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 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 MrHurmateeowish
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle bottled January 2008. Pours an almost opaque dark brown with ruby-red highlights and about an inch of light-tan head. Smells fruity (dates, citrus) with some chocolate, vanilla, wood... Tastes like chocolate, date, wood, some citrus, coffee, hints of bourbon (I think)... Wow. A plethora of different flavors all playing in harmony. Rich full mouthfeel with ample carbonation to keep it drinkable. Alcohol is present only in warming, but not in mouthfeel or flavor. Very drinkable, especially for a beer of its size (abv as well as flavor). Phenomenal. Definitely Allagash's best product, at least that I've tried thus far, and quite possibly the best beer I have ever tried.

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Photo of Overlord
3.78/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to lightindarkness for the trade.

Pours a dark brownish black ... maybe some red highlights. Kind of a strange pinkish hued foam, actually. Pretty neat.

After the phenomenal interlude, I had high hopes for Odyssey. Alas, it didn't really live up to them. It's a strangely well carbonated beer. Not a terribly thick mouthfeel. Smells like roasted malt and oak. An earlier reviewer mentioned that this was a lot like drinking carbonated wine: I agree. There's gigantic vinous and oak notes. I'm not sure what the base included ... maybe prunes/figs/raisins. As you sip/let it warm, there's definitely a bit of candi or molasses sweetening the pot.

Actually, this beer seems like something Lost Abbey would put out. It's good, but not great.

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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 IntriqKen
3.73/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Everything by Allagash seems to warrant a 5.0 rating.

Pours a moderate deep brown with a nice slightly off-white head that sticks around for a long time.

Aromas are rich with sugary dark malts, dark brown sugar and alcohol.

Taste is Dark malt with only a hint of oak but lots of brown sugar. Nicely mellow and balanced...not cloying in the least but definitely sweet.

Aftertaste is sweet dark malt but clean, none the less.

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Photo of largadeer
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

January '08 bottle.

Appearance: Dark brown, nearly black, with the slightest opacity. A frothy inch of head forms and retains pretty well for the duration of the glass.

Smell: Dried fruit, a hint of clove and vanilla, very phenolic. Oak is pretty subdued in the nose.

Taste & mouthfeel: Smoke and young oak up-front, dates, caramel, licorice. Medium-to-full in body but pleasantly crisp from high carbonation. Spicy in the finish with a hint of alcohol.

Notes: Excellent stuff, the best Allagash beer I've had to date.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.77/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ML bottle purchased caged and corked from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
"Bottled January 2008 - Cases Bottled: 600"
Heard a lot of mixed reviews about this one, and since usually almost everything Allagash produces is a solid sample, had high hopes for this corked one which ran almost $14.99...
Pours a tremendous, deep-dark, pitch-black colored hue with hardly any head at all and minimal lacing to say the least...
Strong aroma of vanilla oak present along with a heavy suggestion of malts balanced by a tinge of hops...
The flavor was extremely dominated by a thick oak-presence along with strong vanilla and wine nuances... This thick, rich, full-bodied beer definitely has powerful wine characteristics and really mimics a red-wine both in the nose and mouth...
Mouthfeel was thick, rich, and creamy, but took a slight hit due to the extreme oak-flavor imparted by the taste... I'm sure if I had let this one sit for a year or two, it probably would have mellowed out a bit more...
Drinkability was about average to say the least, as the heavy 10.4% ABV was certainly noticeable and the cloying oak flavor was also present...
Not Allagash's best sample, and in my opinion, definitely not worth the price paid for...

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

Nearly black in color (no light shines through); Awesome lasting lace; good head that lessens to a half finger.

Dark chocolate smells along with light bitter hops, alcohol and cream.

Wonderful complex flavor--some elements of a dark porter (chocolate, smooth full body with ample carbonation) and a Belgian dark ale (notable alcohol and yeast flavor). Strong alcohol warmth in the swallow with a hoppy aftertaste (the chocolate remains throughout).

This is a very rich and satisfying brew. I don't know whether I could have several of these, but one is definitely a great experience.

