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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 amiles
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Chicago's Long Room...

A: Poured into a stock goblet, dark brown with nice white head. Attractive lacing throughout the beverage.

S: Interesting... but intriguing. Not like anything else, much like the... >>

T: At first it tasted a bit like a carbonated red wine for some reason. After sippin' for a bit more interesting flavors revealed themselves. Oak and sweetness, complex indeed. Couldn't quite nail it.

M: Alright?

D: Perhaps could have had one more, but that'd probably be it. It was my night cap for the evening before a few Aprihops, and Benders.

Nice brew that pushes the boundaries. Allagash is good stuff.

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

Been after this one for a while, so a big thanks to Derek for sharing!

Pours a deep mahogany with a finger of tan head, which quickly settled to a film and ring around the outside. Some lace spots are left behind, and the retention is decent. The nose is surprisingly simple, but pleasant. Rich dark fruit, with cherries and prunes dominating against a spicy woodiness and brown sugar. Likewise, the flavour doesn't quite have the complexity I expected, but remains enjoyable. Dark fruit, again, make their presence felt. Brown sugar sweetens the deal, and hits of clove and pepper in a lightly bready finish makes for a decent end. Alcohol is present and warming. Oak isn't as present as I thought it would be. Medium body with a creamy carbonation.

Not a world class Belgian strong dark, as far as I'm concerned, but a very capable rendition.

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

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown body with a full, frothy, khaki-colored head. Plenty of glass-coating lacing on the way down.

Smell: Slight sweetish hints to the aroma of rich brown malt, vanilla, candied fruits, and (though only mildly) oak.

Taste: Sweet, mildly roasted maltiness with a full taste of Keuken stroop. For only using a mere 10% wheat, I did feel it contributes significantly to the flavor, but that's just me. Handful of vanilla cookie crumbles. Distinct, yet well blended taste of toasted oak. Fig and banana fruitiness. A bit of alcohol heat on the malty, toffee sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Moderate carbonation. Slightly sticky mouthfeel.

Drinkability: I enjoyed it, but I'm not going to lie to you, my friend really disliked this one. I hope this bottle of Odyssey hasn't formed an irreparable rift in our long-standing friendship.

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

Very classy extra from my man Ding. Thanks! Kinda wanted to sit on it for awhile, especially because the bottle looked so nice, but what can a say? I got thirsty.

Looks pretty dark. I suppose its a really dark brown as opposed to a black. Decent head, settles to a film.

Subtle scent of I know not what. Really, really light dark fruit scent. You mean what I know.

I dare say 'woodsy' for the first time in my reviewing career to describe a flavor. The dark fruit is there also. I can't taste the alcohol, but oh boy can I feel it in my bellaaay! I do believe I like this.

End of notes.

Overall: I liked it

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Photo of WillCarrera
3.99/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

750 ml bottle, bottled in February, 2013, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a dark brown, reddish highlights, topped with an inch of creamy khaki head, nice retention and lacing.

S- Lots of raisin, other dark fruit, some caramel. Not much else.

T- Some dark fruit, lots of raisins, figs etc. There's also some caramel, wheaty grain flavors, quite a bit of spice, some clove, roasty char and dry oak towards the finish.

M- Medium-bodied, nice, creamy feel.

O- A solid BSDA, the oak flavors especially are very nice, but not much else really stands out. I'm not sure I would pick this up again when there are so many comparable beers at better price points.

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Photo of dar482
3.99/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The aroma has roasted malt, chocolate, sweet caramel, and cffee.

The flavor follows of chocolate, porter roasted malt quality, and then plums and a yeast. A lacking mid palate then onto an oak quality.

The beer is quite sweet and bready, but dries off on the finish with woody oak barrel.

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Photo of Ego
3.99/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

fluffy white head, deep ruby brown color, the head is lingering nicely (and lacing well)

powerfull, oak soaked in whiskey with a touch of barnyard mold dryness, almost the belgian farm bready smell but lacking the sweetness (honey) notes, dried apricots, hop florals are buried deep, not the greatest nose for me in terms of what it is but fascinating and complex.. perhaps a little carmel/coffee tone in there which seems to hint at the alcohol just beneath it.. I could probably smell this all night and come up with 100 things to say, but since I bored you already.. let me move on...

at first it feels flat, but the carbonation makes itself known mid sip, first impression is vanilla velvet with a whisky ish aftertaste and then warming sensation. no apparent alcohol flavor as of yet, a dark cherry component has emerged on my third sip, the whisky character is taking over more now...

very well done, I dont recommend more than a snifter's worth, excellent as a digestif with some strong cheese or a really hearty spicy dip of some sort. it could hold its own against powerfull food. this one should age nicely...

