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Allagash Bourbon Barrel Black - Allagash Brewing Company

Allagash Bourbon Barrel Black
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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

337 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 337
Reviews: 82
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 10.17%


Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Our Belgian Style Stout, Black, aged for one year in bourbon barrels. The toffee,chocolate and coconut nose is followed by a smooth bitter chocolate and bourbon flavor. The finish is dry, roasted and warming.

(Beer added by: rye726 on 03-04-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 337 | Reviews: 82 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jayhawk73
jayhawk73

Maryland

3.18/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On draft at Churchkey:

Pours black w/ a thin head into my snifter glass. No light can get through this beer. Smell is bourbon, anise, and slight alcohol- fairly uncomplex and inspiring. Taste is disappointing- There's just not much there to taste. I'd hoped for big flavors from this beer, and it didn't deliver. Feel is thin, and a little on the dry side for what this should be. Overall, the regular Black is far better. Something is lost in translation to this brew. Cheers.

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2012 02:41:13 | More by jayhawk73
Photo of deltatauhobbit
deltatauhobbit

Maine

3.45/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had over at Novare Res, says it was aged in Jim Beam barrels. On-tap, not the cask version they sometimes have.

Pours a very dark brown with a good sized tan head that fades at a really slow rate, some patchy lacing.

Smell has a huge bourbon aroma that overwhelms everything else, although there is some roasted malt in there too.

Taste is overly controlled by the bourbon and doesn't meld with the Allagash Black too well, it's like they just pours Jim Beam in there, the subtle complexities of the regular version is lost on this although vanilla makes decent appearance on the taste buds, maybe it just need some time to mellow outside of the barrels because it's also much hotter than it should be.

Bit disappointed, if I wanted to drink Jim Beam, I'd order that and just have the regular Allagash Black as a chaser.

Serving type: on-tap

06-13-2010 19:49:27 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a goblet at Max's.

Color is dark cola brown, opaque and thick with a creamy light tan head that produces thick sheets of lacing. Aroma is mild in strength and dominated by bourbon, vanilla and oak. Very smooth and subtle, but a little boring. Flavor is bourbon forward without being overly boozy or sweet. Finish is slightly bitter and astringent, with a mild dark fruit flavor and oak sweetness. Body is thick and silky smooth with minimal carbonation. Overall this isn't bad but was disappointgly boring and the base beer is overwhelmed by the barrel aging. Yawn.

Serving type: on-tap

08-21-2010 23:20:03 | More by yourefragile
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at Victoria Gastropub. Poured into a 5oz. tasting glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with light coming through the whole pour. There is a layer of tan head that disappears.

Smell: This has a very mild smell. Some bourbon and roast with some herb/spice notes from the Belgian yeast.

Taste: Bourbon and dark chocolate roast flavors. Quite smooth and no burn from the alcohol. I can taste the spice quality from the yeast. The finish is quite bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with hardly any carbonation. The finish is very dry.

Overall: This beer is quite different from anything I can remember trying. I thought it was a little too bitter given the other flavors, but definitely not a bad beer. Not sure if I want more or not.

Serving type: on-tap

05-20-2011 02:39:12 | More by oline73
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Darker shade of blackness in the small tulip glass. Nice foam and plenty of carbonation on the tongue. Medium body.

Warm malt with many shades of roasted malt. Some toasted nuts along with hints of charred grain. Mellow malt flavors dominate but it dries out in the aftertaste into a more austere brew. You wouldn't mistake this for a Barley Wine. The modest sweetness provides a pleasant base for some high notes of hops. Raisiny and figgy, but pleasantly balanced. A little booziness but the barrel flavors don't really dominate.

A pleasant sip of no great distinction but with an aromatic woody flavor. On tap at Tiger! Tiger! in San Diego.

Serving type: on-tap

01-06-2013 04:30:39 | More by mactrail
Photo of jsanford
jsanford

Georgia

3.55/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Brewvival 2011.

