Allagash Odyssey | Allagash Brewing Company

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: 1,228
Photo of ikantspel
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served into a house tulip.

Bottled december 2011

Pours a deep dark brown with a medium head
and slight lacing.

Heavy toasted malts, belgian sugars, and some oaky characteristics.

Taste follows the nose. The oak kicks in and delivers some raw chocolate/coffee undertones. Almost finishes like a stout.


Can you say subtle? This 10.4% abv seems like a joke. This beer is so good, im speechless

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: Dark mahogany. Fat messy off white head.
smell: Spicy and tart. Lots goin on.
taste: Again, lots happening. Spicy, cloves maybe. Something else there, like burnt sugar (in a good way).
overall: An impressive brew. To be honest, not my favorite style but I appreciate the artistry here and glad I tried it.

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Photo of beerbiatchMD
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Novare Res into 25 cL Allagash glass.

A: reddisha amber brown in color, small brown head with minimal lacing.

S: coffee, earthy roasty malts, woody and leathery, a hint of piney hops. Not as much Belgian spice as I remember from a bottle I've had previously.

T: very dark roasty grains, coffee, some oak, also a hint of tartness--maybe apple. A little bit boozy.

M: smooth mouthfeel, good carbonation, not a lot of alcohol heat even though the taste has some booziness to it.

O: Very good. It's a bigger beer but still very drinkable. Again, I remember the bottle I had a few months back (which would have had ~1 year of age on it) had some more Belgian yeast/spice notes. This one is good, but a bit more stoutish.

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Photo of Chaney
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's been ages since I tried this one.

Bottled December 2011; 1160 cases bottled.

Served in a snifter.

A: Poured a dark, prune juice red-brown (more brown) color, with a little bit of ruby evident when held up to a light source, but still quite cloudy nevertheless. The head was mildly off-white and gentle.

S: I got a good bit of char upfront that was very reminiscent of a fine porter. Maybe charcoal or ash would be a better descriptor. I also got a bit of dark fruit, but nothing to write home about.

T: The taste was a different story. Literally, the caramely, nutty, raisony goodness stained my tongue upon first sip. The fruit was dark in type, but rather bright and explosive in taste. The oak aided amazingly is killing a lot of the cloying, brown sugary, Belgiany character that usually turns me off from this style.

M: Like most of Allagash's beers, this one is EXTREMELY carbonated and spritzy, like a fine champagne. I dug it in this setting. The sweetness was kept in check by the oak, and the lacing was splotchy (and those splotches were rather large).

O: Man, I need to drink more Belgian styles aged on oak. All the things I like about this style is highlighted, while muting the ones that I don't. I continue to be impressed with almost everything that Allagash produces.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Rustico's poured in sampler glass. Pours a cloudy brownish-amber color with a small beige head. Aroma of brown sugar, vanilla, oak, caramel, and sweet fruity bread. The flavor precisely follows suit. Only very minor oxidation has set in and it takes nothing away from the experience. Medium-bodied, with a sweet, coating mouthfeel and low carbonation. Overall a very nice beer!

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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.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

At the time of this review, this is the #4 beer on the "Top Beers - Belgian Strong Dark Ale" list on Served in a snifter.

Beer is dark brown, hazy, thin lazy head of tan bubbles, minimal lacing and carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, a little oaky / woody, some yeast. Malt.

Beer is lighter in body than expected, strong throughout though. The oakiness adds a sort of bitterness almost like a hop at the end of the palate, this beer is fine but not good enough for the cost in my opinion.

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Photo of sidetracked
3.49/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated July 2009. Pours a ruby red/mahogany brown with a light brown head.

Aroma is sweet caramel and raisin with a faint alcohol heat.

Taste upfront is sweet brown sugar, caramel, raisins. Finish is sweet--raisin, apples, little wood and vanilla.

Medium body with moderate carbonation.

Overall a good beer, but kind of one-dimensional. Raisin and brown sugar sweetness most prevalent. Barrel-aging could be emphasized more. Not a lot to describe. Wouldn't have again at the current price-point.