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap 3/25/2014 at Track 84, in Warwick, RI served in a goblet glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains chocolate, dark fruit, Belgian yeast and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of chocolate, coffee and dark fruit. Then some breadiness comes in from Belgian yeast and a hearty malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid dark Belgian-style beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

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Photo of lightindarkness
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown cola color with a few red highlights coming through. Creamy khaki colored head sits fully on top and holds on for the duration with some nice lace left behind. A very attractive dark ale.

Nose is not as fruity as I hoped for, with a lot more of a biscuity grainy smell overall with some softer oak. Further sniffing reveals conservative tart aromas mixing with chocolate, toasted grain, and a touch of molasses hiding out in the back, all spiced with warm alcohol. The smell is really growing on me.

Taste is somewhat similar to the nose, with an intriguing profile and complexity dancing with firm alcohol flavor. Smooth, with flavors of grains up front. A very light sweetness sits on the tongue introducing some roasty malt tastes and a little mild bitter chocolate. Some oak and light tannin are detected toward the finish with a bright clean buzz of tart and slightly acidic flavor, mellowing quickly to more soft grain. Leaves a pleasant slightly tart and yeasty soft flavor.

Feel is a combination of carbonation, alcohol, and medium body. The body seems just well enough constructed to barely hold together the full carbonation and very notable alcohol with only a slight character of its own. Carbonation is nearly effervescent, filling the mouth with extra foam. Alcohol is warm and slick on the tongue. Not overly balanced, but enough to pass without being obnoxious.

Overall drinkability is reasonable. Strong alcohol present in nose, taste, and feel detracts from enjoying this one more. Pleasant taste is not too sweet or fruity, with a dry/dark/warm overall tone, setting it apart from some other versions of the style. As it decants, warms, and sits exposed to oxygen it begins to evolve in character. I definitely like this beer, but it seems to need a little refinement.

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Photo of chaz01
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft served at Jake Melnick's in Downtown Chicago, served in a snifter type glass.

A: Dark Brown and opaque with a nice thick head.

S: Lots of oak and maltiness in the aroma.

T: Like the aroma, picking up oak and woody bark flavors in the taste with a little dry cocoa and dark fruit flavors.

M: Good carbonation and medium bodied -- not as heavy as the dark color might indicate.

D: No signs of the 10% ABV, very smooth going down. As the bartender joked, "This is so smooth, I'd give to my mom". Would pair well with sharp cheese or a hearty stew.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Sheffield's last night for Phil's going away party. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Pours with a nice one-plus fingers of tan foam. Excellent retention that eventually gives way to a thick cap and ring and leaves plenty of attractive lacing. Body is a dark, dark brown color with slight transparency at the fringes of the glass.

S - This is reminiscent of a dark wheat/dunkelweizen, but on 'roids. Malted wheat, cloves, cocoa, candi sugar, as well as spicy, fruity, and rummy esters. Not picking up much of the barrel character - either it's very well integrated or very light. Very subtle and nuanced, and takes a while to warm up

T - Sweet caramel malts, a bit of sharp wheat, cocoa, light nuttiness, and a touch of toasted oak. Less clove and spice than in the nose. Again, it's very much like an imperial dunkelweizen with a touch of barrel. Booze is more mellow in the flavor than in the aroma.

M - Viscous, chewy, smooth, medium-full body. Nice soft, but still present, carbonation. Not overly hot in the finish. A little bit sticky, but not excessively so.

D - This is a slow sipper, and a brew where I'd be happy with only one glass. It's very rich and nuanced, and as such demands a lot of engagement from the drinker. Also, while well-crafted, this particular collection of flavors doesn't personally speak to me - I like a little more roast and dark fruits in my BSDAs (a la The Viking or Rochefort 8).

I'm guessing the keg at the party was an earlier vintage, as there wasn't much of the barrel flavor noted by many other reviewers. It took about half a glass before I started to perceive appreciable oakiness. I'd be curious about comparing my experience to that from a fresh bottle.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes...had this one a while ago.

Poured from 750mL bottle into unibroue tulip. Bottle dated 1/2010.

A - Poured a beautiful deep ruby purple-ish brown-ish color with lively carbination and a yeasty head with sticky lacing.

S - Awesome. Delicate balance of dark fruit.

T - A bit heavy on the alcohol for me. Once it warmed, the oak comes out a bit as does the flavor of plub, fig, nutmeg...etc.

