Allagash Odyssey | Allagash Brewing Company

422 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: 422 | Ratings: 1,232
Photo of froghop
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a dark brown with a ruby tint, medium size tan head, very good lacing.

smell of cocoa, dark fruit, caramel, roasted nuts, touch of vanilla, wood chips.

taste is somewhat smooth, chocolate, dark fruits, toffee, some nuts, touch of spice, slight smoke, alcohol well hidden, nice bitter finish.

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4.56/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An active three finger foam head is deep tan in color and fades leaving rocky scattered lace. Body is really just about pure black showing just hints of ruby brown on the edges. Nose is soft but has tones of phelonic vanilla, honey and sweet toffee like malt. Enters the mouth big rich bold and loaded with flavor. Complex waves of rich almost burnt malt, vanilla, sweet cream and spicy crust. Almost like a fresh warm biscuit with butter and honey. So smooth on the palate. A tingling spice feel is on the back of the tongue. Mouthfeel is very pleasant and full. A complete joy to drink from start to finish.

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

750ml bottle, poured into a half-liter mug. This beer is a very dark brown, which, when poured, has a huge, thick foamy inch-tall head, solid and lasting... it doesn't even start to settle until at least a minute after the pour, and leaves behind lovely lacing. Very nice aroma, malty with a dry yet sweet raisin backbone.

The taste is a bit difficult to sort out: it's a blend of so many different flavors that fit together in a perfect marriage. There's the huge ripe fruity yeast character, a roasty raisin and plum taste... the malt is subtle, with a cocoa tone, maybe a hint of coffee. Oakiness is likewise blended well, never abrasive. It adds a tannic mouthfeel one associates with a soft red wine like merlot. Bitterness is moderately high but hops don't make a noticible flavor contribution. There's a little bit of tartness in the finish. I can't detect any alcohol, and the body is not heavy at all, in the best Belgian tradition.

Truly, a magnificently crafted beer.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Gford 217 is the man to thank for sending this gem to me... Big thanks to Grant!!

2008 version. I should probably lay this down for a while but its my only bottle and I can't wait any longer.

Deep, deep dark brown with some ruby highlights... Incredibly foamy luscious head that looks like cappucino froth... Beautiful brew...

The aroma of this brew is a true plethora of different things... Hints of chocolate, loads of raisins, maple syrup, oak,bourbon, vanilla, perhaps a little toffee even...awesome smelling...

Wow, the bourbon really jumps out of this thing early....and I like it. This takes the usual Belgian Strong Dark and takes it to a whole different level... The maple syrup is quite prevalent as well... Amazingly complex brew...

This is my first Allagash brew and I'm awfully impressed..terrific brew all the way around..

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brownish red in color. A decent half inch of head on the pour, but that doesn't last. Decent amount of carbonation forming in a ring atop the beer. Smell is heavenly. Dark cherries, plum, oak, vanilla, and some light bourbon. Taste is incredible. More of the dark fruit there with the barrel aging complimenting everything quite well. A definite sipper, but that's the way this beer should be. Great beer.

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Photo of ojiikun
4.29/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintaged 750mL. Yeah, I know I should wait, but I don't wanna.

Pops with almost no fanfare, but immediately smells of ~scotch~. Yes, I know smell is the next section. Body is very, very dark, with only the slightest red-orange colour when held to the brightest light I can find in my parlour. Head was easily coaxed up and is a fairly light colour.

Back to the smell - oak, but the lovely old sort . . . like scotch. Big, fat, medium and dark malts. Chocolate, more oak, once it warms - like bourbon (new oak). Very dry, chalky. Banana and coconut, but only just. Fennel?

Taste is quite tart, peppery, very dry. Tons of coffee as it warms. As bourboney as you can imagine, and so much more, but it all dissolves into a warm melange that's hard to describe.

Feels amazingly light on the tongue for the volume and colour. Little coating and almost no stickiness. Carbonation holds up well even with great stretches of time.

It's not often that a beer leaves me reasonalby without words to describe it. My only regret about this beer is that I don't have two more to drink in 2010 and 2012 . . . yet. Back to the store!