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Photo of claspada
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled February 2011.

Pours a very nice and deep dark hazy mahogany colored brown with a big full tan colored head. Great retention, slowly settling down into just a small layer of bubbles and foam.

Aromas begin with a good amount of dark fruits; not super pungent. A bit of caramel, cocoa and toffee in the background. As it warms I get more of the biscuity, sugar cookie sweet malts and a more complex dark fruits mixed with caramelized brown sugars and vanilla. Really not getting any oak, just oak induced aromas (vanilla and/or caramelized sugar sweetness).

The tastes begin with a large dose of brown maltiness. Then the dark fruits distinguish themselves a bit more alongside caramel, toffee, brown sugar and some yeasty spiciness. Definitely, not picking up oak here either but there is definitely a strong vanilla/sugar cookie presence which could be all that was intended. Figs and prunes are present throughout but never dominate; this pairs well with the cocoa and biscuity malt flavors.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a perfect amount of average carbonation for the style. The finish is nice on the palate; fairly creamy overall for the style. Much less dry and less yeast forward as some of the style tend to be, which I am really enjoying here.

Overall this was an excellent brew and one of the best I have had from Allagash. Not a superb barrel aged beer, but a way above average Belgian Dark Strong for my tastes. It has the dark fruit flavors and the biscuity maltiness I enjoy in the style, but the yeastiness and dark fruits are complementary but never dominant (I have grown tired of boring standard Belgian yeast spiced beers).

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

Pours a dark reddish brown with a very thin off-white head. Aroma and flavor both have heavy wafts of oak and vanilla. Some hints of toffee and the sweetness is palpable on the nose even before you taste. It had a nice medium body and mouth feel -- not too light or too heavy. Doesn't have a ton of bitterness, but just enough to remind you that you're drinking a beer and not Malta or a bourbon. I bought a bottle at the brewery over the summer of 2011, cracked it open for the holidays that year. Lets hope they still have some when I head back up this summer -- might be my favorite Allagash brew.

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Photo of metter98
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is dark reddish brown in color and poured with a thin beige head.
S: There are light aromas of dark fruits in the nose along with oak from the barrel aging.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has complex flavors of dark fruits along with notes of oak.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is well balanced and hides its alcohol well.

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Photo of brotherloco
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml C&C bottle. Bottling: February 2011. 10.4% ABV. Served in a tulip at cellar temperature.

Pours a deep ruby-red brown, almost black. A huge, more than three finger head of meringue-like beige foam. A lot of lacing clings to the glass.

Aroma is very grassy and earthy and quite dry. Some sweet chocolate malt sneaks through. Some Belgian candi sugar. A hint of dry vanilla oak.

Flavor is quite delicate and is a nice balance of bitter hops and roasty chocolate malt. Mildly sweet with dark fruit notes. Maybe a touch of alcohol in the finish, but extremely well buried. I know this is a wheat based beer, but the overall flavor is much more complex than expected. You can pick up some notes from the barrel aging, but it's quite light.

Medium bodied with extremely nice, medium super-soft natural carbonation. Fantastic mouthfeel.

I really love this beer. Great flavor and mouthfeel. Nothing about it is of an extreme nature, yet the ABV kicks in above 10%, and isn't noticeable. Amazing.

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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.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by JealousChalice @ jerz halloween tasting

Look: Pours a dark brown color with a 1/8 inch head and very little retention

Smell: Lots of dark fruits on the nose especially fig and dates. Some nice caramel and oak follow the dark fruits

Taste: Very complex flavors that I expect from a very good belgian dark ale. Nice notes of tobacco and leather upfront then the dark fruits take over and punch you in the mouth exceptional dark fruit flavors and the beer finishes nicely with some oak and vanilla notes

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low carbonation

Overall: This is simply put a fantastic beer and highly recommended thank you JealousChalice for sharing this amazing beer

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

Bought this one at a great bottle shop in Durham, NC, and have been looking forward to giving it a try. Popped it open while watching the Cardinals win the World Series!