M - Tingly...even carbonation...very smooth for the ABV.

D - Too strong. There are lots of others that are better in the style for the price, but was glad I tried it.

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Photo of taez555
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled Feb 2005

Poured a dark root beer colored body with a small tan/off-white head. A big choppy head dies rather quickly.

Nose was a mix of mild phenols, oak, leather, wood, bourbon, vanilla, dark malts and alcohol.

Medium bodied and very smooth. This is 10.4%? Damn! Flavors are mostly oak, dark malt, dark silky caramel, chocolate and smooth coffee. There’s a very black coffee type bitterness. A mild earthy hop. Really though, the big oak flavor really dominates and overshadows all other flavors in this beer.

What can I say about this beer? It was good, I’d drink it again, but for the price it’s not worth it at all. I paid nearly $14 for this beer, and I know price shouldn’t factor in, but for the price I could get a big oak aged beer just as good for half the price. Worth a try, but not worth the price.

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Photo of stevoj
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap in South Philly during Philly beer week. Deep dark brown and rich syrupy aroma. Elements of dried fruit, raisins, prunes, but overall smooth and highly drinkable.

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Photo of nickd717
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the 2009 Bistro Barrel Aged fest in Hayward, reviewed 11/14/2009.

Dark brown with purple hues and a small beige head.

Aroma is dark fruit, caramel, alcohol, and spices.

Flavor is nice but not quite worth the bottle price. Caramel malt, spice, raisin, fig, and vanilla.

Alcohol well-hidden. Dry finish with medium body and a pretty average mouthfeel.

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Photo of Jack_Malts
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Allagash Odyssey January 2014 10.4% abv

Dark Brown with a frothy two finger off-white head that fades gradually leaving behind frothy lacing. The head sticks around in a layer over the beer.

Smells metallic and spicy. Dark fruit - dates and raisins, plum skins. molasses. I smell the malted wheat. Sweet dark bread. Dark cookies.

Tastes of molasses. Sugar and dark fruit. Metallic funk. Cloves. Really buttery molasses cookies. Wheat. Plenty of malted graininess. Vanilla and oak come out in the aftertaste.

Medium to full body, Medium carbonation. Slightly unpleasant finish that turns in to a warm wonderful aftertaste.

I’ll start by saying that I don’t like the Belgian yeast profile in general. There’s something spicy and funky about it that doesn't appeal to me. I’m definitely not a big fan of BSDAs. I wish I was though, then maybe I could enjoy this obviously good beer. The thing that I enjoy most is the aftertaste, where vanilla, oak, and a general warmth stick around for quite a while. Up front it’s a very satisfying sweet, grainy, spicy flavor profile. I am not a fan of the finish. Bitter funk dominates. So, between the front and the aftertaste, the stuff I don’t like about BSDAs really comes out. If you like BSDAs you’ll probably love it. I don’t know. A satisfying experience however. I drank it, so that definitely means its good. Some of the lamer BSDAs I can’t even finish. I probably shouldn't even be reviewing this beer. Do try.

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Photo of drpimento
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty good brew. Poured with a small to medium light tan head that mostly settles out and a bit of lace. Color is a lovely, clear mahoganey. Aroma is really nice with some slightly smokey, roasty malt, burnt wood, dark ripe fruit and a bit of toffee. Flavor is like that, but lots of the smoke disappears leaving only a bare hint; sweetness comes out more but all is well balanced. Body is just right, mouth filling and cut well by carboantion. Finish is like flavor, fairly long and with an oakey lingering sweetness along with some alcohol. Again a tad sweet for me to drink more than this botte. But it is a pretty pow beer.

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Photo of beertunes
3.94/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from January 2010, shared on 5/5/13. Poured into tulip. Poured a nice deep reddish-brown color with under 1/2 inch of light brown head that had good retention and moderate lacing.

The aroma was a lot of deep malts and a bit of fruitiness from the yeast. There was a bit of wood aroma as well, an overall very pleasant scent. On the tongue, all the above features were present, just bolder. The fruitiness (plum and cherries) was prominent, with the wood providing a good bass note underneath.

The body was nicely full, yet wasn't heavy. The beer was smooth and even across the palate. For a beer with a nice bit of sweetness, this had a surprisingly dry finish. Drinkability was dangerously easy, I would have happily killed the 750 by myself. Overall, a very nice beer. A must try if you see it, and probably worth trading for.

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Photo of Rollzroyce21
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Bruery Provisions

Poured into snifter

Vintage: I'm assuming 2011

Aroma: Unexpected roast with hints of dark fruits

Medium body and creamy. Taste bitter espresso notes. The heat's there, but faint. Almost doubting it's a belgian dark; its much like a stout in many aspects. Very drinkable.

