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Allagash Bourbon Barrel Black - Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash Bourbon Barrel Black
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84 Reviews
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Reviews: 84
Hads: 438
Avg: 4.09
pDev: 22.49%
Wants: 68
Gots: 49 | FT: 4
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:
Beer added by: rye726 on 03-04-2009

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 84 | Hads: 438
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap for Allagash night at Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, wood, and subtle bourbon. Taste is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, wood, and some mild bourbon flavors. There is a slight alcohol warmth in the back of the throat with each sip. This beer has a light level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good barrel aged beer but it tastes better than it smells.

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Photo of metter98
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is near black (extremely dark amber) in color and poured with a thin beige head that slowly faded down and left a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of bourbon stand out in the nose – these essentially mask out any other aromas.
T: Similar to the smell, flavors of bourbon really stand out in the taste, although these are rather well incorporated and not overpowering in any way.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation. A slight amount of warmth from the bourbon is noticeable in the finish.
O: The beer is relatively easy to drink considering its strength because the alcohol is well masked from the taste (except for that from the bourbon) and the beer isn’t that full bodied.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

I would have never guessed this beer is as strong as it is, seems so smooth and mild. having not had the base black in awhile, I am amazed how different this seems to be. a whole lot less Belgian and a whole lot more barrel. the bourbon flavors are dominant while the mouthfeel is extremely soft and velvety and almost delicate for such a big brew. dark chocolate and caramel malt comprise the bulk of the grain character, but the bourbon is a major contributor to flavor. vanilla and charred oak compliment the beer nicely, but I am missing much of the belgian yeast character I seem to remember from black. not a bad thing, just a big difference. on tap at the farmhouse in Burlington after a recent allagash event. lucky to have tried this in that format, just beautiful beer from one of the premier producers on American soil.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hoping that this is the right beer that I'm reviewing. At the 2010 ACBF I tried the Allagash Bourbon Black which I'm not seeing on here. If this isn't the same hopefully someone will let me know and I'll add the beer and review that one. Anyway, This beer poured out as a really nice black color, not too much head or lacing. The smell of a nice roasted stout blended with a light vanilla aroma was very pleasing on the nose. The taste of the beer was really well balanced with the bourbon flavors and the roasted malts. The mouthfeel wasn't overly thick at all here. Overall I had to say it was one of the better beers I tried that day at the Festival. Highly enjoyable brew.

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Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives with a charcoal color and a relatively small tan head that still leaves some lacing behind

Smell: Roasty chocolate elements with subtle bourbon undertones

Taste: Dark fruit and chocolate, up front, with subtle bourbon/vanilla elements developing by mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavors merge together nicely, along with a yeasty complexity from the Belgian yeast strain

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Leave it to the folks at Allagash to bourbon barrel age a Belgian stout and to do it with such a light hand as to complement rather than dominate the beer itself; a first class effort

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours black, of course. A bit of of a tan head and some lacing. Nose brings roasted malt, wood, vanilla, some barrel characteristics, and hints of dark drugs. Taste adds in some molasses with all he flavors melding well. Feel is nice and slightly boozy. Drinks quite well; one of the better Allagash beers ai have had.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

very happy to be able to try this one. one liter swingtop growler was enjoyed tremendously between me and my brother in law. served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 08/20/2010.

nice dark brown and bordering on black pour but some light and brownish colors could be seen peaking out through the sides. a nice head of tan, maybe two fingers high comes up and over the top, settling down with some nice lacing.

aroma is nice bourbon right up front. vanilla, hints of oak. a nice blend of cocoa and light roasted malts underneath really coming through nicely, bourbon is not too heavy, damn near perfect actually and this carries over very well into the flavor. smooth and rich flavor, a touch lighter on the feel then i would have hoped but still nice. huge notes of vanilla and bourbon just drip off the tongue an each sip becomes more and more involved. final sweet drops are as delicious as the first with smoooth oak and vanilla easily coming though long after i was done..

overall very, very happy with this one, would love to do it again any day.

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Photo of oline73
3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

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Photo of jlindros
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at ChurchKey.