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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 orsulacp
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There was a bit of an off white ring around the top of the dark brown/ruby colored body on this beer. Very fruity nose, plums and some orange, with a hint of vanilla and some alcohol. The taste is a complex layering of many flavors, oak, vanilla, plum, black pepper, and malty goodness. The mouthfeel seems to change, it starts out thick and glyceryne like and then the tight carbonation gives it a nice dry finish. The flavor of the burbon really hits at the finish. I need to get another one or two these and see what it will do in a year or five.

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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 jwolfie70
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass. It poured dark reddish brown, with little carbonation. The smell was molasses, malt and herb spiciness. The taste was fantastic, with molasses like malt, belgium spicy yeast, chocolate coming through. The oak was not overpowering at all. A fantastic beer, although very price ($17.99 in SF). The limited availability and price would be the only thing keeping me from adding this to my regular purchases.

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

750ml Bottled Jan 08

Been a long time since my last Belgian dark ale.

A- Very dark brown, creamy tan head that retains to a beautiful quarter inch lacing thru out the sample. Impressive sticking to the sides of the glass.

S- Oak treatment,dark fruits, brown sugar, vanilla, molasses. Something spicy there as well, tobacco like.

T- Figs, dates, anise, slight bourbon, vanilla, and faint smokiness. Quite a bit going on here, and even more as this warms. Where is the alcohol? Finshes slightly sweet with a linering slight bourbon booziness.

M- Medium creamy mouthfeel. Lighter than expected from the pour. Very nice.

D- A complex sipper, that's hard to just sip. Extremley drinkable for the strength. Be careful, be very careful.

Odyssey, I'll say. It's been a fantastic journey from start to finish. Give this a whirl if you get the chance.

*note to self: Might be time to try the 06 in the cellar soon.

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

Bottled January, 2008- cases bottled, 600. I bought this from Decatur Wine and Spirits. Definitely could use some aging. It is pretty tasty right now, but the taste of new oak is pretty strong. If you like that, drink it now. If not, age this for a year or more. Since I've never had it before, I couldn't wait and decided to try it fresh. Pours as about a dark a brown as you can get before shifting to black. Fairly thin head, but there is barely any head fading. The whole cap sticks around for the life of the beer. There is also some spotty lacing. Smell is oak dominated, with some subtle typical Belgian strong dark notes of raisins, candi sugar, toffee, and spice in the background. The taste becomes more integrated as the beer warms and opens up, but there is still a lot of new white oak in the flavor. Spicy oak notes, woody, vanilla, and quite a tannic bitterness that echoes through the whole thing. At this point, the raisin, prune, candi sugar, and toffee play second fiddle to the oak bomb. That being said, as with a great wine, the early oak and tannins predict greatness in the future of this beer. With some aging, these components should mellow and become more seemlesly integrated. Also, although the oak is prominent, the tannins are the star, and this beer is not a vanilla bomb. This makes the whole flavorr profile more complexx and interesting. Mouthfeel is full, creamy, and quite tannic. Challenging and complex. The alcohol is eextremely well hidden and as big in flavors as this beer is, it is still a pleasure to suss out the various components of this brew. A prime candidate forr cellaring.

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Photo of bennetj17
4.31/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Oct 2006. Dark brown color, ruby like hues in the light. Strong, streaming bubbles of carbonation help sustain a medium thick head of tan foam. The aroma is a bit faint, with some raisin, earthy spice and a hint of vanilla.

More raisiny malt in the taste, lightly sweet with a bit of tang. A bit Dubbel-like. I really like the taste as it is not too intense, but has subtle complexities leaving you wanting more. The barrel aging doesn't come through much although it helped mellow things nicely. It doesn't feel very strong at all for over 10% ABV. Medium thick, with foamy, coating carbonation. Very smooth.

Again this is an easy drinker for a strong ale. This is a well-balanced and top notch Belgian Dark. Highly recommended...