Now in the 2nd half (warmed up a bit) and the heat's showing more. Picking up the earthy wood from the oak. Getting some sugary sweetness at the tip of the tongue. Catching hints of cherries.

Overall, a nice diferent take on a Belgian dark. I totally wasn't expecting to taste something like this.

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Photo of ptykozoon
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours blackish, tinges of brown here and there. Decent lacing and an undying layer of foam.

Smell is subtle cocoa.

Taste mirrors the subtle smell, firstly cocoa powder then some belgian flavors. Hints of cherry and lemon, bits of soy sauce.

This actually shares the same mouthfeel and general complexity as a belgian style beer, reminds me a lot of Chimay actually. (This was before I noticed it was a Belgian Strong Dark Ale) So I'd say this beer does it's job well. Peppy carbonation and a refreshing, sweet finish.

Good beer all around. It takes a while to pick up the flavors, but after you do, this beer strives with the subtleties.

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Photo of Neecee513
3.92/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured bottle into pint glass.

A: Dark amber/brown. Moderate head and retention. Somewhat cloudy.

S: Raisins or rich fruits.

T: Tart fruits on finish.

M: Moderate carbonation, dry finish, somewhat full and warm body.

O: Enjoyable, certainly lives up to expectations.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.92/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the Allagash brewery in Maine, earlier this year. I’ve heard some nice comments, so I am pleased to drink this while watching some pre-season Pats football. Feb ‘ 11 batch
Pours with a fluffy light tan head that rises to about 3 fingers and fades rather quickly. The beer is dark with a burgundy/ruby tint when held to the light some very light lacing.
Aroma has a lot going on. Dark fruits, spice and cocoa powder dominate.
Cocoa powder is again the first thing that comes to mind in the flavor. Some prunes, vanilla. Nice malt flavors mix with the cocoa notes. Oak just below the surface but well rounded. Not the raw oak notes that sometimes accompany an oak barrel beer. Some star anise and clove in the finish.
Interesting dry fluffy carbonation. Pillowy in your mouth.
A very good beer, but not quite the giant that I had hoped for. I kept waiting for it to open up even more as it warmed and it never really became epic. Very good…just not great.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.91/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a murky reddish brown in color with minimal fluff of head but leaves good lacing. Scent is of sweet malts, touches or fresh grain, earth, oak, light spice and floral hops. Taste is a rather undewhelming blend of dark crsty bread, sweet malts, very mild spicing - failry weak tasting. Lighter side of Medium body but somewhat watery. Just doesnt do much for me, mild without being complex, lacks assertiveness and a good oak quality from he aging.

Update: Not sure if it is my palate, or the beer itself, but I tried again and enjoyed it much more.

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Photo of RescueKitty
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber and served in a tulip glass. Poured very dark mahogany with a thick off-white head. Glowed a dark ruby red when held up to the light. Smelled of sweet dates and dark figs. The first sip was a surprise. Tasted of coffee with hints of dark chocolate and dark fruit with slight wood notes. Creamy mouthfeel. The alcohol was well hidden. I expected this to be much sweeter than it was. Though tasting of soft fruits, it had a nice dry finish. An impressive and complicated beer.

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Photo of SkunkWorks
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled dated September 2008. Tasted November 2010. Poured into a tulip.

Look: dark, kind of reddish brown tending towards brown. Dark red highlights. There's almost no visible carbonation and no head except a thin circle of bubbles lining the side of the glass. There's also not much in the way of lacing, which is fine because of the alcohol content.

Smell: a little oaky bourbon alcohol aroma, some dark fruit, brown malt, some vanilla also. The smell is a little more subtle than I would have thought it would be but it still smells good.

Taste: mild bourbon taste, a little toasted malt, some vanilla, molasses, grapes, and some dark fruit like fig. The alcohol is apparent and there's some heat in the finish.

Feel: fairly dry, a little thicker than medium bodied, almost no carbonation and kind of a sticky mouthfeel.

Drink: definitely a sipper. The bourbon flavors, for me at least, mean that this is hard to drink for a 10.5% beer.

Overall, this was a decent beer but I don't think it was a great beer. Maybe the age didn't do this bottle well. I liked it but I don't know if I'll go back. There's enough here that I want to try other beers by Allagash. I would recommend picking it up if you're a fan of Belgian Dark Strong Ales and bourbon barrel beers, otherwise I might recommend going elsewhere. Cheers.

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