Pours a dark brown (surprising considering the name) with a creamy head. Good aromas of oak, chocolate malt, and Belgian yeast. Nice and roasty with good Belgian stout flavors, but not getting much Bourbon, which is a shame. Slightly creamy, with a medium body and crisp carbonation. Not bad, but where the heck is the Bourbon?

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2011 23:31:48 | More by jsanford
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
DoubleSimcoe

New York

3.55/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

**Had on tap at anotheroom tribeca and enjoyed it much more- the bourbon flavor was very much present. I'm bumping up my rating thusly**

Allagash Bourbon Black, on tap at Pony Bar in NYC, 8-oz glass.

Appearance: 2 fingers of foamy, chestnut-colored head, thick soapy bubbles. Serious retention, lacing. Auburn-amber-ebony color.

Smell: Quality booze, roastiness, camp fire. Toffee, brown butter and a touch of hops.

Taste: Disappointing, weak. Vinous qualities, demi glace-beef jus, raisins. No bourbon or booze, more like a mellow brown ale. Tad of chocolate at the end.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, great carbonation, hop profile all around the mouth. Dry sticky finish.

Overall: Not too different from regular Black. Where's the Jim Beam? Aged for a whole year, seriously? Sad. But drinks great for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

06-13-2012 03:55:26 | More by DoubleSimcoe
Photo of strangefate
strangefate

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Hulmeville Inn, 10/10. Poured into a goblet.

Pours a dark black-brown with a tan two-finger head and nice lacing.

I didn't get a lot from the scent - bourbon, dark fruits.

The taste is dark fruits up front, some roasted malt, oak, and a hint of vanilla. The bourbon is there too, but it doesn't ooze bourbon like I would want it to - it's very faint.

It has a light-medium body, less than the appearance would suggest with light-medium carbonation.

I was a little disappointed in this beer. It's good, but couldn't hold itself up on a day against other bourbon barrel-aged beers. The taste isn't as complex or as pronounced as I would like.

Serving type: on-tap

10-18-2010 20:58:57 | More by strangefate
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pour is a very dark brown color with a creamy off-white head. Nose is heavy on the roast with light bourbon aroma (more oak than anything). Lightly peppery with a hint of fruit, mostly banana. There is just a touch of coffee. The flavor has an interesting smokiness to it, perhaps from the char of the barrel? Mild bourbon and vanilla notes, some dark fruit, pepper, and lots of roasted malts. A hint of bitter chocolate, some banana, and a bit of booze.

Serving type: on-tap

08-07-2012 04:54:19 | More by womencantsail
Photo of n2185
n2185

North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours black with two fingers of dense, creamy, khaki-colored head that retains well and leaves good lacing.

S: Some candy sugar and Belgian yeasty notes up front followed by the barrel aromas--oak, vanilla, and bourbon.

T: Similar to the aroma with the candy sugar and yeast flavors peeking out from the heavy bourbon, oak, and vanilla shadow.

M: Medium-light body with medium carbonation, the beer's a bit thin without the crispness that usually accompanies the lighter bodies.

O: Overall, a pretty decent beer. The bourbon isn't extremely strong or sweet, but still manages to conceal most of the original flavors of the beer.

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2011 07:06:43 | More by n2185
Photo of Satchboogie
Satchboogie

New Hampshire

3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes
On tap at Armsby Abbey:

A: Pours a dark brown/black with brown around the edges. Not as dark as I was expecting. Maybe a half an inch of head that quickly disappeared and left just a ring of lacing.

S: Bourbon, but doesn't seem all that sweet and I'm not getting any vanilla. Honestly I don't pick up much else, maybe just a hint of chocolate.

