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Allagash Odyssey | Allagash Brewing Company

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419 Reviews
Allagash OdysseyAllagash Odyssey

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

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

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Reviews: 419 | Ratings: 1,226
Photo of ToasterChef
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from my tasting notes. The beer is colored dark plum with some brown. There is a tiny ring of off-white bubbles. It's an opaque beer; I can't see inside of it to detect any rising carbonation. There isn't much aroma that I could detect. It's a little musty and a little fruity. There may be some lime or cranberry notes; whatever it is, it reminds me of juice. It's a very dry beer with lots of yeast and wheat but not too much malt or hop flavor. There is a slight touch of sour and a hint of chocolate. It feels super crisp and dry. There are lots of tiny bubbles to be felt as well. It leaves a neat coat behind--I can only describe it as crumbly, like how your mouth feels after eating a dry cracker. It's a very different sensation for a beer to provide. I find it to be pretty drinkable. This single glass drinks well, but I think I would want to split a bottle.

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Photo of NCSUdo
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle; bottled January 2008

A: Deep brown under a very small white head. No lace, no retention.

S: Mild sweetness, dark fruit, hint of raisin, tobacco and molasses. Some toasted malt and booze eventually show up.

T: Mild sweetness again, oak stands out more, hint of spice, some raisin and tobacco here also. Hint of toasted malt, brown sugar and some chocolate as well. Bitterness shows up as beer warms.

M/D: Medium to full body, carbonation is low. Drinability is decent. High alcohol but never overwhelmingly so, a big beer that drinks lighter. A solid beer, but one I think may be even better fresh.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Off the tap at American Flatbread this fine spirit was a nearly opaque black with a head of mocha-like foam. The retention as a skim that became a collar was so-so and the lacing spotty. The aroma was a soft but inviting mix of oak, toasted malt and spices. The flavors were bold and complex, however. I tasted the alcohol heat and some esters, oak, tart hops, citrus rind and bitter coffee all punctuated by a spiciness. Similar to a cognac. The alcohol was fairly well hidden but the flavors seemed to compete with rather than compliment each other. Though it started semi-sweet the finish on the coffee note was bitter. The mouthfeel was good, the carbonation soft and the body medium.

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Photo of petacutlasaurus
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Caved and bought this one last week, one of the many times I'm glad I can't resist that random Allagash bottle in the corner of my eye. Pouring quickly proves the Allagash investment here - effervescent, dark, and thin like the Belgian strongs they're always going after. Smells are oaky and sweet, a little bit of toffee and a some bread thrown in there, too. Tastes are much of the same. Rich and malty with some fruitiness buried in the dark. And somehow, it manages to achieve these great full tastes without beating you over the head with body. Contrary to what many reviewers are saying, I'd call this quite light in body. The effervescence really helps.

I had this with someone who can't drink beer at all normally, because of its heaviness or alcohol or a combination thereof. But after they tried a taste, they poured a glass and downed the whole thing, way faster than I. Imminently drinkable. Pretty cool stuff.

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Photo of asabreed
4.04/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

25.4 oz. caged and corked bottle into a Brooklyn tulip. Bottled in February 2005. A friend of mine just got his book accepted for publication, and this may be on the cusp anyway, so looks like it's time.

Appearance: Very dark amber in color, and even lighter when looking into the glass as you sip. Off-white soapy head leaves little rings and not many drops of lacing and fades fairly quickly.

Smell: Huge grape jam aromas initially. A bit of sourness. Bright fruity Zinfandel-like red wine aromas, along with some sour red wine vinegar. Darker plum aromas. Unsweetened chocolate. More wood and sourness as it warms. Almost some cherry soda aromas or cherry 7-Up comes through as it warms. Caramel drizzle or syrup. Cherry pie filling. Definitely more Flemish Red sourness as it warms, along with the oak and woody aromas with some vanilla and sweet cream mixed with the sour. Nuanced, balanced, and very layered.

Taste: Good combination of bright fruit esters, dark yet mild chocolate and coffee flavors, and oak flavors like vanilla, yet there's some forward nuanced sourness and cherries, wood and oak, caramel syrup, chocolate powder, cherry pie filling, and good roasted malts. Finish is lingering dark roasted malts and mild sourness, with a bit of citrus hops there too.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation, right now, just can't handle the body of this brew. After a minute or two in the glass, whereas in those two minutes it works well, but it then becomes slightly syrupy and cloying, yet it's still not to the point of off-putting, though it's certainly noticeable and I expected more.