Come for the Founders goodies, stay for the other goodies they've got assembled for your enjoyment. This one pours a very dark opaque black-brown topped by a half-finger (at best) of ecru macro-foam. The nose comprises bourbon, oak, dull chocolate, roasted malts, toffee, and a hint o' vanilla in there somewhere. The taste is very similar, with more chocolate and roasted malts and the inclusion of newcoming molasses. The body is a solid medium, with a slightly biting carbonation and a spitefully smooth feel. Overall, a very nice Belgian stout; doesn't overdo it with the bourbon barrel influences, and everything melds together very nicely.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There's not much I really have to say about this beer that I haven't already conveyed in my review of the straightforward Allagash Black. It's clearly aged in Bourbon barrels (although since I had it on tap I wasn't aware of that until I tasted it). I'd remembered liking the Black because it wasn't overdone. It was soft, and supple, and relaxed, and to be honest, this is very much the same. The Bourbon is not overblown at all, and it simply adds some Bourbon flavor, a bit of wood, and a light note of vanilla. Does it help the already complex "Black"? Probably not. If anything, it may distract you from the subtle nuances that were already there. But it IS an interesting change. And to a certain extent, it becomes almost like another beer, rather than just a beer that's been "Bourbon barrel aged". I like them both equally, and I can't choose one over the other. That would simply depend on my mood. So, with that said, I'd say it's worth trying to be sure. Especially for those who enjoy Bourbon barrel aged beers. And on that note let me add one more thought: given that it's a Bourbon barrel beer, I still found it quite drinkable, which is not always the case. Nicely done with a restrained hand. Worth trying.

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Photo of mactrail
3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 11/25/2012 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a medium dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, dark fruit and Belgian yeast.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of chocolate, dark fruit, licorice and coffee followed by a hearty roasted malt character. The hops presence is very mild as you would expect but is complementary and provides a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a very good dark beer to drink for a long time.

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

First had: on tap at Prohibition Pig, Waterbury, VT

Solid black pour (at least it seemed so in the dim light) with a small tannish head; minimal retention and lacing. Aroma of dark malts, chocolate, distant hints of vanilla and bourbony wood. The bourbon element is more mellow in this beer, which is nice, otherwise flavors of dark malts, cocoa, some dark fruit and vanilla, and a bit of bready yeast and ash. On the heavier side of medium bodied, flavorful and nicely crafted.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 08/21/10 notes. Had on tap at Monk's Cafe in Philly.

a - Pours a dark, dark brown color with light carbonation and very little white head.

s - Smells strongly of bourbon, as well as cocoa, oak, and hints of vanilla.

t - Tastes of bourbon, oak, chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and vanilla.

m - Medium body and light carbonation.

d - I thought this was a very enjoyable barrel aged beer. I liked it a little bit better than the normal Allagash black and thought there was a good level of bourbon in the nose and taste. Would try again.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.16/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Big off-white head. Thick collar. Wispy surface.

Smell - Whoa, funky. Oak. Funky yeastiness. Really oaky. Some bourbon and a strange red wine aroma. Roasty and a little grassy.

Taste - Very oaky. Very roasty. A bit of dark fruit. Kinda sweet. Bitter roasty finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy body. Medium carbonation.

Overall - The oak is funky and weird. My kneejerk reaction to the first sniff was that something was off, but it never panned out and it's just odd.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.51/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on-tap and served in a chalice, the beer is a vibrant, dark, light looking brown coloring with a steady, low flow of carbonation bubbling and a ring of white foam on the surface. Aromas are rich, with molasses, booze, toffee, and nut, with an earthy undertone. Flavors are extremely smooth and balanced, with raisin, date, and fig sweetness, bourbon and earthy backbone, and a sharp, slightly bitter tone at the end of the palate. The aftertaste is slick and rich, with molasses sweetness and slightly peppery tones, with an extra boozey kick. The finish is dry and quick, leaving a clean palate. Good and strong, this is an impressive brew.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Brick Store Pub. Just a lovely beer, and the thing that really makes this beer is just how well integrated all of the flavors are. Beautifully silky in the mouth, the glass keeps releasing all of these wonderful notes, one after the other- chocolate, vanilla, roasted grains, fruity esters, smooth and mellow Bourbon, a touch of cream. This beer isn't about being slapped upside the head and dragged into a back alley, it's about being seduced. Each flavor seamlessly progresses to the next, and nothing is overdone. Through the artistry of the brewer, and a deft hand with barrel aging, this beer has been crafted into a unified whole that emits a siren song that keeps you coming back for another quaff. Entirely too drinkable for the abv, and altogether very pleasant.

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Photo of weeare138
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finally getting around to the Philly Beer Week notes...
On tap at Capone's...
Appears a dense black with a small tan head that slowly fades into a mild cap and collar. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of light oak(becomes more evident as it warms), black grapes, roasty grain, and cocoa.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a cocoa, and vanilla flavor dominating the flavors with just a touch of steeped espresso beans.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, roasty during the finish, with a mild astringency found while sampling.
A rare treat that I was glad to enjoy in the company of Rob Tod from Allagash.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap @ The Reservoir

A - Black with a thin layer of dirty cream coloured head.

S - Oak, bourbon, chcolate, dark fruit.

T - Roast, chocolate, Belgian yeast, clove, spice. Oak and bourbon present but not dominant. Smooth and well integrated barrel and base beer flavours.

M - Medium body. Creamy. Dry. Light carbonation.

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Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Allagash Bourbon Barrel Black from Allagash Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.