Allagash Odyssey | Allagash Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
419 Reviews
Allagash OdysseyAllagash Odyssey
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Allagash Odyssey is a dark wheat beer aged for ten months, a portion in oak barrels and the remainder in stainless tanks. The recipe includes 2-row barley, malted wheat, a generous amount of roasted barley and Belgian candi sugar. This deep brown beer boasts an aroma of black treacle and raisin. The flavor hints at dates, with a mildly roasted finish imparted by aging in both medium and heavy toast American Oak barrels. The finish is dry, punctuated by vanilla.

Added by Todd on 01-30-2005

BEER STATS
Reviews:
419
Ratings:
1,226
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
15.76%
 
 
Wants:
333
Gots:
249
For Trade:
18
User Reviews
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Reviews: 419 | Ratings: 1,226
Reviews by Pahn:
Photo of Pahn
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into Duvel tulip. Bottled January 2008, drank September 18, 2011.

Appearance: Free pour yields a one and a half inch frothy offwhite head that sticks around a long time and leaves behind sweeping lacing. Pours a very dark ruby. Leaves streaks and islands of lacing.

Smell: At first, very roasted smelling, with a heavy layer of vanilla oak and some background dark fruitiness. The aroma gradually builds toward sugary and fruity. Some apple and booziness come out as well. Eventually, it smells strongly of a toffee / marzipan based pastry, with the oak influence always in the forefront.

Somehow, the aroma doesn't really elevate the taste (I think it smells a bit too different from the taste), but it is a very nice smell nonetheless.

Taste: Lots of roasted malt up front, then a healthy dose of oaky vanilla, resolving into a thin, very carbonated hit of simplistic BSDA dark fruit and Belgian yeast. The long aftertaste of the first sip is almost exactly like Raisinets, which is not at all a bad thing. Age has apparently smoothed out any hint of booziness.

Subsequent sips are similar, but always different to the point of interesting (and good). There's a slight note of oxidation up front (that i like), along with a persistent roasted barley and oak. Finish and aftertaste occasionally have a strong coconut flavor. Belgian yeast and apple-y, BSPA/tripel flavors start to appear up front adding lots of complexity to the flavor. Finish is mildly warming, but never "hot" nor solvent-like in the least.

It's worth noting that this is not the malty ester bomb exemplified by many other world class BSDAs. It's more of a wheatwine-ified Dubbel... with roasted malt; it's pretty crazy actually. Weird feel, weird flavors, but they go together very well. The heavily present oak adds a beautiful richness to both the flavor and aroma.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Moderate to high carbonation. Slightly watery with an occasionally sticky finish. Feel-wise, this beer hits highs and lows. I like it for what it is, but it bears noting that other world class BSDAs have better mouthfeels that would also suit these flavors better.

Overall: As I said above, this is like a wheat wine with roasted malt and Belgian yeast. Call Allagash whatever you want, but don't say they aren't creative.

Personally, I find this beer to be a delicious experiment, and a masterful use of oak barrel aging (the disparate flavors sing when unified by that rich vanilla/coconut oak note, while they would probably crash and burn without it). I also think this is one of those beers that rewards the apparent gimmickry of aging. After 4~ years, the beer is smooth and well-integrated, despite a huge 10.4% ABV and wildly disparate flavors.

Another expensive Allagash beer where you get what you pay for. On a personal note, it makes me smile that one of the first craft breweries that ever caught my interest can continue to satisfy me no matter how many beers I try or "palate changes" I experience.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Pours a clear copper color with a khaki head that settles to a thin cap. Thick rings of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, toffee, and wood with some nutty aromas. Taste is of malt, toffee, brown sugar, wood, and alcohol. There is a noticeable alcohol warming in the back of the throat after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a light crispness. Overall, this is a very good beer but I enjoyed the taste more than the smell.

 520 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
4.92/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another brew from the most generous trader NutBrown. Thanks Alan!

1 year old as it was bottled September 2008.

A nice pop when I removed the cork, it pours a clear deep amber brown colour with about an inch of offwhite foam. When I hold the glass to the light, I get some ruby red highlights. The lacing is top notch so overall...a beautiful looking brew in my New Belgium goblet.

The smell makes me audibly say...oooh. I'm getting a ton of caramel malt sweetness, dark fruits like figs and maybe plums or rasins or both, some fine oaky goodness, man. Oh and when I say a ton, I don't mean it literally as the nose is not overpowering by any means; I just mean there's so much complexity that my nasal passage doesn't know which way to turn. ;^)

First sip...is the wow! Nice caramel malt sweetness that is immediately balanced by dark fruits, raisins and figs and slight tartness, goodly amount of some bready malt and....a very nice flavour from the oak that isn't too bold and brass so as to take away from everything else that is going on here. Allagash did one hella good job with the oak aging here!