T: As with the nose, it's mostly bourbon and unfortunately the chocolate just isn't coming through that strong. Alcohol is fairly well hidden, I don't really get that booze that generally follows bourbon. Almost seems too light of a flavor profile. The roasted malt base seems a little weak. It's there, but doesn't real cut through the bourbon, it's just a bit flat. There's just a hint of the belgian yeast with the smallest touch of dark fruits, maybe it's even a stretch saying it's there. It's not bad, there's some good flavors there, a touch of oak, but it doesn't really have much depth.

M: Surprisingly light and a high level of carbonation. Not untypical for the style, but being in a barrel for a year I expected it a little fuller and smoother.

O: Too much bourbon, not enough backbone or depth, mouthfeel doesn't live-up to a year in a barrel.

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2011 02:42:29 | More by Satchboogie
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap @ Stoutfest @ Armsby Abbey.

A: Pitch black with a light creamy head.

N: Some sweet malts, a little fruity, quite a bit of bourbon aroma. Little hop spiciness, biscuit malts, vanilla and oak.

T: Lots of fruit, like juicy almost berry fruit. Some wild brett like funk and dry yeast characteristics. Some sour fruit, malty biscuit and barnyard dry funk. It's very much like a dark saison, and despite being dry it still hides the booze pretty well. All that tags along a slight oaky vanilla taste, and a strong bourbon flavor. Not quite Bourbon County Stout, or even KBS, but has its own bourbon charm.

M: Semi thick, little syrupy, and little carbonation.

F: Long bitter finish, saison bite with dryness, and more lingering funk. A little boozy and more like a touch of bourbon on the finish. Malty flavors linger, pretty dry and spicy even.

Lots going on here. It has some nice flavors, but they don't seem to belong and don't contrast well. Its basically lots of great beers blended, not always the best thing. At EBF I blended PtY, Supplication, CBS, and a touch of Utopias, they're all really REALLY great beers on their own, but tasted bad together. Much like this one.

Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2010 17:45:04 | More by jlindros
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a .25cl Allagash tulip. Poured the color of cola with a mere swirl of foam comprising the head, and a tight band around the perimeter of the glass. Nose is very subdued; some brewer's licorice - nose seems closer to a baltic porter. Taste reveals a little bourbon, a hint of a medicinal quality and black licorice; there's also a slightly vinous quality (once again reminiscent of a baltic porter). Mouthfeel was light/medium with a fairly subdued background effervescence. Happy to try this, but I'm a bigger fan of the standard Black. Certainly worth a try if you have the opportunity, but not the best example of barrel-aging from this brewer.

Serving type: on-tap

10-20-2009 00:27:05 | More by Jwale73
Photo of Casey10
Casey10

Maine

3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Lion's pride was pleasantly surprised but at the same time was not really blown away with this at all.

A dark beer that had minimal head served in a appropriate glassware and at room temperature.

That being said the beer was good, it definately had the flavors of the barrel with the burbon shining through although for me the brew felt somewhat thin and a little boozy.

I would have again and this was not bad again did not overwhelm or surprize me worth a try though !

Serving type: on-tap

07-28-2010 03:23:25 | More by Casey10
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81

Virginia

3.81/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I thoroughly enjoyed the regular Black so a little let down after this, thinking that the bourbon barrel aging could smooth it out even more as well as add an extra dimension in taste and mouthfeel. Perhaps it will in a bottle that's aged but this review is of a glass I had on tap from a not at all aged keg. Poured a brownish, almost black body, with one finger tan head that died slow and left some lace down glass. Strong malty aroma of roasted malts, some dark chocolate and there is a alcohol, bourbon like aroma with some wood in there. This is where I find this version slightly below the standard from regular black, as the strong roasted and wood type malts and flavors overpower, even while smoothing out this fuller bodied beer, the minor sweet malts (caramel, chocolate) and the hopiness and dark fruit flavors. It is more of a coffee or javalike sweetness and bitter chocolate all while going down easy than a balanced Belgian ale with sweetness and touches of yeast, hops and fruit flavors. Still would recommend this anyone who enjoyed the Black but just thought this effort was just off the mark.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2013 15:44:24 | More by clayrock81
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at hulmeville inn, in a pint glass.