Drinkability: Is almost 5 years too long for a beer like this? I wonder what it's like fresh, because I can't compare the two. As I said, it seems like one of the big things is the carbonation factor, where it didn't hold up as much as I expected, which was evident from the initial to the last pour. It still has legs, don't get me wrong, but I feel like it's lost a step from what I can imagine a fresh batch tastes like. Though I still enjoyed it, maybe 5 years was too long, and I hoped for more.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.04/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of 600 cases of this beer bottled January of 2008. Broke this one out in good company for the Nova/UNC game for the 2009 final 4. I have one more that I am gonna hold on to for a while. Paired with a delicious, fresh out of the oven brownie, that seems to go perfectly, kind of to my surprise.

A: Pours right out of the corked 750 mL bottle into a wide mouthed glass and produces a deep ruby color around the edges mixed with an almost completely opaque color. Head is ample, with about 1cm to 1in of head. Even with only a thin film of bubbles on top of the beer, there are thick, fat rings of foam left on the sides of the glass all the way down.

S: Milk chocolate and light chocolatey malts. Other than that, not a whole lot going on.

T: MUCH more complex than the smell. Malty chocolate flavors couple with coffee up front. Towards the back the of the flavor profile, the milk chocolate and darker fruits come out nicely. You can also really taste the oak flavoring as you roll this around your mouth. The aftertaste also offers a lot of this. Sweet malts mix with some mild hop bitterness as well.

M/D: Nicely textured...gives a stout taste with a strong ale texture. The flavors in this beer couple beautifully with the oak barrel aging to produce a beer worthy of many accolades. I almost wish I had a whole case to enjoy, because this would be a go-to. I could drink this all night, though only slowly.

Highly recommend this beer. It certainly lives up to the hype that I expected out of this series, after trying the Curieux. It is just all around, a phenomenal beer!

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Photo of draheim
4.04/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750mL (bottled February 2011) into a chalice. Pours a clear mahogany w/ a rich creamy khaki head, good lacing.

Aroma is deep and complex. Red grapes, brown sugar, molasses, raisins, slight cocoa.

Taste is sweet and fruity, tempered by the dry oak. Lots of residual sugars, Belgian yeast, dark bready malt, spice, and a strong dash of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is velvety, medium-bodied, with a clean dry finish.

Overall a good BSDA, but maybe not a favorite.

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged 2009 vintage bottle.

Pours a very dark mohogany bown with a small light brown head that's fairly thin. Nose is slightly funky and boozy, very nice.

Taste is very rich and complex. Light oaky notes and vanilla creaminess. It's a very creamy mouthfeel with a great amount of carbonation. For being 10% you'd have no idea.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mikeys01 of the bottle.
Pour a hazy, chocolate and mahogany with a bright white head that leaves line of lace on the goblet.
Aroma has some nuttiness and rich vanilla and oak flavor with some chocolate and dark cirtrus note subtlely in the background.

Flavors of chocolate covered spice with a barbeques molasses note. Very spicy and dry and alcoholic pop is just evident above the flavors.
Mouthfeel is alive and ubbly but still pretty light. Fairly sweet notes dominates with just a touch of sourness and some smoke and charcoal notes.
Drinkability is very solid but the oak imparts abit too much and really overshadows everything, especailly as the beer warms. A bit to over the top but still a nice beer and obviously impeccably brewed.

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Photo of jancona
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not quite what I expect from a strong dark ale. The smell is molasses and vanilla - taste follows with a touch of oak. I don't get any traditional dark fruit flavors associated with the style. Still a very nice flavor and amazing feel.

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Photo of rootbeerman
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours brown/black body. Head is two fingers thick, light brown and leaves lacing with each sip.
S: a mix of wheat malt, sweet vanilla, oak, some spice, and dark fruit on a swirl.
T: wheat malt, a bit spicy, some dried fig, oak and vanilla. Earthy long lasting aftertaste.
M: smooth, very lightly coating, nice carbonation.
O: great from the Growler as well as on tap. Now to try it from the bottle.

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Photo of callmemickey
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown with a one finger tan head that lasts to the end... lots of lacing...

S: Oaky, sugar, vanilla, caramel, molasses.. slight smokeyness.

T: Fruits (figs?) lots of caramel/sugar/vanilla malts.. well hidden alcohol.. bourbon like finish.

M: Smooth medium body. Little carbonation.

D: Solid american attempt at the beglian strong dark. one of the best dark out there...

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Photo of flannelman808
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark color nearly black and flat. Light doesn't shine through. Topped with a very light tan foam with large bubbles with good retention and lacing.

