growler". It actually was a 750 ml bottle. Der der der der der. (1,038 characters)

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

Had on cask at the Real Ale Regalia at American Flatbread in Burlington, VT.
Served in a pint glass.

Has a dark black color with a one finger tan creamy head with great retention leaving significant lacing. Roasted malts, chocolate, and alcohol are the main aromas. The up front taste is light smoke, dark chocolate and alcohol which leads to a bitter hop finish and a chocolate aftertaste. Full bodied, light carbonation, starts with a creamy mouthfeel and ends with a chalky one. Not as complex as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale should be, but good drinkability anyway. (567 characters)

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