A- black is black, a faint ring around the collar, no lace.

S- big blast of dark fruit with roasted iced coffee. Hints of chocolate, belgiany yeast, vanilla and a splash of bourbon, it aint that large.

T- vanilla cream up front followed by small roast plus chocolate, bourbon is quite muted. This reminds me of allagash black with a hint of bourbon wood, with small bourbon and wood but still quite a bit of vanilla coming through.

M- less than medium with light carb, just a bit of wood in the linger.

D- I liked it I don't love it, this did not spend much time in the barrel,old curieux barrels perhaps.

Serving type: on-tap

10-11-2010 00:28:55 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of MacQ32
MacQ32

South Carolina

3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a near black intoy allagash glass. Half finger of dense caramel head ok retention, ok lacing.

S - Strong burbon presence some sweet malts too, nutty/sweet, oak and dark fruits.

T - Some sweet and nutty malts semi overpowered by the bourbon, nice oak and prune/date flavors. Solid alcohol/burboun aftertaste

M - Suprisingly light, fair carbonation Quite drinkable

O - Lighter biodied, burboun in your face nice subtle flavors in mixed in.

Serving type: growler

12-14-2011 00:09:34 | More by MacQ32
Photo of TommyW
TommyW

Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Black body with a thin tan head.

S- Roasted and burnt malts with a strong touch of bourbon.

T- Lots of roasted/burnt malt flavors mingling with some dark fruits. Bourbon notes come in the middle but transition to a very clean, vodka-like alcohol on the finish.

M- Medium body with a smooth feel.

D- A nice barrel aged beer; the finish was a little too hot I think, but aging this would be very interesting.

Serving type: on-tap

07-03-2010 02:55:04 | More by TommyW
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Southport Lanes of all places. Served in a goblet of some sort.

A - A nice finger of tan foam settles to a solid cap as well as splotches of lace. Black body with some brown at the edges of the glass.

S - Lots of bourbon and barrel, but with fruity Belgian yeast, chocolate, molasses and caramel in the cracks.

T - The taste is quite similar, with lots of bourbon flavor followed by tangy Belgian yeast, dark bread, Belgian chocolate, candi sugar, and a touch of anise. Finish is whiskey-laden and a tad hot.

M - Slightly watery and thin, but with moderate carbonation. More 'Belgian' than American. Sticky finish, with a touch of alcohol warmth.

D - Not bad, but a bit too much bourbon and anise for my tastes. It's nice for a small pour, but gets a bit fatiguing after a while.

Serving type: on-tap

08-06-2012 05:01:24 | More by MasterSki
Photo of thequeen711
thequeen711

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am just a sucker for these stouts...Poured deep, rich, black into the snifter, thick beige head that eventually became the lacing. Aroma of roasted malts, dark chocolate, oak and bourbon. Taste was the same as the aroma, with a full-bodied, full-flavour mouthfeel. What makes this different from other stouts? Probably the fullness of the flavours, highly drinkable...if I can find any more!!!

Serving type: on-tap

03-26-2009 18:55:36 | More by thequeen711
Photo of johnmichaelsen
johnmichaelsen

Oregon

3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and considerable lacing. The nose is attractive, showing coffee, chocolate and noticeable bourbon. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, though the chocolate and bourbon seem to dominate in this attractive beer. It's a bit thinner on the palate than I expected, but it has an impressive, long , drawn out finish. Drinkability is pretty good considering the abv., and the beer is not at all tiring or heavy on the palate.

Nothing mind blowing here, but this is a solid beer from Allagash, and will be especially attractive for those who enjoy a splash of bourbon in their beer.

Serving type: on-tap

08-15-2010 17:50:56 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Connecticut

3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Sunset Grill & Tap into a tasting flute.