S: Mild oak, spice, molasses, subtle dark fruit in the back.

T: The nose follows the palate and is quite nice, very developed and harmonious. Molasses is the dominant force here raisin date and various spice follows with a "oaky" backdrop.

M: Highly carbonated, perhaps a bit too much ...

O: Good

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Photo of GOBLIN
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hints of chocolate, vanilla, oak, molasses . . . Pours a murky brown with a touch of lacing. Carbonation is a nice touch on this Belgian inspired beer and decent mouthfeel. I really wanted to be blown away by this beer and was certain I was going to be. But, it didn't happen for me. Alcohol is faintly noticeable. Still a very solid offering so it wasn't a let down by any means.

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Photo of klikger
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle served in a tulip

A - Dark brown, small white head, not much lacing

S - Caramel and molasses with a touch of oak

T - Copper, smoke --> loads of malt & dark sugars --> coffee, peat --> finish is slightly dry

M - Pretty heavy, not too much carb

D - Not too hot for the ABV. Not bad, not great.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a murky chestnut color with a thin cream-colored head. Some spotty lacing.

S: Lots of dark fruit and Belgian yeast on the nose. Plum and date stand out the most along with a good amount of oak.

T: Rich and malty upfront with a good hit of dates and raisins. Lots of oak, some chocolate and brown sugar. Finishes on a bit of a dry note, but has a great full mouthfeel. Good stuff but I don't think it's worth the price.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours the color and clarity of cola with a tight, quarter inch, off-white head embedded with tiny pinpricks and ringlets. Sheets of lacing coat the walls of the glass as the head gradually dissipates into an oily slick. Nose expresses dark fruits, roast and the merest suggestion of coffee. Taste expresses more roast than dark fruit. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a slightly assertive carbonation that leaves a residual prickle at the back of the throat between quaffs. Overall, a solid representation of the style; however, the price point is way too high given that some of the Belgian exemplars are less expensive and better beers.

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Photo of cbl2
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

4/12/2005 $12.99 750 mL 10.40% Bottled February 2005; 1 of 5460 bottles.


Resembles Coca-cola, as it is poured, with a dark, almost opaque black/brown body topped by about a half inch of tight white bubbles that are slow to settle.


Extremely complex aroma that yields ripe plums/figs, vanilla, subtle hints of chocolate and smoke. Definitely intriguing.


Oak is definitely present in this one, with flavor characteristics reminiscent of a dry chardonnay. Plenty of vanilla accompanied by a mouth warming alcohol presence are the first flavor sensations. A semi-sweet chocolate presence creeps in towards the end of the sip as well, but this one is mainly vanilla due to the oaking. Interesting, though not spectacular, I'd like to see how this ages.

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

(Served in a tulip glass)
Bottled Jan. 08 Case #600
A- This beer pours a dense brown body that only shows a beam of red light shining through when held to the light. There is a sea of microbubbles that support half a glass of creamy light tan head that is smooth and a bit sticky.

S- This beer has a fragrance that comes through during the pour but it is a mellow cream and brown malt note. As the beer is sipped notes of brown malt have a slight sweetness to it with a softer coffee roasted note. There is a faint vanilla and dry wood hint when it is pretty warm.

T- This beer has a smooth soft flavor of toasted malt with a slight sweetness and a faint brown sugar note with hints of prunes all blended together. There is a soft roasted black malt hint and the finish is a soft mild hop note that lingers for just a second. There is a note of dry wood under a soft alcohol spice flavor aswell.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a creamy almost silky texture with no real alcohol heat and a tight little fizz at the finish.

D- My overall impression is that this is another Belgian Strong Dark Ale. They seem to all taste very similar with all the flavors blended together and not much really popping out to impress my tastebuds. I don't think I would have noticed the oak barrel notes if I wasn't looking for them. But it is a good solid beer.

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

750ml C&C bottle poured into a Tulip Glass. July 2009 vintage.

A - Dark black with a thin off-white head that leaves some sticky lacing as it recedes.
S - Dark malt, chocolate, coffee, and a nice helping of Bourbon flavors : caramel, oak, and ash. Very nice.
T - More dark malt, chocolate, coffee, and Bourbon. Pretty much spot-on with the nose. Very "oaky", and the Bourbon profile is big.
M - Smooth and creamy with a full body and moderate "prickly" carbonation.
O - A solid BA beer, but it really can't compete with the top-tier beers.

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

Viggo shared this one, and i also recently got bottle in trades with Aprilluvsbeer and MuenchenerKindl. so thanks to eric, april, and tom!

