St. Klippenstein
Allagash Brewing Company

St. KlippensteinSt. Klippenstein
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Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Ranked #14
Ranked #2,272
4.19 | pDev: 6.92%
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States
St. KlippensteinSt. Klippenstein
Notes: At the brewery, we celebrate St. Klippenstein day to commemorate our love of free ham, pot lucks, and strong stouts. In honor, we brewed this Belgian-style strong stout aged in bourbon barrels. Rich cocoa brown in color, the first sip of this beer opens with a complex chocolate and roasted aroma. Notes of vanilla, coconut and oak infuse the palate and lead to a smooth, warm finish.

This full bodied beer is brewed with an array of dark roasted malts: dark chocolate malt, roasted barley, chocolate malt, and brown malt. After being hopped with Chinook and Northern Brewer, and fermented with a trappist-style yeast for a month in stainless, the beer spends three months aging in bourbon barrels.
Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 298 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GuyFawkes
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 vintage; drank 4/17/16 on draft @ Jerry's Andersonville.

Brown/black appearance.

Big tan head; thick lace.

Milk chocolate, cream, caramel & candle wax notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Caramel & cream flavors up front; black coffee notes on the finish. No booze heat.

A bit too sweet, but still a nice treat. I'd have another...

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GuyFawkes from Illinois, Oct 11, 2019
Photo of Rub_This_BBQ
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Looks the part nice dark body with great tan head and above average lacing.
s hint fruit cake and bourbon mix but light on malt
T is big rasin fruit cake sweetness but I normally love more roast stout this one i had a hard putting down.
M low carb nice lush and creamy
O; not a pastry or coffee stout but still super tasty

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Rub_This_BBQ from Massachusetts, Aug 31, 2019
Photo of mnredsoxfan69
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 25.4 oz. bottle into Friars Brewhouse Pint glass. Pitch dark with a two finger, rocky head and long legs. Chocolaty, roasty smell; dry, chocolaty taste with vanilla overtones from the barrel and some inherent caramel sweetness from the malt. Full bodied, velvet on the tongue. Sweeter than the standard Belgian stout, less so than an imperial. It tasted like some more was necessary for a better review and more pleasure. Pricey, but worthwhile.

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mnredsoxfan69 from Minnesota, May 21, 2019
Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a BA Speiglau glass.

Look is pitch black with a thin off white head.

Aroma is a little roast malt with vanilla from the bourbon.

Taste is astrigent roast malt with bourbon sweetness at the end.

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Photo of Avitra
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Smells like grapes. Root beer malty. Lots of vanilla and chocolate but lingering not too pleasant bitterness and even a little berry sourness. Very complex beer, but as is the case sometimes with beers that are too complex but don't hit each note perfectly, this one too, missed some. Good but not great.

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Avitra from Switzerland, Jul 28, 2018
Photo of stevoj
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Small pour at Beercraft. Dark and inviting, sweet, yeasty and boozy. Dark brown, small ring of beige head. Aroma starts out yeasty, booze comes in from the barrels. Taste follows the Belgian pattern, and the barrels add some nice accents all the way around. Nothing amiss here. Damn near perfect.

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stevoj from Idaho, Feb 01, 2018
Photo of mynie
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I have no memory of buying this but I don't think it's been on my shelf for too long... at any rate I doubt age is much of a concern here.

Pours very dark, medium effervescent, with a very small wisp of a head. Pretty.

Smells toasty and chocolatey. No whiskey burn, but some light vanilla oakiness, with a bit of char and alcohol on the back.

Tastes sweet overall, but more rounded after I take a couple of sips. Dark chocolate up front, stout barley in the middle, and a rough, porter-like finish with burnt grain and oak leading into a lightly sour finish.

It's good, but there are so many good BA stouts nowadays I really don't know how impressed I should be. It doesn't gel together perfectly, but it still has a firm character and is drinkable and I like it.