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

Thanks to flyingbison for this great extra!

This is from the October 2006 bottling, 460 cases.

The color is a burnt caramel color with deep scarlet overtones when held to the light. About an inch of foam forms and settles to a ring with some activity in the center of my Chimay goblet. The second pour, after the beer got to a slightly warmer temperature, produces a larger amount of foam and a good quarter inch retains thorough out the longevity of this fine beer.

During the pour I pick up some sweet dark malt, brown sugar, and raisin aroma. Later I get a more complex fruit mixture, cherries, dates, candied yams; and in the background lay the subtle milk chocolate, fruity alcohol, yeast, and sweet wheat. The oak plays well wrapping itself along with all the other aromas and not dominating the beer.

The first sip is nothing but pleasure, dark and sweet fruits, raisins, chocolate, dark wheat, brown sugar, and caramel. A little alcohol heat near the finish, which lingers in the back of the throat for a while, but it does not come out as harsh or hot. Interestingly enough, there is some grape skins in the aftertaste that comes through a little tart but then the chocolate takes over for a moment only for the grape flavor to come back again. I'm also detecting some ripe apple in the long aftertaste, it lasts and lasts. Also near the finish is the vanilla and oak from the barrel aging and lots of toast once the beer really comes to the right temperature.

The mouth-feel is really soft, creamy, silky, and a little sticky sweet on the lips. For something that is 10.3% it drinks marvelous, could hardly detect half of the alcohol.

The best Allagash beer I have encountered thus far.

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Photo of John_M
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap the other night at the Allagash event at Max's.

This beer is just luscious looking. It pours a dark brown color with a creamy looking, persisting head. There is very good head retention and very good lacing. The beer looks viscuous. On the nose I get lots of chocolate and vanilla, and the beer just smells decadent and rich. The beer is very rich and long lasting on the palate, with the flavor profile replicating the nose. The beer is moderately sweet, with a soft, plush, satin-like mouthfeel. The beer has almost a creamy consistency to it. There is not a sharp edge anywhere with this beer, and it has a long finish with barely noticeable alcohol.

Outstanding. An excellent beer from Allagash.

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Photo of nickfl
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Two fingers of fizzy, medium brown foam settles quickly and leaves a thick film of bubbles. The body is a nearly opaque amber-brown.

S - Strong aroma of dark fruit, black cherries and plums. Some yeasty spice and dark caramel with a hint of chocolate.

T - Dark, thick caramel up front with quite a bit of toffee in the background. Fruity esters, notes of banana and chocolate covered cherries. There is a slight roasted note, along with some spicy hops, in the finish but very little malt bitterness.

M - Medium to thick body, high carbonation, and a dry finish with noticeable alcoholic warmth.

D - A very enjoyable and flavorful beer. The dark fruit in the nose is unusually nice, and the smooth dark flavors coat the mouth nicely without ever overwhelming the palate. One of the better beers I have had from Allagash, this is capable of standing up against classic quadruples like Rochefort 10 and Chimay blue.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.19/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

October 2006 bottling.

Pours a maple syrupy brown with a bit of viscocity. Very faint, tan head that recedes quickly. The aroma is a rich maple syrup, vanilla, and slightly roasted wood. The taste starts ith a strong vanilla maple syrup flavor cool. The flavor slowly ges more fruity and woody as it warms. Well integrated alcohol until it gets a warm. The delicate fruits and wood slowly degrade to a very boozy brandy. Great palate, though. Even when it gets warm, great warmth and sliky smooth syrups.

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

A real treat of a beer. Served on-tap in an 8oz glass.

It's a very dark, thick looking brew with little to no head. First smells of honey, chocolate and coffee. A little alcohol. Tastes pretty sweet, roasted coffee and honey. The alcohol is certainly noticable, but not over-bearing. Very full and thick body and the sweetness takes away that initial alcohol taste.

A perfect sipping/dessert beer. Ended up having another later in the evening and was still in love with it, although more than that may have been pushing it.

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

picked up in trade from beavers, thanks!!

