Allagash Bourbon Barrel Black - Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash Bourbon Barrel Black
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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

432 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 432
Reviews: 87
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 66
Gots: 44 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 432 | Reviews: 87
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.6/5  rDev -13%
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.

Photo of haazer
4.62/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Resurrection Ale House for PBW.

A - Biege, tan head on top of a black brew(surprise). Bits and pieces of head left on glass but not much.

S - Suprising notes of coffee up front. But a great, great barrel presence here(like HW jr I have loved Jim Beam). Amazing vanilla and wood character from the barrel tie in with the base beers dark fruits. Great nose.

T - The dark fruit and bourbon flavor go together greatly. Dark plums and figs go into a vanilla bean bourbon flavor. The transition is flawless and seem less. The wood from the barrel is on the backend of the flavor that pushes this over the top.

M - Full bodied mouth with low to mid carbonation. Very smooth and creamy mouth. A sipper for sure.

O - Glad I had this. Allagash is on to something with bbl'ing Belgians. It definitely works, I'm sure the base beer is great but the bourbon makes this beer amazing.

Photo of tigg924
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at the New World Tavern--Plymouth

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, dark brown in color, cloudy

Smell: bourbon and dark chocolate

Taste: chewy fine chocolate with slight nuttiness and light caramel--the bourbon and oak come through on the end.

Mouthfeel: medium-high carbonation, heavy body,sweet with an alcohol rush on the end

Overall: This and Odyssey are now my two favorite Allagash beers. I love this one because the bourbon adds to the beer and does not take over until the end. The base is chewy complex chocolate--almost like fine candy..Not overly sweet but fine candy. The bourbon at the end melts in my mouth. If I can find this again, I will get it in a heartbeat. Superior beer.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of ColForbinBC
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap, served in a tulip

A black body with no just a touch of light penetrating the edges of the glass. The head was a little over a finger and fell quickly, leaving nothing but a thin collar behind.

The aroma is of fresh oak, bourbon, vanilla, dark roasted malt, and tobacco. The bourbon/oak influence is prominent, but never overpowering. I felt the same way about the non barrel aged version. A rather tame aroma, but definitely complex.

The bourbon flavor adds a great element to the flavor. Roasted malt, caramel and toffee with a hearty dose of bourbon and oak with a touch of sweet vanilla in the finish to help balance the booze and bitter roast.

Medium feel, light and fluffy with mild carbonation. Smooth. The bourbon element is really well incorporated and adds good flavor.

This is a well crafted BA version of Black. A smooth, easy drinker with complex flavors, but they aren't overly robust. The only thing that really pops is the bourbon/oak.

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

small keg at Milltown. Glad I got it before it blew.

Very small pour with a black body. Caramel head that looks like other BA beers.

Nice bourbon presence, but nothing ridiculous. Vanilla is absent (which would normall be a negative, but im not complaining).

Taste is spot on. Its got the nice roasted characteristic of black ales, but the bourbon accents it nicely. Smooth and drinkable, I would say well done Allagash.

Photo of Jettanbass9
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Tria, 12 and Spruce.

A - A couple shades lighter than black, highlights of chestnut brown and dark mahogany. Tight knit head that could be mistaken for a nitro pour. The only reason this didn't get a 5, because the color misled me.

S - WOW! Toasted coconut, vanilla, light notes of bourbon, medium roasted coffee, again fresh coconut, resin, light notes of peppery phenols. Again, I feel like the roasted character could have been a bit more intense but nonetheless, it was present, incredible aroma.

T - Coconut, light notes of bourbon, resin, light and dark blended coffee, light peppery notes from either the alcohol or phenols. Sweetness that lingers but not cloying. Great balance, jam packed with flavor.

M - medium body, surprisingly. for a RIS this finishes fairly dry. light astringency but to be expected from the barrel aged process. great balance.

O - Highly recommended, such complexity. This has the complexity of any highly rated RIS that could be enjoyed next to a fire OR with those fantastic coconut notes, this would be excellent on a cool summer night. Allagash, it would be a favor to the beer community if you could bottle this up. Definitely on my must try again list.