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Photo of DrJay
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of my BC2 package from aprilluvsbeer. Thanks April!
Very dark brown, but still clear and transparent, this beer had mahogany edges with brilliant ruby highlights. The pour produced a tight, light tan cap that settled slowly to a thick ring and there was spotty lacing throughout. The barrel really contributed a lot of character to the aroma. Toasty malt and toffee were prominent, with some vanilla, oak and booze following. A little buttery smelling too. Mellow bitterness with a fruity backbone, flavours of figs and other dried fruits were quite forward. Sweetness was similar to brown sugar or molasses, a little buttery with a bit of alcohol in the finish. Low carbonation, creamy bubbles and medium bodied with a bit of dryness and warmth, plus a bit of stickiness. This stuff is dangerously easy to drink. Fairly mellow and very balanced, it was complex yet not overbearing.

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

Bottled 10/23/2006. 750ml Bottle served in a New Belgium Snifter at cellar temperature.

A - Poured a very nice and deep dark hazy mahogany colored brown with a big full head that stood at least three fingers high of tan colored lace. Great retention really kept this this up there too as it lasted for a good few minutes before finally, and reluctantly settling down into just a one inch high topper of lace and tons and tons of sticky foamy side glass remnants. A very nice appearence I would have to say.

S - The aroma was full of spice, from the first whiff I was picking up nutmeg, figs and hints of oak. A very nice brandy like alcohol smell as well. very full aroma as it warmed some other dark fruits, perhaps cherries or plums started to emerge and really become prominant. A nice grainy and earthy back was at the foreground the whole time as was a nice mellow caramel like sweetness that let everything just blend together.

T - Very well put together and alot more mellow then I thought it would be, the year in the cellar really did this one justice. The first flavors I noticed were a very nice presence of figs or prunes that really helped to push forward the spices that were laying underneath. As it warmed I really started to pick up the wood flavors, very well done and nothing overbearing here at all. The alcohol was there but had mellowed quite a bit leaving behind a slight brandy like warmeth but nothing that ws going to stop me now. The finish was long and drawn out with hints of earthy grains and a touch of fruit.

M - Very nice medium bodied ale that was really put together quite well. The carbonation had held up very well really giving it that full creamy feel. Seductively smooth this was the ideal balance of carbonation and smooth feel. Very nicely done.

D - I found this to be a very nice sipper. The alcohol in it was quite mellowed and the flavors went really with each other creating a very nice balance here. I enjoyed the entire bottle over the course of a couple hours and was quite pleased. I dont think I would have went for another one, but this was quite good.

Overall this was an excellent brew and one of the best I have had from Allagash. A superb barrel aged beer this combined the best of what they can do. I would gladly by another one day. Really a nice selection here that I would have to recommend.

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Photo of beerking1
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Oct 2006 bottling. Pours very dark brown with big red highlights and a cafe-au-lait colored head that leaves ample lacing all the way down the glass. Aroma is bourbon, oak and chocolate, no hops. Flavor is smooth oak, malt, chocolate and dark fruits (raisins and figs) with balancing but almost unnoticed hops. Finish is all dark malt and oak, but with hints of bourbon. Body is on the high side of medium.

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

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

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

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

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Photo of sabrills70
3.81/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle witha bottling date of October 2006. Pours a deep mahagony brown with a 2 finger head and very nice lace. Hard to get a decent aroma - I'm brewing right now so I will give it a average. Fruity, earthy, a bit smokey and roasty. Ok hop bitterness cosidering the style. Alcohol fairly well hidden. Smooth and very drinkable. I'm glad I aged this for a year. Nice beer.

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

"Poured gently into a wide mouth glass". An almost opaque dark brown color with red hues around the edges. A shallow wispy light tan head that fades fairly quickly with little lacing in its wake. The smell is primarily the bourbon aging/vanilla that all but masks a fig-like dark fruit and light roast malt aroma. Medium body with a heavy bourbon character and a nice light carbonation to the mouth. The bourbon aging contributes to a spicy finish that lingers significantly. I didn't realize that its a wheat ale. I imagine that contributes to the drier, verses fruitier character. I really had a good time with this one. A lot there to consider. Glad that i had the opportunity to sample it.

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Photo of akorsak
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 750 mL bottle from a trade with goodbyeohio. This is a February 2005 bottling that I cracked open after reading a recent thread that said the 2004 had run its course.

A: The ale has the dark black color of a black cherry color, highlighted nicely with ruby red tones that come through when the ale is held to light. The head approached 2 fingers on pour but quickly wasted away to a thin white band.