750ml bottle. january 2008 bottling. sampled sept 28/08.

pours deep brown, slightly hazy and not quite opaque. a small dense tan head forms, dropping fairly fast and leaving spotty lace.

aroma is good. buttery oak. bit of milk chocolate. vanilla. light alcohol. bit of bourbon/brandy character. light dark fruit - raisin, date, touch of fig. cracker. whole wheat bread. a bit earthy too.

taste is great. toasted whole wheat bread. vanilla. oak. bit of winey tannins, but fairly mellow. just a touch of dark fruit. light warming alcohol. medium-low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. medium-large body, but with a fairly dry finish from the oak. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. nice balance. the oak adds a nice extra dimension to it. looking forward to seeing how this one changes with time.

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

25.4 fl oz brown bottle; caged & corked, served in a snifter.
Bottling: September 2008.
Cases bottled: 530.
10.3% abv.

Pours a ruby-hued deep oak in color beneath a delicate, lightly tanned, carbonation-filled head. Dimpled lacing of a sand-filled hourglass.

Semi-sweet, slightly bitter caramel and molasses. Complex, aged fruit: plum, date, raisin, red grape in combination with a distinct dry oak aroma. Residual brown sugars, nutmeg, and gingerbread. Sweet, dry, and bitter aromatics? New aromas seem to seep through in each whaff.

Sweet, warming malts with a pleasantly complex nutmeg and brown sugar sweetness. Brief metallic notes that are quickly subdued by a pepper, saffron, and ginger spice. Thinly gaseous alcohol presence that is quite mild given the 10.3% abv that is listed. Dried oak, chestnut, and almond nuttiness that gives a filmy dryness to the sweet maltiness.

Full in body; a very dry mouthfeel with a thin layer of film as the drier flavors come to the forefront. Stable enough for the flavor profiles and consistent as well.

Unbelievably drinkable for a dark Belgian-style offering this high in alcohol. Strong flavors with a very nice balance. I'm not quite a fan of all of the flavors, but this is certainly a well-crafted ale.

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Photo of GJ40
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at Tyler's in Apex, NC.

A - Brown with a reddish tinge and very little head. Some light comes through and it appears to have good clarity.

S - Oak, cherries and brown sugar.

T - Leads with rich malts, raisins, toffee and caramel. The oak blends in well and isn't overpowering. It's somewhat on the dry side.

M - A little thin for a rich, dark beer. A nice low carbonation.

D - I'm not big on oak aged beers but this one works. It's interesting and complex.

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Photo of Floydster
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle acquired in a trade with tprokop7, thanks for giving me the opportunity to try this brew, split with my dad tonight, poured into a Lost Coast Great White pint glass

A-Dark red with some definite brown highlights, 2/3 inch creamy vanilla colored head that stuck around for a while, some retention, nice lacing

S-Candy, a variety of fruit, toffee, bread, chocolate chip cookies, maple syrup, angel food cake, cloves, wheat, blueberries, and booze

T-Taste is much stronger than the aroma, also a big presence of sweet cream and coffee which I did not smell, could tell this spent a while in a barrel because of its big oak flavor, had a complex profile of brown sugar, rum, vanilla, booze, and dark fruits round out the taste at the beginning, got more boozy and sweet as it warmed, some chocolate came to the surface as wll, almost a candied sugar taste in the finish towards the end, aftertaste had some coconut and pineapple in it at some point, seemed out of place or it could have just been my palate going crazy, this beer was all over the place nevertheless, although it succeeded in bringing its various qualities together for the most part

M-Sugary, roasted almost like a porter, sweet, and spicy mouthfeel, body was pretty full, nice level of carbonation, would have liked to see the taste last longer

D-Might have been able to finish this bottle alone, ABV is high at ten and you can sometimes taste it, goes down easy and is smooth, not too sweet

Have not had many brew from Allagash, heard this was one of their best and I had to try it in order to find out for myself, not bad but not exceptional either, would drink again, recommended

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

Pours a deep rich brown with a creamy beige head that leaves sheets of lacing.

Aroma is sweet candied dark fruit, vanilla oak, and mild yeasty spices.

Taste is not as sweet as the nose. Roasted malt, with chocolate and generous vanilla oak flavor. Dark fruit and alcohol. Finish is dry with lingering yeasty spices.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall a pretty good brew. Alcohol comes on a little harsh, not overpowering. Plenty of oak and dark fruit flavor.

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Allagash Odyssey from Allagash Brewing Company
4.25 out of 5 based on 1,226 ratings.
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