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mynie from Maryland, Jan 06, 2018
Photo of louturc
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Tap pour at Orchid Restaurant. This is a classic stout that will not disappoint. The nose is sweet chocolate coffee. The mouth feel is dedcribed as hanging on the tongue long enough to savoir the flavors without feeling heavy in the stomach, very well balanced.
Nice bourbon background with vanilla, chocolate and coffee notes. So good you will forget that its 11%!

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louturc from Maine, Sep 12, 2017
Photo of Amguerra305
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark cola brown with a fair amount of light khaki carbonation that quickly dissipates. The nose is fruity with just the slightest hint of bourbon and barrel. A little bit of roasted notes as well. Taste is very chocolate forward with a sweet middle and finish that brings about vanilla notes. The after taste is more Belgian tripel than stout but it works. Feel is medium with moderate carbonation. Overall this beer is really good and has decent barrel notes considering the short amount of time it was in the barrel. Solid beer and the yeast definitely adds some uniqueness to what would otherwise be a run of the mill stout.

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Photo of Tony210
3.96/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look - pours dark brown with light tan foam head that quickly dissipates to a thin white foam around the glass.

Smell - smells of sweet dark fruits, light bourbon scent, caramel, touch of molasses.

Taste - A little too sweet for my taste, significant carbonation, which I expected. Dark roasts follow, some cocoa, bitter espresso, I touch of licorice and anise on the finish.

Feel - medium to full bodied, creamy texture, good amount of carbonation – lots of small bubbles like it's a champagne yeast, which the brewery is known for.

Overall - very nice barrel aged stout, a little too sweet for my taste. Probably could've used a little more time in the barrels, but a really great offering from this brewery.
Bomber from Adam - thanks!
4 rating

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Tony210 from New Jersey, Aug 24, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Blackback Pub. This was poured into a tulip. The appearance was a black color with a thin white foamy head that dissipated nicely. Wispy lacing clung and then slid into the beer. The smell takes on gentle roasty chocolate, light coffee, light caramel, dark fruits, a little bit of earthiness, and combines nicely. The taste copies the smell nicely. Light Belgian sugar sweetness slides into the earthy part. Light woodiness. Semi-dry earthy to woody and cocoa aftertaste. Gentle semi-dry finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body. More of a sipper. Low carbonation. Overall, really nice imperial stout, Allagash style. I’d have this again.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml cork and cage bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours deep black color with a small creamy khaki head that reduces to a ring around the edge

S- plenty of roasted malt up front with an emphasis on smoked meat. Also aromas of dark chocolate, woody oak, bourbon barrel and some spicy Belgian yeast

T- roasted up front with some smoky elements, giving a flavor of smoked meat. Mid-palate gives lots of dark chocolate and oak, along with plenty of bourbon. The finish gives some candied Belgian yeast favors, and lingers of coffee and bourbon

M- medium-heavy body with moderate carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that continues into a slightly warming finish

O- robust throughout with plenty of roast and barrel, the yeast adds a nice sweeter earthy element

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Treyliff from West Virginia, May 28, 2017
Photo of BucannonXC5
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Type: 0.25L draft
Glass: Clear snifter
From: Blind Lady Ale House in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $8.50
Purchased: May 7, 2017
Consumed: May 7, 2017
Reviewed as: American Double / Imperial Stout
Misc.: N/A

Went back and forth as I was smell and tasting this one and decided to review it as an imperial stout as opposed to a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. I still stand by that. Picked it over a J.W. Lees barleywine. Surprised I had never tried it. It had been a long time since I had a beer from Allagash (actually only since Feb., a big boozy beer, but those were the only two check-ins on Untappd (so since at least 2012)). A quick look on Untappd and apparently I’d only reviewed two beers from Allagash - White on Aug. 31, 2011 (4.05) and Victor Ale on Oct. 15, 2011 (4.20). Really shocking actually. I’ll have to change that. Anyway, onto the review.