S: The nose has the swirling depth of a Belgian ale, candi sugars and distinct Allagash yeast strain, along with the buttery sweetness of oak.

T: The oak aging has really left its mark on this beer. The buttery sweetness is evident immediately, adding a vanilla bean flavor to the ale. Dark candi sugars add an appreciable depth to the ale as well, nicely complimenting the oak aging with an underlying sweetness. The more I taste the beer, the more that oak aging is easily mistaken for the sweet corn smoothness of a bourbon barrel ale. The finish has some dark alefruits, raisins particularly, with a healthy dose of candi sugars.

M: The mouthfeel is engaging from the first sip, taking oak and Belgian flavors and seemlessly melding them together. The warmth of the alcohol pops out only at the end of the sip, creating a nice finish.

D: I wanna take this beer behind the middle school and get it pregnant. I thought that Curieux and Interlude were the zenithes of brewing but this one is a real sock-knocker-offer.

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Photo of emerge077
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oct. 2006 bottling.

This bottle has been waiting for a few months to be opened...

Cork gives a good "phwup" and a half-inch of foam begins to swell in the neck of the bottle. Pours a deep raw umber shade of brown, with lighter garnet highlights in the light. A small one finger cap of foam rises and falls, leaving a ring around the oversized tulip glass.

Aroma is strong at first, and winds down as it sits for a little bit. Chocolate, dried cherry, vanilla bean, & twinge of alcohol after a vigorous swirl. Dried out bourbon barrel, and a slight nutty quality as well.

Rich taste of chocolate, underlying bourbon, roasted almond, and a mild bitterness along the sides of the tongue. Oak appears in the aftertaste, but isn't a main factor in the overall taste. Very balanced and delicious.

Medium bodied, not too heavy or boozy, although the alcohol is felt. A+ for this barrel-aged offering from Allagash...

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Photo of wl0307
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

500ml brown bottle, corked and caged. Bottling date: Feb. 05, 10.4%abv. for this bottle; served lightly-chilled in a large tulip-shaped wine glass.

A: dark brown in colour; the beige beer head builds up fast and wanes equally with haste, leaving a thin layer of sparse foam and moderate carbonation underneath.
S: assertively oaky (white oak) and chocolatey in aroma, yet it's simultaneously rustic, dampy, prune-ish, datey, with a nice whiff of port and rather deep burned sugar... in the background a subtle touch of Belgian brown ale's woody-sourness lingers. The nose is unlike any 10%abv. beer as it is so mellow and settled, and more aromas await to ascend as the beer warms...
T: lightly chocolatey and dark-sugary malts descend on the palate first with a rather light palate, then treacle, licorice, annis, sweet prunes, dried berries, and coffee candy all develop and intertwine before a heavy dose of dryish herbal bitter-sweetness takes over. The lengthy and deep-running aftertaste shows plenty of chocolatey malts with an even more enjoyable yet delicate touch of oaky aroma, like what a well oak-aged Cabinet Sauvignon has to offer.
M&D: smoothly-textured and softly-fizzy, this full-bodied dark ale somehow tastes very light, without showing traces of high-octave alc. at all. Two years of further ageing in the bottle has made this oak-aged ale a balanced, easily approachable and very delicious nectar. Somehow the flavour also reminds me a lot of some English old ales; so, to me, this can be fairly described as a cross b/w the Belgian and English styles of strong old/dark ales. Highly recommended!

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

Poured from 750ml bottle into tasting glass.

Appearance- Black and thick like a stout, Large frothy head with a tinge of red in it and excellent lacing.

Smell- Figs! Nooo! Anything but figs! Honey, oak, cedar, chocolate, prunes, dark fruits, a hint of cherry.

Taste- Cherry comes out more in the flavour than the smell. Carmel notes with a funky barnyard feel to it. Oak in the background. Chocolate comes in hiding from the back. No real hops to speak of but plenty of bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Smooth and creamy, not too much stickiness on the mouth. It does linger but not too cloying.

Drinkability- Deciptively drinkable, I could finish up this bottle in a hurry and then find out that it's 10%abv afterward. Nice.

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