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Allagash Bourbon Barrel Black - Allagash Brewing Company

Allagash Bourbon Barrel Black
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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

338 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 338
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: 338 | Reviews: 82 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ColForbinBC
ColForbinBC

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-14-2012 16:49:13 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of VncentLIFE
VncentLIFE

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2012 21:31:56 | More by VncentLIFE
Photo of Jettanbass9
Jettanbass9

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-04-2012 21:48:43 | More by Jettanbass9
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-01-2012 05:30:54 | More by AgentZero
Photo of CuriousMonk
CuriousMonk

Virginia

4/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-08-2012 22:45:22 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2012 04:11:22 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2012 15:43:24 | More by claspada
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 russwbeck
russwbeck

Virginia

4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
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

Serving type: on-tap

01-30-2012 02:09:37 | More by russwbeck
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 avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

4/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Serving type: growler

12-05-2011 13:24:00 | More by avalon07
Photo of 02maxima
02maxima

South Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Serving type: growler

11-30-2011 01:04:06 | More by 02maxima
Photo of Cadebro
Cadebro

Maine

4.2/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2011 13:37:48 | More by Cadebro
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us

South Carolina

4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
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!

Serving type: growler

11-07-2011 15:42:15 | More by thagr81us
Photo of dvmin98
dvmin98

North Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
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

Serving type: on-tap

10-22-2011 00:50:32 | More by dvmin98
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-14-2011 12:57:59 | More by metter98
Photo of codsmith
codsmith

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
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

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2011 01:01:50 | More by codsmith
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-15-2011 19:42:15 | More by Knapp85
Photo of Jesstyr
Jesstyr

Virginia

4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-08-2011 19:17:05 | More by Jesstyr
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-01-2011 02:18:31 | More by glid02
Photo of jpmclaug
jpmclaug

South Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Growler poured into a snifter

Black body with a nice sized off white head.
The aroma is mostly smooth bourbon notes, sweet, vanilla, caramel, some dark malt. Not especially aromatic but a nice bourbony aroma.
Tastes similar to the aroma, nicely done barrel aging, picks up the characteristics of bourbon but isn't hot and doesn't give you any fusel alcohol notes. Some dark fruit like notes in the finish.
Mouthfeel is the only real negative to this one, medium bodied and a bit thinner than I'd like.

Overall a solid beer and it showcases barrel aged notes likely. I wish it was a bit thicker in the mouthfeel though and maybe some more background flavor to mingle with the barrel notes.

Serving type: growler

05-29-2011 20:42:56 | More by jpmclaug
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 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 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 Prime16
Prime16

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours dark brown to black with a biscuit colored head that lingers.

S: Roasted malts, bourbon, chocolate.

T: Bourbon flavor with a boozy taste that is close to overwhelming the beer.

M: Full bodied with slight carbonation.

O: This is a great barrel aged beer if you like bourbon.... which I do.

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2011 21:45:45 | More by Prime16
Allagash Bourbon Barrel Black from Allagash Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 338 ratings.