The mouthfeel is on the low side of medium with the carbonation defintley low but it suits this brew to a T! The foam shrinks quickly during the session as does the lacing but at no time do they completely leave the scene. That warms the cockles of my heart. Speaking of warming...

Drinkability? Sitting here, enjoying every sip from my glass, I would have never guessed this puppy weighs in at 10%abv. Want proof? I never mentioned anything about alcohol, abv, warming, etc in the taste area of my review. To be honest, this "feels" like a brew with a much lower abv content. More like 6% or 7%abv at the most. How the hell did they do it?? More importantly, I'm super glad that they *did* do it, by what ever means. In my book, this garners top score for drinkability.

Bottom line: Great looking brew with a nose that will grab your interest from your first whiff, for sure, the splendiferous taste, the lightish but smooth mouthfeel, and the exceptional drinkability....all in all, this brew just blew me away!

 2,126 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.85/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark raspberry tea with a great deal of carbonation leading up to a gorgeous cap of golden ecru froth that filled more than half the glass on the pour. Backlighting brings out wonderful ruby highlights that make a fantastic looking beer look even better. Now this is how a BSDA should look.

The aroma is impressive. It was merely good initially, but with warming has acquired a power and a complexity that mirrors the flavor profile. With a wee bit more vividness and more definition, it could easily compete with the best Belgians. Hell, it just might do so now. I smell figs, tobacco and ground clove above all else.

Odyssey is amazingly delicious beer! Rarely, if ever, has my mouth been so awash in so many flavors that change from the beginning of each mouthful to the end. I've only had a few samples so far, but this might be the best BSDA that I've ever had. I bow before the brilliance of Allagash.

I'm not even sure where to begin in attempting to describe what I'm tasting. First off, this beer eschews power for nuance. That isn't to say that it isn't absolutely bursting with flavor, just that it's so refined and so angelic in the mouth that one doesn't feel as if they're being bullied the way that some big beers tend to do.

Sweetened fig puree, sticky dates, raisins, the finest oak-aged single batch bourbon, light molasses, dark toffee, plum jam, pipe tobacco, cloves... and on and on and on. Even though there's a considerable amount of sweetness, it doesn't come close to sticky or cloying. Like just about everything else about this beer, the sweet-bitter-sour balance is sheer perfection.

I originally felt that the mouthfeel was a tad too light to be deserving of the ultimate score. No longer. I can't imagine a more heavenly mouthfeel than the one greeting me with each and every sip... now that I'm well into the middle of the bottle. It's such a perfect (there's that word again) combination of suppleness, silkiness, light chewiness and buoyant carbonation that no other score is possible.

Allagash proved long ago that they're one of my favorite breweries in all the world. No other American brewer so reliably recreates the classically Belgian styles, and oftentimes meets and surpasses the best that that country has to offer. Simply put, Odyssey is an outstanding BSDA and is one of the best beers of any style that I've ever had the pleasure to drink.

 2,403 characters

Photo of t2grogan
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of wesbrownyeah
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Allagash Odyssey, Ale Aged in Oak Barrels bottled January 2010 case 970 at 10.3% alcohol by vol. I bought this gem at Exchange St. Charleston, South Carolina about a year ago. I've been holding this one until now...
Poured into a St. Fruillien oversized wine glass.

A- Pours a very opaque dark fluid with a tan head that bubbles to a tight quarter inch froth that lingers the whole brew. Heavy duty thick lacing sticks to the glass through out.

S- Metallic and alcoholic scent upfront with doses of oak and yeast. Toasted chocolate malts and sweet caramel come to mind. Alcohol ester sting the nose.

T-M- The flavor of the beer is as expected with a year or more time to mellow... excellent!
This beer packs a hell of a punch of chocolate, caramel, sweet creamy yeast. The taste is unsurpassed to any i've ever had. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with a firey dance that tingle the taste buds with alcohol heat but rolls with water like ease.

D- Very drinkable but very alcoholic in nature but if i had the chance to consume alot of the perfectly crafted beer I would drink as much as allowed.

 1,097 characters

Photo of SkiBum22
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.59/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

February 2005 bottling. 10.4% abv. Pours a deep brown cola color with a half inch of bone white head on top. Small particulate yeast in suspension. Head stays around. Aromas of roasty caramelized malts with notes of brown sugar and dark fruits. Sort of nutty with a big oaky, bourbon nose as well. Barrel aged aroma is vibrant and very nice.