A: Black body with a small brown head that settles into a ring fairly quickly and doesn't leave any lace. Ok, but far from spectacular.

S: Bourbon, bourbon, and more bourbon. Nothing but whiskey, oak, and vanilla. Enjoyable, but entirely one-dimensional. Still, what a dimension!

T: Not surprisingly, the flavor is again that of overwhelming bourbon. No traces of the original Belgian stout remain - the barrel has completely taken over. Good thing I like barrels.

M: Full bodied with abundant soft carbonation. Lovely.

D: Just a bit too boozy to be really drinkable. 5 ounces is enough.

Notes: Great tasting beverage, but not nearly as complex as regular Allagash Black. Barrel aging really robbed this beer of all its individuality, which is a bit of a pity.

Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

07-26-2010 22:04:07 | More by woosterbill
Photo of malloyca
malloyca

District of Columbia

3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

For what it is, this was a very pleasant surprise and not gimmicky at all. Served in a snifter; black in appearance, with a thin white head. Strong aromas of bourbon, oak and vanilla go along with roasted malts. It tastes very much like it smells, with the high alcohol content and the bourbon barrel flavors combining to give the impression you are, in fact, drinking bourbon. But this is not a harsh drink, because there are also complementary malt flavors and a rich, smooth mouthfeel. This works well in small quantities, with dessert or as a digestif.

Serving type: on-tap

08-09-2010 21:31:12 | More by malloyca
Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
FeDUBBELFIST

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Draft pour into a 10 1/2 oz tulip, batch #1345, $7.50. The ABV is listed as 8.?. I'm guessing the barrel aging provides varying ABV results.

A: Pours with a light brown head, that is small to begin with and quickly vanishes without a trace. For only 8% ABV, the head could have lasted a little longer and some lacing would have been nice. This brew rolls clean off of the glass. The body is an opaque black but thin ruby edges are visible when held to light. I'm looking for something to justify a better appearance rating but there is really nothing exceptional regarding its look.

S: Bourbon dominates the nose but it isn't assaulting. Dark toasted malts plus grains of wheat and oats. Aroma subtleties include chocolate, spent coffee grounds and star anise.

T: Barrel aging is evident on the palate too, as this brew spent 10 months in bourbon barrels, but the subtlety is most impressive. The perfect amount of bourbon contribution for my taste.

M: The mouthfeel is my favorite aspect of this brew. The Black uses a Belgian yeast strain and is bottle fermented with great results. Light to medium body, leaning toward light. The texture is lush and buttery smooth when the effervescence subsides. Fine carbonation with small and productive bubbles, prickling the tongue all over. Semi warm on the exhale.

D: This is another high-quality brew from Allagash. Although I have to say I prefer the non barrel aged version of the Black. I had it on cask in the same sitting and it was much fruitier and had more nuance. Big plum and red grape, semi sweet. As subtle as the bourbon was in the -bbl aged, it hindered the complexity.

Serving type: on-tap

04-09-2010 16:12:46 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of oglmcdgl
oglmcdgl

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pint on tap at the hulmeville inn.

A- comes to me with a small cap of tan head that settle rather quickly leaving a few spots of lace and a thin ring. Super dark brown almost completely black in color. A nice brown glow at the edges.

S- dark roasted malts and blackberries, belgian yeast and wood. Lighter on the bourbon.

T- opens up with dark malts and a strong fruity belgian yeast character. Loads of oak and to a lesser extent the bourbon. Long roasty finish.

M- mediumish in body with a creeper carb that finishes quite lively and active.

D- this is allagash black in a barrel that's for sure. Not the best bsda I've ever had or bourbon aged beer for that matter. Its good and all just not a knock your sock s off kind of thing.

Serving type: on-tap

10-11-2010 00:04:57 | More by oglmcdgl
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Allagash Bourbon Barrel Black from Allagash Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 337 ratings.