Photo of AgentZero
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at SmallBar division.

A - An appropriately black beer with a bit of a foamy, off-white head. Left a lot of really nice sheets of stick on the sides.

S - Bourbon, coconut, vanilla, booze and some sweet malts. Smells a bit hot, but pretty inviting.

T - Tsate is quite smooth. The alcohol is a lot more subdued than the nose suggests. Chocolate, lots of coconut and vanilla, and a good dose of bourbon. Sweet without being cloying, and very smooth.

M - Moderate carbonation on a fairly full bodied beer.

O - The best thing about this beer was how easy it was to drink at 10% while still managing to have some big flavors. Very smooth, pretty nice beer.

Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Rusticos poured into a sampler glass. Pours black with a creamy, tan head. Dark, roasted malts make up the nose. Flavor is sweet, roasty, with notes of chocolate, brown sugar, caramel and coffee. Medium bodied with average carbonation. Finishes sweet with dark malts and mocha, but not much bourbon. Quite a quaffable beer.

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

Photo of claspada
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap @ Sunset Bar & Grill in Boston, MA, sampled with hoppymcgee weekend of EBF.

Pours a near black, extremely dark brown in color and with a thin beige head that slowly faded down and left a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.

Aromas begin with a moderate amount of bourbon, dark caramel malts and light toasted bready malts. As it warms up you get more darker cocoa and darker fruitiness from the Belgian yeast. I expected this to be a little more complex, it was pleasant but nothing worldly.

The tastes begin with a dry chocolate, light bitter dark chocolate, minimal licorice and oaky Bourbon. Just the the nose the flavors open up more as it warms and you get more of a balanced sweeter dark fruitiness and dark caramel flavors. Flavors trump the nose for sure and are quite complex, yet restrained. Bourbon is present throughout but merely in the background to help balance the flavor profile.

The mouthfeel is super medium bodied which is crazy for such a big barrel aged beer. Medium carbonation to help balance out the barrel aged flavors as well. Not overly carbonated like many Belgian ales and not undercarbed like many BA stouts, right in the middle. Finish is dryish from the oak and roasted malts.

Overall this is a super beer. I usually do not care for Spirit Barrel Aged Belgian beers because the flavor profiles just dont meld well usually, but this is quite nice and I am quite glad I was able to sample this. Not too intense that it overpowered your tastebud like many BA stouts can do and the BA really helps to balance the Belgian yeasty flavors which are also sometimes too dominant. Just really nice overall; hope I can sample again in the future.

Photo of jayhawk73
3.2/5  rDev -22.7%
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.

Photo of russwbeck
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on-tap at Rustico in Ballston next to the non-Bourbon Barrel Aged version.

A: Black pour with a small white head. Hardly any retention or lacing 3.5

S: Slight bourbon on the aroma for sure, but it isn't powering. The anise sweetness is replaced by vanilla from the Barrel, but the roast still shines through 4

T: The taste here is significantly different than regular Black. The roastiness is the focus, with vanilla and only very slight bourbon notes at the end. Slight booziness too from the jump in ABV. Some chocolate notes pop up sporadically as I sip. I wish the Barrel imparted more character to this beer, but I do preferring to its non barrel aged self. 4

MF: Same heavy body and low carbonation. Warming alcohol feeling at the end. 4

O: Another solid offering. I liked how it wasn't a Bourbon bomb, and I certainly thought the beer improved with barrel aging. The price on this one was $4.5 for a 4oz, which I'm thinking was worth it. I would give this one another go. A nice treat from Rustico! 4.5

Photo of MacQ32
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a growler to a goblet. Had a dark brown color and a thick, murky consistency. There was an inch of foamy, tan-colored, fairly long-lasting head. Below-average lacing.

S: A nice aroma of yeast, vanilla, bourbon, and malt.