Poured from 750ml bottle into a Bordeaux glass.

Aroma: Vanilla, caramel, a twangy, wild, oaken barrel note, and then some nice, Belgian spiciness comes through after the bottle's been open and the beer has warmed in the glass for a while.

Appearance: Dense, light tan, two-finger head has excellent retention. Body is a dark ruby-brown. Thick, foamy lacing clings to the inside of the glass.

Flavor: Mmmm. Mildly-sweet malt comes through as rich caramel and vanilla. A little bit of oaky funk--doesn't come through in a tart way, though. Bitterness is just enough to prevent the malt from being cloying. The oak definitely plays a supporting role in the flavor of this one, which is fine. Fantastic flavor!

Mouthfeel: Medium-high carbonation lends itself to the foamy head and a lively brew overall. Medium, chewy body.

Overall: An extremely drinkable BSDA-- one of the very best I've every had. I've only ever had one other brew from Allagash, but from these two, I can tell that this is one heck of a brewery. Unfortunately, it's not distributed in Indiana, but I'm going to take advantage of any opportunity I get to try their other brews. I highly recommend this one!

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled Feb. 2011

Pours a dark, dark brown color with a beautiful chocolate/cocoa colored two finger head. Excellent lacing on my snifter glass. This brew is impossible to see through, even when held to light. Great looking beer. In the nose I get: fig, tobacco, bourbon, oak, clove, and other dark fruit. Pretty smooth, and warming helps tremendously. Not quite up to the best Belgians, but it's REALLY close. HOLY CRAP. This is one amazing tasting beer! I definitely get caramel/toffee, w/ the fruits, slight bourbon, but this isn't boozy at all. In fact, I don't detect any of the 10.4% alcohol in this beer. It just gets better and better the more it warms too. It's super smooth, silky, and feels like a million bucks in the feel department. The only ding I can give it is that I'd like the feel to be a little more full bodied- but that's grasping at straws. Overall, this is an amazing brew and I recommend you buy it immediately if you see it for under $20/750ml... Cheers!

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Photo of broken22
4.06/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer is a dark brown color. Head can be thick if you pour too fast. They actually say to pour slowly into a wide mouth glass on the label. The head will hang around the entire way through. The smell is very faint. I really need to stick my nose all the way in the glass and take a big whiff in order to smell it. For me the beer just smell very malty. The flavor however is much better. The beer has a nice roasted malt flavor with a hint of a vanilla finish mixed with a fruity like sweetness. There is a lot going on and the flavor seems very complexly layered. The beer has a nice subtle bitterness to it and no hint of hops. The mouth feel is nice and bubbly.

Overall this is a great beer. The flavor is nice much nicer than I can accurately describe. Allagash make some great brews and this one is no different. If you can find this on the shelf it is a must buy no matter the price.

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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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Photo of tjkinate
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yay, my 50th review! I have had this beer for awhile now and couldn't think of a better excuse to drink it.

750ml Growler, bottle date: January, 2010

Poured the beer into a large, tulip glass, which produced a surprisingly large tan and frothy head. The head dissipated rather slowly leaving behind moderate lacing, in addition to, a silky coated resign which remained until the glass was empty. I was surprised to see how dark this beer was, almost looked like motor oil, obviously allowing no light to penetrate, except on the sides where crimson shown through.

Dark fruits were detectable, but slightly muted. The roasted earthy malts were bolder, but still seemed rather subdued. Upon further examination I could detect some hops and just a little alcohol (pretty tough to hide with 10.3%).

This is definitely a Belgian Ale, no doubt about it. The overall flavors were quite potent, I tasted unsweetened chocolate with lots of malt, this left the tongue slightly bitter, but fades nicely as hints of alcohol and hops peak through.

Medium to heavy bodied brew with LOTS of carbonation. The high ABV lightly burns the throat as it passes through leaving behind a numbness between each gulp.