Jan. 2008, 600 cases bottled, 10.4% abv

Poured from 750ml to balloon snifter, pours a thin but rich chocolate-y brown, deep and opaque, tan head disappears moderately.

smells of malts, hot alcohol, Belgian yeastiness, raisins, chocolate/coffee

First taste yielded a sourness with chocolate, coffee, raisins, figs, plumbs, apples, and yeastiness. Nice and complex, alcohol very well blended; noticeable yet still smooth.

mouthfeel was creamy, easy on the palate yet quite complex
a delight to drink, definately an ale I would reserve for after a fine meal, or just to relax and take in.

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Photo of MisterClean
3.56/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

At Manderes' Allagash tasting

A - Dark brown, chocolate, lots of head, which dissipates moderately.

S - Very oaky, light malts, honey, and biscuit.

T - Oak, honey, with a light smokiness. The smell was great, but got lost in the flavor.

M - Sweet, yet bitter.

D - Not sure I can drink this beer on a consistent basis because, well, the beer isn't very consistent from smell, to taste, to mouthfeel.

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

Thanks to kplynch for the trade!

Bottled October 2006.

Pours a deep deep ruby color with a white head that has just a touch of gray. Good and fluffy with good retention. Nose is of caramel dried fruit with some spice, and a bit of apple. Taste follows. Thick dark fruit, caramel, spice, licorice, some vanilla and molasses. Very sweet belgian candy sugar. A slight sour note on the finish. A bit thin in the mouthfeel department, slick in the throat. Drinkability is good, but this one is way too sweet to have more than one. Overall a great brew by allagash. I would like the mouthfeel and texture to be a little bit thicker, but they are quite good as they are. I am really impressed with their belgian style brews lately, IMO they are without a doubt one of the best belgian style breweries in the united states. Good beer.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 750 into Cab glass...

Pours a slightly translucent iced coffee/Coca Cola color with a hearty, bready, 2 1/2 finger head with excellent staying power. The head is so chewy one can see the layers from the pour.

Aroma is quite perfumy at first - carbonation delivers sarsparilla and burnt raw cane sugar - as in the topping of creme brulee. Very toasty. Needs to warm up.

Deep, dark, bittersweet chocolate is predominant. Alcohol is present and provides slight burn on back of palate, but is a subtle complement. Coffee character provides nice slight bitterness. Very complex.

Velvety mouthfeel delivers a deep, long finish with extra tingle from moderate but well-placed carbonation.

A pleasure to enjoy slowly to cap off the evening.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.64/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

January 2008 bottling

Pours a dark ruby color with the perfect amount of head, at first seems fizzy but turns out to have good retention and a nice ring of lacing.

Smell is rather strong in oak with a sharp alcoholic bite, these characteristics seem to override any other subtleties the aroma might have.

Taste also displays a heavy use of barrel aging with a woody aspect coming through strong in the mouth, bit of an alcoholic bite, would be very creamy if not for the lively carbonation, lots of slickness which seems to make my mouth feel oily.

Overall a bit disappointed after having the Interlude, I was expecting something as great as that. Still an above average Belgian ale though, albeit a bit boozy, might need to age a bit to simmer down.

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Photo of Flyer
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Those people at Allagash sure know what to do with some malt, hops, yeast, and an oak barrel! Another great entry in this line-up. Pours dense brown-black with a creamy tan head, almost like a nitro head. Aromas are subtle, some Belgian floral and oak. Flavors of roast, subtle Belgian floral funk, oak, and a slightly boozy sweetness. Finishes with a pleasantly sharp roast floral quality. Actually reminds me of a Belgiany version of DFH Palo Santo Marron. Delicious, excellent.

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Photo of cookin420
3.72/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a big ol' snifta

Blackish with a twinge of ruby. Pale- khaki head is small but coating.

Oak and it's sidekick vanilla, cherries and some smoke? I smell a BBQ. Grapes. Very wine like. Pinot Noir to be specific. I have to wonder what kind of barrels were used.

Well, chocolate milk does come to mind. Minimal roasted character Minimal bittering, big vanilla and plum. Also the Pinot again. I do feel that I should state that I took notes on this brew and when I sat down tonite to review, I saw that this actually was a Belgian yeasted brew. I cannot say that this was a noticeable aspect of the flavor and I would call it's attributes to the flavor minimal to none.