First sip brings a slightly roasted caramel, brown sugar maltiness. Dark fruits move in along with a wonderful oak, bourbon flavor. Spicy yeast tones meld in with a Belgian character. Finishes with a whisper of alcohol and a lingering oaky flavor. Quite outstanding.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with good steady carbonation. Not too heavy it is quite a decadent brew. After nearly 2 years this is drinking superb. I only wish I had more bottles around. Another acheivement from Allagash. Seek it out.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a sublime beer. It has a dark red-brown color with a moderate-sized creamy head. It has a sweet spicy odor with vanilla undertones as well as some spice. A sweet taste, with a charcoal/smoky flavor. A very good mouthfeel, not too bubbly. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer, and could drink it all night, except its 10.4%ABV precludes this (at least if I want to function the next day).

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Photo of warnerry
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled Sept. 2008

A - Pours a deep reddish brown. Almost no head. Does leave a bit of lacing.

S - Lots of toffee, a bit of chocolate and dark fruits. Also a slightly tart presence and some oak. Very nice.

T -- Similar to smell, lots of toffee, some chocolate, and a big presence of dark dries fruits. Finishes with a slight tartness and an oak tannin dryness.

M -- Medium mouthfeel that is actually a bit thinner than expected. Not too thin bough. Finishes dry.

O -- A very nice oak aged ale. Nice flavor profile. Just wish the mouthfeel was a bit more substantial.

 571 characters

Photo of BiggestDogWorld
1.68/5  rDev -60.5%

Photo of bellce0
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Pooles26
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Magister_Beav
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Beerswag
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of Jason
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml brown magnum with a bottling date of February 2005 on the label.

A- Two fingers of think head stick to the glass all the way down as bubbles continually rise to the top. A shade of garnet within the deep dark brown colored brew.

S- Candied fruit, almost fruit-cake like smell. Toffee and bread crust, over-cloved molasses cookies. Spicy fermented wheat, phenols and alcohol make for a very complex aroma.

T&M- Molasses cookies, cloves, candied fruit and pecan brittle all come to mind. Lush smoothness with a mild crispness that cradles the delicate yet feigned thick body. Solid oaky bite, teethy with a drying effect. Tad buttery with a alcohol warmth in the back.

D- Crazy Crackers! This has to be, hands down, one of the most flavorful, complex and enjoyable beers I have had in a long time. Allagash makes brewing a quaffable 10% Belgian style beer look simple. Paired this with some hard goat cheese and bunderfleish.

 941 characters

Photo of merlin48
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, corked and caged, February 2005 bottling. Deep brown pour reveals a clear ruby mahogany when held to light. Creamy, beige head is lush and inviting, with good retention. Some sheet lacing is apparent on the snifter.

Bourbon whiskey notes dominate the aroma, with an assertive oak wood and vanilla presence right behind. Dark fruits and cherries easily come forth as it warms a bit.

Mouthfeel has a solid medium body, alcohol warming, and a very smooth feel.

Taste is smooth and bourbony, with plums and dates intermingling with some caramel maltiness. Slight warming alcohol is not overdone and folds into the malts very well. Dark fruits transform into a tart cherry note as it warms. Lots of vanilla and woody oak from the barrel aging. A kiss of chocolate adds a nice touch as it reaches room temperature.

Better drinkability than I expected from a bourbony 10.4% dark ale. Smooth and pleasing, and very well constructed.

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Photo of Billolick
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

large bottle, caged and corked, dated, numbered, the works. Simply stated this has got to be one of the best brews on the planet. Large, flavorful, strong, complex. Tons of wood, figs, raisins, rum.Words cannot do justice to this flavorful tipple. Get a few bottles, put em away for about 5 years and enjoy, or crack em open tonight and savor this nectar. One of the best brews I've ever had the priviledge of drinking.

 419 characters

Photo of mctizzz
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of tigg924
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

ad on tap at the New World Tavern--Plymouth

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, amber in color, clear

Smell: dark fruit, chocolate, oak, and smoke

Taste: smoky start,followed by sweet dark cherries,other dark fruit, moderate oak and a big alcohol kick at the end.

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, medium-light body,sweet and smoky--but not smoky enough for a smoke beer--with a bitter back bone and an alcohol rush at the end

Overall: Love the whole combination here. Truly an exceptional beer, the smoke and oak play delightfully with the great qualities of a BSDA. Am going back to find this again.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown to black with a cream-colored head. The aroma is awesome with Belgian yeast, malt and some chocolate. The flavor is roasted malt, yeast, oak and some chocolate and alcohol. I may also get some vanilla, but it is faint if it is there. Medium-thick, creamy mouthfeel with low carbonation. A great beer.

 317 characters

Photo of ledouge
3.56/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of JC333
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of Prospero
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

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Allagash Odyssey from Allagash Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 419 ratings.
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