Overall, I feel this is a great beer. Do I think its worth the bottle price? No. I also have to say, I prefer the Currieux (which is still very pricey) and it is much more available. Will definitely buy this beer again when I win the lottery. (please lower your beer prices Allagash)

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.8/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sept 2008

A - Brown with ruby hues. Thin tan head quickly disappears to a ring of lace.

S - Oaky vanilla with some dark fruits. Some bready malts but fairly subtle.

T - Oak and vanilla, toasted bread, fig, sweet malt, hints of prune, molasses and cocoa.

M - Low carbonation giving it a soft almost watery mouthfeel that leaves a bit of stickiness on the tongue.

D - A little more malt complexity would really work well with the oak. Solid beer.

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Photo of cjacobsen
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again to sweemzander for sharing this one.

(A) Dark deep ruby, almost looks brownish, but in the light it shines a really nice red. Pretty decent head on this one, about 1.5" of off white, tight bubbled head.

(S) Fruity with some citrus. Smells a bit yeasty. Some cherry. Wet wood. Some alcohol.

(T) The oakiness is quite apparent and pleasant. There's some plum, cocoa, caramel, some other dark fruits. You get some earthy taste from the choice of malts.

(M) It's very thin, light and dry

(O) Even though there is a slight hint of alcohol in the nose, it's not found in the taste. There's a good balance in this beer but there is a decent amount going on in the taste. The more it opens up, warmer it gets, and longer you take to drink it, it develops a lot and gradually changes.

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Photo of dasenebler
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL, January 2010 bottling.

Pours a dark, dark brown with ruby highlights. The head was generous at first; the lacing and retention, decent.

The aroma is mainly yeasty, with phenolic notes, some dark fruit and oak.

The flavor is quite complex and big, yet smooth and refined. Lots of toasty, nearly roasty malt flavor and a sweet brown sugar component. Not terribly fruity, some date maybe. Oaky flavor is prominent, but not overpowering. The Allagash yeast character is really nice with this beer, and the finish is long and dry. Only weak point is the mouthfeel, which seems really light for a beer of this gravity, though the carbonation is great and creams things up nicely.

Really nice Belgian Strong Dark here. One and a half years of cellaring is just about right.

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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 slentz
3.44/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

January 2010 bottling. From notes.

First of all if you have a bottle of this batch heed caution. This bottle was a head hunter and almost committed murder on kiddynamite920. I only twisted the cage a few times and the cork shot across the room with gusto. Watch out!

A: Poured at about 45 degrees into a huge wide mouth Belgian glass from iron hill. Slow pour down the center of the glass leads to a thin head after two minutes only a thin ring remains. Wow this one has really tight bubbles and awesome legs. When held up to light it is a beautiful glowing red. 4.5

S: Smell is really muted but picking up cherries with bready and yeasty undertones. Only a hint of alcohol. Smell is definitely lacking. 3.0

T: Taste is also somewhat bland but picking up cherries, molasses and brown sugar. This one is very sweet. All in all pretty smooth but maybe this one is passed its prime. 3.5

M: Lively carbonation leaving a sweet coating on the teeth. Goes down pretty smooth. 3.5

O: Overall not too bad I'd like to try a fresher bottle next time. Appearance is where this beer really shines. All in all I'm glad I got to try this one. Again heed caution with the cork! Sorry Billy! 3.5

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Photo of NuclearRich
3.83/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Feb 2011 bottle poured into a snifter style glass.

A. A deep dark abyss with a medium sized head of an almost opposite color of light tan. The head fades rather quickly into a thin cap and has minimal lacing.
S. Dark fruit, vanilla notes surrounding a slightly boozy belgian ester background.
T&M. A big carbonated bite cascades over the tongue, smoothing into a robust thick and roasty character. Actually reminds me of a porter. Robust, roasty, thick, a slight bitterness and a hint of dark fruit.
O. Pretty good stuff. The oak isn't as strong as I thought it would be, but personally I think that's good. I would be happy to have it again.

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Allagash Odyssey from Allagash Brewing Company
4.25 out of 5 based on 1,228 ratings.
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