Very creamy. Almost oily. Any more oily and the bell curve would be working against it. Hmmm. Mouth full of whipped cream?

10%? This went down like an ESB Very drinkable.

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

January 2008 bottle, served in a large wine glass at 57 F/ 14 C.

Dark red-brown, almost black. Small but dense head, with plenty of lace in fine patterns and dimpled sheets, quite attractive. The last glass, with a little sediment in it, has hills of stiff head, with chunky rings and massive pocked sheets of lace.

The smell is mild, but quite pleasant. Mainly light roast coffee, reminds me of Kona, with fresh herbs, a hint of milk, and maybe some milk chocolate.

Tastes much stronger than it smells, but super smooth. Smooth sweet coffee, with brown sugar, rum, mild rummy alcohol, vanilla, plum and white grape. I find much of this undetectable in the smell. The flavor is cohesive, this beer has distinct character. Each component of the flavor is sweet, and the whole flavor is overtly sweet, but the sweetness is somehow very well balanced by the gentlest of roastiness. Long finish of moderately sweet coffee and rum with a bit of plum skin. Very tasty.

Incredibly smooth silky texture, the wheat must have contributed to this. Perfect superfine carbonation.

This beer is a pleasure to drink. The flavor and texture are both so smooth, and the flavor is so enjoyable, this beer is extremely drinkable.

I didn't know what to expect from this beer, but I was still surprised.

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Photo of Damian
3.62/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank on-tap at the Publick House, Brookline, MA

Poured a near-opaque, deep brown/black with ruby highlights when held to the light. A light tan, wispy head quickly dissipated to a clingy ring of froth.

The aroma was dark and sweet. Oaky and bourbony with notes of vanilla, brown sugar, black licorice and sweet cream. Dark fruits were noticeable as well.

The taste was quite similar to the aroma. Malty rich and creamy up front. Slightly acrid. Dark and oaky with raisins, prunes and figs coming through in the center. Some coffee as well. The finish was bourbony and quite warm (alcohol-wise) with a lingering, sweet, alcohol-rich aftertaste that intensified as the beer warmed.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied (a touch lighter than I was hoping for) and somewhat creamy with a lively, spritzy carbonation.

At 10% ABV I definitely expected the alcohol to be a noticeable component of this beer. However, I felt it was a bit overpowering.

Considering that this is an oak aged beer, I was disappointed by its lack of overall smoothness. Oddly, this beer seemed to contain more of the roasty maltiness associated with a porter or a stout than the phenolic fruitiness found in most Belgian strong ales. This is definitely a unique beer yet I do not feel it is one of the better examples of the style.

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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 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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Photo of bashiba
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark cola brown color with a thick full head.

Had a light sweet molasses smell with dark belgian candi sugar and a light bit of yeast.

Sweet dark fruits dominate with a clean oaky malt finish. Touches of Sweet dark sugar, cherries, and raisons flavors come through nicely.

Mouthfeel is full with lots of carbonation and a bit of an oily clinging finish.

A nice Belgian dark, but nothing to special, the barrel ageing is only mildly noticeable.

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

Allagash: Odyssey, Oak Aged Belgian Dark Ale (2008) (Tasted 04/05/08)
750 ml. Bottle: poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Pours out an extremely dark shade of brown with a petite, foamy, flat off-white head that's pretty persistent. The head leaves solid sheets of lacing along the sides of the glass.
Odor: Perfumy currant, alcohol & caramel up front, oak & smoke in the background as well as some soft, yeasty aromas.
Consistency: Creamy & smooth, slightly juicy. Minimal carbonation.
Taste: From the onset, this beer is perfectly balanced. First, there's a flash of alcohol & oak that stays strong until the roasted chocolate & sweet currant malt flavors enter the picture. Bitterness from the roasted barley lingers on and stays strong in the finish with some residual fruit flavors, smoke & tannin.

Perfection in a glass.

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Allagash Odyssey from Allagash Brewing Company
4.25 out of 5 based on 1,232 ratings.
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