Poured a black color with 2-to-3 fingers of frothy khaki head when I got it. Light bubbles coming up from the bottom. Excellent uneven lacing. Outstanding retention. Awesome. (Sight - 4.50)

Smelled dark milk chocolate, smooth bourbon, roasted barley, coconut flakes, oak, cocoa, chocolate syrup, toasted toffee, hints of char wood, black licorice and woody anise. (Smell - 4.25)

Taste followed the nose, maybe not quite as good. Got earthy oak first, feeling that booze. Also smooth bourbon, bitter dark chocolate, cocoa nibs, roasted barley, coconut, vanilla, molasses, earthy tobacco, black licorice and anise. (Taste - 4.00)

Full body. Creamy-to-sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, warming finish. (Feel - 4.50)

Really dug this. Very complex. (Overall - 4.25)

4.19 | 93 | A-

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BucannonXC5 from California, May 25, 2017
Photo of Bluecrow
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

-jet black tap pour with 1cm tan foam cap. Cocoa and some espresso in the nose. Flavor is sweet up front, but a rich malt base and bitter chocolate combine for a really complete strong stout. There is a bourbon note The ABV is largely hidden. The finish is slick and full. This is very good.

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Bluecrow from New York, May 20, 2017
Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

P- Poured from a 22 oz corked bomber,into a large Funky Buddha snifter.Bottled on 12/07/16.

L- Thick creamy khaki colored head that stands 1 finger width tall,with very good retention and super sticky lacing.Deep black colored body with dark brown hues,low clarity and minimal light showing through the glass.Heavy heavy heavy amounts of carbonation rising to the top,to maintain the head.

S- On the nose I get smokey bourbon,dark chocolate,coconut,dark roasted malt,and vanilla notes.Very pleasant on the nose.

T- The plate follows the nose with sweet and dark chocolate up front.Vanilla,coconut,and dark roasted malts in the middle,coupled with a nice hop bite.The Smokey bourbon comes on the back end,but is very smooth and enjoyable.

F- The mouth feel is thick and heavy,with a sticky texture.Moderate amount of oxidation on the tongue,to pair with the hop bite.Nice and smooth on the finish.

O- I liked this one alot.Since moving to Massachusetts I have yet to taste a bad beer by Allagash.If you love bourbon ages stouts like me,give this one a try.I would love to have this again,on a cold snowy day.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.6/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bonds Tavern in West Orange. Pours a jet black ebony hue with moderate frothing. Strong aroma replete with hints of chocolate and cocoa. Thick mouthfeel. Similar overall flavor profile.

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dsa7783 from New Jersey, May 15, 2017
Photo of hophugger
3.51/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Super super dark brownish black with foamy light tan head. Aroma has some chocolate and the taste has big bits of bittersweet chocolate, toasted malts and bourbon. Very bold and a big hop bite in the middle. Good balance !

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hophugger from Virginia, May 02, 2017
Photo of bshefftz
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Good flavor, but thin mouthfeel and body. Would benefit from a stronger barrel character. It's a fine beer, but doesn't hit the heights of some other Allagash brews.

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bshefftz from California, Apr 27, 2017
Photo of Jimlikesbeer
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Label says coconut. Maybe a hint. Definitely not strong. It really is pretty good. The 11% ABV and slight bourbon flavor over shadows any coconut. Nice head with lacing. Lots of flavor, but no AshTray after taste like some Stout beers. Really is good. 4+ out of 5.

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Jimlikesbeer from North Carolina, Apr 24, 2017
Photo of HattedClassic
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer pours a very nice looking creamy brownish tan head while the beer itself is a nice brown color. It's a decent look and has a certain charm to it but it isn't anything mind blowing or overwhelming.

The smell is good. The bouquet of dark notes such as a moderate roasted note mixes well with the bread like Belgian yeast notes and a dark chocolate note that is stronger in the smell than in the taste. The wood note also seems to come out strongly in the smell.

The taste is pretty good. There beer has a nice bourbon finish while the main notes seem to consist of a good mix of dark notes such as a moderately roasted note mixed with a light oak while it runs into a light dark chocolate note. The hop note are lightish and get lost in the bourbon but give off a decent pine bitterness that is smoothed out fairly well. A light alcohol note in the end.

