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Allagash Bourbon Barrel Black - Allagash Brewing Company

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Allagash Bourbon Barrel Black
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371 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 371
Reviews: 83
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 47
Gots: 32 | FT: 3
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: 371 | Reviews: 83 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Pahn

New York

5/5  rDev +20.8%

11-14-2011 07:08:23 | More by Pahn
Photo of Cadebro


4.2/5  rDev +1.4%

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.

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

South Carolina

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%

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!

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

North Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +8%

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

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

New York

4.22/5  rDev +1.9%

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.

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


4.45/5  rDev +7.5%

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

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


4.22/5  rDev +1.9%

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.

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


4.33/5  rDev +4.6%

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.

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


4.43/5  rDev +7%

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.

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

South Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%

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.

05-29-2011 20:42:56 | More by jpmclaug
Photo of oline73


3.53/5  rDev -14.7%

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.

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

New Hampshire

3.73/5  rDev -9.9%

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.

05-01-2011 02:42:29 | More by Satchboogie
Photo of n2185

North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev -13%

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.

04-01-2011 07:06:43 | More by n2185
Photo of Prime16


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

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.

03-31-2011 21:45:45 | More by Prime16
Photo of morebeergood


4.08/5  rDev -1.4%

On tap this past Saturday night at American Craft in Brookline. Served in a 10 oz goblet. Dark black color, as the name implies. Smallish head but some lacing. Smell just hits you with the bourbon - oh yeah, it's aged nicely. Taste was also spot on. Loved the balance between the nice roasted flavors of the stout and the sweet and tangy flavors from the bourbon. A perfect melding of the two flavors. Mouthfeel was very smooth but boozy at the same time. Alcohol was very noticeable. An awesome example of a barrel aged stout, but be warned: it's served in a small glass for a reason. This guy packs a punch.

03-20-2011 23:52:47 | More by morebeergood
Photo of jsanford


3.55/5  rDev -14.3%

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?

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


4.15/5  rDev +0.2%

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.

02-28-2011 20:34:08 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of bishopdc0


4.13/5  rDev -0.2%

Had this at Novare Res paired with a local chocolate

The appearance is black with a beautiful tan head formed. The head stays and hangs on the glass.

The aroma is great, of course bourbon upfront, but the woody oaky aroma comes through with a smooth malt. The roasted and chocolate malts come through making all blend well.

The taste is very well blended allagash knows how to barrel age. The malty roast with wood, bourbon very well balanced. It is smooth on the tongue notes of vanilla and almost molasses. It finishes with a sweet and roasted finish with a easy carbonation.

I know I'm a beer guy as I am at a valentine choc tasting with my wife and her best friend discussing weddings and enjoying it. Oh yeah the pairing were with rares or limited beers

02-13-2011 02:36:42 | More by bishopdc0
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +5.8%

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

02-08-2011 03:29:01 | More by brentk56
Photo of bonkers

New Jersey

4.53/5  rDev +9.4%

I had this on tap at the High street grill, poured into a small goblet. The pour is jet black, white one inch head, no lacing. The beer smells like bourbon soaked dates and plums. It has sweet bourbon notes, along with dark fruit, vanilla, and oak. It has a warming, lingering finish. The body is medium, light carbonation. Bourbon black is the most drinkable big beer I have ever had. I really enjoyed it, strongly recomended.

12-01-2010 14:08:18 | More by bonkers
Photo of strangefate


3.58/5  rDev -13.5%

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.

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


3.85/5  rDev -7%

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.

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


4/5  rDev -3.4%

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.

10-11-2010 00:04:57 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of Thorpe429


4.22/5  rDev +1.9%

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.

10-07-2010 11:25:44 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of mdfb79

New York

4.22/5  rDev +1.9%

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.

08-24-2010 00:25:18 | More by mdfb79
Allagash Bourbon Barrel Black from Allagash Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 371 ratings.