T: Tasted of malt, vanilla, Belgian yeast, a hint of chocolate, a nutty quality, and a little bourbon. The bourbon wasn't as prominent as I would have thought, but this is still a well-rounded flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a smooth, dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: An interesting, surprisingly easy to drink Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Photo of 02maxima
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler from the GBX poured in to a stemless wine glass

Dark brown with reddish hues near the edges. Very slight collar of head with some spotty bubble cover on the surface.

I smell the bourbon with hints of caramel and molasses. The caramel sticks out the most on second smell.

The sweetness I smelled comes through in the taste as well. The bourbon flavor is not strong but very noticeable. This is a great beer. It finishes with a slight taste of hops and the aftertaste is the molasses and bourbon.

Lightly carbonated creamy mouth.

I really like this beer and could drink several more. The flavor profile is awesome, a truly tasty brew.

Photo of Cadebro
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap into 4oz sample glass at 2011 Maine Brewers Festival.

A - Black with two fingers of malt-brown head.

S - Bourbon, chocolate and yeast.

T - A nice smooth bourbon flavor with a touch of chocolate, caught a little nuttiness as well.

M - Very smooth.

D - Some times barrel aging ruins a good beer. Allagash does this properly make a great beer that much better. If this were available outside of festivals and other events I would drink it all the time.

Photo of thagr81us
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big shoutout goes out to the individuals who supplied me with this one to share! Shared with caSSino and the crew at NoDa Brewing for a celebration of their grand opening! Served from growler into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a dark ruby red brown with a half finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, caramel, wood, sweet alcohol, and dark fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark fruit, wood, subtle sweet alcohol, and caramel. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. I had this one awhile back while at Brewvival this year and I remembered it being pretty good, so I jumped on the opportunity to try it again. The growler version of this one had quite a nice nose and flavor profile going on in it. While being quite complex, everything was very nicely laid out as far as intensity so all of the components of the brew were detectable. A definite must try if you have the opportunity!

Photo of dvmin98
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Liberty in Charlotte, NC.

A: very dark; almost black in color

S: hint of bourbon. Not overpowering like Barrel-Aged Blockhead

T: nice bourbon flavor, but not overly 'alcoholic'

M: a bit of a bite in the front, but smooth in the back where that bourbon flavor hits you

O: nice blend of favors and aromas. Impressed

Photo of metter98
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of codsmith
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark black with a thin off white head

Nice smooth bourbon head coming off the top. nothing is overpowering

has a really well rounded and complex flavor. Starts out with a dry chocolate and licorice flavor and ends with a bitterness of chocolate, coffee and spicy hops that all balance out to end it 4 or

Medium bodied, carbonation is a touch over, but not too bad

Very good and flavorful beer. the taste and smell collaborate nicely

Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of Jesstyr
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this great beer on tap at Rustico in Arlington, VA. Was incredibly pumped to see it...

Served in a tall thin shapeless glass - not ideal for this brew - they must have run out of snifters. The glassware likely affected the head, but it was a good looking beer. Deep dark and black - just like Allagash Black, no real discernable differences in look when held side by side. Head is thin, and has a tan appearance. Nose is where the differences begin - definitive burnt bourbon nose, adds smokiness to the beer.

Taste is deep and stout-like, with a bit of alcohol burn unique to this version of the beer. Full-bodied and thick, just the way I like a beer, but again, not typical Belgian-style. Overall a great beer I'd drink any time.

Photo of glid02
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Leon’s Full Service in Atlanta.

Pours black with a 1.5-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of dark malts with good amounts of vanilla and oak. Also present are mild amounts of roast and tobacco backed by milder amounts of banana aromas.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Smooth dark malts are joined quickly by hints of bananas and slight dark fruits. Joining in shortly thereafter are solid amounts of vanilla with light spicy bourbon in the background. Light tobacco comes into play near the end of the sip, fading out into a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It’s got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I was impressed with this beer – the bourbon manages to integrate nicely with the existing flavor profile and doesn’t cross the threshold into overkill. Well worth a shot.

Allagash Bourbon Barrel Black from Allagash Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 432 ratings.