The feel is pretty good. It's definitely a heavy bodied beer. The best part of the feel is how smooth it is and slightly creamy it is. The alcohol gives it a slight burn towards the end as well as a slight alcohol thinness.

Overall, a fairly decent beer and definitely interesting enough to try. The way the barrel aging affects the beer is definitely worth the price to admission and better than the other bourbon barrel aged beer.

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Photo of polloenfuego
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

St. Klippenstein pours a deep dark brown/black with a minimal head but with some nice lacing along the way. The smell is really nice: mild bourbon, dark chocolate, Belgian Yeast, some leather and coffee. The taste brings the coffee and chocolate forward, with the yeast still banging the drum and that bourbon and leather on the finish. The flavors work together incredibly well. The feel is a little heavy with almost no carbonation, and the booze is hidden amazingly well.

This beer just reaffirmed my belief that Allagash is one of my favorite brewers. I am having trouble finding a real weak point with this beer, but I can't. I'd have a case of this in my cellar if I could.

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polloenfuego from Ontario (Canada), Apr 07, 2017
Photo of avalon07
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a dark, dark brown color and a thick texture. There was an inch of off white, fairly long-lasting head. Decent enough lacing.

S: A solid aroma of chocolate, malt, yeast, bourbon, and wood. Interesting.

T: Tasted of a bit of roasted malt, light yeast notes, lots of dark chocolate, a definite boozy quality, bourbon, some light vanilla notes, coconut, and more oak than I expected. A different kind of flavor that sneaks up on you. The alcohol is pronounced, but it doesn't overpower the other ingredients. Complex and tasty.

F: A highly carbonated beer with a lively finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This isn't your typical Belgian Strong Dark Ale. It has a definite American-ness. Worth a try.

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avalon07 from South Carolina, Apr 06, 2017
Photo of cjgiant
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 12/2016:
Pours black in a thick glass, but a dark mahogany hue is seen at the edges when some natural light hits from behind. A pretty thick beige to tan rim of head froths with each tip of the glass, though it doesn't provide much lacing.

The nose has a bit of heat or spice in it to me, the barrel coming through prominently but not solely. The backing roasted malt has a chocolate lean to it. Whiskey, oak, vanilla, and perhaps a little clove (mixed in with the whiskey).

Feel starts off somewhat silky to a tad oily, but the carbonation breaks that up by mid taste. A mildly drying wooden feel comes out in the end.

The flavors start with a mild chocolate maltiness, aided by a little vanilla early. The barrel's content start to make an appearance next, yielding a sorta of whiskey-and-coke overall impression. The carbonation mentioned above accentuates the heat I get from the alcohol at this point. Coming out of this is a splash of coconut rum, before the beer starts to get a little bitter, aided by the barrel wood itself coming out.

A tasty beer that has a little more of the barrel influence than I expected from Allagash. I could use a little more of the base beer at this point. There are some nice flavors in there that I'd like to see meld together a little more. I wonder if a couple months aging might smooth it out a tad.

I see mention in other reviews to dark fruit, which I can sort of get, but the combination with other notes, it comes as root spice to cola. I also see the thought of some that this could come across as a strong BSDA, which I can understand.

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cjgiant from District of Columbia, Apr 02, 2017
Photo of sokol_1993
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Circa Dupont DC.
A really strange brew. Full of bourbon smell and taste, and really boozy; the alcoholic feel came right out, you can't miss it.
A nice stout, not sure I could feel the Belgian taste, but a bit too boozy for my liking.

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sokol_1993 from California, Mar 29, 2017
Photo of zonker17
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very dark brown draft pour with massive beige head, great retention, and significant lacing. Bourbon and wood on the nose along with roast malt. Flavor is glorious, bringing together elements of Belgian and USA influence. Drink and enjoy!

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St. Klippenstein from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 298 ratings